How deep is your love?

Great song. The Bee Gees wrote this song in 1998 and when you read the words, it could easily be someone talking to God.

Except their lyrics say that the one they are singing to needs to show how deep her love is, whereas we need to show God how deep our love is, so maybe this is more like God singing to us?

How deep is your love? Do you love God? Why? Is it because of all the wonderful things He has done in your life? Do you love God for the promise of salvation? Do you love Yeshua (Jesus) for the way to salvation He provided for you?

If you said, “Yes” to any of the above, then I think your love is not very deep. Sorry, but if you love the Lord and love Messiah Yeshua only because of the things they have done for you, then your love is selfish and weakly rooted. Not very deep, at all.

If you have a disease and the doctor saves your life, do you love him or her?

If your spouse makes you feel happy, loved and appreciated, then someone you meet gives even more love, joy and appreciation to you, what do you do? Leave your spouse for that one? If your love is based only on what you receive from someone, then by definition you should leave. Then, if (and when) you meet someone who “ups the ante”, now you’re on your third marriage.

I love my wife for who she is: I believe that is because God is teaching me how to love as He loves. I love my family (immediate and cousins) for who they are, for our common experiences, and the same with my friends. I certainly don’t love them for the way they treat me, because in many ways they don’t treat me as I would like. Some of my lifelong friends don’t call me- I have to call them. Same with some family. But I love them despite what they do (or don’t do) because that is how God is teaching me to love.

But I still have a lot to learn. I am not holding myself up as an example to follow, just as an example. I am still very “fleshly”, and the word “love” brings up thoughts of romantic, human love. Do I love God? For me, loving God is- has to be- above what I can feel. Clearly, God is way above the realm of human love. Human love for God is so far below His love for us, it’s more than just “not in the same ballpark”, it’s not even the same sport!

I think I love God, I want to love God, and I am gratified that despite my human feelings (and lack of ability to love as completely as He does) He loves me, anyway.

God loves us despite what we do for, and to, Him. Look at history- after hearing God’s voice and seeing His awesome presence on Mt. Sinai, it took only 40 days for us to reject Him and build a Golden Calf (don’t you dare think, “Oh, well, that was the Jews that did that!  I wouldn’t have done that. You sure would have-so would I. We would have, and in our lives we all probably already have, in one way or another, built and danced before our own Golden Calf. If you can’t admit to that you better stop reading this now- it only gets harder to take.) After that sin, which was forgiven, we rejected His leadership (Moses and Aaron) more than once, we rejected the salvation He gave us (moaning and groaning all the time that they wanted to go back to Egypt), we then refused to enter the Land, then we sinned against Him by asking for a King, then that kingdom was split and the Northern Kingdom sinned from then on, the Southern Kingdom did OK for a while but also sinned itself into destruction, then the Greeks, the Romans, then the split of the Church, then….well, you get the picture.

And all during those times, no matter how many times we sinned against God, when we asked for forgiveness, He forgave us and welcomed us back to Him. Even though He knew we would backslide again, He still loved us despite how we treated Him. And He still loves us, today.

Didn’t Yeshua tell us to love our enemies? Didn’t Yeshua tell us to forgive our brothers who sin against us, pretty much as many times as they ask.  Aren’t we told to love as God loves, to forgive as God forgives (check out Matthew 6:14). That old adage, “To err is human: to forgive, divine” hits the nail right on the head! Forgiveness is absolutely tied to love- if you can’t forgive, you can’t love. If you can’t love for any reason other than how someone makes you feel, you cannot love as God loves.

Let’s say that again: If you can’t love for any reason other than how someone makes you feel, you cannot love as God loves.

That’s a hard word to hear. I think it is a word directly from God because (as the references above indicate) it is how God has loved us from the start.

To love as God loves is simply to love not for our needs, but for theirs. We should love others for who they are, for what they believe in, for how they treat all people. In 1 Corinthians, Shaul tells us that love is not selfish, but if we love only for selfish reasons than we aren’t loving, not really: what we are doing is just enjoying. We are feeling attracted to a person for what they do for us, not for who they are. At one point or another, what they do changes. If the relationship is a physical one, that’s gonna change, believe me. Age isn’t friendly to physical things. If the relationship is based on what “niceties” you get, such as little notes, little gifts, pretty cars or big, expensive stones, that’s gonna change, too. Eventually, the relationships we humans form will break down to their most basic components: you and me. So, do I really, really enjoy just being with you? Do you really, really enjoy just being with me?

