Consider the mustard seed


Consider the mustard seed. It is the smallest seed of the garden vegetables and yet it will grow into a small tree if left to grow.

Jesus (Yeshua) said this to his listeners: 30 And he said, “What shall resemble the Kingdom of God and with what shall a parable compare it?” 31″It is like a grain of mustard seed, which when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the herb seeds on the earth.” 32″And when it is sown it comes up and becomes greater than all the small herbs and produces great branches so that the birds will be able to perch in its shade.” Mark 4: 30-32

Small towns and communities and even small churches are not considered failures but to some people they are. Especially in small churches. In truth, it doesn’t matter about the size of the church or the number in the congregation as long as they are attending and worshiping God. Yes, it would be nice if the church would grow in size but sometimes growth doesn’t continue on a monthly or weekly basis. Sometimes it is just a fluke for a little while and then the numbers go back to where they were.

In the world that we live in this is a sad thing because people need to learn more about God and their place in His Kingdom. Today, many people don’t even recognize His Kingdom or the people who attend church services as being any different from the rest of the world. This is a very sad thing indeed considering that we are living at the end of the church age, the age of God’s grace toward mankind.

That doesn’t mean that Jesus is coming back tomorrow, although He could, it does mean that we should be watching for Him and studying His Word prayerfully. Seeking His wisdom from the Bible so that we are prepared for His return and ready to meet Him in the air. God will not abandon His church nor will He abandon His people, the Hebrews of Israel. Even though the world doesn’t recognize Him as sovereign over the universe and all of its processes, that doesn’t mean that He isn’t.

The Earth is His creation along with all of its creatures including us. The universe is also His creation and the entirety of creation is waiting for Him to restore everything to the state that existed before mankind fell in the garden. We should be telling as many people about Jesus as possible, if they will listen, because it is our calling and our duty as Christians and disciples.

God is not slack in His judgment of sin and the world around us is full of sin and its consequences. The people who have not learned to follow Jesus will be judged one day and it will happen during the Tribulation which is coming to the Earth. I plead with you to seek Him while there is yet time to do so safely because during the Tribulation it will be very dangerous to be a follower of Jesus. You will be hunted and killed because of your faith in Him, but take heart even if you are killed, you will live with Him in Heaven.

 

One in Essence,Three in Person


This is a question that has been on my mind for a few days, because I was asked about it by a very sweet lady who happens to be a Pentecostal by way of her association. Our Creator is One in essence, yet three in Person. It isn’t a hard thing to understand unless you want to deny God being God! He is God, He is the Holy Spirit of God and He is the Living Word, the Son of God!

I don’t mean that God exists as three gods, He is God in Three Persons, yet all of them…each one is as much God as the other! It is a difficult doctrine to understand unless you have some help from Him!

“And now the Sovereign LORD (the Father) has sent me (the Son), with his Spirit (the Holy Spirit).” Isaiah 48:16

Even at the time that Isaiah was a prophet in Israel, God revealed to Him that He was and is three persons in One. Not three gods, but One God with three persons Who in each are also God. Each person of the Trinity is God, but each has a different function. Just as I am a husband, a father and at one time I was a son before my parents passed into eternity. Three functions in One Person is the most apt description of God as a triune godhead.

Just as all things in the universe have a three-fold nature, so does God. Matter has substance (mass) plus energy and motion; time is made up of past, present and future; space is made up of length, width, and depth or height. Their nature doesn’t make them any less than what they are, but take away even one of their parts and you don’t have matter, space or time anymore.

If you take this to a logical conclusion which many skeptics seem to be willing to overlook, the Son of God is also God the Son! The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the trinity and He is fully God, but His influence in our lives is more of a teacher and leader in spiritual things. It is He that resides in your heart and mine, if we have given our lives to Jesus and asked for Him to come into our lives and our hearts.

The Spirit of God was the Person of the Trinity hovering over the waters before creation. What were the waters? I don’t know, you will have to save that question for God Himself. In either case each part of the Trinity is just as much God as the Other. They perform different functions and do different things in this world and in the spiritual realm, but each of them is still God.

