The Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His atonement for our sins. Repentance from those sins and an adjusted attitude of becoming more like Jesus Christ! However you spell it or in which direction you read it, our society needs to get back to the truth of God’s Word, the Bible! For more than fifty years our young people in schools and colleges have been without the guiding light of God’s Word in their education. They may get a sermon on the weekends if they attend church, but today it seems that more of that age bracket don’t want to identify with any religion no matter what it teaches.
So…what can we do as a culture or a nation to bring people back to the place where they can get to know their Savior? Pray for a revival among those absent from worship services for the first and foremost action that we can take. The next best action would be for the church to be the church that Jesus intended for us to be, regardless of denomination. What does that mean exactly? Go into your community and find people in need of God’s provisions such as clothing, food, or help with chores around the house. Our society has become so insulated in the past couple of decades until we have forgotten what it means to be Christians and neighbors too.
If you have been His hands and feet in this life to those in need, regardless of that need, then you are truly being the Church…the Bride of Christ. As Jesus answered the Pharisees when they asked what they should do after finding out who their neighbor truly is, He said “Go and do likewise“.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 1:11 KJV
There are many layers of truth in the word “difference”. A difference between one person and another can be shown to be based on their culture or their skin color or their race as some relate to it. The human race is only one race but the shades of color that all of us share on the surface of our skin have been causing divisions between people for thousands of years. Some of us have very light skin color, some have different shades of brown or tan or even skin with a yellowish tint to our skin and there are others that have very dark skin even almost black. God caused this to be this way to protect us from the intensity of the Sun’s light in the area that we live in. At least that is what science has told us. The culture that we grow up in can cause many problems between people who don’t share the same culture.
Yes, we have many differences and at times it is those differences that cause much of our problems in every country not just our country.
The differences between religions meaning what or Who they worship or what they believe has caused so many divisions between churches even in the same denomination. Sometimes a church has even split over the color of the carpet on the floor! We have so many options and different ideas that can get in the way of our living the way that God has called us to live. All that we have to do to be His children is to believe in Jesus and follow Him for the rest of our lives. It sounds easy doesn’t it? But following Jesus every day during your life is not easy. Remember what Jesus said, “take up your cross and follow Me”. Your cross is where you nail your old way of living to it every day!
You have to choose to put your old problems, your sins, your addictions, your fears, your family or your career on that cross and give it to Jesus. Leave them on the cross and don’t take them back. Walk with Him, learn from Him because He doesn’t care about your skin color or the culture that you come from but He does care about your eternal soul and where your eternity will be spent! God doesn’t care how famous you are or how much money you have. He doesn’t care about your politics or your previous life but He does care about you. Give your heart to Jesus, ask Him to come in and change you into the person that He knows you can be. The Bible says that when He comes into your life and changes you, then you are a new creation. Your old life and ways are in the past and everything from this point on is new!
The change that comes into your life when the Holy Spirit comes and changes you makes your whole outlook different from what you had before. You are not the same person. You look the same from the outside but your heart is more like Jesus’ heart and it will become more like Him if you feed your mind on the Word of God every day. It sounds boring, I know. But when you have been changed like this, your mind is changed as well. The Bible won’t seem like an old boring book. It will be full of wisdom and stories about God and His power and creativity and His love. Ask Him to show Himself to you while you read His Word and He will do it!
There will be a difference in your life that people can see and it won’t have anything to do with the color of your skin or your culture or the church that you attend. It will be a reflection of Jesus that is shining through you and it will get brighter every day as you learn more and study more about Him in His Word.
Who is God to you? Is He your Savior, your Creator, and a friend that you can turn to when things go wrong? Do you realize how awesome God really is or do you just think of Him as a genie or some “Santa Clause”? God can come to your aid when you need Him and He will but realize that He is with you all of the time.
We tend to put God in a box that is the size of a small book so we can handle being around Him. We don’t like to think about Who He is because our brains can’t comprehend Him! What do I mean by that? If you have ever read an article about astronomy, do you remember how truly huge our universe is? Astronomers tell us that it is approximately 14 billion light-years to the edge of the universe. Each light-year is approximately six trillion miles! I’m not going to multiply that number to find the distance in miles to the edge of the universe but God’s Word says that God stretched out the fabric of space like a sheet or a scroll!
Think about that…God stretched out space like a sheet! He is bigger than those trillions of miles and yet a part of Him resides inside your heart if you truly belong to Him. He is everywhere and yet we still try to squeeze Him down to a manageable size so that our mind can handle Him. Why would you do that? Because we can’t truly comprehend God, but we don’t have to. Just live your life as a Christian and follow Jesus. He said for us to follow Him and we should. Read the Bible every day, think about what you have read, and pray to the Writer (Who is God) of it so you can understand it and His message for you.
Each person has a purpose that is ordained by God and we are supposed to look for that purpose in His Word. Your purpose is in there but it takes time and study to find it. Your purpose won’t jump out of the page or the chapter and hit you in the face, but with study and prayer, you will feel it in your Spirit. His Spirit is present in every true believer because it was His Spirit that got your attention when you gave your life to Him. God loves you and He has a purpose and a plan for your life and He will equip you to accomplish it.
Will God make your life easy? No! Will He give you everything that you want? No! Jesus said that we would have trials and troubles in this world during our life as a Christian and a follower of His! Some people think that being a Christian is easy but it isn’t. If you depend on God for your provision it may seem to be an easy life to someone outside your home because the “drama” doesn’t happen the way it does for everyone else. Seek Him first when you wake up in the morning…begin your day talking to Him first, thank Him for another day that you have to be used by Him for His Kingdom.
