Understanding…


I have read many books, scientific and novels, books to waste time with and books which help you in ways that you need help with. I have come to understand much of the Bible itself but I am still studying it and will be until my death. I won’t understand all of it even then.

Yet, I am a father to a teenage son who is very much like me in so many ways, and I can’t understand him. I suppose it is because I have never fully understood myself. Which is something that I doubt that very many people in the world can claim truthfully. Why am I writing this on my blog? I suppose to vent a little, but more to the point I am doing it because I need to.

Most of the words which I have written here I don’t believe were entirely my own, but were inspired by the Spirit of God. I have never been very eloquent or well spoken, especially in public, but I seem to be able to write things that people have told me seem to be inspired wisdom. Surely the wisdom that I have written here is from God because I don’t consider myself to be a wise man. Yes, I am a preacher and I do preach on Sunday morning every week but most of that is reading from God’s Word and then trying to explain it in the best way that I can. The wisdom that is there in those sermons comes from God, not from me. It comes from the Holy Spirit guiding me in my sermons and I believe that He does that here as well.

So, the reason that I am writing this is to help me understand myself and my son and possibly to help others who may be going through the same issues in their lives. God knows each of us far more intimately than we know ourselves and He can reveal things in your life and mine that we didn’t know, even pertaining to ourselves. So, what can I find out about myself from God today? I am not sure if He will reveal much to me that I don’t already know.

I am stubborn, and I have a temper which I pray that He will help me with every day. Some days it is hard to focus on the project at hand and stay focused until it is done, so I likely have a bit of ADD but that is okay too. God still uses me in ways that I never thought possible, as for understanding myself and my son that is going to take a lot more time and effort than just writing an entry here. God will help me with that as well.

We all need to understand each other and ourselves just in order to get along better. The problem is that we are never taught any of this in school and very rarely at home. The understanding part only comes from God and He only hands that out to those who ask for it. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. Please don’t ask God for patience though, your learning about that may be entertaining for Him but you won’t like it at all! Patience comes through reading the Psalms and prayer. Learning about God and His ways gives you the understanding that you need in all situations. See, God gave me my answer just as I knew He would!

Applying it to a teenager is a different story altogether, so I will try to learn more about God’s understanding so I can cultivate some of my own. I pray that all of you who read this will be safe and secure in God’s love and know that He does love you no matter what! I am also praying for the families and friends of those killed in France. There will be a victory in the fight against evil one day, just make sure which side you are on!

Amen

 

The significance of the Word


You don’t just read a cookbook, you fix and eat the meal. It is the same way with the Bible, God’s Word, if you don’t assimilate it, no matter how much you appreciate it, what good is it? And with the Bible, it means that you are to take it into your mind, to thoroughly comprehend it, to use it as nourishment for your mind and heart and your eternal soul!

Just as with a cookbook, the words and the recipes don’t help you much by just reading them. Reading the recipe of a fabulous meal or dish is not very satisfying, you have to do something with the information that you have in front of you. It is the same with the Bible. Read it, of course, study it and think on what you have read…definitely, then you have to put it into practice. Just as the recipe won’t do you any good if you don’t put your hands to work and put it together and cook it, God’s Word won’t help you in your daily life unless you act on it and use it!

Our lives are complex and we meet people in all sorts of situations every day. In many of our situations, we don’t interact with too many of those that we meet very much, especially not today. We text, we tweet, we post on social media, occasionally we will call someone, but we rarely speak to each other. It is even more rare that we sit down and have an actual conversation about our lives and the things which make our lives meaningful!

Why have we moved away from the interaction that was once a daily activity just as walking or breathing? Too much stuff has gotten in the way I believe. Too much technology is interfering with our lives. Especially when it comes to family members and our friends, we turn to our phones and our computers more often than we do to our pastor or our next door neighbour.

God’s Word is alive and it has been with us for over two millennia, yet it is not a book which is out of date. It is fresh and new to all who read it. The wisdom which it contains is relevant to today in the twenty-first century just as it was when it was written. It seems that many people think that coming to church on Sunday or having a Bible in their house does the trick and makes their lives better. Coming to church can do that and the fellowship which we have there does help us, but don’t leave the teaching that you receive on the pew.

The Bible, like a cookbook, won’t do you any good at all unless you open it, read it and apply it to your life. Allowing it to collect dust in your home doesn’t help your spiritual life because you aren’t taking in any spiritual nourishment to help you to grow in your walk with God. He sent the Word to us through His prophets and scribes so that we could learn of His love for us and so that we can learn of His wisdom.

