Love…what is it?

In our societies and the cultures all over the world today, love is expressed in many different ways. Some of it is expressed in the way that we understand and sometimes it is expressed  far differently. Have you been exposed to real, honest, true love? The kind which would do anything for you without expecting anything in return?

We are not wired that way. Most of us want something in return for our affection, our love, especially when it is given to someone else. Is it possible for us to really know what unselfish love is? For the most part, the love of a parent for their children is that. We love our children, regardless of what they do just because they are our children. We usually love our spouses the same way because that is the way we are commanded to love them by God. We are to love our spouse as Jesus loves the church.

Do you feel this way toward your family…your wife or husband and your children? I pray that you do. I am not trying to bring judgement on you or anyone that you know, I am just stating that Jesus commanded us to love each other as He loved the church and us. Because there is nothing that we could ever give to God in return for His love except by giving our love to Him. Isn’t that what we all desire? To be loved as much or more than we love.

It is impossible for us to understand the depth of God’s love for each one of us because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. He is the Creator and we are the created. God is love and He expresses His love in ways that we can see and feel by giving us our lives to live, and the warmth of the sun on our faces. Every breath that you take is given to you by Him…allowed by Him, so that you can bring glory to His name by honoring Him in your life.

Do we do this at all today? Many people don’t. Because God has been taken out of every school, prayer has been taken out of school, even reading the Bible seems to be forbidden in school during free time. This cannot be kept up in the long run! Why? Because, when you forget God and take His Word and wisdom away from people as they are learning, then you have people who don’t have a moral center to guide them in life! They don’t know what or Who they are supposed to base their decisions on or around, so they use their own “wisdom” or some philosophy that they learned in school or college. They might be listening to someone who considers themselves to be more than they are, someone leading people down a dangerous path!

“Many false teachers and so-called “prophets” will come during the times before the end of the age”; this is a paraphrase of something that Jesus said to His disciples when He was telling them of this time that we are living in. Look it up in the Bible! Read it with an open mind and a prayer so that God can show you what is truth and what isn’t. No one knows the day or the hour that the end will come, but God Himself, but it will come. Be vigilant and search for God while you can!

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What can I do?

Many times we don’t think that there is anything that we can do that would make the world a better place. It is just too much to do, there are too many things that need to be done, one person can’t possibly do so much; these are the excuses that we use in order for us to not feel so bad about what we think we cannot do. The problem with this kind of thinking is that if everyone felt this way, and we probably do many times, and decided not to do anything then nothing at all would get done!

But, if we would choose to do just one thing that would help the person standing next to them such as pay for their cup of coffee and yours or pay their parking meter when it expires. One selfless gesture from each person on Earth for the next person, every day for a year, there would scarcely be any poverty or war or homeless people in the world!

Instead of thinking of yourself, think of your co-workers, your neighbors, people that you don’t know but pass by on the street and do something, even a small thing, for that person. Many times a small gesture can make a very big difference. Even in your everyday life, a choice that you make can make a big difference in your outlook and the outcome of your daily walk. For instance, here is part of a devotional that I read and I thought that it might touch some of you:

Did you know that happiness is a choice? A man said to a beggar one day, “Good day my friend.”The beggar answered, “Well, thank you, but I never have a bad one.” The man responded, “Well, may God give you a happy life, my friend.” And the beggar replied, “I thank God that I am never unhappy.” The man was speechless. And the beggar continued, “When I have plenty to eat, I thank God. When I am hungry, I thank God. If it is God’s will for me to endure this, then whatever is God’s will for me makes me happy.”

We can choose to be happy in our situation, whatever that may be in life. We can choose contentment and a positive outlook regardless of our situation or circumstances. Choice makes a difference in our lives and it can make a difference in someone else’s life when we choose to be a blessing to them, regardless of the cost to us. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, your choice may be just to pay for a cup of coffee or their breakfast at a fast food place, but the gesture and the attitude behind it go a long way in the other person’s eyes.

Kindness goes a long way, especially in today’s world, because it is rare. People don’t seem to be or even try to be kind to each other these days, unless they are Christians. Most Christians are kind to each other, although there is some animosity between doctrines and ideologies. Unfortunately, in today’s society, the differences are what is considered news so that is what is reported. We need to be concentrating on being Christians and not on our doctrines and differences.

Christ is coming back sooner than most people think and it is time we started being the people that we are called to be, reflections of His Will and purpose and not our own.

