A very small sermon

“For God loved the world so much and each one of us in it, that He gave (sent) His only Son. That whosoever will believe in Him and His sacrifice shall not perish (die), but will have everlasting (eternal) life.”

Paraphrase of John 3:16

Believe it, read the Word, pray to God for your forgiveness and ask Him to come into your life. Then tell others what you have come to know.

Do we REALLY need motivation to Pray?

prayer-motivationIn the situation depicted here in this picture, prayer and running faster would be helpful! But what about our everyday lives? Do we really need motivation to pray? It seems that many people do need a crisis of some kind to motivate them to truly pray to their Father in Heaven. But, why is that? Shouldn’t we be praying to Him anyway?

He is the Author of life and the Creator of everything so why not pray to Him? Don’t you believe that He could take care of whatever situation you might be in? Granted, He may do so in His own time and not as immediately as we would like, but don’t give up on God! He has never given up on anyone and He doesn’t until it is too late for them to give their lives to Him.

It is our individual choices which take us places that we enjoy or not. Our choices, not someone else’s, are the ones that we will have to account for when we face God one day. Have you considered that today? Have you thought of what you have done or said that you haven’t asked Him for forgiveness for?

You can’t hide any part of your life from God, no matter how much you may want to. He knows all about each of us, regardless of which continent you live on or how far you may be from the nearest cell tower! God doesn’t need cell coverage to find you because He never lost you! He has always been near you, patiently waiting for you to ask for Him to come into your life and help you get things straitened out.

I know that there are many of you who read this that think “My life doesn’t need to be straitened out!”; if that is true, what is working so perfectly in your life that nothing needs to be fixed? Please let the world know how you got everything figured out so we can all enjoy this freedom!

There are many who think that they have it figured out, but they are really fooling themselves. Everyone has problems of one kind or another, some are worse than others but I don’t believe that there is a person on this planet that doesn’t have some problems or at the least one problem. Life just isn’t that easy or pleasant.

Even if you have enough money that you can buy anything that you could want, without asking “How much?”; there are still taxes to pay, rent, maintenance fees for cars, houses, apartments, etc. Life just doesn’t let you have it that easy without some problems. Unless, you are one of those who is off the grid, no cell, no internet, no TV, paid cash for a small house and all that you have to worry about is utilities and food. So even with that, you still have “bills” of a sort; of course you could grow your own veggies, and unless your home is a solar powered one you still have to pay for electricity.

Living on earth is just not that forgiving as far as problems are concerned, although living off the grid entirely doesn’t sound too bad come to think of it!

Giving your heart to Jesus doesn’t fix any of these problems either. As a matter of fact, some problems may get worse especially if you tell others about your Savior and can’t keep it to yourself! We were commanded to do this, so why should you! That is why this blog exists, so that people who are searching for some of life’s answers can find them. I don’t have those answers, but God’s Word does and all you have to do is read it.

Live your life according to Scripture and in awe of our God and Creator, because if He had not made our home we wouldn’t have such a perfect place to live. I know that many of you don’t have a perfect place, but in comparison to the other planets in our solar system, earth is as perfect for us as it gets. God loves you, each and every one of you because He created you and placed you exactly where He wanted you to be!

Give your life to Jesus, pursue Him as you would a lover, learn about Him from the Word of God. When you have done these things, He will give you the peace that you cannot understand and that you have longed for all of your life. You will also be assured of a place in heaven forever and not punishment in hell.

Life is …..

Life is…? What? Hard? Easy? Difficult? Mostly, life is all of these. Occasionally, all of them at the same time!

The wind blows, the trees sway.

The river and streams run and tumble and play,

But the rocks are still, yet they are shaped,

By wind and water too.

Life is like that as well. The things that we experience shape our lives and how we perceive life. Can we do anything about the life that we live? Sometimes, but most of the time we just live it. Is it hard to “just live it”? Not really unless you live in poverty or in an area that has been under a drought for a long time or in a war torn area of the world. Life is not easy, regardless of where you live or what you believe in.

The society and cultures that we live in, regardless of the country, shape our opinions and our lives as well as our characters. Is there any way that we can be good enough to be human and be kind to one another? Yes, we all have the capability and the moral compass within us. Whether we choose to be that person or not is our choice. We are free to choose, for good or evil, how our actions affect those around us.

Most of us would like to be liked by our colleagues, so we choose to be likeable and friendly. Others in society choose to be selfish, caring only about what is good for them as individuals and nothing for anyone else. Thankfully, those who are selfish make up a smaller portion of society, but they do get most of the media attention so we hear about them most often. I think that is why we are so fascinated by reality shows. When cameras are around, at some point the selfish person will show up when they are least expected and usually it is the person who wasn’t selfish to begin with.

