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

Ten Promises From God Never to Leave nor Forsake You

Do you ever feel alone? Do you think maybe God forgot about you and your problems?

God is a god of promises and He makes good on every one of them. He cannot lie because He is truth itself. He loves you. You can trust your Heavenly Father.

Here are just 10 verses from the Bible that tell of God’s unwillingness to leave our side.

  1. Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  2. Joshua 1:5 – “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  3. 1 Chronicles 28:20 – “David also said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.’”
  4. Psalms 94:14 – “For the Lord will not reject his people; He will never forsake his inheritance.”
  5. Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
  6. Hebrews 13:5 – “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
  7. 1 Kings 8:57 – “May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us.”
  8. Isaiah 41:17 – “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.”
  9. Psalms 37:28 – “For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.”
  10. Isaiah 42:16 – “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

These are just a few of the promises that God makes to those who love Him in return. Rest assured that He is with you now and forever more.

How do we know God loves us?

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

You are important enough for Jesus Christ to die on a cross for your peace and forgiveness. All of your bad washed away so that you could be in Heaven with Him for all of eternity.

Accept Jesus into your heart today. He’s with you always because He loves you. God promises He will never leave you nor forsake you. You can count on Him.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Just Add Water

My daughters would get these little color change books to draw in. They were like coloring books, but you would simply add water to a brush and “paint” in the book. Suddenly, the colors would come to life! Beautiful, vibrant colors would now show up where there was nothing but dull paper before. All it took was the water.

When a believer in Jesus Christ gets baptized, it may seem simple enough. A person gets dunked in water. Then what?

Baptism is an outward showing of an inward commitment. The Bible says that when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are “born again” into a new, eternal life. Just as we pass through water during our natural birth, we must pass through the waters of our supernatural birth as well. It may not make sense to non-believers. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense to us, the ones actually getting baptized.

It doesn’t have to make sense. The Bible says that this is all foolishness to people who are dying, but to us, it’s the power of God for our salvation. I don’t need to know how electricity works to turn on a lightbulb, I just need that light to shine my way through the darkness.

My children didn’t know how the colors on their book would just come to life, they just knew that when they used the water on the paper, their picture would eventually come into a new, brilliant view. That same thing happens when new believers are baptized. Things don’t just get great and wonderful immediately. You don’t suddenly see Jesus in everything, but it’s a start.

Through baptism, your sins get washed away form your soul, much like dirt is washed away from your body during a bath. Someone who is very dirty will look and feel completely different after a bath. They’ll know it and see it, whereas if you didn’t think that you had a lot of dirt on you to begin with, you may not recognize much difference after getting out of the bathtub. The trick is that we all have a lot of dirt on our souls, we may just not recognize it very well.

At my baptism, it was like I stepped through a doorway into Heaven itself. I felt joyful and almost launched out of the water!  But when I came home, I looked just the same as before. I kept making many of the same mistakes. My favorite sins were still hard to stay away from. I outwardly looked like I did before, but inside I felt like something had happened. I didn’t see the whole extent of it immediately, but day after day, I started to come closer to the Jesus that made my salvation possible.

The colors started to show out more in my life. I made conscious efforts to be more kind and helpful. I started to at least try and do better. I felt like I wanted to stay clean and finally felt like that was possible. That doesn’t mean I didn’t still mess up, it just meant that I recognized it when I did and even stopped sometimes before I could. It has been a long process and that process is not over. It won’t be over until the day I pass from here to eternity. However, I do have the complete assurance from God Himself that I will be going to Heaven. He promised.

Jesus paid for my sin on the cross. When I was baptized, it showed the world that I let Him have it. Since then, God’s brilliant colors have started to shine forth more and more in my life. No more of the sad and dull greys of this world. My picture is starting to come together for people to see, and what they see in my life is a picture of Jesus Christ. That’s the greatest picture of all.

Your life can shine forth the colors of Jesus Christ as well. Just add water!

God’s blessings to you.

DH

When God Forgives But You Can’t Forgive Yourself

What sin can’t God forgive? In truth, He can do anything. He’s God. If you come to Him in repentance, He loves you and will take those sins away. Just as the prophet Isaiah says, the Lord will forgive and blot out your sins and he will remember the no more. You must give Him the chance to do it though.

The problem is that we often don’t forgive ourselves. We keep harboring those memories of sin and pain and the wrong that we have done even after God has blotted them out. Not to add more guilt to you, but you are in essence fighting against God at that point. He has forgotten your sin but you keep bringing them up.

Much like a nail in a board, the nail gets removed but the hole still remains. That’s the way our sin is. The sin is forgiven but there’s always some consequence of it even if that consequence is strictly your own guilt. With time, the Holy Spirit helps to fill in that hole.

So what if family or friends or others don’t let you forget about that sin? What if they don’t forgive you?

If they are Christians, they are commanded to forgive. Otherwise, they had better never pray the Lord‘s prayer again. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Matthew 6:12.

Have you forgiven others? Have you held your forgiveness from anyone?

The Bible says that the devil is the accuser. If you have anyone, maybe in your own family or even fellow Christians, that accuse you and do not forgive you of your past sins, then that is by definition the work of the devil.

The point is that if you have repented and truly tried to change you mind and direction, then they must show forgiveness. They must show love. Just as the gospels say, how often should I forgive my brother? Perhaps seven times?

Jesus said don’t forgive just seven times, but 70 times 7. That doesn’t mean just 490 times, that is actually to stand for a number perfectly perfect, eternal.

We have been forgiven for so much more than what we could ever think of. We’ve been forgiven of the sins that we’ve asked forgiveness for, sins we’ve forgotten about, and even sins we didn’t know were sins.

Jesus paid it all on the cross. If we love Him and accept His sacrifice, we are forgiven. The Bible says peace comes from the Lord. Now you must allow yourself to experience that peace.

Know that Christ has forgiven you and let other know that too. We all need to hear it more often.

Start living for Him the best you can. Know that you are made righteous by God through Jesus Christ. You are forgiven, now forgive yourself. Go and do better knowing that you are fully loved and fully accepted by God.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Truly Free

The fourth of July, when America celebrates freedom and independence. It’s a time where each one of us needs to take a close look at all of the liberties that we enjoy. We realize that freedom isn’t free. It is bought and paid for by the blood of someone willing to fight and die for you and I.

The same thing goes for our eternal souls. You and I are sinners who have turned ourselves over willingly to our greed and lusts. We just can’t seem to keep away from sin. And it’s too tough a battle for ourselves. However, you aren’t alone in this fight.

Jesus Christ, God in a man, was born of the Virgin Mary, lived the sinless life that you an I can’t, but chose to take the punishment for sin that we can’t pay for ourselves.

Jesus was nailed to a cross and died to take our sins away. But to prove that death had not power over Him, He was raised from the dead.

Your freedom has been bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, shed for our sakes upon the cross. Our sinful ways required payment and God wouldn’t be pure and just if He forgot about our sins. That being said, He loves His children too much to let us be lost for eternity. We needed a Savior. We needed freedom.

Our sins died that day and with Christ, and with Him we are born again. We were set free from our slavery to sin and evil. In dying, He destroyed our death. And in rising, He restored our life.

To get this gift of eternal life, accept that payment on the cross. Accept Jesus Christ as your savior. Just like any gift, it’s offered but you still need to reach out and take it.

I’m pleading with you now to take the gift of life, love, and peace that God wants you to have.

Let this day and all others be a day that you and I celebrate our independence. We have been set free from sin so that we can lead a good and righteous life that our Heavenly Father wants for us.

There was a cost for our freedom and it was the blood of Jesus Christ. Never forget that He loves you and He believes that your freedom from sin was worth dying for.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Whosoever

For years I felt disconnected from the Bible, as if it was good, but just didn’t speak to me personally. Sure, I believed in God, but I didn’t really understand what the big deal was. I didn’t get much out of church (if and when I actually went) and I just felt like I had more important things to do in my life.

Then, God pointed out to me the word “whosoever” in the Bible.

You’ll find the word whosoever used many times in the Bible. That word means everyone and includes you and I. Do yourself a huge favor. Cross out that word in your Bible and write your own name above it. When you do that, the Bible takes on a whole new meaning.

Salvation is for the many, but first it’s for the one. Being saved is personal. It’s for you and for us all.

“Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) See that whosoever there? Put your name there. [Your Name] calls upon the name of the Lord [and] shall be saved.” That’s right, you can be saved from all of your sin and all the bad things in your life.

Try some other places now. For instance, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15) If you personally confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God Himself will live in you and you I’m God. That statement is so fantastic just to think about God being with you constantly. The God who created all things loving you and empowering you to do wonderful works. His life force is for you and for your benefit if you simply call to Him and follow His Son Jesus.

Warning: This is only for people who really want peace and desire to do better in their lives. You see, that word whosoever is also placed as a reminder to stay on the right path. Just as in John 8:34, when Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.”

Is that you? Are you on that side of the whosoever? You don’t have to be.

You can be free of those sins. You can break the chains of that sin through the cross of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be weighted down by the pain and guilt of sin any longer.

You can be a part of one of the most famous ‘whosoever’ in the Bible. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus paid the price in His own blood upon the cross. He paid the penalty for sin so you and I don’t have to. Believe in the Son of God and you shall be saved. Accept His payment for your sin and be free. Turn away from your old life; be loosed from it. Then you will find peace and blessing like you’ve never known before.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” – Luke 9:24

God’s blessings to you.

DH

Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ

One of the last words Jesus said while he was physically here was for us to go into the world and make disciples. Known as the Great Commission, it is a command from our Creator to preach the gospel to all people. Why is this so important?  Because all people struggle with sin.

