Sunday, March 31, 2013

Super Sunday #3


Super Sunday!!  The word evokes a vision of ‘football’, ‘championship’, and all the trimmings.  Yet, Creation Sunday and Resurrection Sunday are two of the “SUPEREST” Sundays in human history.  There is one more Super Sunday to consider.  Think about it this way;
If your house were to catch on fire in the middle of the night and you awakened to discover that your only exit route was blocked by a raging inferno and the heat was so intense that your skin began to blister and you noticed your closet was momentarily safe from this inferno - so you entered the closet closing the door behind you.  Candidly, whether from the fire or smoke inhalation, your fate would be sealed and you would soon recognize your dilemma.  To continue this horrendous picture, think about the possibility of this difficult demise.
Now, all of a sudden the closet door swings open and you are rescued by a brave fireman in protective gear. You have now been rescued from certain death.  Do you think this day would be forever etched in your memory?  Would you remember the day, the situation, and the circumstances of your life being saved?  I think so.  That fireman would forever be your savior and your salvation.
The third SUPER SUNDAY is SALVATION SUNDAY, but it’s not from a temporary house fire.  The Bible tells us that, at just the right time, God sent Jesus to save us from our sin.  Another place in scripture reminds us that God love us so much that He sent His ONE AND ONLY SON that we might have eternal life.  Salvation Sunday is indeed a Super Sunday.  Here are a few of the things which happen; we are forgiven of our sin, saved from our sin, establish a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, rescued from the place the Bible terms “hell”, and we are given an eternal home in heaven. 
I dare say that when so many good things happen on one day to one person, it is a SUPER SUNDAY.  Quite likely, the best Sunday of all!

 (Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Super Sunday (Pt 2)


Although I lost interest in the Super Bowl this year, one must admit that Super Bowl Sunday always evokes much hype, interest, and money.  Many call this Super Sunday.
Can you really imagine the atmosphere surrounding that first “Super Sunday” which I submit to be “Creation Sunday.”  God said, “Let there be”—and there was!  Genesis 1 goes on to reveal that on the 6th day, “God created man.”  Here is the best news; God created man in HIS OWN IMAGE, blew into man the BREATH OF LIFE, and MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL.  Mankind was different from the animals God had created because man has a soul, a mind, and the ability to commune with God.
God’s creation was so perfect that He announced it “GOOD”.  Yet, in mankind God gave the ability to make a ‘decision.’  Adam and Eve could either “follow God wisdom through obedience” or “follow their own wisdom through disobedience.”  Sadly, they chose the latter by breaking the one rule God had given them.  In so doing, they became afraid of God as a disobedient child is afraid of their parents.  When God saw their sin, He killed animals created earlier that day making clothes from the skin of those animals in order to cover their nakedness (which symbolizes their sin). 
The dye was cast.  It would take death and blood to cover sin. 
Jesus came to earth for purpose of becoming that sacrificial lamb for all sin.  He lived a perfect life and died the death of a sinner on the cross.  Crucifixion day was a dark day for those who loved Jesus.  And had Jesus remained in the grave, there would be no hope for mankind to have sin forgiven and reconnect with their creator. 
Three days after the crucifixion is the second SUPER SUNDAY!!  It is RESURRECTION DAY!!  Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him from rising again, and in HIS resurrection is the promise that you and I can find forgives, hope, help, and security. 
Here’s a secret; ‘there is more historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ than there are for most World Wars!!’  Because He lives, WE CAN LIVE!  Now that is a Super Sunday worth knowing an d talking about!


