Are any of us really OK?


There are so many things wrong with our world today. The stock market is up and down, the debts which our country owes are coming down but not fast enough, the debt which many of us owe to credit companies is out of this world. Are we really doing OK? In many ways, we really aren’t doing very well at all! The debts that we owe on money we don’t really have are only the beginning of our trouble. Then there are the sin debts which many of us still carry around with us, even though they have been forgiven or at least paid for through the blood of Jesus. Whether you or I have accepted His gift of forgiveness or not is up to us and many people still refuse it.

We go through life as if we are guaranteed a certain number of years and even though the Bible does say that we are allotted three score and ten (70 years) or possibly four score (80 years, by our strength), these are not guaranteed! We come within two feet of dying every time we get on the highway, regardless of which city or state you live in! We pass each other going at least seventy-five miles per hour and we are usually as close as 24 inches when we do pass each other. That doesn’t even count for early morning and late day rush hours! At those times, we are usually so close to each other until we could hand a cup of coffee off to one person and it wouldn’t hit the ground for two miles or more. We are truly blessed just to get home without any scrapes or paint missing from our cars or trucks!

Most of the time we don’t even think about these close calls we have that we somehow survived. We just look at it as if it were ordained that we would get home each and every time we go out on the road. The only real guarantees in this world are death and taxes. So why do we live as if nothing can ever or will ever go wrong? We do it when we are young, in our teens and twenties, and we continue to do it until we finally wise up and look around and some of your friends are dying before you. Some of them because of cancer or a heart attack, some of them because of a car wreck or even being robbed or shot while being robbed for something that someone else wants that you have. Are we OK?

It is a good question which really doesn’t have a great answer. Some of us are cruising along and doing pretty well, some of us are dealing with pains and other ailments and some of us are just waiting to die. Then there are some who just don’t care one way or the other, as long as they are doing pretty well they don’t really care what is happening to the rest of the world. There are even a few who can’t forget wrongs which were done, intentionally or not, many years ago. So, how do we get to a point of seeking the One Who can bring us out of this place where we find ourselves?

First, by listening to your conscience and the leading that you get from the Holy Spirit, whether we call it that or not. When you feel led to seek out God and truly find the answer to the problems which plagues mankind, then you will find His Peace through Jesus the Christ, your Savior. There are many times when we feel Him leading us toward a better idea or to search for Something or Someone that we don’t know or don’t have a relationship with but until we find that One, there is an empty place which can’t be filled with anything that we try on our own. That is the place where Jesus belongs and that is why anything other than Him just doesn’t satisfy and it doesn’t feel right until we surrender to His calling and ask Him to come in and fill that space.

Being just “OK” is not what we were made for and God never intended for us to be satisfied with that. God calls to your heart through the Holy Spirit and it is up to you to answer His call for your life. It is your decision to give your heart to Jesus and allow Him to change your life into the life which you were meant to live! If you feel that pull, that call on your life and you ignore it and keep ignoring it then one day you may never feel that pull on your life again. You will wonder what happened for a little while but you will continue on with your life as if nothing happened and in fact, that is what happened. Nothing. Don’t live your life for nothing, live it for Jesus and tell others what He has done and is doing in your life because nothing is scary when it is all that there is for eternity.

What can you do?


It is a question which is asked many times in today’s job market. In trying to figure out what sort of position you may be able to do, you will get this question. Maybe not worded the same but the answer will either get your prospective boss’s attention or they will listen to you and then tell you “I’ll call you”. Which just means, “Next?!”.

In consideration of your eternity and your salvation there is no question like this because there is nothing that you can do to “help” Jesus save you. He’s already done everything necessary to give you salvation through Him! When you feel your Spirit telling you, convicting you that you need Him, the only thing that you can do is believe in Him for your salvation or…not!

It is your decision to accept Jesus as your Savior and believe in His work on the cross which paid for your salvation and then confess Him before your church that you have done these things. Then, get baptized which shows everyone that you have put your old sinful self in a grave and you have risen to walk with Jesus in a new Life!

Becoming a Christian is not some work which you have to do day in and day out in order to earn your salvation. Jesus did all of that perfectly! So when you feel His call on your life, don’t turn away and tell Him that you don’t have time. Because you may be telling the truth…you don’t have any more time to make this decision. Your life may end for some reason today or tonight and you may not get a chance to ask Him into your heart before you really meet Him face to face. If you haven’t asked Him to be your Savior, what could possibly gain you entrance into Heaven? Answer: NOTHING

We can’t do anything in this life to earn our salvation which has already been paid for and there is no amount of money or works or charity which will do that for you either. Did Jesus really give His life for us? Yes! The disciples wouldn’t have died such horrible deaths for a lie. All but one disciple died from crucifixion or being skinned alive or by being beheaded and many other ways. John was the only disciple who died of old age.

