Believe…


John 3:16-18 says: 16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Our job, as Christians, is to tell others about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! It is not a glamorous job nor is it one which pays big money. The benefit is eternal because there are so many who need to hear this small message which has eternal benefits! God loves each of you who are reading this and it is a message which has made a difference in millions of lives over the past two thousand years. This message is not about how to get rich, although as heirs with Christ we already are.

God has given us the opportunity to be a part of His family in Heaven, why would you turn that down? Give your heart to Jesus and take your place in God’s home for eternity, because He has plans which go beyond our imagination!

Amen

The hurt will heal


Sometimes we look at our lives and wonder, “Why am I going through all of this?”. Most of the time we can’t truly find an answer to that question, at least not one which makes sense anyway. The pain of a lost loved one or of a child taking a step toward a life of addiction or crime will be ongoing and in most cases may never go away entirely. So what are we supposed to do with this kind of pain?

The solution may sound simple and uncaring but it is this: give the problem to God. There are too many people who will read this and say “Are you serious?”; my answer is “Yes, I am!”.

Just how are we supposed to give our problem to God is the answer which many people have sought for centuries and unfortunately there are few who have found the best way to do this. We will walk down the aisle and place a token which represents our problems on the altar but when we leave the church we pick it up spiritually and take it with us. We never REALLY leave it in God’s hands until we have come to the point where we can truly see that there is nothing which we can do to fix this problem.

We use God as the last best hope for solving our problem when He should be the first Person that we leave the problem with, no matter what the problem may be! Remember, God created the entire cosmos, so since He did that your problems and mine are easy for Him to handle if we will give them to Him. Why do we try to keep our problems until we finally realize that we can’t do anything about them? Because we are prideful and we think that we can handle the problems in our lives regardless of how involved or how big those problems might be.

God never intended for us to do everything in our lives alone or by our own strength. He had intended for our existence to be a cooperative life between Himself and us. But we know that Satan crept into the scene and changed that, but God already had a plan in mind before that happened.

Jesus, the Son of God, was going to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem and He would take the sins of the world on Himself and be sacrificed on the cross to pay our penalty so that we wouldn’t have to. Then, on the third day, Jesus came out of the tomb and taught His disciples for another forty days and then ascended to the right side of the Father. He conquered death and the grave and gave us a way to be saved from hell if we will believe in Him and His sacrifice.

Give your life and your heart to Jesus and give your problems to God so that you can serve Him and be His representative until He comes again. Because He said He was coming again and God can’t lie!

We get dirty every day


JesusSandalsHave you ever thought about the Middle Eastern practice of washing someone’s feet as they come into your house? It is a respectful and refreshing idea although many people would not like it in a worship setting today. But really why would you feel this way toward a practice which is meant to show humility and the attitude of servanthood?

People are embarrassed to show their feet in public especially during religious services, but we wear sandals and other shoes during the summer which shows our feet to the public. But, that’s different, isn’t it? With those shoes or sandals on, you are not placing your feet in someone’s hands to be washed and dried in public. Our feet today don’t get dirty like the feet of Jesus and His disciples did because we wear shoes or boots and socks and all they had to wear was sandals. On the dusty roads which they walked on their feet would get dirty every day, all day long.

The shepherds who came to see the baby which the angels had told them about had dirty feet. We get dirty in our world by being a part of it. Maybe we don’t get dirt on our hands or feet but we are still part of this world. The anger and fear and frustration and many other emotions build up and cause us to think and feel things, sometimes, which are not the thoughts or the feelings which followers of Jesus should have. But…we do have them.

The only way to be clean in this world of 24/7 news, and most of it is bad news, is to read God’s Word and pray over it while we read it. Why? So that the Living Water of God’s Word can cleanse us! Will it make us holy or sinless? No, but it will give us the wisdom and a word of hope from God to carry us through the problems of the day, each day so that we can carry His message to those who need it.

God gave us this magnificent and wonderful resource and many people who claim to be Christians only read it once or twice a week and even then only during a Bible study or church service. We should be drinking from this Living Water every day, washing our minds and our hearts with it so that we can take it to a world that is hurting. Because they need to hear it as well and if we don’t take it to them…who will?

Life is hard enough without the Hope which comes from knowing Jesus but with that Hope, each one of us can make a difference. Even if we only make a difference in one person’s life, then maybe they will make a difference in someone else’s life or maybe in two people’s lives and if it keeps multiplying like that eventually everyone will at least hear the gospel of Jesus, whether they act on it or not.

Frustration


What frustrates you? It actually sounds like a question of your pet peeves and it could be. Does frustration cause you to get upset or angry, some days my frustration meter is set very low. Then there are other days when I can get a lot done and frustration never even enters the picture at all.

So, why am I concentrating on this emotion of frustration? Well, it could be that there are many more people in our everyday lives who are frustrated and either they don’t recognize it or they just refer to it another way like “I’m pissed off!!!!”.

It manifests itself as many things do in our lives. By hiding or disguising itself as something else. But, why am I bringing this up on this site? Because Jesus was frustrated too. It frustrated Him to find the priests and the scribes who knew the Scriptures intimately and yet they didn’t recognize Him. They didn’t pay attention to the signs which pointed to His birth or that He knew so much about Scripture when He was only 12 years old. They were amazed by His knowledge but they never investigated the particulars of His birth or His family.

They weren’t looking for a Messiah from a family who wasn’t connected or wealthy, so even if they heard and saw the signs they just ignored them. Don’t you think He would’ve been frustrated about this? I do. This is probably why He ran the money changers and those selling animals out of the Temple, not only were they using God’s house as a market but they were doing it without honoring God in reverence.

Frustration can be the spark which lights the fire of anger and then anger turns to rage which can lead to some very nasty consequences today. Even deadly ones if you can’t get control of it. But…what can we do about it? That’s where this gets tricky. Most of us just ignore our frustrations or at least try to, but sometimes the feelings which are brought to the surface with them don’t go away so easily.

That is why we need to keep our minds and our hearts focused on Jesus and His Word. I know this is asking a lot since most of us have a lot on our plates with work and bills and family and school and….the list could go on and on. My point is this: focus on Jesus and your relationship with Him first every day, then much of what comes up during the day both of you can handle it together!

I am not saying that this will end our anger and frustration issues immediately, but having Jesus and His Word present in your daily life every day will give you strength and mostly His strength to get through whatever comes. Whether it is good or bad, it won’t matter because you are walking with Jesus through your day with its trouble and with its triumphs as well.

Do this for a week and see how your week progressed, then do it again and again until walking through life’s ups and downs with Jesus will be second nature and the downs will be fewer than the ups I imagine. Give it a try. I have tried my best to do this ever since I was called to be a preacher, some days I succeed and some I don’t. But it has gotten easier and in the last seven years, it gets easier every day. I don’t mean that I can perfectly do this every day, all the time but I do work at it and I am getting better at it. But…it is a job. As Jesus said: “Then Jesus said His to disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Where is your treasure?


Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Have you ever wondered exactly what you are doing in this life or why you are doing it? Many people seem to be attempting to buy anything and everything that they can afford as if they truly believe the saying “he who dies with the mostest wins the prize”. How do you figure that? When you die your children will inherit what you had and if there are no children then those “things” which you bought with your money will be sold or given to someone else.

Why do we use up our lives chasing after things which can’t possibly give us any fulfillment or joy in this life, other than bragging rights…maybe? The problem with this kind of living is that when your life is over, what will people say or think about you and who you were? Will they remember you as someone who tried to help those who were in need? Will they remember you as a businessman or woman who chased after as much wealth as you could possibly attain?

RaiseyourstandardofGivingHave you ever considered the eternal consequences of your life? What will your life be worth in eternity? Did your wealth, regardless of the amount, do any spiritual good in this world? Was it used for the spreading of God’s Word and His message to those who didn’t know Him?

All of these questions should be answered while you are still living so that you can try to make good use of the time that you have left until you enter into eternity. The larger question and the one which will make the most difference to you is: Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? God placed each of us here for the sole purpose of truly getting to know Him and being useful to Him in this life. Regardless of the amount of money or influence you may have in your business or in your life and the lives around you.

Everyone seems to wonder, what is my purpose or the meaning in my life, and we think about it almost from the time that they are old enough to know what a purpose is. The reality of the question is this: your life’s meaning and purpose are to be found in Jesus and serving Him and His purpose in your life. Anything which is outside of that is fluff and nonsense. Although I am sure that many will wonder exactly how am I supposed to pay my bills or save up for retirement by doing that? To that I would say lay up treasure in Heaven with what you do with your money here and now. Pay your bills but IF there is anything left put it in God’s Hands and in His Kingdom!

God did not say that we had to be preachers or evangelists. We are to use the gifts and talents which we have been given to serve the Lord in our lives and in our business, whatever it may be. God mentions many different craftsmen in the Old Testament from woodworkers and carvers to engravers and those who can make jewelry out of gold as well as shepherds and kings and priests.

Your life and mine can be useful to God in many ways and it doesn’t matter what your vocation may be. If you are a nurse then be the best one that you can be and use your talents to serve God while you are at it. If you are a police person, do that as if you were working for the Lord. Whatever occupation you are in, do it as if you were working for Jesus and make sure that your tithes go to charities which actually help people. If you can’t find a charity which does this in your town, then start one which will!

Pray about it, seek God’s wisdom for whatever you are considering and if you feel Him leading you in that direction with your money and your time then go for it! Saturate your charity or foundation with prayer and fasting if you have to but make sure that it is doing work which Jesus would be proud of. If your business isn’t one which He would be happy with then invest your profits in something which will honor God and His Kingdom.

We are sinners saved by His Grace!


Not one of us is any more than a sinner who has been saved by Jesus and His Grace from God the Father! Whether you are a bishop or a pastor with a doctorate in theology or you are a pastor who is ordained to preach but has no degree, God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Even if you are a member of the church and have been studying the Bible for many years, God truly has a plan for your life!

When you feel the Spirit speaking to your spirit and telling you that you need to be saved, don’t turn away from Him. There is nothing that you can do in any way to “help” God to bring you to salvation except by believing in Jesus for your salvation! It is God’s gift to you through faith in Jesus for your salvation.

Every Christian is a sinner saved by God’s grace through Jesus our Savior. But there are some who think that because they are blessed with much in the way of worldly blessings, that God has favored them more than others. It is possible that God has given you these blessings but are you using them for His glory or your own? Some of us have managed to be blessed with some wealth and other “blessings” which may have come to you before you were known or touched by God. Then when you become a Christian what are you supposed to do with your wealth? Use it for the increase of God’s kingdom.

In today’s world, giving your wealth away is a sign of charity toward others, but I still wonder exactly who is being exalted when you do this? Are you giving the glory to God or is it being focused on you? We are loved by God and we should try to reflect His love back into the world in whatever we do regardless of how much you might give or what you may do with your life!

When you pray to God and maybe use the model prayer which Jesus gave us, does the first line mean anything to you inside or are they just words?

“Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name”

The word “Father” is Abba in Aramaic. As stated from Dictionary.com, “Abba” is the defining term for father in the Aramaic language, spoken by Jesus and Paul as an intimate term to characterize their personal relationships with God.

So, do you revere or hallow God’s name? Do you think of Him as a close friend or as a stern and cold Father? In many ways, our relationship with our own father will characterize how we view God.

The second line is even more prophetic: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. This line point toward the Kingdom which Jesus will establish on Earth when He takes the throne of David.

The rest of that prayer asks God to forgive us of our sins and lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil. God never leads us into temptation but will always give us the strength to get out of it IF we will depend upon Him for our strength. The last couple of lines bring a prophetic view to our prayer life; “for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen”.

All that we do for Him in this life will be rewarded in the next life with Him because we have done these things for His glory and honor and not for our own. Seek Him First while you live in His strength in this life. Be useful to Him in every little thing that you do, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Consider having God’s attention


sunset-over-ocean-mothaibaphoto-prints

Have you considered that each of us has God’s attention? I know this is a very BIG and awesome question to throw out there, but have you ever thought about this at all?

In this picture it is like the light from the sun is following you along the beach. If you are walking on a beach at sunset, you will see an image like this and it doesn’t matter how many people are on the beach, all of them will have the same perspective and that is that the light coming across the water is pointed at each person or couple walking there.

That is the kind of attention which God pays to those who belong to Him. Your life is always before Him, even if you have not given your heart to Him or asked Jesus into your life. Remember, Jesus said that “not one sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s knowledge“. Don’t you realize that each of us is more important to God than a sparrow?

But, in your life, God sees and knows exactly what you have done and even where you have gone and each word which has gone forth from your mouth. God cares about your life and it is God Who sent Jesus to pay the price for each person in this world, so do all get to go to Heaven? NO! God doesn’t call every man, but He knows every man’s heart and whether they will follow Jesus after being called.

Does that mean that there are some whom God calls and some that He doesn’t? Yes. I know that sounds very picky and unfair but God knows our hearts and He knows which of us will walk with Him and do what is asked of him and who will not. So, why call someone to faith in Jesus if they are going to walk away or refuse to be a true follower of Jesus?

God is sovereign in His creation and in His Kingdom and He will do what He will, regardless of our decisions or our failures. He sent Jesus to pay for all of mankind’s sins and our debts have been paid but will every person on Earth give their heart to Jesus and follow Him as His disciples did? Of course not!

But…will you give your heart to Him and be His disciple until He calls you home to Heaven one day? Many people would truly jump at the chance of being His disciple! Why? Because He is the Creator of the cosmos! Doesn’t He deserve more recognition than a football coach or some CEO of a Fortune 500 company? He created everything around you so doesn’t that one fact give Him a bit more importance than even the President of the United States? I think it does!

Take a look through a real telescope one night or look at some of the pictures which the Hubble telescope has taken. God created ALL OF THAT! He did it mostly to watch us go “WOW!!”. Isn’t that neat? Looking out into space and seeing everything that He made as the Bible says, “He stretched out the heavens“; so don’t you think He can use your talents and your gifts for His purposes?

He knows which people can spread His message in the world and do it more effectively so that many more will come to know Him as their Lord and Savior after all God is One in Three Persons. There is God the Father and Jesus the Son and the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit and each of them was present when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan river.

Please seek Jesus out as your Savior because there are many things which will need your specific talents and abilities in His Kingdom.

Occasional belief and attendance


Do you realize that while you come to church for certain “occasions”, you are hurting your relationship with Jesus? When Jesus called His disciples, and He did so individually, He didn’t ask them to follow Him on certain days or only on the Sabbath, He just said; “Follow Me”. When we choose to “follow Jesus” only at certain times or for certain reasons we are turning Him into our version of a genie.

We are, in essence, telling God and Jesus that we don’t want You in our life on a daily basis, we just want you on those days when we need you or when we feel the need for you to be in our life. That’s pretty insulting, isn’t it? How would you feel if you or a member of your family told you that? The family wouldn’t remain a family for very long, would it?

Yet, the church is expected to remain a church even when many of its members consider coming to church is something only real, committed Christians do. Who do you think the church is made up of then? Just “sometimes Christians”? Jesus didn’t call sometimes Christians or followers, He called you to follow Him. That doesn’t give you an out on Wednesday or Thursday or Saturday, He meant every day!

Do you think the church would’ve gotten started if His disciples only followed Him when they felt like it or on certain days? NO! The church would’ve died within a couple of centuries or less if that had happened.

God sent Jesus to Judea to bring the good news of salvation to them but also to enable the gospel of salvation to be taken out to the rest of the whole world. Because, Jesus died and rose again to pay for the sins of the world (past, present, and future) not just a few people in Judea. Our idea of Jesus as our Savior is not just an idea because an idea cannot bring you salvation, but a belief in Jesus can and will bring you salvation. Your life and mine are incredibly short spans of time, even in relation to a millennium but a millennium is just a tick on the face of a clock compared to eternity. Don’t throw away eternity with God because of your life here which is but a moment in time compared to eternity!

Each of us is special to God because we are part of His Creation and He cares for each of us. When you give your heart to Jesus and believe in Him for your salvation, you become a born-again child of God and you are part of His family. He loves you at that moment and from that moment on just as He does Jesus or any other Christian!

You are special to God because HE has given you talents and abilities which He wants you to use for His Kingdom and He knows what you can do with those abilities! You can do more with them and for Him than you can do without Him or without Jesus. Simple, childlike faith in God is all that your salvation requires.

Giving your heart to Yeshua (Jesus) is a simple decision and you need to realize that His name means God saves.

The Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament was the manifestation of Jesus which appeared to the Israelites in the wilderness. He was also the Rock from which the water came to keep His people alive. He was also the cloud which protected them in the wilderness, the Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire at night. Yes, He was with the Jewish people during the Old Testament days and He fulfilled the prophecies about Himself when He did come in the flesh.

Jesus paid for your sins


God loves you and has made a way for you to have eternity as your future, but have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and HE is coming back soon.

JesuspaiditallWhen He was crucified He wore a crown of thorns and was beaten so badly that only His mother could really recognize Him. But…when He comes back He will be wearing a golden crown and a brilliant white robe with a golden sash. He will be coming to claim the throne of David and HE will rule the world for one thousand years!

The angels who spoke to His disciples told them that He would return to the Earth and in His book of Revelation, it says that He will be mounted on a white horse with the saints of God coming with Him! His rule and His government will be set up and will rule over ALL of the Earth and our world will be restored to its beauty which it was supposed to have from the beginning.

I pray that anyone who reads this will seek Him out and give your heart to Jesus as your Savior because one day soon it will become much harder to make that commitment. When the Christians are taken up from their graves and those who are alive are changed and translated from this world to Heaven, there will be a man who will bring peace to the world and stability too. But he will be the worst dictator that the world has ever seen, but the world will follow Him anyway.

Jesus did give His life as a ransom for all of our sins, but there are only a few in the world who will give their heart to Him and follow Him. Are you one of those who will do this today? Will, you learn of Him and follow Him from this day until He comes for us? I pray that you will make that decision if you haven’t already.

The days grow short in relation to His return and I don’t believe that it will be much longer at all. I won’t speculate about dates because we don’t know the day or the hour but the world will know when He claims those who have given their hearts to Him. There won’t be a doubt in their mind that something momentous has happened but it will only be those who have studied the book of Revelation who will know what has happened.

Make sure of your salvation before then.

 

Are you ready?


So much is happening today and every day in the world until it is hard to understand that it was all foretold many hundreds of years ago. Of course, the world and the media can’t see or understand that the happenings in our world were prophesied by God and that they are ordained to happen. If we pay attention to God’s Word we can see these prophecies coming to pass each time something is reported in the news.

Sometimes it is a small thing that even the media misses but it is reported by other news agencies. It may be a local news item or, a few years ago it would’ve been an actual news event but it doesn’t fit the “agenda” of the day now. Either way, you look at it, the world is drawing closer to the time of the Tribulation spoken of in the book of Revelation.

So my question stands: Are you ready for what is coming? Are you ready for the church being taken away from here and will you be going with it?

These are big questions which have eternal consequences for you and for your loved ones. Are you ready? Do you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord? Giving your heart to Him and believing that He is your Savior is all that is necessary to gain eternal life with Him. Have you made that decision yet?

How can you know that you are saved?

It is possible to know that you are saved because your faith will bring you to the conviction that you are a sinner. You don’t have to be a terrible sinner to be convicted of it, but you will know when you feel it. God’s Holy Spirit will cause you to seek out the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus. When you do, you will want to give your heart to Him and ask forgiveness for your sins. Then you will ask Jesus to make you clean through His Spirit and give you a new heart.

I know, it sounds like a lot but it really isn’t. Truly, you don’t have to do anything except believe that Jesus died and rose again on the third day. He paid the price for all of our sins on the cross and if you believe that and accept Him into your heart as your Savior you will be saved.

Here are some scriptures which will give you comfort in the fact that you are saved:

Rom. 10:9  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Eph. 2:4 But God, being  rich in mercy, because of  His great love with which He loved us,
Eph. 2:5 even when we were  dead  in our transgressions, made us alive together  with Christ ( by grace you have been saved),
Eph. 2:6 and  raised us up with Him, and  seated us with Him in  the heavenly places in  Christ Jesus,
Eph. 2:7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph. 1:13 In  Him, you also, after listening to  the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph. 1:14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of  God’s own possession,  to the praise of His glory.

Remember, the thief on the cross gave his heart to Jesus through his belief in Who Jesus was. He couldn’t be baptized and he couldn’t tell people about his belief, but Jesus said that “Today you will be with Me in Paradise“.

I pray that all who read this will be encouraged to give their hearts to Jesus by believing in Him for your salvation. Don’t turn away from His call on your life because you may not get another chance to be a child of God and you can only do that by making the choice when the Holy Spirit prompts you and convicts you that you need Jesus as your Savior!

Bridge2Salvation