Sunday, 27 September 2015

Far too old to move on with Jesus? Step out with Christ

I have been so convicted lately of our need to be always on the lookout to what God would have us do and where He would have us go not what we would like to do or where we would like to go.

We have to be always ready to do His will no matter how we are feeling or what we are doing or whoever is on our life's horizon.

It's just so easy to please ourselves and actually ignore God's pull on our lives, His prompting and His guidance.

I found myself in this position just recently, well at least over the last 12 months.

Its amazing just how many excuses we can find not to do the will of God. We can just plainly be too busy to even think that God may want something more of us that what we're prepared to give.

Must admit I was a tad gobsmacked when I, at last, realised that God was indeed talking to me! Really what did I expect? I know what I maybe needed - a smack across the back of the head may have got my attention but our God doesn't work like that - maybe more to the pity.

As I said, for the last 12 months I was feeling disorientated in our church. I say "I" when actually I mean "we" for both Sue and I had been feeling the same way for completely different reasons,  but the outcome was the same.

Amazing is our God that He uses different methods of communication for different people. For me personally it was a feeling of unrest, like I had left something undone or forgotten, For Sue it was more definite but hadn't been going on and on for as long as my feelings of unrest and incompleteness.

When we finally gave in and really listened to what God was saying we were both completely taken aback that he wanted to use us in this most unexpected way and at our time of life.

Here was I being happy to sit back in our huge church in our huge auditorium soaking up the amazing messages. Sitting on my blue plastic stackable chair listening to one talented artist after another extolling praise and worship with extraordinary songs with astounding lyrics that blew me away Sunday after Sunday.

I was comfortable (well as much as one can be on a blue stackable chair) warming my place each week, paying my dues and making friends . No one bothered me much and I loved worshipping God and joining in on the social side of things with folk my age doing what folk my age do - just enjoying each others company and attending growth groups.

Still underneath all of that there was this feeling of something missing.

You know God isn't finished with any of us! If you think you may have completed your work here on earth then like me you may have to think again! You may retire from your employment but never from the work and servitude of working for God.

I like to jog (in fact I feel I am addicted: sigh)  and one cold wintry day at 5am I jumped out of bed. a quick word of prayer, pulled on my jogging clothes, wired myself to my NanoPod and my inspirational music and set off.

The gloom was pretty heavy that early morning, the moon had waned and no-one was around, a slight mist but not that heavy. Not far from our home is a busy road that winds itself through a good old fashioned Aussie bush. Beside the road and running alongside the bush is a straight footpath and that is where I concentrate my jog.

At that hour of the morning there is very few traffic and I guess it is just a bit gloomy with mist emanating from the bush and just a few street lights trying to shine through. I usually tune off and listen to the music and have my quiet time with Jesus - it's our special time together and often I completely "zone out'.

On the opposite side of the road there is no footpath just a rough verge of stones and potholes and I noticed through the gloom a young guy jogging on that side. "Strange" I thought and wondered why he didn't cross the road to the more level path.

When he was opposite me I was surprised when he called my name. At first I couldn't make out who he was though the darkness but soon realised it was a friend that once had also been at our church.

He told me how he never jogs down this way and how he had actually been lost in the bush and finally stumbled out onto the very road and very place where I was jogging. I had never seen him there before and I have never seen him there since.

We jogged together and as we did we chatted about our families and our churches and he shared with me about this tiny little 'church plant' that his congregation had commenced, would you believe, in our very next suburb.

I knew immediately that was where God had intended us to go - I knew with utmost certainty He was leading us there to this little church.

Feeling a bit like Moses, my first thought had been, no Lord - I'm way too old - what can we possibly offer - I'm comfortable where I am in this sterile wilderness of my own making - I can't speak or sing - I can contribute nothing!

We stepped out with Jesus - scary to leave friends and move out of your comfort zone but God is such an amazing guide - He tells us just to follow that's all! - Just do your very best for Him and He again promises us that he will indeed take care of everything else.

