Are you in a wilderness?


There are days when we find ourselves lost or at least groping around for the way out of wherever we are. Sometimes it is figurative and sometimes it is a spiritual wilderness without trails or road signs or any other clues about the way out. When you feel like this, what do you turn to for help? Who do you turn to for guidance?

Image result for God's word as a compassA person who is on a hike in an area where they have never been before will usually take a guide or at least a compass so they can find a bearing or the trail which will lead them from one place to another. When we are spiritually lost, most of us don’t even know that we are until God touches our heart and lets us know. Until that time we won’t look for Him nor will we seek to know Him because we don’t feel the need for a Savior.

So, are you lost in a wilderness of your own creation? Do you feel like something isn’t like it should be in your life? Many of us who were lost and away from Jesus, even if we didn’t know about Him, have always felt an emptiness as if something was missing. Many of us have tried alcohol or drugs or sex or who know what else to fill that empty place, but it is never filled. We may feel better or happy for a time but when we come out of the high…the empty place remains. Many times this is why people become addicted to drugs because they are trying to keep that feeling of fullness of joy and peace.

The problem is that no man-made drug or high of any kind will ever fill that space because it is only filled by the Holy Spirit of God when you accept Jesus as your Savior. Then you will be free of the empty feeling and you will belong to Jesus because He can make you whole again. All of us are born with a place in our soul which feels empty and sometimes we don’t find out what fits in that place until we meet Jesus. Only He can make you whole and give your life a True Purpose through Him.

Your job and your family may fulfill your life in many ways but without Him in your heart working in step with Him to really fulfill His purpose in your life, even those will be only a shadow of what they could be. Being saved by Jesus’ Spirit and believing in Him for your salvation is the greatest decision you will ever make in this life. Everything else falls into place after that.

While giving your life to Jesus will not make your life perfect it will give you the strength and the ability to seek His Wisdom for your decisions for the rest of your life. The Bible is the best “self-help” book ever written and it does have many words of wisdom for business and life too. Don’t believe the lie of Satan or the rest of the world which tells you that it is an old outdated book with nothing in it for today! Its wisdom is useful for today and tomorrow on into eternity.

The Bible, God’s Word, is the best and most useful “compass” for this life and every situation that can be found. No other book has the Wisdom of the Creator inside it because the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, so every word in it is true.

Chesed


This is an Old Testament term meaning an oath-bound commitment expressing freely given love. The closest English term for this is devotion. In the Old Testament, it is almost exclusively used for God’s sovereign devotion to His own people. In our modern times, I suppose you would think of a parent’s love for their children as an expression of devotion.Related image

Although, many people today seem to think that God doesn’t care about us when, in fact, He cares very deeply for us! We may not perceive it as clearly and openly as we do with each other, but His love for us is much deeper than we can understand or comprehend today.

God provides for us, collectively and individually, everything that we need. Yet, we worry about things which usually means we are worried about something which we rarely have control of anyway. His love and His presence are available all of the time because He never leaves us, but if we don’t practice our prayer life and being aware of Him we will feel as though He isn’t there.

In your daily life, you can see the evidence of Him all around you. In the clouds and the trees and the wildlife which you see during the day and in the sky with its stars at night! He is present in your child’s laugh and in a baby’s cry. God is in and around you whether you actually believe in Him or not, but He wants you to know Him and He wants to know you better too.

Whenever you feel His Presence, answer His call in your life and in your heart. Why? Because He is devoted to your life and your well being, no matter what you may be going through…even if it is stage 4 cancer or a horrible accident. He is there to give you strength and healing if that is His will for your life. Sometimes He may use your death for a purpose which you don’t know about yet, but if you belong to Him then you will see the outcome when you are with Him. Every good thing in life comes from Him, every bad thing is allowed to happen because there is something good which will come from it.

Just as the time when Jesus delayed coming to Lazarus‘ side when he was ill, there was glory and honor to be given to God the Father because of his death. If Jesus had come before he died, He could’ve healed him of his illness, but a greater glory was shown because Jesus called him from the grave after four days.

John 11: 41-44 KJV

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.

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.

