Tears


~Psalms 30:5b… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

So many are going through difficult times at the moment. I think of friends who are grieving the loss of a parent. I have family and friends who are sick – some in need of surgery. Others are weary Christians who long for Christ’s return because life has become overwhelming. As well, there are missionaries who feel abandoned by their supporting churches – either from lack of communication or their churches have stopped their support due to financially difficult times.

I dare say that we have all been, and may even be currently,  in one of these situations at one point or another and each of us have cried through the night pleading that the Lord would bring peace and comfort … and He does. Today’s text promises us that joy comes in the morning for the Christian who has cried and prayed through the night at the Lord’s feet.

~Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Along with that joy, our Father brings His precious comfort. Our problem may still exist, however, there is encouragement in our hearts because we know that the Lord has it all under control!  His compassions do not fail His children!

~Isaiah 49:13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

Our Creator knows our weaknesses and His mercy extends to the ends of the universe for His child!  The Perfect Parent is watching over us.  Just as we would not fail our children in their time of need, more so is our Heavenly Father right there along side us during our time of need.

~Lamentations 3:22It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Be encouraged today, teen girl. Although it appears that the world is falling apart before our very eyes, the Word is clear that our faith will be made sight very soon! Look up because our redemption draweth nigh!

~Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

The Owner’s Manual


Oh the smell of a new car! There’s nothing like it! What is it about a new car? I love to look at it – I love to drive it. But one thing is for sure, I do not like the repairs and costs associated with it! My husband likes to tinker with our vehicles. He always makes sure that he purchases the manual for each of our vehicles so he can work on them. Whenever something goes wrong, out comes the manual and he looks up the “symptoms” and diagnoses the problem. Once he knows what the problem is, he can get to work to fix it.

We own a Nissan Titan and, as you can guess, he owns the manual for that as well 🙂 However, he would not take the Nissan manual out to fix our Ford Focus, nor would he take the Ford manual out to fix the Titan. The Ford manufacturer has complete guidelines and instructions for their vehicles (as do all other manufacturers) and if anyone knows how to repair our Focus, they would. They would not relinquish the responsibility of documenting their repair instructions to another manufacturer – that would be absurd! So the car buyer knows that he can trust Ford’s documentation because it is written by those who manufactured the car. No one else knows a Ford better than those who build it, right? With that thought in mind, you wouldn’t turn to a Ford manual to work on your Toyota would you? Of course not.

It is the same with your faith, teen girl. To those who are searching for God and wanting to know how to get to heaven, they must turn to the only source that has the truth. (John 17:17) They may turn to a specific “church” or a friend for the answers, but why not go to the Source where the truth is documented? (John 14:26) If anyone knows about heaven and how to get there, it is God and He recorded the way in the Bible. Some think they know the way because they go to a specific church or they were “christian” all their lives. However, the Bible says,

(Pro 14:12) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Is it possible that the way you think is the right way could be the wrong way? Don’t you want to know? (Matthew 7:13-14) Don’t you want to make sure???

Do you let your friends trick you? Do you fall for gimmicks on television? Are you a sucker for every good deal that crosses your path? If you’re like me, you like to research and investigate before you spend that babysitting money. I don’t throw away my money frivolously. I make sure that I am getting my money’s worth.

But what is the price of their soul? What is the price on where they will spend eternity? That, teen girl, is priceless! It is my duty (Deut. 11:18-20) to show my children the way to heaven. God did not leave us without direction. The Bible offers the instructions on how to repair our souls, just as my husband’s Nissan manual offers him the instructions on repairing his truck!

(Joh 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Act 4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

No matter how many men tell my husband he can put a Dodge part into his Nissan, he knows that it just won’t work. Why? Because he has read the manual and he has learned from the master mechanics at Nissan how to repair his vehicle. He doesn’t travel from manufacturer to manufacturer trying to find another way or a work around solution. He knows that the truth about fixing his vehicle is found in its manual.

Salvation is no different! No matter how many religious people tell us that their way is the only way, we must compare what they say with what God says in His word. Will you take the words of men or will you take the words of God? Does your religion tell you that the church “fathers” and church traditions are also God’s words? What if the two contradict each other? Who do you believe then?

Who is the authority on the subject but the author? The Author, God, has penned His instructions – His directions – His map, if you will – and we find those words in our Bible.

(Heb 5:9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (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.

Jesus is the Rock and foundation of our faith.

(Deu 32:4) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (1 Cor 10:4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

When we follow a church’s teachings blindly, we will fall as they fall (Luk 6:39). Don’t be guilty of placing your eternal destination in the hands of another. It is your responsibility to seek out the truth and decide for yourself. Your church will not be standing next to you on Judgment Day – nor your parents or friends. You will be alone when it comes to giving an account before God why you chose to accept instructions which were not contained in His word. God has left you His manual in the Bible!

Lifestyles


~Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

What do you concentrate on when you are by yourself? Do you worry about your grades? Do you think about when you’re going to find a boyfriend? Do you worry about the sickness you have and how you will make it one more day? Do you worry about your family or friends? Whatever it is that you think about when you are alone, will more than likely tell you what kind of lifestyle you are living.

Our lifestyle usually reflects what is in our hearts. What kind of lifestyle do people see you living? Does your faith in Christ reflect in your daily walk? Yes, faith is definitely a lifestyle. (2 Cor. 5:17) Christians are new creatures and their “old” lifestyle is to be done away with. Others can see the difference between the former and the present.

When the storms of life appear, do people witness you fretting or witness you resting in the Father’s care? Or do you “inwardly” run around in circles and wonder if anyone out there cares?

~Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

We are a child of the King, oh Christian! Our Heavenly Father has us in the palm of His hand. (John 10:29) He is quite aware of what we are going through and He never sleeps. (Psalm 121:4) He will catch us when we fall – He will help us when we need it (Hebrews 13:5) – He will carry us when we can’t continue even one more step! I love the poem “Footprints in the Sand”! There have been many times where God has had to carry me – and He did!

(Psalm 37:7a) Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself …

The Heart


And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done. Luke 8:51-56

What stood out to me in today’s text was what happened to those who were scorning the Lord. Do you see it? The Lord put them all out – they missed out on the blessing of what was to come. Remember, these were the same people who were mourning the maiden’s death. Usually, people who are in mourning are more “open” to spiritual matters but these people were not. Their hearts were hardened.

What can we learn from today’s text? I’ve often wondered how many blessings I’ve missed out on because of my lack of faith. 😦 I’m sure it’s more than I care to know about. But a scorner is someone who denies the opportunity for salvation. (Proverbs 19:29)

We see many “either/or” opportunities in the Scriptures. God’s word does present us with situations that are either back or white, righteous or unrighteous, etc. For example, the saved and unsaved are compared to wheat and tares (Matthew 13:40); believers and unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14); Heaven or Hell (Luke 16:23, Matthew 25:41).

All these examples lead to a choice which must be made by each and everyone of us.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Matthew 12:30

Each day I make a choice – whether to say no to sin or to say yes. The born-again believer has the choice to say no because he has the power to resist temptation. (I Corinthians 10:13) The unbeliever, however, cannot say no to sin because he does not possess the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:14)

To the unbeliever, however, the only choice left to make on this earth is whether or not to accept Jesus Christ as the only way to Heaven.

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

Your heart’s condition will determine what choice you make. Are you a scorner – one whom Christ will “put out” and cast into the Lake of Fire at the Great Judgment? Or are you one who will have faith and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31)? It’s a choice based on the condition of your heart!

Unloved


Good morning 🙂  

Click on the image and it will take you to the website to read this online tract called “Unloved” – I hope you enjoy it!

We don’t sin alone!


~Joshua 7:20-21 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Coveting: the root of many a sin in man’s life. We desire to have something that we don’t currently have. In today’s text we find that Achan coveted some of the spoils from Jericho, he took them and hid them. God had told Joshua not to kill everyone and every thing in Jericho. God commanded that all gold, silver, vessels of brass and iron were to placed in the treasury. However, Achan kept back a “goodly” article of clothing, silver and gold. One man disobeyed God’s command and the results were catastrophic. Israel lost the battle at Ai because of Achan’s disobedience! Later, this disobedience cost him his life and the lives of his entire family!

We never sin alone. You may think that what you did in secret, like Achan, won’t affect anybody but yourself, but you’re sincerely wrong!

Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity. Joshua 22:20

Not only was Israel affected by his sin, but Achan’s entire family was affected. God does not look kindly on disobedience. It is a serious matter that is not taken seriously enough today.

And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. Joshua 7:25

I’ve had Christians tell me that we do not live under the “rules” of the Old Testament. This does not negate the fact that God hates disobedience. The Old Testament and the Law are our schoolmaster. They point us to our wicked sin and show us that we are in need of a Saviour! I Samuel 15:23 tells us exactly what God thinks:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. I Samuel 15:23

This verse points us to three things: rebellion, stubbornness, and rejection of God’s word. All three have consequences: (a) rebellion equalled the sin of witchcraft in severity; (b) stubbornness equalled the sin of idolatry; and (c) rejection of God’s word had a cost. Witches were put to death in those days (Exodus 22:8). I’d say that rebellion was pretty serious if it ended in death! (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) Stubbornness is also serious because it is compared to worshipping other gods – idolatry! And look what happened to King Saul! His rejection of God’s word cost him the throne!

We never sin alone! Just as Achan’s entire family was put to death because of his sin! You may not think this applies for today – and maybe the actual act of stoning doesn’t apply. But again, (Hebrews 13:8) God never changes. What He hated back in the Old Testament days, He hates today. Rebellion, stubbornness and the rejection of God’s word are still a serious matter to God. All three depict the hardened heart that rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In fact, even we Christians rebel on a daily basis by sinning against God. We reject His word by sinning; His word says that He provides us with a way out of each and every sin. (I Corinthians 10:13) Too many Christians make light of their sin by saying, “The devil made me do it!” The devil may put the temptation in your path, but you are the one that succumbs to that temptation – and you don’t need to. You have the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and you can say no! Each time we sin, we are no better than Saul who rejected God’s word. We actually tell God by our actions that we refuse to believe I Corinthians 10:13 and we would rather commit the sin than to fight it. Whew! 😦

We are not powerless! We are able to say no! I once heard a Pastor preach “Are you the Achan in the camp?” Is your spiritual life powerless? Do you not have that close walk with the Lord that you desire? Maybe you’re the Achan – until you get rid of your “spoils,” you won’t be able to have the walk you desire. Is your church powerless today? Maybe you are the Achan in your church that is keeping the entire church from moving forward? It is good that we do a moral inventory of our life every day. Keeping ourselves pure and clean has benefits that affect all those around us.

Denials


~Mark 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Denying knowing Christ – who could do that??? Before we get all self righteous and criticize Peter for his three denials, we need to examine ourselves – examine our own lives. Do we unknowingly deny Christ in our actions? I believe we deny Him daily when we refuse to do as He asked in the Scriptures! God tells us in His word to be holy for He is holy. We all know that unless one is born again, (John 3:3) we cannot even begin to attempt this command.

Denying to be born again, to have a newness of life the biblical way, is to deny Christ. Salvation is not through a church, or through an “experience.” God shows us in His word how salvation can be attained. To try to earn/achieve salvation any other way will result in a life filled with trying to be holy, attempting to live a religious life but failing daily. The guilt from this daily failure will be such a heavy weight. I personally know because I was one of these who carried an enormous weight of guilt. No amount of “good works” lessened my weight. One can go to church daily, say rosaries daily, have communion daily, but none of that counts for anything if one doesn’t have the new nature that comes with newness of life in Christ Jesus. (Isaiah 64:6)

Let’s read what Peter had to say:

1 Peter 1:13-25 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Peter clearly outlines the plan of salvation and the results of the new life – the natural progression of the born-again nature. Verse 13 says the revelation of Jesus Christ – this is the Gospel that draws us to God. The Gospel is just this: Christ (God in the flesh) left Heaven to become a man. He was born of a virgin and walked this earth, experiencing everything man experiences. He lived a sinless life and became our sinless offering to the Father. He died on the cross and shed His own blood for the remission of our sins. He paid the debt we owe for our sin so we do not have to! He arose three days later and is now in Heaven awaiting His return. Glory! God knew man could not abide by all the Laws – man could not keep them. But sin cannot be allowed into Heaven. Therefore, a perfect sacrifice – a sinless sacrifice – was provided so God’s creation would have the opportunity.

How? Well, verse 14 states that in obedience to the word of God (John 3:3), we must shed the old nature (our former lusts) and put on the new nature (II Corinthians 5:17). Do you see the progression? First was the Gospel, then the repentance and acceptance, then the new nature. Verse 15 states that now that we have this new nature, we are exhorted to live holy lives. This can only be done (I Corinthians 10:13) through the power of the Holy Spirit who now resides in the one with the new nature. One doesn’t have new life if one doesn’t repent from the former lusts of the flesh and believe on the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:15). The two go hand-in-hand! On a side note: Too many so-called ‘born-again Christians’ are out there living in sin with no desire to remove themselves from it. They claim to be saved but yet they continue to live with another person outside the bonds of marriage. They claim to be saved but continue in a sodomite life. They claim to be saved but they curse, drink, and party like they did before. Really? Does this sound like what Peter is speaking of in today’s text? There’s something wrong if you are reading this and are guilty of those things I just wrote.

Verse 18 shows us that we were not redeemed by someone who has sinned and who provides a salvation that we can lose (corruptible). No, we have been redeemed by God Himself, Jesus Christ the Messiah, and His work is incorruptible. His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Because our salvation was not provided by us, there is nothing we can do to earn it or keep it. It was not our work (Ephesians 2:8-9) but Christ’s work on the cross. The Righteous Judge is the only one who can forgive our sins (Luke 5:24, I John 1:19) and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Verses 23 and 25 reveal that our salvation is from God through His word. When we are truly saved, we cannot lose what He has given to us. There is only one way – the word of God reveals this. (John 14:6) Jesus is the only way to Heaven. God’s word endures forever. When we are born again by the word of God, it is incorruptible because it is not man’s (who is corruptible) but God’s (who is incorruptible). The Lord gave us the Scriptures so we can find Him, fellowship with Him and look forward to His return! Amen!!