Are you sure of your salvation? If you aren’t then read John and the book of Romans. Both of these will point you in the direction and to the Person you need to know, Jesus the Christ!

Provisions


Have you ever thought of the things which you have as provisions given to you by God? They truly are that and more! God has blessed each of us with life and health and hopefully a job so that we can support a family too. Everything that you have been blessed with came from God. Even if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, these gifts have been given to you from God Himself. Is it possible for your health and your prosperity to have been given to you from Him too? Of course, it is!

You will notice that I said, “provisions” not possessions. Why did I use a different word than the one that many people want to use today? Because God provides us with provisions which we need not possessions which we want! God doesn’t give us our wants, translate as luxuries, He gives us the needs in our lives. He gives you your life, your food, and your home and your family. What does that sound like? Blessings and provision.

God doesn’t hold back the good things of this world from us, whether we have given our lives to Jesus and are followers of Him or not. So how much more could you be doing for His Kingdom if you truly are His follower and a disciple of His? In our technological world today it doesn’t take a lot to be a witness for Jesus in many places other than where you live. Take me for instance. I am disabled and can’t work in a regular job, but I can witness for my Savior all over the world through the power of the Internet.

Granted, my witness here can’t reach those in places where the access to it isn’t there, but it can reach many places.

Your witness and mine are useful to God’s Kingdom in many more ways than just an article on the Internet. We can take our witness with us just as the disciples and the early church fathers did. Witness to others by your actions and your words. Even if you aren’t speaking to someone directly, they will see your actions and hear your words even if you don’t think anyone is listening.

When you have children they hear things that you don’t think they did and it is the same with people everywhere. God loves each of us and He wants you to come to salvation through Jesus. But, unless you hear about Jesus and the salvation available through Him, you won’t know about it until you hear, whether it is by reading something or by a sermon at a church. God provides salvation to those who are seeking it and many won’t seek it until they hear about Him and the hope that is available through Jesus.

My part doesn’t count


Don’t ever think this thought! I have thought it at times but your part does count! God can use your life, your voice, your message, your witness in ways that you have no idea just how much good it may do. But He does!

He knows how many people will hear or listen to or even read your words, like on this blog, and He will use your voice to take His message to the world and those who are desperate to hear the gospel of Jesus and His love for them. Just as when it is time to vote for a President or a Senator, your vote…your voice does count! If John had not gone to Ephesus and preached to them they wouldn’t have heard about Jesus. If Paul had not gone to all of the places that he went to with the good news of Jesus and the salvation through Him then many people would never have heard about Jesus.

Each of us has a part to play in the grand scheme of life, whether we believe in Jesus as our Savior or not. Our part is not usually a small part because we do influence people around us whether we realize it or not. It is that influence which carries His message to the world most of the time. A thank you to a stranger or blessing the food at a restaurant or just opening the door for someone who may have their hands full or maybe you are just doing it “just because”. Any of these small interactions can have a big impact on people and then their impact on others will be affected too.

None of us can truthfully claim that what we do in this life makes no difference. Adam and Eve ate a fruit that they weren’t supposed to eat. It doesn’t sound like much until you realize that God had told them not to before they did it. They disobeyed God’s command and did their own thing, which is what we’ve been doing ever since. It was a small decision but it had huge consequences for the rest of creation. Don’t ever discount a decision that you are thinking about. Whether you think it is big or not, seek out God’s perspective on it if you are a believer because His advice is always right. Though many of us today are too impatient to wait for His answer at times.

Does your influence count? Yes it does. A parent has a lot of influence over a child’s growth and their ideas about life as they grow older. We may not think that they are listening but they are and they hear more than you think they do. A teacher or a coach has a lot of influence in the lives of those that they come in contact with over the course of their careers. Sometimes they may not find it out until years later. Society and social media today have a lot of influence on people of all ages, as well as the smart phones which we all seem to have attached to our hands.

God loves each of us and He does care about your life and your eternity. All that you need to do is believe in Him and give your life to Him so that He can give His Life to you.

God, where are You?


Have you ever asked God, “Where are You?” It is an apt question, but do you truly want to know where God is? Consider that He is everywhere, whether you believe in Him or not. The problem with us, as human beings, is that we think too much. We look around and see the world and everything in it and we don’t understand how all of the evil in the world could be happening if God cared. The thing is this: God does care and He loves each of us but it is our responsibility to follow Him in our lives. The peace He gives to us comes from knowing Jesus and having security in our salvation.

So, to concentrate on the question a bit more…where is God? He lives outside of our existence but He holds all of creation together by His power and His plans. He is near us all of the time. We cannot feel His touch or see Him but His attention never wanders far from us, even if we don’t believe in Him. God provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years and He does the same thing for us today. He gives each of us talents and abilities to be able to make a living in this world and He places us in areas that He knows we can excel in.