 

5thingsgodwantsyou2know

Love, God’s way


1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13

This is the greatest chapter in the New Testament about the Love which is expressed toward us by God. It also expresses the type of love that Christians should express to each other and to the world around us. Since Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I thought I should put this up so others might see it and know that God loves you unconditionally, even if you haven’t given your heart to His Son. If He didn’t love all of us in this way then what would be the reason that He sent Jesus to redeem us?

God’s reason was His Love for humanity even when we were unlovable and sinners.

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 True Christmas Story


In days past the story of Christmas has been told many different ways. Sometimes it involves a man with a beard of white bringing presents and toys, but in this blog, I usually speak of the birth of Jesus, so here is His foretold story, before He was born.

Luke 1

Introduction

1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25“The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice, she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary’s Song

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has been mindful

of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

holy is his name.

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,

from generation to generation.

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

he has scattered those who are proud of their inmost thoughts.

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things

but has sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering to be merciful

55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,

just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment, he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,

because he has come to his people and redeemed them.

69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us

in the house of his servant David

70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),

71 salvation from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us—

72 to show mercy to our ancestors

and to remember his holy covenant,

73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:

74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,

and to enable us to serve him without fear

75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;

for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,

77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation

through the forgiveness of their sins,

78 because of the tender mercy of our God,

by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven

79 to shine on those living in darkness

and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

I know that this post is long, but the story before the birth of Jesus is important. God sent His Son to us all and it is important for us to know Who sent Him in the first place. Please don’t miss this story because Santa and presents and debt are not the reason for this season, Jesus’ birth truly is the Reason.

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.

We don’t have gods, just One God


Some people think that Christians worship three gods. But..if you look at the passage where Jesus got baptized, He is there (of course), the voice of God says that “this is my Son” and the Holy Spirit comes to Him in bodily form of a dove.

The Holy Trinity in one place at the same time, God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, not three gods but One God in three forms and all of them just as much God as the other! Our Creator isn’t limited to one form nor is He limited in any way that we can understand.

Yet, we try to put limits on Him and believe that He has emotions and the same sort of limitations which we have. We who are His Creation, attempt to make the Creator in our image and in our limited abilities, so that we can understand Him and believe in Him. Do you understand that God is bigger than we can imagine! He created this universe, not just the little ball of mud that we live on.

There are no “gods” in religions on the Earth, those entities who caused men to dream of things and see a form which looked like an angel, they are devils and demons and their leader is Satan! He is the one who brought man to the tree which God told him not to eat of, even so God knew that this would happen as well. Jesus is the “seed of the woman” spoken of in Genesis, the One Who is the Living Word and the Son of God!

The time is coming and will come soon, when many will see the end of the age and the church will be taken from this world. At this time, a man will come into power who is very persuasive in his speech and he will be given more power than any man on Earth has ever held. This is spoken of in Revelation in the Bible and it is not my prediction, but prophecy from God.

PromisesfromGodsWordMake sure of your salvation, seek out Jesus the Christ and salvation through Him, don’t put it off thinking that you have plenty of time. Many who thought this in the storms which have come to America recently thought they had time as well. We have some storms which are coming still and they are worse in magnitude than anything that nature can create from wind and sea.

Our lives, with all of the stuff which we put so much of our life and our energy into, are pitifully short on this Earth, particularly in reference to eternity which awaits us. Seek out God and His Son for your salvation because you do not know when your last day may be. We are not given a set number of years to live. No one knows that they will be alive, even in the morning after tonight’s sleep. Please make sure before the time of testing comes on this Earth because it will affect the whole of the population not just a few million but everyone who is alive at the time!

Who is in control?


Our government and those serving their own interests are not in control of much, particularly with regard to our society. So, who really is in control? Satan?

I know that many of you don’t really believe that he exists, but God said that he does so that settles that argument. But is he in control of all of the things which are spiralling out of control today? I don’t think I would give him that much credit. He may be influencing those who are stirring up trouble to be more violent, more destructive even, but he isn’t in control of them exactly.

IamtheWayBesides, if you have ever read the book of Job or heard a sermon from it, then you know that Satan has to get permission to do the things which he does, especially if it may harm Christians or Israel! The One Who is in Control and Who watches everything unfold in its time, is God. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people, but not without God’s permission. He knows that occasionally something has to happen if it will bring about a greater good in His Kingdom. It may cause pain for now, but in eternity the pain is taken away.

Many people seem to be searching for the Truth of God today, although some seem to be looking in the wrong places. Yes, God is still speaking through His Word, the Bible, and preachers who read and study it and then expound on His Wisdom trying to make it as understandable as possible. The message of salvation is easy enough for a child to understand but as adults we tend to make things harder than they should be. Either by not reading the instruction book, the Bible, or by adding our own ideas to those contained in it.

God doesn’t need your help or mine in order to save you. He already provided the remedy and the way of salvation for each one of us, through belief in and trust in Jesus the Christ.

Period.

No other doctrine or work needs to be applied to your life in order to be saved! There is nothing that you or I can do to get us into Heaven, Jesus did it all. Just believe in Him and His atonement for your sins, turn away from them (repent) and follow Him. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Truly, it is simple…although living your daily walk with Him is going to be hard at times. Your friends will call and ask you to come to this new bar they found or maybe go for a weekend off to the Bahamas with your fiance which you aren’t married to yet. These are the stones which can trip you up and cause you to stumble and fall.

But…if you truly have given your heart to Jesus, even if you fall, you can ask forgiveness and strength and He will give you both! Don’t turn away from Him and go back to your old life. Don’t feel the pull of the Spirit in church or after you hear a sermon on TV and then decide NOT to give your heart to Him. Remember, we are not guaranteed tomorrow so don’t back away from Him when you know you need Him!

What shall we do with Jesus?


WomanbytheWellSome people see Him as a great prophet. Some claim that He is the Son of God. Christians believe that He is the Son of God, foretold in Scripture, born of a virgin, fulfilled the Law of Moses in His life, Who taught His disciples that belief in Him is the way to Heaven. Then after three years of a miracle-filled ministry, He was taken into custody, condemned as a heretic and a rebel toward Roman rule and crucified.

Yet, God confirmed His place and His claims by raising Him from the grave three days later. He then taught His disciples for fifty days until His ascension to the Father.

Do we have proof of this? Only that there is an empty tomb where He was laid and our faith through the Holy Spirit confirming that God’s Word is true!

So, what will you do with Him?

themissingpieceThe Bible, particularly the New Testament, says that we should believe in Him. Archaeology has proven many, if not all, of the historical books in the Old Testament to be true and accurate. Science has proven that God’s rule of circumcision on the eighth day to be medically accurate because a baby’s body doesn’t have clotting factors until that time. There are many other proofs of the Bible which I won’t go into here.

My point in this post is to encourage you to learn more from God’s Word, seek Him out in it and make sure of your salvation! Jesus came to specifically save and sanctify each of us who will believe in Him. The next time He comes, He will be coming to take this world as His Kingdom and to prove to all that the Bible is true and that He is the One that He claimed to be when He was here the first time!

There is no denying this point, unless you just refuse to believe the Bible as the true Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to us to point us in the right direction. If that is what you choose to believe, then there may be no way of convincing you otherwise. I pray that anyone who reads this or any other blog about our Savior will at least give the Christian faith the chance by reading the Bible with an open mind. I am not asking that you believe something just because, say Billy Graham believes it. But, don’t dismiss it out of hand either.

Particularly if you have ever felt the Holy Spirit speak in your heart, your soul and haven’t acted upon it yet. Don’t put this decision off because it truly is of eternal value to you! There is a life after this one, but living through eternity without God would be…well the only way that I could describe something similar on Earth would be like a prisoner in a dark cell with no light, no air moving, and yet you couldn’t die. Even if you never got any food, you would be in that cell for years, decades, even centuries. No contact with anyone. Most people would go insane in a situation like this.

Except, in hell you can’t go insane and there will be heat and a lot of it. What else will be there? I don’t know except to say that anything like water or food, anything which would give you a chance at Life, will not be present. Don’t test this out to see if you might like it, because once you are there, you won’t get out. It isn’t temporary and you can’t be “prayed out” or bought out. Jesus is the only way out, but you have to accept Him before you die, not after.

Seek Jesus while He may be found and accepted into your life while you are here, please?