Author: Michael Heilman

The World’s Hatred on God

The World’s Hatred on God

The world hates God, thus, they are a threat to Christians!

This is very clear not only from the Scriptures but based on everything that’s going on around us. But this should not come as a surprise to all followers of Jesus Christ.

Bible Verse: John 15:18-19

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

Jesus Teaches His Disciples
Photo Credit: Live in God’s Light

Hate and Rejection from the World

Before His departure, Jesus warned His disciples that the world would hate and reject them. No matter how wonderful Jesus’ message was, His followers should expect to be rejected because of who they are.

The disciples knew exactly what it meant to be hated by the world. After Jesus departed, they were all persecuted and died as martyrs, except for John. God’s enemies tried to kill John by boiling him in oil but he miraculously survived.

The early Christians knew and had experienced the hatred of the world. We can read their stories in detail in the book “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.” But martyrdom is not a thing of the past. Christians all around the world continue to endure great persecution because of their faith in Christ.

In this World, Out of this World

The world is hostile towards God. And so, it follows that it is hostile towards those who believe in God. Jesus tried to comfort His disciples by telling them that the world’s hatred was first directed towards Him.

Then Jesus goes on to explain further why the world would hate those who believe in Him. He said, “Because you are not of the world…” Yes, we are still in this world but we are not of this world.

God chose us out of this world and we are in many ways different from the world. Therefore, the world hates us.

At War with the World

Considering every Christian is a part of a spiritual war, we should not trust any unbeliever to give godly or biblical instructions. They don’t have your best interest in mind.

God gave us every remedy for ailments in nature. They are called essential oils. Why trust doctors that believe people are getting better and better when in reality we are decaying. Doctors most of the time are peddling snake oils in the form of petroleum-based pharmaceuticals that only lead to more issues?

Christians are at Wat with the World

Why not use what God has given us in nature? Because they hate God, they will persecute Christians. The socialists hate God because they want an all-powerful government.

All religions hate God because they want people to keep trying to earn salvation. Atheists hate God because there is suffering in the world. As we are getting closer and closer to the return of Jesus, persecution of Christians will only increase including in America.

How should Christians respond? God wants us to love our enemies so they may see God’s love for humanity. We are sheep amongst wolves (Matthew 10:16).

Don’t try for retribution. God will take care of that. God does want us to be wise to their wicked methods.

Satan is the God of this World

They hate God because they are children of Satan. Satan hates people in general because they were made in God’s image. That is why Satan wants all people to be dead.

The pharmaceutical industry has been using aborted babies in vaccines for years. When people take those vaccines, Doesn’t that make them a cannibal or at least an accomplice to murder? The new Covid vaccines will stop reproductive organs from functioning properly. Not to mention the 1000’s of people dying from these shots.

Satan is behind the murder of people, however, it happens. Because they hate God, division will occur. Why is the world so divided? Too many people are believing the lies that Dr. Fascinating, Bill Gates, President Biden, the pharmaceutical industry, etc. actually care and want your best interest.

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Final Words

God created you. God loves you. We sinned but Jesus died to save you from your sin. If you have never received this free gift of salvation, why not now before it is too late? To every Christian, when persecution comes to you, take heart God is with you. He will enable you to speak for Him.

We do not need to fear what this world can do to our bodies. We must remember that when we die, we will be with God as 2 Corinthians 5:8 says. We have nothing to fear when God is with us. How much faith do we have?

Take heart, Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). God sent us into this world, He will enable us.

God bless!


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Get a copy of my book “Life According to the Truth.”

Publisher’s Description

Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • How to love God
  • How to love others
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Do Not Fear, Trust God

Do Not Fear, Trust God

With everything that is going on these days, people, including Christians are gripped with fear. But what does that say about your faith in God? Why are we choosing fear over faith?

Bible Verses: Matthew 8:26a & 2 Timothy 1:7

Matthew 8:26a

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

Choose Faith Over Fear

Jesus’ words could be said to any number of Christians today. Everyone is fearful at some point in their life. Any circumstance we can’t control can cause fear, but does that mean we should be afraid?

In Matthew 8:23-27, we read the story of Jesus calming the storm. As Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, a fierce storm suddenly struck the lake and the waves started breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping so the disciples went to wake Him up crying for help. And Jesus said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus undoubtedly knew that the storm was coming and certainly could have prevented it. But He permitted it so that He might teach His disciples some lessons.

Jesus was asleep because He could rest confidently in the will of His Father, and this was what the disciples should have been able to do. Instead, they became fearful and accused Jesus of not caring. The disciples have been with Jesus for a considerable amount of time. They witnessed all the wonders and miracles that He performed.

Yet, they chose fear over faith when faced with a fierce storm knowing that Jesus was with them.

Do Not Be Afraid

Understandably, unbelievers would be fearful of a virus they can’t see. They don’t believe in an omnipotent God that can control the weather or diseases as Matthew 8:23- 27 and Exodus 9:9 says.

