The Bread of Life!

There are two definitions for the Bread of Life and sometimes we get them confused. One of them is the Bible, the Word of God, is the Bread of Life because it points us toward the way to be saved. The other is Jesus our Savior, the Bread of Life Himself.

The manna which the Israelites ate in the desert could be termed the bread of life because they lived on its sustenance for forty years. It is true, of course, that they got tired of it and complained about it but it was their food for a long time.

Jesus is our Bread of Life because by believing in Him we can have life, eternal life with Him. That belief is one which doesn’t doubt and one which totally believes in Jesus as the Son of God and our Savior! It is not enough to go to church a few times in your life, nor is it enough to go to church every time the doors are open. Why? Because going to church is like going to work or going to visit a friend, nothing there can save your soul except if you are seeking Jesus as your Savior!

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Our life in Christ

We, as believers, are to live in Christ but have you noticed that He may not be in some who claim to know Him? Making the claim that you know Jesus is easy and truly, you don’t have to prove it to anyone because we are not supposed to judge our brothers and sisters.

That being said, if their life and their fruit don’t bear any resemblance to Christian behavior, what are we to do? The Lord and His Word says to confront this brother or sister with a witness and not alone, try to bring them to the conviction that their behavior is not consistent with their belief and heal their spirit.

Of course, there will be some who will not listen or hear a rebuke like this because they believe that they are right with Him. We must not confront them in a way that would push them away from the church or from Jesus, so if they won’t listen then pray for them and let it go.

Our life in Christ and with Him is to be one that is not to be pushy, but to let people know of Him in love and in a loving way. Jesus didn’t condemn the religious leaders with the exception of telling them that they were wrong in their religion, but He knew their hearts and He knew that they wouldn’t change in the short time that He had with them.

The only responsibility that we have in letting people know about Jesus, is to do just that. Give them some scriptures which tell of His love for them, tell them what He has done for you since you have been following Him, pray with them if they want to or pray for them if they don’t but tell them about Jesus! After you have done that, it is up to the Holy Spirit to take care of the seed that has been planted in their heart. If it grows into a relationship with Him, great; if it doesn’t…then keep praying for them. It may take a while for roots to take hold of their lives and convict them of the needed change, but if it is meant to happen it will in God‘s time.

We have to understand that, when we pray for or witness to someone or do anything hoping that God will work in a situation or in someone’s life, it will happen by God’s timing and not our own. Just as the answers to our own prayers about things in our life come in God’s time, not on our schedule. He may decide to answer according to our time table, but it will be because our expectations and His will were in synch, not because of anything on our part.

God loves each of us for who we are because that is how He made each of us. Nothing that we do can cause God to make our life miserable or cause trouble in our life, we do that all on our own. He may allow certain troubles to come into our life to make us cling tighter to Him or to come closer to Him, but He doesn’t cause the trouble for us. God allows Satan to cause trouble in each person’s life and he knows exactly how and where we are vulnerable. But, God sets limits on him so that he can’t go too far with the punishment or trials that we have to endure.

The main point of this is this: don’t ever ask God to give you more patience!

You will regret asking for that because He will allow things to try your patience in ways that it never has been before in order for you to cultivate more patience! God loves us dearly, but we cannot fathom His ways anymore than an ant can fathom ours. Once you get to know God, you will know better how to ask Him for things that will fit into your walk with Him and then things will begin to go smoother in your walk with Him and in your life too.

Do you know your Redeemer?

We live our lives in a world full of technology. People are connected today in ways that only thirty years ago was not possible. What about being connected to your Redeemer? The signal clarity never goes away and it is always a clear signal because He hears our every prayer. So why do we not hear Him when He calls? Maybe because we are not listening? Or it might be possible that we just can’t hear that small voice for all of the electronic stuff that we have ringing in our ears and Him.

When we have come to know Jesus, do we decide or does our heart feel the pull of the Holy Spirit? Your only decision is whether or not to answer His call on your life, we don’t decide to get saved just on our decision alone. Unless your heart feels the pull of the Holy Spirit, you won’t feel the conviction to ask Jesus into your heart, that is why we can’t just decide to be saved on our own.

Jesus said that the only way to come to the Father is through Him and the only way that you will know that you need Him is by the conviction of your soul and your heart. Just as Peter was broken after he denied the Lord, we have to be convicted and broken to know that we need Him. We cannot save ourselves and through no action on our part can we be justified before God. Our justification comes through Jesus and faith in Him alone.

“Is it possible that you can lose your salvation?” is a question which gets asked many times. The answer is no, you can’t lose your salvation if you truly have it. If you were “saved” during an emotional event and your life didn’t change afterward, then you may not have been saved. If your character, the person that you truly are, didn’t change and your habits didn’t change then you likely didn’t truly ask Jesus into your heart. Yet, many people think that they are saved because of these things and in many instances they will not listen to anyone from that point on regarding their salvation.

This is a deception that Satan has used for many thousands of years. People think that they have their salvation, their so-called “fire insurance” and no amount of preaching or prayer will get their attention unless God does. They remind me of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. So wrapped up in their religiousness until they didn’t recognize the Messiah when He came.

Why do we do this? We make up our own worldview, our own comfortable spot that makes us feel all fuzzy and safe, and yet we are deceiving ourselves. Still being taken in by Satan’s schemes, we walk in our comfortable religious “feeling”, and fool ourselves right into hell itself.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I am judging anyone, all I am doing is pointing out what some people do. The only One who judges is Jesus and He knows the condition of your heart, regardless of how well you may hide it from others.

God’s Word is the only text that we need in order to know how to be saved and then how to follow Jesus afterwards. It is our instruction book for life everlasting and for life here while we can make a difference in other people’s lives.

We have pushed God’s Word from our lives and from the education system that our children are indoctrinated in and yet we want them to grown up into moral, law abiding citizens. How can they when we have removed the teaching and the influence of God in their lives? Many people don’t go to church regularly anymore so their children are not brought up hearing God’s Word! We are creating a culture that has no fear of God because they don’t know Him or even know about Him.

This fact alone is shown in our culture today because of a small group of people who want freedom from religion, of any type. They don’t want to be told that anything that they may say or do is morally wrong, and yet they will have to account for every word and deed when they face God one day.

The answer to all of life’s questions is found in God’s Word and yet there are many who don’t even have a copy of it in their home. I have read through its pages many times and each time I get a sense of peace and security that I can get nowhere else, because it is a living Word and each of us gets a different message each time we read it or hear it.

Pick up a copy of it at the library or at a book store. Ask God to show you His wisdom for your life through His Word. You won’t be disappointed with the answers to many questions that you have had and you may be surprised about the answers that you never thought would be there. May God richly bless each of you!

We are like children, regardless of our age

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child and played as a child; when I grew up, I put away childish things.” (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13:11)

This is something which we have heard from preachers for years, but what exactly does it mean?

To us, as Christians, it means that when we finally grow up, regardless of what age we may be when we do, we should act like it!

Do we act like it? Have we grown up? Are we, as adults, really grown up?

1. Most of us are not.

·         We do what we want to do, when we want to do it, if possible. Then, we get mad if we can’t.

·         People see themselves as good, but what about the thoughts that we all have. Are they good all the time? Would you want Jesus to read your thoughts every day? He knows what you think whether you have given your heart to him or not.

·         Does it bother you that God knows every thought that you have? If it doesn’t, you might want to check your relationship with Him.

 2. Can we fix our character, our heart or our soul on our own? Of course not! We can’t pull off something like that, only Jesus can do a soul-cleansing restoration on your heart and soul!

 Many times, we believe that we are in charge. We start our lives wanting to be in charge of our life. “I can do it myself!” How many times have parents heard that? At those times it is cute, for a while, but when children get older it is called being rebellious. It tends to cause ulcers and grey hair and lost hair too.

 The point is that, when we think that we are good enough to run our lives by ourselves, we are taking the throne away from the One Who is supposed to be there! We are doing the same thing that Satan tried to do when He was cast into outer darkness. He wanted to put himself on the throne which God was on or to put his “throne” above God’s. We can’t do that, although many people do just exactly that!

 People that think they have plenty of time to get around to God do it. People who don’t believe that there is a God do it. People who have made their own version of “god” do it. This happens all over the world, every day. Billions of people think that they know better than God!

 Can we be that ignorant? Are we? Many people think that they have all of the answers for their own problems and for the world’s problems too. You see them on television and on the internet every day. If they base their advice on God’s Word, and use its wisdom to advise people, then maybe they do have the answer for mankind’s problems. But, if they are using their own wisdom or some wisdom from man, such as Buddhism or Scientology, then they are mistaken. Even the Koran is only from a man, it was not given by God. God would not condone killing others because they won’t accept Islam as their religion. That sounds like it came from Satan himself.

 The answers to our life’s problems lie in giving our hearts and our minds to Christ so that we can become more like Him. Following Him in all of our ways, every day and in all things. Give the day to Him before you begin it so that He will be in your mind and heart and direct your steps and words during your daily routine. It isn’t hard to do, but it is a conscious decision that we have to make. A decision that comes only when your heart is filled with the Holy Spirit and you have taken the Word into your mind. One sermon a week listening to someone preach doesn’t equip you for service to God, you have to do that daily!

 I know that many people think that daily walks with God in His Word is what the preacher is supposed to do. It is what we are all called to do as Christians, to be followers of Christ. Walking with God daily is our responsibility because if we don’t, we won’t get to know the God who came to save us. Reading the Bible is the best way for us to get to know Him because it is His way of communicating with us and telling us about Himself.

 God loves us more than we can understand but the way that we can learn about Him is by reading His word. Getting to know our Father better is one of the best things you can do for your relationship with Him, the better you know Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice when He speaks to you. I can’t imagine a more satisfying relationship than having one with the Creator of everything! He created us all for that, the least that we could do is return the love toward Him.

God knew you before you were born and He knows when your last day on the earth will be. Knowing this, He still chose you to be a child of His and all He is waiting for is your agreement with Him and your asking Him into your heart and life. God’s grace toward us is loving and eternal and doesn’t depend on anything that we may believe that we have to do, God doesn’t need our help in making us righteous. He works His changes in your heart and your life gradually and carefully, but sometimes those changes may hurt a bit.

We don’t agree with the pain and suffering that we have to endure during the time of God’s changes in our hearts and our lives because, even as Christians, it hurts or it is uncomfortable. That’s life! Jesus didn’t say that He came to make our lives easy. He told the disciples and us through them that we would have trouble and pain in this world, but He also tells us to take heart because He overcame the world and through Him, we can too!

There are many people in the world that are hurting every day and in more ways than we can imagine but God knows about each of them and His Spirit is with them through it all. He will draw them to Himself and if they answer the call they will have His strength to carry them through whatever they are being put through. Many people don’t acknowledge that call on their spirit because they are hurting too much or they are high on drugs or they are drunk, but God knows their hearts. He will keep drawing them until they tell Him to go away, if they recognize that it was Him to begin with.

Other times, which happens more often that we would like to believe, they don’t hear His call in their life. People are so caught up in what they are doing or having to deal with until they are spiritually deaf. Satan loves it when we are so caught up in our lives and our jobs or with our family that we can’t even hear God calling to us. That is when he will crank up the volume in our life so that we are even more involved and there is no way God can get through. But, God knows your heart and He knows whether you will hear Him at some point and it is at those times, whether you like what is happening to you or your family or not, that you will hear Him! You may wonder why this is happening at that point but it is because God has something that only you can do and He will not let you ignore Him.

I can hear many people saying that we are not predestined but God says that we are. He can raise up a ruler or bring him down for His purposes and He can do the same with us. He is the Creator and can do anything that He desires to do and if that means breaking down your will in order to build you up to be the person that He knows you can be, then that is what He will do. Give your heart to God before He has to allow that to happen in your life, so that He can use you in a more fantastic way than you could ever imagine! Won’t you call on Him today?

Are we really that easy to fool?

In recent years there have been new “religions” which have come into the world. Are we really that gullible as to believe something which man has devised from his own thoughts and feelings?

I suppose we must be since Scientology and other religions have been created just in the past one hundred years from man’s own mind. Imagination is good when it is used to write a book of fiction but it is another thing entirely when you are using it to create something that you follow as a “religion“.

In all sincerity you can make a religion out of most anything, from football to fishing or even your job or your status. But, if you do such a thing and you are wrong, what then? If the Bible and Christianity are true, which many people believe, then what will you do when you stand before God after you die? “Sorry” or “Oops” come to mind but they won’t be enough!

What about Islam and Allah? This religion was given to their prophet a little over a thousand years ago and it is reported to be a “peaceful” religion. Yet, according to their laws, you will be killed if you do not worship Allah and submit to Islamic traditions. It doesn’t sound peaceful to me.

Christmas means….

 

Scripture: Luke 2: 8-20

 

In our culture today what does this time of year mean? To some it means that their business may end the year with a little money in the bank. To others it means that they hope they will get what they want for Christmas from Santa. What about in countries which are less fortunate than we are?

What about the children in Korea with their eyes so big and bright, what does this time of year mean to them? In North Korea, they may be looking for food and hoping they will have a meal tonight. In South Korea, where there are some churches and a fairly robust economy, they may be celebrating Jesus’ birth just like we do.

I wonder also about those who live in Africa. In places like Zimbabwe where the annual income may be fifty dollars, where people live in huts and never see shopping malls or a Christmas tree, what do they think of this time of year that is celebrated in most countries?

How about the Muslim countries, where Christmas is not celebrated at all?

I am sure it means different things to different people depending on their culture and their beliefs.

 

Do we forget about Jesus at this time of year? I have heard of people who set an extra place at the table for Him because it is His birthday that we celebrate. It isn’t our birthday but it is the Lord’s birthday and this is a time to remember Him and why He came.

Luke 2: 8-20

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told.

The announcement that went out to the earth about God’s Son being born went to the shepherds, not the temple, not the high priest. Why do you think God went to the outcasts of society to announce the birth of His Son? I think it is because they would receive the news with humble hearts and with willing spirits. They were chosen by God and told the news by a multitude of angels, they had to feel honored even if society said they didn’t deserve honor.

Shepherds were considered unclean and not allowed to participate in any worship service, even though they took care of the animals which were used as sacrifices.

What about today? How do we receive the news of Jesus and His sacrifice for us? Do we humbly bow and thank Him and ask Him to come into our lives and be near to us every day? I am sure that is what He wants of us but not just on holidays or at certain times of the year, or when things are going bad. Jesus wants us to be near to Him as He is with us every day and in all things, great and small in our lives.

Doesn’t He deserve our respect and praise? For all the things that God has done for us through Jesus and through His work on the cross the least that we owe Him is our life in service to Him. Is there any higher calling than to be called a “child of God”? I don’t think so and I don’t believe any of you think that either.

So, what are we to do when we realize who we are in relation to Him? Do we become missionaries? Yes, in a manner of speaking we are supposed to be just that, because Jesus told us to be the light of the world and to take the gospel to all people. We can do that every day while we are working, or at a restaurant or a ball game. We do it by our life and our witness to others and when His Spirit is working through you they will see it and recognize it.

Getting back to the shepherds and what they saw and did; they saw the glory of the Lord shining from those angels who were proclaiming that the Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. In the darkness of the Judean hills the light must have been breathtaking, like spot-lights shining all around them. Today with the technology that we have lights in the sky wouldn’t be a big deal, but these were angels and they were SINGING and there were no lights at that time except for a fire or a candle so the glory coming from them would’ve been much brighter than they were used to.

Can you imagine how those shepherds felt? “What is this from God? Why is He telling us this?” They might have been thinking those things but they listened to the message and obeyed. They went to Bethlehem and found the Christ child and worshiped Him.

This is all that we are called to do in our lives but we are to do more than just worship. We are called to be ministers and teachers about our faith and why we have the faith that we have. We are to be the voice of Jesus and his hands and feet in a world that is rejecting Him now and in the future, until we are taken to be with Him.

Our Savior was born in the most humble of circumstances and His birth was announced not to kings or priests but the shepherds. He was a King at birth and still is today and yet people don’t acknowledge His kingship over their lives even if they are Christians. The crown that He wore on earth was one of pain and made from thorns, the one that He wears now is gold and is given to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Mighty Counselor, the Prince of Peace.

He is our Savior and the reason for the season and we need to humble ourselves and pray and seek Him every day. Make it a habit to do this and you will be better for it and you will be more like Him in your walk with Him.

 

An image of Jesus

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Our image of Jesus is distorted from the way painters have portrayed Him as a weak, feminine type of man. In the time that He lived, and the vocation that He worked with His earthly father as a carpenter, weakness was not an option. A carpenter had to lift wooden doors, chairs, beams, and whatever else without a whole lot of help except for his muscles. The image that I have of Jesus shows a kind, gentle man but one with strength, not only from His spirit but from the work that He did before He started His ministry on earth.

Our Lord loved all of us and still does with a love that cannot be understood by today’s culture. He truly was and is the Messiah, the Savior of us all, not just some prophet whose body was hidden after He was crucified. One day He will come back and all will see who the Prince of Peace and the King of kings really is. On that day every knee will bow to Him and those who accepted Him in life will go on to their reward for eternity. Those who did not accept Him and His message, will be cast into the lake of fire and eternal punishment which was meant only for Satan and his minions.

Please, regardless of what you think of my site or its message, read the Bible. Pray that Jesus will forgive you of your sins and come into your heart and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. The smallest sin, like telling a lie to someone or even the sin of being a murderer or even a rapist are all equal in God’s sight. The only sin which will send anyone to hell is that of rejecting Jesus and His gift of forgiveness, that’s it! The love of Christ to you all and His peace too.