Sunday, February 28, 2021

Great Expectations

And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. MARK 6:51 

Canada has suffered its share of natural disasters in recent years, prompting the Canadian Red Cross to begin a preparedness program to help schoolchildren deal with sudden crises. The slogan is “Expect the Unexpected.” In the Gospels, the disciples were often left slack-jawed and wide-eyed at Jesus’ behavior, His words, and His miracles. When He healed the paralytic in Mark 2, for example, “all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’ ” (v. 12). They learned to expect the unexpected when they were with Him. If you’re a disciple, you’re learning to expect the unexpected, for we never know what Christ is going to do next for us, in us, around us, or through us. It’s an exciting, adventuresome way to live. Discipleship is an experience that dispels boredom and keeps the Christian looking up in amazement. Expect Him to answer your prayers and to overrule the problems of your life and cause all things to work together for good. Expect Him to open doors, create opportunities, meet your needs, and bless your efforts. Say with the psalmist, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him” (Psalm 62:5). - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

What do you expect?  A simple question yet depending on each inflection in the use of the English language it means something different.   

In Christ we who believe and try to obey the Word of God should indeed have expectations from God.  Faith without works is dead the Scriptures say.  Faith without the evidence to show it was acted upon as faith is worthless. What's the point in saying that you believe if you aren't living like you believe?

Look at your life.  So you are stressed and can't sleep.  Just what have you done WITH Christ about it?  It isn't about pills to take, montras to chant. It isn't about even praying a specific special prayer.  The only dumb question to ask is the simple question.  Have you gone to prayer, STAYED in prayer until an answer came?

We are, for several generations, been a microwave society. We want answers before the echo of asking the question dies.  Look at the Bible. Countless lessons from the Lord Jesus Christ on the necessity of patience in waiting on God's Plan for you.  

Prayer without expectations is nothing more than worrying.  All in vain, all useless to the person in that state of mind. 

If you are a child of God, why are you still enthralled by the world?  Why is this place more important that your home in Heaven?  The only Plan of God is the saving of souls.  Satan throws everything PHYSICAL in our way to distract us from God's Plan.  It is no coincidence that mankind does what he or she does to enjoy sin. It's because they are not of God.  Sin separates people from God.  Sin hinders the life of the believer.  Sin gets in the way of expecting from God.

The greatest issue with the world today is what is called refusing to repent.  Both the believer and unbeliever are guilty of the same.  Revival comes when repentance happens.  That's the expectation of repenting.  That God is going to do something spectacular. 

The expectation of a fervent prayer is that much will be accomplished.  Scripture says so.

What are you expecting from God?  Your wants and desires or are you expecting Him to enable you to reach others?  You cannot expect God to give you what is important to you if you aren't about the Father's business.  He is the perfect parent.  He does not reward disobedience by giving what the person disobeying wants. 

Look at your life today are you living for Jesus or for you? Remember an earlier post.  There's one Throne in your heart. Who is on it?

It's only just Beginning to Gain Momentum

Revelation 9:21
and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their witchcraft, nor of their sexual immorality, nor of their thefts.

Revelation 2:21 "I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality."

This is one of those posts that will not be on Facebook today.  There will be a second post today that will be there.  There is no way they wouldn't block me for this message. 

Read closely what is being said.  If you read in Revelation there are at least three times when it is mentioned that people wouldn't repent.  Look closely at what today's world is calling equality.  

Women and young girls are no longer protected by the laws coming upon the United States.  Rape will always go against the actual victim in this new equality. The perpetrator of this incident will be protected due to the victim refusing to allow them to be who they identify with. 

The groundwork for a civilization as described in Revelation is falling in place. 

We are so close to the return of Christ.

The wording of this new equality law does not allow any religious organizations to be exempt from any part of it.  It's the strongest law ever written against Christianity.  This means all Christian daycare places, all Christian adoption centers must comply with it.  Christian definitions of man and woman as far as marriage goes will be considered a form of bigotry against same sex marriage.  This Federal law supersedes biological identity from birth. 

My friends now is not the time to be silent about what you believe in Christ Jesus.  

Now, for certain is a time to be praying for our world and its leaders.  If this tide doesn't turn, it's going to be open season on Christians in America.  We hold to the moral values written in the Bible.  We will be targeted.  

Sexual immorality in the Bible covered everything possible.  What is morally wrong will become a protected lifestyle. If you don't agree, it will be not enough to be silent or keep to yourself.  Look at what's happening in the world today. You must show publicly that you support such atrocities or you will be targeted.  I have known for most of my life that before Christ comes the world will be on a warpath against Christianity.  The world is going to feel cheated when Christ returns and takes us all home to be with Him. 

The importance of taking up His cross in that WE have the message to tell the world and indeed we must tell it has never been more important. We must live out loud our Salvation in front of others. We may indeed face persecution for it, Jesus said that the world would hate us because we are His...they hated Him first. 

Pray pray pray.  Prayer has turned the tide of many periods of time in this country.  Satan is NOT more powerful than the work of the Holy Spirit.  

Look for the shout that will take us out!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Through, Not Around the Hard Times

Through, Not Around the Hard Times 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 

As a child of God you are never alone! Your Shepherd is with you at all times. You never have to call Him into your situation. You never have to wonder where He is. You never have to fear that if things become too difficult, He will abandon you. He goes before you; He walks beside you; He comes behind you. He protects you securely. Just as He sees every sparrow and knows every hair that is on your head, so His gaze is constantly upon you (Luke 12:6—7). He comforts you with His strong presence in times of sorrow and grief. He leads you through the valley of the shadow of death. He does not necessarily lead you around the valley as you might wish. There are times when your Shepherd knows that the only way to get you where He wants to take you is to lead you down the path that passes through the dark valley. Yet, at those times He walks closely with you, reassuring you throughout the journey that He still loves you and is with you. It is during those times that you experience His love and compassion in a deeper dimension than you ever have before. You never need to fear evil. As intimidating as evil can be, there is nothing you will ever face that intimidates your Shepherd. He has seen it all and soundly defeated every form of wickedness. Evil never catches Him by surprise. Your Shepherd is always prepared and knows exactly when and where you will experience difficulty. Place your absolute trust in your Good Shepherd that He will protect you and demonstrate His love for you through the darkest valley.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

There's been horrific times we can all recall.  Times, that I refer to, that did a number on how we thought, believed and lived.  

Many times in life this has happened to me.  I finally referred to them as Spiritual Surgeries.  

In Christ, Scripture says, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. 

Watch enough how-to videos where something complex is being made, and you see sections built separately from the project.  Sometimes started in the project, but then removed, added to, then returned. 

Our walk with Jesus is always going to be that way until we get to Heaven.  A Glorified body needs no more work. 

In this life we cannot just separate ourselves from mankind thinking that by doing so will mitigate our troubles in this world.  We were born in sin. Even if we were a solitary person living on Mars we would still have sin to contend with. On the International Space Station they have sin to contend with. In Antarctica they have sin to contend with. 

You cannot escape sin until Christ is your personal Savior and Lord. You are then sealed in the Spirit, forever to be with Jesus.  Once your time on Earth is through and you are called home forever with Jesus you will be, no longer fighting the effects of sin in your body and life.  A great many people pray for those near death to be healed physically.  My prayer isn't the same.  My prayer for those is IF they still have work to do for Jesus then heal them. If not please take them home.  No Christian is really here without a purpose in Christ Jesus. We aren't here just because we are related or get along with others.  We who are in Christ are only here to A) Grow in Christ and B) be a part of the Plan of God the Father.  Nothing else. By mere interaction I live with others, affecting others by my actions. But my purpose is to be a light in a dark world as the Spirit illuminates.  I am to love one another as Christ loves me. I am to love my neighbor as myself.  I am to love people as Christ does.  All of a Christians life is to be living out the Plan of God the Father.  When a Christian does what they are supposed to then they are fulfilling that. When all they do is live for themselves then they are not.  To live totally for yourself is to live as the world does.  When believers do that then the parable of the salt happens. Once the salt loses its characteristics its to be thrown out.  When people will not acquiesce to God's Plan for their lives, when their heart will not bend the knee to Jesus, they will be removed from this world.  When a believer has fulfilled their part in their lives for the Kingdom then it's highly likely they will be called home.  We are not our own after we come to Christ.  We aren't here to solely live for ourselves. Not in the slightest. 

We will go through hard times and not around them to build or rebuild parts of our lives to be more useful to God in service to God.  It's gonna hurt.  But we are never alone.  Those in this world who go through hard times on their own have nobody to hope in but themselves.  God my still grant them mercy and grace, as long as it guides them towards Salvation.  

But our lives are not our own. We were bought with a price. The blood of Jesus. 

