Why did Jesus come the first time?


It seems that this is the real question that many are wondering, particularly those who attend church but don’t study their Bibles. This is also a rant, in a way, from a pastor to those who come to church. Please don’t take this personally.

We have heard and seen and sometimes read the story about Jesus’ birth. How it was foretold in the Old Testament, brought to reality in the New Testament. The people involved were told by the angel, Gabriel, that this was going to happen to them. All of these Bible facts are there and available to read at any time. Yet, there are so many “blank stares” in congregations which seems to tell me that much of this information is doing exactly what our parents said: “It goes in one ear and right out the other, with no deposit in between.”

If sermons and revivals and going to Bible school don’t plant any of this so that you take it in and believe it, then what do you come to church for? The food and fellowship?

Jesus came because of the love that God has for ALL OF US! Yes, He came first for Israel but God knew before this that He would be rejected. We are always outside of the intended target audience, but when they refused to believe then we, as gentiles, were offered the “prize” from that point on.

What is that prize? The offer of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus and our belief in Him, that is the prize! It is a gift to us, one that we can’t afford and can’t pay for ourselves! But it is offered to us if we will believe in Him and ask for forgiveness from our sins. From that point, our only purpose is to tell others of His grace and love for them and that it is available to them too.

The scripture of John 3:17 says it best:

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The world. Not just a few people from one country or nationality, but all of mankind are offered this salvation. Free for the asking, for those who seek it, for all of us who need it and that includes everyone everywhere. The Son of God didn’t come to condemn us for not understanding the Word of God and He didn’t come to do anything more than to offer us salvation. He healed some people of disease and ailments which only God could do, such as the man who was born blind. Why did Jesus do this? Because it was foretold that He would and because of their hard hearts, it was necessary to get their attention.

There are miraculous healing’s being done today, but not as radical and unusual as some that He did. Some of them today are radical, like a tumor which goes away completely with no medical intervention. That kind of healing can only come from God and by the faith of those involved. We are loved by God and I can’t give you a reason for it, except to say that He loves us because of Who He is!

Seek Him out, look for Him in the Bible, learn about Him through His Word. Even if you don’t like to come to church, read His Word and ask Him to show Himself to you in it. He is there for all to find and know, all you need to do is seek Him out in it. His majesty is around you in the trees, the stars and the entirety of the universe but all of that is His creation, it is the Creator that you should worship and He is available to those who seek Him out!

Dad…Father


Which are you?

So many seem to be willing to be fathers of children, but it seems that few today are interested in being Dads. You might think that they are the same, but they are not. Any man or boy who is past puberty can make a baby and become a father, but it takes a special person to be a Dad.

Dads care about their children and love them. They teach them what they can and they try to do what is best for them, while they can. A father or a “sperm donor” isn’t usually a real Dad at all. Some fathers are Dads, but not all Dads are the father of their children..at least not biologically. Many Dads love their children’s mother enough that they are willing to be a Dad to her children whether they are his biologically or not.

God is our Father in Heaven because He is the Creator of all and He loves us all equally. We should revere Him and listen to His Wisdom just as we do our Earthly fathers. Why? Because God is over us all and has the power to cut us off from His presence if we do not! Except, when God cuts us off from His presence it will be for eternity.

Seek Him out while there is yet time to do so. God loves all of us but He doesn’t like and cannot tolerate the sinful lives that some of us lead. The idol worship that many of us practice today is abhorrent to Him and the problem is that many of us don’t even realize that we have idols in our lives. We may not know it until we stand in front of Him at our judgement and then it will be too late.

Meekness


Jesus_Loves_UI used to wonder what that was. What does it mean to be meek? Then I read a definition from the perspective of a horse trainer. He said that meekness is strength under submission. Like a horse who responds to a bridle and rider. The strength of the horse is many times that of the rider, yet a well-trained horse will be able to respond to the slightest touch or twitch of foot or bridle and will turn to the left or right or speed up or slow down in response. This is what meekness really is.

Regarding the life of a Christian, in today’s world, meekness is not so easy. Why do I say this? Because it implies that we are attentive to the will of God and will obediently follow His lead, His Word, His direction in our everyday lives. The problem is that we are not that attentive to Him. Some followers of Jesus may be, but on the whole most are not. We are too much like toddlers in that respect. We tend to say to God, “Me do it!”, even when we are not sure we can do it whatever “it” might be.

