Saturday, December 31, 2022

The Day Is Approaching

The Day Is Approaching
by David Brenneman

Revelation 22: 20 NASB  "He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come Lord Jesus."

Revelation 22:12-13 NASB "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
As this year wraps up, so has another journey for me through the Bible in a year.  Tomorrow, should tomorrow come, I will begin again going through it once more both through biblegateway's plan and the Life Principles Daily Bible.  It's been an amazing journey in this last year of reading.  Even more so when my LPDB arrived and I found it was about a day separated from similar passages to the biblegateway plan.  What was amazing was how much more stood out to me for covering it a second time. 

The day of the Lord is indeed fast approaching.  Was reading also the very last book of the Old Testament and it's amazing how that tied in directly with the end of Revelation.  The point to ponder when people wonder if indeed Jesus is returning is this:  As it was written of the Lord Jesus of Himself...had He ever not done as He purposed?  Had He ever not accomplished what was on His mind to do?  Was there ever an instance of His judgment not carried out?  

Oh people can look at this world, and for whatever foolish set of reasons, believe that it's getting better.  To look at things like social media video's and posts and the news as it's being reported...civilization is heading towards the return of Jesus.  Lovers of self, the focus on self from health to plain evil selfishness is increasing exponentially.  Evil is on the rise.  Sensationalism is what drives 'likes and thrumbs up'.  Intentionally pushing people to the breaking point and being surprised that they actually break such as the police.  People with no regard to consequences intentionally killing.  To see them in court...these people are not 'sick', they are demon possessed.  

Oh my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness as the song goes.  This is also another year of watching my fingers type out what God brings to my mind to write.  I have wanted to be a writer ever since my first experience on a typewriter and a computer.  Yet all the things that I wanted to write about never could come together to be a written work.  Yet this blog has found it's way around this world and possibly the space station by the hand of God guiding it and taking it there.  Over 30 percent of the countries of the world and over 95,000 views.  I may hand out a card with the address on it for people here to find it but it's been the work of the Spirit that has people finding it online from other countries.

Jesus is indeed coming soon, the unexplainable excitement of that truth is growing.  The watching of video's of people rioting and getting away with it without legal recourse is what will be seen after ideals and the truth of Christianity is banned and outlawed.  It's going to happen.  Satan will be freer to slam the door shut to salvation in Christ after the Rapture of the Church.  People left behind will be given a choice of worshiping his chosen Antichrist or be beheaded.  Read the last chapters of the book of Revelation.  Beheadings will be making a comeback.  Yes even in this so-called 'civilized' world.  Look at those in the middle east who do not hold to certain teachings.  Beheadings happen right in the world today.  

It's serious business concerning your eternity that's at the heart of the battle between good and evil.  It's about you my Dear Reader.  When the passage reads in John 3:16 that He so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son...the stakes are that high.  You are valued in the eyes of God to the point that the most precious in the eyes of God the Father was given to take your place, to make it possible for you to not see death and eternal separation from God.

You do not want to still be here when the Church is taken from here.  The horrors of the consequences of Believers being taken from wherever they are, the accidents will be unparalleled.  The disruptions to the supply chain will be unparalleled.  There will be no bodies for funerals.  I firmly believe that even those who are Believers who gave organs will have those organs reclaimed and those who had them who were left behind will be in trouble.   Graves will be emptied of the bodies of those who were Believers, those bodies renewed and glorified and made whole again.   Those who are too young to know right from wrong will vanish right before the eyes of those who didn't believe.  

The truth of the Bible is very clear...sin will be dealt with.  There IS an end to it coming.  Jesus is affording every opportunity to everyone until a date set by His Father.  The judgements to come while intense were actually shortened or nobody would survive it.  Billions and billions will not survive it but had even in those days God's mercy hadn't come into play nobody would have lived through it.

Are you ready for a new year?  Are you ready for Jesus to return?  Both could happen in 2023.  Jesus is coming and with Him will be all who have died in Christ until that moment.  They will receive their glorified healed made whole bodies again.  Those of us who are alive at that time will vanish having received our own glorified made whole healed bodies.  Sin and it's effects completely removed from us all who have believed in Christ.  While we are in Heaven celebrating, this world will decend into a chaos unimagined.  The greatest of 'horror' writers could never fully capture what will happen in those 7 years. 

Jesus is at the door of the hearts of mankind from our neighbor's to those across the sea pleading to let Him come in and be the Lord of their life and the forgiver of their sin.  To be their Savior.  Is this you?  Are you still among those who are still resisting that knock?  

The Day of the Lord is not a fictional day.  It's a factual day that is indeed coming.  Are you going to be ready for it?  The world touts successes in things that have nothing to do with the critical need of the hour which is to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.  Those things are worthless.  Sports is worthless in light of salvation. Health is worthless in light of salvation.  Riches and wealth are worthless in light of salvation.  Success is worthless in light of salvation.  Possessions are worthless in light of salvation.  Travel is worthless in light of salvation.  Likes and thumbs up are worthless in light of salvation. 

Are you ready?  We are all a heartbeat away from whatever day it was that the Father set by His own authority. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

Salvation is That Important

Salvation is that Important 
by David Brenneman 

"But for the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 NASB 

Rejection of salvation has eternal consequences.  There is no fence to try to sit on to say a person didn't choose one or the other.  There's no choosing to get close to people who are saved in the hopes that it would be considered the same by Jesus.  Many many people will say that they did all kinds of things in Jesus's name and yet will be revealed as frauds.  

Is your faith genuine?  Are you living two lives?  Are you one way around some people and another around others?  Are you deceiving yourself?  Jesus said we would know people by their fruits. The evidence would be seen and known.  Is there evidence that you are living a life that has been changed through salvation in Christ Jesus alone?  

It's not enough to have good thoughts. 
It's not enough to have good intentions. 
It's not enough to set aside 1 part of 1 day to give up for Jesus and spend the rest on ourselves. 
It's not enough.  The person of faith must strive to be all in concerning following Jesus. What God wants ought to be what we want. 

Are you at all asking Jesus to show you what needs to go from your life?  Are you willing to obey Him in letting go of those things?  Those thoughts, those actions?

I heard a song on the radio yesterday by Twila Paris called Keeping My Eyes on You.

"I'm not looking behind me
At mistakes I've already madeHope is living inside meI believe that my debts are paidTrusting You nowI know I can make itI made a vowI don't want to break it
Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing You, following YouMy Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing YouFollowing You, my Lord
There's no good in comparingWith my friends who are serving YouLord, all the grace that You're sharingIs enough for what I must doTrusting You nowI know I can make itI made a vowAnd I'm not gonna break it
Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing You, following YouMy Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing YouFollowing You, my Lord
I won't look to the left or rightMy only goal is keeping You in my sight
Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing YouFollowing You, my Lord
Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing You, following YouMy Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing You, following YouMy Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing You, I'm just following YouMy Lord, I'm keeping my eyes on YouFollowing YouI'm just following You, my Lord"

Coming to Christ fully, keeps us from being like those in that list in Revelation 21:8.  The Second Death is for eternity.  People will crave an end to the painful torment of paying for their own sins and throughout all eternity they will never ever find an end to it.

Those who die without salvation in Christ Jesus are already craving an end to the torment of Hell.  

Be sure of your faith.  Be sure of the salvation in which you claim.  Make sure that your priorities are right in your life. 

Are you keeping your eyes on Jesus? 
Are you living a life that says Jesus is in you?
Are you clinging to excuses to keep as close to the world as you can be?

Get real with God right now. We aren't promised the very heartbeats that we get.

Salvation in Christ Jesus is the most important choice you will ever make for all of eternity. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Promise to be Kept

The Promise to be Kept
by David Brenneman

"“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." John 14:1-3 NASB.

People look for something or someone to hope in all the time.  People look for answers to the thoughts they have, the problems they face all the time.  Just look at how the term 'Google that' came into being.  People 'trust' what they 'Google' blindly.  Which is in reality an artificial intelligence program running algorithim's.  Ironically, that's what drives what you see, what you read, what you don't see and don't read on things like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  People unknowingly being guided and directed in this world by software running on computer servers. 

