What do you expect from God?


You know that most of us are not taught to expect much from the Creator. In Sunday school and during our worship service we hear about what He did in David’s life and we wonder why hasn’t God used me in some way? Granted, we aren’t going to kill a giant like David did but the giants that we have to deal with today are more insidious and even more hurtful than Goliath. There are so many giants today which compete for supremacy over us such as alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction and the list could go on and on.

God gives each of us some talent or acumen that no one else has, yet many of us don’t pursue using them. Sometimes we are afraid to use them because we think that we won’t be accepted. So, should we use our talents for God’s glory or our own? The best advice I can give is to pray about it and listen for His answer. When we find out what our talent or God’s calling is on our lives some of us don’t like what we know to be His will. Then we strike out on our own and attempt to live our life the way we feel is the right way. Will God let you do this? Of course He will. He let Jonah do the very same thing but He turned Him around. So, when things begin to go wrong in your life and you know that you have been walking and living your way instead of His way, you will remember this.

Do we expect anything from God? In today’s church, I don’t think that there are many people who believe that God is even listening or even interested in us at all. Yes, there are some who read and study God’s Word diligently but most seem indifferent to what it says, let alone meditate on it.

If you are expecting anything from God, then you need to know Him and be known by Him. God loves each of us and truly wants us to know just how much. But if He doesn’t hear from you or see that you are trying to get to know Him better why should He answer when you pray? Seek Him out when you feel convicted that you need Him. If you don’t do so, you might not get another chance.

What would you give up?


To follow Jesus, the disciples all gave up something. Their livelihood, their reputation in some way, virtually all of them let something go in order to follow Jesus and they did so willingly.

A man from about 140 years ago once said this: “Beware of no one more than yourself, we carry our worst enemies within us.” Charles H. Spurgeon

Sometimes when we think we have given up a lot in order to follow Jesus and be useful to Him, we really haven’t given up much at all. On top of that, we are our own enemies because we can convince ourselves of things which we haven’t done or shouldn’t do even when God has called us to do these things.

So…what would you give up?

Would you go on a fast for a few days or maybe a couple of weeks, drinking only juice and water? I have done it myself but it was nine years ago, right before I was called to preach a few months later. I had to pray a lot but I was also working full time at a computer shop, so being away from home and food and cooking made it a little easier. Just work, drink water and go to the restroom a lot. Then after a week, it got easier and so on. I am not bragging about this because it truly was hard to do without all day and then come home and smell supper being cooked. I actually made it through about thirty days with juice and water and some protein drinks made with water (I know that last was kinda cheating). But after three weeks without solid food it is hard for your mind and your will to push back hard enough. The good thing about it, I lost thirty pounds!

Would you give up watching TV? I think this is even harder than fasting from food. I have heard of people who don’t even have a TV in their home and that’s great! I’m sure they don’t have computers or smartphones either. Although I could save a couple of hundred dollars a month cutting off the Internet and satellite TV. I don’t want to be without my phone though, just for emergencies.

What else could you and I give up? Snacks? Candy? Coffee…no, scratch that. Chocolate…can’t do it because it is in the same field as coffee.

Truthfully, we are our own enemies because we will listen to those voices which pop up in our mind. We think that they are our own ideas when they could be suggestions from Satan. The more we listen to them, the more influence they have over our lives. We can also talk ourselves out of doing things which we know God has called us to do. We become our own worst enemy because of this and sometimes we will even talk ourselves into doing something, thinking that it is the Holy Spirit talking to us.

If you don’t believe me just think back over your life and find those schemes or whatever you want to call them which didn’t work out so good. You heard about an “opportunity” or a “hot tip” and you thought “What will it hurt to give it a shot?”, “Who am I hurting but my own bank account?” I’ve done it, you know someone who has done it or you have done it and tried to forget about it. You mind and your thoughts are easy for Satan to manipulate because he’s been doing it for thousands of years. He knows where your buttons are and he know exactly how hard to push them so that it is tempting the first time and then it becomes a bit more and pretty soon…well you get the picture. It’s just like any of the temptations which he messes up other people’s lives and yours too, if you’re honest.

