5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.42.5.KJV
So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord , and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Job 2:7-10 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/job.2.7-10.KJV
What does that mean? It means that when you get to the point that you can’t fix it yourself…God can. Let go of your pride and give God the permission to take your problem and fix it His way. Don’t take it back from Him just trust that He can take care of it and let Him work on it for His glory and to your good!
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord , I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. Habakkuk 3:18-19 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/hab.3.18-19.KJV
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.5.44.KJV
In our society and in the Christian church, belief is enough through faith to save your soul from hell. But when you do not have faith, belief is a matter of the will, not because of proof. Because for those who do not believe, no amount of proof is sufficient. For those who do believe, no proof is necessary or needed. That is why there are so many in the world who believe in other “gods” and you cannot tell them any different. God grants to each of us an amount of faith so that we will believe His Word and in His Son. To others who will choose not to believe, and God knows exactly who these are, God gives them over to their unbelief so that no matter the amount of proof given they will not believe. To those who truly do believe, by faith, no proof is needed.
I know this sounds cruel because God knows who will believe and who will not but He is not choosing who will and who won’t…it is our choice that determines this. God exists outside of our time and space and He can see your past and future just as He can see every person’s decisions even before they make them. He is not choosing who will and who will not believe in Jesus for their salvation because He already knows who will choose to be saved. Just as in the book of Genesis when Jacob and Esau were still in the womb the scripture says “…God loved Jacob but hated Esau”; lest you think that I’m making this up, here is the scripture from Romans.
“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”- Rom 9:13
An angel of the Lord told Isaac’s wife that there were two nations in her womb and we see the evidence of it almost every day in the news. The Jewish people are in conflict with those around them today and have been for many years and it won’t stop until the Lord Himself comes back and puts a stop to it. The problem began with Ishmael and continued with Esau and his descendants and it is still going on today. Family feuds are ingrained so deeply until there is little anyone can do to stop them and in this one, only Jesus Christ will bring it to an end.
Belief doesn’t require proof in regard to spiritual things because our Spirit communes with the Lord’s Spirit and proves our belief without having physical proof. Even today people still ask for proof of our Christian faith but what can we give them that they will believe? There is nothing that we can give or show them because belief requires faith and if they do not have faith then they will not believe regardless of the amount of proof that may be given.
From the time of World War 2 and every terrible thing that happened in the camps where so many Jewish people, men, women and children lost their lives and many family members. This statement by Corrie Ten Boom is so very true because when everything is taken from you like it was in those “camps”, Christ is all that you have to cling to and believe in. In those horrible places their humanity, and their dignity was taken from them. Their individuality and every decent bit of treatment was denied them because of the conditions that they were kept in. Their treatment was inhumane and horrible and many students today are not learning about what happened or even that it did happen.
Christ is our Savior, Christ is the Savior of the world if they will accept Him. I pray that every person who reads this blog will seek out Jesus Christ as their Savior while there is time. Don’t wait because some of you may not be here tomorrow night.
Well…it depends upon what a person is being saved from? Salvation can be many things to many people. You can be saved from physical death by a seat belt in a car or an air bag or both. You could be saved from a life of being filthy rich by your circumstances or by God’s grace, whichever you prefer. Salvation, for a Christian, is being saved from the punishment of hell that we deserve but by God’s grace our faith in Jesus atones for all of our sins and allows us to come before Him with no blemish of sin on our person. You could receive salvation from drowning by someone throwing a lifeline with a float attached to it.
So you see, salvation can come to each of us in different forms and at different times but the one that most of us are seeking is our salvation from the punishment that we deserve for our sins. God is our Creator and our Savior which is why He came to live as a human for about thirty three years. He came so that He would know the temptations that we experience not to judge us for those but to call us into a life with Him. Sometimes the call that we hear from Him comes when we are young and sometimes we don’t hear it until we are a bit older.
There is one illustration that I would like to give here which points out the reality that our Savior gives to us and to no others in Creation.
“The life of Christianity consists of possessive pronouns” says Martin Luther. It is one thing to say, “Christ is a Saviour”; it is quite another thing to say, “He is my Saviour and my Lord.” The devil can say the first; the true Christian alone can say the second. Resource, July/August, 1990.
To claim our salvation we must come to a realization that we need Jesus in our heart to save us. God does that when His Spirit reaches down and touches your heart, breaks it and re-molds it into a heart that is ready for His gift. Sometimes this is painful but sometimes it is something that we have sought for a long time and in that instance it feels so good to get the burden of years of carrying the guilt and the shame with us all of the time.
Only a Christian can say “Christ is my Savior and my Lord”. If you can’t confidently say that is feel in your heart that it is true then you may want to seek the Lord for confirmation of your salvation. Do you believe it or are you just saying words? God came down as a helpless baby to live as we live so that He could identify with every emotion and temptation that we have. He saw and healed many diseases while He was teaching His disciples about the Kingdom of God and that He has healing for every disease if we will believe in Him for our healing.
