Here’s The Problem With Our Churches Today

I’m reading a lot in different places about how everybody (that is talking) is a “Christian” and how there should not be division among the “Christians” and, in general, churches/ religions/ denominations.

They think that all they have to do is call themselves a “Christian”, when in actuality, there’s a lot more to being a “Christian” than just saying you’re a “Christian” and then doing a bunch of good things.

First, let us look at what it means to be a “Christian”.

The definition of “Christian”: Christ – like or Christ – follower

How do you become a Christian?

If you look at Romans 10:9-10, it says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”.

And then Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

First, to be a Christian, we have to confess with our mouths that we are going to follow Jesus AND we have to believe in our hearts that God actually did raise Jesus from the dead on the third day, and that’s all it says we have to do. Then it says that with the heart man believes unto righteousness (or salvation or becoming a “Christian” by more than just name). Not only do we have to say that we are going to follow Jesus, we have to believe it.

It’s not enough to just believe that we are going to follow Jesus, but we also have to confess that we have, and to open our mouths and tell people and then, and only then will we be saved. (Step by step guide through salvation)

You see, there’s nothing there that says that we have to do anything special other than this, there’s no good works, there is no baptism, there’s no “Hail Mary”s. That’s IT!

Ephesians 2:8-9 backs up that statement by saying that it’s only by God’s grace that we are saved and the reason for that is: it can’t be because of anything WE DO, “and that not of yourselves,” means that there’s nothing we can do that will get us into heaven. Salvation is a gift of God, requiring no works because God doesn’t want any man to be able to brag about what they did to get to heaven.

Joining a church, giving money to a church or any other charity, working in a soup kitchen to help the poor, just generally being a good person, WILL NOT GET YOU TO HEAVEN! Really good people such as: Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul, Buddha, or your next door neighbor can NOT get to heaven by their works!

At that point, and only after all of this is completed, can we call ourselves, “Christian”!

If you have not done that, then you cannot call yourself a “Christian”! If you are relying on other things besides confessing sin and claiming Jesus as your Savior for your salvation, then you MAY NOT BE a Christian.

This is not being judgmental! This is only repeating what God’s Word says. It is stated again many other times through Scripture. What more do we need?

Once this is completed, the hard part begins. Now we have to BE LIKE Jesus!

Matthew 16:24
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Many people figure being like Jesus is just loving people. When in actuality, Jesus tells us to keep His commandments. How many commandments are we supposed to keep? Is it only “love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor”? No, it’s not!

We have to remember that Jesus is God, no question about it. We also have to remember that God gave the 10 Commandments along with many other commandments after that in the Old Testament.

Then we have the much-debated-upon “doctrines”. These doctrines come out of the same Book that tells us about Jesus and explains to us what Jesus wants us to do. The whole Bible is filled with His commandments. If we are not doing EVERYTHING that is written within the pages of the Bible, then we are not doing what God wants us to do.

Now, you want to know why people argue? It’s because of the doctrines! Are these important? ABSOLUTELY!

Some of these doctrines are cut and dried; you don’t have to wonder what they’re telling us to do. Some of them are not so cut and dried. That is where religions and denominations come in. That is why people have to argue. That is why there is dissension in our churches. That is why we have church splits as well.

With all of the “education” that we have out there today, each individual teacher (or pastor/priest) is going to teach their own point of view. In other words, too many of them, what the Bible says at that time means absolutely nothing. The unfortunate thing is that we, as the little people, end up being taught the wrong things… And we believe them.

We are told Acts 17:13, that we are to be like those in Berea, and search the Scriptures daily to see if any of these things are true.

You don’t have to believe me about any of this. You can go on living the way you want to. You can call me all sorts of names. You can do anything, but if you don’t believe the Bible, you’re wrong. I challenge you to prove me wrong. The Bible does not contradict itself.

I may consider myself to be a particular denomination; that denomination does not make me a Christian, nor does it even make me better than anyone else. I’ve chosen the denomination that I belong to, because of what they believe, instead of a non-denominational church because they don’t want to tell you what they believe or they only tell you part of the story.

It’s up to you to figure it out by studying the Bible and to find out if they are right or wrong. If they are wrong and you stay there, you are wrong. In James 4:7, it says, “for to him that knows to do good and doeth it not, to him it is SIN”! [emphasis mine]

I’ll tell you what, the journey really begins after a person becomes a Christian. As a Christian, we are to be discerning of what is right and wrong, and then call it what it is – and then do something about it!

You never saw Jesus, when confronted with something that was wrong, just walk around it. He always confronted it head-on. Think about the temple and the money changers and how He overthrew their tables, and He cast them out of the temple. He actually got mad. And this was Jesus – He got mad! Sometimes we have to, too!

When somebody says something that goes against what you THINK you believe, instead of trying to fight with them, try trying to figure out if what that person said is actually true or not. How do we find out? By going to God’s Word. Because, you see, if it doesn’t go along with what the Bible says, it’s most likely WRONG!

In a perfect world there would not be any argument between different religions or denominations. In fact, there would be no religions or denominations, we would all believe the same things. That IS coming in the near future. It will either be after Jesus comes to take us to be with Him, or it will be when this world sets up a (false) one-world-religion and demands tolerance among all religions.

There is only one way to heaven. If your church does not teach that, it is wrong! And, if you stay there, knowing what I have just said, you will be wrong too and God will hold you accountable for it at the Judgment!

IT’S YOUR CHOICE…

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Too Much On Your Plate?

“I found recently with the leaving of a very valuable person (and his wife) from our church, that where it took only one of him to get the jobs done, it now takes 5-7 people to do everything that he did while he was here.
“What I learned in this is that even though God can accomplish His will and deeds with only one person, but when more people have to help to fill in and complete His little tasks, God was using this opportunity to grow the “little” people better so that the church can actually grow and branch out.

