See You at the Pole

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One young man. One voice reaching the Throne Room of God. Nothing disturbs him. He stands in the Holy Presence of his Savior.

He prays for his classmates. He prays for his teachers. He prays for his community. He desires for God’s work in their lives. He desires peace and hope for them. It touches his heart.  He trusts God. He knows God is faithful. Though sick with allergies, he wanted to pray. How steadfast is this young Man of God. He knows God’s Word and he believes.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 NKJV

Don’t believe me. Believe God!

 

Brother George. How are you?

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These are words that I cherish.  As often as I see Gary, he utters these sweet words to me.  Love is stirred in my heart and I remember how many hours he spent with me along with his wife Diann when I became a believer.  Gary led a Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study every Sunday morning before our church service.  As a new believer I was like a sponge.  I wanted to hear everything.  My dear friend Mark from my workplace spoke to me one critical day about Jesus and you can say the rest is history.  I was now being discipled.  Gary has become a dear friend. Then things changed on July 4, 2019.  Gary was clinging on to his life.  Gary has a massive heart attack and his brain was not receiving any oxygen.  His son Jason said, (paraphrase) “He has suffered through two cardiac arrests, a lengthy lack of oxygen to his brain, seizures, broken ribs, a punctured lung, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, kidney failure, multiple medically induced comas, a tracheotomy, among other things”  Prayers began for Gary. A lot of prayers.

Over the next several days and weeks, many people joined the family in prayer for Gary’s health and healing, for strength for Diann and their sons Scott and Jason.  We prayed for their entire family for God to pour out His supernatural presence by His Holy Spirit.  Gary was hooked up to hospital devices that would lengthen his life, but the prayer for Gary was complete restoration.  Oh, I wanted to hear those words from Gary again, “Brother George. How are you?”  I couldn’t imagine not being able to see Gary and Diann in church each Sunday, encouraging others to simple believe God’s authority over all things including healing.  I’ve prayed along with them for many other people.  Believing God for the promises in His Word.  Faith rose up to a level I’ve not witnessed before.  God manifested His Holy presence and said, “It is finished”

Jason followed with this in one of his updates on his dad.  “BUT today he gets to go home. His prognosis was so grim and chances of recovery so small, BUT today he gets to go home. When he began to come out of sedation, he wanted two things: water, and to go home. The guy who’s known in medical circles as “miracle man” will get his wish today. He gets tired quickly but can do many things on his own and will continue to build strength from home. He will return to his beloved chair where this all began, only this time with quite the story to tell instead of read.”  A miracle testimony.  Gary is  the “Miracle Man”. But God…

 

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We must remember God’s promise, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV}  

Through it all, God’s been good.  Through the hundreds and hundreds of hours Gary’s family spent with him in the hospital, their strength was upheld by God’s strong right hand. The family began to speak the many promises of God.  And God delivered Gary.  God is faithful.  God said, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

I rejoice that Gary is alive and ready to tell the world of God’s miracle healing.  Gary’s the “Miracle Man”.  God is the giver of life and he gave Gary a second life.  I’m reminded of Lazarus.

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:38-44 ESV)

I’m looking forward to seeing Gary and Diann tonight with my wife, Nancy.  Oh what joy I will have when I hear those words again. “Brother George. How are you?”

Don’t believe me. Believe God.

 

Faith as small as a Mustard Seed

“He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 13:31 ESV)

This won’t be a teaching on the size of the actual mustard seed and how God would move even if your faith was that small. If you will be so inclined to allow me to just write about faith as I see it day to day from my point of view.

My eyes are focused on the promises of God’s Word, but sometimes not fixed on the promises. What I mean is that I know that the Word of God is absolute truth and the promises of God are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV) But sometimes what happens is that I lose my fixation on the promise and let circumstances and my human thoughts pull me away. I think that most of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior can say we’ve done that. It’s a weakness we have because we’re human.