God is close to you if you are a Christian. He is even closer than your own skin because He is in your heart so you are never alone. Prayer is your lifeline and your connection to your Savior and your Creator and that connection never fades. It grows stronger as you study His Word and get closer to Him each day. Don’t neglect your relationship with Him. Treat your Bible like your phone, take it with you everywhere. Even if you can’t read, get a copy of it on CD or USB and play it in your car or on your computer or TV. After a while, you will have His Word in your mind well enough to bring it to mind whenever you need it.
When you call something one thing and it turns out to be something else entirely. Like “playing” with a puppy or a small dog, aggravating it and laughing at it. That is cruelty disguised as “play”.
If you would do that, you would do the same to a child. Turning them into abusive children, bullies without friends except others like themselves.
Jesus never taught anything except tolerance and patience with others. Being a bully for any reason is unacceptable. If you were ever the object of a bully and you didn’t like it then why would you want your child to be one? Being a bully and racism are learned at home from parents who think they are doing their children a favor or teaching them “just how it is”.
You think you are making them tough but they are just learning a behavior which could get them killed in the future. God doesn’t like bullies whether it is in the form of slavery or oppression He will make them pay for whatever they have done. Life is too short to be cruel and if you don’t know Jesus then you need to turn to Him for your salvation soon because He is coming back. If you are left here after He takes His Bride to heaven, you may find out what kind of bully Satan and his group can be. The seven years of the Tribulation will not be a good time, so make sure that you are on the winning team. Give your heart to Jesus and turn away from your “friends” that encourage your behavior now whether they are family or just friends.
Hurting people physically or emotionally is another form of being a bully. It doesn’t prove that you are tough or strong, it actually shows that you are weak and afraid because you are imposing your will on others in a way that they have to take it or leave. In the case of a child or a dog they really have no choice. Seek healing for your soul from Jesus soon because we will all answer for our words or the wrongs that we have committed one day.
We are a race born with a natural bent toward sin because of Adam. If you told a little child not to eat these cookies and you caught them doing so, most would tell you that they didn’t eat the cookies. Even if you caught them with crumbs on their clothes and their hand coming out of the jar! They’ve not been taught to lie but they will when they are caught doing something they know is wrong. It is this natural tendency that stays with you and me for our entire life and that is the reason Jesus Christ had to pay the penalty for all of our sins.
So why was it so important to God for Him to do this? Because He wanted our relationship to return to the way it was in the Garden.
He wants the relationship to be as it was because it won’t be tainted by the stench of sin and rebellion. That is the only kind of relationship that will be present in Heaven. We will be able to go to Him at any time and He will answer us even before we ask our question.
Oh, how I am looking forward to that day! When the sky opens up like a scroll and the Trumpet of God sounds and the dead are raised to immortality and those who are alive and have remained faithful to Jesus will follow them. The whole world will know that our God is True and faithful and there will be no denying it.
I pray that anyone who reads this will seek to know their Savior before that day comes.
When Jesus looked for followers, before He called His disciples, He knew He needed men who would follow Him every day during His ministry. He knew that He would find them because His Father had sent Him to Israel to teach, preach and touch the lost children of Israel. The only way that this ministry would last and make a real difference in the world would be men who would have faith in Him and His ministry but also men who would walk their faith in and around Israel so others would see that what they believed about Him was true.
This is what James talks about when he wrote “faith without works is dead“, not because you have to have works to be saved but because your faith should be a working, walking faith. One that gets your Spirit moving in God’s direction and in His will. I used to wonder how could Jesus sleep in a boat which was being tossed by the waves in a storm but as I’ve grown in my faith and in my walk with Him I realized that His ministry covered many hundreds of miles. Not every day naturally but all of it was by foot! He and His disciples were bone tired by the end of each day, regardless of the miracles they saw or the healings that He performed. Jesus was the Son of God but He was also the Son of Man, human in all of its respects except that He didn’t have our sinful nature.
So He was tired every day what does that mean to me? It means that we are supposed to be tired from telling others about Him. We should walk with Him each and every day because He said that we would do “greater things than these” if we did. Does your faith in Jesus walk with you each day regardless of the circumstances? It should. If you are a born-again Christian your faith should take you through each day and each trial in your life, regardless of the circumstances or problems that you may face. While it is true that there will be some days that are better than others, for a Christian there is no way of avoiding the bad and the good days. All of them go together and He will see you through each of them.
God loved each of us even before He created the universe and our planet and He had determined at that time that He would come down and save us from our own sinfulness one day. He did it as the Son Who gave Himself as a ransom for many. Make sure that your life in Christ reflects the gratitude of one who has been saved from the fire of hell and eternal separation from God so that others will want to have your hope and your Savior as well.
My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception.
1 John 4:4 MSG
Sometimes we can hear it when someone else talks about something that they have an opinion about. The truth is evident in the words that they speak about their beliefs. Then you come across someone else who is not speaking of what they know but what they want from you. Deception can take all kinds of shapes and change them to fit whatever the agenda may be, make sure you know the Bible well enough to spot the difference.
When you are tested, seek the Lord ask Him for strength. He will bless you and take you through your trials no matter how much it may hurt. You will come through this stronger in your faith and even more able to stand when another trial comes.