Friday, November 17, 2017

"An Attitude Of Gratitude Can Change Your Life" - Inspirational Weekend

We Americans tend to have an attitude of entitlement rather than an attitude of gratitude.  Part of that may be due to the fact that the younger generation has had everything handed to them and also the fact that materialism is the religion of most of us.   We are never satisfied and content with what we have; we want something newer like the latest IPhone  or whatever the latest fad is.  Maybe we go into debt to get a fancy car or buy a home out of our financial reach.  Always wanting more, and never truly satisfied.  

Friends, there is only one thing that can satisfy a hungry soul, and that is a relationship with Jesus, the Savior.  Only He can fill the void within our soul that is always searching for and craving for that elusive "something" .....that need to fill the void within our inner being that only Christ can truly fill and satisfy.  

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."                         -  Jesus at John 10:10b   

Jesus is not speaking here of material riches, although He may bless you with that as well, but, rather, He is speaking of having spiritual blessings and riches;  a relationship with Him and the Father.   Such a relationship will give you peace and comfort, although you may still have trials and sorrows to endure. 

We should be grateful for all the Lord has done and will do for us.  Think about it.... He gave His very life as a sacrifice on the cross for you and me.   He bled and died for us.   He redeemed us; He sets us free from sin and bondage if we will but accept Him as our Savior; by faith believe in Him and in His resurrection, and surrender our life to Him in obedience.   Yes, we have much to be grateful for !!

"Jesus is moved to happiness every time He sees that you appreciate what He has done for you."              -  Ole Hallesby

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."   -  Henry Ward Beecher

"Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it."  -  A. W. Tozer

Did you know that by expressing gratitude you actually make yourself happier? It seems, so some experts say, that feeling and expressing gratitude gets those feel good chemicals in the brain to produce dopamine.  So go ahead and count your blessings daily and say "thank you" with heartfelt gratitude.  Some people actually keep a gratitude journal in which they daily (or every few days) write down things that happened that day that they are grateful for.  It seems this can even turn you into a nicer person, by being thankful for all of your blessings.

 As an adult, I tended to not be satisfied myself.  But when I turned to the Lord in faith and surrender, I realized that all I really needed was Him.  He took me out of the pits, out of the darkness, and into His glorious life-giving light and began to transform my thinking.  (Romans 12:1-2).  I am very grateful for all He has done in my life, my heart, my soul, and my mind.   

The Bible has much to say about thankfulness and gratitude.  

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever;"  -  1 Chronicles 16:34

"I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD."                  -  Psalm 116:17

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"  -  Ephesians 5:20

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

From the preceding verses, we can clearly see that thankfulness and gratitude should be a way of life for us.   Think about it:  our very existence is dependent upon God! He gives us our every breath.  We should live to please Him in everything we do, and that includes being grateful for all of His blessings.  

"Thou who has given so much to me, give one thing more: a grateful heart."  -  George Herbert

Following is a moving song about thankfulness:

"Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever, Amen."   -  Revelation 7:12

Have a wonderful and blessed Christ-centered weekend!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A War On Christians - We Are In A Battle Against Satan (Video)

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against the spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."   -  Ephesians 6:10-13

In the above verses, it is plain the apostle Paul is speaking of the devil as well as wicked demons.  It can be a frightful thought to do battle with satan.  But you must remember,  that if you are a Christian you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you to help you and protect cannot be demon possessed.   You may suffer some oppression from the evil one, however.   That is why we need to pray daily as well as read the Bible, God's Holy Word.  Your faith as a born again Christian  - faith in Jesus - will see you through; or should I rather say,  the Lord Himself will see you through and protect you.   

This spiritual warfare with satan and his demons is not preached in most modern day churches.   In fact, even some pastors do not believe in the devil as being real.  This suits satan to a tee because he can better deceive people (Christians as well as unbelievers) if they don't believe that he exists.  But if you are a true Christian and read your Bible, you should know that the devil is real and is out to lure you away from the Lord's work.   

Following is an excellent discussion on this subject from in an interview with Pastor Billy Crone:

Let us fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God and pray without ceasing ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17)  so that we may stand strong and are not deceived by the evil one.  The devil knows his time is short, and he is angry and is seeking to devour all whom he may.   

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"     - 1 Peter 5:8

So put on the "whole armor of God" to fight strong in this satanic war on Christians.                         (Ephesians 6:13-18).  

"Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  -  James 4:7

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Does Jesus Know You? - The Narrow Way" - Inspirational Weekend

Do you have an intimate relationship with the Lord?  Do you regularly fellowship with Jesus?  Is Jesus your friend?  Do you love Him?  If you can answer a heartfelt "yes" to those questions, then you are no doubt a true Christian.   

But what if you cannot answer yes to those questions above?  Maybe you regularly attend church and you may even serve in the church, but you have no intimate, personal, love relationship with the Lord.   Maybe, if that is true of you, then you never were truly saved or born again.  You have a form of religion, you practice religion, but you do not actually know the Lord.  Then you are in danger of hell fire.  Because, if you do not communicate with and have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, then Jesus does not know you !   

Jesus warns us at Matthew 7:21-23,  "(21) Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.  (22)  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity."

The above refers to those who are not truly converted, who do not actually know Jesus.  There are many false prophets and teachers today who can preach up a storm, but they themselves are not true believers.   Many only "tickle people's ears",  telling those in the pews what they want to hear;  they do not tell the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

"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; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."  -  2 Timothy 4:3-4  

Many of these false teachers want fame, or security, or money, or all three.   So they avoid "offending" by not teaching on hell, (when Jesus taught on hell more than He did on heaven), or they do not teach that there is only one way to heaven.  (John 14:6).   They want to keep the pews filled and keep everyone happy with sermonettes that have no depth.   At times they just preach on "how to have your best life now", instead of how to obtain life in heaven with the Lord.  Jesus is not in such churches.   If you find yourself in such a house of worship, run to a church that preaches all the Gospel:  Christ at Calvary and His resurrection and how His shed blood redeems us.  Find a church where the Holy Spirit is present.

Back again to whether or not Jesus knows you......  remember in Matthew 7:23 Jesus told those who did many works that "he never knew them."    Many churches today are filled with so-called "carnal Christians";  who live like the world, talk like the world, think like the world, and act like the world.   There is no such thing as a "carnal Christian."  If they are of the world, they are not true believers at all; they were never truly converted.   They need to wake up before it is too late and repent, confess their sins, and pray for forgiveness and turn to the Lord in faith and with love and zeal and do works that befit repentance.   You are not saved by works, but if you are truly born again good works will follow.   You are saved  by faith in Jesus and belief in His resurrection.   (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:9-10,13).

Are you following the narrow way?  

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."  -  Jesus at Matthew 7:13,14   

Jesus has been called the "strait gate."   And after that gate there is a "narrow way."   The narrow way is to follow Jesus and live a godly, holy life as much as is possible.  The narrow way is to obey the Lord and endeavor to keep His commandments.   The narrow way is to share the Gospel with lost souls as we travel on the highway to heaven.  Trust and obey !!

If you are truly born again, your life will change to conform to God's will, because you have been transformed by the renewing of your mind.  (Romans 12:1-2).  You will want to obey and do the Heavenly Father's will, because the Holy Spirit empowers true believers.   You will focus on the Lord first, spiritual matters will be of main concern, and you will think less of yourself and more of Jesus.   You will not be so self-absorbed and self-centered and selfish.   If you occasionally have a battle with sin and are broken up about it, and realize you need the Lord and His Word and time in prayer, that is a sign you are born again.....God is doing a work of sanctification in your life.   

If you stay on the "narrow way" and focus on Jesus, you will not be in danger of ending up on "the broad way" which leads to destruction.  Our job is to warn others so that they do not end up on the road to destruction. 

The evidence that you have truly been saved is the fact that you continue to walk with Jesus and grow in the faith; becoming spiritually mature.  You put Jesus first and foremost.  Jesus is everything !   

Repentance and faith in Christ has never been "fashionable". We should not be discouraged if the religion we profess is not popular and few agree with us.   It is definitely better to enter life eternal with a few, than to go to destruction with a great company.   

Stay strong in the Lord.

Read your Bible daily in order to build your faith and to know the Lord's know Him.

Pray without ceasing.  That will help you build a close relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Have a Christ centered weekend !

"And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."  -  John 17:3

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Special Update - Current Events In Light of Bible Prophecy (With Video)

Many mass shootings and other violence are happening all over the globe right now.  The Bible prophesied about an increase in violence and lawlessness in these end times we are now living in.

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."   2 Timothy 3:1    (Also read verses 2 through 4 of 2 Timothy 3).

If a tragedy hits your home town, what is happening far away across the ocean in the Middle East does not seem nearly as important to you as your immediate experience.   And that is understandable and is as it should be.  But what happens in the Middle East now affects the entire globe.... and will do so even more as time goes on.   

Amir Tsarfati , in the recent video below, explains that war is about to break out between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  Amir goes into much detail, from a Biblical perspective, about current events and speaks of our blessed hope in the soon return of Jesus Christ.

So what are we to do in the meantime ?   We should be about the Lord's business.  He gave us the Great Commission at Matthew 28:19-20 which says, 

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

So let us occupy until Jesus returns; be busy witnessing and sharing the Gospel with lost souls; live a life that is a good example of just what godly living involves if you are a true believer in the Lord.

Time is short, folks.   

"When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory."  -  Colossians 3:4

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him."      Colossians 3:17

Saturday, November 4, 2017

"Passport To Heaven" - Inspirational Weekend

The majority of Americans say that they are Christians and believe that they will go to heaven.   Many of these persons never attend Church, except perhaps on holidays.  And it is true many of them are good people that love their families and are law-abiding citizens.   However, it is sad but true that a good portion of these do not have a personal relationship with the Lord and have never been born again.   So how can we be assured that we will go to heaven, either when we die or when Jesus comes in the Rapture to take us alive to be with Him in glory?

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

Jesus is our passport to heaven.   That is, we must by faith believe in Him as the Savior, and that He was resurrected.  (Romans 10:9-13).   We must repent of our sins - turn away from all wrongdoing and do not continue to live a life of sin.  Pray for forgiveness.  So forgiveness from God and Jesus is also part of that passport to heaven.    

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."  -  1 John 5:11-12

This belief in Jesus is not mere head knowledge.  Many years ago I myself believed in my head (but not deep in my heart) that Jesus was God's Son, yet at the same time I was living a worldly, carnal life and was not putting the Lord first in my life.  I had no relationship with Him.   At 16 years old I was baptized, yet I did not truly and totally understand what that meant, what that required of me.   The devil wasted no time in luring me astray.   Many years later, and in dire circumstances, the Lord really got my attention.  One hardship and catastrophe after another until there was nothing left to hang on to.   But God.   I turned to Him with all my heart and then began a relationship with Him and Jesus that filled the void in my heart and soul and life and He began to transform me and mold me.  Romans 12:1-2 tells us, "(1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  (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."  The way to transform your mind is by much prayer and reading of the Bible, God's Holy Word.   If you are truly saved and born again, you will become a new creation.  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are past away, behold, all things are become new."  (1 Corinthians 5:17).  As a new believer, and especially as you mature in your Christian walk, you will seek the things above and put spiritual things first.  (Colossians 3:1-2).  In particular, put the good Lord first in your life and seek His guidance in all of your ways and in your life.  The point is, you must have true repentance and from the very heart of your soul seek the Lord with all you've got and put Him first in your life.   It must be a true conversion.  If you are still living like the ungodly world,  you should not expect to go to heaven.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."  -  James 4:4

Some people believe they are too wicked to approach God, or that they must first "clean up their act" before they can come to Jesus.  

Remember the woman at the well (John 4:1-26) ?  She was living in sin, yet Jesus approached her and offered her salvation.   

Remember the woman caught in adultery, and Jesus told her "Go and sin no more."  (John 8:1-11)

God expects us to leave our sins,  but it is not a prerequisite to being saved.  He will cleanse us and wash us whiter than snow, if we will but come to Him first in true repentance.  And in faith in His Son Jesus.

This reminds me of that old hymn "Just As I Am" which I am sharing here now.   Pay close attention to the words.

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."   -  Jesus at John 6:37

There is hope, my friends !    God is love, and He is a God who gives us hope.   What more could we possibly want than to spend eternity with Jesus!    Did you realize that Jesus spoke more about hell than He did about heaven?  No doubt because it breaks His heart to see people go to hell and so He warned us of the doom and torment that awaits there.   Remember, God does not send people to hell; it is our choice to go there if we do not accept Jesus as our Savior and repent.

To summarize, the way to Heaven is by Jesus Christ, the Savior.  We must come to Him in faith.  We must admit that we are a sinner (Romans 3:23; 6:23).  We must confess our sins and repent of them.  To repent means to change your mind, to turn away from sin, to avoid sin and truly become a new person in Christ. 

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.    ......For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."  -  Romans 10:9,10,13

Jesus loves you.

Jesus is giving you the invitation to eternal life.

Fall on your knees in repentance and pray for forgiveness.

Accept Jesus as your Savior.  

Jesus will return soon to take believers to be with Him at the Rapture of the church.

Don't be left behind !

Our citizenship is in heaven.   Don't forget the Passport to make the journey there!

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered......"   -  Joel 2:32a 

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:  though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  -  Isaiah 1:18

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."  -  Colossians 3:1-2

"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."           -  1 John 2:17

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Rapture - It Won't Be Long Now In Light Of Current Events (With Video)

In light of current events, even those who are not Christians realize that "something has to give."  Many are fearful and without hope and in dread of what will happen next.   Many fear a World War Three which some say has already begun, just not in full force as of now.   Christians have a blessed hope, however, in all of this turmoil and wickedness and chaotic happenings across the globe:

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ."   -  Titus 2:13

It will not be long now, believers, before we are caught up to be in heaven with the Lord when the Rapture of the Church occurs.  Maranatha !!

