In the Bible, we read that God commanded the sacrifice of animals and the shedding of their blood to atone for the people’s sins. This was at a time before Jesus came and paid for our sins collectively. Why did God ask for the sacrifices in the Old Testament? In many ways, it was to show the people that they couldn’t be good enough to be redeemed. At least on their own, they couldn’t.

In the book of Kings, God told Saul that He desired obedience more than a sacrifice. Why is obedience more important to God than sacrifice? Because He asks us to do something for Him and since He is God it is expected of His children to obey. If you are a Christian, you have been adopted into God’s family. He asked Jesus to take on the sins of the world and pay the penalty for those sins so we would not have to pay it. Since we are children of God, shouldn’t we obey Him in all things…every day?

The blessing that we have been given through Jesus is not something that we have earned, it is given to us through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for us. We must believe in His sacrifice and in order to believe in it and place our faith in Him we were given the grace and the faith to believe. We didn’t conjure it up on our own, it was given to us through God’s mercy and His grace toward us because of Jesus.

God saw each of us down through time and He knew that we would need Jesus at a certain point in our lives. Then, He provided us with the faith to recognize that we were sinners in need of a Savior so we would seek Him out. I know that some people don’t like the idea that they didn’t have anything to do with their salvation other than to believe in Him and accept it but that is how God works. When you feel His touch in your life regardless of where you may be at the time, respond to Him and accept His gift of grace. The opportunity may not come again.

What does God want from me?

This is a long post but it needs to be said. I pray that everyone who reads this will do so prayerfully.

That is the question that many people seek the answer to sometimes for many years before they find the real answer. God doesn’t need anything from us because He is the Creator and the sovereign Ruler of the universe. When we read the Bible, whether we are reading the Old or the New Testament, there is a recurring “theme” that you can see if you are attentive while you are reading it. You will find it in every book of the Bible and it is that God demands our obedience. When God says to do this or says do not do that, He isn’t really testing you although it could feel that way. He wants our obedience. Period.

Just as the test that He placed in the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God planted it there for a reason and that was to see if mankind would follow His instructions to the letter. Was the tree supernaturally powerful? Did it have some strange knowledge to bestow on mankind? Yes, it was supernatural because “their eyes were opened when they took a bite from its fruit”. Yes, in some way it did give them the knowledge that they should be ashamed of their nakedness but it was their disobedience to the command of God that started them down the pathway of sin and its consequences. This was only the first instance of disobedience but it started the ball rolling in a manner of speaking.

We are only three chapters into God’s Word at this point but the die is cast from this point on. Did Adam and Eve regret their decision? Of course, they did! While they were in the Garden, they didn’t have to work for their food at all. It grew on every tree around them. None of the animals were dangerous because Adam was their caretaker. But after they disobeyed God, the animals feared Adam and they had become more dangerous because of their fear of him. God had killed two animals to make clothes for Adam and Eve and before this time the Bible doesn’t even speak of the death of any animal. But blood had to be shed to cover their sin.

How long had Adam and Eve been in the Garden? We are not told their ages until after they were sent from the Garden and even then we don’t find out until after Seth is born. Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born, so that could’ve been how many years they had been outside the Garden. So you could look at it as there was no aging while they were in the Garden of Eden. It was their disobedience that brought aging into their lives because God had told them that “if you eat of the tree that I told you not to eat of, you will die”. Aging is a slow death. Not as slow today as it was back then, but that is the best way to look at it.

My point is that once disobedience began in the Garden, we have never been able to undo its effect on our lives. God has always wanted and required obedience to His laws and His commands but most of the time we only partially obey Him. He asks us to give a tithe (10% of our income), we give 2 or 3 percent if we give at all. He asks us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, yet many of us don’t even know our neighbors. Jesus asks His followers to take up their cross and follow Him and we can’t even figure out what that means! It means to crucify yourself daily and follow Him doing His will while you are able. Most of us choose not to crucify any part of our old lives even after we have given our hearts to Jesus. We just continue on with our lives, but maybe we don’t cuss as much or drink or smoke like we did before but would anyone who sees us every day know we are a Christian unless we told them?

Every book of God’s Word has a story of obedience or disobedience toward God’s commands in it. For most of mankind’s history, we haven’t been very good at being obedient. A small percentage of us may be obedient up to a point but there are very few who are totally obedient to every command of our Lord and Savior. I needed to write this more to myself than to anyone else because I know that I haven’t been obedient enough in my life and for that, I have asked God’s forgiveness. Maybe you should too.

May the Lord bless you…

Numbers 6: 22-27

22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace. 27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

This is the blessing which God commanded Moses to give to Aaron which he spoke to Israel as a blessing from God. Since we are adopted into God’s family through the blood of Jesus, we can also claim this blessing as we go about our lives following the Lord and serving Him in our daily living.

God will be with us and bless us as we do those things which are pleasing to Him but if we turn away from Him and go our own way do things in our own strength and our counsel then God will not bless those things which we are doing. He is a loving God but He is also jealous of our service and our devotion to Him. Which is why Christians are put to the test when we think we are doing what is right for Him but it is only right because we are doing it in our strength and not under His direction.

God loves each of us and He will test us and try our faith in Him to prove it and make it stronger. We will not be killed or hurt in this, but we may go through trials and pain because of our walking the path without Him. Being obedient to Jesus and to His teachings, just as His disciples and followers were, is a requirement which has not changed and because He hasn’t changed our obedience to Him should not change either. Although there are times when we think we are hearing His voice when it is a demon or Satan speaking in our mind and convincing us that it is from the Lord. Our enemy is very subtle and crafty and he has had time to perfect his ways to fool even those who know the Lord and His voice.

We must try these words which come to us and make sure that they are from our Lord before we act upon them. A word from the Lord can come to us in a time of meditation on His Word but even then we should test it to make sure of its meaning and where it comes from. Making sure of the words and their meaning and whether they actually come from God’s Word as well. This is the only way to prove them before we act upon them and carry them to others by writing or by proclamation (preaching).

God wants to bless us for our obedience and our loyalty to Him but we must be careful to test any leading that we have and make sure that it is from God and doesn’t contradict His Word or even may be similar to His Word but is changed just enough to make it of none effect.

Make a difference…

I watiamnotashamedched the movie “I am not ashamed” yesterday and it made me think of our impact on the world and the people around us. Rachel Joy Scott struggled with her new faith in Jesus in high school before the shooting that took her life. Most of us can relate, if we were a Christian in school, which I wasn’t. I knew about Jesus and the Bible because I had been on the drug plan for learning it. I was drug to church every time my Mom went, so I had heard all of the preaching and stuff. But, hearing and knowing about Jesus is not the same as having faith in Him, real honest faith.

I provided the link above just in case anyone wanted to know about the movie, I get nothing from your following or purchasing it. The point of this post is this: will you make a difference?

Her story and the fact that she didn’t back down in the face of losing her life, as many Christians over the centuries have done, has made a real impact on many people. At the end of the movie there was some statistics which said that her life had impacted over 20 million people since April 20, 1999. One life, just one-act of selfless faith and forgiveness can make a difference. It doesn’t take a Master’s degree or a PhD to tell people about Him and to show your faith by your life and your deeds to those around you.

God loves us even when we aren’t sure how we feel about Him. He loved each of us whether we even knew Him and before we were all born and He did so in a way that we can’t understand or comprehend! God is and should be your strength and your source of living water which never dries up and never gives up on you and your purpose in Him!

During high school, I was a very angry boy. I kept it bottled up most of the time, but I allowed it to hurt me by smoking and drinking to the point of being so drunk I barely remember the drive home, if I made it at all. At least one time, I had a wreck on the way home, although the only one that really sticks in my memory is the one where I totaled my mother’s car. I was angry at God and at my parents for getting divorced and I really didn’t care much about what happened to me. I could identify with Rachel in being a child of a broken home.

My point, as I said earlier, is that we can all make a difference in the world. Even if it is only in our immediate area. Heaven rejoices when one sinner comes to Jesus and if you or I have any part to play in that, then be grateful and willing to be useful in His Kingdom for that one person. Make sure that your life means something because we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so make today a day that God uses in your life and your witness  for His Glory!


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.

