NO SHARE IN HEAVEN

The universe (all that is) fascinates me. From the heights of the sky to the depths of the ocean. From the smallest particle seen under a microscope to all of creation that travel will allow me to see. The reason is that I understand the God of the Bible to be the King of the Universe and I want to know Him as well as I can during my journey in this life. Enlarging our universe only happens through knowledge and understanding. So let the journey begin or continue.

God created the universe through His Son Christ Jesus. John 1:3 speaks of this pre-incarnate work of Christ. Even the great mind of Albert Einstein said that “God does not play dice with the universe”. His awareness of probability mathematics did not allow for an evolutionary chance model of creation. Those who disagree we call Epicureans. They who have always believed a ‘do your own thing’ model and are slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe (Galatians 4:3) and have not this mature understanding.

My understanding is at creation we have been given the sky (that which we can see and study), paradise where souls rest until the gates of the final Heaven are opened to us to live eternally with God. Until then God through the angelic world and in our lives has allowed for free will and Lucifer, as a fallen angel, took advantage of this introducing sin to mankind both in our physical and moral universe.

We must know though that God has not abandoned us. He is still active in the world (James 5:7-8). The laws of science we have today is how God is currently running the universe. These laws cannot say how God might eventually change them. What we can say for certainty is that if you are not born again of God in the present you will have no reservation in the future Kingdom for the unrighteous have NO SHARE IN THE THIRD KINGDOM OR HEAVEN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Understand the universe and you better understand God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 1:3 “God created the universe through His Son”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for opening Your universe to me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK  ABOUT:

  1.  What is probability mathematics and how does it relate to the universe?
  2. Who are the Epicureans today?
  3. Where are the rules of the universe found?
  4. Is Revelations the key to the universe?

KEEP IN TOUCH

The act of contact between two things or beings is critical to life. It is indeed important as one of the five senses we are created with. It is important therefore that we understand ‘touch’ from a Scriptural point of view.

There are both unclean and cleansing touches. If we are born of God then satan in all his wickedness cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). Here it is important to understand that as in the case of Job, satan can attack all that is ours including our very bodies but he cannot touch the essence of our life which is our soul. It is the soul with the presence of the Holy Spirit that is in touch with God. The most important touch or contact we will ever make.

A second important touch is the healing touch. Jesus displayed this often as in Matthew 8:3. Being near His very presence was healing whether there was physical contact or not. Today some people have a similar effect. In fact a healing touch might be something as simple as offering a hug when needed or perhaps just a listening ear.

Touch when done according to God’s plan should purify and strengthen. That happens best through spiritual connection. Today there seems again a desire for some sort of spiritual connection to a higher power. If it is not with the one true God then it must be avoided. It is here we must test the spirit as God’s gift of free will may cause us to be in contact with the wrong spirit (1 John 4:1). We must know if the spirit who wishes to touch our lives is from self (brought on by our own emotional state) or satan, or is it the very Spirit of God representing the truth of Scripture who wishes to KEEP IN TOUCH.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: A touch from God will with time lead us to His throne.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 John 5:18 “when satan cannot touch us”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire to be in touch with You 24/7.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What does it mean to be born of God?
  2. Does your presence before others have a healing affect in some form?
  3. Do you offer hugs and a listening ear?
  4. How can we bring a wrong spirit upon ourselves?

THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD ONESELF

It is important for mankind to have a right understanding of self and to have a proper attitude toward self. For that to happen we need first to understand how special each of us are when we grow according to God’s plan. He has a plan for each of us even before we are conceived not unlike someone designing a blueprint before putting up a building. Every element of our personal construction is being overseen by God from the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13-16). Indeed we are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).

With time just as buildings need oversight so do we in terms of our relationship to our Creator. God desires that from our earliest moments we be in union with Him. That requires that we die to sin and no longer live in it (Romans 6:2).

The problem is that God gave us free will and many if they have sorrow for their sin are insincere and after forgiveness continue sinning. God’s plan is that we put on the “new man (and woman)” or new self.

For some time many if not most in our world have had a problem of self pre-occupation. Someone once wrote a book titled: Looking out for #1 and it compounded the problem of mankind’s focus on self rather than God. The result when we abandon God and get caught up in our own sinful life is we are less successful on many fronts. Simon Peter learned this lesson when leaving Christ to go fishing and came back with nothing (John 21:3).

There are those who have left our Lord and Savior and seem successful yet in reality they are not for they will be and are caught up in their own sins. For we who call ourself Christian remember the importance of having THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD ONESELF.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Proper self image is seeing oneself as subject to our Savior.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Psalm 139:13-16 “self plan of God for each of us”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I always be subject to You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do you view yourself?
  2. What do you believe is God’s blueprint for your life?
  3. Have you died to all your sins?
  4. How has mankind shown its focus on self?

 

LORD OF THE SEA

One of my favorite hymns is: Jesus calls us o’er the tumult of life’s tempestuous waves. God as creator of all that is shows us this through the story in Matthew 14:22-33. Peter as a devout follower of Christ wanted to imitate Christ and so he heard Jesus call him out of the boat to walk across the stormy Lake Genesserat. The problem was that he toke his focus off of Jesus and began to sink. That is the bottom line for all of us as well. When we take our focus off of Jesus we begin to sink and sink rapidly and without the saving hand of Christ we will drown.

I believe the example in Matthew is rich in many spiritual lessons among which are: faith grows with testing. Peter was richer for the experience he had that early morning as he understood what is required to have an improved relationship with his Savior. We to face many tests in life. We can use those as times of growth or as so many do times of turning away from our faith. That is the free will that has been given to each of us.

Another lesson is that the boat that Peter was in much like the church for Christians today was meant to get them to a place of safety. Peter discovered that when leaving the boat as for those who somehow feel less of a need for the church  there will be consequences. If our churches are on the right path they should take us to the Heavenly shores. In fact as vs. 30 tells us when we step outside the church whether after a Sunday morning service or whenever be prepared for storms. Just as Peter wrestled with the waves after leaving the boat so we also when leaving the church if we are devout in our faith will face the many storms of this life that satan confronts us with. What is important is to know that Christ will always be there as He is THE LORD OF THE SEA.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Our Savior will save us from the stormy seas of life.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Matthew 14:22-33 “How faith can be strengthened”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I always keep my focus on You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What storms have you come through?
  2. Are you  facing a stormy sea at this moment?
  3. How do you handle the storms of life?
  4. Has your faith grown when confronted by difficult moments?

MAKE SOMEONE JEALOUS

The title may seem rather strange yet causing jealousy in others can be a very positive thing. The confusion lies in the cause and effect that creates the reason for being jealous. For example we know that jealousy is divine because God Himself was a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). The cause was the sins of mankind that would effect future generations.

The problem seems to be when we loose track of where our focus is to be. Pageants, sporting events, political races, etc. seem to create negative energy or jealousy when the focus is on self. Christ had to deal with Peter on this in John 21:20-23. In these situations concerns about favoritism arise such as in the example of Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37:3-11). Jealousy also can come from being associated with wrong leadership or teams (1 Corinthians 3:3-5). These and other causes bring out the negative side of jealousy.

Turning jealousy  positive is the key. Making jealousy a means of salvation. Provoking someone in a positive fashion to the point they are delivered unto salvation (Romans 11:11,14). The key is the focus point. When our cause is Christ the effect will inevitably be positive. This is what we would refer to as Godly jealousy (2 Corinthians 11:2). Living out our lives in this fashion it then becomes important we go out and MAKE SOMEONE JEALOUS.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Judicious jealousy is focused on Jesus.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 2 Corinthians 11:2 “Godly jealousy is positive for Christians”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help keep my jealousy positive.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How can a Christian create jealousy in a secular world?
  2. Is it possible to have competition without jealousy?
  3. How do you make someone jealous to the point of salvation?
  4. What causes for Christ have brought out emulation?

WE LIVE IN AN INTOLERANT WORLD

Many attack Evangelical Christians as intolerant. The verse they would like to see removed from the Bible is John 14:6 where if we hold to God’s Word as truth then Christ is the only way by which we can reach God. That is not being intolerant but exclusive. All can join the Christian religion. Simply confess your sin and place your faith in Christ as our one and only Savior.

