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.

Amen

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.

Does God care?


When you see the devastation of hurricanes and flooding which is happening on Grand Bahama island you wonder if God cares. Yes, He cares because we are part of His creation. He is in control although many would look at the storm and what it is doing an wonder “Why God?”! What have we done to deserve this? The truth is that God is in control and He allows the “ruler” of this world to do these things but He is limiting the destruction which would happen if He did not.

The truth of our situation on Earth is that Satan hates us with just as much passion and vitriol that he can muster. His hatred rivals the deep abiding love that God shows toward us every day except that his hatred is intended to hurt God through the pain and suffering which he can cause to us who carry the image of God. His hatred is pointed at humanity everywhere and the more suffering that he can cause to us, then he will do so because he knows that God cares so much for us. So through the pain that we feel every day, he is striking at God.

God LOVES each person on this Earth and He does care more deeply than we can imagine. He does limit the damage which the fallen angels of Satan’s group can do to us because of His love, but that doesn’t stop them from inflicting suffering on humanity in any way they can. We are at the very edge of the time which is just before the church being taken away. There is no set date for this, other than the date and the hour which only God knows.

Don’t forget, many passages in God’s Word speak volumes about the love of God toward us and His love is far beyond anything that we experience on a daily basis, even from our own family. He sent His Son Jesus to be the Perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty for ALL of our sins! He paid for the sins from Adam all the way to the very last person who will get saved before God takes us home. Granted, there are many who will not accept His gift of grace for our redemption and our salvation but the ones who will accept it, He will not turn them away if they are sincere in their repentance.

Humanity has changed how they view the Bible and God’s promises because of our idea of what we want it to say to us and the “rules” which God has in place. God designed each of us for a purpose and only He knows that purpose until you are convicted by His Spirit and feel the NEED for Jesus in your heart. Then your life can conform to His purpose for your life. Until that point, you won’t care about His purpose for you and you won’t seek Him until the Spirit brings your Spirit in alignment with His purpose for your life and His glory!

Oops is not in the Bible!


God is not surprised by anything, least of all what happens with His Creation. That means that nothing in your life or anywhere on Earth surprises Him. God has been in charge since before the universe was brought into being. So why do we seem to think that He either doesn’t exist or that He is out of touch with us?

Even though it has been two thousand years or so since Jesus walked with His disciples, God is still in control. None of His prophecies have fallen to the ground or failed in any way. Jerusalem and the Jewish people have come back together in the nation of Israel and their language is still intact. This has never happened in history before 1948 and it won’t happen again. Many other prophecies which were foretold by His prophets have come to pass as well and the only one which hasn’t taken place is the coming of our Savior to bring His children home.

Jesus said that He would come back for us and since God cannot lie, He will. The signs of which He spoke in Matthew 24 and in the beginning chapters of the Revelation which John wrote down are all around us today. No, God is not surprised by our behavior or by anything which is happening on Earth or in the cosmos.

Do we doubt Him and His Word? Yes, and mostly it is our own ideas and faults which we see in the world. God is allowing many things to happen so that we will turn to Him and many are doing that. But there are thousands, possibly millions who are accusing Him of not caring about us or completely pushing Him away because they don’t like what is written in His Word. Remember, love cannot be forced and He allows us to follow our own path until we realize that we truly need Him.

Don’t push Him away from your life or family because of a word or a phrase that you don’t like. We can’t pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe. Either you live by it and believe all of it or you don’t, there really isn’t another way to put it. God is in control but He still allows us to choose, so choose to believe in Jesus as your Savior. The alternative is an eternity without any life, any hope or any good thing at all.

How can we come to the Father?


John chapter 14 verse 6. ”Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the father, but by me.’‘ This verse tells a lot in a little space. Truly, it tells about the way to be saved through Jesus and by belief in Him. It also tells about the way to come to the Father, God Himself, through Jesus in prayer. Because without faith in Jesus your prayers just don’t cut it. A sinner can pray and ask Jesus to forgive him of his sins and repent, turning from his ways to become a new person in Christ. But, your prayers don’t go very far if you are not a believer except of the one prayer which brings salvation into your life.

There is a hymn which has a line in it which goes like this, “O, come to the Father through Jesus the Son and give Him the glory, great things He has done”. We cannot truly come to the Father with our problems and our petitions unless we come through Jesus first. Life as a Christian is a walk with Jesus, did you know that? You can’t do one without the other. You can’t be a Christian without the Christ in your life. It is just that simple.

But, people do try to be things which they aren’t all of the time. Our so-called “politicians” have been practicing their lies for so long until they actually believe they are telling us the truth about the good that they are doing. But when you look at the state of the world today, you can see clearly that they haven’t been doing a very good job of what they say.

Jesus is the Son of God and therefore is our Savior but He is so much more than that! John says in chapter one that He is the Word made flesh. He is the I AM. He is the Creator and the Son, the second of the Trinity. He laid His divine life down to take up the flesh of humanity to live and be tempted and tried just as we are so that He could pay the penalty for our sinful nature. No other creature or person could do this except Jesus and He was destined for this from the very beginning of Creation. The only way for a sinner to approach God’s throne is by Jesus and through Him only. He had to pay the penalty for your sin, which was death, so that you and I can have eternal life through Him.

It sounds pretty harsh for God to put His Son through this but He knew that there was no other way for fallen man, to be justified and sanctified except through faith in Jesus and by His blood we are redeemed. The sins of mankind were placed upon Jesus so that He could endure the wrath of God in our place because without Jesus we would be destroyed as a consequence of His wrath. You cannot come to the Father except through the Son, Jesus.

We can quit some of our sinful ways on our own, sometimes, but that doesn’t bring us into a right relationship with God and we aren’t sanctified unless it is by the blood of Jesus which we have asked for when we seek Him as our Savior. When His blood is sprinkled over our sins, they are washed away. Yet, we can’t live our lives as if we can get washed this week and then go get dirty in sin again. If you are doing this, then your heart and your life hasn’t changed at all. Your “salvation” is just words and nothing more. Living as a sinner but claiming to know Jesus as your Savior is normal because we are all hypocrites. None of us is capable of living a sinless life, even after we have given our hearts to Jesus.

We can only come to the throne of grace by having Jesus as our covering and our Savior. Without Him, we are dust. As Isaiah wrote, “we are as filthy rags in God’s sight”. Our “righteousness” is nothing without Jesus and anything that we do in service to Him and for His Kingdom means nothing unless we have the Savior as our righteousness and not our own.

The end of the age


Living at the end of the age

I always wondered what it would be like to live during the last decade or so before Christ’s millennial reign begins. Why do I place that time limit on this age? Because, I don’t believe our world and its system has much more time than that. This is just my opinion, so don’t get the idea that there is some time-table for this because only God knows when the day and the hour is.

For some in the world, whether they are Christians or not, life at this time is not a very enjoyable prospect. There are wars and uprisings and hatred toward those who believe in Jesus, even if they aren’t actively telling people about their Savior. Just the knowledge that there is a “Christ-follower” or a “Jesus follower” in a village is enough to bring persecution to their families. In America, the hatred and resentment toward those who believe in Jesus as their Savior is building and it is getting worse. It hasn’t gotten to the point of our government locking up people or stopping us from worshiping but the threat is implied. It is very likely that before the next six years or so is past, there will be some limits placed on religious freedom, especially of the Christian faith.

Why the persecution of the Christian faith? Because of the truth which is God’s Word, the Bible, which is our guidebook for life. God gave it to us through those apostles and prophets which His Spirit moved to write His wisdom and His words down for everyone to learn from and live by. It is not a book of “man-made” wisdom and knowledge because there is a complete story and purpose which each book points to from the beginning in Genesis all the way through the book of Revelation. This fact alone proves that it is an Holy Spirit inspired book because it was written over a period of 1500 years by over forty different writers. Without the Holy Spirit’s involvement, the story would’ve been lost, the outcome and the prophecies would not make sense.

Abraham, one of the main characters in the Genesis book of the Bible, is the father of two different people and two different faiths as well. Judaism and Islam. Christianity is also the outcome of the prophesied Messiah of the Jewish faith Who came to “take away the sins of the world”, but the entire Bible points toward His coming and His message and His crucifixion and His resurrection. There is no possible way that forty different writers over 1500 years could’ve made up stories which were perfectly synchronized in order to prophesy His coming and His crucifixion even before it was a form of execution. God could see all of these things from His point of view outside of time and He knew when and where and even who to use at certain points in time so His purposes would be done in the way that He wanted them done.

God is Sovereign and rules the universe and it is His purposes which will prevail regardless of what mankind wants or doesn’t want to believe. One day soon, the whole world will see that He is the Savior and King because He is coming back. When that happens there will be no doubt about Who Jesus is or that He is real but there will be many in the world who don’t know Him because they chose to reject Him as their Savior. Then it will be too late to change your mind, especially if you have taken the mark of the Beast during those last seven years when God’s wrath has been poured out on those who would not believe.

Make sure of your salvation while there is still time to do so. Seek Jesus through reading the Bible, specifically the books of John and Romans because they both give good examples of His life, His death and His resurrection and also His love toward mankind so that you can know Him and He will know you too.

Are we supposed to be holy?


The Bible says that we are supposed to be holy because God is holy. So what is the definition of the word “holy”? It is this: dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred. In another way of saying this, we are supposed to be set apart from the world and its ways but we should try to teach those around us about His ways. If not by our words then by our life and our actions. Being a Christian is supposed to be exactly that…holy and set apart to do the work of God while we can. So why aren’t many who profess to be Christians acting like Christ?

It is a good question to ask but I’m afraid the answer would be too laborious and it would require too many specifics. Why do I say this? Because there are many who profess Christ but they don’t possess Christ. Their Christianity is only genuine to them because they believe in Christ and they attend church occasionally but He hasn’t made a change in their lives because He was never invited in. They are a believer just as well as Satan is. He knows Who Jesus is and he knows that He exists but he chooses not to serve God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit in any way.

Knowledge of Jesus and God is a good thing but if you haven’t given your life and your heart to them so that you are changed by them, then your knowledge does your eternal life no good at all.

If you belong to Christ and He belongs to you, then your life will reflect Him and His character far more than it will reflect your ideas and your ways. If others can’t see Jesus in what you do and say, then it is possible that He doesn’t live in your heart just in your mind.