The Church's "Big Toe"

“Remember that we are all parts of the body of Christ, the Church, but it does no good for a “tooth” to be bigger than the “big toe”. Even though the tooth might bite and chew really great, the body has a habit of losing its balance because the big toe is too small and can’t give the counterbalance that the body needs.
“Sometimes, we just need to let some others experience the “growth” that you may not really need, or maybe you can spread your wealth of knowledge to someone else so they can grow in their Christian walk.”

— Mark Davis

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

True Independence

americaneagleflag

Independence is celebrated on July 4th each year in the United States of America.  Of course this independence was won 200+ years ago, giving us freedom from the oppression of England in that day.

What is Independence?

  • Freedom?
  • Self-determination?
  • Potency?
  • Resilience?
  • Self-reliance?
  • Liberty?
  • Self-governing?
  • Sovereignty?

The United States of America formally declared their independence from England on July 4th, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

What most people don’t understand is that they are also under the tyrannical reign of none other than Satan himself.  Just because they don’t see him in front of their noses doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exist and doesn’t reign.  The people of the American colonies did not see the king of England.  In fact many of the colonists had never even stepped foot in England, but yet they were under his rule and oppression.  In fact they might, on occasion, even see a British soldier and at times even squads and whole armies of them.

We, no matter where you might live (this applies to you too), don’t see Satan himself or even his soldiers that we would normally call his demons, which are usually in spirit form.  Frequently, most people are influenced by one or more of his demons and some people have even made their bodies the homes of some (one or more) of these demons – we would normally say that these people are possessed by the demons. And, yes, it is very real.  It is not something that was made up in a story book or movie or t.v. show.

Why is this so important?  Because if we follow, or even allow ourselves to be controlled by Satan and his minions, we will follow him to eternal death. Some will call this HELL!

Why is Satan so bad?  Think about what Satan is related to in our own terms today.  What is he known for? He is the “Father of Lies”;  he is behind everything evil and bad.  How far down on the “ruler of bad” does his influence go?  All the way down! Even to the smallest white lie or even a bad thought.

Why should it be so important to us?

You see, Satan is so crafty that he makes bad (henceforth referred to as SIN) look so enjoyable and fun – not to say that all things enjoyable and fun are sins – that most people that do it don’t even think twice about it because it doesn’t seem wrong.

But when you look at the outcome of sin, it always comes out bad, sometimes even to the point of the death of themselves or even someone else.  Immediately, it might seem or even be harmless, but, you see, the evil has already been done.

When a person starts smoking a cigarette it doesn’t kill them.  But maybe, many years later, after that person has smoked all of their life since, one day a doctor tells them that they have lung cancer.  But at the beginning it didn’t seem so bad.  It didn’t seem to hurt anyone.  It did smell up the house quite a bit, so maybe it would be a better idea to smoke outside. Hmm.

He didn’t realize that while smoking obviously causes damage to the lungs, the “bad” that the cigarettes do in the lungs doesn’t stop there. It gets into the bloodstream and it gets into other organs and tissues and starts killing them too.

He didn’t realize that because he smoked, it makes his likelihood to contract any other type of cancer 50% more. In any organ or tissue in his whole body.

He didn’t realize that just the exposure of the smoke to others who might not smoke, increases the other person’s chances of contracting cancer as well as many other diseases (and deformities).  He didn’t even think that he might be hurting someone else at the same time.

I write this passionately because some of this has happened to me, you can read about some of it here.

You see, I may not have total liberty and freedom from the effects of the sins that I have committed in my mortal body, but I have the awesome promise that when I no longer have this human body and my soul lives on in eternity, I will have a beautiful and perfect body (Phil. 3: 21; 1 Cor. 15: 42-44; 1 John 3: 2);  I will experience no pain – at all! (Rev. 21: 4)

I suffer on a regular and constant basis as a result of my sin but it serves as a reminder of the grace of God.

You see, just as sin will eventually lead to death (physical and eternal), eternal life requires a penalty as well.  Because God cannot live in a place where there is sin, and because of the fact that everyone has sinned (Rom. 3: 23; Rom. 3: 10), there is no way that any person on earth – past or present – has lived a perfect and sinless life so that we could warrant entry into God’s presence.

Time for celebration now – God figured out a way that we can get into heaven (His home).  He figured out a way that someone else could take the penalty of sin – death – for us!  What joy!  But who would be able to do that?  It would have to be none other than God Himself.

How could that be?  How would He do it?  It just so happens that God has 3 parts to Him (just like we have 3 parts – body, soul and spirit): God the Father (Who lives in Heaven), God the Son, Jesus (the One that has the physical body); and God the Spirit (the spirit that is in all places at all times).  God determined that He would send His Son to die for us – to take our place in death, so that we could have eternal life.

Jesus, in human form (actually we are in His form, but that is another story), was sent to earth as a baby, to be born of a virgin – Mary.  He was raised by Mary and her husband Joseph until He was around 30 years old all the while Jesus didn’t sin one time – He lived the perfect life that we couldn’t live.  Then Jesus started His ministry years – about 3 years. During which time, He did many miracles such as: Turning water into wine; Healing the sick and disabled people; He raised dead people.  He proved that while He was still man and sinless, He was still God and All Powerful!

But then came the penalty.  Remember that Jesus was sent to earth by The Father to take the penalty for our sins which would be death!

He would have to die for us.

You know, Jesus, being God still, had the ability to call it quits at any time He wanted to while He was still on earth – and with everything that He went through, I would have called it quits early in His life, I think. But He didn’t!  He stuck it out here on earth and dealt with all of the cuts and bruises and all the temptations that we would go through.  But He was still sinless, perfect and still a man!

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us – so that we don’t have to. (John 3: 15 – 16; Rom. 5: 8)  Could you imagine, willingly handing your only son over to have him blatantly murdered?  There would be no one left to pass on your family name.  All of the love that you have given and received from/to your son… gone – as a human, never to return – forever!