We are a group of contrasts, always changing as we get older. Sometimes for better, sometimes not so much. Age doesn’t always bring wisdom, it should but life has a way of teaching you lessons that you really don’t enjoy and whether you get wisdom from these lessons or not is still up to you. We are ruled by our choices in life and in eternity. I know, many people don’t really believe that there is an eternity but it is mentioned in the Bible so I believe it exists, and it is a very long, long time!

How can we make a difference in our life and in other people’s lives now and into eternity? By living the life that we have like it is going to end tomorrow! Telling and showing others the One who came to give them life after this one! It is not a hard job, but it is one that is not very popular right now. Some of the lessons contained in God’s Word are considered “hate speech“, bigoted, elitist views of salvation, the list goes on and on.

The point of all of this is that we only have a limited amount of time to let others know about Jesus. Our lifetime is only a small part of eternity and compared to eternity it is but a puff of smoke or mist. The message that we have is one that is very important to those who need it and will listen. If you don’t think that you need it..well, prayer is an option, searching for the answer in God‘s Word is another option, but religion is not. Religion, regardless of which one it is, can get you and anyone else a place in hell quicker than anything because it is not religion that saves your soul, it is belief in Jesus‘ sacrifice for you that saves you!

Open the Word, seek the wisdom contained in it, ask God to reveal Himself to you. Then let His light shine through you to others so that they can see Him and want to know Him too. Truly God is in control, otherwise our world would’ve ended long ago. Get to know Him while you can.

Is Christ in your Christmas?

In our world and the culture that we live in, we tend to look at this time of year as a “commercial” time. We see all of the advertisements and sales of all kinds from Black Friday on to Christmas Eve and yet no one seems to notice the real reason for Christmas.

Now I am not going to tell you that Jesus was born on Christmas Day because we don’t know the exact date of His birth. It was in the fall of the year but December or the month which coincides with it on the Jewish calendar is cold and wet and I don’t think that the story of His birth reflects that type of weather.

Christ is the reason for this season and we have all heard it whether we agree with it or not. Our culture is rejecting anything that has to do with Jesus at this time or at any other time of year but He is still Lord. So, what do we do with Jesus? What should we do with Christ?

Allow Him into our celebration of this time of year and into our hearts! This really is the only choice that makes sense but those who don’t want to believe will still disagree with that choice. Our choices in life dictate the direction of our lives, whether you decide to believe this or not really doesn’t make any difference.

Once the direction of your life has been chosen, consciously or not, your destination coincides with that road that you are on whether good or bad. The same is true about the religion that you follow and where it will take you. You could follow “heavy metal” although it wouldn’t do much for you spiritually. You could choose Scientology but that won’t get you much either.

The only religion which has stood the test of time is Christianity. To be like Christ you must follow His example and we must allow Him into our heart and our life. There also has to be a change in your character consistent with your faith in Him. Many people don’t want this change. They don’t believe that it will or can change them. Many just don’t want to change and that is fine, but what will you tell God when He asks you “What did you do with my Son?”?

The answer to that question is what seals your eternal destiny. It is not the acts that you have committed in your life, though they will testify against you too. Eternity rests on the answer to just one question: “Did you allow Jesus into your life and your heart?”. What you did before doesn’t matter. If you allowed Him into your heart, everything that you do afterward does matter, because those things are supposed to be done for Him and His glory.

What about atheism?

Is is possible to believe in nothing or no one but yourself? It seems that it is in the culture that we live in today.

The number of books on the rejection of religion and God has exploded in the past few years. Is this something which could have been foreseen? Yes and it was foretold but there are many who have refused to teach or preach on this subject.

Your life and mine would never have happened if God did not exist. Chance and accidental combinations of chemicals can produce nothing. If that were possible, Europe and all of the countries and towns that were bombed during WWII would have never had to rebuild. The pieces would have flown apart and rearranged themselves and all would have been as it was.

Chaos does not create order, it destroys it by rearranging order into disorder. It seems that it would take an awful lot of faith in accidental order causing what we see in the universe. Is it possible that all of the whole cosmos came from an explosion with no intelligence directing it? According to scientists in our day and time, it is possible because natural forces would take all the matter from that explosion and arrange it where it needed to be. But..what about you, the fish in the ocean, the bacteria that live in total darkness at the scalding vents in the ocean, the redwood trees? These did not come about by accident and they did not evolve over millions or billions of years. The Creator, God, created those and many more. He is the “director” of the universe.

