Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13 KJV
Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13 KJV
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
Many people notice who attends church and they think that “if they are going to Heaven then I’m good enough to go too”. The problem with this kind of thinking is that not everyone who attends church, regardless of the denomination, will be going to Heaven. There are also quite a number of people who will be in Heaven who may not attend church at all!
Our beliefs about who is or isn’t saved have changed drastically over the past few hundred years and the church itself has strayed from the teachings of Jesus so much that the believers who were the church during the first century wouldn’t recognize us as the church today! So, how close are you really following Jesus and His teachings? I know it is a hard question to ask but your eternity may rest on your answer or the answer from your friends and your church!
It really doesn’t have anything to do with how “good” we are in our own eyes. It has everything to do with how we treat others according to the teachings of Jesus and how we live our faith in everything that we say and do each day! If you aren’t walking through your day like you are walking next to Jesus and doing the same things that He would be doing or saying then you likely aren’t living a sacrificed life in submission to Him.
I am not writing this to do anything other than make you think about your life in Christ. I don’t mean for this to sound like I am judging you or your walk with Him. This is just a few words to let you think about your walk with Him. Is it a walk which you would be proud of? Would Jesus approve of the things which you say or do in your life each day or would He correct you about some things?
I know that my walk with Him isn’t perfect. I make a mess of things with my thoughts and words sometimes and on some days I probably don’t look like a Christian or sound like one either. Each one of us stumbles and makes mistakes because we are trying to live a life that is pleasing to God and without faith in Jesus this is not possible. Some days it seems that my “faith bulb” goes out or gets pretty dim, so it doesn’t surprise me that on those days my walk with Him looks more like a drunk man trying to walk but is stumbling and falling more than walking.
Our goodness or rather our holiness is only there because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and His holiness is imputed to us. Our “goodness” is nothing more than rags and filthy rags at that so there is no possible way that we can go to Heaven if we are only standing on “our righteousness” because it isn’t good enough. The part of living with Jesus which saves you and allows you to enter into Heaven is simple but for many people, it is also not enough. They want to help or add their own spin to the way or the works which will get them into God’s Home, and that is not the way this works.
Remember the thief on the cross?
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost, not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
It doesn’t take much, in fact, it takes faith like a mustard seed to believe that Jesus is your Savior. So don’t turn away from Him especially when you feel His Presence in your heart telling you that He is waiting for you. Ask Him to save you and repent of your old life then follow Him into a new life which will follow you into eternity.
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:24 ESV
The entirety of the Bible, God’s Word, begins in Genesis and all of creation begins with verse 1. Yet the world outside of the doors of the church…any church doesn’t want to hear about creation or how an All-powerful God created the universe. The reason that I am writing this about Christian men is that homes are without them today, sometimes our churches are without Christian men as well.
In the first chapter of Genesis the whole of creation began:
The Creation of the World
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven.c And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,d and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,f and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Men of the church today need to step up to their responsibility at home and in the church because that is our God-given job as fathers and husbands and leaders in the church. If we aren’t doing this then we are letting our children down and our wives down and we aren’t doing the job which God gave to men to do!
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1 ESV
Do you have a specific ministry? Do you pastor a church or are you a lay speaker or maybe a deacon at your church? What is your calling?
Over the past few years, I have wondered these things concerning my place in God’s Kingdom. I have also wondered how other people have answered these questions. Not being nosy but just curious.
You may wonder exactly why I am asking these questions and the reason is simple: I need to know if my calling is actually doing anyone any good at all?
God called me into this ministry in late 2008 so blogging and writing these thoughts and small sermons are my real calling rather than just being a pastor. God calls us in ways which we can’t really understand especially at the time of our calling. So…what are we to do with the specific talents and other gifts which He has given each of us?
For one thing, don’t ignore God’s calling on your life! Get up and use your gifts for His Kingdom. The reward of your writing and telling others about Jesus is being kept for you in Heaven so you can’t lose it ever! In today’s world, most of us are too timid to get out in public or in front of an audience with His message but we should. He called His disciples to do so and if you have given your heart to Jesus then it is your calling as well.
Don’t listen to those voices in your head which tell you to turn this into a business and make as much money as possible with it. Money and possessions are temporary because when you die that money and those possessions are given to someone else. You will stand before God’s judgment seat in the same condition that you were when you were born.
If you have truly and sincerely given your heart to Jesus then you will be clothed in His righteousness and your sins will not be held against you as evidence. God loves each of us, saint or saved or sinner alike, but those who haven’t taken Jesus as their Savior will be sent to a very different place other than heaven and that is hell.
Even if your self-righteousness equals that of the Pharisees who put Jesus to death, it won’t be enough unless you have given your heart to Jesus and have lived by His teachings and not by the sins which abound in this world today. You have been given a gift which is God’s grace through Jesus our Lord. It is a gift which will take you into eternity with Him but if you don’t give your life and your heart totally to Him then your eternity will be much different in hell.
Why do I say that you will be in hell? Because a sinful life is a life of rebellion and it is in that rebellion which you are in the same “camp” which is occupied by Satan and his demons. They rebelled and you refused to live your life by following Jesus every day, so you are the same in the eyes of God.
Make your goal one which looks for Jesus and for salvation through Him because by following Him is the only way to gain entry into heaven and a life with your Lord and Savior.
Where does doubt come from?
This is a question which most people ask at some point in their lives. Christians ask it of themselves more often, than other people do. The answer will likely surprise you. Remember when Jesus asked Peter to come to Him on the water? Would you have stepped out in faith onto the surface of a turbulent ocean? I would guess that very few people would do it. But…it was Jesus asking him to do it and since Peter usually acted or said something before he thought about it, he stepped out of the boat and began walking.
What many people don’t read into the story is that Peter was a fisherman, he knew the water shouldn’t be able to hold him like solid ground. But it was Jesus that made the request of him. Peter had seen Him heal a blind man and feed five thousand men and their families from a child’s lunch basket. So, of course, he jumped out of the boat and landed on the water, not in the water. And, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus and walking toward Him he was able to keep walking on top of the water. But…when he took his eyes off of Jesus then he began to sink into the water.
As Christians, we do this all the time! We feel His touch in our lives and we may even hear or get the feeling that there is something which He is calling us to do. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus and keep our faith focused on the task which He is asking us to do, then we will be fine. But in the world which we live in it isn’t so easy. Peter had the luxury of being able to see Jesus, so keeping his eyes focused on Him shouldn’t have been a problem. We don’t have that luxury and we can and do get side-tracked and distracted from the One Who called us in the first place.
The account of this miracle is found in this text:
Matthew 14: 25-33
25 Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
We doubt in our faith because we cannot see Jesus or the possibilities that are all around us. We look at the bills to be paid and the oil which needs changing or how much food we have left until our next paycheck. We live and move on the physical plane of the Earth and much of what we read about in the Bible happened on the spiritual plane which God lives in and inhabits. We can’t feel it with our hands or touch it physically but according to God’s Word, it is there.
And it is just as real or even more real than the world in which we live. Consider how Jesus could move and live after His resurrection. He could enter a locked room and speak with the disciples there and then just as easily vanish from their sight. Then at His ascension to Heaven He just rose from the ground and went up into the sky, no airplane or fiery chariot required or needed! Can you imagine having a body which will be able to do those things? When we are “caught up to be with Him in the air” we will be in bodies like His forever! No more aching and creaky knees and stiff joints. Praise God that is going to feel wonderful!
Our God is an AWESOME God!
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 ESV