When God told Moses that “No man could see His face and live”, He meant that. Which is why when He hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and allowed him to see His back. Later, when Scripture mentions the Angel of the Lord with a capital “A”, this is the pre-incarnate Christ, not an angel. The Spirit or Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity which carries out miraculous healings and resurrections and other signs like being understood by someone who doesn’t speak your language. He also prays for us in our time of anguish and doubt when we are so burdened until we can’t say what is necessary.

In reality, it took the intervention of all three to save each person who is a Christian. Think of it this way: God sent His Son to be the atonement for our sins, Jesus died as a human with the nature of God in order to pay the price for humanity’s sins, and the Holy Spirit convicted you of your need for salvation and brought you to the cross to meet Jesus. If it is too hard to understand, ask a little child. The only time that we will know the answers will be when we are standing in His Presence, and even then we may still not understand it.

By faith…


If you have ever read the Old Testament at all, you have noticed that many of the patriarchs stories begin with that statement, “By faith…”. Did you ever wonder why? Because nothing that is done for God in this life will work unless it is done by faith. Even people who didn’t know Jesus, like the servants at the wedding at Cana, had a smidgen of faith. His mother told them to do whatever He tells you.

They had run out of wine at the wedding feast, so Jesus told them to fill six water jars with water, then draw some and give it to the master of the feast. When they did, he exclaimed that the groom had saved the best wine for later rather than giving it out at the beginning. The servants didn’t know Who He was, but on Mary’s word they did what Jesus asked and they knew that what they put in the jars was water but what came out was wine.

By faith, we can do many things if we will believe. Faith in God and in His Son can heal relationships, disease, heartaches, and all sorts of other maladies particularly those caused by sinful behavior. By faith and without doubt, you can do anything through Jesus and the Holy Spirit!

By faith the mouths of lions were shut, by faith Samson conquered the Philistines, by faith David vanquished Goliath, by faith Peter stepped out of the boat and walked toward Jesus on the surface of the water. All of these were accomplished by faith. It is true that faith can be short-circuited by doubt and by obstacles in life, but if you will keep your faith focused on Jesus and His Spirit, then there is nothing which can’t be done for God’s Kingdom!

Ministries can expand, the effect of those ministries can impact even more people, when you have faith in the power of God to accomplish His purposes through your life or your ministry. I am not giving you a way of getting wealth by this fashion because that is not what serving God is about! Yes, there are some out there who use their ministries to do just that, but they will have to answer for this and many other things one day.

All that I ask is that those of you who read this post, search the Scriptures for faith, do your homework for God and your ministry for His Kingdom because in the end, when this life is over you will be standing before Him. Do you want to bow before Him as a humble servant and a minister or will you stand arrogant and proud of what your ministry accomplished! IT WASN’T YOUR MINISTRY!! If you truly are a child of God and have surrendered your life to Him, then anything that your ministry did or accomplished belonged to God and it always did!

Inner strength and beauty


Have you noticed that people who stay together the longest have these two in spades! Inner strength comes from your character and that is truly based upon your beliefs, whatever they might be. Strength on the inside is the kind which comes from outside yourself, it is not physical but spiritual and it is in contrast to your beliefs and your faith in that which gives you strength.

Is your faith in a “man-made” religion or god? If it is then your faith is in something which cannot last. We have many religions which are manufactured by man, although some of them seem to be based on the Word of God. Many people have taken a few phrases or verses from one chapter of the Bible and created an entire doctrine around it. It may not be what Jesus taught or even based on anything which He said, but it sounds good and it can be said to “be based on God’s Word” even if it is only based on one or two verses.

Man-made religions are not the same, even though to the outside world they appear to be the same. If you get enough people to follow your teaching and they like the message enough, then they will back you when it comes time to build a larger church. Sometimes, a sermon or a theology which is based on or around the words and teachings found in the New Testament is not very popular. Because…it is based upon the Truth of God’s Word! There will likely be fewer people who like your message, but those who do are committed to learning about Him.

