Are you a friend to somebody? Do you have many friends that you actually know? Or are you more like me, you have friends that you have known for a long time but life and distance keep you from seeing each other? Many of us are in the same place that I am. We do have friends and have had some for many years but circumstances and distance tend to make the relationship kinda hard to keep alive. Even my relationship with some of my family is tempered by distance and our ability to bridge that distance is tempered by money and time as well.
In many ways, our relationship with Jesus sometimes falls into this same rut. We get caught up in life and our own problems and we push our time with Jesus and His Word to the back of our priority list. Then, sometimes, it gets pushed a little bit more. Then one day we realize that we truly miss our relationship with our Savior and we come back to Him apologizing for being away for so long. Why? Because it was us who moved, Jesus has always been near us. If we are Christians, His Spirit is still there even if we aren’t paying any attention to Him. This happens more often than we would like to admit…to anyone.
Sometimes we get a bit too open with our words and our “opinions” and we hurt each other’s feelings. Sometimes I feel like we do the same thing to Jesus as well, but He forgives us even when we do it more than we should. The best thing that we can remember about friendships is: don’t treat your regular friends like you treat Jesus. Because we take Him for granted all of the time and we should never take our friends for granted. God gave us friends to be there when we need them because until He comes to rule this Earth He isn’t physically here. So our friends are there to be “stand-ins” for Him.
Make sure which friends you have and always treasure their friendship like you would a brother or a sister because in Christ we are all brothers and sisters.
It seems that many people place their “faith” in books and degrees and they seem to think that the wisdom that they have came from those achievements. Some of it did, at least the mankind of wisdom comes from books and degrees. But what about your common sense? What about the value and wisdom which comes from reading God’s Word?
I’ve heard that there are some who seem to be lacking in the “common sense” department but have you ever thought that their version of common sense may just be different from yours? It may not be the same or work in the same fashion as yours does but it is likely that they have a special case of common sense which fits their position and purpose in this life. Why do I say this? Because God is the One Who gives out “common sense” and I don’t think He makes mistakes.
There are too many physical properties of our universe which have to be so in tune for life to exist to say that God could make a mistake like not giving someone any common sense. He doesn’t make mistakes. But, we seem to want Him to be more like us instead of the other way around. I don’t want God to be like us at all! If He were like us, I’m sure we would not be here!
All of the wisdom in the world was given to us from God. I don’t think that He quit speaking through people just because it isn’t canonized and included in the Bible. What about all of the Christian literature which has His wisdom included in it? True, some of the inclusions are direct quotes from the Bible but there is other wisdom in those books which did not come from the Bible and it is just as wise and true as if Paul wrote it. Do we look down on it because it is “man’s” wisdom rather than from God? How do you know that the Holy Spirit didn’t inspire them to write it? He could be giving me these words too and frankly, I think He always has because I’ve never been a person who talks a lot.
Writing here is my witness to others who may never get to a Christian church and I stand by that conviction. I do believe that the Holy Spirit gives me the words to say here, so please take the time to read His wisdom in these words because I’m not trying to convince you of anything other than the fact that Jesus is the Christ and He is the only Savior Who can save you from your sins and pardon you so you can enter into eternity with Him.
In the South this is a question which might insult some people. It may insult many people. Why? Because, the South has always been known as “the Bible belt”. Nearly everyone goes to church at least once during the month. Most people have heard a sermon about Him and His offer of salvation but does He know you?
It is an intriguing question and one that makes you think about your eternity and if you are saved. Can you answer this question and feel confident about your answer? You can if you have never given your heart to Him because you can tell people that you don’t know Him, so it is a surety that He doesn’t know you as a child of God. I don’t mean that He doesn’t know you because He is the Creator! He knitted each of our DNA strands together and He knows who you are and your abilities because He gave them to you!
Jesus the Christ is the Second of the Godhead. He is the Living Word of God the Father and then there is the Holy Spirit which does the will of them all in the universe. Jesus was God Who came to live with us and be tempted just as we are so that He could understand our problems and our humanity. He put on humanity in order to pay the price for ALL of our sinful thoughts and words and deeds and He did exactly that on the cross!
The legion of demons that possessed the man in the tombs pleaded with Him that He would not send them into outer darkness. They knew Who He was. Jesus is our Savior but we act as if He doesn’t exist and those who do not believe in Him for their salvation are lost in their spiritual life already. Denying Jesus is the only real sin which sends you to hell. Your decision to deny Him or to push His offer of salvation away and tell Him that you don’t want His free gift is the decision which will send you to hell.
God loves you and He sent His Son to bring salvation to those who seek it. He has known those who would seek Him since before the foundation of the whole world. He could see you in the future and He knew what you are doing and what you can do for His Kingdom. He has given you your abilities and your intelligence and your experiences which shape you into the person that God needs to use as a disciple or apostle or just as a witness to those who haven’t heard about Him yet. Don’t turn this chance down. You may not get another chance to give your life to Jesus.
Only by giving your life and your heart to Jesus can you claim any of these promises. Please consider your eternity with Him and ask Him into your heart, repenting of your sins so that you can claim these promises and more in Christ.
On the last Passover that Jesus celebrated with His disciples, He knew what would happen soon. His Spirit knew what was being planned for Him. So why did He go there? You know that if it were you or me, our fear of death would’ve kept us away from that place. Jesus was as much human as we are, but He was also God and He knew that if He didn’t go and fulfill the Father’s will mankind would have no part in His Kingdom when it’s time is fulfilled.
So, why did Jesus go to Jerusalem that night? Because of His love for mankind, not just for the Jewish people but for all of humanity. God did this because He knew that we could not have a relationship with Him unless our sin debt had been paid fully and only Jesus could do that. The blood of bulls and lambs and goats could only atone temporarily for our sins as it did in the Old Testament, but the New Testament in Jesus’ blood is a permanent atonement for our sins if we will believe in Him for our salvation. That is the only requirement that we have to fulfill for our salvation and it is our belief which comes to us through the faith which is given to us also by God. We cannot choose to come to Him on our own but when we feel our broken state and know that we need Him, then we can cry out to Him and He will heal us by the blood of Jesus.
You may wonder why I said in the paragraph above that He will heal you by the blood of Jesus. We are under a curse of sin and before Jesus comes into our heart we are dead spiritually. It is this spiritual death which Jesus heals us of and quickens us by His Spirit to do His will for the rest of our days. God loves you and has always loved you. The only requirement for your salvation that you can accomplish is to respond to the Spirit of God which breaks your heart to bring you to the point of repentance knowing that you need Jesus as your Savior.
God sent His Son to bring salvation to Judea but since they refused to believe that He was the Christ, the world gained a Savior. Believe in Him for your salvation because it is found in no other. Salvation is by the grace of God given to us through Jesus and by Him only.
Have you ever wondered this to yourself? Who am I? I don’t know you, but God does. Have you ever thought about that? Why would God want to know me or love me? I’ll tell you why…because He LOVES you! He has loved you and me and everyone else who has ever lived with a love that we can’t understand. Because He is our Creator! He knit your molecules together in such a way that there is no other person nor has there ever been another person exactly like you!
Who are we? If you are a believer in Jesus as your Savior, then you are a child of God and an heir to everything that God wants to give you and He will give it to you. When it is His time to do so. We want it now, today, but God knows that much of His love and the blessings which He has prepared for you and me are not useful right now. Our heavenly home is waiting for us but we can’t live in it right now. The horse that we will ride behind Jesus is waiting in heaven for us but we can’t ride him or her right now. The city which has streets of gold is there but we can’t experience it until we are there. We are blessed and loved and highly favored in God’s sight but we won’t know how much until we get there.
We are blessed and loved and sanctified in Jesus and we are each part of God’s family and it will be a BIG family gathering one day. When that day comes, the world will mourn our disappearance but we will be in the most wonderful place in the universe! We will be with God! How amazing will that be? Living in heaven with our Father, our Creator and our Savior for eternity. Will we be doing anything? Of course we will. God doesn’t save you from the punishment of hell and then condemn you to a life of boredom. We will be working for Him in every capacity that He can give us the ability to do. Consider Who He is. Our Creator and our redeemer. We will have any ability that He wants us to have whether we lived that way in this life or not. Whether we have been a leader or a carpenter or a welder or a police person or a doctor, God can give each of us the knowledge and ability to do His will all through eternity and He will!
Who are you? We are whoever God says we are. We are able to be whatever He says we can be. We are able to do whatever He says we can because He loves us and He never leaves us. He is our Creator and our Redeemer and He is able to give us abilities which we would never have unless He gave them to us and gave us the knowledge to accomplish them. We are His children and we need to be grateful and thankful for each breath we take. Yes, we are loved and we are forgiven and we are His!
There are many people in the world today who are considering suicide because of depression or PTSD or any number of other mental illnesses. Now, I’m not going to write anything here that will give you the idea that praying to God or giving your heart to Jesus is going to cure you of your illness because it may happen but then it may not happen. God can use that illness to bring you closer to Him and cause you to depend upon Him more or He could cure you of it so you can give someone else hope.
If I dashed your hopes here, I’m sorry. But it is the truth. Sometimes God does use our “thorns”, whatever they may be, to bring us closer to Him. Sometimes, He will bring you to the edge of your tolerance and then give you relief from the illness. If this sounds discouraging, I do apologize but David was often depressed and hurting when he was writing the Psalms. Some of the prophets were depressed and asked God to strike them dead, I have done this myself.
Why do I write such a depressing post today? Because, I don’t want you to think that God will miraculously cure you of your problem, whatever it may be, if you give your life to Him. He may do exactly that, but it is His prerogative whether He will or will not cure you just because you have given your life and heart to Jesus. God isn’t required to cure you. He is God after all and He doesn’t have to do anything that we ask of Him unless it is His will to do so and it would bring Him glory.
It sounds as if I am making God out out to be jealous and petty but He is not. He created the universe and everything in it, including us and our world, so that we would want to know Him. I think it is an awesome honor to be able to know Him because He has known you since before the universe was made! He loves each of us with such a deep and abiding love that we really can’t imagine it…but He does so for our benefit and for His glory! We have His grace and His mercy given to us for the sole purpose of being drawn to Him for our salvation. His Son died on the cross to pay for our sins so that we don’t have to. Your life doesn’t have to end when this “shell” that we live in dies IF you will give your heart to Jesus and repent of your sins and follow Him!
It is not rocket science or some kind of physical game that God plays with us. All that is truly required is that we realize that we need Jesus in our life, confess your sins and ask Him to come in and give you a new heart for Him. When that truly happens, your life will never be the same again.
If you are a Christian then this is true. Satan is always trying to catch you in some way to say something out of character for a Christian or maybe even do something which would make someone think that you aren’t a Christian. It happens every day to those of us who are Christians or even claim to be. If you don’t believe it, look at the story about Jesus and His forty days in the desert fasting. At the end of it He was hungry just as any of us would be. Don’t tell me you can’t fast because I have done it. Granted, I did it with water and juice and Jesus didn’t have the juice but it is possible to do. Getting back to Jesus’ story…after forty days He was weak in his body and very likely He could imagine all kinds of food around Him. That was where Satan came to Him and began tempting Him with “If you are the Son of God, turn this stone into bread to satisfy your hunger“.
Jesus countered that with “Man shall not live on bread alone but by every Word which comes from God“. Satan even had the audacity to say, “If you are the Son of God”! He knew Who Jesus was and he knew that Jesus could’ve done exactly the thing which he was tempting Him to do, but to do so would’ve been against the will of the Father. We are tempted every day with thoughts and feelings and other kinds of temptations from our past lives, the life we lived before the Holy Spirit took up His home in our heart. But, we have His Spirit and it is this Spirit that we should listen to every day because He can teach us more about our Savior and our position as His disciple.
Are we disciples of Jesus? If we are truly Christians and have asked Him to come into our heart and our life and cleanse us from our old ways and bring about a change in our life then we are His disciples. We also need to be walking with Him each and every day reading the Word of God and learning more about our Savior so that we can use His Word to counter any temptation that may be thrown at us during the day. Don’t be misled, Satan and his demons will send all kinds of thoughts and temptations your way to cause you to stumble or just make your witness for Jesus ineffective. It only takes one misstep that someone sees or hears to ruin any credibility that you had as a Christian and that credibility can be hard or even impossible to get back.