Don’t just read it like a history book or an interesting book but as the actual Word of God. It is Truth, it is also a Life-giving book and a book of truth and wisdom, not of mankind’s wisdom but from God Himself! Apply its wisdom and words to your life so that others will benefit from your walk with Jesus. After all, He is the Living Word made flesh which dwelt among men. Take Him with you in your heart and in your everyday life, because without Him nothing has any meaning or substance in all of Creation.

Peace in our time?


“Since its inception in the 7th century, Islam has used the sword to advance its territory. It goes on to this day. The goal is to bring the world into submission to Sharia law. This is what motivates all these “terrorist” groups. ISIS is getting a lot of attention, but what is going on with Boko Haram against the people of Nigeria today is just as horrible. This practice of using force to compel conversion is a distinctive to Islam compared to the world’s other major religions.” (borrowed from another site afa.net)

Our world here in America and elsewhere is becoming much more dangerous, especially to Christians. Why? Because we don’t believe the same as other religions. Yet, people in America want tolerance from Christians toward everyone else’s beliefs and their lifestyles, but they can’t stand our beliefs. Talk about a double standard!!

It seems that people can’t comprehend the reason that Christians believe the way that they do, and I don’t understand this at all. The Bible, which is our guidebook and our Holy Book, is available almost everywhere. Most of it is part of Jewish belief as well since their Torah and much of our Old Testament are the same. Even Islam recognizes the Book and the Patriarchs and Jesus, although they don’t give them the same reverence that we do.

Peace in our life-time has been a common theme that many have tried to bring about for many hundreds of years, yet it is something which is either fleeting in its brevity or almost impossible due to cultural and religious differences. Is it possible? Yes, but it cannot be done through force and it will not come at the hands of a man, it will come about when Jesus returns and rules from Jerusalem.

Why do I say it this way? Because it is a fact. God has prophesied it in His Word and therefore that is the way that it will be. There is no argument and there is no other way that it will happen. Many people will fight against it and they will fail in the end. Like it or not, that is the way the future will be.

Christianity is not forced upon you. You will and always have had a choice to follow Jesus or not, but peace on the Earth will only come when He is ruling from Jerusalem. I am not speaking of the Anti-Christ, but the real Messiah, Jesus.

Yes, I know, many who might read this will not agree with me which is fine. I don’t expect nor require anyone to agree. I am just stating something which is prophesied to happen and it is going to happen. Whether you believe that I am delusional or not really doesn’t matter at all, I have been called worse.

God knows the hearts of men, regardless of their religion or their doctrine, and it is He that will judge each of us according to our faith and that which we have done or not done in this life. The things which have been done for His Kingdom will last, anything other than this will be destroyed. Your possessions and your money are all part of this world and it doesn’t matter how much you have of either. When  you die, regardless of the manner of your death, your “stuff” will be here for someone else to sell or enjoy. You will be in eternity and your decisions in this life for or against Jesus will determine where that eternity will be. So make the right choice.

Satan’s plan


The church is being deceived by Satan and his fallen angels and was so long ago and they are still at it today. Oh, for some it is a very minor deception, mostly of pride and arrogance which has been nurtured by working in the minds of clerics and priests as well as in bishops and preachers. The deception is so subtle until it is hard to spot, until the damage is done but it creeps in like rust on a steel bridge. A little weakening here and there, a bit of dodging around the scriptures in ways that seem “right” but changes their meaning just a bit. This has been his way all along, just as he did in Eden when he asked Eve about what God said. “You will not surely die! You will be like God knowing good and evil. Twisting words a bit, appealing to humanity’s pride, because pride has been the root of mankind’s sin that gives rise to all kinds of things like rebellion and vanity just as it did when the rebellion happened in Heaven.

Satan and his fallen angels will do whatever is possible against the church and its members in order to take as many with them into hell as they can. They are the instruments of disease, death, persecution and temptation in our world, especially against the church and those who claim to know Jesus. They also empower some church leaders to gain so much wealth that the message becomes twisted and weak and in the end, the body of Christ becomes weak and pitiful, alive but just barely.

In many ways, this is exactly what the world sees in the church today, regardless of the denomination or the leader who is taking his flock on a very broad road to hell with the assistance of Satan himself. As long as he can injure or take down the effectiveness of the church and the message, then he and his fallen angels will do just that, regardless of how much damage it does. He hates man with a passion which goes beyond human understanding and he hates the church even more!

The church has seen much deceit and division with people caught in lies and extortion and with the “leaders” of the congregations getting into all sorts of trouble. Some of them caught in adulterous situations and some getting very wealthy from their “partners in the ministry” helping to spread the Gospel of Christ and yet they own mansions and cars and jets. This is not the church that Jesus intended it to be!

Christians are supposed to be patterning their lives after Jesus, seeking Him and His Wisdom in everything that they do, yet there are some who do demonstrate against authority, against the law and against our government.Why is this being done? Because, if Satan can make the world look at the church, the body of Christ, as intolerant and hateful towards the freedoms that the world enjoys without the church then soon the world will turn against the church altogether.

One of the biggest problems with mankind and one that Satan uses is that we have an independent fallen nature which gives us the delusion of being in control of our lives and the outcome of our lives, whether spiritual or physical. We think that we are capable of reaching for Heaven independent of God and that is the biggest lie that Satan has told and nearly the whole world believes it! True believing Christians who depend on God and seek Him in their lives do not, but it seems that those are few these days and likely in a couple of generations will disappear from the Earth which is exactly what Satan wants!

Since God created mankind to worship Him and know Him, Satan is striking at God by destroying or hurting us in any way that he can. Through disease, poverty, war, famine, hatred of our religion and the One that we follow, Satan has struck at the heart of God by striking at the church, those of us who believe in Jesus and His message. If he can do enough damage that Christianity were outlawed and church services were banned, unless they were worshipping him or one of the “religions” that he approves of, then part of his mission here is working.

It is not finished yet, but he knows that his time is growing short.Then, he will turn on God’s people, the Jews just because they are God’s chosen people. He has deceived them into being so religious about their religion that they missed the Christ when He came and many still can’t see Him even today because they are blinded to Him. Pray that our world and those in it who have been blinded by the pride of life and their own fantasies will come to realize that they are not in control

Jesus is born…now what?


Christmas is a time of wonder and magic, especially for young children, but what about the One Whose birthday we are celebrating? Do we truly consider what we should be doing with our knowledge of Who He is and the reason why He came? It centers around the nature that all of mankind possesses, that being our sin nature which has been passed down from Adam and Eve. Whether you believe in Creation or in Evolution, you can witness the results of this nature that everyone seems to have and you can see it every day on the news or on the Internet. The Truth which is contained within the Bible tells the story of people who want to be more than they are and it begins right at the beginning.

It is true that wanting to be more than what you are is not such a bad thing, in most situations, but when you are going against the laws of God and His will for your life it will have an effect on your life for years to come. Like any decision which we make on our own and that we continue in daily, going against God’s will for your life is allowed by Him but it is not a good idea. Truly, following God and giving Jesus your heart is the best decision that you could make for your life and yet many people want to “do their own thing” on their terms and not according to the will and purpose of God.

When you do this of course, your life turns out the way that you want it to, sometimes, but sometimes it doesn’t go the way you want at all. Many times when we choose our own path in life, it goes along just fine without any problems and that is a good thing for us. But, it doesn’t point us in the direction of following Jesus at times. There are choices that we make which can be good for our life and there are some which may lead us in the wrong direction.

Yes, it limits your choices in life a bit but the life that you will have is so much more than the one that you would have living outside the will of God. I know, many people today don’t see it that way but its true. I lived outside the will of God for many years, thinking that I actually belonged to Him but I didn’t and when I truly allowed Him into my heart and my life completely, there is such a difference in everything. It is as different as night and day! We don’t realize it at the time that we are living in it though and that is the problem with making our own independent path in life. The other problem is that it is not entirely independent, because Satan or one of his cohorts keeps a watchful eye on us especially when we come near to the Lord in one way or another.

It is at these times that circumstances will come up in some way, good or bad, to keep you from the influence of God. The test of your attention to God’s voice will be when He calls you to Himself. Are you listening for Him or do you just disregard it completely? I did this a few times in the past, but I have since come to realize that when He speaks in that voice, you need to listen because He is always right as long as you can discern that it is from God and not Satan or some other “voice” that you are hearing.

Jesus came so that we might come to know Him and through Him we can know God. Isn’t that an awesome thought? To get to know the Creator of everything is such an awesome and humbling idea and experience, it is impossible to describe to you the way that it feels, especially if you aren’t a Christian already! A person without faith in God cannot understand faith, God, or the Bible itself and until you have that faith, then the Bible is just a book about Israel, some of their historical events and prophets, as well as some poetry. Pray sincerely to God for the wisdom and the faith to understand His Word so that you can understand God’s plans for us and for you.