All of these wonderful blessings come mostly to those who do truly believe in Him and trust Him for their salvation. Does He watch over those who haven’t really made up their mind about being His in a personal way? Yes, He does. His call on your life is truly your choice although it takes some of us a little longer to realize that He is calling us. Because it is our decision to choose Him as our Savior. We are not forced into belief because we can’t be, and He knows the beginning and the ending too. He knows the day and the hour that you will accept His offer of salvation, but He doesn’t push it on you.

Love and trust are two important aspects of a relationship with Jesus and God and neither of these can be forced upon anyone. You have to want this relationship and know that it is right for your life because eternity is not possible without Jesus in your life. Jesus came and gave His life to pay the penalty for your sins and all you have to do to claim your eternal life in Him is believe in Him and repent (turn away from) of your sinful life. Then read about Him in the Bible and learn how to be more like Him until He comes again. Living with Him one day at a time and do it every day. That is how you find Him and He keeps you in His hand.

Forgiveness…


What does this mean in our society today? It means that we, as a society, should forgive those who have wronged us in the past. It means that the bitterness and resentment should be forgiven by us first toward those who we hold responsible for a wrong. Forgiveness is the closest that we can come to God before we die and it is an act of will on our part that can take away years of pain and suffering. One word and deed which can change the life of those who have held onto bitterness and anger for so long they don’t remember why they were angry, but with true forgiveness they will feel healing and a peace in their lives which has never been there before.

Our country needs a Spirit of forgiveness to sweep over this land and into the hearts and minds of those living here. It will take God’s Holy Spirit to make this happen and it will take an honest revival in our country before this will happen. Can it happen? Yes, but only if people will stop being so politically correct they aren’t any good to the people around them!

God has never stopped loving you or those who wronged you in the past, but until you forgive them and change the way you feel about them, your health and your life will suffer because of it. That is why it says in the Bible, “if you have anything against your brother, leave your offering and be reconciled to him, then come and make your offering“. Living with anything in your past which is unforgiven and causes you to feel anger or resentment and bitterness will make you sick physically. Healing can only come when the forgiveness is full and real between you and your brother or sister.

Don’t live that way because I have seen this in my family and it truly rips a hole in a family and the relationships in that family. I pray that anyone who reads this will seek God’s will for their relationships with their family member and with Him too.

The beginning of the church


Why is belief in Jesus so important? Because “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

In Acts 4:12, the Bible says: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Belief is necessary because Jesus is the Living Word of God and He came to redeem the lost of this world. You may think that you have done some things which would allow you into Heaven but if what you have done in this life was done out of pride and your own self-righteousness and without Jesus’ guiding hand then it was a waste. Nothing that we do with our good intentions and our own ideas of self-righteousness can ever bring us into the Presence of God. Well, it can bring us there but it will be in judgement and not reward because without Jesus and our repentant heart and His Spirit guiding us…everything that we do is dust and filthy rags.

There are many words which God has placed in the Bible which point the way to a life of service to Him. Such as believe or obedience or humility.

God honors those who humble themselves to Him and recognize that He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith in Christ Jesus. Only through Him can we gain entrance to the City which is not built by hands but by the Word of God. I pray that any who read this small letter might turn to the One Messiah, Jesus Christ because it is only through belief in Him and repentance from your own sins can you be saved to walk the streets of Heaven one day.

Follow Jesus because He is the only way into Heaven.

What child is this?


I know this sounds like it should be about the birth of Jesus but it isn’t. In our country and all over the world today there are children who have been sent by their Creator to bless someone’s life with the joy of becoming a parent. In our world today children are in danger before they are born because of the number of abortions that are done in America and around the world. While it is true that some pregnancies may be “unplanned” due to rape or incest or prostitution, these children are gifts from God. There are many couples who would love to adopt a baby if the child is not wanted or the mother cannot take care of them. So why isn’t this option given to women who want to get rid of their “problem”?

God allows us to make all sorts of crazy choices in our lives and some of them are really hard to believe. In the Old Testament, worshipers of Baal and Moloch gave their children to be sacrificed in flames to their gods. Today we sacrifice unborn children to our “gods” of convenience and freedom. What a waste. Since abortion became legal in 1973 there have been millions of babies killed for these “gods”. I have heard and read many of the arguments about the reasoning behind this and it sickens me. Women are told that those are just blobs of cells and they don’t feel anything. “Those cells are just a parasite inside your body”; really?

Were you just a parasite in your mom’s body until you were born? I don’t think so! I saw my son’s sonogram picture at about 12 weeks and he was a fully formed baby. Very small for sure but he had fingers and toes and ears. That is not a blob of cells! I am going to see the movie, “Unplanned“, tomorrow and I pray if there are any who are wondering about whether that is a child inside you or not then please see this film and decide for yourself. Jesus loves the little children and He would not condone the murder of millions of them. (My plans have changed but I still believe that people need to see this film).

