How many “buts” are in your life?

Before I go too far into this small writing, I want to make sure that you understand that I’m not talking about the part of your anatomy which you sit on!

I am talking in this space about the times when you yourself are the “but” that is getting in the way. Sometimes we believe God can do all things but we don’t have deep, strong faith in Him to the extent that we can see where He wants us to go. We tend to place a “but” in places where it should not be. Just as the Israelites who spied out the Promised land did. They saw all of the fruit of the land while they walked the land for 40 days but they saw giants in the land, sons of Anak. They brought back a cluster of grapes so large that it had to be carried on a pole between two grown men! God had already told them that He was giving them the land. But they saw the children of Anak and the Nephilim, men of great stature, giants!

When God told them that He was giving them the land, why didn’t they believe Him? Which is bigger, God or a giant? How strong is a walled city compared to God? Where was their faith? Most of them had seen the miracles which brought them out of Egypt. They walked through the Red Sea on dry ground and with walls of water on each side of them. He gave them water from a rock and yet they didn’t believe that He was able to take care of the giants and the walled cities to bring them into the inheritance that He had promised them. God doesn’t break His promises.

Even today we place “but” in places where it should not be. “I know He has cured my cancer but will He provide for me and my family?” “I’m disabled now, where was God in my problem?” God can and will provide all these wonderful things even when we doubt Him. But…doubt causes some of our rewards to be delayed or possibly lessened. The reward may turn out to be less than it would’ve been if we had placed our full faith and belief in His ways and in His provision. It is usually our own “buts” that cause a blessing or a provision, which He was sending to us, to be delayed.

We need to wake up every day thanking Him for the day and for the blessings of it, whatever they might be. Good or bad, enough or maybe more than enough, God can supply all of our needs. But when we doubt Him or when we don’t think that He will do or provide for us as we have prayed for, it is our “but” and our lack of trusting faith in Him that is getting in His way. Its like we are saying “Are you really able to do this?” “Do you love me enough to provide for us?”

Doubt and fear tend to make our “but” moments more than they should be. We need to remember that God is the Creator and He has known each of us since before creation began. He lives outside of time so He is not contained in it like we are. He can look back to when the world was fresh and new and He can see what is coming in the next 1000 years because He is there and He is here too. So we should consider this before our problem or our storm hits. God stood at the threshold of creation and spoke all that we see into existence. The stars and galaxies, the planets, the sun and moon and all of life on Earth. While it is true that you can choose to believe the Bible’s version or you can go along with science and their “theories”, I know that God can do the things which are described in His Word and He cannot and will not lie. He gave the history of our world to Moses on the mountain, because Moses could not have made all of that stuff up.

Think about how many times there has been a “but” somewhere in your life. Did it work out the way you wanted or did it fail miserably and you had to pick up and go on anyway? There are many days and have been many times in my own life when there was a “but” moment. Then later I can look back and think to myself, “Self, you should’ve trusted God there more than your own ideas.” Usually it is at this point I sound a lot like Homer Simpson, “D’OH!” Because it is too late to fix a problem or the problem, by the time I realize that I messed up.

If I had prayerfully sought God’s provision and His answer for my problem, it would’ve worked out a bit better. So from this point on I am going to seek Him in the problem and for the solution before I try to fix it myself and find out that my efforts are just not good enough.

Cultivation for Life

In many ways, our lives are kinda like farming. We cultivate relationships and friendships and sometimes those turn into life-long, close relationships. It takes patience and effort though and occasionally we don’t take care of these very well. Many times in our lives, a lot of time will go by before we see each other or even speak to each other. It causes hurt feelings and bruised pride and can really damage a friendship…sometimes.

We really should try to put the effort into our relationships, whether they are friends or our spouse or even our family. But, sometimes we neglect to honor those with our time and our effort and when we do that, things change. Weeds will grow in our “garden of friends”. Sometimes we will see them and get rid of them before they cause problems. Sometimes they are aggressive and they have roots that go deep into our past and it is possible that we have forgotten what caused them in the first place.

Why do I speak about friendships and relationships like a garden? Because we should work on them like we would a garden. Make sure that the “soil” of our life is ready for a newly planted “friend” and then take care of them in whatever way is needed. Don’t neglect them because when you neglect a garden or a friendship, problems begin to appear. Weeds in a garden and hurt feelings in a relationship, whether it is between friends or in a closer relationship, they will grow and cause more problems.