Examine your love for those in your life, and remember that Yeshua tells us whatever we do to others is what we are doing to God (Matthew 25:40), so make sure your love is love going out and not love taking in.

Examine your love: is it selfish or selfless?

Judgement isn’t Coming- It’s Here

Paris, Paris, Paris- that’s all the rage now. People change their FaceBook page to reflect the Parisian flag, they post requests to pray for Paris, it’s the top story in all the papers.

I remember Paris back in the day when it was the safe house for all terrorists. The Parisian government allowed known terrorists to go there and would not extradite them. Now the ones who were protected are biting the hand that fed them, because these terrorists have no honor, no concern for anyone, and no morals.

Sounds like the ancient Babylonians, or the Assyrians, doesn’t it? And didn’t God use those people, as horrible as they were, to exact His judgement?

I am not against sympathizing with those who lost loved ones in Paris. I am fed up with the superficial sympathy we feel. We are all so “damaged” today, but by Tuesday the top story will be about some dog found stuck in a ditch, or some cutesy kid who is collecting for the homeless. And those people in France who are attending funerals and recovering in hospitals will be totally forgotten.

In one day hundreds were killed or hurt in Paris, that’s true. On the other hand, in 2013 the number of American deaths, PER DAY, was almost 90 people. From automobile accidents. You can’t really stop someone from setting off a bomb, but you can drive more carefully, you can drive without texting, you can drive only when you’re sober. We can prevent more automobile accidents, but you can’t really prevent someone who is determined to hurt other people. Oh, maybe now and then, with good intel and a very liberal attitude about privacy, you might. Still, over a hundred died  that one day in Paris, in an attack that is totally unique in current Parisian history. The Paris deaths were from one day of terror, and only the one day- it started, it’s over.

Ninety Americans die every-single-day!  From something that is preventable.

We need to keep things in perspective- murder is murder, whether terrorists do it to us in public places or we do it to each other in cars. The difference, to me, is that there is so much violence of humans against humans that we can’t always see when it is human based or if it is an act of God.

Yes, I am saying that I believe these terrorist groups, groups like ISIS, Al-Queda, or whoever they are, are being used by God as His weapon of judgement. He has done this throughout the past, using powerful enemies that are ruthless, destructive, immoral and unrighteous to render His totally righteous judgement on those that have earned His wrath. America has rejected God, France and God, well, what’s to say about that? And the other countries of the world being attacked are just as worthy of judgement as the ones who have been attacked.

“Yeah, well, then why is Israel being attacked, huh?  If Israel is being regathered and they have already been judged, which you have said before, Steve, then why is Israel being attacked? Huh? Why? Yeah, Answer that one. Huh?”

Good question, here’s the answer- because they are God’s’ people. They are being attacked by the forces of the enemy: they are not being judged by God. That’s the difference- Israel is being attacked, as they always have been, by the forces of the enemy, especially now as they draw closer to God and are starting to acknowledge the truth about His Messiah. Israel is under demonic attack, whereas (I believe) the nations of the world are now coming under judgement.

Remember that the Prophets told us eventually the entire world will come against Israel- that is part of the plan, and it has not happened yet. It is still in the future (and, I believe, not the distant future.)  The judgement against the Goyim (the nations) is already happening.

We should prepare ourselves for the real battle, which isn’t of governments or nations, but of the spiritual world. The way to defeat terrorism is not to be terrorized. That can’t happen without God, without accepting His Grace and knowing that whatever a person does against you, you are secure in the future because you have been saved from the second death- that is the one to be afraid of. The first death comes to all, it is natural, it is transitory. It is the second death, the eternal death that results with either being in God’s presence or in the Lake of Fire, which is what we should be terrorized of!

Terrorists are nothing- they are a bunch of murderers who use their god as an excuse to kill others so they feel better about themselves. Their judgement will come, too- just as it has happened in the past. If they read the bible that counts, they would think twice about what they are doing because no one who has come against Israel has survived. No one. They are doing God’s work against the Nations now, but their time will come, and their judgement will be terrible. Just ask the Assyrians (oh, wait- they’re totally destroyed); well, then, ask any Babylonian about….oh, no, you can’t . They’re gone, too.  The Romans? Nah- all their military are Swiss. Maybe the Egyptians? They’re still here, but not much of a military power anymore.

Mark my words, it won’t be God who will stop these terrorists- the enemy will be the one to overpower these terrorists! They are nothing more than the warm-up act for the big show, when the enemy of God creates the one-world rule. He will do so by eliminating these groups to secure his position as a man of peace. He will seem to save the world, to bring peace and order, and to be the one we should worship since he did what God could not. This will be his demonstration of power, and it will fool many, even many of the righteous will turn to the enemy, because they expect God to stop the terror so when the enemy does this they will mistake him for Messiah.

I believe this is what will happen in the very near future, maybe even in our lifetimes. I did not gain this “knowledge” from a dream, or a vision. In fact, I think it is just common sense . It’s the logical conclusion that one should come to when one reads the word of God, looks at what He has done in the past, and understands He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. Think about that- if God is the same, always and forever, then doesn’t it just make sense that what he has done in the past he will do in the present, and continue to do in the future, in the same way?

Terrorism is terrible- duh! That’s why they call it, “Terrorism”. And it is not new- it may have a new name but it is the same as it has always been; at it’s roots it is bad people doing bad things to innocent people. It started with Cain and hasn’t changed since then.

We can’t stop terrorism- it is a part of civilization, it is the way humans are, and it can be the rod of judgement that God uses. It will never go away, it will only change it’s shape, it’s name and it’s targets. But what we sow, we shall reap, and God will judge those He is using to bring judgement upon the Nations. Be assured, be comforted in the midst of the terror, that vengeance will be taken and judgement will be done to those who are performing these terrible acts of murder.

In the meantime, don’t get confused by those pushing for less gun control or those blaming President Obama, or any other policy reform stemming from these events. This isn’t about any of them, and it’s certainly not about Paris. This is about the truth of God’s word, the prophecies of the bible, the arrival of the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth.

The time to think spiritual is upon you- get your head out of the Earth and into the Clouds.

SWISH

How many times do we find ourselves looking back at a situation and thinking, “Why did I get so upset?” I know I do, and then I add to that, “And what was I thinking (or not thinking) when I said/wrote that?”

It’s funny how we always blow everything up from manageable to unmanageable. You know what I mean? We get to a new job, we settle in a little and see everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and we think to ourselves, “What’s the big deal? This isn’t so bad.” Then, a few months later, once we are fully settled in and as emotionally invested (so to speak) as everyone else, we are the ones running around and the new guy is thinking to himself, “What’s all the hubbub about? This isn’t so bad.”

Give it a few months, buddy, just give it a few months.

By now you are thinking, “Yeah, I know what you mean, but what the heck does that have to do with SWISH?”

I’m glad you asked.

So What, I‘m Saved…Hallelujah! That’s what SWISH is- keeping things in control, not going crazy, or getting upset, or allowing our self-absorbed ego’s to make us so frustrated that we say or do things we shouldn’t. SWISH is how we say, “Stand at ease!!” to ourselves.

The server is down and the clients are screaming they can’t work…SWISH.

I’m late and the car won’t start…SWISH.

My kids are driving me crazy and I need to get all this housework done, with no one helping me…SWISH

I’m broke, the bills are piling up and my marriage is falling apart…SWISH  (if you can SWISH with all that going on, you are a pro at it.)

This is hard to do, but we can all get there if we try hard enough and pray often enough.

SWISH isn’t to be used in a negative way, meaning we shouldn’t be apathetic, unconcerned or uncooperative. It is a way for us to be able to go through what is happening now without having to experience the emotional upheaval we feel at this moment (check out this post: https://messianicmoment.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/see-today-through-tomorrows-eyes/). It’s a way to keep things in perspective, to maintain control of ourselves and our feelings, and to demonstrate what it really means to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the Ruach HaKodesh, by keeping our heads on when everyone else is running around with their heads, well, somewhere other than between their shoulders.

It’s really easy to understand, but intensely hard to do. It takes practice (believe me, I am a novice at this myself) and dedication. And it takes more than human dedication- it takes a divine dedication, like when we first were imbued with His spirit, like when we came to salvation, like the first moment we felt His presence. Doesn’t it make you feel relaxed and joyful just thinking about that moment?

That’s SWISH. When you find yourself in the middle of “This is all wrong” or “All this bad stuff is happening” and you are thinking, “The world is falling in all around me: even Job had it better than I do!” When you get there (and we all do, sooner or later) just think for a second how it will all seem so insignificant when you are in your resurrected body, living in the New Creation and constantly in the presence of God. Imagine how silly you will think you acted when you look back at this very moment and remember what it was like to be human, as you sit in judgement over the Nations.

Have you experienced the overwhelming joy and total relaxation of  being held in the arms of the Lord of lords and King of kings?

Can you remember that feeling? Can you feel it? Right now?

That, my friends, is what SWISH is all about.

Parashah Pinchas Numbers 25:10 – 30:1

The plague was just stopped by the zealousness of Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, when he killed a prince of Israel who was with a Midianite woman (also of high birth) and blatantly showing disdain and rebellion against Moses’s command to not have any relations (especially physical ones) with the Midianites. God makes a covenant with Pinchas that throughout his generations his seed will serve in the Priesthood.

The Israelites are at the end of their wandering, and God has already demonstrated His support as they have defeated two kings and taken their lands. Now He has them take another census, and after 40 years of living in a desert, the difference in the size from when they came out of Egypt and now is less than 3/10 of 1%. Essentially, there are as many now before entering the Land as there were when they left Egypt. Some of the tribes are less but the nation, as a whole, is the same size.

The rules for inheritance are stipulated and God reminds the people about the regulations for sacrifices, Joshua is appointed as Moses’s replacement and Moses is allowed to view the land, although he is still not to cross over and enter it.

Isn’t it amazing that when the Jews were in Egypt as slaves, with plenty of food, water and shelter they were able, despite their slavery, to grow into a great nation, and then after 40 years in a desert, devoid of food, water and shelter, they were still able to maintain their great size? Well, maybe it is amazing to someone who is secular minded, but to me it is just what I would expect from God. He said that the generation which had rebelled would die in the desert, and they did, but still we read in this parashah that not only did God maintain the size of His people, but even the descendants of Korach have survived (26:11) to enter the land.

Now, as God prepares the people for what is to come, He reviews the laws for the daily sacrifice and the holy convocations, since these were first given to the prior generation (Leviticus) before they were to enter the land. They didn’t get in, though, and it has been 40 years, so God is reminding them what to do when they enter.

The lesson I see here is simple: God’s plans, whatever they are, will be accomplished. He is flexible enough to make it seem to us, with our limited ability to understand, that He changes His mind or doesn’t accomplish what He said, but what is really happening is that the ship is moving. We may have to take a round-a-bout way to avoid some reefs and rough waters that weren’t on the chart, but it is always going to the place it is sailing to.

God’s plan of salvation has been working itself out since before Adam was created. The Israelites in the desert got to see miracles daily, and these have been recorded for us because we are too “sophisticated” and too “scientifically wise” to see the miracles that are still happening today, every day. We think that just because we can explain how an event occurs that knowing how it happens makes it less of a miracle. I can describe how the digestive system works, but does that make it less of a miracle? Could anyone of us design that system? Could any one of us make a stomach? Can we create a physical being that can spontaneously create hydrochloric acid inside itself and not burn itself to death from the inside out?

God needed a nation to enter the land that was big enough and strong enough (and faithful enough) to be His weapon of judgement against the nations that had been defiling His land for centuries. The first group didn’t meet that criteria, so God got rid of them and had the second group, just as large but more faithful, do the job. When all was said and done, what God wanted was accomplished. Oh, yes, not all of the baddies were destroyed and, yes, the people screwed up royally and ended up being thrown out of the land, also. But has that stopped God’s plan? No, of course not: God is this very day actually completing His plan. We see the regathering of the people back to the land and the land becoming a fruitful garden, again. And we see the world starting to suffer the judgement that God promised would happen through the words of the Prophets and in Revelations.

This parashah shows us that whatever God plans to do gets done. Maybe not when it was first started, maybe not with the people that it was first intended to use, but it will be done, one way or another. That is something that the enemies of God should find totally frightening, and the children of God should find totally encouraging.

The generations we are reading about in today’s parashah got to see God up close; they saw Him on the mountain when they were children, they have been miraculously fed and watered by him in a desert for forty years, and now they see Him supporting them in their battles, allowing them to defeat bigger and stronger nations, easily. They saw His plan to free them from slavery and lead them into the land evolve and succeed. We, today, are also seeing His plan evolve and succeed. We have seen the Messiah overcome sin, we have seen the gathering of the people back to the land happening for the past 60 years, and we are seeing the earth being judged and in turmoil, weather-wise, politically and spiritually. The enemy is on the move, this is his time and we are seeing it happen. We need to steel ourselves against what is to come because it will come! Don’t listen to the prophets that advised Ahab, or the ones that told Zedekiah everything is fine. We are coming into the End Days, and it won’t be pretty.

Take hope, no matter how bad it gets, in the knowledge and the proven, historical evidence that God’s plan WILL be done, and the promises He made and the ones He will make are all absolutely trustworthy.

And also remember that you are responsible to do your part- God will keep His word to you, but you need to hold up your end of the bargain.

Red Light; Green Light

It’s zero-dark-thirty in the morning and you are on a major road going home. You are stuck at a red light: there isn’t a car in sight in any direction. Do you just go through the light or do you wait for it to turn green?

I confess I might go through it. I have been in that situation more than once, and usually I do wait (no, I am not a major party animal. As an IT guy sometimes I have had to stay really late to get upgrades completed after hours. No…really!)

They say that honesty is doing what you know you’re supposed to do, even when you’re positive that no one will ever find out. For those of us who know and worship the Lord, we understand that while no person may ever find out, nothing is hidden from God. So, do we not go through the red light because we know that is the right thing to do, or do we not go through because there could be someone watching that we don’t see?

In other words, do we obey because we want to obey, or do we obey because we are afraid of the consequences when we don’t?

I bet you can see where this is going….Yeshua said if we love Him we will do what He says, and we are also commanded to love God and love each other. In the very same breath we are also told that if we disobey we will be cursed. Obedience brings blessings and disobedience brings suffering, so do we really have a choice?

It doesn’t seem so, does it? Yet, God gives us free will, and even those that not just ignore Him, but outright reject that He even exists, are often “blessed” with riches and fame.

Or are they? Just because someone has all they could want doesn’t mean it comes from God. There is another power that has control over the worldly things that people crave. And his retirement plan is very different from the one God offers.

Should we obey from love or from the fear of retribution and punishment?

We are told that God was sickened and disgusted with the sacrifices offered to Him by the Judeans when these sacrifices were done along side sacrifices to Ba’al, Asherah, Molech, and the other Semitic gods that they worshipped before they were taken into captivity. They obeyed His commands, but he didn’t want their sacrifices because there was no love or true worship behind them. How often are we told in the Book of Nevi’im (Prophets), again and again, that the blood of bulls and sheep means less to God than obedience. Here it is clear that God wants obedience from the heart, not just going through the motions. Does that mean that if we go through the motions they won’t be accepted? Remember Cain? Cain went through the motions and his offerings weren’t accepted, were they?

I think the answer is that God wants us to love Him as He loves us, and to show that love by loving each other as we would want them to love us.

WOW!! Steve!! What a revelation! You’ve changed my life, Man!!

Yeah, yeah….I know. I am stating the obvious (did you catch the cynicism there?) but as obvious as that is, can you tell me why we still don’t do it? I think the answer is just as obvious: people that regularly do not obey the Lord are people that don’t love Him. And that includes professed “Believers.” As such, those who regularly disobey because their heart tells them to disobey (although that may not be how they see it) are doomed people. God tells us, more than once, that we should choose life and not death- He lays it out simply: if we do as He says, we live in His presence and if we don’t do as He says (in other words, we reject Him), then He will reject us.

The good news is that love is absolutely unstable and untrustworthy: that which we hate today we can love tomorrow, and vice-versa. People who hate the Lord have turned to Him and become strong and fruitful followers, and those raised with God who always thought they loved Him can turn against Him as soon as they hit real strife, such as loss of a loved one. So we need to be aware that our love for God is as fragile as the human spirit, and only God’s spirit is strong enough to get us through the horrors of living. Therefore, rely on God and don’t trust yourself.

The answer, for me, is that we obey God because we love Him and from fear of the consequences of disobedience. I think that is OK because we are, in our very nature, sinful sinners and sin is always crouching at our door. The more we love the Lord the easier it is to obey, but it certainly helps overcome the weakness of the flesh when we realize that disobedience carries consequences we don’t want.

Yeshua told the parable about the good son, remember? Even though he refused to do as his father asked initially, for whatever reason he changed his mind later and did as asked, and for that he was recognized as a better son than the one who happily and immediately said he would do as the father asked, but never got around to it. I think one lesson here is that our heart may initially reject what God asks of us because we love ourselves more than Him, but that can be overcome. Maybe not at first, maybe not right away, but it can be overcome, eventually. And let me add this: when we have the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, living within us and when we listen to that spirit talking to us, we can more easily overcome the flesh because we want to.

There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.  When we stop at the red light, even though we can go through, we are obeying the spirit of the law. To obey the spirit of the law of God, we need His spirit guiding us. If we only want to obey the letter of the law, that is what Shaul (Paul) called being “under the law”, i.e. trying to gain salvation by doing what we are supposed to do, whether we want to or not. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that it is impossible for us to do that, because God really wants us to obey the spirit of the law. That is a heartfelt obedience, that is doing what He wants because doing so will please Him. That is obedience from love.

Next time you come to a red light, and there is absolutely no one around, what do you think you will do? Now ask yourself, “Why?”

It’s Between You and God

Comeuppance. What a great word…”comeuppance.”  They say that all people who cheat others or do bad things will, one day, receive their “comeuppance.” It is usually defined as just deserts with the intimation that the person receiving their comeuppance was evil, but it is really just getting what one deserves. Good or bad, we all will have our own comeuppance.

God tells us, in Proverbs, that we should not return evil for evil and that He shall repay. We should wait upon the Lord.

After all, He is the Judge. Yeshua will rule the world, some or many of those who follow Him will be judges in their own right, answering to Yeshua, who answers only to God. God is the Ultimate Judge.

When it comes down to it, what we do, say, and how we live will be judged by God and so everything about your life is, ultimately and finally, between you and God. We all will face our own comeuppance, whether it’s a good one or a bad one.

Have you ever wondered if Gandhi was “saved” because he was such a holy man, even though his holiness was not that defined by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Is Mother Teresa in heaven? I think that many Catholics who are devout Catholics will be gravely disappointed, the same as many devout Jews will be when they come to their comeuppance.

God tells us what He wants from us, and He is pretty easy to understand. This past Shabbat we started the book of Vayikra (Leviticus), which tells us what we are to eat, how we are to act with each other (in intimate relationships) and what the Priestly duties are. It discusses the sacrifices and, even though we cannot sacrifice (because the Temple no longer stands), we should be familiar with the process because we can still make sacrifices today. Not sheep or goats or bulls, but personal sacrifices that are the ones God really wants- to do T’Shuvah, to obey His laws and ordinances, to love each other (even though this one is really hard at times.) How many times does God tell us, through the Psalms and the Prophets, that He doesn’t care for the blood of bulls and lambs but that He wants obedience?

Yeshua said if we love Him we will obey Him; He loved His father and obeyed Him, so it follows that we should obey what God said if we want to be like Yeshua. In fact, if you really want to know the answer to “WWJD” read the Torah, because that’s what Jesus did. Always.

Only God really sees the heart, and he sees us not as we see each other. God told Sh’muel (Samuel) that people see the outer image of a human but God sees their heart- that is how He picked David to be king. And even after David was anointed, it took years, with David running for his life, hiding with his enemies to be protected from his own father-in-law, living in caves like an animal. And he did that for years, then he ruled for 7 years from a small town until he ruled in Yerushalayim. It took many years from when he was first anointed as king until he came to his comeuppance, and all that time his mind was set on what his relationship was with God. He really did know how to wait upon the Lord. He certainly provides a good lesson for all of us.

We are all called to serve God, and we can choose to serve God or serve the Enemy. There is nothing in between, no abstainers in the Kingdom of Heaven, and no gray area. It’s God’s way or the Hell-way. Sorry: that’s the truth about it.

And because it is about you and God, let no one even try to tell you what to believe. However, we who believe that God exists, that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah and that all I say above is true, at least owe it to everyone else to ask them to seriously think about their eternal future. I am not much of a missionary, but I do have a gift for teaching. Maybe that’s why I was such a good salesman, but in any event, I will always talk to people, tell them what I believe and why I believe it, and if they are willing to listen or discuss it, I will inform them about the Good News and how to enter the Kingdom of God. If they disagree I will respect their right to do so, because it is between them and God. The best I can do is tell them what is right for me and why; if it seems right for them, all the better, but they have to decide. You can’t scare someone into believing and you can’t ram God down their throat. The best you may get is a temporary change of heart, but it is seed on rocky soil and will not last. Many of the sales I made were cancelled and the cancellation form was in the office before I even got the contract there. Many times people will renege on their agreements or get “buyers remorse”; it’s expected and happens in all things. Once someone realizes what sacrifices they have to make to follow the Lord they start to talk themselves out of it. That’s why it has to be their decision, made with the full understanding of the sacrifices they will be making, but also reminded of the rewards they can get.

God holds each of us accountable for our actions and decisions, and whether someone else tells us what to believe or not, it is going to be accounted to us as our decision. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. He chose to believe.

What do you believe? What do those you care about believe? And what are you doing to help them understand what their decision, or lack of decision, is going to result in when they will have their comeuppance?