You Can Not Please God Without Faith

Faith for many is hard to come by. A lot of people are skeptical and must see or touch to believe. However, it is one of the most important things we can do. To please God we must have an abundance of faith.

Through Scripture we are told how important faith is. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews clarifies it: Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” NLT

Christ gave us a new covenant that told us that we were no longer under the law if we accepted Him as our Savior. The Jews had developed a religious work system with many different traditions and legalistic requirements. It was not the supernatural system that God had intended. The Bible is very clear you cannot work your way to heaven because works cannot redeem anyone. It has always been by faith starting with Abraham. Faith believes the future promises made by God and Christ.

Hebrews 11:2 – 3 – “Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.” By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” NLT

Faith allows us to believe that God created the world out of nothing by speaking His Word. In Genesis God said “Let there be” and what He asked for happened. It takes faith to believe things we cannot understand can actually happen. Abraham and the prophets accepted what they were told, believed it and wrote about it. Possibly it was their contact with God or His Spirit that convinced them. More people believe God’s description of creation is not possible than believe that it is.

This chapter goes on to point out those who had faith, how they pleased God and how they were blessed. Hebrews 11:4 – “It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.”
We know God is more concerned about our heart and our motives than He is about what we sacrifice. Abel’s sacrifice made him a righteous and faithful man. We learn that faith and our attitude is a choice. What we also learn was Cain and Abel came to sacrifice at the same place at the same time suggesting that God had specified a time and place to worship. The difference was that Abel gave God what God wanted and Cain gave God what Cain wanted. By faith, one was obedient and the other was disobedient. It is apparent that Cain was religious, who believed in God and even in worship but on Cain’s terms and not on God’s terms. How many Christians make the same mistake today?

James 2:14 & 17 says that faith without works is dead. Believing but not responding is not true faith. True spiritual faith is always obedient. God comes to man by faith. Man must accept God’s ways above his own and sin is ultimately punished.

Hebrews 11:5 – “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.”

Scripture tells us that Enoch walked with God for 300 years. Many today do not understand the concept of walking with God. We must understand that God wants a relationship. It comes through prayer and Bible study. Romans 10:17 – “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Faith grows when we read and hear the Word.

Hebrews 11:6 – “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
Faith is an absolute requirement. Science has not been able to prove there is a God, but it shows evidence of a planner, designer and a maintainer. It takes faith to believe that God exists. II Corinthians 5:7 – “For we live by faith, not by sight.”

Our self-centered nature rebels against God. It is only through salvation that we can become reconciled to God and atone for our sinful past. Once we have become reconciled with God there will be evidence by the way we live, the things we say and the things we do. The way we think and our behavior must change. Satan continually tries to confuse Christians between works and faith. Satan wants us to believe the only way to please God is through our works.

God wants us to trusts him in the trials we go through, the temptations we are faced with and the decisions we make daily. God wants us to worship Him, be obedient to His ways and have a personal relationship with Him. All who had the faith to believe in God and live according to His ways was considered righteous. Romans 3:22 – “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,” God looks through the eyes of Christ and see us as He sees Christ.

I John 2:15 – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” Our actions may seem pure but inside our hearts are still hard. Faith responds with action. Are we willing to step into the unknown as so many in the Old Testament were if we believe God is calling?

Do we realize the unlimited eternal promises God and Christ have made to believers? God cannot lie or fail to tell the truth. Would you be willing to live God’s ways if Heavenly promises were to be rewarded while we were still on earth? If everyone could see and knew those promises were just a few years away and would have them on earth, probably there would be more believers than non-believers.

Matthew 17:20 – “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

It surprises me the number of Christians who throw in the towel when things get tough and they believe happiness can be found somewhere else. But for those who remain faithful and obedient, God has prepared an unbelievable Heaven with fantastic rewards that are available for those who have adequate faith and had a servant’s heart while on earth.

GOD’s Guidance For Living A Holy Life

It seems living a holy life is no more than living to please God and it must be every believer’s priority. God requires each Christian to turn their lives over to Him. We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. We are told to become sanctified and holy. Sanctified means to separate ourselves from the world and give ourselves to God. We are told to prepare ourselves for heaven in the way we live. The Bible teaches us to let the Holy Spirit take our sinful, self-centered nature, our old habits and behaviors and let them be transformed to emulate the life of Christ.

As we grow spiritually we find our self-centered nature making it very difficult to live to please God. Many suffer from anger and others from revenge and unforgiveness. If someone cuts you off as you are driving, what is your reaction? Is it any different if someone insults you? Our original nature is constantly being tempted by the world’s lures.

I John 2:15 – 17 – – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

God wants us to give up our self-control. It seems this is almost impossible for some to do. We are to die out to self and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. He wants us to have a spirit of generosity and to be committed to humble service. Our actions must reflect God’s value and not the world’s value.

