Tag Archives: eternal life

PRAYING FOR TOMMY.123115

Older man expressing pain or depression, verticalJames 5:14-15: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

I knew Tommy since I was a little kid.  We went to the same church together.  His daddy and my uncle were both deacons there.  He was five years older than me, so we weren’t close, but I knew that he was a ‘famous’ football player.  He played quarterback for our high school, and a time or two they went to the State Championship.  Later, my cousin Danny, Tommy and I sorta ‘grew up together’ in the oil business for the last 30 years or so.  We’ve had lots of ups and downs.  Tommy and his high school sweetheart Tanya were married for maybe 30 years and then got a divorce.  They had two kids.  Tommy had spells of drinking and running with some pretty fast folks.

But we were friends to the end.  Early last year he started having headaches and was diagnosed with a tumor in his sinuses which turned out to be inoperable.  It pressed on his optic nerve and he became blind.  He took a lot of treatments, and while they may have helped some, he wasn’t getting any better.  I went to visit him in November, the week before Thanksgiving.  We’re both old, but he didn’t look good.  His one eye was swollen shut and the other was staring.  He was sitting in a chair with a blanket over his lap.  We talked a some about old times, football and the weather.

I’d brought along my friend Loyde, and when we got ready to go, I said, “Tommy, before we go, we’d like to pray for you.”  He said he needed all the help he could get. So we knelt beside his chair, put our hands on him and prayed.  I prayed for him to be healed.  I prayed that the God Who raises people from the dead would raise Tommy up too.  Tommy prayed that God would give him courage.  At the end Loyde quoted James 5:14-15 and said, “We’re elders and we’d like to anoint you with oil and pray so that you too can be healed like this verse says.”  Tommy said, ‘Yes.’

About two weeks later Tommy died.  I don’t know why God didn’t heal him and raise Him up like new, as if from the dead.  I guess some might say that what we did was dumb, knowing that Tommy was terminal; but I’m sure that we did what God wanted us to do; and I’m just as sure that God’s will was done by us all trusting God to take care of Tommy.

 

MAKING DISCIPLES, WHAT DOES IT MEAN? 110415

 

Walk on water with a businessman walking on the surface of an ocean as a business concept of confidence and courage to take on an impossible challenge and achieve success with the power of belief.

OK, In Matt. 28:18-20, Jesus says, “I have all authority, so go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them .  .  .  teaching them .  .  . and [know this] I am with you always, even unto the end of the world [age].”  What does in mean, “Make disciples”?  Some say it means to get people to make a commitment to Jesus.  To “get ‘em saved”, so they go to heaven when they die, which many people call “having eternal life”, being “converted”, “born again”.

So I had this revelation just today.   In John 17:3, Jesus is praying, talking to God, and He says, among other things, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  So how do you get eternal life?  Well John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes [trusts] in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting [eternal] life.”  So to get eternal life, you trust Jesus.  So what does the first verse mean when it says, “this IS eternal life, to KNOW GOD and JESUS.”  Sounds like eternal life means to know God and Jesus, to have a personal relationship with the ONE TRUE GOD, the eternal I AM. 

So when a preacher gets up in front of a congregation and says, “If the Spirit is moving in your heart, and you think you should make a commitment to Jesus, come on down, so you can go to heaven;” it means a whole lot more than that.  It means you can know the LIVING GOD for yourself.  You can know the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE, (real life) right here on the earth today.  You can experience the LOVE that only God can give, while you’re still here.  You can have rest and peace, the kind that passes all understanding!  It means you can be God’s instrument to touch the lives of others so they can be changed, be transformed, FOREVER.  Now that’s real ETERNAL LIFE!

Don’t Make Me Leave You. 041715

Young smiling woman with her teen daughterRuth 1:16-17: But Ruth said [to Naomi], “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!” The Message

You probably heard this story, about Ruth and Naomi.  Naomi was from Israel, but because there was a famine, she and her husband and two sons moved to Moab, where the two sons married, one of them to Ruth, a girl from Moab.  Continue reading

WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE? 041615

Coin. Coin pyramid.“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be too.”  Matt 6:19-21

Le Christ du Corcovado et la Baie de RioSo I’ve got a few questions for you: 1] Where is your heart? 2] What do you treasure?  I mean, what do you really care about?  What do you focus your attention on? When you’re not really thinking about anything in particular, what does your mind keep coming back to?  If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?  Here’s another way to say it: What do you really love, with all your heart?

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Works of Righteousness. 041215

Ephesians 2.8In Ephesians 2:8-9: Paul says,“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

And in his letter to Titus, in chapter 3, verse 5, Paul says again,  “ .  .  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”   Did you get that?  It is not by any works, not by any deeds we have done, or by any special actions we have taken, that God saves us.  Particularly not by “works of righteousness”, meaning good things we’ve done to make God like us. 

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Where Is God? 031615

Goslings Staying Close to MomThe only time you really get to rest in this life is when you find someone you can trust to protect you.  And most of the time the only one you can trust completely is God.  Everyone else, sooner or later, comes up short.  They’re just not there when you really need them most.  God is the only One who is really trustworthy.  And when you have God to protect you, it’s a lead pipe cinch that nothing bad is going to happen to you. (No evil will befall you) And no catastrophe, no earthquake, no hurricanes, no swine flu, no cancer, and certainly no plague will come near your dwelling. Continue reading

LIVING WATER? 030815

Cascade waterfall in Planten un Blomen park in HamburgIn John 4:10-14, talking to the Samaritan woman, Jesus says, “You don’t know what God can give you. And you don’t know who I am, the one who asked you for a drink. If you knew, you would have asked me, and I would have given you living water.” The woman said, “Sir, where will you get that living water? .  .  13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But anyone who drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. The water I give people will be like a spring flowing inside them. It will bring them eternal life.” Continue reading

ETERNAL LIFE? 030715

Trust in the Lord With All Thine Heart road signIn John 5:24, Jesus says, 24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe [trust] in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned, they have already passed from death into life.” This is the most basic expression of the Gospel.

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Have You Made Peace with God? 013015

All my life I’ve struggled with how to start a conversation with someone about their relationship with God.  I’ve longed to find some way to get started without offending them or making them mad, or driving them away.  It’s a very personal subject, one that many people are uncomfortable talking about.

One time 3-4 years ago, I had a friend named Evelyn, who was dying of pancreatic cancer.  She worked part-time for the same guy I worked for.  She was about my age.  She was in the hospital, fading fast and I went to visit her.  I didn’t know whether she had a relationship with God or not, but I wanted to talk to her about it.  I didn’t know how to start or what to say.

I don’t know if it mattered, but I took her a prayer blanket that had been made by ladies at our church.  They even prayed over it and anointed it with oil, especially for her.  Now that I think about it, maybe God used that prayer blanket to touch Evelyn and me both.

Anyway, I was standing there beside her bed, trying to think of something to say, when God says, “Ask her if she’s made peace with God.”

So I did.  Right out of the blue I said, “Well, have you made peace with God?”

She thought about it a minute and said the most amazing thing, “Since my husband died about 9 years ago, me and God haven’t had much to say to each other.”

After I thought a second I said, “Evelyn, God loves you; and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or failed to do, He forgives you; and all you have to do to get right with God is to trust Him and accept His forgiveness.”  She said she’d think about it.

She must have done it though, because after she died, her daughter told me that after we talked, she was at peace, happy and thankful; free of all the fear and anxiety she’d had before.

Praise the Lord!

The Kingdom of God

Luke 17:20-21:  20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

So what can we say about these things?  If the kingdom of God is within us (apparently even within the Pharisees) then how can we seek it? How can we find it?   What do we do to gain entry into the kingdom of God?

First let me tell you: I’m pretty sure that “the kingdom of God”, and “being saved”, and “having eternal life”, and “knowing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and even “walking after the Spirit” are all interchangeable expressions for “having a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ”.

So how do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?  The Bible talks about several different ways to reach that relationship. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe (trust) in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart one believes (trusts) unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.”

In John 3:16, John says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes (trusts) in Him, will have eternal life.

In Genesis 15:6 and again in Romans 4:3, God said, “For Abram believed (trusted) God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.”

So what is the common element in all these verses?  If you trust Jesus as a total commitment of your whole being, then you immediately begin to experience that personal relationship that is called by all those names cited above, and because you have Jesus’ Spirit residing in your heart, that very day you enter into the kingdom of God.  And if you’re still trying to figure out how to trust Him; the only way to do it is to surrender your whole self to Him.