Broken relationships


In today’s world, there are many of these. You see them on television shows and on the news and in families everywhere. Many of these broken relationships are in our churches and in schools and in the books which children and young adults read. It seems that we are teaching the next generation that a broken relationship is…well, normal.

Even in the Bible, there are many broken relationships. It even begins in the Garden of Eden where Adam and his wife disobeyed God’s command to not eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. But, that isn’t the only time that God and His Creation are estranged. The people that He chose to be His people turned away from Him even after He liberated them from slavery after over four hundred years. Later, when they were in their promised land, they began worshiping other gods and marrying into the other “cultures” around them.

These broken relationships kept becoming more normal in the Bible all through the history of the Jewish people. They would mend their relationship with God, then they would forsake Him again and it became a pattern. Over and over again, all through the Old Testament God would use one king or a nation to punish Israel for a time and then He would rescue them.

Our world today is no different. We seek out relationships with people or a career for a time and then we break that relationship in some way and seek out another. Sometimes we will find one which we can stick with, either by accident or by God’s will and it is usually by the latter. Truly, life has a way of imitating God’s Word in some form, even if we don’t believe in God. But, for many of us who become Christians, God does have a way of working our life around until we have finally “came to his senses” like the prodigal son did.

No matter how broken your life may be or even how broken your relationship may be, God can help you fix it. IF, you will seek His help in fixing the mess you have made. Own your mistakes and realize that it was you who caused the broken and crumbling relationship in your life and between yourself and God. He doesn’t change His mind about how He feels about you because His love for us is eternal. It is usually us who have changed some part of the relationship or even allowed sin to get in the way, between us and our Savior.

Our sin which causes this breach may not be a very grievous sin in our eyes, but any sin is capable of placing a barrier between us and God. The barrier may be small at first, but if left alone it will grow. Especially if you don’t confess it and ask forgiveness for it. If you just ignore it because it was such a “little” sin, the next one will add to the separation and it will get worse. Don’t add to the problem, seek His wisdom and His forgiveness before the separation gets so large that it is hard for you to speak to Him.

Bible-brokenness

Have you learned much this year?


Life is hard at times. Learning about your Creator and your faith is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have. So, exactly how do you learn about Him? Well, that is a very good question and it is what this article is all about.

Truly, God loves each of us! Not just those who claim to be Christians but every person on the Earth! Of course, that doesn’t always translate into those persons giving Him their heart and their love in return. The main part of learning about God and Jesus and their love for you is inside of a book…the Bible! God inspired writers to write down His laws and His requirements for His people, the Jewish nation of Israel.

Some might argue that those laws and requirements don’t pertain to us today because they were written over two millennia ago, some as much as three millennia in the past. How could wisdom and laws from that far back in time and written to a different people have anything to do with today?

It is because God is our Creator and His wisdom is timeless as are His laws and precepts. Yes, they were written by people far away and years in the past but God lives outside of time and He gives wisdom and love to all who will come to Him and ask. God loves all of us, which is why Jesus came to live a life unblemished by sin and then be sacrificed as the Spotless Lamb of God for our sins!

We are His Creation and when the world was still unformed and not made yet, He knew that humanity would need a Savior. Jesus came to be that Savior for all of us if we will believe in Him and the atonement that He purchased with His blood and His death on the cross and then He vanquished over death when He came out of the tomb three days later.

job-type-of-ChristWhen we are tested and tried during our lives by illness or setbacks in a job or finances, it is to make us better and closer to God. Just as Job was tested hard when all of his children and his wealth was taken by the attacks of Satan. Then his health was taken away and he still didn’t lose his faith. He questioned God’s reasons for his losses but he never lost his faith in God’s mercy and greatness! When the testing was over, God blessed him with the gift of children and twice his wealth and he lived to a ripe old age.

Here is the account of God’s grace toward Job:

God Restores Job’s Fortunes

10 The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold. 11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house, and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold. 12 The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He had seven sons and three daughters. 14 He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were found so fair as Job’s daughters and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this, Job lived 140 years and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man and full of days.

Do you know God’s name?


OnlyJesusIf I asked this in church or on the street, most people would just look at me funny. They might ask “What do you mean ‘do I know God’s name?’? It’s God! Well, yes and not exactly.

Names in the ancient Near East often functioned differently than names do today. In addition to identifying a person’s family or lineage, names were thought to reveal the nature of a person as well as some of their character. God’s name in Hebrew does that in many ways and there are fifty-two names referring to God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Many times we read in our English Bible the name of God translated as Jehovah but in the Hebrew it is YAHWEH, although you will not find this written out completely because it is the Holy Name of God. It will be abbreviated. God’s names and the names for Jesus and the Holy Spirit all point to their nature, their innate character being distinct from each other and yet One as the Godhead, Three in One.

Each of them has a specific purpose and power, yet all of them are God. So how can we learn to recognize God in all of these names? By studying the Bible, praying about His nature and His character, seeking Him in Scripture and in everyday life! This is what we are supposed to be living out in our lives as Christians and followers of Jesus after all! So why do people seem to freak out when God’s true name is brought up or the name of God is shown as Adonai, the Lord? Because His nature and character is pure and holy, that is at least one of the reasons!

I won’t go into all of God’s names or the names of Jesus, but all of the names in Scripture describe His character and His attributes, just as many names of people in the Bible described their position or their family tree. Why bring God’s name up now? Because we have abandoned our respect and honor of His name, because we don’t revere names much at all anymore.

God loves us with a love that is boundless and deep and He has this for each of us because He designed each one of us to be or rather to have character traits which reflect Him. Whether we do so or not is our choice because until we choose to follow and believe in Jesus, we can’t reflect God in our lives. Before we are saved by Jesus, we are tarnished by sin, no matter how much good we try to do on our own.

Yes, donating lots of money can help many people in certain situations, if it is given to the right organization. But many who do this are doing it for tax purposes, getting something in return for their “help”. But, does it translate into more eternal rewards? Not unless you are doing it out of love through salvation by belief in Jesus.

Job’s trials


Jobs trialsThis book has always fascinated me because according to some scholars it is the oldest book in the Bible. It is an account of a man who worships God and acts as a priest for his family, offering sacrifices for their transgressions regardless of whether they have asked him to do so or not. In the beginning of the book, God is meeting with “the sons of God”, those angels who are tasked with watching over humanity at the time, I suppose. Then Satan shows up at the meeting and God brags about how righteous His servant, Job, is.

Job’s trials did not come upon him as punishment for something done wrong, but because of his exemplary life! His trials came to him because God wanted to prove a point to Satan about his servant Job. To make a long story short, everything was taken from Job, even including his health, but he never cursed God even though his wife told him to. He never truly blamed God for his situation either. At the end of the book, God speaks to Job and his “friends” who have not really helped the situation, and He straightens their conception of Him out in a hurry.

Why is this story so important to us today? Because, it is indicative of our lives in some ways. Every person on the planet can identify with Job in one way or another. From being stricken with disease like cancer to losing much or all of your belongings, there is a bit of Job in all of our lives at some point in time. The best part of the story is this: God loves you regardless. Particularly if you don’t give up your faith in Him! He is faithful to bring about all your blessings and to protect you from Satan and his demons.

So….why do people look for another god or religion to make them feel complete or whole? Mostly, it’s because of Satan and his influence on the minds of people who haven’t given their heart to Jesus. He can manipulate and coerce people into believing in doctrines and practices which have nothing to do with God, but he can make them sound as if they did. That is the reason why people have broken the church into so many pieces and invented their own religions and their own idea of who god is and what he asks of us.

The biggest problem with this god which they follow is that he lives in their mind only and he isn’t real. They believe that he is, sometimes with their whole heart, but they have been deceived by demons, giving them the idea for this to replace the real God and Savior, Jesus our Savior. Some of these people even preach this kind of “religion” from a pulpit and make it seem to be the real Truth! They pick and choose scriptures which support their beliefs and they don’t dig deep into what the context of the Scripture actually says.

God loves each of us and He wants us to come to Him to be saved through belief in Jesus who paid our price on the cross. If we can and will read His Word and pray about finding His Truth in it, then we can see the difference between man-made religions and God’s Son and the church which began almost 2000 years ago. Learn more about Him through reading His Word, pray about what He says in His Word, and ask Him to reveal the Truth which is there for all to find if we will look for it diligently!!

Life is too short to waste it looking for meaning in a life which hasn’t found the path to walk on which leads to Life eternal! There is only one Savior and He isn’t in the Koran or in any other book except God’s Word. His name is Jesus the Son of God, any other name or person is not a savior nor are they able to save your soul to get into eternity! Please, read God’s Word with a prayerful heart and ask Him to show you the Truth which is in it because at the end of your life, you will have to give an account for the reason why you didn’t follow Jesus. Especially if you have ever heard the gospel preached or read the Bible!

Are the -ism’s the real problem?


genetic-variationWe have so many of these today. Consider this, we have communism, Islamism, racism, nationalism and many other -ism’s which are part of the names of religions besides Islam. The minority’s which are on television and all of the media outlets today are the loudest and the most virulent and violent which is why they have everyone’s attention.

I am not speaking of a “racial minority”, just the few percent who are loudly proclaiming their rights and that their voice be heard. Their voice is on all of the social media “channels” so to speak which makes their demands and their voice louder than it would’ve been if they were only on news programs.

But…truly, are these the real problem or is this just a symptom of a larger problem which has been building over the decades?

Racism has been swept under the collective rug of our consciousness and if not forgotten then they haven’t been out in the air for a while. At least not until the past decade or so.

I suppose it has been simmering a bit here and there because there have been flare-ups of violence from time to time, but these days those flare-ups are threatening to go widespread. We, as a nation of Christians, need to do something even if it is “only prayer”!! God knows what is happening and it was foretold in scripture that near the time of tribulation this would be happening. The real problem is that it is going to get worse before it gets better. Much worse.

We need desperately to draw near to our Lord…NOW! Stop posting about it and talking about it and DO IT! Because if we don’t and if we don’t tell others that it is needed, our towns and cities will become powder kegs which will explode and become wild fires! God loves each of us and even if we can’t come together to worship Him without looking at the name of the church or the color of our skin, then we desperately need to examine our faith in the One Who died for us.

Make sure of your salvation in Jesus before He comes back. Before the times truly do get bad in the world, because when He comes and those who are taken up are gone, the violence of today will look tame in comparison to what will come afterward. If you truly believe the Bible is the Word of God…then believe that He cannot lie.

Who is God?


The Prayer of Dedication

22Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23He said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, 24who have kept with Your servant, my father David, that which You have promised him; indeed, You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand as it is this day. 25“Now therefore, O LORD, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.’ 26“Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David.

27“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built! 28“Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You today; 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 30“Listen to the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place; hear in heaven Your dwelling place; hear and forgive. (1 Kings 8:22-30)

God is the only Creator and Redeemer that we have to turn to in life. There is no man or beast or any created thing which can take His place. Anyone who thinks themselves to be “god of their own life” and they believe that God does not exist, then let them tell Him that He doesn’t exist. How do they believe that this will be possible?

Not believing in God doesn’t make Him or His power and majesty of no effect. Neither does it cause Him to allow you to enter into Heaven, since you are determined not to believe in the One Who created you. Atheist’s have determined in our country to get rid of any mention of God or His Word or anything which might be seen as pointing people toward becoming believers. Why?

They do not have anything against any other religion, nor do they keep other religions from telling people about their religion. Why so much hostility toward the Bible and the God mentioned in it? Because they know that this is the truth and the only Truth available to grant salvation to anyone who believes, that is why they don’t want it in schools or police stations or government buildings. If there were scriptures from the Koran or any other religion present in those places, nothing would be said about that.

The reason for this is that the Bible and its wisdom is absolute. There aren’t any flexible decrees in its pages. The world, whether they are religious to one degree or another or not, hates absolute Truth. They can’t dispute it, yet they cannot deny it either. Water is wet, the sun is hot, gravity works very well…all of these things they can “explain” with science. But when a disease is cured for no explainable reason or someone recovers from a horrific accident or comatose state and doctors can’t explain how or why…it makes people nervous.

If you feel any need at all for God in your life, I urge you to seek Him soon. Our time on Earth is coming to an end. The rest of the world doesn’t see this, many have not read the book of Revelation and realized that it is prophecy which is being fulfilled almost on a daily basis. Don’t wait until the Anti-Christ and the World Order takes over and requires an implant or mark on your hand or head to buy food! Seek Jesus and give your life to Him while you can and before the Bible is banned as a hate filled book!

Relationships and feelings


In this life we have many relationships. With family, friends, children, spouses, exes and also with God, so which one of those should we concentrate on? It depends. Which relationship is the most important to you?

As a Christian, your relationship with Jesus should be the most important followed by your spouse and family and then your friends. But, do we look at our lives that way? Many of us are so caught up in life until our relationships with most of these that I listed kinda falls by the wayside. We get caught up in careers and paying bills and taking care of children and parents, trying to put on a show of being a Christian while living the best we can outside the church.

So what can we do? Well…first you have to get your priorities straight. Which of those that are part of your life is the most important? Some would say our children and our spouse or family. They are important but are they the MOST important? First, you have to get your life under His authority, seeking Him daily, learning more of His Ways and His Character by reading and studying the Bible. If your relationship with God isn’t what it should be, then the rest of your life isn’t going to be any better either.

The Israelites found this out on many occasions. They would listen to their leaders and follow God for a while, then when their judge or their King who was following God’s lead died, they would go back to worshiping false gods. Then they would be punished and get into bondage of some sort and after a while they would cry out to God. He would send someone to deliver them and for a while all was good…until their deliverer died. Then the process would begin again.

We, in the New Testament Church, are NO different. We come to Jesus and on some days everything is good, then our health has a hiccup. We go to the doctor and find something that may be bad, something which is going to cause a real problem in life. Sometimes it is a family member who gets the message or has a wreck or maybe even a problem in a marriage. All of these are problems and arrows which are slung at you from Satan. He hates you because you are willing to follow Jesus, you are willing to belong to the King!

He tried to knock Job out of his faith, he has tried this same tactic with so many in the church and at some churches. He has broken marriages, he has broken churches, he has broken pastors but we need to bring our faith into today, We need to graft our faith into the Vine of Jesus the Christ, our Messiah! He is the One who gives us strength, He is the One Who can make those diagnosis’ go away, He can fix a crumbling relationship IF it can be fixed. Give it to Him, pray over it continually and then watch Him work!

Are you angry with God?


Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:13–14)

angerMany of us get angry when God doesn’t answer a prayer the way that we want Him to, but consider that He doesn’t have to answer your prayer the way that you want! God is Who He is and it is His prerogative and His desire to do great and mighty things with you and for you, but He doesn’t answer to you! We should not be angry with our Creator at all because it is His grace and mercy which keeps us and the rest of the universe in balance and alive.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3)

Life is full of disappointments but most of the time, those things which didn’t go our way are not God’s denial of something for you. Usually it is because of OUR attitude or our prayer life or lack of one. It seems that many so-called “preachers” teach that God can be bargained with or forced to give you what YOU want in life. Seriously? You or I can’t force the Creator of the universe to DO anything! He will bless you in the way that HE sees as best for your life and your situation, NOT the way that you want it.

God is not your grandfather, nor is He like Santa either! He blesses us with life every day that we wake up and gives us the energy and ability to do our job regardless of what that job may be. If you are a pastor like I am, then He gives you the words which are needed to encourage others to come to know Jesus and to learn more about Him. Which is where all of these posts have come from. I certainly couldn’t come up with this stuff on my own!

Being angry with God does you no good at all. In fact it will quench the Holy Spirit’s actions in your life. Why would you be angry with God after all? It may be that your child has died or your doctor has given you a diagnosis which is not good. Being angry with God for any reason is like being angry with a tree because it sits in a certain place, you could cut the tree down but other than that what good does your anger do? Anger toward God is like being angry with a wall of concrete. You can’t get rid of it, you can’t push it down and beating against it won’t do anything except hurt yourself. God loves you, regardless of your anger or your hate toward Him. Seek Him out and learn about His patience and love for mankind.

God can do all things which we cannot, but don’t expect Him to give you the desires of your heart if it doesn’t bring glory and honor to Him. When your will aligns with His, then your prayers in Jesus’ name will be fulfilled!

Why did you bring me back?


I have read some books from doctors about patients who have asked this question. Patients who had experienced death or as it is called in the media a near death experience. That is not exactly the right name for it, it is death but with a spiritual twist. If God had wanted that person dead then nothing that the doctors or anyone else did for them would matter. God allowed them to return because their story needed to be told, the feelings and experiences which they had in a few minutes or seconds needed to be told.

Many people experience peace and joy and a feeling that everything is fine. Some experience a horrifying and agony-filled few minutes which may change their beliefs after they return for their second chance. The point of this is that the veil which separates this life from the next is very thin spiritually speaking. We can’t see through it, although at times we feel things or see glimpses of someone or some place. We just brush it off as “it’s because I am tired” or “I didn’t really see that, did I?”.

Most of us forget those glimpses through the veil after a day or two, but for those who have crossed through the veil during a heart episode in the hospital or died on the operating room table and are brought back, the experience is too real to forget.

Is there life after death? YES! Jesus said so and He was and is alive now to prove it! He also told His disciples that He would return to take His church to be with Him. The veil which separates our earthly bodies from that eternity is thin and we are surrounded by spiritual beings all of the time. Do I have proof of this? No, I just have faith in God’s Word and it seems that the realm of the spirit was always there, even when Elisha was facing an army in the Old Testament. He asked God to show his disciple that they had more protection than the ones coming against him and he saw them!

The demons were and are everywhere in our world, yet thankfully we can’t see their form and their actions as we go about our daily lives. In Jesus’ day, a whole legion of them had taken over one man and when He told them to get out, they entered into a herd of pigs and the pigs drowned themselves in the lake.

My point is this: don’t discount the words of someone who has come near to death or has been brought back. They have seen something which few people see and live to tell of it. Does life continue after this shell of our bodies dies? Yes, it does. The enjoyment of life with Jesus is there but there is also a place without Him and it is a terrifying place without Jesus.

Our minds can barely imagine a few hundred years forward or back from our point of reference. One thousand years is a long time, but if you begin to think of one million or try to consider it then you can’t take it in. Any amount of time beyond one thousand is just a number to us, our minds can’t process it.

Why would someone who has been brought back to life be angry about having another chance at life? Because, for a believer the other side of the veil is so much more than we can comprehend now! Even a few seconds of life with Jesus away from the pain and mental anguish in this life would make you long to be with Him even more! But, when God sends a person back to this life, it is for a reason…His reason. Others need to know about the spiritual life that waits for them whether it is a life with Jesus or not!

john317Please, read God’s Word prayerfully. Seek Him out and His Son’s Life which is in His Word. Ask Jesus to come into your life and open your eyes so that you can experience His Life for eternity. God doesn’t want you to go to a dark place where He is not, because it is your choice if you refuse to allow Him into your life.

There is no gray area…


DarkorLightOur life is sometimes ruled by black and white, good or bad, choices that we make sometimes on a daily basis. Many of our decisions are based upon what will this do to change my life or the life of someone that I care for. Will it make some part of their life or mine better or worse? This is still a decision based on Darkness or Light, Death or Life, Love or Hate, nearly everything that happens in our world falls on one side or the other. So, which side will you choose?