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.

Do you feel meaningless?


I have felt this way before. Some days…I still do. But we don’t have to. Our Creator gives us meaning and a purpose IF we will listen to Him and follow His directions. Now, I am not saying that we have to follow Him blindly like sheep who follow their shepherd as he leads them to a good pasture. What I am saying is that each day, in fact each hour that we live in service to Jesus and showing others what He has done for us is full of meaning and purpose. Even if you are writing a blog or teaching your children about Him or working at your job, your witness is your life. The meaning of your life is that He has saved you from an eternity of punishment for your sins and for rejecting Him as your Savior.

It seems that many people today do feel as if their lives are without meaning, but why? Is it because of the bullying which happens on social media? Very likely. Is it because parents have been “validating” their children for more than two decades regardless of how well they do or not? Probably. Why do I say this? Because when you have been told that you are perfect and beautiful and that everything that you do matters most of your life…you begin to believe it. Then when reality punches you in the face at college or on a job…it is very painful. You find out that words really can hurt and they hurt deeply.

Wounds from spoken words don’t heal quickly for most people. Especially when they are not the praise and adoration kind which your parents heaped on you when you were young. My words here may even hurt some people’s feelings but reality is like that.

God loves you and He knows exactly how you feel inside and what you are capable of doing. So living up to His expectations and His love for you is something which takes a lifetime to accomplish. It is not something that you can do today or tomorrow and that’s all you have to do. When you give your heart to Jesus and repent of your “old life” whatever it might have been, you are expected to strive toward becoming more like Jesus each and every day. You can’t do this on your own though. You have to have His Spirit inside you guiding you and directing your steps every day, one step at a time.

Becoming a Christian is exactly that. It is a process which you and the Holy Spirit work on together each day while learning more about God and His love for you. Reading and studying His Word so that you can defend your faith and so your mind will be washed in the Living Water of His Word. Others who are very religious in this world memorize their holy books so they can refute any ideas which we, as Christians, may want to talk about. Knowing God’s Word well and the principles which He wants us to live by gives us the “full armor of God” to deflect the darts from the Adversary. By being a warrior for God’s Kingdom you should never feel meaningless because you are fighting for the King of Kings!

God gives us…


We have wind and rain. God gives us breath and our health. We are also given the light of the sun to warm us and water from the rain. God has given us all of these good things but we take them for granted each and every day. Some people are living with problems which make their lives miserable, but God is still there with them.

Why do I bring this up today?

Because in the world that most of us live and breathe in, we forget about all of the good things which God has provided for us. Humanists tend to look at the world around them and think that we have destroyed or rather we are destroying this world. The fact is that we are living in a world which has been under a curse since Adam’s fall. Of course, the “world” doesn’t look at things from the perspective of God’s Word. Much of the world and those living in it don’t even believe that the Bible IS the Word of God.

But, that is a story and a sermon for another time.

God is our Creator and He is the One Who takes care of our needs, not our wants. When we look at life and His provision for us in that light then we will see just how His provision is the best of all things. We may not get the best of those things here and now, but His best comes when He deems that we are able to receive it. God gives us talents and abilities in this life to be representatives of His goodness and His love toward the world, the people, around us.

Why? Because we are the only representatives which Jesus has in this world today and in many instances, you and I may be the only representation of the love of Jesus and His mercy that someone may see before the end of their life. Seek God’s wisdom and His direction for your life each and every day. Every decision that we have to make should be prayed over and placed in God’s hands through prayer and reading of His Word. I am speaking of major decisions here, not whether to put creamer in your coffee or not.

Make sure that people can see Jesus in your life and in the way that you live and conduct yourself in this world. Sometimes it is difficult to do, sometimes bills come due for one thing and prevent you from paying another bill. But…you can still honor God in your life and let others know how you are doing and living.

God gives us more than we need most of the time. Maybe not more money but more than we could ask for in regards to our relationships and our salvation through Jesus.

Believe…


As it is written in God’s Word, “all you have to do is believe“. There are numerous instances of this specific word or one which has the word “believe” in it such as “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness“. Why do I bring this word up again on this site? Because it is needed and necessary for all who are looking for and seeking Jesus to believe in Him, not that He existed but believe in Him for salvation!

