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.

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 do you want?

I think many people are asking this question or they are being asked by those who are going to give them something for Christmas. Have you thought about it yourself? There are so many “deals” out there today because it is Cyber Monday and of course last Friday was Black Friday! I try not to participate in either one if I can help it. Go one step farther than just a gift at Christmas and think about a gift that has been provided for us all…and it doesn’t cost us anything!

Jesus came down from Heaven to be born as the Christ-child in a human body and from the very beginning, before the Earth was formed, He was chosen to be slain on a cross to pay for our sins! Blood from animals paid the price before He came, yet they were an imperfect payment because their sacrifice had to be performed each year, every year. His sacrifice was perfect, since He did not have a sin nature and didn’t sin during His life, yet He gave His life to the Father’s will so that we can come to the Father through belief in Jesus the Christ!

As Hebrews 7:27 says:  27 Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer daily sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people; He sacrificed for sin once for all when He offered up Himself.

Jesus gave His life so that we might have eternal life with Him. It is a gift which cannot be bought by us, but it had a high price. The price of the Son of God and His life, death and resurrection to purchase our pardon if we will believe in Him. This is a story which has been told through thousands of sermons over the years since His ascension to be with God, a story which many have believed in and on for their salvation.

Today it seems that we have many who have been in the church all of their lives, hearing this message, sitting in the church week after week, who have not taken the steps to finalize being a Christian! Many believe wrongly that because they have been in the church and heard the message and read the Bible that they are saved. They may even be fine upstanding members of the church, volunteering for all kinds of selfless positions and committees in the church. But…are they saved?

Are you sure?

Why do I bring this up now? Because, you and I need to be absolutely sure of our salvation! Why? Because, there are no second chances! If you left the church one Sunday morning or evening and just before you get home, you had a terrible accident which took your life. How would you feel standing before God and seeing your life and your opportunities shown before you, yet you are not saved. You didn’t act when the Spirit moved you in the revival meeting or when you felt Him touch you during a service because you thought you were OK. What a terrifying feeling it will be to hear, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”

Your eternity lies before you, but it won’t be an eternity in Heaven. It will be one where you feel the burn of loss and the frustration and anger which can only be turned upon yourself because you thought that you already had something and you really didn’t. Nothing can change that now because your decision was made before your death.

Have you decided which direction that you want to go? Most everyone you ask on the street thinks that they have been a good person and they deserve to go to Heaven. How will you feel if your righteousness is not covered by the Blood of Jesus? Is your righteousness better than that of the Pharisees or about the same?

Think about it and consider doing something about it! If you felt the call of the Spirit and didn’t act, make sure that you do…soon!

Too much negativity

Every day we hear negative things being said about people in our society and by the political machine which has been going on for about 1 1/2 years or so. What good does all of this sniping and complaining do? None of it does anything positive for the country nor does it make each candidate look any better in the eyes of the voters.

Can we do anything about it? No, probably not, particularly because we live in such a “politically correct” society, not just in America but the entire world seems bent on not hurting people’s feelings. Yet, they are perfectly fine with killing babies in and out of the womb, and it doesn’t matter if someone kills himself or herself by being blown up by a bomb so that they can kill many people in the process.

Many of those who are being killed are Christians and they are being killed because of their faith in Jesus! This is only going to get worse. Politicians are talking about how they will do away with ISIS because of their terrorism toward us and Israel, but they have no clue how to go about it. I am sure that many of you who will read this will wonder why I am adding to the pile of negative junk in the media. My reason is that there is Hope!

Being PC in this world just shows that our ignorance is showing and that everyone can see it. Why? Because everything that is on the news these days is backwards and out of touch with the majority who believe one way while the ones who are crying or whining about some injustice make up only one to three percent of the population. Just as in a schoolroom full of children, one who is crying will get far more attention than 40 who are not, that is our society today.

One day very soon, Jesus is going to come back and take His church home. It will not matter whether you believe in Him or not, those of us who have given our hearts and our lives to Him will be taken up and away from here. Some say this is going to happen before the “anti-Christ” shows up, but I believe that we will be present during part of the Tribulation.

God will try us all by the fire of Satan’s wrath to be sure of those who believe in Jesus. Many will fall away from the faith, many will abandon their religious background and the church that they grew up in. The things which are happening right now are what Jesus spoke of as being the birth pains before the event which will rock the whole world to its core. Please seek Jesus in your life, in your Bible and your church while there is still time. We have the way to eternal life and it is belief in Jesus but if you refuse, then you only have yourself to blame.

I bring this up because it is my job to do so. I was called by God to be a pastor so I am doing the best that I can while I can to tell as many as possible about Jesus and His offer of salvation. Do I get any points for doing this? No, unless you accept Jesus as your Savior. Then, I will get to meet you in eternity and I will gain a brother or sister in Christ! Don’t turn away from Jesus while there is still time to ask Him to heal your broken heart or your relationships! He made the entire cosmos with His Word, so I believe He can do anything that you ask of Him, especially forgiving you and bringing salvation into your heart.

Life…what does it mean?

Life is a breath and a heartbeat,

It is also a time to remember.

How much you have learned

And what you may have forgotten.

 

Life is a baby’s laugh, a beautiful sunrise,

It is also the dew in the morning and a

Cool breeze in the day. Life, what does it mean?

