Jesus is my Savior. When I was a nine-year-old boy, I reached out my hand to Him and trusted Him with my life. I didn’t understand a lot about Him. But that was ok because He understood everything about me. My faith in Him was not misplaced. He has never failed me. I have many good friends and loved ones whom I can trust with things of this world, but for my eternal hope, I will trust in no other name than Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Light. No one can ever make their way to heaven except through Him. He is the only begotten Son of God. He came to do the will of His Father. It is the will of God that no one should be lost but that all should have eternal life. When the religious leaders instructed Peter not to preach in the name of Jesus, Peter said, “I think I will listen to God and not you.” Then Peter preached with the authority of God that there is no other name by which we might be saved than the name of Jesus.
If you trust Jesus, you will find in Him everything you need. When your life seems to be as dark as night, He is the Bright Morning Star. If your world seems to be crumbling around you, He is the Rock on which you can stand. If you feel lonely, you can know that He will always be there. His righteousness will wipe away your sin. If you are prone to wander in darkness, He is the Good Shepherd and the Light of Life.
Have you trusted Jesus and Jesus only for eternal salvation? I have heard His voice and I can tell you without a doubt that He, and He alone, can save your soul. Many things and people want to be a god to you. But Jesus is the only God who died to wipe away your sins. He rose from the dead to reveal that He alone can give you eternal life. In Christ alone, can you find Salvation? There is no other authority under Heaven by which you might be saved. No other name but JESUS.
Down where the pavement ends. Yes, that is where we live. The pavement really does end just passed our house. Many of our visitors have said things like; “ We thought we would never get here and it sure is quiet and peaceful out here.” Yes, we do enjoy a peaceful neighborhood. However, the term “quiet” is relative.
Early one morning as I enjoyed setting on my back porch, I realized it was not really quiet down here. There is a low hum of fans from a nearby chicken farm. From a highway two miles away, there is a constant sound of traffic and I hear a train blowing its horn from seven miles away. Also in the corner of my back porch sits an old refrigerator that is imitating a John Deere tractor. So while it is peaceful down here, I can’t really say that it is quiet.
It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that to be true. I also believe that quietness is in the ear of the listener and peace is in the heart of the believer. If you choose to rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God then He will envelope you in salvation and wrap you in righteousness. Peacefulness and a quiet soul are fruits of a righteous heart
In Isaiah 32:17-18 we are assured that “The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” God says “My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in quiet resting places”.
Perhaps today your heart is overwhelmed with turmoil. You long for a place of tranquility.How wonderful it would be if you could sit on a back porch and listen to the birds singing and wind whispering. However, peace and quiet are not contingent on your location. Instead it is determined by the state of your heart. Wherever you are today, God invites you to be still and know that He is God. He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is focused on Him.
Sometimes you don’t need a word from Jesus; you just need to rest in His presence. Sometimes you don’t need to ask anything of Jesus, you just need to lean back against His chest and listen to His heartbeat. Close your eyes and rest, the enemy dare not attack, you are in the bosom of the King of Kings.
Sometimes your hands become blistered from pulling on the rope in this tug-of-war called life. Stop, and in the name of Jesus call a time-out. Climb onto His lap, take His nail-scarred hand in your hand and trace those fingers that have traced your life. Feel the nail print in the hand that holds your salvation. Close your eyes and rest, the enemy dare not attack, you hold the hand of the God of all creation.
Sometimes people will break your heart. The tears flow like a river and you want to give up. So, give up. Climb onto the lap of Jesus, and lean against His breast. The tears He once shed, He shed for you. The blood he once bled, He bled for you. Listen to his heartbeat. This heart was broken for you and now it beats for you. Close your eyes and rest, the enemy dare not attack, because you are near to the heart of God.
Sometimes you just get tired. It seems the battle will never end. Your arms that have held the shield and swung the sword are weak and hanging limply by your side. You are tired of being a warrior and you long to just be a child. So, become a child again. With childlike faith climb onto the lap of the Savior and feel His lips as they kiss the top of your head. His shield is your hiding place and His sword is your protection. Close your eyes and rest; the enemy dare not attack because you are a child of the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace
When God delivered His final message through Malachi, (who wrote the last book of the Old Testament), He stopped communicating with man for nearly 400 years. It was a deafening silence in divine revelation. After 400 years God broke His silence by sending angels to speak to Zacharias, Mary and Joseph. The message they heard was this. The fullness of time had come and the promised Messiah would soon be born. God had broken His silence with the sound of Christmas.
