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28 Oct 2011: I’ve never understood why “doubt” is part of my life and especially my walk of faith. And in fact it has challenged me, downright discouraged me, and if I was honest almost beat me. How could I consider myself “saved” if I had this cloud of doubt hanging over my head. I believe in GOD “The Creator” and his plan for our salvation thru his son JESUS. I have no “doubt” that our world and the heavens were created by a supernatural force, by a creator GOD. And I have no “doubt” that GOD came to this earth in the form of a human in JESUS of Nazareth, Yet at times, when the latest news channel publishes another shocking news story, or when something closer to home backs me into a corner, my brain works on my faith…..is this all true?
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:17
In prayer I have asked GOD to relieve me of this doubt, “take this lack of faith away from me.” Yet from time to time my mental capacity likes to challenges my heart and my faith in our GOD. I've wondered why I was so weak in my relationship with GOD. Why am I so weak in my faith? Was I another Thomas?
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27
I would like to report that in a marvelous act, in a moment of clarity all doubt has been removed from me, but that has not happened, yet something even more powerful has confirmed that doubt, is a clear sign that GOD is working in my life and his Salvation is secured for me in CHRIST JESUS.
Friday night, 28 Oct while in prayer it all can to me. Could it be that the fact that I have doubt proves that powerful dark forces, yes Satan is still alive and well in the world. If there was no Satan, my faith in a higher power, in the creator GOD would not be challenged. If our Christian religion was empty, no opposing force would counter its rightful place in the center of our lives. If JESUS was just a crazy man telling wild stories, no force would try to prove my faith in HIM, wrong. The very fact that at times I (we) face challenges of faith, is proof that Satan is waging a war to try and separate me (us) from our GOD. And this doubt proves that GOD is real, that Salvation thru “GOD’s plan” is true. If this was not the case then no “force” would attempt to sway us or destroy our faith. Doubt proves the point that GOD is real and Satan is attempting to fight for your soul.
Now what to do with that doubt? Before this doubt would eat at me, discourage me and separate me from my GOD. At times this doubt was the perfect wedge in my life edging me to turn from my faith and return to the world, return to where Satan wanted me to be…..away from my GOD. After realizing that doubt proves there is a war for our souls, for MY SOUL….doubt now comforts me in that GOD has a plan for me. That a Christian faith is true, is real and is the basis of my (our) lives, lives centered on GOD. Doubt in me, challenges me to trust in GOD's hold of my life, not my hold on him. Upon accepting JESUS as my Lord and Savior, my name has been written in the book of life, written with JESUS’s blood and nothing can erase that, not my doubt, my failures nor my weak mind.
The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Revelation 3:5
Don’t let doubt beat you, let it comfort you that you’re on the right road…the road to our GOD.
17 Aug 2011: Yesterday was like any other day, Michele and I went to work, we put in our hours for the corporate grind and at the end of the day, we headed for home. On the trek this night we had to run a few errands, we picked up our supply of Diet Dew from Wally world, we shopped for stylish cloths at Khols and we looked for home repair items at Lowes. Yet tonight after all this hum drum, our journey took a different turn.
While driving to Lowes we passed one of the typical four way intersections that not only serves as a traffic hub but also a place for a homeless person to stand and ask for help. Tonight a middle aged man claimed this corner and held the typical sign, “HOMELESS, GODBLESS.” And as is the typical response of the blessed citizens of the land of the free, I stared straight ahead and ignored this man’s plea for help. Instantly a wave of guilt came over me. I claimed to be a Christian, I claimed to want to help those less fortunate but yet I rode right past this soul as I had done so many times before in my unsaved years. I justified this response as being prudent and safe. I did not want to put my wife nor I in danger, We tithed to my home church, we helped kids whose parents could not afford to send them to camp. In my mind we were doing enough, someone else would have to attend to this man. I was a Good Samaritan, but not tonight, it was someone else’s turn.
Michele parked our car and I waited patiently while she shopped, in the mean time I began to read in a book I picked up at a Christian concert “The Hurt Healer” by Tony Noland. As God would have it my reading this night started in Chapter 16 “Divine Deeds” In this chapter, Tony outlines the difference between meeting the immediate needs of the less fortunate “Random Acts of Kindness” and forgetting about the eternal. Tonight I struck out on both fronts. I failed to help this man with his next meal and I was more concerned with our shopping then this man’s eternal direction. As Noland points out in his book “God forbid that we feed a hungry man and he dies and goes to hell on a full stomach.” I had not read in this book in weeks, yet tonight God worked, Tony’s writing tonight convicted me to not only meet this man’s immediate needs but maybe to also shape his eternal direction.