(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SUPER SUNDAYS (Pt 1)


The Packers did it again on February 6, 2011, the WON THE SUPER BOWL.  (Actually, I lost interest that year after the Saints went down.  That’s my confession for the day).
Each year, Super Bowl Sunday is a day of high energy, high publicity, and in some cases, high drama.  But whatever the day happens to bring, millions upon millions of people are glued to this event and publicists have a field day with high price ads.  Because of the ‘hype’, all are drawn into the “Super Sunday” frenzy.
However, I submit there are, at least, three days in history and life that eclipse this special day.
First is “Creation Sunday”.  This is the day that God began to work on His divine idea of creation.  His first creation was not mankind or sky or earth, it was light.  He said, “Let there be” and there was.  We should make a note that He didn’t have to ‘create darkness’ because darkness has always been and always will be.  Darkness is the absence of light and before God created light, ‘darkness covered it all.”  On creation Sunday, God overcame darkness with light and began the week of creation which culminated in the creation of mankind. 
The creation of man was God’s “Crown Creation”.  It was into man that God ‘blew the breath of life and man became a living soul.’  This living soul means that God gave mankind a cognitive ability which exceeded any of the animals previously created and the man would have an eternal existence with God Himself.  Basically, God created mankind for fellowship and friendship which is demonstrated by God ‘walking is Adam in the cool of the day.’ 
That first SUPER SUNDAY stands apart in history as the “Day God began something special” and it began only with “Let there be light.” 
When I read the Genesis 1 passage, I never ceased to be reminded of how the darkness had settled over my life and yet, God ‘hovered’ over that darkness until the day through Christ Jesus, God lifted the darkness shined the light of the world on me.  In this divine act, just like creation Sunday, God created a new me!  That is, was, and ever shall be, a real SUPER SUNDAY. 


(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)

What Should I Become


The old adage says, “You never stop learning & growing until you’re in the ground.”  As true as that may be, by our human nature we are sometimes tempted to get a bit complacent with ‘who we are’ and ‘what we are’ which results in a comfortable but stagnant life.  Yes, we get through life but somehow the passion just leaves us.  Arguably, our rationale is our age has stolen our passion when, in fact, our lack of passion comes from our lack of growing and reaching our potential. 
Please consider three qualities or attributes which point us in the direction that the Bible teaches us to go.
First, become an encourager.  This world, country, and culture need encouragers in a big way.  Quite honestly, were it left to me; I would put out the word that there exists no openings in this society for criticizers.  (All those positions seem to be taken - GRIN).  Becoming an encourager will change the environment in which you live.  People will respond differently to you, and it will be a good change!
Next, become a promoter of unity.  It is interesting that while in the garden of Gethsemane praying, knowing that the cross was coming in less than 36 hours, Jesus prayed, John 17, for His followers to be unified.  Frequently, I apologize to the teenagers in our services for the world we are leaving them.  It doesn’t seem than any segment of this society is healthy.  Morals, ethics, and financials, are but a few of the problems which plague our society.  But I wonder if those of us who are followers of Christ owe an apology to our culture because of the disunity which is seen in many congregations.  Jesus wanted us to be unity in Him; this was to be our mark of being His.
Finally, become a purveyor of grace.  Grace defined is ‘receiving what you do not deserve’, while mercy is defined as ‘not receiving what you do deserve.’  Each day we are presented with opportunities to extend ‘grace.’   I submit it is easier to extend grace when we have been the recipient of God’s grace.  Here’s how it works; God pour out His grace on His child, who extends grace to someone who needs it, and then God (who never runs out of grace), pours more grace on us.  We become a conduit of God’s grace.  And that is exactly what God desires for us to become.


(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Rule Book



It would seem that in the last years we have enjoyed one of the best ‘competitive’ times in all college football history.  Football, at any level, would not be possible without a ‘rule book.’  While the rules (and the man in the striped shirts) sometimes get on the nerves of the us ‘fans’, we all agree that a game with ‘rules’ is more fun and productive than the anarchy which would prevail with no rules.
This thought has caused me to think about the game “of life” and the rule book for life.  The Bible says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”  I suggest that if God has inspired a book that is good for ‘teaching, training, correcting, and even rebuking, then perhaps that is, indeed, THE RULE BOOK for life.
Many would claim that the Bible IS their rule book and that they base their lives on the principles of the Bible.  If that is the case, consider a couple of thoughts;
If the Bible is you guide (rule) book, then how exactly does it affect your daily life?
Does it affect how you talk?  The Bible says, “Be quick to hear and slow to speak” as well as “Let your conversation be seasoned with grace.”  During this past week has your conversation measured up to this Biblical truth? 
Does the Bible affect your attitude?  The Bibles says, “Have the same mind as Christ.” I never ceased to be amazed at ungodly attitudes.  Nothing is as unattractive as an attitude which is self-serving, self-centered, or just plain selfish.  One of the tenets of God’s word is selflessness. 
Controlling our words and attitudes are only two principles found in THE RULE BOOK.  Sadly, many are attempting to change the rules today.  The results are many.  One is seen in the continual disintegration of this nation. 
If we would learn from God’s word, ‘put on the mind’ and attitude of Christ what would follow would be a total transformation of our conversations.  The results would be a far-reaching cultural change, would begin with one person, and that person could be you.


(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The State of "THINGS"


David and Goliath!  Just mentioning those names gives us a picture of the impossible situation.  It would be similar to a scrawny teenager up against a WWF champion or maybe bringing a knife to a ‘machine-gun’ battle.  It would seem there is no way to win!  And then, GOD steps in to completely change the situation.  When crunch time came (that is, the time to meet Goliath face to face), David gave the ground rule.  Genesis 17:45 records David’s words, “You come to me with a dagger, speak and sword.”  Goliath was reported to be 9 feet tall so he was a formidable foe to say the least, but to think that Goliath was armed would indeed bring a chill of fright to anyone.  Well almost anyone because David’s words continued with, “But I come to you in the name of the Lord of Host, the God of Israel’s armies—you have defied HIM.”  It would seem to me that, at this point, the situation changed entirely. 
Every person who reads this column has faced a ‘Goliath’ in their life.  The giants of today wear many names; finances, family-issues, depression, health, relationship problems, and more.  Those problems come at us, like Goliath, attempting to not simply take us down, but ultimately to take us out.  As long as we attempt to see these problems through the eyes of the ‘hear of now’, we may find ourselves outmanned.
However, bringing Jehovah God into the picture has a way of changing the circumstances.
No doubt life, in these United States, are very interesting these days.  Things which used to be unheard of have now seemingly become routine.  Sadly, we debate ‘right and wrong’ as if ‘we get the final say.’ 
For 50 years as a country, we have dismissed God from our public life.  We have extricated Him from our schools, our government, and our social lives and we have done this in multiple ways.  Today, we are seeing the fulfillment of the scriptural principle unfold.  “Don’t be deceived, God will not be mocked.  Whatever you sow, you will reap.”  (in an upcoming column, I’ll remind us of the “Laws of Sowing and Reading”).
I submit that the need of the day is to renew David’s words and come “In the Name of the Lord.”  Then the “State of Things” may well be set right.



(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Taking Stock


At this time of year it is a good idea to ‘take stock’ of things.  Although I have not researched the origination of this phrase, my last job in High School gives me an educated guess about it.  For my Junior & Senior years of High school, I worked as a ‘Grocery bagger/Stock Boy’ at our locally owned grocery store.  (We never called it a “Supermarket.”)
One of my tasks was to look at the stock on the shelves, consider the time of month (and of the year), recall how long it had been since we had restocked the shelves, check our back warehouse, and then talk to the owner about re-ordering anything of which we were out.  Basically, it went like this; look around, look back, look inside, and look ahead.  Today almost 40 years later, this is still sound advice (and I’ll even add one more place to look.)
With the advent of 2011, now is the time to look around our lives and see where we are.  Where are we compared to where we thought we would be?  Honestly, what is right and what is wrong with my life? 
Next, take a look ‘back’.  This past year was a particularly difficult year for many.  Most of us experienced losses of almost unspeakable impact.  Some lost ‘long time jobs’, others lost investment, many lost their houses, some lost their health, while even other lost loved ones.  While there is an old adage which says, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”, God says, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”  Why?  “Because the trials we face help us to grow up.”  Remember that nothing ‘surprises’ God.
Now, take a look inside.  This is a question only God and you can answer.  What is it that ‘really’ motivates you?  Who is it that you count on?  How is your relationship to Jehovah God?  The Bible says, “It’s appointed to people once to die, and after this, judgment”.  Many say they are ready to go to heaven, few are ready to meet God.’
Next, take a look ahead.  Consider this; if you live the next 12 months like the last 12 months, where will you be?  Will your life be ‘counting’ for anything substantial? 
Finally, take a look upward.  If you have a Bible, I suggest you read Isaiah 6 and seek a clear vision of God.  When we get a vision of God in our mind, we indeed do take stock of life and make positive changes for the future.




(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net)

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Big Question


The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test.” 
This verse begins and ends with my least favorite word, “TEST”. I have NEVER liked taking test.  All through High School, I (can I say it) HATED test.  But I discovered why I disliked test so badly.
When it came time for my Senior English Literature final exam I knew that I had to pass this test to ‘walk the line’ and graduate.  Our teacher gave us the needed information to study and, in an uncharacteristic move, I STUDIED.  For two days I studied. 
When I actually studied and prepared for the test, a unique thing happened; I WANTED TO TAKE THE TEST.  In fact, I couldn’t wait.  And by the way, I made a 98.
Here’s the truth, because I was prepared I didn’t mind answering those 100 questions. 
The Lord Jesus only asks us one question but it’s not a question which determines whether or not we ‘graduate’ from a school.  The question He asks us ultimately determines things like heaven, hell, death, life, time, and eternity.
He asks, “Will you follow me?”  Most of those who attend church services regularly would say, “Sure I follow Him.”  But the question which Jesus asks is “Will you follow me wherever, whenever, and whatever?” 
For those who have to be in control, they respond, “Where are you talking about, when are you talking about, and what are you talking about?”  Problem is, our Lord is not obligated to give us those answers until He is ready. 
The Lord spoke to Abraham in Genesis and simply said, “Pick up your family, leave your home, and go to the place that I will show you.” 
In this call, we hear our Lord calling us to trust Him more than anyone or anything else. 
He alone is trustworthy.


Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled 

“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Fan or A Follower


The weekend of November 10, 2012, was a tough weekend for me as a Native Mississippian and a present resident of Alabama.  As I write this column, I am reminded of that Saturday.  Here are the results of that day: The University of Southern Mississippi, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, AND Alabama, all LOST their ballgames.  (On the following day, I was fretting whether or not the Saints would lose to the UNBEATEN Falcons – but THANKFULLY, the Saints prevailed that day!)
Admittedly, I have not ever been a huge College Football fan, but I have watched the Saints since the 1960’s.  Yes, I remember the days when the stadium was less than half-full and those ‘fans’ who did show up wore bags over their heads.  Such is the nature of a fan.  The fan is defined as an ‘ardent admirer & usually a spectator.’  Fans can be fickled.
Although people don’t appreciate hearing this truth, “Jesus didn’t die on the cross to build a fan base.”  Listen to HIS words:
“If anyone would come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”  As I read the words and see the concepts of ‘denying self, cross, and following,’ it become apparent to me that these are not words which describes a fan but an ‘all in’ follower.  Put another way, a person must deny self, die to self, and dedicate self.
Think about the price Jesus paid for each person; “God demonstrated His own love (for you) in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.”  The Bible tells us that the compensation for sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ.  This is GREAT NEWS!! In Jesus’ death, He offers forgiveness of sin, being made right with God, and eternal life in heaven; the requirement is that each person believes by FOLLOWING Jesus. 
Being a follower is different from being a fan.  A follower can be counted on regardless of the circumstances.  Sadly, many have replaced the total commitment of a follower with the comfortable commitment of a fan. 
What is sadder than this is that Jesus never makes an offer for one to be a fan only. 
Some say that Jesus’ demands are not fair, too exclusive.  But I offer this; He is extremely fair for two reasons: Everyone is welcome and everyone becomes a follower the same way. 
Are you a ‘fan’ or a ‘follower?’


Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled 
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Dose of Reality


We have a 31-year old daughter who loves to say to me, “Keeping it real dad.”  While I understand and appreciate what she’s saying, it occurs to me that, in today’s culture, we are not real big on ‘reality.’  In fact, one of the most interesting things I see in every Presidential election is something called the “Spin Rooms.”  While my opinion is in no way indicative of a larger consensus nor is it a formal definition – it seems to me that we have now created a room in order to (as my mammaw would say) ‘spin a yarn.’ In the “Spin Room”, truth is rarely heard because every person there is twisting reality ‘their way.’  But think about some more realities.
This country is dying.  While we deeply love the USA, if we honestly look at this Nation who was once a “Nation Under God”, we discover that every quantifiable sign tells us that she is hemorrhaging.  Economically, productivity, are foreign policy are but a few of the areas bleeding.  But these are not the fatal wounds.  The fatal wounds are in the loss of moral, lack of ethics, and the erosion of principles for life and living.  A country who kills 50 million people before they are born will think nothing of withholding medical care to Senior Citizens who have become ‘unproductive’ to society.
Next, the church in America is dying.  Recent statistics tell us that up to 2700 churches hold their last service each MONTH.  Other statistics tell us that almost 90% of churches are declining in attendance.  Most churches are at a loss as to why this is happening.  One of the truisms we need to hear is this:  ‘anytime a non-profit organization begins to function for those who are inside it, the organization begins a slow death.’ 
The reasons that the country and church is dying is because “convictions” are dying.  Simply put, when this nation and her churches were strong there existed a deep, strong, and abiding faith in Jehovah God.  He is the God of creation, the God of salvation, and the God of eternity.  He is different from other gods and He alone is the answer for every ailment of this culture.  The reality of an answer is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14.


(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled 
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dear God, Please Help Me


A young man asked his girlfriend, “May I kiss you?”  She was silent.  After a little bit he tried his luck again by asking, “Can I kiss you?” Again, she was silent.  In frustration he asked, “Are you deaf?”  Quickly she said, “Are you paralyzed?”
Have you ever felt like God wasn’t hearing you prayer?  I have.  I have prayed for a young person to be healed from their cancer – and they have not survived.  I have prayed for a couple who were having problems to be healed and reunited only to watch them go through a divorce.  I have prayed for someone to come to Christ and be saved only to watch them reject God’s offer.  I have prayed for MY FOOTBALL TEAM, the New Orleans to Saints to win – only – well never mind!
In these times when God does not respond to our prayers, we tend to ask, “What’s wrong with God?” Or “Where is God?”  While we do this without thinking, the truth is, we seem to get the idea that ‘it’s God’s fault.’  Yet, Isaiah 59:1 says, “the Lord’s arm is not shortened that He cannot save and His ears are not deaf that He cannot hear.”  In other words, when God doesn’t hear or respond to us, IT’S NOT HIS FAULT.
An honest reading of the entire 59th chapter reveals some very personal reason why God doesn’t hear us.  If we want to clear the lines of communication between us and God, we must give attention to the ‘reasons’ why God doesn’t hear.
From verse 2 to verse 16 we are reminded of 3 reasons why God doesn’t hear us.  These are; because of our sin, because of our shallowness, and because of our stubbornness.
Because of the way this is written, we can no longer say that it’s someone else’s fault.  Holy Scripture uses the pronouns “YOU”, “THEY”, and “WE – US”.
If we want God to hear us, we must repent (or turn away) from our sin and turn to Jesus.  In His death on the cross, we can find forgiveness.  In our forgiveness, the lines of communication with God are re-opened and He’ll hear and respond.
Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Extreme Makeover


We have all seen the television shows which boast of an “Extreme Makeover.”  Some shows makeover houses while others makeover people.  You know what I’m talking about, they get new clothes, new hair, new nose, new lips, new chin, or other parts, and they call it a makeover.  I remember the old mountain man who brought his family to ‘town’ for the first time. They were overwhelmed by the skyscraper so they all scattered, but dad was enamored with the magic door that would open, people would get on, the door would close, and the in a little while people who looked different would get off.  Finally, the mountain man saw an elderly lady on a walker go in the room (we know this room is an elevator) and when the doors opened five minutes later, a very young & very attractive lady walked out.  The man began earnest to look around & turned to his oldest son and said, “Boy, go get your mom!!”
When I think about the ‘makeovers’ I am reminded of what my mom told me, “Son, beauty is skin deep while ugly is to the bone.”  We can dress us the outside, but the inside remains the same.
In 2 Kings, a warrior name Naaman had leprosy.  Leprosy causes you to lose feeling in your extremities.  Leprosy is to the body what sin is to the soul. Sin causes you to lose your feeling so you lose your sense of guilt and shame.
Naaman was told to dip 7 times in the Jordan River and be made clean.   Only when he did exactly what God told him to, was he healed.  The entire process shows that Naaman had to hear personal counsel, humble himself, and then be healed.
God is in the business of doing ‘extreme makeovers.’  To every person God says, “Your cleansing is found by dipping in the forgiving blood of Jesus Christ.”  The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.”  Through the sacrificial blood of Jesus – an extreme makeover is not only possible, it is certain. 
Bro. Jerry Watts
Bro. Jerry Watts
(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his book entitled
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Is the Church Still Needed Today?


