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.

What in the world???

So much is going on in the world today. The wars, the world cup for soccer, the financial crisis in many countries, I mean the list just keeps getting longer and longer seemingly every day! Can we fix any of this? Actually, I would like to see someone fix it, but I don’t believe it is possible.

Yes, we are tired of being in debt. Yes, we are tired of hearing of the bombs going off all over the world and the people being imprisoned for nothing more than their religious beliefs, but can we fix all of this? The answer to that can be found in the Bible and the answer is NO! We are not capable of fixing these problems, regardless of the angst that they cause or the heartache that they cause as well.

Humanity is just not able nor willing to fix these problems, mainly because someone is making money from them and it is usually someone in power. When money is made because of suffering and pain, it is wrong but it is usually very hard to remove this “cancer” because of the amount of money that is flowing in one direction or another. Bribes are being paid under the table, deals are being made in boardrooms or in international offices. It is nothing new. This has been going on for a long, long time and it will continue until our Savior comes to put an end to it.

Many people think that this person will be able to force a so-called fix on the population of the world and they may be right. If this “savior” is the one that is foretold in the book of Revelation, then it will be enforced in a way that cannot and will not be allowed to be gotten around like many “laws” are today. There will be electronic or DNA checks and balances put into place which will enable governments to see what you buy, who you are, where you live and if you are loyal to their cause. If you don’t have this “mark”, whatever it might be, you will not be able to buy anything legally.

The technology is available now, this is not some futuristic dream. With a world-wide push it could be implemented easily, though for some it will be forced or there will be consequences and those will likely include imprisonment or death. It is coming and because it is coming, there is no way to avoid it. You just have to try to plan for it in some way, if you can. Help as many people as possible in this because it will be those who come to you for help when that time comes. Some people will try to steal what you have and attack you if they think that you have food or money or even water.

The end of the age is coming. When, I cannot tell you because I do not know. But, if you have ever read the Bible it speaks of this time very vividly and it is not an enjoyable time for anyone. If you are a believer, great. Take the time to tell others about our Savior, the One that is True. Prepare for the time that is coming. Yes, I have heard that we are supposed to be taken away before this happens but there are scriptures which point to this time and say that we will see part of the Tribulation. Paul says that time will not come until the man of sin is revealed”, but most preachers emphasize that we will be raptured before this time. Why would the Spirit allow Paul to write these words if they weren’t true? That is why I believe that this is the time that many will fall away from the teachings of the church.

We have to stick to our beliefs and listen to Jesus. Read His words, trust Him and have faith in Him, persevere until He appears and takes us to Heaven. Be strong and very courageous and don’t let go of your faith in Him because those who are doing what the Master told them to do when He comes will be rewarded. Those rewards are far above any material thing that this world can offer you.

In His Service.

Are you happy?

I have been down or depressed the past couple of weeks but I decided that it is time to let God handle that and get on with my life. 🙂

We can be happy or sad, depressed or angry or both but the point is that life is what you decide it can be. If you wake up angry at the world or down in the dumps, the entire day will be a waste no matter what your occupation is or how much money you may have! There have been many people who are distressed and angry as well as frustrated because of their situations and the problems which confront them daily and I am sure that there are more than I know about, especially when you listen to and watch the news. But, there is a singer and a song out there that will help and even though it won’t fix your feelings, it will make you feel better if you let it. Here is a link to a video with the song which may just pick your day up a bit: http://bit.ly/1k6hK3D

Your life and mine mean far more to God than we have ever known, and yet you won’t know it until you get into His Word. Happiness is not an abundant theme in the Bible, until Jesus comes along. Then the abundant life and the happiness that goes with it are there in His message and in the hope that we have in Him. That is what I think about when I listen to the song in the video above. Jesus and His message and the hope that is available to all of us through Him.

If you don’t want that hope or the love that goes along with it, you can choose not to allow Him into your life. Live your life the way that you want to, by your own rules and your own way. But, what if the Bible and the Truth in it is…true? What will you find after you take your final breath here on Earth? Many people don’t think that they will find anything. They just believe that it is like turning the lights off and that is it. But, what if there is something afterward? Do you really think that you have been good enough for God to allow you into Heaven?

I am not saying that God doesn’t love you, but Jesus said that the only way to come to the Father was through Him and the only way that you will have Him in your life is by giving your life to Him and asking Him into yours! That, in itself, may not give you your definition of happiness but the hope for eternity should have some bearing on your life now as well as in the future. We can only influence those around us with our own character and our example and if we don’t make it an example that would be honorable to pass on to someone then what is the reason for being here?

