Life is….

Our life is one day at a time, whether you are religious or not. It doesn’t matter whether you have faith in God or not, it goes by faster than most people realize. If you are a parent or a grandparent then you know how fast days and weeks and even years can rush by. Should we take note of everything that is going on around us? Absolutely! Not so much in a “nosy neighbor” way, but don’t shut yourself inside and not notice that life is going on around you either.

True Life is in Jesus and if you don’t know Him then you should get to know Him. Seek Him out because He will come to you if you are looking for Him. God loves each of us and really has a plan for us, whether you believe in Him or His plan or not. Some of us He has a plan which includes working for Him in His Kingdom, now or in the future. Some of us, may not fit into that right now but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a role to play in some way.

Each of us is important or God wouldn’t have placed us here on Earth with our parents to grow up in the place where we grew up. He knows the intricate details of how you grew up, what influenced you and who influenced you. Those who had a positive impact on your future were likely sent into your life by Him. If there was a negative person in your life, then they may have been sent by Satan or one of his cronies, trying to derail you from serving God’s purpose.

The problem with that is: God’s purpose is never derailed, no matter how many negative influences get in the way. His plans always work out, the time-table may change a bit but in the end the result will be what God had intended in the beginning. Life, through Jesus, always works out for His purposes regardless of the intent of the enemy. All that we need to do is cooperate with Him in life and live it the very best we can through Him and with Him.

In that way, our legacy will be His legacy and His purpose and our treasure, our eternal reward will be in Heaven where moth and decay can’t destroy any of it! Amen!

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!

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.

The truth of the Bible!

Emperors like Diocletian have decreed its extermination, atheists like Voltaire have railed against it, agnostics through the years have cynically sneered at it, and liberals strive to remove the miracles from the Bible. Materialists have simply ignored it. How is it that the Bible still stands after centuries of attempts to destroy it? Because the Bible is eternal, settled in heaven.

It is, very simply, God’s Word to mankind! Breathed by the Holy Spirit into the minds of men who wrote the words down so that we can benefit from its wisdom. There is no way of getting rid of its timeless wisdom or ignoring it in any way. You may do so, if you wish, but it will gain you nothing except a life of missed chances to be of any worth to the Kingdom of God. You can ignore it, but when you face your judgement in the presence of God, it will convict you of your ignorance and your reluctance toward the message that it carries.

It is a book of knowledge and power, and one which contains historical words of wisdom and the history of the Jewish people. It contains the story of creation, betrayal, murder and redemption, adultery, incest, and savage cruelty and slavery. But…it also carries a line of hope and love beyond measure and a promise that your life and mine can be made whole again regardless of the way we may have been before coming to Jesus!

God’s Word contained in the Bible has all of these elements in it as well as the hope that we can come back into the perfect relationship that was intended at the beginning. For that, we shouldn’t give up on its wisdom or dismiss it as an old book which is outdated for our time. We should use it, every day to bring new meaning and purpose into our lives and to learn the wisdom contained in its pages as well. If for no other reason than to teach it to our children and our grandchildren, that is why it exists.

God gave all of the books of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, to us for instruction and learning, for wisdom and for the Truth that it contains. We cannot ignore it or deny its existence and we can’t just throw it away. It is a Holy Book and truly should be treated as such. In reality, we should treat the Bible at least as necessary as our cell phones which people can’t live without these days. We should carry it with us every day and miss it if we find out we have left it behind. Its wisdom is necessary for our existence and we should use it and treat it as being important to us, especially if we are born-again Christians!

Although today people who don’t believe the words contained in it are very vocal with their opinions, some are even belligerent to the point of being rude and obnoxious. Just because the Word of God tells the absolute Truth and has been the model for much of our nations laws is no reason to be this way. It does step on people’s toes a bit because it brings to light their sins and their nature that is opposite of the Word of God and many people can’t handle their faults being brought into the light this way. The Bible is still and will always be the Word of God!

It has been established in Heaven and the words in it were given to the writers by the Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity. The Word of God, contained in the Bible, has been around for over three thousand years and it is NOT going away, EVER!! You can get rid of them, burn them, destroy them, but the Word is still around in the hearts and minds of Christians and Jewish people! These two faiths contain the entirety of the Bible and the Word of God cannot be destroyed and never will be, regardless of the feelings of many who don’t go along with its words and beliefs.

The Dark side….

In my last post I spoke about being self-righteous and many people seem to feel this way, although if you told them this they would be offended.

Self-righteousness was and has been a problem in religious circles for many generations but that is not what I have seen in the news or on talk shows lately. What is cropping up is apathy and a lack of respect between parents and children, teachers and their students and those who claim to be Christians and those who don’t.

(Darth Vader breathing)

This is the shadow of the dark side, not so much from a science fiction point of view, but the dark side of Creation. There was always a dividing line between light and dark and there really is not grey area in that spot. It is either one or the other, dark and light don’t blend in nature nor in the spiritual realm.

It seems that many people don’t exactly believe that the Bible nor anything referred to in it are real today. As if a few thousand years has obliterated Satan and his demons as well as God and His angels. That is fine if you want to believe that, I have no problem with your beliefs or lack of belief.

But…just hypothetically speaking, what if all of the things prophesied in the Bible really come true one day in the not too distant future? Would you change your thinking or your beliefs? Or would you cling to blissfully being an unbeliever and just disregard anything that your eyes see as nonsense? When your life is over on this plane of existence, what do you think will happen to you?

Many people seem to think that they just stop existing and that is that. Some say they go to a place of happiness and bliss. I don’t claim to have gone over the threshold to see what is there, but according to what is in the Bible you stand before God to be judged for your life. What you did while you lived, if you came to believe in Jesus or not and the sins that you committed during your life will all be judged either for you or against you.

How do you think your life will look to God, if you chose to go through it without Jesus or believing in Him either? The Bible says this about our life and our righteousness, “Our righteousness is as filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6. The expression there is like unwashed clothes that have been worn for weeks and are so filthy that they are coming apart.

The dark side of the spiritual realm, where Satan and his fallen angels are, is at war with God and all of His angels and those of us who tell of His love and compassion for you. Satan has no love for man, he hates us because we are made in the image of God and that is only one of his reasons. He hates us because God loves us and because we were placed above him in responsibilities in God’s kingdom.

Please, don’t go over to the dark side. Give your heart to Jesus and live for Him. Make Satan uncomfortable and angry because when you work for and with Jesus, that is what you will do.

True love, what can it do?

It seems that many people think that the word “love” has been used up and no longer means much, if anything, anymore. But, what can actual genuine love do? Many, many things actually.

Love can heal and it will protect, love is kind and patient, love bear burdens that lust cannot; Love doesn’t mean that you don’t apologize for a wrong, but that you can bear up and endure through the trials and heartache that come from it. Love is caring and compassionate, even when the one being cared for may be one that tried to kill you. Love is an emotion, a feeling, but it is also hope for tomorrow and faith in the future as well. Love is all of these things and more.

Love, the kind that you feel from your mother or grandmother, can fix hurts, mend problems between siblings, and it just feels like home as no other place or feeling can. You can’t duplicate it and you can’t fake it, you either love someone truly or you don’t.

Just as being on one side of a fence or the other, you can’t be on both, and with love there is no real middle ground. True, there are different kinds of love, such as the love felt between friends or for family, then there is the erotic type of love/lust that is so rampant today. So what can real love do for you?

It heals and it prolongs your life. It also lowers your blood pressure and eases stress. All of these positive outcomes from one simple emotion. Is it really so simple? I don’t think so. Love is expressed between people of all ages but it is most effective when it is inside a family, between a man and a woman and their children, which is how and why God ordained the family unit to be the model for all of us.

Love, real love, expressed in this way can last through generations not just a few years or decades. God’s love has been available to all of us since we were able to understand it, yet He has loved and cared for us since the beginning. His love is perfect in that it requires nothing from us, it just flows from Him to us. Yes, He desires our love and for our love to flow back to Him, but it is our choice and cannot be forced.

That is the one requirement that cannot change, ever: Love is not forced and cannot be. You can’t make someone love you, even if you love them. They either will or they won’t, anything beyond that is tolerance or hatred. Which is where Satan stands, on the side of hatred. He despises God and His children, and he will do anything to hurt and rip into the church and its members, as well as those that they love. That is what we are here to do, to love those outside the church with the love that God gives to us so that they might want it too.

Memories

Everything in life revolves around remembering things in one way or another. We remember birthdays and anniversaries and holidays and what to pick up at the grocery, most of the time. What about the people who have lost so much already this year, will we remember them and their sacrifice? Those who have gone to war, not for the first deployment or the second but the third or fourth. What about those who have gone for their last deployment, the ones who won’t be coming home? Will we remember them and pray for their families?

There are so many in the military of our country who have given so much of themselves and their families have given a lot as well. Some have even given their lives for their country and the job that they held as military men and women. Does our country, our “President” consider their honor and dignity enough? Does he honor them and help their families without asking for anything in return because they have already given enough?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. I do know that many of our men and women in service have given more than their fair share and our government should be proud to take care of them no matter what it costs. Many from earlier wars are still scarred in ways that we will never understand. Many have taken their lives and left their families to pick up the pieces because they couldn’t make sense of it all because of PTSD.

I have had and may still have symptoms of this illness even though I have never been to war. You see, firefighters, policemen, paramedics and many others suffer from it too. But no one ever hears about us because we are not on the “front lines”, we are not coming home with our legs blown off or our arms missing. Our injuries are mental in nature because we see horrific scenes at shootings, at wrecks, at house fires. We see what happens when a friend or family member decides to murder the rest of the family. We see the children of people who drive drunk with their kids in the car and have to pick up their children to take them to the funeral home, while mom or dad is recuperating from a cut on the head that they don’t remember getting.

The only real cure for this illness is time and the love of God. He is the only one who is capable to repairing and healing a damaged mind which was torn by these images. Many in public service like I was never admit to having this. People just ignore it and go on with their lives not knowing what will happen, but living with the consequences just the same.

Our society doesn’t understand that some of the most horrifying crimes are committed by close family members. Sometimes the reason behind that may be a mental problem that wasn’t addressed or even admitted to anyone. So nobody knew that it was there until it was too late.

God can heal all of the wounds that we have, but we have to be willing to admit that we have a problem and come to Him for help. We have to give our lives to Jesus and let His healing power come over us and through us so that the healing can begin. If we don’t do that, we will always have problems that we can’t identify, or won’t.

Many times, some of these same mental problems are caused by our own families. In broken homes, children of divorced parents witness what happens when their parents go separate ways. There is resentment, anger, frustration, fear, guilt, doubt, blame and all of this is sometimes piled on a child who is not even old enough to know what they are. Later on the child feels and understands a little but will blame themselves for the break-up of the family, until they are much older.

Sometimes we never get past the hurt and all of the emotional baggage that comes from a divorce and will carry it with them the rest of their lives. Still, God is the only One who can really help. Turning to Jesus and giving the frustration and all of the problems that you have grown up with will help and He will make a difference in your life and in your family’s life too.

The memories that we have to live with and grow with sometimes cause problems but those memories can also bring us hope and peace. Memories of Christmas and family. Memories of good times that our family has had and memories of the tragedies that we have had to endure as well. Give your life to Christ and let Him heal the hurt and all of the baggage that has come with it. He will make a huge difference in your life and in the lives of others.

 

Can we ignore the world?

It says in the Bible that we are not to be part of the world, and yet we are supposed to take Christ‘s message to all of the world. Kind of contradictory isn’t it? Not really, but we can’t let the world and the things in the world affect our life and our witness to those who may not know Christ. How can we do this?

We can’t do it on our own strength or with our own power because Satan and his demonic forces are far more powerful than we are without Jesus in our life and our heart. Without Jesus, it is impossible for us to do good outside the influence of evil. Regardless of how good we think that we are or can be, we cannot withstand the influence of the principalities and powers that Satan has at his disposal.

The reason behind your failure to withstand him is that he hates you with an undying hatred! The reason for this is that he knew that God intended to put humanity above angels in the hierarchy of Heaven one day. That is the one reason beyond pride that Satan had for his rebellion. Everything else pales in comparison and he intends to do everything that he can to corrupt as much of God’s creation as possible.

So, in a word, no we cannot ignore the world! It would be very dangerous to do so because he is the ruler of this world and ignoring the world would be just what Satan wants, in a sense. He doesn’t want to be ignored, but if enough people regard him as a myth or a fairy tale then they won’t know to defend themselves from his attacks or even know that they need to.

Many Christians don’t even know that they need to take care of the thoughts that they have and give them to Jesus. To walk with Jesus on an hourly basis is the only way to defend yourself and if you choose not to be that close with Him then Satan can get into your life, even if you go to church. Mainly because he is there too! He and his demons are in every congregation in the world. They never miss a Sunday or a Sabbath, yet many don’t have any idea that they are there.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He comes in and cleans out anything that has been there before and makes you into a new creation! Your heart becomes the temple for the Spirit to live and work in and through you and for you. When this happens, your life can have so much more meaning not only for you but for God too.

Making Jesus the Lord of your life makes you one of His disciples and they were able to do many glorious, miraculous things as long as their trust and their faith stayed focused on Him. Can we do the same? Yes, we can if we truly believe in Him and repent of our old ways and truly change. Don’t go back to the same places that you went to before, make new friends and tell your old friends that you are a new person!

Take them to church with you and introduce them to your Savior so that they will come to know Him. God loves them, they just have to realize it and accept His love and grace and they will become part of His family too!

Jesus and His Deity

He gave it up to become a man and yet He was still in control as Christ. Even the demons recognized this because they knew who He was and is today. He is with God, ruling and watching over all of creation and one day, He will return just as He said. The God-head is a Trinity, regardless of what other religions may say. There is God the Father, God the Son and the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit.

He is referred to as “the Living Word” in scripture so in essence Jesus was the Living Word of God. Christians don’t deny this, only those who have not taken the time to study the Bible and get into its wisdom question these points. The Son of God, of which there is only one, does not need His deity to be proven because of the record written in scripture before He was born and after He was raised from the tomb.

So in our world, why do so many people choose not to believe in Jesus? Why does even His name cause controversy and anger? It seems that it is because of Who He is and what He represents. It also points to one simple truth and that is: If Jesus is Who the Bible says He is, the the Bible is true and all other religions have nothing to stand on.

That one truth angers billions of people because it would upset their religious beliefs and yet when He comes back, all will bow and acknowledge Him as Lord. Grudgingly, perhaps, but they will because they will have no other choice. He will be sitting on His throne and they will have no argument, no witty comeback in front of the Creator.

Jesus is the Creator along with God the Father, period. There can be no real argument on this point and yet there are many who believe or dis-believe other lies or half-truths, most of which are man-made. How can anyone read the book of Job and see where God answers him with the names of the stars in the heavens and not believe. God is the One who spoke the universe into existence. He formed all of us in the womb so that our purpose, His purpose for us could be fulfilled. We all have one and yet many people try to find it in other things and places.

God loves you, not because He has to but because He does, period! We have the choice to love Him or not, if we didn’t have that choice we would be no different than animals who follow their instincts. God even gives angels the choice of loving Him and serving Him and most do. The only ones who chose not to were cast from Heaven with their leader, Satan, and they will pay for their decision.

Our choice, our life should be to follow Him, because the life we have here on earth is but a speck compared to eternity. I want to serve Him, not only because I want to live, but because He loved me from the beginning and you too! I do not want any of my friends or my family to have to suffer in hell because they didn’t know about their Savior.

There are many who think that there is no hell, but if there is a heaven there has to be a hell. Would you really want to spend uncountable years in a place of punishment which was not created for you in the first place? Hell was created to punish Satan and his angels or demons, whichever way you look at them. It was not meant for us at all, but that is where we will go if we have not accepted Jesus as Lord. It is a hard teaching to follow but it is the truth because it is in God’s Word.

I know many people have said that Christians are crazy because we believe some old book and the Words contained in it. We believe without proof or evidence which is not true. There is historical evidence that the people and places mentioned in God’s Word existed and the simple fact that we exist, as does all of creation, is proof enough. Debating these issues is just an exercise in differing opinions and that is all.

God’s Word and His love for us is true and all we have to decide to do is to allow Him into our life and our hearts or not.

Romans 6:23 says:  23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Awesome Power of Our Creator!

In six days He spoke the universe into being, then rested on the seventh. I wonder if anyone has ever thought that He could have done it in one day if He had chosen to? Nothing is impossible with God but what do you think of Him? He knows all of us, whether we acknowledge Him or not.

When He sent the part of Him that was the Christ to earth as a human born of a virgin, He was still God. When they beat Him, and flogged Him with the cat-o-nine tails so that He was almost un-recognizable, He was still God. When they hung Him on the cross or execution stake with nails through His hands and feet, He was still God. He could’ve called down legions of angels or even wiped mankind from the earth with a thought but He did neither of those, because He was and is God!

Our Creator, the Ancient of Days, was before time and the one who created time itself along with everything else. Our God, the One that many people don’t think is real, is more real than we are! His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not like ours. He is above us and perfect in every way. One analogy would be that He is above us as we are above bacteria and maybe even more than that!

Even being the great I AM, the God and Creator doesn’t keep Him from loving His creation, even those of us who were created in His image and then rejected Him. Your life will never be perfect on earth, but you will be able to grow toward that perfection if you will give your heart to Him and walk with Him daily. That is all He has ever wanted from us, our fellowship and our love for all that He gives us every day.

If you want to have hope and a chance at a fulfilling life for eternity, ask Him to come into your heart. He will place a small piece of Himself there and fill the void which you have felt but didn’t know how to fill. God loves you more than you can know, return that love and you will feel it in ways you never imagined.