How was your day?


Each of us has at least one day which doesn’t go quite like we hoped it would. Some of us wake up to joint pain and fever, some of us have to live with cancer or arthritis on a daily basis. Some of us in this world wake up hungry with no food and sometimes no water. So…how was your day today?

Does it compare to a day in which you have a breathing tube in your throat to help you breathe? Maybe you are paralyzed in some way and have to have help with nearly every part of your life. Life does go on after disease and problems like paralysis have caused you to “rethink your life”, and its goals. Many of us don’t want to keep going in these instances, but it is best if we do. Why?

Because, you are made in God’s image and God doesn’t make junk! Your life and everything that seems to be wrong is just a part of your life. God can use that “wrong” part to bring glory and honor to Him if you will follow Him! He knows how you got the disease or problem in the first place and He has a plan. It may not be the plan that you had in the beginning, but He can and will work all things, good or bad, out for your good and His Glory!

God doesn’t leave you alone, especially when He has plans which He wants you to complete. They may not get started today or tomorrow, but when He feels the time is right, those plans will become crystal clear. You will know Who placed them there and that you are the only one who can do this, so…do it!

If you are wondering why I bring this up, it is because of the unique position which all of the followers of Christ are in. We have the Truth which everyone else is looking for, although in today’s world it is best if we live it out so that people can see it in us from day-to-day. I am not saying that we shouldn’t tell people about Jesus, particularly if they ask us about our faith. What I am saying is that in today’s world people tend to get offended if you say that you know the way and others don’t.

It doesn’t take much to upset someone’s “safe place” these days, even if you didn’t intend to do so.

Safe places are what we are supposed to have at church and at home, although many people, children and grown-ups too, don’t have a safe place in many areas of the world..even in America. We all need to concentrate on prayer today because of the world and our place in it and in history too. Regardless of your belief in God or lack of belief, we are on the verge of a time of change. One that has been foretold for a couple of thousand years, yet many people are ignoring the signs or they just aren’t looking for them.

Don’t ignore the signs or the part of the Bible which almost reads like a newscast today, the book of Revelation is important to all people. Read it, pray about it and seek Him while there is time.

 

What do you see?


When you look at the world today and the news and all of the terrible things that are happening in it…what do you see? Is it evidence of how corrupt and perverted humanity has become? Is it prophecy coming true on a daily basis or is it just our evil and corrupt world and the people in it who are doing all of these things?

Actually, it is prophecy coming true AND it is the people in the world who haven’t accepted Jesus as their Savior who are fulfilling those prophecies. The evil and corruption and violence in our world are part of those prophecies which are coming true.

Yes, they are coming true every day and it seems with more frequency. The signs from the heavens like the solar eclipse this year and the next one in seven years, both of which will be seen in America. Then another pair of eclipses which will be seen in northern Egypt and Arabia beginning seven years after the two in America and the second seven years later. Both of the pair of eclipses are total and will make an “X” in the countries where they are seen.

The signs are showing up and are increasing. Please, don’t ignore God’s Word and the signs which He is using to bring attention to His Creation and Himself. God loves each of us and has provided atonement for each of us but if we don’t accept it and live according to His Word then it is as if the provision is refused and you are on your own. Just like someone telling you that you have an inheritance that you can claim but they won’t tell you what it is or how much. If you don’t claim it for yourself, then it is given to someone who will claim it.

Salvation through Jesus blood is the same. If you don’t claim it and live according to His Word, then it does you no good at all and it is the same as not having it at all. God knows who has taken His offer of forgiveness and who hasn’t or won’t, whether you believe it or not, He will judge you….not someone on Earth. Your own decision about what to do with Jesus’ gift is the very decision which will condemn you or bring salvation to you. The choice is yours.

In truth, the very person who decides that they will wait until later to get saved, “when I have got my life on track”, is the one person that will end up dead far sooner than they ever thought. They will be standing in front of God and that question will come up: What did you do with your knowledge of Jesus? So…what will be your answer?

Anything besides, He is my Savior, will not be enough and will not get you inside the gates of Heaven. If Jesus doesn’t step forward and claim you as His own, then your eternity will be without God, without His Love being expressed in your eternal home. That is just a taste of what hell will be like. Then, there is the heat and the flame and the pain of separation which will haunt you throughout eternity. God did not send you to hell. Jesus did not condemn you to hell…you did. It was your decision…it is your decision today.

The signs are all around us today that the age is coming to an end. So, what will you do with Jesus? Is He your Savior or will you continue on your own?

Small things, big changes


What can you do in increments that will make a big change in your life? Cut down on calorie heavy drinks like energy drinks and latte’s, walk up a flight or two of stairs instead of taking the elevator, park on the far side of the lot so you have to walk a bit more to get to your car, all of these are good ways for getting in better shape physically and would be applauded by your doctor in America today.

So, what could you do to help yourself spiritually? Just small things, nothing huge. Like…read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation at least once this year. Most people would say, “Hold on! That is NOT a small task!” I said read the Bible in a year, not in a month. Begin by reading two or three chapters every day, starting at the first chapter of Genesis, by the end of a month you will be in the book of Exodus reading about Moses getting the Israelites out of Egypt.

See, it doesn’t take a lot of reading or time. Two or three chapters every day only takes maybe fifteen minutes or so, but you are learning about our Creator and why He does the things that HE does. Pray about what you read, either before or after reading so the Spirit can teach you about what you have read. Why do I know this works? Because, when I became a pastor in 2011, I began reading God’s Word every day, just a few chapters a day. I have read through it at least six times now, and I find something new, something different, each time.

The first time I was rushing it, I wanted to get through the Bible FAST! I read the whole Bible in three months, but that was HARD! Some days I had to read ten or more chapters and it’s hard to find the time to read that much in a morning or evening while you are working too. So, unless you are just reading and not really intent on understanding (which you won’t by going that fast), I don’t recommend that reading plan.

My point here is this: God gave us His Word, the Bible, to read and to learn about Himself and about the Messiah, Jesus. The only real way that you can learn about the voice of God and His intentions for your life and your purpose is to get to know Him better, so what better way to do that than by reading His Words? God loves us and His Love is expressed in His Word and by getting to know His Voice through reading the Bible, you will be able to tell the difference between His small voice and your small voice when you are trying to listen to Him!

We speak to ourselves in our mind or maybe Satan does, trying to throw us off the track of following God’s lead. Many times, people talk themselves out of following Him by listening to the wrong voice, their’s or Satan’s. Reading God’s Word gives you an inside track on knowing what He would say and what He would NOT say. We are in the beginning of the last days, not the Tribulation yet but leading up to it, so make sure that you know Who it is that is speaking to you and what is being said.

We are blessed by God!


Do you know this?

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,…”  Exodus 23:25

God saysWe have many promises in the Word of God, and yet many people seem to ignore them or reject them. The reason usually is that they don’t believe God’s Word or they don’t want to believe in Him period. We are blessed by God because He loves us and cares for us, if He did not our world would be much worse than it is today! Truly, our world is in bad shape as it is but if God had abandoned us entirely it would be in much worse shape spiritually and morally than it is now.

We are made in the image of God and we should act like it. I don’t mean to think of ourselves as gods, because we aren’t and we can’t be, but we should act like His children. Yes, many of us are rebellious children and have been since the beginning, but shouldn’t we try to come near to Him? To get to know Him as He knows us and loves us? God does meet our needs, not our wants, and He will heal us if it is in His will to do so. Why doesn’t He heal all diseases and hurts? He is God and He does what He wants for our good and His glory!

If healing a person will bring the entire family to a saving knowledge of Him, then He will do it. If changing a person’s life from one of following Islam to being a Christian will enable more to come to Him, He will do that too. Even if that person has never read the Bible or heard a sermon! God changed Saul from a Pharisee who was intent on wiping out these followers of the way into Paul the apostle who wrote most of the New Testament from his jail cell in Rome!

God can do anything that He wishes or is pleased to do with each of us, if we will let Him and then follow His leading. He will not drag you into a pulpit to preach, but He will give you the desire to be a teacher and a preacher. He asks us to follow Him but He doesn’t force us, because when you are forced to do something then your heart isn’t in it. That is what God wants…your heart, just as when you fell in love with your spouse. You couldn’t force someone to love you and God doesn’t do that because love can’t be forced!

We are also blessed by Him in our lives because we have His Word as a guide or even a moral compass. The Word of God is absolute Truth so therefore we should learn from it and use the wisdom contained in it to pattern our lives and our societies after. We look at Christian values and morals today as antiquated and out of date, but morality and character can only be learned from One that is absolutely true! God’s Word is that standard that we should be learning from and teaching to our children and grandchildren!

Looking at morality and truth as “quaint” and “old-fashioned” is just a nice way of saying that it is outdated and it isn’t. There are truths in the natural world which cannot be undone, such as the law of gravity. If you drop a glass it will fall and possibly break! If you drop a pen it will hit the ground just as well as the glass did. The laws of God need to be taught to our kids because our society today and for many years has been eroding, not because our education is lacking but because we don’t have a moral standard that is taught to our children.

American society and many of the other countries societies are unraveling at an alarming rate because of the lack of standards that people have to compare to. God’s standards haven’t changed, we have! We have walked away from Him and now it seems that we are running as fast as possible toward a culture that will be more like the days of Noah, and it may already be there!

Religion and the practice of it cannot save you from an eternity in hell. Christianity and living daily for Jesus, giving your heart and life to God as a daily, living sacrifice can do more for society and for you than anything that you can do with your own idea of morality or what is right for you. Because today, moral relativism is taught in colleges so that people are graduating with the idea that “what is right and true for me may not be right or true for you”. With those kind of ideas in their heads, how can any law that is on the books be followed?

Some deny it, others await it….


Many in the so-called “liberal”media deny that Christians are right. I don’t mean that we are on the right or the left, but that we believe the Truth of God’s Word! Watching the news, seeing all of the prophecies coming true before our eyes, if you can’t see it then you need to get into God’s Word! Pray about what you are reading so that He will open your eyes spiritually and allow you to see what is there!

Why am I asking many of you who DON’T  believe in Jesus or God to at least try praying for Him to show you the Truth in His Word? Because if you don’t find it out, if you won’t go to a church or read God’s Word, then when you stand before the One that you don’t believe in…uh-oh won’t cut it! Your life will be shown to you in vivid detail down to the words and thoughts that you had. The time for learning the Truth is now, not at the end of your life! Yes, you could be saved on your death-bed, but you may not get that chance.

Ican'tmakeitChristians don’t say these things to scare you exactly, but what if you had a wreck on the way home from the bar or from a meeting. What if you had a heart attack on the way home or in your bed tonight and didn’t live long enough to ask Jesus into your heart and life? We are trying to get as many people to open their eyes to the reason that Jesus and the Bible are REAL! This is not a “fake religion” like so many of them are!

Being religious can get you a ticket straight to hell, being saved by Jesus will cover your sins and allow you to get into Heaven. If you are able to do some things for Christ while you are here, you may have some rewards in Heaven, but the reward that I am looking for is eternity with Him! God in the person on His Son came down and became as we are so that He could provide a way for us to be saved from an eternity away from Him! He planned this long before any of us were born, even before our world or the universe was made by Him!

God loves you! It doesn’t matter what you have done, when you did it or how, all He wants is a repentant heart and your realization that you have sinned and you want Him to come in and fix the broken pieces and make you whole in Christ! Believe me, since He made the universe and mankind in six days, I think He can handle anything that you ask Him for, don’t you?

The significance of the Word


You don’t just read a cookbook, you fix and eat the meal. It is the same way with the Bible, God’s Word, if you don’t assimilate it, no matter how much you appreciate it, what good is it? And with the Bible, it means that you are to take it into your mind, to thoroughly comprehend it, to use it as nourishment for your mind and heart and your eternal soul!

Just as with a cookbook, the words and the recipes don’t help you much by just reading them. Reading the recipe of a fabulous meal or dish is not very satisfying, you have to do something with the information that you have in front of you. It is the same with the Bible. Read it, of course, study it and think on what you have read…definitely, then you have to put it into practice. Just as the recipe won’t do you any good if you don’t put your hands to work and put it together and cook it, God’s Word won’t help you in your daily life unless you act on it and use it!

Our lives are complex and we meet people in all sorts of situations every day. In many of our situations, we don’t interact with too many of those that we meet very much, especially not today. We text, we tweet, we post on social media, occasionally we will call someone, but we rarely speak to each other. It is even more rare that we sit down and have an actual conversation about our lives and the things which make our lives meaningful!

Why have we moved away from the interaction that was once a daily activity just as walking or breathing? Too much stuff has gotten in the way I believe. Too much technology is interfering with our lives. Especially when it comes to family members and our friends, we turn to our phones and our computers more often than we do to our pastor or our next door neighbour.

God’s Word is alive and it has been with us for over two millennia, yet it is not a book which is out of date. It is fresh and new to all who read it. The wisdom which it contains is relevant to today in the twenty-first century just as it was when it was written. It seems that many people think that coming to church on Sunday or having a Bible in their house does the trick and makes their lives better. Coming to church can do that and the fellowship which we have there does help us, but don’t leave the teaching that you receive on the pew.

The Bible, like a cookbook, won’t do you any good at all unless you open it, read it and apply it to your life. Allowing it to collect dust in your home doesn’t help your spiritual life because you aren’t taking in any spiritual nourishment to help you to grow in your walk with God. He sent the Word to us through His prophets and scribes so that we could learn of His love for us and so that we can learn of His wisdom.

Don’t just read it like a history book or an interesting book but as the actual Word of God. It is Truth, it is also a Life-giving book and a book of truth and wisdom, not of mankind’s wisdom but from God Himself! Apply its wisdom and words to your life so that others will benefit from your walk with Jesus. After all, He is the Living Word made flesh which dwelt among men. Take Him with you in your heart and in your everyday life, because without Him nothing has any meaning or substance in all of Creation.