Jesus knew why He was there.  He knew what He had to do.  DIE!

He died in the most horrific, barbaric and painful way that they had at that time – the cross.  Two pieces of good sized trees, cut to go one across the other.

One of the tree poles was longer so that it would stick up in the air and so that they could put it in a pretty deep hole to prop it up. Furthermore, they publicly humiliated Him by forcing Him to lift up His own cross and drag it along the path, up the hill to Mt. Golgotha (meaning: the place of the skull).

Once they got to the top of the mount, they then took His hand and held it to the other piece towards the end and used a spike that was about 9 inches long to drive through his hand and then into the wood so that it wouldn’t pull off.  Then they did the same to the other side, stretching His arms as far apart as they would go.

They took his feet and, using the same kind of nail, drove the spike through both of His feet together and then into the wood.

Since the Jews hated Him, thinking Him to be a heretic and full of blasphemy because He called Himself the Son of God and God Himself, they mocked Him calling Him, “The King of the Jews”.  Because of this, they fashioned a crown out of thorn branches.  The thorns were said to be nearly 2 inches long.  They then put the crown on His head and then shoved it into His scalp as far as it would go.  They then put a sign at the top of the cross above His head that said “King of the Jews”.  They mocked Him and tore His beard out of His face by the clumps.  They gave Him vinegar on a sponge to drink, which, of course, He couldn’t drink or even swallow.  In fact it stung His face in the wounds that had been given Him through His beatings.

After all that, a group of soldiers lifted Jesus, being attached to the cross, up, putting the bottom of the pole into the hole and let it drop – probably a couple of feet – and it fell down.  Then it stopped, ripping and tearing at His flesh on His hands.  In fact, when He hung on that cross, His rib cage was lifted up into a position to where He couldn’t get a breath of air.  He had to push Himself up with His nail-torn feet.  Oh, what excruciating pain that must have been.  And it was for you and for me.

While on this cross, Jesus took upon Himself the weight of ALL of the sins of the world – past, present and future (Is. 53:4, 5; 1 Peter 2: 24). In fact, for a period of three hours, the skies turned dark, like an eclipse except it lasted for three hours (Mark 15: 33). During those three hours, God the Father turned His back from Jesus, likely, because He couldn’t look upon all of that sin.

Mark 15:34 says, “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 

After that He said, “It is finished.” Then He bowed His head and died. Soon after He died, the soldiers came to Him to make sure He was dead. Instead of breaking His leg like the other two that He was crucified with, and seeing that He was obviously dead already, they just took a spear and jabbed it into His side and blood and water gushed out.

He was buried in a borrowed tomb with a huge round stone rolled in front of the doorway so that it couldn’t be rolled away without much effort.  In fact, it took two to three men to move it in or out of place.  Once it was in place, the Romans placed 2 soldiers at the tomb to guard it because they had heard that Jesus said that He would rise again after He was crucified, so they figured that if they placed guards there for a few days (He said that it would happen on the third day) to make sure that the disciples didn’t come to rob the grave and make it look like He had risen.

God is so much more powerful than that.  He caused the guards to fall asleep and then God’s angel rolled the stone away from the tomb and Jesus was risen from the dead.  Not because of the angels but because He is God and He caused Himself to be risen from that grave.

Mary Magdalene was the first to come to the tomb to pay her respects to “the dead”, Jesus, and when she got there, she saw that the stone was moved and she looked inside and saw two “men” – actually angels – sitting in the place where the Lord was laid.  They asked her why she was crying and she told them because they had taken her Lord and she didn’t know where they had taken Him.

After that she turned around and there was a man (Jesus) standing at the tomb opening and, Mary supposed that He was the gardener.  He then asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for.  She asked Him if they had taken Him somewhere and that she would like to know where.

Jesus said to her, “Mary”.  She recognised His voice and said, “Master”! He told her not to touch Him yet because He had not yet ascended unto the Father.

Mary ran and told everyone else – the disciples.  The same evening, all of the disciples were sitting in a room together and the door was closed then Jesus just appeared in front of them and He told them to be calm and not worry.  They recognised Him and He showed them His scars in His hands and feet and his side and they knew that they had seen the Lord. (John 20: 11 – 20).

You see, Jesus was truly God!  If He wasn’t, He couldn’t have raised Himself from the dead just like He told everyone before He died.

The fact of the matter is here, that Jesus did all of this for you and for me. To take our sins away from us so that we are no longer looked at by God as sinners, but as redeemed or bought back by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus’ blood was shed to cover all of the sins of the world, so that God no longer sees them as sin that we are accountable for.  We can now go to Heaven to be with Him when we die.

We are now set free from the sin and the eternal death that goes along with it (Romans 6: 23).  We are now able to be called “Christians”.

But wait!  It doesn’t stop there!

God wants to give us this independence from sin, but He doesn’t just give it to everyone and they don’t know it.  He wants us to come to Him and ask Him for it (Romans 10: 9 – 10; Romans 10: 13).  That is why “everybody” isn’t saved from the eternal death in Hell.  That is why it is so important that I tell you this story.  That is why we, as Christians, have an obligation to spread the Word about Jesus Christ and what He did for us.

You see, that is True Independence!

Just like our soldiers went to war and fought and died (some of them) so that we can have the liberties that we have and the independence from the oppression of an evil dictator, Jesus went to war against sin and the Devil and died – but as He died (and rose again), He won the war against the Devil and paid the price so that we can have independence from the penalty of sin.

Friend, if you have not yet asked Jesus for His salvation, His independence, I urge you to do it right now.  Please, with all sincerity, repeat this little prayer (talking to Jesus) after me:

Dear Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner . . . and I deserve the penalty of death and hell. . . . Jesus, I’m sorry for my sins, . . . and I want you to take away my sins . . . so that I can go to Heaven to be with you when I die. . . . I want you to be the Lord of my life . . . and make me a new and better person . . . so that I can reflect the changes . . . that you have made in my life. . . . and so that I can share the great news . . . to my friends and family and everyone I know . . . so that they can see You in me. . . . Thank you, Jesus . . . for removing my sins from me  . . . so that I can have eternal life. . . . In Your name, Jesus, . . . Amen.

Christian, if you just prayed that prayer with me, I’d like you to just make a comment at the bottom of this page or go to my Decision Made page and just let me know what you have done.  It is something that all of us can rejoice about and we want to rejoice with you about it.  It shouldn’t be anything embarrassing to you to let me/us know about this life changing decision that you have just made that is going to change your life and who you are, for the rest of your life.

The wonderful thing about being a Christian is that when we ask Jesus to take away our sins and to forgive us, He comes in to live in our life (some people even say that He comes in to your heart – same thing) and He will NEVER leave you, no matter what you might do that might displease Him. If you do something again that is a sin, just ask God to take that sin away and forgive you of it, and He will.

Let’s all live a life of True Independence!

In Christ’s Name and in His love,

–Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading – These articles are strongly recommended:

Prayer

Once a person has initiated a personal relationship with God, he/she should want to try to cultivate that new relationship with God.

As with any other type of relationship, you can NOT have a relationship without communication; there needs to be you talking to someone and that someone talking back to you.  That is the way you get to know each other.  One talks – the other listens.  It doesn’t work so well when one does all of the talking and the other doesn’t talk at all.  It becomes a one sided love affair, so to speak.

So now we have this “love affair”; between you… and God.  How does that work?

I know that there is this part about how you are supposed to do what God wants you to do but how do you really know what that is?

It all has to do with prayer. 

God made the first move by sending Jesus to die for our sins. 

You made the next move by trusting in His redemptive blood to save you from sin’s deadly fury. 

God has now made you a part of His family; a son of God; joint-heirs with Jesus to the King-hood of God.

The next step is that we are to follow Christ. 

Now we are back to where we started again.  Where do you go from here?

You need two things:

1) A Bible (if you don’t have a physical Bible, you obviously have the internet and there are bibles available online).
2) An insatiable desire to please God by learning and doing what He tells you to do.

If you look around you at church, you will notice that there is not one person around you that is anything like you.  That is exactly the way God wants it, because you are special.  No one else has the same set of skills or personality traits that you have.  God needs YOU to do exactly the things that you are equipped to do.  Sometimes you might know right off hand what those things are that need to be done, but other times, you have to wait for years to find out what it is that He wants you to do for Him.

Prayer

Prayer is another way of saying that we are talking to God.  Unless you know something that I don’t, talking to Him is very much unlike the way we talk to others around us right now.  We can see most people that we talk to (unless they are on the phone or on the internet).  They are visible to us.

However, we have to pray to God “in the Spirit” because He literally is within you.  God, the Father, is still in Heaven.  Jesus, God the Son, is in Heaven awaiting His return for us, but when Jesus left us, He gave to us a “Comforter”, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit – the Third Person of the triune Godhead. According to Romans 8:9, the Spirit “dwells within” us.

I’ll give you one way to look at it but there are many others as well…

Jesus_Teaching

The “Lord’s Prayer”
Matthew 6:9-13
  9 “Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
 10 “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven.
 11 “Give us this day our daily bread.
 12 “And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
 13 “And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
forever.
Amen.”
 
We’ve all heard this prayer at some time or another and are quite familiar with it, but do we really know what it is or what it was intended for?  It is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer” but, truth be told, our Lord wasn’t really praying when He said it.  So then what was it said for?
 
“The Lord’s Prayer” was intended to be a model for us so that we might learn to talk to God too.
 
In Matthew 6 at the beginning of verse 9, it actually says, “After this manner therefore pray ye.”  This “prayer” was actually intended to be a model prayer for us to be able to use to talk to God.  You see, prior to this time, normal people were never expected to be able to talk to God unless you were a prophet or a priest or maybe a king.  We were to have a “go-between”, or a priest to be able to have his prayers reach God.  Today we don’t need a priest due to the fact that we are to pray to God through Jesus, or in Jesus’ name.  (John 14: 13-14; John 15: 16; John 16: 23-24; John 16: 26)
 

Let’s take this model apart and see how this is supposed to work.

Greeting:

Our Father

“which art in heaven”

What specific Father are we speaking to (just in case there might be another father in the room where you are praying so there is no confusion).

“hallowed be thy name”

Showing reverence to our one and only Holy Father.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Praying for His kingdom to finally come because we want to see Him again, and that His will will be done on earth as it is always done in Heaven.  Unfortunately, enough, His will isn’t done on earth that often.

Give us this day our daily bread.”

We are asking for our daily sustenance.  We are relying on Him to provide for us our food and raiment for the day.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Help those whom we owe to forgive our debts in the same manner in which we forgive those who owe us.  In other words, “do unto others as we would have them do unto us”.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

This is very similar to the previous line where, we are asking our Heavenly Father to keep us from temptation and, if/when we fall, that He would remove us from that situation, or “evil”.

This final segment is frequently left out of our current “Lord’s Prayers”.  For some reason, someone doesn’t want it to happen:

For thine is the kingdom,”

His kingdom is here, now!  This is not the same kingdom for which we prayed just a few minutes ago above, but rather we are asking for His Spirit to be around us and to work around us for this “time frame”, the time in which we live now.

and the power,”

… And He has ALL the power in this world and ALL of the power OVER this world.  He is ALL POWERFUL!

and the glory,”

… And because He is all powerful, we will give Him ALL the glory that is due to Him for everything that He does for us and around us, because He is ALL GLORIOUS!

“,forever.”

How long?

forever!”

“Amen.”

Pause, and close the prayer.  (Sort of like saying your good-byes.)

Later in scripture, Jesus taught that “…whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” – John 14: 13. (mentioned above)

So, to most properly end the prayer (but by all means not the only way to do it) we would say:

“In Jesus’ name we ask these things.  Amen.”

