What have we lost sight of?

In our world, whether it is a religious belief or one which is based in science and reason, it seems that many have lost sight of our past which came from persecution of how we worship or rather how our ancestors did. Have we lost sight of those historical documents and ideas from only a few hundred years past? Why is it that we are embracing philosophy and teachings which don’t have a basis or foundation solid enough to stand up to the Truth?

I know, many people don’t like God’s Truth because they can’t refute it and they can’t truly come up with a “pseudo-truth” to replace it with. False truth like false religions is just that…false. They are very much like a puff of smoke, lingering for a moment and then gone with only a faint trace left behind. Yet, God’s Word and His Truth has withstood the test of time and of those who have tried very hard to get rid of it!

Business and life both need truth in some form. Honesty in business is necessary because without it you are a swindler and a cheat. The Truth of God’s Word is necessary in life and all of its situations, good and bad, because it gives us a foundation to stand on and hope that we will have victory in some way in our life. Consider Solomon and his wisdom.

He became king after his father, David, passed on into eternity. The first prayer which he prayed after becoming king was not for wealth or long life, but for wisdom enough to rule God’s people. Knowledge and wisdom are different sides of the same coin in some respects. You have to have one to get the other and although trial and error will produce wisdom, knowledge will get you there a bit sooner if you will heed the warnings which it produces.

If you don’t listen to the voice of wisdom which speaks about the lessons learned into your soul, then you are foolish. While it is true that experience is a good teacher, sometimes she can be very harsh as well, even downright dangerous at times. Business leaders and workers need to learn from experience at times, but the wisdom gained from God’s Word can save you much heartache and anguish if applied carefully and with prayer.

Proverbs is a good example of knowledge and wisdom contained in one book and should be required reading in schools, although in today’s political climate it would be incorrect to do so. The link that is provided is the beginning of the book of Proverbs and it only has thirty-one chapters, so you could read one per day and get through it in a month. The wisdom contained in it though, is invaluable in life and business as well. I encourage anyone who has an interest in either to read it and pray about it and then read it again. You will be blessed by it.

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Are you independent?

IndependantTogetherIn our society, especially American society, we are encouraged by movies and family many times from childhood to be independent. Don’t depend upon anyone. Do it yourself or learn how to do it yourself so you won’t depend on someone else. All of this is good advice up to a point. But what do you do when life throws a wrench into your life, like a death in the family or a disease that isn’t easy to cure or live with? Being independent and on your own doesn’t seem like such a good idea at this point, does it?

Depression is also one of those “monkey-wrenches” which can throw you for a real loop! Man or woman, married or not, military, police, or firefighter or just coming out of your teen years, depression doesn’t discriminate at all! In fact, peer pressure and job stress or stress from a death or dying family member just makes it more intense.

I just performed a graveside service for a good friend and family member recently. It was hard, but God provided the strength to get through it. My point in writing this today is not to recount that experience but to focus on how people, men specifically, handle their independence. We usually have friends while going through elementary and high school and while in college. But, when college is over we usually get down to the business of life. Jobs, maybe marriage and children, although sometimes not in that order, particularly in today’s so-called “modern” age.

The problem facing men today is that many of us grew up without a strong father figure in our lives. Some of us didn’t have a father around at all. Some of us only had a grandfather and he tried to do the best he could, but he was afraid of possibly running us away if he got too strict with our upbringing. Some people say that this isn’t really a problem, but if you look at the population of our prison systems and talk to many of them, I think you would find that most, if not all, had no true father figure in their lives.

Also being independent as we are taught to be tends to cause us to push through life without a close friend. We don’t make friends as men, we make acquaintances. People that we know at work, but not outside of work. I mean, do you know a friend’s phone number that you could call if you needed to talk? Would you actually call them if you do know their number?

This is the problem which men face in our world today. Women tend to make friends very easily by comparison. Scientists say that it is because of evolution. I say it is because women share the job of raising children all the way back to the time of Eve, when she had daughters to help her. Later, as the population grew, the women of the village would gather to keep up with the children and wash clothes and other chores which needed to be done. They got to know each other.

Men only gather when it is time to hunt or to defend the village from marauders, or some other “manly” job such as that. When the hunt is over or the fire is put out, we tend to break up and go our separate ways. Living life alone. If we don’t have a family, that can be deadly. Seek out friendships with other men. Start a Bible study at church or in your home with them men of the church. Have a breakfast or a BBQ with some friends. Get to know some of the men who live around you. Because…you never know when you might need their help or they might need yours.

There will be another post on this topic on thelivingmessage.com later so as they say on TV, stay tuned.

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!

