Changes are happening…

This entire year has been about sudden and rapid change. Beginning with this virus and all of the chaos that it has brought to the entire world. Society has changed so dramatically that very few countries have been spared. Societal change and personal changes have happened so rapidly until we can’t get a grip on what reality really is. Which side of an argument is the right one? Who is doing the right thing and for the benefit of which part of society and culture will it affect? Hard questions. Questions that the world shouldn’t have been asking in such a short period of time. We can barely keep up with what happens during a normal year, even a normal election year in America’s case. The entire world…every country has gone through so much this year. Things that no person on the planet was prepared for. Their economies ruined because of quarantine measures which placed so many businesses in jeopardy and many of them haven’t recovered and some may never recover.

What are people blaming this pandemic on? Some are blaming it on our President and some are blaming it on China because they were the first to be hit by it right after their New Year celebrations. I think it is likely that this was sent to us by God just to make us see that we are not in control of this world. The problem with this is that many people in this world will blame God to the point of not wanting to have anything to do with Him or the Christian religion!

Is there a way out of this? Yes, seek God and His wisdom to find the truth of where this came from and how to stop it. Will our world do this? Not likely. The reason is that many “religious” people are running many churches today and some of them really don’t believe the sermons that they get up and give to their congregations each Sunday. Mainly they don’t believe in the God inspired Word that their sermons should come from. Of course if that is what is wrong then they really don’t believe in their Savior, Jesus Christ. Because if you don’t believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God then how can you believe the story in God’s Word? Jesus was foretold in Genesis as “the seed of the woman” and in every other book of the Old Testament He shows up in some way to help or teach His people.

This “pandemic” may get worse because we are entering the flu season soon and they both affect the lungs and the body so how could you tell them apart? Many tests and trials of different medicines that might work or might not. Life goes on as it does each and every day and people who have other medical problems will die because they have contracted this virus or the flu or a mutated strain of either. Taking your request for healing to God is the best way but it is not the only way. We should be relying on our doctors and nurses and the treatments that they recommend. God will heal all of those that He wants to heal.

Be thankful that you don’t have this virus and if you have had it, depend upon Jesus to heal you with the medicine that the doctor orders for you. Then…make sure you give credit to the doctors and the nurses and to God as well because if He had not led those who developed the vaccine to do so then we would not have a vaccine.

Who do you think you are?

Many people think far more highly of themselves than they should. Some don’t consider the gifts that they have been given in this life and some are too prideful to even answer the question. As if answering it is demeaning.

Life in all of its wondrous glory and in such bounty on the Earth. From the smallest plankton in the ocean to the Blue whale and all of the land animals and birds and fish that God created with the Word from His mouth. Our scientists still haven’t found all of them yet. There are still some in deep caverns in the Earth or under the sea that mankind has never seen nor have they been cataloged. Many of them would begin a new branch on the “tree of Life” because they don’t fit any other life-form definition.

People tend to look at themselves as they are described by their job. A plumber or a doctor or a lawyer. God doesn’t see us as a vocation, defined by our job or vocation. He sees our heart, our soul and knows what we are able to do on our own. He also knows what our potential is as well. God created and wove our DNA together in the womb so He knows our abilities and our limitations as a human being. But, if you will indulge me for a moment, what about that point when we become more than what we were born with? “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Our hearts are different spiritually and our soul is brighter when God looks at us. When heaven sees us after we have accepted Jesus as our Savior we look a lot like Jesus. A little rough around the edges maybe and still a bit of dirt here and there but with time and prayer and washing in God’s Word, we will begin to look far more like Him than we did at first. The thing is that we don’t see ourselves as being clean, forgiven, set apart from the world, adopted into God’s family because we can still see our faults and our flaws.

Occasionally we will feel different. We may even have a dream that we are standing in God’s Presence but we will be on our face because we don’t feel that we are worthy of being there. At least, that’s how I feel when I come before Him with a prayer or a request. But, God doesn’t see your imperfections or your flaws. He sees your soul and your heart as being a part of Him and His Son. Yes there are a few things which need to be polished and buffed a bit, but after salvation your outward man is only an Earthly cover over the New Creation which came to life when the Holy Spirit came to dwell within you.

Once you have given your heart to Him and asked Him to come into your heart, you are a new Creation. Neither man nor angel but also not God. You are an adopted Son born because your Spirit changed you so that you have become His. Live as your destiny in Christ allows you to. Not serving your old master in sin but living every day as a Son of God!

Wisdom or education?

Which is more valuable to you and to those around you? I’ve heard of people who have PhD’s who are working at McDonald’s, so how much is their education helping flip the burgers or fix salads or serve up french fries? I know the problem. Some people with those heavy duty letters behind their name either can’t find a job in their field or they were downsized out of a job. So they had to take a job that would kinda pay some bills. I have a BS degree in Medical Technology but I’m disabled and can’t work in my field. So how much good does all of this education do for our communities or the country?

Not very much good at all.

Wisdom can be learned from the trials that we go through because of our education. Wisdom can also be learned by reading God’s Word, the Bible. Because the wisdom contained in it is wisdom which isn’t bought or purchased from an education system. The wisdom that comes from God’s Word comes straight from the Source of all Life. You might ask “What if I don’t believe in God?” Well, the wisdom contained in the Bible, specifically Psalms and Proverbs, is wisdom which can be used for business and the home as well. The Bible is a book which covers many areas of life experience, so reading it and seeking God’s wisdom can help you in many areas of life.

There is a misconception that the Bible is only for “holy rollers” and church people but it really isn’t. It is the history of God’s chosen people, the Jews, but it is also about human nature and how we tend toward self-destructive behavior in our spiritual life as well as our life in general. We see this kind of behavior in everyday life. On the news, in our own family, in our friends lives, in celebrity’s lives, in politics, you name it, the behavior to destroy our lives is not limited to spiritual people or to those who choose not to believe.

“So how can learning from God’s wisdom help me?” There are many answers to that question. One is it can draw you closer to your Creator and He will draw closer to you. Even closer than He already is! God did not create this world and the human race and then run to some far-flung corner of the universe to retire. He is involved in our world every day. He sees the horrible things that we do to each other. He knows the pain that we feel when someone close to us dies. He cares about you far more than you can imagine.

The Bible speaks about the time that we are living in right now. People will be lovers of themselves and lovers of money. They won’t care about others or the church but will be working to get rid of the church. Why? Because the Truth which is found in the Bible cannot be destroyed or turned away from once you know what it says. The world around us has been on a downward spiral for years but we are coming to the end of what is called “the church age”. It began when Jesus ascended to heaven and it will end when He returns for His bride, the church. When will this happen? God is the only one that knows that answer. It could be tonight or tomorrow or next week or next month but it is going to happen.

If you are not a believer in Jesus for your salvation prior to that day, if you haven’t given your heart to Him and asked Him to forgive you of your sins then you will be left on Earth when that day comes. You will go through the Tribulation described in the book of Revelation and it will essentially be “hell on Earth” during those seven years. There will be death from diseases and wars and demons. You will be forced to take a mark in your hand or your forehead in order to buy or sell anything. If you have become a Christian but you take that mark, God will wipe your name from the Book of Life and you will forfeit your salvation. If you don’t take the mark, they will hunt you down and kill you but if you are a Christian you will just step from this life into eternity with Jesus!

The Bible is a book of history and changes and it is His story as well. Because Jesus is foretold in every book of the Bible. He is the Seed of the woman in Genesis and He is the Alpha and Omega in Revelation as well as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. There are so many names for Jesus in the Bible but the one name that I love the most is “My Savior and my Lord!” Seek Him in the Scriptures, ask Him into your heart and your life and you will never be the same again because when He comes into your heart you are a new creation in Christ!

Faith…do you have it?

Without faith it is impossible to please God. So…do you have any faith in Him? In Mark chapter 9 there was a father who had come to Jesus’ disciples first because his son had a demon who afflicted him. This boy had this going on for many years and the apostles could not cast it out. When his father saw Jesus he said something that you don’t hear or read in the Bible very much. The father told Jesus that his son had been this way since childhood and he said “If you can….”.

