Sacrifice


Does anyone think about this word or what it entails at all these days? What is a sacrifice for you today? Do you even consider a sacrifice in your daily living?

To be truthful about it most of us don’t consider it at all. Sacrifice is something which is just not considered in any part of our society, not just in America but in many parts of the world. Although in some countries sacrifice is a daily part of life because that is just how life is in those countries. It is something which many young people have no concept of at all, particularly today.

Our Lord sacrificed His deity and His Life to ransom our souls and our sins to rescue us from an eternity in hell. It is only fitting that we should sacrifice some things in this life in order to serve Him as well. The Christians from the beginning of the church at Jerusalem sacrificed their lives many times during the past two thousand years. Many were burned at the stake or crucified or fed to lions and other beasts because of their faith in Jesus.

While it is true that we are not being persecuted in that way today, at least in America, in some countries Christians are being killed for their beliefs. As many as 1,000 every day. This will only get worse in the coming years, particularly after the church is taken up to Heaven. During the Tribulation there will be millions killed for not worshiping the one who is in power at the time, the antichrist. Life will be harder than it is now and there won’t be a church to turn to for prayer or help in those days, at least not like we have now.

I pray that anyone who reads this will seek out Jesus and give your life and your heart to Him. Pray for your salvation now while there is yet time to do so.

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Wisdom is found in God


Proverbs says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“, but what does that mean? Fear in this instance is reverence, not fear as in being afraid of. God is holy and perfect so consider being in His presence, how do you think you would feel? Humble? In awe of Him? Unworthy of being in His presence?

You would likely feel all of these in such a way that you would worship Him on your face at the time. God is our Creator and He is the power which holds all of the cosmos in place. There is no “dark matter” or some other unseen force which is keeping the planets and galaxies from flying apart, it is God’s power which holds all things in check and in place!

God’s Word is our guide for our life and we should be studying it in order to live by it but there are many people who are ignoring it altogether in the world we live in today. His love for our lives is what is keeping His wrath in abeyance until the day when the church is taken from the Earth. When that happens, those who are still here will find out what a world without His influence really feels like. During those seven years, the punishment will get progressively worse and there is nothing that mankind can do to stop it.

This is foretold in the book of Revelation, yet many people don’t believe the prophecies of this book. Because it uses fantastic imagery to describe what is happening and how it is happening. The apostle John saw things which his mind had no way of interpreting so he had to use images which were known at the time. Animals and stones and fire which his readers, the churches of the day, could understand in some small way. Even today we can’t quite understand many of the meanings which these images portray but they are frightening.

Why are they so fearsome to us? Because we don’t understand the meaning of them and what they portend for the world itself. The time of Tribulation will not be a time of joy and happiness for those who reject God and His Son in particular. The Earth and the inhabitants here will experience the wrath of God and it will not be a “fairy tale” or a myth! Not believing in Him will not keep His punishment from falling on you and everyone around you.

I pray that any who do not believe in Jesus for salvation today will get on their knees and ask Him into their hearts because when this time does come on the Earth and you are here, it will be even harder, if not impossible to decide to ask Him into your heart. The system in the world will be telling everyone that if you don’t worship the “one in power” and take his mark, you will be killed. Also, if you don’t take his mark, you will not be able to buy food or water or electricity. Make this decision now while there is time to do so.

The end of the season


Summer-to-FallWe have finished the summer season, although here in the Deep South, the heat will linger on until sometime in late September or possibly through October. We only have two seasons anyway, less heat and more heat. Usually with the “more heat” we also get more rain and more humidity too, so late spring for most everyone is sticky for us and it only gets more sticky as the summer goes on. Life, of course, goes on. We have mildew and mold in places where it should not be. After April or early May, it is not enjoyable to watch the Braves play baseball in Pearl because even sitting in the stands you are wringing wet with sweat (which is why I never buy season tickets).

Yep, seasons in the South are rarely the kind that you can actually enjoy outside. You just trudge through the humidity and the ticks and the mosquitos and hope you don’t come down with West Nile virus or Lyme disease. Living in Mississippi is not exactly a challenge as much as it is an ongoing ordeal in humidity. By now, you have probably noticed that I don’t really like the humidity here. Even though I have lived here since I was five, I would much rather live in the Midwest.

But, economics and all that goes with it demands that I stay put so I do. The Bible says that we are placed in the world to be light and hope for others. We are also to be the voice of Jesus in the places where we live and work, by telling others about Him when the situation comes along. So why aren’t we doing this? As members of the church and the body of Jesus Christ on Earth, we are supposed to be His feet and hands and mouth by doing what He would do and going where He would go and telling others about the grace offered to them through God’s grace.

