The Last Call

Have you ever taken a train trip before? When you are in the station, you wait for your train to be called so that you can board. After it has been announced a few times, then you hear, “Last call for Train #35 going to Torino.” That last call means that if you are in the station, you have a very short time to get on board before the train leaves. There will be no other notice that the train is leaving. You will hear the air brakes release and then the wheels begin to roll. If you are not on board, it leaves without you.

I look around at our world today and I believe we are hearing “The Last Call.” Everywhere I look there is violence, war, pestilence, plagues (including Covid), and disintegration of societies. I do not see our world moving in a positive direction. I cannot imagine that man, after all he has done to mess up this world, is going to make it a better place. Those that believe that man is capable of creating “an ideal society” are sorely disillusioned. Believe me, if man could have done it, it would have happened a long time ago.

Jesus talked about a time like this on the earth. He said, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.” Luke 21: 10-11.

Surely, anyone who is listening and looking around can hear the announcement: “We are nearing the end of the age as we know it. It is time to answer the call. Jesus is coming soon for his people. Turn to Him before it is too late.”

Have you heard the call? Are you just waiting for another and then another announcement, unaware that soon there will be no more and it will be too late to get on board? I hope not because surely what comes next is not going to be pleasant and no one wants to be around for the final act.

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say ‘peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 2-3

Please, I beg you, answer the call before it is too late!

Where the Bodies Are Buried

Have you ever started a new job and the person taking you around said, “Let me show you where all the bodies are buried.”? You know that what they mean is, “Here’s where the dead files are” or “Here is where the office secrets are kept.” In the case of the lab where I worked in my early twenties, there really was a place where the bodies were (down the hall and to the right).

When you travel to various cities, they also have places where the bodies are buried. Some have beautiful cemeteries and others have famous catacombs such as Rome and Paris. Those places can be quite eerie to walk through but that is literally where the bodies are buried.

When it comes to matters of religion, many religions can point to where the body of their leader is buried. Other sects that began in the distant past can only imagine where the body of their founder may be.

But for Christians, we cannot show you a place where the body of Jesus is buried. You see, He is not laying in any grave on this earth. He died and three days later he arose from the dead. This is a documented historical fact. When the women came to take care of his body after he had died, an angel said, “He is not here, He is risen.”

We can, however, show you where the bodies of certain saints are buried and where we believe others have been interred, but The Body…No. So the next time someone says to you, “Let me show you where the bodies are buried,” remember Jesus, the One Person who cannot be found in a grave and take hope.

Image by Pete Linforth. Courtesy of Pixabay.

No Substitutes

Have you ever made a recipe and it said, “No substitutes?” Then you know that you have to have the real “thing” or ingredient to make the dish come out right. It’s that way with life, there really are “no substitutes” for having Jesus in your life.

Recently, I have been going through a difficult experience. If it wasn’t for the Lord, I don’t think I would have made it through. What about you? Are you going through a difficult experience? What are you relying on to make it through…drugs, alcohol, or something else to help you cope? If so, why not give Jesus a try? Just call out to Him and He will be there to help you!

He is The Good Shepherd – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.John 10:11

What more can you ask for? God Incarnate became a man who came to earth to lay down his life for all of us. He will always be there to provide for you, to lead and guide you, to heal and help you and to see you safely home.

In whatever situation you are going through, there is Someone who is waiting to walk through it with you; to help you in a way that no other person can. He will be with you every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

HE is there beside you, waiting to be asked into your difficult situation so that HE can be your provision. Why not give HIM a try? There really are no other substitutes for HIM and the help HE can give you!

Image by Jeff Jacobs. Courtesy of Pixabay.

Christmas Gift

The first Christmas I spent with my Dad and second Mom, she greeted me with “Christmas Gift.” It was a tradition in her family that this was the first greeting you gave a person on Christmas morning. I didn’t know what to think of it at first, but after spending a few moments thinking about the greeting; yes, I got it.

Jesus is and was the Christmas Gift. He is the one we celebrate today. What a Gift He is to the world and what wonderful gifts He brought with Him. Gifts like Peace, Love, Joy, Forgiveness, Eternal Life, Healing, Restoration and Renewal. 

