Believe…


John 3:16-18 says: 16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Our job, as Christians, is to tell others about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! It is not a glamorous job nor is it one which pays big money. The benefit is eternal because there are so many who need to hear this small message which has eternal benefits! God loves each of you who are reading this and it is a message which has made a difference in millions of lives over the past two thousand years. This message is not about how to get rich, although as heirs with Christ we already are.

God has given us the opportunity to be a part of His family in Heaven, why would you turn that down? Give your heart to Jesus and take your place in God’s home for eternity, because He has plans which go beyond our imagination!

Amen

Serving as Jesus did (part 2)


Jesus came to this Earth with all of the problems and chaos caused by a fallen people who truly had lost their sense of direction and their knowledge of the One True God. He came because He loved ALL of us, not just one little tribe of people and He knew that when He came that He would have to suffer and die for ALL of the people who didn’t know Him. Most people in the world at the time He came had no idea Who He was and didn’t care, just as many still do today. Yet…He loved them anyway just as He loves all of us today. That is the love which calls to each of us today.

God seeks out those of us who truly need Him but even in our broken state of being, He can mend us and make us better so that we can show others that His ways are so much higher and more than able to heal and direct our path toward His higher calling. The calling of being His disciple and His friend in this life and into eternity. It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to show people how He has changed us, just tell them about your life and how it was before Jesus came into it and gave you a new purpose and hope!

Are we perfect and sinless after becoming Christians, of course not! We are still human beings after all and we are still subject to every temptation of Satan and all of the other lures that are in this world. Wealth, power, greed, sex, drugs, alcohol….our world and the things in it draws our humanity toward all of these things even after our hearts are changed which is why we have to read the Bible daily. Washing our minds and our thoughts with His Living Water, the Word of God, is the only way to stay true to our calling and know His mind and thoughts.

The Christian life doesn’t give you a clean slate to go out and dirty it up again. If you are doing that, then your heart hasn’t been changed at all. When Jesus and the Holy Spirit come into your life, there is a change which will let you know that what you are doing is wrong. While it is true that you can ignore the message enough to go back and get into the pig stall and lie with the other pigs…why would you want to? We are not pigs, and contrary to what some people may think, we should live above our old lifestyle where Jesus would walk and live. Think about what He went through before the cross. The shaming and the threats on His life and even those in the town where He grew up wanted to kill Him because He told them that He fulfilled the prophecy of the Messiah from the prophet Isaiah. They didn’t believe Him and wanted to kill Him because they had watched Him grow up in Joseph’s carpenter shop. They knew the little Boy but they didn’t KNOW Him!

Like knowing someone from childhood and then they grow up and move away or join the military and essentially become a different person from the child you knew. Of course, Jesus matured into His life’s role as Savior and Messiah by His Father’s teaching and not Joseph’s teaching. The part of His life which everyone in Nazareth saw was His Earthly life, His physical life here. It was His Spiritual life and learning from the Spirit and from His Father that had brought Him to be a different Person from the one that everyone in His hometown thought they knew.

God has many jobs and roles which He wants each of us to do and fulfill in our Christian life, but we need to submit to His teaching and His Spirit and His Word so that we can learn what we need to know in order to be the person which God knows that each of us can be. If we will only follow Him in our daily walk and learn from Him, we can do this!

How can I be saved?


There is a scripture which says this in the book of John: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting (eternal) life”. John 3:16

FB_IMG_1521382243378All that is required of us is to be convicted of our own sinful nature and then desire to repent and believe that Jesus really DID pay the penalty for our sins! A child can believe this, so what makes it so difficult for an adult? Is it because we have learned more about life during our years or is it that a child can believe without needing proof?

In many ways, I think it is that a child’s mind and heart haven’t been corrupted or polluted with all of the evil that is in the world. They still carry a bit of innocence in their spirit so when they hear the Truth or when the Holy Spirit touches their heart, they know Who it is and they turn to Him without question. As adults, we want to analyze and ponder over our decisions, even if those decisions have eternal consequences.IamtheWay

Salvation is not something which can be bought or earned in any sort of way. It is offered by the will of God through faith in Jesus the Christ and by the grace and mercy extended to us by God Himself. We cannot demand it of Him nor can we purchase it with any amount of money, even if it were silver or gold.

Jesus came into the world with only one command from His Father and that was to go to the children of Israel and offer them salvation through their belief in Him. While it is true that many did believe in Him and what He came to offer, many more did not. The priests of the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees did not believe that He was the Messiah, with the exception of a couple of them. He came to the people, the fishermen to bring His message through them.

His birth was announced to shepherds, His disciples were a collection of fishermen, a tax collector, a thief, and a tentmaker/mender. He went to the house of a sinner who was a tax collector and has a meal with his friends. Jesus went to the people that He came into the world to save, not to the people who thought they were too religious and righteous in their own minds. They thought they were too good, too righteous to need to be forgiven of their sins. Even at that time, there were those who were too heavenly minded to be any Earthly good to God’s Kingdom. (In other words, they thought they were doing God a favor by worshiping Him)

God doesn’t need us for our worship or our money or anything else that we can offer Him. But…we need Him for our very lives! He provides us with shelter and with sunlight and the air that we breathe. He provides the water for us to drink and our food that we eat. God is the Creator so everything in the universe is His! All of the gold and silver and copper and bronze and the precious stones as well. What could your pitiful bank account offer Him? Every dime and penny which we have earned in life is His anyway, we are just borrowing it to use it for our purposes and to give some back to Him to keep the message going.

The least that we could do is to give Him our body and mind as a living sacrifice every day! Wake up in the morning and ask Him what can I do for your Kingdom today, Lord? Then read some scriptures in the gospels and the Psalms and pray that He will give you an answer from your Bible.

Is your faith no better than Satan’s?


heaven-or-hell-eternal-destinyKinda sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it? Does Satan have faith at all? Well, yes and no. He believes that Jesus is the Son of God, but not through faith. The demons which Jesus told to come out of the man in the tombs called Him the Holy One of God, so they knew Who He was. What is interesting is that many people in the church know Who Jesus is and they believe intellectually that He is the Son of God, but that is not a saving faith in Jesus. Consider someone who has read the Bible from cover to cover, but they did not read it with an attitude of faith or belief and they didn’t believe in the God Who inspired the writing of it. How do you think that they would see the information that they took into their brains?

Mostly the information which they may have learned will be just knowledge, head knowledge not saving or believing knowledge. Satan knows the Scriptures because he was around when it was written but knowledge and faith are two different sides of a coin and they never meet! If you didn’t feel a compulsion to repent or a call of the Holy Spirit, it wouldn’t matter if you memorized all of the gospels! The knowledge in them would be just words from a rabbi or teacher and nothing more.

Faith and belief are part of being a Christian but if you can’t joyfully proclaim that He is your Savior and be truly happy about that news, then you may not be any closer to Jesus than Satan is. Our Creator and our Savior is Jesus the Christ and being glad that He is your Savior is part of the proof that the Holy Spirit gives you! If your knowledge of Him only goes to the point of being in church and hearing the sermons, then you truly need to get to know Him better!

God loves each of us and doesn’t want us to be punished in hell because we didn’t give our hearts to Him. The message of salvation and the love that God expressed through Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross is the most excellent way of showing that love to all of us. Life is more than just living here day by day because your life doesn’t end when you die! Jesus spoke of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because they are alive in eternity and we will be too…if we believe in Him and accept Him as our Savior. We can enjoy meeting and get to know the people that we have only read about in the Bible in eternity!

Those in the world who only know Jesus as a prophet or a teacher and don’t want to know Him as their Savior will not enjoy eternity. They will be in hell with Satan and the demons because of rejecting the Savior in this life. There is no party and no kingdom to rule with Satan, so eternity will be punishment and absolutely no fun at all.

