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John 10:27,28 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

I had an amazing experience yesterday.

I was seeing a client and this client told me, out of the blue, that they thought their death was close. This client has multiple medical issues but seems to be functioning fairly well. I probed a bit and found out more information but nothing that would necessarily substantiate the fears that were expressed. 

Yet, I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon my heart that I needed to confirm and/or present the plan of salvation to this person. And I did. It was amazing. I told my client very bluntly and candidly about what it takes to KNOW that death is not the end. And my client confirmed that they had the free gift of salvation in their heart. 

I’m a nobody. I love what I do. I love being in contact with people and helping them and walking through all sorts of situations and problems with them. But when I get the opportunity to speak to someone I have grown close to about Jesus and His free gift of salvation- well, that’s just extra icing on the cupcake. I don’t push it but I don’t hide it. And when God was speaking to my heart yesterday, for once, I listened. And it was beautiful!

So I want to encourage you to live it out. We never know how long we have or how long the person across from us has. Yesterday, I heard His voice and I followed and it was truly a blessing in my life. I encourage you to do the same. Happy Wednesday. 

Working

Hebrews 4:10-12 – “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

“I want to take a closer look at one of these verses.                        For he (the person) that is entered into his (Jesus’s) rest, he (the person) also hath ceased from his (the person’s) own works, as God did from his.”

What does this and the rest of the verses mean for you and me? You cannot work for your salvation. It just doesn’t work that way. There is nothing that you or I could ever do to earn our way into Heaven. We have too many things tainting our motive. We have pride, apathy, sympathy and the such ruining our ability to do things with a completely pure heart – at least on our own.

However, we are supposed to work. We are supposed to do things to serve God. We work because of our salvation, not to earn it. Our work, the things that we do in service to God, should prove our salvation and love for Christ. We shouldn’t be working to stack things in our favor so that one day God will let us in!

So, how do we know when we are getting it right? Is there any way to know when we are serving and working for the right reasons? Yes. It’s called reading God’s word. You see, that book is alive. Oh, I’m not talking about some weird, wacked-out book that is going to bite you on the leg if you don’t strike the spine. No, I’m talking about a Living Book that has the ability to be used to convict one of sin that is impeding blessings and success.

This Word is a gauge. This gauge tells us when our works are being done selfishly and/or wrongly focused. However, this gauge cannot and will not work if you don’t use it. You can’t expect the vacuum cleaner to get your floors clean if you don’t plug it in and use it. Just having it in the house is not a way to get your house clean. The same is true for your Bible. Just having it in sight will not make your life and your decisions honor and glorify God.

So let me encourage you today to get involved in your Bible. Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ and the only way that you will truly find out about Him is by reading about Him. You won’t know when He shows up on your doorstep if you haven’t read about Him and seen Him in your heart. Let His word show you where you can make improvements and what you need to get rid of in order to serve Him fully.

One Direction

John 14:5,6 – “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

No, this isn’t a blog about a popular boy band. 

This blog is about THE MOST important person to ever walk this earth – Jesus. We just celebrated His death, burial and resurrection. Why is this something we celebrate? Because without it, we would have no hope, no promise of something better, no salvation. And you know what, this is something we should celebrate every day. This isn’t a once a year celebration. We have this joy, this hope, this promise every single day. Unfortunately, most of the time we neglect this fact and live our lives in a ho-hum kind of way. 

In the passage today, Jesus was preparing His disciples for His upcoming death. And they just didn’t get it. They couldn’t wrap their brains around what He was telling them.  He was trying to encourage them that  He was going to be away from them but that they needed to remember that other people may come trying to tell them something different.  But they needed to remember that He is the only way to salvation. You can’t work for it. You can’t be nice enough. There is only one way – believing on Him as the One who died for all our sin and who rose again the third day, conquering death and hell. 

You only need to go in one direction. There are not multiple paths. There is not an alternative path. There is no side stepping. No nothing. One direction. One path. One Savior. One way to get to the Father. One way to claim salvation. 

In the beginning…

Genesis 3:1-6 – “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

My husband and I began listening to the audio Bible. We are attempting to get through the entire Bible in a year. We thought that if we listened to it, maybe we would be more successful.

Of course, you start in Genesis and it made me think about the first few sins. The first recorded sin in lying – by the serpent, aka the devil. (Side note: has anyone else ever wondered why Eve was not surprised that the snake was speaking? If a snake started speaking to me, I would freak out and then attack it with a sharp object!) Lying – not telling the truth or only telling part of a truth that is intertwined with non-truth – that’s my definition, by the way. Either way, lying is not good. I always tell my kids they will get into way less trouble if they tell the truth than if they lie to me. I detest lying. Makes me so very mad. Yet our society and culture is littered with it. People lie as well as they breathe. So sad.

The next sin we see is the first one recorded that a human committed -disobedience. The choice to do what you have been told not to do – my definition again. Notice I said “the choice”. See, disobedience is not something you are forced into doing. It is a choice that you make. You choose to eat that giant piece of cake when you know that it will pack on the pounds. You choose to drive 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. You choose to watch that movie or listen to that music that you know is not good. It is a choice.

Then we have number three – blame. Genesis 3:11-13 – “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Adam and Eve had messed up. God came to spend time with them and they were hidden. God called for them and they responded that they were afraid to talk to Him because they were naked. Adam first blamed God for giving him Eve and then he blamed Eve for making him eat. Eve blamed the serpent. None of the parties involved took responsibility for what they had done. It was much easier to blame someone else that to own up to their choices.

And thus began the vicious cycle of our world today. We lie. We disobey. We blame others for our choices. These three are the root of most of our problems in today’s world.

Lovely, right? Now what?

Jesus. Jesus is the answer to these problems. Because of humanity’s choices back in the garden, we required a sacrifice. Just as Adam and Eve needed a sacrifice to cover their nakedness, we need a sacrifice to cover our sin choices. And praise God, He supplied One.

Sometimes in our everyday walk we need to stop and remember all that was given for us and why. So today, Princess, take a moment to remember and celebrate by praising God for providing the Sacrifice so that one day we won’t have to deal with these three sins any more.

Mission fields

Matthew 28:19,20a – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

What is your mission field? You might be thinking, “I’m not a missionary. I don’t have a mission field.” Oh, but you do. And yes, you are a missionary.

You see this verse? Does it say “those of you who go out and get paid” or “those of you that go to foreign countries to spread The Good News”? Nope. Jesus was speaking with His disciples right before He ascended into Heaven. His disciples were His first New Testament church. They were fishermen, tax collectors and all sorts of non-missionary occupations. Yet, here was Jesus sending them out to tell and teach everything they knew about Him.

Jesus wants us to realize that every one needs to hear the Gospel of Christ. And it shouldn’t just be the missionaries out on the field getting paid to do so who are doing it. We all have been given a mission field. We all have people in our lives who need to hear the Gospel. Your mission field may be your child’s play group moms. Your mission field might be the people that you work along side of every day. Your mission field might be the people that live around you. Your mission field might be the kids you go to school with. Your mission field might be the people at the grocery store or the restaurant or the post office. It doesn’t matter where God has put you. He has put you there for a reason. He put you there to tell someone about Him.

What difference would there be in our daily life if we lived like our surroundings were our mission field? Would we see that person that drives us crazy as someone who needs Jesus? Would we feel a greater sense of urgency in what needs to be done because we know that our time is drawing short? Would we have a better attitude when we go to work if we looked at our work place as a mission field instead of a place to earn a living?

The devil likes to warp our view of things. He doesn’t want us to see our interactions as a mission field. He knows that doing so will drive us to be more expressive about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He knows that by doing so we will make a positive difference in someone’s life. He doesn’t want that. Remember, he wants as many people as possible to turn away from or never accept Jesus as their Savior. He wants Jesus to lose. But we know the end of the story and we know that what God has established cannot be changed – Jesus wins!

So try on something different today, princess. See your work place, your play group, your grocery store visit as a mission field. Don’t let the devil convince you otherwise. Memorize this verse to give you purpose and direction. Jesus wants you out there sharing His Good News of His free gift of salvation. He wants you out there telling and teaching wherever you find yourself today. Be a Light. Be the one to show someone else the Light that changes everything. Be a missionary today.

When the roll is called up yonder

John 17:3 – “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.”

A little over a year ago, I was working alongside a friend of mine a work. He is a nice guy. He had a warm smile and willing hand to help someone in need. He enjoyed life. He had passes to most of the places of entertainment around our area and he enjoyed spending time with his friends.

And then he developed a cough. A cough that would not go away. We all attributed it to allergies. But he went to the doctor multiple times and the medicine the doctor gave would not make the cough go away. So he decided to run a few more tests. It was determined that my friend had cancer. He has been fighting this cancer for a year now. He has tried experimental drugs and procedures. Nothing has worked. My friend is now home with hospice care. He is surrounded by family and friends as he trudges along.

But, in amongst all the sad news is this bright spot: He accepted Jesus as his Savior Saturday night. When I got up yesterday to check my social media, I cannot express the lightness in my heart. I had been praying for him for some time in this regard. Another friend of mine at work is close to this friend and was faithful to The Lord in presenting the plan of salvation to him multiple times. He and his wife were not giving up on my friend. For that, I am eternally grateful, literally.

Yesterday at church, we sang “When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there”. I couldn’t sing it. I was too busy shedding tears of joy. In fact, just the thought of that song this morning brings tears to my eyes. I know that if I don’t see my friend again this side of eternity, one day I will get another of his warm hugs in heaven. That makes me smile.

So I want to encourage you, princess, to not give up on your unsaved friends. Keep praying for them. Keep showing them Jesus in your life. Pray for them to be surrounded by His presence. Just pray. God hears you. God knows the desires of your heart toward them. And He knows what they need and when they need it. Just keep being faithful.

Got to be true

Habakkuk 2:4 – “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright – but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness” (NIV)

We had a little old school Steven Curtis Chapman in the car yesterday. I love that my kids enjoy listening to “old” music.

Anyway, the song was “It’s got to be true”. Remember that one? The one with a spotlight on TobyMac? This was back when Toby was doing the DC Talk thing. It always cracks me up.

The chorus to the song is this:
It’s got to be true, I gotta be living what I say I believe
It’s got to be true, even when nobody but Jesus is watching me
It’s got to be true, every single minute of every day
If anybody’s ever gonna look at me and say, hey, it’s got to be true.

Unfortunately, there are actors in the world. And some people act for so long that they forget who they really are. They don’t know any more. It is why there will be church members in hell. They have played church for so long that they have forgotten why they are even there.

How about you? Are you being true to Jesus or are you just acting the part? Tough question, right? We don’t want to think that we are being insincere in what we are doing. But remember the verses in Matthew 7:21-23? Jesus reminds the people that just because you are doing all these wonderful things in His name, that doesn’t get you anything in eternity. What does count is when those things are done with Christ in your heart. You have got to be true. True to the fact that you have chosen Jesus as your Savior. That is the only way to Heaven. You won’t get there on good works, sweet words or spending lots of money. Salvation through Jesus Christ is the only way.

So today, princess, are you living true? Or are you living “puffed up”? Are you artificially inflated with your own “good deeds”? Or are you living flat and true? You gotta be plumb empty (to borrow a phrase from my grandma) before Jesus can fill you up. Be true. Every minute of every day.