Wednesday, May 31, 2023

You want the Truth?

You Want The Truth?
by David Brenneman 

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NASB95

"He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him." John 12:24-25 NASB95. 

Truth is what we call living isn't. 
We can't fathom all that Jesus has prepared for us when we come to Christ to be saved.  

"but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God." 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NASB95. 

It's so easy to just get up in the morning and just decide to do this or that, think this or that, and not ask God what He's prepared for you and I.  My morning's all begin with coffee and reading my Bible plan.  After that it's time to get ready for work.  I pray on my approximate 15 minute trip to work.  My goal is to do the best that I can at whatever God puts before me to do.  I honestly struggle with making plans because it's sort of presumptuous to me. 
What if God had other plans for me?  

The opening passage always is on my mind at some point, either at the front or in the background.  Jesus IS returning and as He said, I choose to listen to and to be on the alert.  

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." Matthew 24:42-44 NASB95. 

Our world is not dying in the sense that the governments of the world or scientists say that it is.  

This world is preparing for the fulfillment of the Word of God.  Things are happening not by chance through time. Not by the design or desires of men and women, but at the specific direction of God.  

Most don't want to know or believe that is the case.  They want to see a triumphant mankind over the adversity this apparently world presents to them.   Look at the content of the news and of movie/television/streaming that's put out.  Look at the grooming that's happening to people...and indeed they are being groomed.  Programmed is more accurate.

To arrange according to a plan or a schedule.  People have been getting programming and have been programmed for as long as mankind has been around. With the emergence of radio, newspapers, television, the internet, news services, the programming has been radically increased.   In today's world people aren't even aware of how deep its gone.  Since most 'content' is digital, they are unaware of changes to what once was in print only.  Truth becomes whatever people read and they know no difference.

Even the Word of God. You ought to have a physical copy of a reputable Bible.  If indeed you are interested in learning more, then get physical copies of books from Godly men.  

Our world is slowly, methodically, deleting truth. 

The Bible IS truth because Jesus is Truth.

Another truth to consider is what you are putting into your heart and mind.  Are you constantly on a diet of internalizing junk or are you tending to the seeds of truth given to you from God's Word?  

I see so many pursuing worldly ideas and are wrapping them up to look like they are from God.  Do this if you want to live better for God because this will improve this about you.  Spend your time eating this way, or that way.  Spend this amount of time at the gym.  

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB95. 

Trust not your eyes
Trust not your ears 
Trust not your thoughts as you see things to be understood 

To lean not on your own understanding is to not think you have it figured out.  King David thought he had been blessed immeasurably so he thought he had the green light to go and build a Temple for his God. He began making plans.  God comes to him through Nathan the prophet...telling him no. 

The truth is that we need to protect ourselves from the false ideas of this world.  Satan's going to masquerade things to look like they are from God.

Satan's good at getting Christians to waste time on frivolous things. 

He's good at twisting the Bible to change how we view even God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He is fully aware of Jesus returning and has been manipulating mankind to get ready for it within the boundaries of the Word of God.  

He believes in the return of Jesus Christ more than many Christians do. 

He is more prepared than most Christians are. 

It's been a very personal conviction to me to not promote companies.  I will not pour my heart and soul into a company. I will not wear clothing that boasts of companies.  If I wear logo's it's to point people to Jesus.  

Jesus didn't say He was one way to get to Heaven. He didn't say He knew the way. He didn't say He would point the way.

Jesus Christ said He IS the Way. 
He said He IS the Truth. 
That He IS the Life. 

It's going to be incredibly painful for millions left behind after Jesus does return because they weren't saved after all.   They were deceived into a false idea of what and who Jesus is.  

You cannot have Christianity without Christ.  You cannot have salvation without the Savior Jesus Christ.  Salvation is in Christ alone.  Any church that preaches otherwise needs its doors closed.  

Some don't want to voice it but it needs to be acknowledged. 

They aren't living for Jesus because they believe that in doing so they can't enjoy life.  That they cannot enjoy the so-called finer things of life if they really lived for Jesus.  

What did Jesus say? What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What can a man or woman give in exchange for their soul?

Your soul is going to spend eternity somewhere.  Either in peace with Jesus wherever He is or in torment paying for your sins.  

The truth is in God's word. You're not going to know it without a right relationship with Jesus.  You're not going to understand it without the Spirit to teach you.  

The whole armor of God.  Note well the pieces. The helmet of salvation. It protects the mind from the foolishness of the world.  The shield of faith isn't a stand alone piece.  It works in conjunction with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  The breastplate of covers all the vital organs.  The heart most of all. 

The Truth says He has so much more in store for you that your mind can't grasp it. 

Only trust Him only trust Him, only trust Him now. He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now.

Stop for a moment and truly ask Jesus to open your mind to His truth about you and your life.  It's in Him that we live and breathe and have our existence.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Coming Home

Coming Home 
by David Brenneman 

"Reconciliation, in Christian theology, is an element of salvation that refers to the results of atonement. Reconciliation is the end of the estrangement, caused by original sin, between God and humanity."

"past tense: reconciled; past participle: reconciled restore friendly relations between. cause to coexist in harmony; make or show to be compatible"

Was looking for definitions of reconciled.  Another way to look at this idea is to consider that no matter the condition of the person, through what Jesus did in His life, His death and His resurrection, He made it possible to come home. 

In Old Testament times, people like me could not come in the Temple or near the Ark of the Covenant.  Physical deformities were a reason to not allow people to come near.   After the work of God through Jesus on the cross, now it is possible. He made all things new.  He made a way where there was no way. 

