Where Will You Land?

Happy Easter To All

For Christians, Easter is a time of joyful celebration. However many folks, especially unbelievers, can’t understand how anyone would joyfully celebrate the death of someone they say they love. We believe, therefore we celebrate!

As committed followers of Jesus Christ we believe with all our heart, mind, soul and strength:

  • We believe in one God (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures . . . without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (of sins – Hebrews 9:22). On the third day, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into Heaven where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
  • We believe the Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior, indwelling our hearts. He gives us new life, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
  • We believe from birth we were estranged from God and condemned by our inherited sinfulness from Adam and Eve and our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8 – NLT). God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
  • We believe Jesus Christ will come again to the earth personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
  • We believe the Holy Bible is the infallible (cannot err) Word of God.

We believe, therefore we celebrate!

If Jesus had not shed His blood and died, our sins would not have been forgiven in God’s eyes. More importantly, if God the Father had not raised Jesus from the dead then His death, and the forgiveness of our sins, would have been a meaningless sacrifice!

The resurrection power of Jesus defeating death itself insured that all who believe in Him, His death, burial, and resurrection, would also be resurrected to eternal life in a perfectly new heaven and new earth. This is VERY GOOD NEWS to all who believe in Him!

I found a great illustration that I hope will give readers a perfect picture of what life can and will be like with, and without, a relationship with Jesus Christ.

A thrill-seeker named Luke Aikins accomplished something most folks wouldn’t even dream of doing. Luke made a 25,000 foot jump from an airplane. A lot of folks might do that but very few would do it with NO parachute!

Check out his amazing free-fall video HERE!

So, how does Luke’s free-fall into the safety net relate to a relationship with Jesus? I’m glad you asked!

Because of our inherited sinfulness from Adam and Eve, we are all born sinners and separated from a relationship with the God who created us. From birth we are all literally free-falling through life and heading straight to the pits of Hell once we take our last breath. We don’t have a safety net to break that fall, to save us. That is the power of sin, and that makes Satan very happy!

However, for those who repent (have a change of heart and mind away from a sinful past) and believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, Jesus instantly becomes our safety net. He is the only One, the only safety net, who can save us from eternal destruction, living a life in the pits of Hell forever! Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is  ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12 – NIV)

My hope and prayer for all who do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the only safety net that can save sinners from eternal damnation, is that you will take time right now and ask Jesus to come into your life and acknowledge Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

As believers all around the world celebrate Easter giving thanks for the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the only One who can save us, may you too join us as we celebrate our new life with Jesus. For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I’ll close by introducing you to my favorite Christian praise band, We The Kingdom, who sing an AWESOME and very appropriate song that fits perfectly with all I’ve shared with you. GOD SO LOVED.

If you liked what you just heard from WTK, you’ll love the first song they released, HOLY WATER.

HE IS RISEN! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

A Palm Sunday Lesson

It’s Time To Refocus!

What can we learn from the historical account of the first Palm Sunday celebration found in the Holy Bible that took place over 2000 years ago?

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the entire world upside down and instilled various degrees of fear in most everyone. Additionally, it didn’t help that there were all kinds of mandates and commands that seemed to conflict with each other in many instances. It seemed like we never knew who or what to believe or trust!

Next, here in the U.S.A., we had a controversial presidential election that tarnished the trust in our electoral process for tens of millions of voters .

Through all of this turmoil going on, and like the Hebrews living during Jesus’ time on earth, I think it’s fair to say that conservatives, and especially Christians all around the world, are feeling a great deal of mistrust and persecution these days as well.

If we aren’t careful, like the Hebrews in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago, our natural tendency will be to look and hope for someone to come on the scene and save us from all our trials and tribulations.


The Triumphal Entry Of Jesus

When He (Jesus) had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. (Luke 19:28-35)

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” (John 12:12,13)


The ancient Hebrews, instructed by the prophets, had clear notions of the Messiah (God’s Anointed One who would be their King and Savior); but these notions became gradually depraved, so that when Jesus appeared in Judea, the Jews entertained a false conception of the Messiah, expecting a temporal monarch and conqueror, a King who would remove the Roman yoke on the world once and for all. Hence they were appalled at the outward appearance, the humility, and seeming weakness of our Savior.

They were looking for a natural common sense solution and totally missed the fact that God had sent a supernatural eternal solution to  those who would believe and put their trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.

