So much bitterness…

We are beginning a new year and this topic seems to show up in the news quite often. Actually, it has been in the news for a while in one form or another. Can we do anything about it, really? Sometimes we can but unfortunately much of the bitterness in the world is brought on by Satan and his influence in it. Oh, there are many who don’t believe that he exists but since he has been around since the beginning, he really does exist. If he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, then you know he has had plenty of practice over the millennia!

Truly, the bitterness that is rampant in our world today is because of our sinfulness. We can’t be civil and understanding of people that we don’t agree with in all aspects. Every person on the planet has a different opinion of things, that is something that we shouldn’t be stressing over. But, we do it all the time.

God loves each of us whether we give Him our heart or not, He still loves us and has provided a way of salvation. All we need to do is believe in Jesus and in the atonement provided, then when we feel His call on our life and in our heart…answer it! Just as you do when your phone rings, unless it is someone you don’t want to talk to. If it is God calling your heart and your life into His service please, don’t ignore it and DO answer it! You won’t be disappointed and it will be the greatest trip that you have ever taken, even if you never go anywhere until you are called home to Heaven!

 

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.

God is everywhere!

I read an email from a friend a few years ago and it had a story in it that many of you have likely seen before but here is the gist of it:

A man walked up to a boy on his way to school many years ago and said to him, “I will give you a nickel if you can tell me where God is.” (Had to be many years ago because a nickel wouldn’t interest too many kids today). The boy asked him, “How long do I have to find God for you mister?” The man said, “Until this afternoon when you get out of school, I will be close by.”

So the boy went to school and looked and read some books and asked a teacher or two about where God could be found. By that afternoon, the little boy found the man on his way home and he told him, “Mister, you can keep your nickel, because I found that God is all around us! I would be willing to give you a dollar if you could tell me where God isn’t!”

The boy is right, God is everywhere! But, that doesn’t mean that we are “gods” or that the planet that we live on is a “god”, like many so-called “new age religions” try to make you see in yourself. God created all that is in our universe. All of the planets, the stars, the comets, every tree and blade of grass and each of us! HE had a part, a very BIG part, in creating you and me and every other person on Earth as well as all of the things which we see and feel around us every day!

Don’t count Jesus out of your life because He is God’s Son, the Living Word, and He was instrumental in creation! The Holy Spirit also played a big part in creation, because He is part of the Trinity and also the Spirit of God which brought to life Adam and which hovered over the waters before the light was brought into existence.

Yes, there are many who will tell me that this is not true or that the Bible is a book full of errors and lies…but it isn’t. Many of the prophecies in its pages have already come true and there are some which are going to come true soon, then the whole world will see that He is real and that His Word is Truth!

Seek Him while there is time to do so, because we are not guaranteed tomorrow morning. Today is all that you have and even the moments which have not passed aren’t sure for anyone because they are still in the future. Time is moving and it is moving faster, it seems, but in a few minutes it will be one minute after 8, this is Central Time, but what I am pointing to is that by the time I finish this, it will be later than that!

A Satanic view

“In Satan, the individual follows their own destiny and choices. Satan only asks that the individual uses intelligent action based upon reason, but never faith, and thus the individual will prosper in this life and the next.” —-satanicviews

This was a comment that I got on a post which I had put up about Jesus coming to us and for us. It seems that this is a feeling or sentiment which many people have. It is one which we, as Christians, cannot understand or even comprehend. Satan is not a benevolent being as they seem to think. He and his demons and powers and principalities HATE us with a hatred which even goes beyond any Nazi or communist or even Islamic hate!

There is no love for us because, to Satan, we represent the image of God which we were created in. Another assumption that people like this make is that the next life is going to be an eternal party, when the sad fact is that it will be torment and punishment. Satan may help you in some ways to prosper in this life in order to draw you away from and keep you away from any faith or belief in God or Jesus. As long as you are not interested in becoming a Christian, then Satan has no problem with you because you essentially belong to him by default, whether you worship him or not.