Inner beauty is found in people whose character is shaped by their belief in God and Jesus Christ. Yes, there are some who are beautiful regardless of the religion which they follow or even if they follow any religion at all, but they are few in number. I am not speaking here of outer beauty, but the kind that is inside a person. Outer beauty comes from your parents but it doesn’t really last because as we grow older, out face will change and our body changes. We don’t look as “beautiful” or as “handsome” as we may have when we were younger. Beauty is fleeting and it is only skin deep as far as your outer beauty is concerned.

Inner strength comes from our faith in something or Someone greater than ourselves, like Jesus. The martyrs from the past, who were killed in horrendous ways like burning or being gored by bulls or ripped apart by lions, faced their deaths with dignity and strength that they drew from knowing that they belonged to Jesus! Nothing could separate them from Him because if they died, regardless of the manner of their death, they would be with Him!

Today, we all need strength from God more than we do anything else. Because of the persecution and the negative things which are said of Christians these days. In the next decade, it will likely get much worse than it is now and it is not something which your children are prepared for. We aren’t prepared for it! But…its coming. Lean on Jesus and learn about Him from the Bible, even if it is outlawed to possess a Bible, keep one hidden somewhere that you can read. Make sure that you have a place to go that is safe, if possible, because we are coming to a time when unrest is going to be everywhere.

Faith of a child


Children are special not only to their parents but to God as well. Why is that? Because their faith is unwavering and true and hasn’t been corrupted by adult ideas and teachings from school and living life itself. They look at life around them in absolutes, black and white, there is no gray area when a child sees the world! Children don’t bring their own baggage into their beliefs because they haven’t lived long enough to have “baggage”.

A child can be told that a prayer can heal someone of a sickness or disease and if they are young enough, they will pray with more faith than the most aged saint can muster.Why is that? Because they believe with their whole hearts and minds, and they don’t doubt the Word of God.

So, why do we doubt God’s Word? He cannot lie and His Word is True, so what’s the problem? Mostly it is our own individual ideas about Who He is and what He will or can do in our mind. We limit Him and put limits upon Him with our own ideas about Who He is.  In fact we are creating a “god” which fits our definition and we aren’t truly believing His Word about Himself!

Children don’t have that hangup until they are taught how to do it by us. Whether it is something they hear in school or Bible school or at home, we are the ones responsible for killing that young, powerful faith in their Creator.

I would love to tell you how to get that kind of faith back, but it is hard for me to dredge up the kind of faith that a child can have with no worries at all. Growing up and learning about the world and going through our “education system” seems to put a blanket over that faith which eventually smothers it or at least dims the light of it so that it is almost useless until we are tested and made to exercise it.

Seek Him out in His Word and ask Him to show you how to exercise your faith so that it can be stronger and useful to you and to Him. God loves us and all that we have to do is seek Him out and learn to love Him in return.

So much..so little


It is a contradiction but, with God in the picture even a contradiction works. How do I know? Read the story of Jesus feeding so many with so little, like the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men. Some say that there were likely fifteen thousand souls there at least and yet there were twelve baskets left over from a lunch meant for one child.

God can use even a little talent in a big way, no matter how you see yourself or where you may be in the world. But, you have to give Him control of your talent and yourself before He can use it to bless others. Just as when a farmer plants a seed or a plant in the ground, it is only one at the time. But with water, air and sunlight it can become much more than one seed or one plant.

We, as Christians, are like that as well. God places His Spirit in us when we are saved and we are supposed to nurture it with care and feed it by prayer and the Word of God. By studying God’s Word, we feed the Spirit and like Jesus said “it will overflow as a river of living water” to all who are exposed to it. True, it may not be His exact words but that is what we are supposed to be, springs of living water to draw the world to Him by what they see or hear in us.

