Category: God’s Love & Grace

The Thief on the Cross, entered Heaven with Jesus

How does the thief on the cross, fit into your theology?

As Christians, we all have our idea of how we should worship God, what we need to do to secure a place for ourselves in heaven, and what we need to do to be saved. Some of us worship very simply, while others worship very ritualistically. 

But what about the thief on the cross?  He wasn’t baptized. He never took communion. He was never confirmed. There was no speaking in tongues, no special prayers, no volunteering, and no special church clothes. He didn’t say the sinners’ prayer. He couldn’t kneel to pray. Jesus didn’t take his pain or heal his body. He was just a naked dying man on a cross that couldn’t even fold his hands to pray, yet he entered heaven along with Jesus, simply by believing. The only thing he had to offer was his belief in Jesus, that He was who He said He was, as the Scriptures show us:

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

There is nothing that we have to do before coming to Christ! There is absolutely nothing we can do to pre-qualify ourselves for Christianity. The one and only thing required of us is to believe. Many times we try to make Christianity more complicated for ourselves and others than we should. It is really very simple. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose again and is alive today; then seek His forgiveness. That is all that is required. Do that and you will be a child of God and you will secure your place in heaven. 

All God wants is for us to love Him as He loves us.

It Only Takes a Little bit of Faith

We will never behold the glory of Christ by sight in the next world if we have not in some measure beheld it by faith here in this world.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

The eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews lists many examples of men that had great faith and the things they accomplished.

Yet, it is not the quantity of faith that saves us. A little faith is just as real faith as the person with the greatest faith. A drop of water is just as real water as the whole ocean. A spark of fire is as real fire as a whole forest fire. A sickly man is just as real of a human being as a healthy man. So it is not the measure of your faith that saves you, but the blood of Christ. We all start out with little faith, but as we grow and see the hand of God in our lives and the lives of others, our faith increases astronomically. So if your faith is small, yet you seek Christ, He will not let you perish. The weakest hands may take the gift as well as the strongest. Christ is that gift, and a little faith is all it takes to begin a journey that will lead to a life of triumphant joy in our Lord.

Life is hard — Jesus is Easy

Everyone that has lived for any length of time on this earth, has endured hardship, troubles, and disappointment. Life is not always easy. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, Christian or non-christian, famous or unknown, sooner or later you will face difficult times in your life. 

The difference is, as a Christian, you can lean on Jesus during those hard times, To lean on someone, takes so little effort. Jesus wants us to lean on Him when we are weak. He can lighten the load. We may be weak, but He is strong. Let His strength work through us.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

As a believer, you know that God is ultimately in control and wants only the best for us. He can work any situation into our ultimate good.

“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)

When we diligently contemplate the omnipotence of God, the glory of Christ, and the sacrifice that He made for us, plus all the things He has prepared for us in heaven that we will enjoy for all eternity, it puts our troubles and distresses here on earth in greater perspective when compared to our eternal home. Not to make light of our troubles here on earth, for they can be very overwhelming, but they all grow on the overvaluation of temporal things. All things in this life are transitory and perishing, affecting only the outward man or body, perhaps even to the killing of it. The best things here below have nothing that is truly substantial or abiding in them. For what are all the things of this life, the good, and evil of them, in comparison to our home in glory. With the help of Christ, we can overcome any pain, sickness, sorrow, fear, danger, and even death. Knowing that these are all outward, transitory, and passing away, fixing our minds on those things which are eternal and filled with incomprehensible glory.

To the believer, this world is the only hell they will ever know. To the unbeliever, this world is the only heaven they will ever know.

Jesus: The Great ‘I AM!’

“I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am !”

Because of Jesus, I am………

I am alive with Christ. (Ephesians 2:5)

I am free from the law and death. (Romana 8:2)

I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me. (Isaiah 54;14)

I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me. (1 John 5:18)

I am holy and blameless in love before him. (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16)

(more…)

Being Christ-Like

As Christians, our greatest desire should be to be more like Jesus. How do we do that? By surrendering our lives to Him. By making God’s will more important to us than our own desires. As we strive to do this we will find our own desires being more in line with God’s desire for us. We will experience the love of Christ flowing through us.

When asked what was most important, Jesus replied, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.”

God is love. His nature is love. It is impossible for Him, not to love. He loved us so much that He gave His son, Jesus Christ, to die a horribly painful death to save us. He did this while we were sinners. We certainly didn’t deserve it. Jesus loves all of us. He loves us when we are unlovable. He loves the worst of sinners, people who we think are unlovable and don’t deserve God’s love are still loved by God. He doesn’t love the sin in their lives, in fact, He hates their sin, but He loves them. 

