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!

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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!

Love…heals

A wise man once said that “Love heals all wounds.” It is true and it is a fact. Love is the only emotion which doesn’t hurt, the consequences of lost love are the pain and heartache but true love doesn’t hurt. It is true that those words are not in the Bible exactly, but since Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love toward us you can truthfully say that His Love heals all of our problems. I found this quote which supposedly came from an actor that I admire:

12391764_767543386681173_2827549231088575546_nHe experienced losing his wife a few years ago from an accident while skiing. I prayed for him in his sorrow and grief. That kind of loss would’ve hurt me deeply and I am sure it did him as well. The point of this is that the love that comes from God and your heart as well is a healing love, one that can do no harm.

The greatest of these is love is part of a chapter that I will share here. Think on this, pray about it today because in your sorrow and depression, God’s love can heal the wounds and the pain:

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

God’s love never fails, so give Him a chance to prove it to you and He will.

So little time…

We all look at our lives as if they go on for a long, long time. But if you place your age or mine against say one thousand years or more, our lives are not long at all. So what have you done with yours? Have you made sure that every person in your life knows that you love them? Have you told those who you consider to be your friends, that you care about them? Have you done anything which will make a difference in somebody’s life in some way? Have you even thought about the impact that your life can have on others?

These are questions which all of us should think about but many of us just don’t. We don’t consider how much our lives can impact others. Some of us really don’t seem to care whether our lives have any impact on our friends or even our children, but what you say and do in front of them does have an impact. Sometimes it is for good and sometimes it isn’t, depending on what they see you doing or hear you saying, as well as how you say it.

Children especially take notice of the words that you say and how they are said. Occasionally, the words that you say have a far greater impact by the tone that is used rather than what you actually said. Also, they tend to look at how you said those words as well and most of us don’t think about this until the effect has already been made in their mind and in their being.

Truly the old saying about words not being able to hurt you is totally wrong! Yes, words can hurt and they can severely damage a person’s feelings about themselves as well as the way that they see you and maybe understand how you feel or how you don’t feel about them. Feelings can be hurt easily, people can be hurt just as easily and the damage can be severe even if you are only using words. Hurtful words, hate-filled words and actions, these are just as devastating as a bomb to people and their feelings. Particularly if those words are directed at children.

Life is hard enough without all of the anger and hate that is abundant in our world today. Much of it is being directed at people who are Christians and children hear this and they don’t understand the reason for it. It is confusing to them and it seems that nobody wants to attempt to explain why this is happening, especially today. Many are more worried about not offending some people or they are upset about a lion getting killed in Africa more than they are about the children being slaughtered in abortion clinics because a woman has a choice to have the child or not. Why not choose NOT to have sex until you are ready to be a mother? Go and have yourself sterilized if you don’t want children, instead of killing the child that you don’t want!

Yes, I have touched upon a few things in this tonight and not just one but today we can’t just have a one-sided view of life and that means that more than one evil needs to be addressed in the world and in our witness for God. God loves you and me, regardless of the sins that we commit but He hates the sins that we live in and commit in some way, day after day.

Jesus came into the world so that we could be pardoned from those sins and be able to stand in front of a Holy God with the righteousness of Jesus covering us rather than our sins being out in the open. God can’t look on our self-righteous rags because without the righteousness of Jesus, we are filthy in God’s sight.

Seek Him in the Bible and ask Him to come into your heart and cleanse you so that your name will be in the book of Life because that is the ONLY way that you can gain entrance into Heaven. Money, power, fame, jihad, none of these will get you into Heaven, depending upon them will guarantee your entrance into hell.