Immortality


It seems that there are more commercials on television about making you look young again or at least younger than you are. Why do we have such a fascination with youth? When we are young, we can’t wait to get older and when we are older we want to be young again…does that make any sense to you?

We are born needing help with everything, then we grow to a point where we think we are doing everything for everyone else, then when we get old we are back to the point of others helping us with everything all over again. It seems to be an endless circle. But honestly, I don’t want to be young again! Yes, there were many things which I could do when I was younger that I can’t do now but are those things really useful today?

Some of them may be but most of my younger days and nights were spent doing things which I would consider counter-productive today. Many of those which I thought I enjoyed way back when were sinful and dangerous. Like drinking and then driving home or smoking two and three packs of cigarettes every day. Those behaviors are thirty years or more in my past now, but some people seem to want to go back to that point.

Being young is a good thing but why can’t we look ahead of us instead of behind in our life here? Many of us see a life ahead with pain and the maladies which come with old age but I am talking about eternity…immortality with Jesus in Heaven! That life will not have the ailments and frail body which all of us have now. We will be in a body which will never die with no contacts or eyeglasses needed to see the world around us! We won’t need a cane or a wheelchair to get around in or with.

The life that believers will have in Heaven will be one of worship and praise and working in God’s Kingdom forever! There will be no night or heat or suffering or pain and anything which we associate with getting old or being old!

I know, it sounds too good to be true! But, just think about this a minute. Anyone can be saved through the name of Jesus and by His Spirit just by believing in Him and what He did for you and me. You don’t have to be a deacon or a church member for decades, just answer the call of the One Who calls you to be saved. That is all that is needed. God prepared the way for you through Jesus and all that you need to do is believe in Him and accept the atonement provided through His shed blood.

You can get baptized and become a member of a church when you accept Jesus as your Savior but the church membership isn’t a requirement for salvation. The baptism isn’t a requirement either but it is a public statement showing that you are raised to walk into a new life with Jesus. God loves you, don’t forget that bit of information. Seek Him earnestly and you will find Him.

IamtheWay

Which door will you be taking?


Have you ever considered whether you are on the way to Heaven or hell? There is only one way to Heaven and that is with belief in Jesus and His atonement for us which was paid for on the cross.

 

DoorwaytoLife

 

God’s love for us came with the appearance of Jesus and His sacrifice for all of our sins. All you have to do is believe in Him and repent of your old life and your sins. Don’t take the easy way or the way that seems to be the way which everyone else is on. Follow Jesus, ask Him to become your Savior when you feel convicted of your sins, whatever they may be!

There will be many religious people on that broad road and many will be going through the big doorway. Many of them will believe that they have been Christians for years since they attend church semi-regularly, but going through the motions of going to church and giving tithes and reading your Bible isn’t enough. If Jesus isn’t in your heart and if He hasn’t changed your life then all of those things mean nothing!

If it would surprise someone to know that you even attend church then you need to seek your salvation through God’s Word and repentance before it is too late.

Be thankful


Happy-Thanksgiving-QuotesThank God for waking you this morning.

Thank Jesus for paying for your sins.

Thank Him for making it possible for you to enter into Heaven one day.

Be thankful that God doesn’t punish our sins immediately when we forget to ask forgiveness.

Be thankful for His grace and mercy which is poured out for all of us each day.

Be thankful for all that you have and for the unanswered prayers that you thought you needed but didn’t.

Be thankful for the sunlight and the rain and the cool fall breezes to come.

Be thankful for the food that God gives you through His Word and from the garden.

Be thankful for the Living Water which flows from His Word which refreshes your soul and renews your mind as you read it.

Thank you, Lord, for all of the wonderful blessings which we receive from your hands each day…even when we take most of them for granted and don’t thank you for them like we should.

Thank you, Lord, for being our Shepherd and our Savior and our King.

Amen

So little time


Why the title of “So little time”? Because we are so close to the end of the age that’s why! I am not going to try to predict anything here, but if you pay attention to the events happening around the world, we are getting very close. When will the church be taken up to Heaven? I have no idea. It could be tonight or three months from now or even three years from now. But, in God’s time, it will happen and it will likely happen sooner than most people think it will.

The timing of the “rapture” of the church and its believers and the beginning of the Tribulation are entirely up to God. There are no clues which give the date for these things found in the Bible. There are some prophecies which foretell the things which will happen before that day and many of those are happening right now. But to think that you can come up with a date and time is foolish. God’s Word is not that specific for clues to the Tribulation or the time of the rapture as some seem to think it is.

God cares for the whole human race and He is working to bring as many to a saving grace through Jesus as possible before that day comes. He is the only Person who knows the end from the beginning and He knows the names written in the Book of Life. When those are fulfilled and no more are joining the ranks of the Bride of Christ, which is the church redeemed, then the trumpet will sound and there will be a shout for all of the dead in Christ to rise! Then those of us who are alive will be caught up with them to be with Him forever.

This prophecy is the only one left to be fulfilled before the Tribulation begins. It will begin with the peace treaty between Israel and its enemies all around it, but until then everything will continue on as it has before. Your eternity, whether you believe in God or Jesus or not, will be determined by your decision toward Him. You will enter into eternity by being judged by the actions of your life OR you will be welcomed into eternity by being a redeemed sinner covered by the blood of Jesus.

I know there are some who think that Christianity is a “bloody religion” just because of the death of Jesus on the cross. It could be called that because it is the blood of Jesus which paid the debt for all of our sins, but we are talking about His blood, the Lamb of God, which took away the sins of the world! Whether everyone accepts this or not, and most don’t, it is still part of what God put in place for our redemption. You can choose to believe in it and the Person who died and rose again for you or not, but the fact is that your belief in Him and what He did is the only way to gain access to Heaven.

God provided this and it was put in motion long before the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. As the Bible says, “the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world“, Jesus was prepared to die for all of mankind even before Adam was created! Make sure of your eternity and place your faith in Him. Amen

Bridge2Salvation

How are we blessed by God?


Anything that falls into the category of an expression of God’s goodness and love toward us. In many ways we may not feel blessed by God, sometimes I don’t feel blessed by God. The apostle Paul likely didn’t feel blessed when he was flogged or put in jail because of his obedience to God, but he was.

How was he blessed?

Look at it the way that Paul did. He said that he was always pressing toward the goal. Paul was looking toward the goal of being in the presence of God. Well, don’t you have to die to see God? Yes, but death is just a stepping stone from this life to our eternal life. Your address changes, just as Billy Graham said about his death, his address changed but he is more alive now than he ever was!

I know, we look at the idea of blessings as being blessed in this life. Why should God give us the best in this life? Do you obey God in all things, every day, all day in every decision that you go through? No, you don’t and I don’t either. I try to obey God daily, but we all fail in some way, even if it is a small way. But, even a small detour or a small wiggle away from God’s will in your life is disobedience.

Can we obey Him in all things in our life? We can try. We can ask Him to give us the wisdom and the strength to obey His will and purpose for us and then listen to Him through the reading of His Word. The blessings which we are given are not the ones which we would choose or even ones which we expect, but they will be something which God has deemed you worthy of receiving right now.

Do you realize that God’s blessings are irrefutable and permanent, even into eternity? They are the only things which we will be able to take into Heaven with us when this life is over. We only take our eternal body and the blessings which God has blessed us with. Nothing which comes from this Earth like shoes or clothes or rings or watches will go with you into Heaven, but those blessings which God has given you in this life will. 

I am not speaking of money or fame or cars or anything which this world sees as part of your success. I am speaking of the joy which you feel in worshiping God, the love that you feel when you read His Word, the knowledge that God has given you a purpose in this life to do that which He has given you to do and accomplish for His Kingdom. Those are the blessings which the world outside of His Kingdom don’t understand and don’t even recognize as blessings.

Psalm 24: 1-5

The Earth is the Lord’s

1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

What makes your life different?


In every book in the Bible, the one thing which makes each person important is…obedience. This very same ingredient is necessary for today’s world because God wants us to be obedient. Consider what would’ve happened if Moses had said “No!” to God at the burning bush? What would’ve happened in Israel if the prophets refused to do what God wanted? Jonah tried that, and it still worked out the way God wanted.

God will bring His will to pass and if you decide that you don’t want to help Him, then you can look for some things to come into your life which won’t work until you decide to work for God’s purpose instead of your own! Being obedient to the calling which God has placed in your life is necessary because it is what God expects from us. Remember, Jonah, as I said in the paragraph above, didn’t want to go to Ninevah like God wanted him to. He tried to go against God’s will too.

The problem with going against God’s call and will for your life is that God’s will doesn’t stop. His will is always finished the way that He intended it, like it or not. If you won’t do His will, then God will find someone who will or He will convince you to finish the call that was placed on you! Obedience has always been one of the qualities which God has required of His servants and the ones He has called as prophets or priests or even Kings.

Belief in Him and His purposes is also part of that requirement along with obedience and this is part of the reason that many people don’t serve Him today. Many of them attend church and they may read some verses in the Bible, some may even study the Bible a bit but that is as far as they want to go with their faith and their walk with Jesus.

Why?

Because of their own limiting beliefs and their lack of obedience to His calling on their lives, they will not have a fulfilling walk or relationship with Jesus. In contrast with actually obeying God’s call on your life, when you think you know what He wants you to do and you go ahead with that, God will just stand back and let you work on your own until you find that you can’t do what you think He wants! You need to be attentive enough to hear Him and follow His instructions.

Proverbs 3 says this: 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Oh, my gosh it’s from King James! How will I ever understand that!

I like the King James Bible because of its simplicity. The truth of God’s Word is present in all translations. If the Bible is translated faithfully from the Greek and Hebrew then His message is there for all to read and understand. Have faith in Him and follow Him, allow Him to lead you in your daily walk and believe in Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross and all of this will lead to a walk with Jesus that will carry you into eternity and hopefully will bring others along with you.

Are you ready?


For years people have been wondering when the end of the age will be and when will Jesus return? His return to the Earth to rule as King will be after the Tribulation has run its course and that is very likely the end of the age if you are talking about the church age. We have been living in the church age since He went back to the right hand of the Father almost two thousand years ago and people have been looking for His return for most of that time.

heaven-or-hell-eternal-destinyGod has the plan in the works but there is no timetable that we can look at to know when because Jesus said that it would happen in a moment. He told His disciples that only the Father knows the day and the hour, so we don’t have access to that information. So…are you ready? Remember, the first indication of the Tribulation will be the church being taken into Heaven. All of those who have put their faith in Jesus, whether alive or dead, will be raised to immortality to meet Him in the clouds.

Some of the books and movies which have spoken about this have tried to show those souls as lights going up. The way that Jesus described it would show otherwise. He said that two will be sleeping and one will be taken and the other left. Two would be grinding meal, one will be taken the other left. In a moment, in the twinkle of your eye, like blinking and someone you were just talking to will be gone. Their clothes and shoes and all man-made material will be left in front of you, but they will be with Jesus.

This is not a joke and it isn’t a cop-out in life because when this happens there will be lots of pain and heartache in the world. Many people may be killed because of drivers or pilots who have been taken and their cars or planes don’t have anyone to control them anymore. So many will be trying to figure out what has happened and only those who have been to church or a Bible study and learned about the “end of the age” and Jesus will know. If they are still here they didn’t make the decision to give their heart to Jesus and they will know that also.

This time will be difficult and dangerous for those who know what happened but didn’t follow Jesus because they can’t tell anyone. They will not know who to trust at this point, even if they are friends or family. Those in charge will be offering rewards for Bibles and believers too. This is the real beginning of the Tribulation and it will only get worse for the next seven years from this point.

Please, don’t wait until these things are taking place to search for your Savior. You could find Him and get to know Him at this time but it will be harder and more dangerous. The world around you will not know Him nor will it accept your belief in Him. God loves you and has made a way for you to be saved now and it is through belief in Jesus and His atoning work on the cross! Make sure that you get to know Him soon because it is to your eternal advantage and for your home in Heaven!

The Christmas Storm


THE CHRISTMAS STORM: A Modern Parable by Paul Harvey

“This is about a modern man, one of us, he was not a Scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man, generous to his family, upright in his dealings with others. But he did not believe in all that incarnation stuff that the Churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense to him and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just could not swallow the Jesus story of God coming to earth as a man. I’m truly sorry to distress you, he told his wife, but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve. He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he would much rather stay home, but that he would wait up for them. He stayed, they went. Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another and another. At first, he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. Well, when he went to the front door, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter they had tried to fly through his large landscape window. Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze. He remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter — if he could direct the birds to it. He quickly put on his coat and galoshes, trampled through the deepening snow to the barn, opened the door wide, and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in and he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable, but to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them, he tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms — instead, they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn. Then he realized they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature if only I could think of some way to let them know they can trust me. That I’m not trying to hurt them but to help them. How? Any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. If only be a bird myself he thought. If only I could be a bird and mingle with them and speak their language, and tell them not to be afraid, and show them the way to the safe, warm barn. But I’d have to be one of them so they could see and hear and understand.

BirdsInWinterAt that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sound of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells. Adeste Fideles. Listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

The man in the story realized just why God came to Earth as Jesus, born into this world as a baby and lived here as a man. The birds wouldn’t follow him because he wasn’t a bird, in the same way, we wouldn’t follow God unless He became a man like us to know the feelings and the sorrows of being human.

So, after that story, I want to ask you about all of the shepherds that God has used in many wonderful ways. How many people in the Bible were shepherds that God used for His purposes?

In Genesis, Abel was a shepherd before Cain killed him. He gave the first of his flock to the Lord as a sacrifice. It may be worth noting that many biblical figures were shepherds, among them the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, most of the twelve tribes were shepherds, the prophet Moses, King David, and the Old Testament prophet Amos, who was a shepherd in the rugged area around Tekoa.

All of these men were used by God as leaders and kings of Israel, just as Jesus came to be the Good Shepherd not only for Israel but for the whole world or at least those who will believe in Him for their salvation.

The angels visited the shepherds who were keeping the lambs for the Passover in order to tell them about the Savior being born in Bethlehem, lying in a manger. Why did God do that? Was it because Jesus was to be a leader, a King, the Savior of the world? Yes, it was because of all of these things and more!

God used His Son as our Savior and as the Lamb of the Passover, given as the one and only sacrifice for all of the world’s sins. He has also used other shepherds in the past, as well as other kings and armies to punish and do His will and purposes. Just as He does today. God can do anything He wishes, through anyone He pleases, whether they are saved or not, and He will make sure that whatever His purpose is, it will be done.

God raised up Pharaoh in order to show the world, at the time, that the gods in Egypt weren’t gods at all. He used Goliath to bring David into view of the whole army of Israel and show that if you fight with God on your side, you can’t be defeated!

God used shepherds because in society and regarding worship in the Temple, they were considered unclean. Yet, it was the shepherds who took care of the lambs which were sacrificed for the sins of the people. God can use anyone, in any situation or occupation, to accomplish His purposes. Since we are about to go into a new year in a few days, please be in prayer asking Him to show you what you can do for Him and His Kingdom this year. Some of us have an important job already as parents because we are teaching the next generation about their Savior. Seek Him out in prayer and in reading His Word this year to find your place, your part in His Kingdom because He does have a place for you.

Savior


The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom, there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And there were shepherds residing in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. 9 Just then, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! 12 And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him. 18 And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, which was just as the angel had told them.

All of this was researched by Luke, the physician so that we could have an accurate story of the prophecy and fulfillment of the birth of our Savior. God completes His intentions in His time and in the way that He deems fit to do so, bringing glory to Himself and also to make known His sovereignty in all things concerning His Creation.

We are loved by God far more deeply and completely than we can imagine or comprehend and yet we live as if He doesn’t exist and doesn’t care about us. We also live like we have no interest in His salvation and plans for our lives, mainly because many of us don’t! We only want to do or believe the things which give us pleasure or wealth or anything which makes us feel good.

Seeking pleasure and temporary things like money or fame is what the world believes makes us successful but what about when this life is over? God made mankind to be an eternal creature with an eternal soul which goes into eternity, the life that you have after that is up to you and your choices in this life. Make the right choice.

Merry Christmas!Jesusfitsinyourheart

Does God hear me?


I have wondered that in the past and I am sure that many others have as well. We pray asking for God to heal or help in some way in our lives, sometimes we ask for specific things and yet we rarely see the answer to this prayer. God does answer and He hears your prayers and mine, but He may not answer your prayer in the way that you expect Him to. Then again, your answer may come to you in the form of a friendship with someone and we aren’t sensitive enough to take notice of the offer.

To answer the question in my title: YES, God does hear you! Even if you aren’t a Christian, He hears your prayer. Especially if you are asking for His forgiveness and wanting Jesus to come in and straighten out your life! Does God hear the prayers of those who don’t believe in Jesus or refuse to believe? Yes, they are heard but until their heart is touched by the Holy Spirit to break it open enough to let Jesus inside, those prayers go unanswered. I mean, God is not a genie so He doesn’t give you millions of dollars or a jet or a really fancy car, especially if you aren’t a believer.

God loves each of us with such a deep love until we can’t understand it! Because we just can’t comprehend a love which is given and expressed so deeply even for those of us who are still on the fence in our belief in Him. Being “on the fence” in your decision to believe is a decision too because you are not a believer but you haven’t decided to give your life to Him either. That is a very dangerous place to be!

Consider it from this perspective: You are walking on the ridge of a hill and there is a fire raging on one side, completely out of control and heading your way. On the other side is a green valley with a river and trees that is very peaceful and cool. Which would you choose? Any sane person would choose the cool valley with the river in it, but in life, there are many more people who tend to walk on the ridge for years. Why? Because spiritually you can’t see the flames or the fire and that is the problem.

Both valleys look almost identical, except the one with the spiritual fire has thorns and cactus and snakes which you can’t see until you wander into it. This is how Satan fools people into thinking that his way is just as good until you get caught and feel like you can’t get away. If we all had eyes which could discern the spiritual dangers around us, then the world would be a much different place than what it is today.

The gift which God has given us is that we have access to eternity with Him IF we will believe in Jesus and His atonement for us! That’s it! Believe in Him and the work which He did on the cross so many years ago. Then, ask forgiveness for your sins and turn away from your old life and follow Him into eternity! Living in Heaven won’t be boring by any means, but it will be filled with awe at all of the wonders of God and His grace given to each of us!

Hell is eternal as well, so if you don’t make that choice of following Jesus and believing in Him for your salvation, then that is where your eternity will be. It will not be an eternal party as some have thought and expressed in front of friends and many others. Anyone who ends up there will find that God’s Presence doesn’t dwell with those in hell. There is no water, no grass, no real life at all. The only constant there is the pain, suffering of your immortal body which cannot die but it will feel the pain of separation and torment.

The choice for you is between the Life of Heaven or the separation and pain of hell…which will you choose?