Are you poor in spirit?


Matthew 5:3

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Who are the “poor in spirit”? In some commentaries, it means “those who have lost hope”. They have lost their faith in themselves and in God too. They are depressed and weary of this world and its troubles but they can’t see any way out. Does that describe anyone you know? 

Actually, it seems that much of the world around us falls under that category of being “poor in spirit”. They have lost what little faith they had or they just can’t seem to find anything or anyone to place their faith in. Truthfully, there is nobody in this world that we can put our faith in who could bring us out of the “pit” so to speak. The only Person Who could do it…Who can do it is Jesus Christ.

He was telling His audience that day on the mountain that they would have the kingdom of heaven even if they were poor in spirit. How? Because from their point of view the only way to improve their life was to look to God for help, physically and spiritually. The poor in spirit are not those who are following Jesus, they are poor in spirit because of their lot in life, whatever it may be. He was not commanding His followers to become “poor in spirit” but telling those in the crowd that because they were in that condition already, their lives would change one day.

Being close to the kingdom of heaven is exactly where we are today. In this building studying the Bible and what He meant by His words, we are closer to the Kingdom of heaven than we will ever be until we do cross over that threshold from here. We have a responsibility to tell others about the Kingdom of heaven and how they might gain entrance into it one day. 

But…do we take even that responsibility serious today? Many in the church don’t take it seriously at all. They attend services sometimes and they read the Bible, occasionally, but they are not serious about being a follower of Jesus. Many people think that after they have said some words that a preacher told them to say and they got wet in a baptistry, they can go back to living the way they were before. Many do this and think that they are saved. 

But they aren’t. If you haven’t changed your lifestyle because you know that you are born again and that you should be “set apart” from the life that you led before then you aren’t really saved. You are no different than you were before. You may read the Bible on occasion and you may pray about something that you want to do like pass a test in school or get a ribbon in competition but that doesn’t mean anything in your heart, in your soul. Nothing really changed.

You are still “poor in spirit”. You need to seek out Jesus and pray that He will show you what you should do. Because our days are numbered and only God knows how many days each of us has. You may meet Him tonight or tomorrow. You or I could meet Him in a few minutes but the one thing which makes your eternity different or more urgent is that if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior then you will be spending eternity wishing that you had changed and truly given your heart to Him.

Psalm 1 tells us exactly how a godly, righteous person should act:

The Two Paths
(Matthew 5:3-12; Luke 6:20-23)
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law doth he meditates day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Consider this before your days are up.

Do you know God?


This sounds like a loaded question doesn’t it? Even Satan knows God but he refused to serve Him and was kicked out of Heaven for his convincing lies which lured away a third of the angels. Most of us who have ever been in a church or listened to a sermon on TV know about God but do you know Him. Another very important question which is part of this is: does God know you?

Many of the generation who have come along in the past twenty-five years or so know more about Star Wars or the Marvel heroes or Poke’ Mon than they know about our Savior. But you asked did I know God? Well, Jesus is God the Son, then there is God the Father and God the Holy Spirit so He is your Savior if you believe in Him and the repentance that HE paid for on the cross for each of you. Knowing God is not some mystical meditation thing, because you can get to know Him by reading His Word and seeking Him as your Savior.

Doing “works” on this Earth and in this life doesn’t help you to get saved. Working for God is the fruit of a person who IS saved and is serving their Lord and Savior because He did all of the work needed to grant you salvation by His grace. We can add nothing to our salvation but we can show others our Savior by talking to them about Him or blogging about Him or teaching a class. These are the result of your salvation but they do not add to it or help God save you. As I said, Jesus did all of the work needed for your salvation, all you have to do is believe in Him and accept Him as your Savior.

It sounds too simple doesn’t it?

But if you read the book of John and the book of Romans in the New Testament you will see that your belief in Him and your surrendering to Him as your Savior is all that is required of you. It doesn’t take giving thousands of dollars to charity or mission fields or even going on a mission trip. It hinges on your reaction to His call on your life convicting you of your sins and then turning from them toward Him in repentance to walk as a new creation in His likeness! I pray that anyone reading this will seek Jesus out as their Savior and Lord because He is coming back soon. Make sure you will be a part of that first resurrection.

Disappointment


Have you felt disappointed when you attend church or after you leave? Let down by the lack of friendly people who noticed or didn’t notice that you were there? This is the way I would feel if I went to a BIG church, but if it happens at a church where there are fewer than fifty people it really hurts. This is the reason that many people attend once and then never return. Those in the church should welcome people who attend their services, especially those who are there for the first time. Don’t shake their hand like they have some disease that you are loathe to even be close to! Don’t look at their clothes and shoes and decide that they aren’t worth your time, God loves them or they wouldn’t be coming to your church for the first time!

Feeling disappointed and unwanted when you come to a service is the way that Satan wants you to feel so you won’t ever return. Listen to the message, if it is from the Word of God. If the sermon doesn’t come from the Bible with Scripture references throughout, leave when the service is over and don’t return. Make sure that you go to a Bible teaching church with believers who believe in the God of the Bible and in His Son. If the sermon is made up of “feel good” words which sound like they came from a book of self-help fluff, don’t listen to it! RUN from that church and never return!

God sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, into this world so that He could pay the debt by His blood shed on the cross and the whipping post but He overcame the death brought on by the crucifixion by His resurrection on the third day. This was planned and accomplished by the Lord long before we were born but God looked down through time and saw each of us struggling with sin and afflictions brought on by Satan and his demons. He knew that we couldn’t overcome these afflictions on our own and He made a way for us through belief in Jesus. Simple though this may sound, it is all that we need in our lives in order to be victorious all the way to our eternal home!

God loves you and He has made this way for you by His power and through the work of Jesus, the Son of God. If you have heard or felt His call on your heart and life, don’t turn away from it. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so make sure of your salvation today because the work has been done for you. All that is needed is for you to believe in Him and ask His forgiveness of your sinful life. Ask Him to remove your pain and depression and all of your Earthly problems whatever they may be and in Jesus’ name, He will do it and give you the strength to tell others about your Risen Savior!

What do you hear?


When you go to church or any worship service in worshiping Jesus, what do you go to hear? A show with flashing lights and singing with a band and maybe a little five or ten minute sermon? Do you go to church to learn about your Savior and what He really did for you? Are you a member of a mega-church with so many people that you have to have a huge screen to see who is preaching?

Jesus warned us of the time that we are living in and it is found in the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation. The church at Laodicea was a church which reminds us of the dangers of being comfortable with our worship service.

Here is the quote from the book of Revelation:

To the Church in Laodicea
(Colossians 2:1-5)

14 To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation.

15 I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16 So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, white garments so that you may be clothed and your shameful nakedness not exposed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be earnest and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

We live in a time when pastors and churches water down the Word of God and they don’t teach His Truth from Scripture, just as this church was. They weren’t cold toward the message of salvation but they weren’t hot toward spreading the gospel either. They were trying but not too hard, lukewarm. Many churches and pastors today do the same thing. They compromise the Word of God by accepting sinful behavior as being normal in order to get more members on their roles. They don’t call sin what it is and teach that it is acceptable even when they know that God opinion of sin has not changed!

We cannot compromise the message of God’s Word and we shouldn’t be trying to make it more acceptable to those who are practicing sinful lifestyles which God does not approve of! Just because every other media outlet does this doesn’t mean that the church should be going along with sin even when we know that God and His Word don’t accept it nor condone it in any way. If we do this then we are no different from the world around us and we shouldn’t even be preaching from God’s Word at all. Pick out a self-help book and use it as a “bible” if you are going to be like the rest of the world.

I will preach and teach from God’s Word until He calls me home one day and if you don’t like that message then you don’t have to come to my church or read this blog anymore.

Does Jesus know you?