May we too, who have a tendency to put our faith in what imperfect men and women can do to save us from our problems and persecutions, remember to keep our focus on and put our faith in the only One who can save us and offer us eternal life. To God be the glory!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

AMERICA . . . WAKE UP!

America Needs More Concerned Citizens With The Courage To Boldly Speak Up In Defense Of Our Judeo-Christian Values!

The heartfelt message below was sent to me by one of my high school classmates who is very concerned about the direction America is heading under the Biden/Harris administration, and I was given permission to share it.

I would also like to unashamedly acknowledge that we are both Christians. We are imperfect sinners just like everyone else living in this broken imperfect sinful world.

I say this upfront because as you read the message, and information I’ve inserted below, it would be absolutely wrong to conclude it is a message spewing hate at a specific people group, namely the LBGTQ community, including the elected officials who have just voted to pass a bill in the House of Representatives named H.R.5, the “Equality Act”.

As Christians we are taught and commanded to hate sin of any kind, just as Jesus did, but not to hate the sinner because we all fall short of God’s perfect standards and are in desperate need of a Savior. Jesus also commanded us to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and that’s exactly what we endeavor to do every day in spite of our differences.


This is CRITICAL information for every parent and citizen of the United States to know. I hope that you will read this, or listen to the message, which you can do by scrolling down the page to the video link.

The message is from Dutch Sheets, a pastor in South Carolina. If you believe in religious rights and freedoms as defined in the FIRST AMENDMENT of our Constitution, I hope you will be moved to call your Senators and send this message on to others.

This is a very critical time in our nation. The text and video are about the “Equality Act” that the extreme left is trying to pass. In fact, it has already passed the House of Representatives and will now go to the Senate. This bill, if passed into law, will alter all of our lives, and more importantly, the lives of our children and grandchildren for years to come. It is NOT about being “kinder” and “more tolerant”. The agenda they are trying to push is about dramatic change that continues to erode our constitutionally protected religious rights as well as our freedom of speech.

Again, this is not being pushed by moderate Democrats, although many of them will most likely “go along” if we don’t speak up because of the pressure mounting on them by the extremists in their party.

The reality is this is a new Democratic Party led by the extreme left who are not really just “liberals” anymore. They want to override all that this country stands for and the values our constitution was founded upon. The reality, whether we want to believe it or not, is that we are on our way to all of the “isms” we have heard mentioned and that dominate countries that we would consider adversaries.

Please read and think about what this is going to mean to our families, our children, and our grandchildren as they grow up. This will be a much different place to live, and will cause even more CONTROLS to be placed on our lives, and our freedoms.

If you disagree with me, I still urge you to read/view the link below and follow up with more investigation. Our faith-based rights to stand on biblical principles will no longer be held up in our churches, schools, or in our courts.

Jesus loves all people, but that does not mean He loves every action and every ‘belief’ or ‘feeling’ we may want to grab hold of. When someone was wrong Jesus did not hesitate to point that out, even to the most religious, the Pharisees, who were eroding the biblical teachings with their own set of commandments. That is exactly what some in our government are trying to do right now by pushing very immoral behavior on all of us as a moral “right”. It is NOT!

I have certainly learned, through my own mistakes, the necessity of building my belief system on the Word of God, NOT the word of man. Men are fallible, God’s Word is infallible (incapable of error), and many would lead us in directions for the sake of their own greed, power, and agendas.

These days we have to search for TRUTH because it is certainly not broadcast on the venues that are most accepted. This is pretty evident as we watch the attempts to crush and eliminate voices expressing their first amendment rights with a different point of view.

Again, I hope you will take the time to read or listen to this message or turn to the additional sites that are mentioned (Intercessors for America and FRC Action) for more information.  Then, if you are so moved, please pass this information on as a concerned parent and citizen.  If you disagree, I welcome discussion.

Please read and/or listen to Pastor Sheets’ message HERE.


Additionally, John Stonestreet, who writes on BreakPoint for the Colson Center, gave a concise and breathtaking overview of H.R.5:

“To be clear, you should only care about the Equality Act if you are a Christian, or a person of faith, or a woman, or own a business, or run a non-profit, or go to school, or teach at a school, or if you are a medical or mental-health professional, or (especially) if you are a female athlete, or under the age of 18, or ever use a public restroom. That’s not an exaggeration. In fact, here is the exact wording from the Equality Act:

‘An individual shall not be denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.’

This applies to . . .

‘any establishment that provides a good, service, or program, including a store, shopping center, online retailer or service provider, salon, bank, gas station, food bank, service or care center, shelter, travel agency or funeral parlor, or establishment that provides health care,accounting or legal services,” along with any organization that receives any federal funding.’

As Ryan Anderson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center described in an op ed this week:

‘Medical doctors, secular and religious, whose expert judgment is that sex-reassignment procedures are misguided would now run afoul of our civil-rights laws. If you perform a mastectomy in the case of breast cancer, you will have to perform one on the teenage girl identifying as a boy. All in the name of equality.’

Shelters for battered women would be forced to admit biological males. Prisons would not be able to protect female inmates from predatory males who claim to be females. Biological males will be given the opportunities, scholarships, and championships of female athletes.

It’s not clear that women’s sports would survive. More religious adoption and foster-care agencies would be forced to compromise their convictions about marriage and the family or shut down. School bathrooms and locker rooms would be open to both sexes.

In addition to these effects, the Equality Act would bring with it three broad, sweeping changes. First, specific conscience protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which have long been legal priorities, would be circumvented in cases deemed discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Effectively, conscience rights considered religiously-based would be tossed aside.

Second, anyone who affirms the biological reality of the sexes would be, in law, relegated to the same status as the racists whose oppression of African Americans made the 1964 Civil Rights Act necessary.

Finally, The Equality Act would have a dramatic impact on education, public or private. According to a new coalition called Promise to America’s Children, a coalition I’m proud to be a part of, the Equality Act greases the skids for even more graphic curricula “about sex, abortion, and politicized ideas about sexual orientation and gender identity ideology . . .” Not only that, but as federal legislation, this would affect every state, not just progressive ones, “overriding efforts by concerned parents and community members at the local level.”

It’s not over, however. The Equality Act still faces significant obstacles in the Senate. Here are three things you can do:

  • Contact your Representatives and your Senators and let them know to oppose the Equality Act.
  • Share widely the resources and articles on the Equality Act found at BreakPoint.org.
  • Go to promisetoamericaschildren.org and sign the statement committing to prioritize children’s rights over adult happiness and share the resources found there with your pastor, church, and community.”

I totally agree that we need more conservatives, and especially Christians, speaking with the boldness and courage to push back against those who roam around like roaring lions seeking to devour and destroy all that is good and righteous in God’s eyes. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8,9). “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

I also believe every church that stands on the Word of God should pray Pastor Sheets’ prayer corporately during every worship service until H.R.5 is defeated. Then, continue to pray unceasingly for the leadership of our nation, and for God’s grace and mercy on this great nation He has so richly blessed since its founding.

May all who view the Word of God (the Holy Bible) as absolute infallible Truth continue to stand strong in our Lord remembering to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21) so one day, like the Apostle Paul, all Christians can say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

God’s perfect will be done through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, AMEN!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Keeping Our Eyes On The Ultimate Prize!

Short & Sweet

Our daughter sent us the encouraging words below from a brief on-point message her pastor wrote on January 21st.

Although he was speaking to remind Christians of who we are, and whose we are, there is much wisdom for believers and unbelievers alike to take away from his message.

For believers in Jesus Christ’s virgin birth, death and resurrection, his words below should bring a great sense of peace and joy to our hearts, minds, and souls.

To unbelievers, my prayer is that as you read the words below, God’s Holy Spirit will nudge your hearts and minds to want to know more about how to receive His free gift of eternal life through a personal relationship with His Son.


Yesterday’s presidential inauguration brought at least the possibility of a new chapter for America, though deep divisions remain. But for followers of Jesus, it was also a reminder that whichever party is in control of government, we have a better Leader, a more stable Kingdom, a greater future.

That’s what Colossians 1:12-14 means when it says, “Give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son, in which we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

The three words that form the backbone of that passage remind us that a relationship with Jesus isn’t just a personal experience but also a dual citizenship in America and the Kingdom of God:

  • We’ve been QUALIFIED … To share in the inheritance of the saints
  • We’ve been DELIVERED… From the domain of darkness
  • We’ve been TRANSFERRED… to the Kingdom of the Son

Being a citizen of this great nation is a blessing. But being a citizen of the Kingdom, well, that’s a blessing of an altogether different order.

Following Jesus doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand, withdrawing from public life and waiting for the Lord to come back to fix everything. Elections matter and the consequences that flow from them make a real difference in people’s lives.

But if faith means anything, it means we put more trust in God than in politics. It also means that we believe in God’s final authority over all earthly governments and one day every one of us…Republican, Democrat, and everyone in between, will give an account to Him.


