From the heart comes the truth of your beliefs

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 KJV

The heart of mankind is where your true self lives. If you have given your heart to Jesus, then you are a new creation. If you haven’t your heart can deceive you into thinking that you are a Christian when you are not.

There have been some preachers who have been to school and seminary and yet they found that one day they were not saved. You can go through the motions and still not be saved! God knows your heart, but your own heart can trick you into thinking that you are saved even though it’s a lie.

Seek your Savior, Jesus, while there’s time to do so. If you’re still breathing you can still come to Christ. Amen

Where are you, God?

GodwhereareYouHow many times have you or someone you know thought this or heard it in a hospital waiting area outside of ICU? All of us have said it or thought it at some point in our lives. Something doesn’t go quite the way we hoped it would or something goes terribly wrong and we do wonder about God’s involvement in our lives. Sometimes we even blame Him for what has happened. Especially if we have lost a loved one or maybe our financial blessings have been taken from us. We tend to look to God and ask Him “What went wrong?”; “Why did this happen to me?”.

We get angry at God during these times but if you seek your answers in God’s Word where another man who had served God went through all of this and then some, you will realize that the ruler of this world is the one who tries to make us blame God and lose our faith in Him! It isn’t God!

The book of Job is said to be even older than the books of Moses but God didn’t do all of those things to Job. He allowed them to happen so He could prove to Satan that Job would NOT lose or give up on God and his faith in God. Yes, God allowed it to happen but He told Satan that you can only go this far and no more. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of Job to show that God did not take from him but He allowed Satan to do it to prove a point:

Job 1

Job’s Character and Wealth

1There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yokes of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Satan Allowed to Test Job

6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Blaming God for your losses in life does nothing about your situation, but praying to God and reading God’s Word will help a great deal. Learning about God and how He works in different situations in the Bible will give you a foundation to stand on which makes your faith stronger, not weaker. Follow Him in all areas of your life and your life will work out in the end so that others will see that God has been with you through the worst parts and the best parts too.

Have you broken God’s heart?

Many of us do this on a daily basis or at least a weekly basis and don’t even realize it. When you worry about something, anything, you are telling God that you don’t trust Him with that area of your life. When you do this you are breaking God’s heart. You are throwing everything in His face that He has ever done for you, no matter what it is. You are telling Him that “In this area of my life, I will worry about it because I don’t think You can help me with this!”.

How would you feel?

God, Who is the Creator of the universe and all of the physical laws which govern it, and you are telling Him that He can’t handle your problem so you will worry about it. Come on, our problems are not big enough to even cause God to think about them in order to solve them. Many of the problems which we worry about are those which we can’t fix even if we want to.

The problem with worrying about those problems, whatever they might be, is that it makes us into a practical atheist. We worry about things because we don’t think God will take care of it. The problem with that is this: He will take care of it only if we give the problem to Him completely! Not a portion of it for Him and then we will take care of the rest. Give the pain and sorrow to Him totally so that He can take it and do what He does with problems! He turns them into opportunities for His glory and for your good!

Knowing this, why do we worry? Because God doesn’t fix our problems when we want them fixed, He fixes them on His time and in His way.

Little things

How many times do little things get in the way of relationships? Sometimes the things which get in the way are so small until you barely know what they were. But they still make a dent in other people’s feelings. Sometimes the dent is bigger than you think and sometimes the damage takes a real toll on the relationship. Occasionally, the damage causes a rift or a split in the relationship.

Then what do you do?

You repent, say “I’m sorry” for the fortieth time, and move on. Each day…every day we go through times which will test our patience and our faith in God sometimes. But each day we must determine for ourselves to walk with God that day, then do it again tomorrow, and again the next day. This is what Jesus meant about taking up our cross each day and following Him.

The cross you have to bear is sometimes a difficult one. It could be a disease or a financial hardship or maybe an ailing parent or child or it could be depression or any number of other things which we all face at some point. Why bring this up if these are little things in God’s eyes but in our life they can be pretty big at times?

Because each of us has these “problems”, regardless of the size of them or the weight that they carry. Nobody is immune to the trials of life regardless of what they may be! Each of us has to live through them but we should remember that we don’t live through them alone. God is always beside us and ready to help us with strength for our spirit and for our struggles.

Jesus said, “I will be with you, until the end of the age“; I know, its a paraphrase of His words, but He meant what He said. God doesn’t mince words and He doesn’t lie about anything. When He said this He meant it! The “age” He was speaking of is the one we are in now, the church age, and if you have been paying attention to any news you will know that people are not paying much attention to the church or the message which we preach.

Your sin debt has been paid! Everyone’s sin debt has been paid, but most don’t want to believe that it has been nor do they want to believe in the One Who paid it for them. God loves each person individually and deeply! He is not a vengful God nor is He an angry God, He is a loving God Who wants to know you better.

Give Him a chance to know you and for you to get to know Him. I promise, you won’t regret it.

Does God care about me?

Good shepherdThis is the type of question is the kind that you hear or see posted on social media when a disaster happens or when a child is hurt or killed. Does God care? YES! He cares and He loves each of us more deeply than we can know, especially children. Jesus said:

Matthew 19:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Consider this question which has been put to pastors and to God Himself: Is anything too hard for God?

While it is true that there is nothing that is too hard for God, there are many things in life that are too hard for us. We have trouble lifting more than our own weight for example. We have a hard time admitting our faults and our shortcomings. We also have trouble, at times, admitting that we were wrong in some decision which was made in haste or in anger or maybe when we were hurt emotionally by someone close to us.

No, there is nothing too hard for God but many things are very difficult for us to admit that we have trouble accomplishing them. Even if God calls you to do something like being the pastor of a church, it doesn’t matter the size of the church or congregation He will equip you to do that which He calls you to do. At times we don’t feel that we are capable of fulfilling His call on our lives but with faith and following the decision to take the first step in following His call we can do it.

There may be some rough places at first and a few scraped knees and falls, but if you determine to continue to follow His lead in your life and keep on the path that He is leading you on then the outcome that He knows is there will be fulfilled. This is the type of commitment which the church today needs to follow and make sure that it is following Jesus in all that it does for Him. As long as your faith is placed in God and His Son, Jesus and they are the Leaders that the church and its pastor are following, then the call and the outcome will be assured because it is from God!

As long as you continue to follow Jesus in your daily life, walking with Him and listening to His counsel and not your own, then your outcome will be assured. Because when you live your life the way Jesus’ disciples did with Jesus as your Teacher and your Savior, your walk through this life will be in His will and it will be directed by His Spirit and not your own.

We are all children in God’s sight, so we should be sure to come to Him with any problem or need in our life. No matter how big or small or if you think it is a calling from God or not! Bring it to Him, ask Him about it, study the Bible to find His wisdom about whatever it may be, then pray about it. Don’t jump up and run ahead of Him, make sure that what you feel is right and it is approved by God before committing yourself to it.

The message is true!

Nobody's mad but youThis message about Satan being angry or rather furious with Christians is true, but we are protected by the blood of Jesus. He cannot harm us at all! He can cause us pain and heartache by the death of loved ones, he can also cause our death, if God allows it, but he can do nothing without God saying that he can.

Long before Jesus came, Satan attacked Job and took everything from him to try to force Job to curse God or lose his faith in God. It didn’t work. Learn from Job and from the rest of the Bible because the Truth is absolute whether you like it or believe it at all!

Life is hard enough living day by day without understanding that Satan HATES you immensely! Yes, he would love to take your life, your children, your job, and everything else that you have away from you and then gloat in watching you suffer through it all! In Christ we have an advocate and a Protector that will stand with us through it all. That doesn’t mean that we won’t ever have trouble as Christians, but we will have His Strength and His Presence in our lives to help us get through any trouble that we have.

Some people call Christianity a “crutch” or a weak-minded way of dealing with life. Some even try to tell others that what we believe in is a lie and that the disciples just made it all up. Let me ask you this: if someone was going to put you to death by fire or any other means if you didn’t recant your belief in Jesus, would you recant? If you knew it was a lie you would.

That is why the testimony of the book, Foxes Book of Martyrs, is so powerful! Stephen wouldn’t have been stoned for a lie. There were many Roman soldiers who died because they became Christians. Many of the early church were killed in the arena by lions and other horrible ways for their faith! This has been happening for nearly 2000 years, and it is still happening today. Because, the testimony of the Bible and all of the Christians who have died for their faith shows that our faith is not in some made-up story or fantasy.

Jesus is REAL and He is coming soon, so you need to decide which so-called “lie” will you believe. The one where Satan tells you that all of it is hogwash and that you can rule with him in hell one day or will you believe the Truth of Jesus the Christ Who came and paid the price for your eternal soul?

Life goes on….

Pain and grief, disease and heartache all of these are part and parcel of our lives on Earth. Even though it is hard to see that God is present even during the times of “testing” in our lives, He is there. At times it seems that we can’t feel His Presence in the days which bring pain and depression…but God is there. He doesn’t leave us, even those of us who don’t believe in Him. How can He leave us alone when He occupies all of Heaven and Earth?

Good shepherdWhen we don’t acknowledge His Presence, it doesn’t cause Him pain. It just magnifies our suffering because we are not seeing His goodness in things which seem to be hurtful to us. Allow Him to be in your painful days, ask Him to give you the strength to go on during those times of feeling without strength or even the faith to believe that He will do it! God is there in the dark with you and He is there when you come out of the dark places. Whether the dark is caused by a personal problem or by a death in the family or even by some other happenstance, God has not left you alone.

He was present when Job was going through all of his trials and Job didn’t give up his faith in God. He questioned God and was angry with God for his suffering but he didn’t lose faith in Him. That is how we are supposed to live our days out on this Earth. Whether we are battling cancer or having to handle the death of a loved one, God is there when we go to sleep after a long night of grief. He will be there to wake us after we have rested and He can carry us through the next day and the next if we will allow Him to do so. Don’t do this on your own strength because it will tear you down physically and emotionally!

We were never designed to live our daily lives without God, so be mindful of His Presence in your day. The drops of rain which fall to nourish the Earth and its plants also causes floods which can be dangerous. God is still present in all of this no matter what the outcome is. Seek Him out in your pain. Ask Him to give you strength to get through today, then make sure you do it again tomorrow. That is what Jesus meant when He said to walk with Him daily.

The walk of a Christian is not one that is to be done alone. It is one that we must acknowledge our Savior as our Messiah and determine to walk with Him every day. It is a walk of purpose not a casual walk. That is why Jesus said that we had to take up our cross and follow Him every day. Meaning that you are to “die to yourself”. You are to give your life to Him as a sacrifice on a daily basis. It isn’t a burden to carry or a problem that you alone have to handle. Give your LIFE to Jesus purposefully, every day, determine that He is in control…not you! Follow Him as a sheep would follow the shepherd because they know that by following him they are safe and cared for!

The same with us. As long as you and I follow along with Him every day, He will keep us on the path with Him. Don’t try to do things on your own, seek His guidance and His strength in all things so that your days will be productive and useful to yourself and to His Kingdom. This is what is called “storing up treasures in Heaven”. It may not be spendable here on Earth, but the reward is eternal.