It is hard to push those ideas and temptations away when you are tired or hungry like Jesus was when He was tempted, but He used the Word of God against Satan and we have know it well enough to do the same thing. We will never know it though, unless we read it and study it every day, year after year. God’s Word is full of encouragement and heartache and wisdom and promises, but we need to know them so we can use them in our every day lives. Here is the challenge that I am putting here:

So…can you give up about fifteen minutes each day to read and pray about one chapter in God’s Word? Then do it again tomorrow and the next day until you’ve finished the New Testament. Then start on the Old Testament and do the same thing because after 21 days, reading God’s Word will have become a habit and it will be a habit that your heart and soul will truly miss when you miss one or two times.

God really loves you!


I found this on my Facebook page and I thought that more people should read this today so they will know that God loves each one of them.

The boy put his winter clothes on for the cold and told his father:

“Ok dad I’m ready”

His Dad, the pastor, said: “Ready for what?”

“Dad, it’s time to go outside and distribute our flyers.”

Dad replied: “Son, it’s very cold outside and it’s drizzling.”

The child looked surprised at his father and said: “But dad, people need to know about God even on rainy days.”

Dad replied, “Son, I’m not going outside in this weather.”

With despair, the child said: “Dad, can I go alone? Please!”

His father waited for a moment and then said: “Son, you can go. Here’s the flyers, be careful.”

“Thank you dad!”

And with this, the son went out into the rain. The 11-Year-old walked all the streets of the village, handing out the flyers to the people he saw.

After 2 hours walking in the rain and in the cold and with his last flyer in his hand, he stopped in a corner to see if he saw someone to give the flyer too, but the streets were totally deserted. Then he turned to the first house he saw, walked to the front door, touched the bell several times and waited, but no one came out.

Finally the boy turned to leave, but something stopped him. The child turned back to the door and began to touch the bell and pound the door strongly with his knuckles. He kept waiting. Finally the door was opened gently.

A lady came out with a very sad look and gently asked:

“What can I do for you, son?
With radiant eyes and a bright smile the child said:

“Lady, I’m sorry if I upset you, but I just want to tell you that God really loves you and that I came to give you my last flyer, which talks about God and His great love

The boy then gave her the flyer.

She just said, “Thank you, son, God bless you!”

Well, next Sunday morning, the pastor was in the pulpit and when the service began he asked:

“Someone has a testimony or something they want to share?”

Gently, in the back row of the church, an older lady stood up. When she started talking, a radiant and glorious look sprouted from her eyes:

“Nobody in this church knows me. I have never been here, even last Sunday I was not Christian.

My husband died a while ago leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday was a particularly cold and rainy day, and it was also in my heart; that on that day I came to the end of the road, since I had no hope and didn’t want to live anymore.

Then I took a chair and a rope and went up to the attic of my house. I tied and one end of the rope to the rafters of the roof; then I climbed onto the chair and put the other end of the rope around my neck.

I then stood on the chair, so alone and heartbroken, I was about to throw myself off the chair, when suddenly I heard the loud sound of the door being knocked.

So I thought: “I’ll wait for a minute and whoever it is will go”

I waited and waited, but the door knocking was getting louder and louder every time. It got so loud that I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

So I wondered, who could it be?
No one ever comes close to my door or come to visit me!
I released the rope from my neck and went to the door, while the bell was still ringing and the door was still being knocked on.

When I opened the door, I couldn’t believe what my eyes saw, in front of my door was the most radiant and angelic child I’ve ever seen.
He’s smile, ohhh, I can never describe it! The words that came out of his mouth made my heart, dead so long ago, come back to life, when he said with the VOICE OF CHERUB: “Lady, I just want to tell you that God really loves you”

“When the little angel disappeared between the cold and the rain, I closed my door and read every word of the flyer.
Then I went to the attic to remove the chair and rope.

I didn’t need them anymore. As you see. Now I am a happy daughter of the King.
As the direction of the boy, when he left, was to this church, I came personally say thank you to that little angel of God who came just in time and, in fact, to rescue my life from an eternity in hell. And replaced it with an eternity in God’s presence. “

Everyone cried in the church.

The Pastor came down from the pulpit to the first bench of the front, where the little angel was sitting; he took his son in his arms and cried uncontrollably.

Before…


Before you complain, think about what you have. Before you look at someone with a critical eye, turn your gaze on your own life first. Before you come to the end of your life, make sure that dying is all that you have left to do. Life is too short to live it without enjoying it first. But the enjoying of life for some people means that there is sin in their lives. They don’t think that you can enjoy being a Christian. Enjoyment doesn’t seem to be part of their thought processes when they think of serving God or even being a Christian.