Pray that the temptation will be light and that your faith in Jesus is stronger. Read God’s Word and use it to counter any temptation that comes your way because in perseverance in your faith you can show that you are saved and sealed as a child of God in Jesus Christ.
How much do we owe the Lord in gratitude? Everything. If it weren’t for Him we wouldn’t be alive at all. If He had not seen us in the fullness of time from the very beginning, knowing that we would need His strength and His mercy in our lives…we would be lost and without hope. But God did see us and He chose each of us to come to know Him through Jesus Christ, His Son. There are so many things which we owe our thanks to God for until I couldn’t begin to list even the things which He does for me on one day, regardless of considering my life or the world around us!
God provides us with the air that we breathe and the world in which we live, yet there are many who either choose not to believe in Him or just don’t want to believe in Him and His Son. We have been given a wonderful gift through the knowledge of Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins. We should be thankful for that gift and live our lives accordingly because one day soon, He is coming back and He will be coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord , who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/2sa.22.2-4.KJV
Why should Christians be afraid of anything that man can do when we have a Deliverer Who is our Lord and Savior? While it is true that in today’s world there are evil men and we are experiencing evil times with diseases and wars and natural disasters happening all around us, God is still in control. He knows what is happening and He is allowing it to happen true enough, but His plan and the outcome of His plan will be glorious beyond our imagination. Consider living in squalor today but you have faith in God and in Jesus. What a wondrous joy it will be to walk the streets of purest gold one day!
Jesus said that He was going to prepare a place for us and that He would come again and take us with Him to be there in that place. We look at all of the “things” which we can have in this life and we usually think that “life couldn’t get any better than this”. But, eternity is going to be so much more than we can imagine now until it will likely be days before I can pick my jaw up from the floor! God would not have made those promises to us if He wasn’t going to fulfill them. So, we need to make sure that our life is in His hands and that we are ready when that day comes. Amen?
We who are sinners should seek God’s mercy and grace each day. We are given so many blessings that we tend to take our days and those blessings for granted. We are given another day to serve the Lord, we have food and a roof over our heads, and our health has not failed us, yet we still ask for more. God is merciful and gracious toward each of us every day but many of us don’t notice it. Truly, life is a blessing in itself but many don’t notice the blessing of it until some part of it is diminished by disease or an accident.
God loved us even while we were sinners and haven’t given our hearts or our life to Him but most don’t see it that way. Many just go about their lives complaining about how life isn’t fair and their job isn’t fair, etc. When the real problem is that Satan is keeping your life at this point so you will complain and whine about life and especially blame God for your life being so bad. When your life feels this way, seek out the One Who created life in the first place! The God of the Bible was there before the first light was shown in the universe. He flung the stars and commanded that they give their light to the Earth for seasons and for the marking of time itself. The stars are also there to prove that God did this for His glory and to bring wonder into our lives.
If the night sky was just black with a moon shining in it and the other planets in our own solar system moving around the Sun, what wonder would emerge from that? Not much I’d imagine. You can’t imagine a sky at night without stars and constellations and galaxies all around us because there has never been a time that the human race looked up and saw emptiness in the heavens. It would be too depressing and scary too. Looking out into the blackness of space and the only points of light are the planets. I don’t think it would’ve inspired us to imagine anything outside of our own solar system. There would be nothing to imagine.
God created all of the universe, as big as it is, in order to inspire us and make us wonder about a Creator that made all of those stars and galaxies and black holes and all of the nebula which can birth new stars. Our telescopes show us much more wondrous and magnificent parts of our universe than our eyes can fathom from our own planet. When you see all of these, for some of us it is a confirmation of our Creator. For some scientists it is confirmation of their theories and the complex math which can explain much of what they see. All that I want to do is to look at those stars and galaxies and be humbled by how magnificent our Creator must be that has created our eyes which can take in all of the wonders around us.
In many ways, when you think about all that is out in the vastness of the cosmos, it makes you wonder why did God put us on this little ball of dirt in our solar system? Why does He love us so much that He was willing to die on a cross in a most painful and horrific way in order to pay the penalty for our sins? Because…He is God and He loves us, that’s why. His mercy and His grace is given to us with each breath that we are given for the time that we have. What more could we need beyond life itself? A relationship with Him forever that is what we need! That is all that we truly need.