I Just Don’t Get It

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.” – JOHN 21:25 NASB

There are other, similar statements in the scriptures, stating that Jesus did innumerable unrecorded miracles. These miracles were witnessed by hundreds of people. Yet we still don’t believe? I just don’t get it. Millions follow Buddha. He never did a miracle, he never claimed to be sent by the Creator of the Universe, and he didn’t arise from the grave after he died. Research “great religions of man”. Belief in Jesus in not a religion. It is a way of life. There is no dictated behavior. I found this from the C.S. Lewis Institute, and it says what I mean to say much better than I am able to.

“When we look carefully at the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, the call to “follow me” takes on much greater clarity and specificity. It is indeed a call to “walk as Jesus walked,” to live a life of radical faith and love. Once we truly grasp this, our first reaction is likely to be one of dismay. If we are at all aware of the depth of indwelling sin and the dysfunctions that plague our lives, we know it is impossible for us to fulfill such a call. Yet this reaction is actually healthy, because it is based in reality. It is indeed impossible for us to live this way. And that is precisely the point.

Jesus knows we cannot follow him without a power beyond ourselves. And that is why he sent the Holy Spirit to empower us.

It is only through the indwelling Holy Spirit that we can obey the teaching of Jesus and follow his example. He assures us of the Father’s love, he makes the things of Christ real to us; he makes the gospel precious to us; he convicts us of sin and assures of forgiveness when we repent; he transforms us from glory to glory, into the likeness of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:16–18). That is why we are taught to earnestly seek to be filled with the Spirit each day (Eph. 5:18) and to be led by him in all our ways (Gal. 5:16–25). When we do, we will find that we can live in newness of life. Not perfectly and not immediately. But day by day, as we walk in faith and obedience, the Spirit will produce in us the character of Jesus: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23).” – Thomas A. Tarrants, III, D.Min. Director of Ministry, C.S. Lewis Institute

(http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/Following_Jesus_Christ_Tarrants_Single-Page_Full_Article)

I’m grateful to have access to study such diverse sources! Study for yourself and determine the truth. I don’t believe that anyone who diligently and honestly searches for the Truth won’t find it. I know where it lies, and it is in the Person of Jesus Christ. My prayer is that you will discover the Truth – and accept the Truth – as well! Amen!!

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – JAMES 1:5 NASB

Lead Me

Lead me, for I can’t do this alone.

Sanctus Real sings this in the song, “Lead Me.” It’s something I say to God every day because life is hard, and I can’t do it alone. None of us can. We think we can; we can ‘shoulder through the pain’, we can ‘pull ourselves up by the bootstraps’, we can ‘think positive’ and adopt an ‘I can do it’ mentality, but how successful are we – really – when we are truly alone? Without family or friends, without any spiritual or emotional support, where would you be?

The LORD, the Psalmist’s Shepherd

A Psalm of David

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of deep darkness, the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil or harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – PSALMS 23:1‭-‬6 NASB

There are many ‘successful’ people who are without a Saviour out in the world, but at what cost to themselves? Money and power on earth are only meaningful temporarily. They can’t buy us into eternity, and they can’t bring us any kind of lasting peace or companionship. The wealthiest people I’ve met in my life are also the most miserable people I have ever known. Having millions of dollars (and I am being literal here) didn’t provide them with the thing they truly craved: real love, and real friendships. What I saw was immense paranoia that someone would ‘take advantage of them’, and I saw it taking place with those people the wealthy had surrounded themselves with to ‘protect’ themselves. They were unable to accept that someone might care for them just for themselves, making themselves absolutely reject anyone reaching out to them in real friendship; lonely, isolated and alone, while surrounded by people. Immensely saddening situation, especially knowing that it is their choice to live that way. Immune to the Gospel, because that would require trusting someone outside of themselves. Keeping too busy in the whirlwind of social life to face reality.

Successful, rich, abjectly lonely, and miserable.

I won’t deny that it would feel so good not to wonder how to stretch a too limited income to cover expenses, and to be able to write a check (not a ‘rubber’ one!!) to pay bills as they come in…… but I have someone, my Saviour, Who loves me regardless of my socio-economic standing. He loves me no matter how I look, how I dress, or whether my address is trendy enough. He loves me through my down times and my up times. His Name is JESUS.