God can use each of us in ways that we can’t imagine or even believe that we could do. But, with His Spirit guiding us we can do so much more than just be ourselves. We can be His ambassadors and representatives to anyone who is searching for the Truth. It doesn’t take much. A prayer here or helping someone with their load in some way. Opening the door for someone, praying for someone who you don’t know.

These things are “works” true enough, and they don’t get you a spot inside the gates of Heaven. Giving your life and your heart to Jesus gets you into Heaven, the “works” are part of the life that you live after you accept Him. These are the results of your salvation, the fruits of your life in Christ that never would’ve grown out of your life if you had not given your heart to Jesus.

Just as James wrote in his epistle, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18, he wasn’t speaking of works being required by your faith but as a result of your salvation. The works that you do will prove your faith and your salvation! God loves each of us so deeply that we won’t understand it until we are in His presence, but He hates the sins that we have lived with in our life. Repent and turn to Him, give your heart and your life to Him so that you will be saved.

Faith, belief, love…


All of these are great concepts which point toward our savior and the best of humanity but are they being shown in our daily lives? Does every religion have these in common? I am sure that most of them do since they claim to believe in these three doctrines for lack of a better word. Are they universal to all of the world’s religions? I don’t know.

Judaism believes in faith and love and their patriarch “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” so that is one of the world’s religions. Christians also have these three in common in their religion, that is two of the world’s religions. How many more have all of these in common?

I am not sure and I am not in the habit of speculation or guessing, so I am not going in that direction. I must admit that I don’t know much about the world’s religions outside of my own. I have read the Koran enough to know that their religion does have some admirable traits even though the ones which we see on the television are not the most flattering. I am not going to bash a religion based upon the actions of a few people.

In doing that all that we do is show how small we are and that is wrong. The media takes the actions of a few people who decide to shoot people and characterizes every person who owns a gun as a nutcase. Why? My guns have never been responsible for killing anyone and I don’t have any grudges to take out on anyone with a belief which is different from mine.

In this world, everyone has a different culture or belief in the God that they choose to worship or not. Nearly every person in America has an opinion on one thing or another which is different from what I believe. So, why should I get all bent out of shape because of it? Shooting people for having an opinion or a belief different from my own would just confirm that I am the crazy one. I don’t have enough ammunition to shoot that many people!

Jesus Christ told us to love one another, care for each other and to tell others of the good news of the Kingdom of God. So, why aren’t we doing this more? Why does the church, regardless of denomination, have services on Sunday morning and maybe that evening and again on Wednesday night or whatever night they choose and then everyone just goes home with nothing being done? What good is that doing?

Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep”, and that is what our services do but at some point a child needs to learn to feet itself! Spiritual milk is great for newborn Christians but until you put some action behind the words and some meat in the sermon this child, this babe in Christ will never mature! God loves us all, it is true, but Heaven is not for babies! We are not supposed to be “little children” until we die!

A calf or a kid will not grow on just milk alone. At some point a child, even one that is just a few months old, has to begin to eat solid food. It is the same with churches and the people in them, if they are not fed solid food from God’s Word then sooner or later the church itself will die.

Are you a loving person?


We are told to give away our faith in Jesus so that others might have hope in Him too. Do we do this? If you don’t, then why? We can all be the types of people which do this. We can give money or time to causes that we believe in and yet not have any love or compassion for those who are receiving our gifts but you know, but spiritually we are not getting it! Giving without love is easy but you can’t love without giving because it is impossible!

If you truly love Jesus, you can’t keep it to yourself…you have to tell others, you have to give away the thing that you could not afford to attain that which you cannot lose! Not one of us who claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior could’ve paid the price that was paid for our Salvation, but once you get it you can’t lose it. Some people walk away from it and from Him which ruins their witness to others, but your eternal salvation (if you were sincere in your belief in the first place) is secure.

There are people who have thought, in their own minds, that they were saved at a particular time and yet when things get tight or tough in their lives they turn away from the only One that can help! You have known people like this, when they are making enough money and everything is going fairly well in their lives (on the outside) and they seem to be strong in their faith, they may be coming to church regularly. But, when they are at home or at work or out with their friends then they allow a part of themselves to show that doesn’t show at church. Usually, they are quite the opposite. So, what happened? Are they true Christians or were they deceived into thinking that they were?

A loving, kind person can be as sweet to you as your grandmother but they may not be genuine about having faith at all and could not care less about you or your situation. Love and kindness can be faked, affection can be faked but a person who truly has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior cannot fake it! If there has been a real change in their life and in their heart, and the Love of Christ is dwelling inside them, they can’t keep it in, they have to let it out. In whatever ways that God leads them to, it will come out. It will come out when they are at work or at a restaurant or a store, it is impossible for them to hold it inside! The genuineness of that love is so real that anyone that it touches will know it for sure!

I know that there are people who will disagree with this, but when you are the recipient of the greatest love that the universe has ever known, you cannot keep it to yourself! If it has truly changed your life and your heart then there is no way that you can keep it to yourself because it has to show in your life and your work and it will show through  your character! The love of Christ is too contagious so it has to get out so that someone can see it, it has to be shown and felt and known by all of those around you!

Here is a link to a wonderful site which shows and explains the reasons for becoming a Christian

If you have never known Jesus or a genuine Christian, then I encourage you to seek Him out. Through prayer, reading the Word, regardless of the translation and asking Him if He is real. He will show you for sure and He will be with you no matter the situation. The problems and the stuff that is happening all over the world have been caused by us or by Satan and his fallen angels. God is allowing it to happen, but He has a plan and is still in control, whether you believe it or not.

Being a religious person doesn’t make any difference?


I saw this on the news today and I wonder just what people think will make a difference in our society? Religion itself has gotten a bad reputation in the past few years because of the problems which have cropped up in churches in many places. But you know you can be religious about many different things. You can be religious about the way you cook your food or how you put your clothes on a certain way or even about going to the golf course or fishing. People can make a religious experience out of most anything, but what about your faith?

Do you have faith in the sun coming up in the morning? You really don’t have to, because you know it will. What about the moon rising later in the day or after the sun goes down? Faith doesn’t really come into play there either because you know that these things will happen.

Religion and faith together can be an explosive combination, especially when you are so caught up in emotional issues and a religion which stirs these to a point where many people get uncontrollably caught up in what their teachers teach them. I am trying to be as politically correct as possible here so I really won’t offend anyone. The point is that our individual faith, regardless of which “religion” it happens to be in, is our own.

But, what will you do with that religion or lack of faith when you are confronted after your death by God Himself who is the final judge of our lives? What can you say to Him about your religion which will make a difference? If you never accepted Jesus and the sacrifice which He made to reconcile us to God, there isn’t much that you can say. God knows your heart and every word which has come from your mouth. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, then He will be beside you as your life is judged, if not you will stand alone.

What then? Would you want to be standing in front of the Creator of the universe with nothing except your deeds and your personal “righteousness” which is as Isaiah 64: 6 says:

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Unless we have put on the righteousness of Christ, God sees us as we are and we cannot enter into Heaven in that way. What many people today do is to create their own version of “God”, one that is acceptable to them and doesn’t judge them for their personal faults but this is doing nothing except delaying the inevitable. We will all be judged by God, the One True God, whether we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus or not. If we did things in this life while belonging to Him, we will be rewarded if not then those things will be judged on their merit if any, except without Christ those merits will mean nothing.

How can our lives really mean anything or have any meaning at all without Christ? To each of us, our lives do mean something, but when you look at eternity once your life here ends, without Jesus eternity is not something that anyone would want to experience.

I know that there are many who think that life ends completely when we die, but we were created as eternal beings and part of us does live on. Without Jesus, it will not be an enjoyable eternity but with Him we will not be without anything good . You can choose whether to believe and accept Him as your Savior or not, many don’t wish to believe in Him at all. Satan knows that He is and believes that He is but he won’t worship Him and that is his downfall, don’t let it be yours.