If I go to a bank and tell them I want to start a business and need a loan, they would ask for my business plan, (a lengthy and detailed document). They would study it, analyze every nuance in it and probably have it reviewed by more than one person. The reason they would do this is because they want to know how much risk there would be against their money. In other words, what are the chances they will lose their money.
If I went to a group of investors and told them I want to buy a certain hotel but need to raise investment capital, the investors would request all the financial records of that hotel. They would study those records carefully so that they could get a sense for whether or not it’s a good investment. Whether or not their money would be at too great a risk.
When it comes to placing money at risk, people will often do a tremendous amount of research, study and analysis to fully understand what the risks are.
And so, in pondering these things, it occurred to me that the same is not true when people place their very souls at risk. Continue reading →
Most people consider themselves to be a good person and that by being a good person they’ll go to heaven. But here’s a simple question: If good people go to heaven, for what reason did Jesus die on the cross? If salvation and eternal life require only that a person be good, it means Jesus died for no reason.
But what if I told you you’re not a good person? What if I told you no one is a good person and only bad people go to heaven? Continue reading →
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
The 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is one of the coolest cars I’ve ever seen. And the exciting thing is that they are affordable. In a world where sports cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis cost so much money that only the super rich can afford to buy one, the muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s are just as cool looking as any Italian sports car but often cost no more than the average new automobile at your local car dealership.
Searching Ebay recently I happened to find a red Mach 1 located only 2 ½ hours from where I live. To buy it, all I would have needed to do was to have gone to my bank, gotten a car loan, had my wife drive with me down there, given the man the money, and then had my wife follow me home in my very own 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
But God said not to store up treasures on Earth. He said I should, instead, store up treasures in heaven. Continue reading →
Does God want me to be single? This is a great question and I’m excited to tell you that it has a very simple answer. Do you want to be single? Do you want to be alone? If the answer is no, then God doesn’t intend for you to be single the rest of your life.
Think about it this way. If you desire to be in a relationship, it was God who placed that desire within you.
The premise of her article is that “Being a spiritual person is synonymous with being a person whose highest priority is to be loving to oneself and others.”
She writes, “A spiritual person cares about people, animals, and the planet. A spiritual person knows that we are all One, and consciously attempts to honor this Oneness. A spiritual person is a kind person.”
Do good people go to heaven? The answer is no. Surprisingly, however, this is good news. It’s fortunate for us that getting into heaven is not about being a good person because all of us have, at one time or another, done things we’re not proud of. We’ve stolen, lied, cheated, hurt people, talked behind people’s backs, hated them unjustly, been filled with jealousy, etc, etc, on and on…
If getting into heaven were about being a good person, none of us would make it. Fortunately, however, God has set the standard for getting into heaven, and it’s not about what we do but about what He did.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this
world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit
who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the
cravings of our sinful nature and following its
desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in
mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in
transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in
the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the coming ages he might show the
incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to
us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —
not by works, so that no-one can boast.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do
good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:1-10)
(photo credit: flickr Creative Commons, Beautiful Face by Jason Staten)
You may be saying, “I have no hope” and I know how you feel, I once felt the same way, but let’s let hope rise.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ (Acts 2:26-28)
Everyone is created with an emptiness within them that can only be filled by the Love of Jesus Christ. We were made this way on purpose so that each of us would seek to have that emptiness filled. Even if we’re not aware that we’re doing so, we will spend our lives trying to fill this emptiness within us until we allow the Love of Christ to bring us that fulfillment.
Some people try to fill this emptiness with alcohol or with drugs. Still others may try to fill the void in their heart with the love of a boyfriend or girlfriend. But none of those will ever truly fill the emptiness you feel inside.
There is one thing, and one thing only that will, it is the love of Jesus Christ. When you place your hope in Jesus, He will come and fill your inner being with peace.
(photo credit: flickr Creative Commons, Alone by Arwen Abendstern)
In a broad sense, the whole Bible is a story of marriage from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation. It begins in Genesis with the marriage of Adam and Eve. In the book of Ephesians we are told that marriage is meant to be the representation of Christ and his church and then in the book of Revelation, we see the marriage of the lamb (Jesus) to his bride (the church).
But when the bible talks about the specifics of marriage, it doesn’t flow like a marriage advice book which starts with an introduction and proceeds in a logical progression from step one to step two and so on. The Bible itself isn’t even in chronological order. It starts in the beginning, but soon begins scooting around from time period to time period.
The result is that the Bible’s advice on marriage is sprinkled throughout a thousand pages with a little bit here and a little bit there.
All that being said, while researching the topic of where in the bible it talks about marriage, I discovered a very good resource that lists several locations.
How to stop sinning; it’s not by your own strength.
You want to do what’s right but yet it seems like you often end up doing what you know is wrong. So, how do you stop sinning?
If we were able to stop sinning through the strength of our own will power, there would have been no need for Jesus to die on the cross because there would, after all, be plenty of sinless people in the world.
Jesus died for us on the cross because we are not capable of being sinless.
How to stop sinning
The answer is not that you make yourself stop sinning. The answer is that you allow Jesus will stop your sinning.
When you draw near to Jesus in a relationship with Him, your sin begins to fade. Think of a weed. When it doesn’t get any water it begins to wither. In a similar way, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and continue to draw near to Christ, your sin begins to wither. The moment you start getting lazy, and begin to drift away from Christ your sin, begins to flourish and thrive again.
Consider this a blessing. You have, within you, a type of spiritual Geiger counter. A Geiger counter is used to measure dangerous radioactivity. The Geiger counter makes a ticking noise. The closer it gets to something radioactive the faster the ticking noise becomes. It allows the person holding the machine to know when there’s danger.
In a similar way, if you find that you can’t stop sinning, your spiritual Geiger counter is telling you that you’re not close enough to Jesus. If you stop sinning for a short period of time then suddenly that same old sin starts springing up in your life again, it’s a sign that you’re drifting away from the Lord.
It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that causes us to stop sinning. Not through our strength but His strength. We have to rely upon Jesus.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 7:18-8:4)
Rules of Christianity; there are actually fewer than you think.
Some Christians wrongly believe that Christianity is about following rules. For example, in 1927 Claude C. Hopkins wrote an inspiring book about his career in advertising. However, it was sad for me to read that during his childhood his mother held a view of Christianity that dictated a bunch of rules he had to follow. On Sundays he wasn’t allowed to read anything but the bible. He was taught that dancing, cards and the theater were sinful. He eventually lost all respect for his mother’s religion and never gained it back.
Christianity is not a bunch of rules that need to be followed. This misconception in theology is referred to as “salvation by works”. It’s the notion that a person must earn their way into heaven by doing good and following all the rules of Christianity. In this vain effort to try to earn their salvation they inevitably establish a bunch of rules. Things like dancing, card playing, theater, movies, music, television, skirts, shorts, jewelry, and wearing makeup suddenly become something sinful.
Instead of teaching endless rules to live by, Mrs Hopkins should have taught her son to Love Jesus. When we learn to Love the Lord, we allow Him to guide us through the do’s and don’ts of life. And it’s because of our love for Him that we enjoy doing or not doing.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no-one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
Salvation is through faith. Our good works are the natural expression of that faith. If you want to know what you should or should not do, ask Jesus and He, through the power of His Holy Spirit and His written word, will teach you what He wants you to do and what He wants you not to do.
The rules of Christianity are to love God and enjoy life
(photo credit: flickr creative commons, Where There Be Dragons’ photostream)
Who is God? He is the creator of everything that exists in the universe.
Who is God? He is the giver of all life on Earth. Everything that has life, lives because He continues giving it life, whether plant or animal, fish, bird or insect, all life comes from God.
Who is God? He is someone who loves you beyond anything you can imagine.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Who is God? He is Jesus Christ.
(Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Aurora Borealis – Bear Lake, Alaska by Jim Trodel)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:16-21)
Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)