But why are there so many Christians that are afraid? If we are truly saved, why do we need to fear anything? 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

We all deal with fear. For some, it’s fear of public speaking; others are afraid of getting rejected, others are afraid of failing, others are afraid of losing their job.

But we need to understand that fear is not from God; it’s from the enemy. Fear is a powerful weapon of the enemy and he never misses an opportunity to use it whenever he gets the chance. And he is doing it right now. For more than a year now, the coronavirus pandemic has caused people all around the world fear and worry.

Yes, the virus is real; it’s highly infectious and deadly. In fact, it has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in America alone. So, I don’t blame people for being afraid and following all the guidelines given by the so-called “health experts.”

Do Not Fear, Trust God

Put Your Trust In God

In 2020, Christians did very little to stand up against the governors’ shutting down churches, requiring masks, and closing down the jobs of many people out of fear. In 2021 many Christians are getting vaccines out of fear. WHY?

Satan uses fear to control us. The mainstream media are manipulating us by controlling our perception of the world. Why aren’t we turning to God and His Word for guidance in these troubled times?

If we truly believe God is in control, and the Bible is true, where are the Christians willing to live like it is true despite what the media, government, doctors, CDC, and the UN say? This is true for everyone. If you want to see God work, you need to trust Him.

Final Thoughts

Even when we don’t always see immediate results, we can trust God because He is trustworthy. Jesus said there would be hard times (John 16:33). But also He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

If you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ to save you, you can even now. He is waiting for you to choose Him over fear, why not now?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Fear Not: Living Grace and Truth in a Frightened World by Eric H. F. Law

Learn how to face your fears and live into courageous and faithful action with Fear Not. Americans live in a culture of fear, whether we know it or care to admit it.

Who will attack us next? Who will steal our jobs? Whose relationship undermines the sanctity of mine?

In an era when manipulative messaging is unavoidable, politicians, media, marketers, and even faith leaders play on our fears and use them to win elections, gain attention, sell products, and influence the way you view those around you — all in the name of claiming power.

Fear Not subverts insidious fear-based messaging with the creation of courageous communities committed to truth-telling, grace, hope, and love.

Drawing on decades as a community-building and church growth leader for churches and nonprofit organizations, Eric H.F. Law shares practical resources and processes for bringing diverse people together to build authentic relationships and share their truth.

Each chapter includes suggested activities and questions for discussion and tips for creating small discussion groups.

Repentance Toward God, Faith Toward Jesus

Repentance Toward God, Faith Toward Jesus

Scripture puts repentance and faith together as different aspects of the one act of coming to Christ for salvation. It is not that we first repent and then trust in Christ, or trust in Christ first and then repent. Rather, repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus occur at the same time.

When we turn to Christ for salvation from our sins, we are simultaneously turning away from the sins that we are asking Christ to save us from. If that were not true our turning to Christ for salvation from sin could hardly be a genuine turning to Him or trusting in Him.

Repentance and Faith Must Come Together

Repentance may be defined as “a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.”

This definition indicates that repentance is something that can occur at a specific point in time. It is not equivalent to a demonstration of change in a person’s pattern of life.

Like faith, repentance is:

  • an intellectual understanding (that sin is wrong).
  • an emotional approval of the teachings of Scripture regarding sin (sorrow for sin and a hatred of it).
  • a personal decision to turn from it (a renouncing of sin and a decision of the will to forsake it and lead a life of obedience to Christ instead).

Repentance Toward God, Faith Toward Jesus

Repentance and faith are simply two different sides of the same coin or two different aspects of the one event of conversion.

One who genuinely turns to Christ for salvation must at the same time releases the sin to which he or she has been clinging and turns away from that sin to turn to Christ. Thus, neither repentance nor faith comes first; they must come together.

Paul summarizes his gospel ministry as one of “testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

Genuine Repentance Involves Faith in Christ

Yes, sometimes faith alone is named as the thing necessary for coming to Christ for salvation. We see this in scriptures such as John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9.

These are familiar passages and we often emphasize them when explaining the gospel to others. But what we do not often realize is the fact that there are many other passages where only repentance is named. Simply because it is assumed that true repentance will also involve faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

The authors of the New Testament understood so well that genuine repentance and genuine faith had to go together. Thus, they often simply mentioned repentance alone with the understanding that faith would also be included. It’s because genuinely turning from sins is impossible apart from a genuine turning to God.

When we realize that genuine saving faith must be accompanied by genuine repentance for sin, it helps us to understand why some preaching of the gospel has such inadequate results today. With no mention of the need for repentance, sometimes the gospel message becomes only, “Believe in Jesus Christ and be saved.”

Preaching the need for faith without repentance is preaching only half of the gospel. It will result in many people being deceived, thinking that they have heard the Christian gospel and tried it, but nothing has happened.

Genuine Saving Faith equals Genuine Repentance

Faith and Repentance Must Continue

It is important to realize that faith and repentance are not confined to the beginning of the Christian life. They are rather attitudes of the heart that continue throughout our lives as Christians.

