Your life, if you are a Christian, belongs to God. His Word will accomplish those things which He desires. It is His purpose which will be done and which should be your purpose because you have given your heart to Him. Live as a disciple and a witness of God because of the great love that He has shown toward you and in your life. If you aren’t sure about His love for you, consider that it is God Who allowed you to wake up this morning. It is by His purpose that you walk and breathe and do the things which you are able to do. God knew you before the world was formed and He has already made a way for your life to be useful in His hands.
All that you need to do is realize that and seek Him for your salvation. Your life is not your own, it belongs to God and it is His to do with as He will. Some of you who read this will deny that God has a place in your life, but He has the power to stop your heart in the next sixty seconds if He chose to. I’m not trying to scare you by saying that, it is just the simple truth. God wove your DNA together and He knows exactly what you are capable of accomplishing in your life and for Him. If you have felt the call of God on your life at any time in the past or even now…don’t push Him away. Lean into Him and ask for His strength and His forgiveness of your sins. Ask Him to take the old you and mold him or her into the person that He knows you can be.
You might say, “But…that might hurt!”. Change in any form hurts sometimes, but it is needed at times to. When you exercise by running or lifting weights your muscles get sore for a time because you’ve pushed them to do something that they weren’t or hadn’t done before. When you begin serving God, you will have to change and His Spirit will change you gradually or drastically, depending on how much change is needed. It may hurt because some of your family and friends won’t understand where this new person came from. They may not recognize the person that you care becoming, but God knows who you are and He can and will change you into the instrument that He needs you to be.
Jesus brought a message that God loves us and He wants us to be His children every day of our lives. He told those who would listen about this and some received it with gladness. Others thought His message was foolish but Jesus kept telling those who would listen that He was bringing the Kingdom of God to them. Some heard Him and believed but others thought He was crazy. The fruit that we are supposed to produce is peace and love and joy through Jesus Christ our Lord! Not this message you hear about today which says “I can do all things myself and I don’t need God!”.
When you hear someone say that they don’t need God, ask them if they can make a flower bloom? They will probably laugh at your question but if they think that they don’t need God then they are declaring that they are like God. They are delusional in this of course. Ask them if they can change their hair from gray to whatever color they had in their youth? Ask them if they can make themselves taller? If they can’t accomplish these things, then they need God badly in their life. Nobody can do these things except God but some of the “new age” religions are telling people that they can do these things.
God lit the stars and He can put them out. He brought the life to this world in the form of trees and animals and fish and birds just with His Word. Can you do that? Of course not. God loves you and He knows you, even if you don’t know Him yet. One day we will all bow before Him and I hope that you will know Him and that He will know you as well because those that He doesn’t know will be taken to a place of torment because they had the chance to give their life to Him but they chose not to.
Did you know that? He knew each of us before we were even born. He knows how many hairs are on your head (and how many have fallen out). He knows the color of your eyes and how much sleep you got last night. God knows you better than your own parents do because He formed you in the womb and knit together the molecules of your DNA. He knows everything that you have done and what you will do, even before you do.
To give you a bit of an idea just how much God values the soul which resides in each of us, think about what Jesus said to His disciples: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:26 When Jesus said this, the context of His statement is that if you had all of the wealth in the world but you don’t have salvation through Him to save your soul from hell then you have nothing. Think of it…God values your soul more than ALL of the wealth in the world! Trillions of dollars, I have no idea how much it would be, would not be enough to equal the value of your soul.
God sent His Son to pay the debt for our sins, everybody’s sins, just to make it possible for us to enter into eternity with Him. Isn’t that an awesome and humbling thought? The Creator came to Earth in a human body so He could pay for all of humanity’s sins, past, present and future just because He loves each of us more than His life. Yes, God does value each of us that much. It is hard to understand from our perspective and we may never really understand it, even when we are in heaven.
If you have never given your heart to Jesus and asked Him to come into your life and change it so you can be a follower of His, then I ask you to truly consider it. If you have felt His touch in your life or your heart please don’t turn away from Him. This life is all that we have in which to make an eternal decision so don’t throw away eternity for the few years you have here and the life that you have lived without Him.
I am not speaking of your home or your home away from home (workplace). What I am writing about today has to do with your emotional state: Pride, Apathy, and Depression or Doubt. Why are there two different emotional states for the D in this? Well, we all have each of these at one point or another in our lives but some of us live in them quite naturally. There are times when I have all four states going at the same time which is one of those days when very little gets done or I just go through the motions like a zombie or a robot. It gets done but not with much passion or fire. Sometimes these days coincide with a day that I’m at home with our Dachshund for company but that isn’t really a bad day because I enjoy my time with her.
Apathy and doubt usually go well together but when you mix pride into the pot with them it can be an explosive combination which can bring in anger and rage, that hard to control cousin of anger. Why am I concentrating on emotions and the trouble that they can cause? Because our churches and our immediate family usually get the fallout from these emotional states. It may happen after your PAD has been simmering for a while or if anger and rage are in the mix, it could just blow up like a bomb at the dinner table or at a business meeting at church.
Whenever you have a day like this or if it feels like its going to be “one of those days”, get into the Psalms and pray. Talk to your Father in Heaven about whatever is going on. Regardless of how small you think it is, He wants to help and He can! But you have to open up to Him. He knows what is going on already but just as our father or mother would like to help, God knows exactly how to help and where to point you in His Word. But you need to read it and pray to Him about it and then be willing to listen to the wisdom that you get from His Word or even from Him directly.
God can help you when you are feeling this way but only if you will let Him.
There is a quip or a saying which is attributed to Voltaire and it may hold true in our culture today. It goes like this: “God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.” Since we must do this at least some in our lives, I wonder how God feels about the exchange? When we make God in our image or as much like us as possible it tends to degrade Him into a brat and a whiner like we are. Think about all of the complaints which the Israelites lobbied against Moses and God when they were in the wilderness. It is no wonder that God almost wiped them out and wanted to start over with Moses. But Moses pleaded with God on their behalf and they were spared, at least the majority of the group was. Some were killed or buried when the ground swallowed them after the golden calf incident.
For heaven’s sake, they created an idol to be their “god” less than a week after God gained their freedom for them after 430 years with all of the plagues and miracles which He wrought to get Pharaoh to let them leave. He purified the waters to give them to drink, He brought water from a rock in the desert twice to take care of their thirst and their livestock. When they asked for meat instead of manna, He blew in quail in such numbers that they had more than enough to eat.
I am very thankful that God is not like us in any way. Oh, He is kind and compassionate and He has far more patience than any human could possibly have. But, if God were like we imagine Him to be I don’t think the world and the rule of mankind would’ve lasted as long as it has. God loves each of us far more than we can understand or imagine and He has done it since before our ancestors were born, all the way back to the beginning of His Creation and before that even.
Using your imagination to think up a “supreme being” that you can live with and worship is a very dangerous thing to do. For one, you are a practical idol worshiper when you do that. Because “your god” fits your ideas and your way of thinking just so you can feel comfortable when you pray and worship him. Your imaginary god is NOT the God of the Bible nor is he the God of Creation. Your god is someone that you created in your own mind. Your god will not get you into Heaven but he will pave a very slippery slope into hell just fine.
The second of the ten commandments says: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below”. This is not a suggestion, it is a commandment from Almighty God. I pray that all of you who read this will seek out the God of the Bible and His Son, Jesus for your salvation. There are no second chances after death so you had better make up your mind while you can.
This year is one which will see a lot of things happen. Many of those will be ignored or not even reported in the news media but they will be important nonetheless. God is working and will be working behind the scenes while we go about our lives.
You may be wondering why I started this year in this way. The reason is that God has spoken to me and He has given me this mission. Just as all the previous years when I began this endeavor. This is my witness to all who might read this. Not bragging or trying to bring attention to myself but to get your attention focused on the Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the only way to gain entrance into heaven. There is no other way except by believing in Him and giving your heart to Him as your Savior and Lord.
Will we see the works of God this year? Some will see them and some will just reject them as natural phenomena in the world. Do not mock God’s working in this world because one day every knee will bow before Him and declare that He is Lord.
God loves each of us even though He doesn’t agree with the way many of us live. Humble yourself before Him and ask for His forgiveness of your foolish behavior. Seek to know Him as your Savior and follow hard on His steps until the day when He calls us home. For some that may be sooner than they know, but all will come to know Him as Lord and King one day. I pray that this year will be filled with miracles which can’t be explained away except by the power of God. Seek Him while there is time and learn of His goodness and mercy. Give your heart to Him because He loved you before the foundation of the world and He sent Jesus to pay for our sins because of that love.
In Jesus’ name I pray that all of you will come to know Him as your Savior this year.
We aren’t there yet but it isn’t far off. Many people make resolutions to lose weight or get out of debt but the problem with either of those is that most have gone into more debt for Christmas just a week ago and losing weight is something that most of us just don’t have the time nor the energy to devote to it. Can it be done? Sure, but if you don’t get serious about it and keep your eye on the prize of losing X-amount of weight, just like a smoker who hasn’t really decided to quit but they try…and they fail. Not because it can’t be done but because they weren’t truly determined to do it! Losing weight and getting out of debt are the same, unless you are focused on the end goal and keep your focus tight on it until it happens…it won’t happen.
Why do I sound as if I’m picking on those of us who make these resolutions? Because I’ve done it myself and failed miserably every time. Now, I’m going to ask you about your life spiritually. Where are you in your life with believing in Jesus as your Savior? If you have already decided that this person who wrote this is nuts and I’m not going any further in this post, then be on your way. But if you are interested in the possibility of an eternity that many of us have heard about but maybe we were afraid if we went to “that church” and even got saved, people would talk about us. What’s wrong with that?
If they are asking you about what you experienced and how you feel about your salvation, then tell them! That is exactly what Jesus said to His disciples when He was about to “go to the Father”. Tell every person about the good news, starting in Judea and then go to the whole world. That is why I’m using this medium to tell others. Because I don’t have the resources to go into all of the world! The world on the Internet can find my witness here and that is the best I can do. God will use the words which He gives me to write here to touch those who are truly in need of His saving grace.
Please consider seeking out Jesus as your Savior this year. Not one of us is guaranteed to even be alive tomorrow let alone this time next year. Be sure of your eternity and your destination in it because while you are here and alive you can change your destination. Once your life is over, the decision has been made and there is no second chance after death. You will face either a welcome or a judgement by Jesus, there is no area of “if”. You are either saved or you are not and it is cut and dried, black or white and no gray areas at all.
Is He the child in the manger wrapped in swaddling cloths? Is the He the Living Word of God? Is He God Who came down to us in order to bring salvation and the forgiveness of sins? Is He the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? I could go on and on with the titles which He came to be on this Earth but my point is this: if Jesus is not the King of your life…then who is? If you haven’t given your heart to Him and asked Him to come into your life and make you whole and complete, then what or who is in that place?
Jesus is the real reason for the season whether we like it or believe it or not. There are many in the world today who don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God. They think it is just a book and nothing more but it is SO MUCH MORE. The main reason that I say this is because if one part of it is not true then the whole text of the Bible isn’t true. God gave the words of His Book to those who wrote it down so that all of us who have access to it can learn from it and be saved from the consequences of our sin. Which sin are we talking about? The only one which matters to God: belief in Jesus as your Savior. If you don’t believe that and ask Him to come into your heart and your whole life and allow Him to change you then you just wasted your time.
Without Jesus, without the Christ in your life and your heart all you have is “book knowledge”? Even if you have been attending church for your entire life and you’ve read the Bible in Sunday school and during the sermons for fifty or sixty years but you haven’t asked Jesus to come into your heart and save you then all you have is knowledge of Him without the experience of His power in your life.
All of us need to realize that when we have been adopted as sons and daughters when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We are not outside the family! We are adopted and accepted as sons and daughter of God if you have truly accepted Him as our Savior. God’s love is extended to each of us just like His Son, Jesus. If you are seeking your Savior, trying to fill that space that has always been empty, then Jesus Christ is the One you’ve been seeking.
If you are a Christian and believe in Jesus as your Savior then your greatest gift is Jesus and the atonement which He purchased with His blood. It is a priceless gift and one which cannot be duplicated nor returned. This gift is found in the heart of every Christian who has truly given their life and their soul to Jesus and asked His forgiveness for not doing so sooner!
God knows your heart and He knows exactly when or even if you will turn to Him for your salvation. Some of us take a bit longer to learn that we need Him far more than He needs us. He is our Creator but He wants to be your friend and your guide in this life so you can move to the next life with Him. When you feel His call on your heart, please don’t turn away like many people are doing these days.
