God is in control


31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death. 34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. Luke 22:31-34

Job 1:8-12 

8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for naught? 10 Hast, not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 2:1-6

1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand, but save his life.

I have placed these scriptures here because many people, it seems, do not believe that God is in control of our world today. It seems that there are quite a number of people who believe that if God created the Earth, He has left us alone in it and He has nothing to do with our lives today. The passages above prove that is NOT true. Satan wants to hurt and even destroy anyone who is a follower of God or a servant of Him, but God is in control of him even though Satan rebelled against God.

In these instances in the above paragraphs, Satan had to ask permission to afflict any sort of hurt or trouble on Peter and on Job. Jesus prayed for Peter to be able to withstand the temptation but He added; “when you are converted (restored, changed) strengthen thy brethren”. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him and that it would break his heart. But, He also knew that after His resurrection Peter would be stronger in his faith than ever before!

Christians are watched over by God and Jesus even closer than any other people on Earth because of the temptations which Satan and his demons and principalities can inflict on us, especially young (new) Christians. Their faith in their conversion and in their Lord is not very strong because they haven’t studied His Word enough and learned how to stand in their faith on a daily basis!

Why do I mention that we have to stand in our faith on a daily basis? Because your faith grows and you become stronger in it as you learn more about God and His love for you. I will continue this post in a separate entry under the same name but continued.

Light of the World


This phrase is used many times in the gospels when Jesus is speaking about Himself and about the salvation which comes to those who believe in Him for their salvation. But…what does it mean? “Light of the World“; Jesus said that we, as His followers, are to be the light to a dark world. So why isn’t the church trying harder to be that light? Are we afraid of making people angry or of not being politically correct?

Jesus wasn’t politically correct in His day so why should we be in ours? The world around us needs to hear His message of love and compassion today…right now! Why? Because the other parts of the world and the other religions aren’t providing that light! As Christians, we are supposed to expose the darkness to His LIght and His Love and for the past fifty years or so much of Christendom has dropped that ball. We proclaim it to the crowds in concerts and congregations but what about those in places where darkness reigns today?

IamtheWayDo they hear about Jesus and His love for them? Have we made sure that the message is getting to those places or maybe we are just sitting in church praying that someone will tell them? Have we put feet to our faith or do we neglect to take the message outside the church because it’s too much trouble? What if Paul had said no and decided not to take the message of Christ to the Gentiles, like us, much of the world at the time would never have heard of the love of Jesus!

Jesus confronted Saul in such a way that he couldn’t deny Who had touched his heart and he could not have turned away from such a mission field because Jesus gave His blood and His life for us in order to save us from hell! The grace and love of God came down to us and wore human flesh for the time of His ministry. He went through all of the pain and suffering willingly in order to bring salvation to all who believe in Him for their salvation!

Since Jesus did this, why can’t we tell others about His love for them, especially if they don’t know about Him!? God loves each of us! Whether we suffer from a disease or from persecution or from poverty, He is still with us in our suffering. God may allow Satan to cause suffering, which he does very well, but God’s purpose and His love for you will never fail you, no matter what you are going through.

The love and grace of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, will always be near you and He will strengthen you in whatever you may be going through. His Spirit will be closer to you than anyone can be since He lives in your heart! There is no distance between you and God when you are a born-again Christian. He hears your prayers and He knows the pain that you have for your family in whatever situation they may be in. God loves you and even though you aren’t required to love Him in return, you will learn to love Him when you give your heart to Jesus!

Being a Christian and a follower of Jesus is a process. You can feel Him touching your heart and drawing you to Himself, convicting you of your sins but it is your decision to accept Him as your Savior. When you do, the process begins and it doesn’t end until you are in His Presence!

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God’s persuit of mankind


I read C.S. Lewis’ books off and on for the past few years and one entry that the man included in one was a reference to the fact that he was an atheist at first. I will let you be the judge of his writing:

C.S. Lewis said he remembered this, “…night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”

God pursues those people which He knows can make a difference in the world and He does it even when they don’t believe in Him at the time. He knows the impact that each of us can have whether it is through writing books or blogs, the seeds of a relationship or the possibility of one can be planted and He will make sure those seeds grow into the relationship that He wants with that person.

GodsBlessingThere is no place that you can go to get away from God so there is no reason to try to escape Him. If you have been denying His existence over your lifetime but He sees that you could have an influence in the lives of others for the good of their salvation, then He will cause something to bring you to Himself. Even if He has to do it through a dream or a vision or a book or even a blog! He knows each person in this world and He knows what they are capable of doing, whether it is for good and for His Kingdom or for evil and to their destruction one day.

God does NOT send you to hell for the least of your sins or even the worst of them. You sentence yourself to hell by refusing to give your heart and life to Jesus and believe in Him for your salvation. When God’s Spirit is seeking you, He will find you. Don’t push His love away from your life because your life and your soul is more precious to Him than all of the gold and silver in the entire world! Even if you were the only person that Jesus had to die for in order to bring salvation to you, He would’ve gone through it just for you!

