Posts belonging to Category Christian Success



The Way…

The WayIn the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality. Proverbs 12:28

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:5-9a

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples (followers)Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

AMEN!!!

A son belongs to it forever

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 31-32) Jesus is speaking to the Jews who believe Him that if you hold to my teachings you are my true disciples. The Lord says that if we obey His words we will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Every word is God’s word in the Bible if you read, reflect and obey these words then this truth will set you free. My time in the word has changed me through the scriptures the Spirit of Jesus Christ has convicted, revealed, and loves me. The truth has set me free to live each day at a time for others and not for myself.

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:33-36) A son holds to the teaching of Jesus Christ and obeys the truth and is set free and a son forever. But, the man who does not hold the truth and does what he wants is a slave of sin and he has no place in the family. The Son speaks of Jesus Christ and anyone who obeys the truth in the word and repents and believes on Jesus Christ will be free indeed. (Acts 11:21; 17:30)

“I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:37-38)  The Jews through the years took on more than was given to them by Moses. We like to add instructions or policies into our church doctrines that are not written in the Bible. So, when someone starts sharing the gospel we are on the offensive because we are no longer following you’re made up rules. You have no room for the true word that was given from the Father; you have only room for your father’s word.

“Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does.” (John 8:39-41) These Jews could not see or hear because they didn’t recognize that Jesus Christ was the Messiah for they had no eyes to see or ears to hear. For their love of power and the things that power in detail blinded them to the truth. The word says but their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. (Psalm 115:4-8) We will be like these men when we worship rules and regulation within our churches instead of the truth within the pages of our Bibles.

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” (John 8:42-45) Again, they could not hear if they wanted to because they lived and breathe the law and their own desires. Because their hearts were far from God they were listening to the father of lies. The voice of Jesus Christ couldn’t get through and unrepentant heart that thirst for law. There are people in our congregations who want to go by the book and normally this book is outside the truth. They will not back down because their way is right and your way is wrong. These people do not know or love Jesus Christ their Father but their love is in justice and their father is Satan.

“Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:46-47) No one could prove that Jesus Christ was in sin. True believers were hearing but the ones who belong to Satan could not hear because their heart was not right. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.

Do you belong to God? Or do you belong to Satan?

Do you hear the Father, he calls for you. Do not harden your heart? God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave (to sin), but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7)

The word says if you believe in Jesus Christ His only Son, (you) shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Thank you, Jesus that I am no longer a slave to sin but a son in the family of God. Thank you, Father for your love for me that you sent your Son to redeem me. I pray for the family of God that we read the truth and obey the truth so that we can be counted as your disciples. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want for anything but you dear Lord. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He makes me read His word and obey His precepts so that you can lead me beside the still waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-2) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12) Guide me in paths of righteousness for His name sake. Guide me to the paths that lead me to your truths and great mercy so that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Even though my day is full with struggles and though the people you surround me are your enemies you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house forever. (Psalm 23:3-6) In Jesus Christ name I pray; Amen.

 

The Word of Life…

The Word of LifeThat which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life (Jesus) appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father (God) and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:1-3

But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise—let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy—your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Isaiah 26:19

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:1-5

AMEN!!!    

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Hiking to waterfalls

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The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is one of my favorite paces to visit. I enjoy the hiking trails, especially the ones that lead to waterfalls.

On our most recent visit, I hiked with family members to some of the water falls. One of the more interesting ones was our hike to Rainbow Falls. Classified by the Park Service as a moderately difficult hike, it took us a couple of hours to make it up the rugged terrain and around the numerous switchbacks to one of them. We didn’t hike non-stop. We took time to view the scenery, take pictures in a hollow log, walk behind another waterfall on the way, and climb over boulders and fallen trees just off the trail.

There were other people along the trail. Some were taking self-made shortcuts. Others were resting. Some had decided to quit and go back. There were others who were on a different trail. One guy that passed us was jogging up the trail. Amazing. In spite of roots, rocks, muddy spots, and an uphill grade, he wasn’t even breathing hard.

There was another waterfall along the trail to Rainbow Falls. It was pretty. I even walked behind it. If you didn’t have a clear understanding of what your destination was or knew where you were on the path you could easily be deceived into believing you were at Rainbow Falls when in fact , you would be well short of it.

