Free Will 2

Easter is the biggest reminder of Jesus’ love. He made the Free Will decision to come as a baby born to a virgin, live a sinless life, take our sin and our punishment on the cross…sacrifice himself for us by dying in our place, then being raised from the dead. Now He is alive and seated at the right hand of God, where he intercedes for us. Now, we must make the Free Will choice to believe in Him or not.

Our entire life is a series of Free Will choices. Will Jesus guide and direct us? Of course, especially when we ask Him through prayer. The fact is He already knows what we will do. Someone explained it to me like this. Jesus is outside of time. He looks at our lives like we look at history. He can focus down on one person and can see his or her birth, life and death. He can see each day, every decision or choice, each plan, and how everyone else’s decisions affect each person. From His vantage point, He can and does help us avoid problems, make good selections, and guide us down the path He wants us to go. But, we can say no and go it our own way too.

I believe this is the reason God hates sin so much…it never touches just us. When we make a free will decision to do something, most times it will have impact on someone else. Whether good or bad, others feel the results of our selections. God loves everyone so very much; He hurts for each of us when something hurts us. If another person does the hurting, God is upset…big time…the consequences are eternal.

Take stealing. When a person robs someone else, the person who takes hardens their heart toward others. They don’t care that losing the item might cause hardship. The person who loses the thing is out their time and money to purchase another, if they are even able to. Then those around both people are affected by the theft.

Another example is adultery. When two people break their marriage vows and go outside the marital bed, they hurt the person they are married to, any children they may have, and family and friends. It never affects just the two having the affair.

Sin is like a rock thrown in the lake. It ripples out. The waves hit closest to where the rock went in the water, but the current continues to cause breakers for a long while.

The flip side is true as well. When we choose to help or encourage others, we share our faith through action rather than words. Our honest and humble dealings with others, is seen by those around us. We can touch the heart of the hurting or discouraged with our kindness and generosity.  We can win unbelievers to the Lord without saying a word.

This is why our Free Will is a big deal. For believers in Jesus, people watch us and judge Jesus and all Christians by our behavior and choices in life. That can be a huge ripple for someone struggling to believe or doesn’t have faith at all. That’s why our walk matters. Why our speech, actions, and attitudes have such impact. The old adage ‘No Man is an Island’ is very true.

We are responsible for what we choose in this life. The idea ‘The devil made me do it’ does not cut it. I do believe Satan and his minions can and do try to influence humans…even Christians, we have Free Will to listen or reject them.  There are many in the Christian community who do not believe evil forces can do anything to believers. But I reject that thought or the Bible would not repeatedly warn us about the wiles of the devil.
It would not tell us to put on the Full Armor of God to protect us from the spiritual arrows that he and his fallen angels throw at us. This is why Bible study and prayer is so important to our walk.

As the days ahead grow spiritually darker, it will be more important than ever to prepare your heart for the evil to come.

Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)
11  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

 

Free Will

Free will:  Merriam-Webster definition  1. The ability to choose how to act, the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God. 2. Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or divine intervention.

In some Christian circles, Free Will only deals with salvation. Others don’t believe in free will at all. They believe God plans out our lives and in the guise of God’s will or Father knows best, He plans out our entire life with little input from us. To them, we are simply a type of robot and God brings this and that into our life to get us to do what He wants. These same people rail at God when their child dies, injure themselves, or some crippling disease afflicts them. For this group, God is the cosmic boogie-man who barely tolerates them, much less loves them. His Word…the Bible is a book of dos and don’ts, a history that shows God is a ruthless task-master who has anyone who stands in His way killed. Then after years of unfaithful people and an increase in sin, God sent Jesus to earth. Jesus is a kind gentle fellow who loves everyone. In fact, He loves people so much He couldn’t possibly send unbelievers to hell. Everyone will somehow be saved, even if they don’t really believe in Him. After all, free will isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

In contrast, we believe Free Will is at the core of our faith and who we are in Christ Jesus. God created us in His image. As such, we build things, fix and repair, reason things out, we work, we are responsible, we make decisions, we can think…teach, learn, mature. We believe we have total control of our lives. We are not robots. We are individuals, unique and special, created by God and like none other.

From the time we are born, our life is a series of choices and consequences…good and bad. The Bible teaches the law of sowing and reaping affects all our lives. Sow good seeds and reap a harvest of good things in your life. Have a good work ethic, you will be promoted, make more money, be more successful. If you sow bad seeds, your harvest will not be so pleasant. If you are lazy, you may not have a home, food, or stability. You can always pray for crop failure, but there are always results from any action or lack of action.

So you ask:  why do some people who work very hard never get ahead? Why do the poor stay poor even when they try to climb out of poverty? Answer: I don’t know. I only know God said the poor would always be with us and we are to help them as much as we can.

Jesus came of his own Free Will to show us the love of the Father, to teach us how to please God, to pray and hear God when he speaks to us. Equally important, He paid the penalty for our sins, freeing us from consequence of death, separation from God for eternity. In turn, through our Free Will, we accept or reject his sacrifice and atonement, learn to walk a life of righteousness and holiness through the Holy Spirit, and allow His love to flow through us to a loss and dying world.

We must choose to turn our will toward God. He will not force us. In fact, He will allow people to choose to go to hell if they want. It grieves His heart, but that’s true Free Will.

God’s Not Dead

There is a new movie out called: God’s not Dead.  http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/synopsis. It is based on a true story.

On impulse, we went to see it Friday. It is a decent movie, but if you are looking for a 4 or 5 star you’ll be disappointed. However, it’s a solid film.

This Christian movie sets out to show the problems our young people are having in our public schools, universities and colleges today. Many professors and instructors do not believe in God. To them God does not exist. He is a myth or fairy tale. Therefore, they encourage or push their students in that direction also.

Personally, we cannot see why they bother. It is their duty to instruct our children in the subjects needed to complete a regiment of classes that will lead to a degree in their chosen profession. I don’t understand why God should even come into a math class. Outside Philosophy, would there even be a reason to discuss God?

For years, people have accused Christians of pushing their faith and put us down for doing so. Yet, more and more, teachers in all grades push their belief there is no God. Only they have a captive audience and can pass or fail a student who disagrees.

That said, the movie brings out an important point. Many of these same teachers at one time or another did believe in God. Then some hurtful situation occurred and in their anger at God turned away from Him. They believed the lie that God did something to cause the death of a loved one, didn’t do something to cure someone, or didn’t give the answer they wanted to a prayer. But all this comes down to the lie that God micro-manages everything. They want to blame God because they believe everything is controlled by God. As a result, they turn from God choosing to reject His existence rather seeking understanding.

Please don’t get me wrong…God is in control, but He gives us control over things too. We can and do make choices. We are not robots. If we were, there would be no sin because we would be doing only what God wanted right? It all comes down to FREE WILL. (That will be the topic of our blog next week.)

The basic question brought about in the movie: What would it take for you to deny God? To claim, God is dead?  It’s a very important question, one we have addressed before on this blog. So if you have the opportunity, we recommend seeing God’s not Dead. It has some very interesting and provoking information that could help you in your own walk and offering help to others who may suffer from the fallout from an instructor.

Our Christian Walk

Our Christian Walk is more important than most people think. The world is watching us and Jesus is judged by our behavior.The old adage “You may be the only Jesus people ever see” is true.So I ask, if you never said a word about your faith, could people tell you were a Christian? This is today’s million dollar question. We’re called to be a peculiar people in the Bible, our Christian Walk reflects our faith. Would you say people think you’re peculiar? My guess is for most of us, the answer’s no. Christians today look more like the world than they look like Jesus.
God called us to change our ways. His ways are not the world’s ways. He’s a giver; people in the world are takers. He focuses on others; people in the world are selfish and self-focused. He’s forgiving; people in the world hold grudges. He’s loving, kind and patient; people in the world are unfriendly, pushy, and demanding. This is just the short list, there are so many more we could list.
When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become a new creature in Christ. We receive a new heart, a new life in Christ. Our life should change from a life in the world to a life in Christ. We need to begin to reflect his love and service to others. It takes time, but if you’ve known the Lord for a year, five years, twenty years and there’s no change people can see in your life there’s something wrong. Our lives must change. Our conversation, our attitudes and actions should reflect the love Jesus has for us to those around us. I realize we all have laps when our flesh rises up, but these should be fewer and farther between as the years go by.                                                                                                     We need to mentor new believers in Christ. The older man to the younger men. Mature woman to the youthful girls. Accepting Jesus is just the beginning. Each new day brings an opportunity to learn more about our Lord. Each new experience in our Lord should help change us. If you are young in the Lord, I encourage you to find a mentor or group to help you grow in your walk. If you are maturing in the Lord, open your heart and help those who are just beginning their life in Christ.                                                                                        I challenge you to look at your life. Does your life reflect the love Jesus has for all people? Are you peculiar? Have you opened your heart of brothers and sisters in Jesus? Have you shared your struggles, failure, victories and successes? Others need to hear life is not all hunky dory when you come to Jesus. But there is a joy, freedom, and overwhelming love that flows through the heart of a believer totally surrendered to Jesus (even in the times of trial). If you aren’t there yet, ask Jesus to open your heart and mind to receive the changes you need to make. Then step out in faith and implement those changes. If you need help or encouragement…ask a brother or sister.                                                                         Jesus asks us…His servants to share His love with this lost and dying world. He needs us to be His peculiar people who make others want to emulate and seek Him as a result.

Yoked to Jesus

What does it mean to be yoked to Jesus?

Matthew 11:29-30 (NKJV)
29  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

A yoke is a wooden frame, usually consists of a bar with a collar like piece at either end, attaching the necks of a pair of fraught animals so that they can be worked as a team. There are other definitions as well, but this is sufficient for this blog.

Jesus asks us to yoke up to him. He is on one side of the yoke with us on the other. (He yokes to each of us individually.)This allows us to move in tandem…to share the work, the burden, the success or failure, but also the joy. He’s a great comfort in times of trouble or heartache.

Why is it important to Yoke to Jesus? First, to learn from him. He is our Lord, he wants to teach us his ways.  He will be gentle, not demanding or mean…but gentle and kind. He goes on to say he will not stand over us as a strict task-master because he is lowly in heart. To me that means, just because he is the Son of God, he doesn’t consider himself above us. In addition, when our yoke is secured to Jesus, we will find rest. We don’t need to agonize over situations and concerns in our lives. Why, because Jesus is with us and he will help carry the load. That goes back to being yoked to Jesus. The entire idea of being yoked to Jesus is not for his benefit, but rather for our benefit.

When we accept him as Savior, Jesus becomes our King. As such, we are his servants in this world. Part of being yoked to Jesus is doing his work here on earth. He commanded us to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them what he has taught us. (Again part of being yoked to Jesus.)

This explains why being yoked to Jesus is so important in our Christian lives. Are you yoked to Jesus? If you are, do you try to pull ahead instead of sharing the load? Do you lag behind, not learning or doing his work?

As we prepare for the hard days ahead, make sure your yoke to Jesus is strong and binding. It will make all the difference.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith.  So who is Jesus? If he is just a man, he has little to offer. His teaching is time-honored and leads to a happier life, but the separation between a Holy and Righteous God and sinful man still exists. We need a Savior who provides a way to deal with sin because it created a gulf between God and man. His divine nature is such that all sin is repugnant and repulsive to Him. As a result, the relationship between God and man broke. Since God created man to fellowship with Him, He had to come up with a plan to set the world right again and restore our relationship…a way to deal with the sin that separates us from Him.

Jesus is the way, The Holy Spirit over shadowed Mary. Jesus is God’s son…fully God and fully man.

So why did He come as a man? God created Adam in His image and gave him dominion over the earth. (I know this doesn’t jive with what many people believe. But this verse makes it clear.)

Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion (authority) over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God put man in charge.  But Adam and Eve brought sin into the world through their disobedience to God’s only command. God told Adam not to eat from the tree of Good and Evil or the tree of Life. First Eve, then Adam disobeyed God’s decree. The sin of disobedience corrupted the heart of man and disrupted all of creation. The entire earth, plants and animals…not just humans fell.  God created the earth in perfection. There were never meant to be earthquakes, bad storms, or natural disasters of any kind.  Now the world became a place where sin and corruption reigned instead of love and harmony.

Jesus came as a man because only man has authority in the earth and could make the necessary changes. Only a man could restore things and set things right. He came as God to live a life of righteousness and holiness…never once sinning. This created a new pattern for man to life by. He provided the means for the salvation and restoration all of creation needs to come back into order with our Creator and God. There was just one more thing needed to set things right. Punishment for sin.

The Old Testament helps us understand a blood sacrifice is necessary to bring atonement for sin. The sins of the people were placed on the innocent lamb. The lamb died in place of the people. This is what Jesus did for all people. He was truly innocent of any wrongdoing…completely sinless. He was perfect in every way, something no other human could ever do. When the time came, He freely gave His life in the place of every human past, present and future. He took all the sins of the world and died in our place. Now, through our simple faith, accepting the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice, we too can be saved.

The second we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our life, our stoney corrupted heart is removed. God replaces it with a heart alive to God. It is filled with the love of Jesus. We are adopted into God’s family as His sons and daughters. Our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and when our earth suit (body) dies, our spirit goes to be with Father God in Heaven.

This is all so amazing. *That God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life with our Father in Heaven.

Jesus’ love for us is so very great. It is beyond all understanding. Yet, He lived, died and rose again for you and me. He is calling each of us to give our life to Him, to let go of all disobedience to the Word of God, selfish desire for things of this world, and sin (greed, jealousy, gossip, back biting, slander, lying, arrogant, filled with anger). Just as you are, sins and all, He is calling you. And once you make that commitment, He asks that you walk with Him, yoked to Him, doing His work on this earth, and bringing light to a dark and dying world.

If you have not asked Jesus into your heart why not do so now? If Jesus is already your Savior, recommit your life to Him. The future will become darker and darker. Jesus is the light. He can and will light the way. We will need His strength and guidance to get through evil times ahead.

*John 3:16

Do Christians Live in a Bubble?

Do Christians live in a bubble? Many of us have only Christian friends and associate mainly with other Christians.  As a result, we aren’t winning many unbelievers to the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we be witnesses for Jesus if we’re never around unbelievers?

Most people would rather be with people who make them feel comfortable. That’s why we tend to stick with people who think like we do. With these individuals, we do not have to explain why we believe the way we do, why we accept the Biblical version of creation, or the virgin birth. We don’t have to explain why Jesus died for our sins…for the sins of all people in the past, present, or future.

However, when we socialize with unbelievers (most) are uncomfortable listening to us claim everyone needs a savior… Jesus. So, we can make excuses like… Unbelievers have heard the message of Jesus and would already be coming to church if they wanted to…they don’t want to, so who am I to try to change their minds. I’m not the preacher or one of the elders sharing the gospel is their job not mine.  Unbelievers just ridicule or laugh at us anyway, so why bother.

One excuse I hear a lot is: unbelievers are involved in activities that I can be tempted by. Yet, Jesus was accused with associating with sinners…and he did. (Thank God he did or we would not be saved right now.) We need to take his example and apply it to ourselves. It is important to note, Jesus lived among sinners, yet never sinned. We have the power through the Holy Spirit to withstand sin, so we shouldn’t ever use the “I could be tempted and fall into sin excuse.”

There are many more excuses, but you get the idea. I’m sure if you’re like us, you have a few more that you’ve used at one time or another.

Yeast is an ingredient that’s used to make dough rise. A very small amount is needed to affect the dough. In several places in the Bible, yeast is used in a negative way. We are warned that a small amount of yeast can infect the entire batch. Jesus warned against the bad attitudes, teachings, and practices of the Pharisees. He didn’t want them to infect his followers with their negative, sometimes evil actions. Jesus wanted his followers to be fore warned…aware of the danger.

Mark 8:15 (NKJV)
15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.”

 However, the following verse is actually very positive.

Matthew 13:33 (NKJV)
33 Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven (yeast), which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

We can be like yeast in the world. Christians mix with the unsaved of the world every day. They should see a difference (if we are living a Christ-like life) and want the life of love, joy, and peace we have. We are light to their darkness. It’s very important we involve ourselves with those around us and not hide the light of Jesus that should be shining brightly in your spirit.

 Matthew 5:14-15 (NKJV)
14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

When I was younger, I thought, “how sad that the Amish do not share their faith with others. They stay within their own little communities and do not venture out.” Yet, I realize that I do not share enough either. I live in the same bubble they do. The only difference is I don’t separate myself in the same way; I simply stay in my comfort zone and don’t venture out.

In our travels we have met many people. Some know the Lord Jesus, others do not. It’s easier to share my faith with strangers. You visit with them for a short time and will probably never see them again. There is boldness in knowing if you seem like a fool for Jesus, you do not have to endure their ridicule. Yet, we are losing some of our relatives, our co-workers, and our country by our silence. We need to have the same boldness with our family and friends as we do with total strangers. (We are encouraging ourselves as well as you.) We have been commissioned to be ambassadors for Jesus.

John 20:21 (NKJV)
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

We are the body of Christ Jesus. We are his hands and feet…his voice. If we do not speak, do not share, do not live for him, how will our city, our country, our world know the truth? We must unify and make a greater effort to reach the lost in our world.

The Christian churches around the world need to stop fussing and fighting over the unimportant issues. We need to agree to disagree on those things not foundational to our faith. We need to focus on Jesus, the only Son of God and the only way to God…the virgin birth, his death on the cross, his burial, and resurrection. We must unify now, today, this minute. If we don’t, we’ll lose loved ones, friends, cities, states, countries, and world. The fact is we’re losing our country. Where it is true God can do anything, He has given us the command to share the gospel. Right now we’re not doing a very good job. The day will come when it will be illegal to share the gospel with others. I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and reach out to the lost world around you.

Let Love Guide Your Steps

How do you let love guide your steps? In my Bible study in Romans, it struck me how many of us have drifted from showing love toward others. This our highest calling as Believers in Jesus. Yet more and more we look more like the world (selfish, envious, jealous, ambitious) than like Jesus (kind, friendly, concerned/caring, thoughtful). I would challenge all of us to love one another. Bible love (the love of Jesus) is patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful, bearing all things, hopeful, enduring, encouraging, supporting, uplifting, sincere, hating what is evil, honoring one another, joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, sharing with those in need (not expecting the government to do it for us), not conceited, living with others in peace and never repaying evil with evil. If we as Believers return to our Rock and reflect Jesus in our daily lives more people would want to be like us instead of being repelled by us.

In the days ahead, our love toward others will be tested. There are many people who are difficult to love in our society today. Yet, even they need our understanding. We do not have to approve of their lifestyle, behavior or actions, but we do have to show the love Jesus has placed in our hearts toward them.

How things have changed

It’s amazing in only 75-100 years how things have changed so much. Our grandparents and great-grandparents lived very differently than we do today. Those who lived in cities relied on family grocery stores that purchased fresh fruits, vegetables and canned goods from local farmers. Transporting food thousands of miles was only for specialty items. There were no fast food restaurants and fancy eating places were too expensive for most people to eat there. If they treat themselves, it was a special occasion. More people lived in rural areas of the country. Nearly everyone grew gardens and canned providing for their families for an entire year.

Women didn’t work outside the home. Partly because cooking, cleaning and laundry took up a great deal of time. More important, teaching, training and raising children was the family’s responsibility. Reading, writing and arithmetic were taught at school. Everything else kids learned at home. Children were taught manners, along with respect and consideration for others. Unlike today, homemakers were highly esteemed and appreciated. Women understood they were the backbone of the family. Their hard work provided canned food used during the long winter months and early growing seasons until ripe vegetables could be harvested again. They made preserves…jams and jellies that provided a special treat for the family. Bread, cake, pies and much more were all homemade and specialties the lady of the house prepared for her loved ones.

People were healthier. The vegetables and fruits were wholesome, not genetically engineered. God made our food exactly as our bodies needed it to be. Man has manipulated it trying to increase production and shorten growing times. In all their scientific maneuvering they made it better in some ways, but now it’s less nutritious…not as good for us. That’s why Heirloom Seeds are the only way to go. They are natural seeds created by God’s hand not engineered by man’s.

Farm breed and raised animals provided protein without unnatural hormones or antibiotics. Cows, natural grazers fed on grass and were not corn-fed like the meats available in our grocery stores today.  Home grown, grass-fed beef is in high demand today for that reason. The same goes for chicken and turkeys.

People, in years past, worked physically hard. A high calorie diet was necessary to provide energy for the labor required to get the farm work done each day. As modern machinery came online, people didn’t need to exert as much energy…thus workers burned fewer calories, but menus stayed the same. As a result, people are heavier and less healthy.

Going back to basics is hard work, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Providing food (and other needs) for yourself will have the side benefit of burning calories and fat. Still, it is a lifestyle most people are not accustomed to. It will take a lot of getting used to and I venture to say, many will not like having to put that much effort into it. Yet, the day will come when there won’t be much choice. Some will take the easy way and try to steal what they are not willing to provide for themselves. You will need to be prepared to defend your property and the fruits of your labor against these thieves. The fact is like-minded people will need to band together to protect each other.

It’s my hope we’ll be ready and physically able to meet the challenges all of this will require. What about you? Have come up with a plan to meet your own needs? We encourage you start planning today or continue with the preparations you have already begun. We don’t know when the need will arise. Be prepared when it does.

Are we Different?

Some time ago I wrote a post “I want to be different Jesus, just like you.” The question is are we really different? Most Christians like to think they are. But sometimes I wonder if we really are or not. If you look at society at large taking in both believers and unbelievers, I rarely see anyone who stands out as different. People for the most part are the same. Outward appearances can be very different. We have persons who dress very modestly and others who don’t wear enough. Some enjoy conservative clothing and others with a flamboyant fare. Most folk fit somewhere in between.

The thing most believers forget is…God looks at the heart. He doesn’t really care what we wear. Though He said we need to dress in a manner that does not cause someone else to sin. In other words, if a young woman wears low-cut revealing clothing some men will have difficulty. Since men are visual, some can struggle with lust seeing a woman dressed in this way. Out of consideration for these men, women should care enough to cover up in a reasonable fashion. Don’t get me wrong, if you are going to the beach, a bathing suit is reasonable. In normal situations, consider others when you dress. That said…what we wear makes little difference to God.

Our heart is the center of our being. It is what is left when you strip off our earth suit (body). It is the foundation of who you are. Attitudes, behaviors, our speech, all come from the heart. It does not determine whether God loves you or not. He loves everyone. But it does establish who we serve.

If our heart is turned toward the world…we live for self. What we want, what we feel, controls our behavior. As a rule selfishness and self-focus are a central part of who humans are. Again, please don’t get me wrong, there are many nice unbelievers. But without God, they don’t have the love we have at the core of their being.

If our heart is renewed/reborn through Jesus and our faith in Him, our life belongs to Him and we should be learning to set self aside and serve God. After all, Jesus removes our old heart/nature and gives us a new one alive to God and filled with His spirit. We are new creations in Christ…and should behave differently.

When the world looks at you, will they say…that person is different. He or she is loving, kind and giving. Their speech is clean and wholesome. Their attitude is positive and upbeat. He or she always has a word of encouragement…never ripping someone apart. The compassion I see in them makes me feel good. They understand I may have faults, but acknowledge my good points. They don’t gossip or spread rumors. The list goes on, but you get the picture.

All of this will be extremely important as the days become more difficult. Living for God will become harder. People will need the Lord more than ever. We want individuals to see the difference and ask why. Then we can share the love God has given us and hopefully make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Jesus is coming back for a mature bride (church) not an immature one. I challenge you to look at your own heart. Examine your thoughts and feelings. Are you a servant of the Lord? Are you doing His work here on this earth? Are you willing to set aside your wants and desires to do God’s will instead of your own?

We are the only Jesus the world sees. Let’s work together to show them we really are different, distinctive in a way that pleases God and brings Him glory.