Seek to know Him


Jesus tells His disciples to “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” but what exactly does that mean? Considering the subject which He was teaching them about at the time was “worry”, this particular passage was in reference to God’s willingness to provide for our needs, and their needs at the time. Worrying about life or food or clothing does nothing except cause more stress in your life which none of us truly needs today!

In the world that we live in, life is stressful enough without worrying about what you will eat or wear or if you can pay the mortgage this month. God knows you have needs along these lines and He will give you the ability to pay for them or acquire them in time for your needs to be met. Notice that I said “needs” not wants! God doesn’t provide luxury until you are rewarded in Heaven for your service to Him in this life. You may be able to acquire luxury items in this life but you would be wise to pay your debts as soon as possible.

All of us have debts of one kind or another. Some have a mortgage which is still being paid or a car/truck loan which is still due. Some of us have credit card debt which means we are spending money that we don’t even have yet. All of these make us slaves to the loans which we have to pay in one way or another. God advises us to pay your debts as soon as possible and this advice can be found in Proverbs.

HumbleGod does give us the ability to get wealth but we should not use it as a way of making others jealous of it. We should use whatever wealth we have as a way to bless others and in turn, we will be blessed by God. As it is said, “God loves a cheerful giver“. As you are blessed, be a blessing to others. Being humble and giving of your blessings to others will bless you in ways that you don’t know about until you are in Heaven.

What is freedom?


Freedom is the ability to enjoy certain liberties without being persecuted for enjoying them.

The dictionary meaning of freedom is this: the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. “We do have some freedom of choice”

  • the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.

We enjoy freedom not only because of the sacrifice of our soldiers in times of war and peace, but because of our law enforcement officers and other emergency response personnel too.

We also enjoy an amount of freedom from the burden of sin in our lives when we have given our hearts and our lives to Jesus and repent of our old way of life. Being a Christian is not just saying some words and getting wet by being baptized, it is a lifestyle and a relationship with Him. When you have given your life to Him you can enjoy the freedom that comes with it knowing that you have walked away from your old life.

Our freedom in Christ also gives us the ability to do and say those things which need to be said and done in the presence of others who may not know Jesus. Turn away from the drinking and smoking and give thanks for your freedom today so that others may want what you have in this life and may move on to an excellent eternity in the next.Pray-for-strength

Darkness and Light


In our world today we live in places of both darkness and light. Sometimes it can be seen or heard or reported in the news, sometimes it is more spiritual in nature. Particularly when someone you may know seems to go off the deep end unexpectedly when you don’t see it coming and nobody can explain any reason for it. Then there are times when we see an unexpected kindness in places where it doesn’t show up very often and it seems to grow by being passed on to others because of a kindness which a stranger did.

No one seems to understand how either of these can be seen in our world. The darkness which rises on our television screens when people are killed for no apparent reason. The light which shows up when someone either gives their life to save another or when someone does something for people they don’t know and didn’t have to do it but they did.

How can both exist in our world today? Because of the war between good and evil or God and Satan. This is the reason for both being seen in our world today. Sometimes or rather most of the time, we hear about the darkness more than we do the light simply because it gets our attention and it makes a better news story. Oh, there will be a small story at the end of the news where you will hear about a kindly man or woman who does something for others and they try to make it seem as if kindness was truly rare in our world.

Sometimes kindness and love really are rare in our world, but I believe that is because it doesn’t sell well. Kindness doesn’t make good news or copy for a newspaper. Evil or darkness makes really good news stories regardless of the media which picks it up. Also, we tend to pay attention to bad news more than we do when we hear about something which is good but unexpected. Why? For the same reason that the media picks up bad news… we look at it as more interesting, even when it may be a tragedy like the school shootings in the past few years.

If we are trying to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in our life we should be doing as much as possible to spread some kindness, some light into the world. Not for fame or recognition but to bring the world’s attention to Jesus and His teachings. A small kindness may not go very far but sometimes it goes a lot farther than you think it does.

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!

Why go to church?


Sometimes you hear this from people, usually young people, who have been brought to church most of their lives. When they get to college age or at least 18, they think that they really don’t need it anymore. The problem is that in college or at a job you will be exposed to other ways of thinking and other philosophies which may not line up with what you were taught in church at a young age. Some of what you will hear in college will be totally opposite and even opposed to the idea of God. So…why should you go to church? Because family is important, especially to God!

Good deedsWhether you have accepted Jesus as your Savior or not, the church is a family. An extended family, but a family nonetheless. Why do I call the church a family? Because we are linked to each other by the blood of Jesus our Savior! Through Him we are adopted into God’s family, we are joint heirs with Christ! The idea of the church being your family isn’t so far-fetched because it is in the Bible, just follow the link above!

Each one of us has a job to do in God’s Kingdom, particularly if you have given your heart to Him and asked Jesus into your life, if you haven’t then you need Him now more than ever! Why do I say it that way? Because we are coming to the end of the age, as Jesus put it, and you don’t really have much time. It may be another five or ten years yet, but when the Tribulation begins it will be even harder for people to become Christians. Not impossible mind you, but much harder because the world will be much more abusive of Christians at that time, to the point of killing them if they don’t take the mark of the antiChrist who will be ruling the world.

Why come to church? Because if you don’t know Jesus already, then you need to get to know Him soon! It is much easier to get to know Jesus among people who already know Him than it is to find out about Him from those who don’t even know Who He is. Don’t waste your life living without Him because eternity only comes to those who know Jesus as their Savior. Others who die without Him will live into eternity…but in anguish and pain because they didn’t know Him in this life.

God has given us all the ability to know Him and be known by Him if we will believe in Him and follow Him in our life. Living through Jesus and with Him in our lives each day is not hard to do, but you have to determine to do so. Even if you are a Christian and believe in Jesus, taking Him with you into the world is something which you have to determine to do, as Jesus said “take up your cross daily and follow Me“.

Do you have Jesus in your heart as your Savior? If you have believed in Him for salvation and asked His forgiveness in your sinful life then you do have Him. But walking in His ways and living by His statutes and teachings is part of the life of a Christian which each of us has to decide to do each day. It doesn’t happen automatically and it isn’t easy to do, yet many people think that they do this every day, even when they don’t. Read God’s Word and find your life and your purpose in Him, then determine to walk in Him and in His strength each day.

All religions are not the same


In some circles it seems that religions are all thrown into the same pile, regardless of belief or the God or gods being worshiped. Many don’t seem to notice or care that some of those religions are or were created by man, out of man’s mind and not inspired by God Himself! Satan and his forces have been doing this since the beginning, and they are so good at it until the religions that were created by men who were acting under the influence or guidance of demons are accepted world-wide.

Yet, Christianity and Judaism are ridiculed and marginalized because we worship God the Creator of all!

The Bible tells of a time that people will look to their own wisdom instead of His. They will seek out teachers who tell them what they want to hear and make them feel good about themselves. Sound like any “teacher” that you may have seen on TV or heard about? God loves humanity, all of us, not just Christians and Jews. But the salvation and forgiveness of sins comes from belief in Jesus and His death and resurrection and your repentance from those sins.

We are living in troubling times where men do atrocious crimes. Murder, pedophilia, child molestation and slavery for sex…the list could go on and on. The point of this is that we live in a time just like Jesus described to His disciples where the world and the people in it are very much like those in the days of Noah. They didn’t call on God nor believe in Him and didn’t care about anyone except themselves. Sounds very familiar doesn’t it?

God’s love for us is what is keeping your life and mine on a path toward our futures. What that future is exactly, nobody knows for sure except for God. Each decision which you and I make is not controlled by God but is guided by Him. After your salvation you are happy and joyful at having your salvation. Then many people seem to get into a rhythm of going to church and going home then work and then repeat.

The problem with this is that we are supposed to be progressing just like a child or baby. The apostle Paul said it best when he chastised the church at Corinth about still being babes when they should be learning the meat of God’s Word! It is a fact that you can’t progress in your Christian life and walk with Christ if you don’t pray and learn His Wisdom from the Bible.

Being a Christian is a process just like any journey it begins with a step. The first step is accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you have to take the next step and learn about Him from His Word. Study it daily and seek His Wisdom from it with prayer and sometimes fasting. The more that you learn about Him, you will realise that there is more to know about Him. You will never graduate from learning about Him until you are in Heaven. Then you will know and be known fully and completely.OnlyJesus

So much…


We, at least those of us who live in America, have so much that we take for granted. People don’t look around them and see the little things that they do have, the things and the people who would be so much appreciated in other areas of the world. Sometimes people don’t even visit places of surreal beauty in their own states, they want to go to other places and see the sights but the ones in their own backyard are neglected and forgotten.

It is the same way with religion and Jesus too. In America, we have heard about Jesus and seen the movie, “The Ten Commandments”, so many times in our lives until we are going to be shocked when Moses doesn’t look like Charlton Heston! We have been on the receiving end of so much “movie propaganda” until much of the Bible and its stories play in some way when we read Scripture. I wonder…what does God think about our “video feeds” in Scripture?

Some of it may cause Him to laugh a bit. Some of it very likely causes a bit of concern, with the liberties  that have been taken with some of His stories. Some of them are actually lies made up to make money and have very little to show as being truthful in the telling of Scripture. In the past fifteen years or so, Christian films have done a bit better because people other than those in Hollywood were doing the filming.

You may be wondering why I am writing about this today? Mainly it is because of all of the so-called pundits who tell Christians that our faith is wrong! Some say we are too judgmental, some say we are not inclusive of others, we are too narrow-minded. Something that I have noticed in my eight years of Bible study, reading it from cover to cover, is that God doesn’t change! His rules and His ways are the same today as they were when He gave the Ten Commandments to Moses over four thousand years ago!

He is not politically correct and He doesn’t change to suit us! We either repent and humbly ask Him to change us into the image of Jesus or we are lost, it’s just that simple. Believe in Jesus and His redemption of you by His blood which was shed for your sins, no matter what those sins may be, then repent or turn away from those sins and don’t go back to them!

God’s redemption of you doesn’t take any work on your part except that of walking close to Jesus in repentance toward being more like Him before your life here is over. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “take up your cross daily and follow Me.” Determine to follow Him and not your old ways or the ways of your “friends”. When you feel the call in your heart from the Spirit, then choose to follow Him and leave the world and its ways behind!

Think about it this way: if you are on a path toward a destination and you take the first step, don’t stop and turn to go the other way, back where you came from. You will never get to that eternal destination if you do! Getting off of the path or turning back doesn’t take you in the right direction unless you are following Jesus.

Romans 8


Romans chapter 8 has been called the most wonderful chapter in the Bible, mainly because it begins with a sentence saying “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’. Why does this make a difference? Because by belonging to Christ, we are not condemned under the Law, and this applies to Gentiles and Jews.

Romans is a letter of Paul’s to the church in Rome to give them encouragement and to strengthen their faith in the One that they have believed in, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God and our Savior. A believers freedom from the Law comes from Jesus’ incarnation and His sacrifice for sin and by the Holy Spirit’s operation in providing life. Jesus, being the Second of the Trinity and the Son, took on humanity. He did not cease to be God but took on human form without sin and became the perfect offering in order to fulfill the law’s demands in His life and death which broke sin’s power in the flesh on the cross.

Through the Spirit, a believer’s life can now be lived in a new way of life by loving as Christ did, through Christ, which fulfills the Law. Paul describes our struggle with “the old man”, which is our old nature and the “new man”, which is two different mindsets which we struggle with daily, sometimes with different outcomes. Depending upon which mindset you choose to follow on any given day.

Unregenerate people, those who haven’t accepted Christ, being hostile toward God and unable to submit to His law because they lack God’s Spirit, which makes submission possible. Christians live in a new realm because they have God’s Spirit dwelling within them. His Presence is the mark of Christ’s ownership. Your physical body will die because of the effects of sin, unless the Lord returns before your death. The pledge and promise of the Spirit is that He will raise us as He did Jesus, providing everlasting Life and righteousness.

Our freedom in Christ brings with it an obligation to subdue the sinfulness that is in the flesh because we have been changed by the Holy Spirit, decisively submitting the flesh to God as a living sacrifice to live daily in the spirit.

The leading of the Spirit of God is His providential sanctification. It is common to all adopted sons and it is constant. It will bring a believer to glory.The leading of the Spirit is not some mystical direction or ecstasy. It is the Spirit’s empowerment for mortification of our fleshly desires.

The Holy Spirit does not act as a spirit of bondage, but it is the means of our adoption into God’s family. By the Spirit we have a consciousness that God is our Father. It is a mark of a Christian to cry out to our Father in our prayer. The Spirit also gives us assurance of our salvation and our status in the family of God. We are joined to Christ in suffering by also in future blessing and destiny in Heaven. As He is in glory so will we be glorified with Him.

In verse 18, Paul wrote that our “light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

All of creation groans and has since the fall, but all will be restored in the regeneration. When we receive our freedom, the entire world will be changed. Christians only have a pledge of what is to come. We groan because of our fallen nature which is at war with our regenerate nature in Christ, which we have to conquer daily through Christ. One day our resurrected bodies will conform to the same glorification as Jesus’ glorified body.

In our weakness, we have the strength of the Holy Spirit and His intercession for us when we can’t say the words. Our Spirit agrees with the Holy Spirit and with groanings which are above words agrees with the Father on our behalf, saying things and asking for those things that we need even before we need them. The Spirit is also in agreement with the will of God for us and those prayers are always answered.

Who are those who love God? Those who have been called according to His purpose, the called are all Christians. The promise of this verse is that God orders everything for us so that all of life’s experiences work together for our ultimate good. Whether it may be good in and of itself, but God uses all of our circumstances for our good. Jesus taught that God’s sovereign care for and guidance of creation covers even the death of a sparrow and the hairs on our heads.

If God looks on even those minute details in our lives, don’t you think that He is interested in the things which many of us deny Him access to in our everyday lives because “we don’t think He needs to be part of it”?

Remember, we are more than conquerors through Christ! Once you have given your heart and life to Jesus and asked the Holy Spirit to take up residence in your life and your heart, there is NOTHING which can separate you from His love or from Him. Believe in Him and you shall be saved! Not maybe, not sometimes, but every time and for all time! Amen!

This is my sermon for tomorrow morning, I pray that it touches your heart and draws you closer to Jesus.

Come as a child


The obvious reason that Jesus told His disciples not to hinder the children from coming to Him was and is that they understand His message better than any adult can. As soon as a child is old enough to know that He can’t earn salvation, they know that they have to ask Jesus into their heart and their life. It doesn’t take a lot of sermons or education for a child to just “get it”, they do.

madewholeinHeavenAnd they get it far better than we do. After we become adults, if we haven’t truly accepted Jesus as our Savior, we are so covered in education and pride and all sorts of other “filters” until we can barely see the message of the cross, let alone the real message of salvation. The world itself places those filters on us and our hearts and we allow it to happen. Most of the time we don’t even realize that it is happening, just as when we were sinners.

We didn’t know that we needed Jesus at that time and we didn’t really feel the need for Him. Until the Spirit of God touched our hearts and we noticed all of the sins we had committed and that they were separating us from God, most of us didn’t even know that we needed Him. We were comfortable with our lives and the sin that we lived in.

Don’t think that your life and your righteousness is good enough because it isn’t! If Moses couldn’t get into the Promised land because of his sin, then we are not close to being able to get into Heaven without Jesus! Regardless of which religion you follow or have been raised in, your goodness, your righteousness is as filthy rags next to the grace, mercy and forgiveness which comes from your belief in Jesus!