Living For God

A Biblical Response To Refugees Among Us

There is a more eternally weighty thing for us to consider than if our government should freeze travel from dangerous countries. That decision is not our own to carry, but that of our leaders.  However, God does make clear in the Bible there is a personal responsibility which rests on our own shoulders for caring for foreigners currently in our midst.  


How does God expect those who worship Him to treat the foreigner already living among them?

God gave Israel as a light to the nations, to show the world what God expects and what is right. God also blesses us today with Bibles which He expects us to study and learn from.  Here are some of the commands about the care of refugees or foreigners in our midst that we find in the Bible:

“The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:34

“Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.” Leviticus 25:35

“When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 23:22

 “When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.” Deuteronomy 24:19-21

“When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.'” Deuteronomy 26:12-13

Wait, so we’re supposed to love them like OURSELVES? And Sustain Them?? And share the income from our business with them to be sure they are fed? Oh my. How are you doing friend? I don’t care what political party you affiliate with, people living in the US need to improve their treatment of those we have invited to shelter among us. Maybe all this hullabaloo over travel will prove beneficial, if all of us learn to be more compassionate and become intentional about sharing our excess with refugees. (I’m guessing you’d like more than one plate, fork, and seat per person in your home, which is what New Americans arrive to find.)

Love the refugees who are already here. Today they are terrified. Afraid because of irresponsible media reports, but also afraid because they don’t know what this new president that everyone seems to hate for one reason or another will really prove capable of doing that will have a direct impact on them. Remember, they have come from traumatic situations which often included corrupt government. That is not what Trump is, but with all the craze right now, they don’t know that! Be responsible and avoid rhetoric!

Befriend refugees in your community. Set their minds at ease as much as possible. Encourage them that it’s going to be OK. Help them learn to find employment. Help them learn English. Teach them how to ride the bus. Help them shop for a car. When you see a need, try to fill it if you are able. Be a friend.DSC_0250

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Living For God

The Only God Who Ever Was and Ever Will Be!

The Biblical God is the ONLY GOD who was or will be. Anywhere. Ever. Don’t believe anyone, no matter who they are, who tells you otherwise. 

God Himself has much to say on this issue in His Word, the Bible. Let’s let Him speak for Himself, and then let’s choose to take Him at His word!

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel

and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

‘I am the first and I am the last;

besides me there is no god.

Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.

Let him declare and set it before me,

since I appointed an ancient people.

Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.

Fear not, nor be afraid;

have I not told you from of old and declared it?

And you are my witnesses!

Is there a God besides me?

There is no Rock; I know not any.’” Isaiah 44:6-8

“For you are great and do wondrous things;

you alone are God.” Psalm 86:10

You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” Nehemiah 9:6

“There is none like you, O Lord, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” 1 Chronicles 17:20

“That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.” 1 Kings 8:60

“For who is God, but the Lord?

And who is a rock, except our God?” Psalm 18:31

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22

“I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.” Isaiah 43:11

“’Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel

(which means, God with us).” Matthew 1:23

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1,14

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘an idol has no real existence,’ and that ‘there is no God but one.’ For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:4-6

 “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6

We clearly see in these, as well as many other passages of the Bible, that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD!  And there will never be another!  What a delight it will be to worship God for all eternity!  

The Bible tells us that if we don’t choose to worship God in this life, He will not force us to worship Him for all eternity, but rather will remove us from His presence and thus the presence of all things good.  Jesus spoke more of Hell than Heaven.  It’s a real place of judgement and suffering and it is where all  mankind is heading, deservedly so, because we are sinners removed from this One Pure, Holy God by our sinfulness.  But this One True God loves us so much, that He came in the likeness of man (not his normal state) to pay for our sins on the cross.  

What an unfathomable free gift He has given all all who would accept!  But we must choose to receive this undeserved mercy in this life, as the gift expires at the time of our death.  Will you accept this free salvation, making Jesus Lord and Savior of your life?  Making Him Lord means to serve Him fully. Making Him Savior means you know He and He alone paid for the sins you could not pay for.  You can be in Heaven for all eternity, but only because of His completed work at the cross, on your behalf!  

What a gracious, merciful God!  And what a delight to serve, honor and glorify Him and Him alone forevermore!

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10 


Bible Study, Living For God

Developing A Doctrine of Suffering

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”   Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

As I was reading though Matthew yesterday, I was struck by the words, “the way is HARD that leads to life”.  I have read this passage so many times, but have always thought of this as more a description of how hard it is for many people to locate the only path that leads to life – Jesus!  While this is still entirely true, another truth from this passage jumped out at me. 

The Christian life is hard.

People should not choose Jesus as their Savior with the hope that they will suddenly have it easy; quite the opposite.  Making Jesus Lord of your life is likely to create a more difficult path to walk over the rest of your earthly existence.  

Consider with me Job.  In Job 1:8 we are told that Job was a wonderful picture of faithfulness to God.  “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?’”  Now granted, things had gone extremely well in his life to this point, but as we read the book of Job and observe all the intense suffering Job was subjected to, it must inform our understanding of our Creator. 

Simply put, as followers of God our life on earth is ultimately for His glory, exaltation, and purpose. 

There is no way Job could have understood the purpose of his pain, both emotional and physical.  We can begin to see God’s greater plan in retrospect, but to Job it must have been a very dark time.  And yet he held tight to the Lord, and chose righteousness over sinfulness even in his suffering.  God declared that in all his suffering Job did not sin.  Job did end up questioning God, however (truly which of us wouldn’t have) and God’s response was explaining to Job His greatness, power, mastery of everything, and purpose in  our lives.  At the end of Job, God leaves no room for doubt; He is mighty, and His plans and purposes are always right.  Even in the suffering; even when we don’t get it.  What matters is that HE gets it, He has a plan.  God in His foreknowledge is choosing a way that will bring more glory and honor to Him, the one who is worthy of all praise, honor and adoration both now, and forevermore!

Jump several thousand years ahead, to the life of God’s one and only begotten son Jesus.  Think of the suffering he endured on behalf of those He came to seek and save, and you see that God does not avoid pain when it will bring greater good, even when it causes Himself pain.  The pain of the Father, knowing the suffering Jesus was enduring, had to be excruciating!  But Scripture tells us that Jesus was fully God, so in a very real sense, God Himself endured unimaginable personal pain, suffering, and torment in our place.  The Bible tells us that He scorned the cross, yet silently endured its suffering for the glory set before Him.  He could see the glorification that would come to Him.  He wanted us with Him in Heaven eternally, and He desired to be glorified in a greater way than could have come without the grief of the cross.

suffering is not a way but the way of the cross

Jesus tells us if He our Savior and Master suffered we can expect the same!  “Remember the word that I said to you:  ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”   John 15:20 ESV 

The book of Acts tells us the early church leaders were , “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22 ESV

Suffering is a fact of our Christian walk.  Praising Jesus with our lives leads to tests, trials, and the proving of our faith.  I believe we will see this increasingly as the day of Jesus’ return nears.  Satan and his demons know the prophecies of Scripture, and suffering will likely intensify.  This is not supposition, but is based on data that increasing millions of Christians are being persecuted and even dying for their faith in Jesus in our day.  We have been cushioned from this in western culture, but our eyes are being opened.  We are waking up.  Part of the reality of being a servant of the Living God is to know persecution.  If we, even in the west, do not experience at the very least opposition to our public pronouncement of faith, perhaps we are not doing this Christian life right.

Several years ago I heard an amazing believer who serves the Lord in a country which is closed to the gospel of Jesus say the church needed to develop a doctrine of suffering.  This believer knows what it means to count the cost.  They realize when they share the good news of Jesus with those they meet, it may well mean that person dies for their faith in short order.  They know that the Good News of Jesus in no way means ease in this life, but rather ease in the next!  The Bible teaches repeatedly that in this life we should expect to suffer for Jesus, but that suffering here on earth will bring eternal honor and glory to God, and what’s more, it will bring great eternal rewards to the suffering believer! 

I have heard this life described as an almost imperceptible dot on a ray which continues eternally.  If we choose fellowship with Jesus and choose to stand for Him here, in the dot of life on earth, the eternal unending length of time in Heaven will be more glorious and we will enjoy far more rewards and be forever with Jesus!  If, however, we shirk at the thought of suffering, and choose the easy path of self-centeredness, rather than Christ-centeredness here on earth, refusing to worship Jesus as Lord, we will suffer immensely more in Hell eternally! (Fire, torment, eternal separation from God, no relief or comfort…..) 