 More to come regarding Prayer.

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Additional Reading:

 

 

 

 

What Can I Expect Now That I Am A Christian?

I see many people that finally make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their savior and they seem to think that since they are saved, now, everything is going to change in their life. All of their problems are gone. They are now going to become debt free. Their job is going to be better and they can finally get along with their bosses. All of their family squabbles will go away and now their family is going to love them for who they are.

Well, I’m sorry to tell you that there is nothing further from the truth than that.  I am proof.

Since I have been saved I’ve had really good things happen to me and I have had some really bad things happen to me. I have been addicted to drugs, smoking and alcohol. Yes, I lived a party life. There were times during that time when I thought things were going really great (at least for me) and then the fun was gone. The problem with that kind of lifestyle is that every thing that you do ends up having a negative effect on you – both mentally and physically. Some of my indiscretions, I feel, I still pay for today both mentally and physically.

The wild times seemed really great at the time (in the back of my mind, I knew that what I was doing was wrong and God was not happy with me and sometimes I even dared Him to strike me dead if I was such a bad person and He didn’t like me anymore – notice He never did) but the fun was only for a while – it could have been a few hours or even a few years, and anything in between.

Some might think that it might be fun for me to go into detail about all of the things I’ve done that was bad, but the only thing that that would do is possibly titillate your senses and bring things back up in my memories that I would rather not think about because those things are “under the blood” of Jesus Christ – He has forgiven me of those things and I am done with them now. I’m sorry to tell you that I am not going into detail regarding my sins. I will suffice it to say that I kind of feel like the Apostle Paul when he said that he was the “Chief of sinners”. If there was anyone that really didn’t deserve to go to Heaven, it would be me!

When we get saved, we are supposed to be changed into a new creation, old things are supposed to be passed away and the best thing is that He replaces those old dead things with new interests (2 Corinthians 5:17). I may be making this sound like it is a walk in the park right here – but it isn’t. Some of those old dead things like to hang on for a while and make our lives miserable for a while longer.

The great thing about it all is that Jesus is right there with us to hold our hands to make the transition easier and so that you can experience the true love of God (1 Corinthians 10:13), from Him and also from others that share your new-found faith that may have gone through something similar. It pays to check with your local church to see if there might be someone in particular that you could get together with that might be able to give you some help. “The help” may be someone, doing anything from just hanging out and having a strong shoulder for you to cry on or it could be someone that feels that the best comfort would be in the pages of God’s Word – in His promises and the things that Jesus did while He was walking on the earth.

The bottom line is that once you become a Christian, life is not going to be a walk in the park – if it is, you are doing something wrong. The thing is that if things are just “peaches and cream”, then you probably aren’t working for God! You see, when we are doing the right thing, the devil is going to do anything and everything to try to keep you from getting your job done for God. If you are NOT working for Christ, the devil is cheering you along on the sidelines because you are doing NOTHING for Christ and therefore you aren’t any threat to him.

Christians, I’m trying to tell you, without pulling punches, that the best thing that you could be doing right now is serving God in everything that you do. How do you do that? Well, you have to examine your life and get rid of those things in your life that don’t have any value in serving the Lord and get them out of your life. In place of those things you MUST replace them with good things that God would approve of in your life, that would make you a better Christian. It will seem at times that the whole situation isn’t worth it for you to do these things.

I’ll tell you this right now, we are made for God’s use not for our own pleasure. If what you are doing is for yourself, you need to rethink it and probably change it. If it serves the flesh, and especially in a sexual manner, that would be unpleasing to the Lord, you need to get rid of it. Break off that relationship that you shouldn’t be in. Yes, it will be hard at first. Anything worth having is worth working for and worth sacrificing for. Sacrifice means that you have to give something up or change something.

Listen to what the Bible says about it all:

Jesus said this:
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Your reward is going to be in heaven. I know it is hard to equate what you are doing when you don’t see immediate reward for it, but please do it anyway.

Paul said this, starting out talking about some of the Jews that were out in the wilderness after leaving Egypt:
1 Corinthians 10:5 “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:6 “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1 Corinthians 10:7 “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. [Exodus 32:6]
1 Corinthians 10:8 “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1 Corinthians 10:9 “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1 Corinthians 10:10 “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
1 Corinthians 10:11 “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 Corinthians 10:12 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:14 “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:15 “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.”
Paul is assuming that he is talking to wise people. To people that are intelligent and will take what he is talking about and apply it to their lives to make themselves better in the sight of God.

Remember that, in verse 13 of 1 Corinthians 10, Paul tells us that when we are tempted of the devil (and all temptation is of the devil) that God is faithful and will provide, at the same time of temptation, a way to escape the temptation. As Jesus said above, in Matthew 5:12, our reward may not be evident and obvious here on earth but we will definitely be rewarded in heaven.

You are not the only one that goes through these situations and feelings. You aren’t the first to go through any situation. You CAN get through it! You NEED the help of Jesus to get you through. Just call on Him to help you. He wants you to ask Him for help. Don’t take this lightly. This is a very serious matter. This is a matter that will affect your eternal future and, as a result, it is not something that you should be messing around with. Face this head on with Jesus and kick this temptation to the curb and let the devil know that, with God’s help, you are nothing for him to mess with. He will fail every time if you truly trust in God to help you get through the situation.

As I said before, you are not alone, not only do you have God’s help, but you can contact a pastor at your local church and he will be more than willing to help you get through it as well. We all need to have mentor friends around us to keep us accountable as a support net.

Brother or Sister, I pray with you right now that you will look to Jesus for His help. Call your church or your mentor friend for support. Do NOT let this slip away without facing and defeating your problem.

