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.

bill_keane___today_is_a_gift_of_god_by_leafeo-d956rzb

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.

The church in our time


We are closer to the end times than you think. If you have ever read the book of Revelation you will know which church is reflected by the church today. The Laodicean church.

In Rev. 3:15-18: 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Many churches today have a service which resembles a performance more than a sermon. Some of the smaller, less liberal churches have regular sermons but the time is spent more with praise music than with preaching from God’s Word. There are other things which are going on in the church today which I don’t have statistics to show you but if you look up the status of the Christian church you can find the same statistics which I did.

Why am I bringing this up today? Because our world is walking and sometimes running away from Biblical preaching as fast as they can go and it is leaving those congregations with a very light dusting of God’s Word rather than a full meal from the Word. Paul wrote to some of the churches that they were still babes in Christ and they hadn’t matured enough to savor the “meat of God’s Word“. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul tells his listeners this: 1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ. 2, I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, 3for you are still worldly.

God loves us but we cannot remain as “babes in Christ” for our whole lives! At some point, we need to study to show ourselves approved to be His disciples and His workers in Jesus Christ. The church today is lacking in its study of God’s Word and in the building up of the body of Christ, the believers who actually make up the church. Regardless of your denomination, each of us who claims to be a Christian who knows the Lord of Glory, all of us should be able to answer a simple Bible quiz and yet many cannot!

We have fallen behind in our studies of the Word of God because we are not passionate about our love for Jesus and our Life in Him! What happened? Has your heart grown cold against your Savior? He gave His life for each of us so why can’t we live our lives as a true living sacrifice to Him for the rest of our lives until we are called home? It is the least that we could do considering what He did for each of us.

I would rather hear Him say to me, “Welcome home” rather than “What happened after you accepted Me?” If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, do you read and study God’s Word at least once or twice every week or do you just pick it up when you attend church services? What would you do if you had to give the reason for your hope in Christ? Would you be able to quote Scripture for it or do you know enough verses that you could?

Are you or your church only lukewarm in your service to Him? If you are then you need to dedicate your life to becoming more passionate about Jesus and what He has done for you.

So much discord and hate


Why? Aren’t we supposed to be trying to get along? I mean, how can we possibly come up with solutions to our own problems when it seems we can’t even disagree in a peaceful way? We can’t even seem to accomplish this in Congress with people that supposedly know each other, even if they are on different sides of the political aisle! Why is our society acting like a group of spoiled children who can’t have their way?

We are supposed to be working toward a society which can bring some semblance of peace, if not in the world then surely in our own country! The reason for all of this discord and hatred in our country and all over the world falls on one personal fault which everyone has and that is pride. The obstacle which is the root of nearly all of the sins in the Bible from the beginning to the end is this one!

We are living in the time just prior to the Great Tribulation and that is another contributing factor which is making our world and the people living here act like mortal enemies. Satan is pushing the buttons of every person who has a prideful idea or thought or harbors pride in themselves believing that they are better than those around them.

Each of us is the person that we are supposed to be, unfortunately, some think that they are different and special in a way which makes them better than those around them. They believe in themselves true enough but outside of that, they look down on other people. This is the most serious form of pride which can cause a person to believe that they are “like god” or “like a god”.

We are created beings, just as the angels are, and we are not gods. Though we are created in the image of God, we are not gods and never will be. It is a false teaching which has been spread around the world that this will happen when we if we are Christians, make our home in Heaven. We will have a body like Jesus had when He was resurrected but we will not be gods.

VineandBranchesGod loves each of us and we will enjoy eternity with Him as His adopted children, nothing more. We may fill some useful post in His Kingdom one day or even during the 1,000-year reign on Earth of Jesus but other than that we will be His people and HE will be our King! Seeking to know Him better here and now is the responsibility of every Christian and it is a job which we should take very seriously. To grow to be a mature Christian, living in the strength and power of Jesus every day will allow us to carry His Image with us wherever we go…until He comes for the Church.

