Who knows the end from the beginning?


God does! He is our Creator and Redeemer. He is our Savior and our Lord. Praise His Name in all of the Earth and in the Heavens! Praise Him and seek Him in all of your trials and valleys! Follow Him all the days of your life and you will see Him into Eternity!

Bridge2SalvationDon’t discount His blessings or His grace toward each of us because we don’t deserve either, but He gives them to us so that we will realize Who it is that provides for us when we haven’t asked for our provisions. God loves each of us and the proof of it is that while we were still sinners, Jesus died for us on the cross to pay our debt which we could not. He did this long before most of us were even born, yet He knew us then and He knows most of us today.

If you don’t know Him yet, what are you waiting for?

Being a mouthpiece


Since I am a preacher, that is what I am seen as by most people…a mouthpiece for God’s Word. I read a few verses or maybe a chapter during the service on Sunday morning and then expound on what I have read and what the wisdom that God has given me tells me about this scripture. Moses was a mouthpiece and all of the prophets in the Bible were too. Jesus is a direct mouthpiece because He is the Living Word of God and His disciples were mouthpieces and teachers just as we are today.

Bridge2SalvationWhat is my point in this article today? Simply that God is awesome, Jesus is sitting at the right of His Father and the universe is under their control! Being the person who tells others about God and His Son, and thankfully I am not the only one doing this, is an awesome responsibility! But, I enjoy it!

God loves us and the story that is told in the Bible, from the beginning to the end, is the story of His love and compassion toward us all. While it is true that it starts out being a story about Creation and the Israelite nation, the wisdom contained within its pages is for all of us! Jesus came to tell that story more personally so that we could understand that God’s love doesn’t just mean something to one particular people, but it is expressed toward all of humanity through His death and resurrection!

God’s love and compassion for us are also expressed in His patience toward us because we are very stubborn in our sinful lives and we don’t want to follow His ways until we are ready. The problem with that is that we don’t have a clue about our the brevity of our lives! We are not guaranteed tomorrow or even tonight, so as the saying goes “today is the day of salvation”! Tomorrow isn’t here until it is and you may not have much time in the day or the week ahead to give your life to Jesus and repent of your sins.

None of us can know if we are going into the new year in a couple of weeks because it isn’t a certainty. A wreck or a heart attack or a stroke could take your life at any time between now and then and if you haven’t made the decision to follow Jesus and believe in His atonement for your sins, then you will cross from this life into judgment and hell.

God loves each of us and this is shown in His Word, so don’t wait until you find yourself in front of God and being judged for a life lived without Jesus or even believing in Him. Yes, each of us will be judged in one way or another. If you are a Christian and have Jesus as your Savior then you will be judged by what you did for God’s Kingdom.

If you are not a Christian, then every word and deed that you have ever done in your life will be brought before you to convict you of your sins and to prove that you deserve to be punished in hell. Not for the sins, but for refusing to give your heart to Jesus! That is the sin which condemns you to hell. Make sure of your salvation while you can in this life because when this one is over you can’t rewind and fix it.

Where are we in our lives?


Strange title, huh? Well, I wanted to name it as such so that we who read it might think about where we are. Are you in a relationship, personally with God or do you despise Him and His laws? Maybe you don’t believe that He exists at all! You are one of those foolish people who thinks that everything in our universe, all of the trillions of galaxies and stars and planets came from a compact singularity long ago and just “evolved” from that big bang.

mygodisawesomeMaybe you even believe that we come from a pond of proteinaceous soup which formed from a random comet impact billions of years ago and all life on Earth came from those proteins. If our planet had more time than it is estimated to exist, it may have happened this way, but it did not happen like this.

I know, evolutionists will want to argue this point but according to God’s Word, He created all of these things with His Words. He placed the stars and galaxies in their places. God created all of these in His time, not ours. Life is sustained by Him, the stars are sustained by His strength, your strength is given to you by His Grace for you each day.

