Life ahead


Are you prepared for life ahead of you? Most people today are not. Mainly because they don’t see much life ahead of them, particularly if they have a terminal illness or maybe they are advanced in years. But God says that eternity is in front of us even after this body is gone. Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him in Paradise that day. The cross and the death which it brought was not the end of life. Even though it was the end of the body, the Spirit would live on into eternity.

Most of us seem to have trouble preparing for retirement for the end of our working years (so we are told). Many don’t save up or invest enough to carry us into our later years and we miss out on the travel and the “golden years” as they used to be called. Nowadays people are working at Walmart or some other part-time job just trying to make it during those years after the job that they may have been lucky enough to retire from. Some don’t even get that luxury. They are laid off at such a late age until finding a job is next to impossible.

Your life with Jesus in eternity is something which we should be preparing for well ahead of the time, even when we don’t know when we may die. We should still prepare for it and we should start doing so as soon as we hear the gospel message and determine that we truly need Jesus! Many of us have been in church since we were children especially if we live in the South, the so-called “Bible Belt”.

But do we prepare for crossing over into eternity?

Unfortunately, most of us don’t consider our mortality until a near miss on the highway or when we get a disturbing diagnosis from our doctor. Until some of our friends begin dying before we do, death is just not part of our thinking process. Then when our grandparents and our parents die, we begin to consider that our life could end at any time as well. Even then some of us still put off any kind of preparation for eternity. I suppose we think that we will have time to do it just before the end.

The people killed on 9/11/01 didn’t have any warning that they wouldn’t be going home that night. People who are killed in car wrecks don’t have time to “fess up” before the car flips over or a truck hits them. Most of the time people who have a heart attack don’t even have the time to do more than die. The end of our life usually takes us by surprise. So much so until there is no way to prepare for it or the eternity which comes after it unless you have done so by giving your life to Jesus ahead of time. I pray that anyone reading this will seek Him out as their Savior today because tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

Love one another…


God told us this. Jesus commanded it. But…do we do it? Even as Christians or even a society which claims to be “Christian” in its principles, no we do not! If we did there wouldn’t be a legal way to kill your baby. If we did there would be fewer murders and rapes and other kinds of crimes against human decency and against God’s law which most of our laws were based on, to begin with. So, what happened to America?

The same thing which has happened to every other country, Christian or not. We want to do things our way, not God’s way. Even though history has shown that doing or living life by our ways and our wisdom has usually ended up badly. If you have ever read the book of Genesis, humanity doesn’t get too far before the inclination of their hearts was evil continually! This was only six chapters in from the beginning! After the Fall in the Garden, mankind didn’t waste much time before they had forgotten God almost entirely.

God’s laws are based on love. His love toward us and His command for us to love one another. But when we demand our own way and our own ideas about life and freedom to do what we want without His laws interfering, we are walking down a very slippery slope. Yes, it is permissible and easy to live with because when we are following our own ideas of “right” and not God’s law of Right and Wrong we are missing the Truth which comes from God.

In our world today people are willing to ignore God’s Word because they don’t believe it is the Truth. Many don’t believe that it is God’s Word, to begin with. Some even pick some parts of it to believe and then choose not to believe other parts which they don’t agree with! God’s Word is True from the beginning to the end and either all of it is the Truth or none of it is! So, picking some parts to believe and some which you don’t believe is not really an option!

That would be similar to believing that the Sun is going to come up tomorrow but not the next day or that gravity works for some people but not everyone. You can choose to believe or not believe in physical laws if you wish, but God put those in place for a reason. They don’t go away just because you don’t like them or you don’t want them to be true on a certain day or time. The Truth of His Word is the same. It is either true and absolute in its meaning all of the time or it isn’t God’s Word at all!

His Love for us is the same. It never is less than it was yesterday and it is never more for one person over another. God chooses those whom He will use and those that He won’t, it doesn’t mean that He loves one over the other. Yes, there is a verse which says “Jacob I loved and Esau I hated” but that doesn’t mean human hatred. God loved Esau too, just not in the same way and it was because He knew that Jacob would become the nation of Israel.

Read God’s Word and learn about Him because He already knows all about you and your capabilities and your usefulness for His Kingdom!

Common sense?


Have you ever wondered what happened to common sense in America? I have been thinking about it for a long time and it seems that the reason it has gone missing has a lot to do with our insistence that God is either dead or that He doesn’t care about us anymore. Of course, neither of those assumptions are true but with all of the crazy and mixed up things which are going on all over the world and in our own backyard, it does seem that we have lost it!

God loves us but I know He has a sense of humor. If He didn’t the Time of Tribulation would’ve already started by now. I implore you if you are searching for your Savior seek out Jesus in a Bible-teaching church. Read God’s Word and pray that God will reveal Himself to you so your soul will be saved from an eternity of punishment. You may think that there is no hell or even heaven but Jesus spoke of both and God’s Word speaks of an eternity of punishment for those who reject Jesus the Christ.

I am praying that there will be some people with common sense to seek out their Savior before the day which causes all of us to know Who He is and why we need Him. That day will be the day when every believer will be taken to meet Him in the clouds and those who have died prior to this day will be raised as well. When that day comes, the whole world will mourn and realize what they have missed. But…it will be too late for many on that day unless they give their heart to Him in truth before they die.

Amen

God is still in control!


The sun is still shining and the moon is still in its orbit. If they had actually been around 4.5 billion years, the moon would be a bit farther away from us than it is. There has been some research into the stars in our galaxy and the number of supernovas which have been counted and it doesn’t add up to the number which would be present if the amount of time suggested by the Big Bang is true and correct.

The universe was designed by God to support life and God is Life. Regardless of how out of control your life may feel at times, our Creator is still watching over you. Specifically, if you are a Christian and believe in Him for your salvation. Now, I am not saying that God doesn’t care about His creation outside of those who are Christians because He does. But, He knows which person will give their life to Jesus and which ones will not. That doesn’t mean that He chooses which people will be saved and which ones won’t but it does show that God knows your heart and which choice you will make.

There is a big difference between knowing which direction you will take and forcing you to take it because God will not force you to make one decision over another. Consider that the decision to follow Jesus is one based on faith and on the grace that you realize you have been given. Each of us who have given their hearts and their lives to Jesus knows the love which God has poured into their lives because of the gift of salvation. In the Bible, you can read about the depth of God’s love toward us and know that returning that love is not enforceable, it is made by decision of those to whom it has been given.

Giving love back to the Author of Love only makes it better and makes us feel His love for us even more. Sometimes it is a small gesture of love toward someone you may not know well. Sometimes it is a prayer or a hug to a friend who is going through a hard time. Being the hands and feet of Jesus in a world that is truly DESPERATE for the Love which He embodies is the kind of mission and ministry which all of us should try to be a part of. Sometimes it is only through prayer that we can make a difference or even through a post like this one which may bring hope to someone who feels that they don’t have any.

Each person who is a Christian knows someone who isn’t or maybe they have been away from the church for a long time. Invite them to church or to a Bible study, have coffee or hot chocolate ready to warm them up on a cold night. Because it is the little things that most people notice about us who follow Jesus, not the big show of the service or how beautiful the sanctuary is. Jesus didn’t preach in a beautiful church. Most of the time it was in a field or even at the beach and He was sitting on a boat. It was the love which He showed toward those who had little or none in their lives that got the most attention.

The end of the Age


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

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

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

The Way to Life


Have you found the path which carries you to Life itself? Some of us tend to get lost while trying to find it when it is right in front of us. Life with a capital “L” is the life which you will have in Jesus and the pathway carries us through this life until we get to the next one. So…what is the pathway? Following Jesus and not listening to Satan’s lies about your life and your ministry being useless and worthless!

Jesus gives our life, here and now, a meaning and a purpose. We are to live each day, each moment striving to be more like Jesus than trying to be like the world around us. Is this hard to do? Sometimes it is. Usually when we feel down and depressed life seems hopeless and you feel useless, like I did yesterday. But Jesus said that “we can live a life more abundantly“! By following His example of living for the Kingdom of God, even though you can’t see it yet.

God loves you and has provided a way for each of us to have a life of meaning and purpose through Jesus our Savior. He is the pathway to life everlasting and He is preparing a place for us to dwell with Him forever. Some people might want to know, “Why would I want to live in heaven forever?” Do you really and truly believe that you will have nowhere to go when you die?

God’s Word says that we all face His judgment when we die so what have you done in this life to give you an eternity in Heaven? None of us, not even one person on this Earth, can be perfectly sinless because we are sinners and we are that way from birth. Jesus came so that we can have a life with Him into eternity but apart from being saved through faith in Him not one of us will get there.

Your life here is like a puff of smoke compared to eternity so why waste it chasing after stuff which rusts and fades away or is given to someone else when you die? Money doesn’t last and neither does gold or any other type of wealth but it seems that in the world today these things are what defines us. Why not define your life by the example of Jesus and His teachings? Live your life as His disciple and tell others about Him and what living for Him means!

Why? Because God values your soul more than all of the wealth in the world! Each individual person that He calls to become an adopted child of God is worth more to Him than all of the wealth that exists in this world! Why is that? Because each of us has a specific purpose ordained by God and that purpose is to reach one other person that only we can reach.

If we tell thousands of people and they turn their lives over to Jesus that is wonderful, but there is one person that each of us can reach that nobody else can. That is the person which God has placed you here to touch and show the love of Jesus to them so that they can come to know Him. There are many people who need to know Jesus as their Savior but until their spiritual eyes are opened and they know that they need Him, they will never seek Him. Live your life in view of eternity because this one is going away but your life in Christ is eternal.

In My Father’s House are Many Rooms

1Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe in Me as well. 2In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”b

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

5“Lord,” said Thomas, “we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”

6Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”

8Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

9Jesus replied, “Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, performing His works. 11Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me—or at least believe on account of the works themselves.

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.

Today is a gift


Don’t waste it on chasing after people or things in this life which will not be faithful in all things. God is our Savior and our Creator. Life is given to us each day when we wake up to see a new day. A new day and a new idea or ability to take into the world and use for God’s glory and His Kingdom.

Your life is a gift to you and to God as well, He can use your talent and ability in His Kingdom because He knows exactly what you can do! We are given so many gifts in life and many talents as well. Some of them are useful for us or our family and some are specific to God’s Kingdom. But, every ability and gift which you have is from God and He knows you can do the things which He has called you to do.

Don’t ignore His call on your life and don’t use His call as an excuse to do something different. Obey Him in your life, doing that which you are called to do and being the person that God intended you to be. Your salvation brings you to the knowledge of God and His Son, Jesus. Don’t turn away from the nudge in your heart telling you that you need Him.

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A change of heart…


In our Christian lives, we have to have a change of heart or we are not saved at all! When the Holy Spirit comes to you during a service or in your daily work by something which you have heard or read, He touches you and brings to you a message from God. He is telling you that you need Jesus!

“What if I don’t want Jesus?”

Well, that’s your choice but do you have a guarantee that you have X number of days or weeks or years ahead of you? Not one of us has such a guarantee! I may die before finishing this and you may die before you finish reading it if I do finish it! God knows your expiration date, thankfully we don’t!

God in His wisdom and His knowledge of our sinful ways touches us by a word or a thought or sometimes a sermon. Then it is our job, our choice to respond to that touch with, “Yes, Lord, I do need you to mold me and make me after Your will for my life”. Giving your heart to Jesus is not a one time deal nor is it just a “purchase” that you put away and forget about.

It is a beginning, THE beginning of a life-long journey with Jesus until He calls you home! Many of us do allow Him into our hearts and then get frustrated and angry when we can’t understand the Bible enough and we walk away from it and from Him. His disciples spent three years with Him and they didn’t understand most of His wisdom and His teachings until after He was resurrected!

He had to open their minds to the Truth of Who He was while they were learning from Him and to the Truth of Who He is today! If you think that understanding the New Testament is hard, His disciples didn’t have it at all! All that they had was the Old Testament in the scrolls of the Temple. What all of them had learned as children as the Books of Moses and the Prophets and the Writings. Many of us can’t understand much of what is in the Old Testament even though most of it points toward Jesus and His coming.

The only way that you can understand His teachings is to ask Him to show you what they mean during your study time and your prayer time with Him…daily as you walk with Him! As I said this is not like going to the store and picking up a book just one time, this is a daily journey through the Bible every day, learning and praying about what you read and thinking on it while you go about your day.

God has given us His Word and Wisdom for our life and examples of how we should live our life with Him on a daily basis. Your life and mine are a marathon and a journey with God as our Guide and our Teacher through His Word. Isn’t it wonderful that the Creator of all things is willing to teach us about Himself and how we can be His servants! He made this whole cosmos in order for our brains and our comprehension to go “Wow, what an awesome God we serve!”

Give your life to Him so that you can spend eternity gazing into His handiwork and His face and knowing that He loved you before He made any of it! Isn’t that wonderful?

What is our message?


The message which our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, gave to us. To go and tell the world, meaning anyone around us, about Him and the work which He accomplished while He was here. Our preaching or writing of the salvation provided by His teachings and the death and resurrection of Jesus, these facts make up the gospel of Jesus. There is no greater story to tell and there is no other story that will bring people to a knowledge of their Lord and Savior except this message.

Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, was sent by God the Father to be the Perfect Passover Lamb for the whole world, not just a few people here and there. This is the message of the Bible itself but in the early books. it is represented by the Temple and the manna and the Passover lamb. All of these point to our Savior, Jesus the Christ, because there is no other name which can bring salvation to anyone except His Name.

In John 3:16-18 we can read:  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

All of us have been given this amazing and priceless gift from God Himself. There is nothing which we can do which will add to this gift to make it more effective. There is also nothing which we can or should take away from this gift because it is a gift from our Creator and it is complete in its design and purpose.

If we don’t spread the good news about Him to the whole world, then we aren’t doing our job as Christians in this world. Even if you can only tell one or two people about Him each day, those words and messages will add up. God can and will use those seeds which are planted in people’s hearts in order to draw them to HIm. If they haven’t given their heart to Him prior to hearing the gospel, then God can certainly use that seed to draw them to Himself.

There is no getting around this job which each of us, as Christian believers, has been given. We are supposed to do this during our lifetime here so that others will hear about our Savior and Lord. Even if only one person comes to Jesus by our testimony or if none do, God can still use the seeds of His message which was planted in their heart and mind by our words, whether they were spoken or written.

If you don’t believe that your contribution is necessary or even worth the time, remember what Jesus said about the “widow’s mite”. He told His disciples that of all of those who have put into the treasury, she put in more than all. Because out of her poverty she gave and it was out of their wealth that the rest of the offerings came from.

Related imageHere is the passage which brings this to bear on our sinful world:

Luke 21: 1-4  

The Widow’s Two Mites
21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.[a] 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings [b]for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

 

Consider this when the next offering plate is passed in your church.

Consider your own life, not because of the tithe you offer but the life that you either have given to Him or maybe you haven’t asked Jesus into your life yet. The amount of your tithe at church does not determine your salvation, only the condition of your belief in Jesus and your acceptance of Him as your Savior and Lord.