How can you tell the difference?


When someone shows you a fake or counterfeit dollar bill can you spot the difference? What about a false “gospel”? The only way to be able to tell the difference is to know what the Real One looks like or sounds like. There is no person on Earth who can perform miracles like Jesus did yet some try to fool people today into believing that they are “the Christ” reincarnated. Unfortunately in today’s world there are many people who will believe them and follow them.

But, you can’t just have “head knowledge” or you will be fooled. Reading the Bible is great but reading it with your Spiritual eyes and heart together is something totally different. If you are reading it with your eyes and you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior then you are only seeing information on a page. When your Spirit and your soul are involved together with prayer while reading God’s Word, the Spirit teaches you in ways that your brain just can’t understand!

When you have His Spirit living in your heart, as Jesus said “He will guide you and teach you about Me“. Only with the Spirit living in your heart can you truly understand the wisdom in the Bible regardless of which translation you may use. God loves you and He will teach you through His Word, but you have to pick it up and read it. Pray that God will come into your life and bring salvation to you because it is only through Jesus that eternity can be gained.

Are you righteous?


There are pious people and there are pretenders and even some who are “self-righteous”, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Are you righteous? If you are not born-again into the body of Christ you are not. No person on Earth has a sinless righteousness because only one Person ever achieved that and He sits at the right of God the Father. Our righteousness is as “filthy rags” and only fit to be burned in the heap of garbage outside the city. There is not one truly righteous person on Earth, not even the Pope because our righteousness is worthless unless we have salvation through Jesus and are in His righteousness.

Without the imputed righteousness of Jesus, which we have if we are saved through faith in Him, anything that we accomplish in the flesh is nothing. No matter how much good we do or how much we accomplish in this life, if it is without Jesus and done by His direction and for His Kingdom then it means nothing.

Being a part of the Christian Life takes faith in Jesus and your repentance from your sins. Not just talk or emotional feelings during a revival service. People can act like a Christian and go through the motions sometimes all the way to seminary and being the pastor of a large church and still not be a Christian. How is this possible? By doing all of the things that they have seen others do and say but not really giving their heart to Jesus and really changing their lives! If there hasn’t been a change in your soul, your heart then there really hasn’t been a change from being the person that you were.

That is what the conviction of the Holy Spirit brings to the table, so to speak. He convicts you of your need for salvation and then God places the faith in your heart to accept Jesus as your Savior so you can have a change in your heart which brings true salvation to you. There is no amount of money or education which can bring salvation into your life by learning about Jesus.

You could have a doctorate in Theology and be able to quote the Bible from the beginning to the end and if you have never accepted Jesus into your heart and repented of your sinful life, then you have the knowledge of salvation but not the fruit of it. Knowing about something or Someone doesn’t mean that you know them or even that they know you. If you aren’t known by Jesus then eternity will be a very different experience for you. Make sure of your salvation in Jesus Christ so that you can say with Paul: “Give your life as a living sacrifice to God“.

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.

dare-to-be-a-disciple_t

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