The shed blood of Jesus Christ


1 Peter 1:13-21
13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

17 And if you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

john_3_16_17_scripture_memory_card-raf7013e639264b87b918bea9971565b3_vgbaq_8byvr_540Sin deceives you because its roots are from the deceiver, Satan. Sinful actions can and will destroy your life in many ways and in the end of this life, it will bring eternal death which is eternal banishment from the presence of God.

The only way to save yourself from sin and the consequences of it is to believe in Jesus and the blood which He shed for us, each of us, on the cross. The Son of God gave His life for you and for me…He didn’t have to but He wanted to do it. Because He loved each of us far more and deeper than we can know or comprehend.

He redeemed us from sin through His blood shed on the cross for you! The only action needed on your part is belief in Him and the atonement bought by His blood.

Colossians 1:19-22 King James Version (KJV)

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Do you understand what God has done for us? For you and for me? Each person who has ever lived in this world, before the Flood and up until now, is born with a natural bent toward sin! I mean you don’t have to teach anyone to lie and you know it as well as I do.

Tell a toddler not to do something or eat something and you can see their wheels turning trying to figure out how they can get away with doing exactly that! If you are able to catch them right after doing it, whatever it may be, ask them if they did what you told them not to do. Even with crumbs from those cookies on their clothes they will tell you no, they didn’t do that.

In life you see many people behaving exactly the same way, even if they are supposed to be grown-ups. Why is that? It is because until you have a changed heart through the Spirit of God living within you, you are a sinner from the day you are able to decide to do something which you were told not to do! God’s will for your life is to glorify Him in all that you do and the only way for us to do that is to believe in Jesus and the atonement that He bought for us and ask God’s forgiveness based upon that belief.

Now, many religions teach that you can work out your salvation by yourself but that is not true. If that were possible, Jesus died for nothing! No amount of gold or silver or any amount of good works that you or I do in this world can bring salvation to your soul, only belief in Jesus can do that and accepting His atonement for your sins. If you can’t or won’t do that, then you have condemned yourself to hell.

Please, don’t go there, because hell was not made for humanity at all. It was made to punish angels who rebelled against God’s rule and authority including Satan or Lucifer if you know him by that name. Because of deception and our own stubbornness, many people are going to hell and it won’t be a party or a friendly place to be for eternity at all.

Make sure of your salvation in Jesus soon before the church is taken from this Earth, because it is going to happen soon. Plan on being part of that company.

 

Humor, it is a difficult concept.


It feels strange writing words which I heard first in a movie about the Federation of Planets and Star Trek. My blog has nothing to do with science or fiction, but I thought I would start off this way, if for no other reason than to get your attention.

joyHumor and laughter have been proven to be beneficial to our health, mostly in ways that doctors can’t really explain. It does release endorphins which ease pain and it has been shown to help in healing with some cancers and other injuries such as surgical and other breaks in the skin and bone. Here is a quote from one of many sites which give the benefits of laughter: “Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.”

In the stressful times that we live in, sometimes humor is not appropriate and it may cause hurt feelings and anger. Used wrongly, anything good can cause problems, even humor or religion. So, how do we live our lives daily in light of the effects of our beliefs or the effect of laughter? Some might say that you have to live circumspectly. What the heck is that? It is a big word meaning “cautious” living. The definition of it is this: Near synonyms are prudent and cautious, though circumspect implies a careful consideration of all circumstances and a desire to avoid mistakes and bad consequences.

Why should we be cautious in our living on a daily basis? Because today everyone that you meet has a small movie camera and a recording device called a cell phone. Anything that you say or do in front of people is very likely to be posted at some point whether you like it or not! But…Jesus told us to take His Message to the world! So, how can we do that?

One person at a time. I know that is limiting in our reach to those who don’t know Him, but in any town or city today there isn’t a huge crowd of people who will be receptive of His salvation message. Many of them will call it “hate speech” and try to have you arrested or maybe beat you up like they did Paul and Silas. Yes, in these days that we are living in now, life and living is getting to be a hard to understand prospect in light of our mission given to us by Jesus.

