Be thankful


Happy-Thanksgiving-QuotesThank God for waking you this morning.

Thank Jesus for paying for your sins.

Thank Him for making it possible for you to enter into Heaven one day.

Be thankful that God doesn’t punish our sins immediately when we forget to ask forgiveness.

Be thankful for His grace and mercy which is poured out for all of us each day.

Be thankful for all that you have and for the unanswered prayers that you thought you needed but didn’t.

Be thankful for the sunlight and the rain and the cool fall breezes to come.

Be thankful for the food that God gives you through His Word and from the garden.

Be thankful for the Living Water which flows from His Word which refreshes your soul and renews your mind as you read it.

Thank you, Lord, for all of the wonderful blessings which we receive from your hands each day…even when we take most of them for granted and don’t thank you for them like we should.

Thank you, Lord, for being our Shepherd and our Savior and our King.

Amen

Be ready, look up!


Look up…

When the trumpet of God sounds, what will you be doing? Are you working for His Kingdom or just working to pay your bills? Well…it depends on what time of day that He blows the trumpet. If it is in the night, most of the world or at least half of it will be asleep. If it is the early morning, like right after sunrise, then many will be getting up and preparing for the day to come. Whether it is getting ready for school or work, that is what they will be doing, regardless of their age.

What about the people who don’t know Jesus yet? Truthfully, they will be doing mostly the same things that we are, except some of us will be reading God’s Word and doing our daily Bible study, if we are in the habit of doing that. It is a shame that many Christians miss out on the freshness of God’s Word in the morning simply by NOT studying His Word before going to school or work. Why do I say this? Because reading and praying for God to reveal His wisdom for you from His Word is just a good way of starting the day off on the right foot.

Are we commanded to do so? Well, no, God doesn’t tell us that it is a commandment but He did say “Meditate on the Scriptures day and night”; so in a way, He did say that we should read His Word daily. Whether we choose to do it in the early morning or in the afternoon or evening is our choice, but it would get the day started better if you would begin your day by being in His Word.

God loves us beyond our measure and yet we don’t usually seek Him out until something is wrong or something is going wrong in our lives. Many people seem to be brought up with that sense of not needing God until ?. It isn’t good for us to try to live our lives daily, let alone throughout the year, without Him as part of our lives. What good does that do you?

Your Father in Heaven is the Creator and if you don’t want anything to do with Him don’t you believe that hurts His feelings? I know there are some who don’t believe in God or Jesus or a Creator and that is fine, but it is foolish. Our universe did not just create itself and it didn’t organize itself without God’s hand guiding it to be what He intended it to be and to do His will.

On that day when the trumpet sounds, will it be audible for all to hear or will it be audible for only those who have given their hearts to Jesus? Honestly, I have no idea! It could be the loudest trumpet blast in history or it may be only audible to the ears of those who have been waiting for it eagerly. Either way, it is going to happen soon and by that, I mean within my lifetime.

So, look up expecting to hear or see something beyond amazing but also terrifying. Why? Because, if you see it happen or hear it and you are not part of it, then you will need to seek out God fast! Because the world is going to go into a tailspin and there will be a delusion, sent to the Earth, which will allow people to believe the lie that they will be told about what happened. This is what the Bible speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4, about being taken up in a moment: 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the rapture of the Church, of those who believed in Jesus and His message. No matter the denomination, those who have truly believed and have been changed by the Holy Spirit will be taken up into Heaven, changed into our immortal bodies and be with Him forever. Jesus told the thief this while they were on their crosses before Jesus said: “It is finished.” He said, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise”. No waiting for the end of the age when all will be awakened to their punishment or their reward,  and when you die you will be taken from your body to be judged to receive your reward or your punishment.

Make sure of which one it will be while in this life, because after death there will be no second chances.

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.

Next


Weird title, huh? Mostly, to get attention but there is a good reason. Time itself is winding down according to prophecy…so what is next?

Read the Book! I am not saying this lightly because of the prophecies contained in God’s Word, the times which we are living in are there. It doesn’t say names or places exactly but the descriptions of the happenings in it sound very much like all of the troubles in the news today.

onebreathawayIt seems that many people are ignoring this today, mainly because there are many who don’t believe in God or His Word and the Truth contained within it. So much is told of this time until when you read parts of Daniel and Ezekiel and the book of Revelation, when you think about what you have read it sounds very much like the news that we hear weekly.

Yet, the churches and the news and the Pope don’t mention any of these things in their media clips talking about this time. Why? I believe that it is because of the amount of time which has transpired since the ascension of Jesus. Even though He said that He was returning, so much time has transpired until no one believes that it will happen in their lifetime.

