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.

 

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.

 

 

The Lord is faithful

Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. (2Thessalonians 3:1-2)

Paul was writing to the Thessalonians asking for prayer so that good news of Jesus Christ would spread swiftly and would be received by all. Paul felt that we had a short time before the Lord would come back; so let us be quick with our prayers. The word honored here means that we would receive the word of God as the real truth. Again, Paul says pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men and Paul implies that even though you are Christian if you do not have faith you are wicked and evil men. For example: If we get the call from God to go to a foreign country and your Christians friends do not support you and they try to change your mind they are consider to be wicked and evil men. Surround yourself with common interest people who will pray with you for your mission and ask the Lord to deliver you from wicked and evil men.

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2Thessalonians 3:3)

The Lord says in His word “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) You can trust His word because our Lord is faithful. When we come before the Lord in prayer asking Him to strengthen and protect us from the evil ones; He does it in His way. His way is not our way but His way is better because He has a plan for us. That plan that He has for us we do not know at this time but He does. (Romans 1:33-34) We are being made in the image of Christ and through His working in us we continue to evolve and change to be used by Him. Paul’s repetition on prayer is our communication and communion with our Father God that develops our relationship with Him. We need a two way conversation going on between us so that we can learn to hear and follow the Lord’s leading.

We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. (2Thessalonians 3:4)

Again, Paul is confident in the Lord for the people of Thessalonica because He knows that Jesus is faithful. Even though Paul is in chains for Christ he has seen for himself that the Lord has provided, strengthen, protected him and changed him into a Christ follower. Paul in the scriptures before chapter 3 in Thessalonians commanded the church of Thessalonica in holiness, godly living, and to explain certain beliefs, especially concerning the status of believers who die before Christ’s return. We have confidence in the Lord to do these things we have no confidence in our flesh. (Philippians 3:3) We can’t do this walk on our own we need confidence in the Lord to do it for us. This is the faith we need to see that God is in control. When I shared with my family and friends that I was going to Russia they had mixed emotions. You are crazy, awesome we will pray, you can’t go, and when are you going? My faith is in the Lord’s faithfulness for me; not in my friends or family.

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2Thessalonians 3:5)

May (to be possible; to be able) the Lord direct your hearts. It could be impossible to direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. The Lord says in His word “do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:8) What would harden one’s heart? The rich man came to Jesus and asked “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man says “all these I have kept.” “What do I lack?” Jesus answered him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The young man was saddened because he had much wealth. Jesus goes on and says, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Then the disciples asked “Who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:16-26) What could harden one’s heart? Having too much of something that one does not want to give up will harden your heart. This one thing could keep your heart from being directed into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. If we are trying to make our heart follow Christ like the young rich man did we will fail. But if we follow the Lord’s will He will direct our heart and then God will make all things possible.

Save us from the wicked and evil men who devour and rob God’s people from accomplishing the Lord’s desires in their life. Let us stand with confidence that God has a plan for each an ever believer who desires to do God’s will. Let us throw off the chains of unbelief and embrace the faith of Christ; that all things are possible for those who believe in Jesus Christ. So, stand firm and draw strength, protection, and the Lord unfailing love as our banner. Let us, throw up our arms in surrender or abandonment to the King who makes all things happen Jesus Christ name. Amen.

Thank you, Jesus Christ for giving us the confidence to strive out in you to the outermost regions to preach the gospel. Thank you, Lord for giving us strength to walk away from the name sayings who do not believe. Thank you, Father for your Son who inspires us to greater heights then we could ever imagine for ourselves.

 

Paul remained faithful

Leave it all behind. Jesus said “Pick up your cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Leave your brothers or sisters or fathers or mothers or children or fields for my sake and you will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29) Leave it all behind and pick up your cross and follow me.

What is the cost to follow Jesus Christ? Paul states in 2Timothy 4:8 now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. The Holy Spirit witness to Paul that a crown of righteousness was his for staying faithful to the Lord and to the gospel.

While we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13-14)

Are you eager to do what is good and right before the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you having trouble leaving it all behind? Have you replace the Lord with another love that is stronger than you? In the Old Testament in Genesis 29 Leah was Jacob’s first wife because her father tricked Jacob into marrying her. Jacob wanted Rachel but was given Leah. Leah became pregnant and she thought Jacob will love me now because a son was born. But, no Jacob did not love her and this hope of her husband desiring her continue until Leah cried out to the God and God saw her pain. See Leah was striving to be loved and she felt incomplete without his love. Leah tried for 10-15 years to get her husband’s love but something happen in her heart that turned her life around. Leah became pregnant a fourth time and during her pregnancy she began to seek the LORD for Himself. Leah fell in love with the LORD and when she gave birth to her son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” She named her son ‘Judah’ which means praise. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12) All your worrying about your family and friends just makes you sick because you deferring your hope somewhere other than the Lord. Once you put all your hope in the Lord you become a well spring tree of life.

Seek the Lord for Himself and not what you can get from Him. Have your desires become your gods? Do you desire wealth and everything that comes with it? Are these desires ruling you this day? If this desire is the reason you follow Jesus Christ so that He will give you your desires then your life will not change. Look again at Leah’s story with Jacob; her life was miserable it wasn’t changing until she left it all behind. She left those feelings of ever becoming complete with Jacob and gave her life completely to God. What did God do for Leah? After Leah and Rachel had died Jacob was dying he told his sons. “I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave…which Abraham bought…for a burial site. There they burden Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah.” (Genesis 49:29-31) “…there I buried Leah.” The LORD was looking out for Leah and Jacob came to love Leah. The Lord can do remarkable things for the ones He loves when we do not defer our hope to others. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Leave it all behind…Pick up your cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24) How did Paul remain faithful to the Lord and the gospel? The Lord gave the Holy Spirit to His followers. Jesus says to His disciples “Now I am going to Him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (John 16:5-11) The Lord had to leave because the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. The Holy Spirit came to convict us of sin in our lives so that we will turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. The Holy Spirit witnesses on righteousness: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and was resurrected, justified and Lord of all. Holy Spirit shows us what sin is and how to overcome the world. The Holy Spirit witnesses judgment: Satan’s defeat at the cross (John 12:31), world’s judgment (Romans 1:18-32), and future judgment (Matthew 16:27). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Paul’s life is the reason that Paul was able to stay faithful.

Thank you Father, for your Son who died and rose on the third day; so that you could send the Holy Spirit to us. Thank you, Jesus Christ for your sacrifice for me that has brought me so much victory. Who would ever dream that I could have so much love in my life?  Thank you for convicting my heart that I was deferring my hope to something else. You complete me Lord we look nowhere else but to you. There is no one like you in all the earth. We seek you no other person or thing will distract us from you. You are our all in all and forgive us for using you for stuff…forgive us for loving family, friends, church, and things more than you. Help us leave behind people and things that have become our idols and pick up our cross and follow you. Protect our hearts from the evil ones and bullies in our life. I pray that our sense of fulfillment comes from you Lord and that we will delight in you. Create in us 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. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. (Psalm 51:10-13) In Jesus Christ name. Amen.

 

Success-Dying For Jesus Christ Brings Witnesses to and Glorifies God.

If you just happen to find this site, I want to welcome you. The theory of evolution may argue your encounter is purely by chance or random.  I want you to know that the biblical triune God is all powerful, omniscient, omnipotent, and is the creator of the universe.  From humanistic perspective, the universe and its components are random and how there is no significance or meaning embedded in them by supernatural being.  Have you thought about how human beings use random sampling to study and gain understanding of human behavior and society? They infer from random sampling and inform us ways we can live meaningful lives.

We can gain insights from random samples of a population and improve human lives. Random sampling (scientific method) derived from conscious beings (researchers or scientist) that made decisions to study specific environment to conduct research? If the universe did not derived from random chance, could it be that conscious God placed components of the universe in a way that we can benefit and survive for thousands of years? Think about your birth? Did your parents randomly conceive you or did they purposefully engage in sexual activity or utilize other forms of conception to bring you into this life?

In John 12:1-26, Jesus Christ addressed his disciples and other people about his eminent death. He admonished them about the significance of priority and preference. Any one who wants to follow and depends on Jesus Christ must be willing to die when it is necessary and such beliefs must be in harmony with the Bible.  Eternal life must be the highest preference over earthly life. Jesus Christ emphasized that dying for Him brings the ultimate blessings of God. The effective way to live in this world is to continue to prioritize eternal life perspective and focus less on materials things that do not result in the glorification of triune God.

 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

The corn represented human life and how death was necessary to bring forth great fruits that glorify God.  In one sense, Jesus was saying that his death was mandatory to bring or draw people to Him.  The death and resurrection of Jesus has given me eternal life.  On other hand, Jesus required people to follow and embrace his words in the Bible. Trusting and depending on Jesus Christ required the willingness to live in the world and choose to die for Jesus Christ when necessary.

Jesus explained the significance of depending, trusting, and loving him above all. Jesus Christ demanded that anyone who is receptive to follow Him must be ready to be slave or servant.

26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Do you want to be where Jesus Christ is?  If yes, Jesus Christ is trustworthy and truthful all the time. Examine yourself.  If you are being convicted about the necessity of embracing Jesus Christ, be obedient and surrender your life by confessing your sins and asking God to cultivate your relationship by serving and loving biblical triune God in your walk daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. May Christ Jesus grant you grace and mercy.

 

 

 

       

 

Faith

My reading took me to Amos 5 where Amos speaks to the Israelites for God. Amos communicates God’s sorrow. The Israelites sin has become a stench to the LORD. No repentance comes from Israel so God turns away. Amos speaks God’s thoughts of doom to the people of Israel. God speaks through Amos saying “Seek me and live.” The LORD wants His people to return to Him. But, first God is a jealous God who will not be ignored. But, second God is a loving and compassionate God who gives second chances to all. God has given Israel chance after chance to return but they refuse to turn away from the idols of their heart. Israel has become their idols and it says in the word ‘but their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, they have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they 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) The Israelites trusted in their idols so they became their idols to where they couldn’t see or hear danger; their feet couldn’t run from evil. So, when God sent help in the man Amos to speak truth in their lives to turn from their wicked ways they couldn’t hear or see or utter repentance through their mouths; they had become their idols. The LORD is calling “seek me and live”.

Lord is calling ‘seek me and live” but Israel can’t hear; the flow of God’s words just pass them by without understanding.

Israel is not unlike us because we like our material goods as well. We want the best looking car or we need to build a house too. We have the mentality that what is ‘good for my neighbor is good for me, too’. But, God word says for people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1Timothy 6:9-11)

Pursue faithfulness in God: Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1Timothy 6:12) Israel did not fight for their relationship in God but we are called to persevere in faith for our relationship in Christ so that we will claim the prize of eternal life with Him. (Philippians 3:14)

The word says I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasures full. (Proverbs 8:17-21) But, God had conditions to His promises and they were to keep God’s Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and Israel broke their covenant with God. But, Israel didn’t listen to Amos so reconciliation became judgment.

Amos continued to persevere with words from God to “seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the LORD God Almighty will be with you.” If only Israel would hate evil and seek good then God would save a remnant of Joseph.

A sure indication that you are committed follower of Jesus Christ is your hate of sin and your love for righteousness. Jesus Christ showed us His faithfulness to the truth and His righteous hatred for sin while He walked on this earth. The word says in John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Reading further into Amos 7:1-7 the Sovereign LORD was showing Amos a vision of locust on the King’s share of the harvest and Amos cries out “Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” So the LORD relented. “This will not happen,” the LORD said. This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me. The Sovereign LORD was calling judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. Then (Amos) I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” So the LORD relented. “This will not happen either,” the Sovereign LORD said. This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in His hand. The vision showed that God was measuring Israel with a plumb line. A plumb line is a string with a weight on one end it is used in carpentry to make straight a wall. Israel wall was not straight. Israel walk was not obedient to God’s rules. God’s warning has fallen on deaf ears. God uses a shepherd boy from Judah to be a prophet for Israel. Amos cries out to God for Israel but Israel rejects God’s words and is told to “get out, you seer!” Amos was called to Israel by God to be a light in their presence darkness. Have you been called to a place where there is darkness and you are the only light within its walls? Persevere! The things that mark an apostle⎯signs, wonders and miracles⎯were done among you with great perseverance. (2Corinthians 12:12) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) We will not see the end result of our perseverance but know this: nothing is every wasted all is used for the glory of God. (Isaiah 55:11; Numbers 23:19)

In Amos 9:1 I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and He said: “Strike the tops of the pillars so that the thresholds shake. Bring them down on the heads of all the people; those who are left I will kill with the sword. Not one will get away, none will escape.

This is what judgment looks like when you are an enemy of God. God is a merciful and Israel was given chances upon chance to return to God but they loved their sins more. Israel couldn’t hear God’s voice and they forgot who He was. They created their own world where they were number one. They were living in a new utopia where life was surrounded by the love of activity and the worship of things. God was forgotten because life was great. Israel was blessed by God and riches abounded, and with all that God receded into the background until He was totally forgotten.

Israel had depended on their own strength and they have done well; with these thoughts they thought we do not need guidance from this god. Israel forgot who had blessed and protected them. Israel had fallen into the mistake that they were god. The Lord says in His word “you shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)

Israel needed to repent and believe again on the LORD. But, they refused to return to the LORD. Israel refused to let go. Israel rejected God’s word. When you fashion idols in your heart and you trust them; you become them. (Psalm 115:8) When warnings come from God and Pastors we say that is not me for we can’t hear truth.  Are ears are stopped up by our idol in our heart and we can’t hear the Lord speaking.

Hear Jesus Christ calling out of the wilderness for you. Repent and believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross for your sins (the idols in your heart) and rose on the third day to be seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We can’t do this life on our own we need help. Ask Jesus Christ into your life.

Persevere! We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12) We do not want you to fall away to idols but to stay steadfast in the Lord. We want you to triumph. But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. (2Corinthians 2:14)

Thank you, Lord for your faithful pursuing of us. Thank you, Lord that you continue to convict our hearts of our sin. Thank you, Lord for your walk to the cross that cancels my sin.

I pray for your people who struggle with idols of their heart. We ask for your will be done your kingdom come in each life. Open their eyes to see the path they have chosen to walk; which leads to judgment. Open their ears to heed the call of repentance and change before it’s too late. We have all fallen short of the glory of God no one’s perfect not one. Not even you. Help us Lord. In Jesus Christ name, I pray. Amen.

 

What Is Salvation?

The difference between religion and Christianity is, basically that religion is man’s attempt to reach God, and Jesus is God reaching out to man. You can never obtain salvation by your own works. According to Ephesians 2:8- the bible says it’s by the grace of God that we are saved and not by our own good works. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God and thus we needed a Savior to bring us back to God. God gave His Son Jesus that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life and He did not send His Son to condemn the world but He sent Him to bring salvation to mankind. (John 3:16-17).

God is the only one who can provide salvation for man, through Jesus; and any other attempts to approach God, regardless of how sincere they may be, will end in total failure with the result of eternal death. To be saved, you have to recognize your complete dependence on Jesus only and make a surrender of your life to Him as Lord. As it says in Romans 10:9, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”

The commitment to Jesus as Lord of all has to be there. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever fall short of that commitment. The Lord is full of mercy, and His love covers multitude of sins (Proverbs 10:12). But, regardless of how well you fulfill it, you have to have made the commitment that Jesus is Lord of all.

I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior when I was 16 years old and that’s years ago. Before then, I didn’t know about salvation though I used to go to church, sing in the choir and was involved in all kinds of church activities and I thought I was on my way to heaven. But later in life, I stopped going to church, got involved with bad company, and became a rebellious teenager. I must say, the devil was up to destroying my life.

I didn’t care about life anymore because according to me, no one loved me. I grew up without a father and I think that contributed to the bitterness and emptiness I felt in my life. But God, in His own mercy and kindness, sent a good friend of mine my way, who preached the message of salvation to me and I accepted Jesus in my life as Lord and that’s when new life began for me. It didn’t matter to God what I had done, just as I was, I came to Him and He transformed my life, that’s love in action! It has not been easy, but with the Lord in my life, I have triumphed over the battles of life. What a good God HE IS.

If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life, just pray this simple prayer with me and mean it with all your heart, and you shall be saved:
Say “Father, I recognize that I am totally dependent on you to save me. I accept Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for my sins and I now make Him Lord of my life. I believe that Jesus is alive from the dead and now living in me. I am saved, Amen!

Welcome to the Kingdom of God, where you find righteousness, peace, joy, divine health, success and all the perks that come with salvation!

True Hope

If you try to be made right with God through the law, your life with Christ is over – you have left God’s grace. (Galatians 5:4 NCV) When you tried to get to heaven on your own; by doing great works your life in Christ is over. God’s grace only works if He lives in you and works through you.

But we have the true hope that comes from being made right with God, and by the Spirit we wait eagerly for this hope. When we are in Christ Jesus, it is not important if we are circumcised or not. The important thing is faith – the kind of faith that works through love. (Galatians 5:5-6 NCV) We are saved through faith the Bible says this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. (Romans 3:22 NIV; Ephesians 2:8-9) A believer who walks with a living God shows the true nature of God as he or she shares faith with others and is obedient to the word. A believer has true repentance and a love for others through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. A believer has not conformed to this world but continues to be transformed by the living word. (Romans 12:2) A believer has picked up his cross and follows the steps of Christ. What concerns Christ concerns us and we look for ways to make a difference.

You were running a good race. Who stopped you from following the true way? This change did not come from the One who chose you. Be careful! “Just a little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise.” But I trust in the Lord that you will not believe those different ideas. Whoever is confusing you with such ideas will be punished. (Galatians 5:7-10) A true believer searches the scriptures to make sure the preacher/teacher is teaching God’s truth not man’s knowledge. We are accountable to God so stop pointing the finger to others for your Salvation. Wakeup for the road that leads to life is narrow but the way to death is wide. (Matthew 7:13-14)

My brothers and sisters, God called you to be free, but do not use your freedom as an excuse to do what pleases your sinful self. Serve each other with love. (Galatians 5:13 NCV) We are now free from sin the word says therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NIV) When we continue to sin we are living again in law and your life is over in Christ. The word says “remain in me and I will remain in you…Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me…apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers, such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 14:4-6 NIV) When you repent and believe on Jesus Christ and surrender your will and ask Jesus Christ in your life. You are given power to remain in Christ and do His will in your life. When sin enters into a believer’s life they repent and asks for help to change. True repentance is a mark of a believer’s life who is a follower of Jesus Christ.

So I tell you: Live by following the Spirit. Then you will not do what your sinful selves want. Our sinful selves want what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against our sinful selves. The two are against each other, so you cannot do just what you please. (Galatians 5:16-17) The spiritual war within each believer has to do with the whole person; and if they will die to self each day and live in the Spirit they will have life but if you allow the sinful nature reign in your life you will experience death. We have a battlefield raging in our heart for dominion for darkness or light. The Spirit inside us gives us the power to reign with God and follow God’s rules. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. (Romans 7:21 NIV) If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us. (2Timothy 2:12 NIV) This is why the gate is small and the road is narrow and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:14 NIV)

But if the Spirit is leading you, you are not under the law. (Galatians 5:18 NCV) The Spirit is life in and through Jesus Christ. Why would we choose law and death? Control…we want control of our life…we want what we want and when we want it; because we live in a materialistic society that through television, internet, radio, and the written word of mass media that we deserve it. But, the written word of God is specific that we are to put off the old self of sexual unfaithful, not being pure, taking part in sexual sins, worshipping gods, doing witchcraft, hating, making trouble, being jealous, being angry, being selfish, making people angry with each other, causing divisions among people, feeling envy, being drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, and doing other things like these. I warn you now as I warned you before: Those who do these things will not inherit God’s kingdom. (Galatians 5:19-21)

When you are guided through the Holy Spirit you will develop or grow into the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. We must not be proud or make trouble with each other or be jealous of each other. (Galatians 5:22-25) So, let us be overcomers who step up and out so others will see Jesus in us and want to know more.

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11 NIV) Believers’ overcame Satan because Jesus Christ blood shred on the cross gave us freedom to live a life of power against the prince of darkness. Jesus Christ blood gives us boldness to speak out and serve Him. Be overcomers! “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus Christ has already overcome the world for us. On the cross He said “It is finished.” (John 19:30) He did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. We couldn’t continue in our sinful bodies to abide by a law that couldn’t be kept. So, God devised a plan that would change everything and bring us eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God devised a plan because He loved us. God’s love brought His One and Only Son born of a virgin to earth to be a sacrifice. Jesus Christ love for His Father brought Him before a cross of wood; carrying our sins Jesus stained the wood red. The blood of His sacrifice covers over all our wrongs as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12) Christ carried His cross now we need to carry our cross so that others may see and be saved.

Do you have a stain of red on your heart that proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord or do you still live in your sinful self? God’s plan includes you and if this day you are hearing Jesus calling your name; repent of your sins and believe that Jesus Christ was born a virgin birth, die a victorious death, and was resurrected to the right hand of the Father in heaven. Surrender your control and ask Jesus Christ into your heart. This day the heavens will open up and the angels will sing “Hallelujah” for you was lost and now you are found.

Thank you, Lord that you sent your Holy Spirit to convict our hearts to turn away from the old self and receive the new self. Thank you, Lord for the provision of the cross that brought freedom from my old self into a new life of promises.

I pray for my readers who struggle with their old selves. Help them to be overcomers who draw their strength from the Holy Spirit. I pray they will daily give their day to you. Guide their steps that will continue in the way they should go. Protect their eyes and ears from others who want to destroy Christ. I pray for a protected hedge around about them from outside forces. In Jesus Christ name; Amen.

 

Today’s Events = Rapture Soon!

Smiling Jesus

(Picture – The Resurrected Jesus)

Today’s Events = Rapture Soon!

After reading several articles about today’s events, I am further convinced we are approaching a major fulfillment of an “end times” prophecy.
First, in Numbers 19:2-6, God told Moses to get a Red Heifer without blemish or defect to be sacrificed for the sins of Israel. It has been said, the new Temple cannot be completed without repeating this process.
Since Israel became a nation again May 15, 1948, there has been a search for such a Heifer. Just recently, one was found that is believed to fulfill this requirement, and it is in America. All other implements for the Temple have been recreated and if this Heifer actually meets all details, (Completely red – even two off-color hairs is a disqualifier; never yoked to work; Never mated) then the Temple is ready to be rebuilt. Even though muslims are trying to block this, they are going against God and He will prevail.
Next, the current conflict with Hamas and all other Arab nations is right on time. There had to be something to spark aggressive action between Israel and the descendants of Ismael (Arabs). The kidnapping/murder of three Israeli youths is proving to be that catalyst. It’s interesting that there are 21 separate Arab nations, yet not one of them has provided land for the Palestinians. They constantly demand Israel give up its land to them. It should be noted, if God let Israel be defeated, they would all be exterminated. He isn’t going to allow this. He said He would do this not for Israel’s sake, but because of His name. (Isaiah 48:11, Ezekiel 36:22)
It should also be noted, the U.S. is violating its own laws by continuing to fund the Palestinians because they have joined forces with Hamas – a terrorist group that hates Israel and America.
The Russian/Ukraine conflict is coming to a head, which will soon be re-directed toward Israel. Reason? Oil and Natural Gas deposits in Israel. Russia has become an ally of Iran (Persia) and soon will be instrumental in an all-out attack on Israel. This has to do with the Gog/Magog invasion spoke of in Ezekiel 36-38.
There is also a turning away from the true faith – apostasy – that is gaining momentum. (1 Timothy 4:1) Churches are practicing “progressive Christianity” where the Church is bending to meet today’s desires rather than follow God’s word. One of satan’s greatest tools is the phrase, “Does God really mean…?” The answer is “YES”! However, many people are being deceived like Adam and Eve were. God said what He meant, and He meant what He said.
Jews are not the only ones being targeted, but Christians as well. In one recent case, a Christian was asked at work by a muslim, questions about Christianity. When the Christian gave answers, the muslim asked to be prayed for and even mentioned wanting to attend Church. Very soon after this, the Christian was shocked to learn a complaint had been filed for religious discrimination and harassment. A lawyer has been appointed by a Christian organization, and the charges are being fought. However, this is only one example of how we can be entrapped.
There are many other signs – the weakening of America; European Union becoming stronger; Christians being martyred and so forth – that point to the return of the Lord for His Church (Rapture). The pace is quickening daily. Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28)
It’s exciting to see God’s word being fulfilled daily for those who are ready to be with Him.

Satan’s Doomed Agenda – Part 1

Smiling Jesus

Satan’s Doomed Agenda – Part 1
Satan has tried to destroy God’s creation from the very beginning. We all have heard the story about Adam and Eve and the initial fall of mankind.
At one point, the world became so evil God destroyed all but eight people and certain animals. From these eight, He repopulated the world. This did not end evil.
Later, Sodom & Gomorrah became so evil God destroyed them. There weren’t even 10 righteous people in them. If there had been, God promised Abraham he would spare them.
Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. God told Abraham he would father a son through Sarah, but he tried to make sure he had a son through unapproved methods. As a result, Ishmael, son of Hagar the maidservant, was banished and Isaac was the chosen son. Since then, there has been conflict between their descendants to this very day. (Ishmael descendants are Arabs; Isaac’s are the Israelites).
All through the first five books of the Bible, we have stories of people who were faithful to God, but also a lot of rebellious people as well. When we get to the book of Joshua, we are in the period of the Judges.
Satan knows of God’s covenants and throughout the Bible, we can see his negative influence.
During the time of the Judges, God brought Ruth and Boaz together in order for His divine providence to rule. Ruth was from Moab and Boaz from Bethlehem. Through their marriage, David became king after Saul fell from grace. Satan was able to control Saul, but not David. God’s covenant with David said the Messiah would come from his bloodline. After David was Solomon, and though he fell from grace at the end, the line continued through one of his sons.
Satan tried very hard to interfere, but God made sure the line of David didn’t get eliminated. Even through the Babylonian captivity, God kept His covenant, and David’s bloodline can be traced as shown in the New Testament. (Matthew and Luke)
Through the prophesies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Zachariah and others, we are given an insight of the future from the end of captivity to the coming of the Messiah the first time. There is even a great deal of information of the last days of this earth before the 2nd. Coming of the Messiah.
Jesus will come to gather His Church, but this will not be the 2nd. coming as we will “rise to meet Him in the clouds”. The actual 2nd. coming will find Jesus coming directly to the earth to conquer satan.
After the last Old Testament prophet, there’s a silent period of about 400 years. In the New Testament, Matthew gives one of the bloodlines of Jesus. Matthew is Jewish and it’s believed the one he gives is Joseph’s, which gives Jesus Credibility. In those days, as with the Islamic world today, women were second-class citizens.
Luke, a gentile, gives a different line believed to be that of Mary.
Both Joseph and Mary came from David, but by different paths. Jesus could not have been the “perfect sacrifice” if Joseph and Mary’s blood combined to conceive Him. Man’s sin nature would have been in Him and God would not accept a less-than-perfect sacrifice. By the Holy Spirit putting the seed in a virgin (Mary), the blood of the Messiah would be uncorrupted, and be able to serve to save all of mankind – if they would accept His sacrifice.
Please continue to the second part to see how Jesus has already defeated satan, sin and death.

Satan’s Doomed Agenda – Part 2

Smiling Jesus

Satan’s Doomed Agenda – Part 2
The Pharisees had many old transcripts saying “A Virgin shall bear a child”. The arrival of Jesus should have surprised no one. They prided themselves about knowing of the future Messiah. Problem here is PRIDE.
If they had carefully studied the writings of Daniel, he told of the actual day the Messiah would enter Jerusalem. (9th. chapter)
Gentile kings from the east (area of Iran) knew more than the Jewish priests, and came to Jerusalem looking for the Promised One.
The Pharisees were taken off guard because they expected the messiah to come in on a great white horse with much pomp and circumstance, and defeat all their enemies and take His place in the temple. They believed they would be given special privileges by Him because of their titles, and when Jesus didn’t do this He became their enemy.
He didn’t come up to their expectations, but they came down to His. He knew He would be rejected as was written in Old Testament prophecies. He orchestrated everything that would happen over about a 3-year period leading right up to Calvary.
Satan continued to be a force to deal with, but Jesus was always one step ahead every time. He controlled the entire crucifixion! Jesus was offered something to dull the pain, however He refused. He wanted the full effect of OUR SINS to be felt. He was beaten mercilessly and would have been barely recognizable when finally put on the cross.
Jesus made seven statements from the cross:
1. Father Forgive them for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34) He demonstrated how we are to love our enemies.
2. Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise. (Luke 23:43) Not only did Jesus pardon the criminal on His right, He let us know that when we die we will be immediately with Him if we have accepted Him.
3. Woman, behold your son. (John 19:26) Jesus blessed Mary by making sure she was taken care of after He would be gone.
4. My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22). Jesus knew He would have to be separated from the Father to become the perfect sacrifice, and this terrified Him.
5. I Thirst! (John 19:28) This showed Jesus, even though fully God, was fully man and had normal human reactions to the physical torment.
6. It Is Finished! (John 19:30) The work He had come to do was finished – The Sacrifice Was Complete.
7. Father, into your hands I commit My Spirit. (Luke 23:46) Jesus died immediately after these words. He died voluntarily. The human side was dead, but His Spirit was immediately with the Father, and He was there to welcome the pardoned thief.
These were not the final words spoken by Jesus on this earth. Three days later He arose and before ascending to Heaven, had many witnesses to His resurrection.
About the resurrection, Jesus’ Spirit was not in the grave – only His earthly body. On that 3rd. day, the stone was “rolled away” and the seal broken. He could’ve walked through the stone, but this was done to show He was just who He said He was.
Up to the resurrection, satan was confident he would win. He’s so vain he still believes he will overcome the Trinity, however, with the redeeming blood that was shed, there is a “RED STAIN” left behind that satan will never be able to “get rid of”!
Once and for all, sin/death was conquered.
All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved! (Acts 2:21)
He Is Risen – He Is Risen Indeed!

Jesus/Yeshua – Prophecies Fulfilled Part 1

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Jesus/Yeshua – Prophecies Fulfilled Part 1
Although this message is for EVERYONE, it is especially for the “Children of Israel” that have not accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. This will definitely be more than one blog post (actually 5) in order to give it the special attention needed. Yeshua fulfilled over 300 prophecies by the time He left this earth. I cannot list them all, but will give 15 prophecies from the Old Testament and then I will give the New Testament fulfillments. I made reference to this in a previous blog, but as a refresher:
The Old Testament in the Bible was written before Jesus was born. Its writings were completed in 450 BC. Written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, it contains over 300 prophecies Jesus fulfilled through His life, death and resurrection.
Mathematically, the odds of anyone fulfilling this amount of prophecy are staggering.
1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000; 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies 1 in 10 to the 157th power; and 1 person fulfilling all 300+ only could be Jesus!
I do not know the odds of 15, but it’s definitely greater than 8. Only God knew beforehand all that would be accomplished and all that was written about the Christ. This makes the Bible more reliable than any other book or record.
The New Testament was written after the death of Jesus Christ. Archeologists have found thousands of manuscripts of this, and some are dated less than 100 years after the original letters were written. The Bible is superior by far than any other of the ancient writings.
God gave us these prophecies to build our faith and lead the way to His Son. Jesus the Christ is the Lamb of God, slain before the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8) My hope is you will know without doubt that His death and resurrection are the sacrifice for our sins; and with His death He takes away not only our sins, but the sins of all the world. (1John 2:2) He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless spotless Lamb of God. God chose Him for this purpose long before the world began, but now these final days, He was sent to the earth for ALL to see. And He did this for you. (1 Peter 1:19-20)
Please note, all Bible passages in this message are abbreviated due to space, however, I encourage you to go the text to read the entire passages.
#1 – THE MESSIAH WILL BE BORN IN BETHLEHEM
Micah 5:2 (8th century BC) – But you o Bethlehem Ephrathah are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.
Fulfilled: Matthew 2:1-6 – Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod…..Herod called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked “Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?” In Bethlehem, they said.
Luke 2:4-5,7,15 – And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home……he took with him Mary who was obviously pregnant. She gave birth to her first child a son.
John 7:42 – For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.
So far, we have only covered one prophecy and its fulfillment. Please continue to the next part for further proofs.

