God’s plans


Jeremiah 29:11-13 says: 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11 - Best Bible Verse - Bible Verse Images

God can have plans for us because He can see the future, we can’t. Tomorrow is not guaranteed so we truly can’t make plans for next week or next month let alone next year. The best thing that we have, as Christians, is our Father in Heaven holds tomorrow and next week and next year and eternity itself. He knows what He has plans for and for us it will be awesome. God has made you and me for His glory and a purpose that only He knows. The most amazing thing about this purpose is that it is specific to each of us. We are the only ones capable of doing a specific task and God knows that we are perfectly made for that task, whatever it may be.

Seek Him and His purpose for you and your life. Whatever it may be it will be something that only you can do.

Dear Friend,


How are you today? I know that some of my friends are feeling sick. Some are overwhelmed by their circumstances. Some don’t know what to do with all of the blessings that they have and feel guilty about them as well. Some don’t feel that they have anything to give but in God’s Kingdom all of you matter! All of you have something that can make a difference in someone’s life.

Do you know what your gift is? I’m not speaking of money, although some are blessed with that too. I’m speaking of life lessons for the most part. Sometimes it is hard to get those lessons across to others. Sometimes they don’t want to hear them and many times they may not take those lessons of advice to heart and put them to use. Why? Because they have a better education than you or I do or they see our advice as being from someone who doesn’t know the struggle that they are going through.

The thing is simply that God does know everything that you have been through. You might not know God as your Savior yet but sometimes those trials are what will bring you to the point of knowing God and knowing that you need Him. Each of us is blessed in the specific way that we have been working toward. Some of us have abilities and even wisdom that has come from Him that we don’t use or may not even know that we have.

We can’t see our abilities because of our distance from God and His Wisdom and His Word. Sometimes we read and study God’s Word but we are thinking of our business or something else in our life. Reading and studying God’s Word is something that takes dedicated study. Not just opening your Bible while you attend church services, but actually studying it like you did in school to pass a test. That is how you get to know God and His Wisdom that will take you through life so you can help others. What do you mean that I have to help others? Because Jesus did it. We are supposed to be and do what He did and more.

Now how am I supposed to do that? He was and is the Son of God, I can’t walk on water or heal people or feed thousands from a sack lunch! There was some bit of wisdom that my grandfather gave me and my grandmother too: Can’t never could. You are living with doubt about who you are in Christ and what He has given you to be. If you doubt anything, Biblical truth or any other truth, it will not happen! If a football team goes into the game thinking “We can’t win”, they won’t win regardless of how hard they try. We defeat our own dreams and abilities even before we begin if we start with a defeated mind!

I’m not advocating “positive thinking” but study of the Bible, quitting smoking, having a successful career in business, or even passing a test have to begin with a mind that is set on DOING and not failing! If you want God to save you, pursue Him…especially when you feel His hand of conviction on you. If you want to graduate with honors go after that goal with everything you have. Living the Christian life cannot be done by us alone but with the Holy Spirit in our heart and our determination to learn more about Him every day we can do it and live it so that others will see our life and will want the life with Christ that we have.

He is with you!


In John 14:16 the apostle affirms this promise: 16 And I will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

The Comforter which Jesus was speaking of is the Holy Spirit which all believers have living within them to teach them and guide them in their service to God. It is only by His strength that we can fulfill the position of a believer in His Kingdom. We can’t do it in our own strength but with the Spirit of Truth living within our hearts we can!

The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity which makes up God Himself so we have a small portion of God living within us when we become believers. Some of us don’t live as if we have Him living within us and it is to those who think they have something that they don’t have that this is being written. I am not trying to judge your heart because only God can do that but I am trying to spare you from a fate which will come upon many on the day of judgment.

Those of us who live in America have been blessed immeasurably by God just to be where we are. But our place of birth has also lead many to think that they are saved from hell just because of a family tradition or a prayer whispered when they were young and never considered again. We live in a culture that claims to believe in God and many do but so does the Devil himself! That is what is so damning for many of us. Culturally we believe that we are Christians because we have been brought up in the church. We have attended Sunday school and Bible school and may have attended church services on a regular basis.

But attendance doesn’t make you a Christian. Belief in God doesn’t make you a Christian. Knowing some scriptures and even attending revivals doesn’t make you a Christian. It is your heartbroken conviction that brings you to the cross and to the place where you know that you NEED Jesus as your Savior and you ask Him to come into your life and change your heart so that you can be a Christian.

Satan knows that Jesus is the Son of God and so do all of the demons in hell but they won’t serve Him. Knowledge of Him and attendance in church doesn’t make you a Christian. In the past one hundred years, our country has heard and seen many evangelists who brought the message of salvation to radio and television many times but superficial knowledge of God or Jesus doesn’t change your life. Even owning and occasionally reading a Bible at home doesn’t make you a Christian. It is the conviction of your heart that brings you to Jesus, asking to be made into a new creation, forever changed into a Christian

I pray that all who will read this will give their hearts to Jesus and ask Him to make them into His true disciples so that others may hear from your point of view how Jesus changed your life.

Disciples should teach others


The word disciple conjures up ideas and ideals which most of us today really don’t think we can pull off. But today our country and the families in it has taken up the profession of teaching and teaching is part and parcel discipleship. What about looking at it in this way: apprenticeship. This concept has been a part of many shops and businesses ever since a father or an uncle in the past wanted someone to carry on the family business. Sometimes it may not be a family member, it could be a man who asks to become your apprentice. The teaching which we are having to practice now is a type of discipleship which parents are having to get into without any training at all.

If we practice discipleship in church and in our homes with our family, teaching is not so hard to do. Pray about how you can do it and what needs to be taught. The Word of God needs to be at the center of home-based schooling now and from this point on. God’s Wisdom and teaching should be the beginning of all of our schooling at home from this point on because when we are teaching our children at home, the home is the school not a government funded school. This is how God had intended for us, as parents, to do with our children and it is in the Old Testament. This is not some new idea, nor is it a “new age” type of teaching.

If the next generation is going to grow up to know anything about God it is up to the parents to teach them. They will learn some interesting facts from going to church and maybe Bible school in the summer but the most useful learning is actually done at home. Children young and old need to see that their parents are invested in their faith in God and most importantly in Jesus as their Savior. If children don’t see this at home then church or Bible school will not have much influence on them. They will know about God and Jesus Christ but they won’t have a solid foundation in their faith because the foundation has to start at home.

Disciple your family. Teach them about Jesus so that both you and they can learn that Jesus was part of the plan from the very beginning. He didn’t just show up in the New Testament, He has been part of the Trinity since before the universe was created. Read the Bible with your family and discuss what you have read because this “social distance” thing is keeping some churches from meeting. The church began in homes so make sure to do so now in order to make Jesus a part of your family and you will be part of His family too. Stay as safe as possible but don’t push Bible study and Jesus out just because you aren’t meeting in a church building…the people are the church.

Rejection, fear, and uncertainty


As human’s we do not like even ONE of these. From our family or our friends and certainly not from God. But why would we worry about feeling these emotions from God? The main reason that we feel these emotions in our relationship with God is actually because of Satan himself. God has never rejected us. Why should we be afraid of God? He isn’t going to strike us dead if we don’t do something, right? Feeling uncertain about your relationship with Him is also a tactic of Satan. Jesus said that all we had to so was to believe in Him and in the Father Who sent Him to save us from our sins…that’s it! Believe in Jesus and God the Father for your salvation. No hoops to jump through. No certain number of people that you have to tell about Jesus. He did all of the work on the cross in order to pay for your sins and nothing that we try to do can add value to our salvation.

Satan is the instigator and has been since before Adam or the Earth was created. He was a consummate liar then and he has gotten better at it over the thousands of years since then. Satan can make us believe a lie about God or Jesus or any part of the salvation which is freely given by God’s grace through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

We don’t have to listen to those suggestions which Satan places in our head and in our mind, but many times we do listen to them. If you look it up and read about God in the Bible, you will see that He may make some people afraid of Him but He only did it because of their hard hearts. They wouldn’t listen to His instructions, His commandments, so He had to get their attention just as He gets our attention at times. He knows that we are hard-headed and stubborn and sometimes it takes more than reading a few scriptures to make us know that He is serious.

For some of us it will take a bit more than reading a scripture to realize what is being said to us. Many times it may take a sickness or a death in the family to really get our attention, but God will use that to His advantage. God loves each of us but He also knows exactly how much it will take to get our attention and to keep it focused on Him. Some people will blame Him and they will move away from Him but that isn’t a surprise to God. He knows exactly who will hear Him and follow Him and who will not. Regardless of our intention to follow Him or not, God still loves us. That is just His nature.

Amen

Lonely in a crowd


There was an article which was asking the question “Why have teenage suicides gone up 76 percent in the past decade?”. One reason is information overload. This is the first generation which has had constant access to the Internet on a device which they can carry in their pocket. Am I blaming the smartphone for this? Yes, actually I am. It is not wholly to blame of course. Parents who use electronic babysitters to calm their children also are part of the problem. So why are teens feeling so left out and lonely? Because they don’t engage and talk to each other anymore.

Have you ever watched a group or even a family in a restaurant lately? Most of the time they aren’t talking to each other. They are all looking at their phones or texting or scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Technology is to blame for the lack of interaction in our society because it is like a drug. And we start children on this “drug” sometimes before they can even talk! People don’t feel a connection to their family or their friends because of the detached nature of the relationship. You can’t hear uncertainty or fear in a text, there is no way to relate to an emoticon speaking to you.

All of this technology was supposed to help us not enslave us to it to the point of not being able to spell our words and our emotions. Young people use text abbreviations such as BRB rather than spelling the words and they use them in writing papers in English class and wonder why their grade is not higher? English teachers are having to attempt to undo the damage caused by more than a decade of message-speak. Will they ever be able to undo it? Not likely.

God did not intend for us to be slaves to technology but we are in today’s world. In many countries where there isn’t a rampant embrace of technology, Christian faith and Christianity in general is growing. Because of God’s written Word. People are reading it and praising Him because of Who He is and what He has done for them. Technology can help in this of course, but when we depend on technology more than we depend on God, we have become idol worshipers. Even when we make “our god” statements we have made God in our image and reduced Him to a little “g”. Still an idol because He said in the giving of the Ten Commandments, that we should not make a graven image to represent Him or any other created thing to worship.

The Ten Commandments Exodus 20:1-17

(Deuteronomy 5:6-21)

1 And God spake all these words, saying,

2am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (This is the first commandment)

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

When we turn back to reading the Bible and learning from it, in church or in our homes, then our nation and the world will become the people that God intended for us to be. Pray for your children, teach them from God’s Word, learn from it while you teach them and help them to know that God loves them and has loved them since before they were born. Seek Him while there is time in this life because when this life is over, there are no second chances.

A misunderstood Dad


We know the story of Jesus’ birth. An angel named Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that her Son would be the Son of God. She was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter, but he didn’t find out about the Son until she was about three months along. There are only a few lines in the gospels which speak of his involvement and after Jesus’ twelfth birthday we never read about him at all. So what happened?

Joseph and Mary were betrothed before the angel told Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of the Most High. Betrothal in those days was a time of preparation for a couple to be married about a year later. There was no intimacy during this period and no seeing each other without supervision, but it was considered a time of matrimony without the ceremony which made them a legal couple.

When Mary heard that her cousin, Elizabeth, was having a child in her old age she had to go and see for herself. She heard this news through the angel which had told her that she would bear a Son by the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth was in her sixth month with her child and Mary went and stayed with her until almost the day the child was born. The Bible says about three months. When she returned to the town where Joseph and her family lived she was three months along in her pregnancy so it couldn’t be hidden at that point.

The scriptures say that Joseph was a righteous man in the sight of God so he knew that something had happened while they were apart, he just didn’t how or by who. Even though the Law required him to have Mary stoned, he couldn’t because he loved her. While he was thinking of quietly ending the betrothal an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him what had happened and that the Son would be given the throne of David one day. Joseph was every bit the man, husband and carpenter that God knew him to be which is why he was given the awesome job and responsibility to raise the Son of God.

Imagine the honor and privilege of being the Dad who was chosen to raise the Son of God? You couldn’t think about it too much because it would overwhelm you. What can you teach Him? Everything about being a man and a child on Earth is what you would have to do. Model the behavior that He would need to have in order to be your Son and God’s Son. How would you do such a thing? Live out the Law in front of Him and teach Him just as you would your own son, that’s how. Granted, you would probably be a little bit more concerned with what you were teaching Him since His Father is God and it would take a lot of soul searching and prayer to get it right, but God chose Joseph because He knew that he could do it.

Honor God daily


Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

Luke 11: 2-4 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.

In Jesus’ model prayer in Luke, we are told to honor our Father in heaven, but do we? Are we really honoring God as Jesus tells us to do or are we just saying words which we have memorized? In Ecclesiastes, Solomon tells us that we should be careful of saying anything from our own mind when we come before God. Why is this? Because God is our Creator and our Provider and it is from His hand of grace and mercy that we live and breathe. While it is true that people haven’t dropped dead because of their words or their lack of respect for God, at least since the time of the apostles. We should honor God and Jesus with our words and our lives.

Think about Who it is that we are speaking of in this instance. We are talking about GOD and His Son, Jesus! The Creator of All that is or ever has been in the entire universe. We aren’t talking about Joe or Bob that we went to school with. Sometimes we give more respect and honor to our grandparents or military veterans than we give to God and that is wrong.

Do you realize that God gives you the air that you breathe and He keeps all of the physical processes going which allows you to think and eat and walk each and every day of your life? With a thought, He could end your life as it is. He could extinguish the Sun if He wished and we would truly see what an ice age would be like because the oceans would freeze solid. Our lives are only ours because God wants us to be here doing the things which we are doing! It isn’t because we are great and wonderful people or some magnificent accomplishments that we have done! He is the reason that we have the ability and the knowledge to be able to do what we do!

God loves us so much that Jesus had to come to Earth and die a horrible death in order to pay for our sins…all of our sins! He did this because He loves each one of us, not because He had to. Jesus could not even pray that “model prayer” because He didn’t have any sins to be forgiven of. It shows us how to pray because we are supposed to give praise to God first and honor Him before we ever say anything about our needs or our sins. Praying that prayer as a “prayer” is like repeating a formula or a recipe. It has all of the elements but it lacks the specifics for us.

I don’t mean that the model prayer is anything less than perfect, but if you pray it exactly the way that Jesus said to, then it is not specific to your needs. He said this is how you should pray, not what you should pray. It is the model of your prayers and mine. Give God His glory and His honor in the beginning of the prayer, repent of your sins and ask for His forgiveness and then seek His wisdom for what you are in need of, then thank God for His mercy and grace that you can bring your prayer to His throne. God already knows what we need, but like an Earthly father, He wants to hear His children come to Him and ask for their needs in humility and faith.

One small step…


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.