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You Are More than a Sparrow!

Follower of Christ, when you look around and see the direction this world is going do you ever worry about the future?

When you hear the so called medical experts and politicians spewing more and more fear do you find yourself wondering what next?

Take heart. GOD is not surprised by all that is going on in our world. In fact He warned us that things would get crazy in the end times.

Well those days are here and guess what? GOD is still on the throne! Jesus Christ is still our Savior and LORD and He has no intention of abandoning us. Unlike those that don’t know Him, we can rest knowing He will NEVER LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US. He will be with us always, even until the end of the world.

So when fear and anxiety attempt to encroach upon you do NOT let them land on you and take up residence. Shake them off. Rest in knowing that you and I were born for a time such as this. Live your life in service to Him. Rest in His faithfulness and absolute love for you. Share the gospel with others. They desperately need Christ in their lives whether they know it or not.

Ask the LORD for supernatural wisdom. He will give it to you liberally if you ask. Ask Him for discernment. We are going to need it to navigate the days ahead wisely. Most importantly spend time in His presence in prayer and worship and reading His word, the Bible.

Of all peoples, we have the least reason to fret. We know this earth is not our home. We have a heavenly home waiting for us. We have a Savior that loves us more than life itself and He will see us through any obstacles ahead. So don’t put your trust in medical experts or politicians. Put your trust in the Creator of them all, Jesus Christ. He alone is worthy of our trust and faith!

Luke 12:6,7 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Be blessed!

God’s infallible Word can be trusted

This past week I have been reading through the book of Isaiah. It is so exciting to see how the integrity of the Bible is beyond question. God called Isaiah as a prophet. He was responsible for sharing the words of the LORD of heaven’s armies many times and though he lived to see some of those prophecies fulfilled he did not see the most amazing prophecy of them all.

Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah gave an amazing prophetic word! Imagine that. Seven hundred years! By God’s perfect design, He used Isaiah to prepare future generations for the birth of His Son. When we read the words of Isaiah today over 2800 years later there is absolutely no mistaking that this prophecy described our beautiful Savior and King, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message?
    To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
    like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
    nothing to attract us to him.
 He was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.

 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
    it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
    a punishment for his own sins!
 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
    the sins of us all.

 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
    yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
    And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
    he did not open his mouth.
 Unjustly condemned,
    he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
    that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
    for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong
    and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
    he was put in a rich man’s grave.

 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
    and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
    he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
    and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.

When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
    he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
    my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
    for he will bear all their sins.
 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
    because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
    He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

If you ever feel your faith wavering just remember the accuracy and precision of God’s Word! EVERY word can be trusted! And just as Isaiah foretold the first coming of Jesus, Apostle Paul tells us of His soon coming appearance when He will come to gather up His church! We can be CERTAIN this too will come to pass!

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves.  Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.  So encourage each other with these words.

Be blessed!

Are YOU Asking for Direction?

I remember many years ago knowing the day would come when we would begin to see so many prophecies come to pass. I wasn’t sure exactly how many of them I would live to see but I knew since Israel had become a nation again things would begin to unfold.

Today we don’t have to look far to see the written words from in some cases thousands of years ago, be lived out before our very eyes. That is both a little frightening and very exciting. If we have been born again, through the blood of Christ, and are living our life for Him, we have much to be excited about. Our beautiful King of Kings will soon be appearing for His church.

Wickedness and lawlessness are on the uptake as the days draw to a close for our soon appearing King. Some days it’s hard to navigate exactly what the LORD would have us do with all the tyranny we see about us. However we have only to ask Him how we can serve Him and share the good news, when the world sees nothing but bad news.

If you are wondering what you can do in these strange times, simply ask God what He has for you to do. We are all here at this time by design, He definitely has a plan for each of us to fulfill. The words of Isaiah really blessed me this morning. They are so appropriate for the times we are living in. Despite the “heavy yoke of oppression,” that surrounds many of us, we must still do good.

Isaiah 58:9-12

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.
 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
    Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
    and a restorer of homes.

Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be afraid. Instead seek the LORD for instructions on what you can be doing during these days. Remember, if you know Jesus Christ as Savior, you have the answer to the world’s problems. He is the answer. He will take care of His own, just as He is taking care of you and I during these rough times.

Be well & be blessed!

Modern Day Wrestling in Real time

After listening to this older video (Seven steps to Revival part 5- Witchcraft in Disguise) today I couldn’t help but note how absolutely accurate Derek Prince’s words were.

The globalist’s agenda is the epitome of witchcraft. Take a look at this site which lists their areas of desired control. http://www.globalistagenda.org/

Please take a listen and note all the similarities we are seeing today with the plans of the globalist’s on God’s planet and on His people. Derek Prince was a true man of God that had wisdom in droves. I am thankful we can hear his wonderful teachings even today, many years after his death. Please listen to the wisdom of his words in this video.

 Revelation 21:8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars–their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the actions of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, rivalry, jealously, outbursts of anger, quarrels, conflicts, factions, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild partying, and things like that. I am telling you now, as I have told you in the past, that people who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Keep your hearts right before the LORD and be blessed!

Fess Up

As followers of Christ it is so important that we remove a major roadblock to our prayers being heard. That may seem like a very strange comment but it really isn’t. We have a part in this. So what is this roadblock? Unconfessed sin. Too often we rush into the presence of God and start making requests when we have neglected to confess our sins first and ask for His forgiveness. We know that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9) This is a beautiful fact to remember. However as we look at our Bibles we will see that not confessing our sins and just making our requests known will not ensure His hearing or answering of our prayers.

Psalm 66:18-20 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,  the Lord would not have listened.
 But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer  or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

Isaiah 59: 1,2 Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is His ear too deaf to hear you call.  It’s your sins that have cut you off from God.  Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore.

Micah 3:4 Then they will cry to the Lord, but He will not hear them: He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.

Jesus told us in Mark 11:25, 26 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

The importance of confessing our sins is emphasized so heavily in the book of Corinthians where we are told just how important it is to do before partaking in Communion.

1 Corinthians 11:27-29 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup.  For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself.

Perhaps the reason some of our prayers have not been answered is because we have approached God with an unrepentant heart and ignored just how important it is we remember He is holy. He is just. He is God. Not just a Santa Clause like figure that we can run to regardless of the condition of our heart and give Him our want list.

So why not start your day off on the right foot and confess your sins. Start your day clean and right before God, knowing that any sin barrier has been removed and you can commune with Him throughout the day. Though He hates sin, He is well aware that we are flawed humans and through Jesus Christ His precious Son, He has made a way for us to be able to come boldly before His throne in prayer. And don’t forget to take time to thank Him for the fact that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins!

Have a blessed day!

This Little Light

I woke up this morning and that song, “This Little Light of Mine,” was playing in my head. Though it’s a simple child-like song it is full of truth. Today, with the current geopolitical situation it is so critical we let our light shine. People are fearful and uncertain about the days ahead. Leaders seem to give people more reason to not trust than to trust their leadership. People are much more open to hearing why you and I still have peace!

I believe with all my heart that the LORD wants us to shine our light everywhere we go right now. There are still so many living in the darkness without the joy of salvation. People that used to be hardhearted to the gospel in comfortable and much more stable times are now more open to hearing some Good News!

With Biblical prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes we can rest assured that our beautiful Savior will soon be appearing for His Bride. I would encourage each of you followers of Christ to encourage yourself in the Word. Stay in fellowship with other believers. Keep in close contact with God in prayer and share the gospel with those you know and love and those you meet. Eternity for many, may just be a conversation away. Use what remaining time we have to ensure you have been faithful to Christ and you have run the good race.

John 9:4,5 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.  But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Be blessed!

Share what’s important!

There are so many hurting people today that desperately need to hear the Good News! Our world is a huge mess and there are people dealing with job losses, restrictions on their freedoms, sickness, discouragement, fear and so much more. We the church have what they need. We have the Good News and it’s so important that we share it in whatever way and to whoever God puts in our paths.

All the prophetic signs show that it is but a little while before our beautiful Savior appears to take His bride back with Him. Once that happens this earth is going to be a hellish place to be! Think about all those people you know and love. Do you want any of them left to deal with what will happen during the Tribulation period? I’m sure you don’t. I know I wouldn’t wish the Tribulation on my worst enemy. It will make our current day look like a Sunday picnic.

So let’s determine to share the gospel of Christ with everyone we can. Use your social media platforms. Call friends. Speak to your neighbors. Be a good example of a Christ follower wherever you go so that if anyone asks why you have peace you can tell them that Jesus Christ gives us a peace that passes understanding. Regardless of our circumstances. Time is short. It is so important that we use it wisely. Share the gospel today with someone. What have you got to lose? Keep in mind, they have absolutely everything to lose without Christ.

Mark 16:15,16 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.  Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.

Blessings!

Discouraged? Well take heart.

There are days we can be easily discouraged by watching evil prevail around us. There is so much injustice and corruption at every level of government and in every aspect of this world we live in. If we keep our eyes solely on what is around us we have very good reason to be discouraged. However, that is not the way for the follower of Christ to live! We are to live by faith knowing that one day justice will prevail. God is not blind to what is going on. He is not ignoring the cries of the persecuted or the unjustly maligned.

A day is coming when He will deal with all of this. Take heart, He hears our prayers. He hears the cries of His children all over the world. Though the world shuns this fact, God will not hold blameless those who have rejected His Son and lived a life of deceit and wickedness. His desire is that all would be saved, but that being said, if people continue to reject Him a day of reckoning is coming.

This morning I was reading the book of Malachi. These words stood out.

Malachi 4:1-3

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.  On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

So don’t be discouraged Christians. God will bring about judgment one day. Those who are arrogant and wicked and that choose to persecute the righteous will one day be consumed. God’s word does not change. He is ever faithful. While we wait on the day of peace and justice let’s be sure to be about our Father’s business. Let’s be sure to bring as many people with us to Heaven. Share your faith today with someone. Let people know, while there is still time, that Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, came to this world to save them from their sins. Time is short. Let’s use it wisely.

Be blessed!

Time is Too Short to Waste

Brothers and sisters in Christ, if there were ever a time to pray that time is now. We see prophecy unfolding before our very eyes. Every day is one step closer to the Great Tribulation. Worldwide countries are implementing more and more rules in order to prepare people for the coming new world order. There is no coincidence this is happening at a time such as this. The Bible warned us these days would come and we are now seeing them on our doorstep. No longer can people ignore the massive changes that have been brought about using the pandemic as a platform for change.

All that being said, the most important thing we can do at this time is pray. Pray for our unsaved loved ones. Pray for our leaders that have allowed themselves to be blinded by greed, power and many other things. Pray for our children and grandchildren. Pray for those in ministry. Pray for wisdom. Pray for discernment. Pray for the body of Christ all over the world.

Along with prayer, we must keep ourselves in the word of God. Daily. There is no replacement for allowing the word of God to feed us spiritually. Less television. Less news. Less activities that will not bring about any growth. We need to be strong in the Lord for the days ahead. We are not to lay in bed with the blankets pulled over our head and wait on Christ’s appearance. We need to be abiding in Christ as we fulfill the purposes He has called us to do.

If you’ve been waiting to share the gospel with someone, share it now. If you’ve felt lead to get involved in some type of ministry that would allow you to serve the Lord, do it now. Stop waiting for things to go back to normal. The future is never going to be the same as our old “normal.”

Run the race that Christ has set before you. Let go of any bitterness or malice. Let go of any unforgiveness. Don’t allow old Slewfoot to distract you with things that will keep you from accomplishing what the Lord has called you to do. Apostle Paul warned us of these days. 2 Timothy chapter 3 was written for days just like this. Take heart and listen to his words to Timothy.

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires.  (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.)  These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith.  But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.

But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.  You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it.  Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.

 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.  You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Corruption, deception and evil flourishing? You don’t have to look far to see all of the above. However, I love how Paul finishes here with just how we are to go through the days ahead. Remain faithful to the things you have been taught! Know the Scriptures as they give you wisdom that lead to salvation and they teach us what is true and where we may be going wrong in our lives. The Scriptures correct us and teach us to do what is right and God will use it to prepare and equip His people for every good work. That is the format! That is why it is imperative we stay in the Word of God. Daily.

So as we navigate through 2021 and wait on our Blessed Hope of Christ’s appearance to take us home, pray more. Keep an open line of communication with our Father. Spend time in the Scriptures for all the reasons Paul gave us! Do every good work that God sets before you. Stay about your Father’s business while we wait on His Son to call us home.

Be blessed!

2020 Bringing us that much Closer

This morning I read an article in the Scientific American magazine titled, “Natural Disasters-A Running List of Record Breaking Natural Disasters in 2020.” 2020 has been disastrous in so many ways that it really shouldn’t surprise any of us that many natural disasters were record breaking. This particular article was referring the the USA but that’s not to say other countries haven’t suffered the increase. In the last 24 hours alone, world wide there were 1 quake of magnitude 6.1, 4 quakes between 5.0 and 6.0, 19 quakes between 4.0 and 5.0, 77 quakes between 3.0 and 4.0, and 183 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. There were also 481 quakes below magnitude 2.0 which people don’t normally feel. (https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/earthquakes.html) The world is groaning in birth pains just as the Bible told us it would.

And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” The He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. “Luke 21:8-11

Much of this sounds quite familiar doesn’t it? The earth as we know it, is ramping up for our soon coming King, Jesus Christ. We don’t need to be afraid, we need to keep our hearts and lives under His shadow through prayer and abiding in Christ. Jesus warned us, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighted down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

So today and each day leading up to His appearance, pray always. Stay close to the Savior. Do whatever it is He has put on your heart to do for Him and do it with joy each day.

If you have not asked Jesus Christ into your life, it is not too late to do so. You will not want to be left behind when He soon appears to take His church back to Heaven with Him. If’ you’d like to pray the prayer of salvation please do so along with me..

Father God: I come to you today knowing that I am a sinner. I have lived my life apart from fellowship with You. I want to become Your child today. I am asking you to forgive me of my sins and I know that this can only be done through the precious shed blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. I ask today that Jesus Christ would come into my life and cleanse me. I ask that He would create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. I no longer want to live a life outside of Your will for me. From this day on, please guide me and lead me. I desperately need You. Thank you for welcoming me into Your family. In Jesus name, Amen

If you prayed that prayer please get yourself a Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. His Word is invaluable in our lives and will teach us and guide us in how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Also try and find yourself a Christian Bible teaching church. You will need fellowship with other Christian believers. We are not designed to walk alone. If you would like any recommendations on good Bible teachers that are online please let me know and I will be happy to direct you to teachers that teach the truth. There are many sheep in wolves clothing that you will want to avoid. Welcome to the family of God!

