Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Total Forgiveness Is God's Will

 Genesis 45: 1-15; 50:20

Total forgiveness is not only God say­ing, "I forgive" but proving how much he wants us to believe it. He wants to put the case before us so convincingly that we say "He really does forgive me."

The only kind of forgiveness that is worth anything, in any case, is total forgiveness. It might said like this: the only kind of forgiveness that I would want from you is total forgiveness. If I have offended and hurt you, and you say that you forgive me, well, I would be glad to know that. But I might doubt that you really meant it. You would need to demon­strate to me that you really mean it.

What is total forgiveness? There are five principles, all of which come out of this story of Joseph:

Firsttotal forgiveness is demonstrated to us when someone shows that he doesn't want anybody else to know what we have done to him. If, when you forgive me, you make it clear that you don't want anybody to know what I have done to you, that would be authentic forgiveness.

1. What was the first thing that Joseph did? After Judah finished his speech, Joseph cried, "Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him" (Gen. 45:1).

2. It is the unforgiving spirit that wants to let the world know our own hurt. Love hides a multitude of sins. It is hate that wants to let the cat out of the bag. Hate wants everybody to know we have been hurt: "Here's what so and so did to me."… 'Total forgiveness is when we protect the one we forgive.

So Joseph said, "Send everybody out."

That is the way God forgives.

Secondtotal forgiveness wants to make a person feel com­pletely at ease. Joseph's brothers could not answer him, for they were "troubled at his presence" (Gen. 45:3). Therefore Joseph said to them, "Come near to me, I pray you."

1. Why did he say that? He wanted them to be at ease in his presence. He wanted them to know by the look on his face that there was no hate whatever. In his eyes there was no feeling of vengeance-not the slightest desire to make them feel uneasy.

2. Hate hopes that another will feel uneasy. When we don't for­give, we want that other person to feel uncomfortable in our presence. "Come on, draw near, come close to me. I'm Joseph."

Third, total forgiveness will not even allow the person to feel bad or angry with himself. Joseph said, 'I am Joseph your brother whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves" (v 5, italics mine).

1. That is Joseph. He is saying, in effect, "Look. I know how you're going to react to this. Your immediate reaction is to feel awful. I don't want you to feel bad. Don't even feel angry with yourselves."

2. But how do most people tend to "forgive"? Sometimes we say "Well, I forgive you, but I hope you realize what you've done. I hope you feel bad about it."

Fourth, you make it easy for that person to forgive himself: we do it in such a way that it is obvious we really do forgive.

1. This can be done. Joseph put it like this: "Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life" (v 5). In other words, behind all that had happened was a sovereign God looking out after them. And so Joseph said, "For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years [five years to come, in which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance" (vv 6-7).

We now come to the most sublime statement in all the story of Joseph, "It was not you that sent me hither, but God" (v 8; see Gen. 50:20). "It wasn't you. It was God."

How do you suppose that made them feel? I can tell you, it suddenly gave them a sense of dignity a sense of worth, a way of saving face, a way of coping, a way of looking forward to the future.

2. The proof of total forgiveness is this: we make it easy for the person to forgive himself. For the only forgiveness that is worth anything is that which makes it possible for us to forgive ourselves. It is one thing to say "God forgives." It is another to forgive ourselves.

Fifth, total forgivenss is demonstrated when we keep some­one's sin hidden from the person who means most to him.

1. Now what do you suppose the ten brothers feared most of all? It was that Jacob their father would hear the truth. I suspect that these ten brothers could endure anything in the world but that. Total forgiveness is our not wanting the sin to be revealed where it would hurt most of all. We tend to threaten, don't we, and say 'Wait until so and so hears this." … “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgres­sions from us” (Psa. 103:12). Our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus.

2. God doesn't want us to feel sorry after he says, 'I forgive you." But he only demonstrates his forgiveness when you are sorry. Joseph knew they were sorry And when he saw they were sorry he said, “That's enough. No more. I'm not going to let you feel bad.”

