Monday, December 26, 2011

Year Round Joy for God's Children and Hope for All

Christmas came and went - but the message of Christmas is for every day.

There is never enough time to get it all done to make sure Christmas is perfect.

Christmas preparation really is a year round job for Christians.  If you are not a Christian I will tell you how to become a Christian at the end of the article.  If you are already a Christian here is a partial list of the gifts God would like you to give to Him.  After all, Christmas is about Jesus’ birthday.  He should be the one who gets the first gifts, the best gifts, and the most gifts.

The Gifts God Wants from you are your:

Heart – God wants your heart.  He wants to be first in your heart.  He wants you to love Him the way He loves you.

Mind – God wants your thoughts to be ever toward Him and the instructions He gives you on how to live your life.  He wants you to give Him the gift of trust.  Trust Him that the boundaries He sets for you are for your own good.

Ears – God wants you to give Him the gift of your ears.  He wants you to hear what He has to say to you in the Bible.  He wants you to not listen to evil words or music.

Eyes – God wants your eyes.  He wants you to keep your eyes on Him.  He wants you to keep your eyes off the evil that is in this world.

Mouth – God wants your mouth.  He wants you to speak what is true and right.  He wants you to avoid evil speaking and gossip.

Hands to work – God wants you to work for Him.  He wants you to actually do the things He says to do. -

Feet to go – God wants your feet.  He wants you to go where His word leads you.  He is not going to lead you astray, or anywhere that breaks a commandment.  He will lead you in the best path.

Body to work – God wants your body to work for Him.  He wants you to do whatever you do in a manner that would please Him.  Your work for an employer is reflection of how you work for God. 

He wants all of you – God wants you to love Him and work for Him with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul. 

Christians are supposed to pledge eternal and unchangeable allegiance to God, to His kingdom, and to a future that is not of this present world.  Christians are supposed to view the world through the eyes of what the Bible has to say about this world and our lives in this world.

This is not a one-sided deal.  God has far more for Christians than Christians have for God. Lets take a look at Psalm 103:3. 

It says, ‘Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

And don’t for Psalm 147:3 which says, ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’

 In Psalm 103:3 we get the overwhelming good news that God forgives all our sins.  God is concerned with ALL your sins.  He is big enough to forgive your very big sins, and please be honest enough with yourself to admit you have committed at least a few very big wrongs.  He also cares about the continual sins in your life, and the little occasional sins.  If you are a child of God, then even the little sins bother you at least part of the time.  Please don’t make the mistake of comparing your little sins to the big sins of others and thinking God really doesn’t care if you have a few small sinful things you do.  He does care.  He wants to forgive you of ALL your sins and help you have a better life. You get a clean slate through God’s forgiveness.

 Your body bears the consequence of sin, whether it is a big sin or a little sin.  Healing begins with a heart that is healed of its sin and grief.  This is obviously NOT a license to do more wrong.  It is a true way to get past the wrong things you have done in the past.  Even if you happen to have a very good excuse or explanation for wrongs you have done, you still need forgiveness.  Don’t waste time justifying or explaining your actions by the actions of someone else.  Instead go to God for forgiveness and healing.  Also go to Him for healing wounds caused to you by others.  Let God heal your heart of those wounds as well as the self-inflicted wounds.

 Joy is much more natural when you are totally forgiven by God.  He will strengthen you to go forward to a better life.  If you have wronged someone you need to sincerely ask their forgiveness.  You can ask for it, and pray for it, and do you very best to make amends; but no matter what happens, God has forgiven you! 

 Most people are interested in physical healing when they think of going to God for healing.  Physical healing is possible.  Sometimes God heal infirmities for at least a season.  But, healing of the heart is eternal.  (Eventually the body is restored for eternity.) If a physical body is racked by a sin-sick heart it will show.  Loss of joy and mental depression are to be expected in the heart of the Christian who is separated from our heavenly Father by sins. 

 When you are making your list of Christmas gifts for other, remember the list of things God wants from you.  Don’t consider it hard.  Remember Matthew chapter 11:28-30 which says,

’28.  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

 Follow these instructions and your spiritual life will improve. Give the gifts to God that He asks of you. 