Expect to be guided to an through times you don't like. As Paul said so say I may the God of all comfort guide and direct your hearts in Christ Jesus. 

Our world is going through a separation. Those who believe from those who don't.  Those who don't are showing the evils of sin in their lives. They show every negative aspect of sin and instead of it repulsing them they want people to join them.  Regardless of how wrong it is.  

Expect life to be more trips through the valley of the shadow of death.  We are all almost home who are in Christ.  

For those reading who have no security in Salvation in Christ Jesus, I urge you wholeheartedly to reconsider your rejection of it and of Jesus Christ.  Now is the time to come to Christ to be saved.  Search online for the plan of Salvation.  

Friday, February 26, 2021

Is your belief really BELIEF

Is your belief really BELIEF?

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 CORINTHIANS 9:8 

An old widow was living in poverty and want. A young man, hearing she was in need, went to visit her to see if he could be of any help. The old lady complained bitterly of her condition and remarked that her son in Australia was doing very well. Her friend inquired, “Doesn’t he do anything to help you?” She replied, “No, nothing. He writes to me regularly once a month, but he sends me only some little pictures with his letters.” The young man asked to see the pictures she had received. To his surprise, he found each of them to be twenty-pound notes. The poor old lady did not realize the value of this foreign currency, but had imagined them to be mere pretty pictures. She had lived in poverty and want, whereas she could have had all the bodily comforts she desired and needed so badly. We smile at the foolishness of the old woman, but how many of us are like her, living as though we were paupers instead of sons and daughters of the King?  - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Sad but true, because I see in myself the times when I haven't been relying on my faith as I ought to. 

I also see and know many who claim to believe in God that aren't remotely trying to live it.  They claim to be Catholic or Baptist or other "Christian" denominations.  Yet their mouths say their hearts aren't following after Christ, regardless of the label they have on themselves. 

The question before you is just what really is at the core of you.  I guarantee you that there IS a Throne in your heart.  Who is on it?  Who is calling the shots? Who decides what happens?  In the life of a believer I tell you truly it is either Jesus or you.  

Are you living a life of worry?  Ehhhh that is leaning a lot towards you being on that Throne. 

Are you constantly stressed? Mmmm that is the same...leaning a lot towards you being on that Throne. 

I read an interesting devotional about carrying your cross and following Christ.  It isn't your cross you are carrying. It's His.

Look at it differently.  Jesus said to take His yoke upon you for His burden is easy and His load is light.   His. 

Are you a Martha more than a Mary?  Stressed and worried about so many things and have never made time to be at the feet of Jesus?

Only a fool sets out on a known long journey and takes nothing with them to be able to complete it.

Again only a fool rushes out into battle without counting the cost in time, energy and effort to see if they can prevail. 

Before anyone jumps into the fray about calling people fools...stop yourself and go actually read the book of Proverbs.  God defines who is a fool and who isn't.

So where is your belief?  Is it belief or isn't it?   Are you so wound up about what your eyes see that you can't see Jesus?   Take time to read about the boat trip of Jesus. Because you sound exactly like the worried Disciples.  Jesus was taking a nap. They were freaking out about the wind and the waves. Jesus asked them a simple question.  Where's your faith?

So....where is your faith?  

Don't give me that "I don't have time" excuse.  How quickly you forget that the same God who saved you is that same God who allows you to breathe.  In a heartbeat you CAN be called home.  Then what good did your worried hurried life with you on the Throne of your heart get you?

Are you really running from God?  Read Jonah.  Think that your life is rough? Read Job. Try losing everything in 1 day. All your kids, wealth and health...boom...gone.  In Job's case it was to reveal the Lord to people, an the Lord restored Job's life when He was done.  In the Gospels questions were asked because people were taught to believe that a person's parents or them could sin and cause them physical problems.  Jesus on many occasions revealed that the true purpose was to reveal the hand of God. 

You can be going through a great many things.  Some indeed are self inflicted.  Because you are on that Throne.  Others, Christ indeed is on the Throne but what is happening is Christ is being revealed in you.  He is the Good Shepherd. He knows what's best and what is going on at all times. 

So...where is your belief? 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

What YOU were born to be

What YOU were born to be 

But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa. Jonah 1:3 ESV 

Instead of going to Nineveh to preach the Word, as God told him to do, Jonah disliked the calling and went to Joppa to escape it. There are occasions when God’s servants shy away from their duty. But what are the consequences? What did Jonah lose by his conduct? Jonah lost the presence and comfortable enjoyment of God’s love. When we serve our Lord Jesus as believers should do, God is with us. Even if the whole world is against us, what does that matter if we have God with us? But the moment we turn around and pursue our own ways, we are at sea without a pilot. And then we cry and groan, “Oh, God, where have you gone? How could I have been so foolish as to run from your service and lose the bright shining of your face? This is a price too high—let me return to my allegiance, so I might rejoice in your presence.” Jonah also lost his peace of mind. Sin will soon destroy a believer’s comfort. It is the poisonous upas tree, whose leaves secrete deadly drops that destroy the life of joy and peace. Jonah lost everything from which he might have drawn comfort in any other case. He could not plead promises of divine protection, because he wasn’t following God’s ways. He couldn’t say, “Lord, I’m facing difficulties in the pursuit of my duty, so please help me through them.” He was reaping his own deeds, and filled with his own ways. Christian, do not imitate Jonah unless you want to have the waves and billows rolling over your head. You will find in the long run that it is far harder to run from the work and the will of God than simply to yield to it immediately. Jonah lost his time, because he had to go to Nineveh after all. It is hard to fight against God. Let us yield ourselves immediately. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Each of us was born in the time in which we COULD be the most effective in service to God. 

Ever wonder how it would have been like living in another time?  We often go to places that do recreations of former time periods.  To see what things were like back then.   Then the odd thing happens when there an maybe catch workers there on a break only to see them interacting with modern conveniences. 

Time travel has long been a fascinating thing to fiction writers.  Belief that one could go forward or backward in time.  Perhaps one of the most famous stories would be H.G. Wells "The Time Machine".

We often look to science fiction to escape. To reality TV to escape.  What of the possibility of a real time traveler?  Scripture says one or two have existed. Maybe three.  Daniel, John and maybe Paul.  Jesus permitted them to see the future that in every single thing has been accurate.  

The importance of the factual evidence and account of the Bible should be of paramount importance to you.  Put it to you another way, the Bible is the number one enemy of Satan.  He has tried from the beginning of his creation to fight against it. Yet his fight an perhaps your fight against it is and and always will be in vain. 

Time travel as shown in the Bible is one directional. The future of mankind.  Prophecy is a review of the future that God has kept His promise in fulfilling.  Rather than jumping to that time we see it revealed in its proper time. 

This to say that you are living in the most perfect time for you to do the most for God.  Many, if not all, people would love to know what happens next in life.  How they can avoid pitfalls and failures.  Whole business models exist to predict future earnings on past trends.  

There is only one who knows the future and it's obvious from Scripture that He isn't going to reveal more than we are able to comprehend.  

You were created in Christ Jesus for good works that you might walk in them.  You have a purpose in God's Plan to both grow in Christ and to share with others what great things He has done for you.  The man possessed by "Legion" in the Gospels was instructed by Jesus to go and tell others of the great things God had done for him. A man ill since before Jesus came in Bethlehem was thought to have been that way because either he or his parents had sinned.  Jesus said no, it was so that the works of God would be manifested in him. 

There's lessons to be learned from the past, but also too the past isn't a place for us to live.  To ignore the past means you will be doomed to repeat those mistakes in the future. 

We are meant to rely on Christ each day.  If you read the books of Leviticus and Numbers...look at the underlying context. Dependence upon obedience to God meant a long life.  There's such a thing as living in the here and now.  But also in keeping an eye on the future.  Jesus said to keep an eye on it.  Look up how He says that we should be looking for His appearing.  We should be living as if today were that day. Our lives are meant to be lived in obedience.  

Are you a believer? Are you living as if your Savior could be returning today? Will you be found doing your best to be obedient when He DOES return?  Are you consumed by the things of this world and are you doing what's right in your own eyes?  Or are you living for your Savior?  Do you grumble and complain all the time?

Christians aren't perfect, they are forgiven.  But it also isn't a license to do as you please.  Read in the book of Numbers. Grumbling and complaining about not getting your own way isn't good in the eyes of God.  There's going to be times when we don't get our way.  Our way must coincide with the Plan of God for our lives. 

If you aren't a believer, you can see in today's post that life has a purpose. There is a Plan and you are here for a reason.  Jesus loves you and wants a relationship with you.  He wants you to be part of the family of God.  It isn't about all the things you "have to give up" it's about everything you will gain.  Satan tries to convince people that they lose by coming to Christ. Jesus said he is a liar and the Father of lies. Don't listen to Satan nor to your sin nature.  Come to Christ and learn who you were born to be. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Have You Tried Talking to Jesus?

Have You Tried Talking to Jesus?

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. PSALM 34:17 

David testified, “This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 35:6). C. S. Lewis once wrote, “Down through the ages whenever men had a need of courage they would cry out, ‘Billy Budd, help me’ and nothing happened. But for 1900 years, whenever men have needed courage and have cried out, ‘Lord Jesus, help me’ something always happened.” I love the Hebrew definition of the word trouble. The word literally translates “hang-ups.” It means to be inhibited, tied up, and restricted. When we lay hold of Christ, we are freed from our hang-ups. Sound too simple? It is! Yet when I’ve counseled with so many Christians in deep trouble, I’ve asked them, “Have you talked to the Lord about this?” They looked at me with a blank stare. “You mean tell Him?” Yes. When you acknowledge the reliability of the One who is in charge of your life and then admit your fear, you have to appropriate the power He has promised to give you. You have to tell it to Jesus. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

As I have said in other posts, I read several devotionals in addition to my Bible reading each morning.  I pray outloud in my car on the way to work.  

I have heard all kinds of things on the subject of how to pray.  Heard people all concerned about Satan eavesdropping so they pray silently.  There can be merit to that approach. Then there's the bold, such as the Apostles, who brazenly prayed outloud and didn't care if Satan overheard or not.  The God of Heaven hears either way.  

I personally pray however the situation dictates.  Sometimes silently is more prudent than outloud.  Especially if you are lead to pray for someone who is nearby or could hear.  But in any and all avenues do not let fear of a toothless enemy who has lost dictate how you pray.

There is a boat load of truth in what Dr. Jeremiah said this morning.  It's more profound than you realize.  In the life of the unbelieving, when at last they see the need for Jesus that cry that is uttered will cause Jesus to come flying off His Throne to save them.  When a believer cries out to Jesus there's no powers between Heaven and Earth that can block the prayer.   

Truth be known the only one who can hinder our prayers is us.  If we have unconfessed sin.  That is a barrier between us and God.  God cannot be God and give heed to the wants and desires of believers if they are being disobedient to Him.  We have to strive for the fulfillment of the command "Be Holy as I am Holy".

Don't know what to say?  I highly doubt that.   Don't know how to say it?  Wrong again.  If you know how to form the thoughts contained in a single worry about something then you know how to pray. 
A worry is a prayer you haven't given to Jesus.  

There's a hymn "Just A Little Talk With Jesus"

I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in

And then a little light from heaven fill my soul 

He bathed my heart in love and He wrote my name above 

And just a little talk with Jesus makes me whole 

Now let us have a little talk with Jesus 

Let us tell Him all about our troubles He will hear our faintest cry, 

He will answer by and by 

And when you feel a little prayer wheel turnin' 

And you will know a little fire is burnin' 

Find a little talk with Jesus makes it right 

I may have doubts and fears, my eye be filled with tears 

But Jesus is a friend who watches day and night 

I go to him in prayer, He knows my every care 

And just a little talk with my Jesus makes it right 

Now let us have a little talk with Jesus 

Let us tell Him all about our troubles 

He will hear our faintest cry, He will answer by and by 

And when you feel a little prayer wheel turnin' 

And you will know a little fire is burnin' 

You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right 

Now let us have a little talk with Jesus 

Let us tell Him all about our troubles 

He will hear our faintest cry and 

He will answer by and by 

And when you feel a little prayer wheel turnin' 

And you will know a little fire is burnin' 

You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right 

Right, right, right

You and I, from the moment we opened our eyes have wanted to bond with those nearest to us.  We grow up we wanting a lasting relationship with those around us. We are the most heartbroken by broken relationships.  Welcome to an understanding of a right prayer life. 

Being open and honest in prayer at all times is always best.   Remember Jesus already knows our intentions. So if selfishness creeps in don't be surprised if you need to rethink your prayer. 

We also live in a world where Satan is trying everything to silence the Church. But he can't.  A praying Church he cannot stop.  The gates of Hell cannot withstand the onslaught of the Church. People will be saved from Hell by a praying Church.  

Do not believe for a moment that Satan is in Hell plotting things. He has never been there!  He knows it is a place of judgment by God.  He wants nothing to do with being where God's judgment is taking place.  

We also know his plans.  It's not complicated. He wants to rule as God. 

Our world is sinking in sin and he is trying everything to silence the Church.  To keep them from congregating. To keep people from growing in Christ. To inhibit their prayers.  Remember what it says in Revelation, people refused to repent. 

Look at your life. Are you trying at all to pray?  If not why not?  I have a clue for all who read this, I am praying for all of you.  Current and former coworkers.  Everyone who I run across in life. Everyone who might read this. I want Satan to know. I am coming after all whom he wants in order that Christ might save them too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Not Alone...Always There

Not Alone...Always There 

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 

No Bible promise is of a private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one believer, it is done so that everyone might drink. When He opens a storehouse to give out food, one starving person may be the reason, but every hungry saint can come and eat too. Oh, believer, it doesn’t matter whether He gave the word to Abraham or to Moses; He has given it to you as one of the children of the covenant. There is not a lofty blessing too high for you, or a wide mercy too extensive. Lift up your eyes to the north and the south, to the east and the west, for everything you see is yours. Climb to Mount Pisgah’s top as Moses did (Deuteronomy 34:1), and view the farthest limits of the divine promise—for the land is all yours. There is not a brook of water from which you may not drink. If the land flows with milk and honey, eat the honey and drink the milk, for they are both yours. Be bold to believe, for God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” In this promise, God gives His people everything. “Never will I leave you.” That means no attribute of God can ever cease to work for us. Is He mighty? He will show himself strong on behalf of those who trust Him. Is He love? Then with lovingkindness He will have mercy on us. Whatever attributes may compose the character of Deity, every one of them—to its fullest extent—will be engaged on our side. There is nothing you can want or ask for, there is nothing you can need in time or eternity, there is nothing in living or in dying, there is nothing in this world or the next, there is nothing now or at the resurrection-morning or in heaven, which is not contained in this text: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NIV) 

The Christian life is an exchanged life: Jesus' life for your life. When Christ takes control, your life takes on dimensions you would never have known apart from Him. When you are weak, then Christ demonstrates His strength in your life (2 Cor. 12:9—10). When you face situations that are beyond your comprehension, you have only to ask, and the infinite wisdom of God is available to you (James 1:5). When you are faced with humanly impossible situations, God does the impossible (Luke 18:27). When you encounter people whom you find difficult to love, God expresses His unconditional love through you (1 John 4:7). When you are at a loss as to what you should pray for someone, the Spirit will guide you in your prayer life (Rom. 8:16). When Christ takes up residence in the life of a believer, “all the fullness of God” is available to that person (Eph. 3:19). It is marvelously freeing to know that God controls your life and knows what it can become. Rather than constantly worrying about what you will face, your great challenge is to continually release every area of your life to God's control. The temptation will be to try to do by yourself what only God can do. Our assignment is to “abide in the vine” and to allow God to do in and through us what only He can do (John 15:5). Only God can be God. Allow Him to live out His divine life through you. He is the only One who can. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Anymore these days I really get tired of "What now?" in this world.   The barrage of small things happening are always as bad as the big ones that happen.  Ignorance says that the way of life is improving, the facts say, time is short.  

It's easy to consider yourself alone in the world.  Even in a crowd of people.  I used to think long and hard about something that I called social leprosy.  How could people be with people who are supposed to be like-minded yet still feel alone?  

We have been to many Churches in the Columbus area in Ohio.  Quite often the largest issue we had was in connecting with people.  We wanted to but the more we did the less we heard from people.  

In the world its really not much different.  In the workplace, in what passes for social gatherings these days.  All these Skye, Zoom or Facetime messages.  Satan is doing everything he can to destroy the underpinnings of relationships by changing the foundation of them.  

Loneliness creeps in.  It's no wonder suicides are on the rise.  Satan is the Destroyer.  Death is in league with him.  

I consider the parable of the seeds.  How quickly some people hear the Word of God and it fizzles out. How in some it grows for a time but the world entices them away.  Those dedicated to their relationship with Jesus grow and produce fruit.  

I am not attempting to be morbid about or insensitive about suicides but all have their root in thinking that they are alone.

Even successful people can be alone. 

Satan wants you and I to believe what we are experiencing is only happening to us. 

He uses a lot of twisted words. "If God really cares...". ""Did He REALLY say...". ""Oh, you've done it now. Now He will never forgive you.". 

