Growth with God’s blessing

Exponential growth works like this: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024.

So why does a garden or a farm never produce like this? Is it because of our lack of faith in the One Who created everything? Do we look at our pitiful little plot of ground that we have and think that it will never produce for me like it did for my grandfather? Sometimes, we create our own “self-fulfilling prophecies” when we think that way.

Do you ever wonder why some farmers aren’t very successful and some are? Consider that the very idea of farming is based on faith. Cattle are born, pigs are born, chickens are born (from an egg), vegetables grow from seeds. All of these processes are miracles in one way or another. The success of any farm depends upon the faith of the person or persons who are involved in it. If you don’t have faith in God and the processes which He put in the world for our good and for the good of others, how will your business actually be successful? This applies to any business but especially to the life of a farmer of whatever kind of produce because He ordained “seedtime and harvest” in His Word.

He ordained it very early in His Word but His Word does not fall to the ground without accomplishing what He intended for it to accomplish. Farmers have faith in their farming practice because they are following the procedures that other farmers have done and it worked in the past. They should also have faith in the Creator of all because He created all of the animals and the seeds which are farmed and planted all over the world. Do I believe that all farmers have faith in God? I would say that most of them do. Some may have more faith in Roundup than they do in God, but God is still in control of every seed and every patch of ground. If your garden or your ranch is small or if it covers many thousands of acres, your faith in the One Who controls every aspect of growth regardless of the type of growth should be in proportion to how much you are placing in His hands.

God can cause all things to work together for the good of those who belong to Him and are called according to His purposes. When we are called to become children of God through Jesus, we must have faith in the One Who has saved us and the One Who has called us. 

If you are living according to His Ways, then your faith in Him will carry you through the problems and the blessings, whatever they may be, because He loves you and He will do that for you. Your farming will pay off and it will be successful in proportion to the amount of faith that you have in Him that He will do these things for you and for His glory. If we intentionally plant a garden to honor God with the produce of it and give Him the honor and the glory for its success then He has an interest in our garden and its success. But if we just throw some seed down and hope that He will bless us with enough rain and pray that the seed which we planted was good seed do you think it will be blessed? He might bless our efforts but He might not. We should seek to do His will in all of our endeavors whether it is farming, raising a family, or working in our business or for someone else. The only way to know His will for us is to read and study His Word and ask Him to show us His will for our life.

God brings the growth when we act on our faith in Him.

Cultivation for Life

In many ways, our lives are kinda like farming. We cultivate relationships and friendships and sometimes those turn into life-long, close relationships. It takes patience and effort though and occasionally we don’t take care of these very well. Many times in our lives, a lot of time will go by before we see each other or even speak to each other. It causes hurt feelings and bruised pride and can really damage a friendship…sometimes.

We really should try to put the effort into our relationships, whether they are friends or our spouse or even our family. But, sometimes we neglect to honor those with our time and our effort and when we do that, things change. Weeds will grow in our “garden of friends”. Sometimes we will see them and get rid of them before they cause problems. Sometimes they are aggressive and they have roots that go deep into our past and it is possible that we have forgotten what caused them in the first place.

Why do I speak about friendships and relationships like a garden? Because we should work on them like we would a garden. Make sure that the “soil” of our life is ready for a newly planted “friend” and then take care of them in whatever way is needed. Don’t neglect them because when you neglect a garden or a friendship, problems begin to appear. Weeds in a garden and hurt feelings in a relationship, whether it is between friends or in a closer relationship, they will grow and cause more problems.

That is the wonderful thing about your relationship with God and His Son, Jesus. They already know what is going on in your life. They aren’t surprised or hurt by what you say or don’t say. They can see the “problems” before they come up but they want us to recognize them and seek their help with those problems. Because they are better at fixing problems than we are. They know the cause and the fix before you or me. But just because they aren’t surprised by our problems doesn’t mean that they will try to force us to listen to their advice. We have to seek them out and ask for their help with our problems.

Sometimes it takes a problem coming into our lives to force us to seek God’s answer and His wisdom for this situation. We don’t like it when these problems show up and they usually are very inconvenient because of their timing but if we will seek God’s wisdom to get us through them one at a time, we will learn from them and be able to move forward. God always has better advice for us in His Word than we could ever find in a library or even from a friend if we will listen to the advice and take it to heart. 