All I can say is, THANK YOU JESUS, AMEN!!!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Would Jesus Have Joined The Assault On The Capitol?

Please give Pierri’s article a read and see if you agree, or not.


Can Nationalism Really Be Christian?

During the siege of the Capitol, you didn’t have to look hard to see invading protestors carrying Bibles or waving “Jesus Saves!” signs. This was not an atheistic attack on democracy, but a religiously-motivated one. Yet the question remains: can this religion be rightly called Christianity?

I do not doubt that those who stormed the Capitol this past Wednesday earnestly believed they were fighting on behalf of democracy—and I also do not doubt they believed they were somehow fighting for Jesus.

In the Midwest, a group erected a cross in front of the Michigan Capitol in solidarity with the D.C. protestors. After seeing an image of the demonstration, a friend of mine messaged me, “And with that is the clear final nail in the coffin that holds what remains of my Christian faith.”

I won’t attempt to unravel the ways conspiracy theories, QAnon, “fake news,” and Trumpism have so tightly bound together Christianity and nationalistic fervor (others have already done this with much greater depth and clarity). This is not the first time Christianity and nationalism have been mixed—and it most certainly will not be the last.

A quick scan of history reveals other examples of followers of Jesus confusing the heavenly kingdom promised by God and the earthly kingdom promised by demagogues. (Let’s not forget that Nazism was birthed in the home country of the great reformer Martin Luther.) Yet the mixture goes back much further to the time of the apostle Paul.

Paul’s Religious Nationalism
Paul of Tarsus was an early Christian leader, missionary, and church planter who wrote most of the Christian New Testament. But his biography reveals a different starting point.

As a Jew, Paul believed that one day God would establish an earthly kingdom that would endure forever.¹ As time went on, this promise seemed less and less likely to be fulfilled. After a long period of exile, they were now living under the Roman Empire.

A group of Jews known as the Zealots believed that force and violence were sometimes necessary in pursuit of the establishment of God’s kingdom. They saw themselves in the tradition of Phinehas, an Israelite who had long ago purged evil from an Israelite camp by plunging a spear through two sinning people.²

Paul watched approvingly as his compatriots killed a Christian named Stephen, and then he began a Zealot-esque campaign himself: “Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”⁴ When his ancestors’ religion was threatened by this new Christian movement, Paul believed that violence was necessary to preserve the tradition.

Christian Nationalism Today
I cannot help but notice the similarities in the motivations of Paul and those who assaulted the Capitol.

If you believe that the election has been unlawfully stolen from a man that God has appointed to preserve the influence of Christianity in this country, then the threat isn’t small. To many, a Democrat-controlled government means increased abortions and forced lock-downs to cancel church services. And when every lawful political channel has failed to undo the perceived robbery, only one action remains. Someone zealous like Phinehas needs to step up and grab the spear.

And yet Paul’s story didn’t end with his violent zeal. Paul had a miraculous vision where the resurrected Jesus spoke to him directly. And the message completely re-framed Paul’s understanding of how God’s kingdom was established in the death and resurrection of Jesus. While Paul had been expecting a political kingdom that would free the Jews from the rule of Rome, Jesus brought a heavenly kingdom that freed humanity from the rule of sin.

When Jesus is on trial to be executed, he says, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Like Paul, Jesus could have used force to bring about the kingdom. But instead he chose to use love and humility.

How To Respond
Christians need to repent of ways we have looked to political powers to do what only God can do. We must label the actions of those storming the Capitol while carrying Bibles as “anti-Christian.” This is not the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, because “Christian nationalism” is an oxymoron. The growth or decline of the Christian kingdom is not dependent on who is in positions of earthly power and it cannot be achieved through force.

We must remember that any “persecution” we endure as Christians pales in comparison to what the early Christians experienced. They didn’t face social ostracization or the loss of church tax exempt status—they faced imprisonment and execution. If there was ever a time to invoke a “violence is sometimes necessary argument,” it was then. Yet they knew this was not the way of Jesus… and this is still true for followers of Jesus today.

References

¹ 2 Samuel 7:16

² Numbers 25:6-9

³ Galatians 1:14

⁴ Acts 8:1-3

⁵ Acts 9:1-19

⁶ John 18:36


AMEN!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

 

The “REAL” Reason For The Season!

I’m sending this post a little early for two reasons:

  1. From my family to yours, we’d like to wish everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a very healthy and prosperous New Year.
  2. Most importantly, I’d like to encourage all of us to take a deep breath, put all of our fears and stressful circumstances on the shelf for a few days, seriously count our blessings, and reverently celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the One God sent to give the world hope for a new life and a new relationship with the Creator of the universe.

I know I’m going to be “preaching to the choir” for some reading this. However, for those who either don’t know the “real” Christmas story or who just don’t believe it, I thought it was the perfect time to share the “real” story once again hoping the power of God’s Living Word, the Holy Bible, might move some to a new relationship with Him.

Much of what I’ll share below is taken from a book I’m currently reading, Turning Everyday Conversations Into Gospel Conversations, written by Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright.


Who Is This Jesus?

Jesus is God’s one and only Son. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a woman, a virgin, as described in the Bible, the REAL Christmas story:

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the Child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through His prophet (Isaiah 7:14): “Look! The virgin will conceive a Child! She will give birth to a Son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her Son was born. And Joseph named Him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 – NLT)

Jesus is God. This is difficult for us to comprehend. He is both God and God’s Son. He is co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He has no beginning and no end. He has always been.

Jesus is fully God. He is all knowing, all powerful, and in all places at all times. He is coequal with God the Father and God the Spirit. There is no hierarchy in the Trinity. There is order and submission, but there is equality.

Jesus is also fully man, God with us. He took on human flesh and lived life just like us. He got tired, hungry, thirsty, sad, and happy. He was, and is, a real person just like us.

There is one major distinction between Jesus and other humans: Jesus never sinned, not one time! He knows what it’s like to be tempted to sin. He was tempted in every way we are, but He never sinned. This is how He is able to help us in our time of need. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 – NLT) It’s also what qualifies Him to do the work God the Father sent Him to do.

Jesus Died For Our Sins

Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 – NLT) When Jesus died on the cross, God the Father took all of our sin, shame, and guilt and put it on Jesus. Then He took all of Jesus’ righteousness and put it on all those who repent and believe. Jesus died the death of a sinner so believers can live as righteous people. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 – NIV)

God’s Word reminds us that, In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (of sins). (Hebrews 9:22 – NLT)

God’s holiness requires the blood of a lamb without blemish, in other words, a perfect lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish. . .(Exodus 12:5 – ESV) This is why it’s important to understand the essence of Jesus. He is a sinless man, and it’s only His blood that could cover and cleanse us of our sin once and for all.  And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 – NIV) Jesus shed His blood and died for our sins so we can receive this free gift of life forever in God’s perfect presence.

He Was Buried

When one of the Roman soldiers pierced His side as Jesus hung on the cross, one eyewitness testified that water and blood flowed out. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. (John 19:34,35)

Then His body was taken down from the cross and laid in a borrowed tomb. He took the death penalty we deserve. It’s not a hoax or a trick, and what happened next is the lynch pin of the hope we have in Him.

God Raised Him From The Dead

This is the best part. It’s proof that Jesus is who He claimed to be and will deliver on His promise of eternal life. There were plenty of eye witnesses to this event. I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him. (1 Corinthians 3-8 – NLT)

Jesus isn’t dead. He is alive. This makes Him unique among all other well known religious figures.

Buddha lived an exemplary life and then he died, and he stayed dead. Muhammad lived a very religious life but when he was sixty-three years old he died, and he stayed dead. Swami Prabhupada started a form of Hinduism called the Hare Krishnas. Prabhupada was still striving to attain a higher state of mind in 1977 when he died, and he stayed dead.

Jesus also died but He did not stay dead. Jesus is alive, seated in the heavenly realms with His Father. He will return one day to judge the living and the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the One whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42 – NIV)

He will judge based on the answer to this question alone: “Who do you say I am?”

God says, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves His Child as well. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:1,12,13 – NIV)

“Having” Jesus means believing He was born “God With Us”, He died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised from the dead.

This in a nutshell folks is the gospel (the good news) of Jesus Christ: Jesus died for our sins, He was buried, and God raised Him from the dead. It’s His finished work that makes us right with God. Jesus did something for us we could never do for ourselves.


What you choose to do with this “good news” is solely between you and God.

One option is to dismiss all this “good news” as just a bunch of childish myths, and go on with your life as usual.

The other option is to believe all this “good news” is absolute life-changing truth. Confess before God that you are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. Ask the Spirit of God to come into your life to change your heart and mind and help you turn from your brokenness, your old ways of thinking and living (to repent).

The Bible says, If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 – NLT)

This may be the best news your friends and family members will ever hear. It certainly has eternal implications.

Don’t miss an opportunity to share this “good news”!


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

The Perfect Halloween Nightmare Isn’t A Nightmare!!!

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Even though it’s a little early and my family doesn’t celebrate the usual gory Halloween festivities, the message below by Andrew Klavan seemed very appropriate as Halloween draws near.

Unfortunately, and right now, it truly is a nightmare dressed up in reality!


2020 — Most Implausible Story Since ‘Lost’

   DailyWire.com

In what Shakespeare called “the dark backward and abysm of time,”—or 2004 to you and me—I began watching what was then the new television show “Lost” with my wife and son. After around five episodes of following the adventures of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island, I turned to the family and said, “I’m done.” As a professional teller of tales, I explained, I could guarantee them that there was no plausible way to explain the story’s twists unless it all turned out to be a dream or the characters were in some supernatural afterlife where the rules of logic didn’t apply.

As good writers know, every amazing twist in a story comes with a price in explanation. “Lost” simply borrowed so far against future credibility that the debt could never be paid.

Some who will not be named did not believe me. They had to spend five years discovering the truth of what I told them after five weeks.

Which is why you should all listen well when I tell you: I’m done with 2020. The story is just too implausible. The end can never be reasonably guessed. Either I’m going to wake up next to Bob Newhart’s wife or I died and am now either in Purgatory or a state run by Democrats—in either one of which the rules of logic don’t apply.

As I write, the President of the United States and our lovely First Lady have tested positive for the Chinese Flu. My first thought when I heard this was, “Wow! I didn’t see that one coming!” As if I were watching some TV show with one plot twist too many. Afterward, of course, I recovered my wits and prayed for the quick recovery of the first couple. But I have to admit, there lingers in the back of my mind a question I have asked myself during many a movie and television show: “Who wrote this crap?”

Our story so far is both absurd and awful. A bumptious and philandering businessman and TV personality wins the presidency against every possible odd. A malignantly corrupt deep state tries to bring him down with the help of a dishonest media. He still manages to restore the economy, promote constitutional judges, and bring sanity to a foreign policy mired in the unfathomable idiocy of experts.

Then, a pandemic hits. The economy tanks. Leftists riot with the approval of the establishment. The opposition nominates a walking houseplant to run against him. And suddenly, the president comes down with the big disease.

Perhaps the most dispiriting thing about the whole implausible mess is that when I asked myself: “Who wrote this crap?” The answer came back at once: “We did.”

It’s on all of us really. The Left is to blame for following a failed philosophy into hatefulness and evil. The Right is to blame for standing by while the Left took over our cultural institutions, and for failing to stop the economic and social decadence the Left brought on. And, of course, those teachers, journalists, and artists tasked with holding up the mirror to reality have instead shattered that mirror on the rock of their nonsensical materialist theology.

Like most people, I thought the debate this week was an embarrassment. The president was a bully. The challenger was a liar. The moderator was a sham. But weren’t they also acting out what all of us have become?

Donald Trump is the president we need, but he shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t take a rude belligerent to speak the truth. It does because too many of us have been silent, afraid to lose votes or sponsors or Twitter followers. The Democrats need Joe Biden, but they shouldn’t. They need to hide behind a career empty suit with failing faculties because they’ve sunk into an oppressive radicalism the voters don’t want. And journalists like Chris Wallace are simply the tools of large corporations who profit off globalism, big government, and societal decadence. And they get those profits from you and me—because we want the phones and the one-day deliveries, not to mention the nude scenes on premium cable.

So no wonder 2020 is preposterous. It’s like one of those chain stories where each person writes one chapter before passing it on to the next person. All stories like that become increasingly ridiculous and it’s the impossible job of the last author to bring it all together and make it make some kind of sense.

We wrote ourselves into this mess. Let’s just hope the last Author finishes the story with more mercy than justice.


The Truth be told, the very good news is the “last Author” (in Klavan’s words) has already finished the story. . . . Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30 – NIV) Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 – NASB)

When Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross the sins past, present, and future of all those who have put their faith and trust in Him, have been forgiven and forgotten in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Hebrews 9:22 – ESV)

However, we must still wait patiently for the end to be fully played out. And you can be sure, as Mr. Klavan hopes, that God will extend His mercy and justice on all humanity when we stand before Him on judgement day.

His mercy will be extended to all who have placed their faith and trust in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as their personal Lord and Savior. They will inherit eternal life in a new heaven and a new earth with Him. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27,28 – NIV) Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:1,4 – NIV)

Consequently, God’s justice will be poured out on the guilty, those who have rejected a personal relationship with Jesus and have chosen to live in and love their sinful ways. They will be destined to eternal damnation in the pits of hell. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might. (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 – NIV) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8 – NIV)

With certainty, a very peaceful and happy eternal ending for some, and a very sad and painful eternal ending for others!

Still praying for God to change hearts and minds.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Archbishop Viganò’s powerful letter to President Trump:

Re-posted from a Facebook post this morning.


Eternal struggle between good and evil playing out right now!

Archbishop Viganò’s powerful letter to President Trump: Eternal struggle between good and evil playing out right now

            Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

June 7, 2020

Editor’s note: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has released this powerful letter today to President Trump warning him that the current crises over the coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd riots are a part of the eternal spiritual struggle between the forces of good and evil. He encourages the president to continue the fight on behalf of the “children of light.” Read the letter in PDF form HERE.

Mr. President,

            In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.

            These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money: for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day – if they do not repent – yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God, in eternal damnation.

            In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies. And it appears that the children of darkness – whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days – have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans. They seem to be so certain of already having everything under control that they have laid aside that circumspection that until now had at least partially concealed their true intentions. The investigations already under way will reveal the true responsibility of those who managed the COVID emergency not only in the area of health care but also in politics, the economy, and the media. We will probably find that in this colossal operation of social engineering there are people who have decided the fate of humanity, arrogating to themselves the right to act against the will of citizens and their representatives in the governments of nations.

            We will also discover that the riots in these days were provoked by those who, seeing that the virus is inevitably fading and that the social alarm of the pandemic is waning, necessarily have had to provoke civil disturbances, because they would be followed by repression which, although legitimate, could be condemned as an unjustified aggression against the population. The same thing is also happening in Europe, in perfect synchrony. It is quite clear that the use of street protests is instrumental to the purposes of those who would like to see someone elected in the upcoming presidential elections who embodies the goals of the deep state and who expresses those goals faithfully and with conviction. It will not be surprising if, in a few months, we learn once again that hidden behind these acts of vandalism and violence there are those who hope to profit from the dissolution of the social order so as to build a world without freedom: Solve et Coagula, as the Masonic adage teaches.

            Although it may seem disconcerting, the opposing alignments I have described are also found in religious circles. There are faithful Shepherds who care for the flock of Christ, but there are also mercenary infidels who seek to scatter the flock and hand the sheep over to be devoured by ravenous wolves. It is not surprising that these mercenaries are allies of the children of darkness and hate the children of light: just as there is a deep state, there is also a deep church that betrays its duties and forswears its proper commitments before God. Thus the Invisible Enemy, whom good rulers fight against in public affairs, is also fought against by good shepherds in the ecclesiastical sphere. It is a spiritual battle, which I spoke about in my recent Appeal which was published on May 8.

            For the first time, the United States has in you a President who courageously defends the right to life, who is not ashamed to denounce the persecution of Christians throughout the world, who speaks of Jesus Christ and the right of citizens to freedom of worship. Your participation in the March for Life, and more recently your proclamation of the month of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, are actions that confirm which side you wish to fight on. And I dare to believe that both of us are on the same side in this battle, albeit with different weapons.

            For this reason, I believe that the attack to which you were subjected after your visit to the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II is part of the orchestrated media narrative which seeks not to fight racism and bring social order, but to aggravate dispositions; not to bring justice, but to legitimize violence and crime; not to serve the truth, but to favor one political faction. And it is disconcerting that there are Bishops – such as those whom I recently denounced – who, by their words, prove that they are aligned on the opposing side. They are subservient to the deep state, to globalism, to aligned thought, to the New World Order which they invoke ever more frequently in the name of a universal brotherhood which has nothing Christian about it, but which evokes the Masonic ideals of those who want to dominate the world by driving God out of the courts, out of schools, out of families, and perhaps even out of churches.

            The American people are mature and have now understood how much the mainstream media does not want to spread the truth but seeks to silence and distort it, spreading the lie that is useful for the purposes of their masters. However, it is important that the good – who are the majority – wake up from their sluggishness and do not accept being deceived by a minority of dishonest people with unavowable purposes. It is necessary that the good, the children of light, come together and make their voices heard. What more effective way is there to do this, Mr. President, than by prayer, asking the Lord to protect you, the United States, and all of humanity from this enormous attack of the Enemy? Before the power of prayer, the deceptions of the children of darkness will collapse, their plots will be revealed, their betrayal will be shown, their frightening power will end in nothing, brought to light and exposed for what it is: an infernal deception.

            Mr. President, my prayer is constantly turned to the beloved American nation, where I had the privilege and honor of being sent by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio. In this dramatic and decisive hour for all of humanity, I am praying for you and also for all those who are at your side in the government of the United States. I trust that the American people are united with me and you in prayer to Almighty God.

            United against the Invisible Enemy of all humanity, I bless you and the First Lady, the beloved American nation, and all men and women of good will.

+ Carlo Maria Viganò

Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana

Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

God vs. Satan – Continued

I came across a Facebook post from a friend of mine that sited some very appropriate and timely information I hope will highlight the battles we are all facing in the spiritual realm, whether we believe it or not.

To quickly recap, my post last Sunday talked about a research study that revealed more Americans believe in Satan than in God. If you missed it, please check it out.

With that fact in mind and the information below, I hope you’ll begin to see more clearly why America, and the entire world for that matter, is in such a chaotic mess dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as every other painful and fearful circumstance we may face in life.

I believe Satan is real and he can only do what God allows him to do. When Satan and his angels were cast out of Heaven, God allowed him to become ruler of the earth for a time.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him . . .Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:7-9,12 – NKJV)

The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he (Job) has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger’. . .The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he (Job) is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’” (Job 1:12, 2:6 – NIV)

“The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.” (John 12:31 – NLT)

NOTE: The Scripture verses sited are my contributions and not part of the Facebook post I am referencing.


God’s Voice              Ψ Satan’s Voice

Stills You                                        Ψ Rushes You

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 – NIV)

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19 – NIV)

Leads You                                       Ψ Pushes You

“He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them His way.” (Psalm 25:9 – NLT)

“…He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3 – NKJV)

Reassures You                                Ψ Frightens You

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 – NIV)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2Timothy 1:7 – NLT)

Enlightens You                                Ψ Confuses You

“There was the true Light (Jesus Christ) which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” (John 1:9 – NASB)

“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death.” (Psalm 13:3 – NKJV)

Encourages You                               Ψ Discourages You

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2Thessalonians 2:16,17 – NIV)

Comforts You                                   Ψ Worries You

“But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name (Jesus Christ), He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” (John 14:26-WBT)

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6: 31-34 – NIV)

Calms You                                         Ψ Stresses You

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7 – NIV)

Convicts You                                    Ψ Condemns You

“…The Lord is coming with countless thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” (Jude 1:14,15 – NLT)

“And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” (John 8:11 – NKJV)


I hope and pray the Scripture verses above will bring comfort to your soul as we continue to battle the invisible forces of the coronavirus, and more importantly, the invisible powers and principalities of the air know as Satan and his demonic forces.

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 – NIV)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Never Say “I Can’t”!

Inspiration, Motivation, Determination, Perseverance, Courage and Guts!!!

That’s what you’ll witness in the short video one of my high school classmates sent me.

I’m sure everyone of us is more than tired of all the emotional, and maybe in some cases, the physical pain being caused by this invisible coronavirus pandemic. Not only in our own lives, and the lives of our loved ones, but in the lives of most everyone in the entire world!

Just as my high school classmate encouraged me to share the video below with everyone, I’d like to encourage you to do the same. I hope you’ll agree that it’s a keeper for those moments when things don’t seem to be going so well.

When you think you’re having a tough day, view this video for some inspiration.

Such a struggle, yet always a smile on his face! A real Superman!

By the grace of God, one day in Heaven, that little boy will run with perfect new legs into the arms of Jesus and give Him a big hug with his perfect new arms and live happily ever after in eternity with Him! “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4 – NLT)

Things may not be so bad in our lives after all! And, even if they are, a new perfect body and new perfect life are waiting for you too if you’ve given your life to Jesus Christ and have received Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

Please take some time to remember and pray for others you may know who are struggling to make it through another day. While you’re at it, say a special prayer for the little boy in the video even though we don’t know his name or where he lives.

God bless his big heart, and God bless you and yours as we weather the storms of the coronavirus.

And most of all, let us not forget to count our blessings each and every day, no matter how big or small they may be. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2,3 – NIV)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!