Thursday, December 31, 2020

The end...and THE End.

The end and THE End. 

“Do you not know that the end will be bitter?” 2 Samuel 2:26 ESV Oh, reader, if you are only a professor and not a possessor of true faith in Christ Jesus, the following lines are an accurate sketch of your end. So you are a respectable attender of a church, but you go because others do, not because your heart is right with God. This is your beginning. I will suppose that for the next twenty or thirty years you will be allowed to go on as you do now, professing religion by outer appearances but having no heart in the matter. Be careful! I must show you the deathbed of a person like that. Let us gaze gently on him. A clammy sweat is on his brow, and he wakes up crying, “Oh, it is hard to die. Did you send for my minister?” He is told, “Yes, the minister is coming.” When he arrives, the sick man sobs, “Sir, I fear that I am dying!” “Have you any hope?” the minister asks. “I cannot say that I do—I fear to stand before my God. Oh, pray for me!” The prayer is offered with sincere earnestness, and the way of salvation is put before this man for the ten-thousandth time—but before he catches hold of the rope, I see him sink. I may put my finger on those cold eyelids, for they will never see anything here again. But where is the man? Where are his true eyes? It is written, “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments” (Luke 16:23 KJV). Ah, why didn’t he lift up his eyes before? Because he was so accustomed to hearing the gospel that his soul slept under its truth. Oh, if you should lift up your eyes there, your wailing will be bitter. Let the Savior’s own words describe the woe: “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire” (Luke 16:24). There is a frightful meaning in those words—may you never have to read them by the red firelight of Jehovah’s wrath! - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” 
And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

John 19:30

God always finishes what He begins (Phil. 1:6). God never speaks a word without ensuring that it comes to pass (Isa. 55:11). Christ is both the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Rev. 1:8, 17). Christ is as much at the end of His work as He is at its beginning.

Jesus was given an enormous mandate. He was to live a sinless life, remaining absolutely obedient to His Father. Even the manner of His death was to fulfill numerous prophecies that had been foretold in Scripture (Matt. 26:24, 31, 54, 56; 27:9, 35, 46; John 19:28, 36–37). Yet, despite the extremely complex assignment Jesus received from His Father, He could shout triumphantly from the cross, “It is finished!”
Christ now resides within each believer. His assignment today is to complete God's will in each Christian. He is just as determined to do this in us as He was to complete God's will for Himself. You will have to resist Christ in order to remain out of the will of God. What is it God wants to do in you? Have you allowed Him to complete what He has begun? He will not force you to receive all that He has for your life. If God's work has not been brought to fruition in you, it is not that Christ has not been diligently working toward that end. Rather, you may need to release areas of your life to Him and be as determined to see God 's work in you completed as Christ is. Review the things God has said to you over this last year. Are there promises God has made to you that you have refused to allow Him to complete? If so, commit to yield your will to God today. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

We had no clue what was in store for 2020. Yet today we stand at the next unknown door of 2021.  Hopefully in your reading of the Word of God this last year you have grown in Christ.  As we read in both of these devotionals one person only thought they were saved until death was at their doorstep. The other devotional points out that the work of Jesus Christ doesn't end in our lives as long as we don't resist it. 

I am in awe of what has transpired with this blog in its short time in existence. My prayer had been to see it hit 50,000 views by the end of the year. It has hit 46,000. Still a very impressive feat by the Spirit!

In no way do I take credit for the work of the Spirit.  Obedience is something learned in life or resisted in life.  It, not unlike Salvation, is a choice granted when Jesus shouted from the cross "It is FINISHED!".  We choose to be in the plan and will of God or we don't.  

Today I completed reading through the Bible in 2020. I honestly have lost track of how many times I have read all the way through.  I can remember the time when I had not.  The conviction was that how could I face Jesus not having read what He left me at all?  Me e-reader says that in 2020 I have read through 11 books...soon to be 12. This is on top of reading through my Bible.  This isn't boasting. This is to show that in regards to time, energy and effort, it's always possible to read at least your Bible in one year.  If it's important enough you make the time. 

Look at the first devotional again.  My dear Reader is this you? Are you comfortable in Church but have dismissed conviction? Are you at all afraid of what comes next after death?  Are you resisting what the Spirit wants to do with you because you are afraid? The Bible says perfect love casts out fear.  There is no fear in love. 

In the second devotional we read of the work of Jesus.  He isn't going to be forceful.  Neither is the Spirit.  A Shepherd doesn't beat the sheep into submission. 
He will admonish, rebuke, discipline, but not abuse to the point of submission. 

We are on the precipice of another year. 
We can choose to enter it in fear or in obedience to God.  That is your choice and mine.  

It is interesting in the list of people at the end of the book of Revelation, the first listed are the cowardly. Not the sexually immoral, they are further down the list of the people who will never see Heaven. The cowardly are the first who will never see Heaven. 

It is a tremendous lie of Satan that God loves everyone as they are and nobody's going to go to Hell.  God has been very clear in nature that mankind can see His invisible attributes. He has been very clear that sin MUST be dealt with. It took God coming in the form of Jesus Christ to die on a cross in the most horrible way possible, to take our place in the punishment due sin. So no, God isn't just going to let everybody into Heaven because of love.  It's only those who have come to Christ for Salvation. 

So where are you going?  Whether or not it's the end or THE End.  Is Heaven your home and you await the day you return there, or is cowardice and other sinful lifestyles keeping you out? You cannot stand on your own merits and get into Heaven. Read the last judgement before Christ in Revelation. Everyone small and great had their life's work reviewed and at the end of it...if their names were not found in the book of Life, they were tossed into the Lake of Fire.  All their sins were remembered. Not forgotten as in the case of Believers.  All their efforts or non efforts at being right before God, without Christ, amounted to nothing.  Only those who came to Christ for Salvation were found written in the book of Life. 

Is your name there?  Don't exit 2020 without knowing!  Let go of cowardice and fear. Come and find the life you have been missing!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Where your thoughts are...there your heart is also.

Where your thoughts are...your heart is also. 

“What do you think about the Christ?” Matthew 22:42 NKJV 

The great test of your soul’s health is this: “What do you think about the Christ?” To your mind, is He “the most excellent of men” (Psalm 45:2)? “Outstanding among ten thousand” (Song of Solomon 5:10)? “Desirable in every way” (Song of Solomon 5:16 NLT)? Wherever Christ is esteemed like that, all the faculties of the spiritual person exercise themselves with energy. I will judge your devotion by this barometer: Does Christ stand high or low with you? If you think infrequently of Christ, if you have been content to live without His presence, if you have cared little for His honor, if you have neglected His laws, then I know that your soul is sick—may God keep it from dying! But if your spirit’s primary thought has been how it can honor Jesus, if the daily desire of your soul has been that you might find Him, I say that even if you have a thousand weaknesses and hardly know if you are a child of God at all, you are safe beyond doubt since Jesus is great in your esteem. I don’t care about your ragged clothes—what do you think of His royal apparel? I don’t care about your wounds, even though they bleed in torrents—what do you think of His wounds? Are they like glittering rubies in your esteem? I won’t think less of you if you lie like Lazarus on a dunghill with dogs licking your sores (see Luke 6:19–31)—I don’t judge you by your poverty. The important question is this: What do you think of the King in His beauty? Does He have a glorious, high throne in your heart? Would you lift Him even higher if you could? Would you be willing to die, if by dying you could add one more trumpet to the fanfare that proclaims His praise? Ah, then all is well with you. It doesn’t matter what you might think of yourself. If Christ is great in your mind, you will be with Him soon enough. Though all the world my choice deride, Yet Jesus shall my portion be; For I am pleased with none beside, The fairest of the fair is he. “Though All the World My Choice Deride,” Gerhard Tersteegen (18th century) - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will  of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

John 4:34

The disciples were often preoccupied with how to meet their physical needs (Matt. 14:15–17; John 4:8; Luke 18:28). Jesus repeatedly assured them that the Father knew their needs and would provide (Luke 11:11–13).

When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, His disciples had gone into a nearby town to get food. While His disciples were seeking earthly nourishment, Jesus was giving this woman “living water” that would satisfy her soul for eternity. When they returned, the disciples urged Jesus to eat. He replied that His “food” was to do the will of His Father. Since their attention was on earthly matters, His disciples misunderstood His reply. Jesus’ very life came from obeying His Father. Because of Jesus’ obedience that day, the woman received eternal life. In her excitement, she brought many others to Jesus to hear for themselves, and many believed that He was indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world (John 4:39–42).
The apostle Paul understood what Jesus had been teaching His disciples. When Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, he stressed that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men” (Rom. 14:17–18).
When Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, Jesus quoted the Scriptures, summarizing the focus of His life and ministry: “Know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3). - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's interesting when God brings several people together in harmony at a random time in history.  