If you will obey…

Have you thought about being a Christian? Are you a Christian in practice and not just on Sunday morning or Saturday or Wednesday night, depending upon when your church meets for services? God seeks people of faith who will obey His commandments and seek Him in all things. Why do I say this? Because God said so!

He told the Israelites to go into the Promised land and destroy utterly all of the pagan nations and people who lived there. Why? Because God knew that they would entice His people to “check out” their religion and their gods, and they would turn away from Him. Which is exactly what happened. But, before they crossed into that land, Moses gave them a sermon on obedience and the rewards that come with it.

I am not going to print the whole text of it but you can read it here. God told them through Moses that if they would obey Him and keep their belief and their faith in Him, that He would bless them mightily but He also said that if they did not obey, there would be consequences.

If you have ever read the Bible, particularly Exodus and Deuteronomy, you know what happened. They would obey for a time, then they would begin to follow the practices of those around them because they didn’t follow God’s command. It is like watching a child of two or three when you tell them not to do something and you go to leave the room and immediately they move toward the very thing you told them to leave alone. Like the cookie jar or some other treat which tastes so good, but you have told them not to eat more than one.

This happened all through the wilderness and it was the very reason why they had to wander for forty years. They refused to obey God or listen to His wisdom. He had told them that He would drive out the people ahead of them if they would obey Him and they were afraid. Only two men out of the twelve would go into the promised land and they were the ones ready to go because the Lord said that He would be with them and fight for them. They were Caleb and Joshua.

All of the others died in the wilderness from the age of twenty on up except for those two men. Caleb took his land away from those who were there when he was 80 years of age. Joshua led the rest of Israel into battle many times and he was 80 when they crossed the Jordan into the Promised land. After his death, the people forgot about how God had provided for them and they began to follow their own ways of living and to follow the religions of people who were living there, just as God had told them not to do.

Even when Israel demanded a king be placed over them, even the king didn’t obey God when he went up against another ruler. The very first battle that Saul fought after being crowned King, he disobeyed God’s decree. He had been told by the prophet Samuel to wait and he, Samuel, would come and pray for their victory over the Philistines. When Samuel delayed in coming, after seven days Saul put the priest’s ephod on himself and offered burnt offerings to God because his troops were afraid.

It is at this point that God told Samuel to find a King from among the people who had a heart like His. He went to a man named Jesse and chose David and anointed him to be King, but he wasn’t crowned King until after Saul had ruled for a long time.

The point that I am making here is that God requires obedience not sacrifices or outward shows of our loyalty. God doesn’t require a burnt offering but He does require our obedience to Him, but it usually is our pride which causes us to do our own thing and try to serve Him in our own way. If we would just learn from the failures of Israel in the Old Testament we could and would be so much more effective in our lives and in serving God today.

One in Essence,Three in Person

This is a question that has been on my mind for a few days, because I was asked about it by a very sweet lady who happens to be a Pentecostal by way of her association. Our Creator is One in essence, yet three in Person. It isn’t a hard thing to understand unless you want to deny God being God! He is God, He is the Holy Spirit of God and He is the Living Word, the Son of God!

I don’t mean that God exists as three gods, He is God in Three Persons, yet all of them…each one is as much God as the other! It is a difficult doctrine to understand unless you have some help from Him!

“And now the Sovereign LORD (the Father) has sent me (the Son), with his Spirit (the Holy Spirit).” Isaiah 48:16

Even at the time that Isaiah was a prophet in Israel, God revealed to Him that He was and is three persons in One. Not three gods, but One God with three persons Who in each are also God. Each person of the Trinity is God, but each has a different function. Just as I am a husband, a father and at one time I was a son before my parents passed into eternity. Three functions in One Person is the most apt description of God as a triune godhead.

Just as all things in the universe have a three-fold nature, so does God. Matter has substance (mass) plus energy and motion; time is made up of past, present and future; space is made up of length, width, and depth or height. Their nature doesn’t make them any less than what they are, but take away even one of their parts and you don’t have matter, space or time anymore.

