Sufficient grace


2 Corinthians 12:7-10

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh…”

We are plainly taught how mistaken we are when we set eminent saints upon a platform by themselves, as though they were some kind of superhuman beings or even angels.

Paul enjoyed more revelations than we do or at least more than we should let others know about,  but then he also had a thorn in the flesh. He was a good man, but he was only a man. And, as men sometimes do, he was subject to the lure of the sin of pride itself. Pride in your children is not a bad thing, nor is being proud of your heritage, but the things which Paul had seen in the Spirit and in his walk with the Lord, he might have elevated himself higher than he should if he were to think much about the revelations that were given to him.

In his prayers, Paul asked the Lord to remove this thorn from his flesh. He did this at least three times as recorded here, yet the Lord said, No. My grace is sufficient for you. So, you see sometimes our infirmities may be brought on by Satan but allowed to stay by God. Why? Because when your joints hurt and it is hard to get up and walk or maybe you can’t balance yourself very well, then you need to depend upon God and His grace toward you so that He will get the glory in your weakness by giving you the strength to endure this trial.

In verse 9, Paul says that he would rather boast in his weakness and infirmities that the power of Christ may be manifest in him.

Leaning on God or on Jesus daily is what God was always speaking of when He told the Jewish people time and time again that He was their portion or that He would sustain them. Even in the wilderness, they got tired of the manna yet they ate it because they needed something to eat. He provided water for all of the people and their animals in the desert, even where there was no river or spring to draw from. God has always provided, yet people tend to rely on themselves more than they do on Him. Even when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God provided the substitute for him in the form of a goat.

We are meant to walk with Him every day. That doesn’t mean that you have to be reading your Bible all of the time or even be in prayer all of the time. But, to walk in the spirit of worship regardless of where you may find yourself or in what situation, this is what Jesus meant when He told the disciples to take up your cross and follow Me. Your cross is your spiritual worship of Him everywhere you are, not just in church or Bible study.

Even when we do walk with Him daily, don’t fall prey to the sin of pride like the Pharisee did while praying. He was proud in his prayer: The Pharisee was standing alone by himself and he was praying these things: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men: extortioners, oppressors, adulterers, and not like this Tax Collector.”  We must be careful not to allow pride to raise us to a place above others because we don’t deserve it, especially concerning our faith in Jesus.

Paul’s thorn was a blessing as well as a messenger of Satan because it drove him to his knees in prayer. Anytime that we are on our knees in prayer before God we can stand before anyone or anything! God honors our prayers and He hears them, whether He answers them right away or not is His prerogative because He is God!

Do we look to Him for our strength today and every day or do we just say so because it makes us look more like a Christian in the eyes of others? Remember, there are many people who claim to be a Christian but there are fewer people who actually worship God and live their lives in accordance with His Word. Even when they do this, they don’t brag about it, they just walk through their day and their lives the way that they always have since Christ entered their life. Sometimes you can spot them and other times you may not be able to pick them out. Striving to be more like Jesus is a life of living one foot in front of the other. Every second of each day is expectant of His return for us because it could be at any time.

Is it possible to live with the grace of God giving us our daily bread and following Him like He will be appearing just any day? Yes, it is! Because whether we are ready for it or not, He will appear and call us home one day. Then the world will mourn and rejoice in the same day! Rejoice because all of those “intolerant Christians are gone” and those who are mourning will be the ones who attended services and knew about His return one day but like the virgins who needed more oil…they weren’t ready when He did show up.

Romans 8


Romans chapter 8 has been called the most wonderful chapter in the Bible, mainly because it begins with a sentence saying “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’. Why does this make a difference? Because by belonging to Christ, we are not condemned under the Law, and this applies to Gentiles and Jews.

Romans is a letter of Paul’s to the church in Rome to give them encouragement and to strengthen their faith in the One that they have believed in, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God and our Savior. A believers freedom from the Law comes from Jesus’ incarnation and His sacrifice for sin and by the Holy Spirit’s operation in providing life. Jesus, being the Second of the Trinity and the Son, took on humanity. He did not cease to be God but took on human form without sin and became the perfect offering in order to fulfill the law’s demands in His life and death which broke sin’s power in the flesh on the cross.

Through the Spirit, a believer’s life can now be lived in a new way of life by loving as Christ did, through Christ, which fulfills the Law. Paul describes our struggle with “the old man”, which is our old nature and the “new man”, which is two different mindsets which we struggle with daily, sometimes with different outcomes. Depending upon which mindset you choose to follow on any given day.

Unregenerate people, those who haven’t accepted Christ, being hostile toward God and unable to submit to His law because they lack God’s Spirit, which makes submission possible. Christians live in a new realm because they have God’s Spirit dwelling within them. His Presence is the mark of Christ’s ownership. Your physical body will die because of the effects of sin, unless the Lord returns before your death. The pledge and promise of the Spirit is that He will raise us as He did Jesus, providing everlasting Life and righteousness.

Our freedom in Christ brings with it an obligation to subdue the sinfulness that is in the flesh because we have been changed by the Holy Spirit, decisively submitting the flesh to God as a living sacrifice to live daily in the spirit.

The leading of the Spirit of God is His providential sanctification. It is common to all adopted sons and it is constant. It will bring a believer to glory.The leading of the Spirit is not some mystical direction or ecstasy. It is the Spirit’s empowerment for mortification of our fleshly desires.

The Holy Spirit does not act as a spirit of bondage, but it is the means of our adoption into God’s family. By the Spirit we have a consciousness that God is our Father. It is a mark of a Christian to cry out to our Father in our prayer. The Spirit also gives us assurance of our salvation and our status in the family of God. We are joined to Christ in suffering by also in future blessing and destiny in Heaven. As He is in glory so will we be glorified with Him.

In verse 18, Paul wrote that our “light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

All of creation groans and has since the fall, but all will be restored in the regeneration. When we receive our freedom, the entire world will be changed. Christians only have a pledge of what is to come. We groan because of our fallen nature which is at war with our regenerate nature in Christ, which we have to conquer daily through Christ. One day our resurrected bodies will conform to the same glorification as Jesus’ glorified body.

In our weakness, we have the strength of the Holy Spirit and His intercession for us when we can’t say the words. Our Spirit agrees with the Holy Spirit and with groanings which are above words agrees with the Father on our behalf, saying things and asking for those things that we need even before we need them. The Spirit is also in agreement with the will of God for us and those prayers are always answered.

Who are those who love God? Those who have been called according to His purpose, the called are all Christians. The promise of this verse is that God orders everything for us so that all of life’s experiences work together for our ultimate good. Whether it may be good in and of itself, but God uses all of our circumstances for our good. Jesus taught that God’s sovereign care for and guidance of creation covers even the death of a sparrow and the hairs on our heads.

If God looks on even those minute details in our lives, don’t you think that He is interested in the things which many of us deny Him access to in our everyday lives because “we don’t think He needs to be part of it”?

Remember, we are more than conquerors through Christ! Once you have given your heart and life to Jesus and asked the Holy Spirit to take up residence in your life and your heart, there is NOTHING which can separate you from His love or from Him. Believe in Him and you shall be saved! Not maybe, not sometimes, but every time and for all time! Amen!

This is my sermon for tomorrow morning, I pray that it touches your heart and draws you closer to Jesus.

Miracles


MiraclesIn everyday life we see them but we may not recognize them for what they are. Some of them are little miracles that don’t seem like God had anything to do with them at the time. Some that we hear about are easy to recognize as a miracle because the healing or the shrinking of a tumor just doesn’t happen on its own. God works like this, in the background doing little things which will accomplish His Work and His purposes even when it seems that things aren’t going very well.

Our lives are like that too. Some days they are very good and some are, well not so much. Do miracles happen in your life? Occasionally you may notice something that couldn’t happen that way otherwise, but I would bet that many of our miracles happen when we don’t know about it. A guardian angel slips between you and someone intent on robbing you or maybe they redirect a car or truck from slamming into you. If you don’t think that God uses angels to do this kind of work, I imagine we will be surprised when we do get to Heaven.

We are His adopted children after all and if you have not given your heart to Jesus and asked Him to forgive you for waiting so long, then you need to get it done! Whether the world believes it or not, this age of grace which we have lived under for almost two thousand years is nearly over. A lot is going to happen in the next decade or two, maybe less, who knows? God does. He knows the day and the hour of your death as well as the time when He will send for all of His Church to be brought to Heaven.

The signs are in the heavens but many people are just saying that this is just astronomical signs and nothing more. The Bible clearly states that God intends to use the heavens to declare seasons and times and we are coming up on one of those times, the end of days or the Tribulation. Whatever you want to call it, it will be a time of war and disease and death as well as the judgement of God, all of it spelled out in prophecy.

Choose today who will be your Savior because your tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

Loss, life and Love


Everyone goes through all of these in their lifetimes. Some go through them a little earlier or more frequently, sometimes it happens a bit later in life. But…we all have each of them at some point. Regardless of when or how things happen in your life, God is always near your heart and available to comfort your spirit and give strength to your soul. We cannot see Him or feel Him physically, but if you are a child of His you can feel Him spiritually by your side in all things, good or bad.

Why do I bring this up today? Because, all over the world there are people who are hurting because of one reason or another. Whether it is because of the loss of a loved one or because of disease or war or persecution, even in America people experience these. Maybe not to the point or extent that those in other countries do, but we should at least be in prayer for our brothers and sisters everywhere.

God cares for all of the human race regardless of the country or religion which you may subscribe to follow daily. He knows your struggle and would like for you to come to Him in faith. Though many people seek Him by other names, that is not how you get to know and love God. Faith and belief in Him and in Jesus is the only way to come to Him. You can’t call a statue “god”, nor can you pray to Him as another name and think that He hears you.

Jesus said that the only way to the Father is through the Son. No other name or worship is part of that relationship, just faith in God and belief in Jesus. God provided a way to salvation through belief in Jesus and His atonement for us in His death and resurrection. No other religious leader in history has ever come out of the tomb or grave after their death, except for Jesus! There were many witnesses of His resurrection body and His teaching after He came out of the tomb because He taught for another 50 days before ascending to the Father.

Life is in Him and eternity is only one heartbeat away. Make sure that your eternity is with Him!

The wages of a life without Jesus


The wages of sin
Romans 6 

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What do you consider a sin? Working on the Sabbath? Cursing, taking the Lord’s name in vain? Gambling? Adultery? Gossip? Which of these would you consider a sin? How about telling an untruth (lying)?

In God’s eyes and in His way of looking at sin, all of these are sins and it doesn’t mean that we, even as Christians, have to do more than one. One sin, whether it is telling someone a lie, regardless of it being a little one or a big one, makes you guilty of breaking them ALL! So, how can we be justified in the sight of God?

Only through the belief in Jesus and in His atoning sacrifice on the cross. If you deny that or if you just believe it because the preacher says so but you really don’t believe it in your heart, then your belief is null!

If I told you that a rope could save you from falling to your death, would you believe it? Most of you would, but only IF you could see and feel the rope! The catch is that the rope will only save your life IF you reach out and take it in your hands and hold on to it so you don’t fall.

Jesus will save you from falling into Hell itself, IF you will believe in His atonement and in the work that He accomplished on the cross when you accept Him as your Savior. There is nothing that you can do to “help” Him save you, there is no amount of “good things” which you can do to enhance your salvation. He paid the price for ALL OF US with His blood, His death and His resurrection, there is nothing that you or I can add to it at all.

Choosing to know about Jesus and all of the miracles and Grace which God grants to you and me through Him, will not bring you salvation. Knowing about a chest full of gold on your property doesn’t make you rich, until you claim it!! It is the same with your salvation. If you have felt the knock on your heart and your life,heard that small voice which has tried to get you to accept Jesus BUT you have chosen to ignore it or you have determined that you will do it later??  Why would you do that?

