You can be blessed…

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 KJV

Today we see so much violence and hate, but we are supposed to be peacemakers. Show Jesus’ love to those around you so that they will want it too.

Do you feel rich?

Many people don’t feel this way at all. Even those who are rich with wealth that the world recognizes see their wealth as their right or as a tool to get more. If you are a believer in Jesus and you know that He is your Savior then you are more wealthy than this world can know. The world around us doesn’t recognize this type of wealth because it is not the kind that you can see. It is wealth in heaven above. It is our forgiveness and our promise of eternal life with God in His house.

Jesus told us to “lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where rust and moths cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal“. The world around us doesn’t recognize this as wealth because it cannot be spent here and now but it is more than any wealthy man or woman has on this Earth.

God loves each of you even if you don’t believe in Him or His Son, Jesus. But beware…God loved Isaac but only one of his children did God place as the most favored. He said that “Jacob I loved but Esau I hated”. Today it’s not so simple, especially in our society. Everyone wants a new home and a new car now! Nobody wants to wait and save up some money for a down payment. This “microwave generation” wants everything right now regardless of how Mom and Dad did it. It’s the same with the way people view a relationship with Jesus. They want to be assured of a place in heaven and if they don’t feel like they can learn that at this church or from this pastor or denomination then they will go somewhere else.

Many are encouraged to join a church during a revival or some special event and some do but joining a church is not the same as gaining your salvation through the actions of the Holy Spirit. Some people get caught up in the singing or the emotions of the sermon and they “feel” led to make this decision tonight and it may be the Holy Spirit touching them. The problem that we have in churches today is that once they are on the rolls of membership, they are almost forgotten. Unless they are mentored at home or join in a youth group study or Sunday school regularly they will not learn how God wants them to live and be a part of His family.

The Scriptures that are referenced in the paragraphs above are good ones to learn from but unless you read and study them more than once the principles that they have to teach will not stick in your head or your heart. Listening to God is learned through reading His Word in order to know His voice and His ways of teaching. You can’t learn by osmosis from carrying a Bible to church, if you don’t read it then none of God’s wisdom will ever take root in your heart and your life.

The book of Proverbs is one of the greatest collections of wisdom in the world but very few people read it even once in their lifetime. They will read through a novel or a self-help book by someone who says they have the answers regardless of the length or the thickness of it. Proverbs is only thirty chapters long so reading one chapter a day takes about a month. Then go back and read it through again and pray about what you have read, asking God to show you which parts apply to your life and situation. Then…read it again. Usually after the third read your brain cells will realize that this is important stuff and we should remember this. You won’t have it memorized word for word but when problems come along, you will remember that you read about that somewhere recently.

Try reading God’s Word and asking Him to show you what you need to learn from it. He will answer you with more than you were expecting to learn.

We are commanded to love one another

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35 KJV

We are not supposed to seek ways to hurt each other. If you believe in Jesus for your salvation, you should show love to those around you. Reflect His love and compassion for every person that you meet today and see what a difference it will make.

Diligently search for the Lord…

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11‭-‬13 KJV

We should love because He loved us first

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 KJV

God has always loved us whether we know that He exists or not. His love for you began thousands of years before you were born, so make an effort to get to know Him while there’s time to do so.

What is God’s will for me?

Unless your pastor or your parents tell you where you can truly find out His will is for you, it can take a long time to find it. Being a Christian is not a simple decision with a easy pathway. God gave us a way to find His will but most people will miss it. It takes study and prayer through the Word of God to learn what your place is in His Kingdom. That is where you will find His will for your life. Every day thank God for allowing you to be alive for one more day, study His Word, praying about the scripture you are reading then use the scripture that day. Then do this again tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Learning more about the God Who loves you will bless you in ways that you cannot imagine.

God’s will for each of us is different but studying God’s Word is the best way to find His will for you and your life. Some people in the church never find out what His will is for their lives because they read the passage that the preacher is talking about and that is as far as their reading of God’s Word goes. You will never know God’s voice listening to a few verses on Sunday and His will for your life is not contained in a couple of verses either. The Bible is written as a living document from God so it needs to be read as if you and God are having a conversation about lots of different topics.

God loves and cares for every person on the Earth but He knows that many will not accept Jesus as their Savior. Only those that He calls and who choose to follow Jesus will know Him and be known by Him. Is this fair? Yes it is because it is the same for everyone! God doesn’t choose us by our name or how much money we have or by our ability to speak to a crowd. He chooses each of us because He knows that each of us can touch someone’s life in a way that may get them to seek out their Savior, Jesus.

Our lives and the lives of many people, in fact all people, are orchestrated and guided by God. We think that we are in control but God can move each of us around so that our life and His plan for our life will line up and match exactly the way He wants it to. Your will and God’s will are only the same when you are searching the Scriptures for your destiny, seeking Him as your Savior and living by what God says in it. Make sure that your life and His will for it line up at some point before your life is over.

Liars, killers, and adulterers too

Every person that God used in the Old and the New Testament were flawed people just as we are. They weren’t perfect. Moses killed and Egyptian before going into the desert to get away from being put to death for his crime. David, who was described by God as “a man after my own heart“, lied to one of his best friends after having an adulterous affair with his wife and then had him placed at the front where he would be killed in the fighting. Yet, David wrote many of the Psalms that we use today to carry us through tough times that we are having today.

Not one person on the Earth is perfect. All of us have done things which would keep us from God’s Presence but through the blood of Jesus and His atonement for our sins we are made clean. If we just believe like the thief did on the cross that Jesus is our Savior then we will be saved from an eternity of punishment away from the presence of God. Your life here may be or has been in the past one of the most unworthy of sinners, just as Saul said he was, but Jesus came to him on the road to Damascus and blinded him with His Presence. Then he sought the Lord until one of the Christians in Damascus came and prayed for him to have his sight restored and it was.

Jesus is the only One born of a woman Who had the Spirit of God as His guide for His whole life. He is the only One Who could’ve stoned the woman caught in adultery but He didn’t condemn her. He just told her to go and sin no more. Jesus knew that she wouldn’t be able to keep that promise completely, but what He told her to do was to repent of her adultery and never do that again. Be the wife and mother that she should be (this last is just my interpretation of His Words). God keeps up with even the sparrows and He knows when one of them falls from the branch dead. If He cares about them, doesn’t it make sense that He would care for us even more?

God has never said that He doesn’t care about us, even if we aren’t Jewish. The reason that Jesus came to give His life for our forgiveness was because of His Love for us. We are His creation and just as we love our children, God (Jesus) loves each of us. God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit are all God and they make up the Godhead. It is through their work, their influence in our universe and their power which keeps the stars and planets in their places. Nothing in our world is unnoticed because they see it all from their view outside of our time. They can see when you were born, what you did when you were twelve and what you will do tomorrow.

Don’t think or consider that because you have hidden some of your sins, if any of them, from God. He knows what you think, what you are doing, what you are thinking about doing and what you will do. God is so far above our ideas until that is the reason that people who were granted a glimpse into heaven as a prophet or as someone who had a “after death experience” and returned to tell about it, yet they can barely describe what they saw. The colors were so much more brilliant and more than we see here, more vibrant, more green or blue than what is in our world. That is why the view of Heaven or the Jerusalem when comes down from Heaven is so descriptive of clear gold streets, huge pearls for the gates and a foundation which looks like its made of every precious jewel imaginable.

The mind of God is above ours and everything works exactly the way He wants it to work, good, bad or otherwise. Nothing escapes His notice and nothing happens without His knowledge of it. I pray that those of you who read this will read God’s Word and give your life to Jesus because whether you are ready or not, He is coming back for the church, His Bride.

Every life matters!

Life matters regardless of skin color or ethnicity

God created all life on our world and He created the different shades of color found in humanity as well as all of the variety of life and colors found in nature. So…why can’t we look beyond our skin color? It has been over fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered by a white supremacist and yet those on both sides of this tragedy still haven’t moved beyond the same anger and frustration fifty years later.

Life does matter and it doesn’t matter if it is a black life or a white life or any other skin tone, in God’s eyes ALL of life matters. So why can’t we realize this and find something in common and work from there? I do realize that there are many things that the white “race” has done in the past and in many ways are still agreeing with even today. Even though today we don’t vocalize it for the most part. Our crime of being racist is shown in how we react to the situation that we may find ourselves in. We may think that we aren’t showing a racist attitude toward anyone but our body language and our eyes show something else entirely, even though we may not even realize that we do these things unconsciously.

