Do you have a direction?


Leading a church, a home, and a blog about Jesus should be pretty easy to do. Sometimes..it is, and sometimes these don’t mix very well. Mainly because the “mixer” is out of sync or not plugged into the Source of Wisdom like he should be. The “mixer” of course is me! There are days and nights where things are going along pretty well. Then there are others which are not, for one reason or the other. Sometimes it is because of depression or apathy, sometimes it is because of my own physical pains and other problems which crop up from time to time.

When money is tight or maybe one of us is sick or we have to take the “fur-baby” to the vet’s office, all of these can put a cork in productivity. Life just gets in the way sometimes. There are many other distractions which get in the way, but you get the picture.  This is the time where each one of us needs to seek God’s Wisdom and His provision for our lives. I know it sounds like one of those answers that a pastor would give, but it is the truth! Man’s wisdom doesn’t fit the situation at times and sometimes our way of dealing with a problem, whatever it might be, just isn’t going to cut it.

The only One Who can help in every situation is God. He has the wisdom and the knowledge to help us IF we will seek Him out and listen to the wisdom that He gives to us. Most of the churches today seem to focus on numbers, at least the ministries which you see on television. Big churches and auditoriums, a band and lights…but that is not what Jesus told His disciples to do (they couldn’t since there wasn’t electricity at the time). Jesus said, “Go and make disciples”. That is what a walk with Jesus is and it is what a life with Jesus is supposed to be.

Going to church a couple of times each week and listening to the pastor read a scripture or maybe a chapter, expounding on its meaning for each person there is not the way to make disciples. Leading them through the Bible into an understanding of it and the meaning of it is the function of the pastor and the disciples too. If the pastor is the only one reading and praying about what he reads in order to understand it, then the members of the church are being left behind. They hear what he says in the sermon, but do they really think about it, praying about its meaning for their lives?

I would think that many people don’t even remember which scripture was read by the time they get home from church. If you are to become a disciple of Jesus with the ability to take the scripture with you every day, then you need to read and study it every day. Just attending a service or two each week and then closing the Bible the rest of the time will not write the scripture in your heart. The reason for reading and studying the Bible should be that it is meaningful to your life! It has to be the guiding wisdom of your daily walk with Jesus, otherwise, it is just a book.

RomanRoad2Salvation

The wonder of Joy


joyIn many ways when we come to know Jesus, we are joyful in that knowledge that we have our salvation granted through Jesus our Savior. We are very much like a small child, giddy and so happy that our Savior loves us enough to grant us our salvation through His blood, His death and resurrection! So…what happens after you find that you need to learn more about Him and learn to listen to Him every day?

It seems that many people don’t experience that joyous wonder like a child. They understand that they need Him and they ask Him into their hearts. But sometimes our church or others in the church who should shepherd them toward their Savior drop the ball. Many people end up just standing in ankle-deep salvation for many years and some never get past that point.

The joy of knowing Jesus and knowing that you have been saved through His sacrifice in your place should carry you through for many months until you begin to mature as a Christian. But how do you do that? The same way you get through any learning situation, by study, prayer and by seeking His advice for your life every day. It is a daily walk with Him after all, and just as any relationship…it needs to be cultivated and nurtured.

He is your Creator and your Savior and that relationship should be one that continues all through your life, day in and day out. Sounds boring, but think about Who you are having a relationship with! He is the Creator, the Son of God, your Savior and the second Person of the Trinity! Could there be anyone in the universe who could possibly be more interesting?

If you are wondering how you could get to know Him, READ the Bible! God inspired the writers and disciples to tell you about Himself and His personality. Yes, sometimes He is demanding but it’s because He expects us to obey Him, just as we expect our children to obey when they learn the rules about being in your house! Life, as a child of God, is a learning process and it is one that takes a lifetime! You can’t get a version of it which is a digest version, it is a day by day, week by week learning process which is very much like our own lives.

The joy of knowing Jesus is like the joy of bringing home your newborn son or daughter. It or rather they are new in your life, you are new at learning how to handle your relationship with them or Him. As time goes on and you learn more about Him, the joy should grow into a deeper love and a deeper relationship…but there should always be a bit of joy in it from day-to-day!