Really, if we have an accurate big picture of life after death, the suffering in this life for faithfulness to Jesus is by far the lesser of the two choices.  But there is still suffering involved and it is important to realize that we must count the cost today, in this life.

When trials of all shapes and sizes come – and they will – will our response be one of worshiping Jesus even in the pain?  Will we keep our eyes firmly focused on the author and perfecter of our faith?  Will we focus on the prize set before us in Heaven?  Will we remember the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us and are cheering us on from Heaven?  Will we remember the many here on earth who watch to see if our faith will be shaken, and are watching to see if we will cling tightly to our Creator, regardless of our circumstances?

We must support and encourage those we know who are enduring intense suffering and persecution.  We must point them back to Jesus, the one who promises to never leave them or forsake them.   We must remember to faithfully lift up the persecuted church in prayer, both those we know, and the many silent sufferers worldwide.

We are in a spiritual battle!  Prayer and the Word of God are our 2 most powerful weapons.  Let’s be persistent warriors praying fervently and lets faithfully encourage one another with Scripture!  And when Jesus returns for His church, may He indeed find faith on the earth, and may He find it in you and I.

Living For God

Peace and Truth

The Bible tells us to be peaceful, but isn’t it just like people to catch only part of the message?

 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Romans 12:18

While the Bible clearly calls Christians to be men and women of peace, it also insists that we be people of truth.  Parts of the church today are embracing heretical teachings in the name of inclusiveness, and peace.  To do so is definitely to miss the mark!
Many times it is easier to not address blatantly errant teachings, because we think by doing so we are being peaceful.  I believe many people in church leadership with good intentions have chosen to not deal head on with wrongdoing in the church, for this very reason.
Allow me to pose a question.  Does avoiding the truth really bring peace?
It is my observation that when people in authority refuse to tackle tough issues and disallow false teaching, tragic things begin to happen.  Rather than addressing it in a more administrative and hopefully private setting, before long, it becomes visible to the body of believers.  Many Christians are students of the Bible, and know falsehood when they see it.  They discern error, and themselves attempt to address it.  It can snowball and become a situation that is far more public, and thus less peaceful, than if the spiritual leaders faced it at the start.
Add to this the fact that by not addressing heresy head on, weaker, less Biblically sound believers can be led astray.  This is a terrible thing!  The ensuing chaos in the lives of people who are living in ways the Bible says not to, based on teaching they have received in the church is anything but peaceful.

Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.  Mark 9:50

But most of us are not in positions of influence in the church.  We are lay people.  We serve when we see a need, we love the Lord.  We desire Godliness.  When sin, falsehood, and things that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt are wicked are allowed to flourish in the church, what are we personally to do?
1 Peter 3:11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
As Christians we are to look and act differently. We are to live holy lives. Not perfect, but intentional living, striving to mimic our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I propose that we are to be people of the Word.  We are to study the Bible with intention and joy, and attempt to line ourselves up with it.  We are to prayerfully discern whether God is calling us to step up to the plate and speak truth into a sinful situation.  We are to confront, when necessary, using the scriptural directives of how this should be done.
Be salt and light to those around us, even other believers.
Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.  Mark 9:50
Notice here that we are to be salty, while remaining peaceful. It’s not either, or, it’s both!  Remember my observations that leadership sweeping sin and heresy under the rug, or at least allowing it to continue, actually causes chaos, rather than the initially perceived “peace”?  This is true for all Christians, not just church leadership and we all need to be aware of the dangers of denial.  These dangers should make us willing to stand against false teaching when God calls us to do so!
Grasp this: Truth, in love, brings peace.  False teaching brings destruction, both in this life, and possibly the next.  Falsehood  does not promote peace.
We need to guard our own saltiness.  Do we stand for truth?  Do we declare it even when those who don’t want to hear God’s word declared, say we are unaccepting, argumentative, too fundamental, or divisive?

Romans 12:9  Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
Be respectful and gentle when God does lead you to confront.  Never do so without prayer!  Lots of it!  Never go into battle without checking with God first on the battle plan.
We can and must be loving and peaceful in confrontation, but we can not be these things at the expense of truth.  If we know of false teaching in the church and choose not to speak truth, God will hold us accountable.  “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
Is this easy?  No.  But then, most of what God calls us to is not easy.  It is, however, good.
Let me say that there are many issues in the church that I would classify as non-essentials.  I am not talking about those points.  There is room for disagreement by people of the Word on numerous issues.  But there is no room for discussion on points of salvation.  There is no room for discussion on whether the Bible is true.  The Bible is absolutely 100% God’s word and is to be upheld.  End of story.  Believers need to be willing to fight for it.  It is fundamental to our faith.  We are saved by faith.
Praying He will guide you in all truth!
Annette Welburn
Bible Study, Living For God

God Foretold Our Days Thousands of Years Ago!

Thousands of years ago God foretold what it would be like in the end days. Read these end time prophecies below and see if it doesn’t sound like the world we live in!

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12:4

Matthew 24:3-14, “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.”

Luke 21:10-11, “Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.”

Luke 21:25-28, “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.’”

Luke 18:8, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

For those who see the foreknowledge of God but don’t know the difference between Hollywood’s false apocalyptic tales and Biblical prophecy, let me encourage you. While great trouble is coming, we do not need to presently fear the end of the world for at least another 1,000 years. The earth being destroyed is not possible, based on Biblical prophecy, although Scripture does tell us it will happen after the thousand year reign of Christ on the Earth, which will come after the 7 year Great Tribulation. While we do not need to worry about the earth vanishing in our day, it is entirely possible, based on Biblical prophecy, that in our life times the Lord will return and suddenly take all who worship the true Biblical Jesus from the earth, causing what I am sure will be chaos and devastation for those who remain.

At some point after this “rapture” of Jesus worshipers, a global ruler will emerge who will make a seemingly good treaty with Israel, but he will turn on them horrifically. God will protect and feed all of Israel who flee to the mountain town He has prepared for them. Many believe the location will be Petra. The way that Israel will know they must flee to the mountains is when the temple is desecrated by the anti-Christ, the global ruler. during the Tribulation. (Matthew 24:15-22, and Daniel 11:31)

At this time, the Anti-Christ will be enraged but being unable to attack the Jews, he will come after the new Christians on earth who have come to faith by listening to the prophets of God who have been traveling the earth, sharing the hope found only in Jesus. Everyone on earth who refuses to worship the ruling Anti-Christ, taking mark of the Beast, which will be placed on foreheads or hands and will be required to purchase anything, will be beheaded. If you are living during this time, Never Take The Mark Of The Beast! Many theorize this will be a microchip purchasing system. Whatever it is, it will be far better to die of starvation or beheading than accept the mark of the Beast and worship Satan!  

While the Anti-Christ will be killing those who name the name of Jesus as Savior and Lord, it will be far better for those who are killed quickly during this 3 ½ year period of time, than it will be for those following and worshiping the Beast (Anti-Christ), as God will also be pouring out his wrath on the earth. During the great 7 year tribulation, which ends with these 3 ½ years, God will also be sending torment and terrible woes on the earth. You do not want to be here for God’s wrath and judgement! You can read about God’s judgements and the entire 7 year period of tribulation in Revelation 4-22. It would be far better to worship God, lose your earthly life and gain an eternity with God in Heaven, in peace, joy, and comfort, than it would be to serve the Beast and suffer excruciatingly on earth, only to go to eternal judgement in Hell for denying Jesus as Lord.

But back to the prophecies we are seeing play out today.  We are living through the birth pains that Jesus foretold. There is no question in my mind that this is true. 

I have given birth to 4 children.  Each labor and delivery was unique, but they did have similarities.  Contractions began by being spaced out, but came with increasing frequency as the birth approached.  The pain of the contractions became stronger as the joyous moment approached.  For those who worship Jesus as Lord and Messiah the return of Jesus is indeed joyous!  But the pain leading up to His arrival will be real.  I believe we are seeing these signs in increasing measure, and will one day soon, quite possibly in our lifetimes, or very soon indeed, be taken home to be with our Lord forever!  May it be!  Even so, come Lord Jesus! 

I also know that whether Jesus returns for His church today, or whether He tarries 40 years, He is calling the modern church to repentance.  We have seen a great falling away in the church in recent years. Warm seats do not equate with true repentance and faith. Indeed, if God delays, will the church be void of all true worshipers of Jesus?  The number of professing Christians who actually take God’s written word at face value, allowing God to be God, are tragically dwindling.  I find comfort in the fact that Jesus told us this would be the case in the end days.  However, I do not find comfort in the fact that many who I love may very well not spend eternity in Heaven, but instead may be destined to an eternity of judgement and torment, forever separated from the only truly beautiful and good thing in the universe, God Himself.  