God put each of us here for a purpose and what that purpose is can be found in the Bible. It doesn’t have to be your occupation or your life-long dreams or any of the things that we tend to elevate to a level that doesn’t and shouldn’t belong to them. The Creator is the only One that belongs in that position, nothing that is created by man or even by God should be given a position equal to Him and it is our job to make sure that those around us can see the Creator through our lives and our example and give Him the honor and praise that He alone deserves.

Doing these things with your life for God will give you a happiness and a joy that nothing on Earth can match. So, give your heart to Him and live  your life for Him so that your happiness can flow from your life to others because of what Jesus did for you!

Think about it.  In His Service until He comes or until I go to Him.

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!!!

Separate or Congregate, which do you choose?

When Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to a Baptist association during his presidency, he did not add into our Constitution the words “separation of church and state”. It is not in the Constitution in any form at all, but it seems that it is used most frequently when people don’t want anything to do with the Bible or the absolute truth of God’s Word!

There is no separation of Church and State in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The premise for this comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist association in Connecticut that feared overreaching government power. An extreme view of separation of church and state has become part of the common American belief system and it is terrifying.
Here is a copy of that letter from the archives of the Library of Congress:
Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists
The Final Letter, as Sent
To messers.:  Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
Gentlemen
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

The “wall of separation” being spoken of is such that our government would not require nor establish a religion of the state or nation, it did not mean that religion, whether Christian or otherwise, could never be taught or practiced in government offices or schools so long as that practice was of the individual and not of the requirement by the state or nation.

We have used this misunderstanding in ways to push God and  Christian religion out of our schools and our children’s education so much so that we are paying the price for doing so at this present time. Today, being the National Day of Prayer, I urge all of you to pray that God doesn’t push us out of His grace and that our great nation comes back into the knowledge and the grace of Almighty God. If we do not, I fear that our way of life is in danger of disappearing and that this nation will no longer be a nation under God but one that is under the condemnation of God!

The mouth can get you into a LOT of trouble

The problem with this is that the words which come from the mouth, regardless of who it is that is saying something, come from the heart. It shows exactly who that person is in reality. Words are windows into a man’s soul because they are a reflection of his character. Whatever is inside a man will ultimately come out when they open their mouth. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but at some point it will. People, whether they are politicians, news people, owners of athletic teams, or celebrities get into trouble by what they say all of the time. Some of it may have been said when they thought they were “off the mike”, or it may have been said in an angry outburst which they regret later, but the point is that their character shows through regardless in every word that they say.

It, whether it is their words or the attitude which accompany those words, will convict them either in a court of law or in front of God and man. The proof will be what they do about their attitude and the words which proceeded from their lips. If they are cut to the core and ask forgiveness or if they just shrug it off and act as if it isn’t important, these actions will tell the world exactly who this person really is.

What about the force which is shown in the media against them? Is it righteous indignation that drives it or is it just political correctness? I am all for being politically correct, but we as people have driven it to a level which goes beyond understanding. PC as it is called, can and has been taken to the point of absurdity in our culture and it needs to be backed up with a true belief in God and the Bible, and not the anxiety of offending someone in some way or another. God’s Word is absolute and the Truth contained in it is too and we don’t need to apologize for it at all! It has been used in ways that have likely made God cry over the past two thousand years, but that was because of the people who used it not because there was anything wrong with God’s Word!

Get into the Word of God and study it to be approved as a person who knows the Truth, not just his or her own version of the truth but God’s Truth. Because if we, as Christians and as children of God, don’t begin acting like His children then we will be punished for it. He reproves those who claim Him and yet do not do His commandments just as much as we would our own children (at least I hope that you discipline your kids)!

If more people would come back to the Bible and believe in the One Who inspired it and the wisdom contained in it, our world would be a very different place and a much more peaceful place too. Look to the One Who created everything with a word, until He came to mankind. We are special to God because He took the care to create us in His image with His hands. He didn’t just speak us into existence, He blew the breath of Life into mankind and he became a living soul. That is why we are hated by Satan and why he has never stopped trying to take us away from God, to keep us turned away from the One, the only One, Who can help in any and all situations.

Your character, just as you are, is important to God because it reflects Him if you are His but it also reflects Satan and his influence on you if you don’t believe and trust in God

Faith and Hollywood

Is faith, real faith present in Hollywood today? Yes, there are many actors who believe in Jesus in the industry but what about the products that they “sell” to us? The movies that come from Hollywood seem to have references to the Bible at times, but nothing much follows these references. Why? Mainly because the people in Hollywood are in the business of making movies to make money! That is the driving force behind their scripts and the content of the movies that they sell to us through theatres and other channels.

