Are there Rewards in Heaven? How do I know?

One of the Subjects Dodged by Christians today.   In his book,Your Eternal Reward, Erwin W. Lutzer addresses this question.

Title: Your Eternal Reward

Author: Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer

Publisher: Moody Publishers/2015 (originally published

by Moody Publishers in 1998)

Cover: Paperback

Suggested Retail Price:$13.99

About the Author: Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accrording to the site of The Moody Church, Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer is Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church where he served as the Senior Paster for 36 years.  He earned his B.Th. from Winnipeg Bible College, a Th. M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University and an honorary LL.D.fromSimon Greenleaf School of Law.

He is a featured speaker on three radio programs heard in the U.S. and around the world.  Running to Win, Moody Church Hour, and Songs in the Night.  He has been on the air for many years.

He is also an award-winning author of many books, including: Rescuing the Gospel, He Will be The Preacher, One Minute after You Die, When a Nation Forgets God, and Hitler’s Cross (Gold Medallion Award Winner), to name a few.

He has spoken both domestically and internationally at Bible studies and conferences in Germany, Guatemala, the Republic of Belarus, Scotland, Russia and Japan.  He leads tours to Israel as well as the cities of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.

The Publisher’s Description on the Back Cover

Quoting Dr.Lutzer in his book, ‘When we reflect on how we lived for Christ, we might weep on the other side of the celestial gates.’

Dr. Lutzer addresses the fact that many Christians have emptied the judgment seat of Christ of its meaning, living as though they will never meet His knowing gaze.  For this they may have ‘tears in heaven’.  He explores the often overlooked Scriptures about reward and judgment for Christians.

For instance:

  • How will believers be judged?
  • Do rewards for faithfulness vary?
  • If heaven is perfect, why do the rewards even matter?

Read More

Holiness- God’s Plan for Fullness of Life – A Book Review

Title: Holiness – God’s Plan for Fullness of Life

Author: Dr. Henry T. Blackaby

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn.

Copyright: 2003

Category: Christian Living, Spiritual Growth, General

Cover: Paperback

Price: Suggested Retail: $9.98

About the Author

Dr. Henry T. Blackaby is the founder and President Emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International, an organization ‘built to help people experience God’.

Dr. Blackaby was born in British Columbia.  He has devoted his lifetime to ministry.  He studied English and History at the University of British Columbia as an undergrad and earned his B.D. and Th. M. from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.  He holds four honorary doctorate degrees!

In 1970, Dr. Blackaby followed God’s call to pastor a tiny church in Saskatoon, Canada.  That church, Faith Baptist Church grew, and led to the founding of thirty-eight new churches and became a pastoral training center.  Dr. Blackaby went on to serve on staff at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  He also served as special assistant to the presidents of the International Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources.  Officially retired, he still provides consultative leadership in the Christian community.

He has published many spiritually influential messages in his lifetime, most notably and my favorite: Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (1990) which has sold 7 million copies and has been translated into 45 languages.  The other favorite of mine which I have also blogged about is Experiencing God Day-by-Day Devotional. Both of these books won the Gold Medallion Award.

His works are very much sound in Biblical doctrine and very uplifting and yet convicting.

(This information was taken from Blackaby Ministries International website.)

Read More

God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer – A Book Review

Today’s Verse of the Day post on my Facebook Page:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This quote is Ephesians 3:20-21 (NASB).  This Scripture is beautiful. It speaks to the power of God and reminded me of just how great that power is.  I became particularly cognizant of this Scripture two and a half years ago, while I was reading Priscilla Shirer’s book God Is Able during a very stressful and painful time in the lives of my family.

My sister-in-law, Cathleen, was battling cancer.  I was helping out by taking her to her doctor appointments and chemo treatments.  So I actually was seeing and talking with her more during that four months than I had during the entire time she had been married to my brother-in-law.  The cancer was very progressed and was actually in her bones.   She was fighting hard at first because my brother-in-law wanted her to but in her own mind she just wanted to be done with all the struggle.

As I mentioned I was reading this book and I shared a copy with her and I pray that she did read it.  Not sure she did.  But we did talk about it.  She passed away on April 20, 2016 at 59 years old.  She shared with my sister-in-law that she accepted Christ before she passed away.  Hallelujah!

Why am I telling you this before reviewing the book?  I guess I just wanted to share the emotion that was in my heart as I first read the book.  I was seeking a way of sharing the Hope of Jesus and answers for my sister-in-law.  I know God (and Jesus) and I trust that His plan is the best plan even though she didn’t survive the cancer.  God Is Able!   But what you and I desire may not be in His will.

I hope this review will encourage you and perhaps you will want to read the book as well and pass it on to others.

Read More

Fervent by Priscilla Shirer – A Book Review

Title: FerVent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer

Author: Priscilla Shirer

Publisher: B & H Publishing Group

Copyright: 2015

Classification: Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Women

Price: Suggested retail price $16.99

Who is Priscilla Shirer? Priscilla is married to Jerry Shirer, and is a mom to three sons.  She is a gifted writer and international speaker.  She has written a number of Christian books and Bible Studies. She is also one of the daughters of Pastor Tony Evans.  Some of her books include: The Resolution for Women (NY Times Bestseller),  God is Able, One in a Million, Life Interrupted, Discerning the Voice of God, Awaken, The Armor of God, and more.  She had a starring role in War Room and a role in the recently released I Can Only Imagine.

 A Hands-on, knees-down, never-give-up action guide to practical, purposeful praying

That is the description at the end of the promo on the back of the book.   It is just that and is exactly what Priscilla planned for it to be.  If you saw the War Room movie, you got a glimpse there of what Priscilla believes prayer should be like.  She didn’t write the book, but she did collaborate with the Kendrick Brothers on the movie, and ultimately they decided she needed to play the role of Elizabeth Jordan, the wife in the movie, and she accepted.

Read More

A Highway of Holiness – What is it?

Isaiah 35:8 speaks of a Highway of Holiness

On July 8 my devotional, Experiencing God Day-by-Day, took me to Isaiah 35:8 and that verse has remained on my heart for the last couple of weeks.  You always have to read the Scripture in context to really understand the message.

Let me quote Isaiah 35:1-10 (NASB) to present this verse in context.   The subject is Zion’s Happy Future.

‘1The wilderness and the desert will be glad,
And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom;
Like the crocus
2 It will blossom profusely
And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
The majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
The majesty of our God.
3 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
4 Say to those with anxious heart,
“Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
6 Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the Arabah.
7 The scorched land will become a pool
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
In the haunt of jackals, its resting place,
Grass becomes reeds and rushes.
8 A highway will be there, a roadway,
And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it.
9 No lion will be there,
Nor will any vicious beast go up on it;
These will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there,
10 And the ransomed of the Lord will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads.
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.’

Read More

Stand Firm in Faith – Be Still and Know That I Am God

Stand Firm in Faith

In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat admitted he did not have the answers and he prayed to the Lord. He trusted God that He would protect Judah and Jerusalem from a great multitude coming against them. They knew if help came that it would be from God. He commanded them to Stand Still or Stand Firm in some translations and see the salvation of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:17 says ‘You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’

God answered Jehoshaphat’s prayer and the people praised the Lord after the answer came to Jehoshaphat. They were not save yet but they trusted in Faith that they would be saved.  The battle was lead by the people singing and worshipping as they went to face the multitudes.  The Lord set against the people and they fought against themselves, and they were defeated.  Just as God promised, the battle belonged to Him.  He won the battle for the people.  THEY STOOD FIRM in their FAITH!

Read More

Are You Serving Two Masters?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you struggle with serving two masters?

Matthew 6:24 (NLT) says ‘No one can serve two masters, For you will hate the one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.

I don’t know about you, but for me some days it does seem that I am struggling with this.   I totally plan to get up and have my quiet time with God.  To get up, get my smoothie fixed and go to my quiet space and get my devotional book and my Bible and curl up in the Word and in His presence, that is my plan.  Those days are the very best days for me!

Those days when I do that, I start off with a pre-study prayer and then read my devotional and delve deeper into His Word. I spend more time in thought about what I was studying and then in prayer for Thanksgiving, adoration to Him for who He is, and asking for requests for those I know who I have promised to pray for and then for my own requests for me and my family.   Those are the greatest days!

But then there are those other days!

Those days where I oversleep or just lay in bed with my thoughts and end up getting a late start.   I rush to fix my smoothie and get to work.  Oh you say, ‘but you are retired’!   Well not really.  We started this internet marketing business a few months ago and I am back to an 8 to 5 day again.  Some days it is less but most days it is more.  I guess it will be until we really get this going.

Read More

Does God Hear Prayers or Does God Answer Prayers?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions:

  • Does God hear my prayers?
  • Does God answer prayers?
  • Does He hear the prayers of a sinner?
  • Is He even listening?
  • How am I supposed to pray?
  • I don’t even know how to pray – how can I pray?
  • Why pray He never answers my prayers?

These are common questions we ask ourselves or others when we feel that God is not hearing our prayers.  When we are in doubt as to whether we are being heard when we do pray, we question sometimes if God is really there?   The Bible mentions prayer many, many times so it must be important.  A search on Bible gateway for ‘pray’ returns 362 results, and a search for ‘prayer’ returns 191 results, and for ‘prayers’ returns 27 results (in the NASB Version).    The NIV version returns 367 results for ‘pray’, 154 for ‘prayer’ and 32 for ‘prayers’.  This gives us an indication of how much prayer or praying is discussed in the Old and the New Testament and indicates the high priority of prayer in God’s Word.

Read More

I Can Only Imagine – Review of Excellent Movie about Forgiveness

I Can Only Imagine (2018)

Cast: J.Michael Finley, Madeline Carroll, Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, Cloris Leachman, Brody Rose,Priscilla Shirer

Directors: Andrew and Jon Erwin (The Erwin Brothers)

Writers:  Alex Cramer (story by), Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle

Synopsis: J. Michael Finley stars as grownup Bart and Brody Rose as young Bart.   It is the true story of Bart Millard (of MercyMe) and his relationship with his alcholic father, which prompted him to write the amazing song, I Can Only Imagine.  The story brings hope to many as you see the power of God in bringing reconciliation and forgiveness after the pain and hurt many of us go through.

Trailer with Bart Millard

Read More

What the Apostles’ Creed Teaches

What is the Apostles’ Creed?

The Apostles’ Creed is the oldest creed of the Christian church.  It was not written by the Apostles.  It is the basis for other creeds that followed.

The most common form is:

1)  I Believe In

In its oldest form it goes back to at least 140 A.D.  The church leaders wrote this summary of their beliefs as they had the need to stand for what they believed.  It is not Scripture but is a simple list of the doctrines of the beliefs of the Christian faith and the Apostles’ teachings.

2) God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth

This statement clearly states that the Christian believes in God, the Heavenly Father and that we believe that He created the Heavens and the Earth.

Read More