Pain, heartache, and disease


What in the world could cause me to begin with a title like that? Because there is something that many of us do in our lives which has a direct connection or effect on our lives. It is usually something which we have held onto for much longer than we should have and it can cause all of these in our lives. That something is anger and hate. Granted that is 2 things but many times they go together.

The problems start when we hold onto them for longer than we should. Either one of these emotions can cause pain and disease when we keep them in our lives because many times we treat them as pets. We bring them out and “feed” them our feelings and we try to keep them alive so we won’t forget the reason for them in the first place.

But anger and hatred are like hot coals from a fire. The longer that you hold them the more damage they cause to you…not to the object of your anger or hatred. After a few years or even many years, sometimes the heat of those emotions tends to cool a bit. But, just like a fire, if you stoke them and add a little more fuel to the “fire” in order to bring the heat back regardless of the type of fuel it is.

That is how our country has been fueling all of the anger and hatred and resentment over the past 130 years or so. We have never let the fire go out and we haven’t really tried to get to a point of forgiveness. Each time that there is some reconciliation or healing which begins, there is always an incident which happens to peel the scab off or which puts more fuel on the dying embers once more.

Slavery and the racism which came from it and all of the heartaches and horrible crimes which were committed during that time and since then because it is a part of America’s past, not just the South but because slavery was a part of England and the Bahamas and the Carribean. Yet it seems that we as a country and as a people, regardless of the color of our skin, can’t seem to learn from that past and come to a place of forgiveness and then move on.

So, to answer my first question of why am I writing this now…it is because it needs to be said. If someone in our generation who remembers the murders of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy doesn’t begin to address the issue and seek to move on with forgiveness and healing, hopefully, it may never happen. If dialogue is not sought out in a peaceful way and then used as a step toward healing and forgiveness how can we ever find our way to that place?

If the first step isn’t taken to move toward reconciliation and healing in a country where there has been a division like this for so long, it will never be taken. We will be constantly refueling the fire with more anger and hatred and stoking it until it kindles again. Healing and forgiveness can never come from that and until we at least try to take that step there is no possibility of healing between “white’s” and people of color regardless of the darkness of their skin.

Jesus loves each of us regardless of our color or our culture and we should at least try to accept His strength and His Spirit so that we can make a difference one day in this country. Too many have died because of mistrust and anger over the years and if we can get to know each other as people, not colors, then maybe we can take a step in that direction.

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What does this season mean to you?


The Christmas season means different things in different cultures and religions. For some this time of year doesn’t mean much at all because they don’t recognize Jesus as a Person Who should be celebrated. For others, their religion doesn’t celebrate any holiday regardless of the time of year. For those who celebrate Christmas with food and consumption of it in all of its celebratory ways, it is a time of throwing out the diet and enjoying food for the tastes of the season.

Then…there are those who just love to buy all kinds of “toys”, from those for children to the ones for children who haven’t grown up. Most of us actually fall into this last group. We see so many problems, financial and otherwise, which come from our consumption of this “stuff”. So what should we do with our lives because of this season? Do you even see this season as one which we should celebrate the birth of One Who came to be a Savior for all?

This celebration has been with the Christian church for nearly two thousand years at this time. Some celebrate it as such and some do not because they do not recognize Him as their Savior. God brought about His works in this time not to glorify Israel or Himself but to show His love for all of mankind and His work was to bring Jesus into the world as its Savior.

The world chose not to recognize Him then and most of the world chooses the same even today which is why we, as His servants, should tell them about Him and stress that the time grows short for making a decision about Him. While it is true that some have many days still, there are some who do not have much time to decide if they want an eternity with Jesus or with Satan.

All of us have an eternity to bear but it is the type of life in eternity that is at stake. An eternity with Satan in Hell is called the second death because you are separated from God, the Author of Life. Why am I bringing this up during this season of joy? Because it is necessary for people to hear it and because some have heard it and many more have not, and yet there are many who have chosen not to receive Him.

These are in need of a Savior and are the reason for which He was sent to us. Not to begin a season of gift-giving, although that is a good thing, or even to bring hope for a fallen world but to bring to each of us the hope of an eternity with Him and the possibility of being redeemed from our sinful lives. That is the message of His coming as a babe in Bethlehem, God dwelling with mankind to redeem us all through His teachings and His death on a cross and His resurrection so that we could be with Him one day too.

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He is our Savior and Redeemer. Amen

Do you believe?


Jesus said that if we believe in Him we will be saved. But what about the rest of God’s Word? Do you believe what it says? You know…you can’t pick and choose which parts or which verses or books to believe although many people seem to do just that these days. Being a Christian means more than believing in Jesus although that is the beginning of your faith. Living as a Christian daily means living by God’s Word. Not just the New Testament or the parts about Jesus and His ministry but by living and believing ALL of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation.

There are no areas of the Bible which are gray areas when it comes to faith. You either believe all of it or you actually believe only parts of it and when you do that you have invalidated ALL of it. By choosing to believe some parts of it and not others it is you who makes God’s Word of no effect!

Being a Christian, heart, and soul, is not a life of choosing what you will believe and then throwing out the parts you don’t like. Except in our world today, this is exactly how people want to read and believe or not believe in God. They want to choose which parts that they can live with and leave out the parts that they don’t like or those which make them feel guilty of their sins.

Jesus did not soften His sermons because there were people in the crowd who didn’t like what He was saying. He taught what the Father told Him to teach and to bring those in who would believe. If there were some who would not listen or believe that His teaching came from God then so be it because it was their choice to reject His teaching.

God had been trying to reach them ever since He liberated them from slavery to the Egyptians. But as soon as three days into their freedom, they began to grumble and it never really stopped, even when they reached the land which God had promised to them and conquered those who were living there. We are the same way today. We want the blessings of God and the promise of eternity in Heaven but we want to live our lives our way…but that isn’t how it works!

In our world or living by God’s rules, it is either one or the other, you can’t have it both ways!

That is why in the book of Joshua they were given a choice and we are as well: “Choose you this day whom you will serve“. You will either serve your own selfish desires and live like the rest of the world does or you will serve God and follow His ways and live in the footsteps of Jesus.

What Child is this?


For many years we have sung this song at this time of year but I have often wondered if anyone actually searches for Him or His real identity?

The angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would bear a Son Who would be called Immanuel and to name Him Jesus (Yeshua). For a teenage girl, this was fairly upsetting particularly since she was betrothed to Joseph at the time. Without going over the entire story of Jesus’ birth my only revelation is this: He was NOT born on December 25. He was born, according to the Jewish calendar, during the Feast of Tabernacles which is around late September early October.

JesusfitsinyourheartWhy is this important? Because the word used or translated “with” when the meaning of Immanuel was translated also means “to tabernacle with”. God came to live with mankind, at least for a time and physically be with His creation. Ever since the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has lived with each believer from the time that they asked Him to come into their hearts. He dwells with us!

Isn’t that a wonderful and powerful message and the best part of it is that one day soon we will be with Him too! Your life and mine will not have to end with the death of this “tabernacle” which is walking around with pains and problems! We will be with Him forever. God loves His creation enough that we will be in His Presence for eternity. No more pain or sickness or death. That is the message and the hope that we have all been given by His grace and mercy.

So why would you want to keep this glorious and life-changing news to yourself? When we are baptized into our new life with Him and we come out of the water we are like the Hebrews who were escaping from Egypt after going through the Red Sea. We are not supposed to just sit down on the shore and not move until Jesus comes and they didn’t either. They complained and whined about being in the desert but God provided for them and He does the same for us too.

We have been given a new life to live in Him and through Him because of His love and grace toward us and we should make sure to walk in that grace until He comes again. The fact that God came to live with and redeem mankind is the most wonderful act of compassion and love that can be imagined. Don’t turn away from Him just because of your idea of how your life should be. Seek Him out and find the life which you can live through Him!

The story of His birth and how we celebrate it has been handed down and changed over the years to coincide with other traditions and celebrations but the story and the message only come from the gospels. That is the story which we should be hearing and clinging to for our salvation because He, the baby in the manger, is our Savior.

Gadgets and doodads


Why are we so interested in these things which take up space and don’t get used? Life is not about stuff and gadgets and doodads, it is about relationships and the people in our lives, especially those in our families! We should be thankful for them and let them know how we feel about them and their contributions to our lives. Those who we attend church with should also know how much they mean to us as well. But many times we keep that information to ourselves and never really express our feelings toward them.

Even toward our family, immediate and in-laws too, we seem to keep our feelings to ourselves. Why has our society become so distant toward each other and yet many want to open our borders to people who aren’t Americans and really don’t want to become citizens? Many of them seem to only want the benefits of being considered an American but they don’t want to be an American!

Christmas and being a Christian is not about stuff or presents or doodads and gadgets, it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Who came to bring humanity the salvation which God wants us to have. Do you believe that God wants us to be saved? I do. Because He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to be our Savior if He didn’t! Remember, if you have ever read about the Garden of Eden, God used to walk with Adam in the cool of the day. That is the type of relationship He desires to have again with us.

Not just a few of us but with every person that will repent of their sins and accept Jesus as their Savior by believing in Him.

Statues and idols don’t have any power to save you. Nothing which is made by mankind, religion or otherwise, can bring salvation to your soul. Only belief in Jesus as your Savior can do that. Praying to Allah can’t do it. Praying to Mary can’t do it. Praying to your ancestors can’t give you eternal life. Only belief in Jesus and in His atonement for your sins on the cross can bring eternal salvation to you.

Walking with Him daily and following His lead in your life can bring such peaceful days to you that I can’t describe them. I have had more days of peace walking with Him for the past twenty years than I could ever imagine having without Him in my life. Granted, I don’t live in a country ripped apart by war or terrorism and I’m not wealthy since I live on disability now, but life is better since He is keeping me here to do His work until that day when He calls me home.

I still have trouble making my bills sometimes. I still wake up with my aches and pains that go with me everywhere. But…I am blessed with His Presence and His promise of eternity when this life is over. The time which we have here is a very small amount of time compared to eternity and that is my goal. To make it to the home which He has prepared for me and for you too if you will believe in Him. No more sorrow or pain or wearing glasses to see or even a watch to tell time by because we don’t need to watch the time.

We will be “like Him” when we are there, not “gods” but our bodies will be immortal and a lot better than the ones we live in now. I pray that everyone who reads this will seek Him out as their Savior so I can welcome you home or even meet you one day in eternity.

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Many who need Him


There are so many people in the world who have never heard of Jesus and His love for them. Some of them are in places where missionaries aren’t allowed and some are in places where the danger is against those who bring His message and anyone who may give their life to Him. So…how can we get His message to the world, to the people who need Him and don’t know Him. They may know about Him but they haven’t come to the point of realizing that their soul and their eternity depends upon their relationship with Jesus.

How can we get the word and the message of Jesus to those who truly need to hear it? By going and telling others about our Savior and His love, whether we do it in person or online they need to hear His message.

Image result for Roman road to salvation

 

The pathway to salvation is not a hard path to find but you have to stick to the path and stay on it until He comes. Don’t veer to the right or the left because the way is easy if you follow it but when you get off of the pathway you are getting into the enemy’s territory.

God in man…


When our Savior came to Earth as a baby, He was the Seed of the woman but He was also the Word made flesh. The Old Testament tells of this in many scriptures and many verses yet there are some who will only teach and preach from the New Testament from the gospels on to the book of Revelation. The Bible reveals Jesus in many different ways and places in Scripture if we will only read and study it in order to find Him. In Genesis, He was the promised Seed of the woman. In Exodus, He was shown in the pillar of Cloud by day and the Fire by night, His sustaining Presence was also with them where the water came from the Rock and the manna which sustained them.

JesuspaiditallThe Person of Jesus showed up in many different places. Later He was seen as the Angel of the Lord and as a Son of the gods. His most enduring ministry has been in the past two millennia as the Holy Spirit sent to teach us to be more like Him and to be our Comforter. Jesus is our Savior, our Shepherd, and our Redeemer as well as our Advocate and our Protector.

God has given Him the seat at His right hand and one day He will sit on His throne in Jerusalem as King, ruling for one thousand years. How do I have confidence that these things will happen? Because of the prophecies in the Bible and their fulfillment. The only ones which have not come to pass are those foretold for the Tribulation. Be ready when He comes for His Bride, the believers who are on the Earth at that time and those who have died. There won’t be a second call. If you are left here then you will be part of the time of Trouble.

JesusCan you become a Christian during this time? Yes, but it will be dangerous and deadly because if you refuse to take the mark of the ruler of the world at this time you will be killed by beheading. If you do take His mark then you will lose your eternity. There is no gray area to hide behind…you either belong to Jesus or you follow Satan’s false leader who is the opposite of Jesus, the AntiChrist.

One at a time


How can we advance our faith and our church in our community? One person at a time. That is how Jesus did it, at least at the beginning of His ministry. So, what should we do with our own testimony? Should we tell everyone or should we just talk to one person who needs to hear it and pray that it makes a difference in their lives?

Have you ever considered the impact of your testimony about the impact which Jesus had on your life? Few of us really think about this after we have accepted Him as our Savior. Even fewer think about what His influence has had in our own lives. It sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Why would you give your life and your heart to Jesus and then rarely think about Him or even the impact He has had in your life?

Although it seems that many people try to live a solitary life with Jesus as their Savior. That is not what He called us to be. We are supposed to be His witnesses in the world and His representatives in the world so that others might see the difference that He made in our lives! You can’t really live a solitary life with Jesus, can you? Yes, but it isn’t a lonely life as long as you acknowledge His Presence in your life each and every day!

John 5:1-18
After this, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.…

I. THE PATIENT.

1. He was fully aware of his sickness and owned it. He was not like those who are lost by nature, who do not know it or will not confess it.

2. He waited by the pool expecting some sign and wonder. This is how many people wait, persevering in ordinances and unbelief, expecting some great thing, that on a sudden they will experience strange emotions and remarkable impressions, or see a vision or hear a supernatural voice. No one will deny that a few have been thus favored but such interpositions are not to be looked for. Jesus Himself is the greatest of wonders. In regard to this matter of waiting.

(1) That it is not the way which God has told His servants to preach. The gospel of our salvation is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”(2) This un-gospel-like gospel of waiting is immensely popular. Why? Because it administers laudanum to the conscience. When the minister preaches with power and men’s hearts are touched, the devil says “Wait.”(3) Is not this “waiting” a very hopeless business? Of those who waited how few were healed? What right have you to expect that if you wait another thirty years you will be different?

(4) There lies our poor friend. I do not blame him for waiting, for Jesus had not been there before. He expected some person to have mercy on him and help him to get into the pool when the water was disturbed. Then when Jesus came and He expected Him to help him to get into the pool but Jesus said that your faith has made you whole.

(5) Having been so often disappointed he was growing in deep despair. Moreover, he was getting old; and life is wearing away with you. You have waited all this while in vain, sinfully waited. You have seen others saved, your child, your wife; but you are not. So how can you make a difference in your life? By believing in Jesus for your salvation and living with Him each day expecting Him to give you an eternity like He has promised to do for those who believe.

II. THE PHYSICIAN. (Jesus the Christ)

1. He made an election. This man was possibly selected because he was the worst case and had waited longest of all.

2. Jesus said, “Wilt thou be made whole?” not for information, but to arouse attention.

3. He gave the word of command.

4. There is nothing said in the text about faith, but the whole incident shows that the man must have had faith.

5. The cure which Christ wrought was —

(1)  Perfect. The man could carry his bed.

(2)  Immediate. The man was not carried home by friends and gradually nursed into vital energy.

Did he gradually get better on the way home? No! He was healed right there at the time that Jesus said so according to his expectation (faith).

 

To believe or not to believe…


Literal, figurative, metaphorically or not at all… which one describes your belief when it comes to the scriptures? This is part and parcel of our belief in God and His Son, so why is it such a big deal in the 21st century?

Does it have to do with the miracles found in God’s Word? Are they truly that unbelievable? Consider Who it is that performed these miracles, our Lord and Creator! God commanded the stars to be and the light to shine and all of the animals to populate the waters on the Earth by His spoken Word. So why is it so difficult to believe that the words in the Bible, though they were written down by men, are true and accurate?

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, was a literal person because He is spoken of in historical writings of the day and time that He was alive. The same can be said of His disciples and others who lived during that time, so why is it easier to call the Bible a figurative book of historical metaphors rather than the inerrant Word of God?

Would you believe so strongly in a metaphorical account or a figurative account which could be true but may not be true? Could you have faith in the God mentioned in a book which is only figurative or mostly made up of metaphors? Would you believe in it and in the Savior spoken of in its pages strongly enough to be burned at the stake for your beliefs? I don’t think that all of the martyrs of the ages would’ve believed in it or in Jesus for their salvation if it was shown to be only a “figurative or metaphorical” book.

Yet there are some study materials out today which claim that this is what we read when we are reading the Bible.

The prophecies which are in the Old Testament pointed to a Savior being born in a certain town to a virgin at a certain time. There are also other prophecies which foretold of empires being brought down or coming into existence hundreds of years before they were. No amount of “wishful thinking”, metaphorically or otherwise can predict something that accurately. Only God can tell the end from the beginning and speak about things which are not as if they were.

God loves us!


Many times we look around and see all of the things which happen to those who serve God and try to be His servants, some people think that it is not worth it for the trouble. Why does this trouble come upon us when we are trying to do the work of the Lord? Mainly it is because of the prophecies of Jesus, Who said: “you shall have trouble in this world, but take heart I have overcome the world“.

We do have trials and trouble in this world because of the ruler of this world. Satan doesn’t bother those who haven’t given their hearts to Jesus but those who are following Him, he brings trouble to them. Sometimes it is trouble for our hurt and at times it may be for testing us and our faith. See that you follow Jesus in life so that others might see your perseverance in Jesus and become saved through Him because of your witness.

Many Christians don’t desire to “witness” to those around them but I have to ask in this instance, “Are you truly saved?”!! If Jesus has not made a change in your life such that you would shout from the roof that He is your Savior, then you may need to check your heart by God’s Word and make sure of your salvation. I know that many people think that they can’t tell others about their salvation. If you don’t feel that your salvation is a gift worthy of telling others about it then what did you seek salvation for?

Jesus willingly gave His life and His blood for your sins and for everyone’s sins in the world and He was raised on the third day after this to be our Lamb of sacrifice and our payment for our sins. If the blood of the Son of God is not precious to you then you don’t belong to Him. God extends His love to all who believe in Jesus for salvation if we will give our life to Him daily in our service to God’s Kingdom.

John 16:

Persecution Foretold
(Acts 23:12-22)

1 I have told you these things so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 But I have told you these things so that when their hour comes, you will remember that I told you about them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit
(Joel 2:28-32; John 14:15-26; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-7)

5 Now, however, I am going to Him who sent Me; yet none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 Instead, your hearts are filled with sorrow because I have told you these things. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

8 And when He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world has been condemned.

12 I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. 13 However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. 15 Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.

16 In a little while you will see Me no more, and then after a little while you will see Me.”

Grief to Joy

17 Then some of His disciples asked one another, “Why is He telling us, ‘In a little while you will not see Me, and then after a little while you will see Me’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “Why is He saying, ‘a little while’? We do not understand what He is saying.”

19 Aware that they wanted to question Him, Jesus said to them, “Are you asking one another why I said, ‘In a little while you will not see Me, and then after a little while you will see Me’? 20 Truly, truly, I tell you, you will weep and wail while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman has pain in childbirth because her time has come; but when she brings forth her child, she forgets her anguish because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

Ask and You will Receive

23 In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. Truly, truly, I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

25 I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you this way, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.b 28 I came from the Father and entered the world. In turn, I will leave the world and go to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “See, now You are speaking plainly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we understand that You know all things and that You have no need for anyone to question You. Because of this, we believe that You came from God.”

31 “Do you finally believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”