The Bible has made it very clear what God expects of His children:

1.​Abel brought a sacrifice to God that was acceptable but his brother Cain did not. Apparently God had told them what he expected of each. One obeyed and one did not. The illustration of Abel teaches us the importance of worshiping God as Christ teaches and giving Him our very best. Tithing and sacrificing has been a part of worshiping God from the very beginning.

2.​Abraham left a very wealthy family who had status and at that time a home with walls and a ceiling. He departed to live the rest of his life as a nomad in tents. We learn from Abraham the importance of trusting in God and living by faith. Abraham trusted the future promises of God. It was Abraham’s faith that made him holy and righteous.

3.​Enoch walked with God for 300 years. He had developed a relationship with God that was so close that God took him to heaven without Enoch having to die. We learn from Enoch that God expects a relationship with Him from each of us and to worship Him through our daily walk.

4.​Noah was one of the most obedient of all God’s people. For 120 years he diligently built an ark and preached to people to change their lives. He had faith in the promise that God would do what He said He would do, destroy everyone with a flood. Noah teaches us the importance of obedience and persistence.

5.​Christ brought a New Covenant that included teachings under the Old Covenant, but the New Covenant made the laws, regulations, ceremonies and sacrifices of the Old Covenant obsolete. He did not abolish the teachings of the Old Testament for it gives prophecies of the future, history, examples of Godly people and the character of God. Under the New Covenant we are judged on our inner selves, our spirit and thoughts but not on our external actions. Doing good works will not get us to heaven. But if we have the right relationship with God and others, we will do good deeds with unconditional love.

Ephesians 5:3 – 7 – “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
Obscenity and coarse joking are a part of the media. Improper language has no place in a Christian’s vocabulary. Yet, it seems that many use obscenity and foolish talk regularly.

Romans 8:9 – 11 – “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

A Christian is a person who has the Spirit of God living in them. If you do not have the Spirit in you, you are a Christian in name only. You may not feel you have the Holy Spirit so in many situations you have to accept it as a promise that He would come in if you asked Him to. I believe you will recognize supernatural events if you are looking for them. You will be checked at times and you will begin to act as Christ directs. You will develop a desire to serve. As you grow spiritually you shall receive the fruits of the Spirit, which is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22 – 23). The fruit of the Spirit comes from the Spirit and are not characteristics that we can earn. Hence, if you have the Holy Spirit, He will change who you are to what Christ wants you to be. There then will be no doubt in your mind that you have been sealed by the Spirit.

Therefore, our purpose on earth is to develop an unconditional love for God and others and have a servant’s heart. As we head down life’s path our carnal nature, our self-centeredness, the storms we encounter and the devil’s seducing spirits will try to guide us too often onto the wrong paths. That’s when we check our compass, the Holy Spirit, and make sure we stay directed to the path that leads to the ultimate goal, which is living with God and Christ forever. When we take that last breath, what is the most important thing we can take with us? Is it all of our material things that we have accumulated? Or, is it eternal security to be with God?


Has Satan made you less than you can be?

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  (II Corinthians 5:10)

When you appear in Heaven and are about to be judged by Christ, would you want to hear:  “You are nothing like you were created to be.”  When you are standing there what do you expect to receive?  Do you think you will hear that you did well or you just barely made it to heaven?

We came from God with a given purpose.  It makes no difference who our parents are or how dysfunctional our lives may have been.  God can create in us a new person with potential and abilities.  Yet, the devil will continually try to deceive us in believing we are just too unworthy and will never amount to much.

Knowing we were born and God had a plan for each one of us, we can accept or reject!  We all know that our body’s carnal and self-centered nature will reject God and His plan at least for a time.  It is up to our soul and spirit if we want to accept God and what He has planned.  If we receive Christ as our Savior this requires a commitment and obedience to His will.  Once we believe, we must prepare for temptations and trials that will come.  Probably the stronger our will and the more self-control we have our testing will be greater.  We must know God’s general Will for those who have become Christians before we get to His plan.

We must emphasize the importance of praying that God would reveal to each of us His realized purpose for our lives.  So many Christians apparently are unaware that God has a plan for them.  They seem to lack a passion for what it is they are doing.  Or, they have a passion but have not developed enough trust in God to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction.  Negative fear is the Devil’s greatest weapon.  How often have we wanted to do something but were afraid to try?

If we have the mind-set that no matter what happens in our lives it is in God’s plan and He is allowing it for a particular purpose; could we then handle temptations and trials more positively?  As we approach life realizing that God has it planned out for us, then be aware that He also wants us to succeed with the help of His Spirit within us.

We can become what we want to be, very successful or even failing, depending on how we think of ourselves.  When we think positive we can become highly motivated and more productive.  If we think negative thoughts about ourselves we become less enthusiastic and block our full potential.

As important as attitudes are, they are not something we can teach.  They must be something we get from something or somebody.  One’s attitude is a personal thing.  It is how we see ourselves.   Anytime you meet me my attitude is showing.  Most of you may want to be around me if I am positive but if I am always negative you may have a tendency to skip seeing me.  But I must have the right attitude to be what God created me to be.

Even though we are all made differently; some were created with certain abilities, some handicapped and most of us average.  Each was given a purpose and a mission based on what God had in mind for us.  God didn’t say let’s create another human today and watch them fail.  He had the knowledge and ability to put the universe together; and He knew everyone of us prior to our birth. Then can’t He give each one of us a plan for our lives with the abilities to be successful?

I wonder if some Christian’s problems are a lack of trust or self-confidence because they never study or accept how Scripture applies to them.   A Christian’s self-confidence comes from our relationship with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.  If you lack confidence do you need to become more spiritually mature?  Do you need to spend more time in Bible study and prayer?  Pray that God challenges you to do something for Him that you feel incapable of doing.  Then do it and see if He doesn’t give you the ability and willingness to accomplish His task.  Do this a few times and you will realize that confidence can come from God.   Then apply that confidence to other projects.  Think positively, tell yourself positive thoughts and you will become positive!  Allow the Holy Spirit to make you into a new confident and successful person as God intended and the Bible assures.

Too many of us are lazy!  We are unwilling to prepare.  How much time do you spend reading each week?  Between the Bible and information on my career, I spend a minimum of 20 hours a week reading.   I have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation many times, in addition to studying all New Testament books.  Without this knowledge it would limit the information to blog.  I continue to believe what little success in life I have had, has been from preparation.  You will never be a professional basketball player practicing just occasionally.  If you want to stand before Christ at judgment with confidence, it takes hours of preparation.

Tell A Lie And Die As Happened In The Early Church!

Every time I read the fifth chapter of the Book of Acts that tells of a man and his wife dying as a result of a lie; I think how important it is in being truthful.  The man was named Ananias and his wife was Sapphira.  They sold their property and held back part of the money for themselves but stated they had given it all.  The Apostle Peter asked: “Ananias how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?  Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold?”  Peter continued: “You have not lied to men but to God.”  When Ananias heard this he fell down dead.  Later his wife came in and Peter asked her if they had given their all and she replied all was given.  She too fell down and died and too was buried.  Do you think you would want to be a part of a church where people died for not being truthful?  I would assume those who joined the church to get members to join a pyramid business would think twice.  Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who became a Christian did it for the right reason?  Would we see a decrease in Christianity if people believed that the Holy Spirit caused people to die who were deliberately being deceptive or lying to church members?

Can you imagine the fear that must have been created in the early church?  Would that not make you stop and consider your motives and thoughts?  We must be careful not to tempt God by presuming we are under His grace.  When we do sinful things it is not against others but it is a sin against God.  Too often we do not take sin seriously enough.  We just assume no matter what we do God will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness and repent.  Is it possible we depend too much on the grace of God when we live on the edge or as the world lives?

Ananias and Sapphira’s love of money was just as sinful as Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge.  Judas had the same problem when he betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver.  Ananias and Sapphira did not receive punishment because they didn’t give all they had received from the sale of land but because they had lied to God and the Holy Spirit.  I believe this Scripture also tells us that we must not think of ourselves of being more righteous or holy than we really are.  We must be careful that we are not living a lie by doing evil and convincing others we are more holy than we actually are.

Scripture tells us that this became one of the times the church grew rapidly percentage-wise   More people joined the church because of the numerous miracles that occurred.  But through the centuries many have become Christians but have never been willing to repent and allow the Holy Spirit to change their lives.  We continue to see too many Christians who seem to be weak morally and some even appear evil.  It gives those who like living an immoral life an excuse for not going to church.  We have all heard: “There are just too many hypocrites in the church for me to become a part.”

The fifth chapter of Acts goes on to tell that during the early church, crowds gathered the sick from all the surrounding cities so that the sick could be healed.  Scripture states that just Peter’s shadow could heal people.  The Bible gives an example of a beggar who for 40 years could not walk was healed.  We must remember this was an apostolic gift and no longer are people healed without exception.  This was a gift that was given to the apostles in Jerusalem at the time and is no longer a guarantee for healing.     Those who say they have the gift of healing do not.  Otherwise they could go to every hospital and heal everyone.  If that were to happen I believe hospitals would be as angry toward that person as the Sadducees and other Jewish leaders were to the apostles who were healing all and changing people’s lives.

Acts 5:18 – 21a – “They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.  But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.  “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”   At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.”

