Wednesday, January 31, 2024

An Hour...

An Hour...
by David Brenneman 

"So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep." John 21:15-17.

There's been many who have taken to asking you and I a question: If you could talk and visit with someone, deceased or living for an hour who would you choose?

Indeed for me there's no question that it would in fact be Jesus. I also might wonder if when that hour would wrap up if a similar exchange as we read in John 21 might take place. 

So put that exchange in your life right here right now.

We're not here in this world to gain more money or possessions or status among men and women.  

The Great Commission was not just for those in Church leadership. 

Relationships in Christ are to be held as priceless compared to anything that the world has to offer. 

Your relationship with Jesus is to be the most important.  

What do you make more important than your relationship with Jesus?

We all quite often do a bunch of things that certainly are not God honoring. 

The battle in our hearts decides whether we love Jesus or that sin that keeps vying for our attention. 

The cry of our hearts ought to be "No! I love Jesus more!".  

I would choose that hour to be with Jesus not just because it's Jesus, but because it's Jesus! If indeed those of this world whom have gone on before were available, I couldn't see myself disrupting the eternity set before them.  

Should such be among those whom I knew and they weren't saved in Christ Jesus, that hour would mostly be them emphasizing with all they could muster that I be sure that Jesus Christ is my Savior. That I absolutely do not want to be where they are going back to. 

Should such be among those whom I knew and they were saved...I could not be the one to take them from the presence of Jesus even for that hour.

But, you might say, it's only one hour!  

Look at how overjoyed they were at the Transfiguration. That was mere minutes.  

But one Dear hour with Jesus is beyond priceless and in deed its possible right now for you and I. 

We choose where our time goes. 
We make choices that either are investments or deductions concerning the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds we are given. 

We can either work towards retirement or work towards getting out of debt then maybe retirement. 
We can wait or charge something and end up paying 3 to 10 times as much in interest for it.

We can spend that hour with Jesus if we so choose. We are in a world culture that loves to drop a ton of money on sporting events, movies, theater, travel, music, etc. We can choose that which is the better way, the better thing to choose. 

Many people claiming to be Christians are those who consider it a chore to pray. Think that it's too hard, too much like the schoolwork they left behind, to be reading their Bible. They don't make growing in Christ a priority because they got saved right? Jesus has their back right? 

Jesus, my Dear Reader, has absolutely no intention of leaving a single Believer as He found them. This includes you and I. 

We have simply no idea how bad off we are because of how intertwined sin is in our lives. 

An hour with Jesus, I might have questions. I also might just spend it in silence. Just being held by Him. 
I might just walk with Him throughout His creation. Or I might spend much of that time apologizing, asking forgiveness, for a life that's mostly been wasted. 

When you think hard about your relationship with Jesus, really think about it, where do you stand?

Are you really aware of how He views your life choices? Are you ready to hear what He thinks about all those things you value more than your relationship with Jesus?
Don't throw up a hand in protest at that statement.  

We aren't ever going to be fully aware of how greatly offensive our sins really are to the Holy God we came to for salvation. We cannot wrap our minds around how great that offensiveness is.

We choose various forms of idolatry and don't realize that's exactly what it is. We choose various ways of selfishness in reaction to others and don't see that the Spirit says that's exactly what it is. We choose anger at all the wrong times and ways and don't see that for what it is. We ruin relationships that the Spirit has been trying to cultivate in us, through us, because of various forms of pride.  

Would you really be ready to hear from Jesus what Peter did?  

You certainly would not be able to lie. You would have guilt upon guilt. 

How healthy is your walk with Jesus? Do you have Him essentially on bread and water? Interaction is so sparingly engaged that you don't recall a single conversation with Him?

Jesus is...He just is...more than a person from 2,000 plus years ago. 
Jesus is more than the One sitting at the right hand of the Father, advocating for Believers. 
Jesus is more than just "the man upstairs".
Jesus is more than the one you call in your time of need. 

If Jesus isn't more than these to you...then maybe indeed you need to figure out if you truly love Him as He loves you.

5 minutes with Jesus can change a life forever. 5 real minutes. Reading His Word, talking heart-to-heart, listening, learning. Getting rid of things from your life that are not going to matter in light of eternity. 

Jesus's hour came and He spent it on the cross...thinking about you and I. What do you give Him?

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Are You Really Ready?

Are You Really Ready?
by David Brenneman 

‭‭"He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.” Isaiah‬ ‭6:9‭-‬10‬.

‭“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come." Mark‬ ‭13:33‬.

For sure, people have been waiting for over 2,000 years for Jesus to keep His promise to return. 

But have you? Are you ready for His return or are you only carrying about in life as if that day isn't imminent?  Jesus said clearly that you do not know the time.  But He did say to live as though it could be at any moment. 

Jesus spoke in many parables of this event, easily seen to drive that point home. 

The parable of the King and the talents entrusted to his servants. 
The parable of the women and their lamps. 

Do you understand that our generation is the most likely ever to see His return?  It matters not that all prior generations were waiting for Him.  Your generation is the here and now.  Your generation is the one called to be on the alert. Yours.

Mike Wingfield at is my Spiritual Father in the faith. In his own ministry of what God's been revealing to him concerning today's world in light of Biblical prophecy...he likes to end his newsletter with "Be ready for the shout that will take us out!".

Do you live your today with the possibility that you could step into eternity in the blink of an eye?  

Watch the news, read a paper, scroll a screen, people step into eternity every single second.  Those who rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to step into Hell, those who believed and received the free gift of salvation stepping into Heaven. 

On a global scale the Rapture of the Church is coming.   The United Nations will come up with some concoction of a story to cover up the event.  People will be lied to enmass.  People will be forced into a new way of life devoid of the restraining power of the Spirit of God.  Yes, as bad as this world is at times, if it wasn't for the Spirit of God restraining things it would be a whole lot worse.  The Spirit of God is responsible for keeping this world on track with the Word of God.  He will not allow innovation or greed or wars to derail the Word of God.  He will not allow political parties or figures to derail the Word of God.  

This too is why the Deceiver, Satan, always has a Antichrist ready in every single generation. Perhaps you read about all of them for the last 2,000 years or so.  They're in the history books. 

So many people, professing to be Christians, are not living life with His return in mind.  So many are extremely comfortable in the sins they have allowed, have been practicing, that they indeed have ears that do not hear nor eyes that see the work of God in their lives. 

Returning to be healed is only a single step away for all who breathe the breath of life.  Either healed in their spiritual walk to return to a right relationship with Jesus or healed of being the walking dead in their unbelieving hearts. 

Many people calling themselves Christians have so much idolatry in their lives that it's a comfortable blanket or a warm sweater and it's in fact the Word of God that's distant to them.  They see not that such things are chains that are weighing them down. 

So many are like what we read in the Scriptures.  "and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”" 2 Peter 3:4.

The yet unbelieving are in so deep a darkness that they realize not what's coming.  It's one of the saddest things for me to see n to feel is the sheer depth of darkness surrounding an unbeliever.  The despair from not having anyone to place their hope in like Jesus Christ.  They refuse to acknowledge that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  As the Bible describes "oh how deep is that darkness!".

Are you ready to have it seen before your eyes, for Jesus already knows, just what all your life amounted to in hopefully living for Jesus?  That account a Believer gives in the near future will be more for our benefit than we know.  Our heart will be revealed as to where it really was while here on Earth.  Jesus already knows. 

In Isaiah 6, after his iniquity was removed, he jumped at the chance to do what he could out of gratitude for that weight of sin being removed.  It cost him his physical life in time but as Paul wrote he considered all things as loss.

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;  if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:8-11

Are you really ready?  Are you spending quality time with Jesus?  When you look at your life do you see ample evidence of Jesus changing your life to be more like Himself?

If not, start right here and right now. 
A good house cleaning of the heart never hurt anyone in wanting to be living right in the eyes of God. 

Start with a meaningful prayer life. Meaningful...wanting to put what's important to Jesus in your prayers. 
Meaningful...wanting to be in the Word of God daily, not just a possible Sunday of hearing someone else mentioning the Scriptures.  Your Bible is your love letter from Jesus to you...isn't that alone important enough to read all the way through?

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus...look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Who Do You REALLY Love?

Who Do You REALLY Love?
by David Brenneman 

There's many, many, many songs in this world with lyrics asking us the question: Who do you love?

To begin with...know what love really is.  It's not the selfish, self-based, set of feelings that the world gets its definition from.  The world's ideology on what love is, is taking what belongs only to God, and placing it somewhere else. 

We, even as Christians, can both knowingly and unknowingly, move our love to the things of this world.  

A thought that's been moving around a lot in my mind of late is being sure that my love for Jesus is stronger than my love for anything of this world.  Words are words, actions are actions.  Our actions speak louder than our words.  

When temptation you remind yourself "No...I love Jesus more than that."

When sin crouches at the door of your you turn to Jesus instead and pray for His help because you love Him more?

It's interesting to note that the same door that Believers bid Jesus to enter through to come in and be the forgiver of their sins and the Leader of their that very same door that sin knocks on to come in as well. 

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself."  Doesn't leave room for the world which says to all that coexistence is possible. 

There is no room for coexistence in your heart with the world.  Who do you love?  It's not that complicated of a question. 

Do you love Jesus enough to turn on sin and temptation to remind it that you love Jesus more than that whatever it is that wants a piece of you?

Turning to Jesus to be saved is but the beginning.  Jesus begins a work in us that goes on throughout our physical life.  Satan's going to constantly seek permission to introduce temptation's foot in the door to get that work to slow to a crawl.  He can't stop it, because once we enter Heaven's gates, sanctification is completed.  He can get us so distracted, especially by our convincing ourselves that there's nothing wrong with those desires, to slow that work in us.

We are honestly experts in convincing ourselves of why we deserve this pleasure or that.  It's in our sin nature that we're all born into.  Satan likes to fan the flame. 

Eve was convinced quite easily of that forbidden fruit that she and Adam obviously were denied that they deserved to have. Adam was quite easily convinced to go along with it. Selfishness was an easy thing for the Deceiver to bring into their lives.  

Look at your home.
Look at your apparel. 
Look at your time spent. 
Look at where your desires take you. 
Look at the sins that you've committed. 
Look at what you've asked Jesus to forgive you of and for. 
Look at it...where does the evidence say your love goes to?

Who do you love?  Do you adore your sins more than you love Jesus?  It's a very very powerful question. 

Are you one who's given up because you think that the sins that so easily entangled you are just too much, that Jesus must have given up on you?


I can tell you of some of my darkest hours. Hours where I could never conceive of the light of Christ let alone remember what His love felt like.  

Jesus, no matter what your life situation is, is a single step for you to return to Him.  He kept His promise to Adam and Eve that in time He would save humanity. He wrote in the Old Testament in dozens and dozens of places of every single sign that He would be coming. In the Gospels we read of His promise kept that He indeed came.  He gave His word that He would die for the sins of humanity and did. He promised to come back from the dead to conquer sin, death and the grave. He did that too.  He promised to never leave you nor forsake you...I am here to say that is a kept promise too because I am living proof.  I was in such darkness in 1999 that I felt suicide was my only option. I was drowning so far in sin and darkness that I couldn't find a way out other than to grasp His hand in those waters.  I am here today because He kept His promise. 

This whole thought on "who do you love?" is a fantastic comeback to the wiles of temptations.  Reminding ourselves to raise the shield of faith and declare "No! I love Jesus more!"  Kick that door closed to sin.

My Dear Reader...after you look at your life...should you indeed see things that you've taken your adoration for Jesus and misplaced it to...don't count the cost...just get rid of those things, those thoughts.  Jesus asked us all the question "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  What can he give in exchange for his soul?"

You are a single solitary step away from the hand of Jesus reaching out to you to bring you back into His embrace. 

Don't think the distance is so great that it's impossible.  The power of Christ Jesus is not limited by anything.   The sins of humanity that His blood covered were all past, present and future sins.  All your sins were future sins because you weren't born yet.  His shed blood has you covered.

If you're reading this and haven't come to Christ for're one decision away.  Cry out to Jesus to save you and He will. He is the promise keeper.  You may or may not fully escape the consequences of your life but you will now have the Advocate in your life to see you through the rest of your life. 

Who do you love? 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Being warmed won't save You

Being warmed won't save You
by David Brenneman 

There are those who believe their actions save others in Christ.  There are those who believe they can pay for someone else to be saved.  There are those who are oh so close to salvation yet just will not commit to a life in Christ. Fear of what it 'might' mean keeps them away. 

People cannot do anything for those who have already died without Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior.  

People who like to be around Christian people but won't come to Jesus to receive His free gift of salvation will still be here for the Great Tribulation to come and will not leave this world with Jesus at His return. 

Being in Christ is a commitment.  It's fully acknowledging that without His shed blood on the cross for each person's sins...that such a person is lost.  When fear wins out people lose.  The other Disciples probably all wondered what Peter experienced standing on the water with Jesus.  Getting close doesn't get you all the way through. 

If a person dies without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ...heaven is not going to be their home. 

I have been around people who like being around Christians...yet won't take that step.  Jesus gently knocks at the door of their hearts and although they might open the door, they won't let Him in.  

Truth is everyone who's above the age of accountability...who knows right from wrong...has to personally decide for themselves about the message of the Gospel.  

Salvation is through no other than Jesus Christ. 
Salvation was provided by and through no other than Jesus Christ. 

There isn't a person in Hell that didn't choose that.  By not choosing salvation in Christ Jesus alone for the remission of sins...they chose that destination.  

Oh the millions per day who leave this world.  Millions who didn't want the salvation offered to them that cost them nothing...that cost Jesus everything.  

Oh the millions who's pride got in the way. 

There's nothing to fear in asking Jesus to be the forgiver of your sins and to be the leader of your life.  Satan and his minions will fight in all ways permissible to keep you from understanding that fully.  

Jesus isn't simply some historical figure.
Jesus is still alive today.
Jesus's sacrifice made the only way possible to truly live. 

Growing up in church won't save you. 
Being best friends with a few or many Christians won't save you. 
Having a good job at a church won't save you. 
Being a saint to everyone you've ever known, met, or have dealt with in life won't save you.
Being a good person won't save you. 
Being isolated from people all your life won't save you.

Everyone is born in sin.
Everyone is born guilty in the court of God's Law.

Only what Jesus did to make a way when there was no way is the true path to salvation.  All your own personal efforts will always fall short of the requirements met by salvation in Christ Jesus alone. 

"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.

Please don't waste anymore of your life. 
Let today be the day you not only open the door to salvation in Christ Jesus, but let it be the day you invite Him in to be the forgiver of your sins and the Leader of your life. 

Soon, by the word of God, Jesus is going to return to take all who have placed their faith, trust and hope, in Jesus Christ for salvation.  We will leave to be with Him forever.  The leaders of this world will concoct lies as to what happened to everyone.  The tribulation, the great horrors to come, will be judgments from God.  The book of Revelation is that list of judgments.  

Jesus coming, living a sinless life, was a very real part of history. 
Jesus being wrongly convicted, cruelly crucified on a cross with two thieves, was a very real part of history. 
Jesus rising from the dead, was a very real part of history. Hundreds saw Him after He came back to life.

Jesus is going to return someday as He promised.  His coming the first time kept a promise to all who came before Him that He would.

Jesus is a promise keeper.  
Jesus is waiting for you to let Him in. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.