A Short Open Letter to the Christian Church

oneI simply want to encourage the church, meaning my brothers and sisters of the faith. I want to challenge and encourage us to work together for Him.

We all believe in God. We all believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. We believe He died, rose from the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33). Lets spread this word of His word…His word outside the church.

Christians are persecuted n many parts of the world. While in other parts, they are discriminated against. Jesus reminded us we must take up our cross and that they (those who don’t like us or His message) will persecute us (John 15:20). Lets encourage, uplift, pray and support our persecuted brothers and sisters. We are not the minority. There are countless Christian churches throughout the world. Lets act like we are more than conquerors!

We must remember to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you one Lord, one faith, one baptism; were called; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Eph 4:4-6 NIV). It’s unlikely that any time soon we will all come under one denomination. Instead of harping on the slight differences we have, lets focus on our commonalities in order to strengthen the body of Christ for the work of the ministry.

All church members can and should be evangelists for Christ at their schools, on their jobs, in their homes and everywhere they go. Therefore, lets not worry about putting more people in the pews. Rather, lets effectively train those in the pews to live Christ-like. Then they will be able to defend, as well as effectively share the Gospel. Perhaps, it will encourage others to want to be like Jesus.

The time is now  for us to unite and transform the world for Christ. This dying world, full of lost people needs to know our Savior. We have a mandate. Jesus told us to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:19-20). Collectively, we can help bring people to the knowledge of Him so that they can proclaim Him (Phil 2:9-11). Our mandate is simple, it’s hard and it is necessary. Together, we can do this.

Thank you for all that you’re doing for the Kingdom. Now let’s go make disciples for Christ!

Elder Yves Johnson

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Your Pain Has a Purpose

The Apostle Paul sent an encouraging message to the Philippians, the first Christian church, on European soil. Ironically, Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote this letter. Typically, it is not the prisoner who sends encouraging messages. Rather it is the prisoner who would need an encouraging message. Yet Paul flips the script and encourages those who were enjoying freedom. I just want to highlight one aspect from this amazing letter (Philippians).

Paul writes these words:  “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”

These words are in stark contrast to what many unbelievers and Christians believe about Christianity. This is an anti-“You’ll get everything you want as long as you believe in Christ” message. It’s an anti-prosperity message. It’s an anti-“Christians are weak and soft people” message. Rather, it highlights the strength and fortitude a believer must have in order to live faithfully to our beliefs. Paul reiterates Jesus’ message that we must take up our cross and that we will be persecuted. We must understand the cost.  We know the payout and that it is eternal security in Christ.

I pray you stay encouraged as you continue your walk with Christ. In some parts of the world you’ll be discriminated against while others parts of the world you’ll be persecuted. We must stand strong in our faith. Read Philippians 1 and you’ll be encouraged by all of Paul’s words.

Blessings

Yves

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7 Statements From the Cross – Statement 6

Yves Johnson:

Easter isn’t about a bunny or an egg hunt. I urge my Christian brothers and sisters to remember the meaning of His sacrifice.

Originally posted on Yves Johnson Ministries:

Statement 6: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (see Luke 23:44-49).

Jesus came into the world with an Angelic choir.  He was born, not at the Ritz Carlton, but in a humble and meager place.  He is now about to leave the earth quite different than how He came.  It looks like He is not only humiliated and defeated but now He is about to die.  After all, how dare He defy the rulers and Priests of the day?  How dare He upset the status quo?  Who did He think He was?  Pontius Pilate placed the inscriptions above His head that stated exactly Who He was. Yet, those were only words and this “man” is dying.  Possibly, the crowd saw a defeated man.  Possibly, His followers saw the end of this new “Way” and a Rabbi that was wrong.  Possibly, Mary saw the death of her first…

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Stand Guard

Someone shared this video on social media.  It’s a good object lesson for us.  We need to make sure evil (sexually explicit television shows, music, etc.) is not allowed in our homes.

Parents, in particular fathers, how are you doing in preventing evil things from coming into your home?  Obviously, we would stop a person from trying to break into our homes.  We wouldn’t allow porn in our homes.  After all, we guide our loved ones to the Light.  We live by Christian values.  Unfortunately, the darkness is enticing and many gravitate to it. Some times we unwittingly invite evil into our homes.  We might be shocked at the things we allow our family to look at on Facebook and television.

As a parent, we are better “heroes” for our children to emulate than any professional sportsperson, TV personality, singer, etc. We are the one who support and love them. Lets make a dent in slowly deteriorating morality a society that highlights and glamorize celebrities Kim Kardashian, Kayne West or the latest person who twerks.

We can and need to stand guard so our children are not drawn to television shows and music that are contrary to our beliefs. Lets stand guard and protect our “pride” like the lion in the video.

Let me know how you’re doing.  We all need to hear great success stories.

Yves

Lets connect on Twitter and please check out my website. Remember, “Sharing is caring.”  If you like any of my posts, please share them.

Friday The 13!

Yves Johnson:

It’s old but the point is still valid.

Originally posted on Yves Johnson Ministries:

Courtesy of realestate.aol.com Courtesy of realestate.aol.com

Oh no!  Today is Friday the 13th!  I guess that means tomorrow is Saturday the 14th.  Thank God for another day of life.

Lets use this opportunity to show the world Christ.  As Christians, we shouldn’t be afraid of superstitions.  We rely on God.  Let your light shine even brighter today.

Have a great Friday the 13th and even better weekend.

Yves

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Finding Jesus

Finding JesusCNN is airing the series, Finding Jesus.  It is looking for clues about Jesus in a variety of ways. I encourage you to look at the show. However, remember they aren’t looking for Jesus theologically.  Rather, they are seeking to find Him through quantifiable information to indicate Jesus actually lived.  Also, take note of who is talking and what point they are trying to drive home.

The gospel of Judas will air shortly.  If you read of the “gospel” of Judas, you will quickly see that it isn’t congruent with any of the canonized Gospels. Many theologians suggest it was written well after the other Gospels. It’s believed this “gospel” was written by the Gnostics. Consequentially, I encourage you to not let non-Christians shape your thoughts and change your belief system.

All-in-all, it is good to see this subject on mainstream media.  Further, it should provide some interesting items of discussion for people seeking to know Jesus.  Lets use this as an opportunity to share the real Gospel to them. Lets use this opportunity to help deepen our understanding of Him.  Most importantly, lets live like Him.

Yves

“Light” Walkers

1john-copyThis is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5.

God is pure goodness.  We can’t and won’t see a dark side of Him. We can’t walk in darkness and walk with the light of God.  We must strive to “let (our) your light shine before men” (Matt 5:16).  I find that the danger in this is that man will be attracted to our darkness as much as our light.  Since man is inherently evil, he will be drawn towards the darkness. Yet, it is the light of God that we want to shine on man. We want to share the goodness of God to this dark and dreary world.  Only the light of God can expose the evil hidden in the hearts and mind of man. (Eph 5:7-14).

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7:7-14 about his personal struggle with sin.  He provides a word picture for us that shows that evil is present in us.  We want to continue to repent, study, pray and meditate on Scripture.  In doing so, we reduce the darkness and increase the light.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  That’s a sad commentary that plays out too often today.

I hope your light is shinning. If it isn’t, you might be casting a shadow.  God wants you to shine your light.  What is your “wake?”  In this I mean, do you leave destruction everywhere you go?  Or, is everywhere you go better because of your presence?  I certainly hope it’s the latter and not the former.  Either way, start letting your light shine.  This way men and women will be drawn to God because of you.  Let your wake be one that transforms lives by the Gospel.

In His grip