In the beginning...

Just say Jesus

Month: October 2015 (Page 1 of 2)

10-30-2015 Genesis 4:25-26

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25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 26 And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

When I look at the state of our society today, I can’t help but think that if we would call on the name of the Lord, the Lord would somehow turn the mess we have created around.  Our society has taught us to focus on money, power, success, and appearance.  Basically to live a self-centered life with personal achievement and possessions as the goal.  We have given up on family structure, proper education, as well as Godly morals.  Our children are raised in broken homes, daycare, and even homeless.  They are taught to be lovers of self.  I know that some of us still believe in the Godly principles our country was founded upon, however most of our society does not.  Moreover, our government has disregarded these principles and embraced tolerance and are motivated by self-interest.  When we look towards Jesus we become altruistic and focus on love, kindness, and compassion.  I pray that the people of our world turn to Jesus to lead and guide them.  If we do everything will change.  I know this to be true.  Paul the apostle wrote:  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11). Everyone will do it sooner or later, but you ‘will’ do it.  Today is the day!  However if you don’t know what to say….just say Jesus!

10-29-2015 Genesis 4:16-24

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16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech. 19 Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. 20 And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. 22 And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. 23 Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me. 24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

Verse 16 tells us that Cain left the presence of the Lord.  I have lived both in the presence and out of the presence of the Lord and I have to tell you…. being in the presence of the Lord is so much better.  I have come to understand how walking with Jesus gives us the strength to overcome anything this world throws at us.  Jesus wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).  There in lies the answer. We need to know the truth.  If you ask, God will reveal the truth.  Jesus said “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).  Cain knew the truth and choose to disobey.  We have the same choice.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  The clear choice is “Jesus”.  However if you don’t know what to say…. just say Jesus!

10-28-2015 Genesis 4:6-15

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6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother;[a] and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.” 13 And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

Most of us know this story. Cain kills his brother and God sentences him to wander the earth aimlessly. To me there is so much more.  Why did Cain kill his brother Abel.  I think some of it is jealousy.  He wanted the blessing that his brother had from God.  We always seem to want what others have.  I hear people all the time complaining about what others have and what they don’t.  Jesus tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).  So if we believe this and of course seek Him first we get it all.  The other direction leads to sin.  Paul the apostle wrote: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  Today I try imperfectly to put Jesus first, and I have everything I need. I have to say that most of my wants are satisfied also.  I don’t believe we can be truly satisfied by anything of this world. However when we look to Jesus first the rest seems to fall into place. Just for today try and put Jesus first. He won’t disappoint you.  Just say Jesus!

10-27-2015 Genesis 4:1-5

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Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

At first glance it looks as if God is playing favorites, however I believe Abel gave the best he had, and Cain gave his leftovers.  I think we all have been where Cain is.  We don’t always give it our best, especially with God.  Most of us know God is there and we call on Him when in a bind, but have you ever tried to give God 100%.  I’m not sure if I have, but I try.  I think that’s the important part.  God knows your heart and that’s really all God wants.  One day Jesus was teaching in the temple, and He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury,  and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.  So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;  for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 21:1-4).   When we give it all to God he knows, and when we don’t… he knows that too.  Jesus isn’t asking us to give away everything and be a pauper.  He just wants us to put Him first.  If you do everything changes.  I do it imperfectly, one day at a time to the best of my ability, honest, open, and willing.  You can too, however  if you don’t know what to say….just say Jesus!!!

 

10-26-2015 Genesis 3:20-24

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20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

At the end of Chapter 3 we see God clothe Adam and Eve and send them out of the garden.  He also sent Adam out to till the ground from which he was taken or work to provide for him and his wife (children to come soon after).  Sounds like most of us.  We were born, mom and dad put some clothes on us, gave us instructions, and then sent us out in the world.  We then repeat the process. The cycle has been going on since the beginning.  God wouldn’t let man eat form the tree of life, however he sent His Son for us to know the way to that same tree.  Eternal life comes through Jesus.  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6).  Nothing of this world can fill the void other than Jesus.  For years I missed this.  But it’s never too late.  So if you’re reading this, make today that day.  Ask Jesus to come into your life. I promise…. it will never be the same.  So when you don’t know what to say…..Just say Jesus!

10-22-2015 Genesis 3:14-19

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14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” 16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:“Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”

This is pretty heavy stuff here.  This is God’s sentence for the first sin.  Does the crime justify the punishment? I’m not one to question God, but it does seem a little harsh.  Although isn’t this just like us… give us everything we need, and the one thing we are forbidden to do, we must have.  Why?  I don’t know.  A few years back I was pretty well off, and I owned a lot of stuff.  I can remember buying a new boat (upgrading from a smaller boat), having it a couple of weeks, and then telling others that I wanted a bigger one.  When asked what I was going to name the boat, my kids spoke up and said “Call it Never Satisfied”.  I was never satisfied.  No matter what I did or had in life it wasn’t good enough.  I needed more. I wanted more. I looked everywhere and came up empty.  This desire is described in the Bible as a thirst.  It’s a thirst that can’t be quenched by anything of this world.   It can only be satisfied by getting to know Jesus.  When Jesus was passing through Samaria he encountered a woman at the well. He said “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life”. (John 4:14). In chapter 6: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst (John 6:35).  Jesus gives us everything we need.  Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, God will provide for our needs. In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus stated: Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?(Matthew 6:26).  So many times Jesus instructs us to look towards Him and He will provide.  We, however think if I could just get a little more….. but more is never enough. Today I focus my energy on Jesus and the plan He has for my life.  I do it imperfectly, honest, open, and willing; one day at a time.  So if you aren’t satisfied with your life or any part of it…….Just say Jesus….

10-19-2015 Genesis 3:8-13

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8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” 12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

In these passages Adam and Eve are hiding from God.  I don’t know about you, but I have tried to hide many things from God.  However, God knows all, so why do it? I’m not sure…maybe it’s just a reflex of not wanting to face the consequences.  Then to make it worse, we have a tendency to blame someone else.  Look at Adam’s response.  It wasn’t his fault.  He actually blamed it on God.  Eve blamed it on the serpent.  Is anything our fault?  The truth is we face choices every day.  They all come with consequences, both good and bad.  The key is to choose Jesus.  Jesus knows your heart, He knows the circumstances,  He knows your struggles, He knows it all.  When we surrender to Him, all things are possible.  Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”(Mark 9:23). The truth is like Adam and Eve, we will all sin.  Instead of blaming someone or something else for our sin, we need to acknowledge our sin. Then repent (turn away).  Jesus was crucified, died, rose again, and ascended to heaven to save us.  He paid the price for our sins.  All we need to do is accept the gift of grace that He provided.  The coolest part is when we do, He changes our heart.  Once that happens we are never the same.  He gives us a peace and joy that is unsurpassed in this world.  My life is not perfect by any means, however it’s the best it can be right now, because I have Jesus.  So when you don’t know what to say…just say Jesus!

10-15-2015 Genesis 3:6-7

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6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

If I had something in front of me that was pleasant to my eye, make me wise, and tasted good, I would be all over it like white on rice.  I think most of us would, however God forbid it.  I think we all struggle with rules and regulations.  It looks good, it feels good, so why can’t I do it?   Verse 7 shows how they realized their disobedience, and tried to hide it.  I understand shame. I think most of us do.  It’s not a good feeling. How do we avoid this?  I believe it’s through following the word of God.  Paul the apostle wrote: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).  We will all sin, just like Adam and Eve committed the first sin, we have hope. The apostle John told us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  So we need to repent.  In the Greek, the word is “metanoeo” which is defined as “change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God)”.  Today I put Jesus first in my life and in turn my heart has been changed.  The inner man has been changed.  If you are like me and struggle with the things of this world, look towards Jesus.  He can and will change your heart.  Just say Jesus…..

10-14-2015 Genesis 3:2-5

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2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Is it just me or does this sound a little too familiar. We are faced with rules and guidelines every day and yet we don’t always live accordingly. Whether it’s running a red light, or robbing a bank (two extremes), we always seem to find a way to go against the law.  Why is this?  Are we just rebellious? I am not sure, however living according to God’s will is so much more rewarding.  We are faced with choices every day. Most of think somehow we can control the outcome. Our only control we have in this world is how we react to any given choice or situation.  The Bible tells us…  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).  So what we put out we get back.  If you put out anger and hate that will return, but if you show love to everyone you come in contact with, everything changes.  This is extremely hard to do.  It’s easy to love people that treat you well, but have you ever tried to show love to the person that just irritates you.  We all have that person in our life.  The Bible tells us Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).  What I have found in my life is when you show love, no matter what, the situation is the best it will ever be.  If you show anger and hate you just add fuel to the fire.  So today when the world tries to deceive me (I believe that’s Satan), I look to God’s word for guidance and show the situation love.  Love is also being obedient to our superiors, our laws, and God’s word. I do it imperfectly, however the more I live this way, the better my life gets.  I hope today, you too, will show love to everyone you encounter!

10-13-2015 Genesis 3:1

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Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

For most of us, listening to God is secondary.  We will listen to every other voice the world has and call it truth.  Only when the poop hits the fan do we look to God.  Why is that?  Do we question the word of God or is it we just don’t know the truth?  For me, it’s a little of both.  I’ll hear something from our world and say ” Hmmm… that sounds right”, or I’ll will just want to do what I want.  Ultimately I have found that if I follow the word of God, life works out.  Not perfectly, but better.  For me, God’s word is the only thing that makes sense.  But everyone doesn’t see it as I do.  Our culture is caught up in make more, be more, and step on whoever to get there.  I confess that was me.  At the lowest point of my life, I had wealth and power. However, I wanted to die and attempted suicide.  Why?  Because nothing of this world can satisfy the thirst one’s soul has for God.  I found all along what I was craving wasn’t things of this world, it was a relationship with the Creator.  When I looked to Him and cried out “Help me!” , He did.  Today I choose to listen to the voice of God and not the voice of the world (the serpent).  Give it a try.. the only thing you have to lose is your life!

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