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!

Jesus, in all of the books of the Bible

In Genesis he’s the Seed of the Woman.
In Exodus he’s the Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus he’s the Scapegoat.
In Numbers he’s the Serpent lifted up in the Wilderness.
In Deuteronomy he’s the Cities of Refuge.
In Joshua he’s the Scarlet thread on Rahab’s house.
In Judges he’s the Perfect Judge.
In Ruth he’s the Kinsman Redeemer.
In I Samuel he’s the Trusted Prophet.
In 2 Samuel he’s the True Son of David.
In 1 Kings he’s the Promise Keeper.
In 2 Kings he’s the Jealous God.
In 1 Chronicles he’s our Reigning King.
In 2 Chronicles he’s our Deliverer.
In Ezra he’s the Faithful Scribe.
In Nehemiah he’s the Rebuilder of Broken Walls.
In Esther he’s Mordecai at the Gate.
In Job he’s My Redeemer Who Lives Today.
In Psalms he’s the Lord who is my Shepherd.
In Proverbs he’s our Wisdom.
In Ecclesiastes he’s our True Satisfaction.
In Song of Solomon he’s the Beautiful Bridegroom.
In Isaiah he’s the Suffering Servant.
In Jeremiah he’s the Righteous Branch.
In Lamentations he’s the Weeping Prophet.
In Ezekiel he’s the Son of Man.
In Daniel he’s the Fourth Man in the Furnace.
In Hosea he’s the Faithful Husband.
In Joel he’s the One Who Restores.
In Amos he’s the Burden Bearer.
In Obadiah he’s the Mighty Judge.
In Jonah he’s the Foreign Missionary.
In Micah he’s our Peace.
In Nahum he’s the Avenger.
In Habakkuk he’s the Lord in His Holy Temple.
In Zephaniah he’s the Lord Mighty to Save.
In Haggai he’s the Lord of Hosts.
In Zechariah he’s the Fountain of Cleansing.
In Malachi he’s the Sun of Righteousness.
In Matthew he’s the Promised Messiah.
In Mark he’s the Faithful Servant.
In Luke he’s Friend of Sinners.
In John he’s the Son of God.
In Acts he’s the Ascended Lord.
In Romans he’s the Justifier.
In 1 Corinthians he’s our Righteousness.
In 2 Corinthians he’s the God of All Comfort.
In Galatians he’s the Redeemer from the Curse of the Law.
In Ephesians he’s the Head of the Church.
In Philippians he’s the All-Sufficient Christ.
In Colossians he’s the Fullness of God.
In 1 Thessalonians he’s the Lord Coming Down from Heaven.
In 2 Thessalonians he’s the Judge coming with Blazing Fire.
In 1 Timothy he’s our Mediator.
In 2 Timothy he’s our Master.
In Titus he’s the Blessed Hope.
In Philemon he’s the One Who Paid Our Debt.
In Hebrews he’s Our Great High Priest.
In James he’s the Judge Standing at the Door.
In 1 Peter he’s the Chief Shepherd.
In 2 Peter he’s the Morning Star.
In 1 John he’s the Word of Life.
In 2 John he’s the Son of the Father.
In 3 John he’s the Truth.
In Jude he’s the Lord Coming with countless thousands of his saints.
In Revelation he’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

God loves you!

YoushallbesavedBelieve it or not, He really does! Otherwise, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to pay for our sins in the first place. We are all sinners, backsliders, liars, thieves, adulterers, and murderers to some extent but the sins have been paid for, the penalty for each of them has been paid for by Jesus! All you have to do is realize that you need Him and that your lifestyle is sinful in some way then turn away from your sins and ask Him to come into your life and give you the victory over sin!

Is it a quick fix? Sometimes but sometimes it takes a little time, but with Jesus in your corner what do you have to fear? He is the Alpha and the Omega, our Creator and the King of Kings! He is over ALL of creation because He created it all! The good, bad, the ugly and the indifferent but He created all of it!

