How would you feel…


If God or Jesus walked into your home and sat down to talk with you? I would worship Him and listen to every word He said. I would feel unworthy of His attention and unworthy of His Presence because I am a sinful man. We don’t deserve God’s love or His grace but He gives those to us because He loves us. He chooses to take care of us because He is the embodiment of Love!

Would you enjoy this conversation? Are you worthy of His Presence? No, not one person on Earth is worthy but by giving your life and heart to Jesus then He would consider you worthy.

By acting on the call of God’s Spirit and giving your life to Him, repenting of your sins and asking Jesus to be your Savior and Lord…you are worthy. God is waiting for your answer, won’t you at least seek Him out and follow Him today? Why? Because you may not be here tomorrow. We aren’t guaranteed a certain number of years or months or days and when you do seek Jesus, Satan will try to stop you in any way that he can. Don’t let him. Your eternity hangs in the balance so choose Jesus and be His disciple until that day when He calls us home.

Does God care about me?


This is one of those “duh?” questions but YES, He does care! It is true that we don’t see Him physically or feel His comfort as if He was giving us a hug, but God has always cared about each of us. Even those children who are killed by their mothers because of convenience (the time isn’t right), God takes their Spirits back until there is a mother out there who will raise and love that child (IMO). Do I know for sure that He does this? No, but I do believe that He will hold accountable those who continue to kill their children and those who have done it in the past but have not given their heart to Jesus in repentance of this terrible act.

Okay, off the soapbox.

Does God care what happens in your life? Yes, He does. He created each of us for a specific purpose in His mind. Finding that purpose is sometimes hard to do since we aren’t born knowing Him or even about Him. Some of us take years before we are brought to the point of realizing that we can’t do it all on our own. Sometimes that moment of finding this out leaves a scar or a bruise, physically or spiritually, which we sometimes push back from. Even though we know Who is trying to get our attention we act like children (even when we have a few decades of life behind us) and we try to tell God, “NO, I want to do it my way!”. Then when He lets us do it our way and it fails miserably, we get angry at HIM because it didn’t work that way we wanted it to.

Yes, God cares because He can see the end from the beginning in your life and in all of history. He knows who will listen to Him easily and He knows who will need a bump with a 2×4 on their head in order to get their attention. Somehow, I feel that He has to use more than a little persuasion for most of us in order to get it through our hard heads that He is interested in our well-being. While it is true that when God is in the process of getting our attention it is also for His Kingdom’s benefit, the rewards flow both ways.

We are useful to Him and to His Kingdom but the blessings of our usefulness come back to us even when we can’t see those blessings at times. We may not truly see the rewards of our labors for Christ until we are in Heaven. This is something which most in our world do not care about because those rewards are not physical or real in this life but in the next. Living and breathing in the present is more relevant to our existence and our experience but the rewards of working for God don’t necessarily come in this life.

God numbers the hairs on your head and since He cares enough to know even that bit of information about each of us, don’t you recognize that we are important to Him. We may have to do a bit of searching for our calling in this life but the reward will be so much more than we could experience in this life! Seek Him and His Kingdom and your reward will outweigh anything that you could have now.

Are you frustrated with God?


In our lives we do sometimes feel this way. Why has this happened? Why did my child die in that car crash? Why did my grandchild overdose on opioids? Why did I lose my job? The questions go on and on, but usually without an answer. At least we usually don’t get the answer that we truly want to hear. So we begin by blaming God for all of our troubles or we confront Him and demand an answer while we are ranting at Him in our prayer time!

The fact is that God doesn’t owe you or me any explanation about anything which is happening in our lives. Most of what happens in our lives could be explained as being allowed to happen by God but He doesn’t have to give you a reason or an explanation for whatever may be happening. Is it frustrating for us to have things like this to happen and then we can’t figure out why they happened? Yes, of course it is, but if you have read much of the Bible you will see that people who have faith in God and have placed their faith in His provision for their lives usually have that faith tested in some way. But before destruction comes to them, God will come in and save them to bring them back into fellowship with Himself. God is always on time but it is His time, not our idea of His time.

Many times this testing is allowed, such as the case with Job where Satan was allowed to take everything, including his health, from him just to prove Job’s faith in God. Job didn’t ask for this but since the question was brought up by God because He was proud of Job for being a righteous man, Satan said that Job would cast his faith away if God would remove His protection from him. But Job didn’t lose his faith. In fact by the time the book is over Job’s faith was increased rather than tossed aside.

So should we live in our faith like Job did? We should, but most people who claim to have faith in God would not keep their faith in the same circumstances which Job went through. In today’s world even the church and those who call themselves “Christians” who attend church services have little faith. They would blame God for their troubles and seek to fix their problems on their own and by their own strength. In today’s world they might succeed in paying of their debts and possibly regaining some of their wealth. But if your faith is in yourself and in your job or your business it will not last. God is the only Savior of mankind and it is He Who controls all aspects of life that we take for granted!

Seek and serve the One Savior, Jesus the Christ, because it is only by His grace and your repentance from your sinful ways, believing in Him for your salvation that you will see Him face to face in Heaven. He is the Door and the Good Shepherd and only through Him will we find peace and salvation for eternity. We cannot add any amount of worth to our salvation by the works which we do because He has already paid the price for each of us, the full price. All that we have to do is accept it as a graceful gift from God, believe in Jesus as our Savior and turn away from out old way of life to live in His Newness of Life through Him! Amen

We are ambassadors for Christ


Many people who claim to be Christians are not pastors or teachers or serving overseas as missionaries. They are just members of their respective churches. But…we are called to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ wherever we may be. At work, at home, at school, at the mall or at a restaurant eating out, if someone sees you blessing your food or any other action which might identify you as a Christian, then you should represent Christ in whatever capacity you can.

When we are called by God’s Holy Spirit to repent of our old ways and follow Jesus, we are also called into His ministry. This is not optional, it’s just part of being a follower of Jesus. The disciples knew it and everyone who knew them also knew that they were His followers. It is a ministry which doesn’t have a retirement date until you meet Him upon your death.

Does Jesus require us to do this for our salvation? No, it is not a requirement because He did all that was needed for you to be saved. It is up to you to accept the gift of salvation and atonement from Him when you feel the need for giving your life to Him. The Holy Spirit convicts you of your need but it is your responsibility to accept it and ask Him to come into your heart and change you into the person that He knows you can be. His ambassador wherever you go or whatever you do. That is your calling after you have accepted Him and truly given your life over to Him.

Salvation is not a sometimes thing and it isn’t something that you can choose to use when you need a blessing from God and then turn it off. True salvation is a change in your heart and soul because you KNOW that you need Him to change you into that person that He already knew about but you didn’t want to until the Holy Spirit convicted your Spirit of it through faith and by your accepting His Grace for your new life in Him. We are not born into the family of God, we are invited to join by God’s Spirit which convicts us of our need for Him.

Eternity is waiting for each of us and there are two different places where we will spend it. Heaven for those who give their lives and their hearts to Jesus and live a life of service and grace through faith in Him. The hell of separation from God’s Presence with the demons and Satan because you refused His grace and the salvation that only He can bring into your life. When we hear a message about salvation at church or a revival meeting and we don’t know Jesus yet, it is our responsibility to either accept it as the wonderful gift that it is or to reject it and go about our life as if we have all the time in the world. But nobody has that luxury.

The beginning of trouble


Pride can kill anyone. Pride is the beginning of the end for relationships, or churches or friendships. Pride is especially deadly to your relationship with God. God has said in His Word, “be holy because I am holy”. So why aren’t we holy? Probably because of the notion that we are human and can attain any amount of holiness, but that is not what being holy means.

The real meaning of holy is this: to be “set apart” or “dedicated” to God. Being holy is part and parcel of being a Christian! It doesn’t mean that we are sinless or that we can’t have fun but we must be a part of the world but stand apart from the world by being dedicated to the work of God on this Earth. When you live a life with pride in yourself you are placing yourself on the throne of your life, in effect you declare yourself to be “god”.

Pride is a very subtle drug which can cause you very BIG problems. It may not happen at the beginning and it will likely be so easy at first, but you will fall from the platform that you have stepped up on. Pride can convince you that you are more than you are. More powerful, more handsome, more forceful as a preacher, more successful than you really are. Pride can put blinders on your eyes and it can harden your heart to the point that the Holy Spirit cannot get your attention anymore.

Truthfully, pride is the mother and father of ALL SINS. Why do I say this? Because it was pride which caused Adam and Eve to fall, it caused Saul to disobey God and lose the job of being King of Israel, on and on through the Bible. Pride could be the chief demon of Satan’s army.

God and His Holy Spirit together can give you the strength to resist pride and only with their help can you do it. When you feel pride beginning to bubble up, get into God’s Word and seek His wisdom. Pray for His guiding hand in all of your life. In teaching, in preaching, in life, in everything that you do make sure that it is Jesus Christ that you are following every moment of every day.

Read and study God’s Word and make sure that it is the Holy Spirit which is leading you in everything that you do and say. Because there is no way that pride can bring you down IF you are following Jesus and His wisdom every day.

Remember the Proverbs about pride:

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Don’t notice the outside, look within


Shoes in Church
I showered and shaved……………. I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat……………. In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer………… As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me……. Touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side……… I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine. But it didn’t bother him much.
A prayer began: ‘Our Father’…………. I thought,

‘This man with these shoes has no pride. They’re dusty, worn, and scratched.

Even worse, there are holes on the side!’
‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on.
The shoe man said…………….. A quiet ‘Amen.’
I tried to focus on the prayer……. But my thoughts were on his shoes again..
Aren’t we supposed to look our best? When walking through that door?
‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended………… And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud….. Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters…….. His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear… The shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering…….. And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached… Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out………. What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft ‘clink’ as when silver hits the tin.
The sermon really bored me………. To tears, and that’s no lie.
It was the same for the shoe man… For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service…….. As is the custom here.
We must greet new visitors, And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow……….. And wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer…….. I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark….. And his hair was truly a mess…..
But I thanked him for coming………. For being our guest…
He said, ‘My name’s Charlie………… I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’
There were tears in his eyes……… But he had a large, wide grin…
‘Let me explain,’ he said…………. Wiping tears from his eyes.
‘I’ve been coming here for months…… And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.”
‘I know that my appearance………..Is not like all the rest.
‘But I really do try………………..To always look my best.’
‘I always clean and polish my shoes…Before my very long walk.’
‘But by the time I get here……..They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.’
My heart filled with pain………… And I swallowed to hide my tears.
As he continued to apologize………. For daring to sit so near
He said, ‘When I get here………… I know I must look a sight.’
‘But I thought if I could touch you…Then maybe our souls might unite.’
I was silent for a moment…………. Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison…I spoke from my heart, not my head.
‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said…….’ And taught me, in part’
‘That the best of any man…………..Is what is found in his heart.’
The rest, I thought,…………… This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am…That his dirty old shoe touched my soul.
Live each day as your last, for we never know our time here on earth. Love and Peace My Friends and remember that it is not how we look on the outside but how we look within.

Stay the course, keep watching…


Do you love Jesus? I don’t mean a little bit or as a friend, even if He really is your friend. I mean a deep, abiding love like you have for your spouse or your children!

2 Timothy 3

1 But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, 4 traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!

This is a perfect description of our world today, even the world inside some churches. People who believe in Jesus or even think that they do are in the same boat as those who are described by Paul. In today’s society even those in the church, are lovers of self much more than they are of Jesus. But, we should all be His followers and lovers of Him just as He loved all of us enough to go to the cross and pay our debt for our sins.

So, why do we choose to say that we are followers and believer’s in Jesus and yet we have no respect for Him and no real love for Him either? We are just living in the last days before the time of the Tribulation, that’s all. Why are the church and those who make up the church acting this way? Mostly it is because of the society we live in and how we have learned about our Savior. Just as it says in the Bible, “Things continue on as they always have”, we have gotten very apathetic about Jesus’ coming again.

Most of us were brought up in a church, regardless of the denomination, and we’ve heard about Jesus and all of the stories in the Bible all of our lives. So, we believe that we are Christians mostly by osmosis.

Except it doesn’t work that way. Your heart has to be convicted of your need for Jesus. Not just because you want to join the church one Sunday but because there is truly a conviction inside that you are sinful and there is no other way to fix this sinful problem except by giving your heart to Jesus and asking Him for His forgiveness for your sinful ways. The problem with this in today’s church is that there are too many people who don’t believe nor do they think that they truly need Jesus as their Savior!

Many believe that they are good enough to get into heaven even without giving their heart to Jesus and repenting of the sinful things that they think about and do on a regular, sometimes daily basis. Many have made their own version of Jesus in their minds and he doesn’t mind their sins nor does he convict them when they do or say anything that the real Jesus would not allow. This is modern idolatry. There is no statue or figure representing the “god” that they believe in because their idea of “god” is in their mind.

During this time just before the Trumpet sounds (even though we don’t know when that will be), all of us who believe in the real Jesus and have accepted Him as our Savior need to be watching for the signs and reading the Bible. Why? Because we can discern the prophetic signs in the news better if we know what is foretold to happen. God is sending out signs all over the world but if you don’t know what has been foretold, you won’t notice them.

What binds us together?


The overarching glue which holds the church together and has done so since Jesus walked among us is…love. Jesus commanded us to love one another as He had loved those who started with His ministry. God’s love has resonated throughout the Scriptures and He has demonstrated that love by giving us our provisions such as food and shelter. He has watched over us in times of trouble and in times of plenty because the fruits which we are blessed with have always come from Him.

Colossians 3:14 says: And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Even though the church has not enjoyed “perfect unity” since it began, the unity of faith in Jesus Christ and the mission which He gave to us is and always has been our guiding principle. Even if we are attacked on all sides today for the Truth which we proclaim because it upsets people and makes them uncomfortable. Jesus made the leaders of the Temple uncomfortable too because they didn’t want to lose their prestige and power. The church which has followed His example has been a catalyst for change in this world. But it didn’t do so by force or arms, although during one dark period it did use force. The Crusades were a mistake and would never have happened if Jesus was around but there were too many in the church at the time who wanted more power and more land brought under the Christian flag.

The problem with that thinking is this: a message of love cannot be forced upon anyone. Trying to force people to change from one religion or belief system to Christianity does NOT work! Nobody loves by force and you can’t learn to love by force.

The church today is bowing to the culture of today and is less of the church which Jesus Christ started than it ever has before. This is something which those of us in the church need to stand up and fight against because when we are less than Jesus’ message then we aren’t being the church at all. Why did Jesus come to mankind in the first place? He came because of His love for us, all of us! Why? Because He knew that there was no way that we could do enough to bring salvation unless He started it. Without His love for us and His sacrifice for ALL of us, we would never be allowed into Heaven.

If the church, regardless of denomination, doesn’t get back to the message which is in God’s Word then the world is lost. Because it is our responsibility as believers to tell others about our wonderful, mighty, compassionate God Who came down to give His life so that we might live in eternity with Him!

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 4: 4-6

Walk in the truth as the Father commanded so that others will see the Truth of salvation by Jesus Christ and belief in Him. This is our mission and our duty as Christians.

Provisions


Have you ever thought of the things which you have as provisions given to you by God? They truly are that and more! God has blessed each of us with life and health and hopefully a job so that we can support a family too. Everything that you have been blessed with came from God. Even if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, these gifts have been given to you from God Himself. Is it possible for your health and your prosperity to have been given to you from Him too? Of course, it is!

You will notice that I said, “provisions” not possessions. Why did I use a different word than the one that many people want to use today? Because God provides us with provisions which we need not possessions which we want! God doesn’t give us our wants, translate as luxuries, He gives us the needs in our lives. He gives you your life, your food, and your home and your family. What does that sound like? Blessings and provision.

God doesn’t hold back the good things of this world from us, whether we have given our lives to Jesus and are followers of Him or not. So how much more could you be doing for His Kingdom if you truly are His follower and a disciple of His? In our technological world today it doesn’t take a lot to be a witness for Jesus in many places other than where you live. Take me for instance. I am disabled and can’t work in a regular job, but I can witness for my Savior all over the world through the power of the Internet.

Granted, my witness here can’t reach those in places where the access to it isn’t there, but it can reach many places.

Your witness and mine are useful to God’s Kingdom in many more ways than just an article on the Internet. We can take our witness with us just as the disciples and the early church fathers did. Witness to others by your actions and your words. Even if you aren’t speaking to someone directly, they will see your actions and hear your words even if you don’t think anyone is listening.

When you have children they hear things that you don’t think they did and it is the same with people everywhere. God loves each of us and He wants you to come to salvation through Jesus. But, unless you hear about Jesus and the salvation available through Him, you won’t know about it until you hear, whether it is by reading something or by a sermon at a church. God provides salvation to those who are seeking it and many won’t seek it until they hear about Him and the hope that is available through Jesus.

Joy in my heart!


Working and doing any kind of work for God is a joy! Whether you are a teacher or a preacher or a blogger! Just knowing that you are telling others about your Lord and Savior even if you never meet them or even know them, God will use your words and give you the words to say so that someone will seek out Jesus as their Savior. The idea of a Savior which is planted in their mind and in their heart (soul) will take root and God will cause it to bloom in their life. It may not happen today or tomorrow but when God is behind your words and the results which come from them, it can’t help but grow.

Jesus has such a powerful love for mankind, not just the Jewish people, until He gave His life so that we could all come to know Him for our salvation. True repentance and acceptance of His sacrifice along with believing that He paid for our sins and their penalties is what is needed for salvation. It doesn’t take a tub full of water for baptism nor many years of “works” for Him to be saved. Speaking in tongues is not required and being overjoyed with the power of the Holy Spirit doesn’t make a difference in whether your salvation is true or not!

In Acts chapter sixteen, Paul and Silas are in jail because of their testimony and because they had freed a girl from demon possession. Here is the story of it:

Paul and Silas in Prison

16And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

22And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them23And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

The Conversion of the Jailer

25And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. 34And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.