Are you free?


This weekend in America, we are celebrating our Veterans and the sacrifices which all of them have given in the cause of freedom. From those in the Revolutionary War all the way to the war which is ongoing against terrorists today. Every man and woman who has served in a conflict of one type or another should be recognized for their service. The question remains, even today, are you free?

We believe that we are and have freedoms which few in our world have but do you truly enjoy your freedom from tyranny and persecution and the freedom from a possibility of war coming to your country? In my country, there are no guarantees anymore. Granted, war is not likely to break out any day but there are still criminals with guns, even in places where the laws are very tough on ownership of guns. Freedom today in America comes with a sense of anxiety sprinkled in because wherever you go someone may not like the car you drive or the clothes you wear and decide to shoot you just for fun.

No, freedom is not free. Our military men and women have paid the price for what we enjoy and Jesus paid the price for our freedom from the burden of sin as well. It was a high price to be paid because He paid for the sins of all, not just from the day of His crucifixion and resurrection. He paid for the sins of the entire world which came before His birth in Bethlehem as well as for all of the sins since then up until the end of the world!

God sent His Son to do this so that we could find freedom through Him. Not the freedom to sin and then be forgiven of it over and over, but when your heart is changed completely and you realize that you are a sinner in desperate need of His grace and mercy, this burden of sin is lifted and frees you to become the person that God intended for you to be from before the world was formed!

There are many who think that they are “saved” because they walked down the aisle at church one day and said a few words and then submitted to a baptism. But…performing a ritual of motions like those will NOT save your soul, only by believing in Jesus can you be saved! The belief which I am speaking of is the deep and heartfelt belief that He came to give His life for your soul. Not the feeling of “I need to get saved because my friends are doing it”. You are only following the crowd when you do this and it doesn’t really change anything.

When your heart is broken because of the sin that you have lived with for a very long time and you realize that God can’t let you into Heaven because of it, then and only then will you fall to your knees and know that you need Jesus in your life and your heart. If you don’t do this or if you think that you have some sort of arrangement with God about your soul, I can assure you that you will go to hell when your last breath is taken on this Earth.

Only the belief in your soul that you are a sinner, unclean and bared naked before God, will bring you to the point of giving your heart to Jesus! Only this action will save you and if you have not given your heart to Him fully and learn to walk with Him daily, then you will stand before God and before your “imagined” Savior and you will be judged as a sinner who remains unclean and is destined for eternity in hell.HELL-105818653518

The smoke of their torment rises for eternity. That is a long, long time to know that your eternity could’ve been so much different. Make the right choice before it is too late. Give your heart and your life to Jesus and ask Him to make you clean and whole in Him.

 

Grace from the Cross


Jesus paid for our sins when He died and rose again, so why do we decide not to believe in Him? Is it too easy or is it that we don’t want to know Him?

God loves each of us and yet there are so many in the world who deny His love and His mercy. They seem to think that they can make it to Heaven without Him. The Scripture tell us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Him.

May the Lord bless you and keep you in all of your ways. Amen.

Are you broken?


I have wondered about this many times in my life. I have even asked myself, “Just how broken am I?” The answer never really becomes clear most of the time and after a while, I forget I even asked the question. Brokenness is being spiritually cracked in ways that medical science can’t detect. It is not a state of being which many people will be able to see in you most of the time. Although, they will detect it if it gets really bad.

How can we, as Christians or even non-believers, fix our brokenness? Well…on our own we can’t. You may try different things like drugs of different kinds which will lead to being broken on a different level altogether. You could go to a psychologist or some other therapist to attempt to find the reason for it and possibly find a “cure”. But the problem lies with your soul and whether you are a believer or not you can feel and truly be broken.

Sometimes it happens when a loved one dies or a business deal goes sideways. Anytime something else is placed in a higher position in your life than God, a crack forms. The longer it stays there, it will keep growing and causing more cracks to form. Satan knows this and he will keep adding to the illusion that you are doing really well, keep up the good work. But, the problem is that you are doing his work for him. Unless you can discern where or why the crack in your life began, it may never be fixed or rather you may not want to get it fixed.

God can and will give you the ability to fix it but only by acknowledging that you need Him and His Son in the place of whatever you have above them now! This is not one of those times to go it alone because that is how you got here in the first place. We all think that we can handle our problems all by ourselves when the truth is that we can’t. Living your life as if you are in control of every part of it is foolish and until you realize that small bit of wisdom…you will keep on making little mistakes which will add to your broken state of being.

