Rest In Peace.

How many times have you wanted a bit of peace and quiet in your life? Our daily chores, work, and every day life can get in the way. – The noise of the news telling us different things that we should believe in, and also wanting us to try the latest fads.

I have heard the following many times in my life: “When you’re down, and your soul feels oh so weary, and your soul is in need of rest…” What does this really mean for us? In my own life, I have had many
times where I have ran across situations which have stressed me out, and made me want to scream. I keep remembering the verses in Psalms 23, verses 1 through
3: “The lord is my Shepard, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul.”

In the above verses, I believe that God is telling us that we are to lean on him, and he will help us with all our needs. In verse 2, it says, “he makes  me lie down in green pastures,” I believe this to be very true he wants us to be still, and rest in the face of our trials and situations which we face every day.

Again, he is our Shepherd; he cares for us very deeply. If a lamb wonders away from the flock, the Shepherd who is watching over the flock of sheep will leave them to fetch the lost lamb, and bring it back to where the sheep are grazing.

That is what God does for us. He will seek us when we are lost as well. He does not want us to be lost. “He leads me by quiet waters. He refreshes my soul.” In this verse God is saying be still and know I am God.

When we rest at the end of the day and begin to unwind, God leads us to a quiet place so that we can find refreshing peace in the midst of all the stressful
things we went through. As we drink In God’s word  letting it refresh us, we find that God’s peace will help us rest.

Take time to lie down in those green pastures, and Let God lead you to the quiet waters. When we take the time to sit and talk to God, he will refresh our souls with his ever-Lasting Peace!

Who is better? Who should we support?

At Genuine Safe Haven Ministries, we aim to answer real questions with real life answers. Sometimes, these questions might be difficult to discuss, or may cause some controversy amongst believers. However, we strive to bring you the best content based not on feelings, but instead on what is written in God’s word.

In this post, I’d like to address a concern which causes a lot of people to head down a worldly dangerous path.

I see all the time on the news, on social media, hearing people publicly speak, etcetera, saying how bad our government is right now. I can’t deny that our government is in a rough place right now. Further, this current pandemic we are facing with Covid19 certainly is not helping matters.

All this said, I am constantly seeing/hearing comments which are directed towards certain political parties, or worse, certain people in the political field.

I’m not hear to repeat things which I have heard verbatim word by word, as that is not only irrelevant to this topic at hand, some of the things said are extremely inappropriate!

Before we go any further, here are a few questions you may be asking:

  • So, Chris, are you a republican, or do you instead support the democratic party?
  • Do you think Donald J Trump is doing a disservice to our country and us citizens?
  • Are you glad that people are speaking out about the heinous things which were both said and done by the Clintons?

Let me just be up front with all readers. These are questions which I do not feel at all comfortable answering, and therefore, I won’t so directly. However even if I did so, that isn’t the point, if I had to be completely blunt.

Let’s look at what the scriptures say about this. In Romans chapter 13 verse 1, we are told, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God And those in position of authority have been placed there by God.

Now that said, you might be thinking, “Goodness! All authority is from God? So, are you telling me, Chris, that these countries who are under dictatorships or comunism trying to put their authority on citizens is from God?” Whooo! Good! question! I’m glad that you not only saw this, but also asked this question, as it definitely is one which people can get very confused about based on the previous verse mentioned. I therefore offer to you the following verse to further explain:

The verse can be found in the book of Jude. Jude chapter 1, verse 8. “In the same way, these people, who claim authority from their dreams live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings.”

In other words, there is such thing as authority which is abused/misused. That is exactly what these people leading comunist governments are doing. Rather than seeking God for wisdom, they instead look to their own logic of thinking.

Before we go any further, I want to give you one more scriptural reference. Let’s look at Acts chapter 5, verse 29. This is very important, as it explains what we are to do with this authority given by God.

“But Peter and the apostles replied, we must obey God rather than any human authority.”

