National Day of Prayer

Beloved, prayer should be something we enter into and live our lives with consistently. We should need prayer like we need to breathe.

With that said, please make an extra effort today to join your prayers with all of the saints in Jesus for the healing of our nation and our world. Pray to heal the wounds caused by our sin and for all Christians to come together as a beacon of hope and God’s mercy to all. In Jesus’ Name!

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Lift Each Other Up to God

Let me tell you one of my favorite stories from the Bible. In Exodus 17, there was a war between the Israelites and the Amalekites. They were some tough opponents. It was such an important battle that instead of leading the armies, Moses went up to the top of the hill to pray for Israel. Moses knew that God’s help was the only way they could win.

As long as Moses kept his hands up and prayed, the battle would go well. If his hands fell, the Israelites would start to lose.

Of course Moses is human, just like the rest of us. So after a while his arms started to droop. He got tired. But Moses’ brother and a friend saw this. They ran over and helped lift up his arms. By the end, Moses kept praying and the Israelites won the war, all because of some people lending their helping hands.

This story holds a lot for me personally as a Christian in today’s world. Our first obligation is to keep in close contact with God. It’s about doing what God says is good rather than what the world says is good.

Our second obligation is to love our neighbors. To bring and keep our brethren close to Christ. How do we do that best? Through prayer.

We all come closer to God through prayer, which is a dialog between us and our Lord. In short, prayer is a child talking to their parent. Prayer is where we find out more about Him and thereby find out more about the life we were truly meant to have.

Unfortunately, we all get tired sometimes. We may even hit some dry spells in our prayer and our walk with Jesus Christ. Jesus wasn’t the only one who goes through a desert sometimes. However, that desert of sorts is exactly when the rest of us need to be lifting those weary people up in prayer. In doing so, we can all continue to fight the battle between good and evil.

When we feel led by the Spirit to pray and talk with God, we are blessing those we pray for. However, when we feel dry and walking through a kind of spiritual desert, our prayers mean so much more. It is those times that we don’t FEEL like praying that we have the most power in our prayers. We aren’t feeling led to pray, but instead we are praying because it’s what we ought to do.

Those times when we are free to pray or not are the times that we really strike back at the devil the most. True freedom is not just doing whatever we want; it is being able to do what we ought to do.

You can’t have it both ways. Either we are working for God or the devil. The Bible says two roads are set before you, one going to Heaven and one to hell. You can only walk on one path.

Know that when you say yes to someone, you are saying no to someone else. The devil wants us to use our freedom for the wrong things in order to tear down the kingdom of God. If we instead use our freedom to further the help and healing of the nations, we deal a serious blow against his wicked ways.

With every prayer, we can help change the story for another lost soul. We don’t always pick the right way for ourselves from day-to-day, but there are other good and faithful Christians lifting us up in prayer and that can make all the difference.

So go forth and do the same for others. Lift them up, no matter what your day has been like or whether you feel like doing it or not.

Some people are concerned about what to pray when talking to God. I say that if you can’t muster up what you think is a solid prayer, then pray about praying. God likes honesty and knows what’s in your heart.

If you are in a scary situation that kicks you to your knees and all you can get out is the name of Jesus, then pray that name, the name above all names. The precious name of Jesus is one of the most powerful prayers there could ever be.

The Bible says that God is our stronghold in times of trouble. Run to Him, no matter the circumstances.

One thing to note: Just because you had a rough day and maybe made some sinful choices, don’t think that God isn’t listening to the pleas of His children. Although you fail sometimes, that doesn’t make you a failure. God will never see you as a failure, even if that’s how you see yourself.

God knows His own and is ready to be a good father to us, even when we aren’t necessarily ready to be good children for Him.

No matter how strong we are or how holy we think we have become, we can always backslide if we aren’t careful.

The devil is a tough opponent and he will hit us just where we can be the most easily tempted. But God promises that we will defeat evil as long as we stick close to Jesus.

So don’t give up and don’t give in to the devil. And just because you and I may be preachers or good professing Christians, don’t you think that it can’t happen to us. We can all fall now and then. It takes the prayers of the faithful to keep the rest of us in the battle.

So please, you pray for me and I’ll pray for you and together we shall overcome this world. Stay close to Jesus and help others to do the same.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Jesus Christ is Risen

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

Since it is Easter, we are reminded today more than most times of the year that Jesus was crucified and died for our sins. It was horrible for all who looked upon the face of the Jesus hanging there on the cross. It is where we get our word ‘excruciating.’

Many people at that time thought that it was the end of their hope of salvation, but Jesus rose again just a few days later. What started as a miracle birth could have been reduced to just campfire stories had Jesus not risen again after his fall.

That is what made all the difference. Jesus rose again after his death. This life that we know will pass away soon enough, but when we accept Jesus as our Savior and put our trust in Him, we are promised that we shall be raised again with Him. We no longer need to fear death, because our Lord has complete power over death and not the other way around.

Over the years, there’s been many people that have said their way was the answer to life, but they all died; all but one, Jesus. Jesus backed up every claim He made through fulfillment of scripture prophecies as well as the miracles He did. The biggest miracle of all was the empty tomb on Sunday, because in dying He destroyed our death, and in rising He restored our life.

I don’t need a dead savior. I can die on my own just fine, thanks. What I need is the risen savior. I need Jesus Christ.

You and I will fall to our sins, but the real tragedy would be if we didn’t rise again from it. Only one thing separates us from God and keeps us out of heaven and that is our sin. That is why our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven. Only then can we be reconciled to God and have the opportunity to be with Him for all eternity. The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Jesus is the ONLY way.

Happy Easter, my friends. It is not just the resurrection day of our Lord Jesus Christ, but it is the day of our resurrection as well. As He was raised, so shall we be raised with Him forever.

Happy Easter everyone! God’s blessings to you.

DH

Salvation is Personal

We sometimes view our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as sitting on a throne in Heaven. Untouchable and unapproachable. After all, He’s God and probably has a lot better things to do than to worry about than my flat tire or our child’s spelling test.

Why pray about those seemingly little things when compared to all of the big things going wrong in the world today? Wars and poverty and all sorts of big problems. Who am I that the God should listen to me anyway?

The Bible says that you and I are God’s children. He is our Heavenly Father and He loves you with an everlasting love.

Look at that sentence again. Let the words “you” and “everlasting” really sink into your mind. Even though we sin and do all sorts of evil, God loves us anyway.

That love is both personal and eternal. The Bible says in the book of Ephesians that God chose us before the world was even created. That’s right, you and I were in His heart before we were a reality.

Christ was thinking of you and me when He made the universe. Jesus was also thinking about us when He was taking His last breaths on the cross.

Seeing the joy before Him, Jesus died and rose again to take our sins away. He did it so that we can be happy with Him in Heaven for all of eternity. That’s the good news of the Gospel, and it’s all for you.

Salvation is personal.

Jesus Christ did it for you! Even if you were the only person on earth, He still would have died so that you could be with Him. That’s how much God loves you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

God is more interested in us and our lives than what we even realize. Our human minds can’t quite get that God is big enough and smart enough to be involved in even the smallest points of our lives. It’s all important to Him.

We may think we are nothing but a speck in the universe, but God loves that speck!

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?” – Matthew 18:12

We are the strays, but God loves us so much that He never stops seeking and reaching out to us. We may run from time to time, but God said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

Now that you know about His immense love, what will you do about it?

I pray that you accept God’s love for you and that you share that love with the world. Everyone you meet needs the joy and peace of Jesus in their lives. We all need that everlasting love that the Bible speaks of.

Jesus Christ is the source and center of that love. It’s yours if you want it, personally and completely loved by God.

Accept Jesus into your life. Salvation is yours.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Why Four Gospels? – Since You Asked q.7

The question sometimes arises about why there are four Gospel accounts of Jesus Christ. They each tell the same story, but some items are just a bit different. Why?

Any lawyer or detective would tell you that on the street and in court, you wouldn’t want to hear EXACTLY the same story from a group of people. Too close means too rehearsed. Whereas, you don’t have to rehearse the truth.

Each of us has a background and experiences that lend us different perspectives on things. My sister may know shoes better since she worked in a shoe store. She might focus on the white Nikes someone was wearing, whereas I may describe a person as wearing a black rock band t-shirt.

The same person was seen during the same occurrence, but different observations and descriptions. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong or contradictory, it’s all about the eye of the beholder. It’s what details stood out and to whom.

With the Gospels, you have four people seeing the same event. The exact same Jesus Christ, just different things that stood out to each person.

