Changing times

We are living during a time which is changing at a rapid pace. Almost on a daily basis something or someone does something which is totally out of the ordinary. A bridge collapses or some bombs are set off in a city which hasn’t had any terror attacks and its on American soil too! Of course, the media isn’t calling the bombings “terror” attacks, just random acts of violent behavior which are unrelated.

Maybe, but I’ve never heard of anyone doing this in the last thirty years or so just as a “random” act and not just one but three! Yes, life is changing here and it isn’t exactly better than it was before. We do have a President who is trying to help our country instead of running it into the toilet, but it seems that there are so many people in America who would rather rip it apart at the seams…at least there are more of them than we used to hear about!

Why is all of this happening? I believe that it is because of how close the world is to the time foretold in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Of course, there are some people who don’t believe that the Bible is God’s Word. Most of them don’t think it is true either. So, what is the church, the people who DO believe in God and His Son, supposed to do while the world ignores God?

We are supposed to be the bringers of the word, the Truth of God’s Word to all of the people who haven’t heard it or those who didn’t believe it in the first place. Tell the people about your Savior and what He has done and what He will do for them too! Because of God’s love for them,  and for the entire world! He is our Creator and we are His creation! It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do with your life if you know Jesus as your Savior then you are a messenger and you need to take it seriously!

Believers are supposed to be messengers for Jesus in our world today, just like His apostles were at the beginning of the church age. Will there be some who refuse to hear or maybe get angry with you for telling them about Jesus? Yes, most likely. But, if you can get them to listen to your story, what Jesus saved you from becoming, then even they might listen..even if only for a few minutes. God’s Holy Spirit will do the rest. If their heart is touched by something that you said or maybe what you were saved from, then He can get them to think about it. “If God cares for the little guy, the one that wasn’t popular in school or the most handsome, then maybe He could care about me too!”.

God has used many unlikely ways of getting people’s attention in the past and He will continue to do so until the very last person is saved. It isn’t a hard thing to believe but if your heart has been hardened by school or science then that may make it difficult, but anything is possible with God. I mean, look around you at the universe! God did all of that with His Words, and it was made from nothing more than the thoughts of God! Just think what He could do with you or me?


What kind of love do you have?

God loves each of us with our faults and our imperfections, we can love our children without a reason other than they are our kids. I love my wife because she is a gift from God! Have you ever considered what kind of love do you have in your life?

I do realize that there are people who have not been loved very much in their lives and it is a very sad thing. Because, if they have never felt loved by their parents or grandparents or their spouse then how can they love themselves or others? Love is one emotion which multiplies when it is given to another, most of the time. If you give your love to someone and they don’t return it in kind, then it is like a water hose hitting a rock, it splashes a lot but it will take a long time to penetrate.

Life feels empty and hollow when there is a feeling of being unloved. Here is the only case study that I could find to show the effect of a lack of affection:


In the United States, 1944, an experiment was conducted on 40 newborn infants to determine whether individuals could thrive alone on basic physiological needs without affection. Twenty newborn infants were housed in a special facility where they had caregivers who would go in to feed them, bathe them and change their diapers, but they would do nothing else. The caregivers had been instructed not to look at or touch the babies more than what was necessary, never communicating with them. All their physical needs were attended to scrupulously and the environment was kept sterile, none of the babies becoming ill.

The experiment was halted after four months, by which time, at least half of the babies had died at that point. At least two more died even after being rescued and brought into a more natural familial environment. There was no physiological cause for the babies’ deaths; they were all physically very healthy. Before each baby died, there was a period where they would stop verbalizing and trying to engage with their caregivers, generally, stop moving, nor cry or even change expression; death would follow shortly. The babies who had “given up” before being rescued, died in the same manner, even though they had been removed from the experimental conditions.

The conclusion was that nurturing is actually a very vital need in humans. Whilst this was taking place, in a separate facility, the second group of twenty newborn infants were raised with all their basic physiological needs provided and the addition of affection from the caregivers. This time, however, the outcome was as expected, no deaths encountered.

Here is the link to this if you would like to check it for yourself. Truly, we need nurturing development regardless of our age. The same goes for your relationship with your spouse or with Jesus. Your spouse can withhold any or all of the affection that is needed in a relationship, but your relationship will suffer greatly because of it.