The children’s song, “Jesus loves me”, is so true because He does and He wouldn’t have come to pay for our sin debt if He did not love each of us. So, why do people seem to so against Him and His love? To me, it doesn’t make much sense at all. Pick between two different people to be your parent–One Who loves you beyond your ability to measure, and the other who tells you that he loves you but can’t help you in any situation requiring the power of God. Why? Because Satan doesn’t know how to heal and he can’t. He doesn’t care about your soul except to keep you from giving your heart to Jesus! He will laugh at you when you are in hell with him because you believed his lies!

How did you hear his lies if you went to church all of your life? By not studying the Word of God, by making God fit into your idea of Who He is (making your own god), by thinking that you are righteous because of your length of time in the church. All of these and more will send many people to hell, even though they will think that they are going to Heaven.

God loves you but He cannot be put in a “box of your own making”. You have heard people say something like “My God wouldn’t do that!” “He wouldn’t send you to Hell for …..”; no, your “god” wouldn’t, but if your version doesn’t line up with the One in Scripture then we aren’t talking about the same God!

Jesus came to do the Father’s will while He was with the disciples during His ministry, and He was just as much a part of the Trinity while here as He was in Heaven! Yes, Jesus was born of a woman but His nature was of His Father not that of sinful man. So, He was just as much Creator and God as He was man!

In John 3:16,17,18 it says:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”

Believing in Jesus isn’t very hard to do. Read John and the book of Romans completely, then if you don’t want to believe or you don’t find anyone to believe in through those verses of Scripture…then all I can do is pray for you. God does love you and He has shown it through His Son…all that you have to do to have eternal life is to repent of your sins and believe in Jesus. That’s it! A child can understand it.

God wins!

There are many people who are saying that Christianity is losing ground to new religions and to old ones that are seeing new converts. The “falling away” actually hasn’t happened yet, it may be beginning but there is more to come. Why would I say this on a blog which usually expounds on God’s Word and His way to salvation? Because it is in His Word that we find out about it in the first place.

There are many temptations and other religions which will entice people away from Christianity and it seems that many are “taking the bait” today. The problem with this is eternal and many of them don’t realize this, or they don’t care. Consider for a moment that there is an eternity waiting for you on the other side of death. Where will you spend it?

God cares about all of you, whether you are a Christian believer or not. This is why Jesus was sent to fulfill the purpose of God when He gave Himself as the ransom for our sin debts! The price for ALL of us, no matter who or where you are or what you may have done in your life HAS BEEN PAID! Jesus paid it in full on the cross!

Nothing that you or I can do will aid in our salvation or our entrance into Heaven, yet many seem to think that we should “help” God save us in some way. Do you really think that the Creator of all things NEEDS our help? That would be like asking an ant to help build your house, it would be of no use whatsoever and neither can we. Even if the ant could understand you and attempted to help, what could it do in the building of your house? Not much at all, if anything.

That is how we are in “helping” God…we can’t and He doesn’t need us to do so. Consider standing before a gigantic being, one that doesn’t need you and could crush you easily. If there was a stone about eight feet in diameter and two feet thick which needed to be moved, could you do it on your own? Of course not, but the being which is standing next to you would have no trouble at all moving this stone and he needs no help from you. I am not speaking of a giant such as Goliath from the story of David, I am talking about one who is about twenty or thirty feet tall, that stone would be like a rock to for him.

In other words, your entrance into Heaven is already paid for, the place that you could live forever is already furnished and waiting and all that you have to do is realize that you need Jesus in your life. So, seek Him out and ask Him to come into your heart and save you from an eternity without Him. Think about it from our world’s viewpoint: if you found out that you had an account with ten million dollars in it and a very nice house already furnished with three cars in the garage which were your dream cars and all you had to do was ask for it and accept it…would you? Of course you would!

The only difference between the life that you would have in my last illustration and the one where you accept Jesus as your Savior is that eternal life begins when this life ends. You won’t be able to show your mansion to anyone unless they are saved too. The biggest difference from my point of view is that the money, the house and the cars are all temporary because as soon as you take possession of them, that night you will die.

I’ll get back to you…

How would this attitude feel if you had to put up with it every week or so? It is amazing that God’s patience with us has lasted so long. Especially in light of the fact that the world that He created didn’t last as long before the flood as it has since Jesus’ resurrection! People go to church or to synagogue each week and then go home and act as if they never met the Creator!

