Our Creator placed the “lesser light to rule the night” in the sky many years ago and today there have been celebrations and re-broadcasts of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Fifty years ago. I was seven years old at the time and I remember hearing those words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. I never thought about being alive fifty years later to re-live those moments. I do remember how much we all hoped that mankind would get better at being mankind and better at agreeing about things.
Our problem has persisted for much longer than fifty years though. Most of our so-called “racial” problems and religious problems won’t be solved until Jesus is ruling the world one day. We don’t have the fortitude and wisdom needed to get along. So, regardless of the songs that are written or the poems which are written about peace on Earth and the fictional stories about mankind putting war aside one day, it is not going to happen until Jesus comes back!
He is the only Person capable of bringing lasting peace to our world. No ruler or any man will be able to bring peace to the whole world. He is also very good at bringing peace into your life too, if you will give Him a chance. God loves each of us so much that He gave His only Son for our sins. Jesus took all of the punishment and the separation from God the Father just so we could be forgiven. Isn’t that amazing enough to warrant giving Him your life so you can tell others about Him too?
Please seek Jesus out while you have a chance in this life because there isn’t a second chance after this one is done.
During the times when we are either being attacked because of our faith or brought low in our health, we often ask this question. If you are wondering about the two instances which I listed in the previous sentence, it’s because those are the times when Satan or one of his flunkies are attacking us because of our faith in Jesus.
For many people in the world who are having real problems with their health, like those suffering from cancer, faith in God is the best way to have any hope of either a complete healing or an eternal future. Are there agnostics or atheists who have these problems? I would have to say, Yes! But they don’t really have faith in God until He is the only real hope for them. Atheists don’t believe in God period, no matter what name you give Him.
I am not trying to put people down who don’t believe in God or have a very low opinion of God, but He is the only One Who can accomplish anything in your life and He will if you will believe in Him for your salvation. Does that mean that you can never have any more fun after giving your life to Him? No indeed, the fun that you will have will be tempered by your faith and by His Spirit but He doesn’t take away your enjoyment of life. You just have a different outlook toward God’s creation all around you.
He is everywhere but that doesn’t mean that you should worship a tree or an ocean or a person other than Jesus because only He is the Son of God. He paid the price to redeem you, therefore He deserves our praise and our worship every day of your life. As Jesus told His disciples, “Not even a sparrow falls that my Father doesn’t know about it”; so since God watches over the birds and the other parts of creation, He will watch over you as well.
1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
The prayer which Jesus gave His disciples was and is the model of prayer for all of us to use in our prayer life. So why do I say “in our prayer life”? Because we are encouraged to pray not just when we need something or want something but to live in a spirit of prayer all of the time. Some people may think this isn’t possible but it really is.
This spirit of prayer is not praying constantly but the act of being receptive to the leading of God to be prayerful in all things and at all times. Being ready to pray at any time and for anything which comes to mind or even on your phone today.
The model prayer begins with “Our Father which art in heaven…” because Jesus was trying to bring God’s love down to a more personal, intimate level. Almost as if He really is our Father and in fact He is. He is our Creator and it is His mind and His hands which knit your DNA and mine together. Remember, He has known us since before the Earth was formed so He knows exactly what your talents are and your characteristics will be long before you are born.
God, our Creator, cares for each life which is sent to be born. It is our responsibility to raise those children to know their Heavenly Father and we need to be much more intense in doing so. Because the world and its education system will teach them all sorts of information which has nothing to do with God or His Son. Your life and mine would be very different if we had not learned about Him and if we aren’t careful, the next generation may be the last generation that knows anything about God, even in what is called the Bible belt.
God first asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son to prove his obedience to Him. Abraham went with his son, Isaac, to the mountain and built an altar and laid the wood on it and bound his son. He even drew the knife and was about to kill his son because God had asked him to. Then God said through an angel, “Abraham, do not harm your son!”. Why did God ask this of Abraham? To test him for sure and see if he would hold nothing back from God if God asked for it and he passed the test. So God gave a ram in place of his son, which was caught in the bushes, so that he and Isaac could worship God and then come home again. Abraham had told his servants when they set out toward the mountain that they would go and worship and then they would come again.
