The HS App: A Must Have!

Have you been ‘looking for love in all the wrong places’? Here is an app that is guaranteed to change your love life forever!

This application has been fully tested – It was given to several people in the Old Testament. King Saul had it for a while but he abused it, so God took it away from him.

Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.

Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.” 1 Samuel 16:14-15 (NIV)

NOTE:  Not tested on animals.

INTRODUCTION:

John the Baptist said this:

The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them. Luke 3:15-18 (NIV)

Jesus said:

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:15-24 (NIV)

AVAILABILITY:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:16-21 (NIV)

REQUIREMENTS: This app is different because it is installed on a person’s heart and not on his cell phone.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:10-12 (NIV)

COST :  This app is free!  The cost for this application was provided by its sponsors,  also known as the Jesus, Heavenly Father, God’s Son, Savior, I AM, etc.

SECURITY:

But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.  Galatians 3:22 (NIV)

INSTALLATION  INSTRUCTIONS:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13 (NIV)

SERVICES PROVIDED

      GPSIt will even lead you to heaven!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4 (NIV)

      WISDOM

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:5-8 (NIV)

      ADVISOR (Both Legal and Financial)

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10 (NIV)

      ADVOCATE

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 (NIV)

RESULTS:

When used properly, results will include:  love, Joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)

WARNING!

In the event of an allergic reaction, DO NOT stop using this app! Please consult the manual (The Holy Bible) and pray this prayer:

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

OTHER DETAILS:

For complete details please read the Holy Bible in the language of your choice.

 

NOTE: all references are from the New International Version of the Bible as retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com September, 2013.

 

Are faith and hope the same?

The other day, a friend indicated that faith and hope were the same. What do you think? Are they the same? I decided to do a little research on the two words to see if they were the same or different.

First, I decided to look up the words in a dictionary. I went to my online dictionary at http://www.merriam-webster.com/ and this is what I found.

Faith is a noun and has three variations:

1.  strong belief or trust in someone or something,

2.  belief in the existence of God or a strong religious feelings or beliefs.

3.  a system of religious beliefs.

Hope on the other hand is a verb. Hope means: to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.

 If I recall my grammar education, a noun is a person, place, or thing. It is something capable of acting or being acted on. Since faith is a noun, it would be something capable of acting or it could be acted on.

Also, if  I recall my grammar training, a verb is an action word. In other words, a verb explains what a noun is doing.

People often refer to Hebrews 11 as the ‘faith chapter’ of the Bible. In this chapter, the writer talks about several Bible characters that acted by faith. However, the first verse gives a definition of what faith is.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1-3 (NIV)

Faith is being confident that something will happen even though it may never have happened before.

When we read Hebrews 11, we read about Abel, Enoch, Noah,  Abraham, Sarah, Jacob Joseph, Moses’ parents, Moses, Rahab, etc. These were people who acted in faith. Their faith was based on an event that is still to happen. That event is when God will take his children to be with him forever.

Hope is usually based on what a person wants to happen during this lifetime. Our hopes, which are based on actions will change from time to time. For example; twenty years ago you may have hoped for a 1993 sports car. Are you still hoping for a 1993 sports car? Probably not. What we are now hoping for is a 2014 sports car. Hope is usually based on something that has happened before or can happen in our lifetime.

Hope is a desire for something to happen during our lifetime. If we hope to go to heaven, it will have to happen before we die. If our salvation is based on hope only,we are of all people most to be pitied.

When we die, we become inactive. Since we are inactive, our hope also dies. Faith on the other hand continues for eternity.

Paul also talks about faith and hope in 1 Corinthians 15 when he writes:

For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (NIV)

My conclusion is that faith and hope are not the same. Our salvation is based on faith. We are confident that Christ will return and take us to live with Him forever.

In Philippians 1, Paul talks about being confident that God’s work will be completed in our lives when Christ comes back for God’s children.

 I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)

Do you have faith in God? Can you say with Paul that you are confident that you will make it to completion?  Or are you just hoping there is a God that He will bring you to completion in this lifetime?

My prayer is that you will have faith in God.

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. I John 2:28 (NIV)

 

NOTE: all references are from the New International Version of the Bible as retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com September, 2013.

Who Bore Your Grief?

