Tag Archive | Messiah

Bible time for Justin and Jacob

“I know the plans I have for you.”  GOD  

There is no one His equal.  He is love.  His compassion knows no boundary.  He has no boundaries known to man.  Except one…your will. 

He will not allow anyone to put Him in a box of any kind.  He will break out of it every time.

He was, He is and He will be involved in the lives of all mankind because He is the creator of all mankind.

All that He is, His power, His love, His majesty, causes anyone who is in His presence to come away filled with awe and wonder.  In His presence all fall on their face.  Pride crumbles.

He loves mankind so much that in His plan, knowing the past, present and future, He sent His Son, His own unique Son, into the world of men as a man.  He came as a man among men.  He displayed God to man.  He came to redeem, to buy back what had been given away by Adam, the initial created by God man, who made the decision not to trust God’s word.

God is love.  Love gives.

Jesus taught His disciples that God is a father, “Our Father who is in Heaven”.  In this dispensation we are the beneficiaries of the last will and testament of God’s son.  He is the mediator of this New Testament.  He came to Earth to showcase who God is. 

God is a Savior.  God is a healer.  God is a deliverer.  God is a provider.  God is a protector.

God is a God of order.  He is not causal or careless.  He is purposeful and intentional.  He is not haphazard.

Corrie ten Boom, author of the book, “The Hiding Place”, tells the story of God’s love for those who abused and murdered her family and the Jewish people.  The Word of God says, “What does it profit if you love those who love you, love your enemies and do good and pray for those who use you?”  Corrie had to forgive the guard, who before receiving Christ as his own personal Savior, had abused her sister Betsey.  She could only do so with God’s love.

Can you pray blessing on one who has “done you wrong”?  Pride can’t, pride won’t.    Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that the one you hate, the one who offended you, the one who stole from you…dies.  Flesh wants a pound of flesh. 

“Tit for tat, butter for fat, you steal my dog I’ll steal your cat.”

You are only a human being, you are not God.  Apart from His appropriated power you cannot forgive from your heart.  And only truly seeing your own “self” in the light of His love and then seeing your offender through the lens of God’s love, only then are you able to forgive.

“With God all things are possible.  Nothing is too hard for God.”  With you?  Not so much.

Most of your life is ahead of you.  The path in front of me is much shorter.  I am advising you to make the most of each day.  Choose to follow the path least travelled.  “Broad is the way that leads to destruction.”  Many people are walking there.  The surest way to reach your desired destination is to stay on the narrow path, keep focused on the goal.  God is calling you to walk with Jesus, led by His Holy Spirit.  If you do so, you will fulfill your destiny

Religion will keep you satisfied, just a normal, nominal Christian.  Keep drinking that Kool-aid and you will leave this world having made your mark on the world.  “He was a good person.”, they will say.  “Only God is good.”,  Jesus said.  

A Christian is a Christ One.  Christ is not Jesus second name.  Christ means the sent one.  Jesus is the one sent.  His name in Hebrew, the language of the people when He was on the Earth, means Savior.  Jesus Christ…sent one to save, that was who He was.  It was love that sent Jesus. 

Who He is now is King.  A king has a kingdom.  When you accepted Jesus as your Savior you were brought into the Kingdom of God.  You are now looked after, taken care of by King Jesus.  You have to learn the ways of The Kingdom.  The Word of God will teach you the way.

Someone once asked thus question.  “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  This is something you should consider.

A true Christian will touch the world around him with the love of God, he will impact the life of every one whose life he touches. You have influence. How do you choose to use it? 

Learn to love.   May what motivates you be the love of God.

My prayer is that when you stand before God, the Righteous Judge, there will be more than enough evidence written in the book of your life to hear these words… “Well done good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of your master.”  Amen!

Unity and Judgment

“The sword without and terror within.”  Attacks upon America and Israel from outside, from other nations;  Terror attacks within America by foreign nationals and Americans who have been radicalized by the forces that want a one world government.

George Washington had a vision of three wars on American soil.  The final war came from Europe, Asia and Africa and it appeared that all was lost.  BUT…Americans rose up and began to repel the attackers; afterwards she began to rebuild.  However, she was not the same.

Is that time now?  There is a time clock; it dwells in the mind of God.

A time is coming upon the world when the judgment of God will be fully unleashed against all who hate Him and His ways.  No one person or nation will be responsible for the carnage that results at that time.  God will lift His hand of protection over creation and the world of men, this will cause all manner of destruction to come; there will be no place to hide from the wrath of God.