Where are your thoughts this day?  Consumed with worrying?  Consumed with making money?  Consumed with _________.

Fill in the blank.  We can all be consumed by things of this world.  Cleaning. Organizing. Sorting. Impressing people. Meeting people. Staying away from people or situations.  Suffice to say Satan is very thorough in how to keep the human mind preoccupied with anything other than Christ. He's had centuries to perfect his craft.  

To keep people in a state of mind that keeps them from considering the Word of God, from hearing about Salvation is his goal.  Some, have no clue on how deeply they have been played.  Played? Yes. Played.  Manipulation is Satan's art. It's his biggest thrill is to manipulate people away from God.  Just as all Heaven celebrates when one person comes to Christ, all of the demons of this world celebrate when he thinks he's won.  Notice, clearly, that I didn't say all Hell celebrates. Satan has never been to Hell. He has to visit Heaven every day but Hell is a place even He doesn't want to be.  It's, of all things, proof of God's judgment being real. So get that image of a red guy with horns, sitting on a flaming throne out of your head. That's never been the case.  Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  He goes around looking like one of the good guys. 

More importantly is you and your thoughts.  Where you take you when you're in this world.  He wants you thinking of anything else but Jesus.  He will fight till the very end of the Bible to try to keep people from getting saved.  To do so means instigating worry, fear, illness, anger, strife.  Everything he can to take a mind away from God.  One one side of the coin it's because he has lost but refuses to acknowledge the words of Jesus when He said "It is FINISHED!". The other side of the coin is he is more than willing to take every single person he can with him as he goes down.  In the final stages of the book of Revelation people who were as numerous as the sand on the seashore, who lived 1,000 years with Jesus Himself as their world Ruler - and all the benefits therein- , will join Satan in one last revolt against Jesus. People, who for a thousand years knew the love of God, will turn on Jesus. 

Right now this world is turning on Jesus. 
Corruption in all levels of government and social media are showing the blind world that they side with Satan...and they can't see it.  

They revel in their sin. They rejoice in their sin and reject anything and anyone who tells them that their life of sin is taking them to Hell.  

For all who 'preach' that alternative lifestyles are acceptable to God, that there's a place for them in Heaven, I direct you to the end of the book of Revelation, Chapter 21. "The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral persons, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

God defines a marriage as being between a husband and a wife. A man and a woman.  Only.  All other lifestyles outside of that are described by God as sexual immorality.  All. 

Look at who all is described.  These are the people who rejected Jesus as their Lord and Savior. These people lived for themselves in every sense of the word.

Both Spurgeon and Blackaby in their respective books, have strived to beg their readers to KNOW that they are saved.  To be saved is to acknowledge that you need a Savior. To ask Jesus to forgive you. To repent and turn AWAY from sin. Not staying in it.  The focus of our day should not be only about ourselves if we are in Christ. 

Let's go one more step. 

Where does your mouth say you are with Christ?

Are you using language as an excuse to keep a hold of your sin?  Oh don't give me that excuse about it being an unbreakable habit.  You swear at all and you give Satan a reason to celebrate. 

Where is your heart and mind during your day?  Do you at all think of Jesus outside of before eating and Sunday or Wednesday?  Is He at all the one friend you have that knows you better than you?

As this year ends, look at where your heart and mind have been.  If it's only been on sports, worries, anger, stress and anxiety, it's time to get back to Jesus. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Not peace but a sword

Not peace but a sword 

“I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34 NLT 

Christians are sure to make enemies. It will be one of their goals to not make enemies; but if doing right and believing truth should cause them to lose every earthly friend, they will consider it only a small loss, since their great Friend in heaven will be even friendlier, revealing himself to them more graciously than ever. Oh, reader, you who have taken up His cross, don’t you know what your Master said? “I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!” (Matthew 10:35–36 NLT). Christ is the great Peacemaker, but before peace, He brings war. Where the light comes, the darkness must retreat. Where truth is, lies must flee—or if they stay, there must be a stern conflict, for truth cannot and will not lower its standard. The lie must be trampled underfoot. If you follow Christ, you will have all the dogs of the world yelping at your heels. If you want to live in such a way as to stand the test of the final judgment, depend on this: the world will not speak well of you. The person who has the friendship of the world is an enemy of God. But if you are true and faithful to the Most High, others will resent your unflinching fidelity—it is a testimony against their own sin. Without fear of any consequences, you must do right. You will need the courage of a lion to pursue a course that will turn your best friend into your fiercest foe; but for the love of Jesus, you must be courageous in this. Risking your reputation and friendships for the sake of the truth is such a difficult deed that to do it constantly you will need a degree of moral principle that only the Spirit of God can work in you. Do not turn your back like a coward, but be courageous. Follow boldly in your Master’s steps, for He has traveled this rough way before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

There probably will come a day when I will be forbidden from writing this blog.  But it won't stop me from doing so.   The closer we get to the return of Christ, the more what Jesus said of that time reveals itself. 

A man's enemies will be members of his own house.  Even in this so-called pandemic, governments of all levels are encouraging people to turn in family members if they violate health orders. Before this, schools notified parents they have the right, not the parents, to determine what their children grow up believing. Be it about history or biology. Whether or not the parents beliefs are against what is taught or not.  If they convince the child that they are gender confused, the parents no longer have a right to stop the schools from enabling the child to pursue this.  Paving the way for a man's enemies to be members of his own house. 
In many states, new 'red flag' laws now enable neighbors or family members to have the Government enter their home to remove all firearms based on suspicion alone.  No facts are required. 

It's not a terrible leap to banning belief in God.  It's not a terrible leap to banning Bibles as they teach that which is contrary to what the world says is right and true.  It's not a terrible leap that companies who churn out e-books to decide which books violate their terms of service and delete them from your library without your permission.  They have done that already. 
Shutting down Churches has been the core of what many States are shooting for during this so-called pandemic. Stop the Church from meeting or being the hands and feet of Jesus.  Lest anyone forget this so-called pandemic began in a time when the serious push for transgender rights and privileges were being fought for in Government. When Churches were pushing back against being forced to accept them in their hiring practices.  The whole LGBTQ movement was trying to force all to accept them under the guise of diversity.  The chief people resisting this were in the true Church.  They have not given up just because of this pandemic.  Diversity programs are being crafted during this time by corporations and governments to make sure that the Church becomes an enemy of the State. 

Interestingly enough this is exactly what plays into a man's enemies being members of his own house. 

It is the crux of the 7 year Tribulation. Throughout it mankind refuses to repent of their sexual immorality.  The whole LGBTQ movement is sexual immorality in light of Scripture.  

The Governments are preparing for the arrival of one person...and it isn't Jesus. They want a Government Leader that is global.  They want to satisfy what the ruler of this world wants. They want to satisfy Satan.  Satan's aim is to pervert and kill and destroy anything and anyone who stands on the Word of God.  

Why in the world would you say all this if you're wanting people to come to Christ?

My friend, read the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say.  

Would you really walk into a ballroom, banquet tables as far as the eye can see. Ready to eat your fill, enjoy your time there. All the while knowing that the food is going to make you ill. The time isn't going to be as joyous as you had in your mind.  That the day would end in disaster?

If you knew ahead of time exactly how that day would end would you honestly risk going through it?

If you were all excited about jumping in, and a friend was trying to block your way because this friend knew the danger to you was real, would you be grateful or dismissive towards them?

But look at what all there is that's going on!  But look at you, on your deathbed later!

If you have to compromise your beliefs in God's plan and purpose then the price is too high. 

If it means people being upset with you now because you stood on the promises of God then by all means stand on the promises of God.  Would you rather disappoint God or those around you?

Read Revelation 19.  All the rest of mankind is before Christ in judgment.  All from all history.  All judged on what they did in their lives.  Then...none of that mattered if their names were not found in the book of Life.  All they did or said or thought in their lives didn't matter if their names were not found in the book of Life. 

If you live it up, go do your own thing, reveling in the day.  No regard for what Jesus said in needing to be born again.  If you live a life doing nothing but helping and loving on people, no thought to your sacrifice to do so. A Mother Teresa on steroids if you will.  It all means nothing if your name isn't in the book of Life. If you have not Salvation in Christ you have nothing.  Even if it means your enemy being in your own home.  Those in this world may destroy the body of a believer but they cannot touch their soul. That belongs to Christ. To win you may lose.  

Knowing if you are or are not in the book of Life is the most important question for you today.  Saying what I do may not make me popular and may eventually get me banned from posting in various places but I cannot stop speaking on what God tells me to say.  The precedent in Scripture says it doesn't bode well with those given a Word from God to keep it to themselves. 

