“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the darkness.” Nahum 1:7-8 NIV
God is good. He cares for his children and always listens when we cry out to him. Especially at the hands of wicked and evil people. That’s how he is. He always brings punishment on those who are evil, sinners. Eventually punishment will come. Nineveh was a very corrupt and worldly city. Their reputation preceded them. That is why God asked Jonah to prophecy the destruction he had for them. But Jonah said, no way, and ran the other way. God sent a big storm to follow him. God always knows what we are up to. You can not hide from God. When the people found out he was running from God, they had no choice but to get him out of the ship. They still cried out to God to forgive them for throwing him overboard. But the minute he was out of the ship the seas grew calm. God is powerful. They were stunned. Well we all know what happened next. After three days in the belly of a fish yelling at God he agreed to go to Nineveh. He had not wanted to go because he knew God to be merciful and loving. He new if he warned them they would cry out to God and he would stop from sending judgement. They were so wicked that he thought they should pay. Well the minute he agreed to go, poof, he was back on dry land. He headed to Nineveh and poured his heart out to them and all that God had told him. Well you know what happened? They cried out to God for forgiveness and turned from their wickedness. And he forgave them. Jonah knew it. He was so upset he went outside the city to sit and pout. “Just kill me, I knew you would do that, i’de be better off dead.” Well God let him sit there and fume for a little while, but God allowed a small plant to grow up beside him to shield his head from the scorching sun. The next morning a worm came munching on that plant and it died. Well now Jonah was real mad. But God asked him why he was so angry? You didn’t make that plant. It was just a plant so why should you care. You see that city is full of thousands of people that I made and loved. Some were good and some were bad. That is why I had to warn them. Even when we are evil sinners, God still cares about us. If you come to him and ask him to forgive you for the bad things you have done, even if they are really bad. If you are sorry for those sins he will forgive you.
Do you want to be on God’s side?
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
I have quoted this verse many times. But I never really understood the words till I heard someone preach on it. It meant so much more after I heard what each word was saying to me and I just had to share it. I hope it can bring some light to you too. Lately I have been praying earnestly for an awakening. Many people call themselves Christians, but are they Christ like? People who are not Christians are watching us. Unless they see us as different and special, why would they want to be one? If we live an ineffective life and are unsatisfied ourselves, what kind of example are we? God has shown me that so much more is involved than just praying for our country to be changed. So I decided that just as there are many Bible translations, that I need to update this previous writing. I have chosen to Amplify it. So I will elaborate. “If my people,” this at one time meant the Jewish nation. They were known as God’s people. He had special things for them, his special people. The promised land was a good and rich land where they would be free to worship God the way he wanted. Because they were his people they should want to spend time with him. Especially after all that they saw him doing for them. And in such mighty and awesome ways. We in America have been greatly blessed. We are free to serve our God however we want. Our founding fathers knew how important that would be. That is why the pilgrims come here. But we have not cared for this gift. “who are called by my name,” these were not just any people. These people had a calling on their lives. God doesn’t just call everyone. There are some who will never accept God. No matter who he is or what he does there is evil in this world that will always be there. He is not going to spend too much time on those who will never change. He has too many out there that he can reach, and who he will reach. They are a priority. He doesn’t expect others who aren’t Christians to pray. They are too proud and they don’t need or want any help. Many have made it clear that they don’t need, nor want God telling them what to do. They are their own God and serve themselves. But they also want us to be just like them. They do things that are sinful but since everyone’s doing it, it’s ok. We have gone with the crowd for so long. We can be filthy and not even see it. We have become complacent and lukewarm. We have gotten used to our sins and grown lazy. “will humble themselves and pray,” Get our minds off of ourselves and back on the God of the universe. The one who made us and knows us. The one who can help us. He knows what we need and he always wants the best for us. If we will just turn back to him, if we will see ourselves as God sees us. Totally ungrateful sinners. We are seeking our own pleasures not God. He has done so much for us and given us everything, even his beloved son. Just so we could be free from sin. One day he will ask us why we rejected him when he loved us so very much, but it will be too late. “and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,” we are an imperfect people. On our own we can do no good things. But we are called by him. He wants to help us. He wants us to seek him and want his ways. To help others and to see that their needs are met. We really need to want him in our lives. Because without him, all of him, we will never be satisfied and our world will keep falling. It’s already so bad that I want to hide in my room and never come out. It will only get worse. We need to turn away from sin for it to get better. “then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin.” To make an effort to sin no more. To obey his laws. If we make that effort he will forgive all our sins. See us as righteous before him. The people he died for and greatly loves. We need to change first if we want anything from him. “and I will heal their land.” This nation was at one time founded on the principles of God. We were a very blessed country. He did so much for us, but the sin of his people has brought us down. We are no longer that great and Godly country. Pride has taken over and we have rejected our first love. Younger generations have rejected the God of their parents. Serving themselves above all. They no longer need God. But our country is in deep trouble. So much violence and hatred. We need to wake up. Right now we need a cleaned up world and it needs to start with Christians. We can’t except non-Christians who don’t know him to help. This virus has been a wake up call and we better listen.
Do you want to see our land great again?
“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 NIV
Communion is a very serious matter. Not to be taken lightly. Back when Moses helped to free the Israelites from the oppression in Egypt he went through so much to see God’s power. Ten times they we’re almost freed but Pharaoh hardened his heart and God showed his power. Finally he struck down the first born throughout Egypt. The Israelites were to put blood on their door posts so that the angel of the Lord would pass over their homes while destroying the first born in all homes. Passover was celebrated regularly afterwards and what they had come through was remembered. Jesus is the ultimate Passover lamb. A pure and spotless lamb who went to his death so we could be free. When we were dying in our sins and not very lovely he loved us and died in our place. Every time we take communion we need to remember what one innocent man did just so we could be saved from sin and death. Are we doing all we can to say thank you for this selfless gift? Are we doing all we can to let others know of this gift? To be a Christian is such an amazing gift, we are saying I want to be like Christ. Each day we should look in the mirror and see that we are becoming more like Jesus. So many think that they just need to say the sinners prayer, and their insurance policy is set in place. They no longer need to do anything. That may get you thru the gates but abundance of life will not be theirs. You will always struggle to get by, and to be blessed coming and going takes a sacrifice of our own. Doing what he has asked and living life his way will open so many more doors to abundance and fulfillment. His ways are good because he is good. He only wants what is best for us, but he won’t make us do anything. It doesn’t matter how good it is. We have to want it bad enough to do what God asks of us.
Is communion just a snack to you?
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
It does not say to not get angry. We all naturally feel anger when someone is cruel, thoughtless or selfish. It says, when you are angry, do not sin. So being angry is not the sin. But what we do with that anger can be. Holding on to anger is like tying an anchor around you neck. It will only get heavier , dragging you down as long as you refuse to let it go. It really seems stupid if you think about it. I watched another movie the other night. I am sure you can see by now that I love to watch uplifting movies before I fall asleep at night. And I have had some really good nights of sleep lately. The people had some bad things happen to them that should have caused great bitterness , but instead they tried to find love and acceptance for the one who hurt them. Oh, it was not easy. One woman was shot by an attacker who became a very close friend. It turned his life around. Then when he was killed in an accident by someone who was mad at him his father had to learn how to forgive the man who killed his son. But in doing that he built a friendship with this man and his young daughter that was so special. Each person had to come to a place where they could see this anger was only hurting them and that it was giving the devil control. They had to make a decision to forgive. To forgive does not mean you forget, but gives you the peace to move forward. To think of someone with anger is the same thing to God as murder. It harms everyone involved. Anger and hate are wrong and they damage everyone. The devil loves it when we are angry because then he is in control. Whatever you do as long as it depends on you, be peaceable with all people. This is something Jesus said while he was alive and it is very good advice. The world we live in has enough hate and anger and we don’t need to add to it, we need to make this ugly world better and love, love freely. The attitude you hold onto does make a difference in yours and others happiness. Be a difference maker.
Do you need to forgive someone ?
“The reason why my father loves me is because I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and take it up again. This command I received from my father.” John 10:17&18 NIV
From the beginning they were there together. They knew all and had a plan to save all people and bring them back to themselves to live for eternity. What impresses me so much about this verse was that God put his son in control. Of course Jesus knew his father’s will but he also had final authority to make that decision himself. At any point he could have called for a hundred angels to come save him. So that they could not harm him. But he willingly laid down his life. He looked ahead to eternity and said, “they are worth it.” He kept that and the joy of his father in mind during everything. As he was being beaten and as he hung on the cross in great anguish we were on his mind. Family is so very important. I know as a parent my children came first, there wasn’t anything i wouldn’t do for them or their father. Well he looked at us that very same way and he knew that a perfect lamb had to be sacrificed for our sins for God to be able to be with us, his family forever. He was the only one who could do it. Not only did he go to his death willingly but he put up no objections or arguments. He forgave each and everyone who would do anything to bring about his death. As he hung there dying he saw the remorse and pain in the eyes of the criminal that hung next to him. He had done things worthy of death but he could also see his heart . He knew that he was sorry. He forgave him on the spot and promised him paradise. Even when he could have been thinking of himself he wasn’t. He was thinking of others. He knew they were all a part of God’s great plan. It was a perfect plan and each person’s actions were important to that plan. He saw the big picture. What it would mean to eternity. We see the small view. How could he do this? Why would his father want this? So much pain, hurting and suffering. But it was enough, it was brief compared to forever. I am so glad he made a way for me. A gift so precious that I will never take it for granted. I have so much respect and love for my savior. I get to know him more every day and I love him more and more.
Aren’t you glad for this gift, too?
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them, then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23 NIV
God is looking at the heart. What we truly are and think is deep inside of us. Where no one but God can see. We can come across one way on our outward positioning, but what’s in our hearts is the true person. God has called us to love all people better than ourselves. He has told us that whatever it takes, we should be at peace with all men. That’s tough! It takes a lot of patience to get along with even the best of people. It doesn’t take much to get under our skin. To rub us the wrong way. There is no way in and of ourselves. God has to open our eyes to the way he loves others. He loves with such passion no matter what someone looks or acts like. He looks deeper to the lonely scared child that just wants to be loved and accepted. This person is his. He wants us to be there for others. Brothers and sisters making it together. This is more important than offering things. Money, time, devotion come in second place to people. That is why he has called us to care for widows and orphans, sick and hungry, and those who can’t take care of themselves. We may be their only hope. God can do all things but he uses us. He has given us a privilege to be apart of his bigger plan. When he was on earth all manner of sick, both mental and physical, came to him, their only hope for help. They didn’t know if he could or would help but they had to try. And ,Jesus had compassion. He saw their very soul and every hurt they had and he loved them so. That is why he doesn’t like sin. Because they hurt his beloved children. Those that he greatly cares about. Things like adultery, murder, stealing. All commands affect others wellbeing or loving and honoring God. Love covers over every action. If we just love the way he tells us to do we will have it down. We can not change the way others act, try as we may. Their behavior is between them and God. But if we just take a deep breath and ask God for help we can be the best we can be. You never know how your actions will greatly affect others around you.
Will you see others through God’s eyes of compassion?
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.“ Acts 4:12 NIV
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is there any sweeter name? Do you know how important that name is? When Jesus freely offered up his life to pay for the sins we could never pay for, he did an awesome thing. God is perfect and if we want to spend time with him then we have to be perfect. He knows that is impossible though. Someone had to pay for those sins. In the days of Moses many perfect animals had to die so that God’s people could be forgiven. Every day sacrifices were made. But God wanted to see the heart attitude of his people change. The only perfect man who ever lived was God’s own son. He had to be willing to watch his only son being arrested for sins he didn’t commit, being beaten beyond recognition, then to be hung on a cross with hardened criminals till all life drained from his body. Jesus did that for each of us so that we could have eternal life. It was the only way. Not many parents could do that. Not only did he die but he went into hell for us. Bearing all the sins that would ever be committed. After three days God broke the suffering and brought him back to life. Death had been defeated for all those who would believe. But not just believe there is a God. Even Satan believes in God but does not respect him or obey him. We must believe that Jesus loved us so much that he willingly died for us. So we wouldn’t have to. After three days he did raise to life and wants to take away all of our sins. We are justified. That means that God sees you as perfect just as his son. He sees your sins no more after you have asked to be forgiven. Along with salvation you get the Holy Spirit. He helps us every day to follow God’s commands and live like we should. Whenever we need help he is a prayer away. He will hear everything you ask believing in the name of Jesus. That name opens doors and breaks down walls for us. It is the most powerful name you will ever hear. God loves his son so much and now he sits on a throne at the right hand of God. All honor is due him for all that he did. But do you know that he keeps interceding for his followers? He knows that Satan still runs things on this earth and that we need help. But did you know that God is still in control of our lives? Satan can not kill us only God knows when we will breathe our last breath. When we do we are assured that we will be with him in paradise forever.
