What is salvation?


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 or ?


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.

Children are not born racist, they learn this from others.

The birds know more…


The bluebird knows it is April, and soars toward the Sun and sings.
–Eben Eugene Rexford (1848–1916)

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.

Life from the Author of it


Jesus came to give sinners an opportunity to be forgiven. It was His sacrifice and His love for us which compelled Him to do this. He didn’t have to do it but because of His love for you and me, He did. Many people look at this in the Bible and they don’t think anyone would do this, even when it is written in God’s Word. So, what will you do when you feel the call from God’s Holy Spirit?

Some people try to ignore it. Some even try to run away from the Spirit of God, like Jonah did. The problem with this is that God is everywhere and none of us can run from Him. God uses all sorts of ways to get our attention and sometimes we pay attention and sometimes we don’t. The problem is that we live in a world where there is so much information around us until the prompting from the Spirit could be ignored.

The Holy Spirit is very subtle in the way that it touches us. It is that small voice that you feel more than you hear, but if God is trying to get your attention because He wants you to be His voice at some point then you will hear it. Sometimes it will feel as if He is trying to hurt you deeply, when the truth is that some of us need a whack on our head in order to truly get our attention. The “crisis” that we are in now could be considered a massive whack up side our collective heads.

Pay attention and seek Him for your healing and your salvation as well because we might not get another chance.

This shall pass…


Of all the infectious diseases which have plagued our world in the past few decades, the corona virus is getting more attention than most of them ever did. Not because of the number of cases or the severity of the symptoms or even the mortality rate of the infection but because of the media, especially the Internet and news media. The flu killed more people and does kill more every year than this “new” virus has so far. So why are we ready to shut down whole cities and countries just to slow down or stop the spread of this? It is because we are giving in to fear and panic which is being whipped up to cause a panic.

Quarantine yourself in your home if you feel like you have the flu because the symptoms are similar. Don’t run around sneezing and coughing all over town, stay at home and ask family to bring you some medicine like Theraflu or Nyquil and ride this out. Unless your immune system is already compromised by some other condition it seems that those of us who are healthy can beat this with prayer and rest at home.

I am not saying that you should stay at home if you do have a real reason to be out and about, but follow the advice of the doctors and the CDC. If you don’t have to be out in the public areas, don’t go. The Bible and Jesus our Savior foretold that in the end times there will be diverse diseases and fear and this is exactly what is happening now. Read your Bible, seek His Wisdom and pray for your family and everyone who is suffering from cancer or any other condition which causes a weakened immune system. They are the ones that this virus can truly hurt and even kill. God is still in control of everything that is happening, although I don’t believe that He unleashed this on us. It is part of Satan’s plan to cause us to blame God for it.

Seek Him in Scripture, pray for all who are being treated for this, pray for our leaders so that they will have the wisdom to be able to handle this because in time this will pass away and God’s love will bring us through this.

We are not controlled by the media


That is a good statement but if you’ve been shopping lately you know it isn’t true. Our country is in panic mode because of a virus which is less deadly than the flu! Some doctors have said as much in the media but no one seems to be listening. God is still in control and this virus and the mania, which has been brought on by a media which is out of control, will pass and we will forget about it in a few months. The problem is that since this is a world-wide hysteria it is causing the economy of the entire world to grind to a screeching halt. Everyone is afraid of everyone else. Pray for each other, go to church (regardless of the ban on crowds), seek His guidance in this situation because He is in control. God can take care of all of this if we will seek Him for our comfort and our healing.

The media, even on the Internet, has too much power these days. I pray for everyone who has a cold or the flu to just stay at home and take care of yourself. Pray and read God’s Word because He can and will heal in His time and in His way. Pray for those around you and for our nation and it’s leaders. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

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.