The world is against God. It is as it was in the days of Noah. It's increasing.  The sexual immorality we see is getting worse. Pornography is among the highest most profitable businesses going. Human trafficking feeds it.  Which is why so many governments really aren't fighting it. Slavery still exists. People are being sold into slavery even today.  All these things are spoken of in Revelation.  Yet the world doesn't want to acknowledge it. In Revelation they cry out in anger towards God because He's wanting them to stop!
They refuse to repent of their sexual immorality. 

My friend, is your brief moment of happiness, if it truly is that, worth more than an eternity in torment in judgment?

Monday, December 28, 2020

Others won't necessarily understand what God has in mind for You

Others won't necessarily understand what God has in mind for You 

“And the LORD will guide you continually.” Isaiah 58:11 ESV 

“The LORD will guide you.” Not an angel, but Jehovah will guide you. He said He would not go through the wilderness before His people but that an angel would lead them in the way. Moses, however said, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). Christian, God has not left you under an angel’s guidance in your earthly pilgrimage: He himself is the vanguard. You may not see the cloudy, fiery pillar, but Jehovah will never forsake you. Notice the word will—“the LORD will guide you.” How certain this makes it! How sure it is that God will not forsake us! His precious “wills” are better than human promises. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV). Then observe the adverb “continually.” We will not merely be guided sometimes, but we will have a perpetual monitor; we will not occasionally be left to our own understanding (and therefore to wander), but we will continually hear the guiding voice of the Great Shepherd. If we follow close at His heels, we will not err but be led in the right way to our dwelling place. If you have to change your position in life; if you have to emigrate to another country; if it should happen that you fall into poverty or are lifted suddenly to a more responsible position than the one you now occupy; if you are thrown among strangers or cast among enemies, do not fear—for “the LORD will guide you continually.” There are no dilemmas from which you cannot be delivered if you live near to God, if your heart is kept warm with holy love. We do not go amiss when we go in the company of God. Like Enoch, walk with God (Genesis 5:24), and you cannot mistake your road. You have infallible wisdom to direct you, immutable love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you. “The LORD”—note it carefully—“The LORD will guide you continually.” - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

These days I read my Bible, a devotional from Spurgeon, Blackaby and now Dr. David Jeremiah.  

Truth be known others may not understand the walk you are on with Jesus, again, truthfully because it's not their walk. 

There are indeed all flavors of Christian people in this world. From those who barely came to Christ and have done nothing for the Kingdom to those like Billy Graham and everything in between. 

I know men who were, at one time, called to be a Pastor.  They did so for many years.  Then this Plan of God for them changed.  Now they preach a different way, on Bible Prophecy.  We indeed are in the last hours of what the New Testament says is the 'times of the Gentiles'.  A somewhat indeterminate period of time between when Israel rejected Jesus as the Messiah and His return to finish Daniel's Prophecy, also known as John's in the book of Revelation. 

Whereas there are many who go to Church for the warm fuzzies of being with others, then living for themselves the rest of the week, there are some left who seek to excel still more in their walk with God. 

I have probably met close to a hundred Pastors in my life.  As I was telling my Mom yesterday, there's only about 4 of them that I feel comfortable sitting in a Church service to listen to them. 

Some that I have met are very strong in the Lord.  Some very strong in the Bible.  Very few a combination of both. 

The New Testament warns that in the last days we will see false Teachers. The warning is for those IN the Church. The State of the Church address, should it ever happen - and it won't - there would be a great many Pastors called out for unbelief long before anything is said of the flock.

None of these posts is intended or directed to be slams or bash sessions on any particular people by me.  As God directs, so I am to write.  

But the truth needs to be stated.  There are so-called people calling themselves Pastors that certainly are not Shepherding the Church.  They are hired hands who are more concerned about their own welfare than the lives of people. I can testify to having seen this personally in my life in the last 20 years of being in Ohio.

What does this have to do with the subject? Plenty.  You see, most believers would think that a Pastor would be a man of God and by that virtue be one to readily and easily talk to about things of God.  Things like God's leading and direction for your life.  Before you take the leap to trust, examine.  Examine their lives before you blindly trust.  I speak from experience.  Have had a Pastor or two in the last 20 years who have actually blacklisted my Wife and myself at other Churches of the same denomination.  They didn't try to understand me or my Wife, yet spoke to others as if they were the Wikipedia of Brenneman. 

I have seen evil take the form of a Pastor. We were visiting a Church.  I had a odd feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I went to shake the man's hand and the whole world went photo negative. The man's face changed to that of a wicked evil grin until I let go. Obviously we didn't stay there long. 

God has a Plan for all who are alive in Christ Jesus. 

Some things that I have learned from God aren't found in seminary's.  Mainly because of what Jesus says. We are His workmanship. We go to Him to know what to do next. 

But you don't know what to do next?  Truth be known we aren't always going to know the next step we think ought to be there because God's not ready for us to move on yet. We may think the work is done but it's His work being done. We wait on Jesus. 

Godly Men are a rare flower these days that don't grow in many places.  

I have been blessed to know some very strong men of God.  What they have taught me helps me to this day.  

Scripture tells of the traits of a Godly man.  Tells us straight from Jesus what to expect from a hired hand as well.  All too often people are afraid to change or challenge others. Good thing Jesus shows us enough to determine who is a Shepherd and who is a hired hand.  But you shouldn't judge!  Wrong interpretation of Scripture.  Jesus specifically said you will know them by their fruits.  You will know them.  Whether or not you cover your ears and eyes in denial is another matter.  By seeking out Godly men you can find honest and true sounding boards to your own life. 

God says plenty on what He has in mind for you in this life.  Surrounding yourself with the appropriate people will go a long way in realizing that goal of Godly living. 

Expect trouble. Because the enemies of God don't want you growing up in Christ. 

Expect even other Christians to not understand.  You will stand before Christ alone.  Not with an attorney or advocate of any human kind.  You. You need to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Jesus said He is the way.  Follow that way.  He is the truth. Listen to the truth. 

Make sure you are growing up in Christ and make sure you aren't living in denial about who you are being 'taught' by.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

What about My RIGHTS!?

What about My RIGHTS!?!

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 2:5

Attitudes do not just happen; we choose them. Paul urged believers to have the same attitude that Jesus had. Jesus was the Son of God. His place was at the right hand of His Father, ruling the universe. No position could be more glorious. Jesus’ relationship with the Father gave Him the right to this honor.

But Jesus chose not to hold on to this right. Nothing, not even His position in heaven, was so precious to Him that He could not give it up if His Father asked Him. His love for His Father compelled Him to make any sacrifice necessary in order to be obedient to Him. When the Father required a spotless sacrifice for the redemption of humanity, Jesus did not cling to His rights; nor did He argue that He should not have to suffer for the sins of rebellious creatures of dust (Isa. 53:7). Rather, He relinquished the glory of His heavenly existence in order to become a man. He was born in a cattle shed; He slept in a feeding trough. His life was spent preparing for the day when He would suffer an excruciating execution. All of this He did willingly.
We are tempted to hold tightly to things God has given us. We say, “I would be willing to give up anything God asked of me, but I just don’t think He would ask me to give anything up!” The Father asked His Son to make radical adjustments in His life. Can we not expect that He will ask us to sacrifice privileges and comforts as well?
If you find yourself resisting every time God seeks to adjust your life to His will, ask the Spirit to give you the same selfless attitude that Jesus demonstrated. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Our world today the prevailing thoughts are all around our rights.  People aren't simply satisfied with people living as they believe, they claim you must accept every single person as they want to be claimed. If you don't then you violated their rights. 

So let's look at right's.  As God is the prevailing Word on the subject, realize from the onset that every single person born has a right to die for their sins.

It's not something that medicine can take away.  It's not something that some obscure chemical compound will cure. 

Sin isn't a defect in our physical makeup 

Sin is in our Spiritual life and is so ingrained into it that our physical body is saturated with it.  Physical therapy, psychological therapy, surgical procedures and everything invented by mankind cannot remove the stain of sin. 

You might be truthful with yourself just this once. 

You might be honest with yourself just this once. 

You might yet be standing, facing God wanting your rights accepted.  You could even be shaking your fingers or fists at God, demanding that He accepts you as you are. 

Imagine if you will, hearing a knock at your door late at night.  You were on your way to bed. You weren't sure you heard anything and were about to go upstairs when the knock happened again.  It's late. Who would be at your place this late at night?  You are cautious.  You leave the door locked as you look through the peephole to see if you recognize whom might be there.  You see a box that keeps moving around as if something were alive that was in it.  Could this be a prank?  But what if it wasn't?  You just know that you can't go to sleep now without knowing.  You open the door n hear nothing in the area. There is a note on the box. Telling you that they just can't care for him any more and beg you to help. You holler out to the area and are met with silence. Slowly, cautiously, you open the box to find a baby. Dirty and yet wrapped in a blanket. A bottle jammed in there with the baby. 

