Tag Archives: trust

Whose Report Do you Believe?!

Whose report will you believe

But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:

“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:

“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”

These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

John 12: 37-41(Isaiah 53:1 ) NKJV

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10: 16-17 NKJV

Faith is such a simply thing that it can easily be overlooked. We set an alarm before we go to sleep never doubting it will wake us. We say good night to loved ones without a worry that we (or they) will rise tomorrow to see them again. We turn on a faucet and expect the water to flow. So many things in our life we take for granted yet we have faith (assurance, trust, no doubt) that they will be there just as before. Even if we have no clear understanding as to how they work – microwaves, computers, plumbing or electrical infastructures, we believe that will be just the way they have always been when we need them.

Salvation is based on a very simply concept as well.

But what does it (the righteousness that is by faith) say?

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Romans 10:6-10 NIV

So, it is all about what we believe in our hearts. Whose Report will You Believe?? CNN? The CDC? The Word of God? The Lord Jesus Christ Himself? It is a very simple question you see because our beliefs shape our thoughts and our thoughts shape our actions and our actions have consequences.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”;

Proverbs 3:5 & 1 Cor 3:19 NKJV

People who know me know that I am an emotional, passionate and maybe dramatic personality. I am an open book as the saying goes. I also can be trusting to the point of gullibility. Therefore the sensational and dramatic can catch my eye. With the pandemic upon us I have seen and read many websites promoting the theory that we are in the end times. Honestly, I can’t help but agree that these unprecedented events we see each day playing out are a cause to reflect, pray and appreciate what is truly important – but with a clear head.

To those of us who already believe in Jesus and have placed our lives into His Hands these events should act as a call to action. Now more than ever we believers must be the light He called us to be. A beacon of stability in a world being blown around by fear and sensationalism and uncertainty. Like Jesus Who slept in the boat (Matt 8:23-26) while the storm tossed it about we should be calm and undeterred by the events unfolding around us. As we stand strong during this crisis others will want to know why we aren’t worried as they are. This will be the opportunity for us to share the faith in and love of God with them.

In this uncertain time, as always, we must remember that God is on His throne. Jesus told us this is how it would be so we should not be surprised. the Bible talks about “great signs and wonders” as the end draws near.

I heard a great analogy of this scripture I’d like to share. When a traveler is in a foreign land and comes to a cross street. They look around and can not understand what they are reading because it’s in a language different from their own. But to the locals who live there it is a sign which gives directions that they clearly understand.

Likewise, these signs we see today (pandemic, hoards of locusts, earthquakes, cyclones, famine, sickness, volcanic eruptions, etc) tell us clearly that the end is near. They are a sign to us who believe because Jesus told us they would come and they they would be the birth pangs of the end. To those who do not believe these events are a wonderland a cause for concern and fear.

Having said all of that –

Whose Report Shall You Believe???

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday or the Quiet Mournful Day

  Imagine that day. As the disciples and the others sat shut up in there homes saddened by the lose of Jesus and unsure of what the future might hold. Would the authorities come and collect them? Would they be able to go back to the life they had before He selected them to follow Him? I imagine that they still felt the pain of watching Him suffer. that there minds were still filled with the images of yesterdays crucifixion. I imagine they felt powerless as they watch Him die and were overwhelmed with grief even as they took Him down from the cross and laid him in the tomb.

   But what next? What shall they do now? Now that He is gone where shall they go? So many questions and so few answers.

   They were in  dark place emotionally. Hopelessness and despair surrounded them. They undoubtedly went threw the motions of the days routine in a sad and withdrawn way.

   Have you ever been in that place? Has the sin and pain of this world and your own poor choices brought you to a place of hopelessness and despair?

  This world can do that. The weight of sin in this world can do that. The devil and his demons can try to destroy us. Sometimes our own self-destructive behavior drives us into a corner. Into a dark place. Into our own tomb – so to speak.

   Just like those who mourned the lose of the Savior way back then we may have found ourselves in a similar situation. But we know that the story did not end on Saturday. We know that the sorrow of Saturday was turned to joy on that Sunday morning.

   I want to encourage anyone out there who is in a dark place of despair and hopelessness to look for the joy of the new day that awaits you if you turn to the Son Who died and lives again. The Resurrection Sunday story is a story of hope when all seems lost. A renewal of life where death seemed victorious.

Jesus is alive.

HE IS ALIVE.

HE IS ALIVE AND DEATH HAS BEEN DEFEATED.

With the defeat of death comes

Victory over the darkness and despair that comes with it

Depositphotos_5208225_original

   Embrace the Cross of Calvary because it is here that Our Lord Jesus won the Victory for you and for me. Let the light of the new day shine on you and wash you clean as you walk with the Resurrected Savior into a new life. He die so you might live. He’s alive to love you and lead you into a new life. Won’t you let Him?

   Saturday seemed too dark to endure but the Light and Love of the Son will shine – tomorrow. Trust in Him Who promised –

I will never leave you or forsake you

Warning! Unstable conditions ahead!

Scared to Death on the Bridge

How do we react to instability in our lives? Do we frightfully hang on for dear life, as I did while crossing this rope bridge in Ireland, or do we rest easy knowing we are in the Fathers arms?

I never have been much for heights. Although I have been to the top of the Empire State building without a care and if needed I can walk most roofs but  you couldn’t get me on a roller coaster until recently.  I think the reason behind my fear of certain heights was control. If I felt like I was in control of the situation I wasn’t afraid no matter how high I was.

But we aren’t always in control of our environment or the conditions of the road ahead of us. What then? Fearfully clinging? Or resting easy? What would the Word of God encourage us to do? How would Jesus hope to see us react? I am reminded of a circumstance that Peter found himself in. Matthew records the event here.

While in a storm swept boat with the disciples Peter calls out to Jesus Who is walking on the water towards them. Peter asks Jesus to let him come to Jesus on the water and Jesus calls for him to come. Peter steps out of the boat and walks on the water to Jesus – UNTIL he takes his eyes off of Jesus and looks at the storm – THEN HE SINKS LIKE A ROCK! The disciples were fighting that storm for hours. Truly an unstable environment. Yet when Peter saw Jesus and kept his eyes on Him he overcame the circumstances around him and did the impossible – he walked on water. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink (vs. 30 TLB). But, remember, the high waves and rough seas were there before he stepped out onto the sea, they just weren’t the focus of his attention.

So, clearly we all need to remember that when the waves and storms and instabilities of life arise, we can rise above them if we focus on Jesus and not the circumstance. The following is a short list of encouraging words found in Gods Word for us all to hide in our hearts for a rainy day.

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. Mark 11:22

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:1 and 27 NIV

  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love 1 John 4:18 NKJV

 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,that He may exalt you in due time, 

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6

 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Eph 3:17-21 KJV

 

My Friends please hold His words close to your hearts because the Word tells us that there will be a time of unprecedented instability in the future (maybe our future, maybe in some distant time) but we can stand the times of emotional, economic or social instability if we stand in HIM Whom first placed our feet on solid ground.

Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ Philippians 1:6 KJV

Rope bridgeCarrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 20 meters (66 ft) and is 30 meters (98 ft) above the rocks below. The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust. In 2009 it had 247,000 visitors. The bridge is open all year round (subject to weather) and people may cross it for a fee.

But Does It Really Say That?

The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.
Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard
Soren Kierkegaard was a 19th century philosopher and theologian who died young (42) but left a legacy of thought provoking writings on faith and what it means to believe. Unfortunately, within Christendom there are almost as many denominations as there are view points of Scripture. Without pointing fingers or casting stones I think we all must one day ask ourselves –
What Do We Believe anyway?!?!?
Is the Bible truth? Do you believe in the entire Bible? Is some of it just fables that are meant to teach us something practical? Did Adam and Eve really live in the Garden of Eden? What about Noah and the Arc? Are the stories written in the Old Testament fact or fiction? What about Jesus? Was Mary a virgin? Did Christ perform miracles? Did He rise from the dead?
What Do We Believe anyway?!?!?
I may have shared this in a previous blog, but just to personalize this all important question I will repeat myself here. Years ago, when Betty and I first met we would often times engage in theological discussions. My belief being a more conservative/fundamental one then hers would always bring us to an impasse. It is because of this impasse that I took a radical approach – The Big Red Marker!
What Do We Believe anyway?!?!?
   “Ok, Betty, I respect your opinion of scripture. How you think some of it is true and other parts just stories to teach us life lessons. Here is a Bible and a big red marker. Please strike a line threw the parts that aren’t true and leave the parts that are real untouched! “

    Betty cringed at the idea of “x-ing” out any part of scripture and reconsidered her own view point regarding the truth of Gods Word. But, don’t we all use a big red marker to some unconsciousness degree or another? Don’t we tell ourselves that “It can’t possibly mean that!” or “That doesn’t pertain to us now.”? After all, as Kierkegaard said –We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. So, it (the Bible) can’t possibly say or mean that!?!? Right?

As I mentioned, I am a fundamentalist, that is I take God at His Word. After all if, the Word of God is not true than what can I believe in? Paul said that if Christ was not raised then or preaching is foolishness. If Jesus did not pay the price for my sins then how can I? Without the Hope that the Bible and Jesus brings the world is a dark scary place.
Open Book NYPL B&WEvery Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), 2 Timothy 3:16 AMP
In the end it doesn’t come down to just what we believe but rather whether or not we are willing to live like we believe it!
Be Blessed, Al

What in the World is going on?

Political unrest and wars in multiple parts of the world. Sickness and diseases like the Ebola outbreak and the MERS virus are killing people in large numbers and causing concerns worldwide. Earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes and huge swings in weather patterns producing violent rains, stifling heat with droughts as well record breaking blankets of snow with freezing temps.

In just the past few years the globe has seen all of these and more. Some site Global warming for climate change and the weather related problems.

With respect to the political upheavals some say its time for a change of the old regimes to the new. The Arab Spring saw protests and changes in nearly 20 countries across the north of Africa and the middle east. In Iraq a civil war rages long after America pulled its troops out. Russia is in the Ukraine and fierce fighting going on in Israel and Palestine. Isis is growing and fears are raised in the west.

All of this can cause one to wonder – “What in the World is going on?” But who can know what is going on? Is there anywhere to turn to find answers?

Obviously, the answer is Yes. There is somewhere you can go to get answers to the question of what in the world is going on –

Gods’ Word

– The Bible tells us about all these things and those things which are still to come.

It is God who controls the countries of the earth. He causes one to rise and another to fall. History shows us how Alexander the Great rose to power and how he built institutions of learning all around the known world. He caused everyone to learn the Greek language and when the time was right his empire fell. Later the Roman empire rose to control the known world and built highways and connected the various pieces of the empire with better trade routes. Soon after that we see our Lord ( and His followers) using these roads and the common language to Preach the Gospel. So we see that God orchestrated the rise and fall of these nations to His glory by setting the stage for the Ministry of Jesus Christ as well as the spreading of the Gospel by His followers.

Likewise, Jesus told us  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:6-8KJV

So, these things are not a series of unrelated hysterical happens but simply a part of the plan. Yet with all that is and will be coming let us be encouraged –

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,  whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”  Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  For our God is a consuming fire.

Heb 12:25-29 KJV

 

He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. Job 12:23 KJV

 

Tribulatios Escape

Finally, let all of us be encouraging and loving towards each other and reach out to those who have not yet found the love and grace of Jesus especially as we see these things come to pass.

Be blessed today by His Love for you!

 

Summers End

Empty Boardwalk Long Beach, NYHello friends.

Its been a busy fast moving Summer and I really wish the days didn’t go by so quickly. I hope that everyone had a wonderful vacation season and that you are all settling back into the routine of back to school or back to work.

In the near future I hope to inspire and challenge us all to discuss our faith and trust in the Lord.

Until then let me simply say that no matter where you are or what you are going threw –

JESUS IS THE ANSWER

Caps and Gowns

Commencement Ceremony?!?!

 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,  Zec 4:10 NLT

The first time I heard the term commencement exercise I thought it odd. After all it’s a graduation ceremony. The end of High School, or College, so why call it a beginning? Obviously, I was young and naive.

When Zerubbabel was encouraged to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem he was told to not despise the undertaking of such a monumental task.

That word of encouragement resonates threw time and can be applied to every young believer  setting out on their journey into the world today.

Do not let fear or economic circumstances distract you. Do not be concerned with what others around you may be facing. If God is for you who can be against you? Let Psalm 91 be your compass into the uncharted waters that lie ahead.

Eternity

Its a beginning and not and ending! A beginning that is full of hope, excitement and promise when you begin it with God on your side. Be encouraged even as Zerubbabel was to get started no matter how small the start or how daunting the task

Sports Metaphors Abound

So many sports activities have a similar first rule – look closely at the object of the sport. Whether it’s the basket you are shooting for or the baseball you are swinging at or the pins at the end of the bowling alley. If you are looking at something other then the intended target you shouldn’t expect to hit the target.

Our spiritual walk is not dissimilar in this one rule. Case in point – Matthew 14:22-31

Then Peter called to him: “Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.” “All right,” the Lord said, “come along!”So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Peter knew that there was a storm in progress. He had been in the boat with the others for hours fighting the weather but when he saw (look at intently) Jesus, Peter was eager to join Him on the lake. Peter even stepped over the rail and walked on the water UNTIL he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the circumstances around him. That’s when he fell victim to those circumstances.

What a powerful example for us to learn from. No matter what storms we may be in we should keep our eyes on Jesus. In fact the Scriptures say exactly that – Heb 12:1-3

Darkness 1

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,

Heb 12:2a NKJV

The Living Bible says – Keep your eyes on Jesus! Good advise in any language. So, no matter if the sun is shining on you today or if the storms are raging all around, remember how Peter and the disciples found Jesus in the midst of their storm and know that He is there with you. He is ready to reach out His hand and save you just as He did Peter.

Be encouraged and be blessed.

 

This a test.This is only a test…….

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Pr. 3:5-6 KJV

Trust in The Lord. Such easy advise to dispense. Yet, we all face a time in our lives when we must walk this talk. It could come when a Doctor gives us a bad report. That time could come when our company downsizes and lets us go. Perhaps that time might be when we are faced with a difficult decision or when we are at a cross road in our lives. No matter what kind of test we face, be assured it is only a test. The question is can we stand the test?

The Word of God tells us that God knows our frame (Ps 103:14). That is He knows what we can bear. The Word also tells us that God will provide a way to escape each test. Far more encouraging is the fact that Jesus was tried and tempted in all ways and passed!(Heb 4:15) Even so, Jesus did ask if, when He returns, will He find faith on the Earth (Luke 18:8). What a question for Him to ask. Why would He ask such a question anyway? Was He wondering if we were just going to fall away from believing? Just stop having Faith? Or, is it that He knew ahead of time what we will be facing?
Tests come in various sizes and types. Some are simple temptations to give in to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh or the boastful pride of life. Others are much bigger than that. Testing our very belief that God will provide, heal, save or forgive.

Care for you

Care for you

As I mentioned earlier, it is easy to speak of Faith and trust and yet another thing to walk it out. But, it is the walking that we grow from faith to faith. If we can believe God for the little things we can trust Him for the bigger things later. In the Old Testament God revealed Himself to the children of Israel at specific times. He showed Himself to be Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is my Banner (Ex 17:15);  Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will Provide (Gen 22:14); Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is Peace (Judges 6:24); Jehovah Raah – The Lord is my Shepherd (Ps 23:1) and many others.Likewise, Jesus has many names  – Wonderful, Counselor, Price of Peace and Savoir to list a few. Jesus told us that He does and says only what He sees the Father do and so He is the personification of Almighty God. So, if we have doubt in our hearts as to whether or not God cares for us we need only remind ourselves of just Who He Is and who we are to Him.

Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,….”I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NKJV

 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;  never will I forsake you” Heb. 13:5 NIV

 

But what if it were an easy thing to do?

But his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?

2 Kings 5:13 HCSB

Oh, sorry, I almost skipped ahead to the end of the story. Let me go back to the beginning and please, read along if you like (2Kings 5:1-14). Naaman, a commander of the Syrian army was a leaper. As a result of his many raids into Israel, he had a maid servant for his wife. This girl, who was taken from her home against her will, to be a salve in this mans home, took pity on him and suggested that he travel to see the prophet Elisha. (talk about love your enemies! but that was the point of last post not this one).

So, Naaman went to his King and told him what the servant girl said. The King told Naaman to go and even wrote a letter to the King of Israel for Naaman to take on the trip along with a great deal of Silver and Gold and other gifts. When Naaman arrived at the home of the Prophet Elisha he was met by Elisha messenger who told him – “Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean.”

Well! How dare he!?!? Naaman was angry and insulted. He expected the Prophet to come out and perform some intense prayer or sacrifice or something. Additionally, the Prophet didn’t even come out to greet Naaman – he sent a messenger! Finally, Naaman believed that there were several “better” rivers in Damascus compared to the Jordan. Rejected, Naaman was determined to ignore the Prophets instructions and go home. His servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great (difficult) thing, would you not have done it? Reluctantly Naaman yields and dips seven times in the Jordan River. When he finishes his skin looks fresh as a new born baby.

The moral of the story is this – Naaman went to the Prophet with an expectation of what would happen and how he would be healed. He was prepared to pay a large sum of money and do whatever was asked of him (assuming it was logical to him to do it). When faced with the humiliation of having an errand boy address him and instruct him to do such a seemingly simple task Naaman balked. In the end what was expected of Naaman wasn’t difficult to do – only humbling.

IMG_5225

Isn’t that just like so many people? We expect to have to pay our way. Some recite endless strings of prayers or abstain from certain foods at special times. Some believe that they must punish themselves physically so as to be purged of sins or deprive themselves of companionship to get closer to God. There’s a need inside us to feel that we “earned” what we have. Unfortunately, or fortunately, God’s ways are not our ways.

In the book of Acts chapter 16 we see Paul and Silas in jail and singing songs of praise. When a great earthquake shook their doors open and their shackles free. The jailer thinking that Paul and Silas had escaped was going to fall on his sword but they stopped him. The jailer asked them – Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved

It really is that easy. No Penance, No flogging. No Fasting. No Pilgrimages. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero!

Have Faith in God. Trust in the Lord. Call out to Jesus.

Counting the Cost – Part 1 of the Hard Words Hard Work Series

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:62 KJV

I was a new Christian when I first saw this Scripture verse. It was painted over the doorway to a cabinet makers shop and I thought -” That can’t be right?!?!” I looked it up and found it to be true even if it seemed harsh. As I grew in the Word I found other “hard words” from our Savior – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Without Me you can do nothing; He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him;* as well as others.

In this series I will shine a light on some of these and we can discuss how they may or may not apply to us today. Another translation of this verse says – But Jesus told him, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”Luke 9:62 Living Bible. This may not be any less harsh but perhaps easier to understand. Christ requires our devotion. He has earned it. Total commitment is expected. In the Old Testament we see God telling Abraham – walk before Me, and be thou perfect Gen 17:1 KJV Be perfect! Wow! Add this to the list of some 613 laws that we are commanded to obey and we have a tough job ahead of us. So, we should consider the cost –

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if he has enough money to pay the bills? Luke 14:28 LB

Consider the cost. What is it going to take to follow Jesus? Mark records an encounter a rich your ruler had with Jesus where the young man asks Jesus “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” To which Jesus repliesYou know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother. The young man answers Jesus by saying he has done all that since he was a child. Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” The rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he had great possessions.

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36 NASB

So, do we take away from this that Jesus wants us to give up all of our worldly possessions and follow Him? Well, maybe. If, as was the case here, those possessions mean more to you then following Jesus into eternity. I think that this young man (who some speculate may have been Nicodemus of John 3) thought that there was an easy way to secure eternity. Jesus saw that this man was proud, successful and perhaps greedy. Proud, because he said he kept all of the law when it really isn’t possible to do so. Successful, well, he was rich so that’s a given. Greedy, because he could not consider the cost of giving his possessions away even if it meant gaining eternity. In reality, he had nothing to loose and everything to gain.

 – TO BE CONTINUED –

 *Matthew 5:44, John 15:5, John 6:56 KJV

Ready or Not……

No wait! What just happened?!

We were just talking to each other

You were in the bedroom getting dressed and I was making coffee in the kitchen.

You were HERE. Where did you go? You were here. I know it. Even the dogs are looking for you. What is going on?

TV announcement – we interrupt our regular schedule for this breaking story. The news coming in from all over the world, as unbelievable as it sounds, just moments ago, thousands perhaps millions of people apparently just disappeared. We will go to our man in the street were chaos has broken out as cars have been abandoned and hysteria is………………..

What! What? Wait a minute this is a prank. This can’t be really happening. It sure looks real. The city is a mess and that reporter looks more upset then the day the Towers fell. No, this can’t be happening. Sirens are sounding in the distance. People are screaming and running in the streets….

Betty where are you? Come on Babe. Come on. Come out. Come back. Please dear God, please!

What are they saying now? What! UFO’s?! Alien abductions! REALLY?!?! How do they know that already? This is defiantly a prank. This can not be real. How could they possible know what caused this already? Did they see it coming?

No, no. This is not happening, I have to call…..my phone doesn’t work. Lines must be jammed, too many people trying to make calls. I feel sick.

Who’s this guy? They put him in charge? Who? How? The President announced him and he sure seems confident. Looks sharp and calm but I don’t get how he is in charge. What does he know? What? He met with them (the aliens??) and they told him that if the world was going to make its next step evolutionarily there were some who would have to be relocated to a safe but remote place. Those whose old-fashioned mind-set and self-righteous moral superiority were inhibiting the rest of us from moving forward in our growth……….

No No! I’m not buying it. This seems so staged. There’s no way that they gathered this much info this quickly – it’s been 30 minutes, not even that long. Betty was getting dressed and she usually leaves at………

Wait. She told me about this. I think. Betty used to say that there was a day coming when Jesus was going to take His people home. But, who believes that. I always listened and laughed inside, knowing it would never happen. I used to kid her when we got separated at a store or street fair – Oh I thought God took you! She would always say – some day.

This can’t be that day. No, it can’t be. It can’t be because there’s a priest on the TV now with this guy and he’s here. If God took all His people home then that priest wouldn’t be here, right. Betty! Where are you!?!?……………….

Tribulatios Escape

Watch this and consider where we are and where you are…..ready or not?

 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 KJV

Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and that he rose again. So, because of him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died. What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living when the Lord comes again will not go before those who have already died. The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. 1 Thess 4:13-18 NCV

PS – Larry Norman is considered to be the first “Contemporary Christian Musician” and a man after Gods own heart. During a time in America when others were singing about rebellion and drugs he paved the way for many others to openly sing the praises of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ using any and all types of music. His message is timeless and his music inspirational. Check him out at http://www.larrynorman.com/