Archive for the ‘Heaven Bound’ Category

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Many churches of all persuasions are hiring research agencies to poll neighborhoods, asking what kind of church they prefer. Then the local churches design themselves to fit the desires of the people. True faith in God that demands selflessness is being replaced by trendy religion that serves the selfish.

Billy Graham

So I read this quote from Billy Graham today and it hit me over the head like a hammer. In the back of my mind I may have known churches were doing this but I never fully understood the reason why. Guys simply put, if we tailor our religion to only what we want to hear, or rather only a “feel good” message, God cant help us because we are to busy enjoying ourselves to hear Him.

This idea behind what Billy Graham is saying was never Gods intent for our Christian walk. But I do think it is Satan’s. Think about it; If Satan can bend our churches into only telling us what we want to hear, then we are truly lost. Why? Because Satan can make you think there is no pain for your entire life…that is, right up until you are on the edge of the cliff, and then when you look over, you see a place that you do not want to spend eternity in…

Please listen to me here. God never intended that the life of a Christian was just perfect and great all of the time. I know I have spoken about this before in previous blogs. There will be pain and suffering while we are here on this earth. So you can either run from that or stand there like a man, be strong, and fight the fight you were meant to. Only YOU can make that decision.

Honestly guy’s that is what this blog’s purpose has been since the start. It is based upon the powerful verse in Proverbs 27:17:

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

So what I am saying is simply this and to Billy Graham’s quote above; If your church situation isn’t challenging your heart to repent each week and to live your life as Christ lived…then I would find one that does. Every single time you are there your Pastor should be causing you to think about your relationship with God. He should be challenging you to come out of your comfort zone in order to love others. There is truly no greater service than helping those around us…

Let me finish by saying this because I truly believe it. When you and I reach heaven someday, I believe that God will look for those of us who have scars on our bodies and hearts because of the fights we fought while here on earth. In eternity, God wants to be surrounded by Christians who were active for Him and not ones who atrophied while they were here.

I challenge you today to live your life fully accountable to God and not to simply feeling good…

This life as a Christian may hurt now and then, but the payoff will be amazing…

Until next time guys…

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Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

When was the last time someone told you to guard your heart? Has anyone ever told you that before like maybe Mom or Dad? On the outside, guarding ones heart does seem like an odd thing to say, but from a Christian perspective, it makes all the sense in the world.

But I always do find it interesting when I find scriptures that reference exact circumstances I’m in now or see others going through and I realize that God was way ahead of all of us when He gave us this Word of His. Where else will you find instruction about guarding your heart? Who else but God would have cared enough about us to give us instructions as to how to do this in the first place? You see, if you look at the Bible as just a storybook, and I have met many who do, you are missing Gods point. His intent with scripture was to provide us a road map to use while on this journey called life. It is up to us and it’s our choice as to whether or not to use it…

So if we get back to this scripture above about guarding your hearts, and we look at it transparently and think about the FACT that…Satan only wants your heart and nothing else. Because when he gets that, HE HAS YOU.

Do you believe that? When Satan breaks through your heart barrier, it takes a superhuman effort to resist him and when was the last time any of us met a super human? That’s because they don’t exist. The reality is, the only way you or me can only hope to resist Satan’s attack on our heart is with Gods help. Our job is to seek God and everything else just works out according to His will. It really is that SIMPLE.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

What I am telling you is simply this…

Be aware of who and what you give your heart to…

Guard it safely as God has asked us to do…

Don’t be ignorant of what I have told you…

Until next time guys…

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I pray that we are not the generation that never saw IT coming. What is IT? Please read this:

If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.

Luke 19:42-44

Luke writes this in his gospel and it is the only gospel where Christ says this in response to seeing Jerusalem in all its glory…but yet totally blind. In just a couple of days from that point, Christ would be crucified.

Jesus has pity on these people because they cannot see what is right before their eyes. The opportunity to have God among them was there for a time, and then it was gone.

He then speaks about when the enemy will come and build a circle around them and they will be surrounded on every side with no way out…BUT, and most importantly, they did not recognize the time of Gods coming to them…

Guys, I write this to you today because its painful when I see the world around me and all my brothers completely surrounded by the enemy and they can’t see God.

God has a way out for them, but they do not see it…

I simply write this today to warn you now that the time is drawing near where the option of Christ will not be there. Please hear me.

 I am NOT the town crier.

 What I write is my opinion solely based upon what I see on the news each night and what I read in the Bible. I do not have a timeline. The Bible says,

“No man knows the time or the hour when He will come”.

But there will be signs of the times…and believe me, there are many signs out there if we just pay attention to them.

Brothers, all I am asking is that you see the signs and recognize them for what they are…and hear me and understand me that all I do is warn you because I care.

Again, I say that I do not want us to be part of a generation that did not recognize Christ when He made Himself known to us and when everyone finally saw the need, it was to late.

Guys…I want to leave you with these verses from 1 Thessalonians 4…

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

My intent is only to encourage you…


Until next time guys…

WTBtower-of-babel2Some of you may have read the Old Testament before and remember the story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). To help you recall, this story comes right after the epic saga of Noah in Biblical sequence. What I have always found to be sad in this story is how in so few years after the flood, where we saw God destroy everyone and every thing because of evil everywhere on the earth (Genesis 6:5)… that here we see once again, the people of the earth essentially following the same path. When will they learn?

God had already promised to not destroy the earth again (Genesis 8:21) but when He comes down and sees what the people are doing and saying, I can only imagine what He was thinking, something like, “here we go again”. Possibly? But I would like to give you another perspective on this issue that I heard shared recently that I found enlightening.

All my life I just took this story at face value; In other words, God came down, saw these people full of themselves to the point that they decided to build a tower to Heaven. In their minds, they were working every day on this project and as it grew taller and taller, they hoped they would somehow meet God in the air? From our vantage point now, that idea seems extremely crazy but let’s go with it for a minute; In the meantime, God comes down, sees what they are doing and instead of wiping them out…again…He confuses them by changing their languages. In other words, one minute you can communicate with the guy next to you and the next minute he is speaking French. Very quickly after that happened, the people collected together in their language groups and then went off and settled elsewhere leaving the tower project unfinished.

I would like to submit the idea to you that on that day, when God confused them with different languages, He saved them from sure destruction. Think of this scenario this way:

  • These people were doing what THEY wanted to do and NOT what God wanted them to do…
  • By pursuing what they wanted to do, they excluded God.
  • Because their pursuit was for their own glory and NOT Gods, this is a quick ticket to a very bad place.

Guys, I share this with you because I know it is easy to get sidetracked along the way in our lives. The pursuit of what we want to do is a very powerful thing and can or will overwhelm us to the point of complete exclusion from God. That is exactly what these people from the tower began to say:

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4

I am telling you that God saved mankind that day by confusing them with different languages. They were on their way to sure destruction with the intent inside their hearts…

I am telling you the very same thing today. If your existence is to make a name for yourself at the exclusion of God, you too are on the wrong road and I caution you right now to recognize this and refocus back on Christ.

Let me leave you with this verse in Proverbs:

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3

An easier way to look at this verse is simply this:

Commit your plans to God FIRST…and they will succeed…

 

Until next time Guys…

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I recently spent some time with an old work friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a long time. At one point, we had worked together and saw each other every day for two years but once I left that company, not so much anymore. However I had the opportunity where we could have some dinner so I took advantage of the chance to get back together with him. As you can imagine, we talked about the usual work stuff and family stuff but somehow the topic bent toward winning the lottery of all things. To be clear, in my mind that topic is just wasted mental energy because the chances of winning are not worth spending the time thinking about what you would do with all that money. But as I sat there and listened to my friend talk, I realized he had taken this lottery-planning topic to a whole new level. Honestly, the amount of detail he had already planned out was utterly amazing. He knew where he would invest, who he would give money to, and how much. He knew what upgrades he would make to his home, where he would take his first vacation, how he would quit his job, and the list went on and on. He even worked out a plan to help his son pay off his student loans, buy his parents, brother and nephews new homes…and guys, I could keep going. I finally interrupted him and asked him why? Why would you invest so much of your time and brainpower on a topic that will never happen? He replied simply, “ah, but it could, and I want to be prepared”

“Prepared”, I thought. “Interesting concept.”

From your perspective, what does it take to be prepared for anything? Investing time, thought and effort towards something helps one be prepared…However Christ told us to prepare by storing up for ourselves, treasures in Heaven…in other words, preparation for eternity…not preparation for a fictitious event, or for that matter, anything else here on earth.

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust can consume, and where thieves can neither break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt. 6:20-21

So what is a treasure in heaven? How can I have any connection with heaven while I am still here and living on this earth? Here is how I look at this; my friend was investing huge amounts of his time thinking about a fantasy event rather than thinking about how to make a difference now while he is here on earth. For example, how about spending more time with his kids, or his wife or both? What about focusing on or engaging with a particular subject that might make him better or even the people around him better? In my mind, all of these suggestions are treasures that are being stored in heaven for him. It’s like making a deposit in a bank or maybe better yet, it’s an investment in your eternal future.

Jesus said, “How will they know me? By how YOU love one another”

Pretty simple actually. If we take the time to be kind to someone, anyone…when you aren’t required to do so…YES… it helps them, but believe it or not, that is a treasure YOU have stored in heaven. What you do here on earth matters for your eternal future.

