Is God in control?


First and foremost, God is sovereign. Nothing that happens in the whole universe is a surprise to Him. Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the Father’s will (Matthew 10:29).

So, why do we look around at all of the tragedies and the aborted babies and think that God either has a part in it or He doesn’t care about them at all? God does care and one day soon the whole world will see this and understand. They may not like what they see or how they come to understand that He is in control…but they will come to that conclusion.

Is our life in His control as well? Not in the sense that He makes us do things in our everyday lives, but He does cause things to work together for our good in the trials which we face. We may not see that this is happening and it may not feel that way at the time but God is in control. Whether the outcome is good or bad or better than we expected it to be, it is He that directs our path and the outcome as well.

There seem to be more people in America who think that they know better than God about how to live their lives, especially when it comes to being “moral” or “good”. God is still in control and always has been yet people want to argue with Christians about the “mythical” book which is the Word of God. There are too many archaeological proofs which have been found all over the Middle East which point to verses in the Bible. Proving that a city or a place which was mentioned in God’s Word actually exists.

In America, it seems that since our country has always been identified as a “Christian nation” many people here seem to take the message of Jesus for granted. We don’t seem to put much weight in preaching or learning about Jesus or about our own sinful condition which He came to save us from. Also, it seems that nobody looks at or even cares about where their eternal destination may be, even though that is what most of the New Testament was written to prepare us for!

Our lives, as short as they are by comparison to eternity, are the spiritual proving ground for that life which we enter into after this one is done. The problem in America seems to be that nobody wants to learn about it (eternity) and they don’t want to hear about their own sins or how to live righteously while going through this life. I did not say that we could live without sin, but living a righteous life is possible even when we fall and make mistakes in this life.

Living a righteous life is actually what we are called to do as a Christian. By prayer and telling others about Jesus, essentially showing the fruit of the Spirit in your life and in your walk with Jesus every day…that is living a righteous life in Christ!

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Jesus, our Redeemer, and our Shepherd knows His own and He can see the fruit which we produce in our lives and in the lives which we live through Him while we are walking with Him in this life. Is it easy to be fruitful as a Christian? That depends upon your priorities. If you place more importance on life around you or your career or your family then this life is going to feel like a burden. Some people even treat it as a hindrance to your happiness, but when you do this you are only thinking of this life and not eternity. Live with eternity in your mind so that the life around you doesn’t get in the way.

Our God is Awesome!


 

Psalm 47

Clap Your Hands, All You Peoples

(2 Kings 18:13-16; 2 Chronicles 32:1-8; Psalm 46:1-11; Psalm 48:1-14)

1{To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.} O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

2For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

3He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

4He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

5God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

6Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

7For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

8God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

9The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

 

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Cold as ice


I think that this winter we can all identify with the cold outside whether we would like it or not. It has been cold this winter and it isn’t over yet. So, how does this phrase “cold as ice” have anything to do with following Jesus? Well, if you have a few minutes to read and ponder this I will try to tell you.

GodcantakecareofyouThe global climate changed, past tense, after the Flood and it was very cold in some places and warmer in others than it had been previously. For the record, I don’t believe in the so-called global warming that you hear about in reference to almost any climatic change these days. Earth has always had its cold spells and warmer spells in the past and will likely keep on doing that for many years to come.

The reference which I am making today to “cold as ice” is the way which many people turn away from the love and peace offered to them through Jesus. It is a gift which you can’t afford and there is no price which you can pay to buy it, it is actually free to each person IF…they will only believe that Jesus did this for them and accept it. But, many people in our world want to find their own pathway to Heaven, one which they can travel when they want to and take a detour off of the path when they feel like it.

Living a Christian life with Jesus as your Savior is not an on again/off again affair. It is not a take it or leave it idea or decision, it is a life choice. Not a lifestyle, but a choice just as most other things in life are which have a true and lasting effect on your everyday life. The problem is that people in our world today are cold toward God’s Word and His Son. They don’t want to believe that He is the Savior that they have been searching for during their lifetime.

Most want their salvation to be a 50/50 partnership where they do so much and God picks up the rest of the tab for their salvation. But, just as in marriage, this is not a partnership where it is split down the middle. God and Jesus paid the WHOLE price for you and for every person ever created and the only thing that you can bring to the table is a heart and soul which knows that it NEEDS Jesus! Whenever you get to that point, the Holy Spirit usually lets you know, you only have to ask for Him to come in and save you from yourself, your sins and the consequences of them.