Abraham had faith that since God had promised that through Isaac his descendants would be inumerable, even if he sacrificed Isaac on the altar God would raise him again so that His promise would be fulfilled. In the same way, many thousands of years later, God gave His only Son up as a sacrifice for all of our sins and then raised Him up on the third day to be our Savior and Lord. I know you are probably thinking that since Jesus was God’s Son He couldn’t die anyway. But you’d be wrong. Jesus was born just as much a human being as you or I.
He got tired. He was tempted in every way like we are. He was afraid of the torture and the pain that He would experience during the crucifixion and the scourging which lead up to it. Just as any of us would be. He was so stressed about it until He was sweating drops of blood prior to His arrest. Doctors today have confirmed that it is possible to do this in highly stressful times.
Jesus came into the world for this purpose and yet He gave His life for you and me and many others just so we could be a part of His family! Isn’t that a wonderful gift? I know there are many who think that being a Christian takes all of the fun out of life but it doesn’t. You just have fun telling others about your Savior and what He has done for you. Should we forget all of our old stomping grounds and friends? No, but we should tell them about Jesus and His influence on our life. You can’t beat them over the head with a Bible but you can tell them how your life has changed after He came in and freed you from your slavery to sin.
I know that many of you will say, “I’m not a slave to sin!”. Well, how many times have you read the Bible lately? Can you tell me what all ten commandments are? Are you still drinking and smoking even after you’ve been redeemed by His blood? If you can’t answer any of these questions with the answer of “Yes!” or “No, I don’t drink and smoke anymore.” Then what kind of change really happened when you were “saved”? If you aren’t at least trying to change your life and your lifestyle so that you can walk with Jesus on a daily walk like His disciples did, then you may not be saved at all.
Seek Him out today and learn more about His offer of salvation by reading John’s gospel and then read Romans. Don’t stop searching for your Savior because He came here for you!
There are many parables which the Lord told to His disciples, but none was as poignant to me as the story of the prodigal son. He sounded a lot like myself, in some ways, except that I never had a father who could give me anything to “go into the far country” with. The church today sees this story as a representation of the forgiveness of God toward sinners and it does reflect that aspect of God since you could see God as the father who accepts his son back into the home after he has gone out partying for a while.
The practical part of this story is that all of us, Gentiles and Jews, have gone astray in some way or another. Whether we have asked God for our inheritance or not we have been blessed with life and with the talents and abilities to gain wealth (a wage by which to live). Are we all wealthy? NO! But if you see that God is generous toward those who love Him and only this, then you are missing His grace and His love for all of mankind.
God has never stopped loving us because we are sinners. He does exactly the same as some of us, as parents, do. He waits for us to “come to our senses”. When we finally figure out that we have gone astray and it is our own doing, realizing that we really need to repent and turn away from our destructive behavior then He is there waiting for us. Just as the father was waiting for his son to return home. Do we actually repent and go to Him in repentance today? Sometimes we do but there are still many in our world who just seek to “fill themselves with the pods” which everyone else is eating.
God gives us so many chances, just as He did with Israel in the wilderness, and yet we still turn away from Him eventually. Many times we will turn to Him and “repent” for a time, at least until things get better, and then we will maybe thank Him for getting us out of that jam and go right back to what we were doing before. Just as during the time of the Judges of Israel, every man did what was right in his eyes. The problem with doing that is that by being our own king or judge we are using our “wisdom” to live by and that is not what God intended for us to do.
We are supposed to walk with God each day of our lives. Begin the day with His Word and in prayerful humility, seek Him in everything that we do. Learn to have a spirit of thankfulness so that every good thing, no matter how small it may be, will move you to thank Him for it even if it might not feel like a good thing at the time. Thank Him anyway, because we can learn from the good and the bad lessons in every day of our lives.
Philippians 1:3-6: 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
No matter what your circumstance in this life today, God has not and will not fail you. He allows some hard lessons to happen to His people at times but know that He is using this situation for your good and His glory. We don’t understand why He allows disease or health problems or even death in families but God has a reason. He knows the anguish of death and the unknowable victory which comes with a soul entering Heaven. We can’t see that victory from where we are but He can and does see it because He ordained it.
What sort of “good thing” can come from the death of a loved one? It can cause us to draw closer to God because He is the only One Who can comfort us and give us the assurance of our loved one’s place of residence in eternity. Is this a hard lesson for us to learn? Yes it is! Many times the crushing grief of a death in your family or mine will cause us to question God’s motives but don’t blame Him for what has happened. He allowed it for a reason and it is only known to Him until you draw closer to Him in your grief and sorrow. Is it hard to do when your only son or daughter is the one who was taken? Yes! No one but God or another parent who has lost in the same way can know that crushing grief.
There are no words of comfort and no drug or drink can numb the pain because when those temporary things wear off, the pain is still there just as harsh and terrible as it was at the beginning. Praying for those who grieve, whether they are close friends or acquaintances from school many years ago, is the best salve for them at this time.
I have been listening to different preachers and reading books by some others. Some of them were written in the 1700’s and some books were written by pastors in the early and middle twentieth century. Jonathan Edwards, C.H. Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer and Billy Graham are a few of those whose books I have read in the past eight years. There are two things which all of them have in common, their love for Jesus Christ and their view of the world around them. You may want to ask me”How can this be?”, many years separate their viewpoint in history!
While that is true, the view of the world and its problems is still centered on the Word of God and from that point of view humanity really hasn’t changed all that much. From the time of Noah over three thousand years before Christ was born until today mankind has mostly gone their own way. Some do listen to God’s Word and His laws and precepts for living in His Grace, but they are few in comparison to the rest of the world. Most of the world around us, in America and in other countries, wants to get rid of the Truth of God and His Word. You know I’m right about this because you can hear it on the news every day.
Humanity has not changed in thousands of years. We are rebellious and we want our own way and we will not obey the Lord’s laws or even man’s laws, if we can get away with it. The truth contained within God’s Word is absolute and that is unacceptable to humanity in everything that we do. No one is willing to be obedient to parents or teachers or to laws in whatever land they may live. This is the very reason that so much violence is seen all over the world today.
No, there has been no real change in mankind’s ways since the days of Noah. In some ways, possibly, we are less hateful or less violent but I would say not by much. Our news media relates how we hurt and kill each other with guns and machete and knives and drugs today. We have many different ways of killing each other and yet very little remorse is seen in the faces of the people. Even unborn children are in dangerous places because of the laws which have been passed to allow women to kill their children before they are even born. Millions have died in the years since the law was passed in 1973 which legalized it in America and many other countries have followed right along with us.
Looking at the world around us from the viewpoint of the Bible and its laws gives the same picture of humanity regardless of when you live. Nothing has really changed. We are still killing each other, there is sexual immorality in almost every community, people don’t seem to consider what the Bible says about how we should live or act toward one another. The few who do read and listen to Biblical teaching on a regular basis at least try to live a life which is pleasing to God. Some of us try too hard to do so on our own without His Spirit’s teaching and leading so we stumble and fall more than we should, but we consider that as “our humanity” winning out over the Spirit.
God gives each of us a measure of faith and of His Spirit so that we can walk a pleasing walk before Him but many of us don’t listen to His voice and we just fall anyway without thinking of the consequences. We may not feel the consequences of our falling but what about your children or grandchildren? They watch you and listen to you so that they can learn from you. Are they hearing and seeing those things which Jesus would do or is it just your “humanity” that is showing them how to do it the wrong way? Consider this and leave a comment or share it with your friends.
I beseech you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…
We are supposed to sacrifice our lives to God each and every day until He calls us home. While we do this in this life we are supposed to be useful to God as witnesses of His grace and mercy. God has made each of us a new creation when we have given our heart to Jesus because at that point God’s Spirit came to dwell in our heart. We are new people when we have given our hearts to Jesus. We live in His strength and by His power to be Christians. We are not the same people as we were before becoming a child of God. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit as His adopted child, with all of the gifts and treasures which come with that position.
Our holiness comes from Jesus the Christ and is not our own because we cannot be holy without His Spirit to cause us to be holy and able to do His will and learn from His Word. Without His Spirit, which seals us and equips us to be better than we were before He came into our life, we are weak and stuttering and helpless in the face of Satan’s assaults. But when we live our daily lives as a true living sacrifice to God and His Word every day, not just once a week or once every month, we have His Strength and Power and His Word to back us up in everything that we do for His Glory and not ours.
God can use our weaknesses and our insecurities to allow us to get at least one person to listen to His Story. That may be all that you are intended to do in your ministry and if that is it then you have done your part. But…should you quit at that point? I don’t think so because your life can have an impact for eternity on many more people than just one. So…don’t sell yourself short and don’t quit working at your calling which God called you into. Just because things are down a bit doesn’t mean they will stay that way.
The lunar eclipse, which is happening now, is the last one for at least two years. God is not being silent about how He is warning us but most of us don’t seem to be listening. What is He going to do after this “Blood moon”? I have no idea but I do believe that our country and the rest of the world should notice that this is happening and at least try to do better at being believers.
We have had a warning before and it seemed that nobody even noticed. In late 2014 through 2015 there were four blood moons, and a solar eclipse yet few people noticed. So, America is getting one more such warning. Why? Because we don’t take life seriously nor do we sanctify life which is yet to be born. God loves children and He sent them to us for a purpose, His purpose.
They are being killed by the thousands each day and nobody cares enough to put a stop to it. Children are being taken from loving parents and sold into slavery in the sex trade and it seems that we are just becoming aware of it. Yet this has been happening for decades. Those who claim to be Christians and every church member should be rising up and at least writing letters to stop this…but it is not happening.
Will it ever be stopped? Yes, but I hope that we as Christians will do it before Jesus calls us home. It will stop when He comes to rule the world but we should be upset and outraged about this NOW!! Yet the world travels on as if nothing is wrong in the world. I pray that more Christians will stand up for their beliefs and begin to vote or call or write to our Congress to get something done before it is too late.
We live each day according to what we have learned in our life. We may live according to what we were taught by our parents or grandparents or according to what we have learned from going to church and reading our Bibles. Some people claim that life doesn’t have a guidebook or an instruction manual but God’s Word is the best manual for living and how to live that I have ever seen or read.
But there are many times in our lives when we can’t find the answer to our problem. Sometimes it escapes us in one way or another. We ask “Why did this happen?” and we can’t find the answer or if we ask God that question…He is either silent or we may not be listening closely enough. Those times cause us to doubt our faith and they can cause us to doubt God too.
Why? It is a very small question but sometimes the answer is not small if it comes at all. The answer can be a diagnosis which a mother or father is not prepared for. The outcome of this diagnosis may be a child which is unable to ever enjoy life again or enjoy anything about life. So what do we do then? Are we supposed to give up on God’s promises of healing and restoration?
God doesn’t make that promise of healing and restoration for every person in the world! If you seek Him in your need and your feelings of grief over a child who is suffering from an accident or even a disease please seek God’s answer and LISTEN to Him. Many of us would rather have our child back or our spouse back, healthy and whole with no problems but consider that God’s healing may take the form of their passing from this life into the next with Him.
While this outcome is not the perfect outcome in our own view, God may truly have something else which is much better. But…we must be willing to truly listen to Him and not to our own voice echo in our head telling us what we want to hear rather than what is good for our child or our spouse or even the decision which is truly in God’s hands.
The problem with waiting for God’s leading and His voice is that we usually try to go around God and get things done the way we want them to be. We don’t want to wait on God but we want the solution right NOW! Life’s troubles and trials are rarely cut neatly with our ideas in mind so that a visit to the hospital turns out as a blessing. Many times it comes with tremendous bills and stress and the possible outcomes which may or may not be the one which we want in our lives.
These are the times when life seems to be broken and there is no amount of glue or tape which can un-break it. Sometimes even our technology can do more harm by keeping a loved one alive but are they really? They are breathing and they may react to some stimulus but if they are unable to live…is that really living?
Pray for those in the hospitals or in nursing homes that are in a coma or a state which, if given a chance, they would likely not want to “live” in. I pray that no mother or father reading this will ever have to go through this type of decision because even though I can write this advice down, but if it were my son it would truly be heartbreaking to have to make that life-altering decision. He has told me if that ever happens don’t let me live in a coma not knowing what is going on or who is around me. But even with his instructions, it would still break my heart.