That is the wonderful thing about your relationship with God and His Son, Jesus. They already know what is going on in your life. They aren’t surprised or hurt by what you say or don’t say. They can see the “problems” before they come up but they want us to recognize them and seek their help with those problems. Because they are better at fixing problems than we are. They know the cause and the fix before you or me. But just because they aren’t surprised by our problems doesn’t mean that they will try to force us to listen to their advice. We have to seek them out and ask for their help with our problems.

Sometimes it takes a problem coming into our lives to force us to seek God’s answer and His wisdom for this situation. We don’t like it when these problems show up and they usually are very inconvenient because of their timing but if we will seek God’s wisdom to get us through them one at a time, we will learn from them and be able to move forward. God always has better advice for us in His Word than we could ever find in a library or even from a friend if we will listen to the advice and take it to heart. 

Your life and mine are populated with many friends. Some we know only at work and some we’ve known since grammar school. Some are just acquaintances and some are very close friends. Sometimes the friendship might have become stale because of time or distance and that can happen to family relationships too. Make sure that your relationship with Jesus is not stale. Keep in touch with Him at all times and in all things, good or bad, because He will never leave you or forsake you regardless of the circumstances.

God said…

At the beginning of Creation, God spoke almost everything into existence. I say “almost everything” because when God created mankind, He did so with His hands. He didn’t just speak mankind into existence. He said “Let Us make mankind in our image”; the man was created on the sixth day and God said that everything was very good. In chapter two God rested on the seventh day after all of His work in creating everything. The Lord caused a mist to water the ground and He formed mankind from the ground and breathed into him and gave him Life. Then God placed him into the Garden to keep it, with the exception of one tree the man could eat of any tree in the Garden.

God created a helper for Adam which he named Woman because she was taken from man. God used a rib to create Woman and yet we don’t value women as much as we should, even today. But…God does! There are many others in the world who are not valued today, not just women. Unborn children are not seen as much more than a group of cells rather than the miracle that they are whether they are wanted by their mother or not. People who believe in a different Savior are looked down upon because they have faith in their Savior rather than in someone else’s idea of a savior.

In many ways, our world chooses to ignore what “God says” and choose to follow their own ideas and ways. Many people seem to be unwilling to acknowledge God at all, whether by His Word or by the Truth contained in it. Yet, the laws by which most of our laws are based on actually come from the Bible! Yes, the words are arranged differently or they may phrase the law as being different but the laws which God gave to Moses are still the basis for most of mankind’s own laws regardless of how you phrase those laws.

When God says something in His Word, whether it is a commandment or a precept, it still carries His Wisdom and His intent with it. It doesn’t matter whether we like the law or the precept or not. Truth and laws are not things which are open to interpretation or opinion. A law is a law and agreeing with it or not doesn’t change it. Truth is the truth whether you want it to be so or not, especially when it is a Truth from God’s Word! God said it and that settles it.

Whether you believe in His Word or have a different opinion of His Word doesn’t change His Word or the effect of it in your life or in the lives of everyone around you. Just as your idea or belief about gravity does nothing to change it, God’s Word is immutable whether we like what it says or not.

To believe or not to believe…

Literal, figurative, metaphorically or not at all… which one describes your belief when it comes to the scriptures? This is part and parcel of our belief in God and His Son, so why is it such a big deal in the 21st century?

Does it have to do with the miracles found in God’s Word? Are they truly that unbelievable? Consider Who it is that performed these miracles, our Lord and Creator! God commanded the stars to be and the light to shine and all of the animals to populate the waters on the Earth by His spoken Word. So why is it so difficult to believe that the words in the Bible, though they were written down by men, are true and accurate?

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, was a literal person because He is spoken of in historical writings of the day and time that He was alive. The same can be said of His disciples and others who lived during that time, so why is it easier to call the Bible a figurative book of historical metaphors rather than the inerrant Word of God?

Would you believe so strongly in a metaphorical account or a figurative account which could be true but may not be true? Could you have faith in the God mentioned in a book which is only figurative or mostly made up of metaphors? Would you believe in it and in the Savior spoken of in its pages strongly enough to be burned at the stake for your beliefs? I don’t think that all of the martyrs of the ages would’ve believed in it or in Jesus for their salvation if it was shown to be only a “figurative or metaphorical” book.

Yet there are some study materials out today which claim that this is what we read when we are reading the Bible.

The prophecies which are in the Old Testament pointed to a Savior being born in a certain town to a virgin at a certain time. There are also other prophecies which foretold of empires being brought down or coming into existence hundreds of years before they were. No amount of “wishful thinking”, metaphorically or otherwise can predict something that accurately. Only God can tell the end from the beginning and speak about things which are not as if they were.

What is your blessing?

