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.

Do you enjoy life?

joySome of us do, but many don’t. Oh, we tolerate everyday ups and downs and we go to work and come home. Living or existing as the day permits and allows. So, what do you enjoy in your life? Your children or grandchildren likely give you some enjoyment and joy. But…what about your life with Jesus? Does being a Christian bring joy and fulfillment in your worship and study of God’s Word?

For some Christians it does exactly that, but for many who think they are Christians and are not, the worship service and study of the Bible is confusing and frustrating. It is that way for many that I call “casual Christians” as well. The biggest problem with this is that you can’t be a casual Christian, claiming Jesus on Sunday or when a loved one dies and then living as you please the rest of the time. Jesus is not a hero which you call on when you need Him and then send Him away until the next time!

He is our Savior and yes, He is our Hero and our Creator but He is not on-call some days and not on others. God and His Son are available at all times, not exactly for your convenience or at your time or on your schedule. God works according to His timing and His schedule. Don’t turn away from Him, especially when you need Him! Not just on bad days or at times when trouble is making your day feel like a week, but call to Him and lean on Him every day!

God loves each of us and wants the best for us, but His best and our idea of best are sometimes very different. His idea of a mansion and no debts may be your home in Heaven, not a beautiful home and no bills here. God’s ideas for us are not the same as our ideas of Who He is, thankfully. If our salvation was no better than our idea of what salvation is, then we would never see Heaven at all!

Don’t close the door on an opportunity in your life to get to know Jesus because the moment that you give your heart to Jesus your name is written down in the book of Life. After that, your life here and into eternity will never be the same!


The season of heat and humidity, at least in the deep South, is coming to an end. It hasn’t yet, but hopefully before November the temperature outside will get to a point of being tolerable. Summer is also the warmest or hottest part of the year no matter what hemisphere you live in or the time of year in which it falls. I never really liked summer because of the humidity and the heat but then I tried a little of it in Arizona a few years back. It wasn’t so unbearable as summer in the South, but hot is hot when you get in a car, with or without the humidity!

13419221_838712436261893_9132633303197040096_nYou may be wondering why I am beginning this post about the hottest part of the year? Well….there are many reasons. Life itself being one of them. We go through periods of learning and growth in the spring of our lives, then we get to the summer season where we are busy and doing things so much until we don’t know which direction we are going sometimes. The fall season is sometimes the best, although it is then that many of life’s problems show up in our health and relationships. Winter is when all of the accomplishments of life come together and we remember, hopefully, the best of those before we reach the end.

Why do I bring this up today? Because, a friend of mine has passed on to the next phase of life…eternity. I am not sure about their salvation, although I hope that he did give his life to Jesus before the end. Life is full of changes. Some of them are good, some are not, but we have to live through them regardless. It is in living through them that we learn and grow into the person that we are to be. For some of us it takes a bit longer, and for some the learning begins with an early realization that God is in control of all things.

God is in control and He does His will through us and without us, but His will is done in all things good or bad. and the good and bad are from our viewpoint. Not necessarily from God’s viewpoint because His purposes will be done regardless of our actions or inaction. Spring, summer, fall and winter are only seasons in the year even though we use them to represent our lives as well. Seek Jesus out during your spring so that the rest of your “year” of life will be productive and in accordance with His will.

A friend and Savior

TrueFriendshipCould we be friends?

Sometimes people get so caught up in life and living until they forget about the friends they have. Friends put up with all sorts of behavior that even your family won’t put up with, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget them. True friends are those that even when it has been years since you last spoke to each other, you can just pick up where you left off. How many friends like that do you have?

This is the type of friend that we all have available in Jesus.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He becomes your Savior and friend but HE also introduces you to many other people who can be your friends. Your brothers and sisters in Christ! They know Him and through their spirit and your spirit you can become close friends. I am not saying this is automatic because that is not how friendships work, but it can be.

God created us all to be as close as friends no matter where we live or what our life may be like. Could you be friends with God? Of course you can, if you will just decide to follow Him and His Son, every day not just once or twice per month. Walk with Him in life, daily…even hourly, because HE gives your breath to you and your heart beats because of His grace too!

Friendship is a relationship and being a child of God, saved and sanctified by the atoning blood of Jesus, is also a relationship which needs to be a lifelong one! Your relationship with Jesus should be one which is even closer than just friends and in order for that to be, you need to learn as much as possible about Him! This can be done by reading and studying the Bible and attending a church which teaches from it.

Consider that your relationship with Jesus is a friendship. Mainly because He already knows you far better than you know Him, so pursue Him like you would if He is the only Life that you have…because after this one He truly is your Life or your Judge, it is your choice which one He will be. Choose wisely.

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.


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.

There is no gray area…

DarkorLightOur life is sometimes ruled by black and white, good or bad, choices that we make sometimes on a daily basis. Many of our decisions are based upon what will this do to change my life or the life of someone that I care for. Will it make some part of their life or mine better or worse? This is still a decision based on Darkness or Light, Death or Life, Love or Hate, nearly everything that happens in our world falls on one side or the other. So, which side will you choose?

Christ the Lord!

This was part of the message that was given to the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth and it is a great and wondrous thing to know! Why? Because, not only is He the Lord but He can be your Lord and Savior! Jesus loves you so much that He gave up His place in Heaven for a time in order to come to Earth and give His Life for you and me and every person living or who has ever lived!

He is our Creator and our Lord but He is also our Advocate with God in that He refutes Satan’s claim on your life or any of Satan’s accusations against you when you have given your heart to Him! You are never alone in anything that this world throws at you because of His love for you.

If you have never given your life to Him or asked Him into your heart, it is not a hard thing to ask. In fact it is as simple as, “Jesus, I can’t do this on my own anymore. Please come into my heart and fix what is broken and give me the strength to get through each day. Make me more like you, Jesus and in your name I ask for this. Amen.”

IF you mean every word in that prayer, then you are a child of God and you have Jesus in your heart and life from this point on. Now, you have to live it one day at a time, one step at a time. It is hard at times, but with His strength you can do it!

Manna = bread of Life

The word above means “what is it?”. In truth it is angel food or bread from Heaven. The Israelites were fed by God for forty years with this and it sustained them for that time. Many of them did not like it and asked for meat, so He sent millions of quail into the camp and they feasted on that until they could stand it no more!

God knew that His bread would sustain them for the time that they needed it as long as they would follow His direction for using it. Some of them hated it, but it sustained them for the travels that they had before them.

Why am I speaking about this today? Because, our Lord and Messiah, Jesus the Christ IS THE BREAD OF LIFE! He provides the way to become adopted into God’s family. God sent Him to be the sacrifice for ALL of humanity. If you believe in Him and the atonement which He provided for us, then you can be and will be saved! Amen.

The bread of life is also the Word of God. It teaches you about God and His principles and His laws and the way to come to salvation. The Bible and the words in it will NOT save you and cannot save you! Sitting in church for forty years or more doesn’t make you a Christian. Getting baptized when you feel an urge to do what your friends are doing does NOT save you!

Only a broken and contrite heart and repentance from your sins will bring you to your knees and you will say, “God, I’m sorry for the way that I have lived. Please forgive me and cleanse my heart and my life. I ask Jesus to come into my heart and save me from myself so that I can be a servant of yours. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”

I am not saying that you have to recite this word for word, but a conviction from the Holy Spirit will break your heart and if you don’t respond to it…if you walk away from Him in that moment, then you may not get another chance. The Bible says that “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23.” Many who think that they are saved have felt a feeling of relief and hope when they are baptized and for a while they read the Bible and pray. Then, after a while, they go back to their life, their sins, their way of doing things and some never return to the Word or to church…but they believe they are saved.

Not so. A truly changed heart, broken and reformed by the Holy Spirit cannot go back to sin without being convicted of that sin’s consequences. If you are a child of God changed by the Spirit you cannot go back to the mud and the mire of sin that you were in. It will be distasteful and you will know it. Yes, you can go back if you ignore the conviction over and over, but you will have quenched the Spirit’s work in your life. You may be saved, but your reward will be eternal life without reward or crown and if you live in the time when man is given a choice of taking the mark of the Beast and you choose it, then your salvation is forfeit.

God loves you and He has given you the manna of Jesus and the manna of the Bible. Eat of them, take them into your life and your heart so that you can and will be changed into the child of God that you were meant to be. The food for eternity is there, all that you have to do is choose to take it and make it yours…or not. It is your choice.

Lives matter!

There have been many protests concerning certain lives matter, whether they are Black, African-American, or even White. Come on, God created Life! Your life, my life, and every person who has ever lived on this world, all of our lives matter to Him! The color of your skin or your ethnic origin is irrelevant to God. Slave or freeman, Muslim or Protestant or any religion in the spectrum, God loves you! So, yes, life matters to God…every life!

We, humanity, have put limits and regulations and stipulations on which lives matter and which ones do not matter, at least to us. Why should we compare and claim that my life or your life matters more than any other? A baby being aborted at a clinic could possibly be the person who finds a cure for cancer, but if they aren’t born and allowed to grow toward that potential we will never know. Someone being killed in Turkey or Iran or Syria might also be important to the peace cause in the future, but we will never know for sure.

Lives matter every day, not just today but every day in our country. So many are hurting this morning because of the actions of one person or a few people who are targeting people for the color of their skin. It is heart-wrenching to see this happening in our country when racism should have become a thing of the past. Yet, every time it seems that we have a handle on it, someone from one ethnic group or another will blow a hole in it and begin the process all over again.

I don’t write this in the sense that I am some perfect Christian because there was only One perfect man ever on Earth and He is Jesus. My ideas are that we should get along, but in the society that we have today, in America and around the world, it is not possible. Humanity hasn’t evolved to the point of getting past old hatred and wounds from decades past. We just don’t seem to be able to let it go. Every time healing begins, someone pulls the bandage off and starts it over again. This needs to stop but without prayer and cooperation between those with different tones of skin color, it won’t get a foothold or gain any traction.

God loves us and we were told by our Savior to love one another, but it seems that we haven’t truly figured out what that means yet. We don’t understand the meaning of the word because we have watered it down and changed the meaning of the word “love” so much until it really doesn’t convey the same emotion that Jesus was telling us to express toward each other.

Seek out the Lord in your life and follow Him. Why do I say this? Because if you follow the Author of Life, you will be more alive than you ever have been. You will also learn to be more loving and if you love others as Jesus loves you, then you will not be like those who are causing all of the division and hatred in our world today. Jesus came to bring eternal life to all of us, all we have to do is accept it by faith and ask His forgiveness. Being a Christian is not something which can be forced upon someone, just like you cannot force someone to love you, but if you have felt that you need Him at all, then all you have to do is ask Him to come in and cleanse your heart and to accept you as His child.