The Morning After

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:4, 14).

There are 60 major prophecies that are fulfilled in the life of Christ. Josh McDowell writes in his book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” that, by using the science of probability in reference to all 60 major prophecies, the chances that any man migroad-to-emmaus-2ht have fulfilled all 60 is humanly impossible. Reason demands that we accept Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. Jesus is not just another inspirational leader. He was God in the flesh. God, who has previously made Himself known through a nation, and through a law, has now come and reconciled the world to Himself through a man, a God-man, Jesus.

It is the morning after Christ’s resurrection and the word is spreading like wildfire that the crucified Jesus is alive. The people are in a panic, as are their leaders in the Temple. They wanted to live to themselves, with their hopes, promises and dreams, but God had answered their prayers and many did not know it. Some had prayed for contrition and begged for it to be given them at any cost. A few had asked for purity, but He sent them the purest!  Others had prayed for meekness and Jesus broke their hearts, they had prayed to be dead to this world and alive in him. Remarkably, one offered to lay down his life for him, and when he was offered his cross it devastated his courage.

What have we gained in Jesus’s resurrection? He has saved us from the sting of death, in spite of our sinful selves. We cannot count nor keep track of the times our feet have slipped off the straight and narrow path, but Jesus in mercy lifts us up. Now, two thousand fifteen years later, we know that all Jesus did, Jesus did well and he did it for our benefit. It is beyond human understanding that he would suffer here, that he would reign hereafter. We must accept and bear our crosses here below as Jesus did, without the cross here below there is no crown above. We must thank God that not our will be done, but His will be done in us and through us just like Jesus.

It is the morning after and Jesus has saved us as the Father promised. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14). Before, we had only heard of the mystery, but now we can feel it. Jesus has laid on us his love, as He did Mary and Peter. They had no choice but to follow him and nor do we. Jesus came to correct everything that was wrong. To destroy the evils of the world and the last enemy to be destroyed is Death, his resurrection is our vEmmaeus1bictory over death and the promise of the resurrection to eternal life.

Today, we remember Jesus lifted up, in our mind’s eye we gaze upon the glory which radiates from the wounds of his holy passion; and as we gaze we advance and are changed into his likeness. His name shines out and through us, he dwells in us, we are Christians. As such, we cannot stand in awe and fear, as Jacob at Bethel, or Eliphaz in the night visions, or as the apostles when they thought that they had seen a spirit, and knew not that it was Jesus. In ignorance they would almost pray him to depart from them, or to hide his awfulness.

It is the morning after and it is easier to obey than to suffer, to do than to give up, to bear the cross than to hang upon it. We cannot go back, for we have come too near the unseen cross, and its virtues have pierced too deeply within us. Jesus has fulfilled for us his promise, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). It is the morning after, are you closer to Jesus today than yesterday? Don’t put it off, feel him drawing you to him, and come to him. God has done what He promised and so should we. Such, are they in all ages; “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).

Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ

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In God We Trust: Sometime

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen as His own inheritance” (Psalms 33:12).

America, the great melting pot, is slowly losing its identity as a Christian nation! The contents of   the pot are like proverbial frogs in a pot. Place frogs in a pot of cold water and slowly raise the temperature until the water boils, the frogs will not react. They will sit in the pot untilIn God We Trust cooked having life slowly cooked out of them. This gross example resembles the way Christians are allowing the slow death of Christianity in America, killing the sole redeeming religion of America. We sing ‘God Bless America’ and He has, however, many argue that America is not nor has ever been a Christian nation. To them I say study your American history; from Christopher Columbus to Columbus, Ohio the earliest settlers in America were former European Christians of various religious denominations.

For the misinformed, Quakers, Puritans, Protestants and Catholics that left Europe seeking freedom from religious oppression were Christians of different stripes, but of the same Scriptures differing in interpretation and application of the same. The Founding Fathers and Mothers were Christians, their children were Christian and even their lowly slaves were forced to embrace diluted strains of white European Christianity. “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of his dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth” (Psalms 33:13-14).

During the Constitutional Conventions following the Revolutionary War of 1776-1782 a heated debate between Franklin, Jefferson and Adams concerning a fitting motto for the recently declared independent nation occurred. Eventually, a Christian compromise was reached and “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one) was adopted as the official mottto of the United States of America. 175-years later, “In God We Trust” was adopted as an alternative or replacement to the official motto. The sacred inscription may be found on the nation’s currency, tee shirts and trinkets of every kind. It begs the question does America and Americans trust in God? Are we willing to place both our personal and national destiny in His unchanging hand? I think not…“Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy” (Psalms 33:18).

The problem from where I sit is the “plurality of gods” in America today. In 1776 America was one nation under God, one god, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Make tIn God We Trust3hat declaration today and all unholy Hell will break loose. As if the multitude of gods and religions present in 2015 were not enough, the advent of modern communications and technology has allow many to conveniently create several new gods, i.e., capitalism, wealth, power, individualism, art and celebrity status to name a few have all reached or quickly approaching god-like status in today’s America.

In the years following World Wars I and II America relaxed its immigration policies to allow refugees from every troubled country on the planet to flock to America seeking relief from one societal malady or another. Ellis Island became the New Jerusalem, Mecca, and Delhi for the emigrants arriving from Europe, Asia Minor, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Each group brought with them their own religion, personal philosophy and ideas of worship, after all in America you have freedom of religion. It’s okay, you can believe in anyone or anything, worship when, where and however you please without fear of consequences or repercussions. It’s a right guaranteed in the Gospel of the Constitution of the USA, one of our most sacred rights and reverent documents.

“Our soul waits for the Lord, He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in his holy name” (Psalms 33:20-21). For 238-years America trusted in one God, today as a result of religious freedom, Christianity, the foundational religion of America, has been tainted, taunted, reframed, replaced and-or removed as the moral bedrock of America. It has been chased out of the schoolhouse, courthouse and state house and its antagonists are on the doorsteps ready to chase God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit out of your house and mine. Any faithful Christian American that believe God must trust Him! It was He that said; “I will be with thee, I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Joshua 1:5), but are we boldly declaring like Job? “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15).

Every day the promise of new breakthroughs in science, medicine or technology brings us one step closer to the Serpent’s promise to Eve—immortality, “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Our reliance upon our technologies and abilities causes some to pick and choose when, where and how, as well as, why they should place their trust in God. The delusion of believing I only need Him sometime, but not all the time, there’s nothing further from the truth, we need God at all times!

The other half of this verse created a unique set of problems, “knowing good and evil.” One such problem is the blurring of the lines and perversion of the spiritual and moral definitions of good and evil in the form of  human actions, activities, personal desires and governing moral-social concepts. Being like God imposes a profound arrogance on man, if I am like God why can’t I be God or be my own god? Why must I trust in God? Every believing Christian has to answer these questions before advancing a trusting and loving relationship with the Creator. Ask and answer for your own benefit.

I believe Franklin was right in 1782, “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one) may have been a prophetic notion or a Divine intention, only time will tell. Out of the many gods we have embraced and created for ourselves, the One and Only, True and Living God will take His rightful place as the head of the In God We Trust2individual American Christian’s life again. The idea and choice of trusting God a simple concept that has worked so well, for so for, so long is needed, and urgently so in our great nation. Trust Him America, He will not fail you, He will not fail us.

Lord as we enter into this new year of 2015, we pray that You will; “Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee” (Psalms 33:22). Some may waiver, some may turn away, and others may replace You with someone or something else. However, those of us whom have placed our trust in You, we pray for those that you have given us, and all that you have so generously bestowed upon us and our great nation, America. Lord we will trust in You.

Grady Norman Greene                                                                                                             Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ

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Up To This Time

Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, “Hitherto has the Lord helped us” (I-Samuel 7:12).

It is New Year’s Eve and regardless of when or where you were born, in one way or another, the Lord has helped you, and somehow gratitude just does not seem to be enough. “Hitherto” Come Grow w-Us2an adverb of Middle English origin that has a poetic ring to it versus up to this time, but that is exactly what it means. Not up to yesterday, tomorrow or in the future, up to this second, minute, hour and day—the last day of 2014—the Lord has helped who? Us!

The good thing about Jehovah, the god I serve, is that He has an indisputable track record, let’s not look any farther back that January 1, 2014. Through sickness and health, even unto the brink of death the Lord has helped us, in poverty, distress and despair the Lord has blessed us richly, tempers flared, stress and anger abounds and the Lord calms the heart of the angry beast, and just when we were ready to give up and toss in the towel, the Lord tosses it back, saying “Not yet, my child.”

Personally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, instead I endeavor to improve my life through acts of kindness born of faith, trusting that the Lord will help me. I cannot tell you to make a resolution or not to make one or more, but I will ask you tA Year of Favoro resolve unto yourself that in 2015, the New Year, you will let the Lord help you in whatever you endeavor to accomplish.

