Our country…

This was the land of the free and the home of the brave at one time. It still is the land of the brave because we have brave men and women in our Armed Forces who are doing what they do best to keep us free. The problem is that our freedoms, that they are fighting for even today, are being systematically taken away or changed so that we don’t have as much freedom anymore.

Life is changing bit by bit and it doesn’t seem to be getting better, it is getting more dangerous by the day.

Our only hope for any future lies with Jesus Christ! Putting your faith in Him will give you hope and a future, at least one in eternity and it will give us a chance at one thousand years of peace under the rule of Jesus. Life is precious to God and He cares for all of us, if we are to have a future then we should put our trust..our faith in the One Who created it all and holds it together in His Grace and power.

This is not a lengthy post, I only want to point all of those who read this toward our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is in Him that we have a future and our eternal destiny rests in His Grace and His love for us. Consider this when you look for a reason for tomorrow and a reason to live.

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Miracles

Do you believe in miracles happening today? Some people do because they have seen people healed when there was no chance that medicine could accomplish it. Others look at all of the problems in the world and think “Why bother? God doesn’t care anymore.”

Yes, He does. He has never stopped caring for the world and those in it. His grace for each of us today is for us to have the chance to come to know Him. He waits for us to decide to come into His Presence, and yet many are turning away because of apathy and mistrust and just plain tiredness.

Why do I say this? Because…it is true. Young people especially have turned away from God, even with the fancy churches and the concerts. Small churches which can’t afford those entertaining ways of getting your attention are losing people under forty by the thousands today. Why?

Because of boredom. In today’s world, where technology reigns supreme, people young and old just don’t get the wisdom in the Bible. It’s not flashy enough. It’s not loud enough and it doesn’t keep their attention long enough. Think about this for a moment.

Anyone born since 1980 has had video games, music videos, computers, cell phones (smart or not), and many other techno-gadgets in their lives at all times. None of this generation knows what it is like to be disconnected from family or friends because one way or another they have all had some form of communication available. Look in a crowd at a concert and see if you can count the number of screens lit up, even at a movie. Depending on the size of the crowd there will be hundreds if not thousands, so even in a venue where their attention is supposed to be focused on the stage or screen, they are usually focused on a small screen.

The only reason this doesn’t happen at my church is because it is in an area where there isn’t much cell coverage, so there isn’t any reason to look at the screen…no connection. That is also why the church is losing people in droves…no connection. How can you connect young people to a Savior and their Creator when they can’t touch Him or Google Him?

God cares for you and me. He loves each of us more than we can understand, and yet we latch on to doctrine and dogma made up by men. Just as those in the past did. The Law of Moses was held in high esteem, but it couldn’t save their souls. All that they Law could do was to point out that they couldn’t perform to perfection, that we can’t live or perform to perfection. The doctrine or discipline that some churches and their congregations cling to is no different, even though it is worded differently.

Man-made rules cannot be above God any more than we can be. His Way through Jesus is the only way to salvation, anything other than Jesus leads to death…the kind that never ends. Separation from God for eternity because of your choices, your choice, not because of any act or sin on your part except for the rejection of Jesus as your Savior. This is the unforgivable sin, and usually pride is the culprit which causes you to think that you can do better. That you can get into Heaven without Jesus.

Not possible. The door narrow and small in such a way that only you can get through with Jesus leading you in. Nothing that you have on Earth, whether it is money, power, fame or whatever it may be will help you be sinless and pure in heart enough to get into Heaven. Only through the blood of Jesus and your repentance of your sinful lifestyle whatever that may be will get you there. Some can wait until they are in the electric chair or the table to be killed by an injection in prison because they know the day and hour of their death. Most of us don’t have that luxury. Our death could come any time.

Seek Him in the Bible and pray that you can choose to follow Him for the rest of your days.

God is real and Jesus is the Way

In life and in death, Jesus is the Way to a life more abundant. I did not say a life of riches and wealth or fame, an abundant life is one that has hope, abundantly and steadfastly in Jesus! You might say to me, “Why can’t I be good enough to get to Heaven on my own initiative?” Because the Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. God had to kill animals in Eden to cover the sinful situation that Adam and Eve had gotten themselves into. Jesus died and shed His blood, as the Son of God, in order to cover the sins of the whole world. Everyone in the whole world is covered by His blood, all of your sins are covered by it, all of my sins are covered by His blood and it is offered to all to claim in belief and repentance with no other requirement than believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for them.

