A new purpose for a new year!

Have you considered, as one of your resolutions, giving your life to Jesus? The year and your life would go so much smoother than it has before, but for people who may have objections to this decision, it may take a bit of explanation and a bit of preaching too. If you don’t mind a bit of both, here goes.

I am not going to go through the entire Bible, which I am sure that most of you are glad about, but I am going to concentrate on one particular book in it and that is one by Paul called Romans. The very first few verses in this book are very good at showing and telling us exactly the reason that we need Jesus, so I am including them here:

Romans 1: 1-7

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

In this opening, Paul is introducing Jesus as the descendent of David and the Son of God. All of these Jesus was and is because He was raised from the dead after His crucifixion to be our Priest and Advocate in Heaven. Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies about Himself during His lifetime and ministry on Earth and now He is our Lord and Master at the right hand of God the Father. In spite of the unbelief that seems to be getting more attention these days in the media and online, God does exist and He loves us…each of us in a way that we cannot understand. God’s Word is also disparaged these days as being “an old, dusty history book, written by imaginative old men”.

Those “old men” were inspired and guided by the Spirit of God and there is proof of this. This requires a question to be asked, “Could you get five or ten friends who know you well to write out a report detailing how you met and your life and influence on each of them? How well do you think their stories would match up?”

The Bible was written by approximately forty authors, beginning with Moses nearly six thousand years ago, with four thousand years of that prior to the birth of Jesus. Yet, every book of the Old Testament has some portion of it which points toward Jesus. The prophets of the Old Testament even point out the type of death that He would suffer, where He would be born and that He would be born of a virgin and these prophecies were over five hundred years prior to His birth! Forty people can’t even agree on the color of car that passed them all on the highway just a few minutes afterward, so these forty men who wrote the inspired Word of God had to be doing it with His help and prompting to get it all right.

Now that we have established that the Word is True, the man Jesus was man but He had the nature and Spirit of God in Him, because no man could live a totally surrendered life and also be totally sinless as well. He was God and man. Jesus died on the cross because the love of God compelled Him to. He could’ve refused, but He didn’t and because of His death and resurrection we have the hope of being resurrected when He returns. The only requirement for us is that we believe in Him and in what He did and ask Him for forgiveness for our life before He came into it.

I understand the way that many people think about Jesus and that He wasn’t Who the Bible says that He is because I used to feel the same way. But, when you give your heart and life to Him and begin reading the Bible and praying for God to give you the wisdom to understand what you are reading about Him and His plan for your life, you will come to understand that we are part of His plan and His Kingdom. Your life and everyone around you, from your spouse to your children and your extended family is important to God. Why? Because He is the Creator and He is God, He doesn’t have to give us a reason for what He does or who He cares about. Give God and Jesus a chance in your life this new year, the change in your life and in your heart will be glorious and you will have an eternity that nobody on Earth can even imagine! Have a blessed and happy new year!!

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Truly, we need to depend on God!

You know, there is a reason that we are all here and it has something to do with our dependence on God. If you don’t lean on Him and seek Him every day, then you are only working on your own strength and power and compared to Satan, we are WEAK! But, you and Jesus make a mighty army and if you get a whole church praying for something specific, like a healing or a financial problem, God can do some amazing things in a short amount of time!

The Israelites had to depend on Him while travelling from Egypt to the promised land and it is amazing if you consider the amount of food and water that God provided for them and they still complained! I found this today and I thought you might like to read how much all of these people would require:

“According to the Quartermaster General in the Army, it is reported that Moses would have to have had 1500 tons of food each day. Do you know that to bring that much food each day, two freight trains, each at least a mile long, would be required!

Besides you must remember, they were out in the desert, so they would have to have firewood to use in cooking the food. This would take 4000 tons of wood and a few more freight trains, each a mile long, just for one day.

And just think, they were forty years in transit!

And Oh yes! They would have to have water. If they only had enough to drink and wash a few dishes, it would take 11,000,000 gallons each day and a freight train with tank cars, 1800 miles long, just to bring water!

And then another thing!

They had to get across the Red Sea at night. Now, if they went on a narrow path, double file, the line would be 800 miles long and would require 35 days and nights to get through. So there had to be a space in the Red Sea, 3 miles wide so that they could walk 5000 abreast to get over in one night.

But then, there is another problem……………each time they camped at the end of the day, a camp ground two-thirds the size of the state of Rhode Island was required, or a total of 750 square miles long…….. think of it! This much space for camping.”
(Copied from this website: http://www.tektonics.org/af/exoduslogistics.php)

It is absolutely no wonder that Moses wasn’t too enthusiastic about taking on this ministry! Can you imagine leading a city around in the desert for forty years? That is what it would be like! Without God leading them and guiding them and giving them food and water, they would’ve all died. But their shoes didn’t wear out nor did their clothes during the whole trip.

Depending on God is something which requires a bit of faith and today it seems to be hard to find that “bit”, even if it is only the size of a mustard seed. But, this is what is needed and more and if the children of Israel can do it in their situation, then certainly we can too.