While it is true that we don’t meet Him face to face in our religious meetings each week, we are supposed to be seeking Him out to find out Who He really is and get to know Him better. But…do you? We leave our worship services with a vague notion of Who He is or Who Jesus is IF our teacher or preacher is teaching from God’s Word. It seems that many of us go out the door and mostly forget what we have heard or what we have read about in our Bibles!

It is as if the “meeting” that we attend each week is just a meeting of other people who are religious about meeting at this place and time. It seems that our reason for going to church is to be seen by others and not to learn about why we come to worship or even Who it is that we are coming to worship! We pray and sing a few songs and listen to our teacher/preacher telling us stories from his perspective or sometimes from the Bible and then we go home thinking that we have been taught what we need to know.

So let me ask you this: What did you learn about Jesus on Sunday? Do you remember what the sermon was about or the scripture that it was taught from? Did you even tell anyone about what you learned at church and invite them to come and hear about the man, Jesus, who is the Savior of us all?

Some of you did, many more who attended church this past weekend did not. Some even sat with an earphone from your iPod or iPhone stuck in your ear or you just tuned the sermon completely out.

“I’ll get back to you” is a phrase that is used in many areas of life but it shouldn’t be used when you are speaking to or learning from God and His Word! Why? Because you might not get back. The sinner’s prayer is easy to say but it has to come from a sincerely broken heart, one that knows that it is a sinner and that it has sinned and that it needs God, it needs Jesus! You can recite it just as many of us learned to do with the “Pledge of Allegiance” when we were young, although they don’t do that anymore because they don’t want to offend anyone.

The sinner’s prayer goes something like this:

Jesus, I know that you are Lord of Heaven and Earth. I know that you came here to die for my sins, and you proved yourself as the Son of God by rising from the dead after being crucified. I am a sinner and I need You for my redemption. Jesus, I accept you into my life and ask for your forgiveness for me.  Amen.

That is all it takes. If you know that you need Him don’t “get back to Him”, ask Him to come into your heart and He will be there forever.

Suffering..

God, unlike some of the sermons that are heard and preached, doesn’t allow you to suffer. Yes, He is in control. Yes, He told Satan to test Job and Peter but His Spirit was there with them even through all that they went through. God gave them the strength to go through what they had to suffer but He did NOT cause their suffering. God’s only reason behind the testing was to prove to Satan the faith that His servant, Job, had in Him.

We are not made to suffer by a loving God. Jesus did not make Peter suffer, though He did tell Peter that Satan had asked to “sift him as wheat“. He also told Peter that He had prayed for his strength to stand against his sifting. Peter failed because he denied Jesus three times, though truthfully Jesus had also told Peter ahead of time that he would do this as well. Our God and our Lord know us better than we know ourselves, we may think our faith is strong only to find that is not the case in the time that we face a trial.

The most positive point that I can give you here is that after Jesus was resurrected, He forgave and restored Peter. Afterward, Peter became one of the most faithful of His disciples.

We can too! IF we will learn to give our hearts and our faith to God completely, unashamedly and without reserve! This kind of commitment is not impossible, couples who are committed to each other in marriage do it. So, why can’t we give this kind of service and commitment to our Lord and Savior when He gave His life for us?

True, He knew that He could take His life up again but His human body still had to endure the suffering and the pain of the scourging and the cross! That part of Him that was God, had to endure something worse…the separation from His Father during the time on the cross! Something which He had never had to experience from eternity past! A suffering that we, as Christians, won’t have to endure. Those who refuse to believe in Him and live their lives for Him will endure that separation forever, tormented by the fact that their belief in Jesus could’ve saved them from it.

That is the punishment of hell. Yes, there may be a lake of fire. It is mentioned in Scripture, weeping and gnashing of teeth are also mentioned. The torment most grievous will be the separation from God and everything that is good and light and cool. Consider this, search the Bible for your answers, seek out Jesus while you still draw breath because when you die…there are no do-overs, no second chances, no re-spawn to life! That’s it!

What will you do with your life? What are you expecting in eternity? Not believing in eternity now will not change the fact that God says there is an eternity after this life. Make sure of yours while you can.

Blessing and favor

Life that we live never really seems to be one of blessing and favor, yet we can’t see it. Why? It is because few people can discern which is the blessing and favor and the trials that are required in your life to get to that point. No, I am not saying that you have to suffer to be blessed, but sometimes we feel that way because we thought we had the best. The best house or car or something that is accepted by the world as a blessing, yet when we lose it or it is taken from us we feel that we are being put through all sorts of trials and trouble.

If you will recognize that God gives blessings to those who joyfully recognize the One who can provide greater blessings and more than you could have expected. God is the Creator of the whole universe! There are more gold molecules in space than we could use in this world and God owns ALL of it! Don’t you think He could provide even a little for you and even a little from God is more than we know what to do with!

God can take five loaves of bread and two fish and feed 5,000 men not including the women and children, approximately fifteen thousand people if they had only one child each. Since He can do that, don’t you think that your tithe or offering given in joy and with faith in Him can multiply into more than you could ever need to accomplish His purposes in your life and ministry? He can do it, if you are willing and if you are not looking for a hand-out but with intentions grounded in the Word of God to do greater things than you could before!

Your best, meaning your big house or your Mercedes, is nothing compared to God’s best for you. A big house or a fancy car are things which the world recognizes as markers of a successful life, but that is not the way that God sees success. He sees success as helping those in need, giving to those who don’t have enough, making sure that someone who has very little has enough to live without worry. In other words, God wants you to be blessed so you can bless others…not just buy stuff for yourself.

We celebrate the birth…

Nativity-29Though many are more into the commercial aspect of Christmas these days, we truly should be celebrating the birth of our Savior. But, what about the love that He expressed from God toward all of us thirty years or so later. What was it that brought Him to Jerusalem at Passover to be offered up as a perfect lamb for the sins of the world?

He did it because of love. The love for mankind that He had and that He had seen expressed through the Father since Creation. He did it because His Father sent Him to the world to show the love of God to mankind. Everyone seems to look at the Jewish high priests who were scared of Him and blames them for getting Jesus crucified but they were only part of the equation.

God had put all of the parts in motion when He told Eve and Adam that the Seed of the woman would come one day and crush the serpent’s head. Though God had known that it would be necessary for this to happen even before He said “Let there be light!”. Nothing in the universe takes God by surprise because He is in control of it all, whether we agree with Him or like how He does things or not.

God looked into time before it started counting and He saw you and me and He knew that we needed a Savior. The only One that could fill that requirement and the sacrifice that would be needed was the Son and He would have to come as a baby born of a woman by God’s Spirit. No Earthly man could fulfill the requirement for a Savior, only One Who had the nature of God Himself, unstained by the sins of previous generations.

What was it that held Jesus on the cross? Many would say that it was the Roman nails of which there were three. Some would say that He was put there because His people rejected His teachings and His offer of salvation. The truth is that it was love which held Him there. He had more love and compassion for His people, not just the Jewish people but ALL of us, than He could express in His life.

So, with His death He provided a way for all of us to be saved through belief in Him and His life. Also, the message which He brought to us through His teachings and His disciples which the church is supposed to be taking to the rest of the world until He comes again. His birth brought joy into the world because of God’s love for man. His death and resurrection brought salvation to us through our belief in Him and His love for us.

What more could we ask for? A perfect world? We wouldn’t be satisfied with it. All the money we could ever need? It would be nice for a while, but ultimately if everyone on Earth had all that they needed, they would still want more. We are offered eternity through Jesus’ life, burial and resurrection if we will accept it humbly and believe in Him. There is no greater gift that we could be given than that.

Two roads

In life, there are two roads which seem to be heading to the same place. One of them is much easier and wider because it gets far more traffic. It is worn down and has few rocks and no weeds growing in it or around it. There are many rest stops all along this road which will allow you to sit back and take life easy until you get your bearings again. There are also many places to be refreshed and get a bite to eat all along this road. All of these attractions are beautiful and bright and inviting, never judgmental and with very few, if any, rules that you would find offensive regardless of your lifestyle preferences.

