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Gregory A. Johnson: Christ follower, pastor, and author
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Through the writing of the Palmist, Psalm 2 comes to a conclusion with a warning from the Holy Spirit:  “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalms 2:10-12 ESV)”
The Holy Spirit gives us three imperatives in this paragraph of Scripture, which if followed, will result in blessed living.  First of all, the Holy Spirit compels those of our day to be “wise” and to be “warned.”  Wisdom and warning come from God’s Word and His Holy Spirit.  Christ followers must constantly be people of the Word and the Spirit to live for Jesus as the Word and the Spirit will come together and do a powerful work in our lives.  When either the Word or the Spirit is rejected, wisdom and warning is cast away and the result is destruction. 
The second imperative given by the Holy Spirit in these verses is to “serve the LORD.”  Salvation from the wrath of God that is to come is not complete by only accepting Jesus as your savior; you must make Jesus LORD of your life.  You must follow Him and commit your life to His lordship.  
The third imperative the Holy Spirit gives us is to “Kiss the Son” which implies intimacy in relationship.  Jesus came to earth rejecting religion and religionist, proclaiming and portraying relationship with God instead.  You see, it’s not about religion.  It’s not about manmade denominations.  It’s not about church membership.  It’s not about devoting all of your extra time to church activity.  It’s all about relationship with Jesus; kissing the Son; having an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Why does the Holy Spirit give us these three imperatives?  Because the wrath of God is coming on all those that do not love Him and have rejected His Son, Jesus Christ.  Those who will obey these imperatives are found in Jesus and there is wonderful news for them in the face of world destruction like has never been seen before.  That wonderful news is found in the last sentence of Psalm 2: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
Beloved, take refuge in Jesus, making Him your LORD and Savior, receiving the bountiful blessings found only in Him.

Know that you are loved,
Posted by: Gregory A. Johnson AT 12:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 06 July 2011
God has lifted Jesus up to be the King of kings and has exalted Him to the holy hill of Zion!  Jesus came to earth as the sacrificial Lamb to be offered as a sacrifice for the sins of this world so that whoever believes in Him can be saved from the wrath of God and be given eternal life.  Coming into our world, humbling Himself to serve instead of rule, obeying the Heavenly Father in all aspects of His mission, resulted in the Father re-glorifying Him and placing Him back in His original state of glory.

Psalm 2 records God’s response to those in the world who rage and plot in vain against Him:  “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, "As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill (Psalms 2:4-6 ESV).”

Notice Jesus’ response:  “I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel"  (Psalms 2:7-9 ESV).”

As the result of His obedience to the Father, Jesus inherits the nations, and the earth will be His possession.   In the temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11), Satan promised Jesus the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would just worship him.  Jesus’ response to him was, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve" (Matthew 4:10 ESV).”

Offering Jesus the kingdoms of this world was not an idle offer made by Satan.  The world that we live in is truly Satan’s kingdom.  But for the Christ follower, God’s kingdom is currently in them and will be consummated upon Jesus’ return as He rules in total justice and righteousness.  God has made the nations Jesus’ inheritance and the ends of the earth His possession!  Satan’s offer to Jesus was temporary.  God’s offer was eternal.  Jesus declined the temporal for the eternal.

What will you do?  Satan constantly offers us temporary gratification in return to our disobedience to God and His Word.  God offers us eternal life.  Follow Jesus and chose the eternal over the temporal!

Know that you are loved,
Posted by: Gregory A. Johnson AT 02:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 05 July 2011
Psalm 2 is both a prophetic and messianic psalm that points to Jesus and that which is to come.  The present condition of our world is described prophetically in the first three verses: "Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, "Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us (Psalms 2:1-3 ESV).”

Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30 ESV),” but, in our day, nations and rulers have decided that God’s yoke declared through Jesus, the Word that became flesh, is “bonds” and “cords” restraining them from fulfilling their fleshly desires birthed through selfish ambition.  Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God, has been denied by entire nations, their rulers and their religions.

Nations fight against God through rejecting His Anointed, Jesus Christ, His only begotten son.  Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him (John 14:6-7 ESV).”  If Jesus is rejected, God Himself is rejected; If Jesus is received, God Himself is received.

Receive Jesus today; receive God.