(*Romans 8:28 is not set into operation as long as you feel a need to justify what you once did. If you have done something that was wrong but have stuck to your guns and justified it, the promise of Romans 8:28 will be postponed. But the moment you say, 'I don't see how it could ever work together for good-what I have done is so bad," God steps in and says, Leave the past to me.)

Finally God doesn't want our help in helping him to make things work together for good. As long as we meddle and try to do something that will help things, God won't do a thing. It will just get worse. But if we will take our hands off, God takes over to show his power and his love.

Look at what we are, and think that God totally forgives and applys these principles to us!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

When The Unexpected Happens...

What is your attitude when the unexpected or something you perceive to be bad happens?  Some years ago, we returned from a much needed holiday.  A lot was happening in our lives and we really felt the need to get away and rest a bit.  Our plans were finalized and we knew where we were going and when.    

Our first stop was Princeton, BC to be with friends and get part of the way to the coast.  Leaving Princeton, the transmission went out on our van and we were stranded.  We were almost to the summit on the Hope-Princeton Highway.  We had just gone around a bend when suddenly there was no connection with the transmission, but our momentum allowed us to pull across the road to a pull-out.  

The first thought was grab the cell phone and call BCAA.  The signal wasn't there.  The next thought was to raise the hood and flag someone to stop that would call our friends when they arrived in Princeton, who in turn would phone BCAA.  That worked!  After that was done, I pulled the folding chairs out and we sat in the shade looking at the beauty of the valley.  

We started talking about what had happened.  We were thankful this happened where we had friends and not some place unknown to us.  I was thankful that it happened where we could pull off the road as compared to where we could have been.  We had vehicles fail before at critical times of travel.  We learned to be thankful that what happened, happened where and when it did for very obvious reasons.    Over the years we've learned to trust God's timing and that what happens to us is in His control.  The Bible says in Romans 8:28 “...that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  It would be easy to get angry and frustrated when things like this happened and use some appropriated expletives, but that didn't happen.   Rather, we were thankful it happened where we had friends and access to resources to get through it.

When our son died in a plane crash in which he was piloting, it was one of the most difficult times of our lives.  All the questions that came to mind and the grief and sorrow that happens!  We dealt with it in our different ways.  It took time.  We had the immediate details to deal with and run on adrenalin getting them done.  In due time we had to accept the fact it happened.  He died doing what he dreamed of doing.  As believers in God and His Word, we came to accept that when there weren't definite  answers to the whys of the matter, we could still trust God and claim His promise in Romans 8:28.    Knowing the Lord, does not mean you're life will be trouble-free.  It means when trouble comes, you'll have a place to turn and know you'll get help.  It only works when you have established a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.  As His child, you can come boldly to Him and receive grace in time of need.  

Back to our time on the highway.  The tow truck finally came and got us back to Princeton.  It was going to be $1800 dollars or more for another transmission.  It was the July 1 weekend.  It was going to be several days getting a transmission from Vancouver.  We phoned our friends in town that we stayed with the night before and said “don't take the sheets off the bed!”  We spent the weekend there in Princeton.  We wondered what to do for another vehicle.  There is only one lot with a few cars on it owned by a mechanic we used to go to when we lived there.  The owner was of course away to the lake  for the holiday.  We looked over the choices and thought “there's not much there!”  A friend helped us look the cars over, which were mostly from early to mid '90s vehicles. We decided on the oldest one, a 1981 Mercedes.  My friend said he'd rather have half a Mercedes than a whole ford!  Anyway, for the price of a transmission, we drove away in a Mercedes with a new paint job that took us 2,000 kms to Vancouver Island and back.  We just look and each other and say “well, praise the Lord!”

Monday, December 20, 2021

Christmas Lights

The babe in the manager was born to be sacrificed as an adult by crucifixion, rise from the dead, ascend back to heaven and return again to rule and reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He was and is the Light of The World. To many, Chirstmas is just a festival of lights, but he is the light of eternal life to all who will believe in him as Lord and Savior. The Bible foretells of this light. Here some biblical scriptures about Him...

I. Prophesied to be a light to the Gentiles

(Isa 42:6 NKJV) "I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles,

(Isa 49:6 NKJV”… I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'"

(Acts 13:47 NKJV) "For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'"

II. The light of the angels

{8} Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. {9} And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. {10} Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. {11}

III. The light of the Wisemen-His star

(Nu 24:17) I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

(Psa 72:10-11 NKJV) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles Will bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba Will offer gifts. {11} Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; All nations shall serve Him.

(Isa 60:3 NKJV) The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

(Micah 5:2 NKJV) "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."

(Mat 2:10-12 NKJV) When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. {11} And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child (a young child, not a babe) with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (king, priest, prophet-burial) {12} Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

IV. The light of Christ Jesus

"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. {12} "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." {13} And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: {14} "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" {15} So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." {16} And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. {17} Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. {18} And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. {19} But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. {20} Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

{21} And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (JESUS=Jehovah is salvation)

Read John 1:1-14..."But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."

 Joh 8:12 ¶ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Joh 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Don't be blinded by the things of this world, but open your eyes to the light God has given us in His word about the true light, Jesus, and our need for a Savior from sin. Ask him to forgive you and save you to receive the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sin. "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God," John 1:12

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Light Of The Future

 The Light...

There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are in days of uncertainty and many are searching for answers to many things that challenge us now. There is a true light in a world of darkness that gives us hope now and forever: "Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

A. The city of light

(Rev 21:9-11 NKJV) Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." {10} And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, {11} having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

The word here rendered light occurs nowhere else in the New Testament except in Php 2:15. It means, properly, a light, a light-giver, and, in profane writers, means commonly a window. It is used here to denote the brightness or shining of the Divine glory, as supplying the place of the sun, or of a window. Clear as crystal. Pellucid or resplendent like crystal. There are various kinds of jasper--as red, yellow, and brown, brownish yellow, etc. The stone is essentially a quartz, and the word crystal here is used to show that the form of it referred to by John was clear and bright-Barnes

(Phil 2:15 NKJV) that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

B. The city of God & The Lamb

(Rev 21:23-25 NKJV) The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. {24} And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. {25} Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 

JP Conaway-"The New Jerusalem and Its Foundations" wrote: "According to the measurements given, this Golden City will be a cube of one thousand five hundred miles, or 469, 783, 988 trillions of cubic feet of space. This city if spread out in the same proportions as London would cover over two thousand worlds as large as the one in which we live—land, sea and all! Our finite minds fails to grasp the immensity of our Heavenly Home."

C. The city of the saved

Re 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

D. The city of the throne and temple of deity

1. Look at who is the temple and the light in this heavenly estate:

(Rev 21:22-23) But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. {23} The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. (Isa 44:6) "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Rev 22:13) "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." vs 20..."even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22:17 NKJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

2.  Notice that Jesus the Lamb and God the Father are the temple and light of this place!


The invitation is given. Will you accept? Let this be your year of light...So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Fallout

 I marvel at the way intelligent men and women are manipulated and pressured to go against what is right, both from the standpoint of natural law and God’s law. Marriage has been redefined for us. Same-sex marriage has been pawned off on us as legitimate marriage. What is the fallout on our society? Before I try to answer that, may I share a little background.

Jesus didn’t rail on the government of the day, even though it was corrupt and immoral. What he did do was to confront people with the truth whether they were ordinary people or religious or government authorities. Generally, the authorities, religious or otherwise, didn’t like being confronted with the “truth”.

The truth of the matter is that the One who made us in the beginning, “…made them male and female.” If He had made them same-sex, there might have been sex, but not reproduction and multiplication. He made them Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve! Now you may be saying, “you are prejudiced and bigoted.” I am prejudiced when it comes to God’s teaching concerning marriage. One man, one woman joined together in holy matrimony. Anything else is sin according to God! Forgivable, but nevertheless sin.

God loves people and wants them to repent of their sin and believe on Jesus for salvation and to live their life out with good moral values. Where is the rule book? The Bible is it. Even if you don’t want to accept that, natural law teaches us that same-sex sex and “marriage” is an aberration. Sure there are people born with genital abnormalities, but that is no excuse to redefine what is recognized to be the only legitimate marriage: one man, one woman. Some find themselves caught in the trap of seduction or abuse and wind up in same sex relationships. For others it may be the selfish desire for gratification without consequences. There are consequences though! The consequences include: confusion of what is marriage; confusion of sexual preference; the confusion of genders-what am I?, who am I?; what are my pronouns?; and so on. Jesus said:

Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. (when Jesus returns) Luke 17:20-30

The question may arise, “what about multiple wives in the Bible”. “Is that ok?” No. It was tolerated but always brought about problems for God’s people. Jesus said that from the beginning the plan was for one woman, one man marriage. Matthew 19:4-5 Jesus says... 4He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

So, you say, what’s that got to do with this fallout bit? Well, just this. The schools have had to change their curriculum to reflect new laws. Teachers and parents have to deal with the same-sex issue in the classroom. What is taught and how it is taught. Children are exposed at ever younger ages to the teaching that same-sex families are just as normal as heterosexual families. Issues of adoption into same-sex families is another important area of fallout. The fallout is far-reaching as hundreds of laws have been rewritten to reflect this same-sex legislation and the LGBTQ agenda. It is a shame! The greatest shame as far as I’m concerned is the effect concerning children-the next generation. It is not surprising since Jesus replied concerning his coming again, “...that as it was in the days of Lot, it would be when He came again.” Luke 17: 29,30

Having said all that, let me say this. As one who believes the Bible-God’s Word, I don’t believe in bashing any ethnic group, substance abusers, religious groups, or marginal people of any sort. Christians are to love one another even though they may disagree. Christians are to love their neighbors as themselves. We are not to be hateful or bigoted. However, we are to be faithful to our Lord and obey his Word and to speak the truth in love to one another and to those who are outside “the faith” But, we are to speak the truth nonetheless!…

9Or do you not know that the unrighteousb will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,c 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God 1Corinthians 6:9-11

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Go For The Gold!


We have witnessed the 2021 Olympics of late and have seen the results of years of hard work and striving to reach a goal - a gold medal.  We should learn from what we’ve seen these athletes do and realize we all have potential and if we work as hard as these athletes did, dreams and goals are attainable.  Everyone has ability to do more than they’re doing.  Young people especially have the energy and zeal to be whatever they want to be.  The first thing is to have a dream and then to pursue that dream.  Every one of the athletes in the Olympics had a dream to be there and worked hard to do so.  Without dreams and goals, we go nowhere!  

We live in a country that makes it possible to “Go For The Gold” in any area of interest one may have.  Young people especially need direction and motivation.  By direction, I mean purpose.  Something worth devoting your energies to.  By direction, I also mean the direction we are pointed.  Parents have huge responsibilities in pointing their children in the right direction.  Not only in matters of right and wrong, but also in matters of talents and desires of the children.  All of us need purpose and direction.  We need motivation and encouragement to pursue our passion – whatever it may be.  Even the Scriptures say, “whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might.”  Give your all, your best.  Actually that’s true in everything in life.  Don’t do anything half-heartedly.  Give it your best.  Strive for excellence.  It’s too easy to have the attitude that we’ll just get by with the minimum.  Or, why bother, nobody else cares.  You should care that whatever you endeavor to do, that you do your best.

