Have you heard?

If you have then did you accept or reject the Good News? That is exactly what it is, Good News. Always your prerogative of course but there is no real excuse for rejection. I have personally heard testaments from people who shall I say had no regard for anyone else but themselves. Thieves, robbers, slanderers they were but they had a change of heart after they heard about Jesus Christ and what he had done for them. Many folk I have witnessed to have told me that they will think about it and others have simply told me they just don’t believe or that it is all fiction. God however tells us that this is far from the truth and we have no excuses for not believing. I would ask anyone who think otherwise to think again for there is much to gain from coming to a real understanding.

Shirley Anne

Jesus appearing to Thomas the Apostle, from th...
Jesus appearing to Thomas the Apostle, from the Maesta by Duccio di Buoninsegna (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus? (Acts 4:12)

Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). And when speaking about Jesus, the apostle Peter said in this passage, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Further, all people have to answer to God whether or not they have “heard” about him (see Heb 9:27). The Bible states that God has clearly revealed himself in creation (see Ro 1:19–20) and that he has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecc 3:11). This means that people see all around them the evidence of God and sense within themselves the truth that they are meant for more than this world. God is not the problem; humankind is. Because of sin, people reject this knowledge of God and rebel against his will (see Ro 1:21–23). It is only because of God’s grace (see Eph 2:8–9) that he saves people from their own sinful desires (see Ro 1:24–32).
How God works out his plan is mysterious and complicated. We have our ideas of what it means for Jesus to be “the way,” but he is not bound by our understanding. God works to accomplish his goals in ways that we will never see or comprehend. The wideness of God’s mercy and the tenacity of his love is beyond our intellectual capacity.
Jesus is central in the redemption story. But God rewards those who seek him (see Heb 11:6). It is our mission to help those who seek him and make sure that those who have yet to answer God’s call hear and understand the gospel (see Mt 28:19–20; Ac 1:8). God always acts justly; he never acts unfairly or wrongly (see Dt 32:4). We might be surprised at the final roll call of heaven. Fortunately, it is God—not us—who will sort out the details in each person’s case.
Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible

Shirley Anne

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A work in progress

No matter what we do in life we have to learn or have learned how to do it. We don’t come into this world full of the knowledge and capability to do anything, we learn it. We get wiser, or should do, as we go along. One of my favourite responses I give (in jest) when asked how I know the things I know about doing electrical work is that I make it up as I go along. Well obviously I don’t else the work would be shoddy, unregulated and unsafe and my reputation for being a good worker would be lost. We have to learn everything or get nowhere. For many years my life had been empty without the knowledge of my Saviour. I had been very resistant to the belief that there was a God, I just didn’t want to know about such things. When asked if I believed I would respond by saying no and I don’t want to. Because I had no knowledge I couldn’t believe and yet God Himself points out in Scripture that we are without excuse as the evidence is all around us in Creation. Many simply do not ask of themselves where it all came from and some have endeavoured to search for rational and natural explanations. The truth of the matter is that before Creation there wasn’t any nature or reason, they came about, as with all things, through Creation. The next big question they fail to ask of themselves is who created it all if it was indeed created? God points out in Scripture that all things that were made and have their existence came about from nothing! God is saying that He made matter from something that wasn’t previously there. God isn’t believed because they want to know who made Him. The truth is that God has always been. When I became a Christian believer all those years ago I will be honest and say that although I was searching for answers to these questions and others I had also been searching for God. If we search wholeheartedly for God He will be found.  ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:13). However, that wasn’t the end of the matter. I had found the truth that is God, I found the truth that is Jesus Christ and He my Saviour and invited Him into my heart. I was saved! Saved from eternal damnation and I didn’t need to do anything myself except to simply believe in Jesus’ saving power. Now I could have rested on my laurels  and did nothing more but once you discover the truth about God I tell you, you want to know more and more is revealed to those who seek it. I am a work in progress, saved but in need of refinement….and that will continue till the day I die when all will finally be revealed…….

Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

Revelation 15:4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.’

The message is simple….God through His Word, that is Jesus Christ, created all things. He loves you so much He came in the flesh to die for all your sins (wrongdoing, rebellion, yes, even unbelief), paying the penalty for them and setting you free..forever. Are you ready to accept this free gift of love?

Shirley Anne

O Stubborn Heart

Heart of Jesus
Heart of Jesus

Romans 2:4-6

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgement will be revealed. God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’

Many times in Scripture we see the word ‘stubborn’. Throughout their 40 year journey wandering in the desert and later when they had settled in the land God had given them, the Israelites were a stubborn people forever turning away from God and reverting to their old ways. God was very patient with them and although He punished them and allowed them to make mistakes which were to their own detriment, He always forgave them and give them another chance to reform their wicked ways. God is slow to anger but quick to save, not wanting to punish us for our wickedness and sinful lives but because of His righteousness and just ways He shows us a way out. If we fail to respond to His goodness and mercy His wrath will be upon us. We all sin against our Creator but He gives us a chance to be right with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ His Son. God wants us to accept His free gift of everlasting life rather than have His wrath upon us. If we haven’t accepted this gift before we die we will face eternal damnation and His wrath will be unavoidable. Rid yourselves of your stubborn hearts and refusal to repent before it is too late. As I said in a previous post….you may never get another chance.

Your prayer should be….’O Lord God and Father of all mankind, I have ignored your sovereignty and your free gift of life through Jesus Christ because of my stubborn heart. Please forgive me for my foolish ways and for ignoring you. I repent of all my wrongdoing and ask forgiveness. I invite Jesus into my heart this day and accept the promise of your free gift of everlasting life in his name. Now Father, take my hand and guide me through life in the ways I should go and fill me with your Spirit’. Amen.

Shirley Anne

Illogical Atheists?

Atheists, Reconsider
Atheists, Reconsider

First of all I must state that as a Christian I have no problem with those who are atheist for I was one once. It isn’t a disease just as much as being a Christian isn’t. Conflict arises where there are social issues and concerns to consider. Christians are people who believe in a deity, a creator who made all things, everything we can and cannot see even ourselves whereas atheists do not believe in a deity and therefore must believe everything we see including ourselves came about by other means. That is simple logic. Christians are under attack when they try to influence how everyone else is supposed to live and which laws we should have to govern our societies. In the case of the UK, Christianity has been the influencing power, whether for the good or in some cases unfortunately for the bad over most of the last two millenia. Our laws are based upon those written in Scripture and from a Christian’s point of view, God-given. At this point I think many, if not all atheists would agree with the basic laws we have but not necessarily all of the others, the ones written in Scripture concerning certain moral and behavioural lifestyles. The Christian believes and agrees with the whole tenet of the law whereas the atheist agrees only in part. As an example, atheists who happen to be homosexual would not agree with what Scripture says about it but may be perfectly in agreement over the law which says, we should not kill (murder). There are many other examples. People will pick and choose from Scripture as it suits their belief system or non-belief system. Either the Bible is wholly true or none of it is. It cannot be both, at least to the believer. Atheism is also a belief system, though many atheists would immediately disagree and this is where they are illogical. Everybody believes in something, including atheists. Ask an atheist what they believe and it will probably be different from another who is an atheist. The real problem starts with Creation. Just how did we get here? This is a question that has been asked since the birth of mankind and there are only two fundamental possibilities. One is that everything was created and the other is that all things have eternally existed and only one of those can be right. When the latter possibility is studied and examined it becomes impossible to believe but when we study Creation as having been created by God everything falls into place quite easily. The more we delve into the Universe and how it came about the more the Creation model appears to be the truth. Unless we consider how the Universe was made we cannot make the decision that God doesn’t exist. If only the atheist would see that. Christians have the faith to believe He does.

Shirley Anne

Standing up for Christ

Many times I have published my views on homosexuality/lesbianism or anything else that seems to contradict the secular lifestyle and have been criticized for doing so by the many secularists that read my posts. I am not ashamed of  The Gospel. I am not ashamed that I place my trust and my hope in Jesus Christ. I am well aware that I too am a sinner but praise be to God and the Lord Jesus Christ that my sins have been covered and dealt with. That doesn’t however mean that I should continue in my sins, I must make every effort to resist temptation else I am making a mockery of Christ’s suffering, that suffering he took upon himself for my sake and for all who will repent and turn to him for their salvation. It isn’t easy being a Christian, it is far easier to be a secularist for in being a secularist means that you can please yourself what you do. We all have that option, God does not force Himself upon anyone but He does tell us the consequences we face should we disregard His truth. The main problem is one of belief or non-belief , we either believe God’s Word, which is written down for us to see or we simply disregard the possibility that it is all true. Some will even try to distort that truth to make if fit in with their belief system or lifestyle and will come up with all sorts of reasons and excuses to justify themselves. God cannot be mocked. We cannot twist things around to suit ourselves. To be a true believer one must make every effort to follow the way of life that God has ordained for us but of course to do that we must repent of our sins and accept God’s free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We must have the faith to believe in that message……

Ephesians 2:8-9

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

In other words salvation cannot be earned! We need to continue the fight with temptation. If this means overcoming ungodly thoughts and feelings then that is our personal battle. For some things the battle is easily won but for other things it can prove much more difficult. In the area of sexuality there is often the temptation to give in to our feelings where these feelings and tendencies go against God’s will and we struggle to justify giving in to that temptation. If we truly love God and wish to give Him all the honour and respect as Christian people we really must take the battle seriously. Here is a short video that poses the question ‘Is it possible for a Christian to be homosexual’. The reply may surprise you.

Shirley Anne

I must do what I have to do

English: Page 53 in Olney Hymns, the verses th...
Image via Wikipedia

Many, if not all of my readers will know by now that I am a Christian. Many will think I am daft and beyond saving but that is because they think I should have the same beliefs as they do. In regard to everyday life in fact I do have all the same beliefs as they do but not in spiritual things. I was watching the news the other day and all those people who couldn’t wait to get to the annual sales, each looking for a bargain, This show me where their priorities lie. They are captivated by the material world, their idols are their possessions. It would have been better to them to spend their money and pay the normal price. In that way they would have been helping the economy but people are selfish and don’t consider what they do is selfish. They do not consider spiritual things either. The Bible has much to say on such things, Jesus said, ‘What shall it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul?’ (paraphrased). Once I went along with the flow, once I was an atheist but now I am a Christian. Now that is a transformation! If anyone knew me as an atheist they would most certainly not be able to understand my transition to Christianity. Everything I once stood for just flew out of the window and something new and revealing flew inward to my heart. Some would call that unbelievable but I know different, I call it amazing grace. My transformation was really something that had to be seen to be believed. Once, totally against religion, totally against the idea of there being a God, totally against everything, against people,  against everything and yet at the flick of a switch, the toss of a coin, in a complete turnaround, I became a new person, a believer and one who puts her whole faith and trust in her maker, the one and only God, creator of all things, Yahweh. From that memorable day I have tried my utmost to be a faithful witness to God and the salvation He offers free of charge. How amazing is that? That He should give me a way out of my separation from Him is remarkable. None of us deserve such love but nevertheless it is there for all who would open their hearts to that fact. It is hard to change one’s beliefs and way of thinking and to be fair it does require a touch from God for anything to happen but for that to happen requires an openness to the fact that He exists and a willingness to invite Him in. God does not act unless invited for a special reason, He requires his creation to worship Him because they want to, not because they have to. So He leaves us with the choice. There are so many things to know, so many things that will be revealed, so many things to understand that will only be known by those who are willing to turn to Him. Once I was lost but now I am saved, once I knew nothing but now I know true love and have been given an understanding of God’s creation, His love and His purpose for all that He has made, which includes you my reader. I can do nothing to persuade you of this gem of truth. Of myself I am nothing but in God’s spirit I am everything for it is through God’s spirit that I reach out to you in the hope that you will consider His love. God sent His only begotten son as a sacrifice for your sins. Believe in Him and in the one He sent, Jesus, and you shall be saved. My hope for this coming year is that you will turn to God and see a better future, one far better than that you have now if you do not believe in Him. May the Lord guide you and teach you what you need to know. Let this year be a turning point in your life and see the difference it will make. Turn away from idolatry and turn to the One who can change your life for the better.

What is the purpose of your life? Why are you here? Click on this link for a video message http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yZstH3iQ0Q

Shirley Anne