So much to be thankful for

Our world has much to be thankful for, yet we don’t seem to be thankful for it. There are wars in many places, there are famines and terrorists in other places, so what could we be thankful for? It is true that, outside America, most countries don’t celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday but we still should give thanks to God for the grace and mercy that He has given to all of us.

You might ask me, “What has He done for me, I live in poverty and hunger all of the time?”. If you still live, He has given you life and breath and another day to live. He will provide for you if you will give your heart to Him, even more than He provides for you now. I know that many people consider us wealthy who live in America and for most of the world’s areas that live on the equivalent of one dollar or so a day that may be true.

We have more food available to us, we have cars and homes to live in comfortably and yet there are people here who live in poverty just as bad as those in India or Sub-Saharan Africa. They make boxes to live in or they use whatever lumber they can find and drape a plastic sheet over it as shelter in the mountain winter. Yes, there is poverty in the so-called “land of plenty”.

So, how can I write that we should be thankful for what we have? Did you wake this morning with the ability to walk and get up from your mat or bed? Can you walk and when you find something to eat, can you eat it and digest it? We take so much for granted in America and in the world at large until we don’t realize that there are people, children and adults, who are suffering from disease and treatments of disease which leave them unable to walk, unable to eat or even digest what they get as nutrition. If you can eat a piece of fish and drink a little water, that is a blessing.

For many people, that small blessing of being able to eat and digest their food is something that they would give all they have for. So, yes, we all have something to thank God for. The sun shining in the sky and the moon at night are the lights which He placed there to show His mercy and grace toward us. The stars and galaxies which we cannot see with our eyes, but He flung them out and He knows each one of them by name. They are there to show His majesty and His power. Can He take care of you? Yes, He can!

In six days He created all that you see and many things that you don’t, but all that is around us, including humanity, He created. Our problems are big problems to us, but to God they are small. He can take care of you, just as He takes care of the fish and the birds and the whales and all of the life on this planet. He knows when a sparrow dies and falls to the ground, so don’t you think He cares for you too? Seek Him out, find a way to learn of Him if possible. If you only read this site and can’t get to a church or find a Bible, then ask Him…ask God to make Himself known to you, He has done it before and He can do it for you if you will ask.

Don’t turn away from the opportunity to know Him…to know Jesus. You have this life, regardless of how your existence may be, and it is during the time that you have here that you must make the decision to follow Him, to give your life to Jesus. Because, once you are dead you will be in His Presence and the time to give your life to Him will be over. Make that decision while you can because He will answer you and come to you if you are seeking Him.

I pray for all of those who are reading this site and my others too. Please don’t let your chance to know Him slip away.

Matthew speaks (part two)

When we arrived on the opposite shore from Galilee in the Gadarenes, a man which had been living in the tombs came upon us quite suddenly! He was wearing no clothes and was possessed by devils and had not lived in a house for a long time. There were pieces of chains on his arms that showed that he had been bound but had loosed himself by breaking them.

 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and with a loud voice he said, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high. I beg of you, torment me not!” For Jesus had commanded that the spirit come out of him. It seemed that the spirits had caused him to cut himself and do other injuries to himself, yet Jesus asked the spirit, “What is your name?” The spirits within him said, “Legion, for we are many.”

The demons begged Jesus not so send them into outer darkness. At that place there were some herders which had a large number of pigs eating on the mountainside. The devils pleaded with Him to send them into the swine, so Jesus said: “Go!” When they did, the entire herd ran off down the mountain and into the sea where they drowned! Those who were herding them ran back to the town and told what had happened to their herd.

The people came and found Jesus and saw the man who had been possessed of demons in his right mind sitting with us and talking. They asked Jesus to leave  because they were afraid of Him. Isn’t that weird? The man that was healed of the spirits wanted to come with us, but Jesus sent him away saying: “Return to your house and tell of the things which God has done for you.” So, he did exactly that. He went round about telling everything that Jesus had done for him!

So, we got back into the boat and traveled back to Galilee and the people greeted Him gladly for they had been waiting for Him to return. Later, a man named Jairus who was a ruler of the synagogue found Jesus and fell at His feet. He begged Him to come and lay His hands on his daughter because she was ill and at the point of death, and she was his only daughter! He said that she was about twelve years of age too, so we set off toward his house but the people were crowding around Him as He went. A woman, who had an issue of blood for about twelve years, who had spent all that she had on physicians yet none had healed her, came up behind Jesus. She had thought to herself that “if I can just touch His garment, I will be healed”.

