The blood of Jesus

1 Peter 1:13-21
13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

17 And if you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

john_3_16_17_scripture_memory_card-raf7013e639264b87b918bea9971565b3_vgbaq_8byvr_540Sin deceives you because its roots are from the deceiver, Satan. Sinful actions can and will destroy your life in many ways and in the end of this life, it will bring eternal death which is eternal banishment from the presence of God.

The only way to save yourself from sin and the consequences of it is to believe in Jesus and the blood which He shed for us, each of us, on the cross. The Son of God gave His life for you and for me…He didn’t have to but He wanted to do it. Because He loved each of us far more and deeper than we can know or comprehend.

He redeemed us from sin through His blood shed on the cross for you! The only action needed on your part is belief in Him and the atonement bought by His blood.

Colossians 1:19-22 King James Version (KJV)

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Do you understand what God has done for us? For you and for me? Each person who has ever lived in this world, before the Flood and up until now, is born with a natural bent toward sin! I mean you don’t have to teach anyone to lie and you know it as well as I do.

Tell a toddler not to do something or eat something and you can see their wheels turning trying to figure out how they can get away with doing exactly that! If you are able to catch them right after doing it, whatever it may be, ask them if they did what you told them not to do. Even with crumbs from those cookies on their clothes they will tell you no, they didn’t do that.

In life you see many people behaving exactly the same way, even if they are supposed to be grown-ups. Why is that? It is because until you have a changed heart through the Spirit of God living within you, you are a sinner from the day you are able to decide to do something which you were told not to do! God’s will for your life is to glorify Him in all that you do and the only way for us to do that is to believe in Jesus and the atonement that He bought for us and ask God’s forgiveness based upon that belief.

Now, many religions teach that you can work out your salvation by yourself but that is not true. If that were possible, Jesus died for nothing! No amount of gold or silver or any amount of good works that you or I do in this world can bring salvation to your soul, only belief in Jesus can do that and accepting His atonement for your sins. If you can’t or won’t do that, then you have condemned yourself to hell.

Please, don’t go there, because hell was not made for humanity at all. It was made to punish angels who rebelled against God’s rule and authority including Satan or Lucifer if you know him by that name. Because of deception and our own stubbornness, many people are going to hell and it won’t be a party or a friendly place to be for eternity at all.

Make sure of your salvation in Jesus soon before the church is taken from this Earth, because it is going to happen soon. Plan on being part of that company.

 

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Do you know Him?

Our Savior, Jesus, the Son of God is the Him of which I speak. He shed His divinity to come to Earth, be born of a woman, live the life of a man of Jewish descent, perfectly fulfilling the Law (which no normal human could do), teach a group of disciples so that they could carry His teachings to all parts of the world, died on a cross on the day of Passover and then rose again on the third day!

john_3_16_17_scripture_memory_card-raf7013e639264b87b918bea9971565b3_vgbaq_8byvr_540Yes, a long sentence to tell of the life of Jesus the Christ. A short version of His life, death and resurrection, but a story which has significance for so many around the world! Some of whom believe that He is our Savior and Lord, some  do not believe He was anything other than a prophet.

Do you know Him? You can get to know Him if you will believe in Him and follow Him. Learn about Him through reading of the New Testament and do the things which His disciples did…tell others what He has done for you!

 

It is well with my soul

Many times, in church and even on social media sites, I get requests for prayer either in person or by a message. Prayer is a necessary part of a Christian’s life, just like breathing or drinking water, yet many people don’t seem to think that God listens to them so they ask their pastor to pray for them. I don’t mind, but if you are a child of God you have the same privilege and right to step into His Presence at anytime.

Sometimes, people just don’t exercise their right as a Christian until it gets to be so bad they just hit their knees in agony. God can and will answer your prayers, particularly when you pray about a family member’s illness or an accident. I don’t mean to say that He won’t answer a prayer about your children or your keys or other “small” thing, but God looks for ways to bless you in areas where He is the real solution for the problem!

So do you seek out God when things are going good or do you wait until He is the last resort? Don’t you think that when things aren’t going very well, you should seek out the One Who can do something about the situation? The Creator that made all of our universe and every molecule in your body can fix any problem in your life, regardless of the cause! If you will give Him the chance to do so.

When life throws a curve ball at you, swing at it because you might hit it. God can give you the strength and the ability to make it through any real problem in your life, regardless of whether it is one involving your spiritual condition or a medical problem. God is bigger than ALL of your problems or any of the problems in our world today or at any time in the future.

Each of us has a choice to make. To ask Jesus into our lives and repent of our sinful ways or to keep doing what we feel is right, what makes us feel good. To keep being selfish and prideful in what we can do and to do it without anyone telling us that it is wrong. In reality, the Bible doesn’t tell you anything like that. There are no rules about what to do or not, but when you truly realize that you need Jesus and you come to Him in repentance…then you will change. You won’t do it on your own but you will change by the influence of the Holy Spirit after you ask Him to live in your heart!

When that happens, and you begin to change into a new creation, a new person. Then you won’t crave those things which you did before. You won’t go to the places that you went to before. The rules have changed because you aren’t the same anymore. Not because of rules from the Bible, but because your heart, your soul, your inner person has changed and is changing. While you learn more about Jesus and read His Word and pray about this new life, you are changing and becoming the person that God has always known you were since before you were born.

