Time….

We count it and watch it, some days it seems like we don’t have enough of it yet we waste it too. So, what do you intend to do with the time that you have? How much time do you have? How much of it have you thrown away with games and silly things that don’t give you any reward? We look at a new sunrise and think that we have all day to do things when actually we have already lost six hours of that day since midnight. During the spring and fall we get two equinoxes  which give us twelve hours each of daylight and night, but as Jesus said to His disciples: “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” John 9:4

I was curious about the hours and minutes and seconds that we have in a day so I am breaking that down here: In one twenty-four hour period there are 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds. We tend to use part of those for sleep of course, but the point is that our time is limited. We don’t know for sure how long we will live and yet we fritter it away as if we will have a century or more.

Life begins with our conception but our breathing life begins at birth and from that point on we begin to die physically. Of course for a couple of decades we don’t notice the breakdown of our cells and our bodies, if we are lucky or blessed to be born healthy. Some don’t get that blessing though and are born with built-in limitations, which can be a blessing or a curse depending on how we look at it as we grow. The thing to remember is that GOD DOESN’T MAKE JUNK!

Physical limitations, disabilities or whatever you may call them are just points where we need to learn to lean on God more in our daily lives. The apostle Paul had a thorn that he had to deal with while he was serving the Lord and he asked God to remove it three times, but God told him that “my grace is sufficient for you“. Paul had to learn to live with it, whatever it was and he did some mighty preaching with it until his execution.

Time is given to us in increments of seconds and minutes and hours and days and months and years, but we are never guaranteed a certain amount of time. We get our days just one at a time, and no more. This is why I try to tell people about Jesus and His mercy for your life, provided on the cross and through His resurrection so that our sins are paid for. All that we need to do is to claim this grace and mercy from God.

Once you do, then you can use the remaining days that you have telling others about Jesus in your life. We are given this time to do just that, to tell others about our Lord and Savior. This is God’s will for a Christian’s life. We all don’t have glorious and grand ministries like some on TV do. But, in telling others about Jesus we do have a ministry. Because, God loves all of His creation. He doesn’t like the sins that many seem prone to live in on a daily basis, but He loves the people anyway.

Living a sinful life is not pleasing to God, whether you are a CINO (Christian in name only) or a true, born again Christian. One who truly has had their life and heart changed by the Holy Spirit cannot comfortably commit sin because you are convicted of it when the thought enters your mind even before you do anything with that thought! I don’t mean that Christians are pure and sinless because nobody lived a life on Earth that way except for Jesus.

We can live a life sanctified by Him, washed in His blood, and our records have been wiped clean from that point on, but we will still say things, think things, and do things that are sinful. We can claim His forgiveness for those sins at the point of conviction because we are covered by His righteousness. As long as we don’t choose to go back into a life of sin and ignore the Spirit’s prompting us to stop. We are still His, but like putting a white cloth in the mud we have soiled our life and our soul. If you keep on in your sin, it will get easier to ignore the Spirit’s prompting each time until one day you won’t hear it or feel it at all.

But…God is still with you. He hasn’t left you, you are the one who moved. Come back to Him, seek Him out and He will forgive your sins and take you back. Just because you have gotten off the path, doesn’t mean that you can’t find it again. Give your life and your heart to Jesus and the rest of the journey won’t be easy but He will give you the strength to get through each minute…each second…of each day that is ahead of you.

Have you considered…eternity?

Your life here is not all that there is, we were created to have an eternity to go into after this life, but many people don’t consider that to be truth. Why? Because, they can’t see any of it or any of the rewards and work to be done for God’s Kingdom in it now! There are many teachers today on the Internet, in pulpits, on television who are teaching their “version of the gospel”, which Satan does as well. He has had many years to perfect his delivery of his gospel and just as he did when he tempted Jesus, he takes scripture from the Bible and either leaves a portion out or takes it out of context. Some preachers today do that too.

Their teaching is full of partial scriptures, bits and pieces, which don’t really make much Biblical sense unless they are taught in context with the scripture or passage or paragraph that they began in. A partial truth, leaving out a word or taking Scripture out of context, is a lie! A lie that sounds like it came from God’s Word, and it did but without the text around that verse, it can be made to say almost anything. This is how Satan used scripture, by picking a verse and using it to make his point…not God’s point.