So, what does this say about our government? What does this say about Donald Trump? What does this say about Bernie Sanders? What does this say about Bill Clinton, etc? I’m not here to make that call, nor answer that question. The constitution of the United States gives each citizen the right to make his or her own beliefs on this subject.

I think, however, that what we must be very careful about here is to not fall into the worldly trap of making opinions about certain people who are higher up in authority based on what nationality they may be, what sex or race they mmay be, etc.

Look, no one is perfect… no one except for Christ alone. Has our president made mistakes, goodness gracious yes! Have previous leaders in the Church, (notice the capital C,) messed up? Have previous government officials, soldiers, etc. made mistakes? Absolutely so! But quite frankly, we live in a world of the flesh. Ever since the time of Adam and Eve, we’ve lived in a crewel and fallen world. We all have fallen to the misfortune of sin. And the price of sin is death. But again, Christ came as the Lamb of God to set us free. Because of this, we can not only be a free country, but we further can be a free world.

But that isn’t going to happen unless people turn their eyes to what really matters, and that is the one, the only true messiah, Jesus Christ. I could go on about how that’s never going to happen, given the nature of our world being in such corruption, but that’s for another blog entry altogether. My point is, let’s not get hung up on asking questions like, which political party is right or wrong, who is better, who is worse.

Instead, let’s be asking the harder question of is God being honored through the actions of certain people/groups. If you can turn in your bible to God’s word and identify beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s commandments and teachings are being obeyed, then that is the people/groups of authority that we need to respect.

This year you have the opertunity as a US citizen to give your vote/input on our next US president. What will you do? Are you going to base your decision soly on your heart, and what it tells you, or will you instead embrace the truth according to scripture? I urge you over this weekend coming up on Memorial Day to really think about this, and further, as we draw closer to the day of elections that you continue doing the same.

Helping those who are questioning

Often, people ask me what the first place is in the bible that I direct people to if they are clearly not a christian, but are seeking with various different questions.

At first, I thought maybe John 3:16 would be appropriate, as it explains very clearly how one must gain salvation by believing in the son, Jesus Christ, and accepting him as your Lord and savior.

The more however I thought about it, I realized that at the end of the day, some people may not understand this concept if they have not previously been involved much in the christian faith. So what to do?

Finally, I came up with the idea to gently explain the story of the prodigal son, or as some call it, “The Lost son.”

For those who don’t know much about this, let me explain.

Jesus was talking to Peter, James, and John. Isn’t it interesting how they are usually the ones who are always with Jesus? Jesus tells a story of a man who is the son of a father.

This man, one day, comes to his father asking for all the father’s money… basically, his entire inheritance.

You can imagine how hurt this must have made the father, though we really don’t know his reaction at first; the bible doesn’t disclose that information.

What we do however know is that the father accepts the request, and gives his son the money.

So, OK, pause. Let’s take a moment and reflect on this. You’re a man with a child. This child comes to you one day, totally out of the blue sky and asks you for all your money. You already have told your son, “I love you so much, I’d give you anything in the world to make you happy.” So naturally, what would you do? Do you not most likely trust your son? Most likely, you’d oblige.

Well, that’s exactly what the dad did in this parable spoken by Jesus. He gave his son all the money he had; he kept none to himself! Are you seeing the connection here yet? In other words, the dad sacrificed everything he had. He gave everything.

Now, fast forward a short period of time. This son goes out of the land, spends all the money… every single penny of it, very foolishly.

Now, a famine overtakes the land. People are hungry, resources are limited. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that even back in those times, resources took money to own. You want property, money needed. You want food? Usually, money needed. OK, you may get a good samaritan along the way who freely helps you, don’t get me wrong, but I’m saying usually, key word, it took money. – Indulge me here, and hear me out.

Needless to say, the son in this story had blown it all. I mean, epicly! He misused all the money, and now couldn’t afford anything when he urgently needed it. The son was overwhelmed with guilt and shame. He had planned this big speech to give to his father.

