Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thank You Jesus

John 15:13

"Greater love has no one than this, 
than to lay down one’s life for his friends."
John 15:13 NKJV

Many people ask, "Why do you Christians honor a symbol of torture?"  It is not the symbol, but who Jesus is and what He did. It is because of Jesus' great love that He laid His life down for us, that all who believe will have everlasting life. It is through Jesus' death, burial and resurrection that we live.

Thank You Jesus!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Exercise Your Faith

Philippians 2:12-13 NKJV
"...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

The thing I notice in my walk with the Lord, if I am not busy exercising my faith, I find my spiritual life becomes dry. My prayer and bible study is just not the same and I become lazy. I find myself just going through the motions. When I am busy serving the Lord in some way, I find that I come alive. For example, I notice a difference in my walk when I am ministering through this blog, as opposed to not. I hope and pray others are feed through my writings, but this blog does a major work in my life. To "workout your salvation" means to live out your faith and to live an obedient life. I believe this means more than just turning from sin, but also stepping out in faith bringing glory to God in your service to Him. In doing so, He will grow us. How are you doing with "working out your salvation?" Just for clarity, we do not work to earn our salvation. It is a gift of God. See Ephesians 2:8-10.

Friday, March 28, 2014

I Am Back

When I took a break last summer, I intended to be right back in a month. However, I did not realize how burnt out I was. Also, I just did not feel led to write. Before God told me to, so I did. I am not a writer or a theologian, so posting one short post world consume me for two days. This was just too much. Going forward I plan to make some changes. One thing I have always enjoyed was photography. I consider myself to be a good snapshot photographer who comes out with some good pictures. Recently I have been applying myself to going to the next level and see where it takes me. My plan is to add scripture to photos and make just a brief statement concerning the scripture. I may share something that struck me during a sermon, or what I read in a book. Most of the time it will be my own thoughts. What ever I write, will be brief. It is my prayer that God uses this site to bless my brothers and sisters in Christ along with hopefully some who do not know Jesus will come and their hearts be softened. I look forward to visiting the blogs which I have followed in the past and reconnecting with my blogger friends. May God bless you all.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Short Blogging Break

Hello everyone, I just wanted to take a moment and let you all know that I will be taking a short blogging break for about a month. I will not be posting over the next month, but I hope to stop by and visit the blogs which I normally visit during this time. I am in need of a little time for refreshment and devote some time elsewhere. I appreciate all you who visit my blog and I am looking forward to returning in August.
May God bless each of you,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Time…Where Did It Go?

Antique Clock Face

Last week my wife and I took my step granddaughter and two nephews on a vacation to San Diego, California. We had a wonderful time; we visited Sea World and let the kids swim in the Pacific Ocean. Over the last few months we anxiously awaited for this vacation to arrive. We choose our destination and booked our room back in January.  We looked forward to taking the kids and spending this time with each other. Not to mention a vacation from work. Then the time arrived and then passed just like that. I am sure you have heard many people say, “The time just flew by.” Perhaps you have said it yourself. This statement I certainly do echo. Now with every moment our vacation is slipping away further into the past, never to be experienced again. We just have a few pictures and our memories. It is like watching a sail boat drift away into the sunset, soon to be out of sight. This vacation is now in the history books of our lives.

Looking back at my life I remember a trip some twenty years ago to the Glacier National Park in Montana. This too was a most enjoyable trip. Likewise, time just flew by.  I remember we hated to see our vacation come to an end so much that we dubbed the road home, “The Trail of Tears.” Even though we had an awesome time, this vacation is now a distant memory. I can only recall very few of the conversations we had plus some of the highlights of the trip. So it is with time. People who lived two hundred years, or two thousand years ago journeyed through life and then their time passed away. Now they are long gone. Except for a few, most of these people are not even known of this day. They had their dreams and their plans, their victories and defeats. They had things which they looked forward too, then these things also came to pass.

