Psalms…do they matter anymore?

The entire book of Psalms is quite big compared to other books of the Bible, but they contain comfort, advice, wisdom, and praise. All of the other books of the Bible contain those things as well, but not as well understood as those in the Psalms. Do we need them today? Do they matter to you? Yes, we need their wisdom and comfort and truly the Psalms should matter to all of us, especially those who claim to be Christians.

God gave the words and the wisdom to David who wrote most of them and to the other writers as well, so why not acknowledge His involvement in His Word? He inspired the writers of the entire Bible and He still inspires writers today. Many Christian writers don’t come by their wisdom that they impart to us through books or blogs by their own knowledge. College degrees don’t impart wisdom, they impart knowledge to the extent that you can absorb it.

My degree is in Clinical Laboratory Science which is totally UN-related to what I write here.

Psalms has helped me to get through the early months of depression that I have been going through and I am sure that God’s Word will provide much more comfort as time goes by. Despite what some agnostics feel or believe or rather don’t believe, God does exist and one day they will bow down and confess that He is Lord.

Why do I think this? Because the Bible tells me that it will happen! Time has gone by for the past couple of thousand years and He hasn’t returned BUT when He does…the skeptics will understand and they will tremble! Because they didn’t believe when they should have.

Psalms is a wonderful book and it has an abundance of wisdom in its chapters and it is useful for wisdom for life and being able to make it through many problems. But, you will never know that the wisdom is there unless you read it. Just as the book of Proverbs is an excellent book for living life and for business too, you will not realize it unless you read it. The entire Bible itself, from Genesis to Revelation, is a wonderful book of historical facts, wisdom, laws, love, and prophecy. Yes, there are times that there are wars, death, plagues, incest, and a whole lot of things that demonstrate that the humans that are written to by the prophets are just that…human. We still have all of those things and more today, but the message that is contained in the words of the Bible is that there is hope and it is in the form of Jesus Christ.

He is spoken of from beginning to end, not only of the book of Psalms but of the entire Bible itself. Life is lived through the Bible, through the entirety of the Psalms. We can see the hope that is spoken of hundreds of years before He is born. He is Life and He is Lord.

The very idea that is being tossed around in the world today is that Jesus was just a man, a prophet, a teacher and nothing more. He was foretold to be the Son of God and He was and is the Son of God. Belief in Him is necessary for Christians, not so much for everyone else. But, the demons believe in Him, Satan believes in Him. They know Who He is and why He came, they just chose not to obey Him as the other angels do.

I know, all of you who don’t believe in God don’t believe in any of these other “beings” either. Well…tough, because one day, if you don’t change your mind and finally believe in Jesus as the Christ, you will get to meet them all. Your meeting won’t be a happy one, nor will it be one that is a brief one either. It will be for an eternity. Read the Bible, the Psalms, the prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel and then Revelation. If you still don’t believe, then I am sorry.

Love…what is it?

In our societies and the cultures all over the world today, love is expressed in many different ways. Some of it is expressed in the way that we understand and sometimes it is expressed  far differently. Have you been exposed to real, honest, true love? The kind which would do anything for you without expecting anything in return?

We are not wired that way. Most of us want something in return for our affection, our love, especially when it is given to someone else. Is it possible for us to really know what unselfish love is? For the most part, the love of a parent for their children is that. We love our children, regardless of what they do just because they are our children. We usually love our spouses the same way because that is the way we are commanded to love them by God. We are to love our spouse as Jesus loves the church.

Do you feel this way toward your family…your wife or husband and your children? I pray that you do. I am not trying to bring judgement on you or anyone that you know, I am just stating that Jesus commanded us to love each other as He loved the church and us. Because there is nothing that we could ever give to God in return for His love except by giving our love to Him. Isn’t that what we all desire? To be loved as much or more than we love.

It is impossible for us to understand the depth of God’s love for each one of us because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. He is the Creator and we are the created. God is love and He expresses His love in ways that we can see and feel by giving us our lives to live, and the warmth of the sun on our faces. Every breath that you take is given to you by Him…allowed by Him, so that you can bring glory to His name by honoring Him in your life.

Do we do this at all today? Many people don’t. Because God has been taken out of every school, prayer has been taken out of school, even reading the Bible seems to be forbidden in school during free time. This cannot be kept up in the long run! Why? Because, when you forget God and take His Word and wisdom away from people as they are learning, then you have people who don’t have a moral center to guide them in life! They don’t know what or Who they are supposed to base their decisions on or around, so they use their own “wisdom” or some philosophy that they learned in school or college. They might be listening to someone who considers themselves to be more than they are, someone leading people down a dangerous path!

“Many false teachers and so-called “prophets” will come during the times before the end of the age”; this is a paraphrase of something that Jesus said to His disciples when He was telling them of this time that we are living in. Look it up in the Bible! Read it with an open mind and a prayer so that God can show you what is truth and what isn’t. No one knows the day or the hour that the end will come, but God Himself, but it will come. Be vigilant and search for God while you can!

Can God use you for His purposes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where are you?

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

How many times have you said that?

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

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

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

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

He loves you deeply and never leaves you alone.

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

Do you know?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Belief, what does the Bible say?

How many times does the word “believe” or one derived from it show up in the Bible? The word or one with believe inside it, appears 249 times in the Bible. You would be astonished at how few times that it shows up in the Old Testament though. I did the research for this using the search function inside the King James Bible on my Kindle Fire, so the results are what came up in that search. Some other searches may show more, some may show less so don’t tear up my results because they are different from yours. Just telling you where I got my information because it may not be what you might find elsewhere.

In Exodus, it shows up six times. That is all of the times that the word believe or believeth is present in the book of Exodus, the chronicle of Israel’s journey out of Egypt and on the way to becoming a nation..

In the book of Numbers, it only shows up one time and that is in chapter 14. Why does belief or believe not show up any more than this? God is the only One who knows that answer.

In the book of Deuteronomy, the word only shows up one time in chapter one. Strange isn’t it? A fundamental word that goes along with and that the Christian faith hinges on seems to be absent from the very books that were written at a time when belief should have been easy because of the miracles being done by God for the people of Israel.

In the Christian Bible, the next time that it shows up is in the book of 2 Kings in chapter seventeen and it is only present that one time.

The next time is in 2 Chronicles in and it shows up twice in chapter twenty. Then once more in chapter thirty-two.

After that, is shows up three times in the book of Job, once in chapter nine and twice in chapter thirty-nine.

It also shows up in Proverbs in chapter 26 once, and it isn’t referring to belief in God even then.

Then it makes an appearance twice in Isaiah in chapter seven and in chapter forty-three.

In the Old Testament, the word only shows up twice more after this. Once each in Jeremiah chapter 12 and once in Habakkuk chapter 1.

So, altogether in the Old Testament believe or a word derived from it shows up a total of 20 times. Even during the time of their liberation from Egypt when God was doing so many miracles and wonders, belief or believe never came up much and out of the thirty-eight or thirty-nine books in the Old Testament, depending upon which Bible you have, the word “believe” only shows up twenty times, why?

The New Testament seems to have most of the occurrences of this word. Why? Because belief was and is necessary along with faith in the One that we believe in, Jesus.

In Matthew alone believe shows up nine times!

In Mark it shows up 18 times, almost as many as in the entire Old Testament!

In Luke, believe shows up nine times, but in the book of John alone it shows up 94 times! Now, this sounds like a lot and in some results that I have searched through it showed up only forty-three times.
That is because some searches on the Internet Bible boards only show exactly the word “believe”, while the search that I did shows it and the word of believeth as well because I was searching through the King James Bible.

The point that I am making is that John’s gospel and the books written by him all focus on our belief in Jesus and in Who He was and Who He is. Yes, the demons of Satan and Satan himself believe in Jesus but they don’t have the same belief as we do. They will not bow to Him nor will they serve Him because they have chosen to be against Him and against God. So, how many times have we charted the word “believe” so far? At this point, only 150 times between the Old and New Testaments up to the book of John. So, there are about ninety-nine more occurrences of the word believe or believeth in the New Testament.

