God’s persuit of mankind


I read C.S. Lewis’ books off and on for the past few years and one entry that the man included in one was a reference to the fact that he was an atheist at first. I will let you be the judge of his writing:

C.S. Lewis said he remembered this, “…night after night, feeling whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England.”

God pursues those people which He knows can make a difference in the world and He does it even when they don’t believe in Him at the time. He knows the impact that each of us can have whether it is through writing books or blogs, the seeds of a relationship or the possibility of one can be planted and He will make sure those seeds grow into the relationship that He wants with that person.

GodsBlessingThere is no place that you can go to get away from God so there is no reason to try to escape Him. If you have been denying His existence over your lifetime but He sees that you could have an influence in the lives of others for the good of their salvation, then He will cause something to bring you to Himself. Even if He has to do it through a dream or a vision or a book or even a blog! He knows each person in this world and He knows what they are capable of doing, whether it is for good and for His Kingdom or for evil and to their destruction one day.

God does NOT send you to hell for the least of your sins or even the worst of them. You sentence yourself to hell by refusing to give your heart and life to Jesus and believe in Him for your salvation. When God’s Spirit is seeking you, He will find you. Don’t push His love away from your life because your life and your soul is more precious to Him than all of the gold and silver in the entire world! Even if you were the only person that Jesus had to die for in order to bring salvation to you, He would’ve gone through it just for you!

Why would God want me?

For the same reason that He spent time with Adam in the garden of Eden, fellowship. God knows each of us intimately because He is our Creator. He knew us in the womb before the world even began not just before our birth! He knows what your talents and the gifts which He has given to you so He knows what you can do even better than you do. Your life will be more valuable to Him if you have given your life to Him through Jesus Christ.

IAMComingBackWhy? Because unless you are working through the Spirit of God with His power and love in your life and heart, much of what you do in this world is only for your benefit and not for others. If you don’t believe me, ask someone why they do their job or anything that they do in this life. Google it even. You will see that much of the world is concerned with only me, myself and I. Occasionally you will hear of some good-hearted souls who do things for others but they are in the minority these days.

Why am I so cynical about “human nature”? Because those who have left the church or those who do not believe in God have caused me to be this way. Their lives don’t reflect Him or His Presence in them. Even Satan believes in God but he doesn’t serve Him, and that is where much of the world stands today.

 

Consider…love


There is so much hate and discord in the world today, why are we seeing all of these terrible problems all around us? In my opinion, it is because we haven’t tried to love people more. I don’t mean physical love or some kind of superficial love. The kind of love that I am speaking of is God’s kind of love.

“Well, now how do we do that?” you might say. The same way that Jesus did. If He can do it and His disciples did it then why can’t we do it today? If you truly are a Christian and you’ve been changed by His Spirit then you should be able to love someone in the same way that Jesus loved them. Not by looking at their skin color or how beautiful or handsome they are…but by seeing them the way that God looks at them. By seeing the value of their souls to God!

Jesus said if a man gained the whole world but loses his soul, what good would it do that man? In this, Jesus was speaking of the wealth of the whole world! I am not sure how much that could be but I know it would be in the trillions of dollars! That is still less than the value of your soul to God.

AngelsRejoiceGod created the entire universe and your soul, your salvation is worth more to Him than all of the wealth of the entire world or even the world itself! Imagine what the souls of every person on Earth are worth to Him. The blood of His Son, Jesus (Yeshua). That is what every person on Earth is worth. When you accept the atonement which Jesus’ death provided for your sins and for my sins, you have to agree that we are not worthy of His sacrifice. But He considered us worthy, which is why He did what He did for each of us.

It is not a great stretch to look at the Scriptures and realize that God has loved humanity since He created Adam and Eve. Even though they rebelled against His command and ate from a forbidden tree, He still loved them. He could look down through time and see you and me and each person who will choose to follow Him and believe in Jesus. He could also see those who will choose not to believe, but that doesn’t mean that He loved them less than anyone else.