I am blessed to have a family and friends who love me, too. It’s something that many people don’t have, and I know what a blessing it is. That’s the thing about Jesus – He loves you and is reaching out for you, even now. He wants you to understand what it’s like to know you are loved and cared for! Do you know? Have you realized yet that what He is offering is total, absolute, and completely without any strings? Free, a gift for the taking, waiting for you to accept it?

Are You Thirsty?

“My soul thirsts for GOD, for the Living GOD. When can I go and meet with GOD? ….. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in GOD, for I will yet praise Him, my SAVIOR and my GOD.” – Psalm 42:2,11 NIV

Psalm 42 was written as a poem to be sung by the sons of Korah, the highest choir of the land for King David. The psalm tells us that though our road to heaven is trying, it is the same for the king. It helps to know that we aren’t alone in our struggles. However, we have a major advantage over King David and his people: we have seen JESUS, the Living GOD, MESSIAH, Who has come and fulfills the prophecies! JESUS is the embodiment of what the prophet Isaiah spoke of in this passage, which JESUS refers to in John 37.

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.” – Isaiah 55:1‭-‬2 NASB

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast [the Feast of the Booths], JESUS stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” – John 7:37‭-‬38 NASB

Have you drunk of the Living Water, or do you depend on yourself and the world to satisfy your thrist? Without JESUS, you will never be satisfied.

Truth, unvarnished and unrepentent.

Good works, being a “good” person – these will not satisfy your soul, and at the the time of Judgement, when you face the LORD on His Throne – only one thing matters: have you received the Salvation freely offered, the Living Water of JESUS CHRIST? Not Buddha, not Muhammad, not Nostradamos or any other human prophet; not the greatest good deeds nor the best intentions…… only JESUS.

Are you thirsty?

References: https://www.biblestudytools.com and

https://bible.com/bible

Selfish Ambition; Vain Conceit

Where does love fit into our society today? I was reading comments on Twitter this morning. Appalled, embarrassed, incredulous…. a few of the emotions that were running through my mind as I read. The majority of the tweets I see are so negative; full of blatant lies, selfish ambition, and vain conceit. How did we, as a society, reach the point where it is the norm to curse and blaspheme the LORD GOD and His followers? How are the television and media outlets in America surviving – thriving, even – when so much of their content is about denigrating and debasing others, and it seems, our top government officials? Almost every preview of a major late-night talkshow host is filled with him taunting and ridiculing our President. Where has respect gone? If you look at the progress of Roman civilization, toward the end of its existence as a super-nation, her people had degenerated into a parody of humanity. The U.S. and the world are quickly headed to the same destruction.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as CHRIST JESUS: Who, being in very Nature GOD, did not consider equality with GOD something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore GOD exalted Him to the Highest Place and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of JESUS every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the Glory of GOD the FATHER.” – Philippians 2:3‭-‬11 NIV

We are teaching our children to be vain and selfish, telling them they are a “princess” or a “prince,” and that they are worth more than anyone or anything else. We are teaching them to expect the world to treat them as if they were the ruler of all around them, and that everyone is there to serve them. Then we wonder why they act entitled and vain, and want everything their way (and throw hissy fits when they don’t get it!) Look back at these verses: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others…… just as JESUS, SON of GOD, made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant …..”

This week is a perfect time to show our children – no matter their age – and our peers just what true love looks like. Happy valentine’s week, ya’ll.

( https://monochromejunkie.com/category/jesus-love )

Rejoicing in Hope

“….. casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7 NASB

So easy to say, yet how difficult to live! Where would we be without hope?

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.” – Romans 12:9‭-‬13 NASB

Today, I find myself yet again anxious and fretting over finances. I desperately need another source of income in order to cover my financial obligations, and although I continue to search, nothing is presenting itself as a solution. This is the type of thing that our Father GOD permits in our lives, to teach us to rely on Him rather than ourselves. Letting go of my “control.” Again, easy to say and difficult to do! I want to fix it, and GOD wants me to let it go so that He can show us (me!) how Powerful He is. He is reminding me that there is a GOD, and I’m not Him.

“….. Rejoicing in Hope, Persevering in Tribulation, Devoted to Prayer …..”

Simple, right? Hah.

Actually, it is simple for those who are confident in their salvation through JESUS CHRIST. With JESUS in my heart, and the HOLY SPIRIT beside me, I am inundated with Hope. Without their presence to lift me up above the muck and mire of everyday life, I could only flounder around and eventually succumb to hopelessness and helplessness, allowing it to overwhelm me. I’ve been there, stuck in those feelings, and it is definitely not a good state of mind. Because JESUS loves me (and you), He waits alongside me until I lift my eyes to Him and ask for help. I almost think that Paul got it backwards. If we are not first praying, how can we possibly perservere in tribulation? Where is our hope, if not in the LORD?

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” – Psalms 121:1‭-‬2 NASB (Read all 8 verses of Psalm 121. Powerful!)

I encourage you – and me – to learn these scriptures, especially Psalm 121; to hold on to the words of the LORD whenever despair and hopelessness raise their ugly heads and try to drag us down. There is nothing more Powerful in the Universe than our GOD: FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT. Nothing. Remember,

“….. at the Name of JESUS every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth …..” – Philippians 2:10 NASB

REJOICE at our HOPE in the LORD!

AMEN.

He IS Coming Back!

“Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the Word of GOD the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His Word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the LORD one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The LORD is not slow about His Promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:3‭-‬9 NASB

Sometimes, I just want GOD to send me a text saying “This is what you need to do,” and “Just so you know, I’ll be back on this date at this time.” I would love to feel completely confident that each thing I do corresponds with His Plan for me. Am I alone in wondering and asking? I think not, else why would JESUS and His disciples make such a point of telling us to be ready for His return? Peter was speaking directly to the current population on earth when he wrote this letter! GOD is not slow to keep His Promise to return to earth and to defeat our enemy, Satan, nor is He slow when it comes to answering our prayers (our ‘wishlists’ for Him). No, if you read the Bible, His Word, you will find countless examples of the LORD keeping His promises. We are such a hard-headed bunch, we have to keep asking Him to prove Himself to us.

Really?

When GOD promises, you can know without any doubt at all that His promise will happen. With our prayer requests, He always answers, but it is often not the answer we want. We throw temper tantrums and hissy fits, like little children who don’t get their way. Countless scoffers maintain that JESUS MESSIAH hasn’t come the first time, so how could He be coming back? This I know without a shadow of a doubt: JESUS came as the MESSIAH, just as FATHER GOD promised; He died for us on the cross, He was resurrected from the grave, and He will be back! (We just don’t know quite when that will be…..)

The world is, and always has been, full of mockers of JESUS MESSIAH. Mock all you want, just remember this:

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He Who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in Righteousness He judges and wages war. His Eyes are a flame of fire, and on His Head are many diadems; and He has a Name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His Name is called The WORD of GOD.” – Revelation 19:11‭-‬13 NASB

“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was in the beginning with GOD.” – John 1:1‭-‬2 NASB

Just making sure everyone knows that JESUS IS LORD, HALLELUJAH and AMEN!

(Image from Pinterest.com)

No Matter WHO You Are

“A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the WORD of our GOD will stand forever.” – Isaiah 40:6‭-‬8 ESV

The richest men on earth set themselves above everyone else, but GOD says that every one shall wither and die. No amount of wealth or fame will protect those men from death or the Word of GOD and His Judgement. There won’t be any fancy, expensive lawyers at the Judgement Seat; every man will stand on level ground. Here on earth money may buy “justice,” but in the Final Judgement there is only one thing that will keep you (and me) from being swept away like so much chaff, and that is a personal relationship with JESUS CHRIST as our LORD and SAVIOUR.

“Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them, and tell Us what is to happen. Tell Us the former things, what they are, that We may consider them, that We may know their outcome; or declare to Us the things to come. Tell Us what is to come hereafter, that We may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that We may be dismayed and terrified. Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you.” – Isaiah 41:21‭-‬24 ESV

They will attempt to show the Almighty GOD that they are gods to be feared, but here’s the plain, unvarnished Truth:

“….. at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the Glory of GOD the FATHER.” – Philippians 2:10‭-‬11 ESV

Just in case He wasn’t clear in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, He repeats it to the letter to the Romans:

“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the Judgment Seat of GOD; for it is written, “As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to GOD.” – Romans 14:10‭-‬11 ESV

As we celebrate the birth of the SAVIOUR of the world, we should be mindful of our own mortality, and of our desperate need for a Saviour to plead our case when we stand at the foot of the Judgement Seat of GOD. Nothing we can do, nothing we can say, and no amount of material wealth will help us. It is only the Saving Grace of the JESUS; His humility and His willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for me. Think about these verses every time you see a nativity with the Baby in the manger. He came, just for you.

Image courtesy of the LDS Image Library