God does all of these things because He loves us, whether we love Him or acknowledge Him or not. Although, He did provide a way for our salvation and our life in Jesus and through Jesus Who gave Himself for us and for our eternal life, if we will only believe in Him. Seek Him while there is time and don’t delay because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Please, for your eternity and your life in it, believe in Jesus and the atonement that He paid for with His blood and He did it willingly for all who would believe.

themissingpieceBut don’t just take my word for it, read it from God’s Word in the New Testament. The gospels all tell the story of His ministry and His birth, death and resurrection, some tell different aspects of it or from a Jewish perspective and one from a Greek perspective in Luke’s gospel. He was a physician who traveled with Paul and he gathered the story of Jesus meticulously, as a physician would.

God uses each of us with our own voice or talent in telling a story to get the Word out and tell it in the unique way that He gifted each of us with. Some of us can tell it better or maybe more to the point, and some tell it like we see it through our eyes of faith in Him. To each of us, God gives a unique voice because He knows who will listen to that voice and what they will get from it.

That is why Jesus went to common fishermen who were devout Jews. He didn’t go to the Pharisees or the others who were sanctimonious in their faith, because they were “safe” in their blood lineage of being Jewish. They were “sons of Levi and Abraham”, they didn’t need some carpenter telling them how to serve God!

Many of us live our Christian lives this way today. We create god in our image and we give him aspects which we are comfortable with him having and we convince ourselves that this is the God of the Bible. But our “god” is nothing like God and we would know this if we read and studied His Word and prayed to Him to reveal Himself to us in it! How many of you do that? Would you do that? Are you brave enough to ask God to show up in your prayer life? What would you do if you actually heard His voice in your spiritual ears while praying?

Many of us would fall over wondering just what or Who that was which spoke to us! Many others would think they were imagining it and just ignore Him. Until He spoke again. In the Old Testament God usually called to someone three times. Sometimes it took that many times to get their attention, but often it was because God wanted to impress a point on them.

Make sure of whom you are hearing and know that it is God. The only way to do this is to get to know His voice by reading His Words in the Bible. The more familiar you are with His Words and His Word, then you will be able to accept that the Voice speaking to you is Him.

Seeking your Savior


Have you thought about your need for a Savior? Has it ever come up in discussions around the house or with other family members? In much of the world’s cultures, individuality is expressed and encouraged more than a need for a savior so many people never search for one.

themissingpieceUntil that day comes when you feel that there is something missing and you can’t put a finger on what it might be. Sometimes this feeling hits us when we are teens or young adults and we try to fill that space with many things. Sometimes we try to fill it with sex or drugs, other times we try drinking, but eventually (if we survive all of the experimenting) we begin to look for something or someone meaningful to fill that void.

The problem rises up again when we find that people can’t fill that area of our lives. The only Person Who can is Jesus. “I’ve been down this road before, I don’t want to go again.” or something like it is what many of you are thinking right now.

The problem with that kind of thought pattern is that it doesn’t come from you, it is coming from a demon or another spirit which is trying to lead you away from Jesus. Following those thoughts can lead you to a life with many rewards, as far as the world can see. Like money, fame, a good marriage maybe, prestige but all of these are also patches or things which make you feel good about yourself and your place in the world but they have no lasting benefit.

What do you mean “lasting benefit”? If I had a million dollars in the bank, what else would I need?

See…that is the focus which Satan and his demons try to get you to focus on! Money is just a tool and it is mostly a tool of Satan because he can dangle all sorts of bills in your face and they look really good for a while, but just like the prodigal son, when the money runs out so do many of your friends. In spite of what you think about your friends, if you are wealthy to any degree, many of them are only there because of the money and the good times afforded to them by your money.

So, what can you do? Money can’t give your life meaning on its own and people can’t or won’t do enough for you, particularly in a time of trouble. Even your spouse can’t help you when you truly need his or her compassion and support, even though they will give you both of those if they love you truly. Who can help in these desperate times then?

Jesus can!

Jesus came to take God’s punishment on Himself for ALL of mankind, past, present and future. He did this on the cross and then was raised again on the third day, finalizing the victory for us! When the Holy Spirit convicts you of your need for Jesus, listen to Him and seek out a Bible teaching church and read your Bible! If you don’t have one, there are quite a few online but you can buy one easily enough, if you don’t live in a country where religion is restricted. Find out about His sacrifice for you and believe in Him for your salvation. All you have to do is ask Him to save you and He will!

