Before you can walk…


God’s Word is full of pictures in words about how the Christian should learn to follow Him. The problem is that for most of us we’ve never had anyone in our lives to show us and explain what the baby steps are and how to progress from there. If you have ever listened to a sermon on TV or at a church revival or even at a friend’s church you have likely wondered exactly how to become a Christian and then what do I do when this happens? Where do I go from this point?

Baby steps are the first options which we all have. When we are learning to walk, we don’t wake up one day and just run around the house and down the street. It is the same way with believers. You don’t come down the aisle one day or night and repent of your sins and then you understand all of the theology and mysteries found in the Bible. God doesn’t dump the Old and New Testaments in your brain and tell you to get out there and make Him proud! There have been some days that I wish He had done that but we aren’t capable of going from a non-believer one day and then have the ability to understand all of the mysteries of the Bible on the next day.

Talk about a mind-blowing experience! That would truly put us in the asylum for sure.

The problem with becoming a Christian is that many times you are on your own. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, most churches expect your parents or friends to help you to learn about your faith and what you should do with this new life which you’ve been given. Is this the way it was supposed to be? Well, yes, actually it was because that was the way that God had told the Israelite people to teach their children about Him and their history from the books of Moses and their Prophets..

All of us have a responsibility to lead and teach, not only new Christians but each other. All of us need to be helped along the way. Learning more about our faith and about our Savior and the message which He taught the disciples during the time that He was with them. Saul who became known as Paul even went into a secluded place to learn from the Holy Spirit before he became the evangelist to the gentiles.

Why do I bring this up today? Because many of us have heard the gospel preached and we might have given our heart to Him but we are left on our own to “work out our salvation” by ourselves and sometimes we get in the muck of our own minds. What do you mean by that? Well, work out your salvation doesn’t mean that we must work for it but it does mean that we have to study God’s Word to learn more about Him and what He taught the disciples so that they could take His good news to the world. Humans, you and me, tend to overthink things whether it is learning from Scripture or learning to cook or even learning how to play a guitar. Your mind and your thoughts will get in the way like a puddle of mud does when you are walking or riding in a car or on a bike.

Since we are in the process of being quarantined at home these days it is a perfect time to learn more about your Savior and to have Bible study sessions at home. Get into God’s Word while there is time on your hands and learn more about Him and the love that He has for you because He has loved you with a deep, abiding love since before the world was created.

Can you walk in heaven while you are here on Earth?


According to the apostle Paul we have a place in heaven even while we are still here on Earth. In Ephesians 2:4-6 says it this way:  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

When we pray to our Creator, God, and we do so in faith there are times when we may see the floor of Heaven. When you get a glimpse of the floor of Heaven, you are seeing the golden streets which make up the streets of Heaven. It is likely that you will think it is a dream or some sort of illusion, but those don’t usually happen while we are awake. Can I prove that I saw this? No more than I can prove that my feelings are real or that my imagination can conjure up worlds while I read a book, so I would say that there is no way for me to prove any of this. But the look of reality and the solid feel of it is all that I can describe to anyone. So call me crazy or insane if you wish, but I have experienced this at least once maybe a couple of times.

How I wished at those times I could just take another step and be there with my loved ones who have gone before me. One day soon. How are we to respond to someone who claims to have this happen in their life? I can tell you that most people are not going to tell anyone about this because they will be afraid of being sent to a mental hospital. Only those of us who know how real it felt and can still feel, at times, to have gold bricks as pavement under your feet.

While it is true that we won’t experience the actual feel of gold under our feet until we get there, a vision from God which feels real is the best you can ask for while on this side of the veil. Remember, we are only separated from God and our loved ones by the veil of life here and the different and glorious life that we will experience in God’s Presence. I am looking forward to the day when that trumpet sounds!

If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus, it is time to get busy seeking Him for your Savior. If you have ever felt the Spirit calling you during a service or when you feel convicted about your life and your mistakes then you truly need to come to a saving knowledge and belief in Him for your salvation. I pray that any of you who read this will turn to Jesus for your salvation soon because I don’t think we have many more years to wait. Seek Jesus as your savior while you have the time.

