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.

Are you prepared for what’s next?

We tend to think of this life as being the end, at least when you get to the end. Some of us know better though. Life, regardless of whether you believe in Jesus as your Savior or not, does not end when you die. There is a place where you will spend eternity. Whether it is an enjoyable eternity or one of punishment for wrong decisions is YOUR choice. I hear many people say that “A loving God would not send people to hell for eternity!”; in fact, you are right…our God loves each person on this Earth and He would rather not condemn people to hell. It was made specifically for the punishment of Satan and his fallen angels because of their rebellion and their role in leading mankind away from God.

The problem is that there are many people in the world who either don’t want to believe in God as their Savior through Jesus the Christ or they are serving a false religion or a false god. When you are in this group of people then you are in the same “camp” as Satan and his demons are. You are living in rebellion against God’s law and His grace. He has extended His grace to each of us but it is still our choice which determines our salvation or not. If you have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and then refused to give your heart and your life to Jesus, God won’t turn away from you. But, if you keep turning away from Him then one day you may not feel the conviction of the Spirit again even if you are at a revival or a church service. When that happens, God has turned you over to your own beliefs.

Sometimes it may not take that long. You may feel the conviction and turn away and your life may end before you ever feel it again. Then you will be standing in front of God at your judgement day. When your life ends here, you will stand in front of Him to be judged on your choices in this life and it will be those choices which send you to hell, not the God Who loves you. It is your choice in this life about Who your Savior is which determines your eternal destination. Make sure that you make the right choice before you come to the end of your life.

Running here and there

This is exactly what happens every day no matter where you live. In Mississippi or New York or Kansas or Arizona, everyone is running somewhere all of the time. It seems that nobody takes the time to notice our beautiful world which God gave us to live in and no one seems to notice that the prophecies from God’s Word are actually happening all around us every day. It is likely because people have not paid any attention to the Bible or the truth which is found in it. Not because they haven’t heard a sermon or two from it but mostly because they were looking at their phones during the service or because they just wanted the service to be over. In either case, the effect is the same…their mind and their heart did not perceive the Truth which was being given to them.

God’s Word says that “in the last days men will be running to and fro” and that is exactly what is happening all over the world today. The question I would like to ask is, “Why is everyone running everywhere?”! There aren’t that many games to go to, nobody seems to care what is happening unless it is happening to someone who isn’t even supposed to be in our country! So what is the big deal? Everyone is doing all of this because God told Daniel that it would be happening at this time. It is God’s prophecy so people are doing His Will whether they believe in Him or not!

Life is going to work out exactly as God planned it whether you want it to or not and there is nothing that you can do to change it. Pharaoh was placed on the throne of Egypt for God’s purposes and to show him that God was in control, not him. Every government and leader in the world is where they are because God placed them there for His purposes and it will work out in the end because of His purposes, not man’s ideas.

The world is playing out all of God’s plans on a grand scale. Not some other “prophet” or seer. God’s Word is True and it is the only Book which has told humanity’s history without embellishment or retractions for thousands of years. You can choose to believe what it says and Who wrote it and the Person that it points all of us toward or you can choose to ignore it or say that it is a fable. The Bible will prove to be the Truth of God whether you believe it or not.

He still loves us and He is waiting for those who will believe to make up their minds. One day soon, everyone will see Him.

How many times…

How many times will you push the Spirit away? How many times will you hear a sermon but ignore its message? What will happen to you when that day comes when Jesus calls His church home? Do you know? Do you even believe that it is going to happen?

There are many people in the world who really don’t believe that Jesus is coming back, but according to God’s Word He is. There are many things which are happening in the world today which were foretold by Jesus and by some Old Testament prophets and they all point to His Second coming. Life will go on as normal, just as it has for two thousand years, until that day when “the dead in Christ will rise“. Then the whole world will know that the Bible is God’s Truth but at that point it may be too late for some people.

Why do I say it may be too late for some? Because, they may be in an airplane which had a Christian pilot or a train or a bus. When they are taken up to be with Jesus, who will be driving or flying the plane then? That day will be total chaos because of the cars and other types of transportation which will be left without a driver or even passengers. The thing is, we don’t know when this is going to take place. It could be tomorrow or today or possibly tonight.

What will you do with your life? How have you prepared for eternity? Are you ready? These are questions which need an answer because when that day and hour comes, the Bible says that it will happen in the blink of an eye. You could be talking to a friend and look up and all that is left is their clothes, their shoes, their watch or their cell phone. Then what? It won’t be long before the Peace treaty with Israel will be signed for seven years and then the time of Tribulation will begin.

I pray that everyone who reads this will seek out Jesus as their Savior before that day arrives because it will be hard to be a Christian during that time.

When we worship God…

What do you think of when you hear the word “worship”? Is it beautiful music and choral songs of praise? Is it a message brought from God’s Word and spoken in your ears and in your heart that brings you to the point of knowing that you need Jesus as your Savior?

Actually worship is all of the above and more! We can worship God when we watch a beautiful bird fly over our head. We can worship God by watching the Sun go down over the ocean or behind a bank of clouds which turns the sunset almost the color of blood. We can listen to a baby laugh or play with a puppy or a kitten or watch a newborn calf or horse get up and run just as fast as its little legs can carry it. How can we worship God in all of these things in the natural world? Because He created them and He created you and your eyes and your brain to appreciate beauty in creation.

God loves each of us far more than we can know or even comprehend but by appreciating His creation and just thanking Him for giving you the ability and opportunity to worship Him by knowing that He is the Creator and that He created all of this for His glory and to let you know Who He is!

He also sent Jesus, His Son, to Earth as a baby to grow up as a human being. To be tempted and tried just as we are and in every way that we are…yet He did not sin. Remember that He was fully human because He was tempted but He overcame those temptations so that He could pay the price for us. Jesus overcame those temptations not just because He was God in the flesh because He still felt fear and hunger and heat and cold and all of the temptations which we feel. But because of His relationship with His Father, He was able to resist those temptations and do so many good things while He was here.

If you want to know the ministry and majesty of your Savior, read the books of John and Romans. These two books encapsulate His miracles and His Majesty as the Son of God Who came to seek and save us because we were lost. When we feel His touch and know that we truly need His Presence in our lives, we should seek Him just as hard as He sought us.

Jesus was human too

He gave up some of His deity and clothed Himself in humanity for the time that He spent here, but He never sinned. Did He make mistakes like we do? Possibly a few, but they weren’t recorded. When He worked in His father’s shop as a carpenter I imagine He banged His fingers a few times or got some splinters in His fingers. The Bible says that He didn’t sin, it says nothing about any mistakes like those I described. That is the most incredible thing about our Lord and Savior, He lived as a human being with our limitations but He was still God. He was still in control of the demons and diseases and the storms and even life and death!

But…He was human in some ways, the most human ways.

He was tempted. He felt hunger and pain and sorrow and fear. He likely felt many of the feelings which we feel every day of our lives, but He didn’t sin and He didn’t allow Himself to be drawn toward sin. Could we do that? Humanly speaking, not a chance. With the Holy Spirit and determination to live according to His teachings and following His example…we might come close. But in our world today it would be very hard to do or very nearly impossible unless you lived in a very secluded place.

In fact, I don’t believe that we could live even one whole day without a sinful thought or action, even with the Holy Spirit living within us as Christians. Why? Because we are just not attuned to His leading and His voice well enough to hear and obey everything that He says. Jesus could and He did live that way because He listened to His Father and the Holy Spirit. Why did Jesus go through all of this?

For you!

This was planned from the beginning, even before the Earth was formed or Eden became a garden! God knew that we would need a Savior and Jesus was tasked with this long before you or I came into this world. He lived and worked as a carpenter so He wasn’t some frail, sickly Jesus. The only reason He had trouble carrying the cross was because of the beating that He took before the crucifixion. He had already lost a couple of pints of blood (likely) before they placed the cross on His shoulders. Yes, Jesus went through all of this for your sins and mine just so we could become joint heirs with Him in God’s Kingdom.

Once you give your heart to Jesus and repent of your sinful life, your salvation can never be lost or taken from you.