This Guy is a Complete Tool

I remember a friend of mine worked at a video store (for you youngsters in the crowd, we had VHS tapes that you could rent back in the days before the internet was really a thing). I had browsed and found a couple of movies to rent. When I went to check out, it turns out that my friend had wrote something into the comments section of my rental file. Specifically, he wrote, “This guy is a complete tool.” To which, when the lady at the counter read this, she chuckled almost uncontrollably. We talked about it and had a good laugh together.

Fast forward a couple of decades later to my dad’s funeral. I had just finished delivering the final benediction at the gravesite and we were all leaving. One of the funeral directors looked at me and said, “You are a really good preacher.” To which I replied, “Thanks. I’m just grateful to be a tool for the Master to use.” This just came out of my mouth, not for some false humility, but I was honestly happy to be there in that capacity that day. I was sad for my dad’s death, but honored to preach God’s Word at such an important time in my family’s lives.

I look back and realize what was being said in both instances. In one sense of the word ‘tool’, I was being called something derogatory and not worthy of any recognition. In the second use of the word, there was a recognition, but it was being passed from myself to the one who was using the tool. In one sense it was a negative, in the other sense it was a positive. What changed was who used the tool and what the tool was being used for.

You and I are both a certain type of tool. We may not be used in the same ways and at the same times, but we are all going to be used for a purpose. The difference is who is using us. We can either use ourselves for the wrong purposes or we can let go and allow God to use us to create something wonderful.

I have a toolbox with hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches. Why do I need all of those? I need the right tool for the right job. A hammer shouldn’t be used to turn a bolt or you will quickly end up with something ruined. Just like that tool scenario, your experiences and talents enable you to handle certain situations better than other people.

In short, nothing you’ve been through in your life will be for nothing. All of the experiences have made you into what you are today. The good and the bad that you’ve gone through over the years will be used for God’s glory, if you just make yourself available for Him to use.

I have an old hammer that belonged to my grandad. It’s been plenty used and It’s worth noting that the head had come loose years ago. The wooden handle broke a bit, but my dad was able to fix it well. Now, I use it and like using it because it is still just as solid and trustworthy as when it was first made.

Was that hammer broken, yes, but that wasn’t the end of the story. The owner fixed it. It was better than ever and became the centerpiece of his toolbox.

You and I may be a bit broken from the trials of life, but are you ready to heal? God is ready to make that happen. You’re worth it to Him. The Bible says that you are God’s masterpiece. You are very special to Him. He loves you and wants to help you experience your best.

You are useful and this world needs you. However, you need to be made available for God to use. Our sin will keep us from our calling, but through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are released from our sin. His blood on the cross frees us and makes us capable to do great and wonderful things for Him and our fellow people.

When we accept Jesus Christ, we are healed of our brokenness. You have talents and skills that can be used to help so many people in this world. The difference happens when you let go and you put yourself into God’s hands. Don’t be afraid of being a tool for Him to use. Who better than the Master Craftsman to know how best to utilize you and to take care of you?

Yes, I am a complete tool. Proud of it in fact. We are all tools. So what will you be used for?

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Is There a God?

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

Do you know God? Do you even believe there is a God? Maybe you were once a believer because of your parents, but now you’re just not so sure?

The Bible says that the the heavens proclaim the glory of God and the skies display his craftsmanship. They speak without a word, but they make God’s presence known. You have to be willing to look rather than just give a passing glance.

This world is not an accident, just as an explosion in a junkyard wouldn’t accidentally make a jet plane. You can look at a building and know for certain there was a builder, even though you didn’t see it being built. And what about you? You are thinking with a brain and feeling emotions with a soul that was carefully and wonderfully made.

Need more proof? Have you ever seen the Disney movie Toy Story? The main characters find happiness and meaning in their lives through interactions with their owner, who cares about them so much that he (Andy) has written his name on the soles of their feet.

We have a Creator God who has written His name in our souls. We find meaning and happiness when we are interacting with God, because it is what our hearts long for. Like Saint Augustine said, our hearts are restless until they rest in the Lord. To put it into simple terms, we have a God sized hole that can only be filled by Him.

There has never been a culture or people found in the world, not even in the deepest parts of the jungle or desert, that doesn’t believe in some sort of higher power or deity. Our entire human race searches for its meaning outside of itself. We instinctively know that there is much more to life and existence than what we can find in and of ourselves.

