Pain and healing


God is with you in all of your struggles, no matter what may be going on. I know that there are many people who are hurting in many different ways today. Some because of the loss of a loved one, some because of health issues, many because of the lack of food and other things. So…why is it so hard for people in the church, regardless of denomination, to help those in need? I know that many churches do have programs and monies given to charities as well as food banks and other charitable functions, but the number of those doing this is small compared to the actual need that is out there.

The church, the body of Christ on Earth, is responsible for those who need His presence in their lives. Whether it is by food or medicine or whatever it may be, those in need truly need us to be Christ to them. After all, we may be the only representative of Jesus that they ever see in this world.

While it is true that some pain is useful to bring our faith up to a level which we can be more useful to God’s purposes, He doesn’t cause the pain but allows it just as He did with the prophet Job. Job faithfully served God in all of his work and yet the Accuser challenged God in this saying that “he will curse you” if you will allow me to afflict him. Satan could not touch Job without God’s permission as He had placed a hedge about him because of his service to God in being a priest for his family.

Our purpose as Christians is to be priests in the world wherever we may serve. In the boardroom or in hospitals or police stations or whatever job that we hold, we are to be His light in those places. While it is true that today showing your faith in God can get you fired from your job, if that happens then God will place you in a place where you can do His will in that place.

God’s will for each of us cannot be stopped or thwarted by Satan or by anyone else, if God has ordained that you should be His representative in a place then that is where you will be. If He calls you to be an evangelist or a pastor then whether you refuse the calling at first or not, it will come to pass in time when you realize that your running from His call will avail you an escape from it!

In my past, I felt the call to become a minister long before I surrendered to that calling, but I decided that I wasn’t ready for it. The thing which I didn’t know at the time was that my decision of readiness wasn’t mine to make…the call had been made and it wouldn’t be revoked. The only time that God ever repented of anything was in creating mankind, because of their evil and wickedness, yet He still saved a remnant on the ark. God’s call on the church to be what He intended hasn’t been rescinded¬†in two thousand years and it won’t be until He calls us to immortality and we are bound for Heaven.

Why is racism a thing?


 

 

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There is no racism or bigotry here unless it is taught by their parents. God did not design us to be racist. He didn’t endorse racism, even though some passages seem to say this. God only told the Israelites to get rid of those in Canaan who were not of their “race” because of their worship practices, not because of their skin color or their hair or any other distinguishing feature about them except that they worshiped false gods.

So, why do we continue to see so much bigotry and hate between people who are the same race…the human race? Remember, in the book of Genesis, all of humanity came from one set of parents. Adam and Eve, who were likely dark skinned but were also light enough that all of the skin tones in the world came from their genetics. God did not make a mistake in any of His creation, so why do we consider one race, one skin tone, better or more desirable than another?

That is learned from our parents and grandparents, nowhere else does this bigotry come from in each culture of the world. Yet many people hold that their “race” is the one who discovered ______________. Who cares? Any person in the world can be smart enough to find the cure for cancer or diabetes or any number of ailments if God gives them the talent and the knowledge. Many herbal remedies could be the cure for many diseases IF the pharmaceutical companies weren’t so greedy.

Our world was made by God and declared to be good in His sight, it is mankind who has caused things to go downhill since then. I don’t believe in global warming, but our world is changing in ways that are leading up to the end of the age. That is why things are changing so much. When I said that we have caused things to go downhill I don’t mean in our climate, but I do consider all of the wars and drugs and pornography and other things which are causing many more troubles in the world today.

Our news programs don’t concentrate on any good news and the bad news is just heard in snippets of a couple of minutes or so and then they move on to the next one in line. All of this is because of our attention spans getting shorter and that is a direct result of the Internet and its effect on us. We should be reading the Bible and asking God to show us exactly what He wants us to learn from it because it is His Word and the absolute Truth! Many people today don’t want to hear about an absolute Truth but the Word, which has been given to us by God, is the Truth which we all need.

Don’t turn away from His Word and seek Him out in all things, especially in the times that we are living in. God cares for us and He gives each of us the grace that we need for today and the strength to go with it. If He decides that we have another day then we will get the grace and the strength for that day when it comes. He doesn’t give us a promise of a certain number of years, but we do get a day to day existence when we are following Him so don’t miss it.

We need to be close


Our world is cracked and shattered today by violence which happened last night in Las Vegas. Nobody knows why the shooter did what he did, no rational person would do such a thing. Is there an explanation for this? Yes, there is evil in our world and we can’t ignore it. Men are evil, Satan is evil and yet people are wanting to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. The shooter bought his guns legally with FBI background checks, what snapped? What happened?

Honestly, we will not know for sure. His brother said that he doesn’t know why or what could have brought this on. Nobody knows for sure, except God. The shooter has been judged by Him and is likely being punished in hell right now. Taking a life which is made in the image of God is not something that God dismisses. A Christian could not have done this, so he is likely in hell and will be for eternity.

We should be seeking God’s strength and His Presence today, not trying to take the rights of people to own guns. It is true that an owner of many guns is the person responsible for this tragedy, but what started this or what set him on the path to do such a thing…nobody knows except for God. I know that I am repeating myself, but it is so shocking until it is hard to understand or even get your mind to begin to comprehend.

Pray for the families who have family members injured or recovering or even killed in this horrible tragedy. This is not the time to place blame or seek revenge on law-abiding citizens because of the act of one person whose sanity snapped in some way.

Seek out Jesus and look to God’s Word for comfort in times like these.bible-verses-about-the-downhearted

Quiet listening


I know, it sounds like something Yoda might say. So, what do we do with this idea in the real world?

In many places on Earth, quiet listening could be used to listen for survivors or for calls for help. In some places it could be part of a time of meditation or maybe prayer. For believers in Jesus and those who are trying to understand the wisdom found in God’s Word, quiet listening is a way to hear God speak to you.

Although it is hard to find a place where there is enough quiet to sit or walk and just listen with our ears and with our Spirit. Life doesn’t seem to allow for much quiet time spent in prayer and listening for God’s voice, so we should make the time. Then we have to check our schedule and find a place to put this quiet time. Why not do like Jesus did?

Either go off by yourself into a quiet room before bedtime or get up early in the morning before the day gets too busy to intrude on your quiet time with God.

In today’s busy mixed up world, it is hard to find either of these quiet times. I tend to find mine after everyone else goes to bed or at least quiets down around bedtime. I have always been a sort of night person anyway, so I have always stayed up late whether I was seeking God or not.

My point for this post…this little bit of wisdom snatched from my time with Him is this:¬†don’t take your day so seriously that you can’t find a quiet place to just sit down and listen to God. Life is serious it is true, but your relationship with your Creator is far more serious because it leads to eternity with Him! Don’t turn away or say that you don’t have time for God! Remember, God put all of your DNA together in such a certain way that He knows you far better than you will ever know yourself!

Believe me, God can slow your life down in order to get your attention so don’t ever tell God that you don’t have time for Him. He will see to it that you DO have the time to listen when He really wants to.

Being a Christian is not a birthright nor do you get it by sitting in church for forty or more years. It is a privilege and an honor to be called into the family of God. It is also something which you can really make a mess of if you don’t take the time to listen to Him. You can think you are doing what He wants you to do, when it may be something totally different that God has in mind. If you aren’t listening to Him or for His voice, you will miss it.

Only one man was ever called from a burning bush and heard God’s voice audibly, so you truly need to be quiet and pray that He will speak to you in your quiet time. If He has something to say, which I believe He does, to you or for you to know then you will hear it but only if you are listening.

Accidental but on purpose


Many of the things which happen in our lives seem to fit this description. We think of them as accidents but later realize that God had a purpose in it all along. Depending upon the outcome of the “accident”, it could be good or bad in your life or your vocation. All of which is under God’s control whether it feels that way at the time or not. Like, Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. He knew that she was going to be there before His disciples went into town. He also knew that she was in spiritual need of what He could tell her and reveal to her.

