In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was asking His Father if there was another way but then He said “nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done”. I know, it sounds as if I am giving a talk/sermon/post on giving your life to Jesus and in a way I am. But in our time, in the 21st century, giving your life to someone or for something means a lot more. Consider it this way: Jesus was living in the first century. He was a carpenter Who also happened to be the Savior of the world and the Son of God. His parents who raised Him were not rich in wealth. He wore very simple, home-spun cloth for His clothes. In our world today, His condition would be looked on as a man living in a very poor state of being.
God’s Word asks us to give our life to Him, surrendering everything that we have to have all of His riches in glory. We can’t imagine how Heaven is going to be. Even the prophets in the Old Testament and John the apostle didn’t have the words to describe what they saw in their visions of heaven. Any description that we can come up with today would fall very far from the reality that is there. Why do I go to such detail to tell about what we can’t describe? Because when we are asked to give our life and surrender everything to Jesus…are we able to truly give it all to Him?
For most people, the answer would be a very loud “NO!”. God cannot have my business or my family or my home! The reality from God’s perspective is that those things that we don’t want to give up are really His anyway, He is just blessing us with them while we are here. But, many of us don’t want to admit that what we see as our possessions are actually on loan from God, including our family.
Surrendering your life means far more than most of us consider but the giving of our life to Christ is necessary for our eternal home. Asking Him to take everything in your life is not telling God to take your family or your business or your home away from you. It means that you aren’t holding anything back! You aren’t telling him that “this box of goodies is mine but you can have the rest”. That is not how it works. God either has ALL of you and your life or He has nothing. Just as some people today believe either ALL of the Bible as God’s Word or they don’t believe any of it, you can’t pick and choose this part but not that one. It is the same with your life, you cannot choose to give Jesus part of your life and heart…He either has all of it or none.
Make the decision to give Him everything so that He can return the favor and the blessing to you.
I know that some of you who read this will say “Yes, I believe in Him. What kind of question is that?” That isn’t the belief that I am speaking of. Satan knows Jesus and all of the demons in hell know Him in their minds. They know He exists and that He is real but that is where the difference between knowledge of Jesus and belief in Jesus for salvation branch off from each other. You see, Satan was an archangel at one time before the creation of mankind but he like to look at himself in the mirror too much. God had created him to be the cherub that led the worship of God in heaven. Yet he was proud and became arrogant and persuaded one third of the host of angels in heaven to follow him. He wanted to sit on the throne of God.
What a silly idea. A creation of God was going to war with God in order to supplant Him from the throne. God the Father Who stretched out the heavens and flung the stars into their places with His voice and His hands. God could’ve wiped his entire army away with one command but in His mercy He didn’t. God allowed Satan to live and be a stumbling block to the human race not because God is cruel but because He knew that there would be many nations and many people all over the world. He knew that all of us would need a Savior because He knew that we were going to sin against Him and His laws. God knows your thoughts and mine and He knows that on our own we cannot be perfectly sinless because it is not in our nature.
Jesus came to live in human form but He had the nature of God not man, so even though He was tempted (and He could’ve given in to those temptations) just as we are He did not sin because He knew what His mission was. He had to stay pure and sinless to be the sacrifice for ALL of mankind. That is why He was in a constant state of prayerful communication with His Father. We can do something similar but we can’t live sinless lives. Living in a state of prayerful communication is not as hard as it seems but it does take a lot of practice. I’ve been doing it for almost ten years but there are times when I slip or rather my nature slips in and I will think or say something (hopefully out of earshot) that could damage my witness.
Human nature aside, if you truly belong to Jesus and the Holy Spirit has come in and changed your heart then you can be His faithful witness everywhere you go. If you make a mistake or slip up in any way, ask His forgiveness and move on to a better place or into a place where you can be more effective. God wants us to be His witnesses in this world so that others will want to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that all who read this will understand that I am not bragging because I do slip up more than I care to admit but our Father in Heaven loves me and He sees Jesus living in me and not the flawed human being that I am. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Does he know you? That’s the question that must be answered with a positive YES! Why do you need to know Him? For the salvation of your soul. God has loved you since the beginning of time and He doesn’t want you to be separated from Him.
But… when you go through life thinking that you have plenty of time to make an eternal decision you are walking on very thin ice. Not one of us has a clue when our last day is, so you need to make sure while today is still today.
Many people don’t feel this way at all. Even those who are rich with wealth that the world recognizes see their wealth as their right or as a tool to get more. If you are a believer in Jesus and you know that He is your Savior then you are more wealthy than this world can know. The world around us doesn’t recognize this type of wealth because it is not the kind that you can see. It is wealth in heaven above. It is our forgiveness and our promise of eternal life with God in His house.
God loves each of you even if you don’t believe in Him or His Son, Jesus. But beware…God loved Isaac but only one of his children did God place as the most favored. He said that “Jacob I loved but Esau I hated”. Today it’s not so simple, especially in our society. Everyone wants a new home and a new car now! Nobody wants to wait and save up some money for a down payment. This “microwave generation” wants everything right now regardless of how Mom and Dad did it. It’s the same with the way people view a relationship with Jesus. They want to be assured of a place in heaven and if they don’t feel like they can learn that at this church or from this pastor or denomination then they will go somewhere else.