This gift of salvation doesn’t cost you anything unless you just can’t leave your drinking buddies or those that you hang out with every day. If that is more important to you than your eternity then stay with them. But if you know that this life doesn’t go on but for a few years and that those “friends” won’t be with you for your entire life then I advise you to seek out the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. He can fill that space which has felt empty for so long. That space which you can’t seem to find the exact fit for it and it keeps feeling as if it stays hollow regardless of what you try or who you may try it with. Jesus is the piece which fills in that space and makes you whole and complete.
Many people in the church look at their lives and say “woe is me”. They are having a pity party and they want more people to join them. Their actions and how they live show that they don’t believe that God has always taken care of their needs, even though He has. They look at their old car or their drafty old house and think that God doesn’t love them because they don’t have the nice things that other people have.
God doesn’t have to reward you for pitying yourself and your life and He won’t. God doesn’t have to give you wealth and prosperity because He doesn’t have to do anything. There are no magic words or phrases which will grab God by His money-belt and make Him respond to your request…because God doesn’t respond to us in that way at all! Living in a pity party doesn’t help your situation at all, in fact it may make it worse.
Remember this and commit it to your memory: God is NOT a genie! He is God and the Creator of everything in the universe. He has trillions of tons of gold and silver in the cosmos and He doesn’t need your money. Our pitiful trinkets of gold and silver are used for paving streets in Heaven, especially the gold, so our money doesn’t truly mean much to God. Our intentions and our willingness to follow Him touch God far more than any amount of gold or silver. Because God knows the heart and soul of all men and He can discern exactly what your intent is.
He knows if you are giving your tithes with a cheerful heart or if you are putting it in the offering plate wanting change back for your twenty dollar bill. So why would He give us money and riches as His blessing for us when we are going to spend it on “stuff” which doesn’t edify the church or bring glory to Him? Truly, God loves each of us but He will not reward us with wealth unless He can see that your heart is in sync with His. I’m not saying that He will give you wealth if you do have your heart in sync with Him but He is more likely to reward you in some way if you are walking along the same pathway with Him.
Your reward may be a long life to tell others about His goodness and His mercy. It may be a life filled with many blessings which many of us don’t recognize as being given to us by God. The miracles of God and His blessings come our way because of His love for us and our willingness to be useful to His Kingdom. Sometimes they are tangible but sometimes those rewards and blessings are laid up for us in Heaven not here on Earth where people can see them.
Live a life of praise toward God and give Him thanks for your life today. Walk with Him and seek His wisdom in your walk so that you might pass some on to someone else. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit and His voice by reading God’s Word and praying about all of those promises that you have seen fulfilled by Him in its pages. Thank Him for your life and your family and the health that you are enjoying, even if you get up with a pain in your neck or your back. Thank Him for giving you the strength to get out of bed anyway. Thank God for allowing you to be saved by the power and the majesty of Jesus and His atonement for you on the cross. God loves you and He has a purpose for you so seek Him out and ask Him what it is and how can you be closer to Him so you can fulfill His purpose while you are here.
The angels told of a child born in Bethlehem, the city of David, Who was the Savior of all the world. They even made sure that they told the shepherds about His birth first. So why don’t we follow Him and try our best to walk in the way that He did so many years ago? Why are there many in the world today who claim that He didn’t exist or that He wasn’t Who He said He was?
Those who claim that He wasn’t the Savior or the Messiah are the ones in our world today who want all kinds of social programs and an easy life. This is not the way which Jesus taught His disciples. He told them that the world would reject their teaching about Him and that they would have troubles and trials in the world. Particularly when they were doing what He had told them to do. Why does our walk with Him bring trouble into our lives? Because Satan doesn’t like it when we are doing God’s will and working for Him in this life.
God loves each of us and we can choose to follow Him and do His will or not but the end of the story is this: what did you do when you felt His touch in your life? Did you answer His touch and give up your old ways and follow Him and learn what His will is or did you tell Him to go to hell and leave you alone?
Unfortunately, many people do exactly what the second part of that question point out. The problem with that answer to God is that you may end up in the lake of fire with Satan…for eternity. No party, no 70 virgins, no having fun with the devil in hell because he doesn’t rule there, God is still in charge regardless.
Make sure of your destination after this life BEFORE this life is over because there are no second chances once you have taken your last breath here.