The Exodus, the Bread and the Wine


This idea just came to me while I was reading a story about Christianity. The only explanation that I can give you for the title is that the Spirit placed the idea in my mind. I am not Jewish, although I have read a Jewish Bible complete with the New Testament. The three ideas in the title: the Exodus, the Bread and the Wine are intimately tied to the nation and people of Israel.

Bread&WineThe Exodus is their liberation from bondage as slaves in Egypt for over four hundred years. It is not unlike our own lives in that we were slaves to our life of sin and rebellion toward God. Now, for some of us this rebellion wasn’t an active rebellion and we may not have known that what we were doing was sinful in the sight of God. Why do I say it that way? Because many of us asked Jesus to become our Savior at an early age, say 8 or 12 years. I barely knew what the word “sin” meant and honestly I didn’t think that my life could’ve been classified as sinful, at that time.

During the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites were glad to be out of bondage but they didn’t know this God Who had called them out of bondage. Which is why it took forty years for them to get to the point of going into the land which had been promised to them. Even after all of the miracles and provision that God provided for them during this time, they still rebelled against Him in their Promised Land.

Sounds a bit like us actually. When we learn about God and what He asks of us, don’t we rebel a bit? I mean, we like the idea of forgiveness and eternal life but “being in a state of prayerful thought” on a daily basis is a bit much don’t you think? Not really, if you consider what this really means. The analogy that I like goes something like this: When you go to the doctor and you tell him you have had a cold and a cough for about a week, you don’t mean that you have been coughing for a whole week. Just that you have had a persistent cough which has hung around for that length of time. It is the same with praying without ceasing. It doesn’t mean that you pray 24 hours a day, but you wake with a prayerful attitude of thankfulness that you are alive today. You thank God for your health and your breakfast. You thank Him for being able to go to work or school or whatever you are doing today.

That is an attitude of prayer without ceasing.

It gets you through your exodus in this life, every day and night, all through your life! This is your “daily cross”.

The Bread is reading and prayerfully studying the Bible. Learning more about God and what He requires of His people, Israelite and Gentile. If you don’t know what is required or asked of you, how will you know what to do with your life on a daily basis? The only way to know is to read and study His Word with prayer for understanding at least a few days during the week. I don’t mean that you should read the Bible for a whole day, but a chapter or two a day for a few days at a time will get your mind washed in His Word and keep it on His ideas and wisdom.

The Wine is what you partake of through giving your heart and your life to Jesus, asking Him to come in and change you into a child of God. This is part of your walk, your life with Him and it begins your exodus from your old life, your old ways, into a life that is lived in and through Jesus! It is a daily process. Salvation, if you truly are sincere about it, comes immediately when you ask for it. Your sanctification and becoming more like Jesus is the walk, prayerfully with Him every day. Your exodus or your walking away from your old life comes when you have asked Him to come in and change you into a new creation!

Just as the trek through the desert wasn’t easy for the children of Israel, the process of becoming a Christian and becoming more like Christ won’t be easy either. There will be days or times where you will stumble and fall, but Jesus is there to help you get up. If you have studied the Bible, then you can fall onto the wisdom that you have gained through it when the times get tough.

The life of a Christian isn’t always easy or sure. There will be bumps and bruises during your walk with Jesus, but He is still there with you through it all. The wisdom that you gain from His Word, His Bread and His Wine will last you through eternity and you won’t regret any of it when you see Him in His Glory one day!

The wonder of Joy


joyIn many ways when we come to know Jesus, we are joyful in that knowledge that we have our salvation granted through Jesus our Savior. We are very much like a small child, giddy and so happy that our Savior loves us enough to grant us our salvation through His blood, His death and resurrection! So…what happens after you find that you need to learn more about Him and learn to listen to Him every day?

It seems that many people don’t experience that joyous wonder like a child. They understand that they need Him and they ask Him into their hearts. But sometimes our church or others in the church who should shepherd them toward their Savior drop the ball. Many people end up just standing in ankle-deep salvation for many years and some never get past that point.

The joy of knowing Jesus and knowing that you have been saved through His sacrifice in your place should carry you through for many months until you begin to mature as a Christian. But how do you do that? The same way you get through any learning situation, by study, prayer and by seeking His advice for your life every day. It is a daily walk with Him after all, and just as any relationship…it needs to be cultivated and nurtured.

He is your Creator and your Savior and that relationship should be one that continues all through your life, day in and day out. Sounds boring, but think about Who you are having a relationship with! He is the Creator, the Son of God, your Savior and the second Person of the Trinity! Could there be anyone in the universe who could possibly be more interesting?

If you are wondering how you could get to know Him, READ the Bible! God inspired the writers and disciples to tell you about Himself and His personality. Yes, sometimes He is demanding but it’s because He expects us to obey Him, just as we expect our children to obey when they learn the rules about being in your house! Life, as a child of God, is a learning process and it is one that takes a lifetime! You can’t get a version of it which is a digest version, it is a day by day, week by week learning process which is very much like our own lives.

The joy of knowing Jesus is like the joy of bringing home your newborn son or daughter. It or rather they are new in your life, you are new at learning how to handle your relationship with them or Him. As time goes on and you learn more about Him, the joy should grow into a deeper love and a deeper relationship…but there should always be a bit of joy in it from day-to-day!

 

Other paths lead in a different direction


You may wonder why I didn’t put something specific where “paths” is and there is a reason. It is because we are giving legitimacy to so many religions and beliefs when we shouldn’t be! There are too many paths which would fit in that title. What are they? Dowsing, pyramid energy, mediums who claim to be using “angel cards”, ouija, etc.; all of these and more are part of the occult and people shouldn’t be consulting with them, but they are.

Giving these “optional” beliefs or paths legitimate status doesn’t help us to get the message out into the world that Jesus is the way to salvation, not “alternate religions”. There are so many different beliefs in the world until it is hard to understand just why there are so many. Satan has been working very hard to give people an alternate viewpoint which can be molded into a new religion or faith. It seems that today it is so easy to put your faith in almost anything besides God and Jesus!

separatechurchesWe talk about religion and being religious as if that covers all of Christianity but you can be religious about anything. Just because someone seems to be religious doesn’t mean that they are a Christian. They could be religious about any one of the hundreds of different religions out there, you could even be a religious atheist! My point is this: don’t give religions other than Christianity a legitimate foothold!

I know, I am not being inclusive of all people and their beliefs and I will own that. What I am trying to get people to think about here is ETERNITY!! There is only one God and Jesus the Christ Who can grant you access to eternity, or at least one that you would enjoy living in! The Bible states it plainly that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, all other paths, even though they may be morally good, will lead you elsewhere for eternity.

Some faiths don’t believe in eternal punishment like the lake of fire foretold in Revelation. But, if God says that is where you will be and He doesn’t lie, then that is where your choices will take you! Seek out Jesus and His gospel, believe in Him and repent of your sinful ways and then follow Him, reading His Word and praying for strength each day because it is through Him that we are given eternal life and forgiveness.

Don’t let someone pull you away from faith in Jesus just because they believe in some other faith a bit stronger than you believe in yours. That is what has happened to many today, especially young people. They meet someone who is very passionate about their faith, regardless of what that faith may be in, and it is their passion which draws people in. A question which comes to my mind when I may be confronted with this would be: Would you be willing to die for that faith, that passion in your religion?

Does it convince you enough that you are on the right pathway to Heaven that you would give your life under fire or being burned at the stake for it? If you question this just the least bit, then you might want to back up and consider your faith again.

Nominal Christianity


Romans 10

Paul was writing to those Christians, those who accepted Jesus as their Savior. But he saw no distinction between election by the Spirit and prayer to God. Because only God who has rights to move unilaterally in human affairs can answer our prayers. Whether you truly believe it with all of your heart and soul and mind or not, God is truly in control. He doesn’t force us to do things His way, but He can intervene in the affairs of humanity to bring His purposes and His will to pass.

Considering those who don’t believe in Him, we don’t know who will respond to a sermon or to the call or touch of the Holy Spirit, so when you think of election don’t look at it as God has picked you and not this person. He wants all men to come to salvation, yet it is still up to us and our choice to believe in Him or not.

This is why, in this chapter, Paul was praying for the Jews to come to know Jesus as their Savior and we should be diligent to tell others about Him as well as pray for their salvation. It is never proper to just give up on someone because they don’t come to church or even believe like you do.

Verse 10 says: “For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”

In verse 9, Paul wrote that with the mouth you shall confess the Lord Jesus and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Why did I write this after verse 10? Because, you can’t confess something with your mouth that you don’t truly believe in your heart. This is why Jesus said that “out of your mouth comes defilement”.

God’s nature and the humanity of Jesus existed in Him when He was here and after He was raised to life again, this is the confession which Christians should believe in and confess to others. It is the way to Life eternal and for our hope when He comes again. The world is moving away from belief in God and has been for a long time. Even many “Christians” today only have a head knowledge of Jesus and God. They claim to know them but they only know about them, and that knowledge is not enough.

In the USA, 70% of the population claims to be Christian, but only half of that number or less says that religion is important in their lives. I mean, if only about half of that number claim that religion is important, then are they really Christians?

So how do we define a Christian? Only God knows for sure who really belongs to Him. According to the world, anyone who says they are a Christian is a Christian.

But consider, if someone on a jihad came up to you with a knife and asked that question…what would be your answer? Would you truly answer them that you are a Christian and belong to Jesus the Christ, in the face of death? I don’t know if many people would do that, none of us know for sure what our answer would be in that situation. So, what would be your answer? Will you believe in Jesus as your Savior? Our time is growing short, so don’t take too long to find the answer to that question.

Church?


Today we look at buildings, great and small and call them our church or “the church”. What is the Church? Truthfully it is the people who worship God. It doesn’t matter if it is in a tent or a cathedral, it is the people who make up the church. Just as it was after Jesus went to be with the Father, it was the people who believed in Him and worshiped Him that made up the Church. It was NOT a building at all! Some did worship in a building, like other believer’s homes, but it didn’t really matter about the place of worship as much as it mattered about the hearts of those who came to worship!

You can come to church, to a building, for many years and play the part of a Christian from the time you are a child in Sunday school on up into your 90’s. That doesn’t make you a Christian, only belief in Jesus and a daily walk with Him can do that. Belief comes first, then the desire to worship Him and then the desire to learn more about Him and baptism is mixed in there as well but my point here is that you can live in a cardboard box and still worship Jesus! The building made of bricks and mortar and wood and sometimes steel beams is just a structure…it is the people who attend services and worship God in that building that make up the Church!

God is doing many miracles even today that many don’t recognize or may not know about because the media doesn’t report on things which happen without the influence of science. Unless it was something which was so BIG that they had to report on it, miracles go unnoticed by the majority of people and news organizations…but they still happen.

If you are not a believer in Jesus or God and you have everything that you need, you probably think that you will never need God even if He exists. But what about when you go to the doctor and he finds a mass or a spot on your lungs or your liver and it turns out that it is cancer, stage 4, and there is little he can do. What then?

You could just lie down and die or you could search the whole world for some treatment which may help. The best cure for this cancer is in the person and the power of Jesus! Cry out to Him, seek His Presence and learn more of Him. Why? Because He loves you! Praying that He will take the cancer away is not the answer, asking Him to come into your life and your heart and make you a new person is!

Could He cure you of the cancer? Yes, He can. I don’t know if He will and I am not going to tell you that He will, but your life will be so much more with Him in your heart even if He doesn’t. Why do I say this? Because your friends will see the change that He has brought into your life and they will likely want what you have. He will give you peace, even when your life is getting worse OR He may heal you and take the cancer out of your body. Then you can tell people what an awesome God He is!

They will ask you why do you believe now when you didn’t before? Because the Creator came and took my sins away and destroyed the cancer and I am alive to tell it, that’s why!! God loves each of us but we have a rebellious spirit inside of us from the day we are born. Until we realize that He is the answer to all of life’s questions and our problems too, we won’t seek Him out. We will keep doing what we did yesterday or last week or last year, but when our heart and soul tells us that we need Jesus we will seek Him out.

Give your life and your heart to Jesus because He gave His life for you! One day soon everyone will see Him and then many will either ask Him to save them or they will hate Him with an unreasonable hatred. Your life is terribly short compared to eternity, make sure of yours before you enter into it.

Romans 8:23: And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. The link for this passage has many of the Scriptures which will show you that you do need Jesus, if you will seek HIm for your salvation. I pray that you and all who read this will do so before your day comes.

The possibilities


In the environment of today’s Internet and the education afforded by it, the possibilities are almost endless. It is true that you have to be careful about which information that you trust as truthful and which is junk, but so much is there until it is spectacular in amount and scope! One hundred years ago, you would’ve had to spend hours and hours reading through countless tomes to find as much information as  you can get with one click in a search today!