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Related Links:

Top 10 Bible Truths

1. All men are sinners:

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”

Ecclesiastes 7:20
“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”

Isaiah 64:6
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Romans 3:10
“There is none righteous, no not one”

James 2:10
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

1 John 1:8
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

2. Salvation by grace (undeserved mercy), not works:

Ephesians 2:8, 9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Mark 10:25-27
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

Romans 3:20
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Romans 11:6
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Galatians 2:16
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Titus 3:5
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

 

3. Salvation only through Jesus:

Acts 4:12
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God, one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, “

John 3:36
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

John 8:24
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

John 10:1
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

John 10:9
I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 14:6
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.

1 Corinthians 3:11
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

1 John 5:12
“He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

 

4. Believe on Jesus:

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 11:25,26
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believe you this?

Acts 16:31
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Romans 10:9, 10
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:  for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”

5. Receive Jesus:

Revelation 3:20
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 eat with him, and he with me.

John 1:12
“But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

Galatians 4:6
“And because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

Ephesians 3:17-19
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

 

6. Eternal salvation:

A. You can never lose it, even if you make mistakes and fall:

Psalm 37:24
“Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand”

John 3:36
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

John 6:37
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 10:28
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand

Romans 8:38,39
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

1 Corinthians 5:5
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”

Hebrews 13:5
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

2 Timothy 2:12
“If we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: “

1 John 5:13
“These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God”

B. But the Lord will chasten you for wrongdoing:

Psalm 89:30-34
“If his children forsake my law, And walk not in my judgments;  If they break my statutes, And keep not my commandments;  Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes.  Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.  My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”

 Hebrews 12:5-8
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children:  My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards and not sons.”

Revelation 3:19
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

 

7. Receiving Jesus guarantees eternal life in Heaven:

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. “

John 11:26
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

John 14:2-3
In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1 Peter 1:3, 4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”

1 John 5:11, 12
 “And this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

(See Revelation 21:1-27 and 22:1-5 for a description of Heaven)

 

8. The results of being born again:

A. Spiritual rebirth makes you a new creature:

John 3:3
“Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.””

Matthew 18:3
Verily, I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

John 1:12, 13
“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.  Which were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Romans 12:2
“Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

1 Peter 1:23
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

B. You will desire to work for Jesus:

Ephesians 2:10
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Titus 2:12-14
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works.”

(See also Ephesians 4:21-24; Colossians 3:8-10; Titus 3:8; James 2:18.)

 

9. Sin brings about spiritual death; but Jesus died in our place, taking our punishment:

Isaiah 59:2
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 5:8
“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

2 Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John  2:1, 2
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation (replacement sacrifice) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

10. In the Mosaic law, blood is payment for sin; Jesus’ death paid that price in full:

Leviticus 17:11
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Hebrews 9:22
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

Matthew 26:28
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

John 1:29
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and sayeth, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.””

Ephesians 1:7
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace,”
(See also 1 John 2:12)

1 Peter 1:18, 19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver or gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.“

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Related Articles:

WHY Do I NOT See The Blessings of God In My Life?

“I thought that things were going O.K. lately and didn’t realize that I was doing something wrong but apparently I guess I have been.”

Have you thought that recently but then in your daily life you don’t seem to see God’s hand working in your life?  You haven’t really seen God’s blessings apparent in your life or surrounding you?  If you are a “child” (under 18 or still living with mom and dad), has it seemed that you aren’t getting things like you would like them?

I could take this any number of different directions and none of them would be off course.  But, I will only try to stick to a couple of different avenues here.

I constantly hear people wanting to know how to find the will of God for their lives.  I also hear some of the same people ask why they don’t seem to see God’s blessings in their lives.

What do I mean by God’s blessings?  Some of us might think that God’s blessings would be just waking up in the morning and they would be correct, but people seem to take things like that for granted.  Most people consider God’s blessings to be something like finding a $10 bill on the sidewalk or something out of the blue like that.  Maybe it could be that your car broke down and a friend of yours fixed it for you without you having to incur major labor bills to get it fixed.

You see, when you are doing God’s will you will start to see some of these blessings pop up.  You also must realize that when you are doing God’s will, you are also accumulating rewards and riches in heaven rather than on earth, so, you may not see some of your “blessings” here on earth, but eventually you will see them and going the extra mile to do God’s will will actually be worth it for you.

Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

We find may places in scripture telling us what to do and what not to do.  It spells things out pretty clearly what God wants us to do to receive the blessings for our actions.  The above verse tells us that we are to think on, and eventually do, all of these things: True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely, Of Good Report, Virtuous and Worthy Of Praise — we are to “think on these things”.

How many times do we go through our days, one after the other, in our ruts, and we do the same things day after day… and everything we are doing (or at least most everything) is for us.  It’s all about “ME”.  We are all worried about ourselves and what affects us and our well being.  If something goes against US then we will most likely not do it.

When was the last time you held a door open for someone behind you going into a fast food restaurant and let them go into the line in front of you?  When was the last time you, when driving, let someone in in front of you when you didn’t really have to, instead of squeezing them out and not letting them in?  After all, they were the ones that were merging, not you.

That is just a couple of examples of selfishness – and I could go on and on with many more examples, but I think you might have the idea that I am getting at here.

Many times in the Bible, we see that God is telling us that we should always put others first before ourselves.

Proverbs 18:24  “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…” — Here we see that we are to act first before we get the reward.  Here the action is to be friendly and the reward is to have friends.

Rarely is it that we get something before we do something to get it.  We aren’t going to get paid for doing a job before we do the  job.

The Bible lays it out for us: if we are to receive a blessing, we are first to act in a manner that is bless-able (I’m sure that isn’t a word, but it works).  I have prepared a post that lists a whole bunch of Bible verses that spell out what IS the will of God, how to FIND the will of God and what to DO to be in the will of God. You can read it here.

I will give you a few references here that will give you an idea what I was talking about before – just so you know that this isn’t just me trying to get you to do something for ME but rather for your own well-being and for you to receive the blessings of God.  Keep following me here:

1 Peter 3:17  “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” — We are told here that we should do the right thing (“well doing”) even if it means that we suffer for it.

Mark 3:35  For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. — If we do the will of God as it is spelled out, we act as the family of Jesus.  What better blessing can there be than that?

2 Corinthians 8:5  “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” — Putting themselves last, they first gave themselves to the Lord as is the will of God.  If we do this, we will be more willing to put others before ourselves and therefore receive the blessing.

Ephesians 6:6  “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” — If we do the will of God from the heart, with the right spirit, we are the servants of Christ.  Because we are doing it in the right spirit, we are doing it for God rather than so that others can see us and we can receive the glory of men for it.

1 Thessalonians 4:3  “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” — Staying away from fornication is just another way to do the will of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” — It is the will of God that we give thanks – even if things don’t go the way that we want them to go.  Remember that God has a master plan for our lives that we don’t know about.  Every time that something goes “wrong”, it might be an inconvenience to us, but in reality, it prepares us to be able to serve Him in another area, another time. Give thanks, always!

Hebrews 10:36  “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” — Patience is required.  God’s timing is perfect regardless what we think it should be or not, He knows what is best for us.  He promises to take care of us.  Give it to Him and let Him live out His promise.

1 Peter 2:15  “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:” — Remember that when you are doing the will of God, the other “men” are the ignorant and foolish ones – not you!  Don’t worry about what they might say about you or do to you.

1 Peter 4:2  “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” — The “flesh” is the lusts of men — the desires to live in sin and the sin nature that we, as Christians, have sworn off — we should live out the rest of our lives doing the will of God.

1 Peter 4:19  “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” — We are God’s, as Christians.  Therefore, as we suffer for doing the will of God we are to allow God to take care of us.

1 John 2:17  “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” — This goes with the previous verse:  the things of the world are only temporary and also the pleasure that is derived from doing the things of the world and those things will pass away – they are only pleasurable in this life – but, if we do the will of God, we will live forever with God in heaven.

Matthew 20:16  “So the last shall be first, and the first last:” — As we go through our lives and live for ourselves, putting ourselves first, the Bible here indicates that the first (or those who live for themselves as being first) will be the last, but those who live for others (putting themselves after others – last) will end up being first.  This can almost be a selfish thing to do.  If you live for others for yourself, you will not receive a reward, but rather, if you live for others in the right spirit, then you will receive the reward and thus become first.

1 Corinthians 10:31  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” — As we are living for others and in the right spirit, we deflect the glory from ourselves and onto God.  He alone should receive the glory.

Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” — I mentioned this verse earlier, but it comes into play here again, if we do all of these things and receive any “virtue” lavished onto ourselves, we are to give that virtue and any praise that might be given you, to Christ. This is similar to the wide receiver in a football game that receives a touchdown pass and kneels in the end zone and says a small prayer to show the fans that he is not taking the praise for the achievement but rather giving it to God.  This is not a show-off thing for him to do to make him look  better but rather he wants God to look better for allowing him and giving him the strength and ability to get that touchdown…

John 15:5  “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” We can do NOTHING without the power of God — even if a person isn’t a Christian, God has created them and has given them the ability to do whatever we/they do.  Without God, we are powerless!

I hope that with this list of verses, you can see that it is the will of God that we DO NOT live for ourselves, but rather for others.  We need to put this acronym into action:

J — Jesus
O — Others
Y — You

If you do things in this order you will experience true JOY.  It takes a lot of effort to do this and it really isn’t easy to start with, but once you start doing it, and in the right spirit, you will start seeing God’s blessings in your life and you will have more happiness than you have ever experienced before.

Teens reading this:
If you start living like this, your parents will think that an alien has taken their child.  If you do things when they ask you to do them — “Delayed obedience is disobedience”; “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20) — you will be doing the will of God in this regard and will notice that the air in your house will be much easier to breathe.  Your parents will not believe it is you.

If you are a new Christian and start living like this, you will be living as God wants you to live and you will make your parents wonder what it is that makes the difference in your life and that will give you the opportunity to share the gospel with them as well.  If they see no difference in you, you may never see them in heaven with you.

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Truth or Lie: Reality Check – I’m Heartsick!

Christians, or maybe you aren’t yet, I want to take this chance to say that I mimik the thoughts that Cheryl says here. I have been feeling the same way for months now, that is why I have started blogging and trying to “train” Christians on how to grow in their new Christian lives.

I read these words today and it makes me cry to think that all of this is true, and yet I know it is true. I share Cheryl’s burden here. If you have read my story, you know that I came from a similar past. Notice that I said that “I came from”… that past is past. It no longer has to be the present and definitely doesn’t have to be the future.

God has changed my life as well. Sometimes, God brings other people into our lives to help keep us in check and give us a reason to get in line and stay in line. My person is my wife! She is my reason that I want to change, besides the fact that I have given my life to Christ and want to please Him instead of anything else. I too, had to give up cigarettes and alcohol and some drugs and many other things that I don’t need to go into here.

My point is that if He can bring me out of it, He can do it for anyone! I mean that with all my heart, that is why I do what I do here on my blog. You see, before I fully gave my life to Christ (yes, I was already saved and doing those things – it can happen), I had become partially paralyzed from the chest down, I’d had 2 broken marriages, and I had just been told that I had terminal cancer. God didn’t do these things to me – I did. My life was terrible and these things proved it.

I was able to start a wonderful new chapter in my life with my new beautiful bride and her 2 kids (mine too now) and the greatest thing about it is that we are all now doing it in God’s power, not our own and we are not doing it for ourselves but for the Lord.

That was a little over 5 years ago. I wasn’t supposed to live that much longer but God has kept me going, and I do it all for Him.