This is the commission which He gave to His disciples when He went to Heaven and it is still valid for us today. As scripture says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

We are supposed to be those who tell others about Jesus so that they will have a chance to know Him and come into eternity when He returns. If we don’t do this when we have the chance to do it, then it will fall on each of us as taking away some of our rewards in Heaven. Those who have been near you who don’t know about Jesus, especially if they have asked you about Him, are the field which is white unto harvest.

We are supposed to tell them so that God can have more people brought into His Kingdom. You don’t have to preach or be a missionary, just tell anyone who asks what He has done for you in all things. This medium is a good way to do this but you should be ready when someone is seeking the reason for your joy.

Think on this…


Shoes in Church
I showered and shaved……………. I adjusted my tie.

I got there and sat……………. In a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer………… As I closed my eyes.

I saw the shoe of the man next to me……. Touching my own. I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side……… I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’

It bothered me, his shoe touching mine.. But it didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began: ‘Our Father’…………. I thought,
‘This man with the shoes, has no pride. They’re dusty, worn, and scratched.
Even worse, there are holes on the side!’

‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on.

The shoe man said…………….. A quiet ‘Amen.’

I tried to focus on the prayer……. But my thoughts were on his shoes again..

Aren’t we supposed to look our best. When walking through that door?

‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended………… And the songs of praise began .

The shoe man was certainly loud….. Sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters…….. His hands were raised high.

The Lord could surely hear.. The shoe man’s voice from the sky.

It was time for the offering…….. And what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the shoe man reached…. Into his pockets so deep.

I saw what was pulled out………. What the shoe man put in.

Then I heard a soft ‘clink’ as when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me………. To tears, and that’s no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man… For tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service…….. As is the custom here.

We must greet new visitors, And show them all good cheer.

But I felt moved somehow……….. And wanted to meet the shoe man.

So after the closing prayer…….. I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was dark….. And his hair was truly a mess…..

But I thanked him for coming………. For being our guest…

He said, ‘My name’s Charlie………… I’m glad to meet you, my friend.’

There were tears in his eyes……… But he had a large, wide grin..

‘Let me explain,’ he said…………. Wiping tears from his eyes.

‘I’ve been coming here for months…… And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.”

‘I know that my appearance………..Is not like all the rest.

‘But I really do try………………..To always look my best.’

‘I always clean and polish my shoes…Before my very long walk.’

‘But by the time I get here……..They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.’

My heart filled with pain………… And I swallowed to hide my tears.

As he continued to apologize………. For daring to sit so near

He said, ‘When I get here………… I know I must look a sight.’

‘But I thought if I could touch you….Then maybe our souls might unite.’

I was silent for a moment…………. Knowing whatever was said

Would pale in comparison…. I spoke from my heart, not my head.

‘Oh, you’ve touched me,’ I said…….’And taught me, in part’

‘That the best of any man…………..Is what is found in his heart.’

The rest, I thought,…………… This shoe man will never know.

Like just how thankful I really am…. That his dirty old shoe touched my soul

Live each day as your last, for we never know our time here on earth. Love and Peace My Friends and remember that it is not how we look on the outside but how we look within .

I saw this on Facebook and just wanted to share it with you.

Games


ArcadegavesIf you know a teenager or have one still hanging out at home, then you know about their fascination with games. Mostly electronic games like the ones played on portable devices, cell phones, game consoles, etc. If you can get one to try a game of Magic the Gathering cards and sit down and play it, then good for you as long as they have their own money to put into this.

I played video games back in the days of arcades, early ’80’s and late ’70’s. Yes, I am old. The thing is, I liked playing those old arcade games because they were challenging even then. You were trying to get as many points as possible in the time allotted for your quarter. Some of us were pretty good, some of us just lost money depending on when game we were playing. Some of the games I played at an arcade in the Metro-Center, I didn’t care how much money I played out…it was FUN!

Why bring up games on a site which normally has posts about Jesus and His love for us? Because, it doesn’t matter if you play games in the real world or if you are playing in a virtual world, He still loves you and He wants you to know about it. Games, for the most part, are not going to point you in the direction of Jesus or the Bible. They show you how to use fictional weapons in fantastic battles or something like that. But…consider the battles that are mentioned in the Bible.

