Survival Secret #2: God Will Never Abandon You!

Survival Secret #4: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus!

Part 4 of 6 Survival Secrets to Successfully Battling the Storm

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

The world’s philosophy is, “What can’t be cured must be endured.” But Paul radiantly testifies, “What can’t be cured can be enjoyed. I enjoy weakness, sufferings, privations, and difficulties.” So wonderful did he prove God’s grace to be, that he even welcomed fresh occasions of drawing upon its fullness. “I gladly glory … I even enjoy—my thorn.”

– J. Oswald Sanders

Last week I wrote about how our Heavenly Father WANTS to rescue you! He wants to save you and bring you home to Him. As I said last week, when we find ourselves in a storm, it can be pretty easy and natural for us to focus on the storm’s lack, hopelessness, fear, unknown, and discomfort. (Note these are all our senses – our carnal mind, not the mind of Christ which we have).

 Many times, that is what the devil tries to do. He sells you antichrist thoughts for you to believe against God’s Words, which makes it antichrist. These thoughts and sensations feel very real because that is how the devil tempts you – through your carnal mind and five senses. It is incredibly easy for one to be swayed by what he/she sees and feels when walking through a hard time.

Remember, the devil knows how to stir you up. He’s watched you and learned about you. But, our God is bigger than the devil! Our God reminds us His Armor is what protects us from the devil’s schemes.  

Our Father knows the intense difficulty all believers will face on this earth. He knows that believers will face suffering and persecution because Jesus faced it too.

If you think you are better or more significant than Jesus, well, I’m here to tell you, you are not. Since the Father knew that we would live in and face an evil world dominated by evil spirits, He has provided us Jesus’ authority and many verses throughout the Bible that says He, our Heavenly Father, will NEVER leave you, abandon you, nor forsake you!

You must understand that in Christ, you have the greatest riches, gift, possession, and survival raft ever created. What is it, you ask? It is possessing Jesus who promises I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)! This verse indicates the impossibility of Christ deserting His own.

Part of what Hebrews 13:5 is telling us is that we must learn to be content with who we have, what we have, and where we are – even in the midst of the storm. Now, many of you will first think of your material possessions before you think of your relationship with Christ. As a believer in Jesus Christ who is not from this world, you must understand and have the revelation that God’s sufficiency for your needs is all you need. If you don’t have this revelation yet, that’s okay. Keep praying and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal this to you. It’s like what Jesus says in Matthews 7:7:

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you (NLT).

Sometimes we call God a liar – unintentionally, of course. How do we do this? Usually, it’s through our actions and how we are responding during a storm. It can be easy to agree with God when things are going well in your life, but it can be an entirely new story when things are unstable in your life. I can’t speak for you, but when the Holy Spirit convicts me for thinking, doing, or believing that God is a liar, it goes to my bones. I immediately repent and consciously pay better attention, so I don’t fall into such a trap again – at least in the same area where I was convicted.

For instance, some Christians who focus on accumulating money or who may struggle with Fear of Poverty may be saying through their actions that God cannot take care of them the way they want. Yet, the Word clearly says,

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus 

(Philippians 4:19 NKJV).

Now yes, this promise is in congruence with the description of a believer’s faithful stewardship. In other words, if a believer has given their material resources to God, even to the point where the individual’s livelihood was endangered. God would supply their every need.

You see God’s asking every believer to walk in faith, not sight. The Father wants you to put your COMPLETE trust in Him. Now, He also understands it’s going to take time. That’s okay. If you are a babe, toddler, kid, teenager, young adult, or adult in Christ, you can always ask God to help grow you to fully and completely trust Him. But you have your part of doing as well. Faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

It’s incredibly easy to take Philippians 4:19 out of context and use it to soften the Christian walk. Especially for the Christians who are squandering their money on themselves with seldom thought for the work of God. Remember, God’s about servant leadership and sacrificial love. Yes, in a general sense, God will supply His people’s needs; however, Philippians 4:19 is a specific promise to those who are faithful and devoted in their giving to Christ, will never suffer lack. Another reason, for you to rely on God, not yourself or what the world says! Let me ask you, are you using your resources and materials to glorify the Father or yourself?

