The best life is a God First life

Category: Comfort (Page 1 of 2)

Covid19 and Preparation

I’ve been enjoying life for almost 62 years, and while this may seem long to a 20-year-old, It’s very short in my mind. From time to time, I’ve seen and experienced many different Illnesses. I’ve either suffered or seen others suffer from diseases like flu, pneumonia, colds, diabetes, mono, dementia, mobility loss, hearing, eye issues, etc. I’ve lost loved ones to accidents, cancer, heart failure, liver problems. I’ve experienced a friend being murdered and know others who have lost loved ones to crime. Life is difficult at times.

Today we have the threat of Covid19, a manufactured virus that brings death and extreme anxiety as we fear the horrible pain, suffering, and loss it causes. Covid’s existence spurs division among family, friends, and countries. Many feel the need to isolate themselves and fear being around others. Hugs and closeness fade from reality into memories as fears of catching or spreading COVID reign and are adopted as the new norm.

Today, a scratchy throat, the slightest sniffle, sneeze, cough, or faintest fever insights worry and fear.

So, What do we do?

We take precautions, use hand sanitizers, wash hands, pay attention to distancing, some wear masks, and some fight over mask effectiveness. I think most who refuse mask mandates object most to the idea of governments’ abuse of power. (I’m not debating this here, just pointing it out)

All this said: I personally refuse to let fear control my life! Instead, I trust in God!

My Trust in God does not mean I will not die of this virus someday. It does not mean I will not lose loved ones to it.

One ICU nurse stated: “lt takes who it takes,” Since this is true of every ailment, it adds perspective.

I contracted Covid a few months ago, and it hit me hard. In 2019 I found myself close to death with blood clots in my lungs, and I’ve had other close calls with accidents. The fact is; We are going to die of something someday, and none of us know when.

So, what actions should we be taking? And what do I mean by “Trust in God”?

Some dare blame God for this evil virus, but no evil comes from God; evil is Satan’s territory. Some blame God for the death of loved ones. However, death is certain, and as stated earlier, “none of us know when,” so; rather than blame, why not prepare? How? By learning, sharing, and teaching others about Jesus. Jesus is the pathway to an eternal life where death, sickness, and pain have no existence. None!

This life is not the end; it’s the beginning!

When we are “In Christ,” We take advantage of the grace God has extended, our sins have been forgiven, and our forever home is with God. If we are in Christ and pursue a Christ-like life, we can live without fear of death. So why worry? In Christ, we can count it all joy; in James 5:16, God points out the prayers of the righteous avails much so let us live fully using our time to pursue righteousness and have our prayers well heard. There is great comfort in the confidence that our loved ones went on to paradise from this earth.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Always be prepared

  • Matthew 24:36-51 (No one Knows the Day or Hour)
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (Fight the good fight)
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (God of all Comfort)
  • Philippians 4:4-7 (The Peace of God)

In Christ

  • Grace:Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith:Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance:2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confession:Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin:Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

Worry changes nothing! (Except maybe our health)

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

While it’s true that we need to prepare and be prepared, it does absolutely no good to worry. Worry changes nothing! (Except maybe our health).

With or without worry, we will still have to navigate through each day’s trouble on that day. While this seems easier said than done, all things are possible with God. The key is to be “In Christ” and allow the God of all comfort to be with us in every trial.

Include God in everything: Pray

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
  • Matthew 6:34 (worry)
  • 1 Peter 5:7 (turn burdens over)
  • 1st Thessalonians 5:16–18 (response)
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (Comfort)

In Christ

  • Grace:Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith:Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance:2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess:Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin:Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

Learning what 3000 learned!

When the Church of Christ was first established in 33 AD, the apostles told their audience about the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and many in the crowd listened. I would imagine they listened very intensely and that the more they heard, the more they realized the significance of what had been done. They were now comprehending the truth over a false narrative. They now realized the Jesus they hung on the cross was the actual; Son of God. This awaking prompted them to be concerned, to wonder, and to ask: “What shall we do?

