The wonder of Joy


joyIn many ways when we come to know Jesus, we are joyful in that knowledge that we have our salvation granted through Jesus our Savior. We are very much like a small child, giddy and so happy that our Savior loves us enough to grant us our salvation through His blood, His death and resurrection! So…what happens after you find that you need to learn more about Him and learn to listen to Him every day?

It seems that many people don’t experience that joyous wonder like a child. They understand that they need Him and they ask Him into their hearts. But sometimes our church or others in the church who should shepherd them toward their Savior drop the ball. Many people end up just standing in ankle-deep salvation for many years and some never get past that point.

The joy of knowing Jesus and knowing that you have been saved through His sacrifice in your place should carry you through for many months until you begin to mature as a Christian. But how do you do that? The same way you get through any learning situation, by study, prayer and by seeking His advice for your life every day. It is a daily walk with Him after all, and just as any relationship…it needs to be cultivated and nurtured.

He is your Creator and your Savior and that relationship should be one that continues all through your life, day in and day out. Sounds boring, but think about Who you are having a relationship with! He is the Creator, the Son of God, your Savior and the second Person of the Trinity! Could there be anyone in the universe who could possibly be more interesting?

If you are wondering how you could get to know Him, READ the Bible! God inspired the writers and disciples to tell you about Himself and His personality. Yes, sometimes He is demanding but it’s because He expects us to obey Him, just as we expect our children to obey when they learn the rules about being in your house! Life, as a child of God, is a learning process and it is one that takes a lifetime! You can’t get a version of it which is a digest version, it is a day by day, week by week learning process which is very much like our own lives.

The joy of knowing Jesus is like the joy of bringing home your newborn son or daughter. It or rather they are new in your life, you are new at learning how to handle your relationship with them or Him. As time goes on and you learn more about Him, the joy should grow into a deeper love and a deeper relationship…but there should always be a bit of joy in it from day-to-day!

 

Doctrine, differences, or ?


We are inundated with differing beliefs and factions in the Church. They are called “denominations” and the list is like this, there are 217 denominations listed in the 2006 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. In actual truth, those are broken up into over 30,000 all over the world and those are just the Christian religions, that is not counting all of the religions. Why are Christians so fractured and broken? Because we are human, that’s why.

We can’t agree on how to pray or what to wear or whether we should have communion every week or every month or just a couple of times each year. Our humanity has leaked into the gospel that we teach and preach to those who come to hear the Word of God until much of our sermons are our words, our interpretations of God’s Word and not His Word. There have been so many saints of God that have gone before us until, those of us that are left feel empty at times. Why? Because we are not sure of our own salvation, our own position in Christ, our place in His Kingdom, even though we believe we are His…there is still a smidgen of doubt. Likely put there by Satan, but it is still there.

It is like trying to be in a room that you don’t want any light from outside to be in during the summer, and unless you happen to live in a bomb shelter made of concrete and all of the cracks between the door and the structure are sealed, it is nearly impossible to be in total darkness! Light will find a way in. That is the way that we should preach and teach people about Jesus. No matter what they try to put up around themselves to keep your sermon from making a point or a dent in their life and their heart, at least one word or one phrase should prick them to their core. So that the Spirit can get in and convict them of their need for God.

We have allowed, over the centuries, our thinking processes to change some of the meaning of the Word. Oh, it is very subtle, a small nuance here and there, nothing very big so it won’t be noticed. But, the meaning and the effect of God’s Word is dusted with our wisdom and our thinking. That is not the way that the Church which started on the day of Pentecost is supposed to be, even after two thousand years, it still should be the Word and Wisdom of God, not man! That is why I cherish the copy of the Complete Jewish Bible that I have. They have been the keepers of God’s Word for more than four thousand years and they will NOT allow a jot nor a tittle to be out-of-place when it is being copied or translated.

There are a few words in Hebrew which don’t translate well and those you have to look up to make sure of the meaning, but they are few compared to the whole of the text. The point of this is this: if we were so particular about our Scriptures then why can’t we consult with God about the divisions in the Body of Christ so that there won’t be so many? The answer to that is just one word referring to someone who has been at this since the beginning: Satan. He and his cohorts whisper into the ears and minds of “Christians”, who have been in the church since they were wearing diapers, and they in their turn will say something to others in the church and before you know it there is an argument and a split forms and another church denomination is born.