Concerning faith, Paul tells us, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). He certainly means that these three abide throughout this life, but he probably also means that they abide for all eternity.

If faith is trusting God to provide for all our needs, then this attitude will never cease, not even in the age to come. But in any case, the point is made that faith continues throughout this life.

Although initial saving faith and initial repentance indeed occur only once in our lives, when they occur they must constitute true conversion. The heart attitudes of repentance and faith begin at conversion should continue throughout our Christian lives.

Each day, there should be heartfelt repentance for sins that we have committed. Also, faith in Christ to provide for our needs and to empower us to live the Christian life.

Reflection and Challenge

Many people say they believe in God, like Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. Although the attributes of these gods are all different. Who is right? They all cannot be right.

I know based on the authority that the Bible is God’s word to humanity. Acts 20:21 proves that Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are all false religions.

Acts 20:21 also proves that God is knowable and personal, which is the opposite of all far east religions because they have impersonal gods. Why repent to something you cannot know personally? God has revealed Himself to humanity by becoming a man: the God-Man; the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 1:1, 14 says that “the Word was God, was with God, and became a Man.” That is the Trinity in a nutshell. Muslims hate even the mention that God became a man and is Triune. Not to mention, Islam teaches a works-based salvation. But repentance implies surrendering and admitting our inability to save ourselves.

Closing Thoughts

I have heard Calvinists accuse Baptists that repentance is a work. That is just not true. Repentance is just humbly surrendering and admitting our inability to change ourselves and believing Jesus can change us.

This verse even refutes the worldview of dualism. If God is good and evil, why repent to someone no more righteous than we? Obviously, Acts 20:21 is teaching God is holy and righteous. We cannot earn salvation; it can only be given to us through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Many times, I wonder how many Christians are even truly born again. If we all truly humbled ourselves and surrendered our will, our desires, and choices to God, why don’t we listen and apply God’s word to our everyday lives?

Too often biblically solid sermons are heard but are never applied to our lives because we are too proud to think we need to live like God’s Word is true. Nobody is as humble as Jesus, because nobody else is God.

Are we all willing to repent of our pride and request for more humility?


Reference:

Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem 

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Get a copy of my bookLife According to the Truth.”

Publisher’s Description

Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • How to love God
  • How to love others
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Ignorance Leads to Contention

Ignorance Leads to Contention

Do you notice how ignorance of the facts often leads to contention? People immediately react negatively when told that one of the people closest to them is spreading lies about them. They then go on with their counterattack without first getting to the bottom of the story. They never bothered to find out if the report they heard is true or not.

Bible Verses: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.”

“Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas, or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

Divisions in the Church Today
Photo Credits: xpastor.org

Problems Among the Corinthians

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians addresses several problems within the church that have come to his attention. One of which is the contentions (or quarrels) reported to him by some members of Chloe’s household.

The church in Corinth had become factious, advocating different leaders: Paul, Apollos, Peter, and possibly a Christ party. Not only was the church divided over leadership types, but also over several moral issues and the use of spiritual gifts. The main point of contention was Paul’s authority.

How did Paul approach this problem of division in the church? First, he pointed to the unity of Christ: only one Savior and one body. Then he reminded them of their baptism, a picture of their spiritual baptism into Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:13).

Division in the Church Today

A few years ago, the church was divided into denominations. Now, we aren’t much better off. We have the same problem the church at Corinth had. Many Christians today follow a favorite preacher. Why are so many people naive enough to believe they can be spiritually fed by a preacher? Or that their favorite preacher knows everything about the Bible or God?

I know for a fact that nobody completely understands the mind of God or His word, because He is infinite and we are finite. That fact should humble us all. We should not base all of our knowledge on one or two favorite preachers.

I have learned over the years that different Christians emphasize different aspects of the character of God. Preachers do the same thing. We all have our favorite topics we like to talk about because we all know our knowledge of the Bible has gaps. This is true of the pew-sitters and the pastors.

I wish I understood why this fact does not humble more people including preachers. Does your lack of understanding humble you?

I have heard so many preachers criticizing other preachers. I truly believe that if the Church and pastors were more humble, criticism of fellow believers would stop. Not to mention, why does it matter what the next person or the next pastor says, especially if they are wrong?

Know and Study God’s Word

The only way to know if someone believes something wrong is by getting to know what the truth actually is. How well do you know the Bible?

Since Only God wrote the Bible and no pastor fully understands the Bible, why are you not studying the Bible for yourself? The main reason I was able to write “Life According to the Truth” was God gave me knowledge and understanding after asking God many questions while studying the scriptures.

The pew-sitters do not need to be ignorant. You do not need a seminary degree to know the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

I would have to admit studying the Bible is not easy. It takes work but is also very rewarding as Psalm 1:1-2 says:

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law, he meditates day and night.”

There is no reason why any Christian should be ignorant or divided. There is no reason to rely on preachers or ministers to spiritually feed you. Just ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and He will. Have you asked Him?

2 Timothy 2:15

Spiritual Authority in the Church

One of the underlying issues in Paul’s two letters to the Corinthians is the nature of spiritual authority.

Why should the Corinthians (and we) listen to Paul’s words? It’s because they were not his opinions or his agenda but God’s instructions. When God’s Word sets up a barrier or sends a change of direction in our lives, are we willing to listen? Or do we look for another opinion?

We can always find someone who will tell us with great confidence exactly what we want to hear. Or we can keep getting counsel until someone tells us what we wanted to do in the first place. But God’s Word has a history of contradicting our wishes.

The Scriptures don’t care nearly as much about how we feel as they do about how we obey. By the way, God never asks us to do something that is not for our own good. Even if that means giving up something that looks innocent and desirable.

Final Words

Reading Paul’s letters, we see that he had tough words for the Corinthian church. Many of these apply almost directly to wandering churches today. They were all true counsel. These instructions from God continue to be practical in the world we are living in today.

Needless to say, God’s Word won’t have the intended effect unless we allow them to transform us. Are you willing to obey God even when what He tells you is painful to hear and inconvenient to do?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Cultures in Conflict Discovery Guide: Paul Proclaims Jesus As Lord – Part 2 by Ray Vander Laan

How do you live in a culture where the worldview conflicts with Christianity? Learn from Paul as he presents his beliefs to the most powerful court in Athens and settles among the Greco-Romans of Corinth, who valued wealth and class, worship of multiple gods, and decadent pleasure seeking above all else.

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the land of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures.

Filmed on location in the Middle East and elsewhere, the That the World May Know® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.

What are the Languages of Love?

What are the Languages of Love?

We all agree that love is one of the most powerful emotions every single individual is capable of exhibiting. But are we even aware that love is a language? It certainly is! Accordingly, there are 5 languages of love.

Bible Verse: Mark 12:30-31

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.

Summation of God’s Law

Love for God cannot be divorced from love for one’s neighbor. So, Jesus also quoted Leviticus 19:18 and put it on the same level as the Shema. All of the law and the prophets hang on both of these commandments.

We might add that the teachings of the Epistles in the New Testament agree with this statement: If a person really loves God, he or she must also love their brother, sister, and neighbor (1 John 3:10-18; 4:7-21).

The Five Expression of God's Love

If we have the right relationship with God, we will have no problems with His commandments. Love is the basis for obedience. In fact, all of the law is summed up in love (Romans 13:8-10). If we love God, we will love our neighbors. If we love our neighbors, we will not want to do anything to harm them.

5 Expressions of Love

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five primary love languages. They are the five ways that people express love to each other. These are: 1) words of affirmation, 2) quality time, 3) physical touch, 4) acts of service, and 5) receiving gifts.

It is true that most people express love in two of the five ways, but not Jesus. He expressed love in all five ways.

Jesus Loves with Words of Affirmation

In John 8:4-11, Jesus showed love to the woman caught in adultery with words of affirmation.

We must not misinterpret this event to mean that Jesus was easy on sin. Or that He contradicted the law. For Jesus to forgive this woman meant that He had to one day die for her sin. Forgiveness is free but it is not cheap.

The Lord did not affirm her actions but He did affirm her value as a person. By affirming the value of this woman as a person, Jesus modeled not only words but also actions. He showed affirmation to a woman that needed mercy just like we all do.

Jesus Loves with Quality Time

We read in Luke 19:2-9 how Jesus showed love to Zacchaeus by spending quality time with him. It was never a coincidence that Jesus called for Zacchaeus when he was up in the tree. Jesus knew Zacchaeus wanted to see Him but He gave him something better – time to speak with Him.

Everyone indeed has a limited amount of time. But isn’t God and other people worth enough to spend some time with them?

Jesus Loves with His Touch

Jesus showed love in Luke 8:52-56 by His touch. He had healed many people of physical and spiritual illnesses, inspiring Bill Gaither to write the song, “He Touched Me.”

We read how Jesus has literally and figuratively touched many people. We can also show love by sharing the healing message of the Gospel, aside from the comfort of a hug. Are the souls of people worth enough for us to touch them with the Gospel?

Jesus Loves with Self-Service

As Jesus’ earthly ministry was coming to a close, He sacrificed His life as an act of service to provide the greatest gift of all: salvation.

It’s been 2 weeks since Christians all around the world celebrated the love of God expressed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is by far the greatest expression of love God could have shown to humanity.

Jesus Loves by Receiving Gifts

We must recognize that we can never out-give God nor can we repay what Jesus has done for us. Well, not that He expects us to.

So, what gifts can we offer to our Lord? The apostle Paul exhorts every believer to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:2).

Just as Jesus Christ had to take on Himself a body to accomplish God’s will on earth, so we must yield our bodies to Christ. We submit to the Lord that He might continue God’s work through us.

We must yield the members of the body as “instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:13) for the Holy Spirit to use in the doing of God’s work. The Old Testament sacrifices were dead sacrifices, but we are to be living sacrifices.