WomanbytheWellDid He really have to leave Judea in order to get to Galilee? Kinda. According to some maps I have looked at, yes He did have to get out of Judea to get to Galilee, but He didn’t have to go through Samaria. Many people went the long, long way around to get there. But Jesus had a mission and a purpose for what He did.

Why do I bring this up? Because, it is something which all of us need to do. Some of us may do this on a daily basis, some may only try to do it when we feel the need for it. God gives each of us a purpose when we become His children. Sometimes that purpose is our life’s work, sometimes that purpose is part of our daily lives. In either case, we should be seeking His Spirit and His guidance in all of these things that we do. Especially when it comes to posting something on Facebook or even on a blog.

Why? Because something posted online, just as something that is said, can’t be undone. You can’t really take it back entirely. It may have been copied by someone and posted somewhere else, but it may still be out there and it can cause more hurt if it was something that should’ve been between you and God and nobody else! Talk to Him about it, pray about it, regardless of how hurt you may feel DON’T post it to a public forum like Twitter or Facebook.

I have been learning this lesson for many days and I am still learning it, trying to get it completely embedded into my mind so that my brain won’t forget it…ever! The only thing which I can ask of anyone who knows what this is about is forgiveness and to give you my utmost and most humble apology.

So what are you reflecting?


 

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Are you a dull mirror which barely reflects your God and His Glory which is in you? Or are you a mirror turned toward itself, which only reflects itself into infinity? Which are you?

Think on this the next time you go to church or read the Bible.

 

 

 

 

Persecution


PersecutionTodayToday just as in times past, persecution is like gas on a fire or fertilizer for plants in regard to the number of believers. The church grows! No matter where the persecution may be or what form it takes, people notice how believers have faith and joy in Jesus! Then they turn to their faith and realize that they don’t have that. No other faith offers that joyous hope in Jesus because there is no hope of eternity in anyone else!

Hundreds of years ago, persecution caused the church to grow. Even at the end of the first century after Jesus’ burial and resurrection which was why John was exiled to Patmos, there was much persecution but believers didn’t give up their beliefs. No matter what they were threatened with, they still held onto their faith in Jesus. Many were killed, martyred in horrible ways which I won’t describe here, but they still held to their faith!

Nobody would hold onto a lie or a fantasy and die because of something that they knew wasn’t real! All but one disciple of Jesus died a martyr’s death in one way or another. Some were beheaded, some were crucified or run through with a spear or sword, but all but John died this way. They tried to boil John in oil but by a miracle, it didn’t work and he died of old age.

If you truly want to know how many of the believers died, read the Book of Martyrs. It will strengthen your faith and make our sufferings look mild in comparison. Does persecution cause people to turn to Jesus? Yes, it does! Many do, even today, although they don’t want it to be known because they would be killed if it became public knowledge. Are Muslims coming to Jesus? Yes! Are others coming to know Jesus? Yes!

Why? Because they see the joy that people have in Him, even when they are poor or persecuted for their faith. It is a joy which defies human comprehension because to someone without faith in Jesus, this joy makes no sense at all! Just as the Bible says, to the world our faith is foolishness.

To someone who is drowning but may not know it, a rope tossed to them will be flung aside. A float will be ignored until they realize that they truly need it. It is the same with someone who is living without Jesus. Until they realize that they NEED Him, they will go about their life with no worries. Until that point that God touches their heart and they know that they need Jesus, they will refuse to pay attention to any part of the Bible!

The image above shows that it is happening today and even though those in the picture may not look joyous in their time of persecution, their hope is still in Jesus. It is the reason that they are being killed, because of their belief in Him. Could we be brave enough to stand and declare our faith in the face of being burned or shot? I don’t know. God would give each of us a measure of faith and strength in that time of testing but to tell you that I could face it without fear and trembling? I just can’t say. Seek Him today so that your faith will be made complete in Him.