Good advice

This counsel from John Piper has been helpful to me: “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

If we could do this every day, the world would be a different place altogether. Today, people don’t want to hear the words “trust God”. They seem to be more interested in “what’s in it for me?” This generation has become the most self-centered and selfish generation that the world has ever had. No one seems to want to help anyone anymore unless they can get recognition for it. Selfless acts of kindness and compassion are the exception today instead of the normal actions of everyone. 

Most of the time selfless acts even get on the news as if it is something unheard of and so unusual that it has to be pointed out. Why can’t we just learn to trust God for our daily lives? 

The reason for that is our mistaken notion that we aren’t supposed to have God or any mention of Him in our government or in any school function. The separation of church and state is NOT in the constitution!! Thomas Jefferson wrote that the government would not have a national/state-sponsored religion. That was in a personal letter to a Baptist association assuring them that it doesn’t matter which religion you follow, the government wasn’t going to impose their will on the people by requiring them to be members of a “national church”.

You can trust in the God of the Bible or a god of your own choosing if you wish. You can worship either or both of them or just choose not to. Your life depends on what God blesses you with whether you believe in Him or not. Every life on this planet, human beings or not, depends on His grace and His provision for each breath. Do we acknowledge this? Most don’t until they feel the need to seek Him for a loved one or for some other reason. God is in control whether you believe this or not will not affect the outcome one way or the other. He will accomplish His will and His purposes in His time.

What are you doing for Him?

What are you doing for Him? Have you ever wondered about your life as a Christian? We usually ask God for our provisions, our needs, and our problems. Do you see the pattern here? We are called by God, prompted by His Holy Spirit to give our hearts and our lives to Him as our sacrifice to Him because of His grace toward us through Jesus’ sacrifice. We are supposed to give because He gave His only Son’s life for you and me. 

Yet we have the audacity to claim Jesus as our Savior and then pray for our selfish desires and our problems without a thought for His requirement of us being His servants and His disciples. And we expect Him to answer our prayers right now! Not next week! How arrogant we are. Can you see what I’m trying to illustrate here?

Your life, as a Christian, should be centered on doing the work that we have been called to do by Jesus. What is that exactly? First and foremost it is being a witness to those around you at home or at work or even in public. Remember, Jesus told His disciples to go and tell others about Him and what HE did for them. That same command is extended to each of us today because people need to know about their Savior. If you and I don’t tell them, how will they know? 

When I was lost, the only reason I went to church was that I had no choice. My mom went to church on Sunday and I had to go with her. I had been in church for as long as I can remember but when I became a teenager is when I began to rebel against my “expectations”. I’m not going into all of the details of my early life but I was a part of a “broken home” as they called them in the 70s. It isn’t uncommon today but back then it was. I didn’t get into drugs much but alcohol and a little “weed” were my friends or so I thought.

When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are supposed to move away from your old self and follow Him into your new life. I thought I did this for a long time but I kept drinking and smoking for a long time. I was doing things that a born-again person isn’t supposed to do. It wasn’t until I became a father twenty-two years ago that I really began to reach out and seek God for my salvation. I had been baptized a couple of times but all that did was get me wet but I was still lost.

It has taken twenty years of study and seeking God to bring me to a point where I feel comfortable telling others about my Savior. I even served as a “lay-preacher” for almost ten years and there was a lot of growing in Christ that happened during that time as well. What is my point? It is this: If you truly belong to Him, you should be telling others about Him. 

Don’t back up or think they will be offended. Some of them may be but they still need to hear it because you might be the only person who will tell them. God can use your talent to touch those around you and sometimes you are the only person that can get His message to at least one person in particular. It may be someone in your family or someone you work with but they may not listen to anyone else but you and your story. Plant the seed of your story in Christ so that they may decide to turn to Him as well. You may never know if they gave their heart to Jesus until you see them in Heaven but you may be surprised by how many you did influence that you never even spoke to.

How does God love me?

God loves each of us completely. Now, what does that mean? It means that God loves every fiber of your being right down to your DNA. He put it together and placed all of your gifts and abilities in those strands of your building block molecules. So, when you are called to become an adopted child of His through your acceptance of Jesus as your Savior, you are supposed to give your complete life and love back to Him.

How can I give my life and my love to Him? The first act of love from yourself to Him is to accept Jesus as your Savior and learn about Him and His commandments in the Bible so we can be the best person that we can be. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can live our lives daily trying to live according to those Ten Commandments. I can’t live my life according to and following those commandments without His Spirit living in my heart and neither can you! God desires our obedience more than anything.

Jesus, the Son of God, came to live here as a human being so He would know our weaknesses and our temptations. He also knows our fears and our feelings of rejection and He came to walk where we walk and be connected with us. While it is true that God knows these things too, Jesus needed to do this as part of the Trinity so that He could truly relate to and understand us with our physical limitations and our sorrows and our joys too.

A better way of understanding this would be the relationship between a dog that you have in your household. They are part of the family. You take care of their needs and love them as much as you can but you can’t relate to them on their level unless you were able to become one of them. Live your life as a dog even with their short life spans. Enjoy all of the things that they enjoy and feel and smell all of the things that they feel. This is a very simplistic way of looking at our relationship with God and Jesus but I know that all of the dog owners out there can relate to this.

God loves us far more deeply than we can imagine. Just as most owners of Dachshunds can relate to this relationship. Any dog, regardless of breed, that you take into your home and care for will become a part of your family. Usually so deeply loved until their death will affect you more than you ever thought possible. That pain is the kind of pain that I believe God feels when we reject His love and His offer of forgiveness through believing in Jesus for your salvation. It may be even worse than that. My point is this: He loved each of us enough to send Jesus to die on the cross so many years ago just to pay the debt for our sins that we cannot pay.

Do you know Jesus?

Many people know about Jesus. They’ve heard about Him on TV and they’ve heard about Him in sermons and other venues. The question is “do you KNOW Him and does He know you?” There are many people in the church and outside of any church that has heard of Him and knows the story of His birth and there are many who attend churches thinking that they are saved because of their knowledge of Him.

Satan knows Jesus and he knows Who Jesus is but he won’t serve Him. All of the demons and powers that serve Satan know Who Jesus is but they look at Him as the enemy. If you were to ask people on the street about Jesus, you would get lots of answers or possibly no answer at all. The world around us is very much against the knowledge of Jesus. They don’t mind talking about God but don’t bring up His Son or even claim that He has a Son.

Jesus is THE Son of God and whether you believe it or believe in Him or not that does not change. Seek Him for your salvation and your eternal destination depends on your decision. Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua said this just before he died in the Promised land and he was telling the Israelites to do the same. But, if you read the book of Joshua, the Israelites only served God as long as the generation that came through the wilderness was alive. Then they began to follow the religions of those who lived around them. A choice is a choice whether you make it or not. Make sure of yours before your time is up.