Simple faith and belief, like a child, is all that is necessary. When you feel the Spirit telling you that you need Him, that you need Jesus, don’t turn away. Don’t walk out on Him and the salvation that is being offered. God does love you, more deeply than you can know and He wants to call you, if you are willing to answer. The gods that are in temples all over the world will not help you. Belief in yourself and your ability to be a good, moral person is nice but it won’t take you into the gates of Heaven.

Doing all of these things, other than believing in Jesus, is like building a bridge over a huge river out of cardboard and paving it with paper. As long as the river is dried up and there isn’t any water (troubles) to cross, it may hold up pretty well for foot traffic. But, if there is a flash flood or lightning strikes it, your bridge is gone. Another analogy would be like standing on sand, it is fine and it feels good until the waves start raking it from under your feet. Then, you either go with it or you back away from it but it is no longer stable.

The only solid foundation for faith which can save your soul from hell, is Jesus Christ. Believe in Him and repent of your old ways, following Him by seeking Him in God’s Word every day. Pray about the things which are wrong in the world, ask Him to help you to understand the Bible and its wisdom. Look to Him for your strength in sickness and in health, on good days and bad because He is always near if you have asked Him into your life and into your heart. God and Jesus both know what you have done, when it was done and where. There is nothing hidden from them.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Self-righteous

Is this America’s problem or just the church’s problem? Is this a Christian problem or an Islamic problem?

It was the problem that Jesus faced, not in His life but from the priests who were the “spiritual leaders and teachers” of Israel and the Jews. They were self-righteous, thinking that their righteousness was good enough without the Messiah. Self-righteousness, thinking better of yourself than you should, will send more people to hell than any amount of sin. Thinking that your life and heart belong to Jesus because of something that you said or did decades ago and yet you don’t live it is a form of self-righteousness. Not because you don’t have Jesus or that you aren’t saved because you may be, but you are being selfish with your gifts from God!

When you are self-righteous you also believe that you don’t need Jesus or fellowship with others. I know there are many who say that they are saved, but they have become satisfied with their lives and they don’t want to give their faith away to anyone. They don’t want to share in fellowship with a group of believers, they want to sit at home and sulk, not praising God and being thankful for His mercy and His graciousness toward them. Yes, you may be saved and you will have access to Heaven and eternal life one day but no one else will have been blessed by your faith and your witness because you didn’t take it with you everywhere!

Why? Because, you have the key to Heaven and you aren’t giving it away to anyone else. You are going to live your life the way you want to and do whatever you want to do, but for a time you knew that your salvation was secure so you don’t feel the need anymore to be a “light unto the world” around you or anywhere else. Oh, you are nice to everyone and courteous to all until they hurt your feelings or someone says something about you and you hear of it, then you hold a grudge for the rest of your days and you don’t have anything to do with them ever.

WHY ARE YOU BEING THIS WAY!!!

The Love of Jesus is not coming out of your heart because you have bricked it up so tight that nothing can come out! You will let some love or lust or other feelings in through the cracks, but you won’t allow anything to go out, at least not any REAL and honest Love that comes from God. Your life is like the rest of the world, just as Satan wants it to be. You don’t belong to him, but nobody can really tell for sure that you don’t.

In many ways this has happened to lots of so-called Christians and the church itself. I say so-called because from the outside, nobody could tell that you are a Christian. The same is happening to many churches, they look more like country clubs or social clubs than they do a place of worship for God Almighty! This description sounds a lot like the church that Jesus said, “I will vomit you out of my mouth” to in the beginning of the book of Revelation, doesn’t it?

When you, as a church or a Christian, get to a point where you don’t look or act any different from those who don’t believe…something has gone terribly wrong. Turn back to Jesus, ask forgiveness for your failures, study the Word again, forget the doctrines and the rules which “churches” are founded upon and get back to God. Those rules in your by-laws and charters are made by men, our life and our churches are supposed to be founded upon the Rock of Jesus Christ and His Word, and none other! As Jesus said, “Come back to your first love!”. Stop chasing after feelings and “prosperity gospels”, and get back to the True Gospel of Salvation, Jesus Christ. He is the Only Way to Heaven, all other roads eventually turn toward hell!

