Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category

What is the difference between peace with God and the peace of God?  Have you ever wondered about that? 

I want you to know right from the start if you are a Christian you already have both of these kinds of peace.  You may not actually know it, but you do.

Peace with God

Before a person is born again or saved they cannot know either one.  We are actually enemies of God.  We are born with a sin nature which is bent against God in every way.  We cannot please God.  We are not at peace with God, and we do not have the peace of God.  We are God’s enemy and we are hostile toward Him.

Jas 4:4 NASB You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

When we trust in Jesus Christ we become a new creation and things change. 

Col 1:21-22 NASB And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, (22) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach–

We were alienated and hostile toward God, but once He redeemed us we become children of God instead of enemies of God.  Jesus can present us holy and blameless before a holy God.  What a difference!  We obtain peace with God, the moment we are saved.

Rom 5:1 NASB Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (italics mine.)

Remember, your friends who are not believers do not have peace with God.  It is impossible!  That may explain some of their actions and many of their worries and fears. There is a war waging inside them between themselves and God.  They are actually spiritually dead.

Peace of God

Now we get to the exciting part for Christians.  You, right now, this moment, no matter what’s going on in your life; no matter how you feel; you have the peace of God!  That is a bold statement for me to make.  But it’s true. We all have it. God has given us everything we need to live a peaceful life, but most of us don’t realize it.  Let’s go to scripture and see what God says.

First of all God tell us not to be anxious about anything.  If it were not possible He would not have told us that.  It is a command, and if we are to be obedient we have to learn how we can cease from anxiety and worry.  He gives us the antidote right here.  We go to God in prayer and ask Him to meet our needs, and we do it with an attitude of thanksgiving.  He says to make our requests to God.

Php 4:6 NASB Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

When we do that the peace of  God will guard our hearts and minds if we are believers.  And, we will be surprised at this peace because it goes beyond what we can comprehend.

Php 4:7 NASB And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Then, Paul says to do the things he taught them, and to look at his life as an example, and when you do the God of peace will be with you.  Isn’t that amazing?  It is all right here.  God is the God of peace.  He originated peace.  We have His peace in us and it is activated when we obey his commands.

Php 4:9 NASB The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Oh, why do we make it so hard?  There have been many books written on how we can have a peaceful life.  God doesn’t make things difficult.  We do!

When we were saved we received the Holy Spirit as He came to live in each and every one of us.  Having the Holy Spirit allows us to grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  We already posses these fruit, but in many of us they lay dormant.  They need to be cultivated by renewing our minds with the Word and acting on it in obedience.  You will notice that peace  is one fruit of the Spirit.  See there it is!  We already have it!

Gal 5:22 NASB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Italics mine.)

It is important to realize that when we keep our minds fixed on God, He will keep us in perfect peace.  The reason this is true is because when we do this we indicate that we trust God.  He is trustworthy.

Isa 26:3-4 NASB “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. (4) “Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.

There is a big difference between believe and trust. You can believe the facts about Jesus. You can believe He is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that he was buried and then rose again the third day.  You can believe all the facts about Jesus and yet not be saved.  Did you know that?  I can prove it because even the demons believed and knew who Jesus was, but they were not saved.  They even shuddered to think about Him.

Jas 2:19 LITV You believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder.

So, there is more to it than merely believing the facts about Jesus.  You must trust Him.  There are many people in churches today who call themselves Christians but who have only believed with a head knowledge.  They believed an idea, and never really trusted in a personal Savior. 

We must trust Him with our very lives.  We can believe something but it becomes trust when we put it in action.   For instance, say I’m looking at a chair to sit on.  I can know a lot about that chair.  I can know what color it is, what it is made of, and what shape it is.  But, that is not trusting the chair.  That is just head knowledge about the chair.  I trust the chair when I take the next step and actually sit down on it.  That is trust.  I trust the chair is going to hold me up. 

