Showing posts with label Randall Brewer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Randall Brewer. Show all posts

Video: Jesus Is Always With You




Dear Friends,

I recently began writing a new book called "Jesus: A Man Like No Other." I am very excited about this and before I started, I went to my wife and asked her, “What was the one thing that stands out the most to her about Jesus?” Without any hesitation she said that “He was always there.” I agree, for indeed, our Lord is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

In good times and bad, Jesus is always with you. My wife then told me about a great music video called "Jesus Is Always With You" that I now want to share with you. It is my deepest prayer that this great video will help remind you that even though you may not be able to see Jesus with your natural eyes, He is with you every step of the way.

He is rejoicing in happiness right alongside you and wiping away your tears when you are sad. I promise that this four minute video will touch your heart just like it did mine. Be sure to share it with someone else who needs to know that Jesus is always by their side.

You are not alone. Jesus will always be there for you no matter what happens. So, be rest assured that you are safe wherever you may go. For He promised, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20 NIV).

Thank you and God bless.

** By Randall J. Brewer **


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

The End Of Your Rope



The apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:8, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.”

Paul was one of the greatest men of faith who ever lived and yet he had problems wherever he went. He said he was “in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I had been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils of false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness - besides the other things that come upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:23b-28).

These scriptures tell us that throughout his ministry Paul often reached the end of his rope. All he could do is hang on and trust God. Yet not once do we hear him complain about his hardships nor did he sink in the quicksand of self-pity.

Elijah, on the other hand, was one of the greatest prophets of all time and in 1 Kings 19, he has a major pity party. He had just won a major victory on Mt. Carmel and this stirred up the wrath of the wicked Queen Jezebel. “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent messengers to Elijah, saying, ‘So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.’ And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life…” (1 Kings 1-3a).

Elijah had just seen the fire of God come down from heaven and consume a water-drenched sacrifice and here he is running away from a powerless threat from an evil queen. Verse 8 says, “So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.” Here God performs another miracle. Elijah eats one meal and it sustains him for forty days and still he runs away.

Verses 9 and 10, “And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the Word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” Why run when you’ve been empowered with the anointing of God? Here comes the pity party, “So he said, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant; torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.’”

He says the same thing in verse 14. It is interesting to note that when Elijah sank in the muck and mire of self-pity that his role as a prophet soon came to a close. God’s response to this pity party was he had Elijah anoint Jehu, who went on to put an end to the reign of Jezebel, and Elisha who replaced him as God’s prophet in the land. Not long after this a chariot of fire appeared and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Indeed, the worst thing a person can do when tests and trials come is to fall into the destructive trap of self-pity.

Jeremiah 15 records another major pity party. Verse 17 and 18 says, “I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, for You have filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will you surely be to me like an unreliable stream, as waters that fail?”

Jeremiah did not have an easy life. He was one of Judah’s greatest prophets during its darkest days and because of his radical message of God’s judgment through the coming Babylon invasion he led a life of conflict.

Jeremiah faithfully proclaimed the divine condemnation of rebellious Judah for forty years and was rewarded with opposition, beatings, isolation, and imprisonment. His sympathy and sensitivity cause him to grieve over the rebelliousness and imminent doom of his nation. He often desires to resign from his prophetic office because of the harshness of his message and his reception, but he perseveres to Judah’s bitter end.

He is the weeping prophet (Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17) - lonely, rejected, and persecuted. More than once Jeremiah was at the end of his rope and his sufferings easily match those of the apostle Paul. Thankfully, the Lord had an answer for the self-pity the prophet felt in chapter 15.

"Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘If you return, then I will bring you back; You shall stand before Me; If you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them’” (Jeremiah 15:19). God gives the condition of what Jeremiah had to do if he was to receive help from the Lord. God said, “If you return…” When did Jeremiah leave? The moment he stopped talking by faith.

God also said to take out the precious from the vile. That which is precious to God is our faith (2 Peter 1:1) and that which is vile is unbelief. A special promise is given to all of us in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with each temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Listen to how the Message Bible translates this special promise, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; He’ll always be there to help you come through it.” If you will refuse to panic when the tests and trials come, if we stay connected to Jesus through the fire, then ultimately spiritual growth will come and your call will be fulfilled.

God wanted Jeremiah to return to what the prophet said in Jeremiah 15:16, “Your Words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your Name, O Lord God of hosts.” The Word of God is powerful. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and will turn you into the type of person who believes that whatever you do will prosper and succeed, The Bible says you can do all things through Christ, the anointed One and His anointing, but first you must adjust your thinking to line up with the thoughts of God.

Romans 12:2a says, “And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” The way you think can either cause you to press forward in the midst of a trial or it can become a roadblock that prevents your advancement in life. Thomas Edison once performed ten thousand experiments in his quest to invent the light bulb and none produced the results he wanted. “I have not failed,” he said. “I have successfully found ten thousand ways that will not work.” When you think like that there is no way the enemy can stop you from accomplishing what you set out to do.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “We are hard pressed on every side yet not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed.” A winner is not a person who has never suffered a setback. A winner is someone who knows that when the setback comes he or she must rise to the occasion and continue forward. The thoughts, words, and actions of a winner will always be in agreement with the Word of God. This, in turn, will determine whether you will be a success or failure because what happens “in” you is more important than what happens “to” you.

You can have the attitude that God is bigger than any obstacle you face or you can believe that He’s not. The former will allow you to release the power of God into your situation through faith whereas the latter will confine you to a life of fear and failure. This truth is illustrated in Numbers 13 which records the story of when Moses sent twelve people to spy out the Promised Land.

After being gone for several weeks the spies came back and told of seeing huge fortified cities there and strong giants dwelling in the land. Everything the spies said about the land was true, the difference being Joshua and Caleb came back with a good report while the remaining ten returned bearing a bad report.

Numbers 13:30-31 says, “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession for we are well able to overcome it.’ But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we are.’”


Goliath was bigger and stronger than David but that didn’t stop him from facing down and killing the giant. We need to understand that faith is not a denial of the circumstances. Joshua and Caleb saw the same giants as the other spies but they knew God had given them the land and refused to allow the circumstances to dictate to them how things were going to be. This is called faith and faith always has a good report. Caleb said they were well able to take the land.

To walk victoriously we need to feed on the Word of God continually and maintain a good report on the evil day when circumstantial giants block our path. Numbers 14:36-38 tells us that because the ten spies brought back a bad report they immediately died by the plague before the Lord whereas Joshua and Caleb were the only members of their evil generation who entered into the Promised Land. This reward was given to them because they believed God in spite of the circumstances and as a result brought back to the people a good report.

There is another story in the Bible where under grave circumstances a woman overlooked a tragic event in her life and won a major victory by confessing a good report. Her story is found in 2 Kings 4:8-37. One day Elisha traveled to the city of Shunem where he met a woman who constrained him to come into her home and eat some food. This happened regularly and this same woman persuaded her husband to build an upper bedroom onto their house so that the prophet of God could have a comfortable dwelling place whenever he traveled to that region.

During one of his visits, Elisha decided to bless the family for their kindness and upon hearing that the woman and her elderly husband had no children he foretold that in about a year’s time they would have and embrace a baby son. In time the child grew and one day he ran out into the field to be with his father and immediately complained of a pain in his head. The boy was taken to his mother where he sat on her lap and eventually died. Now was the moment of truth for this woman who so longed to be in the presence of the man of God. Would she have a pity party or run toward her giant like David did?

A person’s faith is most tested when all they have is taken away and oftentimes a person is required to use their faith when they are drained emotionally, mentally and physically. The young boy’s mother did this by not preparing her son for burial but instead went and laid him on the bed of the prophet. She immediately got ready to run to the man of God and when asked why she was going all she said was “It is well.” She made a good report in spite of the loss a mother is sure to feel at the death of one of her children.

For this mother there was no turning back and without delay she departed and went to Mt. Carmel to see the man of God. Elisha instructed his servant when he saw her approaching, “Please run now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’ And she answered, ‘It is well.’” For the second time this woman gave a good report and confessed, “It is well.”

It is interesting to compare what this mother said to Elisha to what Martha said to Jesus at the death of her brother Lazarus. Jesus was not present when Lazarus passed away and the first thing Martha said was, “Lord, if You had been here my brother would not have died.” When Jesus responded that her brother would rise again Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Martha had faith for the past and for the future whereas the dead boy’s mother displayed a “now” faith by twice saying “It is well.”

The timing of faith is vitally important to those who desire to live a victorious life that is pleasing to God. To walk by faith you must forget about yesterday and look beyond tomorrow in order to focus on today. Faith is a present tense reality and the first three words of Heb. 11:1 say, “Now faith is…”

When Moses asked God what His Name was He said, “I Am Who I Am.” Our God is a “now” God and so also is His faith which He gives to us when we confess and believe His Word. Knowing this is what compelled the young boy’s mother to confess “It is well” and as a result of her “now” faith the prophet went and ministered the miracle working power of God into the body of her lifeless son.

The lad was raised up and went on to live a rich full life and it all began when his mother gave a good report in the face of adversity. She did not panic nor did she sink in the muck and mire of self pity. No, she trusted God and spoke out that which she believed in her heart. She personified what Jesus said in Matthew 5:3-4 (Message), “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”

*** Written by Randall J. Brewer ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Randall Brewer On 'Taking Control'



Text: Proverbs 16:32; 25:28; James 1:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-9

Control is a big deal to me. I love being a Christian and the freedom it gives me to take control of my own life and destiny. I believe that life is what you make it and the road on which I have chosen to travel was determined by a surrender of my will to that of the Heavenly Father.

I struggle when things beyond my control close in around me in an effort to shape and form my life. It seems like a roadblock has been put in front of me on my journey down the highway of like and I don’t like it. So often this is what happens in this arena called “life” and circumstances which we have no control over bombard us from every direction on a daily basis.

Cars break down, layoffs happen at work, the children get sick, taxes go up, the dreaded in-laws call and say they’re coming for a summer visit. The list of things we have to deal with that are beyond our control is endless. There is, however, one thing in life that the Bible says we are to always have control of. Jesus said in Luke 21:19, “In your patience, possess your soul.”

Who we are and what we become in life is determined by us and us alone. We cannot control our neighbours or the boss at work but we are instructed to take control of the way we respond to the everyday circumstances of life. This, of course, is a lot easier said than done. To do this will take a lifetime of determination, endurance, and oftentimes intense struggle and hardship.

You see, our emotions are real. So often in the Christian camp we are told to ignore our feelings and live “in the realm of the spirit.” It is true, in the makeup of every believer our feelings and emotions can rightfully be called “the weakest link” but how can you ignore something that is so real and relevant in our lives? After all, Jesus Himself was a very emotional man. He wept, He got angry, at times He got very frustrated, and in the Garden of Gethsemane He struggled so fiercely with His emotions that His sweat became as drops of blood.

No, we cannot ignore our feelings and, in truth, we’re not supposed to. The Bible does not teach us to ignore our feelings but rather to control them. It was this same Jesus Who at times displayed His emotions so openly said, “In your patience, possess your soul.” Why did He say that? Because He knew that if you do not take control of your emotions, for sure they will take control of you.

How important is self-control? In Galatians 5:22-23, it is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit and John the apostle writes, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2:1). Financial success and physical health is in direct proportion to how well one takes control of wayward emotions.

In Acts 24 Paul had an audience with Felix the governor and verse 25 says “he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come.” A person becomes righteous in the sight of God when they get born-again and in the end when all is said and done, we must all stand before the throne of God where we will all be held accountable for what we’ve done with the life we’ve been given. Paul tells us that between conversion and the judgment to come, one’s life should be lived with the trademark of self-control and the diligence that goes with it.

The word “self-control” is a translation of the Greek word ‘egkrateia’. This word is derived from ‘kratos’ which means “strength and power”. The fruit of self-control brings with it the same strength and power that raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20).

A believer must have so much control over his emotions that his feelings become his slave. Since a slave has no legal rights of his own and is bound by law to his master, all emotions that are brought into subjection must be obedient to its owner. Do not ask yourself how you feel, tell yourself how you feel. When you take control of your emotions you take control of your life.

According to Paul, the result of not having self-control is to become a “castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27) and in Greek this word is defined as “unapproved, rejected, worthless…” Because of a lack of self-control many believers have become worthless castaways and have dropped out of the race for the incorruptible crown. Clearly, living a life of self-control should be a top priority for every believer.

Let’s look again at what Jesus said and see the time frame for when the best opportunity is for us to take control of our feelings and emotions. He said, “In your patience, possess your soul.” Having patience indicates that you are standing in faith as you wait for some prayer request to be manifested.

Something in your life is not right. You are in a struggle and feelings of doubt and frustration are knocking on the door of your soul. You have feelings that are real and they’re causing you much pain. Your emotions are under constant attack as days go by and your struggle is still there and no relief seems in sight. You obey the Word to the best of your ability but still, the situation gets worse and worse. You are ready to pull every hair out of your head as you continually try to do something about that which you can do nothing about.

A feeling of helplessness swarms over you and at times you feel like a puppet on a string being controlled by some diabolical force. You cry out, “God, where are You?” and it takes every ounce of spiritual energy you’ve got just to keep from giving up. It is in times like this, when you are on the brink of what seems like a hopeless situation that God says to “possess your soul.” He does not say to do this when all is going well. No, we are told to take control of our emotions when they are most under attack.

Just how does one take possession of their soul? By following the example of Jesus, of course. He surrendered His will to the Heavenly Father and said in John 12:49, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father Who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.”

Words are the most powerful force in the entire universe. What you say can make you or break you. Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Do not give birth to negative feelings by speaking them out of your mouth. Heed the words of James 1:19b which tells us to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Proverbs 17:27 says, “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.”

It is a sure thing that the trial that plagues you the most will almost never go away until you get your emotions under control. Molehill problems turn into mountains when like a runaway train your emotions go unrestrained. Silence is the key to gaining self-control. After all, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:28).

*** Written by Randall J. Brewer ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

No Price Too High 1



Freedom! People have fought for it and millions have died for it. The desire for freedom is the top craving of every human heart and nations have gone to war for the sole purpose of giving its citizens the right to be called free.

People cry out, "give me liberty or give me death", for the taste of freedom is sweet and worth dying for. Those who have tasted the redemptive blessings of being free would rather their life end than to never again bask in the glories of true, unadulterated freedom. It was for freedom that the Heavenly Father sent his only begotten Son to the earth to save all people from the shackles of a bondage so oppressive that no man, woman, or child could be loosed from it on their own.

Setting people free from the bondage of sin and death was the purpose for which Jesus lived and died. He said in John 8:36, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." This freedom is not free nor is it cheap. It costs Jesus His life to give it and will cost you your life to obtain it.

Matthew 16:24-26 says, "Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

The Message Bible says, "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?" There is no price too high to pay for this freedom although most people have chosen to drink the bitter waters of death, hell, and the grave.

Paul spoke of a man named Demas who "has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica" (2 Timothy 4:10). Even Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

The Message Bible says, "Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life - to God! - is vigorous and requires total attention."

Difficult is the way that leads to a good life in Christ Jesus but most people choose to travel the road of least resistance. They spend most of their time looking for shortcuts around the path of hardship instead of pressing on and learning to fight like the soldiers they're called to be. They don't realize that if something is not worth fighting for, then it's not worth living for.

Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:6, "The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crop." It's the diligent farmer who gets the produce but too many believers are living lazy, sloppy, and fleshly lives. To avoid fighting for what rightfully belongs to them they instead quote scripture out of context thinking they've found the shortcut to an easy life. This leads to a life of deception, for people will think they're more spiritual than they actually are. They'll have no defense against the wiles of the devil and this deception opens the door for the enemy to come in and wreak havoc in their lives.

Jesus did not promise you an easy life. He did say if you would put on your armor and fight, you could have a victorious life, a good life of freedom that nobody can take from you. Our society has produced a generation of people who want things handed to them without any work or effort on their part and this "want something for nothing" attitude has crept into the local church.

To obtain freedom without fighting for it, born-again believers often quote John 8:32 which says, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They confess this verse over and over again because they think it's a shortcut to freedom. Little do they know that not all believers will know the truth and be set free.

This verse is almost always quoted out of context and to get the full meaning of what Jesus is saying one needs to back up and read verse 31 first. "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'" This verse is speaking to disciples. Being a believer doesn't automatically make you a disciple.

In John 8:31, Jesus was talking to people who were already believers. He then said "if" and that is a conditional word. The Message Bible says, "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure." The Amplified Bible states, "If you abide in My word and hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them, you are truly My disciples."

Believers are those who believe in Jesus but disciples are those who continue in His Word and become followers at any cost. Just like the student trains to become like his teacher, the true disciple of Jesus trains to become just like his Master. He seeks to become more and more like Him every day. In Greek the word "disciple" means 'learner' and 'follower' and is the same as being an intern and an apprentice.

A disciple is not only a pupil but is an imitator of the teacher much like an oriental martial arts student who copies and mimics the ways and moves of his master. This is more than a scholastic study where you sit in a chair and take notes. You don't learn everything from a book but like in the eastern culture you imitate what you've been taught. This is not a small, trivial matter. It will cost you to become a disciple of Jesus like nothing has ever cost you before. Becoming a disciple requires a greater level of submission than a believer, a greater level of commitment.

Jesus told some fishermen that from now on they'd be fishing for men and women and "they forsook all and followed Him" (Luke 5:10-11). This describes the beginning of becoming a disciple of Jesus. Luke 5:27-28 says, "After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, 'Follow Me.' And he left all, rose up, and followed Him." This is not the same as saying "believe in Me" because only believing in Him will not change your lifestyle. If your life and priorities don't completely change, then you didn't become a disciple, you just became a believer.


Becoming a disciple will require great discipline on your part. You will have to live like a highly trained athlete and the Holy Spirit will be your personal trainer. He'll lead you and train you in the ways of the Master. Luke 6:40 says, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher."

After Pentecost the disciples were operating just like Jesus. They told a crippled man "rise up and walk" and he did (Acts 3:6). They forsook all but soon realized that there is no price too high to become like Jesus and do the same things He did. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it." This verse describes being a disciple and Paul compares it to having the lifestyle of a top athlete.

Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline. He says in verse 27, "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." The NIV says, "No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave." Other translations say, "I harden my body with blows" and "I beat my body black and blue." Paul is talking about training spiritually so that you can become a disciple of Jesus.

You must train and maintain your spirituality at the level of an Olympic athlete who begins training when they're children. They train year after year and endure injuries and soreness and they follow a strict diet. You must discipline yourself and become like Paul who said, "I bring my body under total control."

Millions of believers have no concept of this at all and we now live in a generation of weaklings and whining babies. When Paul was stoned to death he got up and went back to the same town he came from and preached the gospel. He was a highly disciplined disciple of the Lord and wrote in 2 Timothy 2:3, "You therefore must endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

Olympic athletes and soldiers are all disciplined and don't get distracted and entangled with other things. To become a disciple you must commit yourself to the Lord and do what He tells you to do when he tells you to do it. It doesn't matter how you feel. The Lord needs you when He needs you, not when it's convenient for you.

It is a good thing to become a disciple of Jesus and is worth any sacrifice you'll have to make. In Luke 14:26-27, Jesus told a great multitude of people that becoming a disciple will cost them everything for it requires a great commitment. "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." Jesus is not saying to literally hate your family but to love them less than you love Him.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me." Many believers are not disciples because daily they demonstrate that they love somebody else more than Him. It may appear to be a noble thing to say that your family is your top priority in life but if family comes first then God is not first and you cannot be His disciple.

To obey the Lord's command to "follow Me" will change your life and your priorities dramatically but there is nothing better in existence than a life committed to Jesus. He's training you to rule and reign with Him for all eternity in His glorious kingdom. The price to become a disciple cannot be compared to the glory that is to be revealed.

Jesus taught about the true cost of discipleship in Luke 9:57-62, "Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, 'Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'

Then He said to another, 'Follow Me.' But he said, 'Lord, let me first go and bury my father.' Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.' And another also said, 'Lord, I will follow You but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.' But Jesus said to him, 'No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.'"

--- Please click: "HERE" to read "No Price Too High 2" ---

*** Written by Randall Brewer ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

No Price Too High 2



No man can serve two masters (Luke 16:13) and there is a place for only one person at the top of your priority list. Family does not come first, nor does your job or education or anything else. There is one Master, one Lord, and He is to be first. Many people miss the plan of God because of procrastination for family's sake. They wait until their elderly parents die or until their children finish school or until their business becomes successful. Months turn into years, years turn into decades and, before they know it, their life is over.

--- Please click: "HERE" to read "No Price Too High 1" ---

If you choose a person over God, that person will not love you for it or be thankful for you for doing it. If you miss the plan of God because of your spouse or children it will not endear you to them. Even if you do what they ask they will not respect you for it because they'll see you as being weak even though they won't admit it. Down in their heart they know you're being disobedient to God and there are millions of people in this situation right now.

If you want the perfect will of God for your life then you must do the perfect will of God in accordance to His plan. The best favor you can do for somebody you love is to obey God. Go with Him whether they go with you or not.

Many believers say they want to be a disciple of the Lord but do they really know what they're saying? People move and speak too quickly and make commitments based on what feels good at the time without counting the cost. Jesus said, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it - lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him" (Luke 14:28,29). Consider the cost before you start.

People set goals all the time but aren't honest with themselves that it's going to cost them something and whether or not they're willing to pay the price for what they want. It will cost you to buy that new house and to lose that thirty pounds. How much do you want to become a disciple of the Lord? Be honest with yourself. Do you want it enough to pay the price?

After telling the multitude to count the cost Jesus said, "So, likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple" (verse 33). Some things are worth paying the price for. Do whatever it takes to become like Jesus. You are not your own for you were bought with a price. You have a Master and you are in training to be just like Him. You can pray like Jesus prayed and you can help people like Jesus helped people. There will be hardness and tough trials to endure but you must gird up your loins and press forward.

Marathon runners experience great pain but they keep going anyhow. They set their face like flint and they've got their eyes on the finish line. They push themselves past all comfort levels and bypass past performance levels. They push through the pain for they consider it worth the price for what they will accomplish. There is a cost involved in becoming a disciple of Jesus but too many people think of this in a negative sense. People get quiet and uncomfortable when you talk about sacrifice and submission.

We live in a no-sacrifice generation and people don't like to be asked to give up anything, but Jesus said to become His disciple you must give up everything. Many boldly proclaim that they'll die for the Lord but won't clean toilets at church or stand in the heat and cold to help park cars at the church service. They won't go to church if they were up late the night before or if the weather is too bad even though bad weather won't keep them from going to work on Monday morning. They'll die for Jesus but won't live for Him, won't lose sleep for Him, and won't miss a meal for the gospel's sake.

Becoming a disciple requires a greater commitment than what many believers are willing to give. A disciple is to be like a highly-disciplined athlete and a well-trained soldier who push themselves and endure strict training. An athlete may not feel like running ten miles every day but he does it anyway. You learn by doing for it's the doer who gets results. Paul told Timothy, "So, my son, throw yourself into the work for Christ" (2 Timothy 2:1 MSG).

When you're strong you don't talk about how you feel. You lay your feelings aside and do what you're supposed to do. Strong Christians have feelings but are not ruled by them. Your training will teach you that when the Master tells you to do something you lay aside your feelings and do what He says.

Soldiers have a sense of duty and when they're given orders they pick up their gear and go no matter how hot or cold it is or how dangerous the situation appears to be. You've got to be willing to step out in faith and stay with it even if in the natural you see no immediate results and it looks like you made the wrong decision. If you're His disciple and He's leading you in a certain direction then you go where He tells you to go and stay where He tells you to stay. There are millions of believers who are content just being saved and they don't even try to become like Jesus.

Most churches are filled with believers and non-believers and maybe three disciples and they do all the work. These same three people volunteer for everything. They have other things to do but don't have more important things going on so that they would neglect the work of the ministry. You make time for what's important to you and if you're bothered about making sacrifices for Jesus then you're not worthy to be His disciple.

Paul said, "Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ as my Master firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant - dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him" (Philippians 3:7-9 MSG). This life will be over with real soon and there will be no reward in heaven for how high you climbed the corporate ladder or how much money you saved and how early you were able to retire.

In the Parable of the Great Supper (Luke 14:15-29) the Master said "Come" but all the people made excuses for they had other things to do. Many are called to become disciples but few accept the invitation, few make the commitment. The Master got angry at all their excuses and even today there are millions of believers all over the world who won't show up. There is no good enough reason not to accept the invitation to "come."

God uses people who are available, people who will come, people who will show up, people who have made a greater commitment to follow Him and do what He says to do. Is all this possible? Yes!! It's what you're made for. You are predestined to become like Jesus. It's your destiny, your future. It's why you exist. You're not here to punch a time-clock, mow the grass, and wash a pile of dirty clothes. You're here to become just like Jesus.

To become a disciple of Jesus you must train yourself like an Olympic athlete and discipline yourself like a good soldier. Keep your mind and your mouth and your desires under control. Every day you're becoming more and more like the Master. Philip said, "Show us the Father" and Jesus responded, "If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father" (John 14:8-9). Our goal is exactly the same thing. If people see us, they've seen Jesus. If they've seen Jesus, they've seen the Father.


People who believe they can get the same results as Jesus but not live like He lived believe they are above the Master. If Jesus sought the Father's will and only did those things that pleased Him, then you must do the same thing. You must become like Jesus. Luke 6:40 (AMP) says, "A pupil is not superior to his teacher but everyone, when he's completely trained, readjusted, restored, set to rights and perfected, will be like his teacher." The purpose of becoming a disciple is to be just like Jesus.

Millions of people all over the world are believers but that's all they are. They believe Jesus died for their sins and they confess Him as their Savior and that's all they do. They go to church sometimes and read a Bible verse here and there and they pray when they get into trouble. These believers are oblivious to anything beyond confessing Jesus as their Savior. Another group believes they can become like Jesus but are unwilling to do what it takes and are not willing to change their life enough to become like Him. And then there are the few, the faithful, the disciples. They believe they can become like Jesus and that there is no price too high to become His disciple here and now in this life.

1 John 4:17 says, "As He is, so are we in this world." That's what you're called to do, become like Jesus here and now in this world, to be conformed to His likeness and His image. The objective is to be so radically changed that when people see you they see Jesus. Even people who don't know Jesus will hear Him when they hear you talk and see Him when they see you act.

I John 3:2 says, "Beloved, now are we children of God." When? Now! You can be more like Jesus today than you were yesterday and more tomorrow than you are today. You should strive to be like Jesus every day from the moment your eyes open in the morning to the time you lay down to sleep at night. Be willing to make radical changes in your life and make up your mind to be one of the chosen few.

Jesus said in Matthew 9:37, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few" and Matthew 20:16 states, "So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen." People call themselves "Christian" yet there are many believers who are nothing like Jesus. People who say "I'm only human" are saying don't be surprised if they sin and don't become like Jesus. Isaiah 59:19 says, "When the enemy comes in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him." A disciple has a standard and His Name is Jesus. A Christian is "one like the Christ" for He is their standard.

In Biblical times before the people were called "Christians" they were first called "disciples." It was the disciples whose standard had not been dropped and lowered who were called "Christians." A "standard" is a banner or emblem much like a country's flag represents what the people believe and what they hold precious and valuable and important. It is "a degree or level of requirement, excellence, or attainment that is widely recognized or employed as a model of authority or excellence."

Discipline yourself daily to stand strong and hold fast to the standard Jesus set. Hold up the standard and live by it. Stop watching bad television shows and speak the truth in love. Don't lie and watch porno movies and commit adultery. We have one standard and it's the Master. Ephesians 4:13 (AMP) says, "that you may arrive at really mature manhood, completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection." This is what you are called to. The New Living Bible says, "Measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ."

How do you measure up? You need to change and don't be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2). The world is telling you that homosexual marriage is an acceptable behavior and that it's okay to kill babies before they're born. The enemy is the inventor of low standards and the more you tolerate what is wrong the lower you'll go. Tolerance is the first step toward conformity and today the world has no standard and has fallen into a bottomless pit of sin and deception.

Jesus is the standard by which every person will be judged. No longer is He called "the only begotten Son of God." Now He is called "the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29), people just like Him. He's the King of kings and Lord of lords. Disciples are in training to be kings and lords. They're the kings He's King of, kings just like Him. He'll show you the light and then you raise your standard and walk in it.

There is no price too high to fulfill your destiny to become like Jesus. The more like Him you become, the better your life will be, the more you'll live the good life.

*** Written by Randall Brewer ***


THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ

Stop And Behold



The Bible teaches that "old things have passed away, behold, all things become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). This verse is telling you to stop what you're doing and take notice of what God is doing. If you don't like what's been happening, then behold, stop and take notice.

This is precisely what you are to do on this first day of the rest of your life. God is telling you that now is the time to stop and behold. Do not look at what is seen but stop and look at what is unseen. Look at life through the eyes of faith.

There is a physical world and there is a spiritual world. The physical world is temporary and the spiritual world is eternal. Why look at what is here today and gone tomorrow? No, with eyes of faith stop and behold that which lasts forever. Look into the world of the eternal.

Sometimes the bad things in life can overwhelm you. It appears that your problems are bigger than you are and, in truth, sometimes they are. But how much more in awe should you be and overwhelmed by what takes place in the realm of the spirit?

The difference between a natural person and a spiritual person is what's on their mind. The natural person looks at what is temporary and the spiritual person looks at what is eternal. The question to be asked is, "What's on your mind?"

What you think about determines the direction your life will take. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). Your life is programmed to go in the direction of your most dominant thought. What you think about determines what you'll do, where you'll go, and what you will become. Never minimize the value of a Godly thought. Your thoughts become your desires and the Bible says that God will give you the desires of your heart. The key is to stop and behold.

When you woke up this morning did you like everything you saw around you? If not, then stop and behold. Those things are subject to change. They probably won't change instantly. The Bible says old things "become" new. And when does this change occur? When you look at life through the eyes of faith.

You may not like everything you see in your life today. Most likely there are many things in your life that are not as they should be. But when you look into the eternal you will see God moving on your behalf. What you don't like in the natural world will soon be gone and will be replaced by that which no man can touch. You must not look at where you've been but must stop and behold where you're going. This is the key to success.

As you look ahead you will see a future that is bright, a future fueled by and sustained by the glory of God. With eyes of faith you will see His goodness and His favor overwhelming you like never before. You also will see the devil stepping in and trying to put a damper on those plans. Rest assured, he will not be successful as long as you look at the situation with eyes of faith.

You can counter his evil schemes by taking a moment to stop and behold all that God has already done for you. As you do that, old things pass away and the things of God become new. Before long you will see them manifesting before your very eyes. The things of the devil don't have a ground to stand on but the things of God are founded on a Rock!

The reason many people are vagabonds and drift around in life aimlessly is because they haven't taken the time to stop and behold. They do not know which direction their life will take because they don't know where they're going. They focus too much on the past and present and never take the time to stop and see where God is taking them.

Their attitude is "whatever will be, will be" and "it is what it is." They believe they have no power to control their future but they are wrong. This power comes when they take the time to stop and behold. This power is supernatural and like a giant locomotive it has the ability to pull you through your current circumstances to a life that is filled with the glory of God.

Sad to say, the world is filled with people who like to be controlled like a puppet on a string. It's easier to let other people and certain events dictate which direction their life will take. Do not let this happen to you. God has given you one life to live and you must rise up and take stewardship of that which you've been given. You do that when you see into the realm of the spirit and by faith allow the Lord to order your steps accordingly.

Your responsibility is to obey the direction of the Lord and have the courage to put one foot in front of the other. As you do that consistently, in time you will arrive at the place you saw when you took the time to look at life through the eyes of faith.

For sure, this is a glorious place. It has to be because the Lord brought you here. A heavenly aroma fills this place and the smell of victory is everywhere. There are no weights holding you down and in the spirit you feel light as a feather.

You have come to be in the perfect will of God for your life and there is no more glorious place to be. It's wonderful! It's radiant! It's exciting! It's glorious! You have no worries here, no frets or concerns. You are in the arms of your beloved Jesus. He is your shepherd and you shall not want. Old things have indeed passed away and most certainly all things that pertain to your life have become new.

With the arms of Jesus around you it really doesn't matter what your circumstances are. What matters is that you let Jesus take you where He wants you to go. What you think is important today won't be important tomorrow. What is important is that you find your "secret place" where the presence of God dwells and by faith and obedience you go where He tells you to go and stay where He tells you to stay.

This is what the spiritual life is all about. God always leads you in triumph and in Him you go from glory to glory. Is there a better future than this? Certainly not!

Never let yourself get too caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Your life and the days you live are more important than that. Stop and smell the roses. There is a whole other life out there waiting to be lived and you can live it when you slow down and take notice of what's out there.

Your godly thoughts and faith-filled imagination will become a photograph of the direction your life is taking. It tells you where you're going and what your life will become. There are no limits here and you can go as far as you want. Don't accept second best. Slow down, stop and behold, and become all you were meant to be. It's called living the good life.

*** Written by Randall J. Brewer ***

THE TRUTH MEDIA
...building the body of Christ