There are no amount of “good works” that you can perform which will make your salvation more real or lasting because Jesus did everything needed on the cross. We can’t add anything to His work any more than you could add fuel to the Sun and make it hotter. There are enough which has been done to pay each of our sin debts because the blood that Jesus shed paid for each person’s debts from the beginning of the world until the end.

It is the coldness of our hearts which cause us to ignore the gift which is offered for our salvation. It is also our own selfishness which puts us in that shape as well because we want to keep doing things our way and we don’t want to change. Nor do we want Jesus to change our hearts so that we are comfortable with Him being in our lives to make us more like Him.

So, how much of the world is selfish enough to be described as “cold as ice”? If you search for the answer on the Internet it will be somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of the world’s population who really don’t want much to do with Jesus. Many of them will actually say that they attend church weekly or pray to God daily, which is nice but where does their heart belong? Does Jesus know them well enough to have them written in the Book of Life?

Those questions can only be answered by God and they will be answered when they stand in front of Him, but at that point…it will be too late to change your mind or ask Him to come in and fix your sinful heart. Make sure that you know without a doubt where you are in that relationship because when you truly find out it may be too late to change.

Will the world end this week?


theworldendsI heard that someone has predicted that it will. I would like to know where these people get their information from. The Bible foretells of the end of the world and yes, there are many things happening right now that seem to point in that direction. BUT…until you see the church taken out of the world or see Jesus coming in the clouds with the host of Heaven, I don’t think that our world will end. Especially not when someone says that it will on a certain day. Humanity is not given that information in the Bible or anywhere else.

So what are we supposed to do? First, don’t worry about it. If the world ends, there isn’t anything that we can do to stop it. If the church is taken up to Heaven, that is God’s decision and there is still nothing which will change that.

The most useful outcome of this would be if people really began to read and study their Bibles to find out if there is an end coming because it is, just not this weekend. God has given us, humanity, nearly two thousand years to learn that we need Him and to give our lives to Him. In may opinion He has been very patient with us when we have been doing some things which would provoke any human to just kill everyone!

Thankfully, God is not like us. He loves each of us with our faults and our fears and our tears. He doesn’t care how much money we have or how big our house is, but He does want us to give our lives to Him and to tell others about Jesus! If you are looking for your calling or your purpose in life, that is it as far as God is concerned. Study His Word, learn as much as you can about Him and His Son, pray about your problems, your fears and your joys in this life because He is the One Who supplies all of our needs and our ability to live in this world!

In the news it seems that more people want to cause chaos and destruction in the world. For what reason, I don’t know. Maybe their idea is if the world is on fire, a Savior will come to fix things. Maybe the rest of the population will decide to follow their god or their ideology so that there will be “peace”. Honestly, a peaceful world doesn’t get that way by killing and burning everything in sight! At least, that doesn’t sound like a way to bring about peace  to me!

Seek peace in the Word of God and learn from its wisdom because mankind’s wisdom is foolish to the rest of the world and peace does come through God alone.

A friend and Savior


TrueFriendshipCould we be friends?

Sometimes people get so caught up in life and living until they forget about the friends they have. Friends put up with all sorts of behavior that even your family won’t put up with, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget them. True friends are those that even when it has been years since you last spoke to each other, you can just pick up where you left off. How many friends like that do you have?

This is the type of friend that we all have available in Jesus.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He becomes your Savior and friend but HE also introduces you to many other people who can be your friends. Your brothers and sisters in Christ! They know Him and through their spirit and your spirit you can become close friends. I am not saying this is automatic because that is not how friendships work, but it can be.

God created us all to be as close as friends no matter where we live or what our life may be like. Could you be friends with God? Of course you can, if you will just decide to follow Him and His Son, every day not just once or twice per month. Walk with Him in life, daily…even hourly, because HE gives your breath to you and your heart beats because of His grace too!

Friendship is a relationship and being a child of God, saved and sanctified by the atoning blood of Jesus, is also a relationship which needs to be a lifelong one! Your relationship with Jesus should be one which is even closer than just friends and in order for that to be, you need to learn as much as possible about Him! This can be done by reading and studying the Bible and attending a church which teaches from it.

