Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Jesus is Alive and well and at the Right Hand of the Father
Howdy y'all; Here we are at the tail end of September and fall has really made itself know with a bang! I love this weather with it's warm days and cool nights. For many years we have enjoyed sitting out on the porch in the cool of the evenings just chatting, playing Uno or some other card game or board game, and sharing in Christian fellowship. And sometimes sharing our Bible study time. When family or friends are not around I love just sitting out there with my wife or even alone is wonderful. My bird feeders were always a pleasure during the days and sometimes in the early evening when things are cooling down and in the beauty and peace of twilight the birds stop by for a bedtime snack. My heart swells with joy and wonder at the beauty of God's handiwork. What an awesome God we serve! If anyone questions the existence of God I direct them to the wonders around them. The beauty of the clouds, trees, birds and even the air we breath itself can remove any doubt if one truly sees with an open mind and heart. Think about the grass and trees, how they are made, how they have chlorophyll in their makeup to create energy and food for themselves and the animals and insects that depend on them for life, or for that matter, how we depend on them for cleansing the air of CO2 and put out Oxygen for us to breath. Look at the human body and how it works; how each vein, vessel, tendon, muscle, skin and other organs work! We are NOT accidents of nature or evolution. Nothing so complex and so perfect in form and function could just be an accident. There has to be a creator to organize and orchestrate the world and all of it's wonders. I am convinced in my heart, mind and soul that every day I wake up to, every breath, every beat of my heart is a gift of a loving and caring God. I know what many people as unbelievers will say; that there is no God or creator and it is all an accident of chemistry and evolution. All I can do is show them what I see and pray for them, that God will move in their lives in a meaningful way. I know there is illness, tragic deformities and dangers all around us. I see the evil that is in our hearts as part of the human condition and all I can say is that God has His hand in all of that as well. Why, I don't know! In Genesis God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and He also created Adam and Eve to be tillers and caretakers of His garden. In the beginning there was no illness no evil in the hearts and mind of "man" (I use that inclusively). I know the story of the "Tree of Knowledge" and how Eve was tempted by Satan and took the apple and then gave it to Adam to eat. By that act of disobedience and willfulness sin came into man and we have been paying the price ever since! Romans 5:12 - "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed on all men; in that all have sinned." Sin, by definition in Judeo-Christian circles is "separation from God", and therefore SIN is ANYTHING that separates us from communion with God!! God wanted us to be with Him and to be obedient to His word; to love Him and worship Him. For that obedience we would have been free of illness and death and would have been in control, or have dominion over Eden and all of God's creation. Adam and Eve ruined that perfect scenario. But now, even in our "fallen" state, God still loves us. I know that God has given us "free will" and wants us to turn to Him by our own choice and to turn away from our propensity to sin. God gave His promise that if we obeyed Him in all things and interacted with each other in love we could inherit the Kingdom of God. He gave His "chosen people", the Jews, or Israel a land of milk and honey and His love IF they obeyed Him. Did they do it, did they obey Him? Sometimes they did and they had His favor in the times they did, BUT in the times they turned away from Him and His love they fell out of favor and were sent into exile. Our sinful nature seems to ALWAYS win out over our obedience to God. BUT, Here is the "good news", that God still loves us and cares about us even when we are sinners! How wonderful and awesome is that!? In Romans 5:8 we read; "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners , Christ died for us." GOD wants us ALL to repent of our sins and turn to Him. God gave the LAW to His people in the form of the Ten Commandments, but even with these simple rules to live by we couldn't do it. The law, instead of bringing us closer to God brought us condemnation to everlasting death because we all are sinners and cannot obey even these simple ten commands from our creator. Romans 3:23 - ". . .for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Now here is the real beauty of God, who like a perfect father, wants only the best for His children. He gave us a way to come unto Him and be worthy to share in His Kingdom; to be heirs along with His only true Son Jesus Christ. By that "gift" of His grace through Jesus Christ we are saved! Psalm 32:1-2 - "Blessed are they whose sins are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not count against him." By one man, Adam, sin and death came into the world and by one man, Jesus Christ, salvation and life everlasting is given to us. By the death and blood shed by Jesus Christ we are cleansed of all sin, His blood washes us white as snow. Jesus was the "perfect lamb' sacrifice. IF we believe in Jesus and His son-ship through God we are no longer condemned to eternal damnation and death! We are saved, we are made clean, we are brand new! By accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior we are covered by God's grace! Praise God, no longer sinners condemned, but sons and daughters and heirs, and therefore co-heirs with Christ to God's kingdom! We are made righteous, by the act of accepting Christ! By Gods grace are we saved and that grace is given to us because we have repented of our sins and are washed in the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8 - "For by grace are ye saved by faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God." and in; Romans 5:15 - ". . .and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." As you are reading this; I ask you; do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you do I praise God and thank Him for bringing a brother or sister to this blog. If you do not know Jesus as your personal savior, but you would like to, I ask you to join me in a simple prayer: Lord God I repent of my sinful ways and I turn to you and thank you for sending your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for me on the cross. I ask Him to come into my heart and to leave the Holy Spirit to dwell within me forever so that I may join into fellowship with Him and with you Lord. By the blood of Jesus I am washed clean and healed of my sinful nature. I praise you and thank you Lord for the gift of your grace by which I am saved. I thank you for the gift of eternal life. Amen. If you truly repent and truly believe in Jesus Christ as the only son of our living God you are "BORN AGAIN" You are made brand new, washed clean in the blood of Jesus. If you don't have a church where you can find fellowship I suggest that you find one that you can be comfortable in. If you have a church, talk to your pastor and tell him about your decision to ask Jesus into your heart and how you might serve in the church. If you live near Grapeland Texas I suggest you come on over to the church I attend which is New Hope Missionary Baptist Church just off highway 287 North. It is a great church and we have a wonderful pastor, a great church family and joyful Gospel based worship. I also suggest you read your Bible regularly. Try to read it cover to cover, jump around in it if you want to because you don't have to read it straight from Genesis to Revelation. I have, and many people have done it too. If you don't have a Bible just about every church I know of has Bibles available in their pews, and some give Bibles to a person who is baptised in their fellowship. There are some books in the Bible that I and many believers find to be helpful and a comfort at different times. The Psalms are awesome when you feel like the world is pressing in all around you. Romans (and chapters 5,6,7&8 in particular) are great to learn about faith and God's grace. The book of James is great to read and re-read over and over. Read them all because, . . . all scripture is given by God and is important for instruction and Christian growth. (I have paraphrased a bit there!). God is an awesome God. Do NOT be discouraged if you find yourself sinning again. No one is perfect, and even the most dedicated, born again Christian sins. The only person I know of who was perfect and without sin was Jesus Christ, and you know what the world did to Him! Jeremiah 33:11 - ". . .praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; and His mercy endureth forever . . ."