Are you saved? The answer to this question may surprise you. It may surprise you because according to The Bible, you have already been “saved” by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, when He died in man’s place on the Cross. While some Christian Churches would have you believe, that all men are still dead in their sins, and that you are not saved until you say some ritualistic prayer, inviting Jesus into your heart, and at that moment getting “born again”, the Bible is very clear concerning God’s provision for the salvation of the human race.
The subject regarding one’s salvation depending on who you talk to, can be very confusing and convoluted. Let’s see if we can put the pieces of the puzzle together, and determine what God’s Word has to say about whether we have to “get saved”, or are you saved already, and actually have to reject the salvation that God has provided in order to be “lost”.
Here are just a few of the scriptures that deal with the subject of the salvation of the human race.
“It is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8 AMP)
By Grace You Have Been Saved
According to this scripture, salvation is granted to “all men” by the unmerited favor of God. This means that salvation is a free gift that has nothing to do with what we do or don’t do. Notice that there is nothing in these scriptures that says that we need to do anything in order to secure salvation. But you have a decision to make… Keep reading >>>
Are you in a bad place and asking, “Dear God please help me” or “God please give me strength”? Are your prayers falling on deaf ears? There are many times when we pray to God for something that is really important to us or that is urgently needful, and it seems as if our prayers are falling on deaf ears. “Why won’t God help me?” you wonder. The reasons why some prayers go unanswered is not always apparent. But one thing is for sure. So if you are asking dear God please help me, you should know if we ask anything according to His will, God hears us.
“This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14 & 15 NKJV)
Notice that this verse is telling us that we can have confidence that God will answer our prayers, if we pray “according to His will”. So the next logical question would be, “What is God’s will”? If we expect to get our prayers answered, we must first fulfill several prerequisites. Here are some of them.
“When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1: 5–7 NIV)
Here the Bible is telling us that if we are double minded when we pray, we should not expect to receive anything from God. So what does it mean to be double minded? It simply means that when you ask God for something in prayer, you are hoping He will answer you, but you are not really sure that He will. That kind of praying is kind of like throwing mud against the wall, and…keep reading >>>
I produced a video to the classic song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. It reminds me of God’s love for us and always lifts my spirits-Enjoy and experience the love of God!
A Pastor friend of mine who has performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies, places one condition on the engaged couples before agreeing to marry them. The condition is that they give him the satisfactory answer to one very simple question. In the Pastor’s mind, there was only one correct answer to this question. So what is the recipe for a happy marriage? He would ask them each to answer the question individually, and if at least one of them
answered correctly, he would marry them. If both of them gave the wrong answer, he would not marry them without them agreeing to first have several marriage counseling sessions with him
The question he wanted them to answer was this, “Why do you want to marry this other person?”. The knee jerk response to this question by the larger percentage of couples was the same. “Because I love him (or her).” If they gave this answer, the Pastor would not agree to marry them without several counseling sessions.
One day, when my curiosity got the better of me, I asked him why he would not accept this as a valid answer for wanting to get married. After all, they were telling him that they wanted to get married because they loved each other. What could be wrong with that? My Pastor friend answered my question with a question.
“What is the current divorce rate?” he asked. “The last I heard it was somewhere between 50 and 60 percent.” I replied.
“And out of that 50 to 60 percent, how many of them do you think got married because they “loved each other”? He asked.
I thought about it for a few seconds, then replied, “Most of them, I would think.” “Exactly! he replied. That was all he said. I thought about it for a few seconds, and then his point hit me. Loving the other person was not enough to keep 50 percent of all married couples together for life. So what is the recipe for a happy marriage then, I thought. The truth is, that when most young couples said they want to marry the other person, because “they loved each other”, what they really meant was, “I want to marry this other person because they make me happy by fulfilling many of my needs.”
The inherent problem with “falling in love” with somebody because they fulfill your needs, is what happens if or when, for whatever reason, they stop fulfilling your needs. Not surprisingly, when one of the parties in a marriage stops fulfilling the needs of the other, they often look elsewhere to get their “needs” fulfilled.
A marriage based on either party swearing to stay in the relationship “until death do them part” cannot be based on loving the other person because they fulfill some or even all of the other person’s needs. Though the world considers this the norm, not only is in not normal, it doesn’t even begin to qualify as true love, which is why it doesn’t work, and why the divorce rate, even among Christians is greater than fifty percent.
3 Ways To Have A Happy Marriage – Our Recipe For A Happy Marriage
1. What Is True Love?
The first of the three ways to have a happy marriage is to understand what true love actually consists of. For starters, true love is unconditional. It has nothing to do with your needs or the other person’s needs being met, although the main byproduct of true love does result in this. Thus, the first imperative necessity in having a happy and successful marriage means making a conscious decision to desire the well being of the other person above your own. It means being willing to dedicate yourself to doing all that is necessary to nurture, protect, and see to the well being of the other person no matter what the cost to you.
2. Put Your Ego On Hold
The second ingredient in having a happy marriage is like the first. Instead of thinking about what the other person can do to please you and make you happy, you must do just the opposite. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to think about what you can do today to make the other person know that you place their well being above your own. Anybody can say “I love you”. Talk is cheap.
In order to put your money where your mouth is, married couples must put there egos on hold, and always aim at doing what is right for the other person, regardless of what sacrifices are necessary to do it. If you do this, you will not have to say “I love you” to placate your mate, because over time, they will know by your actions that they are loved and cherished. This of course means employing something that most people know little about, which accounts for why the divorce rate is so high. It is a spiritual principle called “selflessness”. The Bible tells us how husbands and wives should treat each other, if they are to have a happy marriage.
“Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. (Colossians 3:18,19) Love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. (Ephesians 5:24) For a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body—and we are its living parts. (Ephesians 5:28-31)
3. What About The Children?
The third element in a happy marriage involves the children. The greatest influence in the development of our children is how their father and mother treat each other. Their observation of the interaction between their parents, will be the greatest influencing factor in determining what kind of adults they will become. Particularly, the actions of the husband and father in the family will determine the long range outcome of who and what their children will become.
A friend of mine, who had gotten married several years before due to wanting to “do the right thing” after having premarital sex with his girlfriend and getting her pregnant, confided in me that he was not happy in his marriage, because he felt as if he was “tricked” into marrying her, and that he believed that she got pregnant on purpose to force him to marry her. By this time, he had two children with her, both under the age of seven. It was apparent to me, that my friend was contemplating leaving his wife.
“Do you love your children?” I asked him. “Of course!” was his reply. “Do you love them enough to die for them?” I asked. “He looked at me as if to say, “What a dumb question.” “In a heartbeat!” was his reply.
“If you had it within your power to give them the greatest gift that you could possibly ever give them in this life, would you?” I asked. “Certainly!” was his reply.
“And if I were to tell you what that gift was, and if I could convince you that it was in fact the greatest gift you could ever give them, would you do it, no matter what the cost?” I asked. “Yes!” he answered, with a hint of impatience. “So what is it?” he asked.
“The greatest gift you could ever give your children is to love their mother!” was my reply. He stared at me in silence for several moments as tears welled up in his eyes, than put his head down, and just stared at the floor. That was fifteen years ago. My friend and his wife are still happily married to this day. My friend turned out to be a wise man. True story.
We have all heard it said, “God is everywhere”. Well if that is true then where do I find God? Finding God on a personal level, and establishing a relationship with Him requires some effort on our part. The good news is, God knows you! In fact He knows everything about you there is to know. It is also true, that regardless of what you may or may not have done throughout your life, God loves you and wants nothing but good things for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 IV)
Help Me Find God.
What you may not know, is that God, even though He is “all powerful”, does not interfere in your life unless you ask Him to. God created you as a free willed being, and as much as much as He may want to help you, He can only do so with your permission.
So you may ask where can I find God? He is by your side and He may want to help you, but He can only do so with your permission. This is because He is not a master manipulator, nor is He a puppeteer who uses His might and power to force you to do His will. But He did extend a wonderful invitation to anyone willing to take Him up on it.
The Bible says,
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8 (KJV)
What’s really great about this invitation is that there are no prerequisites or conditions attached to it. All we have to do is make up our minds that we want to get to know Him.
“But how do I draw near to Him?” you ask. The answer is very simple. First, keep reading..
God has His eyes on you. And nothing can separate us from the love of God. Long before he laid down the foundations of the Earth, He had YOU in mind. And of all the wondrous things to come forth from His hands, of all the things He created everywhere, you were the focus of His love. Before the world was even created, He decided to adopt you into His family through Jesus Christ. Though sin entered the world by way of our first parents disobeying God, He never stopped loving you, and never changed His eternal plans for the human race. While God would have preferred to take us into forever with Him by our choosing the path of
obedience to the laws that He put into place to secure and uphold our existence forever, He did not abandon His plans for us when sin entered the world and the human race appeared to be forever lost.
In response to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God did not abandon His plan for us. Instead, He did the unthinkable. He sent His Son, through Whom all things were created, to die in our place. Jesus came to Earth so that though Him, God’s plan to adopt us into His family could go forth as planned. God’s plan is still in play. Soon, the world as we know it will end, and we will enter a new age. An age where God’s plan for us will come to fruition. God wants you to be there. His love for you has never changed. But you must want the same future for yourself that God wants for you. You can begin by going to God in prayer, and telling Him that you want His plan for your future to be fulfilled. Jesus said, “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37 NIV)