I have been listening to different preachers and reading books by some others. Some of them were written in the 1700’s and some books were written by pastors in the early and middle twentieth century. Jonathan Edwards, C.H. Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer and Billy Graham are a few of those whose books I have read in the past eight years. There are two things which all of them have in common, their love for Jesus Christ and their view of the world around them. You may want to ask me”How can this be?”, many years separate their viewpoint in history!
While that is true, the view of the world and its problems is still centered on the Word of God and from that point of view humanity really hasn’t changed all that much. From the time of Noah over three thousand years before Christ was born until today mankind has mostly gone their own way. Some do listen to God’s Word and His laws and precepts for living in His Grace, but they are few in comparison to the rest of the world. Most of the world around us, in America and in other countries, wants to get rid of the Truth of God and His Word. You know I’m right about this because you can hear it on the news every day.
Humanity has not changed in thousands of years. We are rebellious and we want our own way and we will not obey the Lord’s laws or even man’s laws, if we can get away with it. The truth contained within God’s Word is absolute and that is unacceptable to humanity in everything that we do. No one is willing to be obedient to parents or teachers or to laws in whatever land they may live. This is the very reason that so much violence is seen all over the world today.
No, there has been no real change in mankind’s ways since the days of Noah. In some ways, possibly, we are less hateful or less violent but I would say not by much. Our news media relates how we hurt and kill each other with guns and machete and knives and drugs today. We have many different ways of killing each other and yet very little remorse is seen in the faces of the people. Even unborn children are in dangerous places because of the laws which have been passed to allow women to kill their children before they are even born. Millions have died in the years since the law was passed in 1973 which legalized it in America and many other countries have followed right along with us.
Looking at the world around us from the viewpoint of the Bible and its laws gives the same picture of humanity regardless of when you live. Nothing has really changed. We are still killing each other, there is sexual immorality in almost every community, people don’t seem to consider what the Bible says about how we should live or act toward one another. The few who do read and listen to Biblical teaching on a regular basis at least try to live a life which is pleasing to God. Some of us try too hard to do so on our own without His Spirit’s teaching and leading so we stumble and fall more than we should, but we consider that as “our humanity” winning out over the Spirit.
God gives each of us a measure of faith and of His Spirit so that we can walk a pleasing walk before Him but many of us don’t listen to His voice and we just fall anyway without thinking of the consequences. We may not feel the consequences of our falling but what about your children or grandchildren? They watch you and listen to you so that they can learn from you. Are they hearing and seeing those things which Jesus would do or is it just your “humanity” that is showing them how to do it the wrong way? Consider this and leave a comment or share it with your friends.
I beseech you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…
We are supposed to sacrifice our lives to God each and every day until He calls us home. While we do this in this life we are supposed to be useful to God as witnesses of His grace and mercy. God has made each of us a new creation when we have given our heart to Jesus because at that point God’s Spirit came to dwell in our heart. We are new people when we have given our hearts to Jesus. We live in His strength and by His power to be Christians. We are not the same people as we were before becoming a child of God. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit as His adopted child, with all of the gifts and treasures which come with that position.
Our holiness comes from Jesus the Christ and is not our own because we cannot be holy without His Spirit to cause us to be holy and able to do His will and learn from His Word. Without His Spirit, which seals us and equips us to be better than we were before He came into our life, we are weak and stuttering and helpless in the face of Satan’s assaults. But when we live our daily lives as a true living sacrifice to God and His Word every day, not just once a week or once every month, we have His Strength and Power and His Word to back us up in everything that we do for His Glory and not ours.
God can use our weaknesses and our insecurities to allow us to get at least one person to listen to His Story. That may be all that you are intended to do in your ministry and if that is it then you have done your part. But…should you quit at that point? I don’t think so because your life can have an impact for eternity on many more people than just one. So…don’t sell yourself short and don’t quit working at your calling which God called you into. Just because things are down a bit doesn’t mean they will stay that way.
This is a question which many people ask when they feel the need for salvation but they have never been introduced to their Savior. Truthfully, there is not much that you need to do to obtain salvation because most of the “work” has been taken care of by Jesus Himself. When you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and you realize that you need to repent and change your life, your only option is to believe that the atonement has been bought for you by Jesus. Believe and repent of your sins, turn away from your “old life” and follow Jesus into a new life which will never really end!
From the point of your repentance and your acceptance of Jesus as your Savior you have a new life and a new purpose and that is to tell others about your Savior so they can meet Him and get to know Him. Life for you and anyone who accepts Jesus as their Savior will never really end, you will just transition from this life into eternity. That is the best way to describe it because death just sounds too final and for someone who is serving Jesus and has accepted Him as their Savior, the end of this life is really the beginning of your real Life! This life is just a sort of “practice” for the next one so make sure to learn everything that you can about God and His Son while you are here.
When you pass through the door which leads to eternity you won’t need to learn more about Him because at that point you will “know and be known“. Life in eternity will be different and wonderful and beyond anything on Earth that we can imagine. I cannot imagine what it will be like to be in His Presence. It will likely be a feeling and an experience which doesn’t have an equal here and the grandeur and majesty of Heaven will be so far above anything that we know until any description of it would be futile in the attempt.
God has provided a way for you and I and anyone else who feels the conviction of His Spirit to know Jesus as our Savior if we will believe in Him and the atonement which He provided and paid for on the cross. Don’t turn the chance for eternity with Him down. Please accept His Presence in your heart and in your life while there is time. Because you can only make that decision in this life, so make the right one.
There are pious people and there are pretenders and even some who are “self-righteous”, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. Are you righteous? If you are not born-again into the body of Christ you are not. No person on Earth has a sinless righteousness because only one Person ever achieved that and He sits at the right of God the Father. Our righteousness is as “filthy rags” and only fit to be burned in the heap of garbage outside the city. There is not one truly righteous person on Earth, not even the Pope because our righteousness is worthless unless we have salvation through Jesus and are in His righteousness.
Without the imputed righteousness of Jesus, which we have if we are saved through faith in Him, anything that we accomplish in the flesh is nothing. No matter how much good we do or how much we accomplish in this life, if it is without Jesus and done by His direction and for His Kingdom then it means nothing.
Being a part of the Christian Life takes faith in Jesus and your repentance from your sins. Not just talk or emotional feelings during a revival service. People can act like a Christian and go through the motions sometimes all the way to seminary and being the pastor of a large church and still not be a Christian. How is this possible? By doing all of the things that they have seen others do and say but not really giving their heart to Jesus and really changing their lives! If there hasn’t been a change in your soul, your heart then there really hasn’t been a change from being the person that you were.
That is what the conviction of the Holy Spirit brings to the table, so to speak. He convicts you of your need for salvation and then God places the faith in your heart to accept Jesus as your Savior so you can have a change in your heart which brings true salvation to you. There is no amount of money or education which can bring salvation into your life by learning about Jesus.
You could have a doctorate in Theology and be able to quote the Bible from the beginning to the end and if you have never accepted Jesus into your heart and repented of your sinful life, then you have the knowledge of salvation but not the fruit of it. Knowing about something or Someone doesn’t mean that you know them or even that they know you. If you aren’t known by Jesus then eternity will be a very different experience for you. Make sure of your salvation in Jesus Christ so that you can say with Paul: “Give your life as a living sacrifice to God“.
That is a crazy question isn’t it? He is our Creator and our Savior. So why do we tend to move away from Him? Probably for the save reason that Israel did when they were in the wilderness, they were sinners just like we are. We have our own ideas of how to serve God or not and sometimes our ideas just don’t follow Him the way that we should. Even when the disciples followed Jesus there were some who were more dedicated to what He taught, more in tune with His message than others. Some of us just don’t get it and some do but they want to follow Him their way.
There is a problem with trying to follow Jesus or God on your own path though. For one thing, it won’t work. Making your own path but following God doesn’t work because God’s path is not your path. He leads you not the other way around. How far would a herd of sheep get if the shepherd walked behind them? They wouldn’t go anywhere. That is why God spoke of us as His sheep. Our ideas and our ways are not His ways but in order to follow Him and learn from Him we have to follow Him every day!
God is our Savior and our Shepherd in this life so that we can get to our eternal Life. The pathway goes where God leads us, not in the direction which feels comfortable all of the time. There could be some rocks and some thorns and the path may be a bit steep and narrow but as long as we are following the Shepherd that knows the path from one end to the other then we will get to our destination.
God is the Creator of everything and even if you don’t believe that, even science is beginning to show that life would not be possible if it weren’t for the finely tuned physical processes in the universe. I can’t go into the many different things which are part of that fine-tuning but there are a few that many of you know about. Like the distance which Earth orbits our Sun and the rotation of the Earth. Both are exactly the amounts which life on Earth needs. Any deviation in distance or rotation speed and life might be possible but it wouldn’t be the way it is now. These did not happen by “a lucky strike of another planet” or by chance.
God had a hand in Creation!
