If you are reading this, be thankful for your eyes and your ability to read.
Life and living is something that we mostly take for granted but we shouldn’t. In the climate-change oriented world that we live in there are heat strokes and all sorts of problems out there every day that can change your life or even end it, so be careful and thankful for areas of shade or slightly cooler temperatures. The world around us has all sorts of viruses and disease-causing “bugs” that can kill without the proper treatment. Some scientists have even found viruses that we haven’t had exposure to in thousands of years and they found them in the ice of Antarctica. These could be very deadly since humanity doesn’t have any immunity to them.
Be thankful that God froze them for this length of time and hopeful that they won’t get out into our population anytime soon. God cares for us…all of us, and we should be very thankful for that. He is the designer of our solar system and if He had not placed those gas giant planets out away from us, it is likely that some comet or asteroid would’ve wiped Earth of life more often than it did.
Be thankful for all of the wondrous advances that we have access to today but keep God’s Word close to your life and your heart. Why? Because we need Him! He has provided all of the advances and the Way to salvation…essentially everything that we need for our lives. Be thankful for everything that He has provided for your family and for our salvation if we will accept it.
When you are hurting, thank the Lord for His mercy and grace even when you don’t feel thankful. God loves each of us and we need to tell Him “Thank You!” for all that He does. Some people may ask, “What does God do for me?”; if you can get up and walk, He has blessed you with that ability. Everything that we can do each day is a gift from God. Whether it is getting up for a cup of coffee or getting up to go to work…or just being able to get up!
God created us to be His companion and He has given each of us a purpose in life which is to go out and tell others about Him. Some will believe and some won’t but God is still in control of it all. Take comfort in that.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
1 Peter 4:17-19 KJV
I will praise thee, O Lord , with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
Psalms 9:1-2 KJV
The past few weeks…basically since the election, I’ve not been writing as much here. I have also been a bit distracted because of having to have a colonoscopy done. That’s as much information as I’ve giving here on that.
I have been studying my Bible although not as regularly as I was. Why am I slacking off? Truthfully…I’m not sure. I’ve noticed during the last few years that my holiday writing and studying drops off a bit. Maybe it is a little bit of the so-called “holiday blues”. It feels as if I am having to put out more effort each day to study the Bible and get the Word, the wisdom that God wants me to understand for my life, to make sense to me. Sounds like I have a real problem.
My problem is easy to pinpoint when I look at it that way. Even so I have to consciously bring my mind into subjection to His Holy Spirit so that I can write and understand that what I’m writing may bring someone who is looking for Jesus will find Him and not me. I cannot make the change in their life, in your life that will give you an eternity in heaven. Only Jesus Christ and your belief in His atonement for your sins can do that. God loves each of us so much that He sent Jesus to Earth to live as one of us and then die for all of our sins.
The only veil separating you from eternity is God’s love and He knows when you will come to know Him as your Savior. Some say that we are immortal until that day that God touches our heart and lets us know that He is waiting and all we have to do is accept Him as our Savior. Some people say ” Now wait a minute, you said that I have to believe in Jesus Christ for my salvation and now you are saying that God loves me enough to wait for me to give my life to Him!” Which One of Them is my Savior? They both are.
Jesus is the Son of God but He is also the Second of the Trinity which makes the Godhead. This is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit or Ghost if you prefer. All of them were present on the day that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist if you will read it in Matthew. So what is my problem these days? Satan.
Just because I am a Christian and a pastor doesn’t mean that he leaves me alone. In fact, he attacks me harder when I am about to write here or when I am working on my sermon or just studying the Bible. Why? Because as long as he can keep my mind occupied with bills and surgery and medical tests and my medication then I won’t be thinking about the work that I should be doing while there is still time to do so…to tell you and others about my Savior and what He will do for you. He doesn’t bring us wealth or fame here on this Earth or in this life but consider that no one on Earth can give you eternal life! What is wealth here compared to being in heaven with the Creator and my Redeemer? I mean the streets of New Jerusalem are paved with gold! How fantastic is that?
There isn’t a rich man on Earth that can pave his driveway with gold bricks because they would be stolen during the night. Nobody would spend thousands on a brick of gold and then place it in the dirt or in concrete to pave even a driveway. But God does. God doesn’t care about the gold and diamonds and pearls, each of the gates of the city in heaven are made from one gigantic pearl and there are 12 gates! Each one made from a precious stone like diamonds or sapphires. Can you imagine a door 12 feet tall made from one gemstone or pearl?
No amount of money impresses God…He wants your obedience and your love to be focused on Jesus and His life. We are supposed to be reflections of Him in our lives so that others can see Him in and through our lives because for some people you and I and the lives that we live in front of them are the only example of Jesus’ love that they may ever see. Live your life as close to Him and be as close to His example as you can with the strength that He gives you through the Holy Spirit because that is the only way that you and I can do this.
Both of these words are part and parcel of the message which Jesus taught to His disciples. What do I mean by “life”? Well, you are alive and the life that you live every day is a message that others see when they see you on a daily basis. People notice how you walk and talk, especially when they find that you have given your heart and life to Jesus. When Jesus went to different towns during His ministry do you think that He announced His coming? No, the word spread because of what others had experienced because of His life and because of the love that they felt when He spoke to them or preached to them or blessed them.
His ministry was and is the same as our ministry today. We are supposed to go out into the world and let people see Jesus in our daily life. Not being arrogant or boastful about our life but simply living our life with His life as a pattern by everything that we do or say. If a person can’t see Jesus in your daily life by how you speak or your actions then you may not have Jesus in your heart at all.
What about “love”? How do we incorporate that into our lives? According to the apostle Paul, “if we do not have love then we are just a clanging cymbal“. Why would he say something like that? Because everything that Jesus did in His ministry was done because of His love for His people and for each of us. Jesus healed people because He loved them. He blessed children because He loved them. Every action that He took during His ministry, even His death on the cross, was done because of His love for us.
In the culture that most of us live in today, the word “love” has been used and abused so much that it means much less than it should. Even saying “I love you” used to be an endearing thing to say but today love doesn’t carry the weight that it did in the past. There are many words that don’t mean the same today and many of them have been reduced to abbreviations or even emoticons.
God’s love is deeper and more meaningful than we can imagine but many people who attend church today don’t seem to see God in that way anymore. Mostly because very few people even believe that the Bible is the actual Word of God and that it is ALL TRUE! God cannot lie and yet many teachers and preachers will tell you that God didn’t mean it that way or that it only meant that when it was written but today it doesn’t mean that at all.
The Ten Commandments are still commandments and God meant every word. The Bible, Old and New Testaments, was inspired by the Holy Spirit and since He can’t lie then every word is true and was meant to be taken as absolute Truth then and now. Some people try to water down or change some words so that the message is skewed or changed to have a different impact on people today. In other words they don’t want to offend people. I don’t remember Jesus backing away from His critics or changing His message so that they wouldn’t be offended.
Live your life as a reflection of Jesus so that others will see Him in your words or your actions and maybe they will want the Savior that has come into your life and made such a change in your life and the way you live it.
Look into the Old Testament and you see God actively disciplining His people. He used signs and wonders to bring them out of Egypt and then He also used all kinds of signs and punishments to bring the Israelite community back into fellowship with Him. I am very glad that He does NOT use those kinds of enticements or punishments for the church, that is supposed to be part of the New Covenant through the blood of Jesus. Why is our world in such turmoil today? Mostly because the church dropped the ball in the past.
It didn’t take the “church” long to conform to the people and the world around them after Jesus ascended to Heaven. The Roman Catholic church adopted the “rituals” of pagans in order to bring them into its influence. That is where “Christmas” and “Easter” come from.