The grim reality of quiet reflection drives home the point that “hitherto” up to this point, I did not, you did not, we did not make it on our own the Lord helped us. Leaving the past behind and pressing forward toward the prize of heavenly glory, let us give Him the praise, honor and glory that is rightfully His. Happy New Year, be blessed and be a blessing to someone in the New Year.

Grady Norman Greene                                                                                                             Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ

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A Lifetime

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor death nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

I look about and observe this world on which we reside for but a short lifetime in comparison to where we may reside in Eternity. We are born into this place and we die and leave it, much as we found it. Personally, I am impressed by the mystery of life and all of its wonders and splendor. The diversity and the depth of detail that is human life is for me both immeasurable and equally astounding. That this mind has been blessed with the ability to observe, reason and expound on its surroundings has for me purpose. I look for that purpose and I find that within all things there is meaning.

Because of these abilities, especially observation I have come to a place that calls for theChoose Blessings2 reality of a Higher Order, a Truth that is worth searching out. It is my purpose to wonder at the essence of life and where these findings will go when I transform to that which must reasonably come next. God is Love!

There is more than a grain of truth in the fact that religions are man’s response to the need to understand all that been given to us in this life. That we seek a specific Truth is enough for me to believe that life on earth is but a temporary stop on our way to our next destination, be it Heaven or Hell. Our conceptions of reality are evolutionary, they change from day-to-day, but God does not.

It is through this narrow window in time we pass but once and call it a lifetime. To have lived and not come to the Truth that there must be more is to have spent that lifetime without having witnessed the essence of Heaven and the Grace of God. You may play your games with reality, but do not deny yourselves the wonder and majesty that is shown to you in this place. Above all, in this lifetime do not deny yourselves the Grace that God has given and shown to you. For no man can say with absolute certainty where he goes from here…..

Grady Norman Greene                                                                                                             Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ

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Lost In Translation

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 New KJV).

Jeremiah 29:11 is a foundation scripture that has allowed me to build my faith, hopcanstockphoto9484446e,
trust and love of the presence of God in my past, present and future. I have heard several sermons on this passage of Old Testament Scripture and I have read it in several different translations, the original Greek translation remains my preferred and favorite translation; “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV).

Anyone who reads The Holy Bible will soon discover it is filled with words that we are free to interpret as we wish or we can simply accept these glorious words for what they are and what they mean. The Old Testament Scriptures and New Testament Gospel of Jesus Our Christ are the Divine Words of God, spoken to and recorded by Men and Women of God for our salvation (deliverance). In the past I have contended that no written words, message or instructions are self-explanatory, however, as a bilingual person I have learned just how wrong I had been. I will not debate the advantages of one translation of the Words of God over another or which is right or wrong, I have accepted the context and content of the Word for what it is and no argument will change that.

For clarification purposes the word “future” appears in the Old Testament zero times. However, the word “expected” appears once, and once is enough for me. The implications of the definition of these two words are important because they are diametrically opposed one to the other. Future, has its origin in the Latin word “futurus” defined as: about to be or that is to be. Although, expected has a Latin origin in the word “exspectare” it is defined as: to look forward, to look forward to the coming or occurrence of, to consider probable or certain. Here’s the difference and why they are opposed one to the other, future is an adjective—it describes something, expected is the past tense of expect and it is an action verb—something is going to happen. God is a god of certainty! What do you want from God, a description or an action?

In this particular passage of Scripture God is speaking directly to His children, “For I know the thoughts I think toward” who? You, child of God! It doesn’t get any better than that and no translation is required, it is what it is. “Thoughts of peace and not of evil,” oh what a relief it is to know that my Father God is not going to hurt me. It is the last three words of this passage that moves my heart and soul deeply every time it comes to mind, and it comes often. God wants to give me more after all He has given me; faith, hope and love. Wait for it, He wants to give me “an expected end,” meaning something is going to happen. God is a god of action, expected is the past tense of a godly action, it is a done deal folks! God has already created your future, what is to be, will be. Hallelujah!

canstockphoto7726634This end that God is speaking of is the end He has already prepared for me and for you, we are to be His believing and obedient children. God says have faith in my thoughts “for my thoughts are higher than your thoughts,” put your hope and trust in Me “for I have sworn by myself and cannot lie,” and you shall have the expected end (future) that I, “the Great I Am, that I Am” expect, you can look forward to it with certainty because I LOVE You! All you have to do is align your thoughts with My thoughts, set your expectations upon My expectations, submit your will to My will and your “expected end” (future) shall surpass all expectations. Go and bless somebody with the word of God. Amen.

Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ

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