I know there are many people who don’t believe the Bible is true, but I do believe that God gave the details of Creation to Moses while he was with Him on the mountain. How else would Moses have known? Read it, learn about Him and how HE brought everything into being, then seek Him out as your Savior. He provided a way for your salvation so all you have to do is seek Him out for it. I pray that you will.
Even in the Garden in the beginning, God wanted to communicate with Adam. He would come down to walk with him in the evening. God likes to hear from you and me. What is communication in the Bible between God and mankind? Prayer. Now, I don’t mean that Adam prayed when God was visiting. They talked to each other just like we do. Wouldn’t that be great! It will be when we are with Him in Heaven. Actually, He will know what we need or want without our asking for it.
While we are here, however, prayer is necessary for us. He already knows what we need but we need to get in touch with Him about it. Our problem, most of the time, is that we don’t ask Him for an actual need. We ask for something that we want…a luxury or something like that. Why do we have a problem with communication with our Savior? Is it because we have the same problem communicating with each other? Probably.
God loves us and He intended for us to be able to talk to each other and to Him. But, in the last ten or fifteen years we have become isolated from each other. We text people who are in the same house or even at the same table. We “like” our “friend’s” status on Facebook or Instagram and sometimes we write that we will pray for them in their time of need. But…do we actually do it? Do we pray for each other and for our own problems or do we just say so and then go about our own routine and forget about the prayer that is needed?
If we are truly honest with our answer to that question, many of us would find that our prayer time is sorely lacking in depth and in frequency. When Paul wrote about “praying without ceasing”, he meant that we should treat prayer as an act which is like breathing. Not that you have to close your eyes and kneel in prayer all day and every day but be in a spirit of prayer all day. When a problem comes to mind, pray about it. When something is missing, like your keys, pray about it. When you think of a loved one or a friend who may need God provision in their life, pray about it. Right then, not later or when you get to it.
Jesus prayed many times during His ministry. Sometimes it was for strength or for blessing or for a healing but He never neglected to speak to the Father about what was going on. We shouldn’t neglect prayer either because it is our line of communication with our Creator, God, Elohim, our Father and our Savior.
Have you made arrangements for this yet? Many people seem to be on the most popular wide road but where exactly does it lead? According to any newspaper every person goes “to be with the Lord”. Are you sure of that destination?
Most of our lives, we seem to be heading somewhere but where? Some seem to be bent toward living their lives on fast forward and not really caring about their end of life or where it may lead. Then, of course, there are some who listen to their parents and their teachers and at least try to stay on course during their lifetime. Occasionally they may listen in Sunday school or Vacation Bible school and learn about a Creator and a Savior called Jesus! According to some polls taken in the past few years, there are many young people who are rejecting any affiliation with religion whether it has anything to do with their parents or not.
God loves humanity enough that He came to Earth to live as one of us. Then He tried to teach people how to know Him and show them that He cared. The “priests” were the ones who sought to get rid of Him and they thought that they had, until they found the empty tomb after His crucifixion. The teaching which He brought to us through His disciples and His teachings to them for us is still available, the salvation offered by your belief in Him and the atonement which He gained for you is still available for you…if you will believe in Him. Jesus did this for you and for me knowing that we would need salvation and forgiveness.
He did this for each of us because of His love for us, not because of anything that we do. His provision of forgiveness and grace is not dependent upon anything that we do, it is all a gift from Him to us IF we will believe in Him and receive it! God has loved us from the beginning of time and He knows each of us because He knit us together in the womb. We are His creation, His workmanship, so He knows what we can do and what we are capable of doing. When you feel His call on your life, don’t turn away from Him.
As God’s creation, we are loved and we have been loved by Him since before the Earth was formed or even before light came into the universe. Isn’t that amazing? God loves you and me! The depth of His love toward all of humanity was not known until Jesus came into the world about two thousand years ago and He embodied God’s love toward humanity. He went around the sea of Galilee with His message of love, forgiveness, healing and the promise of an eternity with Him. What more could we need or ask for?
Here on Earth, many people search for more money or fame or stuff but what good does all of that do? All that it does for us is cause more worries and headaches and stress and at the end of your life…someone else gets it and most likely they will sell it or auction it off. The eternity which God offers us is worth far more than anything we can have here. We will have a home and a life with most of our loved ones. I say most because there are going to be some who either didn’t accept Jesus in this life or they walked away from Him and His offer of salvation. I know, that sounds like the same thing but it isn’t.
Some people won’t accept His offer of grace and salvation but they may finally accept it right before their death (if they have the time). Many will hear the message at some point but they will determine that it just isn’t for them and they will walk away and likely never darken the door of a church again. The thing is that only God knows your heart and their hearts so whatever choice you may make in this life, make sure that it is a sure one by walking with Him during your life and leaving your old sinful life behind. Why do I say this? Because other people need to know that your life has changed and you have changed! Your life should be a witness to others for Jesus whether you say anything to them about salvation or not.
That is what Jesus meant when He said for us to “take up your cross and follow Me“. In the passage which is linked here, He says to “deny yourself” which is exactly what you think it is. Deny or turn away from your old ways of living and follow Him by prayer and study of the Bible. People usually look at me funny when I say that they need to study the Bible, but I am not saying that you have to write it out word for word. I only mean that you should pray over what you read daily, just a chapter or two a day and you will read all of it in about a year. If you make it a habit like I have, going a day without it will feel strange.
Reading God’s Word daily is like walking with Him every day because you learn more about Him as you read His Word. Granted there are two books which are very difficult to understand or even know what they offer for our life today but they are necessary. Those books are Leviticus and Numbers. They deal with the Priesthood of Israel and the number of people in each tribe and how much is to be sacrificed to pay for certain sins, etc. What are they good for today? These two books show us how impossible it is to live a holy life, blameless before God without the Holy Spirit guiding us every day.
Make sure of your relationship with Jesus while there is time and opportunity to do so, because after your last breath the chance is gone.
I have felt this way before. Some days…I still do. But we don’t have to. Our Creator gives us meaning and a purpose IF we will listen to Him and follow His directions. Now, I am not saying that we have to follow Him blindly like sheep who follow their shepherd as he leads them to a good pasture. What I am saying is that each day, in fact each hour that we live in service to Jesus and showing others what He has done for us is full of meaning and purpose. Even if you are writing a blog or teaching your children about Him or working at your job, your witness is your life. The meaning of your life is that He has saved you from an eternity of punishment for your sins and for rejecting Him as your Savior.
It seems that many people today do feel as if their lives are without meaning, but why? Is it because of the bullying which happens on social media? Very likely. Is it because parents have been “validating” their children for more than two decades regardless of how well they do or not? Probably. Why do I say this? Because when you have been told that you are perfect and beautiful and that everything that you do matters most of your life…you begin to believe it. Then when reality punches you in the face at college or on a job…it is very painful. You find out that words really can hurt and they hurt deeply.
Wounds from spoken words don’t heal quickly for most people. Especially when they are not the praise and adoration kind which your parents heaped on you when you were young. My words here may even hurt some people’s feelings but reality is like that.
God loves you and He knows exactly how you feel inside and what you are capable of doing. So living up to His expectations and His love for you is something which takes a lifetime to accomplish. It is not something that you can do today or tomorrow and that’s all you have to do. When you give your heart to Jesus and repent of your “old life” whatever it might have been, you are expected to strive toward becoming more like Jesus each and every day. You can’t do this on your own though. You have to have His Spirit inside you guiding you and directing your steps every day, one step at a time.
Becoming a Christian is exactly that. It is a process which you and the Holy Spirit work on together each day while learning more about God and His love for you. Reading and studying His Word so that you can defend your faith and so your mind will be washed in the Living Water of His Word. Others who are very religious in this world memorize their holy books so they can refute any ideas which we, as Christians, may want to talk about. Knowing God’s Word well and the principles which He wants us to live by gives us the “full armor of God” to deflect the darts from the Adversary. By being a warrior for God’s Kingdom you should never feel meaningless because you are fighting for the King of Kings!
They don’t work for their food or for their shelter yet God provides for them. He even knows when one of them falls to the ground. God has more love for us than for them, so don’t worry about what you will eat or what to wear. God has even numbered the hairs on our heads so if He cares enough for other parts of His Creation to take care of them, won’t He take care of us as well?
God has also named every star in the heavens and He knows where each one is because He hung it there. All of the atoms and elements in the universe are tuned by God so that life can exist here. So why do so many people think that He doesn’t care about them or each one of us? He has always cared for us and He knew each of us from the beginning of time yet there are many who won’t believe it today. Eternity is going to be very lonely and painful if you don’t know Him and believe in Jesus for your salvation.
32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
If you have given your heart to Jesus and have been following Him in your daily life, you will not fear death nor anything which may happen in the future. Your future, your eternity is sure and you will spend it with Him. If you have not followed Jesus in your life and have decided that salvation is not something you want then your eternity is sure too, but it will be in hell with the rest of those who have rebelled against God. Make sure of what you believe and Who you believe in.