Concerning time, a few years ago I heard an analogy which went something like this: Here in the USA we have a measurement know as an inch which is roughly about 2.5 centimeters in length.  Suppose there is a tape measure which starts here and stretches to the moon, the sun, then to the stars and keeps on going…forever. Now on this tape measure the first inch represents 100 years of time. Our life begins here on earth at the beginning of the tape measure. Most of our lives will not fill up that one inch of time. Now suppose what we do with that short amount of time will affect the rest of the time represented on the tape measure. Would it not be wise to invest this time wisely? Obviously coming to faith in Jesus and receiving His free gift of salvation is of most importance. What a wasted life it will be for all who end up spending eternity in hell. Yes, there are many other important things in life, such as helping others and being a blessing to those who we know. These are all good things which we must do. But the one thing which is weighing heavy on my heart is this: Most of us live our lives looking out for number 1, which is ourselves. The thing is God did not place us here on earth for ourselves. Think about it like this, when we live our life looking out for number 1, then we actually short change ourselves. The truth is that God has something much bigger than ourselves for each of us. We are here for God's purposes. That is, through each of us, He wants to be glorified and to make Him known. In Christ, we become servants of the Most High God. We must remember, not only what I do with my life will affect the rest of that tape measure I mentioned above, but also may have a positive or negative impact someone else’s rest of their tape measure. So the question we must all ask of ourselves, “are we going to shortchange ourselves and others in living for ourselves? Or are we going impact others for good and live life bringing glory to our God so that others may come to know Him?”

Below are a few scriptures to meditate on:

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13 NKJV)

While Jesus is addressing the scribes and Pharisees, I believe us believers may also stand in the way of people from entering into the Kingdom.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, (1 Timothy 2:1-6 NKJV)

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:37 NKJV)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Peace In A Crazy World

Picture from www.Landscape-Photo.net (CC BY-NC-ND)

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:4-8 NKJV)

The above passage from Philippians is one of my favorite in all of Scripture. My wife tells me that I am very patient in the things which matter most, but the things which do not matter, I am very impatient. I hate getting stuck behind a slow driver!!! Then there is worry, which is also something I must always constantly do battle with. All of us believers face many things in our lives which may drive us crazy, such as arguments with those close to us. Then there is the issue of divisions in the church for various reasons. If you read the above passage in context with Philippians chapter four, it gives us a biblical procedure for attaining unity in the church. Beyond this, one may also draw application into many areas of our lives if we would only apply it more deeply. If things have you down, for what ever reason, count your blessings. If you are fighting with a loved one, write out a list of the things you love about that person. While we do not neglect things which are troubling, our focus must always be on the Lord and the things which are good. We should also always rejoice, be gentle, be patient, and pray always; then we receive His promise. What is His promise? It is the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.

I will not be writing a post next week as I am blessed to spend some precious time with loved ones. Take care and God bless.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tempted, Now What?

Photo Credit: Flickr, Eduardo Amorin

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

I am sure all us have battled, and still battling sin in our lives. In my journey with the Lord, I have experienced times in which sin kept knocking on my door saying, “Just go do it…it will be pleasing…” I resist, yet it keeps knocking. I am sure many of you, if not all have experienced the same thing. Often times when we come to Christ and get saved, there is a sin (or sins) in our life which does not want to go away. Maybe we are tempted to party and get drunk or stoned. Maybe it is a sexual sin. Maybe it is something else, like anger or worry. We believe we are starting to have victory, only to find ourselves doing the very thing we do not want to do. Fortunately, God has given us a way of escape, but the question is, do we want to take it? And if we do, then what is the way of escape? In simple terms, the answer is that Jesus is the way of escape. Below I am going to share with you three things from Romans chapter 6 which will help one overcome their temptation. Before I share with you these with you, I first want to make a quick statement. Be persistent, do not give up in your battle!

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV)

3 Things You Need To Know:

  1. Know The Truth.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Romans 6:5-6 NKJV)

The first essential is to know the truth. As believers, our old man was crucified with Christ. We no longer need to be slaves to sin. How would you know this fact if you have never taken the time to learn what God says in His Word? Many of us, we are only fed on Sunday morning. Commit to spending time daily in the Word learning all you can about what God has to say. It is also wise to commit to memorizing Bible verses that way you have truth hid in your heart to draw upon in the time of need. Remember Jesus used Scripture to defeat the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness. (See Matthew 4:1-11) Just as a side note, here are a couple free tools you may use to help memorize scripture.

  1. Reckon Yourselves To Be Dead To Sin.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:10-11 NKJV)

Other translations say to count or consider yourselves dead to sin. In order to consider yourself dead to sin, you must believe God’s Word to be true. It is then when one may behave as though he is a child of God, instead of a child of the devil. As believers, Jesus set us free from the penalty of sin and we are able to walk in His strength. We will never stop sinning in this life, but we are no longer salves to it. Instead, we become salves of righteousness.

 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18 NKJV)

  1. Quit Presenting Yourself To Sin, But To God.
And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:13 NKJV)

We must all remember that “we have been bought at a price in, therefore we are to glorify God.” (See 1 Corinthians 6:20) Make it our hearts desire to live life to bring glory to God, not ourselves.  Rejoice in all things of God and be a man or woman after His own heart. As we do this, we will love the things God loves, and hate the things God hates.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 

(Psalm 37:4 NKJV)