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.

Life and time

Each of us is given these from the moment we are born. How much of either we will enjoy is up to God. Life is our daily walk through our time here, sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is hard, at other times it is a blend of the two whether we enjoy it or not.

Why we live and learn the way we do is a question for God alone, not the doctors or even your parents. Life teaches us wisdom with enough time. Sometimes we learn from it and sometimes we need a refresher, but eventually we do get it.

Why am I writing a short piece on this topic today? I just felt reflective this morning, so feel free to use these words to inspire your own journey, your own learning. If, that is, you can spare the time to learn about Life.

The Life which I speak of here is the giver and sustainer of Life, Jesus Christ. Your life and mine depend upon Him or at least they should. Give Him a bit of your day each day and you will learn of the ways that He can teach you and the wisdom contained within His Words in the Bible. Whether you believe in Him or not, He is the One Who woke you this morning, gives you the strength to go through your day and the ability to interact with your world.

No part of our world or the universe could exist without Him, without His strength and His guidance because it is all under His direction and control! He is the Creator and sustainer of it all. Look up the protein which exists in your cells which is the “glue” which holds them together, it is called laminin and here is a picture of it.

I knowlaminin.jpg that it looks like a cross, but I think that He designed it just that way so that scientists will see His hand in our world and in each one of us. God loves each of us enough that we will never understand His love until we are in His Presence. There is no evolutionary reason that this molecule, this protein should look this way. It is this way because He designed it this way!

Your life and mine as well as the time that we have to enjoy it are given to each of us in order to allow us the opportunity to learn about Him and that we truly need Him. You can ignore Him if you wish, you can say that He is not real and that there is no hell or Heaven. New age believers think this way and they think that they are god but they are going to find Someone different when their life ends.

Seek Jesus out while you have the time to do so, because it is only¬†while you live that you are given the chance to ask Him into your life. Once this life…this time is over, there is no second chance.

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!

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.

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.

The truth of the Bible!

Emperors like Diocletian have decreed its extermination, atheists like Voltaire have railed against it, agnostics through the years have cynically sneered at it, and liberals strive to remove the miracles from the Bible. Materialists have simply ignored it. How is it that the Bible still stands after centuries of attempts to destroy it? Because the Bible is eternal, settled in heaven.

It is, very simply, God’s Word to mankind! Breathed by the Holy Spirit into the minds of men who wrote the words down so that we can benefit from its wisdom. There is no way of getting rid of its timeless wisdom or ignoring it in any way. You may do so, if you wish, but it will gain you nothing except a life of missed chances to be of any worth to the Kingdom of God. You can ignore it, but when you face your judgement in the presence of God, it will convict you of your ignorance and your reluctance toward the message that it carries.

It is a book of knowledge and power, and one which contains historical words of wisdom and the history of the Jewish people. It contains the story of creation, betrayal, murder and redemption, adultery, incest, and savage cruelty and slavery. But…it also carries a line of hope and love beyond measure and a promise that your life and mine can be made whole again regardless of the way we may have been before coming to Jesus!

God’s Word contained in the Bible has all of these elements in it as well as the hope that we can come back into the perfect relationship that was intended at the beginning. For that, we shouldn’t give up on its wisdom or dismiss it as an old book which is outdated for our time. We should use it, every day to bring new meaning and purpose into our lives and to learn the wisdom contained in its pages as well. If for no other reason than to teach it to our children and our grandchildren, that is why it exists.

God gave all of the books of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, to us for instruction and learning, for wisdom and for the Truth that it contains. We cannot ignore it or deny its existence and we can’t just throw it away. It is a Holy Book and truly should be treated as such. In reality, we should treat the Bible at least as necessary as our cell phones which people can’t live without these days. We should carry it with us every day and miss it if we find out we have left it behind. Its wisdom is necessary for our existence and we should use it and treat it as being important to us, especially if we are born-again Christians!

Although today people who don’t believe the words contained in it are very vocal with their opinions, some are even belligerent to the point of being rude and obnoxious. Just because the Word of God tells the absolute Truth and has been the model for much of our nations laws is no reason to be this way. It does step on people’s toes a bit because it brings to light their sins and their nature that is opposite of the Word of God and many people can’t handle their faults being brought into the light this way. The Bible is still and will always be the Word of God!

It has been established in Heaven and the words in it were given to the writers by the Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity. The Word of God, contained in the Bible, has been around for over three thousand years and it is NOT going away, EVER!! You can get rid of them, burn them, destroy them, but the Word is still around in the hearts and minds of Christians and Jewish people! These two faiths contain the entirety of the Bible and the Word of God cannot be destroyed and never will be, regardless of the feelings of many who don’t go along with its words and beliefs.