tick, tock, tick, tock…


Every second which passes by you and your family is gone for good. There is no getting it back and it can’t be recovered in any fashion by any means. So…why do we allow the time that we do have to slip from our grasp with impunity? It seems that work and life, in general, gets in the way or just takes up our time as we live it second by second.

Telling your wife or husband “I love you” gets pushed away at times because of other pressing matters such as work and time taking care of the yard or the dishes or some other “busy work”. Then, when it comes to the end of the life of our significant other, we want to run time back so we can have more time to do those things which they enjoyed.

You never know when your life or mine or your wife or child will be taken from this life, so make sure that you spend time with them, love them and tell them so. Make sure that you know Jesus and that your family does too because you don’t want to spend eternity in Heaven knowing that they aren’t there.

Time slips by one second at a time and I began this post 24 hours ago! Those are hours which none of us will ever see again. What you did last night or yesterday is in the past, but God knows what you said and what you did with those minutes and hours. Life is precious and so is the time that we have to spend in it so don’t waste it…ever! Cherish those around you and enjoy the time that you have with them because when it is gone, you can’t get it back.

God loves each of us which is why He came in the flesh of man to redeem us from sin and its sentence in our lives bringing death to all who don’t repent. Jesus, the Son of God and second in the Trinity, came to bring a sinless man to the cross and die for all of mankind which paid the price for all. No amount of work or gifts to the church will help in your salvation, only by accepting Jesus as your Savior and giving up your old life can you be saved from an eternity in hell.

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A child’s story


There was a young child many years ago who was in kindergarten. He didn’t know much about the world around him except that Mom and Dad loved him. He went to school and played with his friends and went to stay with one of his mom’s friends until she got out of her classes in the afternoon. Life went on like this for a while and not much changed until one fall when his Dad came over before his Mom did and he saw Daddy kiss the woman who was keeping him.

Still too young to understand or even comprehend what was happening, he just shrugged it off. For years it never entered his mind until the memory surfaced when he was old enough to put the pieces of the puzzle in his mind together. From that point on he carried anger along with him. Not the kind you see in movies which causes a lot of pain but the kind that you bury inside. Where it festers like a splinter that you can’t remove. At some point in his later teens, he wanted to die but he couldn’t bring himself to the point of suicide, although through drunkenness, he did come close at least once.

Even though he managed to drive home many nights after attending a football game, most of those nights he was drunk or at least buzzed to the point of not walking very good. Thankfully, his grandmother was praying for him and that very prayer was the reason that he didn’t kill himself on a road somewhere.

That child was me.

In many ways, we are all like children even as we get older. We add years to our life but the child is still inside us. We leave home, go to school, get a job, maybe get married one day, but we are still seeking a mother or a father in some way. Someone who can show us how to be the person that we never learned how to be. Some of you can relate, if you were a part of a home which was broken or in some way detached from being “normal” with both parents in a loving home.

I am not telling you this to show how broken my life was, just that my early life and my teenage years weren’t what they should’ve been. This is not who I am today because I do have a father in Heaven and He is my Savior. I never had a chance to know my biological father so I really don’t know if he is in Heaven or not.

To get to the point of this side trip into my life I will tell you this: God LOVES you with the deepest, most profound love that you can imagine.

Remember these verses in John: “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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

The love of God for all of humanity is such that He made our world perfect for our life and for everything that is needed for us to live. The right temperature and the right mixture of gases in our atmosphere as well as the fertile ground where our food can grow and the animals and fish and all of the other life on our planet. God did this not because He had to but because He wanted to. Life is not an accident or an evolution of chemicals and other adaptations to be more complex.

The universe doesn’t work that way. Entropy doesn’t go from simple to complex, it goes the other way. That is easy to see when you find an old implement in the field. A saw blade will continue to rust away into a red powder, iron oxide until the entire thing is gone. Now, what does this have to do with the child who started this story? LOVE

Without the love of God and the effect that it had on him and his life, he (I) wouldn’t be speaking to you today. I would never have gone down the pathways which God guided me toward to get to this place. I did take a few detours and ran off on my own path a few times but when God has a plan for your life, He will bring it to be…to fit His purpose for His Kingdom. It may take some time, but eventually, your path will intersect with His intended path for you and when that happens, hopefully,ourlovingsavior your Spiritual eyes will recognize where you are and where you should be.