Since leaving the huge and joining the tiny, we have indeed been blessed - honestly there is no better feeling in the whole world than to know that you are in the place where God wants you to be. His will and plan for us is perfect and in Him there is fulfilment and satisfaction.

So, don't get too comfortable where you are and never be surprised by God no matter how old or young you are. In the words of the Late Keith Green  "Just keep doing your best and pray that it's blessed and Jesus takes care of the rest"

My prayer for you this week is that you will be open to God's leading in your life. Be completely honest with Him - tell Him your anxieties and fears as to where and how He will lead you but be super sure you have counted the cost.

God bless you as you leave your future entirely in His care trusting and following Him - the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Hit your limit? Can't go on?

Mistakes from Ella's past loomed over her head - she was so aware of the botch-up job she had made of her life.

The voices kept telling her and reminding her of the myriad mistakes she made and how she has reaped what she has sown and how now she has to live with those consequences.

The sins of the past kept worming their way into Ella's life - disrupting and spoiling everything she tried to do and everything she touched.

Years before she had those three abortions and even further to when she somehow became the surrogate sex partner shared around by anonymous groups of teens, Ella had been a Christian or so she thought.

Her husband of four years knew vaguely of part of her past but even to him she had never disclosed her entire story.

The life she had lived back then and decisions she had made were eating her up inside and in her panic and feelings of unworthiness she was on the verge of depression and isolation.

Ella and her husband had tried to conceive a child - she wanted so much to become in her eyes a 'real' family. Many doctors had said it was completely unlikely that she would conceive normally and of course Ella blamed herself and those abortions from years ago.

Her guilt and self-condemnation haunted her every move and nothing would take those feelings of dread, regret, remorse and shame away.

In her early years, Ella had committed her life to Jesus, she had been challenged to learn more and more about Him. '

She had found herself wanting to go to church and meet with others of like mind and keep on learning from His word. She believed that in God's grace and mercy Jesus had forgiven her sins and she was so thankful to Him.

Somehow over the years she had slowly slipped away - a little at first and then the more she missed handing each day over to Jesus the easier it became to become a follower of the world out there and bit by bit the ways of Christianity seemed to slip through her fingers.

In her desperation, Ella found herself sitting in church one Sunday - her mind a total blank - her heart breaking and not knowing where to turn or who to turn to.

She vaguely heard the songs- she vaguely heard the message - she rarely even lifted her head to look around - then she somehow heard these words.

"I don't know what happened in your life all those years ago but I do know what regret and guilt over past actions can do"

Her breaking heart skipped a beat - she felt like crying out "can you repeat what you just said?'

She kept her head bowed low and listened probably for the first time to what this stranger was saying.

The minister kept on - she seemed to be speaking to Ella personally "Every so often I find myself cringing at the sudden recall of things done or said from my past."

Ella became like a sponge, absorbing every word and syllable. It was like God himself had sent her to this church on this very day.

The minister went on to say how particularly hard it is when our past comes back to hurt and disappoint those we love the most.

She opened God's word to Romans eight and from there expounded the Gospel of how Jesus came to die for us all - everyone - no one excluded. no matter what we have done or failed to do. No sin is too gross that God will not forgive if we TRULY repent.

She went on to say that does not mean that we are free of the consequences of such actions. Often the sins of the past have major consequences that effect our future and we have to deal with them in very individual ways.

These consequences as sad and damaging as they may be, do not in any way affect our salvation but they do affect our lives.

Ella re-committed her life to Jesus that very hour. Did things improve? - the consequences didn't - she still had the past and what that meant but the guilt had been washed away - she was a new creation - a new person in Jesus.

I have no idea what has happened in your life - I know I have a past and I know only too well what that past can do - BUT I also know that I have a future and my future is so wound up in Christ and what He has done for me.

How you deal with past mistakes and the consequences of them is entirely between you and God. You may need to ask for forgiveness, you may need to give forgiveness from your heart and that can be extraordinarily hard.