You see, we can believe all about Jesus Christ, and not really trust Him.  We trust Him when we give up ourselves and rely on Him completely. We surrender our whole selves to Him.  That is trust!  We trust Him to take care of us, to provide for us, to work out every detail of our lives.  That is trust!  We look to Him alone for salvation.  We trust and expect the peace of  God.  We depend on Him and not on ourselves or others.  He is Lord and Master of our lives.  That is trust! 

Do you trust Him my friend?  Is He the one who rules your heart?  Do you have peace with  God?  And, do you have the peace of  God?  He is the God of peace.  When we activate the peace of God in our lives, we will not worry and be filled with anxiety and fear.  They cannot live together.  Satan is the author of unhealthy fear and unhealthy thoughts.

Rom 16:20 NASB The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

2Th 3:16 NASB Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

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Dear friends, I don’t know where you are on the road of sanctification, but I do know we are all at different places. 

For some of you it would be a huge victory just to leave your bedroom and spend time with your families.  For others it might be to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.  Some of you might need to get your muscle tone in your legs back in shape from laying around so much while you’ve been laid up with worry and anxiety.  Others might be able to leave their homes and shop, but with some difficulty.  Some may be able to work at a job outside of their home and actually do pretty good, but there is still that underlying feeling of ever present danger lurking just under the surface.  Still others may have conquered panic attacks and are now experiencing a more normal life, but every once in awhile a curve is thrown their way and they wind up yielding to the temptation to worry.

There is so much today that we could worry about besides our struggles with panic disorder.  Just look at the world around us, listen to the news, and it can fill us will all kinds of fears and concerns.  So, we not only have to learn how to conquer anxiety to overcome panic attacks but we must also learn how to conquer anxiety in general.

I can remember going to a  church service where the pastor preached on the subject of anxiety.  My ears almost flapped as they tried to take in everything he said so I could learn how to overcome panic attacks.  But, he never went that far. He only talked about anxiety in general as it effected their daily life.  I was disappointed!  I figured that message was not met for me!  The pastor had missed it!

As I look back, I realize that message was  for me!  What I didn’t realize then was if I could learn how to conquer anxiety and fear in normal daily living I could learn to conquer it over panic attacks.  You do it the same way! In fact, if I had learned to conquer daily anxiety before I began having true panic attacks I would never had developed them.  I believe they could have been avoided.  My dad used to say, “Too quick old, too late smart.”

But, you see, in my case I learned how to worry when I was a youngster and thought it was a normal way of life.  Then, when it got out of control in my twenties I had true panic attacks.  That all happened before I became a Christian.  That is important to note. Then, after I  became a Christian no one talked to me about these things.  It took me years to get better because I had to learn on my own through a daily Bible study and then apply the Word to my life by faith.  I finally got there with the Lord’s help.  I finally became free from panic attacks!  I finally got my life back!  I’m forever grateful to God, my precious Heavenly Father who in His infinite mercy looked down upon me with favor.  Thank you God!

Now, remember, believers, we are not of this world. Yes, we live in the world but we don’t belong here.

Php 3:20 NASB For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;

Therefore, we don’t have to live like the world, and we don’t have to think like the world.  I’d  like to ask you to do this little exercise:  The next time you are around people who aren’t believers, just listen to what they talk about.  Take note of the tone of their conversation.  Do they talk about things they worry about?  Do they worry?  Just listen and see.  I’ll bet most of the conversations are about things they are very concerned about, and how they are going to solve them.  They have to figure it all out.  They do not have God to do it for them.  So, they fuss and fume over everything.  Oh, you might hear some laughter mixed in, but what is really going on? A lot of people seem happy on the outside while they are miserable on the inside. Have you ever known someone like that?   Also, take note of how much they gossip.  What do they talk about?  

Those kinds of people can pull us down.  It is so easy to join in and not realize it.  I have to really watch this myself. 

Thank God we are not in that group of humanity any more.  We can rise above our problems because God is working them all out.  We have to realize who is in charge now.  God is and He will help us through anything that comes our way.  As John MacArthur has said, “Worry assumes that God doesn’t care, doesn’t know, or doesn’t have the resources to help us.”  That is like a slap in the face to God.  It’s as though we don’t trust Him and don’t believe His Word. 

1Pe 5:7 NASB casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

God really does care for us and will take care of us.  He is God our provider and our counselor.  We don’t have to worry!  Let’s stop living like the world.

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Worry is another word for anxiety.  Do you worry?  We can worry about the past, the present and the future.  What do you worry about?  All of them?  I did at one time, but I’ve come a long way in that department, and pray you will too. 

For a long time I blamed my mother for my worry.  You see she was a great worrier, and I figured it was in my genes.  My mother’s sister was also a great worrier, and you know what, she died an early death because of it.  She literally worried herself to death.  She had every disease you can imagine. (At least she thought she did.)  She went to doctor after doctor and I’m aware of at least a couple of doctors that refused to see her because she was such a worry wort.  She would not take their advice, and took all kinds of medication, which of course, she knew more than the doctors about how much and how to take it.  I feel bad she died relatively young, but she did it to herself.  She was very hard to be around, as she was always crying over her kids problems, and worrying about everything.  She was so very self-centered and was a nervous wreak most of the time. 

My mom worried a lot too, and I think for me it was a learned behavior.  When you live with someone like that for 20 years you just kind of pick it up.  So, I started out that way.  Most likely that is what lead me down the trail to panic attacks.  The actual attacks started in my early 20’s.  But, all my life I remember how nervous I felt all the time and how I would worry over everything. I had to take care of my little sister a lot growing up while my parents worked, and that was a lot of responsibility for a kid to carry. 

It’s sad to think that people have to live that way.  In fact, the older I get the sadder it becomes.  I see people everyday who are ruining their health just because they worry.  It is such a waste of the time that the Lord has given us. 

Here is something I learned that is very important and I hope you will take to heart.   People in the world (unbelievers) have to worry.  Why?  Because they have only themselves to rely on.  Everything is all up to them.  They have to fight their way through life, figure all the angles and make sure things are going their way.  They have to worry about their jobs, food, clothing, health, and everything else.  They are just “out there” on their own.  Have you ever thought of that?  I hadn’t until recently. 

Christians, on the other hand, DON’T HAVE TO WORRY!  We really don’t!  We are living in an entirely different spiritual realm than unbelievers.  We have been adopted into God’s family.  He is our Father!  He is our Provider!He is our Savior! He is our Comforter!  He is our Guide!  He is our Counselor!  He is our Healer!  He is in control over everything in our lives.  We do not have to figure out every detail in life, and fret and worry about them.

So, why then, do we worry?  We shouldn’t.  It is because we were raised in this world and worry has become a habit we have learned along the way.  We need to learn new habits and put off the old habit of worry and anxiety.  We think we have to be in control of everything that effects our lives.  But, is that true?  No!  Not when we are a Christian.  God has bought us with a price and He controls us.  He is our Lord and Master.  We are His children and need to look to Him for every need. 

When we become a Christian we do not realize that God will take care of us in every way.  We still hang on to the worldly way of thinking.  That is our mistake! We need to stop thinking like unbelievers!   They have to worry.  We don’t!  We have been set free from worry when we were saved because Christ died and rose again and in doing so enabled us to become new creations.  We are actually new persons inside.  

2Co 5:17 NASB Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

But, we still live in the old fleshly body and are constantly bombarded with it’s desires and feelings. Those old feelings lure us into the trap of worry.  We have a certain physical feeling, like rapid heartbeat, and right away our mind takes off on a worry trip.  We start with the “what if” thoughts.  “What if I’m having a heart attack?”  What if I’m going to have a panic attack?”  “What if I pass out?”  And, on and on it goes.  We are worrying and causing ourselves much anxiety.  Finally, if we don’t know how to stop this process we will end up having a full-blown panic attack.

Is there an answer to this?  A war rages as the old flesh fights our new spirit.  But, God says, He is greater. 

1Jn 4:4 NASB You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

God is more powerful.  He has given believers the Holy Spirit to live in us and gives us power to overcome. 

2Ti 1:14 NASB Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to

you.

 

Eph 3:16 NASB that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

2Pe 1:3 NASB seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

God has given us everything we need to live our Christian lives in a God honoring way. 

Gal 5:16 NASB But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Rom 8:13 NASB for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

God calls us to stop living according to the world.  We are to die to that when we become Christians.  The Holy Spirit which indwells us gives us the power to put to death the deeds of the flesh.  In other words, He gives us the power to stop worrying.  We can do it!

Below is part of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians believers:

Eph 1:19-20 NASB and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might (20) which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Just what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe?   Paul is emphasizing that the extraordinary divine force by which Jesus Christ was raised from the dead is the same power at work in and through believers.  Isn’t that wonderful?  We have that same power in us!  We can overcome anything!  Believe it! 

to be continued….

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(I originally wrote this for our PD-Overcomers group.)

One thing we all have in common in this group is anxiety.  In fact , if you have panic attacks you have extreme anxiety.  Another thing we have in common is that most of us are Christians.

I’ve been asked many times if Christians should have anxiety.  That is a really good question and one I’d like to attempt to answer.  In order to do that we  need to go to the Bible and see what God has to say on the subject.

I’ve read many books and articles, and listened to tapes on anxiety.  I’ve read the secular along with Christian views.  People say different things, but the one thing I know is that God’s Word is the authority and that is where we must start if we are going to get a handle on this dreadful malady.

Anxiety:  What is it?  Is it a feeling?  Is it nervousness?  Is it fear?  Is it stress?  Is it panic?

I believe it is all of those things in different degrees.  Where does anxiety start?  It starts in the mind.

Who has anxiety?  Everyone at some time or other.  Unbelievers and believers alike. In today’s world it seems everyone is anxious about something.  Just look at the magazine covers in the grocery store.  See how many times you see a title about anxiety or stress.

Or, listen to television news and see all the things going on in the world that make people anxious and fearful. If you listen to the talking heads too long you will certainly become stressful.

What does anxiety do to us?  Anxiety effects us physically.  It can make our blood pressure rise, it increases our heart rate, it makes our palms sweat, it makes us irritable, jittery, and nervous. It can lead to health problems like hypertension.

Anxiety makes us afraid.  It is our enemy.  Fear is our enemy and it is a liar.  It tells us things that are not true and convinces us they are true.  It upsets our life, hurts relationships, and hinders us from being all that God wants us to be.  You can readily see why the enemy grins when he see us full of anxiety and fear.  He has got us right where he wants us.  We are like putty in his hands when we are full of fear.  He is in control and takes us over.  He pulls us along like a dog on a leash and never lets go of his grip.  He gets us to think unhealthy thoughts that tear us down.  He has a hay day with us.  Fear is an ugly four letter word.

Where does fear come from?  Well, way back in the Garden of Eden there was no fear. Everything was peaceful and tranquil until Satan, the serpent, came along and deceived Eve and she ate of the forbidden fruit.  She disobeyed God and sin entered into the world, along with fear.  If you remember, Adam and Eve hid out from God.  What did they do that?  They were afraid.

Gen 3:10 NASB He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

When sin entered the world, Adam’s conscience was opened and he was aware of things he never realized before.  He lost his innocence. That was the beginning of fear and it continues today.  It is part of the sin nature that we acquired as a result of the original sin.

Not all fear is sinful though.  God has put in our hearts a certain kind of fear that protects us.  It is the fear of stepping off a cliff.  Wouldn’t you agree that is a good fear?  Another good kind of fear is the fear of the Lord.  It is the beginning of wisdom.

Psa 111:10a NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

Pro 1:7 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pro 9:10 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Isa 33:6 NASB And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure.

So you can see that the fear of the Lord is something we should treasure.  We need to have the fear of the Lord in our hearts.  Do you?

But, I’m not going to talk about those kinds of fear right now.  I’m going to write about the debilitating kind of fear.  The kind that ruins lives, marriages, careers, and families.  That kind of fear has to be dealt with.  Worry, fear, anxiety, nervousness, stress; they are all the same and do destructive work in our lives.

 

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Isaiah 46: 9-10 (NIV) 
 
Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.
 
God is talking to Israel here and it is a marvelous picture of who He is and what He is like.  You read this and you have to believe that God is in control.  It doesn’t matter how we feel, He is still in control because He is God. 
 
God is Sovereign!  What does that mean?  It means He is God and He can do whatever pleases Him. He has absolute rule.  Just think about that for awhile.  Nothing in this world can change what He wants to do.  You can’t, and I can’t.  We are truly at His mercy.
 
Now, knowing that, how does it make you feel?  Do you feel out of control?  Do you want to be in control?  We need to take a good look at our own lives and see who is in charge.  If we are in charge, then we have to worry and struggle over every detail of our lives.  We have to make sure we are doing things right.  We have to fight all the fears and anxiety that come our way.  It is all up to us.  What a heavy burden rests on our shoulders.  Can we handle all of that?
 
But, on the other hand, if we realize we don’t have to be in charge, think of the weight that is lifted.  If we truly understand that God is Sovereign and is in charge of every detail of our lives then we can rest in His love and in His arms. 
 
So, where would you rather be?  In charge and under stress all the time? Or are you willing to give up your self to God and let Him take the reins and carry your burdens?  You can, you know.
 
Mat 11:28-30 NASB “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  

What a wonderful passage that is.  If we step out of the way, take on the yoke of God’s kingdom, get into the Word and learn from God we WILL find rest for our souls.  He says so!

When farmers put a yoke on a pair of oxen it makes the load lighter for them to haul.  When we put on the yoke of God’s kingdom our burden or load becomes light.  Praise God!

Just a note:  Remember Satan is not sovereign!  God is!  Satan can only do what God permits him to. 

 1Jn 4:4 NASB You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world

 

 

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For the past few weeks my pastor has preached sermons on what the Bible says about Hell.

After listening to them I must say I feel very upset.  I struggle with what I’ve learned.  Have you ever really taken a good look at how the Bible describes Hell?  Here are some of the descriptions:

  • A bottomless pit
  • Eternal torment
  • Weeping and gnashing of teeth
  • Eternal destruction
  • Gehenna
  • Fire
  • Outer darkness
  • Loss and regret
  • Second death
  • Everlasting

The pastor went into detail on all of these items.  We also learned why God created a place like Hell in the first place; what it is like; and why a loving God would send anyone to a place like that.

I know often times when ever the subject of Hell comes up in a conversation someone asks this question, “Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell?”  It is a good question and does make one wonder why. It just doesn’t seem like a kind and loving thing to do, does it?  We can’t understand from our own human logic because we are not God and can’t see things from His perspective.

Isa 55:9 NASB
(9)  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Do you know that God is Holy, Holy, Holy?

Rev 4:8 NASB
(8)  And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”

God is completely holy.  We don’t have anything to compare his holiness to.  He is holy and pure and cannot even look upon sin.  Sin cannot be in His presence, period.  That is why sinful people cannot go to Heaven.  We have to first be washed with the blood of Christ.  He took on our sins and paid our death penalty on the cross.  Only those who repent and call upon the Lord will be sin free.

Hell is real according to the bible.  Many people don’t believe there is a real Hell.  They think that all we do is live this life the best we can and then die,  are buried, and that’s the end of it.  For people who believe that way, life should be: eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.  I know people like that, and I must admit years ago I would have joined in with their chorus.  It’s really sad if this life is all there is. Wouldn’t you agree?

But, the truth is, this life is not all there is.  This is only a tiny part of what God has planned for each of us.  The Bible says, this life is only a vapor, and it vanishes.

Jas 4:14 NASB
(14)  Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

But, we have eternal life.  In fact, everyone has eternal life.  Those who during this lifetime come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior will spend eternity in Heaven, and those who reject Him will spend eternity in Hell.  It is that simple.  And that is why these messages on Hell upset me. Hell is a very nasty place to spend even a second in, let alone eternity.

Oh, there are so many people I know in my own family, neighborhood, and  circle of friends who are in the second category.  They are on the road that leads to destruction.  They are on their way to Hell. And, some of these people are very religious folks who attend church regularly and think they are alright. That breaks my heart! 

Could you ever wish ANYONE to spend eternity in Hell?  No way!  Remember, some of those descriptive words:  fire, but not a consuming fire. A fire that burns forever, and the stench of sulfur (brimstone); constant and never ending torment; weeping and gnashing of teeth; a constant falling into a bottomless pit; horrible sounds and smells; a constant deep sorrow that they rejected the Savior; the awful loneliness of solitude, and loss of all friends (there won’t be any partying with friends in Hell as some say) and loss of loved ones; and a eternal separation from God.  Oh, my, to think anyone who I love would have to go through that.  It makes me very sad.

I know you have been to funerals where the speaker or a family member of the deceased said things like this:  “Well, he is in a better place now, we can take comfort in that.”  Really?  Or, “At least he isn’t suffering anymore.”  Really?  That all sounds nice but is it true?  We don’t know. That person may not be in a better place, and may be suffering much worse than when he was alive.  I don’t like hearing those kind of things because I know they are not usually true.  They say that about everyone not matter what kind of a life they have lived. 

It is very difficult to think about my own dear mother.  Did she make it to Heaven?  Or is she suffering in Hell?  I wonder.  I know she was a good person.  She always did nice things for others.  Later in life after I became a Christian, I talked to her about the things of the Lord.  I tried to live my life in a way that showed her a Christian life.  I do believe she became a Christian in her old age, but I DO NOT KNOW for sure.  I cannot know her heart, only God can. But, I cannot bear to think of her in that awful place called Hell.  It brings tears to my eyes just pondering it.  My mom in Hell? No! No! No!  I truly hope not.  I will never know for sure until I get to Heaven and look for her.  For now, I have to leave it in God’s hands.

If a Christian I loved was captured by a terrorist, tortured, and beheaded, it would be much better than going to Hell.  At least it would be over with.  But Hell is far worse than that and it never ever ends.

So, now that I’m all upset about the awfulness of Hell and the thought of anyone I know going there what should I do?  I want to cry.

I know I will pray more that God will reveal to them the fact that they are sinners and need Him.  I will pray more, and I need to talk to people about their eternal security.  I need to ask them if they are right with God, and if not, encourage them to get right with Him.  I need boldness of spirit and courage to do this.  Please pray for me.  I need to tell them what God has done in my own life and how He has saved me from an eternity in Hell.

Oh, I’m so grateful for that.  Why me Lord?  Why me?  For some reason, only God knows, I came to the realization that I needed Christ as my Lord and Savior.  I repented of my sin and accepted the free gift Jesus offers to sinners. I made Him Lord of my life.  I’m so thankful! 

If you have any suggestions of what else I can do please share with me.

If you would like to hear some of these stirring messages by Pastor Ron click on this site:

Faith Bible Church

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Here is a Psalm that has blessed my heart.  I will insert my meditations along the way.

Psalm 16:1-11 NASB

Ps.(1) A Mikhtam of David. Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have a God who will preserve us?  A God that we can run to and take refuge in? He is our protector! David was a warrior and this sounds like warrior talk.  He needed to be preserved in battle and depended on God to take care of him.  We are also in a battle.  We fight a spiritual battle every day.  Our wonderful Father will preserve us and hide us in the palm of His hand.

