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.

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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?

Would anyone ever think that you are a Christian?

Well? Could someone look at your life and the things that you do every day and tell that you are a Christian without you telling them? Do you frequent places of worship during the week, not just on Sunday? Does your weekly life show that you are a follower of Christ? Our country needs Christians who can stand up and show that their beliefs are real and not just words. Many people in the world and in our country can’t tell the difference between a Christian and someone who isn’t!

Do you think if your Christianity were put on trial in a court of law, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian? For many people, the answer to this question would be questionable. For some, there may be enough evidence to actually prove that they are Christians. But in the near future during the time of Tribulation, just having a Bible in your home may be enough to convict you whether you go to church or study it regularly or not.

But, just having a Bible in your home doesn’t make you a Christian. Going to church and Bible study doesn’t make you a Christian. Praying to God, if you are not a Christian, doesn’t make you a Christian unless it is a prayer of confession and submission to become a Christian. God loves you more than you can imagine, but He doesn’t push Himself into your life. You are not required to come to Him or give your heart to Him except for one purpose and that is to become more like Christ. Still, it is your choice.

Will you take that step of faith? Won’t you decide to make sure of your eternal place in God’s Kingdom? If you wish to serve Satan, ignore anything that you have read here and go on your way. He doesn’t care, because as long as he can keep you out of God’s Kingdom then you are already living in his. He doesn’t tell you that after you die, the eternity that is waiting for you is one of no forgiveness, no life, no parties, no light or water…and that its forever. He leaves out all of the fine print, until it’s too late.

Think about it.

 

What is happening?

People are going completely crazy it seems! On the news someone beat up their grandmother, and of course there are other uprisings going on all over the world because of one thing or another. How can this world be so mixed up and messed up? The reason is Satan’s hatred for us and his attempts at keeping as many people from God as he can.

The problems and craziness that is happening now and the terrible horrors of war and violence that has been going on throughout ages past is his doing as well. All of it can be laid at his feet because he wants to mess up this world and the people in it as much as possible while he can. His time is growing short and he knows it so the news is getting more graphic and horrible every week. 

Many people don’t think that he exists and that is fine with him, because if no one believes in him then they won’t realize that it is him and his demon’s influence in this world and over people’s minds that is the cause of all of our woes and heartaches. Satan has been biding his time for thousands of years and he is the prince of lies. He knows exactly what your weakness is and what mine is and how to exploit them.

When the Bible says that “Satan prowls around like a ravenous lion, seeking whom he might devour” (1 Peter 5:8), it is not a figure of speech or a metaphor but it is the truth. To those who might want to pick at what I wrote about the scripture, it is a paraphrase of the verse that I quoted. In either version, it is the truth and whether you believe it or not doesn’t change it.

Belief in the truth doesn’t change it, belief or unbelief in something that is true doesn’t change it either. Satan and his demons are real. The cause death by any means available to them and they are good at it. Cancer, bacteria which can’t be controlled or killed, viruses that were once wiped out have come back, these are examples of their work. Science may not believe it, scientists may not believe it, and I am trained as a laboratory scientist myself. But since Satan is a better theologian than any evangelist, I believe he is also a very good geneticist as well.

The problem is his pride and his ego. He thinks that he can win against God, the Creator of all including him! 

The tricks that he has devised against us have grown exponentially over the millennia as well as his ability to manipulate us and our emotions and the thoughts in our minds. He can appear as an angel of light, which he was before he tried to ascend above the stars of God.

Satan is an adversary and a liar, but with Jesus in our lives he can be defeated. Carrying the Word of Truth in your heart and reading it daily can give you protection from his ways. But, only if you do it!! 

Sitting in church doesn’t do it, reading your Bible once or twice during the week or the month doesn’t do it. He knows the scriptures like the back of his hand, so he can manipulate them so that you could believe a lie from the Word and think it was the truth. Playing at being a Christian is a very dangerous thing and it will cause you to spend eternity with Satan and his demons because that is who God created hell for. We were never intended to go there, but if you are not a child of God then you are in Satan’s camp.

Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Happy New Year!

So, what are you going to do with the rest of this year? I plan on keeping up my service to my Lord and I pray that all of you will strive to do the same.

How can we keep our lives on track to follow Him throughout the year? Many people ask that question but it is as easy as reading a book. I know many people don’t think of the Bible as just another book, and it isn’t. It is God’s love letters to us, not just instructions for the nation of Israel.

Many people don’t think that God’s Word is relevant to us today but the wisdom contained in it is the same type of wisdom that you find in most of the books that claim to have the “answer” for your problems. I read many of those books, but once I started reading God’s Word I found that those books had just repackaged and reworded God’s wisdom!

Can this be a new year for you? By following Jesus and trusting Him it can be new every day because of the things you learn from Him and through studying His Word. It can also be new every day because you will be a new creation once Jesus takes hold in your heart and your life! Things that you wanted to do or thought were so “cool” before, now they don’t seem so important.

Even friends and people that you hang out with will see a difference in your life. They may ask you about it, they may not like the person that you have become..but that is OK. You are becoming more like Jesus and as long as you keep your eyes on Him and the focus of your life on Him, your life will work out for your good and for His glory.

Now, I am not saying that every day will be a wonderful, stress free day with no worries because it doesn’t work that way. Satan will come against you in the form of so-called “friends” and other circumstances. Sometimes life with Jesus starts out smooth and then gets tougher as time goes by, but keep your focus on Him and He will bring you through it.

No matter the problems or the circumstances, God will see you through them. Troubles and the cares of this world have always been there, whether you are a Christian or not, but when you have Jesus in your life they do one of two things. Either you will turn to Jesus for your help to get through them or you will turn away from Him and that is exactly what Satan wants, so sometimes those troubles can be tough.

The more you cling to Jesus and trust Him to bring you through any trials that you are having, the more those troubles will seem to be less troublesome to you. Our God loves us all and has provided a way to get through this life with victory, but it involves submitting our life to Him and that is something which some people can’t do.

This year, make it a point to check out what God has for you. Investigate it with an open mind, ask questions. This is your life we are talking about and it doesn’t just end when you die, you have a soul that is eternal and the time that you have here is just getting you ready for that time in eternity. Wouldn’t you want to spend it where Jesus is? Because the alternative is not going to be a party like some think. The Bible says that when you are cast into hell, the punishment goes on forever!

I know that people say that “A loving God wouldn’t condemn me to eternal punishment“; He doesn’t but you do! If you haven’t given your life to Christ then you are the same as the angels who threw their lot in with Satan. Hell was not made for us but for them and yet we will end up there if we don’t accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Think about it, investigate it and then decide because you don’t know when your time here is finished.

Why is there so much violence?

Is it because we can’t stand to be around each other? Do we really hate other people that much, regardless of their race or religion? Is it because of their race or religion? I know that these questions are hard to answer but it seems that no one is asking the questions to seek the answer.

The violence that we see and hear about on the news everyday is part of the world-view. The world itself and the people in it are just being human and following their own wisdom and feelings in the way that they conduct themselves. Just as the Israelites did during the time after they went into Canaan, after Joshua died. They followed the gods of the people around them and did exactly as they pleased. They did not follow the commands that Moses or God had given them before entering into the land of promise.

What can be done about the way people are living in our world? From a human standpoint, not much actually. We can’t fix it on our own and yet people try to do just that all the time. We usually exhaust all of our personal ways that we can think of and when we come to the “end of our rope”, that is when we consult or look for God’s help. The One which can handle everything that we ask of Him and yet we wait until all of our efforts are exhausted before turning to Him, it doesn’t make sense. But, that is human nature and the way that we are.

We cannot change on our own but some people seem to be too proud to ask for God or Jesus to intervene in their lives. Some people even try sending up a small prayer with little faith behind it and then get angry when that doesn’t work. If your heart doesn’t belong to God, the only prayer that He hears at first is a repentant prayer that calls to Him and asks for Him to save, once that happens He hears them all.

We cannot look at this as God being unconcerned about us because He loves each of us, whether we have come and invited Him into our lives or not. The reason behind His reluctance to hear your prayer prior to your salvation is that you are a sinner and until your heart and your soul is cleansed by accepting Christ, He can’t look at you because of His Holiness. It says in the Bible that “our righteousness is as filthy rags” to Him, so our self-righteous attitude doesn’t make us good enough in any way to come before Him to ask anything except for forgiveness and to request that our life be changed by Jesus.

When you have done that, the whole of your life will change forever! At that point you will have an immortal life because death will have no real meaning, other than the physical body dying. You will continue on with Jesus and all of the others who have gone before you. Even the thief who died on the cross next to Jesus will be there.

To live and work along with others who love God and are eternally available to teach and show you how to do the things which are needed will be wonderful! Yet, while we are here in this life we will need the strength that only God and Jesus can impart to us. The only way to live through the violence of this world is by showing the world that God loves them so that they will want to know that love in return.

When someone comes to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, there is joy in Heaven! We should be joyful over it as well because the witness that we have given has saved someone from hell and the second death of separation from God. I cannot imagine being separated from anything good or cool (temperature) or wet like water for eternity, but that is what hell is going to be and eternity never ends!

Think about these things and your response should be to get on your knees and ask Jesus into your life right now! We are not guaranteed the next minute of life so don’t put it off, do it now before it is too late.

Heaven is better than hell

I saw something tonight which upset my whole world, I saw a post on someone’s site which said exactly the opposite of my title. How could someone, even an atheist, believe that hell could possibly be better than Heaven?

The absence of God and light, other than from the fires of hell. The absence of anything of beauty or of anything which is living other than the creatures which inhabit hell. The people and the demons (fallen angels that followed Satan) which are there have no souls, and yet they will never die, even if they wish to. There are no parties, no laughter, no joy, no peace, no water, nothing good other than what you may wish you had done in your life on earth.

This is what is waiting for those who reject God and His grace through Christ. God does not wish that any should experience this place. It was created for Satan and his followers, not for humans. And yet, if you choose to reject God and the truth told in the Bible, you are at enmity with Him just like those who followed Satan and rebelled against God.

God loves us all and doesn’t want anyone to go to this place. Give Christ your life and your heart. Ask Him to show you how to be a follower of His and what you need to do to serve Him in this life so that you will have a real life after this one. Jesus loves us all and wants us all to be there with Him. Please give Him a chance in your life today, right now!  You don’t know if you have tomorrow or next week. Don’t wait because waiting may be too late.