Forgiven


20130729-031307.jpg

We are a new creation, the old things that we once loved and worshiped have passed away.

All things have become new. The old man is dead and we are now made alive in Christ.

It is not by our righteousness that justifies and reconciles us to God the Father. It is His righteousness that was imputed onto all those who believe by faith.

Abraham was declared righteous before God, not by his work, but because of his faith in the Creator of all things.

We as true believers have already received eternal life because of our faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross. He has done it all.

I am thankful to know Jesus, my Lord and Savior. Thanks to Him, I am forgiven of my sins, past, present and future.

His blood did not just cover my sins as the animal sacrifices did under the law in the old covenant, He nailed them to the cross once and for all.

God has forgotten our sins as far as the East is from the West and He will remember then no more.

Don’t let Satan remind you of your past. Remind him of his future.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Phl 3: 7-11.

Advertisements

A farewell to my Friend


Vaughn Butterbrodt
Vaughn Butterbrodt

I lost a good friend just yesterday, Saturday July the 6th. Vaughn Butterbrodt went to be with the Lord after a long battle with cancer.

Please pray for his wife Mary and his son Beau, pray that the Lord may comfort them both for their loss of a wonderful husband and father.

Personally, I will miss Vaughn a lot. We were both in a small group together that met every Saturday morning to study God’s word. I have come to love and respect Vaughn over the years and I can say the same with absolute certainty for all the other men in the group.

Vaughn attended Maranatha Chapel, which is my home church, before attending  Olive Branch Christian Fellowship, led by my friend and Pastor Scott Gehrman, who just lost his wife due to pancreatic cancer.

I’m sure that many of my Maranatha friends remember Vaughn very well. Vaughn has touched many lives, not only people at church, but lives all over the country because of his bout with cancer. It was because of his cancer that Vaughn became involved with a network of people who have the same disease. People that did not know each other, but were brought together to love and  support each other because they had one common denominator. They would be praying for one another and share their testimonies and daily struggles with this terrible disease.

I remember Vaughn telling me about some of the guys that he met through this network. How he became friends with many, exchanging e-mails, lifting people up in prayer and encourage each other.  A circle of people who became friends, just ordinary people who would not have met, if it were not for the same disease they shared. Vaughn also lost some of his friends during that time. Some of them were believers in Jesus and some were not.  Those who were not, never said no when asked by those who were believers if they could pray for them.

I am truly convinced, that the Lord used Vaughn’s affliction to minister to those who needed a word of encouragement and a word of comfort. Vaughn, despite of his illness, thought of others rather than himself. He helped those that needed someone to lift up their spirits; Vaughn was that man. God used Vaughn’s character and strong faith to minister to others who needed a word of hope and comfort in a time of grief and suffering.

We may not always understand why people have to suffer from various diseases and illnesses and why some people get healed and some people not. We may ask ourselves, why does God allow all this suffering?  My answer to that, I don’t know. I don’t know why God allowed  Vaughn and others  to suffer from cancer or why He allows so many other terrible things happening to people all over the world. One thing I know for sure though, all things have a purpose. Nothing is by accidents or coincidences. There are reasons beyond our comprehension. God is in control and He knows why. God’s ways are not our ways and there are things that our finite minds cannot comprehend or understand.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8, 9.

The Lord took Vaughn home, to a place of peace and joy. One day we will understand why things were the way they were. God, Who sees the end from the beginning, had His purposes and who knows, what God worked for good through Vaughn’s afflictions. Whatever Vaughn had to go through, it had a purpose and was not in vain. Whatever we may face in the future, will be for a purpose and to glorify God.

I will miss you buddy, but one day Vaughn,  I will see you again. One day, when the Lord will bring us all back together into a new world without pain and suffering.

Vaughn, we who remain will keep on fighting the good fight and run the race as you have my friend. I can’t wait to see you again. Until then, farewell my friend.

“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cr 5:8.

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Coming Soon: Media 4 Life Ministry Apps


1Cr 1:18

Media 4 Life Ministries is exited to announce that  our new apps will be available for download this fall.

At no time in history has it been easier to be a true Christian as today. We all want convenience and we here at Media 4 Life Ministries have made that possible with our new apps soon to be released for the iPhone.

(Sorry Android users, you may have to wait a bit longer.) We are working hard, so you don’t have to. Here is a preview of what’s to come. We are getting great reviews from the public. Don’t miss out on this new way of doing church.

iRepent
Need forgiveness? No problem, with our app you can ask God for forgiveness without even talking to a Pastor or Priest. This app will give you a 100% assurance that you are forgiven. Monthly subscription fee and registration are required.

iConfess
Done something wrong? Use this app to confess your wrongs and they will be erased. This app comes with a monitoring dashboard which can be used to keep track and lets you see the history of your past wrongs. Easy to use and never fails.

iFaith
Want to  know how much faith you have if any?  This app gives you an easy way to monitor and test your current  faith level. Is you faith at an all time low?
For a monthly subscription we can show you how to increase your faith and keep it that way. No more worrying and sleepless nights.

iSaved
Not sure if you are saved? Answer a few simple questions and this app will show you whether you are  saved  or not.  100% guaranteed results. If you are not saved, use the iRepent app.

iSinned
Are you an habitual sinner? No problem, with this app you can check your progress with an easy instruction manual that will help you to forsake your habitual sins, step by step, one day at a time. Free with the purchase of complete app package.

iWorship
Are you tired of coming to the church early for worship? No problem this app will let you worship in the car while you on the way to church.

iChurch

Tired of getting out of bed on Sunday mornings? This virtual church app lets you attend church anytime you want, without  getting out of bed. No shirt or shoes required. This is a free app and our love gift to you.

iHeaven

Not sure if you are going to heaven?
Our apps lets you monitor your progress. Media 4 Life  Ministries wants nothing more than to make sure that you to go to heaven. That’s  why we are  making these apps available at a low-cost to you.

This is the day the LORD has made.


Palm Sunday Sunset

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. Zech 9:9.

Today we celebrated the triumphant entry of Jesus into the City of David, Jerusalem. His arrival was not any arrival, He had gone to feast of Passover before, but this was the day the Lord had made.

It was God’s divinely appointed day. Jesus would be crucified a few days later on Passover, the sacrificial lamb of God, the One that Abraham spoke of when he was asked to sacrifice Issac. “The Lord will provide a sacrifice.” Gen 22:8.

Jesus was that lamb on Mount Moriah 2000 years later. Our propitiation. By His stripes we are healed. By His blood we are cleansed and forgiven and have eternal life. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

“This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps 118:24

http://media4lifephotography.com

You are redeemed – Isaiah 44:22


Isaiah 44:22“I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22.

Another one of God’s great promises in the Bible. There are over 7000 promises in the word of God. To be honest, I don’t know them all, but one thing I know for sure, God keeps His promises.

Our sins are blotted out and God does not remember them anymore. That is something that we as believers need to lay hold off.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12.

There are way too many believers living a life of condemnation, believing that they are not good enough or are failing God everyday. I have good news for those who believe that, we as believers will never be good enough or perfect before God. We will always fall short of His glory, no matter how hard we may try to please Him.

It is not about us or what we do or have done. It is all about Jesus and what He has done on Calvary. He was the only one that lived a perfect life and He was the only one that did the will of His Father.

“And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” John 8:29.

That is impossible for fallen man, believers or non-believers alike. We can never live a perfect life and please God. In the eyes of God no one is righteous.

“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6.

Jesus did it all for us, by laying down His life as a propitiation before God. He was the unblemished passover lamb. His blood cleanses us from all sin. It is not our righteousness, but His righteousness that was imputed onto all of those who believe in Him by faith.

Once we realize, that Jesus has done it all for us by going to the cross, there should be no feeling of condemnation or an inch of doubt that God loves us. He loves us so much, that He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus is our reconciliation and He is our High Priest. Jesus has torn the curtain to the Holy of Holies and we as believers have direct access through Him and come boldly before the throne of God.

God looks at the believers through the blood of Christ, He has redeemed us by His precious blood. The blood that does not just cover our sins as it was the case with the sacrificial animals, but His blood takes away the sins once and for all.

We will always fall short and those who believe that the are sinless are plain and simply, self-righteous people, condemning others, believing that they are better than others.

The Bible teaches just the opposite, self-righteousness will not justify anybody before God. It is God’s grace and the finished work of Jesus on the cross that justifies the believers.

We are saved by grace through faith and even the faith of the believers was given to them by God. The next time you have any doubts or feel like God does not love you, look at the cross. At the cross, God demonstrated His love for us.

Stop worrying and let God do the good work in you and through you. Surrender to His will. Let His will be done, not yours. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He started it and He will finish it. And that, is also a promise.

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;…” Philippians 1:6.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

Thank you Jesus, Maranatha.

Iran, Hypocrites and the Peaceful Muslims


Pastor Saeed AbediniAgain we are hearing about a Christian pastor being imprisoned in Iran. Most people are familiar with Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who was recently released from an Iranian jail after serving three years for being a former Muslim who converted to Christianity. This time, it is a native Iranian pastor, though presently an US citizen, who faces a trial in the very near future. His name is Saeed Abedini, a family man who converted from Islam to Christianity.

Some media outlets cover the story, but to a minimum and this man is facing a very tough judge which some call the “hanging judge” next week, on January 21st. His fate is unknown to this point. Iran does not recognize his American citizenship, and from an Islamic point of view, he is a traitor, which is punishable by death.

Nadarkhani was freed after Fox News reported relentlessly about his imprisonment. Where was the liberal media on this? Where are these so-called human rights activists,  or the UN?

What bothers me is, where are all of the peace-loving and peaceful Muslims abroad, and here in the US? I have not seen much protest or outcry from the Muslim community around the world on this injustice that is taking place either.

Is it because Saeed Abedini is a Christian? Why is it that Muslims go berserk over a stupid video, protesting around the world causing death and damages and no one in the Muslim community speaks out? Where is CAIR on this? And where are the peace-loving Muslims in protest of what the Islamic regime of Iran is doing to Christians?

Christians are persecuted around the world, yet nobody seems to care. Much of the persecution comes from the Islamic religion. Muslims want to be treated with respect, but where is the respect of Muslims towards Christians and other faith groups?

In this country, the good old USA, we can hardly say anything against Islam or the Islamic faith without Muslims crying out in protest with the liberal media alongside them.

That is hypocritical and wrong. My dear Muslim, if you want to be treated with respect regarding your faith, respect others as well. As long as Islam is killing Christians because of their faith in Jesus Christ, I will not respect your religion or your prophet.

It is time to stand up and stop bowing down to an intolerant group of people and speak up against the injustice caused by radical Islamist as well as the silent peace-loving Muslims. Their silence makes them irrelevant. Maybe deep within they all hate Christians and are just waiting for Islam to take over the world. May that not be true or ever happen.

I don’t hate Muslims or their faith, but enough is enough. I’m tired of seeing our President going on an apology tour in the Muslim world, while Christians are getting killed and persecuted by Muslims. I’m tired of our government bending over backwards to please the Muslim world, but has no back bone to stand up against the injustice caused by them.

I’m tired of liberal hypocrites and Atheist mocking Christianity, but say hardly anything against the Islamic religion. Why is that? Are people like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins afraid of them? If they would mock Islam as they mock Christianity, I believe they would be 6 feet under ground.

I for one will not be silent about the persecution towards the Christian faith and the attack by the liberals and Atheist on my beliefs. I hope and pray that Saeed Abedini will be freed, although things don’t look to good for him at this time.

What would you say, my peace-loving Muslim, if America or Europe persecuted you for your faith? Tortured you, and put you in prison? Don’t you think that the Imams in the American Mosque should speak out against the persecution of Christians around the world?  After all, aren’t Muslims who live in America supposed to be American?

CAIR is all over the news when they feel that Muslim are being treated unfairly, where are they now? Please people, wake up and don’t be silent like these hypocrites. Saeed Abedini has the right to be a Christian and no one should deny people their faith.

I hope that this will stay in the news and that people will speak out in defense of Saeed Abedini and his family.

I am sure that this Pastor Saeed Abedini is strong in his faith and I know that Jesus will give him the strength to endure whatever may come. May the Lord watch over him.

Jesus Wept


jesus-wept_1946_1024x768“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) That is the shortest verse in the entire Bible. Yet, those two words are so profound and powerful. Why did Jesus weep? Might it be because Jesus seeing Martha and Mary in such a grief and anguish over the loss of their beloved brother Lazarus? Jesus already knew that He would raise Lazarus in just a few moments, but He still wept.

I believe that Jesus felt compassion, seeing the grief death causes to those who have lost a loved one. Death is not natural and came into the world because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Their sin caused first of all spiritual death i.e. eternal separation from God, and secondly physical death. When God made Adam and Eve, He made them perfect, they were sinless and in communion with him. They had a relationship that was close and intimate, and I believe that they would have lived forever in eternity with God, if it were not for that one-act of disobedience. Just think about it, one sin and they were banished from the garden. God gave them the world and they forfeited it to Satan by their disobedience and listening to the deceiver rather than God. Sin brought forth death and with it dire consequences, the first murder, Cain killing his brother Abel.

I can just imagine how Adam and Eve must have felt seeing the death of Abel by his brother as a result of their sin. And as we know things got worse from there, being separated from God, people lived after the flesh and the works of the flesh are evident even today: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (Gal 5:19-21).

I believe that at the time of Jesus, people had lost hope and Jesus seeing this wept out of compassion for them. People were lost and felt helpless. Jesus came for that very reason, to reconcile mankind to God, to die for the sin of the world and overcome death so that those who believe will have eternal life with God. Jesus loved Martha and Mary and He raised Lazarus from the dead, not only for their benefit but for ours also.

Jesus demonstrated His power even over death. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25, 26.

We may all die physically, but the spirit of the believers will be with Jesus at the moment of death. Mankind is lost and it is by the mercy and grace of God, that He has sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. When Jesus saw the anguish and pain in the faces of Martha and Mary, He wept for a moment, but knowing full-well that He a few days later would lay down His life for them. Jesus loves us so much that He became sin for us and willingly went to the cross and faced the wrath of God which was reserved for us. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves, He paid the price and appeased and reconciled us to God the Father.

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:17-19.

That is glorious news in which we as believers can rejoice in. Believers in Jesus Christ are justified before God and the righteousness of Christ was imputed onto them. We as believers have nothing to fear, death can not hold us and Satan has no more power over our lives (unless we let him). Just as Jesus wept over the condition of man, so should we have the heart of God for our fellow-man, the once that are lost and without hope. Seeing the condition of the world should bring us to tears, weeping as Jesus did. It should make us wanting to share the gospel the good news about Jesus and the salvation through Him. Do we have the compassion Jesus had for the lost? Are we willing to share with our friends and neighbors about the coming judgment, or are we just plainly satisfied with our own salvation? I hope that we all have a heart for the lost and are eager to share the gospel of truth with them.

I hope that we all have the heart of God, the compassion, the mercy, the love that He demonstrated for us by going to the cross. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16