When she did this, Jesus noticed power issue out of Himself and asked, “Who touched me?” We were all astonished at this for the crowd was all around Him, yet the woman came forth and told Him of her plight and that it was she who had touched Him. He said, “Daughter, be of good faith and go your way. Your faith has made thee whole.” About this time, someone came to the ruler and said, “Don’t bother the Teacher anymore, your daughter is dead.” But Jesus heard it and said, “Fear not, but believe only.”

When we came to the house, he did not allow anyone to go in except Peter, James and John and the father and mother of the girl. There were many who were weeping and wailing and He told them to “Weep not, for the girl is only asleep.” They laughed at Him because they knew that she was dead, but He put them all out and took her by the hand and called out to her saying, “Maid, arise!”

Her spirit came again unto her and she got up right away! He told her parents to give her something to eat and they were astonished. Although He told them not to tell anyone what He had done there.

Prologue: Our Lord, Jesus, can still do miracles even today. Prayers are answered every day in ways that we may not know and in some we do. The point of this story is that Jesus can do all things. He did them when He was here with His disciples and He can still do them today. All that we have to do is believe and have faith in Him. As Jesus said, “If you have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, all things are possible”! Won’t you place your faith and your life in Jesus’ hands today?

We are going to be judged

Whether in this life or the next we will be judged for our conduct and our beliefs and actions. Many people don’t like to be told this but it is true and regardless of your belief in God or an afterlife, that day will come.

Our country is being judged now and it will be judged by God in the future according to our actions as a nation and as individuals. Is it possible for us to do anything about this? Not on our own, but if we turn to God and repent of the things that we have done we may soften the judgement somewhat.

I know that people don’t like to be told when they are doing something wrong but according to God and the Bible there are many things wrong with our nation spiritually and fiscally. If there is no remorse for the things that we have done wrong there will be no repentance and if there is no repentance, there will be no one asking for forgiveness. Our nation was founded by people who were here to further the Kingdom of their Lord Jesus Christ and we have forgotten that.

We have forgotten because it is no longer taught in schools or in many homes today. Even people who call themselves “Christians” and go to church pick and choose what they will or won’t believe from the Bible.

The Word of God is not a gourmet line menu that can be chosen from, you have to take it all and live by it or you will be judged by it! Just as our own laws can’t be picked through and decided about which ones we will follow and which ones we choose to break or not follow.

God’s Word is not a rule book but a guide-book and as such it gives us boundaries to stay within. Our country and its people have been pushing the Bible out of schools and other public places for a long time and like a relative that is told to leave, God will leave too.

When the blessings of God, that have been on this country since its beginning, are gone we will notice and I believe we are seeing the effects of that right now. Our country and the people need to get back to God and be the people that we are supposed to be!

YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO A GOD WHO TRULY WANTS TO SAVE YOU (Ezekiel18:30.32)

The Jews in exile were saying that God was going to condemn them so He could watch them suffer, that God would take pleasure in destroying them (vv. 30.32).

Ezekiel‘s reply to this idea was that God does not want you to die! (See v. 23.) These statements from God cannot be any more plain, forceful, or beautiful than this: I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies. (v. 32). God wanted His people to live. He did not want Judah to be destroyed; He wanted His people to live, not to die!

If they died, it would not be because God wanted it to happen; it would be instead because they refused to listen to God’s prophet and turn from their sins that they might be saved, so they might live! Even so today: If you die, if you are lost now and are lost eternally, it is not  because that is what God wants. God does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9); rather, He wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus died for all (Hebrews 2:9); the grace of God that brings salvation is available to all (Titus 2:11). If you ultimately are lost, then, why will it happen? The answer is sin.

Sin condemns (Romans 6:23), regardless of the type of sin that it may be.

Even that answer is incomplete. We are lost because of our sins, certainly; but if that were the complete answer, everyone would be lost eternally, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Why will you be lost? The answer is unrepented-of sins! That was Judah’s problem: It was not merely that Judah had sinned, but that Judah had, in spite of the warnings of the prophets, refused to repent. Ezekiel came with a final appeal: Repent and live.! (18:32b). In the end, Judah was destroyed as a result of the people’s failure to heed Ezekiel’s appeal.

Likewise, if anyone should perish, the reason will not be that God wanted it to happen. Rather, destruction will come because you have failed to heed the warnings found repeatedly in His Word. Our Creator loves all of humanity, regardless of where you live or who you are. He wants us all to come to repentance if we will only give our lives to Him and follow Him and do what is right in His sight daily. Repent, accept Jesus and live!

I’ve never seen evidence of God!

 

This is a statement that I have heard many times in news or other media stories and it is one that I cannot understand! How can you wake up in the morning and not feel the evidence of God when you are breathing or with your heart beating? This universe that we live in was not an accident of creation through gravity and heat and coincidence!

The proteins and the cellular structures in our cells are put together in such a way that, according to computer models done on super-computers, the precision with which our bodies run could not have happened by evolutionary means in the time that the universe has supposedly been here (approximately 13 billion years or so).

Our planet is so perfectly positioned in a solar system which has certain characteristics, like some large gas giants which protect us from inbound comets or other debris. The distance that our planet is from the sun is so precise that only a one percent difference would mean either too hot or too cold for life. These can’t be explained by pure luck or by accident! Our life, your life is not accidental but purposeful! There is and always has been a longing in the heart of man. That longing is for a relationship with our Creator. Whether you acknowledge Him as your Lord or not doesn’t matter, although for your eternity it does.

We don’t just die and rot in the ground, even if that is what you believe. Our body does, that is true. But the spirit which was put there before you were born continues and when the New Earth is created your body will be resurrected anew as well. This is not some “new-age” thinking, this comes directly from the Bible itself. Regardless of what is and has been written about God and His Word, it is not a fairy tale!

The Word of God was inspired by Him and written by men. This part is true, but it was not made up by man. There is no way that the forty writers who wrote the Bible could have “made up” the history which has been proven archeologically and the prophecies which have come true. The fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. was foretold more than 400 years before it happened. Our world and the people on it have ample evidence of God and His creation to see that He exists without anyone telling them and yet the world chooses to believe the lies from science or some other “man-made” religion or even no religion at all!

There will be a day in which everyone will see Him coming in His glory, even those who crucified Him! Your heart longs for a relationship with Him. If not today, when? You are not guaranteed tomorrow, no one is. I know I would rather serve Him for eternity in whatever capacity I can, than be punished in hell because I was given the greatest gift of all and I refused to accept it. That is the sin which is unforgiveable. Don’t throw away your chance.

Our world, a beautiful blue jewel

In the beginning God created this world to be perfect and it was for a time. Then sin entered the world and everything started dying, not just mankind. We were created to be sinless beings to have communion with God anytime He wished it or anytime we wished to contact Him. This condition will be restored to us when the New Earth comes down after the reign of Christ on the Earth during the millennium after the Tribulation and the binding of Satan. Our lives will not be as “angels” strumming harps and singing praises to God for eternity, although we will do that at times. We will never be made as angels, we will be restored to fellowship with God as it was meant to be from the beginning.

 

I have heard many people say that they would rather be in hell than in Heaven. They don’t know what they are saying or what awaits them. The eternity that will be spent in hell will be torture and painful. It will not be, as some believe, an eternal party. You will not know joy or peace though you will remember them. It will be unbearably hot but with an immortal body you will not die, although you will wish for death. This will come upon all of those who have rejected Christ and His grace. A very simple act of accepting Jesus as your savior is all that you have to do escape an eternity of punishment.

We were not created to be punished in hell, it was created to punish Satan and those who followed him. The only reason any human will be there will be because of their rejection of Jesus and His gift of Grace. That is it! No other sin will send you there although you will pay for the ones you committed since they won’t be covered by His blood and His sacrifice. Please, ask Jesus to come into your life and heart today and start living a life of service to Him. It is such a small price to pay for an eternity since He paid the ultimate price to redeem you.

Division is great in math class but not in the Church

In the past one hundred years the Church has been divided so many times that it is nearly unrecognizable today. Christians, regardless of denomination, have become too permissive and meek. We allow people to run over us and around us in the guise of being “politically correct and inoffensive”.

Jesus said that He came to put friends and family against each other because of Him and His teachings. We are not to be so meek that we are run over by every religion that claims the title of religion. Just because Jesus said that the “meek shall inherit the earth” doesn’t mean that we take it to an extreme!

I am sure that there are some real Christians in our world today that could be called friends of God but they are so few in number that they would not fill the sanctuary of a small church!

Our life is to be in service to Him regardless of the occupation that we have and being divided in doctrine or belief in the authenticity of the Bible is not the way to do it. There is no middle ground of service you are either serving God or Satan, you cannot serve both.

The Bible is the true and inspired word of our Creator! Those who disagree with this are challenged herewith to find at least 66 authors from all different walks of life. Without telling them what to write about other than to say that they must all be in agreement and have their stories point to one truth alone, have them to write a coherent book which will rival the Bible. Even if our lives were un-naturally long, there would be no possibility of this book ever being published in a coherent form within the next one thousand years!

The Bible spans about fourteen hundred years and tells of history back to the beginning of the earth and yet the story points to one Savior, Christ, who will fulfill all of the prophecies in Himself and through His ministry and His death and resurrection will be the salvation for all of mankind who have been called by God.