Blessings!

Becoming part of His family

Isn’t it amazing how God has made it so easy for us to become His sons and daughters? Today we no longer have to try and offer up sacrifices to get in good standing with our Heavenly Father. Thankfully, through the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, God provided a way into His beloved family!

Just let that sink in today. You can be a child of God. A son or a daughter of the Most High God, by believing in His precious Son and by choosing to follow Him! So simple, yet so profound!

Don’t complicate your way to Heaven by believing you can somehow earn it. That you have to be good enough. You and I will never be good enough on our own. We are sinful creatures. Our hearts are deceitfully wicked left on their own. The way to the Father and the family of God is solely through Christ!

Praise God this is the truth. We will never be able to earn salvation any other way. Why not enjoy this day giving praise to Him who made a way into the family? Thank Him for all He did on the cross to ensure salvation for those who choose to believe in Him. Thank Him for the gift of salvation He has made available to all who will believe. Thank Him for a love so great that He willingly paid the price of a horrendous death on the cross for us!

Thank you Jesus for all you did for each and every one of us in providing a way back to the Father!

But to all who believed in Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

The BEST gift to share

This Christmas season, when things are anything but normal, there is one thing we can count on that has not changed. The same Jesus who came from Heaven as a babe and was born to a virgin, remained sinless throughout His life, died an agonizing death on the cross to redeem us for our sins. He than rose again in three days and now sits on the right hand of God the Father. That same Jesus Christ has NOT changed. He is still beckoning every person to call on Him for salvation.

Though much of the world has rejected Him and continue to reject Him, He is still compassionate towards them. He still longs that no one should perish but that ALL may be saved. He continues to make intercessions daily for us, His church. He is still a Savior of love and compassion. A Savior who is soon to appear for His bride, the Church. While there is still time and the window of opportunity is still open, we must share the good news with those that need to hear it. Soon the window will close and the future will be bleak for any who have missed the day of salvation.

So this Christmas, when so many things are unsure let’s focus on giving the best most secure gift ever? The gift that will transform broken lives and give people an eternity they will enjoy forever! A gift that will give them peace among this world’s chaos. This Christmas let each of us pray for and share the good news with those who need to hear, before night comes and the opportunity is gone.

 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16,17

Time is too short to be wasting it!

Anyone with an inch of spiritual discernment can see we are living in the last days, as the Bible described them. We are so close to the time we will see Jesus Christ appear in the clouds to gather His bride. This is both exciting and also a little scary. Exciting because we know those of us ready and waiting for His appearance will be caught up with Him and will forever be with our beautiful Savior and King. Scary because we don’t want to be ashamed when we see His beautiful face!

Why would we possibly be ashamed? Well if we have spent our life living solely for ourselves and not served Him well that would be one reason. Jesus told us we are to take up our cross daily and follow Him. That means live a life of intimacy with Him and service. If you are spending more hours a day online watching mindless information pass before you or spending more hours a day watching your tv than you are spending time in prayer and service you will likely have good reason to be ashamed at His appearance. The bride is to be awake and waiting with oil in her lamp and ready to go at that time the Lord calls us to be with Him. She is not to be busy doing things that do not further the gospel or help others by being the hands and feet of Christ.

I fear many who consider themselves to be part of the “church” will be sleeping and not even aware that the Bridegroom has arrived when He comes. Those that are not aware will be left to endure a horrible time here on earth before they will see the Bridegroom again. Christ, through Apostle John, was speaking to believers when he said the following, “Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.” Revelation 3:3 And again he was speaking to believers when he said, “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.” Revelation 3:10 Notice there was a requirement to repent, turn to Christ, obey His commands and persevere. Many in the church, worldwide are currently sleeping and repentance is not even close to their thoughts. They are keeping busy with things in this world. Things that will soon vanish and no longer matter. It is so important we continually live a life of repentance and obedience, while we excitedly await His appearance. Don’t allow anything to keep you from keeping your life right before Him. Luke also warns us, “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware,  like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.  Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

We should not take these warnings lightly. There would be no need to warn the Christians if all were guaranteed the rapture, despite how they were living at the time of His appearance. So let me wrap up with this verse from Ephesians 5:15-17 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Let each of us do just that. Let us not live our lives as if we can do whatever we want and expect to still be ready for our Bridegroom when He arrives.

Heavenly Father: Please forgive us for our sins and transgressions. Help us to live a life that is pleasing in your sight. Help us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, be ready at all times for the appearance of Your Son. Please count us worth to escape the wrath to come and keep our hearts tender before You always. Guide us and lead us to the service You want us to do and give us a love for the lost so that we may continually pray for and share the gospel to those who desperately need to hear it.

We love You and thank You for loving us first. In Jesus name,

Amen

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Over the last few weeks I have had to battle not getting sucked into the discouragement of the world with all that is happening. I have had days of joy but also days where I have allowed the heaviness of the coming storm to get me down and have not handled it as well as I should have. The Lord reminded me today that HE is coming back soon for His bride! Our blessed hope, our beautiful Savior and King is coming back soon for us! This is to be our focus as we navigate our way through the coming days. There is nothing this world can do that can detract from the amazing truth that our Redeemer, the One who bought us our salvation on the cross, the One who has given us the Comforter to help and guide us, the One who promised to return for His bride, is coming back soon!

We MUST live every day with this in mind. Our focus must not be on the rising tide of evil. We can speak against it and pray for those involved but we can’t park on thoughts of evil and destruction. It is a tool of the devil to try and keep us so earthly focused we forget to be excitedly awaiting the beautiful appearance of our glorious bridegroom! When we focus on the coming storm, it may cause us to fill our time doing things that will tear us down. Discouragement, fear and anxiety can lead to overeating, self medicating or watching useless tv programs as a distraction. Most of us have fallen prey to these things from time to time. Our time is short here. Jesus Christ is coming back soon. We must use our time wisely.

Ephesians 5:15-17 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.  Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

We have all lived like fools from time to time but it’s time to put away foolishness and repent. We must keep our heart in a constant state of repentance and tender towards God and His word for us. 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

This world is not our home. Heaven is our home. As we see the world unravel more and more each day, that should be a reminder to us not to become to attached to anything here. Hebrews 13:14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

I want to finish up today with the words of Apostle Paul to Titus. They are so relevant for a time such as this. Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,  teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you cannot look forward to the blessed hope God promises us. If you want to be assured of your eternity destination being Heaven please pray with me here..

Father God: Please forgive me. I am a sinner that is not worthy of Your love yet You sent Your only Son, Jesus Christ to die for me, despite that fact. I repent of my sins. I am truly sorry for the things I have done that have separated myself from You. Please wash me clean right now through the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. I want to follow Him for the rest of my life and know that I will one day spend eternity with Him in Heaven. I ask for Your Holy Spirit to fill me and guide me from this time onward and I ask that He will help me to understand Your words in the Bible so that I may grow in my new found faith in You.

Thank you Father for providing Your Son as a way for me to find myself in right relationship with You.

In the name of Jesus Christ,

Amen.

