What are the chances?

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. – Romans 1:25

There is a Caribbean saying; “when you give someone an inch, they may take a yard” (roughly paraphrased). With the enemy, when he gets an inch, he doesn’t just try for a yard, he is going in for the kill. Denying Jesus removes His protective gear and gives the enemy just that foothold he needs to lead people astray and destroy them. If anyone has an ear to hear the Gospel, I pray will hear. If you’re not on Jesus’ side, you are in bad company. Even the atheists know what they are preaching is impossible. Is a few fleshly pleasures on earth worth your eternity with God? It is okay to submit to God, He is very good. Everything good under the sun that we enjoy is made possible because of Him. The love we share between family and friends, laughter, the beauty in nature etc. If we are eternally separated from Him, we will be eternally separated from those things too. I’m not saying come to Christ on those terms, but do come to Him recognizing your need for Him. We have all sinned; if we have placed someone or something as more important than God in our lives, the Bible calls this idolatry; if we’ve used the name of Jesus as a cuss word, it is blasphemy, we’ve sinned. If we have told a lie, we are guilty. If we have had sexual thoughts towards someone who is not our spouse, Jesus refers to this as committing adultery in our hearts. I am speaking plainly, that you may plainly understand and see your need for the forgiveness of the Father, for He is holy and as a holy God, He will not allow sin within His sanctuary. Our sin will not be patted on the back on that Great Day. Either we know Jesus, or we don’t.

 

It gets cold at the top.

WHAT GOOD will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? – Matthew 16:26

Can’t seem to forget the tragedy of Robin Williams death. So many people leave the world without knowing that they are dearly loved. Some others, and I am not referring to Robin (God alone knows his heart), but many others do whatever they can to get a whole bag of money, and end up just cold at top. I’m telling you the truth when I say to have everything in this world, in exchange for giving up knowing the love of God, and experiencing His forgiveness, grace, and wonderful kindness, is the coldest and loneliest place to be. We are human beings, not machines. We were created with purpose. We need each other, yet the One we need the most is the same One who created us. Someone might say I don’t need Jesus, the religion of slave masters etc. If you really believe that about Jesus, you probably shouldn’t believe anything you read in the newspaper. The history of Christ is so well documented, and His message still changes lives today. Changed my life; changed the lives of countless of others and still many more are being changed. If it were in our capacity to change ourselves, then why the hopeless ones who took their own lives, couldn’t have generated the hope to keep going? We’re not little gods you see, as some believe. We are human beings, created by God. And we need Him. Friends, be merry under the sun, do whatever your heart desires, but know your price. It’s no fun alone.

 

Lukewarmness, quit it.

lukewarmNo one knows their time or hour; one minute on earth, the next minute eternity. Everyone will face death, some sooner than others. Next time you see a report about the dead, check to see who you are living for. Is it for God?

Jesus says if you are not with Him, you are against Him (Matthew 12:30). There is no in between. So quit with the lukewarmness; the church on Sunday; then parade on the streets, and dance in the clubs with all your L.O.L (Lots of Liquor). Jesus says He will spit out lukewarm people (Revelation 3:16), that means He wants no part with them. We can’t fool God. And He will not be mocked. Where your heart is, that’s where your treasure is. Heaven has its one brand of treasure, I highly recommend this pick, however, hell has something else to offer too, that is, the absolute absence of experiencing God’s presence. Since everything good comes from Him, it means hell is where you experience nothing good.

Some say that earth is hell, actually it isn’t, we can still experience the beauty in nature, the love from family and friends. These are good things, and the source of this goodness originates from the good God who in the beginning made the earth perfect until it was corrupted through disobedience of the first man and woman. There is a way to be reunited with God from this broken fellowship, and that’s through Jesus Christ. Believing in His work on the cross, and accepting that we have fallen short of His glory (we have all sinned) is the gospel truth that leads to salvation. While we cannot earn salvation by our own good works (Jesus wouldn’t have gone to the cross if salvation was up to us), but if one is saved, they will deliver the fruit of good works. So we don’t do good works on our own merits to get saved, but good works is evidence of salvation, not lukewarmness. So quit it and think about your living before you die.

*Everyone will die, repent:
Luke 13:2-3 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. ”

*Lukewarmness leads to death/hell:
Revelation 3:16 – “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

*Salvation is a gift from God:
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

*Faith/salvation produces good works:
James 2:17-18 – “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Thankful

love-of-christThere is no love greater than the love of God. It is an unconditional kind of love. No human can offer us what God offers. It is a sad situation when we put other things, other persons as our top priority. It leads to dry spells and a lacking of peace and joy, because nothing and no one can compare to this Great God; nothing and no one can satisfy our souls but God. During this season of memorial, that is,  remembering the Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus I am reminded of His love. How on my behalf, and your behalf He took the penalty of sin upon Himself. I see in the Gospels that He didn’t take the sour wine (Matthew 27:34) to numb His senses on the cross, but experienced the full pain of that torturous punishment; my punishment, your punishment. I am forever thankful.  What a great love.

Jesus all to You I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, You washed it white as snow.

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

FATHER… I WANTED A CAR, NOT A BIBLE!

gratefulA young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a

dealers showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day
approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study, told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and how much he loved him. He handed him a beautifully wrapped gift box.

Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with his name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said,”With all your money you give me a Bible?” He stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible behind. Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old. He thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. But before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to him. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father’s house, sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important documents and saw the Bible, new, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt 7:11, “And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?” As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealers name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words: PAID IN FULL! 

How many times do we miss God’s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? Author unknown

The Lord Jesus bless you. May we go forth with a spirit of gratitude, patience and trust in the King of the Universe. He really knows what is best. When things don’t go our way, it is best to continue to trust and obey. God has the upper hand of being God, not us. 🙂

Please share this with someone.

Be blessed.

God is in control

God is in controlHappy new year everyone! I hope you’re stepping into the new year with Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. If you have not made that decision as yet, I pray you will surrender to Him and leave the burden of sin behind with 2013. If you don’t see any reason to follow Jesus, I want to remind you that your rejection of Him does not void His sovereignty. God is in control, why fight against the One who loves you the most, the Creator of all things? Do not move forward with that burden, that losing battle. Let go, and let God.

I have been really been blessed by the following sermon (James MacDonald – God is in control), and just wanted to share it with you.

The main points of the sermon are:

1. God is in control even in your suffering

2. God is in control even at mid-night

3. God is in control even when your faith is weak

4. God is in control even when the wicked seem to prosper

Watch the sermon and be blessed!

 

The burden: a call to repent

burdenWhen someone becomes a new creation in Christ, not only do their eyes become open and they acquire hatred for sin in their lives, but they also attain a God-like desire to see others come to a knowledge of truth and receive Christ Jesus as well. There is indeed a heavy burden on the hearts of Christians when they look at the unsaved. Jesus has called His followers, the Christians, to share the truth, and while it is not always easy, it certainly must be done. For one we must obey God and two, we must obey God. God wants us to love Him, put Him first and love others. He then went on to say if we love Him we will obey Him. (John 14:15) We see love requires action, an obedient action.

I write again to share what has been on my heart. I see a generation that is drawing further and further from God. Every time I open my Facebook, I see my friends practice a lie and how heavy my heart grows. How I wish I could just share the Gospel and everyone would believe and repent. Here’s what Jesus says about those who practice a lie:

Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. But outside the city are the dogs–the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. ” – Revelation 22:15

Quickly one might want to say they are no sorcerer, they are not hurting anyone and in fact a “good” person. The Bible says there is none that is good, all have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) So there goes that claim.

If that doesn’t convince an unsaved man/woman of the lack of self-goodness, let’s take a look at the condemnation of sexual immorality. It’s not just talking about those who engage in sex with many different partners, but even those who are exclusively sexually active with one person, “in love” or not. Let me give a scripture, because I am not making this up.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, quarreling, rivalry, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like. About these things I tell you again, as I have also told you in times past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19

God really condemns sex outside of marriage. Notice how that verse begun with adultery and continued with fornication (pre-marital sex). Fornication in itself is sex out of marriage, because such an act is done when there is no marriage. The thing is, if we claim to live for God, if we call ourselves a Christian such a practice should not be in our lives. Even if you see another so called believer living such a lifestyle, that doesn’t make it okay. Even if the entire neigbourhood or country was practicing a life that is opposed to the Word of God, it is still not okay to follow in their ways. God’s Word is the authority which we must adhere to. Remember this also:

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21 (Obedience again…)

The other practices listed in Galatians 5:19 are also abominations to God, they are sin and sin is an abomination to a holy God. For those who think that practicing homosexuality was only condemned in the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures, I got another verse for you, because I am not making this up.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

It is a wicked lie being spread that it is okay in this day and age, a lie that I too once believed. I remember in the past hearing that it was okay for females to practice with their girl/female friends. Practice for what? God says to abstain from sexual activity until marriage, and what is marriage, a union between a man and a woman under the authority of God.

Each human is inclined to some sin, by the grace of God we can attain freedom from practicing the sin.  If you’re a Christian this is what the Word says concerning you.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him [Christ] who loved us.” Romans 8:37

If you have not left your sin at the foot of the cross (repented from sin), this is a gentle, yet urgent call to do so. If God speaks to your heart today, don’t think that you have time to answer tomorrow. You do not have the ability to independently initiate a desire for God. This is why you read in the Bible or hear from the “religious people” the constant proclamation of “saved by grace”. God is the one doing the drawing/calling, not you.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44

One of the things that I have seen rampant today is immodest attire among women. There is a particular celebration on my island and other islands which further encourages this dress mode. It’s called carnival. Here’s what the Word says:

in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,” – 1 Timothy 2:9

Modesty forbids boastfulness. We should not be boasting our bodies in such a way that promotes lust and other forms of sexual immorality. There is a way to look attractive yet modest and it doesn’t involve small/skimpy bras and underwear on the streets. If this be too much, consider this: if God came to visit you in bodily form, would you dress and dance as you do, as you did on “last lap” carnival parade?

I am not here on a soap dish, because I too know what I once was. I practiced just the same as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 condemns. The good news is by God’s mercy my eyes are now opened to sin and it is no longer me, or about me but about Christ. I was spiritually crucified with Christ, and now He lives in me. I am not claiming perfection either, but I am claiming a new lifestyle because of Jesus.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Are you now convinced that you are living in opposition to God? Great, your heart is ready. Please confess your sin to Jesus, repent from your sin, which is a decision to turn or move away from the practice of and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour. He is waiting, and He wants you to live for Him.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” – Revelation 3:20

God knows your name, your every thought, each worry, each tear; will you call upon His name today for liberty that only He can give? I sure hope and pray so. I’ve got a burden, a burden for you and God wanted me to share this with you. (Matthew 28:19)

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans 10:14

Repent, repent, choose Jesus and live. 🙂

Unless ye repent, ye shall perish the same!

repentJust heard the news of a long time family friend’s passing. It is a common thing in times like these for many to question why; if the person who went on to the next life dies before 50, we respond “gone too soon”, and if over 50, we still want to believe that the person had enough strength for some more years. The thing is, the Word says we are appointed to die once and then face a judgement (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus proclaims the urgency of repenting while we have the chance in the following passage:

Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. He answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!” Luke 13:1-5

After sharing the gospel with some, I have been told “I don’t want to be saved now, sometime later.” I am sorry to say, but none of us know the appointed time. This is not a scare tactic; however I hope by the power of the Spirit hearts will be convicted, and those who are not yet in Christ Jesus will stop and think for a moment. Please stop and think about your eternity. Money, fame and the rest of the “carnivals”, “socas” and “dancehalls” of this world will pass away; even the best relationships on this earth will go too (Matthew 22:30), but our spirit will live on forever. The thing is, where are we headed? Are we prepared to spend an eternity with God, or an eternity separated from Him? He has provided a way to Himself, but those who reject Him in this life, will be rejected in the next. We reject God as number 1 in our lives when we place anything above Him. That includes a desire to hold on to a particular relationship and the sinful benefits of it (e.g. fornication/pre-marital sex [Galations 5:19-21] ) instead of obeying what the Word says in regards to it. Jesus said:

For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38

By the grace of God I am saved (I didn’t do anything to earn my way here, so I can’t brag), by that same grace so can you too be saved. I am not making this up, it is all there in the Bible. Please believe, your eternity depends on it.

