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We All Need Cleansing

We recently had a bit of rain. My two little dogs do not like to go out in the rain but they had no choice. When they came back to the door my little dog Itsy looked like a drowned rat. She was shivering and her hair was going all kinds of directions. My little dog Coco not only looks like a little drown rat but he had mud all over him. They stood at a door wining to get in. Boy did they look pitiful. I let them in the house but I confined them to the bathroom. I did not want mud and water all over the house and furniture. I left them in the bathroom while I went to get soap and supplies to clean them up. Coco was not happy. He was barking up a storm. Coco wanted to be let out of the bathroom. He wanted his freedom yet he needed to be cleaned up first.

In the Old Testament there is a book called Isaiah. Isaiah was a prophet who was sent by God to tell Judah God’s message. God’s people had fallen into sin and where not living the lives they should. I have to admit the book of Isaiah can be difficult to read but it is also a good reminder of what God requires of us his children and what happens when we do not live our lives we should.

“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. a Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” Isaiah 1:15-17

God’s people were very much like my two little dogs. They were a mess and I am not talking about the people physical appearance. The people’s sin had defiled them. The people’s sin was much like the mud and muck all over Coco.

God does not like it when we do a multitude of empty religious practices yet are filled with sinful behaviors. He does not like it when we tithe or give only out of obligation but without a heart of love for Jesus. God wants us to have a heart of repentance, submission to his authority, humility and a willingness to allow him to mold us. He wants to cleans and wash us just like I was trying to do for my two little dogs.

No human being on this earth is not in need of cleansing. For we are all sinners. The only human to ever walk this earth and not sin is Jesus. We all need cleansing. We are able to receive cleansing through the blood of Jesus by confessing our sins and then turning from the sin to live in the way of Christ. The process of turning from the sin can sometimes be challenging but there any many resources to help people turn for their sin. If you do not know where to start or where to get help then reach out to a pastor or church.

God Knits Us Each

I am excited to have some hand knit scarf available for sell soon. So here is a little bit of mind wondering that came along with the knitting.

I often pray while I knit. I find that having something repetitive and a bit monotonous to do with my hands helps me focus. The knitting has a calming effect. I am reminded of a verse in the Bible that talks about God knitting each of us in our mothers womb. Every one of us is God’s creation. Whether we acknowledge him, obey his commands, worship him or do not even know he exists, it does not change the truth that we are all his creation.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 149:13-14

Yet very few of us live the lives we are called to live. Very few of God’s creation do the things he wishes of us. Why is this? It is because we are slaves to sin. Sin binds us, sin hinders us, and sin destroys our lives as well as others.

I use a loom to knit. With each loop of the yarn I am reminded that it is through Jesus Christ that we have the opportunity to bind our sin and live free lives in Christ. Yet we are often blind to our own sin. We are blind to our bondage.

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:31-36

Do you know Jesus? You do know Jesus teachings? Seek Jesus with all of your heart. Repent for your sins by turning away from your sin towards Christ ways. Jesus will set you free when you seek him above all else. So I pray that God will open your eyes to any sin within you. I pray that you will seek him above all other things. I pray he will set you free so that you will live the life God created you for. I pray you will live a life of freedom in Christ. For this is the life we were all created for. In Jesus name. Amen.

As We Walk Along

In the Old Testament we hear about the story of Moses and the Israelites. God’s chosen people, the Israelites, had been held captive as slaves to the Egyptians. God delivered his people and Moses lead the Israelites out of slavery toward the land God had promised his people. The road to the promise land was far from easy. Moses was given the task of leading these people through the wilderness. It was during this time God gave Moses the 10 commandments and what is known as the law.

The people were slaves. There was disorder and lawlessness. The Israelites were far from acting like God’s chosen people. These people were not ready for the promised land. God very much used the many years of journeying through the wilderness to prepare the people for what God had promised them. God’s people eventually arrived in the promise land but only after many years of journeying.

When we become a Christian. When we repent for our sin and have faith in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins. When we get baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we to are given the promise of heaven. We receive the promise of our eternal destination of Heaven the ultimate promise land. Yet we are often very much like the Israelites. We have been freed from the slavery of sin yet we are now lost little sheep wandering in the wilderness.

