The doctrine of salvation says that we are saved because of our belief in Jesus and His atonement for our sins IF we accept that as the truth of our salvation. But, what about repentance? Is that a one-time thing or is it a continual practice which we should do each day? Well, the answer to that can be tricky. If you accepted Jesus as your Savior and you truly sought forgiveness and repented of the sins which brought you to the point of knowing that you need Him as your Savior, that is at least a step in the right direction. But…Satan and his forces don’t just walk away and leave when you become a Christian.
Why would they? Before you became a Christian you were part of their “family” in a way. You weren’t saved so you didn’t belong to Jesus and you were living your life in the way that you wanted to live it, so why should they concern themselves with you? You were in control of your life or at least you thought you were.
In reality we have to repent and ask forgiveness of something each and every day. Becoming a Christian and changing your ways to follow Jesus doesn’t create in each of us a heart and soul like Christ, one that is sinless from that point on. We are still human and Satan is going to ramp up his attacks on you in order to dirty your witness toward others in their walk. He doesn’t get tired and he doesn’t have to sleep so you will be hit with tempting thoughts when you least expect it from this point until your last breath on Earth.
Study God’s Word and fill your mind with gospel songs and messages from Him and you will be able to resist the temptations which Satan throws at you or me. This is the way that we should live our lives with Jesus every day, no matter what we are doing or where you are. God’s Word will strengthen you in your daily walk through life because it is the Living Word.
1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
The prayer which Jesus gave His disciples was and is the model of prayer for all of us to use in our prayer life. So why do I say “in our prayer life”? Because we are encouraged to pray not just when we need something or want something but to live in a spirit of prayer all of the time. Some people may think this isn’t possible but it really is.
This spirit of prayer is not praying constantly but the act of being receptive to the leading of God to be prayerful in all things and at all times. Being ready to pray at any time and for anything which comes to mind or even on your phone today.
The model prayer begins with “Our Father which art in heaven…” because Jesus was trying to bring God’s love down to a more personal, intimate level. Almost as if He really is our Father and in fact He is. He is our Creator and it is His mind and His hands which knit your DNA and mine together. Remember, He has known us since before the Earth was formed so He knows exactly what your talents are and your characteristics will be long before you are born.
God, our Creator, cares for each life which is sent to be born. It is our responsibility to raise those children to know their Heavenly Father and we need to be much more intense in doing so. Because the world and its education system will teach them all sorts of information which has nothing to do with God or His Son. Your life and mine would be very different if we had not learned about Him and if we aren’t careful, the next generation may be the last generation that knows anything about God, even in what is called the Bible belt.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Paul wrote this letter to his protege, Timothy, because he knew that he was being questioned about Scripture and its authenticity. He also used this letter to encourage Timothy because it wouldn’t be long before he, Paul, would be killed because of his faith. Thankfully we are not yet under such persecution but there are Christians in other parts of the world who are being threatened with death because of their faith in Jesus.
To answer the question, all Scripture is useful and profitable for instruction and training in God’s Truth. Whether those around you want to know it or accept it or not, but if you are a follower of Jesus then you need to know God’s Word so that you know His thoughts about different subjects which is very useful to defend your faith these days. We are called to defend our faith for the glory of Jesus and His Kingdom because we are living at the end of the church age.
What does that mean?
It means that we are very close to the prophecies of the book of Revelation. The taking away of the church and the appearance of a very charismatic leader who is the Antichrist, all of these things and more will happen the way that God has foretold it. Regardless of your lack of belief in Jesus or the veracity of Scripture, the prophecies of God’s Word is not fiction nor is it a myth. One day soon the whole world will find this out and many of them will not like it when they do.
I pray that many who read this blog and others will seek out their Savior while there is time because the only chance that you have to accept Him is while you are living and breathing on this Earth. Once you have died you will face God and you will have to tell Him why you chose not to ask Jesus into your life and believe in Him. That is a conversation that I hope that many of you can avoid having by changing your life and following Him while there is time.
Is Scripture useful for teaching and instruction? Yes, it is! Because it shows you where your life’s choices have gone wrong and it gives you a chance to change and follow Jesus. Scripture shows each of us, if we read it with an open mind and prayerfully, that God loves us and always has. He made a way for us to become His children through Jesus Christ because that is the only way! His Word tells us all of His Truth that we need to follow Jesus into eternity and all we need to do is believe in Him for our salvation so we can have that chance.