Samson killed a lion with his bare hands and carried of the doors of a walled city on his shoulders. He even killed one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass! Then there is David when he went to fight Goliath and he did it with five smooth stones from the river. He only needed one to kill Goliath, so I guess the other four would have been for his brothers. So, what is my point in bringing games into a Bible study website? My point is this: if you have to use a game to get someone interested in the Word of God, then do it!

God does have a sense of humor after all. Consider the look on the Philistine’s faces when Goliath fell and that Hebrew boy took his sword and removed his head from his body! Some preachers have said that the other four stones that David was carrying were for Goliath’s brothers…maybe but then again maybe not.

There are too many people in our country and our nation, not just in Mississippi, who don’t know Jesus. This is unacceptable! Why? Because it has been almost two thousand years since Jesus gave the order to go and tell all of creation about the gospel. What happened? It shouldn’t take two thousand years to tell the whole world about the Love of God and salvation through Jesus!!

Everyone should know about Him, but many don’t want to hear the story with their spiritual ears and take Him into their hearts. The Truth of God’s love is offensive to some people and its Truth is too because they can’t refute it and they can’t really ignore it. It is the offense which pushes some people away from the church.

Sometimes, it is because of our hypocrisy as sinners, even though we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, that many will refuse to even come to church. Being judged by those outside the church is a very hard thing. Just as someone deciding that a game is “bad” or “good” is a judgement of one kind or another, we shouldn’t hold a grudge or some other judgement against a church because of one or two people in a church, but many do this at times.

God holds us as Christians responsible for the knowledge and the Light that we have been given by our study in His Word and in learning about Him. The more we have, the more we are responsible for. Knowing about Jesus and living your life the way He taught us to is how we are to live. If you are doing anything other than this after professing that you know Jesus and you have Him in your heart, then you may want to look in the Bible for proof that you are a Christian.

I pray that I am not standing near the throne of Grace one day and one of my friends or one of those that I preached to is standing there and Jesus says “Depart from Me, I never knew you!”.

Walking like He walked..


Have you ever heard that we are supposed to do this? We are supposed to be representing Him in this world, showing His Light to others. Do you do this? Do you try to do it every day?

As Christians, we are truly supposed to be examples of His Love in this world where people seem to hate more than they love. Oh, there are good people and people who do good things for others once in a while, but Jesus did things for people everywhere He went. Sometimes it was a healing, sometimes it involved making water into wine, sometimes it had to do with giving someone their sight back, even if they had never had it.

Granted, we don’t have the complete faith, the kind which doesn’t doubt, in order to do these wonderful miracles. Some people say that those were done only to fulfill prophecy and to get people’s attention on the Messiah. It is true, those miracles were done by the Savior and our Creator as well as the disciples in the beginning of the church. But…we can do things for people in need, if we have the means to do so. Do you?

The only thing that I can do most days is to pray for their health and for their healing, asking for all of the people on my prayer list and all of those who ask for prayer on my Facebook page. I don’t know many of them personally, but God knows who they are and what is happening in their lives. He knows what is wrong and what can be done for them and what HE can and will do for them.

God doesn’t answer prayers in the ways that we want ALL of the time, but He does answer them. Sometimes it is a “maybe” or “wait”, sometimes it is “no”, but the reason behind these is because God knows what He has for you and what you are asking for is not His best, nor is it what He has in store for you. Of course when we get those kind of answers we think that God doesn’t love me. God loves each of us far more than we can imagine and He is NOT like us! His love is a kind of love that we can’t understand in this life. We won’t get to that point where we can understand it until we are in His Presence!

“Walking the walk” as some put it isn’t hard to do, but it has to be practiced and done on the basis that we intentionally do it every day. It is not natural to wake in the morning and thank God for opening your eyes, but that is what we should do. Getting up and walking to the kitchen should be a thankful process as well, we should take nothing for granted because none of us are guaranteed tonight or tomorrow. Truly, God loves us, all of us because of His Son’s sacrifice for our salvation. It is something that we should be eternally grateful for, not something that is taken for granted.

Please, seek Him out so that your eternity is sealed and in His Presence. If you keep telling yourself that you will get to it later, then one day, later will get to you. Then, you will stand and give an account of every word and deed done which was done in your own strength and without Jesus. Your righteousness, like that of the Pharisees, is worthless in God’s eyes unless your heart belongs to Jesus and He lives in you! If that doesn’t describe your salvation, your righteousness, then your eternity will be in a place that was not made for humanity..but for Satan.