Monday, May 31, 2021
Believing and Doing
Your name shall . . . be called . . . Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.
My Lord God, in his strength Jacob struggled with You. Yes he struggled with Your Angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from You. Abraham did not waver at Your promise through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving You glory. I will have faith in You. For assuredly, Jesus taught, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore Jesus says to me, whatever things I ask when I pray, if I believe that I will receive them, I will have them. If I can believe, all things are possible to me who believes. I am blessed for I believe; there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told me from You, Lord. Lord, increase my faith. Yes, Lord, increase my faith so that I may see You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly. GENESIS 32:28; HOSEA 12:3–4; ROMANS 4:20; MARK 11:22–24; MARK 9:23; LUKE 1:45; LUKE 17:5 Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God
Oh so many billions of people are so unhappy and yet undecided concerning Salvation in Christ Jesus.
You who do believe, is your light shining or are you keeping it under a basket?
We are in that last hour of mankind before the Rapture of the Church. We are living in that time just before He returns. In that parable of the talents, which will you be? Will you at all be told you were good and faithful or will you face rebuke?
Will you be among the prudent who brought enough oil for your lamps to keep watch pending His return or will you be among the foolish who did not?
Will you still go back and forth between what the world offers to satisfy your desires or will you be found running the race as Paul described, being unburdened by the things of this world?
Are you only driven to succeed in the world's eyes and not in your Savior's eyes?
Are you so in love with this world that you've done nothing for God?
Once Christ returns that weeping and gnashing of teeth will be found here on Earth, not just in Hell. Millions if not billions will be in Churches everywhere expressing every emotion from weeping to raging at God for leaving them behind.
Will you be one of those?
Scripture says that today is the day of Salvation in Christ Jesus. Today you can be living what you know to be true in Jesus. Today is your time to be living in obedience regardless of what the world says or wants of you.
You must decide what is more important.
What you want and desire vs what Jesus wants of you.
This has been very poignant in my life in recent days. Deciding what to have in my life, not who, but what. The world calls it downsizing. The truest way to see it is right sizing your life in Christ. Is your life filled with things and ideas not at all relevant or related to you growing in Christ? Are you zealous for your walk with Jesus? Do you waste what little time that God has given you on nothing but relaxation and retirement vs an active life with Him? Millions per year are spent on throw away entertainment concepts. Spending thousands to visit places like all those big name entertainment and theme parks. Thousands that could have been spent towards the ministry God had in mind for you. Read Malachi. Read what the Bible says about what we do when God blesses people. More often than not we spend it on ourselves and give the leftovers back to God or even a tiny percentage to appease our conscience.
What are you doing in your walk with Jesus? Anything? Are you running the race as to win? Are you investing what God has already invested you towards reaching others for Christ?
I don't want to be rich and famous. I can't handle that responsibility. I don't want to have huge amounts of money that I sit on and hold onto. That's the same as the worthless man who took what he was given to do something with and hiding it in the ground. I don't also want to be rich due to how it changes people. Nobody who is rich or wealthy has not been changed by it. I am all for being debt free. That's Scriptural. That's Biblical. It's the side of wealth and riches that always, inevitably, happens whereas people stop relying on God. Are there wealthy Christians? Yes. Not saying it is impossible. With God all things are possible. WITH God. Those who have continued in their reliance upon God regardless of wealth are a huge rarity. But regardless of who it is...when their time comes...and God says it's time...all that wealth stays here.
What are you doing in your life?
Are you seeking what you want in your life or are you seeking to become like Christ?
Are you trying to be your own workmanship or are you Christ's workmanship?
Have you invited Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord only to relegate Him to the Butler's quarters of your heart and mind? When you ring a bell in needing Him is what you use Him for? When you cry out is when you only need Him?
I am very ashamed of what it's taken for me to get where I am in Christ. The constant repeated lessons. The sin traps that I have repeatedly fallen into.
What about you?
Would you at all think that Jesus is satisfied with how you have treated Him?
Sunday, May 30, 2021
As Time Runs Out
By David Brenneman
Scripture says that God has set eternity in the hearts of man. We seek n long for a time in which we cannot fully achieve in this life. What we focus on becomes our life. If you focus on getting ready for a race then you spend your time preparing for that day. If you are focused on your walk with Jesus then that is what is important to you.
I was talking to a friend last night and the sheer magnitude of what I was sharing still blows me away.
In Luke Jesus was asked about the fall of the Temple after they had remarked of how beautiful it was and He told them what was going to happen to it. They hadn't realized He was going to answer in two separate ways. Indeed that Temple was torn down within a few decades. But He also gave the long view of history. Of the time to come and how civilization would be like before His return. They hadn't even grasped that notion either of His returning let alone His talk of being crucified and raising from the dead.
We are living in those days Jesus was telling them about. If not in them we certainly are close to that description. Consider this well my Dear Reader, with all that has come true of Scripture since Israel has become a nation again, we certainly are in the final hours of life before the Rapture.
They, for years, struggled since Israel had become a nation again, to certify a Red Heifer for to sanctify a new Temple. The 3rd Temple that must be in place during the Rapture. In the last 10 or so years they now have many certified Red Heifers. They have had the materials set aside to build that Temple for decades. They have been training men for the work of service in this new Temple. They lack only the location and unhindered time to build it. Under President Trump, some major Biblical events occurred. The formal establishment of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital. Right before the end of his time in Office, many Islamic nations made peace with Israel, beginning that process which will lead to a time when they will indeed begin building the Temple. The groundwork is being laid.
Let's put all that in a tighter perspective. We have the Words of Jesus coming true in our time. We have Israel ready to build the 3rd Temple. We have something resembling peace beginning around Israel. We may see them beginning to build right before the Rapture happens. But none of these things are the herald to signal that the Rapture is going to happen. They are there as markers to look for to see that Jesus was indeed telling all the truth. This world has a set of years assigned to it. It indeed will have an end, an end coming a whole lot earlier than anybody expects.
Event wise there's really only one thing left to happen before Jesus Christ returns. It's the completion of the Great Commission. In all reality it began with the thief on the cross. It began with that one recieving Salvation. It will be completed in like manner. With the last to be saved prior to the Tribulation. The importance of fulfilling the Great Commission should be what is paramount to the Church. Sadly in all too many so-called Churches all that goes on is services and classes to make people feel better. To not necessarily uplift the name of Jesus but to make themselves feel better about life. They aren't driven to fulfill the Great Commission. They are becoming so entertainment based they left Jesus at the door.
Our time that is left to this world is marked in less than 1,100 years. Specifically 7 years of the Tribulation Judgment as described in the book of Revelation and other books in the Bible. Then, the Thousand year reign of Christ. Very shortly after that concludes, Satan will be released to try one last gambit, gathering all the nation's of the world to try to attack Jesus. In a spoken word Jesus defeats them all and then comes the Final Judgment. The end of this world as anyone knows it. It will be reborn into a New Heavens and New Earth.
So do the math. It's not complicated.
7 plus 1,000 plus maybe a month after Jesus's reign, plus that time between right now and the Rapture. That's all that remains of time for the human race.
The more I consider all that the more I get impressed upon me to repeat that message on what it takes to be saved. I certainly do not want anyone going to Hell. At the same time I don't know who that last person is who will be the last before the Rapture.
The Father's Plan that began with Jesus was the creation of the Church. To empower the Church through the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Will and Word of God. To give those who come to Christ the ability to fulfill the Great Commission.
Satan began early in the Church to introduce heresy. To sneak in false teachers. False Pastors. False positions in the Church to keep people from fulfilling the Great Commission. They preach and teach in violation of Scripture...and it's accepted. They keep people from learning that Jesus is the only way to be saved. They instead teach you how to feel good about yourself and spread those warm fuzzies to others. Be entertained and not tought.
This world is in love with horror movies. Horror stories and paranormal stories.
Here's one for you. Of the thousands of so-called Churches in this world, many thousands will still be full after the Rapture. Full of people who can't believe they were left behind. Full of people who WILL turn away from God because they believe He betrayed them and they will embrace Satan's Antichrist.
In Revelation in ONE judgment, 1/3rd of mankind will perish. Current world population is around 7.9 billion people. Do the math. Say a billion are raptured. Leaves around 6.9 billion. Wipe out 1/3rd. About 2.3 billion people will enter into Hell in 1 judgment. People who refuse to acknowledge their need for a Savior. People who hate against God. Sounds horrifically astronomical doesn't it? Got a clue for you. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the Genesis Flood. Back then probably around 8 billion gorged into Hell.
Nobody today needs to know of that horror. Today is the day to come to Christ if you haven't already. Today isn't the day to be living only for yourself. Today is the day to live for the one who died for you. If we truly want to hasten the day of the Lord we need to fulfill the Great Commission and complete it.