Jesus loves each of us as well and I pray for all who read this to seek Him out and ask Him to be your Savior. Time is growing short and there are no second chances when it comes to your salvation so get it now while you can.

Different viewpoints, one view


I have been listening to different preachers and reading books by some others. Some of them were written in the 1700’s and some books were written by pastors in the early and middle twentieth century. Jonathan Edwards, C.H. Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer and Billy Graham are a few of those whose books I have read in the past eight years. There are two things which all of them have in common, their love for Jesus Christ and their view of the world around them. You may want to ask me”How can this be?”, many years separate their viewpoint in history!

While that is true, the view of the world and its problems is still centered on the Word of God and from that point of view humanity really hasn’t changed all that much. From the time of Noah over three thousand years before Christ was born until today mankind has mostly gone their own way. Some do listen to God’s Word and His laws and precepts for living in His Grace, but they are few in comparison to the rest of the world. Most of the world around us, in America and in other countries, wants to get rid of the Truth of God and His Word. You know I’m right about this because you can hear it on the news every day.

Humanity has not changed in thousands of years. We are rebellious and we want our own way and we will not obey the Lord’s laws or even man’s laws, if we can get away with it. The truth contained within God’s Word is absolute and that is unacceptable to humanity in everything that we do. No one is willing to be obedient to parents or teachers or to laws in whatever land they may live. This is the very reason that so much violence is seen all over the world today.

No, there has been no real change in mankind’s ways since the days of Noah. In some ways, possibly, we are less hateful or less violent but I would say not by much. Our news media relates how we hurt and kill each other with guns and machete and knives and drugs today. We have many different ways of killing each other and yet very little remorse is seen in the faces of the people. Even unborn children are in dangerous places because of the laws which have been passed to allow women to kill their children before they are even born. Millions have died in the years since the law was passed in 1973 which legalized it in America and many other countries have followed right along with us.

Looking at the world around us from the viewpoint of the Bible and its laws gives the same picture of humanity regardless of when you live. Nothing has really changed. We are still killing each other, there is sexual immorality in almost every community, people don’t seem to consider what the Bible says about how we should live or act toward one another. The few who do read and listen to Biblical teaching on a regular basis at least try to live a life which is pleasing to God. Some of us try too hard to do so on our own without His Spirit’s teaching and leading so we stumble and fall more than we should, but we consider that as “our humanity” winning out over the Spirit.

God gives each of us a measure of faith and of His Spirit so that we can walk a pleasing walk before Him but many of us don’t listen to His voice and we just fall anyway without thinking of the consequences. We may not feel the consequences of our falling but what about your children or grandchildren? They watch you and listen to you so that they can learn from you. Are they hearing and seeing those things which Jesus would do or is it just your “humanity” that is showing them how to do it the wrong way? Consider this and leave a comment or share it with your friends.

Communication is necessary


Even in the Garden in the beginning, God wanted to communicate with Adam. He would come down to walk with him in the evening. God likes to hear from you and me. What is communication in the Bible between God and mankind? Prayer. Now, I don’t mean that Adam prayed when God was visiting. They talked to each other just like we do. Wouldn’t that be great! It will be when we are with Him in Heaven. Actually, He will know what we need or want without our asking for it.

While we are here, however, prayer is necessary for us. He already knows what we need but we need to get in touch with Him about it. Our problem, most of the time, is that we don’t ask Him for an actual need. We ask for something that we want…a luxury or something like that. Why do we have a problem with communication with our Savior? Is it because we have the same problem communicating with each other? Probably.

God loves us and He intended for us to be able to talk to each other and to Him. But, in the last ten or fifteen years we have become isolated from each other. We text people who are in the same house or even at the same table. We “like” our “friend’s” status on Facebook or Instagram and sometimes we write that we will pray for them in their time of need. But…do we actually do it? Do we pray for each other and for our own problems or do we just say so and then go about our own routine and forget about the prayer that is needed?

If we are truly honest with our answer to that question, many of us would find that our prayer time is sorely lacking in depth and in frequency. When Paul wrote about “praying without ceasing”, he meant that we should treat prayer as an act which is like breathing. Not that you have to close your eyes and kneel in prayer all day and every day but be in a spirit of prayer all day. When a problem comes to mind, pray about it. When something is missing, like your keys, pray about it. When you think of a loved one or a friend who may need God provision in their life, pray about it. Right then, not later or when you get to it.

Jesus prayed many times during His ministry. Sometimes it was for strength or for blessing or for a healing but He never neglected to speak to the Father about what was going on. We shouldn’t neglect prayer either because it is our line of communication with our Creator, God, Elohim, our Father and our Savior.

This is not the only prayer that God will answer but it is the one that you should begin with if you haven’t prayed before.