Thinking we are alone is one of his greatest achievements.  In Christ nobody is ever alone.  Even if you are not in Christ Jesus you are a prayer away from His being in your life.  You have to look beyond the lies of Satan.  He doesn't care how many people die.  He's not in Hell and has never been there.  He has no red body with horns. He had no pitchfork. He disguises himself as an angel of light. He goes around trying to look like God sent him!

Loneliness has a cure and it's a right relationship with Jesus.  It may be that out entire prayer to Him is written all in tears, but He understands it.  It may be that our entire prayer is written in silence and all that is heard is a groaning heart.  He understands that.  It may be that we can't stop talking in our prayers to Jesus. He's ok with that too.  

When enduring a storm you grab onto the most solid, trustworthy thing you can.  In life that's Jesus.  He takes you as you are and loves you too much to leave you that way. 

The things of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, the longing for recognition by others, pales in comparison to being held by Jesus.  Nothing really needs to be said in those moments but at the same time everything is said. 

Come to Jesus and find that one friend that is more than you ever thought possible.  Who cares about worldly successes or failures. In Christ we have everything. We have one who loves us and cares about us unconditionally. 

Come to Jesus today all you who are weak and heavy laden and He will give you rest. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Even and Especially in Distress

Even and Especially in Distress 

. . . and that Rock was Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:4 

Have you experienced deserts in your life? Ever felt you were wandering in a wilderness, surrounded by problems, hemmed in by distress? Charles Weigle was an itinerant evangelist who enjoyed traveling and preaching, despite the rigors of the road. His wife, however, grew disillusioned with her frequently absent husband. One day Charles returned home to find this note: “Charlie, I’ve been a fool. I’ve done without a lot of things. . . . From here on out, I’m getting all I can of what the world owes me. I know you’ll continue to be a fool for Jesus, but for me it’s good-bye!” Charles was stunned, and depression swept over him like a tidal wave. One day, sitting on the porch of a cottage in Florida, he contemplated suicide. Your work is finished, said an inner voice. No one cares . . . But another voice pierced his gloom: Charlie, I haven’t forgotten you . . . I care for you. Instantly, Charles was on his knees, rededicating himself to Christ. Sometime later, he wrote the words to the well-known gospel song: “No one ever cared for me like Jesus; there’s no other friend so kind as He. No one else could take the sin and darkness from me; O how much He cared for me.” He cares for you too—even in the desert. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

People aren't normally apt to just spill on what's going on in their lives.  Fear of embarrassment, past history of how it was received, other thoughts and feelings often keep these things inside us.

Being prepared for rejection also isn't easy.  It was eluded to in the New Testament when Paul wrote about marriage between a husband or wife who had an unbeliever for a spouse.  The possibility of them leaving due to the believer's life was a daily possibility. 

We face it with family, with friends, neighbors, coworkers too.  We face it with ourselves sometimes. 

Distress is a part of life.  It often is quick to come along.  Things seem all nice and then WHAM here it comes out of nowhere. 

It can be a job, health, things breaking, financial problems.  We do indeed live in a broken world.  We live in a time where nothing is being done by mankind to truly help mankind.  We are in a time where what's going on is the setting of the stage for the rest of the Bible to play out.  There's no utopia on the horizon due to whomever got elected.  There are no Doctors who are there to heal.  There are no businesses who are there to provide in such a way that things last.  The world is full of people who want what is right in their own eyes.  

We look and look for hope.  We look for something to cling to.  We who are in Christ wonder how much longer until Jesus returns.  

It's not going to be an easy life, whether or not you come to Christ. Only in Christ you have a hope that the world cannot find.  Suicides happen because people cannot or refuse to see the hope in Jesus Christ.  Sometimes even Christians are so locked into wrong thinking that they too commit suicide, only to find themselves standing before Jesus and are having Him ask them why? Why are you here?  Why didn't you believe Me? 

This isn't exactly a bright post today but wait, there's more.  Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. Yes that's a line from a hymn.  Jesus said that in this world we would have tribulations. We would have trials.  He didn't say anything about a life of peace and prosperity.  As another devotional I read today pointed out, solitude will not get you away from the troubles of this world. Satan followed Jesus into the wilderness, he will follow you too. As another said, knights used to sleep with their armor on for a reason. We need our Spiritual Armor on all the time for the same exact reason.  

We are, as Pastor Jeff Brown said yesterday, living behind enemy lines.  For the time being Satan is ruling this world.  Once the Tribulation plays out, Jesus will reclaim it. 

Our hope is found in Christ Jesus. Physical problems will get us all, but even death isn't anything more than another cure to disease and illness.  It's not an emotional cure but it is a physical one. Looking at this world, nobody that I know who has died in my life, would I truly want here now.

What I want is to let people know where hope is found.  You're not going to find it in the pages of self help books. You won't find it in Doctors or drugs. You won't find it in alcohol or anything else.  You are only going to find it by faith in THE One who truly loves you. 

You have to decide what is more important to you.  You have to look for what Jesus has left here in the lives of other believers.  You have to decide where you want to spend eternity because your life today depends on it.  Without Christ you have no hope in escaping Hell.  That's the long and the short of it. Without Christ you will not find a peace that passes all understanding.  Without Christ you will not find one who understands you unlike anyone else.  

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness...all other ground is sinking sand...

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Oh not an easy Lesson, but a Necessary One

Oh Not an Easy Lesson, but a Necessary One 

In his book "Where Is God When It Hurts?", Philip Yancey tells about Claudia, a beautiful newlywed who discovered that she had Hodgkin’s disease. One of her greatest challenges in coping with her trial was presented by her host of well-meaning friends who came to the hospital to see her. One woman, whom Claudia described as the most spiritual in her church, came often to read aloud from books about praising God. Her speeches to Claudia routinely sounded like this: Claudia, you need to come to the place where you can say, “God, I love You for making me suffer like this. It is Your will. You know the best for me. And I just praise You for loving me enough to allow me to experience this. In all things, including this, I give thanks.” Claudia said that as she would ponder these words, her mind would be filled with gruesome visions of God: She imagined a figure in the shape of a troll, big as the universe, who delighted in squeezing helpless humans between his fingernails, pulverizing them with his fists, dashing them against sharp stones. The figure would keep torturing these humans until they cried out, “God, I love You for doing this to me!” The whole idea repulsed her, and Claudia knew that she could never worship or love a God like that.3 When James tells us to consider it all joy when we fall into various kinds of trials, he is not counseling us as Claudia’s friend did. To consider it all joy in the midst of our trials is to respond with a deliberate, intelligent appraisal of our situation. - from "What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do" - Dr. David Jeremiah

In this book, which is a study of the book of James, some really hard but necessary thoughts and actions are mentioned. 

I will be the first to admit that I have royally failed this whole thing all my life before Jesus.  

I have never thanked Him for the rough spots in my life.  Have never thanked Him for the pain or the sorrow.  Never thanked Him enough altogether. 

Thank Jesus for suffering? Are you serious?  Read that excerpt again.  I personally have heard of people who, when faced with imminent death in the hospital, had finally came to a place of joy in their suffering.  

We are all a people who want pain and sorrow to not be a part of our lives.  We have some mistaken notion that God is there to bring peace, love and prosperity. To take away all sadness and pain and sorrow.  That's not what we read in James.  Consider it all  it's a leap, a necessary one to find peace in Jesus. 

We will go through a great many things in life.  It's not all good and was never going to be.  The early Church faced far more trials and tribulations than we come close to today.  

I am a work in progress.  All Christians are.  Nobody breathing air has arrived as far as achieving all that Jesus is doing in this life. They are all part of His Plan and purpose to reach others for Christ. They are to be growing in Christ Jesus.  They are to be useful to Jesus.  Then they go home. THERE they are still only mostly done. We who die in Christ haven't yet received our glorified bodies.  There's no sin present in Heaven.  There, Jesus wipes away every tear.  We see things differently in Heaven.  We see and might get told the truth about people we love vs and care about that we could never be told on Earth. 

In the here and now we can be comforted by the Spirit of God. But quite frankly we are never promised, and all who claim to be Preachers who say otherwise are liars, a perfect life of peace and happiness and prosperity.  

I used to be very upset about how my body is.  I was born with many abnormalities.  I really sought out from God as to why.  I struggled for a very long time to understand why.  I was eventually brought to the passage about a 40 plus year old man who was brought to Jesus to be healed.  He was asked, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born this way.  Jesus replied that it was neither this man nor his parents, but rather that the works of God would be manifested in him. 

Sin didn't necessarily create me the way that I am physically.  It had a hand in it but it wasn't fully to blame.  

If I had been born in any other time I would have probably not lived long.  But, again, God, in His infinite mercy, had me born in such a time as this.  When I could find comfort and enough healing to bring Him Honor and Glory through my sufferings.  

People really do get it wrong in life to think it's so horrible to die.  Dying isn't a horrible thing.  Dying without Jesus is the most horrifying thing imaginable.  Unless you come to Christ you will spend eternity in torment apart from God.  In the eventual lake of fire at the end of all judgment, you face eternal separation from God.  Sorrow on a scale that you cannot begin to imagine now.  People, all people, will see Jesus for who He is on that final judgment day.  They will see Him for who He is and will see Him as He is in all His glory.  They will understand what it is they rejected. 

I, although limited in this life, have a part in God's Plan to reach people for Christ.  He has given me a job to do that only I was given to do.  I will always cherish the book "90 Minutes in Heaven".  In this very real story of a Pastor who was brought through some horrific things in recovering from a car accident, God was using him every step of his recovery to reach people for Christ.  

We, no matter who you are, will never have the corner of the market on suffering.  How we react, how we respond to it, tells all whom it is we believe in. 

I am hoping that this helps someone today.  I only began reading that book by Dr. Jeremiah yesterday and already it's been a shot to my heart as to how I need to respond to the things God allows in my life.  

Look at the people Jesus healed, look at how they reacted to Him.  You have a choice before you to whine and complain or to praise God in your storm.  James, part of the Word of God, says to consider it all joy.  I will struggle with this as well as all of you, but, I know it's what I need to do.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

What God won't do...What You Should Do

What God won't do...What You Should Do 

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief . . . being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. ROMANS 4:20–21 

One of the hardest things for us to do is wait on God. Sometimes God’s promises don’t materialize as soon as we would like, and we wonder if God has forgotten us. What God has promised He is able to perform. Think of the many wonderful promises He has made. How do we know He is able to do what He has promised? Because He is the Almighty God. As we wait for the fruition of God’s promises, we can find confidence in knowing that God is not only in charge of the event, but He is in charge of the timing. What energizes us as we wait for Him is this thought: God has never promised anything to any of us that He is not able to do, and He is faithful to do what He has promised. God will not prostitute His power to give us desires that will in the end be destructive to our walk with Him. But if we are consumed with a passion to find God’s will through His Word and His Holy Spirit, we can always be in the place where God can shower down His power upon us. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

This phrase stuck out this morning. "God will not prostitute His power to give us desires that will in the end be destructive to our walk with Him." 

How often are our prayers truly selfish in nature?  How often are they really self-centered?   Put succinctly they are wishes being made to a genie, not prayer requests to the Creator God of the Universe. 

I am guilty of this throughout my life.  Guilty of crafting my prayers to Jesus.  

Looking for the right words to get His attention.  Thing is every prayer gets His attention, it all depends on if it's in alignment with the Word and Will of God. 
That is what determines if it's going to be responded to. 

I don't always look at my words when I speak to people.  If I don't do it there, to those whom I see, it's a given that I am doing to God whom I don't see. 

Thinking we know more than God is pride. 
Thinking we have any given situation figured out is pride. We see what we want to see at times.  We see as it benefits ourselves.  

Our walk with Jesus is paramount in our taking up our cross and following Christ.  We go through life being taught that it's about possessions and status.  About success vs failure.  About making others accept you for you.  I am reminded that for His earthly ministry, all the Disciples had was what was on their backs.  They were not carrying around a trailer from the Jerusalem U-Haul.  They weren't using a U-Store-It facility in town until the ministry was ended.  Jesus was everything.  It is a hard but simple truth to look at your life and your possessions and position. 

Are you allowing things in your life that will not promote growth of your relationship with Jesus?  There's a song that was out a number of years ago that really should be heard by all.  I am reading through Leviticus at all that the Lord had commanded the people of Israel.  It really was along the lines of this song, although I doubt the writers of it made the connection.  The Lord was giving rules and such to change how the people would think in regards to Him. To see life as He wished they would see it. 

Give Me Your Eyes - Brandon Heath 

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touch down on the cold black-top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock of confusion and chaos
All those people goin' somewhere, why have I never cared?
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missin'
Give Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Step out on the busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife he's out of work, he's buyin' time
All those people goin' somewhere, why have I never cared?
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I've been there a million times
A couple million lives
Just movin' past me by
I swear, I never thought that I was wrong
But I wanna second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way You've seen the people all along
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missin'
Give Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Give me Your eyes for just one second
(Lord, give me Your eyes) Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
That I keep missing (Keep missing)
Give me Your heart (Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted) for the broken-hearted
(The ones that are far beyond my reach)
Give me Your heart (Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten)
Lord, give me Your eyes (Give me Your eyes so I can see)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

People want peace, they want prosperity. People want God to heal their land.  How can we call upon Him for that when we won't let go of sin that so easily entangles us? We won't look at life from His perspective. We won't look at our lives, the lives of others from His perspective.  We won't let go of the things of this world to reach others.   It's a very big problem in the Church.   We have introduced so much of the world into the Church to attract people, it's quite possible we have pushed Christ out the back door. 

How much of your life is spent in cultivating your relationship with Jesus?
How often do you put what He wants of you first?  There are consequences for not doing so.  Frustration, anger, depression, irritation, sadness, are some of the negative effects, but so is a false sense of happiness and joy at the wrong things in this world.  

God won't do things for you that will drive you away from Him.  You and I need to be careful that we aren't driving ourselves away from Him because of our wants and desires and our selfishness. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Your dirt...His cleanliness

Your Dirt...His Cleanliness 

“Father, I have sinned.” Luke 15:18 

For those Christ has washed in His precious blood, it is quite certain they do not need to confess sin, as culprits or criminals, before God the Judge. Christ has forever removed all their sins in a legal sense, so they no longer stand where they can be condemned. They are once and for all accepted in the Beloved. But having become God’s children, shouldn’t they go every day to their heavenly Father and confess their sins? When they do wrong, shouldn’t they acknowledge their improper acts? Nature teaches it is the duty of straying children to confess to their earthly fathers, and the grace of God in our hearts teaches that we, as Christians, owe the same duty to our heavenly Father. We offend Him daily, and we shouldn’t rest without His daily pardon. Suppose that my sins against my Father are not immediately taken to Him to be washed away by the cleansing power of the Lord Jesus—what are the consequences? If I have not sought forgiveness and been washed from these offenses against my Father, I will feel a distance from Him. I will doubt His love toward me. I will tremble at Him and be afraid to pray. I will become like the prodigal, who, though still a child, was far away from his father (see Luke 15:11–32). But if I—with a child’s sorrow at offending such a gracious and loving Parent—go to Him and tell Him everything, if I don’t rest until I realize that I am forgiven, then I will feel a holy love toward my Father. I will go through my Christian career not only as saved, but as someone who enjoys a present peace with God through Jesus Christ my Lord. There is a wide distinction between confessing sin as a culprit, and confessing sin as a child. The Father’s embrace is the place for humble, regretful confessions. We have been cleansed once for all, but our feet still need to be washed from the dirt of our daily walk as children of God. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

What do you think about dirt?
It's certainly a part of your life. The most fantastic mansions deal with the truth that dirt will still invade.  You can't get away from it.  Billions are spent every year on cleaning products and equipment.  Billions more are spent in research facilities trying to learn how to get rid of it. 

In your Spiritual mirror how does it look? See dirt there today?  I know that when I look I certainly am covered every day.  That's what interacting with the world does to you.  You can sit in what's called a 'clean room'.  Fully climate controlled in every respect. Come out of it 8 hours later and still need a shower or a bath.  

Sin is no different. It finds you.  It's a part of you, thanks to Adam and Eve. 

We need daily cleaning.  We cannot go through a moment of the day without the need of Jesus to lead the way.  Jesus said that apart from Him you can do nothing. 
I often ask Jesus, on my way to work, to please be with me and go before me because of that very reason...apart from Him I can do nothing.  I don't know how to live life for Him. I know all too well how to live for myself. I have it on the authority of the Word of do too.

I will never pretend to know all that's to be known about walking with Jesus.  It's a daily thing.  As Blackaby and Dr. Jeremiah pointed out this morning our walk with Jesus is always going to be a daily experience. We were to live one day at a time with Jesus.  I wouldn't know how dirty I am each day without Jesus. The self-righteous in this world refuse to look at what the Bible says about sin.  According to them it doesn't apply to them.  According to the Holy God...oh yes it does.  

Every day we need a Spiritual cleaning. What people don't realize is you actually carry enough dirt physically that it can be weighed.  The weight of sin is far heavier. 

Ignoring it does nothing to help you.  The same as physical weight.  You might get used to it but you're not living as you could be.

Sin is a trap.  It was introduced by way of seduction and has been a snare ever since.  Generations of Israelites sacrificed the blood of bulls, rams and sheep. Yet it didn't stop them from sinning.  We have forgiveness in Christ but we still sin.  We should continue in Romans. "Shall we continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be!"

But we also need to recognize sin as sin as defined by God, not as defined by people. Not as defined by anyone else but God, through the Bible.  

People justify their eating problems. 
People justify their smoking problems. 
People justify their behavioral problems. 
People justify their sexual sins. 
People justify their spending problems. 
People justify their vanity problems. 

Scripture says everyone does right in their own eyes.  The problem is God is the Creator. God defines the physical and Spiritual laws of life.  Not mankind. 

A daily cleaning is a requirement in Spiritual matters.  If you leave something on clothing that can ferment what happens? It can spread and cause more problems.  It can bring forth diseases.  If you insist on wearing that clothing anyway that will inevitably influence your life.  Denial will get you nowhere. 

You are not here, Christians that is, to live your life and ask God to come along.  You read at the beginning of every one of the 4 Gospel accounts, Jesus saying "Come, follow Me" to every Disciple.  No where is it in the Gospels is it written "Hi! Mind if I join you?" by Jesus. 

Our interactions with a sin cursed world always lead to a need to come to Christ to be washed.  

Look at your life.  Have you been begging Jesus to follow you in your career, your life, or are you at all following Him?  

To pick up on earlier take up your cross means letting go of what you want because that cross is what Jesus wants to be important to you. You can't use both hands, which is what it takes, to carry your cross, if you are holding onto the world. 

When was the last time you lived for Jesus?  When was the last time that you asked to be forgiven?  

Your career doesn't define you. 
Nobody, when we all face Jesus, will be separated by the category of career. 

You won't be separated by any distinction other than saved, not saved.  

You won't have anyone to stand with you to explain your life to Jesus.  It's going to just be you.  

Sin is a Spiritual thing that has the weight of eternity on it.  Forgiveness from Jesus is the only way to remove it. 

Who cares what is done in your life if your life isn't lived for Jesus. Success is as fleeting a thing as the gentle breeze. Feels awesome but once it's run it's course you have to find it again. And again, and again. 

In Christ forgiveness allows for a fresh start.  A new chapter, a new chance to get it right.  To store up treasure in Heaven.  

Everyone leaves everything behind when they die, including accolades and achievements.  They all leave everything and we all will stand before Him with whom we have to do.  

To be forgiven is more than all the wealth of this world.  It's only available through Jesus Christ.  People may lie to you about forgiveness but Jesus never will.  No man on Earth can forgive your sins. No religion can forgive your sins. Only in Christ Jesus is there forgiveness of sins. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Your Cross

Your Cross

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 

Your “cross” is God's will for you, regardless of the cost. Taking up your cross is a choice; it is not beyond your control. You may have health problems or a rebellious child or financial pressures, but do not mistake these as your “cross to bear.” Neither circumstances you face nor consequences of your own actions are your cross. Your cross will be to voluntarily participate in Christ's sufferings as He carries out His redemptive purposes (Phil. 3:10). Paul said he rejoiced in his sufferings because he knew that by them he was able to participate in the suffering required to bring others into Christian maturity (Col. 1:24). We tend to want to go immediately from “denying ourselves” to “following Jesus.” But you can never follow Jesus unless you have first taken up your cross. There are aspects of God's redemptive work that can be accomplished only through suffering. Just as Christ had to suffer in order to bring salvation, there will be hardships you may have to endure in order for God to bring salvation to those around you. Jesus did not talk with His disciples about the cross until they had come to know He was the Christ (Matt. 16:21). You will never be able to endure the suffering of the cross unless you have first been convinced that Jesus is the Christ. Once you have settled your relationship with Christ, He will introduce you to your cross. There is no Christianity without a cross. If you are waiting for a relationship with God that never requires suffering or inconvenience, then you cannot use Christ as your model. God's will for you involves a cross. First, take up your cross; then you can follow Him. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

There's an interesting set of inferences in the story leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  After being beaten and abused by the Jewish leaders and the guards, He is to bear His cross on His way to where He was to be crucified.  Yet a passerby, Simon, was pressed into service to help.  To me this is as significant a person as the woman who broke the alabaster perfume to prepare Jesus for His burial. Jesus wanted him to be remembered. 

To take up your cross, for Simon to take up Jesus's cross with Him, means letting go of everything in your world to go where you don't think you want to go. 

Many fear what God might want them to do or to give up. They fear loss. They fear what God might ask of them.  Fear, is a violin of choice to Satan.  He plays it well in trying to capture the minds of believers and unbelievers alike.  Charlie Daniels said in his famous song that it was a fiddle, but I believe it's more of a violin.  It's meant to get into places of anyone's life in order to cause a reaction not an action.  People react to fear before they ever act because of it.

We have a cross to bear, to take up.  The interesting overview of the Disciples is that they were taught to do without a great many things that those they visited and spoke to thought were essential things. 

We live in a culture that is about possessions.  About status. About reputation.  About self.  

To be pressed into service to bear the cross of Christ cost Simon all of that until he was done. Family and friends saw him. His boss probably saw him. He was memorialized in the Scriptures.  You have no possessions to speak of when it's taking all of you to bear a cross.  Likely this part was the tall beam part. They had already afixed the cross beam to Jesus.  

Letting go of self was what following Christ meant to the Disciples for 3 1/2 years.  They only had what they carried with them.  Their focus was on Jesus only. 

If you wrote down, hour by hour, of even one of your days, in detail, how much of it would say "with Jesus"? "Serving". "Reading my Bible". How much of your life is in with bearing your cross?  

Suffering is part of cross bearing.  It certainly was no easy task for Simon. He had to let go of everything to hold onto what was given to him.  

Consider well that quite often peace and comfort might not always be in your life because of taking up your cross.  We who are believers aren't here to live it up. We aren't here to have great wealth or prosperity.  We are here to serve where we do God the most good for the HIS direction not ours.  As someone once said we don't come to God with a grand list of our talents and abilities for Him to choose from. We come for the whatever. Whatever He wants we are to do.  Trusting Him through it all.

Simon has been remembered for over 2,000 years.  In Heaven He is remembered before Jesus.  

Look at your life today and see if you have been bearing your cross or have been trying to avoid doing so. You really are doing only one or the other. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


He or She who doesn't spend time with Jesus, is already telling Him how important He is to them.

Alone with you?

Alone with you?

In the morning my prayer comes before you. PSALM 88:13 

I believe the best time to get alone with God is early morning—it sets the tone for your entire day. He’ll show you things and tell you things that will make the difference at crisis points during the next twelve hours or so. After you talk with the Lord and walk with Him through the schedule that lies ahead of you, He’ll strengthen and encourage you to make every point of your day an act of worship. Another advantage to a morning time with God is that He’ll plant His Word in your heart. You’ll be amazed at how often the very verse you studied over your morning coffee will have key significance a few hours later. Ask the Spirit to illuminate your study, and then go over your Scripture passage reflectively. Try to take that verse with you the rest of the day so that it’s never far from your mind. The Word of God is essential to the worship of God, and there’s simply nothing so encouraging as His timeless and powerful Word. One little verse is enough to give you a divine perspective throughout the day. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Do you ever or have you ever gotten alone with God?  Do you ever start your day with Jesus?  Do you at all wake up and know that very shortly you will be setting aside time to be with Jesus?  Or are you doing like the rest of the pagan world and get up, with no regard for your walk with God and run out into the world, set on a day you want, not a day that includes Him?

You, who claim to be a child of God, do you live it? Do you walk it?

You who think that your life is in shreds, that no good can come of your living, have you ever truly come to Christ to see what living daily for Him would do for you?

Not much difference between a purported Christian and an unbeliever when both aren't obeying the Scriptures.  

Is your success more important than obedience to God?  Is being physically successful, financially successful, more important than obedience to God?  Are you trying to make your life right before telling God you're ready for Him?  

My Friend, Dear Reader, as a phrase goes about bringing people to Christ, we catch em He cleans em.  In all cases it is Jesus who heals the soul, who changes the heart and mind.  It is He who begins a good work within us who says He will continue it until the day of Christ Jesus or He calls us home.  That's Scripture, so where are you getting these thoughts of needing to be right before you think that God can use you? Where are you getting these thoughts that say you have to be clean before He will save you? 

Before you get yourself going down the wrong path, stop, get off the road, take time to be with Jesus. 

In more ways than I can say my starting my day with Jesus takes my day more places than I ever could on my own.   I pray on my way to work, after reading before leaving home.  My Day cannot succeed in any way without Jesus directing it, without His going before me into it.

All I can do from this recliner is to share with you what God had done for me.  

But it all begins with time alone with God. 

Jesus, according to all 4 Gospels, often got away to be with His Father.  

If HE needed to, and He was fully empowered by the Spirit, what does that say of you and I?

Success isn't found in money or personal gain.  It's never found in sports or politics.  Believe it or not it's not found in Church. 

It's only found in a life WITH Christ.  The successes of Jesus were not singularly found in the Temple.   They were found where He met with His Father. 

The world counts success in your possessions and status.  Not so with Jesus.  When you die, your wealth and status stay here. Your possessions stay here.  Only that which the believer stores up in Heaven is waiting for him or her there.  Likewise nobody takes anything with them to Hell.  It's not a party center down there.  

Before you run out the door today or if you read this after you do, start over and get with Jesus.  

You indeed might not understand your Bible.  Keep reading it anyway.  It's food for your soul.  Your soul will make use of it as long as it's been given to Jesus.  The Bible says that the natural man cannot understand the things of God for it is foolishness to them.  Meaning the unbeliever will not understand it at all and counts it as foolishness. The believer will begin to see God in the pages of it. He or she will begin to see the world differently because of it. 

So don't go through your day without Christ.  Take time out for Jesus, He took time out of Eternity to be your sacrifice and to take your place in order to cover your sins. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Refusing to Repent...the Unbeliever and the Believer

Refusing to Repent, the Unbeliever and the Believer 

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men—extorters, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.” LUKE 18:11 

One of the terrible possibilities suggested by the Pharisee’s attitude in prayer is this: a person can be religious and not be right. This man’s religion became the cause of his ruin. He did everything right from a religious perspective—in fact, more than right! His problem was that he had totally excluded God from the picture of his life. His religion was all about him. Every Sunday, people attend houses of worship with other worshipers. They sing hymns, recite liturgies, pray prayers, listen to sermons. And they will leave feeling better about themselves than when they went in. Unfortunately, they will still be deeply rooted in their sins. If our religion does nothing more than make us feel better about our sin, then that religion has doomed us, not saved us. The Pharisee was a religious man who was lost in his religion. Along with everything else we learn in this story, we learn about the dangers of religious pride. And that doesn’t mean we are to go to a church where we leave feeling bad. It means we are to leave feeling good about the Savior whose mercy has saved us from our sins. We leave feeling good about God’s justification, not our own. 

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 CORINTHIANS 10:31 

In the early years of his Christian faith, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the great battlefield leader of the Civil War, purposed to glorify God in all things. He tithed his income and gave up all activities that might distract his thoughts from holy things. If he was asked about the good or evil of a particular activity, he would smile and reply, “Well, I know it is not wrong not to do it, so I’m going to be on the safe side.” Many Christians today flirt with sin, hoping to stop themselves just before they cross the line. Technically, they don’t sin. But General Jackson’s attitude is the biblical one: move toward God in all things, and sin will lose its strength. In other words, better to be safe than sorry. How about you? How much of your life is given to the pursuit of the glory of God? Even in times of sickness, of testing, of suffering, of doubt—are you still committed to staying close to God and allowing Him to be glorified by being your strength? Paul said even his difficulties could “cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15). Bringing glory to God in all things is the only way to stay safe and avoid sorrow. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

What hallmarks the period of judgment in the book of Revelation has its roots in today's world.  A religious people who might go to Church but only to find some way to feel better about themselves before they leave.  An unbeliever wants to go through life feeling better about themselves without God.  Not much difference between the two. 

The phrase "they refused to repent of their sexual immorality" is found more than once in Revelation. 

In our world today countless millions are already there. Refusing to repent of their sexual immorality.  Countless millions claim to be Christians who do not consider their lives as being bad enough to be asking for forgiveness for their sins.  They have idolatry in their lives. Things or even their own self image that are what's important to them. And like the Pharisee in that opening Scripture...refuse to truly repent.  

Our world doesn't want to admit nor acknowledge that Scripture is right and true.  In Genesis it is clearly stated that a marriage is between one man and one woman. It is clearly stated male and female He created them.  There's no option for homosexuality. There's no option for gender identification. God created, God established, end of story. 
In Leviticus the Lord stated unequivocally that men shouldn't lay with men as they do with women, and vise versa.  Both were to be put to death.  If a man or woman tried to have sex with an animal both were to be put to death.  Why? To teach others not to follow in those footsteps. 

Being up front with God's point of view on that didn't stop nor slow down those kinds of unrepentant people. Sodom and Gehmorrah still happened. The utter annihilation of two cities of homosexuals. 

Fast forward to the New Testament.  Jesus Himself comes and tries to personally teach and preach the love of God.  There are many today who are practicing homosexuals who have stated clearly that had the opposite sex treated them as the love of Christ says in Scripture they never would have done what they did. 

We who are Christians should at all times have a repentant heart.  The world cannot until they truly come to Christ.  Christians today must really look in the mirror at their lives. They entertain idols and can't see them for what they are.  Read the descriptions in Leviticus as to what God calls an idol. Look at what God says is sin. It doesn't matter what you personally say is sin or isn't sin. The Word of God is what will be used at the Trial of the Unbeliever along with the Book of Life.  The Word of God will be what's referred to at the Bema Seat when Believers give an account of their lives. This world had countless self-help books...millions of devotional books...none will be with you when you stand before Christ.

We aren't to go to Church to just feel better about ourselves. As Dr. Jeremiah is aren't there for that.

People spend countless wasted hours and dollars, yen and euros justifying what they buy, sell, and do in their lives.  They buy trinkets and unwittingly are introducing themselves to idolatry. They read up on everything to do with something of this world yet aren't cracking open their Bibles. They worship what they are interested in. That's idolatry. 

They turn their backs on the Word of God for their ability to have pleasure. Self-gratification. Justifying their lifestyle and tearing down those who don't accept it.

Both the Unbeliever and the Believer will one day stand before Christ.  There will be no opportunity for a defense. Your life will be the evidence used for you or against you.  Your life.  Only one group will not see the Lake of Fire. The other certainly will.  Those who believed yet didn't live it will be ashamed because of their life choices.  But mark it well, Scripture clearly says who will NOT enter into Heaven. The sexually unrepentant will never be counted as a believer in Jesus Christ..and that's just one group.  The judgments continue throughout the Tribulation and the world refuses to repent of their sexual immorality.  All who do will die in their sins.  All who hold to their idolatry are in the same boat. Murderers, etc. There is a specific list. 

Look at your life today.  Look at it from the Bible's point of view.  Is there anything in your life that is holding a place in your heart instead of Jesus?  

If you are reading this and haven't come to Christ, realize that the time is coming to a close where you will be able to find Salvation in Christ in time to escape the Tribulation. Is having your way more important than facing the judgment of God?

Monday, February 15, 2021



I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. REVELATION 1:17–18 

Who is Jesus? He’s the Son of God and the Son of man. He is the God-man and the man-God. He is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. He is God walking around in a body. He is God forever enthroned in heaven, now at the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ is God. One of the greatest illustrations of who Christ is and why we should listen to His words is found in the prologue of the book of Revelation. John was in exile on the isle of Patmos, and he saw this One to whom we are appealing and said, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen’ ” (1:17–18). There is no one like Jesus Christ. He is the only one who has ever lived or ever will live who has a true grasp of the future. Because the Lord Jesus Christ as God lives in the time about which He speaks, He views all of time as if it were the present. He is the Eternal One, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

To him be glory both now and forever. 2 Peter 3:18 

Heaven will be full of the unending praise of Jesus. Eternity! Your unnumbered years will speed their everlasting course, but forever and ever, to him be glory. Is Jesus not “a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:6 ESV)? To him be glory. Is He not a king forever—“King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16), the “everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6)? To him be glory . . . forever. His praise will never cease. That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The glory of the cross must never be eclipsed; the luster of the grave and of the resurrection must never be dimmed. Oh, Jesus! You will be praised forever. As long as immortal spirits live, as long as the Father’s throne endures—forever, forever you will be glorified. Believer, you are anticipating the time when you will join the saints above, singing all glory to Jesus. But are you glorifying Him now? The apostle’s words are, To him be glory both now and forever. Why not make this your prayer today? “Lord, help me to glorify you. I am poor; help me to glorify you by my contentment. I am sick; help me honor you by my patience. I have talents; help me to extol you by spending them for you. I have time; Lord, help me to spend it well that I may serve you. I have a heart to feel; Lord, let that heart feel no love but yours, and glow with no flame but affection for you. I have a head to think; Lord, help me to think of you and for you. You have put me in this world for something, Lord; show me what that is, and help me to work out my life’s purpose. I can’t do much, but like the widow who gave her two small coins, which were all she had to live on (Mark 12:41–44), I cast my life and eternity into your treasury. I am all yours—take me and enable me to glorify you now in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.”
- C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

What more is there to say, yet there is everything to say!

Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! How that name thrills many and infuriates others!  Call it like that is!  