May hearts be open to receive Christ Jesus today.

Love God and love others

rejoiceO ften times we don’t understand the actions of another person, but may I remind us to love them anyway.

“And the King will answer them, I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” – Matthew 25:40

Even if you consider the person to be an enemy; Jesus says to pray and bless them anyway. Who knows when we would act as an ‘enemy’ towards another and in turn need that prayer and that blessing. Only Jesus is perfect friends.

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44

We can only accomplish this by the grace of God and thus we need to seek Him.

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. ” – 2 Peter 1:3

If you have no idea what 2 Peter 1:3 was talking about, all the more reason to seek.

Go after Jesus while He can be found, go get Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

I promise you at the end of the day, when the party is over, the wine has been drunk, in the dark of the night, many people long for the God who created them. Many things they’d use to fill that God shaped hole but it is Jesus they long for. Sure we have happy moments on this earth, but they are in the temporary; the next best fellowship I can think of is marriage, and they are not forever. The Bible says:

” they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” – Matthew 22:30

And for sure we know that we can’t leave this world with all the money we have acquired. A very startling revelation is given in the Bible. A wealthy man decides to live ‘happily ever after’ without giving thanks to God, not knowing that the true treasure is having a relationship with his heavenly Father.

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. – Luke 12:19-20

Job in his time of trial knew that the things of earth pass away, and that he’d leave them behind. He says:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:21

The Bible says we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), that we were made for His glory and to fellowship with Him. It profits us nothing to gain much in this life, yet have no fellowship with God. (Mark 8:36) Even the human on earth we love the most can only do so much. That person also is not perfect and needs God to fill their God shaped hole, that is, to save them from their sins, give them their identity and complete them in the way that only God can.

God though has it all together, He has a very good track record of being faithful. He is also holy, just and wants His creation to live in fellowship with Him; to live a moral life according to His standards. It is only by His grace we can have this, and thus He wants us to receive Him.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me. “ Rev 3:20

God lifted up my right hand and helped me

writingYesterday, our class had had an open book exam. You could use your text book but not mobile devices. In open book exams, it is usually difficult to sift through the many pages to find the answer. In some open book exams, while you may have the text book for reference, the questions are hardly derived from it. Thankfully for this exam this was not the case.

When the teacher told us that we were allowed to use only the text book but not the laptops or smartphones, I became a bit worried (you can search pdfs with a pdf reader). For one, the subject was one I chose freely out of my usual software theory. So many of the terms in this class I had little or no understanding of. Anyhow, thanks to God, I was encouraged by another sister whose school load is probably 10 times mine and because of that load of work she endured daily, I was motivated to carefully read the text book. Although much of it I didn’t understand, I knew persistence to the end was necessary.

On the day of the exam and another day before, I remember a classmate enticing me to ignore the teacher and simply use the smartphone. I gave no favour to the idea and just kept silent, but on the day of the exam when he mentioned it again, I said to him, “I cannot, he [the teacher] said not to; if I do this I will disobey him.” Of course in my mind my biggest concern was honouring God. On another occasion I had mentioned to this classmate a little about my faith. Writing this report now I sort of wish I had said, “It would be dishonourable to my God to do such a thing.” However, perhaps what I actually said was how the Spirit wanted me to respond.

During the exam, folks were passing answers. I remember asking God for help because I wanted to honour Him and stay honest. (It’s no fun hearing: “answers on page x”, when you are struggling to find them on your own) Even the teacher failed to correctly invigilate the class. Students were sharing answers right in front of his eyes and he didn’t seem to blink. Anyhow, I didn’t know much that was on the paper, but God opened my eyes and lifted keywords in the text book pages to me. At first I was not finding the answers, but by His grace I remained steadfast to His precepts and my ears heard but didn’t listen, my eyes saw but yet I didn’t see. With His help, I managed to find all answers from the book questioned in the paper. Questions based on my own thinking, He again helped me to answer. I just have to praise God. I am certain it was not me, but by the grace of God.

Thank You God!

1 Sam 2:30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.