Every day, week, months and years are going on just as it always has been, so why should anyone be expecting the end time prophecies to take place? As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes “there is nothing new under the sun“; so why should anyone worry that it will be different tomorrow or next week? God has given the whole world a grace period of almost two thousand years to learn of Him and to turn to Him in repentance and humility, yet they have not!

In those two millennia, mankind has seen fit to create for himself idols and ideas of “god” which do not fit Him as He is in the Bible. We have made Him into our own “gods”, even if we don’t have carved images of Him or our idea of what He is like. We worship those “ideas” of “god” which are not God. We have placed Him into a box which we like with things like, “my god wouldn’t send people to hell for this or that because he loves everyone” or “my god doesn’t condemn people because of their sexual orientation, he includes everyone in his church”!

Many churches and pastors today teach on these very topics and this is WRONG!! It is not Biblical at all! God hasn’t changed to allow sins and sinful people into His Presence and He will not change because God said that “I am the Lord and I change not“. Just because it is your opinion or idea that God is this way or that doesn’t make it so. God is god and His timing will bring about the end of the age whether you think it is coming or not!

Be ready in that day because when the trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ rise, then those who remain will be caught up with them to be with the Lord forever.

 

So much anger


angerIn today’s world, on the news, in your home town even, it seems that there is a lot of anger. You see the effects of it every day on the news and in your neighborhood. You see it and hear it sometimes in your own home. But…everyone seems to brush it under the rug and ignore it until, one day something blows up. Frustration with our government or with your family builds and builds until one day it is in the news on television. A couple kills each other over supposed infidelity, whether true or not the end result is that two people are dead. Someone straps a bomb to themselves because they were taught to hate other people who worship differently and they go to a marketplace and blow themselves up and kill as many people, men, women and children, as they can. What did that accomplish?

It is hard to understand these things because we don’t know what happened to cause them. Sometimes, it is a senseless thing which is happening, at other times it seems that there is a reason for it. Outside the culture or the neighborhood or even the family, the reporters and the rest of the public just don’t understand what caused this? Why did it happen the way it did? Is anyone responsible?

We don’t understand the reason even if one is given via email or post on social media, so how can we help? Can we help? Is there anything that someone could do or say to help in these situations?

The truthful answer is: we don’t know. I can’t understand the mindset of a person or a group of people whose intent is to do these things. Is there a way to help?

The only answer that I can come up with, comes from God’s Word: Love your neighbor as yourself. So, why aren’t people being taught this instead of hate? Because the world and those in it don’t like to hear the truth from an indisputable source. The world and its religions, besides Christian religions, doesn’t want to hear this and they can’t come back with a saying or a truth from their religions which is better!

The advice and love and mercy which comes from God’s Word can be disbelieved and thrown in the trash but you can’t find better wisdom and knowledge because it came from Him. God is the ultimate Creator and King of all and His wisdom is beyond our understanding. His wisdom is above us as we are above an ant or a snail, yet each of those is wise in their own way. The ant does his gathering for when things are tough, the snail does what God designed him to do because he is a snail.

We are created in His image to be like Him and in order to be like Him we should learn about Him and walk with Him daily. Not weekly or once every month or just a couple of times in the year, but every day that you wake up thank Him for that day and be thankful for the opportunities that you may have during that day. Living daily with Him and through Him is not something which is easy, you have to purpose and decide to follow Him daily. Christians all over the world, those who are saved by their belief in Him Who saved them, neglect to do this even though they belong to Him. Why?

Because, after their salvation they feel that they have all that they need from God until something happens and then they call on Him to give them help and healing. It is something which you see in the Old Testament from one chapter to the next, following God while they are without enemies or without drought. Then, they forget the One Who saved them from their enemies or from a drought and go back to living as they wish to until some other calamity comes upon them.

I am not saying that living with God daily, reading His Word and praying to give Him praise for His grace and mercy will give you a life without problems, it will not! We are not perfect, we will all fail in our faith at some point, but God is gracious and will forgive us if we will confess it and turn back to Him again. Life, even the life of a Christian, is not easy but as a follower of Christ, Satan will attempt to cause you to fall in the sight of all so that your witness to them is taken away. Sometimes, your witness will be stained not by Satan but by your past. If you are called to be a minister in an area where people have known you for most of your life, like Jesus when He came to Nazareth, many won’t hear the Word of God that you preach but will be listening to you as you were when you were younger.

Do not fail to deliver the Word in your calling, regardless of their view of you or their opinion, because that is what God called you to do. If they accept it and repent then God brought it about, if not then they weren’t listening with their spiritual ears to begin with.

Read and study the Bible


Here are eleven excellent reasons you should read the word of God everyday:

  1. It tells you how to be genuinely saved and how to grow in your faith. John 3:16, Psalm 119:105, Romans 12:1, 2, and Phil. 4:6; 7

  2. It gives you clear guidance and direction for your life. Psalm 119:105

  3. It empowers your prayer life. Phil. 4:61 7

  4. It sharpens your ability to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit more and more clearly. I Corinthians 1:5

  5. It ministers to your mind, body, and spirit. Proverbs 4:20 – 22

  6. It helps you to maintain your mental health, (according to Dr. Paul Meier) Prov. 4.

  7. It increases the anointing on every area of your life. I Corinthians 1:5

  8. It increases your wisdom in every area of your life. Proverbs 1 – 4

  9. It enhances your intellect and your personality. (It can literally increase your I.Q.) I Corinthians 1:5

  10. It pours grace, joy, and peace into your spirit, your mind and your life. II Cor. 1:2, I Timothy 1:2, and II Timothy 1:2, and Galatians 5: direction 22

  11. In direct statement or in principle, it gives you guidance and/or direction about every issue or topic in life. Psalm 119:105

What then is the best translation of the Bible? I agree with Dr. Kroll. The best translation of the Bible is the accurate translation of the Word of God that you will read and obey.

Reading and studying the Bible does you no good at all IF you don’t obey God’s Word in the things which it tells you to do. Some people think that the Bible is a book of “do’s and don’ts” but it isn’t. Yes, there are the Ten Commandments and they tell you the things which you are supposed to do and some tell you not to do others. The point is this: when your heart belongs to Jesus and the Spirit lives inside you…you won’t WANT to do those things which are the “not do’s”!

God loves each of us more deeply than we can understand, even when we are in His presence we will be overwhelmed by His Love and the depth of it!

Don’t turn away from a love that is so awesome and joyful until it feels like a warm blanket that never gets cold and you just want to snuggle in it forever! That is the best description that I can give you of the love that I have felt here. I can’t even imagine what it will be like to sit with the Father and feel the waves of joy and love flowing from Him!

Seek Him out and we can experience it together in eternity!

Are you sure about that?


I think many people are asking this question or they are being asked by those who are going to give them something for Christmas. Have you thought about it yourself? There are so many “deals” out there today because it is Cyber Monday and of course last Friday was Black Friday! I try not to participate in either one if I can help it. Go one step farther than just a gift at Christmas and think about a gift that has been provided for us all…and it doesn’t cost us anything!

Jesus came down from Heaven to be born as the Christ-child in a human body and from the very beginning, before the Earth was formed, He was chosen to be slain on a cross to pay for our sins! Blood from animals paid the price before He came, yet they were an imperfect payment because their sacrifice had to be performed each year, every year. His sacrifice was perfect, since He did not have a sin nature and didn’t sin during His life, yet He gave His life to the Father’s will so that we can come to the Father through belief in Jesus the Christ!

As Hebrews 7:27 says:  27 Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer daily sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people; He sacrificed for sin once for all when He offered up Himself.

Jesus gave His life so that we might have eternal life with Him. It is a gift which cannot be bought by us, but it had a high price. The price of the Son of God and His life, death and resurrection to purchase our pardon if we will believe in Him. This is a story which has been told through thousands of sermons over the years since His ascension to be with God, a story which many have believed in and on for their salvation.

Today it seems that we have many who have been in the church all of their lives, hearing this message, sitting in the church week after week, who have not taken the steps to finalize being a Christian! Many believe wrongly that because they have been in the church and heard the message and read the Bible that they are saved. They may even be fine upstanding members of the church, volunteering for all kinds of selfless positions and committees in the church. But…are they saved? Are you saved?

Are you sure?

Why do I bring this up now? Because, you and I need to be absolutely sure of our salvation! Why? Because, there are no second chances! If you left the church one Sunday morning or evening and just before you get home, you had a terrible accident which took your life. How would you feel standing before God and seeing your life and your opportunities shown before you, yet you are not saved. You didn’t act when the Spirit moved you in the revival meeting or when you felt Him touch you during a service because you thought you were OK. What a terrifying feeling it will be to hear, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”

Your eternity lies before you, but it won’t be an eternity in Heaven. It will be one where you feel the burn of loss and the frustration and anger which can only be turned upon yourself because you thought that you already had something and you really didn’t. Nothing can change that now because your decision was made before your death.

Have you decided which direction that you want to go? Most everyone you ask on the street thinks that they have been a good person and they deserve to go to Heaven. How will you feel if your righteousness is not covered by the Blood of Jesus? Is your righteousness better than that of the Pharisees or about the same?

Think about it and consider doing something about it! If you felt the call of the Spirit and didn’t act, make sure that you do…soon!

Give …. a chance!


There are many, many things which could go in that space and I don’t want to even attempt to go over all of them. Today, you could say that our country should go in there or the President-elect, Donald Trump, should be in that spot. There are many more that could go there but my point here is that whatever you place in that blank space, do it!

Don’t just say it, do it! What is the most important part of your life which needs to be in that place? Is it your job or something concerning school or your marriage which needs a chance to work? Is it your relationship with your Savior? Is there a multiplicity of options in your life which needs a chance to work?

We all have things which need a chance to work, in one way or another. For some of us it is a relationship, whether it is one with our Savior or our spouse or another family member, really doesn’t matter. The point is that relationships have to be worked on, taken care of, nurtured if we want them to grow. So much is going on in the world today, and if it was broken down to what the REAL problems are and what or maybe Who would fix it, the choice would be simple.

The problem with that is this: nobody likes a simple solution.

Simple solutions to complex problems involving cultures and religions which have been at odds for centuries are not achievable in our world. Why? Because we are human and our solutions involve other human beings, each of us has their own idea about a solution to a specific problem. When we don’t cooperate with each other to implement a solution, the problem gets bigger and it isn’t solved in the long run.

The point that I am attempting to get across to those who may read this is that human problems don’t have a human solution. Our solution is found in the Bible, in His Wisdom and faith in Him, not in our fallible ways and understanding. I don’t claim to have those answers, but God does. They are found by reading and studying His Word and asking Him for wisdom in our daily lives.

Living by His Word, studying His Word and His wisdom and asking Him to show you and me the way through a problem or around a problem is the best way to live. It isn’t easy because most of us don’t like to admit that we can’t find the solution. It isn’t easy because we don’t really like to study any book, regardless of which one it may be. God’s Word isn’t hard to understand if you ask Him to help you to understand it.

Seek Him out in the Bible, because when you go looking for Him…you will find Him or He will come to you. He hasn’t lost you, but you may have forgotten where to look for Him. Don’t forget that God loves you and has loved you and me since before the world was created. Each of us has a job in His Kingdom, mine is being a preacher, yours may be something totally different. Just like any government in the world, all jobs are important in some way and if someone isn’t doing their job then the rest suffer for it.

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.

What is success to you?


Have you ever thought about that? Today, money, fame, and all of the toys which go with them signal success to many people. The problem with this is that all of those things is that they are temporary. Although, it seems to many people, these temporary things are far more important than an eternity that is out of sight and in their future. This is another lie or deception which Satan has made so important and prevalent today. It is almost as accepted as the theory of evolution because all of the things which I mentioned at the beginning are tangible and they can be felt and seen!

The biggest problem with those “rewards” is that you can’t take any of it with you when you die! You can be buried in a tomb or a casket which is very expensive, but what good will that do you? Your spirit is gone into eternity and no matter how luxurious your casket or tomb or vault may be, the body that is left behind will eventually turn to a moldy husk and in about a thousand years or so, there will be little left except maybe some bones. Your life on Earth is over when you breathe your last breath, that much is certain, but your spirit is eternal and it or rather you will stand before God to give account for your life’s accomplishments.

If you are a Christian, then your reward and your eternity is certain, particularly if you did very much for the Kingdom of God during your life here. Your salvation brought God’s Spirit to live inside your temple, your body, until the day that your work here was finished. If you did not give your heart to Him and ask for Him to bring His Life into yours, then you still have eternity ahead, but it will be one of regret and anguish because you left Jesus out of your life.

I know that many people say that “My God would never send anyone to hell”, and they are absolutely right! God doesn’t send you to hell, your choices in life send you there and if you have chosen to live without Jesus and to live life according to your whims, then that will be your destination. It saddens God to see us refuse His gift of salvation, when it costs us nothing to embrace it and accept it. Jesus did all of the work necessary for you to have an eternity in Heaven, and yet there are millions, maybe billions of people who have chosen another way. One which doesn’t include Him, and that pathway doesn’t lead to Heaven, although many think that it does.

Success and a successful life is one lived in accordance with God and His Son. It may not include riches or houses or cars, but your eternal home is on a street paved with gold! Your home is made by the Creator of the universe and it is there for the asking, all you have to do is accept it through belief in Jesus and His atonement for you. Won’t you consider it?