The possibilities in your life, whether you are religious or not, are also endless. Your life is endless because of Jesus’ atonement for you and His Life in you, if you have accepted Him as your Savior. If you are not religious in any way, then your “life” is here where you are and you aren’t worried or concerned about an eternity. So, which side of the fence are you on? Unfortunately, those are the only possibilities regarding your eternal future, you either believe in Jesus and His atonement for you or you refuse to believe in Him.

Those are the choices and you should choose wisely and carefully because eternity is a very long, long time. All of the stars and galaxies will go dark before eternity and its march in time because time doesn’t mean anything there. Why do I bring up the eternal question? Because your choice in believing  or not believing in Jesus and His atonement for you changes your place in eternity and your real Life in that eternity!

In God’s Word it says that the smoke of their torment will rise forever referring to Satan and his demons and fallen angels. Forever and eternity are the same, so reading this should frighten you if you haven’t given your heart and life to Jesus. Why? Because, if you have chosen to follow Satan in his determination to not serve Jesus in this life, then you will share in his fate in eternity. The line between the two states is a very thin one called belief/unbelief and you are either on one side or the other. Make sure which side you want to spend eternity on before you draw your last breath.

Loss, life and Love


Everyone goes through all of these in their lifetimes. Some go through them a little earlier or more frequently, sometimes it happens a bit later in life. But…we all have each of them at some point. Regardless of when or how things happen in your life, God is always near your heart and available to comfort your spirit and give strength to your soul. We cannot see Him or feel Him physically, but if you are a child of His you can feel Him spiritually by your side in all things, good or bad.

Why do I bring this up today? Because, all over the world there are people who are hurting because of one reason or another. Whether it is because of the loss of a loved one or because of disease or war or persecution, even in America people experience these. Maybe not to the point or extent that those in other countries do, but we should at least be in prayer for our brothers and sisters everywhere.

God cares for all of the human race regardless of the country or religion which you may subscribe to follow daily. He knows your struggle and would like for you to come to Him in faith. Though many people seek Him by other names, that is not how you get to know and love God. Faith and belief in Him and in Jesus is the only way to come to Him. You can’t call a statue “god”, nor can you pray to Him as another name and think that He hears you.

Jesus said that the only way to the Father is through the Son. No other name or worship is part of that relationship, just faith in God and belief in Jesus. God provided a way to salvation through belief in Jesus and His atonement for us in His death and resurrection. No other religious leader in history has ever come out of the tomb or grave after their death, except for Jesus! There were many witnesses of His resurrection body and His teaching after He came out of the tomb because He taught for another 50 days before ascending to the Father.

Life is in Him and eternity is only one heartbeat away. Make sure that your eternity is with Him!

Is listening so hard?


Sometimes it seems that we just can’t listen to each other’s problems or to our preacher’s sermons. Listening to each other is the best way to get along with each other, yet there are so many problems between couples and countries all over the world. Most of those problems could be solved if we could put our pride and our attitudes on a shelf and sit down like adults and talk and listen to each other!

This would solve many if not most of the world’s problems, but it seems that when pride gets in the way and our attitudes become broiled in the juices of envy and hatred, then our ears and the ability to listen to each other becomes cut off or stopped up. Believe me, Satan has his hand and his followers all in the middle of these conflicts, whether it is between a man and woman trying to make their marriage work or between political parties in a country!

Our ears, spiritually and physically, become muddled to the point that we don’t hear what we should and we hear only part of what we shouldn’t. Which causes more misunderstandings and problems and it just gets worse from there, like a wet snowball rolling downhill. Pretty soon the problem or the snowball is so big that it can’t be fixed or stopped by just one person!

Jesus listened with His ears and with His heart and that is something which the church in general seems to have lost the ability to do, especially in the times that we live in today! The problem that we have is that we can’t understand the problem today because we aren’t really listening with our spiritual ears, our heart. We listen with our ears but we try to use psychobabble to “take care of the problem”, or make people feel good about themselves, or try to work around the issue.

In truth…all we are doing is putting a band-aid over a large cut or rather we are bandaging it but we aren’t helping in the healing of it. This kind of “help” is not helping at all, it only makes the problems worse! Like putting used tires on a car every six months, they wear out sooner and will still go flat easier than new ones, even if they are cheaper it is not helping.

Making people feel better about themselves is good, but spiritually it is suicide and murder. If you smooth over people’s sins and make them feel okay about them without telling them about salvation through Jesus, you are not a preacher…you are acting as a psychiatrist and that won’t do anyone good for eternity! PREACH FROM THE BIBLE! Tell the salvation and healing story of Jesus and His atonement for all of us from the gospels!

People need that today more than they know! John 3:16 is so powerful that it is a sermon in itself! Please, the Church needs to wake up and be the Body of Christ that this world needs NOW! This world will soon be in more of a situation than anyone alive has ever seen or experienced and the only rescue is through Jesus!

What can we do?


There are many paths to enlightenment in the world today, philosophically speaking, therefore, which one is the correct path for all concerned? Few I’m afraid….actually there is only one.

Philosophy and enlightenment are pursuits which give us knowledge but that will not enable you to be a part of God’s Kingdom. Even knowledge of the Bible and all that it contains will not get you into Heaven without belief and faith in Jesus! Reading and studying the Bible until you know it by heart will do nothing for you spiritually unless the Holy Spirit opens your mind and heart so that you can see Who your Savior truly is and accept Him.

Knowledge and degrees and meditation are wonderful for their own purposes, but the experience of God is found through faith and belief in Jesus. If you don’t have that, then the Bible is just a book of historical figures and facts written by men. God did not give us His Word, the Bible, to be just a book. It is the revelation of Himself and His Son from beginning to end and it doesn’t matter if everyone doesn’t see it that way!

The Sun shines whether you have any faith or belief in it or not. Gravity still works whether you believe it exists or not. God and His promise through Jesus the Christ will accomplish everything written down by His apostles and prophets because He is God, whether you believe in Him and His Son or not.

Life, love, greed, hatred, envy and fear all exist as part of our emotional lives in one way or  another. We cannot change this because we can’t change the character of the entire world and every person in it. All of this boils down to one Truth and that is: Jesus came and died on a cross for your sins and your father’s sins and your friend’s sins. He paid the price for all of them, each and every person past, present and future. Whether we believe it or not doesn’t change the fact that it happened and it won’t change anything about the future which was foretold in the book of Revelation.

Seek Him by believing in Him. Read His Word and ask Him to show you the wisdom that you need to have so that your eyes will see Him as He is. The Savior that you need for healing, strength, and hope for eternity, because Jesus is the Savior that we all have been searching for.

What will you do?


john317Jesus did not ask this question exactly, but He did ask His disciples “Who do you say that I am?”. The answer that Peter gave was one which wasn’t available in the Scriptures of the day, but it was given to him by the Holy Spirit. So…what will you do with your knowledge of Jesus and Who He is to you?

He is our Savior and our Creator and our Lord, but He doesn’t cram Himself into your life. It is your decision to accept Him as your Savior when you feel the Spirit touch your heart about your need of Him. We do need Jesus, each and every one of us. So…what will you do?

God loves all of humanity but we don’t return that love and that is a sad situation which most of the world is living in right now. God made a way for us to be sanctified and cleansed by His Son’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection. The only thing that we can do for our salvation is to accept it by faith.

There is nothing which we can add to our salvation because it was taken care of by Jesus. Your money won’t get you a better home in Heaven, your works here on Earth won’t get you any closer to righteousness here on Earth. The only place where your salvation could have any impact is right here where you are and that by telling others about your life and the new life that Jesus gave you!

No evangelist or preacher can earn a better place in eternity and no amount of charity will do it either. We are ALL equal in God’s sight when we accept Jesus as our Savior, no matter our position or place in our country or a business. The pastor’s saying is true: “The playing field is level at the cross”. The rich man has no advantage over the poor and a salesman or janitor has the same opportunities as a President or a Prime minister when coming to salvation and their place in God’s Kingdom. Slaves and statesmen are equal and no one stands any taller than a person on their knees asking for God’s forgiveness.

God loves the saint and the sinner alike, but God doesn’t love the sinful lives which we all have led at one point or another. So….what will you do? What is your decision? Consider that Jesus said for us not to worry about tomorrow because it has enough trouble of its own and we are not guaranteed even our next breath. So…what decision will you make about making Him your Savior and Lord?