Fall

*First off I would like to thank my wife Jane and of course the Lord for this blog post idea. I was having a bit of trouble coming up with a topic this week and we prayed on it over breakfast and it came to Jane from God.* 

My favorite season is here, fall and it is beautiful. Thinking of the word fall it makes me think of the fall of humanity. We as a people fell and despite this God showed His love by sending the Son to die for our sins, it is a beautiful story.

During fall when a tree’s leaves die they are beautiful in their death and after a time the tree’s leaves are resurrected, during the beginning of spring, which actually coincides with the time of Jesus resurrection (Easter).

Jesus’ death was gruesome and horrific but the message of why He did it is truly beautiful. He did it so the whole world would be saved, not one nation, not a select group of people but the entire world.

Jesus’ resurrection was the ultimate miracle and the perfect ending to one story and the perfect beginning to another.

Have a blessed week,
Christopher

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God Can Change All

A story from the Bible has been on my mind for a while.  I believe it truly captures Jesus’ love perfectly.

It’s the story of the Samaritan Woman at the well.

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.

Let’s take a look at the story.  The Samaritan people were despised by the Jews. By talking to this woman about salvation, Jesus showed that He loved everyone and that He was sent to save the World not just the Jews. Also it was a cultural shift, this is one of many times the Bible shows the value of women in a time when women were considered second class. Women are loved just as much as Men.

The woman was even immersed in sexual immorality. Jesus wanted to save her despite this. How often do we as Christian shun out sinners? How many of us are first in line to cast a stone when someone you know sins?

This is unacceptable.

Jesus said it was the sick who need a physician not the healthy. If you see someone stuck in sin, then they need to be in Church more than ever.  They need the love of God more than ever. We dare not shut them out.

Especially since God sees your own sin. He knows we aren’t perfect. That’s why the Son came. God wants us all to be saved. He showed that in how He changed what we associate the word Samaritan with.

It’s amazing how much the term Samaritan has changed. Now it’s a positive word. We all remember the story of the Good Samaritan. Now people refer to those who help others as a Good Samaritan. There is even a great organization called Samaritans Purse.

God shows that He loves us all and can change not just how we live but can create an entire culture shift.

He can turn something despised into something admired.

Who right now out in the World is despised? Who just by saying one word, people react negatively to?  God can change that entirely. He can turn whatever is negative into positive.

To some parts of the World the word Christian has a negative connotation.

Let’s change their opinion of us. Let’s show God’s love, let’s not just have God change us, but the World.

Follow The Way, today.

-Have a blessed week,
Chris

The Circle of Forgiveness

Forgiveness in the Christian Doctrine is like a circle, it all connects and if any part of the circle is broken it loses its shape and meaning.

The first step to forgiveness is to ask God to forgive you of your sins, He will always forgive you. That is the most important and crucial part of the circle. In order to enter it you must first ask to be forgiven, God is there waiting for you to join Him inside.

Salvation comes from forgiveness from God, without asking you cannot receive it.

It is also important to continue to repent after you’re saved. God knows what is in your heart but showing obedience by praying to Him after a mistake shows Him that you love Him.

Remember your salvation is not a license to sin, don’t abuse your relationship with the Lord. Show Him the same love He shows you.

The second part of the circle is to forgive yourself. That is a very difficult task, forgiving yourself for all you have done. Just last night I laid awake thinking about things I did in High School.

But remember God is more important than yourself, if He can forgive you. Then you can forgive yourself.

It is very similar to loving your neighbor as you love yourself, if you don’t love yourself how can you love your neighbor the same? Well if you can’t forgive yourself how can you forgive your neighbor?

Which brings us to the third and final part of the circle, forgiving others.

God calls us to forgive others it’s included in the Lord’s Prayer and in many verses throughout the Bible.

In Matthew 6:14-15 we read, “14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Also in Luke 17: 3-4 it says, “3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

I will include a link to 20 verses on forgiveness in the Bible.

Once again I must emphasize we are not greater than God so if He chooses forgive others than you should too.

The circle of forgiveness goes like this…

God forgives, your forgive yourself and then you forgive others. God will always forgive you so the circle can only be broken by yourself. It is also up to you to keep the circle flowing so you can get back to God.

The Lord is waiting on you to enter the circle.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

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

Two Year Wedding Anniversary

Two years ago today I married my wife Jane.

Meeting Jane changed my life, we were connected to each other from the beginning and shared so much in common, we fell in love almost right away.

However one big thing we did not have in common was our belief in God. I was always a believer while Jane was agnostic.

I had many discussions with her about it that led nowhere. I was frustrated, I felt like I needed to save her.

But the truth was God needed to save us both. While my belief was strong, my actions and the way I lived my life was not the way God would want.

I decided to get closer to Christ, however I didn’t realize God was working his way into Jane’s heart as well.

She came to me one day and asked to go to church, I was shocked. After many services, discussions, bible readings, book readings and many many videos on YouTube. I asked her why she still wasn’t calling herself a Christian.

She looked down and said “Because I don’t feel I am worthy”

I told her, “None of us are.” She smiled and looked up, I  looked down at her and gave her a hug.

She accepted Christ that day.

When she did her smile lit up the room. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. When she offered her heart to Jesus, He took it, like He always will to anyone who asks.

God was there for us, holding us together through all of our ups, downs, the losses, the pain and He was there to celebrate all the joyous moments in our life.

When it came time for the wedding we really stressed out about it. I will say my wife did an amazing job finding high quality items for really good prices. She did tremendous.

Our church was there for us too, we were going back and forth on locations, every venue seemed to be to expensive or just wouldn’t fit.

After Church one Sunday our Pastor looked at us and said, “Why don’t you just have the wedding here?”

Man did that turn out to be a huge relief.

It was the Church’s first wedding and the first time our Pastor officiated one (I think the Pastor’s Mother was just as excited as we were).

A lot of people helped us along the way and I thank all of you.

Most importantly thank you God, Who helped us and continues to do so each and every day.

The wedding was beautiful and we loved every moment of it.

But of course we look forward to another wedding, as do many believers. The marriage of Christ and His Believers.

That will truly be the greatest day in all of our lives.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Doer of the Word

As it says in James 1:22-25, “22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

We must not just listen and hear the Word of God we must do the will of the Father. Knowing scripture is not enough, the Pharisees were experts on scripture, yet missed the coming of the Messiah.

We must bring people to God and do so in the right away, in John Chapter 4 Jesus encountered a Samaritan woman, He asked her for a drink of water and then spoke to her about her sins, He promised to give her living water so she would never be thirsty again. Jesus didn’t point out her sins to condemn her or threaten her with Hell but instead He showed her love, the living water, His message was love not fear. Bringing people to God out of fear will led to them falling away. A successful relationship must be built on love not fear.

Also in John 4 (39-42), Jesus stayed two extra days on request of the Samaritan people, use that as a guide, we must take time and change our schedules to save others and help those in need.

Remember we too can give Jesus something to drink. Remember in Matthew 24: 35-40,  “35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

We are called to help those suffering, no matter what their beliefs are or what they may have done. God is willing to forgive ALL sins.

We must go out and do the work God has asked us to do. Without going out and doing the work we cannot truly be called servants of God, someone can take classes and read books to learn how to become a mechanic but until they actually do the work they are not a real mechanic.

Support and believe in others around you. Sometimes a person says they are going to turn their life around or go and serve God in the community, and others will look at one another and scoff or mock the person, they point out their flaws, laugh at them, ask who does this person think they are?

Jesus was treated this way in his own town. In Mark 6:1-3, “Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.”

Believe in your brothers and sisters.

Let’s go out and do the will of the Father today.

Father, I pray that You guide me to do Your will and not my own. Be patient with me and help me help others as You help me. Amen

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Links:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A22-25&version=NKJV

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

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A35-40&version=NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+6&version=NKJV