It's also interesting how the 'thing to do' has to do with unplugging from technology.  People go on so-called exotic vacations to get away, then when they return spend hours and hours trying to catch up on every single detail of what they missed while gone.  

When we read in the Bible it speaks towards the future when knowledge would increase.  Indeed it has!  What was even mere thoughts, ideas, abstractions from even 20 years ago are now a reality in today's world in regards to creativity and creating things.  Even 20 years ago the thought that things like 3D printing would be for those with money was held by many.  Today, there's so many vendors of those kinds of printers and supplies it's like the VCR age all over again.  

The thing is the distractions of it all.  Smoke and mirrors.  The empty promises of creating a world that best defines each of us and disregards the truth at large as depicted in the Bible.  The empty promises of creating our own personal utopia.  That science fiction could become science fact.

The truth is there's two specific plans of God for people.  The first, and more important of the two, is salvation in Christ Jesus.  To seek and save the lost of this world is why Jesus said He was sent.  He was sent to live a sinless life, proving that was possible only in Him, to die on a cross for the crimes of sin that He didn't commit, taking our place...and then raising from the dead to defeat that once and for all.  Making the way for us to have salvation through His shed blood.  The second, is how each believer in Christ Jesus has a place in the body of Christ, His Church, and to fulfill that part.

Once we come to Christ to be saved, it's the beginning of that process to become more like Christ, also known as our sanctification.  That's Plan 1.
After coming to Christ to be saved, we're placed in the body as the Spirit sees fit, having a purpose in the Church of God for bringing others to Christ. That's Plan 2.

Those plans of God for each person ought to be what's most important to us, not the things of this world as the world deems to be important.  The thing to really consider is when the world says something is 'important' it likely isn't.  Because the god of this world, Satan, is behind such things.  He is trying to craft this world into his own image, not the image God intended.  He's trying to twist the minds of people towards his own ends.  Jesus called him the Deceiver.  The Liar and Father of Lies.  His aim and goal in the lives of Believers is to get them to hide their faith and blend in with his world rather than oppose his world.  Jesus said to let our light so shine that those who see it give glory to God.   Some will honestly hate you for it when you live it out as Jesus intended.  He said to expect that.

Jesus's promise will be kept.  

Jesus will be returning...sin WILL be dealt with.  The judgments of God as written in the Bible WILL be carried out.  Utopia is not on the horzon for mankind.  
Consider it well that Jesus DID come in every aspect as predicted in the Old Testament.  Statistically that is beyond calculation in regards to any random person meeting all the criteria mentioned in the Old Testament.  Yet He did it.  The Jewish Leaders of the day KNEW of those prophecies and yet believed not in what they truly meant.   The soldier who pierced the side of Jesus and saw how He died even cried out that truly this was the Son of God.  Yet the Jewish leaders who saw Him die on the cross didn't believe.

Testimonies are everywhere you care to look concerning Jesus keeping His promises to people.  Never to leave them or forsake them. To be with them always.  He said that if this world hated Him they would hate us too.  I've been there and seen that on more than a few occasions.  

People don't want to handle the truth of God.  They don't want to know that their way isn't the right way to live life.  Cockiness and arrogance against God are ended when a person physically dies.  In Hell there's no person who can do a thing about their situation there.  

Those who are in Christ indeed ought to engage in the activities that point people to Christ.  To inded let their light so shine befor men and women that they see our good works and glorify our Father who is in Heaven.  Jesus says not to put our light under a basket. But to set it out for all to see. 

We cannot live two lives or three lives or however many to please those around us, ourselves and God too.  Jesus said to deny ourselves, take up our own cross and follow Him.  That's the legacy of the Apostles.  There never would be any more Apostles after Paul.  They denied themselves, took up their own cross and followed Christ in every way.   The things of this world are often referred to as chains.  We willingly pick them up and have the hardest time putting them down because they so entangle with so many other things.

What would you do if there were a knock at your door and you discovered it was Jesus Himself asking to come in?  Would you be ready for Him?  Would your house be swept, and in order?  Would you be unashamed of Him coming in?  Unashamed of Him being shown or seeing every single thing in your house?

The truth is He already knows every single thing in your house. 
The truth is He already knows every single thought you have thought.
He already knows your heart and what you've allowed to take up residence in your heart besides Himself.
He already knows.  That isn't to say He approves.  

When Jesus DOES return...will you be ashamed at what has been in your life that you chose over Him?
When Jesus DOES return...will you be found by Him living out your life in obedience to His Word?
When Jesus DOES return...will you be found as a worker in His fields?

How will YOU view His return?   Will you be excited to see Him or will you be wanting to be in the back of the room, trying not to be noticed?

When you look at what you've allowed into your life, would you be able to see God's hand in your life or your own handiwork?

Think about it and make whatever changes you need to today.  Life isn't about success at work or success with this or that.  Life is about God's two plans in your life.  His sanctifying work in you and your part in His overall plan to reach people for Christ before He returns.  Love not the world nor the things of this world. That includes money and possessions. That includes status and accolades.  It includes making the most of our time because the days are short.  

Jesus WILL keep His promise to return.  The question for you will you view it?  Fear or joy?  

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Worst Defeat In History

Worst Defeat in History
by David Brenneman

Reading headlines can often bring a somber moment, a moment of laughter, or other emotions.  Those into sports newscasting like to use the "David beat Goliath" analogies.  When you look at court room recordings, you often can't help but cheer when justice comes to those we believe deserve it.

It's just that we don't like it when those things apply to us in most cases.  We don't like being on the receiving end of 'justice' as the world sees it.  We have a moment while driving and are snapped out of it with the nice Officer getting our attention both with his or her words and a slip of paper to go pay a fine.

We don't like it when defeat is inevitable.  We go to most movies or stay home and watch such movies as those where out of nowhere a victory happens.
Most watch sports because they want to see and try to join in on the 'thrill of victory'. 

There's always photos to see of the end of the major wars like WWII for example.  Thousands captured for all time in an image of joy at it being over and their return to their homes.  

There's so much rejoicing in Heaven at hearing of another person who came to Christ.  We read about that in the Bible.  Out of all the things in this universe that happen every single day...Heaven stops to rejoice over a single person who said yes to salvation in Christ Jesus.

Likewise there's much sadness evident in Hell when someone wakes up there.  That defeat is permanent.  That defeat lasts for eternity.

Reading in the last parts of my Bible reading in a year inevitably brings me to Revelation in December.  To read of the battle of Armageddon.  King Jesus speaks a word and the battle is over.  The worst defeat ever in the history of mankind ends without a single volley, without a single thing from an opponent.  King Jesus is there, He speaks a word and that's it.  Game over before the coin toss.  

The Beast and the False Prophet whom thought they were 'powerful' are tossed into the Lake of Fire as if their power was absolutely nothing, which is was absolutely nothing in regards to the power of the Creater of all things.

The worst defeat.  Who's side are you on?  Those who were also on horses with Jesus at that battle were on His side.  There...but not to do battle. witness the finality the complete end of sinful rebellion against God.  

In our daily lives we choose to either be witnesses of Christ or witnesses of ourselves to the world.  We either are showing the world Jesus or showing the world us.   When the world sees only us and not Jesus, that's not a good thing.  When words are typed by us that drag people down, when words are spoken that tear people that showing them Jesus?  Do we excuse our behavior, our words because of our closeness to the things of this world?  Do we condemn people and excuse it because we call it 'entertainment'?   Do we?  

It's not a good thing when we're so close to the world that the world cannot tell the difference between us and them.  There's always supposed to be a difference. That difference is the light of Christ.   

Consider this:  when there's no difference visible or evident between us and the world it means we're hiding the light of Christ so that the world is only aware of our own darkness.  When the world has no concerns about being around us because they don't see the light of Christ in very very concerned about where you are in your walk with Jesus.   

Paul said he became what he needed to be to all in order, if possible, to save some.  He would not allow the light of Christ to be dim in his life for any reason.  When Peter was being selective about showing the light of Christ, Paul called him out on it.  Peter learned not to pick and choose when lives were on the line.

That's the thing about battles, about wars, lives are on the line.  The New Testament teaches us that we battle not against flesh and blood.  This truth means that every day we're at war with our flesh...first.  Then with those around us who are still in darkness.  We read in the opening chapters of the Gospel of John about the world loving the darkness rather than the light. 

We are indeed at war...and the truth of the Gospels is this: When Jesus said it was finished...the defeat of Satan was sealed.  The reality is between then and the final battle in the book of that the battles continued until then for the souls of men and women.  People yet to be born whom God intended to be born needed to have their chance to say yes or no to Jesus.  That's a huge thought.  That's really huge.  To consider that idea that all births of all human beings are planned and known by our Creator.  Before we were born He knew us in our mother's womb.  Science can try to water things down by all their talk about sperm and eggs...but God knows of every single person who ever would be born and wanted to give every single one the chance to know Jesus Christ.

The worst defeat in all history will be at that ending of the book of Revelation.  Weapons of mankind, all the weapons of the evil forces of Satan, cannot and I repeat, cannot stop the will of God in Christ Jesus.  Hollywood loves to show how the ingenuity of man can overcome every single type of alien created by them to face mankind.  Everything from weird gross aliens to supposed 'gods' to sorcerer's to wizards.  The truth is quite different.  The truth is Jesus Christ IS God and His will WILL be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Defeat before Jesus in that moment is absolute.  Just as the death nil of all who die physically is a sealed deal.  To die without Christ as your savior is the first part of a permanent defeat.  Later, the Bible shows us that even those who die without Christ get a glorified body, only to know that is what they will have as they are tossed into the Lake of Fire at the Final Judgement.  It's not known just how much of this life we will remember going into eternity after that Final Judgment.

Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, will give everyone every opportunity to come to Christ for salvation.  We will choose either to accept it or reject it.  Those who choose to kill the unborn have not robbed anyone but themselves.  Satan did not win even in that.  Those babies rejected by mankind are all loved by their Creator and are already with Him.  It is mankind that suffers the loss, accepted as that or not, of not getting to know that life that was snuffed out.  

Satan's tried for all human history to defeat Jesus, to defeat the Father, to defeat the Spirit.  Every single time he's failed.  Why is he allowed to persist?  I think it's to do with a verse from the Bible....which again...cannot be broken.  Every one will be without excuse when they stand before Jesus.  In my way of thinking as a troubleshooter...that means every possible combination of excuse will have had to happen in order to remove every possible excuse.  There will never be anyone saying "but what about..." to Jesus.  We see that Jesus silences all with a word.  Every excuse will have an answer by the work of the Spirit of God.

You don't have to be on the 'losing side' of any battle with God.  You may not fully understand it but you need to know that you're either among the saved in Christ or you're not.  You are on a 'side'.  There is no middle ground.  When we see Jesus separating those who believe from those who don't, there is NO 3rd catagory for those who were on the fence.  Notice it well that in no way does Jesus ASK anyone which side they are on in regards to salvation.  He already knows and it is HE who will separate the believing from the unbelieving.  Read it for yourself in the book of Revelation.  Even those whom He does separate...will try to argue with Him, saying He got it wrong!  Saying that they did all kinds of things in His name!  He must be mistaken!   

The most important part of your life is to know in this here, this now, where you stand in regards to salvation in Jesus Christ. Not to guess, not to wonder if you are or are not.  Not to rely on 'being a good person'.  Truth is there's trillions of 'good people' in Hell.  When we come to Christ for salvation we are sealed, marked as it were, by the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit, upon our death, testifies on our behalf to say we belong to Jesus, therefore we go to Heaven to be with Jesus.  

It's amazing to me, when I observe the Godly men that I have known in my that I see them living their lives in Christ as if that meant more to them than anything else in this world.   As we read of how a Christian is to be in the New Testament...those men believed it...lived it.  The ways of the world were not even an oder on their bodies.   They promoted nothing of this world in any aspect of their lives.  They pointed people to Jesus and let Jesus do what Jesus does in the lives of people when they see His light.  When they see, hear, and come to know the love of Christ and are saved themselves...that's the true victory to be celebrated...and is rightly so in Heaven.  I've worked at a few places that use the public address system to announce new clients, to announce hitting a goal, with a few words and someone ringing a bell.  Heaven celebrates when a single person comes to Jesus.  

We choose sides in every moment of our day.  We choose to either show us or show Jesus, if we're saved in Christ Jesus.  We either let the light of Christ illuminate our lives or we try to cover it up with excuses and 'reasons'.  

For those who read this that have not come to Christ yet...what's holding you back?  Reasons and excuses won't be enough when you stand before Jesus. Fear won't be a reason or an excuse.  Anger and rage at God won't be a reason or an excuse.  Let go of those things.  The Bible says we cannot know what God has in store for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  He promises a life more abundant.   We can know the love of God only found in Christ Jesus when we come to Him instead of dodging Him.

You don't have to be on that losing side.  Nobody likes being on the losing side, but THAT losing side is the absolute wrong side with eternal consequences.
It's written in the Bible that people will mock God about His return.  Interestingly enough people are the reason why He's not returned yet.  He will come again when that singular second in human history that the Father says is it happpens.  He isn't being slow about His promised return He's trying to give people the chance to know Him.

The thing about dying without Jesus is that it's a permanent defeat. 
The thing about dying with Jesus is that it's a permanent victory.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Didn't It Happen Just as I said?- Jesus

Didn't It Happen, Just as I Said? - Jesus
by David Brenneman

To read in Zechariah 1 this morning...and again, it's really good to be reading in my Life Principles Daily Bible a day later in the same spot, and see the words stand out in verse "Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying 'Thus says the lord of hosts "Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds."" But they did not listen or give heed to Me," declares the Lord. "Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not My words and my statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, 'As the Lord of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us."""'  Verses 4-6 NASB.

Essentially what the subject line says is what this passage reminds us of.   

Jesus saying "Didn't it happen just as I said it would?  Those fathers of yours...didn't they admit that My Word didn't return void?  The things that I said would happen didn't they happen?"

The passage was obviously written a few thousand years ago before the writing of the New Testament and the life of Christ here on Earth.  Yet, it also speaks to our generation.  It speaks to you and I, right here, right now. 

Jesus still stands at the door of the hearts of the unbelieving pointing to history.  "I promised these people and so I did.  I make promises to you...and so I will for you as well."
Jesus still stands with the Believing, saying "As I was with them, so I am with you.  I am the same God now as I was back then.  I am the same today, yesterday and forever."

We can choose to ignore God all we want, but God will not be ignored.  There's no throwing up of a hand in the face of Jesus to get Him to stop.  To 'respect' our boundries.  He is God, we are not.  It's always going to be His Will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Not ours.  When we read of His promises to make our paths straight it's to make them straight in accordance with His Will, His Plans for our lives as they work towards His goals of saving mankind, as many as would come to Him for salvation.  It's not about health, wealth or prosperity.  

His teachings of what we read in the 4 Gospels speak to this.  He is the vine we are the branches, those who are in Christ Jesus that is.  We aren't soloist's going about life our own way, doing our own thing.  It's not to say we won't enjoy certain aspects of this world.  We aren't to make those aspects the central part of our lives.  The central part of our lives ought to still be our relationship with Jesus.  Jesus first, family second, everyone else, then ourselves.

The Scriptures record for us that principle:  Love the Lord Your God with all your Heart, all your Soul, all your Mind and all your Strength.  Love your Neighbor as yourself.  Prefer one another above yourself.  Set your mind on things above, not on the things of this Earth. Love not the world nor the things of this world.

We will always face the same first temptation that we face as an infant all throughout our lives:  to put self first.  To put self on the Throne of our lives.  To put our wants ahead of others, our desires ahead of those whom Jesus says should be before us.