Knowing Jesus as your friend and your Savior is the most fulfilling relationship that you can have. So, why do we seek Him for salvation and then walk away from the relationship? Many people today do exactly that. They know they need Him and they know that they are sinful in their lives. They will seek Him out and feel His call and conviction in their lives and maybe even accept Him as their Savior but when things don’t work out the way they want them to, they walk away from Him.

Knowing Who He is and having Him as your Savior is the best relationship that you can have. But if you only want to know Him as a Savior and Lord and not as your Savior and Lord there is nothing gained for you except knowledge of Him. Knowledge doesn’t bring salvation. Satan and the demons know Who Jesus is but that doesn’t help them because they won’t serve Him. 

There are times that I think it is that word which turns people away. They don’t want to be a disciple or a Christian because they don’t want to serve Jesus. He gave His life and His blood for your soul to have a chance at salvation so I believe that we do owe Him our service and our life. God has given us all of the best, even though we don’t see it that way. He has provided us with a sun that isn’t too hot and a planet to live on that isn’t too hot or cold. He prepared it with lots of water and air to breathe and land that we could cultivate for our food and things that we need.

So many things that we have been blessed with, whether you live in America or anywhere else in the world because God loves us so deeply. I know there are diseases and wars going on and famines and earthquakes and hurricanes that happen from time to time, but God is still in control of it all. If He weren’t we wouldn’t be here. There are so many problems which we could have that He has prevented and then there are others which we have caused. Not “global warming”, but so many other problems in our societies just because we have refused to worship the One True God. 

Seek Him out while there is yet time to do so because there will be one day in the near future when He takes the church and all of those who have given their lives to Him to Heaven. When that happens, there will be hell on Earth until He says that it is enough. Think about it.

Feast or famine


This saying has almost become cliche’ today and they use it for so many things until the meaning is almost lost to the younger generation. In the world both of these are easy to recognize and their meanings are very clear. Feast is when things are going really well and you have money and enough food to eat. Even your career is going well when you are feasting.

Famine, on the other hand is when things are not going well at all. Your home is being foreclosed and taken from you, you’ve lost your job and there is no money for food. You may even be living in a place where there has been a famine in more ways than one and people are starving to death.

But what if you applied these terms to your spiritual life? How would you read them and assign meaning to them then? Does feast refer to the days that you attend church with other believers? Does that mean that you don’t seek God counsel during the week, so you are going through a famine in your spiritual life between Sabbath’s? Christians are not supposed to live their spiritual lives this way.

Yes, you do go to a worship service to be fed the Word and taught about it but when you leave then you are supposed to fellowship with God until the next time. The disciples didn’t just meet up with Jesus on those days when He was teaching in the synagogue. They were with Him every day regardless of which direction He was going or who they might meet. They were near Him day and night so they heard His teachings every day not just weekly or once a month.

John even wrote in his gospel, “if all of the things were written about Him that He did, the world could not contain the books“. I paraphrased John’s words but you get the idea. Jesus did many miracles that we will never know about until we are with Him. But living a Christian life in “feast or famine” mode is not the way to live in Christ and Christ in you! The Holy Spirit, the third of the Trinity, is with you from the time you are saved. You have a member of the Trinity living with you, inside you and He is every bit as much God as the Father and the Son are. I don’t think that we consider that we have a part of the Creator Who teaches you about Jesus and helps you to understand His Word.

Living the sanctified life of a Christian, saved by His Grace, would not be possible if the Holy Spirit wasn’t there to show us and teach us when we are reading and learning from God’s Word. We wouldn’t act as a Christian in the slightest degree if it weren’t for the Spirit touching us and teaching us when we are tempted to do something we shouldn’t! God gives us the strength and His Spirit to be able to make it one day at a time in our walk with Him and that is what we should do. Get through today, then study God’s Word a bit tonight, then get through tomorrow and so on until we are called home.

PS: If there are any prayer requests or something that you would like for me to pray about, anything at all, leave a comment. I will add your request to the others that I get from the community.

