God’s not done with you

All of us tend to wonder why things happen in our life. Sometimes your day is going good, and then things go sideways. As long as you are following Jesus and doing His work even a sideways skip will work out. But, what do you do when that skip turns into a roll or a fall? God has got you there too as long as you seek His wisdom in what you are doing.

When God calls you to be a child of His you are never left alone, even if you feel that way sometimes. The world that we live in today is antagonistic toward Christians because of our faith in Jesus. If we were only talking about God and how He is our “very present help in troubled times“, then most of the world would just ignore us and go on about their business.

When you become a Christian, the world around you seems to take a more intimate look into your life. Why? Because of what you claim to be and Who you are following. Everyone around you seems to be interested in nearly every area of your life. Some may not be very open about their observation of you, in fact, many who are watching may never let you know that they are…until you slip up. Then you will know it for sure.

Why do I bring all of this up while speaking of how God grows us in our walk with Him? Because He treats us as His children and He should because we are! Asking Jesus to come into our hearts and change us to be more like Him is a simple decision on our part but it is a gradual, daily walk with Him that takes time and some effort on our part. We should read God’s Word so we will know His voice. We should study His Word so we can use it to defend ourselves daily while we are becoming more like Jesus. We should also be praying about what we have read and studied so that we can understand how to apply it to our lives.

Reading the Bible is not just reading a book because the Bible is alive and living. It reads you while you are reading it. That is why the same passage will say something different the next time you read it than it did the first time. So, the next time you feel the need to read God’s Word or maybe you just want to learn the wisdom which is contained in His Word, give it a chance to speak to you by praying about it while you read it.

Many people would like to hear God speaking to them and that is exactly what God’s Word does each time you read it. Not because you have read it more than a dozen times but because His Word was given to His prophets by His Holy Spirit so it really is God speaking to you. Each time you read it you will hear a different message even from the same passage. Give God and His Word a chance to touch your heart and your life so that your life will never be the same again…it will be so much better!

So much trouble…

On many days during life, we think we are having a lot of troubles when we really aren’t. When you look at the actual news in the world, not what is reported by our media outlets, you will find that there are many places and people who are having a much worse day than you are. Some have lost homes or family members, some are living with terrible diseases like cancer or in some cases, diabetes or MS. There are others in countries where civil war is going on or other conflicts which are devastating lives and economies.

Trouble seems to be the default condition in our world regardless of the country where you may live. So, why are we having all of this happening in our lives? Mainly it is because of the time in which we are living. We have been told in God’s Word that the world around us would resemble the world in Noah’s day, just before the flood happened, and it would be this way before Jesus’ return. I am not speaking of His physical return to the Earth, not yet. I am speaking of the time just before He comes to take His people home.

I know that many don’t think about the trouble in life. Some people seem to have it made, but that condition is not the default condition even in America. Of course, much of the world thinks that every person here is rich and when compared to the poverty in some countries we may be well off, but not rich by any definition. God does bless us by our service to His Kingdom, although not in the way that many in the prosperity movement try to convince people about.

Faith is better expressed by those who feel the need for God’s provision in their life and when you have an abundance of money you don’t feel that need much at all. This is why Jesus told His disciples that it “is hard for a rich man to enter Heaven“.  It is not impossible but those who don’t have daily needs met put more faith and have more dependence on God than someone who can get what they want or need easily.

God love all of us, but He doesn’t like the sinful lives which many of us insist on living in. I implore those who read this to consider giving their heart to Jesus because when this life is over, your choice has been made.

Do you believe?

Jesus said, “those who believe in Me will live even if they die“! This is what makes it so hard for some people to become Christians. Not because it is so easy when you feel His touch on your heart and soul, but because they believe that they need to help Him in their salvation!

There is nothing that you can add to His sacrifice which will help in any way to bring salvation to yourself. Just believe in Him and what He did for you, then determine that you will live for Him and leave your old way of life behind. Some people may see that as a hard thing to do, but if you compare living for Him in this life to an eternity without God in hell I think that putting up with being a Christian is a much better way to live!

God sent Jesus to the Earth so that we could come to know Him and be saved from our own sinful ways. But if your heart hasn’t changed and your life has stayed the same as it was before, did you really accept Him as your Savior or did you just say a few words and get wet in the baptistry?

Please, seek Jesus for your salvation before your life is over because there are no second chances after you die.

ABelieverInJesus

Division

A word which I used to hate to hear in school! Yet, it seems very much in the news today as well as in the church. Our government or rather the politicians in it can’t seem to agree on anything today! Many churches and preachers can’t seem to agree on the message that we are all supposed to be preaching either!

DivisionWhy so much division? Between political parties and churches, between people of different cultures in the same country. I try not to speak of “races” because God did not create us that way. We are all descended from the same parents spoken about in Genesis, regardless of which religion that you claim. Judaism, Christian or Islam, all of these claim the same beginning for the most part, with very little difference until the birth of Jesus.

Division causes much strife in our world. We can’t agree on how to work out our problems because of it. We can’t seem to get past our political differences because of division between political beliefs, which seem to be ingrained in some people just as deeply as religious differences. Why is there so much difference of opinion and religion in our world?

Because we all have differing opinions on how religion and politics are supposed to be done. 

Life itself is a differing of opinion. Between heartbeats your body could die, but God chooses for each of us to live our lives until He brings us to the end of our days. Even when we think that our life should be ending or that the world would be better off without us, God may have a different idea about that. Which is why some of us live through accidents and diseases that should have taken our life, but God had a different idea or purpose for us.

My purpose is to be a pastor or preacher, and whether it is online or at a physical church that is what I will do until God says otherwise. Division in life between spouses or family members can cause terrible rifts between family and good friends. Sometimes those rifts are permanent and sometimes they aren’t unless you allow them to be. Of course, God also has some input in those relationships too.

Make sure that your life doesn’t have too many divisions in it because one there is a divide, sometimes you can’t put it back together if it is split too far apart. Mend as many of those as you can so that when your time comes, your family can celebrate your life together even when your life has ended here.

Which way will you go?

highway2heavenhellHave you considered this question? Many of us do when we are faced with a choice, whether it is a fork in the road or even a religious decision. So…which one do you take? Will you follow the Living Word, Jesus the Christ, and live forever in Heaven with Him? Will you decide to fool yourself into believing that you know the way to Heaven and salvation? Or maybe you will follow another religion or cult and see if their path might take you to eternity?

Consider that eternity is a very long, long time. Don’t you want to base your decision on more than a “might” or a “maybe”? Think about walking across a frozen lake. If there is a nice dusting of snow on it, you have no idea how thick the ice is. Would you take the chance of walking out onto a frozen lake like this? This is the same chance that you are taking when you haven’t given your heart to Jesus. Jonathan Edwards said that your life hangs by a thread of grace from God, above a lake of fire which is hell itself until you have given your heart to Jesus.

Life is short and regardless of how long you live, our lives are incredibly short compared to eternity! So consider how much Jesus spoke about those who fall short of Heaven, those who haven’t accepted Him as their Savior! The punishment would last forever in hades or hell whatever you want to call it. The problem is that many people think that God sends you to hell and that could not be further from the truth.

Each of us has a decision to make about our eternity and it is that decision which determines your eternal home. I don’t mean to say that you choose to be saved or not, but we do choose whether we will respond to the Spirit’s call when we feel it compelling us to ask Jesus into our lives! Some people will gladly jump at the chance and almost run down the aisle to accept Jesus, and some will put their fingerprints in the back of the pew trying NOT to accept Him.

This is the decision that is so important in life. Little children can understand it but adults try to rationalize it and figure everything out before accepting Jesus. We make this decision far more complicated than it should be when we are adults and we feel Jesus calling to us! So how are we to get past all of this so-called “logical” thinking? The easiest way that I know is to seek Him out.

What do you mean by that?

I mean when you have felt the Spirit prompting you to accept Jesus and you’re not sure, get into the Bible and learn about Him. Seek His voice and all of the information that you can find about Him in the gospels, pray about it and ask Him to help you learn more about this salvation thing! At this point, Satan will try to get your attention away from Jesus and point you toward something fun and exciting, something to distract you from seeking Him.

Unfortunately, this is the point where many people will follow those exciting activities and leave the Word of God on the shelf. Sometimes they don’t ever come back to it, and sometimes they come back to it much later than they should’ve. God can still use your life no matter what stage of life you may be in, but He could have been there to help you through many of life’s problems if you had given your heart to Him earlier.

Don’t put off living your life with Christ as your friend and your Savior. You don’t know if you will have tomorrow because nobody does. We have today and even our minutes and hours are governed by God and He knows how many that you have left….you don’t!

Do you know Him?

Our Savior, Jesus, the Son of God is the Him of which I speak. He shed His divinity to come to Earth, be born of a woman, live the life of a man of Jewish descent, perfectly fulfilling the Law (which no normal human could do), teach a group of disciples so that they could carry His teachings to all parts of the world, died on a cross on the day of Passover and then rose again on the third day!

john_3_16_17_scripture_memory_card-raf7013e639264b87b918bea9971565b3_vgbaq_8byvr_540Yes, a long sentence to tell of the life of Jesus the Christ. A short version of His life, death and resurrection, but a story which has significance for so many around the world! Some of whom believe that He is our Savior and Lord, some  do not believe He was anything other than a prophet.

Do you know Him? You can get to know Him if you will believe in Him and follow Him. Learn about Him through reading of the New Testament and do the things which His disciples did…tell others what He has done for you!

 

It is well with my soul

Many times, in church and even on social media sites, I get requests for prayer either in person or by a message. Prayer is a necessary part of a Christian’s life, just like breathing or drinking water, yet many people don’t seem to think that God listens to them so they ask their pastor to pray for them. I don’t mind, but if you are a child of God you have the same privilege and right to step into His Presence at anytime.

Sometimes, people just don’t exercise their right as a Christian until it gets to be so bad they just hit their knees in agony. God can and will answer your prayers, particularly when you pray about a family member’s illness or an accident. I don’t mean to say that He won’t answer a prayer about your children or your keys or other “small” thing, but God looks for ways to bless you in areas where He is the real solution for the problem!

So do you seek out God when things are going good or do you wait until He is the last resort? Don’t you think that when things aren’t going very well, you should seek out the One Who can do something about the situation? The Creator that made all of our universe and every molecule in your body can fix any problem in your life, regardless of the cause! If you will give Him the chance to do so.

When life throws a curve ball at you, swing at it because you might hit it. God can give you the strength and the ability to make it through any real problem in your life, regardless of whether it is one involving your spiritual condition or a medical problem. God is bigger than ALL of your problems or any of the problems in our world today or at any time in the future.

Each of us has a choice to make. To ask Jesus into our lives and repent of our sinful ways or to keep doing what we feel is right, what makes us feel good. To keep being selfish and prideful in what we can do and to do it without anyone telling us that it is wrong. In reality, the Bible doesn’t tell you anything like that. There are no rules about what to do or not, but when you truly realize that you need Jesus and you come to Him in repentance…then you will change. You won’t do it on your own but you will change by the influence of the Holy Spirit after you ask Him to live in your heart!

When that happens, and you begin to change into a new creation, a new person. Then you won’t crave those things which you did before. You won’t go to the places that you went to before. The rules have changed because you aren’t the same anymore. Not because of rules from the Bible, but because your heart, your soul, your inner person has changed and is changing. While you learn more about Jesus and read His Word and pray about this new life, you are changing and becoming the person that God has always known you were since before you were born.

When this change occurs then it will be well with you no matter how life turns out, good or bad. Why? Because you are an adopted child of God! The Creator and King of the universe! How could you possibly feel down or depressed or unloved when God loves you more deeply than anyone on Earth could ever understand? Yes, there will be days which you may be depressed, but with prayer and reading God’s Word it won’t last for long. Seek Him and His Kingdom and all of the things which God has prepared for you will be yours.

Do you believe?

Faith_in_GodDo you believe that God is our Creator? Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of all who believe in Him?

These are questions which should be asked, but are you seeking the answers for these questions? Do you truly want the answers to these questions? Your eternity, your life after this life, depends upon the answers that you find and believe in!

So, are you seeking the answers or do you want to just forget about it until you feel the time is right?

When will the “right”time be? Will you know it when it gets here? If it gets here? Are you certain that you have until next week or next month to make this decision?

Quite frankly, none of us can be sure of tomorrow let alone next week or next month! Making plans for next year seems foolish to me actually, because there is no way to be sure that far ahead into your life.

If you don’t believe in Jesus as your Savior, then who can take His place? You? Or maybe you think that after you die your body will just return to dust and there is no life after the death of your physical body? What a shame. It is true that God said that “man is made from the dust and to dust he will return“, but you have an eternal soul that doesn’t turn to dust so what happens to it?

According to Jesus there are two places where your soul will go after your body dies, paradise or Heaven and outer darkness or hell. No purgatory or waiting to be prayed up, no immediate burn up if you don’t believe. It is said in Scripture that the smoke of their punishment rises forever. This is not just a flash burn and your gone for good, you will pay for your own sins and unbelief for eternity just as Satan will pay for his rebellion against God.

Yes, forever is a very long time, yet if you will believe in Jesus and His atonement for you then your eternity will be to serve Him in Heaven and in His Kingdom. I can’t imagine a better future than to serve the Creator. Why? Because doing His will for eternity will never be boring!

Life in our time

I am sorry that I haven’t posted here much lately. I have been concentrating on my other site, thelivingmessage.com. Why do I bring this into the mix? I don’t know. Maybe I feel guilty for ignoring my oldest blog in favor of the one that draws the most traffic.

Life in our time is hard some days and not so bad on other days. How can we get or enjoy a consistent joy in our celebration of Life? The only way that I know how is by living each day with Jesus and His Word. Getting to know Him better and try to live by His teachings would be a great start toward that goal.

Sadly, many people seem to be ignoring most, if not all, of the signs of our time and the prophetic timeline that is coming to an end. Every news outlet seems to point us in the direction of little snippets of news, if you want to call it that, which don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of life itself.

We are told about a global rise in temperature of one degree Celsius which is going to devastate our world with an unbelievable amount of flood water…and its all our fault! Nonsense! A century and a half of pollution from coal-fired plants and automobiles is not undoing the equilibrium of an entire planet. But, the media finds “scientists” who believe that we are causing our own destruction with this.

The Bible, which much of the media ignores, tells us that at the end of the age there would be famines, earthquakes, and storms which were not seen prior to this time. It also tells us that most of these are more intense and could devastate the world. These changes in our world from the volcanoes and earthquakes and more intense storms are foretold by Jesus and by God’s prophets in the Old Testament. This is happening not because of our cars and trucks but because the birth pains of our planet and the age of grace that we have lived under is coming to an end.

Read God’s Word, seek out His Life and believe in Jesus for your salvation, for it is found in no one else. Eternity is rapidly approaching many of us so make sure you know which side of eternity you will be living in, Heaven or hell!

So much bitterness…

We are beginning a new year and this topic seems to show up in the news quite often. Actually, it has been in the news for a while in one form or another. Can we do anything about it, really? Sometimes we can but unfortunately much of the bitterness in the world is brought on by Satan and his influence in it. Oh, there are many who don’t believe that he exists but since he has been around since the beginning, he really does exist. If he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, then you know he has had plenty of practice over the millennia!

Truly, the bitterness that is rampant in our world today is because of our sinfulness. We can’t be civil and understanding of people that we don’t agree with in all aspects. Every person on the planet has a different opinion of things, that is something that we shouldn’t be stressing over. But, we do it all the time.

God loves each of us whether we give Him our heart or not, He still loves us and has provided a way of salvation. All we need to do is believe in Jesus and in the atonement provided, then when we feel His call on our life and in our heart…answer it! Just as you do when your phone rings, unless it is someone you don’t want to talk to. If it is God calling your heart and your life into His service please, don’t ignore it and DO answer it! You won’t be disappointed and it will be the greatest trip that you have ever taken, even if you never go anywhere until you are called home to Heaven!