You know only one thing.  It's apparently upon you to care for the moment.  You take the box inside. You don't know much about babies but do know this one is in need of a bath.  You just cannot leave the little one like this. 

Guess what? That's you.

Jesus saw us long before we were born. He saw us in our dreadful state. 
He saw us covered in sin and reeking of filthiness. Yet He is willing and able to cleans us from all unrighteous. 

We come to Christ as a Child does. There were never Christian people who were saved as Spiritual Adults. Jesus cleans us up when we come to Christ.  He gives us new clothes. His love for each of us is all encompassing.  Just as you inevitably cannot do nothing about this mystery child in our story Jesus saw the sinfulness of men when He looked into the eyes of Adam.  Saw every single person who would ever be born until the end of time. Saw and knew that He would have to give up His rights, His life, to save that which means the most to His Father. In your imaginary story you gave up most of your nights sleep to care for that which wasn't your own.  You gave up your rights so that this little one would live.

We live in a world trying ever so much to force their belief that their rights are paramount. That you must, that God must, accept them as they want to live.  Sin has no place in Heaven. If you are left unsaved, your filthy sin nature will never be allowed into Heaven.  

Are your rights that important that you would risk it in a choice that makes a Heaven or Hell difference?

But I don't believe in God!  That's a lie. 
If you at all believe in good and bad, good and evil, you have seen a sunrise or sunset, you know enough to know that God is real.  You have seen His invisible attributes in the beauty of creation.  Denying it only proves it more. To believe something doesn't exist requires belief that in some aspect it existed in the first place. 

Today we are on the cusp of seeing more evil than has been seen since the days of Noah.  Sexual immorality is going to rise. People believing that all people must accept their sexual behavior and beliefs or you are discriminating against them.  Hatred for Christians is going to rise because Christians believe what God says about sexual immorality.  It doesn't make Christians wrong on the contrary it's proving the Bible right.  In the last days men will be lovers of themselves.  Scripture says it. You just cannot live your life without offending someone these days.  Because they are out to force people to believe as they do because they have rights!

God says that all who reject Christ are sentenced to death.  Not just a disembodiment of body n soul, but a soul sent to Hell where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Even non-believers have been documented on their deathbed crying out in pain as if they were sliding into a furnace, all the while shouting out against God in hatred. Refusing to come to Christ. 

Rights. It's been a said countless times in life of the right to remain silent. 

My Dear Reader if you don't know Jesus ad your personal Savior, being silent is the last right you want to stand on. 

Being afraid of what others think is not something to cling to. 

Being afraid of what you might lose is not a train of thought to entertain. 

If I am wrong about God then I wasted my life. 

If you are wrong about God then you wasted your eternity. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The writing on the wall: belief

The writing on the wall: belief 

“For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Luke 1:37

The angel Gabriel told Mary that God was planning to do something humanly impossible. All human logic would agree that a virgin could not give birth to a child. It was impossible. Yet this is exactly what was to happen. When God speaks of doing the impossible, it is no longer absurd. When was the last time God did the impossible in your life ? When was the last time God spoke to you about what He wanted to do and you were scared to death by its magnitude?

God still does the impossible! Too often we acknowledge our belief that God can do whatever He wants; then we add a safety clause: “But I just don’t think God will do that with me!” We become practical atheists, believing that God can perform miracles but never expecting a miracle in our own lives.
God wanted to bring salvation to all of humanity. It is critical that Mary not only believed God could perform a miracle, but also adjusted her life to the awesome work He planned to do through her. The difference between a Christian and a moral person is the divine. The difference between a church and a social club is the miraculous. Some can duplicate the morality of a Christian, but no one can reproduce the miraculous that should be a part of the Christian experience. Do you believe that nothing is impossible for God?
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

We are close to wrapping up 2020.  There's been much said about wanting to forget this year and move forward from it.  But my Dear Reader, consider the truth that is only beginning to be laid out in front of the world to see. What you believe is being revealed. 

Is it possible that another great revival will sweep the United States and yet again God will be glorified as in days gone by?

Only He knows.  But what's more important is what you believe. 

Because if you believe in Christ Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then the most important thing is to live like it.  If you're the kind to like being with Christians but aren't 'ready' to take that step, then my Friend, you are in trouble so deep that you cannot fathom it.  You're not going to get a last minute second chance.  You are living your second chance right now. Isn't spending eternity in Hell more important than all that your eyes see in your life right now?  You aren't choosing between living life and God. You aren't even looking at the right question. You are really choosing between Heaven and Hell.  

This life does...not...matter.  

The choice between believing in Christ and not is before you.  Not the warm fuzzies of being around safe believers in Jesus. 

For believers the choice before you and I is some of what Blackaby says. Do we believe in Jesus to save us but not that He has our ways before Him?  I am guilty of unbelief as any can be in God providing what is necessary and needed.  I am not perfect, just am in the process of being perfected. 

Our world is not getting better, regardless of technological marvels being brought to light.  

Look at how cultural things are being watered down. Individually is replacing culture.  How else, besides the fact it's written in the Bible, will a man's enemies be members of his own house?  It's been in the news in this last year, people encouraged by their governments to turn in anyone not complying with mandates concerning this virus. Including if you go to friends or relatives homes and see noncompliant people. Laws have been rewritten and now include things that state all that is required to have anyone's freedom restricted is a suspicion. Doesn't say that the suspicion must be based in facts. And should you be found innocent  good luck getting your rights back. 

Our world is being reshaped to fit the New World Order.  Believing in Christ is being challenged all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. That if you are a Christian business you cannot bring what you believe into your workplace. Because now the law says you are discriminating against protected people. 

What you believe is being challenged.  You cannot trust the nightly news.  It is more than evident they are working with political leaders. 

You are being told to accept the new normal regardless of what you believe. 

Interestingly enough if we look at History...again...Satan has only been using what has worked before.  Look at the book of Daniel.  Daniel's 3 friend's were turned in for not complying with mandates.  All known civilization at the time were ordered to bow down to the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar or die.

My Dear Reader...if you aren't serious about becoming a will be left behind when Jesus returns.  

You will be forced to bow down to the World Leader or be put to death.  That's as certain as you needing air to breathe. 

Today is the day to come to Christ for Salvation. Put it off no longer.  You are revealing what you really believe even if your mouth hasn't spoken it. Regardless of if you haven't said it, you are telling Jesus you don't need Him.  You would rather take your chances.  Jesus is the only way to Heaven.  Remember that.  No one will see Heaven that isn't written in the Lamb's book of Life.  Nobody. 

Time is running out. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

The writer says "I am coming"

The writer says "I am coming".

“The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” Isaiah 40:5 NKJV 

We anticipate the happy day when the whole world will be converted to Christ; when all idols will be cast down to the moles and bats; when false religion will fade away, never again to cast its deadly rays over the nations. We anticipate the day when kings will bow down before the Prince of Peace, and all nations call their Redeemer blessed. Some people despair of this. They look on the world as a ship breaking up and sinking, never to float again. We know that the world and everything in it is to be burned up someday, after which we can look for new heavens and a new earth. But we cannot read our Bibles without the conviction that, Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Does his successive journeys run. “Jesus Shall Reign,” Isaac Watts (1719) We are not discouraged by the length of His delay; we are not disheartened by the long period He allots to the church, as Christians struggle with little success and much defeat. We believe that God will never allow this world, which has seen Christ’s blood shed upon it, to be the devil’s stronghold forever. Christ came here to deliver this world from the detested sway of the powers of darkness. What a shout that will be when people and angels unite to cry, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” (Revelation 19:6 NKJV). What satisfaction we will feel in that day, knowing we have had a share in the fight, have helped to break the arrows of the bow, have aided in winning the victory for our Lord! Happy are those who entrust themselves to this conquering Lord—people who fight side by side with him, doing their own small part in His name and by His strength! But how unhappy are those on the side of evil—it is a losing side, and in this loss, people are lost forever. Whose side are you on? - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Spurgeon's last question probably ought to be the first question.   In this day celebrated by many as when Jesus first came to Earth as a baby, He told of His return. 

We can get lost in the music, the programs, television shows and movies.  We can get lost in the time off from work. We can lament the government intervention into our lives as we desire to spend time with our families. 

But truth be told in the factual truth that Jesus came once over 2,000 years ago fitting a description carved out through centuries of writings of the Old Testament. As Blackaby aptly described, fitting a fingerprint only God could make. 

The peoples distaste for Christianity is growing in this world.  It's going to, according to the Scriptures.  Look at how people WILL be, not how they might be, in the 7 year Tribulation.  Hatred for all things that call for repentance and the worship of God.  Regardless of the judgements they raise a fist at God in defiance. 

