God loves us!


Many times we look around and see all of the things which happen to those who serve God and try to be His servants, some people think that it is not worth it for the trouble. Why does this trouble come upon us when we are trying to do the work of the Lord? Mainly it is because of the prophecies of Jesus, Who said: “you shall have trouble in this world, but take heart I have overcome the world“.

We do have trials and trouble in this world because of the ruler of this world. Satan doesn’t bother those who haven’t given their hearts to Jesus but those who are following Him, he brings trouble to them. Sometimes it is trouble for our hurt and at times it may be for testing us and our faith. See that you follow Jesus in life so that others might see your perseverance in Jesus and become saved through Him because of your witness.

Many Christians don’t desire to “witness” to those around them but I have to ask in this instance, “Are you truly saved?”!! If Jesus has not made a change in your life such that you would shout from the roof that He is your Savior, then you may need to check your heart by God’s Word and make sure of your salvation. I know that many people think that they can’t tell others about their salvation. If you don’t feel that your salvation is a gift worthy of telling others about it then what did you seek salvation for?

Jesus willingly gave His life and His blood for your sins and for everyone’s sins in the world and He was raised on the third day after this to be our Lamb of sacrifice and our payment for our sins. If the blood of the Son of God is not precious to you then you don’t belong to Him. God extends His love to all who believe in Jesus for salvation if we will give our life to Him daily in our service to God’s Kingdom.

John 16:

Persecution Foretold
(Acts 23:12-22)

1 I have told you these things so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 But I have told you these things so that when their hour comes, you will remember that I told you about them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit
(Joel 2:28-32; John 14:15-26; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-7)

5 Now, however, I am going to Him who sent Me; yet none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 Instead, your hearts are filled with sorrow because I have told you these things. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

8 And when He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world has been condemned.

12 I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. 13 However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. 15 Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.

16 In a little while you will see Me no more, and then after a little while you will see Me.”

Grief to Joy

17 Then some of His disciples asked one another, “Why is He telling us, ‘In a little while you will not see Me, and then after a little while you will see Me’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “Why is He saying, ‘a little while’? We do not understand what He is saying.”

19 Aware that they wanted to question Him, Jesus said to them, “Are you asking one another why I said, ‘In a little while you will not see Me, and then after a little while you will see Me’? 20 Truly, truly, I tell you, you will weep and wail while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman has pain in childbirth because her time has come; but when she brings forth her child, she forgets her anguish because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

Ask and You will Receive

23 In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. Truly, truly, I tell you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

25 I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you this way, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.b 28 I came from the Father and entered the world. In turn, I will leave the world and go to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “See, now You are speaking plainly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we understand that You know all things and that You have no need for anyone to question You. Because of this, we believe that You came from God.”

31 “Do you finally believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”

Do you doubt?


Where does doubt come from?

This is a question which most people ask at some point in their lives. Christians ask it of themselves more often, than other people do. The answer will likely surprise you. Remember when Jesus asked Peter to come to Him on the water? Would you have stepped out in faith onto the surface of a turbulent ocean? I would guess that very few people would do it. But…it was Jesus asking him to do it and since Peter usually acted or said something before he thought about it, he stepped out of the boat and began walking.

What many people don’t read into the story is that Peter was a fisherman, he knew the water shouldn’t be able to hold him like solid ground. But it was Jesus that made the request of him. Peter had seen Him heal a blind man and feed five thousand men and their families from a child’s lunch basket. So, of course, he jumped out of the boat and landed on the water, not in the water. And, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus and walking toward Him he was able to keep walking on top of the water. But…when he took his eyes off of Jesus then he began to sink into the water.

As Christians, we do this all the time! We feel His touch in our lives and we may even hear or get the feeling that there is something which He is calling us to do. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus and keep our faith focused on the task which He is asking us to do, then we will be fine. But in the world which we live in it isn’t so easy. Peter had the luxury of being able to see Jesus, so keeping his eyes focused on Him shouldn’t have been a problem. We don’t have that luxury and we can and do get side-tracked and distracted from the One Who called us in the first place.

The account of this miracle is found in this text:

Matthew 14: 25-33

25 Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

We doubt in our faith because we cannot see Jesus or the possibilities that are all around us. We look at the bills to be paid and the oil which needs changing or how much food we have left until our next paycheck. We live and move on the physical plane of the Earth and much of what we read about in the Bible happened on the spiritual plane which God lives in and inhabits. We can’t feel it with our hands or touch it physically but according to God’s Word, it is there.

And it is just as real or even more real than the world in which we live. Consider how Jesus could move and live after His resurrection. He could enter a locked room and speak with the disciples there and then just as easily vanish from their sight. Then at His ascension to Heaven He just rose from the ground and went up into the sky, no airplane or fiery chariot required or needed! Can you imagine having a body which will be able to do those things? When we are “caught up to be with Him in the air” we will be in bodies like His forever! No more aching and creaky knees and stiff joints. Praise God that is going to feel wonderful!

Our God is an AWESOME God!

Who is Jesus?


According to God’s Word, He is the Son of God! He came to Bethlehem as a baby born to a virgin named Mary and He lived His life as a human being until He was crucified and then resurrected after three days. He was also God in the flesh of a man. There are many ways to describe Him and Who He was and is today, but most importantly He is our Savior and Lord.

If you don’t know Him as your Savior and Lord then He is just a historical figure and a Jewish prophet from long ago.

Satan questioned Him as the Son of God and the demons that He cast out of people during His ministry knew Him as the Holy One of God but there are many today and in the past, who still reject Him as such but one day everyone will find out the truth. In the Bible, there are many references to the Son of God or a Son of God in the Old and the New Testament.

When the three Hebrews were thrown into the furnace, the king said that there was a fourth man who looked like a son of the gods in there with them. Here is the excerpt from Daniel chapter 3 beginning at verse 8:

8 At this time some astrologers b came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us c from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

This is just one example of the pre-incarnate Jesus showing up and protecting His people. There are many others in the Old Testament and of course, He came in the New Testament to bring His message to the world.

It is hard to understand why the whole world seems to be against His message of truth and salvation but the time in which we live is the exact time that God’s Word says there will be a great apostasy from the Truth. Many people around the world are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus and many have died because of it. They have gone to their reward. Killing them did not take anything from them except the life which they had here. They have eternity to live in and for now and their reward is the grace and love of Almighty God.

As Paul said, “to live is Christ but to die is gain“!

What if…


If you only had a week to live, what would you do? Would you travel for that small amount of time or would you enjoy your days with your family and friends?

If I only had a week to live…I would enjoy my family and friends and walk in the woods. I would make sure to tell my neighbors that they meant a lot to me by just being my friends. I would make dinner for each of them if they would allow it or I would try to show some small way that I had appreciated their friendship.

With only a week to live, there really isn’t much you can do that you should’ve been doing before, so why wait until you know that your life is ending? Tell your friends and family how much they mean to you today…NOW! Don’t wait until it is too late because you may not get to tell them at all.

Make sure that your life is a reflection of Jesus even if there aren’t many who see it in you. Those who do see Jesus in your speech or in your life and how you live will notice and God will touch their lives in some small way or maybe even a big way. He can use those seeds which are planted in people’s lives no matter how small they may be or how long they have been planted.

God can water them with His Living Water and His Love and make them sprout in their lives so that they can continue your ministry even after you are gone on to Heaven. All Christians should try to make sure that there are some seeds which are able to be grown by God which are left here by something that you did or something you said. God can use those to make a difference in someone’s life and your eternity will be blessed by it too.

God never forgets us


As much as the world would like us to believe that God doesn’t care about us, the fact is that He does care and He never leaves us alone in our suffering. He restored the world from sin’s embrace when He called on Noah to build an ark for the animals and his family. So if God will do that, He will also be near us in our suffering and our pain in this life as well.

Your family may be going through some sickness or other painful tribulation these days but God doesn’t stray from your side. He is nearby even if you haven’t given your heart to Him yet. Although many in our world see all of the suffering and pain in the world and they think that He doesn’t care for us at all!

Not a Sparrow Falls Verse_thumb[1]That is not true in the least! Jesus told His disciples that, “Even a sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground without my Father’s notice of it“. I paraphrased that Scripture but you get my meaning. Since God notices when a small bird falls to the ground how much more does He take notice of you who are made in His image? We are all made in the image of God so He is always watching over us, whether we belong to Him or not. The prayers of an unredeemed person are not heard until the Spirit moves their heart to yearn for Jesus. Then their prayer for salvation is heard and they are changed when that repentance is real and genuine.

Yet, many people claim to pray to Him daily and sometimes their prayers are answered, whether they are Christians or not. How can this be? Satan can answer your requests as well, up to a point, and he will make you think or believe that God answered your prayer when it was him all along. Why would he do this? Because of his deceptive nature. He wants to steer as many people away from belief in God and His Son, Jesus, as he possibly can. So if he can make you believe that God answered your prayer when you don’t belong to Jesus in the first place, then he will do it!

Remember, he can appear as an angel of light because he was one before he was kicked out of Heaven. Some people believe that Satan can only do things which God allows him to do. But that is against a person who already belongs to God. If you are not a redeemed Christian then you are already in Satan’s camp whether you know it or not. Until you are convicted of your need for Christ by the Holy Spirit, you are “at war with God”.

Life on Earth has been in a state of spiritual war ever since the Garden of Eden and it will be that way until Jesus comes back and sets up His Kingdom on Earth. Make sure of your place in His Kingdom before He calls the believers home one day.

God’s names


El-Shaddai: My supply. My nourishment, Almighty God. Genesis 17:1.

Jehovah-Jireh: Provider and my vision. Genesis 22:14.

Did you know that many people do not believe that the history which is portrayed in Genesis ever happened? Also in the schools today much of our history is being played down or not taught as it was forty or fifty years ago. 

So, why did I name this writing, this article as “God’s names”? Because in the book of Genesis God’s names are shown to us and they show different aspects of Who God really is. Jehovah is the covenant name of God so with the -Jireh added onto it then it literally means “God my Provider”. As you can see from the two examples above, God supplies our needs and He is our Provider.

So…why do people in America and around the world see religion and specifically Christianity as a religion which marginalizes and excludes others? The only reason that they think this is because they don’t like the Book that we use as our Bible, it is God’s Word and the Truth. They don’t like an absolute Truth which can’t be changed because it is absolute!

The Bible is God’s Word and His instruction book to the whole world and it was inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to the men who wrote it down. It is immutable and it cannot be changed nor is it a document which gives us His wisdom for living. Although some have changed the words in the Bible for their own purposes, God has said that this will bring punishment to those who add to or take away from His Word.

This promise is in the book of Revelation, but I believe that the punishment will not be applied to only that book but to the entirety of God’s Word. I pray that all of those who read these words or those from God’s Word will seek Him out as their Savior because He is the only way to eternity in Heaven.kid_reading_bible

Read His Word as a child because His Word is good for instruction and for teaching and for your growth in faith and in the knowledge of Him. Don’t neglect the reading and studying of His Word because it is food for your soul and for the cleansing of your mind.

 

 

 

 

A man named Christian


This is the character in Bunyan’s tale of Pilgrim’s progress so are you on that same quest today? The quest which he was on to find that City of which God is the builder.

Hebrews 12:25 says this: “See that you do not refuse him that speaks. For if those who refused him that spoke on earth did not escape, much less shall we escape if we turn away from him that speaks from the heavens.”

Hebrews 10:38 says this: “Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

In the story, Christian was told by one of the characters which he met to turn aside from the path which he was on and essentially “take the easy way”. That is not the way to salvation, it is the world’s way but not God’s way. If we listen to the world’s wisdom which isn’t wisdom at all, we will always get off the path which leads to salvation. As long as we keep our faith in Jesus and keep our eyes trained upon His ways and not our own, we will be saved from the wrath to come. When we think that our religiosity is good enough to make it to heaven, that is when we fail and fall on our own pathway.

pilgrim_s_progress__unburdened_by_douglasramsey-d7dm2ixGod’s Word shows us the way and as long as we don’t create a “savior” of our own making and in our image which makes us feel good about our sins, we will make it to that City which is not built by human hands! God loves us and He gives us the choice to follow Him and His wisdom or to follow our own. It is when we follow our own ideas and our own wisdom that we fail to reach Him and we fail to truly follow Him because we are following our “god”.

Jesus said that the way is broad which the world follows and many will find that path but the pathway which leads to Life eternal is narrow and few find it. But for those few who have found it the glories of God and His Kingdom awaits them in eternity. We are loved by God and it is His wisdom which we should follow in this life which leads to Life eternal. Don’t follow the “wisdom” of the world around you because most of those who are following that “wisdom” haven’t got a clue where it leads.

Jesus Christ paved the narrow way to Heaven with His blood and it is only by belief in Him and what He did for you and me that we will find that pathway which leads to Heaven. Don’t let someone with smooth words and convincing speech tempt you into going along with them on their journey. Stay the course and follow Jesus into eternity because it is there that your true reward and your eternal life waits for you.

Give your heart to Jesus, follow Him and He will lead you to your home in Heaven. When you finally come to the cross and give your heart to Jesus, your burden will be lifted and you will be saved.

Have you broken God’s heart?


Many of us do this on a daily basis or at least a weekly basis and don’t even realize it. When you worry about something, anything, you are telling God that you don’t trust Him with that area of your life. When you do this you are breaking God’s heart. You are throwing everything in His face that He has ever done for you, no matter what it is. You are telling Him that “In this area of my life, I will worry about it because I don’t think You can help me with this!”.

How would you feel?

God, Who is the Creator of the universe and all of the physical laws which govern it, and you are telling Him that He can’t handle your problem so you will worry about it. Come on, our problems are not big enough to even cause God to think about them in order to solve them. Many of the problems which we worry about are those which we can’t fix even if we want to.

The problem with worrying about those problems, whatever they might be, is that it makes us into a practical atheist. We worry about things because we don’t think God will take care of it. The problem with that is this: He will take care of it only if we give the problem to Him completely! Not a portion of it for Him and then we will take care of the rest. Give the pain and sorrow to Him totally so that He can take it and do what He does with problems! He turns them into opportunities for His glory and for your good!

Knowing this, why do we worry? Because God doesn’t fix our problems when we want them fixed, He fixes them on His time and in His way.

Are you feeling broken?


Are you broken? Do you feel broken sometimes?

We are very much like the pottery which God’s Word tells us about.

In Isaiah 30: 14-15

14 It will break in pieces like a potter’s jar, shattered so that no fragment can be found. Not a shard will be found in the dust large enough to scoop the coals from a hearth or to skim the water from a cistern.”
15 For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel has said: “By repentance and rest
you would be saved; your strength would lie in quiet confidence — but you were not willing.”

In Jeremiah 18

The Potter and the Clay
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down at once to the potter’s house, and there I will reveal My message to you.”
3 So I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was shaping from the clay became flawed in his hand; so he formed it into another vessel, as it seemed best for him to do.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 6“O house of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay? declares the LORD. Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

God can do, with us, as He pleases. He can do some things without our consent in our lives but the most useful we are to Him is when we are submitted to Him and obeying Him. Can He break us in order for us to be more submitted to Him? Yes, He can. Will He do this? If He has to He will but I don’t think it is His preferred way of working with us.

God is not a tyrant in that He has to be mean to us in order to get us to do something. He would rather work with us in conjunction rather than having to allow things to happen in our lives which will force us to fall to our knees in submission to Him. So, does God break us sometimes in order to get our attention? I believe He does this sometimes, but it isn’t because He is mean, it is more likely because we are being stubborn and not listening to Him.

God loves His creation and He cares for each of us and He wants the best for us but during the time which we are feeling broken, we may not feel like He cares for us. Sometimes it is during those broken times when we feel down or depressed that we feel that the only way to go from there is up. We should be looking up and keeping our spiritual eyes on Jesus so that the time spent in those low places doesn’t last very long.

Make sure that you are centered in Jesus with Him as your Savior because the times in which we are living are unpredictable and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So make sure of your eternity while you still live and work here in the present.

 


Seeking Jesus


Are you seeking to know Jesus?

There are so many things which the Bible tells us about God and His love for us, and yet those bits of information aren’t enough. We seem to see some things about Him in the Bible but many of them actually take a great amount of faith in order for us to truly believe them. So…why don’t we believe these words considering they are the Word of God given to mankind?

I believe that we can’t understand the ideas and the word pictures about God because much of it is too fantastic for our minds to comprehend. I mean, a bush which is burning which doesn’t burn? A pillar of fire by night and a pillar of smoke by day, parting the Red Sea so that Israel can cross on the dry ground, stopping the sun and the moon so that they can defeat their enemies when they are taking the Promised Land…all of these miraculous things are hard for modern man to believe without actually seeing them happen.

But consider that God cannot lie and if you have faith that God is truthful and just in all of His ways and these miracles make sense. He had to do some fantastic and wonderful things in order for the children of Israel to see and understand that He was taking care of them like He said He would. Today it is hard for me to understand how they could see these things and know that they happened and then turn away from worshipping God to worship idols. I just don’t get it.

I mean mortal man creates an idol out of molten silver or gold or wood and then he bows to it as if it was a god? It is a piece of metal or a carved piece of wood for goodness sake!! How can you possibly think that this thing is your god??!

The manna in the desert and the water which came from a rock to take care of the whole nation of Israel in the desert..just those two miracles would be enough to convince me!

Satan has a way of blinding us to God’s Truth and making our mind only see part of what is going on which brings us to the point of questioning God and His love for us. The church today is losing many to this phenomenon as we speak. While there are still people who are following Jesus and giving their hearts to Him, many more are walking out of the church and decide to never return.

God’s Word tells us that there will be a falling away of the faithful when the time is getting close to the Tribulation and it seems to be happening even now. So how much longer does the world have? I don’t know. I am not going to try to spin some lie about the time and the day because God doesn’t tell us, in His Word and we aren’t supposed to know ahead of the time anyway.

My point is this: we need to be telling people about Jesus and what He has done for us and for them. God loves us which is why Jesus came to pay our price of the sin debt which all of us have. We are not righteous enough to gain entrance into Heaven without Jesus and more people need to know that…and soon!1536161349743_image.jpg