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.

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.

Love makes a difference


Sometimes I have heard people ask in a wondering tone, “Why did Jesus die for me?”. The simple answer is love. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.”

It is the love of God which restrains His wrath even now. It is the love of God which calls to those who will hear Him to come to know Jesus as your Savior and you will be forgiven. It is God’s love which keeps our lives and our world going and moving and being in this world where there are many who don’t want His love.

God sustained Adam and Eve perfectly for a time. He sustained them and their offspring even after they disobeyed His command about the Tree of Knowledge. God has sustained the universe and our little speck of a world since creation and He will do so until it is time to change things as it says in the book of Revelation.

Yes, love does make a difference. Whether it is God’s love for us or our love for Him and for each other, true love does make a huge difference. In our lives and the lives that we touch and in the work that we do every day, it is our love which makes a difference now and will make a difference to someone else who sees what we do or say. We won’t know about the effect that we have had on other’s lives until we meet them in Heaven one day.

A kind word, holding the door for someone, paying for their meal when they didn’t ask you to, thanking God for your meal when you go out to eat, all of these things are little things but God can use them in ways that we can’t imagine.

Love is powerful and it does so many wonderful things in the world and in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Love comes from God and perfect love is His to give freely to each of us every day. Make sure that you give some away to your family and to strangers alike because you never know the impact it could have in their life and in yours too.

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound….


Amazing Grace! We have been given His Grace toward us and for us. Not because we deserve it, because we don’t. God gave us His Grace through Jesus Christ long, long ago because He loves us! Not because of what we can do for Him but because of what He wanted to do for us. He wanted us to be with Him in eternity to praise and honor Him with glory because we love Him for what He did for each of us while we were still sinners, even before we were born, even before the world itself was made…He loved us enough to come draped in human flesh so that He could reconcile our sins through His death on the cross and then redeem us through His resurrection so that we would be with Him in eternity.

How sweet the sound of the words in the song by John Newton. John Newton, who was the captain of a slave ship for a few years and all the while God was working in him and on him. One day, he gave his heart and soul to Jesus and it changed him so profoundly until he had to sit down and write one of the greatest hymns that the Christian world has ever known. Not because of the melody but because of the words and the meaning behind them. This song is a sermon of love…God’s love for us and our love for Him because He loved us first!

“That saved a wretch like me”; John Newton could hear the slaves singing spiritual songs in the hold of the ships that he was part of their crew before being made captain on another ship. It was those songs and the conviction which came by them that made him write the song that we still sing today. Because God loves us even as wretched sinners and He loved each of us enough that He sent Jesus, His Son, to die on a Roman cross in order for us to live in eternity with Him. He didn’t have to do this but He wanted to do it because it was the only way to pay our penalty totally and completely so that we could be reconciled to Him and by Him.

“I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, but now I can see!” We were all lost. Struggling through this life as sinners and we didn’t know that we were dead already because of our sins. But when the Holy Spirit touched our hearts and broke them so that we could see with our spiritual eyes, we would see just how lost we truly were. Then we would know that we needed Jesus as our Savior and we would seek Him out until we found Him and asked Him to come in and clean our hearts and our minds so that we could be His.

“Through many dangers, toil and snares I have already come. His Grace has led me safe thus far and Grace will lead me Home”; In life we do go through toil and snares which Satan has put in front of us each day, but God’s grace and His Strength will guide you and me through these times and carry us home to Heaven one day. Seek Jesus out for your salvation so that you will be lead home to Heaven one day because He is the only pathway to Eternity. John Newton knew it, Billy Graham knew it, and the Bible tells us about it, all that we have to do is give our life to Him and walk with Him until that day comes when we will be taken home to be with Him.

Is there peace in your life?


In the political and anti-religious climate is it even possible to have peace? Yes, it is! If you place your trust and your faith in Jesus Christ. Many of us today, Christians and non-Christians, either forget where our peace comes from or we never really knew in the first place. Granted, the peace which Jesus brings into your life is much different from “peace and quiet” or a “peaceful, easy feeling” but many people still look for both of those after they have “tried” Jesus and they will tell you that it only gets worse!

The problem with people like that is that they don’t know that you can’t “try out” Jesus and enjoy the benefits of being a true Christian who has given their heart to Him and allowed Him to truly change them from the inside out. There is no trial period before you make a decision to keep Jesus in your life or not. He is the One Who chooses you first, then you feel convicted of your guilt for the sins that you have committed and you know that you need Him in your life!

God loves each of us and He calls you through His Holy Spirit and it is His choice to choose you, not yours. It is your choice to respond to His call on your life and some people do refuse but most people know that their life will never be the same and it will never feel peaceful if they do refuse to accept Him as their Savior. Sometimes those who refuse on the first call will get a second later in their life but if you keep pushing the Spirit away and keep refusing His call on your life…one day He won’t call on you. God will let you go and let you have your life the way you want it, without Him. At that point, you will never feel His touch or His call on your life again.

You don’t get to decide to get saved. If and when you feel Him call you and you respond with a humble heart to give your life to Jesus, it is only then when the reality of being a Christian will come into your life. From that point on you will need to seek Him every day, read the Bible, pray that He will reveal His Wisdom in the Bible to you so you can grow in His Wisdom and knowledge. All of this is not dumped into your brain when you are baptized, you have to study God’s Word to know Him better because He already knows you.

Is being a Christian easy? NO! Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert. We are tempted by Satan every day from the time you become a Christian until you die! Why does Satan make it that hard? Because if he can get you to stumble in front of one person who might become a Christian, he knows that they may change their mind and not become a Christian. What makes it so hard is that you don’t know who or where those people might be. It might be your son or daughter. It might be someone you work with. It may be a total stranger in a burger joint, but if you cuss or somehow ruin their idea that you are a Christian then Satan has done his job.

You may never see that person again but they may never believe that anyone is a Christian just because of something you did or something you said. It takes prayer and reading God’s Word and praying about what you just read and making it a habit every day. Because until you are so close to God that Satan doesn’t want to come around you, he will. Work on your witness and your character until he can’t tell the difference between you and Jesus. With the Holy Spirit helping you and your reading and praying about what you read, Jesus will help you to become peaceful in all of your situations in your daily life.

What do you expect from God?


You know that most of us are not taught to expect much from the Creator. In Sunday school and during our worship service we hear about what He did in David’s life and we wonder why hasn’t God used me in some way? Granted, we aren’t going to kill a giant like David did but the giants that we have to deal with today are more insidious and even more hurtful than Goliath. There are so many giants today which compete for supremacy over us such as alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction and the list could go on and on.

God gives each of us some talent or acumen that no one else has, yet many of us don’t pursue using them. Sometimes we are afraid to use them because we think that we won’t be accepted. So, should we use our talents for God’s glory or our own? The best advice I can give is to pray about it and listen for His answer. When we find out what our talent or God’s calling is on our lives some of us don’t like what we know to be His will. Then we strike out on our own and attempt to live our life the way we feel is the right way. Will God let you do this? Of course He will. He let Jonah do the very same thing but He turned Him around. So, when things begin to go wrong in your life and you know that you have been walking and living your way instead of His way, you will remember this.

Do we expect anything from God? In today’s church, I don’t think that there are many people who believe that God is even listening or even interested in us at all. Yes, there are some who read and study God’s Word diligently but most seem indifferent to what it says, let alone meditate on it.

If you are expecting anything from God, then you need to know Him and be known by Him. God loves each of us and truly wants us to know just how much. But if He doesn’t hear from you or see that you are trying to get to know Him better why should He answer when you pray? Seek Him out when you feel convicted that you need Him. If you don’t do so, you might not get another chance.

Truth is NOT relative!


Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. So…make sure that you find the Truth in Him! Find the Way to Heaven through belief in Jesus as your Savior! You will find eternal Life through Him into Heaven. The simple way to make sure of your place is to seek Him in your local church or through a Bible study group. When you feel that subtle conviction from the Holy Spirit, you will need to sit down and follow a few steps (but not necessarily in this order).

  1. Lord, I admit that I am a sinner and I need You.
  2. I am asking for Your forgiveness for my sins and for you to save me from an eternity in Hell. (I repent of my sinful behavior)
  3. I believe Jesus died and rose from the grave and paid the penalty for my sins so that my relationship with You could be restored.
  4. By faith, I invite Jesus Christ into my heart and my life. From this time forward I want to live in a loving relationship with Him and I receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name I thank you for all that you have done for me, amen.

God loves each one of us and it shouldn’t really surprise us. I mean, He had a hand in each of our lives even before, long before we were born. He put our DNA together on atom at a time so He knows exactly what your personality is and what you can do. Far better than even we know ourselves! That is the most amazing thing about how awesome God really is! Is it really so hard to believe that the Creator of the universe knows how many hairs you have on your head? Knowing this, is it unusual to think that He has cared and does care for you and everyone else who will come to know Him?

I pray that anyone who reads this will look up a Bible if they don’t have one. If you do, dust it off and start reading in the New Testament from John to Romans and you will find the Lord Who loves you and you will find that you will come to love Him too.

What are you looking for?


Many preachers and teachers today are taking God’s Word out of context and molding it to fit their own “gospel” of wealth and prosperity. Why are there so many people drawn to this type of teaching? Because they want the wealth and the health without the “take up your cross daily and follow Me”, meaning that they don’t want to give up their “old life” for a better one in Jesus’ name. Everyone seems to want to have their cake and eat it too. But that is not what the Bible teaches and it is not what Jesus taught either.

People who teach this are using quotes from Scripture but they are taking them out of context. Jesus said “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The abundant life which Jesus was speaking of is one of spiritual abundance here and now and then you will be given so much more than you can imagine when you are in His Presence in Heaven. Jesus was not speaking of eliminating poverty with wealth here on Earth although many teachers of this “gospel” claim that is exactly what He meant.

Especially in Africa. They see all of the wealth of those of us who live in “the West” and they point to all of the good things which we have been blessed with. Much of the wealth and health that our country has enjoyed is because of the support and defense of Israel in the past 80 or so years. God blessed us because of His people, period. Not because we are or claim to be Christians. In our culture we do try to help others as much as we can and it is that giving nature that points many people toward our countries borders.

America has been a light to the world because of our faith in God and the fact that our laws have always been based upon the laws which God gave to Moses. We should always keep His laws and His message in the forefront of our country and its citizens. I pray than all who read this will give their heart and their life to Jesus so that one day I may meet you in Heaven.