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!

Image result for fruit of the Spirit

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.

How does the love of God compare?


There is no comparison between God’s love for His creation and for us in all of the Earth. No human can understand God’s love because His love is deep and without limits. He loves us because we are made in His Image and we are to be His servants into eternity. We will not be as slaves in this but we will be willing servants as bondservants in ancient days. They loved their masters and did not wish for freedom and would serve him even if they were to be set free.

God’s love for humanity is fierce and limitless and yet the angels have no understanding of His love for us. Why should God love mankind so? Because He is God and if it pleases Him to love us in this way then He will do it! God is our Creator and has made us be His adopted children, we are not forced to be His but we are voluntarily His children because of His love for us!

So, why do we live as if He doesn’t love us or doesn’t care for us? Mostly because of the fact that we can’t see God even though we can see all of His Creation and it shows His majesty and His creativity and His artistry in Creation! It is His Creation after all! We didn’t have any part in it except when He created us. He knows your talents and abilities and all of your problems. He gave you your talents and your sense of humor and your abilities so He knows more about you than you do about Him.

Why not pick up the Bible and learn more about your Creator and your Savior and get to know Him personally. Then when you hear His voice speaking to you, you will recognize Him and then you can respond accordingly! God wants the best for you but only if you know Him and He knows you can both of you benefit from what is best for you. Give your heart to Jesus and let Him come in and clean up every part of your life so that you can represent Him in every area of your life as well.God is good all the time

Grief


What can I say to a friend who has lost someone dear to them? I love you

What can I do for someone who is going through a gut-wrenching time of pain in their grief? I love you

What is it that a friend needs in their time of pain and heartache? LOVE

How can we, as Christians, fill any of the holes which are gaping in their lives at this time? By loving them

Love, true Christian love, is the only balm which will ease the pain. It will not cure it and it won’t take it away, but it helps…a little. Just show them that you love them. It doesn’t take much and it doesn’t cost you anything but love is the only ointment which can begin the healing process. God’s love can and will heal it in time, but a friend showing love to a brother or sister in Christ is felt immediately and in a physical way. No amount of food or money or any physical thing helps more than the love of Christ.

I am posting this because I know there are many out there who are hurting from the loss of a loved one, regardless of the cause of the loss. God loves you and He is always by your side to comfort you.

Grief is what you feel when a person is not around to share the love that you have for them. 

A love note from God


Romans 8: 31-39

God loves us so completely and totally without reservation until He sent His Son, One of the Trinity, to pay for ALL of mankind’s sins. Not just those which had been done by Israel or those from centuries in the past, but for ALL of mankind until the end of the age of man. Love is the factor which brought God to Earth in the form of a man, Jesus the Christ.

We receive His grace every day with our life as we wake in the morning when we are bound to Earth by the gravity which God placed into creation or when we breathe the air given to us by God and recycled by the plants and trees and chlorophyll-laden plankton in the ocean. God provides for us in so many ways until we have come to take all of them for granted as if we have a right to them.

We do actually, as long as we are in love with Him too. But when we burn the forests down or pollute the oceans and streams which He gave to us to manage but not destroy, God doesn’t look kindly on us as part of His creation, which was made in His Image, while it destroys other parts of creation.

God tells us in His Word, the Bible, that He loves us. He does this so many times until it should register with you and me without it being pointed out by a preacher or someone who has taken the time to chronicle the number of times it shows up in the Bible. The numbers are not exactly staggering but they do show that God wants us to know that He LOVES us!

It depends upon which version/translation that you use to track the number, but if you use the King James Version there are 310 times in which it appears. Some translations use the word in ways other than what love should be used for but the fact is that God expressed His love for all of us through His grace and mercy and all of the blessings which we have in our lives.

Yes, we do take most of them for granted today and most of the world doesn’t notice any of them as being given to us by God at all. The air we breathe, the water we have to drink, the food which we have are all part of our inventiveness and our own work. Much of the world doesn’t attribute any of our accomplishments to God at all! It has all been done by the ingenuity of our minds and our talents.

Who gave us our talents and our intellect and ingenuity? God did. Yet, we treat our talents and our intellect as ours, as if we had a part in bringing it to bear in our lives. God gave each of us unique talents and abilities which only we, as individuals, have in our possession. While a degree or a talent for music may be shared in the general population, each person has some unique talent or ability which no other person in the world has.

So why do we seem to think that “natural selection” made such a difference in the world? Because of the scientists and legislators who have pushed God and any mention of Creation out of their curriculum. That is the reason most colleges graduate people who have no concept of God because He isn’t allowed in the classroom! So why would God bless our country so much when we have pushed Him out of schools and out of our government or public life? There is really only one reason which explains why He has not taken His blessings away from America.

He blesses the land which has blessed Israel and our country has done that. While it is true that a few others have blessed the land and the people that God holds dear in His heart, America has done it for the longest amount of time.

God is still active in Creation, whether we recognize His hand in it or not. The world is His and everything in it is His to do with as He pleases. So, forget the political processes and the parties, the Ruler of the universe is truly in charge of each facet of life here and we should be following Him as closely as possible every day.

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.