Most of these places along this highway will cater to your every whim and many will provide you with nearly everything that you need to “drown your sorrows” or numb the pain. Actually it looks an awful lot like the strip in Las Vegas except that this strip goes all the way to the end of your life and every other person’s life who finds themselves walking on this pathway. Problems don’t usually happen to people on this road, this pathway, until you get close to the end of your life. It doesn’t really matter what age that may come because the ones running all of the entertainment places also have an intimate knowledge into your life.

One thing that will not be found on this road, at least not an abundance of them, is places of worship. Oh, there are places where you can worship any number of gods or deities that you have encountered along the way but there will be very few churches. They are off the road so you have to get off the path and get on a side road or a trail that goes to them intentionally. Have you ever been on this road? Do you know people on this road today?

The road that I am speaking of leads to nowhere really. It goes to a place of darkness and despair, where there is no light, no water, no Life at all. But while you are on that road, it looks like the most lively and best path that you could take…until you come to the end of your life. Whether you end your life in suicide or at a young age or if you live to be 100, this road takes a sharp turn away from the lively lights and easy feeling. This road leads to hell!

If you happen to get drawn onto a path that leads to a church, it may have obstacles and thistles along the way but the love that you feel when you get there is like nothing on the other road. God’s love is much different from the pleasures that were found on the easy road, the wide road. God loves you with a love that is True and Real and it comes from His Heart, the Creator Himself. He has loved you since the beginning. Not just the beginning of time, but even before then. If you stay long enough and listen to the Word preached at this church, you might decide that you want to follow Jesus the rest of the way.

The road which leads away from the church is still your life, but it is a new life of following Christ. This road is much narrower than the other road and it isn’t as flashy. There is much less traffic and a lot fewer people on this road. You will also notice that it isn’t as easy as the other road to walk on because there will be places which will tempt you to get off of this path. You may meet people who tell you they have found a better way to get where you are going, but they are just taking you back to the other road by a different path. The only common thing that this road has is churches and you will find them all along the way.

The real difference between these two roads is their destination. The broad, easy pathway leads to an eternity of misery, pain and suffering because you are outside the  Love of God and in outer darkness and hell. The narrow path with its winding way and fewer attractions leads to Life everlasting with Jesus in Heaven. There will be no pain or suffering there, no tears or sorrow either. Eternity there will be a continuous joy and full of the Love of God. So….which road will you choose?

You are valuable!

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, said “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” I used to wonder what in the world He was speaking of…and now I know. Think of it this way if you can, picture all of the wealth of the entire world! The oil fields, all of the gold and platinum and silver, all of the diamonds and emeralds and rubies and sapphires that you can imagine, all of the real estate and mansions of every nation on Earth…and God considers your soul worth MORE than all of that. Why?

Because, NONE of that wealth will buy your way into Heaven! It is worthless compared to the worth of your soul…just yours! There are billions of people on Earth and God considers just one worth more than the entire wealth of the world! That is why He sent Jesus to die for us, all of us, but He would’ve sent Him even if there was only one more person who would accept Him. Isn’t that AWESOME!!!

God loves you and me and every person on Earth. He doesn’t love the sins that we commit though like using His name as a cuss word or using drugs or alcohol in an abusive way. There are many more sins than this but you know what I’m talking about. You are loved and valued by the Creator and He extends His grace and His love to you every day. You have a chance to accept Jesus as your Savior, while you live here, the problem is that many people think that they have plenty of time to “get right with God”.

That is a lie from Satan! You may be in a wreck tomorrow. You may have a heart attack tonight or tomorrow. You can’t “get right” after you die! The decision is yours but it has to be made as soon as possible! Then, read the Bible and study it because it has instructions for your life and how to live it! Trust in Jesus and His atonement for you because that is all that is required. Baptism is good, confessing your sins is good, but giving your heart to Jesus and believing in Him is what opens the door. The thief on the cross couldn’t get baptized and he didn’t have a chance to witness to anyone or confess his sins…all he did was believe that Jesus was Who He claimed to be, and Jesus said that he would be with Him in Paradise today!

God doesn’t want you to spend one day in hell, but Satan does because he wants to take you away from God’s presence! Life is only in the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings, Jesus the Son of God! Ask Him into your life today!