Today, not just in America but all over the world, people are being killed or put in to prison for their belief in Jesus. The problem with this is that Jesus is the only solution to our problems, here and now and into eternity! Put down your “self”, bury him or her and take up the cross of Jesus! What does that mean? It means to put others ahead of you, to be kind to one another, to love one another with an unselfish love. The kind that doesn’t say, “what’s in it for me?”!!

Living this way is following the teachings found all through the Bible, not just what Jesus taught. God has always had the answer for our lives, we are just too stubborn to listen or even look for it in His Word! Then, sometimes, when we do find the answer that we were looking for we claim it as our answer not that it came from God. We don’t give Him the credit or the glory for what we find. This is exactly what most “self-help” books do, maybe not word for word because that is plagiarism, but the advice you see in them is exactly the advice you can find in the Bible.

Eternity is going to be there after this life, but it is the experience in eternity that people should be working now to ensure. If you follow your own ways or the ways of the world, and reject any or all of the teachings found in the Bible, then your eternity is going to be very different from a Christian’s eternity.

I know, many of you will say that I am being self-righteous about Christianity but I am not. My righteousness alone is not enough and yours isn’t either, as a Christian I claim the atonement and the righteousness of Jesus that He paid for on the cross! It was the “self-righteous” priests who had Him executed because they felt that they were going to lose their “position” with the people.

Before too long it is going to be more persecution, not just in America but all over the world and it will be against Christians just as it is in Muslim countries now. For many people the prospect of persecution will be enough to keep them from becoming a Christian. For the immediate future, I understand that, but think of your eternity. Once this life is over, however the end comes, you will be faced with that. Eternal unity with God and many friends in Heaven or separation from God in a place of torment and misery forever. Which would you rather endure since while you still live, you do have a choice?

I haven’t been here enough…

This blog was my first blog actually. It started over on blogger.com and I imported its content here a few years ago. I have been concentrating on my other Christian blog, thelivingmessage.com far more than I have here.

God’s love is for everyone, whether you believe in Him or not, it is still available to you. Jesus came so that we might all have eternal life in Heaven, if you aren’t interested in that then your spirit will live eternally in the darkness of hell. Truth is truth and its found in God’s Word. It can’t be undone or ignored just because you don’t want to believe it. We are all going to face a judgement one day, good or bad, whether you believe it here or realize at the judgement that what you have heard is real.

I am a pastor of a small church and I do try to bring the message from God’s Word every Sunday morning. Sometimes I will post those sermons here or on my other blogs, sometimes I don’t, it just depends on whether I wrote them down or not. We are getting very close to a time of great change that is coming, not only to America but the whole world.

The glory of God and His Kingdom will be shown on this world, whether you believe in Him or not.  Seek Him, while you are here because once you have breathed your last breath, there are no second chances. Your life and all of the opportunities for salvation have an expiration date just like I do, but when you die those opportunities are gone.

What do you believe?

Have you tried many different religions and not yet found the one that you are comfortable with? Have you gone to classes in yoga and felt strange afterward? Today, there are many, many different religions and belief systems which you can try out for a while and many of them actually seem to be saying the same thing, for the most part. Which is why, in my opinion, people seem so confused about religion and its place in our life. Why is it so important? Why is religion or any belief system important to us? Because God created us to need something or Someone in this way.

We tend to feel it as an empty place or feeling like something is missing, but we don’t really know what is missing or why we feel this way. I noticed it when I was a teenager and I had no idea what was missing. I thought at the time it was because my parents were divorced when I was really young but that wasn’t it. It took many years for me to really find out what I needed or rather Who I needed. Even when you find out about God and Jesus and try to put them in that place, you eventually realize that you can’t put them there.

It has to be a mutual call, a knock on your heart’s door so to speak. Then you can ask Jesus to come in and change your life and your heart. Once you do that, you will find that empty place is not empty anymore. If you were sincere in your decision to ask Jesus into your life then you will always have Him there regardless of where you are or what may be happening. God loves you and He wants you to be His representative to the world. All that you have to do is ask Him into your heart and ask His forgiveness for your life before He came into it.

The only rules that He asks you to follow is to follow Jesus in obedience by telling others about Him and what He has done for you and your life. There is no war to be fought, no people to be conquered, and He doesn’t force people to worship Him because forced worship isn’t real worship, because you can force someone to love you and that is what worship is! God does love you deeper and more completely than anyone and all that He asks is for you to return His love willingly.

Any relationship is this way, if it is based on true love, but some people think that God won’t love them unless they love Him first. That is backward because God loved ALL of us before He made this world that we live on, all that He expects is to be loved in return for the grace and mercy that we have been given! When we love Him in return it is because we were loved first!

Seek Him out in the Bible and learn of His ways because He loved the world and all of His creation before any of us were ever created or born into it.

Our country…

This was the land of the free and the home of the brave at one time. It still is the land of the brave because we have brave men and women in our Armed Forces who are doing what they do best to keep us free. The problem is that our freedoms, that they are fighting for even today, are being systematically taken away or changed so that we don’t have as much freedom anymore.

Life is changing bit by bit and it doesn’t seem to be getting better, it is getting more dangerous by the day.

Our only hope for any future lies with Jesus Christ! Putting your faith in Him will give you hope and a future, at least one in eternity and it will give us a chance at one thousand years of peace under the rule of Jesus. Life is precious to God and He cares for all of us, if we are to have a future then we should put our trust..our faith in the One Who created it all and holds it together in His Grace and power.

This is not a lengthy post, I only want to point all of those who read this toward our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is in Him that we have a future and our eternal destiny rests in His Grace and His love for us. Consider this when you look for a reason for tomorrow and a reason to live.

Would anyone ever think that you are a Christian?

Well? Could someone look at your life and the things that you do every day and tell that you are a Christian without you telling them? Do you frequent places of worship during the week, not just on Sunday? Does your weekly life show that you are a follower of Christ? Our country needs Christians who can stand up and show that their beliefs are real and not just words. Many people in the world and in our country can’t tell the difference between a Christian and someone who isn’t!

Do you think if your Christianity were put on trial in a court of law, would there be enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian? For many people, the answer to this question would be questionable. For some, there may be enough evidence to actually prove that they are Christians. But in the near future during the time of Tribulation, just having a Bible in your home may be enough to convict you whether you go to church or study it regularly or not.

But, just having a Bible in your home doesn’t make you a Christian. Going to church and Bible study doesn’t make you a Christian. Praying to God, if you are not a Christian, doesn’t make you a Christian unless it is a prayer of confession and submission to become a Christian. God loves you more than you can imagine, but He doesn’t push Himself into your life. You are not required to come to Him or give your heart to Him except for one purpose and that is to become more like Christ. Still, it is your choice.

Will you take that step of faith? Won’t you decide to make sure of your eternal place in God’s Kingdom? If you wish to serve Satan, ignore anything that you have read here and go on your way. He doesn’t care, because as long as he can keep you out of God’s Kingdom then you are already living in his. He doesn’t tell you that after you die, the eternity that is waiting for you is one of no forgiveness, no life, no parties, no light or water…and that its forever. He leaves out all of the fine print, until it’s too late.

Think about it.

 

Miracles

Do you believe in miracles happening today? Some people do because they have seen people healed when there was no chance that medicine could accomplish it. Others look at all of the problems in the world and think “Why bother? God doesn’t care anymore.”

Yes, He does. He has never stopped caring for the world and those in it. His grace for each of us today is for us to have the chance to come to know Him. He waits for us to decide to come into His Presence, and yet many are turning away because of apathy and mistrust and just plain tiredness.

Why do I say this? Because…it is true. Young people especially have turned away from God, even with the fancy churches and the concerts. Small churches which can’t afford those entertaining ways of getting your attention are losing people under forty by the thousands today. Why?

Because of boredom. In today’s world, where technology reigns supreme, people young and old just don’t get the wisdom in the Bible. It’s not flashy enough. It’s not loud enough and it doesn’t keep their attention long enough. Think about this for a moment.

Anyone born since 1980 has had video games, music videos, computers, cell phones (smart or not), and many other techno-gadgets in their lives at all times. None of this generation knows what it is like to be disconnected from family or friends because one way or another they have all had some form of communication available. Look in a crowd at a concert and see if you can count the number of screens lit up, even at a movie. Depending on the size of the crowd there will be hundreds if not thousands, so even in a venue where their attention is supposed to be focused on the stage or screen, they are usually focused on a small screen.

The only reason this doesn’t happen at my church is because it is in an area where there isn’t much cell coverage, so there isn’t any reason to look at the screen…no connection. That is also why the church is losing people in droves…no connection. How can you connect young people to a Savior and their Creator when they can’t touch Him or Google Him?

