Believe…


We are asked to do this as little children. Like we are going to do this as easily as a child as adults and it usually doesn’t work that way. Life tends to make us more cautious and cynical as we get older. This one fact of growing up causes us to discount the simple way of becoming a Christian as we get older.

Sometimes it is just easier to believe like a child. Don’t try to analyze and nitpick the decision to become a Christian, like the Nike commercial says “just do it!”. I do realize that there are so many people out there in the world today who are reluctant to give their life and their heart to Jesus. But…what is the alternative? I mean, Jesus is our Savior and the Creator! There is no other “god” who can compete because there are no other gods, period!

Our world has been deceived by Satan and his cohorts for thousands of years and they are getting a bit worried now that the time is getting short for them! Your life does have an expiration date while you are here on Earth and since we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, the time for salvation is today! Please do not put this off. God knows who will come to Him and seek forgiveness and salvation so make it a point to be on His list of folks to listen to and bring to salvation!

The time is today, not tomorrow or next week. You or I could be involved in a car wreck tomorrow and when this life is over, your time to get saved is gone because “now is the accepted time“.

God provides for us each and every day but many people don’t pay attention. They just take it for granted that they have tomorrow and next week and next month too. Hopefully, they do and all the rest of us do too, but if you found yourself standing in front of God tomorrow…what could you say? What would you say about your life? Something like, “I did the best that I could” won’t help you. If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and asked for His forgiveness of your sins then you are standing on your own righteousness and that is not enough.

Our own righteousness is never enough because if we could be righteous enough to gain entrance into Heaven…then Jesus died for nothing. God doesn’t do things for anything less than His glory and allowing Jesus to die for our sins if we could fulfill the Law perfectly would’ve been useless! God doesn’t do useless!

Consider this: God has known you since you were formed in the womb because He formed you. Whether you have lived your life on your own terms or maybe you have been taken to church as a child, His attention has never been far away from your life. What about your attention? Have you thought about seeking Him out, at least to see if this “Christianity thing” is real? If you haven’t then you are living on a very narrow ledge in this life.

 

 

Living for Christ


I have seen some teaching online where some people, who may be preachers, are saying that the teaching of “God loves us, regardless of our heart’s position” is a lie. For one thing, God wouldn’t have sent His Son to redeem mankind IF He didn’t love us ALL! Whether we have given our hearts to Him or not, God loves us. Jesus didn’t come to Earth for a few people’s souls, He came to bring the possibility of salvation to everyone. He wouldn’t have come to do this if God didn’t love each person on this Earth.

Remember, God is the Father, Jesus is the Son, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. So, if God loves His creation enough to send His Son to redeem mankind, I  believe that God’s love covers ALL of mankind. Mankind is everyone, no specific nations or cultures or religions and regardless of time! God’s love includes every person which is why He sent Jesus in the first place.

Another disturbing part of our world today is that we try to label people whether they adhere to a good or bad religion or doctrine. While this may be a good idea for security it is not a good idea for people following Jesus. We don’t live in a world where there is a distinct line separating good and bad (evil), even if that is what Jesus taught. The world sees things as black, white or gray. The problem with thinking like this is that black and white being equal in the world, which they are not, these two sides also don’t mix producing the so-called gray area.

Just as there aren’t skeletons or fossils of the forms of life as they evolve, there also aren’t any demons or angels who aren’t evil or good but somewhere in between.

There is and always will be a distinct line between good and evil, black and white, and I am not speaking of a race but the intent of those in our world. We don’t have an option of sometimes good, sometimes evil…you either are or you are not. While it is true that there are people who aren’t Christians but they do good things with their time and money, that is not the same thing.

Yes, we can be good to each other, regardless of our belief or non-belief in a God, but the difference between the actuality of belief and non-belief is in our core, our heart and that is reflected in our behavior toward those around us. Reflecting our internal beliefs to the world is what Christians should be doing, making sure that others see more of Jesus rather than us.

Carrying Jesus in your heart and in your life is part of living as a Christian, having a belief in Him is part of that. Life as a morally good person is wonderful, but your life could have so much more of an eternal effect if Jesus was a part of it.

 

What is the Bible good for?


2 Timothy 3:16-17: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This is the belief of Jewish scholars today and it was at the time that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy. God inspired the different writers to put down in written word His instructions for us. That is where the Scriptures came from, specifically from the Holy Spirit of God who inspired men to write the words down.

