What do you hear?


When you go to church or any worship service in worshiping Jesus, what do you go to hear? A show with flashing lights and singing with a band and maybe a little five or ten minute sermon? Do you go to church to learn about your Savior and what He really did for you? Are you a member of a mega-church with so many people that you have to have a huge screen to see who is preaching?

Jesus warned us of the time that we are living in and it is found in the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation. The church at Laodicea was a church which reminds us of the dangers of being comfortable with our worship service.

Here is the quote from the book of Revelation:

To the Church in Laodicea
(Colossians 2:1-5)

14 To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation.

15 I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16 So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, white garments so that you may be clothed and your shameful nakedness not exposed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be earnest and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

We live in a time when pastors and churches water down the Word of God and they don’t teach His Truth from Scripture, just as this church was. They weren’t cold toward the message of salvation but they weren’t hot toward spreading the gospel either. They were trying but not too hard, lukewarm. Many churches and pastors today do the same thing. They compromise the Word of God by accepting sinful behavior as being normal in order to get more members on their roles. They don’t call sin what it is and teach that it is acceptable even when they know that God opinion of sin has not changed!

We cannot compromise the message of God’s Word and we shouldn’t be trying to make it more acceptable to those who are practicing sinful lifestyles which God does not approve of! Just because every other media outlet does this doesn’t mean that the church should be going along with sin even when we know that God and His Word don’t accept it nor condone it in any way. If we do this then we are no different from the world around us and we shouldn’t even be preaching from God’s Word at all. Pick out a self-help book and use it as a “bible” if you are going to be like the rest of the world.

I will preach and teach from God’s Word until He calls me home one day and if you don’t like that message then you don’t have to come to my church or read this blog anymore.

Feast or famine


This saying has almost become cliche’ today and they use it for so many things until the meaning is almost lost to the younger generation. In the world both of these are easy to recognize and their meanings are very clear. Feast is when things are going really well and you have money and enough food to eat. Even your career is going well when you are feasting.

Famine, on the other hand is when things are not going well at all. Your home is being foreclosed and taken from you, you’ve lost your job and there is no money for food. You may even be living in a place where there has been a famine in more ways than one and people are starving to death.

But what if you applied these terms to your spiritual life? How would you read them and assign meaning to them then? Does feast refer to the days that you attend church with other believers? Does that mean that you don’t seek God counsel during the week, so you are going through a famine in your spiritual life between Sabbath’s? Christians are not supposed to live their spiritual lives this way.

Yes, you do go to a worship service to be fed the Word and taught about it but when you leave then you are supposed to fellowship with God until the next time. The disciples didn’t just meet up with Jesus on those days when He was teaching in the synagogue. They were with Him every day regardless of which direction He was going or who they might meet. They were near Him day and night so they heard His teachings every day not just weekly or once a month.

John even wrote in his gospel, “if all of the things were written about Him that He did, the world could not contain the books“. I paraphrased John’s words but you get the idea. Jesus did many miracles that we will never know about until we are with Him. But living a Christian life in “feast or famine” mode is not the way to live in Christ and Christ in you! The Holy Spirit, the third of the Trinity, is with you from the time you are saved. You have a member of the Trinity living with you, inside you and He is every bit as much God as the Father and the Son are. I don’t think that we consider that we have a part of the Creator Who teaches you about Jesus and helps you to understand His Word.

Living the sanctified life of a Christian, saved by His Grace, would not be possible if the Holy Spirit wasn’t there to show us and teach us when we are reading and learning from God’s Word. We wouldn’t act as a Christian in the slightest degree if it weren’t for the Spirit touching us and teaching us when we are tempted to do something we shouldn’t! God gives us the strength and His Spirit to be able to make it one day at a time in our walk with Him and that is what we should do. Get through today, then study God’s Word a bit tonight, then get through tomorrow and so on until we are called home.

PS: If there are any prayer requests or something that you would like for me to pray about, anything at all, leave a comment. I will add your request to the others that I get from the community.

Does God care about me?