 Hebrews 11:6 tells us, ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’

 God has rewards for those that diligently seek Him. Believe what God is telling you.  If you lack faith, ask God to increase your faith. In obedience to God, you are giving God the things He asks of you, and you are setting yourself up to receive good things from God.  Diligently seek His face.  Learn what He asks of you through reading the studying the Bible, and apply Bible teachings to your personal actions.   That is the gift God wants from you on a daily basis.  In return you will receive rest for your soul.  In resting there is healing.  Give to God and He will give to you. 

 Please remember that I am not speaking of material wealth or physical healing.  It is true that you God may give you material wealth and physical healing, but that is not what these verses are promising.  You can give to God of your material wealth, whatever it may be.

 For those reading this who are not already Christians, you may be wondering if this applies to you, or how to make it apply to you.  To personalize God’s promises, you must be adopted into the family of God.  This is done through salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  It requires that:

 1.  You recognize that your sins have separated you from the God of the Bible who is the God of creation.  You need to understand that there are two divisions of ‘righteousness’.  First, there is the utter continual perfection of God.  He is perfect in every way every single second.  There is no human being who can say that about themselves truthfully.  Many people are much kinder and more righteous than other, but none but Jesus Christ has ever been without some sins.  The human division of righteousness is between human beings.  We can compare ourselves to others, and find ourselves better than many evil people in the world, but none of us can honestly call ourselves perfect.

 2.  God has made a place for sinners or the unrighteous.  This place is hell. 

3. God has made a place for the righteous, those who have been made righteous through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice at calvary, called heaven.

4.  God is willing to save the unrighteous from hell.  When a man or woman turns from the life he or she is living and turns to God, God saves them from hell.  It is a personal choice that everyone makes.  It requires a specific definite decision to turn to God and His ways.  Through Christ, hell is escaped and heaven is gained!

 Some verses that are good to consider when seeking the way to God are:

 Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (I know – I already used that verse – but it is worth reading twice.)

1 Timothy 1:16

 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

 1 John 5:13

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.’

  I love this verse.  You can KNOW that you have eternal life.  Remember God is greater than how you feel.  Once you are God’s child, you are His eternally.  That means He is with you on the days you ‘feel’ His presence and on a dark night when you may feel alone.  Feeling abandoned is just a feeling.  It is not a reality.


1.  Hebrews 9:27

 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

 So first is the judgement.

 2.  John 11:25

 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Next – those who have believed in Jesus will live again.

 3.  Revelation 14:11

 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

 Those who have refused Christ’s offer to save them from hell will go to hell.


1 Corinthians 2:9

 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

 1.Matthew 19:14

 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

 Some of the things we see in children that will be in heaven are innocence, honesty, trust, joy, unconditional love, many other wonderful things.


 2 Peter 3:9

 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


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.

 John 3:36

 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.


John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


Exodus 20:5a

 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God;

There is an old Christian hymn that asks the question ‘Are YOU ready for the judgment day?

If you cannot say – YES!  I am ready!  I am safe in Jesus Christ.  By HIS sacrifice I have been promised entry into heaven, then now is the time to ask Jesus to save you personally from the evil times to come.

There’s a Great Day Coming

There’s a great day coming, a great day coming;

 There’s a great day coming by and by,

 When the saints and the sinners shall be parted right and left,

 Are you ready for that day to come?


Are you ready? Are you ready?

 Are you ready for the judgment day?

 Are you ready? Are you ready?

 For the judgment day?

There’s a bright day coming, a bright day coming;

 There’s a bright day coming by and by.

 But its brightness shall only come to them that love the Lord.

 Are you ready for that day to come?


There’s a sad day coming, a sad day coming;

 There’s a sad day coming by and by,

 When the sinner shall hear his doom: “Depart, I know you not!”

 Are you ready for that day to come?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Battle for Civilization as We Know it

Christians Are Losing the Battle for Civilization Because They Are Using the Wrong Weapons

When I was in school a history teacher showed a documentary film of Ethiopians using spears to go out and fight tanks.  Ethiopia lost.  Her warriors were brave and valiant, but they never had a chance.  Obviously, the Ethiopians fought with spears because they had no better weapon.  There was never any question regarding who would actually win that war.

 Christians today seem to be losing the war to maintain a form of Christian civilization.  Now why do you suppose that is?  I think we are told what is wrong in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

 3.  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  2 Corinthians 10:1-5

 Verses 3-5 should hold our undivided attention.  If you want to know why Christianity seems to be on the losing end of almost every battle then pay strict attention to verse 3.  Christians are obviously living people just like anyone else on the planet.  We definitely do walk in the flesh because we are living human beings.  However, we are not supposed to war after the flesh meaning we aren’t supposed to use normal weapons of war in our battles.  (Not speaking of national warfare arms.  Christians and nations are allowed self-defense.) Our weapons are supposed to be those provided for Believers through Christ and His word.  If the Ethiopians I mentioned at the beginning of this article had had weapons by which they could have won the war, don’t you think they would have used them?  Today Christians have jumped into the middle of political and social injustice with the weapons used by people of the world.  They are fighting with protests, and law suits, and marches, and whatever they can get away with. All they are succeeding in doing is degrading society and civilization as a whole.  Isn’t it about time Christians brought out the weapons that have power to win?  Some earthly battles can be directly won now, and ultimately the war between our Perfect God and evil will be won.  What are the weapons available for the use of Believers by which we may win great and small battles?  Actually Ephesians chapter six gives us the rules by which we are to live.  Don’t trivialize God’s blueprint for facing the trials of life.  Be obedient to the Lord and set your heart to do the things He tells us to do.

 Ephesians begins by telling us how to get our minds ready to face the challenges ahead.  Our actions follow our minds.  Once a mind is set to obey the Lord, then doing the things He says to do becomes more automatic.

 Ephesians chapter 6:

Verse 1 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  OBEY – as children we are to obey our parents.  As adults Christians are to obey the rules God gives us.  They are for our own good.  Also, they are not a heavy burden to bear.  They are to keep us from harm.  God didn’t randomly write a bunch of rules that are just busy work.  His instructions are for our personal good. 

 Verse 2 - Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Honor – giving moral allegiance to the Biblical principles taught by parents – while giving outward and inward respect to parents.

 Verse 3 - That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
The life a committed believer may have effects that live on after them for generations. 

 Verse 4 - And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Parents – be consistent in teaching your children the things of the Lord.  Let them see you practice what you teach. This goes for your children and those over whom you have any authority.  Be as gentle and kind as circumstances will allow.  Discipline may be required, but do what you can first with love and gentle persuasion.

 Verse 5 - Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Pay attention to your own task masters.  Do with care what is required of you.  It is shameful to the Lord to see so called Christians spending more of their time trying to get out of work than actually doing work.  Christians should go about their daily chores with a mind that is set on doing a good job.

 Verse 6 - Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
This means that you are doing your best to do a good job whether the boss is watching you or not!  You are working to please God and acknowledge that He sees what you are doing whether the boss is watching or not!

 Verse 7 - With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
You are cheerfully seeking to please God. 

 Verse 8 - Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Ultimately, people do reap what they sow.  If you are doing good according to God’s definition of good, you will receive good treatment from the Lord.

 Verse 9 - And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
I you have authority over others, treat them with gentleness and kindness.  Don’t ‘lord it over them’, but remember that you have a great responsibility to represent the God you serve.

 Verse 10 -  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, be strong through God’s power.  All people are beset by ills and woes.  But no matter our weakness or strength, the Lord has power beyond what we can imagine.  Plead for His strength to carry you through whatever is happening.

 Verse 11 - Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Christians are to put on the complete suit of armor provided by God.  No soldier would go to battle only wearing half a suit of armor providing he had an entire suit of armor available.  How foolish of Christians to only make use of only part of the armor God provides.

 12.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
This verse reminds Christians of exactly who the enemy really is, and why they need the armor of God.

The chief fight of Christians is not chiefly with the living men and women we see in politics and society or even the fleshly things of this earth.  It is against the powers and rulers of darkness – or the angels who fell from heaven with Lucifer.   These evil beings, though unseen, are very powerful and have armies of fallen angels at their command.  How ridiculous is it for Christians to not take this seriously?

 Verse 13 - Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

This verse tells us how to face warfare with these fallen angels.  No, I don’t mean some sort of face to face combat.  But there will be combat with those who are tools of the devil.  It is imperative that the Christian always remember that while the weapons of the devil are often people who serve him, the enemy is the devil and his followers.  To forget this something like thinking a military tank is the enemy instead of the powers that are manning and driving the tank.  Evil days are scary days.  You do not want to face them without God.  Then just stand still, and keep standing. 