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.

So much, yet so little…

We have much to be thankful for in this life and in America. Those things are not because of who sits in the White House, but because of the One you serve in your house and your life. God gives each of us a measure of faith, some have mustard seed size faith and some have mountain-moving faith. Jesus said to His disciples that even if your faith is as a mustard seed, if you believe and do not doubt, you can say to this mountain or tree “Be thou removed and cast into the sea” and it would be done!

We have a doubt problem though, just as Thomas did when they told him that Jesus had been raised from the grave. Belief is not our problem, seeking God in our daily lives is not our problem, but when it comes to asking Him for something which we need, not want, in our lives. We ask but then Satan throws that doubt dart into our minds and we walk away thinking that God isn’t going to answer our prayer.

God loves us and He will do many things in your life and mine, if it is His will for us and if we can conquer that doubt that creeps in almost every time we pray about something. Seek His will through prayer and study of His Word, learn about His ways and His will for your life. Then the doubt will fade and your prayers will be more effective and powerful, not only in your life but in the lives of those that you pray for too.

Some people seem to think that we are not blessed, but your blessing came with waking up this morning. Nothing that you do is because of just your strength and power. Your grades in school are because of the intellect that God gave you. Your stamina in sports and other areas of your life is due to His power and His design of your body for those things. If God weren’t in control of the universe, down to the smallest particle, we wouldn’t exist!

We have been given much more than we deserve, yet we don’t acknowledge the One Who gave it to us for being the provider of it! We live in a time which is coming to the end of what is called “the church age” and there are many prophetic changes which are happening every day. Keep your eyes open, read the Bible, specifically Matthew 24 and pray for God to protect those that you love. He is coming back and it won’t be much longer, then all of those who have doubts about Him will have their unbelief proven to be false because He will be seen by all!

Amen.

Loss and living

We look at life as a journey many times. It has been compared to a road or a trail or just a long walk. When you have walked that road with someone for a long time and then they detour into eternity, leaving you here, that trail becomes lonely and not very inviting at all. As the song says, “you will never walk alone”, which is referring to having a relationship with Jesus. He will always walk with you, even into eternity.

The problem that we have with our walk through life is that our partner, spouse, friend, lover is here physically with us. We can touch them, talk to them, feel their embrace and just know that they are there. Walking with Jesus takes faith. Walking with Him daily takes more faith because you have to acknowledge Him for waking you today and giving you the ability to go on, even if your spouse or significant other isn’t there. This is something that He will do for you, but you have to depend on Him for it.

Don’t give up on life just because someone who you love isn’t there. Don’t quit because you feel as if your life is over, even if you feel like quitting. Those feelings are trying to make you give up and they come from Satan and his followers! Don’t let them tell you how to live or how to stop living! Your life is full, abundant and free in Jesus! Claim it, follow Him, read the Psalms which are mostly about Jesus anyway, His Word will give you the strength and the purpose to carry on when you don’t feel like it at all!

If your partner was a Christian, you will see them again. Eternity is a long, long time and when we enter into it we will find people that we never even knew in this life. But, they know us because they are part of our family even if we didn’t meet them. God loves us all, so the only thing that we should do is return that love by living our life for Him until we are called home.

For Mom

Do you visit her as much as you should or call her once or twice every week? Mothers give so much to each of us when we are children and as teens and they are valuable when we become parents too. So, why don’t we pay attention to their aches and pains and problems?

Usually when they get old enough for us to notice their infirmities, we are so busy with out lives until their problems are overlooked until an illness or some other problem arises that we can’t ignore and maybe she needs our help with. Sometimes, even those aren’t enough because she is too proud to ask for help, unless it is offered first. Why do we treat our mothers and sometimes our fathers too in this manner?

Because we have grown up and now we are parents and grandparents and time just gets away from us, we seem to not notice the time that we spend away from home. Even when they are asking for us to come visit or to bring our children to see them. They deserve to be able to see their grandchildren too.

Mother’s day is the first in the year that honors one of our parents and then there is father’s day. Why can’t we honor them both no matter what day of the year it is? Just a thought.

He is special

Children are special to their parents and grandparents, but have you ever wondered how God felt about His Son? He was part of the Trinity of course and God knew that, but Jesus was more than that too. He was:

The seed of the woman in Genesis and after the fall; He was the Passover lamb in Exodus; in Leviticus He was the High Priest; in Numbers He was shown as the water from the rock, as the Fire by night and the Cloud by day; in Deuteronomy He was the “prophet like Moses”; He was typified by Joshua and the Captain of the Lord’s Host in Joshua; in Judges He was the Judge and Lawgiver; in Ruth He was the Kinsman Redeemer….

Jesus was all of these and more. To Mary He was her son and the Son of the Most High. To His disciples He was their Rabbi and Teacher and Master, to us He is our Savior and Lord. We have no counterpart which would equal what Jesus was to God the Father so we can’t say how that relationship was or what it typified

Why do I say that? Because God’s ways are so much higher than ours until we can’t understand His love for a world full of sinners, a love that allowed His Son to give His life to pay the debt for all who would believe in Him and for those who would not. We can’t understand it because we wouldn’t allow our child to die for one person’s sins, even our own! Jesus was and is special because of Who He is and because He is still King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

You can say that you don’t believe in Him if you wish but you are placing yourself in a dangerous place when you do. You can say that you don’t believe that a place like Hades or Hell exists and that is fine, but if you should go there because of your unbelief in Jesus, you have been warned! Not believing in them will not save you from them, but believing in Jesus and accepting Him as your Savior will save you from them.

How do you feel about Jesus?

Here is a sample of some well-known and not so well-known people who have pushed any notion or mention of God or Jesus from their lives and the consequences of it. I pray that most of you won’t follow their example:

 

A man of 32 years, was smoking, while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said:’God, that’s for you.’He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic, after the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be. With an ironic tone he said: ‘Not even God can sink it’ The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic

Marilyn Monroe (Actress)
She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show.
He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her.
After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said:
‘I don’t need your Jesus’. A week later, she was found dead in her apartment

Bon Scott (Singer)
The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang:
‘Don’t stop me; I’m going down all the way, down the highway to hell’.
On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

Campinas (IN 2005)
In Campinas , Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend…..
The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car:
‘My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.’ She responded: ‘Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here…..It’s Already Full ‘ Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact. The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken

Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist & entertainer) said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written.

In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.
Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus.

Many have died, but only Jesus died and rise again, and he is still alive….
‘Jesus’
I have done my part by sharing this with you, Jesus said ‘If you are embarrassed about me, I will also be embarrassed about you before my father.’

Bishop T..D. Jakes ‘8 Second Prayer.’ Just repeat this prayer and see how God moves!!

‘Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus’ name. Amen.’

If you don’t believe or don’t want to believe in Jesus, that is fine. But, when your life ends and you stand in judgement in His Presence, don’t think that you didn’t know or that nobody told you.

God loves every person on Earth. He doesn’t love the lifestyle that many of them lead or the “gods or god” that they pray to. Seek Him out because He is t he Author of Life and Truth. The Bible is true and salvation is available through Jesus alone. Please, don’t turn away from Him when you feel His call in your life.

Healing…

There are many times that we all need healing in one form or another. Healing from grief and pain in the loss of a dear friend or loved one. Healing from a disease or an accident. Healing from hurtful words or actions which, possibly a loved one, was said to you or done to you. Healing comes to each of us in many forms.

Which one do you need today?

Jesus can bring a healing spirit into your heart and change it from one that is mistrustful and alone to one that sees the good in people and comforts others when they feel down. Many times we feel that we are the ones who need the healing, but when we offer prayers and comfort to someone else we are the ones who get the most benefit. The love of God, which we bring to others through our prayers, works in both directions. It touches the one that we are praying for but it also flows through us and into us to heal us in ways that we don’t even know that we need.

Healing…is something that Jesus did when He was here and He is still doing it today. Through medicine and doctors and through our diet and exercise, we are healed and helped in ways that we didn’t understand could be done. A little change here, a walk for ten minutes or so, eating less red meat and more fish…these are little changes that we can do which will bring healing to us along with prayer.

Healing of our hearts and our souls, that is the very thing which Jesus can do even when we don’t think it is possible. Sometimes it will happen when we just don’t believe it or even when we don’t want it. God has His purposes and He works in our lives to fulfill His purposes in ways that we can’t imagine. Not that He forces us to do something, but the circumstances of our lives will work for His glory and our good…if we allow it to.

Unfortunately, we are the controllers of that part of our lives. By that I mean that we choose whether we will do this or that for God today or tomorrow, God doesn’t force us to follow His directions. He will allow us to fall and fail in our own attempts at doing what WE think is right and when we realize that it isn’t, then He will pick us up and begin again. Just as the potter at his wheel. The re-making and re-molding process isn’t pleasant, nor is it what we would want to experience most of the time, but in His process and His time we will do His will in our lives.

It may be just before the end of our lives, but it will accomplish that which He deems is necessary and glorious for His Kingdom. It will not show the type of glory that our world expects, but to God even a small coin is worth much more than gold when given with the right attitude.