Faith, what is it?


Have you ever wondered what faith really is? Faith according to the Bible is defined by this:  Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

In Ephesians our faith is part of the equation which brings us to salvation through our Savior: Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

Also, without faith it is impossible to please God in anything that we do: Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

When God calls you or me to Himself through the conviction that we need Him, He gives us the faith which we need to believe in Jesus for our salvation. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the faith which is necessary to bring us to that knowledge. It is a gift of God to us so that we can effectively believe in the promises which He has made to us in Scripture. That is what Biblical faith is.

We have faith in gravity or in our heart to keep beating and to keep us alive, yet we don’t usually acknowledge it. We have faith that the sun will rise in the morning, not gifted to us by God but because it has always come up each morning. That is faith in things which are seen. Faith in things which are not seen but are hoped for with a conviction that we will have them one day is the faith which is spoken of in the Bible.

This kind of faith cannot be proven or shown to anyone who doesn’t believe in God or Jesus or the Bible because it takes faith to believe in those things. If you don’t have it, you can’t get it except by belief in Jesus and His atonement for your sins and you won’t believe that unless God gives you the faith to do so!

I know, it is a spiral which goes from faith to faith to faith but if you have it, you’ve got it and if you don’t then unless you are seeking Him, you won’t get it then either.

Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” Reading God’s Word and seeking Him in it will bring you into a closer walk with Him so enjoy His Presence in your life by cultivating a friendship with God. He is always present with you so treat Him as a treasured friend and talk to Him, walk with Him, seek His advice and act on His advice that is given to you.

By faith in Him and through Him we can conquer any problem in our lives, so make sure that you seek Him and His Son’s friendship while you can. Life only lasts for a little while, so make sure that you are friends with the Author of Life!

Consider having God’s attention


sunset-over-ocean-mothaibaphoto-prints

Have you considered that each of us has God’s attention? I know this is a very BIG and awesome question to throw out there, but have you ever thought about this at all?

In this picture it is like the light from the sun is following you along the beach. If you are walking on a beach at sunset, you will see an image like this and it doesn’t matter how many people are on the beach, all of them will have the same perspective and that is that the light coming across the water is pointed at each person or couple walking there.

That is the kind of attention which God pays to those who belong to Him. Your life is always before Him, even if you have not given your heart to Him or asked Jesus into your life. Remember, Jesus said that “not one sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s knowledge“. Don’t you realize that each of us is more important to God than a sparrow?

But, in your life, God sees and knows exactly what you have done and even where you have gone and each word which has gone forth from your mouth. God cares about your life and it is God Who sent Jesus to pay the price for each person in this world, so do all get to go to Heaven? NO! God doesn’t call every man, but He knows every man’s heart and whether they will follow Jesus after being called.

Does that mean that there are some whom God calls and some that He doesn’t? Yes. I know that sounds very picky and unfair but God knows our hearts and He knows which of us will walk with Him and do what is asked of him and who will not. So, why call someone to faith in Jesus if they are going to walk away or refuse to be a true follower of Jesus?

God is sovereign in His creation and in His Kingdom and He will do what He will, regardless of our decisions or our failures. He sent Jesus to pay for all of mankind’s sins and our debts have been paid but will every person on Earth give their heart to Jesus and follow Him as His disciples did? Of course not!

But…will you give your heart to Him and be His disciple until He calls you home to Heaven one day? Many people would truly jump at the chance of being His disciple! Why? Because He is the Creator of the cosmos! Doesn’t He deserve more recognition than a football coach or some CEO of a Fortune 500 company? He created everything around you so doesn’t that one fact give Him a bit more importance than even the President of the United States? I think it does!

Take a look through a real telescope one night or look at some of the pictures which the Hubble telescope has taken. God created ALL OF THAT! He did it mostly to watch us go “WOW!!”. Isn’t that neat? Looking out into space and seeing everything that He made as the Bible says, “He stretched out the heavens“; so don’t you think He can use your talents and your gifts for His purposes?

