God in three relationships Part I: God as your best friend

What does it take to be a great best friend? I think it is someone who is there for you through everything, whether big or small, whether positive or negative, through every accomplishment or pitfall, someone who will be there with you no matter what the circumstances.

A true best friend will be there to provide help when you need it. God does exactly that and more He fulfills everything you need.

Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 6:31-32, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”

A true best friend is also someone who is there to just talk and give advice, sometimes just to listen. God is there for you in prayer. He will guide you and remind you of what to do if you listen.

Isaiah 58:11, “11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

You also have a lot of fun with the person who is your best friend. God is a part of everything in your life. He is there during the fun times as well, good to keep that in mind by the way when you are out having fun, God is there with you. Ever be somewhere as a kid and do something wrong you thought you got away with only to turn around and see your Mom or Dad standing right there? The Father is there watching too, be good now.

The truth is God is there with you always.

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

He fits every one of your needs, there is no better best friend than God.

Have a blessed week,
-Chris

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The Common Denominator is people

Most everyone has a bogeyman or men that they blame all their problems or the problems of the world on. Sometimes its one particular person in their life, or a world leader. Sometimes it is a group of people based on their political beliefs, religious beliefs, race, gender or any other difference.

They say all the trouble and problems in their life or the world would be solved if only that person or group of people would change or be gone.

Well turn on the news, you will hear stories of people killing others, robbing others, hurting others, attempting to destroy all that is good. These people are from all different races, religions and backgrounds. Men, women, sometimes even children.

What’s the common denominator here? It’s people.

People are the ones who do the evil, evil does not discriminate, it does not chose race, gender, political affiliation or even the religious. Evil can infiltrate the heart of anyone.

Truth is we have one enemy, it is Satan, he is the one ruining the hearts of these people. But their is good news he was defeated by Jesus Christ.

Now there is many good people in the world, who do wonderful things but the truth is no one is sinless.

In order to be saved we must accept the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. His death on the cross gave us  salvation and reconciled us with God.

Once saved we have to remember to be the light of the World, don’t let yourself or Christians in general become the own personal “bogeyman” of someone.

Remember the wonderful good deeds that we Christians do can actually be done by non-Christians, we have to show the world the light of God in our lives. We have to show what makes us different from others.

Show the love God has shown you.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

New Year, New Life with God

Happy New Year everyone!

It is a New Year that means for many it’s a new opportunity to change their lives. We hype this time of the year up as if it is magical but in reality many fail in their resolutions. I stopped doing New Year’s resolutions as I always failed them and it made the New Year very stressful. They’re just not for me, if they are for you then great, I wish you luck and I’ll be praying for you.

Many may mock you but it is because they’re stuck in their ways and wish they could change.

The truth is though, you all out there can be successful in change, even the ones that scoff and mock. Just because you failed in the past doesn’t mean you will fail today.

The best first step is to go to God.

With God He can make all things new. I’ve seen memes where they say, “You don’t need a new year just a Monday.”

Well with God you don’t need a new year or a Monday; you just need a new moment.

Right now everything can change for you.

My entire life has been different since I started having a relationship with God.

I have seen change in myself and others around me, I have seen miracles both small and big. When you give your life to Christ, you will see how God will take care of you.

God has taken care of my wife and I in so many ways, I wish I could list them all here today. I should be writing more about the ways God has effected my life in order to show the love of God and His wondrous works.

Well, would look at that, maybe I do have a New Year’s resolution.

But I digress.

Please pledge your life to Christ today.

If you have fallen away, recommit your life to Christ today.

Don’t just start a new year, don’t just start a new week, start your new life today.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

Here are three great Bible verses for you………….today.

Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 I can do all things through [a]Christ who strengthens me.

2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Deuteronomy 31:6
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The Relief of Grace

One of the saddest things to hear is when an atheist describes abandoning their belief in God as a relief.

Truly if that is your belief than you really missed the God of the Bible.

If someone has caused you to feel this way whether a member of church or your family, you must remember that is not God’s intention.

Trust the Word of God, not words from man.

Read and study the Bible and you will see that despite everything people did, God was always there to save them. He took extreme measures to save us out of love.

God is not wearing you down, that is your own mind that has been conditioned into believing you have to be perfect or face Hell.

God’s commandments are not anything abnormal, the majority of countries laws follow the same standard.

One big difference, is grace. Try committing a crime, then apologizing and see how you the police and court handle you. Will they absolve you?

But with God if you accept Jesus’ sacrifice you are forgiven of sins, that doesn’t mean you won’t face Earthly consequences but you will obtain the Kingdom of Heaven.

How amazing is that?

Is that a God who is overbearing and cruel?

Grace is love, Grace is relief.

Accept God’s grace and you won’t want to sin. Of course you will stumble but when you do, go right back to God.

When you see how much God loves you and you love God you aren’t afraid of going to Hell, rather afraid that you will hurt the One who loves you more than all.

To my Christian brothers and sisters, we must remember to not abuse that grace, don’t sin knowing He will just figure you anyway. That is what people do in abusive relationships. They know the one they claim to love will continue to love them no matter what, so they continue to do wrong as a free pass. Don’t do that to the Lord.

This next sentence may come off as a bit harsh but I feel like it needs to be said. I want to emphasize don’t use the Word of God as a weapon to bully others or make yourself feel powerful. God is the powerful One. He sees your own sins and tells us to worry about them before we begin to try and remove other peoples.

Jesus came to save, He spoke of Hell as a warning not a tool to force belief.

God is love.

Thank you God for you love and grace.

Have a blessed week,
Chris

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

God and Destiny

This week I am writing about God and Destiny. I want to show despite Him giving us free will and leaving our choices up to us (see last week) some things are destined by the will of God.

Jesus’ story is the prime example of this. He knew exactly how He would die*, He knew about His resurrection*, He knew His Betrayer** and even knew Peter would deny Him.**

It is important to know that it always okay to ask God to change your course. We just need to remember when the course is not changed to accept it and trust in God, just like Jesus did. You show true faith by trusting in God in the middle of the storm.

Jesus gave us a perfect example of this as well, remember when He petitioned to the Father about his destiny in Luke 22:42, “42“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 

The Father sent him an angel to comfort Him and He completed His mission just as the Father wanted.

God I pray that you guide us all to do Your will and grant us the wisdom to know when it is destined to be and the strength to battle through all of life’s storms.

Have a blessed week,
-Chris

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+9%3A21-27&version=NLT *

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+22&version=NIV **