Have you thought about how we could get people to come to church? Most of us don’t because the world around us, for the most part, is not interested in coming to church. They don’t want to hear what they are doing wrong nor do they want to know that their “truth” is not the right Truth. Most people in the world don’t believe that the Bible and its teachings are the Truth much less that what is written there was inspired by God’s Spirit. They just think that the Bible is an old book written thousands of years ago and it has no relevance in today’s society.
I do believe that we are being disciplined by God but it is a soft discipline at this point. He’s not throwing hail stones of one hundred pounds at us and the Earth is not breaking open and swallowing whole congregations but we are being taught a lesson if we will notice it and learn from it. The things which are happening around us with COVID-19 and the Antifa riots and other media hyped “news” are just the birth pains before the real storm hits during the Tribulation.
If you are not sure of your salvation or if you have shunned church services for whatever reason I encourage you to make sure as soon as possible. The 7 year peace treaty with Israel will be the beginning of hell on Earth. Make sure which side you are on before that time gets here if you can.
God’s Word was given to us for learning, correction, wisdom, and salvation because of Who it points us to. We are not supposed to change it or edit it in any way because God’s words and His wisdom is above every human perception. If any changes have been made in the translation of God’s Word it must still contain the same message and point to the same Savior, Jesus Christ. If there are any ambiguities or confusion causing language in the book you are using that is supposed to be God’s Word then you need a new Bible. God is Jehovah and He has many names which tell of His glory and His provision for mankind. Jesus Christ is the Son of God Who came to be the spotless Lamb of God to redeem mankind once and for all. The Holy Spirit is the Teacher and the Comforter and the third Person of the Trinity that is God. He is with you and everyone who calls on the name of Jesus Christ as their Savior. Seek Him for your salvation today because you may not have tomorrow to do it. He loves you and if you are convicted of your sins, don’t turn away from His touch.
Life on Earth is getting harder to bear. More of my friends are going home to be with the Lord. Yes, we prayed for healing and God chose to heal by giving them their eternal body without disease or hunger or glasses. Life goes on here but I am truly looking forward to that day when the Trumpet of God is sounded and the Church, the Bride of Christ is called home. I don’t want to write much but I do ask for prayer for those who have lost loved ones to this COVID-19 thing! It is time for this to end.
We, and I mean all of us, are sometimes confused about God’s way of healing. Love works in ways which few of us can truly understand. Especially when it comes to God’s love which is deeper and more complete than any emotion that men or women can feel. Our emotions are not comparable to God’s. We ask Him for a healing, sometimes we plead for it for weeks or months, and we don’t see a healing happening…yet. But God has something planned. It may not be what you want or the way that you want it but God can see all of the options and His knowledge is boundless. He can see that one person’s death will bring about more than his or her life would’ve accomplished had they lived.
God is not being mean to the family because their faith will grow if they see that something greater is happening because of their witness in this life. Many may not have known about his ministry or influence. He or she may not have known that someone was changed or inspired in some way by their life or something that they said or did. God knows what it will accomplish and it is His will that it continue and it might not even begin had they lived.
God does things much different from the way that we think. Even the first miracle that Jesus did confused the people who had been serving the wine at the wedding in Cana. His mother called Him over and told Him that they were out of wine. He said, “What is that to me? My time has not come yet.” She still told the servants to “Do whatever He tells you to do”. He told them to fill six jars which held about sixty gallons each with water. When they had done so, He said to give a sample to the head waiter of the house. Then the man said that most people serve the best at the beginning of a celebration but you have kept the best until later.
Those who have been healed by taking them into eternity hopefully were followers of Jesus Christ. Some may not have believed in Him for their salvation but their death may still influence someone to change their life. God allowed His Son to pay the price for ALL OF OUR SINS so that we could have an eternity with Him. A strange way to save humanity when most of them don’t even believe in God or His Son. It is because of His great Love for us that He has for all of us. Did my friend believe in Jesus for his salvation? Yes! I envy him right now because of the wondrous sights he is seeing, especially because he is reunited with his Daddy and his grandparents. Yes, I envy him because I can’t see those wonderful sights until I am there and I’m looking forward to it.