My reason for the quotation marks around Christians in the previous writing is because they are those who have gone through all of the motions of being a Christian. They have done everything right in their eyes, but they have neglected to truly wash themselves in God’s Word. They bring a Bible to church that you could kill a mule with, but most of its pages have dust from 1995 still clinging to its pages.

 

There needs to be a true revival in the Church, the Body of Christ and I mean one that goes down to the bone! Not one that is a stirring of the waters on the surface, or everyone doing the “happy dance” and shouting “Praise God!” Those are nice, but the change needs to be and go further than that! The change should go all the way to your soul!!

How do we do it? I don’t know. We can’t do it on our own, but God can. Our pitiful revivals are mostly on the surface, like stirring the water in the pool of baptism with your hand. It lasts for a few seconds, maybe for a week, but it’s gone soon after. Nothing really changed, nothing happened down at the heart and soul of the church, the body of believers. Everyone, from the pastor on down to those who haven’t accepted Jesus yet, needs to give their life to Jesus or at least re-dedicate their life to Him. Not just saying the words or going through the motions, but really asking Jesus to cleanse your heart and your life!

Then, take your faith in Him with you from that building, to where you work, to the restaurants that you go to, anytime that you meet someone, one of your first questions should be, “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” Yes, this is being radical as a Christian, but if we don’t you can be sure that those who do not believe in Christ will be!

 

What can we do?


In a manner of speaking, that is the question being asked all over the country this year. What can we do? Specifically, what can one or more of the candidates for the Presidency do to get our country turned around? Is there anything that we, as Americans, can do to help get our country turned around in the economy and other areas?

Truthfully, I don’t see individuals being able to do much more than vote with a Biblical mindset, meaning vote with your Spiritual conscience and much prayer going into the election. God is in control and the person that He wants to be in that office will be voted in, but if our country and her citizens don’t turn back to God and ask for healing and forgiveness, we may get a more punishing outcome than we were expecting. The outcome of the past two election cycles has been more people out of work, more racial divisiveness, more problems with terrorists, more economic problems in many areas of healthcare and other industries.

Why am I bringing politics into a site which usually has uplifting, spiritual messages? Because, we as Christians cannot sit idle on the sidelines and just “wait until Jesus comes”! God expects us to get involved with telling others about Jesus and the wisdom contained in God’s Word! We are supposed to be doing the Master’s business until He does come,not just sitting on a pew singing hymns and praying! Those are nice things to do and they do much good for us spiritually and for those who we are praying for BUT there are other important tasks for us to do.

Search your heart and discuss these things with your friends at church and in group Bible studies. Pray about it and ask God for His advice in all areas which you feel the need to get something accomplished and then get to work! We are supposed to be God’s ambassadors and priests, examples to those who need Him and helpers to those who are in need. By God’s grace and favor we can do this, but it requires more than just sitting around praying that things will get better.

Think about it, pray about it and then get up and DO IT!

We NEED a True Revival in the Church!


RevivalcrossI am not talking of a specific church, I am talking here about the whole Church! The entirety of believers all over the world, regardless of denomination! Why am I saying it so emphatically? Because the church has become lax and lazy in its gospel message and because, even in the church itself, there is too much division and quarrelling about things which are not part of the message that we are supposed to be telling people about!

We are called to be the Church and Christians for the simple reason that we are supposed to be the image and reflection of Christ, as well as His hands and feet in a world which is in desperate need of His message. Why have we become so apathetic in our delivery of the gospel? Unless it is because of Satan infiltrating our churches and the people in them, I am not sure. Can he do such a thing? Yes, he is perfectly able to do it and if we allow it by something which we do or say, there isn’t much we can do against him until we realize that he is influencing our lives.

I know that much of the world really doesn’t want to hear our message, especially since it refers to Jesus as the Christ and the One that we should be following, but that was and is His command for us to do! Why exactly is the world so enamored with other religions or even with themselves?