What is the Bible and the Scriptures contained within it good for? Specifically it is for doctrine, for reproof and correction, for instruction in righteousness because without it and the knowledge that is contained in it we would know nothing of God! We would also know nothing of Jesus and the Gospel of His life and teachings.

heaven-or-hell-eternal-destinyWhy study the Bible? Because..if you intend to be an adopted child of God through Jesus, then you must get to know Him and the Father. I mean, how else could you know how to do their will in your life or even get to know what that will might be? We are each given a purpose for our life by God when He formed each of us in the womb. The only way that we can find that purpose is to get to know Him through His Word and find our purpose there.

Life can be fulfilling for each of us through our work on this Earth, but it will be much more so if we are working for our treasure in Heaven where we will spend eternity! The only way that we can do that is by learning God’s will for our lives and it really is pretty simple actually. Live your life the way Jesus did, in your business and in your everyday life so that others will see more of Him through you, reflected by your life and not just your ideas and opinions.

Seek His will in the Word for your life and for your reward in eternity because our time is growing shorter by the day. Read Revelation and see the events leading up to the time of Tribulation and you will see that the things happening today are the rumors and the birth pains of Creation leading up to the end times. Don’t wait until it is too late! Don’t put it off because you don’t know if you have tomorrow or not! None of us knows for sure if we will wake in the morning or if we will open our eyes in eternity, whatever that may be for you or me.

So much, yet…


It seems that in our culture today, we have so much and yet we still complain. Now, I am not saying that we are similar to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, but they complained about a lot of things too. We have so much in the way of possessions and stuff but it is all disposable and we still want more! Why?

It just seems that we are never satisfied with what we have. God has given us a planet that is moderate in its temperature range, we have gravity to keep us firmly on the ground. There is air to breathe and our days are split between night and day so we have time to work and sleep too. So why do we complain about life and the stuff that we have or don’t have?

We should be thankful for our family and our health, if we are enjoying good health. If you have a job, be thankful for that. Life and living for Jesus is so much more than…stuff! Living for the Lord and with Jesus in your life is so much more than things that we see and have to deal with each day. But, it seems that we are never satisfied with life, particularly our life if we have given our hearts to Jesus.

We look around at all of the stuff that others have, some of whom we think are not followers of Jesus and some who are. We question God, like Job did in his time of testing, and we ask “Why can’t we have xxxx car or this huge house and a bank account to go with it?”.

The answer is the one which Jesus gave to His followers about the rich man. “It is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.“; my quote is a paraphrase but you get the meaning of it. I qualify this by asking a couple of questions: Does a wealthy man need anything? He can have anything that he desires, so why would he want God in his life? Is a wealthy person ever hungry or thirsty? Not unless it is forced upon him I’d wager, so why would he or she ever hunger for Jesus and the freedom that being a Christian affords?

Wealth and so-called privilege can give a person much that the world has to offer. But, being a Christian and living your life as one who is a follower and a disciple of Jesus is not something that the world nor the wealthy would desire. Until, somehow, they are brought to a point of true and desperate need which their money cannot give them. Or if they grew up in poverty and became wealthy later in life and they knew that it was the blessing of God which brought their wealth, which they cheerfully gave to help others in need.

Because, until someone gets to the point of realization which shows them Who they truly need, it doesn’t matter if you have money or not, you will not seek out Jesus for your salvation. Until you know that there is nothing which you can do for salvation or healing or whatever you may feel that you need, not in this life but to bring you into God Presence, you will not seek out any knowledge of God nor will you look for salvation in Jesus.

Kneeling in prayer


There are many places in the Word of God, where a man or a Savior, bends their knees and gets down to the business of faithful prayer. It is something that many in the Church seem to have forgotten about. We stand and pray, we sit and pray, some of us bow our heads with eyes closed, some don’t close their eyes during prayer.

PrayerPrayer..is talking with our Savior and our Creator, if you don’t revere Him enough to close your eyes and bow your head then I am sorry for you. God loves you more than you realize, but He expects some respect and reverence from His Creation.

When he had thus spoken, he knelt down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more.

And they accompanied him unto the ship.  [Acts 20:36-38]

They took him down to Caesarea and by journey to Jerusalem—his last visit to that city in which he was arrested, imprisoned, and taken to Rome in trial for his life. But the word that describes this last meeting with the people in Ephesus is most poignant and meaningful. “And when he had thus spoken, he knelt down and prayed with them all.”

What does this say about Paul? He desired that they would continue in the faith that he had taught them before his arrest. Paul knew that his time there was over. He knew that he may not see Jerusalem again, so he knelt down and prayed with them all. What did he say? We likely won’t know until we can ask him face to face in Glory! The point is that, as Christians and ministers of Jesus Christ we should pray for our families and our country. We should pray for our friends and our students and those who need God’s healing touch.

Prayer can bring about many things, good and bad. It just depends upon who is doing the praying and what they are praying for. In a parched, drought-stricken land, they may pray for rain, in a world on the brink of war they might pray for peace, even if it would take a miracle for that peace to come. Once there was a man who believed in prayer in our country and you may have heard of him. His name was George Washington. Here is a small picture of something that he did early in our history whenever it was called for.

There was a visitor to the Continental Congress of the American Republic from Great Britain.  And as he stood in the chamber of that august assembly, he turned to the man standing next to him and said, “Which one is General George Washington?”  And the man standing next to the visitor turned to him and said, “When Congress goes to prayer, the one who kneels will be General George Washington.”  Kneeling in prayer.

It happened that this was the way that Congress used to begin each meeting and some say that they still do this…but are they truly sincere about what they are saying and to Whom they are praying? In our society today I doubt it.

Daniel knelt and prayed for God to show him the meaning of his dream and although it took three weeks for the angel to come and give him the meaning, Daniel still prayed. In the eighteenth chapter of 1 Kings, Elijah said unto King Ahab, “Get thee up…for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”  So Ahab went up.  And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and he said to his servant, “Go, look toward the sea.”  And he went up and looked and said: “There is nothing” [1 Kings 18:41-43].  And Elijah said, “Go the second time, the third, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh.”  And it came to pass, after Elijah had prayed, down on his knees for the seventh time, that the servant said, “Look, there is a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.”  And Elijah said unto Ahab, “Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.”  And it came to pass… that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain [1 Kings 18:44, 45].

Elijah was the prophet who had prayed for the drought and he prayed that it would abate as well and his faith was rewarded to the glory of God.

There are many other times in Mark and Luke where we read that “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35)

Why do I bring this up at this time? Because we are at the doorway of a time that has not been in history before. We are at the very threshold of the prophecies of the book of Revelation! This is the time that we should be on our knees in prayer every day! Not just for our country or for the person who may be elected to be the next President, but for the entire world and its collective salvation.

I pray that all of us will be in prayer for our world and those in it, especially those who have sickness or may be dealing with treatments for cancer or surgery or the recovery from either. There are also many who are living in areas where there is very little to eat and no clean water to drink, so be in prayer that someone can bring them food and clean water soon. Life outside of America is hard but there are also people here who live in poverty and wonder where their next meal will come from. If you can help them, even in a small way, I am sure it would be appreciated.

God loves all of His children even if they don’t love Him or show His love to others, but that doesn’t mean that He will not hold them accountable for any suffering or pain that they may cause to others.

Reflections


Are you reflecting Jesus or are you reflecting your idea of Jesus? Many people today seem to create their own version of Jesus or God. Not so much as an idol outright, but they don’t like the way that either is portrayed in the Bible or the obedience that is required of them that is also part of God’s Word. These people want to pick and choose which verses in the Bible that they will believe.

are-you-a-reflectionIf you wish to do that, its fine with me, but…what about your eternity? You can choose to believe or not believe that there is a hell even though Jesus says that people will got there. God doesn’t lie, it is not in His nature. So when the Bible says that there is a place where people will be punished for not believing in Jesus and giving their lives to Him, I would take that as the Truth.

When you are the first-born son, genetics usually plays a role in which of your parent’s you look most like. Sometimes you will look like your Dad but have your Mother’s temperament or complexion. Sometimes genetics will skip a generation and you will look like your Dad but have some characteristics of your grandfather, like hair and eye color. God’s Son has His Character in that He can’t lie about anything and He is part of the Trinity so He has the same ability as God the Father, in all things.

Your life and mine, whether you are talking about this life or eternity, are in God’s Hands. He is in control but He allows us the freedom to choose our own fate. You can refuse to give your life to Him and follow Him in your daily life, but your eternity would be most unpleasant. Or you could give your heart to Him, learn everything there is to know about Him from His Word and live daily in His Presence and your eternity is assured to be in Heaven with other believers and with Jesus Himself.

God loves you enough to give you that choice because you can’t force someone to love you, no matter if you are the richest man in the world or if you are God! Love cannot be forced it can only be given freely. Seek out the One Who loves you and Who is Love, perfectly and completely, then you will know real freedom.