“And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized (emersed) every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 ESV

To repent from sin against God is to realize we are wrong and become remorseful. In this remorse, we understand our sinful actions move us away from God and towards eternal darkness. In this realization, we long never to make such bad choices again. Thus, in our desire to make it right, we repent, consciously taking steps in a new direction, walking away from the darkness of this world towards the forgiving light of Jesus.

Peter went on to say, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

Each of us is accountable for our own salvation; each person who heard this message had (and today, we still have) the ability to be saved by responding to the Word of God! (Below, many verses are listed that tell us how)

Choosing to follow God is not a forced decision; it’s an informed decision. God has given us reason and proof to believe. In today’s world, we all have access to God’s Word. So why not study the actual Word of God and find out if what we understand from others is what the Bible says? If not, be willing to change direction. When God’s Word is our foundation and not the words of others, it leads us to better discernment.

“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:40-41 ESV

After hearing Peter’s answer along with more testimony and words to compel them, around three thousand souls came to understand that to be saved, they needed to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Scripture goes on to tell us those who did so were; added to the lord’s church.

Peter’s answer was good for about 3000 souls

Ever wonder why it’s not good enough for many today? Scripture does NOT say they were baptized simply as an outward sign of an inward decision. No, God’s Word says they were baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

Why do some discount the apostles’ answer and cling to claims invented by others thousands of years later? Claims such as; A prayer alone now saves you, or faith alone now saves you, or that baptism is a work, or that a symbolic baptism before you have heard the message of Christ or have any understanding saves you. I implore anyone who believes any of these ideas to please look closer at what scripture says on these matters. Find out what the bible says about how to be “In Christ.” Don’t believe me; believe God’s own words. Open your bible and study the God-breathed scripture. It is the Absolute Truth of God, and despite some opinions, take comfort in knowing the bible itself proves God and that all of scripture is God-Breathed.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:3-11
  • Grace:Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith:Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance:2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess:Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin:Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

The well-being of others

Do you pray for the well-being of others? As I was praying for just that, the following question came to mind: What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being?

I concluded: The testament of Jesus pricks our hearts and opens our minds to God’s grace, His forgiveness, our repentance, and the love of God for us; it brings those who understand what Jesus has done for us an overwhelming desire to do His will and keep His commandments. This understanding stirs our hearts to take action. It makes us want to be “In Christ.”

According to God’s word to be in Christ, we must hear the message of Christ, believe, repent, confess Jesus as the risen Son of God, and be baptized into Christ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to realize that when we come up out of that watery grave, we are doing God’s will, we have ratified God’s Grace through Jesus, and by doing so, we are forgiven! At this point, we are free of our past sins, begin a new life as a new creature, and move forward in life as disciples of Christ, enjoying all the blessings that encompass our obedient faith.

Blessings like the knowledge that we now have never-ending life available to us in heaven, a spiritual world not made with human hands, where there is no more pain, tears, or death. That God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are now within us, helping us walk this world without being of this world. We can now take comfort in the knowledge that the blood of Christ continues to wash us even when we make mistakes.

So, What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being? The message of Christ!

With this understanding, I continue to pray that we all take time to learn and share the message of Christ for the well-being of all!

[Scriptures for consideration]

  • 1 John 5:3
  • Romans 10:17
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Acts 2:37-47
  • Acts 16:30-33
  • Acts 8:30-38
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 5:15-18
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Luke 17:10
  • James 2:17-18
  • 1 Peter 1:17-25
  • 1 John 1:7

God First!

Painful Anniversaries

Some anniversaries are heartwrenching as we recall moments in time that shattered our hearts, such as; terrible life-changing accidents or the passing of loved ones. August was once a month of celebrated births for our family but now includes the dates of painful loss that tears at our very being. One August, I found myself praying for emotional strength and comfort that only God can provide for my loved ones in the coming days. As I prayed, I found myself stating, ”Father, please help all my family and us in these coming days as I don’t know what to do” as I spoke these words, it dawned on me, I was doing it!

Nothing is more powerful than God’s help, whether He provides comfort to our hearts and minds beyond our understanding and/or places projects and people in our lives to help us through.

Praying is so simple one might diminish its value in their minds and forget just how powerful communicating with our creator truly is. Scripture tells us the prayers of the righteous are the most powerful.  This tells me If I want my prayers well heard, I will pursue righteousness with all I have to give. Scripture also tells and demonstrates that the closer we draw to God, the closer God draws to us. 

Let us Pray often with righteous prayers from loving hearts then, trust God!

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

“Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.” Zachariah 1:3

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24 ESV

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 ESV

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”. –John 15-7

God First!

Hurting God, Hurts us

In many ways, I am the prodigal son, not in how I treated my earthly father, but in how I treated my Heavenly Father. For a long time, I abused the grace and blessings our Heavenly Father gave me. I understood his love for me, but I attempted to take advantage of it. I treated God as if, His Will for me was unimportant. I wanted what I wanted, even though I knew it went against the will of God. I wonder how many others currently find themselves doing the same.

I decided to ignore the understanding I did have of God’s will for his children. Instead, I willfully ignored God and foolishly hoped for the best if something happened. I mistakenly banked on the thought that I could plead ignorance, that God would forgive my purposeful attempt at ignorance because I was a good person. God, however, is not a respecter of persons. Therefore, I am responsible and accountable equally with everyone else to learn, study and follow Christ according to God’s Will. In fact, even more so, as I was a baptized believer.

During these years, I stupidly gambled with the eternity of my soul. It was never meant to be a conscientious rejection of God; however, in retrospect, it’s clear my faith at that time was built on sand. I allowed myself to slowly get caught up in my misconceptions of the good life to the point that God was barely a thought.

I had turned my back on God and did not realize or even consider the depth of how my choices would trickle down into the lives of all those I love. I did not realize the importance of missed opportunities. Opportunities to be an example to those around me as a person who puts God First!

I realize now; I hurt God, rejection hurts, God knows what was best for me, God knows what’s best for all of us, so much so; Jesus gave his life for me, for all of us! My selfish choices had consequences; I had slowly rejected God’s sacrifice, God’s love. I eventually realized I was pursuing nonsense (Vanity), my own desires, and was costing me greatly.

By the time I realized how broken and lost I was, my fun-filled actions were riddled with regrets. It was then that I returned to my only real hope, and just like the father of the prodigal son, our Heavenly Father, was there with wide-open arms, willing to forgive, willing to forget how lost I had become. According to Scripture, I was dead, and now I’m alive, I was lost, but now, I have been found, and heaven rejoiced! Luke 15:7–10

I wonder how many other prodigal sons or daughters are out there ignoring our Heavenly Father as I once did; Jesus’s arms are always outstretched to embrace the repentant heart and offer eternal life for those who will change direction and follow Christ according to God’s will and keep his commandments. The God of all comfort wants us to repent, come home.

If you are one who, upon reflection, realizes you have drifted away, won’t you change direction and come home?

When we truly live according to God’s will, there’s nothing to regret.

  • Luke 15:11-32 (prodigal son)
  • John 3:16 (God so loved…)
  • Luke 15:32 (Lost but found)
  • 2nd Corinthians 1:3-5 (God of all comfort)
  • James 4:8 (Draw close to God and He will draw close to you)

God First!

Advocate for Christ!

To be clear to my new friends who are reading my post. Some have made assumptions. I am not a pulpit, preacher; I am not affiliated with any denomination. I am simply a Christian, an Advocate for Christ. I worship and study weekly with my brothers and sisters in Christ at the Buford Church of Christ congregation in Buford, Ga. The use of ”God First!” as my profile or to end many writings is because I believe God should be first in our lives. I believe that with God at the helm those ”In Christ” have God’s promise for eternity in heaven. Comfort and joy are ours to have from the “God of all Comfort,” even during the horrendously sad and difficult stuff.