It is because of the influence of Satan in the world and all of his demons and powers and principalities. They have had plenty of time to influence the world and become so good at it that they are seen as the gods that are worshipped. Even in some “churches”, their influence is so complete that people reading and preaching from their bibles which have been re-written think that they are worshipping God.

They are worshipping a version of God, but not the God, the Creator, the Triune God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! People all over the world have been misled by spirits, demons, and Satan himself, since he and all of his fallen angels can pose as “ministers of light”, they can appear from the outside to be an angel of God.

We are on the edge of a trying period in time, one that is not going to be easy to live with or through. Christians need to revive their faith and come near to God, humble yourselves and pray, read and get to know Jesus in a more deep and intimate way through His Word. We must do this before it is too late. Seek Him, trust in Him, get to know Him and that Him is Jesus!

Living your life


Yes, we can live joyfully, but what about living for Jesus? Living with Him, waking up with Him, praying to Him about everything, no matter what it is. We can do it, if we choose to do it. It is our choice, we are never forced into a relationship with God. Can we live this way?

Yes, we can! But, we have to do it by choice! Wake up in the morning and thank God for giving you another day to serve Him and live on this Earth, enjoying our family and our blessings. Where do those things come from? God, of course. He provided you with the ability to do the things that you do, whatever your vocation.

You can’t tell God what to do, but many people are so proud and prideful in their way of doing things until they try to do just that. He loves you, but He is going to answer your prayer in His time and when you are ready for the blessings that He will provide for you. How do I know this? Because He has done it for me and for many others, that is how I know His provisions and His love.

Can you know Him like this? Yes, you can. All that you need to do is to decide to listen to His Word and ask Him to come into your heart, when you feel the calling, the prompting of the Holy Spirit which calls to us. Answer that call on your life and your heart and you can be saved. Many people will think that they don’t need saving, they are doing fine on their own without Jesus. Are you really?

Have you had a time recently which caused you to question your life or your place in life? Many people today question whether God cares about us, but if you look at all of the blessings which we see every day in the light of His love, why would you question Him? You woke up this morning with a new day to serve Him or yourself, which will it be? You were able to get up from your bed and go about your day, isn’t that a blessing from God? Many of you had food to eat and a warm place to live, those are blessings from God. Your job and income comes from the One who owns it all, so that is a blessing.

Can we be His in our daily lives? Yes, it is not something that you can do on your own, but you can do it with His help! God loves you and is concerned about everything that happens to you, from losing your keys to forgetting to pick up the milk. Yes, I pray when I go to the store or when I am driving to the store (especially when I am on the road with all the others out there). I need Him every day, all day, how else would I be able to come up with the content found here? My mind is not filled with words enough to fill these pages like I have these past few years.

God has given me a small church to pastor every week and I enjoy it, but I have a larger audience here. Why? I think it is because there are many more people outside my local area who are looking for God or evidence of His love or even just an encouraging word in the times that we live in. I can’t be in all the places that you live, but the words that God gives me to put here can, so I do this a few times a week, sometimes more if I am given the words for it.

I don’t want you to think that I am anyone special, because I am not. I am a servant of Jesus, gladly, until He comes again. Whether He wishes me to serve here or in a church doesn’t matter to me, I will do one or the other or even both as long as I can. I will only be able to do it with His wisdom and His strength, and I pray that all of you who read this will pray for me to be able to do this as well. We all need prayers, and I pray for my fellow bloggers as well. Have a wonderful, Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

New hope for the future


The election has fostered hope in our government and in the future of America, but it is likely that it is a false hope. Oh, yes, the promises that were made in order to get the votes are high and grand, but are they real and doable…hardly. In the climate that our lawmakers find themselves in during this administration, few if any of the promises that were made will make it to a committee, let alone a vote. Then there is the chance of a veto as well, so the newly elected will not likely to make any real progress at all.

I don’t want to seem to be down on our President. I am glad that I have lived in a time that we could elect an African-American president because it is something that I didn’t think I would ever see. What has been done to our economy is tragic, but I fear that it really isn’t the President’s fault at all. It is the fault of our country and the people who have been pushing God and Christianity out of our culture and our schools and especially out of any government sponsored event or office.

