A Carpenter’s Life


JosephandYeshuaI worked alongside my father after my bar mitzvah, when I became a man at 12 years of age. Some days, it was hard work but we managed to keep our shop going for a while. It was hot and dusty work but it was fulfilling, but I knew that I was meant for something more. My dreams and my prayers told me this but I never told anyone until after my father died. Then I told my mother. She did the same thing that she always did and that was to keep those things in her heart and she didn’t tell even my brothers or sisters.

Being the firstborn in the family there is a lot expected of you and nobody knows exactly what to expect most of the time. Particularly from me. My name is Yeshua.

When I found my cousin baptizing people in the Jordan River I knew that I needed to be baptized. He tried to dissuade me from doing so, but I told him that we needed to fulfill all righteousness. So, he consented to do so. When I came up out of the water, I heard my Father’s voice say that He was pleased with me and I felt the Holy Spirit fill my soul. I was still learning at this point, so I went into the wilderness to fast and commune with God for forty days. I didn’t know how bad that would make me feel, but I felt in my Spirit that it needed to be done.

The hunger was almost too much to bear until the fifth day or so, but it became easier from that point on as long as I found a spring to drink from occasionally. When the forty days were up or at least close to being finished I was tempted by Satan with the smell of freshly baked bread at first, then he showed me the Temple and said that I should test God to see if He would send angels to bear me up lest I dash my foot against a stone. Then he tried to tempt Me with the kingdoms of the world and I told him that I would worship God and serve Him only. Then, some angels came and ministered to Me with manna and water.

Then, my work really began.

I walked along the seashore and found some fishermen and I knew I had found most of my disciples. There is yet so much to accomplish and there is little time to finish it all, but with my Father’s help, I will get it done.

We were invited to a wedding in Cana and all of my family and my disciples came along. A couple of hours after we arrived my mother told me that they have run out of wine. I told her that it was not my time to reveal myself but, being my mom she called the servants of the groom and told them to do whatever I told them to do.

There were six pots there which were used to carry water for cleansing according to Jewish custom and they each held about 30 gallons. I told the servants to fill them with water and then draw some out and take it to the master of the feast. They did so and when he tasted it he exclaimed that “Usually a man serves the best wine first and saves the cheap wine for later, but you have saved the best for the end of the feast!” (part 1)(This is my attempt at giving some small look at the life of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, our Savior. Why would I write something like this? Because of people’s conception of His life and, because it is only covered briefly in the gospels, imagination is the only pathway we have to attempt to see some of what is not in the Bible. As long as we don’t add more to His story than that which we can imagine about Him, this is useful and helpful.)

 

How good are you?


Many people notice who attends church and they think that “if they are going to Heaven then I’m good enough to go too”. The problem with this kind of thinking is that not everyone who attends church, regardless of the denomination, will be going to Heaven. There are also quite a number of people who will be in Heaven who may not attend church at all!

Our beliefs about who is or isn’t saved have changed drastically over the past few hundred years and the church itself has strayed from the teachings of Jesus so much that the believers who were the church during the first century wouldn’t recognize us as the church today! So, how close are you really following Jesus and His teachings? I know it is a hard question to ask but your eternity may rest on your answer or the answer from your friends and your church!

It really doesn’t have anything to do with how “good” we are in our own eyes. It has everything to do with how we treat others according to the teachings of Jesus and how we live our faith in everything that we say and do each day! If you aren’t walking through your day like you are walking next to Jesus and doing the same things that He would be doing or saying then you likely aren’t living a sacrificed life in submission to Him.

I am not writing this to do anything other than make you think about your life in Christ. I don’t mean for this to sound like I am judging you or your walk with Him. This is just a few words to let you think about your walk with Him. Is it a walk which you would be proud of? Would Jesus approve of the things which you say or do in your life each day or would He correct you about some things?

I know that my walk with Him isn’t perfect. I make a mess of things with my thoughts and words sometimes and on some days I probably don’t look like a Christian or sound like one either. Each one of us stumbles and makes mistakes because we are trying to live a life that is pleasing to God and without faith in Jesus this is not possible. Some days it seems that my “faith bulb” goes out or gets pretty dim, so it doesn’t surprise me that on those days my walk with Him looks more like a drunk man trying to walk but is stumbling and falling more than walking.

Our goodness or rather our holiness is only there because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and His holiness is imputed to us. Our “goodness” is nothing more than rags and filthy rags at that so there is no possible way that we can go to Heaven if we are only standing on “our righteousness” because it isn’t good enough. The part of living with Jesus which saves you and allows you to enter into Heaven is simple but for many people, it is also not enough. They want to help or add their own spin to the way or the works which will get them into God’s Home, and that is not the way this works.