Know that you are loved,
Posted by: Gregory A. Johnson AT 01:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 01 July 2011
Set apart are two words that demand separation of their subject from the group that it occupies in order for it to be used for something specific.  When you set something apart, you separate it from multiples of the same or from distinctly different items, in order for it to be utilized for a specific purpose.  Throughout Scripture, from tabernacle utensils to entire nations, from donkeys to kings, from fishermen to doctors, God reveals that He sets apart for His purposes.  Jesus Christ came into our world and set apart His followers, and He continues to do so today.  Christ followers are set apart for His service and they realize it.

The Apostle Paul knew that he was set apart by Jesus as told in his words:  ”Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God (Romans 1:1 ESV).”  You can read about the beginnings of Paul’s setting apart in the book of Acts of the Bible, in chapter 9.

Beloved, please know that you also have been set apart for the good news of God.  You are no longer your own.  You were bought by God.  The purchase price was more precious than money.  The purchase price was the blood of Jesus Christ the son of God.  Now you are no longer your own doing your own thing in a world that grows increasing out of step with the good news of God.  No, you are called and set apart by God to live and to share the good news through your actions and words. 

A set apart life is such an exciting life to live.  Our life is not our own.  We are living for Jesus and Jesus is living within us.  We are in this world, but we are not a part of this world.  We have been separated and set apart from this world for the good news of God!  Praise the Lord for His good news!  Praise the Lord for buying us back from sin with His blood and setting us apart!  Praise the Lord for His goodness, His mercy and His grace!

Be set apart, Beloved.  Be set apart for Christ.

Know that you are loved,
Posted by: Gregory A. Johnson AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 30 June 2011
The good news of God calls all people, regardless of race, to obedience that comes by faith.  Concerning Jesus, Paul says, ”through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-7 ESV) “

Sad to say today, people discriminate.  You find discrimination all around you.  It’s in the work place.  It’s in school.  It’s even in churches and denominations.  A big issue right now in America is immigration.  You may have very strong feelings on immigration.  Let me share a perspective with you that you may not have thought about.  America was founded as a Christian nation or a “good news of God” nation.    God has made it possible for people of all races to come to America to have opportunity to hear about God’s good news and to see it lived out by example.  They think they are coming for a better life.  God is bringing them and placing them next to you in the work place, in the school house, in the market place and in your neighborhood so that you can share the good news of God with them through your actions and through your words. 

May we never close down a door of opportunity that God has given us.  May we constantly be reminded by the Holy Spirit that there will be those from all nations around the throne of God, worshipping Him for all eternity.  It’s a dream that Martin Luther King had that has now become a reality to him around God’s throne.  Let’s pray and live as Jesus taught:  “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

I have a dream for Loving God Fellowship.  In that dream, I see people from all nations sitting together and worshipping God together in cities across America and around the world.  Not a racially segmented fellowship of people that love God and others, but a united fellowship of people that love God and people regardless of race.  You can help make that dream become reality in your city and where you live.

Know that you are loved,
Posted by: Reverend Gregory A. Johnson AT 09:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
It’s all about Jesus.  The Old Testament points to Jesus.  The sacrifices, the feasts, the tabernacle, the furniture in the tabernacle, the placement of the furniture in the tabernacle; everything points to Jesus.  Studying the types of Christ in the Old Testament is fascinating and faith building as the student sees God’s wonderful plan of redemption foretold in such detail.

Paul says “which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,  (Romans 1:2-4 ESV).”

This speaks of the humanity and the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He was both man and God; a concept that is hard for our feeble minds to understand, but a truth that we as believers receive by faith.  It took a man to stand in the gap for our sins, but the man had to be sinless.  God came into our world through Jesus Christ to be a sin sacrifice; a sinless offering for our sins.  Jesus was a descendant of David and was birthed through a virgin.  He was crucified as an innocent man.  He was resurrected the Son of God and being re-glorified, He was placed back at the right hand of the Father.

Beloved, the good news of God is that He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to take care of our sin problem.  God wants to spend eternity with us, but sin separated us from God.  At the cross, Jesus took our punishment for sin, which is death, so that we can have eternal life.  We are God’s inheritance and He longs to spend eternity with us.  Isn’t that good news?  That’s the good news of God!       

Know that you are loved,
Posted by: Reverend Gregory A. Johnson AT 10:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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