New Creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Who was that person I used to be?

What were my thoughts

In my old identity?

How did I reason that I’d be fine

Not trusting in God’s ways

But counting on mine?

Imprisoned with guilt, confusion and shame

My heart was filled with hurt and blame

Jesus came and filled my heart

His gift to me—a brand new start

Who was that person I used to be?

It matters not

Because today I am free!

 

new creation 2

Rain Down

You heavens above, rain down My righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it.

—Isaiah 45:8

It has rained for several hours now.

Night has fallen as the rain continues to bring life-giving moisture as every drop falls.

Salvation is a gift from God.

It is life forever, coming from the love of God to us.

raindown

If You Only Knew

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water.”

—John 4:10
So many people do not know the gift God has for them. 

They do not know the love God has for them. 

They do not know that they can be forgiven of their sins. 

They do not know they can live forever in eternity. 

Do you know?

In Your Unfailing Love

But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.

—Psalm 13:5

 

Your love is unfailing and so is Your faithfulness.

No matter what happens, my heart can rejoice in knowing that I have a place in Heaven with You.

I can never repay You for all the blessings You have given to me.

Everything I have is Yours.

When I sleep at night, You watch over me.

When I wake in the morning, You see me open my eyes.

Help me to live each day as You want me to.

Please give me wisdom to do Your will in every situation.

Thank You for giving me life.

 

trust-in

Born to You

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. 

—Luke 2:11
This morning, after the Christmas Day church service was over, I paused as I was walking out by a  stained glass window. 

It was depicting Jesus, our Savior. 

His arms were outstretched and welcoming. 

On a night in Bethlehem, Jesus was born. 

When that happened, everything changed. 

Everything changed for all people everywhere. 

Death forever because of sin with no redemption would now be only for those who choose not to believe in Jesus. 

When Jesus was born, so was the only way to escape the punishment we deserved. 

Jesus would one day pay the penalty for our sin, offering us eternity with Him. 

A Savior—One who could save us—had come to the earth as a baby. 

Take the word, “you” out of the following scripture and insert your own name:

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to _______; He is the Messiah, the Lord. 

Born to Tom. 

Born to Robert. 

Born to Jason.

Born to Kayla. 

Born to Liz. 

Born to Kathy. 

Every name of every person on earth could be placed in that scripture and it would still be true. 

If you have not accepted Jesus’ gift of eternal life, please don’t delay. 

Pray and tell Him that you believe He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin. 

Repent of those things you have done that displeased Him. 

Ask Him to be the Lord of your life, giving you guidance. 

It’s not too late—–you can pray right now. 

A Savior has been born—to you. 

The Day is Almost Here

And do this, understanding the present time:

The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.

So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness,

not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,

and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

—Romans 13:11-14

 

Wake up.

Put aside.

Put on the armor.

Behave decently.

Clothe yourselves.

The day is almost here…….

 

 

the-day

 

 

 

The Sign of the Covenant

On this day, 11 years ago, our second son was killed in a car accident.

Some time after that, our family was returning home at night after a very emotional day of dealing with matters concerning the incident.

It had been raining, but the clouds were making way for a clear evening.
The rising moon was glowing in the eastern sky as we arrived at our house.

Something strange and unusual, however, was in the western sky.
We had never seen anything like it.
I tried to photograph the scene, but it was too dark outside.

Looking past our roof, there appeared to be a rainbow.
A rainbow in the dark!

Rushing inside, I quickly went to the computer and typed in something like, “rainbows at night.”

To my surprise, it was a phenomenon that was well documented.
We were looking at a moon bow, or by another name, a lunar rainbow.

Being quite rare, none of us had ever seen one.

As far as I know, no one in our family has seen one since.

Now, I know that rainbows have a purpose…

In the Bible, we have the account of the flood that covered the earth.
When the flood was over, God spoke:

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

This account is found in Genesis 9:8-16.

I think God sent the moon bow to me and my family that night long ago.

It proclaimed God’s work of beauty in the sky in a way previously unknown to us.

At the time, I knew in my heart that this occurrence was very special.
Even now, as I think back to that evening when our hearts were hurting, I see God’s comfort in a mighty way.

Could it be that He was reminding us of a covenant He had made about our eternity?

If you have ever “lost” a child in a store or in a park, you’ve felt that sick, empty fear, wondering desperately where they were.

God promises us that whoever believes in His Son, Jesus, will live forever with Him in Heaven.

In John 11:25-26, Jesus is speaking to a woman named Martha, whose brother had just died:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

When we found out that our son had died, it was like a giant door weighing tons had just been shut, separating us.