Are you absolutely SURE that you have a tomorrow or next week to accept Jesus as your Savior? Do you know that you will live until tomorrow without a doubt or next weekend, such as next Sunday to determine that you will accept Him then? If you have this knowledge, I want to know who told you? Where did you get it from?

We are not given a guarantee of tomorrow or next week or next year! It is true that God said it was appointed to us “threescore and ten or if by reason of strength, fourscore years”, but this is not a guarantee! Moses wrote this Psalm, which is Psalm 90, and God blessed him with more strength and years to live to about 120, but our days are not written in stone.

God loves us and He will give you eternal life once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, so from that point you could say that you have tomorrow or next year, but that doesn’t mean that eternity will be in this body and on Earth. Our eternity is in Heaven with Him, your life and mine may only last for a few more days or weeks or maybe until next year if God wills it so. We can’t boast of planning for anything too far out in our lives and I won’t make that mistake.

Seek to follow Jesus and believe in Him and the grace which we are given because of our belief in Him, and do it daily. Waking, give thanks. Eating and working, give God thanks. Coming home safely, give God thanks. Lying down to sleep, give God thanks. Why? Because it was by His Grace alone that you were able to do those things!! His Grace gives you the ability and the strength to do all of those things and without Him and His Grace, you and I are nothing!

Don’t disregard His call on your life or put it off until you have the time to devote to Him, because you don’t know when your life will end here and you will stand in front of God to answer for your words and deeds in this world. If you have given your heart to Him and believe in Jesus and His work on the cross and His resurrection for your salvation, then your sins are covered by His blood and you don’t need to fear the judgement! Standing there without Jesus as your advocate will be a terrifying ordeal, so don’t choose that path.

What can we do?


There are many paths to enlightenment in the world today, philosophically speaking, therefore, which one is the correct path for all concerned? Few I’m afraid….actually there is only one.

Philosophy and enlightenment are pursuits which give us knowledge but that will not enable you to be a part of God’s Kingdom. Even knowledge of the Bible and all that it contains will not get you into Heaven without belief and faith in Jesus! Reading and studying the Bible until you know it by heart will do nothing for you spiritually unless the Holy Spirit opens your mind and heart so that you can see Who your Savior truly is and accept Him.

Knowledge and degrees and meditation are wonderful for their own purposes, but the experience of God is found through faith and belief in Jesus. If you don’t have that, then the Bible is just a book of historical figures and facts written by men. God did not give us His Word, the Bible, to be just a book. It is the revelation of Himself and His Son from beginning to end and it doesn’t matter if everyone doesn’t see it that way!

The Sun shines whether you have any faith or belief in it or not. Gravity still works whether you believe it exists or not. God and His promise through Jesus the Christ will accomplish everything written down by His apostles and prophets because He is God, whether you believe in Him and His Son or not.

Life, love, greed, hatred, envy and fear all exist as part of our emotional lives in one way or  another. We cannot change this because we can’t change the character of the entire world and every person in it. All of this boils down to one Truth and that is: Jesus came and died on a cross for your sins and your father’s sins and your friend’s sins. He paid the price for all of them, each and every person past, present and future. Whether we believe it or not doesn’t change the fact that it happened and it won’t change anything about the future which was foretold in the book of Revelation.

Seek Him by believing in Him. Read His Word and ask Him to show you the wisdom that you need to have so that your eyes will see Him as He is. The Savior that you need for healing, strength, and hope for eternity, because Jesus is the Savior that we all have been searching for.

What will you do?


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

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

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

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

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

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

What?


I hear this a lot! If I had said that to my father, I would’ve paid for it and I doubt I would’ve said it again!

It seems that in today’s world, many people are saying the same thing in reference to God and His Word and the so-called “rules” that are preached in the pulpit of many churches today. Why do I say many and not all? Because there are many preachers who are not preaching from His Word like they are supposed to.