 

What would get your attention?


I see many blogs which are much more related to photos or jokes or even paintings which get much more traffic than the messages which I place here. Now, don’t take this the wrong way, I am not complaining about my audience at all! It does seem that interest is more for media and other things included on a website rather than messages of the Christ, our Savior!

I kinda understand it simply because of the time in which we live. We are very close to the time of Tribulation, so there is a waning of interest in things which refer to Jesus and salvation. This is also why churches are empty on many Sundays and why few people go to church at all unless it is for a holiday or a birthday or some other special occasion.

So much that is happening now was foretold thousands of years ago, yet the prophecies were so hard to understand until few people realize that they were speaking of today. The prophets, including John who wrote the book of Revelation, didn’t know what they were seeing. Planes could’ve been the demons of dragonflies, horses with fire coming from their mouths could’ve been tanks with guns firing. Our time reflects the descriptions of the time of the end, with much of the disregard for God and His laws being what we see today on the news.

Yes, we are just as much sinners and full of ourselves as they were thousands of years ago. Nothing has really changed except technology and transportation, the sins are the same, but worse today. Many of our sins today are more akin to things which would’ve been unthinkable in Jesus’ day or before. Slave trafficking was happening at the time, but not sex slaves made out of children, as far as we know.

Pedophiles and so many other sins which seem to be tolerated today by people who are supposed to be “religious” or even Christians. Why are we not saying anything or doing anything about this today? It seems that we have become so used to seeing it or hearing about it, until we just don’t think its important anymore, as if it doesn’t matter! What if it were your child kidnapped and sent to Thailand or some other place to be a slave in the sex trade? Would it matter then?

These things are happening, not because God allows it to happen but because the world is under the control and influence of Satan and his followers. I don’t mean that there is a huge cult or Satan worship group doing all of this, but those who perpetrate evil are under his influence. God is going to bring this to an end…soon. I suggest that if you don’t know Jesus, you need to come to Him and ask for Him to come into your life and change you into the person that He knows you can be!

Without Him, your life will end with your death here and then your eternity will be very different from what you might think it will be. Seek Him while there is still time to do so.

 

Just a thought…


Maybe more than one…I saw this on another site or maybe in an email and considered that it was worthy of placing here:Listen and silent

So much of the life and the times in which we live is part of the prophesied times told of in the Bible. The books of Revelation, Daniel and Ezekiel all have some points which give us some insight into the times in which we live right now. So what is the point of the words “listen” and “silent”? Simply this: you must be silent in order to listen and you need to listen in order to understand. In order to understand the wisdom of God, you need to learn to listen to Him and what better way to do that than to read His Word so you will know His voice when He speaks? If you don’t know someone’s voice, you can’t pick them out in a crowd of people, and that is what we have to do in order to hear God.

There is so much going on around us today until it is extremely hard to pick out relevant information, let alone the actual Truth of God. It just gets drowned out in the background until you can’t hear it well enough to know what is being said. Daily living with God’s Word, not just once or twice a week, is what is truly necessary for all of us who wish to know Him and be known by Him.

Seek His guidance in all of life’s problems and triumphs, the good and the bad times, and everything in between. Why? Because that is how the relationship between us and God was supposed to work in the beginning! Walking, talking and learning from Him was the normal and the only way for Adam and Eve to learn the things needed to be caretakers of the Garden. It is very sad that we fell from His grace so soon, but it didn’t surprise God. He knew that it was coming and what brought it about as well as who was responsible, just as the rebellion in the ranks of the angels didn’t surprise Him.

Silent and quiet times are few and far between, but we need to try to have those with God. Because, Jesus made sure in His ministry to do just that and He did it often, not just when He needed some advice or inspiration. We should do the same. Seek Him out so that you can learn from the Creator, He really is the best teacher.

 

 

 

 

How was your day?