God’s love for us is not dependent upon what we do or what we say or even if we believe in Jesus or not. God IS Love, so He expresses His love for all of us in that Jesus died for all of mankind’s sins. Whether we choose to follow Him and give our lives to Him is still our choice but I think when you realize everything that is provided for you in this life, then you will make that decision. I just pray that it will be a decision to follow Jesus and give your life to Him.

The End times prophecy


OurGodisAbleIf you are a student of the Bible, you can see these things happening all around us. Their fulfillment may not be earthshaking right now but keep your eyes on Jesus and pray that you will be counted worthy to be saved from the trouble which is coming. God doesn’t want us to perish but those who have ignored the signs and the preaching that they have heard will do so to their peril.

These prophecies are specific, if you believe that the Bible is true, don’t discount their accuracy out of hand. Keep watching and praying that you will be able to bear the trials which are coming soon. It is very likely that we will see some sort of persecution in America prior to our Lord’s call for the dead in Christ to rise, so we all should be watching and praying that our walk with Him is true and our faith is strong toward Him.

Jesus described many of the things which we are seeing in the news to His disciples, although many have claimed that those were fulfilled during their lifetimes. Many other parts of His discourse actually had two prophetic meanings. One for the near future and one part which was for our time.

8 Jesus answered, “See to it that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and rebellions, do not be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end is not imminent.”

Witnessing to All Nations
(Matthew 24:9-14; Mark 13:10-13)

10 Then He told them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and pestilences in various places, along with fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

12 But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. On account of My name, they will deliver you to the synagogues and prisons, and they will bring you before kings and governors. 13 This will be your opportunity to serve as witnesses. 14 So make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you speech and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. 17 And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. 18 Yet not even a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls.

Many of these things did happen to the disciples before their lives ended but there are some prophecies which have a dual meaning, one for the immediate future and one for a later time and this is what is happening here. Many of these prophecies are happening right now, small though they may be so the media doesn’t notice many of them. We are living in the immediate future prior to the “time of testing” or the Tribulation. I pray that all who read this will seek Jesus as their Savior before it is too late to do so.

Prayer…


When Jesus said “whatever you ask in my name, and believe it will be given to you“, do you truly believe it? He cannot lie, but do you know what He is speaking of? The “whatever” in this promise is not money or houses or wealth, it is whatever you ask in the will of God. For us, this is a hard concept to learn about our Creator and our Savior. Which is why He is asking us to dig a bit deeper into your relationship with Him.

You didn’t know your wife’s needs and wants from the moment you laid your eyes on her or even after you learned her name or her favorite color. Relationships take time and effort in this world and with God and His Son, Jesus as well. So how can we learn more about them? By reading the Bible! Little snippets of Scripture on Sunday are not enough. One reading of a chapter or two during the week isn’t enough.

To learn about your Savior and God, you have to dig into His Word. Learn how He sees you and the world around you. Get as close to God as He wants you to be. When you get there, you will know it, but don’t back up and run away from Him! Just ask Him to give you some time to adjust to the amount of love that you will feel, that you have never felt before. It does take time actually and it brings tears to your eyes when you get that close to what can only be described as pure love.

That isn’t even enough to describe it but it is as close as we can come to a true description of God’s Person. You can call it liquid joy or living water or even love that feels as if you could drown in it forever. A description of Him is the most elusive of all of man’s thoughts or imaginings because until you are actually in His Presence there is nothing on this Earth which compares or even comes close to Him.

Prayer is talking to God put simply. It doesn’t have to have King James language scattered all through it and you don’t have to be in church or dressed in a suit and tie to pray. God already knows what you need but He wants to hear it from you. If you haven’t become a child of God by asking Him to come into your soul, your heart and change you from the lost person that you are into His child forever…He will hear that prayer if it is sincerely from your heart.

I said those words many times and went through the motions of baptism, but until He touched my heart and drew my soul to Himself none of those “motions” were real. God loves each of us and He knows when your prayer and your heart are in agreement with His Spirit. When that happens, your heart will change and you will be a different person. Your old friends will see it before you say a word. Anyone who knew the “old you” will be able to tell that something happened that can’t be undone, although some will try to take you back to your old haunts. But, you won’t feel just right in those places anymore.