Jesus doesn’t keep His love from us because He showed His love to all of us by His death and resurrection! He did that even though most of us were still sinners. Why do I say this? Because the population of the world at the time was much smaller than it is today. Yet, He died for our sins whether we were actually living at the time or not! “But, that doesn’t make sense?” you might ask. It does when you consider that God can see ALL of history since He is outside of time. He can see and know every person that ever lived even though they may not be physically alive at this moment.

That is why He says to one of His prophets: “I knew you before you were“. God loves each of us because of what He knows about us even before we are born. Make sure that your life reflects His love toward anyone that you meet daily. Begin your day with a reading of His Word, maybe just a few verses to begin with. Working up to a chapter each day will wash your mind and heart with His Word before any other stuff happens in your walk with Him.

Seek Him through the Bible, learn His voice by reading His Word, pray and ask Him to give you an understanding of His Word and when the Holy Spirit draws you to Him…please don’t turn away from His call.

What kind of Christian are you?

Do you practice your beliefs on a daily basis or do you just do so on Sunday at church? There are some people who actually practice “sometimes Christianity”, meaning that they are Christians sometimes such as when they attend church or functions at the church. But, they don’t practice being a Christian at work or away from the church. Are you a real believing Christian if you do this?

Was your life and your heart changed when you accepted Jesus as your Savior? If you believe that it was changed, did you change along with it? If your life didn’t change, then are you certain that your heart was changed?

I am not asking these questions to be accusing of anyone because I wondered these things myself after I accepted Jesus. The change in your life is not like getting a smack on your head with a bat, it is gradual but if you don’t follow the leading of the Holy Spirit you can upset the apple cart in a manner of speaking. How do I know this? Because I did exactly that at first. I upset the apple cart and after a while, I was back doing the same things as before.

It isn’t shameful but when you become a Christian you do need some coaching or mentoring for a while. Going it alone is not the recommended way of walking with Jesus daily.

You need to begin to study God’s Word, not just reading it. Prayerfully study it, get into the scripture with Jesus and actually ask Him to explain things that you don’t understand. If possible, get with your pastor or someone that you know is a Christian to help you understand God’s Word and His meaning. Why do I say this? Because it is too easy for Satan to whisper in your mind when you are new to faith in Jesus and he will make you believe things about what you read which aren’t the truth.

God does want you to learn from His Word but you need to be listening to Him talk and not your own thoughts and ideas. Pray about what you are reading, read His Word out loud if need be. Get a set of CD’s or mp3’s which have the entire Bible on them so you can listen to it being read to you, then pray about what you are hearing. God will reveal exactly what He wants you to know from His Word at the time that you need to hear it and understand it.

God will not lead you to a place where He doesn’t want you to be. Your life with Jesus is important because He wouldn’t have called you into His family unless He had something for you to do. God knows that you are the only person who can do what He has called you to do, and nobody else can accomplish it.

All of us who are Christians have a calling from God. It may be to teach a Sunday school class or be an usher at church, it might be for us to be a preacher or a missionary telling people in far-away places about Jesus. It might also be that you can help out at a shelter for the homeless or for Veterans. Whatever you do, even if you do it at your regular job, do it for the glory of God and let people know that you belong to Him!

Don’t be a “pew Christian”, one that is only a Christian in church and not very different from the rest of the world when you aren’t in church. That is being a false Christian or a Christian on the surface alone. Make sure of your beliefs and your position in Jesus because when your life ends here, anything that is just superficial won’t help you when you stand for your judgment.

What happened on Easter?

The story which is celebrated in much of the world has to do with pagan ritual. Eggs and rabbits and things like that. These have nothing to do with our risen Savior.

Jesus told His disciples that He would rise again on the third day. Many people disbelieve that story today, even in the church. I mean, how can you manage to get three days between Friday and Sunday? Going by Jewish calendars and tradition it is simple. A day begins at sunrise and ends at sunset, at least to us. But, to Jewish people who lived in Jesus’ day, the next day begins at sundown on the day before. So, when the soldiers arrested Jesus in the garden on early Friday morning, part of that day had already passed by.

The sunrise brought the priests and the High Priest before Pilate to accuse Jesus and He was flogged, but that wasn’t enough. They wanted a crucifixion and the Sabbath began at sundown. From about the third hour until the ninth hour Jesus was on the cross, that would be 9 am until 3 pm for us. Counting from sunrise to sunset is the timing that they used because the preparation for the Sabbath had to begin at sundown, counting as the next day.

empty_tomb11He laid in the tomb from just before sundown on Friday, all day on the Sabbath, and most of the day on the first day of the week on Sunday. So Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are three days!

So…what happened on Sunday morning at around sunrise? A miracle to those who witnessed it for sure! A bright light which was brighter than the Sun in its strength, which pierced even the cracks around the rock which covered the entrance to the tomb. The stone which had been rolled over the opening of the tomb and sealed with the Roman seal was rolled away.

We don’t know what the soldiers saw at that moment. They could’ve seen the risen Jesus in His glory or maybe an angel, possibly two angels who told the disciples and Mary that He has risen just as He had told them that He would. I want to believe that those soldiers who were guarding the tomb saw Him in His glory and likely believed that He was the Savior, the King of the Jews and their Messiah. But, until we get to Heaven we will not know for sure what they saw or what they believed.

Our Savior is alive and is at the right hand of Power on High! There is no other name by which we must be saved to be in His Presence! The only requirement is that we believe in Him and in what was written about Him in the Bible, ask Him for your forgiveness and repent of your old way of life and follow Him daily. That is our job, our responsibility as believers and as Christians! To tell others about our Savior Who died to give them the ability to become Christians and partake in His Kingdom too. No amount of money or work to do to be eligible for salvation, just believe in Him.

Are you a disciple?

This question has haunted me ever since I gave my life to Jesus and I still struggle to answer it. The Bible calls us “saints” although I don’t feel like I fit that description either. I was called into the ministry almost seven years ago, so I actually identify with the description of a disciple more than any other. What about you?

In many ways the first time I felt a call from God was about thirty-six years ago and at that time I wasn’t ready at all! I hadn’t been reading my Bible and I only attended church services a few times during the year. I felt that I wasn’t worthy to be called into any kind of ministry so I did what Jonah did…I ran away from that calling. I ignored it for many years.

Then, I got a call from a preacher who had been teaching a Bible study in a small church close to home. He told me that he needed me to fill in for him on Sunday (He called me on a Wednesday or Thursday, I really don’t remember). Anyway, I didn’t have much time to prepare. I was scared to death. I didn’t like speeches nor standing in front of a crowd to speak and you have to do that every week if you are a preacher.

God got me through that sermon, even though it only lasted about 8 or 10 minutes! I am still preaching there and today I can speak for about thirty minutes, sometimes a bit more. Why am I telling this? Because, as shy as I was in high school none of my classmates would think that I would ever do something like this! But, I have been there for six years and nine months so far. I pray that my sermons are doing some good for the Lord.

That is why I come here to “preach”. I don’t have to stand in front of people and I can write what the Spirit gives me to say so that others might come to know Jesus as their Savior. God loves each of you so much that He sent His Son to take the punishment that you and I should have been given. In many ways, you can see in the news today what is happening in our world with all of the murders and shootings and all of the wars and terrorist bombings going on. All of this is due to people who have made God fit their image of Who He is and what He demands of them.

God doesn’t demand anything besides your obedience once you have given your heart to Jesus and decide to follow His example in your daily life. Living your life through Jesus example is the best way to live because only He could fulfill the Law and the Ten Commandments perfectly. Please seek Him out while you have breath and time to do so because there is no second chance when you leave this life for eternity.

Romans 6:22-23 says this:   22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Be a follower of Jesus Christ

VineandBranchesIn 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.

  1. “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
  2.  “Self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.” ― Billy Graham
  3. “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”― Billy Graham
  4. “When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”― Billy Graham
  5. “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
  6. “Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone – except God.”― Billy Graham
  7. “The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”― Billy Graham
  8. “The cross shows us the seriousness of our sin—but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God.”― Billy Graham
  9. “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”― Billy Graham
  10. “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.