In many ways, we are very much like Adam in the book of Genesis. We go about our lives doing this and that, thinking that everything is fine until one day something goes wrong. It may be a disease or a diagnosis or a wreck. Then what do we do? Many people blame God or fate for what has happened to them. If it is bad enough, they may even curse God and yell at Someone they may not believe in thinking that will make them feel better. But, it doesn’t.

Your lot in life, just like mine, is to sit here and take whatever life throws at you right? NO! It really depends upon your beliefs or your un-belief, whichever it may be. Consider the person or power that you believe in. Which one actually cares about you and your condition? Satan HATES all of humanity, because they are created in God’s image. It doesn’t matter if you are the high priest of a satanic coven or not, he will happily watch you float around in the lake of fire just as he will anyone else. Satan will allow you to claim all of the worldly success that you can stand and then some, as long as you are not trying to find God. So, in a sense, he will “provide” you with all that the world cares about including money, cars, a nice home, a four-wheeler and horses, land, all the guns that you want. Then what?

One the other side of the spiritual coin, there is God. He DOES CARE about all of His creation. Plants, animals and especially humanity since we are created for a purpose and in His image. God has given us life to live abundantly for Him and He gave each of us a talent in some area whether it is training horses, being a teacher or preacher, a policeman or woman, a mayor or any other type of politician, a truck driver or a farmer. He gives talents to all of us freely, whether we use them to gather wealth to ourselves or not is our choice. So, what is our purpose within this life that we are freely given?

To choose.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

We have the right and privilege to choose. Not by flipping a “spiritual coin”, but by making an intelligent choice. One that makes sense spiritually and eternally, not one from a point of reason. Why do I put it like that? Because from a reasoning point of view…a scientific point of view, God and belief in Him doesn’t make sense. You can’t touch or taste Him, you can’t put your finger in the wounds of Jesus like Thomas did. Belief and faith go together like PB&J, and you can’t really have one without the other.

It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes or even the type of hair that you have, if you truly believe the Word of God is True and did come from Him then our ancestors were created in Eden by God Himself. We are all children of Eden, of Adam and Eve. We are all of one race, the human race. Culturally we are different, as different as six thousand years give or take will make us, but God can trace all of us back to Noah who is a grandson of Adam. I say is because his faith in God’s promise and his belief that God would save humanity placed him in God’s hands.

Understand that you and I are God’s children and His creation, but you have to choose whether you will serve Him in this life, in order to have true Life in eternity to come. This is not all that there is, working, living, loving your family, smoking, drinking…these are all enjoyable to us now, some more than others. What will you do if you died tonight, if you knew that you would not see tomorrow morning? Would you ask Jesus into your heart?

Would you decide that you would rather take your chances? On what? Have you fed thousands or healed the sick? Can you walk on water? None of us can do those things! We are not righteous in God’s eyes! The only way that you get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus as your Savior, repent of your life’s sinful ways meaning that you will turn from them! Could you do all of this if you were to have a heart attack right now or even on the way home? The time to decide about your eternity is now, not tomorrow, not next week. Make sure that you truly know where your eternity is because this life doesn’t last very long and it seems that the years go by faster every year. Don’t turn Jesus away when you know that you need Him in your life. Another chance may not present itself. Think about it.

What have we done?!

In this quote from Michelle Malkin she says, “Cheating, bullying, cyber-sexting, hazing, molestation, suicide, drug abuse, murder…just scanning the headlines of the latest scandals in America’s schools, it’s quite clear that the problem in not that there is too much God in student’s lives. The problem is that there isn’t nearly enough of Him.”

As a society and a nation, we did this to ourselves through legislation and so-called “preference laws” which limit what can be said or taught to children and young adults in educational institutions, specifically these target Christianity. Why is this? Because of a non-existent clause that has been claimed to be in the Constitution, but is not, called the separation of church and state. Yes, there is an establishment clause which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The removal of God and His principles from American culture and education has brought us to this point, which is a very unstable and dangerous point in our history. America, like Israel in the distant past, is close to being a Godless society, one that has allowed all of the spiritual fire to leave the country and be replaced with our own personal beliefs, and our own gods no matter who or what they may be. Even if you don’t believe that there is being called Satan, he exists and one day he will laugh in your face because of it.

I have said it before, just because you don’t believe in something or someone doesn’t get rid of them it just blinds your heart and your mind to the effect that they have on this world until it is too late. Satan has enjoyed being a “non-entity” for many years, yet his influence is seen and felt everywhere there is disease and war and corruption. All of the things which we would like to get rid of, yet we won’t allow the One into our world and our every day lives that could make Satan’s influence be far less than it is. When the end of the age gets here and I don’t believe that it will be much longer, everyone will see and understand one way or another.

Christians in the crosshairs

Some Muslims even expressed their sentiments to Christians in Baghdad at a Sunday service.

“You are the true original people here, and we are sorry for what has been done to you in the name of Islam,” whispered one Muslim woman to a Christian woman fighting away tears, according to The New York Times.

This was from an article on the forced evacuation of Mosul (Nineveh) in Iraq. For a so-called “religion of peace”, Islam is not being very peaceful at all, especially with the Christians who have inhabited this city for over one thousand years. Mosul has been a Christian dominated city for at least that long, according to the information that I have been able to find.

Here is another quote from the UK:

“What are the moderate Muslims saying?” the Lebanese Catholic Maronite Patriarch, Bechara Rai, asked acidly last week. “We do not hear the voices of those who denounce this.”

Indeed not. The Caliphate’s threat to the Christians – convert, be taxed or die – contradict, in the words of the Chaldean Patriarch, Archbishop Louis Sako,  “1,400 years of history and of the life of the Muslim world and of coexistence between different religions and different peoples”. Archbishop Sako spoke, too, this week of how Iraq itself had become a “humanitarian, cultural and historical catastrophe”. But he added that Christians in the region must remember that the Koran demands respect for minorities and that the Christian people must also remain respectful to Muslims and show “patience and endurance”. Which, I would have thought, might be turning the other saintly cheek a bit too far.

We, as Christians, should help those in need if we can. I am not sure if the help that we provide would reach the ones needing it though, so I am not sure what to do. All that I can do right now is to pray for them and I ask all of you who read this to do the same. It seems that the American government is not offering any sort of help for these, yet they are willing to help the oppressors of Israel. Of course in the media, Israel is the oppressor of the Palestinian people not the other way around. Israel has belonged to the Jewish people since at least four thousand years ago according to the covenant made with Abraham and God’s covenant cannot and will not be broken.

When you pray about the trouble in our world today, please include a prayer for those Christians being persecuted in Iraq and those in North Korea and China as well. Pray for Israel and for God’s protection for them too. We need Him and they do too.

 

Despair and depression, where do they come from?

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11

The words above were written for us today. Because they speak to the depression and the solitude which Satan uses to take over our life and make it one which is filled with despair and heartache. Why does he do this? Because he doesn’t want you to tell anyone about Jesus and he knows that if you are “down in the dumps”, you won’t feel like spreading the Good News of Jesus to anyone! If he can stop you from telling one person, he has done his duty. Because, that one that you might miss because of your depression just might be the next great evangelist and he doesn’t want them to be that.

Satan hates us as human beings because God loved us more than He loved the angels, of which Satan was a principle cherub, the guardians of God. Not only does he hate humanity because of God’s love for us but because of the special position that God gave to us, the relationship that we can have with God through His Son. So, you see it isn’t personal, he just hates us with such a deep and abiding hatred that no human could ever understand it. Satan will make people think that he will reward them with power and wealth and he might for a time, but the day will come when your “contract” will be up. No amount of money or power will save you from the eternal punishment that will fall on you because you chose to align yourself with the consummate liar and deceiver that is Satan.

Some religions teach that there is no eternal punishment for us because Jesus paid that price and we are all saved through Him. Well, technically that is true but if you have not repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart and your life, you don’t have Him as Lord and Savior to keep you from being thrown into the lake of fire with Satan and his followers. Just as if I told you that I have one hundred dollars that I will give you, if you don’t come to my home and claim it then you still don’t have it. The offer of salvation is there, the price has been paid and once you take hold of it then your salvation cannot be un-done, but if you don’t grasp it and repent of your sinful ways and follow Jesus when you ask Him into your heart, then they were just words and nothing more. You can even get baptised in front of a church or in a stream, but without repentance and a commitment to follow Jesus, you just got wet in front of an audience and nothing more.

The Church which was started on the day of Pentecost was not a specific denomination. It wasn’t called the Church of God or the Church of Christ or the Pentecostal church. At the time, the Jews in Israel called them believers of the Way, a sect that they wanted to crush and destroy. Which is why they sent Saul to imprison and beat the believers in this “Way”. The persecution of believers began then and it has not stopped since. It may be subtle here in America, in other countries it is more pronounced and vigorous. Elsewhere, Christians are imprisoned, beaten, and sometimes killed because of their belief in Jesus.

Satan has used this jealousy and animosity against the Church to destroy and persecute it for centuries simply because he wants to undo the plans of God as much as he can. That is why there is so much suffering in the world and so much pain and death. God allows this because He gives each of us a choice, whether to follow Him or not. Without a choice, there is no real love. Think about this, if someone tried to force you to follow them or love them….would you? I wouldn’t.

Can God use you for His purposes?

Are you willing to let God use you in your life? Have you given your heart to Him so that He can use you? There are many people who don’t know about the Bible or what is in it these days in America. It really isn’t hard to understand why though. We have pushed the Bible, prayer, reading the Bible and many other activities related to being a Christian completely out of our lives. There are many who don’t know the first book in the Bible and many others who can’t even name the four gospels telling of the life of Jesus and the good news that was His life and ministry. I use “was” to denote that it happened about two thousand years ago, not that He is dead because He isn’t, Jesus sits at the right hand of God awaiting the time that He will come back and get the Church.

I am getting a bit ahead of myself here though. Are you a Christian or do you want to be a Christian? If you do, then ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you for the life that you have lived. He will show you how to live a different way with a new purpose and a new attitude. Once you have done this, pick up a Bible and pray that God will teach you through it because He will do that. Just reading it will help, but asking God to show you the things that you need to learn will help more than even going to church.

Although you will want to attend a church which teaches from the Bible soon because meeting with others who believe like you do is necessary. The early church in Jerusalem met in their homes, but they did meet together. The fellowship gained during this time is necessary for your growth in Christ as well as your learning more about Him. It is also necessary to your growth as a Christian because the fellowship that you enjoy with other believers grows sweeter and more like family as you grow in your faith!

Now, to get to the issue of being used for His purpose…first of course you have to be a believer and you should be willing to do the will of God. That being said, it is not an automatic thing that every believer is going to work for God in some way. The easiest way to do this is by studying God’s Word daily, then praying about what you have read and seeking His will for your life. He will answer your prayers in His time, of course, not yours so be patient. The best advice I can give you at this point is DON’T EVER ASK GOD FOR PATIENCE! He will hear that prayer and you will learn patience but you may not like the lessons!

God loves you and all of humanity and He does answer prayers, just realize that some of those answers are His way of testing you and teaching you. So, don’t be surprised with the answers that you get especially those that don’t seem to be what you asked for. God loves each of us and He does take care of our needs every day, but He is not One that you can ask for money and it will just fall into your account. Prosperity comes with sacrifice and work, not from schemes and gambling. Read through Proverbs carefully in either the Living Bible translation or the English Standard Version, then you will understand His view toward work and laziness and debt.

The Bible can teach you more than a college can in four years, but you have to meditate on it, pray about it and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand His message for your situation when you are reading it. Believe me, I used to think that it was just an old book until I became a Christian and started really studying it and praying about what I read. Then I learned that your education is severely lacking if the Bible is not part of it. Give God’s Word and Jesus a chance in your life and your life will never be the same again…it will be one hundred percent BETTER!!!

Where are you?

Many of us, at one point or another, have wondered this about God. “Where are You, God?”

How many times have you said that?

How many times have you heard someone say it?
Yes, it is hard to make it through the day sometimes when things are not going right but why not do something about it? To that, many people would ask me, “OK, what can I do about it? I don’t see Him doing anything!”

The best that you can do is stop blaming God for your problems. First of all, He gives us a choice in everything, every decision that we make whether it is good or bad. Second, and for many this would be the tough part, ….start your day off with prayer and reading some verses in the Bible. Begin your day by thanking Him that you are awake and alive to see this day, then pray that your day will be fruitful for His Kingdom and read a verse from Proverbs or Psalms or any other verse that has meaning for you. Jesus did this by getting up early and praying before the day began and that is how we should live our lives too.

Being grounded in the Word and beginning the day with God starts the day in the right way, then everything else that follows will have His Spirit in it, covering it and giving you the strength to get through it and the problems that may come during your day at home or at work. Once you get into a habit of doing this, it won’t be hard at all to do it all during the day. Pray about the problems which come up, the traffic jam that you are in on the way to or from work, someone else’s trouble during the day. Cover the day and all that is in it with prayer.

God asked Adam the same question about where he was, but God knew all along. The important thing that we have to realize is that God never leaves us, especially if we are Christians. He is always in our hearts and as close as our skin. We are never alone, even if you aren’t a believer. He knows you and knows about you and what you do. If you have felt His call or tug on your heart, please consider answering that call. He has a plan for you.

He loves you deeply and never leaves you alone.

Think on that and give God a call, His line is never busy and the signal never fades.

Do you know?

The problems around you are being caused by an immortal being, one who has been here from the beginning. He and his followers have been causing trouble from the day that Adam was created, and yet many people today don’t even believe that he or they exist.

Yes, I am talking about Satan and his followers and yes they are all over the world causing problems. More wars, more diseases, everything that seems to be wrong in the world is their doing in some way. They have influenced people, touched lives with diseases fatal and long lasting, fostered ideas in people’s minds which have been carried out in the most horrific ways. Yes, we are able to be sadistic and cruel without his influence but people are even more so when Satan or one of his demons has a controlling influence in your life.

How can they get this much control in your life and your mind? You gave it to them. When you dabbled in the occult as a child or a teen, or when you studied some “harmless” spells with your friends. Maybe you found a ouija board and tried it out a few times because it seemed fun watching the piece move by itself, or by reading “harmless” tarrot cards. All of these open your mind up to the influence of supernatural beings who can influence you in ways that you would never dream of.

Sure, these games seem to be fun at the time but just like trying drugs or alcohol they can lead to something much worse. Even having the games or the cards or some books in your house leaves an open doorway for demons to come in, whether you have actually played with them or not. The power that they possess is beyond our comprehension and yet, when you accept Jesus as your Savior they no longer have power over you! They know Him and they know Who He is! Don’t allow them to have control of your life or your house, when you read books about them they will watch you but they can’t hurt you as long as you claim Him as your Savior.

Our country has become overrun with them and they are in the highest offices in the government, but nobody sees them at all. It is hard to think of people being influenced by demonic beings because we think of this happening in ancient times, not today. I am not speaking of being possessed, just influenced and that only requires a demon or Satan himself to suggest something into your mind. If it is done the right way, you or the person being influenced will think that the “idea” is their own. Sneaky huh?

The idea that we can be susceptible to “suggestions” like this goes against our idea that we are in control, but the thing is that Satan knows how to get to our most vulnerable thoughts and our most intimate vulnerabilities. He is not omnipotent but with all of the demonic help that he has, he sometimes seems to be. The best and most wonderful news that I can give to you is that through Jesus, we have the power to overcome Satan! Asking Jesus into your life and getting into the Bible to learn about Him is the best defence against Satanic forces. Then, walking with Him every day in your prayer life and attending a Bible teaching church will give you the basic foundation that you need to be a follower and not just a fan of Jesus. Consider this, pray about it, ask a friend or a pastor about Him because on your own, you cannot resist Satan’s influence but with Jesus you have the power to tell Satan to get out of your life and never come back!