What is a life with Christ?

A life with Christ is not what most people think about when they think of Christians. Many people seem to think that being a Christian is a life of lack, one in which all of the fun things in this life are forbidden. God has given us a life of abundance but not one which we should live as the rest of the world around us lives. God calls us to be “in the world but not of the world“; Christians should live in this world but we are not to follow those living in the world. The world around us follows the ruler of this world, Satan, who deceives the whole world because that is his purpose. This is why we should keep our lives separate from those living in the world.

A life with Jesus the Christ is one which should mirror His life on Earth. We may not be called to be evangelists or healers or teachers or even preachers, but we are called to be “set apart” as His followers. If for no other reason than to be a beacon of light in a world of darkness. Sometimes our speech shows other that our progress in following Jesus still has a way to go and that is when people wonder about our conversion and whether it is real or not. God can come into your heart and change you so completely until your manner of life, your speech and your personality, is completely changed but you have to be willing to walk with Him to get to this point.

God doesn’t force us to change because love cannot be forced upon anyone. But the very idea that Jesus came to give His life so that you have a chance at being accepted by God into His family should humble you to the point of your asking Him to mold me and make me what You want me to be. Because it is only by becoming the person that God wants you to be and the person that He knows you can be so that you can be the most useful to Him. Why does He want us to be “holy or set apart” from the world around us? Because if our life isn’t much different from the world and those living in it, why would anyone be interested in becoming a Christian?

It is only because of the lives that are changed that people can even tell that there is a difference between a Christian and a Muslim or a Buddhist. If we walk and talk like they do or even like those who do not believe in any religion, then how will people know that we are different? Why would they want to know what makes us different? Yes, we can say and tell others that we believe in Jesus as our Savior but if our speech and our life doesn’t actually reflect that then how can they know? Will they actually believe that what you say about your Savior is true if you still talk and act as if you don’t know Him?

A life with Christ in it should be a life with love and compassion for others in it. It should also be a life with more of God’s Word in it than the words of the world around us. Seek His wisdom today to help you to see what may be missing in your life and ask Him to come in and clean out the old stuff and make your heart and life fresh and new and completely whole in Him.

Finding God’s will for your life

I used to wonder exactly how I was supposed to find this out. Was God going to tell me or was I going to have to figure it out on my own? It has taken the better part of a decade of Bible study and I’m still not at the point of pointing to a passage or a dream where He told me “This is my will for you”. Our problem lies with our own stubborn nature. It isn’t just my problem, it is every Christian’s problem. We think that we have it figured out but we really don’t and unless you read God’s Word and listen to what He says in it, you will miss it entirely.

God’s will for each of us is different. Some of us are called to be teachers and some are called to be preachers or evangelists. Some of us are called to be prayer warriors for those who need God’s touch in their lives in whatever way He will provide for them. Some of us are to be healers by the way we serve others and some are encouragers to those in the ministry or the church who need that. It takes prayer and being receptive to the Holy Spirit’s words in your Spirit to hear and truly listen with your Spiritual ears in order to find out your calling, your path which God has for you to follow.

Some people pick up on this fairly early in their walk with Jesus and sometimes it takes a long time before their ears (Spiritual) can hear clearly enough to catch what He is saying. Many times it takes a good bit of Bible study and prayerful reading of God’s Word in order to learn His voice well enough to know when He is speaking to you. Unfortunately, many people in our churches today only open their Bible’s on Sunday and they leave it closed for the rest of the week. You can’t learn about God’s voice or His Wisdom by doing that, but a lot of people seem to be “reading” God’s Word along with the pastor and very little at any other time.

This is not a “how-to” article for finding God’s Will for your life but reading God’s Word is the best way to know His voice and to learn what He has said about His Will in the past. God doesn’t change and His will for us is the same as it was for His disciples and prophets in the past. Go and tell others about My plans for their salvation through Jesus. If they don’t know Jesus, then tell them. If they have walked away from the church then encourage them to come back and hear what God wants for them today! Young people need to hear this message more than any other because there are so many other messages which are being taught and put in their faces today on the Internet and on TV. They need to know which message is the Truth and it is God’s Truth!