We are finite


Much of our lives are spent seeking for a reason or a purpose for our life. We go through life trying to find the meaning for our existence but many times we stumble over the real meaning in such a hurry until we miss it. This is the problem in most everyone’s life because it usually takes a crisis of some kind to bring our focus back to what we should have been doing all along. Not only washing our hands but being careful about where we sneeze and cough, but it has taken a virus to get the whole world to realize what is important and how to take care of each of us and those in our family who are important to us.

But…why does it take a crisis to bring the best of us to the top? Why do we have to be tried in some way in order to be better at being the people that we could be all the time? It seems that Christians and…well, people in general, tend to do better or try to be better when we are under the pressure of a trial, no matter what it might be. Whether it is persecution, like the early church was put through, or war or diseases Christians tend to thrive and dig deeper into our faith when we are put under pressure. Kinda like coal or carbon, when put through enough heat and pressure it will turn into a beautiful diamond.

Does life just do this or do we bring these trials on ourselves? I believe that it is a combination of circumstances and the will of God which brings these trials our way. Trials do tend to get rid of the dross and refine our faith into a more pure form of faith which cannot be shaken. Then of course there are some people who will go through the same trials and blame God for their “bad luck”. They will do this and then just turn away from Him and the love that He has for them, even when they know about His love and can possibly feel it yet they will still refuse to turn toward Him for salvation or healing.

Humanity has always been strange in that way. Some of us will lean toward our Savior during times of trial and some of us will blame Him for these trials and turn away from Him. Truthfully, the church grew faster during those times of persecution than at any other time during its history. The emperor of Rome was trying to stop this “cult” and stomp it out and it just kept growing. If you read the history of the church, no matter where the persecution was or the type of trials that it was put through, the church still grew in number of converts and in the places where it was known, where Jesus was known.

The trial that our world is going through right now is not localized but the faith of the people who are being tested during this time will be refined and polished to a point of reflecting Jesus and His message even more during this and afterward as well. God knows exactly how to make Himself known and if it takes a crisis like this virus which has everyone on edge and fearful, then He will allow it to happen. But we need to draw closer to Him during this and don’t blame Him for the outcome but thank Him for it, regardless of how gut-wrenching the pain is or how much you are tempted to blame Him for someone dying from this virus. He will see you through it and give you the strength to glorify Him regardless of the outcome.

Seek Him for your strength and your comfort because He is the only One Who can provide you with both.

Life from the Author of it


Jesus came to give sinners an opportunity to be forgiven. It was His sacrifice and His love for us which compelled Him to do this. He didn’t have to do it but because of His love for you and me, He did. Many people look at this in the Bible and they don’t think anyone would do this, even when it is written in God’s Word. So, what will you do when you feel the call from God’s Holy Spirit?

Some people try to ignore it. Some even try to run away from the Spirit of God, like Jonah did. The problem with this is that God is everywhere and none of us can run from Him. God uses all sorts of ways to get our attention and sometimes we pay attention and sometimes we don’t. The problem is that we live in a world where there is so much information around us until the prompting from the Spirit could be ignored.

The Holy Spirit is very subtle in the way that it touches us. It is that small voice that you feel more than you hear, but if God is trying to get your attention because He wants you to be His voice at some point then you will hear it. Sometimes it will feel as if He is trying to hurt you deeply, when the truth is that some of us need a whack on our head in order to truly get our attention. The “crisis” that we are in now could be considered a massive whack up side our collective heads.

Pay attention and seek Him for your healing and your salvation as well because we might not get another chance.

This shall pass…


Of all the infectious diseases which have plagued our world in the past few decades, the corona virus is getting more attention than most of them ever did. Not because of the number of cases or the severity of the symptoms or even the mortality rate of the infection but because of the media, especially the Internet and news media. The flu killed more people and does kill more every year than this “new” virus has so far. So why are we ready to shut down whole cities and countries just to slow down or stop the spread of this? It is because we are giving in to fear and panic which is being whipped up to cause a panic.