So many things have been happening in my life, my wife’s life, my family’s life and with my friends that it seems that it is overwhelming. It is there that I need to stop and talk with God. I do that sometimes, but certainly not every time. But even in my human inadequacies, God moves in my situation. It is there that I am consumed in His love and find myself humbled and weeping before the Lord. I ask why can’t I just give it to the Lord from the beginning. Why do I fail Him so easily?

But you see I’m not failing God. God doesn’t feel that I’ve failed Him. He is my ever present help in time of need. (Psalm 46:1 ESV) Even when I don’t realize it. It’s not about me wanting to be perfect or the one that needs to carry the burden alone. Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:30 ESV) But I would save myself a lot of grief if I would just stop and pray. If I would just take a deep breath, focus on the presence of God, settle my heart and have a conversation with God.

I believe in the Power of Prayer and that it changes everything. In fact I have witnessed so many miracles as the result of prayer. However, should we forget to stop first and pray, God has it. Really. God is faithful. We can trust in Him. The Bible says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV) We can put our faith in God. And yes, it’s true that if our faith is as small as a mustard seed, we can speak to our mountains and God will move them. I’m so glad for that.

Don’t believe me. Believe God.

There’s a whole lot of love in the house of the Lord

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The general area around where I live has many different businesses but it still can identify itself as a family neighborhood.  If my wife and I had children in school age, we would feel very confident to raise our children here.  There are shopping centers, grocery stores, convenience stores, department  stores, gas stations, and even a local Emergency Room.  There are doctor and dentist offices.  And we are only little ways from Lake Erie and access to recreational opportunities on the lake.  There are many places of worship to choose from and the folks around here are friendly.  They’re “good people”.  We feel safe and secure.  We’ve never had an issue.  This makes me smile a lot.

When I got married to my wife Nancy, we  wanted to find a place to worship in as we both were attending different churches.  What did we do?  We took it to the Lord in prayer.  It wasn’t long that we both came into agreement and it has been a tremendous blessing.   Oh by the way, we will be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary in May.  We were  married in the church we now attend.  We have been so blessed.  We are confident this is where the Lord wants us.

What drew us to this church?  There’s a whole lot of love in the house of the Lord.  Our church is filled with the Love of God.  Our church’s mission is Connecting People to a Growing Relationship with Jesus Christ.  That being said, is the same kind of love being poured out when church is over.  What are we doing outside of the church walls?  Jesus said this, And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”” Mark 16:15 ESV  And Jesus also said this,  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV   It’s a tough question.  What are we doing outside of our church walls?  It’s fine that you may attend a church full of love for you.  But what about the lost outside of church who are headed to an eternity in hell.  Yes, hell.  It’s not a pretty picture.  I hope that you are not saying or thinking that you’re ok and that’s not your problem.  That kind of  thinking is not biblical.  Jesus gave us a command.  We must be obedient to it. 

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Friend, I’m asking you to think about this.  Really think.  I wouldn’t want anyone to perish because we were selfish; thinking only about ourselves.  The man who told me about Jesus in 1999 was not selfish and loved me so much that he told me about Jesus.  Did you get what I just said?  The man loved me so much that he told me about Jesus.  Love isn’t only inside of the church to get people to attend.  If a church is like that they are missing the most important command of God.  The Apostle Peter said this, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 ESV  We must take the Love received by accepting Jesus into our lives and go tell a world about it.

You have a choice.  This is my challenge to  you.  I ask you to pray and listen to what God is saying to you about a lost and dying world and how you can reach them; to pour out the love that Jesus gave you when He died for you on the Cross.  He took your sins and paid the full price for them.  His death on the cross.  Jesus is our Blessed Hope.  He is the Son of God and He is coming back someday.  You have a choiice.  I will be praying for you. God bless you.

If you have never asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life, you can do that. In humble prayer ask Jesus to  forgive you  of  your sins, repent of your sins and  declare your belief that He died for you and arose from the grave to defeat sin and death for all.

Don’t believe me.  Believe God!

 

 

Through it all…

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I know that I know that God loves me. He rescued me from the depths of my sorrow, fear, feeling abandoned. I’ve had seasons of great challenge. I’ve had times of pain both mentally and physically. But through it all, God’s been Good. I’ve placed my trust in the Lord and have given up the things of the world. I once thought that these worldly things were necessary for me to be happy. They are not. God has saved me, He has raised me, He filled me with the Holy Ghost. He healed me, to the uttermost. He picked me up and turned me around. He placed my feet on solid ground. For all of this, I thank Him and give Him Praise. Again, through it all, God’s been Good in my life.

You might ask why I am so confident of this.  How do I truly know?  Well, each story or in this case, every testimony is different.  When I received the touch of God, I was at my rock bottom.  Really!  I’m not giving you the standard testimony of someone who now goes to church and is all happy.  That kind of person, I am not.  I am a realist.  I was raised to study and investigate and always question what lies before me.  I lived my whole life that this was the only way.  To cover all the bases; to get all the answers to all the questions.

So how long do you think I studied the question, “Does God love me?”  Well, I don’t have knowledge of how long, but I will tell you it took 45 years for me to think about that infamous question.  My life was at a point where I needed to make a choice.  Sometimes that’s where you need to be so that the only thing left is “Choose Jesus or Die.”   “Oh, come on, George.  Really?  Sounds to me that you are saying all the right things. Is this real?”  Before I asked myself the question “Does God love me?” I was ignorant. I was wandering around lacking any knowledge of God’s love.  Jesus was calling me to come home to Him.  All the while, I closed my ears and eyes of that.  I know now the truth.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)  Yes, He was chasing after me from the beginning of time, though I didn’t know it.

My testimony began with a man sharing his love for me by telling me that there was a man who loved me and wanted a relationship with me.  His Name is Jesus Christ.  For me it was like bait in the water of a great pond filled with fish.  Except it’s not about hooking fish.  It’s all about His mercy and grace that pulled me out with one great pull.  Great is the Lord. “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” (Psalm 145:1-3 ESV) 

You may have heard the following praise, even if you don’t think of yourself as spiritual or religious.  It has been said, “God is Good all the time. And all the time God is Good.”   This has nothing to do with being spiritual or anything to do with religion.  It has everything to do  with relationship.  The Bible says this.  And it is a promise.  “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”” (1 Corinthians 2:9) “Does God love me?  Most wholeheartedly Yes.”  I now serve One Master.  It’s in Christ Alone that I give my life.  Has it been easy?  No. Have I been blessed?  If you’re looking for me to quantify this question, I can’t.  God’s blessings are immeasurable.  Overflowing.  More than I can even imaging.  His grace is sufficient for me.   Through it all, God’s been Good!

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing.  I  don’t know of the circumstances by which you live your life.  I don’t know if you feel that if God knew me, He couldn’t love me.  But I know this that God loves you with an everlasting love that can never change or be diminished.  If you knew Him like I know Him you would know that He is Alive and death has died.  Jesus paid the price for sin and death by His suffering, crucifixion and resurrection.  I’m just asking you to come to  the everlasting love of Jesus and have a talk with Him.  My joy is unspeakable because I know that someone will read this and join in everlasting life, the Family of God.  It’s not how much you have done.  It’s simply about belief.  There is nothing you can do to earn eternal life.  God paid the price for you.  It’s His grace that will be applied to you once you accept Him.

Jesus, You paid the price for all of us to receive Your grace and partake in everlasting life with You in Heaven.  You’ve not applied a lot of rules or duties to receive the greatest gift.  We only need to believe.  Then we will see Jesus in all of Your glory.  Thank You that You have been with me since the beginning of the age and through it all You have been good.  Help me to understand more and more about You.  Bless our relationship Lord.  Forgive me sin and come into my life.  Thank You Lord.  I will serve You until I die.  I’m on the battlefield for the Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 Don’t believe me. Believe God!