Give it away!


A missionary by the name of Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” He was killed taking the gospel to the Amazon Indians but later those who killed him came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Jesus said that we were to go and tell all of the world about Him and the salvation offered to them by belief in Him. When you are free from the burden and the heavy toll of a sinful life through the power of Jesus the best thing that you can do is to tell others about it. Give it away!

Because once you have that freedom you can’t lose it so the best thing to do is to give it to someone who needs it. Jesus came to tell the Jewish people about God’s enduring love for them and through His disciples work after He went back to be at the Father’s side they heard it and much of the world, at the time, heard it as well. Many people down through history have tried to stop Christianity from being preached and spreading but it can’t be done.

Remember, we are chosen by God and we were chosen even before the foundation of the world itself. “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit” ( John 15:16). God has known each of us because He knows who will choose to follow Jesus and who will not. It is because He knows your heart (soul) and because He is our Creator, we are never forced to choose Jesus as our Savior but He knows each person who will choose to be a follower of Him. It is still our choice, but regardless of how long it takes, even the most stubborn of us will choose to follow Jesus even if it is on our death bed.

God wants us to know how much He loves us and by the sacrifice of Jesus to pay our debt from sins He did show everyone just how deep that love goes. So when we become Christians and repent of our sinful lives, following His example from His Word, the best gift that we can give anyone is to give away our best gift which is our Salvation through Jesus Christ! It is worth more than all of the gold and silver in the world and we should give it away, one person at a time.

Amen

Are you poor in spirit?


Matthew 5:3

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Who are the “poor in spirit”? In some commentaries, it means “those who have lost hope”. They have lost their faith in themselves and in God too. They are depressed and weary of this world and its troubles but they can’t see any way out. Does that describe anyone you know? 

Actually, it seems that much of the world around us falls under that category of being “poor in spirit”. They have lost what little faith they had or they just can’t seem to find anything or anyone to place their faith in. Truthfully, there is nobody in this world that we can put our faith in who could bring us out of the “pit” so to speak. The only Person Who could do it…Who can do it is Jesus Christ.

He was telling His audience that day on the mountain that they would have the kingdom of heaven even if they were poor in spirit. How? Because from their point of view the only way to improve their life was to look to God for help, physically and spiritually. The poor in spirit are not those who are following Jesus, they are poor in spirit because of their lot in life, whatever it may be. He was not commanding His followers to become “poor in spirit” but telling those in the crowd that because they were in that condition already, their lives would change one day.

Being close to the kingdom of heaven is exactly where we are today. In this building studying the Bible and what He meant by His words, we are closer to the Kingdom of heaven than we will ever be until we do cross over that threshold from here. We have a responsibility to tell others about the Kingdom of heaven and how they might gain entrance into it one day. 

But…do we take even that responsibility serious today? Many in the church don’t take it seriously at all. They attend services sometimes and they read the Bible, occasionally, but they are not serious about being a follower of Jesus. Many people think that after they have said some words that a preacher told them to say and they got wet in a baptistry, they can go back to living the way they were before. Many do this and think that they are saved. 

But they aren’t. If you haven’t changed your lifestyle because you know that you are born again and that you should be “set apart” from the life that you led before then you aren’t really saved. You are no different than you were before. You may read the Bible on occasion and you may pray about something that you want to do like pass a test in school or get a ribbon in competition but that doesn’t mean anything in your heart, in your soul. Nothing really changed.

You are still “poor in spirit”. You need to seek out Jesus and pray that He will show you what you should do. Because our days are numbered and only God knows how many days each of us has. You may meet Him tonight or tomorrow. You or I could meet Him in a few minutes but the one thing which makes your eternity different or more urgent is that if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior then you will be spending eternity wishing that you had changed and truly given your heart to Him.

Psalm 1 tells us exactly how a godly, righteous person should act:

The Two Paths
(Matthew 5:3-12; Luke 6:20-23)
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law doth he meditates day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Consider this before your days are up.

When you pray…


Do you just sit there and ask God for stuff or is it an actual, heartfelt prayer? Is your prayer mostly for yourself or for others? Praying for others deals with selfishness because its not really about you, because nothing in this life is. Your Christian life should be about caring for others, whether it is family or not.

