God Hears

Red Rock Canyon

“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!”

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Clinging to Good

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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.

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Conformed vs. Transformed

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

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About Love

As I look upon the state of our nation and the entire world I am sad to recognize the fulfillment of Bible prophecy regarding the end times.  The stage is set for the Restrainer to be removed from planet Earth so that the Antichrist should be revealed.  He will spread his wicked agenda across the globe.

7For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the One who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. 9This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NIV

Every heart of every person is driven by love.  Yes, even the wicked love something.

15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV

Mankind is now standing on the edge of a timeline precipice.  We have a unique viewpoint of world events via media technology.   Those who are watching can view approaching fulfillment of God’s prophecy regarding the end of the age of man governing himself.  Soon Jesus Christ will return to Earth, conquer Satan, and set up His kingdom.  Yeshua, our Messiah Jesus, will reign for one thousand years upon this Earth.  He will reign with strong power over evil.  As we have seen, the wicked who do not love truth shall be destroyed at His coming.

Now would be a very good time to be sure that you do not believe Satan’s lies.  If you have not surrendered your love of worldly things to Jesus, there is no better time to take care of eternal business than right now.  Helpful guidance is available here, talk to another believer or Pastor that you respect, or email me with questions.

Prayer – Father, as we lift Your Name above the heavens and all of the planets, stars, and galaxies of Your creation, convict hearts today that love the lie rather than Your Truth.  In the Matchless and Wonderful Name of our Redeemer, Jesus, thank you for such an awesome gift of salvation for those who sincerely choose eternal life over death by asking You to replace love of the world with Your love of Truth in their hearts. Amen.

These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ~ 1 John 2:26 NKJV

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Last Thing

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.

Dad's Soul Winner's Bible

If I do this now, perhaps Dad’s great-grand kids will be able to investigate the message Dad left inside before the pages disintegrate.  It sure surprised me when I found it.

 

Dad's Bible Portrait

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 –

 

Dad's Bible Banded

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

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Dad’s New Testament Page 381

So hey!  It looks like God is still using Dad’s Bible to send His message out; and it’s not the last thing.

It’s a heart thing.

 

 

Inspiration Found

Stone of Inspiration
Stone of Inspiration ~ Proverbs 3:5

My daughter found this painted stone at Red Rock Canyon last week.  Soon it will be placed far, far from Nevada – for someone else who needs inspiration.

What is going on?  A project is trending about leaving a stone of inspiration for another person to find.  The message painted on the rock is meant to inspire that person who in turn leaves it in another location for the next person to find and so on; a paying it forward project, so to speak.

My daughter found a Proverbs 3:5 Inspiration Stone:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

If you are somewhere in Alaska, you could be the next person to find this rock:

LaughLoveLive
Flipside ~ Laugh Love Live

Proverbs 3:5 is a precious message.  Isn’t it miraculous how God’s Word ties us all together and binds us to Himself with a painted rock?  You know what is even more amazing?  This rock may have been created by God millions of years ago in order to be picked up and lovingly painted by someone living now; left in some random location for another special someone to find, who may be blessed in a personal way just by finding it.  Think of the journey of this one little stone.  This rock is about the size of a large egg and look what it can do!  God is using it as a witnessing tool to spread His love message to a vast number of people.

WOW!  What can you do compared to a rock?  Hmmmm …

I love the next verse:

In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6 NKJV

I believe God is doing a mighty work with this project by directing the paths of individuals all over the planet to read and to think about His Word; and to share in being God’s witnesses.  I like the word “laugh” painted on this rock.  I laughed when I realized how God keeps everything so simple for us.  He makes it so easy to witness for Him that sometimes it’s fun.

Have you found one of these rocks?  Be on the lookout –  Evidently, they are all over the place!

Sometimes we would like to participate in God’s work, but don’t know how.  In this case, I didn’t find the rock – my daughter did.  She was inspired to bring it to me so that I could tell you the story and then place the rock in a location frequented by lots of people.  So easy.  Praise God, I became part of all this, even though I didn’t go anywhere or find anything.

What can you do?  Suggestions:

  • If you know an “inspiration found” story, you can share it or post the link here in comments.
  • If you are God-favored and find an inspiration rock, please tell us!
  • Share this article and see who else knows about this.
  • Find a group doing this and join up.  Paint your own inspiration stone.  Get it circulating.

I am leaving this Proverbs 3:5 Rock somewhere in Alaska this week.  It will be found and another story will unfold.  Another person will be inspired – and another – and another …

If you need more inspiration, here is a link to my article, What Can You Do? 

Prov3-5
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(If you don’t find a stone of inspiration, don’t worry.  The Bible is full of God’s messages to you.  The same important stuff is all in there.  Read it.  Live it.  Share it.)

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