Why would God want me?

For the same reason that He spent time with Adam in the garden of Eden, fellowship. God knows each of us intimately because He is our Creator. He knew us in the womb before the world even began not just before our birth! He knows what your talents and the gifts which He has given to you so He knows what you can do even better than you do. Your life will be more valuable to Him if you have given your life to Him through Jesus Christ.

IAMComingBackWhy? Because unless you are working through the Spirit of God with His power and love in your life and heart, much of what you do in this world is only for your benefit and not for others. If you don’t believe me, ask someone why they do their job or anything that they do in this life. Google it even. You will see that much of the world is concerned with only me, myself and I. Occasionally you will hear of some good-hearted souls who do things for others but they are in the minority these days.

Why am I so cynical about “human nature”? Because those who have left the church or those who do not believe in God have caused me to be this way. Their lives don’t reflect Him or His Presence in them. Even Satan believes in God but he doesn’t serve Him, and that is where much of the world stands today.

 

Sacrifice


Does anyone think about this word or what it entails at all these days? What is a sacrifice for you today? Do you even consider a sacrifice in your daily living?

To be truthful about it most of us don’t consider it at all. Sacrifice is something which is just not considered in any part of our society, not just in America but in many parts of the world. Although in some countries sacrifice is a daily part of life because that is just how life is in those countries. It is something which many young people have no concept of at all, particularly today.

Our Lord sacrificed His deity and His Life to ransom our souls and our sins to rescue us from an eternity in hell. It is only fitting that we should sacrifice some things in this life in order to serve Him as well. The Christians from the beginning of the church at Jerusalem sacrificed their lives many times during the past two thousand years. Many were burned at the stake or crucified or fed to lions and other beasts because of their faith in Jesus.

While it is true that we are not being persecuted in that way today, at least in America, in some countries Christians are being killed for their beliefs. As many as 1,000 every day. This will only get worse in the coming years, particularly after the church is taken up to Heaven. During the Tribulation there will be millions killed for not worshiping the one who is in power at the time, the antichrist. Life will be harder than it is now and there won’t be a church to turn to for prayer or help in those days, at least not like we have now.

I pray that anyone who reads this will seek out Jesus and give your life and your heart to Him. Pray for your salvation now while there is yet time to do so.

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False prophets and heresy!


2 Peter 2:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom, the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

If you listen carefully to the news and the commentary that goes with it, you will notice that we are hearing this type of speech today! Oh, they don’t call themselves prophets but their words are listened to as if they were. Every “false teaching” which is told in the news, from “free medical care” to “free college” and all of the rhetoric about “saving the children” at the border when there are thousands of babies aborted (murdered) each and every day! What about their rights? What about their life that is cut short because of convenience?

God will not look the other way because each of these children was sent here by Him for a purpose. They weren’t accidental and they certainly aren’t just “blobs of cells”! Of course, that is not the way that the media reports it. They try to report it as if a “fetus” is not a human being but if a woman is killed when she is pregnant the person who killed her is responsible for two homicides. Even if she is only a few months pregnant. What changed the “cells” into a person?

Our media wants us to believe that there is a difference and there isn’t. A baby is a baby from conception until birth and even further until they are a toddler. The law is clear about a child in the womb when you read God’s Word and He doesn’t change His view of your child whether you believe in Him or not. From conception onward, that is your child and a separate human being from yourself. Even if it is growing inside of your body.

The heretical teaching and media concentration in our world is brainwashing people into thinking that your body is yours to do with as you please, in all instances. God didn’t tell us this at all in His Word and if more people read it and studied it they would know this. God is our creator and it is He Who placed that child in your care, so unless you repent of this sin and become a Christian and ask Him to forgive you for it, how would you expect Him to treat you when you stand at your judgment one day?

Jesus told His disciples, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

We are known by God even before we are born, as the Psalmist said, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made”!

Every teaching, because that is what the “news” is today, is telling people to be your own god, do what pleases you and helps you with your career. Don’t worry about anyone else. No man or woman is alone in this world, at least not entirely alone, regardless of where they live unless they choose to be. God loves each person on the face of the Earth, but He doesn’t like the sins which we all commit each and every day. No person on the Earth is sinless, not even the Pope.

God is able


In all of creation, from one part of the cosmos to any other, God has placed so many wondrous sights and stars and galaxies until the pictures from our Hubble telescope astound and amaze even the scientists who study the stars. The picture below shows a star which is reported to be the largest ever found, yet we can’t see into other galaxies enough to know what might be there.

Sun;_VY_Canis_Majoris_and_UY_Scuti_size

Since God created these magnificent stars, how much could He possibly do in your life or mine? If we believed His Word without doubting and our faith in Him was unwavering how much could we accomplish for His Kingdom and glory?

Today mankind denies God and His Word so much until we can scarcely believe in Him or His ability to heal sickness and disease. Let alone change our hearts into true believers! Why do we doubt Him? Because the world around us doubts Him and His message. We are taught in school about evolution and there is less evidence of that happening than there are proofs of the Bible’s truth which have been proven by archaeology!

God is the Creator and there is no other god or gods out there who can do the things which He has already done. You can choose to believe this or not because He gives us a choice but when His Spirit touches yours and you feel the weight of your sins and know that you don’t deserve eternity in Heaven, you will choose to give your life to Him and believe in Jesus for your salvation.

How do I know this? Because nearly every person who has been touched by Him and brought to the knowledge of their depravity and their lack of righteousness have given their hearts and their lives to Jesus. I said “nearly” because some people love the sinful condition that they live in more than they do the hope of eternity. It is those few who refuse to follow Jesus and they turn away from Him, even when they KNOW they need Him!

God loved humanity enough that He clothed Himself in humanity and lived with us in our infirmity, being rejected and slain on a cross for our sins, all of our sins, so that we could have an eternal relationship with Him. It is our choice to give our lives to Him, and when we feel the need for Him in our lives most of us ask Him to come in and change us into the people that He knows we can be! Not to make us better for our sake but for us to be better equipped to be useful for His Kingdom and glory!

God is perfect in all of His ways which is why we, who are sinful, cannot be in His presence without the blood of Jesus cleansing us from our sinful stains. We can’t do this on our own but by giving our heart and our lives to Jesus we can be better than we are and we are forgiven of our sins as well. This doesn’t make life easier, in fact, it may get a bit harder because Satan will attack us when we are doing those things which God has appointed us to do.

Each of us has a gift from God. Many Christians have more than one gift and these are given to us by God so that we can do the work which He wants us to do. Please don’t turn away from His call on your life when you feel His hand on you.

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The human condition


In our depravity and lack of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are totally lost in our sins. It is only by the grace of God and His mercy that we come to the knowledge of our need for salvation. When we are caught on the hook of God’s call toward us we will come to Jesus because we recognize our need of Him. If we were not caught like a fish by God’s love and mercy we would never come to the knowledge of our need for Him. That is what is wrong with our world today. People are more interested in following their own ideas and their paths toward what they “think” is salvation and a pathway to Heaven and they are deceived by their thinking and by the world around them.

WhoisTheChurchMany people today seem to be on a pathway which will take them to a place where they don’t want to go. They mostly think that they are good enough to go to Heaven yet they deny, at times, the existence of God and His grace toward them. Many of them know “about” God or have heard of Him and maybe His Son, but they have never felt convicted of their sins. Many of them don’t attend church services except on special occasions or holidays. Life for them is a trek from one problem to the next and many of them don’t think about God or their need of Him until something happens in their life which they can’t control or even their doctor doesn’t have control of either. That is when they turn to the One Who they have heard which can heal or help when nobody else can.

Turning to God when you truly feel the need for Him and His mercy and grace is a good thing but if you only turn to Him because of an illness or a financial need, that doesn’t do your salvation…the condition of your soul any good at all. Especially when your “need” is met or if your prayer for someone doesn’t turn out the way you were hoping for. Many times when a loved one dies that they have been praying for, that is when their heart turns bitter toward God for not answering their desperate plea for healing.

God hears your prayers and sometimes He will answer them even if you aren’t a Christian but sometimes you won’t like His answer. Healing can take the form of taking your sick partner or wife or child into Heaven if they have given their heart to Jesus. Which may not be the answer you were hoping for, but God doesn’t have to do things the way you want them to be done. Even Christian families don’t get their prayers answered in the way in which they want all of the time.

themissingpieceGod is sovereign and He answers prayer in His way and in His time because He is God. It isn’t because He doesn’t want the best for His children, which we are, but since He is in control of all things He can see the outcome of the answer much better than we can. He can see what would happen if you won the lottery or the sweepstakes and it may not be the outcome that you think it would. Which is why He allows some things which seem bad on the outside to happen to good people. He also allows some people to actually get the good life that they want even when we don’t understand His way of doing things.

God is Holy and it is our sinful heart which keeps us from being in His Presence most of the time. Until you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit which draws those in the world to come to Jesus, you can’t just “decide” to become a Christian. His Spirit has to hook you into coming by allowing you to see just how messed up your life is in comparison to Jesus. When you do realize this, you will come to Him.

Consider the mustard seed


Consider the mustard seed. It is the smallest seed of the garden vegetables and yet it will grow into a small tree if left to grow.