Yes, you have a part in all of this. God gave you free will, and He’s going to respect it. You have your work, where God has called you to be obedient, and God has His work; you can trust Him to do it because He cannot lie nor change (Hebrews 6:18).

Here’s the thing though, feeling rich, poor, anxious, insecure, hopeless, or fearful can cause you to fall for the lie to love money, which in turn can cause you to lack compassion for others and fall off God’s track for you. Trusting in God to meet ALL your needs will dissolve and wash away all contentment, and isn’t that the scariest part of all storms? You feel like something terrible is going to get in the way? Do you feel like God will not help you? Or maybe you worry God will not come in time!?

God’s ways are perfect (Ps. 18:30). You can trust Him to do what He promises! Below is a sampling of things God promises when you are in a storm:

  • Do not fear for God will strengthen me and help me (Isaiah 41:10)
  • The Lord is good, a STRONG refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him, (Nahum 1:7)
  • The Lord is my light, my salvation, and the strength of my life; who should I be afraid of? (Psalm 27:1) With such protection, I need not be afraid of anyone or anything!
  • Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).

Psalm 22:55 tells us to Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. This verse tells us that in times of trouble, the best course is not to run away from the storm but to cast the burden of the storm(s) on the LORD. It’s like I said above; God wants to do more for you than you may realize. He really does want to do all the heavy lifting! All you have to do is trust Him, stay obedient, and do what He says! Psalm 22:55 is telling us that God is requesting us to now and forever permit Him to bear the burden of our cares! Let God have it! It doesn’t matter if you understand or can even see how God can fix the situation. It’s not about you; it’s about Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths!

Are you letting God direct your paths? Or are you fighting God for control because you are afraid and don’t believe He has you?

Sometimes it can be encouraging to remember that not even Apostle Paul’s prayers were answered the way he hoped! God said to Paul; I will not remove the thorn, but I will do something better!! I will give you the grace to bear it. Paul, I’m going to provide you with what you need most deeply. Paul wanted God’s power and strength to accompany him during his preaching, and God saw the best way to give that to Paul was to keep him in a place of weakness. As humans, we can easily buy the lie that our life on earth needs to be easy, comfortable, and effortless.

I know it might be difficult for our human brains to comprehend what God told Paul and tell us with this verse below, but it is better than you may think.

And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9 NKJV).

You see, God is telling us the companionship of the Son of God inside us, and the assurance of Jesus’ strength and grace is better than the removal of trials and suffering! It really comes down to where you are going to put your attention and how you will choose to show up! Never is God upset that you may be afraid or have a concern. He gets upset when we allow that fear to control us and stop us.

We see this with Paul. Instead of Paul grumbling and complaining about the thorn, he would rather boast in his infirmities. He would get down on his knees and thank the Lord for them. Paul would gladly endure them only if the power of Christ may rest upon him, which Jesus did!

You have to remember, like Paul, to be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV).

Express thanks to God, by praising Him and trusting that He will meet all your needs when you are obedient and faithful to Him. If He doesn’t answer your prayer like Paul, then rejoice and allow God’s grace to be enough for you! The Father will meet you where you are! He wants to do more of the work for you anyways. He needs an open and soft heart.  

As we close this survival tip, let me ask you: 

What do you need to start or stop doing to believe that your God is with you wherever you go?
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4 NKJV).

Prayer: Father God, thank You for always being with me. Thank You for never leaving me. Father, help me to keep my eyes on Your grace in the midst of a storm. Give me the strength to always glorify You. Help me to trust You and not to lean on my own understandings. Father, I acknowledge I may not always understand why I am walking through a storm, but I know I can always trust You. I ask you to help me understand Your plan for my life. I thank You for redirecting me and establishing my steps. Father, I give You all of me and my life. I ask that You do Your will in every aspect of my life, and I thank You for your love, gifts, and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Survival Secrets #1: THE FATHER WANTS TO RESCUE YOU!

Survival Secret #1: The Father Wants to Rescue You!

Part 1 of 6 Survival Secrets to Successfully Battling the Storm

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

"He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm"

Matthew 8:26

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult season? Maybe it was with someone you love? Perhaps it was your career? Or perhaps you just felt the world was against you!

Whatever the situation was, did you feel overwhelmed and full of anxiety, stress, worry, or fear? Or worse, did you feel hopeless and contemplated giving up? 

Maybe you saw the storm slowly come upon you. Or perhaps you all of a sudden woke up in the middle of it. Whatever your situation was, were you also frustrated, confused, and annoyed at how this could happen? Were you wondering where God was?

I get it. I have been there too. It’s easy to focus on the problem. However, God doesn’t want us to focus on the negativity in the problem or even the problem itself; but on the opportunity for God to be glorified. 

I am very comforted when I read in the Bible how trials, problems, and hardships are great opportunities. I know, I know, I know what you are thinking. ….But I don’t want any problems; I want to live a simple life. Amen, I get it, but unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. Plus, without trials, what would grow your character? Your faith? Your endurance? 

Check out what the Bible says about trials:

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while 
(1 Peter 1:6).
 
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who have been trained by it 
(Hebrews 12:11).
 
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil 
(1 Peter 3:17).

Wow, look at all that hope! 🤩 God is saying this storm that seems too much for you is only temporary. It will end. One of the biggest lies most humans believe or start doing is that they see the issue carnally instead of spiritually. I know I fall into this. I go by only what I can see, but that is not faith! For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). It’s like what 1 Peter 3:17 says, you might be suffering for doing what is right, but the world won’t like that. Let that sink in for a second!

It’s so easy to forget this truth: Satan is the king of this world (2 Cor. 4:4)! If God didn’t allow us to go through these trials, I think we would be more inclined to appease and feed our selfish desires. We would fall back into the ways of the world instead of renewing our minds to the Word of God. Part of surviving the storm is having a godly or Jesus-like mindset. I’m not sure about you, but trials help me grow closer to God. My problems help me to remember how blessed I am. Yes, it’s easier said than done. I haven’t arrived, but each trial is becoming easier and easier, especially when I ask God to do what He wants with it. 

Well, if this is resonating, keep reading! I will discuss the top six things you can do to successfully navigate the storm over the next few weeks. You must understand that you cannot survive if you don’t entirely give it to Jesus. Jesus is the answer. He is the way! Follow Him.

Get ready to learn how to successfully survive the storm over the next 5 weeks. Let’s start with SURVIVAL SECRET #1: THE FATHER WANTS TO RESCUE YOU! 

First off, difficult seasons can be trying for anyone, but we have a Father that loves us. He gave Jesus for you. That is saying something huge. Imagine giving your child up for humanity.

It can be pretty simple to forget that truth – or worse – feel absent from God. Please remember, the Father sees you as worth saving. The Father wants to go out of His way to keep you. You are the apple of His eye. You are engraved on the palms of God’s hands (Isaiah 49:16).

God loves you so much that He is going to look for you. Jesus talks about this truth in Luke 15.

3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away (Luke 15:3-7 NLT)!

Jesus explained how the Father would instead leave 99 sheep to search for you if that means you are safe. We both know you are the safest with Jesus. God is willing to leave the sheepfold because He knows the sheepfold are safe, whereas when you leave the sheepfold, you are in danger. God does NOT want you in danger ever. That is why He sent Jesus – to save us. Why would He leave the 99 for you? Because that is how important you are to Him. You are HIGH VALUE to the Father. That’s something you can remember to tell the enemy off too! Can you say? 🥳  WINNING WITH JESUS?!?!🥰. 🎉

God loves each one of His sheep so very much that He is always willing to seek out each one of us when we get lost. When He finds you, He will rejoice! With this parable, the big picture lesson is that there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. Joy happens when just ONE sinner repents! WOW! 

