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.

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Faith in Today’s Church, is it real?

 

The church that our Lord began two thousand years ago seems to be lost. Not from the lack of members or converts, but from a lack of conviction and purpose. We, as the Church that our Lord gave His life for, have become stale, bland and unappealing to those who need Hope the most. Like salt which has lost its saltiness and is good for nothing, and the message has lost its fire.

The message from the church only causes more strife and bitterness in the world at large rather than giving men hope. Why is that? Jesus taught us a message of hope and yet Christians today seem to be unable to give that hope or His message the fire and the flavor that they once did. The enemy seems to be able to quench the fire of our faith too easily, why is that?

It is because our lives have become too involved with “stuff”, not just our everyday existence but other insignificant issues which get in the way like so many thorns and weeds. The only way to overcome our adversary is to study God’s Word and get our hunger for it back. If we don’t do that, he will overcome us and our message, and the Church cannot, must not allow that to happen! The Spirit will guide us and protect us but we have to be willing to follow Him daily.

Our coming to God is not of our own volition because we are drawn by the Spirit. Once we claim our place in His service as Christians, God never lets go. We may walk away but He is always there waiting for us like a patient Father. The time which we have here on earth is to be of service to Him but so is our eternal service after this life. This will not be a chore, as some would think, but a glad and cheerful service as unto someone dearly loved.

The message which was given by Jesus to be spread to the “uttermost parts of the earth” was and is the good news of the Kingdom of God. This also includes the forgiveness of sins through our Lord’s suffering for all on the cross with His death and resurrection putting the final blow to the control over us by our sinful nature. Once we come to Him, believing in Him and the forgiveness extended to us through His sacrifice for us, we can never lose that which we cannot gain through any act of our own.

The sacrifice that our Lord made on our behalf is something that no mere man can accomplish, only the Son of the Most High God! Only the Lion of Judah could accomplish the forgiveness which was needed for the whole world. No law or man-made “thing” can accomplish this. Our so-called righteousness is as formless as a vapor and has no substance to it at all, especially from the point of view which God has. A perfect and Holy God cannot view imperfect man and his imperfect righteousness.

Will our religious freedom be taken?

I have heard about a disturbing trend in our nation. A trend in our lawmaking bodies to restrict religion and the expression of it. Not restricting most religions but mainly Christian religions, especially those which believe the Bible to be the word of God infallible and true. Evangelical churches and pastors and some of the media have reported that there are laws being put into place which could make it illegal to tell others about Christ because it is considered “hate speech”. This picture from many years ago illustrates what could be done and may be done in our country if our lawmakers are not made aware that this cannot be tolerated. Our country was founded to be a country ruled by the people not dictated to by politicians or judges.

TheEnemy If our country falls into this trap with laws that limit or take away the freedoms that have been fought for since our country was started, we truly deserve the fate that befalls us. This is very disturbing and I pray that we will not allow our elected officials to destroy the country that we live in. If that is the will of God, it will happen. Although I hope that it is not.

In the book of Revelation it is foretold that there will be a falling away by the church and society from religion and from God before the end comes. I believe that this is about to happen or is happening now. Although it is a sad situation when people are walking away from God who loves them and always has. I heard about a friend of mine who died due to complications from diabetes this past week, he was only in his early forties. I pray that he had time to truly come to grips with the fact that God loved him and accept Jesus.

Jesus loves all of us regardless of our sins or whether we have yet accepted him or not. If you have not, think about it. Your time is not guaranteed here, no matter how young or old you may be. God knows exactly when He will call you home, but you don’t. Don’t wait, ask Jesus into your heart today. You won’t ever regret it.

Is anyone satisfied with life? Really?

In our world of instant potatoes, microwave popcorn, throw-away phones, etc. is it any wonder that we aren’t satisfied with life? Everything is easy, quick, “cheap”. Nothing lasts as long as we would like or feels as good as we had hoped. We are depressed, disillusioned and most of all angry at everyone and everything because nothing, nothing ever satisfies our hunger or our thirst for whatever it is we are searching for, no matter what it may be!

Boy, am I glad I got all of that off my chest!!

Your life doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to have everything instantly. Things that last are much more precious and harder to come by than the advertisements lead you to believe. Although the most precious and lasting relationship can last forever, most never realize it until it is too late. They find they have picked the wrong one and by that time there is no turning back. Or possibly, you might not wake up at all tomorrow. What then?

Will you find yourself facing God and not having an answer to His question, “What did you do with my Son?” Do you know who His Son is? Have you met Him? It really is easy you know? If you have been searching for something, but you are not sure what, it may be that you are truly being drawn to Him. Listen to that voice inside which is pulling on your heart. God is the creator and He loves His creation, you! Let Him into your life!  He can clean out the dirt, the cobwebs, and everything else that you think would make you un-worthy and make you whole and new again!

Call on Him!  Ask Jesus into your heart, simply, like a child. He will hear you and come into your life and make you and your life whole again, if you will let Him. That is all that He asks of you. Just give your life to Him. He doesn’t need your money, just your service to Him and His Kingdom.

How do I know that I know God and His Son?

There are three “tests” that John put forth for a person, a believer, to know that they know God without a doubt. These tests are that we keep His commandments, to walk as Jesus walked in obedience to the Father and to show unconditional love toward our brothers. The first one is usually the hardest for some to understand. It is to keep or obey His commands. Not just the ten commandments, but the two which Jesus put forth in Matthew 22:34-40. Jesus said, “Love God with all of your heart, and with all your strength, and with all your soul and love your neighbour as yourself, on these two commandments hang all of the Law and the Prophets”.

Those who say that they know God, but do not keep his commandments are liars and the truth is not in them. Belief is not enough, reading the Bible, God’s Word is not enough, your life has to show beyond a doubt that you belong to Him. We are put where we are to be “salty” and to be reflections of Him, not of ourselves or our personal views. Our mission, if we are Christians as we claim to be, is to be the best reflection of Jesus that our lives can be. How we live our faith on a daily basis shows what is in our heart, not what may be on our minds at the time. At least, that is what the world should see.

To walk as Jesus walked, in total obedience to God’s will, is our goal and purpose. As Christians, we are to submit to the Spirit’s leading influence in our life on a daily basis. This does not mean to give up entirely, but we are to give Jesus and His Spirit control of our lives daily. This is a hard concept for us because we do not like to give up control of our lives.

How can we, mere humans, accomplish this? The only way that we can do this is through Him and His Spiritual control of our lives. The only way that we can be truly effective for Him is by the power of His Spirit in our life. If we did good things (works) for others before becoming a Christian, how much more could we do with Him in our life? Those works that we did before becoming Christians may have been good but they did nothing more than to make us look good in other people’s eyes. What about the ones we are led to do or accomplish after becoming Christians? As long as we obey Him and accomplish them, we are doing His will and fulfilling His purpose in our lives.

Even though we are not bound by Jewish law, are we required to act as if we are regarding the Ten Commandments, as well as the commandments Jesus gave in Matthew 22? If we are truly His, yes! Our life is to reflect that His spirit lives in us and that we live through Him. If our lives do not reflect what is in our hearts as the truth of God, we need to re-examine our faith and our beliefs. We can only pass the test when we are led by the Spirit on a daily basis.

Is there a broken relationship in your life? Is there any prejudice or animosity toward any particular group of people? Do you fail to demonstrate love for others through tangible actions, not just  giving people “stuff” ? Is there a way we can fix these failures? Yes! Come to Jesus and show that you truly love those who love you and those who don’t.

As followers of Christ, we are to love Him so that we can resist the attraction of the world and all that it tries to offer us. To serve Him in whatever we do, regardless of how insignificant it may seem to us is our calling and purpose. In that way the light of God and His Son, Jesus, should shine through us so that everyone we come in contact with will see that we have something that they need and in doing so we will be the true followers of God that we were called to be.

Faith, Hope, and Love: Which is greater?

There have been men of great faith in the past like Moses, Abraham, and Noah. They all had faith in God and in His power, but that wouldn’t have been enough to get them into Heaven. Hope for a better life and better world is a good thing but hope alone won’t get you much, especially nowadays. Hope may help when you are suffering, but you truly need something or someone to hope for or to place your hope in.

Love is a word that is over-used today and has come to mean very little compared to what it meant in the past. Jesus said that the greatest of these is love but He was speaking about the love that He and the Father have for us and the love that we should show toward our fellow Christians and non-Christians too. Which is an unconditional love, one that you don’t expect anything in return for. It has become very scarce in the world we live in today to find a love that fits that description except in a loving home between parents and their children and between husband and wife.

When we ask Jesus into our hearts, He comes in and cleans our hearts. We should take a look at our lives and what has been in our lives and check it against Jesus and His way. Would you want Him to look at the books and magazines that you have in your home? How about the television programs that you watch? Would you feel comfortable with Jesus in your living room during the week?

Our devotion to Jesus is supposed to take precedence over every area in our lives whether it is our family or our work or finances, even the little things that most people don’t think God could possibly be interested in. But He is interested in all aspects of our lives, like a parent, He cares for and is interested in everything that you are. He may not like some of them, but He is taking notice of even the little things.

There are many temptations in our world today which can draw us away toward other so-called “faiths” or religions. Regarding religious behavior or religions, many things can be made into a religion. But, none of them will get you into Heaven except placing your faith in Jesus and His love for you. So, to answer the question in the title: Love is the greatest of these.

There has never been a greater love than the love that God has shown and shows today for all of us, than the giving of His Son as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. If we can accept the grace that was extended to us and ask Jesus into our hearts, nothing else is required. Though, you will want to serve Him after He has come into your life, even if you only serve Him by walking as He would it is enough.  DeColores.

Happy New Year, everyone!

We have started a new year and so far the same news is around today as it was yesterday, nothing new yet! Our lives are in God’s hands and He knows exactly what will happen and when, and yet we worry needlessly about things we cannot control. The weather, the stock market, gray hair, aching joints, our job or whether we will have one in the next six months. These are things that we do worry about and there is nothing we can do to change any of them. Even our job is in His hands so actually we don’t have control over it either. There are many situations where we feel in control but He is always  in control. If He were not, the whole universe would be in disarray and our world would be dead!

Fulfilling lives and our destinies in the world are dependent upon God, no one else. Your mother can’t give you those, neither can your earthly father. Only in service to Him can you truly find fulfillment in everything you do, no matter what it is. If we really want to live out our lives with hope and confidence, we should put our confidence and our faith in God and His Son, Jesus! They are in control of everything and will cause every good thing to work for those who serve them.

There is no higher calling than to be a servant of God, the Creator of the universe and everything in it. He owns everything so I would rather work for the owner of it all than the one who only has a little! A few billion dollars is nothing compared to the entire universe!

In your service to Him, think about how small we are and the insignificance of our little planet in comparison to the universe. Yet, He knows you more intimately than anyone on the earth! He knows all of us on this planet just that intimately because He created us. He formed us in the womb and knows everything about us and our future selves. All the science and mathematics in the world can’t explain why your personality is what it is or why, but He knows and He knew it before you were born!

No matter what your age or what “religion” you happen to believe in He still knows you and He will call on you at some point in your life. Listen for that call, it will be repeated until He has your attention no matter how He has to get it. Your Heavenly Father loves you and is waiting to hear from you. Make the decision today to come to Him in prayer, even if you have never prayed before, He is always by your side regardless of what you may have done in your life. He will forgive you if you will repent and believe in Him. That is all He asks!

Once you do that, He may inspire you to write or preach or be a missionary. Then again, you may just be a changed person and inspire someone where you work with what they see in your life. It could be a different job that He wants you to have but He has to have you first before you will be able to do it. Our Creator and our God is the best boss you could ever hope for because His retirement plan is eternal and has already been paid in full, it is not affected by the economy or the stock market either. Give God a chance in your life and you will never regret it!