With all of the miracles that the apostles were given, you would have thought that this miracle of being released from jail should have convinced the Sanhedrin that these men were acting on God’s direction.  If you were one who was beaten and tossed into jail, would you have gone to the temple court and continued to teach the Word of God?  Often God has asked some of us to do certain tasks and we have refused and then have wondered why the Holy Spirit isn’t more active in our lives.  Pride can stop us from doing things that are out of the ordinary.  We can be more concerned what others might think rather than obeying the Holy Spirit.  What about long-time Christians who have never witnessed a supernatural event occurring?  Have they been too skeptical, unwilling participants or are they just not aware and treat everything as being lucky?  Take the person who expects some type of an experience where God intervenes on a daily basis.  One Christian expects and one never does.

In verses 5:33 – 39 tells us the Sanhedrin was furious with the apostles for continuing their teaching.  The Sanhedrin was made up of Sadducees and Pharisees.  The Sadducees were the liberals and did not believe there was life after death.  The Pharisees were the conservatives and believed that God promised life after death.  It was much easier for a Pharisee to become a Christian than a Sadducee.

We have some religious denominations that do not believe in Hell.  Others do not believe the Bible is 100% accurate or was inspired by God.  Many believe the only way to get to heaven is through good works.  There are some who believe living a good and moral life is all it takes.  It may be easier for some to believe in a lie than in the truth.  However, we know what God thinks of those who tell lies.  Is it possible that you could be living a lie because of what someone told you rather than having read God’s Word and knowing His will?

Has God Drastically Changed Your Life?

We must remember what happened at Pentecost.  It changed His disciples, giving them power, purpose and direction.  From that point on they were completely different people. Have we had a similar experience and if not, have we wondered why?

I have noticed a difference between someone who has had a very sinful background vs. a person having been a Christian most of their life.  Most often in the one there is a tremendous change and in the other, hardly any change at all.  Then there are some, having had a very sinful background, which has made little, if any, change at all.  They seem to fail the test of obedience.  It may be possible that once becoming Christians they just cannot give up and surrender their self-centered nature.  They are unwilling to yield control to anyone, including the Holy Spirit.  Do you think that the Apostle Paul who considered himself the worst of sinners could have made the drastic change, on his own, without surrendering to the Holy Spirit?  Therefore, is there any reason for not having a complete change by allowing our self-centered nature surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit so we can become obedient to God’s will?

In Chapter Two of Acts it tells what happened at Pentecost.  A number gathered to see what was happening because the apostles were speaking in languages that foreigners could understand.  Peter stood and told them in Acts 2:17 – 18 – “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.   Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”  When the Holy Spirit was poured out on you did you prophesize, see visions or have dreams and were able to foresee the future?  Most of us didn’t!

What is it that God wants from each one of us as Christians?  He is looking for a body of believers that will live with Him through eternity.  What are two requirements to enter that final destiny?  The answer is love and obedience through our relationship with Christ.  He wants our unconditional love toward Him and the same love to others.  Can you visualize living in an eternity where everyone had that kind of love for God and for others?  How do we obtain that kind of love?  It will only come through the Holy Spirit’s help.  He also wants those of us willing to be obedient.  The reason we are living in a cursed world today is because Adam and Eve were disobedient and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.

The Bible repeatedly says God is not interested in our works but He cares about what is in our hearts.  Is His love really in our hearts?  If so, we have learned there can be no hate or a lack of forgiveness.  What God requires can only be obtained by allowing the Holy Spirit to change who we are.  This is why we cannot allow the Holy Spirit to be ignored.  We must let the Holy Spirit become very active in our daily lives.  If we are not seeing supernatural occurrences from time to time we probably have not made the Holy Spirit our partner.  So shouldn’t we expect the Holy Spirit to be manifest in everything we do?  He will if we pray and ask for His help. He will not force Himself onto us.

I heard a story that a lady was driving up a mountain and an inner spirit told her to pull over and stop.  She did and a car came around the curve ahead going rapidly in her lane.  Had she not pulled over she could have been killed.  I asked others if they ever had a time when an inner voice told them to do something that may have saved their lives.  One told me that he was going 70 mph on the interstate and a car came across the road into his lane and hit him.  It caused him to hit six cars.  It totally demolished his car.  When he was being hit he said something pushed him into his seat as if he had a special seat belt on.  This was before seatbelts were common in cars.  He came to a stop and shortly a policeman came to his car and couldn’t believe he was still alive.  Yet, he had no injuries or bruises.  In both instances they believed it was Divine intervention that they are alive today.

I met with my small group and shared these two stories with them.  I then told them of a time I pulled up to a red light and waited for it to change.  I started to pull out when it turned green and that inner voice said stop.  About that time a red pickup traveling at least 50 mph went through the red light.  I thanked God and it made me more careful and now I look both ways before moving.

