Jesus Christ’s ascension

John 14:1-6
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”  Thomas saith unto Him, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?”  Jesus saith unto Him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

John 16:5-16
“But now I go My way to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me, ‘Whither goest Thou?’  But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.  And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  …  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.  A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.”

Acts 1:1-11
… all that Jesus began both to do and teach,  Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen:  To whom also He shewed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:  And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but “wait for the promise of the Father, which,” saith He, “ye have heard of me.  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”  When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And He said unto them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His Own power.  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;  Which also said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

Colossians 3:1-4 
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.

2 Peter 3:3-4, 9, 13-15
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  And saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” … The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. … Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…

Being called a “Christian”

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes,
That’s why I chose this Way.”  (John 14:6, Luke 19:10)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I don’t speak with human pride;
I’m confessing that I stumble –
needing God to be my guide.  (Luke 1:78-79, Proverbs 4:11-12)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak,
and pray for strength to carry on.  (Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not bragging of success –
I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt.  (Isaiah 64:6-8, Isaiah 53:3-7, 1 Corinthians 6:20, Romans 6:23)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I don’t think I know it all.
I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught.  (Luke 10:38-42, Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 2:1-11)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not claiming to be perfect:
My flaws are far too visible,
but God believes I’m worth it.  (Psalm 14:2-3, John 3:16)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I still feel the sting of pain;
I have my share of heartache,
which is why I seek God’s Name.  (Psalm 73:25-26, Psalm 105:3)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I do not wish to judge.
I have no authority,
I only know I’m loved.  (John 3:16, 1 John 3:1)

~ Carol Wimmer (1988) ~

Additional verses (author unknown):

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I am not shouting that “I am clean living”…
I’m whispering, “I was lost,
but now I’m found and forgiven.”  (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14)

When I say, “I am a Christian,”
I’m not “holier than thou” –
I’m just a simple sinner
who received God’s good grace, somehow!  (Ephesians 2:7-8)

Here I go again

Father, hear my prayer:  I need the perfect words.
Words that he will hear and know they’re straight from You.
I don’t know what to say;  I only know it hurts
to see my only friend slowly fade away…

So maybe this time I’ll speak the words of Life with Your fire in my eyes.
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words:  What am I so afraid of?

‘Cause here I go again – talking about the rain
and mulling over things that won’t live past today
And as I dance around the Truth, time is not his friend,
This might be my last chance to tell him that You love him,
But here I go again, here I go again

Lord, You love him so, You gave Your only Son
If he will just believe; he will never die!
But how then will he know what he has never heard,
Lord he has never seen mirrored in my life?

So maybe this time I’ll speak the words of Life with Your fire in my eyes.
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words:  What am I so afraid of?

Chorus

~ Performed & written by:  Casting Crowns ~

“Here I Go Again” encourages believers to overcome their fear of sharing the gospel…”
http://www.cbn.com/cbnmusic/reviews/ayers_CastingCrowns.aspx

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Mark 16:15
“And He said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

John 8:31-32
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”

John 14:6
“Jesus saith unto him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

Revelation 12:11
“And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Life-giving Blood

Jesus, my King – how can it be so
that You Who created the wonders I know
would live as a man and yet suffer no loss –
then pour out Your Life on the sin-stained Cross!

Life-giving Blood poured on the earth
Eternal Blood with eternal worth!
Calling the dust to eternal birth –
Life-giving Blood, Life-giving Blood of God!

Sweet holy Lamb – how worthy You are
of all adoration, how worthy You are!
You’ve purchased our souls with a marvelous price,
and You’ve given us life, who were once dead, twice!

Chorus

O, Life-giving Blood, I always will praise
the virtue within You that cleanses my ways
from evil destruction that call me to hell
to Jesus within me – Emmanuel!

Chorus

~ Bob Brogan ~

Four days late

The news came to Jesus:  “Please come fast –
Lazarus is sick and without Your help, he will not last…”
Mary and Martha watched their brother die.
They waited for Jesus;  He did not come and they wondered why.

The death-watch was over:  buried four days…
Somebody said, “He’ll soon be here, the LORD’s on His way!”
Martha ran to Him and then she cried,
“LORD, if You had been here You could have healed him, he’d still be alive…

“But You’re four days late and all hope is gone;
LORD, we don’t understand why You’ve waited so long!”
But His way is God’s way, not yours or mine:
When He’s four days late, He’s still on time…

Jesus said, “Martha, show me the grave.”
But she said, “LORD, You don’t understand – He’s been there four days!”
The grave’s stone was rolled back, then Jesus cried:
“Lazarus, come forth!”  Then somebody said, “He’s alive, he’s alive!”

You may be fighting a battle of fear.
You’ve cried to the LORD, “I need You now!” but He has not appeared…
Friend, don’t be discouraged – He’s still the same:
He’ll soon be here, He’ll roll back the stone and He’ll call out your name!

When He’s four days late and all hope is gone,
LORD, we don’t understand why You’ve waited so long!
But His way is God’s way, not yours or mine:

(Isn’t it great – )
When He’s four days late, He’s still on time…

~ Written by:  Aaron Wilburn

~ Scripture reference:  John 11

Tamara Lowe’s 1½ minute rap at Christian Fellowship

To be a survivor in this Amazing Race
with the need for speed,
you need God’s Grace.
And if you’re desperate like housewives
watching Days of Our Lives,
you can’t cope without hope
(and that’s not on a soap).
If you’re looking to Oprah or Dr. Phil,
you can shop non-stop or pop a pill,
but the void won’t fill
and the pain won’t kill
until you love the One that hung on a hill.

Kicking back in your lazy boy easy chair
watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,
Nah, you’re not gonna find it there!
No American Idol or Council Tribal
has the final answer that will satisfy ya.
C. S. I. ain’t got a clue.
S.V.U. don’t know what to do.
Not the E.R. or the O.C.,
nothing on a CD, TV, DVD or MP3 can save you and me.
CNN has got no Good News
here’s the headline:  you must choose.

It’s not a simple life Paris Hilton,
It’s treading on thin ice living in sin.
You can be an apprentice for Donald Trump
or eat Fear Factor fast food from a dump.
You can be a heavy hitter
or “Wheel of Fortune” winner
or a Fox News no spin spinner
or flat sinner,
but you better check this life that your livin’
and make sure your sins are forgiven.

I bet ya 50 cent Elvis done come and went,
and eventually every Black-eyed-pea, Gwen Stefani, P-Diddy and Britney,
Every wanna-be on M.T.V.
with their Icy Bling,
every Dixie Chick that sings –
they’re all gonna see the King of kings.
I don’t care if you’re J-Lo, Leno or Bono.
One thing you gotta know:
some day your gonna die, Bro.
Then, where are you gonna go?

Hey, I’m not talking some punk junk that is irrelevant
like your Grandma’s church from way back when.
It’s not some preacher feature on T.B.N.
that you need to be liking or listening.
The real superstar is Jesus Christ.
He’s the Way, the Truth and the Life.
One day He’s gonna split the sky.
He is the brightest Light and the highest High.

So what I came to say and what I’m telling you
is don’t buy that stupid stuff they be selling ya –
It’s all designed to fill your head
and waste your space until you’re dead.

Here’s the bottom line of my rhyme:
Give your life to God
while there is still time.

~ Tamara Lowe