It’s The Little Things That Add Up To A Big Life

COPYRIGHT WARNING

Most of us have a long list of regrets for the things we have done in our past. In fact, we waste an extraordinary amount of time thinking about things that we have no power to change. It is important to remember that we are not defined  by the person we were in our past. We are defined by who we are today. It is through the choices that we are making right now that people understand who we are. Oh, I know that people remember the mistakes that you have made. Your relatives will think back to those foolish things that you said and did when you were younger and define you in those terms. The incredible thing about today is that you can begin a whole new life for yourself, if you want to. In no time at all, people will begin to think of you in a new way and define the person you are by the things you have been doing from this moment when you decide to change your life. Continue reading “It’s The Little Things That Add Up To A Big Life”

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Born Once; Die Twice. Born Twice; Die Once

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There is a curious paradox that is presented in the pages of the Bible that a great majority of people have not understood. Jesus described a physical birth that every person will experience; and a second spiritual birth that is necessary in order to obtain eternal life. Jesus said that because of our sin and sin nature, we are all already under the condemnation of God and dead in our sins.[1] Once we understand who Jesus is and the reason that He came into the world, we have the opportunity to be born again a second time. At that moment, our spirit within that was formerly dead, comes alive. Continue reading “Born Once; Die Twice. Born Twice; Die Once”

Our Capacity For Love, Is Determined By How Well We Know Our Self

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The Love that a person has for Jesus, is directly proportional to the view that they have of their life.

Mary Magdalene was a known prostitute in Jerusalem.

In John chapter 8, she is brought by the Pharisees before Jesus to be judged for her adultery, being caught in the very act. John 8:4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.” (NIV) Continue reading “Our Capacity For Love, Is Determined By How Well We Know Our Self”

Christians Today Are No Longer In Expectation Of Jesus’ Return

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On a bright and sunny day in April, 1975, I went forward at Calvary Chapel in Southern California to receive Jesus as my Savior. I was just 19, had hair down to the middle of my back and was touring with a Rock band in small venue’s around Arizona. My life was full of activity but my heart was empty. I knew that there had to be more than what I had experienced so far, I just didn’t know where to find it. That all changed the morning that I trusted in Jesus. From that moment, I began to study the Bible intently and learned about the promise of Jesus to return for those who love Him.

During the Jesus People Movement of that day, there was great excitement over the expectation that Jesus could come for us at any moment. We were constantly talking about the Lord’s return and we were trying to live our lives like people who really believed our Lord could come for us before we drew our next breath. Continue reading “Christians Today Are No Longer In Expectation Of Jesus’ Return”

Missing the Greater by Focussing on the Lesser

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There is an error that many people make today, regarding God and whether evidence for His Being can be observed. I have had conversations with individuals who have brought forth accusations of contradictions that they assert, exist in the Bible. Rather than focussing on what the purpose of the particular verses are saying, the person looks closely at the differences between the gospel writers; as evidence that the text is not truthful.

I recently finished translating my own version of the four gospels for a new book: “One Gospel,” which required a great amount of time to correctly create a version of the New Testament text that is both accurate and reliable. The reason for this new version is that major publishers of the existing translations, do not allow the extent of use for this text that I am accessing, without paying a sizable royalty payment.

As I was trying to meticulously ensure that the text was true to the original, I became aware of multiple places where the four writers of Jesus Gospel, recorded different observations from one another. All of these men were telling the same story, while recording their own particular view of what took place. I have written about this before and have stated that this difference between the four writers is evidence of authenticity, not contradiction. When four people are at the scene of an event, they will always write different aspects of the same story; if the account genuinely took place. If four people write an account that matches each other, precisely, this is evidence of coercion between the writers and likely reveals that the story is not true. Continue reading “Missing the Greater by Focussing on the Lesser”

The Importance of Forgiveness and Resolving Conflict in Jesus Church

disunity-in-jesus-churchThe issue of forgiveness is one that few people want to be reminded of. This is, of course, unless they have been offended by someone else. When someone offends us, we expect them to come to us quickly and admit their mistake, seeking our forgiveness. When It is we who are the offender, very few of us will seek to apologize or admit that we are at fault. Jesus was very specific on this matter and quite serious in the manner in which we should resolve ALL conflicts that we have with another believer. He said that if we are unwilling to forgive and forget, then He will not forgive our sins.

Matthew chapter 18, is the quintessential guide on how to resolve all conflicts within Jesus church. May we all read this carefully and follow everything that our Lord has instructed us to do… Continue reading “The Importance of Forgiveness and Resolving Conflict in Jesus Church”

There is No Salvation, Without Repentance

obstacles-to-salvation

And it came to pass afterward, that Jesus went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the good news of God’s kingdom: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary called “Magdalene,” out of whom seven demons were removed, —Luke 8:1-2

What Does God Require?

In order for any person to obtain eternal life from God, the first and primary element that must be present in the heart, is genuine repentance. Many people are sorry for their sins, yet not sorry enough to change their life and seek to sin no more. True repentance compels the sincere to not only experience genuine sorrow, but also a earnest desire to cease from their former sins.

A person who begins to follow Jesus will never, in this life, be sinless. They should however, endeavor to sin—less.

It is impossible to obtain salvation from Jesus, apart from a determined work of changing our previous behavior. All sins are equal before God and a consistent, unrepentant liar can miss eternal life, equally with a fornicator, or murderer. If we have been living in a sexual relationship with another person, outside of marriage, we must cease this relationship as a part of true repentance—before Jesus will grant us eternal life. If we have been a theif or liar during our life, we must cease from these two faults before the Lord will convey eternal life to our account. Continue reading “There is No Salvation, Without Repentance”

Change Your Life

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Many people live out their lives without the realization that our entire purpose for being here on the earth, is to be saved. We were not born to achieve financial, material, or public success; we were born so that we might have the opportunity to have our sins removed and gain access to eternal life. Just as Jesus’ entire purpose for coming to the earth as a man, was to die for our sins and make eternal life possible, we also have our own purpose, necessitating Jesus’ arrival to save us.

Most people go through their life without realizing or believing that this is true. We forget that everything that we have accumulated during the time that we are here on the earth, will be left behind. One hundred years after you die, barely a sole with remember who you are. The Bible is very clear in its declaration that the only things that you and I can do, that will last forever; is what we do for and with Jesus. The universe was created for Him, and it is He who holds all things together by His great power.[1] It was by His sacrifice on the cross, and His subsequent resurrection, that He achieved the right rule and reign over the entire universe.

What we do right now, during this life, will have eternal consequences. The Bible is very specific in its declarations that only those things that we do to bring glory to Jesus by the way that we live our life, will matter in eternity.[2] If this statement sounds absurd to you and impossible to believe, then you are amongst the great majority of people in the world. I did not know these things myself until many years after I began to study the ancient Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. The universe was made for the Glory of God and we were given the great honor of glorifying Him by our lives. If we fail to understand this, or are deficient in achieving this, we will have missed the entire purpose of our existence. What is personally important about these facts, is the reality that we will also find our greatest fulfillment, when we live to bring the Lord glory and honor.

for in Him we live and move and have our being… Acts 17:28 Continue reading “Change Your Life”

Salvation Without Cost

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It is the greatest desire of man that he could live forever. There have been many books written, movies produced, and songs sung; that express our desire to live a life that would never end. When we think about the ceasing of our existence here on earth, it doesn’t make sense. How could we suddenly cease to exist? It is our sense of eternity and fear of death, that haunts us our entire life. The Bible states that God placed eternity within our heart when He made us, but none of us understands How to achieve it.

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

If there was a fee that could be paid in order to gain access to eternal life, it is certain that many wold endeavor to pay it. The reason that people explore religion in the first place is to understand what happens at the moment of death and seek to know if they will go on living after their body dies.

Amongst all religions of the world, there is a common thread: The fact that eternal life can be achieved, at a cost. Those who will acquire the right to live forever, must perform certain rituals, procedures, or follow a set of rules. Only the Bible reveals that eternal life is a free gift that cannot be purchased. God will give any person the right to live forever, without cost, if they will simply believe what He has said.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

The way to heaven is not by a religion, it is through a person. Jesus has already purchased our salvation by the giving of His life. All that we must do is believe this and receive His gift. Continue reading “Salvation Without Cost”

Reconciling Our Suffering With God’s Love

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When the Lord Waits Cover

If you have ever wondered how God could love and care for you when there have been so many difficult and painful events that have happened in your life, this article may be of some use to you.

As we examine the arrival of Jesus into the world, we must ask the question: Why would God allow His Son to be born under such difficult and dangerous circumstances? From the moment that Jesus was born, His life was in jeopardy. King Herod of Judea knew about the prophecy of Micah—describing the Messiah as born in Bethlehem. In fear of losing His rulership, he dispatched soldiers to kill every baby boy, under the age of two years. We know that God loves His Son. The question is: how is it loving to allow someone who you care for—to suffer?

Matthew 2:16-18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.

The Bible records a great number of trials and difficulties during the first two and the last three and one half years of Jesus’ life. The Father ordained that His Son would suffer so that He might learn obedience.

Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. Continue reading “Reconciling Our Suffering With God’s Love”