Who is in control?


It’s not the United Nations. It is not the President or Congress.

The One Who is in control of all things is God Himself! He allows things and He causes things to happen on the Earth and in the universe around us. Nothing happens by fate or coincidence and nothing happens without God’s knowledge of it!

When Jesus showed up to be baptized, what happened? John the Baptist declared that He was the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. Yet, the teachers of the Law didn’t accept Him as such. They accused Him and mocked Him at every turn in His ministry. Yet, one of their members after His resurrection told them that if this belief and this movement was of God there was no way to stop it. Regardless of how many times His disciples were put in jail or flogged or told not to preach in His Name, His church was built on one immovable rock and it wasn’t Peter…it was faith!

God is in control and He is the One Who wants to bring salvation to you and to those all over the world. But many in the world don’t want to accept Jesus as their Savior, they have their own ideas about finding the pathway to Heaven or their afterlife. God loves each of us and yet He knows who will accept His Son and who, ultimately, will not accept Him.

Does He want everyone to be saved and come to Jesus as born-again believers? Yes, He does but God knows human hearts and He knows how people are with their beliefs and their fears and their pride.  So, have you ever considered your life and the meaning of it, the purpose of it? Have you looked at God’s Word and read it and realized that your life can have much more meaning if you are a part of His plan for your life?

Life is much more than we truly think it is and it can be much more if you are a part of His Kingdom and live your life according to His Word. Many people think that we have to live by His rules but if your heart has been changed by His Spirit, it isn’t quite the same. When your heart is changed and He is living with you then you won’t want to be in the places where you were before. You won’t do the things which you did before you met Jesus and asked Him to come into your life.

The Holy Spirit makes a change in your heart and that change makes a difference in your life and the way that you live it. You live by God’s rules after this not because you have to or because He makes you do it but because you want to do it as a way of showing others that He has made a change in your life. Because Jesus cannot come into your life without a change taking place. You are a new creation! Your old, sinful ways and your old life have been replaced with His Spirit changing you from the inside out.

Don’t turn away from His call in your life or in your heart! God is calling you for a purpose and He knows that you are the only person who can take His message to the places where you go or to the people that you meet.

Empty space


There is a longing in every heart that only Jesus can satisfy. We should be seeking Him to fill that place because nothing else will fit in it except Him. So why do we go through life troubled about an empty feeling inside when it is easy to find Him as the solution?

Usually, it’s because we don’t want to admit that we need Him in our lives. We don’t want to live according to His ways or enjoy the life that we would have by following Him. Even when we find that nothing that we try can satisfy our longing or our emptiness, we usually don’t want to give up our life! Why? Because if we become a Christian we think that we will lose all of our friends. When we will really gain more friends.

We will be joining a group of people who are following the Savior of the world! He will make us feel whole and new again in ways that no drug or person or any amount of money could possibly accomplish! The empty place in your heart and in your life is meant to be filled by the Holy Spirit which Jesus will send to you when you become a Christian.

themissingpieceSo, why do people seem to be against everything that God and the Bible stand for? Maybe its because they are afraid of a book which has the absolute Truth in it. Maybe it has something to do with the way people are taught to think that “everything is relative”. Meaning the truth that you believe is relative to your life is not relative to mine. God’s Truth is relative to everyone! The Savior, Jesus the Christ, is relevant to each person who will decide to receive Him into their heart and their life!

While it seems that many people want to go to Heaven they think that there are easier ways of getting there than becoming a Christian. There are no multiplicity of pathways for getting to Heaven. There is only One way and that is through belief in Jesus and by giving your heart to Him when you feel convicted by the Holy Spirit that you are truly in need of salvation!

God loves each person on this planet regardless of your location or country or the color of your skin or even what ethnic group you may belong to. We are all a part of His Creation and He is the One Who gave you your personality and your gifts and talents! He knows exactly what you can do in His Kingdom and how much you could contribute to it if you will only become a part of it.

Yet, there are many in the world who either don’t believe in God or they are too stubborn to move away from the way they have always believed before. Just because your family believes one way doesn’t mean that you can’t have faith in Jesus and believe in Him for your Salvation. He died and rose again to pay the penalty for your sins and mine and every person alive! So why not follow Him and learn more about Him while becoming the person that He knows you can be?

Is the path of being a follower of Jesus hard? Sometimes, but He will be with you every step of the way. He will be there in the good times and the bad, so don’t turn away from His call on your life and your heart. Eternity is waiting for you and you will enter into it one day. You can decide today which direction and in which place your soul spends that eternity by choosing to follow Jesus now while you are still alive. Because if you don’t make that choice now then you may not be here to make it tomorrow or next week.

What is sin?


The dictionary defines a sin like this: an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.

TenCommadmentsGod’s divine law is given in the Ten Commandments: Exodus 20

1 “You shall have no other gods before me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

In some way, each of us has broken at least one of these commandments on a daily basis. None of us are perfectly able to keep even these commandments every day, all day. As Paul wrote in his letter to the church, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

We may not have a graven image of our job or our wife or any other thing in our home but if we place more importance in those than we do in worshiping God, we have created our own “god” from something or a person who can’t fulfill that role. Your position cannot fulfill your life and neither can your home or your car or any person in this world. You can find happiness in your relationship or in your job, but it is not an eternal happiness because your job is not permanent and your wife or husband is not a god.

Placing someone or something on a pedestal and elevating them or it to a position which cannot be true in the sense of being a “god” is foolish, but some people do exactly that. They may not think that they are or they may not recognize their behavior as worship toward a person or some other thing besides the True Creator, but God knows their heart. He knows exactly who it is that they revere and have placed in His position and on His throne but God doesn’t share His throne.

Make sure of your worship and your salvation before the time of grace runs out.

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.