Do you seek the spotlight?


During this time of video classes and video services from churches without people, are we seeking to be in the spotlight? Some people may be like fireflies in front of a camera and some truly are but for those who are trying to take the message of Jesus to others, shouldn’t we try to make sure that it is His message which is in the spotlight? It is our pride which causes us to seek the spotlight because we want the attention. It is pride which is the tap root from which all sins grow from and Satan knows how to nudge us in this direction.

Jesus didn’t seek the spotlight but He did spotlight the message itself so that people would hear it and seek salvation through belief in Him. It is our own pride which carries us into hell because we try to do everything ourselves. We even try to be our own savior because we believe that our works and our “righteousness” would gain us entry into the presence of God. It isn’t easy to be humble before God because we can’t see Him. We don’t know His majesty or His holiness and we can’t look around us and perceive Him in all of His glory.

We look at all of the accomplishments of mankind and we think that man has done so many great things. In some areas we have but if you look closer you can see all of the failings of mankind’s stewardship of our home. The pollution of rivers and the ocean and the cutting down of rain forests, which clean our air and make it breathable again. In the past few hundred years we have done much harm to our home, most of which cannot be fixed or replaced. Yet, we think that we deserve to stand in the Presence of God because of our “accomplishments”. How brazenly bold and prideful we are.

God loves each of us but those that He has called to be His aren’t doing their job as they should. Some are true enough but many of us seem to look at our salvation as nothing more than “fire insurance”. When we should be working for our Savior and Lord until that day when He comes to take His Bride, the church, home. This is the expectation of our Savior and our God but if we don’t read His Word we won’t know until it is too late.

Just as in the parable of the talents, when the Master of the house comes we should be found diligently working for Him and not being lazy and only bringing his one talent back to Him. Think of being a worker who will be richly rewarded if we are found working hard for our employer on the day when He says, “Enter into the rest of your Master my faithful servant”. Our time here is a very short time compared to even ten thousand years and that is only a moment in time compared to eternity. Make sure of your salvation and get to work while there is time to do so. Once your time is done here you will give account to God for every word and deed which you did for Him or not. You decide which side you will be found on.

Jesus wept…


He wept for His friend, Lazarus. Not because he died before Jesus could come but because he had to die so that others might see him return from the dead and live because Jesus called him back. He came back because of the call of Jesus and because many would believe in Jesus because of the miracle. Jesus wept because of the unbelief in the world even at the time that He lived and it likely grieves His heart even now because of the unbelief and hatred that is still in the world today.

We weep when a loved one dies. Sometimes it hurts so deeply that the pain lasts for days or weeks or even years…but God knows our pain and He gives us the strength to make it one more day. It is only by His strength that we can get through today and tomorrow and the next day. Sometimes it hurts and it is hard but many times the good memories that we have bring a smile to our face and warm our hearts even when they feel broken.

We hear people say things like “time will heal the pain”. It won’t. With the passage of time the pain gets easier to bear but it is still there and it is never truly healed. The pain of loss and the fact that you can’t talk to or see the person who is not here never truly goes away. The only time that the pain and the sorrow will ever be gone will be when we see them in heaven one day. Then we can celebrate throughout eternity.

Those who don’t believe in Jesus for their Savior and are part of a family that didn’t believe in Him for salvation don’t have this hope and assurance. Our hope comes from Jesus because of His love for us and the sacrifice that He made for us to have a relationship with Him. I pray that anyone who has not made that decision about their eternal future will make it before it is too late. Seek Him out and ask Him to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins. Live your life following Him and learning from Him by reading and praying about what you read in the Bible. God calls us to Himself and we should answer His call by humbly telling Him that we are sorry for waiting so long.

Are we living during the last days?


pestilence
1: a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating

Matthew 24: 4 …Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

False Christs 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

According to the predictions of Jesus and the book of Revelation, I believe we are at the point where Jesus says that “these are the beginning of sorrows”. The last days can last for a few years before any of the other signs begin to be fulfilled and there are no dates or indications in the Bible that point to a certain year or anything that we can use as a specific sign. We don’t know the day or the hour. It could happen tonight or next year or in six months. The timing is up to God and He knows the exact time that He will send His angels to gather the church from the Earth.

Will this happen in our lifetime? Yes, I do believe that it will because the signs that we can see and read from God’s Word all point toward a time when news videos can be transmitted all over the world as they happen. We are living in that time.

God has provided a way for every person who is seeking salvation to have it through belief in Jesus for their salvation. He is the only way and if you want to be a part of the church that He began with His disciples, I would ask you to seek Him out as your Savior soon. The clock is ticking closer to that time but once the church is taken away it will be even harder for anyone to accept Him as their Savior. Read the chapter that I have highlighted above in the link and also the book of Revelation and Daniel chapter 9 and following.

Don’t turn away from His call on your life and in your heart. If you have felt it please turn to Him even on your bed at night and ask Him to be your Savior and Lord. A child can do it and you can too.

What are we doing for Christ?


If you are a Christian, are you working for Him? I don’t mean that you have to be a pastor or a deacon but are you living your daily life as a Christian? Again, you don’t need to be a Gideon, although that ministry does many good things for God. Gideon in scripture was a man who thought he was not a significant man, but God doesn’t always use a strong warrior to accomplish His purposes.

Remember the movie, Captain America? He began as a man who could not be in the Army because of his medical problems and he was a bit too small and weak. God loves to use people who can’t do what He asks because the job requires more than they have. He wants people who will submit to His will and do what He asks of them in faith. In many ways, God wants us to listen and obey His leading but we have to be willing to listen and really hear Him in our Spirit. Then we should DO what we hear Him telling us. Because when we hear Him but then decide that we can’t do what He is asking in a way we are admitting the truth.

We can’t do all of the things that God requires without Him and His Spirit giving us strenght and the ability to acomplish His will. Working with Him, our purpose is true and it will accomplish that which God desires to be done. So many go through life thinking that they have to earn their salvation when it was paid for on the cross fully and completely. All that is required of us is that we believe in Jesus and that His work did this.

Today we celebrate His Resurrection and His victory over death and our eternity purchased by His blood which cleanses us from the stain of sin. Believe in Him for your salvation and you can be in heaven with Him for eternity.

We are not forgotten


God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground lifeless and dead. Since He cares enough about His creation to notice when a small bird dies, don’t you think that He knows what you are doing and how your health and welfare are? God gives each of us the ability to get up and serve Him each and every day and until He decides that your ministry is done you will live until that day!

Our lives and every word that we speak as Christians is part of our ministry. Everyone who sees you and knows that you are a Christian can see Him in your steps every day. If they don’t know you well enough to know that you are a Christian they may still watch you to see how you react to every situation. Christians react to every problem and trial in a very different way from those who don’t know Jesus. Why? Because we know the One Who holds tomorrow so we don’t need to worry about it.

Jesus said that “I will never leave you nor forsake you“, God said the same thing to Moses and Joshua. There is nothing that we cannot accomplish in His strength when we allow Him to guide us each day. Do not worry about this virus which is all over the world today, God will limit its path and will stop it when it has accomplished the thing which it was put into the world for. He uses disease and other trials to bring us closer to Him which is exactly what our country and those in the world who don’t know Him truly need this day.

Pray this prayer: Heavenly Father, I know that you know what is going on in my life. I need your strength to get through this and your provision for my daily life. Please touch those in my family and those around me who are also going through this trial. It may be this virus or cancer or some other trial but with your strength and your Presence in my heart and my life I know that everything will turn out just fine. Thank you for giving your Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice on the cross and resurrecting Him so that I can have the hope of eternity if I believe in Him. I ask you now to bring that belief to fruition in my heart and help me to become a child of yours forever. Forgive me of those sins that I have done and help me to walk in the newness of Life everlasting. In Jesus’ name I pray this prayer, Amen.

We are finite


Much of our lives are spent seeking for a reason or a purpose for our life. We go through life trying to find the meaning for our existence but many times we stumble over the real meaning in such a hurry until we miss it. This is the problem in most everyone’s life because it usually takes a crisis of some kind to bring our focus back to what we should have been doing all along. Not only washing our hands but being careful about where we sneeze and cough, but it has taken a virus to get the whole world to realize what is important and how to take care of each of us and those in our family who are important to us.

