Empty space


There is a longing in every heart that only Jesus can satisfy. We should be seeking Him to fill that place because nothing else will fit in it except Him. So why do we go through life troubled about an empty feeling inside when it is easy to find Him as the solution?

Usually, it’s because we don’t want to admit that we need Him in our lives. We don’t want to live according to His ways or enjoy the life that we would have by following Him. Even when we find that nothing that we try can satisfy our longing or our emptiness, we usually don’t want to give up our life! Why? Because if we become a Christian we think that we will lose all of our friends. When we will really gain more friends.

We will be joining a group of people who are following the Savior of the world! He will make us feel whole and new again in ways that no drug or person or any amount of money could possibly accomplish! The empty place in your heart and in your life is meant to be filled by the Holy Spirit which Jesus will send to you when you become a Christian.

themissingpieceSo, why do people seem to be against everything that God and the Bible stand for? Maybe its because they are afraid of a book which has the absolute Truth in it. Maybe it has something to do with the way people are taught to think that “everything is relative”. Meaning the truth that you believe is relative to your life is not relative to mine. God’s Truth is relative to everyone! The Savior, Jesus the Christ, is relevant to each person who will decide to receive Him into their heart and their life!

While it seems that many people want to go to Heaven they think that there are easier ways of getting there than becoming a Christian. There are no multiplicity of pathways for getting to Heaven. There is only One way and that is through belief in Jesus and by giving your heart to Him when you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit that you are truly in need of salvation!

God loves each person on this planet regardless of your location or country or the color of your skin or even what ethnic group you may belong to. We are all a part of His Creation and He is the One Who gave you your personality and your gifts and talents! He knows exactly what you can do in His Kingdom and how much you could contribute to it if you will only become a part of it.

Yet, there are many in the world who either don’t believe in God or they are too stubborn to move away from the way they have always believed before. Just because your family believes one way doesn’t mean that you can’t have faith in Jesus and believe in Him for your Salvation. He died and rose again to pay the penalty for your sins and mine and every person alive! So why not follow Him and learn more about Him while becoming the person that He knows you can be?

Is the path of being a follower of Jesus hard? Sometimes, but He will be with you every step of the way. He will be there in the good times and the bad, so don’t turn away from His call on your life and your heart. Eternity is waiting for you and you will enter into it one day. You can decide today which direction and in which place your soul spends that eternity by choosing to follow Jesus now while you are still alive. Because if you don’t make that choice now then you may not be here to make it tomorrow or next week.

What are you chasing?


Have you ever wondered exactly what you are doing in this life or why you are doing it? Many people seem to be attempting to buy anything and everything that they can afford as if they truly believe the saying “he who dies with the most wins the prize”. How do you figure that? When you die your children will inherit what you had and if there are no children then those “things” which you bought with your money will be sold or given to someone else.

Why do we use up our lives chasing after things which can’t possibly give us any fulfillment or joy in this life, other than bragging rights…maybe? The problem with this kind of living is that when your life is over, what will people say or think about you and who you were? Will they remember you as someone who tried to help those who were in need? Will they remember you as a businessman or woman who chased after as much wealth as you could possibly attain?

Have you ever considered the eternal consequences of your life? What will your life be worth in eternity? Did your wealth, regardless of the amount, do any spiritual good in this world? Was it used for the spreading of God’s Word and His message to those who didn’t know Him?

All of these questions should be answered while you are still living so that you can try to make good use of the time that you have left until you enter into eternity. The larger question and the one which will make the most difference to you is: Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? God placed each of us here for the sole purpose of truly getting to know Him and being useful to Him in this life. Regardless of the amount of money or influence you may have in your business or in your life and the lives around you.

Everyone seems to wonder, what is my purpose or the meaning of my life, and we think about it almost from the time that they are old enough to know what a purpose is. The reality of the question is this: your life’s meaning and purpose are found in Jesus and serving Him and His purpose in your life. Anything which is outside of that is fluff and nonsense. Although I am sure that many will wonder exactly how am I supposed to pay my bills or save up for retirement by doing that?

