You can be blessed…

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9 KJV

Today we see so much violence and hate, but we are supposed to be peacemakers. Show Jesus’ love to those around you so that they will want it too.

What is your destiny?

We are living in a time that is unprecedented in the history of the world. Hatred abounds. True love seems to be absent from most of the places where it was preeminent at one time. The church, the body of Christ has become weak and fewer in number than ever before. The churches that are left are teaching a doctrine that Jesus would not approve of because it is the doctrine and the “wisdom” of men.

What are we supposed to do during this time?

We who are the believers, the born-again believers of this age, are supposed to be taking the message of Jesus and His love to the world around us and to the world at large. We have more available technology to do this than any other generation before us and we must use it. We should be “about our Father’s business” every day…not just on Sunday or Wednesday night during Bible study. God called each of us to be a witness to His love and power and we are to take this message to those who need it the most…our friends and family and also to others who need to know Him.

If we don’t take it to them and tell them about His love for them, then their fate will be on our hands because we are responsible for those who God called us to touch with our lives and the words that God gives us. It is our witness that will bring them back from the edge of hell and back to the loving arms of God. Nobody else in the world can touch your sister or your brother like you can. Nobody can get your son’s attention or your daughter’s attention in the way that you can. If you touch other lives with His message and they change their ways so to become part of God’s family then God is pleased with your efforts.

Are these efforts required to enter into heaven? No they are not! When you feel the Spirit touch your Spirit during a song or a sermon and you know what you should do with your life, don’t turn away from Him. Run to Him, ask His forgiveness for taking so long and ask Him to change your life into the life that He needs you to be. Only at that point can you fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

We are special in God’s eyes. We are not gods and we are not prophets although we as preachers are prophets too. When you are born again, God doesn’t see you and your sinful life anymore. After you have asked Jesus to come in and clean your heart and soul up so that you are a new creation, you truly are a new creature in Christ. Your old ways and your old friends need to pass away from you and you should bring in new friends and new ways. God looks at us and sees the blood of Jesus covering our sins and He sees His Son in us working to do the will of the Father.

Your life and mine are not ours anymore. We belong to God and we are His workmen, His disciples to take His message to the world. Even if we only touch one person who comes to Jesus for salvation, the angels in heaven praise God and shout for joy because one more sinner has been saved. Don’t sit on the bench, get up and get into the game so that one more soul can be saved. As Private Doss said in “Hacksaw Ridge”, “Lord, help me get one more. Just one more”. In the night that he said these words over and over, he was the only medic on the ridge and he saved over seventy souls from certain death that night. But…he was not alone in his work as a medic. Jesus went with him every step of the way.

Just one more, Lord….

Do you disciple?

Many of us on this platform tend to write a bit. Some in short, quick reads and some a bit long. But…have you ever thought of yourself helping others along the road to be a disciple of Jesus? You know, He didn’t go out trying to bring out the BIG crowds but they came to Him because of His message and the miracles. They needed healing but many wanted the food which was provided so miraculously because of His thanksgiving. Some only came for the miracles but there were many who came to hear His message.

Then as His ministry was coming to an end, He taught a few lessons that were a bit hard for the crowds to understand and some that they didn’t like at all. The life of a follower of Jesus, a disciple, wasn’t easy in those days and it hasn’t really gotten easier today, although we have many more “things” to cling to than a money purse and a staff. Even when you make your life as simple as you can these days, we are still wealthy by most of the world’s standards.

So how do you make a disciple? Well, you have to get to know the people in your study group. You can’t lead a study group unless you do know them. In today’s culture that is hard to do because many people don’t want to know their pastor or their teacher in a close and personal way. Today with the disease that is running rampant all over the world most people don’t want to be in the same building with their pastor. Not because they think he is sick but just because of the possibility that he might be. We are allowing a virus, a messenger of Satan, to dictate whether we have fellowship in God’s house. The church, that is the people who are gathered, should be faithful enough in God’s power to come together and worship Him in Spirit and Truth!

Being a disciple of Jesus means much more than visiting a church on Sunday morning. It is reading and studying His Word every day of the week so you will know His voice when He speaks. Your life can be much healthier and more productive when you have His Word stored in your heart and when you read it every day it is like eating manna, it nourishes your soul because it is God’s spiritual food for your soul.

Don’t be anxious

Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. Proverbs 12:25 KJV

The song, Don’t worry, be happy! Is a good representation of this principal from God’s Word. During stressful times it is hard to feel happy and joyful, but by keeping your your focus on the blessings that are yours through Jesus Christ you can feel joyful. Because of the eternal life that is yours because of His sacrifice.

Life and Love

Both of these words are part and parcel of the message which Jesus taught to His disciples. What do I mean by “life”? Well, you are alive and the life that you live every day is a message that others see when they see you on a daily basis. People notice how you walk and talk, especially when they find that you have given your heart and life to Jesus. When Jesus went to different towns during His ministry do you think that He announced His coming? No, the word spread because of what others had experienced because of His life and because of the love that they felt when He spoke to them or preached to them or blessed them.

His ministry was and is the same as our ministry today. We are supposed to go out into the world and let people see Jesus in our daily life. Not being arrogant or boastful about our life but simply living our life with His life as a pattern by everything that we do or say. If a person can’t see Jesus in your daily life by how you speak or your actions then you may not have Jesus in your heart at all.

What about “love”? How do we incorporate that into our lives? According to the apostle Paul, “if we do not have love then we are just a clanging cymbal“. Why would he say something like that? Because everything that Jesus did in His ministry was done because of His love for His people and for each of us. Jesus healed people because He loved them. He blessed children because He loved them. Every action that He took during His ministry, even His death on the cross, was done because of His love for us.

In the culture that most of us live in today, the word “love” has been used and abused so much that it means much less than it should. Even saying “I love you” used to be an endearing thing to say but today love doesn’t carry the weight that it did in the past. There are many words that don’t mean the same today and many of them have been reduced to abbreviations or even emoticons.

God’s love is deeper and more meaningful than we can imagine but many people who attend church today don’t seem to see God in that way anymore. Mostly because very few people even believe that the Bible is the actual Word of God and that it is ALL TRUE! God cannot lie and yet many teachers and preachers will tell you that God didn’t mean it that way or that it only meant that when it was written but today it doesn’t mean that at all.

The Ten Commandments are still commandments and God meant every word. The Bible, Old and New Testaments, was inspired by the Holy Spirit and since He can’t lie then every word is true and was meant to be taken as absolute Truth then and now. Some people try to water down or change some words so that the message is skewed or changed to have a different impact on people today. In other words they don’t want to offend people. I don’t remember Jesus backing away from His critics or changing His message so that they wouldn’t be offended.

Live your life as a reflection of Jesus so that others will see Him in your words or your actions and maybe they will want the Savior that has come into your life and made such a change in your life and the way you live it.

Changes are happening…

This entire year has been about sudden and rapid change. Beginning with this virus and all of the chaos that it has brought to the entire world. Society has changed so dramatically that very few countries have been spared. Societal change and personal changes have happened so rapidly until we can’t get a grip on what reality really is. Which side of an argument is the right one? Who is doing the right thing and for the benefit of which part of society and culture will it affect? Hard questions. Questions that the world shouldn’t have been asking in such a short period of time. We can barely keep up with what happens during a normal year, even a normal election year in America’s case. The entire world…every country has gone through so much this year. Things that no person on the planet was prepared for. Their economies ruined because of quarantine measures which placed so many businesses in jeopardy and many of them haven’t recovered and some may never recover.

What are people blaming this pandemic on? Some are blaming it on our President and some are blaming it on China because they were the first to be hit by it right after their New Year celebrations. I think it is likely that this was sent to us by God just to make us see that we are not in control of this world. The problem with this is that many people in this world will blame God to the point of not wanting to have anything to do with Him or the Christian religion!

Is there a way out of this? Yes, seek God and His wisdom to find the truth of where this came from and how to stop it. Will our world do this? Not likely. The reason is that many “religious” people are running many churches today and some of them really don’t believe the sermons that they get up and give to their congregations each Sunday. Mainly they don’t believe in the God inspired Word that their sermons should come from. Of course if that is what is wrong then they really don’t believe in their Savior, Jesus Christ. Because if you don’t believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God then how can you believe the story in God’s Word? Jesus was foretold in Genesis as “the seed of the woman” and in every other book of the Old Testament He shows up in some way to help or teach His people.

This “pandemic” may get worse because we are entering the flu season soon and they both affect the lungs and the body so how could you tell them apart? Many tests and trials of different medicines that might work or might not. Life goes on as it does each and every day and people who have other medical problems will die because they have contracted this virus or the flu or a mutated strain of either. Taking your request for healing to God is the best way but it is not the only way. We should be relying on our doctors and nurses and the treatments that they recommend. God will heal all of those that He wants to heal.

Be thankful that you don’t have this virus and if you have had it, depend upon Jesus to heal you with the medicine that the doctor orders for you. Then…make sure you give credit to the doctors and the nurses and to God as well because if He had not led those who developed the vaccine to do so then we would not have a vaccine.

What can God do about my problems?

Have you ever wondered about that? Do you realize Who it is that you are talking about? God is the Creator of everything! Your problems are nothing to Him if you will place your faith in Him to take care of them. Except many of us, in fact most of us won’t do that. When you read the book of Exodus in the Bible it tells you how He managed to get the Israelites out of slavery and out of Egypt by ten miraculous plagues. But before they crossed over the Red Sea (not some reed sea like some are trying to say today), His people were doubting God’s power already. Even after seeing the water turn to blood and the flies and the frogs and the darkness and all of the other things which scientists are trying to explain away today. The people of Israel still didn’t believe that He could deliver them to freedom. So let me clear this up right now!

God didn’t remove the Red Sea, He parted it. God didn’t bring rain, but He provided water from a Rock. God didn’t strike Goliath dead, but He aimed the rock that did. God doesn’t always remove your problems, but He will make a way for you to get through them. If you will depend on Him and believe.

God is not magic, He is our Creator. He is not some genie but He is our Heavenly Father. God sent Jesus to Earth to live as a human so He could know our troubles and our pain. He also came to be a spotless Lamb to give His life to pay for all of our sins in order for us to be able to come into the Father’s house forgiven and adopted as a child of the King! He came to give you eternal life if you will believe in Jesus for your salvation.

Are we being disciplined?

Look into the Old Testament and you see God actively disciplining His people. He used signs and wonders to bring them out of Egypt and then He also used all kinds of signs and punishments to bring the Israelite community back into fellowship with Him. I am very glad that He does NOT use those kinds of enticements or punishments for the church, that is supposed to be part of the New Covenant through the blood of Jesus. Why is our world in such turmoil today? Mostly because the church dropped the ball in the past.

It didn’t take the “church” long to conform to the people and the world around them after Jesus ascended to Heaven. The Roman Catholic church adopted the “rituals” of pagans in order to bring them into its influence. That is where “Christmas” and “Easter” come from.

Have you thought about how we could get people to come to church? Most of us don’t because the world around us, for the most part, is not interested in coming to church. They don’t want to hear what they are doing wrong nor do they want to know that their “truth” is not the right Truth. Most people in the world don’t believe that the Bible and its teachings are the Truth much less that what is written there was inspired by God’s Spirit. They just think that the Bible is an old book written thousands of years ago and it has no relevance in today’s society.

I do believe that we are being disciplined by God but it is a soft discipline at this point. He’s not throwing hail stones of one hundred pounds at us and the Earth is not breaking open and swallowing whole congregations but we are being taught a lesson if we will notice it and learn from it. The things which are happening around us with COVID-19 and the Antifa riots and other media hyped “news” are just the birth pains before the real storm hits during the Tribulation.

If you are not sure of your salvation or if you have shunned church services for whatever reason I encourage you to make sure as soon as possible. The 7 year peace treaty with Israel will be the beginning of hell on Earth. Make sure which side you are on before that time gets here if you can.

The wages of a sinful life

In Romans 6:23, Paul writes that “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.

Why would God give us such a gift? It is worth more than we could ever begin to pay because there is no way that we can earn our way into heaven! But God sent Jesus Christ to Bethlehem as a human baby born to Mary the wife of Joseph. He came into the world as the son of David through His Earthly father and mother but He had the nature of God the Father. He came with no sin and He never faltered throughout His life. Just so He could go through the punishment of a criminal and be scourged and then hung up on a cross to die for humanity’s sins.

God the Father sent Jesus the Son to bear humanity’s shame and punishment, paying for our sins before most of us had even been born. I don’t know what the population of the world was at the time but He had looked down through history and He could see many people who needed salvation which could only come by His sacrifice. Clearly, God loved and still loves each of us far more completely and more deeply than we could ever imagine.

Your salvation and mine only comes by our belief in Jesus and our taking that belief into our hearts. Repenting of those sins which all of us have and seeking His Kingdom and His teachings so that we could be His until our death and then into eternity. It is our choice to do this but God already knows who will make that choice and who will not. God strung together your DNA in order to send you and many others like you and me into the world to be doctors or teachers or farmers or nurses but in doing so, He also knew which person would be a good fit for being a Christian. Your personality, your strength and your witness were all known before you were born. Just as God told Jeremiah, “….in the womb you were consecrated to Me”.

God loves each of us so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins, paying the penalty for them and making atonement for us so that we could be allowed in His Presence one day. Isn’t that AWESOME! It is also humbling because the Creator of the universe cares about us on this little ball of dirt that He created for us. Life on this planet didn’t evolve from a single cell into multiple cells and then one day become all of life on this world! It was created in the mind of God and brought into existence by Him and for His pleasure. Why? I have no idea, but God does. Give Jesus your heart and make sure that it is done as soon as possible because not one of us knows how long we have to live and that decision has to be made while we live.

There are always two

It sounds like I’m channeling Master Yoda but what I am speaking or writing about is that there really are two, sometimes more but always 2. In our world the Lord shows us that in every situation there are 2 sides. Dark and light, good and bad, black and white, morning and evening. So how do we navigate in the gray areas that our culture insists on? God doesn’t show any gray areas. You are either in the light or the dark with no gray area in between.

How do we fix this? Truthfully, we can’t. It is a choice that we must make and it is an individual choice, not a collective one. Each of us must choose the side that we feel is the one that God is calling us to. I know that many people don’t believe in God as their Savior, but life requires a choice regardless of your beliefs. Because there is evil in our world and there is overwhelming love and goodness too. You see it and hear about it on the news or on your computer every day. Many people wonder why God allows the evil and the hatred that we see around us? That is where our choices come into the picture.

There are always two choices and just like the cartoon where the little demon was on one shoulder and the angel was on the other, those really are our choices every day. We can listen to one or the other and make a choice and it is that choice which determines how our day or our week turns out. When you look at the world with your spiritual eyes you can easily see that there aren’t any “gray areas” at all. You are either saved through faith in Jesus or you are not. You either believe in Him for your salvation or you just believe that He exists because it says so in the Bible which does not save your soul.

Our eternity stands or falls on one of two choices. Believe in Jesus for your salvation or choose not to believe in Him and go to hell. These choices have to be made in this life today! Why? Because we are not guaranteed a certain number of years before we die. I could die before I finish this or I could live another twenty years or so. With the pains that I have in my hands and my neck now I really don’t want to add another twenty years to it. My point is that we don’t know when our last day is, so choose which way you are going to go now…today.