Are you following Jesus?


In the church today there are many who claim to be following Him, but are they really? The path which is required for us to follow is usually one which is narrow and littered with stones and thorns at times. We have to constantly watch our footing while walking the pathway or we will stumble and fall. Does that cause us to lose our salvation? No, of course not, if it is real and true salvation.

There have been many people who have had emotional experiences at a revival meeting or a gathering where God’s Word is preached and they thought that this was a real experience with Jesus. Why do I bring it up? It’s because after a while they begin to live their lives just like they did before, with no discernable change in their behavior.

Bridge2SalvationA real salvation experience begins with the Holy Spirit convicting you of your need for Jesus. Then you act on that need by confessing your sinful nature and asking Him to come into your heart and change you into the sanctified person which God knows you can be. When that change occurs, there is no doubt about the real change which happens. While it may take a while for you to shed your old ways, the Holy Spirit will convict you when you are doing something outside of God’s will for your life. Therefore, you will not go back to your “old ways”, at least not permanently.

Will you stumble and fall off of the path? Yes! It is likely that you will stumble many times, but as long as you get up, ask forgiveness and start again to follow Jesus with prayer and reading the Bible, you will get back on the pathway. It is a process which brings your nature into alignment with the will and nature of Jesus. This doesn’t happen immediately or overnight, but it will happen if you keep seeking His wisdom and praying for His strength in your daily walk with Him.

When you feel the Spirit touch your spirit and you know that you need Him, God has placed a call on you and it has been there since you were born. You may not feel it or notice it for many years or you may submit to it as soon as you do feel it, whatever your age is when that happens. Each of us has a talent and some gifts from God which He has given to us to perform our role in His Kingdom. We won’t find out about them until we are a part of His Kingdom and He may give us more talents to use after we accept His gift of salvation.

Each one of us is known by God even before we are born and He knows what we are capable of doing and being in His Kingdom because He placed those gifts and talents within us before our birth. I pray that anyone who reads this will seek Jesus and learn of His sacrifice for each of us then ask Him to come into your life and make you into the person which you were meant to be for the glory of God the Father!

Wisdom is found in God


Proverbs says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“, but what does that mean? Fear in this instance is reverence, not fear as in being afraid of. God is holy and perfect so consider being in His presence, how do you think you would feel? Humble? In awe of Him? Unworthy of being in His presence?

You would likely feel all of these in such a way that you would worship Him on your face at the time. God is our Creator and He is the power which holds all of the cosmos in place. There is no “dark matter” or some other unseen force which is keeping the planets and galaxies from flying apart, it is God’s power which holds all things in check and in place!

God’s Word is our guide for our life and we should be studying it in order to live by it but there are many people who are ignoring it altogether in the world we live in today. His love for our lives is what is keeping His wrath in abeyance until the day when the church is taken from the Earth. When that happens, those who are still here will find out what a world without His influence really feels like. During those seven years, the punishment will get progressively worse and there is nothing that mankind can do to stop it.

This is foretold in the book of Revelation, yet many people don’t believe the prophecies of this book. Because it uses fantastic imagery to describe what is happening and how it is happening. The apostle John saw things which his mind had no way of interpreting so he had to use images which were known at the time. Animals and stones and fire which his readers, the churches of the day, could understand in some small way. Even today we can’t quite understand many of the meanings which these images portray but they are frightening.

Why are they so fearsome to us? Because we don’t understand the meaning of them and what they portend for the world itself. The time of Tribulation will not be a time of joy and happiness for those who reject God and His Son in particular. The Earth and the inhabitants here will experience the wrath of God and it will not be a “fairy tale” or a myth! Not believing in Him will not keep His punishment from falling on you and everyone around you.

I pray that any who do not believe in Jesus for salvation today will get on their knees and ask Him into their hearts because when this time does come on the Earth and you are here, it will be even harder, if not impossible to decide to ask Him into your heart. The system in the world will be telling everyone that if you don’t worship the “one in power” and take his mark, you will be killed. Also, if you don’t take his mark, you will not be able to buy food or water or electricity. Make this decision now while there is time to do so.

What will you do?


When you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, what will you do? Will you act on it like you should or will you ignore it and decide to do it later like so many others do? We are not guaranteed the rest of the day by God let alone next week or next month, so why put off a decision which will affect your eternal home?

If you don’t think there is an eternity, then you haven’t read the Bible much. Even in Genesis God told Isaac that He was the God of Abraham. Not in the past tense but in the present tense meaning that Abraham was alive in Paradise at that time. Jesus said that He would come back and receive us unto Himself, meaning that there is an eternity which we will be welcomed into one day.

The life which we live in today is not the only life that you have. There is an eternity which all of us will go to one day, which destination that we spend it in will depend upon our choice here and now. Give your heart to Jesus and follow Him in this life, repenting of your sinful ways and you will spend eternity in Heaven with Him. Refuse the Holy Spirit’s call on your life and continue in your own ways, living like the rest of the world around you, and you will spend it in hell with Satan and anyone else who refused God’s offer.

This is the only time which you will have to make this decision and it is while you still have breath in this life. Don’t be foolish enough to think you will get a second chance to change your mind after death because that is not possible. God’s Word says so.

Why do I bring this up now? Because, if you haven’t heard about any of this before now, then you need to know as soon as possible! God made it possible for each of us to have a wonderful eternity in Heaven IF we will trust and believe in Jesus as your Savior. There is no other way to gain your way into Heaven, even though many people think there are many different paths to get there.

Satan has been working through the different “denominations” and their pastors behind the scenes so that many people are led to believe a lie. That lie is that you can work your way into Heaven. Another one is that you have plenty of time before that decision needs to be made. The biggest lie is that you can get to Heaven by worshiping any way you choose to worship, even if you don’t worship God.

Heaven is available to anyone who feels the conviction of the Holy Spirit and responds to it by inviting Jesus into their life and repenting of their sinful ways. Even if you don’t think your life is sinful…answer one question about your life: Would you be okay with Jesus walking with you for a few months and going everywhere you go, seeing everything that you do and hearing everything you say? You know, God already knows all of this because He can see and hear everything that you do, whether you have given your heart and life to Him or not!

There is nothing hidden from God, so don’t think that He can’t know what you say and do because He certainly does. Make the right decision and turn your life and your heart over to Jesus before your time is up because if you have a wreck tomorrow and stand before Him there are no second chances to fix the decision that you didn’t make before your death.

Consider your life


Have you ever really sat down and thought about what has happened in your life? I know that most young people may not think about their lives much, but as the years add up you owe it to yourself to do so. Why do I say this? Because you don’t know when your time may be up that’s why.

We can be good people, morally and spiritually at least in our own estimation. But, will that be enough? Will that be good enough to get you into Heaven? According to God’s Word, no it won’t be enough. Why? Because morality and righteousness on our own terms are not enough and it’s not good enough.

God made a way for us to be acceptable and forgiven through faith and belief in Jesus and what He did on the cross almost two thousand years ago. Which does not require anything of us including works of any kind or money, just accept it through faith and believe in Jesus and the forgiveness which was paid for in His blood.

PathwaysAs the Bible says there is a wide road and a narrow road, some are traveling by one or the other. Many of those on the wide road attend church but they haven’t given their hearts to Jesus. They are just going through the motions of being “Christians” in their own minds but not in their hearts. I pray that most of those will wake up to their mistake before it is too late.

God extends His love toward all which He proved with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The debt of sin has been paid but if you don’t heed God’s call on your life and accept it then your eternity will be much different than what you think it may be. Make sure of your salvation before your time on Earth is up because we never know when that time might be. If you have felt the prodding of the Holy Spirit in your life, seek Jesus out in Scripture and repent today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us even if we have made plans. God may have different plans for us.

Seek salvation through repentance and giving your heart to Jesus while you can. When your life is over here there are no second chances.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God…..” because He is a gracious God and a merciful One and will forgive you for your sins if you will repent and seek Jesus in your life.

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Make sure of your salvation before it is too late. Amen

Pathways to eternity


I know that most of you have heard the songs about the respective pathways to eternity. There is a “highway to hell” and a “stairway to heaven”, but have you ever wondered why such a difference? Well, it likely has something to do with this…
Pathways2Eternity It kinda makes sense when you read it in the Bible because it says that the road which leads to hell is a broad road and many will find it. The pathway (stairway) to heaven is narrow and there will be few who find it.

God and Jesus never said that the way to Heaven would be an easy path to find or to travel on but the gateway to Heaven is a narrow gate or road and few will find it.

Many people in the world will find themselves on a road with many other so-called “believers” yet they are on the road to hell. Why do I say it this way? Because there are many people who think they are Christians just by attending church services, whether they do so regularly or just occasionally.

Becoming a Christian is not so easy as just attending church, it requires that you turn to Him when you feel His calling on your heart. If you sit there with white knuckles and decide not to give your life to Him, then you have refused His calling. If you do this each time that you feel His call, the call on your heart will get weaker and weaker. That is how we quench the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives, even before it has a chance to change our hearts.

Please, seek Jesus and His Spirit to change your heart because eternity is a very long time to pay for a decision against accepting Jesus as your Savior.

 

 

John’s message


2 John 1

Greeting from the Elder (3 John 1:1-4)

1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. 3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Walking in the Truth (John 8:31-41)

4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Beware of Deceivers

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Final Greetings

12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

The second smallest book of the Bible, officially, but very profound, in wisdom and truth from the only disciple which died of natural causes also known as old age. God blessed John with a ministry which spanned the known world around him at the time. Since he was also one of the youngest disciples he was able to go and tell others and shepherd a number of churches before his death at the end of the first century. Why did I get drawn to this letter? Because of its encouragement to the lady in the text and it should be taken as an encouragement to us as well.

Love one another in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, walk in obedience to His commandments and beware of the deceivers that are in the world today working in the spirit of the Antichrist because they deny that Jesus came in the flesh and died on the cross and rose again on the third day.

The one who will be known as the Antichrist has not come to power yet, but the spirit of rebellion against the teachings of God and the Word of God is alive and well in our world today. So we must walk carefully in this world and not be drawn away toward doctrines which do not acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. You can hear and see the effect that this spirit is having on our world by just watching the news and it is troubling, but our Lord has overcome the world and we must follow His example in our daily lives.

Seeking to follow Him in all things. Teaching our children about Him, reading and studying the Bible as a family and praying that we are counted worthy as Christians. Still, we need to be bold in our witness toward others who are receptive to His message. Don’t back away when someone asks you about your faith, tell them about the One who saved you and what He has done for you since you became a Christian.

If you have given your life to Jesus and become a Christian when you felt His Spirit calling to you, then you truly should tell others. Live your life according to His plan for your life. If you are wondering what that might be, seek His advice about it. Many of the answers will be found in the Bible and if they aren’t then by reading His Word and praying for what He wants you or me to do will bring that answer to you. God will answer you in this. He may not answer at the very second that you ask, but He will answer your prayer.

Living every day in His pathway and in His will for your life is the very best that you can do for God’s Kingdom and for your walk with Him so don’t miss it!

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!

How do you know Him?


First, you have to get to know Him

Getting to know your Savior isn’t hard to do but you have to figure out if He wants to know you too! Have you felt drawn to Him in a church setting or when watching a religious program? If you have then you need to get your Bible and read a bit about Him in the gospels and Acts. When you feel His Spirit calling to you from His Word, don’t shut the book and walk away, ask Him to come into your heart and free you from this burden of sin.

Whether you have ever felt that you needed Jesus in your life or not, consider the fact of life after death. If you have never thought of it before, consider that God doesn’t lie. When you read about being condemned to hell in the Bible and it says that this punishment is for eternity…that is what it means. This is not a joke!

God loves each of us deeply but if we don’t take advantage of the salvation offered to us through Jesus His Son, then we are being foolish and following Satan’s steps saying “I will do it myself”; but you can’t! We can’t do anything to bring salvation to ourselves. If that were possible, then Jesus died and was raised again for no reason and God doesn’t do anything for no reason!

God knows you intimately. He designed your DNA and He knows exactly how you are going to act in any situation. What you will do, what you will say or not say, how much you will give at church or if you don’t give at all…He knows these things about you better than you know them yourself. He will come into your heart and redeem you from the sinful life that you have lived before, but only if you are willing to ask Him to do so and you really mean it!

God doesn’t create people who can’t know Him, but it is your fault if you don’t. The world around us testifies to His glory and His power, you don’t need a church or a pastor to tell you this. The stars in the sky and the sun and moon also testify to His power and glory, but if you think all of that just happened because there was a huge cloud of dust in space then you won’t get it.

I watched a show that I have never watched before last night called Lucifer. If you have watched it you know what it is about. Satan came to Earth and paraded around as a man, consulting with the police and helping them find criminals. My point here is this: without them knowing or realizing it, they told a true Biblical statement last night. One of the characters was talking with Lucifer and accused him of causing people to go to hell and he very plainly told this person that it wasn’t him doing that it is each of us choosing to do so! Of course this person didn’t believe him but in the end of the story, he ended up on a “hospital bed” in hell thinking that he had another chance at life.

You get to choose whether you are following Jesus and decide to live your life according to His teachings or you can follow your own ideas and never give Jesus or God another thought. Go fishing or hunting on Sunday morning and don’t worry about reading your Bible and praying for your family. But at the end of your life whenever that may be, you will stand before God’s judgement and testify that you refused to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and you will be cast into hell! You will know that your example has very likely doomed your children to hell as well because you did not tell them about Jesus because you didn’t know Him.

Unless they actually seek out Jesus on their own, without your example or your leading them to church they will follow you right into hell. Unless God has His hand on their lives, each person that you have come into contact with cannot say that you exemplified the love of Jesus in your life. Don’t turn away from Him. Make sure that your life and your witness for Jesus makes a difference in someone’s life.

TaketheGospeltoAll

Which Jesus do you know?


There are many versions you know. Some of them are radical clerics who will tell you that Jesus wouldn’t vote for this candidate or that law or this proposition. Some will tell you that Jesus, or at least the One that they preach, wouldn’t condone the killing of babies in the womb, that one I do believe! Sometimes the Jesus which is preached in pulpits on Sunday or even on Saturday if that is your Sabbath day, sounds as if He would go along with almost anything that the right or the left or whichever direction your pastor is leaning which is being reported this week.

Have you ever really found out about the Son of God and Who He is? Does your pastor even know the real Jesus or His viewpoints on sin and salvation? In many churches it seems that there are many Christians, pastors, deacons and members alike, who really don’t know Who Jesus really is today! This is the very reason which, in my opinion, is causing the decline of so many churches in attendance and causing them to close their doors. Is it possible that we have created our own version of Jesus and placed Him at the head of the table, in front of the congregation and declared that this is your Savior?

When He walked through Palestine almost two thousand years ago, Jesus sought out those who were marginalized, those who were persecuted, those who weren’t allowed to climb the steps of the Temple let alone enter it to worship! He taught those people who we would consider outsiders and even vagabonds, the ones who were lame and addicted to substances even then. He went to the lepers who had to walk around yelling “Unclean!”, what an embarrassing way to have to walk through town.

The clothes which Jesus taught in werePsalm23 dirty from the dust and the water at the shores of Lake Galilee. He didn’t look like He just stepped out of a dry cleaners, with His clothes all white and glowing. In many of our churches today, Jesus would not be allowed in because of His dress and His hair and beard, because He would look like a homeless person. Even He said that “the Son of Man has not a place to lay His head“.

Would Jesus be seen as a radical cleric today? In many ways, yes He would. He would be in the shelters and in the parts of the city where “church people” are afraid to go. Why are we afraid to go to these places? Is it because of our dress? Is it because of our jewelry or our cars? Why can’t we enter into the places where those in need are? Is it because we don’t feel that we belong there or that we won’t fit in because of our race?

In today’s society and the culture which has developed in our country in the past few decades, it is true that we are divided by race or skin color and also by culture. We are not a society which has gotten past our collective wrongdoing in the past, simply because we have ignored it or brushed it behind the door or under a rug. We have done this with the pretense of being enlightened and better than our past, but we never really learned the lesson of our past.

When you choose to ignore a lesson in school or in life, you will repeat it. There is no possibility of not repeating it. Life and experience are hard teachers, just as Jesus was a taskmaster in the Temple when He ran the money changers from the court of the Gentiles! Except, He was doing this from His love of the people who were coming there to worship and not out of bitterness.

God loves us, regardless of our clothes or our car or our house. Stuff doesn’t matter to the Creator, it is your heart which makes the difference and where your heart is in serving Him. If you are in conflict between being popular and having money or serving God and His Kingdom, pick God’s Kingdom. Stuff like popularity and money are temporary and only work here in this life. Eternity is a very long, long time and if you aren’t prepared for it by trusting in Jesus and His atonement for you then you are wasting His time.

Where are we in our lives?


Strange title, huh? Well, I wanted to name it as such so that we who read it might think about where we are. Are you in a relationship, personally with God or do you despise Him and His laws? Maybe you don’t believe that He exists at all! You are one of those foolish people who thinks that everything in our universe, all of the trillions of galaxies and stars and planets came from a compact singularity long ago and just “evolved” from that big bang.

mygodisawesomeMaybe you even believe that we come from a pond of proteinaceous soup which formed from a random comet impact billions of years ago and all life on Earth came from those proteins. If our planet had more time than it is estimated to exist, it may have happened this way, but it did not happen like this.

I know, evolutionists will want to argue this point but according to God’s Word, He created all of these things with His Words. He placed the stars and galaxies in their places. God created all of these in His time, not ours. Life is sustained by Him, the stars are sustained by His strength, your strength is given to you by His Grace for you each day.

God does all of these things because He loves us, whether we love Him or acknowledge Him or not. Although, He did provide a way for our salvation and our life in Jesus and through Jesus Who gave Himself for us and for our eternal life, if we will only believe in Him. Seek Him while there is time and don’t delay because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Please, for your eternity and your life in it, believe in Jesus and the atonement that He paid for with His blood and He did it willingly for all who would believe.

themissingpieceBut don’t just take my word for it, read it from God’s Word in the New Testament. The gospels all tell the story of His ministry and His birth, death and resurrection, some tell different aspects of it or from a Jewish perspective and one from a Greek perspective in Luke’s gospel. He was a physician who traveled with Paul and he gathered the story of Jesus meticulously, as a physician would.

God uses each of us with our own voice or talent in telling a story to get the Word out and tell it in the unique way that He gifted each of us with. Some of us can tell it better or maybe more to the point, and some tell it like we see it through our eyes of faith in Him. To each of us, God gives a unique voice because He knows who will listen to that voice and what they will get from it.

That is why Jesus went to common fishermen who were devout Jews. He didn’t go to the Pharisees or the others who were sanctimonious in their faith, because they were “safe” in their blood lineage of being Jewish. They were “sons of Levi and Abraham”, they didn’t need some carpenter telling them how to serve God!

Many of us live our Christian lives this way today. We create god in our image and we give him aspects which we are comfortable with him having and we convince ourselves that this is the God of the Bible. But our “god” is nothing like God and we would know this if we read and studied His Word and prayed to Him to reveal Himself to us in it! How many of you do that? Would you do that? Are you brave enough to ask God to show up in your prayer life? What would you do if you actually heard His voice in your spiritual ears while praying?

Many of us would fall over wondering just what or Who that was which spoke to us! Many others would think they were imagining it and just ignore Him. Until He spoke again. In the Old Testament God usually called to someone three times. Sometimes it took that many times to get their attention, but often it was because God wanted to impress a point on them.

Make sure of whom you are hearing and know that it is God. The only way to do this is to get to know His voice by reading His Words in the Bible. The more familiar you are with His Words and His Word, then you will be able to accept that the Voice speaking to you is Him.