Our nation was founded by God-fearing men and women and it is time that we accepted it as fact and got back to the God of our forefathers in truth and in our schools. In all honesty, if you don’t want your child or children to learn of God and what He has blessed us with, school your children at home and let the majority of children learn of our Creator and the blessings that we have enjoyed because of His grace toward us. He didn’t condone the slave trade that occurred three or four hundred years ago when it started in Africa and in Ireland, but it happened and brought many people to Christ anyway.

Right now, I am schooling my child at home because I want him to learn about God and His grace toward us and in the history of our country. I have to do this because of cost and because it isn’t allowed in public schools today like it was in my parent’s lifetime and their parent’s schools too. Our country was better off when God was part of the curriculum and not considered part of the “problem”. The problem is that many people, Christians, have not stood up to the minority who scream the loudest saying that our religion is harming their kids. How can learning of God and His love for you and your children harm them? Would you rather learn of Satan and his “rewards”? How about Buddhism and it’s rewards?

The only way to be blessed with an eternity that is meaningful is to follow Jesus and learn from the Bible, God’s Word and Wisdom. No other “religion” can gain you access into Heaven, only through the gates of hell and Satan would be tickled to death if he could get you to follow him there if only because he deprived you of a place in Heaven!

In the beginning paragraphs, I said that our problem in this country and its economic woes did not start with our President and it didn’t. Many of our policies concerning the secularization of America began before he was ever born and we began reaping the consequences of those actions long before he became President.

A revival is needed in our country and in every person’s life and if not revival, then salvation through Jesus. This is the only way of actually saving our country and no elected official can do it, only Jesus can have this effect on each person who will ask Him into their life and their heart. Yes, I do read my Bible and I have read the places where slavery was approved of, where genocide was approved of, but in both instances God was approving it because of the outcome of His people, not because He hated the ones that were supposed to be killed or enslaved. Pray for our country and its leaders, those who actually know how to lead at least, and for the mercy of God to come to our country and not His judgement upon it!

Revival of the Church


Is this something that is needed or is it already too late?

Yes, it is needed and it is absolutely NOT too late! Although many churches, or at least those who make up the body of the churches need revival in a BIG way. Revival of spirit, revival of conviction and of their purpose as Christians. It is not too late, but to most of the world, especially in America, we are silent about things that we should not be silent about. Yes, Jesus said to turn the other cheek but even He overturned the money changers tables and those tables which were selling animals for sacrifice in the courtyard of the Tabernacle!

We are not supposed to just roll over and say, “Oh well, so it goes.” Would Jesus be quiet right now in the face of all that is going on in this world? I don’t think so. When He comes back there will be many who will be wishing that He had not!

I know there are some who don’t believe in our God or in anything that the Bible says, but it is the Truth of God and when He comes they will see that it is and always has been true. As Ezekiel looked on the valley of dry bones, he did not know that they would live again but God knew. God could revive them and in the vision that he had, God did just that. He can do that to the church today! He can bring us up from the grave, no matter where we are in life or death because He is God the Creator.

The church today is not dead, but asleep and not doing the work that Jesus gave it to do. We must keep working for Jesus until He comes again. It is our duty and His command that we take His message to all of the world and we can’t do that sitting behind the walls of our churches. Jesus is and always has been the Son of God, the Living Word and He is the Creator because of the Word that was used by God to create everything.

We have to get out of our comfort zones even if it takes getting our shoes dirty and going places that we might not want to go, but where He commands that we take Him! He prompted me to begin this ministry online and it is His prompting that gives me the words to write. I am not and never have been a prolific speaker or writer, but in the past few years I have been writing what I was given by Him…here and elsewhere (my other two sites), in order to get His message out to those that might read it.

I don’t do this for my sake or for any kind of recognition, but for your sake and for your salvation in coming to know my Savior as yours. The church is not a building it is the people who meet there and come to worship Jesus there. Whether the church happens to be in a large building or in a home, the people gathering there are the church. We need to be inviting others to join us in our worship so that they can come to know Jesus too.