One other person who was described as meek was Moses. The man who led the people of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness by God’s direction. Meekness is not a description of someone who is weak, but of someone or something that is completely submitted to the One Who is in control. God loves us deeper and more completely than we can imagine, even when we haven’t accepted Him as our Savior or even acknowledged that He exists!

He knows each of us because He created each one of us and He accepts us for who we are, but He wants to become yours too! We belong to Him because He is our Creator, but He patiently waits for us to accept Him and He gives us a chance to learn to love Him for Who He is! It is our choice. Love cannot and will not be forced and that is why God created each of us and gave us that choice. Not because He doesn’t care, but mostly because He does!

All that God asks of us is that we decide to give our hurts and our pain to Him and understand that the pain won’t go away but His strength will be with us from that point on. Asking Him to come into your heart and mine is not a hard thing to do, but you have to come to a point where you feel the need for Him. He doesn’t push His way into your life and He won’t but when you ask Him to come in and make you a whole child of His…He will.

From that point on life will not be a bed of roses and it won’t really be better in physical ways, but spiritually you will be different. The person that you are, the one that God sees, will be whole and pure and your soul will be singing even if you can’t! Some people think that when you give your heart to Jesus and ask Him to come into your life that you won’t ever have any problems ever again. That is when the forces of this world take notice of you. Satan will not let you get away with being a voice for Jesus because he is going to try to stop you every way he can.

The best part of it is that you have Jesus on your side now and all you have to do is walk in step with Him every day. It sounds like a hard road but it isn’t, it is narrow and you do have to watch your steps some times because Satan will try to trip you and make you fall. Jesus will pick you up and carry you when the going gets particularly hard and He will give you strength to get through those times as well.

You are special!


11226182_931043076949751_7809076474956911366_n God loves you and He created this world and each of us in it to be a blessing to Him and to each other. Do I believe this? Yes, I do. Why do I believe this? Because He says so in every book of the Bible. The entire Bible is God’s letter of love to us and an instruction book so that we know how to live in this life and prepare for the next life!

Some people, even professing Christians, don’t believe that the Bible is a document of infallible words and promises. I do believe it and I will tell you why. Because simply if there is an error or a man-made lie in any part of it, that invalidates all of it. Jesus said that “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 If the words written by the disciples will not pass away then it is inspired by the Spirit of God and that inspiration proves that God cannot lie! If He did, then He isn’t God! Also, if the New Testament is valid and it validates the Old Testament because when Jesus came that was the only Scripture available. God’s Word is true, Jesus was the Living Word, so there is no part of Scripture from the first line in Genesis to the last line of Revelation which isn’t true, period.

we obey

He loved us, so He obeyed the Father and went to the cross to pay for humanity’s sins. It is just that simple! The Creator became a human so that He could live a sinless life to pay for our sins. Is that enough to make you think that maybe I should be grateful and ask His forgiveness for those things which I have done? Consider that God, the Son and the Holy Spirit all were present and with each other before they created the universe and it was brought into being by the Word of God until they decided to make mankind in their image. Then, God formed man from the mud or clay and breathed the breath of Life into him and he became a living person, with a soul and the Spirit of God in himself!

Each of us has this same privilege and honor because we were known by God before we were born! He knew each person on Earth before they became a person and He knew their personality and how their life would be. We are created in His image uniquely because no other person on Earth is exactly like you or me. Even twins or triplets are different, although they may look similar to each other. Give Jesus a chance to show you how your life is supposed to be and what you can do with His strength and with Him working in your life. It is far more than you could accomplish alone I can promise you that!

Racetrack living


There are days which seem to fly by as if we live on or in a car on a racetrack, yet we can’t seem to get past the observation that God sees your life and mine from the starting line to the finish line. We can’t see it because our life looks to us like the view from a car on a track. All that we can see is the view around us, memories behind us and a little of what lies ahead of us, and that last part is blurred to an extent.

Some people think or at least seem to, that God is just sitting up in Heaven looking down on His subjects like a King without a care about us or any part of our lives. Our experience of God is limited by what we find in the Bible and what we see and hear in our lives, which today is very limited by political correctness. Yes, God can see all of our lives from His vantage point but from His point of view He can also see the beginning of time. He can feel all of the betrayal and frustration and pain that you and I and every human has ever felt. He sits outside of time, but He is also part of our lives even if we haven’t asked Him to be. He is present in your past and in your future.

We do live like our lives are on a racetrack, but I am reminded of the race tracks that you get as a child. You are in the position of God because you can see the starting line but you can also see the curves and the straight ways. You can see any debris that is possibly there which will cause an accident. You can fix it by removing it or you can allow it to happen and then help with getting the car(life) back on track again. God is in control of all and since He is God, He can choose to get involved in your life and mine a little bit or He can use your life as an example to someone else.

God can see your life and the life of everyone at any point and He is there at any of those points in your life. It is your job to seek Him out and follow Him though. God has left us a Book which gives us some rules to live by and plenty of wisdom to go with it, but just as you had to do in school…you have to learn from it. Not memorize it so much as to get it into your being, into your heart so that you won’t have to remember it when needed. It will just be there, just as He is.

Yes, God does see the end from the beginning and everything in between but it is our choice to come to Him during our “race” of life for advice and counsel so that our life will be useful and an example to others. He is perfect and good, we are not, but He is able to give us the knowledge and ability in this life to be servants and leaders for His Kingdom and as we practice doing those things we will gain the ability to be more in His Kingdom to come.

We have to learn about the “drive” in life so we can complete the course and the only way to do that is to read God’s Book, learn from His wisdom and apply it to our lives every day. Little by little, we can get through the turmoil and hardships which come our way as we go through the trials and the traffic of life, but it is so much easier to do so with God as your driver and coach rather than leaving Him in the “pit crew” after services.

Worry, doubts and fears


It seems that every day people are bombarded with more things which cause fear and anxiety. We doubt ourselves at times, and we have fears which cause us to worry about things which we can’t control. What can we do about this? Can we do anything about this situation? It depends upon your situation and your faith.

Some people claim that they can handle their own lives and they don’t need to have “blind faith” in religion to help them get through life. The problem with this kind of attitude is that when push comes to shove and things get a bit out of hand, most will seek out a “higher power” for comfort and direction even if they claim that they don’t believe in a “higher power”. God is that One Who is higher than all, Jesus is the One Who can relate to our suffering and our pain and they can help in all of life’s situations no matter what!

With all of the news that is available to us on the Internet and television today, there is very little which goes on in the world that we can’t keep tabs on whether we truly want to or need to or not. All of this information can cause us to worry far more than is healthy, and the worst part is that we shouldn’t worry about it at all. God is in control of it all. He is watching and guiding your life and mine toward that day when He will call us home.

Yes, one day the whole world will see that we are important to our Creator. Important enough that He will be returning soon, much sooner than most think. Many people are going to be surprised and terrified when that day comes and the church, the believers who are waiting for His call, all disappear and are taken to Heaven. Then they will want to believe, but it will be harder to do so. Many explanations will be given which have nothing to do with God or the Bible’s prophecies but just as in the days of Noah, when the door to the ark was shut the only ones saved were the ones inside.

We don’t have “blind faith” in a God Who is not there. He is the Creator because there is no way that all of this universe could come into being as it is because of an accident. Our own solar system, out of all the ones that have been discovered, is the only one that is stable and with orbits for all of the planets that allow for life to flourish. All of the hundreds of solar systems that have been discovered are too close to their star or too far-flung to harbor life.

God loves all of us, no matter what your skin color is or your culture, but we refuse His provision and His grace when we try to take His place. When we think that we know better than He does how to fulfill our lives in this world, we are deluding ourselves. Seek God in the Bible or at a church which teaches from His Word. Pray that your life can have meaning in and through Him and seek His wisdom every day. This is the best way to relieve stress and worry because He is the One Who holds tomorrow in His hand. All that we have is today.

Live today for Jesus and then do it again tomorrow, then repeat until He comes again. That is the prescription which will conquer worry, doubt and fears far better than anything that a doctor can give you.

God is in control


JesusWhether the magazines or the newspaper agrees with that statement or not, He has always been and He still is in control. He allows us to make our mistakes and our choices, but in the end He is still in control. It doesn’t matter how much money that you have or how little you have, your treasure here and in your heart should be your family.

Why do I say that? Because money can’t buy happiness or joy. It can’t extend your life nor can it give you peace about life. Sure, having money helps in many of these situations, but money is only a tool which is why the Bible says that “the love of money is the root of all evil”. We are to put our faith and our trust…our love into loving our Savior, Jesus, because He is the One Who can bring you joy and peace and He can give you eternal life. Money is just a tool and that is all that it is, yet we put our lives and our happiness on the line for our careers and our business ventures in order to have more.

God is and always has been the most important person that you will ever know. He is the One that you need to get to know because HE is the Creator Who gave you life and formed you in the womb. He knows what you are capable of and what you can do today, but He also knows what you will do tomorrow. Nothing takes God by surprise.

He loves you, regardless of what you have done in the past or may do in the future. He already knows about it, so it isn’t new to Him. Why not allow Him to show His love for you by bringing you into a relationship with Him? You only have eternity to gain and the loss that you will have is the loss of the guilt from sins and the penalty for them. Jesus already paid that price so that we wouldn’t have to. Give Jesus a chance in your life and you will see a very different person in the mirror afterward.

Seek Jesus out and learn about Him, because He is the only way to get to Heaven.

A new day, a new year!


Sunrise-5 Do you know that God begins each day with a beautiful, glorious sunrise so that we can see His majesty? Oh, these beautiful sunrises may not happen where you are, but somewhere there is a painting that only God can create. We can see them in pictures on the Internet, or maybe on the news if the are breathtaking enough. God is in control of the universe and our world, yet many people don’t recognize this fact. God loves you and me and every person on this planet, whether they know Him or love Him or not.

We are all beginning a new year and the violence and news is already bearing that out. It seems that our world just can’t go one 24 hour period without some form of hatred and violence toward a person or group of people. Every day bears this out and it seems that nobody can figure out the problem or the solution. The Solution is Jesus and the problem is mostly from those who hate Him or those who serve Him. I know, there are crimes committed which don’t have anything to do with religion, but when you look at the news it sure doesn’t seem that way.

Life is imitating history every day because Christians have been hated and anyone who reads or serves God has been targeted in some way in the past two millennia. Even and especially if you are Jewish and Christian it all comes back to the Bible. It seems that few people can understand or even tolerate the absolute Truth found in its pages even when they know it is right! Our country and many of its Presidents in the past have acknowledged that “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”–George Washington “.

The world or our country needs God and the Bible and the wisdom contained in them. We, each of us, need the wisdom of God and the salvation that Jesus offers to us. It is something which we all need to understand and seek out for ourselves to make the rest of our lives more useful. Make this year one that you live for God and it will be the best of your life.

Regarding Christmas…


Nativity-29Some people say that we shouldn’t celebrate at this time of year because this time of year is from a pagan celebration which the church used to bring the pagans into it. While that may be true, the birth of Jesus should be celebrated, even if He wasn’t born during this time of year. Why do I say that? Because, during this month it is too cold for shepherds to be sleeping in the field at night and traveling wouldn’t have been easy at this time of year either. Many scholars think that His birth was likely during September, who knows.

The point is that a person on the Trinity came to us as a baby, grew up in his time and played like all children do, learned His earthly father’s trade and learned from His Heavenly Father. He fulfilled prophecy and became the Messiah that He was sent to be and He sits on the right hand of God in Heaven until it is time for Him to come again.

Celebrate His first coming because without it, you and I would be lost in this world and the next. Celebrate His life and His mission because He followed His Father’s instructions and did everything that was necessary for our salvation, not just a few people but for all people. The story of His birth is joyous not because we give each other gifts, but because God gave us the most important and priceless gift that we don’t deserve just because He loves us!

We can’t give it back and we don’t truly deserve it, but it was given to all of mankind, so be thankful and glad that we are loved by our Creator enough for Him to give us a chance and the choice to be His children.

Amen

Can I know Jesus?


It seems that some people do wonder about this question. Is there a real honest answer? Yes, there is! You can know Jesus and have Him as your personal Savior. The first question is: Are you seeking Him today? If you are, then the rest is easy.

The sinner’s prayer goes like this: God, I know that you are real and that I have messed up in my life. I have heard that you can help me to be more like your Son, Jesus. I am sorry for the sinful life that I have lived, the things that I have said or done and I ask you for Your forgiveness. I open my heart to You and I want You to cleanse me and make me more like Jesus. I need Him to be my Savior, Lord. I thank you for your grace and mercy and for my new Life in Jesus. Amen.

Belief in Jesus and His saving grace that was finished on the cross is the first step, then a simple prayer like this one. It doesn’t have to be word for word like this. This prayer is just an example, and it doesn’t have to be this long either. Knowing Jesus is not hard to do, learning about Him is a daily walk with Him by reading the Bible and prayer. He loved each of us enough to come to Earth and live like us, but His nature was from God not from man so He lived a sinless life. We can’t live a sinless life, but by submitting our life and our heart to Him we can become more like Him.