Each of us has at least one day which doesn’t go quite like we hoped it would. Some of us wake up to joint pain and fever, some of us have to live with cancer or arthritis on a daily basis. Some of us in this world wake up hungry with no food and sometimes no water. So…how was your day today?

Does it compare to a day in which you have a breathing tube in your throat to help you breathe? Maybe you are paralyzed in some way and have to have help with nearly every part of your life. Life does go on after disease and problems like paralysis have caused you to “rethink your life”, and its goals. Many of us don’t want to keep going in these instances, but it is best if we do. Why?

Because, you are made in God’s image and God doesn’t make junk! Your life and everything that seems to be wrong is just a part of your life. God can use that “wrong” part to bring glory and honor to Him if you will follow Him! He knows how you got the disease or problem in the first place and He has a plan. It may not be the plan that you had in the beginning, but He can and will work all things, good or bad, out for your good and His Glory!

God doesn’t leave you alone, especially when He has plans which He wants you to complete. They may not get started today or tomorrow, but when He feels the time is right, those plans will become crystal clear. You will know Who placed them there and that you are the only one who can do this, so…do it!

If you are wondering why I bring this up, it is because of the unique position which all of the followers of Christ are in. We have the Truth which everyone else is looking for, although in today’s world it is best if we live it out so that people can see it in us from day-to-day. I am not saying that we shouldn’t tell people about Jesus, particularly if they ask us about our faith. What I am saying is that in today’s world people tend to get offended if you say that you know the way and others don’t.

It doesn’t take much to upset someone’s “safe place” these days, even if you didn’t intend to do so.

Safe places are what we are supposed to have at church and at home, although many people, children and grown-ups too, don’t have a safe place in many areas of the world..even in America. We all need to concentrate on prayer today because of the world and our place in it and in history too. Regardless of your belief in God or lack of belief, we are on the verge of a time of change. One that has been foretold for a couple of thousand years, yet many people are ignoring the signs or they just aren’t looking for them.

Don’t ignore the signs or the part of the Bible which almost reads like a newscast today, the book of Revelation is important to all people. Read it, pray about it and seek Him while there is time.

 

Will you come back?


Many people seem to be leaving the church today, for one reason or another. They are either too busy or tired of the same old sermons being taught over and over, or at least that is what they think it is being done. The message of the Bible, from the Genesis to Revelation, is salvation through Jesus the Messiah. So, yes it does sound a bit like the same message over and over again but that is what God had to do in the Old Testament to get Israel’s attention. He still has to do it today, even with grace and mercy and Jesus’ atonement for our sins. If the message weren’t repeated then many people wouldn’t hear it.

God loves each of you and He has made salvation easy but it seems that it is too easy. It seems that many look at something which is free and easy isn’t worth much, but that kind of thinking is wrong. Jesus did all of the work necessary to accomplish your salvation and mine, the only thing we have to do is realize that we need it then ask Him to come into our lives and change each of us from the heart outward!

Why should you come back to church?

Because, God’s Word is being preached there and because your home church needs you! We want you back because when Jesus comes back we want to all go up there together! This isn’t something which is dependent upon your location though. If you belong to Jesus, you will be caught up in the air to be with Him forever. The alternative destination is not one that you want to look forward to at all.

Why is that? Because, being in “outer darkness” and away from the love of God is the place you will be in. It is hell because the Presence of God is not there and your loved ones who know Jesus will be elsewhere. At the end, at the White Throne judgement you will be cast into the lake of fire with the other angels and humans who have decided to follow their own path and not the one of following Jesus.

God doesn’t put you into hell or the lake of fire, your decisions in this life do that all by themselves. It is your decision to walk and live one way or another. The end results are very different but eternity still lingers in front of you, make sure of your eternity before it is too late to change your mind.

What happened?


I often wonder this very thing some days. Recently and many years in the past, I have wondered exactly what happened. Sometimes it has something to do with daily life, sometimes I wonder this in the context of reading my Bible. Why did this happen this way or why would God do this or allow this to happen?

