Thursday, June 30, 2016

It takes two, baby....

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

John 10: 28

The whole question of salvation is both important and a bit complicated at times. What we know about salvation is that it is of God. It is His act of grace giving forgiveness to those who do not deserve it because of sin that He is totally opposed to. Mankind, on their own merit, can not save themselves. Even the high priests of Jewish tradition could not provide lasting forgiveness in an imperfect system of sacrificial rites.

Since it is an act of God, God must be the primary player in reaching out, as it were, to bring in the sinner with the message of the Gospel, a message that provides new life through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in His short time here on earth. Does this offer go out to all? Well the Great Commission doesn't seem to suggest that Christians should only spread the Good News to those God has predestined for salvation. 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 
Matthew 11: 28-30

The words of Jesus seem to be an open call to all who would believe. So here is where the title of this blog seems to me to come into play. Once the call is made, once the offer is on the table, a person must accept it or reject it. If I have the ability to accept and believe this wonderful eternal gift than I must also have the ability to reject its promise. It is an eternal rejection; or is it?

God, it seems to me, throughout the Bible and particularly in the Old Testament, is long suffering and patient, willing to wait upon those He loves, willing to accept repentance and return His people to blessing. In fact, He is so patient and steadfast in His love, that it really is almost beyond amazing. It is obvious, at least in my thinking, that God wants to come to reconciliation with His created, wants to accept them into His family.

Now then, what of those who are saved and then reject Christ as savior and Lord? Obviously, there is great eternal danger in such a decision. However, it would seem that even then,  God is a God who forgives, regathers and loves even those who, having given up their salvation, come to realize their error and repent from their heart.

It takes an Amazing God and it takes a decision that is forever.

Praise this wonderful God! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

So what will you say to Jesus?

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalm 23

There probably isn't a more popular or wonderful passage in the entire Bible than the
twenty-third Psalm. It was familiar to me during all those years of not knowing God because
it was so often used at funerals, even for those who were not true Christians. It is
comforting and powerful.
The 4th verse, above, is part of the section that, written by David the Shepherd King,
could be applied to a shepherd caring in the fields for his sheep. There are many dangers
out there for shepherds who care about protecting their flock. We, of course, take these
wonderful verses as the Great Shepherd caring for His sheep, His church, the ones who
recognize His name and voice.
So if we look upon these verses as those predicting and describing the journey everyone
of us will take away from this corporal world into a spiritual encounter, initially, 
it would seem that we will not be crossing that divide alone. Our Lord
Jesus Christ will be walking with us, hand in hand, and we will, at last, be able to see
Him and, yes, talk with Him.
While we talk with Him many times each day in prayer, most likely He hasn't answered
us on a verbal plane. WE do not really recognize what He looks like or what His voice
sounds like. Will He be like His description in the Bible, one who is not distinguishable in
looks from those around Him. What will His wonderful voice actually sound like as we
walk with Him?
Finally, to my point. What will you say to Him? Let's assume for a moment, that you
actually can speak, perhaps after the initial realization of where you are and what is happening. After all these years, after all His grace, after His sacrifice which made it
possible to enter into God's family as an adopted child, what would be the first words
to come out of your mouth.
This blog isn't about to suggest anything; it is here to implore you to give consideration
to how you will respond to what this King of the very Universe has done for you.
First, make it a given that you will take this journey with Him. Have assurance that you
are, indeed, forgiven your sins and reconciled with God. Then ponder how you will verablize
to Him what it means to be His.
Awesome, eh? So what's your plan?

Praise our God!~

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What do you have?

Jordan Kauflin: I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first.. I would refuse You still

So what do you have? Money?

Got to pay the bills and living requires money. Earning a living and providing for
family are requisite needs in this life. I have never had much money; I have often
squandered money foolishly and have, at times, had to literally count nickles to
provide enough money to feed and care for my beloved daughter. Yet, I have always
been given enough to get by so I have been blessed. The amount of money that I
will carry with me to heaven is $0.0 !


Families are wonderful relationships given to us by God in a structured way. I
am now old enough to have lost both parents, grandparents, brother and many
friends, to death. Families are security, support, loving relationships that, unfortunately,
are temporary in nature. I am left with a daughter and granddaughter that are
the joy of my life, and a blessing, indeed. The number of family members who
will die and whose souls will depart: all of them.


I was a public school teacher for 34 years and wouldn't have traded for any other
profession. It never led to a lot of money but the life experiences were uncountable
and there was always the feeling that I was making a difference in the lives of the
students I taught. Yet, I became too old to really maintain the energy needed and
retired. How all of our jobs and vocations will turn out? We will retire.

I could go on. My point is that a lot of the things, and there are more, that we
value in this life are, like ourselves, temporary. In this way, their value, in the end,
is nil. Mr. Kauflin's beautiful hymn expresses the one thing that we can live for in this
life that will remain eternally: the Lord Jesus Christ. If you do not know the hymn, I
suggest that you search for it. 

The love and devotion to Jesus are centered around the gift of Grace, the fact that
this perfect, God-man, came to earth for the purpose of providing a way to
break down the barrier between our God and ourselves resulting from sin. He, Jesus,
is not temporary. He is, was and will always be the same Lord and King who
loves His sheep and gathers them to Himself.

Number of souls who believe in Jesus who will be lost eternally? NONE!

Praise our God.!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Resurrected from the dead

1  Corinthians 15: 12-

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain

At the very core of Christianity is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Paul
presents this with clarity by claiming that without this historically accurate depiction of
Lord Jesus Christ's victory over death, Satan and sin, there is basically no basis for those
who are called Christians. 

The theories that have evolved from the first century which claim that other things happened and Christ was not resurrected, or even crucified, are smashed by both Gentile and Jewish historians and the very fact that eleven disciples met horrific deaths proclaiming this resurrection to have been true, disciples that had fled from the Crucifixion in confusion,
sadness and fear. They were first-hand witnesses of their Lord come back and of His later
ascension into Heaven.

This little blog is really not about that wonderful world-changing resurrection but about
your resurrection from death. If you have claimed Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and
Savior, repented of sin and asked forgiveness, become ind-welled by the Holy Spirit and
have noticed that you have a changed heart, a changed life and attitude toward others,
if you seek to know God and to love God then you have gone through a metamorphosis
to become a true Christian.

Not an almost Christian, mind you, as many folks are who claim Christianity but whose
hearts remain hardened and lives unchanged. These almost Christians. as Alistair Begg
is want to say, will almost get to heaven.

True Christians, then, have already been resurrected from death: spiritual death. You were
a person separated from God, a person whose heart was controlled by selfishness and sin,
a person who was out for number one, a person who had no plans to surrender to any God,
a person lost and bent upon eternal destruction. But like the symbolic rising from the
pool of Baptismal waters, you have arisen into relationship with the Living God, no 
longer a slave to sin, no longer on your own in a world that is painfully amiss. You are
loved by the very Creator of the universe, who despite His immensity, has a heart of
love for His creatures that He has promised to His Son, each and every one of them.

Through the grace of God, you have overcome. You are a new creation. You have been
resurrected from the dead!

Praise our God!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy FATHER'S day!

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Matthew 6: 9

I have a confession; I have become quite cynical of Hallmark holidays! Add to that the dilemma of trying to find a card that isn't nasty and stupid, and that cynicism can
readily turn to frustration.

However, Father's Day is one recognition that I have come to take seriously and to heart.
Now going to Hallmark or on-line to find an appropriate card for The Father isn't going to come out well. 

You see, the ultimate in Fatherhood is the God who created fatherhood. He created the family and placed at the head of that community the father, a combination of leadership and compassion. There is, in God's teaching, a structure to the family, placed there purposely to help ensure the success of that unit. All fathers, including my own who fell asleep several years ago, are insufficient because they are human. They come up short even when, as is the case with my own dad, they are wonderful, loving giving men. It's that sin thing again, and even when saved by free grace from God, they still harbor the curse of sinfulness, though forgiven for same.

God the Father is part of a family structure, having a Son and the Holy Spirit of God in His family which He enjoyed before anything was created. I believe His words prove that He loves those family members and wished to extend that love and that family structure to creatures He would create.  Talk about a task: He knows each of His created, saved and not saved, completely; He cares for each and every one and desires to be their Abba Father; He has even sent His beloved to die upon a tree that there might be reconciliation and an end to the wall that once divided Himself and His adopted, grace-filled, children.

So Happy Father's Day, Father God. How can I adequately thank you for the blessing that
is your caring for those like me, creatures created by You for Your glory? How can I thank you for not simply creating and moving on?  How can I thank you for Your strength, Your expectations, Your Divine Intercessions and Your love. There is no card, just a heart that loves you back!

Praise our God! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Mr. " " tear down that wall!

It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

The Republican presumptive nominee, and it's hard to even type this, Mr. Trump, plans
to build a wall on the southern border of the US. I, frankly, do not expect this to happen
even if Mr. Trump manages to win in November.
Many walls have been built and destroyed in history. I think of the Great Wall of China, 
beautiful in photographs, and built, I am sure for military purposes. The walls of
Jericho brought down in strange fashion and, of course, the Berlin Wall which was
destroyed during Mr. Reagan's Presidency.

But none of these walls, however high, long or impractical, can compare to the
personal walls that man builds to separate himself from his creator, God the Father.
When the light of God's grace-filled message of reconciliation is brought into a discussion,
one can almost hear the construction equipment start to work. This wall building,
encouraged by our culture and the work of the Prince of the Air, hardens the heart
and effectively walls off  any chances for the redeeming message to reach into the
darkness and bring light and life. Defense mechanisms immediately surface,
and one can imagine hands covering the ears and a series of ."na,na,na,na's"
emanating from the wall builder.

Now this is not an easy wall to dismantle. No sledge hammer approach is going
to result in an opening in this wall. The heels are dug in, the listening apparatus
has closed down, and the excuses begin to flow like lava.

One problem is lack of understanding and knowledge, but the bigger issue
is a refusal to even consider surrender to a higher power, one who knows us
completely and who is sovereign in the events of our lives. People want to drive
the car. They want to work things out on their own and they do not want even this
glorious Creator interfering in their lives. 

So we have to chip carefully, here. We need to be humble and accepting of the
fact that the wall is there and seek to erode its strength through compassion mixed
with the truth. It may take a number of chips, but if this wall builder is important
in your life, eternity is in the balance. PLUS, the Holy Spirit Of God is there
with you. having tools we cannot even imagine to help erode the blockage.

It's our commission. It's the call of Jesus. No wall can stand against the
power and love of this Lord and King.

Praise our God.

Friday, June 3, 2016

There can't be more than one TRUTH!

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There are many people who struggle with someone claiming to know the truth. It is
a fact that our culture is rampant with 'truths,' each person claiming their own
truth. Relativism is the belief that everyone is entitled to have their own version of
the truth, reality, even what is right and wrong.

Well, I don't agree for one major reason. If there are a number of versions of the
truth, than there can be no truth. If there is no truth, then we are all in a big heap of

The basic push-back to the claims of Jesus is that we Americans are steeped in independence. We, quite frankly, do not want anyone, even Jesus Christ, declaring to us what is true. We will decide what we are comfortable with as far as truth is concerned. Statistics would show that fewer Americans are attending churches despite that fact that many would label themselves, Christians.

Jesus Christ is a historical figure that walked this earth with a message of hope
and reconciliation for sinners, that would be all of us, to a God who created us and
loves us. Does that mean that all will hear His message, that all will respond to His
message with repentance and faith? No. Does it mean that anyone whose heart is
called by a long-suffering God to a softening and a yearning for membership in
God's church family will be accepted? I believe it does.

So there is an independence, if you will, to consider this truth. Believing it requires
some study, some intelligent searching of scripture, some prayer and a willingness to
be open to the greatest calling ever given to mankind. Are we capable of being good
enough to earn our way into heaven? No. Are there a myriad number of ways to
protect our souls for eternity? Well, not according to the scripture above. 

For those of you simply not interested in considering Jesus, I will pray for you
and ask God to open your hearts. Independence does not provide a pathway to what
is truth. Driving our own bus through life will result in an unprotected soul.
One out of one dies. There is but one truth. May I pray that you will head in the
direction of the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, sooner rather than later

Praise our God!