We cannot earn our salvation because it was earned by Jesus on our behalf. All that we can do is accept it as the gift that it is.

What makes you happy?

Have you found it yet or are you still looking for that person or something which will give you complete contentment? I can tell you for sure that there is nothing in this world which will make you happy. No person or amount of money or things that you own can bring lasting joy and happiness into your life. Depending upon which one of those gives you the most satisfaction, you may feel content or even happy for a while if you do have the love of your life or an amount of money which allows you to cast all of your anxiety and worry to the wind…but it will only last for a while. The stuff that you own only gives you a sense of power because you have something which someone else doesn’t. None of these will bring true happiness for very long.

Many of us do equate happiness with less stress in whatever area of life you feel that in. Whether it is through a satisfying relationship or having enough in your bank account that makes bill paying day easy and fairly stress free. But, could you have or feel happiness and contentment if, like Job, all of it was taken away? How would you feel then? Would you blame God for your troubles? Would you blame yourself?

Feeling discontent and depressed because your life isn’t working out the way that you had hoped it would is kinda natural. Most of us do feel that way from time to time. But blaming God for your trouble or even blaming yourself won’t really help the situation and could make it worse. So, what can you do constructively about the problems in your life? Particularly if the problems were brought on by something that you did or didn’t do. The first step is to admit that you had a hand or even both feet in making your problems worse. If you get that far, then seek out help from someone other than the one who caused the problem. Preferably seek out your answer in God’s Word.

It doesn’t matter if your problem is related to a lack of money or if it is a relationship problem, there is Wisdom found in God’s Word which will give you the right advice to move in the direction of fixing the problem. You have to take the advice to heart and act on it though, God doesn’t reach down and fix things as soon as you ask. He wants you to act on His advice and seek His guidance in whatever area of your life that you need it in. Truthfully, we should be seeking Him in every area of our lives before a problem arises. Not seeking His advice and His wisdom is what gets us in trouble in the first place.

A Joy that you cannot lose!

In the world that we live in, it seems impossible to say those words but if you are a Christian and you know without a doubt that you are saved by the blood of Jesus…then you should feel that joy! Why? Because no matter what your circumstances are here on Earth, your future, your eternity is sealed in Jesus Christ. All of us who believe in Him for our salvation have that assurance in Him that our home is secure regardless of what happens here on Earth. If we are here when the Trumpet sounds we will meet Him in the air. If we are dead, we are already with Him but our body will be united with us at that time. Our home and our hope is in Him and His promises are sure and they always have been.

God does not lie so when you read about a life in Heaven with Him for eternity it is true! We will work for Him and with Him for all of that time because for us time won’t mean anything from that point on. Some people may think that it will be boring but the disciples weren’t bored during His ministry for three years and I don’t think we will be bored or unsatisfied while we are in His Presence. God loves each of us with a love that, right now, we can’t understand.

But, if you can imagine a river with living water flowing in it which quenches every thirst and every desire that you could have and just drinking from it does exactly that! Every desire, every want or need or every sorrow quenched and filled to overflowing just by drinking it or stepping into it…how unbelievably wonderful that would be!

The living water you experience when you read His Word. Maybe not as complete and unbelievable as the river in heaven but if you allow God’s Spirit to show you what His love is really like it could be. Most of us today tend to read a few verses or maybe a chapter or two and listen to a preacher tell us what has been laid upon his heart to say about these verses and then we close the Bible and go home. What a waste! God’s Word has so much to say until reading it every day for nearly a decade I’ve not scratched the surface yet. I always find something new or fresh when I read it.

If there was a fountain on Earth which had living water in it, there would be wars fought for its possession. That is why it is only available to those who go to Heaven. Jesus died to pay the debt of our sins so that we could have a chance to be in Heaven and have salvation through Him. Please don’t turn away from the call of the Spirit when you feel it because you may not get another chance.

Jesus is the ONLY way to eternal life. Please don’t turn away from Him.