He is the one who put you together in your mother’s womb to be the person that He knows that you can be. Not what society says or dictates but what God knows you can do and be in His kingdom! Since the world that we live in is part of His kingdom and everything in it belongs to Him, why not accept it? A belief in the existence of something does not dictate whether it exists or not. If it exists then your belief in it or not has no effect on its existence. We can’t change the way the universe is or the order of things just by our thoughts and feelings.

If that were the way that things worked, then we could choose not to believe in the tax code and just not pay our taxes and everything would be fine, right? No, because as rational people we have to go along with the laws in the country that we live in and belief in those laws has nothing to do with the consequences or whether we think they may be right or not.

The world that we live in was created by God and the laws of the universe were too. Regardless of your belief or unbelief in the existence of God, He is there and always has been. His love for each of us has been there from the beginning as well and your belief or not doesn’t change that. God did not trouble Himself when He created you or this universe because it was no trouble for Him at all! He spoke and the universe and most everything in it came into being. The only created being that He took time with was man and He didn’t have to do that, but He did. God used His hands and formed mankind out of the clay of the earth and blew into his nostrils the breath of Life. We hold a special place in creation because of that.

Belief or not doesn’t change it and never will. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to take the sins and the punishment for them on Himself so that we could find grace in Him and put on His righteousness. He died and then rose again so that we will be able to have eternal life through Him, if we will just ask Him into our lives. Being saved by God’s grace through Jesus is our choice, just as believing in God or Jesus is a choice. The choice that you make will determine your place in eternity. Which choice will you make?

Keep it simple, silly!

The principle and the message in the title is simple but our lives are not. What problems affect you and your everyday living? Bills coming due, the loss of a loved one, a sick child, all of these are upon the whole of the world regardless of the country you live in or your financial condition. How can we cope with the problems that we face everyday? Who will comfort us and show us the way to go in times of trouble?

The answer to all of these questions is Jesus. I know that there are many people who really don’t like that answer, but He is. In our lives, we have pain and doubts from physical as well as emotional problems but the only person that we can count on to be there when we need Him is Jesus. I know that many people say that is just a crutch or even a fairy tale but the prophecies contained in God‘s Word are true and most have been fulfilled. The only ones that have not are the ones concerning the end of the age and it isn’t time yet.

When that time comes, everyone will see and know Who is in charge. They may not like the outcome, but if you decide to follow Him before that day you will be a winner! Nothing that we have or get in this life goes with us when we die but the decision to follow Jesus or not determines your eternal destination. Think about it.

Are we really that easy to fool?

In recent years there have been new “religions” which have come into the world. Are we really that gullible as to believe something which man has devised from his own thoughts and feelings?

I suppose we must be since Scientology and other religions have been created just in the past one hundred years from man’s own mind. Imagination is good when it is used to write a book of fiction but it is another thing entirely when you are using it to create something that you follow as a “religion“.

In all sincerity you can make a religion out of most anything, from football to fishing or even your job or your status. But, if you do such a thing and you are wrong, what then? If the Bible and Christianity are true, which many people believe, then what will you do when you stand before God after you die? “Sorry” or “Oops” come to mind but they won’t be enough!

What about Islam and Allah? This religion was given to their prophet a little over a thousand years ago and it is reported to be a “peaceful” religion. Yet, according to their laws, you will be killed if you do not worship Allah and submit to Islamic traditions. It doesn’t sound peaceful to me.

Are we blind to the power of God?

When we sleep or just close our eyes to the outside world are we like little children who think that because they can’t see anything, they are invisible and the world is too? There are times that I would like for that to be true but, it isn’t. When we were blind to the truth of God, did His truth still exist? Of course it did!

The world and all of the created things in it exist regardless of our position in it or our comprehension of it. The sun comes up and the moon rises, the tides come in and flow back to the sea, seasons change and the wind blows. All of these have been since the beginning when God put them into motion and they will not stop until He causes them to.

The same is true in our lives. We go to sleep at night and dream, we wake in the morning, eat breakfast and get ready for our job, and this is a daily ritual that goes on until we retire or we die whichever comes first. The novelty of life is that it shouldn’t be a novelty; we should live it as real as it is and thank God that we can do so.

The ground under your feet and the air that we breathe are real because God made them so. We did not and cannot create anything that He did not create first; a painting or sculptures are only as real as our imagination and our talent allows us to make it. He created the stone and the paint pigments that are used in its creation by us if we have the talent to do so. God Himself sculpted Adam from the mud and breathed His life into him and afterward He said that it was very good. Adam’s own decision to not follow God’s instructions caused all of us to pay for his mistake but God knew that was going to happen before it happened. He had a plan then and He has a plan for all of us today through Jesus and the work that He did for all of us.

The life that we are given to live here is for God’s glory and for His purposes. Whether we choose to work for Him and with Him is still our choice but our life will be the greater for it if we do choose His ways and purposes. While we are living and working in this world, regardless of our vocation, we should use our time and energy to further His kingdom as much as we are able. The pay for working for God in this life may not be profitable as our world views it, but the rewards in the next life are beyond measure by any standard that anyone on earth can fathom.

If you died today, where would you go? I hear many people say, “I hope that I will go to heaven”. If your hope is in Christ and your faith is in Him too, you will. If you are counting on your own deeds to get there, you will be disappointed. Our righteousness is as filthy rags without Christ because nothing that we can do on our own is good enough. Give your life to Him and ask Jesus to save you from your sins today. Once you do that, there will be no doubt about where you will be after you die. You will be with Him. Then your life will really start!

 

Why all of the anger and vulgarity?

There is no reason for these in a society in the 21st century. I know there are some who think that they can’t talk without some form of vulgar speech coming through but is it that necessary? Truly, how would you feel if you were talking this way and Jesus was standing there? Would it bother you?

Our world is under God‘s watchful gaze but Satan has the run of the world right now so all things which happen that are terrible can be laid at his feet. He is the one causing all of the conflict in our world and between people in the world. The Creator is in control regardless of what may be happening and nothing catches Him by surprise.

Our lives belong to us but we are here for His purpose not just our own. God used kings and pharaoh’s even when they did not believe in Him or in who He was and He used them to accomplish His purposes just as He does today. We have become so accustomed to the violence, hatred, and other areas of our world until we just don’t pay much attention to the news anymore.

I also know that there are people who don’t believe in God or Jesus and for them the only advice that can be given is to listen to a real Bible-teaching church sermon and to read God’s Word. I know that most atheists don’t want to read the Bible or go to church, but the time will come when you will finally see and understand and it may be too late to decide at that point.

Please, listen to God’s voice and answer the call on your life. You won’t regret it and the reward will be out of this world!

Life and how we live it

Life, a ponderous time of work and worry and more work. Stress and all the trappings of “success” that go with it. This is our view of life. It is not and was not supposed to be this way. And yet, it is. Why is that?

It is because of the adversary and the ruler of this world. The one who has dominion over the earth and its “religions”, Satan himself. Even if you are a Christian, the world and its ruler has some measure of control over your life. Unless, you are walking by faith on a daily basis and claiming God‘s promises.

Those are prerequisites for a changed and powerful life. I am not saying that your life has no meaning if you have or have not given your life to Christ, what I am saying is that the world always has some measure of control over you and your choices if you have not given your life to Jesus and walk daily with Him. God Himself can empower you to live for Him when you give your heart to Him in such a way that life before will seem to be just a shadow of what you will do once you truly give your heart to Jesus.

Our life here is but a shadow of what it will be in the Kingdom of God. Serving Him in whatever position you are placed in at that time. Right now, you have the chance to serve Him in ways that you never imagined that you would or could do if you will allow Him to work through you daily. Your business can be more successful, your marriage will be more fulfilling and your family will be more focused on serving Him. God needs us as His eyes and hands and feet to do and say things to people today the same way that the prophets did in times past. No one seems to believe that the Bible is relevant, so people don’t read it or pay attention to what it says.

God doesn’t make mistakes,especially with his Creation. Our life and the life we are given to live is given to each of us for a purpose and many people search for this purpose all of their lives without success. Our purpose in life is to do God’s will and to perform the service that He has for each of us to do, not just what we want to do. It may be something that we may not want to do but if you are following Christ truly, you must do the Father‘s will and not your own. When you find that purpose and do His will in your life, you will be rewarded and your life will be enriched beyond your wildest dreams.

Along those lines, I don’t mean that you will be wealthy or powerful or famous, but you will be doing the will of the Creator. Isn’t that wonderful! It amazes me everyday to think that I am serving the Creator of the entire Universe, not just going to work but in doing so while following Christ I am serving Him as well. I fail at times just like everyone else, but God knows that and He knows that it is going to happen because I am human. I can’t serve Him perfectly day in and day out, no one has done that except Jesus. When those failures happen, I go to Him and ask for forgiveness and for more strength from Him for the next time. God loves us all and wants us to come to Him for everything, not just when someone is sick or has an accident. Give Him a chance in your life and give your life a chance with Him, you won’t regret that decision ever!