But…why does it take a crisis to bring the best of us to the top? Why do we have to be tried in some way in order to be better at being the people that we could be all the time? It seems that Christians and…well, people in general, tend to do better or try to be better when we are under the pressure of a trial, no matter what it might be. Whether it is persecution, like the early church was put through, or war or diseases Christians tend to thrive and dig deeper into our faith when we are put under pressure. Kinda like coal or carbon, when put through enough heat and pressure it will turn into a beautiful diamond.

Does life just do this or do we bring these trials on ourselves? I believe that it is a combination of circumstances and the will of God which brings these trials our way. Trials do tend to get rid of the dross and refine our faith into a more pure form of faith which cannot be shaken. Then of course there are some people who will go through the same trials and blame God for their “bad luck”. They will do this and then just turn away from Him and the love that He has for them, even when they know about His love and can possibly feel it yet they will still refuse to turn toward Him for salvation or healing.

Humanity has always been strange in that way. Some of us will lean toward our Savior during times of trial and some of us will blame Him for these trials and turn away from Him. Truthfully, the church grew faster during those times of persecution than at any other time during its history. The emperor of Rome was trying to stop this “cult” and stomp it out and it just kept growing. If you read the history of the church, no matter where the persecution was or the type of trials that it was put through, the church still grew in number of converts and in the places where it was known, where Jesus was known.

The trial that our world is going through right now is not localized but the faith of the people who are being tested during this time will be refined and polished to a point of reflecting Jesus and His message even more during this and afterward as well. God knows exactly how to make Himself known and if it takes a crisis like this virus which has everyone on edge and fearful, then He will allow it to happen. But we need to draw closer to Him during this and don’t blame Him for the outcome but thank Him for it, regardless of how gut-wrenching the pain is or how much you are tempted to blame Him for someone dying from this virus. He will see you through it and give you the strength to glorify Him regardless of the outcome.

Seek Him for your strength and your comfort because He is the only One Who can provide you with both.

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound….


Amazing Grace! We have been given His Grace toward us and for us. Not because we deserve it, because we don’t. God gave us His Grace through Jesus Christ long, long ago because He loves us! Not because of what we can do for Him but because of what He wanted to do for us. He wanted us to be with Him in eternity to praise and honor Him with glory because we love Him for what He did for each of us while we were still sinners, even before we were born, even before the world itself was made…He loved us enough to come draped in human flesh so that He could reconcile our sins through His death on the cross and then redeem us through His resurrection so that we would be with Him in eternity.

How sweet the sound of the words in the song by John Newton. John Newton, who was the captain of a slave ship for a few years and all the while God was working in him and on him. One day, he gave his heart and soul to Jesus and it changed him so profoundly until he had to sit down and write one of the greatest hymns that the Christian world has ever known. Not because of the melody but because of the words and the meaning behind them. This song is a sermon of love…God’s love for us and our love for Him because He loved us first!

“That saved a wretch like me”; John Newton could hear the slaves singing spiritual songs in the hold of the ships that he was part of their crew before being made captain on another ship. It was those songs and the conviction which came by them that made him write the song that we still sing today. Because God loves us even as wretched sinners and He loved each of us enough that He sent Jesus, His Son, to die on a Roman cross in order for us to live in eternity with Him. He didn’t have to do this but He wanted to do it because it was the only way to pay our penalty totally and completely so that we could be reconciled to Him and by Him.

“I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, but now I can see!” We were all lost. Struggling through this life as sinners and we didn’t know that we were dead already because of our sins. But when the Holy Spirit touched our hearts and broke them so that we could see with our spiritual eyes, we would see just how lost we truly were. Then we would know that we needed Jesus as our Savior and we would seek Him out until we found Him and asked Him to come in and clean our hearts and our minds so that we could be His.

“Through many dangers, toil and snares I have already come. His Grace has led me safe thus far and Grace will lead me Home”; In life we do go through toil and snares which Satan has put in front of us each day, but God’s grace and His Strength will guide you and me through these times and carry us home to Heaven one day. Seek Jesus out for your salvation so that you will be lead home to Heaven one day because He is the only pathway to Eternity. John Newton knew it, Billy Graham knew it, and the Bible tells us about it, all that we have to do is give our life to Him and walk with Him until that day comes when we will be taken home to be with Him.

Cast your worries on Him


God has loved us as His children since before the world was a world! He saw our frail and fickle ways long before the first sin was committed, but He loved us anyway.

Jesus said that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow because today has enough trouble of it’s own. Seek His strength and wisdom in your time of need during those days when nothing seems to be going right. He can give you enough to get through it and then some.

Rejection, fear, and uncertainty


As human’s we do not like even ONE of these. From our family or our friends and certainly not from God. But why would we worry about feeling these emotions from God? The main reason that we feel these emotions in our relationship with God is actually because of Satan himself. God has never rejected us. Why should we be afraid of God? He isn’t going to strike us dead if we don’t do something, right? Feeling uncertain about your relationship with Him is also a tactic of Satan. Jesus said that all we had to so was to believe in Him and in the Father Who sent Him to save us from our sins…that’s it! Believe in Jesus and God the Father for your salvation. No hoops to jump through. No certain number of people that you have to tell about Jesus. He did all of the work on the cross in order to pay for your sins and nothing that we try to do can add value to our salvation.

Satan is the instigator and has been since before Adam or the Earth was created. He was a consummate liar then and he has gotten better at it over the thousands of years since then. Satan can make us believe a lie about God or Jesus or any part of the salvation which is freely given by God’s grace through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

We don’t have to listen to those suggestions which Satan places in our head and in our mind, but many times we do listen to them. If you look it up and read about God in the Bible, you will see that He may make some people afraid of Him but He only did it because of their hard hearts. They wouldn’t listen to His instructions, His commandments, so He had to get their attention just as He gets our attention at times. He knows that we are hard-headed and stubborn and sometimes it takes more than reading a few scriptures to make us know that He is serious.

For some of us it will take a bit more than reading a scripture to realize what is being said to us. Many times it may take a sickness or a death in the family to really get our attention, but God will use that to His advantage. God loves each of us but He also knows exactly how much it will take to get our attention and to keep it focused on Him. Some people will blame Him and they will move away from Him but that isn’t a surprise to God. He knows exactly who will hear Him and follow Him and who will not. Regardless of our intention to follow Him or not, God still loves us. That is just His nature.

Amen

A lesson to learn from Job


When you begin reading the book of Job, you realize that he was fairly wealthy for the time that he lived in. According to some estimates, Job is the oldest book in the Bible, so his story is almost five thousand years old. In chapter 1 it tells of his wealth and his character:

Job’s Character and Wealth
(James 5:7-12)

1There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. And this man was blameless and upright, fearing God and shunning evil. 2He had seven sons and three daughters, 3and he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very large number of servants. Job was the greatest man of all the people of the East.

4Job’s sons would take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

5And when the days of feasting were over, Job would send for his children to purify them, rising early in the morning to offer burnt offerings for all of them. For Job thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.

For the place and time in which he lived, he was very wealthy. But when God brought Job to the attention of Satan, God allowed him to take all of his wealth away at first. Because Satan said that God had a hedge of protection around Job, so even when all of his wealth and his children were taken from him Job still didn’t blame God for it. Here is exactly what Job said when the news of his wealth and his children being taken from him: 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

He was still praising the Lord for his wealth and for the taking away of his wealth and his children. We need to learn a lesson from this especially during this day and time. Our breath and our health are given to us by God each hour of every day. He could stop our heart at any time because He is God, but if you are reading this He hasn’t done so yet. God loves you and every other person on Earth and He gives and takes or allows things to be taken for a reason. Sometimes it may be that He has something better planned for you, and sometimes it may be to teach you something.

When we seek to live our lives to honor Him and we want things which may not honor or bring glory to God then we shouldn’t be surprised when He answers our prayers with a “no” or by allowing something to be taken away from us. Life works that way sometimes and if you belong to Jesus and He belongs to you then your blessings are given by His command. Sometimes this also applies to things which are taken from you or that you aren’t allowed to have. We don’t know why until something else comes to take its place. Keep your faith in God and praise Him for the good things and the not so good things as well.