God did not say that we had to be preachers or evangelists. We are to use the gifts and talents which we have been given to serve the Lord in our lives and in our businesses, whatever they may be. God mentions many different craftsmen in the Old Testament from woodworkers and carvers to engravers and those who can make jewelry out of gold as well as shepherds and kings and priests.

Your life and mine can be useful to God in many ways and it doesn’t matter what your vocation may be. If you are a nurse then be the best one that you can be and use your talents to serve God while you are at it. If you are a police person, do that as if you were working for the Lord. Whatever occupation you are in, do it as if you were working for Jesus and make sure that your tithes go to charities which actually help people. If you can’t find a charity which does this in your town, then start one which will!

Pray about it, seek God’s wisdom for whatever you are considering and if you feel God leading you in that direction with your money and your time then do it! Saturate your charity or foundation with prayer and fasting if you have to but make sure that it is doing work which Jesus would be proud of. If your business isn’t one which He would be happy with then move to something else which can honor God.

Is God your pursuit?


Do you run after God? Do you seek Him daily? If you don’t know Him, you should.

Many of us who are Christians get to a point where we feel comfortable in our spot. We feel like we have our salvation and we’ve learned and studied a good bit of the Bible and after X-number of years, we feel we should just cruise until we are called home to Heaven. Are you so knowledgeable about the Bible and its wisdom that you don’t need to read it or study it anymore?

I don’t think any pastor, evangelist, or layman should ever feel that they know the Bible so intimately that they can lay it down and never study it again. I have only read the Bible through about seven or eight times since I became a pastor seven years ago and I learn something new and fresh every time I read it. If I try to take a break from my Bible studies for a few days or even a week…I feel out of touch with God and I feel as if I have lost something precious.

If I do take those “days off”, I actually have lost something precious. My lifeline to our Creator and the wisdom which I can glean from His Word and from fellowship with Him on a daily basis. Can you take a break from learning from God? Yes, you can and the longer the break or the pause is, the more you are missing. Life is not the same when you have put your Guidebook down and that is exactly what the Bible, God’s Word, is for us!

GodNeverFailsLiving with His Word on a daily basis, studying it and prayerfully asking Him to reveal Himself to you in His Word is the Christian Life and once you get used to having His Presence in your life daily you will truly miss Him and His Word when you don’t read it. Some people would say that it has become a habit, but it is a relationship. Consider this: you wouldn’t marry your spouse and then only visit them once or twice a week would you?

Well, the relationship that you are supposed to have with God and His Son is supposed to be at least as important to your life as a Christian as your relationship with your spouse! That is the very reason why Jesus said for each of us to “take up his cross and follow Him” daily. Your cross can be your burden of studying His Word or it can be taking Him into your business or your workplace, but reading the Bible and prayer should be a part of your life every day regardless of your circumstances in life.

Being a daily Christian is very different from being a person who attends church occasionally such as weddings or funerals or just for specific holidays. God loves each one of us so much that He sent His Son to give His life for our sins so that we can have a real relationship with Him. A relationship which doesn’t end when your life does but continues into eternity and it becomes a deeper relationship in eternity because you are in His Presence.

I pray that you will give a relationship with Him some serious consideration because none of us know when our life will end and it is only during this life where we get the chance to change our life by asking Him to come into our hearts and change us. This decision will change you into the person, the son or daughter, that God knows you can be so don’t put this decision off, make sure to take care of your eternity today.

Jesus died in your place


This is the message of Christianity. The Son of God came down to Earth, to be born of a virgin and to become the Savior, the Messiah of the world! He wasn’t a conquering King that many were looking for and He was not a copy of other “messiahs” as some had claimed prior to His birth. He was and is the Lamb of God sacrificed to redeem the whole world if they will only believe in Him as their Savior. Knowing about Him or His message is not the same as heartfelt belief in Him.

Knowing about Him and what He did is not the same as being His spiritually and taking His spirit into your life and your heart.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

Salvation through belief in Jesus is the only way to Heaven, there is no other. This is the message which was taught about Him and by Him during His ministry and it is the only message which can save your soul from torment in hell. When you repent of your sinful life, which we have all lived at some point, believing in Jesus as your Savior will change your life forever! Not just here on Earth, but your eternal life will be totally different from those who think they know Him or “have an understanding with God”.

Those ideas will send many people to hell thinking that they are deserving of Heaven. While it is true that many good people may do many good deeds in their lifetime with this idea of their righteousness, some of them may even be pastors, but that idea is not salvation. Satan can convince you that it is and many have believed this lie but when they stand in judgment after death they find that their idea and reality are not the same.

God loves each of us and He does want a relationship with us but that relationship only comes through our conviction of our sinful nature and our belief in Jesus as our Savior. No amount of church attendance or even reading the Bible will save your soul, only your belief in Jesus as your Savior can and will do that!

Jesus came to bring salvation to Israel but when they did not believe that He was the Messiah, He knew that salvation had to be taken to the whole world. This is the command which He gave to His disciples and to Saul a little while later. It is also the command which the church should be following today! Take the gospel to the whole world so that others may hear and know Jesus and the freedom which comes through Him.

The love of God was poured out into all the world through Jesus and His message and it is still being told today. I pray that whoever reads this might seek Him out as their Savior because the days are coming when it will be hard if not impossible to find a Bible or a preacher. Plan for your eternity now because tomorrow may be too late.

 

RomanRoad2Salvation

Consider…love


There is so much hate and discord in the world today, why are we seeing all of these terrible problems all around us? In my opinion, it is because we haven’t tried to love people more. I don’t mean physical love or some kind of superficial love. The kind of love that I am speaking of is God’s kind of love.

“Well, now how do we do that?” you might say. The same way that Jesus did. If He can do it and His disciples did it then why can’t we do it today? If you truly are a Christian and you’ve been changed by His Spirit then you should be able to love someone in the same way that Jesus loved them. Not by looking at their skin color or how beautiful or handsome they are…but by seeing them the way that God looks at them. By seeing the value of their souls to God!

Jesus said if a man gained the whole world but loses his soul, what good would it do that man? In this, Jesus was speaking of the wealth of the whole world! I am not sure how much that could be but I know it would be in the trillions of dollars! That is still less than the value of your soul to God.

AngelsRejoiceGod created the entire universe and your soul, your salvation is worth more to Him than all of the wealth of the entire world or even the world itself! Imagine what the souls of every person on Earth are worth to Him. The blood of His Son, Jesus (Yeshua). That is what every person on Earth is worth. When you accept the atonement which Jesus’ death provided for your sins and for my sins, you have to agree that we are not worthy of His sacrifice. But He considered us worthy, which is why He did what He did for each of us.

It is not a great stretch to look at the Scriptures and realize that God has loved humanity since He created Adam and Eve. Even though they rebelled against His command and ate from a forbidden tree, He still loved them. He could look down through time and see you and me and each person who will choose to follow Him and believe in Jesus. He could also see those who will choose not to believe, but that doesn’t mean that He loved them less than anyone else.

God’s love for us is not dependent upon what we do or what we say or even if we believe in Jesus or not. God IS Love, so He expresses His love for all of us in that Jesus died for all of mankind’s sins. Whether we choose to follow Him and give our lives to Him is still our choice but I think when you realize everything that is provided for you in this life, then you will make that decision. I just pray that it will be a decision to follow Jesus and give your life to Him.

You are special


When God called Jeremiah He told him this: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NASB

OnlyJesuscansaveYouIn truth and by His admission we are all known by God in this way. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us but it is up to us to fulfill that plan and purpose in His Kingdom. Why do I place the responsibility on each of us? Because God doesn’t bring us into this world as automatons! We have a choice! His call may touch us in our twenties but, like me, you may not actually answer that call until almost thirty years later!