So, the son goes back to his father, and gets ready to tell him: “Father, I’ve wronged you terribly! I’ve sinned against thee. I am unworthy to be called your son…” etc.

Now before reading further, if you’re this father, what would you be tempted to do. Remember here, you gave your son say, half a million dollars, let’s just say for sake of example. That’s a wappin’ lot of múla! My guess is, you’d be pretty irritated, or at the very least, you’d probably be quite hurt, wouldn’t you? I know I sure would be. I mean, let’s just be very real here with each other.

Instead however, this father opens up his arms wide, even before the son gets close enough to audibly be heard most likely by his father even if shouting at the top of his lungs. But, and this is the huge “but” that I want you the reader to see here that is so beautiful! With open arms, the father doesn’t demand any explanation, no speech… nothing. Instead, he draws the son in close into his loving arms, “Oh son! Oh! Son!” He is so happy to see his son, he doesn’t give a hoot one way or another about what the son has done.

“But, Chris,” you say, “he zpent all the dad’s money!” Yes. He did. I know that. I’m perfectly aware of that. But that’s not the point here. The point is, regardless, the father not only forgave his son, but you know what he also then did? He called to the highest survant and commanded, “Go kill the fattest cow, bring him something to drink, let’s have a party! For my son was once lost, but now, he’s been found!”

The story doesn’t end here, believe it or not. Now, we have another man, who was the brother of the son who just came home that we’ve previously been discussing. This brother always had worked hard for his dad, always had done exactly what his dad told him, never tried cheating his dad out of land, money, crop, or anything. At the end of the day, you couldn’t have asked for a better son.

When the father sees the brother also coming home, he tells the brother, “You’re brother is home! Your brother is home!” I’m sure I can just see the father jumping in the air and shouting for joy.

However, the brother is filled with resentment, and most likely hurt, and probably even, if I had to guess, anger. Can you blaim him? I mean think about this. Here’s this man who never has gone against his father… never! Yet, then parallel over here, we have the brother who just spent the dad’s whole entire wealth of money for something incredibly foolish. He basically just threw all the money away like it was dirt. The dad is welcoming home the first son, but the second son, all he’s concerned about is telling the brother, “Your brother is home!” No “Hello son. It’s so great to see you as well,” or anything. Wouldn’t you no doubt be hurt? I sure would be!

The brother says to the father, “Dad, you were never pleased by me. You never seemed to care when I did good. Or at least if you did, you never commended me for my efforts,” etc. But dear reader, this is the part I want you to see if you see nothing else in this blog post.

The father turns to this second son and says, “Yeah, but son… your brother is home! We have to throw a party! I love and care about you too, son. I may not have commended you every time you did something good, but you know what son? You had me, and I had you. We never left each other, did we?”

For new christians, I think telling this story is so beautiful, as it completely represents Christ’s love for each of us.

First of all, we don’t deserve Christ’s love. None of us do! But thanks be to our loving Father in Heaven who came and shed his blood on the cross for us to pay the price of our sins, I am forgiven… you are forgiven, the person who is seeking is forgiven! All it takes is for us to be that prodigal son… Come home to the Father. He never demands an answer from us trying to explain why we did, or didn’t do what we did/didn’t do. He only commands a repentant heart… that’s all! If we believe that Christ rose from the dead three days later, shed his blood at Calvary for you and for me unconditionally though undeserved, gave us a reserved ticket to Glory Land to spend eternity with him in Heaven, and finally, if we except him as our Lord and savior, then we’re saved.

Now there’s a second part to this. The person seeking might then do exactly what the second brother did. They may tell you that they have prayed countless times, they may have asked over and over, “God, I don’t see you, where are you?” This is where you tell them the second part of the story about the lost son. You tell them about the second brother, and how the father responded to him.

You may not see God walking along side you because guess what… you’re not walking. God is. God is carrying you the whole time in his loving arms, and is there with you always! Therefore, you’re only gonna see one set of footprints in the sand. What a beautiful beautiful illustration of the gospel!