Peace on Earth….

Today, we don’t think it is possible but God is going to bring it to us soon. He is the only One Who can bring peace to us. We cannot do it ourselves. Peace is not possible by our strength or negotiations or our weapons. Peace comes from the Prince of Peace and only from Him.

Seek Him out, the Babe from Bethlehem, because He is your Savior and your Messiah! He is also our Shepherd toward eternity and the only way to have it. God loves us far more than we realize, because He sent His Son to pay our sin debts! Not just that of the disciples and the early church but the sins of those from Adam’s time forward until the end of days.

Jesus was the only One Who could pay that size of debt and He did it, and then rose to life again on the third day so that we could also rise to eternal life as long as we belong to Him and He belongs to each of us. How can we know that we are His?

By believing in His sacrifice for us and in what He accomplished for us, like a child. Take the Word of God as the Truth because it is! Don’t dispute it because He inspired those who wrote it down to write the words which He gave them. His Word is True, therefore His Son’s sacrifice and its atonement for you and me is true. Repent of your sinful ways, and believe!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

So much to be thankful for

Our world has much to be thankful for, yet we don’t seem to be thankful for it. There are wars in many places, there are famines and terrorists in other places, so what could we be thankful for? It is true that, outside America, most countries don’t celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday but we still should give thanks to God for the grace and mercy that He has given to all of us.

You might ask me, “What has He done for me, I live in poverty and hunger all of the time?”. If you still live, He has given you life and breath and another day to live. He will provide for you if you will give your heart to Him, even more than He provides for you now. I know that many people consider us wealthy who live in America and for most of the world’s areas that live on the equivalent of one dollar or so a day that may be true.

We have more food available to us, we have cars and homes to live in comfortably and yet there are people here who live in poverty just as bad as those in India or Sub-Saharan Africa. They make boxes to live in or they use whatever lumber they can find and drape a plastic sheet over it as shelter in the mountain winter. Yes, there is poverty in the so-called “land of plenty”.

So, how can I write that we should be thankful for what we have? Did you wake this morning with the ability to walk and get up from your mat or bed? Can you walk and when you find something to eat, can you eat it and digest it? We take so much for granted in America and in the world at large until we don’t realize that there are people, children and adults, who are suffering from disease and treatments of disease which leave them unable to walk, unable to eat or even digest what they get as nutrition. If you can eat a piece of fish and drink a little water, that is a blessing.

For many people, that small blessing of being able to eat and digest their food is something that they would give all they have for. So, yes, we all have something to thank God for. The sun shining in the sky and the moon at night are the lights which He placed there to show His mercy and grace toward us. The stars and galaxies which we cannot see with our eyes, but He flung them out and He knows each one of them by name. They are there to show His majesty and His power. Can He take care of you? Yes, He can!

In six days He created all that you see and many things that you don’t, but all that is around us, including humanity, He created. Our problems are big problems to us, but to God they are small. He can take care of you, just as He takes care of the fish and the birds and the whales and all of the life on this planet. He knows when a sparrow dies and falls to the ground, so don’t you think He cares for you too? Seek Him out, find a way to learn of Him if possible. If you only read this site and can’t get to a church or find a Bible, then ask Him…ask God to make Himself known to you, He has done it before and He can do it for you if you will ask.

Don’t turn away from the opportunity to know Him…to know Jesus. You have this life, regardless of how your existence may be, and it is during the time that you have here that you must make the decision to follow Him, to give your life to Jesus. Because, once you are dead you will be in His Presence and the time to give your life to Him will be over. Make that decision while you can because He will answer you and come to you if you are seeking Him.

I pray for all of those who are reading this site and my others too. Please don’t let your chance to know Him slip away.

Words and meaning

Our world seems to be hung up on these two things, at times at least. Some words have the same meaning and some mean something different depending upon the context that they are used in. The word “life” means something to everyone in one way or another. It is that which we live every day from the moment we wake up until we sleep again at night. To parents it is their child inside the mother until the moment of birth, then it is that baby as it grows and develops into a person.

In religion, life can mean many different things. It can be eternal and forgiven and since we all have souls it can also be eternal and under judgement. Life is meant to be..was meant to be lived in the presence of our Creator and our God. Disobedience brought that to an end many years ago, but God provided a way for us to return to His Presence through accepting Jesus as our Savior and repenting of our life before He came into it.

Life after the acceptance of the grace of God through Jesus can be wonderful and it can be stressful. Wonderful in the sense that we look forward to eternity with Him and we have the chance to tell others about Him while we live today. Stressful because of the trials that we will face during our lifetime brought on by our disobedience and by our Adversary who tries to stop us from telling or showing others the way to be saved from eternal punishment.