Eventually, the God-haters will have their opportunity to “have it their way”.  The result of rebellion against God and His way will be judgment.  Not one person who is in alignment with God through the person of His Son Yeshua, the man Gentiles call Jesus, will be lost for eternity.  However, throughout time there will continue to be those who will be martyred for Him.

God promises no wrath for those who are truly His children; these have been grafted in to the vine, Israel, and are part of the One New Man.  The time of the One New Man is approaching.  God will do the combining of the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim.  Man will try to bring about unity between believing Gentiles and believing Jews; there will be a false unity just as surely as there is true unity.  Jesus prayed for unity and true unity will come, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:  Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”    Ezekiel 37:16, 19

Many years ago I heard the Lord my God say, “You are of the tribe of Joseph.”  I did not understand at that time what He meant.  I wondered if I was of Jewish heritage.  When I understood the Ezekiel passage above, I understood that he was saying that as a Gentile believer in the Jewish messiah, I was in Joseph.

Ephraim is the son of Joseph, the patriarch, his name means “fruitful”.  The history of Ephraim is not so good, in the same way church history reveals a lot of shameful things, but the church has been fruitful in bringing the Good News of the redeemer to the world and before history is finished she will fulfill her role in the plan of God.

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”                      I Thessalonians 5:9 

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”   John 17: 21

The Adversary will continue to pursue his ambition to take the place of Yahweh, God.  And, he will be allowed to take control of world government for a time, but only for a time.  God is now, has been and will always be on the throne and He will never be deposed.

“Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!”  Deuteronomy 32:25-33

“Void of counsel”, God says of a nation that has turned its back on God.  “How should one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them and the Lord had shut them up?”    Deuteronomy 32:30

There is but one God, no matter how many claim to be God, He is LORD and there is no other, Isaiah the prophet declared it and it is so!

“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it?  ye are even My witnesses.  Is there a God beside me?  yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8

Since all these things be true as recorded in the scripture, “what manner of men ought we to be living holy and godly lives?”    II Peter 3:11 

“So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”                                  I Corinthians 1:7

Let no one who reads these words be found wanting, having been weighed by God in the balances.  There is only one true measure that can balance sin and it is the sacrificial death and resurrection of the God Man, Jesus the Messiah of Israel.

Do you know Him?  If not, repent of your sin of rebellion and turn to God with all your heart and soul, He will redeem you through Jesus blood, the only sacrifice acceptable to God.  There is a mercy-seat, a place where you can come, a place where God will hear your penitent cry, forgive your sin and heal you. Don’t delay!

Praying that you will hear with the ears of your heart what Holy Spirit is saying today.

COME!

 

 

 

 

Secure in My Insecurity

Dear Friend,

Of late I have been pondering this matter of insecurity. It seems to me that women are particularly troubled with this problem, and I have seen it as a problem.

For a lot of years I have read and studied the Word of God and one thing I am certain of is scripture makes it plain that there is nothing that can occur in our lives that is beyond God’s love and ability to handle.

The Problem is not on His end, it is on ours. I have read many articles, listened to many tapes and heard many CD’s that should have settled the issue that all believers can rest secure in God’s love, pardon, care and keeping.

How many of us, myself included, have quoted this scripture: “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”, and this one: “If God be for me who can be against me?” Still, we feel insecure when the things of life assail us. What is going on here?

Many of my friends are in the Caleb generation along with me. You recall that Caleb came to Joshua when he was in his 80’s and said, “While we were on our way to the Promised Land, there was that issue of whether or not we were able to go in because there were giants in the land, I, along with you, gave Moses the good report that we were well able to do it because the Lord was with us. Well, you know how that turned out, but I am here today, 40 years later, and I am just as strong as I was then; I want the inheritance that I was promised. Moses said that I could have this mountain, give me what is mine.”

Caleb’s faith is like Abraham’s faith. They believed, they trusted in God, they leaned on Him and they relied upon Him and not themselves.

Recently this phrase has been coming to my mind: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Are we doing that? Or, are we being religious, are we like the lukewarm people that John spoke of in the book of Revelation; salt without saltiness only worth being thrown into the street?

For years many of us have been in the so-called “Faith Movement”, we are faith people. But are we? When “stuff” happens what do we do, what do we say?

Are we wearing our full armor? Those of us who call ourselves Christian wear the helmet of salvation, many of us have determined that is enough. Probably most of us have on the belt of truth. Some of us have on the shoes of the gospel of peace, but how many of us have on the breastplate of righteousness and know how to use the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit?

I once heard Myles Munroe teach on righteousness. He called righteousness “God’s way of doing and being right.” With that definition, it is my opinion, many of us are not living the life, but only giving lip service to it. Could this be the reason that when we are afflicted in some way we revert to living off our feelings, our emotions instead of living by faith?

We whine and cry, moan and groan about how unfair life is, as if in this fallen world we should escape the curse and live as if Heaven is on Earth. Jesus Himself said we would have trouble in this world and Paul added suffering to that. Are we prepared for this? Many believe it is coming soon.

Another aspect of this security/insecurity issue is gender. In the Bible I see that most of the focus is upon men, not women. Jesus 12 disciples were men, those closest to Him. I also see men in positions of authority in the Old Testament.

I am not saying that women have no place, nor that women cannot be gifted by God and used by God, but there is an order that if observed brings blessing. My own pastors are a wonderful example of the principle of God’s order. Pastor Sharon is called to lead the church, but her husband preaches and helps in the ministry all the while maintaining a business. There is a marvelous balance and order in the church because each of them knows their place.

Oh yes, I have heard the sermons and read the articles about women staying in their place as Paul taught in the Word, but contextually and culturally that argument doesn’t hold water.

I believe that God holds husbands responsible for everything pertaining to life and godliness in the family. The husband is to be the head of the house. That means the the one who has the final word. The wife is his helpmate, she is not a doormat, nor is she to “wear the pants” in the family.

In everything in life there are ditches on each side of the truth and it is easy to get off course. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who will bring us course correction, if we will listen.

We have only to look at the newspaper or listen to the news and we can see the breakdown in society because God’s order is not being observed.

In our society, with women’s rights, the lines are blurred. These days a female can do about anything a man can do and they do. It has not always been so and in most of the cultures in our world it is not so today.

During my time on planet earth I have seen women’s rights, equal rights, and every other kind of right pushed upon society. It seems to me that the issue of rights has pushed God out and invited in a “mess of trouble”. It looks to me like the world is headed for a confrontation with Almighty God and we know who will win that battle.

So, dear female friend, where do you find yourself in the big picture? Are you overcome by the circumstances? Are you just barely holding on to your sanity? Do you wonder where God is in this picture? Somebody moved, was it Him?

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” You go to church, you read the Bible, you ask Him for help and help does not seem to come, so what is wrong? You just don’t feel close to Him, you feel alone at times. What is the answer?

Could the answer be that we never had the fire of God from the start, we have been “religious”, we know how to do but we do not know how to be? Or could it be that we have grown lukewarm over the years and God is not “real” anymore. We have moved away or moved on and God does not follow the backslider, though He loves them.

Has God disappointed you? Would you admit that you have felt that way? What about the prayers, the request you made for help and you wonder if He heard you? Can we be honest and admit that life has not always been what we thought it should be. What is going on?

We may feel insecure because God does not fit the picture that we have painted of Him in our mind. We have tried to make the creator of the Universe fit into our brain, our thinking, our understanding. Could it be that our God is too small?

“Draw near to God.” Did you notice this is a command? “You” is understood as in, “You draw near to God.” What does that mean, how do you draw near to someone you cannot see, hear or feel? There is the crux of the matter. Seeing is not faith. You cannot draw near to God in Heaven in your human body, no man (human) can see God and live according to the scripture.

As a carnal man, a man who does not know God or His ways, I must come to God in Faith. Faith in God is receiving Him even though I cannot see Him. Even though I do not know Him, I must believe and receive Him by faith. I must choose to lean my entire being on someone I cannot see, hear or feel with my natural eyes, ears, mind or emotions. For some this is untenable.

You cannot come to the place of faith without conviction that you are a sinner and you need a Savior. No one comes to God who is secure in himself. No one is good enough, nor can anyone ever do enough to be able to stand before God and declare himself right with God. Only one man has ever done that, the man Jesus the Messiah of Israel.

Have you come to the cross where Jesus died for you? Do you realize that you must die to yourself in order to live for Him. Flesh is strong, self will take us down the wrong path, it is a path away from God. Choose God’s way of doing and being right that you may live now and in eternity in the Kingdom of God.

For several months last year I kept hearing the word focus. As I listened and studied that word, I realized that our focus determines our destination. If you don’t know where you are going you won’t get there. Focus is like putting an address into your GPS so you can get directions to where you are going.