 

Courage for today

We see the effects of courage and bravery almost every day, although some may not recognize it. You hear about it from the foreign battlefields and in cities and towns all over this great land. Firefighters and policemen and policewomen all exhibit courage even though they don’t think of themselves as heroes or courageous, they are just doing their jobs. It is the same with our service men and women who are out in the field doing their jobs, courageously, selflessly but do they get the credit for what they do? Do any of them get the recognition that they deserve?

In this time and with this administration, they don’t. Mainly because it has no regard or respect for any selfless act of bravery or courage and that is truly sad. We should have a President and a Representative government that is asking the people what they want, not telling us what to do! They should be paying more attention to those who have fought for this country and its freedoms, rather than acting like a dictatorship that has been elected.

We have to show courage and dignity during times of trouble and if someone doesn’t think that we are in trouble today, then they need to check and see if they have a pulse! Our country is on the edge of an abyss that we cannot dig our way out with a bigger shovel, nor can we build a bridge over it, because we don’t have enough people who are willing to work to get it done.

What would’ve happened to the human race if Adam and Eve had just decided to sit down and do nothing after being forced out of Eden? What would’ve become of North America if Columbus had not discovered it? I know that many would say that America would be far different if it had been a couple of hundred years later before it was discovered. The history would be quite different from what happened up until the seventeenth century until today.

Our whole culture would be different, but the point that I am making is that it took courage to explore and to do the things needed in the past to bring about the present. It will also take courage to, somehow, fix the problems which we have today so that there will be a future for our children. It will take hard work and sacrifice and lots of time, because trillions of dollars in debt cannot be wiped away in a decade!

The debt didn’t accumulate in just one decade and it will certainly not go away that easily either. It will take more than America has been investing in itself in a very long time. It will take the same determination and will that the Greatest generation had during WWII, and right now the people in America don’t have it. There are a few people who do, but compared to the majority of Americans, they are few in number.

When the Revolutionary War was fought and independence was declared, our ancestors reached for something that we seem to have lost: courage and Providence. Courage in the people who wanted freedom from England‘s rule and Providence Who provided them with hope. God was that Providence and He had a profound effect on early America because it was due to religious persecution that America became a colony of England. God had His hand in molding our country into the beacon of freedom, religious or otherwise, that it became so that people would want what we had.

I say “had” because that beacon is becoming dim. We have lost the fire and the power to rekindle it because we have pushed God out of, not only our government, but our schools and from some of our homes too. Our military has taken Him out of the oaths that our soldiers take. How much longer can you push God until He pushes back? Do we really want Him to push back? Are we so arrogant that we believe that we could withstand a push from God?

Glenn Beck has it right. We need to get up from our couches, put on some work boots and get back to work! America can be what God intended for it to be if we will do the work needed to get the job done! Nothing worth doing is easy, it is usually hard, but the reward afterward is worth it! I pray that God will bless this nation and its people with the backbone and the will to get up and get the job done, because if they don’t…we’re history.

Inconvenient Christianity

There are many in this new year who have turned their backs on what they view as old-fashioned faith-based Christian values. Why is that? Mainly due to the media and their portrayal of Christians as intolerant hypocrites, but it also has to do with many other indoctrination efforts in our educational system as well as our culture.

People seem to want a personal faith, one that is based on what they want to believe and not on what their parents or grand-parents may have believed. This is especially true of younger people, those under forty years old. They have been shocked into the culture of college and the beliefs or lack thereof of the educational system. What can be shown to them about Christ and following Him that will draw them back? The only possible thing is Truth and Christians who are modelling their faith genuinely. Other than those two things, being genuine and not pushy would be other ways to not alienate people from the Truth.

I know that Christianity is considered a “narrow-minded” faith but so are other faiths such as Islam. In many ways we may need to get away from being labelled as Christians altogether and be followers of Jesus. Since Christianity has been around for a long time it seems to have become so plain until it is hard to distinguish it from other religions except in name.

Of course, this is fine with Satan who is the ruler of this world only because God allows it. As long as we are doing the same things day in and day out and nothing changes, then he is fine with it. It is only when true followers of Christ begin to make a difference in their community and in the world that he will take notice. Regarding Satan, he will take notice of any movement that is bringing God more glory which is exactly what is needed in this world today.

I know that there are many who think that those of us who follow Jesus are narrow minded but there just happens to be only one way of having eternal life whether you choose to believe it or not.

A prayer for America

Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.  Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.’

This was the prayer of George Washington for our country since it was with God’s blessing and with prayer that our nation was founded and its independence acquired. I ask that it will never be out of His hands as I know it will not, regardless of what a few people say or do to get rid of any reference to God in our country!

