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.

A Satanic view

“In Satan, the individual follows their own destiny and choices. Satan only asks that the individual uses intelligent action based upon reason, but never faith, and thus the individual will prosper in this life and the next.” —-satanicviews

This was a comment that I got on a post which I had put up about Jesus coming to us and for us. It seems that this is a feeling or sentiment which many people have. It is one which we, as Christians, cannot understand or even comprehend. Satan is not a benevolent being as they seem to think. He and his demons and powers and principalities HATE us with a hatred which even goes beyond any Nazi or communist or even Islamic hate!

There is no love for us because, to Satan, we represent the image of God which we were created in. Another assumption that people like this make is that the next life is going to be an eternal party, when the sad fact is that it will be torment and punishment. Satan may help you in some ways to prosper in this life in order to draw you away from and keep you away from any faith or belief in God or Jesus. As long as you are not interested in becoming a Christian, then Satan has no problem with you because you essentially belong to him by default, whether you worship him or not.

In many ways, we are very much like Adam in the book of Genesis. We go about our lives doing this and that, thinking that everything is fine until one day something goes wrong. It may be a disease or a diagnosis or a wreck. Then what do we do? Many people blame God or fate for what has happened to them. If it is bad enough, they may even curse God and yell at Someone they may not believe in thinking that will make them feel better. But, it doesn’t.

Your lot in life, just like mine, is to sit here and take whatever life throws at you right? NO! It really depends upon your beliefs or your un-belief, whichever it may be. Consider the person or power that you believe in. Which one actually cares about you and your condition? Satan HATES all of humanity, because they are created in God’s image. It doesn’t matter if you are the high priest of a satanic coven or not, he will happily watch you float around in the lake of fire just as he will anyone else. Satan will allow you to claim all of the worldly success that you can stand and then some, as long as you are not trying to find God. So, in a sense, he will “provide” you with all that the world cares about including money, cars, a nice home, a four-wheeler and horses, land, all the guns that you want. Then what?

One the other side of the spiritual coin, there is God. He DOES CARE about all of His creation. Plants, animals and especially humanity since we are created for a purpose and in His image. God has given us life to live abundantly for Him and He gave each of us a talent in some area whether it is training horses, being a teacher or preacher, a policeman or woman, a mayor or any other type of politician, a truck driver or a farmer. He gives talents to all of us freely, whether we use them to gather wealth to ourselves or not is our choice. So, what is our purpose within this life that we are freely given?

To choose.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

We have the right and privilege to choose. Not by flipping a “spiritual coin”, but by making an intelligent choice. One that makes sense spiritually and eternally, not one from a point of reason. Why do I put it like that? Because from a reasoning point of view…a scientific point of view, God and belief in Him doesn’t make sense. You can’t touch or taste Him, you can’t put your finger in the wounds of Jesus like Thomas did. Belief and faith go together like PB&J, and you can’t really have one without the other.

It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes or even the type of hair that you have, if you truly believe the Word of God is True and did come from Him then our ancestors were created in Eden by God Himself. We are all children of Eden, of Adam and Eve. We are all of one race, the human race. Culturally we are different, as different as six thousand years give or take will make us, but God can trace all of us back to Noah who is a grandson of Adam. I say is because his faith in God’s promise and his belief that God would save humanity placed him in God’s hands.

Understand that you and I are God’s children and His creation, but you have to choose whether you will serve Him in this life, in order to have true Life in eternity to come. This is not all that there is, working, living, loving your family, smoking, drinking…these are all enjoyable to us now, some more than others. What will you do if you died tonight, if you knew that you would not see tomorrow morning? Would you ask Jesus into your heart?

Would you decide that you would rather take your chances? On what? Have you fed thousands or healed the sick? Can you walk on water? None of us can do those things! We are not righteous in God’s eyes! The only way that you get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus as your Savior, repent of your life’s sinful ways meaning that you will turn from them! Could you do all of this if you were to have a heart attack right now or even on the way home? The time to decide about your eternity is now, not tomorrow, not next week. Make sure that you truly know where your eternity is because this life doesn’t last very long and it seems that the years go by faster every year. Don’t turn Jesus away when you know that you need Him in your life. Another chance may not present itself. Think about it.