Why so much emphasis on belief? Believing in Jesus doesn’t save your soul from hell does it? It is a start, but belief alone doesn’t do it. The demons who serve Satan believe in God and Jesus because they knew them before they chose to rebel against them. Yet, their belief is just knowledge of God and Jesus and Who they are. It is knowledge like you get from school and from the books in school…it is only head knowledge, nothing more. Their belief never went into their hearts to change them, that can only happen to us as Christians, but the transformation is not instant nor is it complete on the day that you accept Jesus as Savior.

Being a Christian is a process that begins with belief in Jesus and in His message for our lives and taking that message into your heart, striving to become more like Jesus daily. What does that mean? Asking forgiveness for your sins by confessing what you have done and accepting the fact that God forgives you because of your decision to accept Jesus as your Savior is just the beginning of your walk with Him. Searching through the scriptures for references to Jesus is a wonderful exercise that will increase your faith in the truthfulness of God’s Word, but it will also humble you because you will find that God has loved us, not just Israel, for an eternity. He has known each person and how they will choose to live their lives since before the world began.

That is why belief in Who the Trinity of the Godhead is important to your salvation, because all three Persons of the Trinity are involved in your salvation every day. Belief in Jesus is the first step, accepting Him as your Savior is the second step, confession of your sins is another step along the road of becoming a Christian. God sent Jesus to do the work of reconciling mankind to Himself by being the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins, which He did. Then, the Holy Spirit, which is another part of the Trinity, comes into your life when you are saved and teaches you while you search for the Truth. So, the entire Person of the Trinity is involved in your becoming a fruitful Christian, not just Jesus.

Please forward this to anyone that you know that needs to come to Jesus. It is important because God thinks that they are important and that you are important. We all have a part to play in God’s plan, some may have a small part and some may have a bigger part. Just as the different parts of our body do their jobs, we as Christians need to do our job regardless of the role that we play in God’s plan and His Kingdom.

Give God the Glory that He deserves, because I cannot continue doing this alone. I am not alone of course, I have Him and His Spirit to guide me and you do too. The words that I have put here don’t come from my mind alone, but from His. I am just the messenger, but don’t disregard the message.

How to begin….

This year is coming to a close and a new one is beginning at midnight, so what can we do to make sure it is a good one? Is there anything that each person can do, big or small, that will make this year better for us and for the world around us? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Have a more positive attitude toward life
  2. See the world as your ministry, whether you are a Christian or an atheist, and not as an enemy
  3. Do something for someone that you don’t know without expecting anything in return, regardless of how small or how big it is
  4. Give your time and energy to your family more than you do to your job

Read God‘s Word at least three times a week, one chapter at a time, before you begin any of the suggestions above. They are not in any particular order, they are just suggestions, but the reading of God’s Word is the key to all of them. It will give you insight and wisdom to follow through the days and weeks to come.

Why do I advise even an atheist to read God’s Word? Because it is far more powerful than my words are and because they need to get to know the One that they claim doesn’t exist. Whether they get to know Him personally or not is not my concern, although I think that they need Him and should get to know Him. God knows whether they will decide to believe in Him and ask Him into their lives or not, regardless of their belief or lack of it.

So, what will your year be like? Will it be filled with money and all  sorts of adventures? Will you get married this year and embark on a new life with someone? Will you give your heart to Jesus and walk with Him in a new life that can be fruitful for His kingdom and glory? All of these things, these possibilities are waiting for you but it is your choice which ones you will go after. Some offer rewards here and now, some offer companionship and love and a life that can be better than it was before. At least one possibility for your life offers rewards which can never be taken away and will last into eternity regardless of what your life on earth turns out to be.

So, which one will you seek?