Quarantine yourself in your home if you feel like you have the flu because the symptoms are similar. Don’t run around sneezing and coughing all over town, stay at home and ask family to bring you some medicine like Theraflu or Nyquil and ride this out. Unless your immune system is already compromised by some other condition it seems that those of us who are healthy can beat this with prayer and rest at home.

I am not saying that you should stay at home if you do have a real reason to be out and about, but follow the advice of the doctors and the CDC. If you don’t have to be out in the public areas, don’t go. The Bible and Jesus our Savior foretold that in the end times there will be diverse diseases and fear and this is exactly what is happening now. Read your Bible, seek His Wisdom and pray for your family and everyone who is suffering from cancer or any other condition which causes a weakened immune system. They are the ones that this virus can truly hurt and even kill. God is still in control of everything that is happening, although I don’t believe that He unleashed this on us. It is part of Satan’s plan to cause us to blame God for it.

Seek Him in Scripture, pray for all who are being treated for this, pray for our leaders so that they will have the wisdom to be able to handle this because in time this will pass away and God’s love will bring us through this.

Wisdom from an old Master…


We use his wisdom more than we do the wisdom of God. What does that say about our society?

I realize that he is an imaginary and fictional being but many people say that God is too. So why do we listen more to Yoda’s advice and try to live by it rather than the wisdom which is found in God’s Word?

I believe that it has to do with belief and the truth. We know that the movie which Yoda is in is just fictional therefore it was a figment of someone’s imagination before it became a movie and a part of our society and our vocabulary. So why can’t we give God’s Word the same weight of truth that we tend to give to the creations which come from Hollywood? Because we are afraid of the absolute Truth found in God’s Word, even if we don’t really believe in Him. We are afraid of finding the real Person of Jesus and finding out about God Himself and His love for us.

Fear and pride keep us from seeking Him and learning from His Word. We are afraid that when we find the real Savior, Jesus, we will be convicted of our sins and the fact that we need Him as our Savior. Pride gets in our way because we think that we are good enough to walk the pathway which brings us to the gate of Heaven, yet no person is able to walk that pathway without repenting of your sins and asking Jesus into your heart. Then follow His example during your life and learn about the life that God has for His own. Will you be able to live this life perfectly? No, but with the Holy Spirit guiding you and teaching you, it will be a bit easier to walk it. It won’t be without problems but with Him teaching you and strengthening you, you will make it through anything.

Be useful in the world around you


Many of us seem to be stuck in a rut of some kind. We live our lives from one week to the next, day by day doing things which seem to be useful, but would God see your life that way? The letters to the Middle East churches which are found in the first chapters of the book of Revelation tell a story much different from what we see in our world today. But, if you read these letters carefully, those churches mirror our churches too. Some of the letters even remind you and me of people we’ve known as well. They were saved at a revival and baptized and for a while they were on fire for the Lord. But now their zeal has tempered and cooled. The worship may still be there but they don’t volunteer for projects in the church. They rarely come to church now. Some have become “holiday Christians” by only showing up during the holidays.

The letters to the churches in the book of Revelation reflect this “loss of the spark” and even sliding into a prideful type of worship as if God should be thankful to have us! So what does that say about the church in our time, in the 21st century? To me and to a lot of other people who have moved away from worship in the church it says that religion has taken the place of the message of Jesus the Christ. People who have been in the church for many years have lost their “first love” of Christ. Not because He has lost His love for us, because He hasn’t, but because of how much the world around us has crept into the church and with it the “outward show” has been diminished.

The church that the world sees today is very different from the church of sixty years ago. Things which would’ve caused our grandparents to blush because of the nature of the sin, are commonplace today and these behaviors are not taught in church as being sinful anymore. The original message of Jesus about believing in Him for salvation and laying aside our old way of living to follow Him daily has been watered down to something far less demanding and socially acceptable. Jesus and His disciples did not water down the good news and they didn’t change the message so that others were not offended.

