The nearness and presence of God


It is something which many Christians and non-Christians have considered and thought about over the years. How near to us is God really? Consider that He is everywhere, as David wrote in his Psalms, “if I make my bed in the depths of Sheol, you are there“, so in defense of Jonah “where could you go?”. When we seek God, He is near us, it is the act and action of seeking Him that brings us together.

God has always sought out a relationship with us, from the Garden all the way to the 21st century, and He is still seeking to have a relationship with each one of us. Although, many today don’t seem to be seeking Him as they did in years past, He is still near to you whether you know it or not. God’s Presence, His Spirit, is always near us and it is the one concept that many Christians can’t understand. It is the aspect of God which I never understood until recently.

Why should this be so hard to grasp?

Because, God is the Creator. He is the One Who stretched out the Heavens like sailcloth when He placed the galaxies and stars in their places! It was He Who hung the Sun in its place as well and all of the planets too, so why can’t an Omniscient and Omnipresent Creator be everywhere at all times? He is everywhere at all times and He is near to each of us, at all times.

When we feel that He isn’t near us, it is because that we aren’t near to Him in our spirit and in our own relationship with Him. God has not moved away from you, He is still right next to your heart. Waiting for your embrace so He can embrace you in return!

A relationship with your Creator is not a hard thing, but cultivating an intimate relationship with Him takes effort on your part. Many people want this kind of relationship with God, but few are willing to put the effort needed into truly cultivating it.

What is in a name?


Immanuel meaning “God with us”

Isaiah 7:10-16 King James Version

10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,

11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.

13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

Even today there are many men named Yeshua, Jesus, and other Biblical names but that doesn’t give them the ability to be that person. God foretold that Immanuel would be born and that He would be the Messiah, the Christ. In order to be the Messiah or Christ, He would have to be God in man’s flesh, there is no other way to do this! This only happened one time!

When you have or are given the name of a famous person, does that make you into that person? Of course not! A name is just a name, unless it is given to you by God Himself. Then it becomes a calling and a purpose for your life. God had seen this from the beginning and He knew that Jesus being born of a virgin would literally be “God with us”, as the prophecy had said that the seed of the woman would be our Savior. That is Who Jesus is and always has been!

Why did He have to come in this manner? Because, only a perfect and sinless sacrifice could cover the sins of the World and the only way for this to happen would be for this Man to have the Spirit of God in Himself, not the spirit of sinful man. God could’ve made Him a body of sinless flesh, but He chose to do it by natural birth by a woman because Jesus had to be born under the Law in order to begin a new Covenant with sinful mankind.

Soothing, calming, slow rain


rain-nature-animated-gif-31I live in Mississippi and we have been in a “drought condition” since the last week of July. God has now ended that condition during the last week of November and the first of December and listening to it is so soothing to my soul! It is falling slowly enough to soak into the ground and not flood and run off everywhere, which is great!

So many times in our lives we look around and see things which concern us at times and we get upset about them, but really can we do anything to fix those problems? Many times they are caused by natural processes or some careless individual with a match or cigarette and they are too far away for us to make a difference anyway. All we can do at that point is pray that the right people will be available to help.

Believe it or not, God does care about us and our situation, even though we occupy a small, speck in His Creation. Why does He care so much? Because He chose this speck to be the place where He would have His Presence and His people live. Why did He choose our planet? I haven’t a clue. The only explanation would be that it is His decision because He is God!

He is outside our existence, even outside our universe, but He chose to love and care for us and maybe one day we will understand that…in His Presence. Until then, we just have to muddle along and learn more about Him from His Word because that is the only way to learn about Him while we are here. Have you spoken with Him today? It is a privilege that we have which allows us to talk to Him anytime.

Seek His calming presence each and every day and if you don’t believe in Him, then pick up a Bible and read it. Ask Him, if He is there, to show you His Presence and His grace because He is there, I promise!

Treasure…


john317Many people don’t realize that they are searching for it. Many will never find what they are searching for, yet it does exist. You and I are given a treasure beyond imagining and it doesn’t cost us anything. How can it be that a treasure which is not measured can possibly cost us nothing? It must be some worthless trinket or talisman.

This treasure is something which many today reject and many more are angered by it or at least by the Person which brings it to us. The treasure of which I speak is salvation. Our salvation, every person’s salvation was paid for by Him on the cross with His blood. Many times we see that people learn of wisdom from some very different places and people.

“Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.”  Captain Jack Sparrow

“Not all treasure is silver and gold”, it is the most profound bit of wisdom that I have heard from anyone let alone someone in a movie made in Hollywood.

Treasure from God is something which many cannot see nor can they make sense of the grace that is poured out upon us. We have been given a gift of salvation that we don’t have to work for. A gift which we cannot buy, but one which by proclamation from Jesus Himself we must give away. It is a gift of immeasurable value, but also one which God intended for all if they will accept it and believe.

Aside from Captain Jack, many people don’t seem to realize what REAL treasure is today. It isn’t money in any form. It is eternity and salvation provided through the grace of God for us even before we were born. The qualifier is that we must realize that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we have asked one of the Trinity to live in us because the Holy Spirit is part of that Trinity. If you have placed a priceless pearl in a clean vessel, then why would you put the dirt of your old life back in there?

I am not saying that we will never sin after becoming a Christian, but turning away from the church and willfully sinning and never going back or even trying to be a Christian is WRONG!! Asking forgiveness is good at this point, but if you aren’t going to repent of the sin, what good is the forgiveness?

Some scriptures which may help with this are these:

Everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:29); Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4); Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7); Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (1 John 5:1); Everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning. (1 John 5:18)

These may make you wonder if you are saved at all, particularly if you haven’t been a real believer who turned away from a life that you would be proud to show Jesus.

1.No one who denies the Son has the Father. (1 John 2:23)

2.No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (1 John 3:6)

3.No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9)

Even the tolerance of sin is an agreement with it. It is not something which will sit well with your heart, especially if the Spirit abides in your heart. Although we aren’t to judge people, we can bring their sin to their attention and if they don’t want to do anything about it, then leave it to God.

 

Days, hours and minutes


I know, there are more divisions of time than just those but those three are the ones which we use every day. Why am I talking about ways to count down a day or a week or even a year? Because time is important to all of us at this point. When will we NOT need to worry or even think about hours and days or even years? In Heaven, in our eternity, that is when. Time is measured from the point of conception until our death because this body, this tabernacle that we live in only lasts a certain amount of time and God knows exactly how many years and seconds that each of us has.

We can’t imagine eternity because there is no time there, so when you cross over into it a minute could be a day or a few hours on Earth. So…what are we going to do with an eternity? I can’t say for sure but God has a plan and part of it will be during the one thousand years of Jesus’ reign after the Tribulation. That will be a time in which many advances in science and all sorts of things will likely happen. But, to those who have been given a glorified body even one thousand years won’t be a long time.

Our time is measured by the rotation of the Earth and its rotation around the Sun, it was set up to reflect perfect harmony and it is. Although, creation has been going down hill since Adam ate the fruit in Eden. When all is restored to perfection one day, we will know how the universe was supposed to be.Your fruit trees will produce fruit which tastes so much better than what we have now. The vegetables will be more flavorful. Even the air that we breathe will be cleaner and more invigorating.

Life won’t be the same anymore it will be more than we could imagine. This is even before most of us get into eternity. Time will be different, our lives will be different, the universe itself will be different but if you have given your heart and your life to Jesus…life will go on without end!

Time as we measure it now will be a thing of the past. Your life before eternity, before Heaven, before all of the wonders that we will share forever. Will it be hard to live this way? NO, because God will provide everything that you need! We won’t be thinking about bills or groceries because at this time, those are not necessary at all. The only people who won’t be enjoying eternity will be those who have doubted God’s grace and have not accepted Jesus as their Savior.

They will live in eternity but it will be one without God, without all of the nice parts of Heaven. No water, no food, no bearable temperatures but since you have an eternal body you won’t die either. It is YOUR choice which will send you to that place, not God. You will be there because you refused to give Jesus a place in your life and you wanted your “stuff” in this life. Think about it.

The few, the proud, ….


The words in the title were heard in commercials for the Marines a few years ago. I haven’t heard this in a long time. Why?

I believe that it is because of the way that young men and women are being raised today and how they learn our country’s history today. In some classes they don’t teach the actual history of the United States of America, they teach a watered down, altered version which makes us look like criminals in our past.

Yes, it is true that some of the treatment that our fore-fathers gave to others was cruel and in-human. Especially regarding slaves and Native Americans, but if you and I could see and understand their way of life from this side of history, it would change the way we are today. I am not trying to make them into people who could do no wrong, but a lot of history has been changed or forgotten, even re-written in over 200 years.

The Marines were formed as a fighting force to protect our ships in waters and ports which were hostile toward “outsiders”. They were and are the maritime equivalent of our Army.

Why am I writing about the Marines on my site? Because my father was in the Marines during WWII and we have many young people in this service today. Do they need our praise and our thanks for their service? YES!! They most certainly do! All of the people in military uniform need us and our support and it is sad that when they come home we don’t help them get back into society like we should. Most seem to be forgotten or used as a way to get money for someone else’s use.

Regardless of how you may feel about the Armed Forces of America, they protect our country in ways that most will never know about. In places many people can’t even find on a map. Then they come home with scars which may not show on the outside, but they constantly deal with the effects of those scars every day and every night. Our police forces and those in the fire service deal with the same scars (PTSD), but we don’t pay much attention if any to them either. I was an EMT/Firefighter for five years and it took more time than that to get past the anxiety and nerves when a siren would sound close or an explosion would go off nearby. I can’t imagine what a veteran would feel after being in REAL combat at a fireworks show.

I was a member of the Air Force at one time, but I never was deployed overseas. I had to get out of the service because of a medical discharge and I am not going to elaborate on that here. The point of this post, even if it is on a religious site, is that we should honor our Veterans and treat them with the respect that they deserve. God watches over them each day whether they know it or not and He sees the aches and pains that they have to go through, mentally and physically. I started this out by talking about the Marines but I feel that all of our military men and women deserve a better and more honorable treatment than they get and that goes for the men and women who serve as police officers and firefighters and EMT’s too!

I am stepping down from my soap box now, so please read and study your Bible. Learn about the love that God has for you because He really does love you more than you can love yourself. Learn about our country’s true history, not what is taught in schools or universities. Seek out the truth in history and in the Bible because the Truth will set you free.

So much..so little


It is a contradiction but, with God in the picture even a contradiction works. How do I know? Read the story of Jesus feeding so many with so little, like the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men. Some say that there were likely fifteen thousand souls there at least and yet there were twelve baskets left over from a lunch meant for one child.

God can use even a little talent in a big way, no matter how you see yourself or where you may be in the world. But, you have to give Him control of your talent and yourself before He can use it to bless others. Just as when a farmer plants a seed or a plant in the ground, it is only one at the time. But with water, air and sunlight it can become much more than one seed or one plant.

We, as Christians, are like that as well. God places His Spirit in us when we are saved and we are supposed to nurture it with care and feed it by prayer and the Word of God. By studying God’s Word, we feed the Spirit and like Jesus said “it will overflow as a river of living water” to all who are exposed to it. True, it may not be His exact words but that is what we are supposed to be, springs of living water to draw the world to Him by what they see or hear in us.

God can use each of us in ways that we can’t imagine or even believe that we could do. But, with His Spirit guiding us we can do so much more than just be ourselves. We can be His ambassadors and representatives to anyone who is searching for the Truth. It doesn’t take much. A prayer here or helping someone with their load in some way. Opening the door for someone, praying for someone who you don’t know.

These things are “works” true enough, and they don’t get you a spot inside the gates of Heaven. Giving your life and your heart to Jesus gets you into Heaven, the “works” are part of the life that you live after you accept Him. These are the results of your salvation, the fruits of your life in Christ that never would’ve grown out of your life if you had not given your heart to Jesus.

Just as James wrote in his epistle, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18, he wasn’t speaking of works being required by your faith but as a result of your salvation. The works that you do will prove your faith and your salvation! God loves each of us so deeply that we won’t understand it until we are in His presence, but He hates the sins that we have lived with in our life. Repent and turn to Him, give your heart and your life to Him so that you will be saved.

Worry, doubts and fears


It seems that every day people are bombarded with more things which cause fear and anxiety. We doubt ourselves at times, and we have fears which cause us to worry about things which we can’t control. What can we do about this? Can we do anything about this situation? It depends upon your situation and your faith.

Some people claim that they can handle their own lives and they don’t need to have “blind faith” in religion to help them get through life. The problem with this kind of attitude is that when push comes to shove and things get a bit out of hand, most will seek out a “higher power” for comfort and direction even if they claim that they don’t believe in a “higher power”. God is that One Who is higher than all, Jesus is the One Who can relate to our suffering and our pain and they can help in all of life’s situations no matter what!

With all of the news that is available to us on the Internet and television today, there is very little which goes on in the world that we can’t keep tabs on whether we truly want to or need to or not. All of this information can cause us to worry far more than is healthy, and the worst part is that we shouldn’t worry about it at all. God is in control of it all. He is watching and guiding your life and mine toward that day when He will call us home.

Yes, one day the whole world will see that we are important to our Creator. Important enough that He will be returning soon, much sooner than most think. Many people are going to be surprised and terrified when that day comes and the church, the believers who are waiting for His call, all disappear and are taken to Heaven. Then they will want to believe, but it will be harder to do so. Many explanations will be given which have nothing to do with God or the Bible’s prophecies but just as in the days of Noah, when the door to the ark was shut the only ones saved were the ones inside.

We don’t have “blind faith” in a God Who is not there. He is the Creator because there is no way that all of this universe could come into being as it is because of an accident. Our own solar system, out of all the ones that have been discovered, is the only one that is stable and with orbits for all of the planets that allow for life to flourish. All of the hundreds of solar systems that have been discovered are too close to their star or too far-flung to harbor life.

God loves all of us, no matter what your skin color is or your culture, but we refuse His provision and His grace when we try to take His place. When we think that we know better than He does how to fulfill our lives in this world, we are deluding ourselves. Seek God in the Bible or at a church which teaches from His Word. Pray that your life can have meaning in and through Him and seek His wisdom every day. This is the best way to relieve stress and worry because He is the One Who holds tomorrow in His hand. All that we have is today.

Live today for Jesus and then do it again tomorrow, then repeat until He comes again. That is the prescription which will conquer worry, doubt and fears far better than anything that a doctor can give you.

The Ten Commandments of the Lord


Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Exodus 20:7-17 KJV
http://bible.com/1/exo.20.7-17.KJV