Remember the thief on the cross?

Luke 23:39-43

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost, not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

It doesn’t take much, in fact, it takes faith like a mustard seed to believe that Jesus is your Savior. So don’t turn away from Him especially when you feel His Presence in your heart telling you that He is waiting for you. Ask Him to save you and repent of your old life then follow Him into a new life which will follow you into eternity.

Ministering to…


Do you have a specific ministry? Do you pastor a church or are you a lay speaker or maybe a deacon at your church? What is your calling?

Over the past few years, I have wondered these things concerning my place in God’s Kingdom. I have also wondered how other people have answered these questions. Not being nosy but just curious.

You may wonder exactly why I am asking these questions and the reason is simple: I need to know if my calling is actually doing anyone any good at all?

God called me into this ministry in late 2008 so blogging and writing these thoughts and small sermons are my real calling rather than just being a pastor. God calls us in ways which we can’t really understand especially at the time of our calling. So…what are we to do with the specific talents and other gifts which He has given each of us?

For one thing, don’t ignore God’s calling on your life! Get up and use your gifts for His Kingdom. The reward of your writing and telling others about Jesus is being kept for you in Heaven so you can’t lose it ever! In today’s world, most of us are too timid to get out in public or in front of an audience with His message but we should. He called His disciples to do so and if you have given your heart to Jesus then it is your calling as well.

Don’t listen to those voices in your head which tell you to turn this into a business and make as much money as possible with it. Money and possessions are temporary because when you die that money and those possessions are given to someone else. You will stand before God’s judgment seat in the same condition that you were when you were born.

If you have truly and sincerely given your heart to Jesus then you will be clothed in His righteousness and your sins will not be held against you as evidence. God loves each of us, saint or saved or sinner alike, but those who haven’t taken Jesus as their Savior will be sent to a very different place other than heaven and that is hell.

Even if your self-righteousness equals that of the Pharisees who put Jesus to death, it won’t be enough unless you have given your heart to Jesus and have lived by His teachings and not by the sins which abound in this world today. You have been given a gift which is God’s grace through Jesus our Lord. It is a gift which will take you into eternity with Him but if you don’t give your life and your heart totally to Him then your eternity will be much different in hell.

Why do I say that you will be in hell? Because a sinful life is a life of rebellion and it is in that rebellion which you are in the same “camp” which is occupied by Satan and his demons. They rebelled and you refused to live your life by following Jesus every day, so you are the same in the eyes of God.

Make your goal one which looks for Jesus and for salvation through Him because by following Him is the only way to gain entry into heaven and a life with your Lord and Savior.

What are you thankful for?


Psalm 107

1Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

3those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. a

4Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.

5They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away.

6Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

7He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle.

8Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

9for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

10Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains,

11because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.

12So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.

13Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.

14He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.

15Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

16for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

17Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.

18They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.

19Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.

20He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.

21Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

22Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.

23Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters.

24They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep.

25For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves.

26They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril, their courage melted away.

27They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.

28Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.

29He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea b were hushed.

30They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.

31Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

32Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.

33He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground,

34and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there.

35He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs;

36there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle.

37They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest;

38he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish.

39Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity, and sorrow;

40he who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste.

41But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks.

42The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.

43Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.

ThankfulLivingThis Psalm is all about being thankful in all circumstances. This is what we should do every day and yet many of us don’t. We grumble and complain and gripe about one little thing or another when we should be thankful to have another day to live and serve our Creator and Redeemer! Seek Him in His Word and get to know your Redeemer and your Savior because it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive or how big your house is…on the day that you die those possessions will belong to someone else. Make sure of your salvation in Jesus Christ so that your mansion in Heaven is assured and where you will spend eternity with Him!

God’s names


El-Shaddai: My supply. My nourishment, Almighty God. Genesis 17:1.

Jehovah-Jireh: Provider and my vision. Genesis 22:14.

Did you know that many people do not believe that the history which is portrayed in Genesis ever happened? Also in the schools today much of our history is being played down or not taught as it was forty or fifty years ago. 

So, why did I name this writing, this article as “God’s names”? Because in the book of Genesis God’s names are shown to us and they show different aspects of Who God really is. Jehovah is the covenant name of God so with the -Jireh added onto it then it literally means “God my Provider”. As you can see from the two examples above, God supplies our needs and He is our Provider.