Too much…

Do you believe that your life and your sins are too much for God to love or to forgive? No, there is no sin which God can’t or won’t forgive. The only sin which God won’t forgive us for is our sin of neglecting our salvation by refusing to accept Jesus as our salvation. It is OUR decision to refuse this gift of God and by refusing to accept His gift of salvation we are condemned already. It is not God or even Jesus who condemns you to hell but it is your own action and your own decision to refuse God’s gift to each of us through the sacrifice of Jesus to take the punishment for your sins. He paid the price so you would not have to, but by refusing to accept and believe this you condemn yourself to hell.

There are more sins and heinous actions which have been done in all of the time which mankind has been on Earth and yet Jesus’ sacrifice covered them all, if the people would accept Him as their Savior.

Truthfully, there is no pathway to Heaven except through belief in the work and the person of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. Repent therefore and turn away from your sins, even if they are many, and you shall be saved. In Jesus’ name I pray for all who read this. Amen

In this life…

As we trudge through this pain-filled life we can see all sorts of contrasts on TV and in the news and sometimes in books too. Here is a quote from a book that I bought and have been reading and it sums up the ending of our lives or the beginning because it is all a matter of perspective.

“There were two friends who had lived long lives. One was a rich man, by the world’s standards, and the other didn’t have much. The rich man was not a Christian but the other man was a strong believer in Jesus. The rich man told one of his visitors one day: I will soon have to leave all of my riches but when he dies, he will gain his.” (quoted from “Where I am” by Billy Graham)

I did paraphrase it a bit but the meaning is clear. The rich man knew that his reward had been granted to him while he was living but the poor man had stored his riches and wealth in Jesus. So the one that the world considered poor was actually rich into eternity. Why do we live like this? Because we want things in this life and many of us don’t look much further than our bank account. But, if you find someone living on Social Security as their “pension”, you will find someone who usually depends on God for their existence. They know that the money will run out most of the time before the month.

Why are there more Christians in China and Africa than there are in America? Because the vast majority of people in those countries live on a fraction of what Americans have, that’s why! Those Christians depend upon their Savior not only because He has given them eternity but because they know that He will meet their needs every day. Some days they will have just enough to make it and maybe tomorrow they might have a little surplus but they will share that with their friends and family. If the church in every country could teach that principle to all believers what a wonderful world we would have.

Jesus told His disciples that “you will have trials in this world, but I have overcome the world“. God never told us in His Word that we would have it easy if we would give our lives to serving Him. Actually, He said just the opposite. Many who are looking for a better life would jump at the chance of an easy life if being a Christian meant that it would be granted to them but that has never been part of the “blessing” since Jesus returned to the Father. God does give us the strength to endure those trials through faith in Jesus but we must seek Him in our good times as well as when things aren’t going so good.

Living the life of a faithful Christian is like a toddler holding your hand while walking on a trail which has some rough areas to cross. The “toddler” Christian will hold “God’s” hand until the trail gets a bit easier to handle then want to run ahead but that is where we need to hold His hand to keep us on the right path even more. Because sometimes when we find a smooth path we also find other “paths” which are even better and easier to navigate and it is tempting to follow those easier paths rather than staying on the pathway that we were following God on. That’s when we get into trouble and have to be led through some bushes and thorns to get back where we should’ve stayed.

There are consequences…

Have you ever thought of what will happen if you decide to walk out on God? To go your own way or do things your way instead of God’s way is the worst decision that you can make. If you are a Christian and you have given your heart to Him you should work for God’s Kingdom even in your own vocation, no matter what it may be. God can work through you in so many ways and it doesn’t matter what your job is, He can use your life and witness to let someone know about Jesus.

Sampson didn’t live his life fully in God’s will until he was captured by the Philistines and blinded. While he was being humiliated, his hair began to grow back. When they wanted to make fun of God and Sampson in their celebration, he prayed and asked God to fill him with the strength to avenge Israel in his death and God did that.

Jonah did not want to take God’s message of forgiveness to Nineveh. He didn’t like them. He wanted the fire of God to fall on that city. You know the story but when he did go and preach to them they repented in sackcloth and ashes and God did not bring any fire or punishment on them. Then, Jonah went outside the city and pouted. He had run from the calling of God and he didn’t want his mission to work. He wanted God to destroy them. But…what a revival!

Sometimes the consequences of your walking away from God can be really bad, for you. Because if you have walked away from His calling on your life, leaving behind the option of salvation and doing what you want, the consequences may not be bad in this life. God may allow you to have the world’s riches but as Jesus said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? “. What does that mean? It means that you have enjoyed the riches of this life but you will be in hell in the next life. Please don’t turn away from His call on your life and ask Him to come into your heart and change you into His child.

Lost or found, which will it be?

How many people in our world seem to be lost in their ways and in their way of thinking? If you go by the uproar and tumult on the news it seems that there are more of those who are lost than those who are at least trying to do the will of God. Why do I bring this matter up in this writing? Because it seems necessary during this time that we are living in. Many need to know that there is a way to be useful and make a difference in this world without wars and guns and lots of money! Life is not supposed to be lived in the moment just for today and then seeking more satisfaction for tomorrow! If you are living in this manner then you are living only for yourself and not for the benefit of mankind. Although, today most people, it seems, are only in their respective professions or businesses for themselves and no one else. Selfishness or “looking out for number one” seems to be the very slogan by which the world lives and breathes today.

We are supposed to be different. Christians are supposed to live as Jesus did. Not living as a beggar with no money but living a life of service to our fellow man or woman. Although in the age in which we are living many people would look at someone doing this and wonder “What’s their problem?”. Christians who are trying to be “salt and light” to a world living in darkness and hopelessness tend to move against the grain because most people around them are moving in the other direction regardless of those that they are stepping on or over to get there. It is sad but it is true in our world. You’ve seen people on the news with their phones taking videos of someone after a wreck or a shooting. They aren’t trying to help them. They are trying to get more likes on Facebook or Instagram by posting their pictures or their videos of someone who has been injured or killed.

Are you one of those who would help someone in trouble or danger or would you take pictures and video their plight? Jesus said that we, as His followers, should make a difference in the world. But taking pictures and videos doesn’t really make a difference it just brings you notoriety and a little bit of fame. What good is that? Where is “make a difference in the world” in God’s Word? It isn’t there. But…He did tell His disciples to go into the world and take the gospel to the world! Did it make a difference? It still is making a difference today. God can and does change lives when we tell others about His Son and the salvation which comes through believing in Him! Don’t discount your importance in His Kingdom. Telling one or two people about your experience in Jesus and His love for you and for them and then they can tell five or ten. If you take that idea and make it go exponential, it wouldn’t take long to reach one hundred thousand or even one million.

This sounds hard doesn’t it? Not for God! God can use you in any place, anywhere so don’t discount your influence for God’s Kingdom because with the Holy Spirit impacting your life as a Christian and you following His leading go tell somebody!


Have you been foolish?

Actually most of us have been at one time in our life. Just as it says in Corinthians: ‘a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.’ (1 Corinthians 2:14). People who don’t know the grace of God or the mercy of God through the sacrifice and acceptance of Jesus as their Savior are foolish until that time when God, by the Holy Spirit, touches their heart and breaks it so that they realize their sinfulness. Every Christian has gone through some foolish times before they realized that Jesus was their Salvation.

God can and does get His message out into the world even without our help, but He calls us to be His voice in places where we can make a difference. Even if it is only to touch one person or maybe two. Some of us can reach more people by doing things like this. Some of us can do evangelism on a scale above what we can reach here but not in the league of some ministers. Sometimes we may only reach one person but you don’t know how many people that person will reach before their time is finished.

All of us are useful to God in telling others about our Savior…so why don’t we do more? Being foolish and following the world around us rather than following Jesus is spiritual suicide, maybe not in this life but in eternity. Unless you change and learn that your only eternal Savior is Jesus you will end up in the same place that Satan and his demons will be. Think about that and consider Who has given you the opportunity to make an eternal choice which will benefit you and give God the glory!