Be like Jesus…


When we get to know Jesus, the greatest joy that we can experience is to become more like Him every day. The problem is that we be don’t want it to take a long time, we want the transformation right now! When you are young, this can discourage you because of the immediate nature in the world today. We want “microwave changes” to happen in our life or faster if God would do so. Being a Christian and living this life is not about an instant change, it is a process which begins when you have given your heart to Him and then continues each day until He calls you home.

But, when you come to know Jesus as a mature person then you bring along all of the learning and thoughts that you have learned prior to knowing Him. That has to be trimmed away and sometimes it’s painful to go through this pruning process. Jesus said that we can do nothing for the Kingdom of God without Him. Living your new Christian walk with Jesus is essential not only for yourself but for those around you to see it and hear it in your words. Living each day like Jesus did is not impossible but it requires faith in Him and commitment to Him as well.

Many people think that because Jesus was the Son of God that we can’t live our lives by copying His life and His works. Why not? His disciples went about doing the things which He did and telling others about the Kingdom of God and the requirements of salvation. If they did it then why can’t we do it too? It requires faith in Him and it is the kind of faith which many in the church today just don’t have. It is not the faith of someone who spends a few minutes for a couple of days each week reading the Bible. It is not the faith of someone who attends church once or twice every month.

The kind of faith that I’m talking about here is the kind where you wake up each day thanking God for today and the possibilities of it. It is the kind of faith which, in prayerful speech, walks with God and Jesus during the day…regardless of the circumstances. Seeking His wisdom and His touch in everything that you do and say in whatever situation you are in.

God cares for us far more than we can know. That is the reason that Jesus was sent to pay for the whole world’s sins. The debt has been paid and it is up to each of us to accept His gift through our belief in Jesus Christ. If or rather when we do accept it, we will have eternity with Him to know others who have accepted His Son as well. If you do not accept Jesus as your Savior then you will live for an eternity regretting your choice. It is up to each of us which path we follow and we are given that choice at some point in our lives. So…choose Life through Jesus.

A new beginning


A new mother and a new Christian have a lot in common. One has given birth to a new life, the other has been given a new life in Christ. The processes are different since one is a physical birth and the other is a spiritual birth but both are new in their beginnings and in their experience.

The new life of the baby is completely dependent upon the mother for its nourishment and care. A new Christian is dependent upon the people around them to learn about their Savior and about being a Christian. Both babies have to be nourished and cared for but in different ways. The new baby, whether it is a girl or a boy, has to be bathed and have their diaper changed often. They have to be fed either at the breast of the mother or by a bottle for a while, but it won’t be long before they will begin eating “baby food”.

The baby Christian needs to be fed as well. Regularly and with much prayer because they need to start off on a good Biblical foundation, preferably in the New Testament as their starting point. Later, they can go into the Old Testament, again with prayer so the Holy Spirit can teach them what is needed from the books of the Law and the prophets and the historical books. All of these are necessary to their growth as a Christian but the Old Testament could be considered the “meat” of God’s Word. Most of the New Testament is much easier to understand for a Christian who is just starting out.

These descriptions are the best comparisons which I can come up with because this happens all over the world. People are coming to know Jesus as their Savior and they need guidance and direction when they are new in their faith. A baby needs many of the same things but in a physical way. When I became a believer, at first I didn’t get the help I needed so I was more like the wet ground which seeds fell on but it was very thin. In Jesus’ parable about the sower, some fell on good ground but it was thin because of rocks being beneath it. The roots didn’t go very deep and when the heat and other factors came together, the sprout withered away.

That is what happened when I first began my life as a “believer”. I did believe but I didn’t get the spiritual help that I needed so my faith shriveled up and my faith went with it for a time. Belief in Jesus does save us but if your new life in Christ isn’t watered with God’s Word and allowed to process what you are learning, your new life can become stale and ineffective. Without nourishment in a believing home and a believing church, your faith can wither and if you don’t get the help you need before your faith dies, it may be a long time before you will come back, if ever.

I pray that anyone who reads this will seek out the Word in a Bible study group or church, especially if they are a new Christian because it really did help me when I renewed my faith in Christ many years ago. I suppose I was saved at the first but since there wasn’t real growth in my faith for a long time the Holy Spirit just kept nudging me toward God so that I would learn more about Him so eventually I did and you can too.


We begin our lives as babies, in our physical form as well as in our faith in Jesus. You aren’t born knowing everything, it takes time and effort. Becoming a mature Christian does too. Seek His Word in a church and in your Bible so that you will grow to know Him more.

Time and death


Neither of these wait for anyone. Time moves regardless of the speed you perceive it’s movement as. Sometimes it moves slowly and at other times it seems to sprint much faster than you would like. Death on the other hand bides its time. It does come to us but there are times that it makes it’s appearance at inopportune times. For some it comes far too early and for others it shows up when it is least expected.

Time was a part of creation and God ordained it to be. It was supposed to mark seasons and months and years along with the stars and the Sun and the moon. Until that creation week, time had not existed and neither had death. Until the disobedience of mankind, death had never been a part of the universe. But, God had to clothe Adam and Eve with the skin of an animal so death entered into our world.

Life is marked by both time and death but also by birth. An infant comes into the world and from his first breath to his or her last breath God already knows the time that they will have. The best part of your salvation in Jesus is that when you come to the end of your life here, you are just beginning your eternity with Jesus. So death in this life brings your eternity to life and it will never end. The only way that this will be a joyous life on the other side of the veil is if you have given your heart to Jesus in this life.

Time is only measured on Earth. Once you enter into eternity time doesn’t truly have any hold on your life from that point on. If you are a child of God and have lived a separated life from the world while following Jesus in this life then your eternity will involve many wonderful experiences. If you have not given your life to Jesus, then your eternity will be one which is endless punishment for not giving your life to Him. That is the unpardonable sin…refusing the gift of God through Jesus.

I pray that those who read this will turn away from their sinful lives and ask Jesus to be their Savior. If you have given your life to Him, wonderful! If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

Does God care about me?


This is one of those “duh?” questions but YES, He does care! It is true that we don’t see Him physically or feel His comfort as if He was giving us a hug, but God has always cared about each of us. Even those children who are killed by their mothers because of convenience (the time isn’t right), God takes their Spirits back until there is a mother out there who will raise and love that child (IMO). Do I know for sure that He does this? No, but I do believe that He will hold accountable those who continue to kill their children and those who have done it in the past but have not given their heart to Jesus in repentance of this terrible act.

Okay, off the soapbox.

Does God care what happens in your life? Yes, He does. He created each of us for a specific purpose in His mind. Finding that purpose is sometimes hard to do since we aren’t born knowing Him or even about Him. Some of us take years before we are brought to the point of realizing that we can’t do it all on our own. Sometimes that moment of finding this out leaves a scar or a bruise, physically or spiritually, which we sometimes push back from. Even though we know Who is trying to get our attention we act like children (even when we have a few decades of life behind us) and we try to tell God, “NO, I want to do it my way!”. Then when He lets us do it our way and it fails miserably, we get angry at HIM because it didn’t work that way we wanted it to.

Yes, God cares because He can see the end from the beginning in your life and in all of history. He knows who will listen to Him easily and He knows who will need a bump with a 2×4 on their head in order to get their attention. Somehow, I feel that He has to use more than a little persuasion for most of us in order to get it through our hard heads that He is interested in our well-being. While it is true that when God is in the process of getting our attention it is also for His Kingdom’s benefit, the rewards flow both ways.

We are useful to Him and to His Kingdom but the blessings of our usefulness come back to us even when we can’t see those blessings at times. We may not truly see the rewards of our labors for Christ until we are in Heaven. This is something which most in our world do not care about because those rewards are not physical or real in this life but in the next. Living and breathing in the present is more relevant to our existence and our experience but the rewards of working for God don’t necessarily come in this life.

God numbers the hairs on your head and since He cares enough to know even that bit of information about each of us, don’t you recognize that we are important to Him. We may have to do a bit of searching for our calling in this life but the reward will be so much more than we could experience in this life! Seek Him and His Kingdom and your reward will outweigh anything that you could have now.