Thirsty?

clean-clear-cold-416528In the field of business marketing there is a term that helps companies position a product, to know who and what a product is for. To be sure the product will be something people want and also beat the competition. The term is “value proposition”. It could be a paragraph or few sentences that make a statement for what a product will do and why it will be desirable to someone. The shortest value proposition I ever saw, was when I was sitting in the waiting area of a car repair shop. There, in the corner, was a soda drink machine. On the front was a single word. This word was the value proposition for the product being sold. That value proposition read – “Thirsty?”. The market segment for that product would be anyone that was thirsty, and the promise would be that it would quench your thirst. You could imply that this particular drink, above all other options, would satisfy your thirst.

Just before His ascension, Jesus Christ gave a last charge to his apostles “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (See Mark chapter 16) The gospel, or good news of Christ was astounding! Christ had been risen from the tomb and had saved the world from death and hell. This would be the most important message anyone could hear. The apostles would be direct witnesses to proclaim they had see the Messiah, Immanuel, the Savior of the world. Here we are, many years later, with that same gospel to proclaim. There are still people today that have not heard the gospel message. How many will accept it and believe? How many are thirsty and will drink it in?

In Isaiah, we read the following:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.” Isaiah 51 NIV

To all that will listen, this gospel message will figuratively fulfill a spiritual thirst. If you drink of the gospel message, you will find fulfillment and purpose in life that will be deeper and more fulfilling that you could possibly imagine. Are you one of the sheep that Christ figuratively spoke about when he said “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me”? I hope that is the case.

Do not be discouraged when others scoff and ridicule you because you identify yourself as a Christian. They really do not know what they are talking about. They are drinking another drink that is poisonous to their souls.

The gospel message seems to stick with some people and not others.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength…The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 NIV

So are you thirsty? Have you tasted of the “living waters”? Get to know who Christ was and what he did. Know the truth and be free from sin. This is a drink that keeps on giving. You can drink it over and over and enjoy an outpouring of the Spirit each and every day and never thirst again.

“…he would have given you living water…Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4 NIV

– Saint or Sinner? Take upon you the name of Christ and become a Saint!

heartThere is a major misunderstanding that is held by many who profess to be Christians. I have heard people say that they are sinners and there is no way to get away from their fallen nature. They say that they had accepted Christ once, and are now OK to just keep on sinning. Many seem to go out of their way to seek out sins to commit. This is so opposite to how the plan of God works. The truth is, that when you become converted to Christ, you take upon yourself the name of Christ and become a Saint. You have your heart changed. If you work at it, and keep on that path, you should have no more disposition to do evil, but become “perfect” (mature). Christ gave us that exact charge (see Matthew 5:48).

In John chapter one, you see the explanation of becoming born again. Born again meaning that your previous stony heart is changed and you have a new heart. It is a miraculous event and can only be attributed to God to bring about this change.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12,13

God sent His son to redeem us! He bought us with the price of his blood. What happens though when we accept Christ? Do we keep going on living as the old person we were?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Here in is the true doctrine. We are changed!

One of the interesting messages from the old testament, found in the book of Deuteronomy, is that the Children of Israel had hearts of stone. The law of Moses given to them showed them how rebellious they were. God said that He just wanted the hearts of the people. But, they rebelled and went after other Gods. They were not obedient. Here is a very important verse that Jews know very well.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. a Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

As a sinner, we do fall into sin over and over. And can seek out repentance. But if you keep on that path,  you are not really a fully converted Christian. Humble yourself and let the Mighty God change you and become a Saint and experience this change in your heart.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3:19 in the Book of Mormon

Jesus also said “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. It is time to truly take upon ourselves the name of Christ and be obedient to God. Change and repent and become a Saint and have the Holy Spirit seal you His.

“And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” Deuteronomy 30:6

– Overcoming trials through faith in Christ

egg-eggshell-broken-yolk.jpgWe all have trials in life. The quote from the princess bride movie says it all – “Life is pain, anyone that says differently is selling something.” Or more correctly from the Bible– “In the world ye shall have tribulation…” – John 16

So how do we handle difficulties in life? Do we put on a bright smile and pretend everything is OK when it really isn’t? Perhaps we crumble and get discouraged and crawl under a rock? We can legitimately go forward and feel the powers of heaven upon us as we walk in faith. The great thing is that Christ told us to “be of good cheer” because he had overcome the world.

For me, my trials have been have been frightening, discouraging and difficult. They many times come upon me without any warning, like an earthquake. You can never be prepared for many of life’s challenges. There is only one hope you have to save you in your moments of deepest despair. It is the hope that comes through exercising faith in God and belief in Christ. Faith is a word of action. You must act on your faith. Let me illustrate what the faith is that is necessary to persevere you though a trial. I will do this by showing some characteristics of Christ that we can emulate. He is our example in all things.

Jesus served others, being self-centered will make you feel worse. You have to stop thinking about your own miseries and focus some love on someone else. Christ was always reaching out and ministering. Become a person that ministers to others.

Jesus lived a perfect life and sought direction from God. The combination of being righteous, humble and supplicating God in prayer is very powerful. The scriptures record that Christ would often withdraw himself and pray. For us also, we can pray and work at listening to the spiritual promptings that can guide us through our trials. Get on your knees and pray until you feel the heavens open. Don’t forget to give thanks more than just complaining to God.

Jesus confronted evil. Christ confronted the money changers in the temple, and he denounced the scribes and pharisees. Jesus confronted the devil with verses of scripture while in the desert fasting for 40 days. Evil influences must be confronted and cast out of our lives.

Jesus was ministered to by angels. “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him” – Matt 4. Seek to let the healing in your life by thinking about God and thinking positively about your situation. Negativity breed trouble, positive thinking brings light.

Jesus look at the bigger picture and knew what was most important in life. Laugh at yourself sometimes. Smile and realize how great your life really is as you look for the positive. Look with the right perspective at how you have grown. Jesus said “O ye of little faith? Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Luke 12:31.

Jesus submitted to the will of the Father while on the cross – “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” – Luke 22. We need to be spiritually minded and look at life’s adventures as learning experiences to help us and others grow and show us who we are. You really only need to keep one thing in mind. Or at least this is what works for me – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” – Romans 8

– Are you in need of answers?

240px-Le_Mans_-_Cathedrale_St_Julien_CV_01One question everyone is asking today is – Why? Why are senseless killings happening in our schools? Why is there hate, crime, oppression, bullying, abuse and killing? We all want to know how to stop it. One murder is too many. One abuse is too many. Can’t everyone simply be loving, helpful, encouraging, supportive, and charitable?

Unfortunately, things went wrong right from the beginning when Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and we ended up in this fallen state. The Bible also tells of how Cain killed his brother Abel. Others found ways to make secret plans to get gain.

The reason bad things are happening is because of the fallen world we live in and the Satanic influence that is pervasive. Mankind became prideful and rebelled against God. Even the people being lead through the wilderness, that had the presence of God going before them, had stony hearts that Moses said would some day need to be turned into a new heart of flesh that would have the word of God written on it.

It would certainly be great if everyone could grow up in a loving home and then make their own loving home, generation after generation. It would be easy if we each had all the opportunities in the world, all the food and shelter we needed and did not have to compete for it. But we don’t have a perfect world to live in. There is competition, oppression, greed and evil of the ugliest kind. Something actually went wrong right from the very beginning, even before Adam and Eve existed. What went wrong was that an angel of light rebelled against God and was cast down to earth. That is all part of the plan, but it means that we have opposition in our lives with good and evil forces opposing each other.

The Answer

One day, people came to Christ with some troubling news. Bad things had happened and they perhaps wanted him to make it all go away, or perhaps organize some resistance to the Roman occupation. He did not. Nor did he even try and comfort the people in this case. Let’s read what happened.

“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13

Bad things are going to happen, evil will abound and bring destruction. What did Jesus say about our day?

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” – Matt 24:10

Never before in the history of the world have people been more divided than at this time. Our technology has enabled this. It has enabled massive amounts of information to flow in and out of our minds. People can express their opinions and in an instant be heard by people around the world. Some feel empowered to belittle others, and many rise up in their pride to try and usurp power from God. Pride and rebellion are what caused Satan to be cast down from heaven to be among us. Satan wanted to take God’s place.

There is only one answer for how to get out of this predicament. God gave that answer right at the very moment He kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden. He told them that life would be hard and that the serpent (Satan) would have power in this world. Then he gave the answer for how Satan would be overcome. He said that Christ would come from the seed of the woman and that Christ would one day put an end to Satan’s rule and crush him. Speaking to Satan, God said.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3 NIV

Christ is the “he” and Satan was able to strike at “his heal”, but then gets crushed by Jesus. It is time to kick Satan out of our hearts and out of this world. Unfortunately that can’t happen on a world-wide basis until we all work at it together and that won’t happen until we are all unified and working together when Christ comes and establishes a thousand years of peace. Christ is the only way. For now it means you will have to accept him on your own and wait it out. The world, as a whole, is only going to become more wicked as the division grows ever wider between the Godly and the Godless.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Here are the steps to following him and gaining peace in your heart.

1. Sanctify yourselves and cast Satan out

To begin with, you must deal with the sin question. The question you need to ask yourself is – “What sin do I now have that is unresolved, blocking me, or that I feel tempted to fall into over and over?”. Call out to God and He will forgive.

God will not hear you if you are burdened by sin, but will instead withdraw His spirit if you are unclean in any way. Yes, God is love, but He is also judgment.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” – Isaiah 59:1,2

It is Satan who puts it into your heart to think you can’t repent. God is merciful to forgive. Christ charged the woman taken in adultery to – “go and sin no more.” You cannot believe in Christ and keep on sinning. Once you are clean, Satan cannot dwell in your heart and he will be cast from your life and you will then be surrounded by light.

2. Seek the Spirit

Oil in the Old Testament represents the Holy Spirit and you see reference to the lamps that were constantly fed oil to give light. Christ said that the wise virgins had oil in their lamps. The had lived lives that were sanctified and were thus blessed with the spirit. This is what will lead you and comfort you in these days of trouble.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” – John 16

3. Ponder the Scriptures

You should read the marvelous words found in the holy scriptures. This becomes as an iron rod to hold on to as you walk the path of discipleship. It is the safety line that you grab hold of that leads you to Eternal Life.

“study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life” – John 5:39 NIV

4. Worship God

There are many ways to worship Gid – through prayer, music, singing, meetings and many other means. He is holy and has all power in the Universe, all knowledge and loves his children. So much so, that He sent His son to die and prepare the way to overcome death and Hell.

“Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” – Luke 4

– How to be happy inside no matter what is happening on the outside

Is there some event you are facing right now that is a struggle? Circumstances in your life can certainly get overwhelming. Perhaps something you had wanted to have occurred in life has not come about. Between the disappointments and the trials you face, it is a wonder that you could ever go around with a smile on the outside, or even better yet, a smile on the inside.

Be assured that there is hope and happiness to be found in this life. Even great joy can be yours. The solution is to find a deeper happiness inside of you that is on a foundation so secure, that you can weather any storm in life. This way, your happiness is not connected with the current troubles you might be facing.

You know the answer already, you might just not have taken the next step of really making it real in your life. The answer is given to you in the Bible in several places. Let me take you back to the time of Jesus and we will revisit this time and find the key to the happiness that might have eluded you.

It was dry and hot afternoon and Jesus had been about with his disciples preaching and ministering to the people. The disciples had gone off to find food. Jesus happened to be right in the location of the famous landmark that was a well of water belonging to the ancient patriarch Jacob. Jesus approached a woman that had come to fetched water from the well. Jesus requested of her – “Give me to drink.” (John 4:7). As they conversed, Jesus told her of water that he had that she should be asking for. This was a symbolic lesson that Jesus gave her where he was likening water that would refresh the body to that which the spirit could do to refresh us. The water he spoke of would be a source of fulfillment in a similar way to how water would refresh her and yet this time keep her replenished forever so she would never thirst again. In other words an internal spring of water that was continually gushing forth.

As you symbolically walk through the desert of life, facing obstacles in your path, you are made alive inside and feel such joy inside that the sadness is replaced. Christ then is the source of true lasting happiness that refreshes you daily.

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” – Isaiah 55:1-3

Many in life are racing to find happiness in temporary worldly pursuits. They may even have thought they could give money away and serve others. This is certainly a good thing, but in the end would still leave a person empty. The true way to happiness is to partake of that which was offered to us by Christ.

Make it real in your life. Get to know who he was and what he did. Believe in him, have hope and faith in him.

-How is your “knock sensor” working?

 

car-engineOver a period of time, I found that my car was not driving with the power that it once had. I would step on the gas peddle while driving on the freeway and there just was no power. No acceleration as it once had. It was really apparent when driving up hills. I put up with it for quite a while and then finally took the car into the repair shop. They immediately diagnosed the problem as a bad knock sensor.

I had never heard of such a thing before, so I inquired as to the cost and purpose of such a gadget. It is a simple $35.00 part that listens to the knocking noises that the firing of the pistons make and acts to adjust the timing of the firing of the spark plug to maximize the power that the engine delivers.

The engine was always firing and giving off the noise to be heard, but the sensor was no longer working to be able to listen and use that information to direct its actions. How like this mechanism are our lives? How well do you listen to the quiet messages being broadcast to us from our God through the Holy Spirit?

The messages are always flowing to us. Unfortunately, we may not be listening. We might be drowning out those messages because of other noise we have let into our lives. It takes repentance and humility to get to the point to where we can escape the influences of Babylon and give our lives over to a more righteous path. A path that puts the kingdom of heaven first.

Jesus would often go off and meditate in prayer and listen, to know the will of the Father. Many times the prayer is a preparation for a later outpouring of the spirit at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. There are angels all around to minister and the Holy Spirit is there constantly to teach us and lead us in all ways that we need.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” – John 16:13

Start off this new year being rededicated to searching out the truths that can bring joy and peace into your life. Tune your life to listen in and you will be amazed what you will hear. It might be something you can actually write down and follow. It might even be something that you can’t put down into words, but is more of a message of love and assurance. Be a clean vessel and start bringing real power into your life and bless the lives of others as well.

– We need a miracle! Let’s unite to see one, like Moses and George Washington did!

george-washington-praying-olympia-washingtonWhen you consider the great miracles found in the Old Testament, one stands out above the rest. That is the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. Here you had a truly hopeless situation. There they were, Moses and the children of Israel. Pinned down. On one side of them were the armies of Pharaoh. On the other side the red sea. The only thing that could save them from certain death was a miracle.

Fast forward to the time of the American revolutionary war. George Washington commanded a much smaller, less armed and inferior army than that of the British and their contingency. Many colonists were against Washington and felt they should accept the offer given by the British to be pardoned and settle for what seemed some fairly good terms. Washington’s troop count at one point would get critically low. Then he would get pinned down and would have no escape and face certain death. The only thing that could save them from certain death was a miracle.

Fast forward to our day. We are exhausted economically and militarily. The slightest tremor to our fragile system will cause it to crumble. We have enemies within that have betrayed us. We have enemies on the outside that seek our destruction. We have social unrest, disillusionment, division and deception of the masses. We are pinned down and have no escape and face certain destruction. The only thing that can save anyone is a miracle.

How to see miracles

We have no national leader at this present hour like a George Washington or a Moses. What would that type of a leader be telling us to do in this most critical hour?  These humble leaders of the past would be telling us “we need a miracle!” But how? How are we to see a miracle in our midst? And how would we deserve such a miracle? Let’s hear it from Washington’s own lips. What did he say in his day? It is also what he would certainly say now.

“Thursday … set apart … as a day of fasting, prayer and humiliation, to implore the Lord and Giver of all victory to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness, and that it would please Him to bless the Continental Arms with His divine favor and protection–all officers and soldiers are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverence and attention on that day to the sacred duties due to the Lord of hosts for His mercies already received and for those blessings which our holiness and uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through His mercy to obtain.” – George Washington decree to his troops, March 6, 1776

“All the troops…except the guards, are to attend Divine worship tomorrow morning at the second bell; the officers commanding corps, are to take especial care, that their men appear clean, and decent, and that they are to march in proper order to the place of worship…The Honorable Congress having recommended it to the United States to set apart Thursday the 6th of May next to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, to acknowledge the gracious interpositions of Providence; to deprecate deserved punishment for our sins and ingratitude, to unitedly implore the Protection of Heaven; Success to our Arms and the Arms of our Ally: The Commander in Chief enjoins a religious observance of said day and directs the Chaplains to prepare discourses proper for the occasion; strictly forbidding all recreations and unnecessary labor.” – General Washington order at Valley Forge, On April 12, 1777

At the end of the war, George Washington declared – “The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving; while the unparalleled perseverance of the Armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.”

Washington knew wherein true power resided. He knew that he had to call down that power and he knew how to do it. What did he and others call upon the people to do over and over? To fast, pray, hold devotions, repent etc.

Wake up! All is not well! On a daily basis arise each day and humble yourself before the Lord and raise your voice in mighty prayer. Worship God the Father, in the name of the Son by the power of the Holy Ghost. When you lie down to sleep at night, do so with praising and thankfulness for God in your heart. Confess your sins and then go out and be obedient to the commandments of God and let your light shine for others to see. It is going to take a miracle to save America and bring the rest of the righteous out of the world to safety.