In that first instant, something deep inside my heart as his mother had to cry out silently from within, wondering desperately where he was.

The answer to that cry is found in Jesus’ words above.

Our son had professed his belief in God and in Jesus many years before his death.
I still have the worn Bible that he read from every night.

The lunar rainbow?

Was it God reminding me then— and even now as I recall it— that my son was with His Son, in Heaven?

A covenant of redemption that would not be broken for those who belong to Jesus?

Our son is in Heaven, yet I remain here.

I believe that if he could talk to me now, he would want me to tell others how they could be in Heaven someday, too.

As I think of him tonight, the memories are huge in my heart.

But, I know this:
Our son is alive in Heaven.

I will see him again…

sign-covenant

New Things

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

As I walked along the bridge, I noticed that a palm tree had been cut down.

Looking more closely, I could see that there was new growth.

Out of the stump near the ground, new life was emerging!

Bright and green, defying a hopeless end, it was springing forth.

So it is with us when we accept Jesus as our Savior.

The old goes away.

The new comes, springing forth, growing ever brighter with each moment.

 

new-things

 

The Message

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

—1 Corinthians 1:18

 

My husband and I drove to a quiet place up on a bit of a hill.

As we sat looking at the scenery, we could see a tall cross in the distance.

The cross is a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made for each one of us.

Some will believe.

Some will not.

What about you?

 

 

cross

By Grace

The words come back to me and I find myself singing them in my mind…
Matthew West has written a song that I hear quite often on the radio. 
Here is a sample of the lyrics:
There’s a war between guilt and grace

And they’re fighting for a sacred space

But I’m living proof

Grace wins every time

No more lying down in death’s defeat

Now I’m rising up in victory

Singing hallelujah

Grace wins every time. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 states:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 
Have you ever felt that there was a conflict going on inside you concerning guilt and its relationship to forgiveness?
There may be someone you know who feels so guilty about a situation they can’t seem to grasp the fact that God is willing to forgive them. 

The song lyrics describe it as a “sacred space.”

This forgiveness—our salvation and redemption—is a gift from God. There is nothing we can do to earn it. Instead, we must only accept it. 

As believers in the world, each one of us is living proof that grace is victorious through the sacrifice of Jesus. 

The New

Just a couple of days ago, I downloaded a new operating system for my smartphone. 
I had learned about its availability and the positive things it had to offer. 
In making the decision to begin the download, I was aware that with the new operating system in place, there would be some changes that I wouldn’t be used to. 

The way that things had been would not all be the same. 
Some aspects of the system would be improved upon; some would be completely new and still others from the previous system would have been deleted all together. 
Although change is good, it is sometimes difficult to take that first step to incorporate it. 
Many years ago, I received a new spiritual operating system—one that changed me completely. 
My old way of living was becoming such a burden to carry. 
Things just hadn’t turned out the way I had planned. 
Even though I felt that I was in control of my life, my decisions weren’t always productive and many times they were harmful. 
With my level of discontent and disappointment, I knew that things needed to change. 

When I came face to face with the choice to allow Jesus to become my Lord and Savior, I was ready. 
Ready to get rid of the old way of operating my life. 

Ready for a new operating system—one where God was in control and guiding me. 

Asking for forgiveness of all that I had done to displease Him and asking Him to become the Lord of my life, I changed. 

God did come into my heart that day. 

Things have never been the same. 
It was the most important decision of my life. 
Are you tired of operating on your own through every moment, every hour of your day?
God is ready to change all that. 
Don’t wait another minute……

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 

2 Corinthians 5:17

The Presence of the Angels

Have you ever had a birthday party?

Chances are, when you walked into the room everyone cheered and began to sing joyfully. 

And why not?

They were celebrating your special day. 

Your friends were truly happy for you. 

If you know Jesus as your Savior, there was rejoicing in Heaven the moment you repented of your sins and asked for forgiveness. 

How do I know?

The Bible tells us in Luke 15:10 that

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Can you just imagine the scene?

Angels rejoicing. 

Angels rejoicing over you. 

Like a birthday party, they were truly happy in celebrating your special day–the day you entered God’s eternal salvation. 

God sent Jesus to the world to pay the price for our sins, purchasing a place for us in Heaven. 

Now, that’s something to rejoice about!

I Will Dwell

I went to a funeral today.

As I sat in the church listening to the pastor speak about my elderly friend, the words landed on my heart in agreement with what I already knew.

This man had lived his life for God and in service to the people around him.

A constant flow of care from God to him and from him to others, was evident.

Always encouraging, he spoke to me personally many times in appreciation of my efforts.

Speaking regularly in front of the congregation on Sundays, he would inspire those in the pews before him to gather together to help feed the needy in the community.

He gave of his own resources to equip other people as they heard God’s call to service.

As a loving husband, he cared for his ailing wife at home.

Listening to the pastor speak this morning, I learned that even as he was very ill and in the hospital, he was still showing paramount concern for other people.

The tone of the hour was reflective and loving as each person remembered their own experiences with this Christ-like gentleman.

There were tears and, at times, laughter, as his humor was recalled.

A sense of peace and joy could be felt as we sang the lyrics to “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art.”

Psalm 23 was printed in the order of service for everyone to read.

Our dear friend had lived his life in a close relationship with God.

That relationship did not end with his death; it simply continued on in a seamless passage from this earth to Heaven, where His Savior was waiting.

Knowing this brings great comfort when it is time to say goodbye…

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

–Psalm 23:6

 

surely goodness

 

 

Peoples and Languages

Walking through a quaint downtown area of a nearby city for the first time a couple of weeks ago, I came up to a store with several chairs on the sidewalk.

A black one.

A teal one.

A pink one.

A red one.

A green one.

They were all chairs, but they were all different.

Thinking about that, I am reminded of another recent experience.

I attended a church service in a large city whose members were all from a specific country other than my own.

Their language was one I could not speak.

Being prepared for visitors that were not of their background, they had an interpreter and a glass sound booth that he sat in.

I was given a little electronic box with headphones.

As the pastor was speaking in his language to the congregation, I was hearing an English translation for every sentence by the man in the booth.

So, in thinking of different chairs, I am also reminded of different people.

People who look differently than I do.

People who speak  a language that I cannot understand.

People from all different nations in the world.

God’s offer of salvation through Jesus is given to every person He has created.

It doesn’t matter what they look like or how they speak.

It doesn’t matter how old they are or their level of education.

God loves us all the same.

Jesus died for everyone.

Someday, as the book of Revelation states, there will be people from all tribes and languages standing before God.

How happy I am to know that this is true!

~

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,  and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

–Revelation 7:9-10

 

 

from all

We Are Made Right

Driving along the highway, I approached a drawbridge that was raised.

The red stop lights were on, so any car that approached had to come to a halt.

Some type of boat was surely making a safe passage under the raised bridge.

Unless the obstruction of steel and concrete could be moved, the boat would not be able to pass to the other side.

Jesus did something for us when He died on the cross.

He made it possible for the obstruction of sin to be removed.

Our sin created a barrier between us and a safe passage to Heaven when we die.

The Bible says that all have sinned.

When Jesus took on that sin for us, He then lifted the penalty for it.

With the penalty of sin taken away, there is now an open passage for those who accept Him as their Savior.

Romans 3:21-24

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.

made right

The Wages of Sin

It was the first time I had ever seen any message quite like it on a vehicle.

As I was driving down the multi-lane highway, I noticed a pickup truck as it passed me to the right.

The rear window of the cab had a message in large letters that took up most of the glass.

It read, “If you’re not committing a sin, then you’re not having fun!”

Hmmm.

As I ponder this statement, several emotions come into play.

I am saddened for this person, as I know they are flaunting the seriousness and danger of sin.

I am affirmed in my own faith, as I am reminded that this statement is simply not true.

If I am enjoying a dinner out with my spouse, I am having fun.

Bouncing my toddler child years ago on my knee was certainly a lot of fun.

Going into a pet store and holding a very tiny puppy with that same child years later was a fun experience–one that I will always remember.

Going to the beach.

Going to the mountains.

Laughing until we cry at the dinner table because of something silly we are talking about—that’s fun, too.

So far, I am not seeing the necessity of sin in any of these situations.

Satan would like us to believe that God wants to keep the “good” things–the “fun” things–away from us while he offers us those things freely.

Of course, this is not the truth.

Those things that would bring us the most happiness and joy–those are the things in life God offers to us.

It doesn’t mean that there will be an absence of trouble.

We live in a fallen and sinful world.

Still, the thrill of what sin offers is short-lived and what we are left with is the consequences.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

—Romans 6:23

 

wages

 

 

Believe in Your Own Heart

For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

—-Romans 10:9
Tonight the wind was cool as the sunset over the lake captivated my attention. Storms had occurred nearby and a beautiful mix of clouds and radiant light made a glorious backdrop for the palm trees and downtown buildings. 

Each evening God creates a masterpiece of beauty in the sky for all to see. 

I have been praying in the last few months for a friend who does not know Jesus as their Savior. I am praying for their salvation. I want them to know the great love of Jesus. 

One day, I am hoping they will look at a sunset and praise God for His wondrous works in the sky and for His wondrous work within their life. 

Dear Lord, You know who my heart is burdened for. I pray that they will come to see You as the way, the truth and the life. I pray that You would draw them away from anything that is not of You. I pray they would give their life to you completely. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of salvation. 

Your Requests

What do you wish for?

As I was walking on a small bridge above a pond of water, I noticed that people had thrown coins into the water to make a wish.

Although I do not know how that tradition ever came about, I am certain that throwing money into water does nothing to help.

What is a wish, anyway?

A hope or desire?

I wish for many things.

Not a bigger house or an expensive car.

Many of the things I wish for I could not bring about.

I wish for a better relationship with someone that I love very much who is within my family.

I wish for the salvation of my unsaved friends.

I wish for good health for people I know who are very ill.

I can do my part in attaining wishes like these.

It will never involve throwing coins into a body of water…

I can work toward being friendly and loving to help a relationship mend.

I can talk to friends about Jesus and what He has done in my life.

I can encourage friends who are ill with cards, phone calls and visits.

But cause someone’s heart to change?

God will need to do that.

See salvation come to a lost soul?

God will need to draw them to repentance.

Hear a diagnosis of remission of cancer?

God will have to heal and restore.

There’s one more thing I can do besides wish…

In fact, it’s the most important thing.

I can pray and talk to God about my hopes.

About my desires.

I can pray for healed relationships.

I can pray for physical healings.

I can pray for the salvation of others.

What do you wish for?

****

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6-7

 

peace of

 

 

The Road That Leads

Jesus said:

 

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

–Matthew 7:13-14

On any given day, we can see hundreds of vehicles pass us as we travel to and from work.

How many of those cars, trucks and vans would there be transporting people who know Jesus and are destined for Heaven when they die?

How many vehicles would be transporting people who are lost without Him?

I am afraid that there would be many more people traveling by who do not know Jesus as they Savior than those who do.

Is there someone you know that you could invite to church this week?

Is there someone you work with that you could talk to about your faith?

destruction

Sweep the House

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

–Luke 15:9-10
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ–someone who has repented of their sin and asked for forgiveness–there was rejoicing over you when you did that. 

Can you just imagine the rejoicing over you? Right there in Heaven?

Like a lost coin—but so much more important than that—you were found!!

New Life

Years ago, one of our son’s best friends paid for him to go skydiving as a gift.

Before he boarded the plane, an instructor spoke to him about the upcoming experience.

Our son was dressed in a special flight suit and given a parachute.

Although I was not there, I am sure he listened to the instructions about the parachute and everything else that was advised.

After all, who would dare to go skydiving without having any knowledge whatsoever about the parachute?

I was thinking about this earlier today.

People die all the time.

Every day.

Most everyone dies before they reach 100 years old.

Only a few make it a little past that mark.

Yet, how many people inquire as to what will happen when they die?

How many people are concerned enough to look into it?

Taking the trip from this life to eternity is far more important than skydiving.

God has made known His plan for safe passage for those who die.

His plan was the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins and the offering of a new life with Him, now and forever.

Jesus became our “parachute” when we had nothing to save us from the fall to Hell.

Still, there are those who do not wish to hear of a safe passage.

They do not wish to hear about a parachute.

They desire no instructions from God about the trip we all must make.

There are some, though, who have heard His call for instruction.

They have listened intently about a safe passage.

They have decided that having a Savior is the only way to life after death.

What preparations have you made personally for your passage?

1 Corinthians 15:22 reads,

“Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

 

 

 

 

new life

 

 

 

But the Sick

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

—Luke 5:31

There is a hospital in a nearby city about an hour’s drive from my home. 

I have visited the hospital many times. 

It is run by a Christian denomination. 

Walking through the halls there are many encouraging works of art and scriptures displayed to be a comfort and a hope to those who are there. 

We have all been lost in our sin–sick and in need of salvation. 

In our weakness and sinfulness, Jesus will always be there. 

Ready to comfort. 

Ready to forgive. 

Ready to give us hope…

  

A Way That Appears

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It was very dark and somewhat difficult to see.

As I was driving on a multi-lane highway, I turned left at the signal to enter a two lane highway that intersected it.

Although the pavement over the four lanes I had to cross was marked with paint to guide vehicles to the correct point on the other side, I somehow failed to follow it correctly.

When I entered the two lane road, I did so on the wrong side of the double yellow lines into a turn lane for oncoming traffic.

I had made a serious error.

Immediately aware of the double yellow lines and my placement to the left of them, I called out loud, “God! I’m in the the wrong place!” as I looked in my rear view mirror to see some headlights behind me.

Instantly increasing my speed and moving to the correct lane without a collision from the rear or the front, my heart was beating quickly.

I was thankful for God’s protection in the midst of the danger.

In essence, we all must come to a point where we call out to God for help, realizing that we are in the wrong place—a place of sin and separation from Him.

Proverbs 14:12 reads, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

When I turned my car into the wrong lane, it appeared to be right at first–but it wasn’t.

When we call to God, He hears us.

When we ask for forgiveness, He grants it.

When we give our lives to Him, He saves us.

*

Click image to enlarge.
appears

 

 

By Which Also

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures.

I believe that.

Jesus was buried.

I believe that.

He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

I believe that.

Many people saw Jesus after He was raised from the dead.

I believe that, as well.

Because of Jesus’ great love, I can be saved.

So can you…

 

*

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,  and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

–1 Corinthians 15:1-7

*

Click image to enlarge.
by which

Name Was Not Found

bookmark3-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1_zps08a42f53

If you’ve ever tried to get a visa on your passport in order to enter a particular country, then you know it can be a complicated matter.

It’s likely that you’ll have to answer a lot of questions on a form.

Maybe more than one form, even.

Some of the questions might turn out to be pretty hard to answer.

Questions about your job.

Your parents.

Your grandparents.

Your driver’s license.

Where you were born.

The list goes on and on….

Even after you send in the information, it is always possible that your request may be denied.

You’re not allowed in.

No particular reason.

Just, “No.”

But what about getting into Heaven?

There aren’t any forms to be filled out.

Your job status doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter who your parents were.

It doesn’t matter who your grandparents were, either.

Really, it doesn’t even matter when you were born.

The only thing that matters is if you have believed in Jesus and repented of your sins, asking for forgiveness.

Look at these verses:

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.

—Ephesians 2:8-9

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

—Romans 10:9

That leaves us with a question.

So, what if you don’t believe and repent?

It’s not a popular topic and it can certainly cause some divisive arguments.

In the book of Revelation, the Bible speaks of the book of life:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

–Revelation 20:11-15

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Not many people want to talk about the “So, what if you don’t” question.

Not many people want to talk about the passage above from Revelation.

It’s frightening.

I believe that my name is written in the book of life because I have believed in Jesus and repented of my sins.

Still, I am frightened for those who have not.

If you feel that your name would not be there, why not change that right now.

God is ready to hear your prayer.

It’s not too late…..

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book of life

For the Lord Himself Will Come Down

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Sunday afternoon, the train cars were parked, awaiting their next journey as they sat quiet and still along the rails.

Something about trains makes me want to photograph them almost every time I see them.

Maybe it’s the thought of travel and moving on to a different place that intrigues me.

For a believer in Jesus, there is always the faith that a different place awaits us in Heaven.

Many songs about our eternal home have been written using a train as a metaphor regarding our way of passage.

One that I have been familiar with for a long time is, “This Train.”

This train is bound for glory, this train,
This train is bound for glory, this train,
This train is bound for glory,
Don’t ride nothin’ but the righteous and holy
This train is bound for glory, this train.

Another song is “The Gospel Train.”

The gospel train is coming,
I hear it just at hand,
I hear the car wheels moving,
And rumbling thro’ the land.

Get on board, children,
Get on board, children,
Get on board, children,
For there’s room for many a more.

Still another is “The Warning.”

The Gospel train’s at hand,

Be in time, be in time!

The Gospel train’s at hand,

Be in time,

Behold your station there, JESUS has paid your fare; Let’s all engage in prayer:

Be in time, be in time!

Let’s all engage in prayer:

Be in time!

The lyrics to “The Gospel Railroad” encourage others toward salvation:

Come, sinner! join the Gospel-train
Would you the Holy City gain;
That you the journey may begin—
The train is waiting—O step in!

The lyrics of all these songs point to one, very important thing:

There is just one passage to Heaven.

That passage is through Jesus; He is our “train.”

We can hear Him in our land right now.

Only those who have believed in Him for salvation may go with Him.

He has paid the fare for any sinner to come and there is room for every person that wants to go.

Here’s the big question:

Are YOU on board?

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For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

—1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

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