Do you seek the spotlight?

During this time of video classes and video services from churches without people, are we seeking to be in the spotlight? Some people may be like fireflies in front of a camera and some truly are but for those who are trying to take the message of Jesus to others, shouldn’t we try to make sure that it is His message which is in the spotlight? It is our pride which causes us to seek the spotlight because we want the attention. It is pride which is the tap root from which all sins grow from and Satan knows how to nudge us in this direction.

Jesus didn’t seek the spotlight but He did spotlight the message itself so that people would hear it and seek salvation through belief in Him. It is our own pride which carries us into hell because we try to do everything ourselves. We even try to be our own savior because we believe that our works and our “righteousness” would gain us entry into the presence of God. It isn’t easy to be humble before God because we can’t see Him. We don’t know His majesty or His holiness and we can’t look around us and perceive Him in all of His glory.

We look at all of the accomplishments of mankind and we think that man has done so many great things. In some areas we have but if you look closer you can see all of the failings of mankind’s stewardship of our home. The pollution of rivers and the ocean and the cutting down of rain forests, which clean our air and make it breathable again. In the past few hundred years we have done much harm to our home, most of which cannot be fixed or replaced. Yet, we think that we deserve to stand in the Presence of God because of our “accomplishments”. How brazenly bold and prideful we are.

God loves each of us but those that He has called to be His aren’t doing their job as they should. Some are true enough but many of us seem to look at our salvation as nothing more than “fire insurance”. When we should be working for our Savior and Lord until that day when He comes to take His Bride, the church, home. This is the expectation of our Savior and our God but if we don’t read His Word we won’t know until it is too late.

Just as in the parable of the talents, when the Master of the house comes we should be found diligently working for Him and not being lazy and only bringing his one talent back to Him. Think of being a worker who will be richly rewarded if we are found working hard for our employer on the day when He says, “Enter into the rest of your Master my faithful servant”. Our time here is a very short time compared to even ten thousand years and that is only a moment in time compared to eternity. Make sure of your salvation and get to work while there is time to do so. Once your time is done here you will give account to God for every word and deed which you did for Him or not. You decide which side you will be found on.

Do you listen to God?

There are many people in church and outside of church who will tell you that “God doesn’t speak to us anymore!”. Really? Who do you think is speaking when you read the Bible? It isn’t the person who wrote the words down because it is God’s Holy Spirit which has inspired them to write and speak and pray and write some more. The words in the Bible come from God so how can you say that He doesn’t speak today? No, He doesn’t use His “God” voice because most people would fall down dead if He did! (maybe not dead, but it would scare a lot of people).

God speaks through the words which we read from the Bible but if you don’t read His Word how will you know what He sounds like? God loves us and He has loved us since the beginning of everything. He knew Adam would not be able to resist the Tree of Knowledge. That was not a surprise to God at all. Jesus, His Son, was the Second Person of the Trinity and He knew that He would have to go one day and pay for all of our sins and He willingly did it. His human body and mind didn’t want to but His will submitted to His Father and did it anyway.

Was it painful? Yes! He bled and died for our sins…but He rose to life on the third day and now He is waiting for His Father to tell Him to “Go and get your Bride”. God is giving each of us a chance to be saved but it is up to us and our decision whether we will accept His gift of grace. Salvation is a gift from God just as your life and your health is a gift from Him. Whether we actually accept it or not is our decision. Can God force it on us? He could but that would prove nothing. Forcing obedience from someone is slavery and God doesn’t want slaves, He wants followers and people who love Him because He loved us first!

Love cannot be forced it is given from both parties in the relationship. If it is not or if the love is only flowing one way then pretty soon the stream dries up. A loving relationship is a two way stream and if both parties are not contributing to the stream then pretty soon the relationship will become one sided and then it will die. God doesn’t begin relationships with us in order to let them die. He is the Creator and the Author of Life so a relationship with Him is a two way relationship. He gives and we give as well. We give Him our life just as He gave His Son’s life for us to be sanctified and holy. Did it cost God anything? Of course it did! He felt the nails. He felt the whip as it ripped into Jesus’ body. He knew the suffering that Jesus went through to bring salvation to all who would accept it.

But…not everyone will accept it.

I pray that you who read this will accept His love into your life and accept Jesus as your Savior because one day soon our period of grace will be over and the time of testing and tribulation will begin.

Tiny though thy faith be…

Think of how much something as small as a virus has impacted our world. Look at all that has been done to the wealth of the world and the health of its people because of a little virus and the fear of it, what could we do if we had even a tiny almost microscopic amount of faith in God? Have we given up all of our belief in Him because of something that we can’t see which is taking many in death? Why would the entire world give up on its Creator and His ability to heal and save because of some “new” disease?

There is no disease which is new. It may not have been seen for many hundreds of years or it may be one which is known yet it has changed and mutated in such a way that it affects us differently than it did in the past. Even the “scientists” which believe in evolution would tell us that this is the way of life so that only the strong will carry on.

God doesn’t do this. He may allow it to happen so that we will seek Him for deliverance and healing. Yet today we do not. We turn away from God and His servants and call them hypocrites and hard-hearted toward those who are suffering. Even when Christian organizations give help with no reward to themselves they are looked upon as withholding treatments from some because of their beliefs.

Oh, ye of little faith“, Jesus said this to His disciples many times regarding their lack of faith. We should be having church services and being the church that Jesus began two thousand years ago. The world and all who live in it needs to hear His message and that He is the Savior Who died for all of us…not just a few. There are many in the world who are living out their lives as heroes because they are doing what He would do if He were here in Person. If we had even a mustard seed’s worth of faith in Him we could pray for His healing and if we believed that He would do it then it would be done.

There are so many who do not believe in Him or in God or in any part of the Bible as God’s Word but one day soon all will see and know that it is true. They will see that it is the Truth yet for many it will be too late. I pray that you will be one of those who does believe in Jesus for salvation and forgiveness now…today. Because when the believers are taken up to be with Him the time that is left on Earth will be only seven years and during that time there will be many signs and wonders which will deceive many people. Seek Him for your salvation while there is time. You may not have tomorrow so trust Him now.

One Life changed everything

Have you ever thought which Life changed everything? In truth it isn’t hard to figure out because, if you are a Christian, you already know Him. The Life which changed our calendar and each of our lives is Jesus Christ. He came into the world in obedience to the Father’s will for all of us to know Him and come to know Him as our Savior. His life is eternal because He is the Son of God and the Living Word and our Savior.

Jesus did change the world and He did it from a three year ministry before He was crucified. But of course that was not the end of the story…it was just the beginning. So how did He change the world? He taught His disciples that God loves His people regardless of their nationality or their skin color or their gender. God is our Creator and He knows each of us so well that He knows your next thought and the next word which will be spoken by you.

God has ordained each of us to be His representative in whatever fashion or task or ministry we may find ourselves in. It may not be a ministry in a church or on a mission field but we are to “bloom where we are” so to speak.

I want to apologize for the shortness of this post and the fact that I began working on it two days ago. A companion of mine who happened to have four feet and beautiful copper-red fur passed on to the next life this past weekend on Saturday morning. She had been my constant companion and nurse for fourteen years and she was only two months from her fifteenth birthday. But, she had an enlarged heart and God knew it was time for her to come home. I pray that I will see her again one day.

Thank you for understanding. Please, seek out a Bible teaching church and learn more about our Savior, Jesus the Christ. He is the only way to gain entry into Heaven.

Jesus wept…

He wept for His friend, Lazarus. Not because he died before Jesus could come but because he had to die so that others might see him return from the dead and live because Jesus called him back. He came back because of the call of Jesus and because many would believe in Jesus because of the miracle. Jesus wept because of the unbelief in the world even at the time that He lived and it likely grieves His heart even now because of the unbelief and hatred that is still in the world today.

We weep when a loved one dies. Sometimes it hurts so deeply that the pain lasts for days or weeks or even years…but God knows our pain and He gives us the strength to make it one more day. It is only by His strength that we can get through today and tomorrow and the next day. Sometimes it hurts and it is hard but many times the good memories that we have bring a smile to our face and warm our hearts even when they feel broken.

We hear people say things like “time will heal the pain”. It won’t. With the passage of time the pain gets easier to bear but it is still there and it is never truly healed. The pain of loss and the fact that you can’t talk to or see the person who is not here never truly goes away. The only time that the pain and the sorrow will ever be gone will be when we see them in heaven one day. Then we can celebrate throughout eternity.

Those who don’t believe in Jesus for their Savior and are part of a family that didn’t believe in Him for salvation don’t have this hope and assurance. Our hope comes from Jesus because of His love for us and the sacrifice that He made for us to have a relationship with Him. I pray that anyone who has not made that decision about their eternal future will make it before it is too late. Seek Him out and ask Him to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins. Live your life following Him and learning from Him by reading and praying about what you read in the Bible. God calls us to Himself and we should answer His call by humbly telling Him that we are sorry for waiting so long.

Fear is our enemy…

If you look at some of the decisions which we make in our lifetime, a good percentage of them are motivated by fear. In particular when we buy things. Some people call it “impulse buying”. Something looks like a good deal so we buy whatever it is because we think we may not find a better price, only to find the same item a month or so later “on sale”. Sometimes it will go on sale the next day, but the people at the store aren’t allowed to tell you that. This happens in our consumer-driven economy more often than it should. I know because I used to do this more often than I should’ve. I still do at times but I keep praying that this “impulse demon” will go away.

Fear causes many things to happen that shouldn’t happen and these things usually happen because of specific fears. Sometimes they happen because of a general feeling of anxiety which is also a form of fear. We also fear telling other people about our Savior and what He has done for them and for the rest of the world. We fear rejection and anger since there are many who just don’t want to hear about a “god that I can’t see” or “a god that left us here to die on this ball of mud”.

God has never turned His back on humanity. He may allow some tragedies to happen or some wars or diseases to become more virulent or for the war to drag on and on, but He has never left us. We look around our world and we see the good of humanity sometimes but the news reports on mostly bad things. There is very little encouraging news which is reported on a daily basis. We may hear of a good deed or some philanthropy that has helped people when they were in need but that is mostly on a once per year calendar. On a daily level, we usually just turn the TV off so we won’t hear so much negativity.

But…God is still in control. He hasn’t forgotten us and since Jesus told His disciples that God the Father knows even when a sparrow falls to the ground, don’t you think He watches over each of us too? God doesn’t lie to get His point across or to just have His way. He is in control of the temperature of our Sun and the gravity which holds our planet in its place. He knows how much is needed to balance the dance of our solar system so that everything stays out of the way of everything else. The universe itself is balanced so delicately that it takes astounding calculations to know that if even one percent fluctuated in one direction or the other life could not exist.

Why am I writing about fear? Because it is an emotion which we are very familiar with and Satan uses it to cause us to doubt our faith in and our salvation through Jesus. Our lives are bound up in anxiety and fear due to disease and wars and economic upheavals just as we are going through right now. Many people are asking the question, “Why would God allow this to happen?”. He is allowing it to turn our attention back to Him and to the real fact that we need Him!

We have become so desensitized to violence and hatred and the sins which happen each day on the Internet or on the news and on TV shows and movies until we don’t blush about much these days. We are not ashamed of the actions of celebrities or our family members. Sinful actions which would’ve been enough to send someone to live with a relative a few decades ago are looked at as normal and permissible in today’s society. When my parents got divorced about fifty years ago it was enough of a scandal that my Dad’s boss leveled some form of punishment at him which I think had to do with a promotion. That would not happen today.

Do we need God and a belief in Jesus which can save our souls from the second death in hell? Yes! The problem is that today many people don’t believe that there is a heaven or a hell and they certainly don’t believe that the Bible is true let alone the fact that many of its prophecies have come true. God exists and Jesus is the only way to salvation for your soul. Satan is also real and hell is prepared for him but many people will go there as well if they don’t turn their hearts back to the One Savior Who can give them eternal life and atonement for all of their sins, Jesus the Christ.

Are you a visitor or a Christian?

In churches you sometimes see little cards to quantify if you are a visitor to the church. When you fill out one of these you admit that you are “just visiting” but what about the members of the church? Are you just visiting? Why do I ask this question? Because some people who come to church on Sunday morning don’t even darken the door at any other time. Some come to Sunday school and church on Sunday morning but you don’t see or hear from them until the next Sunday and this covers many people in the church today. To explain what I mean when I say that you are “just visiting” even when you attend every Sunday morning I want to ask a question of you: Does anyone at your place of business or your workplace know that you are a Christian? I am not speaking of those who may know that you attend church on Sunday. I am asking you if they can see the influence of Jesus in your work and in your speech when you are at work?