Tools are a great part of the life of me.  I have many varied tools that enable me to do a great many things.  While I have some that I use more than others, I do not set any one tool above others.  I do not take any particular one and devote so much of me to it that I put my relationship with Jesus in jeopardy.  I do not want Jesus anywhere else in my life but on the Throne of my Heart.  Do you? Would you?  

It begs the question:  Is Jesus in your life, where He ought to be?  Have you forgotten that same ideal that we began today's post with?  That question: Didn't they admit it happened to them just as I said it would?"  It's not too far a stretch to go to the passage where people in the time Jesus would be returning mocking Him by saying "So where is He?  Where's this promise of His return?  Why hasn't it happened yet? Where is God when I want Him to do something?" 

We often don't consult God, through Jesus Christ and the Spirit because we already know that He probably won't approve of what it is we're going after.  He won't approve of selfishness.  He won't approve of idolatry, adultery, of gossiping, of any of the other deadly sins.  We don't look at God when those things cross our minds because we already know in our heart of hearts that He disapproves of those things.  It matters not if you are a Believer in Christ Jesus or you aren't, your conscience speaks to the truth of those words!  We look for cop outs to keep on misbehaving, to keep on sinning.  We think we can even sometimes go and confess those things to some Earthly 'priest' and that wipes the slate clean enough to go out and do it all over again.  No repentance felt, or offered from our hearts because no change ever really happened.  

Didn't it happen just as I said it would? - Jesus.  Think about that thought long and hard.  It is loaded with deeper meaning.  

Didn't He say that idolatry would hurt your relationship with Him?
Didn't He say that the other sins that you've indulged in or given into would hurt you and others? 
Didn't the results that He said would happen, happen?

We can choose to be intentional about living for self or choose to be intentional about living for Jesus...we cannot choose both.
In his writings, Paul spoke of 'putting on' and 'taking off'.   Taking off of self and putting on of Christ.  To put on the full armor of God.  To stand firm in the faith.

To mock God is never a good thing because while He is a very forgiving God, it WILL come back around and mock you.  Everyone who has died without salvation in Christ Jesus, who mocked them in all the life that they Hell they aren't doing that anymore because they know the truth.  That God is not mocked.  Whatever a man sews so man reaps.   We might not see them 'get what's coming to them' in this life by way of Earthly judgments, but when they die, they face God's.  

Didn't it happen just as I said it would?  Ought to really shake you to the core of your being.  Believer or those who haven't believed yet.  It ought to do something to you because sooner or later it WILL be the prevailing thought of everyone going into eternity.   Jesus said that not one jot or tittle, not one single thing no matter how small or great, not one part of His Word would fail.  None of it.  Not one single portion.   Satan's been trying for centuries to get any minute part of the Bible to fail and he has failed, time and time again.  Mankind has challenged God on His Word and has failed. Which speaks to the unimaginable volume of people in Hell.  

When you go into your day today, consider those words when you prioritize your day.  Think about what Jesus is saying and how it ought to motivate you.  If you're a Believer, it ought to motivate you towards love and good deeds as His Word says.  To those who haven't come to Jesus yet for salvation it ought to make you seriously consider the weight of those words...because having never failed to be true...your acceptance or denial of those words will determine your eternity.  It has for countless trillions throughout history. Hell understands and knows that God is real, His Word proved true, and their fate has been sealed.  They are forever separated from God and will be paying for their sins throughout eternity and there's nothing they can do about it.

Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, and still is.  It was about the free gift of salvation coming to mankind should they choose to receive it.  It still is.

Didn't it happen just as I said it would?  Applies to the Christmas story as well.  Many passages, as testified by even those Jewish Leaders who later rejected Jesus, point to Jesus.  Jesus, His Father from Heaven speaking to those who could hear it, "This is my Beloved Son...Listen to Him!".

Would you listen to Jesus today?  He's not going to barge His way into your heart.  He's gently knocking asking you to let Him in.
He's not going to push you off that Throne of your heart...He's going to wait for you to abdicate your seat there and you to ask Him to get back on it.

We read in the New Testament of the fruits of the Spirit....for you who believe, are those evidenced in your life as both being there and increasing?

"Didn't it happen just as I said it would?" - Jesus.

Monday, December 26, 2022

God Doesn't Care What I Do!

God Doesn't Care What I Do!
by David Brenneman

That subject came to mind after reading in Zechariah Chapter 1 when the Lord Jesus was speaking to Zechariah.  The Lord IS Jesus before He came to this Earth in the way we just celebrated.  

This sentiment in that subject line is what you really see in this world today.  People challenge God to do this or do that IF He's really REAL.  People disregard His Word, the Bible as if it's some fairy tale or myth.  Some use it as a gag in a stand up comedy.  Some just don't care what it says because they think that not acknowledging it will give them the life THEY really want. 

But what does that have to do with what I was reading?  

"Therefore say to them 'Thus says the Lord of Hosts, "Return to Me," declares the Lord of Hosts, "That I may return to you," says the Lord of Hosts.
"Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying 'Thus says the Lord of Hosts,"Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds."' But they did not listen or give heed to Me," declares the Lord.  "Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? "But did not My words and My statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said 'As the Lord of Hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us.""'"  That's verses 3 to 6 NASB.

That last line is possibly what goes through the minds of thousands per day that wake up in Hell.  "As the Lord Jesus purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us."  

But my Dear Reader it does not have to be that way for you or I while we yet live and breathe.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  The lost are all who are in the darkness of the evil that permeates this world. In the book of John it's written that He is the Light.  He calls all who will listen to come out of the darkness.  We read from Jesus Himself of Satan being the great deceiver.  He spreads his lies about life and living and we fall for them, over and over again.

The truth is God DOES care what you think and what you do.  It was for you and I that He died the most horrific of deaths...the one and only time in all of eternity He was cut off and separated from His own Father was on account of paying the price for the sins of mankind in that way.

God DOES want what's best for you but you must trust in Him for what He knows is best.  The Bible says to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, in all our ways to acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight.  He will guide us in what's right to do, to say and to be.  Eating better, excercising, sleeping more, thinking 'positive thoughts' won't save you.  They won't help you at all actually.  With out a soul that is saved by Jesus, Hell is the next destination.  Perfectly healthy people have hearts that just stop because God says it's time. 

People do not consider the truth of the Bible because they love the darkness rather than the light.  That's written in the book of John as well. 
Doesn't say 'like the darkness' says 'loved the darkness' because their deeds were evil.

We think we see evil in this world but we haven't really.  That's coming.  We see evil activity and often dismiss it.  Or we often go the other way from it.
After Jesus DOES come and receive His Church to Himself...true evil will rear it's ugly head to this world.  

Ever think you would worship a human being?  No?  Well, if you're still here after Jesus returns and removes His will be faced with that.
Ever think you would willingly have a tatoo on your hand or forehead just to eat, to have a place to stay, to live your life?  No?  Well that's coming to those people too.
Ever think you would...there's more.  But consider bad as this world has been at times...much worse is coming to those who continue to reject Jesus as their Savior.  

Jesus loved mankind enough to give His life to save us from eternal separation from God.  That's what Hell is.  Eventually everyone in Hell will come out to receive their own glorified bodies...only to be cast next into the Lake of Fire for all eternity because of their not being saved.   Their lives will be reviewed by Jesus...and will be shown all the opportunities that they could have said yes and didn't.  

Jesus loved you, my Dear Reader, enough that if it had only been for you, He still would have done it.  He still would have taken a bullet for you, still would have taken your sentence of death upon Himself.  

Jesus has a plan and purpose for your life unlike anything you could possibly come up with on your own that would be more than you ever expected to see, hear or know of in this life you have been given.

He knows where your thoughts go, He knows what desires you nurture.  He knows.  He knows more about you than you ever could understand of yourself. He wrote in the Bible that it is He who searches the hearts and minds.  He knows you and STILL loves you anyway!  He knows your every single sin and STILL would wash them all away if you would but come to Him to be saved.  

Consider this as well...the Plan of Salvation is so effective that all during His life, Satan tried more times than is written to keep it from happening.  He tried on multiple occasions to kill Jesus to keep it from happening, JUST IN CASE IT WOULD WORK.   He cried out in victory when Jesus was finally dead on the cross!
He cried out again in anguish when Jesus was the first to say "I'm back!"  Sin, death, could not hold Jesus in His obedience to His Father.  He was granted by His Father to lay down His life and to take it up again.  Nobody else in human history ever has or ever will have that authority granted to them.  

If Satan is so bent on preventing people from finding salvation in Jesus...consider it well why He would!  Those who DO come to Christ are protected by Christ.
They might go through a rough life but they are no longer alone in it.  Satan must get permission to do anything to anyone in Christ.  All his attempts at those who are saved are limited because Jesus limits them.  He only allows those things that will make us more like Himself.  We won't get it when we go through it.  I certainly don't get the things that I've been through in my life and I have been blessed with a mind that figures out things and problems.

God DOES care about your every heartbeat.  Your every synapse in your brain that fires for every single thought you think before you even think it. 
God DOES care about your days that you face.  Your every move is known by Him.  

I once saw a painting of Jesus in a lifeboat reaching down into the water with His hand outstretched, reaching for someone who was drowning. 

That's what He's doing today all over the world to millions. Offering a hand to pull people out of the lives they are living and into the life He wishes to give save them from sin and from themselves.  We ARE our own worst enemy. We WILL talk ourselves out of the path He wishes to give us.

Consider your ways...Jesus repeated that twice in my reading yesterday.  Consider your ways...when I was younger, I was taught that when God repeats Himself...really pay attention!  When a "therfore" is used, back up and find out what it is there for.

Christmas the holiday might be over but Jesus still wants to save as He came to do 2,000 plus years ago today, and into the future. 

Come to Jesus while He yet may be found.  That too is from the Bible. There will come a day that's fast approaching when men and women will seek Him earnestly and cry out for Him to come back.  But it will be too late to go when He first comes.  Choose life today. Choose to come to Jesus today and find out what living life is really about.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Not What You Wanted

Not What You Wanted
by David Brenneman

Many woke up this day to presents.  Many did not. Some who opened such gifts were greeted with things they thought they wanted some to things that weren't what they were thinking.  Perhaps some even were of the "What in the world?" variety.

This morning is our second in our new to us home.  I had a rather disturbing night's sleep on the night before Christmas.  It took many hours to shake off what was going through my mind all night long in my dreams.   Got the coffee made, got the 'kids' fed.  Got somewhat dressed to go out and finally clear the drive and sidewalk for family coming later.  Thawed out the truck.  

The thought of presents and getting what we wanted or deserved in light of it being Christmas seems to be standing out to me right now. 

Some, as I go through the headlines, certainly did not get what they wanted.  Family problems.  Health problems.  Vehicle accidents that took a life.  Truth is many woke up in Heaven or Hell during the night.  

Many want to sing about "peace on Earth, good will toward men and women" yet wake up the reality that it's not that way right now.  
As I was sharing with a friend this morning through texts that began with the "Merry Christmas", the best present that I have received this year has been a group of guys that I meet with practically every Saturday.  Getting myself another Bible, one of Dr. Charles Stanley's "Life Principles Daily Bible", has been awesome.

It's like a day off of my reading plan from  Which means I get to read it a second time on purpose.  It's amazing to see things that are about what we read about actually happening in the New Testament from within the Old Testament.  References to Judas.  References to the Final Judgement written about in the book of Revelation.  References to how people are and will be when Jesus returns.

Lovers of themselves.  It doesn't take much to see video's of people proving that one.  The more modern tag is being a "Karen".   People enraged, going off on people with absolutely no sense of civility or decorum. No sense of common sense at all.  No sense of thinking about others. 

Not what you wanted...if you have not placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation...there will be a day you wake up and it won't be what you wanted.   Truth is waking up in Hell when it's not where you think you deserve to be.  Our ideas of truth must be compared to what God says is truth.   Political sides matter not when both sides spew lies to get people to believe 'their side' and to come to 'their side'.  Truth is absent or is believed to be dependent upon interpretation.  

There's no interpretation concerning the truth of the Bible.  It's God's own the person of Jesus Christ, who is celebrated to be born today.  God's own truth is what we want.  What we need.  Things matter not.  If its man-made it will break down, needing repaired or replaced.  Land-fills are the business to be in in this generation.  Corporations build empires on the idea of disposability.  If it lasts they don't want people to have it because it will mean they have not come back to buy something similar.

There's a famous movie quote that goes as follows: "You can't HANDLE the TRUTH!".   

Truth is most don't and refuse to acknowledge what the Bible says.   They choose not to believe and until the Spirit changes their mind, they won't.  

The truth of God is more often than not what people want.  They want to believe that the world is getting better, when it's not. They want to believe that this is getting better, or that is...when it's not.   You're either growing closer to God or you're not.  That's a key truth.

What are you doing to get more of God's truth in your life?   The evidence of several thousand years is everyone's theology is corrected at death.  People who thought they were 'good people' and 'deserved' to go to Heaven woke up in Hell because they did not want salvation through Jesus Christ.  People who thought their salvation in Christ hadn't 'stuck' woke up in Heaven.   

What if you HAD died today?  Would what comes next for you be what YOU wanted?  Would you wake up in Heaven or in Hell?  The God of the Bible says that those are the ONLY two options.   What will it be for you?  Everyone in Hell did NOT get what they wanted.  Everyone in Heaven got way more than they had ever dreamed possible.  

Under our Christmas tree is mostly a nice wrap that one of our 'kids' decided is her safe place.  My Wife and I really do not bury ourselves in debt to get each other presents.  We quite often get the things we would like during the year.  Christmas is about Christ, not necessarily the presents.  

Our 'Christmas Miracle' was to come live here last year.   We've been getting this house turned into our home.  God's been bringing people both into our lives and back into our lives.  Christmas is about Christ...daily living is about reaching out to the people of this world.  Possessions, gifts, things of this world, the Bible says will fade away.   Read the end of the book of Revelation and you find everything destroyed and made new.  The curse of sin completely dealt with in all finality. 

I didn't wake up this morning with what I had wanted, but I did wake up with a purpose.  

All that truly matters is the love of God that was shed for me on a cross a few thousand years ago.  Jesus loved me enough to leave His perfect Heaven to come to Earth to be born of Mary.  To live a sinless life, to die on Calvary for the sins of mankind.  Then to be raised 3 days later and sit at the right hand of His Father in Heaven, awaiting that day to come bring home all who are His and have called upon His Name to be saved.  He did this for me and for you. 

While what I woke up with was not what I hope in Christ remains intact.   My faith in what He did on a cross to save me is intact.
My sins are forgiven.  My Savior is still with me and within me.  

While we don't always get what we want...we're promised to have what we need in Christ.  My hope is that those who read this do indeed come to Christ to be saved during this time of year.   Jesus awaits all while the opportunity still avails itself.  When He returns to call us all home to be with Him, that offer will take on a radically different form.  Those who come to Christ after the Rapture of the Church will endure some of the harshest days unimagined.  

The free gift of God is salvation in Christ Jesus.  Ask for THAT gift this year. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Means Nothing?

Means Nothing?
by David Brenneman 

It's interesting to observe people. It's interesting to listen to what they say about things from family life to personal life to politics and religion.  

We can read in the Bible in Mark 8:36 NASB "For what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?".

Another fantastic question is: "For what could a person give in exchange for his soul? in verse 37.

What will anyone do when they stand before Jesus, giving an account for what they did in their lives for Him...and after it's tested by fire...nothing remains?

Can anyone fathom the degree of shame that can possibly produce?

We have probably heard it said that we have but one life to live, there's no pause or rewind button.

We can waste what time we're given or we can choose to live it wisely.  

I honestly was heavily convicted by my perception of how little I was doing for Jesus in my life.  I was living for me in all reality. 

The passage about giving an account of my life before Jesus kept coming at me. It was getting more and more impossible to not consider the ramifications of a life not lived the way that He intended me to live it.

We face a great many temptations. We see a great many things that will take us off the road called life to tie us up.  

We who have come to Christ ought to be living life with respect to what it cost Jesus to give us life.   We were once dead in our trespasses and sins.  We were made alive in Christ by His sacrifice on the cross.  Our greatest temptations He has already faced and defeated.  

There's probably two of THE most horrific times possible in a human being's life. 

One is to die and wake up in Hell.
The second equally horrific thing is to stand before Jesus seeing that our lives did nothing for Him when we had all the opportunity afforded to do so. Granted some people die in Christ almost immediately after coming to Christ for salvation.  This isn't for such people. When it's God's will to have a life to live for Jesus and that life isn't lived for Jesus...this is for those people. 

We will indeed give an account of our lives before Jesus...for what we have done we give back to Jesus in our gratitude.  Will you have anything to give in gratitude for all He's done for you?  

The unbelieving will likewise have a review of their lives. It will sadly show that no matter the person their lives didn't measure up to the requirements established in salvation in Christ Jesus. 

Take a moment to look at what things you call important.  Are they important only to you or are they important to Jesus?  Are you being a light in this world or have you hidden that light in order to live how you want?

What kind of answer will you give to Jesus about how your life was spent?

Jesus came to give us life, but not just life, life more abundant.  Ask yourself if Jesus would like what you are doing in your life. 

As I have mentioned to long as a person breathes, there's hope.  

Friday, December 23, 2022

"I'm not guilty!" Think Again...

"I'm not guilty!" Think Again 
by David Brenneman 

Oh the countless multitudes that will one day stand before Jesus at the final judgment.  Oh the millions per day waking up in Hell, convinced that they shouldn't be there. That God had somehow made a mistake. 

Not exactly what thoughts you might have right before Christmas, a time of joy and celebration, huh?

Well, when you consider that in all truthfulness Jesus is the reason for the makes perfect sense. 

Jesus came to die for what you and I are born guilty of. Adam and Eve's sin has been perpetuated throughout history. It's in our DNA, our blood.  Jesus knew that only a perfect, holy, sacrifice could possibly answer the verdict of "guilty!".

The Father’s plan included His Son willingly giving His life after living a sinless life to make it possible for His greatest creation to be able to be with Him, with them. 

We are born in the guilt and shame of sin.  Jesus's shed blood, and the salvation that comes through it, washes away all the guilt and judgment of sin.

Without salvation in Christ Jesus there is no remission of sin. That's what the Bible says clearly. 

Any who die, knowingly rejecting salvation in Jesus Christ, will never escape the judgment of God.  

My Dear Reader, Jesus left everything to make it possible for you to never have to see Hell. To make it possible for you to know the true love of God. To show you a still better way.  That you would know the love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. 

The celebration this time of year isn't meant to only be for the 25th of December.  We should celebrate all year round.  Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so. 

The Heavens broke out in song at the revealing of Jesus being born.  The heavens rejoicing.  They knew that the love of God was reaching out to sinful man and woman.  

The worst mistake anyone can make is to die believing that on their own merits they don't deserve to go to Hell.  

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

Jesus is ready to wash your sins away, removing the guilt of your sin. 

Let Christmas have a new meaning for you in that you have a new life in Christ Jesus. 

See what life is really meant to be.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Good Question!

Good Question!
by David Brenneman

Micah 6:3 NASB "My people, what have I done to you, and how have I wearied you?"  

This is a relative question even for today's professing Church.  People who come but do not do anything in the body of Christ.  People who become other people as soon as Church lets out.  Sometimes before they hit the door.  People who look at God with other than good thoughts because of what He's allowed in their lives.  Whether or not they say it out loud their thoughts betray them by saying "It's GOD'S fault!  I wouldn't be in this situation if it weren't for what He didn't do to stop it!"  "It's God's fault by not doing anything to keep them from dying!" 

Well the truth to be known is when we give an account of our lives before Jesus...even our innermost thoughts will be brought to light. Everything we thought for and against people, for and against our Creator God will be brought to light. Scripture says that there's nothing hidden that will not be revealed. 

Even our true intentions that we tried to hide even from ourselves.   We either deceive others by our thoughts and actions, or we can deceive ourselves by our thoughts and actions.  That's what sin does.  It deceives then it kills.  

We can even do it with a smile on our faces thinking that the path we are on is where it ought to be yet in all truthfulness while that path might be 'good' it's the path that God put before us.   Sooner or later that path will have a dead-end.  God's path never has dead-ends.  God's path leads to the gates of Heaven with Jesus bidding us to enter into His rest.  There's our way and there's His way.  Our way only aligns with His way when we put what He wants as the priority in our lives.  It's His will to be done, not ours, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Micah goes on to talk about what does God want out of us in our lives. 

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord Jesus require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"  Micah 6:8 NASB.

It's a very good question to ask of ourselves.  What is the priority in your life?  What is important?  What do you get the most upset about?  Do you get upset by what upsets God or do you get upset over frivolous things?  Do you get upset over things that absolutely do not matter in light of eternity?  Do the things of the world that are important to those of the world upset you the most?   

Is your job more important than your walk with God?  Is your job more important than what He's charged you with your calling in Christ Jesus?  Do you rage at things that honestly make you look more like the world than looking like a Child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?  To be honest I see it in others who call themselves Christians and it's both heartbreaking and embarrassing. 

Have you the right heart attitude towards Jesus?  Towards God?  Have you had thoughts that the 'demands' that Christianity says are a part of following Jesus are too much for you?   Are you only after all the blessings possible in life and don't want to honestly work out your salvation through the trials?  

We are permitted to go through much in life in order to weed out and remove the dross of the world from this vessel called us in physical form.

We are to remember the words of Jesus that we are in His hands and nothing will come to us that isn't permitted to by Him.   If that weren't enough He's in the Father's hands.  

Putting anything, a company, even our health, above what it is that God's called us to do isn't right.  While being of good health is one thing, obsessing over it is yet another.  Eating and drinking isn't a priority in what's taught in the New Testament.  It's the preaching and teaching of the Word of God in order to follow the Great Commission to go therefore and make Disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded.  

When we're intentionally unseating Jesus from the Throne of our hearts...that's not good.  
When we're being intentional about life and not including Jesus in it...that's not good.
Our health isn't even a requirement for good Spiritual health.  There's more than enough testimonies out there of Believers who went through and are going through some severe things physically....because of only one thing that's important...their sanctification.  Many do not realize that even death is an answer to prayer concerning a physical problem.  We battle, or war, not against flesh and blood.  The Bible tells us that.  Our battles in life are Spiritual in nature. Our physical interactions in this world have Spiritual ramifications to ourselves and to others.  That account that keeps getting brought up that we will have before Jesus, as Believers, is to reveal what we did in this physical body for Jesus's call in our lives.  

People often consider what the Spirit wants to do with us as wearisome.  That we're not going to have fun doing it so they don't want to do it.  They sometimes think it's too embarrassing so they don't want to do it.  Jesus said to come to Him all who are weak.  Matthew 11:30 NASB "For My yoke is comfortable and My burden is light."

We also often run from God when the going gets tough...and justify that by what we're doing next which isn't of God but we paint a picture that it's for God to convince ourselves of our idea of life lived right.

Have you thoughts of being wearied by living as God called you?  Have you poured your all into something that really isn't of God because it 'feels' better than what He'd called you to be doing?

To borrow another movie quote...we really cannot trust our feelings because they CAN betray us.  If Moses did what he felt, the people really wouldn't ever have entered the Promised land.  If David did what he felt he would have turned out quite differently.  As a note of a bad example...Solomon did everything that he felt was ok and good and it cost the nation dearly.  

There's great danger in trying to hold onto things of this world when the Spirit is saying to let go of them.  Our sanctification is the Spirit's priority....making us like Christ.  So that it's Christ that others see in us...and not us.  Do people see Christ in you?  Or do they see you instead?   King David lamented in his writing...that he 'used' to lead the people to the Temple.   Are you so involved with this world on your own terms that you 'used' to do things for God?   Where is your heart?  

Lots of interesting good questions today.  These aren't just for those who read this, it's directed to myself as well.  

Satan convinced Adam and Eve to put someone else on that throne of their hearts and sin was born in mankind.  Selfishness and pride were the first children of that moment. Idolatry soon followed because when you look at the first of the Commandments it's about priorities of putting the Lord first.  You will have no other gods before Me.

It's amazing to watch what God does when we see no way for something to happen.  When we think we're too battered and bruised by others that there's no possible way to continue...yet the Spirit works to get us to continue on to the direction He intended.  His taking us THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death.

When we get honest we find that when the going gets tough we often quit on God and justify doing so by pointing out all the good we're doing.

Have you felt that God's wearied you?   Or is it really that you're still holding onto that which He's been trying to get you to let go of?

We're getting ready to celebrate the birth of's always best to remember that He gave up everything perfect to come live a sinless that we might know Jesus Christ.  That we might live this life to honor what He did for us.  To remember that those who have come to Christ are workers in His fields until He calls us out of them and into His Heaven.   Retirement isn't a part of the sanctification process until we're called home.  It's an amazing testimony to me to know of one of my Grandparents being found with their Bible opened when God called them home.  Another is to know that someone I admired who was a professor at Grace Theological Seminary...was still writing the night before God called Him home.  Obeying God's call in His life was the most important thing to Him.

Not many consider the idea that we're to do our absolute best for Jesus.  To consider that our goal is to hear: Well done! from Jesus.
To be brutally honest....we won't hear that if we're living for self.  If we're living a life that isn't showing that Jesus is in us.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

The Message to All

The Message to All
by David Brenneman

This morning was reminded of the words of Linus in the Christmas Special "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

"Specifically, Luke 2: 8-14

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

When he is finished with that last line, Linus turns and address someone directly: “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”"
Then almost immediately I'm reading in Micah 5:2-5a NASB "But as for you Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From days of eternity." Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great to the ends of the Earth. This One will be our peace."

Peace is so stripped from most of the world today.  Peace is sought after so much by all.  People strive for peace even for 'five minutes" as we see in many television sit-coms concerning parents and their children.

We even find the Christmas story in the book of Revelation.  When the depiction in the stars is given in Revelation Chapter 12.   

The message to all mankind has not changed since time began...God loves us with an everlasting love.  He hates sin and sin must be dealt with.  When the time was right, Jesus was born of Mary and He lived a sinless life to be that atoning sacrifice that would be what was necessary to deal with sin.  He died on a cross for the sins of all mankind, for those who believed in Him and for those who steadfastly refused to.  All sin of all mankind for all time was heaped upon Him to the point His own Father in Heaven would have to turn His face away because He could no longer look at Jesus until all was accomplished.

Jesus entered Sheol(Paradise)/Hades and was triumphant yet again in His arrival, just as He had been here on Earth in entering Jerusalem.  Millions upon millions, as the sands of the seashore in number, cheered and praised God for His arrival.  They would cheer and praise God again when He announced they would be leaving there.  The thief on the cross standing with Him alongside of King David, with King Solomon, with Samuel, Moses, Elijah and Elisha and many many others.  Across the chasm that separates the two places countless billions saw Jesus and cried out for Him to help them for they were in torment where they were.  Just as Jesus had spoken to.  He probably told them the same that we read of the Rich man being told by Abraham.  Those who had died in recent days such as the other thief on the other cross would see Jesus from where they were.  Weeping and gnashing of teeth would be seen for sure when His answer was the same as what we'd read.  They had their chance and they chose to deny God, to reject righteousness, to reject the hope of God which was to come, which is Himself.  They will look upon Him who they pierced.

You, my Dear Reader, are not on either side of that chasm as of yet.  In fact, when Jesus left Paradise, He took everyone there with Him.  Paradise was closed, shut down, essentially destroyed.  All who would die in Christ Jesus from that moment forward after He departed would only go straight to Heaven to be with Him forever.   All who die without salvation in Jesus Christ find themselves in torment in Hell.  

In this life you have choice.  Death is the last of when anyone has any choice concerning where you spend eternity.  Nothing in this life, in this world is more valuable than knowing where you will spend eternity.  Jesus's purpose of coming was to save sinners.  As Paul wrote of himself, saying he was the chief of all sinners, I count myself as he did.  I sin every day, and every day I go to Jesus to ask to be forgiven.  The Bible says He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse of us of all unrighteousness.  That's a promise of Jesus.  The weight of sin is too much for anyone to handle on their own.  Oh we easily deceive ourselves when we go after things in this life.  We are drawn to the world's acceptance of us as we are and miss out on what we could have been in Christ Jesus had we just come to Him for His free gift of salvation.   

This Christmas isn't much different than others before will likely have food, and family and presents.  But no matter what the world tries to do with it, it's STILL about the birth of Jesus Christ to save mankind from the punishment of sin.  Swaddling clothes were all that they had to wrap Jesus in after He was born.  Swaddling clothes are burial clothes.  In their culture you actually wore on your person your clothes for your own burial should you die.  We see in even His birth that He was born to die.  

This world loves to try to scrub the time of year by calling it only "Happy Holidays" or "X-mas" or other such nonsense.  Trying to remove Christ from Christmas.

A group called Kutless had a song out called "This is Christmas"

Do you find it hard to sleep tonightResting by the Christmas lights?Could there be something you forgot?
Beyond the bows and mistletoeThe tree with presents wrapped belowThere's more to this than you had ever thought
Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year?What is Christmas?If there never was a savior wrapped in a mangerWhat is Christmas without Christ?
Remember how the story goesGod's gift was wrapped in swaddling clothesBeneath the star, one great and holy night
The shepherds heard the angels singThe wise man brought an offeringPeace on Earth began in Bethlehem
Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year?What is Christmas?If there never was a savior wrapped in a mangerWhat is Christmas?If the angels never sangGlory to the new born king?What is Christmas without Christ?
There'd be no GloriaIn excelsis deoGloriaIn excelsis deo
What is Christmas?(Joy to the world)If there never was a savior wrapped in a manger(Joy to the world)What is Christmas without Christ?
This is ChristmasIt's all about the savior wrapped in a manger(Joy to the world)This is Christmas because of Jesus Christ(Gloria)This is Christmas(In excelsis deo)Because of Christ(In excelsis deo)Because of Christ

Jesus came, lived a sinless life, died a horrible death unlike any other in human history, arose from the dead 3 days later to sit victorious at the right hand of His Father in Heaven.  Satan's greatest failure in bodily form.  

Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.   

Jesus isn't done.

Jesus is returning and those who have died in Christ will have their bodies recovered and glorified.  Regardless of how they died or what happened to their bodies they will get them back whole and restored and without the effects of sin.  Those who are alive when He does will get their bodies transformed and have the curse of sin removed from them.  Both groups will depart the Earth with Jesus to be with Him forever.  Those who are still here when this happens will find millions and millions of people vanishing, graves collapsing, death everywhere from the collateral damage of the Rapture of the Church.  

Jesus came to deal with sin.  Sin will be dealt with.  Sin will be destroyed.  Those who cling to it will be found guilty.  For those who came to Christ their sins will be remembered no more.  A single sin is enough to cast anyone into Hell.  One.  No amount of 'good' a person could do in a lifetime can wash away a single sin.
Being friends with someone who's a Christian isn't going to get you in to Heaven on 'good behavior'.  

Oh many won't have presents this year, many will have spent more than they can afford.  People supposedly buying 'joy' for family and friends.  The Joy of Christmas is found in the Manger.  It's found only in Christ Jesus. 