Praying for others to be saved. Praying that our walk with Jesus is what it should be. Living in the world but being held captive by its lusts.
Today could be the day. Although millions are trickling into both Heaven and Hell right now. Millions more are born. Yet of those millions leaving this world a significantly high number never thought today was their last day on Earth.
Are you ready for what's next? If what's next is your stepping into Heaven or Hell are you remotely considering the ramifications of that?
Time was created for mankind not for God. Time has an end in regards to us in our physical world.
You need to have settled the question of Salvation now, not later. You may not have a later. Nobody's guaranteed a today let alone a tomorrow.
We have possibly 1,007 years plus this short time between right now and the Rapture. What are you going to do with that time? Is it going to change your priorities? It should. Oh my Dear Reader it should.
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Your Words You Have Said...What You Have Thought.
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
Jesus spoke plainly about our idle words, yet His warning often goes unheeded. Jesus said that for every idle word there will be a time of accounting in the day of judgment. We would expect Jesus to condemn profane and vile uses of the tongue, but idle words? Idle words are things we say carelessly, without concern for their impact on others. We too quickly assume that the sins of our tongue are minor sins, sins that God will overlook. Yet Jesus was fully aware of the devastating nature of our words, for the idle words that come from our mouths give a lucid picture of the condition of our heart (Matt. 15:17–20). The Book of Proverbs encourages us to speak less rather than risk saying something offensive (Prov. 17:28). Often when we have nothing significant to say we are tempted to speak injurious, idle words. The more time we spend in idle chatter, the greater the likelihood that we will say things that are harmful. James cautioned believers to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). We are in much less danger of saying something offensive when we are listening than when we are speaking! Think carefully about the words that come from your mouth. Christians should speak only words that uplift and bring grace to others (Eph. 4:29). Do you need to speak less? Do you need to be more careful about the kind of humor you use? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you evaluate whether your words build up others or whether they destroy and hurt others. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
This thing about words. Words we say, words we think about ourselves and others. This line from Blackaby "We too quickly assume that the sins of our tongue are minor sins, sins that God will overlook."
How are you viewing your words? Your thoughts? Do you think they are lesser sins than sins of commission or omission? All sin is sin just the same in God's eyes. He defined what sin is. It's the basis of the judgment concerning sin. It's much of that sin that was heaped upon Jesus when He was on the cross. Your words and my words.
Idle words. Our grumbling words and actions. Our slighting people derisively. Our seeking others to join us in our anger issues. Our on and off again use of swear words. Of our possible constant use of swear words. Our gripping at others when, if we are honest, we are really gripping at God. Those hateful thoughts we have when someone cuts us off on the road. Those people who didn't get your order right. There is a time and place for righteous anger. But really no place for it outside of that context. Righteous anger gives no free pass to swear either. I agree with someone who once said that if you have to use swear words your vocabulary is too limited.
We really ought to place the same penalty value on our idle thoughts and words as Christ does. That it's the same as the sin of murder. It's the same as the sin of being a thief and a robber. It's the same as every sin that nailed Jesus to the cross.
We need to do more in controlling our tongue and our minds. The Bible speaks much about how wicked the tongue can be. Regardless of how you feel, remember that Scripture says Jesus searches the hearts and minds of everyone.
He hated sin. Hated evil. He never sinned in His anger. He showed not only His Disciples how to bridle their emotions, their tongues and mind, but us as well.
I have a lot to give account for when I face my Savior over my thoughts and careless words.
Our world tells people to withhold nothing. Express yourself. Let it all out. Scripture says otherwise. Cursing isn't right. In Hell it's probably the most common means of expression among those finding themselves there. Scripture says there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Gnashing of teeth can be a reference to raging at God. They rage at God because He ruled against them. Found them guilty. Those who are there weeping likewise are there because they were found guilty. Their sins, although many or few, put them there. There is but 1 greatest sin. Rejection of Jesus Christ alone as Savior and Lord. While anguish and paim grip them that are arriving minute by minute in Hell. In Heaven is rejoicing over both the arrival of those who did come to Christ as well as celebrating over souls who have come to Christ. Scripture says blessed are those whose sins are forgiven and remembered no more.
We have many a reason to speak and think the ways we do. But we have to discipline ourselves not to sin in our thoughts and actions. We will not be able to hide our intentions from whom we have to do. Jesus will not ask why did you say or think concerning someone or something. He already knows. I have plenty to already be ashamed of in my life. I need to try harder to not add to that. You need to do the same.
My greatest downfall in all of this is my sarcasm. I am more fluent in that than English. I have had thoughts and have inadvertently said and done things that have hurt those people whom I love because of my not thinking about the ramifications. I have idle thoughts that are not helpful at all in my walk with Jesus. There's no place for what I say or do in my life for those things that hurt others. Proverbs addresses a lot in terms of this.
What are you going to do from this moment forward? What are you going to do to address your thoughts and words? It's interesting in Ephesians it mentions the Helmet of Salvation. I have to wonder if that helmet has a face shield to cover the mouth.
Friday, May 28, 2021
Is the World Your Joy or is Your Walk with Jesus?
We also eagerly wait for the Savior.
Your grace, Lord God, that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching me that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, I should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of my great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for me, that He might redeem me from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. I, according to Your promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, looking forward to these things, I will be diligent to be found by You in peace, without spot and blameless. Christ was offered once to bear my sins. To those like me who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. And I will say in that day: “Behold, this is my God; I have waited for Him, and He will save me. This is the Lord; I have waited for Him; I will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” I await Christ’s coming! He who is King of kings and Lord of Lords shall reign forever! Hallelujah! PHILIPPIANS 3:20; TITUS 2:11–14; 2 PETER 3:13–14; HEBREWS 9:28; ISAIAH 25:9 Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God
This particular prayer offering from that book is where a believers heart should be.
I read of many Christians who's love is expressed by what is most important to them. You see it in their own words or the words they choose to quote from others. Jesus said something to the effect that where your treasure is there your heart is also. Matthew 6:21.
If all that the world sees coming out of you in words and deeds is things that belong to the world, what does that say of you? If all people see is your dressing up in clothing etc that is about a specific sports team, and out of your mouth is constant praise for it, that says volumes of where your heart is. But at all is your life that is hidden in Christ Jesus as boisterous, as 'loud' as that? By all certainty in this example such a person would be 'convicted' of being a fan of such a team/sport. But would there be as equally a compelling case to convict you of being a Christian?
Where is your heart?
Is there at all a place in your heart to be zealous for Jesus Christ your Savior?
Do you spend hours on various forms of entertainment but are reluctant to devote time to Jesus? Doesn't that speak volumes of exactly what YOU think about your walk with Jesus?
Do you anxiously await His return or are you in secret fear of it?
Do you at all find time to praise God?
Do you spend more time thinking of your life than that of others who are literally pouring into Hell? Millions per day are pouring in that never expected to be there.
Jesus asked a question that is for OUR generation. "Will I find the faith when I return?"
Has your heart gone after other "gods"?
Are you really an idolater? Have you come to Christ yet now live your life as if He is just there to bail you out of your troubles?
Do you look expectantly for His return?
Are you so entangled in the silky side of the world that you don't desire His return?
Honestly the truth of God cannot be covered over, cannot be hidden if you ask Him to reveal it in your life.
You choose who you are living for.
You choose who is on the Throne of your heart.
1 John 2:15-17 "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever."
You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Is gaining money and the other things of this world more important to you than a true life with Christ? You be the judge. It's not for anyone else to say.
You will certainly, as I will, give an account of your life...to Jesus. The one you invited into your heart and life to be your Savior. Is it going to be a life spent walking away from Jesus that's seen or a life spent walking with Jesus that is seen?
Where your treasure is there your heart is also. But I don't do... But I don't think...
Everyone will be without excuse. It's not our interpretation that matters. It's what God said that matters. If money and things of this world are all that is important to you there is your answer. If your heart isn't praising God at all there's another answer. If you barely, if at all, pray over your food, there is an answer. If you only cry out to God when things aren't going your way, there is your answer.
Where is your joy located? Heaven or here?
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Does He Come Along? What's Your Excuse?
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19
Paul said to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” Why was he telling them that? Because the Corinthians were doing things with their bodies that were an embarrassment to the Holy Spirit. They were living lives divorced from the awareness of His holy presence within them. Perhaps you’ve found yourselves at certain crossroads recently where you didn’t know whether you should go to a certain place or participate in a certain activity because you are a Christian. The fact is, where you go, the Holy Spirit goes with you. So before you go, you’d better ask Him if He wants to go. And whatever He tells you, do it. Many Christians don’t even think about that. They just drag the Holy Spirit everywhere, into all kinds of things that are dishonoring to His first name, which is Holy. The Holy Spirit permanently indwells you. If you grasp that concept, it could have a life-changing impact on you. He is there. He is in you. He will never leave you. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
It's a rather interesting scenario.
A very much stop you in your footsteps kind of thought.
In all that you do or are planning on doing - you who claim to be in Christ - is the Holy Spirit invited?
Do you consider your wants, desires, wishes, in light of the truth that time is running out on reaching people for Christ before He returns?
I admit it's difficult. Our world isn't like 200 years ago when time was on most people's hands. No handheld devices. No phones. No video games or movies.
In today's world distractions are in abundance. Vanity is a multi billion dollar a year enterprise. Seeking pleasure, regardless of who you step on, is the prevailing thought of the day.
Sin is proclaimed as good to indulge in. That you are missing out if you restrain yourself. If the wages of sin had to be paid immediately upon receipt people probably would start to really consider it differently.
Everyone has an excuse. Probably not an entirely unique excuse but everyone has one. An excuse to either obey or not obey Jesus. To come to Christ or reject Him.
We have excuses for why we do what we do. We probably don't give a second thought to the truth that the Spirit is with us in everything we do. He's right there. All the time. Yet we do and intentionally think things that are or should be an embarrassment. I have to admit this devotional sort of began slapping some sense into me.
You who claim the name of Jesus, are you doing things, saying things, behaving as though you are by yourself? You are not alone if you are in Christ Jesus. Do you swear? You realize what you are really doing when you do? Read closely at the Scriptures on our giving account for EVERY careless word we say. I am certainly ashamed of me. Are you? The thoughts you think that are yours alone. About this person or that person. You DO realize that you are not alone? Your angry outburst you do realize you are not alone?
Think bigger than your doing now. The scope of the depth of the Spirit in our lives who say we are Christians.
Our adversary prowls around seeking someone to devour. There's countless ways to be devoured. From abruptly down to the so slowly you are devoured and don't even realize it. Temptations and sin are the tools he uses. Getting YOU to convince yourself of the merits of what he whispers. Satan is evil but he isn't entirely stupid. The whole frog in a frying pan analogy is a perfect observation of his methodology. If you drop a frog in a hot pan it will jump out immediately. If Satan shoves a sinful act or idea in your mind you will likely buck at it n think twice. If you are the frog in a cold pan at first, with the fire slowly turned up, like it, sin will get you due to the method. Satan's perhaps most greatly used ideas do but 1 thing. Get believers to waste their time, get them to not consider ramifications, get them to so enjoy the distraction that they never realize the time that was wasted was valuable and cannot be taken back. If you spend your life entirely on you then you won't think about the millions per day going to Hell. After a time you won't care. Making money, finding YOUR happiness, making others happy with no regard to their Spiritual state, is what Satan's scheme involves much of the time. His other schemes involve trying to shut up believers so that people don't consider anything to do with Salvation as being important.
In your going out and coming in each day, if you are saved in Christ Jesus, DOES your mind remember that the Spirit is there with you? Does any of your thoughts and actions honestly not bother you that you thought or did something in the presence of God that Christians really shouldn't be doing or thinking?
We are the only created beings that have used excuses. No other animal or anything else created by God uses excuses. That was Adam's first invention, not even unique, Eve invented it before him.
Scripture warns us to consider our ways and rightly so. So are you?
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Seriously? Yes, Always.
The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. NAHUM 1:7
One hundred years earlier Jonah spoke to Nineveh. Now it was Nahum’s turn, and his message was quite different . . . The prophet Jonah spoke of imminent doom, and the Ninevites repented, saving themselves from God’s certain judgment. By the time of Nahum, the Ninevites’ sin had become so entrenched that there was no longer any hope of return—and no one to whom they could turn for help. How terrifying to realize that God is against you! Our God is long-suffering, gracious, and merciful, but He is also thoroughly just. If we do not turn to Him in repentance, He will measure out His justice. He looks past our religious ritual and formulaic prayers and sees our hearts. He knows who genuinely trusts Him, and He will be their unassailable fortress in times of distress. Jonah and Nahum had messages for Nineveh: Jonah indicated that God will show mercy to those who turn to Him; Nahum revealed that God’s judgment must fall on the unrepentant. Are you truly repentant? Guard your heart lest you become indifferent to God’s grace and mercy. - Blackaby Being Still with God
Perhaps a passage that Blackaby ought to have included was this one:
"It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31
Many millions, if not billions, mock the idea or don't take seriously, the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So many? Yes. Note that at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ people will be like the sands of the seashore gathered against Jesus.
Horrible experiences and examples happen to believers each day in many parts of the world. Abuses from verbal to physical atrocities happen right this very hour.
We, in many places, consider our lives as being rough when they get your order wrong in the drive through.
What's as bad is people claiming to be good people, do not know Jesus as their Savior and Lord, waking up in Hell. Never understanding how they got there.
Believers are attacked by more than just harsh attacks or verbal lashings. They are attacked by silky smooth words and sweet temptations. One of Satan's biggest is through vanity. Wanting what we don't have but is available for a price...just sign here. Sign and drive! You deserve this!
Another is darker. The feeding of the lusts of the flesh. Sexual immorality is a multi billion dollar a year industry. Pornography to prostitution. In darker circles Christians are singled out even here in America for their faith. Some even murdered for it. Sadly the mainstream media won't cover that, but WILL provide false information of people attributing it to their beliefs when it feeds their lies about those people's lives.
People in this world no matter where they are have to choose between accepting or rejecting Christ as their Savior. A permanent rejection means the judgment of Hell.
To come to Christ is no sign of weakness. It is your heart finally recognizing that your Creator really does love you and does want what's best for you.
If we look at the smaller judgments of God in the Bible, whole civilizations were destroyed due to sin. While God is indeed long suffering He will not put up with sin forever. As the saying goes there comes a time when you must pay the piper. You must pay that price or if you are in Christ He payed it for you.
It is a free choice but with consequences.
But that's not fair! You may say. Of course it is imminently fair. You make such choices and teach your children the very same. You can have this now or if you're good you can have this later. If you do this, this is going to happen to you. Do that, and you will be grounded for a month. Do this and you will be rewarded.
You think that mankind thought of consequences all on its own? Consequences began with Adam and Eve. Consequences were spelled out before sin even existed.
Consequences result in judgment. Either for the good or the bad King Solomon asked God for wisdom. One of his first judgments was between two prostitutes and a baby that was alive and one that was dead. Stark consequences for both.
Sinful choices are life or death choices.
We choose to take Jesus seriously now while we have a chance or we choose to put Him off, thinking that it will be forgotten or our good will be good enough Heads up, the Bible says the only one good enough was Jesus Himself. So there's that answer for you. Your standard of measuring good is wrong.
In Christ Jesus is the only place to find Salvation. Acknowledging that He is right and we are in need of a Savior is the way towards being saved. You still must choose Him. You must still ask Him to be your Savior and Lord. Then it's no longer your life's good or bad that's seen by God, but the righteousness of God.
Persecution may or may not come to you but in Christ you are safe. The Bible promises that there is no lengthy delay once we leave this world. In less than a second we leave here and stand before Christ.
To not choose Christ may or may not mean a perceived wondrous life. But the moment of death means eternity in Hell. In torment without end until the Final Judgment Seat of Christ. Then those people will be given a new body then cast into the Lake of Fire. A place much worse than the Lake of Fire. The consequences of sin are serious. God is serious. He was serious when He left Heaven to endure all the abuse and be hung on a cross to die so that we may live. To make the way for you to live...if only you choose Him.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Do not forsake me, O LORD. Psalm 38:21 NKJV
We often pray that God would not forsake us in our times of trial and temptation. But we forget that we need to use this prayer at all times. In our lives, there is no moment, however holy, in which we can do without God’s constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation, we equally need the prayer, Do not forsake me, O LORD. “Hold me up, and I shall be safe” (Psalm 119:117 NKJV). A little child, while learning to walk, always needs an adult’s aid. A ship ignored by the pilot drifts immediately from its course. We cannot do without continual help from above, so let this then be our prayer today: “Do not forsake me. Father, do not forsake your child, or I may fall by the hand of the enemy. Shepherd, do not forsake your lamb, or I may wander from the safety of the fold. Great Husbandman, do not forsake your plant, or I will wither and die. Do not forsake me, O LORD, now or at any moment of my life. Do not forsake me in my joys, or else they might consume my heart. Do not forsake me in my sorrows, or I might murmur against you. Do not forsake me when I repent of sin, or I might lose the hope of pardon and fall into despair; and do not forsake me in the day of my strongest faith, or else my faith might degenerate into presumption. Do not forsake me, for without you I am weak—but with you I am strong. Do not forsake me, for my path is dangerous and full of traps, and I cannot proceed without your guidance. The hen doesn’t forsake her chicks; Lord, please cover me with your feathers and allow me to find refuge under your wings. Be near me, Lord, for trouble is at hand, and there is no one else to help. Do not leave me or forsake me, oh God of my salvation!” O ever in our cleansed breast, Bid thine eternal Spirit rest; And make our secret soul to be A temple pure, and worthy thee. “Hosanna to the Living Lord,” Reginald Heber (1811) C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
May I never cease to be amazed each time that I am to write this blog. Sometimes some things come from my experiences or from those people I come across in life. God so arranges the words to hopefully help someone out in the world.