Some people only say the words. Some people read the Bible but they don’t believe a word of it. Its just a book of stories and the history of the Jewish people. It is so old that it doesn’t apply to us today.
All of the statements in the short paragraph above are false with parts of truth in them as well. “Now, hold on preacher! The Bible is the Word of God, it can’t be a lie!” The Bible is the history of the Jewish people but some people read it like a book. Some just think it is too old to apply to us now, and there are many people who truly don’t believe a word in it came from God.
Why is that important? Because, God inspired the prophets and kings to write the words which make up the Torah, which is our Old Testament. The apostles wrote their accounts of Jesus’ ministry and Paul wrote most of the prison epistles from a Roman prison but even they were under the influence of the Holy Spirit. If the Word, the Bible, is inspired by God and His Spirit, then it is true and there is no other way to interpret it.
Finally, salvation comes to us by faith in the Holy Spirit which convicts us of our need of salvation. Then He points us in the direction of Jesus Christ Who is our Savior and Lord to believe in Him for our salvation to become real and genuine. After that we should read God’s Word to know what we should do with all of this joy and grace that we’ve been given!
Racism-the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.
I have said this before and I am emphasizing it again. God created the human race and we descended from a man and a woman that God created. We did not evolve from apes. God didn’t even use apes as the idea for us because He said, “Let us make mankind in our image”. We are created in His image and we still carry His image inside us.
So….what causes racism? It could be many things but the most likely culprit is in your own family. We see how our grandparents and our parents treat people who have darker skin than we do so the treatment or the thoughts toward those with darker skin are taught and handed down over the generations. It has become ingrained in our white culture just as other behaviors are in other cultures.
Is it hard for white people to talk about racism? Yes, it is. Particularly when some of us have worked with people of color, regardless of the color and yet those of us who are “white” are called crackers, and honky by some outside our friends at work. Why? What did I ever do to deserve such names? Have I been disrespectful to you or someone in your family? My family never owned any slaves. But to hear the “news” today you would think that every white person has been a part of the slave trade from 200 years ago.
The earliest ancestor of mine came over on a ship from England as a servant to someone who could afford a servant. So…what does that make me? I am a descendant of a slave or servant as well, even though my skin is white. God doesn’t agree with slavery or the idea of it but the Bible was used in a very evil way to justify slavery.
Jesus didn’t come to save you based on your skin color because He created all of the shades of color which adorns our human race. Each has its advantages and disadvantages but not in the way that the news media tries to spin it these days. God created us in the way that would be the most beneficial for us to be His disciples so that we could take His message of love to those that we are known by and to some who may not know us at all.
Each of us has a talent or ability which may make an impression on someone outside our comfort zone. Hopefully it will bring them to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I pray that our ideas of race and racism will be put behind us one day and one day in His Kingdom it will be. We just have to get there first. Lord, come quickly.
When you consider the birds of the air or even the fish and other animals in the wild, all of them depend on God for their lives. Their food and their shelter are provided for them by the grace and power of God. Now you can say that it is just instinct or the way that these animals are taught by their “parents” but that doesn’t work for many of them.
Think about sea turtles. They live for many years but they never actually know their mother or their father. They are born from an egg which has been laid in the sand by their mother but when they are born she is not there. They have to frantically race to the sea and many of them don’t make it. Birds scoop up these little ones by the hundreds before they ever enter the sea and even then they are small enough to be eaten by some fish. God provides them with the knowledge to find places to hide and to find food because this is where so-called “instincts” come from.
Why am I speaking about animals? Because God cares for them. He knows when one of them comes to the end of their life and falls to the ground or dies in the sea or anywhere they are. Since God cares for and knows about their death just as much as He knows and cares about each of us. He cares and knows about each of us in a more intimate way because we are made in His image! We are given talents and gifts by Him to use for His Kingdom in this life until our time is up. God knows your day of birth and He knows the day of your death, but in between those times we are supposed to work for Him in every area of our life.
Some of us push Him away for a while because we think that we can do it on our own, but we can’t. Many of us hear His call on our life and just ignore it and we have many problems come up in our life. These problems usually come in the form of sickness or some other problem for which we need His hand or His strength to get through. Sometimes we will turn to Him and follow Him after these things and sometimes we become angry and push Him away. Don’t consider that you can outsmart God, He knew which reaction that you would exhibit. So if you’ve pushed Him away, He will try another one.
God uses every area of your life for His Kingdom. You don’t have to be a pastor or a deacon or a missionary…just be you. God created each of us with a unique gift or ability which nobody else has and He can and will use that gift for His Kingdom and glory even if it doesn’t happen until your last day on this Earth. Each of us has a date with destiny and we will meet God on that day. It is up to you and your decision to give your heart to Him even if you only have a minute to live…don’t waste it.