Many are encouraged to join a church during a revival or some special event and some do but joining a church is not the same as gaining your salvation through the actions of the Holy Spirit. Some people get caught up in the singing or the emotions of the sermon and they “feel” led to make this decision tonight and it may be the Holy Spirit touching them. The problem that we have in churches today is that once they are on the rolls of membership, they are almost forgotten. Unless they are mentored at home or join in a youth group study or Sunday school regularly they will not learn how God wants them to live and be a part of His family.
The Scriptures that are referenced in the paragraphs above are good ones to learn from but unless youread and study them more than once the principles that they have to teach will not stick in your head or your heart. Listening to God is learned through reading His Word in order to know His voice and His ways of teaching. You can’t learn by osmosis from carrying a Bible to church, if you don’t read it then none of God’s wisdom will ever take root in your heart and your life.
The book of Proverbs is one of the greatest collections of wisdom in the world but very few people read it even once in their lifetime. They will read through a novel or a self-help book by someone who says they have the answers regardless of the length or the thickness of it. Proverbs is only thirty chapters long so reading one chapter a day takes about a month. Then go back and read it through again and pray about what you have read, asking God to show you which parts apply to your life and situation. Then…read it again. Usually after the third read your brain cells will realize that this is important stuff and we should remember this. You won’t have it memorized word for word but when problems come along, you will remember that you read about that somewhere recently.
Try reading God’s Word and asking Him to show you what you need to learn from it. He will answer you with more than you were expecting to learn.
America has had too much violence and hatred spread during this past year. It has stretched our ability to handle everything that has happened in this past year and some of us have snapped! COVID, politics, the election…the list could go on and on but there is one person who is actually in control of it all whether you believe in Him or not and that is God. He has always been the One Who placed kings and Presidents in their offices and He has been behind the scenes giving them a nudge here or a suggestion where it was needed. There is also another ruler who has done these things behind the scenes and that is Satan. He has been there to counteract anything that God has tried to get done since before the flood that Noah saved his family from.
All of the things that we have had to deal with in this past year were foretold by prophets and by Jesus Himself. Maybe not word for word prophecy but in Matthew 24 Jesus said that there would be those who called evil good and good evil. There would be rumors of wars and wars and all sorts of diseases (pestilence) and quakes and other things happening in various places. Our world, not just America, has been experiencing these things for years but they seem to be growing in number and intensity just like labor pains for a woman.
What does that mean exactly? Well, when the number of labor pains begins to increase and their intensity increases it usually is a sign that the baby will be born soon. In Jesus’ prophecy it simply means that the day of His return for His Bride, the church, is getting closer to fruition. When I wrote “the church” I am not speaking of a specific church, I am speaking as Jesus did in general terms. The church in this scenario is made up of those who are watching for His return and who believe in Him for their salvation. Satan and his demons believe in the existence of Jesus and God as well, but they determined not to serve them long, long ago.
That is one of the unique qualities that all of creation doesn’t have but the angels and humanity do…we can choose to serve God and Jesus Christ the Son of God or we can choose to follow some other “path”. The problem with choosing another path is that it doesn’t lead to an eternity with God in heaven. The only pathway which allows us to walk through the gates of Heaven is by following Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
We place too much faith in our politicians and our “heroes” in sports and the movies in our society today. We follow people on Facebook and Instagram that we idolize and we have no clue who they are or anything substantial about them. We like the clothes they wear or who they are married to or even the movies that they are in and yet the people that we idolize would not be able to truly live up to their “fans” expectation or ideal of them. Just as the “ideal” husband or wife doesn’t really exist, the people that we want to dress like or even be like…don’t exist either. An ideal is just an idea with an -l attached to it.
God know you intimately because He is the One that brought your parents together so that you would be the result of their union. He knit your DNA together so He knew your personality and your abilities even before you were born and it is because of this that we can fulfill our lives in so many more ways by accepting Jesus as our Savior and work for Him in this life and into eternity. Seek Him out because if you have ever felt a tug on your heart during a sermon, He is searching for you as well.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10 KJV
When I was much younger I drew pictures of how cars would look like in the year 2020 and later. They would be more like what I saw in the cartoon, The Jetsons except without folding up into a briefcase. They wouldn’t run on gas or diesel and they would float above the ground (how I was thinking they would pull that off I have no idea). It was my imagination after all.
Believing in God and His home in Heaven is like that as well except we don’t have to imagine it, we can read some descriptions in the Bible. Even though the prophets couldn’t describe everything they saw because we don’t have words that describe that kind of beauty. Heaven is a place that we go to when our work here is done and God has made it so that everything that we need or will ever need is there. I can’t describe it because He hasn’t given me a vision of it nor has He described it in more detail since I began to read His Word every day for the past ten years or so. I’m hoping to go there one day soon.
It is written by Paul the Apostle: “What no eye has seen, and no ear has heard, and has not entered into heart of man, what God has prepared for those loving Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Unless we are following Jesus and learning from His Word, we may never know the joy of being called “up yonder” one day soon. I pray that this year will see a true revival in America and around the world for those who are searching for a Savior that is Jesus Christ. Consider this and seek Him while you can because when the call comes if you are left here on Earth the world is going to become far worse than it is today.