Job 19, “I know that my redeemer lives!”

Job 19:25-27

It is at times such as this that we are sure that no one else as ever experienced the pain and loneliness that we feel. That no one understands what we are going through. Although it is true that no one knows exactly how we feel, others have experienced the devastation of the loss of a loved one.

The experience of one such person is recorded in the Bible in the book of Job. Job had it all, he had ten children, fields of livestock, an abundance of land, a houseful of servants, and a substantial stack of cash or the equivalent at the time. And then, without warning, like an avalanche, adversity struck. He lost his livestock, crops, land, servants, and if you can believe it all ten of his children.

Soon thereafter he lost the last human vestige of hope, his health. He had experienced his own sea of pain and he could therefore write from experience of his own intense inner suffering.

But in the midst of his pain he made a profound statement of faith and hope recorded in Chapter 19, verses twenty-five through twenty-seven. I would like to share that with you now.

Job writes, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; (26) And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, (27) Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

Notice Job’s certainty. Like Job, even in our pain there are some things that we can “know” that is be certain about. Twice in this passage Job states there are some things that he “knows” (vs. 25, 26) with certainty.

First, Job states that he knows that there is a Redeemer. In verse twenty-five “I know that my Redeemer lives….” Job states that he is “my” redeemer; he had a personal relationship with the Redeemer. This is a personal statement, born out of personal conviction, not hearsay, not speculation, but truth uttered from his heart with assurance and firm conviction.

What is a redeemer? “One who re-purchases” and “One who delivers from bondage by paying a ransom”. Now Job could have said, “I know that my Savior lives”. He would have been accurate. He could have said, “I know that my Champion lives”. He would have been accurate. He could have said, “I know that my Advocate lives”. He would have been accurate. But he didn’t use any of those terms or any other. He said, “Redeemer”. That means that Job knew he needed to be purchased back. He knew that he ultimately belonged to God, but that sin had interrupted that relationship. He had the confidence in God and His goodness and faithfulness to say, “I know that my Redeemer lives.…” The One who buys me back.

Do you know that? Is that your firm conviction today? Can you say that with confidence, “I KNOW that my Redeemer lives”? Jesus loves you more than you can imagine and He is with you every day in every situation, no matter what it may be!

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What do you believe?

Are you a theist or an atheist? Do you really think that everything around you was caused by an accidental convergence of matter and protein or was it created by God?

These questions are being asked all over the Internet, on news and talk shows and by people who are just curious, like me. So, what do you believe? Do you have a belief in anything or nothing or is this just existence and when we die, we are dead, period?

From other posts here, it is easy to see what my beliefs are: I believe in God and that He created all that is here and in the universe. I don’t think that anything is an accident, all of it has a purpose. We all have a purpose, and whether that purpose is to oppose others or to agree with them in one sense or another, then each of our purposes are fulfilled.

Truly, my belief shouldn’t offend you, whether you agree with it or not. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you and we can agree to disagree on any number of subjects. Your belief or lack of belief doesn’t offend me, unless you are trying to be offensive.

We cannot all agree on our beliefs in a higher power or our lack of belief in one. It just can’t be done because, beliefs are like opinions everyone has one to some extent. So, what separates people in their belief systems? Is it personal or corporate? I am not sure. It seems that very few people really know what to believe any more, the different research groups have done some polls and it seems that belief is waning in America.

For those under thirty, very few people believe in or even go to a worship service of any kind on a regular basis. Our country, and its citizens are going through such a terrible time, financially, morally, physically for some who have cancer and other diseases. So, why is this happening? What caused all of this and is there a solution?

For those who don’t claim to have a belief in any god or God, there is no human solution that will work. We are not good enough to fix what is happening or what has already happened. It is done and we will just have to deal with the consequences of it. The other problems that plague people daily are some that have come through disease, lifestyle, abuse (whether of substances or people), stress, depression, heartache and fear.

How can anyone, whether they are an atheist and believe in humanistic solutions to our problems or if they are believers, think that there is a solution that mankind can come up with to handle the problems that we are facing today? Most of the problems that we are having today, have actually been around for hundreds of years (with the exception of fossil fuel problems and nuclear problems). So why haven’t we found a solution to them?

If mankind is so smart and so capable, then why hasn’t the overcrowding, war, hunger, and housing problem been solved before now? We are no closer to finding a solution to these than we were a century or more ago! In fact, they have all become worse in the past century. I think that the solution lies not in something being done, but in the One that we are counting on. I am not saying that belief in and dependence upon Jesus will solve all of our problems, but if we truly followed His example of living a servant life toward others, many of our problems would be fixed.

Belief in or about something doesn’t make it true or false. Take the Sun rising tomorrow, is it sure to happen or do you have to believe? What about gravity? This is a force of nature and our own star, they just are, so we naturally know that both are what they are and no more. We don’t have to have faith in the Sun or in gravity to know what it is and that it is there, just as the moon rising at night is nothing that has to be believed in to be seen.

The truth of our existence is that we are beings created in the image of God, and our Creator came in the form of a man to die on a cross so that all of our sin debts have been paid. All that we have to do to receive His Grace and forgiveness is believe in Him and receive it by faith. Forgiveness is God’s love expressed toward us by His Grace and we can’t feel it or touch it, but it is there. I can’t touch my wife’s love for me, but I know it is there. The sinful ways that we live day in and day out, when we are rejecting Jesus, are hurtful to God in ways that we cannot understand. He has loved us and did love us enough to die for us and rise from the grave so that one day, we will as well. Please do your research to find out the truth about Him, before your time here is up, because you won’t get another chance to accept Him after your last breath in this life

 

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.

 

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.