Satan’s Puppets

16 04 2017

The chief priests, elders and scribes who conspired against Jesus and delivered Him to the Cross; the Roman soldiers who mocked, beat and nailed Him there; and, the citizens who demanded His crucifixion were all unwitting participants in an event that would affect mankind for eternity.  In spite of having been eyewitness to many of Jesus’ miraculous works, they defiantly refused to believe He was indeed the Messiah and the Son of God. Rather, they felt Jesus was a threat to their power and beliefs. But, during His short mortal life, Jesus made it clear He had come to save when He said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17. Jesus’ death was part of God’s plan of salvation.

 

Jesus also made clear the path to that eternal life when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.

 

Sadly, many today do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, nor do they appreciate what Jesus endured on that day on our behalf. Many are as blind and clueless as those who murdered Jesus and do not realize the harm they are causing or the destructive road they are following. University professors, the ultra-biased media, non-believing celebrities, corrupt politicians, and others who use their platform to spread their secular agenda, striving to remove all traces of Christianity from our lives, are unknowingly serving as pawns of Satan. It is one thing to espouse an opinion; but to openly, or subliminally, deliver evil is a fulfillment of Scripture and their followers will follow them to an eternal hell.  

 

God’s plan hasn’t changed. Jesus will return, but not riding on a donkey as He had done on what we now know as Good Friday. Instead, He will be as a warrior returning to defeat Satan and all evil. Those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior will not be saved from damnation.

 

Because of His suffering, we now have been given the greatest gift possible-eternal life. It’s right there like an apple on a low-hanging branch. All we have to do is grab it. Confess your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, many will continue to ignore His call.

 





KNOWING God

19 04 2014

Tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Easter is the day Jesus walked from the grave; and, with that single act, gave a gift to all mankind-salvation. With His death on the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins; and, with His rise from the grave, He made us the beneficiaries of the greatest gift ever-eternal life. Now, that said, I hope you will join with me in adding Michael Bloomberg, the guardian of the nanny-state, to your prayer list.

This week, after pledging $50 million of his own money in his fight for gun control, Bloomberg said, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

A very telling comment. It would appear, Mr. Bloomberg thinks pretty highly of his largesse. This comment really shows his ignorance on several levels. In revealing his uncertainty of the existence of God, he makes it clear that he doesn’t know God; for if he knew God, then he would have no question regarding His existence. And if he doesn’t know God, then he cannot get into heaven. Further, heaven isn’t something you earn…it is a gift. Just as with any other gift, it is free. The price has already been paid.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” That passage comes from Ephesians 2:8-9. Michael Bloomberg is the embodiment of this passage, bragging about his donation for what he sees as a worthy cause, and confident he has purchased his way into heaven. It doesn’t work that way, Mikey. The only thing required to get into heaven is to confess your sins, repent and accept Christ as your Savior. When you do that, Bloomboy, you will know there is a God and you will know Jesus on a personal level.

There is no requirement for us to go door to door passing out tracts or sharing a testimony. There is no amount of money we can spend to buy our way into heaven. Salvation is free. It is ours for the taking. If Bloomberg does get to heaven, imagine his surprise when he looks around and sees his limo driver, gun-toting good ole boys, the kid he saw flipping burgers at McDonalds, the greeter at Wal-Mart and so many others whom he now considers beneath him.

I hope the day will come when the ex-mayor will see the light and call upon Jesus, and not his bank accounts, to see God. Maybe he and I can slip down to the Heavenly 7-11 and have a 122 ounce Big Gulp. See ya there, Mike?

Don't worry, Mike, there are no calories in heaven.

Don’t worry, Mike, there are no calories in heaven.





