Is it pity or praise?

Many people in the church look at their lives and say “woe is me”. They are having a pity party and they want more people to join them. Their actions and how they live show that they don’t believe that God has always taken care of their needs, even though He has. They look at their old car or their drafty old house and think that God doesn’t love them because they don’t have the nice things that other people have.

God doesn’t have to reward you for pitying yourself and your life and He won’t. God doesn’t have to give you wealth and prosperity because He doesn’t have to do anything. There are no magic words or phrases which will grab God by His money-belt and make Him respond to your request…because God doesn’t respond to us in that way at all! Living in a pity party doesn’t help your situation at all, in fact it may make it worse.

Remember this and commit it to your memory: God is NOT a genie! He is God and the Creator of everything in the universe. He has trillions of tons of gold and silver in the cosmos and He doesn’t need your money. Our pitiful trinkets of gold and silver are used for paving streets in Heaven, especially the gold, so our money doesn’t truly mean much to God. Our intentions and our willingness to follow Him touch God far more than any amount of gold or silver. Because God knows the heart and soul of all men and He can discern exactly what your intent is.

He knows if you are giving your tithes with a cheerful heart or if you are putting it in the offering plate wanting change back for your twenty dollar bill. So why would He give us money and riches as His blessing for us when we are going to spend it on “stuff” which doesn’t edify the church or bring glory to Him? Truly, God loves each of us but He will not reward us with wealth unless He can see that your heart is in sync with His. I’m not saying that He will give you wealth if you do have your heart in sync with Him but He is more likely to reward you in some way if you are walking along the same pathway with Him.

Your reward may be a long life to tell others about His goodness and His mercy. It may be a life filled with many blessings which many of us don’t recognize as being given to us by God. The miracles of God and His blessings come our way because of His love for us and our willingness to be useful to His Kingdom. Sometimes they are tangible but sometimes those rewards and blessings are laid up for us in Heaven not here on Earth where people can see them.

Live a life of praise toward God and give Him thanks for your life today. Walk with Him and seek His wisdom in your walk so that you might pass some on to someone else. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit and His voice by reading God’s Word and praying about all of those promises that you have seen fulfilled by Him in its pages. Thank Him for your life and your family and the health that you are enjoying, even if you get up with a pain in your neck or your back. Thank Him for giving you the strength to get out of bed anyway. Thank God for allowing you to be saved by the power and the majesty of Jesus and His atonement for you on the cross. God loves you and He has a purpose for you so seek Him out and ask Him what it is and how can you be closer to Him so you can fulfill His purpose while you are here.

The baby in the manger…

The angels told of a child born in Bethlehem, the city of David, Who was the Savior of all the world. They even made sure that they told the shepherds about His birth first. So why don’t we follow Him and try our best to walk in the way that He did so many years ago? Why are there many in the world today who claim that He didn’t exist or that He wasn’t Who He said He was?

Those who claim that He wasn’t the Savior or the Messiah are the ones in our world today who want all kinds of social programs and an easy life. This is not the way which Jesus taught His disciples. He told them that the world would reject their teaching about Him and that they would have troubles and trials in the world. Particularly when they were doing what He had told them to do. Why does our walk with Him bring trouble into our lives? Because Satan doesn’t like it when we are doing God’s will and working for Him in this life.

God loves each of us and we can choose to follow Him and do His will or not but the end of the story is this: what did you do when you felt His touch in your life? Did you answer His touch and give up your old ways and follow Him and learn what His will is or did you tell Him to go to hell and leave you alone?

Unfortunately, many people do exactly what the second part of that question point out. The problem with that answer to God is that you may end up in the lake of fire with Satan…for eternity. No party, no 70 virgins, no having fun with the devil in hell because he doesn’t rule there, God is still in charge regardless.

Make sure of your destination after this life BEFORE this life is over because there are no second chances once you have taken your last breath here.

Father, I am sorry.

There are days when I don’t live spiritually close to my Savior. There are days when I don’t feel His closeness and His love for me. Why do these days keep coming at me during this time of year? This attack comes from our adversary. The adversary which stirred up those who were jealous of Jesus and His teachings. Satan is his name and his followers go out and try to tear down our faith and wear us down to the point of not being effective in our witness and our life of being a Christian. Do many of you have days like this? I imagine there are more people who have days of feeling defeated and useless to God than there are those who are serving Him joyfully and with gladness in their spirit. Why?

Because Satan knows if he can cause more Christians to either doubt their salvation or feel useless in their walk with Jesus then their witness will be dimmed to the point of being non-existent. When that happens they can’t reflect God’s love toward others and nobody will see Jesus in anything that they do. So how can we live in our calling and in our spiritual walk with Jesus day by day?

We have to get up that day and determine that we will walk with Jesus today. Then do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day until it becomes as natural to us as breathing. The problem will return though. Because when Satan sees you walking in the Spirit and with Jesus every day his attacks on you will increase because you are a problem to him. We need to pray every morning that Jesus would put a hedge around us with angels guarding our moves every day so the enemy can’t sabotage what your life and your witness can accomplish.

God loves each person and especially those whom He has called into His service. Sometimes we don’t feel that we are worthy of His call, like Moses, but He is our Creator and He will give each of us the knowledge and ability to accomplish those tasks which He has given each of us to do. God doesn’t call those who have degrees and lots of letters behind their name although He does use them at times. God qualifies those who can do that which He requires them to do after He calls them. Give your life to Him and see what He can qualify you to do in His Kingdom.

What are you worth?

In our economy of excess people are judged to be wealthy when they have lots of land or cattle and/or a thriving business. Many are looked on as well off when they don’t have any bills or their debts are paid on time. But…this is the world’s way of looking at wealth. While these may give you freedom and peace of mind and it certainly would in this life, what kind of treasure (wealth) have you laid up in Heaven for eternity?

Your “net worth” in this life is only important to those in your family, as long as you have your priorities in the right order. But if you are chasing wealth on Earth to the exclusion of your life with your family, what are you really doing? In reality you are throwing away much of your wealth while chasing after stuff which is temporary and only worth something here and now.

While it is true that income or wealth does help us in this life with our bills and our needs, many look at it as if it solves far more than it really does. Truly, it tends to bring more “friends” into our life than we would normally have. But just as the prodigal son found out, when the money is gone so are those “friends”. Life is full of trials and tribulations both good and bad but when your wealth is anchored in Jesus and in His Kingdom this life and its trouble cannot take your joy from you. Many things could be taken from you such as your car or your job but the rewards of your life of service to God cannot be taken from you.

He is your strength and your shield. He is your buckler and your sword. He provides all that you need to serve Him until that day that you are called home to your eternal reward in His house. Seek Him and pray about your own life and the lives of those closest to you so when that day comes which comes to us all at the end, He will welcome you home to a place that cannot be taken from you.

God knows you so get to know Him.

We have time….

This is the LIE that Satan wants everyone to believe! Even though Jesus may not come back for a few years, we don’t have time to waste. We are not guaranteed any time at all. Today could be your last day or mine. Tomorrow may be the day that you stand before God’s throne. Death comes to each of us when God determines that it is our time. So…we don’t have time to waste, especially if you haven’t given your heart to Jesus as your Savior and repented of your sins.

Have you arranged your eternal life with Jesus? If you haven’t then you need to be working on it. Read God’s Word, especially the books of John and Romans, then seek Jesus in earnest prayer and humility. Read those two books twice or three times if you have to but make sure that you have come to a point that you know you need Jesus as your Savior and then ask Him to come into your heart and save you from an eternity in Hell. God hears a humble and sincere prayer for salvation and I don’t believe that He would turn you away if you are truly sincere in your search and your request for forgiveness.

What does it take?

I’ve often wondered exactly what it would take for God to get your attention enough to move you toward giving your life and your heart to Him? Would it take a devastating illness or a death in the family? Would rewarding you with a lucrative career and wealth get you to turn to Him? What would it take?

Sometimes the illness “angle” would likely drive some people toward blaming God for their situation rather than thanking Him for giving them the strength to live through it. Wealth definitely wouldn’t work, unless they knew that it was a blessing from God which allowed them to become wealthy in the first place. Why do I say that wealth backfires as a way to bring people to a saving knowledge of God? Because the “rich young ruler” didn’t need Jesus, he just wanted to know what he could do to gain eternity.

Many times, in the Bible and in our lives, we hear of those who have come to the bottom of their situation and they realize that they truly need Jesus. If it weren’t for their circumstances they would’ve went on with their lives as if He had never been born or even acknowledged that they would need salvation from their sins. Wealth tends to be an impediment to salvation because a need is not present. People who are wealthy or those who have no real needs in their life to be filled by a Savior usually don’t seek Him.

Most of those who seek Jesus as their Savior are those who need Him in some way. Either to give them hope for an eternity with Him or just for the hope of salvation from a situation that they cannot fix themselves in any way. This is why the “love of money” is pointed out as the root of evil. Not the money itself but the love or the pursuit of it as the “god” which can take care of all things.

Consider this: your life and mine only last for a tiny amount of time compared to eternity. Prepare your life for the time beyond this Earthly life because eternity is ahead of you, so make sure of your destination and seek Him for your salvation while there is time in this life to do so.

My Hope is in God!

There is nothing more hopeful than a child and having a child is the purest form of faith that God will make a way where there seems to be no way. God gives us children because He wants to bless us with hope and the faith to see their life come to pass. Sometimes they aren’t with us for very long but we learn of God through their innocence and their outlook regardless of the circumstances they may live in.

No matter their living conditions, most children do try to make the best out of good or bad situations. They can teach us adults a thing or two about life and living it because they don’t have the baggage that most of us have. Adults have bills and car payments and house payments and medical bills and more bills, children don’t have any of that. I envy them sometimes.

Yet, God expects each of us to grow as people and as Christians. When you give your heart and your life to Jesus, you are very much like this little child. You are a brand new Christian and a babe in Christ. You don’t know much about the Bible or His Word but you know that your Savior is God’s Son and for now…that is enough. But when trouble comes along, what then? Prayer and getting into the Psalms is the best place for you and we should be telling others about this resource, the Bible. It is truly God’s love letter to humanity because it speaks of Jesus from the very beginning to the end.

Be thankful and grateful today

For every blessing that you have. From the little patter of little toes and feet, to the food on your table…be thankful. Be grateful for all of the blessings which you have in your life every day. Because some may not be here next year and for some of us there may be one more to be thankful for. Life is full of blessings that we should be thankful for. Some of them have two legs and some have four. Some of them crawl or laugh and giggle all day. Some of them bark or meow when it is time for food and some just sit down and wait for the table to be fixed.

Every part of your life is a blessing so be thankful for it regardless of how bad or good your day may have been today. Be grateful for your Savior and to God for your life today and every day that you wake up because it is by their power and blessing that you live and breathe.

What have you given to God lately?

Many of us seem to think it isn’t necessary to give God anything. We don’t want to give Him our time on Sunday and He doesn’t need our money. Many of us don’t even want Him in our life or our hearts. So why do so many people who feel this way claim to be Christians? Is it because they know Who He is but they don’t want to know Him really? Are they afraid of Him? Possibly. In years past, God was pictured and preached as a vengeful God and a jealous God and He is both of those…to an extent. He is vengeful because He loves us not because He is going to punish us for something that we said or didn’t say. His vengeance is toward those who have wronged and persecuted His people, Israel. He will also avenge the church which grew in the past two thousand years because of the disciples preaching and because of the persecution which Christians still endure.

God is jealous, not like a lover or a husband, but because the “other” gods which mankind has created for himself are not gods at all. They are just figments of our imagination and our idea of how “god” should be. Humanity tends to try to squish God down into a more relatable god that we can understand. God cannot be put in a box or be made smaller so that we can relate to Him and feel comfortable with Him.

But we still say things like, “My god wouldn’t send anyone to hell.”. God doesn’t send anyone to hell either, that is your choice. God has made it possible for everyone to be saved but there are those who just won’t accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. When you reject Him and turn your back on His offer of grace to be saved, then you have condemned yourself to hell and unless you accept Him before you die…that will be your eternity. Our spirit is immortal and we will be given a new body for eternity, one which cannot die unless we refuse God’s offer of grace. That is why hell is called the “second death”. There is no Life outside of God and that is where you will be if that is your choice.

God loves every person but He doesn’t like some of the things that they are doing with their lives. Just like parents, He loves His children but sometimes He isn’t happy with their choices in life but He does allow us those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them. Jesus came and paid the price for your sins regardless of their “size”, even though there aren’t really BIG sins or little sins, although the killing of children or babies would likely rank a little worse than a lie any day.

What does God want from each of us? Our love and our heart. Be thankful for His grace which has given you all of your talents and the blessings in your life. Be useful to His Kingdom and for His Kingdom because each of us who have been called to know Him were called because of our influence in someone’s life that He knows that you can reach better than anyone else.

Tradition doesn’t save you!

It seems that there are so many people who love their church traditions, but they don’t want to give their hearts to Jesus. You either have Jesus in your heart or you don’t, and celebration of Communion without Him is a sin. Communion is not a bad thing but celebrating and taking part in it is only for those who are saved by His sacrifice for them.

God loves each of us but He looks at the traditions of men which are used as substitutions for Him and He is not pleased. No, tradition or the “good” things that you do in His name won’t save you from Hell. Only belief in Jesus and repenting of your sins can save you. So think about this during this holiday season and give thanks to the One Who truly deserves to be thanked for His sacrifice for your soul and mine.