God loves each person, regardless of their belief or lack of belief in Jesus or even whether they believe that God exists. Yet, we are supposed to take His message to the world as best as we can. Whether we do it by means like this or by going in person and telling others about our Lord and Savior. One person at a time is the best way to go, maybe two if you can get them to listen. Jesus said to His disciples: Go into all the world; and that is what we should be doing, every day.

Conclusions


In our society, we draw conclusions about everything and most of the time we do it immediately. Especially when it comes to violence in a public place. Writers for many publications are disavowing any responsibility when it comes to owning the reason for any crime which has a violent outcome. In spite of our collective ideas of terrorism, whether it is done by a person of color or of a certain religion, we still tend toward segregation of blame.

If you are Muslim, then you were radicalized. If you are African-American then you are angry; about what doesn’t seem to matter, but that is what the pundits on “news” programs label people as. But when the person is white, they are labeled as insane and a gun nut or even disturbed because of PTSD. Yet, many of them bought their weapons legally with background checks and apparently passed those checks multiple times.

bible-verses-about-the-downheartedThe shooter in the most recent event bought quite a number of guns, some modified to fire more quickly like an automatic. According to what we have heard so far, he actually bought these legally with background checks. So, why didn’t the number of purchases by one individual not raise a flag or at least suspicion? Even if he passed the background checks, the amount of ammunition bought and the number of guns purchased should have gotten someone’s attention.

Why do we or at least some in America make snap judgments about each other and about people who buy firearms and use them. It is true that we only think these things when some person uses a firearm to take lives in a way that is inconsistent with society or its norms. But honestly, any life taken is one which was taken too soon! Murder is against the law of man and God as well! It doesn’t matter if you kill someone with a knife or a gun or a bomb, murder is still against God’s law!

What can make someone snap to the point of shooting at people just because they are convenient targets? I will never understand the kind of crazy that sounds like!

Was God there? Yes, in the first responders who came to the aid of those in danger. He was there with the police who stormed the hotel and found the killer who was taking lives like targets on a range. Yes, God was there and He is still there giving comfort and strength to families and friends and to those who are recovering! We all need to pray for the victims and for our country because there could be another person who may snap and begin to do this somewhere else.

Seek Him out in all things and look for God in every place where you are because He is there, sad though He may be because of our intent and because of the apathy that is in our society today. God still cares and loves all of us, whether we return that love or not is our choice.

 

Wealth and poverty


I read something earlier today that bothered me because it was a kind of put-down of people who don’t have as much as others. In other words, they are poor. The article spoke of someone who eats “ketchup sandwiches, how pathetic”; I am not angry about their attitude but I knew someone who loved those sandwiches and I am married to a lady who liked mayonnaise sandwiches. You know, life throws all of us a curve now and then and sometimes we get hit with it a bit hard at times. When that happens, our life can go “off the rails” so to speak and it isn’t as acceptable or wonderful as other people’s lives.

PovertyWhat is my point with this? Here is a quote from an advertisement for a movie coming out soon:  Wealth and fame crumble when compared to life in Christ. 

Wealth is good when it is used in useful ways to help others and not squandered on things and vacations just because you can. Our lives can be so much more when we give our heart and our lives to Jesus the Christ. Not because He will make us wealthy, but because when we belong to Him…we already are. He is the Creator and we have been adopted into His family! He could give me a pound of platinum in the blink of an eye, but what good is that compared to eternity?

Why do you think that those who live in poverty in many areas of the world, give their lives to Jesus when they hear the message about Him? It is because it doesn’t matter what your circumstances in this life are, when you die and go to be with Him then you will have eternity to worship and praise Him and rule with Him one day. This temporary life with its fickle fame and fortune will be gone one day, whether it is by your death or by the time of Tribulation, none of this stuff matters!

Life is more than money and fame and houses or land! It is about you serving your Savior! He gave up His position in Heaven to come to Earth as a baby and be a man who did not sin and then die for your sins and everyone else’s sins, past, present and future! He did this not for fame or wealth but for LOVE. He, God our Father in Heaven, loves each of us SO MUCH that He gave a part of Himself for each of us, Jesus the Son. If you don’t think that His Son meant as much to Him as your child then you don’t know how deeply God felt. Even I don’t know how deeply God feels our betrayal and our rejection of Him or His Son, nobody can understand this because His ways are not like ours!

