What is true love?


We search for a feeling similar to the feeling which we felt from our parents and grandparents when we were growing up. But how do you identify the real thing? How do you know when you have found it?

What is true love?

The love which is expressed by God is True Love. He gave His Son as a sacrifice to pay for all of the sins in the world from the beginning. God doesn’t ask for anything from us, except for our belief in Him and our faith in His faithfulness toward us. Jesus paid for all of the words that have been said in anger and rage. He paid for all of the murders and the rape and all of the worst sins which people have committed since the beginning of humanity until now.

True commitment to Jesus takes concentration on Him and His message, regardless of the people in the church or what may be going on around you in the church. Here is a bit that I found on Facebook which brings this point home a bit more clearly:

A man went to the Pastor of his church and said, “I won’t be attending Church anymore.”
The pastor said, “May I ask why?”
He said, “I see people on their cell phones texting and typing during the service, some are gossiping, some just aren’t living right, some are sleeping, some are staring at me, they are all just hypocrites.”
The Pastor was silent. Then he said, “Can I ask you to do something for me before you make your final decision?”
He said, “Sure, what’s that?”
He said, “Take a glass of water and walk around the church two times and don’t let any of the water out of the glass.”
He said, “Yes I can do that!” He went and got the glass of water and walked around the church two times. He came back and said proudly, “It’s done.”
The pastor asked him these questions; “Did you see anybody on their phone?; Did you see anybody gossiping?; Was anybody living wrong?; Did you see anyone sleeping?”
He said, “I didn’t see anything because I was so focused on this glass so the water wouldn’t spill out”
He told him, “When you come to church, you should be just that focused on God so that you don’t fall. That’s why Jesus said, ‘Follow Me’, He did not say follow them.”

Don’t let your relationship with God be determined by how others relate with God. Let it be determined by how focused you are with God.

The reason that I bring up commitment is that love and commitment go hand in hand in a relationship, which is what we are supposed to have with God and His Son. Give your heart to Him so you can find out what true Love really is because He will never leave you!

Are you like Jesus?


I once read this and I think many people feel the same way today because it seems that I hear it from people that I have invited to church.

Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”.

Honestly, we are exactly like that. We claim to know Jesus and have Him in our heart, but to people that we don’t know or are new to our church we are more like the Pharisees than we are Jesus. We tend to judge people by the way they are dressed or by what someone said about them in a whisper when they came in and sat down. What if you are judged in that way when you are standing in front of God? How would you like to be judged by the measure that you use every day?

It is true that people in the church can be much like children when someone new shows up. Children are mean. The words which many people in church use toward someone who NEEDS Jesus can be very hurtful and mean too! I don’t mean that every church is this way nor are all the people in each church this way, but the ones that we hear about certainly are!

In spite of the childish rhyme which goes: “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me”.  This is patently WRONG and most adults know it, but they teach this to their kids anyway. Words do hurt, many times more deeply and for a much longer period than sticks and stones.

Why do we do this? This kind of behavior is not what Jesus would do nor would He allow His disciples to act like this! “Church people” have always had a kind of “better than you” attitude and unfortunately it doesn’t do much for the membership of the church. Many of them would really get offended if you told them this too. So, how can it be fixed? Well…there will be some hurt feelings and some will get angry with the pastor if he is the one pointing it out, but you can’t get rid of a behavior if you don’t know it is there.

An addict won’t try to change their life until they recognize that they are addicted to whatever it may be. Although, I am not saying that we, as Christians, are addicted to this type of behavior but it does tend to happen more often in larger churches or in city churches, at least in my experience. Small country churches may notice new people but most don’t turn a judging eye to a new person until they get to know them or hear some gossip about them. Even then it is the wrong thing to do.

We are all sinners in God’s sight, but if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior then your sins are covered by His blood and forgiven. So the drug addict or alcoholic who shows up on Sunday and sits in the back is no different from the preacher who is bringing the message. Jesus loves them both and if they are Christian and have accepted Him as their Savior then their sins are forgiven. Even if they fail occasionally and sin again, Jesus still loves them and if they come in repentance to Him they are still forgiven.

We are all human and in God’s sight, a sin is a sin. There are no BIG ones or small ones. This is why Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors, whether they were accepted by the Pharisees or not and most weren’t. Jesus brought His message of God’s love to everyone, whether they were sinners, saint or adulterer or prostitute, and murderous thieves like the ones who were crucified with Him. Why can’t we do the same?

Because most church-going Christians think that they are better than others, but the ground is level and God’s grace and love are given free to all at the foot of the Cross. Only through the belief in and acceptance of Jesus as your Savior is salvation purchased by His blood and not your own works.

What can I do?


In our walk with Jesus, we sometimes wonder if there is anything which I can do to have an impact for the Kingdom of God? Some people may not consider this, but I feel that some really do want to have an impact for God. So..is there anything which we can do to bring people into God’s family? Yes and no actually.

Yes, we can do a lot for the Kingdom of God in that we can live our lives in Christ so that others will notice that our life is…well, different. Can we do this on our own? No, we can’t! Jesus said “Apart from Me you can do nothing”; and He was right! Without Him in our heart and the Holy Spirit’s guiding influence on a daily basis, we can do nothing which will make an impact for the Kingdom of God.

Living for Jesus and His Kingdom on a daily basis is possible only if you have the Holy Spirit living within you, changing you into a likeness of Jesus. Reading the Bible and studying His Word will only take you so far and without the Holy Spirit giving you the wisdom from His Word, even that won’t mean much or accomplish much at all! God has given us much of His Wisdom in His Word, but without the Spirit teaching you through it, revealing that wisdom to you, much of His Word will remain just words and nothing more.

Does God use people or circumstances to bring His will to completion?

Yes, He does and sometimes those people are not Christians but they have been brought to a place where God can use their influence for His purposes. We are not puppets or automatons but He has used kings and priests and even a donkey to bring His will to bear on history and in the lives of those who He deems important to His purposes. Since God exists outside of time, He can see the future and the past as easily as we can view our daily lives. He can readily discern a person’s impact for good or evil and cause them to be useful in His plans.

This is why He already has the workings of our future laid out, we just don’t know it yet. Is there anything which we can do in this timeline in which we live? Yes, but we must be willing to be still and know that He is God and let His Spirit guide us each day toward that goal, His goal, whatever that may be. If you try to get ahead of Him or do things outside of His will and purpose for your life, He will let you but it will likely fail.

Living without Jesus in your heart and allowing His Spirit to guide you in life is a foolish way for a Christian to live, because if He isn’t in your heart then you aren’t a Christian at all. Your walk with Him is a daily fellowship and one which needs to be nurtured and kept in sync with your reading of His Word. Your effectiveness as an ambassador for His Kingdom depends upon your walk with Him and your closeness in relationship to Him. If you are trying to do these things without depending on Him then your walk will be like a blind man without a guide, stumbling and falling more than you are walking.

Make sure of your relationship with Jesus and your belief in Him before your life here is over.

Super bowl religion?


Many people depend upon this one game during the year yet why does this happen? One game which makes so much happen for advertisers and for those who gamble on the outcome of the game. Why gamble on your outcome?

Your eternity is important to God and Jesus. They care about each of you and gambling on your eternity is not part of the solution…Jesus is! Your eternal life matters to the Creator! That is hard to understand for us but He cares, which means you should care about your future. Do you have an eternity ahead of you? Each of us does, the location of that eternal life and the conditions of it is what is in the balance.

Give your life to Jesus and follow Him and your eternity will be in Heaven with all of God’s family! If you don’t give your heart to Jesus and follow your own path through life, then regardless of how good you are or how moral your life is, you will be sent to hell for that decision. It doesn’t matter how good you were, it is that decision and that decision alone which will send you to hell.

So which direction, which decision will you make? Do you think that your works or your righteousness are good enough? They  aren’t. Make sure which way you are going to spend eternity, before your last breath.

Ups and downs


upsAndDownsWe all have them. One day you feel great and you can do anything. The next day…you feel as if you have fallen into one of the deepest pits that you could possibly find. Life is that way and it continues to be that way. Very likely it will keep on feeling that way or rather being that way for most of us until we are called home to Heaven with Jesus.

If you are NOT a Christian or your religion doesn’t believe in God or Jesus or any part of the Bible, then I can’t give you much encouragement about the way life is now or what is coming in the hereafter. Many Religions beyond Christianity don’t look at eternity the same way. Some look at death as a final chapter which ends the “book” and that is that.

Other Religions look at death as a doorway into eternity and it is your performance in this life which determines your reward or punishment in the next life. It isn’t your performance in this life which determines that even if it was a huge amount of money given or many good deeds done. The factor which has the determining and deciding vote is whether you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior or not in this life.

