End TImes

one way road sign

One Way

As I read Mark 8:34 today, I remembered how painful it was for me to “give up your own way.” In the beginning, and for many years this choice was a great battle for me. I have an occasional skirmish all these years later, for Jesus’ demand remains unaltered.

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your way, take up your cross, and follow me. Mark 8 34

One Way

How I love to get my way, striving to be who I want to be. But, if I choose selfishly, I surrender what is right and perfect for what is dull and mundane.
Indeed, the most important thing I can do is be filled with the Holy Spirit, overflowing with the presence of God. When God is freely alive in me, His love spreads to those around me.

16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?

17 You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.2 Corinthians 2:16–17

Only One Right Way

Indeed, our cross will glorify Jesus, condemn the lost, and be a refreshment to the saved. Shouldn’t we choose the right instead of the good? We can do many good things, but only the right thing allows us to take up our cross.

Image by Christopher Strolia-Davis from Pixabay


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fisherman's net

One fish, Two fish, Good fish, Bad fish

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad.”

Matthew 13:47-48

In this passage of Scripture, Jesus is speaking about the End-Times judgment. The first question that I see from what Jesus said is, “How do you and I know if we are ‘good fish’?” Thankfully, the Holy Spirit provides us with ample promises in the Scriptures for us to know. For example, “The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” 1 John 3:24

Wide Net

Thankfully, the Church casts a wide net and draws into itself both true believers and believers in name only. It is the responsibility of the ordained leadership to deal with false Christians within the Church. This is an aspect of church governance.

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Acts 20:28

Church Governance

Great harm can be done to new, weak, or wayward Christians when the laity (the folks in the pews) assumes the role of church governance by taking it upon themselves to confront a person they’ve discerned as a ‘bad fish’ within their fellowship. By this, I don’t mean to imply that the laity is to take a “see no evil” attitude, but we all should operate within our commissioning within our church. “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. (Romans 14:1)”

The Church has a long history of “killing” its wounded. It takes divine discernment for each of us to distinguish between a weak Christian and a person that remains “of this world.” Thankfully, when the Church functions as Jesus intends, then the whole Church is blessed.

Photo by Eric BARBEAU on Unsplash


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