Even the demons and Satan know about Jesus and that He is the Son of God. But knowing about Him and believing that He existed doesn’t bring salvation. Consider this: if someone told you that you had been given one million dollars and that it was available to you, would you believe them just by their word or would you have to see it and know that it was there? Take that a bit further. You know it is there and it is yours but you never claim it, is it doing you any good at all? Not even a little bit.

That is the same place that many people today are in concerning their salvation. They have heard a sermon telling them that it is available and that it is free to claim. All they have to do is believe that it is theirs and claim it by asking Jesus for their forgiveness and that He should come into their lives and make them whole. The problem is that even though many know that salvation is available to them just as easy as the million dollars in the previous paragraph, given a choice they would rather have the money.

Why?

Because, in the world that we live in, money is immediate and useful. Salvation only means something to you if you are looking toward eternity rather than just looking at tomorrow. The problem with this type of thinking is just like the prodigal son, once the money is gone you are worse off than you were before. Money is like your life. It is a puff of smoke and it is gone in an instant of time but salvation takes you to an eternal home where life never ends and it only gets better.

Consider that and seek out the One Who can provide you with salvation and an eternal home too.

Death…


This is one of the least prepared-for parts of our lives. Death is one thing which nobody can escape yet everyone seems intent on putting it off as long as possible. Even though it happens to be the doorway to eternity, nobody is willing to step through it nor are they ever truly ready for it. But in today’s culture, it seems that many people are fascinated by it except that they want to choose how they die. This is one of those choices that most of us really don’t have the will or the ability to choose how we die.

So, what should we do or is there even something which we can do about this? Can we live a life of purpose and meaning and then, when we come to the end of our life, have a “good death”? It is a question which is perplexing and troubling at the same time. How do you have a “good death”? It depends upon your life and the quality of it, I think. A Christian will look at death as a doorway to eternity, regardless of how the person dies. Others will look at it from their perspective of religion or belief or the lack of belief which the person had.

If it is an unexpected death we look back at the life of the one who died. If it is the death of a loved one who died of cancer, then hopefully it was not a lingering death and one which was mostly free of pain. Hopefully, it will be a death which the person who is dying will choose not to prolong the process nor to hasten it by the use of drugs or other means.

Life is given to us by our Lord and our God and we should cherish it but when the end of our life comes around, regardless of how that may happen, we should accept it and help those of our family to accept it as well. Those who are surviving us will grieve and they will feel the loss of our life but we should try to help them to do so if we can. Remember, death is a part of life it just happens to be at the end of it, hopefully.

So, why am I writing about this today? Because, at any given time in the world, there are many who are experiencing the death of a loved one. It happens much more than we realize because the media tries to hide this fact from most of us unless it happens to be someone famous and well known. All of us have to experience the loss of a spouse or a child or a parent at some time in our lives. Some of us don’t have to experience it until later in life and some experience it far too soon in our lives or in the life of the one who has died. Their death may come due to accident or disease and it could come too early in their life for them to truly have lived, which happens too often in our world today.

God is still there with them and beside you to comfort and to strengthen you in order to help you bear the loss and the pain. Some of us tend to blame Him for a loss which was too sudden or unexpected but He knew when their day was and how it would happen long before we find out about it. God loves us and He does care for each of us whether we die in our old age or if we die in the womb, of natural causes or for convenience. God loves you, so don’t look up and blame Him when a life comes to its end because He already knew the day and the hour. But many times He wasn’t the cause of their death unless it was His mercy toward them and you as well.

The end of the Age


Learning about this from our Lord Jesus Christ is easy, just read Matthew 24 or the book of Revelation. But…how many will believe what they read? There are many who don’t think that the Bible is even trustworthy much less the actual Word of God. My point is that we are truly living at the end of the age. Look at the news and watch everything that is going on around us. Then, read Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 and at the beginning of the book of Revelation. See how much of it actually does sound like it came from the news today, then make your decision.

Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior? If you haven’t then you need to seek Him for your very soul depends upon it! God cares for and loves each of us, even when we are sinners. He knows which ones of us will hear His call on their lives and those who will hear it and ignore it. But you need to be seeking Him to find Him and that is what this post is about.

Eternity is ahead of you regardless of your eternal destination although you do have a choice of where you will spend eternity. God doesn’t send you into hell, that is your decision because it is due to your rejection of Jesus as your Savior. Whenever you feel the call on your heart to give your life to Him, please don’t turn away from Him. Remember, He paid the price for your sins and mine but it is up to you to accept Him as your Savior.

God’s warning shot


The lunar eclipse, which is happening now, is the last one for at least two years. God is not being silent about how He is warning us but most of us don’t seem to be listening. What is He going to do after this “Blood moon”? I have no idea but I do believe that our country and the rest of the world should notice that this is happening and at least try to do better at being believers.

We have had a warning before and it seemed that nobody even noticed. In late 2014 through 2015 there were four blood moons, and a solar eclipse yet few people noticed. So, America is getting one more such warning. Why? Because we don’t take life seriously nor do we sanctify life which is yet to be born. God loves children and He sent them to us for a purpose, His purpose.

They are being killed by the thousands each day and nobody cares enough to put a stop to it. Children are being taken from loving parents and sold into slavery in the sex trade and it seems that we are just becoming aware of it. Yet this has been happening for decades. Those who claim to be Christians and every church member should be rising up and at least writing letters to stop this…but it is not happening.

Will it ever be stopped? Yes, but I hope that we as Christians will do it before Jesus calls us home. It will stop when He comes to rule the world but we should be upset and outraged about this NOW!! Yet the world travels on as if nothing is wrong in the world. I pray that more Christians will stand up for their beliefs and begin to vote or call or write to our Congress to get something done before it is too late.

Everyday life


We live each day according to what we have learned in our life. We may live according to what we were taught by our parents or grandparents or according to what we have learned from going to church and reading our Bibles. Some people claim that life doesn’t have a guidebook or an instruction manual but God’s Word is the best manual for living and how to live that I have ever seen or read.

But there are many times in our lives when we can’t find the answer to our problem. Sometimes it escapes us in one way or another. We ask “Why did this happen?” and we can’t find the answer or if we ask God that question…He is either silent or we may not be listening closely enough. Those times cause us to doubt our faith and they can cause us to doubt God too.

Why? It is a very small question but sometimes the answer is not small if it comes at all. The answer can be a diagnosis which a mother or father is not prepared for. The outcome of this diagnosis may be a child which is unable to ever enjoy life again or enjoy anything about life. So what do we do then? Are we supposed to give up on God’s promises of healing and restoration?

God doesn’t make that promise of healing and restoration for every person in the world! If you seek Him in your need and your feelings of grief over a child who is suffering from an accident or even a disease please seek God’s answer and LISTEN to Him. Many of us would rather have our child back or our spouse back, healthy and whole with no problems but consider that God’s healing may take the form of their passing from this life into the next with Him.

While this outcome is not the perfect outcome in our own view, God may truly have something else which is much better. But…we must be willing to truly listen to Him and not to our own voice echo in our head telling us what we want to hear rather than what is good for our child or our spouse or even the decision which is truly in God’s hands.

The problem with waiting for God’s leading and His voice is that we usually try to go around God and get things done the way we want them to be. We don’t want to wait on God but we want the solution right NOW! Life’s troubles and trials are rarely cut neatly with our ideas in mind so that a visit to the hospital turns out as a blessing. Many times it comes with tremendous bills and stress and the possible outcomes which may or may not be the one which we want in our lives.

These are the times when life seems to be broken and there is no amount of glue or tape which can un-break it. Sometimes even our technology can do more harm by keeping a loved one alive but are they really? They are breathing and they may react to some stimulus but if they are unable to live…is that really living?

Pray for those in the hospitals or in nursing homes that are in a coma or a state which, if given a chance, they would likely not want to “live” in. I pray that no mother or father reading this will ever have to go through this type of decision because even though I can write this advice down,  but if it were my son it would truly be heartbreaking to have to make that life-altering decision. He has told me if that ever happens don’t let me live in a coma not knowing what is going on or who is around me. But even with his instructions, it would still break my heart.

Jesus learned from Joseph


When the high priest heard Jesus acknowledge that He was the Son of God, he rent his cloak. In the Old Testament, if the high priest did this in his priestly robe (the one which had no seams), it effectively removed him from office according to the Torah.