As the 20th century dawned in the USA, most of the land was still rural.  Life in rural American was difficult.  Those people made their living by the sweat of their brow and the callouses on their hands.   For the most part, transportation was limited to ‘horse & wagon’ – which was both hard and slow.  Communication was sparse. 
One of the traditions of that day was that the local pastor would arrive at the church building on Sunday mornings shortly after daylight.  As he began his daily tasks, one of his morning duties was to RING THE CHURCH BELL.  Ideally, this bell could be heard throughout the community.  The sounding of the bell sent out the message that “Today is the Lord’s Day, get your chores done, your horse & wagon ready, put on your “Sunday” clothes, and make it to church.”  (The reason most churches meet at 9:45 on Sunday mornings is that this was the earliest those rural people could get to church)
Attending church services are an important part of the history of this country.  However since 1991, George Barna tells us that the statistics are so dismal that it begs the question:  Is the church still needed today?
Candidly, in this busy culture no one needs another activity, meeting, drain on their time, energy, or finances.  However, to look at local, national, and international events, the church is not just needed but required if we are to change the landscape.
Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hades will not stand against and I will give (to the church) the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Based on HIS words the church is needed for several reasons but consider just one. Opportunity – Jesus has given the church the ‘keys’ to heaven and earth.  Key holders always have great opportunity.  The church has God’s blessing to open up the way to heaven and eternal life while, at the same time, locking up the evil of this world. 
If there is to be a world worth leaving for our children, it will be because the darkness of the prevailing evil has been pushed back.  If the evil gets pushed back, it will be the church, owned & operated by God, who does it.   
Bro. Jerry Watts
Bro. Jerry Watts
Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Devil At Church

Bro. Jerry Watts
Jesus had just called the fishermen with the simple words of “Follow Me” when He went to synagogue and began to teach.  Mark 1 records that this was not the normal type of teaching which was regularly heard.  Mark says that “Jesus taught as one who had authority, not like the scribes who normally taught.”
In the middle of Jesus’ teaching, a man who was possessed by an ‘unclean spirit’ stood up to shout Jesus down.  Mark identifies this man only as one who was demon possessed.  Obviously, this man had lucid moments where his problem was not evident.
Candidly, this may not have been the first time this man had been in church.  Perhaps he had been there many times with no incidents, but when the Lord showed us – it was more than he could take.
The scripture says that the ‘unclean spirit’ recognized Jesus.  He called Jesus by name then identified Jesus as “The Holy One of God.”  Can you believe it?  The one who was supposed to be turning people away from God actually let people know the identity of the Lord.  I wonder if the ‘unclean spirit’ recognizes Jesus better than we do. 
The unclean spirit also responded to Jesus in a couple of ways.  If it is true that this man has attended the synagogue before and had not reacted, it could be said that evil only reacts when it comes into the presence of righteousness.  Today we have become so comfortable with evil that evil is comfortable with us.  However, when faced with the presence of God, it shouts down holy teaching.  Next, the unclean spirit was commanded by Jesus, and actually ‘obeyed.’ Again, does it make us wonder if the ‘demon’ give the Lord more respect than we do.
Finally, our scripture is interesting.  In Mark 1:28 we read that this episode made Jesus “famous” in the region.  It takes no imagination to know that this was the last thing which the devil wanted to happen.  Here’s the take away: The devil is always present at church.  When the Lord shows up, the enemy gets active and causes a problem, an interruption, and an episode.  God is still in control and can use whatever the devil does to get glory for Himself.  For us, let us not be deceived, vulnerable to, or controlled by the evil one.