Take the time to learn about Him by reading and studying the Bible. Pray about what you read and be still and know that He is God! There is no other! The wealth of the entire world wouldn’t make anyone happy, it would only make them miserable because money cannot buy the things in life which truly matter! No matter how much or how little you have in money, God loves you and will always be there. Money can be taken from you, but it won’t buy love or friendship or anything which gives life its meaning.

This is why poor people always seek Jesus because knowing Him as your Savior makes you an adopted child of God, the Creator of all. What more could you ask for?

Fear, what does it mean to you?


I read this recently and it does make sense, if you look at it the way the definitions are worded.

Fear has two meanings:

Forget Everything And Run  or

Face Everything And Rise

Which would you prefer? We all have a fear of something, it just depends on how deep that fear is regarding how we will react to it. The circumstances also come into play as well because as you get older your fears change. Some will cause less panic than they did when you were young. Some will cause more panic when they confront you as you get older.

Don’t be afraid of things which you have no control over, such as a hurricane or a tornado. God has your future mapped out perfectly and He knows exactly how and when you will die and where you will be tomorrow. His angels will guard you in every step that your life takes you through no matter what you have to face. You are never alone when you have Jesus as your Savior!

But what if you don’t have Jesus in your heart? What do you do then? If you don’t know or you’re not sure about your salvation, then I would say you need to turn to Jesus for your salvation very soon. Why? Because, He is coming back soon and you don’t want to be caught in the camp of the enemy when He does. If you are, then you will find out what FEAR really means!

God loves each of us and He doesn’t want us to be left here during the time of His wrath on Earth, so the simple solution is…don’t be! Give your heart and soul to Jesus today so that you will be caught up with the church when He returns. Seek Him out and get to know Jesus while you have the time because you don’t know when your time is up!

Bible verses about salvation

The classic hymn Amazing Grace says “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me”. In this post you can read a couple of Bible verses about salvation.

For this is the commandment that the Lord has given us:
‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
so that all the world may be saved.’ (Acts 13:47)

I wait patiently for God to save me;
I depend on him alone.
(Psalm 62:1)

Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also, is a descendant of Abraham. The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)

Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us. (Acts 4:12)

I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life. I am telling you the truth: the time is coming—the time has already come—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will come to life. Just as the Father is himself the source of life, in the same way he has made his Son to be the source of life. And he has given the Son the right to judge, because he is the Son of Man. (John 5:24-27)

He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace by means of Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but now it has been revealed to us through the coming of our Savior, Christ Jesus. He has ended the power of death and through the gospel has revealed immortal life. (2 Timothy 1:9-10)

If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God. In the same manner Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many. He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

I am telling you the truth: he who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47)

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior. (John 3:16-17)

 

Have faith in God alone!


Isaiah 43:1-2, this is what the Lord says,” do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned and the flames will not set you ablaze.”

onebreathawayOur Lord and Savior is on His throne and all of these promises are given to those who believe in Him. Seek to do good for those who cannot do for themselves because that is what Jesus would do in this world.

Life, especially life on Earth, is precious to God and He doesn’t look kindly on those who take it lightly. We, the whole of humanity, are His creation and in spite of what some religions teach, God loves each person as His own. Why else would He send Jesus to die and pay the penalty for our transgressions, even before most of us today were born?

Yes, God will protect those who believe in Him and His Son and He will give them life even after this body has died. Will all of us see this come to pass in our lifetime? I don’t know nor could I tell you because only God knows when that time will be. He knows the day and the hour and when the time comes, it will happen and not before. It will also happen when God has determined it will and not because of what we are doing or not doing on Earth.

There are some who think that if they cause more death and destruction on Earth it will force the Tribulation/End Times/Whatever you want to call it to begin, but that is not how God works. Yes, He did bring about the flood because of the evil intent of mankind and Jesus said that the condition of the world would be “like the days of Noah”, but our wickedness is not going to trigger the Tribulation.

God’s timing of events will proceed at the pace which He decides on, not on anything that we are doing or not doing at the time.