Our new Life


Each of us sees life in a different way. Some see it as a burden and a hard toil to get through each day. To others, it is a joy to be grateful for and one which is given to each of us by God, regardless of the burden that they bear during their journey through it. Still, others see life as a challenge or even a time for play or even as work for some goal which they have in their life. Goals are great because they give us something to strive for, to work toward in our daily walk through life but it is the type of goals and our own character which is reflected in our walk which others see.

Jesus said that there would always be poor people with us but He meant those who are poor in spirit, not necessarily those without money enough to get by. The apostle Paul said that his goal was to attain the high calling of Jesus Christ. In truth, all Christians should be striving toward that goal like Paul and yet many see their salvation as just a ticket to escape hell and enter Heaven…nothing more.

We are to use our salvation as a platform to go and tell the world about our Savior. We are not to be sitting in a pew in church just for the attention or for the food but for the instruction of the Word and for growth in grace so that we can go and tell others about what Jesus has done for us! Attending church on holidays or for special occasions is great but if that is the only time that you attend church then your life with Jesus is lacking a true relationship. Even Satan attends church more than that!

God gave a part of Himself, His only Son, to redeem the sin in humanity. It is offered to all and it is available to all but many will not accept it. His Life was given for all and yet so many refuse to either believe in Him at all or they don’t want the salvation which comes with a price. That price is not for things which we have to do to attain salvation but it is the price of living as a follower of Jesus Christ. If your salvation is real and you have truly accepted Him as your Savior, being changed in your heart to become a new creation, then you should learn to walk with Him daily. This is what many don’t want because they don’t want to give up their so-called “normal” lives.

Jesus said that we would have to “take up your cross and follow me”, He didn’t mean that we were going to be crucified but we would have to crucify our old way of life so that we could successfully follow Him daily. This action on our part is not our work toward salvation it is our duty because of what He has given to us freely! We can’t earn our salvation because the price was paid by Him, all we need to do is accept the gift of salvation and walk in the newness of the Life we have been given!FB_IMG_1521382243378

 

Vanity and pride


The two most destructive and seductive sins in the world are vanity and pride. Why? Because they are tied together and they form the foundation for almost all sins in our world today. These two are also responsible for Lucifer’s sin and his rebellion against God’s authority above all. You would think that writing about these might be easy, but it really isn’t. Because I don’t wish to offend my followers nor anyone else who might come upon this site.

These two emotions cause sinful feelings toward oneself and toward others because they tend to make us feel more important than we really are. The problem with that is when we consider those feelings of superiority to others, Satan comes to us and we begin to believe that we truly are better or more important. This is not a phenomenon which affects us before we become Christians it also affects our church leadership sometimes.

Can these be overcome? Yes, with much Bible study and prayer hopefully before these feelings get out of hand in your life or in the life of someone you know or love. God has a plan for each of us and if we don’t seek out that plan through the study of His Word and prayer, then we won’t know what that plan may be. The sins of vanity and pride are such that they have brought down rulers of many kingdoms in the past and they bring the careers of many today to a halt.

Learning about God’s love for us through His Word and by studying it is the only real way to know what His Will for your life is. Prayer along with that study keeps us in contact with God, not only at the time of our study, but all during our daily life walking with Him.

While it is true that there is a good type of pride there is also a pride which leads to destruction which is where vanity comes in. Essentially, vanity and pride are two different sides of the same coin. They aren’t separate just different. Like light and dark, one is the presence of light and the other is the absence of it. You can’t make a dark lamp because light drives away the darkness. Pride in your accomplishments or your children’s accomplishments is fine but when you think of yourself or of your child as being better than others then you are straying into the vain area of pride.

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Pride goes before a fall. God has given us a glimpse of His Wisdom in our Bibles, His Word which we have access to in our world today, don’t ignore it or turn away from it. Because God loves you more dearly than you can imagine and it is in your best interest that He has placed the knowledge needed for your life and mine in His Word. All you should do in this life is covered there so learn from it and seek Him while you read it. Amen.

Grace


His grace is an extension of benevolence translated into action that releases His enabling power into our lives.

