Some people can claim to know a lot about God. Some claim that they don’t believe He exists. But in the Bible, there are many people who have seen His miracles and His love for them shown in many different ways. From providing food and water for the Israelites in the desert for forty years to making sure that none of them got sick or feeble during that time. Miracles abounding almost every day and yet after they made it to the Promised Land most of them forgot about God within one generation.
I believe if I had seen the Red Sea split and I walked through it on dry ground, that would’ve been enough. If I had seen the manna and the water from the rock and the quail that piled up in the camp knee-deep…I would’ve believed in Him. When they went into the Promised Land the first city to fall literally was Jericho after their marching around it for seven days and then on the seventh day they blew the trumpets and shouted and the thick walls fell down. This was happening in Exodus and Joshua.
There are so many miracles that happen in the Old Testament and many more in the New Testament and yet there are still people who either don’t believe or just won’t. True, if you don’t believe that the Bible was written as inspired by the Holy Spirit then none of the miracles which happened in the Old or the New Testaments will make a difference in how you know God. But consider this: God created the heavens and the Earth and everything that is seen and unseen in both. Granted, it may take some small amount of faith to believe this and He can supply it. God lives outside of our “dimension” if you will and He can see and has seen everything that mankind has done and will do but He still loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that those who will believe would have a chance at eternity with Him.
Does that mean that He knows who will believe and who will not? Yes, but He doesn’t force belief on us. That comes to each of us when we realize that we need Him by faith which He has given to us by the hearing of a sermon or by reading His Word. At that point, we know that without Jesus as our Savior we are going to spend eternity separated from God in hell. We know that if we choose not to accept Jesus as our Savior and we die before we change that, we will be going to hell. It is our choice because we know by faith that we need Him and if we don’t make that choice then our destination is set. If we do, then we will be changed when we repent of our sinful condition and ask Jesus into our hearts and at that moment we are forgiven and brought into God’s family through the blood of Jesus that paid for our sins on the cross.
In the most simple terms, God is the embodiment of love. Unconditional love. The kind that we can do nothing to earn. We just have it because He loved each of us so much that He sent Jesus to pay our sin debt in order for us to be with Him in eternity. We can’t earn it. We don’t deserve it, but it is a gift by the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Once upon a time in the distant past there was a man named Elijah who was a prophet of God. He lived during a time when Israel was confused about their relationship with God. They didn’t know if they wanted to trust God and follow Him or follow the god of their queen and king Ahab. One day there was a declared “competition” ,of sorts, on Mount Carmel. There, Elijah had requested that all of the people come and see which God was real and for them to choose which one they would serve.
The “competition” started early one morning and the prophets and priests of Baal set up their altar with the bull on it and began chanting and praying for Baal to accept their offering and burn it up, to show that he was the god for Israel. Nothing happened. They kept chanting and cutting their skin and dancing, begging him to accept their offering. Still…nothing happened. This went on for many hours until most of them had passed out from exerting themselves so much or because of blood loss and still no sign that Baal was going to accept their offering.
Then, Elijah took his turn. He built an altar and killed the bull, placing it on the altar. Then he does something very odd. He digs a trench around the altar and asks for water to be poured out on the wood for the fire and the offering. Then, he asks for more to be poured on it. Three times he asks for water to be poured on the altar until the whole thing was saturated and the ditch was full of water.
36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
God showed His power in a mighty way and He left nothing, even though it was soaked with water. His fire even consumed the water from the trench! God is still on His throne and one day soon, Jesus will return for His Bride, the church. I pray that you will be in the number of people that are taken to Heaven to be with Him forever on that day. God loves each of us and has a place for us all that we need to to is make a place in our heart and our lives for Him.
This is not a “prosperity gospel” post. When you give yourself freely and unashamedly to the Lord as His disciple there is no greater gift that you can give beyond that. God sees your worth as being far above any monetary amount that you could come up with and remember…Jesus didn’t go around asking for donations. He went looking for disciples to learn of His ministry and its message and when the time was right to take that message to those who would receive it.
God has never changed His position on being able to use each of us and our talents for His ministry. God doesn’t need your money, He already has wealth beyond our imagining. I mean just think about it. He paved the streets of Heaven with gold, pure gold! The doors are made with one single pearl and the foundation of Heaven is made from twelve different precious stones including amethyst, garnet and diamond. Why would He need a measly fifty or one hundred dollars?
God can bless you beyond your ability to contain it, so get into His work, do His work, and then see what comes into your life after that. Your reward could be far more than you could imagine.
All around us, below us, in the ground and under the sea, out in space and across the sky…His majesty and glory are declared every day! God is THE Creator and our Savior. Theories and theorems and ideas from the mind of man have no effect on God because He did all of His work on His own time and at the pace that HE wanted it to happen. God’s love is shown and proved toward us because of the wonderful properties of light and sound and gravity and heat and cold that we experience on Earth to show that He is God and there is no other.
This bit of wisdom from a homeless man got my attention and I had to repeat it here. I read this in a Desiring God email and the man asked: “Is following Jesus hard or easy?”; then he turned around and answered his own question, “If you have given your heart fully to him then following Jesus is easy. If you are split in your devotion and torn between following Jesus and this world, then it is hard.”
When Jacob was working for Rachael in Genesis, he had agreed to work for seven years. But the love that he had for her made those seven years seem like days. Why can’t we serve God in the same way? Life here is not easy regardless of your work or your vocation and for many, many people it is a struggle to even maintain life on a daily basis.
We seem to have the idea that our devotion to God can be an on one day and off one day kind of devotion, but how would you feel if that was God’s view of us and our life on this world? What would happen to us and our world if God just turned the Sun off for a while? The first notable difference would be that global warming wouldn’t be an issue any more. The temperature would drop in the first thirty minutes and it would be so drastic until the oceans would begin to freeze before the news could report on the Sun being dark.
There will be no “freezing of the oceans”, that is just my illustration. It is our devotion to God which can make life much better for us and for those around us. Many of us have a lot of trouble loving Someone without being able to see them but when you consider that God has loved each of us individually long before we were born…shouldn’t we at least try to focus our devotion on Him during the rest of our lives however long or short they may be?
Jesus came to Bethlehem to be born as a human being with His nature as God intact. He came to pay the price for all of mankind’s sins and that is what He did. He did this because of love, especially the love of God, is far stronger than anything that we could do or be. We could not “help” Him to bring salvation to us because it could only come through His sacrifice. Living as His child and being devoted to Him for the rest of our lives should not be hard. Even though you and I can’t see Him, you can look at all of the life and the wondrous beauty of creation and see that the Creator’s hand is now and was involved when creation began.
We are coming to the end of the church age so I hope that everyone who has not made a decision about their salvation will do so and soon. We don’t know what day He will call the church, those who have given their hearts to Him, to come home to heaven but it could be any day now.