God cares for you and me. He loves each of us more than we can understand, and yet we latch on to doctrine and dogma made up by men. Just as those in the past did. The Law of Moses was held in high esteem, but it couldn’t save their souls. All that they Law could do was to point out that they couldn’t perform to perfection, that we can’t live or perform to perfection. The doctrine or discipline that some churches and their congregations cling to is no different, even though it is worded differently.

Man-made rules cannot be above God any more than we can be. His Way through Jesus is the only way to salvation, anything other than Jesus leads to death…the kind that never ends. Separation from God for eternity because of your choices, your choice, not because of any act or sin on your part except for the rejection of Jesus as your Savior. This is the unforgivable sin, and usually pride is the culprit which causes you to think that you can do better. That you can get into Heaven without Jesus.

Not possible. The door narrow and small in such a way that only you can get through with Jesus leading you in. Nothing that you have on Earth, whether it is money, power, fame or whatever it may be will help you be sinless and pure in heart enough to get into Heaven. Only through the blood of Jesus and your repentance of your sinful lifestyle whatever that may be will get you there. Some can wait until they are in the electric chair or the table to be killed by an injection in prison because they know the day and hour of their death. Most of us don’t have that luxury. Our death could come any time.

Seek Him in the Bible and pray that you can choose to follow Him for the rest of your days.

Time and pain

Pain brings to mind the time and the strength needed to handle it, no matter how hard it is. Time is something that we all seem to think we have plenty of, especially when we are teens. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it isn’t true. There never is plenty of time or too much time. There never is enough time for people to say ‘I love you’. Yes, it sounds sappy, but if that someone you love, is lost in a drive-by shooting or a wreck…where is your time now? It is gone and you can’t get it back.

Just as words said in anger can’t be taken back or un-said, bullets and wrecks and other sudden ways of dying can’t be undone. So what will you do? Have you considered your time on Earth? Have you lived say twenty years? Forty years? Sixty years? Eighty years? Have you been blessed with good health enough to live for an entire century? Yes, adding twenty years at a time brings time into perspective a bit. Now, what about your life? Has it been enjoyable and fun? Did you really enjoy it and not have much in the way of sadness and sorrow?

Most of us can’t answer that last question with anything except “no, not really”. Why is that? One reason is that we live in a world that is paying the price for the sins of the past. Yes, the sins of our world and the consequences of that sin have been around ever since the Garden. In truth, our world and every person on the Earth is paying that price and the consequences of past disobedience. As the Bible says, “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:22-23

The world groans because of the damage that has been done by Satan and his demons, his fallen ones, who are confined to the Earth and we are subject to them. They hate us because of their position and they know the consequences of their actions both in Heaven and for the destruction and death that they have caused here. All of the religions made by mankind, the evil committed by men in the past and now have been influenced by them in some way.

Mankind tends toward sinful behavior even without demonic influence, because it is our nature and we are born with it. That is not to say that we can’t do good things or be charitable, but for the most part we are doing those things for recognition, for pride’s sake, to make us feel good. Our time is short and we only have the life that we are given today to make a difference. Tomorrow is not given until you wake up in it and God is in charge of your time here, not you or your job or your family. It is up to His grace and His purpose whether you wake in the morning or not. If you have a part to play in tomorrow’s dealings for His purpose then you will live another day, if not then your time may be up tonight.

Pain, whether it is physical or emotional, is just a part of our lives. We have to live with it one way or another, but through God’s power and seeking Him in our lives we can have the strength to get past the painful times and enjoy the happy times. Seek Him, learn about Him through reading His Word and prayer because when you get to know the Creator better, then your life becomes easier and more useful to Him.

Time…

Years ago, before many of you on the Internet were even born, many people who were looking ahead to this time period said that we would be working 20 hour weeks and making more money. That we would have plenty of leisure time because of technology and the advances that came with it.

What happened to all of that TIME that we were supposed to be saving?

A song from when I was growing up in the late ’60’s and early 70’s, had a line in it that went like this: “Ti-i-i-ime is on my side. Oh, yes it is.” Well, when you are in your teens or twenties, you can easily say that because you likely do have more years ahead of you than behind you. But, what happened to all the time savers and the easy work that we were going to have? Computers and electronic mail systems were supposed to simplify things and make our lives easier and less stressful.