Mark 9:14-29  14 When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him. 16 And He asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” 17 And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.19 And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” 20 They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21 And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 “It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” 26 After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. 28 When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?” 29 And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”

The boy’s father didn’t know Jesus very well at this point but he did ask Jesus to heal his son and help him with his unbelief. God can do all things as long as we believe in Him and don’t doubt that He can. But, mustering up enough faith to see something done that you have trouble believing that it can be done is something else entirely. Yet, God can help you with your faith in ways that you don’t reallize at first. Our God and Savior is AWESOME so don’t consider for a moment that He can’t do something that you ask of Him because He can!

I pray that everyone who may be in the path of the storms in our country and all over the world will seek His strength and guidance in these troubled times.

Are you following Jesus?

When Jesus called His disciples, He asked them to follow Him and they did. Some of them learned a lot from following Him and listening to His teachings. One of them was dissatisfied with how things were going. He wanted a King for Israel and one who would defeat the Romans and push them out of Israel. But…that was not the reason for Jesus’ mission at the time.

So, are you following Jesus or are you hearing the preacher tell you about Him and then going your own way? Believe it or not, there are more people who are in church just listening than there are who are following Jesus every day and every step of the way. Some who read this will want to know how to follow Jesus every step of the way and here’s the answer: read the Bible each day, praying that He will speak to you about your day and your problems.

God will do that if you are serious about reading it and learning from it exactly Who He is and His love for you. Even if you only read a chapter each day it will focus your thoughts on Him and you will have those Scriptures to help you in your time of need. The thing is: when you read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit can and will speak to you through it. You will never read the same verse twice and get the same message. It will always be a different more useful message even if you’ve read it 100 times!

Walking with Jesus is the same today as it was when the disciples walked with Him. Get up from your bed and thank Him for giving you one more day to live and learn from Him. Go through your day thanking Him for even the little things which seem insignificant but they touch your life or your thoughts in some way. Thank Him for your food and your job and the ride home. Be in a worshipful mood of thankfulness all day because He has given you this day to learn from Him. Thank Him for your day before you go to bed and thank Him for a home to sleep comfortably in because there are so many who don’t have even that “luxury”.

Make this a daily habit and your life will be so much more complete and secure.

Consider the heat…

In the South, we live in a very humid area of the country especially during the summer. High pressure “cells” come through our area of the country at least once or twice every month. They begin well at times but when we get behind the high pressure “cell” it pushes humidity and warm air from the Gulf of Mexico up into Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama and parts of Texas too. Many of us have heard the saying about the heat in the Southwest “but its a dry heat”. Going from our state to Arizona is a wake-up call for sure but 110 degrees is HOT whether it is dry or humid although humidity would make that temperature nearly unbearable.

Why am I speaking about heat and the heat of summer to be specific? Because…hell is HOT and it could be a “dry heat” but an eternity there is not what most people think of when they hear about hell. Dry or not, we don’t know what temperature hell is and the lake of fire brings up images of the inside of a volcano to me. So consider this…all unbelievers and Satan and his demons will be cast into the lake of fire. Most people think that it doesn’t sound bad but people in hell will have eternal bodies. The kind of body which doesn’t die regardless of your circumstances but it will be able to experience pain

Being cast into a volcano in our body that we have here on Earth will be painful for only a few seconds. An eternal body that is cast into the lake of fire will live in the fire and pain forever. An immortal body will heal if it is hurt, whether from a gunshot or from thousands of degrees of lava. This place was not created by God for humanity. It was created for Satan and his demons but when we rebel and decide to live our life without God or Jesus as our example for living we are siding with Satan whether we worship him or not. Even if you go to church and “act” like a Christian for most of your life, thinking that you will get into Heaven because of your “righteousness” you are wrong!

The heat that we feel in the Southeast is nothing compared to hell and the fact that we will go to hell because we have rejected the offer of eternity by rejecting Jesus as our Savior just makes the lie that we believed even worse. Living our short lives here in the humidity and heat of summer is child’s play compared to the eternity that you will live in hell because you rejected Jesus as your Savior.

