What will you do?


I think I have written a post by this name before but it does need to be repeated. Why? Because there are too many people who haven’t figured it out yet. So, have you figured out what this means?

Jesus died on the cross for you. He paid the penalty for your sins and mine and everyone else’s sin in the world. While it is true that not everyone will be saved, that doesn’t mean that the way is open for all. So…what will you do with your gift of eternal life in Heaven? Will you throw it away or just decide not to follow Jesus because you think there isn’t any fun in it?

Every person is going to live for an eternity, but it is your decision about your belief in Jesus which determines where you will live it. If you decide to only believe in yourself or in some other “god” besides Jesus, then you will meet Him but He will be your judge instead of your Lord. Some of you may think this is unfair, but God has provided a way for you to live in Heaven but it is dependent upon your belief in Jesus or not which determines your admission to His Kingdom. Why did God make it dependent on your choice? Because salvation is a choice. While it’s true that the Holy Spirit convicts you of your need of salvation, it’s still your decision to accept the offer.

God loves all of humanity but He doesn’t love our lifestyles or our sinful lives. Many in the world deny that Jesus was the Son of God even though God says so in the gospels. Why do we rebel against our Creator in this way? Because we are stubborn and we want to live our lives the way we want to live them, not according to the Bible and His way of living. Can we live the way that Jesus taught His disciples to live and work and spread the gospel? Of course, we can, but we will have to live our lives daily according to His example

Will it be easy to live this way in the world today? No, it won’t be but with Jesus in your heart and with His Spirit, in you, it can be done. But, only if you depend on Him to get you through each day…one day at a time. Which is why you should look in God’s Word for wisdom and support for your life. As Paul wrote about each of us “keeping our eyes on the prize of glory through Jesus the Christ our Lord”, it’s necessary to do exactly that!

When Jesus told Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the water, he did it for a few steps. But, then he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink. That’s why we should spiritually keep our eyes on Him every day! Because walking in this life as a Christian is not easy, even though many people think that it is. Walking as a Christian daily can only be done successfully by keeping our heart and our mind focused on Him. Don’t seek out your own wants and stuff, which most of us don’t have enough room for anyway. Seek His way and His Truth in your life and in all of your steps through this life.

I pray that our churches, our country and our representatives in Washington will turn to the Lord because our country and the world needs to see us doing this.

 

John’s message


2 John 1

Greeting from the Elder (3 John 1:1-4)

1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Walking in the Truth (John 8:31-41)

4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Beware of Deceivers

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Final Greetings

12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

The second smallest book of the Bible, officially, but very profound, in wisdom and truth from the only disciple which died of natural causes also known as old age. God blessed John with a ministry which spanned the known world around him at the time. Since he was also one of the youngest disciples he was able to go and tell others and shepherd a number of churches before his death at the end of the first century. Why did I get drawn to this letter? Because of its encouragement to the lady in the text and it should be taken as an encouragement to us as well.

Love one another in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, walk in obedience to His commandments and beware of the deceivers that are in the world today working in the spirit of the Antichrist because they deny that Jesus came in the flesh and died on the cross and rose again on the third day.

The one who will be known as the Antichrist has not come to power yet, but the spirit of rebellion against the teachings of God and the Word of God is alive and well in our world today. So we must walk carefully in this world and not be drawn away toward doctrines which do not acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. You can hear and see the effect that this spirit is having on our world by just watching the news and it is troubling, but our Lord has overcome the world and we must follow His example in our daily lives.

Seeking to follow Him in all things. Teaching our children about Him, reading and studying the Bible as a family and praying that we are counted worthy as Christians. Still, we need to be bold in our witness toward others who are receptive to His message. Don’t back away when someone asks you about your faith, tell them about the One who saved you and what He has done for you since you became a Christian.

If you have given your life to Jesus and become a Christian when you felt His Spirit calling to you, then you truly should tell others. Live your life according to His plan for your life. If you are wondering what that might be, seek His advice about it. Many of the answers will be found in the Bible and if they aren’t then by reading His Word and praying for what He wants you or me to do will bring that answer to you. God will answer you in this. He may not answer at the very second that you ask, but He will answer your prayer.

Living every day in His pathway and in His will for your life is the very best that you can do for God’s Kingdom and for your walk with Him so don’t miss it!

Are you walking in faith?


John, the disciple of Jesus, wrote the smallest book in the Bible and yet it is a most profound and humbling book because it convicts us who are not walking in His Truth and shows us where our faith should be placed.

2 John 1

Greeting from the Elder

(3 John 1:1-4)

1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Walking in the Truth (John 8:31-41)

4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Beware of Deceivers

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Final Greetings

12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

GodsBlessingThe second or third smallest book of the Bible but very profound, in wisdom and truth from the only disciple which died of natural causes also known as old age.

God blessed John with a ministry which spanned the known world around him at the time. Since he was also one of the youngest disciples he was able to go and tell others about his Lord and Savior. He was also the shepherd of a number of churches before his death at the end of the first century.

John wrote and testified that Jesus was the Light of the World, not because of hearsay but because he had lived and walked with Jesus during His ministry. John was a dedicated disciple, fully committed to His Lord and Savior and He walked with Him while His time on Earth was fulfilled and He took the message of the gospel with him wherever he went later in life.

John’s exhortation to the lady and her house is the way that he greeted another worker for the faith and this letter was to encourage her until she should meet her risen Lord. Truly, it is the same with us. We are to stay true to our faith in Him until He comes or until we are called home to be with Him. What does this letter encourage us to do in light of where we are in the history of the world?

Mainly, to be steadfast in our walk with Jesus. Keeping to the faith and taking it and our testimony with us wherever we may go regardless of the time we may have left on this Earth. Because we don’t know how much time we have regardless of our age or health. It could be weeks, months or years until our date comes to meet Jesus or until He comes to call each of us home.

Your life and your testimony are important because your experience in this life is unique, just as your salvation is unique. Nobody else has had your experience or your successes and your failures, and God can use those to bring a specific message to someone, probably someone that only you can possibly reach. Your mission in this life is to serve God in whatever capacity that He asks you to serve in. It could be as a teacher at a high school or a Sunday school teacher. Maybe you are friends with a certain person that God wants to reach and only you can do that.

But…you won’t know for sure if you don’t step out in faith and use your testimony to bring Jesus’ message to at least one person. Then tomorrow see if you can find someone else to talk to about what Jesus has done for you. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but considering how much Jesus gave to save you and put you in this place…why not?

What is your experience?


Have you thought about your experience with Jesus? What about your salvation? The reason that I am asking this question is that each of us experiences each one in a different way. Some of us get emotional and nearly fall apart because of the grace that is given to us when we accept Him. Some of us fall down and worship Jesus and walk away from the experience a changed person and one which will do all that they can by telling others about Him.

The experience, especially if it is truly genuine, changes your heart spiritually and your life permanently! Salvation is not an experience which you can go through without the Holy Spirit and choose to turn it on or off when you want to go back where you were. True salvation begins when your heart is broken because of the Holy Spirit showing you through faith that your life is sinful and it needs to change. Sometimes this realization is brought about at a church service other times it is by a night or three or more in a jail cell. God will use whatever is necessary to get your attention and sometimes it is painful.

God loves us but like any Father or Mother, He sometimes has to use tough love to get a stubborn child to listen! Many times…we truly need this tough love and until God has your undivided attention, He will bang your head against whatever is necessary to make you listen. Why do I say this? Because, when God wants you to listen and He has a specific lesson or purpose for you, that only you can fulfill, He will not let go until you come around.

God knows the talents and gifts which He has given to you. You may not be aware of them until you have given your heart and life to Him, most of us aren’t. I never would’ve gotten in front of a group of people to speak for ten minutes or more if I had not been called by Him to be a preacher. I struggled against this calling for years until finally He got my attention enough and didn’t really give me a choice about it.

Some people think that God forces us to salvation, but that isn’t true. He will call to you and prod your heart, sometimes for years, but until you realize that you need Him in your life, it won’t make much difference. If you think that you have an arrangement with God and consider yourself good enough without accepting Him as your Lord and Savior, you may never hear His call on your life because you don’t think you need Him or the salvation that He is offering.

At that point, you are just like those Pharisees in Jesus’ day…too religiously minded to be any Earthly good to themselves or to anyone else! God only uses those who know that they need Him. Truly our Creator doesn’t need us in any way other than what He can see in your heart and your life. He can cause things to work out in His time so that your life or mine will line up with His will and purpose. He has already given you a talent or gift that He can use in His Kingdom but only if you answer the call on your life to change like the disciples did.

Peter denied the Lord three times on the night of His “mock trial” before going to Pilate. Paul was a Pharisee and was doing everything that the priests would give him permission to do in order to get rid of the “Jesus followers” or the Way. Both of these men were changed by the Lord’s actions of redemption and healing toward Peter and by Jesus’ confrontation of Paul on the Damascus road. Both of these men became true witnesses to the Gentile world as well as to the Jews after their redemption and conversion.

So…what about you? Are you willing to give your heart to Jesus as a follower and a disciple? If you have felt His call on your life, don’t put it off or ignore it. God loves you.

 

Be faithful in the little things


Do you pay attention to the little things in life? Some people do, many of us do not. Why could that be? It could be because little things are so commonplace, ordinary even. They aren’t eye-catching like a lime green BMW or Mustang, even though to me that color on a car, especially a sports car, is just nasty. Eye-catching colors are good sometimes, but what about the cars which can get about forty to fifty miles per gallon? I may be stingy but I like those cars. Granted, I would truly love to at least drive a Ferrari just once. I will never be able to afford one, but just driving one would be fun!

You hear about so-called “bucket lists” which list the things which people would like to do before they die, whether from natural causes or from some cancer or terminal illness. Why not work on lists of little things which can bring you more happiness and fulfillment in your life? What do I mean by “little things”? Well, enjoy your children and your grandchildren by taking them fishing or playing in a creek one day. Don’t time it, just enjoy it!

Show them how to make something out of sticks and leaves, if you can craft something like that. Enjoy life as much as possible. Don’t walk around in a pity party over things which can’t be fixed or changed…but if you can do something to change those things then do it! Take a trip for a day and see where it leads you. Don’t plan it or map it out, just wake up one morning and fix a lunch and some cold water in an insulated cooler, get some fuel for the trip, make sure to tell your family unless they are coming along. Then just go!

My title says “Be faithful in the little things”, so do the things which don’t take much. Like read your Bible each morning and before bed at night. Pray to the Lord and thank Him for the day that you have had. Ask Him to go with you and guide you toward the people and places that He needs for you to go. Most of us can’t be missionaries in other countries so seek out people closer to home and tell them about Jesus. Tell them what He has done for you and your family. Make sure that they know that He will do whatever is needed in their life too if they will ask Him to come into their hearts.

People think that being a Christian is hard and that we are required to do something almost every day to help God in our salvation. That is not true of course. God did not need our help to save us from our sins, Jesus did that on the cross all by Himself. It is a gift to each of us who have been called by God to become His child, all that we have to do is answer His call when we feel it in our hearts. Then, enjoy your life as a new creation in Jesus Christ because you are going to have an eternity to get to know all of your brothers and sisters who came before you.

Have you had a “But, God” moment?


I don’t mean the kind of moment where you are asking a question or even feeling like He is in the way of something. I mean one of those times in Scripture where the text says, “But, God….” meaning that He moved in some fashion to do something for a person or a people. Some of them happen in such a way that you really can’t miss it, and some seem to be an afterthought.

So, have you had a moment like this? Many times, I think we actually have moments like this but at the time, God does something in our lives which allow us to skirt danger or miss something which could’ve been dangerous or worse. In those moments He doesn’t ping us with a bat and tell us what He caused to work for His glory and for our good because God is not like that. He is better.

We should know this already but there are times where we need to be reminded Who we actually serve. He is not our servant, we are His. Why is this important? Because God says so that’s why. Seek Him out in this life so that you will have Life abundant and free from sin and the destruction which it brings with it.

I have had at least one of these “but, God” moments, except sometimes I use it more as a question and answer time with Him. Not that I am questioning His Wisdom in any area of my life, but sometimes I do wonder why things work out as they do. Children get sick, parents fall and fail each other for one reason or another. Essentially, life as we have to live it happens. We can’t control the things which happen around us, right?

No, but God can! When we give up or decide that our faith isn’t strong enough to think that God would intervene in our life or in the lives of those that we love…then we give the enemy an opening to attack. While it is true that he can’t touch you if you are a Christian, God can allow things (including Satan and disease) to test you in your resolve. Don’t believe the lie that you won’t get better or that you have to have treatment by the doctors who are only getting rich off of cancer and its treatment.

God can come into your life and change the conditions and the diagnosis into something which will draw more people to Him, like one where cancer just dies and the doctor can’t explain it. It does happen but many times our media just doesn’t know what to do with a miracle so they may not report it at all. Natural treatments work on cancer and other diseases but the pharmaceutical companies don’t want people to know this because they can’t make millions from a natural cure.

Treatments which can go on for years gives them far more leverage over our lives. The news media also spreads their “propaganda” just as it did with cigarettes years ago. Millions of people paid with their lives because of the lies about cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco products and their effect on a person’s body.

Please, seek out God’s way of dealing with disease and other problems in your life. Don’t let the enemy win because you aren’t willing to give something natural a try or to ask for prayer in your situation. God can use your life and your situation to turn more people around if you will give Him a chance to do so.

Serving as Jesus did (part 2)


Jesus came to this Earth with all of the problems and chaos caused by a fallen people who truly had lost their sense of direction and their knowledge of the One True God. He came because He loved ALL of us, not just one little tribe of people and He knew that when He came that He would have to suffer and die for ALL of the people who didn’t know Him. Most people in the world at the time He came had no idea Who He was and didn’t care, just as many still do today. Yet…He loved them anyway just as He loves all of us today. That is the love which calls to each of us today.

God seeks out those of us who truly need Him but even in our broken state of being, He can mend us and make us better so that we can show others that His ways are so much higher and more than able to heal and direct our path toward His higher calling. The calling of being His disciple and His friend in this life and into eternity. It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to show people how He has changed us, just tell them about your life and how it was before Jesus came into it and gave you a new purpose and hope!

Are we perfect and sinless after becoming Christians, of course not! We are still human beings after all and we are still subject to every temptation of Satan and all of the other lures that are in this world. Wealth, power, greed, sex, drugs, alcohol….our world and the things in it draws our humanity toward all of these things even after our hearts are changed which is why we have to read the Bible daily. Washing our minds and our thoughts with His Living Water, the Word of God, is the only way to stay true to our calling and know His mind and thoughts.

The Christian life doesn’t give you a clean slate to go out and dirty it up again. If you are doing that, then your heart hasn’t been changed at all. When Jesus and the Holy Spirit come into your life, there is a change which will let you know that what you are doing is wrong. While it is true that you can ignore the message enough to go back and get into the pig stall and lie with the other pigs…why would you want to? We are not pigs, and contrary to what some people may think, we should live above our old lifestyle where Jesus would walk and live. Think about what He went through before the cross. The shaming and the threats on His life and even those in the town where He grew up wanted to kill Him because He told them that He fulfilled the prophecy of the Messiah from the prophet Isaiah. They didn’t believe Him and wanted to kill Him because they had watched Him grow up in Joseph’s carpenter shop. They knew the little Boy but they didn’t KNOW Him!

Like knowing someone from childhood and then they grow up and move away or join the military and essentially become a different person from the child you knew. Of course, Jesus matured into His life’s role as Savior and Messiah by His Father’s teaching and not Joseph’s teaching. The part of His life which everyone in Nazareth saw was His Earthly life, His physical life here. It was His Spiritual life and learning from the Spirit and from His Father that had brought Him to be a different Person from the one that everyone in His hometown thought they knew.

God has many jobs and roles which He wants each of us to do and fulfill in our Christian life, but we need to submit to His teaching and His Spirit and His Word so that we can learn what we need to know in order to be the person which God knows that each of us can be. If we will only follow Him in our daily walk and learn from Him, we can do this!

Serving as Jesus did


Have you ever thought of serving the Lord for your lifetime? We are all called in one way or another when we hear or feel the call on our lives and in our hearts. We are also given talents and abilities which may not translate into much for this world, but they mean a lot in God’s Kingdom. Each word that you use in your life as a Christian has an effect on someone, particularly if it is your children or grandchildren. You may not see the end result of your influence in this life, but God will use your words in ways that you may not imagine right now.

God cares for His Creation, all of it! Each person who has been born and those who are yet to be born into this world, God loves them with a love that only He knows the depth of! We experience only a small taste of it when we have a family. Our children experience a taste of His love through us as we raise and love them and teach them about life, to the best of our ability. Can we learn to be His servants, His disciples while we carry on our lives here? Yes, but we must determine to do it and not just “try” to be better or “try” to learn how it is done!

So, how do we learn to know Jesus and how to be His disciple in this life? Actually, it is simple—by reading the Bible and learning from Him directly! Paul’s letter to the Philippians exhorts us to be like Jesus in all that we say and do in our life with Him. Read here:

Philippians 2:1-11

Being One in Christ

1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

The Attitude of Christ
(Isaiah 52:13-15)

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God approved of and ordains each of us to be His representative while we are in this life, this tabernacle as Peter put it. Yet, we are not supposed to sit in our home and read the Bible and pray and attend church! We are supposed to do something with our life in Jesus Christ! Tell others about His work in your life. Tell them about His love which called to your heart and caused you to realize that our life is not all that there is. Your life in Christ Jesus is just the beginning! Living the rest of your life to be the best reflection of Jesus that you can be with His Spirit inside giving you the strength to resist your old temptations and walk in a newness of His Life and His calling on your life until He comes to take the church to Heaven one day!

Our life without Him or the regeneration of our hearts is a cold and lonely place even if you have family and loving people around you. Because, without His love flowing in your heart and then giving it away to the people around you, the “love” that you have before Jesus is a poor imitation of the love that you have as His child. Our hearts don’t know how to truly love until we accept His Love for us because He is love personified!