IS God Real?

I struggled with the title of this devotion.  I went back and forth between three titles, God Is Real, Is God Real and another one, but every fiber of my being KNOWS that God IS Real!

The reason God laid this devotion on my heart is I saw a post on Facebook.  I can’t remember the group I was in.  I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me back to that post, but someone wrote God is not real in the comments, and it broke my heart to think that there are people out there that don’t believe in God, that deny his existence, that deny him.

And there may be someone in this room that hasn’t accepted Jesus into their lives.  I pray that if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you would ask Jesus into your heart before it’s too late.  There is a lot going on in this world right now.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow.  You could die in a tornado, there could be a Hurricane, or flood.  We are having wildfires.  You could die in your sleep.  You could have a heart attack, or a stroke.  You may not make it home from this event.  I may not finish this devotion.  If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus.  I implore you to ask Jesus into your heart and accept him as your personal savior before it is everlasting too late.    

I am not bragging.  I give all the glory to God.  But I have heard God (the Holy Spirit) talk to me and I have felt the Holy Spirit’s presence.  Have I seen God, no I haven’t, but that’s where faith comes in.   

Now I don’t always do what the Holy Spirit wants me to do, but I have heard the Holy Spirit talk to me and you guys may have too.  I was coming back from (you guys can fill in the blank) fishing on Highway 88E and there was a truck broken down on the side of the road and I passed the vehicle, and something told me to turn around and go back, turn around and go back.  And I had to ask for forgiveness for not doing what I was told.  The Holy Spirit told me to stop drinking and I stopped drinking alcohol about three years ago.

And I’ve felt the Holy Spirit.  You may have felt the Holy Spirit in church or when you are praying, or during singing church hymns.  The last time I encountered the spirit I was praying.  It seems like Manuela’s whole family had COVID and her sister’s father-in-law is in (was) ICU with COVID pneumonia and not doing very good at all and Manuela was talking to her sister and her sister didn’t know what to do so she told her to pray.  So, Simone said she prayed, and we are not sure of Simone really believes in God, so she prayed that if you’re real God show me a sign, and the next day Berndt’s health improved.  So I was praying for God to heal Berndt and not only would you be performing a miracle and saving Berndt’s live but you would be possibly saving other lives by proving that you are real and you do perform miracles and the Holy Spirit started at the top of my body in my arms and went down my back and in my spine and stayed there for a little bit and ran down my legs and I was just thanking God for the gift of the Holy Spirit and it felt like goosebumps but they were inside my body and it lasted for a two or three minutes. So don’t tell me God’s not real.         

1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one [the only God]!” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Do not quench [subdue or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit.”  Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

Acts 20:28 “Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ [the ever-living Lord who has] risen from the dead, [as the prophesied King] descended from David [king of Israel], according to my gospel [the good news that I preach], for that [gospel] I am suffering even to [the point of] wearing chains like a criminal; but the word of God is not chained or imprisoned! 10 For this reason I [am ready to] patiently endure all things for the sake of those who are the elect (God’s chosen ones), so that they too may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it the reward of eternal glory. 11 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying:12 If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we deny Him, He will also deny us;13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

John 3:16“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because [b]he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him]. 19 This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the [c]darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. 21 But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him].” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022) 

Men, and women we are here to praise and worship God, thank God, and spread the good news of Jesus Christ so that they would not perish but have everlasting life.

We are the apostles, Hebrews 3:1 says “Therefore, [a]holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, [thoughtfully and attentively] consider the Apostle and High Priest whom we confessed [as ours when we accepted Him as Savior], namely, [b]Jesus;” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022) 

Matthew 28:16“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

Is God real?  I know I am not supposed to use explicit language especially at church, but you darn right God is Real!  I’ve experienced things that you cannot explain happen to me.  I’ve had friends and family members experience miracles.  I’ve heard of miracles.  Neil Taylor is a walking example of a miracle.  Just look at our prayer chain.  There have been many examples of answered prayers and miracles on our very own prayer chain.  We see it over and over again and I would submit that if God doesn’t heal someone, then it was his will.     

God heals people.  He saves people.  He moves mountains. 

There is a song by Jon Reddick called God Turn it Around and the Bridge goes like this: 

He is Healing Someone, He is Saving Someone, God is Doing Something Right Now, Right Now, He is Moving Mountains, making a way for someone God is doing something Right Now, Right Now.

There’s another song called Too Good to Not Believe by Brandon Lake, listen to that song when you have a chance.

It pains my heart to know that people deny the good news of Jesus Christ!

I’ll leave you with this quote: “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and un-prayed for.” Charles Spurgeon

Go talk to someone about Jesus, plant a seed and let God do the rest.  Romans 10:13 states “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022) God Bless you! Just Believe Please!  Before it is too late!    

