Do Not Be Afraid – But Be Afraid

There is no reason to fear this, or any, virus. God alone determines when we will die physically. We will all die – and none of us know when that time will be. That has always been and that will always be. Our great advancements in technology and economics will never do away with physical death. I will die. You will die. God holds all of our days in His hands.

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Psalm 139: 16

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Yet, the death of our body is not the end. We will all live forever. The question is – where will we live in eternity?

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you will go to be with Him in heaven. He has promised this.

Matt 14:1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”  V. 6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

If you have not acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Savior, then you will not be allowed into Heaven. That is what we should be afraid of!

Matt 10:28-31

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Stop running after material wealth. Stop spending your days filling yourself with sensual pleasures. Those things will not last. Look for God. Pray to Him. Ask and you WILL receive.

Rev. 3:20

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

How do you hear His voice? Read the Bible, pray and listen in solitude.

We don’t need to shut down the whole country. We need to turn back to God.

It is as simple at that.

Do you know Jesus Christ? Do you have any questions about Him?

Wait Upon God

Over the past few days, my husband and I have been looking back and looking forward. The new year has brought us to ponder our lives and what we see in this world.

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We see more drugs and violence. We see families in trouble where there were once many strong families. We see communities of people helping one another reduced to strangers living next door and children not able to cope.

Yet, we also heard an incredible testimony at church last week. A young man raised in a Christian home had fallen far from God and he was feeling the effects of it. His guilt and shame grew and grew until he could no longer stand it. He came back to Jesus and his incredible joy is truly infectious.

This morning my husband and I began a new devotional, Teach Me to Pray, from the writings of Andrew Murray.

January 1 reads: “Wait upon God – He (Daniel) prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10

“The more I think of and pray about the religious situation in our country, the deeper my conviction becomes that Christians do not realize that the aim of conversion is to bring them into daily fellowship with the Father in heaven.

“For the believer, taking time each day with God’s Word and in prayer is indispensable. Each day we need to wait upon God for His presence and His love to be revealed.

“It is not enough at conversion to accept forgiveness of sins or even to surrender to God. That is only a beginning. We must understand that we have no power on our own to maintain our spiritual life. We need to receive daily new grace from heaven through fellowship with the Lord Jesus. This cannot be obtained by a hasty prayer or a superficial reading of a few verses from God’s Word. We must take time to come into God’s presence, to feel our weakness and our need, and to wait on God through His Holy Spirit to renew our fellowship with Him. Then we may expect to be kept by the power of Christ throughout the day.

“It is my aim to help Christians to see the absolute necessity of spending time with the Lord Jesus. Without this, the joy and power of God’s Holy Spirit in daily life cannot be experienced.”

That is the answer. The answer to the world’s trouble. The answer to our personal, daily walk through this troubled world.

Heal Our Land

Texas. Ohio. Nevada. Florida. Georgia. Colorado. North Carolina. Arkansas. Alabama. Virginia. Connecticut. California. Oklahoma. New York. District of Columbia. Missouri. Maryland. Indiana. Tennessee. Rhode Island. Kentucky. Mississippi. Michigan. Oregon. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. Washington. Louisiana. Michigan. Iowa. South Carolina. New Mexico. Massachusetts. Hawaii. Nebraska. West Virginia. Vermont. Minnesota. New Jersey.

A Very Sad Face…

We are a nation in mourning. The senseless killing continues. We Must do something.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 

God’s promise is an If, Then promise. If people do this, Then God will do that. Our step comes first.

  • Be Humble
  • Pray
  • Seek His Face
  • Turn from Wicked Ways

Micah 6:8

“He has shown you, O man, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Pray, Read the Bible, Ask God what he wants in your heart and in your life.

Then Listen. Please, Stop and Listen.

Psalm 95:1-2

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” 

Created for Relationship

When God created the world, He did so with Relationship at its core. Humanity was created in order to be in Relationship with God, and in Relationship with one another.

If either one of these Relationship Dynamics is off track, then our emotional, mental and spiritual health is out of balance. We begin to try to fill the holes with many other things: money, sex, material possessions, power over others … the list goes on.

If both of these Relationship Dynamics are in good working order, then we are able to grow into mature Christians, who are in turn able to give to others who are in need.

Those are the simply basics of how life works.

When God created Adam and Eve, there was perfect union with both God and with each other. The two people walked with God in the garden, talking with Him and being open and honest with each other. Genesis 2:25 says, “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” This is not only about no clothes. This is two people being completely intimate physically, but also emotionally. They were in harmony. They were vulnerable with each other, not hiding anything. They “knew” each other completely. There was no shame.

We were created to be in that kind of Relationship with both God and others. To be open and honest. To be intimate. To be accepted.

Someone once asked Jesus what the greatest commandment in the world is. Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:37-39

Everything in life comes down to these two Relationships.

We must be reconciled to God. We must ask His forgiveness and we must cultivate a daily relationship with Him.

We must reconnect with others. We must care for each other, forgive each other, reach out in love and support for each other.

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So how do we do this? Jesus gives us this very important directive in living our lives. “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  John 14:13   

James tells us, “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

We know what God wants for us and what we need – Intimate and Honest Relationship.

We know the first step in getting those Relationships. Prayer. Talk to God. Admit that you need Relationship and ask Him to help you restore them.

That is asking in Jesus’ Name and He will do it.

Is there a Relationship in your life that needs restoring? Start working on it today.

The Passion of Jesus Christ

The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper is an amazing book. The subtitle is: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die.

Reason #6 is To Show His Own Love for Us.

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25

[He] loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

John Piper writes: The death of Christ is not only the demonstration of God’s love (John 3:16), it is also the supreme expression of Christ’s own love for all who receive it as their treasure. The early witnesses who suffered most for being Christians were captured by this fact: Christ “loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). They took the self-giving act of Christ’s sacrifice very personally. They said, “He loved me. He gave himself for me.”

John continues: Surely this is the way we should understand the sufferings and death of Christ. They have to do with me. They are about Christ’s love for me personally.

This book has changed the way I view Christ’s death and his resurrection.

What does Christ’s death mean to you?

How do you see his resurrection?

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

I was reading a blog the other day that was very sad.

This person told about breaking up with their boyfriend, then going to a terrible party, getting drunk, then feeling miserable about her life. One bad incident triggered three miserable events.

I realize that this happens often, to both men and women.

But why?

There is an old country/western song that said,

 “Looking for love in all the wrong places, Looking for love in too many faces, Searchin’ their eyes and lookin’ for traces of what I’m dreamin’ of.”

Looking for love. That is the very essence of who we are.

Why? Because God created us that way.

God planted deep within our hearts a powerful yearning for authentic love. That yearning was intended to bring us closer to Him. It was also intended to bring us into families. Children desire love above all else. Women long for a deep relationship with one strong man. Men long for a deep relationship with one tender woman. We want to be special. We long for commitment and security in one intimate relationship.

When those longings are not fulfilled, our lives crash. After my own divorce, I hit rock bottom.

The song goes on to say, “Playin’ a fool’s game, hopin’ to win.” And “I did everything I could to get me through the night.”

It doesn’t have to be that way. God has longings too. He longs for us to turn toward Him so He can pour His love out on us. He longs to provide the relationships we desire.

God will hear.

It took me lots of time before I realized I just needed more of God. When I rededicated my life to Him, He filled my life to overflowing with Love!

But we have to ask. Try it. Start talking to Him today. The Name of Jesus is very powerful. Ask in Jesus’ name for what you need. God will hear.

You must be willing to set your pride down and admit where you have gone wrong. God will hear.

Have you experienced God’s love? Share your story here.

Commanded to Teach the Children

O my people, hear my teaching; Listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old — What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done.

Psalm 78:1-4

We have been entrusted with a most sacred duty. We are to teach the Word of God – the Holy Scriptures to the children.

  • Truth
  • Christ, his death and resurrection
  • Secrets of life and death
  • The Holy Spirit
  • How to be filled with the indescribable Love of God
  • God’s guidance for living a godly life; wisdom, understanding, drugs, deceit
  • Knowledge for salvation

Our children are the very ones who will run our churches, marry and have children of their own to raise in the church.

The children come every Sunday, sit in these rooms, with eager minds and hearts, they want to know the truth. They drink it in faster than we can pour it out.

And we are too busy.

