Who came so long ago?


Nativity-29It was in fulfillment of prophecy that He came. God gave the Word to Isaiah many hundreds of years prior to His birth.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Our Savior, the Lamb of God, came as a baby into this world to live as we do and to die as a sacrifice which we could not do. He gave His life to pay for all of our sins so that we could have an eternal relationship with God in eternity. Also, because giving our lives and our hearts to Him in believing that He did this for us, we can live for Him in this life and tell others about His sacrifice for our lives.

Jesus, the Son of God, came to place His life in the Father’s hands to pay for our sins and He did exactly that by being a sinless and spotless Lamb give as a willing sacrifice for all of our sins. Here is a link to learn more about the prophecies which He fulfilled in order to be the One prophesied in Scripture.

Salvation comes no other way than by belief in Jesus and the atonement which He provided for us. He did this willingly and not under compulsion so that the prophecy would be fulfilled in His death, burial, and resurrection! Please don’t ignore this gift which was given to each of us IF we will believe in Him and repent of our sins to follow His example in our lives until He returns.

Do you believe in Jesus?


I could’ve put anything at the end of that sentence, but Jesus seems more appropriate, particularly for this site. Why is this an important question? Because if you do believe in Him and have asked Him into your life then your eternity is sure regardless of the religious climate we live in today. If you don’t believe and have no desire to believe in Him, until you realize your error you will always be searching for something to fill the emptiness in your life.

How do I know that you feel empty and unfulfilled in your life? God designed us to be spiritual beings, not in a nonphysical sense but men and women who desire to know God and have a relationship with Him. If you don’t know Him and you don’t have a relationship with God, then you will feel empty in a way that can’t be explained medically or physically. I know because we all feel this at some point in our lives. Not one of us on this Earth, with the exception of Jesus, was born with God’s Spirit living within us. There has always been a void, an empty feeling, like something is missing but you can’t put your finger on it.

Many of us try to fill that spot with all sorts of things, sometimes we do this for a very long time, but until you find the right “fit” nothing will make the emptiness go away. There is no amount of money, prestige, or fame which will take the ache of the empty space away. No drug or relationship will ease the feeling that something just isn’t right. So, what can we do about this? Well, the only thing that we can do is search for the one thing which will fill that void but if we don’t look in the right place, we will never find Him.

I am speaking of Jesus and He will come into your life and change your heart and make you a “new Creation in Christ“! God loves you and every other person on this planet and He has provided a way for your salvation through Jesus. It is not a salvation through a legal system of things which you have to perform or adhere to in a certain way, it is not a salvation which is based upon your actions or your own beliefs. Faith in Jesus and in His sacrifice for you, believing that He did this to pay for your sins is the only requirement.

Yes, you may get baptized afterward and begin to tell people what He has saved you from but that isn’t absolutely necessary. Think of the thief on the cross, Jesus told him that “today you will be with me in Paradise“, and he couldn’t get baptized or tell anyone about His Savior! Yes, it is wonderful to tell others about Him and what He has saved you from, but isn’t it great that you really don’t have to work to attain salvation on your own merit!

The time for this Earth and the secular governments running it is growing short and we should be searching for our Savior. He is not a man who lives here with might and power and money, but He is the Son of God and our Creator. Be prayerfully seeking Him if you don’t know Him yet. Trust in His Word and His atonement for you and your sins, because there are no other paths to Heaven except through Him, regardless of what you may hear in the media or from the Pope.

 

Day in….day out


We all live for the day. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but the Day! What day would that be exactly? The day that our Lord returns of course!

I know, it was foretold in God’s Word over two thousand years ago and people have been expecting it for that long. It hasn’t come yet. When will it get here? When will He come? There are some to think that His arrival is imminent and that it could come at any time, any day now. That is what we have been taught for many years and through many generations, but you know…it could be wrong.

Oh no! I have gone and done it now! I have put something on a Christian site which goes against the teachings that have been taught and preached for over 150 years! Well, you see, that is the thing, it has only been in our pulpits and the teachings of churches for a little more than one hundred and fifty years!

Why did this teaching come into our beliefs and what makes it wrong? Because, until the early 19th century, the return of Jesus was NOT taught as imminent, but that we should be ready regardless of the day or hour. There are different and various opinions regarding the return of Jesus and the rapture of the Church and I will not go into them. My reason for writing is that we should be ready regardless of the time or day that may be. Whenever the times are set, it is set by God Himself, we can’t point to a day or an hour and we can’t give a proven timing for the saints of God to be taken up or brought home.

Jesus said that He was coming to receive us to Himself. He didn’t say when or what year or time this might happen and unless He said it, we should live as if it were tomorrow or today! Be vigilant like the priests on the walls of the city to warn of a coming army or to tell of the times which were of importance such as the Sabbath beginning at sundown. We are to be the ones crying out that He is coming and telling people how to be saved from the wrath that is to come!

Be the watchman who is doing his job and letting others know about their Savior and not one that is trying to be more like the world around them.

We are blessed


lamb-of-god-passoverAlthough many don’t seem to notice it. Why? Because we have so much, we just don’t recognize our blessings. This may be why those in other countries have so much enmity for America. We don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that even the poorest of us, in terms of money, are truly blessed. Some beyond belief to those who are starving in other countries!

We are blessed because of where we live and because God has blessed this land due to our past relationship with the land of Israel. We do not have that same relationship with Israel today and I believe that we are going to suffer for it in the near future. God loves all of us, He just doesn’t approve of the lifestyles that many of us cling to today. Some of us live as if there is no end to our blessings and also like there is no tomorrow.

Then there are some who don’t believe that God exists at all and they live moral upstanding lives. Some, who claim to be Christians, live more like the rest of the world who do not believe in Jesus. They live lives of greed and consumption, taking as much as they can and not giving thanks for any of it. They may have “grown up” in the church and learned the ways to appear to be Christian, but inside they don’t have Jesus living in their hearts.

I am not saying this to be judgmental, but if you are truly a Christian with Jesus in your heart then you will live this out and it will be evident to all around you. The words that you speak, the actions that others see that you don’t think about, they will reflect Jesus and His message. There will be a visible difference between you and the world around you!

God gives us each day to show someone the character of Jesus in our life so that they will want Him too. It is not just another day to make money or to get ahead of your co-workers for the best position in a firm or wherever you work. None of the things that we have here on Earth will follow us into eternity except what we accomplished for God’s Kingdom. Your wealth, your position, your house or car, even your family won’t matter in eternity unless you have lived for Jesus in all of it!

We are finite beings and our accomplishments won’t mean a thing unless they were done for the Kingdom of God through Jesus’ saving power in our lives! Do you really want to try to attempt to gain entry into Heaven on your own merit? Are you so righteous that you think you can get in without Jesus in your heart, living by His strength every day? No person on Earth is that good!!

Moses, John the Baptist, Peter, James, or even Abraham could accomplish that feat without their faith in God and their belief in the Seed which came as Jesus our Savior! God had promised Him and they believed even without seeing Him. John the Baptist, Peter and James saw Him and walked with Him and even witnessed the miracles but without their faith in Him and their belief in Him and Who He was, they wouldn’t get into Heaven either!

Umber


The color of umber is brown. Not a dark brown but not exactly “paper sack tan” either. Truthfully it is like a lightly roasted coffee in color. Why am I bringing this up on this blog? Because there are discussions and arguments arising about the way that Jesus is portrayed in paintings and in our culture.

Some say that He should be portrayed as white, others say that He is black, actually He is neither one. Jesus was born Hebrew as a Jewish Israelite. If you have ever met someone from Israel you notice that they have skin tones which have an olive complexion. What does that mean? It means that their skin will tan easily in the sun.

Our Savior did a lot of walking throughout Judea in His lifetime, therefore He most likely was very dark-skinned where the sun struck Him. His face, arms, feet, and lower legs were likely very dark. The depiction of Him being white by artists who painted Him or otherwise portrayed Him is a nod to the culture of their day, racist though that may have been.

Our ancestors, the ones who began all of this in Eden, were very olive-skinned so that when their offspring came about a myriad of skin colors and complexions would be genetically possible. God knew then and He knows now exactly what He is doing genetically in this world. He is also giving us the ability to choose our spiritual pathway in our lives and He has been doing this from the start.

God doesn’t care if your skin color is dark or light, olive or even very darkly pigmented, He cares about your soul…your inner man. That is the part of you that lives on into eternity and your culture, your “skin tone” will likely be in eternity as well so we will all be able to see who we really are or were in our previous life on Earth. No one will lose their identity after death. Jesus spoke of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being alive in eternity and our names and all that we have done in the service of God will follow us into eternity too.

Living here in this life is far different from what we will see or know in Heaven and for those who won’t give their hearts to Jesus, their eternity will be a true living hell. The descriptions of hell are varied but the regrets and the separation from God’s love and all that we have known in this life will be with us through eternity. The color of your skin, your culture, your lifestyle or how much money you had on Earth will mean NOTHING!

I was given a very tiny glimpse into heaven once and the gold streets are pure enough to shine like the Sun and the gold is like glass. Some of the buildings are made of a substance like opals only more pure and clear with walls a cubit or more thick. They reflect God’s glory with all of the colors imaginable but a description would not do them justice at all.

The descriptions found in the Bible are man’s attempt at describing things which our minds can’t comprehend fully, so I can’t either. Race doesn’t mean anything in the end. We are all God’s children and all of us are descended from Adam and Eve, since God cannot lie I don’t understand why we deny that we are all related.

Times and miracles


Many days we see things or hear about something which happens that could be described as a miracle. Some people may not recognize them as a miracle but in many ways, they are. Why do I say this? Because of the living God Who is Creator, He is the One Who accomplishes these things.

For instance, scientists are still discovering “new” species unknown to science a few years ago. Healing of tumors and cancers which are inoperable happens in many cases where the patient is being prayed for by their family and these are not given the proper respect because the doctor doesn’t know how it happened. But, the family of the person that is healed knows where the healing came from, it came from the Lord!

Sometimes, the healing needs to come to the church itself. The members of some churches are so stone-faced and inexpressive during church until it looks like we are attending a funeral rather than a church service. We are supposed to be living in the Joy of the Lord, not grumbling through a service and sitting like a bunch of old turtles on a log!

Also in the Bible, it says that there will be a falling away by the church and it seems that it is beginning right now. Yes, there are still mega-churches with thousands of members but are those members Christians? Or are they just sitting in a pew when services start and not living a joy-filled life with Jesus? Many small churches and large ones too have the same problem…people who have been raised in the church who believe they are Christians because they have attended church most of their lives.

The Bible says that in the latter days, which we are living in now, young men will see visions and dream dreams. This has been foretold because God is an awesome God! The dreams and visions that young people are seeing are leading them to become Christians even in places where there are no missionaries! People are seeking God in any way that they can and coming to Him by the thousands.

I have read of accounts of young men who were against Christianity and they have learned of it and have come to know their Savior, Jesus! The times in which we are living are hard in ways but also joyous in others. Life can and does find a way to break free from bondage and chains when there is an alternative presented. Christianity does not force anyone to believe because you can’t force belief on anyone. Just as love cannot be forced on anyone.

Our world is coming to an end. It may be in the next year or in a few months or it may be in the next decade but it is winding down like an old-fashioned clock, except God didn’t forget to wind it. He knows exactly the day and the hour that the end will come.

He is our Savior!


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God has done all that is needed through Jesus, our Savior, to save each and every one of us. All that is required of us is to believe like a child that He did it and ask Him to come into your life, into your heart and soul and you will be a new creation in His Image!

It doesn’t take your works or your money or strength to be saved and righteous enough to be allowed into Heaven because nothing that you or I can do in our strength is good enough to bring you into His Presence! He provided all that you need to be saved, all that you have to do is believe it and ask for it.

Unfortunately, many people look at this as being too simple, too easy. They want to help in some way. The problem with us helping is that we get in the way.