We have been celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, but consider the time of His crucifixion and when He said, “It is finished”. The veil of the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. God’s Presence was in the Holy of Holies so it was God Himself Who tore (rent) the veil of the Temple from top to bottom giving mankind access to Himself from that point on through the substitutionary death of Jesus as the Passover Lamb and the fulfillment of ALL of the feasts which God had instituted from the time of the exodus from Egypt to the giving of the law of God on Mount Sinai. In particular the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Firstfruits.

Jesus fulfilled all of the feasts and their meaning, not just as the Lamb of God but as our Savior and Lord and our High Priest Who went into the Temple in Heaven to put His blood on the altar to atone for ALL of our sins.

JosephandYeshua

The list below comes from a very good book which is speculative, but according to Scripture as much as possible. The name of the book is “The Forgotten Man of Christmas“, check it out if you are interested:

  • Jesus came into a world where the ruthless exercise of power turned the pages of history, but His way was the way of love and peace.
  • He wasn’t an academician, but Jesus challenges us to develop our capacity to love God more, and in His name, thousands of schools and colleges have been funded.
  • Jesus never wrote any of His teachings down and no book bears His name as the author, but His teachings are universally known and quoted and have shaped the course of human history like no other.
  • He was a carpenter by trade and He never built any objects of note, but we choose to honor Him through the beauty of cathedrals, churches, and chapels, all built to His glory.
  • Jesus never held any political power nor any monetary wealth or social prestige, but no one has ever altered the human scene or our understanding like He did.
  • Jesus healed a relatively small handful of people during His ministry, yet the foundation of modern medicine bears His imprint even today.
  • Jesus knew nothing of art, other than the joining of wood and stone in His trade, but His spirit ignites the creative spark in humanity and many galleries are graced with expressions of Who He was and Who He is.
  • There is only one of His sermons which is complete in the gospels, yet the words of that sermon are the cornerstone for our human reality and the Magna Carta of our human spirit.
  • Jesus never owned anything of value to the world, yet when He was on the cross soldiers gambled for the only article in His estate, the seamless robe He wore; and in every place where His teachings are embraced, the standard of living is lifted, and where His name is claimed, no one can sit idly by while people go hungry or the lonely are in need of a friend.
  • Jesus spoke more of service than of rights and privileges, but where His message is heard and heeded, the value of each individual is exalted and the rights of all are protected, especially those who are weak, worn, forgotten or unborn.
  • Jesus lived only 33 years before His Earthly life ended, but He changed everything, even the way we date history. Surely we can agree with Paul that “His name is above every name.”

Many of these traits He learned from the example of His Earthly father during the years before He was found in the Temple at the age of 12. During the years leading up to His Earthly father’s death, Jesus kept learning the lessons that Joseph taught Him and I believe that Joseph modeled God for his Son as much as anyone could have. Many of the attributes of God are what we are supposed to model for our own children and anyone else who might see Jesus reflected in our lives.

Being like Jesus was in this life is our goal as Christians but He learned much of how to live and be like His Father, God, by learning it from His Earthly father…Joseph. A Jewish Boy could learn from no better teacher than the man who raised Him and that is exactly where Jesus learned how He treated the people around Him, men and women alike.

God wants a relationship with each one of us and it doesn’t matter where you live or if you have any money or not, He just wants a real, personal relationship with you. In God’s eyes and in His heart He sees each of us as unique individuals, which we are, but God sees and knows so much more about you. He can see your ambition and your guilt. He knows your weaknesses and your strengths and He cares about you.

Many of us go here and there trying to gather more goods or to be more productive, yet what good are we doing by accomplishing this? If you aren’t doing these things for God and His Kingdom then the benefit is for who exactly? God doesn’t need your money or your things, He wants you and your talents because He gave them to you to do His will in this life. Collecting things in this world has nothing to do with your service in God’s Kingdom because not one of those “things” will be with you when you stand before God.