The message of the Gospel is meant to be simple enough that a child could and would understand it.

In no way is it to be as complicated as many world religions make it out to be.

Jesus became the way when there was no way.  In that statement therein is everything in every way that humanity has tried in order to gain favor of God to be able to come home. 

Jesus became a man and lived a sinless life. Becoming the perfect sacrifice to die for all the sins of all humanity.  

The only requirement is for us to come to Christ to ask for the salvation available only through Him.  To believe. To exercise that bit of faith we are given.  

"But what does it say? “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. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

We can strive all our lives to be a good person and the Word of God says that won't be enough. 

It's something to really think about because the ramifications of that have eternal consequences.  

It's not a matter of "Oh okay, maybe I can do better next time." After you die there is no next time. 

It's not a matter of thinking "Oh well." Because the next stop, after you die, is an unending time of painful torment in a place nobody would wish on their worst enemy.  

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 NASB95. 

It's free but only applies if we ask for it. 

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5 NASB95

In this chapter we see at its beginning the word justified.  Some like to read that word as if to say "just as if I hadn't sinned".  When we come to Christ we are indeed justified, indeed in His eyes those who are now followers of Christ are as white as snow. There is no sin to be seen because Jesus took it all upon Himself. 

We see also that we are saved from His wrath which is upon all who choose not to believe and die in their unbelief. 

And the next part is where we read of reconciliation.  The debt of sin we owe is paid in full when we receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  In the case of Believers, when they die, they are permitted entry into Heaven by what Jesus did to save them. Not on any basis of works they did on their own. 

Not many people are not moved emotionally at the end of a movie where reconciliation between people has happened if the movie is done right. 

Jesus receives those who have believed with extreme joy into His Heaven when they die.

Jesus also, because He is God, sees with profound sadness the lives of people as they die having refused His salvation. 

He will honor your choice.  
You will indeed choose.  Indecision is still a decision.  The enemy of God, Satan, built a fence for you and I to sit on, and tries to get people to believe that fence makes a difference in the eyes of God.

"But I didn't choose!" will be shown and have it explained to you that you did.

Jesus knows your heart.  He knows every single cell that makes you you.  He knows every single story of every single person. 

He knows what your life could really be like if you would come to Christ for salvation.  

My Dear Reader, oh you have no idea what things are in store for you when you come to Christ.  Jesus knows and only to a certain extent Satan knows.  Satan knows what salvation does to those who believe and it's something he really doesn't want people to have.  Satan knows the Bible better than any human being alive and tries to twist it to his own purposes. Tries to use it to twist the minds of people to keep them just out of reach of truly being saved.

Was watching an interview yesterday. A now seasoned Pastor was recounting a story of his younger days as a beginning Pastor.  Of being invited to speak at a type of conference.  He preached it as he felt lead to do.  Preached the need for salvation alone in Christ Jesus alone.  It actually upset those who had invited him.  These other so-called Pastors asked him, "but what if you don't believe that?" He very pointedly said then those people will be going to Hell.  They pressed the issue "But we don't believe that!" He again very directly said "Then you are going to Hell".

My Friend, time is not on your side. 
We know not if we even have a next breath to breathe let alone a day to live. 

Jesus isn't willing that any should perish.

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 NASB95. 

By rejecting salvation in Christ Jesus perishing is what comes next after dying. It's being eternally separated from God with no hope for help to stop the painful torment of paying for your own sins...
for all eternity.  

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." Revelation 3:20-21 NASB95. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

The Cost

The Cost
by David Brenneman 

Hidden fees are certainly a part of the financial wheels in our movement through life.  Some are hidden within other fees very subtly in order to keep them from being seen or acknowledged.  

We have hidden fees on us as human beings.  

Things that we unwittingly surrender because of time and circumstances. 

We surrender to what sounds good rather than what is wise.

We surrender to the "just a little bit" which turns into minutes, hours or days. 

Our time is finite.  It has a set amount per day. What are you doing with yours?

Are you investing or divesting your time?

Was listening to a excerpt from a sermon Dr. Charles Stanley gave.  It too lends to thinking about cost.  

Believing in God isn't enough. That will never cost you.
Believing that Jesus was a good man isn't enough. That will never cost you. 
Calling Him your buddy, the man upstairs, isn't enough. That will never cost you. 

Jesus said not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven.  

To call Jesus your Savior and Lord will cost you.  Your life will be lived differently. 
What concerns Him will begin to concern you. What He is like, we strive to become. 
It will cost you. But, my Dear Reader, there are no hidden fees. Jesus says upfront what a life in Christ Jesus will cost. He outlines the benefits.  He covers all the protection clauses.  

Many want to lay claim to Psalm 23. Look at its beginning. "The Lord is my shepherd..." Is He really?  When He speaks are you listening?  When He reveals something to you are you paying attention?  When He is your shepherd that's what you'll do. 

There's a cost that's not hidden. People will not be nice towards you when He truly is your Shepherd. 

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

People will likely be excessively critical of you.  That too is part of the cost. 

Many drift away into the world in order to lower the cost believing that in doing so they can experience less problems. 

What does Jesus say through the writings of Paul to Timothy?

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also. Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3 NASB95. 

There is something that Satan wants hidden from the life of the Believer. 

That hidden cost of a "Well Done" by allowing this or that to consume the limited time we are given on this Earth to live for Jesus Christ. 

What would anyone possibly say to Jesus when the things they did in their lives supposedly for Christ are burned up with nothing to show for it because none of those things were done from a fully devoted life in Christ?  

The world will convince us we have time to live for Jesus, just come on over for a little bit and relax. It'll be fun. It'll be okay. 

There is Ecclesiastes.  There's nothing new under the sun and as well as there's a time for every purpose under Heaven.  

We are in Christ for a purpose if indeed we are saved in Christ Jesus.  Jesus said to be on the alert for we know not when He will return.  To be alert means don't slack off.  It will cost you but He promises it will be worth it.

The world will tell you the cost is too high. 
Those who falsely claim Jesus will someday find out to their horror that they were oh so wrong. 
Last night's post about horrified people at the Final Judgment points to that. 

I can do a lot of things in this world. 
What's important is that I am doing whatever it is that God puts before me to be doing, regardless of the cost. 
If in ministry we should never seek to leave it. If in service, serve with the Lord in mind.  Embracing not the world but the truths of God's word regardless of the cost. 

"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:25 NASB95 

Sunday, May 28, 2023

People Are Going to Be Horrified

People Are Going To Be Horrified
by David Brenneman

In Revelation 20:11-13 NASB95  "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.

There's actually a LOT to read in-between the lines concerning these few verses.  Look at the kind of people in our world today protesting at the drop of practically any kind of hat or situation.  I saw a poor guy in a truck being harassed by supposed 'peaceful' protestors who were forming a line to keep him from getting to a gas pump.  Cussing at him, yelling at him, calling HIM a domestic terrorist because he pushed his truck through to get to the pump.  Then a guy about twice his size kept standing in his way from paying at the pump.  

We look around this world let along this nation and find 'Karen's' who rage on about thing that probably wouldn't upset a normal person.  Little do most people recognize it but many of these are actually demon possessed people.   It's recorded in the Bible of groups of demons possessing groups to thwart the counsel given to even leaders of nations.  We read in the Gospel accounts of "Legion" for there were many.  

People, not everyone, can be possesses by demons if they are not saved in Christ Jesus.
It's impossible for a demon to occupy the same space as the Spirit of God in a Believer.  For the most part the people in Jesus's day had a good idea of who was possessed by demons.

Jesus makes mention of the following in regards to the Final Judgement: "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’" Matthew 7:21-23 NASB95.

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’ Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me, either.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46 NASB95.

The horror of those rejected, of those separated from those they claimed to love, are going to be of an order of magnitude unheard of and unseen by the masses.  Those who die without Jesus Christ as their Savior experience it.  But for these masses of people going through it...

My Dear Reader, don't play games concerning where you are going to spend eternity.  Even those mentioned in the book of Revelation thought they had been on the 'winning' side.  They thought they had enough 'good deeds' to be 'ok' with God.  Wrong on all counts.  

I was watching something from a probable movie...of a group of men having a discussion.  One is telling the others that Satan has no problems with morality.  His problem is with the name of Jesus Christ being made known to the world.  Jesus Christ plus morality he has a very big problem with.

Satan is the great deceiver.  His aim is to deceive.  Just read of what Jesus said of him.  He's a liar and the father of lies.  When he lies he speaks from his own nature. 

There's going to be great horror on the faces of countless trillions of people when they learn they made an eternal mistake that cannot be rectified.   I still am drawn to the truth that it will be Jesus who separates the saved from the unsaved.  He will force the separation at times.   Think on that very hard and very long.  Many will be husbands and wives...being separated by Jesus because only 1 was saved and 1 was not.   Soon to never again be with each other.  Parents from siblings.  Division of the family will happen because of whether or not a person chose salvation in Christ or they did not.  Deeds, on their own, will be shown, individually, to not be enough to secure salvation.  The final determining factor is that Book of Life.  Without a person's name being written in it...there is no hope.  

Be mindful that Jesus separating people are ONLY those who died during the 7 year Great Tribulation and at the end of the 1,000 years He reigned on this Earth.  Survivor's and those who tried to fight against Jesus will be the one's judged.   All who left Earth with Jesus at the Rapture will not be judged.  Romans says clearly there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

I can't even come close to fathoming the screams, the shock, the horror of people who learn that their ideas on truth were wrong.

My Dear Reader, please don't take these passages lightly.  

The truth you want to cling to, if it is not the Biblical truth as preserved and presented by the Spirit of will not enter into Heaven at the Rapture.  If you still persist in resisting the call of the Spirit of God for salvation in Christ Jesus...the Lake of Fire is indeed your final destination.  Beyond the torment that Jesus mentioned Hell being like.   Consider it as well that even death and Hades aka Hell will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.   The nearest that humanity can be close to in a vague understanding is being alive in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion.  The explosion happens and your body does not deteriorate.  It is in infinite pain and torment on a scale never felt before but it does not burn up or waste away.  It stays whole and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it...for eternity.  The painful anguish of being there because of your sin and being there because others tried to tell you about being saved and you steadfastly refused.   

I cannot convey the desolated feelings that people will feel when they are not joining those who are saved.  It's going to be on a scale that, thank God, for me is beyond my imagination.
I have had feelings of desolation before.  They weren't at all something I would wish upon anyone else. 

Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart.   He's offering to save all who would call upon His name.  He said He came to seek and save those like you and I.

We do read of people getting separated...often the Bible refers to it as the wheat the the tares being separated.   On one level it just sounds unemotional.  But oh the truth is so much different.  Screaming people, horrified people, people on their knees in tears pleading, talking over other people, shouting defiantly, angry...and they can do nothing but accept the judgement of Jesus Christ unable to join those they were just with.

Please take a moment and really reflect on what's been said in this post.  Really think about it.
Don't think about what others will think about you.
Don't think about what you might 'lose' if you say yes to the free gift of Salvation. 


Jesus said that not one jot or tittle would pass away without being fulfilled.  Those are the tiniest marks used in the Jewish language.

The Bible is not at all a collection of fairytales or myths.  Heaven is real, Hell is real.
The coming future judgement of Jesus Christ on humanity is going to be very real.

Satan knows not when the Rapture of the Church is going to take place.
He only knows that he needs to persist in deceiving people to keep as many from finding salvation in Christ Jesus as he can.  Creating generations who are not thinkers.  Creating generations who dismiss the truth of God's Word.  To get them to believe in anything but God's Truth.  He absolutely does not care who goes to Hell.  He's never been there.  Even He knows that what Jesus has said about Hell is the truth because even he knows that Jesus cannot lie.

He cares not if you go to Hell or you go to the Lake of Fire.  He only cares that you do not choose salvation in Christ Jesus and that you do not live a life that reflects that.

That horror of being told that you're not going to spend eternity with Jesus or your loved one's who DID say yes to the free gift of salvation won't be yours if you choose Jesus to save you.

"But what does it say? “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. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB95

Please stop right now and really think about what this is saying to you.  Your eternity depends on it.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do You Hear What I Hear?
by David Brenneman 

"I am the good shepherd, and I know My own, and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice; and they will become one flock, with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it back. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:14-18 NASB 

"Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:25-30 NASB 

"But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB 

No doubt the title brought to mind the Christmas carol.  But what's important above all else is separating supposed intellectual understanding from Spiritual understanding of God's word. 

Many have undertaken reading the Bible who aren't truly saved and its confusing to them or its been dismissed as fairytales and myths.  

What better understanding of what Jesus said in the book of John than to read what Paul said to the people of Corinth? 

The proverbial light bulb won't turn on within individuals until the indwelling Spirit plugs in what's missing.  

My favorite part of the first quoted Scripture is where Jesus says there are other sheep that He's going after...those would be the Gentiles, also known as everyone who isn't a Jew.  Meaning people like me...maybe people like you. 

I love this portion too "and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand."  This wasn't just a gauntlet thrown down concerning Satan and his minions it is a command given that will NOT be broken by him nor will it be altered by him. 

Those who have come to Christ cannot lose their salvation in Christ Jesus because Jesus said so.  Nobody, not even ourselves, are strong enough to break this word of Christ. 

Hearing the Spirit through the Word of God is what happens after we come to Christ for salvation.  Jesus said "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17 NASB. 

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you. Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful." John 14:26-27 NASB 

I have been in awe of an understanding given to me in recent weeks about Jesus separating the saved from the unsaved at the Final Judgment. He asks nothing.  Reading these passages from John it gives the greatest clue why.  He knows His sheep.  Secondly we know it says in the Bible that it is He who searches the hearts knows what's in the heart of mankind.  We read in many places where Jesus says to Himself that He was not trusting Himself to the people because He knew them. 

Jesus knows you.
Jesus knows whether or not you seriously came to Him to be saved or you appeased someone else's push to you to do so. 
Jesus knows whether or not you are faking it.  "Fake it till you make it" doesn't work with being a Child of God. 

Jesus knows whether or not you are seriously looking to be in a right relationship with Him. 

Jesus knows whether or not you're living for self or living for Him.

Jesus knows when you lie to yourself about why you do things. 

Whether a Believer or not, Jesus knows. 

When a person truly comes to Christ for salvation, the Spirit comes into them.  The proper translation of Helper is another of the same kind as Christ.  The Paraclete. Advocate. Helper. Teacher. Healer.  Another of the same kind as Himself.  Jesus did all those things in His ministry.  

Every second children are being born. 
Every second people are dying. 

Every second people are finding themselves either in Heaven or in Hell. 

If the Spirit does not testify that the person was saved in Christ Jesus, they are refused entry into Heaven. Not Peter, not anyone else in Human history. Peter isn't at the gates of Heaven.  We read in Ephesians 1:13-14 NASB "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise, who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory."

Jesus needs to know nothing more than if the seal of the Spirit is on a person.  

There are millions per minute waking up in Hell because they were not.   Horror stricken they only then realize too late.  Crying out to God to please give them another chance. 

At the same time there are millions showing up in Heaven who hadn't realized that their doubts were unfounded.  Some not realizing they indeed were saved. 

You who read this have the chance to be sure that indeed you are sealed in the Spirit. 

You who read this can know for sure that should you die today that Heaven is your home. 

This is between you and Jesus. 

There's no one on Earth who you will point to nor need to point to in explaining why you should be let into Heaven. The Spirit will be the one to testify about you.

If you're not hearing from God or God's Word, stop right now and give your life to Christ.  Settle the question, stop doubting, stop running.  Stop putting it off for another day when you don't even know if you have 10 more minutes to live. 

"But what does it say? “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. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”" Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and become the leader of your life. 

Then you really will hear what I hear. Not only what I hear but what millions of other Believers hear. You will begin to experience the love of God in Christ Jesus.  Even your world won't look the same. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Not Uncommon

Not Uncommon 
by David Brenneman 

"For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many." 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 NASB 

We're in very good company when afflictions arise in our lives when our focus is to live Godly in Christ Jesus. 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NASB 

It's interesting how so many think that struggles are to be alien to the Christian life.  That victory over seen things is to be a daily occurrence before we even get to those days of our lives. 