Regardless of what we were doing or what others did, the reality was there was only one trail to Rainbow Falls. Whether you tried a self-made shortcut, or you stopped for photos, or you got off the trail to explore, the only way to the falls was to get back on that trail and follow it.

We also went to Grotto Falls. The path was easier and the distance was shorter than the trail to Rainbow Falls. However, there were the same similarities. There was only one way to Grotto Falls and there were fewer opportunities to take side paths.

There are those who want to say the way to heaven is like multiple trails on a mountain. We’re all headed to the same destination, but we haven’t all chosen the same path and therefore, any religion is just as good as another. That sounds good, but it is a fallacy.

If you want to get to Rainbow Falls or Grotto Falls you can’t take any trail you want in the Great Smokey Mountains, because they don’t all lead there. You can try other routes and shortcuts and scenic by-passes, but unless you get back on the trail that leads to the falls, you won’t make it.

Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the light and that no one makes to God except through Him. He warned us that there was another path. He called it the broad way, but He said it leads to destruction. He said only the narrow way – His way – leads to eternal life.

Don’t be deceived by those who would point you down another path or who would suggest a destination that is short of the goal or convince you to turn around because the way is too difficult. The journey to Grotto Falls wasn’t as difficult as the one to Rainbow Falls, but it wasn’t easy either. It wasn’t an easy journey for us to Rainbow Falls, but when we got there, it was worth it all.

If you are trying another way, or if you have decided to go on your own shortcut or if you have gotten distracted by the scenery or listened to someone who is pointing you in a different direction, I plead with you to follow the path Jesus taught. How do you get on the path? The Four Spiritual Laws is a guide to the beginning.

Act of Kindness

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven Matthew 15:16).”
It is not the norm to offer your seat to a complete stranger on a passenger train. Male chivalry is frown upon. People will stare at you on the train, they will think that you are an oddball. Remember, it’s the 21st Century, we don’t do that anymore. We are all equal under the same law. According to our unwritten rules’ you shouldn’t have to give up your seat to anyone.There is an assumption by others that you are giving someone preferential treatment which makes you feel even more afraid to show act of kindness. Most people will go with the direction of crowd as they don’t want to be singled out by others as deviant. But, they will be missing out on the impact of what they would have made on the stranger’s life by act of kindness. One of the many benefits of act of kindness is that the person’s heart will be opened towards you. The person will appreciate your act of kindness. You are different from the other passengers on the train. Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is working from the inside to outside of you which makes you different. The stranger will see the Christ working from the inside of you. The stranger will begin to trust you enough to share with you his well being and life’s journey. You will be able develop a relationship with the person to share the gospel. Lastly,it is God who is bringing the stranger to you. You will be surprise to Know how much you share with the stranger. Let the Holy Spirit prompt you to give up your seat.

Everlasting Grace…

Everlasting GraceJesus said “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.  John 10:14-15, 17

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28

On this mountain he (God) will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. Isaiah 25:7-8

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. Revelation 21:3-7

AMEN!!!

Back to Church

There is a growing number of Christians who are looking for a church which tick all the boxes. If the church don’t meet their expectations they will vote with their feet. In other words, they have decided not to go to church for a variety of reasons. Here are some of reasons given. Someone in the church said something to upset me? They are not singing hymns in church anymore? They think they are spiritual better than me? The church is not giving me a platform to teach or to lead the praise and worship team? No what the issue is you are not having fellowship with other Christians and you need to humble yourself before God will exalt you. The longer you are away from church, the harder it will be for you to return to church. You are not invincible. You can’t serve God on your own. We all need encouragement from fellow Christians without any shadow of doubt. Moses needed Hur and Aaron to support him as cited in Exodus 17 verses 9-12.
The psalmist wrote,”I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord(Psalm 122:1).” The Lord inhabit the praise of his people. Finally, Jesus said,”For where two and three have gathered in My name, I am there in their midst. The question is we are all parts of the body of Christ and your eyes need your head and your hands need your arms. Are you getting the message? we need each other. Great things will happen when we are together. For example, when the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Act 2:1-4). Are you getting the message? You need fellowship and God has given each member of the body a gift to minister to you. He will speak to you through someone else speaking His word and by a prophecy. So why don’t you to make time this Sunday to return to church to hear His words.
(A.G.Douglas is the author of ‘Your Change is Coming’. A free Ebook from Smashword, Barnes and Noble iBook and Kobo. etc)

Fulfilling Prophesy…

Fulfilling ProphesyFulfilling Prophesy

(Isaiah was written around 800 years before Christ)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor (in spirit). He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favorIsaiah 61:1-2a

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:14-21

Jesus said, You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, John 5:39

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:44-45

AMEN!!!

Fit for Purpose

God wants us to be fit for His purpose. We often face trials and tribulations to increase our spiritual growth to ensure that we can do the job He has chosen for us to do. Most manufacturing firms employs a person to deal with their quality control. It will be his or her job to ensure that goods leaving the factory outlet is of a high standard and quality. Some factories will sell poor quality goods at discounted prices to customers or they will throw them away.
If they continue to produce inferior products sooner rather than later the reputation of the business would be damaged and referrals from consumers would be very low. In the same way God is perfecting in us His good works. God wants our work to be excellent and at a high standard. That’s why the psalmist wrote Lord, how excellent is your name throughout the earth.
We serve an excellent God who wants us be excellent too. Don’t worry about about those difficult circumstances he is preparing you to do excellent work. Through adverse circumstances you will learn to trust Him and lean on His words to bring about change in you. You will have more of Him and less of you bearing more spiritual fruits, making you fit for His purpose. Unless we are shaped and molded by his word we are not fit for His purpose.

Who will save us?

Save me. Who can save us? Who has the power to save me? Can Superman save us or Captain Marvel save us? No, these are make-believe heroes written in fiction to entertain us. So, who in all of history came to save us? I only know of one man who was sent from His Father to be born among us. You might know Him or you may not but whatever the answer He came in obedience to His Father to claim us as His own. This man wasn’t great looking or ten feet tall He was quite ordinary until He spoke and commanded demons to leave and a wither hand to heal. (Isaiah 53:2; Matthew 12:10) He performed miracles and spoke wisdom to crowds with authority from on high. (Matthew 28:18) He was a man of ordinary means sent from on high to do extraordinary feat. He was like you and me but He was different because He drew His strength from His Father. (John 15:1-8) This man fed on every word that came from His Father’s mouth. This man’s Father is the ruler of this world who spoke everything into existence. (Genesis 1) This Son worship His Father’s every word with thanksgiving and praise and when the Father told His Son to go and save us. (Matthew 6:9) He did without question. Who is this man?

Who is this man?

Who is this man? This man was given a name that means ‘our Savior’ and Savior means deliverer. (John 4:42) Why were we given a deliverer? Thousands of years ago when this Father which we will call God put into existence this world He had a garden where He had a couple. This couple was the first humans and their names were Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve took care of the garden for God. God had but one rule that was the tree in the center of the garden was not to be eaten. That tree was called ‘the knowledge of good and evil’ and if they ate from that tree they would die a spiritual death. One rule was given to them but one day a serpent came into that garden and enticed the woman to eat the fruit and she did as well as her husband. That day they brought sin into this world and the couple was cast out of the Garden and Eden to live off the sweat of their brow and to eat from the ground. (Genesis 3) Why do we need a deliverer? For the sin that enter this world through Adam and Eve. Each generation of people continue in their sin and the sin got worse and worse until God devised a plan that would change human life and He gave His people the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20) Now, the Ten Commandments were given as a law to be kept where they would also give pure animals (Leviticus 4) to be sacrifice if they committed these sins. The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies (animals) are burned outside the camp. (Hebrews 13:11) The Ten Commandment did not stop sin but it enticed them to do worse sins in rebellion against the Ten Commandments and God. So, who is this man our Savior?

Who is this man our Savior?

God heard the cries of His people who were struggling with sin and the harshness of their environment. God sent His One and Only Son to be born of a virgin so that He will carry on the plan to save us from eternal damnation. Our Savior grew up in this harsh environment and lived among God’s people. He endured being different from others and lived a blameless life among others. (2Corinthians 5:21) God had a plan for our Savior’s life and when He was old enough He executed that plan and gathered around Himself followers. He drew His strength from His Father through abiding in His Father (John 10:30) our Savior grew stronger until He was taken into custody. (Luke 22) They were trying our Savior on the case that He committed treason against His government. Treason is when you are disloyal to your government for instance: when you do not give alliance to your king but to someone else. Our Savior was not like by many religious leaders and for that reason they incited the people against our Savior and told the court to crucify Him. (Luke 23) What the people did not know was this was the plan? God needed His Son to go through this so that He would become that perfect sacrifice for His people. So, without a word our Savior walked outside the city with a cross on His back to Skull where they nailed His hands and feet to a cross. Our Savior died and then He rose on the third day to the surprise of all and is seated at the right hand of the Father to reign for us and intercede for us. (Luke 24) And so our Savior also suffered outside the city gate (like the animal sacrifices) to make the people holy through His own blood. (Hebrews 13:12) Our Savior’s own blood makes us pure through the giving us His life for us. (Acts 20:28) So, God’s plan worked with the death of His Son we can have eternal life. The word says “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and an only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) This death cancels out our sin for all times and it gives us new life in Him if we choose. Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. (Hebrews 13:13) We do not need to clean up or dress up just come as you are and our Savior will wash you white as snow and He will give you His white robe. Acts 22:16; Luke 15:22) Believe that our Savior came as a baby, died on a tree, resurrected and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  (Acts 16:31) Believe that you are desperate and lost without your Savior and then turn and repent of your sins. (Acts 11:21) Our Savior commands all people everywhere to repent and be saved. (Acts 17:30)

Our Savior saves but not this earth for here we do not have an enduring city (earth), but we are looking for the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14) This city will come to an end and we will live forever looking forward to our Savior’s return. Our Savior will return when all His children are saved. (Revelation 7:13-17) Who is our Savior? Jesus Christ.

 

Thank you, Jesus Christ that you are my Savior who saved me from my sin. Thank you, Father that you gave your one and only Son to me to be sacrificed on a cross so that I would have eternal life forever. Thank you, Lord that you are master of my heart today.

I pray for your people who have not chosen you this day and struggle with sin and their own depraved heart. May they not continue in their sin any longer but Believe on Jesus Christ and be saved. Jesus says in His word “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) I pray that your children will turn from the wicked ways and repent and be forgiven and live and eternal life with you. Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety…

Overcoming StressSearch me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward (when you die) you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26

For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite (remorseful) and lowly (humble) in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17

AMEN!!!

www.nuggetsofwisdom.us … spread the Word

Sleepers

A young man was sleeping on the train. He was extremely tired with his mouth opened wide. The train stopped at the station. It was the final destination. It was the young man’s stop and he kept on sleeping. He was unaware of the fact that it was his final destination and he needed to get off the train. If he had stayed on train five minutes longer he would have woke up and missed his final destination. He would have ended up in another city. A place not of his chosen destiny. Now that’s scary.
The young man was in deep sleep while his fellow passengers departed from the train. Two female passengers boarded the train and they thought he was funny sleeping on the train and they laughed at him. In contrast, a male passenger read the situation differently and tapped the sleeper on his shoulder to wake him. The sleeper jumped out of his seat and he hurriedly ran off the train. He was so relief that a stranger had cared enough to wake him.
The story of young man sleeping on the train is not dissimilar to the vast major of people who are sleeping their way through life without the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Why? The gods (philosophies and lies) of this world has blinded them from the truth. The question is who should remind them of the truth. Strangers like you and me. We need to remind the sleepers of John 14:6. In John 16: Jesus answered,”I am the way, the light and the truth and no one enter into the kingdom of God except through him. Like the young sleeper on the train in our story, sleepers will be relief to know that we woke them up to know that Jesus loves them and they haven’t missed their final destination to heaven through Jesus.

What Is So Great About Sinning?

Why are people so prone to, not only sin, but to revel in it and to encourage others to join them? There are two quick answers that I can think of.

Number one: Man has a sinful nature that compels us to sin. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5 (KJV)

Number two: It’s fun! A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom. Proverbs 10:23 (KJV) Sin has to be fun or no one would do it. What’s fun about sin is that it is forbidden. There is a materialistic reward through sin; but, of course, all things of this materialistic world will not survive.

When I was a small child, I would go into the kitchen and find a way to get into the cookie jar without my mom catching me. If I was successful, I had a cookie, and I thought I was so crafty. Later in my teens, I would become involved in more serious matters; matters that were not only against my parent’s rules, but also against the law. It was a thrill to get away with my habits and recreational dabbling. I knew what I was doing was sinful, but what the hey? I wasn’t going to die soon. That’s what everybody thinks, but the Bible clearly states, What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. James 4:14 (NIV) We are not guaranteed our next breath.

I was not ignorant of God and Jesus. I had accepted Jesus when I was thirteen years old, but it was a superficial experience. I knew who He was and what He did on the cross, but He was certainly not the Lord of my life. It wasn’t until I was married to my beautiful wife and we had three little boys that the Holy Spirit began to work in my life.

My wife, a woman of a Pentecostal back ground, had our sons going to the local Assemblies of God church, and it was my chore to take them to the church on Wednesday nights for their Royal Rangers meeting. At first, I waited in the car in the parking lot for them to come out. After some time, I would go into the service in the main sanctuary, but I would be sure to sit in the back in case one of those Christians wanted to talk to me. That way, if I saw someone approaching me, I could just slip out the door.

Little did I know that I was being drawn by the Holy Spirit into the services. One night, I was sound asleep in my bed when I sat up wide awake. I felt compelled to get down beside the bed and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior….. for real this time.

This over night conversion did not “cure” me of my addiction to cigarettes. It did not stop me from going after work to have a few beers with the guys, and it certainly did not keep me from ingesting and smoking drugs. What happened, however, was that I was serious about my relationship with Jesus. As I continued to worship him in church and studied the bible, those things began to lose importance to me. I quit going for beers. I quit smoking tobacco cold turkey after several attempts. The hardest thing to overcome was my mental addiction to the drugs. I was not physically addicted as with the cigarettes, but my mind still wanted to indulge in the numbing effects of the chemicals. Finally, praise God, I was able to overcome that desire through the strength of the Holy Spirit.

I am a Christian, now, but I am also a sinner. I look back on the sins I committed in the old days, and I am ashamed of them. I sin today, but I am convicted of that sin right away. It’s like the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder and says, “You know you shouldn’t have had that thought about the guy that cut you off in traffic.” I know that I will commit sins in the future, but I have the assurance in Jesus that the sins of the past, present and future are forgiven.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38&39 (NIV)

Daily Encouragement…

Daily EncouragementPaul writes, My goal is that they (you and me) may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:18-19a

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

AMEN!!!

Will being Christened get you to heaven?

I received an email offer to purchase Christening gowns for my newborn angel’s Christening, which is interesting because I don’t have a newborn. The company also offers children’s apparel for baptisms and other special occasions because I should “make every moment last.”

That leads me to the question, “Last for how long?” Most importantly to consider, “Will it last for eternity?”

Baby Christenings and baptisms are cute ceremonies and to some extent demonstrate a commitment to God by the child’s parents. But what does it directly do for the child? Is it effective in any way for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven?

What if you asked someone, “Why do you believe you are going to heaven when you die?” and they answered, “Because I was Christened as a baby,” or, “Because I was baptized as a baby”? Would they be correct? Can they really be certain they are going to heaven because of an infant ceremony?

In his letter to the Romans, Paul says, “That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, man believes for obtaining righteousness and with the mouth confession is made for salvation … For whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved … So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of God.”

John wrote, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John also recorded Jesus saying, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give to them eternal life, and they will never perish, neither will anyone snatch them out of my hand.”

When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” they replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”

When Peter preached on Pentecost, the people asked, “What shall we do?” Peter answered “Repent.” After healing the lame man, Peter told the crowd, “Repent, therefore, and be converted, so that your sins may be blotted out.”

In all of these verses, we see a need of action on the part of the one who is to receive eternal life. Peter speaks of repentance, Paul of confession, Paul and John of believing, John of receiving Him, Jesus and Paul of hearing. These are all cognitive acts. They are decisions made based upon hearing the gospel message and for the listener to understand he/she is a sinner and thus is in need of a Savior, of a need to repent, and a need to call upon Jesus for salvation. Babies cannot do any of these things.

A person is held accountable for his/her decision to accept Christ and call upon Him for salvation or to reject Christ. Parents actions and faith do not transcend to their children. There is no example anywhere in the Scriptures of a baby being baptized. When Paul and Silas told the jailer his whole household would be saved, it doesn’t mean there were infants in his home. When the Holy Spirit fell on those gathered at the home of Cornelius, it was on those who heard the word spoken by Peter. Hearing means understanding; again babies cannot comprehend.

Do not fall for the argument that if all of Cornelius family and if all of the Philippian jailer’s household was saved there must have been babies there and therefore babies can be saved. There are no babies in my household. Do not read things into the Scriptures that are not there.

If you believe that you will enter heaven when you die because you were Christened or baptized as an infant, please consider what the Bible has to say. You must personally come to Christ to seek forgiveness and salvation.