 

It is your day beginning with a prayer,

It is you going through the day in an

Attitude of prayer and it is that day ending with

Thanksgiving to God for that day.

 

Life…what does it really mean? Time enough

To do the task for which you were born, and

To realize that you are not in charge. God is.

 

It is God who gives you each breath, each heartbeat

And the ability to take each step in your journey. So,

Where does your life take you?

 

Seek out the Creator and give your life to Him,

So that He can give you an eternity to know why

Your life was important.

Motivation

Have we become satisfied with our life, our church, our life in Christ? Many churches, not just individuals, are in the this very spot. Satisfaction with your salvation and your supposed life in Christ is something that we cannot live with! Why? Because satisfaction causes us to long for something or sometime which has already passed. Just as you cannot touch a part of a stream or river twice, memories and satisfaction with something, someone or sometime in your past cannot be brought into today.

Satisfaction and motivation are exact opposites of each other. When you are satisfied with what you have or where you are, you will never have more than you have right now. Motivation is like the escape from being slaves or having a snake in your house, it inspires you to get up and do something! Why? Because, you don’t want the snake to get comfortable! You don’t want to remain a slave to poverty and want, but until you get motivated enough to do something about it…nothing will change.

There is no huge bag of money which will fall from the sky. None of these “schemes” will make any difference in your life because 99.9% of them only take your money and give it to someone else! God loves you and even though He won’t drop a talent of gold in your yard, your eternal home sits on a street paved with gold which is more pure than any here on Earth!

Although, many people will read this (at least I hope they will), most will look at what I wrote and say that “I need the money or the blessings now, not in eternity!” God knows exactly how much you need and He can provide it but if you keep going around Him and causing more problems by spending money on things that aren’t useful or trying to “get rich quick”, then He will just sit back and wait until you decide that you can’t do it yourself!

Motivation in life is the fire which gets us out of bed in the morning, the problem is that as we get older that fire tends to become a pile of smoldering ash. This is when we lose hope in the future because we didn’t use our time or our money wisely enough in our youth so that it would be available when the fire grows cold. It is a sobering realization when you are older when you don’t have enough money to pay the bills and you can’t get a job to make up the difference.

How can I give you inspiration in this post when my own life is so out of whack? To be honest, I can’t. Yes, God loves us and He wants the best for us but when we squander our lives and our resources on things which are not eternal then there is nothing which will change in your life today, because yesterday or many yesterdays took everything that you had! Your future in Christ is assured if you belong to Him, so eternity is there to reward you. If you haven’t taken care of that part of your life, then eternity will be very different and it lasts a very long, long time.

Get motivated to do something about your life, either here or in eternity, because today is now and what you do with it will affect tomorrow. What you decide about Jesus and your life as a Christian or not will have an eternal effect on your life as well. Don’t neglect one and sacrifice the other.

What did you do this week?

That question could be answered many different ways, but for many people this week has been about survival. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, terrorism and driving to work and back home just to name a few. Yes, driving a car or truck is just as dangerous to me. Especially with people driving while eating or texting or talking on their phones, they aren’t paying as much attention to the road and the people around them as they should!

Many of us survived this week, but there were some who were in harm’s way who didn’t make it back home. What do you think they said when God asked them, “What did you do with my Son?”? Did they have an answer? Could they look into God’s face and say with pride that they didn’t know His Son? I hope that they did not. Although some may have had to answer that way because you can’t lie to God! He already knows the answer to the question.

Have you considered what you will say when Jesus knocks on your heart’s door? Will you accept His friendship and ask Him into your heart or will you tell Him to come back later? What would you do if you knew that you weren’t going to have another chance to accept Him?

Life today is complicated with all of the notifications that we get on our computers and our phones. But, is that really how you look at your life’s complications? What about the soldier who is fighting overseas? The policeman or woman who is chasing a suspect down an alley at 2 am.? The firefighter who is called along with a few other trucks to a four-alarm fire at 3 am, it is possible that at least one of these people are not going to go home after the shift or this mission. I pray that they have given their lives to Jesus, but many people think that they have all the time in the world.

They do until it’s over, then what? We see miracles in children and in babies and in the lives of every person that we meet in some form or another, yet we don’t acknowledge the Maker for them. We wake up on the days that we work or go to school but we don’t consider how much of a miracle that we are! We are created by God to fulfill a purpose that He has for us and the only way that we find out about that purpose is by giving our life and our heart to Him!

God loves each of us and He wants the best for us. Sometimes the best is our reward in Heaven, not on this Earth or in this life. We want our rewards today..right now in fact, but God doesn’t work that way. Yes, sometimes people do get their rewards in this life but have you ever noticed anyone with riches giving much to the church? A few do, but the majority give maybe a dollar to two, when they could give much more.

When you have been given much, you should give just as much. I don’t mean that you have to give all of your money to the church, but in the Bible Abraham gave ten percent of all that he had. So, if you made 500 dollars this week, give 50. If you made 150, give 15. It is not hard to do, and like David wrote “I have never seen one of God’s people begging for bread“.

God loves all of His children, which we are even if we haven’t given our hearts to Him. But, He wants us to come to Him. When you feel the Spirit at church or watching a Christian service on television, don’t turn away. Seek Him out because He is seeking you. All that you have to do is tell Him you are sorry for your sins and repent (turn away from) of those sins then ask Him to come in and clean your life up. I promise, if you meant what you said, He will do it and your name will be in the Book of Life!