We are unique

It sounds presumptuous and prideful to say this, but as far as we know we are unique in all of Creation. Of all of the planets that astronomers have found, none are like Earth. They may be similar in composition but too close or too far away from their star for life to be there. Many of them are called “super Earth’s” meaning they would have twice the gravity of our world or more so that we could not walk on them unless we were born there. Our solar system seems to be unique because of the arrangement of the planets too. Many of the other systems which have been discovered have gas planets near their stars and rocky planets out where our gas planets are, just the opposite of our system.

The differences are striking if you have paid attention to the discoveries over the years, yet many scientists still cling to the idea that there are many out there which could and likely do hold some form of life on them. Although it is truly prideful to think that the only form of life is like us! The life that is there could be fish or birds or reptiles or even insects. God can create life in all forms and He could give intelligence to any of them that He chooses, but we are the ones which He chooses to have fellowship with. All forms of life on Earth have some form of intelligence although much of the life that is here has instinctual intelligence. God only gave mankind the form of intelligence to choose and to ask “Why?”, all of the other forms of life that He put here accept life as it is and live it accordingly.

God, not chance, created this universe and the life that is in it. Many scientists, myself included, have wondered about all of those stars and the planets that must be out there. Surely God wouldn’t just waste all of His time and wisdom on just this one little ball of dust. But, that is a question which will have to wait until eternity comes around. Like it or not, we will not find out if there is life elsewhere simply because the universe is so large and the laws of physics being what they are.

Truly, we are each unique and special in God’s way of looking at us, just because we are His creation.

I believe

I believe in God and all of His Words and in the Creation which He has placed us in. Why do I believe this? Because, if you don’t believe it, then one day you will find that your unbelief doesn’t change the Truth of His existence and the reality of His promises. Those who do not believe and who do not ask Jesus into their lives, will be condemned by their own choice, not by the God that loves them. It is your choice which will condemn you to the punishment that was reserved for Satan and his fallen angels.

There are so many people who have tried to make God into someone who He is not. They seem to want to humanize God and make Him be as petty and mean as humans can be and He is not. Yes, in the Old Testament He did some things which by our standards would be considered cruel and mean, yet He was doing these things to bring the Israelite nation away from idol worship and to know Him, IF they would obey His commandments and statutes. Although the record of history bears out that they didn’t listen, at least not in the long run. They would change for  a time, and then after a few years go right back to worshipping idols again.

We do the same thing today. We spend more time keeping up with friends on Facebook and Twitter than we should. Our phones, smart or not, get more attention than our children do for many people. Your job and your house occupy much more of your time than your worship of God because in many people’s lives, those things are necessary and God isn’t! How crazy is that?

God gave you your job, your ability, your family, your intellect, and all of the other good things in your life and yet you want to ignore Him because of some trivial nonsense that has no bearing on your eternal future? What could possibly have any effect on your eternal life that you can hold in your hand? Nothing! God is the Creator and the Sustainer of the Universe and of you too. He is in control of your ultimate future, but unless you decide to answer His call on your life, if you have heard it, then you will condemn yourself to hell and no amount of begging will help you.

Life is here because of Him, because He created all of life on Earth. Chance didn’t do it and it wasn’t an accident that just happened to come together. The cause of everything was and is God. He knows what you said yesterday and last year and what you did when you though you were alone. Nothing is hidden from Him because He can see the end of time and the beginning, even now. You can believe that nothing is after death if you wish, but when you die and “nothing” confronts you about your life and everything that happened in it from the time that you were a child until your death, will you just ignore it, will you ignore Him?

I don’t think so.

God is our Creator and He is also the Judge Who will send you to hell if you show up without Jesus in your heart. No amount of money will get you in the gates of Heaven. No amount of work that you do here, without Jesus in your life, will survive to follow you to Heaven. The life that you have here, regardless of how wealthy you are or how penniless you may be, will not mean anything nor have any eternal rewards IF you don’t have Jesus in your life. Period.

The world is coming apart at the seams every day and there is no human on Earth that can fix it. Seek Jesus out, read His Word and learn about Him. Ask Him to forgive you and to come into your heart so that your life will go on after this life is over. There is lots of work to be done and God knows that some of it can only be done by you and me.

Think about it.

In Him we are…

We are MORE than conquerors through Christ, no matter what this world throws at us! In Ephesians 1:16-21 says this in the Amplified Bible:

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. 17. [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, 18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), 19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, 20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.”

God has given to each of us as believers, the victory through His power and through Christ who also conquered this world and the one who is in this world! You might say, “Victory over what?”!

Victory over your circumstances, whether they are involving money, loss of a job or a loved one, depression, alcoholism, drugs, illness, whatever it may be. Paul wrote the scripture above to the Ephesians because that is what he prayed for them to experience in their lives, not just some of the time but every day! I am not saying that God will heal all of your sickness or your addictions overnight, but He will comfort you and be there with you through the process of getting over them and through the healing process.

Sometimes God will heal you or me when we claim that healing through faith in Him and His power in our lives. But, Satan is going to try to derail your faith and stop any victory that you gain over his demonic powers which enslaved you to that illness or addiction. He will tell you that it isn’t possible, that God doesn’t care about you and that God won’t do anything for you that you can’t do on your own. Those are lies from the master of lies!!

God does love you. He does care about you and your problems and He will make a way for you to get through them! If you have given your heart and your life to Jesus and asked Him to come into your life and change your life into what He sees in you, then you can make it through all of the things that are going on, no matter how bad they are! It may require that you are killed by someone who is not a Christian, but you are the conqueror because as a Christian you have a sure victory through Christ and a place..an everlasting home in Heaven with Jesus!

We see and hear every day that more bad things are happening in the world because of hatred and violence in places from America to the Middle East to Africa, but these are ‘birth pains” of a world that is coming to a close. Look up and pray, expecting Jesus to come because He will. Your salvation and redemption draws closer every day!

Despair and depression, where do they come from?

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11

The words above were written for us today. Because they speak to the depression and the solitude which Satan uses to take over our life and make it one which is filled with despair and heartache. Why does he do this? Because he doesn’t want you to tell anyone about Jesus and he knows that if you are “down in the dumps”, you won’t feel like spreading the Good News of Jesus to anyone! If he can stop you from telling one person, he has done his duty. Because, that one that you might miss because of your depression just might be the next great evangelist and he doesn’t want them to be that.

Satan hates us as human beings because God loved us more than He loved the angels, of which Satan was a principle cherub, the guardians of God. Not only does he hate humanity because of God’s love for us but because of the special position that God gave to us, the relationship that we can have with God through His Son. So, you see it isn’t personal, he just hates us with such a deep and abiding hatred that no human could ever understand it. Satan will make people think that he will reward them with power and wealth and he might for a time, but the day will come when your “contract” will be up. No amount of money or power will save you from the eternal punishment that will fall on you because you chose to align yourself with the consummate liar and deceiver that is Satan.

Some religions teach that there is no eternal punishment for us because Jesus paid that price and we are all saved through Him. Well, technically that is true but if you have not repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart and your life, you don’t have Him as Lord and Savior to keep you from being thrown into the lake of fire with Satan and his followers. Just as if I told you that I have one hundred dollars that I will give you, if you don’t come to my home and claim it then you still don’t have it. The offer of salvation is there, the price has been paid and once you take hold of it then your salvation cannot be un-done, but if you don’t grasp it and repent of your sinful ways and follow Jesus when you ask Him into your heart, then they were just words and nothing more. You can even get baptised in front of a church or in a stream, but without repentance and a commitment to follow Jesus, you just got wet in front of an audience and nothing more.

The Church which was started on the day of Pentecost was not a specific denomination. It wasn’t called the Church of God or the Church of Christ or the Pentecostal church. At the time, the Jews in Israel called them believers of the Way, a sect that they wanted to crush and destroy. Which is why they sent Saul to imprison and beat the believers in this “Way”. The persecution of believers began then and it has not stopped since. It may be subtle here in America, in other countries it is more pronounced and vigorous. Elsewhere, Christians are imprisoned, beaten, and sometimes killed because of their belief in Jesus.

Satan has used this jealousy and animosity against the Church to destroy and persecute it for centuries simply because he wants to undo the plans of God as much as he can. That is why there is so much suffering in the world and so much pain and death. God allows this because He gives each of us a choice, whether to follow Him or not. Without a choice, there is no real love. Think about this, if someone tried to force you to follow them or love them….would you? I wouldn’t.