Am I Enough

I will give to charity when I have more money. Once I read the Bible more, I can be a good Christian. When I get more time, I’ll help out at the food pantry. When I get better at praying, I’ll start saying prayers with my family.

Have you said any of these comments or maybe you’ve had questions like them?

Many of us are looking and hoping for the “one day”. One day when I have enough money, or one day when my life isn’t so hectic. Or are you even looking for that one day where everything about the Bible makes sense? “Oh boy, when that one day comes, I’ll be able to really do something for Jesus…”

I promise you that if you are waiting for that “one day”, you’re going to be waiting all of your life. Much like the old saying that if you wait until you can afford to have children, you’ll never have any. Your “one day” will never come.

So what’s wrong with right now?

You may think that you aren’t strong enough, not smart enough, or don’t have enough resources to help people. Nothing could be further from the truth!

God has created you to be you. Your skills, your talents, all of them have been handcrafted by the Lord Himself, the same one that spoke worlds into existence. The Bible says that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made. None of your positives or your supposed shortcomings took God by surprise. You are just what you need to be.

It’s no accident that you’ve been placed right here and right now. That’s the providence of God. He knows what He’s doing. You have been hand picked to be who you are and where you are for such a time as this.

If you have a hand, you can use it to give food to the poor or to pick someone up when they’ve fallen. If you have an ear, you can listen to a friend who needs a positive outlet for their feelings. If you have a mouth, you can be a witness to someone about the power of Jesus Christ in your life.

You may not have much, but you have enough. Food on the table, roof over your head, and clothes on your back equals out to more riches than many people in this world have. Use them to help others.

There’s a story in the Gospel of Mark about people who were giving to the needs of the church. The rich people gave a lot, which was a good thing, but there was this small, old woman who only gave a few pennies. It wasn’t much, but it was literally all she had.

Which one of those people went away fulfilled? The woman. In fact, Jesus praised her for doing all she could with what she had.

God, the maker of everything, doesn’t truly need for anything. But He uses each of us to be His hands and feet, so to speak. We are to help all of His children and deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone throughout the world. Even if that’s just the person in line at the grocery store, that’s enough.

But don’t stop there. One person today, another or maybe two or three more tomorrow. Start where you can and do all you are able. You will start to see the power of Jesus flowing if your life like never before.

You may not feel like enough in this life, but when it’s you plus Jesus, that combination can take on the entire world. God is called the great “I Am.” Believe that I Am enough.

Don’t wait until you have enough money to help the poor, help them now with what you have or especially the time you can give. Lend a hand at a food kitchen or rescue mission. Donate clothes or toiletries to those in need.

Also, don’t wait until you know more of the Bible to spread the good news of Jesus. Take one verse, learn it well, then say it to someone else who needs a word of encouragement. Just one verse in the Bible contains the power of Jesus. As a famous preacher once said, “Jesus is a lion. And you don’t need to fight for a lion, just let him out of his cage.”

Please don’t wait to help. There is so much work to be done in this fallen and sinful world, but we must start somewhere. Start by living a better life yourself. Be the change you want to see in the world, then go out and make a few more changes in people’s lives.

I close with a story from the Gospels about servants who were given different amounts of money while their master was away. Some invested the money, but there was one person who hid their money away and just went about their own business.

When the master returned, the first thing he asked was what did they do with their money. The faithful servants who did something with the money were rewarded with much more, but the one who just hid it away was scolded. Even what he had was then taken away.

Don’t approach the last day of your life and hear Jesus ask, “Look at all I gave you. What did you do with it?”

The Bible says to redeem the time; make good use of it. You don’t need to be a Billy Graham or a Mother Theresa to do great things. You have the same 24 hours as they did, but what are you doing with those hours? Who are you truly serving?

Every breath is a gift from God, and even if that is all you have, then use it to pray.

My mom died of cancer. In her last days, people would say how frail and how weak she was. In truth, she wasn’t just sitting there. She was praying nonstop for others. Those prayers were the most powerful that they could be in those moments. Focused on nothing else but prayer for people and worship of God, she was absolutely breaking chains and pulling down strongholds. She was strongest in the Spirit when worldly reason said she was at her weakest.

So don’t think for a second that you can’t do anything to help others. Do what you can with what you have. If you do this, I believe and declare that you too will become that mighty warrior that God has created you to be. In Jesus’ name!

God’s blessings to you.

DH

God is Moving In Your Life

On my daily commute to work, I pass a lot of windmills. The other day, the wind didn’t seem like it was blowing and from far off it looked like the windmills were not spinning. It was only as I got closer that I realized they were actually moving much faster than I had thought. In reality, they were still moving quite quickly even though my eyes didn’t originally see it.