When the trials, trouble, tests and tribulations of life assail us, we will miss hitting the mark unless our focus, our faith, is set upon the only one who can guide us through the storms of life, Jesus Christ the righteous. Let us turn from our beggarly self to Him; make Jesus your focus and He will guide you through whatever comes.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Though my feelings may shout loudly, “You are insecure.” The Word of God tells me when I am weak He is strong. I choose to focus upon Him; He is my God in whom I trust. I am secure in Him. it is enough. I trust you are the same.

Love in Him,
Joy

Identity Theft

Victory!

Victory!

Who are you?

When God looks at you what does He see?

How do you see yourself?

Does it matter how you feel, does it matter what you think?

I am reading a book by Brennan Manning called “Abba’s Child”. If you have not read it, may I strongly suggest that you do so.

Over the years I have read countless self-help books, books that offer counsel or suggestions. One that comes to mind is “Freedom of Forgiveness” by David Augsburger. The Holy Spirit is always on time with just the right tool, He truly is the “Helper”.

Some authors write books on a given subject because their publisher says that this is the “hot topic” at the moment. Others write out of their current experience and still others write because they have learned such a valuable truth from Holy Spirit that they are directed to share what He has taught them. I like all of them, but the latter type are the ones that “rock my world”.

Brennan Manning is an author that has found answers to many of the questions, thoughts and feelings that followers and disciples of Messiah face.

As I have been reading Abba’s Child, I have thought of many that could benefit from this book. How many of us have a perfectionist complex, a savior complex, to name just a couple of issues? The thing about all of the thoughts and feelings that beset us is, they all have a modicum of truth.

The adversary of God, our Father, and thus us, knows that we will not accept outright lies, but if he mixes a little truth with the lies we may just accept them.

Case in point: Tidiness. How many times in your life have you heard, “Cleanliness is next to godliness?” If you don’t keep a tidy house, accusation lives with you, especially if you have a friend that is a cleaning fanatic.

if you spend time watching a movie on TV (because you are exhausted) or talking with your neighbor (because your are building a relationship with her) instead of cleaning your house, you are bombarded with, “You’re lazy.” or “You procrastinate everything.”

Of course, if you go to the local soup kitchen and serve soup to the “down and outers”, with whom you cannot identify, you are doing a good thing and feel good about what you have done and your untidy house does not come to mind, what does come to mind is, “Why aren’t you doing more?”

You cannot win with the “Accuser”. Strife is his game and striving one of his favorite tools to keep you agitated.

What is the problem here? Is it not that you do not know who you are? Most of us have an identity problem. You can do all of the “good” things for yourself, your family, the neighbors, the poor, the sick, the incarcerated and still feel unworthy, useless, worthless.

Why are you here? Why now? Why at this moment in time are you on planet earth? Is there a purpose?

Why is it that all the good works in the world do not satisfy the gnawing in your soul, the dissatisfaction?

It is because of “Identity”.

Years ago there were no identity thieves. Have you talked to someone whose identity, meaning all of their money related things were stolen…credit and debit cards, drivers license, social security etc.? These things gain access to bank accounts and social security accounts. Scary, but not the real problem. Those that have experienced this use this word: “violated”. Identity thieves violate your identity.

There are more serious things than thieves who steal “stuff”. Stuff can be replaced.

What about the thieves that steal your heart, your soul? You cannot replace your heart or your soul, they are the only ones you have.

I had a friend whose soul was stolen because of low self-esteem. She has been put through the mill with programs and treatments and is no better. No matter what she is told about herself, she only sees that she is worthless, she can’t do anything right, she is a mess. Her true identity has been stolen.

There are many in the world whose heart has been stolen by the identity thief of religion, religion that subjugates them to the leader of their particular religion. They are told what to think, what to do, how to dress, even sometimes what to eat. Life is spent trying to be good, do good.

The law is not good news, it is a hard taskmaster; only the gospel is good news, only the gospel tells us that In Messiah we have been set free, free to be what God has created us to be.

Scripture says that when a thief is found out he must repay seven-fold. Sometimes, when it is your first offense, a judge will grant you leeway and give you much less penalty than you deserve. There is someone in my family that has experienced this very thing. The thing is…you now have to prove yourself; what if you are not changed, what if the very thing that got you arrested in the first place has not changed? Is there not the likelihood that you will be a repeat offender?

How often, in any given day, does God give us grace and mercy when we deserve judgment? How often do we take advantage of that graciousness, that love of our Father in Heaven and then continue to go our own way?

When Yahweh, God, looks at you who have believed on, trusted in and rely upon Yeshua, Jesus, He looks at you through the eyes of unconditional love. He sees you perfect…because you are “In Him”, a part of the Body of Yeshua on the earth. There is nothing you can do that would make Him love you more and nothing you have done that would make Him love you less. It is not about you. You are not the center, He is the center.

Where is your focus? What you gaze upon is what will possess your soul.

Do you know who you are, whose you are? If you know that you are “Beloved” because you are “In Him’ who is the beloved of His Father, then you know that as a child of God there is no condemnation for you.

The accuser has nothing in you when you know that the “Blood of Jesus” continually cleanses you of all sin and if you do sin you have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” When you confess your sin to God, through Jesus finished work for you, He forgives you and cleanses you of all sin.

If you have found that you have given authority to an identity thief, go to God and ask for forgiveness, He will forgive and cleanse you. You have a God given imagination, use it to see yourself free from the thief and right with your Father.

Jesus is coming back some day, it could be soon and it could be later, that is not up to us, our part is to be ready at any time so that event does not come upon us like a thief.

I don’t know about you, but I do not want any door, natural or spiritual open for the thief to come in and steal. Prepare friend!

Jesus and I love you,
Joy

Lady’s Song

She called herself Lady. I don’t know why. When I first noticed her she was standing at the counter. I was assigned the task of being a greeter that day and I welcomed her. My thought was that she looked pretty tough. I wondered about her story. Everyone has a story, you know. I was drawn to her, sensing that there was more to her than what the natural eye could see.

Today I met her again and this time I heard the story. She is an artist, a singer, song-writer and writer as well as a photographer by trade. But, she carries a calling and a burden for people of the street. Disposable people, throw away people is what most folks think they are. The misfits, the con-artists, those who are strung out on drugs or alcohol, people that “decent” people don’t want to think about, much less have anything to do with. Yet, here is a woman with a heart as big as all outdoors, who is literally doing everything that she can to help them along the path to wholeness.

Lady shared a story with me about a woman who was determined to do what she could about human trafficking. She had made contact with thirty churches and every one refused to help her. Somehow she got connected to Lady and was helped.

I heard a story long ago of a woman who came on hard times, she just needed a hand up, kind of to get past a rough spot in the road. She went to the church that her parents had attended. They had financed some major projects for the church, she was sure they would help her. They turned her down, saying that they could not help her or they would have to help everyone that came with their hand out. Needless to say, she wanted nothing to do with Christianity, if that was how it worked.

A short time ago I had a conversation with my eldest son, this happens infrequently so it was a pleasure that I cherish. We began talking about his business, some politics and ended up on spiritual matters. We came to agreement that in every area of our lives we must have balance, vision and passion. If you are not zealous for something you will do nothing. There is a saying, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” Truth!

Lady has a vision to help the lost souls on the street, but in the process she is allowing God to break her heart for what breaks His. This process is painful but necesssary, if you wish to be mightily used by God. Lady has received help from many in the church that I attend, even though she does not attend. I love the part of the Body of Messiah that I have been called to be a part of, I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing me to be here in this place, at this time!

Preparation is taking place everywhere. The Holy Spirit of God is making ready the Body of Messiah. Harvestime is upon us, a major, huge harvest will enter into the Kingdom of God soon, but not without a great shaking first. Now is the time to make sure you are in right standing with the Lord God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Today is the day of salvation. If you have not received God’s gift of the Savior, Jesus, why don’t you do so now. First you must realize that “all have sinned” there is not one human being that is not a sinner, not inherently good. Confess the fact that you are a sinner and you need a savior, ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord and you will be saved.

If you did that, welcome to the family of God! Begin to read the Bible, attend a Bible-believing church, talk to God, (we call it prayer) and get with people of like faith. The Spirit of God will help you grow up. You do not need to ever have a boring day again. Relationship with God does not have to be boring, it depends upon you. God loves adventures. Why don’t you start yours today?

Have a Blessed Day!

Joy

Jonah’s Story

Jonah felt like he was out-of-place from the beginning of his memory, the black sheep of the family. He grew up in a family of three boys; he was in the middle.  As sometimes happens, his older brother was a diligent hard-working leader type and baby brother was a comedian who kept everyone entertained with his jokes and keen wit.  Jonah was just in the middle with no particular skills, wit or drive to make him a stand-out, he was just Jonah, or so he thought.

Life has a way of going on and on, even when you want to say, “Stop the world, I want to get off.”  Jonah often felt like that recently, in fact he used alcohol to get some relief from the sense of worthlessness that he felt, even if it was only temporary relief.

I have seen low self-esteem, pride and rebellion reflected in many lives.  This seems to be more often the case in men than in women, and usually is because a person feels that they don’t fit in, or they feel worthless, or they feel that they are different.  I believe, this is the case with Jonah.

From the first days of his life Jonah was sweet-tempered with an easy smile.  He loved hugs and gave them freely.   He loved to play outside with his older brother and the neighbor boys.

He found his world an interesting place as a little boy, a bug or some other thing would  fascinate him; he would run in the house to his mother and ask her to, “Come and see what I found.”

When Jonah was five years old he prayed with his mother, asking Jesus to come into his heart.  The next day he told her that Jesus said that he would be a pastor when he grew up.  He denied this in later years, even telling his mother it was her idea.

As he grew, his interest in the world around him, and especially other people, also grew.  At school he had a hard time focusing on doing school work because of this.  He often day-dreamed and did not respond to any correction the teachers tried.  He often asked his mother if they could pray for children in his class or their parents.  God would answer those prayers.

School work was easy for Jonah, but he was not interested in school, most of the time he would follow his flights of fancy, neglecting his homework.  He still got decent grades, without really trying, yet he had the ability to be a straight A student.

When he graduated from high school, his parents wanted him to go to college, but he did not want to, choosing instead to get a job.  This lasted for about a year and at that point he decided he wanted to have a profession, so he applied to a tech school to learn carpentry.

It was at the school that he met his future wife.  She was learning to be an ultra-sound technician.  Her background was dissimilar in many ways to his, but as often happens, “opposites attract”.  The relationship was rocky from the start, but they seemed to be drawn together and it was not long before they were “in love” and wanting to be married.  She became pregnant shortly after that decision.

Mary got her degree from the tech school, but with a wife and a child on the way, Jonah could not continue.  He had to find a job.

At that time, finding a job was a challenge for someone without a college degree, and the only thing available was manual labor.  Another challenge for Jonah was finding a job in the small town they lived in.

Up to this time, Jonah did not give God much thought, but when times get hard and your back is up against the wall, you have little else to turn to and alcohol was only a temporary fix.

Jonah prayed and God provided a job.

The baby was born in the heat of summer.  He was a beautiful boy, so sweet.  He looked a lot like his mother, but with his dad’s disposition.  they named him Jesse.

For a time all seemed to go well, but time marches on and stuff happens.  There were four more children born, a different house purchased to accommodate the growing family.  The company Jonah was working for went out of business and a new job was begun.

At this point in Jonah’s life, he was addicted to cigarettes and alcohol to an increasing degree.  His marriage was shaky and he began to have health problems.  Jonah believed the lie that he was somehow less-than and in his pride, he would not admit that he was wrong and that he had made some bad life choices.

Some people have to hit rock bottom before they realize that the life they have chosen has left them bankrupt and they have no one to blame but themselves.  The Lord God, designed us for a relationship with Himself,  and He said:  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”, yet we serve many gods, not the least of which is our own self.

I wish I could tell you the end of Jonah’s story, but the jury is out.  The day will come when Jonah must make a decision, we all get there.  Jonah is called by God to be an under-shepherd, a high and precious calling, one which many have answered and been blessed.  Jonah has run from the call as hard and fast as he could.  Sinning and loving the sin he is in.  Yet miserable in the middle of it all, because God never takes back the call.

People often think that they have time to choose to live for God, but sometimes time runs out before they can make that choice.  Others just don’t make a decision and no decision is a decision…it is, No!

Joshua told Israel as they were preparing to enter into the land that God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”  It is a choice.

What about you friend, are you prepared to enter into eternity?  That is the promised land for every person who has chosen to receive Jesus as the promised Messiah, the lamb of God.  His blood, through His blood, is the only entrance into Heaven, and mental assent will not get you there…you must be born-again, born of the Spirit of God as Jesus said.

I write because I care, because I trust that someone needs to hear, to read, to see, and maybe that someone will turn around and leave their sinful life behind and run to the Lord, maybe that someone is you?

Prayerfully,

Joy