Who do you say that I am?


WhoDoYouSayIamIt is a question which Jesus asked of His disciples and it is one which all of us need to answer in our own hearts as well. Have you considered what your answer would be? Is He your Savior or just a great prophet? Is He the Son of God or an imposter like so many of those who had the name Jesus (Joshua, Yeshua) at that time? Who is He in your heart and in your life? Do you even believe that He existed?

Many questions to answer but the real truth of it is that Jesus is the Son of God, foretold to come by being born of a virgin, of the lineage of David and He was born in Bethlehem. So much conflict and strife in a city in the country of Israel. Fighting between relatives, since all of those around Israel are also descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. Yet, all of this conflict was foretold in the Bible, not just in the book of Revelation but in other, much older prophetic books like Isaiah and Daniel.

So, who is Jesus to you? Is He your Savior and Messiah? He is to me because without His Spirit helping me with these words, I couldn’t come up with all of these writings!

God sent Jesus to Earth to redeem the whole human race from the sins of our mutual ancestor, Adam. I know, if you don’t believe the Creation story from the Bible then we are descended from apes through evolutionary means. But, hear me out in this wise: Adam disobeyed God in eating from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and we are partakers of that sin nature. We, meaning all of humanity, have always sought to be “like god” in some way!

We have searched for and are still searching for ways to extend our lives beyond our normal lifespan or to fix age-related diseases which our bodies have in one way or another as we get older. I contend with arthritis myself and would like nothing better than for a cure to be found, but that will likely be when I get my body in Heaven. We cannot be gods of any kind in these finite bodies of ours and God didn’t make us for that purpose.

We are His creation just as the animals and the angels and the planets and stars and galaxies are His creation. All of the universe which we can see and the parts which we can’t see are also His creation! God is ruler and sovereign over all and He doesn’t have to give us anything or even answer our prayers, but He does. His judgment is final and true and yet people want to question the Bible and its authenticity.

Jesus is the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity and He came to pay our price for our sins. God’s Word calls Him many names such as Wonderful Counselor, King of Kings and the Prince of Peace among many others like the Root of Jesse and the Son of David and the Righteous Branch. He is our Savior and Lord and the only way to be saved from our sins is our belief in Him and the atonement which He accomplished for all of us! Don’t deny Him as your Savior, accept Him and follow Him into eternity because following Satan into eternity is going to be eternal punishment.

Christianity and religion


These two words are not the same thing. Religion covers many different types of worship, while Christianity is only one of the many. Why am I writing this piece? It seemed like a good idea at the time.

So, which are you following….Jesus the Christ or a religious observance of a lifelong habit?

We can make a religion about anything and we can be religious about anything and it doesn’t have to be a true religion at all. It can be a hobby or your family or your job, it can also be going to church because you have done it all of your life. Sunday morning comes and you do what you have always done, eat breakfast and get ready for Sunday school and church.

But, what will you do when that isn’t enough? What will happen on the morning or the night when Jesus comes for His Bride, the church, and you hear about the devastation on the news the next morning? What about your faith and belief in Jesus then? Will you be angry at Him or with yourself because you didn’t read the Bible and didn’t take the messages seriously?

These are questions which need answers and need them NOW!! Why? Because, He could come tomorrow or tonight or next week, we just don’t know the day but there are no other prophecies which need to be fulfilled before He comes to get the church! If you don’t want to believe me, that’s fine, but what will you do when you find that your habit of going to church wasn’t enough?

Being in church because your grandmother says you should go is not going to save you. Sitting in a pew and listening to a sermon, and maybe reading the verses which the preacher tells you to read is not enough. Going through the motions of being a Christian to please other people’s idea of who you are doesn’t cut it with God! HE can see your heart, your true self and He knows if you are REAL or not.

God sent His Son to live as we live, to teach His disciples the way to know God and to be saved by belief in Him and then die on a cross and rise again on the third day. After His resurrection, He taught them for another forty days and then told them to go into the world telling others of the gospel and baptizing them in His name. They did their part even when they were stoned, beaten, whipped or locked in prison and then most of them were killed while doing what Jesus had told them to do.

The only disciple which died of natural causes was John who wrote the book of Revelation. Will you read and believe in Jesus the Christ, your Messiah and Savior? Give your heart to Him and seek your salvation through belief in Him and follow Him every day until He does return!

IamtheWay

Are the -ism’s the real problem?


genetic-variationWe have so many of these today. Consider this, we have communism, Islamism, racism, nationalism and many other -ism’s which are part of the names of religions besides Islam. The minority’s which are on television and all of the media outlets today are the loudest and the most virulent and violent which is why they have everyone’s attention.

I am not speaking of a “racial minority”, just the few percent who are loudly proclaiming their rights and that their voice be heard. Their voice is on all of the social media “channels” so to speak which makes their demands and their voice louder than it would’ve been if they were only on news programs.

But…truly, are these the real problem or is this just a symptom of a larger problem which has been building over the decades?

Racism has been swept under the collective rug of our consciousness and if not forgotten then they haven’t been out in the air for a while. At least not until the past decade or so.

I suppose it has been simmering a bit here and there because there have been flare-ups of violence from time to time, but these days those flare-ups are threatening to go widespread. We, as a nation of Christians, need to do something even if it is “only prayer”!! God knows what is happening and it was foretold in scripture that near the time of tribulation this would be happening. The real problem is that it is going to get worse before it gets better. Much worse.

We need desperately to draw near to our Lord…NOW! Stop posting about it and talking about it and DO IT! Because if we don’t and if we don’t tell others that it is needed, our towns and cities will become powder kegs which will explode and become wild fires! God loves each of us and even if we can’t come together to worship Him without looking at the name of the church or the color of our skin, then we desperately need to examine our faith in the One Who died for us.

Make sure of your salvation in Jesus before He comes back. Before the times truly do get bad in the world, because when He comes and those who are taken up are gone, the violence of today will look tame in comparison to what will come afterward. If you truly believe the Bible is the Word of God…then believe that He cannot lie.

Is your life…broken?


Have you ever wondered exactly why things work for some people and not for others or maybe even for you? I will admit that I have felt that way and wondered about it many times. So…why are some lives lived in relative ease and comfort and some have to struggle to make a payment on their car or have enough to buy food? The answers unfortunately are not easy nor are they provided for us within the pages of Scripture.

Broken&shatteredYes, sometimes life does feel cracked and broken and many times it hurts. It hurts in ways that we don’t understand, if we aren’t the ones hurting. It also makes life seem very selective and unfair in the grand scheme of things too. What can we do about it? In most instances not much. Depending upon your determination and your training or education, you do have the ability to make enough money to live comfortably. Of course, there is also the opposite of that coin as well.

Why bring this up? Because many of us live broken lives but we try to show the world the “life” that we wish we had. This is why so many people have so much credit card debt. They are trying to live rich on a paycheck life. Granted it will work for a little while, but not for very long. Just as listening to a sermon will not magically save your soul, neither will living in debt make you rich!

We are rich in Christ because He is the Creator! He owns all of the gold in the universe as well as all of the other wealth in it, but we aren’t to live on Earth as if we own it too. Be satisfied with your life as if you are rich, but don’t try to live like a rich man on the salary of a cashier! Because it just isn’t possible!

We have broken lives because many of us are just that…broke! Stretch your hand out and up to your Savior so that He can lift you into His home and His life because that is the only way of living life as a child of God.

What do you value?


black-friday-software-dealsIn society, no matter where that society is, it seems to be respect and a standing in the community that is valued most. In some areas of society it is wealth and power and prestige that is valued more. There are times that all of those combine into one abiding and driving force in a society regardless of which country it may be in–and that is called greed. During the holidays, it seems that we value things far above people because of how much value we place on “stuff”.

We see it in the news and online, we see the effects of it in life around us but greed is actually a part of an overpowering emotion that humanity has been dealing with and losing the battle against ever since the Garden. That is pride. Pride of course can be a good thing when you are proud of your son or daughter for their accomplishments in school or even in life. But…it can get out of hand when pride in yourself and your status and your wealth swells up to the point of making you want more and more.

