How much more?


We are thankful and we were thankful yesterday, so how much more thankful will we be today? I have seen shoppers at stores who are waiting all night to get in when the door opens and some of them are pushing and shoving so they can be first in getting what they want and getting out of the store.

What happened between being thankful for God’s blessings and bounty and getting more stuff? How much more will we choose to get so we can be fashionable or in step with our neighbors? Do we really HAVE to have that new doodad that came out a few weeks ago? What about paying off your credit cards as a gift to yourself or your spouse? What about giving to your church or to the homeless shelter in town instead of spending over five hundred dollars on something that will be gathering dust in a couple of months? Does 4K resolution really matter that much when you are watching the Super Bowl in February? Does the price you pay for that resolution really bring you more satisfaction while watching any TV show?

All of these questions are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves long before we wake up at three am in order to be close to the front of the line this morning! What really is more important to you and your family? That is an even better question. Have you considered your relationship to Jesus in all of this too? I am a pastor and these questions do go through my mind about myself and about those who attend my church. I pray for all of the people out there who are traveling today and for those who are working today because they need God’s protection and His blessing, whether they realize it or not.

During the holiday season, which seems to have gotten off to a running start yesterday afternoon. Yes, many stores opened early, around four or five yesterday, just to get people out of the house and into the stores shopping. I don’t think I will ever get out there and into the thick of the lines and the crowds. It’s just too much!

God needs your energy and your presence in His family too and if more people would spend even ten percent of their time and money for His work, out world would be so much better than it is now! How is that possible? Because ten percent of the billions spent on gifts during this weekend could go a LONG way toward helping the homeless, both Veterans and non-veterans alike! It would also go a long way toward helping the hungry in the world too.

God can use your blessings in any number of different ways, but if you spend all of your cash on “stuff” and not on helping others, then what are you really doing? You are showing others that “stuff” is more important to you than serving God. During the holidays it seems that many people do just that and it makes me wonder what is keeping them from helping the church? What is keeping them from coming to church when they can get up before sunrise to get to a store and be one of the first through the doors?

Something to ponder during this Christmas season when we are supposed to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus! He didn’t tell us to go and spend, Jesus said go and TELL others about Him!

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.

Jesus said…


“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

John 21:25

There were far more things which our Savior said and did during His time here. Things which we are not privy to, but His disciples saw them and heard them.

When He got angry about the way the temple was being used, His anger was a righteous anger not like rage or “blow your top” anger like we see in cartoons. Jesus was angry but He sinned not, and the reason for that was because the temple was supposed to be a house of worship, not a place of merchandise and money exchange.

Is it possible for us as Christians to be angry about something without sinning? Yes, if we don’t allow our anger to get out of proportion to the circumstances. Yes, we can if it is due to something not directly associated with our person and we don’t take it that way. But…when someone takes God’s name and uses it in a fashion which is disrespectful in the extreme, for no reason, then the anger that you feel and may express is righteous anger. Why do I say this? Because if you have the Spirit of God inside you and you truly are a Christian, then if someone says something like “God****”, they are insulting not only God but the Creator and the Father of our Savior!

To some people, that is not a cuss word, it is just everyday speech. If it is, then Christians are told in the Bible not to associate with them because we are approving their way of life when we do.

Before anyone gets all bent out of shape over what they see as “judgmental” thinking, that is not what I am doing. I am not judging them, but God will. I am not saying that what they are saying is wrong, although it is. But their actions and words prove that they don’t know Jesus. If you do not like what I am saying here, you don’t have to read it anymore. My point is that Christians shouldn’t put up with the world the way it is because we were sent out into the world to bring Christ to it, to change it. Not by force or by war but through our witness and by bringing the gospel of Jesus to them, all of them.

We are to love people the way that Jesus loved them, but that didn’t keep Him from being angry about their stubbornness and their refusal to listen and recognize Him for Who He was. Tolerating the actions of the world should not be seen as approval of their actions and the church and those in the church have been too tolerant in the past.  Amen.

How Much?


How much should we endure in our lives? How much should we forgive and forget? How much? This is the question which people ask when they can’t afford what they are looking at, and yet they ask it anyway. It is also the question that we ask when we want to know what it will take to get something done, whether in the spiritual realm or the physical. How much time? How much money? How much of my life will this involve? Do you really have so much time and money that you can’t part with any of it or are you just selfish? God gave you the job or the income that you have, why can’t you give Him credit for what you live off of?

The only time that Jesus asked a question which sounded like, “How much?”, was when He fed the five thousand men. He asked His disciples about the amount of food that they had found, which was a boys lunch of two loaves of bread and some fish. God can take a little and do a lot with it, just as He used the twelve disciples and turned the world upside down with His message and the church began. That small lunch which the boy had actually fed about fifteen thousand or so since there were women and children present too, which wasn’t counted in the initial count.

How much more are we going to have to put up with before we realize that the Bible is right? Everything that is happening today, around the world, is part of prophecy. From the book of Daniel to Revelation, the world that we see and hear about on the news is there in some form. Yes, they may have used some descriptions which describe things that don’t exist, but the men who wrote those books had never seen a helicopter or a jet air plane, so they described them the best way that they could with what they knew of at the time. The next world conflict will begin in the Middle East, maybe in Turkey or Iraq, but it will be in that region. Who will be fighting whom, I don’t know, but it will involve religious differences and hatred between people.

It has been brewing ever since the nation of Israel reformed and became a nation in 1948 and it is coming to a head soon. I don’t know the date, no one does except for God, the point is that we need to get back to our faith in Him, because the problems which are coming with this conflict and the economic disaster which will likely happen before this war will cause tremendous trouble all over the world. Why do we need to get back to God? Because we need an anchor, a Rock to cling to in the raging water, something that is unchanging and that is God and His Truth. Throw that away and we have anarchy. Few people will live through a lawless nation or a world without laws and morals. Think about it, pray about it, come back to God before it is too late.