Have you had a “But, God” moment?


I don’t mean the kind of moment where you are asking a question or even feeling like He is in the way of something. I mean one of those times in Scripture where the text says, “But, God….” meaning that He moved in some fashion to do something for a person or a people. Some of them happen in such a way that you really can’t miss it, and some seem to be an afterthought.

So, have you had a moment like this? Many times, I think we actually have moments like this but at the time, God does something in our lives which allow us to skirt danger or miss something which could’ve been dangerous or worse. In those moments He doesn’t ping us with a bat and tell us what He caused to work for His glory and for our good because God is not like that. He is better.

We should know this already but there are times where we need to be reminded Who we actually serve. He is not our servant, we are His. Why is this important? Because God says so that’s why. Seek Him out in this life so that you will have Life abundant and free from sin and the destruction which it brings with it.

I have had at least one of these “but, God” moments, except sometimes I use it more as a question and answer time with Him. Not that I am questioning His Wisdom in any area of my life, but sometimes I do wonder why things work out as they do. Children get sick, parents fall and fail each other for one reason or another. Essentially, life as we have to live it happens. We can’t control the things which happen around us, right?

No, but God can! When we give up or decide that our faith isn’t strong enough to think that God would intervene in our life or in the lives of those that we love…then we give the enemy an opening to attack. While it is true that he can’t touch you if you are a Christian, God can allow things (including Satan and disease) to test you in your resolve. Don’t believe the lie that you won’t get better or that you have to have treatment by the doctors who are only getting rich off of cancer and its treatment.

God can come into your life and change the conditions and the diagnosis into something which will draw more people to Him, like one where cancer just dies and the doctor can’t explain it. It does happen but many times our media just doesn’t know what to do with a miracle so they may not report it at all. Natural treatments work on cancer and other diseases but the pharmaceutical companies don’t want people to know this because they can’t make millions from a natural cure.

Treatments which can go on for years gives them far more leverage over our lives. The news media also spreads their “propaganda” just as it did with cigarettes years ago. Millions of people paid with their lives because of the lies about cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco products and their effect on a person’s body.

Please, seek out God’s way of dealing with disease and other problems in your life. Don’t let the enemy win because you aren’t willing to give something natural a try or to ask for prayer in your situation. God can use your life and your situation to turn more people around if you will give Him a chance to do so.

Serving as Jesus did (part 2)


Jesus came to this Earth with all of the problems and chaos caused by a fallen people who truly had lost their sense of direction and their knowledge of the One True God. He came because He loved ALL of us, not just one little tribe of people and He knew that when He came that He would have to suffer and die for ALL of the people who didn’t know Him. Most people in the world at the time He came had no idea Who He was and didn’t care, just as many still do today. Yet…He loved them anyway just as He loves all of us today. That is the love which calls to each of us today.

God seeks out those of us who truly need Him but even in our broken state of being, He can mend us and make us better so that we can show others that His ways are so much higher and more than able to heal and direct our path toward His higher calling. The calling of being His disciple and His friend in this life and into eternity. It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to show people how He has changed us, just tell them about your life and how it was before Jesus came into it and gave you a new purpose and hope!

Are we perfect and sinless after becoming Christians, of course not! We are still human beings after all and we are still subject to every temptation of Satan and all of the other lures that are in this world. Wealth, power, greed, sex, drugs, alcohol….our world and the things in it draws our humanity toward all of these things even after our hearts are changed which is why we have to read the Bible daily. Washing our minds and our thoughts with His Living Water, the Word of God, is the only way to stay true to our calling and know His mind and thoughts.

The Christian life doesn’t give you a clean slate to go out and dirty it up again. If you are doing that, then your heart hasn’t been changed at all. When Jesus and the Holy Spirit come into your life, there is a change which will let you know that what you are doing is wrong. While it is true that you can ignore the message enough to go back and get into the pig stall and lie with the other pigs…why would you want to? We are not pigs, and contrary to what some people may think, we should live above our old lifestyle where Jesus would walk and live. Think about what He went through before the cross. The shaming and the threats on His life and even those in the town where He grew up wanted to kill Him because He told them that He fulfilled the prophecy of the Messiah from the prophet Isaiah. They didn’t believe Him and wanted to kill Him because they had watched Him grow up in Joseph’s carpenter shop. They knew the little Boy but they didn’t KNOW Him!