 Verse 14 - Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Entangle your thoughts with the truth given to you in the Bible.  Think Biblically.  Ask yourself what the Bible has to say about EVERYTHING.  And ask yourself what the bible says to do in all situations.  You KNOW what the commandments are including the new commandment to love others as Christ loved us.  To a large part it is simply determine what the commandments are in your situation.  If all else fails go by the rule ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’.  Knowing and doing what is right according to God gives you the breastplate of righteousness.

 Verse 15 -  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The gospel is the ultimate gospel of peace because it brings makes available peace between God and man.  The shoes have a grip on the soles as though you are crossing an ice field.  The shoes are tough enough to take you through whatever rough terrain you must cross in order to get where God is leading you.  You cannot overstate the importance of proper shoes either spiritually or physically.

 Verse 16 -  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

More than anything else, you need the shield of faith.  Faith ignores circumstances and knows God is with you whatever mess you might be in at the moment.  When the devil throws a fiery dart of doubt at you regarding prayers not yet answered, or wicked temptations, or fear of the future, the shield of faith bounces them off. 

 Verse 17 - And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Well – you need to guard your head because if the devil knocks you coco then you are not able to function well anywhere else.  Don’t let things of this world capture your mind.  Don’t let the love of money, or the material world, or the fleshly world, or the world of power capture your mind.  Christians are saved by grace to enter the kingdom of heaven.  They are safe from worldly lusts by guarding their minds from evil.

 Now the sword of the spirit is the word of God.  It is a mighty tool.  An excellent companion verse to this one is Psalm 149:6 which says, ‘Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;’.   The word of God is a mighty two edged sword. 

 Verse 18 -  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 THEN, when you are all decked out for battle it is time to start to pray continually with perseverance and pleading for all the Christian brothers and sisters. Pray continually, urgently as need arises, and with eyes watching for answers from God and to guard against the enemy. Be steadfast to the end of your days.  You will not regret for one second of eternity living for Christ today.

 Verse 19 -  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
When you are ready for battle, the Lord gives you a word to speak.  He opens your mouth to tell others about Jesus Christ.  THAT is the real battle, and you are ready to join in.

 Verse 20 -  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul was compelled to tell the Gospel. He wasn’t as an ambassador of one country to a different country.  He was a heavenly ambassador to the entire world.  Christians today are heavenly ambassadors to every person with whom we have contact. 

 I think we have all heard terrible stories of ambassadors to different nations who are disrespectful  to the laws of their host nations?  They have diplomatic immunity, and they certainly use it.  Christians are not so.  We are subject to obey the laws of the land and the laws of God.  The exception is that no rule or law of man breaks a law of God, Christians are to obey God above all earthly rules.

 Verse 21 - But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

.Verse 22 -  Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

 Verse 23 - Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Verse 24 - Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Sincerely and obediently follow the instructions in this book of the Bible.  Do not forsake weapons that work for weapons that the world has designed.  Christians who choose weapons of the world over weapons provided by God are choosing defeat and disgrace.  It is time to get ready for the real battle using the powerful weapons that God has provided.

Memorizing Christian music that is relevant to the faith is an extremely easy way to encourage yourself in the Lord and remind yourself of important lessons the Bible teaches.

 Obedience and faith are crucial, so I put in links to two songs.
Trust and Obey/On Christ the Solid Rock

Faith is the Victory

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to be a Man or Woman Who is Blessed of God

The Blessed Man Loves the Lord’s Truth  AND  Avoids Trouble

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly….

Eve walked in the counsel of the ungodly.  She went near the forbidden tree where the wily serpent awaited her. 

nor standeth in the way of sinners…….

Eve stood in the way of sinners.  She stopped walking and stood there and listened to the devil’s arguments.  Oh, the devil spoke cunningly.  He didn’t come out and say, ‘I hate you and want you to turn from God and worship me.’  He asked her questions that acted as though God was not entirely truthful with Eve, and that God was keeping good things from her. 

nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful……

Eve sat down and joined the counsel of the ungodly.  She fell under the devil’s evil spell and believed the his cunningly devised fable.

In short, Eve walked by a place where the ungodly lived.  She should have avoided that place all together once she knew it was forbidden,

Eve not only walked by the forbidden place, she stood there to listen to the snake question and call God a liar.  Why didn’t she stand up and defend God’s truth instead of allowing Satan to question God’s truth?  Probably she was just to weak to do anything.  The devil and cohorts are powerful.  It was utterly stupid or arrogant of Eve to go anywhere near the forbidden place.  For whatever reason, Eve listened so long that she was convinced.  She ate the fruit, and then set out to convince her husband to eat of the fruit as well.   (Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  Psalm 1:1)

 In short, Eve was drawn into sin.  She became a servant of the snake, and she went to her husband and drew him into sin.  Then, their children were born in sin, and so has the world been ever since.

 It is sort of like a Hollywood horror movie where the vampires or zombies take over the world.  (I watched a few of those movies on black and white TV when I was a kid.  I absolutely do not watch them now.  I shudder to think how bad they are on the big screen and in color.)

 Eve’s story gives us a history of the actual events that happened and an example of disobedience that brought sorrow and suffering to all humanity.  When we hear of the ‘world that perished’, we think of the world that was drowned in the global flood in Noah’s day.  But, we could also think of the world that perished when Eve sinned.  The world of perfection was gone. 

 The devil has not changed his tactics.  He is still a liar.  He still uses the same strategy. 

He entices people to walk in the council of the ungodly.  ‘Just walk by and take a peek,’ he says.  ‘What harm can there be in that?  If you don’t really know what is going on, who are you to judge it as wrong?  And, with your life and work schedule, you cannot afford to miss out on something that will give you pleasure and help you forget your troubles and cares for just a little while.’ 

Another despicable but effective tactic the devil uses is coveting, also called jealousy.  Today class-war-fare is global.  The poor hate the rich and look to the government to equal things out.  To the poor I would say this.  Forget the rich.  Forget the government.  Remember God.  God is the one who created you, and God is the One who will care for you.  Don’t let demanding a pittance from the government take up the time you could be spending growing as a Christian.  Don’t be like the one named ‘Foolish Heart’

 Foolish Heart walks by acquaintances who are indulging in something worldly.  The next thing Foolish Heart knows he is standing there gawking at something ungodly.  ‘Looks like fun doesn’t it?’  says the devil.  Or, he says, ‘That looks interesting and you might learn something.’  Or, he says, ‘Those are the right people for you to get to know.  It could really help your career or job prospects.’  Soon, Foolish Heart is drawn in to the point that it sits and relaxes in the situation.  ‘This isn’t so bad,’ Foolish Heart tells himself.  He relaxes.  He listens.  Sooner than he ever thought possible, Foolish Heart has joined the ranks of the ungodly.  He may have found a source of undeserved income either from the government or illegal activity.  He may have found an immoral activity that brings him pleasure for a season.  Like Lot, Foolish Heart would still be a saved man if ever he was saved to begin with, but he is still sitting in a seat by those who reject Gods teachings and boundaries with every thought in their hearts and minds.  Some reject Him openly.  Others reject more subtly, simply questioning God’s word here and there, His authority another place, and His mercy other places. 

 The beginning of walking in the counsel of the ungodly begins in the mind.  Every Christian who wants to avoid walking in the counsel of the ungodly must begin by delighting themselves in the law of Lord.  This delight comes and is maintained by meditating day and night on the things God has told us in His word.

 There truly is a battle for the minds of all people.  For the lost, the battle is to keep them from even considering the Bible and its teachings as the way of redemption and reconciliation between God and the individual human being.  For the Christian the battle for the mind is to at least distract them from some of the Bible truths and instructions for living.  They may be saved, but perhaps the devil and the world will be able to distract them from the importance of conforming to the image of Christ.  After all, a Christian who walks like the world, talks like the world, and acts the world will not be an example of the differences between the saved and the lost.  Walking, sitting, or standing in the counsel of the ungodly all decrease a Christians personal witness to the world.  It makes trivializing the salvation message much easier to the people of the world.  It makes for a watered down version of Christianity.  It allows the devil to gain a stronghold in the youngest generation.  Lot escaped with his life from the destruction of the city, but I suppose he would have rather perished than faced what happened afterward.  The thought that probably ran through his mind like a video on repeat was, ‘If only I had never walked by Sodom to see what was going on…….   Take heed from Eve.  She strolled by the forbidden tree and look what happened.  Take heed from Lot.  He strolled down to Sodom to look the place over.  The next thing he probably knew he was a powerful man sitting in judgment at the gates of the city.  The next thing he knew he was a homeless man with immoral daughters.

