Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

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…

The-Magic-of-Christmas

This post is probably not going to be what you thought based upon the title but frankly…I think it fits…

Let’s start off with a question…Have you ever been to Disneyland? I’m sure you probably have. In fact I would say that 75% of Americas population has been to one of those parks and there is a reason for that…it is a GREAT place to go. In fact, it is the “happiest place on earth” right? Have you ever seen a television commercial for Disney? In 30-60 seconds, you are taken on a magical journey to a place where happiness abounds and dreams come true. Years ago, I saw my children gaze longingly towards the television for several minutes after one of these commercials ended and I have to say…I don’t blame them! Who wouldn’t want to go to place like that? Just for a little while to be taken away into a different world…filled with characters and music and nothing but fun. A place that can completely overwhelm ones expectations because you have to admit that just looking forward to a Disneyland trip might be the best part of the vacation…unless…

Have you ever been to Disneyland on a busy day?…thousands of people with small children…Long lines, long days, hot weather and rides that are closed. Is this really the happiest place on earth? Please don’t take me wrong…I am not complaining about Disney at all, I am focusing on an ideal that our world puts out there for us to swallow which is this promise of magic or an experience that will somehow take us someplace better that is more fulfilling? They want you to believe there is a place on earth that can actually provide you contentment or happiness…or maybe just temporary happiness? Does anyone really think that is possible?

Then we have Christmas. Christmas for children is truly amazing. Why? Because of their expectations. Expectations are what create the feeling of excitement inside all of them and causes them to look forward to that exciting day of waking up and opening presents. But that is the kid side of things…what about the adult side? Does anyone really feel the way we did when we were children at Christmas time? Probably a big NO right? Why is that? Why can’t we experience the joy we had as kids anymore? For me, over time, I began to believe that somehow if I could just get that one “thing” I wanted…somehow it could make me feel different but as was always the case, it never worked. I was always left with this strange, empty feeling inside…The overall anticipation of Christmas “stuff” was never able to satisfy me inside…deep…at my core…WHY?… Because loving other stuff could not bear the weight of my expectations. My expectations of what this world can provide have always fallen short of my deepest satisfactions. I can assure you, any feeling of elation I may have had at the time was only temporary.

So if the stuff of this world can’t fulfill what we need…the question is, how do we fill that empty void we get at this time of year? Hopefully, my reasons pointed you towards an understanding that neither Disneyland, nor presents under a tree, nor anything else this world can offer can fill your void completely. The void WILL still exist once the “new” wears off…

Did you know you were created in his image and therefore are wired for heavenly things? As you have probably already experienced…you cannot fill that void yourself. No matter how many times you go to Disneyland…you will still feel the same afterwards…temporary satisfaction….For anyone to truly experience the magic and the essence of Christmas, you must accept the greatest gift of all…the gift of Salvation. Christ provides it to all of us who will simply receive it…It is absolutely free but with a condition. Christ requires that you believe in Him…that’s it…Acts 16:31 says:

“…Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”

I challenge all of you this Christmas…don’t fall victim to this world’s illusive pursuit of contentment and joy because you WILL NOT find it…no matter where you look…anything you find can, and WILL only be a temporary feeling…I challenge you this year to delight yourself in Christ (Psalms 37:4) and not in a quest to fill your emptiness…we already know how that story ends…

Until next time guys…

From all of us here at @Ironmanstrength

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…

Have you ever sat down and thought about why God created Earth and why He decided to create all of us? Do you ever wonder if He regrets making that decision? I often wonder about things like that because collectively, we only seem to give the God of Heaven grief. But yet even as I have found out the hard way…God is still faithful to us even when we are not. Paul makes this exact point in Romans 3:3-4. So just to quickly reset the issue here…He still loves us (you and me) and is faithful to us even when we ignore Him? But let us this statement a giant leap forward and ask this question; With all of the sin and shame we continually drag around each day…With all of the horrible things that man has done throughout history…why did He, the omnipotent, omnipresent, Creator, create this opportunity for you and me to be with Him forever in Heaven?

David asked the same question when he said in Psalms 8:4, what is man that you are mindful of him?

The answer to this question is actually very simple..He loves us…that is the reason…and if you read the Bible, you will see evidence of that because it is filled with examples of His love for all of us and all His creation. But what kind of God is He that He would allow the sacrifice of His own son for a group of people who are so sinful? But yet, that is what Christ did and because of that ultimate act of love, you and I have an opportunity for this amazing thing called salvation.