How often does God do this in our lives? Yes, He has done some amazing, spectacular things in the past but there are times when we are waiting for something to happen and it looks like God is standing still. Why aren’t you doing something God?

Well, just like those windmills the closer we are to God, the more we will see Him moving. The Bible says that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. And all things means just that, ALL things. He’s using the big, the little, and everything in between, even when it doesn’t look like it at first.

If we could see things from God’s perspective, we would see how everything is in constant motion. Much like a beautiful tapestry or an heirloom blanket, every tiny thread woven together perfectly to create one singular design.

Our problem is that we can’t make out what those tapestries will look like until you start seeing all of those threads come together. One thread at a time, step by step, moment by moment.

God knows what your life will look like because He’s the one making it come together. When we stay nearer to God, we will see more of the plan in motion. Even during life’s rough spots, rest assured that God is still at work. Every single moment of our lives coming together to creat something unique and fantastic.

When Jesus Christ was on the cross, to the people around Him it looked like He was finished. It looked like Jesus could do no other great works, like healing the blind or raising the dead. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

The truth was that upon that cross, Jesus did His greatest work ever: Salvation! Through His death and resurrection, Jesus saved our souls and allowed us Heaven for all of eternity.

He wasn’t laying hands on anyone; he wasn’t walking through towns healing the sick. Jesus just hung there. But when it looked like Jesus was doing nothing at all, He was doing His best, most miraculous work.

Remember that God is at work, even during those times in your life when He seems stagnant and the breakthroughs just don’t seem to be coming for you. Know that He is for you and not against you. Your Heavenly Father has promised peace, love, and victory in your life.

Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Know that He is moving in your life. Right now, even if you can’t see it with your eyes, at this moment Christ is doing something wonderful.

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

At Face Value

Why does life look so wonderful and easy for everybody on social media sites like Facebook? Especially when it comes to Christians, we see nothing but smiles and perfect families in perfect pictures. Let me let you in on a little secret: Those pictures you see are nothing but a highlight reel.

Some people think that when you give your life over to Jesus, everything is going to be wonderful and easy and suddenly make sense. Sorry to say, but reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Let’s face it, life on this earth wasn’t easy for Jesus himself. He was born in a stable and grew up a carpenter like His adopted daddy, and that was back in the days where they didn’t have a Ford F-150 to haul lumber. We don’t think of it, but Jesus had grow up to be physically tough to endure the kind of life He grew up with here.

Jesus didn’t lead a picture-worthy life. He was schooled mentally in the scriptures and He was schooled physically through good old fashioned back breaking hard work. Not something worthy of a king, let alone the King of Kings.

Then, in what we would call midlife, Jesus changed job roles in a manner of speaking. He started His preaching career. His time had finally come, but things just got harder for Him. No matter what He did, for some people it was never enough.

One measure of Jesus’ preaching success was how fast the religious leaders of the time wanted Him dead. Jesus didn’t care what the present times called good. Jesus was more interested in the state of peoples’ hearts than what their lives looked like to others.

At the end, Jesus finally endured the pain and suffering of the cross. At face value, it looked like death had won. Satan struck the final blow, but that wasn’t the end.

Jesus went to the cross so that we could have our sins taken away and be allowed into Heaven for all eternity. Jesus paid the cost for us. It’s called grace. It’s a free gift to us only because Jesus paid every penny of it through His blood. Quite the high cost indeed.

That was how our Lord went through life and we shouldn’t expect everything in this world to be kind and easy for us either. There will be easy times and there will be hard times. But please stay strong through it all. The cross wasn’t a loss for Jesus or for us, even though it looked like it on the outside. Truly, it was the greatest victory!

If you have been blessed not to have suffered in this world so far, I say to you, “stay tuned.” A servant is not greater than the master. Jesus went through trials and so will we. The key is that Jesus persevered and made it through those trials. He kept true to what is right no matter what the world said or thought.

What I’m asking you is to keep moving forward in love and holiness, and not just on the surface. Don’t just live well in the pictures.

Our goal and ultimate desire should be Heaven. Anything less than eternal life is eternal death. In the end, forever, you and I will be in Heaven or Hell, period. There’s no getting around that truth and we only have one shot to get it right.

This world drags people into mediocrity, and if you aren’t going forward in life, you’re going backward. Just as Saint Paul said, we are to keep pressing on, moving towards the prize of the high calling of God through Christ Jesus.

Keep fighting and stay true to God’s Word. Yes, it is going to be tough at times, but I promise that the destination is worth it. In fact, it’s absolutely Heavenly.

“For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” – Revelation 7:17

That’s what awaits us. Not just a highlight photo reel that’s Facebook-worthy, but true peace, true love, and an eternal joy that could only come from the our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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