I have written much about the Rapture and will not repeat myself in this post.   In the search box above and to the right on this page, type in "rapture" and several posts will appear and you can scroll down and chose the ones you wish to view.  Some have videos by prominent pastors and authors on the subject of the Rapture of the Church.

I would like to share a recent video by Amir Tsarfati, a Jewish believer in the Messiah who lives in Israel and has a thriving ministry.   In it he discusses current Middle East and world events and he discusses the Rapture as well.  

These current events should be watched always as they are fulfilling Bible prophecy and verify that we are in the last days now.  Someone has said that the present time is just as prophetic as the time when Jesus was on earth 2000 years ago.

"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."  -  Luke 21:28

The above verse applies to believers in Jesus Christ, who is The Savior.   If you are not saved by the blood of Jesus, by faith in Him, then I am afraid you do not have that heavenly hope.

You need to repent and call on the name of Jesus, confess your sins and ask for forgiveness,  turn away and cease from your sins, as repentance means a change of mind and heart: to not keep living in sin.   

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."  -  Acts 4:12

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

To God, Jesus is not one way among many,  but The Way...... the only way. 

Do not harden your heart against the Lord.   Realize that time is short on this earth, and eternity is a long time to spend in the wrong place...... which is hell if you do not repent and turn to the Lord and believe in Him as The Savior.   

Believers have a hope, a blessed hope, of being with the Lord forever in eternity.   You can have that hope as well when you surrender your life to Jesus, in faith and complete belief in Him.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.   .....For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."   -  Romans 10:9,10,13

Saturday, October 28, 2017

"It's All A Test" - Inspirational Weekend

Someone once said, "This world is not a playground; it is a schoolhouse."  I am paraphrasing that from memory, so it may not be exactly every word, but the main thought is very evident.  We are not put on this earth to "party" constantly, but instead we are put here to learn and to grow and to be taught many lessons and to help others.   This is especially true of spiritual matters.   This life is truly all a test.  

"God has a purpose for trials and testings."  -  Warren Wiersbe

It is to our benefit to undergo the trials that God allows.   I say "allows" because God is not always the originator of our tribulations and testings.   We live in a fallen world, ever since Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed our heavenly Father; therefore, the earth is still under the Adamic curse:  it is full of evil and is influenced by satan and his demons.  There is crime of every sort all around us.  And just reading the news tells us that this chaotic world and its leaders are in distress and filled with perplexity (Luke 21:25).   So when something bad happens to someone, it is not because God is mean to us; but rather because this is a fallen world and bad things can happen to anyone, not because God is always behind it.  The good Lord allows trials and testings so that we may grow strong and be refined and turn to Him for our grows our faith as we turn to Him in prayer and we put our full confidence in Him.  

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."    -   1 Peter 1:7

Someone has said that a faith that that has never been tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.   That is because when our faith is tested that it doesn't tell the good Lord anything new; He already knows how strong our faith is.  Rather, when our faith is tested, it reveals to us how strong or weak we are in the area of our faith.  "A tested faith is a trusted faith."

In the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament, the word translated "test" means "to prove by trial."   When God tests His children, His purpose is to prove that our faith is real and that we are really His children and that no test or trial will make us lose our faith and fall away.

In Mark 4, Jesus gives us the parable of the sower.  Don't be like those in Mark 4:16-17 of which Jesus says:

"And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time; afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended."  

They fall away, in other words.   That is why we need to be continuously in prayer and in pouring over Scriptures daily, in order to build a strong, close, intimate and loving relationship with the Lord.  If we are ever close to Him, we will not fall away.  As I have said previously,  you cannot have any strong relationship without communication.

Remember Job and his trials, which were brought on by satan but which God allowed for a time.  Job lost his wealth and all of his children and his health as well.   Read Job 1:8-22 and Job 2:3-6; but if you have the time, read both chapters in full.   Job was righteous and kept his integrity, and in the end the good Lord blessed him with more than he had had previously (Job 42:12-17).

Also, do not forget David who said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts."  (Psalm 139:23)  David was inviting God to examine his heart and his mind in order to see that he was true to the Lord.   

This brings us to the importance of us examining ourselves, to see if we are truly in the faith.

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.  Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"   -  2 Corinthians 13:5   

Following is an excellent sermon by Charles Spurgeon on the topic of examining yourself.   

Remember that our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9)  which means that self-examination is critical in order make sure you conform to God's wishes and His will.  Examine all of your motives and see whether you are in the faith or not.

"God is at work bending, breaking, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses.   .......... He will do with you what He never did before His call came to you, and He will do with you what He is not doing with other people.  Let Him have His way."  -  Oswald Chambers.

"Ye that love the LORD, hate evil; He preserveth the souls of His saints; He delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked."   -   Psalm 97:10

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  -  1 Corinthians 10:13  

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."  -  1 Peter 5:10