For us today a long year is winding down. We have celebrated a day of thanksgiving with our families. The shopping season has begun with a vengeance and December has rolled in with a blast of cold air. But listen, the Salvation Army bells are ringing, someone somewhere is singing, “Do you hear what I hear” and the radio is playing, “The Little Drummer Boy”. Now our hearts have to be lifted because these are the sounds of Christmas.
I hear the sound of grandchildren saying; let me tell you what I want for Christmas. There is a sound of laughter as people decorate the tree and a rustling of paper as the gifts are wrapped. Listen carefully and you can hear the sound of hope, especially if your hope is in Christ. Tune your ears just right and hear the sound of joy that is inexpressible and full of glory. Lift your heart with a song of praise because all around us are the sounds of Christmas.
I pray that the melody of peace will fill your hearts today. May you have peace within yourself as you put away your past and know that you can face the future without fear. Let us have peace with each other as our hearts hum the songs of forgiveness, love and charity. I hope that the song of God’s peace will rule in your heart. I hope you feel His hand on your shoulder as He guides you through life and may you hear His voice as He whispers words of comfort. Be still and listen to the heartbeat of Jesus. It is in His heartbeat that you will truly hear the Sound of Christmas.
I believe that laughter of children is sweet music and the love of a child can put a song in your heart. I believe that the sweat from hard work feels good and the reward of working hard is a good feeling. I believe that reading the Bible while the sun comes up is the best way to start the day. A cup of coffee while talking to God will make the day good to the last drop. The Bible tells us in Romans 15:13 “ The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus said whoever believes in Him will never die and I know this to be true. I also am convinced that whoever does not believe in Jesus has never lived. Belief is a powerful thing. It can imprint on your life unending hope and it can erase from your life debilitating fear. Belief in the Savior has caused crippled men to walk, blind men to see and dead men to live. I believe that God is good and greatly to be praised. I will praise God in all things, good and bad.
God has promised that with a little faith, we can prayerfully move mountains. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, your prayers can bring healing to the sick, salvation to the lost and hope to the hopeless. This is true for all of us who believe in the power of Jesus our Savior. Sometimes in our human frailties, we struggle to believe this. But if we cry out to Jesus, He will help us in our unbelief.
I believe that my sins are great but God’s forgiveness is greater. I believe that when I fall my Jesus will be there to pick me up. In my weakness, I often stumble but I have this certain assurance that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I know that I am righteous, but only because of the shed blood of Jesus. So for this reason I have firmly planted my feet on the Rock of my salvation. This salvation is found only in Jesus Christ the Son of God. HE is the One in whom I believe.
Since my porch is facing to the southeast, I am able to watch the motion picture that is the rising sun and wakening day. This morning I am watching a doe and her two babies as they feed on the remnants of my garden. From the woods I hear chattering squirrels and all around me is the unmatched music of God’s orchestra.
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When storms approach, I am always reminded of my God’s might and power. We often stand trembling as storms bear down upon us. We know that they can do great damage, but we can do nothing to turn or stop their fury. However, I know that God is in control. I am convinced that He traces the path of the tempest with His finger. As the thunder rolls, I am reminded of the promise and warning that our God is marching on.
When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden God told him: “Cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you. In the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread.” Many people consider this to be part of the curse of sin. But I believe this to be wrong. Instead I believe that God was saying, even though you have sinned I am going to give you knowledge, abilities, wisdom and talents to work. You will be able to experience the sweet feeling of rest after a hard days work.
Satisfaction is sweet when it comes from a job well done. Sleep comes easy after a hard day’s work. A sweat soaked shirt is a badge of honor that is achieved with honest labor. Food tastes better when you have earned it with your own abilities. Work is a blessing from God. Throughout the Bible we find God honoring and blessing the people who work hard and earn their own food. But in 2 Thessalonians 3 we find God saying that a person who will not work should not eat.
