What will you do with your life?


Have you considered that question? Many of us think about this kind of question when we graduate from high school or college but what about when you become a Christian? You have a new Life in Christ because you are made new in Him. Your old life is supposed to be gone and a new one is just beginning, so what will you do with it?

We all have ideas about what we would like to do for God’s Kingdom but have you ever asked Jesus what He wants you to do with your new life? We have been given a new heart and are made as “new creations in Christ” so we should walk and talk like a new person and not like the old one. But…do we actually live like a new person after we have accepted Jesus as our Savior?

Did we really become a “new creation” or did we just go through the motions and say some words but really didn’t mean or intend to change? It seems that there are more people who attend church or claim to be “Christians” but are not any different from their old selves and it is this trend in the churches which is causing some confusion. Because people who know you outside the church can’t tell that any change has taken place. This is showing the rest of the world that Jesus doesn’t have the power to change lives when in fact He does!

These “false Christians” who seem to be just as sinful and worldly as they were before they claim to have changed are not Christians at all. They claim to have changed at some point but they are doing things which are not reflecting that new creation that they were supposed to become. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity and it is He Who comes into your heart and soul and causes that change. But when you keep doing those worldly things which you did before your “change” you are calling Him a liar and saying that He can’t change you at all!

If you are going to change when God calls you, He knows it and He will convict you of the sinful life which you need to repent of. Your spirit cannot continue to sin and live as if He doesn’t live in your heart unless you didn’t actually receive Him in the first place. There is no gray area in being a Christian and following Jesus OR being a sinner who is still in the world doing what they did before hearing the gospel of Jesus. You either are saved or you are not!

Think of it this way: the fence is a razor wire fence; on one side you are a Christian and on the other, you are still in the world doing whatever makes you feel good at the time. You cannot straddle razor wire for long without injury. You are either on one side or the other, so which is it? The side of Life and eternity or death and eternity, you must choose.

lifeordeath

What is our message?


The message which our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, gave to us. To go and tell the world, meaning anyone around us, about Him and the work which He accomplished while He was here. Our preaching or writing of the salvation provided by His teachings and the death and resurrection of Jesus, these facts make up the gospel of Jesus. There is no greater story to tell and there is no other story that will bring people to a knowledge of their Lord and Savior except this message.

Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, was sent by God the Father to be the Perfect Passover Lamb for the whole world, not just a few people here and there. This is the message of the Bible itself but in the early books. it is represented by the Temple and the manna and the Passover lamb. All of these point to our Savior, Jesus the Christ, because there is no other name which can bring salvation to anyone except His Name.

In John 3:16-18 we can read:  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

All of us have been given this amazing and priceless gift from God Himself. There is nothing which we can do which will add to this gift to make it more effective. There is also nothing which we can or should take away from this gift because it is a gift from our Creator and it is complete in its design and purpose.

If we don’t spread the good news about Him to the whole world, then we aren’t doing our job as Christians in this world. Even if you can only tell one or two people about Him each day, those words and messages will add up. God can and will use those seeds which are planted in people’s hearts in order to draw them to HIm. If they haven’t given their heart to Him prior to hearing the gospel, then God can certainly use that seed to draw them to Himself.

There is no getting around this job which each of us, as Christian believers, has been given. We are supposed to do this during our lifetime here so that others will hear about our Savior and Lord. Even if only one person comes to Jesus by our testimony or if none do, God can still use the seeds of His message which was planted in their heart and mind by our words, whether they were spoken or written.

If you don’t believe that your contribution is necessary or even worth the time, remember what Jesus said about the “widow’s mite”. He told His disciples that of all of those who have put into the treasury, she put in more than all. Because out of her poverty she gave and it was out of their wealth that the rest of the offerings came from.

Related imageHere is the passage which brings this to bear on our sinful world:

Luke 21: 1-4  

The Widow’s Two Mites
21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.[a] 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings [b]for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

 

Consider this when the next offering plate is passed in your church.

Consider your own life, not because of the tithe you offer but the life that you either have given to Him or maybe you haven’t asked Jesus into your life yet. The amount of your tithe at church does not determine your salvation, only the condition of your belief in Jesus and your acceptance of Him as your Savior and Lord.

You are not an accident!


We are not accidents!

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A Psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,a God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
God doesn’t cause accidents in His creation and each of us is a person that He caused to come into being for a reason. He has a purpose for you and for me and for all of those on the Earth. What that purpose is only He knows. He has given each of us gifts and abilities to be able to glorify Him and to be useful to Him in His Kingdom. So we need to start acting like we have a place in His Kingdom. If you don’t want to have a place in His Kingdom, that is fine. He doesn’t force anyone to be a part of His design and His will for His creation.

Our God and Savior is the only pathway to Heaven, there is no other. Seek Him while you can find Him because when the shout comes and the dead are raised incorruptible and the church rises to meet Him, the easy time of coming to Jesus will be over. The time of “Jacob’s trouble” will be upon the world and the act of giving your heart to Jesus will carry a death sentence soon after. I pray that all of you will be counted among those who rise to meet Him in the air. Amen

The church in our time


We are closer to the end times than you think. If you have ever read the book of Revelation you will know which church is reflected by the church today. The Laodicean church.

In Rev. 3:15-18: 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Many churches today have a service which resembles a performance more than a sermon. Some of the smaller, less liberal churches have regular sermons but the time is spent more with praise music than with preaching from God’s Word. There are other things which are going on in the church today which I don’t have statistics to show you but if you look up the status of the Christian church you can find the same statistics which I did.

Why am I bringing this up today? Because our world is walking and sometimes running away from Biblical preaching as fast as they can go and it is leaving those congregations with a very light dusting of God’s Word rather than a full meal from the Word. Paul wrote to some of the churches that they were still babes in Christ and they hadn’t matured enough to savor the “meat of God’s Word“. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul tells his listeners this: 1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ. 2, I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, 3for you are still worldly.

God loves us but we cannot remain as “babes in Christ” for our whole lives! At some point, we need to study to show ourselves approved to be His disciples and His workers in Jesus Christ. The church today is lacking in its study of God’s Word and in the building up of the body of Christ, the believers who actually make up the church. Regardless of your denomination, each of us who claims to be a Christian who knows the Lord of Glory, all of us should be able to answer a simple Bible quiz and yet many cannot!

We have fallen behind in our studies of the Word of God because we are not passionate about our love for Jesus and our Life in Him! What happened? Has your heart grown cold against your Savior? He gave His life for each of us so why can’t we live our lives as a true living sacrifice to Him for the rest of our lives until we are called home? It is the least that we could do considering what He did for each of us.

I would rather hear Him say to me, “Welcome home” rather than “What happened after you accepted Me?” If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, do you read and study God’s Word at least once or twice every week or do you just pick it up when you attend church services? What would you do if you had to give the reason for your hope in Christ? Would you be able to quote Scripture for it or do you know enough verses that you could?

Are you or your church only lukewarm in your service to Him? If you are then you need to dedicate your life to becoming more passionate about Jesus and what He has done for you.

Are you in a wilderness?


There are days when we find ourselves lost or at least groping around for the way out of wherever we are. Sometimes it is figurative and sometimes it is a spiritual wilderness without trails or road signs or any other clues about the way out. When you feel like this, what do you turn to for help? Who do you turn to for guidance?

Image result for God's word as a compassA person who is on a hike in an area where they have never been before will usually take a guide or at least a compass so they can find a bearing or the trail which will lead them from one place to another. When we are spiritually lost, most of us don’t even know that we are until God touches our heart and lets us know. Until that time we won’t look for Him nor will we seek to know Him because we don’t feel the need for a Savior.

So, are you lost in a wilderness of your own creation? Do you feel like something isn’t like it should be in your life? Many of us who were lost and away from Jesus, even if we didn’t know about Him, have always felt an emptiness as if something was missing. Many of us have tried alcohol or drugs or sex or who know what else to fill that empty place, but it is never filled. We may feel better or happy for a time but when we come out of the high…the empty place remains. Many times this is why people become addicted to drugs because they are trying to keep that feeling of fullness of joy and peace.

The problem is that no man-made drug or high of any kind will ever fill that space because it is only filled by the Holy Spirit of God when you accept Jesus as your Savior. Then you will be free of the empty feeling and you will belong to Jesus because He can make you whole again. All of us are born with a place in our soul which feels empty and sometimes we don’t find out what fits in that place until we meet Jesus. Only He can make you whole and give your life a True Purpose through Him.

Your job and your family may fulfill your life in many ways but without Him in your heart working in step with Him to really fulfill His purpose in your life, even those will be only a shadow of what they could be. Being saved by Jesus’ Spirit and believing in Him for your salvation is the greatest decision you will ever make in this life. Everything else falls into place after that.

While giving your life to Jesus will not make your life perfect it will give you the strength and the ability to seek His Wisdom for your decisions for the rest of your life. The Bible is the best “self-help” book ever written and it does have many words of wisdom for business and life too. Don’t believe the lie of Satan or the rest of the world which tells you that it is an old outdated book with nothing in it for today! Its wisdom is useful for today and tomorrow on into eternity.

The Bible, God’s Word, is the best and most useful “compass” for this life and every situation that can be found. No other book has the Wisdom of the Creator inside it because the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, so every word in it is true.

So much discord and hate


Why? Aren’t we supposed to be trying to get along? I mean, how can we possibly come up with solutions to our own problems when it seems we can’t even disagree in a peaceful way? We can’t even seem to accomplish this in Congress with people that supposedly know each other, even if they are on different sides of the political aisle! Why is our society acting like a group of spoiled children who can’t have their way?

We are supposed to be working toward a society which can bring some semblance of peace, if not in the world then surely in our own country! The reason for all of this discord and hatred in our country and all over the world falls on one personal fault which everyone has and that is pride. The obstacle which is the root of nearly all of the sins in the Bible from the beginning to the end is this one!

We are living in the time just prior to the Great Tribulation and that is another contributing factor which is making our world and the people living here act like mortal enemies. Satan is pushing the buttons of every person who has a prideful idea or thought or harbors pride in themselves believing that they are better than those around them.

Each of us is the person that we are supposed to be, unfortunately, some think that they are different and special in a way which makes them better than those around them. They believe in themselves true enough but outside of that, they look down on other people. This is the most serious form of pride which can cause a person to believe that they are “like god” or “like a god”.

We are created beings, just as the angels are, and we are not gods. Though we are created in the image of God, we are not gods and never will be. It is a false teaching which has been spread around the world that this will happen when we if we are Christians, make our home in Heaven. We will have a body like Jesus had when He was resurrected but we will not be gods.

VineandBranchesGod loves each of us and we will enjoy eternity with Him as His adopted children, nothing more. We may fill some useful post in His Kingdom one day or even during the 1,000-year reign on Earth of Jesus but other than that we will be His people and HE will be our King! Seeking to know Him better here and now is the responsibility of every Christian and it is a job which we should take very seriously. To grow to be a mature Christian, living in the strength and power of Jesus every day will allow us to carry His Image with us wherever we go…until He comes for the Church.

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Matt. 6:33

The Kingdom of God is our life in Jesus Christ walking with Him daily, praying and studying His Word and doing those things which He would do if He were here, at least to the best of our ability.

Bondservant of Jesus


For Jude, the family was not everything. He was the brother of James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem and the son of Joseph and Mary. Being the half-brother of our Lord Jesus he had occasions to watch Him as He grew to manhood, but Jude didn’t come to a saving knowledge of our Lord until after the resurrection. His epistle is meant for the early church but much of it pertains to today. There were false teachers appearing in the church, just as they are today, telling people one thing which would bring them salvation. But, those “false teachers” were not bold in their speech, they were very subtle by their false teaching, containing just enough truth so as not to be recognized.

Jude calls himself “a bondservant of Jesus Christ”, and the brother of James. He doesn’t emphasize that he is the Lord’s half-brother since that would play on the early Church’s devotion to Jesus.

Jude 1-8

1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

God’s Judgment on the Ungodly (Genesis 4:1-7; Romans 2:1-16)

3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5 I will, therefore, put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

Jude is exhorting the church to stand firm in their faith which they have believed unto salvation and to stand in that faith even when they hear a doctrine which doesn’t go along with what they have been taught before. Stay true to the faith in Jesus Christ whom you have believed!

Don’t turn away from the teachings which you have heard and read from God’s Word during your life as a Christian.

Is this little book relevant today? By all means, it is! People don’t want to know the Truth of Scripture because they reject much of the Truth contained in it, not because it isn’t true but because it convicts them of their sins and they don’t want to hear it.

The rest of the letter of Jude speaks toward the church standing firm in their faith, just as the first few verses did. It talks of those who were apostates to the faith in Jesus and who were trying to subvert the teachings in the young church at the time. Jude was telling the believers to rebuke those who were bringing false teachings into the church and leading people off the path of Light and into teachings which would contradict those which Jesus and His disciples were teaching.

It matters to the church today because there are many who are rejecting the Bible outright, not only the teachings found in the New Testament but they are ridiculing the Scripture of the Old Testament, claiming that it has no meaning for today’s church. Yet, every book of the Bible teaches about Jesus in some way. He is spoken of as the Seed of the woman, the Rock, the pillar of Fire and Smoke, the Angel of the Lord, the Good Shepherd, the Son of Man and so on. He is mentioned in some form or type in all of Scripture which means that the entire Bible is relevant and useful for instruction and teaching in our modern world today.

Take the message of Jude to heart and make sure that you are ready to defend your faith if it is ever called into question or if you see or hear someone speaking of a doctrine which is not in the Bible or which sounds like it came from God’s Word but it didn’t.

What has got you down?


OurGodisAbleMany people need to hear from someone today. Friends, family, pastors, spouses all need to hear from those that they care for. But what about those people that you don’t know? The people who are hurting but if you see them or talk to them they will tell you that they are doing fine. How can we touch their lives in a positive way? This is a hard question because most people who feel depressed don’t want to tell others. They consider this to be a burden that they alone can or should carry alone.

Depression is one of the weapons which Satan uses to discourage us before we become a believer, possibly enough to cause someone to take their own life. He also uses it to bring a Christian down so that their life gets out of control and feels hopeless. This is when we should be proactive about reading and meditating on God’s Word. Although, when depression hits you so hard that you feel overwhelmed its hard to think about much of anything except how you feel at the time.

Rest assured in the knowledge that God cares for you, even if you don’t know Him yet.

Psalm 42:11
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Being depressed seems to be normal for prophets and preachers as well as any other Christians. Charles Spurgeon was depressed for much of his life and he was one of the most successful preachers of 19th century England. God gives each of us the strength to make it through our troubles although sometimes we may not feel that strong. Lean on God and seek His wisdom in helping you to get through your trials no matter what they might be!

Many things get people down in their spirit or just plain depressed and sometimes it gets to the point of darkness when you feel that nobody cares…but God cares more about your trials and your life than you could possibly know. He came down to Earth as a baby to be the Perfect Lamb for our sins but He knew the sorrows of humanity and all of the problems which go along with being human. He knew the pain, the heartache and the loneliness of humanity, which is why He can give you the strength to get through all of your troubles.

God loves you so deeply until we can’t understand it! We may be able to feel it when we are in Heaven with Him but while we are yet alive here, our understanding doesn’t go deep enough to comprehend the depth of God’s love for us. Seek Him in your good days so that He will be with you on those days when life doesn’t feel very good. Especially when it gets to the point of feeling like it is out of your control and it won’t get better.

4-ways-to-turn-weaknesses-into-strengthDon’t give up on yourself or on His Presence in your life. Seek Him through the Psalms and Proverbs when your life feels out of your control. He will come near to comfort you in the time of need that you have regardless of the depth of need or the darkness that it feels like.

Empty space


There is a longing in every heart that only Jesus can satisfy. We should be seeking Him to fill that place because nothing else will fit in it except Him. So why do we go through life troubled about an empty feeling inside when it is easy to find Him as the solution?

Usually, it’s because we don’t want to admit that we need Him in our lives. We don’t want to live according to His ways or enjoy the life that we would have by following Him. Even when we find that nothing that we try can satisfy our longing or our emptiness, we usually don’t want to give up our life! Why? Because if we become a Christian we think that we will lose all of our friends. When we will really gain more friends.

We will be joining a group of people who are following the Savior of the world! He will make us feel whole and new again in ways that no drug or person or any amount of money could possibly accomplish! The empty place in your heart and in your life is meant to be filled by the Holy Spirit which Jesus will send to you when you become a Christian.

themissingpieceSo, why do people seem to be against everything that God and the Bible stand for? Maybe its because they are afraid of a book which has the absolute Truth in it. Maybe it has something to do with the way people are taught to think that “everything is relative”. Meaning the truth that you believe is relative to your life is not relative to mine. God’s Truth is relative to everyone! The Savior, Jesus the Christ, is relevant to each person who will decide to receive Him into their heart and their life!

While it seems that many people want to go to Heaven they think that there are easier ways of getting there than becoming a Christian. There are no multiplicity of pathways for getting to Heaven. There is only One way and that is through belief in Jesus and by giving your heart to Him when you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit that you are truly in need of salvation!

God loves each person on this planet regardless of your location or country or the color of your skin or even what ethnic group you may belong to. We are all a part of His Creation and He is the One Who gave you your personality and your gifts and talents! He knows exactly what you can do in His Kingdom and how much you could contribute to it if you will only become a part of it.

Yet, there are many in the world who either don’t believe in God or they are too stubborn to move away from the way they have always believed before. Just because your family believes one way doesn’t mean that you can’t have faith in Jesus and believe in Him for your Salvation. He died and rose again to pay the penalty for your sins and mine and every person alive! So why not follow Him and learn more about Him while becoming the person that He knows you can be?

Is the path of being a follower of Jesus hard? Sometimes, but He will be with you every step of the way. He will be there in the good times and the bad, so don’t turn away from His call on your life and your heart. Eternity is waiting for you and you will enter into it one day. You can decide today which direction and in which place your soul spends that eternity by choosing to follow Jesus now while you are still alive. Because if you don’t make that choice now then you may not be here to make it tomorrow or next week.