Yes, we all have ups and downs and sometimes they last much longer than we want them to but with your life in God’s hands and with Jesus as your Savior they can be managed and be far less stressful. Can they be managed without Him? Yes, you can manage them and get through them but those ups and downs and the stress that comes with them will be harder to bear on your own.

God didn’t intend for humanity to live in this condition of a fallen world with all of the problems and pitfalls that come with it, but we are in it and without Him to guide us and comfort us through it our lives will feel much worse than it should be. God is not a doting grandfather ready to dole out gifts and money at a whim nor is He a genie to call on when you want something. Thankfully many of the things which people ask for are not granted because He knows what is coming next week and the thing which you are asking for isn’t the right thing that you need.

Our time here is short compared to eternity and God, Who lives outside of time, can see next week or next year and He knows what is good for you and what will be the best for you in the long run. Your request for something like a Cadillac may not be granted because He can see that it wouldn’t be good for you and your family. A good Chevrolet with a few miles on it will be better in the long run and won’t cost nearly as much.

Be mature enough in Christ to thank God for the unanswered prayers which you didn’t get and thank Him for the answers which you did get which were so much better than what you had in mind!

Is your church part of the problem?


In many churches today, especially within a fifty-mile radius of my home, many visitors feel unwanted and unwelcome. Why is this? Mostly because our churches have become social meeting places rather than places to meet and worship God and Jesus. My church and yours should be places to fall in love with our Savior, but more often than not we talk more about politics and government issues and who should be added to our prayer list this week. Granted, many who are truly in need of prayer for healing and comfort NEED our prayers each and every day.

But the political issues in our government and how it is being run should be part of our prayer ministry, not a part of the commentary and debate in church or Bible study time.

Is the church part of the problem in America today? In some cases…yes it is. We are more concerned about the color of the carpet in the sanctuary and how it looks than we are about drawing more people into the church to hear about salvation through Jesus! So, what can we do about our relationship with Him? I mean, it is our relationship with Jesus which we are supposed to be giving away or at least showing people a Savior that they need to get to know!

Why are churches turning away from their “first love” and trying to be everything to everyone these days? It seems that some churches are trying to attract more people to church just for the numbers in attendance. Having a large number of people attending church is good, but if the message is more fluff than it is substance pertaining to salvation through Jesus, then the message is wrong!

Having 300 or more people attending church every Sunday is great but if you aren’t preaching the love of Jesus and the salvation which He died to provide for those who will believe, then you just have a full church. IF you aren’t following up with those who have attended your services to find out where their beliefs are or if they need prayer for specific problems in life, then you aren’t doing your job as a church. When I say this, I don’t mean that the preacher has to be the one following up with the people. It is the responsibility of those who are Christians in the church who should be doing this as well as the preacher!

Even a full-time preacher can’t reach out and touch every person who has visited your church or has asked for prayer. The only way that we, as a church, can take care of those in the congregation and those who have visited but haven’t decided to be a part of your church is for the deacons and the elders in the church to go to them and invite them back. If they are searching for Jesus, they will feel His presence in those who are inviting them back IF you are doing it in the power of Christ and with His love shining through.

Numbers and the amount which is given during the offering are not the way which measures a church and its commitment to following Jesus. Telling others about Him, mentoring those who are new to the faith, Bible study and helping others to grow in their walk with Jesus are the ways which the church continues to be the true church in the world today! Praying for each other’s burdens, listening to their concerns about being a Christian and living your walk with Him every day is the way to walk the walk so others might want to know Him too.

Many of these things are what our churches need to be doing but few actually are doing them and doing them effectively.

Time is ticking away…


IamtheWayWe are almost a whole month into the new year already! So what else is new you might ask? Well, our time on Earth is ticking away too. God has promised that His Son will return one day and since most of the signs which point toward that event have already happened, the only event keeping it from happening is God’s timing. He is possibly waiting for the last sinner to be saved, I don’t know which event God is waiting for.

I can guarantee that when the specific event happens, the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise to meet Him in the air and all who are alive on Earth will know when this happens! Soon after this, those of us who are alive will be changed and we will meet Him in the air to be taken to Heaven. There will be much confusion and likely many deaths because of pilots who are Christians will be gone. People driving their car or a bus or a semi-tractor rig or even a boat will all be taken up to meet Him in the air and there will not be a warning of this impending event.

Yes, time is slowly ticking away. For some of us, it is ticking quite fast, but your time and mine are moving toward this event. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, time is still moving in that direction. When He comes for those who know Him and have given their lives and their heart to Him, as the Scripture says “it will happen in the blink of an eye“. You may even be talking to a friend who is a Christian, and suddenly they are gone. Their clothes and shoes and their wedding band and watch are all on the ground or at the place where they were sitting…but they are gone!

Now what?

If you are a Christian, then you will be where they are..in Heaven. If you are not a Christian then you need to get busy seeking God, fast! Because soon things on this Earth will become very different from yesterday. If you have read the Bible-based fiction of the Left Behind series, you will know what is about to happen. If you have ever studied the book of Revelation you will know what is about to take place. Don’t discount prophecy in the Bible because God’s Word always comes true, regardless of how other “experts” interpret it.

eternityDon’t wait until that day to seek Jesus out! Will there be others who are seeking Him? Yes, but their numbers will be far fewer than you might believe. Many people who are going to seek Him out will be wondering why was I left behind? I went to church pretty regularly and I prayed and studied my Sunday school lessons at least sometimes. What went wrong?

Actually, nothing went wrong except your belief in Jesus and your acceptance of Him as your Savior. You knew about Him and you read enough to know about salvation and what was required BUT you didn’t actually believe it! You didn’t think that salvation was as easy as it was for the thief on the cross. Belief doesn’t require money or works or witnessing to others. It just takes a sincere belief in the Person of Jesus and what He did on the cross for you to be forgiven.

Think about it because another hour has gone by since I began writing and we can’t get it back. Seek Him out and know that He loves you and is waiting for you to believe in Him enough to ask Him into your heart. What more do you need to do?

The Be-attitude


Do you have this kind of outlook on life with Jesus? Be His in humility and love, not wanting prideful outcomes in your prayers. Living by the words of Jesus which He spoke on the Mount of olives (or as it is so often called, the sermon on the mount) is the beginning of your walk with Him. Here are some of the statements He made that day:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3-10

Jesus was not saying that we should be doormats or act like little mice. He was telling His audience then and now that we should be more like Him. Meekness is submission to control, not weakness. This is the same spirit which a horse has when trained to follow the direction of its rider because even a child can direct a strong horse with a bridle if the horse is trained right.

Jesus wasn’t telling His listeners that they should be happy to be persecuted but to learn to live in a state of dependence on Him for strength every day. All of the statements which He preached on the Mount of Olives were meant to show how to live daily in contact and dependence upon Him. It is a blueprint for your walk with Jesus.

Why is that so important today?

Because we are close to a time in the history of the world where things are coming to an end. I am not saying that the world will end in five or ten years but when the church is called home the world which is left will be on a short journey toward judgment by God. It may be another ten years or more before that happens, no one knows the day or the hour except God. But when it does happen it will plunge the world into chaos and the life of those who are still here will become far more difficult than anything the world has experienced in recorded history.

Why am I writing this today? Because of the number of people who don’t know Jesus. He is the only way to eternity or rather an eternity that you would want to live in. If you don’t want to know Him, that is fine but don’t complain when you are turned toward the lake of fire to spend eternity. God has provided a way to know Him more deeply and securely through Jesus because He paid your debt of sin in full at the cross. All you have to do to receive your gift of forgiveness is to accept Jesus as your Savior and believe in Him.

No amount of good deeds or money will change your destination or the outcome of your death. Believing in Jesus and accepting Him as your Savior will make an eternal change in your life today and into God’s Kingdom. Don’t walk away from Him or His call on your life! If you have felt Him calling to you, then answer the door of your heart and let Him in. Your life will never be the same again.

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?

Trials and frustrations


We all have them and yet, God loves each of us even with our trials and our weaknesses because He can use each of us regardless of how strong we think we are when we are weak. God is good and His mercies endure from generation to generation.

Our world is crumbling around us because of Satan seeking to destroy what God created, but we can come against him with Jesus as our Savior and our Champion! We are never more strong than we are when we are on our knees in prayer asking God to fight for us and give us the strength to stay true to our faith in Him!

All of you who read this, whether you believe in Him or not, seek Him out for your trials and for your every need. He will answer and He will always be there for you, no matter what you find yourself in. Pray and read His Word. Claim His promises because He always answers your prayers in faith and those promises are ours to claim in Jesus’ Name!

4-ways-to-turn-weaknesses-into-strength