In truth if there is a weakness in Christianity it lies in its being overly tolerant accepting the right of other religions to exist (Freedom of Religion clause) as long as they follow the law of the land. Sadly much of society and many mainstream ‘Christians’ believe otherwise. They believe there are many paths to the mountain top (God) all coming together at the end. They choose to ignore John 14:6 which points to only one path rather picking and choosing the verses that suit them. It is as one person said claiming these people follow a “floating fuzzball of love accepting everything and judging nothing”. If Christians are intolerant it is toward sin. We acknowledge God is and will be a God of wrath as clearly seen in Romans 1:18 through 2:16.

Intolerance against rather than by Christians is what will grow. The culmination will be in the time of tribulation recorded in Revelations 13:1-18. Our world is already moving in this direction seen in the numerous ways true Christians are persecuted around the world. This we will bring somewhat upon ourselves as we must separate ourselves from churches who teach falsely (2 Corinthians 6:14 and 2 John 10-11) and preach anything other than the one true Gospel.

Intolerance against any who follow Christ alone has been with us since His birth. Scripture has many examples. Be prepared for others to become evermore prejudiced against us and becoming more passionate about their misplaced viewpoint. Persecution will soon follow as foretold in Revelations. For indeed WE LIVE IN AN INTOLERANT WORLD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Intolerance grows as people identify less with Christ.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 14:6 “one way only”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may any intolerance I have be strongly placed against sin.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Ways Christians are persecuted today within and outside the USA?
  2. How many paths lead to your mountain top?
  3. What is the future of freedom of religion in our country and around the world?
  4. Have you felt hatred for being a devout Christian?

NATURE OF HATRED

Our world will never know love until it knows God fully. We should all know God is love and our first command is to love Him and then all others around us. What a beautiful world that would be and what a beautiful eternity it assures us of. Knowing this we should also understand that the antithesis of love is hate which comes before us thanks to satan. Now it is our choice to love and know God or not love (hate) and not know God (1 John 4:8).

Ever since before the time of Christ the Jewish culture has brought us the understanding that what is hateful to us we should not do to others. Hatred for we who follow Christ will intensify around the world as Christ shares in Matthew 24 but God will vindicate us when things seem at their worse (Deuteronomy 32:36). The White Throne judgment will become a reality.

When people stray from God He gives them over to the ways of the world. Christ clearly explains this in John 15:18-25. In this world hate and all other sins come to us courtesy of satan its founder. Those under the spell of satan do not want to give up their sin to live righteously and therefore they turn on Christians and Jews in a vicious way.

Despite this we are to live in love and though we are to continue to hate the sin we are not to hate the sinner. Even in battle we battle not man but satan. Interesting that in past conflicts where wars began is where God was least evident. Ultimately love will win out as we see in the book of Revelations and hatred and evil will consume itself under judgment. That is the NATURE OF HATRED.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Hate comes from a hardness of heart that has no hope.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 John 4:8 “God is love”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord remove all signs of hatred from me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What are the causes of hatred?
  2. Why is hatred expressed so strongly against Christianity?
  3. What is satan’s role in conflict?
  4. What should unite Jews and Christians?

 

NOTHING MORE THAN SPIRITUALLY DEAD!

Through most of life I find decisions fairly easy to make. If you have a foundation of God’s truth and a well understood priority  list (faith, family, freedom, friends, finances and fun) then life is easier and more fulfilling. The inability to decide between vital issues is not new. Elijah confronted people in the time of 1 Kings 18:21  between the ultimate choice of truth or idolatry. That decision is one we each still make today. God’s truth revealed in the Bible or all else. There can be no compromise of God’s Word and Will.

If we allow indecision most especially in our journey of faith then we are spiritually unfit as Christ clearly pointed out to those who would follow Him in Luke 9:59-62. James added in chapter 1 verse 6 “for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind”. Our Lord seeks and deserves no less than stability from we who say we follow Him.

When we start compromising our faith (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) then we open ourselves to defeat (Romans 6:15-22). Once defeated then our time in this life is as if we were NOTHING MORE THAN SPIRITUALLY DEAD (Revelations 3:16).

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Indecision increases opportunity for instability and indifference toward God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Revelations 3:16 “indecision results in spiritual deadness”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I have firmly decided for You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How decisive are you?
  2. What decisions have you made regarding your faith?
  3. In what way  is truth versus idolatry still a battle for you?
  4. Could you pass a spiritual fitness test?

THE MEANING OF BEING A FATHER

Society seems evermore confused about the roles of a man, woman and child as well as how to define gender. At the forefront of this confusion is our ‘educational’ community where the mind of man is redefining with it’s human mind what God has predetermined and given to us in His Holy Word.

Today  we look at fatherhood. A term traditionally given to those responsible for the care of others. Examples are George Washington known as the Father of our Country. Scripture has always understood the father as the head of the house. This from the spiritual perspective not a physically abusive or domineering viewpoint. Those who abuse this understanding Christ clearly calls out in John 8:44 as coming from their father (small f) the devil and not conducting ourselves according to the will of our Father God.

The Bible tells us Abraham, Isaac, Joshua and Job  were examples of devout fathers. The reason was how they carried out their God given duties. The first of which is to love their children or any child placed under their care no matter in what capacity. This is not a ‘free reign’ kind of love but one where instruction as God’s Word provides is given (Proverbs 1:8) and abided by. It is in this way that a child will grow up as God commands honoring their father and mother and respecting their elders.

Doing so, we are following the teaching of 1 Thessalonians 2:11 which is that the father is to exhort (encourage), comfort, guide and warn their child or children as necessary. It is a part of the training process given to a father to carry out. Not doing so, judgment in some form will fall upon a home as a father did not restrain his child (1 Samuel 3:13). Chastening or fatherly correction may be necessary and should be used when in order and properly understood (Hebrews 12:7).

Today there is confusion on the structure of accountability and who is responsible for what. Mankind in its ‘infinite’ wisdom is redefining what God clearly laid out. Each of us now according to our free will can choose guidance from God our Father (Matthew 7:11) or go it alone. You  choose THE MEANING OF BEING A FATHER.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Male parenting or fatherhood is best guided by our Father God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: James 1:17 “the Creator Father God as role model”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help me in my understanding of what it means to be a father.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Why do so many have trouble defining roles as traditionally understood from Scripture?
  2. Why were Abraham, Isaac, Joshua and Job considered devout fathers?
  3. What is the proper understanding of correcting a child?
  4. How will you and your family define the father’s role?

RELATED BLOG: The parent-child relationship

HOW SIN STARTED!

Sin began as a 3 step process. In God’s creation we have Lucifer who wanting to be like God is banished to earth where as satan he personifies all evil in his temptation of mankind (Genesis 3:1-5). Second we have God creating a perfect world for man and woman yet the first woman Eve is deceived by the purveyor of sin (2 Corinthians 11:3) and finally Adam in his disobedience of God’s command sinned and through his sin the universality of sin came upon all mankind (Romans 5:12).

The consequences of Adam’s sin are also 3-fold. First is being driven out of paradise (Genesis 3:24). We will have labor for any comforts we desire and finally we will have to face death (Genesis 3:19). This was not God’s plan but the result of original sin. Sadly, much of mankind by their own free will out of ignorance has chosen to alienate ourselves from God (Ephesians 4:18). We can continue to walk in spiritual blindness as the majority of the world does or we can be changed by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Only then will we have the understanding that faith alone saves through grace (Hebrews 11:3). Only then will we return to the way that leads to the narrow gate that leads to salvation and living according to God’s plan (Matthew 7:13-14). This is God’s desire for man’s response to HOW SIN STARTED.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The fall of man comes from failure to remain obedient to God’s Word.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 3:16 “only God can change the consequences of man’s fall into sin”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord increase my understanding.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Who are the purveyors of sin in this world?
  2. How are women deceived today?
  3. How do deceived women bring men into sinful action by their own choosing?
  4. How does God view man who claims belief in Jesus yet who live lives otherwise?