What if You Knew Your Destiny?

What if you knew your destiny?  What if we knew when we were going to die and how?  Would you want to know, when and how?  I don’t think I would want to know.  Then we could possibly change the outcome?  I don’t want to know the date I’m going to pass away.  I would be more focused on that date than living my life.  Would it change the way you’re living if you knew your destiny?    

We should live our lives to the best of our abilities like today is the last because tomorrow is not guaranteed to us.  I believe each day is a gift from God and if you’re not living the way you should, we may not live a long and fruitful life.  On the flip side of that, is it so bad to die?  I mean the ultimate goal is to live a life pleasing to God and to go to Heaven, through our belief in Jesus Christ and God’s grace.  However, I will feel sad for the people that I leave behind that love me, my wife, my children and loved ones.   

I believe we should shine our lights and try to sow seeds with unbelievers, so they can have what we have, everlasting life.  I think that if you are not trying to expand God’s Kingdom, we may not live a long and fruitful life.  If you have everlasting life and you’re not worried about dying, or what happens when you die, then you can focus on living your best life and spreading the good news about Jesus and telling people that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins so we don’t have to worry about dying and going to a Devil’s Hell, which wasn’t even created for us, therefore we do know our destiny.  If you’re a believer, you’re going to Heaven and you’ll have everlasting life.   

         

Inside Goosebumps

I was praying the other day, and I was talking to God, telling him that I was a sinner and thanking him for sending his only Son to die on the Cross for our sins.  I thanked him for being a sinner saved by his grace.  I told him that I had backslid for a while, that I had gotten away from going to Church that I only prayed when I wanted something, used to drink alcohol (I’m not saying drinking is a sin.  I’m saying I told God that I quit drinking and it’s best for me not to drink) and was asking for his forgiveness, but I told him I was back that I was thankful for all his blessings and how I didn’t deserve them, but he continues to bless me anyway. 

And I got the most peaceful feeling I have ever had.  I felt goosebumps all over my body, but these goosebumps weren’t on the outside of my body, they were on the inside of my body and they traveled from my head to me toes real slowly.  I was thanking God for his presence.  I was feeling the Holy Spirit.  It was amazing and I didn’t want it to end.  It lasted for a few minutes.  I believe God was telling me it’s alright, that I’m back now, going to Church, worshiping him, reading the Bible, shining my light, spreading the good news about him to others, and that everything is going to be alright, as long as I don’t take him for granted again and continue on his path he has set out for me. 

Saturday Night Live

Back in the day I used to watch Saturday Night Live, back in the day I used to get in a lot of trouble on a Saturday night too, especially in a small town with not much to do.  But last Saturday night we had a wholesome fun night.  We had what our church calls a 4:19, Matthew 4;19 says “And He said to them, Come after Me [as disciples – letting Me be your Guide], follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!” (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

It was a fun night full of fellowship.  We had a fish fry and desert auction to raise money for our Youth Group to go to Mexico and build a Church for less fortunate people that don’t have a place to worship God at. 

Not only did we get to eat fried catfish, hushpuppies, and fried pickles, we also got to bid on desert and that stole the show.  I played the role of bidder, jacking up the prices.  I made sure I had the funds available to cover in case I won the bid, but there were a few times I backed out of 100 dollar banana pudding.  The banana pudding is really good and it was for a good cause.  It was a success and we had a good time, as opposed to running the streets in a small town with one movie theater, and not too much else to do. 

Not only did we have an awesome Saturday night, Sunday morning turned out pretty good too.  Sunday morning the Holy Spirit was stirring in Church in full force.  Three young men were baptized and saved and another joined the Church, God has BIG things planned for our Church and I am glad I am a part of it.  Stay tuned for more fund raisers and to find out how the Youth Group Church building goes and if we can manage to top this last weekend. 

Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Flames

The production Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Flames is in our sleepy little town of Mena, Arkansas and when they arrived and asked for people to be in the production, to be honest, I really didn’t want to be in it, but since there wasn’t many people I was chosen to be in more than one scene, but I sure am glad I was picked.

But I have to say in the first scene, I have to beat Jesus up and nail him to the cross. Do you know how hard it is to beat the man up that died for all of our sins? And even worse, to nail the man responsible for all us to be able to enter Heaven to the cross? And even worse than that stab Jesus with a spear, which is the reason he dies. I’d much rather be in my Christian family scene.

But it is so rewarding seeing people accept Jesus into their lives as their Savior. It’s like nothing I have ever been a part of and frankly, I don’t want it to end. We have two more nights of the production. I pray that there are so many people tonight and tomorrow night that they stay for more nights, we’ll see.

Heaven’s Gates & Hell’s Flames is life changing for the people in the production and the people being saved. If you get a chance I encourage you to be involved in it in your Church.