I then asked the men in my Bible group if they ever had a Divine intervention and was surprised at the stories I heard.  One told about his struggle with the devil who was refusing to let him ask Christ for salvation.  Another told of a time he had his gun pointed at a person ready to pull the trigger when he felt a strong urge to stop.  He told of many experiences with evil.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, he turned his life around and he went on to become a Christian attorney.

I have heard hundreds of such stories over the years.  The most unusual came from missionaries returning from foreign countries.  Isn’t it possible God allows situations to occur so that we can realize His Spirit is within us to make changes and Divine intervention confirms that He is with us?  We must continually realize that the Holy Spirit is with us to change us to having the mind of Christ.  Our job is to allow Him to do so.  He will not do it without our permission and help.

Philippians 2:5 – 8 – “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.   Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.   Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.  When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Obedience Is A Requirement Of GOD

The more I have studied the Bible the more aware I have become of how important it is to God that we have an obedient spirit.   In the forth chapter of Genesis God is pleased with Abel because of his offering by giving the best.  God was displeased with Cain because he gave God what was left over.  God said to Cain “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” We must be willing to master sin that encourages us to put ourselves first and to become disobedient to God and others.  Can we do it in our own strength?  Probably we will not be able without the help of the Holy Spirit.  It was also Adam and Eve’s disobedience that caused their downfall.

We continue in Scripture and God makes very clear the importance of obedience: in Acts 13:22b – “God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’”  Almost everyone in the Bible that God blessed, we read of their willingness to do whatever God asked.  We read of Jonah and the great fish that God used to get Jonah to become obedient.   However, he finally obeyed God.  Gideon had to ask God for signs (fleeces) to confirm what God was telling him to do. Was it really God that wanted him to do what he believed was impossible.  Once the signs confirmed it was God, Gideon did exactly as God had asked.

We must realize the importance of doing God’s will.  How can we do it if we never study Scripture?  Would you want to stand before Christ on Judgment Day and be told you did not do the will of My Father?  Your reply: “I never knew what was required?”  Do you really believe that would be an acceptable answer?  We are told that our minds and attitudes need to be the same as that of Christ Jesus in order to be obedient.  (Phil. 2:5)  There was no doubt Christ was continually praying so that He could carry out Gods requests exactly as needed.

We are told in Philippians 2:6–11 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

God hates a prideful heart.  Jesus gave up His omnipotence to come as a man to give an example as to how God wants us to live.  Christ humbled himself and was obedient to dieing on the cross.  If we are to please God, we must be careful not to want to be served by others but to be willing to serve.  We need to continually make an assessment to see if we are truly obedient to His will.

I Thessalonians 4:1–8  “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.  For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.  It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

Living to please God must be every believer’s priority.  God requires each Christian to turn their lives over to Him.  We are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.  We are told to become sanctified and holy.  Sanctified means to separate ourselves from the world and give ourselves obediently to God.  We are told to prepare ourselves for heaven in the way we live.  The Bible teaches us to let the Holy Spirit take our sinful, self-centered nature, our old habits and behaviors and let them be transformed to emulate the life of Christ.

We may think living a Christian life can be done by accepting the do’s and don’ts taught in the Scripture.  Christianity is about a relationship with God and our willingness to please Him.  It seems many Christians find this hard to do.  One of the strengths of my temperament is loyalty.  This is probably the reason I find it easier to live to please God than those with other temperaments.

I do not believe God is pleased when we deliberately sin.    In the Old Testament, people were punished for disobeying God and Paul says we will be in verse 6.  I believe He continues to punish and in most cases it may be deferred until after death now that we live under grace.

The positives are that we find God will bless us in many ways beyond our expectations.  We will have peace, calm and happiness even going through life’s trials.  Our faith and trust in God continues to improve.  Our personal relationship with Him gets better.  The Holy Spirit becomes more powerful in our lives.  We become more positive and gain confidence and know that we have continual guidance and help from God and the Holy Spirit.


This is written for anyone having periods of unhappiness.  There are a few requirements to guarantee happiness.  You must believe there is a God who loves you.  It is necessary to accept the Bible as God’s manual for living life to the fullest.  The Bible is a daily reading requirement to become knowledgeable with how one is to live their life as taught by Christ.

Here is the problem.  Most do not read or accept the Bible as God’s manual for life.  Many, who read it, do not understand it.  There are some who read regularly and understand but do not apply its principles to living.  The results are: most people live unhappy lives and try everything the devil proposes to become happy.  They think that accumulating an abundance of material things, fame or power will make them happy.  They learn that happiness is only temporary.  The fulfilling of greed and lust is the devil deceiving many to think that will bring them true happiness.

In ancient times people were ruled by kings, priests and religious authorities.  They told them what to do and what they were to believe and they had little choice.  At one time we are told that one-third of the world’s population were slaves.  Under those conditions very few lived happy lives.  But that is not how God had planned for us to live.

Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”  NLT

God made us to be like Him.  But man sinned and was no longer like God. This nature changed man completely and it was this new self-centered nature that rebelled against God just as Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels did.   History tells us how sinful man behaved and it was more evil than nice.  Had man kept his original nature and had not sinned, we would have had the potential to rule the universe as God had planned and everyone would have lived a joyful, peaceful and happy life.

God tells us through Scripture that we will never find true happiness until we recreate our human nature.  We are told we must be born again to become a new person.  The old nature must die out and we take on a nature similar to what God had originally planned for us.  The only way that could happen was to accept Christ as our Lord and Savior in order for God’s Spirit could come and live within us.  It is with God’s Spirit and our new nature that provides this guaranteed happiness if we follow the Spirit’s guidance.

We learn to love God with all our might and love others unconditionally.  We learn that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  God tells us His blessing and our happiness is a result of giving out of love.  He commands us to return to Him a tithe or one-tenth of what we receive.  Malachi 3:8 – 10 – “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me.  You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me.  Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”

With this new nature that God gives us we learn to have faith and trust that whatever He promises He is committed to doing.  Without that spiritual nature maturing, it is difficult to have the kind of faith and trust necessary to accept God’s promises.  We learn from Christ that we are to have a servant’s heart and a spirit of kindness.  Galatians 6:10 – “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

As a person who has tithed more than 10% for over fifty years God has never failed to keep His promise to us. I can attest to the fact that three things that will make your life happy is putting God first, loving others as ourselves and being a giver rather than being a willing taker.  Do you look for ways to be kind to others?  Scripture tells us that being kind will bring us happiness and it is a promise.  This is part of love others as we love ourselves.

America can still be called a Christian nation but they are not living by Christian principles.  God tells us to stay out of debt.  We are teaching our people to be proud takers and not be concerned about being givers.  Are we a nation that is putting God first?  Is our nation known for loving and being kind to each other?  Knowing what you see, would you say the majority of Americans are living happy lives?   Is it because we are unwilling to allow God to change our nature back to what He wanted us to be in the beginning?

We may not be able to change a nation but we can allow our own natures to be recreated and live holy lives.  When that happens, God promises that He will bless us and we shall have a joyful, peaceful and happy life, guaranteed.  This is one person who knows it works.  You can face all kinds of difficulties and still remain happy.  Our security is in God, knowing that all things will work out for our own good.  Try it, (let God give you His Spirit and a new changed nature) you will like the difference!

Are You Religious Without A Personal Relationship With Christ?

There is a tremendous difference between being a religious person and a person having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Many who convert to Christianity believe they are required to live by a long list of do’s and don’ts, abide by 1000s of years of traditions and laws monitored by a God Who is waiting to punish us for any misstep.  Do you adhere to a religious philosophy that makes you feel that it is your job to work your way to heaven? You may realize the Jews had 613 laws that they had to obey.  Plus they had different sacrifices and festivals that were required.  Rules and laws, many believe, are because ordinary people do not understand how they should live. If that is you, you will miss the joy that a relationship with Christ and God can bring under the New Covenant of grace.

Mark 12:30 – 31 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  If you are capable of doing these two things all of the other commandments will be met.  If you love others you will not take advantage of them by stealing, coveting or the others.

Some people have never felt loved or feel capable of loving.  Yet, we are commanded to love God and others.  God would never command us to do something we could not do.  Scripture tells us we must develop this love relationship with Christ.  This is only possible when we learn to love.  God knows we cannot love Him and others unless we first love ourselves.  It is amazing how many struggle with loving themselves.  They see themselves as lacking confidence, feeling unworthy or not truly being accepted by others or belonging with others.  This is why it was so necessary for Christ to die that our sins could be forgiven and our guilt erased.  Is it possible to develop a decent relationship if a person lacks any of those three factors?  Having a personal relationship with Christ will give us confidence, give us that assurance that we are worthy and assured us we will be accepted into the family of God.  There is no greater joy than knowing you have been accepted to live in eternity with God’s family.

God, knowing the frailties of man, made believers many promises, such as:  Romans 8:31 – “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”  A good relationship with God will change our personality and how we see ourselves.  He gives us His Spirit to help us do whatever God calls us to do.  He then tells us not to worry because no matter who or what problems we encounter, He will be with us and for us.

Romans 8:38 – 39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Scripture tells us that once we develop a personal relationship with Christ and God nothing can ever separate us from their love.  What must it be like to never have felt unconditional love asking nothing in return?