Closing Words

As we can see, Jesus is the model of all five love languages. And as born-again Christians, we are supposed to live our lives as disciples or imitators of Jesus. We do this by living out the first and greatest commandment found in Mark 12:30-31. (See also Matthew 22:37-39.)

Let us love God and love others using all five love languages.


Get a copy of my book “Life According to the Truth.”

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanPublisher’s Description

Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to The Truth. Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to Michael’s life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life
  • How to love God
  • How to love others
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Don’t Get Distracted From God’s Purpose For You

Don’t Get Distracted From God’s Purpose For You

God has a specific will or purpose for every believer. But how often do we seek to fulfill God’s purpose for our life? And how often do we get distracted as a result of focusing too much on things that don’t really matter?

Bible Verse: Luke 19:5

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

Who Is Zacchaeus?

The name “Zacchaeus” means “righteous one,” but this supervisor of tax collectors was not living up to his name. Certainly, the Jewish religious community in Jericho would not have considered him righteous, for he has not only collected taxes from his own people but also worked for the unclean Gentiles.

And tax collectors were notorious for collecting more taxes than required; the more money collected, the more income they enjoyed.

God’s Purpose For Zacchaeus

We read Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus in Luke 19:1-10. So, it happened that as Jesus entered and passed through Jericho, Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector wanted to see Jesus. But because he was too short to see over the crowd, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road where Jesus was going to pass by.

As Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus, called him by name, and asked him to come down, for He was going stay as a guest in his home (Luke 19:5).

Jesus Visits Zacchaeus
Photo Credits: The Brown Pelican Society

It was God’s will to spend time with Zacchaeus. Jesus was followed by a large crowd but that did not stop Him from ministering to Zacchaeus. Clearly, Jesus was not distracted by popularity or skeptics (Luke 19:3, 7).

The same thing happened when Jesus and His disciples went through Samaria. Jesus needed to go through Samaria to see the Samaritan woman and minister to her (John 4:4-25).

God had a purpose for Zacchaeus and the Samaritan woman, and God has a purpose for your life. How often do you seek God’s purpose for your life? When was the last time you asked God to reveal it to you?

Getting Distracted from Your Purpose

Many preachers today use methods that guarantee a crowd because it feels a lot better to minister to a large crowd than to just one single individual. How many of us can honestly say we would prefer to one more than a crowd? Who does not like being popular?

Truth be told. I know I have wanted to minister to as many people as possible through Bible thoughts, my books, etc. I just pray I never get too proud and forget about individual people. Is that true of you as well?

Jesus was always followed by a crowd during much of His ministry. Yet, He never stopped to preach and teach them while making sure He wasn’t neglecting individuals who wanted to listen to Him.

Closing Thoughts

There will always be people that find a problem, scoff, and mock. On other occasions in Scripture, Jesus responded to their doubts and skepticism, but this time no response was given. Sometimes God does not want us to respond to antagonism.

It does not really matter what people think or say if they are wrong. There is no point to be distracted or worried by lies. Don’t get distracted from the things that God has called you to do.

As Paul says, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). How well are we pressing toward that purpose?

We do not know what tomorrow holds but we know who holds tomorrow. Trust Him!


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Get a copy of my devotional book “Life According to the Truth.”

Publisher’s Description

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to the Truth, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to his life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly Scripture, he explains to any born again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life.
  • How to love God
  • How to love others.
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

America Needs God Right Now

America Needs God Right Now

In just a couple of days, the United States of America will decide whether Donald Trump remains in the White House for another four years. Has Trump done enough during his first term to convince Americans that he’s the right guy to put the country back on track?

Trump’s challenger, former vice president Joe Biden, is currently leading in almost every poll and could potentially unseat Trump. But what does a Biden win mean in terms of religious liberty, economic stability, and America’s long-standing friendship with Israel?

Now more than ever, America needs God.

Bible Verse: Psalm 119:118

“You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood.”

In this verse, the psalmist speaks of the righteous judgment of God. He uses His “statutes” as a measuring line of His judgment, rejecting all those who stray from His Word and the principles revealed therein.

If we love the Word, we will hate lies and oppose liars. The psalmist knew that his shelter and shield were the Lord alone, and he trusted in Him. He is not hiding in the Lord from fear of facing the enemy, because he addresses the enemy in verse 115.

“Depart from me, you evildoers, for I will keep the commandments of my God!”

Only in the Lord could he find the help he needed.

Turning Our Backs On God

For years, America has turned its back on God. Biblical literacy is at an all-time low. Evil laws are being passed and enacted. Corruption is rampant in the highest places of office. I can guarantee that most Americans have taken the One, true God out of schools, courts, government, and society.

America Needs God Right Now

This explains why America has been in moral, social, and economic decline. But I believe that God isn’t finished with us yet. He can bless America and make it the world’s greatest nation once again. But we need to repent of our sins and turn back to God, for only God can make America great again.