Whose side are you on?  For those who are in Christ, we won't be here during those 7 horrible years. But to be clear, those that survive that WILL be here when Jesus Himself is here, reigning from Jerusalem.  For a thousand years He will rule. As Dr. Jeremiah aptly put it, there will be no elections. No buying off officials.  No amount of bribery will work.  Those ruling with Jesus won't be bought or corrupted.  

Whose side are you on?  Are you still putting off coming to Christ? Are you still undecided?  Why? What part of this world or your life is that important to you that you would rather stay in a sinking ship rather than be rescued?  Why would you want to stand in a burning building rather that follow out the one who saves?  Why?
You have to choose Jesus.  You have to be the one.  It's not automatic. It wasn't for nothing that the price was so high that Jesus had to come, live a sinless life, die on a horrible cross. It was to give people a chance at Salvation that couldn't happen any other way.  But you still have to choose it.

Whose side are you on?  Yes today is the celebration of Christ's birthday. It can be your new Birthday too. In Christ you get a new one. Old things past away all things become new.  Jesus forgives and remembers your sin no more.  The most awesome of birthday presents is that.

As you celebrate today or not. Know the truth of the Bible has always been proven to be true and real.  All of it. 

Your denial of it doesn't make it any less true or relevant.  One day soon millions if not billions will vanish. Lies will be told as to why it happened and where those people went. The truth is we will be with Jesus.  Wouldn't be surprised if Satan's puppet says that we all went to Hell and that to avoid going there, that you must worship his puppet the new world leader. 

Open presents if you have them and if you celebrate Today.  If you don't or don't celebrate, the truth hasn't changed. 

Jesus is the reason for the season. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things

“I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things” (Isaiah 45:7 NLT)

Both day and night belong to you. Psalm 74:16 NLT 

Lord, you do not abdicate your throne when the sun goes down. Nor do you allow the world, through these long wintry nights, to be the prey of evil. Your eyes watch us like they watch the stars, and your arms surround us like the bands of the zodiac encompass the sky. The kindly dews of the evening and the helpful influences of the moon are in your hand; the alarms and fears of the night are equally with you. This is a sweet thought to me when I fret through the midnight hours, turning back and forth in anguish. There are precious fruits put forth by the moon as well as by the sun—may my Lord make me a favored partaker of them. The night of affliction is just as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love as are the bright summer days when everything is bliss. His love wraps the night around itself like a cloak, but to the eye of faith that rich robe is hardly a disguise. From the first watch of the night to the break of day, the eternal Watcher observes His saints, overruling the shadows and dews of midnight for His people’s highest good. Christians don’t believe in rival deities, good and evil battling for supremacy—we simply hear the voice of Jehovah saying, “I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things” (Isaiah 45:7 NLT). Even our gloomy seasons of spiritual apathy and public sin are not exempt from the divine purpose. When the altars of truth are defiled and the ways of God forsaken, the Lord’s servants weep with bitter sorrow—but they don’t need to despair, for the darkest times are governed by the Lord and will come to their end at His bidding. What may seem a defeat to us may be victory to Him. Though enwrapped in gloomy night, We perceive no ray of light; Since the Lord himself is here, ’Tis not meet that we should fear. “When We Cannot See Our Way,” Thomas Kelly (1815) - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

It's with bitter regret that I can look back on my life and see where I jumped onto either a bandwagon of my own creation or someone else's to rage about life's circumstances. 

I also see many people who claim to be Christians, seriously give Christ a bad name by what comes out of their mouths. 

How do people see Christ when they hear vile language and see anger and contempt all the time? 

Many years ago God brought me face-to-face with me about my anger issues.  I was simply asked by Him some questions similar to what He asked Jonah towards the end of that book. Do I have a right to be angry?  

Read that passage again that Spurgeon went to above. "I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things"

This too: "Even our gloomy seasons of spiritual apathy and public sin are not exempt from the divine purpose."

Do we really think we are that powerful enough to mess up God's eternal plans?

If you do think that, my friend, you are certainly thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to. 

Some come up with a bunch of what if's. 
What if Judas hadn't betrayed Christ? One, it was appointed for him to. He wasn't necessarily assigned the task of being doomed, but rather, God already knew his heart and exactly what would he do under those circumstances.  When you have a board the right size for something you don't go back to the pile to keep looking. Once you find what you lost you stop looking as well.
What if this happens...what if that happens. 

Ok. God created time for mankind, not for Himself. He stepped down into time over 2,000 years ago to be born, live a sinless life, die on a horrible cross.  To arise 3 days later from the dead. Defeating sin, death and the grave.  Could it have been done differently? Was it necessary? No it could not. Every minute detail, some of which we cannot fathom now, had to be satisfied in the eyes of the Father. Not the eyes of the Son, or the Holy Spirit...but the Father.  The original sin that doomed mankind originated within the concept of time.  The response to it, to save mankind, likewise must occur within time. Even that overlooked detail. Can Jesus just think it and take us straight to the New Heavens and new Earth?  Yes. But we humans need time to run its course. It's part of our DNA. The Spiritual DNA. Our physical is doomed to ashes due to sin and we will receive a glorified body later. Sin permeates out full physical existence. It's curse began with Adam and Eve but was overflowed to the Universe. 

Our lives must be lived, as Christians, to glorify God. Not ourselves.  Our lives have absolutely nothing to do with our successes in light of finding people who haven't come to Christ yet.  

We are duped into seeking fame, fortune and health here on Earth as being more important than saving lives. 

It would be comparable to having life rafts in the water after a ship went down, people spread out to save people, but the perishing must wait until those in the boats finish eating, enjoying themselves and get their hair done. 

We can be upset about life as it is happening or we can realize what we called this post.  We can force ourselves to be ignorant of what God wants done or we can be an Isaiah. Here am I, send me!
Your life can indeed be all about you, as a Christian, but you will sacrifice your treasure in Heaven.  The Spiritual successes you could have had in helping see people find Jesus will have gone to someone else. 

If you are a Christian, claim to be one, live like it. Quit with the swearing. Quit with the loose living. Quit trying to avoid working with Jesus in saving people.  Quit thinking this life is all about you. It's about what we saw Andrew doing. Hey! There's someone you need to know! Jesus is here!

We can be as much of a group of complainers as the rest of the world or we can live as visitors who've got a real home in Heaven that we want others to see too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The writing on the wall...begins with belief.

The writing on the wall begins with belief 

. . . the spot of his children . . . Deuteronomy 32:5 KJV What is the secret spot that infallibly marks a child of God? It would be presumptuous for us to answer that based on our own judgment, but God’s word reveals the answer—and we can walk safely where we have revelation as our guide. We are told concerning our Lord, “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12 NKJV). When I have received Christ Jesus into my heart, I am a child of God. That “receiving” is described in the same verse as “believing” on the name of Jesus Christ. So then, if I believe on Jesus Christ’s name—that is, if I simply trust myself, from the heart, to the crucified but now exalted Redeemer—I am a member of the family of the Most High. There may be many things that I do not have, but if I have belief, I have the privilege of being God’s child. Our Lord Jesus puts it another way: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Here is the matter in a nutshell—Christ appears as a shepherd to His own sheep, not to others. As soon as He appears, His own sheep perceive Him—they trust Him, they are prepared to follow Him. He knows them, and they know Him—there is a mutual knowledge and a constant connection between them. So the one spot, the sure, infallible mark of regeneration and adoption is a hearty faith in the appointed Redeemer. Reader, do you doubt whether you bear the secret mark of God’s children? Then don’t let an hour pass until you have said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart” (Psalm 139:23 ESV). I urge you, don’t trifle with this! If you must trifle anywhere, let it be over some secondary matter—your health, if you will, or the deed to your property. But about your soul, your never-dying soul and its eternal destiny, I beg you to be in earnest. Make sure work of your eternity.- C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening. 

Belief is a strong but critical word. 
With it perception changes.  

With it you are who you appear to be, regardless of who you say you are like. 

You can say anything to alter a situation.  The truth of what you believe usually wins out. 

God's prompted me to write on this more than a few times, but, in leading a Church, it has to be the Shepherd whom God calls, to lead it. It cannot be a hired hand. 

Pastors are to be men of God. Not women.  Pastor's are to Shepherd the flock entrusted to them.  Belief in the calling vs the hiring changes everything. 

There are many who claim that women can be Pastors. Scripture says otherwise. Jesus Himself tells parables of the hired hand.  He mentions through Paul of people accumulating for themselves teachers who tell them what they want to hear.  I have had my share of substitute teachers.  Every time one was there people tried to get them to do things differently. To honestly get them to say and do what their itching ears wanted to hear. 

Belief is at the core of every single decision to come to Christ or not. 