Repent church, while there is still time.  You can not silence God by closing your Bible.  He rules over earth and space and He is making Himself heard.  Repent, agree with God where you have strayed from His teaching, and return to the Lord with your whole heart!  Seek Him while He may still be found! 


Living For God

Jesus! The Only True God

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” 1 John 4:1-3 ESV

Make SURE that the Jesus you follow is the True Jesus!
The Bible tells us Jesus is the Only God, for all eternity:

Jesus speaking:

“Fear not, I Am The First and The Last, and The Living One. I died, and behold I Am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

Revelation 1:17-18 ESVJesus:

“He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.”

Rev 19 13

Revelation 19:13 ESV”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth….No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

John 1:1-4; 14; 18 ESV

“Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

John 20:28-29 ESV

1 John 4:1-3 tells us to test the spirits and make certain they acknowledge Jesus is from God. It is CRITICAL that we check that the Jesus being preached is the TRUE Jesus!  It is not enough to simply name Jesus, it must be the SAME Jesus being named.  Many false Christs have gone out into the World, including:

  • Muslim Jesus – a great prophet but not the One True God

  • Jehovah’s Witness Jesus – not God

  • Latter Day Saints (Mormon) Jesus – an exalted man, one of countless men who have attained godhood

  • And of course there are always false teachers hidden in every church, wolves in sheep’s clothing, trying to deceive if possible even the elect, motivated by selfish gain.

Test their fruits, study the Bible yourself and continually soak in the truth of the Word so you will easily recognize false teaching when you see it.

The Bible gives many names for Jesus: Son of God, Son of Man, The Word of God, The Word Made Flesh, Redeemer, Messiah, Savior, Lord, God, The One Who Made All That Was Made, The One Who Holds The Keys Of Death And Hades, I AM The Living One, King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords, and Emmanuel which means God With Us!

The God of the Universe died the most brutal death in our place on the cross, to forever pay for our sins and redeem us as His own. May We know Him and may we know when we are not being led toward Him!

Living For God

God’s Word Is Truth

God has blessed me with a ministry of sharing the truth of the Bible with many in my community who doubt it’s accuracy.  One group of friends that I have been specifically called to share with are Latter Day Saints, and former LDS.

Recently I was privileged to speak about the importance of trusting the Word of God with a Utah Bible believing pastor. The need to trust the Bible as absolute truth goes far beyond any church walls, and sadly permeates many who name themselves as Christians today. I encourage each of you to watch the brief discussion and prayerfully consider it. You can view the conversation here: Study The Truthbible reading: A close-up of a christian woman reading the bible.The resources posted in the devotional below the video are wonderful tools, explaining how we KNOW we can trust the Bible.  Dig in to them.  God’s Word is strong.  It holds up to scrutiny every single time.  Please don’t be afraid to examine it – God expects you to!

For further thoughts on this topic of believing God’s Word:  Discerning Truth From Error

Living For God

What Does God Think About Our Historic Election?

Last night, Donald Trump won the Presidential election in what all are calling a historic, inexplicable event.  There is no question that God has appointed this man to be the next leader of the free world.  And yet I have a sense that we the people, not unlike the pundits, pollsters, and media, are vastly missing the mark.  I am concerned that we are also missing the heart of God.  

When a man who every indicator said couldn’t win, wins not only the Republican presidential nomination, but shockingly is appointed to the highest office in the world, God just might be trying to get our attention.

I believe both Hillary and Trump are signs of the depravity of our nation.  Unbelievable as it is, the majority of Americans chose these people.  When you look closely at either candidate, there is little of virtue.  God is holding up a mirror to our nation’s souls.  God sees all our “hidden” sins and I’m sorry, but I see the irony in who we have ended up with as our coming president.  

God desires repentant hearts.  God’s will is that we turn away from our personal, hidden and not so hidden sins, and admit our need of a Savior.  He is patient and merciful and ready to forgive, but are we as a nation listening?  

Joel 2:12-14 tells us, 

Return to the Lord

12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13     and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
    and leave a blessing behind him…

Perhaps the individual hearts of our nation are more what God is concerned about, than our political leadership.  

