Gratitude or Love

heartAs Christians, we are supposed to love God, but how many of us actually know why we love God? Sometimes we get confused between the gift and the giver and we tend to value the gifts and the promises more than we value the actual One who gives them to us. Continue reading

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Who is Jesus Anyway?

Jesus said comeThere have been many books written on the life of Jesus. Some come at us from a theologian point-of-view and are detailed in words we can’t pronounce, causing us to get lost on the first page. Other views are written from a lustful assumption that brings God down to human level in an effort to conceive a formula that provides much earthly gain. Continue reading

Praise God in the Bad Times

Praise God Anyway1It’s easy for most Christians to praise God when things are going great, when the blessings are pouring in and everyone gets sick but “me”. It’s easy to say how great life is when we have a good job, a desirable home and an affordable new car. Most of us would agree that to “Praise the Lord” in these times is easy to do. But what about the times when things aren’t so good Continue reading

Our Sins and the Cross

The full impact of what was accomplished on the cross at Calvary is often not fully understood by many Christians. We all know that our sins were washed away, but many assume that now any sin they commit is automatically forgiven. Some continue to keep one foot in the world and others don’t realize who Christ is in them. We need to dig into the scriptures and learn about our sins and the cross. Continue reading

Stop Pointing Fingers!

pointing fingersWe’re living in an age when Christians are being persecuted for their faith by religious zealots. While the horrors of the Middle East are getting everyone’s attention, we need to bring our focus back a bit closer to home so we can see what’s happening here. Many Christians in America are being publically torn apart, criticized and ridiculed, and many of their critics are “Christians”. The world watches and it sees that the church is falling apart and that Christianity is the root of much hatred. We’re not drawing them closer to Jesus when we do this; we’re pushing them away.

It’s time to stop pointing fingers! Continue reading

The Humility of Prayer

 

man repentingAs Christians, we all come to God in prayer with our needs and desires because we believe that He will deliver us from our sorrows, heal our bodies and bless us. Unfortunately, when some of us ask God for things, we are compelled to tell Him what to do and how to do it. We’re taught to “come boldly to the throne of grace”—(Hebrews 4:16), and so we feel that it means it’s okay for us to tell God how to do what we want Him to do for us. Some of us feel as if it’s our right to just tell God what to do for us. This attitude is more of self-righteousness than of humility, and it’s one that the Lord won’t bless. Continue reading

Abusing God’s Love for Personal Gain

1466068_537012743056691_2031786269_nNothing excites the heart more than love. Nothing quiets a restless spirit more than love. And nothing gives us the confidence to endure trials and temptations more than love. Life is all about love and, in fact, the entire theme of the Bible is love – God’s love for us. Yet, many people miss God because they only hear that God loves them and wants to bless them abundantly here on earth. It’s wrong to abuse the love of God and His salvation so it can turned into a venue for personal gain.

We need to tell people about the love of God because it’s the very foundation on which our salvation stands. However, some doctrines turn the gospel into a message of love and prosperity, and teach that once we’re saved we will live in the abundance of prosperity, good health, constant blessings and superiority. The focus turns from Christ to us and onto this life as being the end-all, beat-all. This, however, is far from the truth.

The truth is that God’s love for us is the only thing that we live for and it’s the reason why we are able to praise Him and worship Him. The Bible says that He loves us so much that He gave His life for us. And He didn’t do this so we could live a few years of the good life here on earth; He did it so we could be with Him in eternity forever.

“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.” … John 3:16

God’s love for us is more than most people can comprehend. There’s not one person on earth who could ever have done what Jesus did for us. He left His throne on high to become a man, live a transient life with no possessions, and then was nailed to a cross for the sins that WE committed against God. And all so He could remove the sins and save the people who He loves.

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’” … Matthew 8:20

A modern gospel encourages the people to reach out and grab hold of all the blessings that will come to them because God loves them so much and wants them to have their inheritance now. But the error is that many of these people think they are Christians, yet they only focus on lusts and desires and things they can get from God. They never really grasp what the cross is all about and never seek to know Him beyond what they can get from Him.

What are Christians?  They are people who have repented of their sins and who now follow Christ. They are people who  have 8472731872_67f246af9c_maccepted the salvation that Jesus provided on the cross and who willfully obey Him, serve Him and love Him for who He is. They are people who want to spread the truth about Jesus so others can get saved and whose heart is to serve Christ and not the desires of the flesh.

Being a Christian means believing the real gospel of Jesus. It’s confessing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to become the ultimate sacrifice for our sins; it’s believing that He died on the cross and took upon Himself all of our sins and then bore the punishment of hell for those sins; it’s believing that God raised Him from the dead and that Jesus is alive in Heaven and is waiting to come again to get  us so we can be with Him forever more. This is the real gospel!

Being a Christian means that we are free of sin and “saved” from the judgment that God will enforce on the people of this earth who follow after its sinful ways and who don’t accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It means being covered by the righteous blood of Jesus and that our name is written in the Book of Life so we can be with Him forever.

“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” … Revelation 20:15

It was never God’s intention that a single person should ever go to hell. However, once sin entered man, He gave them a choice to keep the sin or repent from it. When they choose to not accept His salvation, or when they choose to follow a false gospel, it’s a choice that they will live to regret throughout eternity. But it’s not God’s will for them.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” … 2 Peter 3:9

4668123355_e8fe03b41b_mGod’s love saved us from the judgment to come and made us part of His family so we can have an eternal home with Him. We have a wonderful future with Jesus where we will live, love and laugh forever.  This hope and the presence of His Spirit in us now keeps us alive and gives us the strength to endure life until we will go to be with Him.

“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 14:2-3

God’s love for us makes us eternally grateful and we praise Him for it, but He didn’t do it just so we could satisfy the lusts of the flesh and live healthy and wealthy on this earth without any tribulation. That is not what the gospel of Jesus is about. In fact, Jesus never said that life would be easy if we follow Him. He said that we WILL have tribulation but that we would overcome it through Him.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” … John 16:33

We live in a corrupt world and we are surrounded in sin and ungodliness. We will face most of the same issues that any other person living on this earth will face. We’ll get sick, have lack of finances, suffer tragedies and experience conflicts just like anyone else. The difference is that we have Jesus to help us through them and to protect us during them when we trust Him. We have the Bible to give us wisdom on how to handle the issues of life, and we have His Spirit in us who will guide us and give us peace and confidence when we need it.

When we’re ill we can believe God for healing because He told us in Isaiah 53:5 that “by His stripes we are healed.” He bore the stripes already and if we will believe it then we can receive the healing that He’s already provided for us.

God will bless our finances and give us all the things that we need549554_723795780979158_650624426_n when we ask for them and trust Him to give them to us. He doesn’t want us to live in poverty; He wants us to have everything we need in life so that we can be good witnesses to others and enjoy life. We do have the promise that He will take care of those needs because He’s a faithful and loving father; however, He doesn’t want the possessions to be what we live for or to be the only reason we come to Him.

God even wants to bless us with things that we don’t need but that will make us happy. He enjoys giving gifts to us just as any earthly father enjoys giving gifts to his children. But these are blessings that come because our love for Him is the greatest desire we have and because we are so grateful to Him for redeeming us back to God through the cross. He knows our heart and He knows that we seek Him because we love Him and not because we feel we have the right to material possessions.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” … Psalm 37:4

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, [not according to greed or lust] He hears us.” … 1 John 5:14

The key is to ask according to His will and not according to what we want. When we become Christians we serve Jesus; He does not serve us. When our mentality is set to get all we can from God now that we’re saved, we are missing God totally and need to go back to the cross and try again. When we accept that He is our Heavenly Father who loves us, then our love, respect and reverence is to Him alone, and we appreciate the sacrifice He gave on that cross. We may still have desires and wants and we will all come to Him and ask if He would bless us with one thing or another. Sometimes we get what we ask for and sometimes we don’t, but regardless, our love for Him continues to grow because it’s not founded on our own greed and lusts; it’s founded on the love that He has for us.

“We love Him, because He first loved us.” … 1 John 4:19

Our inheritance is eternity with Jesus and it’s not possessions or statusJesus is waiting for you in this earth. This world is waiting to be judged by God, and there is nothing here that we will take with us when we go to be with Him forever. Our inheritance is the reward we are given by Him and that is to be in Heaven with Jesus forever.

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” … Colossians 3:24

Any doctrine that preaches only the love of God and how great life will be on earth because of everything He will give us is a false doctrine! The gospel of Jesus preaches salvation, repentance and remission of sins, how He died on the cross and was buried and then raised from the dead. It preaches that He will return soon to take those who love Him to Heaven.

“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” … Titus 2:13

Waquas

His love for us is our reason for living, and that’s why we want to share it with others, but they will only know His love when they can hear the real gospel message about salvation through Christ Jesus. So let’s tell everyone we know that Jesus loves them, but let’s not leave it there so they foolishly chase after things instead of truth. Let’s pray with them and encourage them to study their Bible and know the truth about the love of God because His love for us is far greater than any worldly possession!

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends.” … John 15:13

What a friend we have in Jesus

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One Last Hope!

Rev Billy Graham

“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.

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, Jesus is waiting for youand shall go in and out, and find pasture.” … John 10:9

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

8472731872_67f246af9c_mWe 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!

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The message in this short video called Heaven will bless you, I promise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Hurts Cut to the Bone

4701911204_6fda84b3bb_mWe endure many emotional traumas throughout our lives and the ones that hurt the most don’t always come from people of the world. They often come from those we love such as our biological family, our church family and our friends, and these hurts cut to the bone.

When we take a stand to serve Jesus with our whole lives we offend the devil’s plan, which is to keep us apart from God.  John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” We need to understand that the devil doesn’t have even one tiny cell of compassion for us and that he’s got absolutely no consideration or good feeling toward us; he has only contempt for us because we love Jesus and he hates Him.

He will do whatever it takes to destroy our relationship with God and so he searches our lives and finds out what is most precious to us – and then he attacks. Because we are people whose lives and motives are often controlled by our emotions, the devil knows that the best way to challenge our faith in God is to do something that affects these emotions. We know that the world comes against us because of Jesus, but when we anger the devil he makes sure that the people we love are offended and repulsed by our lifestyle even more. So, he creates situations where we are forced to make a choice: keep peace and compromise our faith with our family that doesn’t know God, or serve God and separate ourselves from them.

Many of us don’t want to lose the love of someone who we hold dear to our heart such as a child or a parent or a sibling. We’ll do almost anything to keep the peace and to end the conflict in our relationship with them. We learn how to work around the issues so that we can continue to be Christians and so that they can continue to just accept us because we’re different. We think we’ve got it controlled.

However, the devil doesn’t stop there. He is set out to destroy us and the amiable compromise that we settle for to keep peace isn’t good enough for him. He pushes so that he can break us and destroy our relationship with God. He sets circumstances before us so that our emotions are challenged and we are forced choose between God and family.

380772_186711078089848_177717718989184_356422_1516336833_nThis is when we need to withdraw from everyone and just dig deep into the Bible to get to know Jesus personally. We need to increase our love FOR Him and build our faith IN Him. We need to realize the unconditional love that HE has for us, and that He really took on OUR sins and allowed Himself to be painfully nailed to the cross for US – for YOU and for ME.

This wasn’t an easy thing to do. Jesus knew the torture and torment He’d endure, yet He didn’t let it get in the way; He pressed forward with the plan to suffer and die for us. His earthly mother was likely drenched in tears when the end came and yet Jesus did not let HIS personal emotions get in the way of doing what He had to do.

Matthew 19:29 says, And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to die for us. What a friend we have in Jesus! When we realize what He endured for us, then we will realize the love that He has for us, and when we realize that love, how can we do anything except love Him back and follow Him?

Jesus gave us a commission in Mark 16:15 and told us to, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Why do we do this? Because when we become Christians we are filled with His Spirit, and the same love that He has for us lives IN us, and we have the same passion to save people from the clutches of the devil that He has.

Being a Christian is not about us and what we want; it’s about the love of God and what HE wants. It says in John 3:16 that Jesus died for everyone because He loves everyone. Howbeit, there are far too many people who will not know Him before they leave this earth and sadly they will have to face His judgement.  And this could include our loved ones.

When our families and friends are offended because of the gospel, we need to focus on eternity and not on today and on this earth or on our personal emotions.

It’s far better to part fellowship and walk away from the ones we love now 3258159011_3154366ae5_mand then pray diligently for their salvation from a distance than it is to hold fast to a relationship with them now and lose them to an eternal life of damnation in hell. Love is beautiful when we can share it with people, but it’s more meaningful when we can love them enough to get away from them and not be their stumbling stone. We can pray from a distance for them to be saved and it may take a lifetime, but it would be worth the sacrifice if even on their death-bed they cried out for Jesus and got saved.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” … Matthew 10:22

We may have lived a sad and agonizing life without them on earth, but the joy that will flood our soul when we see them in Heaven will be worth every hurt we ever suffered because of them here.

2789295801_96e79a9b9f_mEternity is forever and so we can’t let our emotions keep us from this reality or from following and obeying the One person who knows what it means to love. We cannot risk our sole or the lives of our loved ones by letting our personal emotions get in the way of a true and eternal love – not even when the hurts come from our loved ones and they cut to the bone.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

… James 5:16

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Let Faith Arise!