If you take this to a logical conclusion which many skeptics seem to be willing to overlook, the Son of God is also God the Son! The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the trinity and He is fully God, but His influence in our lives is more of a teacher and leader in spiritual things. It is He that resides in your heart and mine, if we have given our lives to Jesus and asked for Him to come into our lives and our hearts.

The Spirit of God was the Person of the Trinity hovering over the waters before creation. What were the waters? I don’t know, you will have to save that question for God Himself. In either case each part of the Trinity is just as much God as the Other. They perform different functions and do different things in this world and in the spiritual realm, but each of them is still God.

When God told Moses that “No man could see His face and live”, He meant that. Which is why when He hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and allowed him to see His back. Later, when Scripture mentions the Angel of the Lord with a capital “A”, this is the pre-incarnate Christ, not an angel. The Spirit or Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity which carries out miraculous healings and resurrections and other signs like being understood by someone who doesn’t speak your language. He also prays for us in our time of anguish and doubt when we are so burdened until we can’t say what is necessary.

In reality, it took the intervention of all three to save each person who is a Christian. Think of it this way: God sent His Son to be the atonement for our sins, Jesus died as a human with the nature of God in order to pay the price for humanity’s sins, and the Holy Spirit convicted you of your need for salvation and brought you to the cross to meet Jesus. If it is too hard to understand, ask a little child. The only time that we will know the answers will be when we are standing in His Presence, and even then we may still not understand it.

Walking like He walked..

Have you ever heard that we are supposed to do this? We are supposed to be representing Him in this world, showing His Light to others. Do you do this? Do you try to do it every day?

As Christians, we are truly supposed to be examples of His Love in this world where people seem to hate more than they love. Oh, there are good people and people who do good things for others once in a while, but Jesus did things for people everywhere He went. Sometimes it was a healing, sometimes it involved making water into wine, sometimes it had to do with giving someone their sight back, even if they had never had it.

Granted, we don’t have the complete faith, the kind which doesn’t doubt, in order to do these wonderful miracles. Some people say that those were done only to fulfill prophecy and to get people’s attention on the Messiah. It is true, those miracles were done by the Savior and our Creator as well as the disciples in the beginning of the church. But…we can do things for people in need, if we have the means to do so. Do you?

The only thing that I can do most days is to pray for their health and for their healing, asking for all of the people on my prayer list and all of those who ask for prayer on my Facebook page. I don’t know many of them personally, but God knows who they are and what is happening in their lives. He knows what is wrong and what can be done for them and what HE can and will do for them.

God doesn’t answer prayers in the ways that we want ALL of the time, but He does answer them. Sometimes it is a “maybe” or “wait”, sometimes it is “no”, but the reason behind these is because God knows what He has for you and what you are asking for is not His best, nor is it what He has in store for you. Of course when we get those kind of answers we think that God doesn’t love me. God loves each of us far more than we can imagine and He is NOT like us! His love is a kind of love that we can’t understand in this life. We won’t get to that point where we can understand it until we are in His Presence!

“Walking the walk” as some put it isn’t hard to do, but it has to be practiced and done on the basis that we intentionally do it every day. It is not natural to wake in the morning and thank God for opening your eyes, but that is what we should do. Getting up and walking to the kitchen should be a thankful process as well, we should take nothing for granted because none of us are guaranteed tonight or tomorrow. Truly, God loves us, all of us because of His Son’s sacrifice for our salvation. It is something that we should be eternally grateful for, not something that is taken for granted.

Please, seek Him out so that your eternity is sealed and in His Presence. If you keep telling yourself that you will get to it later, then one day, later will get to you. Then, you will stand and give an account of every word and deed done which was done in your own strength and without Jesus. Your righteousness, like that of the Pharisees, is worthless in God’s eyes unless your heart belongs to Jesus and He lives in you! If that doesn’t describe your salvation, your righteousness, then your eternity will be in a place that was not made for humanity..but for Satan.

More like Christ

This is the example that we have, the very one that we are supposed to try to live up to in our walk with Jesus. It is not enough that we try in our own strength, because we will fail!

Encouraging words, huh? We will fail to be like Christ if we do it in our own strength, yet that is exactly what Jesus taught with the sermon on the mount. Teachers and preachers have, for the most part, taught His Wisdom as it was pointing to those in attendance when it really means that we are all to live this way.