If you want to learn more about what God thinks of things, I encourage you to read the book of John, then the entire New Testament, Matthew – Revelation.  If more of our nation will do this and believe what God says, we will indeed become a great nation once again.

Living For God

The Bible

Christian: I don’t care what spiritual leader tells you something contrary to the Bible, if it doesn’t agree with what God says, have nothing to do with it! We do not follow man, but God! The Bible is tested and true. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Take your cues from the Living God, never from a human who is disagreeing with their Creator. Read, study, and pour into your life the truth of the Bible! How else will you know if a wolf is trying to lead you astray? Then, knowing what the Bible *the foundation of our faith* says, reject anything which does not agree with it!

Rev 19 13


Living For God

Target is not the first retailer to endanger our kids. Visit the popular outlet mall in Lincoln City, Oregon and you will find most stores have gender neutral dressing rooms. OLD NAVY, RUE 21…. I stood right outside the doors while my girls were trying things on. And when I mentioned it at Rue 21, the 2 attendants were STUNNED I would consider not coming back because of the indiscretion, but an employee at Old Navy told me about a horrific occurrence last year that *almost* led to the company reinstalling separate changing rooms. Ya Think?! I won’t be frequenting these stores, or TARGET, until they figure it out. Even Walmart on 12th Ave in Nampa often employs a man to work in the women’s dressing room, which creepily is located in lingerie. When I complain about this indiscretion, management is highly offended that I would find this inappropriate, and then they promise to get back to me after considering it further, but never do. I am not inclined to financially assist any company who does not have the common sense to protect customers. I will avoid contributing to their bottom line whenever possible.

I have decided, friends, that the answer to our child safety and decency concerns is simple. Shop Far Less. There you have it. Imagine the good rational thinking Americans could do with the money we are going to start saving! (And while you’re at it, consider contacting corporate offices of companies you notice are confused about how to attract safe business.)

Living For God

The Lukewarm Church

When we read the word of God; really study it, digging in and searching the Scriptures to discern God’s heart, sometimes we can be surprised what we find.  As we study the Old Testament, written to Israel, we learn much about the expectations, righteousness, holiness, patience, and rightful judgement of the Living God. 

Let’s take a look at Malachi 2.  This final book of the Old Testament, is spoken to a spiritually lukewarm Israel.  The priesthood, was corrupt and the teachers of the Word of God no longer taught truth, only teaching the bits and pieces they liked; unfaithfulness (immorality) in marriage had become commonplace, as had divorce; God’s chosen people were intermarrying with non-believers; and the nation was not obeying God’s call to social justice.  In other words, the nation showed a form of “Godliness” by claiming their Jewish faith, but in the playing out of that faith, they were sadly lacking.  While this little prophetic book is definitely written to the people of Israel, it is highly applicable in the lives of Jesus followers today.  We are also called to be holy, Christ like, pure, and set apart.

God judged Israel for their spiritual sins, and I believe God is judging the church in America because of our spiritual sin. 

Today’s spiritual leaders often preach only to please their audience, and fill the pews, avoiding passages on holiness, purity and righteous living altogether.  This is the same sin of the spiritual leaders which led to unholy, fleshly living in Israel, which caused God’s judgement to fall.  Read the chapter below and tell me this is not so.

And yet in verse 13 we see the people of Israel weeping and desiring God to bless them and restore their relationship with Him.  Yet God will not do it, because He knows they are living in wickedness, harboring sin in their lives. 

I believe the church today is harboring MUCH sin.  As a whole, our pastors do not speak the hard prophetic truth we need to hear.  I am thankful for the few who still do (mine included) but an honest assessment of the state of church leadership in American – and global church for that matter – shows a dismal lack of respect for the Word of God as truth, and a dire lack of preaching accountability to the God we claim to serve.  The collective church names God as Lord, but demonstrates in their lives that they prefer to sit on the throne of their hearts. 

Nowhere is this so boldly evidenced as in recent studies showing that at least half the evangelical men, and a large portion of evangelical women are actively consuming pornography.  This means that the church is helping to finance the immense sex slave industry.  It means that the church is largely living in sexual immorality, in outright defiance to God!  The fact that the Bible clearly says no sexually immoral person will enter Heaven seems to be a fact people either don’t believe, or are so morally numb they have become blind to.