Also, you’ve got in the Gospels some backgrounds on people and their problems. For instance, the man blind from birth that Jesus gave sight to. The Gospel writer would have either known him or asked him some of his story. Same thing with the woman with the flow of blood for 12 years. There must have been some interviews being done after those miracles happened.

The Gospels are witness accounts. Even when they were first written down, anyone reading them could easily go and speak with some of the people being talked about.

The Bible opens itself to being scrutinized. It’s got all the details we would ever need to say if it’s true or not. However, for every naysayer, there comes to light more evidence that upholds the truth of the Bible.

There’s so much information about what Jesus Christ said and did, at the end of he Gospel of John, it says that John doubted there was enough room in the world that could contain all of the books that would need written. All of what was written down was so we could come to believe in Jesus Christ. It’s not an over abundance of details, but just enough.

Jesus never wrote a book like “Abundant Life Now” or “How to Love Better”. He never wrote a book at all during His time on earth. He was a teacher. He taught through His word and through His deeds. What was done and said was of great importance. Some people caught some details, but others heard and saw the same things, but from their particular vantage points.

Three of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are considered synoptic. That means they flow much the same and contain many of the same accounts. However, the Gospel of John, written by the “Beloved Apostle”, has a distinctly different feel to it.

The Gospel of Mark, which was actually written first, was a very short and pointed history of Jesus’ work. Matthew built upon that history even further, taking what Mark wrote and enlightening us on more of the details to each story.

Then Luke, being a highly schooled physician, was serious about going deeper into the story of Jesus Christ. The book of Acts tells of some of the travels of Luke. With such details in his Gospel as well as the book of acts itself (which was also written by Luke), there must have been many interviews with eye witnesses and even some of the Jewish and Roman leaders in that time.

The Gospel of Luke also contains the details behind the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. If there was one person who would have doubted and wanted to know all he could about a virgin birth, it would have been a physician such as Luke. There would have been no stones left unturned in that account.

Finally, you have the Gospel of John, which differs from the other three Gospels. John focuses on more of the spiritual aspects of Jesus and His ministry. John also lends different details during his Gospel in order to make more sense and connect certain scriptures for the reader.

That’s why we have the four Gospels. Each one equally important, but each one showing their own unique perspectives of the same Jesus.

So can we trust those different accounts and perspectives? Absolutely! Think back to an earlier time in your life. Something happened, someone died, someone hurt you or helped you in such a way that you couldn’t forget it if you tried. I bet you can remember certain sights and smells, hairstyles, or even the weather that day. That time made such an impact on your life that you could easily write an account of it, even decades later.

Now imagine that someone saved your life, gave you sight, or fed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fishes. You just can’t forget something that truly awesome. Combine that importance in your life with the spurring on of the Holy Spirit. You would have a book that would stand the test of time without a problem.

Which brings me to my final point. The Gospels are written “pen to paper” by human authors, but they are also the work of the Holy Spirit of God, who is the primary author. God wanted not only an account of what He did, but also a primer for us to live by; almost an owner’s manual of sorts for this life. So God used the tools at His disposal to create and disseminate this great book. The entire Bible: 66 separate books written over a period of around 1500 years in different continents and by 40 different human authors. 66 books, but together they are one story which flows perfectly because it was truly authored by the same God. Yes, you have four Gospels, but you have one story pointing the way to the great and mighty Jesus.

Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, but died and rose again to take our sins away. He did it out of his Greta love for us. And because of that, we are allowed into Heaven with Him for all of eternity. Peace, joy, and pure love like we’ve never known awaits us there.

All we need to do is accept that truth. We’re not given just one chance to learn things about our Jesus, we’re given four Gospels. The word gospel means good news, and there is nothing greater than the Good News of Jesus Christ.

God’s blessings to you!

DH

The Celebration of Christmas

Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. In a single word, Christmas is a time of love. John 3:16 sums it up: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

When the world needed peace, Jesus was born unto us. When people were scared, angry, self-absorbed, and looking to the wrong things to bring themselves happiness, God arrived on Earth.

By all rights, that description sounds a lot like now. Wars and rumors of wars, protests and infighting at every level, and a pandemic that has affected the world. Nothing about this year was easy or was helped by any of our supposed plans.

We need peace, we need a forever love, and we need hope for the future. In short, we need Jesus. Now more than ever, we need The Savior. We need Jesus Christ in our lives and in our hearts. He is the only way to where we need to be.

Whether you believe in Him or not, Jesus Christ has changed the world forever. Our common year is based off of the life of Jesus Christ. Even if some people changed the acronym, it’s still before Christ’s birth and after. Phrases we use every day, such as “Go the extra mile,” “blind leading the blind,” “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” or “straight and narrow” are all words straight from Christ’s mouth. This whole time of year especially is because of Jesus. You can say happy holidays all you want, but the truth of the matter is that Christ is the reason for the season.

Even in places that are cynical of Christian values, I have heard Christmas music playing. Take the time to listen to those songs. Those are songs of praise and worship and they are being played all over the place and even all over the world this time of year.

To paraphrase the book of Acts, if this whole Jesus thing was just of men, it would turn to nothing. However, if this really is of God, there’s nothing in this world that can stop it. It’s been over two thousand years since the birth of Jesus and there is no silencing the believer, no matter what heretical laws are passed and no matter how politically correct this country becomes.

Why is that? Because the person who has been forgiven of much shows the most love for the Lord. I have been forgiven of many wrongs in my life and, if by chance I am ever rendered mute, my actions and my very soul would still sing out in praise of the God Most High.

That’s why there was a bright and shining star that showed the way to Christ’s crib that fateful night. Even the universe showed praise to the Creator with a glow that could never be equaled.

That shining star stood for peace and hope to the ones in need of a savior. It also stood as a warning light to those who thought they were doing fine by their own ways. It was a green light to love and a red light to evil.

We all have our faults, even the best of us. There’s nobody good enough to earn Heaven. The Bible says that we all fall short of the glory of God. We sin and the payment for those sins is death.

But thanks be to God that He has sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for those sins. When we accept that payment on the cross, we can be freed and forgiven for our wrongs. Completely and totally erased from our record.

Jesus paid the cost we can’t pay. He died for us so that we can live eternally in Heaven with Him.

That’s why we celebrate Christmas. It’s the birth of the Savior of all of us who accept Him.

So please remember this time of year, it’s Christmas and not just another season. Revive your love for our Savior this Christmas. Praise Jesus for His wonderful life and His death upon the cross for our sins. A believer’s future is sealed by complete and boundless love. That infinite love is not a something, but a someone. His name is Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas and God’s blessings to you.

DH

Know Jesus Christ

Saint Paul was the most religiously schooled person of all the apostles. He learned under highly regarded Jewish leaders, read and memorized many of the scriptures, but to use his words, he counted all of this as garbage when compared to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

To Paul, Jesus was the one and only thing worth knowing.

We, too, should have that aim in our lives.  This world can be a tough one at best.  We are bombarded daily by temptations and evils of all kinds, and if we don’t have our eyes focused on the right things, we can easily succumb to the devil’s wicked ways. 

In short, keep your eyes on Jesus.  We can try to be good people and we can even try to be as religious as possible, but unless we have Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are fighting a loosing battle.

Don’t get me wrong, church and religion is a good thing, but it cannot be the only thing in your life.  You can be a regular at Bible study and may be able to spout off hundreds of verses at will, but my question is, “Are you living those verses?” 

The Bible is an important book; really, it is THE most important book.  That being said, it is only a collection of words and stories without the Holy Spirit helping you along. 

If you have not accepted Christ and His finished work on the cross, you do not have the “necessary equipment” yet to really understand what the Bible has to say.  It all starts with Jesus Christ.

No level of supposed holiness can save your soul.  No matter what anyone says, paying massive amounts of money to a church will not give you eternal life or get you a better seat in heaven.  Positive thinking is a good thing, but it can’t get you into heaven either.  Facing east five times daily or hopping up and down on one foot singing kumbaya doesn’t get the attention of God any faster. 

The one and only bridge between God and man is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, suffered and died on the cross, was buried and raised from the dead to remove your sins so you can get into Heaven.  Strive to know that truth more than anything else. 

If you have accepted that, you have been born again and are destined for Heaven.  

There’s a lot of other details to this life, but they are just that, details.  Jesus Christ is the source, the center, and the summit of life.  Jesus alone saves us and not the details.

Throughout eternity, God spoke but one word, “Jesus.”  He has nothing more to say.

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians 2:1-2

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Clothe Yourself with Christ

It’s nice to get comfortable after a long day. When I get home from work, I usually take off my work clothes and get into something like my sweats or maybe jeans and a t-shirt. As long as I have my work clothes on, I know I’m not home. However, I am encouraged because I know I’m on the way. Before long, I’ll be able to come home and be at peace.

While we are here on earth, it seems like it’s a day-to-day struggle just to keep your head up. This world tends to weigh pretty heavily on each of us. Between the pressures of our jobs and the stresses we face in our private lives, it’s a wonder why we don’t all look like we are 150 years old. I know that I’ve earned each one of these grey hairs; I just wish there was more wisdom that came along with them.

When I look in the mirror nowadays, I see this grouchy old guy that’s been beaten up by this world. That isn’t how our Creator sees us though.

God sees us for what and who we truly are, the beautiful children that He wanted to make. The world does its damage, but Jesus says, “Take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

The Bible says that right now, we don’t even completely know ourselves and that is thanks to all of the trials that this world puts us through. One day though, we will know fully just as we are fully known by God. When we accept Jesus into our lives and hearts, we too shall one day overcome the pain, the stress, and the heartaches of this world.

You might ask why God wants us to go through hard times. The answer is in the cross of Jesus. No struggle, no pain, no trial that you will ever go through will be for nothing. Jesus suffered and die, then was raised from the dead to give us the gift of eternal life in Heaven.

We too will have our own crosses to bear in this life. Those crosses aren’t only for our own benefit, but for other peoples’ as well. We learn how to lift each other up during hard times and show each other how to appreciate the good times. Those crosses we bear for Jesus are for the greater good of all.

That being said, some of our crosses are self-imposed. Our lives aren’t perfect and if you are struggling to make it perfect, you are in a losing battle. We think we can bring ourselves peace and work ourselves into Heaven, but it’s never enough.

Jesus Christ is the only thing that will bring us peace. When you accept Jesus as your Savior, He begins to live in you and through you so you can have that peace that you’ve worked so hard for.

No more reason to be ashamed of all of your sins. You have a place in Heaven waiting because God doesn’t see you anymore, He sees Jesus.

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” – Galatians 3:27

Don’t be discouraged and don’t loose heart. Just know that you are destined for Heaven. Peace and joy for all of eternity awaits. You may not be there yet, but you are on the way. Thanks to Jesus, you have a new change of clothes when you get there.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Pathway to Peace

In Romans 3:23, it says that everyone has sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Whether you think of yourself as a good person or not, none of us measures up to a Godly standard. There’s just no way to do enough good to help this fallen world.

The words ‘sin’ and ‘fallen’ don’t need to be what define us though. God has placed a remedy before us to bridge the gap between Him and us. That bridge is the cross of Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection paid the penalty for your sins and mine. The Bible says that “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24).

However, just because the bridge is there doesn’t mean that we automatically get saved. We have to accept that saving grace. We have to cross the bridge and we do that when we accept and receive Christ through His personal invitation.

It’s much like taking an airplane. We are able to take that flight if we have a ticket, but it’s no good unless we get on the plane. It will leave without us if we don’t climb on board. To partake in the peace and abundant life of Jesus Christ, you must accept and receive it.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” – John 1:12

Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That word “whosoever” means anyone. You and me.


To receive Christ you need to do four things:

  • ADMIT your spiritual need. “I am a sinner.” Just like in any problem, the first step is admitting you have one.
  • REPENT and be willing to turn from your sin. You have to pick a path. One leads to death, the other to eternal life. You at least have to be willing to turn down the correct path, but make no mistake, you can’t do it alone. You need Jesus’ help and that’s what He’s offering.
  • BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross. Romans 10:19 says that if you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • RECEIVE, through prayer, Jesus Christ into your heart and life. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20).

Whether you are a non-believer in search of peace in your life or even if you are a lifelong Christian who doesn’t feel like they have had that connection with Jesus, now is your chance to come to Him. He’s waiting for you.

Please pray this prayer with me:


“Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins and I want to turn from them now and forever. I want You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior.”

Friends, if you prayed that prayer with me, I believe that you have just been saved, what the Bible calls being born again. If you didn’t ask Jesus into your heart, then what are you waiting for? The Bible says that today is the day of salvation; now is the accepted time.

I know that if I had a single doubt as to my eternal salvation, you couldn’t drag me away from here without accepting Jesus Christ.

Now, get into a good bible based local church, if you are physically able, and come to know more about the God who loves you and wants to be with you forever. You are now no longer at odds against Him, but instead you have returned to Him as His child who was once lost, but now is found. His arms are outstretched to welcome you home.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always.

God’s blessings to you.

DH