The times in which we live…

This scripture is so true, especially today.

If the church around the world, regardless of the denomination, would collectively kneel and pray in this manner I believe there would be a revival everywhere. There are so many who are passionate about other religions, why aren’t Christians passionate enough to at least pray? I realize that we should not be zealous in our Christianity to the point of being obnoxious, in-your-face and dangerous but we could at least tell others that God loves them!

God’s love came to Earth in the body of Jesus Christ to conquer death, hell and the grave for each person who will believe. He is coming back one day, I believe sooner than anyone thinks, and He is coming back as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Jesus is coming back as the Lion of Judah, not as the carpenter from Nazareth!

There is another disturbing trend that I found out about recently. It has to do with the second coming of Jesus as well, but it seems that many pastors and Christians think that we can have an impact on the timing of His return. While spreading the gospel is important to God and the church as well, I don’t believe that our part in doing so will speed up His return. In today’s world the gospel can reach nearly the whole world just because of the Internet and its influence around the world. Granted, access to it is not universal or in every country everywhere but there are also countries where evangelism is not allowed for Christians to come and tell others about Jesus.

Pray for the world to come to know Jesus. Repent of your own sinful thoughts and actions and try your best to live a life pleasing to the Lord by your faith in Jesus. Read God’s Word each day, not just weekly or when you feel the need for God’s help. He loves you and He sent Jesus to pay for your sins and mine so you should get to know Him better while there is still time.

Who is Jesus to you?

Is He the child in the manger wrapped in swaddling cloths? Is the He the Living Word of God? Is He God Who came down to us in order to bring salvation and the forgiveness of sins? Is He the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? I could go on and on with the titles which He came to be on this Earth but my point is this: if Jesus is not the King of your life…then who is? If you haven’t given your heart to Him and asked Him to come into your life and make you whole and complete, then what or who is in that place?

Jesus is the real reason for the season whether we like it or believe it or not. There are many in the world today who don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God. They think it is just a book and nothing more but it is SO MUCH MORE. The main reason that I say this is because if one part of it is not true then the whole text of the Bible isn’t true. God gave the words of His Book to those who wrote it down so that all of us who have access to it can learn from it and be saved from the consequences of our sin. Which sin are we talking about? The only one which matters to God: belief in Jesus as your Savior. If you don’t believe that and ask Him to come into your heart and your whole life and allow Him to change you then you just wasted your time.

Without Jesus, without the Christ in your life and your heart all you have is “book knowledge”? Even if you have been attending church for your entire life and you’ve read the Bible in Sunday school and during the sermons for fifty or sixty years but you haven’t asked Jesus to come into your heart and save you then all you have is knowledge of Him without the experience of His power in your life.

All of us need to realize that when we have been adopted as sons and daughters when we accept Jesus as our Savior. We are not outside the family! We are adopted and accepted as sons and daughter of God if you have truly accepted Him as our Savior. God’s love is extended to each of us just like His Son, Jesus. If you are seeking your Savior, trying to fill that space that has always been empty, then Jesus Christ is the One you’ve been seeking.

What is the best gift you've been given?

If you are a Christian and believe in Jesus as your Savior then your greatest gift is Jesus and the atonement which He purchased with His blood. It is a priceless gift and one which cannot be duplicated nor returned. This gift is found in the heart of every Christian who has truly given their life and their soul to Jesus and asked His forgiveness for not doing so sooner!

God knows your heart and He knows exactly when or even if you will turn to Him for your salvation. Some of us take a bit longer to learn that we need Him far more than He needs us. He is our Creator but He wants to be your friend and your guide in this life so you can move to the next life with Him. When you feel His call on your heart, please don’t turn away like many people are doing these days.

This gift of salvation doesn’t cost you anything unless you just can’t leave your drinking buddies or those that you hang out with every day. If that is more important to you than your eternity then stay with them. But if you know that this life doesn’t go on but for a few years and that those “friends” won’t be with you for your entire life then I advise you to seek out the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. He can fill that space which has felt empty for so long. That space which you can’t seem to find the exact fit for it and it keeps feeling as if it stays hollow regardless of what you try or who you may try it with. Jesus is the piece which fills in that space and makes you whole and complete.

My Hope is in God!

There is nothing more hopeful than a child and having a child is the purest form of faith that God will make a way where there seems to be no way. God gives us children because He wants to bless us with hope and the faith to see their life come to pass. Sometimes they aren’t with us for very long but we learn of God through their innocence and their outlook regardless of the circumstances they may live in.

No matter their living conditions, most children do try to make the best out of good or bad situations. They can teach us adults a thing or two about life and living it because they don’t have the baggage that most of us have. Adults have bills and car payments and house payments and medical bills and more bills, children don’t have any of that. I envy them sometimes.

Yet, God expects each of us to grow as people and as Christians. When you give your heart and your life to Jesus, you are very much like this little child. You are a brand new Christian and a babe in Christ. You don’t know much about the Bible or His Word but you know that your Savior is God’s Son and for now…that is enough. But when trouble comes along, what then? Prayer and getting into the Psalms is the best place for you and we should be telling others about this resource, the Bible. It is truly God’s love letter to humanity because it speaks of Jesus from the very beginning to the end.

What have you given to God lately?

Many of us seem to think it isn’t necessary to give God anything. We don’t want to give Him our time on Sunday and He doesn’t need our money. Many of us don’t even want Him in our life or our hearts. So why do so many people who feel this way claim to be Christians? Is it because they know Who He is but they don’t want to know Him really? Are they afraid of Him? Possibly. In years past, God was pictured and preached as a vengeful God and a jealous God and He is both of those…to an extent. He is vengeful because He loves us not because He is going to punish us for something that we said or didn’t say. His vengeance is toward those who have wronged and persecuted His people, Israel. He will also avenge the church which grew in the past two thousand years because of the disciples preaching and because of the persecution which Christians still endure.

God is jealous, not like a lover or a husband, but because the “other” gods which mankind has created for himself are not gods at all. They are just figments of our imagination and our idea of how “god” should be. Humanity tends to try to squish God down into a more relatable god that we can understand. God cannot be put in a box or be made smaller so that we can relate to Him and feel comfortable with Him.

But we still say things like, “My god wouldn’t send anyone to hell.”. God doesn’t send anyone to hell either, that is your choice. God has made it possible for everyone to be saved but there are those who just won’t accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. When you reject Him and turn your back on His offer of grace to be saved, then you have condemned yourself to hell and unless you accept Him before you die…that will be your eternity. Our spirit is immortal and we will be given a new body for eternity, one which cannot die unless we refuse God’s offer of grace. That is why hell is called the “second death”. There is no Life outside of God and that is where you will be if that is your choice.

God loves every person but He doesn’t like some of the things that they are doing with their lives. Just like parents, He loves His children but sometimes He isn’t happy with their choices in life but He does allow us those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them. Jesus came and paid the price for your sins regardless of their “size”, even though there aren’t really BIG sins or little sins, although the killing of children or babies would likely rank a little worse than a lie any day.

What does God want from each of us? Our love and our heart. Be thankful for His grace which has given you all of your talents and the blessings in your life. Be useful to His Kingdom and for His Kingdom because each of us who have been called to know Him were called because of our influence in someone’s life that He knows that you can reach better than anyone else.

Should you forgive others?

Matthew 6:15
But if you do not let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will not have forgiveness from your Father for your sins.

We are to forgive others so that we can be forgiven. There are over one hundred verses in the New Testament about forgiveness and most of them apply this concept from you to another who has wronged you in some way. Will God forgive you? Yes, but He won’t forgive you if you are holding a grudge or some other hurt in your heart toward someone else and you won’t let it go.

We are called to be more like Jesus and He forgave those who nailed Him to the cross just before He gave up His spirit. We are supposed to be more like Him in our walk with God in this life but many of us hold on to bitterness from years ago even though it is giving us an ulcer. Being a forgiver of others shows that your heart has changed and it is now the home of the Holy Spirit of God. We couldn’t forgive without His Spirit within us because it is not in human nature to forgive. But with Jesus as our Savior and with His Spirit living within us ALL things are possible.

Can we forgive perfectly and completely? Eventually. Even with the Spirit of God living in your life and your heart, Satan will bring to your remembrance the wrong that you have tried to forgive. He will pester your mind with it and try to ruin your life with it, but with prayer and by seeking the strength of Jesus to help you to forgive it can be forgiven. Our mind may not let it go immediately and it may take a good deal of Bible study and prayer to let something go if it was a really bad hurt in your past but with God’s help you and I can do it.

Jesus taught that it is our duty, as believers, to forgive others. There is no limit to the number of times that we are told to forgive for an offense, and it is to be done completely and immediately. If you will not forgive your brother, then God will not forgive you for your sins. As I stated in a paragraph above, it may take some study and prayer to completely forgive and forget but with God all things are possible.


God has known you much longer…

God knew us before the foundation of the world, our world. It was Jesus as the Son Who formed Adam from the dirt and clay mud in the Garden. Since God lives outside of our universe, He is outside of time as well. He sees the beginning and the end just as we can see the driveway at our homes from the beginning to the end.

God loves each of you far more deeply and with more intimacy than we can imagine. That is why it hurts Him when you reject His gift of eternity through Jesus the Christ. I pray that everyone who reads this will be touched enough to seek out their Savior in Jesus. God reaches out to those who are willing to hear Him and He knows who you are. If you feel His touch in your life, please don’t turn away from it.

What is a life with Christ?

A life with Christ is not what most people think about when they think of Christians. Many people seem to think that being a Christian is a life of lack, one in which all of the fun things in this life are forbidden. God has given us a life of abundance but not one which we should live as the rest of the world around us lives. God calls us to be “in the world but not of the world“; Christians should live in this world but we are not to follow those living in the world. The world around us follows the ruler of this world, Satan, who deceives the whole world because that is his purpose. This is why we should keep our lives separate from those living in the world.

A life with Jesus the Christ is one which should mirror His life on Earth. We may not be called to be evangelists or healers or teachers or even preachers, but we are called to be “set apart” as His followers. If for no other reason than to be a beacon of light in a world of darkness. Sometimes our speech shows other that our progress in following Jesus still has a way to go and that is when people wonder about our conversion and whether it is real or not. God can come into your heart and change you so completely until your manner of life, your speech and your personality, is completely changed but you have to be willing to walk with Him to get to this point.

God doesn’t force us to change because love cannot be forced upon anyone. But the very idea that Jesus came to give His life so that you have a chance at being accepted by God into His family should humble you to the point of your asking Him to mold me and make me what You want me to be. Because it is only by becoming the person that God wants you to be and the person that He knows you can be so that you can be the most useful to Him. Why does He want us to be “holy or set apart” from the world around us? Because if our life isn’t much different from the world and those living in it, why would anyone be interested in becoming a Christian?

It is only because of the lives that are changed that people can even tell that there is a difference between a Christian and a Muslim or a Buddhist. If we walk and talk like they do or even like those who do not believe in any religion, then how will people know that we are different? Why would they want to know what makes us different? Yes, we can say and tell others that we believe in Jesus as our Savior but if our speech and our life doesn’t actually reflect that then how can they know? Will they actually believe that what you say about your Savior is true if you still talk and act as if you don’t know Him?

A life with Christ in it should be a life with love and compassion for others in it. It should also be a life with more of God’s Word in it than the words of the world around us. Seek His wisdom today to help you to see what may be missing in your life and ask Him to come in and clean out the old stuff and make your heart and life fresh and new and completely whole in Him.

Too much…

Do you believe that your life and your sins are too much for God to love or to forgive? No, there is no sin which God can’t or won’t forgive. The only sin which God won’t forgive us for is our sin of neglecting our salvation by refusing to accept Jesus as our salvation. It is OUR decision to refuse this gift of God and by refusing to accept His gift of salvation we are condemned already. It is not God or even Jesus who condemns you to hell but it is your own action and your own decision to refuse God’s gift to each of us through the sacrifice of Jesus to take the punishment for your sins. He paid the price so you would not have to, but by refusing to accept and believe this you condemn yourself to hell.

There are more sins and heinous actions which have been done in all of the time which mankind has been on Earth and yet Jesus’ sacrifice covered them all, if the people would accept Him as their Savior.

Truthfully, there is no pathway to Heaven except through belief in the work and the person of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. Repent therefore and turn away from your sins, even if they are many, and you shall be saved. In Jesus’ name I pray for all who read this. Amen

In this life…

As we trudge through this pain-filled life we can see all sorts of contrasts on TV and in the news and sometimes in books too. Here is a quote from a book that I bought and have been reading and it sums up the ending of our lives or the beginning because it is all a matter of perspective.

“There were two friends who had lived long lives. One was a rich man, by the world’s standards, and the other didn’t have much. The rich man was not a Christian but the other man was a strong believer in Jesus. The rich man told one of his visitors one day: I will soon have to leave all of my riches but when he dies, he will gain his.” (quoted from “Where I am” by Billy Graham)

I did paraphrase it a bit but the meaning is clear. The rich man knew that his reward had been granted to him while he was living but the poor man had stored his riches and wealth in Jesus. So the one that the world considered poor was actually rich into eternity. Why do we live like this? Because we want things in this life and many of us don’t look much further than our bank account. But, if you find someone living on Social Security as their “pension”, you will find someone who usually depends on God for their existence. They know that the money will run out most of the time before the month.

Why are there more Christians in China and Africa than there are in America? Because the vast majority of people in those countries live on a fraction of what Americans have, that’s why! Those Christians depend upon their Savior not only because He has given them eternity but because they know that He will meet their needs every day. Some days they will have just enough to make it and maybe tomorrow they might have a little surplus but they will share that with their friends and family. If the church in every country could teach that principle to all believers what a wonderful world we would have.

Jesus told His disciples that “you will have trials in this world, but I have overcome the world“. God never told us in His Word that we would have it easy if we would give our lives to serving Him. Actually, He said just the opposite. Many who are looking for a better life would jump at the chance of an easy life if being a Christian meant that it would be granted to them but that has never been part of the “blessing” since Jesus returned to the Father. God does give us the strength to endure those trials through faith in Jesus but we must seek Him in our good times as well as when things aren’t going so good.

Living the life of a faithful Christian is like a toddler holding your hand while walking on a trail which has some rough areas to cross. The “toddler” Christian will hold “God’s” hand until the trail gets a bit easier to handle then want to run ahead but that is where we need to hold His hand to keep us on the right path even more. Because sometimes when we find a smooth path we also find other “paths” which are even better and easier to navigate and it is tempting to follow those easier paths rather than staying on the pathway that we were following God on. That’s when we get into trouble and have to be led through some bushes and thorns to get back where we should’ve stayed.