Can you have peace in your life?

You must believe that God is in control of your life and your circumstances, no matter what they may be. Otherwise, you will attempt to gain control of your life and your circumstances and there is no peace in the struggle which comes from each of us trying to gain control of things which we can’t control. Each of us tries to gain control of our lives and our problems even when we know that there is no way that we can fix things. But, that doesn’t stop us from trying.

Does your life or your problems exempt you from asking God to help you to gain control of them? Are your problems too big for God? How can that be when He created the entire universe! He can give you the strength to get through every problem and every circumstance in this life. There is no condemnation in God’s sight toward your unbelief or your problems if you have given your heart to Jesus.

Each of us must believe that His offer of peace for your circumstances is real and be willing to accept His offer in spite of our feelings to the contrary. We should fully surrender our life, mind, will and our emotions to Jesus as our Lord. Because if you don’t fully surrender all of your life to Him then you don’t have Him in your life as your Lord and Savior. If Jesus is not the source of your peace, then what is? Here is the scripture and the promise from Jesus which cements this in His Words:

John 14:27

26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Living your life by the power and the strength of your faith in Jesus Christ is your service and it is the living of it in front of the world around you which is your witness for Him to every person around you. Everything that you do or say is witnessed by those around you, whether you think they are watching or not. If they know that you are a Christian then every little thing that you do or say is part of your witness. If you are a new Christian then your light isn’t very bright yet, but you are still responsible for those who are watching to show that Jesus truly is your Savior. The longer that you are a Christian with years of Bible study then you are more responsible for more of His Light.

Are you perfect? No, none of us are perfectly sinless and we can’t be! Are we going to slip up and mess up your witness to others? Probably. At one point or another, every one of us will make a mistake at some point in our life. It may be a willful sin or one which you decide that you are going to do, even if it misses the mark. Will your salvation be taken away from you? If your salvation was real and genuine with repentance from those sins, then it can’t be taken away. If you just felt a good feeling and said some words that sounded right, but you have gone back to your old way of life then you are likely not saved at all. Do those of us who are saved fail in our living our life for Jesus? Yes, but we feel the failure in our heart and we are convicted of it by His Spirit. We want to ask His forgiveness as soon as we can.

Don’t turn away from His call on your life. When you feel it, answer His call and give your heart to Him because you may not have another chance to do so.

What has love got to do with salvation?

Truthfully, it was love which sent Jesus to the cross to pay for your sins and mine. Love has everything to do with even the possibility of your salvation and your eternity. Without love, there is nothing. Without the Love that God shows to us each day when we wake up and begin a new day, we would not have that day. There are so many in the world who look for love from friends and acquaintances and from their family as well and yet there are many who can’t find the love that they seek. Why is that? Actually, it is because the Love that our soul craves doesn’t come from friends or family or anything that we can buy or get on our own. The Love that our soul craves is the Love of God through Jesus Christ.

Until we find that…until we find Him as our Savior, we feel empty and hollow without hope and miserable in our search. Why? Because, as I said, the Person of God’s Love is Jesus the Christ and until we ask Him to come into our lives and make us into the person which God already knows we can be that hollow, empty feeling will remain. It won’t matter if we gain wealth or fame or anything which the world would accept as proof of our success…if you don’t have Jesus as your Savior then none of that matters at all.

God values your soul more than all of the wealth in the world. In today’s economy that would amount to, as a guess of course, about twenty to thirty trillion dollars. I don’t know the amount of ALL the wealth in the world but that number sounded big enough to me. If you could imagine having that much wealth, what would you do with it? What good would it do if you acquired it today and you died tonight? Not one little bit of good at all actually. Money will not buy the stairway to Heaven and even if it did you wouldn’t have the key to get in.

The key to gain entrance into Heaven is Jesus. If you don’t have Him as your Savior and Lord believing in Him for your salvation then you will be judged for your sins and sent to Hell. It doesn’t matter if you feel you have been wronged or how much money you gave to the poor and needy, if you don’t have Jesus as your Savior before you die then your eternity will be in hell. I ask that you make sure of your destination while you can because there is no second chance after death. Hell is not going to be an eternal party like Satan has told many people. There will be punishment there which lasts forever.

Which way do I go?

It depends on who you follow in this life. If you are more interested in doing your own thing and just living for today, then your eternity may not matter much to you, at least right now.

If you have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit at any time in your life and feel that you should give your heart to Jesus regardless of your personal preferences now, then eternity may have a real surprise for you.

Why have I done this post in this way? Because it truly is your decision in this life which determines your destination in eternity. Many people seem to think that when they die, they are buried and that is that. Some people think that they can influence their destination by their own actions in this life. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it is wrong.

According to God’s Word, our works and our influence have nothing to do with which eternal destination will be your home. The only determining factor is whether you have believed in Jesus and His atonement for your sins for your salvation. If that saving belief is not a part of your life at some point before you die, then you may not be in the worst part of hell but you won’t be in heaven.

All of us come to a crossroad at some point in our spiritual life on Earth. Both paths look similar when you are given the choice and at least one path may look easier to follow. The other may look a bit narrower and possibly require a bit more work to follow spiritually, but the choice is still there: which one do you choose? Can I choose one and then move to the other? Sometimes it works that way if you choose the easy path and then find that it is leading you to a place you really don’t want to go. If you aren’t truly sincere about your choice and you choose to follow Jesus on a trial basis then you can move over to the easy path later if you wish.

Why am I pointing out these different choices? Because everyone on Earth comes to this crossroad at some point and it really is your choice today which will determine your eternal home. Why is the narrow pathway harder and more difficult? Because you have to follow Jesus and that requires a commitment on your part. One which is deep and true, like a marriage. Because when you commit to following Jesus, there really shouldn’t be any second thoughts about your decision. You can feel it in your soul and you know that it is True.

Mother’s influence

2 Timothy 1:3-5
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Abraham Lincoln said, ”No one is poor who had a godly mother.” He went on to say, ”I remember my mother’s prayers, and they have followed me; they have clung to me all my life. All that I am and hope to be I owe to my angel mother.”

With today being Mother’s Day, I want to salute all of the mothers here. Not just because you came to church this morning but because of all of the different roles that you fill in the lives of your children and this church. Bookkeepers, taxi drivers, teachers, nurses, comforters, friends, a stand-in for Dad (sometimes), a leader in the home and at church, but most of all an example to those around you.

All of us are here because of our mothers so we thank you for bringing us all into the world. God knew each of us before we were ever born into this world and He knew the influence that our grandmother and our mother and father would have in our lives. Our family relationships, broken though some may be, tend to shape us individually into the men and women that we become. So whatever you are right now and what you may become is influenced by your mother first and your family second.

Mom has a role to fill and it has always been an important one. Regardless of the amount of “community” help you may or may not need or want in the raising of your children, God has gifted the women who become mothers with many talents.

I once read that if a woman was paid a wage for all of the jobs which she has in the home and in raising her children, their salary (which few could afford by the way) would be in the six-figure range. No matter how hard it may have been when you were growing up or even how hard it is today,

Mom always seems to find a way to make the ends meet and to make a good meal out of whatever may be in the kitchen or the fridge. So, let’s give thanks to God for our mothers and make sure that they know how we feel about all of the things, big and small, that they do or have done for us.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we thank you for our mothers because without them we wouldn’t know how much You love us. We would not have an example of the love that you instill in them which is a reflection of how You love each of us every day and all of the time. We can’t say enough about our mother’s love and compassion and how it has influenced our lives in so many ways. You placed each of us in her care so that we would learn and grow into the people that you knew we could become and without her influence in our lives, we would’ve likely turned out very different. I pray that you would bless all of the mothers here and elsewhere and help their children to know and appreciate all of the good things which they have because of their mother’s influence.  Amen

Gone astray…

There are many parables which the Lord told to His disciples, but none was as poignant to me as the story of the prodigal son. He sounded a lot like myself, in some ways, except that I never had a father who could give me anything to “go into the far country” with. The church today sees this story as a representation of the forgiveness of God toward sinners and it does reflect that aspect of God since you could see God as the father who accepts his son back into the home after he has gone out partying for a while.

The practical part of this story is that all of us, Gentiles and Jews, have gone astray in some way or another. Whether we have asked God for our inheritance or not we have been blessed with life and with the talents and abilities to gain wealth (a wage by which to live). Are we all wealthy? NO! But if you see that God is generous toward those who love Him and only this, then you are missing His grace and His love for all of mankind.

God has never stopped loving us because we are sinners. He does exactly the same as some of us, as parents, do. He waits for us to “come to our senses”. When we finally figure out that we have gone astray and it is our own doing, realizing that we really need to repent and turn away from our destructive behavior then He is there waiting for us. Just as the father was waiting for his son to return home. Do we actually repent and go to Him in repentance today? Sometimes we do but there are still many in our world who just seek to “fill themselves with the pods” which everyone else is eating.

