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.

How much more…

We are too comfortable in our plenty. When we wake up in the summer most of us have a cool house to live in. We go to jobs or other places where air conditioning keeps the temperature at a reasonable level regardless of the temp outside. The same goes for our winter homes. Most of us have heated, comfortable places where we can enjoy everyday life, even when we have to go to work. So…how much more should we expect from God?

In the news almost every day it seems that there are children and some adults who just won’t be satisfied with what they have. Every Presidential candidate that is running against our President wants to offer more free stuff to everyone. Free health care, free income whether you have a job or not, college education for free. That is not how a republic works! Who is going to pay for all of this “free” stuff? Someone has to.

Things like these and more stuff is not what we were put on this Earth to chase after. We are to be about the work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. That is what the empty place is in your life and what was in mine too, many years ago. Every person is born with an empty place inside but we aren’t born with the knowledge of what fits in it. So most of us seek all kinds of things which will make us feel complete and whole. But the only thing which goes into that place is not a thing at all, it is Jesus Christ.

It is our spirit seeking Him which makes us long for something until we find our Who that is. That is why we are always looking for a way to be fulfilled in our lives. We are living with an empty place that cannot be filled unless we ask Jesus to come into our hearts and fill us with His Spirit and He makes us whole and complete. God loves us and He know who is looking and seeking Him and who is not. Those who are will have a chance to be complete and full of His Spirit. Those who think they already have Him may be deceived into thinking that they “have an arrangement with God” just like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. Their “righteousness” was based on their own knowledge of God’s Word and His Law and they didn’t think they needed salvation or a Savior.

Unfortunately, there are many people today in that same place with respect to their salvation. Many of them don’t think they need Him…but they do. One day soon they will find out and on that day they will realize why they felt His call on their lives and regret their refusal of His Grace.

Give thanks to the Lord, always…

In Ephesians 5:20 Paul writes: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

During this time of year when we give thanks for the blessings of God which we have received do we think about why God has given us those blessings? Do we think about all of our needs that have been met, at times without us even asking for them?

We go through some trying times and many of us actually blame God for those rather than thanking Him for the strength to get through them. Yet, we are supposed to give thanks to Him because it is a commandment…not a suggestion. God loves each of us and whether we realize it or not we should give Him the glory for all that He has given us. Although many of us look at what we have and we think that we are the ones who got this thing or that thing when it is really God Who has given us the ability and the knowledge needed to do our jobs and be able to provide for our family.

Being thankful for everything is not hard to do, but it is difficult to give thanks to the right One Who provided for us. We have grown up in a world that teaches independence and individuality so we look at what we have as our accomplishments and not as gifts from God. Living in the world as it is today we look around and see that the world is so focused upon what each person wants and their personal idea of the “truth” and what is right in their eyes until any idea of looking at the bigger picture is lost. To many people, it seems to make no sense. Why would they want to consider their actions having an impact on the lives of many people in the world?

If they aren’t hurting others with the way that they live then why should they care about someone in another country having air pollution problems or problems growing enough food? We have become so individualistic until we live selfish lives and look at the world around us and we just don’t care about anyone less fortunate than we are. 

Being thankful to God is actually the secret to a happy and productive life. So why can’t we live thankfully all the time rather than on just one holiday during the year? Paul wrote in Ephesians that we should be “thankful always” and that is why we seem to have trouble with this. Give thanks to God for your home and your family. Give thanks for your retirement or your job. Give thanks for your spouse and your children and your grandchildren and for their continued health. 

Thanksgiving is coming soon and we should truly give thanks to the One Who provides for us every day. Psalm 68:19 says: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation”. Every day each of us gets a fresh basket of benefits such as the air we breathe, the food we have to eat, and the clothes we wear so we should never pray or do anything without thanking God for everything. 

Consider this: why should God give you anything else if you don’t even thank Him for what He’s already given to you? We should be leaving out some of our complaints in our prayers and be adding in more thanks for those good things which we enjoy! Like having food on the table and a warm place to sleep and clean linens and clothes to wear. We take many of these things for granted but in other parts of the world, not very far from where we live, there are many who would love to have even the things which we throw away.

In the Old Testament book of Exodus, Moses had to put up with all of the Israelite’s complaints and their whining about all sorts of things…but they weren’t slaves anymore. Many of them even wished to go back to being slaves because they didn’t like the conditions of their freedom. Moses had to plead with God many times to redeem the people from His wrath or they would’ve been wiped out by the God Who had saved them. They weren’t thankful for the manna which fed them every day. They weren’t thankful for being set free for very long. 

We should be thankful for our freedom which was given to us through the suffering of Jesus on the cross. We are free from the burden of sin and it’s consequences if we have given our lives and our heart to Him. Yet, many times we begin our Christian life with Him and we are thankful for the burden being lifted and for a time we are very thankful. Then when temptation comes back and we slip or we feel that we are being wrongfully tempted we blame God for it. He didn’t tempt us but we want to blame someone and it is either Him or the Devil.

Be thankful for your life and all of the good things and the bad days that you have since many of our bad days would be welcomed by other believers who are in countries where they are persecuted much more harshly than we are.

Abundant grace from God

The hymn “Amazing Grace” is truly a wonderful song and the story of the man, John Newton, is a picture of God’s abundant and amazing grace which is poured out on all of us. But, consider the grace which we all enjoy by the power of the cross and by the name of Jesus. He is our High Priest in heavenly places so we can come boldly into the throne room.

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

God’s grace is poured out on us through Jesus and His work on the cross for our salvation. He does this because He loves us, not because He has to. Can we understand His love for us? Nope, but I am glad that we are on the receiving end of His grace rather than His wrath.

God loves us with all of His heart. It has no bearing upon our life or our reaction toward Him. Just as an example of the type of love we get from Him, look at your parents or grandparents. If they were the loving parents who they are supposed to be, you got a very small taste of God’s love through them. The same goes for your grandparents. God’s love is perfect without any conditions, we should live our lives in the imitation of it. We can’t duplicate it exactly but just by trying to live to His standard we are doing better than we can do on our own.

The grace of God and His mercy flows from His love for us and since it is infinite love, we have been the recipients of it even on our worst days. We don’t have to live up to His standards in order to receive it but we should strive toward them in our everyday lives. Because just by doing this through His Spirit, we are better people than we could be without and others will certainly notice it. When they do, they will ask you why you act the way you do even when things aren’t going your way?

God’s grace is so amazing and so penetrating to the depths of your soul until it has an effect on every part of your life. Family and friends will see the difference in your life and your attitude regardless of the problems that you are facing. Take note of your friends and your family and if you can see there are troubles, and there are likely some, get on your knees and pray to God who is the only One Who can take care of whatever the problem may be.

He came for you…

He loves us as the Father loves us…completely and more deeply. Why did I write this in the present tense? Because Jesus is ALIVE and He still loves us just as God the Father loves us today! He didn’t die. At least, He didn’t stay dead. He was placed in a tomb but three days later He came out in the power of God and the proof of Who He truly was and is. Jesus came to bring salvation to everyone who is drawn to Him by the Father. To everyone who will hear and listen and believe in Him because He paid the price for your soul. The message which Jesus brought to the world is simply “repent and believe in Him” for your salvation.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior?

God loves you so much that He sent Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God to take your sins and mine so that we can be reconciled to Him. We don’t have very long, because we aren’t given a certain number of years to live. I may die in a few minutes, you might die in a few minutes but you can become a child of God through confession and repentance and accepting Jesus as your Savior.

This is the only reason that I am writing here. I can’t make a trip around the world, but with God’s blessings and His Spirit working through these words, I can get His message out to the world. I pray that God will t touch your life and your heart and draw you into His family.

Thank you for reading and please tell someone else about my messages here. If they don’t know Jesus, maybe they will be drawn to Him when they visit.

All of creation testifies…

The majesty of God’s creation points the way to Him every day!

Everything in creation testifies of God’s glory and goodness every day. From the giant Sequoia trees to the smallest moss on the ground and the Blue whale in the ocean to the krill that it eats for food, God is glorified because of the diverse and wonderful differences that we can see in our world. When you look at the heavens through a telescope and see the Orion nebula or the Pleiades in all of their splendor, you are seeing the handiwork of our Creator. Why would God create all of these beautiful and diverse wonders for us to behold?

Because He is God and He enjoys creating and allowing us to enjoy His creation, not for vanity but because it brings wonder and awe into our lives and it makes us wonder about the Mind of God and why He would create all of this. Are there other worlds out there with life on them like us? Maybe but He didn’t give us that answer in His Word, He only tells us what we need to know. If you can’t accept that or you won’t accept it, then I’m sorry. God doesn’t owe you or me an explanation for how He does things.

He is God and there is no other like Him.

God has known you much longer…

God knew us before the foundation of the world, our world. It was Jesus as the Son Who formed Adam from the dirt and clay mud in the Garden. Since God lives outside of our universe, He is outside of time as well. He sees the beginning and the end just as we can see the driveway at our homes from the beginning to the end.

God loves each of you far more deeply and with more intimacy than we can imagine. That is why it hurts Him when you reject His gift of eternity through Jesus the Christ. I pray that everyone who reads this will be touched enough to seek out their Savior in Jesus. God reaches out to those who are willing to hear Him and He knows who you are. If you feel His touch in your life, please don’t turn away from it.

Text messaging for God

I know, the name of this post sounds a bit funny or weird but in the age that we live in it is not really that far fetched. Jesus told His disciples to go out and take His message, the gospel, to every person beginning in Jerusalem and then to the ends of the Earth. In today’s tech-savvy society blogging and text-messaging for God works just as well and through Twitter can reach a very large audience in a very short time. No travel required.

I am not saying that we should look at our work for the Lord on this platform or any other Internet platform as a way to avoid going on mission trips, but it does reach out much farther than most of us can afford today. Jesus said to take His message out to the world, He didn’t tell anyone how to do it. This is one of the ways that gets the job done.

God loves all of humanity, but there are places where mission trips are not allowed and are not safe. They aren’t safe for the people you are trying to reach and they aren’t safe for you either. I know, we have God protection on us and your faith in Him will be tested if you depend upon that protection alone. But there are so many places in the world and there is very little time to get the gospel out there.

Jesus came to bring the news that belief in His sacrifice would bring salvation to many and it does. With our help, through the platforms available to us, we can get His message to many people and I pray that there are many who are giving their lives to Jesus through hearing of His message. I pray that many of you who read my blog are doing the same thing so that even more people will come to know Jesus as their savior.

Jesus came to bring salvation to everyone, and we should tell as many people about Him as possible.

Living forever, can you?

A better question might be “Will you be living forever?”. Immortality here in the flesh is not possible and frankly I wouldn’t want to. My aches and pains are bad enough at the age I am now, which is 57. I could not imagine living to be 150 or 250 unless Jesus cured me of all of them. In Genesis when Adam and Eve were created they were created with perfect DNA and therefore could have lived forever IF they hadn’t disobeyed God. Even outside the garden of Eden they lived to a ripe old age. Adam lived to be 930 years of age, so to many people today that would be immortal since it is almost 1,000 years!

Jesus said that if we believe in Him for our salvation we will never die. Our physical body on Earth will die but our spiritual body, which we live into eternity with, will not experience the “second death” of being in hell and it will live into eternity in Heaven with God and all of the believers who are there. There are passages in the Bible which tell us that we will know our loved ones and be known as we were on Earth but with a deeper understanding given to us by God Himself. Your body and mine will be recognizable by our family and friends regardless of our race or our age. So immortality is possible but only through Jesus and His redeeming grace for us.

Those who have rejected Jesus in this life still have an immortal body in hell but they will experience the eternal punishment of being in a place where the Life of God and His love for us is not present, even if you have refused Him in this life. In my opinion, immortality is only worth it if you can enjoy it. I pray that all who read this will seek Jesus for their salvation before that day when they meet Him as judge rather than being welcomed by Him to your eternal home.