We have all heard love the sinner, hate the sin. This is very hard to do, it seems impossible; it is only possible for us when we allow the love of Christ to flow through us. When we surrender our own will and seek to do God’s will, we will find God’s love flowing through us naturally, without even thinking about it.

If we want to be more Christ-like, we must love those we may not like. We don’t have to like or accept their lifestyle, their behavior, what they stand for, or even their religion. We may not like to be near them or listen to them, but we need to love them as a creation of God. If we do this, we will find that we are becoming more concerned about their salvation and where they will spend eternity. We are becoming more Christ-like.    Love others.

God Loves YOU!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

This is the amazing beauty of God’s love towards us, that “while we were still sinners, He died for us”. We didn’t have to earn it. We could never earn his love. But on the other hand, there is nothing we can do to make God not love us. His love for you is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Romans 8:37-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Because our Lord first loved us, we can be confident that our relationship with Him is not based on what we do. It’s based on who He is and what He’s like. His nature is love, and His love for us is unconditional and uninterrupted. As A. W. Tozer said, “Because God is self-existent, His love had no beginning; because He is eternal, His love can have no end; because He is infinite, it has no limit.” 

His love is a holy love, an agape love, Its depth is beyond our understanding. Fortunately, we don’t need to understand it, we just need to accept it. God loves us right now, this very minute; regardless of where we are, how we are, or who we are. God loves us now and forever.

Jeremiah 1:5 says “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”. Wow! The God who created the universe knows you and made you special! 

God knows everything about each one of us. There are no secrets from God. And yet, He loves us just the way we are………He loves each of us as if there were only one of us. All He asks is that we love Him back. God Loves You!

The Devil had a Going out of Business sale

Bill Anderson told the story about the day the devil decided to go out of business. He decided to have a sale in which he would sell off the tools of his trade.

On the night of the sale, the devil’s tools were all attractively displayed. Malice, hate, jealousy, greed, sensuality, and deceit were among them. To the side lay a harmless wedge-shaped tool, which had been used much more than any of the rest.

Someone asked the devil”What’s is that? It’s priced so high.” The devil answered, “That’s discouragement.” “But why is it priced so much higher than all the other tools?” the onlooker persisted. “Because, replied the devil, with that tool I can pry open and get inside a person’s consciousness when I couldn’t get near him with any of the others. Once discouragement gets inside, I can let all the other tools do their work.”

How does the devil get us discouraged? By lying to us. Jesus said Satan is a liar and the father of lies. There is no truth in Him (John 8:44). He knows what lies to tell each of us to get us discouraged. To name a few:

You’re not going to make it!  You’re not good enough!  You’re not pretty enough! Nobody likes you! Everybody’s against you! You can’t trust anyone! You’re a failure!

These are just some of the lies Satan will use on us. Don’t believe his lies. Don’t let Satan steal your joy. God created each of us unique and special. God doesn’t make mistakes. He loves each of us more than we can humanly understand. He loved us before we were born, He has always loved us and always will. To God, you’re not a failure. You are more precious than gold. There is nothing we can do to keep Him from loving us. All He wants is for us to love Him back.

Discouragement comes from the devil.

Discouragement never comes from God. 

A Prayer — God with Me

When I woke up this morning, God was there.

As I enjoyed my morning coffee, God was with me.

When I had breakfast and got ready for the day, God was there.

As I traveled to and from what I had planned for the day, God went with me.

As I went about doing the things I had to do during the morning, God was there.

When I had lunch, God was with me.

During the afternoon, God was there the entire time.

At dinnertime, God was there.

In the evening as we watched some television among other things, God was there.

As I went to bed and then to sleep, God was there.

As I slept through the night, God was with me.

There was never a moment during my entire day, when I was not in the presence of God.

David wrote: “Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?

 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

    if I settle on the far side of the sea,

   even there your hand will guide me,” (Psalm 139: 7-10)

Who am I, that the God who created the galaxies, should care about me?

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

Help me Lord, to be aware of your continual presence in my life. May I acknowledge You when I first awake. As I go through the day, help me not to be so absorbed in my own thoughts that I forget to talk and commune with you Lord. May my mind dwell on You throughout the day. May I not miss out on any of the joy and blessing of being in your presence. 

I am so blessed that the almighty, all knowing, all powerful God who created everything; loves me and cares about me. He doesn’t love me because I’m special, but I am special because He loves even me. Help me God to always be aware of Your presence. 

Thank You Jesus

Jerry Blount