Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

What “sells”

August 25th, 2009 Comments off

“Another Jesus…a different spirit…a different gospel.” – 2 Corinthians 11:4

It’s quite easy to teach/preach what people want to hear.  Think about these statements: “You only need to be a good person to be saved”,  “God is a loving God and he doesn’t allow good people to go to hell,” or how about: “Everyone will go to heaven.”  If any of those statements sound great to you, then clear them out of your head right now, because ALL three of those statements are FALSE.  Salvation comes by grace, through FAITH (Ephesians 2:8).  Being good just doesn’t cut it because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Therefore, pretty much everyone will go to hell and not heaven.  I’m not making this stuff up, this is the absolute TRUTH, BUT the silver lining – that glimmer of hope – comes from THE most well known verse of the Holy Bible: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  That verse says it plainly, you MUST place your FAITH in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to have eternal life in Heaven.   And when it says God gave his Son, that means he sacrificed his Son (his ONLY one) on the cross to pay the penalty we all deserve (hell), but God loves the world too much…to see everyone perish.  That right there is the gospel, and if any part of that struck you it is time for you to place your faith in Jesus Christ.  I’m pretty sure I know most of you who read these little blogs, and I urge you to talk to me if any of this struck a chord in your heart.

There may be many other teachings that you may have heard but isn’t the truth.  So how do we know what is true and what is not true?  It begins with us reading the Holy Bible, which I view as God’s direct Word to us.  If you want to know God and what He has to offer you, the best place to start is reading His Word for yourself, not listen to preachers all day and tell your what his Word means.  Which would you rather trust to be more accurate, an autobiography, or a biography written by someone else?  The Holy Bible IS God’s autobiography, because it gives us a very clear picture of who God is and what He desires.  This isn’t just a book of history, it is His story.  It is inerrant, and the prophesies explained in the Bible actually did come true.  There is one prophesy that has not been fulfilled and that is Jesus Christ’s return to this earth, and that is not a time that you want to be on the wrong side.  I’m not trying to scare you, but the end times aren’t going to be pretty…  We (Christians) don’t know when that time is and it could very well happen tomorrow…  Make sure you ARE on the right side…

I deviated a lot from today’s devotional, but I really felt that I should proclaim the gospel in today’s post and most of my posts from now on for that matter because there’s always a sense of urgency since we do not know when the end times are coming.  I guess today’s devotion made sure that I will continue to hold His Word close to my heart so that I may guard myself against false teachings as well as not be a false teacher myself.  The Word has a way of producing a Christ-like character in me that others will be drawn to!  So let’s take Apostle Paul’s advice when he warns us against anyone who preaches “another Jesus…a different spirit…or a different gospel.”

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Where’s My Heart?

July 31st, 2009 Comments off

Matthew 6:21 – “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.”

This morning’s devotion talked about a guy named William Randolph Hearst (yea Hearst Castle).  What I didn’t know was he was a collector of “stuff”, and boy did he have a lot of expensive treasures and unique items.  Just looking a a few pictures of the castle itself can tell you he definitely would be considered “rich”.  The unfortunate thing for Mr. Hearst is his heart was set on earthly things, and after a lifetime of collecting items he has passed and now probably wishes he would have seen past money and earthly treasures and sought a fulfilling treasure that he would have gained in heaven.

Now, what would it take for Mr. Hearst and so many people who are ‘addicted’ to money to begin to store treasures up in heaven?  Matthew 6: 24 says: “You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Interesting how ‘money’ is capitalized…)  Jesus also clearly tells us in Matthew 19:2324: “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  So, the Bible is pretty clear that being rich means nothing, and you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven because you serve Money.  Not only that, it owns you, you are in this endless cycle of wanting more, the things you only fill the void inside you a little, and you try hard to fill it with more things.  If you truly want to fill that void, there is only one thing that can completely fill it, and that is the TRANSFORMING LOVE of God.  This devotional and appropriately titled blog entry focuses on our hearts…  Once our hearts have been transformed by the love of God, Money becomes money, and we begin to seek more of God and the treasures He has in store for us in heaven! :D

For myself, I admit that I did have a problem with trying store up earthly treasures, and I still have wants in my life today.  The fact that technology always seems to amaze me doesn’t help at all either…  I’ll even go as far to justify those wants and say I’ll use them for the glory of God, but like the verse above said, I cannot serve both God and Money.  However, I think the past 2 months, God’s transformed my heart to become more aligned with His desires and will.  I am starting to see those heavenly treasures and earthly things seem like trash now.  I’m so excited to see where He is taking all of this and really what He is about to do in my life!

Tough Love

July 30th, 2009 Comments off

Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Isn’t it amazing that while Jesus was up on the cross, in excruciating pain, prayed to the Father to ask for forgivness for the soldiers who were about to mock Jesus, for the rulers who didn’t believe, and one of the criminals being crucified alongside Jesus that despised Him.  The most surprising fact is He prayed for them BEFORE the series of humulitation and mocking were described in the Bible.

The more I look into the life of Jesus, the more and more I realize that He IS the ultimate/perfect example for use to follow.  It is important to note He did everything in His ministries as a man, a being made of flesh who experiences the same thoughts, tempatations, hurts, emotions, pain, weaknesses, etc. as we do.  And yet, His life is still spotless and shows us how we should live our daily lives.

For me, loving others usually comes easy, because I am just so darn nice :wink: !  I haven’t really experienced someone who abuses me, or treats me like trash, and I am most thankful to God for that.  But, that doesn’t mean that people who come into my life in the future won’t be so easy going and friendly.  That only encourages me to pray for them now just like Jesus prayed prior to receiving abuse.  I need to constantly prepare my heart to produce tough love for when the time comes so that I will be able to forgive them, because I’ll know they are in bondage to sin and they need my light to shine in the dark areas of their lives, and need the LOVE of God to transform them!

The Battle Within

July 29th, 2009 Comments off

Judges 1 – Israel Fights the Remaining Canaanites:

This chapter was about Israel battling against the Canaanites so they can claim the land that the Lord promised them.  Yet the Israelites failed to completely remove all of the Canaanites and the chapter explains that they did not drive them out, but instead turned them into slaves, and lived alongside the Canaanites.  If it is one thing I know about God, is if He tells you to do something and gives a promise if you do it… He is always true with His promise, so it is wise to follow His commandments.  Because the Israelites didn’t follow God’s commandment to completely drive out the Canaanites, they were going to be a nuisance to the them.

Let’s bring this a bit closer to home.  God promised us the gift of salvation, a great new life and an awesome relationship with Him, but the requirement was to “put off [our] old self” (Ephesians 4:22).  For many of us, including myself, we are charged to drive out all the bad areas of our lives (like the Israelites driving out the Canaanites) to put off our old self and put on the new…but the problem is we don’t.  Without driving out the old habituous ways, they will only be a thorn in our side, and a barrier to God’s plan for us.  So I was challenged to really look deep into my heart and identify the bad areas of my life so that I can calim God’s promises for my life!  I’m already seeing my old self being stripped away and witnessing the wonderful things He has in store for me!  Isn’t it time you take a look into your heart and fight off the remaining Cannanites in your life?