Salvation: We learn wisdom from the little things! (Proverbs 1:20-33)

There is a lot of debate within Christian theology in regards to election. To be as plain as I can, my belief is that Jesus came to die for everyone (if you’re reformed, you could consider this an “unlimited” limited atonement). His death of Calvary was a symbol of God’s great love and gave an avenue for everyone to confess their sins and live the best life possible in Jesus Christ! Salvation is for everyone!

Some seem to be waiting for an Acts 9 moment in order to give their entire life to Christ. If you remember, Acts 9 was when Saul of Tarsus was knocked off his horse, temporarily blinded, and confronted by Jesus himself. That encounter was so profound that Saul (Hebrew for “desired”) had his name changed to Paul (meaning “little” or “small”). God revolutionized his life through that personal encounter!

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I am more through Jesus Christ!

I want people to succeed in life. I would be overjoyed if every person who stepped into my church would receive Christ and live out the life in abundance that he has promised for them (John 10:10). I could only imagine a community where there were no marriage problems, no financial woes, no interpersonal problems, or people frustrated with their own lives. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I see it on the faces everywhere I go speak. People need hope that one day they will live the life that Christ died to give them! They hope that one day they will be able to declare, “I am more through Jesus Christ.”

The Bible makes the following clear:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

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Get Out of the Way! (Placing Jesus First)

I remember laughing out loud after reading Craig Groeschel’s admission: “I can’t stand a lot of Christians” (“Confessions of a Pastor” p. 17). It was such an honest revelation and it reflected how I sometimes feel about ministry. It’s not that I don’t love people. It’s just that it’s so frustrating watching people  get in the way of what Jesus wants to do in their lives and in their churches. We need to learn to get out of the way!

Survey the New Testament and you’ll find one purpose and perspective: Jesus Christ. Everything revolves around our savior. Issues of belief, salvation, the coming Kingdom, love, life, victory, and church all center upon the person of Jesus! Thus, anything that is worthwhile to accomplish needs to keep Jesus as its center (John 15:1-8).

So often I’ve counseled couples who are struggling in their marriages, yet refuse to pray together and read their Bibles together simply because neither of them has the impetus to place Jesus before their own pride. Or have dealt with persons who care more about their own agenda than submitting to the will of God. Or have dealt with those who think that gossip/slander/politics are the means to achieving God’s glory.

This was Jesus’ point in Mark 8:32-38:

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

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