It may go deeper than that - you may have to own your sin - that is own up to what you have done and bear the consequences - again truly hard and agonisingly sad. All these things need to be taken to the throne of God - He will show you through the work of His Spirit what you should do and how you should act.

Let me assure you that nothing you have done can come between you and God. Nothing is too hard for God to forgive. Of course we have to repent, which is far more than 'being sorry'. True repentance comes from the heart and it is a 'turning away' from that sin.

Charles Spurgeon said " Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it and a  resolution to forsake it"

So have you hit your limit? Are you feeling you can't go on? These voices inside your head and in your heart telling you "you won't get past this one - you are defeated - it's not real- you are a failure?"

Please take heart - it's certainly not over yet - God has far greater things than this waiting for us. Far greater than our past and far greater than our uncertainties.

Turn your life over to Him right now; right where you are. Don't give you past a foothold in your life.

With Jesus we can do anything and achieve so much more.

Life is a race we run so let's run till the race is won. Don't look back - keep looking to Jesus - after all He keeps looking at us.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Patience when life overwhelms - Victory in Jesus

We all have plans in our lives - plans can often be real, exciting and exhilarating.

They can also be filled with dread and foreboding but plans are just that, plans - so many of us make plans only to shelve them quickly when things go haywire or the bottom of our world drops out.

There are plans however that nothing can stop or become too burdensome - they are the plans God has for our lives.

Did you know that nothing can kill Gods plan for you? Hatred can't kill them and vile and evil people can't kill them. Even when we may think that God is silent and everything is going pear-shaped - God is still God and His plans for you will continue to expand and come to fruition.

My mind travels to Joseph - that extraordinary young boy - the apple of his Dad's eye - the 'coat of many colours' kid who got his brothers and family completely off-side with what they considered were his boastings of importance.

Saved from certain death by big-brother Reuben but sold by the rest of his jealous brothers into slavery in Egypt, young Joseph didn't seem to 'kick too many goals' while he was there in his early days.

Where was God through all of his trials?  The temptations from the lust-hungry wife of his earthly 'master' - the years spent languishing in a filthy prison - Where was God indeed?

We all know the story so well how Joseph eventually became the 'saviour' of the whole land - saved his family from certain death and rescued them all, eventually living in safety and security in Egypt.

God hadn't forgotten Joseph - nor His plans for his life. God's plans continued even though there were so many pits and downfalls.

God hasn't forgotten plans for your life either! You may be thinking right here right now that He has - your whole life may have, like Joseph's, become just one disaster following another - you may be even wondering if God is indeed alive and in charge of your life at all.

I implore you as never before to have patience with our God. Keep giving Him 100% and keep following His ways - living in hope, trust and faith.

His plans for you can never be thwarted no matter what the world throws at you - His plans will always come to fruition and they certainly don't depend on us, our moods or our temperaments.

I was out jogging one morning and I listened to SELAH's version of "Be Still My Soul" - (Here is the link - so worth listening to;-  ) the words almost made me stop mid-stride and gasping for air, I prayed that God would give me patience no matter what happens to me or my family.

the first verse goes like this:-

Be still my soul. The Lord is on thy side;
With PATIENCE bear thy cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change he faithful will remain
Be still my soul, Thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways lead to a joyful end.

Amazing words indeed and actually 'says it all' when it comes to handing our lives to God.

The story is told of Horatio and Anna Spafford (1828-1888) who tragically lost their young son and then almost immediately in October 1871 lost everything they possessed in the Great Chicago fire.

In 1873 he scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much needed vacation and a little time to recover from both tragedies.

Several days later, he received notice that his family's ship had encountered a collision. All four of his daughters drowned; only his wife survived.

While on his way to meet his distraught and grieving wife, he penned the words of  "It is Well With My Soul" especially the line "When sorrows like Sea Billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul."