But, what about the message contained in those movies? Does the producer or director care what is portrayed in the movies that they claim to base upon events in the Bible? The current offering from them seems to tell me that, no they don’t care about the message just the money to be made from it. Some claim that the movie in theatres now is “just a representation” and that it will get people discussing the story in the Bible and maybe even reading the story. I do agree that it is a representation of the story of Noah but it is not accurate to the story contained in the Bible.

I understand that they, the producers, had to take creative license with the story because of the brevity of it in the Bible. It doesn’t contain many clear details of how the world was or many details about Noah’s family but it does tell us that he was a righteous man in the sight of God and that is not how he is portrayed in this movie. Granted, I have not seen it and will not pay money to go see it, but if you are going to create a movie based on a story in the Bible then you should at least try to research as much as possible the history behind the story that Jewish scholars have.

Try to at least get the main character right, especially that he is a righteous man and not a murderer and a drunkard. God’s message in the Bible covers much more ground than could ever be put together into a movie, though it has been tried before. The story of the flood is just one story but it teaches so much about the righteousness of one man and his family and the world that they lived in. It is true that the narrative in the Bible doesn’t really cover much about Noah and his family or the world that they lived in except where it says: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) We don’t really get a picture of what that involved, but it must have been pretty bad for God to regret that He had ever made mankind!

Our world is approaching that level even now, although most of the world doesn’t think that it is so bad. One day, the whole world will know and some will repent of their ways but others will not. They will curse God for what is coming on them because of their actions and blame Him for everything, when it is actually their own fault that their lives are spinning out of control.

Please consider reading the Bible and learning of how good God is, give your life to Him and eternity will be yours. An eternity that you will enjoy with others, not one which humanity was created for in the first place. Think about it and one day we might get to know one another in Heaven!

Culturally Christian

Do you fit the mold and profile of a follower of Jesus? If you were to stand before a judge and be tried as a Christian, is there enough evidence in your life and your actions to convict you of being a Christian?

What do I mean when I am talking of “culturally Christian”? I am speaking of having your life so invested and intertwined with Christ until you are more like Him than your “self”. Few people are this committed to being like Christ and I am not saying that you would be perfect in your life because we can’t be perfectly in God’s will as Jesus was. What I am referring to is your character and whether it is identifiable as being like Christ and not like the world around you.

Can we do this as flawed human beings? Not in our own strength, but with the strength of the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart, you can. Living your life through the Spirit is essential to being a Christian but do you know many people who actually do this? So many go to church and go through the motions of what is required or thought of as identifying them as Christians yet “their heart is far from me” as the Lord says.

The only way to bring your life into the culture and character of being a Christian is to give your heart to Him and learn about Him and His ways. Study the Bible and pray about your life in Christ and His life in your heart, then God will answer your prayers and help you learn His ways so that you can be more like Christ. There are many people who don’t believe in Jesus and some who reject Him and the Bible too. This is okay, but what if the words and the prophecies of the Bible are true?

Living your life in denial of the truth doesn’t change the truth, it just allows you to go on with your life thinking that your “truth” is right and others are wrong. Truly, there are those who say that the Bible is full of false claims and lies but there has never been anyone who can prove it. The Bible does contain history and historical places that have been proven by archaeology to have existed in the past. Since it is truthful in this, then the other words contained within it are true as well since God cannot lie.

All of the words in God’s Word were penned by flawed men, but they were being led and given the words by the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit had not been giving them the words to write, then the prophecies would never have come true and the Bible would be just a collection of words from history. But, the prophecies have come true and some have not, but they will. Belief in Jesus and taking the Word into your heart and your life is a part of being a Christian. If you can’t do that and live your life accordingly then why call yourself a Christian? If you have chosen to be like the world and not allow Jesus into your life, then you need to think about your life, not just the one you have now but the eternal one that you will have later.

The time that you have now is not all that there is, as some seem to think. God designed us to have an eternity and for that eternity to be His children. Living your life as you see fit and in whatever way you wish to live is fine, but what will you do when you wake on the other side of this life in the next one? If you haven’t given your heart and your life to Jesus here, then where will you be then? If you have attended church or heard a sermon anywhere then you know that there are only two destinations, Heaven or hell.

Think about it.

Can you live with yourself?