Belief is tantamount to who's will is going to win the day.  Yours or God's. 

As I read in Dr. David Jeremiah's book The Handwriting on the Wall, he points out how deceptive we can be to ourselves in serving.  We'll accept people living in intentional sin in order to win them over. Not being pushy about the need to come to Christ because it might scare them away.   Hmm. So if you're really concerned about a burning building falling on someone, standing next to them while it's about to come down is going to help?  Isn't the message of John the Baptist sort of plain?  Repent and turn!  Get away from the intentional sin!

We do so much to excuse away what we want to do in life because of belief.  Sin says to do what you want.  God says do what my Word says.

Hired hands have no vested interest in protecting the flock. 

In fact a very good indication is whom do they trust for their safety?  God or a group of bodyguards? Have seen this in two Churches personally!  People agreeing to lay down their lives for the Pastor!  

Doesn't it make anyone think about what these purported Pastors believe?  Don't they rely on the God of the Bible? Don't they believe that if God's able to do what He did with Daniel, Daniel's 3 friends, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle John, that He would have any difficulty in protecting them?  Any Pastor with a Security team or bodyguards to protect them, is a hired hand.  They give the pretense of being a Shepherd and probably sound like one but are not.  "My sheep hear My voice". This includes the Pastor.  The hired hand is only there as a job.

Where are your beliefs?

Do you make excuses for your sin?

Are you putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for Salvation?

Are you living as though He is your Shepherd or are you trying to Shepherd yourself?

Are you at a Church with a hired hand leading it, or is it a Pastor whom believes and relies on the truth that he is in the hands of Jesus?  

Hezekiah is a prime example of what crying out for our way in life backfires.  Because he didn't want to die he cried out to God about it. His will was what was more important.  Because God relented, out of Hezekiah came a king that was the most horrific of any, responsible for more shed blood than any in Israel.  Had God's will been done that man wouldn't have been born.  

God's will is what's important to God's plan for humanity.  

Believing and trusting in the truth of God's Word about which it says our life breath and all things about us are in His hands is the most important thing.  

There is a correlation to the hired hand and Pastoral leadership and beliefs.  You do not want to be in a Church where people are told what they want to hear.  A hired hand will ONLY be interested in keeping his job.  Regardless of what comes out of his mouth.  You want a Pastor who is a man of God whom is a called Shepherd of the local flock. 
One who preaches the whole counsel of God.  Not just the parts that give you the warm fuzzies. 

Look at your beliefs today.  In the moment you stand before Christ what you believe will determine if it's in judgment or in recognition as being a Child of God. God's belief is absolute. He knows His sheep. Make sure you know if you are or not. His sheep will be gathered to Him to live forever with Him. Those who are not will face judgment. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The writing on the's there...

The Writing on the's there...

“Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight… . 
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Luke 3:4, 6

If we are to receive the powerful presence of God, we must prepare ourselves. John the Baptist was God's messenger to help people prepare to receive the Savior of the world. John preached unwaveringly: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2). Those who heard John's message and prepared their lives recognized Jesus when He came, and they left all to follow Him. This was especially true of the disciples, whose hearts God Himself prepared (Matt. 16:17). Preparation must precede God's presence!

God's instruction for preparation is specific: repent! This involves a complete change of mind, heart, will, and behavior toward Him. He is Lord, and your life must be prepared to receive Him as your Lord. Anything less is inadequate. Some were obviously unprepared to follow Jesus and missed the opportunity (Luke 9:57–62). The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were largely unprepared for His arrival. They knew the Messiah was coming. They even knew where He would be born (Matt. 2:4–6). Yet when word came that the Savior had been born, they made no effort to join Him, preferring instead their religious ritual.
If you are unprepared, you, too, will miss the opportunity to experience Jesus. You may practice religion, but you will miss God. While others encounter the Lord personally in worship, your heart will remain unmoved. As others receive a fresh word from God, you will experience a painful silence. Religious activity can never substitute for a heart that is pure before Him. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Last night I was prompted to write the following post:

Reading Dr. David Jeremiah's book "The Handwriting on the Wall" for sure it is...if people would get their heads out of the sand.

All the flashes of light and peals of thunder in the news has so many countless people worried and stressed. Amazed and confused.  

The world seems like it's been turned on its edge.   You're right!

In the prelude to the beginning of Jesus's ministry there was one sent to do just that. John the Baptist.  He spoke of whom was to come.  He knew of Jesus.  Knew he was related to Him.  It hadn't been revealed until the day John saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus that he knew his mission was being fulfilled.

In Daniel we read of God sending His message through a hand in front of the man who would be king. He was one of two rulers over Babylon.  He mocked the God of Israel and even intentionally took this from the Temple to drink out of.  

God sent a message that terrified him to his soul.  

God is sending this world a message too. Satan is trying to keep the noise so loud that the world can't hear it. 

The same message from John the Baptist is relevant now.  The signs are showing themselves.  As it was in the days of Noah, people are refusing to take notice. 

They are becoming oblivious to what is again...God is writing on the wall. 

What you do not hear, you can read.  Yet so many professing Christians are putting their heads in the sand.  They just want to know when it will be over. That if they ignore what's going on in the world it will go away.  Problem is those people become the steward who was given a talent to use and he went and buried it until his Master came.  Is that you?

Are you a believer yet are keeping silent in a time when people must hear? 
Are you covering the light of Christ when this world needs to see their deeds that are evil?

For over a hundred years Noah was the only light in a doomed world. 

The writing on the wall is plain.

I came to provide salvation. 
I came to make a way for you to be saved, it cost me everything, but you were worth it. 
If you but come to me you can be saved. 

I am coming again and it will be soon.
There is a Great Tribulation coming.  Nothing Satan can do can stop it. 

I will return to claim those written in the Lamb's Book of Life.  Then those dark days will come. 

Will you continue to reject Me?
Will you who claim Me continue to do very little or nothing for Me?

The time is now for Salvation.  The time is not later, when you've 'enjoyed life'. You may not finish reading this before God says your time is up.  Millions thought they had a today.  When you die you either wake up in Heaven or Hell. Either opening your eyes to joy and rejoicing or to horror and shrieking misery. You choose. The greatest choice placed in the hands of mankind is that one. The writing on YOUR wall is this: Do you know Me? Am I your Savior?

Monday, December 21, 2020

Not my problem! Not so fast...

Now there was one, Anna … a widow of about eighty-four years, 
who did not depart from the temple, but served God 
with fasting and prayers night and day.

Luke 2:36–37

Your faithfulness allows God to reveal greater insight to you than to the less faithful. Faithfulness brings opportunities to you that are not given to the unfaithful. God takes pleasure in answering prayers that come from a faithful heart.

Anna had been a widow for many years. In her day, a widow had little status in society and was virtually helpless on her own. Anna spent her time, day and night, in prayer and fasting in the temple. As she prayed, she yearned to see the Messiah. God chose few people to encounter the Savior when He was born, revealing His Son only to those whose hearts were faithful and pure. Anna was one of those few. Jesus would later say to His followers, “It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given… . Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear” (Matt. 13:11, 16).
Anna continued faithfully in prayer until her prayer was answered. The answer to her prayers did not come immediately. In fact, it came near the end of her life. But God honored her faithfulness. God's redemptive plan to send the Messiah included answering the prayers of a humble widow.
Faithful praying may mean a lifetime of waiting to receive an answer. God is looking for intercessors who are willing to continue to pray and to believe until they see God's answer. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

PUSH has been used in prayer circles for years.  Pray Until Something Happens.  Funny, even the suggested words knew that one.

Where is it ever written in Scripture to really give up on someone?  Physically yes it may be time to step away from toxic people and situations, but then we drop things off and basically say "Not my problem!"  Is that how we truly view how God said to handle things? Isn't that where we pick up the shield of faith and begin earnest prayer?

Quite often in life, in countless ways, we are presented with difficult times and people.  Where does Jesus go in what we read in Scripture? To prayer. The Disciples are granted the power to have authority over demons.  They run into a particularly difficult case.  They didn't do an "Oh well! Not my problem! I tried!" And write them off.  No, they brought the situation to Jesus. 

It's disturbing to see Believers give up on situations and people as if it were a "Not my problem!" kind of thing. 

So what it's a difficult situation. 
So what there's work to be done. 

The parable of the Good Samaritan vs the Pharisee and the Priest.  Seeing people in trouble or turmoil and our reaction is to be one of them vs being the Good Samaritan ought to give us pause. 

Both the Pharisee and the Priest both did the "if I ignore it, maybe it will go away.  I might have to get my hands dirty!".  

Look at this further. He knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins. James 4:17.

I know of people who would rather walk away than get dirty knees from being on them in praying for people who have issues with God. They write people off as lost vs realizing that as long as God has granted them the ability to breathe, that there is hope.  Scripture tells us that hope is only lost when they no longer are among the living. 