I do not see a single sin that was happening in Malachi’s day that is not rampant in our modern church, which leads me to an important discernment:  If God judged Israel for these sins, He will judge the modern church. Bible Image

Malachi 2 ESV
The Lord Rebukes the Priests
“And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
Judah Profaned the Covenant
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts!
And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”
The Messenger of the Lord
You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

The Bible tells us that God appoints all rulers and authorities. 

President Obama has led our nation away from the Living God, at break-neck speed.  With the stroke of his pen he has mandated much sin.  I think many in the church recognized his presidency as being a judgement from God on our nation. 

But now God is allowing Donald Trump to rear his arrogant, Godless, immoral, self-serving head, perhaps to demonstrate clearly to those who still have discernment in the church that it is not just liberals in our country that are morally sick. Our entire nation, much of the “church” included, is spiritually and morally bankrupt and terminally ill! It is no longer just the liberal minded citizens who God allowed to participate in bringing an unrighteous man to power.  In case there was question about the pure condition of many in the Republican Party, God brought Donald Trump to show the true condition of many conservatives’ hearts. Yes, I know that many Republicans never claimed to be Christians; a measurable percentage of them, however, are self-professing Christians, and an astonishingly large amount of those are to blame for Trump making rapid headway on his way to the presidency. How can any true Christ follower get behind a man who has publicly defended abortion rights, bragged boldly about his sexual immorality, divorced twice, demeaned humans of other nationalities as well as females, mocked the disabled, demonstrated vast arrogance (which remember, comes before a fall), and generally mocked God when he said he has never had a reason to apologize to God. They can’t.  And yet many in our land who say they worship Jesus have.  And it’s all leading up to judgement.  Judgement of the church, first and foremost, judgement on what was once a nation built on Biblical principles, and judgement on a very fallen, rebellious world, which stands in opposition to the One who created them.

It is time – past time, in fact – for repentance to begin with the church.  When we individually stand before the throne of God one day, we will not be able to claim ignorance.  While many spiritual leaders are leading the flock of God astray, God still has His faithful who He is calling to be His voice in our world.  And we still own the Bible.  The average American home owns 3.  It is high time we dust it off, devour it, agree with God, and turn from our sins to the One who is willing to forgive. 

Church, the world is waiting for you to lead the way to repentance at the foot of the cross.  Be different.  Be set apart.  And don’t fall for the lies and wiles of the enemy of our souls.


Living For God

A Call To Repentance

As I write this Donald Trump is winning many of the Super Tuesday Republican primary delegates.  He’s marching a swath of support right across the Bible belt; Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas.

Wake up true church!  If we were following the Lord and His word as He told us to, our nation would not be in this predicament.  Our church has been silent on sin for too long!  (see previous article on The Importance of Modern Church Discipline)  Has the church embraced sin to such and extent and have we become so lukewarm that we can’t even recognize a self-righteous, Godless, idolatrous man when he yells those facts in our face?  Perhaps you think, “What?  I don’t harbor a lifestyle of sin?!”  Maybe not, but do you stand up boldly for the truth of the Word of God and call people to repentance like God tells you to?  Or do you think, “Well to each his own. I’m sure glad I’m not like that, but it’s OK for him/her to be, after all we all make choices and must live our own lives….”  Are we actually a LIGHT to both show what Christ looks like and to expose sin in the world around us?  Are we SALT preserving the culture God placed us in by preventing it from rotting away?  For every one of us who has failed to be those things, God would call us to repentance!

Church if we do not confess OUR sin and turn from it – and I mean FAST – we and the once great nation we call home is in for God’s judgement.  Do we care enough to do the hard work of personal repentance; turning from sin, and choosing to live a righteous life in Christ Jesus?  We will never be perfect, but we must live God honoring lives.  What are you harboring in the “secret” places of your heart?  Do business with the Living God. He knows anyway.  Confess your sin.  Agree with Him that it’s wrong.  Turn to Him for true healing and choose to follow His will for your life, rather than your own.  Be the person God created you to be.Your Mercy

Perhaps if the church in the United States repents and stops sleep walking, our nation will itself see revival.  At the very least, professing Christians won’t be the ones guilty of voting a strip club owning, lying, immoral, unfaithful, prideful, vindictive, Godless man into the highest office in our land.

And may we stay on our knees pleading with our Creator to transform both us and the world around us which so desperately needs Jesus!