Our values and what we value should be a part of our life with Christ. Our life in general should be a reflection of our values and Jesus being a part of our life should be the standard by which our values are measured. What does He value in His ministry? Who does He value and why? When we find the answers to these questions, and they aren’t hard to find, then we will have the answer to having a life which reflects more of Him and less of our pride, less of us.

Why should our values be aligned with Jesus’ values? Because if you are a Christian then your life and the values that you have should be reflecting the same life, the same values which Jesus placed value in. If you claim to be a Christian but you live like the rest of the world and only go to church when it is necessary or maybe on holidays, weddings and funerals, then you are missing the point.

The Christian life is about believing in Jesus but also living with Him on a daily basis, gathering for prayer and worship of your Creator with other believers and becoming more like Him and less like the person that you were before. If this doesn’t describe your life with Jesus, then you may want to do a bit of soul-searching to see if you really are a Christian.

I am not writing this to put anyone down, but there are many people in America and in other places, who claim to be Christians BUT they never go to church. It is likely that they rarely read the Bible or pray and praise God, unless something is going wrong in their life or in their family. Then they seek His help and influence. God is not on call just when something goes wrong, He is supposed to be present in your life…every day!

God is not a genie. We shouldn’t treat Him as such, but there are many who seem to look at Him like this. God values your life so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross, one of the most heinous and barbaric ways that anyone could die, in order to be the sacrifice for your sins! He would’ve done this even if there was only you to save, but He paid the price for ALL of humanity. Even though many won’t give their lives to Him and become a Christian, the price has already been paid for their sins.

Learn of Him and His Love for you. Seek Him out while there is still time in this life to do so. When you have breathed your last breath or if death comes suddenly tonight or tomorrow, your chance to change is over. Don’t put it off, please.

What about today?


 

Today I woke without much pain.

Today, I thanked God for this blessing and for my friends and family.

Today, I will read God’s Word and learn from the Source of Truth.

Today, I feel His Presence all around me.

Today is the day that I will die to self and live for Him.

This is a poem, not designed to impress anyone or cause anyone to think about themselves. It is only for a daily walk with God. The words speak of a daily acknowledgement of God and His Presence in your life and mine. Some days, the first line may read like this: I woke up hurting all over, and I thanked God that I am alive to serve Him one more day.

Decide what your day will be like and how you will live it with Him, because you may only have today to do so.

I am adding to this on the last day of April, just as I wrote this on the first day. Time and age happen to us all, some of us feel it a bit more than we should or rather much earlier than we should. But, that is the way that it goes almost every day. One hour at a time, one minute at a time, life and time move at the same rate no matter who is doing the counting.

So, what is your time like today? Your life? Is it what you thought it would be? For many of us, our thoughts and dreams are far behind us now and very likely will never come to pass. The golden age of dreams for many in America was during the ‘50’s through much of the ‘70’s. Although it was also during those years that many conflicts arose in the culture of America.

Between races and even between men and women and their rights as separate but equal partners in life. The decision of allowing legal abortions also came through the Supreme Court of our land and has been a blight on life ever since. It doesn’t matter what your stance on this decision might be, it falls on the wrong side of life itself. Why do I say this? Because it is wrong to kill another human being, especially when it is a child that isn’t even out of the womb yet and can’t defend itself!

This so-called “right” is defended in the name of giving a woman a choice with her life, such as whether she wants to raise a child or not. If that were the case, then why is the child always referred to as a “clump of cells” and not a child or a baby? Consider what you are doing before causing this life to grow within you the way that God designed it to do!

God does love each of us and He is the Author and finisher of our life and our faith. Our choices in this life also affect our eternity for good or for evil and it is your choice which sends you in one direction or the other. God doesn’t toss you into the lake of fire or “allow” you into Heaven because of your good works in this life or what you did wrong in this life. It is your decision of belief in Jesus and His work, and His atonement for you which decides your eternal destination.

Today make that choice of learning to follow Jesus, learn more about Him, seek Him out in God’s Word and ask Him to come into your life. Because it is only in this life, while we are breathing, that the decision can be made. When your life is over, the decision is sealed and so is your fate and destination.

Are you a Christian?


This is a question which really shouldn’t have to be asked. People should be able to tell from your speech or your life if you are a Christian or not.

Why am I specifying this in this column today? Because, if you are wondering about yourself or someone else’s walk with Christ then you need to make sure of your place in God’s Kingdom. Is this important? YES!!

Think of it this way…I am a pastor and I preach God’s wisdom from His Word every week. I am required by God to give an account of my testimony and for those who have heard, but have not given their hearts to Christ. Am I responsible for their decisions? No, because I delivered the message and it is their responsibility to choose to give their heart to Jesus or not. I am just the messenger!

It is the same with all who have heard a message from a friend or at church or from the television. If you have heard the message of salvation, regardless of where you heard it, then it is your choice to make. God will not push it on you or into your heart, He will touch your heart and you will feel the pull or call of the Spirit to respond and it is your choice to do so or not.

It is that choice which will bring you into Heaven one day or not. Please, don’t turn away from your Creator and your Savior. If you are feeling His presence and His call on your life, make a decision to turn to Him and follow Him. God is real and He loves you, don’t give up on an eternal blessing which is waiting for you because of some temporary pleasure here and now.

Who was He?


greatest-man-in-history

Jesus is the person which the title speaks of, do you know Him? Does He know you? He died to pay the price of our sins, so that we could come to God with a clean slate which was washed in His blood. We cannot add to what He did and we shouldn’t try to because HE did everything needed for us to have eternal life!

All we have to do is believe and submit our lives to Him, humble ourselves to Him and learn from the Word of God so that we can tell others about Him! He is my Savior, won’t you let Him be yours too?

The Lord is….


Good always and in all ways He is good! The title of this piece is the first three words of the 23rd Psalm which I would think most people know at least part of. I am going to write it here and give some exposition on it in my limited way. Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy toward us today. You are the Creator and our Redeemer and I praise you for all that you have done for us and what is coming in the future. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

The Lord is my Shepherd;

I shall not want.

Those few words mean a lot to Christians and believers alike because He is our Shepherd, leading us through our problems day by day. He provides for us in ways that we may not see with our eyes or even be able to touch with our hands. His desire is for us to be secure in Him, regardless of our situation, whether it is in poverty or with much wealth we are rich in blessings and our eternal home is sure.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

The next verse is a calm assurance that we are provided for in our life. He will give us strength and a peace that we can get through whatever life may throw in our path because He is with us, no matter what happens. With Jesus as your Shepherd, guiding your life and following Him every day, there is nothing to fear.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the

paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

God restores our soul by His power when we come to Him and ask His forgiveness for our sins and the lifestyle which went with them. Following Him will take us through life with an attitude of righteousness, not a haughty “I am better than you” kind, but a calm and peaceful way to live that others may want it. God loves each of us dearly.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

God is our Creator and is all powerful, so there is nothing to fear when we are walking with Him. He will defend us and take care of us and our needs. He will place angels around you and your family to keep the evil one away from you. His rod and staff will keep us safe in times of trouble, no matter where the trouble may come from.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Even when you feel like you are surrounded by enemies, God is with you. He will give you comfort and rest with His Presence and heal you from your afflictions, whatever they may be. He will make sure that you are blessed in ways that you cannot see, but you will feel as if you are being filled to the brim with blessings and love.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Living and walking with Jesus will give you a spirit of mercy toward others because of His presence in your life. If you truly walk with Him daily, you will be a better person because of it and others will see it. Maybe they will even ask you what gives you the peace that you seem to have, even in times of trouble. That is when you should tell them about Jesus! Because it is He and the Holy Spirit Who gives you this spirit and the peace which goes with it. The reward of a life lived with Him is according to His Word, “in the house of the Lord forever”, Jesus said that there are many mansions in His Father’s house and He went to prepare a place for us. If He went to prepare a place for us, then He will come again to receive us, the church, up to His house! Where we will dwell with Him forever, Amen.