You will feel most at home reading the Bible and asking Him some questions about what happened and what to do now. Seek out a church with a Bible preacher, not a doctrine pusher. Then you will begin to learn Who your Savior is and what the rest of your life will be like. Yes, you will slip up and make some mistakes or say something which you know you shouldn’t, but you can ask forgiveness of them and go on with your life. Because the Author and Finisher of your faith is also the One who is the Living Water.

What is our vocation?


As believers in our Lord Jesus, we have a vocation which is not actually recognized by most who attend church. Our vocation, our job is to tell others about salvation through Jesus. This is not such a hard job actually unless you are trying to tell some of those in your own family about Him. People who have been in church most of their lives already think that they are Christians even if they haven’t given their lives and their hearts to Jesus.

This is a problem of course because just sitting and hopefully listening to the sermons really doesn’t make you a Christian. Neither does being born into a Christian family. You don’t inherit Christianity and you can’t absorb it by being in church more than other people. If it were that easy we would all have an easy time in school, just sit there and soak in the words of the teacher and when the test comes up…just pass it. No problem.

But, learning about Jesus or God’s laws or anything that you hear in church is not the only way to come to know about Jesus. The problem is that knowing about Jesus or the Ten Commandments doesn’t make you a Christian either. You can have “head-knowledge” or “book learnin” about Him and all things in the Bible, but just knowing about Him or learning some verses in Psalms or Proverbs doesn’t make you a Christian.

Truly, reading the Bible gives you a foundation in the Scriptures but unless you have asked God to show you His wisdom in your reading. Reading the Bible once per year is a good practice to get into as well, but if you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and asked Him into your life to change you from the sinner that you were then all of the reading in the world will not bring salvation.

So, how can we be or become Christians? The first thing which happens is that you will feel a conviction from the Holy Spirit. This is the calling of God to your Spirit to bring you into His family. Can you ignore this? Yes, you can although some say that you can’t. The problem with ignoring the call of God’s Spirit is that you may not get another chance. Remember, we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

After the conviction of the Spirit, you need to ask Jesus to come into your life and change you so that you will go into the world a changed person. You are not the sinner that you were, but you need to read the Bible so that you can learn God’s voice and allow it to wash your mind in His Word. Why is this needed? Because, washing your mind and your life in the Water of Life, God’s Word, is the only way to become a Christian who is grounded in Him and His wisdom.

I know that all that I have said in the paragraph above sounds like I have been giving you requirements of becoming a Christian but all of them aren’t requirements but they are suggestions. Suggestions which will make your Christian life even better and more productive.

Passing the baton


In racing, passing the baton means that you are handing off something to signify that another person will run a part of the race while you rest for a bit. In life or a family owned business sometimes the responsibility for a family member or the business is passed to the next in line to take over. But, sometimes they don’t want the responsibility or the business, then what do you do?

You can try to sell the business to an interested third-party as is or you can liquidate it and just get out of the business altogether. But, what if it is an aging parent who needs to be taken care of? You can’t just shove them off into some home and forget about them, can you? Unfortunately, many older Americans are treated this way and it is sad.

thereasonforourproblemsMany times it is because the family doesn’t live nearby but often it is because of carelessness and callous feelings toward whichever parent it may be. Whichever it may be, the way we treat our elders will be the way that we are treated when we reach their age or possibly worse. God loves us and expects us to take care of those aged members of society because they raised most of the generation which replaces them!

Why won’t our society care for those who can’t take care of themselves? In today’s world, it is likely because we think that we don’t have time. Many of us take up so much time with work and social gatherings until even our immediate family life suffers because of it. Some cultures do revere the aged population in their country, but today even those are suffering from neglect.

Do I have a solution for this problem?

Sadly…no there isn’t a solution for the entire world which takes care of our aging population, the homeless, those who suffer from PTSD caused by war abroad or a war-like situation in the home. The only cure for any of this will come when Jesus returns to rule our world for one thousand years!

Are you ready for His return? Will you be ready when He calls the “dead in Christ to rise“? There are few who are ready even now. Our country has long cast itself as a Christian nation and many people do claim to be Christians, but there are so many churches closing their doors because nobody is attending church anymore. So why are people leaving the church?

Some believe that it is because of young people and their attitude of “whatever”. It could be that the church hasn’t done enough outreach to their communities or it may be that our country itself is the reason. We have pushed God and the worship of Him into a corner and told them (us) to sit down and be quiet! Silencing the body of Christ here while making other ideas and religions more acceptable. Because as long as we don’t mention Jesus and the love of God for mankind and tell people that the only way to heaven is through belief in Jesus then we are accepted.

But that is not what Jesus told His disciples to do and that includes us! What would the general population think if the courts were suddenly shut down and crime ran completely unchecked in our country? There would be chaos and nobody would be safe. That is essentially what they want the church to do, sit in your church and worship but be quiet when you come out and just leave us alone!

Please pray for our country and the world to come to their senses and realize that they need God in their lives! Jesus is the only Savior that we have and if you don’t or won’t follow Him then the alternative eternity for those will be in hell.

So, what are you doing?


In your life today, whether you are a Christian or not, what are you doing? I don’t ask this being nosy, but to ask specifically “what are you doing?”. Do you think about it when your day begins or when you come home?

I am continuing this post this morning after the news of Rev. Billy Graham’s passing from this life into the next. I have no doubts in my mind about his residence at this point because he is with his wife and his Lord. God blessed the world 99 years ago when he was born but until his ministry began in earnest, no one knew that he existed except his family.

Each of us as Christians has a responsibility to walk as Jesus walked, as Billy Graham walked. Most of us would counter with something like “I can’t do it”; that is true, but by giving your heart to Jesus and following Him through life, every day, you can! The disciples did it, Paul did it, and every Christian since His ascension to Heaven has done it by the Spirit leading them through every day!

If you have felt His call on your heart and your life and you haven’t given your heart to Him then what are you waiting for? You are not guaranteed today or tonight any more than I am. Life ends when God says that it is time, He is the only One Who knows when your life and mine will end. Be mindful of the words that you speak in this life as well, because you will be called to give an account of all of the idle words which you spoke to your wife, your husband, your children and your friends.

Our life, daily, is a witness to our Lord Jesus the Christ and if we don’t read His Word and ask Him to give us the strength to get through each day in His Will and power for our lives, then we will fail to do so. You and I cannot live a Christian life on our own. Your strength and mine will fail every time trouble or some other dart from Satan hits us in the chest, but if you give your life to Jesus and seek to stay in His will and His strength each and every day, then your life will mean much more than it would without Him.

I feel a sense of loss because Billy Graham has gone to be with Jesus, but I also feel a sense of triumph and celebration too. He was America’s example of the Christian life and his shoes are hard to fill but his son, Franklin, is doing a good job. Those of us who are Christians, regardless of denomination, should strive to live our lives in humility and as ambassadors for our Lord Jesus the Christ. Because, if you do that your life will mean much more in eternity than it ever could if you don’t belong to Jesus and He isn’t part of your life every day.

Do you enjoy life?


joySome of us do, but many don’t. Oh, we tolerate everyday ups and downs and we go to work and come home. Living or existing as the day permits and allows. So, what do you enjoy in your life? Your children or grandchildren likely give you some enjoyment and joy. But…what about your life with Jesus? Does being a Christian bring joy and fulfillment in your worship and study of God’s Word?

For some Christians it does exactly that, but for many who think they are Christians and are not, the worship service and study of the Bible is confusing and frustrating. It is that way for many that I call “casual Christians” as well. The biggest problem with this is that you can’t be a casual Christian, claiming Jesus on Sunday or when a loved one dies and then living as you please the rest of the time. Jesus is not a hero which you call on when you need Him and then send Him away until the next time!

He is our Savior and yes, He is our Hero and our Creator but He is not on-call some days and not on others. God and His Son are available at all times, not exactly for your convenience or at your time or on your schedule. God works according to His timing and His schedule. Don’t turn away from Him, especially when you need Him! Not just on bad days or at times when trouble is making your day feel like a week, but call to Him and lean on Him every day!

God loves each of us and wants the best for us, but His best and our idea of best are sometimes very different. His idea of a mansion and no debts may be your home in Heaven, not a beautiful home and no bills here. God’s ideas for us are not the same as our ideas of Who He is, thankfully. If our salvation was no better than our idea of what salvation is, then we would never see Heaven at all!

Don’t close the door on an opportunity in your life to get to know Jesus because the moment that you give your heart to Jesus your name is written down in the book of Life. After that, your life here and into eternity will never be the same!

How much more will it take?


In the news, online and on TV or cable, we are hearing about so much violence in our world. There are shooters and suicides, bombs and bombers, stabbings, wars and skirmishes and “actions”. When will all of this come to an end? Will it ever come to an end? I have noticed the news for at least fifty of my fifty-six years and the Vietnam war was going on when I was six. A few years later Martin Luther King was also murdered in 1968 and then Robert Kennedy was assassinated by a white man. There was violence and riots and all sorts of protests going on, about the war and about the murders of those two great men.

So much violence and hate seems to be in our culture today. Not just in America but around the world. Fighting about religion or someone’s right to be what they want to be even if it isn’t natural. All kinds of vile words being spewed online through social media sites, causing some people to take their own lives because of “cyberbullying”. How much more can our culture, our nation or even the world itself take?

Is there no way to bring peace to the world?

Yes, there is but it will take turning to God and repenting of our sinful ways and lives. Is it possible today? I’m not so sure actually. There doesn’t seem to be enough people who are interested in saving their lives into eternity, let alone believing in Jesus! The only way to bring peace to the world would be for most of the population of the world to become Christians. Of course then we would start arguing about which doctrine to follow. Likely this would even set off some wars and killings as well, so even that wouldn’t work without the Lord returning to rule for 1,000 years!

ourlovingsavior

So much, yet…


It seems that in our culture today, we have so much and yet we still complain. Now, I am not saying that we are similar to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, but they complained about a lot of things too. We have so much in the way of possessions and stuff but it is all disposable and we still want more! Why?

It just seems that we are never satisfied with what we have. God has given us a planet that is moderate in its temperature range, we have gravity to keep us firmly on the ground. There is air to breathe and our days are split between night and day so we have time to work and sleep too. So why do we complain about life and the stuff that we have or don’t have?

We should be thankful for our family and our health, if we are enjoying good health. If you have a job, be thankful for that. Life and living for Jesus is so much more than…stuff! Living for the Lord and with Jesus in your life is so much more than things that we see and have to deal with each day. But, it seems that we are never satisfied with life, particularly our life if we have given our hearts to Jesus.

We look around at all of the stuff that others have, some of whom we think are not followers of Jesus and some who are. We question God, like Job did in his time of testing, and we ask “Why can’t we have xxxx car or this huge house and a bank account to go with it?”.

The answer is the one which Jesus gave to His followers about the rich man. “It is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.“; my quote is a paraphrase but you get the meaning of it. I qualify this by asking a couple of questions: Does a wealthy man need anything? He can have anything that he desires, so why would he want God in his life? Is a wealthy person ever hungry or thirsty? Not unless it is forced upon him I’d wager, so why would he or she ever hunger for Jesus and the freedom that being a Christian affords?

Wealth and so-called privilege can give a person much that the world has to offer. But, being a Christian and living your life as one who is a follower and a disciple of Jesus is not something that the world nor the wealthy would desire. Until, somehow, they are brought to a point of true and desperate need which their money cannot give them. Or if they grew up in poverty and became wealthy later in life and they knew that it was the blessing of God which brought their wealth, which they cheerfully gave to help others in need.

Because, until someone gets to the point of realization which shows them Who they truly need, it doesn’t matter if you have money or not, you will not seek out Jesus for your salvation. Until you know that there is nothing which you can do for salvation or healing or whatever you may feel that you need, not in this life but to bring you into God Presence, you will not seek out any knowledge of God nor will you look for salvation in Jesus.