Are you religious or a Christian?


Believe me, they are not the same thing at all! You can religiously do anything from watching the news to fishing or hunting or whatever you really like to do. But being a true follower of Christ, an actual Christian, who has had his heart broken by the Holy Spirit and has repented of his old life so he can live a new life in Christ…that is a whole other dimension of being a disciple.

Are there Christians in the world who actually live that way? Yes, there are but as the Lord, Himself said, “there are few who find it“. I don’t mean that being a Christian is an exclusive club or something but there are few who will follow the leading of the Lord on the way to eternity and that is by His words, not mine. Can anyone be successful at living the life of a Christian? No, at least not on your own strength and ability. If the Holy Spirit is not living in your heart and giving you the will to do what is needed and stay true to the narrow path then you won’t be successful at it…period.

It is not a decision which is made only once and then you go on your merry way back to the life that you enjoy until Jesus comes. Just because a fence is painted white once doesn’t mean that it will stay that way without maintenance. That is the life that you are taking on when you truly repent of your old life and determine to follow the Holy Spirit leading you into a new life. Reading God’s Word, praying about your walk with Him daily, seeking His will in every area of your life, praying for others to come to know Him as you do and keeping your steps on this pathway until He calls you home. Asking His forgiveness for any slip of the tongue or of your way as you do walk with Him and truly repenting of those sins as they dirty your feet on the way.

Can we live this way? As I said earlier, yes we can with the Holy Spirit’s help to focus our spiritual eyes and our ears so that we can see and hear those things which we need to hear and not those which do not help us in any way. Is it a struggle to do these things? It may be for a while, as we get accustomed to His teachings and His leading on a daily basis. But, after that, it will become easier. We will never be perfect at walking without sin but we will be able to avoid it or at least be granted forgiveness for those sins which do get in from time to time.

How will we know? Because, if you are walking this close to the Holy Spirit, any word or thought which is outside of Him will immediately be flagged by your Spirit as wrong and not part of His leading or His teaching. We won’t be perfectly capable of catching these all of the time but as you keep walking with Him it will get easier. The one sin which can creep into a disciple’s life is the oldest of sins and that is pride. That is the one which every gospel and every letter written in the New Testament says to guard against most fiercely because once it gets a foothold it can grow other sinful feelings along with it.

That is why our Lord said to “take up your cross daily” and follow Him. Here is another article which might help clarify some of this as well. I pray that all of you will seek a closer walk with Him.

Artificial life


In our world today we have AI or artificial intelligence inside many things. Phones, cars, computers, and in some cases people too. What do I mean by that? Well, if you can use your “pocket computer” to find out all sorts of information on almost any subject imaginable then I would say you are artificially intelligent. You can spout all sorts of statistics on games and cars and science and history and the news of the day and you get it from those little computers we call smartphones.

We do live in a time where there are so many things which fall into the artificial category after all. We have sweeteners which are not sugar, we have whiskey which isn’t alcoholic, we have beers which have such a small amount of alcohol in them until they might as well be classified as carbonated drinks. The list of artificial stuff could go on and on, but you get my point.

My problem lies with those who consider themselves to be Christians who really aren’t. They are artificial Christians. They do many of the same things which other Christians do like come to church and to Bible study, some of them are deacons and even pastors but if you could see what they have in their hearts like God can, it is empty.  They know what they should say and do, they have studied the Bible and been to church enough that they can quote Scripture and they have all of the outward signs of being a “Christian” but they are artificial.

Can we know for sure of the state of their hearts and bring them to repentance and the saving knowledge of Jesus? Truthfully, we cannot. Why? Because only God knows the human heart and we can’t. All that we can do is keep telling others about Jesus and giving our testimony and all of the things which our Lord told us to do so as to win over those who haven’t given their hearts and their lives to Him.

If they are finally convicted of their need for Jesus, then they may ask Him into their lives although it is likely that many of them will be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They will be so self-righteous until they will see no need to change, even if they feel the Holy Spirit calling to them. Which will be a sad thing because they will be found in the group which is telling Jesus about all of the good things which they did in His Name and He will tell them, “Depart from Me, for I never knew you.”

Do you know anyone like this? Can you tell that they are not what they say they are? Unless God gives your spirit the discernment to be able to tell if their spirit belongs to Him, most likely you can’t. Even if you had a feeling about them, I wouldn’t confront them about it because you will be accused of being a judge and we are not to do that. God alone is the Judge of our hearts, so leave that up to Him. Make sure of your salvation so that you won’t hear those words from our Lord! Amen

Is your church part of the problem?


In many churches today, especially within a fifty-mile radius of my home, many visitors feel unwanted and unwelcome. Why is this? Mostly because our churches have become social meeting places rather than places to meet and worship God and Jesus. My church and yours should be places to fall in love with our Savior, but more often than not we talk more about politics and government issues and who should be added to our prayer list this week. Granted, many who are truly in need of prayer for healing and comfort NEED our prayers each and every day.

But the political issues in our government and how it is being run should be part of our prayer ministry, not a part of the commentary and debate in church or Bible study time.

Is the church part of the problem in America today? In some cases…yes it is. We are more concerned about the color of the carpet in the sanctuary and how it looks than we are about drawing more people into the church to hear about salvation through Jesus! So, what can we do about our relationship with Him? I mean, it is our relationship with Jesus which we are supposed to be giving away or at least showing people a Savior that they need to get to know!

Why are churches turning away from their “first love” and trying to be everything to everyone these days? It seems that some churches are trying to attract more people to church just for the numbers in attendance. Having a large number of people attending church is good, but if the message is more fluff than it is substance pertaining to salvation through Jesus, then the message is wrong!

Having 300 or more people attending church every Sunday is great but if you aren’t preaching the love of Jesus and the salvation which He died to provide for those who will believe, then you just have a full church. IF you aren’t following up with those who have attended your services to find out where their beliefs are or if they need prayer for specific problems in life, then you aren’t doing your job as a church. When I say this, I don’t mean that the preacher has to be the one following up with the people. It is the responsibility of those who are Christians in the church who should be doing this as well as the preacher!

Even a full-time preacher can’t reach out and touch every person who has visited your church or has asked for prayer. The only way that we, as a church, can take care of those in the congregation and those who have visited but haven’t decided to be a part of your church is for the deacons and the elders in the church to go to them and invite them back. If they are searching for Jesus, they will feel His presence in those who are inviting them back IF you are doing it in the power of Christ and with His love shining through.

Numbers and the amount which is given during the offering are not the way which measures a church and its commitment to following Jesus. Telling others about Him, mentoring those who are new to the faith, Bible study and helping others to grow in their walk with Jesus are the ways which the church continues to be the true church in the world today! Praying for each other’s burdens, listening to their concerns about being a Christian and living your walk with Him every day is the way to walk the walk so others might want to know Him too.

Many of these things are what our churches need to be doing but few actually are doing them and doing them effectively.