Your life and mine are populated with many friends. Some we know only at work and some we’ve known since grammar school. Some are just acquaintances and some are very close friends. Sometimes the friendship might have become stale because of time or distance and that can happen to family relationships too. Make sure that your relationship with Jesus is not stale. Keep in touch with Him at all times and in all things, good or bad, because He will never leave you or forsake you regardless of the circumstances.

How foolish are we?

O God, You know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from You.
Psalm 69:5 Do you realize that all of the wisdom that we have is completely foolish in God’s sight? All of the learning and the degrees in the world are simply “man’s wisdom” and learning which we may believe is the best, but without God’s wisdom and His guidance, it means nothing. God’s Word is the best book to read in times of heartache and trouble and it is the best book to read for your healing when you are sick. There is so much wise advice in God’s Word until the best education that you could have would be to read it every day!

Our ideas and wisdom can carry us only so far but His Wisdom and advice can carry us all the way to eternity! Doesn’t that sound wonderful? God loves each of us and has loved each of us from before the Earth and everything else was created. Not just because we were a thought in His mind but because He lives outside of time. He can see the beginning and the ending of the universe and He knows when you were born and when you will die. He also knows everything that you can and will do in your life, and that applies to everyone! Not just Christians living now but those who will become Christians before the end of the world!

Remember in the Psalm where David wrote “I am fearfully and wonderfully made“? He was speaking of God’s involvement in stitching each of us together before we are born. But, even before God’s hand does this He could look down through time itself and see each of us and know what manner of person we would be and how useful we would be in His Kingdom. We serve God, our Creator and Redeemer, Who lives and has lived forever. We do not serve a man with his wisdom and his “sayings”! God’s Spirit moved the prophets and scribes of ages past and He still moves those who will listen to Him to write His words and remind people about His Love for them.

God has never failed to keep His promises to us and He won’t fail to do so in the years to come. I ask that anyone who reads this please seek out Jesus and His salvation for your life because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Make sure of your eternity and your salvation today while you can.

How unique are you?

Consider that God knitted your DNA together in the womb, there is not another person on Earth like you. Even if they are your twin, there is something unique about each of you that the other does not have. Why does God make each of us in this way? Because, it gives each of us those special and unique talents and abilities which makes each of us so useful to Him. In ways that we may not realize until He shows us what they are.

God loves each of us, whether we have given our hearts to Jesus or not. He has loved us this deeply since before creation. So make sure that you seek Him in all that you do when you feel His call on your life. Living in this world today we can see the evil around us all of the time. On the news, on the Internet, in newspapers and magazines. When I say evil I mean anything which does not acknowledge God as King and Jesus as Savior. If you listen to the words of those who want a socialist state you can tell that they do not revere God in any way except for thinking that they are “god”.

You are unique because God made you that way. Mom and Dad contributed some genetic material to your creation but God is the designer and He put the traits which He wanted you to have inside you. We are made in and carry God’s image in us. We are not gods but we are children of His, if we have given our hearts to Jesus and have been adopted into His family. If you don’t have Jesus as your Savior then you are no better than any other lost person in this world. But…if God has a special job for you to do He will make a way for you to come to Him as a saved and sanctified child adopted into His family. There is no power on Earth that can stop Him if He has determined that you are His!

God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice which paid for all of your sins and mine so that you can be adopted as sons into His family.

Wisdom comes from God

It seems that many people place their “faith” in books and degrees and they seem to think that the wisdom that they have came from those achievements. Some of it did, at least the mankind of wisdom comes from books and degrees. But what about your common sense? What about the value and wisdom which comes from reading God’s Word?

I’ve heard that there are some who seem to be lacking in the “common sense” department but have you ever thought that their version of common sense may just be different from yours? It may not be the same or work in the same fashion as yours does but it is likely that they have a special case of common sense which fits their position and purpose in this life. Why do I say this? Because God is the One Who gives out “common sense” and I don’t think He makes mistakes.

There are too many physical properties of our universe which have to be so in tune for life to exist to say that God could make a mistake like not giving someone any common sense. He doesn’t make mistakes. But, we seem to want Him to be more like us instead of the other way around. I don’t want God to be like us at all! If He were like us, I’m sure we would not be here!

All of the wisdom in the world was given to us from God. I don’t think that He quit speaking through people just because it isn’t canonized and included in the Bible. What about all of the Christian literature which has His wisdom included in it? True, some of the inclusions are direct quotes from the Bible but there is other wisdom in those books which did not come from the Bible and it is just as wise and true as if Paul wrote it. Do we look down on it because it is “man’s” wisdom rather than from God? How do you know that the Holy Spirit didn’t inspire them to write it? He could be giving me these words too and frankly, I think He always has because I’ve never been a person who talks a lot.