How can you and I be more like Christ? By giving away our old natural self! Sacrifice it, our old way of living, just as Abraham was going to do to his son when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. We have to give up our life, our way of doing things, and start living the way that Jesus taught His disciples to live. As a servant of God to others in love and His Truth! If you wake up on Monday morning and thank God for getting you up, that’s a start.

What else are we supposed to do after giving thanks for our health and our life to serve Him one more day? We have to ask Him to give us the words and the opportunity today to show someone a reason why God loves them. It may not be a big thing, it could be only a few words, but if it is given to and shown to them in the love of Christ…it will accomplish what it was meant to accomplish. Get up with a gladness in your heart, a thankful spirit that God gives you, so that others will see it and wonder what you have that they don’t? Then, they may ask you and you can tell them.

God gives us such grace every morning by giving us the air that we breathe and our ability to get up from the bed and walk! We can look outside and see the birds and the sun and the clouds and all of it was provided by God for our benefit. Why do I say it that way? Because even David said so in the Psalms, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”.

God uses the Sun, the moon and the stars to show His works in the Heavens, but they also declare His goodness and His greatness! Seeing all of these things, we have to wonder about the Creator, if you believe in Him, who put it all there. Why would He care about us? Because He loved us enough to send His Son to die, to be sacrificed for all of our sins, so that we might have the opportunity to become sons and daughters of God! Yes, we float in space on a tiny speck compared to the majesty of the cosmos, but God has a plan and a purpose for each of us.

All that we need to do is sacrifice our life, our sinful life, and give it to Him so that He can take what is left and make it into a mighty, servant of the Most High God! Don’t get all hyped up about being somebody in His Kingdom, because without the Holy Spirit nothing that you write, say, or do will amount to anything! Follow Him every day, read His Word every day, pray a few  prayers thanking Him for His goodness and mercy every day because without Him, you and I are nothing.

Wants…and needs

All of us have come to this part of life and looked outside of the Word of God for the answer. We don’t want to hear that God rewards a cheerful giver because who is happy about giving away their livelihood? Being a cheerful giver doesn’t mean that you are happy giving away ALL of your money, but don’t be a grudge or a Scrooge when you do give your tithes to Him. God looks at the heart and He knows your reason for doing every little thing that you do. He knows is you are genuine about your faith and about tithes.

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two MITES, which make a farthing. ( Mark 12:41-42 ) A farthing would amount to about a halfpenny worth in the time that Jesus was there. How is it possible that the widow gave more than all the rest? Because she gave to God from her need. Those mites were all that she had, but she knew that God would supply her needs because of her gift in faith.

The rich young ruler which came to Jesus asking how he might inherit eternal life had done all that was required to be righteous as far as the law was concerned but Jesus saw that his money was an obstacle to him. When Jesus told him to give his money to the poor and he would have riches in Heaven, he couldn’t do it. Money meant more to him than eternity.

Why do I bring this up today? Because there are many who look toward riches and having their wants met by having money enough to do whatever they want rather than looking beyond this life into eternity. God can reward you today if he chooses, but nothing that you can have here can compare to your home in Heaven forever!

Consider having enough money to fill a box 3 ft. square with $100 bills. I can’t tell you to the dollar how much that would be, but it would be more than I have ever had! If you had it in the bank, you couldn’t get it any time you wanted. If you had it under the mattress, you would be worried that someone would steal it. If you had a safe at home, it would be full unless it was a very large safe. What could you do with it?

Many people would be afraid to spend it because once you begin spending it, it goes like it is on fire. If you invest it carefully it might grow even larger, then what do you do? If you invested it foolishly, it might disappear in a day or two, then we are back to an empty box.

God has a home for you where your address is on a street made of pure gold! So pure that it is like glass! He formed your dream home from His Word, made not with hands but by His Word. No mortgage, no bills, and all of the time in eternity to enjoy it! What could you do with that! Take eternity one day at a time, the problem is that there is no calendar in Heaven. But, that won’t matter.

God loves you enough that your place is secure IF you have asked Him into your heart, so please consider that and don’t turn away from His call to your heart.