This world is being divided alright between those who look forward to His appearance once again, who long to be with Jesus for eternity and those who hate everything to do with His name, His laws and His Word.

That is what in the world is going on. 

The fires of this world's cultures are being purged of  lukewarm people.  The media is owned not by political parties but is ran by Satan's minions. Most political parties regardless of country are heavily influenced in the same way.  Ignorance of the truth doesn't make the truth go away. 

You walk off a cliff while reading a book and the ignorance shown towards the law of gravity will not save you. 

Choosing to put your hands over your ears and eyes changes nothing concerning the truth that Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is trying to reach, to seek and save those who are lost! That mission Jesus said He was on, was passed on to the Disciples whom became Apostles. There are no Apostles today. There are Disciples today. The mission to seek and share the Gospel is up to us. 

We are to show Jesus to this ever divisive world.  People will either listen and come to Christ or they will rage at some level and reject Christ.  Being lukewarm isn't becoming an option.  Look at the way liberals are going. It's not enough to keep your thoughts to yourself. For them you must be outspoken and convincingly enraged as they are against all Godliness.  Literally that's at the core of liberal rage. They are currently being restrained from outright attacks on God's people but soon that will be set aside at the Rapture or right before it.

Jesus is the person who they want to remove from this Earth. The Hezbollah and a great deal of Muslims want to shove Israel right into the ocean.  They rage against the God of Heaven yet claim to speak for Him. They too look for their Messiah. 

We already have met THE Messiah. In the person of Jesus Christ.  Only by coming to God through Jesus Christ can a person be saved.  Only through living a changed life brought on by living for the one whom saved you will the world see that Jesus is the way the truth and the life.  No other in human history has ever saved a single soul nor will ever save a single soul.  

Many point to various people in history who claimed to be the great leaders of various world their graves.  Every single one that is pointed to is in Hell.  Every one who has placed themselves in God's place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords is in Hell.  Every single religion that exists or has existed outside of the God of the Bible has its roots in Satanic propaganda and principles. 

Only in Christ is Salvation found. 
Scripture says that only by the name of Jesus can you or I be saved. There is a need to be saved because we can't do it! We can never be good enough to save ourselves! 

All other ways in this world point straight to Hell. As the meme says "There's a road to Heaven and a highway to Hell, it tells you clearly of the anticipated traffic numbers."

Jesus is the only one who died for the sins of mankind. Only Jesus arose 3 days later to conquer sin, death and the grave. Only Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. Only Jesus will return to claim His own who believed in Him, the dead in Christ first then those who are alive and remain. 

This world is building towards a showdown between good and evil.  Only the good will be removed by Jesus at His return. Then the judgment of will begin. At the end of 1,007 years final judgment takes place at the hands of Jesus. No jury, no attorneys, no legal teams. You will have no say in the matter other than your life being written in the Lamb's book of Life or it isn't.  There's no plea bargaining. There's nothing you will be able to say or do.

That is why it is so urgent NOW to choose Jesus, to come to Christ and be saved. NOW is the time to ask for forgiveness of sins and be sealed by the Spirit and to have your name written down in the Lamb's book of Life. Now.

Jesus...saves. Will He save you today? There is still room at the cross for you. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Death from the Wrong Point of View

Death from the Wrong Point of View 

God began talking with me last night about this, and what you read are what thoughts He brings to me today.  There's nothing from Dr. David Jeremiah, from Blackaby or C.H. Spurgeon here today.  If you on...

It's a disturbing thing when ideologies try to subvert what the Bible says concerning death. 

Its a very sad thing when people who call themselves Christians don't view death as a beautiful,  wondrous, answer to prayer. Because it is most definitely that for that believer.

To be ill or impaired to one's own detriment can be a disheartening thing, yet it is also clear in Scripture that we are to consider it all joy when we encounter various trials.  To be happy when even death is knocking on your door. 

My Friend, death is an answer to prayer. 

If a believer is in that kind of dire situation and it can be seen that death is imminent, then an answer to prayer is at hand.  A disease, a cancer, will shortly be defeated. 

Yes to be saddened at our own loss to such a loved one's departure is to be expected but that's on us.  But for that one who's is passing from this world to the arms of Jesus, name one way where that's a bad thing!

We selfishly want people we know to be 'healed' to keep them here.  What if God's Will is to come to be with Jesus?  Isn't that the better thing? Any other thing is selfishness on our part. 

I, personally, do not view death as the end of anything important.  To me, and my understanding of Scripture, death is the next step in eternity.  You step either into Heaven or into Hell.  

Our world is going to Hell in a handbasket.   It's seeing lines drawn in the sand between people who are truly Christians and those who are not.  Lukewarm people Jesus seriously didn't like. So the temperature of this world is getting turned up. You WILL either be hot or cold.

People are most afraid of losing. 
Losing a job. Losing money. Their 'team' losing.  Losing something they own. Losing brings great fear.  The loss of knowing what to do brings fear.

Looking for an answer from God that fits our description of an answer from God brings temporary peace.  It does nothing to match His definition of an answer from Himself.  

Oh something may happen that appears to be an answer from God. Satan is good at those.  Look at what's recorded in his tempting Jesus. Any of what you read could be construed as an answer from God. 

Death was defeated at the cross.  There's no cloak covered skeleton with a stick, waiting in a boat to take you to the other side.  There no mythical creatures waiting for you to make you earn your way to paradise.  

Scripture is clear for the believer.  Absent from the body is to be in the presence of Jesus...if you are a believer.  If not, I personally think that the unbelieving are delivered to Hell by Jesus.  People will know whom it is they rejected. 

For everyone it's very easy to look upon ones we love who are barely clinging on to life and be selfish about wanting them to be made better.   It is selfishness.  We don't want to bear the loss, the separation, of us and them.  My personal belief on any whom I know who have died, who are in Christ, they are only as far away as the twinkling of an eye.  I may not be able to speak to them, but we aren't permanently separated. I may miss them.  But they wouldn't want to be here. Not as they were.  They are in the presence of Jesus.  Praising Jesus. Singing to Jesus. Taking their last known prayers of their lives to Jesus personally.  

Not everyone thinks as I do.  But I have great peace in what I have come to understand about death and what's next. 

There are countless dozens whom have gone on from this life that I miss and would love to talk to again.  But I would never want to take them away from what they now have in the presence of Jesus. 

For those reading this who don't have that assurance.  Please take time right now to get right with God.  Your next heartbeat after the end of your life will be spent in only one of two places.  Your own merits in this life are not enough to obtain entry into Heaven.  You could have been doing things for God from birth, could have adhered to everything you think you understood from the Bible, and without would still find yourself in Hell.

It is essential to be born again.  It is essential to obtain the forgiveness of sins from Jesus Christ alone. 
It is essential that you receive the free gift of Salvation from Jesus alone.  

Having all faith in God, but lacking Salvation, you would still go to Hell.  The Pharisees and Sadducees thought they were living the life for God.  They totally missed it. 

Death is an exit from the physical into the Spiritual world.  What you decide here and now determines Heaven or Hell.

You need to realize your need for happiness should viewed through the lenses of Scripture. What you feel matters little in light of Scripture.  

My feelings can and will deceive me. 
Your feelings can and will deceive you. 

The light of Christ in the life of a believer isn't dependent upon our feelings but the truth of God's Word.  Jeremiah faced great sorrows.  So did Hosea and other prophets.   Yet they were not separated from the love of God.  

I often wondered about the 3 days Jesus spent in Paradise at what happened down there besides intense celebrations at His arrival.  How many Pharisees and Sadducees died in those 3 days only to arrive on the other side not with the Prophets who believed but rather to arrive in Hades instead.  To be in torment and see the Messiah they rejected across that Chasm that separated Paradise from Hades. To see Abraham celebrating with Jesus. It already can be understood that the thief who believed was with Jesus while the one who didn't was in torment looking upon the one who did. 

Their transition from death to where they were was in an instant after dying.  No journey to get there.  

Where is your view on death?  It saddens me more to hear of Christians who fear their loss more than they should be celebrating where a son or daughter of God is going next.  As much as I love my family and friends, to be with Jesus rather than here would be everything to me. 

I crave being held by my Savior.  I long for that moment when He speaks to me and personally holds me. My thoughts of what joy is isn't even scratching the surface of what joy will be in that moment.  To see His face, to have Jesus wipe away my tears, to hear Him welcoming me to His  All thoughts of Earth will vanish in that moment.  It will take a lot to think about where I left.  To be in perfect love and joy and peace.  

Our selfish desires would want those we care about to stay here rather than experience that.  Our not wanting the separation. Our not wanting to know life without them in it.  Our, our, our...

But oh the reward of being welcomed into the arms of Jesus.