Consider that your relationship with Jesus is a friendship. Mainly because He already knows you far better than you know Him, so pursue Him like you would if He is the only Life that you have…because after this one He truly is your Life or your Judge, it is your choice which one He will be. Choose wisely.

Quiet time with God


Have you ever thought about having real, honest, quiet time alone with you and God and His Word. No distractions, no television or radio, no children or pets or spouses to interrupt your time with the Father and your Creator! Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Jesus made sure that He did this regularly during His ministry.

The Leper’s Prayer
(Leviticus 14:1-32; Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45)

12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 13 And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. 14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. 16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Jesus did this not because He had to, but because when He communed with His Father, He would be told what to do and where to go next. He would also, very likely be refreshed through the Spirit and His time with His Father. Just as we can be, if we make this a part of our life every day. Prayer and reading God’s Word can be a refreshing time, especially if it is done on a daily basis and in a solitary place.

God walked with Adam in the garden, Jesus prayed and sought the Father’s guidance during His ministry so if it is important enough for Jesus to do it almost daily, it should be for us as well.

The name “Lord” appears how many times?


The word or name “Lord” appears far more in the Bible than many would believe. According to some counts, it is in the Old Testament (KJV) 7234 times. There are other interesting number counts on this page and it depends upon which translation that you use regarding how many times a specific word is mentioned, but it is an interesting page.

Why did I bring this up today? Because, many people seem to wonder about some words in the Bible and how many of them there are. Why does that make a difference? It may not, really, but for some people it may make a bit of a difference. God’s Word does say many things and it is good to know what and why it is said. The only reason that you would need to know this is because you won’t be fooled into believing something which is not in there if you have read it enough to know what is found in it and what is not!

God inspired the writers to write His Word down not because He couldn’t remember, but because we can’t always remember the exact words which He said to us about certain things and why. Which is another reason why each of us needs to read it and study it. Taking a verse or two out of context renders them useless because some of Psalms and Proverbs has no meaning unless you read the whole chapter and verse. Taking any verse on its own renders it unable to be understood in its entirety because the paragraph before and after may lead you to a different understanding of it than just the verse itself.

The shortest verse in the Bible which was written about a sad day in Jesus’ ministry, even though He had told His disciples about what was happening, is: “Jesus wept.” Unless you read the before and after verses, that small verse doesn’t mean much except that it shows how Jesus felt emotions just as deeply as the rest of us. He wept because his friend had died, not because He couldn’t save Him from death but because He had to bring him back from Paradise to live again. It was necessary to do so for the people to see that He had the power to do it even after four days. Not for bragging rights, but to show Who He was and Who He is!

Give your heart to Him, seek Him in the Word and learn more about Him and in that way, one chapter or two every day, you will get to know our Creator and Lord better than you ever have before.

Where is God?


Don’t read the title and wonder if I have lost my mind, you have wondered the very same thing from time to time! I have too and it does vex me at times to think of all of the evil and pain in the world and wonder about Him. He is right next to each and every person who is in pain, in duress from a multiplicity of reasons, or who is just lonely. God is as close to you and I as our next breath or even as close as our heartbeat. He is always closer than we can imagine or comprehend and He cares more than we could possibly know or understand!

Jesus said that “not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father knowing it“, now that is my paraphrase of the actual scripture so don’t think it will be worded the same. But…if Jesus said, which He did, that a sparrow doesn’t escape God’s attention, don’t you think He pays attention to the rest of us as well? We can’t touch Him or feel His Presence all of the time, but He is there and He feels your pain and your sorrow and your joy.

12804782_1044929828955942_1233315242139204553_nAs a Christian we can feel Him near us, maybe not all of the time but if you are listening to His voice like you should then you can’t miss it. He is always there and as a Christian you and I have part of Him living inside our hearts, so He can’t get much closer than that can He?

For someone who is not as close to God as they should be or even someone who hasn’t given their life to Him, then the Presence of God may not be felt but that doesn’t mean that He isn’t nearby. Especially if you are being called into His Service! He will not let you get too far away from Him and He will bring you back in order to do His Will in your life and for His Kingdom. He doesn’t force you to serve Him, but when you realize what He has done and is doing for you and in your life, you will want to work for Him.

Paul did and he was persecuting the Way as it was called. He was called Saul at the time, but Jesus changed all of what he had been doing to make him into the greatest missionary of the New Testament church! If he can change and become one of the most successful disciples of Jesus, then you and I can do it too. We have to learn from God’s Word what to look for and how to understand His commands and His Voice in our lives and you can only learn that from prayer and reading the Bible.

