Love…


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and for many, it is a day to show their love for those who they love. Whether it is by giving candy or a flower or a bunch of flowers or even a card, it is a day that we are supposed to express our love for those that are the love of our lives.

What about when Love came to Earth for us to know Him?

Jesus is God’s Love expressed toward us and for us and He did this because He loved us! Not because He had to but because He wanted a relationship with all of us who would accept Him as Savior. God had that relationship in the beginning but it was taken away when Adam and Eve, together, disobeyed God. No one can place the blame on one or the other because God had placed Adam in charge and had given him the commandment about the tree of knowledge. But the blame game still goes on today.

God loved mankind then and He still does today, although with all of the things which we are doing which He doesn’t approve of today I don’t think that He likes our choices very much. He blessed all of us with love by giving us a home and a world which is mostly compatible for us and our lives. We have a sun and a moon which don’t overpower the Earth with heat or cold. Yet there are many today who believe that the least little thing can have an effect on our planet’s comfort level.

God loves you and cares for you. Seek Him out and know this before your life ends because if you don’t believe in Him now for your salvation, it will be too late when you meet Him at your judgment day. You will stand and give an account for every word and deed, well-intentioned or not because the Bible says you will! I pray that all who read this will seek Him out as soon as possible because in our world today there is no way to know if you will be alive to make the choice on Sunday or even tomorrow.

Amen!

A successful life


Can you live a Christian life today and be a success? Yes, if you live according to the Word of God. We are to renounce our “old ways” of living and turn our eyes and our hearts toward Jesus and living His way. What does that mean exactly? Here is what God told Moses during the Exodus from Egypt beginning in Deuteronomy 10:12-13

12And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Some of you might say to me “But that’s in the Old Testament, we don’t have to follow those rules now!” Why not? God hasn’t changed. It is only our perception of Him which has changed. We try to make Him into a “politically correct” god but He is God and He doesn’t change…not for you or for me or anyone else in the world!

In order for us to be forgiven and live a Christian life we are supposed to live according to His Word and follow Him every day of our lives until our death or until He calls us to Himself. It is not negotiable and He doesn’t conform to our ideas of Who He is! Until we realize that there will be many standing in that day saying “Lord, did we not prophesy in your Name?

Make sure of your relationship with Jesus now while there is a chance because if you are one who is saying those words in His Presence and He says, “depart from Me, for I never knew you.”; it will be too late to change anything about your salvation or lack of it at that time.

Make sure of what you believe and in Whom you believe.

Everyday life


We live each day according to what we have learned in our life. We may live according to what we were taught by our parents or grandparents or according to what we have learned from going to church and reading our Bibles. Some people claim that life doesn’t have a guidebook or an instruction manual but God’s Word is the best manual for living and how to live that I have ever seen or read.

But there are many times in our lives when we can’t find the answer to our problem. Sometimes it escapes us in one way or another. We ask “Why did this happen?” and we can’t find the answer or if we ask God that question…He is either silent or we may not be listening closely enough. Those times cause us to doubt our faith and they can cause us to doubt God too.

Why? It is a very small question but sometimes the answer is not small if it comes at all. The answer can be a diagnosis which a mother or father is not prepared for. The outcome of this diagnosis may be a child which is unable to ever enjoy life again or enjoy anything about life. So what do we do then? Are we supposed to give up on God’s promises of healing and restoration?

God doesn’t make that promise of healing and restoration for every person in the world! If you seek Him in your need and your feelings of grief over a child who is suffering from an accident or even a disease please seek God’s answer and LISTEN to Him. Many of us would rather have our child back or our spouse back, healthy and whole with no problems but consider that God’s healing may take the form of their passing from this life into the next with Him.

While this outcome is not the perfect outcome in our own view, God may truly have something else which is much better. But…we must be willing to truly listen to Him and not to our own voice echo in our head telling us what we want to hear rather than what is good for our child or our spouse or even the decision which is truly in God’s hands.

The problem with waiting for God’s leading and His voice is that we usually try to go around God and get things done the way we want them to be. We don’t want to wait on God but we want the solution right NOW! Life’s troubles and trials are rarely cut neatly with our ideas in mind so that a visit to the hospital turns out as a blessing. Many times it comes with tremendous bills and stress and the possible outcomes which may or may not be the one which we want in our lives.

These are the times when life seems to be broken and there is no amount of glue or tape which can un-break it. Sometimes even our technology can do more harm by keeping a loved one alive but are they really? They are breathing and they may react to some stimulus but if they are unable to live…is that really living?

