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The Choice is Yours: A message for believers and nonbelievers alike

This week I have been examining my life and my own salvation, and coming to the terms that what the Bible says is not easy sometimes, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit we are able to bear the task of obeying the commandments.  In Luke 7 Jesus gives a parable to Peter and makes a comment to the woman who poured oil on his feet:

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins,which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

After hearing a sermon on the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, I had to seriously ask myself am I truly saved, or am I just going through the motions.  Am I like wheat or am I like a tare that is going to be burned in the fire?  I had to seriously seek God in this matter because how much I love Jesus I don’t want to be cast into the fire, and have Him tell me He never knew me.  I had questions like do I really have a relationship with Jesus or am I like a tare?  This time around reading the Gospels – I started to notice the parables even more and trying to find the hidden messages.  Sometimes I think Jesus is trying to say something and give me a rhema Word, and it turns out to be something totally different than what everyone else thinks.  Before I read the passage about the woman in Luke, I thought that if I have enough faith that I know my God and He knows me, then that should be alone well enough to justify my concerns of salvation.  I prayed to receive Rhema from the Word regarding this issue about salvation, and I came up with Luke 7:50.  So then I realized that God had answered my prayer and that He does talk to me and that I do hear His voice.

The other part of the sermon I heard it talked about if we as Christians, or believers, once being sure of our salvation do not reach out to nonbelievers, or wicked, or other sinners, then their blood will be on our hands.  I heard another preacher say this as well which lead me to this passage in Ezekiel 3:

16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 
20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.

 

I want to break this apart a little bit – the first part the LORD is talking about the wicked – He has told the wicked (meaning anyone that does not believe in the LORD GOD) that when He tells them that they will die for their wickedness, and the watchman who is Ezekiel, but also represents believers in the body of Christ, to save his life, that person will die in their iniquity, but God will require their blood at our hands, and our souls will be paying the price for that, but if we do tell them and they do not turn from their wicked ways, we will not be held responsible for that.

Now here’s the part that gets me – the same goes true for a righteous man, or other Christians.  So if a righteous man is still sinning, and we don’t warn him we will be held responsible for that.  It is a very heavy call asking a righteous man not to sin especially when you look at the 613 commandments in the Law.  That seems like a burden, but the Bible says, it is not burdensome or heavy to bear, if you have the Holy Spirit in 1 John 5.  But doesn’t the New Testament say that there is no righteous not even one?  And Jesus said that if our righteousness does not exceed those of the scribes and Pharisees, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  And Jesus also said that He did not come for the righteous, because the sick are in need of a Physician, not those that are well.

So what are the characteristics of the kingdom of heaven?  What do we really need?  The Bible says it best: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  Is this love based on emotion?  Or is it something else?

For that we need to go to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Amplified says:

4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

Try to replace love with your name and does that describe you?

Questions to answer yes to:

Do you endure long with screaming kids or heavy traffic jams and are patient and kind to your kids?

Questions to answer no to:

Do you ever want that dress, those shoes, that house, that car?  Do you brag about how many weights you lifted?  Do you think you are better than everyone else?

Do you act arrogantly or rudely?  Some people think being assertive is a form of arrogance.  Do you act unbecomingly or make inappropriately making immature comments?  I guess Frank Sinatra was not right, I like it My Way, is not the way we are supposed to think.  This can even happen in church – do you not like what the Pastor is preaching, what day the church is on, the music that they play, what time of day it is?  Do you get upset over little things, or do you worry a lot or hold grudges?  Would you ever want to sue anyone – even if they totalled your car and it was their fault?

Most of us can be on the right track with this one – Do we rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness or do we rejoice when righteousness and truth prevail?

Do we bear up under anything, and I mean anything that comes?

And the hardest one for most people in Bible prophecy – Do we believe the best of every person?  Anne Frank said in her diary, that she believed that deep down inside people are basically good at heart.  Can we say that for even the terrorists?

 

Are our hopes fadeless and do we endure everything and I mean everything without weakening?

 

So when we look at love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself – do we have this depth of love?  We all need the LORD’s Mercy to cover us in this area.

 

One thing I want to say about if we don’t tell the wicked “You shall surely die” – this stems from the Adam and Eve story in the Bible – In the Bible it said in Genesis that God told them that if they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they will surely die, and the serpent, that is Satan told Eve, surely you will not die, but you will be like God knowing good and evil.  This is the same trap we have had from the beginning of time.  People didn’t think they would die from not obeying God, but the truth is that we do die, but our death is not what we think.  Adam and Eve went from having a perfect life to seeding what are news headlines in today’s world.  Do we want to change the course of the path that we are on, whether believer or non-believer?  Do we want to be caught up in a blackhole with no return, where the pain there will be pain so immense that you can not bear it?  Or do we want to have peace of mind, security, peace, joy, knowing that when you die you can actually rest in peace.

I’ve been seeing this posting about Steve Jobs, that came as a joke, that the angels in heaven were welcoming Jobs when he came because God needed an app.   Was he really living by the fruits of the spirit, did he attain salvation?  The only fruit we know of is the Apple, and that what some say was the fruit that was not to be eaten in the Garden of Eden.   After a man knows he is going to die, you would think that he got his heart right with God.  We can judge, but only God knows.

Do you know the LORD as your personal Savior?  Have you asked Him into your heart?  Do you want to have your life turn around and be filled with love?  Time is now.  The Choice is Yours.  Vote now – Jesus or the devil?  Heaven or Hell?  Eternal Life or Eternal Death?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In remembrance of Jamie Hubley

There was a young boy who committed suicide yesterday, and for some reason this really spoke to me.  I read his blog and he was just crying out for someone to love him.  Isn’t that what we as Christians are supposed to do?  To look for people to reach out to and love.  It doesn’t matter if they are gay or straight, rich or poor, fat or skinny, unattractive or attractive.  If they are different or leading a life of sin then that’s between them and God and we shouldn’t condemn them and show them love.  That’s how we win souls over to Christ.  Jesus ate with the tax collector and the adulteress, and why shouldn’t we be the same?  When there is someone out there who goes to psychologist after psychologist and takes anti-depressant to anti-depressant, cuts themselves, we know they are in pain, and we know they need someone to reach out to them.  It was like how LeRoy Dean was saying in Wordsmith’s desk, sometimes we have to go behind the door, and see what struggles others face, and when we are so wrapped up in our own lives that we refuse to see the pain that others are going through.  This boy was hugging other people and outwardly showing love, but he was dying so much on the inside, but on the inside the pain took him away.  There has to be some change.  We have to make it a mission not just to go to other countries and preach the Gospel to the poor, but to actually go and show love to the people, the very people who are dying on the inside and that don’t have any other way out.  We need to do this especially to the younger generation in which some people don’t have anyone to show them who to show the Gospel too.  We need to show them that Jesus loves them at all costs, and that they don’t have to die because someone died for them.  That someone died so that they don’t have to go through the pain anymore.  We need to step up Church.  We bloggers especially, branch out to other blogs like Tumbler, and take more time reading than posting.  I myself am guilty of this, thinking people will come to my blog to hear the Truth, but sometimes we have to go to them.  We have to venture out into dark waters and to show the light to them.  It is the only light that they can ever grasp.  We have to shine the light and the show the love in this dark and fallen world.

Just in case you are not a Christian and you stumbled upon this article and are thinking who does this person think she is saying all this?  I want to let you know that there shouldn’t have to be suicide among young people.  They shouldn’t feel like they have to take their lives.  They have a God that loves them and doesn’t want to see them die or in pain.  He wants to take the pain away, but you have to let yourself open up to Him.  If you don’t know how, just cry out to Him.  He’s not going to come and pick up the pieces unless you reach out and cry out to Him first.  You don’t have to be alone, you don’t have to think that no one understands because He does.  He wants to heal your wounds.  If you have the chance right now, pray this prayer –

Heavenly Father,

I am so lost without You, I am in so much pain and I feel like there is no way out.  I confess that I don’t always do things the right way, and that I can’t handle this situation alone and that it is too much to bear.  Take this burden away from me and give me some peace and rest for my soul.  I surrender my life to You and let You take control.  I can’t do it on my own and I need someone stronger.  I know that you died for me so that I can be free from this torment of daily life. Come into my life and save me.

In Jesus Name I pray.

If you have just prayed this prayer- then try to get to a Bible, if you want go to Bible.com, or biblegateway.com, and start reading from the book of John.  Try to find a Bible believing Church in your area and get connected with a Pastor.  There are also many prayer lines if you look.  If you need any help just let me know.

 

Jesus is your closest companion

There are many ways to look at the Lord.  There is relationship with Him as Father.  There is a relationship with Him as the bridegroom.  There are so many aspects of a relationship that we can have with the Lord, but sometimes there is one often overlooked.

Have you ever had a best friend, and no I am not talking about a dog or even a cat, but an actual person?  I am sure you have.  Think about the person closest to you when growing up.  It may be your brother or sister.  It may be someone outside of your family.  This person would usually be around the same age as you are.  Think about someone who you spent all your time with.   Now besides your siblings are you still in contact with this person?  Are you still bosom buddies?  Did you ever spend hours on the phone or in person talking to each other and just talking about life and how things are going?

I know I have had my share of best friends.  I have had three best friends throughout my life.  These were people I spent a lot of time talking to.  But now one of them doesn’t talk to me anymore, another one and I travel in different circles so we don’t see each other much, and there was one who I don’t get to talk to much because she is busy.  Now I am forgetting one person.  One very special person.  The very closest person to me.  Who knows me inside and out.  Who knows my every desire.  Who is someone I can actually talk to, but often don’t.  I just read His letters and think that’s enough.  But what I don’t realize is that He actually wants to spend time with me.  He wants to talk to me.  He wants to spend hours on the “phone” talking about life and whatever’s going on.  His name is Jesus, or Yeshua in Hebrew.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in Jesus being God and doing things in order not to displease God and not to sin, that we don’t actually remember that He is a person who wants to spend time with us.  That we can actually talk to Him.  That’s not an excuse to go on sinning.

The word “companion” comes from the meaning “with+bread” basically meaning someone who we share bread with.  That is our companion.  The Bible says that Jesus is someone “who sticks closer to us than a brother”.  He is pretty much our Conjoined twin meaning that He cannot be separated from us.  The Bible pretty much says that nothing can separate us from God.  In Psalm 139:8 David says, “If I go to heaven, You are there.  If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.”  So if we are going to be spending so much time with someone the least we can do is talk to them.

Why do you think, – [at least they used to- I don’t know about anymore] so many girls keep diaries.  They feel the need to confide in someone and talk to someone who can listen to them.  They need a way of letting down what they are feeling when they are going through all these changes and they cannot talk to their parents.  Girls that have parents that don’t let them date have even more extensive diaries I bet.  Now if they replaced “Dear Diary,” with “Dear Jesus,”  imagine what kind of transformation they can have in their lives.  But a lot of us are a bit older by the time we discover Jesus.  Or if we did discover Jesus when we were younger, then we rebel against everything at that age.

We are all seeking to fill a void of deep love for us and to have that close companion.  Someone who will never leave you or forsake you.  Someone who will walk with you through darkness and lead you by the rough patches in life and someone just there to listen.  But a meaningful friendship is not one where you do all the talking and no listening.  There has to be a close communication between both parties.  So many things are lost when you don’t have a two sided relationship.  Someone who you can tell all your thoughts to and someone who you can listen to.

Well people say one way to listen to God is through His Word because that is who is.  Like I think I mentioned before that Word is “rhema”.  That means what He says to you through “logos”- The bible, becomes “rhema” when He speaks to your spirit, and it becomes life.

There is another way to listen to God, which I found through a teaching by Mark Virkler’s “How to Hear God’s Voice”…and he mentions four techniques and one of them is Journaling.  God does not speak to everyone the same way and for each person it is a different way, and there is no “magic” formula, but you have to listen to your spirit and heart and see what they tell you to do.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a telephone conversation with God? That’s pretty much how the Bible was written.  Do you know how many days God doesn’t just call you, but He actually shows up at your house knocking on the door and you don’t open.  No I am not talking about Jehovah’s Witnesses.  He wants to spend time with you. He wants to be a blessing to you.  He wants you to experience the joy that He died for.  He doesn’t want to condemn you.

Some people may be confused about what the difference is between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  “God” is the general term, which describes the three joined at the hip deity of Father God – Jehovah or YHWH, Jesus or Yeshua, and Holy Spirit, which is Ruwach or Breathe.  So I may interchangably use  God for Jesus or Father and that will determine context.

Jesus is not just someone who came down to Earth and died.  He is someone who was there from the beginning of the Earth.  He wants to spend time with you.  He wants to have communion with you.  He wants to express His inner most thoughts to you so you do not perish.  He wants to have a relationship with you.  He wants to be the person who you confide your secrets to.  He wants to be the person who wants to hear about the stories you want to tell when you are older.  He wants you to listen on His lap and hear His stories when you are younger.  He wants to be the one you talk to when you tell what happened with your boyfriend/husband or wife/girlfriend today.  He wants to be the one you talk to when your children are running a havoc all over the place.  He’s there – He listens – He’s your best friend – He’s your closest companion.

So who or what and how are you spending most of the time – are you spending time talking to Jesus.  Are you letting Him into your life?  When He knocks on the door or makes that telephone call will you answer?