What gives your life meaning? Is it just your profession? Is it your family or your accomplishments? Is it your relationship to God? It is the last one of those which gives my life meaning because without that relationship, I wouldn’t have been able to keep these sites going for so long. Without His wisdom and His Spirit giving me the ideas and the words, this site wouldn’t have nearly as much as it has. The Living Message wouldn’t exist either, so my relationship with God is important to me.

I pray that many of you who come here will get to know Jesus as your Savior, if you don’t already. Please use any of my sites to give people more information about their life apart from and with Jesus as well. Today’s post is a bit short but I hope that you find it useful. Thank you for reading.

Manna

The word above means “what is it?”. In truth it is angel food or bread from Heaven. The Israelites were fed by God for forty years with this and it sustained them for that time. Many of them did not like it and asked for meat, so He sent millions of quail into the camp and they feasted on that until they could stand it no more!

God knew that His bread would sustain them for the time that they needed it as long as they would follow His direction for using it. Some of them hated it, but it sustained them for the travels that they had before them.

Why am I speaking about this today? Because, our Lord and Messiah, Jesus the Christ IS THE BREAD OF LIFE! He provides the way to become adopted into God’s family. God sent Him to be the sacrifice for ALL of humanity. If you believe in Him and the atonement which He provided for us, then you can be and will be saved! Amen.

The bread of life is also the Word of God. It teaches you about God and His principles and His laws and the way to come to salvation. The Bible and the words in it will NOT save you and cannot save you! Sitting in church for forty years or more doesn’t make you a Christian. Getting baptized when you feel an urge to do what your friends are doing does NOT save you!

Only a broken and contrite heart and repentance from your sins will bring you to your knees and you will say, “God, I’m sorry for the way that I have lived. Please forgive me and cleanse my heart and my life. I ask Jesus to come into my heart and save me from myself so that I can be a servant of yours. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”

I am not saying that you have to recite this word for word, but a conviction from the Holy Spirit will break your heart and if you don’t respond to it…if you walk away from Him in that moment, then you may not get another chance. The Bible says that “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23.” Many who think that they are saved have felt a feeling of relief and hope when they are baptized and for a while they read the Bible and pray. Then, after a while, they go back to their life, their sins, their way of doing things and some never return to the Word or to church…but they believe they are saved.

Not so. A truly changed heart, broken and reformed by the Holy Spirit cannot go back to sin without being convicted of that sin’s consequences. If you are a child of God changed by the Spirit you cannot go back to the mud and the mire of sin that you were in. It will be distasteful and you will know it. Yes, you can go back if you ignore the conviction over and over, but you will have quenched the Spirit’s work in your life. You may be saved, but your reward will be eternal life without reward or crown and if you live in the time when man is given a choice of taking the mark of the Beast and you choose it, then your salvation is forfeit.

God loves you and He has given you the manna of Jesus and the manna of the Bible. Eat of them, take them into your life and your heart so that you can and will be changed into the child of God that you were meant to be. The food for eternity is there, all that you have to do is choose to take it and make it yours…or not. It is your choice.

Jesus, in all of the books of the Bible

In Genesis he’s the Seed of the Woman.
In Exodus he’s the Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus he’s the Scapegoat.
In Numbers he’s the Serpent lifted up in the Wilderness.
In Deuteronomy he’s the Cities of Refuge.
In Joshua he’s the Scarlet thread on Rahab’s house.
In Judges he’s the Perfect Judge.
In Ruth he’s the Kinsman Redeemer.
In I Samuel he’s the Trusted Prophet.
In 2 Samuel he’s the True Son of David.
In 1 Kings he’s the Promise Keeper.
In 2 Kings he’s the Jealous God.
In 1 Chronicles he’s our Reigning King.
In 2 Chronicles he’s our Deliverer.
In Ezra he’s the Faithful Scribe.
In Nehemiah he’s the Rebuilder of Broken Walls.
In Esther he’s Mordecai at the Gate.
In Job he’s My Redeemer Who Lives Today.
In Psalms he’s the Lord who is my Shepherd.
In Proverbs he’s our Wisdom.
In Ecclesiastes he’s our True Satisfaction.
In Song of Solomon he’s the Beautiful Bridegroom.
In Isaiah he’s the Suffering Servant.
In Jeremiah he’s the Righteous Branch.
In Lamentations he’s the Weeping Prophet.
In Ezekiel he’s the Son of Man.
In Daniel he’s the Fourth Man in the Furnace.
In Hosea he’s the Faithful Husband.
In Joel he’s the One Who Restores.
In Amos he’s the Burden Bearer.
In Obadiah he’s the Mighty Judge.
In Jonah he’s the Foreign Missionary.
In Micah he’s our Peace.
In Nahum he’s the Avenger.
In Habakkuk he’s the Lord in His Holy Temple.
In Zephaniah he’s the Lord Mighty to Save.
In Haggai he’s the Lord of Hosts.
In Zechariah he’s the Fountain of Cleansing.
In Malachi he’s the Sun of Righteousness.
In Matthew he’s the Promised Messiah.
In Mark he’s the Faithful Servant.
In Luke he’s Friend of Sinners.
In John he’s the Son of God.
In Acts he’s the Ascended Lord.
In Romans he’s the Justifier.
In 1 Corinthians he’s our Righteousness.
In 2 Corinthians he’s the God of All Comfort.
In Galatians he’s the Redeemer from the Curse of the Law.
In Ephesians he’s the Head of the Church.
In Philippians he’s the All-Sufficient Christ.
In Colossians he’s the Fullness of God.
In 1 Thessalonians he’s the Lord Coming Down from Heaven.
In 2 Thessalonians he’s the Judge coming with Blazing Fire.
In 1 Timothy he’s our Mediator.
In 2 Timothy he’s our Master.
In Titus he’s the Blessed Hope.
In Philemon he’s the One Who Paid Our Debt.
In Hebrews he’s Our Great High Priest.
In James he’s the Judge Standing at the Door.
In 1 Peter he’s the Chief Shepherd.
In 2 Peter he’s the Morning Star.
In 1 John he’s the Word of Life.
In 2 John he’s the Son of the Father.
In 3 John he’s the Truth.
In Jude he’s the Lord Coming with countless thousands of his saints.
In Revelation he’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

God loves you!

YoushallbesavedBelieve it or not, He really does! Otherwise, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to pay for our sins in the first place. We are all sinners, backsliders, liars, thieves, adulterers, and murderers to some extent but the sins have been paid for, the penalty for each of them has been paid for by Jesus! All you have to do is realize that you need Him and that your lifestyle is sinful in some way then turn away from your sins and ask Him to come into your life and give you the victory over sin!

Is it a quick fix? Sometimes but sometimes it takes a little time, but with Jesus in your corner what do you have to fear? He is the Alpha and the Omega, our Creator and the King of Kings! He is over ALL of creation because He created it all! The good, bad, the ugly and the indifferent but He created all of it!

The children’s song, “Jesus loves me”, is so true because He does and He wouldn’t have come to pay for our sin debt if He did not love each of us. So, why do people seem to so against Him and His love? To me, it doesn’t make much sense at all. Pick between two different people to be your parent–One Who loves you beyond your ability to measure, and the other who tells you that he loves you but can’t help you in any situation requiring the power of God. Why? Because Satan doesn’t know how to heal and he can’t. He doesn’t care about your soul except to keep you from giving your heart to Jesus! He will laugh at you when you are in hell with him because you believed his lies!

How did you hear his lies if you went to church all of your life? By not studying the Word of God, by making God fit into your idea of Who He is (making your own god), by thinking that you are righteous because of your length of time in the church. All of these and more will send many people to hell, even though they will think that they are going to Heaven.

God loves you but He cannot be put in a “box of your own making”. You have heard people say something like “My God wouldn’t do that!” “He wouldn’t send you to Hell for …..”; no, your “god” wouldn’t, but if your version doesn’t line up with the One in Scripture then we aren’t talking about the same God!

Jesus came to do the Father’s will while He was with the disciples during His ministry, and He was just as much a part of the Trinity while here as He was in Heaven! Yes, Jesus was born of a woman but His nature was of His Father not that of sinful man. So, He was just as much Creator and God as He was man!

In John 3:16,17,18 it says:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”

Believing in Jesus isn’t very hard to do. Read John and the book of Romans completely, then if you don’t want to believe or you don’t find anyone to believe in through those verses of Scripture…then all I can do is pray for you. God does love you and He has shown it through His Son…all that you have to do to have eternal life is to repent of your sins and believe in Jesus. That’s it! A child can understand it.

I’ll get back to you…

How would this attitude feel if you had to put up with it every week or so? It is amazing that God’s patience with us has lasted so long. Especially in light of the fact that the world that He created didn’t last as long before the flood as it has since Jesus’ resurrection! People go to church or to synagogue each week and then go home and act as if they never met the Creator!

While it is true that we don’t meet Him face to face in our religious meetings each week, we are supposed to be seeking Him out to find out Who He really is and get to know Him better. But…do you? We leave our worship services with a vague notion of Who He is or Who Jesus is IF our teacher or preacher is teaching from God’s Word. It seems that many of us go out the door and mostly forget what we have heard or what we have read about in our Bibles!

