Who, What, When, Where and How

Way back in school they taught when writing there are five important questions to answer.  You all know the ones I am talking about: who, what, when, where and how.  I have been thinking lately about those questions regarding our relationship to God.  Before I start listing them I want to let you know all quotes are from the King James Bible.  It is what I was raised on.

Who are we?  We are His creation.  We are people who He loved so much He sent His Son to die for us “while we were yet sinners.”  John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 tell us that.  Second Peter 3:9 tells us that it is not His will that “any should perish.”  Instead it is His desire for us to “come to repentance.”

That leads us to the what questions.  What is repentance and what are we repenting of?  Repentance is asking God to forgive us of our sins and going on to being new creatures in Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  It is not easy and it is something one must do daily.

In answer to the second part of our what questions, we are repenting of sin.  Which of course gives us another what.  Sin is anything that displeases God.  It is the things we do that He tells us not to do.  It is also the things we don’t do that He tells us to.  God gives us unique talents and abilities that He wants us to use for His glory.  When we choose to ignore that calling,  that is sin.  It is also a  sin when we believe the lies of this world over the truth in His holy word.

That leads us to the when question.  There are a lot of folks that say the Old Testament does not apply today.  They try to make us believe that Jesus did not talk about certain issues we are facing today.  So folks wonder when God changes rules to fit in with the culture of the day.  The answer to that question is never.  Society changes but God’s standards never do.  Hebrews 13:8 tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Revelations tells us that in the end times man will call what God calls bad good and vice versa.  Friends I believe those times are here.

Folks we have arrived at the where question.  Where are we to worship?  The answer is everywhere.  I saw a sign the other day that said  something like, If you are riding a fence.  It belongs to Satan.”  It is so true.  Remember God spits out the lukewarm(Rev 3:16).  You are either for Him or against Him.  The road to heaven is narrow according to Matt 7:13-14.  You can not be His on Sunday and the worlds on Monday through Saturday.

That brings us to how you show who’s we are.  Our tune can not change depending on our surroundings.  Our song should always be one of gratitude for a loving God, who gives His salvation to an undeserving people.  It does not mean we won’t have bad moments but in those times we will know who carries you.  We will show fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  They are “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, (and) temperance”  Yes we will all make mistakes but if we promptly bring those sins before God He will forgive us.  We must give ourselves to Him daily.  We need to be praying without ceasing and getting so much of His word in our hearts and heads that we can see the lies that are being thrown at us we will not fall.  We must remember at all times to love the sinner and hate the sin.  That is how we show who we belong to.  Here is a link of a good Bible tool.  https://www.biblegateway.com/   Blessings to all reading this.  As my pastor always says,  “These words were as much for me as you.”

The Keys to Forgiveness

It has been a while since I have written a blog.  I took time off for family and then it seemed as if we all took turns fighting something.  A family in our church had a sudden loss.  I thought my next blog would be the poem that has been floating in my head since then.  However, last week I was asked by a family member how I had managed to forgive my abuser.  That thought and the answer to it has been rolling around in my brain since.

I have always told people if you want to forgive someone you have to begin praying for him/her.  I know it is not easy but hey what Jesus did for us was not easy and His word tells us we must forgive to be forgiven.

This last week I realized there was another component that I had forgotten about.  You see in my memory I had completely forgotten the first step I had to take.  I had to realize first that God loves me and is in control of my life.  However, we live in a fallen world and people make bad choices daily.  Before I got to the point I could pray for someone else I had to pray for forgiveness of my sins and healing for myself.

I then had to cling to the verse you see posted on this blog and my social media accounts.  I firmly believe that what Satan intended for evil God can and does use for good.  It amazes me the times I have been told that words I have spoken or written have touched others lives.  It is all God.  He knows our pasts and our future.  He directs our presents when we allow him to.

So today my readers if you are still struggling to forgive I ask you have you taken the steps necessary.  The keys are in your hands but you must use them.  Remember all have sinned and that includes you.  The power you receive when you take the step of repentance is wonderful.  Next concentrate on His word and his promises.  Find the verse that speaks to your heart.  Meditate on it and believe in it.  Then pray for the salvation of your abuser and you will feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders.  With these keys you can unlock a door that leads to peace and comfort.  You may still have bad moments, days or even weeks but cling to his promises and that will get you through them.

 

Saved by Grace

I am so grateful to God to know that I am saved by grace.  I believe that my faith in his death and resurrection as well as my repentance are what my salvation depends on.  I rely on the words in the old hymn, “Jesus Paid it All.”    When Christ was hanging on the cross, he told the thief,  “Today you will be with me in paradise.”  He did not tell him to say some Hail Mary’s or do anything else.  He did not say you must be baptized.  That sinner’s knowledge of who Jesus was got him into heaven

When we are saved, we want to do things for Him.  It is a joy to bring others to knowledge of Him.  We are told to be fishers of men.  The perishing are in need of rescuing.  It is a wonderful thing to bring honor to Him through prayer and serving our fellow-men.  There is after all a Go in God and a sat in Satan.  However, our salvation is not determined by anything but accepting the free gift He has given.

One of the first verses a child learns goes like this, “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that so whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life  John 3:16.”  We are further told, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9.”  There are no hymns about Victory in Works or there being Power in Works.  However, “Victory in Jesus” and “Power in the Blood” are some pretty well-known tunes. “Amazing Grace” is one of the most translated ever and I heard on K LOVE it is the song most quoted in other music lyrics.  If you read Eph 2:8-9 you will see that we are saved by faith and not by works.

If you turn to Matthew 3 in your Bible you can read the Baptism of Jesus.  It is one of the times in the Bible that we see the Holy Trinity all on one place.  The Father confirms the Son who is our Mediator.  The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus. This shows us that it is important to God.  However, there is no where in the Bible that says it is a way to have eternal life.

Baptism is an awesome thing to witness and/or participate in it is not necessary to be dunked to get to heaven.  I well remember the day I was Baptized in the clear water of a river.  It was so wonderful to follow in the steps of my savior and do this outward sign of inward works.  Yet it was the trip I took to the foot of the cross and not the one where I walked “down by the riverside” that guarantees me a place in heaven.  1 Corinthians 12:13 of the New International Version says, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”  You see those of us that have been Baptized are on Team Jesus.  However, there are those that are fighting the same fight that have not been dunked or dribbled on.  They are still part of the family of God and on the way to heaven.  It is up to God to tell someone to be Baptized and no man has that right.