Look Again

We as human beings try to do the right thing by our standards. I often think about how I could help more and what I would do or should do if I encounter someone in need, I tell myself I would try my best to fill that need.

I was reminded recently that God knows what is best and what is needed not us.

Here’s what happened the other day, I left the grocery store and I saw a homeless man sitting on the side walk with nothing but a few bags beside him. His head was hanging sadly.

My mind immediately began to race about what to do. Do I give him money? Some of my food? Ask him what needs? All these thoughts were racing through my mind.

I decided to ask God.

I could hear the words, “Pray.”

I did exactly that. I prayed for his needs to be met. But then of course that didn’t seem good enough so I asked God, “Okay, now what?”

I heard, “Now get in the car and drive away”.

I got in my car went to drive but then thought this can’t be right, I have food, some spare cash, I could supply him with something.

Then I heard, “Look again”.

So I did and I saw him differently than I had originally.

The man had four full bags next to, his backpack was also full and his head wasn’t hanging in sadness but instead he was asleep.

The man’s current need was sleep.

If I had approached him to try and meet what I thought he needed then I would have been interfering with what he actually needed.

God knows our needs.

Trust in Him.

He will provide for you and others.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

God is Easy to Forget

It’s easy to forget God.

So easy to forget Him during our struggles. We forget He can help us.

So easy to forget our Lord during our triumphs. With all the praise given to us by others and even ourselves it’s easy to forget to thank Him.

How often do you hear about a famous person who was raised in a Christian home but now has abandoned the faith. They got their millions and exactly what they needed so they feel they no longer need God.

I’m not picking on the rich this happens to people in all the different economic classes.

We all forget about the Lord sometimes.

Why is that?

Because it’s easy.

The alternative is hard.

Putting your faith in God when it seems like there is no hope can be terrifying.

But the Lord says “Fear not”.*

Praising God for your accomplishments rather then giving yourself all the credit is hard and takes a humble heart.

But the Lord says, “Those who humble themselves will be exalted and those who exalt themselves will be humbled”.**

We forget God because we can.

We will continue to do this until we can’t.

We will continue to do this until we are face to face with the Lord.

What will happen then?

Will you be welcomed as His child in to His home or will He forget you as you forgot Him?

It all depends.

Have you accepted Him and His grace?

Or have you rejected Him?

The ball is in your court, if you reject Him, He will reject you.

If you accept Him, He will accept you. And your life will change forever and ever.

He will be with you always.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

*https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+41%3A10&version=NKJV

**https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23%3A12&version=NKJV

Grace is a Gift

Well with us being close to a week into the New Year and today being the Epiphany the holiday season is officially over.

This week I’ve decided to write about something I struggle with and that is my struggle with grace and being too hard on myself.

It’s very important not to hold yourself to higher standards than God.

He has given you grace as a gift. It doesn’t come with a gift receipt. Don’t try to return it. Accept it.

If you make a mistake, call out to the Lord, ask for forgiveness and focus on the solution not the problem.

God is the solution.

He can and will get you through whatever you’re going through.

When you mess up remember, He forgives you, so forgive yourself.

God is greater than all, He knows what is best. I’ll say it again don’t hold yourself to a higher standard than God does.

Before I had a strong relationship with the Lord I found myself feeling immensely guilty when I would sin. I would feel so terrible and put so much pressure on myself that I would feel sick from being so hard on myself. I would then abandon having a relationship with the Lord. I would stop reading the Bible and lose focus on the Lord.

This of course just led to more sin and unhappiness.

It was only when I truly gave myself to the Lord that I was able to see His grace and allow Him to do His work through me.

My entire life has changed since then and I truly have been able to change.

All thanks and praise to God.

If God is choosing not to punish you, don’t punish yourself.

There may be consequences on Earth for your sin, if they’re trust in God’s will and accept it. But remember ultimately you are forgiven by His grace.

The ultimate punishment you can bestow upon yourself is keeping yourself from God.

Go to Him humbly and let Him change you.

Remember…

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+4%3A13&version=NKJV

New Year’s

Hello, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

 

Anyone else feel 2019 has just flown by? I know it seems that way for me.

 

As we reflect on all that has occurred over the last year, let’s make sure to thank God for all His blessings He has given us. He has been with us through the good and bad moments, the trials and the victories. He has been with us through it all.

 

I know many of us make New Year’s Resolutions but one amazing thing about God is you don’t need a new year or a new month or a new week or even a new day. With the Lord you just need a new moment.

 

Give yourself over to God, He can change your life today.

 

Have a Blessed Week and a Happy New Year!

 

-Chris.

 

PS-If you could keep my family and I in your prayers I’d appreciate it. My older brother, his child and girlfriend are dealing with stomach flu, while my side are dealing with a cold.

Merry Christmas 2019!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Nothing better to post than the story of Christmas…

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Luke 2:1-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [b]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And [c]behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a [d]manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill[e] toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made [f]widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

In Defense of Christmas-A Re-post

I wrote this a couple years ago. Since I already re-blogged this last year it won’t let me re-blog it again this year. Unfortunately the topic still seems to be an issue still so I am re-posting this entry for the third year in a row, hopefully it will reach a few different readers.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris…

It seems the new trend for many Christians is abandoning Holidays like Christmas and Easter. They shout that it is Pagan and we shouldn’t celebrate these things. Some even condemn those who do to Hell. Seems pretty harsh too me.

I often wonder if these people who go on commenting about these things or pointing out every “False Prophet” on the internet, really have God in their minds and heart or are they just using this time to make themselves feel better than other people? They claim they are doing this out of love, and that we need to “correct” our Christian brothers and sisters.

Doesn’t sound a lot like Jesus’ message of love, compassion and forgiveness does it?

I love all my Christian brothers and sisters. Views may be different but the most important thing we must do is show love. You know who loves believers arguing and dividing themselves over small things like holidays? Satan. God wants us to love each other not fight.

I also love Christmas, so many stories of miracles, people reuniting with Family, putting their differences aside and coming together. People become more charitable and volunteer more around this time. Church attendance increases. Many become saved this time of the year. I think God would approve of this Christianized Holiday. God accepted Gentiles, their countries, why not make some of their traditions Godly too?

I look forward to this time of the year, which is my favorite and I hope you all enjoy it too.

Be Blessed

Jesus with the Samaritan Woman at the Well Covers So Much

Jesus’s conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well is one of my favorite moments in scripture and the reason is when you look deeply you see how much is addressed in their moment together.

First here is the story in the Bible…

A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah

Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4&version=NKJV

In this conversation Jesus covered racism and sexism, He confronted someone immersed in sin and told this person how to get out of the sin and have eternal life.

This story also busts the myth of God being this impersonal being. Many look at God this way, they say things like, “if there is a god, he doesn’t have time to deal with your small problem.”

But there IS a God, the one and only God. He does have time for you and He does care about your problems whether small or big.

Jesus cared for this woman and wanted to save her, He was not focused on how the world viewed her, He was focused on how He viewed her.

In the world she was looked down on because of her race (being a Samaritan), she was less valued in that culture because she was a woman and she was immersed in sexual immorality and sin.

But God loved her. It didn’t matter to Him that she wasn’t a Jew, she wasn’t valued any less for being a woman. He wanted her saved and He offered her the key to eternal life.

Jesus valued this woman in the story just as much as the large groups of sometimes thousands of people He spoke to.

God values you just the same.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

The Lack of Trust in the Church

I once got into a debate with a person in the comment section of a video. They were arguing against giving a church or pastor money when they asked. They argued if a church needed Bibles or anything like that he would send them the items but he won’t send them money. I countered him with different arguments but couldn’t change his view.
In the end we decided to end the debate as neither one of us was getting through to the other.
I’ve thought about that conversation many times since. I get hung up on that debate due to a trend recently I’ve seen of people holding a similar view or even more harshly where they refuse to give anything to a church or pastor.
When the subject comes to my mind I try to think of more points I could have made.
But recently it hit me, I had been focusing so much on the debate that I didn’t think about the core issue.
Those people don’t trust their brothers and sisters in Christ.
They believe that the church and pastor will misuse the money given to them. They don’t trust that the Holy Spirit will guide them on how to use it.
And you know what? Even if they do misuse the money. God will see it. God will handle it in His way.
He also sees what’s in your heart. He knows why you may not be giving. But if the reason is you don’t trust your brothers and sisters in Christ than that’s a shame.
Let God guide you on how you give. Sometimes He may guide you to give more than you want, sometimes less than you think you should, maybe He will guide you not give it all.
But ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, not your own will but His.
This topic is bigger than just giving money.
We as a church lack trust in general.
We use “discernment” as a license to judge. Often leading to us hiding the Light of God from the World.
Look at the reaction many are having about Kanye West. They immediately threw him under the bus and refused to believe his story.
There has been much written about Mr. West and his conversion, I am not focusing on just one man.
I want the church to look at themselves. If your friend was a person who immersed himself in evil and then gave his life to Christ would you want him to be judged in the same way we do to celebrity converts or others you don’t know?
Jesus pointed out to us how easy it is to love our friends* but we are told by Him we must also love our enemies.
So when an enemy becomes a brother or sister in Christ shouldn’t you love them just the same as a friend of yours who becomes a brother or sister in Christ?
This isn’t a new problem. Read the Bible. The people around Job believed he must have sinned and that caused him to lose everything, people didn’t trust Paul’s conversion to Christianity either.
I am not going to lie, I’m very guilty of this myself. I judge people, Lord help me I do.
I know it’s easy when confronted about judging others to say, “The Bible tells me I must use discernment.”
However we must remember the difference between discernment and judgment.
Yes the Bible tells us to discern. We must look at a situation and use wisdom to understand if it goes with the Word of God.
But that doesn’t mean you go and point out the flaws of a person and tell them they’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing or that they’re lying or that they’re going to Hell. That is judgment.
Discern whether or not your using discernment.
I saw this quote on Facebook, “The only One who had the authority to cast a stone, didn’t”.
That is something we truly must remember.
Trust your brothers and sisters. Help them, be with them, love them. Because God loves them.
And He loves you.
Have a Blessed Week,
Chris.
Here is some scripture that relates to this week’s blog…

James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was[e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+2%3A14-26&version=NKJV

Luke 21:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Widow’s Two Mites

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.[a]So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings[b]for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+21%3A1-4&version=NKJV

*Luke 6:32-36 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A32-36&version=NKJV

Thanksgiving

The Good Word

It’s Thanksgiving time, a perfect time to reflect and be thankful for what God has given us, family, love, finances, forgiveness, salvation, so many things.

Take the time and think about it and pretty much everything you have can be credited to the Lord.

The blessings from God I have received are endless, from my family, the good times and bad, He is always there to provide for my wife and I.

Thank you God.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Here is a link to some Bible verses that are great for Thanksgiving.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/thanksgiving-bible-verses/

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NFL Quarterback Nick Foles on God, Trials and Doubt

Nick Foles was asked if he had any doubt about getting his starting quarterback job back after his injury.

This was his response,

“No. Right when I felt this thing break, that’s when I went into the locker room and I realized, ‘God, this wasn’t exactly what I was thinking. Obviously, you get here and you want to create a culture and impact people. But at the end of the day, if this is the journey you want me to go on, I’m going to glorify you in every action, good or bad.’ I still could have joy in an injury. People hear that and say that’s crazy, but when you believe in Jesus. You go out there and you play, that changes your heart.”

“Just like when I hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, the reason I’m smiling, my faith was in Christ. In that moment, I realized I didn’t need that trophy to define who I was because it was already in Christ. That’s my message when I played. Same thing happens when I get injured. We tend to make this so much about us as human beings. It’s not about us. If you make it about yourself, you’re probably going to go home at night and lay your head on your pillow and be very alone and very sad.”

“Our purpose isn’t football. It’s impacting people. My ministry happens to be the locker room. I’ve still been able to get to know these guys through an injury.”

“From a spiritual perspective, I’ve been able to grow as a human being. I feel like I’m at a better situation as a person than I was before because of the trial I just went under. I know that’s a sermon in itself but that’s how I go through life. It’s not always about prosperity. I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel. I believe if you read the word of God and you understand it, there’s trials along the way but they equip your heart to be who you are.”

What an amazing message.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris