Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep His commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in His ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NLT
Follow the words of Jehovah God for blessings individually and nationally. Those who have gone before us knew that freedom is not free. They founded this nation based upon God’s Biblical laws; erected monuments to the Ten Commandments; raised up Christian churches with crosses on their steeples; and sent missionaries worldwide to spread the gospel. Tomorrow is more than just a day to have a cookout with family and friends.
TURN! Bow the knee. Pray, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior!
Praise the Lord for the USA! Happy Independence Day! Be blessed.
There’s one last thing I need to do with Dad’s New Testament Bible. It’s time to put it away. Dad’s testimony is posted in several articles on this blog and will hopefully be read by many people in the coming years. It hurts my heart, but the binding is pretty much shot.
Sorting out the loose pages, I decided the last thing for me to do is the old-fashioned remedy – no, not duct tape! A hair band will do fine –
at least for now. God’s Word lives on inside its covers and it is up to my Father in Heaven whether to use this relic as a witnessing tool in the future – or not.
The last thing left now is what some call closure. I just chalk it up to another crying day in a tough but victorious year in our Lord Jesus:
“Thank you again, Dad. The last thing you accomplished posthumously with your little Bible was this quote from page 381”:
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. ~ Hebrews 4:12-13
So hey! It looks like God is still using Dad’s Bible to send His message out; and it’s not the last thing.
Start over; and this time, make the priority obedience to God’s will.
Two years ago I was at this very spot. I was at the end of Dad’s message he wrote in his little pocket New Testament. There are two verses circled, Hebrews 4:12&13, that speak of the Word of God being sharper than any two-edged sword and that before Him no creature is hidden. But that is not why I need to start over.
Today I realize that I am right back where I started. I must learn how to be obedient to God’s will. Just as Jesus walked out His life in a fleshly body here on earth in accordance with God the Father’s will, so I must follow.
The reason I need to start over is not found in chapter 4 of Hebrews, but chapter 5:
In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him (Father God) who was able to save Him (Jesus) from death, and He (Jesus) was heard for His godly fear. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered; and being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Hebrews 5:7-10
So, beginning with persistent, loud, tearful and fearful prayers, Jesus was heard by the Father who allowed His Son Jesus to suffer so that He could learn obedience to God the Father’s will and to perform God’s will perfectly.
Got it. I am just having the hardest time ever walking it out. Oh, I have prayed, hollered and cried; I have complained about all kinds of suffering, but the Apostle Paul has me tagged:
About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil. ~ Hebrews 5:11-14
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for being dull of hearing. Help me to practice distinguishing good from evil in this complicated and dark world. Help me to learn to be obedient to You by becoming skilled in Your Word. Help me to start over with enthusiasm, resolve, and godly fear. May I boldly occupy until you come, and glorify the Holy Name of Yeshua, the Messiah, Amen.
Dad’s New Testament – pg 194
I made known to them thy Name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. ~ John 17:26
Today much of humanity is praying, hoping, and working for peace and unity. There are many proposed solutions to global unrest; but unity continues to remain a great mystery to most of our world’s leadership.
Unity comes in many forms and shapes. It is often tagged with titles including peace, freedom, or social reform – just words. If anyone could solve the Middle East Crisis, avoid a dreadful WWIII, or somehow conquer pestilence and famine; that person would be worshiped as a god by many. This will actually happen at the end of days during The Great Tribulation, according to Bible prophecy, but what does God’s Word say about our global divisions now?
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. ~ Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV
Yes, it is God’s miraculous gift to man who is the answer to all forms of unrest and human division – His name is Jesus Christ (Yeshua in the Hebrew), our Messiah:
For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2: 14-22 NIV
I love the fact that Paul makes it clear that we, too, are mortised right into the walls and foundations of God’s temple. We will never be separated or divided again, as long as Jesus is our Lord. That is true unity. No peace treaty; no two state solution; no “barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”. In Christ’s kingdom, we will have not only one global government but also a global economy that function perfectly in unity; because we will finally have Jesus, our King of Kings to rule with an iron hand against the current chaotic world view of divisive power and greed.
Paul goes on the say in Chapter Three:
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles … Surely you have heard … that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation …This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 3: 1-6 NIV
I can’t make this up, people. God’s Word is infallible and tells us His almighty solution to man’s sin problem without all the complexity of political deception. The answer is simply Jesus. Christ is God’s gift to redeem both the Jews and the Gentiles. What a crying shame that the world is still unbelieving and nation is still against nation when Jesus already settled this over two thousand years ago at the cross!
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3: 16-19 NIV
So how does being “rooted and established” in the power of God’s love for us bring about unity?
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ~ Ephesians 4:1-5
So it is the unity of the Spirit that holds us together like mortar glues together the stone walls of God’s temple building. Then why do divisions persist with the church?
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ~ Ephesians 4: 14-16 NIV
If we stop chasing after the world but speak the truth in love, we will grow spiritually and experience God’s gift of unity. God’s solution to global crisis is Jesus. The love of Jesus makes all people fit together perfectly into God’s plan for reconciliation. Through faith in Jesus, we become one family and no one is excluded if he or she simply believes that Jesus is the true Son of God who gave Himself up to be crucified for man’s sin. There is no other Name under heaven whereby we shall be redeemed or have eternal peace.
Please don’t fall for the talk-talk-talk which produces no unifying solutions to world or national problems. God has already provided the true solution in His Son, Jesus.
Do you feel lost and alone? Or perhaps confused over world events and how they relate to you? Does fear, guilt or shame rule over your life? Are you tired of “looking for love in all the wrong places”?
If so, ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your life. The Holy Spirit will enter your heart and live there forever. He will guide you in all ways of holiness and righteousness in the eyes of God, the Father. You will once and for all be reconciled to a right relationship to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
For he says, “In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV
This is why it is said: “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” ~ Ephesians 5:14
If you are a Christ believer, you can have victory over church divisions by growing in grace the way God intended. His Spirit power lives within you – just tap into it with prayer and daily study of God’s Word.
May your walk with Christ be guided by His Living Spirit and thank you for following Importantstuff.live!
Jesus enters Jerusalem riding not a lowly donkey, but the lowliest of the low – a donkey’s colt. How Messiah’s feet must have dragged the ground as the foal struggled to carry the weight of the Son of God! Perhaps the colt staggered at times along the road to Jerusalem. No matter. The people were wild with anticipation of their liberation from oppression by the long promised Messiah:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. ~ Zechariah 9:9
Have we not heard this story many times of how Jesus entered Jerusalem as a triumphant king in the minds of the people? How they yanked off their coats and threw them on the ground in front of the colt as it carried Jesus down the road? Others cut branches from trees and paved the road with them in a show of honor to Jesus. Multitudes sang, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”, and celebrated His coming (Matt. 21:9). Yes, it appears that they believed in the Messiah, but only as a liberating earthly king – the one who would free them from persecution by the Romans – not The One who had come to be crucified on the Cross at Calvary in less than a week.
As the procession neared the point in the road that led to the Mount of Olives, a whole crowd of disciples shouted,
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” He replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” ~ Luke 19:38-40 NIV
True believers will not keep quiet. We do not rely on the stones to cry out for us. Despite more bombings of Christian churches in Egypt today, believers focus on remembering our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem two thousand years ago. Whether Pharisees or Isis rebuke, we will not be quiet. We continue to shout, to glorify, and to worship the Name of our King, Jesus in the Highest.
“Father, we pray for those who have lost their lives, indeed, been martyred today for the love of your Son, Jesus. Forgive those who continually persecute your church. We pray as brethren today for those injured in these bombing attacks that they would be healed by Jesus’ wounds and that the families of those fallen will receive love and peace through your merciful Holy Spirit, our Comforter. In the Holy Name of Jesus, our Messiah, amen.”
My friend immigrated to the United States many years ago. He fled his country of origin, which is communistic and primarily atheistic. His faith is Russian Orthodox.
While wandering through Europe broke and starving, my friend enlisted in the U.S. military through a program that offered legal U.S. citizenship for military service – so he is a Russian Orthodox legal immigrant, a U.S. citizen, and a veteran.
Along the way of his life he moved to Alaska, married, and raised a family. He has children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He built a business with nothing more than motivation and hard work, as he had no investment capital. He is far beyond typical retirement age and is still actively running the business. Although he has some medical issues as do most seniors, he has not used his veteran’s medical benefits his entire life until just recently. So he is a Russian Orthodox legal immigrant, a U.S. citizen, a veteran, an employer, a senior taxpayer, and a family man.
My friend’s brother complained that things were better back in the Old Country of their origins.
My friend offered, “I will buy you a one-way ticket back there today so you can leave the USA and be happier in the Old Country”.
His brother did not accept the kind offer of my friend, the Russian Orthodox-legal immigrant-patriotic U.S. citizen-veteran-employer-senior taxpayer-generous family man.
So why am I telling this story about my friend, the immigrant?
Because it reminded me of Someone Else; I have another Great Friend, Who was also an Immigrant. He was a Foreigner who was the King of Heaven (Royalty) who came voluntarily to be born as a poor homeless naked baby in a strange town during tax time. Only a few shepherds noticed His arrival. Even though He was the Son of the Living God, His own countrymen rejected Him because He was not of their religion. So He was Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah, Son of the Living God (Founder and Head of the Christian Church), Legal Immigrant and World Citizen (Creator of All), who generously died for the sins of His followers (Veteran of All Wars) who He lovingly called His brothers (Family Man), and, oh yes! – Carpenter (Employed Taxpayer).
Jesus died so God’s children (the Church) would have a free one-way ticket to the Old Country (Heaven) where we truly will be happier than here in the good old USA or any other location on earth. I am thankful that He so generously offered to redeem me from my sin and reward me with eternity in Heaven – something undeserved nor earned. I accept the free gift Jesus offered to me by just believing in Him. I know I will see Him in Heaven when my time on earth is done. He will call me home and there will be no immigrants there – just holy citizens where Jesus will not be ashamed to be called their God.
Thank You Jesus, my Best Friend the Immigrant! Thank you for loving me enough to die for me so I can live in Heaven with You forever. I love you back.
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. ~ Hebrews 11:16 NASB
Many people experience sadness or actual depression during the Christmas season. When this happens to me, I search my memory bank for past Christmases that were joyful – hoping to lift my spirits. The Christmas Past that I chose this year is the Christmas of 1965. Nothing sets it apart from other Christmases except for the changing times. It has become remarkable to me only because 51 years of Christmases have come and gone since then; so I have a lot to compare it with.
Life was so simple in 1965. Our family lived close to the land in a very humble home that my parents built mostly by themselves. We lived far from the nearest town and the winters felt even more isolating as darkness spread over the northern landscape. We seldom had visitors but our parents made sure they took us to town for church and school activities. We would join up with carolers and walk around the community singing all of the classic Christmas songs. People would come to their front doors to hear us sing and then invite us in for hot cocoa to warm up. Christ was always the center of Christmas, thanks to my parents, and I wish it was more like that in our nation today.
My brother and I were in our early teens in 1965 and certainly did not appreciate how special that Christmas was. Looking back now, I could not appreciate it more.
Undaunted by our adolescent apathy, my parents did everything in their power to bring cheerfulness into our home at Christmas. We trimmed the tree with ornaments that we made at school in our elementary days and smothered the tree in lights and silver icicles popular for the times. It may have looked gaudy, but we loved to plug in those lights and sit for hours in the evenings eating popcorn while we played checkers or old maid. I don’t remember if we had a television then, but if so, it only had one military channel with very limited programming. Dad made sure it was off most of the time. He was against TV. He wanted reality and his focus was always on the people in his life.
I remember our parents gifted us with snow skis that Christmas; including all the gear we needed to begin learning how to ski. This must have been a big financial sacrifice for them at the time. Of course, we were excited to be able to join our peers on the local ski hill, and within days we abandoned Mom & Dad for the slopes.
I never became a good skier, but it was fun. We spent some of our Christmas school vacation ice skating on the frozen ponds near our house, too.
This trip down memory lane may not seem relevant to your Christmas, but I guess the Lord put it on my heart to show that even though over half a century has passed since this Christmas Past, the true Christmas story as recorded in the Gospels never changes. Nowadays it seems that Christmas is celebrated far differently than in 1965. Jesus is not the center of the season and even the word “Christmas” has disappeared from most greeting cards. No wonder some people feed sad at this time of year! Rejoice in the belief that Jesus is our divine Messiah who became flesh in order to redeem mankind from a sin debt we could never pay. That is the true joyful message of Christmas.
I hope that your Christmas 2016 is one to be remembered as a happy time spent with family and friends; that is spirit-filled, and full of peace and hope that only the Holy Spirit imparts. Regardless of your circumstances, may your hearts be lifted up this Christmas with the knowledge that our divine Savior came down to earth as a tiny baby who chose to be born in squalor in order to bring us hope, love, and peace.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ~ Luke 2:10-14 KJV
MERRY CHRISTMAS PRESENT and may God bless you all.