I am and have been facing great personal struggles. Both at work and at home. At work there's been a lot of changes that I struggle to make sense of. At home I struggle with changes that I am forced to do to get healthier. Prayer is the only lifeline in all things to hold onto.
Prayer often finds me before I know to do it. I hope that Jesus is ok with how I often bungle my way through it. There's times my mind just has the worst time letting go of stressful situations and sleep ends up eluding me.
There's oftentimes that the only person who will listen to me is Jesus. I can't find the words to use with others because many have troubles of their own and don't want to hear mine. Jesus always has the time.
My thoughts often are of how to get from a problem to a solution. How to get from here to there. What some easily understand sometimes I need more information to understand. Each person is different in that I guess.
I can always tell when others are praying for me. I am not ashamed to ask the Men's group on Facebook for their prayers for me. My anxiety goes down when they do.
Prayer to me is a conversation with Jesus. It's more than just my needs and wants. I share with Him what's on my heart and mind. I share whatever is troubling me. Perhaps some may think it's not as formal as a prayer should be, but this is my relationship with Jesus not theirs. Jesus didn't like those stiff formal prayers of the Jewish leaders. He searches the hearts and minds of everyone.
In your life are you doing your own thing or are you asking Jesus about the things in your life? Are you talking to Jesus as a friend and not an employee?
I still need the prayers of others daily. You get a big target on your life that Satan hones in on when you write things to encourage others towards Christ or to help them walk with Jesus better.
You must not put your stock in the things of this world. Success at your job is fleeting. Success at home is the same. Life happens so fast. You can go from extreme joy to pain in seconds.
It's a difficult life when we wait on the Lord sometimes. We pray for a problem and await His response. We wait for His provision. Wait for a Word. He promised never to leave us nor forsake us. The sentiment behind the poem Footprints is often a reality for most if not all in this world. The believer and unbeliever alike. The believer in how He's making them through His workmanship. The unbeliever in how He's guiding them to His Truth.
It's not always easy to recognize when you are heading for a valley of the shadow of death but you will recognize His taking you through it.
While I long for a peaceful respite I wait on the Lord. While I long for His return to take me home I continue with this walk in this life. When I am weak He is strong. When I stay in prayer mountains can be moved. I will easily speak of my weakness because Jesus has it covered.
Understanding isn't always going to happen. That's a hard truth for me. In many ways my brain has been hardwired by God to solve problems and puzzles. There's still many things that I can't figure out. I know that when Jesus and I see each other face to face He will explain those things to me that I can't understand right now.
When I 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. Never fear only Trust and Obey. Trust and Obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Your Conversation, the One You Need to Have
Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer. Psalm 66:20 NLT
If we honestly look back on the character of our prayers, we will be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think of their prayers as worthy, like the Pharisees did—but true Christians, with an enlightened consideration, weep over their prayers. If we could retrace our steps, we would want to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold your prayers have been. When, in your place of prayer, you should have wrestled like Jacob did, but instead, your petitions were faint and few. They have been far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith that cries, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). But it is wonderful to say that God has heard these cold prayers of yours—and not only heard them but answered them! Think too how infrequent your prayers have been, unless you were in trouble—then you’ve often gone to the mercy seat. But after God’s deliverance came, where was your constant praying? Still, even though you stopped praying like you once did, God did not stop blessing. When you neglected the mercy seat, God did not desert it; the bright light of the Shekinah glory has always been visible between the wings of the golden cherubim. It is a wonder that the Lord pays attention to those intermittent spasms of prayer that come and go with our needs. What a God He is to hear the prayers of those who come to Him with their pressing wants, only to neglect Him after they receive mercy! What a God He is to hear those who approach Him only when they are forced to come, but forget to address Him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. May God’s gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that going forward we may be found “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18 ESV). C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
Oh I can relate to this, the ups and downs of intense prayer times.