Do you ever consider the time’s in which we live? Such as, why is everything happening in such mixed up ways around the world? Most of these aren’t even reported on the news anymore but they are still happening. What am I speaking of?
To most people in the world the miracles that occur almost daily are not special enough to be given “media coverage” but to the people that they happen to they really are. If you are thinking that I just switched from one subject to another I really didn’t. It is a fact that where we are living in our time and the miracles which are happening are linked together. How do I know this? Because the time in which we are living is referred to as “the last days”.
At no other time in the world could you get news and video from around the world almost instantaneously but in the last few years the Internet has allowed this. It is only because of the advances in communication and the networks around the world that the Christian message can be spread to all parts of the world as well. Miracles are also happening around the world but many aren’t being reported because they aren’t newsworthy.
Most “news” today is only reported on when it fits someone’s agenda or a narrative which they want to promote. Even if it is a media organization and they claim to be impartial many of their investors are not which drives the narrative for most of their stories. Christian news or anything which points in that direction is not really considered newsworthy by the mainstream media.
But…God is still at work in this world today bringing people to a saving knowledge of Him and Jesus the Messiah in record numbers, even in places where Christianity is considered against the law. Many people who have been persecuted for their faith in Jesus are turning to Him and drawing more people to Him than ever before because of the persecution in the Middle East.
So, are we living in the last days? According to most of the predictions and prophetic words of Jesus I believe that we are and many other preachers do too. Reading the book of Daniel and Matthew chapter 24 many of the descriptions sound very much like the news which you hear today. Rumors of wars and persecutions, diseases which even modern medical science can’t cope with, unrest in parts of the world that once was peaceful, lives being lost because of people’s lack of a true moral compass. All of these are happening today and have been happening for a while although it seems to be ramping up to levels that were unheard of a decade or two in the past.
I pray that anyone who reads this will seek out Jesus as your Savior and read the prophecies in Matthew and in the book of Daniel with a prayerful heart and an open mind toward God’s plan. He will accomplish His will for this world, whether we like it or agree with it or not.
God does speak to us
today, but many people don’t know how to truly listen to Him. They
ask, “How can I hear God speak to me?”. Well, if you would read
the Bible, God’s Word, you would hear Him speaking in every verse
of it. Sometimes He gives encouragement and sometimes He is rebuking
you by His Word but He is speaking to you and to each of us.
Sometimes we will search God’s Word until we find something that we
like and we will say that God agrees with our position on whatever it
is but that is not seeking His will for you that you trying to
justify something that you know is wrong!
The funny thing is
that God will let you get away with your justification until you
realize that you truly made a mistake because it isn’t working out
the way you hoped it would. Things are getting worse rather than
getting better. You need to pick up God’s Word and seek His will
for your life by prayerful meditation and reading with prayer so that
you truly are hearing from Him and not your own “conscience”
voice. You know your mind-voice can sound like your idea of God’s
voice. You can convince yourself that you are hearing from God and
all you are doing is talking to yourself. You can get pretty good at
it too until one day when all of the “things” which your god told
you to do come crashing down on your head and you realize, hopefully,
that those were not God’s words of direction but your own.
How can you tell the
difference? Because if you truly were hearing God’s voice and
following His direction those “things” wouldn’t have crumbled
to dust around you. If you truly were listening and following His
directions like you thought you were…things would work out the way
He intended for them to. It is a novel concept and it is shown in the
Bible very clearly. When a prophet or king follows God and does the
things which God tells him to do, the way He tells him to do it,
everything works out wonderfully. But, when you try to inject your
ideas or change things so that people will like you rather than
following God’s directions there are consequences which follow and
most of the time they aren’t fun at all.
Most of our lives
are like that as well. When we are truly following God’s direction
in our lives and not trying to do things our way all the time
everything works out most of the time. I say most of the time because
none of us follow His directions perfectly, but if we are listening
to Him we try our best to follow Him. God expects us to follow Him
and His directions when we are His and we have given our life to Him
but if you don’t know Him or if you are being stubborn and ignoring
His direction or His calling in your life then your ideas and your
pathway will not be so easy nor will they work out the way you had
Seek His guidance
and His direction by following Him and giving your life to Him
because He paid for your sins on the cross. Is being a Christian
easy? No, it is not because there are going to be temptations and
situations where you want to do things your way or even go back to
doing things like you did before you asked Jesus for His Presence in
your life. I pray that anyone who feels His call on your life through
reading this or even by a dream or hearing God’s Word preached will
answer and ask Him to come into your life and change you into the
person that He knows you can be.
Don’t ever think this thought! I have thought it at times but your part does count! God can use your life, your voice, your message, your witness in ways that you have no idea just how much good it may do. But He does!
He knows how many people will hear or listen to or even read your words, like on this blog, and He will use your voice to take His message to the world and those who are desperate to hear the gospel of Jesus and His love for them. Just as when it is time to vote for a President or a Senator, your vote…your voice does count! If John had not gone to Ephesus and preached to them they wouldn’t have heard about Jesus. If Paul had not gone to all of the places that he went to with the good news of Jesus and the salvation through Him then many people would never have heard about Jesus.
Each of us has a part to play in the grand scheme of life, whether we believe in Jesus as our Savior or not. Our part is not usually a small part because we do influence people around us whether we realize it or not. It is that influence which carries His message to the world most of the time. A thank you to a stranger or blessing the food at a restaurant or just opening the door for someone who may have their hands full or maybe you are just doing it “just because”. Any of these small interactions can have a big impact on people and then their impact on others will be affected too.
None of us can truthfully claim that what we do in this life makes no difference. Adam and Eve ate a fruit that they weren’t supposed to eat. It doesn’t sound like much until you realize that God had told them not to before they did it. They disobeyed God’s command and did their own thing, which is what we’ve been doing ever since. It was a small decision but it had huge consequences for the rest of creation. Don’t ever discount a decision that you are thinking about. Whether you think it is big or not, seek out God’s perspective on it if you are a believer because His advice is always right. Though many of us today are too impatient to wait for His answer at times.
Does your influence count? Yes it does. A parent has a lot of influence over a child’s growth and their ideas about life as they grow older. We may not think that they are listening but they are and they hear more than you think they do. A teacher or a coach has a lot of influence in the lives of those that they come in contact with over the course of their careers. Sometimes they may not find it out until years later. Society and social media today have a lot of influence on people of all ages, as well as the smart phones which we all seem to have attached to our hands.
God loves each of us and He does care about your life and your eternity. All that you need to do is believe in Him and give your life to Him so that He can give His Life to you.
This day is a day of remembrance for those who have lost loved ones in wartime conflicts. We strive in our Christian lives against the powers of the world and the Satanic powers and demons and we should be careful in our walk with Jesus because of the influence against us. While it is true that in America we are not killed for our faith, we are still persecuted for it if we show it openly. But…isn’t that what Jesus told us to do? Jesus said to “go and tell the world the good news of salvation“.
We should remember those who have gone into the world and told of His good news because many of those were martyred for their witness and their faith. They are casualties in the war between the Light of Jesus and the Darkness of the world. God offers each of us the chance for salvation through belief in Jesus as our Savior but how will others know of Him if we don’t tell them? Do not forget the sacrifice of those who died for our freedoms but also don’t forget those who have died for the cause and the message of Jesus Christ our Lord as well.
In the Bible, the words which point you toward faith in Jesus don’t tell you the whole story. Jesus, Yeshua, was and is God in the flesh. God came down to Earth to be among those that He created. Not to make us feel unworthy, although we are, but to show His love for us because we don’t deserve it at all. Humanity failed Him in every way and we are still failing Him. Oh, those of us who truly are His followers are at least moving in the right direction but the majority of people in the world tend toward apathy or even hatred toward God and especially Jesus.
We are human and we aren’t capable of pleasing God without having faith in Him. But, we aren’t born with that faith. When God calls us to know Him, He is the giver of the faith necessary to know Him. We can’t just decide to believe in Him one day, all of us are chosen by Him to be His. But it is still our decision to accept that invitation and many still refuse because they don’t want to give up their sins…their life without Him being a part of it.
So, why is this important? Because, whether you believe it or not, there is an eternity on the other side of your last breath here and it is your choice which determines where you spend that eternity. The Pope can’t save you nor will any other religious figure from any other religion. Only Jesus came to pay the price for your soul and for your sins and since He stands at the right of the Father in Heaven and is not in a grave somewhere, you have the chance to live into eternity with Him. But only if you choose to follow Him and ask Him to forgive your sins and give you the strength to walk with Him until your last day on this Earth.
Why is being a Christian and believing in Jesus as your Savior so important? Because of the eternity which is there if you don’t believe in Him for your salvation. If there is a heaven there is also a hell and it is spoken of in God’s Word many times as an eternal punishment. Not for just a little while or instantaneous vaporization! Hell was created by God to punish Satan and his demons who have hounded mankind for thousands of years. They have driven some people mad and they are the ones who caused all of these aberrant religions which dealt in child sacrifice and other abominations. They will do anything to point people toward any “ideal religion” which doesn’t believe in or follow God the Father.
I pray that anyone who reads this will seek Jesus out as their Savior. In His Word, in a Bible-teaching church or Bible study. Any way that you can learn more about Jesus and His love for you and the fact of His Love for you that was so powerful that He chose to go to the cross and die for your salvation. One day soon the church will be taken from the Earth and there will be seven years of hell on Earth because of those who chose not to believe in Jesus for their salvation. I pray that you will not be here during this time but will be with the church in Heaven.
When you read the gospels and the accounts of all of the different ways that Jesus interacted with people and healed some and raised some from the dead or freed them from demonic possession it makes you wonder what else He might’ve done in between all of these. When you read about everything that He did in the few years that His disciples walked with Him and then read at the end of John’s gospel that “if everything that Jesus did were written down the world couldn’t hold all of the books“.
Jesus payed attention to all of the little things. The children that were around Him, the women who were supporting His ministry and were disciples too. He looked at the small lunch which fed over five thousand people and knew it was possible. He noticed so many things around Him in His ministry which aren’t recorded in the gospels. So, how do I know that He noticed these small details around Him? Because He was and is the Creator! An artist notices the color of clouds and birds and flowers and trees so how much more would our Creator notice everything and everyone around Him?
Even if the writers of the gospels didn’t notice it and He didn’t bring it to their attention, He would’ve noticed. Every flower and bird and tree and cloud and the stars at night. He was there during creation so why not take in your creation and truly notice all of the beauty in everything around you? I know I would have and you would too.
Jesus is our Savior and He paid that price for our salvation willingly. His humanity was afraid of the pain and suffering but He knew it had to be done. He is the Author of Life and the Creator and He did all of this for us. So when you feel His call in your heart and you know it is Him, please don’t turn away from that call because that call may be the only one you will hear or maybe the last time you may hear from Him. I pray that all of you who read this will give your heart and life to Jesus and follow Him for the rest of your life.
God is our Creator and the Creator of everything that you can see. So…why is it so hard for people to understand that He wants the best for you? Is it because we can’t see Him like we can see a friend or our spouse? Possibly. But according to God’s Word, He has always been available to us through prayer and by reading of His Word.
I think that the reason that so many people are hesitant or unwilling to follow God and the few rules which He put into place is that it is too simple. Salvation is so simple that a child can understand it and yet when we become “educated” adults we can’t believe that it is that simple. What we should understand is the same thing that the thief on the cross understood, it is our belief in Jesus which saves us. It is not the church or a preacher or a certain ritual which we have to do in order to be saved.
Just believe in Jesus and what He did for you. Do this in the faith which God has granted you and then walk in that faith so that you will be a reflection of Jesus in your life. Because you may be the only Jesus some people may ever see before the end of their life or yours. Your life has an expiration date and it is only known by God, thankfully. But during the time which we have even the small things which we do that people notice because they know that we profess to be Christians can have an impact.
You may not think that a “Thank you” or a blessing said at McDonald’s over your food could have an impact but it can. You may not know about it before you get to Heaven but someone will let you know that it was that word or deed or some small thing that prompted them to seek out what made you different.
God is understanding and loving toward all of His children even though there are many who are hurting and struggling and it doesn’t look like He even cares, but He does. God is awesome because He created all of this universe and we have been studying it for hundreds of years and we’ve only scratched the surface. We have explored our own planet for thousands of years and scientists are still finding creatures which are new to science.
Why did God make this universe so complex? Because of His power and majesty but also because He wanted us to look at all of the beauty and the awesome size and diversity that is out there and wonder about Him. We would look at the intricate complexity of cells and bacteria and whales and humanity and even into the cosmos and realize that this couldn’t have come into being because of some accidental gathering of dirt and goo. There had to be a Supreme Intelligence behind every atom and molecule and His name is God.