Blessings!

Now’s the Time!

If there was ever a time this world of ours needed intercession it is now. We are living in the wild west right now. Governments are slowly eroding our rights and civil liberties. Corruption is present in so many governments and among so many leaders. Society and it’s global puppet masters are drawing us into a new age of cyber control and this will all lead us closer to the one world government and mark of the beast and the Great Tribulation.

Thankfully, the true church will be caught up to be with Jesus before the Great Tribulation begins! This is our blessed hope! We can and must encourage each other with the knowledge of this fact! That being said, there is lots of work yet to be done. We must spend our time, waiting on the appearance of Christ, praying and interceding for our unsaved loved ones, friends, neighbours and the lost in general. There are multiple millions that are living their lives caught up in fear of a virus, struggling with loss of work, financial strain and overall hopelessness.

As a follower of Christ, will you commit to spending some time each day praying for the lost? The need is so great. We all know people that seem oblivious to the fact our beautiful King will soon be appearing to gather those that have died in Christ and those living for His appearance.

Time is short. There is still lots to be done. With many churches, bible studies and meetings no longer being offered, the lost need prayer. They need those that will stand in the gap for them and plead on their behalf that Jesus Christ will become real to them. They need those that will share the gospel unashamedly. They need those that will disciple them over coffee, a home visit or a conversation in the grocery store.

Let’s all use our time wisely as we wait on our soon coming King. Please set aside a few minutes each day to pray for the salvation of those that need Jesus! Start with those in your own families and than move out to people in your neighbourhood, building, place of work or those that God puts on your mind as you go about your day. Also gather with other like minded believers. Pray as a group online when it’s impossible to gather in person. When possible, gather with others to take communion and pray, pray, pray! There are millions that still need Jesus!

 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. (1 Timothy 2:1)

“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. (Matthew 18:19,20)

Blessings!

The Answer Isn’t Blowing in the Wind

If you are observing what is currently going on in the news and the world around us, you can’t help but see society and it’s foundations are beginning to crumble. Lawlessness rules many cities. Abuses of babies, children and the elderly are at an all time high. Governments are continually extending limitations of people’s freedoms in the name of the “pandemic.” Suicide rates are up. Alcoholism is increasing. The world has become a much different place than it was even eight months ago.

The one thing that has not changed is God’s love for people. Just over 2000 years ago He sent His Son to earth as a baby. That baby would grow to become a sinless man willing to lay down His life in order to offer salvation to any that would make a decision to be born again, take up their cross and follow Him.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. ( John 3:16)

It is a wonderful thing to know that we can not only have eternal life after this one, but a life of peace and true joy despite the world that currently surrounds us by believing in and following Jesus Christ.

If you haven’t done so, today is the day of salvation for you! Don’t wait until it is too late. Jesus Christ is going to appear soon for His Church. He will be removing His church before God’s wrath is poured out on this world of ours. He could appear any day!

Don’t wait and miss His appearing! Today pray this prayer with me and ask Jesus Christ into your life.

Dear Lord: I am a sinner in need of forgiveness and cleansing. I have lived a life without You and today I ask for forgiveness. My desire is to know you as my Savior and my Lord. Please accept me as Your child. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and enable me to live life with the assurance that one day I will live forever in eternity with You. Equip me here with the Comforter that I may learn of You and give me a hunger for Your Word (the Bible) that I may grow in my faith and learn of You. Prepare me for your appearance so that I may escape the wrath that is to come. I ask it all in the mighty and powerful name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Praise God! You have been made clean and whole by the power and blood of Jesus Christ. You have become a new creation. Old sins are now passed away! Welcome into the family of God!

Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!  This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.  For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.  So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

It is vitally important you begin to read the Bible. Perhaps begin with the book of Matthew in the New Testament. It is also important that you begin to associate yourself with other Christians and a church that will be able to help disciple you in your new walk with Christ. Pray and ask God to lead you to find both.

Blessings!

While We Wait for our Bridegroom

It is a beautiful thing that we can come boldly to the throne of God with our prayers and that we can have absolute trust that He hears us. This would be impossible if it weren’t for the blood of Christ being shed for our sins! None of us are good enough on our own to stand clean before the throne of God. But we can praise God for the fact that Jesus Christ made Himself the ultimate sacrifice for each and every one of us. He became the sacrificial lamb for you and for me. Our guilt and shame have been sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb and therefore we can stand clean before Him when we pray.

It is so important we remember that when we come before God in prayer. We can ask His forgiveness and know because of Christ’s shed blood we will be forgiven. Too often the accuser of the brethren, (Satan) tries to distract us with guilt and shame when we begin to pray. We must ignore his voice and believe fully in the power of the shed blood of Christ and it’s ability to make us and continue to make us the righteousness of God!

If we listen to the voice of the accuser we are much more likely to give up praying and grow weak in our faith. This is one of his tactics and we must be wise and fully rely on the Word of God to counter his schemes. Our prayer life is our life line not only for us but for those God has called us to intercede for!

As we navigate ourselves through the coming days it is critical to keep our prayer lives alive and well! Family members, leaders, friends, the unsaved and fellow believers are all in need of our prayers. We have been told to hold fast to the promises of God and support and motivate one another as we see time drawing closer to the return of Christ for His church. We can only do this if we are walking closely with the Lord Himself and this is impossible if we don’t keep in close touch with Him.

If there was ever a time to stay in close communion with Christ it is now! Don’t let anything keep you from that intimacy. He truly is coming back for His bride sooner than we think! Let us all be ready when that trump sounds! Start each day communing with the lover of your soul!

And so, dear brothers and sisters we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.  By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.  And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house,  let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25)

Don’t Waste this Time

Pin on GO.

Do you believe Jesus Christ is going to appear soon to take up His church? Are you sensing that time for the body of Christ is short here? I do. I have never been more convinced that time is short. I really believe we must use every opportunity the LORD gives us to share the gospel with those that need to hear it, including those who need salvation and those who once knew Christ but are currently living in rebellion.

For those of us who can’t work right now, why not pray and ask God to show you ways you can be used to share the message so desperately needed by this world? Jesus Christ came to save sinners! He is not willing that anyone should perish and be lost for eternity!

2 Peter 3:3-10 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water.  Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.  And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.  But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.

What will it matter if you helped people with material things during the pandemic but neglected to share the gospel which would help them for all eternity? We are to be the hands and feet of Christ but we are also called to share the good news to those that need to hear it. We also have a responsibility to remind those who have fallen away from Christ that the time is short and His return is imminent. Whether it’s today or in 5 years, they need to be ready.

I have committed to praying for the unsaved during this time but I know that is not enough. We must share the gospel however the LORD allows us to. It may be through social media, a phone call, a letter or a conversation while social distancing in a store.

Let’s do our part to help people be spared from the evil days to come. The pandemic is bad but the book of Revelation tells us for those that are left behind things will be far worse or an enormous scale!

So brother or sister in Christ, pray and ask God how you can be used during this time. He is always looking for willing vessels. We don’t have to be perfect. We must have a heart for Him and be willing.

Have a blessed day!

Our Reason to Celebrate Easter!

He Is Risen: Historical Evidence That Jesus Rose From The Dead ...

Luke 24:1-48

 But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.  So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.  As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.

 The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”

 Then they remembered that he had said this.  So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened.  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened.  But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.  However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.

