Be a neighbor to those who are in need of salvation or just in need…period. That is what we are called to be and to do after all.
In many, many ways actually. God created mankind in His Image. All of us, regardless of our location on Earth, have two legs, two arms, two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth and of course the appendages that go along with arms and legs too. Granted there are many who have lost the use of or the presence of an arm or leg or both in war, but for the most part we come from His template. Even our blood is the same color.
So why do we focus on the color of our skin or even the color of our eyes much of the time? It has been said that “the eyes are the window to your soul” and for the most part it is true. You can look at someone’s eyes and see lots of different things. You can’t know their heart for sure in this manner or even their personality but you can get a “gut feeling” of the type of person that they are. Sometimes it is wrong but occasionally it is spot on.
We do not all look alike. Some of us are dark skinned and some are light on melanin which helps each of us depending on our location on Earth with respect to the Sun. So…why have we become so polarized in our relationships because of our skin color?
The reason seems to have started a few centuries ago and it was wrong then too. Explorers from Europe and England considered the “dark-skinned” inhabitants of Africa and Middle Asia (India) to be “less than human”. The same was thought of as the Aborigines of Australia and the South Pacific Islands. But why did they think this way? It could be that they thought of Chimpanzee and their skin color and equated them with the “darkies” as they labeled them that way.
This was a very European way of looking at other people from other cultures and areas of the world but it wasn’t the correct way at all. Jesus was a Jewish man born in what is Israel, He was dark skinned and not like any of the “white” Jesus paintings that artists painted of Him. There are many misrepresentations of Him and Adam and Eve and many other Biblical figures in museums around the world but thankfully the Word of God in the Bible is true.
Will racism ever be fixed? Not by reading books about it nor by any amount of violence or destruction of property but it will be taken care of when Jesus returns to rule over Earth for a thousand years. Consider this and seek to know Him before the end of the church age comes.
There are so many references to these phrases in our language today and most of them come from references to Star Wars. But darkness and its dark side have always been in the world around us to some extent. Because mankind is sinful and their thoughts move toward the darkness, almost from the time we are old enough to learn from our parents or siblings or even our friends at school. That doesn’t mean that every thought of man has turned toward evil at least it hasn’t yet.
My point with this is to point the way back to our God and Creator. I know there are some who don’t want to hear or read this and that’s okay but it needs to be said. Why? Because of the time that we are living in right now. “But, it has been nearly two thousand years since Jesus said He was coming back, why should I worry?” Well, if you belong to Him and you are a Christian, then you don’t need to worry…just keep looking for His return.
The day which will bring chaos to the world will come soon enough without our help. As a matter of fact, we can’t help it come any quicker so we shouldn’t be trying at all. When the believers of the world are taken from their graves and those who believe who are alive at that time are changed to be taken to Heaven, the rest of the world will mourn because most won’t have a clue about what happened. Those who do recognize what has happened and know what has taken place will know that they weren’t Christians, they just thought they were.
That day will bring a lot of destruction because of wrecks and airplane crashes and all sorts of prophesied events which will take place or will begin to take place. From that day until the day that Jesus returns to Jerusalem will be about seven years. In that time, more than one-third of mankind will die and most of the world will be in such turmoil until people will want to die but God won’t allow it.
Those years of trouble and tribulation will be the worst that most people will ever see in their lifetime. It would be great if many more would truly give their heart to Jesus and be taken away from here before this happens, but there are many who will not make that decision even when they know they need to. God doesn’t cause certain people to accept Jesus and a certain number of people to reject Him, but God does know who will make that decision and who will not.
The thing is that it must be your decision, God doesn’t force any creature, human or angel, to serve Him. All have the free will to decide not to serve God or to believe in Jesus for salvation or not. That is how Lucifer became Satan and convinced one-third of the angels to follow him in his rebellion. Because of their free will to serve or to choose not to serve.
Jesus tells His disciples to “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” but what exactly does that mean? Considering the subject which He was teaching them about at the time was “worry”, this particular passage was in reference to God’s willingness to provide for our needs, and their needs at the time. Worrying about life or food or clothing does nothing except cause more stress in your life which none of us truly needs today!
In the world that we live in, life is stressful enough without worrying about what you will eat or wear or if you can pay the mortgage this month. God knows you have needs along these lines and He will give you the ability to pay for them or acquire them in time for your needs to be met. Notice that I said “needs” not wants! God doesn’t provide luxury until you are rewarded in Heaven for your service to Him in this life. You may be able to acquire luxury items in this life but you would be wise to pay your debts as soon as possible.
All of us have debts of one kind or another. Some have a mortgage which is still being paid or a car/truck loan which is still due. Some of us have credit card debt which means we are spending money that we don’t even have yet. All of these make us slaves to the loans which we have to pay in one way or another. God advises us to pay your debts as soon as possible and this advice can be found in Proverbs.
God does give us the ability to get wealth but we should not use it as a way of making others jealous of it. We should use whatever wealth we have as a way to bless others and in turn, we will be blessed by God. As it is said, “God loves a cheerful giver“. As you are blessed, be a blessing to others. Being humble and giving of your blessings to others will bless you in ways that you don’t know about until you are in Heaven.
Have you considered that we have never looked at our condition religiously? Our country and its people have never actually thought of Christianity as our religion. Specifically, since our government doesn’t endorse or choose any particular religion for our nation. Our people have many denominations and religions in our country and today we also have many who don’t claim any belief in God or religion.
So have you thought about any of this? Is it possible that we truly need religion? There are so many who commit suicide on a daily basis and we have so many who are struggling with drugs and alcohol on a daily basis too. So…what is the fix or the cure for this emptiness which we seem to be dealing with?
