Amazing Painting!

First day in Heaven

This painting is so beautiful that I cry just about every time I look at it.  It is called “First Day in Heaven” and it was masterfully painted by an Egyptian Artist named Kerolos Safwat.  I think of my loved ones and friends who have already gone to be with the Lord.  Some of them were so young, and it gives me great peace and joy to think of them in this way!  God bless you all!  Run into the arms of Jesus!  He loves you so much it is incomprehensible!  How beautiful it will be to see Him!  I am going to give him a big ol’ hug!!!

Grace and peace to you all!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus speaking in John 14:1-4

 

 

 

Pressing On

Pic quote Phil 3 v 12 beach

This is a very important verse to remember.  It is one of the most famous and well known verses among Christians today.  It is an awesome reminder from the Apostle Paul that the Lord is constantly working on us and that we should press on in Christ despite the difficulties of imperfection in this fallen world!

In chapter three of Philippians Paul is explaining that he puts no confidence in legalistic righteousness.  There is nothing we can do to work our way to Heaven.  That is, we cannot justify ourselves before God through good works.  Paul also makes this very clear in chapter two of his letter to the Ephesians.  Let’s read the verses before and after Philippians 3:12 to better understand the context Paul is talking about.

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Philippians 3:7-11

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Philippians 3:12

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13-14

Paul is explaining that he has thrown away his old way of life of trusting in his own good works following the law, and he only finds his righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ!  We are not perfect on this earth and we never will be!  We are a work in progress and thank God we don’t have to work our way into Heaven!  That is a mighty blessing!  Any good works we do after we accept Jesus Christ were prepared in advance by God and all the glory goes to Him!  We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone!

“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.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:8-10

If you stumble and fall in your walk with the Lord, which happens to all of us, just get back up, turn away from the stumbling block, and keep going!  The Lord loves and forgives you and He will keep leading you to those good works that He prepared for you to do!  We are not working our way into Heaven.  It is God who is working in us to spread the light and love of Jesus to the world!

Yes, this world is imperfect.  We are imperfect.  Everything here is imperfect!  We know this all too well!  How glorious it will be when the imperfect is made perfect in the end!

“But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.  Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”

Philippians 3:20-4:1

Forget what is behind, strain toward what is ahead, and press on toward the goal of Heaven!  We will be perfect at our last breath when Jesus raises us up!  Amen!

Grace and peace to you all!

Pic quote John 3 v 16

 

 

A Very Important Question Jesus Asked

Pic quote Mark 8 v 36

Hello everyone!  Blessings to you all!  Today, I would like to look at a few powerful statements Jesus made and one very important question that He asked.  Now of course everything Jesus said and asked was important, but the above question He asked regarding our souls is a big one!  Please read that question very carefully and consider the One who is asking it!

Jesus also made many amazing statements that are tied to that question.  Here are a few of those statements to ponder regarding your eternal soul:

Jesus made it clear that He is the only way to Heaven.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

Jesus also made it clear that He loves us and does not want us to perish!  He wants to give us eternal life and that is why He died for us!  He also made it clear that His free gift of salvation is something we have to receive by faith.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:40

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

John 7:37-38

The statements Jesus made and the questions He asked are eternal.  They are just as valid today as they were in the A.D. 30s.  So, when Jesus asks us today, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36), we need to carefully consider those eternal statements that He made regarding how to save our souls.

You could have everything that this fallen world offers.  You could be the richest and best looking.  You could have all the land and all the gold.  You could have all the power and everything you have ever wanted in this world…but if you reject the only One who died to save your soul, then you would be the poorest in the world indeed because you forfeited your soul.  That question is intense when you better understand who is asking it!

This life is short folks.  The older I get the more I realize that truth.  I’m already 40 and I might get 60 or 70 years, only God knows.  That is crazy to think about!  I might only be 20 years or so away from my death!  Maybe I am only a week away.  My great great Grandpa was struck in the head by lighting and killed instantly!  We just never know!  But eternity in Heaven is forever, I know that!  There is nothing that this world can offer you that is worth losing your soul over!

The Holy Spirit of God is the living water flowing within all people who believe in Jesus!  His salvation and forgiveness far outweigh any pleasures or treasures of this sinful world!  The love of Jesus Christ and the refreshing power of His Holy Spirit inside of us are so much better than anything in this whole world!  There is nothing that compares!

If you don’t want to forfeit your soul, trust your soul to Jesus and He will raise you up at the last day!  You will not be lost, you will be saved!  There is no need to fear death!  Jesus has your victory over sin and death!  Receive it with joy and be at peace!

Grace and peace to you all!

Pic quote Romans 10 v 9 waterfall

 

Comforting Truth

Pic quote Hebrews 13 v 8

Hello everyone!  Blessings to you all!  I pray you are having a peaceful Sunday and enjoying some much needed rest!  Our family is definitely thankful for the rest this fall break!  Yesterday was the first day that I didn’t do a blog post since I started the blog on 8-10-18.  The Lord was moving through me at a rapid pace there for a little bit!  I appreciate the Lord’s comfort and encouragement!  He knows I need it!

The above verse in Hebrews is comforting too!  That is a truth that you can truly rest in!  Jesus is the same Jesus today that He was all the way back in 33 A.D. when He died for us (Matthew 27:32-56)!  He is the same Jesus who rose from the dead three days after He was buried (Matthew 27:57-28:10)!  He is the same Jesus who appeared to many of His followers for forty days after He rose from the dead (Acts 1:1-3), and He is the same Jesus who ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father (Matthew 28:16-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:4-11)!

His love for us is the same!  The power of His sacrifice is still the same and it is still offered to every person on earth!  His forgiveness for all your sins is still the same and His grace and mercy are still the same!  There is nothing that we could ever do to change Jesus or Who He is!  He will stand the test of time for all eternity and He will be the same yesterday, today, and forever!

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

Hebrews 13:15

Stand up for Jesus today!  Be counted among those who confess His Name!  Don’t be afraid.  There is no fear in His love (1 John 4:18)!  Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9) and step forward into His grace and forgiveness (Ephesians 2:8-9)!  Jesus loves you and His love has not changed since the beginning of time!  His love is a mighty river that rushes strong forever and ever!  Let His love wash over you today and let the living water of the Holy Spirit flow within you (John 7:38)!

Grace and peace to you all!  The Lord be with you in strength and power!

P.S.

I made this Scripture pin yesterday and posted it on my Twitter.  It got more likes and retweets than any other tweet I have ever done!  Amazing what the Lord can do with a couple cute animals He created and His Word!  Enjoy!  May we love one another just like Jesus loves us!

By the way, I would love to see you all on Twitter too!  @AuthorRyanC

God bless you all!

Pic quote Eph 4 v 32 prairie dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

TobyMac’s New Album!

Tobymac the elements

Hello everyone!  I spent the afternoon at the park with the kids!  When we got back, I jumped on Amazon and pre-ordered the MP3 version of TobyMac’s new album called The Elements!  The album doesn’t come out until October 12th, but when you pre-order it you receive access to the first 4 songs on the album!  We listened to them while playing darts!

I highly recommend buying the album!  I am excited to hear the rest of the album when it drops next Friday!  With the pre-order, you get access to the songs:

The Elements, I just need U, Scars, and Everything

“I just need U” is an older song, but it’s cool he put it on the new album.  The other three are brand new songs!  I really like the vibe on this album!  It is filled with the Holy Spirit and the love and compassion of Jesus!!!

Here are the songs Scars and Everything!  Enjoy!  Remember, just like our good brother TMac says on this album, you are not alone!  Jesus loves you!  Come to Him today and receive your salvation and freedom!

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9

Grace and peace to you all!

Fall Break

Pic quote Ephesians 1 v 3

Good morning and happy Friday to everyone!  My kids are on fall break for the next 10 days starting today, so I will be spending a lot of time with them.  My wife had to work today, but her break starts this afternoon!  My wife teaches at the charter school our kids attend, which is a huge blessing for our family!  I will still be checking my messages and doing posts to my blog, but not as frequently.  We will be enjoying time together as a family and doing some traveling around our great state of Colorado taking the kids to new places!  I hope to get some great pictures for the blog too!

I have been thinking about the above verse in Ephesians lately.  Read that again please, and take time to consider it.  If you believe in Jesus Christ, then you have been given EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ!  That is phenomenal to think about!  When I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior in 1996, God blessed me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing He gave to Jesus!  You were blessed in the same way when you accepted Christ!  For those of you who don’t know Jesus yet, you will be blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ once you receive Him!

That is incredible folks and that is a very positive truth to think about!  God loves us so much that He blessed us like He blessed Jesus!  What a humbling and encouraging truth!

Grace and peace to you all!  Jesus loves you!

Pic quote Romans 10 v 9

 

 

 

 

This Is Eternal Life

Pic quote John 17 v 3

Did you know Jesus prayed for Himself before He was crucified?  Yes, He prayed for Himself, His disciples, and for all believers before He died for us.  Today I want to focus on the prayer Jesus prayed for Himself.  What He prays is beautiful and it is clear that He knew what His purpose was and that He knew His time had come.  As you can see in the above verse, Jesus also made the definition of eternal life very clear.

Here is the prayer Jesus prayed for Himself before he was brutally executed:

“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

John 17:1-5

That last line is especially amazing to me!  Jesus was with God before the world began!  That is what the beginning of the Book of John talks about!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

John 1:1-4

Jesus is the Word!  He is God in human flesh!  That is why He prayed, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”  Our Creator died for us, so we could be in Heaven with Him forever!  That is mighty!

Jesus has authority over all people, so He can give us eternal life!  Jesus is our eternal life!  His prayer was answered too when He was crucified, dead and buried, rose back to life on the third day, and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father!  He was most definitely glorified in the Father’s presence just as He had prayed!  Amen!

Jesus loves you and that is why He died for you.  Don’t ever forget that!  There is no fear in coming to Jesus.  His perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18)!

Grace and peace to you all!

P.S.

I took the above photo with the flowers while sitting at a red light on the way to pick up my kids from school yesterday.  God’s beauty is everywhere!  God bless you all!

Pic quote John 3 v 16