There are no “rules” in Christianity to keep, other than the Commandments of our Lord. We are not required to study His Word a certain number of hours a day, we aren’t required to wear certain clothes, we aren’t required to do anything. But, consider this: God sent His only begotten Son to give His life as a sinless offering for all of our sins. Then, He was raised from the grave on the third day and appeared to many people until just before the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came to His disciples.

God didn’t have to do this, but it was His plan from the beginning where He mentioned this:  “I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel” (Genesis 3:15).

That “seed of the woman” was Jesus Christ!

rules-for-christian-living-1024x613The reason that I said that there are no “rules” in Christianity is because once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you have the Holy Spirit living inside your heart. When that happens, you begin being changed from the inside and you want to do those things which so many people call restrictions or rules. You are changed from the person that you were into a new creation in Christ!

Before I truly accepted Jesus as my Savior, I still liked to smoke a cigarette once in a while, now I don’t have the craving to do so. A long time ago, I drank whiskey almost every weekend along with smoking illegal drugs like marijuana. That was more than 37 years ago, I don’t want to do those things anymore. I still have cravings sometimes for a smoke or a beer but God says that He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond that which you are able to bear, and He is true to His Word!

Why do some preachers preach messages which don’t go by God’s Word today? Oh, they use some passages from it, but the message doesn’t necessarily follow the meaning of those passages sometimes. Understand now, I am not picking on preachers in general, there are just a few who have done this. Some of them you have heard of in the news, some are local to me in the area that I live. My point is that if you are truly called to be a preacher for God’s Kingdom, you need to preach from His Word.

I know that some of what I write I don’t include a scripture every time, it is just the “wisdom” that I have learned from reading the Bible for the past ten or fifteen years from Genesis to Revelation. Each time that I read through it, I find something new that I didn’t understand before or maybe the Holy Spirit reveals to me something that He didn’t the last time.

That is the kind of study that God wants from His adopted children. There isn’t a rule that you have to do it, but how else are you going to get to know God if you don’t learn His voice which is revealed in Scripture? Does that make me a “super Christian”? No, just a forgiven and redeemed one! God loves the whole world, which is why He sent His Son into it so that He could live a sinless life and be the blameless, spotless, Lamb of God which would take away the sins of the world!

The offer of redemption is available to each of us, regardless of race, color, or nationality. It doesn’t depend upon your religion or your willingness to be a missionary and there are no requirements of denying yourself of food or water or anything that is available to you. The only part of you that God wants is your heart and your obedience to Him. When He calls you, answer Him. If He leads you to go somewhere to be a missionary, go without question.

This is the God that led Moses through the wilderness and helped him to defeat Pharaoh and release Israel from bondage. God also went with them through the wilderness and fed them manna and gave them and their animals water from the Rock (a type of Jesus). All of this is there to be learned. Sixty six books in the Bible tell the story of God’s love for mankind and show you the Savior Who was to come and Who did come to die for your sins. He will come again, only this time He will be King of Kings and Judge the whole world, those who haven’t accepted Him as their Lord.

What? Is an expression of surprise and sometimes frustration, but it is also used disrespectfully as well. What should you do? If you have felt His call, a small voice or a touch in your heart telling you that you need Him, don’t push Him away. Don’t run like Jonah did, because God is everywhere and He can find you. If He has something for you to do, it means that nobody else can do it….just you! Think about it while you can.

Prayer..is it necessary?


Some religions require you to pray a certain number of times each day, but is that enough? Are we praying for the right things or are we just reciting prayers that we learned as children? Prayer is a two-way communication not just a request line! Saying the same prayer over and over again doesn’t work, because you aren’t speaking to God if you are just repeating words which have no substance or meaning.

God is our Creator and He is interested in your life every day, not just when you are in trouble or you feel the need to get in touch with Him. Prayer is like talking to your Dad or your Mom, except that God can actually do something about a problem no matter what it may be!

The reason that I am writing about this is that it seems that many people use prayer as an emergency line. When something happens that they can’t handle, they cry out to God for His Presence right then! God hears these prayers, and He will answer them in His time not yours. He is God, not a bell boy or a genie and He doesn’t do your bidding regardless of how much money you gave to the church last year!