Jesus did not say at any time “if you pray…”, He said “when you pray…“. Prayer is a part of your life as a Christian. It is your lifeline to God and your emergency contact point with Him. Prayer can accomplish more in your life and in the lives of those you pray for than any number of doctors or lawyers or anyone else. Just as you enjoy being able to contact your parents or your children, God is our Heavenly Father, our Creator and He enjoys it when His children contact Him for our needs as well as the needs of others.

Prayer is your Spirit crying out to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, Who can do all things in your life in His will for your life. He doesn’t fulfill your list of things that you want like a grandfather or like Santa. God takes care of our needs when we are living and working in His will for our lives. Asking for a Corvette or a million dollars is not the way to pray! Prayer for yourself should be according to the will of God to strengthen and enable you to work more effectively for His Kingdom and His glory. Would a million dollars do that? Maybe but not likely. Would a Corvette? No.

Prayer is necessary for our life and for our work which God has called us to do, even if you only have one day left to live. If you have more days ahead that is wonderful because you can do more for God each and every day! It doesn’t matter how much pain you are in or how much money you have or don’t have, God can use you in His Kingdom. God’s Word is the most useful and valuable possession that you can own. It is more valuable than a mountain of gold because the words contained within it came from the mind of our Creator and our Father. No amount of human wisdom can match the wisdom contained within its pages.

I truly pray that anyone reading this will search the Bible for the needs in their life because if they don’t have a relationship with Jesus…that is the greatest need that they will ever have. Why? Because without Him, eternity will be lonely, miserable and painful in hell. Why? Because it is a decision that you make when you know that you need Him and if you don’t accept Jesus as your Savior then that is where you will be.

As the thief on the cross said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom”. Jesus said, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise”. That is how easy it is.

Do you know God?


This sounds like a loaded question doesn’t it? Even Satan knows God but he refused to serve Him and was kicked out of Heaven for his convincing lies which lured away a third of the angels. Most of us who have ever been in a church or listened to a sermon on TV know about God but do you know Him. Another very important question which is part of this is: does God know you?

Many of the generation who have come along in the past twenty-five years or so know more about Star Wars or the Marvel heroes or Poke’ Mon than they know about our Savior. But you asked did I know God? Well, Jesus is God the Son, then there is God the Father and God the Holy Spirit so He is your Savior if you believe in Him and the repentance that HE paid for on the cross for each of you. Knowing God is not some mystical meditation thing, because you can get to know Him by reading His Word and seeking Him as your Savior.

Doing “works” on this Earth and in this life doesn’t help you to get saved. Working for God is the fruit of a person who IS saved and is serving their Lord and Savior because He did all of the work needed to grant you salvation by His grace. We can add nothing to our salvation but we can show others our Savior by talking to them about Him or blogging about Him or teaching a class. These are the result of your salvation but they do not add to it or help God save you. As I said, Jesus did all of the work needed for your salvation, all you have to do is believe in Him and accept Him as your Savior.

It sounds too simple doesn’t it?

But if you read the book of John and the book of Romans in the New Testament you will see that your belief in Him and your surrendering to Him as your Savior is all that is required of you. It doesn’t take giving thousands of dollars to charity or mission fields or even going on a mission trip. It hinges on your reaction to His call on your life convicting you of your sins and then turning from them toward Him in repentance to walk as a new creation in His likeness! I pray that anyone reading this will seek Jesus out as their Savior and Lord because He is coming back soon. Make sure you will be a part of that first resurrection.

Disappointment


Have you felt disappointed when you attend church or after you leave? Let down by the lack of friendly people who noticed or didn’t notice that you were there? This is the way I would feel if I went to a BIG church, but if it happens at a church where there are fewer than fifty people it really hurts. This is the reason that many people attend once and then never return. Those in the church should welcome people who attend their services, especially those who are there for the first time. Don’t shake their hand like they have some disease that you are loathe to even be close to! Don’t look at their clothes and shoes and decide that they aren’t worth your time, God loves them or they wouldn’t be coming to your church for the first time!

Feeling disappointed and unwanted when you come to a service is the way that Satan wants you to feel so you won’t ever return. Listen to the message, if it is from the Word of God. If the sermon doesn’t come from the Bible with Scripture references throughout, leave when the service is over and don’t return. Make sure that you go to a Bible teaching church with believers who believe in the God of the Bible and in His Son. If the sermon is made up of “feel good” words which sound like they came from a book of self-help fluff, don’t listen to it! RUN from that church and never return!

God sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, into this world so that He could pay the debt by His blood shed on the cross and the whipping post but He overcame the death brought on by the crucifixion by His resurrection on the third day. This was planned and accomplished by the Lord long before we were born but God looked down through time and saw each of us struggling with sin and afflictions brought on by Satan and his demons. He knew that we couldn’t overcome these afflictions on our own and He made a way for us through belief in Jesus. Simple though this may sound, it is all that we need in our lives in order to be victorious all the way to our eternal home!

God loves you and He has made this way for you by His power and through the work of Jesus, the Son of God. If you have heard or felt His call on your heart and life, don’t turn away from it. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so make sure of your salvation today because the work has been done for you. All that is needed is for you to believe in Him and ask His forgiveness of your sinful life. Ask Him to remove your pain and depression and all of your Earthly problems whatever they may be and in Jesus’ name, He will do it and give you the strength to tell others about your Risen Savior!

What do you hear?


When you go to church or any worship service in worshiping Jesus, what do you go to hear? A show with flashing lights and singing with a band and maybe a little five or ten minute sermon? Do you go to church to learn about your Savior and what He really did for you? Are you a member of a mega-church with so many people that you have to have a huge screen to see who is preaching?

Jesus warned us of the time that we are living in and it is found in the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation. The church at Laodicea was a church which reminds us of the dangers of being comfortable with our worship service.

Here is the quote from the book of Revelation:

To the Church in Laodicea
(Colossians 2:1-5)

14 To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation.

15 I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16 So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, white garments so that you may be clothed and your shameful nakedness not exposed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be earnest and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

We live in a time when pastors and churches water down the Word of God and they don’t teach His Truth from Scripture, just as this church was. They weren’t cold toward the message of salvation but they weren’t hot toward spreading the gospel either. They were trying but not too hard, lukewarm. Many churches and pastors today do the same thing. They compromise the Word of God by accepting sinful behavior as being normal in order to get more members on their roles. They don’t call sin what it is and teach that it is acceptable even when they know that God opinion of sin has not changed!

We cannot compromise the message of God’s Word and we shouldn’t be trying to make it more acceptable to those who are practicing sinful lifestyles which God does not approve of! Just because every other media outlet does this doesn’t mean that the church should be going along with sin even when we know that God and His Word don’t accept it nor condone it in any way. If we do this then we are no different from the world around us and we shouldn’t even be preaching from God’s Word at all. Pick out a self-help book and use it as a “bible” if you are going to be like the rest of the world.

I will preach and teach from God’s Word until He calls me home one day and if you don’t like that message then you don’t have to come to my church or read this blog anymore.

Does Jesus know you?


Knowing Jesus as your friend and your Savior is the most fulfilling relationship that you can have. So, why do we seek Him for salvation and then walk away from the relationship? Many people today do exactly that. They know they need Him and they know that they are sinful in their lives. They will seek Him out and feel His call and conviction in their lives and maybe even accept Him as their Savior but when things don’t work out the way they want them to, they walk away from Him.

Knowing Who He is and having Him as your Savior is the best relationship that you can have. But if you only want to know Him as a Savior and Lord and not as your Savior and Lord there is nothing gained for you except knowledge of Him. Knowledge doesn’t bring salvation. Satan and the demons know Who Jesus is but that doesn’t help them because they won’t serve Him. 

There are times that I think it is that word which turns people away. They don’t want to be a disciple or a Christian because they don’t want to serve Jesus. He gave His life and His blood for your soul to have a chance at salvation so I believe that we do owe Him our service and our life. God has given us all of the best, even though we don’t see it that way. He has provided us with a sun that isn’t too hot and a planet to live on that isn’t too hot or cold. He prepared it with lots of water and air to breathe and land that we could cultivate for our food and things that we need.

So many things that we have been blessed with, whether you live in America or anywhere else in the world because God loves us so deeply. I know there are diseases and wars going on and famines and earthquakes and hurricanes that happen from time to time, but God is still in control of it all. If He weren’t we wouldn’t be here. There are so many problems which we could have that He has prevented and then there are others which we have caused. Not “global warming”, but so many other problems in our societies just because we have refused to worship the One True God. 

