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RUNNING UP A DOWN ESCALATOR

Sin is a terrible thing. It is rebellion against God. God takes it very serious and expects and demands that we do too. We were born with a sin nature. It is our nature to sin! And it is this sin problem we have that is the problem … the very thing that blocks our way to God and heaven. God is holy and pure as is heaven. God cannot and will not allow anything which is impure in His presence.  That means that when this life on earth is over our eternal soul which belongs to God and He would love to have in His presence can not go to Him. Sin has a very high cost for “the wages of sin is death (eternal damnation)”. Romans 6:23

Sin is a force which pulls us down and try as we might to obtain God’s acceptance and approval we can never overcome sin’s pull. I am reminded of what it is like trying to run up a down escalator.

It is challenging, but it can be done. This is not so when it comes to overcoming sin’s pull. It is like this SLINKY … which fails to go down the up escalator.

Yes, like this slinky we can try our best. but we cannot and will not ever live our lives without sin  ….  not in our own strength. It can’t be done. So we have a problem indeed. None of us are good enough … none of us “measure up”. We all miss the mark. That’s why we need God’s help. In His great love for us He sent His Son to bring the remedy to us. Jesus lived a perfect life without sin. Only He was capable of doing so. He purposely came to earth to live among us showing us God (Who He is, what He is like, etc.). He purposely died a horrific death shedding His “innocent” blood so that we can be forgiven of our sin as well as cleansed by His blood. God has told us “… without the shedding of (innocent) blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins.” Hebrews 9:22 Amplified Bible

Not only does the innocent shed blood of Jesus Christ provide forgiveness and cleansing, but God goes further. He sends His Holy Spirit to dwell within us to help us live our lives free from sin and obey Him. He empowers us to rise above the pull of sin … to overcome sin victoriously. That is not to say that it is impossible for a Christian to sin any further. But if and when we do God tells us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV

Have you settled the sin issue in your life? If not, you can be sure “… your sin will find you out”. Numbers 32:23 God warns us that if we die in our sin we are without hope … doomed for all eternity suffering torment and anguish in the lake of fire. Like I said, God takes sin seriously and we need to as well.

What will you do with Jesus? Someday your heart will be asking, “What will He do with me?”

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BAAAAAA!! BAAAAAAAA!!!!

We are all like sheep! Sheep are a vulnerable creature and quite helpless oftentimes. Left on their own they wander off and get lost. They get themselves into trouble that they aren’t likely to get out of without help. Without a shepherd they most likely sooner or later would die from one cause or another. Most likely they could end up on the lunch menu of some other animal such as a wolf, bear, etc. In short, sheep need a shepherd to watch over them, protect them and guide them along.

Yes, we are all like sheep! We have gone astray. (see Isaiah 53:6) We have wandered off on our own into dangerous territory. We will surely perish if we don’t get help. A shepherd who is watching over a flock of sheep oftentimes will leave the flock and go looking for a single sheep which has wandered off of its own … to rescue it and bring it back to the fold.

God’s Word tells us that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd (John 10:14). He has a flock He watches over. He is out looking for lost sheep and wanting to bring them back to the fold.

Jesus finding lost sheep

It is God’s love for us that compels Him to be the Shepherd Who was willing to lay down His life for us. Upon finding lost sheep there is reason to rejoice for we are so very precious in His sight.

Jesus carrying lost sheep

Yes, Jesus is looking for lost sheep, but the problem is some sheep don’t want to be found. In God’s great love for us He created us with free will. We have the ability and freedom to choose. We can remain lost and wandering if we want to, but we are told that if we make this choice we will have a tragic fate. Jesus is a gentle Shepherd. He won’t force Himself upon us. But understand this … He loves you and I so much that He was willing to lay down His life for us … to take upon Himself the horrible punishment for our sins … in our place so that we would not have to face this ourselves. Only God could have provided the “innocent blood” needed … indeed, demanded and required … to accomplish this for us. Yes, even if one of us underwent the beating and crucifixion Jesus did it would have been in vain as none of us have “innocent blood”. We are all sinners. Only Jesus was without sin in His life. He paid the price so that we won’t have to. He offers us forgiveness and a new life in Him. But it can and will only happen if we come to Him on His terms. So if you are a lost sheep I encourage you to start bleating out … BAAAAA! BAAAAA! so that you may be found. Don’t be like this guy below.

lost sheep

If we choose to do so we can, but we will die in our sins and surely perish into eternal damnation. Jesus is coming back to earth soon. When He comes He is not coming as He did the first time. He is coming in righteous anger to pour out His wrath upon sinful Christ rejecting mankind. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart and ignore and reject Him. Seek Him while He may be found … while He is out looking for you … a lost sheep.                                                                                    BAAAA!