He knows which people can spread His message in the world and do it more effectively so that many more will come to know Him as their Lord and Savior after all God is One in Three Persons. There is God the Father and Jesus the Son and the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit and each of them was present when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan river.

Please seek Jesus out as your Savior because there are many things which will need your specific talents and abilities in His Kingdom.

Why is there so much tension?


The world seems to be ready to snap these days and it shouldn’t be. God created all of us and there is very little difference in our genetic makeup. I mean if you could track it down there is only about 1% or so that is different between people all over the world. Most of that has to do with eye color, skin color, hair color, and texture but very little else.

Still, we keep shooting at each other and killing each other for mostly cultural reasons. Some of it is also because of religious beliefs but…why? We are individuals and we should be tolerant of other people’s beliefs and their culture too, so why can’t we?

Is it because of hate or greed or just being an extremist in our own belief which keeps us at each other’s throats?

The real reason is that this is supposed to happen. It is foretold in the book of Revelation. Tension and strife over petty differences and religious beliefs will become worse toward the end of the age and that is exactly where we are. If you have read the Bible and pay attention to the news all of these things are not unusual at all. They are disturbing and hurtful but God knew this was going to happen a long time ago.

Remember, God is not surprised by anything which happens. God loves us and He has things under His control. Nothing can happen without His authority. I pray that many who read this will seek Him out because one day soon the church will be taken from the Earth and life will get even harder for those who are still here.

Make sure of your salvation since it is the difference between living into eternity and being in torment for eternity.

Bridge2Salvation

Why the decrease?


According to a poll done recently, of the nearly seventy percent of Christians who identify as Christians in the United States, only forty to fifty-nine percent of those attend church weekly. The article was on Faithwire so I am giving you the link to it if you want to read it. The United States came in as an outlier in the statistical realm because of our less involved Christians.

Why have participation and participants gone down in the past fifty years in America? I think it is because we have moved away from teaching our children about the moral absolutes found in the Bible. The schools are not allowed to teach it anymore, we don’t have a copy of the Ten Commandments in schools anymore for fear of offending someone. We have taken prayer, compulsory or voluntary, out of schools because of “political correctness” and trying not to offend people.

You know, Jesus offended His people while He was teaching and preaching! He would heal a person on the Sabbath or clear the porch of the Temple because of all the business transactions going on in a worship setting. He ate with sinners of all things! What a disgrace!

Really? Those who are sinners, which we all are by the way, need to hear the message of love and forgiveness more than the people who have been in the church for forty years. Many of those who have been in the church the longest are more like the Pharisees than the tax collector. They may not pray like he did, essentially telling God that He was lucky to have him as a teacher and that he wasn’t like these sinners or this tax collector, but they have ears which have grown calloused to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Many of them are spiritually deaf!

Then, when they go home their children and grandchildren don’t hear any more about Jesus and His teachings until next Sunday for about thirty minutes or so. If you aren’t teaching your children about Jesus during the week then they are listening to those at school about what exactly? Football, basketball, soccer, cheerleading, all of the religions of America which push Jesus into the locker room and shut the door.

Then during the fall there is hunting and more football and its an endless cycle every year. We are letting our children down into a well where Jesus is not and if they don’t find out about Him in time, they will drown in the world’s “religions” and may never darken the door of a church after they graduate. We have allowed this to happen to our children and to society in general. It isn’t some plot from some other religious group or some computer or console game! The blame for this lies directly in the laps of our families because we have failed in our duty to teach the next generation.

If we don’t turn this around and begin teaching our grandchildren and children now, in another generation there won’t be a church in America or the UK. Many are closing their doors each month as it is because no one attends and there is no money to keep the church open, let alone pay a pastor. We are living in the time just before the return of Jesus and the world is running away from belief in Him as fast as possible and it breaks my heart. I know it is breaking God’s heart too watching those that Jesus died for turn away and leave.

“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 1:3

What are your convictions?


Most of us really don’t think about this word or what it means, at least not on a daily basis. Your convictions come into play when you vote or in how you handle adversity. Sometimes, your convictions have an effect on the way you live your life from the beginning of adulthood throughout your life. One definition of a conviction has to do with being convicted of a crime in a court of law. The definition that I am writing about here is expressed best by part of a sermon which Dr. Charles Stanley taught recently so here is that definition:

A conviction is a solid, immovable belief based on confidence in God’s Word, being so thoroughly convinced of its absolute truth that we are willing to take a stand regardless of the consequences. Convictions shape not only what we believe but also how we live and even how we die. They define who we are and provide direction with solid straight lines that don’t veer off track to accommodate circumstances or temptations.

Many of the disciples and early church members were martyred for their convictions about their faith in Jesus Christ, so that should prove to many people that those beliefs and their faith and their conviction about Him were so strong that they were willing to die for them. You wouldn’t die for some made up fairy tale or a lie. Jesus is coming back as He said He would and I urge you if you don’t believe in Him as your Savior, to give your life to Him today.

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so as the Bible says, “Today is the day of salvation“. If you truly want an eternity which is not eternal punishment, and honestly who would want that for eternity, then give your heart to Jesus. Seek Him out in any way that you can because He is coming soon and you don’t want to be left behind to live through the seven years which will follow His removal of the church from the Earth. There will be a lot of destruction and death on that day because of the people who were taken to heaven with Him, but the aftermath of that will be easy compared to what comes later.

God does love and care for all of us but He doesn’t like our sins and the lives which we live apart from Him. Lifestyles which go against His laws and His precepts in His Word are not the lifestyles which He approves of. Living outside of His law just because you don’t like what the Bible says is not the Christian way of life. Consider the places that you go on a Friday night or over the weekend. Would you feel comfortable taking Jesus to those places, really? If you attend church but haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, would you feel comfortable telling your pastor about where you went the night before church on Sunday morning?

If you can’t answer those questions truthfully and without hesitation then your life needs Jesus in it now.

Christ is the answer!


You may ask “To what question is He the answer?”; He is the answer to every question! He is the Good Shepherd, the Alpha and Omega, the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of the Passover and the Pearl of great price! Jesus is the Treasure of which we are all seeking to have and never lose!

He was spoken of in Genesis and He is alluded to in every book of the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. He is our Savior and our Rock which gives Living water for our salvation and our regeneration into eternity. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and our Strength in troubled times.

JesusistheAnswer

Jesus is the One Who gave His life to pay for all of our sins. Not just for a few people but for every person on Earth and yet there are those who will not accept Him because they enjoy their life the way it is. They don’t want to change and they don’t want Him to change them so they don’t or won’t accept His offer of salvation even when they feel convicted of their sins and know that they need Him!

God is patient and He knows who will and who will not accept the offer of salvation, but that doesn’t stop Him from making the offer to those who will notice it. Whether you accept His offer or not is entirely up to you. You are the only one who decides where you spend eternity believe it or not! God doesn’t send you there but that is your destination if you don’t repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

It is likely that many who read this have never heard that before, but it is the truth. I have heard that some say that God doesn’t love everybody but He does! He would’ve sent Jesus to die on the cross even if there was only ONE person to save, but Jesus paid the price of everyone’s sins all the way back to Adam! Does God love each of us? YES!! He is like most parents who love their children, He doesn’t like some of our choices in this life but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t love you more than you can imagine.

Is being a Christian easy or fun? Yes and no. It is easy to believe in Jesus for your salvation and if you truly believe in Him and not just the idea of Him then you will be changed into the person that God knows you can be. Is it fun? Not in the same way you would enjoy life without Jesus! You can’t or shouldn’t want to go to bars and pick up women and get drunk. You will be changed from the inside out into a new person, a new creation is one way that scripture describes it.

Give Jesus a chance to change your heart and soul into the person that God wants you to be for His Kingdom and glory. Don’t put it off because you may not get another chance to give your heart to Jesus and there are no second chances when you appear before Him after your life is over.

God loves you!


AllRoneinJesusDuring my life, I have seen Christian attitudes change. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse, but the love of God is for everyone, regardless of your nationality or creed. This is the message that Jesus taught and it is the same message that all believers in the world should be taking to the rest of the world today! Why should we do this? Because Jesus would do it if He was still on Earth doing His ministry today and that is why we are supposed to take His message to ALL over the world!

There is no reason that we should not tell others about our Savior, regardless of where we might go or who we are talking to. Everyone needs Him, regardless of their religion or their doctrine and they need to make that decision today. Why? Because today could be your last day on this Earth. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so seek Him and believe in Him today! Your salvation and your eternal destiny depend upon your decision here and now. Once your life is over there is no second chance to make it right.

Make sure of your salvation now while you have the time.

Cliche’


Life is not supposed to be lived while spouting cliche’s almost all of the time. When someone asks you how you feel, don’t tell them “I’m fine” because you know it isn’t true. At least not the way you mean it. I have been in doctor’s offices and heard friends meeting in the waiting room. They ask each other how they are doing and those words are the first that I hear from either of them, “I’m fine”.

NO, they are NOT fine! If they were they wouldn’t be in the waiting room to see the doctor! You know as well as I do that people do this all of the time. We are lying to our friends and we are lying to God as well! Why do I put it that way? Because, if your life is fine then you don’t have any problems, none. Your family is doing great, all of your bills are paid and your credit score is 800!

NOBODY is that perfect!!

Life doesn’t work that way! You know it and I do as well.

God loves you and the only place where life will truly be perfect is when you and I get to Heaven. There won’t be any cell phones or clocks, no disease, and no lottery or sweepstakes to try to win money from. But…until that time and place is a reality, we are all a good deal less than “doing fine”. Do you believe this? I do.

Perfect peace and harmony aren’t possible on this side of Heaven. Even though some fictional shows declare that we can achieve this through technology and by realizing that God is not real. I hate to break it to you but He is real! The Bible and all of those prophecies couldn’t be some fictional book made up by some old men because mankind cannot know the future, especially what will happen hundreds of years in the future.

Cliche’ or twisted words are what the serpent used to get Eve to try the fruit from the tree which God had commanded them NOT to eat of. Truly, cliche’s are words or phrases which are used so much that their meaning is lost. When you twist someone else’s words then you are creating a cliche and that is exactly what the Serpent did in the garden.

There are people who do this all the time, they are called lawyers and politicians. If you don’t believe me, listen to a recording of their arguments in court or the way that their laws are worded in the legislature.

God loves us but telling people that you are doing well or fine is usually a lie in the first place and that is a sin in God’s court. Anything which is beyond the truth is a lie and it doesn’t matter what you call it. A “fib” is a lie, a little white lie is still a lie, any untruth is a lie but Satan tries to tell you and me that they don’t mean anything unless they are really BIG lies! WRONG!! Make sure that your relationship is with God and His Son, Jesus because Satan can disguise himself as an angel since he was one a long time ago. He is very skilled at making people believe things which aren’t true as if they are.

So, make sure of the spirit that you are hearing is actually from God. As the scripture says, “Test the spirits with God’s Word”, then you will be safe when you hear it and listen to it. If it isn’t from God and it doesn’t line up with Scripture, then don’t listen to it and get away from it.

Time keeps on ticking…..


In every person’s life, no matter who you are, there is a certain amount of time. Only God knows our length of days in regards to our life, but when you and I wake up each day, each of us has 24 hours in that day, 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. We have an allotment of time given to each of us by our Creator, whether you believe in Him or not, when we are born. How we use that time and whether we use it selfishly or for Him is our choice.

eternityWhat have you done with your 1,440 minutes today? A number of those were spent sleeping since our account resets itself at midnight, so depending upon how late you sleep or how early you get up determines how many of those minutes you have to do something with. There have been songs written about time and how it slips away from us or how we should be cherishing our time with those we love. What about the time which we have to serve God?

After you have given your heart to Jesus, your time becomes more useful in God’s economy and for His Kingdom. How many minutes have you given Him today? Did you thank Him for waking you up this morning? Did you thank Him for your breakfast and your other meals today? What about the safe trips that you have made around town or on the highway, did you thank Him for watching over you at those times? God loves you and He does watch over us each and every day, but do you think about Him or thank Him for the good things which happen in that day?