So, why did God choose Joseph to be the Earthly father of Jesus? First is the fact that he was a descendant of David and of the tribe of Judah so this would fulfill prophecy regarding the Messiah. That is the fulfillment reason why Joseph was the one who raised Jesus. So what other reason would cause God to allow His Son to be raised by this man? The Bible says that he was a just man and honorable but you can also see kindness in his dealings with Mary as well. Jesus learned all of these human qualities from Joseph even though the Bible seems to write him off as the husband of Mary and a descendant of David.

God knew Joseph’s heart because he was a devout man and a carpenter. Why is that important? Because he could show Jesus the importance of building relationships and how to treat others. We, in the West, tend to look at Jesus as the Son of God which He is but He is so much more than that. He was a carpenter and the Messiah. He was a teacher and a healer. He was a rabbi and a student of Life. He was the Son of God and the son of Mary and Joseph, fully God and also human and it was His humanity which He learned from Joseph.

Did Jesus know all things as God in human form? Yes, He did, but He had to learn humanity and all of its problems and frailties from His human parents and that is what made Him the Person Who loves children and those who are hurting from sickness and grief and suffering in ways which we can’t imagine. It was Jesus’ humanity which He learned from His Dad while He was living with Him. We don’t know what happened to Joseph because the last time we hear about him was when Jesus stayed at the Temple while His parents left and headed back home. Jesus was about 12 years of age then. but during those years Jesus learned many things from Joseph and He may have had Joseph for a few more years but we just don’t have a record of it.

My point is this: Jesus learned about humanity from Joseph and his work as a carpenter and all of the people that his father in the Jewish community. He taught us how to be His disciples through His ministry and parables and His healing of those that He came in contact with that we have in the gospels. So go into the world around you and be more like Jesus and His human father, Joseph, because I believe that we see and learn more about being a follower of Jesus from Joseph because we can see the way that Jesus acted during His ministry. He would’ve learned from His Father all about being God in human form but He learned everything about being one of us from the man God chose to raise His Son.

Are you religious or a Christian?


Believe me, they are not the same thing at all! You can religiously do anything from watching the news to fishing or hunting or whatever you really like to do. But being a true follower of Christ, an actual Christian, who has had his heart broken by the Holy Spirit and has repented of his old life so he can live a new life in Christ…that is a whole other dimension of being a disciple.

Are there Christians in the world who actually live that way? Yes, there are but as the Lord, Himself said, “there are few who find it“. I don’t mean that being a Christian is an exclusive club or something but there are few who will follow the leading of the Lord on the way to eternity and that is by His words, not mine. Can anyone be successful at living the life of a Christian? No, at least not on your own strength and ability. If the Holy Spirit is not living in your heart and giving you the will to do what is needed and stay true to the narrow path then you won’t be successful at it…period.

It is not a decision which is made only once and then you go on your merry way back to the life that you enjoy until Jesus comes. Just because a fence is painted white once doesn’t mean that it will stay that way without maintenance. That is the life that you are taking on when you truly repent of your old life and determine to follow the Holy Spirit leading you into a new life. Reading God’s Word, praying about your walk with Him daily, seeking His will in every area of your life, praying for others to come to know Him as you do and keeping your steps on this pathway until He calls you home. Asking His forgiveness for any slip of the tongue or of your way as you do walk with Him and truly repenting of those sins as they dirty your feet on the way.

Can we live this way? As I said earlier, yes we can with the Holy Spirit’s help to focus our spiritual eyes and our ears so that we can see and hear those things which we need to hear and not those which do not help us in any way. Is it a struggle to do these things? It may be for a while, as we get accustomed to His teachings and His leading on a daily basis. But, after that, it will become easier. We will never be perfect at walking without sin but we will be able to avoid it or at least be granted forgiveness for those sins which do get in from time to time.

How will we know? Because, if you are walking this close to the Holy Spirit, any word or thought which is outside of Him will immediately be flagged by your Spirit as wrong and not part of His leading or His teaching. We won’t be perfectly capable of catching these all of the time but as you keep walking with Him it will get easier. The one sin which can creep into a disciple’s life is the oldest of sins and that is pride. That is the one which every gospel and every letter written in the New Testament says to guard against most fiercely because once it gets a foothold it can grow other sinful feelings along with it.

That is why our Lord said to “take up your cross daily” and follow Him. Here is another article which might help clarify some of this as well. I pray that all of you will seek a closer walk with Him.