I can only imagine was written with the thought in mind of leaving here and opening our eyes in Heaven.  I often wonder what those people in Paradise thought when Jesus Himself steps into what had become their world.  Time had no meaning there no more than it does for any who die today and wind up in Hell.  Time is for physical beings.  I often have sat and wondered what kind of pure emotions happened at the joy of seeing Jesus.  Possibly of Moses pointing and crying out "It IS YOU!!"  The One whom He'd spent 40 days with when he wrote the 10 Commandments.  I have often sat and wondered, after hearing Mark Lowry's "Mary Did You Know?" of what did Joseph think? What did Joseph know?  What were his thoughts at holding the Son of God in his hands?  What were his thoughts about his own sinfulness when he knew exactly why his son was born?   Abraham held his son and was told to go and sacrifice him.  His son at that time was possibly in his teens.  His son carried the wood for the sacrifice on his own back.   Abraham knew that he had been told to sacrifice his only son and he was willing to obey because he figured that even should his son die, that God could raise him from the dead, that nothing was impossible with God.  Joseph held the Son of God.  He was going to be the one to help teach God?  He would teach him how to dress, how to walk, how to run, how to do life as a carpenter.   

What's funny is to read of the day that Jesus got separated from His Earthly parents...and was found in the Temple.  They had indeed, when He was born, treasured what they had been told in their hearts but in time had forgotten why He had come.

This Christmas remember it's about Christ.  I also think of a song by Steven Curtis Chapman: This Baby.
"Well, He cried when HE was hungry, Did all the things that babies do; He rocked and he napped on His mother's la, and He wiggled and giggled and cooed. There were cheers when He took His first step, and the tears when He got His first teeth; Almost everything about this little baby seemed as natural as could be.

But this baby made the angels sing,
And this baby made a new star shine in the sky.
This baby had come to change the world.
This baby was God's own son, this baby was like no other one.
This baby was God with us, this baby was Jesus.

Look up the rest of the lyrics.  It's part of why I was also thinking of writing a song myself of "Joseph Did You Know?".  

Jesus is the reason for this time of year and every day of the year.  Jesus opened the door to Heaven through Himself and what He did on the cross.  Nobody enters Heaven without salvation in Him.  

The messge to all is:  Jesus came, lived a sinless life, died for your sins and mine, arose from the dead 3 days later. The Gift of Jesus is available to all who would come to Him to be saved.  "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"-- that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation....."Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.".

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

"But I don't WANT to" Isn't Going to Change the Reality

"But I don't WANT to" Isn't Going to Change the Reality
by David Brenneman

It's honestly one of the things that causes me to shake my head the most in shopping.  Children who obviously are way too old being in the basket portion of the shopping cart.  Adults who aren't being the adult in teaching their children to be obedient.   When one or more are whining out for no good reason my Wife knows that my reference to "The alarm is going off, it's time to go" means.  Children not getting their way having tantrums become adults who don't get their way having tantrums.

In Jesus's day He gave an example of being a shepherd.  Of how the Good Shepherd would leave the 99 on a hill together to go find the one that strayed.  That one that left the others was intentionally taught obedience in order to stay with the others and with the Shepherd.  The one who strayed was intentionally disciplined for it's own good.  It didn't like it at first but did learn to obey the Shepherd.  

In our day and age we have several generations of people being taught by way of bad example that whining wins out in getting your way.  Everything from the spoken language to written language to actions has suffered because of people whining, griping, and complaining to get what they wanted.  Being stubborn, hard-headed, you name it.

What's this got to do with anything Biblical?  Plenty.  People get angry at those who tell them that God's Word says that you must come to Christ for salvation.  That you must or you won't see Heaven.  You won't follow those whom you claim to love to Heaven that DID place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to be saved.  That's a hard truth.  If those whom you loved DID do that, and you did will NOT see them again.  Your rejection of Jesus Christ as YOUR Savior is what will cause you not to see them again.  No amount of shaking a fist at God, of cursing out Him, no tantrum big enough will cause God to change His mind.

The reality is this:  Dying without Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior nets you a life in torment in Hell until such a time as the Final Judgement of Christ for all who refused Him and then are cast alive into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.  No amount of "But God! I did this and this for you!" will get you anything.  No amount of raging at God about your deeds in life amounting to nothing will get you anything.  

The truth is what Jesus said:  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No man or woman comes to the Father (that is to enter into His Heaven) but through Jesus.
Partial obedience isn't enough.  Just believing that He is God isn't enough.  Even Demons believe that He is God...and they at least shudder.  Human's don't even do that when they revile God.

There's no other way to Heaven except through the only begotten Son of God: Jesus Christ.

What does the Bible say?  "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," adn believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9.

The Bible says that every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  This will happen willingly and unwillingly to the entire human race.  

A very keen reality is that in Hell there are no athiests.  There are no people who do not know that the truth of God IS the truth of God.  All beliefs are corrected upon death.  Choosing to reject Jesus here and you will understand why after you die that rejection cost you more than you every imagined possible.  The consequences will be with you for all eternity.  Jesus gave a very powerful example of Hell that was not made up.  People in torment over their own sins.  Sins are real.  Sins have consequences both in this life and the one to follow if they are not washed away by the Savior of the World.

Not a very appropriate post before Christmas huh?  Actually quite the opposite.  I heard a popular Christmas song "I'm Getting Nuttin for Christmas".  In no way during the song is the child remorseful.  In no way are most in Hell remorseful of their actions.  Even the rich man in the example Jesus spoke of was remoreseful.  He just didn't want anyone else he knew to join him.  He didn't ask to be sent back to warn anyone, he wanted someone those he knew would listen to to go back.   

All theology is corrected when we die.  Even people of all the denominations of this world who are actually saved people, who enter into Heaven will have the finer points and the not so finer points of their theology corrected as well.  Everyone who's been Christ's workmanship will see that work completed when they enter into Heaven.  

There are no politics in Heaven, there's none of the baggage that has entrapped the minds of people in Heaven. 

In our here, our now, we have been given 'choice' by the cross of Jesus Christ. 

You choose to obey or not to obey.
You choose to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit or you don't.
Indescision is still a decision.  "I didn't choose!"  not choosing is still a choice.  No excuses.  No amount of whining about our supposed position before Christ will cause Him to allow you to go into Heaven without salvation received from Him.  There's no loopholes.  There's nothing. Nada, zip, nil.

I saw another political cartoon of Santa dumping a truckload of coal at a capitol building.  Another poke at those who didn't deserve presents.

We don't deserve anything in this life.  We are born in sin and have a death sentence upon us until we come to Christ and He takes our place.  He is the only perfect sacrifice for our sin that we're born with.  God the Father says to listen to Him.  Have you?

Have you listened to Jesus?  Have you come to Christ?  The reason for this season isn't holiday spending.  It's about Jesus Christ coming in the form of a baby to live a sinless life, to suffer and die on a cross for the sins of mankind that's celebrated at Easter.  He who was without sin became sin so that we might have the righteousness of God.  

The greatest gift you could give yourself...or if your are indeed saved, the greatest gift you could give others is to tell them how they too can be saved.  
Even in the 7 year Great Tribulation people will SEE the works of God.  Will SEE and FEEL the painful judgements and STILL rage at God!  They STILL will not turn to Christ to be saved even though all the mounting evidence points to the truth that only in Him can people be saved.  People will cry out to the Earth to have rocks fall upon them rather than face the truth of Jesus.  If they can't get their way they would rather die and be eternally separated from God.

Presents this time of year were sort of meant to be somthing akin to what churches do with the bread and cup, with footwashing, with the Lord's Supper (which is NOT the same as the bread and cup).  The giving of gifts was first noted in the book of Luke when we read of the first gifts given to Jesus were to honor HIM.  They were given to honor why He came.  Our giving presents to one another ought to remind us of this story in the book of Luke.

Why not give the greatest gift of all, either to yourself by coming to Christ to be saved, or to share how someone else might find Jesus on this day we celebrate as His birthday?