Paul wrote of his struggles. There is great purpose in our struggling.  Paul, and as a writer myself I can see it, restrained himself from too many heavy details in relaying his feelings about the Corinthians.  He really fought seeing them a third time.  Paul didn't have it easy in the life in Christ that he lead.  If even he spoke of despairing of life itself how harsh was it?

We often miss out on what God's workmanship is in our lives by praying for a bailout.  By convincing ourselves that there is going to be nothing but good in our future.  We are promised sufferings to come, it's evidenced in Paul's writing especially that THAT is exactly true.

Doesn't nature itself show us that struggles are what cause really strong trees to be established for hundreds of years?  

The putting on of Christ after our putting off of self has more to it than a simple changing of clothes.  

Our walk in Christ Jesus is not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. It certainly was not for Paul.  We are told through King David's writings in the book of Psalms that sufferings and painful moments of life are normal to those who strive to live Godly in Christ Jesus even before Paul wrote about it.

People being critical of you?  You're in good company. People being excessively critical of you? Same. The onus is on us to make sure we are living Godly in Christ Jesus and those who are being such towards us will have no grounds to stand upon. 

Consider it as well, my Friend, the reasoning behind the whole armor of God. 
It's not exactly casual wear.  It's not for entertainment purposes. It is not a jogging outfit.  Not what you might wear for camping.  Doesn't even come close to business casual either.  It's got a purpose and only one purpose. To protect the Believer in wartime which is every single day we are physically alive.  We will only take off such garments when we shed this physical body and enter the gates of Heaven. 

I have often wished for time travel. Probably a weird thing to confess in a post such as these are. But it's not without merits.  "Dear Younger Me" by MercyMe is a Christian song along those lines.  Of if it were possible to go back and have a conversation with my younger self, what would I say?  It's a powerful song in its own right.  In all honesty I am glad time travel isn't possible to anyone but God. The human nature prohibits the remotest of possibilities that it could ever be used wisely.  Only God knows every single what might have been to every single person in every single time period. 

In this last few weeks it's been a struggle and then some for me.  But whether it's growth in my walk with Jesus or the possibility of some numbness towards the situations, I didn't react as I once did.  While depression was evident, caving into the futility of the moment didn't happen.  Indeed it certainly felt like 2 Corinthians 1:8-9. 

We are not going to be permitted to take up residence in the valley of the shadow of death.  Jesus WILL lead us through such times.  Jesus WILL permit Satan and his minions access to us to cause our growth in Christ Jesus to increase. Read of what Jesus plainly said to Peter.  Satan has requested to sift him as wheat.  Jesus spoke of our being in His hands.  That to get to us requires going through Him.  

Oftentimes we pray for that way of escape rather than praying for the endurance to outlast the trials.  When we are insistent upon holding fast to our faith and in our walk with Jesus, His Word says He will make your paths straight.  The requirement on us is to trust in the Lord with all your heart.  

I don't know with all certainty of how my life would have been different had these struggles not taken place.  

I do acknowledge that without them growing in Christ isn't going to happen. 

Read those two again. 

I don't know with all certainty of how my life would have been different had these struggles not taken place.  

I do acknowledge that without them growing in Christ isn't going to happen.

We should not be seeking our will to be done but rather seeking what it is God's trying to do in us.  

We may be getting priorities to change.
We may be getting prompted to change our way of thinking. 
We may be getting something sinful removed from our lives. 
We may be going through something because we've grown enough to handle the battle while someone else weaker in the faith isn't able to. 

It's not wrong to pray for Jesus to save you.  It is wrong to pray for it without really considering that God's got a purpose for it.  There are no coincidences in life. I like to refer to them as Godinstances.  God keeping His word to me to prepare me for the entire sanctification process. God keeping me on track for growing in Christ. 

It's a reality of life that people are going to get under our skin.  It's a reality of life that circumstances are going to be very much less than ideal. 

For those who are Believers, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  In all these struggles of recent weeks, I refuse to compromise on my Bible reading. I will not pour such excessive efforts into seeking solutions that I would sacrifice my time with Jesus teaching me. 

The struggles are real, but my God is more.

It took quite a bit to keep going but God still was with me.  His blessings still came at just the right time.  The struggles won't stop because I am still growing in Christ. The battlefield is still active and alive.  

Turning and running is not a Biblical option.  We are commanded to stand firm if nothing else. When we turn aside to gain something in this world instead we tarnish the name of Jesus Christ.  When we grab onto solutions we consider right and true from our own way of thinking we take back our prayers and are telling God we know better than Him. 

We will either glorify God in our lives or glorify ourselves.  Struggles are real, they are a part of living life in Christ Jesus.  His promises are stronger than our struggles. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Not Deciding is Still Rejection

Not Deciding is Still Rejection 
by David Brenneman 

"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." John 3:17 NASB

"Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless?
Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Savior's side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There's a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

E.A. Hoffman 1878 "Are You Washed in the Blood"

Many in the world today think that not choosing to come to Christ to be saved isn't them deciding against doing so.  That they want to "live" life before doing that kind of thing.

To think such a thing is to take one horrible gamble. To take an impossible to determine risk. 

My Dear Reader you don't even know if God will allow you to finish reading this post let alone live out the next few hours of your life. 

You do not know what's ahead for you in life. 

It's arrogant presumption to think that you know when your time of leaving this world will be.

I have shared the shocking story before of a former co-worker who's husband simply stood up to refill his coffee and fell dead to the floor.  There was no warning no indication that anything was about to happen.  There one second, gone the next, stepping into eternity. 

What you decide concerning giving your life to Christ or not determines your eternity. 

Coming to Christ begins your life transformation into what God originally designed for you to be.  It's also you having a part in His plan to reach others so that they too do not have to face the wrath of God. 

You? Facing God's wrath? There is wrath in rejecting salvation when you die. Jesus gave a taste of what Hell is like.  Nobody there is living it up.  Nobody there wants to be there. Yet everyone there knows we why they are there. 

And it's not even the final judgment. 

Hell isn't the true least not yet. 

History needs to complete whatever God has in mind for it because there are people yet to be born in the time that remains who also will face the question of receiving the free gift of salvation or rejecting it. 

There's a portion of history where in a 7 year period God's wrath will be poured out on this Earth. 

There's a thousand year period where Jesus Himself will rule this world...with no interference from Satan. 

The Bible says that every person will be without excuse when standing before Jesus at the Final judgment.  Every excuse possible will be accounted for.  There will be none who will be able to ask: well what about...?

My Dear Reader time to choose before Jesus returns is diminishing quickly. 

There is no time like the present to settle the question of where you will spend eternity.  Regardless of how you view life, no amount of good deeds will ever equate to what Jesus had to endure to provide salvation that is free to all who would receive it.  No amount of good deeds are ever possible when the person is infected with sin from birth.  Only a life transformed by coming to Christ to be saved can ever be washed as white as snow.  If you did nothing but good things from birth you would still be as red as blood and never be as white as snow before Jesus. 

Please don't let another moment go by.

The next thoughts you COULD have if you aren't saved in Christ Jesus will be "Oh God NO!!" when you arrive in Hell. 

Hell has trillions of "good" people. 

It's the requirement of full purity in God's holiness that required a perfect sacrifice in what Jesus did to provide salvation.  A single sin is a completely tarnished soul.

You cannot view that judgment before Jesus as Him maybe weighing your good works and your bad deeds.  The Judgment of everyone in Mankind ends with "is this person's name in My book of Life?"

"But what does it say? “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. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

Hoping, wishing, thinking, that you might be good enough is the lie of Satan of all time. 

Good thoughts are a waste of energy. 

Good intentions are a waste of energy. 

Hoping that God would change His mind is futility. 

Do you realize what you would be asking God to do in considering your good vs your bad in your life?  You would be asking Him to not count all that Jesus endured to provide salvation as being enough.  You would be asking Him to elevate the quality of the life you lived as being better than the perfect life Jesus lived and died for. 

Please don't let today, please don't let the next few moments go by without serious consideration of where you will spend eternity.  Is the world around you, what you think that you want in life more important than where you will spend eternity?

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Good Thing Too!

Good Thing Too!
by David Brenneman 

Was speaking to my Mom last night and was recounting my awe at what we notice Jesus not doing in Heaven at the final judgment.  When He separates people He asks them no questions.  He puts people to His right and His left.  At what's known of the Behma seat where Believers give an account of their lives, questions are not needed from Jesus towards us who are saved.

Was reading still in the book of John today.  When you look through many of His interactions with people, questions aren't necessary.  Likewise He makes statements that reflect that He already knows what they are thinking. 

This too reminds me of Abraham and Sarah.  Sarah is essentially called out because she tried laughing without getting caught at the prospect of becoming a mother in her advanced years.

Jesus IS the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 
Jesus IS the Son of God. 
Jesus IS sovereign over all creation. 
Jesus KNOWS every detail of your life and mine. 
Jesus KNOWS every thought synapse that every living thing has in the spirit world and the physical world all at the same time. 
Jesus knows your every intention of your heart and mind. 
Jesus knows every request by every demon or even Satan himself towards you, others around you, the nations in which you live.  He knows history from before He created time until its final seconds of life. 

He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  We don't live lives whereas He's off somewhere else either.  We don't live lives where He's in need of catching up to us because He was away tending to someone or something else. 

Do you see the enormity of that idea? 

Nobody and nothing distracts Jesus from being intimately aware of you.

Nothing we ever do as Believers can cause Jesus to love us any less or any more than the perfect love He already has for everyone.  He laid down His life, what more could He give to show us how great that love is?

Proverbs 3:5-6 has been very much alive in my week this week. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."

Looking at how He's the same, yesterday, today and forever, and the need to not lean on my own understanding is very deep.  

Jesus didn't awake in the boat with His Disciples all groggy and unaware of where He was, who He was or what was going on.  

He didn't need to learn all the details because He already knew all the details. 

Our minds want microwave results. 
We want to cry out to Jesus and want Him to be there in our moment of need. My Dear Reader, He's already there. He was in your moment before you arrived in that moment of time. 

In our loneliness and our busyness He's there.
In our poverty or our riches He's there.
In our need and in our surplus He is there.

No questions asked because He doesn't need to ask any as we read in John that He IS Truth.  Truth doesn't need to know or discover what's true. Truth already knows. 

I have had thoughts of late of what Daniel was doing in the lions den. It's very evident that Jesus showed up n shut the mouths of the lions. But what was Daniel doing? My thoughts are that with Jesus there, he was worshipping. He could have been praying directly. Could have been having a good conversation of the ages with Him.

Daniel's 3 friends in the fiery furnace. The Lord was with them.  They were seen as walking around unbound. What did they talk about with Jesus?  

In our brightest day and our darkest hour Jesus has never left us or forsaken us. He's never forgotten about us. 

In some of my seemingly darkest times I confess that I have cried out in tears asking Jesus where was He.  He calmly said "I'm right here. We're not staying here. We will keep on moving." Same as what's said in Psalm 23. 

My Dear Reader really realize that truth about Jesus. Realize that He does know you intimately and that the desire of His heart is that we get to know Him more regardless of what we feel or what our eyes see. 

As you go through your day today be thankful to Jesus that He knows you so well. Tell Him that. Tell Jesus what's on your heart as a friend would do.  He does want that of you.  

Like me, you may not understand why your life is the way it is, but trust in the One who knows the truth. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

What the Bible says about: The Need for Christian Friendship

What the Bible says about: "The Need for Christian Friendship"
 1 Samuel 20

Adversity often brings us face-to-face with our need to associate with a different group of people.  Perhaps we need to sever ties with others. Perhaps we need new friends. Perhaps we need to align ourselves more closely with Christian believers.

God made us for fellowship, communication with other human beings, and communication with Himself. None of us were designed to go it alone. We need other people and they need us.

At times, however, we make unwise associations.  We choose the wrong friend, employer, partner, or employee.  And inevitably, our bad choices bring us adversity.

David and Jonathan provide us with a good model for true friendship. Jonathan's love for his friend caused him to act in several specific ways:
    He warned David of possible danger.  (1 Samuel 19:1-3)
    He spoke well of David, even to a person who considered David an enemy and who was angry with Jonathan for having David as a friend (1 Samuel 19:4,5)
    He sought to do what David needed him to do (1 Samuel 20:4)
    He risked his life in defending David (1 Samuel 20:30-33)
    He helped David escape death (1 Samuel 20:35-42)

Jonathan voiced one of the greatest statements of friendship in the Bible when He said to David, "Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying 'The Lord will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever'" (1 Samuel 20:42) Now that's friendship!

Paul describes Christian friendship in what we have come to call the love chapter of the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13. He describes Christian friendship as: patient, kind, and humble (v.4); polite, selfless, unruffled, and positive (v.5);magnanimous and rooted in truth (v.6); and supportive, hopeful and enduring (v.7).

Such love, Paul said, "never fails" (v.8) And such friendships are divine blessings in our lives, God's rich rewards to us on this earth.

From the Life Principles Daily Bible by Dr. Charles Stanley

Reaching Up

Reaching Up
by David Brenneman 

"When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
-Psalms 56:3-4 NASB 

Quite often it seems that my inner mind and heart, yes even my soul is reaching upwards with outstretched arms to my Father in Heaven.  

It's not an easy task sometimes to be around people in public for me.  It's equally not easy for me to be the one to open up a conversation for the same reason, barring some common ground to start from that feels safe to me. 

Sharing what I feel is often difficult as well when I don't know myself.  

We're going through some dark valleys and it's not that I am not fearful, it's that it's happened so often that there's a numbness to it.  I, we, press on regardless of what our eyes see and regardless of what we think we feel or understand. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."

Oh my understanding is so lacking these days. 

Praying is what I pour into besides reading my Bible.  I know not what else to do when I am not given opportunities to change what I know not how to change...while I wait on the Lord. 

I am drawn also to Psalm 23. A very powerful Psalm.  Many have even seen it in movies being a go to for soldiers in wartime.   

"The Lord is my shepherd,
I will not be in need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters. 
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For the sake of His name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life,
And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23 NASB 

I have written on many occasions of that storm that I was made to drive through in order to get home in 2021. It's still impacts me today.  It is part motivational, part terrifying at the same time.  

In some ways it's a reminder to keep walking as it says in Psalm 23...through the valley of the shadow of death.  Walking, not sitting.  We try to sit and the Spirit will eventually grab us by the collar and get us to move.  

I have to trust in my God, in my Savior Jesus Christ regardless of what my eyes see.   My understanding comes from my perceptions derived from my senses and my view of things. 

We often see many scary things in those valleys.  It's why we aren't meant to stay there. 

I reach up towards my Father because He is my Father.  It's in Him that I live and breathe, in Him that I move and in Him that I have purpose.  I am not forsaken nor forgotten by Him.  Although his enemy would like me to believe otherwise as he's tried to in the past.  My identity in Christ is always subject to attack by Satan and his minions.  Your identity is likewise the most attacked part of you than anything else to do with you.  Self is the primary reason.  Self either becomes self-less or self-ish.  We either live lives mirroring one or the other.  

Because of the work of Christ Jesus in me, Satan's having to change his tactics.  What Jesus has done, Satan cannot do anything about.  So he's got to figure out something else.  

We all who are in Christ Jesus will be persecuted by Satan and his minions.  Satan does not want growing Christians. 
Does not want Believers who walk their talk.  He prefers we shut up and sit down or we get caught up in ourselves.  

As I don't understand why we're going through what we are, I still will keep faithful to what Jesus has for me to be doing.  I will still reach up to my Father in Heaven for it is through my relationship with Jesus that I have that right and that privilege. 

It's not about anything that I have done that gives me that right it's all because of what Jesus has done for me.  He saved me, He sealed me in the Spirit. He made me a Child of God.  So His Father is now my Father.  Satan cannot take that away. 

Many times my Earthly father did things that I didn't understand.  Told me to do things in a certain way that I didn't understand.  Told me to not do things that I didn't understand.  Those instructions didn't mean he loved me any more or any less.  Our Heavenly Father cannot love us any more nor any less.  We do not do things to curry favor from Him. We don't 'make deals' with Him.  

As the great Hymn speaks to: trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. 

I have lived through so much that I know that trusting in my Savior's plans for me is what's important, right and true...especially when I don't understand. 

We sort of began this post with this, and it is fitting to end it with it:

Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."

"When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
-Psalms 56:3-4 NASB 

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Sticker Shock

Sticker Shock
by David Brenneman 
As each thing of interest we see either online, in the news or somewhere advertised goes...we finally see the bottom line and gasp.  Taxes, fees, and who knows what else are added and there goes our desire.  Or if you have it, you just go ahead and spend the money on it.  But oh the ouch at doing so. 

We are out and about and either deliberately or unintentionally we find ourselves giving an officer of the law our autograph...oh the ouch of doing that. 

Those things happen and those things are a part of life if due attention isn't something we are seeking. But the crowning event that would change lives forever, not just in a moment, would indeed be if the penalty for sinning happened immediately. 

People everywhere, for generations, take God's grace for granted.  Sin happens and they don't see immediate repercussions so it continues.  But what if it were different?

Well, my Dear Reader, there would have been no humanity.  Pure and simple. 
At the very beginning, when Adam and Eve had sinned had the preincarnate Christ Jesus not exercised grace and mercy this conversation wouldn't be taking place.  

In Romans Paul wrote quite plainly that the wages of sin is death.  But if that's true why wasn't I struck down immediately after my first sin?   My Friend, it's deeper than that.  You were born in sin, that is, thanks to Adam and Eve you are infected with sin by inheritance from them.  

The human race does everything they can to redefine what God has said is sin into anything but. 

But the truth is what they've done is nothing in light of eternity. 

It's an extremely sad affair to be at a funeral for someone who wasn't saved in Christ Jesus.  To be completely honest that person is in Hell.  They left this world and woke up in torment in Hell.  That's what God's Word says, those aren't my thoughts and feelings on the subject. 

Those people know with all certainty that their sins are why they are there. Most do not agree with God on it but are fully subject to His ruling on it.  They cannot change anything about their sentence. They stand condemned. 

If indeed we truly understood the sticker shock of sin, we might indeed think twice, think three times or more before pursuing it.

Satan wraps sin in all kinds of bows and ribbons but it's still sin. It's still got a penalty.  

It saddens me greatly to see people with no hope by choice.  They choose to deny God. Choose to deny Jesus because of what amounts to petty reasoning. They would rather embrace what makes them "happy" now rather than acknowledge the truth about their future.  They believe Satan's lies that God doesn't want what they think would make them happy.  These people use God's name in vain.  

I used to work with someone who constantly said in her exasperation "Oh God!".  Knowing what I did of her last days...unless something radically changed, after she died, "Oh God!" took on a whole new meaning.  More appropriately ""Oh God no!" would probably be more accurate when she arrived in Hell. 

To be clear, God doesn't send people to Hell. People who reject, refuse, salvation in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins choose that option over salvation in Christ Jesus and entry into Heaven.  

Good deeds amount to nothing. 
Good things, good deeds, in the eyes of mankind are rubbish compared to the needed perfect sacrifice for the removal of sins. Jesus took the place of all humanity on the cross over 2,000 years ago to make it possible to be forgiven and to go to Heaven. and I must choose to come to Christ for salvation.  

We must choose to receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. 

If indeed people would die immediately after sinning provided that any lived after Adam and Eve, due to the nature inherent to sin which is selfishness...all it would probably do is cause people to be enraged at God. 

How can that be said?  Look at the end of the book of Revelation. Satan's been restrained for 1,000 years.  He's released. It taked no time at all for him to convince humanity to join him against Jesus.  His argument to them doesn't need persuasivness.  Their sin nature wouldn't need much convincing to join Satan's plan to attack Jesus.  For a thousand years sin wouldn't be as openly flagrant as it is today.  Those people would gladly join Satan's to live a life in accordance with their own selfishness. 

Then Jesus speaks a word and the entire battle is over.   Doesn't matter what mankind says or thinks on the matter of sin and its consequences, Jesus has the last word. 

When we look at the judgment in Heaven. Jesus asks nobody any questions concerning who is saved and who isn't. 
Jesus asks nothing because He already knows.  He knows who are His and who are not.  

My Dear Reader salvation is free, all that Satan says about it is a lie.  It's not about you losing this or that.  It's not about you being denied this or that.  His aim is to take your mind, your thinking off of what you gain from a right relationship with Jesus Christ.  He wants your worship. He wants everything that is due to God. 

"But what does it say? “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. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

I work with people even today who I can tell aren't saved in Christ Jesus.  Their demeanor, some by the confession of their own mouth, have no relationship with Jesus Christ.  I can't fathom the depth of the loneliness, the such great lack of hope, that they choose to endure.  Their faith in 'luck' and 'fate' is astounding.  But you still see the great sadness even though they hide it well from themselves. 

You cannot understand true hope without a right relationship with Jesus Christ. 

You cannot understand the depth of the lies you've been made to believe because of sin without a right relationship with Jesus Christ. 

If you haven't chosen to come to Christ for salvation Hell and all its torment are what awaits you one second after you die. 

In coming to Christ for salvation, Heaven and the grandest welcome of all eternity awaits you in the open arms of Jesus Christ your Savior.