God’s way


Is there any other way? Yes, you can choose to follow your own path or the one which the world places in front of you. Sometimes we will find a path which gives us all of the goodies that the world values but it still leaves us empty. No matter which way we turn in the world, trying to find the path to real and lasting happiness, that path never intersects with the one we are on. We may find some happiness with our job or our family for a time, as long as we don’t use them as our “god” to make our way in this world.

The problem really comes full circle if we do deify some part of our career or our family because there is no lasting satisfaction in doing this. No amount of success in this world, financial or otherwise, can take the place of giving our lives to Jesus and repenting of making our lives a mess otherwise. There are no quick fixes and no amount of “good deeds” by giving lots of money or time to a worthy cause will ever save your soul. Any “good” thing done outside of God’s love and without Jesus as our motivation is useless in eternity.

The only eternity which we will see if we try to do it our way and not God’s way is the absence of God in hell for eternity. I know this sounds totally against the world’s way of looking at our good deeds but God’s way of doing things doesn’t match up with the way the world looks at it. God’s way of doing things goes completely against our logic sometimes.

Consider when God called Gideon to fight an army with a group of soldiers that only numbered about 300.

Here is the text of the choosing of Gideon’s army:

Gideon’s Army of Three Hundred

1Early in the morning Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the men with him camped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh.

2The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many people for Me to deliver Midian into their hands, lest Israel glorify themselves over Me, saying, ‘My own hand has delivered me.’ 3Now, therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people: ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’”

So twenty-two thousand of them turned back, but ten thousand remained.

4Then the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go. But if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”

5So Gideon brought the people down to the water, and the LORD said to him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel to drink.” 6And the number of those who lapped the water with their hands to their mouths was three hundred men; all the others knelt to drink.

7Then the LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped the water I will save you and deliver the Midianites into your hands. But all the others are to go home.”

With all of the men with him, Gideon and Israel would look at the victory as their victory and not the Lord’s victory. This is why God had him to limit his army so that the glory of the battle would be given to the Lord.

God can use you as you are to accomplish much in His Kingdom and for His glory. You don’t need a seminary degree or a fantastic car or an expensive suit! John the Baptist preached in a coat of woven camel’s hair and he was the forerunner of our Lord Jesus!

One blessing at a time


Is this how you approach God or do you really want the flow to pour into your life? Many of us say that we want His blessings to flow into our lives but then we put conditions on the flow. We begin telling God exactly what we want and how we want it and when we want it, but have you ever noticed that God doesn’t answer prayers like that? God knows what you need and when you need it. Notice the difference in those two sentences.

In one sentence we are telling God what WE want and when and how we want it, but God knows what we need and He knows when to bless us with it and how much of a blessing to give because He knows exactly how we will use it and for what!

We multitask in our daily lives and we want Him to do His work in our lives the same way. For example, do you notice that many of us are trying to do many things every day and even though we think we are “multitasking” we actually get very little done? Unless…we concentrate on one thing at a time. Such as wash the towels, get them started in the washer, then move on to the dishes and hopefully finish them by the time the towels are done, then get the towels in the dryer, etc. Each task which we begin as just one task and them move on to the next gets done.

But when you are trying to call someone and get put on hold while you are washing the dishes and needing to wash the towels and the clothes, then very little will get done until at least one of those tasks is complete. Many of us try to do too much in our lives when God has told us exactly how to live and how to complete your tasks in this life easily. Focus on the Kingdom of God and His righteousness every day, learning from His Word and His Wisdom, then those other “things” will fall in place behind the most important One of all, Jesus.

Even when we know this, we tend to impose our ideas or our thoughts about how God is supposed to work in our lives. Don’t we? When we pray about a problem or about something which we want Him to do or accomplish in our lives, we impose our ideas and our wants on God and in the prayer that we are praying. God does not work on your specific ways of thinking because our ideas tend to limit God’s power and His miracle. God does answer prayer in His way and on His time and with His blessing for you even though His answer may not line up with your ideas about how He was supposed to do it!

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”.  Matthew 6:33

GodGaveusEverythingBegin each day by reading His Word, maybe a chapter or so, then pray about what you have read and ask Him to help you incorporate His Wisdom into your day. Then your day will follow Him instead of the other way around. Always begin a decision or a day with Jesus, no matter what the day may bring and when God comes first in your day and in your life then your other priorities will be in their proper order.

Faith is powerful!


Acts 3

1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; 3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. 4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. 5And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

Peter had preached the sermon on the day of Pentecost just before this healing event occurred but what made this healing special? The lame man had faith. He didn’t know Jesus, but he was expecting something from Peter and John. It is that expectant faith which brings the miracles of God into our lives! Some of us who have given our hearts to Jesus and asked Him into our lives and our hearts have faith because without it we wouldn’t have felt the pull on our hearts to come to Jesus.

But many times our faith is tested in ways that we don’t recognize as a test and we don’t expect anything from that experience. We go through it and we may pray for God to give us the strength to get through whatever it may be, but we don’t expect a miracle from it. But…we should!

While the lame man was actually expecting money from Peter, it was that attitude of expectancy which brought his miracle into his body. He expected something, anything from Peter and when Peter said “in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”, he did! He expected something and he got more than he expected from the encounter.

So, why don’t we get miracles today? Some say it is because miracles only happened at the beginning of the church age. I think it is because of our stubborn hearts and minds which have been “programmed” to discount things which science can’t explain. But miracles do happen today. Some of them are part of a medical treatment or surgery which God uses to bring a miracle into that person’s life. Which allows doctors to see that their treatment works in concert with prayer and faith.

Some of the doctors may not see the recovery as a miracle but there are times when a healing happens and the doctor can’t explain it because it happened through his treatment but not because of the treatment. In other words, the doctor wasn’t expecting a healing in this instance but the patient and their family were and God honored that. I imagine that many of these miracles happen more often than we realize. They just happen in the background and unless there is faith involved the healing might not have happened at all.

Are you certain?


Do you know for sure, without a doubt, that you are saved and sanctified by the blood of Jesus? Have you read through the gospels and wondered if any of this was real? When I was younger, I wondered if the Bible itself was real or was it just some fantastic book put together a long time ago. The more I studied it and read it and then read it again, I came to realize that, especially when I read about the martyrs and how they died for their faith in Jesus, this book and the stories in it had to be real! Because people would not die for a lie!

God loves each of you so much that He sent His Son to the Earth clothed in humanity’s flesh to be the sacrifice for ALL of our sins! It doesn’t matter if you are black or white or Asian or Turkish or from Kenya or Norway or Australia…God loves you!

There is no secret formula to become a Christian, other than believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins and giving your heart to Him in repentance of those sins. That’s it! Then, walk with Him daily for the rest of your life so that others might get a chance to see Him in you! Christ died for you and for every other person in the world. He paid the price for your sins so that you could have eternal life through Him.

Why did He do this? Because of God’s LOVE for you, that’s why! God did not pick and choose who was going to be saved and who wasn’t, the choice is up to you! When you feel that conviction in your heart and know that if you died today or tomorrow without Jesus, you would go to hell. Make a commitment to Jesus as His disciple from this moment on so your life will have a true meaning and a purpose now and into eternity!

God loves you and wants the best for you in His Kingdom so make sure that you are serving Him in your lifetime.

GodsBlessing

Be mindful


In the movies, particularly in “Star Wars” movies, you hear this phrase in reference to some evil deed being done or something which might happen if you are not mindful. In the writing which I am placing here, being mindful is being careful as well. Not so much in watching what you are doing, although that has a part in it, but also taking care about what you think or say around people.

Your thoughts and your speech betray your true convictions and words cannot be unsaid once they are out. We are always careful with our speech in church settings or in mixed company, sometimes at least, but why don’t we pay attention to our thoughts and words in other places? I have heard many things in public which shouldn’t have been said, especially by someone claiming to be a Christian. Many times I would think that “I wouldn’t have said that”, but in their situation or as the saying goes “in their shoes” I might.

We cannot judge a person based on the words they use or even what they say, although many people do just that. We are judged by our actions and our words in many ways, sometimes rightly and other times not so much. The problem with being judged by what we say, whether it is posted on a social media site or on a blog or said in public, is our responsibility.

So…we should be very mindful of our thoughts and actions but especially our words because they never really go away on the Internet. In public places, the damage that spoken words can cause is much worse than a bullet or a knife and it runs deeper and lasts longer as well. Life is too short to dwell on what has already been said or the damage that was caused in the past by misspoken words. All that you can do about those is to ask forgiveness and give the problem to God and let Him take care of it.

Watch other people and what they do and say, keep your mouth shut and think carefully before proving to someone that you weren’t taught any differently. Seek God’s Wisdom in the Psalms and Proverbs on all sorts of subjects and learn from His teaching so that you can be better prepared for life because His Word is our guidebook and we should pay attention (be mindful) to it in everything that we do.

 

The soul which sins will die


Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  https://biblehub.com/ezekiel/18-20.htm
This law has not changed and will not change. God is sinless and perfect and so is Heaven and everything in it. Therefore, a sinner cannot enter into Heaven…period. You can’t set one foot into Heaven if you are a sinner. But, preacher, we are all sinners! Yes, we are BUT Jesus paid for our sins and His blood covers those sins IF you and I have accepted Him as our Savior.

SinSeparatesUsIf our sins are not covered by His blood because we have NOT asked Him to forgive us and we have not repented of those sins, then we will die. That doesn’t mean that we will die when we sin or maybe we will just a little at a time.

The point is this: sin separates us from God and keeps us separated until we realize that we need Jesus and confess that we are sinners and ask Jesus for His forgiveness and REPENT of those sins.

Recall that even when Adam and Eve disobeyed God (they sinned), He had to kill an animal and clothe them in skins, so a death had to occur to pay for their sins. God had told them that they would surely die if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He didn’t say that they would die immediately, just that they would surely die. Adam lived until he was 930 and I would think that Eve may have lived the same, but the Bible doesn’t record the age of the women in the Bible.

The point is this: God had never intended for them to die but since they disobeyed His command and sinned, they would die. Just as we do today. Death for those who don’t know God is a terrible thing. I don’t mean that they don’t know about Him, many people do know about God. Satan knows about Him and knew Him since he was created by Him, but in his pride, Satan determined not to obey God.

We do the same thing when we think we are smarter than God..when we think we know more than God or when we make plans without God in them. Sin gets into our lives in subtle ways. Sometimes it is through greed or pride or by us thinking that we are doing better than others. Problems arise when we are doing well in life because it is usually then that we think we don’t need God. But…that is when we need Him the most!

The rich man who thought he had everything he needed and built all those barns to hold his goods so he could take life easy…didn’t know that he was about to die. Just as we don’t know when we are going to take our last breath. God said that the rich man was a fool because his soul would be required that night. The rich man had allowed pride to become his god.

Any sin can separate you from God unless you have given your heart to Jesus and live your life following Him and not your own ideas and ways. It is the separation from God which is the “second death” because God is Life and eternity away from Him would be eternal death.

God doesn’t intend for us to be in eternity like this but if we choose not to give our lives to Jesus and follow Him and be changed by Him, then our eternity will be without God or the Life which only He can give. Will it be an eternity in fire and in the lake of fire? Yes, eventually it will be. That place was intended only for Satan and the fallen angels who followed him, but when we decide that we don’t need Jesus or we don’t want to live our lives in service to Him then we are no different from him. Which is why many will be cast into the lake of fire one day.

God has made a way for you to be saved from this and it is through the belief in Jesus and His atonement for your sins. Admit that you are a sinner in need of Jesus and His forgiveness. Ask Him to come into your life and your heart and make you clean and then live your life in service to Him and not indulging in your old life again. A changed life and heart cannot go back to living the sinful way they did before, but one who thinks they are changed and isn’t can go back with no regret at all.

Consider that your life, no matter how long it might be, is but a drop in an ocean. The ocean represents eternity. Which eternity would you rather be a part of? One that is full of Life and purpose serving God or one which is apart from God and in torment because of your decision NOT to accept Jesus as your Savior? It is your choice.

God thinks fondly of you!


Jeremiah 29: 10-13

10 For thus saith, the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

God loves you deeply and He proved this when He sent His Son to die and rise again in order to pay for your sins and mine! Some people think that God chooses a certain number of people or just certain people to be Christians and some to be sent to hell. That is wrong! The Book of Life which our names are written in when we come to faith in Jesus is not already written!

God writes our names into it when we come to know Jesus as our Savior. John wrote this:  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:17

Your story as a believer and your life in Jesus is NOT written in stone. You can come to know Him as your Savior and all you have to do is seek Him diligently and ask Him into your heart. God loves each of us, He just doesn’t love the sinful lives that we lead when we aren’t Christians and our heart is still a slave to sin! I pray that anyone and everyone who reads this will come to the knowledge of Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

Don’t put off the most important decision in your life! Our lives are extremely short compared to eternity. It’s like a drop of water in the Pacific ocean, your lifetime is the drop and eternity is the ocean. Make sure of your destination in eternity before your life ends because this is the rehearsal for that eternal home which is promised in God’s Word. So make sure of it before you get in your car or get on an airplane or walk down the street because you don’t know if you will arrive at your destination.

Bridge2Salvation

In Romans 1:16 Paul wrote this:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek”, and neither should anyone else who believes.

Be strong in your faith


There are so many things going on in our world today and every day. So much hatred and bitterness, some of it toward Christians and those who believe in Jesus even in America. In other countries, our faith is persecuted terribly in much worse ways than here. Life for Christians, even in the twenty-first century, is not easy because our faith and the One that we place our faith in is not very popular in the world today.

Many people cannot handle the Truth contained within our Scriptures or rather they don’t want to hear about its Truth, specifically because of its absoluteness. But…we must be strong in our faith and put your faith in Jesus. We cannot lose our faith, not now. Life is going to become harder and we cannot just give up. We must persevere and stay the course until our Savior comes.

God loves you and your life is in Him and in His Son, Jesus. Make sure your faith is in Jesus and is strong in Him. Follow Him, learn of Him, read His Word and pray for the strength to continue to follow Him until that day when the Trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ come out of their graves and head to the skies to meet Him!

Amen

You are not an accident!


We are not accidents!

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A Psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,a God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
God doesn’t cause accidents in His creation and each of us is a person that He caused to come into being for a reason. He has a purpose for you and for me and for all of those on the Earth. What that purpose is only He knows. He has given each of us gifts and abilities to be able to glorify Him and to be useful to Him in His Kingdom. So we need to start acting like we have a place in His Kingdom. If you don’t want to have a place in His Kingdom, that is fine. He doesn’t force anyone to be a part of His design and His will for His creation.

Our God and Savior is the only pathway to Heaven, there is no other. Seek Him while you can find Him because when the shout comes and the dead are raised incorruptible and the church rises to meet Him, the easy time of coming to Jesus will be over. The time of “Jacob’s trouble” will be upon the world and the act of giving your heart to Jesus will carry a death sentence soon after. I pray that all of you will be counted among those who rise to meet Him in the air. Amen

Is there something missing…


Many times when I was much younger, I felt as if something was missing in my life. Since my parents were divorced I always thought it had to do with my Dad not being in my life much. Which was likely since I didn’t see him much except during summer visits and two weeks doesn’t help much when your Dad is working and out of the house even when you are there. Still…I felt that my relationship with him wasn’t really what was missing but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

After high school, I found that the missing part of my life didn’t mean much, at least not yet. So I partied and played around with weed and sex and I still felt empty and confused because nothing that I tried was fulfilling at all and mostly left me feeling empty inside. Even though I thought I had found and accepted Jesus, and I may have invited Him into my heart, I don’t think that I had fully committed my life and my heart to Him at this point.

I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to become closer to God and to come to know Him in a deeper way, so I still felt like I was stuck in a rut and I didn’t know how to get on the right pathway. I don’t know if I am expressing this the best way but that is how I felt at the time.

Why am I opening my story up to you? Because our testimony is the story about how each of us came to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior and it is a story that each of us can express in our own words because it is personal. Each of us knows our own short-comings and our failures which brought us to the point of knowing that we need Jesus, because until we came to that point…we didn’t want to know Him.

My actual walk with Jesus began after my son was born. I had been given this gift from God to love and cherish and to be an example to, and I knew that if I wasn’t following Jesus from that point on then he wouldn’t learn about Him either. So, I began by reading the Bible at night while I was working in the lab at the hospital. I would read in between running samples or on my lunch (early breakfast) break.

Little by little, God’s Word began to make sense to me. I still didn’t understand it and even today after reading through the Bible many times I don’t claim to understand it yet, but I am walking with Him on a daily path. Do I stumble? Yes! Do I wander off the path or fall? Yes! But…He is there to help me get back up, ask for His forgiveness when I have failed Him in one way or another and then we carry on toward the goal.

What is the goal? The prize of being in His Presence! That is the ultimate goal of life. The life which each of us lives through and complains about here is just temporary but the Life in Him and in eternity is…well eternal! There won’t be anything missing when we are in His Kingdom and His Presence! The only “missing” things will be the problems which we have here, the time which we never seem to have enough of, our aches and pains and our glasses (if you wear them) or contacts. All of these man-made bits of help and diseases will be left on Earth when we leave this place, praise God!

If you need prayer for any reason or just an unspoken request, please leave it in the comments. I will pray for you in my prayers because I pray that this site and these messages have an impact in the world every day. Thank you for reading.

Amen.