So, what will it take for you to believe in Him? People have been teaching that God punishes us so that we will learn certain things when the fact is that Satan is doing that. Of course, he won’t do that unless you are a Christian or you are thinking about becoming one because in the spiritual realm if you don’t belong to God then you are part of Satan’s group. I don’t mean that you worship him, but if you aren’t or you haven’t given your life to Jesus then as far as Satan is concerned you are not dangerous to his cause.

God loves you because He created you for a reason. What that reason is and when you might get busy with it is only known to Him until you are drawn to Him and make your decision to follow Him. The reason that I don’t make a distinction between God and Jesus is that they are part of the Trinity, which includes the Holy Spirit. All of them are part of One Creator. Like it or not they all show up in Scripture.

God has made a way for you to be saved from sin and the consequences of it, all you have to do is claim it. Will you?

Read the scriptures in Romans and John, not just one or two passages but all of them. Pray that God will show you why you need Him and how to come to Him. He loves you and He wants a relationship with you. It is up to you to seek Him, because He doesn’t force faith on you nor does He chase you down.

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You are with me


youarestillwithmeIn the 23rd Psalm it goes like this:

Psalm 23 King James Version

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

This Psalm of David is an ever-present help, just as the Lord is, it is also a poem of comfort and of thanksgiving. In our world today, we need this because of all the things which are happening around the world. Why? Because of all the strife and the anger and frustration that flows from the news every single day. It seems that we can’t get away from it, even if we turn the TV off and don’t watch it. If we log on to our Facebook account, the news is there; if we log onto Google and look at the news, all of it is there in front of our eyes. We can’t escape it even if we are in the car and turn the radio on…the news, no matter how bad it is, is there too. We need God’s comforting presence in our lives today!

Why do I say this? Because we are not “supermen” and we never will be. It doesn’t matter if you made it through boot camp or SEAL training or any other type of military training, you are not bullet-proof regardless of what they tried to tell you over and over again!

We are normal people with problems, hang-ups and hang-overs. We have all of the problems that they try to recommend medication for on TV, yet most of us don’t want the side-effects of that medication. Most of us don’t want to be told that we are sinners or back-sliders or adulterers or in some cases, perverts. Nobody wants to hear about our personal dirty laundry, but we love to hear about and read about celebrities and sports figures who have problems!

Every church is filled with people who are exactly like those in the paragraph above, no church is immune because we are all sinners! The only difference between those who claim to belong to Jesus is that we….they are forgiven! We claim our forgiveness from Christ when we admit that we need it, just as a person addicted to alcohol or drugs had to admit it before being able to fight it! The big difference is that Jesus already conquered our sin nature, all we have to do is believe in Him and ask for it to be applied to us!

There isn’t anything really special about Christians except for the faith in Jesus that most of us have. The reason I said “most” is that some think because they have been raised in church from their childhood, that makes them a Christian. Many have this belief that because they go to church occasionally like on Easter and Christmas, that this makes them a Christian. Not any more than sitting in a garage will make you into a car!

God created each of us to be in a relationship with Him and the only way we can do that is through His Son, Jesus. There is no other door, and no other “prophet” who can get you into Heaven. No amount of work you can do will help you. No amount of money given to the poor will buy you a brick to build a heavenly mansion. Nothing that WE can do will have any bearing on our eternity EXCEPT belief in and submission to Jesus in faith believing that He did everything necessary for your salvation!

Trust in Him, learn about Him, and come to Him with a heart that knows that He is your Savior and at that point ALL of Heaven will celebrate a new saint that will be coming home!

Meekness


Jesus_Loves_UI used to wonder what that was. What does it mean to be meek? Then I read a definition from the perspective of a horse trainer. He said that meekness is strength under submission. Like a horse who responds to a bridle and rider. The strength of the horse is many times that of the rider, yet a well-trained horse will be able to respond to the slightest touch or twitch of foot or bridle and will turn to the left or right or speed up or slow down in response. This is what meekness really is.

Regarding the life of a Christian, in today’s world, meekness is not so easy. Why do I say this? Because it implies that we are attentive to the will of God and will obediently follow His lead, His Word, His direction in our everyday lives. The problem is that we are not that attentive to Him. Some followers of Jesus may be, but on the whole most are not. We are too much like toddlers in that respect. We tend to say to God, “Me do it!”, even when we are not sure we can do it whatever “it” might be.

One other person who was described as meek was Moses. The man who led the people of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness by God’s direction. Meekness is not a description of someone who is weak, but of someone or something that is completely submitted to the One Who is in control. God loves us deeper and more completely than we can imagine, even when we haven’t accepted Him as our Savior or even acknowledged that He exists!

He knows each of us because He created each one of us and He accepts us for who we are, but He wants to become yours too! We belong to Him because He is our Creator, but He patiently waits for us to accept Him and He gives us a chance to learn to love Him for Who He is! It is our choice. Love cannot and will not be forced and that is why God created each of us and gave us that choice. Not because He doesn’t care, but mostly because He does!

All that God asks of us is that we decide to give our hurts and our pain to Him and understand that the pain won’t go away but His strength will be with us from that point on. Asking Him to come into your heart and mine is not a hard thing to do, but you have to come to a point where you feel the need for Him. He doesn’t push His way into your life and He won’t but when you ask Him to come in and make you a whole child of His…He will.

From that point on life will not be a bed of roses and it won’t really be better in physical ways, but spiritually you will be different. The person that you are, the one that God sees, will be whole and pure and your soul will be singing even if you can’t! Some people think that when you give your heart to Jesus and ask Him to come into your life that you won’t ever have any problems ever again. That is when the forces of this world take notice of you. Satan will not let you get away with being a voice for Jesus because he is going to try to stop you every way he can.

The best part of it is that you have Jesus on your side now and all you have to do is walk in step with Him every day. It sounds like a hard road but it isn’t, it is narrow and you do have to watch your steps some times because Satan will try to trip you and make you fall. Jesus will pick you up and carry you when the going gets particularly hard and He will give you strength to get through those times as well.

So much yet so little…


We seem to never have enough and we are always wanting more. Today, everything may work out in the allotted time but what of tomorrow? Time is our enemy and our friend from one day to the next depending on what is happening in our lives. How can we make friends with it so that it doesn’t go away so quickly tomorrow? Can we coax it into extending its stay this week or next, or maybe even next year?

Unfortunately, the answer to those questions is a resounding “NO!” We can’t be friends with time, we can’t extend its effects for a day or a week or a month, or even one more minute and we certainly can’t add another year to our lives. No, we don’t have that option. God does.

He knows your date and mine from the moment we are conceived until our death at some point in our future (hopefully). But, even He won’t add a day or an hour to your life unless it is His will to do so. We see so many people living their lives as if there is no tomorrow and some live as if they have an unlimited amount of days left to them. No one knows your end day except for God and He alone is in control of it, regardless of your sickness or your health it is He Who knows when your life will end.

My “expiration date” may be in the next fifteen minutes, or it may be fifteen years or more from now but only God knows for sure. Either way, my heart belongs to Him and when my last breath is breathed here, I will see Him there.

So many look at how little money or time or other “things” that we each have here, but if you have given your life to Jesus and you live for Him each day, you are wealthy. Maybe not as the world sees here but consider that you will have an eternity to live and reign with Christ and no more pain or suffering or disease or death…it sounds like a wonderful place to retire to!

The streets of Heaven are reported by John and other prophets to be paved with gold so pure it is clear enough to see through like glass! Does that sound like a place that you could live in for a very long, long time? I think so. God can make anything that He wishes to and if He wants you to have a life in Heaven, accept His grace through Jesus and give your life to Him. Your life, your REAL life, won’t ever end from that point on and you will be a servant to the Creator! What could be better than that?

There are some who say that they would rather be in hell than serve God and they will likely have that opportunity. The problem with this thinking is that you will be in torment forever in hell! Heaven is serving the Creator not because you are forced to but because you WANT to! He gave you life and all of the blessings that you enjoyed on this Earth, it seems that you could repay a little of that love and kindness! Why am I talking about what we may be doing in heaven? Because it is very likely that we will be serving God and doing His work throughout the ages to come!

We who truly belong to God and have accepted Jesus as our Savior will live with Him in comfort but we will also work with Him in all of His ways and in His Kingdom, Amen!