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is always with us regardless of the path we may take or any decision we make regarding Him. He may not be happy about the decisions that we make if they don’t include Him, but He is still there.

 

Here in my home state of Mississippi, we have had a fairly powerful tornado to rip through the lives of many people this past weekend. I have no idea about the nation’s response to this because I don’t have electricity or any other ways of finding out about the news. Where I work, we have electricity but no cable television or internet. Which is fine but we have to rely on outside sources for our news right now. I pray that my message will find your families safe and in good health. We are all in God’s hands whether we like it or not. Have a blessed day!

Organized Religion and Jesus

It seems that there has been a lot of shouting, screaming and gnashing of teeth lately over organized religion. I am not sure what this term means exactly, “organized religion”. Is it referring to all Christians, Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists, or is it directed at Catholics, Jewish Temples, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. ?

The latter are more doctrine than “organized religion”. Granted, the Catholic church has been around nearly as long as Christianity itself, and the Jewish religion has been around for far longer than most any other out there, but that doesn’t mean that the religion itself is bad. It just happens to be an old religion. Religions are not bad but some of the people who claim that they practice those religions may be. You can be religious at doing anything that you like, such as fishing or hunting. That doesn’t make it a religion but you get the idea.

Christianity and following Jesus is a different matter from “religion”. Christianity is a state of mind that you have after accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior that you practice religiously. So, in a sense, it is a religion. There have been many “doctrines” applied to it over the past few hundred years but the basics of being a Christian, as outlined in the Bible, are the same. I know that many terrible acts have been done in the name of religion and in the name of Christ too, but that doesn’t mean that Jesus was behind any of it. It just means that His name was used in the commission of the act itself by someone who wanted to stand behind that name.

There have been horrendous acts done by other religions as well but it seems that everyone wants to pounce on Christians these days. Maybe because we are nearing the time of Christ’s return? I am not sure what the reason for the animosity except that it was predicted by Jesus Himself nearly two thousand years ago. Our lives, in service to Him, are forfeit in the grand scheme of His plans. Our spiritual lives will go on no matter what happens to us here. We will serve Him and the blotting out of God or religion will not have any effect on the world or its condition into eternity.

Please, read Romans chapter 8. Pray that you will accept Jesus and I will be praying for all who visit here and read these pages. He is knocking, won’t you let Him in?

Happy New Year, everyone!

We have started a new year and so far the same news is around today as it was yesterday, nothing new yet! Our lives are in God’s hands and He knows exactly what will happen and when, and yet we worry needlessly about things we cannot control. The weather, the stock market, gray hair, aching joints, our job or whether we will have one in the next six months. These are things that we do worry about and there is nothing we can do to change any of them. Even our job is in His hands so actually we don’t have control over it either. There are many situations where we feel in control but He is always  in control. If He were not, the whole universe would be in disarray and our world would be dead!

Fulfilling lives and our destinies in the world are dependent upon God, no one else. Your mother can’t give you those, neither can your earthly father. Only in service to Him can you truly find fulfillment in everything you do, no matter what it is. If we really want to live out our lives with hope and confidence, we should put our confidence and our faith in God and His Son, Jesus! They are in control of everything and will cause every good thing to work for those who serve them.

There is no higher calling than to be a servant of God, the Creator of the universe and everything in it. He owns everything so I would rather work for the owner of it all than the one who only has a little! A few billion dollars is nothing compared to the entire universe!

In your service to Him, think about how small we are and the insignificance of our little planet in comparison to the universe. Yet, He knows you more intimately than anyone on the earth! He knows all of us on this planet just that intimately because He created us. He formed us in the womb and knows everything about us and our future selves. All the science and mathematics in the world can’t explain why your personality is what it is or why, but He knows and He knew it before you were born!

No matter what your age or what “religion” you happen to believe in He still knows you and He will call on you at some point in your life. Listen for that call, it will be repeated until He has your attention no matter how He has to get it. Your Heavenly Father loves you and is waiting to hear from you. Make the decision today to come to Him in prayer, even if you have never prayed before, He is always by your side regardless of what you may have done in your life. He will forgive you if you will repent and believe in Him. That is all He asks!

Once you do that, He may inspire you to write or preach or be a missionary. Then again, you may just be a changed person and inspire someone where you work with what they see in your life. It could be a different job that He wants you to have but He has to have you first before you will be able to do it. Our Creator and our God is the best boss you could ever hope for because His retirement plan is eternal and has already been paid in full, it is not affected by the economy or the stock market either. Give God a chance in your life and you will never regret it!