God: the Only Source of Righteousness

Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Greatness is not found in your pocketbook; it is not found in government nor is it found in large groups of people. Greatness is only found in God since He is the only source of righteousness.

Many people claim they can be righteous or moral without God but that is not what the Word of God says. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Romans 3:10 also says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

So, just because someone believes or claims something, does not make it true. God is the only source of truth. God does not judge on a bell curve. He judges based on His standard. If you have not received His righteousness, you are not righteous. That is why God had to become a man.

If God did not become man, man would not be given God’s righteousness. Jesus came to earth so that we may be able to become sons of God as John 1:12, 14 says, on the condition we receive Him.

God will never force anyone to accept His free gift of salvation. If the people in America do not turn back to God, human trafficking, rioting, fear, division, corruption, murder, and pain and suffering will continue.

Christian Jewelry and Wall Decors - Lord's Guidance

Time to Pray, Vote, and Stand

As pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills said, “It’s time for God’s people to pray, to vote, and to stand.” Christians cannot afford to “sit out” this election. We need to go out and vote. More importantly, we need to vote in a biblical way.

Some of you may say, “But none of these two presidential candidates seem to be morally upright.” Keep in mind that we’re not voting for an individual; we’re not voting for a spiritual leader. We are voting for a party; we’re voting for a platform. Whose platform do you think better lines up with God’s principles?

I get it. You do not like Trump’s personality. You do not like his tweets or the way he gets things done. But what matters is that he’s getting things done. He has kept his promises and the things he ran on in 2016.

A vote for Trump and the Republican Party is a vote for religious liberty. Looking at what’s going on right now in states run by the Democrats, Christians should know better than to give them more power and government control.

Closing Words

For the first time in so many years, more and more Christian leaders have come out in the open to support President Donald Trump. That tells you how important this election is. Of course, God is still on the throne and He is in control. But Christians need to do their part as well.

We cannot sit comfortably at home and say, “Lord, it’s all in your hands now.” We need to go out and vote. We must vote as if everything is on the line.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Get a copy of Michael’s devotional book “Life According to the Truth.”

Publisher’s Description

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to the Truth, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to his life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly Scripture, he explains to any born again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life.
  • How to love God
  • How to love others.
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Finding Strength by Waiting on the Lord

Finding Strength by Waiting on the Lord

Do you often feel like you’re losing the game of life? That no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to keep up? No matter how strong and healthy we think we are, physically and spiritually, that is, there comes a time when we start to grow weary and lose all the energy needed to keep us going.

The great news is, God promised to renew our strength; we will find new strength by trusting in God and waiting patiently on Him.

Bible Verse: Isaiah 40:29-31

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

God Does Not Grow Weary

Going back to Isaiah 40:28, it says, “The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.”

In the ancient world, the gods were viewed as having human weaknesses and often were inattentive or simply unaware of events that were taking place. One result of this was that the pantheon of gods were constantly outwitting or tricking each other. The gods were not indefatigable. They were in constant need of food, drink, and shelter.

In contrast, Yahweh God never grows weak or weary. And Isaiah thought the Jewish people needed to hear what they already know. They needed to hear about the everlasting Creator of all the earth who never grows weak or weary.

If we believe these truths about God, we should live as if God has already taken care of all our needs, present and future.

Finding Strength by Waiting on the Lord

The Greatness of God

As the Jewish remnants returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple, they knew they had a rough road ahead of them. They were few in number and the victories of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia made it look as though the false gods of the Gentiles were stronger that the God of Israel. Thus, they became faint-hearted

But Isaiah reminded the people of the greatness of Yahweh (Isaiah 40:12-20). God is greater than anything on earth. Creation shows His wisdom, power, and immensity. He is greater than the nations and their gods.

God founded the earth and sits on the throne of heaven, and nothing is equal to Him, let alone greater than Him. So, the next time you are tempted to think that the world is bigger than God, remember that the nations are “as a drop in a bucket” (Isaiah 40:15) and “the inhabitants are like grasshoppers” (Isaiah 40:22).

God is greater than anything in heaven. And if you ever feel so small that you wonder if God really cares about you personally, remember that He knows the name of every star (Isaiah 40:26) and your name as well (John 10:3, 27). The same God who numbers and names the stars can heal your broken heart (Psalm 147:3-4).

God Sees Your Every Situation

God is all-powerful and is greater than the circumstances within us. The nation of Israel knew this very well because they have seen and heard what God has done for their ancestors. But instead of trusting God to work on their behalf, they complained and acted as though God did not know their situation or have any concern for their problems (Isaiah 40:27).

Instead of seeing the open door, the Jews saw only the long road before them, and they complained that they did not have strength for the journey and that God was asking them to do the impossible.

Admittedly, there are times when we are like the nation of Israel. Although we know of God’s promise to strengthen us when we are weak and that He will help us get us through every rough situation, we complain and accuse Him of not caring about us.

