The mouth can get you into a LOT of trouble

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you believe in….

Many people seem to have a stance on faith which says that they either don’t have any at all, which makes them an agnostic or an atheist or they are totally committed to God and try to serve Him to the best of their ability. Then there are those who have other belief systems, which I will not try to name because I would offend someone just because I left their’s out of the list.

The point of this is to say that your beliefs or your lack of belief is your business. It is not mine nor anyone else’s, nor is it my job to try to convert you to my belief system, whether it is Christian or otherwise. Yes, my site is about my own faith in Jesus and I do write to bring the Truth of Jesus and His role in Salvation to the world but I am not such a zealot as to get upset because you may not have the same beliefs that I do.

God loves all of us, each person on the Earth is watched over by Him, yet He doesn’t interfere in your life. He is not going to knock you down just because you did something that He doesn’t agree with. God is not a vengeful, racist and merciless dictator! He is God, the Creator of all and He loves you with all of your quirks and imperfections because He made you that way! God created you as a unique creation, a person which is one-of-a-kind.

There is nothing strange about any one of us, we are all just different. We come from different backgrounds, different cultures, different belief systems and countries and yet we are all human beings and we are loved by God! Doesn’t that make you feel special? The Creator of everything knows you! We are not just random collections of chemicals which happened to form into the shape and abilities that we have because nothing happens by accident or chance. Your life is and always has been mapped out by God, but He doesn’t force you to go in any one direction. He just knows which step you will take because of Who He is! He is outside of time so He can see all of your life and mine.

God has a purpose for each one of us and all we have to do is to get it through our mind and our own stubborn nature that we need to find out what that is and then strive to accomplish it! Your life is in God’s hands and always has been, whether you believe in Him or not. Our purpose cannot be done on our own strength yet we must rely on God and His strength to carry us to the point of completion regardless of the amount of work that it requires.

The work that I am speaking of is the work that God has for us to do. We cannot work our way into heaven on our own merits, the things that we must do because God has done the work to bring us to Himself are the things that He has for us to do for Him.

If you have not given your life and your heart to Jesus and asked Him to come into your life, then please do so. If this has been a thought in your mind even just once, then that is the calling on your life to be a child of God and one who can do whatever you are called to do. Consider this, pray about it even if you have never prayed before to God, He will hear you and will answer you because He loves you.

Think about it.

Salvation, is it possible for all?

According to the Word, yes it is possible. Jesus is the way, the Truth and the author of Life eternal. He came so that we might live for Him and through Him, He did not come to be worshiped, although it is due to Him because He is God the Son, the Creator and Redeemer of us all. Worshiping Jesus should be an honor and serving Him here or in Heaven is not enough to repay Him for what He did for us.  He came to give us life and freedom from sin, regardless of what the sin might be.

YoushallbesavedAll that the thief did on the cross next to Jesus was to believe in Who He was and he asked Him to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. Jesus did remember him and he was taken into paradise that very night after he died on the cross. His last breath on the cross led to his first breath in Heaven. That thief is still there and will be there for eternity, just as you and I will be if we have believed in Jesus.

God loves us, each of us, and it is humbling to be loved by the Creator of the universe. The problem that most people that I know seems to be with the simplicity of receiving their salvation. The Bible says that we must believe that Jesus died to pay the ransom for us in order to be saved. We don’t have to believe “in” Jesus or God, but we have to believe that what Jesus did is enough to save us.

Just as Abraham believed God and what God had told him and it was credited to him as righteousness, we have to believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day in order to save us. That is all that is required of us…is the belief in His saving grace and in what He did for us and the acceptance that it was enough.

Satan believes in God and Jesus because he knows that they are and that they exist, but he refuses to serve them. His pride and arrogance won’t allow him to be the servant that he was created to be, because he wants to be “like God”. The created cannot be “like God”, we have been given the privilege of being adopted into God’s family through Jesus and that should be enough. Eternal life with Him is something that we should all strive for because in serving Him in this life we gain eternity, what is more valuable than that?

Our time is not our own

Life is something that we tend to take for granted. We always feel, it seems, that we will have tomorrow or next week or next month to do the things that we like to do, that we want to do. Our life is a gift to us from God so that we can understand Who He is and what our purpose in this life really is. He has something in mind for each one of us regardless of what may be happening in our lives.

In Jeremiah God says this:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

This is the promise that all of us have to cling to, especially during times in our lives which are tough. We cannot and should not fall on our own human weaknesses, and yet we tend to do this especially in times of grief and sadness. If you are going to live in Christ‘s strength daily, then you can’t fall on your strength just because things go south one day. We have to depend on Him every day in order to live the life that He has for us and to be a blessing to others.

Pity parties like we tend to have when things are going badly are the one personal  vice that we all seem to have, but we have the strength of Christ if we will bring Him into our life daily. His love for us is more than we can imagine and He will sustain you every day when you depend on Him and allow Him to walk with you and guide you through life. We don’t have the answers to every problems, no one does except Jesus, because He is the answer!

God will provide for each of us the provisions that we need whether it is money, food, shelter or whatever it may be, when we depend on Him. I know that it is hard for many people to actually do this because it has been hard for me as well because the One that you are depending on is the Creator but He is not visible. His provision for you is enough, but it seems to be provided just in time and in the right amounts, not the way we want it…right now! We want our prayers answered today not next month or next year or even ten years from now, but God’s timing is the right time although we may not realize it at the time.

We have grown up in the past thirty years in a culture which has access to everything NOW! We have had microwaves for that length of time so we don’t pop popcorn in air poppers or on the stove, we want it in forty seconds from the microwave. In the past forty or so years, we have had drive-thru fast food places where we could just drive up, order what we want, pay for it and drive away and we didn’t even have to get out of our warm or cool car or truck to do it and usually we got our food, if you can call it that, in a few minutes.

Instant satisfaction and gratification is the norm these days, especially with the coming of the Internet and Amazon.com. We can find any amount of information that we need on a particular subject and buy books or most any other thing online in a few seconds and it will be delivered within a few days usually.

The biggest problem that this has created is that we don’t have much patience anymore. There is no delay in gratification, because we can get it almost instantly from anywhere. God knew that this was going to happen because He told Daniel about it and it is written in Daniel chapter 12:4 which says: ” But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

We need to depend on God every day to get us through, but we don’t like to have someone else in control. You have to give Him control, He doesn’t take it, so unless  you are willing to truly give Him yourself and follow His guidance in your life then you are not surrendered to Him. This is what is required and until you come to that realization, your life will be unbalanced and unfruitful toward the Kingdom of God.

It is true that your life may be going well every day, whether you belong to Christ or not, but it is a lie from Satan if you don’t belong to Jesus. All of these “good things” that you have and have been “given”, you have them because he is trying to keep you “satisfied” with your life, with your stuff, with everything that you have! Things don’t help. Stuff doesn’t do any of us any good…but Jesus can and does! Ask Him into your heart and into your everyday life because He has a plan for you and it will be revealed and accomplished when you give your life to Him and follow Him. Amen.

A service with no Savior

Some people, though not a majority, seem to be looking for fulfillment in their lives with meetings that are similar to church services with the exception of one important aspect, God is not there. This is a false “church” meeting. Yes, it is in a building which may resemble a church and they have a service and songs and thoughtful meditation and they fellowship with each other because they have similar beliefs and yet there is nothing in the service that suggests that there is worship, of any kind, going on.

I am not against this at all really. I, in the climate and the culture in which we live, people need to be able to get together in a safe atmosphere with like-minded people and worship however they choose. I am not against religions or even no religion at all. I am a pastor and this blog is another service that I am doing for my Savior, it is something that I enjoy doing. I know that there are those who don’t agree with my religion or my views and opinions, which is fine too. You are entitled to your belief just as I am to mine.

A news article which I read over the weekend referred to these as atheist worship services and that is why I am writing this. In the New Testament, Paul writes of a town that he visited which had many shrines and altars to other gods and it also had one dedicated to “an unknown god”, and that is the God which Paul introduced them to. This article, in a way, reminded me of this because atheists claim to have no belief in anything but themselves. No God, no higher power, just natural man and humanistic thinking and ideas. This is a belief which is fine in our country because it is guaranteed by the law of the land.

Yet, it seems that the minority which follows this belief want to push their belief into the spotlight and shove everyone else to the side, especially Christians. What have we done to you to deserve this? If there is a cross or a billboard which offends you, take another route or just don’t pay attention to it. That is what I do when I see a billboard advertising some adult video or bookstore. Offenses seem to be taken over the least little incident and for what? Because you can see a cross from the road? Big deal.

There is a verse of scripture that I am going to put here so be warned:

Psalm 46:10: He says,Be still, and know that I am God.”

The person speaking is God and He is telling David as well as all of us to know that He is God. We have to stand in awe of a creator that can bring the whole of creation into being with His Words and yet care for us as His children, each one of us. “Be still” brings up an image of needing to slow down and listen, which is what we need, all of us, today.

There are so many things which are clamoring for our attention today, bills, the news, our Facebook friends, instant messages on our cell phones. We are constantly in contact with everyone through communication channels that were unheard of twenty years ago and we wonder why people have nervous breakdowns! Yet, we can be in contact with God, personally, every day and at any time through prayer. No bad signals, no dropped calls to Him because He is always there. Whether you have given your life to Him or not, He still sees you and knows what is going on.

“Know that I am God”— This part of the verse tells us that He is and always has been God, there is no time past, present or future that He is not God. Whether you choose to believe it or not cannot change that. Whether you choose to worship Him in a church or in your car or not at all, will not change the fact that He is there. Choose to believe or at least to really find out about the “God Who Sees me” as Hagar put it, because He is there and He is waiting for you.

 

As man thinketh

The book that was written in the early part of the twentieth century that has a similar name tries to get us to believe that we can cause our problems to go away simply by thinking rightly. Does this sound like it would work? Not really, at least not in my experience nor in any of my friends either.

Think and grow Rich” was another of the books that wanted people to believe that the way that you think about life and your situation in it can be changed by your thoughts. I want to ask a question in that regard and if you wish you can comment on this: “Since we are not gods, how can our thoughts have any effect on our lives?”

I know that how we perceive the world is governed by our thoughts and by our beliefs, but perception of something doesn’t affect what you perceive. Whether it is life, money, relationships, jobs (careers) or the amount of wealth that you accumulate. I know that there are many “self-help” books out there that have championed thinking about wealth and the “stuff” that you want, the life that you want, etc. so that you could “program” yourself to move toward these things. In some aspects of your life, this might work, but what kind of life would you have while achieving those lofty goals? Do you really want to live life as a greedy, self-centered person?

It might be fun for a while, but what happens when, like the prodigal son, the life that you have been living comes crashing down around you? You might have enough cash saved up for a cushion to get you through for a while, but what happens when that runs out and all of those credit cards and other bills come due? Thinking about it won’t help then!

I am not going to tell you that your life will be all roses and wine if you are a Christian, but it couldn’t hurt! Being self-reliant and not depending on others or on Jesus for your self-esteem, is a real American way of thinking but does it get the job done when you are given some really bad news? Relying on yourself does you very little good in situations that you have no control over and cannot exercise control over.

What would you be thinking about if you or your spouse went to the doctor’s office and came back with a diagnosis of stage two or three cancer? I really don’t think that positive thinking will help much during chemotherapy. I must apologize here because I know that there are many people out there who are going through this same situation right now, young and old, cancer doesn’t care what age you are.

The point that I am trying to make here is that the only way to truly have peace in your soul and calm in your life, regardless of the situation, is to have Jesus as your anchor and your Rock! He is also the Greatest Physician because He didn’t stop performing miracles when He went back to the Father. He is still in the healing business, if it is part of His will to heal you. But, it will be done His way and in His time, not yours!

Many people get frustrated when they turn to Jesus during an emergency or crisis and He doesn’t come through for them in the way that they think He should. He is not a Creator that is on call to do your bidding, He does whatever it is that is in line with God‘s will for your life. So, if you have to die in order for God’s will to be done, it will happen, if He sees fit for you to be healed then that will happen but it will still happen on God’s time-table and not yours!

It is God Who can see your life from beginning to end and not ourselves. We can’t change the length of our lives or the color of our hair (without chemicals), but many people act like they are in charge of their lives and nobody else. This is why Jesus said that we are not to worry about tomorrow because by worrying we can’t change anything about tomorrow. Whatever is going to happen then, will happen, whether we worry about it or not. All that worrying will do is give you an ulcer or make your health worse in some way. It will not make any difference in your situation, regardless of what it is.

Belief in Jesus and His atonement for your sins on the cross is the only way to get into Heaven, and that is where most of us desire to go when we die. So, if that is your ultimate destination, why not prepare for it now while you can? After all, the only chance that you get to make that eternal decision is while you are alive. Once you have passed through the door of life into the life that comes after this one, you can’t fix a bad decision or no decision at all.

 

Are we too busy?

I think that most people would say, YES! Our lives always seem to be in high gear, or at least many people’s lives seem that way. Why? I know the main reasons, my job requires that I go, go, go. Then you get home and there is soccer practice, recitals, piano lessons…the list goes on and on and on.

Many people seem to have more on their “to-do lists” than can be done in a twenty-four hour period, even if we didn’t need sleep! You know, even God took one day off in the week of Creation, so why can’t we? Look at your schedule, if it is not absolutely necessary that something be done today, move it to another day. If you need some me-time, don’t fret about it, just take twenty minutes and talk to God about your day. You can do that while driving or being stuck in traffic, you are likely alone in your car anyway, right? Not really, God is always near.

Take a deep breath, experience the grace that God has given to each of us. We are not guaranteed our time here, so today is a gift, be thankful for it, don’t just run through it and not notice the flowers and the beauty that has been put here for our enjoyment! Our Creator loves each of us, whether we love Him or not. Nobody can prove or disprove that except you. What do I mean by that?

It is simple…are you reading this? Did you get up this morning and drink your cup of tea or coffee? Did you get a good nights rest? All of these are proof that God loves you because He gave you today to enjoy, to do something in! It doesn’t matter what that something is, as long as we are doing it for Him, it glorifies Him and brings Him pleasure to see us doing something that He intended for us to do!

You can make today a miserable day if you want to but it started out with nothing frustrating or angry or hurtful in it, so take advantage of that and use it! If you don’t use today to be the best day that you have had in a long time, Satan will fling something into your day to ruin it and to ruin your use of it. He doesn’t want us to be productive for God, no matter what being productive means. Even if we only think of something that would make someone smile and do it, it shows that you care. That one small act may be the best part of someone’s day, it might not mean much to another, but it will light a spark. A small light that means, “Someone cares”, because God does!

An act of kindness, a note, opening the door for someone, getting a cup of water for a person on the street who looks like they could use it, any one of these things shows the love of Christ in your life to someone in need of it! It is not much, but it can mean a lot, it can affect someone’s life in ways that we can’t imagine. We may never see the effect that it has on them or on someone that they touch, but we will find out one day if it had the fingerprint of God in that touch.

Our life and the people that experience it with us, regardless of how busy we all are, is important and we are important to God. Isn’t that a sobering thought? The Creator of everything cares about me and you and every other person on this planet! It is a humbling thought to think that He doesn’t just leave us to our own fates, He really loves and cares about each of us!

Jesus said that He would never leave us and He hasn’t. He is constantly with us through the Holy Spirit and because they are constantly in contact with each other, we are never truly alone. If you haven’t accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for your sinful nature then in truth, you should. God is still aware of what is happening in your life daily whether you have accepted Jesus or not, but until you believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for you and accept Him into your life you are considered lost.

Many people wonder just what does that mean “lost”? According to Scripture it simply means that you have rejected Christ‘s sacrifice and the grace that is available to you through Him. Some people may say that “I haven’t rejected anything, I just don’t believe in the Bible or in Jesus”; if that is your opinion then I need to ask you a question. What do you believe in exactly? If you don’t believe in God, then you are an atheist by definition. There is nothing wrong with that, but….what if God is real and Heaven and hell are real? All of the begging in the world won’t help when you are standing before the Judge that you didn’t believe in during your lifetime!

Search the Scriptures, read them and ask the Being that you don’t believe in to reveal Himself to you. Once you find that He is real and that He is calling you to Him, give your life to Jesus. It won’t make all of your troubles go away, but it will make them easier to bear when you have His strength to get through the troubles that we all have.