And just like two thousand years ago, we need Him as much or more than the people of His generation. Our world is just as lost and broken as it was then. Thinking about how He came as a baby in a manger touches my heart. Even then, He came in a way that anyone could relate to. He broke societal barriers then and He is still breaking them today.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done, or where you have come from: He is your Gift. All you have to do is reach out for Him. He is there waiting for you to ask Him into your heart and make you a new person. 

He is truly the “Christmas Gift.”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3: 16

Image by Cheryl Holt. Courtesy of Pixabay

Angels Announced His Birth

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“For unto us a child is born,

unto us a son is given,

and the government shall be upon his shoulder;

and his name shall be called Wonderful,

Counselor,

The Mighty God,

The Everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it,

and to establish it with justice and with righteousness

from henceforth even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)

 

Lord Jesus, as we reflect on Your First Advent, we await Your Second Advent when You shall truly bring peace to the earth and the restoration of all things. Amen

 

BLESSINGS OF THE SEASON TO ALL!!!

 

Image by Thomas B. Courtesy of Pixabay.

He is Risen!

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“And Behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became as dead men. 

But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen.”  Matthew 28:  2-6

The Crux of Christianity

christ-of-saint-john-of-the-cross[1]                                                                                 Painting by Salvador Dali.

Today begins Holy Week, the most sacred week in Christianity, the week that Christians remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. So what is Christianity about, what do Christians believe?

1. Christians believe that man is lost in sin. He cannot by his own merits enter heaven when he dies. (For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23)

2. God in his mercy sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us and pay the penalty for our sin. (For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16)

3. That if we come to God and confess our sins, He will forgive them. (If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9)

4. That we must be born again. (Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3)

5. We must ask God for this new life and that He will give us the gift of His Holy Spirit. (And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins ;and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”)

6. It is a free gift for all who will ask Him. (For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9)

This week, especially, we think of Jesus and we meditate on the price He paid for our sins. We are thankful for what He did for us and that is why Friday is called Good Friday; his death on the cross was good for the world. Sunday, the day known as Easter Sunday, is the day He rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. We can live in victory and hope because of his victory over death, hell and the grave. This is the crux of Christianity.

May you all have a blessed Holy Week!

Angels Announced His Birth

christ-898330_640

 

“For unto us a child is born,

unto us a son is given,

and the government shall be upon his shoulder;

and his name shall be called Wonderful,

Counselor,

The Mighty God,

The Everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it,

and to establish it with justice and with righteousness

from henceforth even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)

 

Lord Jesus, as we reflect on Your First Advent, we await Your Second Advent when You shall truly bring peace to the earth and the restoration of all things. Amen

 

BLESSINGS OF THE SEASON TO ALL!!!

 

Image by Thomas B. Courtesy of Pixabay.

When Did Jesus Become A Dirty Word?

pexels-photo-415589.jpegRecently, I was asked to pray a prayer of blessing before the meal at a public gathering. I was cautioned, “Don’t use the name of Jesus.” So okay, I will certainly respect the wishes of whoever asked me, but later I thought, “When did the name of Jesus become a dirty word?”

I’m not really sure when, but sometime in the recent past, it was decided that it is not politically correct to use the name of Jesus. But why? Who is going to be offended? Maybe an atheist…but an atheist would have been offended at the first line, “Dear God.” So it must not be the atheists of the world.

Having taken a class entitled “The Great Religions of the World,” I knew that Muslims regard Jesus as a Prophet, so it wouldn’t be offensive to them. Buddhists regard Jesus as an Enlightened Being, so it wouldn’t be them. Hindus regard him as an Ascendant Master, so I don’t think I would be offending them. Those that follow Judaism know that Jesus was a Hebrew who believed in the Torah. So who would be offended?

I couldn’t figure it out. I would certainly mean no offence if I mentioned the name of Jesus and I am certainly not trying to cram him down anyone’s throat. Jesus himself was never one for trying to convert the masses of the world. He gave several stern warnings about the price you would pay if you decided to followed him. It was never an easy Christianity you are being called to if you decide to follow him.

I never did come up with an answer. But as a believer in Jesus the Christ; I must say I am not ashamed of his name. He is my ideal and the one I must strive to be like. I must also tell you that as his follower, I fail daily. I am sure many times I have not been the person he has called me to be. But that doesn’t diminish Him, only me.