God loves each of us and He hears our prayers, what we don’t understand is that He wants a relationship with us. One that is in communication on a regular basis, not just when something in your life is going wrong! As it says in Numbers and Exodus, when you teach your children His statutes at rising, when you are walking along and before bed. God desires to hear a word or prayer from you when you get up, thank Him for your rest and for allowing you to get up, as your day progresses thank Him for your success during the day and when the day is through thank Him for strength to get through another day.

These prayers don’t take long to say and they don’t have to be complicated, they can even be as simple as “Thank you, Lord, for today” or “Thank you for waking me this morning, Lord.” It sounds like a trite, simple prayer but isn’t that the kind of prayer that you hear your children saying when they are young? God likes those prayers too, even if they are coming from you and me.

Daily problems and an eternal cure


Yesterday was my son’s birthday and we were supposed to go out to eat. He and his mother did, I had sinus problems which caused me to get sick enough to puke and had to stay at home. Ruined my day in some ways, but we had pizza and birthday cake (chocolate) with ice cream for dessert so all around, a pretty good save!

Life goes on regardless of your health problems, good or bad, we all have them. God is there to give you peace and comfort and to strengthen you at those times when you truly need it. My day, yesterday, began in a weird way anyhow. Dreams which were so vivid I felt I could touch them, but I didn’t want to because of the nature of them. It was as if Satan was showing me a video of what is going to be in outer darkness and the parts of hell where the fire is not!

I was, at least, able to call out to God and get out of that situation, but the nausea remained and grew worse. Why am I speaking of my day in this way, particularly here? Because, I need for you to know that I have days like this. I may be a pastor of a small church and a blogging pastor too but my days are not always “on top of the mountain” days. I do have fits and sputters of days and days where I fall entirely into the valley where the demons live. Yet…God carries me through all of those unsavory places with His Strength and His peace.

Is life perfect? Of course not…at least not yet. It will come as close as possible when Jesus begins His rule on Earth for one thousand years and then when the new Heaven and Earth come it will be perfectly wonderful beyond anyone’s wildest imagination! I can’t give you much of a description because of a limited imagination and the fact that there are no detailed descriptions of our future home. John tries to do it and some other writers attempt to give you a description of it, but from what some reported visitations have said in movies and books, the colors and textures of Heaven just don’t translate well into ordinary language.

Our minds can’t put into words the views and the texture of it and then you have to think of the clarity and the smell of Heaven, it would be like I have written before “like trying to describe blue or red to someone who was blind from birth”! They don’t have a concept of the color and if they haven’t seen it before then a description falls far short of what it is! It is the same with any description of Heaven, those of us on Earth have never experienced a perfect world, one which has deeper, richer colors and textures and even smells than we can experience here.

Life here is limited to our place…where we live, what we are exposed to and our ability to understand all that God has placed in our life. We can’t understand how a person living in Mongolia or the Congo or India lives because “we haven’t walked in their shoes or their sandals”. Even in America, there are many different cities and problems within those cities where we can’t understand the reason for the violence and other problems because unless you live there, you CAN’T know anything about it!

The best part of being a Christian is that we can live here expecting Jesus to come and we will have a home there too. Why bring this up today? Because, we all have problems and there are bad things happening in this world every day but…God is in control and He knows what is happening and why. Could He stop many of the things which are happening? Yes, but what would we learn from life if an angel came to our rescue every time? What would we learn about life and living if we looked for God to give us everything and we didn’t have to do anything for it?

We would be treating Him like many people look to the government today, waiting for their stamps and their money to be put on the card again. There is no need to try to get a job or go to school because the government will take care of all your needs.

Having faith in God to take care of your needs is not the same as Him providing everything for your daily life. He does want us to depend on Him, but if you aren’t willing to live your life as if you are His child then why should He? God loves you so much that His Son took on human flesh to live among us and then die for our sins so that we can belong to His family! If you can’t be bothered with living the way He wants you to, then He might just let your life be like you are living it rather than the way it could be.