 There is no forbidden place by which a Christian can safely walk.  Evil is like the tide going out.  When you wade in the water you may get sucked out with the tide.  When you get close to evil you will be sucked into it.  Keep your feet on the stable land of obedience to God and faithfulness to His instructions.

 If you want to change the world for the better, the change begins with yourself.  Take the Bible seriously.  If the Bible says we are to do something, then that is what we are to do.  If says we are not to do something, then it is important that we do not do it!  Make it a constant goal to let your own heart be changed to be more like Christ.

Know the Gospel.

Preach the gospel by how you live.

 Take these things to heart:

 God is Truth

God communicated the truth to us in the Bible.

 Christians are to

Know the Truth – which is to know God and what He says in His book.

Conform to the image of God

Communicate the truth of God’s word to others

 The constant goal of a committed Christian should be to walk closer to Jesus.  Christians who seek to set the pace of their own steps to match the pace of the steps of Jesus will have a better Christian walk.  You want to be in step with Christ on the days your life is going fast and furious, and on the days it is slow and boring.  Whatever is happening in your life now, do your best to get in step with Jesus and stay there.  It is human nature to want to run through the rough times, and linger in the times of joy.  The correct pace or speed with which you pass through something, good or bad, is the pace that Christ sets for you.  Commit yourself to a regime of Bible study and meditation.  Any spare thought should be on Christ and His word, and not to forget scheduled time for Bible study. 

 Christians need to strive to:

Stay away from temptation – don’t think about it and don’t even walk near things that might tempt you

Stay in step with Christ – let Him set the pace for what is happening in your life today – and cast the cares of tomorrow upon Him.  Remember, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Matthew 6:34

Just a Closer Walk With Thee

I am weak, but Thou art strong;

 Jesus, keep me from all wrong;

 I’ll be satisfied as long

 As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.


Just a closer walk with Thee,

 Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,

 Daily walking close to Thee,

 Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Through this world of toil and snares,

 If I falter, Lord, who cares?

 Who with me my burden shares?

 None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.


When my feeble life is o’er,

 Time for me will be no more;

 Guide me gently, safely o’er

 To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Things That Are Unchangeable

Things that Are Unchangeable

 There are certain things that are today for everyone in general and for everyone specifically.

Things that ‘are’ for everyone are planetary locations and rotations, star location, seasons, time, place, and space.  It is a particular day, week, month, year, and season of the year.  There are certain laws that are in effect.  The law of gravity is a well-known law.  If you jump off a cliff, you will fall to the bottom of the cliff and probably kill yourself.  Who can argue with that?

Things that ‘are’ include physical needs.  People need food, water, and shelter from the elements to survive. 

 Individuals are living in a certain place, surviving by specific means, are a particular gender, heights, size, skin color, age, with a particular level of health.

 Measurements are what they are, whether you are measuring time or distance or square feet. 

 Now, what happens when someone decides that things that ‘are’  ‘are not’?  I mean, if you are measuring time and decide that Christmas is on a Tuesday when it is really on a Monday, will your holiday plans turn out ok?

 Or, if someone living in Fairbanks, Alaska, decides it is July when it is December, and dresses accordingly, will they avoid the frostbite the comes to exposed skin in December in Fairbanks?

 If someone who is a size 12 decides to buy clothes that are a size 8, will the clothes fit?

 If an architect decides a foot is 10 inches rather than 12 inches, will a 2000 square foot home really have 2000 square feet?

 It doesn’t work does it?  Things that are just are.  That is the way it is and we cannot change it.  It is called the truth.  And, if anyone has a misconception of the truth of time, distance, measurement, necessities, and so on, they are setting themselves up for a BIG fall.

 Something else that is an unchangeable fact is the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is the truth that saves. It tells the truth by which man can be saved from hell and obtain heaven. If it is diluted to the wisdom of man, then it is not the truth that has power to save. 

 Join the task force of true Believes who earnestly contend for the faith.  Take the true Gospel to the lost.  A watered down social gospel has no power to save anyone from anything.  A lesser gospel is sort of like taking rainwater to a sick person and telling them it has the nutritional and healthful benefits of chicken soup.  Even if you throw in a couple of tablespoons of real chicken soup, it will be rainwater.  It also will not have any benefits to the health or recovery of the sick person.

 It is also an unchangeable fact that in order for a Christian to have a faith that is strong enough for the journey, they must be firmly grounded in Bible teachings and truth. A strengthening truth from the Bible is that God deserves our thankfulness, and that thankfulness to God benefits the believer as well.

 It is an unchangeable fact that something crucial to the well-being of Christians is thanksgiving.  God deserves our thanks.  It is wrong to with-hold thanks when it is deserved.  As usual, God gives more than He gets. 

 Thanksgiving DOES have benefits for you personally.  God takes notice of obedience in His children.  A moment of sincere thanks to God will most certainly bless you.  The world tends to look at ‘blessings’ as mountains of material wealth.  This is not the case with believers.  Honestly, the material blessings are wonderful.  However, they do become secondary to other blessings like life, the honest love of family and friends, liberty, freedom of worship, and freedom to follow the dreams that God puts in your heart.  Still, Christians are not to make light of material blessings like a nice wood burning stove on a cold day, a roof that doesn’t leak during a rain storm, or that really neat new refrigerator that makes shaved ice when you hit the right button.  (No, I don’t have such a refrigerator, but I want one.  Of course first I need a house to put it in, but I still want one.)  Specific Thanksgiving to God Almighty for His wonderful blessings to mankind and to you personally brings you closer to God.  The closer to God you are the better your life will be.

 We are approaching the end of 2011.  Thanksgiving is just on the horizon, and then comes the most famous holiday of them all. For Christians Christmas should be a time of even more thanksgiving.  Honestly, I like to start celebrating Christmas on Thanksgiving Day, or a week or two before.  Get into the mood of thanksgiving and let that be your constant thought through the rest of the year.  It is sort of a time of rest from worries.  Thanksgiving to God Almighty has the power to give you rest from whatever worries you have.  A very common worry from now until the end of the year is money.  How are you going to pay for all that holiday cheer?  Meals, travel, present, and even charitable giving all adds up to a lot of extra money.  If you don’t have extra money during the rest of the year, why would you have extra money for the holiday season which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year?  This time of year is either the time to  cave into social pressure to spend spend spend, OR become scrooge like, OR become more thankful.  In becoming more thankful, the other problems do two things.  First they go from being  most important down to being far less important.  Sometimes unexpected solutions present themselves.  Whatever happens you are far better off being thankful than you are worrying about how to get it all done.

 Also, to all my readers, I know some of you aren’t really worried about Christmas presents and expenses.  You are worried about having no job, and how you are going to pay your electric bill in the dead of winter.  I prayed for you just now.  I ask all other readers to take a minute right now to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are hurting financially right now.  Also pray for those who have suffered loss this year such as death of a family member, an unwanted divorce, and other such terrible losses.  And, for the brethren who are without even personal safety, much less a constant way to provide for their families.  God help each of you, and God give each of us the means and a generous heart to help those we meet who are in need.  I want to speak to both  those who have suffered terribly this year as well as to those who have prospered spiritually and materially in this article.  Thanksgiving is the help for everyone, regardless of circumstances.  But, let me speak to those going through rough times just a moment.  An example of thanksgiving in dire circumstances is given to us by the Pilgrims who first came to what would become the United States of America.  During their first year, the Pilgrims suffered approximately 50% casualties.  HALF their number died!  Yet when the opportunity came they offered a huge thanksgiving to God for His goodness to them.  The legacy left by their behavior rocked the world.  So, if you are in dire circumstances, the most effective thing you can do is sincerely thank God for the daily benefits He gives to you.  If things seem to be going your way now, it is an equally good time to give thanks.