God loves you more than you can realize and He doesn’t leave you in the cold when you need Him! He is always there, even if you can’t feel Him, pray to Him that He will be near you in a stressful situation and ask for His help in every situation and He will always be near you. He said that “I will never leave you or forsake you”; He is always near those who believe in Him and will give them strength to get through whatever is in your path, amen?

Salvation, is it important to you?


Many people seem to think that being a Christian is not fun, but they could not be more wrong. Living as a follower of Jesus today is not easy but the rewards of being a follower of His are worth more than ALL of the money in the world! To God, your soul is worth more than the entire world! Just ONE soul in God’s Kingdom is worth more than all of the wealth in the world, imagine how much value He places on all of us?

Believing in Jesus and His atonement for you and your family is all that is necessary to be saved, then follow Him, learn about Him, read His Word, seek His counsel in all things. Living daily for Him is not a joy ride that you take on one certain Sunday. It is not something which you do because you are in trouble or you have been given a bad diagnosis. Yes, He is to be sought out when things like this happen but He is to be followed every day of your life even after the problems are taken care of!

Jesus endured all of the stripes from the whip used on Him without a word, as well as the nailing to the cross and He did this because it was necessary for the atonement which He came to provide for us. The agony was not something which He sought because in the garden He had asked the Father if it was possible for this cup to pass from Him, yet not my will but thine. Jesus was sweating drops of blood in His anguish before this trial, but He did it anyway.

The Creator of the universe allowed His creation to whip Him with a cruel cat of nine which tore flesh and reached down to the bone at times under the hand of Roman soldiers who hated the people where they were tasked with keeping the peace. They took out their hate and frustration on Him and never thought about it until afterward. At least some of them repented after He arose from the grave according to historical documents.

Could He refuse to go to the cross? Yes. He could have come down or struck down those who put Him there? Yes, but if He had we wouldn’t have salvation granted to us and anyone else who believes in Him and His message.

Life today has many hardships even in America. Most of the world doesn’t think so, but there are many problems which we have that are fixable IF we will turn back to Him. Follow Him, believe in Him, read His Word, and do His Work while we are here instead of being selfish and proud and taking care of just one person….me.

When you do that you have declared that you are your own god because you are more important than anyone else. Our problems are multiplied in this world because it isn’t just one person who is doing this. It is almost every person in the world! Very few take care of others very much. Oh, you see a few hundred who will sacrifice themselves or their comfort when problems arise, but if we did this as a country on a daily or weekly basis the entire world would be so much better off!

Acting as Jesus would in every situation is something which is not normal for us. It is hard for us to understand and practice that way of life, but that is what the Christian life is supposed to be like! Seek Him out in every situation, His wisdom and His direction for your decisions because if you can’t do that or if you won’t do that…then how can you truly claim the distinction of being a Christian?

What He did not do


I wrote that as a statement and not as a question because it is something which, I believe, we have not really considered before. Jesus told His disciples that “I and the Father are One”

Jesus is as much God as He is God’s Son, so why did He suffer the things that He did? He could have caused the heat to be not so hot. He could have brought rain during His time in the desert. He could have done many things to prove His place as the Messiah, but He didn’t…why?

romans_5__8_by_israel42-d4r02q5Because He knew that the Jews would reject Him before HE came. He knew that they would crucify Him and He knew the one who betrayed Him and He could’ve stopped it all…but He didn’t. Why?

The spear that pierced His side, rent the flesh like the curtain in the Temple yet it was covered with water and blood. The cleansing blood of the only sinless sacrifice which could take the sins of the entire world, not just those living but ALL of those who had ever or would ever live…and make them spotless if they would believe in Him. Why?

There are many, many things which Jesus could have done during His lifetime to prove that HE was and is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God…but He didn’t do many things. He did heal some people and He fed many more with very little, it seemed, He calmed a storm and chased demons from people’s minds and bodies. He did all of these things, yet He allowed His creation to imprison Him in flesh and bone. He allowed them to scourge Him with whips and hang Him on a tree as a common criminal, yet HE had done nothing except to take the sins of mankind on Himself. Why?

The reason for the questions here is not so hard to come by if you read God’s Word for what it is. A story of love.

As John wrote is the verses which we know so well: “16For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.… John 3:16,17

It was because of God’s love for all of us, not just the Jews, that He sent Jesus to us to live, to teach and preach and heal during His ministry and to die for our sins and rise again so that we might live with Him one day in eternity. That is why Jesus did the things that He did and chose not to do those things which would get in the way of His mission for us.

What shall we do with Jesus?


WomanbytheWellSome people see Him as a great prophet. Some claim that He is the Son of God. Christians believe that He is the Son of God, foretold in Scripture, born of a virgin, fulfilled the Law of Moses in His life, Who taught His disciples that belief in Him is the way to Heaven. Then after three years of a miracle-filled ministry, He was taken into custody, condemned as a heretic and a rebel toward Roman rule and crucified.

Yet, God confirmed His place and His claims by raising Him from the grave three days later. He then taught His disciples for fifty days until His ascension to the Father.

Do we have proof of this? Only that there is an empty tomb where He was laid and our faith through the Holy Spirit confirming that God’s Word is true!

So, what will you do with Him?

themissingpieceThe Bible, particularly the New Testament, says that we should believe in Him. Archaeology has proven many, if not all, of the historical books in the Old Testament to be true and accurate. Science has proven that God’s rule of circumcision on the eighth day to be medically accurate because a baby’s body doesn’t have clotting factors until that time. There are many other proofs of the Bible which I won’t go into here.

My point in this post is to encourage you to learn more from God’s Word, seek Him out in it and make sure of your salvation! Jesus came to specifically save and sanctify each of us who will believe in Him. The next time He comes, He will be coming to take this world as His Kingdom and to prove to all that the Bible is true and that He is the One that He claimed to be when He was here the first time!

There is no denying this point, unless you just refuse to believe the Bible as the true Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to us to point us in the right direction. If that is what you choose to believe, then there may be no way of convincing you otherwise. I pray that anyone who reads this or any other blog about our Savior will at least give the Christian faith the chance by reading the Bible with an open mind. I am not asking that you believe something just because, say Billy Graham believes it. But, don’t dismiss it out of hand either.

Particularly if you have ever felt the Holy Spirit speak in your heart, your soul and haven’t acted upon it yet. Don’t put this decision off because it truly is of eternal value to you! There is a life after this one, but living through eternity without God would be…well the only way that I could describe something similar on Earth would be like a prisoner in a dark cell with no light, no air moving, and yet you couldn’t die. Even if you never got any food, you would be in that cell for years, decades, even centuries. No contact with anyone. Most people would go insane in a situation like this.

Except, in hell you can’t go insane and there will be heat and a lot of it. What else will be there? I don’t know except to say that anything like water or food, anything which would give you a chance at Life, will not be present. Don’t test this out to see if you might like it, because once you are there, you won’t get out. It isn’t temporary and you can’t be “prayed out” or bought out. Jesus is the only way out, but you have to accept Him before you die, not after.

Seek Jesus while He may be found and accepted into your life while you are here, please?

 

See the Lord do this thing….


Featured Image -- 57701 Samuel 12: 14-16:

14 If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God;
15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.
Samuel said these words in front of the people of Israel when they crowned Saul their king, because they wanted a king like everyone else had. They didn’t want God as their King! God is very patient with us, even when we reject His rule in our life. He doesn’t smite a person dead when they foolishly shake their fist at Him and ask for Him to strike them dead. That doesn’t stop them from being foolish enough to do it though.
God is not a man. He is not made in our image as many seem to try to mold Him that way, we are made in His Image! Thankfully, God has enough patience with humanity to allow us to keep living and hopefully we will learn about Him enough to feel the need for Him to rule in our hearts the way that He should!
As in Proverbs it says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“. Fear in this context is respect or reverence not fear as in scared of or afraid! Being a child of God brings joy into your life, knowing that He is always at your side. He, our Creator, is on your side and always near you, no matter what the circumstances may be! We are beloved by God Himself, whether you have given your heart to Him or not! He doesn’t wish that anyone should go into Hell forever, but by your choice of not giving your heart to Jesus and asking Him to come into your life it is you who chooses that path for eternity!
God created mankind to be in fellowship with Him all of the days of our lives. But..it was our choice to remain in that relationship with Him and everyone knows how that turned out! Through Jesus our Savior, each of us can change that situation and get back into fellowship with God. All that is required is that you believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins and ask Him to save you from your old, sinful life.
That is it! That is all that is required and its all that you or I can do to become a child of God! No amount of money or works in this life can get you righteous enough to be allowed into Heaven. Only the blood of Jesus can cover your sins and mine so that God sees His righteousness instead of our rags! You only have this life, however long it may be, to get this done so please don’t wait. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, so please seek out your Savior today and ask Him to come into your heart to change you into the person that God knows you can be.