Jesus loves you!


The entire world seems to be on edge because of that phrase and I have no understanding of the reason. It is true that He wasn’t from Bethlehem, but He was born there. His Earthly parents were descendants of David, but it seems that bit of information was overlooked by many. He came to do the work of God on this Earth in order to pay the debt which the whole of humanity has owed since the garden of Eden!

So many wise men have lived in the past. Some in the distant past and some fairly recently, but they are only teachings of a human mind…wise though they may be, to most of us normal people. God’s wisdom, which is in the Torah and the Writings as well as canonized in the Bible, is foolish to the world around us because much of it goes against what the world wants to hear!

Everyone, it seems, wants to live in their own reality with their own truth and no consequences at all if it offends others. We shouldn’t live in a world like that! I mean, how can your truth not be offensive if it involves a behavior that I find offensive? If everyone lived their lives this way there would be total chaos in the world and nothing would ever get done! Riots and shootings would become the normal way of life and anyone who couldn’t live that way would just have to live in a bunker underground! What a dreadful life that would be.

God didn’t create this world and all of us in it so that we could live in a singular space of our choosing which means we could do as we wished and to hell with everyone else! That is the same world which was destroyed when God brought the flood when Noah lived. Everyone was living and being what they wanted, the way they wanted and if you didn’t like it then they would likely kill you for the fun of it. What a rotten world that would be!

If you haven’t given your life to Jesus, what are you waiting for? None of us are guaranteed to be here tomorrow and dying without Jesus as your Savior is a true death sentence because your soul will experience death in hell because you are apart from the Author of Life! Giving your heart to Jesus and asking for forgiveness of the sinful life that you have led prior to knowing Him begins your eternal life anew. Don’t turn away from God’s gift.

What is your focus?


What do you really want? Life and energy flows where you focus your attention in the world. God has given each of us enough energy and ability to accomplish everything that He has for us in this life. So what is your focus? Health and happy family life? Or has someone convinced you that you that your life can only go so far because God has limited us to be in this body.

God never said that. He created humanity to be an immortal being, but our ancestors listened to Satan and his lies and temptation and followed him. If they had only followed God, they and we would be in a far different world than we live in today. Although, God knew that they would be tempted and go along with Satan’s lie, so He made a plan, a way to cure the curse that our ancestors laid upon humanity.

The problems which we have today…the drugs, the guns, the wars, the cancers, etc. All of these are because we are still following demonic thoughts which we don’t realize are being put into our brains by demons! All of these “human problems” are there because of our minds listening to the wrong spiritual authority!

Even Christians think along the same lines because we think that we are thinking these thoughts on our own and most of the disease laden thoughts are placed in our minds by principalities under the direction of Satan. How can we get these kinds of thoughts out of our heads? By reading God’s Word every day throughout the year, every year! Keep God’s Word in your mind and think about it, meditate on it and then you will know when a thought creeps in which doesn’t line up with Scripture.

Make sure of your status as a Christian also. There are many people who claim to be Christians, even claim to believe in Jesus, but there are many churches that are closing their doors, why? Because many of those who claim Christian belief aren’t attending church. Belief in Jesus and thoughts of success and reward are not the same thing. Prosperity and fame are what the rest of the world looks at in their definition of real success.

Success in the eyes of God is believing in Jesus and following Him in this life, regardless of the problems or the blessings in our lives. We have a God who says:

          “My thoughts are not your thoughts,
               neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
          For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
               so are my ways higher than your ways
               and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9)

God doesn’t think like us, regardless of how much we try to make Him into a human being. He isn’t, He is our Creator and so much more! The “new age” Christianity says that we have the power to change our lives for the better just by thinking of what we want in this life. Really? I have been thinking about all the debt that I have had over the years and instead of bringing wealth into my life, I have more debt. How does that work? IF you want to believe this hocus-pocus type of “universal energy” is God, be my guest. But, don’t look in my direction after you die and say “He told me that this worked!”; because I did not.

God loves us and HE does want the best for us, but there isn’t a scripture anywhere in the Bible where God tells us or the Israelites to just sit down and think about what you want and it will be provided! If the universe granted wishes like that, there wouldn’t be any poverty or hunger in the world. God is Holy and righteous and there is no shadow of evil in His Person, but that does not mean that He won’t use evil in this world to accomplish His purposes. He used the Pharaoh in Egypt and Babylon and Assyrians as well to accomplish His purposes, so why not?

 

Sermon for today


1 John

Learning about the Son of God and Who He really is.

The apostle, John, wrote this book and the three which follow it. He did this to show to the churches Who Jesus was and is and to bear witness of Him. John saw while learning from Jesus, that satisfaction in life only came from Him. The Author of Life was the One which John was speaking and telling the churches in Asia about and he tells us today that Jesus is the Only pathway to eternal life.

The life and essence of Who God is was manifested in the person of His Son, Jesus the Christ. The only way for you and I to get to know God is through learning of and getting to know Jesus. God revealed Himself in Creation but most of us take that for granted as “nature” and nothing more. God also revealed Himself in the Bible, His Holy Word, but many people pay very little attention to that today as well. God’s final and most complete revelation of Himself was through the person of Jesus His Son.

This is why John refers to Him as the Word of Life. Why is this important? Because in the beginning, God brought much of creation into being just with His Word.

John even says it in his gospel:In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was GodJohn 1:1

In the same way we can learn of God’s character and everything that we need to know about Him by learning about and reading the words of Jesus in the gospels. Your words reveal your character to those around you and in the same way, the Bible reveals God’s character and the Living Word, Jesus, reveals even more about God’s character. To know Jesus is to know God!

Have you come to know Jesus as your Savior? He came for that express purpose, to set those free who were captive to sin and their own lusts in this world.

The apostle John walked and lived with Jesus during His ministry before His crucifixion. He saw the miracles and heard what Jesus said and did on a daily basis, he knew Him. Jesus can be just as real today for you and me, if we will get to know Him through the Bible and the gospels. A sermon on Sunday morning is not enough to truly get to know Jesus, yet that is what many people base their salvation on. Why is it so important that we know that we are born into God’s family? Because if you are just playing church, then you are what Jesus called the Pharisees…a child of the devil! You are like a counterfeit dollar, a counterfeit Christian, one who acts “saved” but has not been born again.

Just as a counterfeit bill will be exposed when it is tested or when it arrives at the bank, a “Christian” who is not born again will be exposed when he or she stands before their final judgement. They may have done many good things in life and seemed to be a genuine Christian, but they will hear Jesus say “Away with you,I never knew you”. If you aren’t sure about your salvation, read 1 John 5:9-15 carefully. Seek Jesus through prayer because He will not turn you away.

John wrote many things in these letters and he wrote them to make sure that those who called themselves a Christian could be sure of their salvation. Not wondering if they were saved but knowing it absolutely! Are you in that position? Do you know without a doubt that you belong to Jesus and that HE knows you?

Yes, it is possible to know without a doubt that you know Him and that He knows you too. Belief in Him is the first step toward this and then walking with Him daily. Reading the Bible is required to get to know Him and the Father, yet most people in America don’t. They read devotional readings which have a verse or two, sometimes a chapter here or there, but it is reading God’s Word daily which brings your spirit and His into fellowship close enough that you can almost feel His hand on your shoulder.

God loves you and belief in Jesus and His atonement for your sins is the answer, the secret to life itself. Not the life which the world would pat you on the back for, but eternal life! The Life that we are promised in Him after this life is over. That is what we should be striving for more and more as we get older, but it is also what young people need as well. Why? Because if they aren’t learning about Jesus and hearing from or reading His Word, then they may never learn about Him until it is too late.