Posted in Living in Today's World, Photography, The Gospel

Here Today…Gone Tomorrow

First Bloom

Hibiscus flowers might be the most dramatic in the garden and can bloom as large as a child’s head in gorgeous colors. The hibiscus plant itself is large and dramatic, and it needs plenty of space to show off. Although the huge funnel-shape flowers seldom last more than a day, they are abundant and the plant blooms over several weeks. I never owned a hibiscus plant until this year.  One of my daughters gave it to me for Mother’s Day.  This photo is the first bloom.  I was awe-struck at the beauty and intricate design of each petal. The next morning, the bloom was wilted and falling off.

This beautiful flower reminds me just how short our life here on earth actually is.  The old saying “the undertaker will never be out of work” is true.  The day we are born our bodies begin to die!   Yet we have a soul, I call it that part of us that no one sees except our own selves and God.  You know the part of every human that thinks, feels and causes actions.  Well, the soul NEVER dies!  Even if I lived to be 125 years old,  that’s nothing compared to ETERNITY.   Merriam Webster Dictionary defines eternity: time without an end, a state that comes after death and never ends or time that seems to be without an end.  No boundaries-no limits.  Use your imagination for just a moment and try to fathom eternity.  You can’t, can you?  No days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries… just on and on and on.   No matter how many years we live here on this earth, it’s like comparing a grain of sand with the expanse of all the universes.  Christian brothers and sisters: What are we to do with these days we live here on this planet?   Share the Gospel!!  The one, true Gospel according to God’s Word.

The Gospel in a Nutshell

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. (1 John 5:9)  Many folk have reached a credibility gap between themselves and the news media, the politicians, and all who are on television today. There are certain news commentators whom I won’t listen to any longer. I know that they are doing nothing in the world but giving out propaganda. And I have come to the place where it does not matter who they are or to what party they belong, but I have no confidence in politicians.  Therefore, we are in a place today where it is difficult to receive the witness of men. But the interesting thing is that John Q. Public swallows it hook, line, and sinker. If it is said over television or put into print, they will believe it. There are many people who believe whatever they read or hear, but they will not receive the witness of God! Oh, my friend, the witness of God is greaterGod today is not giving out news on every subject. His news is good news, and it is about His Son who died for us on the cross. That is His message.

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself…. (1 John 5:10)  If you have trusted Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells you, and He testifies that these things are true. This is one of the great encouragements in teaching the Word of God by radio. Many people who listen have never seen me (I guess that may be a good thing!), but they have the Holy Spirit indwelling them, and when they hear the Word of God, they accept it because the Spirit bears witness that they are hearing the God’s Word.

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)  Eternal life is to have Christ. It boils down to this one point. This is the gospel in a nut-shell. This is the simplest test that can be made:

He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:12)  The question is: Do you have Christ? Is He your Savior? Are you trusting Him in such a way that no one on earth or in heaven can shake your confidence in Him? To be saved means you trust Christ and have Him as your Savior. He’s our lifeboat. He’s our lifeline. He’s our only hope. We are lost without Him, but if we have Him, we have life.  Let’s forget about religion. Let’s forget about all this churchianity. Forget about it, my friend! The important thing is: Do you have Christ? Is He your Savior?

Taken from Dr. J. Vernon McGee’s Edited Messages on 1 John ©1994

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It is my prayer for all who know Christ as their Savior and are walking with Him as their Lord, share with boldness the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our sin-filled world is growing more evil with each passing day!  There are many people deluded by a false gospel and even more have never heard the Truth.  As blood bought adopted children of the Father through the precious blood of the Lamb of God– make sure you’re armored-up and sharing the Truth.  ♥ Streim

 

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Posted in Living in Today's World, Photography, The Gospel

The LORD God’s Handiwork

God's Handiwork

“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day-to-day.”  Psalm 96:1-2 (NKJV)

Our loving God’s handiwork is seen everyday; even in our sin filled world.  I pray we “proclaim the good news of His salvation from day-to-day.”  We are the blessed and adopted heirs to the kingdom of heaven!  Why/How?  Because we accepted the payment made for our sins, which was only possible by the blood atonement, freely offered by the perfect Lamb of God.. our Savior Jesus Christ; God’s only begotten Son– God made flesh.  We NEED to share this message everyday!  Blessings ♥ Streim

Posted in Lessons from the Holy Bible, The Gospel

Swimming Upstream

 Swimming Upstream

fish spawning fish spawning2

Spawning is a process that usually ends in death for fish.  The fish battle rapid upstream currents, getting stuck between rocks, flipping out of the water onto the river bank, stranded with the possibility of being food for a predator.  This upstream journey takes them thousands of miles from their warm water home in the ocean.  Why do these aquatic creatures expose themselves to such torment and eventual death?  Because they have a goal! 

For the species to continue, they must leave the warm waters of the oceans and return to their nesting places.  This means swimming upstream through cold rivers, lakes and creeks.  It’s an inborn instinct for them to endure absurd, life threatening conditions.  Each spring massive numbers (ten of thousands or more) of adult fish,of many species, begin this treacherous journey.   However few make it to their destination. They usually return to areas in the northern United States, Canada and Alaska where they hatched several springs earlier. Once the female lays her eggs, she dies.  Then the males come along, fertilizes the eggs and die as well.   When the hatched eggs grow into small fry, they make the journey to warmer waters  (for example; the Gulf of Mexico) to live most of their life until  it’s time to travel to their instinctual destination, where they propagate the species.  This process is truly astounding.  When I recently saw photos of people with fresh caught salmon, I realized it was spawning season.  As I thought about it, the idea brought verses of Scripture to mind.

Romans 12: 1-2  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

1 John 4: 5-6  “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them.  We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

Matthew 7: 13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

We must plant and water the seeds of the one True Gospel of Repentance, Reconciliation, Redemption and Sanctification with anyone and everyone we know or meet!  The Christian life means battling against all odds–the enemy, our old nature and the ways of the world.

Our Heavenly Father “gave” us all the armor we need for this battle.  1.) *the helmet of salvation* He gave us the payment required for sin by sending His Son, Jesus to die in our stead so that we may be set free from eternal death. 2.) *breastplate of righteousness*  I may be theologically incorrect, but when I think of the ‘breastplate’ I see it as Jesus righteousness covering my sinful heart with His precious blood.  3.) *the girding of the Truth*  I see this as a solid desire to live according to the Truth and not the lusts of the flesh; the eyes and the pride of life.  Since it is the Truth, I see it as a place for the Sword of the Word.  4.) *shoes that are prepared with the Gospel*  No matter where we go, He has given us the proper foot ware for the task–and that is hope 5.) *the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God* I believe we need to keep our sword sharpened, which can only be done by daily care by reading the Word with deliberate study.  The sword is our only offensive weapon–again given to us our God to ward off the enemy (as Jesus did after His 40 days in the desert when tempted by Satan). If you keep a sword in the sheath for any length of time–it’s going to corrode and become useless!  6.) *the shield of faith* and we are told this is to quench the fiery darts of our enemy– 7.) *praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints*  I believe we must use the beautiful gift of prayer, being able to speak to our Father through our Mediator Jesus Christ.  Using for ourselves spiritually and for the True Church; the Body of Christ; the Bride of Christ throughout the world.  So…with our Heavenly Father’s gifts and our Savior Jesus as Lord, we have no excuse in not fighting the many wiles of the enemy.  Like the fish spawning, they are willing to forsake their life if need be to accomplish their job… are you and I willing to ” be more than conquerors through Him that loved us ” everyday, until our job here on earth is done?  Are we faithful to swim upstream, as it were, to sow the seeds of the Kingdom of Heaven? ♥ Streim