Remember the man who asked Jesus to “remember me when you come into your Kingdom”? Jesus told him that he would be in Paradise that day for the simple act of believing in Jesus and Who He was. He is at the right hand of the Father now waiting for God to tell Him to bring the church up there.

How much and how far…

God has lots of patience with us because He has been waiting for nearly two thousand years. So how much more time do you think we have before His patience wears down or until the last person on His list is saved? How far will He allow us to go with our rebellion and the majority of people on Earth rejecting Jesus as their Savior?

These are questions which I can’t answer and neither can you. Jesus told His disciples that when that time comes the world will resemble the world just before the flood which Noah survived in the Ark. Are we there yet? Well, millions of children are killed each day in abortions all over the world, not just here in America. The number of children killed in America only amounts to maybe 850,000 or so every year. That is not an exact number but it is a number which should bother people but most will fight you for their right to kill their “fetus”.

Today we have so many terrorist groups, home-grown I might add, which are doing much the same as those on 9/11 did except not with airplanes. Abraham Lincoln said that our country would tear itself apart from the inside out one day because we wouldn’t be attacked from outside our borders. We have been attacked from outside our borders but it seems that the attacks which do the most harm are those from within.

None of this is outside of God’s notice because He sees and hears every word and every deed done on Earth. One day we will pay the price for our pride and arrogance. I just pray that many more who read this may find their way to a church or to a bookstore and pick up a copy of God’s Word. Read it and pray that you will be forgiven in Jesus’ name because when the time comes it will be sudden and without warning. Those who are ready to meet Him in the air will go and those who are not will be left here to endure the wrath of Satan and the wrath of Almighty God.

For Biblical proof of what is coming and some of what is happening today, read Matthew 24 and all of the book of Revelation. Then pray that you won’t have to endure those dangerous times.

Your strength comes by faith

In Isaiah 41:8-10 it is written: 8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. 9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness

This promise was given to the people of Israel during a time when they were persecuted and today Christians are persecuted because our faith in Jesus is mocked and ordered to be silent. In truth, we should not be silent because Jesus would not be silent about the atrocities and the killing which is happening because of a group of people who are angry and upset. The reason for their anger is a righteous one true enough but the looting and killing and burning will not help the situation and it will likely make it worse in the long run.

Jesus did not like the Roman occupation of His country and the killing of His people during His day but God had placed them over Israel as a test and as a way to bring them to a point of wanting a Messiah. The problem at the time was that they were looking for a leader and a king like David and Jesus didn’t come into the world to overthrow a government that was put there by God’s hand. 

Every President and Prime Minister are placed in power by God’s hand in order to bring about some part of God’s plan. We may not know which part, but the reason will be shown to us at some point one day.

Jesus came into the world in order to bring the good news of His gospel to all men. That is exactly what He did during the time with His disciples. When some of those who followed Him wanted to make Him the King, He removed Himself from them so that they couldn’t force that decision on Him. In Romans 13:1 it says: 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

God places all rulers, whether they are Kings or Presidents, in their offices for a purpose that only He knows. Sometimes we agree with His choice and sometimes we don’t but we are to follow them and be subject to them while God has them in power. God gives each of us the strength to do the work that He has given each of us to do. We must rely on Him for this strength and wisdom to carry us through each day and every day. We can’t decide to follow Him on one day and then turn away from Him the very next day or until we feel we can’t handle whatever we are facing that day.

Following Jesus and God’s wisdom and listening to them every day is a practice that we have to get up and determine that we will do this today and then do it again tomorrow and the next day until it becomes as natural as breathing. God loves each of us and will not keep back any blessing for those who are following Him in this life but in order to “take up your cross”, you must decide to do it every day. It isn’t something that can be taught in Sunday school, it must be learned by doing it until it is something that you don’t think about you just do it. The strength to do this comes from Him through your faith in Him. It is not something that you get from a sermon but you do get it by reading and studying His Word daily.