Oh, you may get saved and ask Jesus into your life before you answer the call on your life but you still have a choice of doing what God wants you to do with your salvation and your life in Christ. Could Saul have chosen not to be the apostle to go to the Gentile nations around Israel? Actually, I don’t think that he could have said no to Jesus because of the way Jesus spoke to him directly. But…we can choose and many people do choose not to be what God wants them to be.

It is kinda sad though because Jesus gave all of His Life for our salvation so you would think that we could at least be thankful enough to give our lives to Him in return! But many people who do give their heart to Jesus do it and then go back to their way of living and that is wrong! It is hard to reconcile the changed heart which Jesus gives us when we truly accept Him as our Savior and then watch someone go from studying their Bible back to living in the world which they were supposed to leave behind.

Some people claim to have done just that but when you ask them if they are you saved, they will tell you they are. Even if they are living with someone or drinking and smoking and even using cuss words, they will tell you that Jesus is their Savior. It is at times like this that I just pray for them and usually I ask God to watch over them because only He knows the condition of their heart and soul. I do not.

We are not to try to judge a person’s salvation because we can’t. That is something that only God knows for sure. If their name is in the Book of Life then that is wonderful, regardless of what their life may be to everyone around them. We may be surprised one day to find many in Heaven who we didn’t think would make the cut and we will be just as surprised at those who will be told: “Depart from me for I never knew you.”

I pray that I am included in the few who will be welcomed into Heaven and hopefully those in my church family and my immediate family will be too. Please, make that choice today if you have not. My words here are not of my own choosing but come from my Spirit and I pray that you are saved and sanctified by Jesus because there are no second chances in this decision. If it isn’t done before your life ends then it is too late.

Are you a good Samaritan?


Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan is one which is about being a true neighbor in the likeness of Jesus and His teaching on the subject. So why is it so hard for us, even in the church, to practice and DO this!? Is it because we are too selfish or are we too scared to admit that we can’t do it?! Read this and listen to the wisdom within it:

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

As Jesus said, “Go and do thou likewise”. This is a command from our Lord and the church should honor and obey this command but we aren’t doing it wholeheartedly. We do things a little at a time. Why? Are we afraid of doing this because it isn’t politically correct? We shouldn’t be worried about this! We should be getting out there and doing the things which our Lord told us to do!

The family down the road who doesn’t have enough food for their children would be happy to get a couple of sacks of good food. The man in your church, who needs someone to visit him because he has lost his wife and is alone again could use some fellowship. There are many in our immediate family who would appreciate a visit or a meal or even a trip to get out of the house once in a while…these are your neighbors so go and do as the Samaritan did and see to their needs whatever they might be.Good deeds

Jesus is my shield


His Word is a sharp sword and a defense against Satan. As long as I belong to Him, my salvation is sure and my hope for eternity is sure. God loves each of us, whether we believe in Him or not. So, when hard times come and trouble is all around you it is time to trust in the Lord and lean on Him for strength because He will uphold you with His mighty and righteous arm.

God created the entire universe to amaze us about His power and glory and yet we don’t revere Him and give Him the awe and glory that He deserves. God named the stars and placed them in their places so that we can see that He is THE Creator of all things!

Psalm 18:1-6

1 {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,} I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. 5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. 6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

God is our shield and our fortress, He is our Commander and our Savior, He is not the “man upstairs” or “a higher power” as some think of Him! In their minds, they may be thinking of God when they say those things, but they are not giving Him the respect and honor that He deserves when those words are spoken. God is the I AM and the Alpha and Omega and He is all-powerful! It is time that we started preaching Him in that way and not as a weak and ineffective deity which will punish you when you do wrong!

themissingpieceGod loves each of us, which is why Jesus came to give His life and His blood as a ransom for ALL of humanity! The price was paid for everyone, even though there are many who will not accept His offer of forgiveness and repent of their sinful lives. Forgiveness is there for everyone, like a bank account full of money but it is only going to do something in your life if you use it for His good and His purposes!

Does God care about you or your children? Of course, He does! He created this entire universe to cause us to look up in awe and wonder and see what a mighty and awesome God He is! We aren’t supposed to worship those stars or check our “horoscopes” just to see if we should go outside today! Read your Bible and pray to the One Who hung those stars in their places, Who calls each star by name and makes sure that they are doing their part in His creation!

THAT IS THE GOD WHOM I SERVE AND WORSHIP! Make sure that He is your God and fortress and Savior too!

What is freedom?


Freedom is the ability to enjoy certain liberties without being persecuted for enjoying them.

The dictionary meaning of freedom is this: the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. “We do have some freedom of choice”

  • the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.

We enjoy freedom not only because of the sacrifice of our soldiers in times of war and peace, but because of our law enforcement officers and other emergency response personnel too.

We also enjoy an amount of freedom from the burden of sin in our lives when we have given our hearts and our lives to Jesus and repent of our old way of life. Being a Christian is not just saying some words and getting wet by being baptized, it is a lifestyle and a relationship with Him. When you have given your life to Him you can enjoy the freedom that comes with it knowing that you have walked away from your old life.

Our freedom in Christ also gives us the ability to do and say those things which need to be said and done in the presence of others who may not know Jesus. Turn away from the drinking and smoking and give thanks for your freedom today so that others may want what you have in this life and may move on to an excellent eternity in the next.Pray-for-strength

A child’s story


There was a young child many years ago who was in kindergarten. He didn’t know much about the world around him except that Mom and Dad loved him. He went to school and played with his friends and went to stay with one of his mom’s friends until she got out of her classes in the afternoon. Life went on like this for a while and not much changed until one fall when his Dad came over before his Mom did and he saw Daddy kiss the woman who was keeping him.

Still too young to understand or even comprehend what was happening, he just shrugged it off. For years it never entered his mind until the memory surfaced when he was old enough to put the pieces of the puzzle in his mind together. From that point on he carried anger along with him. Not the kind you see in movies which causes a lot of pain but the kind that you bury inside. Where it festers like a splinter that you can’t remove. At some point in his later teens, he wanted to die but he couldn’t bring himself to the point of suicide, although through drunkenness, he did come close at least once.

Even though he managed to drive home many nights after attending a football game, most of those nights he was drunk or at least buzzed to the point of not walking very good. Thankfully, his grandmother was praying for him and that very prayer was the reason that he didn’t kill himself on a road somewhere.

That child was me.

In many ways, we are all like children even as we get older. We add years to our life but the child is still inside us. We leave home, go to school, get a job, maybe get married one day, but we are still seeking a mother or a father in some way. Someone who can show us how to be the person that we never learned how to be. Some of you can relate, if you were a part of a home which was broken or in some way detached from being “normal” with both parents in a loving home.

I am not telling you this to show how broken my life was, just that my early life and my teenage years weren’t what they should’ve been. This is not who I am today because I do have a father in Heaven and He is my Savior. I never had a chance to know my biological father so I really don’t know if he is in Heaven or not.

To get to the point of this side trip into my life I will tell you this: God LOVES you with the deepest, most profound love that you can imagine.

Remember these verses in John: “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.”

The love of God for all of humanity is such that He made our world perfect for our life and for everything that is needed for us to live. The right temperature and the right mixture of gases in our atmosphere as well as the fertile ground where our food can grow and the animals and fish and all of the other life on our planet. God did this not because He had to but because He wanted to. Life is not an accident or an evolution of chemicals and other adaptations to be more complex.

The universe doesn’t work that way. Entropy doesn’t go from simple to complex, it goes the other way. That is easy to see when you find an old implement in the field. A saw blade will continue to rust away into a red powder, iron oxide until the entire thing is gone. Now, what does this have to do with the child who started this story? LOVE

Without the love of God and the effect that it had on him and his life, he (I) wouldn’t be speaking to you today. I would never have gone down the pathways which God guided me toward to get to this place. I did take a few detours and ran off on my own path a few times but when God has a plan for your life, He will bring it to be…to fit His purpose for His Kingdom. It may take some time, but eventually, your path will intersect with His intended path for you and when that happens, hopefully,ourlovingsavior your Spiritual eyes will recognize where you are and where you should be.