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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God says “Keep the Peace”

rev-6-4This world is corrupt with sin and sickness and it’s bringing fear upon people everywhere. The Ten Commandments are being replaced with “rights” and with “privilege” to those with money and power, making God’s law of no effect. The time we’re living in is bringing sorrows and hardships and now more than ever before, we need to obey God and keep the peace. Continue reading

Yes, God Hates Some Things!

god-hatesThe impression of God in this new age is that His only character is love. He loves everyone, accepts everything and has made a home in Heaven for all of us. We’re led to believe that if we are a real Christian then we, too, will love everyone and accept everyone as equally loved by God; after all, God is our Heavenly Father and we are all His creation. We’re told that the real “god” doesn’t’ hate Continue reading

God is Greater than the Attack!

SadSometimes it’s really hard to be joyful. We’re attacked from different directions and we get knocked down, and the joy we once had slowly oozes out of us. Maybe we had plans for that extra bit of money that came in and it got sucked away by an unexpected bill. Or maybe a health issue decided to pop up that truly stole our joy. It’s at times like these that we feel abandoned, and yet Continue reading

Love is Not Silent

martin lutherMany Christians do not share the gospel of Jesus with others because they either, feel “shy” and just don’t have the words to say, or they don’t want to judge others by telling them that they have sin in their life. But we’re not judging anyone when we try to share the gospel with them, or when we point out blatant sins in their lives that will keep them from God. The truth is that love is not silent. It speaks loud! 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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Don’t Get Caught in the Doorway

Jesus is waiting for you So many Christians are standing in the doorway between this world and Heaven without truly knowing Jesus and just trusting that they’ll make it in when the time comes. But this is really one doorway that you don’t want to get stuck in, especially if the door closes when you’re not looking.

It’s like standing on the threshold of an elevator with one foot in and one foot out. We’re fairly certain that we want to go inside, but we’re not sure how to approach it so we wait. And then we continue to stand there and wait as the door repeatedly attempts to close. We push it back a few times while we think about it, but soon the default mechanism sets in and that door starts to close for the last time. We are forced to decide which way to go and once we do there is no turning back. But we will go one way or the other or else that door will crush us.

But what is even worse than not committing to enter is to think that we’re in when we’re really not. What if the elevator was filled with mirrors and the doorway wasn’t clearly set out so that when we thought we had entered in with the intention of going up, we were really standing on the outside of the doorway – and then the door closed and the elevator went up without us?

This is the same dangerous platform that many Christians are standing on today. They know God is real; they know the story of how Jesus died on the cross; they go to church; they even tell their family and friends about their life as a Christian and they think that they are on their way to Heaven. But they have never accepted Jesus into their heart, never repented of their sin and never sought after Jesus to live as He wants them to. They think they are Christians because of their works, but they have been deceived with the same illusion as the mirror effect in the elevator, and when the door closes on their life they will be on the wrong side.

Jesus has made it very clear that the only way 431832_669162449775825_1904920909_nto Heaven is through Him. He is the door that we must go through and we can only do that if we know Him and have made HIM Lord over our lives. Good works will not get us into Heaven.

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”  ….. John 10:9

 

We must diligently seek God so we can know Him, love Him and follow Him as we become his disciples and share the gospel of Jesus with others so they can get saved. Then we can know that we have a home in Heaven and when that door closes we’ll be standing on the inside.

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” … Romans 10:8-10

546891_10151819506914534_533253207_nMany Christians are deceived into thinking that studying the Bible is only for pastors and leaders, but we’re told that we all need to study the Bible so we can grow in faith and in our love for God. And we need to allow Him to teach us His truth. (2 Timothy 2:15). We can’t leave our salvation or our relationship with Jesus in the hands of people; we must know Him and love Him in our own heart. We don’t want to be deceived with ignorance so when that door closes for the last time we’re caught standing on the wrong side.

“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.” … Matthew 7:21

What is the will of our Father? In Luke 10:27 Jesus tells us what God’s will for us is:

So He answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

This means that we don’t live by good works or with assumption. This means that we are committed to God and that everything we do is to His glory. This means that sometimes we’ll be criticized or condemned or even martyred for His name sake, but when we are filled with His Spirit we do it without a second thought because we love Him and we are committed to Him.

So when we’re saved and we leave earth, we can walk right through that doorway and see the clarity of Heaven because we know the Truth. And we won’t hesitate to enter because we’ll see Jesus standing on the inside with His open arms and bidding us to come.

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“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” ……..… Matthew 25:23

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The Boundaries of Love

1375169_515215345236431_1840146887_nWhen we think of the word “love” our minds reflect on several aspects of love in our own lives. We have a love for our spouse, which is a strong heartfelt bond that’s greater than any other human relationship, and we have a love for our children that is equal in commitment and totally unconditional. Some of us have a strong love for our parents and our relatives that’s unbreakable, and even for a few select friends that’s unique. We live each day because we have people to love and because we are loved.

We know that love is the greatest virtue of God and we know that He has done everything for us since the beginning of time because of the love that He has for us, His children. We know that His love is so great that He even gave His own life on the cross for us so that we would no longer have sin in us and  we could be redeemed back to Him.

“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

“Greater love hath n man than this, that a man lay down His life for his friends.” … John 15:13

As Christians, we share this love with people outside the family, as well, and we want to love our Christian brothers and sisters the same as God loves them because we know that God is love and so we should also abound in love.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” … 1 John 4:7

Yet, there is so much more to love than just sharing it with those who are close to our heart. We need to show God’s love and passion toward everyone we meet and to those who we’ll never meet.

CIMG0157

Orphans at Passion of Christ Ministries Pakistan

There are so many missionary ministries all over the world that can use our prayers and our financial support, and if all of us would just give a little to God’s starving children they could be fed and clothed, educated and protected. We need to be wise, though, because there are many false ministries that just want our money and can deceive us. We need to pray for God’s direction and then support the ministries that come across our path so we can be an extension of God’s arm and show His love through our love, our prayers and our gifts.

We need to look at people the way God sees them, and not the way we are programmed in this world to see them. There are many people who come against us and hurt us, and this world tells us that these “enemies” are bad and deserve to be punished. They have earned their bad name and should suffer for the pain they have cause others. Yet, this is not what Jesus told us to do. He told us to love our enemies – not by being their friend and approving their actions – but by seeing them through God’s eyes as people who are lost and who don’t know Jesus and who NEED Him desperately.

We need to pray for their salvation because we may be the only person in the entire world who is able to see them as lost. We need to hate the sin, but love the sinner. Wouldn’t it be great to get into Heaven and know that people are there because we prayed for them? Because we saw them as God sees them and not how the world sees them?

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy’.  But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.’” … Matthew 5:43-44

We must never raise ourselves up to feel better than the unsaved person and we must always remember that we were once unsaved, too. We weren’t born saved; it was a commitment that we made when we realized that WE needed Jesus. And so we need to extend this opportunity of grace toward others because no one deserves an unhappy life without God.

 “Freely ye have received, freely give.” … Matthew 10:8

We need to always be in prayer and ask God to help us be more like Him. When we see the beggar on the street, instead of walking away in disgust, we need to see that person as someone crying out for help. They may stink of alcohol or drugs or repulsive body odor, but ignore all that and look deep and you’ll see that they are crying out for help, not just a handout. Give them a coin, a handshake, a smile. Give them even more than that; tell them that Jesus loves them and then give them a little page with the address of a Christian help centre where they can go to reboot their lives.

Insight for LivingLove is all around us when we see things through the eyes of God. The little birds that chirp bring peace and joy to our busy world as we realize that they are His colorful and glorious creations made for us to enjoy. The flowers and the trees and the gardens, whether they’re ours or a neighbor’s, all reveal God’s amazing ability to continue to create beauty in a world that is dying.

We live in a very busy and demanding world that’s ruled by ungodly people, and many of us have no choice but to be part of it as our jobs keep us tied into it. But even so, we can all take a few minutes every day to deliberately see God’s love around us and praise Him for keeping His love alive through His creations. And we can purpose in our own hearts that we will help others to see the love of God so they, too, can have this joy. The beautiful thing about prayer is that it takes us into God’s presence where we can fill up on His love and then share it with others in this hurting world.

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you; that ye also love one another.” … John 13:34

*If you are looking for a ministry to reach out to with your monthly financial support, please consider The Passion of Christ Ministries Pakistan. In this challenging area of Pakistan, a Christian family has taken in more than 30 orphans left to die after various destructions, and they have become an official orphanage but without any government support. They depend on God to bring them clothes, food, books and the basics of life, and they are raising up children who love God. Your monthly commitment of only $15 a month would be a tremendous blessing to them. Check out their website and be part of God’s extended arm.

Are You a Real Christian or a Wannebee?

310702990_21eca830bb_mThere are many Christians who really don’t know if they’re saved or not. One of the biggest reasons for this is that they don’t study the Bible and have no idea who God really is or who Jesus is. They don’t understand grace and much of their limited knowledge of Him is lost in the Old Testament covenant, and this leaves them to wonder if they’re a real Christian or just a wannebee who hasn’t found God yet.

It’s really very easy to determine if you’re saved and it’s not because you own a copy of the Ten Commandments. There are only two prerequisites to being saved – the first is faith and the second is works.

 

Faith

In order to become a Christian [a follower of Christ] we need to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to save us by taking our sins upon Himself on the cross and presenting us righteous through HIS blood to God, our Father. John 3:16 says, “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.” God gives us this measure of faith to come to Him with repentance, but this faith is only enough to bring us to the cross; it’s not enough to keep us there.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that we must walk by faith and not by sight. We must no longer act and react according the world’s standards; we must always be ready to follow the Bible’s leadership and we must always be ready tell the world about Jesus no matter how much they’ll scorn us or laugh at us. We must never be ashamed of the Gospel, but in faith proclaim it to the world through the witness of how we live our lives.  And we do this because we have faith in God and not in the world.

More Faith

2818333115_cc4291236f_mWe need to believe that Jesus loves us! We need to accept the sacrifice He made for us on the cross. And we need to be committed to Him and that means studying the Bible and learning His instruction for our lives. 2 Timothy 2:15 says that we need to “study the Bible to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  This is the only way to read the Bible and we must allow His Holy Spirit to teach us.

We CANNOT depend on our pastor or our minister or anyone else on the earth to teach us about God. We must study the Bible and let God teach us because then we won’t be deceived by false doctrines or man-made interpretations. If we want to be the very best we can be at our job, we would not depend on an unqualified colleague to teach us about our intricate career because that person may not understand half of it and isn’t qualified to teach us. Instead, we’d study and take courses and learn everything there was to know about that job from a qualified teacher so that we could know with confidence how to perform our job and how to act and react as a professional.

Works

When we first come to God there’s a heartfelt conviction that we bear as we realize that we are sinners doomed to God’s wrath, and that Jesus came to take away those sins. We repent and ask Him to take away the sin of the world and then we ask Jesus to come into our heart. John 1:29 says, “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Unfortunately, that experience doesn’t always become conviction and it can have several consequences – some good and some bad. While some new Christians will really dig deep into the Bible to know God, others will just let it all slip away and may either have the “once saved, always saved” deception or they’ll just feel that they couldn’t make it as a Christian so they walk away. Jesus talks about this in Matthew 13:3-9:

“And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, 536162218_33648e157e_ma sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth and forthwith they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth, and when the sun was up, they were scorched and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

To better understand this parable, Jesus explains it to His disciples in Matthew 13:18-23: “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Even though all of these people received the initial faith to believe in Jesus in the first step, most of them did not retain it because they didn’t root themselves in God’s Word. They didn’t grow and instead, they lost what they had received. (Another great parable is about the talents found in Matthew 25:14-29) The ones who do take root are those who study the Bible, learn who God is and change their lives to be what God has set out for them through Jesus.

When we study the Bible, we adapt the fruits of the Spirit into our own lives and the Bible says that Christians are known by their fruits. We learn in Galatians 5:22-23 what these fruits are and our old habits will fall away as we take on these new characteristics of Jesus: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

When we first start out as Christians we have way more of the world in us than we have of Jesus in us, but that’s normal and all of these “bad fruits” will fall off a bit at a time as we study the Bible and take on the “good fruits”. The people of the world bear the opposite characteristics – or fruits – to those of Christ, so if our actions and reactions – especially our reactions – are still influenced by the world after we’ve been a Christian for a while, then we need to seriously look into our heart and see just who we are truly following.

As we grow in Christ, we continue to fill up with His love and this is the one virtue that can really tell us if we’re saved or not. What is the measure of love that we have in our heart? Do we really love Jesus or do we just think He’s wonderful and to be admired? Do we trust Jesus or do we just say that we do and then go to the world for help? Do we love the people around us even though they’re not Christians or do we spent every thought criticizing them for things they do and say? Do we love the people who come against us or do we have this secret ambition to get even when no one is looking? And do we love ourselves as a child of God or do we hate who we are, our appearance and our failures because of the disabilities in life that we endure?

Jesus gave us the new commandment about love in Mark 12:30 1382842_529674627123836_2075953538_nand this should be our mandate for life: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” But He also gave us a second part to this comment (31), which is, “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

So how can you know if you’re really saved or just a wannabee Christian? You need to search your own heart and dig for the truth inside it. Do you truly love Jesus as a real person who died on the cross for your sins? Do you spend time in the Word learning and growing and constantly changing from your old ways so you can be more like Him? Do you look forward to being in Heaven with Him forever? If your heart says yes, then you’re saved.  But if you don’t have a convicted love in your heart for Jesus, don’t read the Bible and don’t apply His instructions or promises to your life and don’t tell others about Him with enthusiasm and appreciation, then that is a really good clue that you’re not a Christian – just a wannabee Christian.

The good news? There’s still room at the cross so if you don’t know Jesus and want to know Him, come now and be saved.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” … John 10:27

*If you would like a FREE copy of my book on faith, Let Faith Arise!, please go here and get yours today.

Let Faith Arise!

 

 

 

 

Being Thankful Just One Day a Year

2961139559_20deb04d09Like most other Canadians, I joined in with the traditional celebration of Thanksgiving this past weekend and there was so much that I had to be thankful for. I have so many wonderful blessings from God and I’m grateful for every one of them. I have to pinch myself sometimes to realize that I’m alive and that the Lord brought me through a nasty battle with cancer and gave me back my health, and I’m truly thankful for that. I’m married to an amazing man, my best friend, who loves the Lord with all his heart, and I have many wonderful children and grand children who I love. But there is something far greater than these that I’m thankful for more than just one day a year.

The Bible says in John 3:16, “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.” There is absolutely nothing in this world that can even come remotely close to this gift and there is absolutely nothing in this world that any Christian should be more thankful for than this gift.

It’s really easy for us in this busy, conflicting world to be so involved in our own lives that we forget just how important this gift is. We forget the anguish and the torture that Jesus endured as He gave up His own life to become a sacrifice for ours; as He bore upon His own body all the sins and punishment of the people of the world just so they wouldn’t have to be punished. This is undoubtedly the epitome of love and what we should be thankful for more than anything else in the world – every day and not just one day a year.

I believe that most parents wouldn’t think twice about taking punishment or even death for their own children who they love and share their lives with. But how many of us would offer to be tortured and killed for someone else who we don’t even know just so that they could be spared? How many of us would offer to die for someone who mocked us, cursed us and who even without any remorse raped and killed people we love? I know I couldn’t do it. Only Jesus could do that.

Many of us accept that because Jesus went to the cross for us we will automatically go to Heaven and be with the Lord forever after we leave this earth. This is good, but sadly, many of us don’t pursue the Christian walk beyond that acknowledgement; we feel that it’s our inevitable destiny because we’re Christians and we live the way we choose here. We pursue material possessions, great wealth and personal accomplishments as we enjoy periodical bouts of the sinful life – with repeated repentance, of course.

We need to realize that Heaven is our home – our only home – and it is our goal in life, but while we’re here on earth we have a job to do and that is to teach others about Jesus and to get as many people saved as possible. Jesus tells us in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This is not a suggestion; it’s a command that we need to fulfill, and we do it because we love the Lord and we want to get other people to know and love Him, too. We do it because we are thankful for what He has done for us.

We can’t do this on our own merits, though. We need to ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that we can understand the Bible and know what is the perfect will of God. In Mark 1:8 it says, “…but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” And so once we’re saved we need to ask God to fill us with His Spirit. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” … Luke 11:13

Through the Holy Spirit, we will learn all about God and what He wants us to do. The Bible should be our only source of information and His Spirit should be our only teacher because they are the same. When we allow men to teach us we are at risk to receive bad direction, mis-interpretation and manmade doctrine instead of Bible truth. God tells us to study His Word and in 2 Timothy 2:15 it says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

We want to be a good witness for God, and we do this by living the way Jesus tells us to and by not engaging in the sinful ways of the world. While we adhere to the laws of the land, God is the one we answer to and God is the one who we obey. He tells us in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

This not only includes what we do and where we go, but also the way we treat our body because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 it says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”  And in Romans 8:11 we learn the power of the Spirit in us, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

When we read Isaiah 53:5, we learn that through His Spirit, and the knowledge of God and faith in His Word, we can be healed of our afflictions because we were healed at the cross. “But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

We can believe God to heal us when we’re sick because it was accomplished on the cross. But in the meantime, we need to keep our bodies healthy by eating good, healthy foods and by not engaging in drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

Jesus accomplished a lot on that cross. He paid the price for our sins; He restored us back to our Heavenly Father; He gave us His Spirit to live in us and keep us in open communication with God our Father (something the world cannot do, John 9:31)); He healed our bodies so that all we have to do is accept it and believe it and we have it; and He gave us the hope of being in Heaven with Him forever.

Jesus deserves our thanks and our praise every day, not just one day a year. He has definitely given us life and life more abundantly, and to Him we give all the glory – every day! Not just one day a year.

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” … 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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Let Faith Arise!

 

 

I would like to offer everyone of you a FREE e-book copy of my book, Let Faith Arise! I wrote it during a dark time in my life when I sought the Lord to heal me of a deadly cancer. I studied, I learned and I built up my faith so that I could truly know God.   I kept inspired notes and messages while in that journey and when I was healed I formatted them into a book. It is my hope that it will also help to build your faith and bring you closer to God so that you, too, can know the love that God has for you so you will also be able to give Him thanks, every day – all day long.

Get your copy today and be blessed.

Hurting Words

3460403278_8e2cb549f8_mWe’ve all been there and we’ve all done it. We’ve said things that we wished later we hadn’t said. Our emotions overcame us and we spoke hurting words.

When we’re hurting inside and we can’t deal with the things that have come upon us, sometimes out of frustration we’ll shout out or speak words that are hurting and harmful. The sorrow within us takes over our own censors and we say things we wouldn’t normally say.

The tension and animosity that could stem from these trying times can be prevented when we can separate ourselves from the situation and turn to Jesus.

When We’re Hurting…

“I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.” … Psalm 38:8.

We’re told in 1 Peter 5:7 to cast all our care upon Him because He cares for us. When we’re hurting we need to find ourselves a quiet, private place like a closet or a bathroom if we have to, so that we can honestly get alone with Jesus and talk to Him. We need to tell Him what we’re feeling and we need to seek after HIS peace.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” … Philippians 4:7.2407960698_667f19de7b_m

Why? He’s omnipotent, so doesn’t He know what we’re going through? Yes, Jesus knows what we’re going through; in fact, He knew what we’d go through before it happened. But He wants us to WANT to talk to Him about it.

“Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.” … Psalm 27:9

He won’t just invade our privacy and snap His fingers and say, “I’m here, let’s talk.” He will wait for us to invite Him to talk – The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.” … Psalm 34:18.

And then He’ll stay with us and never leave us. – “…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” … Hebrews 13:5.

When We’re Trying to Comfort Someone Who is Hurting…

We need to always focus on the love of Jesus, and when hurtful words are spoken by someone who is beside themselves with grief or pain, we need to just let it pass and NOT take it seriously. If we do, then we just add more unhappiness to a situation that’s already filled with grief and sorrow, and that can be quickly turned into one that’s led by hostility and anger.

Jesus tells us to pray for each other and help each other get through the hard times. Whether we’re praying for healing physically or emotionally, we need to lift each other up to Jesus and pray for HIS intervention, for HIS peace, for HIS healing.

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” … James 5:16love

We aren’t told to be judges and get angry or condemn another person because they say something hurtful or cruel when they are hurting with a grief that is literally tearing their heart out. We need to be compassionate and help them through their sorrows by showing them the love of Jesus.

“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” … Ephesians 5:2

If God judged us for every word that came out of OUR mouth when we were hurting, we would be in a very bad situation and our future might not be as bright as we think. But God judges our heart and He knows what we’re going through, so if HE can let the cruel words pass, then we should let them pass, as well.

“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” … 1 Timothy 6:11

The only way to get through these horrendous times of grief and sorrow is to turn to Jesus and let Him take the burden from us and give us His peace in return …. and then we can get past the hurting words.

2142655281_596427963d_m“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” … Isaiah 40:31.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is the Real Jesus?

The world is becoming overwhelmed with people preaching the gospel and proclaiming Jesus as their Lord. There are countless establishments being built across the globe to glorify God and to bring Christians into the fold. Yet, instead of the global Christians uniting in thought and heart toward God, there is a great division among them. Why? It’s because they all teach a different doctrine, a different gospel, and a different Jesus.

So, Who is the real Jesus?

A new Christian looking for a church can easily become drawn into the wrong fold when their personal needs or desires are more of a priority than knowing God. We are surrounded with churches today that preach a false God – a false Jesus – a false gospel – and their congregations are growing!

The desire for fame and riches are to blame for the many false preachers that flood the television networks and the Christian book stores. These self-appointed leaders have taken scriptures out of context and turned the message of the gospel into a roadshow for Christians to become wealthy and carefree. This “prosperity gospel” is leading people along the broad path that leads to hell.

People who don’t know the Lord, but who want to be “Christians”, often search for a church that meets their needs and their desires. They join and believe that they are God’s children because they are faithful to their church and to the doctrine preached. Afterall, if the pastor is preaching this message then it must be what God wants. And then when the message becomes one that offends their personal lifestyle they leave and search for another church.

The Bible warns us of these types of Christians in 2 Timothy 4:3. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

In 2 Timothy 2:15  we’re told to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  We need to study the Bible and learn who God is, who Jesus is, and what the big picture of creation is about. We need to put our own thoughts and desires aside and study earnestly with a pure heart and then we’ll see the truth of the gospel.

But where can we go to find this? We realize that there are many versions of the Bible and some make the message very clear, but on the whole of things it can be overwhelming when we don’t know where to begin and when we don’t understand the history behind many of the scriptures.

Rev. Rich Vermillion, a certified minister of the gospel and faithful servant of the Lord, has put together a teaching series called, The Fundamentals of The Real Gospel. He has spent a lot of time in prayer and preparation to create a teaching series that brings out the complete and yet simple truth of the gospel of Christ. He has researched the original scriptures and studied the culture and the history of when they were made so that there can be no misunderstanding of the meaning of its content.

The teaching follows the Bible from Old Testament to the New and elaborates on who Jesus is, what was accomplished at the cross, and who we are in Christ. We learn what we can expect from God as His children and what our responsibility is toward Him and toward other Christians and non-Christians.

He clarifies the difference between the REAL gospel and the false teachings that are destroying Christians, and he brings to light some of the household names of television evangelists and preachers who proclaim a false gospel. Rev. Vermillion relates everything and brings all his findings back to the Word of God, to the scriptures that warn us of these false prophets and teachers.

This is not a series that’s for sale for personal gain. This entire series of mp3’s is FREE to whoever wants to download it so they can know the REAL GOSPEL. We can listen to them, copy them, send them to friends and family, and share them with everyone we know. Jesus paid for this message on the cross and so there is no further cost. And so, there is no reason for anyone to not be able to learn the truth about the real gospel of Jesus because they are free by clicking here.

We’re living in a time when the truth about Jesus is being ignored and the greed and self-righteousness of ungodly men and women are influencing and controlling the hearts and minds of millions of Christians. We can’t sit back any longer and just assume that our relationship with God is good or that our future with Him even exists. We need to study this for ourselves and learn the truth.

Isaiah 53:5 says Jesus loves us so much that He hung on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, healed our bodies, and brought us back to our Heavenly Father. Then He prepared a home for us in Heaven so that we could live with Him forever. Our life here on earth is not about gaining riches. It’s not about fame or power. It’s not about us living a carefree life without problems – or without sin. Life for us on this earth is our opportunity to know Jesus, to accept Him and to live the life that He has provided for us.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” …1 Corinthians 2:12

 

Love Isn’t Love Until You Give it Away

“Love isn’t love until you give it away”. It’s an old saying that’s been passed down through the ages, but what does it mean?

Love is a commitment of the heart that we have towards someone and this begins with our love for God. In Mark 12:30 we are told to “…love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul and with all our strength.” We see that love is a commitment of our entire being without exception, and that nothing anyone can do or say will overpower the devotion, respect, loyalty or commitment we have within us towards God. And share this love with other people.

Love is not an emotion. It is not a feeling. It is not subject to our surroundings, turned on by appearance or responsive to sensual lust. Love is a conviction of the heart and has nothing to do with our senses, our emotions or our circumstances, although these will be greatly affected by the love we have in us.

It’s a compassion that molds our character and is often seen by others as a good virtue, but it’s really just our nature – God’s nature in us – that is spilling out onto those around us. God tells us in Matthew 22:39 to love our neighbours as much as we love ourselves. This means that we treat other people the way that we treat ourselves and that we do it regardless of our feelings, our culture, our opinions or our financial status.

If every person could do this, we would never have an issue with racism or political indifference. We’d respect each other’s opinion and we’d never puff ourselves up above anyone else who didn’t have the money, education, successful career or outside beauty that we have. We’d see everyone around us through God’s eyes and we’d treat them the way we want to be treated.

Love is a conviction of our heart. It is not the infatuation that we have for someone we are sexually attracted to, and it is not the passionate sexual experience that we covet in them. These are lusts of the body and of the mind, and are not from the heart. Yet, when a married man and woman make love, it is an extension of the heartfelt commitment that they have for each other, and Hebrews 13:4 says that this is blessed by the Lord.

Love has no fear but is totally trusting, and in 1 John 4:18 it says, “There is no fear in love.”  When we are filled with God’s love we are not afraid because we know that He lives in us, that He loves us and that He gives us the wisdom and the strength, through prayer, to conquer all things that come against us. He says in Romans 8:15 that He has not given us the spirit of fear but of sound mind where we can cry out to Him and know that He’s with us and will help us.

The love that we have inside us needs to be shared with those around us and we can’t let pride or circumstances raise us up in our own minds so that we feel superior to anyone. In 1 Corinthians 13:4 it says, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.”

When someone needs our help or asks for something, we should always be willing to share what we have with them, whether it’s tangible things, a helping hand or a fervent prayer. In Acts 3:6 a lame man asked Peter for money, and since Peter didn’t have any money to give, he laid hands on him and healed the man instead. He didn’t just walk away.

Love is not showing ourselves to be Godly and caring people in public places, yet self-righteous and uncaring the rest of the time.

If we keep the love of God locked into our hearts and don’t act on it and don’t share it with anyone, how can those around us ever see the goodness of God through us? God is a spirit and when we’re born again, His Spirit comes and lives in us so that we become ambassadors for Christ, and our commission is to show the love of God to the people around us.

It’s not enough to speak about love and appear righteous; we need to act in love – in God’s love – and be righteous.

 “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”  … 1 John 4:20

 

 

 

Love Gives us Strength

Love gives us the strength to overcome adversity in our lives because it’s the foundation of our being that presents us with a purpose. And when we have a purpose, the love within us becomes an unbeatable force.

When children grow up together in families they often remain close friends throughout life because there’s a binding love within them. They’ll argue and display different interests, and one of them may even commit a horrible crime, but they’ll support each other and defend each other because of this love that they share for each other.

Men and woman are being plagued today with an ambience of corruption that could threaten their marriages, and this comes from an oppression of evils that are set out by the devil to destroy families. Between magazine pictures, television shows, movies and sensual billboards that promote uncensored sexual content, there is a constant drive to separate the faithfulness of the spouses.

The free liberation of the modern world presses forcefully towards independence and open thinking so that a married couple no longer becomes one entity within this world, but rather, two individuals who are living together and who have no issue separating when interests change. And when the pressures of financial lack come against them, there is little foundation to keep them together.

Yet, when love is the foundation of a marriage, nothing the devil can do is strong enough to break the commitment they have for each other. And this love that they share is the same love that God has for us and that will continue to live in us – unbeatable, unbreakable and undeniable.

Romans 8:39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God because it is greater than anything this world has to offer. Jesus loves every person that was ever born regardless of the sins they’ve committed against God or against mankind. His love for us is so great that he stepped down from His thrown in Heaven and became a lowly human to live among us so that He could become a sacrifice for our sins. His love enables Him to look past the sin in us and to see our precious souls.

It’s the same love that lives in us and is the foundation of our very being, and it’s the same love that binds all believers to God and to each other. The Bible says in 1 John 4:8 that anyone who doesn’t know love doesn’t know God because God is love. When we accept Jesus, we inherit God’s love through His Spirit and we are able to loves others unconditionally.

And nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God or from the special people in our lives.

“… neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39