Seeing that we can never merit His favor, we are indebted to Him to extend to us His mercy and bestow upon us His grace whereby we may respond to Him in an acceptable manner. From beginning to end we are dependent upon Him, for life itself, for all sustenance by which we continue to live and have our existence, and most importantly for our spiritual life without which we are but the “living dead”.

God extends His grace to us each day, yet many don’t perceive it nor even care that it is available. Jesus died and rose again to give us the grace and the hope of Heaven and eternity along with forgiveness from the Father. So why are so many churches today closing their doors? Because of the time in which we live, that’s why. This time frame in which we are all living right now is just prior to the Tribulation but the church and the Holy Spirit will be taken from the Earth before that.

God will still work in the hearts of mankind during the Tribulation but it will be much harder to give your heart to Him because if you aren’t serving the person who is in power at the time, there will be consequences. How long in coming will this be? I have no idea. Even Jesus said to His disciples that that day or hour is only known by God.

There have been many people in the past and right up until recently who thought they knew the day or the hour but they were mistaken. We can’t know the mind of God or His timing but there will be no mistake when the church is taken up to Heaven. Make sure that you are a part of that company and not one of those left behind.

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Pain and healing


God is with you in all of your struggles, no matter what may be going on. I know that there are many people who are hurting in many different ways today. Some because of the loss of a loved one, some because of health issues, many because of the lack of food and other things. So…why is it so hard for people in the church, regardless of denomination, to help those in need? I know that many churches do have programs and monies given to charities as well as food banks and other charitable functions, but the number of those doing this is small compared to the actual need that is out there.

The church, the body of Christ on Earth, is responsible for those who need His presence in their lives. Whether it is by food or medicine or whatever it may be, those in need truly need us to be Christ to them. After all, we may be the only representative of Jesus that they ever see in this world.

While it is true that some pain is useful to bring our faith up to a level which we can be more useful to God’s purposes, He doesn’t cause the pain but allows it just as He did with the prophet Job. Job faithfully served God in all of his work and yet the Accuser challenged God in this saying that “he will curse you” if you will allow me to afflict him. Satan could not touch Job without God’s permission as He had placed a hedge about him because of his service to God in being a priest for his family.

Our purpose as Christians is to be priests in the world wherever we may serve. In the boardroom or in hospitals or police stations or whatever job that we hold, we are to be His light in those places. While it is true that today showing your faith in God can get you fired from your job, if that happens then God will place you in a place where you can do His will in that place.

God’s will for each of us cannot be stopped or thwarted by Satan or by anyone else, if God has ordained that you should be His representative in a place then that is where you will be. If He calls you to be an evangelist or a pastor then whether you refuse the calling at first or not, it will come to pass in time when you realize that your running from His call will avail you an escape from it!

In my past, I felt the call to become a minister long before I surrendered to that calling, but I decided that I wasn’t ready for it. The thing which I didn’t know at the time was that my decision of readiness wasn’t mine to make…the call had been made and it wouldn’t be revoked. The only time that God ever repented of anything was in creating mankind, because of their evil and wickedness, yet He still saved a remnant on the ark. God’s call on the church to be what He intended hasn’t been rescinded in two thousand years and it won’t be until He calls us to immortality and we are bound for Heaven.

No boundaries


In the world today there are borders which are not visible on the ground which separate nations from each other. But there is no boundary between us and God Himself, at least not anymore. When Jesus said that “It is finished” on the cross the curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies ripped from top to bottom. This didn’t happen because of an earthquake or by someone cutting it but because of the Holy Spirit giving access to God’s mercy seat.

Why did this happen? Because the sinless Lamb of God had died and paid the price for all of mankind, not just a few people but for all who had lived and died in the past, the present and in the future where we are today! God’s love doesn’t have any boundaries, regardless of the rhetoric that we hear in the world. His love is such that He gave a part of Himself, His Son, to pay for all of our sins so that we can have access to Heaven and to Him. Nobody else would do that!

The question for us today is this: Do you set boundaries in your life where God is NOT welcome? If you do then you are limiting His work in your life and through you for the world around you. God loves each of us and He will draw each of us to Him when we feel the conviction of our sinful ways. That conviction comes through the Holy Spirit and each time that you feel it, if you have pushed it away or ignored it, it will get a little bit weaker and not quite as loud. Until one day, you may not feel it or hear it at all.

Don’t push Him away. Listen for His call on your life because it doesn’t matter what you may have done in the past, God is willing to forgive and take you into His family. Paul and Moses had both committed murder, yet God used them in mighty ways! Your life can be a witness to others who may believe wrongly that they can’t be saved, but they can be if they are willing to repent of their sins and follow Jesus.

The Bible is God’s Word and it is not just some old dusty book written by a bunch of old men! It is the Living Word! The Bible is a testament of God’s love for us and it is the tangible representation of the Son of God that we have today. John called Him the Living Word and that is what the Bible is as well. Each person who reads it gets a different message from the same passages because He speaks to each of us differently.

Don’t turn away from Him or the study of His Word because it is the mind of God which was given to us for instruction and training and for wisdom in this life! There is no education in the world which contains the wisdom in this Book except maybe a few seminaries where future pastors are trained. God loves us and He is coming back soon, so be watchful and be praying for those who haven’t given their lives to Jesus.

Today…


For those of us in America, today is Mother’s Day and it was celebrated in most churches this morning.

Mother’s do an amazing job of being much more than just a wife or a mother. They are teachers, housekeepers, taxi drivers, coaches, nurses, chefs, gardeners, and so much more. Do they do all of these jobs? Yes, many of them perform all of these jobs during the school year and every day during the summer too. When do they find the time for themselves? Most of them make the time in small increments…a little bit here or there.

The time which they give to themselves is tiny compared to the time that they give to their children and family, but they manage it in stride usually without missing a beat. God gave women a remarkable amount of strength and fortitude and so many talents until many of them are overflowing with it. Mom’s are the original multi-taskers and they have been doing it for a long, long time!

God shows much of His ability and love through the actions and the abilities of our mothers because that is how we perceive Him and get a small glimpse of His love for us. For many of us, our mother’s love may be the only human manifestation of God’s Love that we feel during our life. Many fathers are too busy or maybe they were raised to not show their emotions to others.

I could tell that my Dad loved me when we were together, but he rarely said so. My grandfather wasn’t so open with his feelings either but I could tell that he loved me and was proud of me. God loves each of us more deeply than we can understand or know until we are in His presence. Yet, God’s love is evident in the Bible because of all of the things which He has done for the world even if most of the world doesn’t love Him or follow Him. God still cares for us which is why He sent Jesus to die on a cross and rise again…just so we could have a hope of eternity!

His love is deeper and wider than we can know until we are with Him, so make sure of your salvation while there is time. Life is short, eternity is not, so make sure of where you will spend it.

 

God’s Love


God’s love is more than we can believe or understand and that is why we have so much trouble believing. Even when you read the “Love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, most of us think this is referring to love that we have toward each other. In reality, it is a human description of God’s Love for us. Why do I call it a human description? Because the Bible was written with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, just as the words here are, but our vocabulary is limited by the words that we use.

God’s love for us is so…deep and unknowable until we can’t begin to describe it in terms which we can understand. We can compare it to our love for our children, whether we are a father or a mother but even that falls terribly short. Yes, we love our children but God loves each of us in a deeper way that we just can’t comprehend. Does He really love those who hate Him? Yes, and He loved the world enough that He sent Jesus to die in our place to provide each of us a way to come to Him through His Son. Whether we accept that invitation or not is still our choice though.

God doesn’t want slaves or instinctual service from us, He wants a relationship with us! It doesn’t matter what we have done or who we are, He wants to know you and He wants you and me to get to know Him!

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This is the description of how we should be to our wives and our children as well as toward each other in the church. It is a description which falls short of the love which God has for us, but it is how we are to be toward each other in Christ. Can you do this without Him? Partially, but not completely. Living and loving in this manner is not something which we are able to do on our own. God designed us to be this way but when sin entered the Garden our Spirit was cut off from God until we realized that we truly need Him in every way, every single day!

Don’t turn away from God and His love for you. He longs to show it to you in ways which you may not be able to see right now, but He will if you just give Him a chance in your life to change your heart and draw closer to Him each and every day.