It’s wonderful when we know the Lord and can enjoy life! The internet has made it possible to spend less time doing those tedious things such as banking, shopping and travelling to work, and given us more time to do what we like to do. Continue reading
One of the things that many of us in the civilized world pride ourselves in is our collection of worldly goods. Some of us have the funds to back our expensive material collections while others of us struggle to acquire even a few over a lifetime. But the fact is, most of us can look around our homes and see things that we cherish and in our eyes they have great material worth. But in the end, they are worthless collectibles. Continue reading
“Today is Billy Graham’s 96th birthday! We know him as the renowned figure who we’ve watched on television for over 50 years as he preached a powerful gospel message around the globe. Many of us have had the opportunity to attend one of his crusades and the impact of the message still ministers to us today. This man of God is aging, yet he continues to tell us that we need Jesus to save us from our sins. His latest message comes in a short movie called Heaven, and it’s his hope that it will bring people to the cross.
The cross is what life is all about!
We’ve become so caught up with our own personal lives that many of us have actually fallen into the “modus operandi” or process of this world’s system and don’t even realize it. We’ve made our families, our jobs and our careers so important that we literally live our lives for them and only include God when we remember. And while it’s good that we diligently provide for our families and better ourselves, these should never become our reason for living. They should never come before Jesus and what He has waiting for us in Heaven.
Most Christians can’t really imagine how wonderful Heaven really is, and it’s difficult to put the description of the New Jerusalem into our thoughts realistically because it is so magnificent. The Bible tells that there are mansions in Heaven and that He created them for each of us personally.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” … John 14:2
Jesus says that there is peace there; no more pain and no more tears.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” … Revelation 21:4
He says that the lion will lay down with the lamb and that children will be carefree and happy.
“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” … Isaiah 65:25
And while all of these things make Heaven so inviting, the most wonderful part of it is that Jesus is there! In fact, the Bible says that we will be with Jesus throughout eternity, so wherever He is we will also be – and that is the greatest part of Heaven.
“…that where I am, there ye may be also.” … Matthew 14:3
Heaven has no boundaries and its size is beyond our imagination —— and yet, there is only ONE door to get in. That door is Jesus Christ.
If any of us could see Heaven or get even a glimpse of what it’s like to be there with Jesus if even for just a few seconds, not one of us would want to return to this sinful earth. We live here now, but our eyes and our thoughts and our hearts need to be focused on where we will go when we leave this earth. God has only promised us a longevity of about 70 years, yet He’s made a way for us to live with Him in eternity forever!
Even in our darkest moments here on this earth, we have never been totally without the presence of God because He is omnipresent. We have no idea what evil would surround us and what terrifying lives we’d endure if He ever left us totally alone for even a second. He has always been here waiting for us to invite Him in.
The future that awaits those who don’t invite Him into their hearts and who don’t accept the salvation that Jesus provided on the cross, is one of complete separation from God. The Bible says in Matthew 8:12 and in Matthew 22:13 that they will be cast out into outer darkness.
According to STRONGS Concordance NT 1857, the Greek words for “outer darkness” are (ἐξώτερος) exóteros and (σκότος) skotos. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says that exóteros means “the darkness outside the limits of the lighted palace (to which the Messiah’s kingdom is here likened)”, and that skotos means “By metonymy, put for a dark place.”
The Bible often refers to hell as a pit, a low place, a dark place – outer darkness – and it’s a place where God does not reside and that no person, if they thought they’d go there, would want to reside, either. But even hell has its punishment, and after the great Judgment Day, death and hell will both be cast into the Lake of Fire and this is where all those who are in them will burn forever.
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” … Revelation 20:14
We learn in John 3:16 that it is not God’s will that any of us should perish. He made people because He wanted a family, and when sin entered into Adam it destroyed that relationship. But God has never given up on us. He came to earth and lived as a man so that He alone could take that sin and put it into hell where it and anyone found with sin would wait for judgment. And He did it so that we would not have to go there.
Our Heavenly Father has never stopped loving us. He hates the sin, but He has always loved us, and when we accept the salvation that Jesus gave on the cross, then we are free of that sin and then He will come and live in us and be with us until we go Home.
Unfortunately, many people are caught up with this world and few believe there’s a Heaven and even less believe that there is a hell. Some people foolishly think they are Christians, but don’t believe that a loving God could send anyone to hell. They believe that everyone is saved because it says in Romans 14:11 that every knee shall bow. Yes, every knee shall bow, but that’s because there’s nothing else anyone can do in the presence of Almighty God. Whether a person believes now that Jesus is real or not, when they die and stand before Him they will know that He is God ….. AND THEY WILL BOW!
I share this same hope with Billy Graham and I want people to turn to Jesus and know that He is their ONLY hope; that He is their Savior and that He loves them. Too many people push Him away or plan to make it right later on in life. But, there is no guarantee that any of us have a “later on” and when we look at what’s going on in the world around us, we can see that a very “dark” future lies ahead. The time is now!
The opportunity to know Jesus is now. The time to repent is now. The time to turn away from the world and follow Jesus is NOW!
Please watch this short video called Heaven; it’s only 30 minutes long, but it’s 30 minutes that will bring you into the realization that Jesus is real, Heaven is real, and that Jesus wants YOU to be there with Him forever!
The message in this short video called Heaven will bless you, I promise!
Many of today’s Christians have a very worldly point of view regarding certain kinds of sin. It’s a view that is deceiving thousands of people every day because the truth is, it doesn’t matter what we think or what we deem should be acceptable in the eyes of the Lord; it’s about what God has said and what He will not accept. Learn the truth and don’t be deceived!
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [homosexuals], nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” … 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Most of us will acknowledge that many of these acts are sin and we don’t even look in that direction. We are aware that to have a sexual affair outside of our marriage is adultery or that to go to a bar and drool over some seductive person could lead us into fornication, and so we don’t even consider it. However, there are sins on this list that we let slither in and they can be just as damning if we don’t take control over them.
None of us would deliberately steal anything because we know it’s wrong, and yet some of the things we do just might convict us as a thief. Some of us enjoy a social life at work and love to chat with co-workers about personal issues, or spend excessive time on the phone or in sending e-mails or texts to our friends. Are we not “stealing” time and money? [Romans 2:21]
We’re being paid to work, but because we’re not falling behind in our work responsibilities and because what we’re doing isn’t bothering anyone we feel that it’s acceptable. Everyone does it and so we just follow the crowd. But the truth is that we’re guilty of both stealing and lying when we do these things at the time when we should be working. And if we don’t take this serious now, what could this careless attitude lead to as time goes on?
Idolatry is a word that most Christians hate because we all believe that God should be the only one we worship, and yet He has a lot of competition even among His own children. Many of us don’t even realize that we have a love for money or things that is equal to or greater than our love for God. We work hard to earn the money to buy our possessions and we cherish them more than we cherish our relationship with God. “God understands” is a frequent expression, but it’s not His understanding of our incompetence that’s in question. It’s our love for Him, our devotion to Him and our commitment to Him above our possessions and status in society that is being challenged. If God supplies all of our needs as He says He does in Philippians 4:19, then let’s not make the gift greater than the giver.
Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:23 that a little wine for a sick stomach or for an ill person is good because it numbs the body, but many of us have abused that suggestion and alcohol has become a grocery staple in our home. We depend on it to get us through the challenges of life rather than depending on God. But more than that, some of us like to indulge in it so that we can enjoy the total freedom of thought that it gives. Yet, God has told us in Ephesians 5:18 not to drink to excess and not to get drunk.
The advertising world has made it almost impossible not to covet material possessions. The commercials on TV and in magazines make things look so desirable that we just have to have them, and so we become unappreciative of what we have and we want more – bigger, better, fancier and more technical – even though what we already have works perfectly. [Matthew 6:19-20] This “greed” attitude is what has almost bankrupted our country. Few of us can keep up with the cost and so we use “charge cards” and run up debts that we can’t repay. We work longer hours to meet our financial responsibilities and then we become stressed and live on medications – and all because we covet something instead of waiting on God to see if this is what HE wants for us.
We have it in us to be peacemakers [Matthew 5:9], but the tension of this world and the pressures and challenges that beset us each day can slowly break down our peacemaking defences if we’re not careful. And there are times when we lose it and speak unkind words in very loud disagreements. (We all know about road rage!) We feel justified because we know our political and social rights and so we have no regrets for taking a stand. But the stand we take should be for Christ and not one to make us successful in a world that is drifting from God.
Most of these sins can be corrected easily especially when we seek God and are willing to follow Him, but there are some that have crept into society and have been deemed acceptable by the government and even by many churches – but God has never changed His view on them. Homosexuality is one of those sins and it’s an abomination to God. He has made it clear that it is not acceptable. In Genesis 1:27 we learn that “He made them male and female” – clearly only two genders.
In Leviticus 18 God was instructing the people through Moses in the things that they should and should not do. He begins His instruction in verse 5 where He says, “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments:”, and then in verse 22 He says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
The governments of this world are electing to recognize that the act of homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle and is no longer considered a sin. But this world is run by the devil whose destination is hell, and sadly, he will take as many people with him as he can.
We must always keep our eyes on God and in the scriptures so that we can know what is good and acceptable to Him [2 Timothy 2:15]. Judgment is coming to the people of earth and we will all face eternity whether we want to believe it now or not. What we think doesn’t matter; it’s what God has said that will come to pass.
Heaven is the eternal home for those people who love God and who have accepted that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came from Heaven so He could be nailed to the cross with OUR sins. [John 3:16] He took the punishment of hell for those sins so that we could be free, forgiven and filled with His Spirit. And those who accept this and believe it will belong to Him forever.
Hell, on the other hand, is for those people who don’t care about God, who would rather enjoy the things – aka sins – of this world and who prefer to stay ignorant of the things of God. [Psalm 9:17] But when they face God on Judgment Day they won’t have an excuse and they’ll feel the remorse as they stand ashamed, filled with sin and wishing they had the Spirit of Christ in them. They will be sentenced to hell where they will have to pay the price of their sin throughout eternity.
Don’t be deceived! People who deliberately indulge in sin will never inherit God’s kingdom. The devil controls this world and he doesn’t want any of us to know God or to know that God loves us, so he’ll use every trick and persuasive tactic to keep us away from Him. He tries to deceive us into thinking that this world is all there is, that a little sin is okay and we shouldn’t judge others who indulge in sin. But if the love of God is in us then will do our best to show others the truth so they will break away from their sin.
There is nothing on this earth that can compare to the love of God or to the home in Heaven that He’s prepared for those who love Him and obey His commandments. Don’t be deceived!
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” … Matthew 6:33
Have you made a heartfelt decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, to take away your sins? It’s very easy to do. Just get in a quiet place and ask the Lord to take away your sins, and tell Him that you want Jesus to come and live in your heart so you can belong to Him. And then read the Bible so you know His love – and begin with the New Testament that’s about Jesus.
*If this inspirational message is a blessing to you, then please subscribe to my blog so you can receive all future blog posts directly into your personal in-mail. And please “share” this message so others can be blessed. Meanwhile, have a very blessed day.
There are a lot of very nice people in the world who would not hesitate to help someone if they needed help or give them money or things if they needed it. Their actions are definitely driven by love, but that alone does NOT make them a Christian. Works by itself will NOT get you into Heaven.
People in general have a very poor understanding of what being a Christian means. Webster’s dictionary defines “Christian” as “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ”. And the Bible discusses this very belief in great detail.
To be a Christian, we must be followers of Christ, and to follow Christ we have to know Him, accept Him and love Him. After all, how can we follow a person that we don’t know or haven’t seen? John 3:1-5 Jesus explains how we can belong to the Kingdom of God.
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
So what does it mean to be born again? How does that happen? Jesus said in Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Why do we need to be saved? And saved from what? To appreciate what salvation means, we need to go back in history and learn why Jesus had to come and die on the cross in the first place.
When God made Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden, a land that was perfect in every way and that even in our most exaggerated thoughts we wouldn’t be able to imagine the beauty of it. It says in Genesis 3:8 that God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening, and He enjoyed their fellowship. It must have been absolutely awesome to have God come into their back yard and talk and laugh with them every day – but then, they were made without sin and so the garden was holy ground and God was able to go there.
God gave Adam one rule in Genesis 2:9 and that was to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or else he would die. Adam had no intention of disobeying God because he loved Him, but Eve was tempted by the devil (Genesis 3:1-6) that came to her in the form of a serpent. She was convinced that they would become as smart as God and so she ate the fruit. It was delicious and she didn’t die so she decided to share this with Adam. Unfortunately, Adam took his eyes off of God and put them onto his wife and ate of the fruit.
Their eyes were opened and they knew what good and evil were. Eve may have been deceived because God didn’t tell her directly, but Adam sinned because he disobeyed God. It’s interesting to note that instead of repenting and pleading with God, he blamed Eve (Genesis 3:12). “It’s all her fault, she made me do it”, and this is an attitude that has been carried down throughout history; mankind has not ceased to blame someone else for what they did.
God was more hurt than angry with them because sin had entered the Garden, His holy ground, and He could no longer visit with His children, and He had to cast Adam and Eve out of the garden. But when He did this He also promised them that He would send someone to redeem them back to Himself; to beat the devil at his own game.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” … Genesis 3:15
Now Adam faced the consequences of his actions and he and Eve were devastated to have to live in a desolate world without God, but what horrified them even more was that the ruler of the lost world was Satan. Adam had sold his birthright to the devil whose very presence kept him from the only Father he knew, so they clung on to the promise and prayed for the redeemer to come and save their children. And so every child ever born from the very first conceived child, being Able, right down to the last baby that will ever be born on earth, is born in sin and without the presence of God. There is no possibility of a single one of us ever getting back to God on our own. He removed His Spirit and there is only ONE way to get it back.
Jesus! And so the people throughout the generations waited and looked for His coming.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” … Luke 2: 8-11
Jesus was sent to the cross because Satan knew who Jesus was and thought that if he could persuade the Pharisees to kill Him, then everything would be fine, God’s attempt to regain the world would fail and he would continue to rule the earth forever. The Pharisees also knew that Jesus was God’s Son and they were filled with evil and foolishly thought that if they killed Him on the cross then they wouldn’t have to give up their religious positions and wealth.
What none of them realized is that no one can kill God. Jesus’ human body died on the cross, and because He was without sin He would have risen directly to Heaven at that point. However, that isn’t why He came. He came to take away the sin that we carried – the sin that caused us to be separated from God – and He took that sin upon Himself so that when He died, that sin would drive Him directly to hell. But hell couldn’t hold Him, and so He dropped off the sin and then rose again.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” … John 3:16
When we realize the magnitude of this action by Jesus, and we believe it and receive this truth in our heart, then we receive our salvation. We are saved. We are Christians. We are no longer separated from God. We are given His Spirit and we can walk with God just like Adam did. We are one with God again. Now when we pray God not only hears our prayers, but He answers them. He blesses us. He helps us. He teaches us. He walks with us. He is our Father and our friend.
Christians adopt the heart and mind of Christ so that we want to help others, share with others and encourage others to know Him. We do everything to the glory of God and for the furtherance of the ministry of Jesus. We are not perfect; we are forgiven. Although God will become our purpose for living and the reason for our being, we’ll still fall short and do things wrong or not do things we should. (Romans 3:23) But we can come before God and say sorry and He hears us and smiles at us. He doesn’t have to toss us away like He did with Adam because His Spirit is in us. We are His children and nothing can separate us from Him.
So, good works may be a nice thing to do to help others and share some positive attitude, but they will NOT make us a Christian and they will NOT get us into Heaven. Only a personal relationship with Jesus will make us a Christian, and the good works that we do then are done in love so that others can see the love that God has for us.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” … John 10:27
*If you are blessed by this message, please subscribe to this blog so you’ll get all future posts directly into your inbox. Thank you.
So often Christians fall into the confines of this world’s values and strive toward earthly goals. We endeavour to reach the peak of our careers; we budget our money and invest a chunk of every pay into various funds for our retirement; and we even collect valuable possessions to feel the status of success. We believe that these accomplishments are the things that fulfill our purpose in life, and so they are worth the struggle and the endurance. But this thinking is wrong.
This world is not our home; we are just passing through.
The pressures to meet the material goals of this world have caused many Christians to believe that they need to struggle to achieve them in order to be successful, but this is not a prerequisite set out by God. He tells us to keep our eyes on Heaven and to not make earth our treasure.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” … Matthew 6:19
Our accomplishments are nothing that we’ve earned or collected here on earth, and our purpose in life should not be focused on getting them. Our eyes, our hearts and our values should all be on Jesus and what HE has done for us, and our goal and our focus should be on Him and on our home in eternity with Him. The rewards that we look forward to are not earthly, but will be given to us by Jesus when we get to Heaven and they will last forever.
Many scriptures are taken out of context – and deliberately by some well-known preachers who use them to claim a prosperous life here on earth. We quote scriptures like Psalm 37:4 that says we can have the desires of our heart and we look for earthly riches because we think that this is what God wants for us. Many of us believe that it’s our right as Christians to own the wealth on earth – and so it’s what we live for.
We use other scriptures like Revelations 5:10 that says we are kings and priests and that we shall reign on the earth, but we take that scripture out of context and expect it now. We declare that we are entitled to all that God has, his hills of a thousand cattle, because we are His children. We take the concept of faith and abuse it as a tool to try to employ God to make us wealthy.
Doesn’t God want us to be happy? Does He want us to live in poverty? Not at all. God wants us to have a fulfilling life on earth and He does not want us to be poor. He says in 3 John 1:2 that it is His will for us to prosper and be in health.
So is the Bible contradicting itself? No, the Bible does not change or compromise its truth. We are the ones who change it to suit our own selfish and unrighteous desires. When our heart lives for Jesus and our goal is to serve Him, He provides these things for us. We don’t need to scheme to get them or to make them our quest as a Christian.
Our home is in Heaven. Jesus says in John 14:2,” In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” What a wonderful promise! Jesus is in Heaven and He’s made homes for each of us there so we can live through eternity with Him.
This world, on the other hand, is coming to its end and has become a target for destruction. We don’t need to look far to see that it’s is falling apart; that crime, poverty and natural disasters are growing astronomically, and that diseases and starvation have become epidemic nightmares around the globe. Even our authorities agree that things are getting worse here by the day. And rightly so because Jesus tells us that we are living in the last days of earth’s existence.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.” … 2 Timothy 3:1.
The earth is not going to get better; it will continue downhill until God destroys it.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” … Matthew 24:5
While we’re still here, though, we have a purpose to fulfill as Christians, and that is to encourage and support each other and to be witnesses to the world of God’s grace through Jesus our Saviour. Our lives should reflect God so when people see us they see the character and the Spirit of God in us. How do we do that? By the way we act and react to situations; by the way we give God all the praise and glory for being our Lord and our help when we need help (Psalm 9:9); and by the way we live our lives and show that Jesus is our reason for living and that our wealth is not in earthly possessions, but in the eternal life He has prepared for us.
We cannot put our hope and our purpose in earthly riches. We can’t take them with us as they belong to this world. Mark 10:24 says, “… But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!’” If we cling to the possessions of this world, we will die just like Lot’s wife died when God led his family out of Gomorrah. She looked back in sadness because her heart was in that city and its possessions, and not with the Lord.
We can enjoy the good things that this world has to offer, but we CANNOT be attached to them; they CANNOT be our reason for living or our goals for this life. Why? Because when we are attached and when we live to collect these possessions, they become a god to us, and what does the Bible say about that?
“You shall have no other gods before me.” … Deuteronomy 5:7
It’s a very fine line that separates the natural instinct of setting up a nice home for our family and wanting only the best and most expensive possessions for our personal comfort and social status. God says in Isaiah 32:18, “My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” He wants us to have a good home to live in here, and He wants us to be healthy and He even wants to give us the desires of our heart.
All these things are ours because He loves us and we love Him. We are not part of this world anymore and we don’t depend upon this world to survive – we depend on Him for everything. When we make Heaven our goal and our home to look forward to, the things we have here are simply needs or desires to get us through this journey. Yes, they may be nice things, but they are not our reason for living or our reason to want to stay here. We are not attached to them.
Our hearts are free to enjoy them or to give them away; we share what we have with other Christians so that we all are part of God’s blessing, and we help those in need, which in turn shows Jesus to a hurting world. And when we do, we are blessed. Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.”
We shouldn’t spend our time, money or thoughts on making this world our permanent home, but while we’re here God promises to supply all of our needs. He says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” When we put Him first, He blesses us.
This world is not our home. It’s a battlefield where the devil is trying to steal, kill and destroy anyone and everyone so he can keep them from knowing God. Our commission as Christians is to arm ourselves in the Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can share the gospel with people and win souls for Christ. And we can do this because Heaven is our home; Heaven is our goal; and Heaven is where Jesus is and where we want to be.
This world is not our home; we are just passing through.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
… John 14:1-3
This song was written by Jim Hill, manager of the Golden Keys Quartet, in the early 1950’s. Since then, it has been sung in churches and Christian gatherings all around the world as we look forward to our home in Heaven with Jesus.
There is a peace and yet an excitement and a thrill in the words, and we can’t help but sing them – or even just read them – without getting emotional. This is real. Heaven is real and it will be our home when we leave this earth.
We have a lot to look forward to. We all have loved ones who have passed on, but they are not gone. They are with the Lord and if we continue to love Him and serve Him, when it’s our time we will also go to be with the Lord. And what a glorious day that will be!
Listen to this song by David Phelps and the Gaithers and be blessed today.
There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
There’ll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” … John 14.2
Today is Thanksgiving Day to many of us, and it’s a day that’s designated to celebrate all the things we’re thankful for in our lives. For some of us it’s easy because we have so much wealth that surrounds us, but for others it’s hurtful because they have so little or they’ve lost what they had through a disaster such as Hurricane Sandy. Perhaps it’s time for us to give thanks for the love in our lives and not just the things.
It’s great to have material possessions because they make us happy, make our lives more rewarding and more desirable, but tangible things can become a stumbling block for real gratitude and true thanksgiving toward God. In Matthew 6:19 Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.”
These earthly treasures might help to make our lives a little more comfortable and they may give us a sense of accomplishment, but Jesus warns us that it’s these treasures that the enemy will attack because he knows that losing them will get us down – maybe even tear us away from God. That’s why in John 10:10 Jesus tells us that the thief – the devil – comes to steal, kill and destroy, and he knows what our treasures are and how much they mean to us.
Does that mean it’s wrong to have nice possessions? Not at all, as long as we don’t put their value above God, above our love for God or above our love for other Christians.
We need to remember that even greater than material possessions is the love that God has for us, and it’s this love that should be the reason we live each day – and the reason we give thanks. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
There was so much more accomplished on the cross than most of us know. We were not only brought back to God so that we could talk with Him and walk with Him like Adam and Eve did before the fall, but He also gave us victory over the things that would come against us in life.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
Not only were we forgiven and set free from the sin that separated us from God, but Jesus suffered the punishment for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to. We now have eternity with God instead of eternity in hell. He bore the penalty so that we could have peace – His peace – and we are free from the clutches of the devil and his hurtful strikes against us. He will attack us, but we have peace and confidence in God, and we know that He will give us the victory over the attacks.
With the 39 strikes from the cat of nine tails, a harsh whip filled with ground glass, Jesus set us free from sickness and illness and gave us back the right to be healed and to have a healthy body. Sometimes He performs miracles and sometimes He expects us to change what we’re doing and what we’re eating so that we become responsible for our bodies. He gives us wisdom to know the truth about the food and medications we take and when we adhere to the truth, our bodies line up because Jesus has already made healing possible for us.
Some of us have lost loved ones this year and the hurt is still so great that it’s hard to be thankful for anything. But we must remember that this life is short compared to eternity with God, and when someone we love moves on to Heaven we need to keep our eyes on God and on the fact that very soon we will be there, too. It’s lonely here now and the memories and family traditions can be painful, but we have to carry on anyway because even though the one we love is not with us, there are others still here who need us and who need our love.
What can we be thankful for when there is so much hurt and pain in our lives and all around us? We’re thankful that God has redeemed us from the control of the devil; we’re thankful that we have His Spirit in us to give us strength and wisdom to live every day in victory; we’re thankful that any illness or disease that has come against us will fall away because we are healed; we’re thankful that we are surrounded with family and friends who love us for who we are and not for what we have; and we’re thankful that we have a home in Heaven where Jesus has prepared a place for us and where the ones who have already moved on are waiting for us!
We have much to be thankful for, and much to live and hope for because Jesus is alive and has given us life.