We haven’t been under a slave master’s lash for 430 years, nobody in America has been a slave for that amount of time! Yes, there were some African’s who were brought over here early on in our country’s history but many of those were set free. What I am pointing to is that there isn’t a single family that can trace their heritage back for that amount of time and show that they have been enslaved for that whole period.

Christian’s need to look to God for their provision, whether it is for life, health, jobs, families or any other good blessing. It is something which we don’t do on a regular, daily basis, mainly because we don’t really have to in America. But, in other countries believers have the faith and the need to look to God for daily living, protection, health, and many of the things which we take for granted every day. The way that our culture has been pushing God out of our daily lives and the schools and out of the government, we may not enjoy the blessings from Him much longer, especially those which America has had for many generations past.

If you are a Christian, please get closer to God by truly studying His Word. Pray over its meaning for you and for your life and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand it and apply it, because the time is coming when we may not be able to worship as openly as we have in the past. I pray that God will richly bless all of you who read this, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

On that night….

This is the message that needs to be told to all men. Amen!

The Living Message of Christ

Long ago there were shepherds keeping watch over their flocks and the angel of the Lord came to them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were sore afraid. The angel said to them, “Fear not, for I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. This shall be a sign unto you, that you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

What would you think if an angel announced this while you were out camping somewhere? Many people would wonder what might have been in their food? How did I have such a vision as this? Many people would’ve hidden under a bush and then run off, had the sky filled with angels or even just…

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What will you do?

We will soon have a new year to start or begin again in, so what will you do with it? Will you just hope for a little less waistline or maybe a better job? Maybe you will decide that you will be a better person this year and be nicer to people who you would’ve ignored in years past? All of these good things…these good intentions are wonderful, but if you haven’t changed, if your heart and your soul hasn’t changed, how will you do this?

I am not writing this to criticize people in general, it’s just that problem of character that all of mankind has. If our character hasn’t changed in the past year or two, how can you just decide to be better, when you aren’t really any better than you were? Making resolutions to lose weight or to be a nicer person is great, but if the person doing this or attempting to do this hasn’t truly changed, then it is impossible. Man cannot change himself just by willing it, just as you can’t grow any taller or change your hair color by wanting to do so.

God is the only One Who can change your heart, which changes your character and allows you to be that better person and live a better more productive life through Him. We can’t do it on our own nor can we seek help from someone else to achieve our goal! Being associated with Jesus every day, praying for strength daily, reading God’s Word daily, is the only path that leads us toward Him and being the person that He knows we can be.

Many people don’t like and won’t like the things which I have written here and I really don’t care. I am tasked with the job of telling people, all people, that the only way to get to Heaven and be a better person here and now is by asking Jesus into your life and your heart. Then living it out daily!! You can’t just say the words to the sinner’s prayer without conviction in your life and your heart, and then just go back to doing what you were doing before! Living a changed, ransomed life through Jesus every day, praying and asking for His strength to get you through every day, reading and learning more about Him every day from the Word, that is the life of someone who is seeking to know God and Jesus! Not just say, “Hi!” one morning in church or in your living room, and then go on as if nothing happened!

How can anyone truly and honestly meet the Creator of the universe and not be changed?! It shouldn’t be possible but many people do it every Sunday or whenever they go to church. They hear the message and seem to agree with it and sometimes they even respond to it physically by walking down and bowing their head and maybe even getting wet in the baptismal pool, yet they go back to their lives without much of a change inside and sooner or later, the lack of change becomes evident. How? Because, there was no conviction from the Spirit that brought them to their knees and made them realize how far away from God they really are, that is how you can go through the motions and still not have Jesus or a change in your life! How do I know this? Because I did it. Three times I went down front and three times I went through with the baptism in water, but nothing changed because God had not made that evident in my life that I needed the change!

Give your problems away

Your problems, no matter how big they might seem to you, are easily fixed from God’s perspective. All that you need to do is to give them to Him. Of course, this is something which we have a hard time doing because after a little while, we want to “do it myself” and take them back, just like children. Why? Because we can’t see what God is doing and we don’t understand His timing in the scheme of things. Which is why many people look at Christians with scorn because we have been waiting for Jesus’ return for two thousand years nearly, and He hasn’t come yet.

Timing, from God’s perspective, is on time regardless but it is His time and not ours. God can see all of time, from the past into eternity and He knows what He is doing and when He will do it. We don’t have to know or understand His timing, just be willing to live by faith and be patient because God is never late with His blessings for us or with His grace.

For instance, David writes in this Psalm:
Psalm 51 King James Version

51 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

This was written during a time of God’s punishment of David for his sins with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, because of the adultery and murder which David had committed, yet God forgave him. We are not told why God did this, other than David crying out to Him for forgiveness. This is the very nature and essence of what we should do with our lives and our problems. Give them to God and leave them there, don’t go back and tell God that you will take care of it because He is too busy! God is never too busy and He is able to do all the things that we ask Him to do, but He will do them according to His time and His purpose, not ours!

He loves each one of us and will take care of our needs, not our wants or our luxuries, and He will do it when He sees the need and not before.