What is it that God wants from each one of us as Christians?  He is looking for and preparing a body of believers that will live with Him through eternity.  What is the number one requirement to enter that final destiny?  The answer is love through our personal relationship with Christ.  He wants our love toward Him and the same love to others.  Can you visualize living in an eternity where everyone had that kind of love for God and for others?  How do we obtain that kind of love and a relationship with Christ?  It will only come through the Holy Spirit’s help.

The Bible repeatedly says God is not interested in our works but He cares about what is in our hearts and our attitudes.  Is His love really in our hearts?  If so we have learned there can be no hate or a lack of forgiveness.  What God requires can only be obtained by allowing the Holy Spirit to change who we are.  This is why we cannot allow the Holy Spirit to be ignored or we fail in enhancing our personal relationship with Christ.  We must let the Holy Spirit become very active in our daily lives. He is our contact with Christ and God.  If we are not seeing supernatural occurrences from time to time we probably have not made the Holy Spirit our partner or developed much of a relationship.  So shouldn’t we expect the Holy Spirit to be manifest in most everything we do?  He will if we pray and ask for His help. He will not force Himself onto us.

Philippians 4:13 – “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Start each day with prayer asking specifically for the Spirit within us to guide in everything we do throughout the day.  When we are driving to and from work we can pray, without closing our eyes that he will bring the same love God has for us so we can return that love to Him and to others.  The last thing each day, take a minute and thank the Holy Spirit for being active in our lives.  After a time we will begin to realize and recognize that God’s Spirit lives within us and is actively changing our personality and behavior.  We will then begin to realize that we as Christians have been given a unique advantage in living our lives.  We too will learn there are many blessings that God wants to give to us through the Holy Spirit within.

God Knows When You Sin & Still Loves You

What are you hiding that you are afraid someone may find out? What can they do to you? God knows everything you do. In fact, He knows the number of hairs on your head. Does that concern you? It doesn’t matter whether you are a believer or a non-believer, He knows.

Jeremiah 23:24 – “Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord.
Psalms 139:1 – 4 – “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”

There is no situation where God is not aware of what is happening. As a believer He places His Spirit into us. The Holy Spirit is there to give us council, guidance and protection. I was with a Christian friend and asked: “How much do you rely on prayer and the Holy Spirit?” I was talking to a person who has been a Christian for many years and we were talking about the world problems in general. It didn’t take long before I asked him about how the Holy Spirit was working in his life. It was kind of like: “Well I have the Holy Spirit, but what do you mean?” I replied: “Do you realize the power that is within you, having God’s Spirit to direct and check you?” He answered: “I know the Holy Spirit is in me because the Bible is very clear about that. But what are you getting at?” I told him: “What do you think the Holy Spirit is in you to do? Don’t you believe that God’s Spirit wants to help you just as much as you would want to help your own children? The Bible is very clear that salvation allows us to become adopted into God’s family and a part of God comes to live within us.”

I wanted to make sure he understood God promises that if we pray to Him He will answer our prayers. I asked how do you think our prayers will be answered if the Holy Spirit doesn’t communicate to us or doesn’t make what is needed to happen? Our whole conversation was about realizing the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit that is within us.
Our discussion then turned to whether Christians have problems feeling unworthy. So you don’t live a perfect life. Do you know anyone in the Bible, but Christ, who did? Don’t you realize the reason God has given you His Spirit was because He knew we could not make a drastic change in how we live by ourselves. Yet we keep on trying by our own will and we keep failing. We live and believe as if this life of Christian perfection is entirely up to us. The result is that unworthy feeling. We are negatively influenced by Satan’s emissaries that God is not pleased with us.

We realize our part is surrendering this selfish nature we were born with. We are taught that we can surrender that nature only when we learn to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind and others as ourselves. It doesn’t seem that true surrender can be accomplished until we learn to love God and others. We must surrender this selfish nature in order to love God and others. It is this love of God and others that gives us a completely different perspective as to how we are to live and treat others.

I remember a story that was shared on TV at TBS. It was told by a mother to the TBS audience. I will share how I remember it:
The lady had lost her father and her husband. Now her one and only young son had terminal cancer. The last few days completely consumed her. Once her son passed on and the funeral was over she could not seem to get on with her life.

One morning she woke up and went to the kitchen to make coffee. On the table was a letter. The letter starts out: Dear Mom – You will only be able to read this letter once and it will disappear. I just wanted to tell you that Jesus does not look anything like His pictures. He told me to sit on His lap and He would help me write this letter. Mom, you have no idea how beautiful the surroundings are. When I first got here dad and grandpa showed me all around. We are having a ball. Mom, I just wanted to let you know that I am o.k. Love, your son. She rose to get a Kleenex to wipe away her tears. She came back, sat down and the letter was gone.

