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their church, just look it up and you can find this information in history books like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and other historical documents.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.

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.

Do you believe?

In the world today, there are many who don’t believe in Jesus or the Bible itself yet it is the inspired Word of God. Although many people don’t believe even that the Bible is God’s Word but just a collection of stories written by a bunch of men. The Bible is so much more than that!

It was written under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit and the words which are contained in it come from God. Yes, it was written by forty different men over a period of more than 1500 years. That in itself is amazing because if all of those men from different times, even centuries apart, could write a book which told of a Savior Who would come to save the world, then how could they have made the stories up?!

Belief is also bound up in faith because you can’t believe in the miracles or in our Savior without faith even if it is as small as a grain of mustard seed. The tiniest bit of faith can be used by God to accomplish many things, far beyond what you would think. When the will of God is involved in anything, it will be accomplished no matter the size of your faith!

Give your life and your heart to Jesus, as well as all that you have, and He will multiply it back to you and into His Kingdom in ways that can’t be imagined. I pray that this will encourage you to follow Jesus and ask Him into your life. Why? Because, I have to…it is my job to tell others about Him! I can’t keep quiet because He is in control and His power goes into the world to heal from this time forward! God has not stopped healing or mending broken hearts and lives.

Thank you for your time and may God richly bless you in all of the ways that you need, in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

What is coming?

Really, nobody knows. We do have some prophecies from the Bible which tell us some things which are coming in the next few years. How many years from now, nobody knows except for God Himself. The best thing that Christians can do is to pray and ask God to help them to become closer to Him.

Changes are coming in many different areas, and I am not speaking of our government here, around the world in the places where wars are being fought right now. Some new wars will be declared in other places along with weather patterns which may get worse.

We don’t know what or when but God is in charge and all of us need to turn to Him for our lives. I pray that this year will be the year that many people will come to salvation through Jesus.

A new year….a new beginning of sorts, make it eternal in the embrace of God.

What is about to happen…

Many people seem to be wondering about this and searching for the answer. Nobody knows what is about to happen except God. Haven’t you thought about this during this election cycle? We all have to some degree. But, with all of the pundits and players leaning one way and then the other from day-to-day, how can you know which candidate would be the right one?

Truly, you and I can’t know the answer to that until after the election and we find a winner. Many people are saying one thing about this candidate and how the future will turn out if he or she wins, when in the real world..nobody knows for sure except God.

Will America be a great republic like it was sixty years ago or one hundred and sixty years ago? Nobody knows. Will it turn into a socialist state and disintegrate into a chaotic anarchy? Nobody knows. If you don’t vote in the election, you won’t have a say in either outcome, so don’t complain when it doesn’t go the way you wanted it to.

Voting for a third-party candidate who has absolutely NO chance of being elected is as bad as not voting at all, so don’t cry about it when things get really bad if you didn’t have the guts to vote for a candidate which could do something for us. Why is this post so politically loud and not pointing out which person to support? Because I don’t have that answer and nobody else does either.

I do know that God already knows who will be elected and it will be the person that He has chosen to either bless this country once more or it will be the person who will bring America to its knees once and for all. We will either enjoy God’s blessing or we will feel and be subjected to His judgement, there is no middle ground, it is either one or the other.

Seek God’s wisdom in this election, pray about your decision and ask God which person you should vote for. Be in prayer about this every day until the election is over, then you can relax and say that you did all that you could and God has chosen because ultimately it will be God’s choice who will be our next President.

I am getting off of my soap box now. Thank you for listening and please be in prayer about this election, our future and your children’s future depends upon the outcome.

What do you believe?

It seems that some people believe that Earth is an entity and that “she” is Gaia, the mother of all life. Others look at nature and the world around them and see gods inhabiting everything, even themselves. Then some don’t believe in any god or gods at all and just believe that when they die, they will just be in the ground and that their life ends when they breathe their last breath on Earth.

There are many other beliefs in this world from one end of the spectrum to another. From no gods exist and neither does the devil, to at least one religion which has millions of gods. We all have our own beliefs but will those beliefs gain us entrance into Heaven or will they send us to hell? The only belief which will get you or me into heaven for eternity is belief in Jesus and in His atonement for your sins.

God has extended His grace toward us in the Person of His Son, Jesus, and the atonement which is through His blood shed for our sins, all of them. God doesn’t require you to believe in Him or His Son, except if you want to have Heaven as your eternal home. You can live your life the way that you wish and be just as happy or miserable as you want, but if you deny the love of God and the atonement given to you through Jesus then your eternity will be without Him.

You can call it hell or Hades or whatever name you wish to give it, but there will be no light, no love, no relief from any punishment that exists there. Since hell was designed as punishment for Satan and his fallen angels, he will make sure that your eternity will be no different from his.

God loves us and Jesus came as the expression of His love toward us so that our sin wouldn’t separate us from Him through eternity. God enjoyed talking and walking with Adam in the garden and He will walk with you if you will ask Him into your heart. He wants a relationship with us and that is another reason why Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

So…what do you believe? Who do you believe in? Do you believe in anyone or anything outside of yourself?

The best news that I have for you is that God knows you better than you know yourself. He is waiting for you to come to Him, knowing that you can’t do it on your own and that you need Him. Why? Because all of us need Him. To give us a purpose and a reason to be, to live, and to work in His Kingdom. There is no higher calling than to be a son or daughter of God. Consider it…then go after Him with all that you have! Why?

What have you got to lose? He owns everything because HE is the Creator! He created you for a reason and He is the only way that your reason can be found! No job can do that, no amount of money or prestige can do that, no other person can give you that fulfilling love and a feeling of being loved by God!

Life matters…

There have been many protests concerning certain lives matter, whether they are Black, African-American, or even White. Come on, God created Life! Your life, my life, and every person who has ever lived on this world, all of our lives matter to Him! The color of your skin or your ethnic origin is irrelevant to God. Slave or freeman, Muslim or Protestant or any religion in the spectrum, God loves you! So, yes, life matters to God…every life!

We, humanity, have put limits and regulations and stipulations on which lives matter and which ones do not matter, at least to us. Why should we compare and claim that my life or your life matters more than any other? A baby being aborted at a clinic could possibly be the person who finds a cure for cancer, but if they aren’t born and allowed to grow toward that potential we will never know. Someone being killed in Turkey or Iran or Syria might also be important to the peace cause in the future, but we will never know for sure.

Lives matter every day, not just today but every day in our country. So many are hurting this morning because of the actions of one person or a few people who are targeting people for the color of their skin. It is heart-wrenching to see this happening in our country when racism should have become a thing of the past. Yet, every time it seems that we have a handle on it, someone from one ethnic group or another will blow a hole in it and begin the process all over again.

I don’t write this in the sense that I am some perfect Christian because there was only One perfect man ever on Earth and He is Jesus. My ideas are that we should get along, but in the society that we have today, in America and around the world, it is not possible. Humanity hasn’t evolved to the point of getting past old hatred and wounds from decades past. We just don’t seem to be able to let it go. Every time healing begins, someone pulls the bandage off and starts it over again. This needs to stop but without prayer and cooperation between those with different tones of skin color, it won’t get a foothold or gain any traction.

God loves us and we were told by our Savior to love one another, but it seems that we haven’t truly figured out what that means yet. We don’t understand the meaning of the word because we have watered it down and changed the meaning of the word “love” so much until it really doesn’t convey the same emotion that Jesus was telling us to express toward each other.

Seek out the Lord in your life and follow Him. Why do I say this? Because if you follow the Author of Life, you will be more alive than you ever have been. You will also learn to be more loving and if you love others as Jesus loves you, then you will not be like those who are causing all of the division and hatred in our world today. Jesus came to bring eternal life to all of us, all we have to do is accept it by faith and ask His forgiveness. Being a Christian is not something which can be forced upon someone, just like you cannot force someone to love you, but if you have felt that you need Him at all, then all you have to do is ask Him to come in and cleanse your heart and to accept you as His child.

Fear, anxiety and depression

These are the “monsters” which young people today have to deal with. But, they aren’t alone. You aren’t alone because many of us older folk also suffer with these same demons, monsters, feelings, whatever you want to call them! We may “deal” with them in different ways from how you handle them, but we do handle them. But, sometimes they are victorious against us too.

I am coming to you as one who has battled with depression and anxiety. I have had feelings which drove me to seek to end my life, but I sought out Jesus and my faith in Him! Even though my “demons” tried to tell me that I wasn’t worthy of His love, I wasn’t good enough to be His child. They would tell me in dreams and in what I call “mind voices” that I should just stop trying to be something that I am not. Give up trying to bring a revival to this community and accept that they don’t want one!

Last summer, I was going through this and I found that by reading the Psalms and praying about my depression every day I was able to find a little more strength every day. Just enough to get me through that day, then do it again tomorrow and the next day until I came out of that “funk” and felt that I was able to raise my head up without feeling that it was just too much to do!

God hasn’t given up on you and you shouldn’t listen to those words which Satan is putting in your mind and your heart! They are lies from Satan and that is all that they are! God LOVES you dearly and compassionately! He hasn’t given up on you and you should not give up on this life that He gave you to live!! Why do I say this? Because it is true and because He does have a purpose for you and your life! I don’t know what your purpose is, but I’d bet that it is something that we haven’t thought of yet!

He made you special for one purpose and that was to be a witness to others who have been or will be in this position tomorrow or maybe a few weeks or months down the road. The fact is that you are the only person who can help someone else in this condition or having these problems! That is your calling!

You may be a singer or a dancer or a basketball player, but to God you are His ambassador to those people who are feeling the same fears and problems that you had until you decided to cling to the only Physician who can help and that is Jesus! Seek Him out in your hurt and your fears and anxiety because He was rejected by all of His countrymen, I think that He could understand your pain. The only ones who didn’t reject Him were His disciples and they numbered only 11 after He was risen.

He can give you the strength that you need to get through the rest of today and tomorrow and the next day…if you will let Him come in and share your life and your heart. You will be a new creation and old ways will pass away because you are changed.

Living today and tomorrow

So much is happening in the world today. We see it and hear it on the news and on the radio. We read about it in newspapers and on the Internet. Some of it is true, some of it is blown out of proportion, and some of it is just made up to look like news.

Can we believe it? Some of it but not all.

So, what are your goals for life and living today? Are they similar to other people’s goals of losing weight or getting a degree? Do they have anything to do with making lots of money and building a nice (big) house? When I see goals like this or hear about them and then drive into Flowood or some other town and see these big homes that all look like they are duplicates of each other in size and shape I wonder what is the purpose?

It seems that we like to be individuals and we like to have things which others don’t have, but when it comes to our houses and cars we are stuck with copies of everyone else’s likes. There are no real unique homes or cars. Yes, you can paint the outside of a Camaro a different color from others, your home may have a different floor plan than the one next door. But the shape of the car is the same. The shape of the house is mostly the same.

Everything in our lives, for the most part, is the same. Wouldn’t it be great if we could customize our living space the way we want it to be? I know we are at the mercy of cost and that the companies which sell cars sell the cars which their research tells them that we want. Life is different today than it was, say one hundred years ago. They didn’t have phones, many didn’t have cars, most lived in what we call a shack today. But, I never heard my grandmother say that they didn’t have a roof over their head or food on the table.

Life today is very different from what it was then. Life today is very different from that of just forty or fifty years ago. It seems that we have forgotten how to be kind to one another. We don’t seem to try to help each other when there is a need. Mostly we just sit around and wait for someone else to help, when we have the ability to do it ourselves.

We also spend way too much time reading comments and things from social media sites. Yes, it is fun for a while but it is like sitting in a rocking chair, you are doing something but not going anywhere. Reading those comments is funny and sometimes it is educational but if you don’t get up and do something about those causes that you “like”, nothing will get done!

It is like saying “Amen!” with all the gusto that you can muster, then going out the door of the church and not having a clue what the Preacher said!

God put each one of us here for a purpose and a reason and it doesn’t matter where you live or how much money you have. You can do something for God’s Kingdom. It may be nothing more that offering up a prayer for someone in China or India, but God can use a heartfelt and sincere prayer and do something with it. It is true that there are many who don’t believe in Him and may never believe in Him, but prayer can make a difference in someone’s life. It made a difference in mine.

God loves you and He can work with you and through you to make a difference in someone’s life. A hug or a prayer or even just a note or an email letting them know that you are thinking of them and that you are praying for them in whatever situation they may be in. Seek Him out and thank Him for getting you up this morning and use today for something that Jesus would do if He were here. Then, repeat tomorrow and the next day until He calls you home. I promise that the outcome from small things will have an impact when you see its results in Heaven.

Choose…

We seem to be all about choices today. We choose a mate or a lifestyle to live by. We choose which school to attend and which major to take. We, sometimes, choose which religion that we will follow or not. Choices are part and parcel of life, particularly in America, but also in other places around the world.

Some of those choices in other countries are unpopular and bring hardship into the lives of those who make choices that are against the majority. At times our choices are so numerous that we can’t seem to decide what we want. What can we do in these instances?

Choose…

Your life’s religion is a choice, sometimes it is one based on culture or family tradition. But, if you found out that your religion is false or that it will not lead you into an eternity of happiness, what would your choice be? If that choice is going to be an unpopular one with your family and friends, what would you do? Would you choose to follow the crowd and go into an eternity with everyone else just because it was acceptable to them?

These are answers and questions which each of us need to ask of ourselves and our friends and family. Why should we bother with asking these questions? Because that is what Jesus told us to do…go into all of the world and preach (tell) to them the gospel. If you are a Christian, this is your mandate. It is not a question of if we can tell, it is more like when will we tell them?

Your life in Christ is secure in Him, if you believe in His atonement for you and accept Him as your Savior. God, the One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, loves you far more than you can ever realize. He has a purpose for your life, not only here but in eternity too, but you won’t be able to enjoy it unless you follow Jesus and give your life to Him. This life is a puff of smoke compared to eternity, no matter how long you may live. Consider this and turn to Him while you are here because the chance to give your life and heart to Him is only available while you live. There are no second chances or do-overs later.