Consider the birds…

I recently read an interesting testimony from a Christian man who owned a construction company. He was losing sleep worrying about some financial problems he faced in his company. One morning, after a night filled with worry, he opened his Bible and devotional guide. That morning he was reading from Matthew 6 where Jesus commanded his followers not to worry. Jesus said, “Consider the sparrows, they don’t plant or harvest, or store in barns, but your heavenly Father takes care of them–and you are much more valuable to him than the sparrows!” His devotional guide spoke about how God cares for the birds so much when a single sparrow falls dead to the earth, God is aware and God cares. The verse at the end was I Peter 5:7 which says, “Cast your cares upon him, for He cares for you.”

A few days earlier on the job site, they had been removing trees and the owner had noticed one of the trees had a bird nest with baby birds in it. He marked the tree and left word not to cut it down. But on this day, he realized the tree would have to come down because they couldn’t delay the project any longer.

The owner used a bucket truck to lift him up to the bird’s nest. When he looked in, the birds were gone–they had learned to fly. Since he was up there anyway, he removed the nest. Birds use all kinds of scraps to make a nest. As he examined the nest, he discovered the birds had used straw, twigs, and even little strips of paper to make the nest. He removed one sliver of paper and what he read almost caused him to fall out to the bucket. Written on the fragment were these words, “God cares for you.” He realized God was using that bird nest to reinforce his message. Today, the man’s business is doing well, and he is praying more and worries less–and he keeps that bird’s nest in his office!

God cares even more for each of us than He does for a bird, and yet the lesson here is that He notices even when a sparrow falls to the ground! If God takes note of that, don’t you think that He notices when we are having trouble in our lives? Regardless of the kind of trouble we may be having, He knows what is going on in your life and mine, so regardless of how unimportant you may feel in the scheme of things in your city or job, God cares about what is going on in your life! He knows you more intimately than you know yourself, so give Him a chance to fix whatever may be wrong no matter how small or insignificant you feel that you are or your problem is. God is bigger than all of our problems and He is able to take care of whatever may be going on in your life, if you let Him.

Pain, why do we suffer from it?

In many lives today…there is pain. Pain from the loss of a loved one, or from the loss of a job. Pain from the result of disease and sickness, like cancer or auto-immune diseases and sometimes from some process that doctors can’t pin down. Pain is in many people’s lives due to something that they have done and sometimes it is there just because of age. We all have experienced pain in one form or another, whether it is emotional or physical and it is something that we can’t escape.

Is pain a necessary part of life? It is to an extent. We experience pain because of the fallen nature of the world that we live in, but the pain that we experience doesn’t have to take over our lives. I say this because many people allow it to do that, but it doesn’t have to do it. The people in our world that are experiencing cancer and other diseases which can cause pain as well as the treatments that are used in treating them experience pain that many of us would not wish on any human being. That is why I think that people that are going through this are some of the bravest, strong people in our world.

Life can truly be hard to live, although people that live in countries which are “developed” may not know it, unless they are sick in some way. But what about those who are sick in their soul? Many of them don’t know that they are sick, or that they are missing something very important to their lives! Some don’t even think that they have a soul that lives for eternity. They are under the impression that when their life here is over, that’s it. There will be no accountability for anything that you have done in life because God doesn’t exist.

What do you think about that? God doesn’t exist? How can that be? Did all that you see just happen? What about everything that is going on in the world today? All of these wars and droughts and tornadoes and earthquakes are just random, natural events that are under no one’s control at all, is that it? I know, the wars are mankind’s way of dealing with or causing problems in the world, depending on which side you happen to be on.

Contrary to these beliefs about randomness and accidents, God is in control of and knows about each aspect of our lives regardless of where we live or who we are. He doesn’t care if you know Him or not, but He knows you and has known you since before the world began, just as He knew me before all of this was put into motion. God loves each of us more than we can imagine and He provided a way for each of us to be forgiven of our sins and be able to come into His presence. Do you know what it is? It is simple, maybe too simple…believe that Jesus died for your sins and ask Him into your heart so that you can become more like Him.

That’s it! Believe that He died for you and your sins and ask Him into your heart to forgive you of all the time that you wasted while you were not His. Once the change in your life is begun, your life will change because you have changed and others will see it and they will want what you have. Tell them! I promise that if you have given your life to Jesus, your life will never be the same…it will be better!