>What Does It Mean To "Accept Jesus"?

>The following post is from RAY ORTLUhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1581344503&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrND. Regardless how you think about the phrase “accept Jesus”, the point Ortland makes is crucial. Between easy-believism, easy “invitations,” sloppy presentations of what is supposedly the gospel (little if any mention of our depravity, little mention of sin, void of repentance) ; it is vital to think carefully about the point Ortland makes:

You and I are not integrated, unified, whole persons. Our hearts are multi-divided. There is a board room in every heart. Big table. Leather chairs. Coffee. Bottled water. Whiteboard. A committee sits around the table. There is the social self, the private self, the work self, the sexual self, the recreational self, the religious self, and others. The committee is arguing and debating and voting. Constantly agitated and upset. Rarely can they come to a unanimous, wholehearted decision. We tell ourselves we’re this way because we’re so busy with so many responsibilities. The truth is, we’re just divided, unfocused, hesitant, unfree.

That kind of person can “accept Jesus” in either of two ways.

One way is to invite him onto the committee. Give him a vote too. But then he becomes just one more complication.

The other way to “accept Jesus” is to say to him, “My life isn’t working. Please come in and fire my committee, every last one of them. I hand myself over to you. Please run my whole life for me.”  That is not complication; that is salvation.

“Accepting Jesus” is not just adding Jesus. It is also subtracting the idols.

>Can’t Get Too Much of This!

>http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1581347820&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“The gospel, in brief, is the good news about the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment that the eternal Son of God relinquished the glories of heaven to become a man, a human being like you and me. He lived a perfect and sinless life (unlike you and me), fulfilling every requirement of God’s holy law in a way we could never hope to accomplish. And then in a glorious display of God’s love for sinners like us, he willingly received the full fury of God’s righteous wrath against sin by dying for our sins on a cruel Roman cross.

Because God’s absolute and perfect holiness demands an equivalent holiness from all who come before him, in ourselves we are hopelessly lost and condemned. But Jesus, who had no sin of his won to pay for, took our place, paid our penalty, and suffered our punishment. Because his death as our substitute was perfectly sufficient to pay for our sin, God vindicated him by raising him from the dead. So now all who place their trust in Jesus’ work on their behalf and turn from their sin will be forgiven, counted righteous in him, and saved from judgment for all eternity . . . all by God’s marvelous grace. This is the gospel. This is the good news. Better news simply does not exist!”

– Gary & Betsy Ricucci (Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace)

>In What Does the Lord Take Pleasure?


Okay, okay, I’m out of adjectives. But I was slapped across the face this morning during my (pretty) regular morning-time-in-the-Word.

Psalm 149.4  For the Lord takes pleasure in His people
I won’t add to this…I’ll just ask a question or two…
Do you feel a bit defeated, discouraged, distant? Inadequate, insecure, ineffective? Failing, fatigued, faulty? Unloved, unappreciated, un-used? Grumpy, grouchy, growling?
the Lord takes pleasure in You
I said I wouldn’t add a comment, but…
I have four children ranging in age from 25 to 7…they (like I) often do dumb things, don’t do right things, and disappoint, disturb, and derange me…but I love them, am on their side, and take pleasure in them.
And I’m just a dummy (I hear the choruses of “amen!”).
Our Abba, our heavenly Father, “takes pleasure in us.” And, as is His love, so is His pleasure…He does not love us “if” or “when” or “because”…He loves us with an everlasting love…and that is rather neat.

>What’s The State of Your Union?

>Chris Tomlinson, a graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy and the UCLA Anderson School of Business, is a businessman and writer who desires to see people realize the beauty and joy of knowing Jesus. He blogs regularly HERE 

This is Tomlinson’s (not to be confused with worship guy Chris Tomlin) provoking “state of my union”:http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0736926933&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

The state of my union is not that good. I don’t think you’re supposed to say that sort of thing, but it’s true, so I guess it’s worth saying.
I’m not talking about our country, which remains strong despite its many issues. And I’m not talking about my marriage, which is still my greatest earthly delight.  The union I’m talking about is the union that matters most:  my union with Christ.
The struggle I face today is the cavern that exists between what I know and what I live. I say that Jesus is the greatest satisfaction to our soul’s deepest cravings, and I believe this deeply.  But I’m not living in the embrace of this reality today. There are just far too many concerns on my heart. I tell myself this is simply a busy season of life, and this will all soon pass, and I’ll be able to reconnect with God once more before long.
But tomorrow is never the best day to commit to the Lord. James wrote that we “do not know what tomorrow will bring,” and he’s right. Today is always the best day to abide in Christ.
The state of my union is not Jesus’ fault—His faithfulness has never wavered. I suppose I could get down on myself, working to summon the motivation to go and make our relationship right again.  But this kind of striving never produces lasting results. I know that we’re supposed to work out our salvation, but it’s telling that Jesus’ teachings on the vine and the branch in John 15 are that we should remain in Him.
Remaining means we were there in the first place. “You did not choose me, but I chose you [to] go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (John 15:16). Just as it is the vine which first produces the union with the branch, so too it is Christ who brings us to Himself as we first become new creations. His command is to then remain in Him. This is what I have been failing to do, and it’s something I’ve now confessed to God.
Whenever our nation’s leaders talk about the State of our Union, they generally express great resolve and optimism, no matter what the state of our country is in.  And despite the state of my union today, I also have great hope. I don’t have this hope because of my own resolve. I have this hope because of the greatness of my God.
God bless me, in spite of my wandering heart, for His glory. And God bless you as well as you strengthen your union with Christ by remaining in Him.

Question: What is the state of your union?

>Reflection Builds Strength

>I force myself to read the Bible slowly in an effort not to miss anything.

For instance,

Psalm 62 (ESV)

1) For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
2) He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortrss; I shall not be greatly shaken.

5) For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.
6) He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

Notice the difference between verse 2 and verse 6?

Verse 2 says “greatly shaken,” verse 6 drops the “greatly.”

Verse 2 implies, “yeah, I may get shook up, but not too badly!”

Verse 6 states “I will not be shaken…period.”

Focusing thought/prayer (over the years I have grown convinced that, for the active pursuer of God, one’s thought life is a huge part of one’s prayer life) on God takes the psalmist from “greatly shaken” to “un-shaken.”

Lesson? Don’t focus on problem, focus on Jesus.

>War is More Than Statistics

>I had the honor of serving with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam (’68-’69). Today marks the anniversary of the “official” end of the war as the Paris peace accords were signed January 27, 1973.

As in any war, statistics are carefully kept as to how many died, but statistics don’t have faces, nor can they tell stories.

The following video tells a story:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9001213&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1MSNBC – Vietnam War Photo from Family First on Vimeo.

>Pray for the Tebo Ad



As you (hopefully) know, Tim Tebow is to be featured in a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl. Planned Deathhood and its cohorts are in a fury over this “free speech”…pray, even as you watch this video, that the enemies don’t get the ad bumped, and that this controversy causes more ‘choice’ people to pay attention to the ad and have their hearts turned…