Michele circled the block and short of the street corner, I jumped out of the car and walked up to Rick, as I would later find out was his name. I introduced myself and told him my story, that two years ago I would have drove right by and never given him a second thought. But tonight I explained that I cared, I told Rick how JESUS had touched my heart, How JESUS had saved my soul and tonight JESUS and I cared about his life, his soul, and his eternal direction. I was taken back when Rick told me he believed in JESUS, that he could not wait for JESUS to get him off the street. I asked Rick if I could pray for him, and I did. Then I asked Rick how he ended up on this random street corner. Rick told me about his life….how his mother left him at age 14 as a ward of the state in Canada, how he bounced from home to home over his teenage years. He told me about living on the streets ever since and finally meeting his father at the age of 28…and how he is not on drugs or drinking…but he was tormented to be living outside.
Honestly I felt ill equipped to help Rick, I gave him help with his next meal, I told Rick how JESUS saved my life and I lifted up Rick to our Lord and Savior JESUS in a prayer for protection and mercy. And Rick and I departed…
Our father in Heaven, Pls protect Rick and heal his wounds and his heart, give him the strength to overcome this world and to accept you as his LORD. Thank you for your son JESUS who offered his life for our salvation, mercy and grace. Thank you in the name of JESUS Christ.
27 Jan 2011: While I was running, I was deep in prayer, and I saw the end of my life…not my death but the instant at the end of my life when I stood in front of GOD, in judgment. I could sense a presence in my thoughts and I could hear a voice…GODs voice. He spoke my name and said “Brian, you have lived a life that was short of my plans for you,” At that moment I was scared… the next thing I heard and felt was the presence e of JESUS sitting at the Right hand of GOD and he said “Father, this is Brian, he knows me and I know him…you will not judge him.” The next voice I heard was of GOD telling me He was proud of me and I was a faithful servant of his. My next step I was in tears running down the road. Thanking MY GOD.
You can easily discount this but I’ll tell you this was true…this was real. JOHN 3:16
21 Feb 2010: Many of you may know me, some may not. My name is Brian, and I would like to take the time to give thanks to My Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST who on 21 Feb 2010 saved my life and gave me the gift and grace of eternal salvation.
For 45 years I’ve tried to live life on my own terms, and outwardly most people would have thought I had it all together. But many questions, many fears and loads of internal anger at the world was buried deep inside. This anger although stuck deep inside my soul managed to come out and inflict harm, hurt and sadness on the people closest to me, the few I loved in the world. This anger also convinced me to live life by my rules and rationalizing how I was justified when I committed sin. Although far from a gangster, the dark side of me resulted in sin that I could never admit to in public. These sins if known by my family or the world would embarrass me to the core of who I was or whom I thought I was. In the final days of my old life…I even questioned if GOD would want me.
After many years of living by and in the world, my belief in a GOD had eroded to the point I believed in words only, not in deeds, or actions, or by my heart and soul. And I’m sure GOD looked down on me as a lost soul….and he may have even questioned whether a hardened heart like mine would ever get it. BUT to the Glory of GOD, he moved in my life. Questions were answered, anger was removed, a belief was born and by JESUS’s actions on the cross my sins were forgiven.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Today I have a daily relationship with our LORD and Savior JESUS CHRIST….my thoughts are never far from him or his plans for me and my family. On 14 March 2010 Michele and I were baptized as new CHRIST followers…and our life has a whole new meaning for us. My life has a new meaning for me. I’m still Brian, I still have my cars, my Browns and my toys, but now all I do I try to center it on my relationship with CHRIST and my family, first.
I’m by no means perfect and may never be, but I’ve repent from my old ways, I’ve turned from my sinful desires and if I do fall short I ask for forgiveness. I believe a life in CHRIST is not about being perfect or better then someone else. I belief what JESUS said during his short time witnessing to us.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
In this short time JESUS has showed me he does have a plan for my life and he does answer prayers. He has moved in my life and the life of my family… If you feel a need to have CHRIST in your life…the time is now.
If you are truly ready for Him, pray the following prayer:
Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner. I know that I have broken your commandments, and fallen short of your standards. But I thank you that you have loved me and you have called me to yourself. So, I turn from my sin right now and I choose to believe in and follow you. Be my Savior, Be my Lord, Be my God from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me, and loving me, and accepting me....
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen