11But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. 12For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with your shield of love. ~Psalm 5:11-12
Happy Spring everyone! Celebrate and shout for joy to the LORD!
And THANK YOU for being so special to God that He sent His only Begotten Son to earth to save us from our sins.
Fear seems to be ruling many hearts these days. People are afraid of viral infection and the possibilities of grave illness or death; loss of jobs, savings, homes, or other possessions. Fear of going out; fear of staying in; fear of government over-reach, and the list goes on. One person told me that she lies awake at night worrying about losing family members to the coronavirus. What does God’s Word say to this? Continue reading →
Our Christmas lights are up, but they just don’t seem to be shining as brightly as before. It’s me – I know. I rose early thinking if I caught the sunrise it would perk me up as it usually does, but … Continue reading →
It may seem like an odd title for the meeting between The Apostle Paul and the Jewish leadership at Rome. However, we find that by the end of the day (and the Bible says “from morning till evening”) Paul testifies with all of the love in his heart that Jesus is the One who fulfills both the Law of Moses and the Prophets. In other words, Jesus is indeed the long-awaited Messiah!
Yet some believe and some doubt. As they prepare to leave his house, Paul delivers a tender message straight from the Holy Spirit through the prophet Isaiah:
‘Go to this people and say:
“Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not perceive;
27For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’ ~Acts 28:26-27 NKJV
Notice that not Paul, but The Holy Spirit, mentions that the people’s hearts have turned away from God. Praise God that some of the Jews receive Jesus that day; while the remainder depart to argue the matter.
28”Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!”29And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. ~ Acts 28:28-29 NKJV
Paul continues to preach about the Lord Jesus Christ from his own rental house for two more years. No one forbids Paul, and we have no idea how many lives are brought into God’s kingdom through Paul at Rome. Whatever the number, PRAISE THE LORD! – for each and every heart that softens, brightens, and turns to Jesus.
Long, Long ago the Lord said His love is everlasting, unfailing, and His heart is drawn toward His people. God’s Valentine’s Day message to you is Turn, TURN your heart to Jesus. Repent and receive salvation today.
Firstly, God bless you for reading and following Jesus!
²²But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, ²³GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Against such there is no law. . . 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.~Galatians 5:22,23,25 NKJV
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap . . . 8bbut he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. . . . 16And as many as walk according to this rule, PEACE and MERCY be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.~Galatians 6:7,8b,9,16 NKJV (emphasis added)
Brethren, keep God’s law – love one another. Share each others’ burdens. Keep sowing to the Spirit and reap everlasting life. Don’t lose heart!
“I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and He answered me. I called out to You from the land of the dead, and Lord, You heard me!” ~ Jonah 2:2 NLT
When people are at their lowest, God hears their cries to Him and saves them. This message of a benevolent God of love and mercy seems to resonate with most people. But His holiness also calls for judgement when necessary. So why do we linger in sinful misery before crying out to Him?
Let’s look at the prophet Jonah in the Bible. He refused to preach God’s message of salvation to the Assyrian people of Nineveh – a particularly evil, idolatrous, and violent capital of Mesopotamia (located in modern-day Turkey and Iraq).
“Nineveh was so large that it took three days to see it all”. ~Jonah 3:3 NLT
Imagine! It may have been the equivalent of Las Vegas – known today as Sin City; full of glittering neon lights and sinful attractions along with idolatry. Anyway, God had decided to judge the people of Nineveh for their sins. Our merciful Father in Heaven had, however, allowed them a way to escape judgement. They could repent within 40 days or be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Jonah was having none of it. He evidently hated the Assyrians. As a consequence, it cost Jonah his life and almost cost the lives of his shipmates and an entire city of people. Oh, I shrink from the horrifying thought of what my actions cost others when I behave like Jonah!
And yet, the lesson continues …
Jonah eventually repented and God gave him a second chance.
“Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.” ~ Jonah 2:10 NLT
Jonah finally obeyed God. He went to Nineveh, and preached God’s Word.
“5The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. 10When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, He changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction He had threatened.” ~ Jonah 3:5,10 NLT
Happy ending, right? Jonah is resurrected from a watery grave; the ship and all it’s crew are saved from the storm and worship the one true God; and a whole city is also saved.
Wrong! Well, no doubt it was a joyful event for the people and animals of Nineveh. But Jonah was so angry he complained to God about (of all things) God’s mercy and compassion to sinners. See, Jonah was certain all along that if he preached to them, the people of Nineveh would repent. God would forgive them because of His benevolent nature, and forego their destruction … RATS! His worst fears were realized.
“Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.” ~ Jonah 4:3 NLT
Then God gently rebuked Jonah:
“4Is it right for you to be angry about this? 11But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” ~ Jonah 4:4,11 NLT
That is the last Word given to us in the Book of Jonah. I rest upon God’s wisdom.
“Father, although we are worthy of judgement and destruction, today I glorify You for showing Your power to mankind in love, mercy and salvation instead of what we deserve. Thank you for the hope we have in Your gift of a new year 2019; to recognize Your willingness to give each of us another chance to be obedient to Your Word … Especially that we would realize that all men are equal in Your sight and deserve our love and respect. In the name of JESUS; ALPHA AND OMEGA; THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD, Amen!”
The season of giving and thankfulness is upon us – My favorite time of the year!
9bCling to what is good. 10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; ~ Romans 12:9b-10 NKJV
Is that even possible in our society today?
Of course it is. And no better time than now. Tis the season to invite friends over for food, drink, and conversation by the fire. Give cheerfully – not expensively. Bake cookies. Be kind. Mend fences.
Some folks suffer from depression during the holidays and my heart goes out to them. It isn’t easy to be cheerful when your heart is heavy or the budget does not allow for much gift giving. Toss the materialism and enjoy giving the most valuable gifts: Time, love, laughter and hope. God does not want any to suffer pain or fear.
Be of the same mind to one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. ~ Romans 12:16 NKJV
Continue to pray for God’s strength while clinging to good. He is faithful and your example will bless others.
This year is my 60th birthday in Christ Jesus! I wish I could testify that my life was powerfully transformed the moment I accepted Yeshua as my personal Savior and that I lived according to His perfect will this past 60 years.
Truthfully, I have been more conformed than transformed.
1I 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. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
Most of my life was not spent serving God, but in serving myself. As a new believer, I was eager to learn God’s ways, but my enthusiasm waned as I progressed through childhood and on into adult life. I became primarily focused on personal achievement, starting a family, and “the cares of this life” took over. Focusing on the cares of life became such a priority that I slowly conformed to cultural “norms” of this world. My body was not a living sacrifice to God. I sporadically walked out my faith by thinking I was keeping the Ten Commandments, but for the most part I was “missing in action”.
Encouraged by the Apostle Paul, my focus now is to finish my faith race much stronger than I began. To know the heart of God, read Romans 12. The whole chapter spells out in plain language how to live a life that is pleasing to Our Holy Father God. He states what our reasonable service should look like:
We should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we do that? – By reading His Holy Word, the Bible. We are to live, serve, and forgive fervently by the power of His love and Spirit. So praying the sinner’s prayer puts our names in The Book of Life, but real transformation requires more from us. We must draw close to Him and learn His ways. That, dear friend, is accomplished through the daily reading of His “Good Book”. There is no short cut to learning how to behave like a Christian. Don’t waste valuable time missing the mark like I did. Jump into Romans 12 with me and next time we will continue studying what God says about finding His perfect will in our lives.
Until then, HAPPY 60th BORN-AGAIN BIRTHDAY TO ME! and thank you for following