The Bible says that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but Jesus offers us forgiveness through His finished work on the cross. Through His life, death, burial, and resurrection, we are offered the free gift of eternal life in Heaven. This is the Good News or Gospel. There’s nothing more important than this.

So why is it so hard to talk about this with strangers?  Why is it even harder to share the Gospel with friends, coworkers, and especially family?  How do you do it right?

First off, understand that many people don’t want to think about change. We naturally find a comfort zone that we live in. Anything that interferes with that comfort is an enemy, even if we have found comfort in pain.

When we are challenged by the gospel of Jesus Christ, it provokes us to do something. Once you learn something, you can’t unknow it, you must deal with it somehow. Knowing that Jesus is Lord and Savior changes our game. You must accept it or reject it, knowing that there are consequences either way. You WILL lose something of yourself when you choose, either you need to turn away from your sins or you turn away from your Creator and any hope for a Heaven.

While that sounds like a simple choice, it isn’t. There will never be a more important one though. It’s something that people have a tough time with due to what the Bible calls a sin that so easily besets us. We all have struggles with sins that harass ourselves. It is so much easier just to give in, but Jesus says that the road to hell is wide and there are many who travel it. It is a much harder road we travel when we do what’s right.

That statement is true for the Christian and non-Christian alike. Sin is not something that just goes away when we accept Christ. The stain of sin is blotted out, but the cravings remain in many cases. Just like a nail in a board, you can remove the nail, but there will be a hole that needs filled.

When we try to share the gospel, the devil attacks us, bringing the memory of our sins to mind. We think to ourselves that we are not worthy because we, too, are sinners. That uneasiness translates into a barrier to sharing the good news of Jesus. We get concerned that we might offend someone or cause a fight. We get concerned because what if they ask a question that I can’t answer about Jesus or Christianity? What if they ask about my own sins?

We relate a rejection of the gospel to a rejection of ourselves, and humans have a hard time with rejection. This is especially true when it pertains to sharing the gospel with family members. We can talk effortlessly with our family, but if you become a believer in Jesus, you suddenly stand out. You’ve changed. You’re not the same old person they knew and now on top of that, you maybe come off somewhat hypocritically. “Who is this person telling me to turn from their sins? Do they think we’ll forget all the stuff they did?”

Don’t ever let your own insecurities get between a soul and Jesus Christ!

Jesus takes the old and broken, then makes it new. That works to our advantage, because who better than a former alcoholic, for instance, to tell people of the dangers of alcohol abuse? You can trust a witness who has faced the problem and lived through it. Jesus healed you and He can do the same for anyone.

If you love your family members, you want healing for them. You would rush to tell your family member to seek medical treatment if they had cancer or something wrong, so why not the Good News of Jesus as well? Through sin, a member of your family is running headlong off a cliff. Don’t just tell them, scream it at them! They are family, so don’t stop unless they are safe.

Also, and here is a significant point, as a human being we all have a common creator. That makes all people of all races and creeds our family. Jesus died for all people to take their sins away. Jesus is for the whole world. God is our Creator and our Heavenly Father.

Understand that just as a sculptor or artist signs their work, you and I bear the marks of our creator. We have a God-sized hole in ourselves that can only be filled with Jesus Christ. We try to fill our lives with all kinds of excitement, sex, drug and alcohol, or even food, but we can’t consume enough of what we think is “the good stuff” to fill that hole inside. We need Jesus. He truly is “the good stuff” that our bodies, minds, and souls crave.

We need His Holy Spirit to take up residence within ourselves, because nothing else will do. When you realize that fact, it becomes easier to share the gospel with others, knowing that they need Jesus worse than they need water. The Bible says that Jesus is living water and whoever drinks of that water will never truly thirst. Indeed, the water He gives us becomes in us a spring of water welling up to eternal life. People need that eternal life, so don’t deny them their Jesus.

There’s an old saying that goes “the truth sells itself.” Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. As a born-again Christian, you always have Him, the truth, with you. That truth is the only way to Heaven and eternal happiness. That is a pearl of great price. Who wouldn’t gladly receive such a huge gift?

The Bible says don’t worry about what to say, because the Holy Spirit will speak for you. The words you will use when sharing the gospel are not your words at all, they are God’s words. When the time comes, just open your mouth and start talking. Plant the seed knowing that God will give the increase. I’ve shared Jesus with a lot of people, but I’ve never saved anyone’s soul. That’s not something you or I can do, but God alone. So, share Jesus with everyone you can.

In short, we are to be disciples making disciples. And on that glorious day when time gives way to eternity, you will walk into the throne room of Heaven, see some of those same faces gathered there, and our precious Lord will say, “Well done! Well done, my good and faithful servant. Now at last, enter into the joy of your Master’s house.”

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