Work comes to us in many ways. Carpenters build houses, teachers inspire young children, lawyers seek justice and doctors strive to bring healing. Each one working with their talents in their field. Meanwhile a truck driver delivers a load, and a preacher delivers a sermon, while a farmer brings in his crop and a C.E.O. manages a company. Each job is different, but each job is important. Some jobs pay more than others, but everyone who works deserves what they earn.
Whatever job we find ourselves doing, wherever we find ourselves working, we should consider ourselves blessed by God. Whatever our hands find to do, we should do it for the glory of God. In Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 the Bible tells us “It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor, it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He also gives him right to eat of it, to rejoice in the fruit of his labor—this is the gift of God.”
Two of the most precious gifts that God has ever given us are work and rest. Yes, I believe that a good days work is as much a gift from God as a good nights sleep. After all, what is rest without work? In my own life, I have found that sweaty clothes and sore muscles combined with the knowledge I have done the best I could, always meant I would rest good that night. It is an undeniable truth when you work hard you will sleep good.
God Himself is our example. In the book of Genesis, we find that our Creator did the work of a engineer, a horticulturist and a DNA specialist. He sent the stars on their journey and established the path of the planets. He mounded up the mountains, organized the oceans and traced the route of the rivers. But His greatest work was done when He got His hands dirty. He scooped up a handful of red clay and formed man in His image. His breath is our life and we are the apple of His eye. That is why we are blessed with the ability to work hard and sleep good.
In the book of Luke, we read that the one who works is deserving of his wages. Whatever we do, our work makes our world a better place. Throughout the Bible, God makes it clear that the ones who will work are worthy of their pay. He also makes it clear that the ones who will not work deserve nothing. For those who will hear it, socialism is an satanic and destructive form of government. Anyone who promotes socialism is ungodly and evil. Do not be fooled by politicians who try to buy your vote by offering you things you have not earned.
Whatever job we find ourselves doing, we should do it for the glory of God. If you are a lawmaker crafting laws or cabinet maker crafting cabinets, do what you do for the Glory of God. If you have the calloused hands of a builder or hands that hold a scalpel, glorify God with the work of your hands. All work is important because all work is a gift from God. The writer of Ecclesiastes said, “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.” And “ It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of his labor- all the days of his life- for this is his heritage.” So for this reason I hope you will enjoy this gift of God. I hope you work hard and sleep good.
There once was a young man who was homeless. He lived on the streets. Finding shelter where ever he could he existed on food and clothing that others had discarded. He was hungry and cold, he was ragged and dirty and he smelled bad.
One day a very kind man saw him and felt pity for him. The man took the boy to his own home. He gave the young man use of his bathroom and provided him with everything he needed to be clean. The boy was then given new clothes and fed a good meal. At the end of the day, he was shown to a wonderful bedroom with a soft bed and fine linen. When he awoke the next morning he was fed a hearty breakfast and sent back out into the street. The young man was grateful for what had been done for him, but he was still homeless.
Now listen as I tell the story again. There once was a young man who was homeless. Finding shelter where ever he could, he existed on food and clothing that others had discarded. He was hungry and cold, he was ragged and dirty and he smelled bad. One day a kind man took the boy to his own home. He gave the young man use of his bathroom and provided him with everything he needed to be clean. The boy was then given new clothes and fed a good meal. After the meal, he was given a wonderful bedroom with a soft bed and fine linens to sleep in.
This is where the story changes. The next morning after sharing a good breakfast with the young man the host said “I have something to tell you. Son, if you choose to stay you will never have to go back to your old life. Because I am offering you a new life. From this day forward everything I have will be yours. My home will be home now. From now on you will be my son and I will be your father. You will never be homeless again.”
This is the message I want you to receive. In the first story, a homeless man was shown pity. In the second, Grace was given. In the first story, the boy was given temporary relief. In the second he was made permanently whole. You should know that God is a giver of Grace. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” God the Father with His Marvelous Grace is saying to everyone “Come with Me and all I have will be yours. I will be your Father and you will be My child. And you will never be homeless again.”