He is with you!

In John 14:16 the apostle affirms this promise: 16 And I will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

The Comforter which Jesus was speaking of is the Holy Spirit which all believers have living within them to teach them and guide them in their service to God. It is only by His strength that we can fulfill the position of a believer in His Kingdom. We can’t do it in our own strength but with the Spirit of Truth living within our hearts we can!

The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity which makes up God Himself so we have a small portion of God living within us when we become believers. Some of us don’t live as if we have Him living within us and it is to those who think they have something that they don’t have that this is being written. I am not trying to judge your heart because only God can do that but I am trying to spare you from a fate which will come upon many on the day of judgment.

Those of us who live in America have been blessed immeasurably by God just to be where we are. But our place of birth has also lead many to think that they are saved from hell just because of a family tradition or a prayer whispered when they were young and never considered again. We live in a culture that claims to believe in God and many do but so does the Devil himself! That is what is so damning for many of us. Culturally we believe that we are Christians because we have been brought up in the church. We have attended Sunday school and Bible school and may have attended church services on a regular basis.

But attendance doesn’t make you a Christian. Belief in God doesn’t make you a Christian. Knowing some scriptures and even attending revivals doesn’t make you a Christian. It is your heartbroken conviction that brings you to the cross and to the place where you know that you NEED Jesus as your Savior and you ask Him to come into your life and change your heart so that you can be a Christian.

Satan knows that Jesus is the Son of God and so do all of the demons in hell but they won’t serve Him. Knowledge of Him and attendance in church doesn’t make you a Christian. In the past one hundred years, our country has heard and seen many evangelists who brought the message of salvation to radio and television many times but superficial knowledge of God or Jesus doesn’t change your life. Even owning and occasionally reading a Bible at home doesn’t make you a Christian. It is the conviction of your heart that brings you to Jesus, asking to be made into a new creation, forever changed into a Christian

I pray that all who will read this will give their hearts to Jesus and ask Him to make them into His true disciples so that others may hear from your point of view how Jesus changed your life.

The pathway is narrow

The Narrow Gate

(Luke 13:22-30)

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Our pathway is very long and narrow but with Jesus as our guide we can make it. One day at a time, keeping prayer on our lips and our eyes on Jesus as we travel this road. Why is the pathway narrow? Because it is not an easy path to walk. There are trials and temptations and problems which come into every person’s life and it is by faith alone that we can endure until the end. Because when the end arrives and the Trumpet sounds we shall be taken home. Then the whole world will know that the Christians and the Jews were right to believe in their Holy Book and in the God Who inspired the writings in it.

Many who have heard sermons from God’s Word will know what is happening or what is about to happen but since the church, the body of true believers, has been taken away that is the only sign which will confirm it. There will be many who won’t believe it or possibly just brushed the revelation of it away as a fairy tale.

You would be wise to seek to know Jesus now, today. Because once the church is gone the riots and the collapse of governments will bring much chaos. Even more than is happening today. The pathway is narrow because it takes diligence and patience and faith to keep your feet on the path. The easy road has always been there and it has lured many people to believe that they are following the right way when in fact they are headed for hell.

Doing good works or being a good person is a wonderful accomplishment but those actions won’t save your soul. Only belief in Jesus as your Savior can do that. Some think that a socialist society and government would be better for our world today. But if everyone is getting paid by the government where does the money come from to pay each person a wage? Free healthcare and education are wonderful goals but again where does the money come from to pay for those?

Your life, your soul is worth more than the world to God and He loves you. I pray that anyone reading this will seek to find Jesus as your Savior. The church age is coming to a close. I don’t know when it will happen but it will because it is foretold in the Bible and God cannot lie. Seek Him as your Savior and tell others about Him while you can. I don’t believe there is much time left before this happens. Be watchful, read the books of Daniel and Ezekiel and Revelation and pray about what you are reading. Ask God to give you the wisdom to understand the prophecies contained within them. Listen to the Holy Spirit as it convicts you of your sins and repent and ask Jesus to cleanse your heart.