Is This It?

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The church, where I first learned about a better life.

Have you ever asked yourself is this it?  What’s next?  Is there more?

As I was giving thanks to God this week for His many blessings upon my life, a thought hit me.  One I don’t recall having before.  For those who have never accepted Jesus as their savior, and had their sins, wrongs forgiven, then this is it!  This life is the best they will ever have.  For them, there is no hope for an even better life.

This life, with its hardships, struggles, and pain.  This life with its sickness and diseases.  With its final blow, death!

But we don’t have to settle for just this life.  We can choose to have the hope of a better life.  A life with no hurt, sickness, and no death.  Think of it this way; if those who believe and have accepted God are wrong then we have only gotten the same as you.  This life.  But, if we are right, if our faith delivers the hope God’s word says is waiting for us then we have so much more.  So much more than just this life.  And on the way to that better life, is God.

Act 2:26-28   I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope. I know you’ll never dump me in Hades (Hell); I’ll never even smell the stench of death. You’ve got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around. (MSG)

 Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

A Better Way to Live

sin

NOUN

  1. an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law:
    “a sin in the eyes of God” ·

synonyms: immoral act · wrong · wrongdoing · act of evil/wickedness · transgression · crime · offense · misdeed · misdemeanor
· trespass · wickedness · wrongdoing · wrong · evil · evildoing · sinfulness
· immorality · iniquity · vice · crime

In a time where one’s, thought to be hidden sins, are being exposed like an uncontrollable leak in a dam.  In a time where an accusation brings quick judgement and sentencing handed down before all the facts are known.  You would think realizing that everything done in darkness will be exposed, would spur one to find a better way to live.

The truth though is we are sold a big fat lie by the devil.  That lie is: You won’t be the one that will get caught.  Guess what?  The devil is probably the one that will tell on you.  Why?  Because he wants to hurt you beyond belief.  I write about it often:  John 10:10 – Satan comes to kill steal and destroy!  Satan HATES you!  He can’t stand you, because YOU are made in the image of God, and he hates God.

A better way to live?  Sure.  Don’t sin.  It’s that simple.  Okay, it’s not, but you can actually learn, or train yourself to sin less.

  1. Capture every thought and bring it into captivity.  In other words, if a thought is about doing something wrong (sin) then realize it, and choose not to.  Love instead.  Do the right thing.  Say the right thing.
  2. Put on God’s bullet proof vest. (Ephesians 6:11-18)  Imagine a policeman these days not wearing his bullet proof vest.

Eph 6:11  So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.
Eph 6:12  This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Eph 6:13  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.
Eph 6:14  Truth, righteousness,
Eph 6:15  peace,
Eph 6:16  faith,
Eph 6:17  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.
Eph 6:18  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. (MSG)

These are just a couple of purposeful things to do to live a better life.  Here are a few more:  Turn away wrath with love.  When one speaks out against you, smile and love them anyway.  When someone proclaims they are living a life you know is not pleasing to God, please don’t judge and sentence them, but accept them, and love them.  That is not the same as accepting their wrong doing.  Calling out sin on Facebook isn’t going to show anyone there is a better way to live either.  The world needs to see Love.  Jesus is Love.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

The Ironic Paradox

PhotographHow do you convince, “believe in someone you can’t see”?  How is it understood?  Why is it easier for some and yet others find ‘having faith in God’ is like believing they could fly around the room.  God knew it would prove difficult, so He gave everyone, yes even you, a “measure of faith” to start life with.

God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3 KJV+)

A pastor once preached a faith message series titled, “Walking off the Edge of the Map”.  You wouldn’t dare take another step once you got to the edge if you didn’t know where you would land.  But what if someone else knew?  Would you trust them?

You look at a photograph, but your eyes have to stop at the borders of the photo.  But there is one who can see beyond the borders of a photograph.  We are limited by what we see and know, but God is not.  He can see beyond the edge of a map, and past the limits of a photograph, and even the boundaries of your eyes. He sees, He knows, and the truth is, He cares.

God wants us to have faith in Him, because of all of the above.  God is not limited; by anything!  It doesn’t make sense, but by believing in God, whom you can’t see you are able to see beyond your own understanding.  And it’s nice knowing in your heart that because He sees what’s coming He’s already preparing you to handle it, go through it, or go over it.  Faith in God is knowing, “He’s got this!”

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Life’s Speed Bumps

speedbumpMy daughter once said, “Squirrels are God’s little speed bumps.”  I’m not saying I agree.  I realized something this past week as I talked to some people.  They were telling me of the trouble they are currently having in their lives.  I felt bad for them.  Then I thought it seems as if there is always so much drama in their lives that they don’t have time to focus on the important things in their life.  Maybe another way to say it is this; they are so busy putting out fires, they never spend time preventing them.

I once told a friend concerning my failed marriage, “I was so busy repairing I never got time to build.”  A good marriage is something important in life.  Teaching your children how to live life right is important as well.  But of course the most important thing in life is deciding where you want to spend eternity.  Yes, it is your decision.

