DELUSIONS AND MYTHS

Today our society lives in a fast-changing world that is becoming less secure than it used to be. Do you really feel safer today than you did 20 years ago? Do you not see the greater possibilities of the constant threats of financial problems that could be ahead? Are you not aware of the blatant openness of immoral behavior among the people of this country and around the world? Do you really trust what many of our leaders say anymore, or do you feel we are continually seeing the truth twisted in greater measure than years past?

This society today lives in delusions, and it is all connected to sin. People don’t want the authority of God’s Word and ways in their lives. Most trust in money and what they are able to do. People want to enjoy their pleasures, and if they can be reasonably comfortable, they’re willing to let sin run its course. They refuse to believe, or just shut out the thoughts of the consequences that exist and just put God upon the shelf along with many of their other collections. They bring them down now and then, and when they feel like they need to, they dust them off so everything will look as nice as it can.

But there is a day coming soon when people’s stupidity will be discovered for what it is, and as things change, the true value of their own investments will come to nothing, apart from a real genuine relationship with Jesus Christ.

You should really consider this while you still have time.

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Insulting God

There are some today who believe they follow God, yet there is little fruit of their lives to show they do. It is easy for one to say they believe in God. But to really follow His ways is more than words. It is commitment and obedience. And it’s not by works alone, but by our love for God’s son, Jesus. People that play with Christianity aren’t following the God of Christianity. There is a good place in scripture that points this out, the very seriousness of playing with our relationship with Jesus. Read what it says in Hebrews 10:26-31. I like the way the New Living Translation says it to the people:

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Being a real follower of Christ is really the most serious commitment a person can ever make. No one should ever take their relationship with Christ like they would with anyone else, because God is eternally serious about you and your life with His son.

How Do You Honor God with Your Life

This world has a big problem, and that problem, like most problems, is connected to sin. Truth is lacking in our society like no time, I believe, in history. Because of mankind’s lack of moral standards and continual living in sinful behaviors, they are being turned over to deception.

Who’s fault is it? The courts? The time and day we live in? Prosperous bad people? No the church’s every problem can be traced to its doors. It can be connected to the Christian influence that is not being relevant in a place where it has not been maintained. God expects more from Christians because they are supposed to be following His word and they also must keep their own word no matter the circumstances.

Many church people would be very surprised at what their shepherds really believe about God’s word and its real relevance today. If this statement wasn’t so, then there would not be the chaos going on in Christianity and the world would be more positively affected by it. God’s word says what He expects and we either obey it or suffer the consequences for disobeying it.

God cannot, nor will not, trust any person who is not truthful about what goes on in their lives. A big hindrance to prayer is because people who are praying are not people of their word. Those who say they are followers of Christ must remember the Bible says that we as followers must not even give the appearance of doing evil or causing others to stumble because we may choose to live loosely in some areas. It is not an easy road to walk this path of a Christian life each day, but Jesus has shown us we can. And Jesus will help us even when we stumble on this path. God will keep His word to you to help you. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit that will daily or hourly help you as needed. We do not get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible that fits who we think we are that we believe fits our lives. It is not true that all of us at times can’t even keep our word to ourselves. Proverbs chapter 22 verse 1 says: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Jesus’ name is given to His people to use, but not to those that abuse it. Your reputation is secure with God when you let God have all of your life. For those who continue to constantly struggle in this it’s only because Jesus is not Lord of their life and they are trying to operate in their own character. If you’ve messed up, look up and you’ll find He is ready to help you again for He always keeps His word to you.

He Said

Jesus proved there is eternal life, that He could defeat sin, overcome death and lead all that would follow Him on the path to Heaven.  Jesus made a strong statement in John 6:44 when He said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”  This tells us no one comes to Jesus for salvation when they choose but only when the Father knows their heart is right toward Jesus.

Jesus said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the Life, He who believes in me will live even though he dies and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”  Do you believe this?  Believing means knowing.  Maybe that’s the question for the day.  Do you really believe God?

We are nothing in this world without Jesus as the center of our lives.  Are you ready to meet Him?  Jesus said in Matthew 10:32, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.”  Do you live your life in such a way that acknowledges God in your life?  You certainly should if you claim to be His follower.

Jesus came to separate us from the world and save our lost soul and give us a purpose for being here, not us doing what we want to do.  Many a person has had to face the cross of Christ and make a decision that has given them a chance to change or remain on their own.  Where are you on your journey?

There may be many times one might need to return to the Cross to refocus their life from the world back to God and His Son who is the way to get focused on real life.  Jesus said you can make it if you’ll just come to the Cross.

SORRY VS. REPENTANCE

I guess every one of us has been sorry for some of the things we’ve done in the past. All of us have had those moments when we wish we could take back something we’ve said or done. Saying “I’m sorry,” I have found, doesn’t carry much weight as when someone is repentant about what’s happened.

The Bible says we’ve all sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23). We all make mistakes; some big, some not so big; but it’s how we react that makes all the difference. It’s how our heart reacts, not our emotions and those feelings that go up and down.

Saying that you’re sorry is much easier done with a repentant heart. I found most people work with the “I’m sorry” but aren’t that interested in repentance, or they believe I’m sorry is good enough and that it is repentance.

Lots of people have prayed and asked God to forgive them of their sins, but few have really been repentant. In the book of Luke of the Bible, Jesus said that we’re to repent and that Heaven would rejoice. He didn’t say just to be sorry and that there would be rejoicing.

In Luke 13, Jesus expects you to repent. This repentance position has been exchanged for the “I’m sorry” way to many times in the church.

Repenting is a heart issue. No matter how you come to Jesus or even in making a matter right with another, don’t let “I’m sorry” just be enough. Make sure what you are repenting of really changes you. God, for sure, knows the difference and will make His acceptance of the matter from there. Repentance really means change.

Prevailing

I find it may be more difficult than others to understand why people that say they love God and call themselves by the name of Christ and find little time to pray. And it’s even harder for me to come to the understanding for those who say they are believers to take such little time to read and study God’s word. Real life with God is found in Jesus, and to understand and know who you are in Christ comes from prayer and the study of God’s word.

Prayer changes everything it touches. Prayer is powerful. You mix prayer with God’s word and there is nothing in this world that can stand against it.

The word of God lies dormant each day in homes across America. All the time containing all the information someone needs to help them cope with life. In school people go to learn how to read and write, to know how to live and communicate in the world they live in. If you, as a Christian, had to graduate to be able to move to the next level of where you go in this life, would you be able to by what you really know of God’s word? I fear that many today that name the name of Christ are only dropouts that only do meager works, if any, for the employment of Christ. Today, too many Christians are living below the poverty level- spiritually speaking- because they do not understand this abundant life Jesus died for and came to earth to show us we could have as a better way if we would so choose.

To neglect God’s word and not study it or read it and call yourself a Christian means you’re nothing more than a religious hypocrite. God doesn’t play games about the future. He knows what’s coming, and He knows what you need to be doing to get ready. Do you know all of this?

Listen to this scripture from John 10:14- 15: “I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and am known by My own…” Do you know Him? Don’t neglect His word. He’s listening for you to speak to Him. He wants to talk to you today.

Selective Sin

It happens all the time. Almost every one of us at one place or another makes choices about what we consider to be a sin, or what is maybe not as bad of a sin as another one. The Bible is pretty clear about sin. And when you may question whether something is or not, it might be wise to just err on the side of caution and not go there. Perhaps today it is worse than ever, now that many more Christians are questioning what they believe. But remember, God’s Word still applies with truth.

Times have definitely changed, but not so with God. He has the same standards as He has always had. Why, even God has to obey His own Word. It is true the Bible may be an old book, but regardless of what people say or think, it is not outdated. Its words are still just as relevant today as they ever were or will be.

We can’t just select certain passages and neglect others. We’d all like to do that at times. It’s not always an easy road to follow. But at the end of the road, that’s what is going to prove who was right. When any person comes to the end of their journey, here they will have to face the true reality of their own choices they’ve made; and if they have decided what they believe sin will be, then that’s how God will judge, and that judgment is made by being placed against His Word.

If we have strayed from His truths, then it will show up, and then the results could possibly carry a sentence that expels us from heaven. Only then it will be too late to try and make adjustments. Be very, very cautious in what you believe sin is and what God says it is.

ONLY GOD COULD DO IT

For someone like me, or maybe you, whose life went one way and it seemed God went another, through all you ever experienced God was there. We just didn’t recognize Him. If you don’t know God, He’s still waiting. His son, Jesus, is the way, the one who can lead you to a better life. He is a friend like no other, but you have to come to Jesus on His terms. And that is where the big problem usually is. We want a ‘say so’ but you can’t, or it won’t be real. You have to totally repent, not just make a few adjustments. It is either all of you, changing inside, or nothing will change.

It does take time and is a process here and there. It really all boils down to: are you willing to give it all up for a much better way of life than you think? God always gives us a choice, and then from the results of our choices, that’s who we are and directs where we are eventually heading.

To be a real Christian costs you to have to reject what this world offers to what heaven has waiting for you. We all struggle with feelings and emotions, hurts and desires where we are pretty high-maintenance in our needs and wants. It takes courage and an adjustable heart and a willingness to put yourself in God’s hands, letting Jesus make the changes to be really who you were intended to be.

So no matter where you’ve failed, no matter what you’ve done, if you really are serious about changing, Jesus is more than serious about helping you and is very capable of getting the job done.

Ineffective Power

There is an account found in the Bible that correlates to what has happened again and again throughout history for there is a lot to be said that history repeats itself.  This account has to do with the book of 1st Samuel chapters 4 & 5.  What we find here is the lives of 2 priests whose father is the prophet, Eli.  But the 2 sons are very ungodly leaders.  They believe they can do whatever they feel like, living sinful lives and that God is not going to do anything about it.  So they go to war not only to be defeated but also they die and the symbol of God’s presence, the Ark of God, as it is referred to, is taken by the enemy and then placed among the other gods of the people who eventually pay a high price of sickness and disease and their god falls off his pedestal and is broken apart.

Now, today, the church is to be one of God’s greatest symbols of His presence yet in some they have no real power for it has been taken out by the sinful acts of its people and sometimes leadership.  They made other material things religious or downright idolatry against the holiness of God.

The church God’s presence resides in should be the center point of any community, not just as a community center, but as a holy place where God is respected by its people’s actions throughout the community it is in.

We cannot place God where sin dwells and expect Him to do just take His place.  He won’t do it.  Unless the church retains its place with God, there is not real power.  The church was chosen by God to be His place and we all need to take a good look at our own churches and see how we measure up to be the real effective witness for Him in our own communities today.

The Birds and the Apple

Once on a very hot Texas day, I sat in a hotel parking lot under a small tree having some quiet time alone, when a car that was not far from me, whose driver was ready to leave, started his car, had an apple with him and for some reason, whatever it was, he simply put it outside of his car door and let it roll under the car.  Maybe it had a bad spot on it.  Whatever the reason, he drove off leaving the shiny red apple lying on the hot asphalt.

Within minutes, birds began to light and begin pecking at the apple.  Before long, there were 6 or 7, maybe more, pecking the apple, not only getting something to eat but also much needed moisture on an extremely hot day.

It began to dawn on me that apples don’t grow from asphalt and how God provided, from a very unlikely place, food and moisture for the birds of the air.  It reminded me of the scripture in Matthew 6:26 where it says: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow or reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them, are you not more valuable than they?”

It made me realize that God can provide for us from the most unlikely places as well.  No matter what we have need of, God knows what we need and only He has the great ability to bring forth and supply to you or me whatever may be required for us and all the others to come if we will only pay attention.  He has made provisions for us because we are more valuable to Him than birds.