The blood of Jesus

1 Peter 1:13-21
13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

17 And if you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

john_3_16_17_scripture_memory_card-raf7013e639264b87b918bea9971565b3_vgbaq_8byvr_540Sin deceives you because its roots are from the deceiver, Satan. Sinful actions can and will destroy your life in many ways and in the end of this life, it will bring eternal death which is eternal banishment from the presence of God.

The only way to save yourself from sin and the consequences of it is to believe in Jesus and the blood which He shed for us, each of us, on the cross. The Son of God gave His life for you and for me…He didn’t have to but He wanted to do it. Because He loved each of us far more and deeper than we can know or comprehend.

He redeemed us from sin through His blood shed on the cross for you! The only action needed on your part is belief in Him and the atonement bought by His blood.

Colossians 1:19-22 King James Version (KJV)

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Do you understand what God has done for us? For you and for me? Each person who has ever lived in this world, before the Flood and up until now, is born with a natural bent toward sin! I mean you don’t have to teach anyone to lie and you know it as well as I do.

Tell a toddler not to do something or eat something and you can see their wheels turning trying to figure out how they can get away with doing exactly that! If you are able to catch them right after doing it, whatever it may be, ask them if they did what you told them not to do. Even with crumbs from those cookies on their clothes they will tell you no, they didn’t do that.

In life you see many people behaving exactly the same way, even if they are supposed to be grown-ups. Why is that? It is because until you have a changed heart through the Spirit of God living within you, you are a sinner from the day you are able to decide to do something which you were told not to do! God’s will for your life is to glorify Him in all that you do and the only way for us to do that is to believe in Jesus and the atonement that He bought for us and ask God’s forgiveness based upon that belief.

Now, many religions teach that you can work out your salvation by yourself but that is not true. If that were possible, Jesus died for nothing! No amount of gold or silver or any amount of good works that you or I do in this world can bring salvation to your soul, only belief in Jesus can do that and accepting His atonement for your sins. If you can’t or won’t do that, then you have condemned yourself to hell.

Please, don’t go there, because hell was not made for humanity at all. It was made to punish angels who rebelled against God’s rule and authority including Satan or Lucifer if you know him by that name. Because of deception and our own stubbornness, many people are going to hell and it won’t be a party or a friendly place to be for eternity at all.

Make sure of your salvation in Jesus soon before the church is taken from this Earth, because it is going to happen soon. Plan on being part of that company.

 

Why do relationships go wrong?

Truly the reason that this happens is because of the foundation. Many marriages begin on the wrong foot and certainly on sand or loose gravel for a foundation. Why do we pursue a relationship that ultimately will fail?

IAM-JesusWe do this because we haven’t found the Relationship which can’t fail. We are born searching for something or Someone but for years we search and look for things and people to fill that void, that empty place which always feels as if it needs…to be filled. It is a scientific principle which states quite accurately that “nature abhors a vacuum”. At some point, something will fill that space whether it is good or bad, God or Satan, it doesn’t matter which, but it will be filled.

If we try to fill it with a career or a family, that can work for a while but it isn’t permanent. If we try to fill it with drugs or alcohol, our life and our relationships are doomed to fail because those things are designed to destroy whatever they come in contact with! But…if we will seek out our Savior, Jesus the Christ, and repent of the attempts which we have tried before, and ask Him to come in and clean our heart up, then our life will be placed on the right path.

Following Him, learning about Him by reading and studying the Bible, praying about your family and your problems, all of these will begin to fix your pathway and your life in such a way that your foundation will become complete and solid. When this happens, your relationship with your spouse and your family will begin to level out and become less bumpy and more smooth. This is the foundation which should guide our lives today but we tend to follow along with the rest of the crowd at school or church, if we go at all.

If everyone at school or at church is just going along to get along for the sake of being thought of as a “pillar of the community”, that is the wrong reason. Trying to earn a place in the eyes of people and “fair weather friends”, no matter how you earn it, doesn’t help you in the long run. Why? Because it isn’t built on God’s foundation which is Jesus.

You can decide to ignore this advice if you wish or just don’t read this at all, it doesn’t hurt my feelings one way or the other. But…what if I am right. When your life is going to hell on a slippery slope, which of your friends could possibly pull you out of it? A rich kid that you went to school with? No, they are likely off enjoying life just as they think they should. What about your dear friend from work? Not likely, they come home feeling even more tired than they did last year.

The only One Who can get your life back on the right path and give you strength enough to make it through all of your trouble is Jesus. No other religion or “holy man” or prophet can do that because all of them are dead! He is alive at the Father’s right hand and He is able to help you in your time of need. Seek Him out and make sure that He is your foundation and your Solid Rock, your Savior. Because without Him, we can do nothing.

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.

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!

Life’s little obstacles

When you are walking barefoot, you feel every pebble no matter how small. That is what life is like when you are walking without Jesus as your guide. Every problem, every discomfort, everything gets in the way of your enjoyment. Of course, if you have never accepted Jesus, this actually feels like a normal day so it doesn’t really bother you much. You go around them, you ignore them and just move on…until you come up against one that is bigger than you can go around, then what?

It is true that many of our problems could be described as rocks and bumps in a path through this life, but then at times the pathway is almost blocked to the point of falling off on one side or another or maybe you will have to climb over this one. But…how? There aren’t any places to climb over or to put your hands and feet in order to climb over this problem, and it seems that it is on an incline and getting bigger. It may roll over you if you can’t get around or over it so now what do you do?

This is where you learn to depend upon Jesus and His atoning grace for you and your life. The obstacles which were in your way are nothing to our Creator and they can be overcome with His strength. The path becomes a bit smaller, narrower than it was before, but as long as you are following Jesus and depending upon Him, you can navigate it without difficulty. It won’t be easy because once you have given your life and heart to Him, Satan will begin to put more problems in your path.

I don’t say this to scare you away from being a Christian, just a heads-up so you won’t be blindsided by anything that may come your way. The problems that I speak of are not the kind that will kill you, because you belong to Jesus. They are temptations trying to bring you back to the life you led before. Sometimes, they are obstacles to your life with Christ or something that may keep you from fulfilling your ministry.

There are a number of little problems which Satan can magnify into larger problems, the point is that you have the power of Jesus the Christ on your side. He is the Living Word after all and the second person of the Trinity. He has already defeated Satan and the Holy Spirit is inside you, if you are a Christian. Being a Christian you are an adopted child of God, you have nothing to fear from Satan or any of the obstacles that he may place in your path.

God will give you the strength to get through these problems when they arise and He will be with you regardless of what they might be. Give Jesus a chance in your life, so you will have an eternity to praise Him and thank Him for all that He has done.

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!

 

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!

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.

God wins!

There are many people who are saying that Christianity is losing ground to new religions and to old ones that are seeing new converts. The “falling away” actually hasn’t happened yet, it may be beginning but there is more to come. Why would I say this on a blog which usually expounds on God’s Word and His way to salvation? Because it is in His Word that we find out about it in the first place.

There are many temptations and other religions which will entice people away from Christianity and it seems that many are “taking the bait” today. The problem with this is eternal and many of them don’t realize this, or they don’t care. Consider for a moment that there is an eternity waiting for you on the other side of death. Where will you spend it?

God cares about all of you, whether you are a Christian believer or not. This is why Jesus was sent to fulfill the purpose of God when He gave Himself as the ransom for our sin debts! The price for ALL of us, no matter who or where you are or what you may have done in your life HAS BEEN PAID! Jesus paid it in full on the cross!

Nothing that you or I can do will aid in our salvation or our entrance into Heaven, yet many seem to think that we should “help” God save us in some way. Do you really think that the Creator of all things NEEDS our help? That would be like asking an ant to help build your house, it would be of no use whatsoever and neither can we. Even if the ant could understand you and attempted to help, what could it do in the building of your house? Not much at all, if anything.

That is how we are in “helping” God…we can’t and He doesn’t need us to do so. Consider standing before a gigantic being, one that doesn’t need you and could crush you easily. If there was a stone about eight feet in diameter and two feet thick which needed to be moved, could you do it on your own? Of course not, but the being which is standing next to you would have no trouble at all moving this stone and he needs no help from you. I am not speaking of a giant such as Goliath from the story of David, I am talking about one who is about twenty or thirty feet tall, that stone would be like a rock to for him.

In other words, your entrance into Heaven is already paid for, the place that you could live forever is already furnished and waiting and all that you have to do is realize that you need Jesus in your life. So, seek Him out and ask Him to come into your heart and save you from an eternity without Him. Think about it from our world’s viewpoint: if you found out that you had an account with ten million dollars in it and a very nice house already furnished with three cars in the garage which were your dream cars and all you had to do was ask for it and accept it…would you? Of course you would!

The only difference between the life that you would have in my last illustration and the one where you accept Jesus as your Savior is that eternal life begins when this life ends. You won’t be able to show your mansion to anyone unless they are saved too. The biggest difference from my point of view is that the money, the house and the cars are all temporary because as soon as you take possession of them, that night you will die.

Have you considered…eternity?

Your life here is not all that there is, we were created to have an eternity to go into after this life, but many people don’t consider that to be truth. Why? Because, they can’t see any of it or any of the rewards and work to be done for God’s Kingdom in it now! There are many teachers today on the Internet, in pulpits, on television who are teaching their “version of the gospel”, which Satan does as well. He has had many years to perfect his delivery of his gospel and just as he did when he tempted Jesus, he takes scripture from the Bible and either leaves a portion out or takes it out of context. Some preachers today do that too.

Their teaching is full of partial scriptures, bits and pieces, which don’t really make much Biblical sense unless they are taught in context with the scripture or passage or paragraph that they began in. A partial truth, leaving out a word or taking Scripture out of context, is a lie! A lie that sounds like it came from God’s Word, and it did but without the text around that verse, it can be made to say almost anything. This is how Satan used scripture, by picking a verse and using it to make his point…not God’s point.

Today, not just in America but all over the world, people are being killed or put in to prison for their belief in Jesus. The problem with this is that Jesus is the only solution to our problems, here and now and into eternity! Put down your “self”, bury him or her and take up the cross of Jesus! What does that mean? It means to put others ahead of you, to be kind to one another, to love one another with an unselfish love. The kind that doesn’t say, “what’s in it for me?”!!

Living this way is following the teachings found all through the Bible, not just what Jesus taught. God has always had the answer for our lives, we are just too stubborn to listen or even look for it in His Word! Then, sometimes, when we do find the answer that we were looking for we claim it as our answer not that it came from God. We don’t give Him the credit or the glory for what we find. This is exactly what most “self-help” books do, maybe not word for word because that is plagiarism, but the advice you see in them is exactly the advice you can find in the Bible.

Eternity is going to be there after this life, but it is the experience in eternity that people should be working now to ensure. If you follow your own ways or the ways of the world, and reject any or all of the teachings found in the Bible, then your eternity is going to be very different from a Christian’s eternity.

I know, many of you will say that I am being self-righteous about Christianity but I am not. My righteousness alone is not enough and yours isn’t either, as a Christian I claim the atonement and the righteousness of Jesus that He paid for on the cross! It was the “self-righteous” priests who had Him executed because they felt that they were going to lose their “position” with the people.

Before too long it is going to be more persecution, not just in America but all over the world and it will be against Christians just as it is in Muslim countries now. For many people the prospect of persecution will be enough to keep them from becoming a Christian. For the immediate future, I understand that, but think of your eternity. Once this life is over, however the end comes, you will be faced with that. Eternal unity with God and many friends in Heaven or separation from God in a place of torment and misery forever. Which would you rather endure since while you still live, you do have a choice?