Bro. Jerry Watts
(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his book entitled
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"

Friday, March 15, 2013

Authentic Christianity - GIVING!


Luke 6:38 records the words of Jesus as this, “Give, and it will be given to you; a full measure will be poured into your lap – pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”  What a promise!  What a thought for this culture.
It seems to me that the mantra of this culture is ‘get all you can, can all you get, and then sit on the lid!”  We are made to believe that the #1 thing in our life should be #1!  This society says, “It’s all about me.”  Years ago Pastor/Author Rick Warren began his best-selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life”, with these words, “It’s not about me.”  While this is a principle from God’s word, it is not a popular concept.
For the person who calls himself a “Christian” – a spirit of giving is required because Jesus taught and modeled this spirit.  The New Testament reports that Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  The most well-known verse in the Bible, John 3:16, begins “For God love the world so much that He GAVE His one and only Son.”  Paul writes that “Jesus gave Himself as a RANSOM for all and gave Himself to REDEEM us all.”  To live like Christ and for Christ means (among other things) that you are open-hearted and give.
Paul writes to the Corinthians and reminds us that our giving is like a seed.  In 2 Corinthians 9 we read, “The person who sows sparingly will reap sparingly while the person who sows generously will reap generously.”  What we give and how we give determines, in large measure what we will receive.
Don’t be fooled by the unscrupulous.  This promise from God does not mean ‘if you give money to some ‘ministry’ that you’ll get rich.’  What it does mean is this “You can NEVER out-give God.”  Keep Him in the center of your life.
Here’s your question for the day: Do people who know you see you as a ‘giver’ or a ‘taker’.  Certainly money is one of those things you can give or take, but there is more in this life that you can give and/or take.   What do you do?  Jesus calls us to give.  It is a blessed thing.

Bro. Jerry Watts
Bro. Jerry Watts
(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Authentic Christianity - Love


This culture is in a tailspin.  Most pundits want to dismiss the truth and convince us that all is well, but an honest look at any part of this culture reveals trends which range from disturbing to disastrous. Most people expect a "preacher like me" to rail against the evils which are so prevalent and pervasive.  It is true the evil and works of darkness are destroying lives and negatively impacting our culture.  That said, evil is doing what evil does.  However, the works of darkness are no worse than they have been or were in times past.  This begs the question: “why are things going so wrong?”
The Bible says, “It’s time for judgment to begin at the house of God” and the truth is, “Judgment has come to the house of God.”  What this culture needs and the Lord God expects is for those who wear the name “Christian” to live like Jesus lived. 
It was in the Upper Room less than 24-hours before His death that Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, love one another as I love you.  It is in this way that the world will know that you are my disciples.” 
By the way, it was in that same room where Jesus described this ‘unconditional love’.  He said, “Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for a friend.”  The day after speaking these words, Jesus lay in the tomb, dead because of His love for us. 
According to Jesus’ life and words, He expects those who bear His name to demonstrate love life He did.  Most of us who wear the name ‘Christian’ would argue that ‘we are a loving group.’  Yet, there is not one credible national survey I have knowledge of which lists love as a discerning characteristic of believers.  Many other descriptive terms are offered but not love. 
Remember, Jesus loved without compromising His truth.  When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Him, He didn't ignore her behavior but neither did He condemn her.  He showed compassion and insisted that she change her behavior. 
Authentic Christianity has many characteristics but love is one of the first which should be seen.  If you wear the name of Christ, do people see you as a loving person?  If not, why not?