Writing here is my witness to others who may never get to a Christian church and I stand by that conviction. I do believe that the Holy Spirit gives me the words to say here, so please take the time to read His wisdom in these words because I’m not trying to convince you of anything other than the fact that Jesus is the Christ and He is the only Savior Who can save you from your sins and pardon you so you can enter into eternity with Him.

Does Jesus know you?

In the South this is a question which might insult some people. It may insult many people. Why? Because, the South has always been known as “the Bible belt”. Nearly everyone goes to church at least once during the month. Most people have heard a sermon about Him and His offer of salvation but does He know you?

It is an intriguing question and one that makes you think about your eternity and if you are saved. Can you answer this question and feel confident about your answer? You can if you have never given your heart to Him because you can tell people that you don’t know Him, so it is a surety that He doesn’t know you as a child of God. I don’t mean that He doesn’t know you because He is the Creator! He knitted each of our DNA strands together and He knows who you are and your abilities because He gave them to you!

Jesus the Christ is the Second of the Godhead. He is the Living Word of God the Father and then there is the Holy Spirit which does the will of them all in the universe. Jesus was God Who came to live with us and be tempted just as we are so that He could understand our problems and our humanity. He put on humanity in order to pay the price for ALL of our sinful thoughts and words and deeds and He did exactly that on the cross!

The legion of demons that possessed the man in the tombs pleaded with Him that He would not send them into outer darkness. They knew Who He was. Jesus is our Savior but we act as if He doesn’t exist and those who do not believe in Him for their salvation are lost in their spiritual life already. Denying Jesus is the only real sin which sends you to hell. Your decision to deny Him or to push His offer of salvation away and tell Him that you don’t want His free gift is the decision which will send you to hell.

God loves you and He sent His Son to bring salvation to those who seek it. He has known those who would seek Him since before the foundation of the whole world. He could see you in the future and He knew what you are doing and what you can do for His Kingdom. He has given you your abilities and your intelligence and your experiences which shape you into the person that God needs to use as a disciple or apostle or just as a witness to those who haven’t heard about Him yet. Don’t turn this chance down. You may not get another chance to give your life to Jesus.

Only by giving your life and your heart to Jesus can you claim any of these promises. Please consider your eternity with Him and ask Him into your heart, repenting of your sins so that you can claim these promises and more in Christ.

We are destroying our minds

 Scripture — in both the Old and New Testaments — warns us against investing in things which cannot give us anything in return, in pouring our affections and attentions toward the worthless and temporal. Much of that is what many people are doing today. Looking at their phones and at games and tablets. Liking this and texting that and commenting on the new dress that someone bought that you don’t even know. Sometimes praying for people who are hurting from the loss of a loved one but most of the time we spend useless hours looking at things which have no real value to us in this world or for the next one.

Can we get away from this destructive addiction to Snap chat or Facebook? Can we get away from any one of a number of “social media” platforms which are taking too much of our attention away from God and His purpose for our lives? Yes we can but for some it will be a very hard break from a platform which has consumed our attention morning and night for many years. It really is an addiction when you look at it that way and it is getting worse. How can we move back to our lives which we enjoyed before the Internet and Facebook came along? Truthfully, many young people won’t be able to. They have grown up from the time that they could hold a phone or tablet until they are nearing pre-teen years and TV and movies just don’t have the same impact on their lives as their social media does.

They don’t look at it as an addiction but that is exactly what it is. Anything that you begin your day with and go through your day with very little break from it and then you take it to bed with you…I would call that an addiction. It isn’t drugs or anything like that but the opinions and ideas that you are exposed to all day every day get into your mind and into your thought patterns. Eventually those ideas will become your ideas and your opinions.

Christians are supposed to meditate on God’s Word and read it daily so that we can protect our minds from the temptations of life and those from Satan as well. We are not immune from those and if we don’t have God’s Word in our mind, helping us to resist those temptations to say something or do something that we shouldn’t then he will be victorious over our witness. I would rather be addicted to reading God’s Word than to any social media that is available today. Follow Jesus and read His Word because there is at least one person that you will meet tomorrow who needs to hear about your Lord and Savior!

Do you believe in Jesus?

So many people seem to have a problem with him. It seems that the name of Jesus causes many people to pull away from Christianity, but why? Is it because He is Jewish or because He was crucified on a cross? I’ve heard that people don’t like Christianity because of its bloody history. Not only because of the way Jesus died but because of the Dark Ages and the Inquisitions in the past. It truly is sad that all of that happened but like slavery and other atrocities which have happened in the past, none of those have anything to do with us living in the present.

God sent Jesus to us to pay the penalty for the sins of humanity past and future, until that day that He calls us to be with Him. Will more people come to know Jesus during the Tribulation? Yes, but it will be a very dangerous time for those who do. They will be put in jail or killed or both just because of their faith in Jesus. Why am I bringing this up? The time is growing short because the prophecies at the beginning of Revelation and from Matthew 24 are coming true now.

He came for each of us and there is no greater love than His. Make sure that your eternity is sure in Him.

Why did Jesus go up to Jerusalem?

On the last Passover that Jesus celebrated with His disciples, He knew what would happen soon. His Spirit knew what was being planned for Him. So why did He go there? You know that if it were you or me, our fear of death would’ve kept us away from that place. Jesus was as much human as we are, but He was also God and He knew that if He didn’t go and fulfill the Father’s will mankind would have no part in His Kingdom when it’s time is fulfilled.

So, why did Jesus go to Jerusalem that night? Because of His love for mankind, not just for the Jewish people but for all of humanity. God did this because He knew that we could not have a relationship with Him unless our sin debt had been paid fully and only Jesus could do that. The blood of bulls and lambs and goats could only atone temporarily for our sins as it did in the Old Testament, but the New Testament in Jesus’ blood is a permanent atonement for our sins if we will believe in Him for our salvation. That is the only requirement that we have to fulfill for our salvation and it is our belief which comes to us through the faith which is given to us also by God. We cannot choose to come to Him on our own but when we feel our broken state and know that we need Him, then we can cry out to Him and He will heal us by the blood of Jesus.

You may wonder why I said in the paragraph above that He will heal you by the blood of Jesus. We are under a curse of sin and before Jesus comes into our heart we are dead spiritually. It is this spiritual death which Jesus heals us of and quickens us by His Spirit to do His will for the rest of our days. God loves you and has always loved you. The only requirement for your salvation that you can accomplish is to respond to the Spirit of God which breaks your heart to bring you to the point of repentance knowing that you need Jesus as your Savior.

God sent His Son to bring salvation to Judea but since they refused to believe that He was the Christ, the world gained a Savior. Believe in Him for your salvation because it is found in no other. Salvation is by the grace of God given to us through Jesus and by Him only.

Who are you?

Have you ever wondered this to yourself? Who am I? I don’t know you, but God does. Have you ever thought about that? Why would God want to know me or love me? I’ll tell you why…because He LOVES you! He has loved you and me and everyone else who has ever lived with a love that we can’t understand. Because He is our Creator! He knit your molecules together in such a way that there is no other person nor has there ever been another person exactly like you!

Who are we? If you are a believer in Jesus as your Savior, then you are a child of God and an heir to everything that God wants to give you and He will give it to you. When it is His time to do so. We want it now, today, but God knows that much of His love and the blessings which He has prepared for you and me are not useful right now. Our heavenly home is waiting for us but we can’t live in it right now. The horse that we will ride behind Jesus is waiting in heaven for us but we can’t ride him or her right now. The city which has streets of gold is there but we can’t experience it until we are there. We are blessed and loved and highly favored in God’s sight but we won’t know how much until we get there.

We are blessed and loved and sanctified in Jesus and we are each part of God’s family and it will be a BIG family gathering one day. When that day comes, the world will mourn our disappearance but we will be in the most wonderful place in the universe! We will be with God! How amazing will that be? Living in heaven with our Father, our Creator and our Savior for eternity. Will we be doing anything? Of course we will. God doesn’t save you from the punishment of hell and then condemn you to a life of boredom. We will be working for Him in every capacity that He can give us the ability to do. Consider Who He is. Our Creator and our redeemer. We will have any ability that He wants us to have whether we lived that way in this life or not. Whether we have been a leader or a carpenter or a welder or a police person or a doctor, God can give each of us the knowledge and ability to do His will all through eternity and He will!

Who are you? We are whoever God says we are. We are able to be whatever He says we can be. We are able to do whatever He says we can because He loves us and He never leaves us. He is our Creator and our Redeemer and He is able to give us abilities which we would never have unless He gave them to us and gave us the knowledge to accomplish them. We are His children and we need to be grateful and thankful for each breath we take. Yes, we are loved and we are forgiven and we are His!

Who am I? I am in Christ!