So where does all this trouble come from?  Circumstances; sure.  Most likely as a result of poor decisions.  But consider another source; the devil.  In John 10:10 Jesus said, “Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy.  That means steal your time, destroy relationships, and includes killing your soul.  Then Jesus said, “But I have come so that you may have life.  Abundant life.”  He doesn’t want you to live life on earth suffering.  Jesus wants to help you with living life.  He can and will once you accept him as God’s son and invite him to be the Lord of your life.  Once you do that read about him, study him in the Bible.  He will help you get over life’s speed bumps more smoothly.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Do You Trust Me?

Trust.  It’s hard to trust someone else, and sometimes even ourselves.  God, throughout the centuries has asked people to trust Him.  Some did, others didn’t, but most did so with some fear and trepidation.  Another thing that is difficult is change.  Either change a job, a living location, but the hardest thing to change is yourself.  Putting the two things together will just about overwhelm you!

Whenever God calls you to change an area of your life, take it from me, it is best to blindly believe, and then obey.  Will you know how it will all work out?  Probably not.  Will you know ahead of time how you will make it?  No!  But the point is; God does.  That is where the trust comes into play.

One thing I have learned, the hard way, is God loves obedience.  When you figure out a direction God wants you to go, and then you go when the time is right He blesses you like nothing you have experienced before.  So when God asks you that question, say, “Yes”.

copyright 2017 Mark Brady

 

Where Are You Going?

20170819_205542“Recalculating.”  Seems to be her favorite word.  I get frustrated with her at times.  Ladies, please don’t get mad, but a man doesn’t like to be told what to do by a woman.  It’s not our fault, it’s just the way we are wired.  So I recently put my GPS in the back seat, and it felt natural.  At times, I still try to get where I think I am supposed to be going, on my own.

That happened this year.  My plans were taking me in a completely different direction.  If I had not felt in my spirit “Recalculating”, I would not currently be going where God needs me to be.  Yes, God uses GPS.  “God’s Positioning System”

It’s important to seek God’s will for your life.  You were created for a reason and a purpose.  If you submit to God’s GPS you will be happy and not frustrated when you arrive at your final destination.  I hope and pray your final destination, is heaven.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

 

Boxed In?

20170708_220718One thing that makes moving successful is having enough, and right size boxes for your stuff.  Moving works best when you have the time to put the right things in the right size boxes and number them, and then keep a running list of what is in each one.

When it comes to moving spiritually, what size box do you try to put God in?  Do you cram Him in a small one, because He is only a “small” part of your life?  Or does the God you serve fit in a refrigerator box?  How do you list the contents of the box you put God in?  That probably depends on what you think of God and His power.  Maybe it is limited by your experience with Him so far.

We’re human.  Our mind has limits, but when it comes to God we shouldn’t limit Him at all.  We should never put Him, and His abilities in a box.  Instead of saying, “Why can’t God…?” we should say, “My God can…”  When you start living with this kind of thinking about God you will begin to find your life outside the box.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Thorns and Thistles

080512 169Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is life so hard?”  You strive to do good, get ahead, but at times it seems the more you press forward the further behind you get.  In your finances, at work, or in relationships.  The truth is, it’s not your fault.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden part of the punishment was life would be harder.  They received their sentence before they were evicted from the home God wanted for them.  See the scripture below:

Gen 3:18   The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, (MSG)

All the more reason we need God to lift us out of the weeds and thorns of life that desire to choke, and overcome us.  If you’re tired of weed whacking then stop, and ask God for help.  He will, and He can.  Consider the fact His way was for us to live in a garden.  My neighbor once saw me planting flowers several years ago.  She said, “You don’t know what you are doing!”  My reply, “I know, but I’m having a great time.”  God, the master gardener, knows what He is doing.  Turn your life over to Him then trust and obey.  That’s the only way to live life in the garden.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

What more do you want?

Earth

Bible

Mary 2

Cross

Heaven

I created a beautiful place for you to live.
I wrote instructions, on how to live.
I gave you my Son who lived perfectly,
I allowed him to die, as a sacrifice, for your wrong doing.
I prepared a place for you……..to live eternally.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

It Hurts!

HURTYou listen as they describe their current pain, despair, nightmare of a life.  They go on and on without the slightest glimmer of hope on their face, or in their voice.  They want relief, they want out, they want something so different then what they have.  Like a blind man looking for his glasses, their searching is in vain.

You’ve heard it before, from them and from others you care so much about.  Will this be the time they listen to you?  Have they reached the end of their rope?  Have they had enough?  Maybe, maybe this will be the time they here you share the life they could have if they would only accept the free gift of Jesus Christ.  How His death provides life.  How His taking on the whole worlds sin and sorrow deliveres eternal joy, happiness, and peace, if we just say, “Yes” to His offer.

It hurts, when we hear them say, “Thanks, but it’s not for me.”  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s hard for us to understand.  Irwin McManis put it like this, “People would rather live a bad life “they” purchased, than a great life that is free.”

Keep praying and trusting God for those you care about.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved