people are never the enemy

In wartime and peacetime, this is one little bit of wisdom which never is heard, I wonder why is that? People really aren’t the enemy no matter what type of conflict it may be. Sometimes it is a religious war or conflict and it affects people of all ages, but the people aren’t the enemy and they aren’t the reason that the conflict is going on. It is usually because of a doctrine or something which was said about someone, maybe taken out of context, but once it is said it can’t be taken back.

GodisNearNo, people are not the real enemy. Satan uses people to attack others in subtle ways at times, but the attack usually works because of something that was said or maybe it was written somewhere. The hurt and pain caused by a word or a sentence can last for a lifetime and the retaliation for those words hurts for the same amount of time. Yet, it doesn’t matter what is said afterward. It won’t matter how much was said prior to the pain. Because once that happens, whatever it might be, all of the good is forgotten and will never be remembered again.

No amount of money or time or prayer will ever fix or even lessen the pain caused by a word or phrase which was said at the wrong time or in the wrong way. The pain which comes back toward the one who caused this in the first place will never go away either. Nobody will ever let the community or the church or their friends forget what happened. At least until Jesus comes again. I can’t tell you how that will fix things because I am not Him, but somehow He will do something which will heal the hurt and the pain.

That is what I am looking forward to, regardless of the amount of time that I have left on this Earth.

Don’t legitimize….

You may wonder why I didn’t put a subject behind that but there is a reason. It is because we are giving legitimacy to many religions and beliefs when we shouldn’t be! There are too many subjects which would fit in that title. What are they? Dowsing, pyramid energy, mediums who claim to be using “angel cards”, ouija, etc.; all of these and more are part of the occult and people shouldn’t be consulting with them, but they are.

Giving these “optional” beliefs legitimate status doesn’t help us to get the message out into the world that Jesus is the way to salvation, not “alternate religions”. There are so many different beliefs in the world until it is hard to understand just why there are so many. Satan has been working very hard to give people an alternate viewpoint which can be molded into a new religion or faith. It seems that today it is so easy to put your faith in almost anything besides God and Jesus!

separatechurchesWe talk about religion and being religious as if that covers all of Christianity but you can be religious about anything. Just because someone seems to be religious doesn’t mean that they are a Christian. They could be religious about any one of the hundreds of different religions out there, you could even be a religious atheist! My point is this: don’t give religions other than Christianity a legitimate foothold!

I know, I am not being inclusive of all people and their beliefs and I will own that. What I am trying to get people to think about here is ETERNITY!! There is only one God and Jesus the Christ Who can grant you access to eternity, or at least one that you would enjoy living in! The Bible states it plainly that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, all other paths, even though they may be morally good, will lead you elsewhere for eternity.

Some faiths don’t believe in eternal punishment like the lake of fire foretold in Revelation. But, if God says that is where you will be and He doesn’t lie, then that is where your choices will take you! Seek out Jesus and His gospel, believe in Him and repent of your sinful ways and then follow Him, reading His Word and praying for strength each day because it is through Him that we are given eternal life and forgiveness.

 

A friend of mine…

TrueFriendshipCould we be friends?

Sometimes people get so caught up in life and living until they forget about the friends they have. Friends put up with all sorts of behavior that even your family won’t put up with, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget them. True friends are those that even when it has been years since you last spoke to each other, you can just pick up where you left off. How many friends like that do you have?

This is the type of friend that we all have available in Jesus.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He becomes your Savior and friend but HE also introduces you to many other people who can be your friends. Your brothers and sisters in Christ! They know Him and through their spirit and your spirit you can become close friends. I am not saying this is automatic because that is not how friendships work, but it can be.

God created us all to be as close as friends no matter where we live or what our life may be like. Could you be friends with God? Of course you can, if you will just decide to follow Him and His Son, every day not just once or twice per month. Walk with Him in life, daily…even hourly, because HE gives your breath to you and your heart beats because of His grace too!

Friendship is a relationship and being a child of God, saved and sanctified by the atoning blood of Jesus, is also a relationship which needs to be a lifelong one! Your relationship with Jesus should be one which is even closer than just friends and in order for that to be, you need to learn as much as possible about Him! This can be done by reading and studying the Bible and attending a church which teaches from it.

Consider that your relationship with Jesus is a friendship. Mainly because He already knows you far better than you know Him, so pursue Him like you would if He is the only Life that you have…because after this one He truly is your Life or your Judge, it is your choice which one He will be ultimately.

Like a child

LetthechildrencometoMeHow many people do you know who think or act like a child? There are many I would guess in our society today and it seems to be getting worse. Many of them are in the news crying about what someone said hurting their feelings so much that they need a safe place. A safe place for what exactly? So many of them have their eyes glued to the screen of a phone until I don’t see how they even know what is happening around them!

Jesus told us to “believe like a child” not to act like one! Children believe and will do what their parent’s tell them, most of the time. Especially when they are young, at least up until this last generation was born. Twenty years or so in the past, this type of behavior wasn’t too bad. Now it seems to be rampant among college age kids who have no idea about life in the real world and how things are really happening around them. Many of them today are too busy with their games or their phones or both. Chasing Pokemon all over the place and getting into trouble or worse while doing it.

Could life be better in this world? Yes, but it would take a major revival of values in this country. Which would put so many people into shock and running for their safe places until many people would be trampled in the streets. Many of those who are against Christianity have said that our religion has caused all sorts of death and destruction in the name of Jesus. I know it has happened in the past, and I mean the distant past. The Crusades, the Inquisition, and some others in the Dark Ages, but come on, which church was actually doing this?

The so-called “mother” church, Catholicism. The Roman Catholic Church had a lot of influence during this time. Not because they were the dominant church, which they were at the time for good reason. The common man wasn’t allowed to own or read a Bible. Much of the service was done in Latin and there were no Scriptures in the common language until the Geneva Bible and Tyndale and Wycliffe translated it and it was printed. Even then, many who were found to have possession of one of these English Bibles were burned at the stake because of it.

I am not bashing Catholic believers or their church, just look it up and you can find this information in history books like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and other historical documents. God loves each of us, regardless of the doctrine that your church may follow or teach. As long as your pastor/teacher is teaching from God’s Word and not changing it to suit his way of thinking!

Please, think about giving your life to Jesus and following Him on a daily basis because the alternative to Heaven is not worth eternity.

Does anyone care?

So many in our world are dealing with problems brought on by addictions of one form or another. Some of this is because of injuries which cause the addiction to pain killers or alcohol. Some of it is brought on by depression and thoughts of suicide, like my thoughts and problems. There are so many parts of our lives which are exposed to scrutiny on the Internet by social media or by hacked records being released until there is very little privacy anymore. Which causes a whole new set of anxiety to deal with daily.

Unless, you are very careful with your information and even then it may not be enough. So, does anyone care about any of this? Some do, many more do not. Do you have any REAL friends or are most of them on Facebook? I consider my friends on Facebook to be my friends because most of them are people who I went to school with or rode on the bus with to get to school. High school was almost forty years ago and we have all been separated by life and distance, but those who graduated with me, I still consider my friends. Even if we weren’t close in school.

Today, our addictions and other problems help us to deal with today’s stress levels. Then, sometimes those addictions tend to make the stress levels worse or they make our lives worse in one way or another. But, we all have problems in this life to one extent or another. Whether it has to do with finances or jobs or faith, our problems tend to grow into bigger problems at one point or another. Sometimes, faith or religion can be a help in whatever situation we find ourselves in, but occasionally it can make some problems worse.

I am not trying to make it seem that faith in God or Allah or whoever it may be that you place your faith in will make things better. Occasionally your faith can and does help. Doctors have noticed that faith in God or the religion that you grew up with can help in recovery from disease or injury. So, to tell you that faith doesn’t play a positive part in our lives would be a lie.

God does care about each of us, regardless of the rhetoric that you may hear to the contrary. He is the Creator and He knows you better than you know yourself! Put your faith in Him and seek Him out because, even if your life today or tomorrow doesn’t improve, your eternal life will be waiting for you regardless. Here are a few scriptures to show you the way:

1. We must acknowledge God as the Creator of everything, accepting our humble position in God’s created order and purpose. Romans 1:20-21

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

2. We must realize that we are sinners and that we need forgiveness. None of us are worthy under God’s standards. Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

3. God gave us the way to be forgiven of our sins. He showed us His love by giving us the potential for life through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

4. If we remain sinners, we will die. However, if we repent of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have eternal life. Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

5. Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you are saved. Romans 10:9-10

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

6. There are no other religious formulas or rituals. Just call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved! Romans 10:13

“For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

7. Determine in your heart to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life today. Romans 11:36

Addiction

You hear a lot about opium addiction and its derivative drugs from opium/heroin, so why is it so addictive? Because of the high that it gives, being such a euphoric feeling, even with a small amount of drug such as four milligrams of hydrocodone. It is a very easy and very much addicting group of substances.

Why am I bringing this up? I took a dose of cough medicine which had hydrocodone in it last night. I may have taken a little bit more than the amount the doctor told me to take, but I wasn’t expecting the reaction, the outcome, the high that just a little more put into my system. I didn’t take it to get high, I wasn’t taking it to “try it out”. I won’t be taking it ever again.

My point in this is: why would you do such a thing when it makes you feel terrible afterward? My entire day was blown yesterday and I was ill for almost the whole day. Did it feel euphoric while I was “high”, yes, but not worth doing it again that’s for sure!! Please read this as a warning, it is addictive and some of these new opiate drugs are even more addictive than what I took. Please seek out some other form of “high” if that is what you need!

Praying for all who read this. Seek out Jesus and His Salvation in your life, eternity is a better and LONGER high than anything here on this Earth! Amen?

Barriers and walls

Many times in your life, whether you are a Christian or not, you will come up against walls. Some of them are built by pain, some of them are built by envy or jealousy, some of them are built by a disease which causes you pain in a very deep emotional way. We all have to scale these walls and barriers at some point, some of them are hard to climb because they are so big, but they can be torn down.

Oh, we can’t do this by ourselves though, regardless of what counselors and some doctors may tell you. Walls, whether built by emotions, disease, death, jealousy, racism, or hatred, can only be broken down by God’s work in your heart and in your life. Day by day, walking with Him and seeking His wisdom and strength by which we can take the walls down brick by brick is the only way.

It is not a quick process and it isn’t easy either, especially when you have been able to take care of yourself in other situations in your life. What makes this so difficult or any different? It’s because of what the walls and barriers are made from. The ones which are so difficult are made from emotions like fear, anger, resentment, racism, hate, envy and greed. There are others, but you get the point. These walls keep out those who care about you, whether it is God or friends and family!

Each of us feels the effect of these barriers in some way or another, sometimes the effect on us is that which causes a disease or pain. Emotions can do this and the ones which hurt the most usually do the most damage. It may take a little time before you feel the effects of it, but until it is resolved in some way, it will only get worse over time. In particular, anger and hatred which are unresolved or unforgiven will give you ulcers and possibly high blood pressure and they will make other conditions worse. Do the research yourself if you don’t believe me, but I am not pulling your leg.

Barriers and walls made from emotional bricks can cause more hurt and pain than many people realize. It doesn’t have to be anger or hatred which cause these walls, it can be envy, or any of a number of other emotions which I named earlier. All of them get in the way of relationships, especially your relationship with God. Seek His help in resolving these walls, breaking them down to the point where you can still have a relationship with Him daily. He can do it but He wants to do it with you!

I had these problems for a very long time, and at times they still pop up and blur my “spiritual vision” in a way. I usually sit down and talk with God about it as soon as I realize what is happening, and it soon resolves itself or God helps me to resolve it. Give it a try, ask God to help you because He is bigger than any problem or wall that may be in your life and He can help you bring it down.

Three words….

In the Old Testament, there are two words which contrast the way that God shows His love and patience for us, and they are “but God”. The third word is mostly seen in the New Testament and it is “therefore”. What do these words have to do with salvation or a sanctified life in Christ and in relationship with God?

They show us what His love for us means enough that He is about to do something which will make a difference in many lives, not just in one person’s life. The statements which come after these words most often signify a change for the entire human race regarding God’s love and patience toward us all.

When you see “therefore” in the New Testament, it means simply that whatever follows is done, period. Some examples of these words and what follows are listed here:

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Genesis 31:42
If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.

Genesis 50:20
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

1 Samuel 23:14
David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands. 

The reason that I didn’t include “therefore” statements from the New Testament is because there are so many of them. Nearly every chapter in Matthew and Luke’s gospel has one. All of the letters which Paul wrote have them, so it would be prohibitively long.

All of these examples show that God cares for us, not just the Israelites but the whole of humanity! Why? Because, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die in our place, to suffer the scorn and the abandonment upon the cross if He did not love us!

Why do you think that Jesus said to His disciples, “Suffer the little children to come unto me”, because children don’t need a “why” or a reason to believe…they just do! This is the kind of faith that we seem to lose as adults. We get so caught up in life and in our living until we can’t or won’t believe unless we can touch it or feel it in our hands. This is why there will be so many “Christians” in hell one day! Many of them think that they know Jesus and that they believe in Him, when they really believe in the idea of Him and His love for them. The “idea” won’t save their souls!

We have to shed our veil, the curtain which we have been seeing Him through and look at Him as our Creator and our Savior and see Him as a real and living person, not as a “quaint idea” that is spoken of in the Bible and at church. Many times during my life when I thought that I was a “Christian”, I prayed and I read a few verses of scripture. But, I never did get into the Temple. I never crossed the threshold of the outer court, let alone come into the Holy Places where God is. God enjoyed a relationship with Adam and Eve for a while, yet we don’t know how long it was. They were immortal at that point, so it could’ve been a long time. This is the sort of relationship that He wants with His church, His people today.

Do we come near to Him? Do we visit with Him every day or do we just visit for an hour or so on Sunday morning, then go home and don’t think about Him again until next week? How would you feel if that were your relationship with your spouse? Kinda cold isn’t it?

God loves you and me and everyone else on this world that He created for us, but we seem to forget that He is there. We don’t want to acknowledge Him unless we need Him for something, usually urgently…like RIGHT NOW!!

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit don’t work like that! The Spirit comes to you when you become a Christian. He doesn’t come as a drip at a time, but as the whole package. Jesus saves you and you are to become more like Him as you mature in your walk, daily, as a Christian, studying the Word of God and learning from Him. God watches over you and me and everyone else and makes sure that all things work to our good and His glory IF we belong to Him. 

The church needs to understand that since we are the “body of Christ” until His return, we need to mature into people who are as priests in His Kingdom. We shouldn’t be acting like little children who don’t know better or who don’t know how to act like true Christians who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.