Friday, December 31, 2021

Being a Doer IS Being a Disciple

Being a Doer IS Being a Disciple
By David Brenneman 

Revelation 22:12 NASB "“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to reward each one as his work deserves."

James 1:22-25 NASB "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does."

John 15:7-11 NASB "If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.  Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

Matthew 25:14-29 Parable of the Talents 
Acts 17:11 NASB "The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these people were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so."

Luke 9:23 NASB "And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

2 Timothy 2:3-5 NASB "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules."

My Dear Reader, God began picking these various Scriptures last night as I was going to bed.  Today I looked them all up and put most here for you to read and examine. 

I was finishing my reading through the Bible in a year today and that opening reference to Revelation 22 stood out, this went right into the message for today. 

We head to James where we read about the responsibility of a Believer in being a Doer of the Word.  We read of passages from Jesus, Timothy and others. 

What are you doing in your life towards obedience?
Do you only go to Church to listen and not do anything?
Do you do nothing with God throughout the week?
Are you deluding yourself in regards to salvation?

The Lord Jesus had some pretty harsh words for the people in Malachi. It was in regards to tithes and offerings but it showed that He knew their hearts. He knew their hearts were not in serving God. 

Jesus was a Master teaching His Disciples. The Disciples were instructed to go make more Disciples in the Great Commission. We can read one or all the 4 Gospels to know what a life that follows Christ is about. 

You aren't living for yourself. You live to do the will of your Master, Jesus Christ. 
You aren't doing your own thing, you are doing that which you are taught. 
You aren't wasting time, energy and money on things that do not align with your Master's wishes. 
You aren't neglecting time with your Master. 
You seek to obey in all you do. 
You listen when He speaks and as Jesus said, His sheep know His voice. 

A doer of the Word lives out their sanctification and salvation.  Each day working out their salvation. Each day seeking to show a lost world the Light of Christ. Not just a few hours on a Sunday. 

We ought to be living lives that so reflect the Son of God so much that people are interested in knowing more. 

We see easily in Jesus’s question to Peter and what immediately followed that Peter confessed that Jesus was indeed the Christ. Then put his foot in his mouth a few seconds later to be rebuked.  We must be alert as the Scriptures tell us to be.  We cannot leave room for an attack by Satan.  

Reality is this: for Believers Satan must get permission to do things to us. He needs no permission for the unbelieving. 

We are told to expect life to be difficult as a Believer because once we come to Jesus we are no longer of this world. We are marked as targets by Satan and his minions. We will have difficulties but Jesus said to take heart He has overcome the world. 

You who have come to Christ have a job to do in Christ. Are you doing it?
You are to be a reflector of the light of Christ Jesus. You are to be a Disciple. You are not to be seeking your own personal desires but rather desire to please the one who saved you. 

It's really sad that I see Christian people who are so immersed into this world yet they show little signs of being Christ to the lost in this world. You look at their clothes and can see idolatry. You enter their homes and find idolatry, self-centered living. Of course they would disagree with that, but compare the reality of their lives with the work of being a Disciple and they lose the argument. 

You who are in this world as a Believer are supposed to be a 24/7 Disciple.  

In my recent months of separation from my possessions I came to a rude awareness of the realization that my life wasn't as God-centered as I thought.  With my possessions in boxes just where was my thoughts during that time?  What was I drawn to?  

It's not a practical challenge but it is a challenge nonetheless. Separate yourself from what you gravitate to rather than God.  Putting everything in boxes it the long way to this, maybe just storing it somewhere for a time will reveal your hearts desires. 

My stuff is still in boxes.  My MacCave is going to be a study first.  It's going to be a prayer room. It's going to be far more God-centered than it has been in the past. 

There is no living life close to obedience yet not obeying.  There is no getting warmed by being with Believers and yet doing nothing. 

You cannot live two lives.  You see that the 12 gave up everything personal to learn to live as Jesus taught.  Everything. They knew that Jesus had the words of Life.  

You see them in the 4 Gospels taking up their own cross. 

You see them learning to be like Christ. 

You can see them learning to be a Doer of the Word.

You can see...but do you?

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Making the Most

Making the Most...Excuses Abound 

If you love Me, keep My commandments. JOHN 14:15 
When Eddie Taubensee of the Cleveland Indians was sidelined by an injury, he saw a divine plan behind it. “I’m not in the spotlight anymore, which is okay,” he said. “I can handle that. In one sense, I’m free to do anything I want. But I’m going to make myself a slave to everybody—to my teammates, to whoever I come in contact with—to win as many as possible for Christ.” When Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” He meant for us to make every occasion in life, good or bad, an opportunity for obedience. As we celebrate God’s Christmas gift to us, why not ask yourself, “What gift of obedience can I give to Him today?” Perhaps you need to bring your temper under Christ’s control. Perhaps you need to change your vocabulary. Maybe God is nudging you to forgive an offense or overlook an insult. Do you need to express your love more freely to your wife? Are you presenting yourself modestly in your wardrobe (1 Timothy 2:9)? As this year slips away, it’s a good time to leave behind some old habits. Confess your sins to God and determine to give Him not idle words but obedient deeds as the new year dawns. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

God is . . . a very present help in trouble. PSALM 46:1 God is . . . a very present help in trouble.” 

God is not just present; He is very present! It’s like you telling a good friend that you are available to help them if they need you. “Oh, I hate to bother you,” they reply. “No,” you counter, “I am very much available for you. Just let me know when.” You are saying, “I am ever-available.” And that’s how God is for us. He is the most accessible help we could ever imagine. The word for trouble could be rendered as a “tight place.” God is ever-present to help us in the tight places we get into in life, when we are between a rock and a hard place. If someone is ever-present, it means they are easy to be found. We don’t have to go looking for them. In fact, we can’t. We’re stuck in a tight place! The reason God is always with us, even in our tight places, is because of what He told Moses in Exodus 33:14: “My presence will go with you.” So when we are stuck and can’t move, God is there because He is always with us. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

In the parables Jesus taught with, they were for three groups of people. The Disciples, the People there that day, and for Us. Us being every generation since they were written into the Word of God until eternity passes. 

We aren't ever given a pass on sinning. We ought to be hit with guilt when we knowingly sin.
We shouldn't dismiss sin in our lives by way of excuses either. 

In actuality these two devotionals appear in reverse order in his book on praying the Scriptures. But the topic God chose this morning demanded it.

Yesterday I was hit with a few things at once during the day, all the way from when I got up until I returned to bed last night.  Sin is always wherever I am and wherever I go. Though forgiven I am, sinning should evoke a response in me when it's evident what happened. A Godly response. We are told to be alert in the Scriptures but more often than not we get hit broadside. 

We also often make excuses to keep living how we want to in life. 

We collect things that will still be here when we die or are called home because of the Rapture. Things that those left here must figure out how to deal with.  A huge waste of their time, energy and effort. If they are looking to serve others they must stop to deal with our leftovers. 

If we indeed believe that Jesus is Lord, that Jesus is all who the Bible says that He is, that indeed He is the King that's returning soon, what manor of man or woman of God ought we to be?

Are we seeking the things above rather than the things down here?
Are we setting our minds on songs, hymns and spiritual songs?
Are we truly workers in the fields that are diligently working at whatever it is we have been called to be doing?
Are we "studying up" for our final exam in regards to the Scriptures?
Are we interested in what interests our Savior?
Are we embracing things we ought to be keeping at a distance?

Are we making excuses for not living out our lives as Christians?

Work is inevitable, but doing that work must always be as unto the Lord. 
When not working what occupies our time?  Regardless of generations of teaching it, we don't deserve expensive this or that. We don't deserve to spend hours doing nothing for our Savior. 
Look in the 4 Gospels.  Where do you see that as an option?

We make excuses such as "that's just the way that I am".  No, before coming to Christ that's what you WERE.  If you are not coming to Christ to become more like Christ, what was your reason for coming?  Because Jesus’s intent in saving people is to make them holy as He is Holy.  His intent is to not leave them as He found them. We either embrace Jesus’s plan or ours in regards to life's choices. 

We are supposed to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. 

We aren't going to be feeling very good when we give an account of our lives and are explaining away our wasted time in worldly pursuits. 

God loves us too much to leave us the way He found us. 

I am in a vastly different experience than I have been. I am choosing to sideline my hobbies so that I might focus on what God's putting before me. He gave me a clean slate to start from again and the ability to see it as such. 

If I really believe that Jesus is coming soon, should I be any other way?
We have friends who left everything behind in Ohio to go to California because God impressed upon their hearts that His return is soon. 

There's parables of Bridesmaids being ready when the Groom is ready to come. 
Are you among those prepared or among those who won't be ready?

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Promised Return A Headline You Will Never See in Print

The Promised Return A Headline You Will Never See in Print 

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you also will be." John 14:1-3 NASB 

We read elsewhere in the Bible this scoffing word also:  
"and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4 NASB 

My Friends read the rest... verses 5-9

"For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people.

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance."

Some point to this or that concerning the return of Jesus Christ. Some pointing to other Scripture that is Jesus saying that no man knows the day or the hour.  This much is true.  However, after His obedience to His Father on the cross, King Jesus knows. 

Some, I have heard, make attempts at saying you cannot point to a single verse and call it a prophecy.  Interesting that thought considering on more than one occasion Jesus points to single verse places in the Old Testament concerning Himself. Places you might never look at. 

Zechariah 9:9 NASB "Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is righteous and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

People, even in this very hour, are striving to live life their way, without any moral fortitude. We see things in the headlines that we never would have even 10 years ago.  People rejecting the call of Jesus towards salvation as any way to live life because they refuse to give up their pleasures. Know this first passage well, it's indeed a hope to all who believe. We know through a right relationship with Jesus that our hope isn't in vain. 

Read Revelation a matter of hours after being released, people will gather like the sands of the seashore in rebellion against God after Satan is released from his prison of a thousand years.  Hours.

We see easily in that statement that he has been the architect of rebellion against God.  We see it, people can be shown it, but even in this age of grace and mercy people still reject it.  They don't think any evil is doing anything in their world.

Read on:

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 NASB "Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in trickery nor distorting the word of God, but by the open proclamation of the truth commending ourselves to every person’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants on account of Jesus. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

This world won't even believe it when Jesus returns. They will believe the lies of Satan in regards to what happens when millions of people vanish. A world leader will rise up that will be very persuasive whom they will believe. 

I don't know the day nor the hour of His coming.  But if you continue in reading you see that Jesus left clues. You won't know it precisely because at the time of His saying it He wasn't being precise. 

Prophecies continue to come true from the Bible.  The Reader of the Bible can see and can know that the time is short. There's not much left to come true before Jesus does return.  Priests have been getting trained in Israel. They have everything to build a new Temple. They have the means to cleanse it Biblically. They have an abundance of Red Heifers. Jews the world over are leaving their various countries in which they were scattered by God to return to Israel. They can't explain what's driving them to do so but the answer is found in the Bible. God said He would gather them. 

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? 

Do you see the world driving headlong towards a one world government?  Again the Bible said that would happen. 

You are being pleaded with by God to come to Jesus for salvation. Soon there will be horrors unleashed upon the world unlike anything anyone has ever seen. The Judgment of God is coming after all Believers leave.  You can look at the last year or so and see for yourself that control is what governments want. Which is what the god of this world wants. 

I implore you not to wait. There are no second chances. 

Come to Christ while He may yet be found.  Isaiah 55:6.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Oh to be Forgiven

Oh to be Forgiven 

Your sins are forgiven you. 

Lord God, You will forgive my iniquity, and my sin You will remember no more. Who can forgive sins but You alone? You are He who blots out my transgressions for Your own sake; and You will not remember my sins. I am blessed, for my transgression is forgiven, and my sin is covered. I am blessed, for You do not impute my iniquity. Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity? You in Christ forgave me. The blood of Jesus Christ Your Son cleanses me from all sin. If I say that I have no sin, I deceive myself, and the truth is not in me. If I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive me my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. As far as the east is from the west, so far have You removed my transgressions from me. Sin shall not have dominion over me, for I am not under law but under grace. Having been set free from sin, I became a slave of righteousness. 

Pardoned, forgiven, cleansed, set free from sin, and loved by You— Lord God, I am richly blessed! 

MARK 2:5; JEREMIAH 31:34; MARK 2:7; ISAIAH 43:25; PSALM 32:1–2; MICAH 7:18; EPHESIANS 4:32; 1 JOHN 1:7–9; PSALM 103:12; ROMANS 6:14, 18
- Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God (Praying the Scriptures)

There's much relief in the power of forgiveness.  It tears down walls, it destroys strongholds that we can easily build between ourselves and others as well as between us and God. 

The unbelievers in this world live in Spiritual darkness and have no understanding of the things of God unless they come across someone living in the light of Christ Jesus. 

Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB "But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."

People living in darkness cannot see the truth of God in Christ.  It's also possible for believers to live so much in the world that they forget the freedom in Christ that they have. 

They wonder why this or that isn't going right, why depression constantly follows them. 

Truth is God’s never moved. 

Read the story of the Prodigal Son. The Father sits outside the house constantly looking at the horizon for any sign of a returning wayward son or daughter. 

The Jews of Jesus's day were far removed from practicing forgiveness. Even in light of the results of seeing the profound life changes happening right before their eyes they didn't get it. All it did was enrage them towards the desires of Satan to crucify Jesus. 

Some of the hardest times in my Spiritual journey have been when I took the real and true step towards God in asking for forgiveness. I can remember those moments after a few services that sobs wracked me. The Spirit was doing a major work in my life.  As the Bible said, so it was, I took 1 step back towards God and there He was, eager to forgive and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. 

We don't have to live at a distance from God.  

We who are in Christ have the immediate ability to come into the Holy of Holies to the Throne of God to ask to be forgiven.

Those who haven't been saved yet who do not yet know the power of forgiveness as the Spirit isn't in them are but a request away, no farther. Salvation starts with acknowledging your need for a Savior. Jesus promises to cast your sins as far as the east is from the west. Remembering them no more. 

We think on our offenses to a Holy God as being insurmountable. That they are too big and too bad to be removed.  When Jesus was on the cross all sin of all mankind was heaped upon Him.  All the worst sinful atrocities at every point in human history past, present and future. 
Including everything you think is too horrible to mention.  

Oh my Friend, my Dear Reader, believers and unbelievers, one and all: forgiveness is right before you and I.  

You need wait no longer.  You need not worry about consequences, in this world there indeed might be some, but in Christ you won't be alone in them. Before Salvation you would have been alone in them, but never afterwards.

Go to your knees in faith, asking Jesus to forgive you. Forget about going to Earthly so-called priests. Jesus ripped open the Temple curtain. There's nothing to be in the way any longer. 

Experience the freedom in Christ Jesus that you have been missing.  

You can trust Jesus with saving you, you certainly can trust Him with forgiving you after you do come to Christ. We all still sin in this life, until the Rapture or He calls us home we indeed will sin.  We can choose to return to God. Unbelievers can choose to come to Christ for salvation. The resurrection power brought choice. 

Your burdens of life to much to bear? Jesus is still the answer. 
Your heart weighed down? Jesus is still the answer. 
You feel dirty and unlovable? Jesus said with open arms "I am still your answer".
You struggling to make sense of life? Jesus is still the answer. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

When Life Isn't Fair

When Life Isn't Fair

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 

When we try to live our lives in our own strength, we ultimately fail. And if we don’t fail, we fall very short of God’s purposes for us. When we operate in the flesh, three things are always true: (1) we will always lack the power of the Spirit, and we’ll suffer from fatigue; (2) we will always lack the vision of the Spirit, so we’ll suffer from frustration; and (3) we will always lack the sustaining ministry of the Spirit, so we’ll suffer from failure. Do these consequences sound familiar? You will always suffer these results when you tackle life in your own strength. But when tragedy strikes—an illness, financial hardship, rebellious children—you turn to God. When you feel helpless, inadequate, and weak, the Spirit of God gives you strength. All of a sudden you realize something dynamic is going on that you have never experienced before. It’s not your power; it’s God’s power. The apostle Paul admits that if it takes weakness to get God’s power in his life, he’s better off weak than strong. Because when you are weak, then you are strong. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Life isn't fair. As the movie quote goes on that subject: But that's not fair!  Listen kid, are for tourists!

We often look for and strive for a peaceful life.  We seek it on our terms. We look to create it based on our feelings and desires.  We also are honestly very arrogant about it, claiming reasons like it's something we deserve!

The reality is finding rest is only found through the work of the Spirit. Rest isn't going to be found in anything or anywhere on Earth.  Oh we can spend hundreds to thousands of dollars for a vacation but it doesn't always follow that peace and rest happened. 

What Dr. Jeremiah mentioned above about something extraordinary happening when we find God's power at work in us. We can't readily explain it. We often just find ourselves on the other side of the situation looking back yet not knowing just how we got there.

In the nearly 60 days of this intense shift between Columbus to where we are now, on more than one occasion that was the case. 

I believe that I saw 2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB "And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." happening before my eyes several times. 

I went through one of the nastiest rains I had ever experienced.  Went through much despair at times because of the separation of my Wife and I.  The severe intensity of moving. What to keep, what to get rid of. Where to take it, the lack of sleep in the mix. 

People spend countless hours and billions of dollars trying to find peace and happiness only to find the truth of the Bible in that all of our attempts are temporary.  None of it will last.  

In many posts we've read about how we are to be Disciples of Christ Jesus.  

Let's call the truth of this kind of life "Christian Reality". In this reality look closely in the four Gospels. You're likely not seeing it but when you look you will find it. The lives of the 12 lived in denial of self...yet in the case of all but one...they learned the peace of God only came through denial of self.  Denying the desires of this world in order to fulfill the desire of God. To seek and save the lost. 

It's part of my conundrum if you will about my hobbies.  I have once before given away or liquidated if you will much of my hobby stuff.  It all came back and then some.  Before me now I clearly see it on one side and the work of the ministry God's put in me on the other.  For sure my hobbies are not to be a priority before my ministry that I have been called to do.  

I ceased collecting useless things when God had me purge in this move.  

Make no mistake it's been a very emotional thing.  The struggles from where I used to work have been worse than I ever knew until I was no longer under them.  When the reality finally hit me weeks after leaving it behind, I almost cried, the relief was that profound. 

We struggle and often don't understand why.  Yet if you are in Christ, get real, you more than likely know why but are really hoping it isn't that. If you were as honest with you as Jesus made His Disciples be with themselves you would acknowledge what He's doing in your life. 

If you aren't learning to be more like Christ in the Church you attend, then quit dawdling, be upfront with your prayers and ask God where you should be going.  If He already has answered and all you have are excuses not to go there, then aren't you disobeying God by not following through?

If you are indeed as Dr. Jeremiah said suffering from fatigue, frustration and failure, the chief reason is that's what striving after our will being done gets you. When it's His Will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven we see that peace of God that passes all understanding that the Bible speaks to. 

The Christian life isn't complicated. Jesus said His load is easy and His burden light. He said to come to Him all who are weak and weary and you will find rest. Within this observation of the Disciples in the four Gospels we see denial of self, taking up their own cross and following Jesus. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Consider Your Ways...Says the Lord

Consider Your Ways...Says the Lord

Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. PSALM 37:4 

Tracing the word delight through the Old Testament, I was surprised to learn that the majority of its uses are in relationship to the Word of God—delighting in the Word. The psalmists delighted in God’s will as expressed in His law (Psalm 40:8); delighted in His statutes (119:16); delighted in His commandments (119:35); and delighted in His precepts and law (119:69–70, 77, 92, 174). There is a profound relationship between delighting in the Lord and delighting in His Word. Think about your relationship with a person who is the object of your affections. Your conversations, the letters you receive, the phone calls you share—their words are a reflection of who they are. So to delight in that person’s words is to delight in them. And the same is true of our relationship with God. To trust in God is also to delight in Him and His promises. No Christian who delights in what God says about the future (“I will provide for you”) can also be found worrying about the future. When delighting in the Lord is your focus, everything else is brought into perspective. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. MATTHEW 2:11 

O’Henry’s famous short story “The Gift of the Magi” tells the story of Jim and Della, each of whom wanted nothing more for Christmas than to give a gift to their beloved. Della sold her beautiful hair to a wig maker to buy Jim a gold chain for his watch, while Jim sold his watch to buy Della beautiful combs for her hair. The sacrifice of their most treasured possessions showed the depth of their love. Wanting to give the greatest of gifts to one’s spouse is understandable. With each passing year of a relationship, love should deepen and gifts become more precious. But when a small group of astrologers journeyed from their distant land to bring expensive gifts to the infant Jesus, it was a remarkable act of worshipful recognition. He was just a young child, born to poor parents in the most humble of circumstances. Yet somehow they knew He deserved the best they had—and they gave it. The Magi present to us a thoughtful question: if they who knew Jesus not at all gave to Him their best, how much more should we who know Him give? Make a New Year’s resolution to give Jesus the gift that keeps on giving—the gift of your love. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Consider Your Ways was the title long before I got to reading my devotionals this morning.  It came in the heels of reading in Haggai 1 and 2.  

How often do you consider your choices and the path of your life before Christ Jesus?

Yes, according to the Scriptures, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10 says this. But how often do you consider your life's choices in light of Spiritual matters?  

Your physical world and the Spiritual world are very much connected.  Your obedience in Spiritual things directly impacts what happens in your physical life.  Don't take it from me...that's what you read in Haggai 1 and 2.  Go read it.  

In Read now Ephesians 6:12 NASB "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

There's much more to your life than meets the eye.  

In Haggai we read the Lord directly tells Haggai to tell the remnant to consider their ways. Since we have the whole Bible at our very fingertips, remember this passage as well: "All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB. 

One more thing to note is this: 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB "For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths."

We are instructed to consider our ways.  To took at life as a Disciple of Jesus Christ would be looking at life.  We aren't to be looking for people to tell us what we want to hear. We aren't to be buying things for ourselves while neglecting the work of God.  Giving of tithes and offerings is something we do in gratitude back to God. Read in Haggai. Those people, regardless of the centuries, were exactly like you and I! Exactly the same.  They had nice houses they had a decent income.  Yet the works of their hands didn't amount to much because God wasn't remembered by them.

We read in the devotionals today of delighting in the things of God. 
We read of giving our best. 

Can you honestly look at your life and proclaim those two defining characteristics are found in your life?

Movie quotes come somewhat easy to me at times.  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Made references to Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1. Referring to the future being an undiscovered country.  To know the future requires knowledge only available through God who exists outside of time and space.  What mankind knows of the future comes only by what God's revealed.  Lying about future events in the Old Testament was punishable by death. 

In our day and age something different is afoot. We cannot know a future of what God can and may do through us without obedience.  In my perplexity about my present life's understanding mixed into it is this thing about obedience. A leap of faith has to be intertwined with obedience.  Obedience and trust. 

Delighting in the things that delight God. Giving our best to our Master and our Lord God. 
If giving of yourself or your tithes and your offerings is low on your list of priorities, if being in God's Word and in prayer isn't part of what you do in do you ever expect to see the real work of God in your life?  

My Dear Reader, if these things are not central to your life, if even family and friends, hobbies and interests, job and leisure are more important to you than the Spirit’s work in this world and in you, then YOU ARE NOT LIVING FOR JESUS. 

I am most decidedly in a place in my life that I sadly have never truly been.  I don't know what the future holds but I know who holds my future.  In obedience we see and can do the work in this world in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. 

James 1:22-27 NASB "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

As Paul often wrote, he said things to the Churches to stir up their minds by way of reminder. 

Hopefully today you have been stirred up. Hopefully today is your day to begin turning back to God.  To be at your "Whatever you want of me, I am yours to lead" moment of life. 

You will not be asked about nor quizzed about where you have been or the sights you have seen. Jesus will not care about the people you met or the vastness of your wealth.  You will not be questioned about anything as a believer other than the deeds you have done in the body. What you did for the work of God in your time on the Earth. You will either gain reward or suffer loss because of doing little to nothing in living out your faith. 

A now famous song called "I Can Only Imagine" has been around for quite a while. 

Try being real with yourself. Will you stand before Jesus or will to your knees will you fall? Will you be happy to see Jesus or ashamed because you know you're one of the people who have nothing to show regarding obedience?  Will you try to hide behind someone else until it's your turn to give an account?

You, my Friend can do something about delighting in God today. 

You, my Friend can do something about living in obedience today. 

You, my Friend can begin putting Jesus back on the Throne of your heart right here, right now. 

Take up your own cross and follow Me: Jesus. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Life with Christ is Always Moving Forward

Life With Christ is Always Moving Forward 

Speed isn't necessarily going to be the key or the reality of coming to Christ.  Your progress might not even see your progress yourself.  But realize the huge importance in what being His workmanship is really all about. 

We can hinder the work of sanctification but nobody is strong enough to thwart the work of the Spirit in your life. Our stubborn pride and ego are among the things we lay firm hold of that is contrary to our becoming more like Christ. Our refusal to let go of the things of this world. Our craving to keep things that do nothing to aid in our growth in Jesus. 

We are what gets in our way. 

We hold onto small and great things.
We hold onto hobbies and jobs.
We hold onto possessions and ideas. 
We hold onto even family and friends.
We hold onto things of this world.

Matthew 10:37-39 NASB "The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life will lose it, and the one who has lost his life on My account will find it."

Isaiah 53:6 NASB "All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;  But the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all To fall on Him."

Ephesians 2:10 NASB "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

We live in a world that in ever increasing ways is trying to measure everything.  We get upset when we don't see results.  We get upset when we do see results. 

We who are in Christ have a purpose in the body of Christ.  We aren't to live lives as freeloaders.  We aren't to be busy bodies either, making it only appear as though we were doing something for God.  

Galatians 6:7-8 NASB "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit."

I have heard many times from many people that God loves those who come to Christ for salvation to leave them in the state they were found. There's oh so much truth in this!

We often don't see or realize what our frustrations with life are really rooted in.  We don't even consider that God's working in us and through us in changing our hearts and minds. 

A look at the Gospels show at minimum 12 lives giving up on self and committing to the change that God was doing in their lives. 

We also often do not want to really look at the crucifixion. We really don't want to consider the hard truth about seeing Jesus taking up His cross to go to Calvary. He said we are to take up our own cross.  Luke 9:23 NASB "And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

Are you actually resisting the work of God in you or are you resting in the work of God in you?

Your life in Christ is to be a reflection of Christ. If a Spiritual Mirror were to be put before you, what would it show? 

In moving, as I have said in another post, I am being pressed to reconsider elements of my life.  I have yet to learn if what's on hold right now will stay on hold. God's not made that clear yet.  

Are you hindering the Spirit because of apparent difficulties in what "might be" asked of you?

For a very long time in my life I was afraid of what all God might ask or even command me to do.  To be in the place in life that I am now is far and away from that man that I used to be.  I had never truly taken a leap of faith before like we did to come here. I was taking a relenting by way of apparent answer to prayer as reason enough to stay where I was.  The situation always got worse after this false impression on my views of my life's situations. 

I am in a place of taking steps that I never had before. 

We are always our own worst enemy. Our sin nature wants nothing to do with God’s plan for us. We believe lies because that's easier to live with than the truth of what God wants to do with us.  We know because of God’s constantly repeating Himself of what it is He's trying to do in us but we keep shrinking back.  We even take steps to convince ourselves of how our feelings are right and true!  We have discussions with ourselves on how we must be wrong about what God's saying. He could be telling you to move as well and you make lists of how that simply couldn't be what He's saying. 

I don't know what my future holds, not in the slightest.  I just know who holds my future. 

We've heard sermons lately on Christmas songs. The classics and their real meaning when they were made.  Look at hymns. Trust and Obey.  There's Power in the Blood.  He Lives! He Lives!. 

There's good reason why we are told to think on songs hymns and spiritual songs.  Making melody in our hearts to God. 

We can create any excuse we want but know that resisting only prolongs the inevitable. 
If we persist in resisting He WILL take us out of this world. His name is on the line. 

If your life is more about you than it is about Jesus doing things through you, then my Friend you need to rethink life.  

Jesus is ready to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than we can ask or think.  Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."

Are you making excuses to stay where you are?  Age means nothing to God. Ability means nothing to God. Location means nothing to God.  A willing heart is what grows the most in Christ Jesus. 

Will You Rage As the Nation's Do and Will Do?

Will You Rage As the Nation's Do and Will Do?

The kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared. 

You, Father God, have loved me with an everlasting love. In this Your love was manifested toward me, that You have sent Your only begotten Son into the world, that I might live through Him. In this is love, not that I loved You, but that You loved me and sent Your Son to be the propitiation for my sins. When the fullness of the time had come, You sent forth Your Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those of us who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Great is the mystery of godliness: You, Almighty God, were manifested in the flesh. As we children have partaken of flesh and blood, Jesus Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. 

It is a wonderful mystery: God in flesh, the perfect and once-for-all sacrifice for humanity’s sin! All praise to You, the author of this amazing salvation plan! 

TITUS 3:4; JEREMIAH 31:3; 1 JOHN 4:9–10; GALATIANS 4:4–5; JOHN 1:14; 1 TIMOTHY 3:16; HEBREWS 2:14 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

A strange topic for a Christmas morning...asking such a question!

I don't pick them, I am to report them.  So many millions of people this December 25th morning awaken, many bleary eyed from being up late wrapping presents for others. Truth be known millions awoke to either celebrate eternity in Heaven or eternity in Hell.  Still others are on the cusp in deciding between the two.  

Rage against what? Against God's plan and purpose for mankind. For the future He has in mind for human beings. Human history isn't going to live on for centuries. Science fiction can write about fantastic things but the truth is those things are beyond impossible.  

Rage? Isn't that a little harsh?  Actually no. Not even on Christmas day.   In many places in this world people are being put to death for coming to Christ Jesus for salvation in this very hour.

Rage is a sort of focused anger. Those behind it know why they are in that state of mind.  In the book of Revelation the nations will rage against God, knowing full well that the judgments being issued forth are indeed from God’s hand.  

Many people today lash out because of what is going on in their lives.  They rage against others but truth be known they are angry with God.  They go after Christians far more than any other group of people. Jews are also under attack, but the focus of God’s plan in the here and now is the Church. After the Rapture of the Church things will switch to Israel once more. 

Anger and depression often work together.  People doing their own thing in spite of what God's attempting in their lives.  Whether you agree or not is irrelevant. Either you accept as truth that God’s working out His plan to save mankind or you don't.  Careers are meaningless, sports, hobbies, even family functions are meaningless if lived outside what God's Will and Word have to say about it. 

People raging are ironically the most covered news stories. We watch to see how bad it gets, and wait to see if someone finds a way to do worse. 

If you are not in Christ, what hope do you have in getting through this life?  Many millions of people in Hell have never given up on their raging against God.  They are those gnashing their teeth at Him because of where they are.  They are eternally angry at God’s sovereignty. They are eternally angry that it's not their will being done.  

We can give all kinds of things, all kinds of gifts in this day we call Christmas.  Nobody is promised a today or a tomorrow.  Being angry because life isn't going the way we want is a result of sin in our lives.  We who are in Christ ought to be living lives pleasing to God. 

Anger isn't postponed because of a day of celebrating Christmas.  We will look at the news at some point today and see anger and rage played out like any other day. 

Jesus Christ came to save mankind and He made it a choice.  You can choose not to be saved but you also choose all the consequences of that choice. The Bible spells it out clearly.  

People rage also because the god of this world is raging against the God of the Universe.  He stirs up people against God because of wanting to be God.  The blind rage seen in Revelation by mankind against God is horrific.  

Evil in this world is very evident, Good not so much.  We want good on our terms. Without the morality of God. We want to please ourselves rather than pleasing God. 

Evil isn't taking a holiday.  Demon possessed people are all over this world.  Fuelling the rage against God in any way they can.  

Good in our eyes still fails to reach what Good is in God's eyes. 

Jesus came to seek and save the lost in this world.  He didn't come to be served but to serve. He came to give His life for you and I.  Satan doesn't want people to find that gift of Salvation. Doesn't want people to be at peace as God provides peace. Angry people don't think straight. 

We are very good at hiding our emotions and feelings. But we cannot hide them from God’s eyes. We lie to ourselves in putting on a show for people. 

Today let your heart seek true peace with God. Forget about the gifts or the rest of what the world calls Christmas. True peace from God will extinguish anger and rage.  It passes all understanding.  It's unexplainable!

Gifts and presents will breakdown and fail but eternal life with Christ is forever. 

Today I have more peace than I know what to do with.  It's beyond words.  It indeed passes all understanding.  Christmas this year is peaceful.  

Letting go of living my life my way and letting God do what He's been wanting to do in me has been the most extraordinary thing!  

Evil men will proceed from bad to worse.  But the hope of God in Christ Jesus can and will guard your hearts and minds.  Be right before God today.  Live each day embracing what you can do to worship Jesus.  Let today be the day that you let go of whatever is between you and God.  Let that be your reason to celebrate. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Little Did I Know

Little Did I Know...

About 10 or 11 months ago I had told a few people that something big was going to happen and I was pretty sure it would be in October...Little Did I Know.

God certainly has kept His Word in His not leaving me as He found me after I received His free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus.  

He had obviously let on that in the fall of 2021 something indeed big was going to be happening...Little Did I Know what that meant. 

To go back further in my life explains maybe a little bit more. Almost a year prior I began mostly filling in as a Cell Coordinator at Honeywell.  My first time applying for it had been turned down, basically internal politics. Months later I was still filling in as an interim Coordinator. Fall of last year it was clear that the position would open up again.  I had been doing some basically great things because God granted me much favor with the powers that be. Going into early this year I once again applied. This time it was accepted. However, this officially being in the role was met with sizable interference and sizable stress. I began using Bruce Hendrick's book at work and at least within my department some amazing things happened with my people. We began accomplishing things like never before. But too the administration added more stress to things. 

But then came the word from God that something big was going to happen in October. 

God's timing is always perfect as many in the faith would attest to.  Little did I really understand about God's idea of big things. 

I am sitting in a fabulous house that is beyond a blessing with my Wife in front of a warm fireplace for Christmas. 

I am not the same guy from 10 months ago. The job, the move, has been because of a leap of faith on our part to go where God's Will would be played out in our lives. We knew we always wanted to be a part of Grace Church in Wooster. We are now in Wooster and will be attending.  

But, again, I am not the same guy from 10 months ago.  In the near 60 days of back and forth work and driving to and sleeping in a camper God's been doing a number on me from the inside. He's changing me in my way of thinking and what I am inside.  

I really am learning how to deal with this new me.  I really have been questioning my likes and dislikes. Been questioning what it is my life is to be, because I am not here in my new hometown to still be the me that was in Columbus. I am learning to do and think differently and perhaps that's also part of what God's doing since it has only come about because of this leap of faith.

My hobbies are on hold. I don't know when they will resume. I think that my MacCave will be a den for the foreseeable future. A place to study God's Word more. 

Little Did I Know...but then again...God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. When we look to Him to guide our footsteps we never know where He will take us. 
Trust and Obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus than to Trust and Obey.  

This Christmas is oh so different than any before it for me. I look forward to what God has in store.  God's still telling me even greater things are coming.  I both can't imagine what that might be and I really sit and am in wonder. I easily relate to King David's words to the Lord in the Temple. Who am I and what is my house that you have brought me this far?  

This Christmas I am blessed beyond my ability to comprehend.  No presents to exchange but none are needed because the cup of blessing given this year to me overflows. 

These are my thoughts this Christmas. 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Christmas isn't about Me...

Christmas isn't about Me...

But who do you say that I am? LUKE 9:20 

Strange how many people feel depressed on Christmas. It’s called the “Christmas blues,” or seasonal affective disorder. Whatever it is, if you’re down in the dumps today, stop thinking about Christmas. Think instead about Christ. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King. He is the Master, the Bridegroom, the Good Shepherd, the Holy One of God. His name is “Emmanuel—God with us.” His name was called Jesus. John introduced Him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The wise men recognized Him as the “King of the Jews,” and even the demons called Him “the Holy One of God” (Matthew 2:2; Mark 1:24, respectively). “Is this not the carpenter?” asked the people of Nazareth in Mark 6:3. “Could this be the Christ?” asked the woman by the well in John 4:29. Thomas called Him, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Today isn’t about Christmas but about Christ. It isn’t about presents but about His presence. You may or may not have family nearby, but your Father is close at hand, and your faith is more important than your feelings. He sets us free from chains we can never remove ourselves. He is our hope. Don’t worry about celebrating Christmas. Just celebrate Jesus! - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

People have been used to rushing around trying to find gifts for others or used to playing Scrooge this time of year and in the months preceding it. 

People scrambling to spend money they don't really have, and if they charged the purchases end up potentially spending hundreds more in interest payments.  

People, everywhere can claim that they haven't forgotten the reason for the season but the evidence is to the contrary. 

People thinking they HAVE to go get something for someone when in reality they are not getting a gift to celebrate Jesus’s birth, but rather to look for a certain look on someone's face.  Truth be known it wasn't about Christmas at all.  A harsh reality but it is the truth!

We as a world have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Each year since it came out, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" has been popular.  In it Linus quotes the story in the Gospel of Luke. When asked Charles Schultz said that if we didn't say it, who would?

Presents for each other that really aren't about celebrating the birth of Christ are just things bought to make someone happy or at least that's the real hope.

The reason for the season is wrapped up in that opening question. "Who do you say that I am?"

In looking at the newly cleaned slate of my life in this new to me city, it reminds me of places that I have visited in my younger years.  It also reminds me of an old computer game from the 1980's called SimCity.  You are given a blank canvas of a sort to build a thriving city upon.  Depending on your planning it either will work or it won't. 

In the life of believers we ought to be keeping who Jesus is at the center of our lives.  Peter walked on the water because of who Jesus is, not because of Peter. 

The people who visited the baby Jesus were there because of who He was and nothing else. 

Your life will reflect the truth of who Jesus is to yourself and to others. 

The truth of the world's ideas surrounding the mass hysteria of present buying for all the wrong reasons will show itself yet again in light of a point in the book of Revelation. When the two Witnesses are supposedly killed an identical day of celebrating will happen again. People will celebrate by sending or just giving gifts to each other. 

The world has so many people getting depressed because of the inability to buy presents. 
The world has so many people getting depressed because of an inability to visit who they want to or wishing someone would visit them.

The world is looking for someone to make sense of the chaos and for the most part rejects Jesus as the embodiment of who can be that one. Yet this message of the birth of Christ is all about His coming to save mankind if only they would come and ask Him to. 

Gifts are a temporary either pick-me-up or a for-certain let down.  But a life in Christ can be lifted up for all eternity.  A life without Christ will never see nor understand because they don't yet understand who the great "I AM" is. 

Put not an emphasis on whether or not you got someone a present.  Rather just celebrate the hope that Satan couldn't stop by any means for 2,000 plus years. That Jesus left Heaven to seek and save the lost. He brought hope to all who would believe and come to Him. 

I really don't have expectations of gifts anymore when it comes to Christmas.  My focus is on what Christmas really is. It's about the Word of God becoming flesh, coming to Earth to save a wretch like me. It's about the extent that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus came to save someone like me.  

He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He is the Great I AM.
He is the lover of my soul.
He is the Word of God. 
He is the First and the Last, the Everlasting One.

He is coming back soon.  

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Do You Trust Him With Your Life?

Do You Trust Him With Your Life?

Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me. 

God of Peace, the thoughts that You think toward me, are thoughts of peace and not of evil. “There is no peace,” You say, “for the wicked.” In Christ Jesus I who once was far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is my peace. It pleased You, Father, that in Jesus all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Yourself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Christ Jesus, whom You set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, demonstrated Your righteousness over the sins that were previously committed, that You might be just and the justifier of those of us who have faith in Jesus. If I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive me my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I will trust in You, Lord, forever, for in You is everlasting strength. 

Lord God, thanks to Your Son’s death on the cross, I know peace with You. I trust You for strength and forgiveness; I trust You with my life. 

ISAIAH 27:5; JEREMIAH 29:11; ISAIAH 48:22; EPHESIANS 2:13–14; COLOSSIANS 1:19–20; ROMANS 3:24–26; 1 JOHN 1:9; ISAIAH 26:4 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

I have been at a sort of crossroads in recent weeks.  In some ways it's been months.  When I look back upon my life, I can see elements of both questions concerning my life's journey and my responses. 

You, my Dear Reader, whether you see it clearly or not, are to be examining your life's choices through the lense of Scripture. Someone many years ago put words to the word Bible. "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth".

Scripture says of itself that it is for every facet of our lives. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB "All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work."

In my crossroads of life is at least for me a time of rebuilding. I, for the first time in my life, am going into a future with mostly people who do not know me in the slightest.  They have no past to look at in order to have any preconceived ideas about me.  With me, I have a clean slate in front of me to be able to be whatever for the most part. 

I know why we are here, to learn to be in God's Will, our sanctification.  What choices in this new life would be aligned with that?  Are there still areas of my life that will be incompatible with what God wants me to be doing?  Should there still be things that I need to reconsider keeping in my life?

A question for all is the last statement in that prayer, do you trust Jesus with your life?

When any came to Him to become a Disciple, they essentially said to Him: "I will follow you. I trust you with my life. Nothing will be in my life that you do not approve of. I will let go of what you say and keep what you say. Your teaching will be what's most important to me."

Is this true of your life in following Jesus? Or have you introduced questionable choices and decisions that had nothing to do with obedience to Jesus?  I have no trouble looking back on my life and seeing choices and decisions that had nothing to do with obedience to God. I have no trouble seeing when I went right when the Spirit said to go left.  I had placed my wants and desires ahead of what God was directing me to have in my life.  

I mean look at what Jesus said of those who claimed to want to follow Him. 

Matthew 10:37-39 NASB "The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life will lose it, and the one who has lost his life on My account will find it."

Worthy. Interesting word that is. Are your life choices showing worthy things in regards to being a follower of Christ?  

Worthy is used a lot in the book of Revelation in describing Jesus in what He does and why He deserves what ought to be His.

Are you living a life worthy of the calling you have in Christ Jesus?  Is your life fully on what you are being chosen by God to be doing?  Do you trust yourself more than you trust God in how to live your life? Ouch.

I have no definition of who I am in my life in this present moment other than that I am striving to keep up with what God's doing in my life. There is no time for hobbies nor other things than what He's put before me to do.  I am learning to just obey in that area of life.  I may be giving up my hobbies entirely or will be learning to put them in a right perspective in their priority. 

I am learning that God's got still greater things in store for me that the great things He's bestowed so far which have been mind-blowing. To do more means making better decisions and choices. To rest in what He's wanting to do with me as being what's best for me.  We moved because of wanting to be in the Will of God.  Before you sit there and find every reason to stay where you are in life, consider the possibility that where God truly wants you might not be wherever you are. You might be comfortable with your life as it is, but, realize we are not here for our own sake. We who are in Christ have a reason to be that part of the body of Christ that we are. We aren't here to go and do and live as we please. As part of the body of Christ we have a responsibility to learn what that is and to go and do.  Regardless of age or infirmity. If you're putting anything in life ahead of obedience to Jesus's will for you, honestly your not obeying. So what if you've been where you are for so long. This world is not our home.  

My crossroads will eventually be made clear.  God isn't a God of confusion. It's on me to obey Him who I say I want to follow.  As the hymn says "Where He leads me I will follow..."

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

You Have Work to Do

You Have Work To Do 

Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. EPHESIANS 5:16 NLT 

Christmas gives us opportunities to do things for people we might otherwise neglect, and we must take advantage of each opportunity. As long as we’re on earth, God has work for us to do. When He’s finished with us here, He’ll take us home. Seventeenth-century preacher Thomas Fuller said, “God’s children are immortal while their Father hath anything for them to do on earth.” Missionary David Livingstone said similarly, “Men are immortal until their work is done.” The British preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “Whatever occurs around us, we need not be alarmed. We are immortal until our work is done. And amidst infectious or contagious diseases, if we are called to go there, we may sit as easily as though in balmy air. It is not ours to preserve our life by neglecting our duty. It is better to die in service than live in idleness—better to glorify God and depart, than rot above ground in neglecting what He would have us to do. Unto God belong the issues from death. We may, therefore, go without temerity into any danger where duty calls us.” There is a child, a bag lady, a prisoner, a soldier whom God wants you to touch this Christmas season. Make the most of every opportunity.- Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Good Morning my Friends and Dear Readers from our new home.  This would be my first post from this place. 

Looking at today's devotionals, this quote stuck out boldly to me. 

"Missionary David Livingstone said similarly, “Men are immortal until their work is done.”"

I used to know a man who used to consider himself bullet-proof while doing the work of the ministry. That while he was out doing the work of evangelism nothing could harm him unless that was his time to go. 

We sometimes fail to recognize that our lives are not our own. That we aren't here, living life, for our own good pleasure. We see, if we really look, that from the beginning of the Christmas story, to the demands if you will upon the Disciples, life in serving God isn't about what we want or want to do. 

We are taught by generations to go out and be all we can be, that we ought to spend our time, energy and time getting the most out of life for ourselves. That we need to look out for number one, ourselves, because nobody else will. 

Jesus calls us to be serving people. 

Jesus calls us to be a people who are His hands and feet in this world. 

Yesterday was awe inspiring in seeing teenagers being the hands and feet of Jesus.  They never complained nor gave up in their desire to serve the whole time they were here.

What about you?  Are you living a self-serving life or are you living as we read Disciples as being?  Joseph and Mary became probably the first Disciples of a kind, of Jesus. Whatever He said they obeyed and did. The 12 Disciples learned to obey and do. This is the example of Jesus Christ in taking up your own cross.  You learn to set aside your wants and desires to obey and do. 

You, and I know that I did until a short while ago, might have missed a part of the obedience of Jesus to His Father in the Christmas story. Jesus set aside much of Himself and very specifically the aspect of His nature called His glory.  

Read again when the Heavens proclaimed His coming, that glory He left behind was rejoicing in what Jesus had done.  Jesus said He had the authority to set it aside, that is to lay it down and the authority to take it back up again, this decree was given from His Father.  

Are you looking to live in obedience to what you have been called to be doing?  There is no such thing as a Christian on the sidelines.  There are no Christians who are to be skating through this life doing their own thing. We were bought with a price. We have a responsibility to honor God for what He did to save us by living lives that reflect gratitude and thanksgiving in living and in serving. 

We are always tempted to fill in our lives with our own desires.  We are always tempted to fill in life with senseless, useless in serving, things.

We can easily think we are living ok because we are going by our standards, not by God's. 

The workers in His Harvest are doing the work as He directs, not their own way. 

As the Chief Forman, the main Boss, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus instructs and we obey and do. 

We took a leap of faith in wanting to be in God's Will.  God's Will is our sanctification, it's in our obedience to that end. 

Are you at all looking at your life from the perspective of one who obeys? Or are your hobbies, your wants, your desires, even your comfort, coming before your serving your Lord?  Do you work in a few minutes to pray or read your Bible or do you give Jesus as much time as you can in those things?  Do you spend more time on your hobbies and recreational activities than you do in your serving as His hands and feet?  Do you spend hours watching sports but don't even spend near that much time in cultivating your walk with Jesus?

Do you so quickly forget the meaning of Christmas?  That Jesus left everything to come here to go through all that He did, to make the way to save you?  He didn't do it so that we could be saved and then go run off and do whatever. As it was shown in the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis, serve God wherever you are. Even if you don't understand why you are there. 

You have a responsibility, and will be asked about it. The King upon His return called each one to give an account of what they did with what He entrusted to them. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Incidentally, It Only Takes 1 Sin...

Incidentally, It Only Takes One...
By David Brenneman 

Takes one what? land you in Hell. Yes, that's what it takes to miss the mark, to not be able to enter Heaven.  A single sin.

In our age of people instantly recording videos in an instant, recording the 'fails' of people are the most popular. People who's mistakes are recorded and in seconds viewed by millions. 

The most heartbreaking are those that in reality are people who were just shy of the finish line. Those that ran out of time or distance. The anguish and despair are oh so real. 

At the Final Judgment of King Jesus Christ there will be countless trillions of people who will find they missed the mark, didn't finish the race, who lose out on eternity. 

No God's not ever going to just look at how 'good' someone is. Not ever going to just weigh the supposed good a person has done versus their bad and allow them into Heaven.  If that ever could be the case then all that Jesus went through was for nothing. 

The coming to earth as a baby. 
The being chased out of the country by Herod. 
The growing up as a human. 
The whole human experience. 
The crucifixion. The horror of being separated from His Father. The sins of all mankind in all human history being heaped upon Him. 
The resurrection. 

Jesus went through it all so that we wouldn't have to. We have that option to come to Christ for salvation. We can finish the race well. Can cross that line as a winner with time to spare. 

Jesus said that apart from Him you can do nothing. You can't truly live life. You cannot escape the judgment to come. You cannot enter into His Heaven. 

No human being in any or all parts of human history have or ever will be able to remove even one single sin from their lives on their own. 

We receive justification only through Jesus Christ. Justification: Justify: Just as if I never sinned. 

We have to have salvation in Christ Jesus to have sins expunged from the record of our lives.  It's the only way. 

You have to determine what's most important, living life your way, at risk at all times of falling short of what you need to truly live, or coming to Him now to be saved.  To be exonerated, to win before you ever touch the finish line. 

There are already trillions in Hell who put themselves ahead of their need to be saved. In an instant millions per day wake up as losers in Hell. You are born in sin so unless you do come to Christ and do ask to receive His free gift of salvation, you will find yourself in that same place. 

There is no other way to find your sins removed from your life. 

There's no way to win this entry into Heaven without Jesus as your Savior. 

You and you alone must come to Christ. Nobody can do it for you.  Nobody can pray you out of Hell. Money does no good either. You cannot die for anyone to get them out. Once a person dies without Christ Jesus as their Savior, they go to Hell, that place of torment and anguish, of weeping and gnashing of teeth. A place still being filled with those who failed at life.

You don't have to join them. 
You can turn to a living hope in Christ Jesus today!  Don't let another second go by because you are not promised even a today to live. Your very breath is borrowed. 

The gift of Salvation is free, but it is a limited time offer. Once Jesus returns those who have died in Christ rise from the dead first then those of us who remain who are alive in Him will join Him. Then the wrath of God will be poured out on the earth and against mankind for seven years. Billions more will die and gorge Hell quickly. It doesn't have to be your future. 

It only takes being born to have that infection of sin. 

It only takes coming to Christ for salvation to find the cure and secure crossing the finish line of life in time.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Trust and Obey...There is No Other Way

Trust and Obey, There is No Other Way 

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world. 

Lord, I should be holy and without blame before You in love. You, my God, from the beginning, chose me for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which You called me for the obtaining of the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ. Whom You foreknew, You also predestined to be conformed to the image of Your Son, that You might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom You predestined, these You also called; whom You called, these You also justified; and whom You justified, these You also glorified. I am elect according to Your foreknowledge, Father God, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. You will give me a new heart and put a new spirit within me; You will take the heart of stone out of my flesh and give me a heart of flesh. You did not call me to uncleanness, but to holiness. 

By Your Spirit, Lord, may I live a life that reflects my status as one of Your chosen children. And keep my heart tender toward You, I pray. 

EPHESIANS 1:4; 2 THESSALONIANS 2:13–14; ROMANS 8:29–30; 1 PETER 1:2; EZEKIEL 36:26; 1 THESSALONIANS 4:7 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

When you truly choose to really pray, to really seek, to really knock, you learn much about you and how far away you once were from the standard that is the Holiness of Jesus Christ.  But in doing the Christian life the way Jesus intended you see hope and assurance in the reality that He IS truth, not merely some perception. 

It is all too appropriate that today's prayer devotional includes sanctification. 

The title for today came time around 2 in the morning.  We are leaving Columbus, Ohio today to live a new life, taking the leap of faith towards sanctification.  But to get there, in these nearly 60 days of life, I have found a deeper meaning in the hymn "Trust and Obey".

When we walk with the Lord
  In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
  While we do His good will,
  He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
  But to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
  Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
  Not a doubt or a fear,
  Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
  Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
  Not a grief or a loss,
  Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
  The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
  For the favor He shows,
  And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
  We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
  What He says we will do;
  Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.

You can't go into the work of Jesus without knowing that it's not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. 

But when you turn your eyes upon Jesus, yes another great hymn. When you do you can find probably the realization of Peter when his first step outside the boat felt like.  Because yet another hymn rings true. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. 

You can't come to Christ thinking that life is going to be the same.  You can't come to Christ without finding, as your Great Physician, that He doesn't have Spiritual medical procedures to go through to make you more like Christ. You will go through things that won't be comfortable. To walk on the water for Peter meant disregarding the possibility of sinking and it meant keeping his eyes on Jesus. 

Trusting and Obeying are breathing in and out.  Satan will tempt you to stay where you are, living as you are, Jesus loves us too much to leave us where and what we are. In much of the last 20 years, we could have moved, but in looking back, quite a few times we were persuaded to stay because of a false sense of security. Satan relented and we misread the circumstances. So we didn't go anywhere. We continued to struggle to find a Church that fit. To decide to take the leap of faith wasn't what Satan wanted us to do. We have had probably a hundred things that he tried to use to stop us but My God wouldn't allow him because He is faithful. Because our reasons for moving certainly was and is in the will of God. Once you are there, nothing, not all the powers of Satan can stop what God has ordained. 

We will be in our new home today or tomorrow, depending on how things go at the Title Company.  Tomorrow's post will certainly be from our new hometown.

Trust and Obey there's no other way to be happy in Jesus. No other way to live as a worker in the fields that are ripe for harvest.  No other way to be at the center of God's will than through obedience and trust in the one who gave His all to save us all. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Where Our Hope Comes From

Where Our Hope Comes From 

Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness. 

Merciful Lord, Your Word challenges me: Do I fear You, Lord? Do I obey the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let those of us who do trust in Your name, Lord God, and rely upon You. Though I fall, I shall not be utterly cast down; for You, Lord, uphold me with Your hand. Your commandment is a lamp, and Your law a light. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, my Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore my eye is good, my whole body will be full of light. But if my eye is bad, my whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in me is darkness, how great is that darkness! 

May I walk in Your light, always fearing You, always obeying Your commands, and always trusting in Your righteousness and love. 

PSALM 112:4; ISAIAH 50:10; PSALM 37:24; PROVERBS 6:23; MICAH 7:8–9; MATTHEW 6:22–23

Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

If I have grasped anything in the last 60 days its a greater understanding of the power of prayer and the effects of people who pray. 

We are inside of the last 48 hours of life in what's soon to be our former hometown. 

We know a new life awaits us in where we are going.  Satan's been continually trying to discourage or twart the plans God has for us. 

Problems from obscure directions. Discouragement at all kinds of different levels.  Trying to persuade us to change our minds. Not happening. 

Read that prayer again. If you haven't figured it out yet all the quotes from Life-Changing Moments with God are Scriptures organized to prayers. 

We have much to praise God for, from the struggles to the blessings. The Bible says that in everything give thanks. Which has to include both of those and everything in between. 

We are so looking forward to what God has in store for us. This journey of looking towards His sanctification in our lives has been a period of great adjustment on our end.  Much to let go of in light of what He's saying to lay hold of. 

We have had to be comfortable with changes we don't understand.  We have had to press on when it felt like we were at our breaking point. Have had to have intense prayer times with Jesus because we hurt physically and emotionally. We have had to rely on God more in the last 60 days than we ever imagined we would. 

Know what? For as rough as it's been, for all the highs and lows, for all the stripping away of the layers of me that's been in His way, I wouldn't trade these days for anything. 

We aren't to be living life like it's ours to do with as WE please, but to live life as one trying to please the One who saved us.

You look at the successful lives of the Apostles and you see that in their lives.

You look at what the Scriptures say about the prophecies regarding certain people who will be sought out because of their relationship with Jesus. 

If you are living like the the world so much that people don't see Jesus in you, then what in the world are you doing?

To be a Disciple you must follow in the learning footsteps of the Disciples. 

To be a Disciple, to be a worker in God's harvest is going to put you at odds with the world. 

To be a Disciple you will find people avoiding you.  You will see life differently because life is supposed to be different. 

As the hymn goes:

  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.
We will press on with what we can do that's for us to do.  It's God's job to move mountains or move us around mountains or through them. It's on us to not be Jonah and not obey what we've been given to do.