That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.  As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.  But God kept them from recognizing him.

 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces.  Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”

 “What things?” Jesus asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people.  But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him.  We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report.  They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive!  Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.  Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?”  Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them.  As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them.  Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”  And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them,  who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”

Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.  But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.”  As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.

 Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Then he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish,  and he ate it as they watched.

 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.  It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’  You are witnesses of all these things.

Heavenly Father: Thank you for Jesus Christ! Thank you that He was willing to suffer a horrible death for us in order to make a way for our salvation. Thank you for His heart of compassion! Thank you that He did not stay in that grave but He rose again, just as those of us who follow Him will one day!

Hallelujah!

A Death to Celebrate

The Cross of Jesus Christ

Every day we get fed an updated count of those who have died with the COVID 19 virus. The worldwide numbers are mounting. Each one of those deaths represents someone’s father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, child etc. Each one of those deaths brings heartbreak and sorrow to the surviving family and friends.

Today, Good Friday, let’s reflect on one death that though it brought sorrow at the time to those who loved Him, has also brought immeasurable joy. The death of our precious LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. For without His death we would remain lost. His willingness to be obedient to the Father and die a horribly painful and violent death at the hands of those who mocked Him is what has given us our salvation!

Jesus Christ offered Himself up as the sacrificial Lamb of God for you and I. Let us never forget the high price He paid for our salvation! Without His death there would be no resurrection! Without His death we would not receive the Comforter! Without His death we, as His followers, would not be able to look forward to His appearing again! Praise His holy name forever!

Mark 15:21-41 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.)  And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”).  They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it.

 Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece.  It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.  A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.”  Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.

 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days.  Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

 The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself!  Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.

The Death of Jesus

At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock.  Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah.  One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!”

 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last.  And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

 When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

 Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome.  They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.

Lord Jesus-Help us never to forget the price you paid on Calvary to save us from our sins. Keep our hearts tender towards you always. We love you and are so thankful for the love you demonstrated and continue to demonstrate daily in our lives. In Your precious name, Amen.

Watch out for PRIDE

What is the Biblical definition of pride? - Quora

One of the greatest stumbling blocks for the child of God is pride.

The Merriam Webster defines pride as follows:

PRIDE noun Definition of pride 1: the quality or state of being proud: such as a: inordinate self-esteem CONCEIT b: a reasonable or justifiable self-respect c: delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship parental pride

2:  proud or disdainful behavior or treatment DISDAIN 3a: ostentatious display b: highest pitch PRIME 4:  a source of pride the best in a group or class 5: a company of lions 6: a showy or impressive group a pride of dancers

With the words, “inordinate self esteem”, “conceit,” and “ostentatious display” in mind, we can see a perfect example of all of this in Lucifer’s fall.

Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

We currently live in a culture that encourages us to be prideful. To stand up and be heard, to toot our own horn, to make sure people are paying attention to us! The danger comes when we insist on doing any of these things solely to have our egos stroked. This attitude has deeply penetrated the church. You don’t have to look too hard to see online, televised ministries promising more for you if you give and support them! Some share a gospel that is more about being blessed than about blessing others or taking up your cross and following Jesus wherever He may lead. Pride in “their” ministries and accomplishments overrides the tender, humble heart of a true follower of Christ. I doubt many of them started out with that attitude but over time old slew foot began to creep into their hearts.

All of us are susceptible to becoming prideful. No one is immune. We must diligently guard our hearts from becoming that way. One of the best ways to do this is to daily remember that you did not nor can you ever earn your salvation. It was blood bought by a Savior that willingly suffered immeasurable pain on a wooden cross for YOU. That’s what should center us every day. He paid the price for us! Though we didn’t and don’t deserve it, He did it out of love for every one of us!

Our lives and ministry will never be on track when we forget that for one minute. How we live and what we do to minister to others must always be from a place of humility and love. Knowing He has given us this life. He has redeemed us from the pit of Hell, He has provided us with a Comforter to help guide us and lead us.

If you find yourself getting a little puffed up and proud about “your” ministry or accomplishments bring your heart back to the cross. Keep it real. Just remember the words of Solomon taken from

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.

Stay safe and be blessed!

Can Anything Good Come out of _______________?

Have you ever noticed yourself or others judging people by their background or station in life? Too often, we the body of Christ, fall prey to the same tendency the world does. We too can judge people by their ethnicity, political standing, financial status or where they’re from. In the book of James we are warned to guard ourselves from doing this very thing.

James 2:1-5 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?

God knows our tendency to favor like minded people that appear to be thriving. He knows our weakness towards favoritism . It’s nothing new. In fact one of my favorite stories from the Bible demonstrates that very issue.

John 1:40-51 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).

42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.

45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

Nathanael sincerely questioned, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” The assumption being Nazareth was not a place of importance or significance enough to be the birth place of the long awaited Messiah! The Jews were waiting for their Messiah to come but were not expecting Him to be born into poor circumstances! I love the fact God had his Son born into lowly surroundings with no pomp or circumstance. It shows the heart of God to be tender and compassionate towards all those who would otherwise not feel worthy of being accepted into the body of Christ. Jesus Christ is not a Savior for the privileged alone. He is for everyone, regardless of their status in life! He is available to anyone that will cry out to Him, repent of their sins and follow Him!

So to answer Nathanael’s question YES. YES something good and wonderful did come out of Nazareth. Our beautiful King, Jesus Christ! And you must know that something good can come out of your city or town, regardless of its size or significance in the world! That something is you! A child of God, bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, filled with the Spirit of God and set apart for good works, wherever you live! Never allow any person or any voice to tell you that your status in life is a limitation to God using you right where you are. We are not to judge others and that includes ourselves. If we yield to Christ, He will use us regardless of our family background, financial status, ethnicity or political leanings. Yield yourself to Him today! Make a difference right where you are!

Blessings!

It’s Time to Share!

 

toogoodJust turn on your computer, tv or open a newspaper today and you will see natural disasters all over the world. There doesn’t appear to be anywhere safe from them. Not only are they increasing, but the strength of them appears to be increasing too.  We are experiencing the early birth pangs Jesus warned us about. As with real birth pangs they start off slowly and gradually increase in both frequency and strength. We can expect the same with natural disasters.

 

We have all seen the headlines with rumors of wars possibly including North Korea, Russia and not to mention all the countries that are currently battling.  The last year alone has brought us into a political environment that increases the chance of war.

Sin, well sin can be found everywhere we look, including in the mirror. The majority of the world has not found or outwardly rejected Christ as Lord and Saviour.  Without Him life is pretty dark and that is exactly what we are seeing everywhere we look.  The world is not a warm, welcoming place without Christ.

So with all this going on around us should we be discouraged? Should we be down trodden and depressed? NO!  A resounding NO!  Through Christ we have every good thing! We have more than we need! We have a truth that cannot be shaken! We have a friend in these times of trouble that is closer than a brother! We have a Savior and friend that will NEVER leave us or forsake us!  We have the good news that we can share with those who have yet to hear or have not listened up till now! More and more people are getting discouraged with this ole world of ours and are looking for something concrete to hold onto.  Well there is nothing more concrete than the love of Jesus Christ and His ability to save people from their sins and  sustain those  people through any situation or circumstance.

Instead of looking at the doom and gloom surrounding you today.  Ask God to give you a heart for the lost and broken. Ask Him to put people in your path today that you can love on tangibly  and share the gospel with. He will do it! He has called us to do this very thing.  Let others know why you don’t walk in fear but by faith.  Be encouraged that God has called you and brought you to a time such as this for that very purpose!

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”~Matthew 16:15

 

CULTURE is not our course!

JESUS CHRIST the same, yesterday, and today, and forever.~Hebrews 13:8

JESUS CHRIST the same, yesterday, and today, and forever.~Hebrews 13:8

If there is one thing a true follower of Christ can count on, it is that culture as a whole, will change and become increasingly bold and accepting towards sin as we draw closer to the return of Christ. it shouldn’t surprise us.  It shouldn’t scare us. It shouldn’t cause us to over react. It shouldn’t cause us to hate the sinner. Jesus told us that as the days draw closer to a close, sin will abound. Accept is as fact. It will happen and it will continue to happen until we see Him face to face!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 Tells us…But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Though once ourselves bound by sin, we now as followers of Christ, have been given the Holy Spirit! Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to live a life of freedom! In order to walk in this freedom we must remain people of prayer and continue to study God’s Word, which will increase our faith!

We read in 1 Timothy chapter 4 verses 4-16,  that as the Lord’s return draws closer, some people will abandon their faith in Christ and be seduced by the increase in sin.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

We must be knowledgeable of the Word of God and diligent in obeying it so that when our culture continues to grow more and more accepting of things that are clearly marked sin in God’s word we will not get entangled in that sin but will instead  intercede all the more for those who are trapped in it and by it! Our motivation must be love. Love for the lost, love for those trapped in the bondage of sin and love for those who have been freed from it through Christ! WE don’t change when culture changes. We are to remain steadfast to the Word of God. If you find yourself more accepting of sin than you need to get yourself into the Word of God (your Bible) and realize how God sees it. Just because everyone else is doing it  or approving of it does not mean it will ever be okay in God’s eyes.  This does not mean we should battle the increase of sin in our culture with fighting words against those whom we want to see freed! Words spewed out in anger and bitterness will never draw anyone away from their sin and to Christ.  Instead we are to share Christ as Lord and Savior. Without salvation and the Holy Spirit, all of us are bound by our sin! It is only through Christ that we are able to be free and keep that freedom. Quarreling words over sin will never accomplish what Jesus Christ alone can accomplish once He has inhabited the heart of a new believer!

It is after we confess Jesus Christ as Savior that we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to turn away from sin. While we are still dead in our sin it will remain a lifelong struggle. So fighting with a sinner trapped in sin is futile. What they need to hear is the gospel message of salvation. Too often we want people to clean up their lives before they come to Christ when what they really need is the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to bring about real heart change!

We don’t serve culture, we serve Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, Our King of Kings and the true Holy One! He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His opinions on sin don’t change. He will always detest sin. He willingly endured the horrific death on the cross to free us of it! He doesn’t take it lightly! It is Jesus Christ that the sinner needs! Whether they are busy hiding their sin or boldly flaunting their sin, Jesus Christ alone can free them of it. Just as He alone has freed us of our past sin and continues to intercede on our behalf before the Father. He alone can bring salvation and true freedom.

So as things grow darker in this world we live in, we are to remain true to the Word of God, which requires us to read it and know it. We are NOT to be influenced or transformed by what culture says is okay. We are to stay true to the course Christ has put us on. The course to take up our cross daily, and follow Him and as we do this we are to share the gospel with the messed up, broken and lost. Once they have given their heart to Christ, we are to encourage them in their faith through the Word of God and in prayer. That is our calling as followers of Jesus Christ.

So each of us needs to be prepared to willingly share the gospel with the lost where they are. Trying to get them to clean up first is futile and renders the cross unnecessary. God has provided a beautiful way of saving and growing up His church. Salvation through Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us over sin. We don’t need to improve on it. We just need to share it!

Life is but a Vapor

This past weekend we lost a dear friend. She had recently been battling cancer and lost her fight. In our minds and hearts we lost her way too soon. She was still young! We didn’t expect to lose her this soon! This morning I was reminded that there are no guarantees when it comes to our life span. We cannot possibly predict what the future may hold for any one of us.  I was hit in the face with this fact almost ten years ago when we lost our twenty year old son Daniel in a car accident. I was reminded of it again this weekend.

There is no certainty, no guarantees and no assurance that we will have another day, another week, another month etc. As much as we like to feel we have control over so much of our life, this is one area none of us can control completely. We can take care of ourselves and try and stay fit but even that does not guarantee longevity.  So what does this mean? Should we live our lives in fear or discouragement knowing just how frail life can be? Should we worry incessantly about what could happen? The answer to all three questions is a resounding NO!

We are to live each day as if it were our last, abiding in Christ and serving as we have been called. NO fear, NO terror, NO worry, just living out our lives with purpose each day as we walk close to the ONE who gives us purpose. Each day is a gift God gives us to walk close to Him and share the gospel with a dying world. As long as we are staying close to Him through our prayer life and increasing our faith through the reading of the Word, we will hear Him speaking to our hearts and leading us. That is how we are to live each day. Not worrying about tomorrow or what it may bring. Simply living each day with His purposes in our heart! When we need wisdom to do so we simply ask for it. He promises to give it to us liberally! When we stumble, we need to repent and get right back on track. Moving forward in the course He has set before us.

We run into the most trouble when we forget that we who follow Christ, have been called for a purpose. We have been bought with a high price, the price of His shed blood. We have not been called to ignore God’s purposes and live out our own plans. When we remember to whom we owe our life and redemption we live with His purpose in mind. We lose the need to control our future. James says it beautifully. James 4:13-15 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell and make a profit;” whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

None of us knows what the future holds. We do know that we have been given this day! This day to walk close to the ONE who saved us and called us. Let’s remember to seek His face today and fulfill the purposes He has for us! Not worrying about tomorrow, next week, or any time in the future!

Lord, forgive us for our arrogance in thinking we have all the time in the world to fulfill Your purposes. Remind us each day that we need to live close to You, seeking Your face and purposes for our life. Knowing that life is but a vapor! We may not have tomorrow but we have today!   We ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Don’t Leave Yourself Open to Confusion and Deception!

What a whirlwind two weeks the last few have been. With Easter, I was busy preparing and taking part in our church’s Easter play. Visiting family and finishing up a college course have kept me so busy that I have missed one of my favorite things to do and that is why I decided today I needed to get back to my blog.

Life is short and we only have so much time to share the Word of God! The way things are going, prophetically, it may be even shorter!  Today I wanted to just remind myself and others of the importance of sharing the true, whole gospel based on the Word of God. We are held to a high standard when sharing our faith and sharing the message of the gospel with others. We cannot create a new more ear tickling or politically correct version, regardless of what type of pressure we may feel from the world to do so.  That’s why it is so critical that we actually get familiar with the whole gospel.

A lack of the Word of God in our lives leaves us ignorant and vulnerable. We cannot please God being either of these. We are called to study the Word and allow it to take root in our hearts. Picking and choosing certain verses only to try and promote an incomplete gospel is not acceptable in God’s sight. We all must do our best to ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman or woman rightly dividing the Word of truth! 2 Timothy 2:15

Without knowing the Word, how can we truly live it? How can we share it? I would encourage you to spend time every day praying and asking God to reveal the truth of His Word to you as you delve into your Bible. It is vital food for every Christian. It is also vital that we feed on it daily! As you grow in the Word of God your thoughts will soon begin to change, your faith will increase and you will begin to be able to live out  a victorious life as a true follower of Christ!

Without knowing God’s Word, we leave ourselves incredibly vulnerable to deception in any area of our life. We can’t live the truth if we don’t know it. We can’t share the truth if we don’t know it. We leave ourselves open to thoughts, attitudes and actions that can draw us away from the lover of our soul, Jesus Christ. There are many people living a life of bondage to lies and deceptions of the enemy. God has warned us in the book of Galatians 1:1-10 of the absolute seriousness of knowing the true gospel and sharing the true gospel!

Paul, an apostle sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised from the dead 2  and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia:Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you,let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul wasn’t mincing words here! We are to know, live and share the true gospel of Jesus Christ! This can only be achieved by familiarizing ourselves with His Words and the Words of His Father, who through the anointing of the Holy Spirit used men to pen them.God wants us to take studying the Word seriously. We will never live out our potential as followers of Christ if we don’t. Why let another day pass without spending time in the Word? Let each of us feed ourselves on the spiritual milk and meat God has provided for us.

As His return draws near, let us grow more like Him so that on the day that we meet Him face to face we will hear Him say, “Well done though good and faithful servant!”

Aim HIGH in 2015!

Being New Year’s Day and all, I thought instead of making a New Year’s resolution today I would just resolve to do what we are called to do but with more purpose and drive! So many of my past NY resolutions  consisted of fleeting goals and ideals. Things that would fade after a month or two such as eat less chocolate…watch less tv…lose weight… Goals that were small enough to achieve with not too much effort, yet wouldn’t make a huge difference in my life or the life of others. This year I am determined to aim higher. I am asking God to help me walk closer to Christ, become more like Christ and do what Christ has called me to do, the same things He has called all of His followers to do…. None of this can be done without the power of the Spirit of God. Trying to do so would be futile. It would only frustrate me. I am incapable in the flesh, of achieving what God wants to do in me and through me.

Thankfully, God has provided the Holy Spirit to do the work as we yield our will to Him. So this year I desire to to yield more, submit more, seek more and serve more. Not in my own strength but by spending time with my teacher (Jesus) and learning (through His Word) of His ways. In the book of Luke Jesus tells us, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40  I want to be more like my teacher! This in itself is impossible without the power of the Holy Spirit. When we read Luke 6 verses 27 to 38 we are faced with teachings that are impossible to obey in the flesh!

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. 37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”  

Let’s face it, sometimes it is difficult to love and forgive those whom we love let alone those who curse us or spitefully use us. Yet Jesus tells us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us and pray for those who spitefully use us! He goes on to tell us to be merciful and not judge…. But how????

This can only be achieved by yielding our will and heart to the ONE who willingly loved us while we were an enemy of the cross. He did good for us while we hated Him! Our teacher  paved the way by willingly laying down His life for us while we were sinners! He reached out to us while we were still in our sin and extended mercy and grace to us! When we were worthy of condemnation He forgave us! He is not asking us to do what He was unwilling to do. He did that and so much more by offering His sin free body up as a human sacrifice to save us from our sins!

When we begin to grasp the true depth of His love for us, which is revealed through the Holy Spirit, we are able to yield our will to follow Jesus our teacher. A teacher  that is unlike any other. A teacher who offers us new mercies every morning. A teacher who will NEVER leave us or forsake us. A teacher who is closer than a brother. A teacher who will one day soon come back to take us HOME.

So in 2015, I resolve to be a student worthy of my calling. I resolve to spend more time with my teacher. I resolve to spend more time studying His Word. I resolve to obey His teachings and to serve Him with abandon.

If this is the desire of your heart, pray along with me;

Lord, we pray that in the coming year those who call themselves followers of Christ, will seek You daily, study Your Word, obey Your teachings and be Your hands and feet to a world desperate for YOU! Give us the desire to be all we can be. Keep us from becoming spiritually lazy and complacent. When we forget, remind us of Your imminent return and that there is work to be done until then. Jesus, we ask it all in Your precious name, Amen.

Philipians 3:14  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The Hope of Hosea!

As I read through many of the early chapters in the book of Hosea, I couldn’t help but feel sad and even a bit angry. Hosea was an Old Testament prophet called by God. At a time of relative ease and prosperity in Israel, Hosea was called to bring a message to the people of Ephraim (northern Israel) that God was displeased with their sin and adulterous ways and that judgment would come.  They had rejected God and  instead worshipped idols. They were living a life of apart from the God who had called them, delivered them and provided for them.  Hosea’s personal life was used to illustrate this exact scenario. He was instructed to marry Gomer (a harlot) and as a result his personal  life accurately illustrated what God was feeling and dealing with. His people had become rebellious and turned to others over Him.

Through much of the book we see Hosea telling the people of Ephraim that God hates their sin. He will not continue to tolerate their sin. He will bring judgment on them as a result. This message is hammered over and over.  Judgment is coming.

Hosea 4 NIV

Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
    because the Lord has a charge to bring
    against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love,
    no acknowledgment of God in the land.
There is only cursing, lying and murder,
    stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds,
    and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Because of this the land dries up,
    and all who live in it waste away;
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
    and the fish in the sea are swept away.

“But let no one bring a charge,
    let no one accuse another,
for your people are like those
    who bring charges against a priest.
You stumble day and night,
    and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother—
    my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

“Because you have rejected knowledge,
    I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
    I also will ignore your children.
The more priests there were,
    the more they sinned against me;
    they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful.
They feed on the sins of my people
    and relish their wickedness.
And it will be: Like people, like priests.
    I will punish both of them for their ways
    and repay them for their deeds.

10 “They will eat but not have enough;
    they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
because they have deserted the Lord
    to give themselves 11 to prostitution;
old wine and new wine
    take away their understanding.
12 My people consult a wooden idol,
    and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
    they are unfaithful to their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops
    and burn offerings on the hills,
under oak, poplar and terebinth,
    where the shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
    and your daughters-in-law to adultery.

14 “I will not punish your daughters
    when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law
    when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots
    and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—
    a people without understanding will come to ruin!

15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery,
    do not let Judah become guilty.

“Do not go to Gilgal;
    do not go up to Beth Aven.
    And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’
16 The Israelites are stubborn,
    like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the Lord pasture them
    like lambs in a meadow?
17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
    leave him alone!
18 Even when their drinks are gone,
    they continue their prostitution;
    their rulers dearly love shameful ways.
19 A whirlwind will sweep them away,
    and their sacrifices will bring them shame.

How God’s heart must have ached to see those whom He had called and favored choosing to “desert the Lord”.  Sound familiar?  We see the same thing happening today. Multiple people are still choosing to reject knowledge and serve idols and though they may live in relative ease right now, God’s judgment is coming.  With the way prophecy is being fulfilled today, it may be sooner than any of us think!  I thank God that the message of Hosea was not without hope! Chapter fourteen brings a beautiful message of hope! God doesn’t leave us without a way back to Him!

Hosea 14

14 Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
    Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
    and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
    “Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
    that we may offer the fruit of our lips.
Assyria cannot save us;
    we will not mount warhorses.
We will never again say ‘Our gods’
    to what our own hands have made,
    for in you the fatherless find compassion.”

“I will heal their waywardness
    and love them freely,
    for my anger has turned away from them.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
    he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
    he will send down his roots;
    his young shoots will grow.
His splendor will be like an olive tree,
    his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
People will dwell again in his shade;
    they will flourish like the grain,
they will blossom like the vine—
    Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols?
    I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
    your fruitfulness comes from me.”

Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
    Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
    the righteous walk in them,
    but the rebellious stumble in them.

Despite their rebellious hearts, God didn’t give up on His people in the time of Hosea and He is not giving up on us now!  We serve a God that loves us so much! He longs for us to fellowship with Him. He gives us every opportunity to turn our messed up, sin ridden lives over to Him. He has provided the most precious and beautiful way to do this and that is through His Son Jesus Christ! By calling on the name of Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior we are given the opportunity to be forgiven and be clean before God. Just as Hosea spoke, ” Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips,” God offers us the same opportunity to us. If we have rebelled, we can turn to Him and ask forgiveness, He is faithful and just and will forgive! If we have never known Him as Savior and Lord, all we need to do is ask Him to come into our life and be our Savior and Lord, to forgive us of our sins and to fill us with the Holy Spirit! The same God of Hosea is longing to have fellowship with each one of us today! He has provided a way and that way is Jesus!

So Just Who is Jesus Christ?

 

Whenever we feel the least bit uncertain that He is able to be all we need Him to be regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we may just want to review just a sample of who He is!

John 14:6 NIV Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”

Advocate with the Father

Alpha and Omega

Ancient of Days

Anointed One of God

Author of Life

Beginning and the End

Beloved

Beloved Son of God

Bread of Life

Bridegroom

Bright and Morning Star

Carpenter

Cornerstone

Christ

Counselor

Creator of everything

Deliverer

Emmanuel

Eternal

Eternal judge

Everlasting Father

Faithful One

First and Last

Firstborn

God

God’s Anointed

God’s Only Son

Good shepherd

God with us

Great I AM

Healer

Holy

Help in times of trouble

Holy Messiah

Holy ONE of Israel

Intercessor on our behalf

Jehovah

Jesus Christ

Jesus of Nazareth

Judge

Just and true

King of Israel

King of Kings

King of the Jews

Lamb of God

Light of the world

Lion of Judah

Lover of our soul

Living bread

Living water

Lord of all

Lord of glory

Maker

Master

Mediator

Messiah

Mighty God

Miracle maker

Most High God

Nazarene

Omnipotent

Only begotten of the Father

Our Passover lamb

Physician

Power of God

Prince of Peace

Prophet

Propitiation for our sins

Rabbi

Redeemer

Resurrection and Life

Righteous One

Revealer

Rock

Root of Jesse

Sacrifice

Savior of the world

Seed of David

Servant of the Lord

Shepherd

Son of David

Son of God

Son of man

Son of the most high God

Teacher

The Way

True Vine

Truth and Life

Unchanging

Wonderful

Word of God

Word of Life

Worthy of all praise

He alone can draw us, redeem us, change us and enable us to serve!  He is our beautiful Jesus! Put your trust in Him for He is more than enough!

 

 

 

Thank YOU for the cross!

 

2Corinthians 5:21NKJV  21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2Corinthians 5:21 NKJV
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

With Easter approaching, it is a good time to reflect on just what Christ did for each of us when He died on the cross. As we think on what He achieved through His painful death on the cross let’s approach this Easter with a thankful heart! Without His enduring the scourgings, false accusations, and crucifixion there would be no way for us to enter into fellowship with the Father. He provided THE WAY. If He at any point in His suffering lashed back and refused to endure, we would still be living a life without hope, without true joy and without the assurance of our salvation. For many of us who are gentiles, we would be outside the family of God with no way in. Thankfully, He did endure the cross and when He did, He willingly took upon Himself my sin and yours! Praise God!

Let’s take a fresh look at what the cross accomplished when we reflect on just a few verses today…

1John 2:2 NKJV And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.   (The definition of propitiation taken from Theopedia is “The turning away of wrath by an offering. In relation to soteriology, propitiation means placating or satisfying the wrath of God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ.” 

Romans 5:10 NKJV 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5  NKJV For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

1 Peter 1:17-19 NKJV 17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

And finally, one of my favorite verses…

2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.   It blesses me so much to know that He willing became sin for me, though it was painful and temporarily caused separation from the Father, and not only did that but  replaced my sin with righteousness in HIM!  That is powerful! That is amazing! That is ultimate love!

As you spend this Easter perhaps with loved ones and friends, don’t forget to spend time with your Redeemer! He has made it possible for you and I to enjoy eternal life and a joyful life here on earth regardless of our circumstances. Take the time to thank Him for what He has done for you!

 

 

Stand in your confidence in HIM!

In whom can we put our trust and confidence? In whom can we be assured? Psalm 27 tells us. Regardless of our personal situation, regardless of the political environment we find ourselves in, regardless of how hopeless things may seem, we can cry out to Jesus. He will hear us and He will answer! The peace that really knowing that brings is priceless. Though we may feel anxious for a few minutes when trouble arises, we can safely remind ourselves that HE will never leave us. HE will never allow us to go through more than we can bear. We have a hope that cannot be taken away! There is nothing we need to fear! We can be totally confident in HIM!

Psalm 27 NIV

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
    lead me in a straight path
    because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
    for false witnesses rise up against me,
    spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

He will arrive on time! If you are struggling right now and don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, it’s time you met Him.  If you are a follower of Christ and are going through a spiritual battle stand strong and take heart, as David says. Wait for the Lord! He will not ignore you. He will meet you in your battle, just stand strong in the confidence of who He is and that He will never leave or forsake you!

Father God, for any who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior we now pray the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, forgive me. I am a sinner. I have done things that have left me feeling sad and ashamed. I ask  You to forgive me right now. I ask that You would come into my life and fill me with the Holy Spirit.  I want a new beginning with You. I want to KNOW that should I die I will go to Heaven. I want to have peace and joy as I live out the rest of my life. Please guide me to a church where I may grow in my new life and help me to understand the Bible as it is Your words to us. I ask it now in the name of Jesus, Amen.

*If you prayed that prayer right now, I suggest you find a local Bible believing church in your neighborhood. I also suggest you get yourself a Bible and begin to read it! It will open up your eyes to just who God is and who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for each and every one of us! Congratulations on your new life in Christ!

If you are a follower of Christ and are struggling in your walk I suggest you pray with me right now….

Father God, I am struggling in my current situation. I need to know, as David did, that I can be strong and take heart as I wait on You to work this out. I ask that You would comfort me with your Word (the Bible) and You would help me to stand on the fact that as David said,  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.  Because of the blood Christ shed for me on Calvary, I can boldly come before Your throne and know You hear me! I don’t have to doubt or fear that You have left me! I can rest in knowing that ALL things work together for good to them who love God and who are called according to His purpose. As a follower of Christ, I have been called! I put my trust in You right now. I stand on the fact that NOTHING can touch me that You will not see me through. Please remind me as I go through this day, that You are right beside me. I need not fear! I can be confident in You! In the precious name of Jesus my King, Amen