The message which Jesus taught did stir up controversy, and He made it a point to tell the priests exactly what they were doing wrong. He also pointed out to them that He was the Messiah which Isaiah has prophesied about over seven hundred years before. The Holy Spirit even revealed to David, when he was writing the Psalms, the way by which the Messiah would be crucified in details which you can readily see. At the time that David wrote Psalm 22, crucifixion had not been used as a form of punishment for crimes deserving death.

Your life, as a follower of Jesus, is given to God through the grace of God and by the power of God because of the sacrifice which Jesus made on the cross to pay the penalty for ALL of our sins. If He had not been obedient to the point of death, we would have no hope of eternity in Heaven. It is because of Jesus’ obedience through the arrest, conviction, scourging and His death on the cross and His burial in the tomb and His resurrection three days later that we have the Hope of seeing Him one day in our resurrected bodies! Was He afraid of the agony that He was about to go through? Yes, He was! The human part of Jesus knew the torture that He would have to endure along with the pain and suffering. His nature of being God in human form knew that it was necessary so that many would come to know Him as Savior and Lord.

We wrestle with our own natures every day after we give our lives to Christ and repent of our old ways. This is what makes the life of a Christian so difficult. Your life and mine are at odds with our “old nature” and Satan slings darts of temptation at us constantly, because he knows which sins you enjoyed so much. Walk with Jesus, read the Bible and pray for the Wisdom of God through the word that you read every day, even if it is only a verse or two. Ask Him for strength and wisdom so that you can withstand the temptations of the world around you.

He could’ve but He didn’t


In many ways we are all fortunate to have a Savior Who loves each of us completely and without condemnation. He could’ve cast the first stone at the woman who was caught in adultery but He didn’t. He met the qualifications of having no sin to be the first to cast the stone at her, but He loved her. Every person that He met during His ministry from the disciples to those who were seeking food or a miracle really didn’t deserve His attention but they got it anyway. Why? Because He loved them and He loves us today, even though we don’t deserve His love.

God’s love for us is far more than we can understand in our limited way. Love started with God since He is the embodiment of love. So why do people either disbelieve in Him or choose not to give their heart to Him? My opinion of this is quite simple: they don’t believe and they don’t want to. Some people just can’t see that God’s offer of forgiveness and eternity is as simple as their heart-felt belief in Jesus and the atonement that He bought for us with His death, burial and resurrection. We don’t have to try to add our efforts, our “works of righteousness”, our help in saving our soul or trying to be good enough. We can’t measure up on our own and it is that simple.

Our self-righteousness is as dirty, filthy rags compared to being a forgiven true believer in Jesus and what He did to purchase our pardon from the penalty of our sins. There truly is nothing which we can do which will gain us entry into the gates of Heaven. God owns everything because He created it all, so He doesn’t need our money. We can’t give Him enough time or do enough in our own strength, even if we did it in the name of Jesus because if you are not known by the Savior then your work in His Name is false because He doesn’t know you.

In order to be truly and completely saved each of us has to know our Savior and be known by Him. If you have felt His call on your life, the conviction of your need for a Savior and the knowledge that only belief in Jesus and surrendering your life to Him will bring you the salvation that is only possible by knowing Him as your Savior then you have a decision to make. Give Him your heart and your life and repent of your sins, regardless of the perception of their size, because size doesn’t matter to God. A sin of murder is no more or less than the sin of lying or stealing in God’s eyes. When you break one of the Ten Commandments, even by your lust for a woman and no more, it is still a sin.

You can be forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice for you and be adopted into God’s family. When Jesus was confronted in the picture above, He told the people who brought her to Him that the one without sin could cast the first stone at her for adultery. They all knew that not one of them could be considered “without sin”. He could’ve but He didn’t come to condemn people, not even one caught in the act of adultery. He came to heal and forgive and provide a way for forgiveness through belief in Him. Which is why He told her that He didn’t condemn her nor accuse her and He said, “Go and sin no more”. Could she live a sinless life even after that encounter? No, but with her belief in Him and the Holy Spirit’s help she could live her life as an example to those around her.

I pray that anyone who reads this will seek Jesus out as their Savior and Lord because the time is growing short for us in this sick world. Seek Him out while there is time.

Walking in His Presence


I had a dream or a vision one day but don’t ask me to elaborate on the sights and textures of it. I was reading and meditating on part of the book of Matthew, I think, and I could see myself walking on streets of gold. Matthew doesn’t speak of this but heaven is described this way in the book of Revelation. Why would I see gold under my feet? I don’t know. Maybe God was giving me a glimpse of His home? Just a small “blink and you miss it” types of glimpses? I don’t know for sure.

Don’t you think that is what Jesus meant by living a life more abundantly here? It’s possible I suppose. But if you are so spiritually-minded you are no Earthly good then what is the point of being a child of God? If we aren’t going to take our faith and the message that we should be living by out into the world at large, then what good are we doing for God? Jesus told His disciples to take the gospel out into the whole Earth and that means to our workplace and to the dog park or the market and to the mall as well. But if we don’t meditate on His Word and learn from it enough to tell others about it, what are we telling people?

Do you feel as if something is missing in your life? Do you want more than you have or do you want to be useful to God and His Kingdom? We should realize that we don’t have to be missionaries or preachers or even teachers in order to be useful to God’s Kingdom. God does give each of us a gift or a talent. Sometimes it takes us years to find out what our talent or our gift is. Many times it is because we are not searching in the right place. The only place that we can find the truth about us and what He has given us is in God’s Word and by prayerfully reading it and asking God to show you what He has for you.

God can and will show you. It won’t jump out of the Bible and it won’t be plainly on a page or in a certain book but by learning about God’s requirements for our lives. Obedience to His commandments is part of it, even though we can’t perfectly follow them. Obedience to God and the surrendering of our life and everything in it to Him is the truth of our lives in Jesus Christ. Not giving Him some of your life or some of your money but giving Him all of it. Does that mean that we are to live in poverty? Absolutely not. You were given so many blessings such as your life and your money and your job or business by God. None of it is yours. Your home, your family, your career, your very life belongs to God but until you realize this and truly give it all to Him…your life will never be as satisfying as it could be.

Your life in Christ is in heavenly places. Your soul inhabits your dwelling place in heaven even if your physical body does not. God’s Word says that we are seated with Him in heavenly places if we truly belong to Him. We are there, in Christ, in Heaven with Him and we must dwell in Him and live our lives as if we are in Him until that day when we are translated from this world to the next. We are saved by His Grace not through any vain thing that we may do but by our belief in Jesus Christ for our salvation, it is this which brings our soul into His presence at the day in which we move from this place to His home.

When you are in a storm…


Remember that you, as a Christian, are related to the One Who created rain and wind and the seas. He commands the elements and the universe itself has to obey. There are some storms which come upon us unexpectedly and there are some which we helped to create, but God is with us in all of them. He is still in control regardless of the news or the numbers which you hear on TV or radio. Whether the storm is natural or caused by mankind, God is still in control and those who doubt this will one day find out for sure. Though one day it will be apparent that He is in control, they will still cry and complain about it until they find that it is too late to change.

The storm that you are in could be financial or just a problem with your health. It could be that you are worrying about your child or how you are going to pay some bills this month. A storm in your life can happen at any time and in an instant your life will change forever. What do you do then? If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior you can call on friends or family to help you but they could be going through their own storm. Jesus is the only Person Who can take care of spiritual problems and health problems and financial problems too. When you give your heart to Him and sincerely repent of your sinful life to follow Him, He will be with you through all of the storms.

Your family and friends won’t be so close during those times of joblessness and cancer diagnosis. They will be with you every day if you win the lottery but when the money is gone, they will be too. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to take our sins and our burdens and our problems to the cross and nail them to it forever. All that you need to do is believe in Him as your Savior and Lord and your life will be forever changed. I’m not promising that all of your troubles will go away, sometimes they get worse because of your faith in Jesus, but He will provide for you in His time and in His way.