What do you hear?

When you go to church or any worship service in worshiping Jesus, what do you go to hear? A show with flashing lights and singing with a band and maybe a little five or ten minute sermon? Do you go to church to learn about your Savior and what He really did for you? Are you a member of a mega-church with so many people that you have to have a huge screen to see who is preaching?

Jesus warned us of the time that we are living in and it is found in the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation. The church at Laodicea was a church which reminds us of the dangers of being comfortable with our worship service.

Here is the quote from the book of Revelation:

To the Church in Laodicea
(Colossians 2:1-5)

14 To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation.

15 I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16 So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, white garments so that you may be clothed and your shameful nakedness not exposed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be earnest and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

We live in a time when pastors and churches water down the Word of God and they don’t teach His Truth from Scripture, just as this church was. They weren’t cold toward the message of salvation but they weren’t hot toward spreading the gospel either. They were trying but not too hard, lukewarm. Many churches and pastors today do the same thing. They compromise the Word of God by accepting sinful behavior as being normal in order to get more members on their roles. They don’t call sin what it is and teach that it is acceptable even when they know that God opinion of sin has not changed!

We cannot compromise the message of God’s Word and we shouldn’t be trying to make it more acceptable to those who are practicing sinful lifestyles which God does not approve of! Just because every other media outlet does this doesn’t mean that the church should be going along with sin even when we know that God and His Word don’t accept it nor condone it in any way. If we do this then we are no different from the world around us and we shouldn’t even be preaching from God’s Word at all. Pick out a self-help book and use it as a “bible” if you are going to be like the rest of the world.

I will preach and teach from God’s Word until He calls me home one day and if you don’t like that message then you don’t have to come to my church or read this blog anymore.

Feast or famine

This saying has almost become cliche’ today and they use it for so many things until the meaning is almost lost to the younger generation. In the world both of these are easy to recognize and their meanings are very clear. Feast is when things are going really well and you have money and enough food to eat. Even your career is going well when you are feasting.

Famine, on the other hand is when things are not going well at all. Your home is being foreclosed and taken from you, you’ve lost your job and there is no money for food. You may even be living in a place where there has been a famine in more ways than one and people are starving to death.

But what if you applied these terms to your spiritual life? How would you read them and assign meaning to them then? Does feast refer to the days that you attend church with other believers? Does that mean that you don’t seek God counsel during the week, so you are going through a famine in your spiritual life between Sabbath’s? Christians are not supposed to live their spiritual lives this way.

Yes, you do go to a worship service to be fed the Word and taught about it but when you leave then you are supposed to fellowship with God until the next time. The disciples didn’t just meet up with Jesus on those days when He was teaching in the synagogue. They were with Him every day regardless of which direction He was going or who they might meet. They were near Him day and night so they heard His teachings every day not just weekly or once a month.

John even wrote in his gospel, “if all of the things were written about Him that He did, the world could not contain the books“. I paraphrased John’s words but you get the idea. Jesus did many miracles that we will never know about until we are with Him. But living a Christian life in “feast or famine” mode is not the way to live in Christ and Christ in you! The Holy Spirit, the third of the Trinity, is with you from the time you are saved. You have a member of the Trinity living with you, inside you and He is every bit as much God as the Father and the Son are. I don’t think that we consider that we have a part of the Creator Who teaches you about Jesus and helps you to understand His Word.

Living the sanctified life of a Christian, saved by His Grace, would not be possible if the Holy Spirit wasn’t there to show us and teach us when we are reading and learning from God’s Word. We wouldn’t act as a Christian in the slightest degree if it weren’t for the Spirit touching us and teaching us when we are tempted to do something we shouldn’t! God gives us the strength and His Spirit to be able to make it one day at a time in our walk with Him and that is what we should do. Get through today, then study God’s Word a bit tonight, then get through tomorrow and so on until we are called home.

PS: If there are any prayer requests or something that you would like for me to pray about, anything at all, leave a comment. I will add your request to the others that I get from the community.

God loves you

Have you ever considered just how AWESOME that is? The Creator of the universe loves YOU! He loves each and every person on the Earth and those who haven’t even been born yet!

Why would God love us? Because He is our Creator and our designer! He knows you and me better than any person could ever know us. We will never really know exactly how deeply and intimately we are known until we are in Heaven with Him. I pray that all of you who read this will seek Jesus out as your Savior. Read the books of John and Romans and you will find your Savior and your eternity in Him.

If He calls the stars by name, don’t you think He knows your name too?

Even in the foggy places…

Everywhere we go in our travels or in life, God is there. You may not see Him but He is there. God cares for His creation and we are a part of His Creation. There are billions of stars and galaxies in the universe to declare the awesome power of God but there is only one of each person on Earth. Isn’t that amazing!? Even if you have a twin sibling, you may look very much like each other but there are differences which make each of you very special in God’s Kingdom.

All of the places where we can travel to on Earth are there to declare His majesty and glory. Whether you believe in Him or not, He loves you. Regardless of your troubles or your trials, God is always just a prayer away if you believe. If you don’t believe yet, He is still only a prayer away because He does care about all of us.

Even in the places where God seems to be absent in any form, He is there. We need to have faith in Him, especially when we are in need of His strength and His Hand in our life. Whether it is for a healing from disease or strength to get through depression or for our salvation, He is always near and we should seek Him for our healing from whatever it may be that is causing our troubles today and every day.

It doesn’t matter what the “pundits” on TV or radio say about God’s existence, He said in His Word that He is coming back to rule the Earth and to undo the wrongs which Satan has brought on those in this world. Since God can’t lie, He’s coming back. When? We really can’t speculate about that, but with the prophecies which have already come to pass and very few which are left I would say that almost anyone who is alive today will likely see Him return.

God has provided a way for us to be with Him in eternity…if we will believe in His Son, Jesus for our salvation. Attending church services, reading the Bible, praying for friends and family are all good things to do but if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior and believed in your heart for your salvation, these are only tokens. You have been going through the motions of acting like a Christian but if He isn’t your savior and your life hasn’t changed from what you were before He became your Savior, then I would seriously question whether you are His. Accepting Him spiritually into your heart and allowing that change in your life is much different than just “acting like a Christian”.

Seek Him as your Savior, follow Him daily, read and pray about His Word and wisdom you find in the Bible so that you will know for sure that you belong to Him and He belongs to you!

Be like Jesus…

When we get to know Jesus, the greatest joy that we can experience is to become more like Him every day. The problem is that we be don’t want it to take a long time, we want the transformation right now! When you are young, this can discourage you because of the immediate nature in the world today. We want “microwave changes” to happen in our life or faster if God would do so. Being a Christian and living this life is not about an instant change, it is a process which begins when you have given your heart to Him and then continues each day until He calls you home.

But, when you come to know Jesus as a mature person then you bring along all of the learning and thoughts that you have learned prior to knowing Him. That has to be trimmed away and sometimes it’s painful to go through this pruning process. Jesus said that we can do nothing for the Kingdom of God without Him. Living your new Christian walk with Jesus is essential not only for yourself but for those around you to see it and hear it in your words. Living each day like Jesus did is not impossible but it requires faith in Him and commitment to Him as well.

Many people think that because Jesus was the Son of God that we can’t live our lives by copying His life and His works. Why not? His disciples went about doing the things which He did and telling others about the Kingdom of God and the requirements of salvation. If they did it then why can’t we do it too? It requires faith in Him and it is the kind of faith which many in the church today just don’t have. It is not the faith of someone who spends a few minutes for a couple of days each week reading the Bible. It is not the faith of someone who attends church once or twice every month.

The kind of faith that I’m talking about here is the kind where you wake up each day thanking God for today and the possibilities of it. It is the kind of faith which, in prayerful speech, walks with God and Jesus during the day…regardless of the circumstances. Seeking His wisdom and His touch in everything that you do and say in whatever situation you are in.

God cares for us far more than we can know. That is the reason that Jesus was sent to pay for the whole world’s sins. The debt has been paid and it is up to each of us to accept His gift through our belief in Jesus Christ. If or rather when we do accept it, we will have eternity with Him to know others who have accepted His Son as well. If you do not accept Jesus as your Savior then you will live for an eternity regretting your choice. It is up to each of us which path we follow and we are given that choice at some point in our lives. So…choose Life through Jesus.

How do you feel?

This was a perplexing question for a certain Vulcan in one of the Star Trek movies. In particular it was the fourth one with the original crew. Spock was being taught by computer all of the knowledge that he was supposed to know. But when the computer asked him, “How do you feel?”, he was perplexed. Vulcan’s lived their lives trying to live in a completely logical way without the baggage of feelings and emotions. His mother, Amanda, was a woman from Earth and she explained it to him like this: “Spock, the computer knows that you are my son. Therefore you have feelings because you are partly human and they have to deal with their feelings”. (This dialogue may be a paraphrase since it has been a few years since I watched this movie)

Why do I ask this question or even bring up this science fiction movie in my blog about serving Jesus in our lives? Because it is our feelings at times which cause us real problems. Also, it gets us to notice just how much the unbelieving world is a bit off. Think about it. After we discover or are discovered by “aliens” who are benevolent and helpful since we learned how to go faster than light, we get rid of poverty, war, hunger, etc. Do you really think that mankind is capable of getting that good in just a century after finding out that we aren’t the only people in the universe?

In almost six thousand years, by the reckoning of the Bible and its timeline, most of the world has never been able to get along with each other. We fight over religion, oil, land, race, you name it. There have been very few peaceful years in the world’s history in the past six thousand years or so. Why would a momentous occasion like the one in Star Trek cause us to suddenly just get along? It wouldn’t! The fact is that the creator of this “Utopian future” was a devout evolutionist and an atheist.

Do we allow our feelings and our prejudices to get us into trouble? All of the time! That is why the only way that we can get along is with the Spirit of God living within us and giving us the wisdom of God to navigate through these troubled times. We can’t do it on our own and we won’t do it with “aliens” helping us either. Seek Jesus as your Savior and follow Him because He is your only way to eternity.

Contrary to Spock’s decision about feelings, they are not irrelevant. Feelings are things which we all have to learn to live with. In one way or another they either help us or cause us pain but we have to learn how to live with them. Only a life with Jesus can do so in a positive way.

Where is our help?

As Christians, our help comes from the Lord and the Holy Spirit. But do we always count on them or lean on them for our help or do we try to handle things ourselves until we can’t? Unfortunately, most of us fall into that last group of people whether we are believers or not. We try to do things and handle things on our own and when there seems to be no way for us to get something done…then we will cry out to God for HELP! The problem with this type of attitude and our attempts to do things like a child of two years of age, even when we are old enough to know better, is that sometimes we actually make things worse.

We should seek God’s provision and His help in every endeavor that we try to do, especially when it is something that we are doing for His Kingdom! Everyday life is also where we tend to “do it ourselves”. When you think that you can handle all of your problems without God’s help, that is usually the time when something will come along and make you rethink your thinking.

God created the whole universe! From the largest stars and galaxies down to the atoms of hydrogen which power every star you see. How could you possibly think that you could do better than the Creator? Can you create something from nothing? No but God can. Make sure that He is your Savior and Lord while there is still time in this life to do so because when you have taken your last breath here, you will be in His Presence. The outcome of that meeting depends upon your decision of belief in Jesus as your Savior or not…the choice is yours.

How soon, Lord?

For many who believe and for many who don’t believe this is a question which has been asked for the past two thousand years. Yet, God is silent…or is He?

If you read His Word and pay close attention to the prophecies in Daniel and Ezekiel and the Revelation, comparing them to each other and watching the world news with your Spirit (if you believe), you can see the prophecies coming together. If you are not a believer then you will keep wondering and scoffing at those who do believe. Many people in government and in the world are skeptical and rightly so. It has been a long time since Jesus ascended to the Father but He said that He would return. God doesn’t lie and the Bible is not a book of legends and myths as many people seem to think.

There have been signs in the heavens and here on Earth which have come to pass in the past fifty years. Just in the past five years, there were four blood moons and an eclipse which all happened on Jewish holy days. Those were not foretold in the Bible exactly, but Jesus did say that there would be signs in the heavens.

Many people have tried over the past few hundred years to predict the day or the hour or even the year that Jesus would return and all of them were wrong. When that day comes there will be no doubt about what is happening and what has happened. Anyone who has heard of these prophecies or heard a sermon about the end times or read one of the books which have been published over the years about this time in history will know what is happening. Although many will doubt and many won’t believe what it is unless they see someone taken up or see a grave opening and the body rising to meet the Lord.

How would you react if a number of people around you just vanished, leaving their shoes and clothes on the pews? If you are still in the church when this happens, what do you do? My advice to you is to make sure of your salvation now so this won’t happen to you.

Even then they will be frightened more than anything. Most will begin looking for answers, trying to find someone who can explain what is happening. In some places, there may be a few who are left that can explain what is happening. If it happens on a day that people are attending a church or worship service there will be some who thought they were “right with the Lord” but they will be left. Talk about a bad day!

You cannot earn your salvation, it is a gift from God!

Are you sure?

The prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation both speak of a time when the redeemed of the world will be taken. The book of Thessalonians also speaks of a time like this just as Jesus said in Matthew 24 that two would be in the field and one would be taken and the other left. So are you sure of your salvation and your place in the Kingdom of God? Do you belong to Him truly and completely? One day we will all find out exactly where our heart and our soul belongs because on that day…we will be taken to be with Him forever.

What if it happened this Sunday morning during the church service? Would you be in that number of people who leave their clothes and their shoes and everything which was man-made behind? Even your dentures and your hip replacements and glasses will be left in the pew. So are you sure of your salvation? Be watching for Jesus and expecting His return because it will happen and all of us need to be ready when that day comes.

Where are you, Lord?

During the times when we are either being attacked because of our faith or brought low in our health, we often ask this question. If you are wondering about the two instances which I listed in the previous sentence, it’s because those are the times when Satan or one of his flunkies are attacking us because of our faith in Jesus. 

For many people in the world who are having real problems with their health, like those suffering from cancer, faith in God is the best way to have any hope of either a complete healing or an eternal future. Are there agnostics or atheists who have these problems? I would have to say, Yes! But they don’t really have faith in God until He is the only real hope for them. Atheists don’t believe in God period, no matter what name you give Him.

I am not trying to put people down who don’t believe in God or have a very low opinion of God, but He is the only One Who can accomplish anything in your life and He will if you will believe in Him for your salvation. Does that mean that you can never have any more fun after giving your life to Him? No indeed, the fun that you will have will be tempered by your faith and by His Spirit but He doesn’t take away your enjoyment of life. You just have a different outlook toward God’s creation all around you.

He is everywhere but that doesn’t mean that you should worship a tree or an ocean or a person other than Jesus because only He is the Son of God. He paid the price to redeem you, therefore He deserves our praise and our worship every day of your life. As Jesus told His disciples, “Not even a sparrow falls that my Father doesn’t know about it”; so since God watches over the birds and the other parts of creation, He will watch over you as well.

God cares for all of His children and we are His, take comfort in this.