Friends, please, listen to the words on this page and not only with your (ears) eyes but with your hearts. If it points fingers at you, you need to do something about it and get right with God and give HIM your problems and let HIM change your life. He WILL do it but only if you LET Him. Thank you Cheryl for sharing this with us.
— Mark

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Burning Fire Shut Up In My Bones

Do you ever feel heartsick for the church? I’m not talking about the various places that we visit on Sundays and sometimes through the week. I’m talking about the body of Christ, those people who claim to be children of God. Do you ever feel like picking her up and shaking her? Do you ever get angry and outraged at some of the foolish things she does, because you know that she’s playing with fire, and endangering her own life, as well as the lives of others? Do you ever feel like weeping and wailing and grieving and mourning for her?

I do. My heart weighs heavily on me, and I’m so deeply troubled and grieved for the people who comprise the church. You see, somewhere along the way, many of the men, women and children were taught a lie, and because that lie felt more comfortable than the truth…

View original post 2,121 more words

Guilt

O.K. You did it!

Guilty Pleasures - Big Mac Combo

Now a sharp nagging guilt has set in.

Nobody else knew; or maybe they did.  One thing is for certain… You know and God knows and listened.  He knows all about it.  He is the One who knows the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Mark 7:21 – 23
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

The big problem now is:  “how can I live under this load of guilt?”

It might have been because of some exchange of harsh, cruel words; disobedience; some kind of sexual sin; theft of what is not yours; or a host of any other things.  It makes no difference what kind of a problem you created.  The point is… it was wrong – and it has succeeded in creating a big case of guilt.  You know about it and God knows all about it.  He even knows your thoughts and motives.  You cannot fool God.  You will ultimately give answer to the “all-knowing God”!

You are tired of the load of guilt!  The question now that needs an answer is, “What can be done about it?”  Is there any hope of relief from this nagging problem?

You CAN’T go on this way!

I want to carefully explain what has been done for this situation.  I want you to know that you are not alone with the problem of guilt.  Everyone has that same tendency toward sin.

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.

That sin can show its ugly head in a variety of different ways.  Nevertheless, it does show itself.  And… most assuredly it has guilt and consequences.

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There are basically two kinds of sinners in the world…  The lost ones – never trusted Jesus to save them – and there are the saved ones – they have been to Jesus and have accepted God’s free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.  Both can experience guilt.

Let’s consider first the person who has never put his trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour, or the lost sinner.  These have not faced their sin problem and the consequences. They are still trying to do it all themselves. This will never work.

Ephesians 2:8, 9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

No matter how sincere or religious they are, they cannot do what God requires.  This person (along with all other people on earth) has been born with a sin-nature.

There is one exception, though… God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  He was born without a sin-nature.  He is eternal and He was sent to earth to be born of a virgin.  He did many miracles, and taught the people.

His ultimate ministry was to go to the cross of Calvary to pay the supreme price for sin – death.  He is the “Sinless One” and was the only one qualified to pay for the sin-penalty of all mankind.  He had no sin, so, he, being sinless, died in the place of all sinners.

He paid the wages of sin, which was death.  He did this because he loved us.  He didn’t stay dead.  He rose from the dead on the 3rd day after He was placed in the tomb.  Then, after walking the earth for another 40 days was taken back to Heaven with His Father who had sent Him to accomplish this ministry.

Then 10 days later, God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell, seal, teach, and to guide us in the Truth of the Word of God.  He has placed the seal of the Holy Spirit Himself in each believer to guarantee that they are kept by the power of God till we arrive in the very presence of God.  He has guaranteed that none will be lost.

John 3:36
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

If you can identify with this person, then there is a very simple solution.  God wants to give you a “new-life” and forgive your sin.

At present you are spiritually dead.  Before you can have the victory over the sin-nature, you have to meet the requirements that God has established.

The first thing that must be done is to admit that you are a sinner – like everyone else – and that you do not now possess His eternal life.  You are still lost in sin and will be separated from God for all of eternity in Hell.  God wants you to be saved from this terrible consequence.  Jesus paid the full price for your sin.

Won’t you open your heart and trust Jesus by faith to be your personal Saviour?  He promises to give you new life and forgive your sin.  This is the only way you can have freedom from the guilt you are facing.  It is imperative that you do it now!!

Do not delay…

Matthew 11:28, 29
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Then, there are those who have faced their sin problem squarely and dealt with it the way God has provided.  The quilt and penalty of sin are forgiven.  Even though they still have the old sin-nature, they are now a child of God through faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

That old nature is not “eradicated” now, but, we will be rid of it when we are caught up to Heaven to be forever with Jesus.

In the meantime, it is still possible to yield to the tricks and temptations of Satan.  Our relationship with Jesus is not broken, but our fellowship is blemished.  That fellowship is restored when the Child of God repents of that sin and confesses it to God.  He is forgiven and fellowship is restored.

1 John 1:8, 9
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

A happy, fruitful life is only possible as we yield our body, soul, and spirit to the will of God.

Read your Bible daily and pray.  The Bible , God’s Word, will take on new meaning because we now have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us
and to guide us into all truth.

John 16:13, 14
“… he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  
John 16:14 says, “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”  

(We recommend the KJV since many modern translations have incorporated inaccuracies into the text.)

In conclusion — There is hope for you.

Your guilt can be forgiven by the grace of God.  As you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9, 10
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” 

His forgiveness will be yours.  You will be quick to observe the new peace, joy and freedom from the guilt and penalty of sin.  Instead of bearing guilt, you will now have a heart full of rejoicing and praise to God for such a great and wonderful gift.

2 Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Ephesians 2:9b
“…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

It really is life changing!

Now there is REAL purpose in life.

I trust I will one day see you in God’s heaven.

What an AWESOME hope!

Bob Davis
©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

God or Government?

Christians May Have to Choose God over Government.
Do you know which you will choose?

Joshua 24:14
“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.”

Joshua 24:15
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Exodus 23:32
“Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.”

Exodus 23:33
“They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

1 Kings 18:21
“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

Continued Reading:

 

%d bloggers like this: