A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
34 Duck Pond Road
Harrison, Maine, USA
Pastor Rev. Robert Celeste ACP/MCAC
Mr. Steve Burzlaff, Elizebeth, Kentucky
Special Guest Pastor Rev. Jim Marstaller, Pastor of The CornerStone Gospel Church in Naples, Maine
In the synoptic Gospels we have accounts of the Lord either saying I am going to give you no more signs - except the sign of Jonah (Matthew 16 and Mark 8) or in Luke when He said, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.." And in John when He had raised Lazarus from the dead the religious leaders wanted to kill Lazarus rather than believe in the Messiah. (No more miracles or signs were given in John except the resurrection of our Lord and Our Savior, Christ Jesus.)
The Pharisees also, with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired Him that He would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, "It will be fair weather: for the sky is red." And in the morning, "It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring." O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas (Jonah). And He left them, and departed. (Matthew 16:1-4 ACP/KJV)
And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with Him, seeking of Him a sign from heaven, tempting Him. And He sighed deeply in His spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. (Mark 8:11&12 ACP/KJV)
I believe that there comes a point in a society, nation, or people group when God says, ''Enough already, I have shown them that I am the True and Living God - no more miracles.'' When a people have the Word of God available to them, and they have sufficient proof that God is Master (above all other gods) then God leaves them the ''sign of Jonah.''
What is the ''sign of Jonah?'' I see several things in this sign: a changed life, a spoken word, a ''dead'' man raised and a people prepared.
A changed life: Jesus may not be changing ''water to wine'' very often today but... He is daily changing ''wine to water.'' He changes the life of an alcoholic into a God-fearing, sober man who brings home his money, buys food for the table, clothes for his family and a roof over their heads.
A spoken word: it is through the foolishness of preaching that people come to believe in Christ. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."
A dead man raised: Jonah may have died in the belly of that great fish and then was brought to life. He may have been kept alive those 3 days and 3 nights. He was in a tight spot! The seaweed was wrapped around his head (evidently he could not reach up and remove it.) Regardless of what he endured, he ''cried out to the Lord because of (his) affliction'', he ''remembered the Lord'', he promised ''I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed.'' He came to his senses and ''arose and went to *Nineveh'' after hearing from God a second time. (#Nineveh is present day Mosul.)
Now we have the responsibility, as Born Again - Washed in the Blood of the Lamb Christians, to preach Christ crucified (for our sins), buried and raised from the dead on the third day. We point to that One, Eternal God-Man who died for us and conquered death - "the sign of Jonah."
A people prepared: here was Nineveh (and the nation of Assyria) which was ready to hear the prophet's message - REPENT OR PERISH. It only took three days and the king and all the people put on sackcloth in repentance, crying out for the mercy of God.
Now please do not misunderstand me: God can and will do miracles today. I have seen physical healings occur in my family which doctors do not understand. But I also notice that God's miracles seem to mean more to the true Christians than to the non-Christians around me. I also fear that I walk too often by sight and not by faith. Why do miracles mean so much? Will I believe (and grow in faith) even if the signs do not happen? God has already given enough proof of who He is: Creation, Conscience (inward knowing right and wrong), and Communication (the world's best seller - The Bible) for faith to increase.
Now it is our responsibility to take the sign of Jonah to the people who need Christ. What pressures, pain and problems has God allowed you to go through before you finally bowed your knee to Christ as your Savior and Lord? Do your neighbors, workmates, fellow soldiers, or family know of God's grace shown to you? Have they heard from you that Jesus is the only way to the Father? " I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." ( John 14:6 ACP/KJV) How is God working in your life, church and family today - is He real to you?
Give them the sign of Jonah: you are a living epistle, tell them how God has changed your life. Give them the Gospel of Jesus Christ (don't argue just present.) "The Gospel is not a debate, or discussion - it is a declaration!" If you have failed then be transparent - tell them of your downfalls and emphasize God's mercy and grace.
May God bless you as you are His missionaries to the world in need of Christ.
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The Lord be with and bless you all and please keep me, Jim, Steve, Channing and Cecily in your prayers. They are the working backbone of Christianpatriot.com. Amen.
If you live in the Naples, Maine area, keep in mind that starting Friday October 6th and for the next five Friday nights after tha,t at 6:30 PM we will be doing a Genesis 1-11 series and seminar at the Cornerstone Gospel Church in Naples. You can call me or use the form to e-mail me for further information. There will be child care and there will be snacks. I am not going to try to convince you to leave your church and attend ours, and there will be no request for money. Nor will I tolerate any disruption. Discussion yes. Disruption, NO!
PLease pray for Danny Calhoun, Danny and Theresa Gilpatrick, Seth Winslow, George Robert and this ministry and all involved with it.
Never ever forget this: There aint no purgatory!
Lord Jesus, please give women a love for their babies, from the moment of conception on, let them love them I pray Thee. Amen.
The Lord bless you all and may He heal Mel's eyes and Myra's ears. May You be with Colby as he is now out of boot camp and into Fleet Marine Corps, A Christian babe amongst many a wolf.
And Lord I ask You to bless those who bless me and mine tenfold for the blessing they are to me.
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May the Lord understand the importance of Mac, Cecily, Steve, and Rev. Jim Marstaller to this ministry. Lord I need them both healthy and able to continue to hold up their ends. Lord this cancer of Mac's is starting to get in the way, this ministry needs him whole, just a thought Lord, is all it will take, just a thought on Your part.
There is a young man, a veteran who suffers from some kind of chemical weapon exposure, in a Veterans hospital in Colorado, he is young, and he is Saved, yet his wife just abandoned him. Please pray for him, Lord, help him and deal with her and those who hurt him, we ask this of the Father in Your name Lord Jesus, amen.
The difference between a true preacher and a false preacher comes down to this. The true preacher uses God's word to convict of sin, the false preacher twist God's word to justify sin. The Lord our God, Christ Jesus be with you always, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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