Hoaratio Spafford knew that God had him in the palms of His hand, like Joseph of long ago - he could say in all certainty "It is well with my soul."

No matter what happened in his life he knew that God had a plan and, even though he had been brought to ruin and desolation, his faith, patience and trust in God never faltered.

How are we with patience, trust and faith in God? I know I have so many doubts and fears - wondering and worrying about family and friends - how about you?

God has indeed got a plan for each of us - none of us are privy to those plans and how they will turn out. - only our Lord, Saviour, God and Friend.

So many of us including me ask WHY? I wonder if Joseph or Horatio Spafford asked the very same question?

The answer of course is not to give up - not to 'blame' God  - not to question and ask why but to keep stepping out in faith and trust, knowing that God has indeed got a plan for us all.

If we all knew before hand what God's plan was for us then our faith would be only by sight and never by faith - we need faith to follow Christ - trust in His name and His actions - then we have hope in the future no matter what the world throws at us.

My prayer for you this week is to gain patience and wait on God to reveal His plan no matter what may happen to us or our loved ones.

We may never really know what his plans are for us - we may never really know what lives have been touched by us though his word. All we have to do is keep stepping out in faith and trust and like Horatio Sprafford say with certainty "it is well with my soul."

God bless you this week as you step out with patience with Jesus letting Him lead where He wills and where His grace takes you.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Turning Scars into Stars - When your whole world collapses

Ever been really down - I mean REALLY down - flat out and despondent?

Maybe a death of a child or spouse, a job loss which has seen you financially devastated even homeless? Maybe a sudden divorce which smacks you in the face like a tidal wave and smashes you against the rocks of life.

A friend just recently lost her child through a long and protracted illness, needless to say we can never really put into words how people cope with such a loss.

Back in my early years my sisters twin was taken suddenly at one year old. Her death was unexpected and devastating. Her surviving twin, my sister, was at a complete loss and constantly called her name wandering the house looking for her 'other half'.

At the time Gail died everyone seemed to have an answer - but there was no miracle happening here - the fevers, the gasping for every breath. the pleading in her little eyes for unanswered questions continued until she lapsed into unconsciousness and remained so until she passed away.

The most influential events in our lives we don't see coming - they hit us like a tsunami - we can't go under, around or over - we have to go through it. When we go through these things we go through shock and struggle - we can never forget these times.

Tragic, sad and confronting and we, in our desperation, shock and yes, even anger, call out WHY?? - WHY GOD???

I know I have asked that question over and over again - Why this? - Why that?

I was still asking that question when I stumbled upon a testimony by Jeremy Camp - here is the link. - copy and paste it and I am sure it will blow you away as it did me.

Jeremy lost his wife of five months to cancer and he too asked the question WHY? WHY GOD? - He was astounded when the answer came back to him that "I don't want you to know why - I want you to walk by faith - keep trusting me"

As a Christian we walk by faith - and faith alone - If we knew exactly why God does what He does - our faith would be meaningless and we would be walking with Him only by sight and never by faith.

Our fears and anxiety can be tremendous - they can swamp us! - We often find it so difficult to believe God when he says to us - "Hold my hand and I will guide you" - we are so fearful - so full of questions - so often angry.

Walking by faith often - so often, involves going down the broken roads of life - to places we are so far out of our depth - places where we are groping along blind and bewildered. Yet God's promises are sure and steadfast.

We need to be brought to a place - brought to a point where we are truly dependant on Him to see us through - that is indeed walking by faith.

God has made amazing promises and it is through our faith and trust in Him that we can throw ALL of our troubles and trials on Him.

Often through our fears and anxiety we are driven to prayer and it is here that we can win over these seemingly endless fears.

God has been faithful - He has never promised us an easy road - not any of us -  BUT He has promised to see us through if we keep on trusting Him. Colossians 1:13 "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son."

We are very often taken to rock bottom before we can fully trust God - and I certainly don't pretend to understand why. It is through those 'bomb blast' moments that we can come face to face with what real trust and faith in God truly means.

It is truly ironic that a vast number of us start our journey with God through some sort of crisis and we will all face some sooner or later. It is a known fact that we either know of someone who is facing a crisis - we are facing one ourselves or sadly unbeknown to us we will be facing one in our lives very shortly.

There is no escape from this old world and it's trials and tribulations but through these very hardships we can grow our faith like nothing else can.

Through our trials we can renew our confidence in God instead of being angry at Him. Through our trials we can be brought to place of continual repentance which in turn brings us closer to Him.

In an overwhelming crisis many of us falter and our faith is small - Please do not be afraid of small faith - it is through faith no matter how small that we come to God - our very weakness in falling at his feet brings glory to Him and freedom for us.

Yes of course there will be huge consequences of shock and grief - many tears will fall and we will carry scars maybe for years.

Jesus carried scars as well - He carried scars of grace and what he did for all of us on that terrible/wonderful day has had astounding and incredible consequences and will do for eternity.

We all can have hope in God even though our hope may not be what we thought it would have been or what is happening in our lives today. Please don't walk away from hope - please believe with all that you have that what has been broken can be restored - This is NOT the end of our story.

How about this verse in 1 Corinthians 15:43  "Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. they are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength"

Or this one in 2 Corinthians 1:9-10  "But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again."

Amazing promises from our amazing God.

Please listen and turn to Christ in whatever has been thrown at you - Please don't lose your hope in God - throw every bit of your trust and faith to God.

The world is full of broken hearts and minds - give yours to our amazing healer - He WILL see you through it.

God bless you as struggle with turning your scars into stars with Jesus.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Demolition Day

Time is up now is the time - right now - no more delays - demolition day is upon us!!

Right now is the very time God is demanding our utmost devotion. Heart and soul - in all respects - in toto - utterly and totally.

Jesus didn't die for lukewarm devotion - He didn't die to share His life with anything or anyone else!

What idols have you got lurking there - This had me thinking really hard and I know God wants to change all of us bumping us out of our lethargy and making us His Warriors and new creations in Him.

This is a new day - a new time - the old has indeed passed away and the new has come in Jesus - we need to know for sure that there are no idols not even ME in there anywhere - we need to live our lives wholly and solely for Him.

When we think of idols we can't help thinking about wood and stone images set up and people falling down and worshipping them - sort of the like the golden calf in the wilderness all those years ago.

There was a god of the Philistines mentioned in the Bible - Dagon was it's name - fierce looking thing - a fertility god I think it was - huge beast of thing.

The Israelites had been defeated by the Philistines and they had captured the Ark of the Covenant (God's very presence) and had lain the Ark in the temple of Dagon - I guess it was like a trophy for these poor deceived people.

The next day the huge idol was found lying prostrate before the Ark - so the dutiful people hauled it back up again and there it stayed throughout the day BUT the next day it was once more lying prostrate before the Ark. This time however, it's head and hands were severed lying on the podium in front of the Ark.

Then of course there is the amazing and gobsmacking story of Elisha and the prophets of Baal and their contest on Mount Carmel - such a dramatic example of the power of God and His intolerance of anything or anyone that comes before Him.

Of course idolatry extends to far more than the worship and of stone and wooden idols - our very lives can be idols that we place in front of God.

We are living in uncertain times and more and more I am aware of how fragile life can be and I want to live for Jesus - he is far more than words on page or some history book written and studied - he is far more than just a story and because he is who he is - he deserves far more than lip service from us who call ourselves Christians.

God needs to be EVERYTHING to us - far more than our dollars -  far more than our families - far more than anything that we put in front of Him.

Idolatry lives inside of us - in our heart region - our very souls need to be controlled by the only ONE who can change us. Our Hearts need to be where God  is - We need to be singing from the same page as Him - He needs to change us radically and permanently - to rid us of any and all idols that lurk in our lives.

Idolatry ultimately leads to rebellion against God and he will not ever tolerate it - we can't be serving our own aims and goals and still be called his servants.

Surrender control to God - Now is the day to say Yes to Him - He needs to control everything.

So today is "Demolition Day" - the day we demolish anything and everything that comes up before Him that isn't dedicated and sacrificed to Him.

Let's look deep inside our hearts and souls and give to God complete and utter control handing everything over to Him - no idols of any sort.

What is honestly controlling your life right at this moment? maybe unforgiveness, maybe jealousy, maybe self-centredness, maybe pride, maybe money, maybe family, maybe job security - the list continues.

The Bible screams out to us of the sin of Idolatry and that God and He alone is the only one worthy of our worship. Idolatry robs God of what is rightfully His - His place in our lives - He will not tolerate second place.

My prayer for us all this week is that God will show us through His grace and mercy just where our idols lie and will give us the boldness, strength and courage to demolish them entirely and permanently from His throne.

God bless you as you embrace Demolition Day in your Life - and may His peace and joy reign in your life as you live for Him.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Trembling Hands

Ever been so nervous and anxious that you can hardly stand?

The sweaty palms, the unsteady legs, the trembling hands, the light headedness just to name a few of the symptoms.

Yes!  nervousness and anxiety can be a real problem. Especially if you are concerned and worried about things that are really not in your control

Fear of going to Hell for example can be a prime subject to get even the most sincere Christians feeling a bit woozy!

Some people turn to God out of a fear of going to hell - In my view that is a distorted view of faith - Fear is NOT faith! In fact I heard once the fear is faith in reverse. Fear and faith are opposing forces.

As Christians we should have a holy fear of God without being frightened of God. If we are frightened in our walk with Him, it makes me wonder what are we actually afraid of? The answer to that is generally Hell - Some can be very frightened of Hell and it consequences.

Walking in fear with God instead of in Faith with Him is actually believing in something other than God and that something is more than likely a fear of going to hell.

People walking in fear of going to hell and trying their utmost to live Godly and/or holy lives are actually trying to earn their own salvation and not really trusting in God at all. Fear can lead us into a dark place and as we know God is not the author of darkness but the King of light.

Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind".  Fear doesn't sound like God to me at all - Fear reduces our faith in God making us focus on the situation and keeping our eyes off Jesus altogether.

Satan is the author of fear - He loves to hit us where we are most vulnerable and if our fear of hell is where our weakness lies then that is exactly where he will aim his artillery.  The devil will lie to us and his lies are focussed on telling us that we need to act on our own because we can't trust God to be there - or is God really there?

So come to Christ because of your faith not because of your nervousness about going to hell when you die. Yes! there is a hell that's for sure, but we need not worry about it ever, if you have faith and love for Jesus.

Faith as a little child has faith in their Mum and/or Dad. A child-like faith, no matter how small or weak. Actually weak faith is the very time that God can use us - in our weakness then we are strong because in our weakness we rely on Him and Him alone.

Having fear instead of faith is like looking and walking into a huge tunnel that only goes deeper and deeper into the darkness - faith on the other hand tells us we are going in the wrong direction - turn around and see the light - you have been looking and walking in the wrong direction. You won't see the light while you are focussed and concerned and worried about stumbling along in the dark.

Living in fear of going to hell makes us rely solely on our ability to be 'holy' or to gain God's approval by the amount of times we can withstand temptation, Or mount up 'brownie points' by helping others and knocking ourselves out working for the church.

Faith tells us the exact opposite - there is absolutely nothing we can do to make God love us more than He does already - there are no amount of good works that will gain us entry to heaven - no amount of 'holiness' on our part will open the gate to God's glory.

All that is required of us is simple trust in the God who saved us through the sacrifice of Jesus and then live according to Ephesians 5: 8-16 - Grab a new version or a plain English version e.g. The Message - tells us plainly and simply.

So if you came to Christ mainly based on your fear of ending in Hell then you are more than likely trying to earn a way in with Christ - there is absolutely no way you will be able to 'earn' your way into Heaven.

Let's put that notion to bed once and for all - Put aside your fear of hell and it's consequences, come to God and repent asking Him to 'help your unbelief/doubts.

In Mark 9 we have the story of the young dad bringing his mute son to Jesus - (I just love how The Message Bible puts it) - the young dad said to Jesus

"If you can do anything, do it. have a heart and help us!"
Jesus said "If? There are no "Ifs' among believers. Anything can happen."
No sooner were the words out of his mouth that the father cried. "then I believe. help me with my doubts!"

Sort of says it all doesn't it!

So what can we take away today - Fear is not faith! and faith is not fear!

Jesus died an agonizing death why? to pay for all of your sins - the past, the present and future.

Trust in Him as He trusted in His Father to always do what it right and good.

No amount of things and/or work will get us into heaven. It is only through faith that we will gain access to God.

I trust you will be blessed as you pray the prayer that young Dad prayed all those years ago. "Father, I do believe, please help my unbelief and doubts"

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Mind the Gap

Ever stopped to consider just how many 'warnings' there are that surround us every day?

There are hundreds of different warning signs - you just have to walk down a main street to spy just a few - from pedestrian crossing signs to watching our health and safety - they are everywhere.

When visiting overseas, you have probably been warned hundreds of times when getting on and off trains to "mind the gap" - why it's even plastered on tee shirts!

We are warned to take life easier or risk a heart attack, then we are warned to get more exercise or risk the same. We are warned to work smarter not harder or risk getting overrun by a more cost efficient company.

We are warned when we lose too much time from work that we can't keep doing this - "Take this as your final warning!!" We are warned not to eat too much fatty foods and watch our calories.

We are warned not to venture to close to the edge or warned that there is a hazard on the road and 'keep clear'. And so the list continues. Heaps of 'warnings' often for our own benefit.

The Bible is also chock full of warnings. Beware of falling away from serving God - Jesus said "Count the cost" Luke 9:62 and so we should! Beware of forgetting God,  Deut 8:11, Beware of hypocrisy, Mark 12:38. And again the list goes on - many many warnings and 'bewares' listed for us and also many examples throughout the Word of God.

There is one major warning that stands out in the Bible and one we should all heed to our peril. As sure as there is a heaven there is a hell and we should all sit up and take notice to the warnings given.

Please don't be mislead here - heaven isn't for 'good' people, kind, loving and giving and hell isn't for 'bad' people who aren't  kind, loving and giving. That is such a wrong message!!  The Bible clearly teaches that there are none righteous no not one! that includes you and me - no one - none - nada!!

A lot of people just can't bring themselves to believe in hell.

"It's so easy to believe heaven but I don't believe God could create a hell" I was told just recently after I had completed an on-line Bible chat. "How could a so-called perfect God create a  place like hell?"

Well, I reckon a loving God had to create a place like hell - Why? Because if 'everyone' went to Heaven when they died, many would be forced to worship a God they didn't believe in, serve or worship while on earth. Then Heaven wouldn't be Heaven. there would be no point.

Satan rebelled against God and so do we when we totally ignore Him, doing our own thing, having no regard for what Jesus did for us and rejecting the Gospel entirely.

Believe me when I say that the day is coming when we will answer to God for what we've done. God loves us so much He doesn't want any of us to perish or slip away from Him - He loves YOU and because He loves you so much He wants you to repent of your sins, confessing them to Him.

There is absolutely no salvation from Hell without repentance and forgiveness.

So here we have this HUGE warning from God -  to avoid Hell - Repent of your sins, ask forgiveness, turn around and follow Christ.

Good works alone will never gain us a place there.

So please do MIND THE GAP! - It's a perilous place to be. Make sure you surrender ALL to God.

God bless you this week as you consider again complete surrender to Christ.