Is there a way to end the violence and the hatred in this world which has been sparked into a raging fire? I don’t know that we can find one without Jesus coming back and ruling our world. I don’t really believe that we have the ability to place our emotions and our prejudices aside in order to bring lasting peace into our world and keep it that way. Now, I’m not pointing a finger at any government or any other movement in the world. Black lives do matter but so do the police and fire service men and women. The EMT’s lives matter, who try to help those who are injured or shot in any confrontation. The doctors and nurses lives matter because regardless of color or “race” they do their best to put people back together who have been hurt regardless of the circumstances.

Yes, in the past people have treated other people differently because of their skin color or their station in life even, but that doesn’t give you or me the right to go into the street and burn down small businesses and homes and threaten people with harm for no reason other than the color of their skin! When you are doing that you are no different than the ones who did this to your ancestors many years ago. We are living in the twenty-first century but many people are acting as if they are still in the 19th century. If things keep going in that direction and someone sets an EMP off one day we will be back in the 19th century in the area that it affected.

God never intended for us to live like this or act in this way toward each other but we are doing it. Satan is the one who hates us and it has nothing to do with your skin color at all. Satan hates us because we were created in God’s Image. It is Satan’s coaxing and prodding which is pushing this movement to be as violent as it is and he doesn’t care if we kill off a few thousand or more because that is fewer than he will have to deal with later. God loves each of us and all of our unique abilities and our outlook on life. Seek to please God and walk with Him in this world so that you can be victorious against Satan and his influence over a world that seems to be crumbling around us.

We are a part of God’s creation whether we like it or not, whether we believe in Him or not, but that doesn’t change the fact that murder is wrong in every instance and it doesn’t matter if the one murdered is old or young, a cop or one of the crowd. Even suicide is wrong in God’s eyes because you are killing yourself and you are also created in God’s Image. He loves each of us and we should try to reflect some of His love back into the world and make it better than it was before…not worse.

Before you can walk…

God’s Word is full of pictures in words about how the Christian should learn to follow Him. The problem is that for most of us we’ve never had anyone in our lives to show us and explain what the baby steps are and how to progress from there. If you have ever listened to a sermon on TV or at a church revival or even at a friend’s church you have likely wondered exactly how to become a Christian and then what do I do when this happens? Where do I go from this point?

Baby steps are the first options which we all have. When we are learning to walk, we don’t wake up one day and just run around the house and down the street. It is the same way with believers. You don’t come down the aisle one day or night and repent of your sins and then you understand all of the theology and mysteries found in the Bible. God doesn’t dump the Old and New Testaments in your brain and tell you to get out there and make Him proud! There have been some days that I wish He had done that but we aren’t capable of going from a non-believer one day and then have the ability to understand all of the mysteries of the Bible on the next day.

Talk about a mind-blowing experience! That would truly put us in the asylum for sure.

The problem with becoming a Christian is that many times you are on your own. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, most churches expect your parents or friends to help you to learn about your faith and what you should do with this new life which you’ve been given. Is this the way it was supposed to be? Well, yes, actually it was because that was the way that God had told the Israelite people to teach their children about Him and their history from the books of Moses and their Prophets..

All of us have a responsibility to lead and teach, not only new Christians but each other. All of us need to be helped along the way. Learning more about our faith and about our Savior and the message which He taught the disciples during the time that He was with them. Saul who became known as Paul even went into a secluded place to learn from the Holy Spirit before he became the evangelist to the gentiles.

Why do I bring this up today? Because many of us have heard the gospel preached and we might have given our heart to Him but we are left on our own to “work out our salvation” by ourselves and sometimes we get in the muck of our own minds. What do you mean by that? Well, work out your salvation doesn’t mean that we must work for it but it does mean that we have to study God’s Word to learn more about Him and what He taught the disciples so that they could take His good news to the world. Humans, you and me, tend to overthink things whether it is learning from Scripture or learning to cook or even learning how to play a guitar. Your mind and your thoughts will get in the way like a puddle of mud does when you are walking or riding in a car or on a bike.

Since we are in the process of being quarantined at home these days it is a perfect time to learn more about your Savior and to have Bible study sessions at home. Get into God’s Word while there is time on your hands and learn more about Him and the love that He has for you because He has loved you with a deep, abiding love since before the world was created.