Just…What Now?

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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.

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Just…God’s Kindness.

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

In past weeks I shared with you the story of God’s plan for justice. And you have heard that we have justice by God’s free kindness. But you might still be confused. God’s plan might seem too good to be true. Other people have told you that nothing is free.

You are not alone. For thousands of years, people right here in this land, have thought that God’s love was difficult to earn. People believed that they must make sacrifices to earn God’s love. The Incas even made human sacrifices to earn God’s love. And yet, God gives His love as a free gift.

You do not have to pay anyone for forgiveness. You do not have to pay anyone—even a church—for God’s eternal peace and hope. God’s justice is not of this world. God has paid the price for the problems of this world. He gives you life, now and forever, as a gift.

It is hard to understand. But it is true. God saved us because of His great love for us. Jesus’ death has paid the price for our failures and sins. His resurrection proves it. Listen to how Paul describes God’s justice in his letter to the first Christians in the city of Ephesus. Paul writes:

You were once dead because of your failures and sins. You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God. All of us once lived among these people, and followed the desires of our corrupt nature. We did what our corrupt desires and thoughts wanted us to do. So, because of our nature, we deserved God’s anger just like everyone else.

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. God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do. (Ephesians 2:1-10 – GOD’S WORD Translation)

Listeners, how we respond to God’s free gift is up to us. We can reject God’s gift or we can live in the peace and hope He gives us. God wants to baptize us. By that, I mean that He wants to wash us. As our Father, He desires to wash us in His Son’s perfection and comfort us with His Holy Spirit. He wants to clean us from evil.

He wants justice.  Shall we reject His justice…His kind gift? I think not. Today, let us live in God’s kindness.

I’m Leon Smith


Just…a Resurrection.

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

It was a Sunday morning over 2000 years ago. Yet it changed history. It can also change your life today. A man called Jesus was said to have risen from the dead. Was it true?

Today, we look at the facts about Jesus resurrection. Did it happen? Last week I challenged you to try to disprove it. Could you do it?

If this were a case in court, we would need to look at the evidence.

First of all, was Jesus even dead? Death on a cross was almost certain. Roman soldiers would make sure of it otherwise, if not. Jesus was nearly beaten to death before being placed on the cross. Then both friends and enemies saw Jesus die. Next, a soldier speared him in the side, while his body was still on the cross, to make sure that Jesus was dead. Both blood and water flowed from his side. The separated fluids help to prove his death (John 19:31-34).

Doctors today agree (See: JAMA March 21, 1986—Vol 255, No. 11). Jesus was dead, and if not, he would have died in the tomb.

Next, did people know where Jesus was buried? Could his followers have looked in the wrong tomb?

Many people knew the location of his tomb. A member of the Jewish Council, Joseph, donated the use of his tomb. The place would have been well known. Jesus’ enemies wanted people to know that he was dead. They could have produced the body if there was a question about the death.

Could his body have been stolen? (Matthew 28:11-15) No, the tomb was sealed with a huge stone and Roman soldiers guarded it with their lives. They were professionals. If the body had been stolen, there would have been an investigation.

Are there other reasons to believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Yes.

Over the next 40 days, it is recorded that Jesus appeared alive to over 500 people. He even appeared to groups of people all at once.

Also, consider the rapid change in Jesus’ followers. Something incredible happened. Just before Jesus’ death, his followers were afraid to live for him. They ran away when soldiers captured him. Peter denied that he knew Jesus. Later—after the resurrection—the same followers, including Peter, changed. They were now willing to go to death for Jesus. Most of them died for their belief in Jesus and his resurrection.

People are willing to go to death for something they believe to be true. But people are not willing to go to death for a lie.

Finally, before Jesus’ death, he claimed that he would rise from the dead. No other man has made such a claim and then made it happen. If the resurrection did not happen, Jesus was a liar. Then he would be no different than any other religious leader: dead in the ground.

But the facts are strong, Jesus words were true. We can trust him. Our faith can be based on fact. He can provide justice. He can provide forgiveness. He can give us peace and hope. He can change the world. He can change you.

I believe it. So can you.

It’s a fact. Case closed.

I’m Leon Smith.


Just…Jesus.

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

Last week I talked about God having a plan of justice for you. It was a plan for the whole world. It was a plan that gave justice against evil. It was a plan of love and forgiveness. That plan was to send a savior.

Christians claim that Jesus was sent by God to save the world. If Jesus was God’s plan for justice, what should we know about him?

Both Christians and non-Christians agree that Jesus lived. There is no educated doubt that a man called Jesus walked the earth about 2000 years ago. But, if we look at the history of Jesus’ life here on earth, who was he? Was Jesus a simple religious leader? Was he a great teacher? Was he a liar? Was he a crazy man? Or, was he the Son of God?

According to historical documents, Jesus was the son of a Jewish girl named Mary. Both Muslim and Christian documents claim that He was miraculously conceived by God and born in Bethlehem. It was a little town in the Middle East that still exists today.

Jesus grew up in another town nearby called Nazareth, and it is reported that he lived a perfect life. He was without sin. When he was 30 years old, he began to teach and perform miracles (Luke 3:23). It is said that he healed the sick, fed the hungry and even cast out demons. Because of Jesus, lives were changed.

Jesus taught that God wants people to love Him first. Second, we are to love other people. We are not to worry about material things but to think about heavenly things. We are to walk humbly and live at peace.

Many people followed Jesus, but some people did not like him. The religious leaders were jealous of him. They were angry when he questioned their teachings. He taught with more authority than they did. He lived the way he taught.

When Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the Jewish leaders brought him to trial. It was a sin to claim to be the Son of God unless, of course, if it was true. The punishment for such a sin was death. The leaders led the people against Jesus. They brought him before the Roman ruler, Pilate, and wanted him condemned to death. Finally, the Roman ruler said the Jewish people could have their way with Jesus. After suffering beatings by Roman soldiers, Jesus died upon a cross. It was a Friday afternoon (John 18-19).

Jesus body was placed in a tomb…Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Three days passed on the Jewish calendar.

Today we have reports from Jewish, Roman, and Christian sources that something special took place on that Sunday morning. The tomb was empty. Jesus’ body has never been found. Christians claim he rose from the dead (Acts 2:22-24).

If Jesus rose from the dead, we need to study his teachings. If Jesus rose from the dead, we can have faith in our future. If Jesus rose from the dead, He can give us life; He can give us justice. He would be the Son of God.

But if Jesus did not come back to life, this message would have no meaning and Christian faith would have no meaning (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Here is a challenge for you. Try to disprove the resurrection this week. Let me know if you can. I base my life on it. I dare you.

I’m Leon Smith


Just…God’s Plan.

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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…the Bible.

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

In future “Just English” moments, I will continue to share the basics of justice with you from a special book: the Bible.

But if we are going to learn justice from the Bible, we need to believe that the Bible is worth studying. Why should we believe the Bible as opposed to any other book? In short, why should you trust the Bible?

Maybe you ask, “Why should we trust any book?”

Some books inform us with facts. Other books teach basic truths through stories. Some books are written simply for entertainment. Ultimately, books are a form of communication. To trust what is in a book, we must trust the book’s author.

The Bible is a unique book. It is the world’s best selling book. It has been translated into more languages than any other book in history. Actually, it is a collection of books. It includes facts of history, predictions of the future, poetry, songs, and letters. The Bible was not written by only one author. It was not simply a story made up by one or two ore even 12 people. In fact, over 40 authors wrote it over the span of 1500 years. Some authors were kings. Some authors were servants to kings. Some authors were religious experts. Other authors were simple fishermen or shepherds. Authors wrote parts of the Bible from three different continents – Asia, Africa, and Europe. Some books were written while the authors were traveling, other books are letters written from prison.

In the Bible, we can read about God’s creation of the world. We can also read about the problems of the world and God’s answer to the problems. The Bible covers almost all topics of human experience, from birth to death, from love to war. In it we can read about justice against evil. We can also read about how to find freedom, peace and hope. We can read about life and we can also read about what happens after death.

It is amazing that with all of the different topics, and books, and authors, the Bible is unified in its message.

In one of the Books in the Bible, a letter from Paul to Timothy, we read that, “Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval” (II Timothy 3:16 – GOD’S WORD Translation).

We can trust the authors of the Bible because they were led by God to write. And each author ultimately points to God as a God of justice and mercy. He sends a chosen one to fix the world—His son, Jesus.

As the author John, an eyewitness to the life of Jesus writes, “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 – GOD’S WORD Translation).

God communicates with his creation, he speaks to you and me through the Bible. He gives us His word and message of life as a gift.

We can trust the Bible because we can trust God.

I’m Leon Smith.