Make sure that you are ready and looking for His coming when it does happen, because the world which will be here after the church is taken up will be much worse than the one we have now.

 

So much disagreement!


5thingsgodwantsyou2knowWhy do we disagree with each other so vehemently? It seems that it doesn’t matter what religion or race or political party you belong to at the time, our differences of opinion and culture divide us so much that we can’t seem to find any common ground to work on!

Why!?

As a species and as actually ONE race being human beings or Homo sapiens if you want to get scientific about it, our skin color and our hundreds of different cultures divide us to the point of barely being in any kind of collective community! It seems that, if you ask a question on one side of a room and then ask the same question on the other side, you will come up with many, many different answers to that same question…even if it is a simple one!

We just can’t agree on much at all, except what color the Sun is and that grass is green when it has water.

Is it possible for us to work around those differences or maybe work through them in order to find a way to get along long enough to NOT kill each other over ideology or religion?

Truly…in the world today, with all of the “politically correct” police all over the place, I doubt that we would ever fix any of the problems which are in our society now! When people are being told that they can’t say certain things or they will be put in jail for using the improper pronoun in reference to a person, regardless of their “born gender”; I don’t see any possible way of getting our world into a more compassionate and tolerant world.

Search the scriptures to find the wisdom of God in all of this. Because His Word is the only truth which is actually True. I understand that is a statement which is intolerant and narrow-minded but consider the same restrictions from Islam toward many of our freedoms and the lifestyles of people in the world? They don’t just preach and tell unbelievers that their sins according to Allah and the Holy Koran are wrong, in many instances the infidels are shoved from a rooftop or in some other way killed!

Has a Christian or Jewish church or temple ever done such a thing? I realize that during the 1500’s and 1600’s there were beheadings and wars and things such as that by the “church” of the time, but I am speaking of now…today!? No, the church of today doesn’t condone any kind of killing because you are sinning against God, because Jesus said that we are to love our fellow-man as He loved the people around Him. You cannot love someone and kill them!

Seek Jesus out in your situation and in the lives of those around you. Tell them about His love for them and that it is available to all who will believe in Jesus! Do this while there is time and breath in our bodies, because when the Trumpet of God sounds it will be too late.

Why do you believe?


There are many reasons why people have their different beliefs about…religion, sexuality, occupation, money or a host of other things in life. I am not going into all of them here. Your belief in religion could get you into an eternal hell. Why? Because it isn’t the religion which brings you to salvation! Jesus does.

IamtheWayIt isn’t a hard thing to believe in Jesus because He did come to Earth and die for all of man’s sins, past, present and future. Whether we accept it and believe it as the Truth of the Bible is another matter. Many don’t believe it, mostly because they see Jesus as He was…a man or a prophet. They don’t see nor do they recognize Him as the Son of God. Why? The Bible tells the story of His birth, most of His life after He began His ministry, and His death on the cross and His resurrection. The Bible is God’s Word, so why not believe it?

It’s words are inspired by the Spirit of God and since He cannot lie, all of it is true, so why not believe it? Because most people really don’t want to believe it nor do they expect it to be true. The facts are these: since it is God’s Word, inspired by Him and attested to be true by proofs of His majesty and power, there is no reason NOT to believe the prophecies or the history within its pages. You can choose to ignore parts of it or to decide that you will not believe in the things which it says, but that doesn’t change the fact that God’s Word always accomplishes that which He wants it to do.

Your belief in Him or His Word has no effect on whether it will be true and will come true or not because God will cause all of the promises and prophecies to come true in His time and at the appointed time for them. Our belief or lack of belief has no effect on His purposes. They will come to fruition…because God loves us.

It is because of His great love for us that He sent Jesus to pay our debts on the cross. We need to understand that our responsibility is to love Him and serve Him with all of our mind, soul, body and strength in this life, regardless of our vocation or our financial ability. God will make you into a real messenger for His Kingdom, if you will give your heart, mind and soul to Him.

Our world would be so much better than it is IF we would commit to doing this every day of our lives. If you have not given your life to Jesus, please consider doing so. Nobody knows when your last breath will be and the end of the age is approaching faster than most realize. Don’t wait…seek Him out for your eternity today!

