Provisions


Have you ever thought of the things which you have as provisions given to you by God? They truly are that and more! God has blessed each of us with life and health and hopefully a job so that we can support a family too. Everything that you have been blessed with came from God. Even if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, these gifts have been given to you from God Himself. Is it possible for your health and your prosperity to have been given to you from Him too? Of course, it is!

You will notice that I said, “provisions” not possessions. Why did I use a different word than the one that many people want to use today? Because God provides us with provisions which we need not possessions which we want! God doesn’t give us our wants, translate as luxuries, He gives us the needs in our lives. He gives you your life, your food, and your home and your family. What does that sound like? Blessings and provision.

God doesn’t hold back the good things of this world from us, whether we have given our lives to Jesus and are followers of Him or not. So how much more could you be doing for His Kingdom if you truly are His follower and a disciple of His? In our technological world today it doesn’t take a lot to be a witness for Jesus in many places other than where you live. Take me for instance. I am disabled and can’t work in a regular job, but I can witness for my Savior all over the world through the power of the Internet.

Granted, my witness here can’t reach those in places where the access to it isn’t there, but it can reach many places.

Your witness and mine are useful to God’s Kingdom in many more ways than just an article on the Internet. We can take our witness with us just as the disciples and the early church fathers did. Witness to others by your actions and your words. Even if you aren’t speaking to someone directly, they will see your actions and hear your words even if you don’t think anyone is listening.

When you have children they hear things that you don’t think they did and it is the same with people everywhere. God loves each of us and He wants you to come to salvation through Jesus. But, unless you hear about Jesus and the salvation available through Him, you won’t know about it until you hear, whether it is by reading something or by a sermon at a church. God provides salvation to those who are seeking it and many won’t seek it until they hear about Him and the hope that is available through Jesus.

What do you deserve?


Spiritually we don’t deserve any favor or forgiveness from Almighty God. What? Are you kidding me? God doesn’t owe you anything! 

Scary, huh? God doesn’t owe you anything except punishment, especially when we have not repented of our sinful lives and given our heart and our life to Him to live for Him during our life here on Earth! I don’t think many people even consider this issue unless they are convicted of their sins by the Holy Spirit at some point.

Think about the definition of grace and mercy, here are the plain definitions of those words:

Grace: (in Christian belief) is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. … There was nothing we could do to earn this salvation for ourselves. Mercy: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

So, considering that God is Perfect and Holy, what would He require of you to earn your salvation? Nothing. Why? Because, since we are not perfect and holy we can’t accomplish the requirements which are necessary for our sanctification! God loves every person on Earth and He wants to have a relationship with each one of you. The only Person Who could pay the price for ALL of humanity’s sins was Jesus, God’s Son.

Jesus came to pay that price for every person and it doesn’t cost us one cent to believe in Him and in His sacrifice for each of us. We cannot pay the price for any part of our salvation because the cost is more than we can pay. We are not worthy to be saved but through your grace and mercy, the gift of salvation is offered to us as a gift from you to them. If they will believe that You did this for them and accept it in Jesus’ name, they will be saved.

The concept of being given this tremendous gift, which we really don’t deserve, is hard for some to understand but the manner in which we can have it is easy…simply believe in the One Who provided it for us. Believe that He did it, not out of obligation but because He loved us enough that He wanted to provide a way for us to be with Him throughout eternity!

We, meaning all of humanity, have all been given this wonderful gift by our Creator. A gift which we do not deserve and could never repay Him for because of the pain and the suffering which Jesus went through and which God shared in, yet it is a wonderful gift. The gift of God’s Love through Jesus for all of us! That is the gift we have been given. Along with the grace and mercy which poured from out Savior’s veins and the cuts and the nail prints and the suffering which He endured because of our sins, which had to be paid for so we could have a relationship with God, face to face one day in eternity.

None of this would be possible for us to attain through any effort of our own. God is the Creator and there is nothing in the universe that He doesn’t own already. So, there is no amount of gold or silver or jewels which we could offer for our entrance into Heaven since He owns all of the gold and silver and jewels in the entire universe! According to some theories, it may rain diamonds on Neptune so how many other planets could this be happening on? The treasure of one person or the entire wealth of the Earth doesn’t compare to the worth of our souls in the eyes of God.

LetitbeJesus

Understanding your role (part 3)


I didn’t realize that my sermon was quite so long, so I am having to add another post to finish it. I hope that you enjoy it. Remember, the first part is at http://inhisservicetilhecomes.com.

Part 2 was published on this site, so it should be easy to put them together. Try to read them in sequence so you get the context of the whole sermon.

This is the final piece so here it is:

In other words, do what Jesus did in that He took care of those having faith in Him with prayer and supplications often and He healed their afflictions in so much that it would give glory to God the Father. Of course, He kept himself from the sins of this world which is nigh impossible for us to do except that we have to  live in the Word and be praying to God for the strength to do so while we are present in this body.

Why does James call us to be strong in our faith and our walk with Jesus? Because of the witness that we have by claiming Jesus as our Savior. If you aren’t living out your faith on a daily walk with Him, then how will people be able to tell if you are a true Christian?

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said it like this when he preached from this chapter:

“It is your faith which is tried. It is supposed that you have that faith. You are not the people of God, you are not truly brethren unless you are believers. It is this faith of yours which is peculiarly obnoxious to Satan and to the world which lieth in the wicked one. The hand of faith is against all evil, and all evil is against faith. Faith is that blessed grace which is most pleasing to God, and hence it is most displeasing to the devil. He rages at faith because he sees therein his own defeat and the victory of grace. Because the trial of your faith brings honour to the Lord, therefore the Lord Himself is sure to try it that out of its trial praise may come to His grace by which faith is sustained. It is by our faith that we are saved, justified, and brought near to God, and therefore it is no marvel that it is attacked. Faith is the standard bearer, and the object of the enemy is to strike him down that the battle may be gained. It is by our faith that we live; we began to live by it, and we continue to live by it, for “the just shall live by faith.” Hold fast, therefore, this your choice treasure. It is by faith, too, that Christians perform exploits. Faith is the conquering principle: therefore it is Satan’s policy to slay it even as Pharaoh sought to kill the male children when Israel dwelt in Egypt”.

(http://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/spurgeon/all_joy_in_all_trials.htm)

In conclusion, we are to live out our faith daily, sometimes hourly if the temptation is ongoing, so that we will be counted as God’s adopted and influence others to want what we have found in Him! Amen?

About Dad and Father’s Day


My father died in 2001 from a heart attack. My grandfather died in 1995 due to untreated COPD, although he never smoked as far as I know. I think it was due to his hobby of woodworking and breathing sawdust for many years. These were the two father figures in my life. One who was with me while growing up and one that wasn’t.

fathers-day-002I spent many hours, days even, being angry and hurt while I was growing up. Especially during my teen years. I felt betrayed and tossed aside by my dad, and my grandfather as good as he was didn’t know how to help me. I now realize that I wasn’t tossed aside by my dad, and my grandfather was at a loss about how to handle my feelings.

My real problem was that I got conflicting stories about our relationships. Sometimes it went one way and everything was OK. Then, later it would change and there would be frustration and bitterness mixed in with other feelings and being a teenager didn’t help. We would go to church and I would hear about the love of God and how we are supposed to emulate Him in our lives.

Then we would get home and things were…different. Nothing like what I had heard in church. There was no abuse or anything like that, but God’s Word wasn’t spoken of or read in our house until my grandfather was over 80. I would find him reading and studying the Bible then, but that didn’t happen while I was younger.

In many ways I would like to thank my father and grandfather for showing me what NOT to do in this life. So that when I became a father myself I would tell my son that I love him and I began reading the Bible when he was small. When he was 12 I became the pastor of a small church, so he got to see me preparing for sermons, praying and studying God’s Word.

Fathers have a lot on their shoulders, sometimes grandfathers do too. The only One Who can help the ENTIRE family to muddle through the teen years and come out still smiling and being a family is Jesus. Having that foundation in my life and my family’s life has helped me so much while raising my son. Since my family was broken before I even knew what a family was, I had no idea how to be a dad.

Thankfully, my wife and I had given our lives to Jesus before our son was born, although we were busy with work and I had gone back to school before I knew we were even having a child. Our life with Jesus suffered because of our work during this time because while I was in school, I worked in the lab at the hospital on the weekends. Sunday was my wife’s only day off, so many weekends during that time neither of us went to church. I do regret that, but it can’t be changed now.

God loves all of us and He doesn’t want us to live our lives without Him, but there are so many who choose to do this. Why? Because, love can’t be forced upon someone. God knows us better than we know ourselves because He has known us since before we were born, even from the beginning of creation. Just as any father on Earth, God wants a relationship with us. Seek to learn more about Him by reading His Word and praying for Him to reveal its wisdom to you for your life.

Have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Are you angry with God?


Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:13–14)

angerMany of us get angry when God doesn’t answer a prayer the way that we want Him to, but consider that He doesn’t have to answer your prayer the way that you want! God is Who He is and it is His prerogative and His desire to do great and mighty things with you and for you, but He doesn’t answer to you! We should not be angry with our Creator at all because it is His grace and mercy which keeps us and the rest of the universe in balance and alive.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3)

Life is full of disappointments but most of the time, those things which didn’t go our way are not God’s denial of something for you. Usually it is because of OUR attitude or our prayer life or lack of one. It seems that many so-called “preachers” teach that God can be bargained with or forced to give you what YOU want in life. Seriously? You or I can’t force the Creator of the universe to DO anything! He will bless you in the way that HE sees as best for your life and your situation, NOT the way that you want it.

God is not your grandfather, nor is He like Santa either! He blesses us with life every day that we wake up and gives us the energy and ability to do our job regardless of what that job may be. If you are a pastor like I am, then He gives you the words which are needed to encourage others to come to know Jesus and to learn more about Him. Which is where all of these posts have come from. I certainly couldn’t come up with this stuff on my own!

Being angry with God does you no good at all. In fact it will quench the Holy Spirit’s actions in your life. Why would you be angry with God after all? It may be that your child has died or your doctor has given you a diagnosis which is not good. Being angry with God for any reason is like being angry with a tree because it sits in a certain place, you could cut the tree down but other than that what good does your anger do? Anger toward God is like being angry with a wall of concrete. You can’t get rid of it, you can’t push it down and beating against it won’t do anything except hurt yourself. God loves you, regardless of your anger or your hate toward Him. Seek Him out and learn about His patience and love for mankind.

God can do all things which we cannot, but don’t expect Him to give you the desires of your heart if it doesn’t bring glory and honor to Him. When your will aligns with His, then your prayers in Jesus’ name will be fulfilled!

Easter…did it happen?


empty_tomb11We celebrate Easter by doing some strange things like dying eggs and watching for the Easter bunny, but those things have nothing to do with Christianity. So why are they and this holiday part of our religion? Partly because the early church wanted to bring pagans into the church, so they adopted the spring festival that the pagans used to celebrate the renewal of life in the spring as the holiday to represent the resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus’ resurrection did not occur in the way that many people think, at least not according to the Easter celebration. Yes, Jesus was raised to life after three days. Yes, He walked out of the tomb with a new body, but still bearing the scars which He kept because of His sacrifice for us on the cross. Those from the scourging that He bore, were gone. None of the gospel writers tell of any of those scars being seen, which is interesting because the prophecies and some historians of the time said that He was unrecognizable from them.

God can and does heal any disease, even today, and those scars were healed because He bore them for us. God hasn’t stopped healing people and it confounds our doctors today because they can’t understand how someone who was so near death could show no sign of cancer or any other disease, without treatment. The love which God has for us is a type of love which we can’t understand with our mortal, human minds. But…God can work through our prayers and by our faith in Him and His power to work things in such a way that we can’t explain it.

That resurrection morning, when Jesus came out of the tomb, the stone was rolled away by God’s power. It may have been an angel who rolled it away, so that Mary and the disciples could see into the tomb, but it was still the power of God that worked through it all. Your sins and mine were taken away with that resurrection and the work of Jesus Who gave Himself as a Perfect Lamb and sacrifice for all of humanity’s sins. All that we need to do is to listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us and when we hear it, we should respond in faith.

When you do that, your heart is changed into a new creation and you are too. You are no longer the same person who came to church or was reading the Bible and felt the touch of God on your life. You did not do anything other than believe in what you heard or read and the Holy Spirit touched your spirit, your heart, and you accepted the greatest Gift that has ever been given to us! Each of us who have accepted that Gift never have to worry about our eternal reward, because it is sealed in the Blood of Jesus!

When you know that you have given your heart to Him, then the only testimony needed is your baptism. It is a symbolic of your death to sin and then rising to walk in the newness of Life with Jesus. Is it necessary for your salvation? No, but it is a testimony to others of what has happened. Then, read God’s Word and pray about what you read so that He can teach you from it and reveal His Truth to you. While you do that, tell others about Him and what He did for you.

Because, God loves you and He did all of this for you and for me and for everyone who has given their lives to Him through faith. Seek Him out in His Word and at a Bible teaching church, learn about your Savior because He already knows you better than you know yourself.

False teachers


Jesus said that there would be false teachers that would come claiming to be Him, especially during this time that we live in. It is happening now. They aren’t getting much coverage yet, but they will. I caution you, beware of people, teachers who claim to be the incarnation of Christ or the “new” Christ. If you hear this from someone, especially someone who is acting as a teacher or preacher, RUN!

The angels told Jesus’ disciples that He will come back in the manner in which you have seen Him go. Jesus said that He would come back one day to set up His Kingdom on this Earth, and all will see Him and know that it is Him when it happens. There won’t be a question about it. Read God’s Word and learn from Him, not some person who wants to take your money and live like a “god” because you think that what he says is true.

False teachers are all over the world, not just in America, but it seems that more of them are coming out of the closet to be seen in the news and by people these days. The thing is, it is only going to get worse as the time draws nearer to the time of Tribulation spoken of in Revelation. More and more will show up, claiming all kinds of miracles and some may even perform some which will deceive many people! These are not the Christ, our Messiah, Jesus the Son of God!

His appearance will be seen by everyone without the aid of television or the Internet and it will be evident to all when He comes. Games and virtual reality will not show Him, but everyone will know that He has come! Some will cry because they weren’t ready for His return and some will be angry because of His return. Life will change everywhere in a moment, in the “twinkling of an eye” those who belong to Him will be taken up to be with Him, and those who have already died will be given their bodies as they are raised immortal!

This is not some fantasy, it is predicted by the Son of God and it will come to pass. If you don’t know Him, I suggest that you seek Him out and find out about Him and what it means to be a believer! When the Tribulation begins, it will be harder to become a Christian because of the persecution and because of the hatred toward Christians. Many planes and cars will crash on that day, so there will be many deaths on that day that are blamed on Christians and their God!

Don’t fall into that trap! Seek Him out while He can be found, today!