Jesus (Yeshua) said this to his listeners: 30 And he said, “What shall resemble the Kingdom of God and with what shall a parable compare it?” 31″It is like a grain of mustard seed, which when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the herb seeds on the earth.” 32″And when it is sown it comes up and becomes greater than all the small herbs and produces great branches so that the birds will be able to perch in its shade.” Mark 4: 30-32

Small towns and communities and even small churches are not considered failures but to some people they are. Especially in small churches. In truth, it doesn’t matter about the size of the church or the number in the congregation as long as they are attending and worshiping God. Yes, it would be nice if the church would grow in size but sometimes growth doesn’t continue on a monthly or weekly basis. Sometimes it is just a fluke for a little while and then the numbers go back to where they were.

In the world that we live in this is a sad thing because people need to learn more about God and their place in His Kingdom. Today, many people don’t even recognize His Kingdom or the people who attend church services as being any different from the rest of the world. This is a very sad thing indeed considering that we are living at the end of the church age, the age of God’s grace toward mankind.

That doesn’t mean that Jesus is coming back tomorrow, although He could, it does mean that we should be watching for Him and studying His Word prayerfully. Seeking His wisdom from the Bible so that we are prepared for His return and ready to meet Him in the air. God will not abandon His church nor will He abandon His people, the Hebrews of Israel. Even though the world doesn’t recognize Him as sovereign over the universe and all of its processes, that doesn’t mean that He isn’t.

The Earth is His creation along with all of its creatures including us. The universe is also His creation and the entirety of creation is waiting for Him to restore everything to the state that existed before mankind fell in the garden. We should be telling as many people about Jesus as possible, if they will listen, because it is our calling and our duty as Christians and disciples.

God is not slack in His judgment of sin and the world around us is full of sin and its consequences. The people who have not learned to follow Jesus will be judged one day and it will happen during the Tribulation which is coming to the Earth. I plead with you to seek Him while there is yet time to do so safely because during the Tribulation it will be very dangerous to be a follower of Jesus. You will be hunted and killed because of your faith in Him, but take heart even if you are killed, you will live with Him in Heaven.

 

Prosperity or pampered


Why don’t we call Christians out for subscribing to a pampering gospel, one that makes them feel safe, and keeps them within the confines of their comfort zones? There are also teachers who are preaching a gospel which promotes the idea that anything that you feel a need for can be asked for in Jesus’ name and it is yours. God is not a genie and the name of Jesus is not a magic word to get anything and everything that you feel that you need.

During His ministry, Jesus didn’t even heal every person who was in the crowd or near Him. Could He have done that? Yes, He could but that wouldn’t have given the glory to God if He had. He could’ve just thought or spoken the words over those who were seeking a healing in the crowd but how would God have gotten the glory for that? He healed people specifically and He raised some people from the dead, again specifically.

At the tomb of Lazarus, if Jesus had not said his name, every person in the graves around his would’ve come forth! The miracles which He performed were very specific to those who were seeking them. As for prosperity, Jesus said that it was as hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of heaven as it was for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Whether that was an actual gate into Jerusalem, as I have heard before, or not I am not sure. The point is that it is very difficult for a wealthy person to give their life and their heart to believe in Jesus for salvation.

Just as the rich, young ruler, which prompted Jesus to say those things, came to Him asking how he could get into Heaven. Jesus asked him about his religious life and he told Jesus that he had kept all of the Law during his life, so Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor so he would have riches in Heaven, but since he was wealthy he went away saddened.

Jesus did not teach that we were all to live as paupers but He also taught that unless your heart was focused on the Kingdom of God rather than riches, then having wealth did you no good either. Regarding wealth Jesus said,  25 “For how would a man benefit to gain the whole world but destroy his soul or lose it?” Luke 9:25

By this Jesus meant that your soul individually is worth more than all of the wealth of the world! God loves you and cared enough for your salvation to send His Son to take your place on the cross in order to pay the price for your soul and mine and every person on the Earth. This is the gift of God to each of us which we can’t pay for and yet it is offered to us freely through belief in Jesus for our salvation.

Jesus also said that we are to take up our cross each day and follow Him. What does He mean by that? He means that for each of us there is something in our life, like the rich young ruler, that we need to nail to the cross and give it to Him each day then follow Him each day throughout our lives. Salvation is not a one day or one decision commitment, it is a daily commitment which we are to do in our lives. Does that mean that we have to work for our salvation?

No! Salvation is the gift of God through grace by belief in Jesus. We must move through life becoming more like Him and to do that we have to learn more about Him through the study of His Word in the Bible. Putting away the temptations of our old life by study and prayer. Being His is easy when we realize that we need Him, becoming more like Him is the so-called “work” which we do each day through prayer and study of the Bible.

Jesus only taught His disciples for three years while He was here, but they kept meditating on His teachings throughout their lives while they were teaching and preaching to the churches in the first century. They lived in prayer and meditation on His teachings every day and that is what we should be doing too.