God very much has a plan and purpose for each of his children. We have the promise of eternity. We have an eternal home that is being prepared for us. Yet we are often unprepared for this eternal home. God often has plans and purposes for us in the here and now. It is through this journeying that he prepares us. He sanctifies us. He prunes us. Jesus has given us the way to or heavenly home. But we often need to learn to follow his way. We have to learn to walk in obedience to his commands. We have to learn to lay aside the things that are not from God. We have to abide in Jesus so we do not become lost.

Our journey as we walk in obedience to Christ is often challenging. Just like the Israelites faced many challenges, battles, discipline and correction while on there journey to the promised land. We to face similar struggles. But just as the Israelites did eventually make it to the promised land we to will eventually make it to ours. God has begun a good work in us and may he finish the good work he started in each of us his children. Amen.

To Wrestle Is Human

It is interesting to watch the dynamics between my 2 little dogs. I was watching them the other day. My little disabled dog Itsy was chewing on a little toy. She was enjoying herself. My normal dog Coco was sitting there staring at the chew toy. He would look at me to see if I was watching then turn to look back at Itsy. He is very intelligent. He wanted to steel the toy but he knew I would disciple him for doing so. This is why he kept looking at me to see if I was watching. I could see the conflict in his little doggy eyes. Of course he had no knowledge that I very much intended on giving him the chew toy. The chew toy was to big for Itsy, I had a smaller one that was better suited for her. I was not intending to let his struggle go on forever. On the other hand, I have often taken away things from my two little dogs that was harmful to them. They once found a plastic bag they liked to play with. I took it away knowing it could be harmful to them. My little dog Itsy was not happy about me taking the harmful toy from her. She did not understand. But I eventually gave her something new to chew on. This new thing was much safer.

God very much does this same thing with us his children. We often fall into things in our lives that are not good for us. We are often like my little dog Itsy who wanted to play with the plastic bag even though it could harm her. Or we chew on something that is to big for us. Many toxic relationships and addictions we as humans struggle with are like this plastic bag. We think it is what we want and need. But it will only bring us harm.

To wrestle and to struggle is human. We all do it to various degrees. But God has also given us the means to wrestle, struggle but lean into him for strength and direction. When we go to God with our struggles he will help us find what we really need. For he promises to meet our needs. My dogs wanted this plastic bag but what they really needed was a chew toy specifically designed for dogs.

We as humans all wrestle and struggle. Jesus himself wrestled with temptations when he walked in the wilderness. God understands our wrestling. He has sympathy for us his children. But he also knows that many things we desire may not be what we actually need. We as humans wrestle not with flesh or blood. Just like my dog Itsy and Coco were not really wrestling with each other. No we wrestle because of something we can not fully comprehend or see. But know this, there is no shame to wrestle. Look to Jesus in your wrestling and go to him with your struggles. Trust in Jesus to provide for you. Call on his name. For his name is above all names.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:13-18

The Longing for Heaven

Has anyone ever longed for heaven? When feeling overwhelmed and overburdened by the things in this world I often find myself wondering what heaven will be like. I often find myself longing to be with my Heavenly Father and savior Jesus. What is the draw towards heaven? I’ve never been to heaven. I cannot say exactly what heaven is or is not. I most likely is different than how the movies portray. But to me I long for heaven because of the promise of eternity with God. The promise of no pain, no suffering, no more tears, no more hardships, trials, struggles, or tribulations. Sin will have been abolished. Disease will have been abolished. The things that cause so much conflict between us humans and interfere with our relationship with God will be abolished.

I do not know what heaven looks like. I do not know exactly what heaven will be. But I do know that God is perfect love, goodness, holiness and without fault. I do know that God has promised us eternity with him through his son Jesus. I do know that God is faithful and never breaks his promises. I do know that his prophecies given to us in the Bible always come to pass in God’s timing. I do know that God’s kingdom will prevail over all other things. God will be victorious.

We as humans are so small, so transient. We are on this earth for only an instant. Our bodies waste away. They age. They wear down. Our bodies are only our temporary house. But we have the opportunity to become a new creation in Christ through baptism in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit.

So if you find yourself longing for something more in life. Turn your eyes to Jesus. Repent. Be baptized in the name of the father, son and Holy Spirit. Start you journey as God’s child. Be patient as he directs your life and until he calls you to your heavenly home. Live the holy, righteous life abiding in Jesus that he commands us to live as his children. For Jesus is preparing a place in eternity for each of his children. Are you God’s child?

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelations 21:1-5