Do you feel any less stress these days? I don’t. Is there anything that we can do to get to the point where technology will solve all of our problems and give us that utopia that we were expecting? Absolutely NOT! Technology may make things worse than they are, but it won’t fix any of our human frailties or the human condition.

No amount of technology, new or old, genetic or artificial intelligence will ever fix our REAL problems. Only the second coming of Jesus will do that. He is coming soon, so be ready. If you aren’t ready, then you might consider getting to that point in your walk with Him. If you don’t believe anything that I say or what the Bible says, then I will pray for you that soon your eyes will open to the Truth.

God loves you and all who are on the Earth, but He isn’t going to wait much longer because the signs are coming together that are in all of the prophetic books of the Bible. Like a door which is about to close, time itself is counting down toward the closing of the age. When that comes, there will be no do-overs, no fix for your life’s neglect of learning or hearing the Word of God. That doesn’t mean that people won’t be able to come to Jesus during the last seven years on Earth, but with the persecution of Christians that will be happening, identifying yourself as a Christian could be a death sentence so many will opt for something else.

Eternity is a long time to pay for a decision which was not made because you were too busy or you just didn’t want to believe in Jesus. Hell was not created for us to spend eternity in, it was created for Satan who tried to overthrow God in Heaven! “Why would my lack of belief put me in the same place as Satan?” is a question that gets asked a lot.

The reason is that sin entered the world through Satan’s temptation of Eve and Adam. You are part of their line of descendants and you have sin imprinted upon your DNA. If you don’t believe me, see how many toddlers will own up to eating something or breaking something that they had been told not to. They will lie to your face with icing on their fingers and their faces and tell you that they didn’t eat that doughnut! You didn’t teach them to lie, they knew how to do it all on their own.

When we decide to not believe in Jesus when we have heard the sermon or read the story, then we are in the same camp as the fallen angels and Satan. If you continue in your sins, whether it is telling lies or stealing a pen from work or whatever it may be, you are still going against the commandments of God and are a sinner. You are counted as guilty right along with the rapists and murderers and all of the pedophiles and sex traders in the world. Sin is sin and carries the same weight in God’s court no matter how little it may seem against someone who has killed thousands of people in a genocidal massacre.

Consider that when you look at your life. Try to see yourself as God sees you, filthy and covered in sin and unrighteousness…unless you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Then your life and all of the sin in it is covered by His righteousness! When you are called forward to give account of your life, Jesus will be with you and give His testimony of your life and that all of your sins are covered with His blood and therefore, you belong to Him.

God is real and Jesus is the Way

In life and in death, Jesus is the Way to a life more abundant. I did not say a life of riches and wealth or fame, an abundant life is one that has hope, abundantly and steadfastly in Jesus! You might say to me, “Why can’t I be good enough to get to Heaven on my own initiative?” Because the Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. God had to kill animals in Eden to cover the sinful situation that Adam and Eve had gotten themselves into. Jesus died and shed His blood, as the Son of God, in order to cover the sins of the whole world. Everyone in the whole world is covered by His blood, all of your sins are covered by it, all of my sins are covered by His blood and it is offered to all to claim in belief and repentance with no other requirement than believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for them.

Simple faith and belief, like a child, is all that is necessary. When you feel the Spirit telling you that you need Him, that you need Jesus, don’t turn away. Don’t walk out on Him and the salvation that is being offered. God does love you, more deeply than you can know and He wants to call you, if you are willing to answer. The gods that are in temples all over the world will not help you. Belief in yourself and your ability to be a good, moral person is nice but it won’t take you into the gates of Heaven.

Doing all of these things, other than believing in Jesus, is like building a bridge over a huge river out of cardboard and paving it with paper. As long as the river is dried up and there isn’t any water (troubles) to cross, it may hold up pretty well for foot traffic. But, if there is a flash flood or lightning strikes it, your bridge is gone. Another analogy would be like standing on sand, it is fine and it feels good until the waves start raking it from under your feet. Then, you either go with it or you back away from it but it is no longer stable.

The only solid foundation for faith which can save your soul from hell, is Jesus Christ. Believe in Him and repent of your old ways, following Him by seeking Him in God’s Word every day. Pray about the things which are wrong in the world, ask Him to help you to understand the Bible and its wisdom. Look to Him for your strength in sickness and in health, on good days and bad because He is always near if you have asked Him into your life and into your heart. God and Jesus both know what you have done, when it was done and where. There is nothing hidden from them.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33