Is your life today a blessing toGodsBlessing you or a blessing to others? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to know that you will live in eternity or do you believe that when you die, that’s it?

There are many religions and beliefs out in the world today which tell you that their path is the right way or that there are many paths which lead to paradise. They are all wrong!

The only way to be allowed into Heaven and into the presence of God is through the blood of Jesus Christ! There is no other name under Heaven which will give you access to your home in Heaven. So, what is your blessing? We are blessed because God has given each of us one more day to tell others about Jesus and the saving power of His name and the blood which was shed for each of us on the cross!

You can choose to believe in Him and ask Him to come into your heart and change you and forgive you of your sins. You will need His strength each day of your life after this decision in order to walk with Him daily because if you don’t depend upon His strength for your daily life then you won’t be able to keep going. That is what Jesus meant when He said to “take up your cross daily and follow Me”. It is not a physical cross but it is the fact that you need Him and His strength through reading the Bible and prayer for the ability to take each day just one step at a time, walking with Him.

God has always loved each of us but His love or His hate of people or their sins is much different from what we call love or hate. Even when God hates someone like He said about Esau, it is not a vengeful type of hate. It is actually a type of love which doesn’t agree with his choices in life. God’s hatred is similar to a parent telling a child that “I love you but I don’t like the choices you are making”. Granted, God’s emotions are not like ours, but that is the only example which I can give that will make sense to anyone who reads this.

Did God love Esau? Yes, He did but He didn’t like the choices which Esau was making in his life. And for many of us today, He isn’t very happy with some of our choices either. That does not mean that He doesn’t love us. It is the sinful lifestyles or sins which we are into which causes God to dislike us at times. Can we fix this? Yes, we can but not entirely on our own strength.

We need to seek out God and His strength through prayer and reading His Word which will give us the encouragement to get through tough days and decisions. It is a daily, sometimes hourly, struggle with our past “demons” of drugs or alcohol or sex or whatever it might be which we are trying to liberate ourselves from. Becoming a Christian, coming to Him with your heart broken by how much you truly need Him, is a daily process. It isn’t an instant fix, but a practice or a walk with Jesus one step at a time. Lean on His strength and on Him for your support because together you are much stronger than you are alone.

Simple salvation

Have you ever been to an evangelical service anywhere and heard that it was simple to become a child of God? In many churches, you will never hear such a thing, but that is exactly what Jesus came to bring to everyone! The Jewish leaders of His day had over six hundred laws which they encouraged the people to keep (even though they couldn’t or wouldn’t keep them).

They asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment and He told them this: “Love the Lord with all of your mind, soul, body and strength and the second is like it; love your neighbor as yourself.” The law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. Much simpler don’t you think?

Salvation comes only through faith and belief in Jesus and the atonement which He bought for us with His blood and His resurrection from the tomb. Faith comes from hearing the Word preached and your soul responding to it, then belief comes when the Holy Spirit touches your heart and breaks it, showing you where you have failed to be like Jesus in your life. Why does it happen this way?

Because until it is broken just a little, there is no opening in your heart for the Holy Spirit to gain entrance. Being broken doesn’t mean that you are beyond repair because with God all things are possible! I mean, He made the first man from the mud and breathed the breath of Life into him. God called up the cattle and other animals from the ground and caused the waters to teem with all kinds of living creatures, certainly, He can take a small crack in your heart and mend it to make you into a new creature in Christ!

Learning about Jesus and His love for you is not the end of your life but the beginning! How can I say this? Because this pitiful seventy or eighty years of life is nothing compared to eternity! Which is where you will spend the rest of Life with Him and with all of those who have given their lives and their hearts to Him! Don’t throw eternity away because of a small thing or some amount of money here on Earth! The streets of Heaven are paved with gold and the doors leading into the Temple in Heaven are made out of 12 ft. tall pearls! What can wealth here give you that you can’t have in eternity? Absolutely nothing!

Make sure of your salvation simply because, after your last breath in this life, you won’t have a chance to change your mind or destination in eternity.

Being a mouthpiece

Since I am a preacher, that is what I am seen as by most people…a mouthpiece for God’s Word. I read a few verses or maybe a chapter during the service on Sunday morning and then expound on what I have read and what the wisdom that God has given me tells me about this scripture. Moses was a mouthpiece and all of the prophets in the Bible were too. Jesus is a direct mouthpiece because He is the Living Word of God and His disciples were mouthpieces and teachers just as we are today.

Bridge2SalvationWhat is my point in this article today? Simply that God is awesome, Jesus is sitting at the right of His Father and the universe is under their control! Being the person who tells others about God and His Son, and thankfully I am not the only one doing this, is an awesome responsibility! But, I enjoy it!

God loves us and the story that is told in the Bible, from the beginning to the end, is the story of His love and compassion toward us all. While it is true that it starts out being a story about Creation and the Israelite nation, the wisdom contained within its pages is for all of us! Jesus came to tell that story more personally so that we could understand that God’s love doesn’t just mean something to one particular people, but it is expressed toward all of humanity through His death and resurrection!

God’s love and compassion for us are also expressed in His patience toward us because we are very stubborn in our sinful lives and we don’t want to follow His ways until we are ready. The problem with that is that we don’t have a clue about our the brevity of our lives! We are not guaranteed tomorrow or even tonight, so as the saying goes “today is the day of salvation”! Tomorrow isn’t here until it is and you may not have much time in the day or the week ahead to give your life to Jesus and repent of your sins.

None of us can know if we are going into the new year in a couple of weeks because it isn’t a certainty. A wreck or a heart attack or a stroke could take your life at any time between now and then and if you haven’t made the decision to follow Jesus and believe in His atonement for your sins, then you will cross from this life into judgment and hell.

God loves each of us and this is shown in His Word, so don’t wait until you find yourself in front of God and being judged for a life lived without Jesus or even believing in Him. Yes, each of us will be judged in one way or another. If you are a Christian and have Jesus as your Savior then you will be judged by what you did for God’s Kingdom.

If you are not a Christian, then every word and deed that you have ever done in your life will be brought before you to convict you of your sins and to prove that you deserve to be punished in hell. Not for the sins, but for refusing to give your heart to Jesus! That is the sin which condemns you to hell. Make sure of your salvation while you can in this life because when this one is over you can’t rewind and fix it.

The shed blood of Jesus Christ

1 Peter 1:13-21
13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

17 And if you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

john_3_16_17_scripture_memory_card-raf7013e639264b87b918bea9971565b3_vgbaq_8byvr_540Sin deceives you because its roots are from the deceiver, Satan. Sinful actions can and will destroy your life in many ways and in the end of this life, it will bring eternal death which is eternal banishment from the presence of God.

The only way to save yourself from sin and the consequences of it is to believe in Jesus and the blood which He shed for us, each of us, on the cross. The Son of God gave His life for you and for me…He didn’t have to but He wanted to do it. Because He loved each of us far more and deeper than we can know or comprehend.

He redeemed us from sin through His blood shed on the cross for you! The only action needed on your part is belief in Him and the atonement bought by His blood.

Colossians 1:19-22 King James Version (KJV)

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Do you understand what God has done for us? For you and for me? Each person who has ever lived in this world, before the Flood and up until now, is born with a natural bent toward sin! I mean you don’t have to teach anyone to lie and you know it as well as I do.

Tell a toddler not to do something or eat something and you can see their wheels turning trying to figure out how they can get away with doing exactly that! If you are able to catch them right after doing it, whatever it may be, ask them if they did what you told them not to do. Even with crumbs from those cookies on their clothes they will tell you no, they didn’t do that.

In life you see many people behaving exactly the same way, even if they are supposed to be grown-ups. Why is that? It is because until you have a changed heart through the Spirit of God living within you, you are a sinner from the day you are able to decide to do something which you were told not to do! God’s will for your life is to glorify Him in all that you do and the only way for us to do that is to believe in Jesus and the atonement that He bought for us and ask God’s forgiveness based upon that belief.

Now, many religions teach that you can work out your salvation by yourself but that is not true. If that were possible, Jesus died for nothing! No amount of gold or silver or any amount of good works that you or I do in this world can bring salvation to your soul, only belief in Jesus can do that and accepting His atonement for your sins. If you can’t or won’t do that, then you have condemned yourself to hell.

Please, don’t go there, because hell was not made for humanity at all. It was made to punish angels who rebelled against God’s rule and authority including Satan or Lucifer if you know him by that name. Because of deception and our own stubbornness, many people are going to hell and it won’t be a party or a friendly place to be for eternity at all.

Make sure of your salvation in Jesus soon before the church is taken from this Earth, because it is going to happen soon. Plan on being part of that company.


So much disagreement!

5thingsgodwantsyou2knowWhy do we disagree with each other so vehemently? It seems that it doesn’t matter what religion or race or political party you belong to at the time, our differences of opinion and culture divide us so much that we can’t seem to find any common ground to work on!


As a species and as actually ONE race being human beings or Homo sapiens if you want to get scientific about it, our skin color and our hundreds of different cultures divide us to the point of barely being in any kind of collective community! It seems that, if you ask a question on one side of a room and then ask the same question on the other side, you will come up with many, many different answers to that same question…even if it is a simple one!

We just can’t agree on much at all, except what color the Sun is and that grass is green when it has water.

Is it possible for us to work around those differences or maybe work through them in order to find a way to get along long enough to NOT kill each other over ideology or religion?

Truly…in the world today, with all of the “politically correct” police all over the place, I doubt that we would ever fix any of the problems which are in our society now! When people are being told that they can’t say certain things or they will be put in jail for using the improper pronoun in reference to a person, regardless of their “born gender”; I don’t see any possible way of getting our world into a more compassionate and tolerant world.

Search the scriptures to find the wisdom of God in all of this. Because His Word is the only truth which is actually True. I understand that is a statement which is intolerant and narrow-minded but consider the same restrictions from Islam toward many of our freedoms and the lifestyles of people in the world? They don’t just preach and tell unbelievers that their sins according to Allah and the Holy Koran are wrong, in many instances the infidels are shoved from a rooftop or in some other way killed!

Has a Christian or Jewish church or temple ever done such a thing? I realize that during the 1500’s and 1600’s there were beheadings and wars and things such as that by the “church” of the time, but I am speaking of now…today!? No, the church of today doesn’t condone any kind of killing because you are sinning against God, because Jesus said that we are to love our fellow-man as He loved the people around Him. You cannot love someone and kill them!

Seek Jesus out in your situation and in the lives of those around you. Tell them about His love for them and that it is available to all who will believe in Jesus! Do this while there is time and breath in our bodies, because when the Trumpet of God sounds it will be too late.

What is the difference?

IamtheWayIt seems that there are so many different divisions of believers! Why? Aren’t we supposed to be worshipping the same Jesus and from the Bible which is God’s Word? Why do we have all of these denominations?

Mostly because of the work of Satan in the church. You didn’t think he could do that did you? If Satan can attend a meeting in Heaven and accuse Job, speaking to God about him, he can surely come into each of our churches! He may come in as a new convert to Christ or he may show up as a deacon or maybe someone who isn’t satisfied with the preacher.

I don’t mean that he has possessed them, but he plants thoughts into their minds which will take root in the congregation and even begin to fracture the family in the church. If you think about how problems arise in the church, regardless of the denomination, this will make sense. Many times after the church is either split or in some way diminished, the “new” person will leave or the person who planted the seed won’t have any recollection of the problem.

I am not writing this to accuse anyone but I am writing it to bring attention to this problem which does come up in churches all over the world, not just here in America. Paul wrote that we are at war with powers and principalities and these are just some of the forces that Satan has under his command. Thoughts of things which Christians shouldn’t think of, consideration of sinful things which we know we shouldn’t do, these are the “arrows” that our Spiritual armor should protect us from.

But, if you haven’t studied God’s Word and placed it in your mind to give you strength and power to resist these thoughts, then you may entertain them and it will become a stumbling block for you. The war for your spirit and your soul is in your mind and it is there that Satan attacks because he can see what each of us is attracted to the most and he uses it against us.

It is the same when we are having trouble in our churches, Satan and his demons and powers are attacking us, each one of us. Pulling up little things which irk us about a certain speaker or topic and making them seem far worse than they are. This is how he caused Adam and Eve to envy God in the garden and he has been doing it ever since all over the world.

Seek out the truth in God’s Word and study it. Learn from the Old and the New Testaments because they complement and interpret each other. With God’s Wisdom in your heart and in your head, Satan can’t twist it and make it say something when you know it well enough to thwart his plans. He knows scripture better than you do so you have to study it in order to know it at least as well. If you don’t, then he will make it sound like it came from the Bible even when he has changed a word or two to make it seem better or more appealing.

This is why we can’t stop learning scripture. Just because you may have read the entire Bible through last year doesn’t mean that you know it well enough to take him on. If you are like me in your reading, when you have finished reading the Bible, the next day feels empty without reading more of it. Every year I read it through but usually when I have finished it, I go back to Genesis and begin again. Each time over the last seven years I will find something or the Spirit will reveal something to me that I didn’t see or understand before!

I am about halfway through another reading of it and I feel that I should begin again. Why? I don’t know, maybe it is the Spirit prompting me to read again a part of it that I have read so that I can understand it a little better. I usually do find some insight in a passage every time that I read it which didn’t jump out at me before and it makes more sense this time.

I am not claiming to be perfect in my studies because I miss a day or two at times, when life gets in the way or maybe I’m not feeling well for a few days, but the more scripture that you put into your mind and heart the less you will be deceived by cults or by Satan.