Happy Thursday, friends! I am so glad to be able to say that all the bad weather they were possibly warning us of yesterday did not ever happen. It stormed, it was windy and it hailed some here and there, but that was all it ended up being. My sister was able to get on an earlier flight out of Memphis and I know she was so glad to be home! She missed her family and her dog.
All that got me to thinking more about what I posted yesterday and why we fret over things so much. I think it has a lot to do with how plugged in we are these days. Everyone of us have a computer at our fingertips 24/7 (our phones) and we get alerts all the time, for everything under the sun. This can be really great, don't get me wrong—but it can be really bad, too.
I don't mean to sound ungrateful to be living in this time, but I also long for a simpler time in life, one in which I just happily went about my own business all the time. All of this information overload is enough to give any sane person major anxiety, so I've switched up my routine in the morning. I've been more careful in how I've been spending my time and I make sure never to neglect my quiet time when I can help it, and instead of watching the national news shows I used to love, I read blogs, check emails and take a quick five minute or less peep at social media, then I get started with my day.
One reason I don't watch any national news is because I do not trust any of the media conglomeration. Do you know how many people I've come across in the last few weeks who say that exact same thing? Our world is overrun by evil and corruption right now, my friends, and things that are evil are celebrated and what is good is called evil (tolerant or hate speech). That brings me to the point of this blog post today.
It is my humble opinion that the return of Jesus is drawing near. Do you know Him? I ask you all the time, but let me tell you about Him.
God is holy, loving and perfect. He has always existed! When God first created the world, it was perfect. He created everything on the earth, then He created a man He named Adam. God created Eve from a rib He took from Adam, as a helpmate and as a wife, and they were perfect until sin entered into the world in the form of a serpent and in the way that serpent tempted the woman by causing her to doubt God's Word and the truth that it is.
God saw the sin of Adam and Eve and He sees our sin today. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 that the punishment for sin is death.
For God so loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) God loved us so much that He couldn't let us die, so He gave up His beloved Son Jesus so that He could become a man, suffer and die on behalf of the sin of the world, thus paying the price that we were supposed to pay. Jesus died on the cross, was buried and resurrected from the dead three days later, and He now sits at the right hand of God the Father, where He intercedes for us (Romans 8:34).
When Jesus died on the cross, His blood washed away all of our sin and that is His gift to us today. His blood makes us clean, makes us forgiven and righteous before Him (it purifies us) and it allows us to have a relationship with Him today. Once we are forgiven by God, we STAY forgiven by God forever and nothing/no one will ever snatch us out of His hand. This gift that He offers to us is salvation, but it's not anything He forces upon us. He allows us the choice of accepting His gift or denying it. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift. (Ephesians 2:8)
If you want to be saved, all you have to do is ask for the gift of His salvation. Confess your sin to Him, ask His forgiveness and believe in your heart and mind that He is your Savior and you will be saved! Once you do that, you will be a brand new person on the inside.
Don't just stop there, though—pray and read His Word and you will be renewed from the inside out. An almost visible change will occur within you and that is when you begin to live your life loving Him and pleasing Him.
This is where the benefit of accountability and discipleship enters into the picture—find a church home and commit to going faithfully as many times in a week you are physically able. Church attendance won't gain you any special favor in the eyes of God, but it brings accountability and the practice of godly fellowship. Hebrews 10:25 says this: And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.
None of the things I mention in these last paragraphs will earn you salvation, for salvation is not earned—it's God's free gift to us. But all of these things help us muddle our way through this messy life in this dark world that we live in. Times are hard right now and they'll get harder before Jesus comes back to take us home with Him. I take great comfort in this life of faith in Jesus that I live and you can too! He brings peace to me, His Word guides my every step and I know that I can trust Him with everything in my life. Like I said, you can have all of that too, if you want it. It's yours for the taking! Yet another wonderful thing about my Jesus is that you don't have to come to Him all cleaned up and "pretty". He invites everyone to come as they are and He is the one who cleans up the mess that we are without Him. Once we belong to Him, we are filled with His Holy Spirit and that is how we operate in life, day by day. That means that when my pastor stands and preaches his heart out on a Sunday, he will tell you it wasn't him doing that, it was the Holy Spirit who enabled him the ability to be able to do so.
I pray someone who needs to read this reads it today and if that is you, don't wait to call out to Jesus. We are not promised tomorrow, my friends.
Feel free to reach out to me by email if you want to talk more. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love to all.