Like knowing someone from childhood and then they grow up and move away or join the military and essentially become a different person from the child you knew. Of course, Jesus matured into His life’s role as Savior and Messiah by His Father’s teaching and not Joseph’s teaching. The part of His life which everyone in Nazareth saw was His Earthly life, His physical life here. It was His Spiritual life and learning from the Spirit and from His Father that had brought Him to be a different Person from the one that everyone in His hometown thought they knew.

God has many jobs and roles which He wants each of us to do and fulfill in our Christian life, but we need to submit to His teaching and His Spirit and His Word so that we can learn what we need to know in order to be the person which God knows that each of us can be. If we will only follow Him in our daily walk and learn from Him, we can do this!

Serving as Jesus did


Have you ever thought of serving the Lord for your lifetime? We are all called in one way or another when we hear or feel the call on our lives and in our hearts. We are also given talents and abilities which may not translate into much for this world, but they mean a lot in God’s Kingdom. Each word that you use in your life as a Christian has an effect on someone, particularly if it is your children or grandchildren. You may not see the end result of your influence in this life, but God will use your words in ways that you may not imagine right now.

God cares for His Creation, all of it! Each person who has been born and those who are yet to be born into this world, God loves them with a love that only He knows the depth of! We experience only a small taste of it when we have a family. Our children experience a taste of His love through us as we raise and love them and teach them about life, to the best of our ability. Can we learn to be His servants, His disciples while we carry on our lives here? Yes, but we must determine to do it and not just “try” to be better or “try” to learn how it is done!

So, how do we learn to know Jesus and how to be His disciple in this life? Actually, it is simple—by reading the Bible and learning from Him directly! Paul’s letter to the Philippians exhorts us to be like Jesus in all that we say and do in our life with Him. Read here:

Philippians 2:1-11

Being One in Christ

1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

The Attitude of Christ
(Isaiah 52:13-15)

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God approved of and ordains each of us to be His representative while we are in this life, this tabernacle as Peter put it. Yet, we are not supposed to sit in our home and read the Bible and pray and attend church! We are supposed to do something with our life in Jesus Christ! Tell others about His work in your life. Tell them about His love which called to your heart and caused you to realize that our life is not all that there is. Your life in Christ Jesus is just the beginning! Living the rest of your life to be the best reflection of Jesus that you can be with His Spirit inside giving you the strength to resist your old temptations and walk in a newness of His Life and His calling on your life until He comes to take the church to Heaven one day!

Our life without Him or the regeneration of our hearts is a cold and lonely place even if you have family and loving people around you. Because, without His love flowing in your heart and then giving it away to the people around you, the “love” that you have before Jesus is a poor imitation of the love that you have as His child. Our hearts don’t know how to truly love until we accept His Love for us because He is love personified!

Believe…


We are asked to do this as little children. Like we are going to do this as easily as a child as adults and it usually doesn’t work that way. Life tends to make us more cautious and cynical as we get older. This one fact of growing up causes us to discount the simple way of becoming a Christian as we get older.

Sometimes it is just easier to believe like a child. Don’t try to analyze and nitpick the decision to become a Christian, like the Nike commercial says “just do it!”. I do realize that there are so many people out there in the world today who are reluctant to give their life and their heart to Jesus. But…what is the alternative? I mean, Jesus is our Savior and the Creator! There is no other “god” who can compete because there are no other gods, period!

Our world has been deceived by Satan and his cohorts for thousands of years and they are getting a bit worried now that the time is getting short for them! Your life does have an expiration date while you are here on Earth and since we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, the time for salvation is today! Please do not put this off. God knows who will come to Him and seek forgiveness and salvation so make it a point to be on His list of folks to listen to and bring to salvation!

The time is today, not tomorrow or next week. You or I could be involved in a car wreck tomorrow and when this life is over, your time to get saved is gone because “now is the accepted time“.

God provides for us each and every day but many people don’t pay attention. They just take it for granted that they have tomorrow and next week and next month too. Hopefully, they do and all the rest of us do too, but if you found yourself standing in front of God tomorrow…what could you say? What would you say about your life? Something like, “I did the best that I could” won’t help you. If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and asked for His forgiveness of your sins then you are standing on your own righteousness and that is not enough.

Our own righteousness is never enough because if we could be righteous enough to gain entrance into Heaven…then Jesus died for nothing. God doesn’t do things for anything less than His glory and allowing Jesus to die for our sins if we could fulfill the Law perfectly would’ve been useless! God doesn’t do useless!

Consider this: God has known you since you were formed in the womb because He formed you. Whether you have lived your life on your own terms or maybe you have been taken to church as a child, His attention has never been far away from your life. What about your attention? Have you thought about seeking Him out, at least to see if this “Christianity thing” is real? If you haven’t then you are living on a very narrow ledge in this life.

 

 

Living in His Light


Have you considered being a child of God? We are all His creation, regardless of the country we live in or the religion which we claim to serve if we believe in Him at all. God loves each of us, whether you believe it or not. Yet, living in the Light of His Love and Grace is where most of us who believe are right now. How we live in this condition is our service to Him. There are many who simply don’t want to live according to His gospel or in His LIght!

Why? Like the gospel’s say, “they shun the light because they like the darkness“; it is simple and so easy to see it today. Criminals do all of their criminality in the dark where that can’t be seen and it is the same with sinful mankind. They don’t want their sins or their deeds brought into the light, whether it is the daytime or the Light of Jesus! God cares about all of mankind, but He knows which people will give their hearts to Him and His Son and which ones will not.

Your life and the lifestyle that you live is not unknown to God. He knows each person on this Earth and He knows their hearts even if they don’t belong to Him. This has never changed since even the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden. It wasn’t a surprise to God that they could not resist the serpent in the Garden who told them that “they would surely not die“.

When we are tempted by wealth or fame or more knowledge than we are ready for, it is always the Tempter who is dangling it in front of our hearts or our eyes so that we want it for our purposes, not God’s purpose. This part of the equation between man’s temptation and God’s grace toward us has never changed. Actually, the difference has only become more pronounced, except that man doesn’t want to see it or acknowledge it. You can see it every day on the news but unless you are looking at the world around you through your spiritual eyes tempered by God’s Word and His prophecies, it won’t be very apparent to you at all.

This is the very reason that the world doesn’t recognize how the Bible’s prophecies work because they don’t have their eyes turned to the Holy Spirit. You can’t see the working of prophecy unless you have faith in Him and your Spirit is showing you those things around you. As some people on television seem to think that Christians have a mental illness and that they can’t live in the world with “normal” people. Really?

Somehow, I think its a bit more like we are the ones who can see what is really going on around us and the rest of the world is just trying to make sense of all of it and it doesn’t make sense to them. Why? Because the workings of God don’t make sense to those who won’t or can’t see the world with spiritual eyes of faith.

Do you bear fruit for Him?


John 15:1-8

Jesus the True Vine

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear the fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

VineandBranchesJesus taught this lesson to His disciples during the hours just before His arrest and the mock trial that He was subjected to before being condemned to the cross. There is more to His teaching on this but this began His discourse on being a disciple which produces fruit for God’s Kingdom. Have you considered what you should do in light of the fact that as a Christian, you are a disciple as well?

We are called to be in God’s family to be disciples as well as His voice while we live in this life. Yet, many Christians don’t fulfill their duty to Him in this way. We are content with knowing that we have our salvation and that we will be accepted into Heaven one day. But, God intended for us to have and do so much more than that. His Word shows us that the disciples went out from Jerusalem and spread His gospel and we should do no less.