Why so much division?


Beliefs, creeds, denominations…it seems that our world is cracked into thousands of pieces when it comes to deciding about Who we believe in and serve. Why?

DivisionMostly it is because of the work of Satan. He has been at work in the world creating other “gods” for people to worship and also creating division in the church itself. Sometimes these are small cracks but over time and with a little help from willing people they get bigger until the church splits in two or crumbles into the dust.

In the first century, just after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples taught His Truth as The Way. Some called it The Truth. For many years it stayed that way until Catholicism and the Catholic church became the dominant form of worship in the crumbling Roman empire.

Until the Reformation, there were no Scriptures that a worshiper could have in his possession and read for himself or herself. Then, when the Bible was printed in English and German, many people were put to death when they were found to have one of these Bibles. The persecution of Christians by the church and by pagans, is found in the Book of Martyrs if you would like to read it. It is difficult to read, but it will show you what it took to be a true believer in Jesus, all the way up to recent history such as in the communist countries since WWII.

The fracturing of the church into so many denominations has caused many problems between believers. Some believe only parts of Scripture, some follow only a few verses in one book or another, when we are supposed to be people who believe in the entire Word of God! Not bits and pieces of it but ALL of it, the Old Testament and the New Testament should be taught in its entirety. Yet, many churches today seem to pick and choose what they will teach or believe and the parts that they will not.

This is not the way that Jesus wanted His church to be! We are not supposed to be bickering and fighting over parts and phrases, choosing which to teach and which to tell others that it is not God’s Word! If it is included in the Bible, whether it be a Jewish Bible or Orthodox Bible or a Protestant Bible, then it should be taught to everyone in the congregation, young and old!

I ask that anyone who is interested in God or Jesus and the Word in the Bible, please seek out a Bible teaching church and search out the Truth. God’s Word is true and has never been found to be wrong in any manner. Many try to bring parts of it to trial saying that it contradicts itself, but if you would seek the Truth it can be found that all of it is more true and accurate than many historical works. Praying that all of you who read this will seek Him out in the Bible and as your Savior. Amen.

Loss, life and Love


Everyone goes through all of these in their lifetimes. Some go through them a little earlier or more frequently, sometimes it happens a bit later in life. But…we all have each of them at some point. Regardless of when or how things happen in your life, God is always near your heart and available to comfort your spirit and give strength to your soul. We cannot see Him or feel Him physically, but if you are a child of His you can feel Him spiritually by your side in all things, good or bad.

Why do I bring this up today? Because, all over the world there are people who are hurting because of one reason or another. Whether it is because of the loss of a loved one or because of disease or war or persecution, even in America people experience these. Maybe not to the point or extent that those in other countries do, but we should at least be in prayer for our brothers and sisters everywhere.

God cares for all of the human race regardless of the country or religion which you may subscribe to follow daily. He knows your struggle and would like for you to come to Him in faith. Though many people seek Him by other names, that is not how you get to know and love God. Faith and belief in Him and in Jesus is the only way to come to Him. You can’t call a statue “god”, nor can you pray to Him as another name and think that He hears you.

Jesus said that the only way to the Father is through the Son. No other name or worship is part of that relationship, just faith in God and belief in Jesus. God provided a way to salvation through belief in Jesus and His atonement for us in His death and resurrection. No other religious leader in history has ever come out of the tomb or grave after their death, except for Jesus! There were many witnesses of His resurrection body and His teaching after He came out of the tomb because He taught for another 50 days before ascending to the Father.

Life is in Him and eternity is only one heartbeat away. Make sure that your eternity is with Him!