A new purpose for a new year!

Have you considered, as one of your resolutions, giving your life to Jesus? The year and your life would go so much smoother than it has before, but for people who may have objections to this decision, it may take a bit of explanation and a bit of preaching too. If you don’t mind a bit of both, here goes.

I am not going to go through the entire Bible, which I am sure that most of you are glad about, but I am going to concentrate on one particular book in it and that is one by Paul called Romans. The very first few verses in this book are very good at showing and telling us exactly the reason that we need Jesus, so I am including them here:

Romans 1: 1-7

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

In this opening, Paul is introducing Jesus as the descendent of David and the Son of God. All of these Jesus was and is because He was raised from the dead after His crucifixion to be our Priest and Advocate in Heaven. Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies about Himself during His lifetime and ministry on Earth and now He is our Lord and Master at the right hand of God the Father. In spite of the unbelief that seems to be getting more attention these days in the media and online, God does exist and He loves us…each of us in a way that we cannot understand. God’s Word is also disparaged these days as being “an old, dusty history book, written by imaginative old men”.

Those “old men” were inspired and guided by the Spirit of God and there is proof of this. This requires a question to be asked, “Could you get five or ten friends who know you well to write out a report detailing how you met and your life and influence on each of them? How well do you think their stories would match up?”

The Bible was written by approximately forty authors, beginning with Moses nearly six thousand years ago, with four thousand years of that prior to the birth of Jesus. Yet, every book of the Old Testament has some portion of it which points toward Jesus. The prophets of the Old Testament even point out the type of death that He would suffer, where He would be born and that He would be born of a virgin and these prophecies were over five hundred years prior to His birth! Forty people can’t even agree on the color of car that passed them all on the highway just a few minutes afterward, so these forty men who wrote the inspired Word of God had to be doing it with His help and prompting to get it all right.

Now that we have established that the Word is True, the man Jesus was man but He had the nature and Spirit of God in Him, because no man could live a totally surrendered life and also be totally sinless as well. He was God and man. Jesus died on the cross because the love of God compelled Him to. He could’ve refused, but He didn’t and because of His death and resurrection we have the hope of being resurrected when He returns. The only requirement for us is that we believe in Him and in what He did and ask Him for forgiveness for our life before He came into it.

I understand the way that many people think about Jesus and that He wasn’t Who the Bible says that He is because I used to feel the same way. But, when you give your heart and life to Him and begin reading the Bible and praying for God to give you the wisdom to understand what you are reading about Him and His plan for your life, you will come to understand that we are part of His plan and His Kingdom. Your life and everyone around you, from your spouse to your children and your extended family is important to God. Why? Because He is the Creator and He is God, He doesn’t have to give us a reason for what He does or who He cares about. Give God and Jesus a chance in your life this new year, the change in your life and in your heart will be glorious and you will have an eternity that nobody on Earth can even imagine! Have a blessed and happy new year!!

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!

What is going on?

In our world today there are many problems and wars and diseases. Many people are wondering why would God allow all of this to happen? He allows it because He wants people to look to Him for help but He is not the cause of these problems. Satan is the cause of them because he hates us!

In many ways the old saying of “the devil made me do it” isn’t far from the truth, except that he didn’t make you do anything. He just encouraged and prodded you in that direction, you make the decision. In many ways, our world would be far better off if Satan had not come down here but that was part of God’s plan as well.

God loves us all and wants the best for us but He knew even before we were born that there would be rebellion because there was rebellion in Heaven before the world began. There are some religions today that discount the original sin of Adam, but it happened and we are all inheritors of it. God promised a way of salvation to Eve in the “seed of the woman” and to the rest of us as well. That Promise was Jesus Christ and through His sacrifice on the cross and through the grace that God has given to us through Him we can all be saved from our sins and our sinful nature.

Do we have to do anything to be saved like obey the Ten Commandments or other laws that were handed down through Moses from God? Actually, the answer is no, because we can’t accomplish more than Christ did on the cross! He paid the price needed for our salvation, all that we have to do is believe in Him and His sacrifice and ask Him into our heart to cleanse us so that we can be His.

Choose the life that you were meant to have, the one with Him in it. If you do the rewards will be unbelievable by the world’s standards, if you do not then eternity will be unbelievably long and painful because of your choice alone.