If you are a doubting Thomas you may ask: is this something she imagined, is this for real? Could she have made up this story to get on TV? My attention was drawn to thinking just how much Jesus loves us. As I was reading Scripture it was sharing how the leper came to Jesus to be healed. Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. Something no one else would have ever done. The man was healed of his leprosy.

Assuming this lady’s story is true, (many knew her young son had passed away from cancer), this letter allowed this woman to get on with her life. God met her need. To the rest of us it gives just a glimpse of how much God loves us. God knows what everyone of us needs and He meets our needs. However, we believe our personal needs seem to be unlimited. If we lived in the slums of Calcutta, India our needs would probably be different than if we were raised in a very wealthy family in America. Are our individual needs greater than those living in Haiti?
How many times does God meet my need and I do not recognize it? Probably the more we have and the ease in which we live, it is unlikely we would be aware of how much God is in our lives compared to those Christians having very little.

It is stories like these and the many I have heard from foreign missionaries that give me the faith knowing each day God is aware of everything I do and each word I utter. He promises that if I have a need He will meet it because He loves me. We may think we need a million dollars but God knows better. The greatest need we all have is to have the Holy Spirit within us actively guiding and checking us, giving us direction and a purpose for living our lives. Lastly, we need to realize the depth with which God loves us. Because of His love, I do not want to do anything that would displease Him by deliberately sinning. I also know the Holy Spirit will check me.

Let GOD Help You Make Wise Decisions

Do you have a spiritual ear guiding you in making correct decisions most of the time?  I have talked to some and read about others who have visions, dreams, some see signs and a few hear the voice of Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  God doesn’t tell me what is going to happen ahead of time but I have many times seen the impossible become possible supernaturally, at least I believe it so.

John 10:10 – “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”  How do I get what Christ promised: “A rich and satisfying life”?  NLT

The first thing we must understand is that God created us with a purpose.  Through His Word He promises that He will guide us throughout life to fulfill that purpose.  But we have a real problem.  We have been given a self-centered, sinful nature that wants to make decisions; we have a devil wanting to influence the choices we make and we are offered God’s Spirit to show us the path that God has prepared for us.  If we accept Christ and receive the Holy Spirit we then have one positive and two negatives that want to guide us through life, particularly in making decisions.  Our life will depend upon who we listen to: the two negatives or hone in on the positive One?  We must determine who we want to help us make decisions—the self-centered “I” or God through the Holy Spirit.

Scripture is very clear that we must live according to the example Christ set for us.  We must be obedient to God’s way.  We cannot continue living as the world lives and expect the Holy Spirit to guide us in making decisions.

It is possible that the guidance given must come from our prayers requesting direction and help.  The amount of help we may expect from the Holy Spirit will depend on how seriously we spend time in Bible study and prayer.  We must not throughout the day, continually ignore God’s Spirit if we want His help, because the two negative spirits will try to help us make every decision.  So do we make a decision and then pray that it is the correct action?  I point this out because this has been one of my problems.  Is it because of pride, the feeling I can do it on my own?  Is asking for God’s help a weakness?  Whatever it is, it comes from our self-centered nature.

Having been a high school coach, production foreman, a store manager and a buyer of equities it seems all I did was make decisions and most instantaneously.  It didn’t seem like most decisions allowed time for prayer.  If I did pray I expected an immediate response.  There are times when you have adequate time to pray and wait for an answer.  For example, choosing a spouse, buying a home or car, these decisions do not have to be made quickly.  Sometimes it may take weeks or longer for God to help you make wise decisions.  So we must be patient, keep praying and listen intently.  When there is not time we ask before making a decision: God is there some unintended consequence I should be aware of before making this decision?

There will be times when God will allow you to make the wrong decision.  There are some things we can learn only through bad experiences.  We should never ask: “God why did you allow this to happen to me?”  The correct response is: “God what did you want me to learn from this negative experience?”  Did I make the wrong decision because of the pressure I was under?  Should I have prayed more or longer?  But you said you wanted me to have a rich and satisfying life.  To get there may take learning experiences.

When bad things happen that we have no control over, such as parents losing a child in death, there may be a tendency to blame God.  “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 were created God knew everything that would happen in our lives and you were chosen to be the parents of the one who died at an early age.  We will only know the reason when we get to heaven.  But there will be a reason. There may even be occasions when God uses sickness or other means to draw us closer to Him.  We then have time to read our Bible and certainly we increase our prayer time.  Remember the outcome of all decisions God knew the result before we even thought about it.  Is our relationship with Him such that He is our mentor or the person we come to only when we need bailing out?

Finally, how do we know when our decisions come from God?  We sense a real joy and peace in our heart.  It feels like the right choice to make.  We have sought His help, allowed Him time to answer and believe He is in it.  I complied with what I believe God wants me to do and am willing to accept the result of that decision.