“If I regard sin and baseness in my heart [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], The Lord will not hear [me]” Ps 66:18 AMP
What is cherished sin? Cherished sin is any sin that lives inside of us that we know is there, yet we choose to keep it hidden. It is those deeds and actions that we choose to coddle and excuse from our life.
It is the kind of sin that hinders our prayers and our relationship with God.
“We know [according to your tradition] that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone fears God and does His will, He hears him.” John 9:31 Continue reading
“…we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, Who is the head of His body, the church”
Ephesians 4:15 NLT
“That I may walk in Your truth” Ps 86:1
What is truth? Well a Google search on “what is truth” returned 683,000,000 hits – so someone, or quite a few someone’s, out there knows what truth is. Or at least they are offering a definition of what truth might be. But are they offering us their truth? Is their truth true? Or is it my truth? Is my truth true? Just who’s truth is it and who and what makes it true? Now that’s a whole bunch of questions!
Since 683,000,000 Google hits would be a bit more time consuming that I am ready for… I will start at the beginning. What is truth?
How do we define truth? It’s simple to say that truth is something that is true. But does that really say what truth is? Continue reading
Who am I? What is my true identity? This world sees me as a woman, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, helper, widow, worker, speaker, author, neighbor, the list goes on. And while all of those are in fact true, I am so much more. You see, my Savior says that…
I am forgiven.
I am redeemed.
I am accepted.
I am blameless.
I am blessed.
I am adopted as God’s child.
I am marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit…
and so much more.
“What’s the big deal about not being born again; after all I’m a good person. It’s not like I’ve ever killed anyone. I’m not a bank robber. Sure I might cuss from time to time, but God knows that I don’t mean it. I know that I am going to Heaven.” I have heard this statement from many people over the years. My response is usually… Really? Are you absolutely positive?
In John 3, we read about the interaction of Nicodemus, a religious leader, most likely a member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling council) and Jesus. Nicodemus sought out Jesus in the cover of darkness without other members of the Sanhedrin to learn from the man named Jesus. He needed to determine fact from rumor about Jesus. Though Nicodemus was a learned man, he still had questions. He wanted to know more and he knew that Jesus had the answers.
“Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him” John 12:27
During His three-year ministry on this earth, Jesus had performed so many miracles, signs and wonders as witnessed sometimes by a few and other times thousands, yet the people wouldn’t, or couldn’t, believe in Him as the Messiah – the Son of God.
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John there are over 30 miracles documented. Yet, despite the eye-witness evidence of the lame raised up able to walk, the eyes of the blind opened to see, the lepers healed, the 5000 fed from 5 loaves and 2 fish, the dead raised to life, demons cast out at the mere sight of Him, enabling the mute to speak, turning water into wine, healing at the simple touch of His robe, life-long paralytics restored to complete health, house servants healed by only the words of His mouth, raging storms on the sea clamed by His command, and walking on water just to name a few, and let’s not forget His resurrection from the dead as witnessed by hundreds. Yet, despite all of the evidence, so many people in Jesus’ time would not believe either during His earthly ministry or after His resurrection.
Perhaps some had only heard about the miracles and did not witness them personally. With a skeptical mind, they could not, or would not, believe in what they didn’t see first hand. Perhaps they thought someone was exaggerating the event. Continue reading
Who is Jesus? That is a question that has been asked for centuries. There are many different answers, depending on who you ask.
Here are 15 “answers” to the question of “Who is Jesus?” taken from the “Christianity Cults & Religion” – a Rose Publishing publication by Dr. Robert Jeffress – Pathway to Victory.
I don’t know that there is a more divisive topic out there than the topic of Heaven and Eternal Life vs. Hell and Eternal Damnation. Typically it begins with the question- “What do you mean I might not go to Heaven, I’m a good person!!!!” I know that this has caused more than one conversation to go sideways around here.
Before we begin, let me make this perfectly clear – I am NOT a theologian. What I am writing here is a culmination of information gained while studying and researching some of the finest Christian minds and writers. Links to their articles will be added to the end of this post.
So… shall we dig in?
There are several questions that I want to unpack today.
- Is Heaven real?
- Is Hell real?
- Why only Christians go to Heaven?
- How can being good send me to Hell?
There are dozens more, and perhaps I’ll write more about this topic another time, but for now I think this is the basics.
Ask yourself this… If God appeared to you and asked, “Why should I let you into heaven?” How would you answer? If you’re like most people, you answer might run something along these lines:
“I’ve always tried to…”
“I do my best…”
There is a battle that has been raging since the beginning of time. It is the battle for the soul of the believer. The battle for your eternity first played out in the Garden. With all that there was available to them as true gifts from God, Adam and Eve chose to give in to the enemy. It was a conscience and free choice that they made. They knew the truth, yet chose to abandon the truth in an attempt to gain more than what they had… which was EVERYTHING.
This battle has not changed much over the thousands of years. Know this and understand it well… IF you are a believer, there is an enemy whose sole mission is to destroy you. He doesn’t’ want to physically kill you. He wants to destroy your eternity.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
How will he (satan) do this? Lies. He will convince you that God’s words are not true, that God is not good, that sin has no consequence, that you are not good enough or the best yet… that you can be god! Continue reading
Written in collaboration with Michael Sullivan
“The Cross splits the world. Either you look at it and think – that’s pathetic or you look at it and you think – that’s powerful. If you think it’s pathetic, Paul says you are perishing. But if you think it’s the ‘Power of God’, you are being saved. But it’s one or the other” ~ Billy Graham
“Our faith must begin and end at the Cross. The trouble is that many Christians have bypassed the Cross and are trying to be moral by their willpower and self-effort rather than trusting in the indwelling power of Christ to transform them (Galatians 3:3) But if we attempt to build our spiritual life by any other foundation than Christ crucified, we are doing so by our natural strength.”[i]
“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:3 (NIV)
“’We preach Christ crucified.’ This is the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a picture of blood flowing from Christ’s veins as He hung on the cross. The message of shed blood is repugnant to many, and they turn from such a gory sight, feeling that their delicate sensibilities have been outraged. Many people will accept Christ’s character, but they reject His crucifixion.”[ii]
“For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
The Truth of the Cross is that God Himself offered salvation by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as atonement for our sins. This atonement, a free gift, provides each of us the single path to eternal salvation.