When you get swept in the storm, and Jesus needs to come and rescue you, there is probably something you need to repent. It’s okay. Do it and move on.  

Jesus understands how important it is to diligently search for the lost one. Not only does scripture say this, but I have experienced it myself. When storms come, and I allow myself to be washed away by them, Jesus has ALWAYS come searching after me. My experience with being storm chum🦈  has also taught me that there was usually some lie I bought or something I needed to repent. The cool part is the Holy Spirit always gently but with authority shows me where I was wrong and acted with evil. When God and I reconnect, He embraces me and reminds me of the truth – that He loves me and is for me! He then reminds me I can trust Him. You know what, if I am honest with myself, Jesus has always come through! 🙏🏼

If you are a bit like me, sometimes you are too consumed by your carnal sight to remember God’s truths. That’s okay. Recognize, Repent, Recalibrate and Receive God’s forgiveness. I have learned that sometimes the Unloving Spirit will try to trip me up again. I have to stay alert and sober, just like 1 Peter 5:8 says. 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

One of the devil’s most excellent tactics is to pervert the truth. Perhaps an Unloving Spirit is trying to convince you, you are worthless. Maybe that Spirit is trying to tell you how crappy you are, and you will never amount to anything. All the Unloving Spirit wants to do is make you believe you aren’t worth loving and that you are absolutely unlovable. The Spirit wants you to consider the lie that God doesn’t care about you and that He would never care about you! Yet, there’s literally an entire Bible that says the complete opposite consistently! 

I am here to remind you today that as “real” as those thoughts can feel, don’t buy them. I know, I know, it can be hard to spot that little serpent. The Unloving Spirit is sneaky. It didn’t matter when the Spirit came in; it just matters that you stop buying those lies and stand up to it in Jesus’ name.

Next time you notice that Unloving Spirit trying to gain control, you stand up to that Spirit and remind them who is boss! Remind the Spirit that you are so important to God 💕 that God gave Jesus for your life. Remind that Spirit that even if you are lost, you can trust that Jesus is coming after you! You tell that Spirit you are made righteous through Christ Jesus. You have to stand up to that Spirit the second you realize it. 

Sometimes, life will go so fast that you won’t notice you were even in that storm. That’s okay. Don’t get mad at yourself. Again, that’s what the devil wants. Learn from it! However, once you repent, God has already forgiven you and forgotten about it. You have to have that same attitude. Let it go!

Part of surviving the storms is to remember that you are so important to God and worth rescuing. He wants to save you. IF you need His help, I encourage you to pray. He hears you! 

PRAYER:  Father God, thank You for loving me so much. Please forgive me on the days I choose not to believe in or see Your love. Help me to remain in Your love and Your truth. Help me rely on You and not be fooled by the devil. Father, give me discernment where I need it and help remind me to focus on You and nothing else. Thank You for saving me and giving me Your mercy. Thank You for forgiving me, and thank You for giving me, Jesus. During every storm, help me to acknowledge You and only You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Do You Know How Jesus’ Last Breath Gave You Eternal Life?

By: Austin Creecy

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

– John 11:25,26

Why did Jesus have to die on the cross, and how does it save us?

To answer this question, let’s read Exodus 12:1-13: 

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. 12 'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

From the verses above, we learn where God let the Israelites (His chosen people) escape the Egyptians’ punishment. The Israelites were to slaughter the unblemished lamb and mark the doorways to their homes with the lamb’s blood. As the Holy Spirit traveled through Egypt, killing the Egyptians’ firstborn sons, the Spirit would notice the markings and leave the Israelites alone, passing over them.

      

As the story continues, the Egyptian king allows the Israelites to leave Egypt. Next, the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years due to their repetitive lack of belief, worshipping of idols, doubt, and other sins. It is during this time that God gives the Israelites the law through Moses. For the record, the trip to the Promise Land was not a 40-day journey. 

      

If you turn to Leviticus 4 in the Old Testament, it takes us to Mount Sinai. Here God tells Moses what to share with the Israelites about breaking God’s law (sinning). He then shares with Moses what to do if anyone sins. They must offer a sin offering. 

       

A sin-offering entailed taking a young, unblemished animal such as a bull, goat, or lamb and killing. After sacrificing the young animal, the sinner sprinkled its blood on the altar and burned the animal’s fat and/or organs. 

       

While the idea of sacrificing an unblemished young animal may seem cruel or morbid in today’s culture, it was what the Lord God requested of them!  The act of offering an animal represented their death for the sin they committed and foreshadowed what was yet to come. 

       

Remember, sin divided the Israelites from God and kept them from knowing Him fully. During this time, all sin was punishable by death. The way the Israelites were to pay their debts was by offering the animal in their place. Many people do not want to murder a beautiful young animal and desecrate its body. However, that was the punishment God chose instead of the punishment they deserved at the time, which was death.

Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).

The Father did not want His people separated from Him! He had shown the Israelites that from the beginning of time. The sin offering was another way The Father allowed them to live for Him and obey His rules. 

       

God said if the Israelites broke the rules and sinned, the sentence was death! Much like if we choose to commit a crime, a judge can sentence us to prison. 

 

God allowed them to pay a fine, and that fine was sacrificing a young animal, as mentioned above. Only after that was the sinner forgiven. It is similar to a judge saying, “you stole a computer, but if you return the computer, pay the person back, plus a fine for you not obeying the laws, I will let you go.” 

      

 You see, it was up to the Israelites to pay that fine and be set free. The offering was the way they confessed their sin and then repented for it. Before Christ’s death and resurrection, one could not directly talk to the Father. You learn this in John 16:16-33, as well as other places throughout God’s Word.  

       

For about 1400 years, this was how it was! If an Israelite sinned, they would need to make an offering to allow the Father to forgive them. It was an ongoing thing! Every time an Israelite broke one of God’s laws (which there were many), the sinner had to make an offering. The offerings changed depending on the sin, but most of the time, the sinner ended up killing and sprinkling some animal’s blood on the altar. Perhaps it seems harsh or exhausting to you, but this was the law of God and how God forgave sinners.

 

Let’s fast forward to about 4-5 BC when a particular child was born. While this child appeared to be a “normal” boy, He was not. The child was born in a manger in a small town called Bethlehem, and His mother was a virgin named Mary. Perhaps you are familiar with this story! He was the Son of God, and His name was Jesus Christ

 

Jesus Christ grew up in the town of Nazareth. At around 30 years old, He started His ministry. Ironically, His ministry – the most extraordinary ministry of them all – only lasted for three years! He traveled with a group of disciples, teaching them how His Father desired them to live.

Jesus exemplified and taught the His disciples and the world how to live a perfect life because He was perfect.

Over Jesus’ ministry, the Jewish Sadducees and Pharisees had enough of Jesus’ “blasphemous ways.” The Jewish leaders did not like that Jesus was teaching people to trust God and do God’s way, especially when it contradicted the Jewish leaders’ practices and beliefs. Therefore, with evil in their hearts, the Jewish leaders came up with a plan to kill Jesus. The plan was to arrest and crucify Jesus by the Roman empire’s commander, Pontius Pilate. It is essential to highlight Pilate did not want to kill Jesus. However, he allowed the Jewish leadership and people to decide Jesus’ fate once Jesus was in custody. Most of us know what the people chose – to crucify Jesus. And that is what happened!

   

Remember, Jesus was not just another everyday guy. He was, is, and always will be the Son of God Almighty. God knew His Son would go through brutally inhumane torture, hung on a cross, and would die. It was all part of God’s more excellent plan. God is a redeemer and makes all things work for the greater good (Romans 8:28).

       

The Father knew humans could not stop from sinning, and for thousands of years, humans proved they could not stop. It was impossible to keep the law, as Paul talks about in Galatians, which is why Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

God allowed Jesus to die on the cross as the final sin offering, and Jesus knew this plan too. Even Jesus did not want to go through it. However, Jesus knew it was THY will, not His will (Luke 22: 42). Jesus’ crucifixion was the final Passover of the world. 

 

Jesus was the perfect unblemished lamb, who God sent to the world. No one ever needs to sacrifice another young, unblemished animal again because Jesus has paid the final price! It was finished – Jesus’ death covered us and connected us to the Father. 

After Jesus’ death and burial, He rose three days later from His tomb.  

Jesus’s death and resurrection were what ended the old covenant and started the new covenant. The old covenant was the law of Moses as God revealed it to him on Mount Sinai. Right before Christ died, He stated, It is finished (John 19:30)!”

Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” And when He had said this, He breathed His last (Luke 23:46).

He had taken on ALL the sins of the world and sacrificed Himself as the perfect unblemished lamb of God. No longer do we need to make offerings or live according to the law. We only need to follow Christ and do as He did, living a life in a relationship with the Father. Where we can honor, glorify, and obey the Father. 

 

The Father took the enemy’s plan and redeemed it, allowing all who believe in Jesus Christ to be saved from death and have eternal life. Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

 

Jesus Christ was the Passover lamb that God sent, and He was a final sin offering for the world. Praise Jesus! He died for you! He died for you to walk in His authority and FREELY receive the Father’s love, grace, mercy, and so much more. He shed his blood to allow us to receive the Father’s forgiveness for ALL our iniquities. It meant salvation from sin and eternal life for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. 

Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving us Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for opening my eyes to Him and for allowing me to know Him. Lord, thank You for giving Your life on the cross for me so that I do not even need to think about my sin. Lord, allow me to glorify You by living a life that You deem good. Thank You for being an amazing Father. Thank You for giving me the Holy Spirit. I am grateful that I can commune with You through the Spirit. I love You, God. I ask you to continue refining me and molding me into what You want me to be, do, and act. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

Jesus Christ is the Most Famous of Them All 🤩

Jesus is the Most Famous!

By: Austin Creecy

"How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, in a believer's ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear."

John Newton

A few months ago, one of my closest friends, who we will call “John,” found out he was possibly friends with someone “famous!” I am going to call the famous person “Mike” for the sake of conversation.

John = one of my good friends

Mike = celebrity

John had been talking to this “famous” man, Mike, on social media for nearly a year. Over that time, they formed an online friendship. The two men mainly discussed everyday life topics and supported one another to the best of their ability. Obviously, living in two different countries complicates things! You know, your typical online friendship.

At one point, John thought the man in question looked familiar, but he could not put her finger on how or where he had seen this famous man, Mike. Suddenly, a few months ago, it hit him.

John called me up and said, “My online friend is a famous person, an incredibly famous singer overseas with notoriety here in the states also. I knew he was famous!

Mike was using a fake name on his social media account. Once John realized who Mike truthfully was, he began researching to confirm if his hypothesis was correct. John noticed both Mike’s professional and fake accounts shared some of the same pictures. In fact, Mike had sent John childhood photos, as well as photos of his dogs. John now confirmed this “Mike” guy was the famous singer.

John called me freaking out that he was friends with a world-famous singer.

After we both geeked out a little, we carried on with our days. I started thinking about how cool it would be if I were friends with someone famous, and then it struck me. I am!

Jesus Christ is the most famous person ever to exist, and He lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. Whether you believe Jesus is the Son of God or not, you have almost definitely heard of Him. 

He is more famous than The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, and every world-renowned person combined. Name someone who is still talked about as if they are here with us today after 2000 plus years other than Jesus. It’s impossible! Everyone knows who Jesus is, even unbelievers! We can not say that about celebrities.

Why do we get so excited about people who sing songs or portray others on the big screen and television? Why is it they get more airtime and more admiration from most people than the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit?

I would argue the devil and his spirits of darkness have distorted the truth and spread so many lies to distract us by using other people. We must stay focused on God and not allow the things of this world to distract us. Again, this is why Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 not to conform to the patterns of the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

The world is enamored with power, money, and beauty, but God is infatuated with you being obedient and trusting Him! That way He can cultivate a perfect heart within you.

Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes 1:13-14, I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 is speaking about his search for happiness under the sun (in the world) and wisdom. First, Solomon believes intellect will make him happy. Therefore, he sets out to learn as much as he can, only to discover that an alphabet after his name and diplomas everywhere did not give him what he was seeking! Solomon concludes what he was doing was working on grasping something elusive as the wind.  However, I believe it fits here as well.

Some of us are so focused on things of this world such as money, notoriety, knowledge, popularity, being impressive, power, etc. But what do they REALLY mean? Nothing! All the things of this world will die and not fulfill you, just as Solomon discovered. Christ is the only thing that will fulfill you! With Christ, only do we get to live on for eternity. Jesus knew this too!

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal

(Matthew 6:19-20).

Jesus is telling you the things of this world will be destroyed! He is also saying there is NO security in material things! The only investments that cannot be stolen, rust, or destroyed are treasures in heaven.

I am not saying that famous people will be destroyed or that they are not good people or role models. Some of them are, and some are also very admirable. That does not mean, however, that we should worship them. Remember, God is a jealous God, and we are not to idolize anything (Exodus 34:14)!

It is easy to accidentally and unintentionally begin idolizing a celebrity or anything! Suddenly, you can find yourself wondering what he/she is doing or what he/she is like in person. Next thing you know, you want to emulate the celebrity in various avenues of your life. Perhaps you start dressing like the individual. Meanwhile, Jesus is just sitting there in the background, fading from your thoughts.

Here is the thing, while you are excited and geeking out like John, and I did when we learned Mike was a world-renowned singer, don’t forget about Christ! I know John didn’t. His most significant takeaway from that experience was (1) feeling blessed Jesus had connected him to this man, who he believes is hurting and is a bit lost, and (2) sometimes it’s easy to forget celebrities are normal people. John saw how real and touchable the “untouchable” are. John once wished he was famous and world-renowned like Mike, but when John noticed Mike didn’t have a strong connection with the Lord, he was not impressed by his lifestyle. John told me he’d rather have nothing and have a strong relationship with Christ than all the money or fame in the world!

Jesus is standing right beside you. The Holy Spirit is always with you. You are famous in the Godhead’s eyes, just like Francesca Battistelli says in her song, “He knows my name.” Mike did not know I existed, but God does. Jesus has a Book of Life and in it are all the names of those victorious in Christ (Revelations 3:5). Jesus has written our names as believers in that book. He knows us each individually.

It can be easy in the moment to find yourself focusing on someone in the world and not on the Father. Good people are doing great things in this world, whether using a talent like acting or singing. They may be helping our country or the world in politics. Possibly it is a co-worker or family member, maybe someone at church who you respect. All of that is amazing, and God uses people to reach us and help us grow in Him.

However, the devil uses people as well. The thief (devil) comes to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). He will use whatever means he can to tear you down and pull you away from God.

I (Jesus) came to give us life and to have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

Next time you find yourself excited by someone in the public eye or someone you know, ask yourself if the reasons you are attracted to them are because of good and pure things or because of something worldly or negative. At that moment, you may find yourself where John and I did, praising God for being our best friend and comforter, no longer caring about some famous person in this world