Through His Eyes
I was working on a revision of a book I finished only weeks before when, for some reason, the delete button stuck and the words on the page before me began to disappear at an alarming rate! Quickly, I tried to fix it but nothing I did would stop the words from sliding away into nothingness.
Finally, I was able to exit out of the program before my whole book was gobbled up. I used my backup copy to fill in the deleted places but those first few terrifying seconds caused my heart to quicken and my mind to scream out, “No!”
As soon as I got the manuscript fixed, I thought of what it would be like to stand before God, as an unrepentant human being not able to get the days back—the days spent living without serving Him—the days not surrendered to Him—to watch the scenes of life flash by while knowing there was nothing—absolutely nothing—that could be done to get them back.
For those who have denied Jesus with every day of their unsurrendered lives, what a terrifying time that will be. To know that all your yesterdays have flipped by, irretrievable and gone forever, and now you stand before a Holy God who made a way for you by giving His own Son and yet you still refused Him. Oh, how much more terrifying than losing a book!
Yes, to lose a book I’ve worked on for two years would be a terrible thing for me. But I would get over it. I could write another if given the time. It would not be the most horrible thing that could happen.
But if the days of my life, like those words, disappeared and I stood before God without excuse, unrepentant until the end, that would be the horror of all horrors. I would know I was getting ready to suffer and be destroyed in hell and I would not be able to get one day back to repent. My every hope would be gone.
And as Jesus asked in Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world but lose his own soul?”
So, if you’re reading this and you have not surrendered your life to the Lord of Lords, it’s time you bowed your knees and your heart to the one who died for you instead of letting your life disappear, day by day, never to be retrieved.
Make sure you have a back-up plan. Don’t let the manuscript of your life be deleted without having a copy in the cloud.
Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
past tense: deleted; past participle: deleted
The article from the link I've posted ends with this statement:
“Irreducible systems are evidence of intelligent design, because only a mind has the capacity to design and implement such an information-rich, interdependent network as a minimal cell,” she wrote.
“It won’t happen without a designer,” Gauger concluded."
The thing about all this that gets to me is that it shouldn't take scientists with brilliant minds to tell us this for people to realize they have a Creator.
I'm not a genius. I can't even pass a simple math test but I already knew what these scientists conclude. But I think many know this without acknowledging it. Why? What does ignoring something so important as you go about your daily life mean? I think it all boils down to the fact that some people just don't want to acknowledge their Creator. It messes things up for them. It interferes with their lives.
It takes humbleness, bravery and personal integrity to look up to the Master who created you and ask what He created you for and to tell Him you are going to seek Him and His answers until you find out.
It's a whole lot easier to knock Christianity. It's a whole lot easier to say Jesus was a good man but refuse to admit He's the Son of the God who made a way for you to come to Him. It's a whole lot easier to be sarcastic about hypocritical Christians and blame them for the world's problems. It's a whole lot easier than getting down on your knees.
And the easiest of all is probably just to declare yourself an atheist because you think it absolves you of all responsibility. Because if there were a God and He gave you life and He made Himself knowable, then you would have a responsibility, wouldn't you?
And for whatever reason, you'd rather not.
But know this: You're turning down an incredible life, an incredible relationship and the greatest Love that exists. And whatever you've settled for on this earth will never compare to what you've decided you just don't want.
I was getting gas this evening when a man standing next to the store asked me if I saw "what" went into the store. Then he told me that it wasn't a man. When I was walking back into the store, I saw exactly what he was talking about.
A man dressed in full woman regalia walked out of the door I was holding open for him. He was wearing a blonde wig, make-up and clothes like a woman. Well, since Halloween was over, I assumed I was seeing a transvestite.
I walked up to the counter and as I did, I said a low-key "wow" under my breath. The clerk who waited on me asked me if I was surprised and I knew he had heard me. I told him I was disheartened more than anything. He asked why. I said that Satan had made a mockery out of a man who God had created in His image.
It saddened me to see it. I hope it really was some kind of costume or something. It hurts my heart to think of someone being so confused and lost. I believe people in that condition are shouting their pain out to other people's eyes. And for anyone out there who automatically thinks I am a "hater," you need to know that there was not a smidgen of hate in my heart for that man--only sorrow.
Sorrow, because God loves and has a plan for him but he's also a person Satan hates and has a plan for. And it's sad to see someone give in so totally to the very one who is their enemy. He is the real enemy--this Satan who plants discord in the heart of souls--this "true hater" who uses abuse and/or confusion to lead people to the pit designed for him. That's who the real hater is--Satan. He hates that man. He wants to do everything he can to get him as far away from being what God created him to be as he can and then he wants to destroy him.
The Bible says that Satan is out to steal, kill and destroy. Well, if that man truly was a transvestite, Satan has stolen his manhood and is destroying the future God planned for him and when he finishes destroying any true sense of self-worth as a man, he will do everything he can to kill him so he can take another one of God's creations to hell with him.
Then you know what will happen? People who had no help to give him while they affirmed his "right" to be whatever he wanted, will be the first ones to blame others for the man's death. They will accuse society of not accepting him. They will accuse Christians of hating him. And then they will go on their merry, self-vindicated way as though their tolerance did not encourage a poor, sad, mixed-up individual that it was okay to dress up like the other sex and not even be who their DNA tells them plainly they are.
These "tolerant" people have shook hands with the devil in his plot to destroy mankind. They have helped to destroy a human being by their frivolous disregard. To me, that's the mark of a true "hater."
And if I ever get the chance to hold the door open for this man again, I will gladly do it. And I will pray that real Love, the kind that comes from Jesus will free him from the bondage that has crippled his manhood. Because then and only then, will he know what true freedom is and it won't have anything to do with dressing up his physical body to appear as a woman. It will have to do with allowing a real man, the Son of God, into his heart.
While watching a television program a while back, I heard a grieving mother while lamenting over the death of her adult son say: “I know we will see each other again someday.”
My heart goes out to that poor woman. I do not know what it is like to lose a child and I cannot imagine the pain she is going through. Yet, the son she was grieving for was drunk when he died and according to what was being told, if truth, he lived an immoral life. Of course no one knows whether the man who drowned during rough weather had a chance to repent and get saved before he died. I hope he did. But, though I’m sure it’s comforting for his mother to believe she knows she will meet him on “the other side” someday, I couldn't help but wonder what information she was basing that assumption on.
This seems to be the thing said and believed nowadays by many. I’ve heard it repeated a lot—almost like a mantra after someone passes away, no matter how hellvacious the departed lived, the one(s) left here on earth to mourn their loss will say, “I know I will see them again someday.”
Of course, it should go without saying that there are religions in this world that state as part of their belief system that every one gets to meet their loved ones after death. However, it needs to be said, the Christian faith is not one of those religions.
Please don’t choose to mistake what I am declaring. I do not claim to know people’s hearts. I cannot state with certainty whether this person or that person is going to heaven or hell after they die though at times I have felt certainty. But what I can have is a strong belief if I knew the person well and saw the fruits of their life. That’s all I can have though—a strong belief. I can't know. But I do know this: If you believe in the God of the Bible, you cannot believe a person, whether they are a loved one or not, is in heaven if they were not born again.
So, don’t fool yourself. Don’t let a blanket of warm fuzzies cuddle you and keep you from seeing the evil that surrounds us all or you will be deceived. There is a devil. His name is Satan and he is going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We should give ourselves to Jesus and help lead others to Him because that is the only way we are going to get to be with our loved ones in heaven. It doesn’t matter how much we want to meet them on the other side if Jesus was not our Lord and theirs also.
The truth is this: We have no guarantee of anything after death but heaven with God and His promises or hell with Satan and his punishment.