There are times when we get up and begin our day, wondering what happened. Some days it seems that this is an all too common theme of our lives. How can we get around it or keep these moments from becoming the norm rather than the exception? Well…that is where the answer gets a little more complicated. I don’t mean that you or I have to change our lives or our addresses to move beyond those moments of being “blindsided” by…well, life itself.

God does care about these areas of your life, whether you think He does or not. He cares about all of the tiny details of your life and mine, but many times that is where we fail to let Him in. Why do we sabotage that relationship? Because we don’t think that the Creator could possibly care about how our house looks or where the car keys happen to be hiding! But…He does care!

It is hard for us to imagine God caring about every detail in our lives, no matter how small or insignificant those details may be. But the truth is that He does care, about all of the details of our lives IF we will allow Him into those areas of our lives. Many people ask Jesus to be their Savior, but when they feel that He wants in on all of the areas of their lives they close the door on some part that they want to keep for themselves.

Those personal areas are not just yours, God gave you those hobbies and abilities and He likes to see you use them…for Him. For His purposes and His Kingdom come before anything else and those purposes, His purposes, don’t have to be things which we don’t like. God can use a fisherman or a tent-maker or a poet and a musician. He can use a shepherd boy or a young man with a coat of many colors to accomplish His purposes.

All of those people, including you and me, have been used by God to do wonderful things for His Kingdom. Some of us have been used in ways that we don’t even know about until much later and some of us may not find out about something which we said or did until we meet a person in Heaven and they tell us about it. Maybe even something which I write here will influence someone to make a change in their life toward God and His purposes.

Even playing pool or basketball or any number of other sports can lead to one of you opening up about your faith or lack of faith, which opens a door for telling them your story, your witness for Jesus. Riding a motorcycle or a horse can also bring Jesus into the conversation. A “what happened?” moment can come out of many things, but the answer to that is: Jesus.

In all things, big or small, Jesus, the Son of God, the Living Word has had an influence whether you realize it or not. Every little decision or discovery that has ever happened, especially if you happen to be a Christian, He has had a part in it. The discovery of the vaccine for small pox or the discovery of the polio vaccine may have been looked at as accidents or just something which just happened. But His Spirit was likely the One that pushed them in the right direction.

What happened in your world today? The same that happened in many other people’s world. You and I woke up, got out of bed and began the day. It may have been a totally different day for me than it was for you, but mostly everyone has a similar day in many respects. Some of us have more money, some of us have less. Some of us have enough food and water, some of us don’t. My point is this: as long as we are working for Jesus and His Kingdom, it doesn’t matter what we have or don’t have!

Truth or Consequences


Living the life of a Christian has never been easy. From the time of Jesus’ departure, the apostles and disciples were persecuted by the local priests and by Rome and the Roman government. This has never really stopped, but the face of persecution is different today.

We sometimes hear it from friends who believe that we are judging them when we aren’t. We see the persecution from groups of radicals in other countries and in our own country of America.

Now, it seems to be coming home because if you preach or tell someone a Truth from the Bible, it is labeled as hate speech and you could be put in jail. Can anything be done to stop this? I don’t think that it will get better before Jesus comes back or at least until those who belong to Jesus are taken up to be with Him.

Yet, many Christians in other countries are being killed or put into “work camps” or into prison and much of their suffering doesn’t reach the news outlets. So, unless the Voice of the Martyrs or some other organization brings it to our attention, we don’t hear about it unless it is a bombing that kills many in a church or an open area. If it happens in a jungle or in the mountains of Nepal or North Korea, the country controls the news media, so it doesn’t get out.

Life in “developed” countries like England or Europe or America hasn’t gotten to the point of people dying for their beliefs…yet. We do hear of isolated cases of “radicalized people” killing others who don’t believe like they do, but those are few right now. How will our Christian nation react when violence against Christians gets worse? What will be done to help us? Or will our so-called “leaders” in Congress turn away and deny that it is a problem?

Christians in the past, like five or six centuries in the past, did some horrible things in the name of the Church or even in God’s name. I won’t deny that. But, making all Christians pay the price with their lives today for something which was done during the Crusades in the 12th century is ridiculous. God will punish those who have done things like killing witches who were NOT witches or killing people in the Middle East because they wouldn’t convert to Christianity. That is just as appalling as 9/11 or any of the other atrocities that are happening because of ISIS now!

Seek out the One, true God in the Bible, not one in a book of made up “holy words” by a pedophile who hated Jews and Christians. I promise, God will avenge His own and it doesn’t involve bombs or cutting their heads off!

God has provided a way for eternal life through belief in Jesus and His atoning work on the cross. Seek Him out in His Word for it is the true Word of God. Pray about what He says in it and learn from Him because in the end, all of us will bow and say that Jesus is Lord and King of all!

Truth in the Word


How much truth do you see in God’s Word? In the gospel? If it isn’t true and there is no Truth in it, then why believe?

The Trinity has existed as three in One…as God for a very long time, long before we or anything else in Creation existed. How can we so arrogantly believe that God sent His Son to die and then abandoned Him there? The Holy Spirit was there, God was there and Jesus was on the cross, so He wasn’t abandoned at the cross exactly…He just felt that He was. His humanity felt that way!

The same way that His human heart and His brain told Him to be afraid and anxious before the scourging and the crucifixion. It was His humanity which made Him feel alone, scared and helpless on the cross, but He wasn’t. Our truth is relative today because as psychologists put it, “your truth is not my truth”. This is a very clever lie from Satan. God loves each of us far more than we could ever know or comprehend, until we are in His Presence of course.

You have the freedom to believe in Him and His Word or not, because it is necessary. Love doesn’t come to anyone unless it is free to be given in return as well as received from the other person. Yes, we are free to refuse His love for us if we choose and to live our lives in complete self-righteousness, thinking that we are good enough without Jesus. That we deserve to be allowed into Heaven on our own merits.

The problem with that kind of thinking is that it is totally WRONG!! Until you give your heart to Jesus and allow Him to come in and fix the problems which you caused and to show you what real love actually is, you will always feel empty and without hope. This is what God wanted to save us from in the first place…ourselves. Because ever since the Fall, we have all been born with a seed of sin in our hearts. Toddlers will lie to you without even knowing what they are doing, so that proves that sin is there.

God loves us anyway!! He created all of us and He knows the desires and needs of our heart even when we weren’t born yet. From the moment you were conceived until your death, God knows what you will do, when you will do it and why. He doesn’t force the decisions on you, but He knows what those decisions are or will be, and until you give your life to Him, He will watch you and be with you regardless until you figure out that you really need Him.

Seek Him out before it gets too far or before your life gets out of control! He is there and always has been, so make sure that you know Him before your life is over and your chance to know Him as Savior is gone for good.

Learning about God from God


lamb-of-god-passoverIt is something that many of us try to do in our lives at one point or another, but many of us have no idea how to do it? We consider reading the Bible through but just as any “new year’s resolution” we soon push it aside like any other exercise. Then we only pick it up on church days and read with our pastor, and sometimes we don’t even bring it to church with us at all.

How can you cultivate a relationship with the Creator if you don’t get to know Him? Our only outlet, our only way of getting to know Him IS to read His Word! His ways are there for us in black and white on a page or today on an electronic reader of some kind, but He and His Words are available! He is near us and if we are Christians, then He is dwelling inside our hearts and so near that we might as well be living inside His skin! Ewww gross! Don’t laugh, I know that is what many of you thought.

The point of this is that He wants a relationship with us, just as He did with Adam and Eve only they chose to be independent and go their own way. Our world has been damaged terribly by this independence because instead of living inside His Love and His Life, we make up our own version of Him and His attributes. We remake God and His Son in our image…how WE want them to be! Then, when we feel like they aren’t doing it right, we try to take over and we usually mess things up pretty good at that point!

God’s Word and Wisdom is in the Bible and if we will treat it as our Creator Who is actually speaking through the prophets and writers then accepting Him for Who He is will be so much better and easier! Please consider it and think about reading the book, “The Shack“. I am going to see the movie and maybe do a Bible study on it soon. God loves you!