Bro. Jerry Watts
Bro. Jerry Watts
  
(Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for audio and manuscript messages and more)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Authentic Christianity


Years ago I was a guest on a TV talk show when one of the hosts (who happened to be a friend) turned to me and made this statement: “Many people have been killed in the name of Christianity.”  History reveals that his statement, while disturbing, is essentially true. 
Yet the Christianity that ‘kills people’ is a type and style of Christianity which is foreign to the brand of Christianity which wears the name Christian because it actually resembles the life and actions of Jesus Christ.  The word “Christian” literally means, ‘little Christ’ which is what the authentic Christian should be known for.
The word ‘authentic’ denotes the real, the genuine, or the original.  Most of us readily recognize that the ‘authentic’ is worth much more than a ‘copy’ because a copy lacks something. 
Think about the lock and key to your front door.  When the lock was installed you were given the ‘first generation’ or ‘original’ key and it worked like a charm.  After ten years and many copies of that key, you have a key which doesn't work.  Every time you make a copy it is a little less like the original until it stops working.
Such is the case of modern day Christianity in America.  While Christian Churches enjoys more resources, education, and facilities than at any time in history, it seems we have less influence and are making less impact than ever before. 
Could it be that the need exist to answer Jesus’ simple call of “Follow Me?”  To Matthew the tax collection, to Peter and Andrew the fishermen, to James and John the fishermen, and to you whatever you are, Jesus says, “Follow Me.”
Following Jesus means responding to His voice, living like He lived, loving like He loved, and walking like He walked.  It is the answer for your life and for everything that is wrong in this nation.
While the upcoming election is important that we pray and vote the way God tells us in His word, the truth is, we will never find the answer for this nation in politics.  We will not vote our way out of our national dilemma.  The answer is God’s people, those who profess to ‘know Jesus’ begin to act and live like He expects us to.  Then the culture will experience authentic Christianity and embrace God’s answer to life.

Bro. Jerry Watts
Bro. Jerry Watts

Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled 
“Words Of Warning”
"And they were Called Christians"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

America - An Upside Down Nation



When I was a little boy we used to play on the “Jungle Gym.”  Actually, ‘us’ less sophisticated types called it the “Monkey Bars.”  The only reason it was called “Monkey Bars” was because we (little boys) would get on the bars and act like monkeys.  We would hand upside down from our knees and our feet.  As I remember, this was a lot of fun, well, at least for a little bit.
Physiologically, it is not a good idea to hang upside down for an extended period of time.  Dr. Ashley Grossman tells us that to hang upside down  for an extended period of time, “Fluid will start to ease out of your blood vessels, you can’t get oxygen, and the lungs will become rather stiff so you will get breathless.”  By the way, to remain in that position can lead to a stroke or death. 
Another problem which develops is with your circulatory system.  The heart uses gravity to perfuse your lower extremities so it doesn’t use much pressure to send blood to your feet.  At the same time, the heart uses extra pressure to perfuse the brain because it is working against gravity.  To hang upside down for an extended period of time can cause some disastrous results.
To look around this country is to realize there is something out of sync, out of ‘whack’ and even upside down.  Things in this nation have drastically changed in the last half century. 
To read about the nation of Judah in Isaiah 5 should sober the nation of America.  Through the prophet, Isaiah, God issues this warning, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.  Woe to those who call darkness light and light darkness.”  Certainly and sadly, in this last 50 years we have seen this culture change their views on right, wrong, good, bad, as well as moral and immoral.  In large measure, we have dismissed God from our public life and for many, from our personal lives.
The societal results are devastating. Pregnancy out of wedlock, living together out of wedlock, abortions, school shootings, and violent crimes, are but a few of the ungodly results we are living with.  Once again we can look to Isaiah 5 and read God’s response to His people-Judah, “Now I will tell you what I am about to do to My vineyard: I will remove its hedge, and it will be consumed; I will tear down its wall, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland.  It will not be pruned or weeded; thorns and briers will grow up.  I will also give orders to the clouds that rain should not fall on it.”
The same God who blessed this nation in her founding, the same God whose words are written on almost every national monument, and the same God who sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, is the same God who can take an upside down nation and turn her right-side up. 
He will do this, if only we meet HIS requirements.  (2 Chronicles 7:14)  He is the answer for every need we face.
                                                         

Checkout Pastor Jerry’s web site @ www.jerrywatts.net for his books entitled 
“Words Of Warning”
"And They Were Called Christians"



Bro. Jerry Watts


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