And no matter how much we want to believe otherwise, we cannot believe God away. He is the one who decides in these matters—and His judgment is not based on whether the person who died was a “good” person or a loving person or even a loved person. It is the same criteria for all. God will judge whether their sins were covered by the blood of Jesus.
God alone knows the answer to that question and He will judge accordingly. He will not judge by the false teachings of the world. We cannot believe that we or our relatives are going to be with God in heaven if we haven't allowed Him to be our Lord here on earth.
It is also popular today for some to brush over the Word of God by saying that God is a loving God and that they don't believe God would send anyone to hell. But the fact that God is a loving God does not negate the fact that He is also a just God. He said in the scriptures that everyone has sinned and that He wills that all come to Him. He has told us how to come to Him and by what means--through His Son, Jesus. If we refuse the God who created us, how can we blame Him for our choice? Yes, He is a God of love but He is also a God of judgment. He is not preparing a place in heaven for those who refused Him. He is preparing a place in heaven for those who loved Him.
That’s why Jesus said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no man comes to the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6 NIV)
Let us give ourselves to Jesus with our whole hearts. That is the only way we can know for sure that one day we will be in heaven to meet with our loved ones who did the same.
My heart is burdened by something I read yesterday. I found myself on a site that was telling about the wealth amassed by some of the more famous preachers in the world--our television evangelists.
I don't think it's wrong for anyone to live comfortably and even have luxuries if the provisions afforded came from honest income yet I've never been a proponent of so-called "prosperity" preaching. When I see the word of God turned upside down just to enrich the coffers of those who are proclaiming it while they live in wealth so ostentatious their dogs live better than most children, I am sickened.
This is what I believe: Serving God, being His child and loving Him for Who He is, is what God deserves from me. I am not serving Him because of what He can do for me. I don't tithe for what I will receive in return but that's the way some are leading others to think. Another thing that is popular nowadays is to tell people they should forgive because holding unforgiveness in their heart hurts them.
But I don't forgive others because I am told it is good for me and will help me "heal." We forgive because we serve a loving God who forgave us of our sins and expects us to forgive others so we will be like Him. Jesus taught us to pray by saying: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
I am not saying serving God does not have benefits. It does but that's not the REASON I serve Him. Some are concentrating on the giving, forgiving and serving because they have been taught that if they do these things, they will be reaping great gifts from God and go to heaven one day too. They're obeying because of what they hope to reap not because the One who deserves their obedience asks them to take up their cross and follow Him.
Also, I have come to dislike the term "seed faith." I believe this Biblical principal has become so distorted from how God originally intended that the words seed faith have taken on a new meaning. My faith in God is not a seed I plant so I will get something else. I am not concentrating on some work I've done to get me what I want. I'm to plant my garden and take care of it and wait on God. God gives the increase because He is a loving, caring and great God not because I planted and have the right to expect it.
Many seed faith ministries focus on the reaping. How many of those have we seen where someone bragged about getting a new car or a lot of money because they planted a seed? Yes, they mention God as though He's a heavenly magician at our command if we do the right thing or speak the right incantation. But how does this give God glory? God is not a puppet I demand something from because of my righteous undertaking.
Of course, I understand the scriptures speak about prosperity. Jesus said He came to give us life more abundant. But I also understand that Paul said he learned to be abased and to abound. People are in prisons all over this world because of their commitment to Jesus. Where are the televangelists spouting the scriptures that tell how to be abased? That message is not quite as popular. That message does not cause the big checks to roll in.
Another popular thing people want to hear and the television evangelists oblige them by saying is that their miracle is on the way.
Should I believe my miracle is on the way? I have seen times in my life when a miracle was what I thought I needed and I prayed for that miracle. I've also seen great moves of God in my life but there are times I prayed for a miracle when I did not receive one--at least one I could recognize as such. And isn't that one of the dangers of expecting a miracle? Maybe God is working on a way to answer a prayer that requires my patience, my growth as a Christian and my obedience to Him. But I'd rather have a miracle, wouldn't I? That's probably one real good reason my faith should be in God and not in the miraculous.
Am I promised a miracle? Is Jesus supposed to give me a miracle? If I send money am I more likely to deserve a miracle? Can I speak a miracle into existence? No, no, no, and no.
I've prayed for miracles. I believe I've seen some too but if I never see another one, God is worthy of my worship.
Worshipping Jesus and living for the King of Kings is not something we need to do because the result will be prosperity, joy and peace or even a miracle. Yes, these are wonderful things! Yes, I want joy and peace and I believe I have them abundantly. Praise God! I write songs about being blessed. One of my favorite songs I've written has lyrics that tell about not being surprised when blessings fall because I have learned God loves to reward His children. So, I do believe God blesses His people and I actually do expect to be blessed but that is not the reason I serve my Savior.
And yes, it would be great to be prosperous in more areas of my life but none of these things has anything to do with the reason I serve God either.
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior because all things were created by Him and He deserves everything I am so I have committed myself to Him. He died in my place so I would be spared the wages of my sin which is death. I love Him for these things. I love Him for His purity and holiness and for being Who He Is. He's wonderful!
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I am a horrid mess of sin without Him. I trust in His goodness and love to do right by me. I do not expect it because I put a certain amount of dollars in the offering plate. I do not expect it because I support missions or send money to a certain man or woman on television or copy and paste sweet little sayings on Facebook.
If I receive anything from Jesus it is not because I planted some kind of seed. It will be because He is merciful. It will be because He loves me and will work things to my good because I am His child.
My heart is fixed on Jesus. And if I end up in prison because of my love for Him or I have to suffer abuse because of my love for Him, He is worth it and worthy of it.
My journey on Earth should not be about how to fulfill the scarred, selfish, prideful and stubborn desires of Regina Russell but should be about my obedience to Jesus Christ the Lord who has given me a new heart and promises to give me the desires of it.
There are so many different churches in the world--so many different denominations. It's enough to make your head spin. People can take verses to prove what they think the Bible is saying and others can pick out verses that seem to negate what another tries to prove.
Proverbs 4:7 says: 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (NKJV)
So, how do we know what is truth and what is not and how do we get understanding and wisdom?
The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. In the 16th Chapter of John we read: 13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you."
Jesus is speaking to believers here.
So, as we put together the things the Bible tells us, we learn that the Holy Spirit will guide believers into all truth. But will He guide us all at the same time? I don't believe so. Jesus declared that He had more things to tell but said His listeners were not ready for it. I believe that holds true today too.
Our relationship with God is a tenable, precious thing that grows as our relationship with Him grows. I am not saying one person is more "saved" than the other but that some may be able to be taught more than others. We need to be willing to be taught--willing to hear--willing to "get wisdom."
We know from the very first chapter and first verse in Genesis that: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Where else does the Bible speak of the beginning? In the very first verse in the book of John, we are told that: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
From just these two verses, we can get much wisdom and from those two verses we can also see that the Word of God was with God in the beginning. We are proving scripture by scripture and they are in agreement. We even see in the 26th verse in the book of Genesis, that God said, "Let us make man."
The Word of God is Jesus and in the third verse of John we also see that the everything was created by Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. Once again, scripture proved by scripture.
This first little step into the scriptures is a wonderful way to begin to see what the Word of God is saying to us. However, to those unwilling to repent, unwilling to turn to surrender to Jesus, the Word of God is not easily discernible.
We are told in the 5th Chapter of John, the 39th & 40th verses that Jesus said to some of the Jews who did not accept Him: "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
Isn't it interesting that Jesus tells some of the Jews that they are searching the scripture and coming to the conclusion that they have eternal life erroneously?
So, yes. There can be wrong interpretation. But the Holy Spirit will not lead you in the wrong direction. However, you must be willing to hear the truth to receive it.
