What is your experience?


Have you thought about your experience with Jesus? What about your salvation? The reason that I am asking this question is that each of us experiences each one in a different way. Some of us get emotional and nearly fall apart because of the grace that is given to us when we accept Him. Some of us fall down and worship Jesus and walk away from the experience a changed person and one which will do all that they can by telling others about Him.

The experience, especially if it is truly genuine, changes your heart spiritually and your life permanently! Salvation is not an experience which you can go through without the Holy Spirit and choose to turn it on or off when you want to go back where you were. True salvation begins when your heart is broken because of the Holy Spirit showing you through faith that your life is sinful and it needs to change. Sometimes this realization is brought about at a church service other times it is by a night or three or more in a jail cell. God will use whatever is necessary to get your attention and sometimes it is painful.

God loves us but like any Father or Mother, He sometimes has to use tough love to get a stubborn child to listen! Many times…we truly need this tough love and until God has your undivided attention, He will bang your head against whatever is necessary to make you listen. Why do I say this? Because, when God wants you to listen and He has a specific lesson or purpose for you, that only you can fulfill, He will not let go until you come around.

God knows the talents and gifts which He has given to you. You may not be aware of them until you have given your heart and life to Him, most of us aren’t. I never would’ve gotten in front of a group of people to speak for ten minutes or more if I had not been called by Him to be a preacher. I struggled against this calling for years until finally He got my attention enough and didn’t really give me a choice about it.

Some people think that God forces us to salvation, but that isn’t true. He will call to you and prod your heart, sometimes for years, but until you realize that you need Him in your life, it won’t make much difference. If you think that you have an arrangement with God and consider yourself good enough without accepting Him as your Lord and Savior, you may never hear His call on your life because you don’t think you need Him or the salvation that He is offering.

At that point, you are just like those Pharisees in Jesus’ day…too religiously minded to be any Earthly good to themselves or to anyone else! God only uses those who know that they need Him. Truly our Creator doesn’t need us in any way other than what He can see in your heart and your life. He can cause things to work out in His time so that your life or mine will line up with His will and purpose. He has already given you a talent or gift that He can use in His Kingdom but only if you answer the call on your life to change like the disciples did.

Peter denied the Lord three times on the night of His “mock trial” before going to Pilate. Paul was a Pharisee and was doing everything that the priests would give him permission to do in order to get rid of the “Jesus followers” or the Way. Both of these men were changed by the Lord’s actions of redemption and healing toward Peter and by Jesus’ confrontation of Paul on the Damascus road. Both of these men became true witnesses to the Gentile world as well as to the Jews after their redemption and conversion.

So…what about you? Are you willing to give your heart to Jesus as a follower and a disciple? If you have felt His call on your life, don’t put it off or ignore it. God loves you.

 

Salvation, is it important to you?


Many people seem to think that being a Christian is not fun, but they could not be more wrong. Living as a follower of Jesus today is not easy but the rewards of being a follower of His are worth more than ALL of the money in the world! To God, your soul is worth more than the entire world! Just ONE soul in God’s Kingdom is worth more than all of the wealth in the world, imagine how much value He places on all of us?

Believing in Jesus and His atonement for you and your family is all that is necessary to be saved, then follow Him, learn about Him, read His Word, seek His counsel in all things. Living daily for Him is not a joy ride that you take on one certain Sunday. It is not something which you do because you are in trouble or you have been given a bad diagnosis. Yes, He is to be sought out when things like this happen but He is to be followed every day of your life even after the problems are taken care of!

Jesus endured all of the stripes from the whip used on Him without a word, as well as the nailing to the cross and He did this because it was necessary for the atonement which He came to provide for us. The agony was not something which He sought because in the garden He had asked the Father if it was possible for this cup to pass from Him, yet not my will but thine. Jesus was sweating drops of blood in His anguish before this trial, but He did it anyway.

The Creator of the universe allowed His creation to whip Him with a cruel cat of nine which tore flesh and reached down to the bone at times under the hand of Roman soldiers who hated the people where they were tasked with keeping the peace. They took out their hate and frustration on Him and never thought about it until afterward. At least some of them repented after He arose from the grave according to historical documents.

Could He refuse to go to the cross? Yes. He could have come down or struck down those who put Him there? Yes, but if He had we wouldn’t have salvation granted to us and anyone else who believes in Him and His message.

Life today has many hardships even in America. Most of the world doesn’t think so, but there are many problems which we have that are fixable IF we will turn back to Him. Follow Him, believe in Him, read His Word, and do His Work while we are here instead of being selfish and proud and taking care of just one person….me.

When you do that you have declared that you are your own god because you are more important than anyone else. Our problems are multiplied in this world because it isn’t just one person who is doing this. It is almost every person in the world! Very few take care of others very much. Oh, you see a few hundred who will sacrifice themselves or their comfort when problems arise, but if we did this as a country on a daily or weekly basis the entire world would be so much better off!

Acting as Jesus would in every situation is something which is not normal for us. It is hard for us to understand and practice that way of life, but that is what the Christian life is supposed to be like! Seek Him out in every situation, His wisdom and His direction for your decisions because if you can’t do that or if you won’t do that…then how can you truly claim the distinction of being a Christian?

We need to be close


Our world is cracked and shattered today by violence which happened last night in Las Vegas. Nobody knows why the shooter did what he did, no rational person would do such a thing. Is there an explanation for this? Yes, there is evil in our world and we can’t ignore it. Men are evil, Satan is evil and yet people are wanting to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. The shooter bought his guns legally with FBI background checks, what snapped? What happened?

Honestly, we will not know for sure. His brother said that he doesn’t know why or what could have brought this on. Nobody knows for sure, except God. The shooter has been judged by Him and is likely being punished in hell right now. Taking a life which is made in the image of God is not something that God dismisses. A Christian could not have done this, so he is likely in hell and will be for eternity.

We should be seeking God’s strength and His Presence today, not trying to take the rights of people to own guns. It is true that an owner of many guns is the person responsible for this tragedy, but what started this or what set him on the path to do such a thing…nobody knows except for God. I know that I am repeating myself, but it is so shocking until it is hard to understand or even get your mind to begin to comprehend.

Pray for the families who have family members injured or recovering or even killed in this horrible tragedy. This is not the time to place blame or seek revenge on law-abiding citizens because of the act of one person whose sanity snapped in some way.

Seek out Jesus and look to God’s Word for comfort in times like these.bible-verses-about-the-downhearted