We do it all of the time and yet living and life itself has consequences that come from the things that we do every day. Is it possible that each of us might impact someone’s life in a way that is harmful? Can we make a change in our life so that the impact on others is good for them and for us?

The answer to that last question is actually “no, we can’t”, but God can! Do you truly know where your soul will go when you die? Are you sure of that destination, whatever it is? Many people think that when they die, that is it and there is no more living to do. In a way they are right about that because in the body that you have now, life will end at some point. But, we have all been created with an immortal soul and it will live on in eternity. The question is…where?

You can choose not to believe this if you wish and I am only trying to bring you to the realization that there is an eternity in which we will all live. The matter at hand is which eternity would you rather have…one which is loving and care free with work that you will enjoy for an eternity being with friends and family and with Jesus and all of the saints from the Bible?

Or would you rather be partying with Satan and his demons and all of the murderers and rapists and other scumbags in hell, where you will not enjoy eternity but will be tormented and in agony? Eternity in hell is not going to be a party, it will be filled with pain and misery not for just a while but for eternity.

Hell was not made or created for us at all, it was created to punish Satan and the angels which rebelled against God. But, if you have decided that you know better than God how to run your life and how to be a “good person”, because you don’t need Jesus in your life…then you are on the side of Satan as well. There is no middle ground, no possible way that your “good works” will save your soul. Jesus did the work that was necessary for your salvation on the cross! All that you have to do in order to receive it is to believe in His atoning death for your sins and ask for His spirit to come into your heart. When that happens, you will be changed into a new person!

You will no longer be the person that you were, but you will be in Christ and you will have Him dwelling in your heart. You will never be alone or away from God and He will always be beside you, near you whenever you call on Him for help or just simply to talk things out. How you choose to live your life is up to you but God has given us an easy way to come to Him and enjoy His strength and guidance in your everyday life…by simply asking Him to and believing that He will do what He says in the Bible. Since God does not lie, He will do what He promises.

Give Him a chance to show you what life can be like and what success in life with Him can be like because once you experience the success that God gives you, then you won’t go back to living without Him. If you have truly asked Him into your life, He will never leave you. You might walk away from Him for a time, but He is always there waiting for you to return.

Think about it….what if the Bible is true and everything that I have said is true? What will your eternity be like without Him?

Creation, Who did it?

It wasn’t an accident for sure. It did not happen because of random events or because “aliens” seeded our world with life. Regardless of the opinion of those in the scientific community, it is my belief that God Himself did create this universe and everything in it exactly the way it is spelled out in the book of Genesis. I know about the so-called debate that happened between those of opposing viewpoints this week and as scientists try to point to facts that they can hold in their hands, it seems that the evidence points toward their viewpoint.

But, God can create with His Word and He can do so in such a way that the whole universe appears to be older than it is. Remember, if you have read the book of Genesis, that Adam was created from the mud and given the breath of Life from God. It does not say that God spoke him into existence as a baby, he was formed as a full-grown man. When God created the great light to rule the day, it was formed as the sun that we see today.

There can be a debate on these things if you wish, you can dispute them all that you want. I really don’t care if you believe them or not, but God gave the account to Moses to write down and since He doesn’t lie, then it is the truth. Our world was created by God to be the world that He wanted to put us on, to live on, to nurture it and the life that He placed on it. Our responsibility is to seek Him and to do that which we are able to do for Him.

Yes, it is hard or nearly impossible for those who are not Christians to see and understand what God has given us outside the context of the One that has given  us everything  . Think about the gravity that holds the atmosphere here on Earth and the composition of the air that you breathe, all of these were done for life as God created it to be here.

I know that there are those who will dispute this and get all bent out of shape because of the “absolute” beliefs that I have because of my beliefs in God and His Word and that is fine. I have no problem with your opinion of me or my beliefs. The point which I am trying to get across is this: “What if the Bible and all of its claims are true?”; if you discount the possibility of any of it because you don’t want it to be true, then when Jesus comes back to judge the world, where will you be?

It won’t make any difference about the creation of the world if you choose to believe that everything evolved from a cloud of dust and gas into the solar system that we have today. The difference will be in your eternal life if you choose to reject Jesus and His effect on life itself! God loves each sinner in the world and He loved each of us from the beginning enough that He sent Jesus into the world to be the pure sacrifice which paid the price for your life.

Whether you choose to accept it or not is that which determines your eternity! God gives all, even angels, free choice to serve or not. Choose to serve Him and your eternity and the rewards which come with it are certain, choose not to serve Him and the punishment for eternity is also certain, but it is still your choice which determines your place in eternity.