"The key to understanding the Bible is to look for Jesus in the Bible. Jesus is the hero of the Bible. If you read the Bible and don't find Jesus, re-read it! The Bible has one hero, His name is Jesus; one villain, that is Satan; one problem, that is sin; one solution, that is salvation. That is what the Bible is all about." -Dr. Adrian Rogers

Thursday, January 30, 2014

You’re Not Alone

Confess your faults one to another,
and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:16

Saturday night, as I was walking to my car with a coworker, I mentioned in passing that I like to listen to podcasts from Love Worth Finding Ministries. Little did I know that it would lead to a somewhat lengthy discussion about our faith and how we live our lives because of it. I knew that this guy was a Christian, but I had no idea that our belief systems were so similar. I’ve met other people who share my same convictions about many things, but they all live so far away. Yet here was a guy who not only works in the same store as I do but he also works in the same department as I do. It was very encouraging to say the least.

The next night, as I was walking out with the same coworker (this time, also with his girlfriend), he asked me if I would mind praying with them. Of course, I said I would. After he prayed, he told us some things that God had put on his heart during the day. My mind doesn’t work like some people’s do. I’ve always been better at kind of sitting back and letting everything soak in first. So it wasn’t until I got in my car and had begun the trip home that I began to realize, “Wow! I struggle with the same things.” And then God began to reveal to me specific situations and circumstances were I had failed Him.

It was that night that I realized that not only are there others out there who share our same convictions, but there are others who share our same struggles. We are not alone on this journey, my friends. We are all in this thing together as the body of Christ. God has put us on this earth together to encourage one another and to pray for one another as we strive to live for Him. So when you feel like you’re all alone, take comfort in the fact that there is someone somewhere who shares your same convictions and struggles, and they’re most likely closer than you think. You’re not alone.

If you’re reading this today and you’ve never acknowledged Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone in that, either. I was once where you’re standing right now. I had to make a decision—was I going to choose Christ and to walk in His way, or was I going to choose the way of the world? I can honestly tell you that I made the right decision. I’ve never once been sorry that I chose Him. He took a life that was broken and wrecked by sin, and He made it whole. Oh, how He wants to do the same for you! Will turn from all sin today and trust Jesus alone to save you? If you will do that, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thankful God’s Not Like Me

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6

Have you ever started something that you never finished? I have—lots of times. I’m notorious for starting one thing, getting distracted by another thing, and never finishing either one. It’s kind of like a vicious cycle that never ends. However, aren’t you thankful that God’s not like that?! The Bible tells us in Philippians 1:6 that God always finishes what He’s started, and there’s no exceptions to that rule.

Back in the summer, I wrote a post that I titled “Though I Do Not See” in which I explained the importance of trusting that God still has a plan for our lives even though we may not be able to see it at the time. At the time I wrote that, I was going through a real low point in my life. It seemed as though everything was spinning out of control around me, and I often questioned the Lord about it. If He had a plan for me, I couldn’t see what it was. But that doesn’t matter to God. You see, Adrian Rogers used to say that “faith is like a roll of film—it develops best in the dark.” God uses the dark times to strengthen our faith the most because, if we can learn to trust Him in the dark hours, we should have no problem trusting Him when the sun is shining bright.

It was that June night, in a hotel room by myself, that I made the decision to trust that God really did have a plan for my life and that He really was working all things together for my good (Romans 8:28). I couldn’t see it then, but God saw; and that was good enough for me. But let me tell you, that wasn’t the end of the struggle. A few months later, God allowed some things to happen in my life that I would have never planned myself. In fact, I cried out to Him, “What are you doing, Lord?! I don’t understand. It’s not supposed to happen this way.” But if everything happened the way we thought it should, there’d be no need for faith.

Just as everything I had ever hoped and planned for in life seemed to crumble before me, God sent a very special person into my life to reveal that He had something even better in store for me. Now, I’m at a place in my life that I never dreamed would be possible. God is so good! I may not finish everything I start, but I’m so glad He does. And the amazing part about it is He’s not finished yet.

Do you know the Lord? Have you come face to face with the fact that you are indeed a sinner in desperate need of Savior? If not, I plead with you to do so before it is eternally too late for you. Turn from all sin and trust Jesus alone to save you. If you will do that, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

To Erase a Wrinkle

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.
Proverbs 16:31

It seems as though every time I turn on the television there is some advertisement trying to sell some product that promises to reduce the signs of aging, and it sells, too. People in our culture today are obsessed with looking younger than they really are, so they go to great lengths to dye their hair and slather cream all over their faces at night to hopefully wake up with fewer wrinkles than they had the day before. However, if they would only take a look at Proverbs 16:31 they might could save themselves some time and money.

Proverbs 16:31 tells us that “the silver-haired head is a crown of glory.” You might be thinking, “What does that mean”? Well, it means that every gray hair that you try to cover up is a jewel meant for a crown. Every wrinkle that appears on your face is a timeline. And put together, those wrinkles and those gray hairs form one incredible story. One hair may tell of the time you spent down on your knees for weeks pleading with the Lord to bring that prodigal child back home. One wrinkle may tell of the years you spend selflessly caring for an aging parent. That age spot may tell of all the times you spent out on the streets desperately reaching out to the lost.

God’s Word plainly tells us that, if they are “found in the way of righteousness,” signs of aging are nothing to be ashamed of. You see, all those wrinkles and gray hairs tell your life story. They tell of all the roads you’ve walked down and all the decisions you’ve made, the prayers that you’ve prayed. So you can wear that crown proudly, knowing that you’ve earned it. On the other hand, if those gray hairs and wrinkles were not found in the way of righteousness, you probably do want to cover them up because they tell of your sinful past and all of the wrong decisions that you’ve made along the way.

Friend, have your gray hairs been found in the way of righteousness? Do you know the Lord? I mean, do you really know Him? Have you been to the cross? Has His blood washed you clean? If not, you can be made whole today. If you will simply turn from all sin and trust Christ alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trusting Now, Trusted Then

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Believest thou this?
John 11:26

Have you ever had anyone tell you that, if you can’t give them a time and date for when you got saved, you aren’t really saved? I have. But let me tell you, my friend, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth because there is no biblical evidence to back it up. If you don’t believe me, let me prove it.

First, we must have a deep understanding of what it means to believe in Christ. When Jesus said that “whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [have eternal life],” He was talking about more than a simple intellectual belief. Matthew 6:24 says, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” That, my friend, is what it means to truly believe in Christ, to trust Him so much that you leave everything you have behind to follow Him, even to the point of death.

So I ask you, are you trusting Jesus and Him alone to take you to Heaven when you die? Have you acknowledged Him as Lord of your life? Have you given Him complete control of everything you have and do? If so, you don’t have to worry if you can’t give someone a time and date for when you were saved. If you are trusting Jesus now, that is all that matters.

Maybe you’re reading this today and you have never placed your trust in Jesus at any time. If that is you, I am here to tell you that today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). If you will turn from all sin and trust Jesus alone to save you, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Shout Out to JD

When I first started this blog nearly four years ago, there was a certain young atheist, JD, who commented on several of my posts. If JD is reading this today, I'd like him to know that he has not been forgotten…by me or by God. JD, if you still have yet to fall down on your face before God and acknowledge Him as Lord, know that God is still longing to have a relationship with you. He loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son to live a perfect life and then die on an old, rugged cross for sins that you had committed. The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 that “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

JD, the King of kings and the Lord of lords is longing for you to be set free from the sins that are holding you captive. He’s even provided a way for that to take place, but you must first accept it. All you have to do is embrace the cross. Turn from all sin and trust Jesus Christ alone to save you. If you do that, He will save you today and keep you saved forever.