And the truth will always glorify Jesus. Always. For He is truth.
I was looking up information about Judah’s sons because in my devotional this morning I read the scripture in Genesis that speaks about God killing them. A few weeks ago, I began a new journey in reading through the whole Bible again. When I come to scripture I want to learn more about (which is quite often) I look commentary up on the internet. I have already read all the commentary in my Bible (The Companion Bible—Bullinger) and wanted to see what other scholars have to say concerning many of the topics I longed to understand better.
Now, during this research I come across people who are just seeking to prove that the Bible is not the Word of God. I came across one such person this morning and I ended up writing back to him. After I finished I thought I would share it with you all.
So, the rest of this blog entry today is from what I posted on another person’s blog. After you read it, please remember to pray for the man I was responding to. He is lost.
One of the many great things about the Bible is that the truths told within it are not sugar-coated. If someone was wicked, the Bible declares it to be so whether they were raised by someone who truly worshiped God or not. Concerning what the author of this article supposed when he said that apologists today just claimed that “things were different then,” I make this reply: God is the same in that His character never changes. The fact that God is the same God as He was when He killed the sons of Judah simply tells us that in His righteousness, He considered it the right thing to do regarding His own plan.
No, God does not reach down and stop wickedness at every turn but I do believe there are times He does when it is part of bringing about His own righteous plan. As Creator of all He has that right.
We will never understand everything about the Bible while we are in human form and if we could, we would be able to completely know the mind of God. However, knowing completely the mind of God would mean that we were able to contain within our own minds, what He contains within His. That is simply not possible.
But if the Bible were written in such a way that shielded things because they appeared unseemly, I would be suspect of its truthfulness. However, it is the very “lay-it-on-the-line” truthfulness so often picked at by people who willingly choose to deny God, that helps prove it was not written by men who wanted to scare people or convince people God was holy.
Rather, the Word of God needs to be explored and treasured for the vast, deep intelligence God has allowed us to plummet into as we seek to know Him. Can I understand the whole Word of God? If my mind could contain it all, I would not think it was from Him. But the simplicity of coming to know Him and His salvation despite our own limitations whether we are wealthy, extremely intelligent, slower-minded, healthy or weak, is made plain for all to see. Oh, and it is this too that speaks of the magnificence of God!
Today a young mother going through a divorce came to my home to get the furniture we were giving her. The furniture was in good shape except for one of the chairs that had been chewed on by a little dog we once had. She seemed a little sad. I had been told that she had nothing. At least the couch folded out into a bed and the two chairs that went with it were pretty and comfortable to sit in. My heart went out to her because I could remember when (just a few years ago) I was going through a divorce and I was left with almost nothing. My husband was able through trickery and a smart lawyer to divorce me, take things I had even before our marriage, while at the same time setting up housekeeping with the woman he moved into our home two days after I left.
While I was going through this, I was watching my father die from lung cancer. In fact, he died about two weeks after my husband filed for divorce. I learned a lot during that time when I had no home and two teenagers to support. Yes, I lost my home, my husband, the church I attended and finally my father but Jesus was there with me the whole time. He stayed with me. He comforted me. He kept me and my children together and He kept His hand on us.
And so I told this girl a little bit of what I had gone through and that my heart went out to her because I could remember when, only a few years before, I had nothing but God brought me through. He restored me, healed my broken heart and gave me a new husband. It took a few years for all that to happen. But it happened.
So, as I watched the sad girl drive away today, I thought of what happened to me and thought of the women in the jail that I would be going to minister to that night and I stood in my living room and thanked God. He had brought good from what Satan meant for evil and out of it had come a testimony.
I can honestly say that God took care of me through one of the most awful times of my life and I want those hurting women in the jail and the sad young lady going through the divorce to know that God will take care of them too. If they will allow Him into their hearts, He will show Himself faithful.
That's just the kind of God He is.