God can get you back on the right path in your life but only if you will allow Him to do so. He doesn’t push Himself into your life nor does He force any of His ways into your daily living. Love doesn’t force and cannot be forced on anyone, that is the message in the Bible and it is His message to all of mankind. God’s love is above all of our ideas of love and it cannot be undone once you realize you have it. It is your choice to follow His lead in your life, one step at a time and one day at a time.

Here are a few Bible verses which tell us how we should love each other and Him:

“Let all that you do be done in love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:34-35

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:18-19

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”  John 14:15

“Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly.”  Colossians 3:14

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.   Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  1 John 4:7-8

“Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.”  Proverbs 10:12

Abounding Grace


Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

OurGodisAbleIn these verses, Paul writes that because the knowledge of sin increased, grace abounded even more through the man Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins. We are made free from sin in Christ, not because we don’t sin anymore or that we are made sinless but because through Him our sins are forgiven and we can be made free from the burden of sin. Sin has made mankind slaves to its influence for thousands of years and yet through Jesus’ sacrifice, we can gain our freedom if we will put our faith in Him and believe that He did this for us!

In Jesus, we can have life eternal because He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith.

But…sitting in church or having knowledge of Jesus and Who He is, yet without accepting His gift of eternal life through belief in Him and what He did for you will gain you nothing! Satan knows about Jesus, the demons in hell know about Him but knowing about Him is not enough. Believing in Him and what He did for you is the key when you feel convicted of your sins. Don’t turn away from Him when He calls at the door of your heart.

God loves each of us dearly or He would not have sent Jesus to go to the cross and die for your sins and the sins of all, past, present and future! He knows which of us will accept this gift but it is available to everyone who will believe in Jesus and ask for His forgiveness of our sins. Don’t throw this opportunity away.

 

tick, tock, tick, tock…


Every second which passes by you and your family is gone for good. There is no getting it back and it can’t be recovered in any fashion by any means. So…why do we allow the time that we do have to slip from our grasp with impunity? It seems that work and life, in general, gets in the way or just takes up our time as we live it second by second.

Telling your wife or husband “I love you” gets pushed away at times because of other pressing matters such as work and time taking care of the yard or the dishes or some other “busy work”. Then, when it comes to the end of the life of our significant other, we want to run time back so we can have more time to do those things which they enjoyed.

You never know when your life or mine or your wife or child will be taken from this life, so make sure that you spend time with them, love them and tell them so. Make sure that you know Jesus and that your family does too because you don’t want to spend eternity in Heaven knowing that they aren’t there.

Time slips by one second at a time and I began this post 24 hours ago! Those are hours which none of us will ever see again. What you did last night or yesterday is in the past, but God knows what you said and what you did with those minutes and hours. Life is precious and so is the time that we have to spend in it so don’t waste it…ever! Cherish those around you and enjoy the time that you have with them because when it is gone, you can’t get it back.

God loves each of us which is why He came in the flesh of man to redeem us from sin and its sentence in our lives bringing death to all who don’t repent. Jesus, the Son of God and second in the Trinity, came to bring a sinless man to the cross and die for all of mankind which paid the price for all. No amount of work or gifts to the church will help in your salvation, only by accepting Jesus as your Savior and giving up your old life can you be saved from an eternity in hell.

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Our new Life


Each of us sees life in a different way. Some see it as a burden and a hard toil to get through each day. To others, it is a joy to be grateful for and one which is given to each of us by God, regardless of the burden that they bear during their journey through it. Still, others see life as a challenge or even a time for play or even as work for some goal which they have in their life. Goals are great because they give us something to strive for, to work toward in our daily walk through life but it is the type of goals and our own character which is reflected in our walk which others see.

Jesus said that there would always be poor people with us but He meant those who are poor in spirit, not necessarily those without money enough to get by. The apostle Paul said that his goal was to attain the high calling of Jesus Christ. In truth, all Christians should be striving toward that goal like Paul and yet many see their salvation as just a ticket to escape hell and enter Heaven…nothing more.

We are to use our salvation as a platform to go and tell the world about our Savior. We are not to be sitting in a pew in church just for the attention or for the food but for the instruction of the Word and for growth in grace so that we can go and tell others about what Jesus has done for us! Attending church on holidays or for special occasions is great but if that is the only time that you attend church then your life with Jesus is lacking a true relationship. Even Satan attends church more than that!

God gave a part of Himself, His only Son, to redeem the sin in humanity. It is offered to all and it is available to all but many will not accept it. His Life was given for all and yet so many refuse to either believe in Him at all or they don’t want the salvation which comes with a price. That price is not for things which we have to do to attain salvation but it is the price of living as a follower of Jesus Christ. If your salvation is real and you have truly accepted Him as your Savior, being changed in your heart to become a new creation, then you should learn to walk with Him daily. This is what many don’t want because they don’t want to give up their so-called “normal” lives.

Jesus said that we would have to “take up your cross and follow me”, He didn’t mean that we were going to be crucified but we would have to crucify our old way of life so that we could successfully follow Him daily. This action on our part is not our work toward salvation it is our duty because of what He has given to us freely! We can’t earn our salvation because the price was paid by Him, all we need to do is accept the gift of salvation and walk in the newness of the Life we have been given!FB_IMG_1521382243378

 

Vanity and pride


The two most destructive and seductive sins in the world are vanity and pride. Why? Because they are tied together and they form the foundation for almost all sins in our world today. These two are also responsible for Lucifer’s sin and his rebellion against God’s authority above all. You would think that writing about these might be easy, but it really isn’t. Because I don’t wish to offend my followers nor anyone else who might come upon this site.

These two emotions cause sinful feelings toward oneself and toward others because they tend to make us feel more important than we really are. The problem with that is when we consider those feelings of superiority to others, Satan comes to us and we begin to believe that we truly are better or more important. This is not a phenomenon which affects us before we become Christians it also affects our church leadership sometimes.

Can these be overcome? Yes, with much Bible study and prayer hopefully before these feelings get out of hand in your life or in the life of someone you know or love. God has a plan for each of us and if we don’t seek out that plan through the study of His Word and prayer, then we won’t know what that plan may be. The sins of vanity and pride are such that they have brought down rulers of many kingdoms in the past and they bring the careers of many today to a halt.

Learning about God’s love for us through His Word and by studying it is the only real way to know what His Will for your life is. Prayer along with that study keeps us in contact with God, not only at the time of our study, but all during our daily life walking with Him.

While it is true that there is a good type of pride there is also a pride which leads to destruction which is where vanity comes in. Essentially, vanity and pride are two different sides of the same coin. They aren’t separate just different. Like light and dark, one is the presence of light and the other is the absence of it. You can’t make a dark lamp because light drives away the darkness. Pride in your accomplishments or your children’s accomplishments is fine but when you think of yourself or of your child as being better than others then you are straying into the vain area of pride.

Humble

Pride goes before a fall. God has given us a glimpse of His Wisdom in our Bibles, His Word which we have access to in our world today, don’t ignore it or turn away from it. Because God loves you more dearly than you can imagine and it is in your best interest that He has placed the knowledge needed for your life and mine in His Word. All you should do in this life is covered there so learn from it and seek Him while you read it. Amen.

Grace


His grace is an extension of benevolence translated into action that releases His enabling power into our lives.

Seeing that we can never merit His favor, we are indebted to Him to extend to us His mercy and bestow upon us His grace whereby we may respond to Him in an acceptable manner. From beginning to end we are dependent upon Him, for life itself, for all sustenance by which we continue to live and have our existence, and most importantly for our spiritual life without which we are but the “living dead”.

God extends His grace to us each day, yet many don’t perceive it nor even care that it is available. Jesus died and rose again to give us the grace and the hope of Heaven and eternity along with forgiveness from the Father. So why are so many churches today closing their doors? Because of the time in which we live, that’s why. This time frame in which we are all living right now is just prior to the Tribulation but the church and the Holy Spirit will be taken from the Earth before that.

God will still work in the hearts of mankind during the Tribulation but it will be much harder to give your heart to Him because if you aren’t serving the person who is in power at the time, there will be consequences. How long in coming will this be? I have no idea. Even Jesus said to His disciples that that day or hour is only known by God.