So which is the right path? There are so many religions to choose from, and if I don’t like any of those, you can make up your own nowadays. However, even all of the world’s major religions are simply shadows of the real thing. At man’s best guess, all we can come up with is to do good, avoid evil, and seek the meaning to life and the afterlife.

What is good, or at least what is good enough? Man thinks he can work his way to Heaven. God says that only perfection gets in there and we are definitely not perfect. All of the major religions in the world say if you work hard enough and do enough good, things will be better someday. Maybe the next life or maybe a few more after that, you never know.

Unfortunately, there’s no way we can be good enough to work our way into a perfect afterlife, but there’s one thing that you need to know more than anything else. God loves you! He made you and He loves you just the way you just the way you are. He knows you can’t work enough or do enough good to earn Heaven. So God chose to bless and take care of His children just as any good father would. Although we deserve punishment for our bad choices, God said that He would pay the penalty.

God revealed Himself in the life and works of Jesus Christ. Born of a virgin, He lived the sinless life you and I can’t. But He still took the punishment and even the death upon the cross that you and I couldn’t. He did it so we could be forgiven of our debts, our sins. The punishment was paid in full so we could be set free of our evil and imperfections. Because of that, we can be allowed entry into Heaven for all of eternity. It is a free gift called grace. Just as any gift must be accepted, we must accept Jesus and His payment for our sins. Our God, our Creator, wants us to be with Him forever, but He won’t force it on us. It is a gift that can be accepted or rejected.

That in itself shows a mind and a plan to existence. Not because of random happenstance. Not because of us working our way to perfection, which would never happen. No. We are saved only because of Jesus Christ. Love: demonstrated.

God, our Creator, has a plan and it includes you because He loves you. Love is not some random accident, it’s purposeful. Love demonstrates a knowing and caring entity. That’s how I know there’s a God, because when I walk with Him and do His will, I feel His love and I’m able to share that love with others. God is love.

Is there a God? Undeniably, absolutely, YES!

God’s blessings to you!

DH

The Reason for the Season

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

When the world needed peace, Jesus Christ was born. At a time when things didn’t seem that they could get any worse, Jesus arrived. When people were scared, angry, self-absorbed, and looking to the wrong things to bring themselves happiness, God arrived on Earth.

By all rights, this description sounds a lot like 2020. 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 occurred by any of our supposed plans.

We need peace, we need complete 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 for n 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.

So please remember this time of year, Christmas time. 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 and it all started because a star was born and His name is Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas and God’s blessings to you.

DH

You Are The Key

“I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” – Revelation 1:18 NLT

Aren’t keys funny little things? They are small jagged pieces of metal, but when they are used for their maker’s purpose, there’s nothing else that would do the trick. If the key was rounded or smooth, it would be useless and wouldn’t work where it was needed.

My family would tell you that I can be a little rough around the edges. I am far from perfect, but I am just as useful to God when I allow myself to be fully utilized by Him. Even a broken paintbrush could be used to make a beautiful painting in a master’s hands. The brush just has to be available. Unfortunately, I allow my brokenness to take me out of commission now and then through sin. When I engage in the bad things, I don’t allow myself to be used for good.

God wants us to be instruments of good here on earth. He wants the best out of us because in His eyes, we are worth it. We are His children, and even when we are not exactly at our best, He still looks at us and says, “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” How can God say that, especially about people who are inherently broken? The reason is because God doesn’t just see us how we are at this moment; He sees us from a forever type of viewpoint. He sees what we are to become rather than the mess that we act like sometimes.

There’s a reason why we go through our trials. We can’t just be born and just stay there. Our lives were meant to be lived. God wants us to get out there into the world and to grow into the people He created us to be. Make no mistake, this is a fallen world that’s full of evils. We aren’t to partake in those evils, but God knows we will occasionally screw up. It’s going to happen. We make some bad choices now and again, but the Bible says that God will use all things for the good of those who love Him. That means just what it says, ALL things.

Take King David for example. He’s not exactly portrayed in the best light, but it’s real. The Bible shows David’s good sides and bad sides. Lust, jealousy, and murderous intent does not sound like someone who would be called “a man after God’s own heart,” but he is that man. It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters. That doesn’t mean that you can just plan to live like you are straight from hell right now and expect to get into Heaven later. You can indeed be forgiven for a life not-to-well-lived, but that is only if you truly want the forgiveness. God knows what is in your heart. It doesn’t mean that He is happy with your actions right now, but it does mean that He will look beyond the ‘now you’ and see the ‘forever you’.

You are shaped by your experiences and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Nothing is for nothing. You will be pressured and cut down by this world, but God allows it. He’s not OK with evil, but He will occasionally allow it to occur in order to bring about a greater good from it. Look at the cross. It was an extreme form of punishment that was reserved for the worst of the worst criminals, and yet we find our Lord Jesus right there. We read in 2 Corinthians that even though Jesus did not sin, He was made to be sin so that we could become the righteousness of God. Through evil, the greatest good, our salvation, came from it.

You may have a hard time at life and feel like you get cut down by everything in this world, but Jesus tells us to take heart, for He has overcome the world. God did not just entrust us with the keys to His kingdom, we actually become the keys when we become more like Christ.

Keys symbolize such things as security and freedom, but a key won’t work until it is cut and shaped into its final form. Allow God to form us into what He needs us to become. Embrace the struggle and let the Holy Spirit chip away at your rough edges. Don’t get down on yourself when you make a bad choice, just learn from it and rise above it.

You may feel rough and unusable, but just like a key, you are shaped exactly the way God needs you to be. Leave yourself open and available to God’s good will. When you do that, I believe and declare that He will show you some amazing things that He has in store for your life and the lives of others.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Paying the Price for Jesus

“If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” – Romans 14:8

Being a Christian isn’t all happy and rainbows and laughter. There are some great parts to it, but if you think that following Jesus means taking the easy road, you are sadly mistaken. Jesus Himself didn’t take the easy way out and you should be glad He didn’t. Through His suffering and death, He took our sins from us. Through His resurrection, we have life eternal. There was a cost to be paid for our sins and Jesus paid every penny. Now to follow Him and to be partakers in God’s eternal glory, we must believe and receive Jesus and His finished work on that cross. There is no other way to God than through faith in His Son Jesus. That faith does have its own cost in this world.

There’s a lot of people don’t want to come to Christ, because they don’t want to pay the cost involved. Turning away from your sins is tough. Even being willing to turn away from your sins is tough, but it’s Jesus or sin. One or the other. God does not negotiate. You come to God through Jesus and you come to him by grace and by repentance. God created us all and it’s his rules. You come to him his way or not at all. That doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. Some people find it hard to release themselves in their lives and their sins to a Lord wants to take them away. Some people want to sow their wild oats before they come to Christ. They’re afraid they’re not gonna have any more fun. Well yes, sin can be fun for a time, but the ways that seem right to a man leads to death and destruction.

God has laid out exactly what you need to do. They aren’t tough rules, but they will force you to make a choice between the good that the world calls good and the true good that comes from the creator himself. Here’s a hint, only one is the real thing. Jesus says that broad is the path and wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many people who decided that the world’s kind of fun was worth pursuing more than God’s But Jesus says that narrow is the gate and straight is the way that leads to righteousness, peace, and Heaven most of all. There are unfortunately only a small number that choose that path. It’s available to everybody, but not too many people take it. They have questions, they have comments, they have concerns, and they try to reason with their minds rather than their hearts and their souls. Somethings you just can’t reason things out.

I can’t show you God or put him into a test tube or a laboratory and say, “there’s God.” Certain things aren’t going to make sense. I’m a preacher and I don’t understand the whole Bible. But that’s where faith comes in. You’re not gonna understand God‘s ways. His ways are so far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth. You would have to have the mind of God to understand God. If you could, there would be no need for faith because you’d understand everything already. You would know everything and so there wouldn’t be a choice except Heaven which would be the only logical choice.

But faith doesn’t care about logic. Faith is faith. It’s the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things yet to come. You must come to Christ by faith to be saved, not by works lest any man should boast. If you could get there through works, there would be no need for Christ. You could stand in Heaven before God and say, “Look what I did. Hey look at me I’m so wonderful.” God doesn’t want that, just as any father wouldn’t want their child boasting and bragging and making a show of themselves in a bad way. God wants you to be humble. He wants you to understand where you got that breath that you took just now. He wants you to understand that it’s Him who woke you up today, not just your alarm clock. How else should you come to the creator of literally everything, but in humility?