So you know of people who are having trouble.  Ignorance is not bliss. Out of sight out of mind is not the answer. 

For me, personally, I hear the screams of people trapped in sin that I daily pray for.  This isn't me going crazy or anything it's a daily reminder that Spiritual warfare is real and that God hasn't given up, neither should I.  It's war.  It isn't for us to decide who is worthy of God's Salvation and who is not.  When people do THAT, then they are really playing God. 

It matters not how big or how small the battle is. It's still a battle. Spiritual warfare is going to escalate the closer we get to the Rapture.  In the New Testament we are compared to soldiers.  Soldiers fight for the one whom enlisted them.  They don't choose which battles to agree to fight in. Where their Commander in Chief, Jesus, says to go, they go.

Prayer is the most powerful opportunity for us to change lives for Christ.  I have personally seen prayer create situations where God enabled people to meet in the Spiritual world that could not in the physical world.  God made it happen. Reconciliation happened. 

Jesus told the parable of sending workers into the fields.  There were no excuses. You wanted paid you worked. 

We claim we want that crown of righteousness to return to Jesus, we are given opportunities to earn it. 

What are you doing?  Playing the Priest, the Pharisee or the Good Samaritan?  Will you go the extra mile in prayer?  I am praying for two specific people. Demonic activity has them trapped.  I know that God hasn't given up on them because He still wants me to keep praying for them. They are still alive and still worthy in God's eyes. 

We are a people of cop outs. Don't have time. Too much effort. Looks like too much work.  Pharisee and Priests. 

Pray without ceasing is the command. Not the suggestion. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Opposition in this World

Opposition in this World 

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying: “Arise, 
take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until 
I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”

Matthew 2:13

Whenever God clearly speaks to you and you obey His will, you can expect to face opposition. Spiritual assaults and attacks by the ungodly are not always signs that you are out of the will of God; they may even indicate that you are in the very center of God's will. Mary's husband, Joseph, was a righteous man who feared God, yet his obedience to God forced him to flee for his life to a foreign country. Joseph's hardship came, not because of his sin, but because of his obedience. Although Joseph and Mary were forced to move to another country, they remained in the center of God's will.

Jesus warned His disciples to expect persecution from the world as they obeyed the Father. He reminded them that they would not face persecution alone, for Jesus, too, had faced the hostility of the world and had been victorious (John 16:33).
Do not become discouraged when you face opposition. Opposition may indicate that you are acting in obedience to God. Examine your heart. If you have done what you know He has asked you to do, trust Him to see you through the antagonism that comes from those who are not walking with Him. When they encountered persecution, the disciples did not ask God to remove their opponents, but to give them boldness as they faced opposition (Acts 4:24–31). God's will for you may involve hardship, as it did for His Son (John 15:20). - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

A great many people in this world are oblivious to the machinations of Satan.  
Some refuse to believe that they can be manipulated others deny the existence of God but will acknowledge the possibility of evil.  Honestly that last one is like believing in one side of a coin, that you can see heads, and denying that tails exists. 

The Church, the true Church, is indeed protected of God through the Holy Spirit. He is the Paraclete, He who is a Christ of another kind.  Whereas a great deal of news we see today is very much manipulated, it escapes the notice that persecution of the Church is increasing. 

Satan is trying to force his way into the Church to change it to worship him and not Jesus.  He's creating factions that claim to be part of the true Church that teach heresy as something that should be just welcomed. Such as women Pastors or homosexuals claiming to be Pastors. 

Scripture is clear that in the last days these things would be happening and to be on the alert for them.  NOT to welcome them but to be ready for their assault. 

Only people blinded welcome sinful teachers into the fold of the true Church. 
Satan knows that there's two major groups of people who are the easiest to manipulate. The very young and the very old.  One group you can plant seeds that you have time to nurture into something, the other is set in their ways and unless they had a hearty Spiritual upbringing they don't put up much in the way of a fight against his schemes. 

Our part of the world Christian people are coming under an ever growing threat from Satan.  His attacks are coming from all forms of legal actions.  His attacks are coming from manipulating public opinion. That whole concept of inclusion and diversity is, for all worldly intents and purposes, one sided. It's meant to try to ostracize the Church for not following along in accepting people as they are, in their sinful ways. They are labeled as discriminatory if they do not include them.
Threatened with revoking their tax status, threatened with multimillion dollar lawsuits to shutter the doors.  Using public pressure on Churches for 'making people feel bad' because they tell them that the life they live is due to sin. And that sin requires Salvation in Christ Jesus to be removed. 

In the coming days ahead we are going to be seeing a greater battle against the true Church.  This China virus didn't delay the attacks it is there to help mount new attacks on Christians and the Church. To find new ways to shut down Churches. 

Just prior to the Rapture the attacks on Christians will be very severe.  The world is going to feel cheated when the Rapture takes place and they can no longer go after someone for being a Christian.  Satan will produce a lie that the deceived world will believe about why people vanished.  

Read that again. Satan will produce a lie that the deceived world will believe. 

The Holy Spirit will step aside when the Rapture takes place.  He has been the restraining influence against Satan for over 2,000 years.  Satan is NOT more powerful, either by himself or in vast numbers.  Read the ending of Revelation. After a thousand years of Christ ruling the world, Satan will be released to deceive the world one last time. Jesus will only speak and the world and Satan will be done away with. "No contest" doesn't even come close to how utterly devastating the defeat will be against Satan and the world. 

Expect greater pressure in this world to conform to worldly behavior. To accept that which God says is sin. In the name of inclusion and diversity.  False teachers are rampant in the Church as well.  We were warned in the Bible to be watchful for them.  They disguise themselves as Angels of light, just like Satan. But their personal lives prove without a doubt they are not saved.  They are angry, bitter, they mistreat family and friends. They are dishonest and self-serving. Pride rules their hearts. They are amateurs at deception but are successful at it. Even, if possible, deceiving the elect. Calling themselves teachers but are not. Sadly I know false teachers. Prayer is the only way to engage them. They will never listen to reason. 

We are certainly in the last days.

Before I can finish asking in prayer to Jesus about how soon, He answers "Very soon".

To all who read sure of being saved in Christ Jesus alone.  Not because of who you went to Church with. Not because your family went to Church. Not because of infant baptism. You have to ask for forgiveness of sins and to be saved. You have to ask Jesus to save you. You. Nobody will be standing with you when you are before Jesus. Just you. 
I know when and where I was when I asked Jesus into my life, to forgive me and save me.  Do you? Can you say that you know when and where you gave your life to Christ?  Don't let worldly pressures influence you.  Don't let threats against the Church dissuade you. Once you are saved you are then a Child of God.  It matters not what happens to our bodies.  Our world is dying, not from global warming, but because of sin. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast."

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

What has gone right and wrong in your life is meaningless compared to where your eternity will be spent!

Know today. Know today. Again, know today!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Dethroning your idols

Dethroning your idols 

So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

Acts 19:20

Paul's world worshiped idols. No idol was more revered in Ephesus than the goddess Diana. The great statue was housed in a magnificent temple and was recognized as one of the wonders of the world. An idol-making industry, providing a livelihood for many people, developed in Ephesus to support the widespread idolatry of the day.

Paul did not go to Ephesus to condemn those worshiping idols but to unashamedly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. As Paul shared the truths of God, and as people were set free from sin's bondage, idol worship began to decline. The contrast between stone carvings and God's power to change lives became obvious. The righteous lives of the Christians stood in stark contrast to the hedonistic practices of the idol worshipers. The victorious Christian witness was so compelling that the economy of the entire city was thrown into upheaval as idolatry diminished in favor of Christianity.
Our society is as idolatrous as Paul's was. Rather than worshiping statues, we choose possessions, pleasures, or careers as our gods and pour our time, finances, and energy into these things. We do not have to seek out and condemn today's idols. Rather, as we live out our Christianity, enjoying the abundant life God gives, our lives will discredit the idols around us. We may face opposition and hostility from those who are angered at the contrast between our God and theirs. People do not like to have their idols dethroned! Yet as we uphold Christ with victorious, purposeful lives, others will see a difference and be drawn to Him and the life that He offers.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

At some point or another you hopefully realize that there are things in your life, outside of God, that are consuming your life. 

It can be anything at all.  Television, movies, reading, even the escaping from reality in any of its forms.  Sports in all its forms.  

People are easily sucked into following along with idolatry.  When we first moved to central Ohio, at the place I was working, i had coworkers getting really vehement with me because I wasn't automatically a Ohio State University fan. If I was from Ohio, if I was living where I was, I MUST be an OSU fan!  Nope.  In sort of retaliation, sort of not, I flagrantly made sure to wear the University of Michigan apparel.  