Many people wear spirit wear to depict their favorite teams, school, sport, etc. My idea of ”spirit wear”- is the term God First! (seen on many of my clothes) Sometimes its presence sparks a conversation and probably curtails language I’d prefer not to hear. While it’s true that I do sell items with “God First!” It’s not for personal gain but rather to help those who love God share that love with the world. I started using the term “God First” because I believe putting God First adds significant Joy to our lives. I care about myself, my family, and others, so why would I not want to share such a message? A message that makes life better for all who choose to live by it, a message that offers the promise of everlasting life with our loving creator.

God has given us every reason to love Him as He first loved us; I am extremely grateful for all of God’s creation and sacrifices that we might have an eternal home with Him. Eternity is a serious matter, and loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is a natural response to those with an understanding of God’s love for us.

I once heard this from Brother Don Blackwell – ”The Lords Church is not a country club for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners.”

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-9
  • Mark 12:28-34
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • 1 John 4:19

God First!

Include God; He offers so much!

We know from Scripture we are made in the image of God; we also know from God’s Word that God has feelings. For example, that God hates sin, God loves, God is righteously jealous, etc. so; I have a few questions for us to ponder:

How do we feel when the only time someone thinks of us is when they need or want something?

How do you think God feels when we treat him that way?

Why treat him this way?

It’s obvious from Scripture; God wants to be included in our lives; He wants us to love Him as He loves us. This said, Why would we not want to include God in all that we do?. After all, Jesus told us to: ask, seek, and knock.

Our very breath is dependent on our creator! By embracing God’s love and keeping his commandments, we secure God’s promise of eternal life. Thus, we can obtain the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If we are truly In Christ, our hearts are filled with joy and the comfort of God. Therefore, it seems kind of stupid to me to exclude God when he offers so much life both in this world and for eternity.

  • Ephesians 6:18 – pray often
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – God of all comfort
  • James 5 – prayers of the righteous
  • Matthew 7:7-11 – Ask, Seek, Knock
  • Philippians 4:7 – Peace beyond understanding
  • John 15:1-16 – Joy

In Christ, we have access to the power of God

God: Unseen by the human eye, yet His power and love is evident in all of creation. Through Jesus, we are encouraged to tap into God’s power. Scripture tells us If we draw closer to God, He draws closer to us that we should work toward righteousness and demonstrate our love by keeping the commandments of Jesus. Although we live in the world, we should not be of the world, that so far as it depends on us, we are to live peaceably with all.

If God is with us, who can be against us!

  • IN Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who intercedes with our prayers.
  • IN Christ and through Christ, we can petition God in faithful fervent prayer.
  • IN Christ, we have God’s ear; we can turn those burdens ”out of our control” over to Him and trust in Him.
  • IN Christ, the God of all comfort, helps us in times of suffering.
  • IN Christ, we can have peace that surpasses understanding.

Scripture tells us how to be ”IN Christ,”

  • The Holy Spirit helps with our prayers. (In Romans 8:26)
  • The prayer of the righteous is well heard! (In James 5:16)
  • The closer we draw to God, the closer he draws to us (in James 4:8)
  • If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (In John 14:15)
  • God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
  • Christ disciples are Not of the world (in John 17:14-23)
  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
  • “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man” (Acts 17:24)
  • To be In Christ (Galatians 3:25-29)
  • They were cut to the heart, and they asked, What do we do? (Acts 2:38-41)
  • Live peaceably (Romans 12:18)

God First!

Carried by the Angels

Many people have been separated from loved ones in care facilities because of Covid-19, powerless to be with their loved ones during those final moments on earth; this saddens me. I empathize with the hurt and pain of their hearts as they wanted to be with their loved ones. So, I leave you this thought in hopes that you will find comfort in it, as I do.

Our family was not physically with my dad when his soul departed his failing body and mind on that trip to Paradise back In Nov 2019; Although we were not physically with him when he passed that morning, I’m confident dad was not alone. I believe angels of God carried his soul to Paradise just as they did Lazarus in the illustration story that Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:22).  Jesus said: “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.”…

Dad was a Christian. He lived the life of a Christian, so we look forward to that day when we see each other again apart from physical bodies and mind and get to spend eternity together.

God First!

written by: Wayne Johnson

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