God gives us so many chances, just as He did with Israel in the wilderness, and yet we still turn away from Him eventually. Many times we will turn to Him and “repent” for a time, at least until things get better, and then we will maybe thank Him for getting us out of that jam and go right back to what we were doing before. Just as during the time of the Judges of Israel, every man did what was right in his eyes. The problem with doing that is that by being our own king or judge we are using our “wisdom” to live by and that is not what God intended for us to do.

We are supposed to walk with God each day of our lives. Begin the day with His Word and in prayerful humility, seek Him in everything that we do. Learn to have a spirit of thankfulness so that every good thing, no matter how small it may be, will move you to thank Him for it even if it might not feel like a good thing at the time. Thank Him anyway, because we can learn from the good and the bad lessons in every day of our lives.

“and to dust you shall return…”

God created Adam from clay, sculpted him and then gave him the Breath of Life, so why did he mess up so soon after? It wasn’t because of Eve, although many people do blame her. It was the tempting words of Satan and the seed of pride which was placed in his mind by Satan. Pride itself is the tap root of all sins, regardless of what sin it may be.

All of us are susceptible to the lure of pride and all of its children. No one is immune from sin’s touch or the consequences of it unless you belong to Jesus and you have His Spirit in your heart. I don’t mean that you will be able to live a sinless life because only He could do that. But you will have His strength to help you resist the sin which you are tempted with, if you will acknowledge Him as your Savior and lean on Him during those times when sin comes to pull you toward something that you know isn’t right.

Adam could’ve resisted but he didn’t and so could Eve, but she didn’t. It’s in our nature to be susceptible to sin but we don’t have to give in to it again and again. Living a successful Christian life is possible if we stay grounded and connected to Him daily! Not just once in a while or on Sundays, it has to be a lifestyle of living in the power of Jesus every day. When you get up, thank God for another day. As you go through your day, ask Him to strengthen you as you face your trials and temptations throughout the day. Then as your day comes to a close, thank Him for getting you through it and ask Him to strengthen you for tomorrow.

Do I do this every day? No, I’m not as faithful as I should be but I do thank Him for each victory during my day regardless of the nature of it. Some days I do better than others, some days I do forget to thank Him for the problems that come my way to test me. But, usually before the day is a total waste I do thank Him for His blessings on my family and for all of the good things which He has prepared for me, even if I didn’t see them today.

Unless we are called up to heaven before we die, all of us will return to dust but until that day comes I will praise the Lord and you should too.

Seek Jesus as your Savior while you can. Life on Earth is too short to lose eternity because you waited too long.

Jesus, God’s gift to you

God promised this gift from the beginning. When God told the serpent, “He will bruise your head and you will bruise His heel“, He was talking about the work of our Savior, Jesus Christ! This was the very first mention of the possibility of salvation in the Scriptures. God had all of us in mind when He said this.

In every book of the Bible, there is a type of Christ shown in some way through God’s work in the lives of His creation. Whether it is by the ark which Noah built which saved Noah and his family to repopulate the Earth or by Joseph who was sold into slavery in Egypt but rose to be second to Pharaoh in power. There are “types” of Christ all through Scripture. God brought this about so that when the people would hear the stories and learn what these men did or how things worked out for Israel, they would be encouraged and seek to know God better and to serve Him.

Jesus came to bring salvation and the possibility of knowing God to mankind. Whether you believe in Him or not is not the point. He accomplished His mission to humanity and it is up to each of us to accept this gift and believe in Him, repenting of our sins and following Him until He comes again. God doesn’t force anyone to believe or to love because they can’t be forced, only given freely.

Jesus came to us so that we would have an advocate with the Father and One Who had paid for all of your sins and mine and everyone else’s too. Even a child can understand that they have been forgiven and all it takes for you to have salvation and an eternity with Him is your belief in Him and repentance of your old life, “take up your cross daily and following Him“. Taking up your cross is essentially putting away your old life and your old way of living so you can faithfully follow Jesus. Won’t you consider doing so today?

It’s NOT about you!

Your life and your calling has nothing to do with you or your ideas! When you are called by God to be a Christian, He is calling you into a relationship with Him. Can you truly imagine even a little about what that means? You have a relationship with the Creator of the universe! Not with the “force” and not with some nitwit who thinks he is Jesus Christ! When you feel His call on your life and you know that you need Him as your Savior AND you ask Him to come into your life and change you, then you are an adopted son or daughter of God.

With our limited minds we can’t know all of the expectations and the responsibilities which goes with our place in His Kingdom. But, if you will read His Word and pray about what you read then He will show you what you can do with His leading you toward the “high calling of Christ“.

Does that mean that you will be like Jesus? In some ways yes it does. But only He is God. We will never be “gods”, only His servants. But what a joyful day that will be when we meet Jesus face to face. In the world that we live in today it seems that there are more and more people who are striving to live their lives to the fullest and that is okay. But, when you think that you are better than others you ruin the witness that you have. No Christian is better than anyone else, but each of us is better than we were before Jesus came into our hearts and changed us into the people He knew we could be.

We, as Christians, are better than we were before and we have the grace and love of God in our lives through Jesus Christ. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior or if you aren’t sure, I urge you to seek Him out at a Bible-teaching church or from a friend who is a Christian. Why am I urging you to do so? Because none of us is guaranteed to have another day to seek Him and it is only during this life that you have the chance to give your life to Him. Once you die, you will stand before God and give account for every decision that you made in this life, especially your decision about Jesus.


Life is not fair.

Life sucks!

Life is hard and I can’t deal with it!

Have you ever heard some of these excuses? They are pretty common today but they weren’t always the “normal” sound of growing up. Why has this happened?

It happened when parents became “friends” with their children and stopped using discipline to raise them correctly. It happened when the educational system became so politically correct that the “education” that our children have been exposed to is warped and useless.

God had to deal with some complainers back when He freed them from slavery. They weren’t free for three days before they began complaining about the food and the water or lack of it. They wanted to go back to being slaves! It seems that today our country and much of the world is heading toward a socialist way of government but nobody remembers that most of the socialist governments have failed! We don’t teach that in school anymore. We only talk about how terrible people have been to “people of color”, regardless of their country of origin.

God loves all of us because He is our Creator! It doesn’t matter what the shade of your skin is, Jesus paid the price for your sins and mine. But if we can’t recognize Him as our Savior then we will be punished for that lack of humility and end up in hell! But there are “religions” which tell you that hell doesn’t exist and it isn’t eternal if it does. Really? That isn’t what my Bible says and that is God’s Word which is the absolute Truth! So, if you want to call Him a liar be my guest but I’m going to be on the right side of the throne when He speaks to you.

God is Pure and Holy and He can’t allow sinners into His Presence. So unless you are the second version of Jesus and perfectly holy, I suggest that you get your life under His control and ask Him to be your Savior today, before it is too late.

What is entertainment good for?

Entertainment- an event, performance, or activity designed to entertain others.

Why are we so hung up on being entertained today? Is it because life is so boring that we can’t stand it if we are not entertained in some fashion? It seems that most of our television time is spent watching shows which are stupid in their content but they are entertaining because of that stupidity. All of these reality shows fall into this group and most of the ignorance which comes from the Democratic side of our government also seems to be in the same group.

Movies, TV shows, a good bit of the news, the list could go on for a long time. All of these things which take up our time and our money fall under the same category of entertainment. None of them inform or instruct anyone about anything.

In the seventies, our news programs told us the real news. The news which was happening in the world and in our country which might be important for us to know about. Most of it would help us to make an informed decision about our government or the people who were in charge of it. The problem with the world that we live in today is that we have so many ways of getting our information and our news until the TV is nothing more than an advertising box for drugs which will make us feel better about ourselves and the world around us.

Sounds kind of out of sorts doesn’t it?

In most newscasts today, the actual news only takes a few seconds of each broadcast. After the “headline” part of a story, we go back to three to five minutes worth of advertising (mostly for drugs). Why am I speaking about this and the problems which it creates? Because we get the idea that pills can solve most of our problems today whether they are physical or mental. God can take care of all of your problems. Granted, He doesn’t make you feel high like some drugs and He doesn’t give you the desires of your heart unless your heart is in tune with His first!

Just asking God for money doesn’t mean that you will get the amount you want but you may get the amount that you need. Our lives are not meant to be lived with the “stuff” that is all around us and in the world today. We are supposed to live by faith so that God can bless us and the works of our hands because it is by living by faith in Him that we glorify Him in everything that we do. Whether it is by being a carpenter or a painter or a preacher or a nurse, God can be glorified in everything that we do because we get up and give Him praise for giving us another day to serve others and Him while we are yet alive.

The praise of this world and the things which most people chase after in life do nothing to gain you access to heaven. It is only by the blood of Jesus and your belief in Him as your Savior which will allow you to stand in His presence and gain your reward of eternity. Seek out your Savior for your forgiveness and for your salvation while there is time because nothing on this Earth satisfies like knowing that you are forgiven and are eternally in His hands.