THE STORY OF JESUS

ECS0085_tell_me_story

When I originally posted this itwasis Easter Sunday so it was only fitting to share THE STORY OF JESUS.

came across an audio narration produced by Zondervan telling the story of Jesus Christ which I have been listening to and enjoying. It is dramatized and well done. I often listened to the audio bible on this same website but had not seen this offering before. Most of it is the reading of the text from the NIV bible. They have added some additional wording here and there to help tell the story. This would even be good for children to listen to. I encourage you to check it out.  HERE is a link to this audio story of Jesus.

There are 7 parts to it …

1) The birth of the King

2) Jesus’ ministry begins

3) No ordinary man

4) Jesus, the Son of God

5) The hour of darkness

6) The resurrection

7) New beginnings

In addition to the story of Jesus there are also several other readings available to listen to. You select from this same window (media player) which will appear:

Addiction – By My Spirit

           Comfort In Affliction

           You Were Called To Be Free

            Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus

            Now Is The Day Of Salvation

            Our Help Comes From God

            The Issues Of Life

             Light Shines In The Darkness

             Justice & Righteousness

              Forgive As The Lord Has Forgiven You

              You Are Loved & Of Great Value

              Hearts That Are Healed

              Fullness Of Joy

Finances –  Then You Will Be Prosperous & Successful

              God Loves You

               In Everything God Has Supremacy

                Rest In The Lord

                The Work Of God

                Find Hope

                Guard Your Heart

                The Word Of Life

                 Love The Lord

                 Wisdom & Understanding

                  We Are God’s Fellow Workers

                  Love One Another

                  Trust God

                  The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength

Peace –  My Peace I Give You

                  Fear Not

                  I Will Give You Rest

                  Righteousness, Peace & Joy

                  Angels

                   Straight Paths

                   Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

                   The Tender Mercies Of God

                   The Blood Of Christ

                   By His Wounds We Are Healed

                   Quietness & Trust

                   Take Refuge In The Lord

                   Love One Another

                   Humility & Gentleness

Witness The Bible –  Genesis To Jesus

                   Welcome

                    Creation, Genesis 1

                   Adam & Eve, Genesis 2

                    The Fall, Genesis 3

                     The Flood, Genesis 5, 6, 7 & 8

                     Abraham’s Calling, Genesis 10, 11 & 17

                      From Abraham To Boaz, Matthew 1, Ruth 1

                      A Family Reunited, Ruth 2

                      The Kinsman Redeemer, Ruth 3

                       Ruth’s Royal Line Of Redemption, Ruth 4

                       David & Goliath, 1 Samuel 17

                       From David to Jonah, Matthew 1, Jonah 1

                       In The Belly Of The Great Fish,  Jonah 2

                       The Second Chance, Jonah 3

                       Angry Unto Death, Jonah 4

                       A Greater Than Jonah Is Here, Matthew 12: 38-41

                       Gabriel Visits Mary, Luke 1: 26-38

                       Mary’s Prayer, Luke 1: 39-56

                       Return To Bethlehem, Luke 2:1-7

                       The Shepherds, Luke 2: 8-20

                       Wisemen, Matthew 2:1;12

                       Conclusion, John 3:16

Witness The Bible – Mark (readings from several chapters of the Gospel of Mark)

Witness The Bible – Joseph & Judah

                      Now Israel Loved Joseph

                      Potiphar

                      The Butler & The Baker

                      And Pharaoh Also Dreamed

                      Zaphnath-Paaneah

                      You Are Spies

                      Set On Meat!

                      The Silver Cup

                       Then Judah Drew Near To Joseph

                       You Sent Me Not Here

                       Land O’ Goshen!

                       Ephraim & Manasseh

                        Jacob Prophesies

                        ending with 5 cute songs by children

Morning & Evening Devotions by Charles Spurgeon for every day of the year

GOD LOVES AND GOD HATES

One of the search terms someone used resulting in visiting my blog was “God hates”. I Googled this and when I looked thru the search results I was quite saddened by much of what I saw. There were so many people who have grossly misquoted and misapplied Scripture and in thus doing have painted a very wrong picture of Who God is. They will be held accountable for doing so, but it concerns me greatly the damage people like this can do in influencing others. For instance, when people say things like God hates homosexuals they are most definitely guilty of misquoting and misapplying God’s Word. God does not hate homosexuals. He loves homosexuals. What He hates is the sin of homosexuality. There is a difference … a major difference! Nowhere in God’s Word does He say that He hates anyone. He loves everybody. He does, however, hate all sin. This is such a key thing. People are good at taking God’s Word out of context and misusing it. Another often misquoted passage of scripture is 1 Timothy 6:10 … “for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”. We often hear/read “money is the root of all evil” … leaving the “love of” off. Again, there is a big difference.

God is love! That doesn’t mean He can’t and doesn’t hate. What it does mean is that He is just and fair in all things. We hear people say that  they can’t believe in and follow a God Who would send someone to hell. All I can say to them is … “you don’t have to”. However, if you continue to take your position on this, you will be the loser as your ignorance and stubbornness comes at a very high price. You will stand before Jesus Christ in judgement and have no excuse … at least none that is acceptable. First of all it is not God Who is responsible for anyone going to hell. We are! God in His great love for us has done all He can do to keep us from ending up in hell. He loves us so much that He left heaven to come to earth to show us His love and to take upon Himself the punishment we deserve. He suffered and died on a cruel cross … the most terrible form of death devised by man. Yes, I said “we deserve”. You see, that is the problem! With the position some take concerning God they are not willing to own up to the fact that they are responsible for themselves … for their sin … and accountable to Him. They want to blame God and make Him responsible for their sin. That is ludicrous! It ain’t gonna’ happen!

God is holy and perfect in every way. We are sinful and our sin separates us from Him. He can not allow sin in His presence. That is why we must deal with the sin problem. We have nothing to offer Him other than ourselves. All of our own efforts are unacceptable to Him. We must come to Him on His terms. He requires of us that we acknowledge our sinfulness and that we are willing to turn from sin (repent) showing Him that we desire to follow Him and obey Him … to give ourselves in total surrender to Him. This is the only way we can receive His pardon and the death sentence over us. In doing so we not only receive His forgiveness, but we are adopted into His family with full benefits including eternal life with Him. That is a great deal! That is the ultimate expression of a loving God. He did not have to do this for us. Our sin condemns us and He could have left us in that state … without any hope … assured of eternal damnation in the lake of fire and anguish and torment forever and ever.

Here is another excellant video 28 minutes in duration which you can watch if interested:

I encourage you to READ what Jesus went thru to provide salvation for you and I so that we don’t have to go to hell. If after reading this about what God did for you I would ask you … do you still hold the same view and position? And if you do I would further ask you … how can you?

Yes, God loves and God hates but we need to understand things right. Sin is sin, however God calls some sin an abomination before Him. There is much difference between the word sin and the word abomination.      SIN VS. ABOMINIATION

Solomon spoke of the things that God hates, and the things that are an abomination unto Him in the book of Proverbs: “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes (a proud look), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)  “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is His delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)

The Greek word for sin is HARMATRIA or HARMARTANO. The meaning is “to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, and to violate God’s law”. The Hebrew word for sin is CHATA and means “to miss the way, to err, to miss the mark, to wander from the way, to become unclean”. Another Hebrew word used for sin is PESHA and means “transgression and rebellion”. It refers to those who rebel against God’s intended way in their lives.

The word for abomination in the New Testament, it is the Greek word BDELUSSO or BDELUGMA and means “to abhor, a foul thing, a detestable thing, to stink, smell bad, odious, wickedness, and to turn one’s self away from on account of the stench”. In the Old Testament there is more than one word used for abomination. The main word used is TOWEBAH and means “a disgusting thing, a thing of wickedness”. God hates all sin but there are certain sins which God has listed as an abomination before Him. Certainly the sin of homosexuality is one of them. Sexual perversion is an abomination in the sight of God. There are many forms of sexual perversion and mankind is involved in all of them. Most, if not all, are found in the church. God spoke to Moses, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 18:22 Homosexuality and lesbianism are abominations in the sight of God, a stink in His nostrils, that He will turn His face away from. All types of sexual sin defiles a society and will incur God’s judgement and wrath. We tend to forget Sodom and Gomorrah … two cities and their citizens God totally destroyed because of sexual sin. It is only by God’s grace that we too are not destroyed … yet. We live in a day and age where those who practice this wickedness boast about their disgusting sin. We even have the term “gay pride”. As a society we not only tolerate this in our midst, but a very large percentage of the population fully support the idea of such sin. How sad this all is. We even have homosexual churches and ministers. What an oxymoron!

Homosexuality is not the only sin going on in our midst that God is extremely displeased with so I don’t want to come across as singling out this sin and ignoring all others. And truthfully God is far more upset with sin among those who call themselves Christians that He is those that make no such profession.

God has made the difference between sin and abominations very plain in His Word. Sins are those things in our lives that cause us to miss the mark of the high calling in God. Abominations are those things that are an abhorrence unto Him, and a stink in His nostrils.

Yes, God loves but He also hates. Understanding the truth about both is essential. Acting upon that understanding of the truth is also essential.