Believe Jesus, Know Jesus – God’s Salvation is Only Through Jesus Christ

Jesus, somewhere is someone who is very close to accepting God’s salvation through You, and that someone does not know how to believe it. This is what I sense from You this morning.

“Knowledge without belief is not salvation. Belief must come from the heart.”

I did not know how to go from knowledge to belief, even after years of going to church.

“You could not do it for yourself. My Father called you to Him. You needed only to desire to know Me, and not just know about Me. He touched your heart at the moment you were willing. Tell them what I did for you.”

But how can I explain it, Jesus? I am a small person with small words.

“I will help you. I will cause you to remember.”

I remember what it was like when I was not sure that God would forgive me and accept me into His Kingdom. I had never known love so great as Your love. I could not even imagine it. I thought of conviction at that time as a bad thing, and as something to avoid. I did not know that conviction is more than feeling guilty; it is truly the beckoning of God, through the Holy Spirit, to the heart.

One Sunday morning, I was at church, listening to the sermon, and I was trying to convince myself that I was good. God made it clear to me that I was not good. He caused the Holy Spirit to pass through my skin and touch my heart. At that second, I realized that You know every thought, act, word, and deed, and yet I felt so loved. I knew with certainty that every word in the Bible is the Truth. I do not know why I had not understood salvation earlier.

“You were not looking for Me.”

Not until that morning. As the pastor spoke God’s message, my heart ached for something I had never known and could not understand. I only knew that it had something to do with heaven and love. I was thinking within the limits of my own mind, and Satan was working against me. He tried to get me to condemn myself, so I would believe him and not believe the Truth. There was a very rapid sequence of memories and mental images of my sins against You. The evil one tried to convince me that God would not forgive me through You, but even so, I could feel You holding my heart in your hands.

I thought all of the people around me were good. I was afraid they would reject me if I admitted that I was a sinner. I was afraid You would tell me that I was too bad to be forgiven. That was the work of the evil one also. But You did not give up. You flooded me with Your love. My heart felt warm and large. I felt cherished as never before. I knew that You had chosen me and I was sure that His miraculous way of penetrating my heart was real and true. It was as if time stopped and it was just You and me, heart to heart, on that pew. Your love for me was so pure that I was ashamed, but Your love was bigger than my shame. I wondered how You could love me so much that You would die so I could live in heaven, forever. Jesus, I wanted desperately to be sure I would go to heaven when I died. I thought of how much I must have hurt You. How long I had ignored You. How much I did not deserve God’s mercy. How I had made life all about me.

Satan was counting on my fear of rejection to keep me from asking You to forgive me. He then switched tactics and aimed at the pride within me. He wanted me to think I was good enough without Your salvation. But that opened up another realization—that not only is heaven real, but so is hell. I knew without a doubt that if I did not accept God’s forgiveness, I would go to hell, forever. Then suddenly I realized that it did not matter what others thought of me. I understood how great God is and how small I was. I understood how far below His standards are the standards of man and that even if I could live perfectly according to the highest of human standards, I could never get to heaven by being good in the sight of man. I could sense the pressure of evil pushing against me, all around me. You kept Your touch of love evident within me. I knew the spiritual realm was real. I knew I had to choose. I knew You were my only protection from the evil one.

At the very second I told You in my thoughts, with a broken heart, that I was sorry for my sins and accepted God’s forgiveness through Your sacrifice for me, the Holy Spirit expanded within me to every cell of my body.

“You were cleansed with forgiveness, because you believed and desired to know Me.”

Yes! I felt completely clean. I felt no fear. I felt no guilt. I felt no shame. You took it all away instantly. I felt NEW. I was so filled with joy that I could hardly talk when I prayed with the pastor and confessed You as my Lord and Savior at the front of that little church. Believing You and knowing You changed my life, and my eternal destination.

“What I did for you I will do for anyone who calls upon My name. Tell them: Believe Me. Trust Me. I am the only way.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NLT)

Jesus’ Words – God’s Judgment Is Coming

I sense a spiritual tremor, Jesus—a downward shift in the spiritual realm. A darkening in this world within many. What was once important to me does not seem significant anymore, my Lord. What I desire more than anything is to do what God wants me to do in the time that remains here. You told me several days ago to release my grip on the world. I still do not know what this has to do with God’s plan for me. All I know is that I sense an urgency to fulfill what God wants of me, and that there is not much time for me to do it.

“There is more to be done. Not what you will gain, but what you will give.”

What am I to give?

“Your heart. Again and again and again. You must do My Father‘s work.”

Have I not given my heart, Lord? What does God want me to do?

“Eternal work. You are not to work for worldly gain. You are to work completely for My Father’s Kingdom. Give without regard to gain in the world.”

You are right, Jesus. I have spent too much of the life God has given me in thoughts about how I will live in this world, though I am, ever more clearly, a foreigner here. Looking at circumstances with human wisdom means nothing. Working for worldly gain means nothing.

“Nothing. It will all come to naught. Yet My rewards are forever.”

Thank You for bringing me, again, to what is most important. How will I do this work for God?

“Fix your heart and your mind not on things seen, but on things yet unseen.”

Heaven!

“Yes. Soon.”

I am ready. I am waiting.

“Many are not. I know you greatly desire to be with Me, but there is something more important than the former desires You released to Me. ”

Open my eyes, Lord.

“Open your heart. Your mind cannot conceive what I speak to your heart.”

These are the Scriptures You brought to my heart, Jesus:

All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17, NLT)

You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
(Ephesians 2:2, NLT)

My work is about the spiritual battle—the unseen powers of good and evil. God and Satan.

“Yes. I have heard your prayers. I have seen your tears. You have asked me why many do not love My Father and Me. They who refuse Me are refusing My Father. They are under the power of Satan. You are not only to wait, but also to work.”

What is my work, Lord Jesus?

“Spread My Word to the nations.”

What words from You am I to spread to the nations, Jesus?

“Warn them. Judgment is coming.”

Yes, and You will rescue those who love You. Those who remain will suffer as mankind has never before suffered because they refuse to believe the truth. I remember that You told me, “Suffering humbles some.”

“There is more. Tyranny. Tyranny is coming. Not much longer. Then massacre. And death. Remember the four horses.”

The white horse, the red horse, the black horse, and the pale green horse in Revelation 6. The work of Satan through the Antichrist.

“He will proclaim peace. There will be no peace. It is all a lie. A deception. He will slaughter. Many will die.”

The Antichrist will sign a peace treaty with Israel.

“Only outwardly.”

Then he will break the treaty. This is all in Your Word. Jesus, why do so many not believe You?

“You are grieving for them, though you will not remain there. You and those who know Me will be rescued. You have believed Me when I have told you there is not much time. Tell them now: You must choose God or choose Satan. Tell them even if some do not believe the words I have given you. This is what you are thinking: ’Am I sure I am hearing the Lord?’”

Yes. Exactly, Jesus.

“Of course you are hearing from Me! Listen! Is My love for you and for them not worth the wrath and scorn of man? Do you think I will not hold you accountable for what I have told you to tell and you did not tell?”

I know You will Jesus. I know You will.

“Do not let the evil one discourage you. Do not be afraid of what man may do to you. Be about My Father’s work. Now, before the day of completion.”

You will let me complete what I am called by God to do. It is the same for all who love You and listen and obey. We who love You will be with you very soon. You will protect all of us who believe in God through You. Thank You for reminding me of this Scripture for those who believe You, Jesus:

When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (John 14:3, NLT)

Success is Knowing and Obeying God, Even When We Suffer

As Christians, we need not be dismayed when we suffer in this life. Those who love the Lord are the enemies of the evil one and his demons. Because the real battle is unseen, we can be blind to the oppression inflicted against us. Satan often prefers that we do not know that it is him who is attacking us. He wants non-believers to be oblivious to the help and hope available to them through Jesus Christ. He wants us who believe in the Lord Jesus to see ourselves as undeserving victims of God, or as foolish and doomed martyrs in the cause of Christ. He assigns the demons to attack us in the ways that we are most vulnerable. The evil one even uses people who, with or without knowing it, are controlled and manipulated by him to hurt us. He tries to convince us that unpleasant or painful dilemmas are evidence that the Lord does not really love us and is not really good.

Especially when we do not have the answers about why we are suffering, the evil one attempts to convince us that God is punishing us. His accusations, of course, are filled with deception. He will do anything in his power to try to stop us from using every situation for the glory of God—even what appears, in human wisdom, to be failure. Satan wants us to blame ourselves or blame God for what we experience as painful because he knows that God’s plan is good for each who believes in Him through Jesus Christ. Each and every circumstance that God allows, whether we perceive it as good or bad, and as a success or a failure, has an eternal, good purpose.

If you are in a painful situation, Satan is either hoping to keep you from knowing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or he is maneuvering to impede you as you serve God. Jesus is our only protection from the evil one and his demons. They are in fact terrified of Jesus. Jesus Christ has authority over everything in heaven and on earth. Satan does not want you to know this and remember this as you are suffering. He wants you to focus on yourself through what you think and how you feel about circumstances. He wants to distract your attention away from our Lord so you will not seek and receive the strength, power, courage, and wisdom that is in Jesus Christ and revealed by Him to us through the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes, when we suffer, we do not understand that the reason for the difficulty is to bring glory to God. We can become discouraged by struggles, and see ourselves as failures when we forget to trust the Word of God rather than how we feel, the perceptible challenges that face us, or what we are thinking. Everything God allows is to be used to further His Kingdom. We do not fail as long as we obey Him.

Our Lord is faithful. At the right time, He will reveal the specific reason that He has allowed oppression by the evil one. Perhaps God is speaking to you through these words you are reading. Maybe He is calling you to Him through Jesus Christ. Maybe He is confirming that what you are experiencing is to draw you near to Him so that you can fully know His purpose for allowing your circumstances. Listen to His whisper to your heart. God wastes nothing. He will make known to you what you are to do with your situation.

If you are suffering for the Lord, what can you do? Praise Him for the opportunity to serve Him. Be diligent in reading His Word and dwelling on it. Ask God what you are to know and to do for Him. Ask God what the evil one is trying to accomplish or prevent. We can persist, overcome, and succeed by obeying what God tells us to do with whatever we face. Suffering for the Kingdom of God is a tremendous honor from our Lord. The works to which He calls us, as the result of serving Him through difficulties, are more important than anything we could treasure in this world. Suffering for the Lord brings us closer to Him. It gives us a greater appreciation of what He has done for us. It permeates us with reverent awe of His love and provision for us. And, one day, when we see Jesus face to face, we will know that persisting with faith and through obedience, when we suffer in His will, is the epitome of success. Further, what we do for the Lord, in and through suffering, is success that lasts forevermore.

And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17, NLT