Can you have peace in your life?

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

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

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

John 14:27

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

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

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

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

What has love got to do with salvation?

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

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

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

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

Which way do I go?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mother’s influence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“and to dust you shall return…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus, God’s gift to you

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

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

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

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

It’s NOT about you!

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

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

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

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

Life is a gift!

Life is your gift from God so what will you do with yours? Would you seek to be a famous person or an athlete in a professional sport? There are times when we need to step back from the demands of the world around us and seek out God’s perspective of things. But…do we do it?

Many of us do think about it but then our everyday life gets in the way and our time with God gets placed on the back burner and it may be awhile before we think about Him again. That is not the type of relationship that God wants with us and it isn’t the kind of relationship that we were created for. God intended for us to have a daily relationship with Him. Not just a weekly or monthly meeting while we attend church, if we attend church services.

Unfortunately, there are many people today who do not identify themselves with any faith at all which is truly sad. Our Creator loves each of us and whenever we feel His call in our life we should respond to that call and give our heart to Him. In the world today though, there are many who hear Him but they aren’t interested in a relationship. They like their life and the way it is and many consider God or Jesus an obstacle in their way. They think that the rules of the Bible, God’s rules, don’t mean anything to them in the 21st century. Those “old rules” are outdated and dusty and they don’t apply to our lives now.

God’s Word is fresh and relevant for today but only if you read it through the eyes of faith and with your heart turned toward God. If you read it as a book, without faith and without a relationship between you and Jesus then it doesn’t make sense and it is just a book of Jewish history and rules. I pray that anyone who is truly looking for a Savior will give Jesus a chance in their life and seek Him out by reading the Bible. Start in the New Testament with John and Luke, then move on through Acts and Romans. By the time you have read these books, God’s Spirit will have planted a seed in your heart and very likely has got your attention.

Don’t go through life without Jesus from this point on because when you do that life doesn’t have much meaning. From a Biblical point of view the news looks and sounds different because it is fulfilling the prophecy found in God’s Word every day. It may be only a small bit of fulfillment today or tomorrow but eventually the pieces will fall into place and when the church is taken from the Earth, the world will get much worse before it gets better because God’s judgment is coming. Make sure that you are part of those who are taken before that happens.

How many times is “prayer”in the Bible?

It depends upon your individual translation of God’s Word but it seems to be around 600 times, give or take a few. Prayer is your lifeline to God Himself. It is not a channel that you can tune into just because you want to complain or because you want something. It is used in that manner much more than it should be though. If you consider Who it is that you are speaking to about your problems and your good days and your bad days you might decide that you need to thank Him that you are able to live another day.

God loves His creation and all of us are unique parts of that creation. Each of us is unique and there is nobody else on Earth like you. Someone may look a little like you but nobody else has your personality and your knowledge! Have you ever considered that? Most people, in my opinion, never seem to realize that fact. It seems that more people today want to be like someone else rather than being themselves. Mostly, they just want the fame and fortune that the person has but they never think about all of the problems that it would bring into their lives.

Prayer gives you a direct line of communication to the Creator and the Savior of your soul. There is no need of a direct line of sight because He can see you and, if you are a Christian, He is with you even now. The Holy Spirit came to live in your heart the moment that you repented and gave your life to Him. He communicates your needs and your life to the Father in ways which we can only imagine, even when we can’t speak or even know what to say. Prayer is that lifeline that never breaks and it is always available to you regardless of the distance you think you have moved away from God, He never moved away from you.

Jesus came to us, to the Earth, so that salvation and forgiveness could be possible for each of us. God reached down to us so that we could reach up to Him in repentance and humility and give Him our heart and our life because He gave His life for us first. Prayer keeps that relationship alive, reading God’s Word enforces His teachings in our mind and in our heart so that we can walk with Him each day assured of our salvation and our place in His Kingdom.

In our world today, many people think that because they believe in God and they pray to Him about things in their life that they are saved and they will go to heaven. Satan believes in God, as well as all of the demons of hell, but he is still condemned because of his pride and arrogance. Being a Christian is more than belief, it is submission to God’s leadership and His way of life. We are to put down our “old ways” and walk into a new life, forgiven and free from the sins which kept us from being fully alive in Christ. Through faith and prayer and submission to Him, we can be saved. But, if you have never felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit to bring you to that point…prayer only works when you ask Him for Jesus in your life and ask for His forgiveness of your sins.

Did people sin in the Bible? Yes, David was called “a man after My heart” by God but he committed murder and adultery against one of his best warriors. The reason for David’s place in God’s sight was that he knew what he had done and he asked forgiveness for it, again and again. There are many more examples of people in the Bible being human but God used them in His grand design anyway. God doesn’t give approval to our sins just because we don’t think they are bad. If your lifestyle or the way you live is against any of God’s commandments and you continue to live that way, even when you say that you are saved, you are only deceiving yourself.


Life is not fair.

Life sucks!

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

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

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

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

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

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