We have much more available to us and for us to use as platforms and possible routes to spread Jesus’ message into the world than they had. God will use your talent or He will give you the talent and the words to say to spread His message to those who need it so badly in the world today. I don’t have the ability to go on missions overseas, but this forum can get to anyone who has access to the Internet. Unfortunately, there are many who don’t have access to it, which is where actual visits are required if possible.

Some places are in areas where it is not advisable to visit with a Christian message or to bring it to those living there. It is dangerous for Christians to go, as Jesus asked us to do, into many countries in the world today. Prayer for those people and places which are not accepting of Christian ideals and its message. Do what you can with what you have and ask God to bless the outcome of your efforts.

Prayer…


When Jesus said “whatever you ask in my name, and believe it will be given to you“, do you truly believe it? He cannot lie, but do you know what He is speaking of? The “whatever” in this promise is not money or houses or wealth, it is whatever you ask in the will of God. For us, this is a hard concept to learn about our Creator and our Savior. Which is why He is asking us to dig a bit deeper into your relationship with Him.

You didn’t know your wife’s needs and wants from the moment you laid your eyes on her or even after you learned her name or her favorite color. Relationships take time and effort in this world and with God and His Son, Jesus as well. So how can we learn more about them? By reading the Bible! Little snippets of Scripture on Sunday are not enough. One reading of a chapter or two during the week isn’t enough.

To learn about your Savior and God, you have to dig into His Word. Learn how He sees you and the world around you. Get as close to God as He wants you to be. When you get there, you will know it, but don’t back up and run away from Him! Just ask Him to give you some time to adjust to the amount of love that you will feel, that you have never felt before. It does take time actually and it brings tears to your eyes when you get that close to what can only be described as pure love.

That isn’t even enough to describe it but it is as close as we can come to a true description of God’s Person. You can call it liquid joy or living water or even love that feels as if you could drown in it forever. A description of Him is the most elusive of all of man’s thoughts or imaginings because until you are actually in His Presence there is nothing on this Earth which compares or even comes close to Him.

Prayer is talking to God put simply. It doesn’t have to have King James language scattered all through it and you don’t have to be in church or dressed in a suit and tie to pray. God already knows what you need but He wants to hear it from you. If you haven’t become a child of God by asking Him to come into your soul, your heart and change you from the lost person that you are into His child forever…He will hear that prayer if it is sincerely from your heart.

I said those words many times and went through the motions of baptism, but until He touched my heart and drew my soul to Himself none of those “motions” were real. God loves each of us and He knows when your prayer and your heart are in agreement with His Spirit. When that happens, your heart will change and you will be a different person. Your old friends will see it before you say a word. Anyone who knew the “old you” will be able to tell that something happened that can’t be undone, although some will try to take you back to your old haunts. But, you won’t feel just right in those places anymore.

You will feel most at home reading the Bible and asking Him some questions about what happened and what to do now. Seek out a church with a Bible preacher, not a doctrine pusher. Then you will begin to learn Who your Savior is and what the rest of your life will be like. Yes, you will slip up and make some mistakes or say something which you know you shouldn’t, but you can ask forgiveness of them and go on with your life. Because the Author and Finisher of your faith is also the One who is the Living Water.

This information is urgent!


You NEED Jesus in your life and in your heart! This is the good news which we as believers are supposed to be taking with us and telling those who will listen. Jesus came to save the lost of the world and we, as His church, are supposed to be His feet and His voice in the world. So…why am I saying that this news, this information is urgent today? Because the time for the church age or the age of grace is coming to an end. I can’t tell you when but the time just feels, in my Spirit, short or shorter than it has been in the past.

What makes this urgent call for action among believers so urgent? Well, if you have heard a sermon on the book of Revelation or one concerning the rapture of the church then you know what is going to happen, it’s the “when” that nobody knows on Earth. God knows and some believers can sense an urgency for the salvation of those who are being called, but that doesn’t mean that we could give anyone a day or an hour!

It feels more like when you hear about a tornado warning on the radio or television, you know there is one somewhere close by but if it comes at night you can’t see it. All you can do is hope and pray that it doesn’t come your way. That sense of urgency is what I feel. I don’t know any timing and we aren’t supposed to know those details, but I pray that, if you are a believer in God and a follower of Jesus our Lord, you will tell as many people as you can about your salvation experience and what God has done for you! Even if you don’t preach in a church or on the sidewalk, your life is your witness and if people ask you about your grace or what allows you to live as you do…then tell them about Him!

Yourplans&Gods

 

The divide between us…


In some ways, our country has progressed beyond the racism and bigotry of the late sixties but much of that old feeling and hatred which we should be working harder to get beyond just won’t go away. I don’t mean that we should forget our history because if you do that you will repeat the mistakes even worse. We also shouldn’t try to erase the good or the bad that was a part of our history because we are supposed to learn from BOTH!

Taking statues down, burning or hiding flags which were an ugly part of our history won’t change the history. Yes, some of you are offended at a Confederate battle flag. I am offended when I hear music so loud that it is about to rattle the screws loose on the car that it is being played in; I am offended by people walking around with the pants around their knees as some sort of statement against what exactly? But, I don’t want the Confederacy to be brought back. I don’t want the laws and stupidity which came out of our Civil War to be brought back.

People of all colors were created on this Earth by God. Our blood is red and it will give us life when we give it to others as long as its compatible. It doesn’t matter what color the skin was that the needle had to penetrate to get it!

There was a man who spoke eloquently about race and slavery and the evils of racism, from all colors of skin.  His name was Frederick Douglass. We need to realize that our Creator did not make us be racists, he made each of us unique. He meant for each of us to be equal and known by Him in this life and into eternity. It is our purpose in this life to fulfill His purpose for us regardless of our vocation in life or where we live. Whether you are poor is the spirit or lacking in money, God made you with the ability as His representative in this life

Seek Him out before the time for grace is over and done with.

What is your blessing?


Is your life today a blessing toGodsBlessing you or a blessing to others? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to know that you will live in eternity or do you believe that when you die, that’s it?

There are many religions and beliefs out in the world today which tell you that their path is the right way or that there are many paths which lead to paradise. They are all wrong!

The only way to be allowed into Heaven and into the presence of God is through the blood of Jesus Christ! There is no other name under Heaven which will give you access to your home in Heaven. So, what is your blessing? We are blessed because God has given each of us one more day to tell others about Jesus and the saving power of His name and the blood which was shed for each of us on the cross!

You can choose to believe in Him and ask Him to come into your heart and change you and forgive you of your sins. You will need His strength each day of your life after this decision in order to walk with Him daily because if you don’t depend upon His strength for your daily life then you won’t be able to keep going. That is what Jesus meant when He said to “take up your cross daily and follow Me”. It is not a physical cross but it is the fact that you need Him and His strength through reading the Bible and prayer for the ability to take each day just one step at a time, walking with Him.

God has always loved each of us but His love or His hate of people or their sins is much different from what we call love or hate. Even when God hates someone like He said about Esau, it is not a vengeful type of hate. It is actually a type of love which doesn’t agree with his choices in life. God’s hatred is similar to a parent telling a child that “I love you but I don’t like the choices you are making”. Granted, God’s emotions are not like ours, but that is the only example which I can give that will make sense to anyone who reads this.

Did God love Esau? Yes, He did but He didn’t like the choices which Esau was making in his life. And for many of us today, He isn’t very happy with some of our choices either. That does not mean that He doesn’t love us. It is the sinful lifestyles or sins which we are into which causes God to dislike us at times. Can we fix this? Yes, we can but not entirely on our own strength.

We need to seek out God and His strength through prayer and reading His Word which will give us the encouragement to get through tough days and decisions. It is a daily, sometimes hourly, struggle with our past “demons” of drugs or alcohol or sex or whatever it might be which we are trying to liberate ourselves from. Becoming a Christian, coming to Him with your heart broken by how much you truly need Him, is a daily process. It isn’t an instant fix, but a practice or a walk with Jesus one step at a time. Lean on His strength and on Him for your support because together you are much stronger than you are alone.