That is the part of life which I think is the most useful because when you live every day in a thankful mood toward God, you notice things which you really are thankful for. Getting up in the morning, getting around the house, going to the supermarket or to Walmart, and doing all of this in safety without incident, those are accomplishments which deserve thanks to the One Who gave you the ability to do them!

We all have time and the same amount of it each and every day that we live. There is no day which is too short nor a night too long because no matter where you live or the time zone that you live in, the day is still the same. Savings time or standard time, the day is still 24 hours long regardless of your feeling that you need more time to finish a task or not.

Give God the glory and the praise for the time that you have with family and friends because each minute which goes by is gone for good. You can’t get it back and you can’t add to your day tomorrow to make up for any time which you feel was lost today. Consider this when you think about how fast time goes by and the family which you have is growing up and will soon be off to college or a career. It goes by so fast and you can’t rewind time.

Where are we in our lives?


Strange title, huh? Well, I wanted to name it as such so that we who read it might think about where we are. Are you in a relationship, personally with God or do you despise Him and His laws? Maybe you don’t believe that He exists at all! You are one of those foolish people who thinks that everything in our universe, all of the trillions of galaxies and stars and planets came from a compact singularity long ago and just “evolved” from that big bang.

mygodisawesomeMaybe you even believe that we come from a pond of proteinaceous soup which formed from a random comet impact billions of years ago and all life on Earth came from those proteins. If our planet had more time than it is estimated to exist, it may have happened this way, but it did not happen like this.

I know, evolutionists will want to argue this point but according to God’s Word, He created all of these things with His Words. He placed the stars and galaxies in their places. God created all of these in His time, not ours. Life is sustained by Him, the stars are sustained by His strength, your strength is given to you by His Grace for you each day.

God does all of these things because He loves us, whether we love Him or acknowledge Him or not. Although, He did provide a way for our salvation and our life in Jesus and through Jesus Who gave Himself for us and for our eternal life, if we will only believe in Him. Seek Him while there is time and don’t delay because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Please, for your eternity and your life in it, believe in Jesus and the atonement that He paid for with His blood and He did it willingly for all who would believe.

themissingpieceBut don’t just take my word for it, read it from God’s Word in the New Testament. The gospels all tell the story of His ministry and His birth, death and resurrection, some tell different aspects of it or from a Jewish perspective and one from a Greek perspective in Luke’s gospel. He was a physician who traveled with Paul and he gathered the story of Jesus meticulously, as a physician would.

God uses each of us with our own voice or talent in telling a story to get the Word out and tell it in the unique way that He gifted each of us with. Some of us can tell it better or maybe more to the point, and some tell it like we see it through our eyes of faith in Him. To each of us, God gives a unique voice because He knows who will listen to that voice and what they will get from it.

That is why Jesus went to common fishermen who were devout Jews. He didn’t go to the Pharisees or the others who were sanctimonious in their faith, because they were “safe” in their blood lineage of being Jewish. They were “sons of Levi and Abraham”, they didn’t need some carpenter telling them how to serve God!

Many of us live our Christian lives this way today. We create god in our image and we give him aspects which we are comfortable with him having and we convince ourselves that this is the God of the Bible. But our “god” is nothing like God and we would know this if we read and studied His Word and prayed to Him to reveal Himself to us in it! How many of you do that? Would you do that? Are you brave enough to ask God to show up in your prayer life? What would you do if you actually heard His voice in your spiritual ears while praying?

Many of us would fall over wondering just what or Who that was which spoke to us! Many others would think they were imagining it and just ignore Him. Until He spoke again. In the Old Testament God usually called to someone three times. Sometimes it took that many times to get their attention, but often it was because God wanted to impress a point on them.

Make sure of whom you are hearing and know that it is God. The only way to do this is to get to know His voice by reading His Words in the Bible. The more familiar you are with His Words and His Word, then you will be able to accept that the Voice speaking to you is Him.