Whether our country as a whole wants to believe it or not, the answer actually is a relationship with Jesus. The empty place in all of our lives which we try to fill with all sorts of things from sex or money or careers and even family is only filled by one Person. Jesus Christ. That is the missing piece of the puzzle which we have been searching for all of our lives!
It isn’t a hard thing to do but in a society which prides itself on its independence, individually and collectively, we don’t want to depend upon any one person whether it is a Savior or even a spouse or a friend. Except when you look at the feeling of hope which He brings into our collective conscience. So why don’t we look to Him for our hope? Why can’t we do this so our country can have more hope?
Hope hasn’t died but to look at the news, you would think it has. Hope is in the Person of Jesus, Love is Jesus and He is Love for all of us because He did love us enough to give His life on the cross to pay the debt which we owed because of our sins. Even those of us where weren’t born when He did this still owe the debt if we haven’t given our hearts to Him.
I pray that those of you reading this will give Jesus a chance in your life. If for no other reason than to fill that empty place and give you hope for eternity and a heart full of gratitude for a Creator Who loves you more than you can imagine. Please, seek Jesus out for your soul and for your eternal hope because it is needed in our country today.
In many ways, that is exactly what we as Christians are supposed to do with our lives when we give our hearts to Him. So…why doesn’t the church follow Him in everything that it does? By church, I don’t mean any particular religion or denomination. I mean any specific body of believers who claim to be Christian and who follow Jesus.
One of the greatest preachers that ever lived died this past week. I don’t need to tell you who he was because everyone knows already. Some of his quotes I will list below and let you decide if you could live up to any of them.
- “I feel sorry for the man who has never known the bracing thrill of taking a stand and sticking to it fearlessly. Moral courage has rewards that timidity can never imagine. Like a shot of adrenaline, it floods the spirit with vitality” ― Billy Graham
- “Self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.” ― Billy Graham
- “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”― Billy Graham
- “When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”― Billy Graham
- “Jesus was not a white man; He was not a black man. He came from that part of the world that touches Africa and Asia and Europe. Christianity is not a white man’s religion and don’t let anybody ever tell you that it’s white or black. Christ belongs to all people; He belongs to the whole world”― Billy Graham
- “Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone – except God.”― Billy Graham
- “The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”― Billy Graham
- “The cross shows us the seriousness of our sin—but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God.”― Billy Graham
- “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”― Billy Graham
- “Without the resurrection, the cross is meaningless.”― Billy Graham
We are all called by God to live up to the standard of Jesus the Christ, not to live up to a standard of a certain man who was a good example of being a Christian. As believers, we are expected to live each day like Jesus’ followers did. Because if you are a Christian, then you have the Holy Spirit living in your heart and Jesus is with you in that same Spirit during your day and night!
God knows where you are or where you have been each hour of each day during your life. There is no hiding from Him or keeping a part of your life secret from God because even if you haven’t given Him your heart, if He has any plans to use you in His Kingdom, then nothing that you do is secret in any way.
Does God love you? Unequivocally YES! He didn’t send Jesus to die for our sins just for the fun of it! Love, meaning agape love, is the reason behind everything that God does in this universe. He doesn’t owe you or me anything even though we owe Him everything that we are or have in our lives!
Without Jesus and the resurrection our life in Him would be meaningless but because of the resurrection, we can live with Him when our life here is done. Your life means more to God than it does to you because you are a beloved creation and He gave you all of your abilities and strengths and also your weaknesses too. He knows what you can do and accomplish and what is beyond your ability but with Him, those things which He asks you to do can be done.
Always lean on Him daily because in your strength you can’t, but with God, everything is possible regardless of the difficulty.
Do you have this kind of outlook on life with Jesus? Be His in humility and love, not wanting prideful outcomes in your prayers. Living by the words of Jesus which He spoke on the Mount of olives (or as it is so often called, the sermon on the mount) is the beginning of your walk with Him. Here are some of the statements He made that day:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus was not saying that we should be doormats or act like little mice. He was telling His audience then and now that we should be more like Him. Meekness is submission to control, not weakness. This is the same spirit which a horse has when trained to follow the direction of its rider because even a child can direct a strong horse with a bridle if the horse is trained right.
Jesus wasn’t telling His listeners that they should be happy to be persecuted but to learn to live in a state of dependence on Him for strength every day. All of the statements which He preached on the Mount of Olives were meant to show how to live daily in contact and dependence upon Him. It is a blueprint for your walk with Jesus.
Why is that so important today?
Because we are close to a time in the history of the world where things are coming to an end. I am not saying that the world will end in five or ten years but when the church is called home the world which is left will be on a short journey toward judgment by God. It may be another ten years or more before that happens, no one knows the day or the hour except God. But when it does happen it will plunge the world into chaos and the life of those who are still here will become far more difficult than anything the world has experienced in recorded history.
Why am I writing this today? Because of the number of people who don’t know Jesus. He is the only way to eternity or rather an eternity that you would want to live in. If you don’t want to know Him, that is fine but don’t complain when you are turned toward the lake of fire to spend eternity. God has provided a way to know Him more deeply and securely through Jesus because He paid your debt of sin in full at the cross. All you have to do to receive your gift of forgiveness is to accept Jesus as your Savior and believe in Him.
No amount of good deeds or money will change your destination or the outcome of your death. Believing in Jesus and accepting Him as your Savior will make an eternal change in your life today and into God’s Kingdom. Don’t walk away from Him or His call on your life! If you have felt Him calling to you, then answer the door of your heart and let Him in. Your life will never be the same again.