You see…everything we store up in heaven is safe…forever. There are not any malware or viruses that can wipe out your deposits in Heaven. Christ said this in the verse above, where neither moth nor rust can consume, and where thieves can neither break through nor steal.

NOTHING can destroy what you have stored there…It is safe for all eternity

My simple advice:

Lets just try to get out of our own way, focus on each other for a change, and watch what happens…

What I think you will find is a far happier group of family and friends because you aren’t 100% solely focused on you…or like my friend in the beginning of this post, who spent too much time planning for a fictitious event.

So as you begin to look and plan for this next year, 2015…my recommendation is to start making heavenly deposits sooner rather than later…

Honestly, your future depends on it…

 

Until next time Guys…

Reality of Heaven

One of the hardest things any Christian must do is to try to block out all of the earthly distractions that we see around us and to focus on Christ and the things we “don’t see”. This very second, Satan continues to turn up the pressure on this world as we near what I believe are the “end times”. This means that we are constantly bombarded with things that are specific targets at your personal weak points. In other words, Satan knows what you struggle with and he will continue to give you even more to see. Guys, for those of you who struggle with pornography, drugs or alcohol…guess what? You will find yourself in circumstances with your addiction right in front of your face and you will be forced to make a choice.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

I have spoken of this before because I believe it to be true. There is a war going on right now for your soul. Satan seeks to lure you by using what you can “see” because that is all he has to use against you. He will promise happiness and all the “whatever your weakness is insert here” that you can handle. It will sound great…she will look great but let me remind you that HE, SATAN…only possesses “temporary” anything. He has nothing permanent of value that he can attract you with…only what you can see…Remember that…

What I am suggesting as an alternative is simply a heavenly perspective. I am asking that you recognize that everything around you right now is only temporary. If you do not believe me, then I suggest you read Revelation 21:1-4 because this is where we are told about the New Heaven and the New Earth. Frankly, this is what you have to look forward to guys but you must seek Godly pursuits while here in earth. If your only desire is what you can take or what you can conquer, then I recommend you read Romans 1:18-25. God cannot be any clearer than this when he speaks through Paul in these verses. God hates wickedness…Even though you think you are wise and you may be “killing it” financially, it is only temporary…trust me, you cannot take it with you when you die…

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Here is the bottom line…a lot of us work hard to prepare for our eventual retirement so we can enjoy the last few years of our lives. We put away funds in order to live at the level we want to as seniors but the only problem with that thinking is what about your eternal retirement? Why not set your sights while you are here, living and breathing on earth, for your eternal future? Read this verse below:

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Again, I can’t be any clearer than this…seek Him first, set your sights on the things of Heaven, and God will bless you while you are here on earth. But the best news is still that He will provide you an eternal future like nothing your mind can possible imagine…

 

Until next time guys…

top-10-list1Lists. The top 10 “this” and the top 10 “that”…We are surrounded by them. Some of them are great information or funny and I might even find them compelling now and then…but in thinking about “lists” it got me thinking about something else. What if I could create a list that was more eternal in nature? Maybe I could create a list why I think you should consider making a free choice that would affect your personal forever? So that is what this list is about…Give it a read and maybe even give it some consideration…so here are my:

Top 5 reasons you should consider becoming a Christian

1. It’s free…and YOU get to make the choice…

In this day and age of self empowerment, freedom of choice, self-help and the “just do it” mentality…Christianity offers YOU, the individual, the ultimate Free choice of your personal lifetime…You get to choose where you would like to spend eternity.

2. Salvation is an amazing thing…it gains you eternal life.

As mentioned above, you make a very free choice and personal for salvation and that choice gains you citizenship inside a heavenly kingdom…unmatched and incomparable to anything mankind could ever imagine…

3. When everything around you fails…Jesus never does

News Flash: You are surrounded by failure. The washing machine fails, the car fails and even your spouse fails now and then. But what if I told you that one person will never fail you even in the worst of times? Would you consider listening to me? This is a very simple answer to a very tough question…Jesus Christ will NEVER fail you…

4. We are never alone…especially during the tough times

Loneliness is the worst feeling. It will suffocate you if you can’t control it…With Christ you are NEVER alone. We are promised that He will never leave us or forget us…When the going gets rough (and it will get rough), sometimes we find ourselves all alone, deserted…It is right then and there that Christ will meet you…He will NOT desert you because He is your anchor during your storm.

5. It doesn’t cost you your life…it just saves it.

Do you know where you are going when you die? I mean definitively? Not what you hope…but what you know…? Can you answer that question honestly to yourself? If you say yes to salvation you not only saved yourself from a painful existence here on earth, but also guaranteed a forever that can’t be compared to anything you could ever think of on your own…

So that is my top 5. Simple, but hopefully effective. I hope you will take a moment to look at your own future and determine for yourself if my simple list above might be worth examining closer…

Until next time guys…