One parent, when asked to help teach the children said, “Spend time with the kids? No way!”

He (God) decreed statutes for Jacob (God’s people), And established the law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, Even the children yet to be born, And they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God, And would not forget His deeds, But would keep His commands.

Psalm 78:6-7

When no one teaches the children about God and His deeds and laws, then the children wander through life looking for the love they crave. They become lost. They become targets for those looking to use, abuse and destroy.

The children are the future. Will the future be one of life in God? Or will it be one of a living death?

It will be up to you.

The Word of God

The word of God is the heavy Bible that is sitting on my side table. Nestled inside a decorative cover, it sits just to my left on top of a pile of magazines I haven’t had a chance to read.

Yet, the word of God is so much more!

The Word of God is God himself.

            In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1-2  (NIV)

The Word of God is also inside me.

            The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart. Rom 10:8

We often refer to Jesus as the Living Word. He is in us.

Jesus said:

             I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:20

Therefore, God’s Word is living and active inside of my heart right this very minute. The Word speaks to me if I listen closely.

It has taken me many years to learn how to listen to God’s living Word that is inside my heart. There was a time in my life when I began to get serious about hearing from God. I gave away my T.V. and stopped my internet service. I spent my evenings reading scripture, praying and worshiping. Those times were very rich. Sometimes three hours sped by, feeling like five minutes. I slowly learned to hear the gentle voice of God.

I have never heard the audible voice of God, but I have friends who have. One friend tells the story of how he was sitting in his regular spot in his favorite bar, on the day of his daughter’s birthday. God literally spoke in his ear. “Is this how you intend to spend the rest of your life?” My friend turned around, looking behind him for the source of the voice. No one was there. He got up and walked out the door, leaving his sitting on the bar, half full. To this day he has never entered a bar again.

 This work of commitment and active listening is not easy. It is hard work. I had to make the decision every single day. I spent many hours that year sitting at God’s feet. I often took notes on what He was telling me. I read and reread the New Testament. I studied the Old Testament as well. I wanted to be sure that what I was hearing from God was truly Him, and not simply my own desires.

Once I learned to discern His prompting, I returned to a busy life of serving people at church and in my community. I do have a T.V. now, but I am careful to not let it devour my time or fill my mind with desires of the world. I stop often and spend time with God, listening.

How much time do you spend listening for God’s voice?

How Long Are We Here For?

On Tuesday I posted a blog about our purpose in life. Little did I know that within 24 hours of posting that blog two friends would pass away.

Tuesday evening a good friend went outside in the evening for a quick errand. When he did not return, his wife went looking for him. He was laying in the snow and was already gone.

Wednesday in the early morning hours, a lady (whom I know from church), rolled over in bed and discovered that her husband had died in his sleep.

Both of these deaths were completely unexpected!

We cannot know the day nor the hour that God calls us from this life into the next.

We can know our purpose here in this life. It is not to live as many days as we possibly can. It is not to accumulate as much stuff as we possibly can. It is to “love God and serve Him will all our might.”

One friend never attended church and one did. Church attendance does not indicate salvation. I do not know where either of these men were, in their relationship with God. However, their opportunity to make a decision for Christ is now past.

Friend, do not wait. You do not know at what hour God will call you from this life. Only a commitment to Christ can ensure your next life will be in Heaven, surrounded by the love of God.

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I have thought of this parable many times today: Luke Chapter 12 –

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

This very day reach out to Jesus.

Why Are We Here?

We still wrestle with the same problems that preoccupied Plato and Aristotle centuries ago: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? We search for answers, but the signs all seem to say “no exit.”

But the Cross boldly stands against the confusion of our world, a beacon of hope in the midst of darkness and doubt. In the Cross, Christ not only bridged the gap between God and us, but there we find the answers to life’s deepest questions. There we discover our true identity: forgiven sinners who now belong to God. There we discover our true destiny: a glorious eternity with God in Heaven. There we discover our true purpose: to love God and serve Him with all our might.

Celtic Cross in Ireland

Never underestimate what Christ did for us through the Cross. By it our salvation was won, and by it our lives—and our world—can be transformed. What difference does the Cross make in your life?

By Billy Graham in Hope for Each Day, Words of Wisdom and Faith