King David, the author of Psalms, enjoyed the Lord. He praised the Lord and danced and sang while he praised God. That doesn’t sound like a joyless person. That is not a depressed and sad person because God brings joy into your life. Think about the blessings which Jesus brings into your life when you are saved! He forgives ALL of your sins, He gives you a new heart for serving Him and others, He changes your outlook on life because of the blessings that you receive when you become an adopted child of God!

Those blessings in this life are not the only blessings that you get from Jesus and from knowing Him as your Savior. Your eternity and your destination in it has changed as well. When you were a sinner, and every person who has come to Jesus (including myself) is a sinner, your eternity would’ve taken you into an eternity of torment. The only difference between your sinful life and the one you have now is that you have Jesus in it. Some theologies say that we are not put in the lake of fire like Satan will be, but being separated from the love of God and His Presence for eternity would be punishment enough. There will not be anything life-giving in hell. No water, no food, no cool streams of any kind and God’s Presence will not be there either.

Remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man? Lazarus was taken to Paradise with Abraham and the rich man was in hell. He asked for Lazarus to bring him just one drop of water because of the agony that he was in. But Abraham told him that there is a gulf between us that no one can cross over. He even asked if Lazarus could rise from the dead and tell his brothers to repent and not come to this place, but Abraham said no, they have the Prophets and the Law. They wouldn’t repent even if someone were to come back from the grave.

Your life before giving your heart and soul to Jesus is very different from the one you will enjoy after bringing His Presence into your heart. That is the reason for leading a joyful life after Jesus has saved you and made you into a new creation, different and precious to Him and to the Father. Serve Him in joy because with God all things can be joyful regardless of how the world may look at them. He will give you the strength to get through every obstacle and every pain and your life will be a beacon of hope to someone until you go to be with the Lord.

Our Good Shepherd


In Psalm 23 David begins with “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”. There are many ideas and interpretations of that phrase but mostly it has to do with your Spiritual life not your physical one. The Lord provides physical food and the ability to do your job and get the things which you need, but the last four words do not mean that you will be wealthy. It means that you won’t be in need of anything beyond His will to provide it for you. God’s will overcomes all obstacles from disease and famine to relationships between Himself and you or your family.

That doesn’t mean that He overrules your choice or your right to choose because God doesn’t force His will on us. But He does provide for us in every way and in every situation. There are times when we don’t see His hand in our lives and we feel as if He has left us to fend for ourselves but God is still close to you and me. We are never truly alone if we are Christians. If you have rejected Jesus as your Savior, God is still close by but He isn’t as close as He could be in your life. Particularly if He knows that you can do something in His Kingdom that nobody else can do. God will keep touching your life until you finally realize that you need Him as your Savior.

God has loved mankind since the dawn of Creation and before. We will never know the depth of His love for us until we are in His Presence and even then it may be too much to take in, even with our glorified bodies. Jesus came to bring His message of love to everyone, Israel first and then the rest of humanity, but many people rejected His message and still do. Is it too simple or is it just simple enough? I don’t know. I do know that some don’t place much faith in salvation in which we don’t have a part in bringing it about. They don’t like “free” gifts from God. They would rather work for their salvation to help God save their soul but our works are not necessary because Jesus did everything that needed to be done, all we have to do is accept it and believe that He did it for us!

Salvation is a gift from God to us through our belief in Jesus for our eternal soul. We can’t save ourselves and our idea of working for our eternal soul is flawed because of our fallen state. Any righteous act on our part and apart from Jesus is nothing more than rags. Because when we do anything in our own strength to “help” God save us, we are stepping out of His will and into our own. God doesn’t need or want our help in redeeming us because Jesus already accomplished it. All we have to do is believe that He did and repent of our sinful lives so we can follow His footsteps to becoming more like Jesus every day.

Do you live like Jonah?


In the book of Jonah, the prophet tries his best to run from God’s calling to take a message to Nineveh. Not because he doesn’t want to take the message, although that was part of it, but because he wants God’s judgment to fall on them rather than a revival coming to their country. He knows that God is merciful and He will forgive them if they turn from their sins and seek Him because of the warning that God told him to bring to the people of Nineveh.

Jonah 1:1-4 says:

1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before Me.”

3 Jonah, however, got up to flee to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship bound for Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went aboard to sail for Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.

The Great Storm (Jeremiah 6:10-21; Jeremiah 25:15-33; Acts 27:13-26; Romans 1:18-32)

4 Then the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship was in danger of breaking apart.

Wickedness or sin is lawlessness or transgressing the Law of God and it cannot be hidden or covered up, but we try to do this every day.

Proverbs 28: 13 says: 13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

God is willing to forgive our sins regardless of their “size” because all sin is abhorrent to God and Jesus paid the price for our sins to cover them and forgive us of their consequences. We look at our sins and think that that “little white lie” isn’t so bad. Not nearly as bad as the man who has murdered someone at least. But in the eyes of God, even though murder is a more grievous sin, any sin weighs the same because it is a transgression of God’s laws. When you break one of His laws it is the same as breaking them all.

Any sin in your life that has not been confessed and forgiven puts a door or a barrier between you and God until it is confessed and forgiven. God warned Cain before he slew his brother that “sin is crouching at your door and it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. Genesis 4:7

God will judge our unacknowledged sins (Romans 2:16), “God will judge the secrets of man by Jesus Christ”. I know it sounds like a harsh comparison for mankind to be judged according to the sinless Son of God but we, as Christians, are supposed to walk in His ways and seek to live a holy life. In our humanity and by our own strength we can’t do this but by reading God’s Word daily and carefully taking each thought into captivity we can be effective witnesses for Him.

Hiding sins, whether they are “small sins” or “Big sins”, isn’t possible because God knows your heart and your mind. Even if you haven’t given your heart and life to Him, when you stand before Him to be judged, every word and thought will be brought out into the open. That is a scary thing to consider since we rarely have complete control over our thoughts and many times we say things which we should’ve thought about first (but we don’t) and we end up with our foot in our mouth. In God’s economy and under His Laws, every sin weighs the same. We consider some as small and some as big but to Him they are all spots and blemishes on your record and they hinder you from enjoying life as He wants you to.

How far have you taken your faith?


In every place that you go, if you are a Christian, you take your faith and your beliefs with you. So make sure that you take Jesus with you every day and everywhere you go.

God loves each of us so much that He gave us this world to live in. Even though sometimes it is hard to live in, He loves you and He gives you the strength to make a difference. Take your faith with you no matter what someone says about your faith because Jesus knows your heart and He will give you the words that you need at the time.

He said that there is excitement and joy in Heaven when even one sinner comes to know Jesus as their Savior!

Everything that we have has been given to us by God. The air we breathe, the clothes we wear, our job, our family and our health are all gifts that we have because God deemed us worthy to have those gifts. We should go out into the world with our faith in Jesus and let others know about His love for them and to tell them that Jesus died for their sins so that they could have eternal life through belief in His sacrifice for them.

Have you been foolish?


Actually most of us have been at one time in our life. Just as it says in Corinthians: ‘a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him.’ (1 Corinthians 2:14). People who don’t know the grace of God or the mercy of God through the sacrifice and acceptance of Jesus as their Savior are foolish until that time when God, by the Holy Spirit, touches their heart and breaks it so that they realize their sinfulness. Every Christian has gone through some foolish times before they realized that Jesus was their Salvation.

God can and does get His message out into the world even without our help, but He calls us to be His voice in places where we can make a difference. Even if it is only to touch one person or maybe two. Some of us can reach more people by doing things like this. Some of us can do evangelism on a scale above what we can reach here but not in the league of some ministers. Sometimes we may only reach one person but you don’t know how many people that person will reach before their time is finished.

All of us are useful to God in telling others about our Savior…so why don’t we do more? Being foolish and following the world around us rather than following Jesus is spiritual suicide, maybe not in this life but in eternity. Unless you change and learn that your only eternal Savior is Jesus you will end up in the same place that Satan and his demons will be. Think about that and consider Who has given you the opportunity to make an eternal choice which will benefit you and give God the glory!

Thank you, Lord


How much do we owe the Lord in gratitude? Everything. If it weren’t for Him we wouldn’t be alive at all. If He had not seen us in the fullness of time from the very beginning, knowing that we would need His strength and His mercy in our lives…we would be lost and without hope. But God did see us and He chose each of us to come to know Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. There are so many things which we owe our thanks to God for until I couldn’t begin to list even the things which He does for me on one day, regardless of considering my life or the world around us!

God provides us with the air that we breathe and the world in which we live, yet there are many who either choose not to believe in Him or just don’t want to believe in Him and His Son. We have been given a wonderful gift through the knowledge of Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins. We should be thankful for that gift and live our lives accordingly because one day soon, He is coming back and He will be coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Amen