 In the Bible we are told five times of the ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’.  I think the more dreadful the circumstances the people are facing, the more thanksgiving is a sacrifice.  They have to take their thoughts off their problems, or sacrifice the sorrow’s first place in their thoughts, and give thanks to God first place in thoughts. I suppose even sorrow or trials could be a taken as a ‘god before God’ if the trials are getting first place in the believer’s life.  The Pilgrims were certainly an example of a sacrificial time of thanks.  But in the thanksgiving there is rest from which it is hard to turn away.  When you stop thanking God, you have to face the trials alone.  Always remember that while you are thanking God, God is working on solutions for you.  Also remember that among all our worldly goods, though they be great, no one has anything worthy of an offering to God.  Thanking God for His goodness to us is the way to express our thanks properly, AND rest from our sorrow and trials,

AND give God the authority to work out our difficulties on our behalf.

 Take the time to go to a web site like biblegateway and look up thanks, thanksgiving, thankful and read the verses.  Believers are called upon to be thankful in all circumstances.  I don’t think we are supposed to be thankful when tragedy or hard times strike, but rather to be thankful for the goodness of God that continues through whatever circumstances we are facing. 

 The best way to prepare for the coming season of holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas is to pay strict attention to thankfulness to God.  The best way face the rest of your life is to set a pattern of thanksgiving in all seasons in all circumstances.

 If you are in a dire set of circumstances, faith in God’s ability and willingness to fulfill his promises to His children is the beginning of change.  Have faith.  God is righteous, and God loves His children.  Give thanks.  It takes a lot of faith and determination to set aside sorrows and thank God that His word is true and that He will do all that He has promised.  (Remember that little song ‘Every Promise in the Book is Mine’?  )

 If you are in good circumstances now and living the life of which you always dreamed, remember that it is God who has blessed you.  Give thanks.

 I have two songs for this article because thanksgiving seems to be accompanied by music. 

 The first is Amazing Grace because it is a ballad that tells the story of conversion, life, and heaven.  Memorize all the verses.  There is no song like it all creation.  The verse that says, ‘The Lord has promised good to me – His word my hope assures’ – explains the reason we have courage to give thanks in the midst of trials.  The Lord promises us good.  His thoughts toward us are good.  We can’t see the big picture most of the time – but that does not change what the true picture really is.  God had promised good to me personally – and to you personally as well.  Give thanks.

 The second song is ‘Faith is the Victory’.  Hebrews chapter 11 tells of faithful acts of the saints of ages past.  For the individual Christian to take his/her focus off their troubles and focus on giving thanks requires great faith and determination.  God has not changed.  He still takes note of those who go forward by faith, seeing the greatness and power of God instead of the impossibility of their tasks.  By faith, set aside your distractions whether they be good or bad, and make thanksgiving a constant and continual part of your daily thoughts and routine.  Faith and thankfulness are first and foremost an attitude of the heart.  A right attitude has its roots in thanksgiving and faith.  I wish to all of you a blessed time from now through the rest or the year.  I thank God for believers around the world, and pray for His the continued blessings of His help to each of us. 

Faith is the Victory

Encamped along the hills of light,

 Ye Christian soldiers, rise.

 And press the battle ere the night

 Shall veil the glowing skies.

 Against the foe in vales below

 Let all our strength be hurled.

 Faith is the victory, we know,

 That overcomes the world.


Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!

 O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,

 Our sword the Word of God.

 We tread the road the saints above

 With shouts of triumph trod.

 By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,

 Swept on o’er every field.

 The faith by which they conquered death

 Is still our shining shield.


On every hand the foe we find

 Drawn up in dread array.

 Let tents of ease be left behind,

 And onward to the fray.

 Salvation’s helmet on each head,

 With truth all girt about,

 The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,

 And echo with our shout.


To him that overcomes the foe,

 White raiment shall be giv’n.

 Before the angels he shall know

 His name confessed in Heav’n.

 Then onward from the hill of light,

 Our hearts with love aflame,

 We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,

 In Jesus’ conqu’ring Name.


Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

 That saved a wretch like me!

 I once was lost, but now am found;

 Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

 And grace my fears relieved;

 How precious did that grace appear

 The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,

 I have already come;

 ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

 And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,

 His Word my hope secures;

 He will my Shield and Portion be,

 As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

 And mortal life shall cease,

 I shall possess, within the veil,

 A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

 The sun forbear to shine;

 But God, who called me here below,

 Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,

 Bright shining as the sun,

 We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

 Than when we’d first begun.