There have been many people in the past and right up until recently who thought they knew the day or the hour but they were mistaken. We can’t know the mind of God or His timing but there will be no mistake when the church is taken up to Heaven. Make sure that you are a part of that company and not one of those left behind.

Bridge2Salvation

 

Pain and healing


God is with you in all of your struggles, no matter what may be going on. I know that there are many people who are hurting in many different ways today. Some because of the loss of a loved one, some because of health issues, many because of the lack of food and other things. So…why is it so hard for people in the church, regardless of denomination, to help those in need? I know that many churches do have programs and monies given to charities as well as food banks and other charitable functions, but the number of those doing this is small compared to the actual need that is out there.

The church, the body of Christ on Earth, is responsible for those who need His presence in their lives. Whether it is by food or medicine or whatever it may be, those in need truly need us to be Christ to them. After all, we may be the only representative of Jesus that they ever see in this world.

While it is true that some pain is useful to bring our faith up to a level which we can be more useful to God’s purposes, He doesn’t cause the pain but allows it just as He did with the prophet Job. Job faithfully served God in all of his work and yet the Accuser challenged God in this saying that “he will curse you” if you will allow me to afflict him. Satan could not touch Job without God’s permission as He had placed a hedge about him because of his service to God in being a priest for his family.

Our purpose as Christians is to be priests in the world wherever we may serve. In the boardroom or in hospitals or police stations or whatever job that we hold, we are to be His light in those places. While it is true that today showing your faith in God can get you fired from your job, if that happens then God will place you in a place where you can do His will in that place.

God’s will for each of us cannot be stopped or thwarted by Satan or by anyone else, if God has ordained that you should be His representative in a place then that is where you will be. If He calls you to be an evangelist or a pastor then whether you refuse the calling at first or not, it will come to pass in time when you realize that your running from His call will avail you an escape from it!

In my past, I felt the call to become a minister long before I surrendered to that calling, but I decided that I wasn’t ready for it. The thing which I didn’t know at the time was that my decision of readiness wasn’t mine to make…the call had been made and it wouldn’t be revoked. The only time that God ever repented of anything was in creating mankind, because of their evil and wickedness, yet He still saved a remnant on the ark. God’s call on the church to be what He intended hasn’t been rescinded in two thousand years and it won’t be until He calls us to immortality and we are bound for Heaven.

No boundaries


In the world today there are borders which are not visible on the ground which separate nations from each other. But there is no boundary between us and God Himself, at least not anymore. When Jesus said that “It is finished” on the cross the curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies ripped from top to bottom. This didn’t happen because of an earthquake or by someone cutting it but because of the Holy Spirit giving access to God’s mercy seat.

Why did this happen? Because the sinless Lamb of God had died and paid the price for all of mankind, not just a few people but for all who had lived and died in the past, the present and in the future where we are today! God’s love doesn’t have any boundaries, regardless of the rhetoric that we hear in the world. His love is such that He gave a part of Himself, His Son, to pay for all of our sins so that we can have access to Heaven and to Him. Nobody else would do that!

The question for us today is this: Do you set boundaries in your life where God is NOT welcome? If you do then you are limiting His work in your life and through you for the world around you. God loves each of us and He will draw each of us to Him when we feel the conviction of our sinful ways. That conviction comes through the Holy Spirit and each time that you feel it, if you have pushed it away or ignored it, it will get a little bit weaker and not quite as loud. Until one day, you may not feel it or hear it at all.

Don’t push Him away. Listen for His call on your life because it doesn’t matter what you may have done in the past, God is willing to forgive and take you into His family. Paul and Moses had both committed murder, yet God used them in mighty ways! Your life can be a witness to others who may believe wrongly that they can’t be saved, but they can be if they are willing to repent of their sins and follow Jesus.

The Bible is God’s Word and it is not just some old dusty book written by a bunch of old men! It is the Living Word! The Bible is a testament of God’s love for us and it is the tangible representation of the Son of God that we have today. John called Him the Living Word and that is what the Bible is as well. Each person who reads it gets a different message from the same passages because He speaks to each of us differently.

Don’t turn away from Him or the study of His Word because it is the mind of God which was given to us for instruction and training and for wisdom in this life! There is no education in the world which contains the wisdom in this Book except maybe a few seminaries where future pastors are trained. God loves us and He is coming back soon, so be watchful and be praying for those who haven’t given their lives to Jesus.