Finding Strength by Waiting on the Lord

God Promises to Renew Our Strength

God knows how we feel and He sees our fears. And rest assured that He is adequate to meet our every need. We are not able to do things on our own but we can always trust God to provide the strength we need (Philippians 4:13).

If we rely on ourselves, we will faint and fail, but if we wait on the Lord by faith, we will receive strength for the journey. Waiting on the Lord means to look to God for all that we need (Isaiah 26:3; 20:15). This involves meditating on His character and His promises, praying, and seeking to glorify Him.

To “renew our strength” means to “exchange,” as taking off old clothing and putting on something new. We exchange our weakness for God’s power (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). As we trust God, He enables us to soar during a crisis, to run when the challenges are many, and to walk faithfully, in the routine day-to-day demands of life.

Walking in the ordinary pressures of life can be much more difficult than flying like an eagle in a time of crisis.

Bottom Line

God renews our strength. As people, we get tired; we become weary. But God enables us to do what we need to do. That does not mean we will never need rest or sleep. It means when we rely on God’s strength, He will enable us.

The word “wait” means to have faith. There will be times when it seems like we’re waiting for nothing. But we must understand that God does everything according to His will. When we trust God to direct our steps, He will see us through to victory.

Sometimes we think that God should do things for us the way we want Him to, but that is not how God works. We need to trust in God’s timing and wait patiently on Him. As one quote says, “Prayer is powerful. But always remember that God works according to His timetable, not yours. Be patient.”

Faith and patience always go hand-in-hand. We don’t always know when God will answer our utmost prayers and give us the desires of our hearts. But when we trust in Him, He will bring it to pass in His own perfect time.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Get a copy of Michael Heilman’s devotional book “Life According to the Truth.”

Publisher’s Description

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you?

In Life According to the Truth, Michael Heilman honestly writes about the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to his life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life.

With illustrations, humor, and most importantly Scripture, he explains to any born again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life.
  • How to love God
  • How to love others.
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you. 

 

Judging Your Brother in Faith

Judging Your Brother in Faith

Do you know of any brother or sister in Christ who only eats vegetables? What could be the reason behind it? More importantly, how do you feel about it or your reaction to it? Perhaps you know some Christians who consider one day more sacred than the other while you consider every day alike.

Do you condemn or judge them for their weak faith?

Bible Verses: Romans 14:10-14

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Condemning the Weak Believers

The whole chapter of Romans 14 is talking about Christian liberty and unity. Paul addresses those who were strong in the faith, that is, those who understood their spiritual liberty in Christ and were not enslaved to diets or holy days.

Who are the weak believers? The “weak in faith” were immature believers who felt obligated to obey legalistic rules concerning what they ate and when they worshiped. Many people have the idea that the Christians who follow strict rules are the most mature, but this is not necessarily the case.

Romans 14:1

We don’t have the responsibility to decide the requirements for Christian fellowship in a church, only God can do this. To set up human restrictions, based on personal prejudices (or even convictions) is to go beyond the Word of God. We receive one another because God has received us (Romans 14:1-3).

Our first responsibility is to the Lord (Romans 14:8). If Christians would go to the Lord in prayer instead of going to their brother or sister with criticism or condemnation, the fellowship in churches would be stronger. See also John 21:15-25.

Every church has weak and strong believers. The strong understand spiritual truth and practice it, but the weak have not yet grown into that level of maturity and liberty. The weak must not condemn the strong and call them unspiritual. The strong must not despise the weak and call them immature.

God has received both the weak and the strong; therefore they should receive one another (Romans 14:12).

Do Not Judge Your Brother; Love Them Instead

The first part of Romans 14:13 admonishes us to stop judging one another. But if we stop with this, we might give the impression that Christians should leave each other alone and let the weak remain weak. But the second admonition explains things further.

The emphasis is not on master-servant but a fellow believer. It is the principle of brotherly love. If we love each other we will seek to edify each other and build each other up in the faith (Romans 14:19). In the succeeding verses of Romans 14, Paul shared several facts to help his readers help their brothers.

Stop judging your brother in faith. Stop condemning the weak believers.

In the meantime, we must help each other grow. All believers, strong and weak, need to grow. Strong believers need to grow in love; weak believers need to grow in knowledge. So long as a fellow believer is weak in the faith, we must lovingly deal with that person in his or her immaturity.

But if we really love the weaker believer, we will help them to grow. For a Christian to remain immature, having a weak conscience is wrong.

Unity Does Not Always Mean Uniformity

If you have been following the late Dr. Ravi Zacharias, you should be familiar with the phrase, “Unity does not always mean uniformity.” He always used this every time he had to deal with the question of the differences in minor theology among Christian denominations.

Paul is telling us the same thing in Romans 14. Sure, God wants us (and expects us) to set standards in our lives. Sometimes those standards will be different from other Christians and there is actually nothing wrong with that.

God does not want unity based on conformity. God does not want Christians to live by a set of rules given by their pastor. This then results in Christians having different standards in many different areas.

However, disputes arise when believers start judging other believers for having stronger standards. In Romans 14:10, God is telling us, “Don’t worry about what other Christians are doing.” In other words, how they live their Christian life is none of your business. At the end of the day, we will all stand before Jesus to give an account of ourselves. You are not responsible for them.

This is actually what I use to completely ignore what other Christians are doing. All I’m saying is, don’t get all offended over what people do. You are not their judge so stop acting like one. Romans 14:14 implies that God has given all Christians the liberty to decide what standards they want to have. Thus, we must be convinced of the standards we set for ourselves.

Closing Words

If you do not know yet the standards you should live by, go figure. Nothing is inherently wrong, but if you believe Christian rock music is wrong and drinking alcohol is wrong, then don’t do it. You are responsible for your own actions.

We will all give an account of the way we lived our lives. On that day, we won’t have time to look at everyone else. Are you prepared to stand before God?


Get a copy of my devotional book “Life According to the Truth.”

Publisher’s Description

Life According to the Truth by Michael HeilmanDo you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you? In Life According to the Truth, disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman, honestly writes to the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to his life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly Scripture, he explains to any born again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:

  • Why God must be the key focus of your life.
  • How to love God
  • How to love others.
  • How to discern God’s will for your life
  • How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.

Sowing in Tears, Reaping in Joy

Sowing in Tears, Reaping in Joy

The Christian life is likened to a journey where there would be good times and bad times. So if you expected a comfortable, easy life the day you made a life-changing decision to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you’re definitely in for a big surprise.

While the joy that fills one’s heart when he or she receives God’s forgiveness and assurance of eternal life is so real, we need to remember that oftentimes that great joy is preceded by a season of tears. As Psalm 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

The Amazing Work of God

Psalm 126:1-6 with the title “A Song of Ascents,” thought to be composed after the Babylonian exile in gratitude for God’s restoration, is the seventh in the series of fifteen songs for pilgrims coming to Jerusalem.

When Israel’s rebellion became so great that the land itself was being defiled, God took them out of the land and sent them to Babylon for seventy years. After they had been set free, they could not believe what was happening.

They knew that both Isaiah and Jeremiah had promised this “second exodus,” but it was too good to be true. During long years of waiting, they had dreamed of returning home, and now that dream had become a reality. God in His grace had forgiven them (Isaiah 40:1-2; 44:21-22) and they could make a new beginning.

The surrounding nations, some of whom hated Israel, were utterly astonished at this event and openly confessed that the God of Israel had done great things for them. The Jews replied that indeed He had done amazing works for them, and they give God the glory (Psalm 16:2-3).

This ought to be the confession of every Christian and every local church.

Sowing Tears Reaping Joy

God’s Principle of Sowing and Reaping

In His covenant, God gave the promise of adequate food for the people (Deuteronomy 28:1-14), and the people who were planting seeds, were claiming that promise. It pleases the Lord when we water with our tears the seed of the Word that we sow. We cannot reap if we do not first sow the seed, and the seed must be watered with our tears and our prayers.

Some blessings God sends suddenly (Psalm 126:4), and some come as we patiently sow and weep (James 5:7). But His promise is secure so “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

God is Faithful in Keeping His Promises

If the Lord did not keep His covenant and send the early and latter rains, there would be no crops and their labors would have been in vain. Each raindrop was but a tiny thing, but when dropped on the earth, it was the promise of life.

How gracious of the Lord to send “showers of blessings” (Ezekiel 34:26) to His people. How important it is that God’s people pray for His blessing and prepare themselves to receive it.

Application for Christians Today

Even in the Old Testament, the gospel was already present. The gospel is the seed that we plant in men’s hearts. It is also true that some seed takes more time to sprout than others, but the principle laid out in Psalm 26:5-6 is still true today.

God also gives you the credit for working hard to see the seeds produce. That is what it means when it says “bringing his sheaves.” When we cry and put large amounts of effort into individuals to get saved or to grow spiritually, God will reward that hard work.

Shouldn’t we be more motivated to know the gospel and Bible better and always ready to share when the opportunity shows itself?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Get my devotional book “Life According to the Truth.”

Michael Heilman's Devotional Book

Publisher’s Description

Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Did you know that God wants to prepare you during this life to live in heaven with Him? Does your purpose for life evade you? In Life According to the Truth, Disciple of Jesus Christ, Michael Heilman, honestly writes to the issues facing the church and how to live the victorious Christian life.

Michael expounds on biblical principles God has applied to his life and led to God’s blessing in many areas of his life. With illustrations, humor, and most importantly scripture, he explains to any born-again believer who is spiritually wandering through life, how to be spiritually blessed by God as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In this devotional Bible study, you will be enlightened in regards to:
Why God must be the key focus of your life.
How to love God.
How to love others.
How to discern God’s will for your life.
How to be confident with your identity in Jesus Christ.

Life is difficult, but God can enable you to have abundant Joy. If you are a born-again believer that needs encouragement, this book is for you.