The Apostle Paul tells us that to obtain salvation, we can be saved by grace through faith. God extends His olive branch of grace down to us knowing full well we can’t get to Heaven on our own, but because of Christ’s sacrifice, we can….all we have to do is believe. True salvation starts with belief in your heart. He asks us to seek, to trust and to believe in Him…but to believe in something we do not see with our own eyes.

The author of Hebrews in Hebrews 11:1 said it this way:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said ” All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all that I have not seen”

Faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is the only condition God requires for salvation. But you still have to believe in what you cannot see…

So as I sit and contemplate this I begin to understand my part in all of this process. We live in a very difficult world, and frankly, getting more painful by the day. Every second of the day, We are bombarded by everything this world has to offer. There is no way we can avoid its influence hitting us in the face. God’s plan is for you and me to navigate this life journey by trusting in Him, by believing in Him…a God that we cannot see.

We are presented with countless stories from the bible about amazing faith like David when he defeated the giant Goliath. It never crossed his mind that the giant would or could defeat him…his faith was so strong that he trusted in God to help him get victory…and it happened. But David believed in God yet he could not see Him…


Do you remember the story of Abraham? God promised him to be the father of nations and yet at 100 years old he still had no son of his own. But yet he still believed that God had the power to do what He had promised. That was true faith. Faith that could endure, trust, obey and still grew stronger.

But why is faith so important for us as believers? Why does the plan of God for us to get to Heaven require faith in Him, the unseen?

Hebrews 11:6 says,

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Seek Him…and believe…

True faith in God means you are trusting in Him to help guide you through the narrow path in this world. When you are trusting, you are not consciously trying to do things yourself, you are relying on God the Father to give you direction. True faith, as hard as is this is to swallow, is being obedient to Him, just like Abraham was. Obedience is not really a word this generation likes to hear but yet true obedience, is what leads us to this powerful faith and trust in Him. Simply put, this is how God created the path to salvation.

The only way we will make it to Heaven is to believe in God even though we cannot see Him.I know I have emphasized that point throughout this post but I want to make sure you realize what is expected of you. Faith in God means to stand strong and endure no matter what the cost. Faith is a day by day commitment to Him. Faith is trusting in a God that promises to never leave us not forget us. This kind of Faith, this kind of never say die commitment to Him…will earn you your personal set of keys to Gods Kingdom…

So I tell you this…be strong, persevere, and don’t lose your grip on Him because He will NOT lose His grip on you…

Until next time guys…

What is this concept of grace anyway? I have heard that word all my life but what does it really mean? Or maybe I should say, what should it mean to me? I can remember saying “grace” before each meal or hearing my mother telling me to be gracious when someone did something nice for me. I always gave, and still do give gratuity when someones service pleases me like a waiter at a restaurant. Credit card companies will extend “grace periods” to their customers and the list goes on. The acclaimed author Philip Yancey calls the word grace, “the last best word”, because he believes that grace is “still one grand theological word that has not been spoiled”…by a society that tends to weaken the meaning of words. I agree with Yancey because when you hear the word “grace” even now, the core of its meaning hasn’t been spoiled or diluted. In other words, the true meaning is still intact. Grace shouts “I know you’re in trouble and I’m going to help you” something this world needs to hear desperately. Yancey goes on to ask the question, “where can the world go to find grace?” and that is the cornerstone of this post because I believe that this starvation for grace exists inside every one of us but yet satisfying that hunger without Christ, is impossible.

Grace is a very simple word and simple in meaning. I looked it up in the dictionary and it said, “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification”…which means, something God gives to us that is completely undeserved. But you can also experience grace at the hands of a friend or even a stranger simply showing love or acceptance. Have you ever experienced an undeserved gift or maybe accepted by strangers you did not know? Maybe the grace gift that was provided gave you much-needed relief yet was completely unexpected…coming from nowhere….that is grace at the core…

I have been struck by this word grace recently and what it means because of so much ungrace or the opposite of grace that I see around me. As I mentioned before, the world is starving for grace and is there anyone left to provide it? Christ provided the greatest example of grace for all of us but yet at the same time, showing grace does not come naturally. Face it, we tend to be selfish because selfishness is the example we see everyday.

So what are we to do with this information I am sharing with you? How does one go from ungrace to grace? I can tell you from my own personal experience that it starts with forgiveness…something also very difficult. When you can truly forgive a friend or family member that has wronged you in some way, you are extending grace to that person. Obviously, that means some work on your part (and mine) with God because we tend to keep score on wrongs committed against us…If we think we have been wronged, the other person needs to make the first move…right?. WRONG…Grace means you take the first step by forgiving and then where the relationship goes from that point? Grace is acceptance, Grace is, I am there for you no matter what…

Let me put it to you another way. Do you realize that the road to heaven is absolutely…IMPOSSIBLE…without the grace extended to us by Jesus Christ? You, me nor any other famous person ever to live, can get to heaven without it.

One more time…we cannot get to heaven on our own despite what the world says…

God invented salvation and the grace we need to get to heaven so that he could have a relationship with you and me. He wants you to rely on Him…not on you…you need His grace to make it through the day and ultimately, on to heaven itself. But it does start with a daily dose of grace you receive but more importantly…given away to someone else.

Remember the words of Christ in Matthew 6:14:

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Grace freely given and grace freely received…

Where can the world go to find grace?


Look in the mirror because it starts with you and me…

Until next time guys…

I like Country Music. OK there I said it. I know, I know, I’m kinda strange in that way but I can’t help it. Sometimes country music just hits me in my core. I was listening to one of those country songs recently and the singer sang about needing to return to the house where she grew up because as an adult, she had lost her way. Or, as she sang, “I’ve forgotten who I am”. That line got me thinking of how easy it is for people to lose their way in this world and forget who they are. To me, Christian’s are unique because of, as I call it, their ” Heavenly citizenship” advantages, which gives them opportunities of success that non-Christians do not have. What happens though is we forget, or we lose focus and we no longer set our sights on God but rather make our decisions based on what we SEE and NOT on whats inside us. From experience when this happens, we WILL lose our way and that is the reason for this post…Have you forgotten who you are?

I can identify with the above and see this as a pattern in my own life…you are moving along in life and maybe things are going relatively well, meaning, no significant problems to speak of, and then something bad happens. This “problem”, or whatever it is, causes you to get distracted and then “out of sync” in your relationship with God, and before you know it, time has passed and you are relying on YOU to solve the mess you are in…Does that scenario sound familiar with anyone or am I the only one that thinks this way?

I always keep coming back to what causes me to get off track? If you have a relationship with Christ, why does one get “out of sync” with Him? I know we are targets of Satan while we live in this world and I hope that statement is not new to you. I believe Satan uses “busyness” and “mayhem” in our lives to completely distract us from our focus on Christ. The question is, can we recognize this when it ‘s happening to us and do something about it before too much time passes? Guys, I am talking about you personally as well as your relationships with your wife and kids. When you are out of sync with God, all of the aforementioned are affected in the wrong way. When you are going through this period, YOU are a different person and therefore you treat your family different…THAT is what I am trying to help you avoid…HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WHO YOU ARE?

I mentioned earlier about your heavenly citizenship advantages…I wanted to explain that further so all of you know what you have to tap into when you find yourself in that position. The good news is, there are a whole lot of scriptures in the Bible that deal with these issues. In fact, all of Paul’s letters in the New Testament have an overwhelming theme of reminding us who we are in Christ…and that is the most security anyone of us could have in this world. Did you know when you became a Christian you experienced a status change? You became a child of God. Please don’t say…Yea, Yea, Yea at this point, I have heard this before…Listen to this verse:

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, (Ephesians 2:19 NIV)

As a result of your salvation, YOU are a member of Gods household. Guys, I hope you are hearing me. That membership, that status change, means something. You are wired for heaven now. Read this verse from the Message translation:

For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven-God-made, not handmade – and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move-and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. (2 Corinthians 5:1, 2, 5 MSG)

What I am saying is this, you have a future in heaven because of your salvation in Christ, yet you still have to live out your life on this earth and that sometimes can be what dooms us. We allow the things we see to overwhelm us and cause us distraction and confusion. You may or may not see this until it’s to late. God gave us the Holy Spirit to tap into during these times. His purpose…is to remind you who you are…you are a part of the household of God. You are NOT alone on the road of life without any options. Just tap into the things you do not see…

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

Yep, faith DOES play a role in this and with it applied in your life, you can trust that the next step you take…will be on solid ground.

So my question is this, Have you forgotten who you are? Well just in case it slipped your mind…Let me remind you that with salvation, comes a ticket into Heaven and membership into God’s household, and that is the greatest reminder of all…

Until next time guys…





Please truly consider the answer to this question for your own life;

Would you rather gain this world…or live forever?

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  Matthew 16:26

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?   Mark 8:36

So let me just repeat this so I understand it correctly…you would rather sacrifice living with Jesus Christ for all eternity so you can have a few good years upon this earth?

That’s what these scriptures essentially mean paraphrased yet I am continually confronted with people who think this way. I honestly think that the writers of these scriptures found this life style particularly difficult to understand as well. You may call my statement myopic because it is true, it is YOUR choice, you get to believe what you want…but what happens when the aforementioned scripture is fulfilled and you find out you were wrong? What happens when you begin to see with your own eyes what has been in the Bible since the very beginning? Then what? Can you afford NOT to even consider what Jesus has to say?

I heard this statement recently and I it illustrates my point:

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, then live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is…

So going with simple logic, that statement makes a whole lot of sense. Again, can you afford NOT to even consider Christs offer of salvation as an option for your life? How long do you really anticipate living? maybe 70 years? maybe +/- a few years more or less…? Even if you were the richest person in the world, does that mean you don’t have any adversity in life or any problems to solve? Not at all, in fact I think there is solid proof that money creates a whole new set of problems for people. My point is this; what does the definition of “living a few good years” mean to you? Is it having a never-ending supply of money to do what you want, when you want? Is it surrounding yourself with friends and enjoying a life of leisure? Or may be you are more of a family guy whereby your definition would be to have lots of kids and spend time with your family. Any of these options will work except for one HUGE problem…All of them are temporary. Let me remind you that this life you are living right now isn’t going to last because YOU aren’t going to last. Sooner than any one of us care to admit, we begin to feel the pains of age and the limitations of age. None of us can do what we did as teenagers or in college so even though that may have been a wonderful time in our lives, it is gone now which is exactly my point. How long are you willing to wait before you consider what Christ is offering you? Salvation means a commitment to Him while here on earth and then a reward of an eternity spent in heaven. Remember the verses I mentioned earlier…what good is it for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? This earth is temporary and WILL PASS AWAY…On the other hand, Eternity is a really long time…In fact, I don’t think I can even comprehend how long that truly is but that is what is in our future with a commitment to Him…

Please consider this statement…What have you got to lose?

Or, better yet, Look at what you gain?

Why is it that some of us think being a Christian is accepting Christ and then walking away and just moving on with our lives without Him? I can’t tell you how many times I see this and I am just stumped. To make matters worse…when we ultimately come to our death-bed, we want to reconnect with God because we certainly don’t want to miss out on the benefits of heaven…I mean eternal life has a nice ring to it, right?…But all the time in between, the life we live, we choose to go the journey alone, living life the way we want…or…maybe you might check in, now and then, and attend church, put on the right face, but go right back to our own way. If that is your plan….

Guys, that life is a total LIE from Satan, and if you fall victim to it, heaven is NOT in your future…

The reason is simple, living your life without a RELATIONSHIP with the Creator, is NOT God’s plan for us. You have heard me say in previous posts that “life truly is all about the journey”. God set up salvation as something we seek everyday of our lives and I can tell you with authority, we ALL need His divine strength to help us persevere and live a life that is pleasing to Him. The Psalmist writes in 105:4, “Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always”…why must we do this, everyday? Because the journey of life is NOT and easy one and without His strength, we will face spiritual weakness and ultimately, defeat.

But this post is really is about a relationship with Him and it cannot all be one-sided. If we put forth effort, by seeking Him with a humble heart, He will reward our efforts with His presence and power in our lives. I do know this, you can’t disappear for a lifetime and then show up and say, “Here I am God!” and expect all to be forgiven, especially if that was the intent all along. Remember, God examines the heart, your heart, and He knows your motivation. If your intent is to reject the Holy Spirit throughout your life and then “make it all better” in the end…not really a good plan…

The choice then, belongs to us, as it always has. Our responsibility is to actively seek God each day in order to have a relationship with Him. I encourage you to get to know Him on a different level. The more we hang out with God, the more confident and comfortable we will be with Him. There is truly no better place to be in this world, than comfortably resting in Gods grace, knowing you are right where He wants you. Conversely, don’t fall victim to Satan’s lie that tells you it is OK to do your own thing for as long as you want because it is way more fun…I assure you whole heartedly…the fun part is only temporary…Trust me, an eternity is a really, REALLY, long time…

Guys…my best advice to you is simply to, seek Him, trust Him, and believe in Him…

We were never promised that our lives would be easy here on earth, but if we persevere each on our own journey, we were promised Heaven…and that my friends, is worth our effort…

Until next time…Let me leave you with this…