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Matt. 6:33

The Kingdom of God is our life in Jesus Christ walking with Him daily, praying and studying His Word and doing those things which He would do if He were here, at least to the best of our ability.

Lord or Judge, your decision


In this life, we have two decisions which have an eternal impact on our future. Both of these decisions have to do with Jesus and our acceptance of Him as our Lord and Savior or our rejection of Him. He came to this Earth in the form of the Rock which gave the Israelites water in the wilderness and as the Angel of the Lord. He was also the Pillar of Fire/Smoke which protected the Israelites from the Egyptian army and went with them on their journey through the wilderness. Jesus, the Living Word, the Lamb of God, Counselor and Prince of Peace…He was all of these and our Savior when He took our sins on Himself and paid the price which we could not pay.

Lord or JudgeSo, what is your decision about Him today? Is He your Savior and Lord or will He be your Judge when you stand before Him one day? Think carefully about this decision because when this life is over, you can’t change your mind then. You must choose.

Jesus arose from the tomb after three days and spent the next 50 days teaching His disciples what they needed to know to take His message away from Jerusalem. He may not have been with them every day of that time, but according to the holidays He was around in different places.

So many times we read the Bible, at least those of us who do read it, and we find one gospel which states just the facts like Mark. Then we read John’s gospel and he focused on the miracles and parables which Jesus taught with. John also made sure that we knew that we needed Jesus and we needed to believe in Him as our Savior. The job which Jesus had to do was to pay for all of our sins so we could be granted salvation through our faith and belief in Him as our Savior.

He tried to bring this knowledge to the Jewish leaders and people but they wouldn’t listen. They considered their own righteousness to be enough without Him or His message. Many of us today consider our “righteousness” will be enough to grant us entry into Heaven because we attend church and occasionally read our Bibles. But the outward appearance of being righteous does nothing for our heart or our soul. As Jesus said to them, “You are like whitewashed tombs“.

The only righteousness which counts is what is imputed to us through the surrender of our life to Him and by living daily by His grace and power. We don’t have the ability to be righteous enough without Him in our heart or our life. Make sure of your salvation before it is too late and you stand before Him just as you are right now.

 

 

What will you do?


When you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, what will you do? Will you act on it like you should or will you ignore it and decide to do it later like so many others do? We are not guaranteed the rest of the day by God let alone next week or next month, so why put off a decision which will affect your eternal home?

If you don’t think there is an eternity, then you haven’t read the Bible much. Even in Genesis God told Isaac that He was the God of Abraham. Not in the past tense but in the present tense meaning that Abraham was alive in Paradise at that time. Jesus said that He would come back and receive us unto Himself, meaning that there is an eternity which we will be welcomed into one day.

The life which we live in today is not the only life that you have. There is an eternity which all of us will go to one day, which destination that we spend it in will depend upon our choice here and now. Give your heart to Jesus and follow Him in this life, repenting of your sinful ways and you will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Refuse the Holy Spirit’s call on your life and continue in your own ways, living like the rest of the world around you, and you will spend it in hell with Satan and anyone else who refused God’s offer.

This is the only time which you will have to make this decision and it is while you still have breath in this life. Don’t be foolish enough to think you will get a second chance to change your mind after death because that is not possible. God’s Word says so.

Why do I bring this up now? Because, if you haven’t heard about any of this before now, then you need to know as soon as possible! God made it possible for each of us to have a wonderful eternity in Heaven IF we will trust and believe in Jesus as your Savior. There is no other way to gain your way into Heaven, even though many people think there are many different paths to get there.

Satan has been working through the different “denominations” and their pastors behind the scenes so that many people are led to believe a lie. That lie is that you can work your way into Heaven. Another one is that you have plenty of time before that decision needs to be made. The biggest lie is that you can get to Heaven by worshiping any way you choose to worship, even if you don’t worship God.

Heaven is available to anyone who feels the conviction of the Holy Spirit and responds to it by inviting Jesus into their life and repenting of their sinful ways. Even if you don’t think your life is sinful…answer one question about your life: Would you be okay with Jesus walking with you for a few months and going everywhere you go, seeing everything that you do and hearing everything you say? You know, God already knows all of this because He can see and hear everything that you do, whether you have given your heart and life to Him or not!

There is nothing hidden from God, so don’t think that He can’t know what you say and do because He certainly does. Make the right decision and turn your life and your heart over to Jesus before your time is up because if you have a wreck tomorrow and stand before Him there are no second chances to fix the decision that you didn’t make before your death.

What is your calling?


Have you considered what your calling in your walk with Jesus really is? Many people it seems have never thought about this in the least. Some don’t seem to have ever considered it a calling at all to be a Christian and therefore use their salvation in service to our King! Why I have often wondered, are they claiming to be Christians and yet never seek to be a servant of His?

John Newton, the writer of that great hymn “Amazing Grace”, said this just before his death: “it is a great thing to die; and when flesh and heart fail, to have God for the strength of our heart and our portion forever;….”

At another time prior to his death, he said these words: “Hereafter I hope, when I shut my eyes on the things of time, I shall open them in a better world. What a thing it is to live under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty! I am going the way of all flesh. If it were not so, how could I dare to stand before Him?”

I just finished reading Mr. Newton’s autobiography and he was a libertine as he put it during his younger years. But, he came to his senses during his marriage to his sweetheart. God used him in a special and powerful way to touch more lives after his life than during it because of the song which he wrote mostly about his early life and his salvation. Many of us can see our own lives within that song, in each verse, and in our own walk with the Lord or even by our attempts to run from HIm.

In the book of Jonah, you can see just how futile running away really is. In Genesis, Adam and Eve try to hide from the Presence of God but it is futile. God knows where each person is, He knows the number of hairs on our heads and He knows when a sparrow falls from the sky…so there is no possibility of getting away from Him.

So, think on this…God loves you in a more deep and entirely spiritual way than we can understand in this life. He has provided the Way for you to come to Him in forgiveness and stain-free from the sin which we all have in this life. That way is through Jesus and by belief in Him and the atonement which He paid for with His death and resurrection on the cross. There is no other pathway to eternity in Heaven except by Him, so make sure of your salvation before you draw your last breath.

Good shepherd

What happens in between?


God knew when you would be born and He already knows when you will die but what will you do with the life between those two? We don’t know when we will die and I am thankful for that, but what will you do with your time on this Earth?

Jesus told His disciples to go and tell the entire world about the gospel and to bring salvation to many, shouldn’t we do the same? This is exactly what our life is for. We are to live our lives in such a way that other people will hear Jesus speak in our words or see Him in our actions during our lifetime. Is that asking too much? I don’t think so!

He came from Heaven and gave His life to pay a debt that He didn’t owe for people who might not want to know Him! But, He did it anyway. God is amazing in His love for us even when we don’t care about His love or maybe don’t acknowledge Him as God at all.

In between our birth and the day we die there are many things going on. We learn how to talk and walk and how to tie our shoes. We go to school and learn many things that we should and some things that we shouldn’t learn at all. We get a job and maybe get married and have a family and hopefully, we take them to church to learn about our Savior. But…what if we don’t know Jesus as our Savior? What do you teach your children then?

In some families, they teach them how to cheat and lie and steal, but the lying part we know from the time we are toddlers. They also teach them that their only way to make it in this world is to work hard or steal from others or maybe be ruthless in their business dealings regardless of the cost. Living life as an unbeliever is sometimes, not so easy but occasionally Satan will reward you with money and power but then what? Money and power don’t bring happiness in this world.

Most people who have had lots of money have found that the only happiness comes from giving their money away to good causes or charities. But, they are still empty if they don’t know Jesus. Without the Author of Life in your heart, life itself has very little meaning regardless of your wealth.

Jesus came that we might have Life and have it abundantly, meaning that we will be in eternity with Him not that we will have more money than we need here. Consider this: you will be living in a heavenly Jerusalem with streets paved with gold so pure that it looks like glass! That is the life abundant which God has planned for those who believe and have asked Jesus into their hearts for their salvation. Don’t turn away from His call on your life.

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