It is as if the “meeting” that we attend each week is just a meeting of other people who are religious about meeting at this place and time. It seems that our reason for going to church is to be seen by others and not to learn about why we come to worship or even Who it is that we are coming to worship! We pray and sing a few songs and listen to our teacher/preacher telling us stories from his perspective or sometimes from the Bible and then we go home thinking that we have been taught what we need to know.

So let me ask you this: What did you learn about Jesus on Sunday? Do you remember what the sermon was about or the scripture that it was taught from? Did you even tell anyone about what you learned at church and invite them to come and hear about the man, Jesus, who is the Savior of us all?

Some of you did, many more who attended church this past weekend did not. Some even sat with an earphone from your iPod or iPhone stuck in your ear or you just tuned the sermon completely out.

“I’ll get back to you” is a phrase that is used in many areas of life but it shouldn’t be used when you are speaking to or learning from God and His Word! Why? Because you might not get back. The sinner’s prayer is easy to say but it has to come from a sincerely broken heart, one that knows that it is a sinner and that it has sinned and that it needs God, it needs Jesus! You can recite it just as many of us learned to do with the “Pledge of Allegiance” when we were young, although they don’t do that anymore because they don’t want to offend anyone.

The sinner’s prayer goes something like this:

Jesus, I know that you are Lord of Heaven and Earth. I know that you came here to die for my sins, and you proved yourself as the Son of God by rising from the dead after being crucified. I am a sinner and I need You for my redemption. Jesus, I accept you into my life and ask for your forgiveness for me.  Amen.

That is all it takes. If you know that you need Him don’t “get back to Him”, ask Him to come into your heart and He will be there forever.

Suffering..

God, unlike some of the sermons that are heard and preached, doesn’t allow you to suffer. Yes, He is in control. Yes, He told Satan to test Job and Peter but His Spirit was there with them even through all that they went through. God gave them the strength to go through what they had to suffer but He did NOT cause their suffering. God’s only reason behind the testing was to prove to Satan the faith that His servant, Job, had in Him.

We are not made to suffer by a loving God. Jesus did not make Peter suffer, though He did tell Peter that Satan had asked to “sift him as wheat“. He also told Peter that He had prayed for his strength to stand against his sifting. Peter failed because he denied Jesus three times, though truthfully Jesus had also told Peter ahead of time that he would do this as well. Our God and our Lord know us better than we know ourselves, we may think our faith is strong only to find that is not the case in the time that we face a trial.

The most positive point that I can give you here is that after Jesus was resurrected, He forgave and restored Peter. Afterward, Peter became one of the most faithful of His disciples.

We can too! IF we will learn to give our hearts and our faith to God completely, unashamedly and without reserve! This kind of commitment is not impossible, couples who are committed to each other in marriage do it. So, why can’t we give this kind of service and commitment to our Lord and Savior when He gave His life for us?

True, He knew that He could take His life up again but His human body still had to endure the suffering and the pain of the scourging and the cross! That part of Him that was God, had to endure something worse…the separation from His Father during the time on the cross! Something which He had never had to experience from eternity past! A suffering that we, as Christians, won’t have to endure. Those who refuse to believe in Him and live their lives for Him will endure that separation forever, tormented by the fact that their belief in Jesus could’ve saved them from it.

That is the punishment of hell. Yes, there may be a lake of fire. It is mentioned in Scripture, weeping and gnashing of teeth are also mentioned. The torment most grievous will be the separation from God and everything that is good and light and cool. Consider this, search the Bible for your answers, seek out Jesus while you still draw breath because when you die…there are no do-overs, no second chances, no re-spawn to life! That’s it!

What will you do with your life? What are you expecting in eternity? Not believing in eternity now will not change the fact that God says there is an eternity after this life. Make sure of yours while you can.

Beginning again

Every new year it seems that everyone makes all sorts of “resolutions” to do this or lose that or make more money or spend more time with their family. Why can’t we just resolve to do these things without the change of year? We usually spend time with family and friends during the year anyway, why not make that time into quality time? The kind of time which creates memories that last a lifetime.

Making more money or losing a few inches or pounds is a temporary thing and they really don’t last anyway. Money doesn’t make your life better, only more complicated. Particularly if you make a good deal more than you have in the past. Like the winners of a lottery, a windfall of cash is great for a while but unless you are disciplined about the use of it and the saving of it, the windfall won’t last very long.

The only windfall that we all have access to, that can never be lost or taken away, is salvation through Jesus Christ. All that you have to do to have this is to believe that He died for you and your sins, ask His forgiveness and ask Him to change you into the person that you should be. The rewards may not come in this life while you are here, but you will have a home in eternity and that is a very long time.

The beginning of eternity starts when this life ends, one way or another.