Grief is the loss of something that has a special meaning to us. It could be a friend, relative, belief,  job, goal, an expectation, etc. Everyone responds to grief in a different way. Many books and articles have been written about the grieving process and the stages that we go through in those processes.

It is not uncommon for people who are suffering from grief, to think that they are the only ones that are dealing with grief. As a result, they may not talk to anyone about the grief and attempt to deal with it in their own terms.

There is a tendency for people who are suffering grief, to concentrate on their grief rather than looking ahead to a time when our joy will be complete. The time when we are united with our Heavenly Father, the one who “took up our pain and bore our suffering so we could spend eternity with Him.

The truth is that everyone has had some experience with grief. It is also true that there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. I cannot prescribe a cure for anyone dealing with grief; only the Holy Spirit can do that.

I do know that it is easier to deal with grief if you can identify with someone who has experienced a similar loss. There is a certain amount of comfort in knowing that you are not alone during the process. This is what causes a support group to be effective for many people.

Many of our small churches are suffering from grief too. They are no longer growing and serving the community in the same way they were more than 50 years ago. They do not accept new members because they want to grieve alone. Members will frequently express anger toward people who would like to revitalize the church because they have to let go of ‘the way it used to be’..

I would like to direct your attention to someone who knows about grief. We can find out about this person in Isaiah 53. In Handel’s Messiah, he included Isaiah 53:4 (KJV) He wrote: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. Who is the writer talking about?

Let us look at the first few verses in Isaiah 53 and we can better understand who the writer is talking about.

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53:1-6 (NIV)

Isaiah was talking about Jesus Christ. He was the one that came to bear our grief. God’s plan for our salvation was for his son to die in our place so that we could spend eternity with God, our Heavenly Father.

Why do we go through periods of grief? When a person is going through a time of grief, they frequently wonder why a God of love would put anyone through this process.

When Jesus told his disciples that he was going to be crucified, his disciples were filled with grief. John says this about Jesus in John 16:

Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.  A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:19-24(NIV)

The writer of 1 Peter writes this in the first chapter of his epistle:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.         1 Peter 1:3-9(NIV)

Next time you suffer from a loss of a friend, relative, belief, job, goal, an expectation, etc., turn your focus to God, put your faith in Him knowing that the result of your grief is joy. Someday soon, your joy will become complete.

The disciples grieved at Jesus death, later they received the joy of knowing that Christ had overcome death for them and was going to the Father. By faith, we can also look forward to be joining our Heavenly Father.  Then will our joy be complete.

(Scripture references used in this article were obtained from: http://www.biblegateway.com September 13, 2013)

Who Am I?

Who am I?

Have you ever googled your name? A while back, I decided to Google me and see who I was. It was very interesting! I was a very successful realtor, I did sell real estate for several years; I am the largest land owner in Western United States, (I did own some land is South Dakota). I have died 5 times, been divorced fourteen times and married several times; I have been a CEO in a major medical firm, (I have paid a lot of medical bills but I don’t think that makes me an owner);  My mother died of cancer, but the number of months she lived with cancer seems to be disputed. It appears to be somewhere between 6 and 36 months.  I have made numerous contributions to the needy and have lived in almost every state of the Union.  In fact, one site even said I may be related to myself!

Jesus went through a similar process when he asked the disciples who he was. Matthew 16:13 says: When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  After all that Jesus had done in the area, people still didn’t know who He really was.

Again in verse 15 Jesus even asked Peter who he was. Peter said he was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” It is interesting that of all Jesus’ followers, only Peter could give the correct answer.

Well to be honest, I don’t always trust Google, so I looked in my Bible to see who I was. First, it says I was born in sin. Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The Apostle Peter says that God provided a cure for sin.

 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray, ”but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  I Peter 2:24-25 (NIV)

In Romans 8, it says that if I am led by the Spirit of God, I am adopted to sonship with God.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:14-18 (NIV)

Paul also says in Romans 6:5-10.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. Romans 6:5-10 (NIV)

God has given me hope and a home in heaven

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)

I know who I am because of what God’s Word says about those who have accepted the gift of salvation. Do you know who you are?

(Scripture references used in this article were obtained from: http://www.biblegateway.com September 4, 2013)