Ps.(2) I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”

Jas 1:17 NASB

(17)” Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

We have nothing good apart from God.  He gave us our very being.  Think about all the good things we have and realize that God has given them to us.

He is LORD and MASTER:

Jud 1:4 NASB

(4) …deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Ps.(3) As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

1Jn 3:23 NASB

(23) This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (italics mine)

Do we love the brethren?  This is one of the tests of a true Christian.  David delighted in those who were like minded with him.

Ps.(4) The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

Here David talks about those who have turned from the true God and followed after other gods.  He said they will be filled with sorrows.  He would not have anything to do with them and their religious practices.  He wouldn’t even mention their god’s names.  Isn’t it still true today?  There are false teachers out there who wait to trap us in their snares.  They don’t serve the God of the Bible, and they will be full of sorrow when they wind up in Hell.  We too, should be like David and have nothing to do with them.

Ps.(5) The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.

The Lord supports us and our inheritance is with Him.  And, what an inheritance that is!  Whatever He pours out for us to go through we can depend on Him for support.

Ps.(6) The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

Is our heritage beautiful to us?  That is something to think about.  God has given us a wonderful heritage in Jesus Christ and the church.

Ps.(7) I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

Yes, the Lord is our counselor.  His Word is true and sure.  We renew our minds as we study the  Word.  Sometimes I have a problem that I need to solve.  It could be a computer problem, or something about scripture I just can’t get straight in my mind.  Often when I wake up in the morning it is as though the answer just comes to me.  I know the Lord has something to do with that!  Have you ever had that happen?

Ps.(8) I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

We can depend on God.  He is there at our right hand all the time. He will never leave us or forsake us.  He is dependable.  Who else can we depend on ALWAYS?  No one! Knowing He is there with us we do not have to be fearful. He loves us and will take care of any and all situations that crop up.

Ps.(9) Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.

Again, David says that he is secure in the Lord.  That makes his heart glad and he can rejoice.  He is not afraid for his life as his enemies set out to destroy him.

Ps.(10) For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

He also knows that when he dies his soul will not go to Hell.  He knows without a shadow of a doubt that he will go to be with the Lord.  Then he adds, that God will not allow “Your Holy One,” to undergo decay.  What a statement to be coming from David right there.  Do you see it?  This is the resurrection!  “Your Holy One,” refers to  Christ, and God would raise Him from the dead.  His body didn’t decay.  That is an amazing prophesy.

Ps.(11) You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

David ends this Psalm as he talks about how God will lead him in the path of life.  Do you allow God to lead you in your life?  Stay in the Word and you can. When David does this he finds the fullness of joy in God’s presence.   That is wonderful! 

Our joy does not come from the world.  It isn’t about having more things;  a bigger car, the latest electronics, or a splendid home.  Those things are nice and may make us feel happy for a time, but real joy comes when we spend time with God.  I hope you make that one of your habits.  You won’t regret it. 

Finally, he says in God’s right hand there are pleasures forever.  Have you ever thought what our Christian walk is going to be like down the road?  We cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be.  We will walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, serve Him, and praise Him.  God will just keep dealing out pleasures forever.  Forever must refer to our eternal life and there is no end to what God has for us.  Just one thing that comes to my mind is the fact that after the Rapture of the church when the Millennium period comes in, Jesus will be reigning as King on Earth and guess what?  We will be reigning with him! 

Rev 20:6 NASB

(6) Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Italics mine)

That’s us folks!  I don’t know exactly how that will all work but I’m getting excited!  Come Lord Jesus!

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JESUS PAID IT ALL

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18


Click on MIDI to hear this hymn.

Words: Elvina M. Hall, 1865.