So, where is God? He is everywhere! My best guess is that He is where you are and I know that He is where I am too! Give your heart to Him, learn about Him and His voice from the Bible, then you will hear Him and know that He is God and He is in your life, regardless of what may be happening, He will never leave you!

So much hatred today…


I have seen pictures of animals, dogs and cats, abused worse than anyone would allow a child to be and yet there is very little outrage or even coverage of their suffering. I know that there are slave traders working today, trafficking in children of both sexes and women too, which should be locked ourlovingsaviorup but they won’t be. Why? Because their clientele are rich and powerful which is why the trade is not cracked down on, particularly in countries outside the United States. The worst of those clientele, I imagine, actually live in the United States, we just don’t hear about it because they are wealthy enough to keep people quiet and behind doors and walls which disguise what is happening to whom.

Why is our world becoming this corrupt and sinful? Yet, it seems that it is getting worse as the days and years go by and it seems that fewer people even take notice of these crimes anymore. Whether the media is ignoring these crimes or possibly because we have become numb to the plight facing us, I just don’t know. Has our world become so corrupt that we just don’t see what is going on around us? Do we actually care about those who are abused, whether it is an animal or a human being? Some days it seems that we don’t.

Jesus cares about them all, children and adults, and He never leaves them alone even when they feel that they are. He came that they might have life, abundantly, even if the fulfillment of that promise might be in eternity. Your life and mine are important to God and when you cry out to Him, He hears your screams and your cries. He knows your pain and suffering because He is there!

Trust in Jesus to be your Savior. Ask Him to come in and make you more like Him and to turn your heart and your life around, so that you can be useful to Him and to His Kingdom! He will do these and more, if you will ask Him. God doesn’t force Himself into your life or into your heart, because love can’t be forced on anyone! The wisdom of the Bible which is God’s inspired Word comes from Him. It is not words from the men which wrote it down, because there is no way that men could accurately predict hundreds of years ahead of the crucifixion that Jesus would be crucified.

So many prophecies which point to Jesus are contained in books which were written over five hundred years or more before His birth. David penned the 22nd Psalm which describes the crucifixion and the parting of His garments over 900 years before it took place! Read it yourself if you want proof.

Our world today is nearly at the point of where mankind was before the flood of Noah. Cruel, haters of humanity and all things created, murderers, rapists, pedophiles, honestly the list could go on and on, but my point is this: we are very close to the point where God will say “Enough!”. Then, what will you do?

What will you do?


john317Jesus did not ask this question exactly, but He did ask His disciples “Who do you say that I am?”. The answer that Peter gave was one which wasn’t available in the Scriptures of the day, but it was given to him by the Holy Spirit. So…what will you do with your knowledge of Jesus and Who He is to you?

He is our Savior and our Creator and our Lord, but He doesn’t cram Himself into your life. It is your decision to accept Him as your Savior when you feel the Spirit touch your heart about your need of Him. We do need Jesus, each and every one of us. So…what will you do?

God loves all of humanity but we don’t return that love and that is a sad situation which most of the world is living in right now. God made a way for us to be sanctified and cleansed by His Son’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. The only thing that we can do for our salvation is to accept it by faith.

There is nothing which we can add to our salvation because it was taken care of by Jesus. Your money won’t get you a better home in Heaven, your works here on Earth won’t get you any closer to righteousness here on Earth. The only place where your salvation could have any impact is right here where you are and that by telling others about your life and the new life that Jesus gave you!

No evangelist or preacher can earn a better place in eternity and no amount of charity will do it either. We are ALL equal in God’s sight when we accept Jesus as our Savior, no matter our position or place in our country or a business. The pastor’s saying is true: “The playing field is level at the cross”. The rich man has no advantage over the poor and a salesman or janitor has the same opportunities as a President or a Prime minister when coming to salvation and their place in God’s Kingdom. Slaves and statesmen are equal and no one stands any taller than a person on their knees asking for God’s forgiveness.

God loves the saint and the sinner alike, but God doesn’t love the sinful lives which we all have led at one point or another. So….what will you do? What is your decision? Consider that Jesus said for us not to worry about tomorrow because it has enough trouble of its own and we are not guaranteed even our next breath. So…what decision will you make about making Him your Savior and Lord?