This is one of those “duh?” questions but YES, He does care! It is true that we don’t see Him physically or feel His comfort as if He was giving us a hug, but God has always cared about each of us. Even those children who are killed by their mothers because of convenience (the time isn’t right), God takes their Spirits back until there is a mother out there who will raise and love that child (IMO). Do I know for sure that He does this? No, but I do believe that He will hold accountable those who continue to kill their children and those who have done it in the past but have not given their heart to Jesus in repentance of this terrible act.

Okay, off the soapbox.

Does God care what happens in your life? Yes, He does. He created each of us for a specific purpose in His mind. Finding that purpose is sometimes hard to do since we aren’t born knowing Him or even about Him. Some of us take years before we are brought to the point of realizing that we can’t do it all on our own. Sometimes that moment of finding this out leaves a scar or a bruise, physically or spiritually, which we sometimes push back from. Even though we know Who is trying to get our attention we act like children (even when we have a few decades of life behind us) and we try to tell God, “NO, I want to do it my way!”. Then when He lets us do it our way and it fails miserably, we get angry at HIM because it didn’t work that way we wanted it to.

Yes, God cares because He can see the end from the beginning in your life and in all of history. He knows who will listen to Him easily and He knows who will need a bump with a 2×4 on their head in order to get their attention. Somehow, I feel that He has to use more than a little persuasion for most of us in order to get it through our hard heads that He is interested in our well-being. While it is true that when God is in the process of getting our attention it is also for His Kingdom’s benefit, the rewards flow both ways.

We are useful to Him and to His Kingdom but the blessings of our usefulness come back to us even when we can’t see those blessings at times. We may not truly see the rewards of our labors for Christ until we are in Heaven. This is something which most in our world do not care about because those rewards are not physical or real in this life but in the next. Living and breathing in the present is more relevant to our existence and our experience but the rewards of working for God don’t necessarily come in this life.

God numbers the hairs on your head and since He cares enough to know even that bit of information about each of us, don’t you recognize that we are important to Him. We may have to do a bit of searching for our calling in this life but the reward will be so much more than we could experience in this life! Seek Him and His Kingdom and your reward will outweigh anything that you could have now.

The little things do count


When you read the gospels and the accounts of all of the different ways that Jesus interacted with people and healed some and raised some from the dead or freed them from demonic possession it makes you wonder what else He might’ve done in between all of these. When you read about everything that He did in the few years that His disciples walked with Him and then read at the end of John’s gospel that “if everything that Jesus did were written down the world couldn’t hold all of the books“.

Jesus payed attention to all of the little things. The children that were around Him, the women who were supporting His ministry and were disciples too. He looked at the small lunch which fed over five thousand people and knew it was possible. He noticed so many things around Him in His ministry which aren’t recorded in the gospels. So, how do I know that He noticed these small details around Him? Because He was and is the Creator! An artist notices the color of clouds and birds and flowers and trees so how much more would our Creator notice everything and everyone around Him?

Even if the writers of the gospels didn’t notice it and He didn’t bring it to their attention, He would’ve noticed. Every flower and bird and tree and cloud and the stars at night. He was there during creation so why not take in your creation and truly notice all of the beauty in everything around you? I know I would have and you would too.

Jesus is our Savior and He paid that price for our salvation willingly. His humanity was afraid of the pain and suffering but He knew it had to be done. He is the Author of Life and the Creator and He did all of this for us. So when you feel His call in your heart and you know it is Him, please don’t turn away from that call because that call may be the only one you will hear or maybe the last time you may hear from Him. I pray that all of you who read this will give your heart and life to Jesus and follow Him for the rest of your life.

God, where are You?


Have you ever asked God, “Where are You?” It is an apt question, but do you truly want to know where God is? Consider that He is everywhere, whether you believe in Him or not. The problem with us, as human beings, is that we think too much. We look around and see the world and everything in it and we don’t understand how all of the evil in the world could be happening if God cared. The thing is this: God does care and He loves each of us but it is our responsibility to follow Him in our lives. The peace He gives to us comes from knowing Jesus and having security in our salvation.

So, to concentrate on the question a bit more…where is God? He lives outside of our existence but He holds all of creation together by His power and His plans. He is near us all of the time. We cannot feel His touch or see Him but His attention never wanders far from us, even if we don’t believe in Him. God provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years and He does the same thing for us today. He gives each of us talents and abilities to be able to make a living in this world and He places us in areas that He knows we can excel in.

All of these wonderful blessings come mostly to those who do truly believe in Him and trust Him for their salvation. Does He watch over those who haven’t really made up their mind about being His in a personal way? Yes, He does. His call on your life is truly your choice although it takes some of us a little longer to realize that He is calling us. Because it is our decision to choose Him as our Savior. We are not forced into belief because we can’t be, and He knows the beginning and the ending too. He knows the day and the hour that you will accept His offer of salvation, but He doesn’t push it on you.

Love and trust are two important aspects of a relationship with Jesus and God and neither of these can be forced upon anyone. You have to want this relationship and know that it is right for your life because eternity is not possible without Jesus in your life. Jesus came and gave His life to pay the penalty for your sins and all you have to do to claim your eternal life in Him is believe in Him and repent (turn away from) of your sinful life. Then read about Him in the Bible and learn how to be more like Him until He comes again. Living with Him one day at a time and do it every day. That is how you find Him and He keeps you in His hand.

Which way will you go?


Have you made arrangements for this yet? Many people seem to be on the most popular wide road but where exactly does it lead? According to any newspaper every person goes “to be with the Lord”. Are you sure of that destination?

Most of our lives, we seem to be heading somewhere but where? Some seem to be bent toward living their lives on fast forward and not really caring about their end of life or where it may lead. Then, of course, there are some who listen to their parents and their teachers and at least try to stay on course during their lifetime. Occasionally they may listen in Sunday school or Vacation Bible school and learn about a Creator and a Savior called Jesus! According to some polls taken in the past few years, there are many young people who are rejecting any affiliation with religion whether it has anything to do with their parents or not.

God loves humanity enough that He came to Earth to live as one of us. Then He tried to teach people how to know Him and show them that He cared. The “priests” were the ones who sought to get rid of Him and they thought that they had, until they found the empty tomb after His crucifixion. The teaching which He brought to us through His disciples and His teachings to them for us is still available, the salvation offered by your belief in Him and the atonement which He gained for you is still available for you…if you will believe in Him. Jesus did this for you and for me knowing that we would need salvation and forgiveness.

He did this for each of us because of His love for us, not because of anything that we do. His provision of forgiveness and grace is not dependent upon anything that we do, it is all a gift from Him to us IF we will believe in Him and receive it! God has loved us from the beginning of time and He knows each of us because He knit us together in the womb. We are His creation, His workmanship, so He knows what we can do and what we are capable of doing. When you feel His call on your life, don’t turn away from Him.

What else do I need?


If you are searching for salvation there is only one name under heaven that can bring it to you, if you believe. His name is Jesus (Yeshua) the Christ! God knew a long time ago that mankind could not follow His instructions to the letter. That is why He purposed, far ahead of time, that Jesus would come into the world and be the perfect Sacrificial Lamb for all of mankind!

There is nothing that we can add to His work on the cross to be saved, but once you are you can work for Him to tell others about Him and what He has done for you. Jesus is not a taskmaster who forces any kind of work or burden upon us. He is our Savior. Truly we should do His work on Earth because we owe Him for our salvation and not because we have to do it in order to gain our salvation.

There is nothing which we can do to add to our salvation nor to gain it. It is a gift from God to us through Jesus…period! We should be grateful enough to work for Him because of our salvation and His grace toward us and that is exactly how I tell others about my Savior. God loves each of us in a specific way. He doesn’t have to and for some who refuse His offer of grace and salvation, I do believe it hurts His heart as well.

God loves each of us but He also knows which person will accept salvation through Jesus and which ones will not. But, God doesn’t force anyone to accept salvation. It is an offer through Jesus the Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross which has paid for your salvation. Whether you accept it and live in Him and in your salvation is up to you.

Do I need to do anything else for salvation?

In order to gain your salvation, there is nothing that we can do or add to it in order to obtain salvation. The only requirement is that when you feel His touch in your Spirit or your heart, don’t turn away from Him. Accept it as your day to be saved. Walk with Him from that point on and don’t look back for the life you had before. Make sure to keep your life and your spiritual eyes focused on Jesus, no matter what happens in your life.

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!

Make sure of Whom you believe


In 1 John 4 it says these words:

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

When you are committed to being and living as a Christian there is a part of God’s Spirit which comes to live inside you. He or She is the Holy Spirit. All of us who are His and belong to Him have a part of Him, as Jesus called Him-the Comforter and He is living in your heart (soul). God’s grace and mercy have been poured out in your life so that you can believe in the One Who has saved your soul, but it is God’s Spirit Who teaches you and helps you to understand His Word.

Without faith, we can do nothing in God’s Kingdom and without His Spirit, we would understand very little of God’s Word. We could read it every day but without His teaching and giving us the meaning of it for our lives the Bible would be just a book of stories and nothing more. For many years before I truly committed my life to Him I read chapters in the Bible and read along with the pastor at church but until I accepted the Holy Spirit into my life it really didn’t make sense.

Jesus’ sermon on the mount was just a bunch of blessings given to those who were looking for the Messiah until I looked at it from His point of view. God loves each of us and He wants the best for you and me. That doesn’t mean that He wants all of us to be rich and wealthy with no struggles, however. God’s best may be our eternal home with Him, not some fancy house with a mortgage here for us to struggle to pay. The same goes for all of the other “stuff” which the world around us sees as symbols of our success.

Seek God and His Son, Jesus, for your salvation because the time which each of us has is very short compared to eternity. Each of us has an eternal soul and you will spend eternity somewhere so make sure of your destination while you can.

Humanist utopia


This is the very ideal which “Star Trek” was pushing a little over fifty years ago. We are not even close to any kind of utopia at this point, anywhere on Earth, but this is what people would like to see. Will it ever happen? In my lifetime…I doubt it unless Jesus comes back soon and sets up His Kingdom as it is described in the book of Revelation. Humanity is not able to be like those portrayed in the Federation which Gene Roddenberry imagined. There are too many cultural and political differences in our world and in the nations of the world to achieve any utopia without Jesus.

It doesn’t matter how far we go technologically, that advancement won’t bring about a Utopian society because it can’t do away with our differences. We can’t do away with our differences because of our cultural hangups and our own pride which tends to get in the way. While it is true that many of the truths which we hold near and dear to our hearts either can’t be proven scientifically or logically but neither can the theory about evolution. Our only proof of life on this planet is the fact that there is so much of it on our planet.

God placed each of us here with a purpose in His mind which many of us seem to ignore or rather we just don’t care what it is. His purpose for each of us is that we learn to serve Him and His Kingdom by becoming more like Jesus. The problem which most people have with that is this: “I want to do it MY way!”

We are like children who are spoiled and who don’t want to listen to God or learn His ways from His Word, the Bible. Even though Christianity has been around a long time and has survived the many times that it has been outlawed or threatened there are many people in the world today who just don’t want it to be taken as the truth! They don’t want to acknowledge that it is absolutely the Truth because if they did they would have to give a reason for why they don’t live by it!

Humanity doesn’t want any kind of absolute moral compass to guide them. They only want to be their own guide and have their own rules, but the problem with that is that there will never be any lasting peace in the world while each person clings to their version of “truth”. That’s like allowing each person to make up their own laws and only abide by their individual laws, the world would be without rule and utterly without redemption or hope!

It is very true that we like the ideal which states that mankind can overcome his most basic instincts and become better than he is now but it won’t happen. The society portrayed in science fiction was only that way because every person on the planet could use a fictional machine to create as much food and clothing and wealth (gold). While that might bring about more equality between people and countries there would still be the issue of pride and greed.

The only way that the world will be in harmony and peace will be during the reign of Jesus for the one thousand years which God has foretold will come. Since God cannot tell a lie this will happen but until that day an ideal society with equality and opportunity for everyone will not happen just because we feel that it should.

Seek Him for your salvation while there is time to do so.