On the morning of Creation when God’s Spirit hovered over the waters and He decided that it was time to act, The Word of God said “Let there be Light!”. John begins his gospel of our Lord’s ministry with these words:
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made
Jesus was and is the Living Word of God. There is no debate on this and no discussion needs to be done. Those who believe in Jesus as God’s Son will believe it and those who reject Him will do that as well. So…which will you be? The person who wants to believe in Jesus but is afraid of what your friends may say? That person who knows that the Bible is true and that they need salvation but…not right now? Either one of these people might get away with NOT accepting Jesus as their Savior and Lord for a while but it could be bad for them in the long run. Following your friends or choosing to put it off for a while puts you in a very slippery situation.
You have no idea when you will die. It could happen in a car wreck tomorrow or you could get sick with this COVID-19 and be in the ICU for a while and then die…the outcome is the same. You are now standing before God as your Judge without Jesus as your Savior. Will your righteousness be enough to get you into heaven? Nope. There isn’t a single person on Earth who is righteous enough without Jesus to get into heaven. That one decision has caused your eternity to be very different than it could’ve been.
It’s something to think about. Especially in this time that we live in where people can get shot and killed in their car going down the street. Please seek out Jesus as your Savior before you stand before God without Him.
Life matters regardless of skin color or ethnicity
God created all life on our world and He created the different shades of color found in humanity as well as all of the variety of life and colors found in nature. So…why can’t we look beyond our skin color? It has been over fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered by a white supremacist and yet those on both sides of this tragedy still haven’t moved beyond the same anger and frustration fifty years later.
Life does matter and it doesn’t matter if it is a black life or a white life or any other skin tone, in God’s eyes ALL of life matters. So why can’t we realize this and find something in common and work from there? I do realize that there are many things that the white “race” has done in the past and in many ways are still agreeing with even today. Even though today we don’t vocalize it for the most part. Our crime of being racist is shown in how we react to the situation that we may find ourselves in. We may think that we aren’t showing a racist attitude toward anyone but our body language and our eyes show something else entirely, even though we may not even realize that we do these things unconsciously.
Is there a way to end the violence and the hatred in this world which has been sparked into a raging fire? I don’t know that we can find one without Jesus coming back and ruling our world. I don’t really believe that we have the ability to place our emotions and our prejudices aside in order to bring lasting peace into our world and keep it that way. Now, I’m not pointing a finger at any government or any other movement in the world. Black lives do matter but so do the police and fire service men and women. The EMT’s lives matter, who try to help those who are injured or shot in any confrontation. The doctors and nurses lives matter because regardless of color or “race” they do their best to put people back together who have been hurt regardless of the circumstances.
Yes, in the past people have treated other people differently because of their skin color or their station in life even, but that doesn’t give you or me the right to go into the street and burn down small businesses and homes and threaten people with harm for no reason other than the color of their skin! When you are doing that you are no different than the ones who did this to your ancestors many years ago. We are living in the twenty-first century but many people are acting as if they are still in the 19th century. If things keep going in that direction and someone sets an EMP off one day we will be back in the 19th century in the area that it affected.
God never intended for us to live like this or act in this way toward each other but we are doing it. Satan is the one who hates us and it has nothing to do with your skin color at all. Satan hates us because we were created in God’s Image. It is Satan’s coaxing and prodding which is pushing this movement to be as violent as it is and he doesn’t care if we kill off a few thousand or more because that is fewer than he will have to deal with later. God loves each of us and all of our unique abilities and our outlook on life. Seek to please God and walk with Him in this world so that you can be victorious against Satan and his influence over a world that seems to be crumbling around us.
We are a part of God’s creation whether we like it or not, whether we believe in Him or not, but that doesn’t change the fact that murder is wrong in every instance and it doesn’t matter if the one murdered is old or young, a cop or one of the crowd. Even suicide is wrong in God’s eyes because you are killing yourself and you are also created in God’s Image. He loves each of us and we should try to reflect some of His love back into the world and make it better than it was before…not worse.
Racism-the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.
I have said this before and I am emphasizing it again. God created the human race and we descended from a man and a woman that God created. We did not evolve from apes. God didn’t even use apes as the idea for us because He said, “Let us make mankind in our image”. We are created in His image and we still carry His image inside us.
So….what causes racism? It could be many things but the most likely culprit is in your own family. We see how our grandparents and our parents treat people who have darker skin than we do so the treatment or the thoughts toward those with darker skin are taught and handed down over the generations. It has become ingrained in our white culture just as other behaviors are in other cultures.
Is it hard for white people to talk about racism? Yes, it is. Particularly when some of us have worked with people of color, regardless of the color and yet those of us who are “white” are called crackers, and honky by some outside our friends at work. Why? What did I ever do to deserve such names? Have I been disrespectful to you or someone in your family? My family never owned any slaves. But to hear the “news” today you would think that every white person has been a part of the slave trade from 200 years ago.
The earliest ancestor of mine came over on a ship from England as a servant to someone who could afford a servant. So…what does that make me? I am a descendant of a slave or servant as well, even though my skin is white. God doesn’t agree with slavery or the idea of it but the Bible was used in a very evil way to justify slavery.
Jesus didn’t come to save you based on your skin color because He created all of the shades of color which adorns our human race. Each has its advantages and disadvantages but not in the way that the news media tries to spin it these days. God created us in the way that would be the most beneficial for us to be His disciples so that we could take His message of love to those that we are known by and to some who may not know us at all.
Each of us has a talent or ability which may make an impression on someone outside our comfort zone. Hopefully it will bring them to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I pray that our ideas of race and racism will be put behind us one day and one day in His Kingdom it will be. We just have to get there first. Lord, come quickly.
Psalm 103 is a good example of David’s poetry which states that God’s character is always good. In the very first line he writes, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name”. David is not saying that he was going to bless the Lord. What he wrote and said was that he would bless the Lord with all of himself! Physically, spiritually and emotionally he would praise and worship the Lord with every fiber of his being.
God desires the praise and worship of His children but not because He can’t be satisfied with us because we are His children. He desires our praise and worship because of His mercy that He extends to each of us every day. If God did not bless us with our breath and our life each day then we would either be with Him or in hell, depending upon our belief in Jesus for our salvation. God has specific jobs for each of us as believers and we are to seek His wisdom in His Word to find those jobs. It isn’t listed on page 22 in the third paragraph but when you read His Word you can understand, with the Holy Spirit’s help, what God requires of each of us.
He requires obedience to His Word. Of course, the New Testament is our contract because most of the Old Testament is actually sent to the Jewish people. The promises found in the Old Testament are still relevant to us because of the prophecies which are still going to be fulfilled and the promises are partially contained within those prophecies. Each covenant in the Bible explains and confirms the other so you can’t just read the New Testament without the Old Testament. They both are necessary because the whole Bible is God’s inspired Word. He gave it to mankind so that we could learn from His wisdom if we will only read it and do what it says.
In verse 12 of Psalm 103, David writes something which many of us have heard but maybe never knew exactly where it came from. Verse 12 says: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us”. When we pray for God’s forgiveness for something that we have done or something that we said, He puts that sin and its consequences away from us just as David says “as far as the east is from the west”. It is completely gone! God doesn’t place it in a box to be brought out later to torment us because when He sees that it is covered by Jesus’ blood it is forgotten and remembered no more.
That doesn’t mean that we forget it because our memories and our guilt are still present here and now and of course Satan will bring it up and beat us with it as well. So we can’t forget it easily but God has. God’s mercy is everlasting and He grants this to each of us who believe in Jesus for salvation. We don’t have to earn it or pay for it or anything like that. We just have to believe in Jesus and ask for forgiveness in His name. Then we need to walk away from that sin or behavior and never visit it again. That is the hard part for us because sometimes our sin involves something that we really like to do, but we should ask for His strength to stay away from it. One day at a time.
Life is not easy like most people think it is and especially for Christians who are trying to live and walk on the pathway leading to heaven. It is narrow and it has thorns and stones which we may trip on. We can look around from this path and see the things that were our problems before and Satan will make them look so tempting trying to get us to get off of the pathway. That is where prayer for each day comes in handy. Thank God each day that you wake up so that you can take His message to others, even if it is only one person that you tell. They may be the person that you are the only contact with for God that they will have and by saying something about God or your salvation God may use it to draw them to Himself.
In churches you sometimes see little cards to quantify if you are a visitor to the church. When you fill out one of these you admit that you are “just visiting” but what about the members of the church? Are you just visiting? Why do I ask this question? Because some people who come to church on Sunday morning don’t even darken the door at any other time. Some come to Sunday school and church on Sunday morning but you don’t see or hear from them until the next Sunday and this covers many people in the church today. To explain what I mean when I say that you are “just visiting” even when you attend every Sunday morning I want to ask a question of you: Does anyone at your place of business or your workplace know that you are a Christian? I am not speaking of those who may know that you attend church on Sunday. I am asking you if they can see the influence of Jesus in your work and in your speech when you are at work?
Or do you sound like everyone else at work and in public? Do you act like those around you when you are away from your church or can they see Jesus in your everyday life?
See, visitors who attend church only get a little bit of what is available to each of us. When you are committed to Jesus and your walk with Him goes out of the church and into the world then you are NOT visiting…you are being the church which Jesus wants us to be. Because, how are your co-workers going to know about Him if you don’t show Him to them in your life and your words? In many parts of America only twenty percent of people even attend church so if you aren’t taking Jesus with you then how will the other eighty percent find out about Him?
Many of us don’t even invite other people to come to our church so how will they ever find out about their Savior unless you show them how He has changed your life? God sent Jesus to the entire world and everyone in it. While it is true that He came to the Israelites first His message was intended for everyone. So how will it get to everyone if the church (people who are committed to Jesus) doesn’t carry the message outside the church building?
The world and those living in it have eternity ahead of them and you have a message to give them about Jesus Who can bring salvation to their lives and give them an eternity worth dying for. Because each of us has an eternal soul and whether you decide to follow Jesus and know Him as your Savior or not has an impact on your destination to live out your eternity. If you aren’t sure about your salvation or where you will spend eternity I would suggest that you take care of that as soon as possible. Not one person is guaranteed to see tomorrow and if you die tonight your eternity begins at that point. The question still remains: where will you spend eternity?
There is a chapter in the New Testament which the Apostle Paul wrote which gives a clear description of your life and mine as believers in Christ. Read chapter 8 in Romans and you will see. We are responsible for our lives and what we say and do here on Earth. We cannot be sinless because we sin every day. There are no sinless people on Earth, Christian or not because we cannot be sinless. Our life is given to us every day by God Himself and if you are a Christian we should be telling others about our Savior especially if we aren’t sure about their salvation and especially if they aren’t sure of it either.
Why have people, young and old, left the church? Are they not satisfied with God? Are they bored with the sermons that they hear? Are they really listening with their heart…their soul even when they are at church or reading God’s Word? All of these questions need to be asked of the church, the people who make up the church. When you read these questions I want to ask you to do one thing for me and for Jesus: place “you” where the word “they” comes in the sentence. Then re-word the sentence to read: Am I…._______.
Most of us don’t think of this when we are in church. Especially when we have grown up going to church with our parents. We think because we’ve been in “the church” all of our lives that we are covered…that we are Christians like it says in the Bible. We don’t really break any of the Ten Commandments (at least in our minds) or do we? The answer to the last question is a resounding YES! We do break the commandments every day even if you’ve spent your entire life in the church. We cannot keep the commandments without Jesus or without His blood covering our sins. Do Christians wander from their faith sometimes? Yes, they do but eventually that spark in your chest, the Spirit in your soul will show you what you’re doing wrong and steer you back to the right path.
What if I’m not listening to the Spirit in my heart? What if I can’t feel His conviction of my sin or feel convicted by Him? Well….you might want to consider that your salvation may be counterfeit. You felt His Presence and you went down and talked to the preacher and came back and got baptized. Then you spent the next few years trying to do all of the things that you know that Christians do and don’t do, then you felt a temptation from something or someone and you began moving in that direction and away from “church people”. You felt a little guilty about it but eventually even that went away.
What now? Seek Him out in the Bible and find a true Christian friend or your pastor who can guide you back to Jesus. It isn’t a long trip because He never left you. Why do I say this so easily? Because I did it myself. I got wet a few times actually. I thought my conversion was real and I went through the baptism at least twice, maybe three times, but later I found that I was still feeling empty inside. We can fool ourselves into believing that we are saved even when we aren’t and that is a very dangerous place to be in. If you died, you would stand at the judgement seat and you might confess that you believed in Jesus but He would say “I don’t know you”. What a horrible way to start eternity.
Some of us have had family praying for us which has kept us fairly safe until the day we finally find our way to Jesus. If it weren’t for those people, a brother or a sister or your mother or your grandmother praying for your salvation your life would be stretched on a very thin string. If you could see what that string was keeping you from falling into….you would run to Jesus. God has provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him through Jesus’ blood. Believe in Jesus for your salvation because the time grows shorter every day. Seek Him for your eternity depends upon your position of belief in Jesus. Eternity is there without Jesus but it will be without life or love or joy because you will be in a place of torment. Make sure of your destination and that it will be with Him.
I think that many people who believe in Jesus truly need to stand up for their faith when it is questioned. Many believers don’t do this. Eight out of ten people who attend church seem to believe in Jesus but they don’t tell anyone else about it. The other two people do. They take their faith in Jesus and they told people about it. So twenty percent of of people who profess to know Him actually do because they show it to others. Take a look at this video and take it to heart. Then make sure that someone hears the message that you believe in your risen Savior because He died for your sins. He made way for you to be forgiven and changed so that you can take His message to everyone you meet.
Some people might think that what happened in this instance was just coincidence, but God is able to do anything even when there are people in the room who do not believe in Him. The foolish people of this world think that we are foolish because we believe God’s Word and they don’t. Even Satan and his demons know Who God is and they know that He is real! So if God’s adversaries know and believe in Him why do we who are created in His image tend to move in the opposite direction from belief?
Seek Jesus for your salvation so you can know for sure where your eternity is because this world is temporary but your salvation and your home is in Heaven. All you need to do is believe in Jesus to receive it and repent of your sinful ways. Ask Him to come into your heart and clean out all of the “old stuff” and place the Holy Spirit in there so that you will be a “new creation in Christ“.
There are many reasons why we should have faith in and trust God in all things. For one, He has given each of us who are reading this one more day to serve in His Kingdom which is why He woke each of us up this morning. Another reason is that we are saved by the blood of Jesus even though we don’t deserve it. God created every life-form on Earth for a reason, some are deep in the ocean and when discovered we usually wonder “Why did God put that there?”. The answer is usually to make us think and to see His creative ability. Here are a few more reasons for you to ponder:
Why did the people of the early church believe so strongly in Jesus and the offer of forgiveness and eternity so deeply they were willing to be killed because of it? Because they had eye-witness accounts of His ministry and most of all their account of His resurrection from the grave! What He endured for our atonement was enough to kill any man within a few hours if not before He was nailed to the cross. He wasn’t finished yet so He stayed alive until it was finished and when it was, He said so, “It is finished!”, and He gave up His Spirit. No one took His life, no one killed Jesus, He died when He was finished and He gave it up willingly.
If someone today had the message which He brought so long ago and they were being filmed for TV and someone shot them three times in front of the country, killing them. Then before the autopsy could be finished, they got up and showed themselves to the doctors and nurses and the world…would you believe in them as the Messiah? This very scene will play out one day but it won’t be Jesus but a false savior when it does happen. If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus then you will possibly see this “false savior” who would claim to be the so-called “savior of the world”. This person is the anti-Christ, the false Messiah and he will deceive many who are alive on that day.
The resurrection of Jesus is such a powerful witness that many people would die for their faith in Him and His promise of eternity. Life was in Him, true eternal life not some promise made by “just a man”. If you have access to a copy of the Book of Martyrs I would encourage you to read it. It is not an easy read because some of the descriptions are very graphic. But the people that you read about beginning with Stephen and continuing on into our present day had their hope in Jesus and they believed in Jesus for their Savior so deeply that they were willing to go through being crucified or burned alive or trampled by animals or killed and eaten by wild animals. No one dies willingly for a lie. God loves each of us and we have a message to take to the world. That message is: He is risen and alive! His Word is true and He is coming back one day soon, Amen.
When you consider the birds of the air or even the fish and other animals in the wild, all of them depend on God for their lives. Their food and their shelter are provided for them by the grace and power of God. Now you can say that it is just instinct or the way that these animals are taught by their “parents” but that doesn’t work for many of them.
Think about sea turtles. They live for many years but they never actually know their mother or their father. They are born from an egg which has been laid in the sand by their mother but when they are born she is not there. They have to frantically race to the sea and many of them don’t make it. Birds scoop up these little ones by the hundreds before they ever enter the sea and even then they are small enough to be eaten by some fish. God provides them with the knowledge to find places to hide and to find food because this is where so-called “instincts” come from.
Why am I speaking about animals? Because God cares for them. He knows when one of them comes to the end of their life and falls to the ground or dies in the sea or anywhere they are. Since God cares for and knows about their death just as much as He knows and cares about each of us. He cares and knows about each of us in a more intimate way because we are made in His image! We are given talents and gifts by Him to use for His Kingdom in this life until our time is up. God knows your day of birth and He knows the day of your death, but in between those times we are supposed to work for Him in every area of our life.
Some of us push Him away for a while because we think that we can do it on our own, but we can’t. Many of us hear His call on our life and just ignore it and we have many problems come up in our life. These problems usually come in the form of sickness or some other problem for which we need His hand or His strength to get through. Sometimes we will turn to Him and follow Him after these things and sometimes we become angry and push Him away. Don’t consider that you can outsmart God, He knew which reaction that you would exhibit. So if you’ve pushed Him away, He will try another one.
God uses every area of your life for His Kingdom. You don’t have to be a pastor or a deacon or a missionary…just be you. God created each of us with a unique gift or ability which nobody else has and He can and will use that gift for His Kingdom and glory even if it doesn’t happen until your last day on this Earth. Each of us has a date with destiny and we will meet God on that day. It is up to you and your decision to give your heart to Him even if you only have a minute to live…don’t waste it.