Pray for those in the hospitals or in nursing homes that are in a coma or a state which, if given a chance, they would likely not want to “live” in. I pray that no mother or father reading this will ever have to go through this type of decision because even though I can write this advice down,  but if it were my son it would truly be heartbreaking to have to make that life-altering decision. He has told me if that ever happens don’t let me live in a coma not knowing what is going on or who is around me. But even with his instructions, it would still break my heart.

Life…easy or hard?


Life is such that it is at times hard and easy too. On the days when it is hard, we wish that our time would be over soon. On the days when it is easy and we have no worries, we wish that it would continue that way until Jesus comes. So…what should we do in this life of ease and hard work and hard living?

Praise God.

In all things good or bad, easy or hard, wealth or lack of money, we are to give thanks to God and praise Him for the blessings which we have. Some days it may be hard to find those blessings. Some days we may not feel like we are being blessed at all, but if you are a Christian you should live your days in communion with God…daily. Not drinking wine and eating crackers, I mean prayerfully walking with God and reading God’s Word. Learning from your Creator and your Redeemer because He is a lot smarter than you are!

God gives each of us a measure of faith when we come to know Him as our Savior and Lord. Sometimes we feel as if the measure was a little short but that is what we have so we have to use what we have. Does it make it easier to live the Christian life in a world which is against your faith and mine? Not really but we need to keep walking with Him by faith and living our lives with our eyes on the prize of eternity. This world and all of the “stuff” in it like the houses and the cars and the boats and the fancy hunting rifles and four-wheelers and things…all of this is going away one day and none of it will matter.

Your life and what you have done with the talents which God has given you to bless others with and to show His grace and mercy to the rest of the world is all that really matters in the end. Why is that? Because it is only those accomplishments which you have done for Him and through His blessings in your life which will go with you into eternity. Your money and your home and anything else of this world will stay here when you are either taken up or after you die.

So, is life easy or hard today? For some of us it could be an easy day and for some, it may be a hard day. Life goes on in the world and in each community at the same pace and for the same reasons which it was yesterday and which it will be following tomorrow.

Can we make a difference in the world today? Only by following Jesus and listening to His voice and His wisdom. Yes, we can make a difference in our lives and in the lives of other people by giving them the wisdom which God has gifted to us through His Word and by showing them Who Jesus is and by helping them to see why they need Him. Expressing His love in the world each and every day can make a big difference in the world and in the lives of those around us.

So, will you take Jesus with you to work and to school or wherever you go today so that someone will see Him in your actions and in your life? Because for many people in the world, you and your witness may be the only time that they are exposed to Jesus. So make sure that their first impression of Him is a good one so they will recognize that it is Jesus which is a part of your life and that they have benefitted from Him being present in their world today.

What is most important to you?


There are many, many answers to this question and they are not the same for everyone. Some of these would include our family or our children. Other answers may be more generic like world peace or just to live a good life. But when you get right down to the “brass tacks” of what is actually most important to you…in today’s politically charged world and in our culture, most people really wouldn’t know the true answer to that question.

If you were held at gunpoint and your life was threatened could you come up with an answer which makes sense and is the actual truth of your life? I honestly don’t know if any of us are that certain about what or who is the most important in your life. I have been thinking about it since beginning to write this and I just don’t know for certain. Isn’t that a little weird?

I have been married to my wife for twenty-six years and a few months but is she the most important person in my life? What about my son? Is he the most important person in my life right now? Even if I changed the wording a bit and asked: Who is the most important person in your life? Would that clear the water a bit? For some of us it might help but for others, I’m not so sure.

What is my point with this question? For one thing, it is to get us to think about it because we rarely do in today’s world. We are so busy running around doing things, going places, getting things done or going to the doctor’s office until we seem to be in a continual spin cycle. We never really settle down long enough to think about who or even what is most important to us or to our family while we have the time to think about it.

And really, if you sit down for about ten or fifteen minutes you will realize exactly what I am talking about. We don’t sit and talk much anymore. We are texting each other or liking a post or a picture or something funny which we share with our “friends” on Facebook. What did all of that accomplish? What does our electronic “friends list” actually mean in our lives? Do you really know these people or did you accept their request because you both have a friend in common?

What about taking one day every week and spending it with actual friends while learning more about our Savior at church. No pushing to make a change in your life. No asking for money that you don’t think you have to give for the work of the church. Just friends meeting at church and listening to a study of God’s Word for about an hour or so. God loves you and me and everyone else in this world but He also knows which ones will spend time with Him whether it is daily or weekly or just occasionally.

How would your friends feel if you only spent time with them on special occasions? How about once or twice in a month? How would your family feel if you did this? God loves each of us more deeply than our family members do and yet many of us don’t give Him or His Word much time at all in our lives. Many of us don’t spend as much time reading the Bible as we do liking pictures on Facebook each day or even in a week’s time!

There would be a massive revival in America if we could get off of Twitter or Facebook and pay attention to God’s Word at least as much as we did to those social media pages!

If we read God’s Word as much as we read social media in our country, the world around us would be impacted in ways that we cannot imagine right now.

God should be more important to each of us than our “friends” or even our family because He made it possible for us to have eternal life with Him. Eternity without Him is a pointless existence but it will happen if you leave Him out of your life until you die and then its too late to change that outcome.

Think about it while you can today…right now in fact because you don’t know when your time is up.

Have you broken God’s heart?


Many of us do this on a daily basis or at least a weekly basis and don’t even realize it. When you worry about something, anything, you are telling God that you don’t trust Him with that area of your life. When you do this you are breaking God’s heart. You are throwing everything in His face that He has ever done for you, no matter what it is. You are telling Him that “In this area of my life, I will worry about it because I don’t think You can help me with this!”.

How would you feel?

God, Who is the Creator of the universe and all of the physical laws which govern it, and you are telling Him that He can’t handle your problem so you will worry about it. Come on, our problems are not big enough to even cause God to think about them in order to solve them. Many of the problems which we worry about are those which we can’t fix even if we want to.

The problem with worrying about those problems, whatever they might be, is that it makes us into a practical atheist. We worry about things because we don’t think God will take care of it. The problem with that is this: He will take care of it only if we give the problem to Him completely! Not a portion of it for Him and then we will take care of the rest. Give the pain and sorrow to Him totally so that He can take it and do what He does with problems! He turns them into opportunities for His glory and for your good!

Knowing this, why do we worry? Because God doesn’t fix our problems when we want them fixed, He fixes them on His time and in His way.

How do you see Genesis?


The first book of Moses. The beginning of the Bible. The beginning of everything. All of these are true! Historically and physically and as the very beginning of Creation, that is how I view the book of Genesis. There is no discontinuity or falsehood in His Word, from the beginning to the end. Because if any part of it is false then that makes all of it false.

Genesis is the beginning and the story which was written was given to Moses during those forty days which he spent on the mountain with God. How do I know this? Because that is the only way that he could’ve been told of all the things which happened prior to his birth. The Creation story, the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, the Flood and Noah, the Tower of Babel, the call of Abram and then the miraculous birth of Isaac to a man and a woman far beyond the age of childbearing.

The Bible is the history of the world and of the Jewish people but it is also the story of God’s love for mankind and the lengths that He would go to in order to bring salvation to mankind too. His patience and mercy toward us are so great and powerful until we cannot understand His reasons nor His love for us. The rest of the Bible shows us that He is patient and loving toward us in ways which we cannot understand or even fathom with our limited minds compared to His!

We are His creation, made in His Image and given a special place in this universe which nobody else can claim. God loves each of us and He gives us a chance to live our lives for Him because His Son gave His life in order to bring us salvation. What we do with our lives after we accept Him as our Savior and believe in Him for our salvation is largely up to us. God shows us the path to salvation through His Son, it is our choice to follow that path every day and show that path to others so that they can find it too.

That is our job, our purpose on this Earth. Not living to make as much money as we can or to have as much stuff as we can get, but to be as useful to God while we are still here! That is our true calling and purpose as Christians and followers of Jesus.

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The unknown is scary


You know, everyone that I know is looking forward to going to Heaven to be with our Lord but nobody wants to die to get there. We don’t know what death is other than the end of this life. We don’t want to know how it feels or even if we feel anything at that point in time. We hear about some people who see Jesus just prior to closing their eyes for the last time, but we aren’t sure that we are ready for that, at least not yet.

Jesus said that He would take us to a place where we would be with Him, so why aren’t we willing and ready to go? We don’t know and really don’t want to know how death or dying feels like. Some say it’s like going to sleep. Of course, none of us really knows how we are going to die. I mean dying in your sleep would be perfect, to me. Go to sleep in your bed and wake up in Heaven. That doesn’t sound so hard or scary or even painful.

But…we don’t really know how or when God will call us home and that is another unknown. The only advice that I have about dying is that you need to be ready and make sure that when that time comes…dying is all you have to do.

Lord or Judge

The pain of change


Growth can be painful. Whether it is by working out or by any other exercise, muscles become painful when we use those which have not been used for a while. Sometimes the pain lasts for days, but if there is no pain then strength is not gained.

Just as the pain comes upon us when we exercise, we must also go through some pains while being a Christian. Because when we become Christians we are but babes. We are just beginning to learn about our salvation in Jesus and need to grow in grace with God. It is painful, to begin with as a Christian because we are still at war with our old nature as a sinner. Learning to be a Christian is a process and even though we receive Jesus and His Spirit when we have given our heart to Him, it does take some time to grow and mature in our faith.

Sometimes this growth is painful because we are not like we were before and we have moved toward God and away from the world. Our old “friends” are still in the world and they cannot understand the change which has come upon us. Is it painful? Yes, it very likely is painful when they want to do something which goes against your new faith. You would feel torn between serving Jesus or going with your friends. Some people choose to go with their friends and compromise their faith which causes pain to our new heart.

If you do this enough it will soon become easy to ignore the pain or not notice it at all. Some Christians claim that even though they are living in the world and not growing in their faith that they will still have a place in Heaven one day. While that may be true, your eternity will be different than it would’ve been had you listened to your heart and the Holy Spirit. Your rewards will be fewer and your life in Christ will be dull and lacking in the power to resist the temptations of the world around you.

Life has many times which are painful. Some of them come upon us because God allows them to, some of them come upon us because of our lack of growth and faith in Him Who saved us. We bring much of our pains into our lives because of our lack of growth in our faith and learning of God and His ways. Because there are many who think that once they have given their heart to Jesus and done the things which point toward a new life in Him, many of these so-called “carnal Christians” just wait until the day when they get to go into eternity.

The problem with this thinking is that if there hasn’t been a true change of heart which brings you to a true saving faith in Jesus, then you aren’t a Christian at all. You think you are because you do all of the things which a Christian does, mostly, but you still go back to your old life and your old habits. Without a change in your heart and a true repentance from your old ways, you can’t be seen as any different from the person you were before.

Without a broken heart knowing that your sins were part of the nails which placed Jesus on the cross, there will be no change. Because if you aren’t broken in your heart and your spirit knowing that you are responsible for Jesus’ death, you won’t reap the benefits of a resurrected heart as a child of God!

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Freedom from depravity


The Christian faith gives believers the grace they don’t deserve but so desperately need. The depravity of humankind is obvious, especially today. Our faith grants us , as believer’s, a direct relationship with God, whom we can approach with freedom. Once you understand the value of your salvation you understand how tightly the relationship needs to be held onto. Many people today think that Christianity deprives you of fun and having a life but that is not true.

God’s rules, the Ten Commandments, are guidelines for us to live by and after you have given your heart to Jesus and have begun following Him in your life they are easy to follow. Why? Because your relationship with Jesus is more important to you than your old life and your old ways. This is why believers need to treat their salvation as their most valuable asset.

I know the word “depravity” sounds offensive but think about all of the sex trafficking and child slaves that are kidnapped for perverts around the world. If that isn’t depravity I don’t know what is! Our world is under the control and rule of Satan and his agents so much of our world is part of his world. Granted, God allows him to do this and He is in control by limiting what he can do and how far he can go but it is still our adversary that is in charge on Earth.

God has always been in control of him and has placed limits on what he can do and what is not allowed by God. We see some of these things as either God is not in control or He is a mean and hateful God. He is nothing like that at all! If God were not in control I imagine that Satan and his cohorts would’ve made sure that mankind would likely wipe himself from the Earth long before now.

We should seek out God and learn about Him and His love for us, because there is no other way you can learn of Him if you don’t seek Him for yourself. God provided a way for your sins to be wiped clean so that you could interact with Him and be in Heaven one day as a redeemed child of God.

Remember, God has always had a plan for each of us and yet we try to live as if He doesn’t exist at all. He hung the stars in space and placed all of them in their places so that their light shines on us and we behold His glory by His creation. I ask that you give your life to Him while there is still time to do so. Seek Him out for your salvation, learn about Him by studying His Word and listening to Bible teaching and preaching. Because there is no better way to know someone than to read their letters.