No Greater Love…

No Greater Love…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

Military blogger L.T. Smash recounts a televised vignette that requires no further comment:

Martin Savidge of CNN, embedded with the 1st Marine battalion, was talking with 4 young Marines near his foxhole this morning live on CNN. He had been telling the story of how well the Marines had been looking out for and taking care of him since the war started. He went on to tell about the many hardships the Marines had endured since the war began and how they all look after one another.

He turned to the four and said he had cleared it with their commanders and they could use his video phone to call home.

The 19 year old Marine next to him asked Martin if he would allow his platoon sergeant to use his cell to call his pregnant wife back home whom he had not been able to talk to in three months. A stunned Savidge who was visibly moved by the request nodded his head, and the young Marine ran off to get the sergeant.

Savidge recovered after a few seconds and turned back to the three young Marines still sitting with him and asked which one of them would like to call home first, the Marine closest to him responded without a moment’s hesitation “Sir, if is all the same to you we would like to call theparents of a buddy of ours, Lance Cpl. Brian Buesing of Cedar Key, Florida who was killed on 3-23-03 near Nasiriya to see how they are doing.”

At that Martin Savidge totally broke down and was unable to speak. All he could get out before signing off was “Where do they get young men like this?”

A true display of God’s love. The ultimate example is;

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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The Road of Life…

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

The Road of Life

At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him. But later on when I trusted Christ as my Savior, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal. I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I thought I knew the best way. It was rather boring, but predictable and it was the shortest distance between two points, or so I thought. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He gently said, “Pedal!” I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He smiled and was patient with me, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure, and when I’d say, “I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand. I gained love, peace, acceptance and joy; gifts to take on my journey, My Lord’s and mine. And we were off again.

He said, “Give the gifts away. They’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So, I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; but he knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten, scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I’m sure I just can’t do it anymore, He just smiles and says… “Pedal.”

Luke 9:23 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

YOUR CROSS

Whatever your cross
Whatever your pain
There will always be sunshine.
After the rain

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

Joshua 24:15a “And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve;”

Humanism or Absolute Truth from the Bible…you choose…

Looking unto self, the author and finisher of my destiny, who for the pleasure set before me, I empowered myself, despising all those who disagree with me and I sit on my throne with confidence and pride.

“God created man in His image and man returned the favor.”

But as scripture says, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Especially as God sees it because that is the only truth that counts. Man left to himself is…

Rom 3:10 “For there are none good, no, not one.”

Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as unclean things, and all our
rightlessness’s are like filthy rags, we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities,
like the wind have taken us away.”

You may want to delete this challenge because of the tone so far but be careful. God never tells us an untruth, so we must view all of God’s truths as just that and ask, how does this apply to me. It is tough thing to see yourself as God sees you but vital.

The good thing is that all is not lost. The fellowship with God that sin (iniquities) destroys can be restored.

II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him.”

Rom 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”

John 5:11, 12 “And this is the record; that God has given us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

So, what should be my Manifesto? The Biblical Christian Manifesto as given by our God is;

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

It cannot be said strong enough. Either my joy and reason for living is centered on self and the philosophies of men (religion), or on Jesus. Why else would Jesus say; “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me” and, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the Father, but by Me”. In our world would view that is being ‘narrow minded’ and bigoted. And as long as it is from God, I am ok with being viewed that way. How about you? Let’s be salt and light today and not just one of the crowd.

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Just put your community in place of the Amorites. It’s real and applies to you and me! The choice on who and what I will serve is all up to us. So…………….

Have a great day following the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!!!!!!!!!!

Who is Jesus…

Who Is Jesus?

This one question will determine my Eternal Life depending on what I believe about Jesus and what was His mission while on this earth. While it is hard to believe there are many who do not recognize that Jesus is God and was God and man while on this earth. As with any question of this importance I believe there is only one place to find the answer. The answer does not reside with the teachings of men, but it resides with God’s truths as presented to us. Those truths are found in the Bible (2 Tim 3:16,17, 2 Peter 1:20,21) and are protected by God so that anyone seeking God’s truths will have them (Mat 5:18, Mal 3:36). So, let’s look at just a few of God’s truths about His Son, Jesus;

  • Did Jesus claim to be God and equal to God the Father?
  • John 10:30, John 17:11,21, John 14:7,9
  • What does God say; John 8:21-59, Isa 43:10,11
  • 1 Tim 2:5 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”
  • Was Jesus just another great man or was and is He God Eternal.
  • Gen 1:26 says God created man “in Our image” so we see there is more than one Person making up One God.
  • Jesus said He was there as a Person of God during the first creation. (John 17:5, Col 1:15-17, John 1:10, 11, John 8:58, Phil 1:6)
  • The Bible proclaims that all are sinners and a Perfect Sacrifice with no blemishes is needed for forgiveness. Sin is that blemish and causes our broken relationship with God. No sinner and his or her deeds or church can be that Sacrifice. Was Jesus a sinner? Only God existing in man could avoid the temptations of this world to sin.
  • 2 Cor 5:21 Jesus, as God incarnate, was tempted as we are but did not sin. If He sinned, then He could not die for my sins as the Perfect Sacrifice needed for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Scripture alone gives us the answers to Eternal Life.
  • Romans 3:10-23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:13
  • Acts 4:12, 16:31
  • Titus 3:5
  • John 11:25, 14:6

With this topic being vital to not only your Eternal destiny but to those around you that you love, be sure to be cautious of the teachings of men (Col2:8). You do not need to be a theologian for God to give you His truths (Luke 18:17). Scripture alone offers us an answer. Look at all of scripture not just one disputed verse. I pray you will come to know the same Jesus as I know. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One!

1 John 5:9-13” If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.  He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

 

One other important item is ONLY GOD IS TO BE WORSHIPPED. When men would fall to worship an angel, the angel (Rev 19:10) told them not to do so because ONLY GOD IS TO BE WORSHIPPED. Notice in scripture Jesus readily accepts worship (Matt 4:10, 14:33, Heb 1:6 and others) because He is a part of God Who is 3 persons in one. A concept our minds cannot understand but if God says it then it must be correct and taken by faith (Heb11:6).

 

The most important question of all is; are you trusting in Jesus and Jesus alone for your eternal destiny?

  • John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
  • John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Learning from the MASTER…

Phil 4:5 “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”

Learning from the MASTER…..

I’ve learned-
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about
fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I (God) want(s) me to be.

I’ve learned-
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words. It may be the last
time you see them.

I’ve learned-
that you can keep going
long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned-
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first, the passion fades
and there had better be something else to take
its place.

I’ve learned-
that heroes are the people
who do what must be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.
With Calvary as the supreme example.

I’ve learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
The love of money is the root of ALL evil.

I’ve learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-
that just because someone doesn’t love
you the way you want them to doesn’t
mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-
that you should never tell a child
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish.
Few things are more humiliating, and what
a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-
that your family won’t always be there for you.
It may seem funny, but people you aren’t
related to can take care of you and love you
and teach you to trust people again. Families
aren’t biological.

I’ve learned –
that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by
others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive
yourself.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we
become.

I’ve learned-
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a
secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-
that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how you try to protect your
children, they will eventually get hurt and
you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned-
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-
that it’s hard to determine where to draw
the line between being nice and not hurting
people’s feelings and standing up
for what you believe.
Author unknown.

Learn from the Master!!

Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of lovely,
whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there is
anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Body, Soul, Spirit and Eternity…

Body, Soul, Spirit and Eternity….

It’s easy for us to think that maybe there is only this life and nothing after. The world around keeps trying to pull us into that thinking. And of course if that is our thinking then there is no need for a Savior. Sounds like a philosophy that satan would subscribe to. According to scripture he does actively blind people so that the Gospel has no meaning or effect on them. The beauty is that God’s truth can overcome those blinders.

II Cor 4:3, 4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

 John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

The truth from God’s word is that our bodies temporarily house the soul and spirit that make up our real person. The real person is a nonphysical being who began existence when God…

Gen 2:7 “breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul”

God reminds us that we are body, soul, and spirit and our value is not based on our income, 401K and the toys we accumulate. Yet mankind ignores God’s wisdom and persists in pursuing the accumulation of wealth and the possessions and pleasures it will buy, none of which last beyond death. I enjoy my material toys but hopefully not too much. When they become my priority or my love than the line has been crossed and my priorities are out of God’s will for my life. That’s a dangerous place to be.

Luke 12:15″A man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses”

I must understand that I am an eternal being living temporarily in a physical body. Those who believe that the body is all that we consist of spend their entire lives trying to fulfill the desires of the flesh. You know, it’s that theme that you only go around once so live it with all the gusto you can. As ‘born again’ believers we must recognize these lies or we will not seek God’s will in our lives and we will not have a burden for those who have not yet heard that you “must be born again”. Eternity awaits everyone either with God or satan.

Our Savior asked, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mt 16:26; Mk 8:36)? Jesus showed us the folly of a materialistic outlook in the parable of the rich farmer, where his crops were so abundant that he told himself, “I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” But God said unto him, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Lk 12:16-21).

For the atheist, human destiny is a hoped-for oblivion upon death, whereby one escapes God’s judgment. Remember that an Atheist is simply a person placing his or her faith in self, world and things that can be seen. They are just as lost as the person who is placing their salvation hope in a Church denomination and self and the good they perform in this life. This is the vain hope and faith of the godless. Will that hope be granted? Never! Death is not the end of man’s existence, for God has declared,
Heb 9:27 “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

Though the body decays when it dies, the soul and spirit are destined to exist forever because we are eternal beings. The death of the body offers no escape. After death, Christians stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards or to suffer loss for their level of service after being “born again” where our eternal destiny was determined. The damned will face Jesus at the Great White Throne judgment and from there will be cast into the Lake of Fire, which is called “the Second Death.”

“What is my purpose in life?” is the logical question every reasonable person must face. This realization does not arise from an evolutionary development in the brain or DNA but from the reasoning of the nonphysical mind. And most importantly by our faith in our God and His recorded truths. We live and must walk by faith not by sight.

Everything in the universe points to the Creator. How can we help but exclaim with the Psalmist, “As the heart pants after the water brook, so panteth my soul after thee O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God….”

Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”

God’s Definition of Guidance…

Luke 22:40-42 “ When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

God’s Definition of Guidance…

When I meditated on the word guidance, I kept seeing “dance” at the end of
the word. I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn’t flow
with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.

When one person realizes and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow
with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or
by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It’s as if two become one
body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and
attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word guidance. When I saw “G,” I thought of God,
followed by “u” and “I.” “God, “u” and “I” dance.” God, you, and I dance. This statement is what guidance means to me. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God’s blessings and mercies be upon you and
your family on this day and every day. May you abide in Him as He abides in
you. Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead and to guide you through
each season of your life.

And for those of you that know me closer than others you realize how poor of a dancer I am. I truly need my Lord leading me every step of the way…..HIS WAY!

Rom 12:1,2 “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind, that you prove what is that good and acceptable and
perfect will of God.”