In short, have respect for God because He is God. If a firefighter told you how to get out of a burning building, you wouldn’t second guess him and think he’s lying. You’d follow his directions. Well here we are in the burning building called modern day life. Hell is all around us and God is pointing the way out. What will you do? Will you follow Jesus or follow this world. They both come with a cost to follow them, but one will truly pay off well in the end.

Jesus died for us, now live for Him. Jesus isn’t free, but He is truly worth the price.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Pray With Your Heart

“…But the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

I remember as a child clasping my hands together in prayer and asking my mom, “What do people with one arm do to pray? They can’t put hands together. Do their prayers count too?” My mom gently replied, “Baby boy, you don’t pray with your hands, you pray with your heart.”

Prayers come through all kinds of voices, but what God hears is the heart. Your prayers should be communication with someone you have a relationship with. The closer you are to someone, the better the communication gets.

My wife and I can exchange glances or gestures to one another and we get what the other is saying immediately because we have a deep and loving relationship. It’s even nice to speak to some of my good friends from way back. I have a certain love for them because of what we all went through, good and bad. They get my horrible jokes and understand references that I bring up because we are on the same wavelength.

Just because you speak the same language as someone doesn’t mean that you are speaking on the same level as someone. A deeper and more experienced relationship with someone heightens your communications with them.

Intimacy changes communication. The closer you are together in life’s journey, the better you are at speaking and especially listening to someone. Communication is a two way street. It needs to be open and free-flowing.

In short, don’t put anything between you and God. The Bible in Matthew 5 says that if you come to the altar and remember you have something against your brother, go and reconcile, then come back to the altar to offer your gift. You must break down whatever barriers you can to make your communication with God flow.

It can be compared to your cell phone in some sense. You have trouble getting a signal if you are inside of a building or tunnel. It’s not that you have no communication device, the problem is that there’s too much stuff between you and the tower. The tower isn’t broken, you just aren’t getting what the tower has to give. There’s no power and no information exchange.

God is always with you and He always hears you, but depending on what is on your heart and mind, you may not be hearing God or even asking the right questions. The Bible says that whatever you ask in the name of Jesus, you will receive. That doesn’t just mean speaking His name in your prayers, it means being one with Him. You approach God in the name of His Son Jesus and on His behalf. You know God’s will for your life because you are as close to Jesus as you can be. He hears you and you also hear Him and obey.

Don’t worry about using special prayers or languages to try to connect deeper with Him, connect with Jesus in your heart. God is love and love has a special language all its own. Jesus hears you if you use solemn biblical words or your normal speaking voice. He hears you yell and scream for Him or even if your words are nothing but a small whisper. The Bible says that sometimes that’s exactly how God speaks to us too, through a small still voice. Work on being closer to God through a daily walk with Him so you can hear that voice. Spend time fostering your relationship. Learn more about Him through His Word, meditate on those verses of scriptures, and even just be acutely aware that the Holy Spirit is with you until you feel closer to God.

God called King David a man after God’s own heart. It wasn’t because David was free from sin. It was because David spent time with God, learning about Him and communicating with Him. Sometimes that sin got in the way and David made bad choices, just like we all do, but David always came back to that relationship with God.

I urge you this day and always to connect in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Pray to Him with your heart. Reach out to God in love, because He is reaching out to you.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Why Worry?

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:27

I admit it, sometimes I worry. Sometimes I just can’t get things off of my mind. I know I’m supposed to be a good Christian and “let go and let God”, but I just can’t seem to do that all of the time. I want to, I really do, but I feel like I’m just wired to worry about some things.

The Bible says not to worry. Jesus Himself said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” The answer is a resounding NO. God holds my life in His awesome hands, not me. I can’t add to it at all, but I can sure take it away through bad living, and that includes worrying. We can stress ourselves into a very early grave if we try hard enough, but that is not the life God wants for us.

If you are like this, I understand what you are going through. You are not alone in this struggle or any type of struggle for that matter. Life is full of difficult circumstances that our minds tend to dwell on. The really bad part is that most of the things we end up worrying about never come to pass anyway. Have you ever noticed that? How some circumstances you just can’t get off of your mind end up going a totally different direction when they actually occur? That’s God!