Music: John T. Grape (MI­DI, score):

Our church was un­der­go­ing re­pairs, and the cab­i­net or­gan was placed in my care. Thus af­ford­ed a plea­sure not be­fore en­joyed, I de­light­ed my­self in play­ing over some of our Sun­day school hymns. I de­ter­mined to give tan­gi­ble shape to a theme that had been run­ning in my mind for some time, to write, if pos­si­ble, an an­swer to Brad­bu­ry’s beau­ti­ful piece, “Jesus Paid It All.” I made it a matter of pray­er and stu­dy and gave to the pub­lic the mu­sic now known as “All to Christ I Owe.” It was pro­nounced ve­ry poor by my choir and friends, but my dear wife per­sist­ent­ly de­clared that it was a good piece of mu­sic and would live. Time has proved the cor­rect­ness of her jud­gment. Soon af­ter, the Rev. George W. Schreck called on me to se­lect an­y­thing new that I had to of­fer. On hear­ing this piece he ex­pressed his plea­sure with it and stat­ed that Mrs. El­vi­na M. Hall had writ­ten some words that would just suit the mu­sic. I gave him a co­py of it and it was soon sung in sev­er­al church­es here in Bal­ti­more [Mar­y­land] and well re­ceived. At the sug­gest­ion of friends I sent a co­py to Pro­fess­or The­o­dore Perk­ins and it was pub­lished in Sab­bath Car­ols. Un­der the pro­vi­dence of God it has been go­ing ev­er since. I trust that it has not failed to ac­comp­lish some good to my fel­low-men for the glo­ry of God.

Here’s a story about the song:

On New Year’s night, 1886, some mis­sion­ar­ies were hold­ing open-air serv­ic­es in or­der to att­ract pass­ers­-by to a near-by miss­ion, where meet­ings were to be held later. “All to Christ I owe” was sung, and af­ter a gen­tle­man had giv­en a short ad­dress he hast­ened away to the miss­ion. He soon heard foot­steps close be­hind him and a young wo­man caught up with him and said:

“I heard you ad­dress­ing the open-air meet­ing just now; do you think, sir, that Je­sus could save a sin­ner like me?”

The gen­tle­man re­plied that there was no doubt about that, if she was anx­ious to be saved. She told him that she was a serv­ant girl, and had left her place that morn­ing after a dis­a­gree­ment with her mis­tress. As she had been wan­der­ing about the streets in the dark, won­der­ing where she was to spend the night, the sweet mel­o­dies of this hymn had at­tract­ed her, and she drew near and listened at­tent­ive­ly. As the dif­fer­ent vers­es were be­ing sung, she felt that the words sure­ly had some­thing to do with her. Through the whole serv­ice she seemed to hear what met her op­pressed soul’s need at that mo­ment. God’s Spir­it had showed her what a poor, sin­ful and wretch­ed crea­ture she was, and had led her to ask what she must do. On hear­ing her ex­per­i­ence, the gen­tle­man took her back to the mis­sion and left her with the la­dies in charge. The young, way­ward woman was brought to Christ that night. A si­tu­a­tion was se­cured for her in a min­is­ter’s fam­i­ly. There she be­came ill and had to be tak­en to a hos­pi­tal. She ra­pid­ly failed and it became ev­i­dent that she would not be long on earth. One day the gen­tle­man whom she had met on New Year’s night was vis­it­ing her in the ward. Af­ter quot­ing a few suit­a­ble vers­es of Script­ure, he re­peat­ed her fa­vo­rite hymn, “All to Christ I owe”…and she seemed over­whelmed with the thought of com­ing to glo­ry…Two hours af­ter­ward she passed away.

Sankey, pp. 110-1

If you have ac­cess to a pic­ture of El­vi­na Hall or John Grape that we could put on­line, please click here.


I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Refrain

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Refrain

And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Refrain

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

Refrain

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

Refrain

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Refrain


10/21/2007 15:40:11

For more hymns and stories visit the site: www.cyberhymnal.org

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