Or do you sound like everyone else at work and in public? Do you act like those around you when you are away from your church or can they see Jesus in your everyday life?

See, visitors who attend church only get a little bit of what is available to each of us. When you are committed to Jesus and your walk with Him goes out of the church and into the world then you are NOT visiting…you are being the church which Jesus wants us to be. Because, how are your co-workers going to know about Him if you don’t show Him to them in your life and your words? In many parts of America only twenty percent of people even attend church so if you aren’t taking Jesus with you then how will the other eighty percent find out about Him?

Many of us don’t even invite other people to come to our church so how will they ever find out about their Savior unless you show them how He has changed your life? God sent Jesus to the entire world and everyone in it. While it is true that He came to the Israelites first His message was intended for everyone. So how will it get to everyone if the church (people who are committed to Jesus) doesn’t carry the message outside the church building?

The world and those living in it have eternity ahead of them and you have a message to give them about Jesus Who can bring salvation to their lives and give them an eternity worth dying for. Because each of us has an eternal soul and whether you decide to follow Jesus and know Him as your Savior or not has an impact on your destination to live out your eternity. If you aren’t sure about your salvation or where you will spend eternity I would suggest that you take care of that as soon as possible. Not one person is guaranteed to see tomorrow and if you die tonight your eternity begins at that point. The question still remains: where will you spend eternity?

There is a chapter in the New Testament which the Apostle Paul wrote which gives a clear description of your life and mine as believers in Christ. Read chapter 8 in Romans and you will see. We are responsible for our lives and what we say and do here on Earth. We cannot be sinless because we sin every day. There are no sinless people on Earth, Christian or not because we cannot be sinless. Our life is given to us every day by God Himself and if you are a Christian we should be telling others about our Savior especially if we aren’t sure about their salvation and especially if they aren’t sure of it either.

Don’t be a visitor in church, be a disciple who takes God’s Word and your Salvation in Christ out into the world around you so others can see it and hear about Him. Be doers of the Word not just hearers only.

Are we living during the last days?

1: a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating

Matthew 24: 4 …Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

False Christs 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

According to the predictions of Jesus and the book of Revelation, I believe we are at the point where Jesus says that “these are the beginning of sorrows”. The last days can last for a few years before any of the other signs begin to be fulfilled and there are no dates or indications in the Bible that point to a certain year or anything that we can use as a specific sign. We don’t know the day or the hour. It could happen tonight or next year or in six months. The timing is up to God and He knows the exact time that He will send His angels to gather the church from the Earth.

Will this happen in our lifetime? Yes, I do believe that it will because the signs that we can see and read from God’s Word all point toward a time when news videos can be transmitted all over the world as they happen. We are living in that time.

God has provided a way for every person who is seeking salvation to have it through belief in Jesus for their salvation. He is the only way and if you want to be a part of the church that He began with His disciples, I would ask you to seek Him out as your Savior soon. The clock is ticking closer to that time but once the church is taken away it will be even harder for anyone to accept Him as their Savior. Read the chapter that I have highlighted above in the link and also the book of Revelation and Daniel chapter 9 and following.

Don’t turn away from His call on your life and in your heart. If you have felt it please turn to Him even on your bed at night and ask Him to be your Savior and Lord. A child can do it and you can too.

Have you heard His voice?

Like Mary at the tomb knew that it was her Lord and Savior when He spoke her name because no other person could express their love for her like Jesus. She felt it, she knew it was her Lord. Jesus calls us to become adopted into the family of God as His adopted brothers and sisters. God loves the world’s population regardless of country or ideology or skin color which is why Jesus came to pay the penalty for ALL of our sins and that penalty was not only His death but complete separation from His Father which He had never known before!

Jesus, our Savior, did this because of His love for humanity, for all of mankind, and yet He was rejected and still is in many countries. This begs the question, “Why is Jesus still rejected today?”. Is it because of the exclusive nature of His offer of salvation? My personal opinion is “Yes, that is the reason people of other faiths reject Him”.

Why? Because they don’t like being convicted of their sinful nature and their daily lives reflecting that. They live as if there is no tomorrow and mostly do whatever they feel like doing as long as they don’t hurt anyone. In some cultures, it doesn’t matter if they hurt someone because of their faith, especially if it is different or contrary to the dominant faith in that place. But, have you ever wondered how they would feel if they were the ones being ridiculed and spat upon because their faith was not the socially or politically acceptable faith?

God’s voice brought the cosmos into being at His command. Isn’t it a wonderful privilege and an honor to be able to study God’s Word in order to learn more about Him and His requirements for us? I do believe that having a written record of His statutes and laws and all of the poetry and wisdom that is contained in this Book is actually the best education that anyone can have. Reading it and studying it helps us to know His voice and how He sounds so that we will know for sure when He does speak to our spirit. We will know that it isn’t our ideas or our voice but His!

Coming to know Jesus as your Lord is one of the easiest and hardest decisions that a person can make. But it is also the best decision because it directly affects your eternity. Many people think that there are many rules and regulations to follow if you want to be a Christian but there is really only one requirement and that is to believe in Jesus for your salvation. Because unless you have been convicted of your need for a Savior, you won’t seek Him at all. But when you do feel that you need Him there are no hoops to jump through in order to be ready for it. Just believe that He died and rose again to pay for your sins and the penalty for them. Once you do that, your heart will change and you won’t be the same person that you were before.

You will do the same things which the apostles did or you will be able to do them and you will want to do them. Tell others how He changed your life and made you into a new creation with a heart that wants to do what He did and what Peter and John and Paul did. Tell others about this wonderful person that has saved you from the pit of hell and changed you so that you can say with confidence that “Jesus is my Lord and my Savior”. The thief which asked Him to remember him when He came into His Kingdom believed in his hour of need and he knew that he deserved the punishment that he got, but he asked Jesus for His forgiveness anyway…and he got it! Don’t turn away from the only Person who can save your soul.

Who are you trusting in today?

Are you trusting the government to “fix this pandemic”? Does anyone in our government even know or have an idea what this really is? Yes, it is a disease with similarities to the flu but no one knows the period of infection or the transmission vector other than through the air by droplets or possibly by touching a surface that may be contaminated. As far as we know it wasn’t engineered by anyone it just started infecting people but the strangest part of this virus is that it can cross over to animals like dogs, cats, even tigers. There aren’t many viruses which can do this. Did it catch us by surprise? I think it did. It began in China last fall and it is contagious enough that with our mobile population it has spread all around the world in about six months.

When will this virus go away? Nobody knows for sure. It may level off for a while during the summer months, but it may come back this fall or during the winter, we just don’t know. But…God does. Is He responsible for sending this virus into the world? I don’t know, but it’s possible. He could be using it to get our attention and get us to turn back to Him. We’ve pushed Him and most of His laws and His Word out of education and from most of our public places like courtrooms. When Israel did that, God used the Babylonians and the Syrians to come and enslave them until they turned to God and begged Him to send them a savior.

Sometimes this would work for a while, but usually in a short period of time they would be right back to worshiping other “gods” and He would have to get their attention again. Why are we so hard headed when it comes to following and worshiping God? We will do it for a while and do it faithfully, but when the hard times ease up we usually move to the point of, “We’ve got this, God you can go back to your house until we need you again”. God provides the air that we breathe and the water that we drink and every bite of food that we eat. Where in that sentence do you see a place where we DON’T NEED GOD!?

I know that many of you think that all of those things which I listed have been available to us for thousands of years so why should you thank God for them now? Okay, hypothetically, lets say tomorrow you wake up and you are having a really hard time breathing or getting enough air to let you be able to move. Would you blame God or would you seek Him out and beg Him to help you? If the doctors can’t find a reason for it and can’t really help you except by putting you on a respirator, don’t you think you should be talking really seriously to the Creator Who formed you in the womb? Since He is the only One that can help you at this point? Now how wonderful does that air feel when you take a breath?

God does love each of us deeply and He has provided everything that we need to live. He also provided a Savior to atone for all of your sins and mine so that we could be with Him in Heaven one day. You don’t know when your appointment will come to meet Him but it is coming. It could be tomorrow or next week, are you ready to meet Him? Do you know Him? Does He know you as a friend and an apostle? If you can’t answer those questions positively and without doubt, then you need to be seeking Him in His Word and through honest, heartfelt prayer too.

If you meet Him before I do, I pray that you will be known by Him as a “faithful servant” even if it was for a day or two or twenty years even. You need to make sure while you can in this life.