It’s not that we don’t trust Him to do good for us. It’s more about doubting ourselves. We feel as though we have made poor choices in our lives and we will reap what we sow. But there’s a catch to that. We do make bad decisions, but God loves you. Hear that again, GOD LOVES YOU.

The Bible says that God knows what we need before we even know we need it. The birds don’t need to plant crops or store away in barns, but their Heavenly Father gives them exactly what they need day by day. How much more important are you compared to birds? Your worth to God is beyond measure. He’s proven that through sending His Son Jesus to die for us on the cross. If that doesn’t prove that God loves you and wants the best for you, I don’t know what will.

Yesterday’s choices are done and over with. Tomorrow has its own problems. Don’t worry about those things. Today is the day you’ve been blessed with. God will sustain you and bring you through. He promised he will give you what you need for today. Even Jesus Christ prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Today, you will be taken care of.

Leave yesterday to God’s mercy and tomorrow to God’s providence.

God forgives you of all wrongs once you put your faith into Jesus Christ. The Bible says that God will work all things for the good of those who love Him. That means absolutely all things. Even your bad decisions, or at least what you think are bad decisions, are in God’s hands and in His plan. Nothing is a surprise to God. Anything that happened yesterday will be taken care of.

God has forgiven you. Now please forgive yourself of what you believe are bad choices and just learn from them. Do all the good you can today. God promised to take care of the rest.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Three Steps to Enjoy a Peaceful Life

Have you gone through hard times recently? Do you feel the exact opposite of peace in your heart and mind?

The good news is that God didn’t give you this life just to struggle through it. Now is the time to break free from those chains. Enjoy a peace and a freedom better than you’ve ever felt.

Here are three points that are certain to bring the peace that God wants for your life:

1. Follow in the Steps of Jesus

Love one another and help one another. Live a life according to the way Jesus lived, compassionate and caring. Think of others before ourselves. The Holy Spirit helps us to live that lifestyle. It gives us a life of peace, gentleness, patience, all the fruits of the spirit. We must remember that we communicate the Gospel through our lives as well as our lips. We live before a watching world. This world is waiting to see how followers of Jesus Christ will live out what we say in our lives. We must be living and walking in the power of the Spirit. We must be men and women that are pure vessels of God’s message. Do everything you can to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

2. Read the Word of God Every Day

The Bible is God’s love letter to you. I know it is very difficult for some, but you have to start somewhere. I suggest you start with the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament. You’ll become closely acquainted with Jesus Christ. I suggest in the Old Testament you start with the very first verse in the Bible, “In the beginning, God…” if you get those first words, the rest will come much easier. Study Bible passages. Make the Bible your source and your authority. Quote It frequently. Make its message your message. Study it, meditate on it, memorize it, trust its promises. The word of God itself has power. Internalize His word, let it take root and watch the fruit grow in your life.

3. Go to Your Knees and Pray

Do this until you and God have become intimate friends. I cannot describe to you the joy and the peace He gives you as a result of that daily routine that you have in prayer. Is there a lack of power in your life? Perhaps you’ve neglected the preparation of your life with neglected prayer? you wouldn’t go a week without eating or drinking. We have neglected God’s word and the feeding of our own souls. Is there sin in your life that is holding you back from that intimacy with God? Whatever it is, confess it, forsake it, repent of it, and then walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and gain victory over it!

If you follow these three things, I believe and declare that you will feel fresh and peaceful, no matter what this world throws at you. Though the waves might look rough on the surface, the waters of your soul will be calm.

May God today lift our vision to Him. I pray that the power of the Holy Spirit break upon our world with fresh force as we hold tight to the saving cross of Jesus Christ.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Tear the Roof Off

“Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:5

Once when Jesus was preaching in a house, there came a paralyzed man who was carried by his friends. The crowd that had gathered around was now so large that the friends could not get the paralyzed man to Jesus to be healed. They tried doors and windows and found them all to be blocked by the crowd. However, the friends cared so much that they tore a hole in the roof, then lowered the paralyzed man down through the hole to where Jesus was standing. Jesus saw their faith and healed the man of his paralysis.