Seek Him out while there is yet time to do so because there will be one day in the near future when He takes the church and all of those who have given their lives to Him to Heaven. When that happens, there will be hell on Earth until He says that it is enough. Think about it.

Be like Jesus…


When we get to know Jesus, the greatest joy that we can experience is to become more like Him every day. The problem is that we be don’t want it to take a long time, we want the transformation right now! When you are young, this can discourage you because of the immediate nature in the world today. We want “microwave changes” to happen in our life or faster if God would do so. Being a Christian and living this life is not about an instant change, it is a process which begins when you have given your heart to Him and then continues each day until He calls you home.

But, when you come to know Jesus as a mature person then you bring along all of the learning and thoughts that you have learned prior to knowing Him. That has to be trimmed away and sometimes it’s painful to go through this pruning process. Jesus said that we can do nothing for the Kingdom of God without Him. Living your new Christian walk with Jesus is essential not only for yourself but for those around you to see it and hear it in your words. Living each day like Jesus did is not impossible but it requires faith in Him and commitment to Him as well.

Many people think that because Jesus was the Son of God that we can’t live our lives by copying His life and His works. Why not? His disciples went about doing the things which He did and telling others about the Kingdom of God and the requirements of salvation. If they did it then why can’t we do it too? It requires faith in Him and it is the kind of faith which many in the church today just don’t have. It is not the faith of someone who spends a few minutes for a couple of days each week reading the Bible. It is not the faith of someone who attends church once or twice every month.

The kind of faith that I’m talking about here is the kind where you wake up each day thanking God for today and the possibilities of it. It is the kind of faith which, in prayerful speech, walks with God and Jesus during the day…regardless of the circumstances. Seeking His wisdom and His touch in everything that you do and say in whatever situation you are in.

God cares for us far more than we can know. That is the reason that Jesus was sent to pay for the whole world’s sins. The debt has been paid and it is up to each of us to accept His gift through our belief in Jesus Christ. If or rather when we do accept it, we will have eternity with Him to know others who have accepted His Son as well. If you do not accept Jesus as your Savior then you will live for an eternity regretting your choice. It is up to each of us which path we follow and we are given that choice at some point in our lives. So…choose Life through Jesus.

Are you sure?


The prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation both speak of a time when the redeemed of the world will be taken. The book of Thessalonians also speaks of a time like this just as Jesus said in Matthew 24 that two would be in the field and one would be taken and the other left. So are you sure of your salvation and your place in the Kingdom of God? Do you belong to Him truly and completely? One day we will all find out exactly where our heart and our soul belongs because on that day…we will be taken to be with Him forever.

What if it happened this Sunday morning during the church service? Would you be in that number of people who leave their clothes and their shoes and everything which was man-made behind? Even your dentures and your hip replacements and glasses will be left in the pew. So are you sure of your salvation? Be watching for Jesus and expecting His return because it will happen and all of us need to be ready when that day comes.

Where are you, Lord?


During the times when we are either being attacked because of our faith or brought low in our health, we often ask this question. If you are wondering about the two instances which I listed in the previous sentence, it’s because those are the times when Satan or one of his flunkies are attacking us because of our faith in Jesus. 

For many people in the world who are having real problems with their health, like those suffering from cancer, faith in God is the best way to have any hope of either a complete healing or an eternal future. Are there agnostics or atheists who have these problems? I would have to say, Yes! But they don’t really have faith in God until He is the only real hope for them. Atheists don’t believe in God period, no matter what name you give Him.

I am not trying to put people down who don’t believe in God or have a very low opinion of God, but He is the only One Who can accomplish anything in your life and He will if you will believe in Him for your salvation. Does that mean that you can never have any more fun after giving your life to Him? No indeed, the fun that you will have will be tempered by your faith and by His Spirit but He doesn’t take away your enjoyment of life. You just have a different outlook toward God’s creation all around you.

He is everywhere but that doesn’t mean that you should worship a tree or an ocean or a person other than Jesus because only He is the Son of God. He paid the price to redeem you, therefore He deserves our praise and our worship every day of your life. As Jesus told His disciples, “Not even a sparrow falls that my Father doesn’t know about it”; so since God watches over the birds and the other parts of creation, He will watch over you as well.

God cares for all of His children and we are His, take comfort in this.