We are like children, regardless of our age

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child and played as a child; when I grew up, I put away childish things.” (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:11)

This is something which we have heard from preachers for years, but what exactly does it mean?

To us, as Christians, it means that when we finally grow up, regardless of what age we may be when we do, we should act like it!

Do we act like it? Have we grown up? Are we, as adults, really grown up?

1. Most of us are not.

·         We do what we want to do, when we want to do it, if possible. Then, we get mad if we can’t.

·         People see themselves as good, but what about the thoughts that we all have. Are they good all the time? Would you want Jesus to read your thoughts every day? He knows what you think whether you have given your heart to him or not.

·         Does it bother you that God knows every thought that you have? If it doesn’t, you might want to check your relationship with Him.

 2. Can we fix our character, our heart or our soul on our own? Of course not! We can’t pull off something like that, only Jesus can do a soul-cleansing restoration on your heart and soul!

 Many times, we believe that we are in charge. We start our lives wanting to be in charge of our life. “I can do it myself!” How many times have parents heard that? At those times it is cute, for a while, but when children get older it is called being rebellious. It tends to cause ulcers and grey hair and lost hair too.

 The point is that, when we think that we are good enough to run our lives by ourselves, we are taking the throne away from the One Who is supposed to be there! We are doing the same thing that Satan tried to do when He was cast into outer darkness. He wanted to put himself on the throne which God was on or to put his “throne” above God’s. We can’t do that, although many people do just exactly that!

 People that think they have plenty of time to get around to God do it. People who don’t believe that there is a God do it. People who have made their own version of “god” do it. This happens all over the world, every day. Billions of people think that they know better than God!

 Can we be that ignorant? Are we? Many people think that they have all of the answers for their own problems and for the world’s problems too. You see them on television and on the internet every day. If they base their advice on God’s Word, and use its wisdom to advise people, then maybe they do have the answer for mankind’s problems. But, if they are using their own wisdom or some wisdom from man, such as Buddhism or Scientology, then they are mistaken. Even the Koran is only from a man, it was not given by God. God would not condone killing others because they won’t accept Islam as their religion. That sounds like it came from Satan himself.

 The answers to our life’s problems lie in giving our hearts and our minds to Christ so that we can become more like Him. Following Him in all of our ways, every day and in all things. Give the day to Him before you begin it so that He will be in your mind and heart and direct your steps and words during your daily routine. It isn’t hard to do, but it is a conscious decision that we have to make. A decision that comes only when your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit and you have taken the Word into your mind. One sermon a week listening to someone preach doesn’t equip you for service to God, you have to do that daily!

 I know that many people think that daily walks with God in His Word is what the preacher is supposed to do. It is what we are all called to do as Christians, to be followers of Christ. Walking with God daily is our responsibility because if we don’t, we won’t get to know the God who came to save us. Reading the Bible is the best way for us to get to know Him because it is His way of communicating with us and telling us about Himself.

 God loves us more than we can understand but the way that we can learn about Him is by reading His word. Getting to know our Father better is one of the best things you can do for your relationship with Him, the better you know Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice when He speaks to you. I can’t imagine a more satisfying relationship than having one with the Creator of everything! He created us all for that, the least that we could do is return the love toward Him.

God knew you before you were born and He knows when your last day on the earth will be. Knowing this, He still chose you to be a child of His and all He is waiting for is your agreement with Him and your asking Him into your heart and life. God’s grace toward us is loving and eternal and doesn’t depend on anything that we may believe that we have to do, God doesn’t need our help in making us righteous. He works His changes in your heart and your life gradually and carefully, but sometimes those changes may hurt a bit.

We don’t agree with the pain and suffering that we have to endure during the time of God’s changes in our hearts and our lives because, even as Christians, it hurts or it is uncomfortable. That’s life! Jesus didn’t say that He came to make our lives easy. He told the disciples and us through them that we would have trouble and pain in this world, but He also tells us to take heart because He overcame the world and through Him, we can too!

There are many people in the world that are hurting every day and in more ways than we can imagine but God knows about each of them and His Spirit is with them through it all. He will draw them to Himself and if they answer the call they will have His strength to carry them through whatever they are being put through. Many people don’t acknowledge that call on their spirit because they are hurting too much or they are high on drugs or they are drunk, but God knows their hearts. He will keep drawing them until they tell Him to go away, if they recognize that it was Him to begin with.

Other times, which happens more often that we would like to believe, they don’t hear His call in their life. People are so caught up in what they are doing or having to deal with until they are spiritually deaf. Satan loves it when we are so caught up in our lives and our jobs or with our family that we can’t even hear God calling to us. That is when he will crank up the volume in our life so that we are even more involved and there is no way God can get through. But, God knows your heart and He knows whether you will hear Him at some point and it is at those times, whether you like what is happening to you or your family or not, that you will hear Him! You may wonder why this is happening at that point but it is because God has something that only you can do and He will not let you ignore Him.

I can hear many people saying that we are not predestined but God says that we are. He can raise up a ruler or bring him down for His purposes and He can do the same with us. He is the Creator and can do anything that He desires to do and if that means breaking down your will in order to build you up to be the person that He knows you can be, then that is what He will do. Give your heart to God before He has to allow that to happen in your life, so that He can use you in a more fantastic way than you could ever imagine! Won’t you call on Him today?

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The Lord and Our God

In the times that we live in, can we as Christians claim Jesus as our Lord and Our God? If we are Christian followers of Him, serving Him and not our own selves, then yes, we can. Are there people who want to claim Him but don’t for various reasons? Yes, it is possible that there are those who claim to speak to Him daily and who say that they are praying to Him, but they still don’t claim their place as children of God.

I suppose it is because they aren’t ready or they believe that they have plenty of time to do that later. The fact is that you are not guaranteed tomorrow and when it is your time to appear before God after your death, what will you say to Him? “I didn’t have enough time”; “I wasn’t ready yet”; “I had too much to do to bother with my soul”.

The problem with the excuses above is that they are heard many times when someone is asked about giving their life to Christ. But, they are not valid excuses! The argument that “a loving God wouldn’t send someone to hell” doesn’t hold much validity either because it is not God who condemns you, it is your own decision that sends you to hell.

When Jesus was teaching His disciples before His death on the cross, He told them that “no one comes to the Father except through me”. If you don’t decide to accept Him as your Savior, you have condemned yourself to hell. That is the unpardonable sin. When you stand before God to review your life, all of the things that you said that were sinful and the things that you did will be brought before you and God, unless you have accepted Jesus as your Savior.

That is the sin which is the one that will condemn you to eternal punishment and the reason for the eternal punishment is that there are no gray areas, if you haven’t joined God’s family, then you are on Satan‘s side of the fence. You cannot balance between the two, either you serve God or yourself and by serving yourself, you are in Satan’s “camp” in a manner of speaking.

If you look at it like a war, it would be like not joining the fight against an enemy. Even though you may not be fighting with the enemy, you aren’t fighting for the other side either, so by not choosing sides, you have chosen. In God’s “war” with Satan, you are either in one camp or the other. There is no neutral ground.

God loves each of us far above what we are able to do or comprehend. What we do and have done in our lives is important to Him, but until we give our life to Him, we are part of the world and not part of His family. Once we have come to Jesus and begin to learn our role in His Kingdom, we are more at ease with ourselves and with others. The change that comes to us when we accept Him is one that nothing on earth can accomplish. Money, power, fame, drugs, alcohol all are used by each of us in one way or another to try to fill that area in our lives that only Jesus fills and until we put Him there we will always feel that something is missing.

After Easter, what now?

The services are over, the message is done. Have you accepted Jesus as your Saviour yet? There were “passion plays“, re-enactments of Jesus’ hours before His crucifixion that touched many people’s hearts and their minds with how well they were done and put together. Yet, did anyone really get the message found in them?

Jesus came to be the sacrifice for all of our sins. Not just those of the people that He preached to and His disciples preached to and carried the gospel to in their journeys, but for all of us, especially those who had not been born yet! His message and His sacrifice was for you and me and everyone else on this world, all we have to do is believe in what He did and Who He was so that we can have eternity with Him.

Many people that I have heard say that is too simple. It just can’t be that easy. The problem that they have is that they are making it harder than it is! Accepting Jesus doesn’t make your life easier! It doesn’t take away the suffering, the bills, the heartache of life that we have to live but it does make it easier to bear because we have Him and His strength to bear it with.

God loves us enough that He sent His Son to become a man and die a very cruel death to pay for all of our sins so that we would not have to pay the penalty for them. Many people don’t think that there is a punishment for not accepting Christ, but God’s Word clearly says that there is. Some may be punished more than others, depending on what they did in their life on earth, but the punishment is real nonetheless. It was designed for Satan and his demons but by rejecting Jesus and the offer of eternal life, we will be cast into it as well.

It is our own choices which place us there, not God. He can’t change our choices while we live, only we can do that and it is our individual choices which will condemn us to an eternity in hell or to live in paradise with Jesus. The choice is up to each of us, which one we choose to follow during our life will determine the life we have in eternity.

 

Life is …..

Life is…? What? Hard? Easy? Difficult? Mostly, life is all of these. Occasionally, all of them at the same time!

The wind blows, the trees sway.

The river and streams run and tumble and play,

But the rocks are still, yet they are shaped,

By wind and water too.

Life is like that as well. The things that we experience shape our lives and how we perceive life. Can we do anything about the life that we live? Sometimes, but most of the time we just live it. Is it hard to “just live it”? Not really unless you live in poverty or in an area that has been under a drought for a long time or in a war torn area of the world. Life is not easy, regardless of where you live or what you believe in.

The society and cultures that we live in, regardless of the country, shape our opinions and our lives as well as our characters. Is there any way that we can be good enough to be human and be kind to one another? Yes, we all have the capability and the moral compass within us. Whether we choose to be that person or not is our choice. We are free to choose, for good or evil, how our actions affect those around us.

Most of us would like to be liked by our colleagues, so we choose to be likeable and friendly. Others in society choose to be selfish, caring only about what is good for them as individuals and nothing for anyone else. Thankfully, those who are selfish make up a smaller portion of society, but they do get most of the media attention so we hear about them most often. I think that is why we are so fascinated by reality shows. When cameras are around, at some point the selfish person will show up when they are least expected and usually it is the person who wasn’t selfish to begin with.

We are a group of contrasts, always changing as we get older. Sometimes for better, sometimes not so much. Age doesn’t always bring wisdom, it should but life has a way of teaching you lessons that you really don’t enjoy and whether you get wisdom from these lessons or not is still up to you. We are ruled by our choices in life and in eternity. I know, many people don’t really believe that there is an eternity but it is mentioned in the Bible so I believe it exists, and it is a very long, long time!

How can we make a difference in our life and in other people’s lives now and into eternity? By living the life that we have like it is going to end tomorrow! Telling and showing others the One who came to give them life after this one! It is not a hard job, but it is one that is not very popular right now. Some of the lessons contained in God’s Word are considered “hate speech“, bigoted, elitist views of salvation, the list goes on and on.

The point of all of this is that we only have a limited amount of time to let others know about Jesus. Our lifetime is only a small part of eternity and compared to eternity it is but a puff of smoke or mist. The message that we have is one that is very important to those who need it and will listen. If you don’t think that you need it..well, prayer is an option, searching for the answer in God‘s Word is another option, but religion is not. Religion, regardless of which one it is, can get you and anyone else a place in hell quicker than anything because it is not religion that saves your soul, it is belief in Jesus‘ sacrifice for you that saves you!

Open the Word, seek the wisdom contained in it, ask God to reveal Himself to you. Then let His light shine through you to others so that they can see Him and want to know Him too. Truly God is in control, otherwise our world would’ve ended long ago. Get to know Him while you can.

The Bible, God’s Word

I watched the entire series on the History Channel this past month and I was impressed. They didn’t make fun of it or anything in it and it got some people interested in the Word of God, so it accomplished what it was supposed to.

Many people don’t think that the Word is viable today because of its age but no one questions college professors when they assign the Iliad and it is an ancient story too. There are fewer actual copies of it than there are of the Bible, yet there are many people who still don’t think that the Bible is true. The reason behind this is easy to find and it starts in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.

Satan tempted Adam and Eve and got them to rebel against a command that God had given them, ever since then there have been questions about the veracity of the words contained in it. Yet, the prophecies in the Old Testament have nearly all came true. The ones concerning Jesus were fulfilled when He came and through His teaching, and crucifixion and resurrection they were verified. Whether people choose to believe is totally under their own control.

For many people, I think it is their ability to choose that is the stumbling block in their ability to follow Jesus. We like having the freedom to choose but it is used against us because our nature chooses not to follow Christ until we have come to a point where we know that we can’t control our lives on our own anymore. Some people choose to use drugs or alcohol to numb their perception of life, but this is only a temporary, chemical induced feeling and it doesn’t last.

The Bible shows us that people tend to choose their own ways over the ways of God and following Him. All through the Old Testament, Israel would choose to follow God until things started going good, then they would turn to whatever the people surrounding them were worshiping. At which point, God would send someone like the Babylonians or Assyria to take them as slaves until they decided that they needed God again.

In our technological lives today, we don’t see the need for God and His Word until there is a real turning point in our life brought on by something in our life like a death in the family or cancer that comes suddenly to our attention. When these things happen, we realize that we need someone who can do something about this and for many people that someone is God. Doctors can’t cure everything and many times the treatment for cancer is worse than the disease since it poisons not only the cancer cells but the rest of the body as well.

Can we trust God’s Word? Absolutely! Because it has been proven by archaeology and history and by prophecy that has come true. The New Testament shows the beginnings of the church after Christ went back to the Father and yet He said that He would return one day. With few exceptions, most of the prophecies concerning the beginning of the “end times” have already come to pass. Israel being a country again and the language of the Jewish nation being spoken again after over one thousand years of being “lost” are but two of the prophecies that have been fulfilled in the past one hundred years.

The Bible is a great book of literature but it is also a collection of stories written at the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit. The reason that I say this is because of the way it is arranged and how many authors are involved in it. The Bible spans more than three thousand years, has sixty-six books written by over forty authors from all walks of life and yet they all point to Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection at one point or another in each book, and toward His second coming from the point of the prophetic books of which most were written at least four hundred or more years before He was born!

Read it, study it but don’t discount it. The Bible is and has been the most important book in the history of mankind and until Jesus comes to set up His kingdom on this earth it will remain so.