When this change occurs then it will be well with you no matter how life turns out, good or bad. Why? Because you are an adopted child of God! The Creator and King of the universe! How could you possibly feel down or depressed or unloved when God loves you more deeply than anyone on Earth could ever understand? Yes, there will be days which you may be depressed, but with prayer and reading God’s Word it won’t last for long. Seek Him and His Kingdom and all of the things which God has prepared for you will be yours.

Do you believe?

Faith_in_GodDo you believe that God is our Creator? Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of all who believe in Him?

These are questions which should be asked, but are you seeking the answers for these questions? Do you truly want the answers to these questions? Your eternity, your life after this life, depends upon the answers that you find and believe in!

So, are you seeking the answers or do you want to just forget about it until you feel the time is right?

When will the “right”time be? Will you know it when it gets here? If it gets here? Are you certain that you have until next week or next month to make this decision?

Quite frankly, none of us can be sure of tomorrow let alone next week or next month! Making plans for next year seems foolish to me actually, because there is no way to be sure that far ahead into your life.

If you don’t believe in Jesus as your Savior, then who can take His place? You? Or maybe you think that after you die your body will just return to dust and there is no life after the death of your physical body? What a shame. It is true that God said that “man is made from the dust and to dust he will return“, but you have an eternal soul that doesn’t turn to dust so what happens to it?

According to Jesus there are two places where your soul will go after your body dies, paradise or Heaven and outer darkness or hell. No purgatory or waiting to be prayed up, no immediate burn up if you don’t believe. It is said in Scripture that the smoke of their punishment rises forever. This is not just a flash burn and your gone for good, you will pay for your own sins and unbelief for eternity just as Satan will pay for his rebellion against God.

Yes, forever is a very long time, yet if you will believe in Jesus and His atonement for you then your eternity will be to serve Him in Heaven and in His Kingdom. I can’t imagine a better future than to serve the Creator. Why? Because doing His will for eternity will never be boring!

So much bitterness…

We are beginning a new year and this topic seems to show up in the news quite often. Actually, it has been in the news for a while in one form or another. Can we do anything about it, really? Sometimes we can but unfortunately much of the bitterness in the world is brought on by Satan and his influence in it. Oh, there are many who don’t believe that he exists but since he has been around since the beginning, he really does exist. If he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, then you know he has had plenty of practice over the millennia!

Truly, the bitterness that is rampant in our world today is because of our sinfulness. We can’t be civil and understanding of people that we don’t agree with in all aspects. Every person on the planet has a different opinion of things, that is something that we shouldn’t be stressing over. But, we do it all the time.

God loves each of us whether we give Him our heart or not, He still loves us and has provided a way of salvation. All we need to do is believe in Jesus and in the atonement provided, then when we feel His call on our life and in our heart…answer it! Just as you do when your phone rings, unless it is someone you don’t want to talk to. If it is God calling your heart and your life into His service please, don’t ignore it and DO answer it! You won’t be disappointed and it will be the greatest trip that you have ever taken, even if you never go anywhere until you are called home to Heaven!

 

So much to be thankful for

Our world has much to be thankful for, yet we don’t seem to be thankful for it. There are wars in many places, there are famines and terrorists in other places, so what could we be thankful for? It is true that, outside America, most countries don’t celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday but we still should give thanks to God for the grace and mercy that He has given to all of us.

You might ask me, “What has He done for me, I live in poverty and hunger all of the time?”. If you still live, He has given you life and breath and another day to live. He will provide for you if you will give your heart to Him, even more than He provides for you now. I know that many people consider us wealthy who live in America and for most of the world’s areas that live on the equivalent of one dollar or so a day that may be true.

We have more food available to us, we have cars and homes to live in comfortably and yet there are people here who live in poverty just as bad as those in India or Sub-Saharan Africa. They make boxes to live in or they use whatever lumber they can find and drape a plastic sheet over it as shelter in the mountain winter. Yes, there is poverty in the so-called “land of plenty”.

So, how can I write that we should be thankful for what we have? Did you wake this morning with the ability to walk and get up from your mat or bed? Can you walk and when you find something to eat, can you eat it and digest it? We take so much for granted in America and in the world at large until we don’t realize that there are people, children and adults, who are suffering from disease and treatments of disease which leave them unable to walk, unable to eat or even digest what they get as nutrition. If you can eat a piece of fish and drink a little water, that is a blessing.

For many people, that small blessing of being able to eat and digest their food is something that they would give all they have for. So, yes, we all have something to thank God for. The sun shining in the sky and the moon at night are the lights which He placed there to show His mercy and grace toward us. The stars and galaxies which we cannot see with our eyes, but He flung them out and He knows each one of them by name. They are there to show His majesty and His power. Can He take care of you? Yes, He can!

In six days He created all that you see and many things that you don’t, but all that is around us, including humanity, He created. Our problems are big problems to us, but to God they are small. He can take care of you, just as He takes care of the fish and the birds and the whales and all of the life on this planet. He knows when a sparrow dies and falls to the ground, so don’t you think He cares for you too? Seek Him out, find a way to learn of Him if possible. If you only read this site and can’t get to a church or find a Bible, then ask Him…ask God to make Himself known to you, He has done it before and He can do it for you if you will ask.

Don’t turn away from the opportunity to know Him…to know Jesus. You have this life, regardless of how your existence may be, and it is during the time that you have here that you must make the decision to follow Him, to give your life to Jesus. Because, once you are dead you will be in His Presence and the time to give your life to Him will be over. Make that decision while you can because He will answer you and come to you if you are seeking Him.

I pray for all of those who are reading this site and my others too. Please don’t let your chance to know Him slip away.