Just…What Now?

**Click here to listen to the audio version.

Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

For the past several weeks I have talked about God’s plan for justice.  His message is important. Did you hear it?  It can change your life.  It changed mine.

Again, let me summarize.  The plan for justice is written in the Bible – a very special book.  We needed God’s plan because humans became sinful.  We broke the relationship with the God of life.  People chose separation from God.  People chose sin and death.   God deserved justice.  Yet, He fixed the relationship.  He chose life for us.  He sent His son, Jesus, to pay the price for sin and guilt.  By Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know the plan worked.  We can have hope.  We can have peace.  We are forgiven.  Rejoice!  By God’s great kindness, through faith in Jesus we are saved for life with Him (Ephesians 2:8).

But, now what?  If you and I are saved by God’s kindness what are we to do now?  Should we sin some more?  That would not honor God.  Should we sit and wait for God?  There must be a better idea. Should we get up and celebrate?  Maybe.

God gives us things to do.  First, God tells us to come together in His presence.  We are to worship him.  He tells us talk with Him.  We are to pray.  He tells us to pray for more workers. He sends us to serve.  He wants us to love others.  He says to tell others the Good News about Jesus.  He says to make him followers from all nations.  He says to teach and to baptize. He says to heal the sick.  He says to comfort those who grieve.  He says to feed the poor.  He says to defend the fatherless.  Yes, God’s people are to be God’s ambassadors.

But, never fear.  God tells us that we will not be alone.  He will send a person to help us.  And, God does not send just any person.  He sends His third person, the Holy Spirit.  This Holy Spirit helps us to understand God’s Word.  And, the Spirit helps us to live with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  The Holy Spirit gives gifts that help people to know God.

So, if you are wondering what to do today, it is time to get off your chair.  It is time to become God’s ambassador.  It is time to spread the Good News of Jesus here in Huanuco, Peru.  Up to the mountains, down into the jungle.  From Lima to La Paz, from Santiago to Quito, from Jerusalem to your heart it is time to spread the love of God.

That is “what now.”  You have a purpose.  You are an ambassador.  You have great value to God.

I’m Leon Smith.

Just…God’s Plan.

**Click Here to Listen to Audio Version**

Greetings my English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Last week I talked about a difficult theme. Our topic was what went wrong with the world: sin and the result, death. This week, I want to fill you with peace and hope.

There are problems with our world. But as we read in the Bible, God is not only just. We don’t only have to fear Him. Also, God is love. (I John 4:8). And God has a plan for us.

Our problem is that we are not perfect. You might say, we are slaves to sin. Our relationship with God is broken because of sin. We are guilty. And yet we try to reach God. For all of history, people have made sacrifices to try to make God happy. But the sacrifices aren’t perfect. And God wants perfect justice.

Never fear, God has a plan.

God’s plan can be found in the Bible. “God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus, God’s son, was the chosen one: the Christ. He filled both justice and love.

In Paul’s letter to the people in Ephesus, we read, “But God is rich in mercy because of his great love for us. We were dead because of our failures, but he made us alive together with Christ. (It is God’s kindness that saved you.) God has brought us back to life together with Christ Jesus and has given us a position in heaven with him. He did this through Christ Jesus out of his generosity to us in order to show his extremely rich kindness in the world to come. God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it” (Ephesians 2:4-9).

Brothers and sisters, we can have peace and hope in Jesus. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Are you guilty from sin? Do you fear the justice of God? The time has come. Change the way you think and act. Believe the Good News about Jesus. God who is faithful and just will forgive your sins. He will clean you from every evil.

You might say that you do not deserve this. True. None of us deserve God’s love. But you are of great value to God. He created you. He cares for you. And he has paid the price for your sin.

The problems of this world are not forever. People live on this planet for a small time, no more than 120 years. Life on earth is short. However, life with God can be forever. You can have eternal life. In Jesus, God has a plan for you.

I’m Leon Smith

Just…Why do bad things happen?

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Greetings English speaking friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

This week, I want to talk about why bad things happen.

There are so many bad things happening in our world: corruption, terrorism, drug trafficking, war, abuse. What is wrong with the world?

Many people believe that humans are basically good. Maybe you believe that. Maybe you can’t believe that real evil exists in this world.

But if people are basically good, why do so many bad things happen? Why are children abused? Why are there wars? Why are there corrupt governments? Why do people go without food? Why do people die?

Maybe people are not good.

When a newspaper posed the question, ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’ the Christian thinker G. K. Chesterton responded:

“Dear Sirs:
I am.
Sincerely Yours,
G. K. Chesterton.”

This great thinker realized that deep within himself, he was not good.

Think about yourself. Are you a good person? Be honest. Are you perfect? Nobody is perfect. But are you good?

You might want to be good. You might not have murdered somebody but, have you ever hurt another person’s reputation? You might not have ever committed adultery, but have you ever wished you had someone else’s spouse? You might not have stolen but, are you jealous of other people’s things? Do you think about others before yourself? Most people think about themselves first. Are you patient? Be honest. Are you loving? Be honest.

Deep down, we are not good.

How did we get this way?

In the beginning, when God first created humans, people were good. (Genesis 1:26-31) At that time, humans did not need justice. All of life was good. God, a loving God, gave humans true freedom. God gave humans the option to reject Him – He gave them choice. God didn’t create robots. He wanted real relationships with humans. And real relationships cannot happen without freedom. But, as I have said before, with freedom comes with responsibility.

Unfortunately, something went wrong. People were tempted by evil. Humans took advantage of their freedom. They decided to reject God and follow their own ways. They broke the relationship with their creator. They went away from their God. They went off target. We call that sin. People sinned. (Genesis 3)

Then and now, sin is the source of problems in our world. But we should not point at others. We all do things wrong because we are all sinful people. The Bible says, “…There is no difference between people. Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God’s glory,” (Romans 6:23).

Ultimately, death is caused by sin.

God is life. And He is a God of justice. Sin breaks our relationship with the God of life and death occurs.

However, “The Lord loves justice, and he will not abandon his godly ones…” (Psalm 37:28). God is not only a God of justice. He is a God of love. God is faithful and forgives our sin. His son suffers death in our place. (John 3:16) Because of Jesus, we can be good.

God has a plan.

I’m Leon Smith.