There are a few things to take away from this passage. First, the paralyzed man was so loved by his friends that they didn’t stop when they met some resistance. They carried the paralyzed man, which was hard enough, but then they went further. They kept trying normal ways to get him through the crowd to Jesus, but then they realized they still had more to do to get their friend saved. You don’t just decide to destroy the roof of a house, it had to come after quite a bit of pushing and shoving through the crowd to no avail. Those friends were willing to do whatever it took to save this man. They could have tried and stopped after a little while, still showing some love towards the paralyzed man, but that wasn’t enough. The friends didn’t quit. They showed the man the fullness of love; the kind of love that is straight from God Himself.

The second thing to think about here is that not only did they love their friend, but these people had such faith in Christ that they knew this was the right thing to do to help the paralyzed man. They knew only one could save their friend and Jesus was The One. The Scripture says because of their faith the man was healed. It didn’t say anything about the paralyzed man’s faith, it talked about the faith of his friends. Jesus forgave the man of his sins, then told him to arise and walk. It took the faith of his friends to bring the man there, but the man’s own faith was cultivated enough to listen and obey the Savior. That faith was first demonstrated by the friends, then acted out by the paralyzed man. They set the example for him to follow.

This story holds deep meaning for every one of us who has a friend, colleague, or family member that has been overtaken by sin in their life. Sin can absolutely paralyze people and that is exactly what the devil wants. Satan doesn’t want you to do good works for the Kingdom of God, he wants you to fall into the same sins that you normally fall into. It’s honestly tough to break free of habits by yourself; you just can’t do it alone. You need to surround yourself with good people that will pray for you and help lift you up when the going gets tough. You need friends and family to love you enough to pray and keep praying for you, no matter what. I stand here today as a perfect example of that. I went down some wrong paths in my life, but by the God’s grace I’m alive and able to now help others. I didn’t pull myself out, I had some good people lifting me up in prayer. Without them, who knows where I would be right now.

You, too, have some people on your side. Even if you don’t have a friend in the world, you have people praying for you. If you are hearing this sermon or reading it right now, I am personally praying for your salvation and prosperity. You have people in generations that have long since passed that have prayed for you and others in your same circumstance that you don’t even know about. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. The best thing of all is that the Lord and Savior has been praying for you. The Bible says He had you in mind before the creation of the world and that He wants you to be with Him in glory. Read John 17:20-27.  The Savior prayed for you! Now it is your turn to also pray for those who find it hard to pray.  It’s your turn to lift up people who can’t or won’t lift themselves up to Jesus. We see our Lord as the example, then it is our time to be the example for others.

There’s an old song that says we get by with a little help from our friends. There is no bigger or better friend than Jesus. Get to Him any way that you can! Please know that you are not alone in your struggles and that you don’t have to be paralyzed by sin any longer. Look to the cross of Jesus, then arise and walk. Your sins have been forgiven. You are healed. You are loved.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

The Gift of God Through Jesus Christ

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18

We all try to lead good lives. We want happiness and joy, but sometimes we do wrong. None of us are perfect. Sin creeps into all of our lives. Nobody is immune, even the best of us.

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. That means that you get the death penalty for every time you lie, disrespect your parents, get angry at someone, or even look lustfully at person you’re not married to. And those are just a few of the things God says is wrong. If you break just one of God’s commandments, you are found guilty, like in a court of law. It won’t matter how many good things you’ve done.

Just because a car thief helped an old lady across the street that day, it doesn’t change the fact that he stole a car and has to pay for his crime.

You can’t do enough good things to outweigh the bad. It doesn’t work like that. We still continue to be plagued by sin everyday. However, the Bible says that God is our judge and that He loves us and is rich in mercy. He provided a way out for you and I, which is His son Jesus Christ.

Jesus paid the penalty for our crimes through His own blood on the cross. We deserve punishment for what we’ve done, but our judge provided that payment for us so we can be legally set free. Jesus Died for our sins so that we don’t have to. It is an absolutely free gift to us. We can have an abundant and blessed life because Jesus took all of our bad and exchanged it for all of His good.

What we need to do now is admit that we are sinners and accept the payment that Jesus paid. Through his life, death, burial, and resurrection, we are allowed forgiveness of our faults and a life of joy here and in Heaven for all of eternity.

If I try to give you an expensive gift like a watch, you can’t have it unless you accept it. I’m handing it to you, but you still have to reach out and take it. The same thing goes with the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. He’s giving you eternal life, all you need to do is take it.

So what’s your choice? Do you accept His gift?

I’m praying for you, right now, to make the right decision!

God’s blessings to you.

DH