Do you know Jesus personally?
“Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; for I am with you, declares the Lord. Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go completely unpunished. Jeremiah 46:28 NIV
God’s protection is always with us wherever we go. If you have been called by God and seek to follow the Lord, he is always with you. He will never leave you. Israel was God’s chosen people and they were known as a stubborn and obstinate people. They knew God and exactly what God wanted them to do. They still preferred to do things their way. The neglected God and sought god’s that they could see and touch. They were not really God’s though. We can also be the same way but we don’t actually make golden images, that we bow down to. We can however look to other things for our joy and satisfaction. Such as our children, our pets, our brand new car, our job, money and things that can take our attention off of God. Taking our time and attention away from him. Maybe you run to these things for the help you should seek God for. When you are in need he wants you to run to him, and cast all your cares on him for he cares for you. He is to be number one. When we sin he makes it known to you. You should come to God in complete repentance. When we sin it creates a wall between us. The longer we let it go, the larger that wall gets. God can not tolerate sin and at some point, even though we think we got away with it, sin will be punished. God let his chosen people get farther and farther away, but he then sent other countries to imprison them in bondage. Even in bondage he was looking out for them. He would punish for a time, but they were still his people. He loved them. He then would bring them home again and bless them. Although all may be in turmoil around us God is still with us. Do not grow tired of doing what is right either, because he blesses us also. It may seem like he’s not listening or watching us, oh but he is. He knows the true heart of his people and will bring about good as well as well deserved discipline.
Is there a wall between you and God?
“Do you not know that in a race that all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Revelations 22:12 NIV
Have you ever done something you were not proud of? I wish I could go back and change things. We all make mistakes. Maybe we said something that hurt someone. Done something that hurt others. When it’s done we feel bad. But God loves us even when we don’t love ourselves. If we come to him and ask forgiveness, he will forgive. That bad feeling will go and be replaced by peace. We don’t need to carry it anymore. His love can bring so much healing. What if you were gone tomorrow? You know tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We could have a massive heart attack, or a car accident. With the world spiraling out of our control, I see us as a big cage of rats going nuts. Is what we are doing really helping? What if Jesus came tonight to take his children home? We are in the end times and it could be any day. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Today may be our last day. If you knew it was your last day on earth, what would you do differently? When we stand before Jesus and he shows us everything we have ever done. Good and bad you should be ready. What will we say? That is when I don’t want regrets. At that point it’s to late to change our fate. I want to stand before him with a clean slate. He makes that possible. We can make sure he sees us in the light of his perfect son, in all his righteousness. Either we can be perfect, or we can live every day the best we can. Seeking God’s will in our lives first. Ask Gods help to good things of encouragement. Lord show me ways to help others. He has made me a good listener. I am very aware of the needs of others around me, and he lets me know what to do and say. If I can’t help I can find someone who can. He has given me the gift of writing. He gives me words to help others. He will show me just what they need to hear. It’s not me, it’s him helping me. The more I try to serve, the more he shows me to do. He will do the same for you. Every time we do something that we know is wrong, we need to come to him and ask for forgiveness. At the end of the day we need to look back over the day. What good did i do? What bad did I do? Keep the lines of communication open. Thank you Lord for this day. I am sorry for ….. You will sleep so much better with a clear heart. I have also seen a cage full of rats that were all snuggled up close to each other sound asleep. We all need to take care of each other. To love each other.
Will you be rewarded for your actions?