Walking in faith


If you have ever been in a church service which preaches from God’s Word, then you have heard this phrase. But was it ever explained to you?

It isn’t some fanciful way of living or some magic way of doing things, but one of submitting yourself to the Spirit of God and Jesus in your everyday life. Being thankful for all that you have, whether it is good or bad, because God is bigger than all of our problems. He Who created everything, takes care of you and me and all who are on this world…not because He has to but because He loves us. On those days when you feel that nearly everything that you do is going wrong, He is still there to give you strength and help you get through it.

madewholeinHeavenDuring the days and nights of those who have to spend time in treatment for cancer or an accident, He is there. In the hospital or the ambulance or on the road going from one place to another, He is with you.

If you don’t know Jesus the Christ, then your life is in turmoil even if it doesn’t seem so right now. Why? Because you are living in the camp of Satan and the world itself. You are doing those things, good or bad, which please you and you alone without a thought to who may or may not be watching. God sees all that you are doing and if you are not His, it breaks His heart but He won’t force you to come to Him. Love and devotion cannot be forced and cannot be given without love in return.

Faithful living and living thankfully toward God for His grace and mercy is something which can’t be done without Jesus in your heart. You can fake being a believer by acting good in front of others and attending church, you can even practice it well enough to be a Pastor of a church and be perceived as righteous…but God knows your heart.

When you die, which all of us will one day, you will stand before God and you will do it with the righteousness of Christ’s blood to cover your sins or in your own righteousness without Him. In the first your life will be an honor to God and you will be welcomed into His Presence, if you stand under your own cloak of self-righteousness then there is no grace and no amount of goodness which will save you. You are without Jesus and His Grace and your every thought and word and deed will be laid bare, without forgiveness. You will be cast away from the Presence of God into the hell which was prepared, not for mankind but for Satan and his demonic forces.

Think about this before you decide to live your life on your own terms and not with Jesus in your life. Without Him we have nothing to boast of but with Him we have everything!.

Walls and obstacles


Many times in your life, whether you are a Christian or not, you will come up against walls. Some of them are built by pain, some of them are built by envy or jealousy, some of them are built by a disease which causes you pain in a very deep emotional way. We all have to scale these walls and barriers at some point, some of them are hard to climb because they are so big, but they can be torn down.

Oh, we can’t do this by ourselves though, regardless of what counselors and some doctors may tell you. Walls, whether built by emotions, disease, death, jealousy, racism, or hatred, can only be broken down by God’s work in your heart and in your life. Day by day, walking with Him and seeking His wisdom and strength by which we can take the walls down brick by brick is the only way.

BreakingDownWallsIt is not a quick process and it isn’t easy either, especially when you have been able to take care of yourself in other situations in your life. What makes this so difficult or any different? It’s because of what the walls and barriers are made from. The ones which are so difficult are made from emotions like fear, anger, resentment, racism, hate, envy and greed. There are others, but you get the point. These walls keep out those who care about you, whether it is God or friends and family!

Each of us feels the effect of these barriers in some way or another, sometimes the effect on us is that which causes a disease or pain. Emotions can do this and the ones which hurt the most usually do the most damage. It may take a little time before you feel the effects of it, but until it is resolved in some way, it will only get worse over time. In particular, anger and hatred which are unresolved or unforgiven will give you ulcers and possibly high blood pressure and they will make other conditions worse. Do the research yourself if you don’t believe me, but I am not pulling your leg.

Barriers and walls made from emotional bricks can cause more hurt and pain than many people realize. It doesn’t have to be anger or hatred which cause these walls, it can be envy, or any of a number of other emotions which I named earlier. All of them get in the way of relationships, especially your relationship with God. Seek His help in resolving these walls, breaking them down to the point where you can still have a relationship with Him daily. He can do it but He wants to do it with you!

I had these problems for a very long time, and at times they still pop up and blur my “spiritual vision” in a way. I usually sit down and talk with God about it as soon as I realize what is happening, and it soon resolves itself or God helps me to resolve it. Give it a try, ask God to help you because He is bigger than any problem or wall that may be in your life and He can help you bring it down.