In the years since that and other things that I found myself collecting began showing themselves for what they were.  Idols.

I will not wear a baseball cap with anyone's logo on it.  Will not wear a t-shirt with sports on it for that reason.  It's not that it's causing me to stumble but in our world of immersed idolatry it will accidentally encourage someone else to participate in idolatry.  Yes I worded that comment correctly. I said will accidentally, not might accidentally.  If you are a Christian you are under a microscope by the enemy of God. Always looking for a reason to go before Jesus, to point at you and exclaim "Ah hah! Look at what they're doing!"

My friend, if you are a Christian, be sure to read the opening Chapters of Job. Specifically pay attention to the questions that Jesus asks of Satan. 

If you are not a believer, find a Bible and read that book yourself.  You might begin to learn of some of the whys of things that happen in your life. 

Celebrities are high on the list of idolatry.  They live for positive publicity.  Their agents manipulate circumstances to get them free PR.  Celebrities who stay 'fresh' stay in the money.  Political leaders stay in their monopoly to stay in the money.  Dancing the Potomac Two-step to stay in power. 

Idolatry was rampant before the Genesis Flood.  Civilization was thriving.  Huh? The ark showed no signs of technology!  Yes, it did.  It was built to exacting measurements.  It was built with such Engineering skill that it had no trouble weathering the storms.  It was as precisely built as what you see modern day Amish building anything they do.  Not enough proof? Look at the insanely high tech fossils found.  Transistors that even today we cannot power up. Spark plugs that look to have the ability to power massive engines.  

Jesus said life would be like the days of Noah. Darkness would be thriving.  Noah was mocked and ridiculed for a hundred years for preaching on repentance. From the times of the Apostles til now preaching Godly men have spoken on repentance. 

For a hundred years I suspect people laughed at Noah, building a boat on dry land. Laughed at Noah asking him just where this promised flood was at.  Things were going on as they always have been.  People marrying and being given in marriage.  No reason to change!  Wait.  That's the same things people say today since Jesus arose from the dead!  Where is the promise of His coming? Life goes on like it always has!  Look at this Earth. There is ample evidence everywhere that the Global Flood took place.  God kept His promise.  Jump forward to 2,000 years ago. God kept His promise. Jump forward to now. You better believe God will keep His promise. 

There's two ways idols are removed from your life.  Willingly and unwillingly.  Because you remove it or God does.  As a Christian you invited Jesus to live in your heart and life.  There's no room for anything or anyone else in your heart and mind. Scripture says that Jesus is the lover of your soul.  

What are you holding onto that keeps pushing Jesus to take the back seat?

We all battle with idols.  Even Lot was troubled in Spirit because of what pressure people around him doled out towards him to join in.

Look at what you wear.  Are you a walking billboard for an idol?  Newsflash. If it is for a sports team or celebrity or something other than pointing people to Jesus it's a billboard for an idol.  You, my friend, are telling the world who YOU worship.  YOU are saying you worship something other than God. Denial is the beginning of the proof that you are an idol worshiper when you wear or outfit your home or vehicle with symbols of idolatry. 

Look a your life.  The Old Testament has a great deal in it about the Lord Jesus's hatred for idolatry. Not simply a dislike, HATRED. 

Friday, December 18, 2020 the Spiritual

And the evil spirit answered and said, 
“Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

Acts 19:15

Paul had a powerful walk with God. God used him so mightily that extraordinary miracles occurred through his life. Cloths that touched Paul were taken to the sick, and the sick were healed (Acts 19:10–12). Evil spirits were cast out. Paul's preaching and teaching were instrumental in building a strong church in Ephesus. Paul's ministry was so impressive, in fact, that others tried to duplicate it. Seven sons of the chief priest, Sceva, attempted to cast out demons the way Paul did. They confronted an evil spirit and attempted to exorcise it “by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” These men were trying to use a spiritual power that Paul had acquired after years of walking closely with his Lord. They could imitate Paul's words, but they could not duplicate the power that was his through his personal relationship with God. The evil spirit retorted, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” The demon then viciously attacked them and humiliated them. The evil spirits were fearfully aware of Jesus (James 2:19); they were familiar with Paul's influence over the powers of darkness. But the demons had no knowledge of the seven sons of Sceva.

You can duplicate the words and deeds of a spiritually mature Christian, but you cannot inherit his or her walk with God. Christian maturity takes effort; it comes over time. If you ignore the place of prayer and if you neglect your relationship with Christ, you will not grow in your faith. Imitating the faith of others will not give you victory. Only as you nurture your own relationship with Jesus will your life be filled with spiritual maturity and power.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

In our day and age Hollywood has created some things that, should you be able to bring someone from even 20 years ago to the present day, they would consider what they see as real as the ground they stand on.  Horrors, science fiction, aliens, even watered down fiction about Satan and demons.  Looking at YouTube you can find people who've immersed themselves so much into this escapism that they can't function without it.  They truly believe what they are involved in.  It blows my mind to see just how far people go to mimic this false reality. 
Satan has been the primary force behind these deceptions from Hollywood.  Christian themed movies are mostly made elsewhere.  As Scripture says what does light have to do with darkness?

People will believe in concepts like a show called Lucifer and will laugh off things like movies portraying God as someone who isn't at all like the God of the Bible.  They won't take God seriously but they will take prideful, selfish indulgence seriously.  They want what they want, when they want it.  You must accept them as they are, and they don't have to accept Christians as they are. 

Scripture says that in the last days lawlessness will increase.  People don't and won't listen to the truth.  If you read in Revelation 9, even after horrific judgments upon the Earth in the early years of the Tribulation, it says plainly that mankind refuses to repent of their ways. Read it: 

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands so as not to worship demons and the idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders, nor of their witchcraft, nor of their sexual immorality, nor of their thefts.

This was after billions had already just died from obvious judgments with a Spiritual nature. The things that had attacked mankind surely were not of the Earth. 

People are caught up also in a medical world that is controlled by Satan as well.  It's extremely ironic that their first rule is "Do no harm".  Yet in how people are 'treated' they hardly follow this.  Long gone are the days of being treated with the intent of Doctors to actually heal people. They need repeat customers or there's no money in it.  They do not at all consider demonic activity as the reason for behavior or physical problems.  Yet it's extremely clear that in the Gospels this was everywhere even back then. 

The Spiritual world exists. If you acknowledge evil then you must acknowledge good. If you acknowledge any aspect of Spiritual activity then you must include the reality that God exists. 

Even in the days of King Saul, medium's and spiritists were banned.  Yet he sought one out to talk to Samuel.  These kinds of people, the medium's and fortune telling people are demonically controlled.  Demons are real. You see them in the news and do not recognize it in what you see.

Even now, someone reading this is going to deny what is being said.  

Demons trap people. Demons are fallen Angels from the Kingdom of God. They left with Satan when he tried to usurp the Throne of God before this world was born. 

I know, personally, of people who are trapped by demons.  As Jesus told the Disciples, when they weren't able to cast out a certain type of demon, only through prayer can those kind be dealt with.  You think those demons gave up?  Unless Jesus made them go somewhere away from people they came back to go after someone else. 

The reality of what is coming upon this world isn't global warming or pandemics. It isn't fossil fuels or carbon emissions. It is the last of the calls to repentance before Christ returns.  Yet as we read people won't.  I still believe that the Spiritual warfare against Christians will reach a fervor like it was at its beginning in the book of Acts. Persecution will grow. Satan wants to destroy the Church. The world will feel cheated when the Rapture happens and the true Church is taken.  The evil in this world will explode after the Rapture.  You think these bombings, these wars, are bad? They are a schoolyard brawl compared to what's coming. 

Your only hope in these ever intense times is a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Only by coming to Christ for Salvation can you be protected by the arms that bore your sin on Calvary. You can be scared all by yourself or you can seek out the one who always has the power to save.  So-called mental health experts are calling this so-called pandemic a mental health crisis.  This is still Spiritual warfare.  In the tombs Jesus found one who was thought to have mental problems. The man was possessed by demons. People get treated every day for illnesses that aren't physical in nature. 

Getting your life right with God is always where you should begin.  But even some Christians will believe their Doctors before they believe God's Word. 

Look at the world around you. Really question what you have allowed yourself to believe.  If your beliefs aren't based in the Word of God then you likely have been deceived. 

Continue in prayer those of you who are believers. The day is fast approaching for our departure. 
For those of you still refusing to come to Christ, oh the horrors you will be experiencing both now and after the Rapture. 

I implore everyone to get on your knees and get your life right before God. Now.
Not later, not when you think you will have time.  Now.  The demons believe in God and shudder.  They more than some of you.  They know what the Bible says and know that their future is certain. That God's will WILL be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.