Like the athletes, you can’t just sit around and think about getting there.  You have to do something about it!  Even if you don’t have much money, there are ways to get where you want to go.  It begins in your head.  The dream.  The goal.  Your attitude.  We live in a time when you can do anything you want to do if you want it bad enough to work  for it.  This probably sounds like a pep talk or positive thinking line.  But think about it.  What would you like to do in life?  Is it possible?  Why aren’t you moving in that direction?  Don’t be afraid of change because that is what needs to happen if you want to follow your dreams.  Don’t be afraid to change jobs.  Don’t be afraid to make a move.  Don’t be afraid to look at yourself and assess where you are at and where you want to go.  

In the big picture of things, don’t forget God.  God designed us, knows us better than anyone, and cares about our life -  present and future.  He knows our past as well. He can bring healing of the past and help us reach the potential He knows we’re capable of.  Seeking "God’s Will" in life is of the utmost importance.  When we consider dreams and goals, don’t leave God out of the picture or consider Him a last option.  God is interested in every part of our lives.  He wants us to succeed in our relationships, work, and dreams.  It makes sense to ask Him for the wisdom to live life to the fullest and have His blessing and power to do so.  With God, we all can win the “gold” in that we can be assured of  our eternal destiny with Him through Jesus Christ.  With that settled, we can pursue the path of our dreams with peace in our hearts and divine guidance to reach the goals of life.  The great Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me”.  That’s personal “I”; positive “can do”; and all inclusive “all things”.  You can do it!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Seeing And Believing

In today's society, we may justifiably doubt what we see or hear. Our intellect and emotions are constantly bombarded with information that is possibly: good or bad, true or not, helpful or not, real or not.

Who do you believe? What are you seeing? The voices surrounding us, are they proclaiming facts or their perception of the facts - or perhaps no facts at all?  Are the visual and audio presentations real or altered in some way.  It is hard to discern the actual facts and come to valid conclusions. Fact or fiction?  So many choices.  If you believe one way or the other, it's a conspiracy theory and you are said to be "duped". Fake news and fake reviews, on and on!

Is seeing believing? Can you believe what you see and hear?  Oswald Chambers said,"Seeing is never believing. We interpret what we see in the light of what we believe."  What we perceive to be the truth can become the filter for our interpretation of what we see or hear. Case in point:  Experiments have been done in which a group of subjects are put in front of a tape recorder; they are asked to write down what the voice on the tape says, and the machine is started. But the volume is so low that the voice is very difficult to decipher. Even so, every subject writes down a reasonable set of notes. The catch is that the machine was uttering nonsense–the ear and the brain cooperated to create meaning where none existed, a totally unreliable version of reality.

With present-day technology, it is possible to digitally alter video and audio in such a way to make it appear that someone is saying something they are not. What a quandry! Social, economic, political, and spiritual values are being manipulated by opposing forces to confuse and corrupt humanity. If you throw God and the truth of his word out, you have a vacuum to be filled with man's perceptions and interpretation of who we are as people and where we are headed in the future.

The Bible gives us the origin of our world. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It gives us the unadulterated truth of who we are, where we are as a society, and where we are going. It's all there. The future is full of dramatic events foretold by Jesus himself and others in the Bible. Read it, believe it, and find peace in the midst of a very discouraging time.

Jesus addressed believing and seeing in John chapter 20:

...So the other disciples told him,(Thomas) “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Later to them with Thomas present...Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible...

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Heb. 11:1,6

The Bible has stood the tests of time and has been proven to be accurate.  Jesus is a fact of history. The Bible proclaims the truths of the past, present and future of mankind.  There is only way to have peace with God and be assured of your eternal future:  "This Jesusa is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.b 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among menc by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11,12)

Politics and pandemics come and go, but the Word of God will stand forever and points us to our future with certainty and will give you peace and assurance, if you believe!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Is Easter Over?


What about Easter?

Is Easter over?  Not hardly!  The tomb is empty but Jesus is alive.  He has appeared  to Peter and the other disciples and to over five hundred believers at one time.  After that, He was seen of James and all of the Apostles and finally to the Apostle Paul.  Jesus was around for forty days after His resurrection.  He walked and talked and ate with them.  If the case of Jesus' resurrection had gone to court, there would have been more than enough witnesses to establish the truth of His resurrection.  Christians began to worship on resurrection day, the first day of the week, in commemoration of that fact.  They went into the synagogues on the Sabbath to witness to their Jewish brethren, but met on the first day of the week for worship, teaching, and fellowship.  Initially, they met everyday, but after the the Jerusalem experience, they would meet once a week.  

The true meaning of what we call Easter continues on and we commemorate it every time we meet as Christians on Sunday.  The reality of the resurrection of  Jesus is important to all.  As the Apostle Paul logically presents it in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, “"...if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then there is no resurrection and those who testified they saw Him were liars!  If the truth of all this is that it is a lie, then we are still in our sins with no hope of  resurrection and eternal life in Christ..." .  

However...if it is true and those who have believed and put their trust in the resurrected Jesus are right, then it makes all the difference in the world.  According to the Scriptures, our destiny is dependent on faith.  Faith in the person of Jesus Christ, who was crucified, buried, and risen from the dead.  If He wasn't raised from the dead, then He was a liar, because He prophesied His own resurrection.  When the people asked for a sign that He was the Christ, He said that none would be given except the sign of the Prophet Jonah... "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth"” Mat 12:40 .

  More than once Jesus mentioned His resurrection.  He said no man would take His life.  He said He had the power to lay down His life and to take it up again.  Jesus gave His life a ransom for those who would believe in Him.   The resurrection of Jesus assures those who are believers that they do have eternal life and will be resurrected also, as He promised.  That's why we can have the "peace that passes all understanding", when death comes knocking at our door.  The message of Easter is a practical, everyday reality for those who believe.  

What about those who don't believe?  Then you've missed the boat!  Change your mind. Repent and believe! Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father but by Me".  You mean there is no other way? Jesus said He was the only way!  Either He is who He said He was and what He said was true, or He was a liar.  He proved He was the Christ, the Son of God by His resurrection.  

“What about the other peoples of the world and their religions?  Again, I put the monkey on Jesus' back.  He said He was the only way to the Father.  If that is so, we must come to grips with what we believe and what we've done with Jesus.  Religion won't save you.  Baptism won't save you.  Good works won't save you.  Only the resurrected Saviour - Jesus can and will, if you invite Him to.  “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  Rev 3:20

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Good Friday? What's "Good" About It?


Good seems like a real contradiction about what happened to Jesus. His disciples were devastated when Jesus was crucified like a criminal.  No one understood what was happening.  The torturous treatment Jesus received; the false accusations; the traitorous denial by Peter: and the fearfully fleeing disciples was all evidence of dashed expectations and fear of what would happen next.

Jesus told his disciples numerous times that he would die. They didn't get it! He said,  "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."  “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Jesus died at the Passover and became the final, ultimate sacrifice for the sins of mankind. The Book of Isaiah in chapter 53, tells us God would send the suffering messiah to die for our sins. The outcome of all that happened would become evident three days later.  Jesus rose from the grave and appeared to the disciples!

The "Good" is that the suffering and death of Jesus, in hindsight, was according to God's plan of redemption for mankind as prophesied in the Bible. The price was paid for our forgiveness and eternal life.  Of course, the seal of all that was Jesus' resurrection the third day as he said.

It was a "good" and wonderful moment when Jesus gave his life and took our penalty for sin, so that we can have a relationship with God and experience forgiveness and have the promise of eternal life. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Are We In End Times?




Jesus disciples had questions about the future.  "As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

What a loaded question! Three questions in one.  The destruction of the buildings, signs of your coming-again, and the end of the age.  

The Romans destroyed the city and second Jewish temple in 70 A.D. In the time of Jesus, He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The people were stunned. How can this be?  He was referring to the temple of his body...crucified but resurrected 3 days later.  He also prophesied the destruction of the city and temple - happened!

The sign of his coming again?  Wars, violence, pestilence, earthquakes in different places.  Matthew 24...
4And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall awaya and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come...36“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,b but the Father only.

Are we in the end times?  The signs are all around us.  A time of violence, wars and threat of war, pestilence, earthquakes, persecution, are everywhere.  Belief in God and Christ is belittled and ridiculed. The Bible is regarded as hate literature instead of the blueprint to salvation through Christ. Heaven and Hell and the truth of scripture are considered myths.

So yes, we are in end times. How long before the second coming of  Christ and the end of the present age?  Only God knows. But we are nearer than we may think. Romans 13:11 "Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

Do you know where you will spend eternity?  Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Friday, January 1, 2021

Can you find peace?

How can we find peace in this world of turmoil? In the present times of COVID19 and all of the other challenges of life. I’m talking about real personal peace that brings contentment and satisfaction that lasts forever. Many are seeking to find it in things that, instead, bring heartache and disappointment. We tend to think people with money and fame have found peace and happiness. But, behind many a prosperous door, one finds desperate people suffering from brokenness because of drugs, alcohol, divorce, loneliness, etc. Many would give all they have to have real peace of mind about themselves, life in general, and eternity.

Fear is a great factor in disturbing our peace of mind. All the “what ifs” and “whys” of everyday life can be very disturbing. Sickness and death are two of the “biggies” that cause great stress in our daily thoughts. Losing our job can be devastating. What will I do now? What about our kid's future? What about retirement and end of life? The questions and churning contribute to discouragement and depression. World events are thrust in our face. The violence and suffering that goes on all over are constantly before us in the media. What’s going to happen next. What can I do? The tide keeps rising and we find ourselves not knowing which way to turn. Where can we find peace in all of this?

Well, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ-the Prince of Peace. I’m a retired Pastor. How would you expect me to answer that question?

Money is not the answer-even though it is very useful. The “high life” or “life in the fast lane” are not the answer. Work, play, travel, or careers are not sufficient. So what is? There is only one thing in this world that can give you lasting peace, satisfaction, and security. That is Jesus! You say, “I knew it!” Religion! No, religion can cause as much problem as the other things I mentioned and still not bring peace. So what am I talking about? I’m talking about finding the one person in this world you can come to know who has the power to fill the void in your life and give you real, lasting peace. The One who knows you better than you know yourself and still loves you. He wants to have a personal relationship with you that can never be destroyed! He is the only one who can help you know your true worth. He gave himself for you that you may have forgiveness, satisfaction, and security in this world and the next. Jesus said, “come to me all of you that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” He also said, "you believe in God, believe also in me"...“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

So, what is the point? The point is this. People are looking in all the wrong places for peace. God has made known how to find peace in this world. The peace that “passes all understanding”. How do I find that peace? I could say read the Bible. Rather, I would say read the Gospel of John to start with. Read it, re-read it and read it again. I challenge you, dare you, to read it asking God to help you understand what you read. Ask God to show you how you can have real peace. If you are seeking with a true heart, you will find out that you can know real peace through knowing Jesus personally. I do, and so can you. I dare you to try it!

Saturday, November 7, 2020

What Now!?

" 1I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all people"
1Tim. 2:1-6 NIV

It seems we have a President-Elect in Joe Biden for the United States.  What now? Hopefully, after a protracted election process is finalized, we can look forward to a peaceful transition of government and national healing.  The Scriptures instruct those who are believers to pray for our leaders that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness.  Government is instituted by God for our protection and benefit. The United States Constitution begins with:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The COVID pandemic and divisive politics, policing, race issues, economy, fake news, etc have often been traumatic.  People carrying weapons in the streets, mass killings, weather related pestilence have all caused us worry and concern.

My point? What now?  Let's promote an atmosphere of calmness and wisdom in dealing with all the issues we face from now on.  Instead of division and hatred, let's promote a positive attitude and "can-do" attitude in solving our problems.  Encourage our leaders to come together in a harmonious way to find solutions instead of vitriol and anger that never solves anything.

If you are having trouble finding peace in your life, there is good news for you! Regardless of your life history and experience, when all is said and done, there is someone who can give you peace. His name is Jesus. He came into this world to show us God in tangible form. He paid our sin debt in full.  If you trust him and call upon him to be your savior, he will give you eternal life and the peace of God will pervade your life. 

What now? Pray!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Fragrance of Christ


Bible Text: (2Co_2:14-15) "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge . . . For we are to God the fragrance of Christ."

In addition to growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ, God also wants to mark our lives with the fragrance of Christ. "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge."

How believers conduct themselves in everyday life can produce a fragrance, so to speak, either good or bad - like a perfume or like a pig pen!  God wants us to live our lives in a way that honors him and produces a sweet aroma, not an offensive stink!

I. Just as there are physical fragrances that can be noticed by our physical senses, there are also spiritual fragrances that can impact us and others spiritually. If a person prepares food that is well-seasoned, others will notice the fragrance and think, "that smells wonderful".  If a person consistently presses on to know the Lord, others will be impacted by the "fragrance of that knowledge."

II. This is described as the "fragrance of Christ." This is that spiritual aroma that wafts forth from the lives of those who are getting to know the Lord. It is a validating reality that the Lord Jesus Christ is dwelling in their lives and is being evidenced through their lives. 

As we are getting to know the Lord more and more, this spiritual aroma of Christ is even impacting God Himself. "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ." God is the first one who is impacted by this Christlike fragrance.

III. Our work and testimony is always primarily unto the Lord. We who believe in Jesus Christ are called to be "proving what is acceptable to the Lord" (Eph_5:10). We are not here on earth to please ourselves. "Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Gal_1:10). We are here to please our God.

A Life Pleasing to God - 1 Thess 1:1-9 (ESV)

 1 Finally, then, brothers,  we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:  that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 

 9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

IV. What ultimately pleases our heavenly Father is His beloved Son. When the Father looked down from heaven at the baptism of His Son, He exclaimed, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mat_3:17). When our Father looks down today upon our lives, He wants to enjoy the fragrance of His Son emanating forth from our lives. "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ."

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

“Behold, I will do a new thing…”

Read-Isa 43:10-19

(Isa 43:19 NKJV) Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

    we are approaching a time of change and new things. We need to be reminded what God has said about our lives and what He is doing and will do in regard to change in our lives. They say the only things that are sure are death and taxes...and change!

    The times we've been living through these past months have changed many things.  We are preparing for a "new normal" whatever that looks like.  One thing remains sure and solid and that is God and His word. The world changes but the Word doesn't.  God's promises are sure and he that believes in them and Him have a peace that "passes all understanding"!  Consider the following:

Don’t fret over the past:

Vs. 1-“Fear not, for I have redeemed you…”

Vs. 18-“Do not remember the former things…”

Vs. 19-“I will do a New thing”

God’s providential care over us.

Vs. 1- “I have redeemed you”

Vs. 2-“I will be with you”

Vs. 4-“I have loved you”

Vs. 16 & 19-“…who makes a way…a path…a road

Vs. 25-“…blots out your transgressions”

God reminds us who He is and of His sovereignty and power.  Vs. 1,7, 10-13; Isa. 44:2,6-7

We are reminded what He can and will do for our future.
We need not be afraid-vs 1-3

We are loved and cared for by God-v. 4,7,19

We are destined to praise and glorify and testify of God and his goodness-vs. 7,10,12-15, 21

We are new creations in Christ Jesus and everyday is a new day to serve Him-

Vs. 19; 2 Cor. 5:17; James 4:14-15”whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor 5:17)

God cares: 1 Peter 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Let’s make this time of change a time of reflection and stedfastly believe in and serve God with a grateful heart looking to Him expectantly for what He will do! We do not know what a day will bring in our daily lives, but we can know God's love and protection and have the assurance of eternal life, no matter what!

(Psa 100:2 NKJV) Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.