So…why do people in America and around the world see religion and specifically Christianity as a religion which marginalizes and excludes others? The only reason that they think this is because they don’t like the Book that we use as our Bible, it is God’s Word and the Truth. They don’t like an absolute Truth which can’t be changed because it is absolute!

The Bible is God’s Word and His instruction book to the whole world and it was inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to the men who wrote it down. It is immutable and it cannot be changed nor is it a document which gives us His wisdom for living. Although some have changed the words in the Bible for their own purposes, God has said that this will bring punishment to those who add to or take away from His Word.

This promise is in the book of Revelation, but I believe that the punishment will not be applied to only that book but to the entirety of God’s Word. I pray that all of those who read these words or those from God’s Word will seek Him out as their Savior because He is the only way to eternity in Heaven.kid_reading_bible

Read His Word as a child because His Word is good for instruction and for teaching and for your growth in faith and in the knowledge of Him. Don’t neglect the reading and studying of His Word because it is food for your soul and for the cleansing of your mind.

 

 

 

 

Is God in control?


First and foremost, God is sovereign. Nothing that happens in the whole universe is a surprise to Him. Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father’s will (Matthew 10:29).

So, why do we look around at all of the tragedies and the aborted babies and think that God either has a part in it or He doesn’t care about them at all? God does care and one day soon the whole world will see this and understand. They may not like what they see or how they come to understand that He is in control…but they will come to that conclusion.

Is our life in His control as well? Not in the sense that He makes us do things in our everyday lives, but He does cause things to work together for our good in the trials which we face. We may not see that this is happening and it may not feel that way at the time but God is in control. Whether the outcome is good or bad or better than we expected it to be, it is He that directs our path and the outcome as well.

There seem to be more people in America who think that they know better than God about how to live their lives, especially when it comes to being “moral” or “good”. God is still in control and always has been yet people want to argue with Christians about the “mythical” book which is the Word of God. There are too many archaeological proofs which have been found all over the Middle East which point to verses in the Bible. Proving that a city or a place which was mentioned in God’s Word actually exists.

In America, it seems that since our country has always been identified as a “Christian nation” many people here seem to take the message of Jesus for granted. We don’t seem to put much weight in preaching or learning about Jesus or about our own sinful condition which He came to save us from. Also, it seems that nobody looks at or even cares about where their eternal destination may be, even though that is what most of the New Testament was written to prepare us for!

Our lives, as short as they are by comparison to eternity, are the spiritual proving ground for that life which we enter into after this one is done. The problem in America seems to be that nobody wants to learn about it (eternity) and they don’t want to hear about their own sins or how to live righteously while going through this life. I did not say that we could live without sin, but living a righteous life is possible even when we fall and make mistakes in this life.

Living a righteous life is actually what we are called to do as a Christian. By prayer and telling others about Jesus, essentially showing the fruit of the Spirit in your life and in your walk with Jesus every day…that is living a righteous life in Christ!

Image result for fruit of the Spirit

Jesus, our Redeemer, and our Shepherd knows His own and He can see the fruit which we produce in our lives and in the lives which we live through Him while we are walking with Him in this life. Is it easy to be fruitful as a Christian? That depends upon your priorities. If you place more importance on life around you or your career or your family then this life is going to feel like a burden. Some people even treat it as a hindrance to your happiness, but when you do this you are only thinking of this life and not eternity. Live with eternity in your mind so that the life around you doesn’t get in the way.

God did not spare His Son


He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”  Romans 8:32

God did this so that we could be redeemed from our sins, no matter what they are or were! Have any of you ever considered that our Creator, God, gave the Life of His Son for each of us! That is a kind of love which I can’t fathom and never will understand, but I am thankful for it and for Him! Amen!

Jesuspaiditall

He sacrificed His life on a cross after being scourged almost to the point of death and yet He still went up the hill of Golgotha to be hanged on a cross. He did this because He loves us. Why would anyone do this? Especially the Creator of the Universe!

Jesus did this so that we could be adopted into the family of God because He loved us even before the world was created. The Author of Life did this for you and for me and for every person in the world…because of His love for us. Can you understand this? I can’t.

But we don’t have to understand it, He did it so that we could have fellowship with Him for eternity. God provided the way for us to be saved from the second death and be able to enter into His house which has many rooms. Can we understand this great Love of God? No, but it is provided for us in more ways than we can ever understand in this lifetime.

pilgrim_s_progress__unburdened_by_douglasramsey-d7dm2ix

Our sins are forgiven and taken away from us just as in Pilgrim’s Progress. When we give our heart and our life to Jesus, those sins are taken away and put as far away from us and from God as the east is from the west! Eternity is waiting for you and me to enter into His house and be in fellowship with Him forever. Won’t that be awesome?!

Remember, we are only passing through this world. Heaven is our home. If your heart belongs to Jesus and He is your Savior, then your home is there with Him in the Father’s house. Nothing in this world is worth losing your salvation over! God values our souls as worth more than all of the riches in the whole world. That is not collectively, that is the worth of one soul to God!

God provides the path for us to take to be saved from death particularly the second death of hell and that pathway is through belief in Jesus as our Savior and by following Him each and every day until God calls us home. Because Heaven is our home when we belong to Jesus since wherever He is that is our home for eternity! This world and all of its pleasures and pains and the fame and fortune are perishing and temporary. Everything that is available to us here is just rusty and junk, God’s treasures and gifts to us are eternal and they are in Heaven where we will be one day if we are His.

How do you see Genesis?


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

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

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

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

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

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What are you doing for God’s kingdom?


Do you just live your life day to day and never think about it? Why would you do that?

God has given you so much in this life, why not give something back? Our lives could be so much more fulfilled and fulfilling if we would take His message with us every day! So, what is holding you back?

There are some reasons why many of us don’t live our lives as we could. Some of those reasons have a lot to do with feeling rejected or being looked at as a freak or a Christian.

So what’s wrong with that?

God can use us as His representatives just as He did with the disciples. Granted, nearly all of them were martyred while taking His message to the world, but they went to be with the Lord! Wouldn’t a trip to heaven be better than a trip to Mexico? No crime, no death and no disease for eternity! No place on Earth can beat that!

We are here to be His people and to do His will until our lives are finished. If your ideas or your “job” is better than that and has better benefits I’d like to know what you do for a living? While it is true that we have to be taken to Heaven to enjoy eternal retirement from the problems of this life, I don’t really see a problem with that.

Seek Him in your life and give your heart to HIm because He is the ultimate Boss that you could ever have.

A message of freedom


Jesus came to set the whole world free from the bondage of sin, and yet today people are still seeking to discredit the church and the Bible and even disbelieve in God Himself. Even when there are proofs all around them of God’s majesty and His love toward us. Scientists have proven this with the fact that our solar system is so perfectly balanced in gravity and in the distances of the planets from the Sun.

Yet, there are many in the world who don’t want to see God’s Hand of Design in these things. Even the astronomers and other scientists who can calculate the intricate details which hold our solar system and our galaxy together. They may recognize that without a Designer to put these things together, most of the universe would just fly apart but they don’t want to admit that there is a Creator like the Bible says.

Our freedom from sin and its consequences came to us by the price which was paid by the Son of God and His reward of eternal life is with Him and for those who believe. Yet, most of the world rejects His teaching or even the fact that He existed at all. Why? Because the world doesn’t like the very idea of absolute Truth which is found in the Bible! It is not because the Bible teaches that there is only one way, one path to eternity. It is because the path that is True comes from Judea and from the Jewish people in Israel. Every war and skirmish and terrorist action in the past forty years which has happened in the Middle East is a reflection of this.

In reality, it is a family squabble which has been going on since the time of Abraham. His two sons have been at odds with and at war with each other in some fashion for this whole time. If you watch the news much, the whole world is focused on the conflict in the Middle East in some form or fashion. God is keeping His attention on Israel and on those who bless them or those who curse them in any way. But, the world doesn’t see it this way.

Unless you are a student of the Bible and look at the news through that lens, most of the prophecy about this time is lost. Much of the world doesn’t look at current events and see them as the fulfillment of God’s Word, but those of us who do see a very different picture from what most of the news media tells us. I realize that there will be a few who will read this and ask “Why is this so important now?”; it is important because we are very close to that time which Jesus called “the end of the age”.

Our time here is growing shorter and life will not get any easier for anyone, Christian, Jew, Muslim or any other religion in the world. The birth pains which Jesus spoke of include all of the things which we are experiencing even now and they will only grow more powerful as the time gets closer. When Jesus sends for His church and it is taken up, these wars and famines and other problems will only get worse from that point on until the Tribulation is finished.

Beware that no man deceives you about Who the Christ is during this time, because if they are saying that he is in the desert or in the mountains, don’t believe it. Jesus will return physically to the Earth at the end of the Tribulation and He will do so riding a white horse from the heavens, not on the ground until He stands on the Mount of Olives once more.