Does anyone think about this word or what it entails at all these days? What is a sacrifice for you today? Do you even consider a sacrifice in your daily living?

To be truthful about it most of us don’t consider it at all. Sacrifice is something which is just not considered in any part of our society, not just in America but in many parts of the world. Although in some countries sacrifice is a daily part of life because that is just how life is in those countries. It is something which many young people have no concept of at all, particularly today.

Our Lord sacrificed His deity and His Life to ransom our souls and our sins to rescue us from an eternity in hell. It is only fitting that we should sacrifice some things in this life in order to serve Him as well. The Christians from the beginning of the church at Jerusalem sacrificed their lives many times during the past two thousand years. Many were burned at the stake or crucified or fed to lions and other beasts because of their faith in Jesus.

While it is true that we are not being persecuted in that way today, at least in America, in some countries Christians are being killed for their beliefs. As many as 1,000 every day. This will only get worse in the coming years, particularly after the church is taken up to Heaven. During the Tribulation there will be millions killed for not worshiping the one who is in power at the time, the antichrist. Life will be harder than it is now and there won’t be a church to turn to for prayer or help in those days, at least not like we have now.

I pray that anyone who reads this will seek out Jesus and give your life and your heart to Him. Pray for your salvation now while there is yet time to do so.


Time will tell

Old and new, wrecked and fixed, upgraded and better than it was.

What do you mean by that?

Long story shortened, it has to do with our car and each of us as well. It wasn’t really old, a 2016 model we bought in ’15, now it looks new again. It was wrecked a few weeks ago, now it is fixed. As far as the “upgraded and better” part, that doesn’t apply to the car exactly. It does, however, apply to more than one thing in our lives I suppose. I am building a new computer, kinda, using someone’s old hard drive so it is going to be upgraded and better than it was.

The other part of that is that when we come to know Jesus and He lives in our hearts, we become upgraded and better than we were before. We have our hearts (our soul really) cleaned up and given a shiny brand-new outside and we are changed from the inside out. Gradually, as we study the Bible to learn more about God and Jesus and what we are expected to do with this new life, we become more like Jesus.

It isn’t an immediate transformation and sometimes old habits and patterns in our lives linger on. Some for longer than we would like. But, eventually, if we are diligent with our Bible study, we will become more like Jesus. Granted, we can’t walk on water or calm a storm like He could, but we will know what grieved His heart about us and others in our world. We will begin, like baby steps, to understand what righteous anger and indignation means. We will also learn to take those problems to God and leave them there.

Some people may say that “living like that is a cop-out”, but it isn’t. It is harder to pray about something which is wrong, whether it is a wrong done to us or our family, and then leave the problem in God’s hands. Because you know just as well as I do that humans want to fix things ourselves. We usually make the problem worse and then we really have some serious praying and soul-searching to do.

No, being transformed into the likeness of Jesus is not an instant or overnight process…it takes time. It is true that His Spirit comes into your heart when you ask Him to come, but the change is usually hampered by our nature. What you did prior to realizing that you needed Jesus in your heart, that part of you still fights with your new Spirit and causes your old habits and desires to cause you to stumble in your walk with Jesus.

This one thing, which many preachers don’t talk about, causes many people to give up and turn back to their old life and their sinful lives, even after giving their life to Jesus. These are the ones which Jesus was speaking about when He told the parable about the thorns and the cares of the world. “Lacking a root, the seed sprung up but quickly withered away“; being a Christian is not an immediate change nor is it complete at the beginning. You and I won’t be complete in our transformation until we stand with Him in heaven, but with study and prayer in God’s Word we can strive to be more like Him while we are still in our bodies.

Seek Him to become an upgraded and better vessel for His Spirit and strive to be more like Him as much as it is possible to do. Seek Him so that your ministry will be better than mine or others so that He can say to you, “Well done, my faithful servant”.

The end of the season

Summer-to-FallWe have finished the summer season, although here in the Deep South, the heat will linger on until sometime in late September or possibly through October. We only have two seasons anyway, less heat and more heat. Usually with the “more heat” we also get more rain and more humidity too, so late spring for most everyone is sticky for us and it only gets more sticky as the summer goes on. Life, of course, goes on. We have mildew and mold in places where it should not be. After April or early May, it is not enjoyable to watch the Braves play baseball in Pearl because even sitting in the stands you are wringing wet with sweat (which is why I never buy season tickets).

Yep, seasons in the South are rarely the kind that you can actually enjoy outside. You just trudge through the humidity and the ticks and the mosquitos and hope you don’t come down with West Nile virus or Lyme disease. Living in Mississippi is not exactly a challenge as much as it is an ongoing ordeal in humidity. By now, you have probably noticed that I don’t really like the humidity here. Even though I have lived here since I was five, I would much rather live in the Midwest.

But, economics and all that goes with it demands that I stay put so I do. The Bible says that we are placed in the world to be light and hope for others. We are also to be the voice of Jesus in the places where we live and work, by telling others about Him when the situation comes along. So why aren’t we doing this? As members of the church and the body of Jesus Christ on Earth, we are supposed to be His feet and hands and mouth by doing what He would do and going where He would go and telling others about the grace offered to them through God’s grace.

This is the commission which He gave to His disciples when He went to Heaven and it is still valid for us today. As scripture says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

We are supposed to be those who tell others about Jesus so that they will have a chance to know Him and come into eternity when He returns. If we don’t do this when we have the chance to do it, then it will fall on each of us as taking away some of our rewards in Heaven. Those who have been near you who don’t know about Jesus, especially if they have asked you about Him, are the field which is white unto harvest.

We are supposed to tell them so that God can have more people brought into His Kingdom. You don’t have to preach or be a missionary, just tell anyone who asks what He has done for you in all things. This medium is a good way to do this but you should be ready when someone is seeking the reason for your joy.

The possibilities

In the environment of today’s Internet and the education afforded by it, the possibilities are almost endless. It is true that you have to be careful about which information that you trust as truthful and which is junk, but so much is there until it is spectacular in amount and scope! One hundred years ago, you would’ve had to spend hours and hours reading through countless tomes to find as much information as  you can get with one click in a search today!

The possibilities in your life, whether you are religious or not, are also endless. Your life is endless because of Jesus’ atonement for you and His Life in you, if you have accepted Him as your Savior. If you are not religious in any way, then your “life” is here where you are and you aren’t worried or concerned about an eternity. So, which side of the fence are you on? Unfortunately, those are the only possibilities regarding your eternal future, you either believe in Jesus and His atonement for you or you refuse to believe in Him.

Those are the choices and you should choose wisely and carefully because eternity is a very long, long time. All of the stars and galaxies will go dark before eternity and its march in time because time doesn’t mean anything there. Why do I bring up the eternal question? Because your choice in believing  or not believing in Jesus and His atonement for you changes your place in eternity and your real Life in that eternity!

In God’s Word it says that the smoke of their torment will rise forever referring to Satan and his demons and fallen angels. Forever and eternity are the same, so reading this should frighten you if you haven’t given your heart and life to Jesus. Why? Because, if you have chosen to follow Satan in his determination to not serve Jesus in this life, then you will share in his fate in eternity. The line between the two states is a very thin one called belief/unbelief and you are either on one side or the other. Make sure which side you want to spend eternity on before you draw your last breath.