KISS- God’s Plan Made Simple

3 10 2013

Yep, KISS-Keep It Simple, Stupid.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwenty-five years ago, I was the manager of ergonomic programs for a consulting firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I was visiting a manufacturing plant in Dublin, Georgia to assist them with a non-ergonomic related issue. While there, the safety and health manager, knowing I was familiar with ergonomics, asked me if I would look at a seating problem. Hey, I’m thinking, it’s your money; for 150 bucks an hour, I’ll grill you a pork chop if you want me to. He took me over to a workbench surrounded by stools similar to the one pictured. He explained that the stools were new, but one particular employee complained every day about her legs going to sleep while she worked. I asked the lady to sit on the stool. When she did, I noticed her feet were dangling about six inches above the foot rest, which was positioned as low as it would go. So now I’m thinking, this can’t be that easy. I leaned down and adjusted the footrest upward until it made contact with the bottoms of her shoes and took the pressure off of her thighs. She exclaimed, “Oh, I didn’t know you could move that thing!”

 

Sometimes things are so simple we can’t see the solution because we are looking for something more complex. Both the employee and the safety and health manager were looking for a more complex solution and, thus, were unable to see the simple fix right before their eyes.

 

That’s the beauty in God’s plan….simplicity.

 

Look at the birth of Jesus. It was very simple. The newborn Jesus wasn’t surrounded by rich and powerful well-wishers. Shepherds, the lowest of the low, the smelly, wretched refuse, were led, by God, to the stable where Jesus lay. And as Jesus grew to be a man and announced He was the promised Messiah, many Jews refused to believe Him because they were looking for something on a much grander scale. They were expecting the Savior to arrive as a mighty warrior on horseback and wipe out their enemies. Because Jesus didn’t fit the model Messiah they had created in their minds, they felt He could not be who He claimed to be and rejected Him.

 

Many years ago there was an old man with eight sons. The youngest of his sons was a scrawny little kid named David, who spent most of his time tending the family’s sheep. Three of David’s older brothers were in the Israelite army and were involved in the battle against the Philistine army. Fighting had come to a standstill because the Philistines had a nine foot tall warrior who would come out every day and issue a challenge to the Israelites to send out their best fighter to do battle with him…mano-a-mano. And each day, his challenge went unanswered because there were no Israelites brave enough or stupid enough to go out and answer his daily challenge.

 

David was bringing lunch to his brothers out at the battleground and asked why there wasn’t any fighting going on. When he learned what the problem was, he told them he would go out and fight the giant. They thought he had more courage than brains, neither of which was going to whip a nine foot giant. What they were unaware of was that David wasn’t planning to rely on either. He was leaving the battle to God. We all know the result.

 

God has a reputation for accomplishing great things in the simplest ways. He took a little kid and beat a giant and with it brought victory for the Israelites over the Philistines.

 

The ultimate goal of all believers is, or at least should be, to live eternally with God. To achieve that goal, God doesn’t demand that we go door to door passing out tracts. He doesn’t tell us that if we are good we will get to heaven. He doesn’t require us to do anything to earn our way into heaven, other than to believe. Again, He has made it simple to achieve that goal. We must confess that we are sinners and believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the promised Savior. That’s it. How simple can it be? Yet, here again, there are those who think there has to be more to getting into heaven than that. It’s too simple.

 

When I was publishing my book on managing safety, the publisher, John Wiley, sent the manuscript out for peer review. One of the reviewers, a long-time safety professional and writer, commented the book was too simple. Well, duh! That was my goal. It is widely held that the average reading level for adults is eighth grade. For that reason, I write for the masses, not the scholarly-a much smaller group of readers.

 

God’s plan of salvation is very simple and it’s simple for a reason. Salvation is for all people and it is made simple so all people, not just the educated, the rich or the elite, can understand and ask for the free gift of salvation He promised. K I S S !

God loves you





I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

27 04 2013

Another thing concerning this episode in the 9th Chapter of John, in which Jesus healed the blind man, was the way He went about it. According to Scripture, Jesus spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. He then spread the mud onto the eyes of the blind man and told him to go to the Pool of Siloam and wash his eyes. After this, the man was able to see.

Now, here is what I find interesting about this particular passage. Why did Jesus make mud with His spit and put it on the guy’s eyes? There was absolutely nothing Jesus was not capable of doing. He didn’t need to put a mud pie on this man’s eyes to provide him with sight. All Jesus had to do was speak it and miracles would happen.

Flip over a couple of chapters to Chapter 11 in which Jesus raises Lazarus from death. The man had been dead for four days. If Jesus had to put mud on the eyes of the blind man in order to give him sight, then it would follow that He would need to take Lazarus’ dead body down to the river and give him a mud bath. Instead, after having the stone moved away from the front of the tomb where Lazarus lay dead, Jesus simply yelled at Lazarus to come out… and he did.

So why did Jesus make the mud and put it on the blind man’s eyes? I believe there were at least three reasons; not the least of which was to bait the Pharisees.

In addition to the laws handed down by Moses, the Pharisees and other religious leaders had added their own laws and a number of strict interpretations. One strict law was that you did not violate the Sabbath by doing work. The Pharisees interpreted just about anything, other than breathing, to be work. Remember, they made their own bricks using mud and straw, so in the eyes of the Pharisees, mixing spit and dirt to make mud was considered work.

Jesus knew this, and knowing, too, it was the Sabbath, He knew the Pharisees among those watching, would have a hissy fit. But He wasn’t simply trying to make them mad. One, He wanted to show others watching that these contrived laws were not of God. Two, He wanted to make a show of this event so those who witnessed it would remember it better and spread the story. And three, and most importantly, He wanted to provoke the Pharisees so they would eventually have Him arrested and murdered. This was necessary in order to carry out the plan of salvation. Without the cross, we could not have eternal life. Jesus had to make someone angry enough to want Him dead. This event just moved Him one step closer to the cross and the fulfillment of a 700 year old prophecy. God’s plan is infinitely brilliant.





God Truly Does Work in Mysterious Ways!

24 04 2013

In the ninth chapter of John, Jesus saw a blind man. His disciples asked who sinned that this man should be born blind. A common belief among Jews was that if someone was met with tragedy, it was a result of someone’s sin. Jesus, in verse three, explained the man had been born blind, not because of anyone’s sin but so “the works of God might be displayed in him.”

I found this to be an interesting statement. God caused this man to be born blind so Jesus could one day demonstrate the power of God by healing his blindness. On the surface that seems cruel, to allow a child to be born blind and spend his life unable to see, just so Jesus could come along later and heal him. But, then, think about what happened as a result of Jesus healing the man. The man gained his sight and salvation on the same day. I don’t know that anyone can imagine the elation this man must have felt.

The story doesn’t end there. The man went about sharing his story with others, including many prominent men who had, up to that point, been enemies of Jesus. As a result of this miracle, many people who may otherwise not have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, gained salvation and eternal life. There is no way of knowing how many people have been saved over the generations as a result of that single event.

As it turns out, a few years of blindness was a small price to pay for the saving of untold many souls. God truly does work in mysterious ways.





Nails

31 03 2012

The nail. So small. So simple, yet so versatile and powerful. A single nail can transform a room when you use it to hang the family portrait. A single nail can quiet a room when used to stabilize a squeaky floor board. With 12,000 nails you can build a house. With a billion nails you can build a city. We see the nail as a symbol of construction. It is used to build. Once a commodity of great value, the nail, today, has little value until you find yourself one nail short at the end of a project. Two thousand years ago the nail was used as a tool of death. Those who refused to believe that Jesus was not who He claimed to be, the long-awaited Messiah, used the nail for destruction as they tried to destroy Jesus and His ministry.

The Cross. The single most important symbol of Christianity. Like the nail, the Cross on which Jesus was crucified was, at the time, a symbol of death. Crucifixion was a common form of public execution in which the victim was tied or nailed to a cross and left to die a slow, agonizing death.

Tomb is defined as a place of internment; an excavation in which a corpse is buried. The tomb is clearly a symbol of death. The end of life.

The irony is, that because of the power of God, all three represent life…new life. Each represents victory over death. The day Jesus rose from the dead and walked out of the tomb was the beginning of new life for those who accept Him as Savior.

The nail, the cross, the tomb…daily reminders that this world doesn’t have to be our final destination. Without Jesus’ death and resurrection this world would be the best any of us could ever hope for; but, thanks to the cross, we, who have made Jesus Lord of our lives, have an eternal future in heaven with the Savior of the world. Who would have ever thought that just three nails could save humanity?

The single greatest moment the world has ever known.