I often use a odd service whereby you send yourself email into the future. On a preset day you will receive an email.
A very impactful song of MercyMe to me is "Dear Younger Me".
I often escaped reality in science fiction as a child. Before being caught up in Star Trek novels, it was Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Before them was The Hardy Boys.
Things to use to take my mind from reality to somewhere that I could enjoy life without restrictions. If only I could go back and tell myself how to pray better that would have been the better thing to do. But as their song says it's those things that I did go through are what made me who I am today.
Prayer can change the here and now as well as the future of myself and others. It can go to the Throne of God in an instant, unhindered. It can then go from the Throne of God to anyone, where I cannot go, and be effective.
Prayer is our conversation with Jesus. It's how, in this world, a person is turned from a stranger to a friend. From an adversary to something less.
Scripture says that we must believe that He is. Present tense. We must open up our hearts to be honest with yourself and God. Letting go of self to allow more of what the Spirit wants to do with you.
Prayer, in the context of talking to God the Father, through Jesus Christ the Son, in the Holy Spirit is the most powerful force in your life. Elijah prayed and it kept rain from falling for years. He prayed again and the clouds came and opened up the sky. Prayer has brought back people from the dead. Prayer has reshaped lives. But only when in that context. There is no other to whom anyone can pray that can or will do what only God can. To pray to anything or anyone else is to pray to the wind. As soon as the words are said they are meaningless. To pray to anyone else but the God of the Universe is to pray to demons. We pray in Jesus name. The most important name in and out of History.
I am not the most powerful nor perfect pray-er. I stumble through prayers myself. I often end up repeating my pleas. I often don't have the right words to express myself. I try to remind people that the Spirit brings to mind. I cry out often because of the fears that often plague my mind at dealing with the people I have to interact with.
More frequent prayer changes you as well as the people you pray for. Jacob prayed concerning his brother Esau. Both were changed. If you look at Joseph's life, after being sold into slavery, he probably had a supercharged prayer life. It eventually changed his family and himself.
Sometimes prayers don't get answered immediately. All in God's time, not ours. God answers with, Yes, No, not right now, or wait, I have something better in mind.
In Daniel we read of how Satan tries to put up obstacles between a prayer response and the person getting that response.
If indeed there was some way to tell a younger me anything it would be to pray more and worry less. To tell myself of times and places to go left instead of right. Of when to do something or not would have been nothing compared to how that would have changed my life.
The past cannot be changed. Regardless of the books and theories, there's only been 2 time travelers. Jesus and John. Jesus exists in all of time from its creation to its end. Can go anywhere in it if He so chooses. John was taken to the future to see and write of what was to come. The book of Revelation. A very important aspect of that is the beginning of that book. Only in the Spirit was John going to the future. Humans never will on their own. It takes an act of God to make it possible.
But getting back to prayer...we miss out in so much in relationship building with Jesus by not praying. So many millions of people have been given the wrong idea about praying and prayer throughout the centuries. In prayer we get to get to know Jesus. We get to enter the Throne room of God. We get to learn from Him. We learn of things through prayer that we never will apart from it.
Prayer requires honesty. It isn't the unloading of a grocery list of wants and desires. It's confession of sin. It's asking for mercy. To be thankful for the unmerited favor of Jesus. To learn what love really is, not how the world describes it. It is all of this and more. But it all starts with you.
Start having your own conversation with Jesus today. Begin your day on the right foot.
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Trust God's Plans for You
The LORD will work out his plans for my life. Psalm 138:8 NLT
The confidence the psalmist expresses here was most certainly a divine confidence. He did not say, “I have grace enough to work out my life . . . my faith is so steady that it will never stumble . . . my love is so warm it will never grow cold . . . my resolution is so firm that nothing can move it.” No, his dependence was solely on the Lord. If we indulge any confidence that is not grounded on the Rock of Ages, that confidence is worse than a dream—it will fall back on us and cover us with its ruins, to our confusion and sorrow. Everything nature weaves, time will unravel, to the eternal perplexity of those who trusted the material. The psalmist was wise, resting as he did on nothing short of the Lord’s work. It is the Lord who has begun a good work in us; it is He who continues it; and if He were not to finish, it would never be complete. If we try to insert a single stitch in our heavenly garments of righteousness, we are lost. But this is our confidence: the Lord who began will complete. He has done it all, must do it all, and will do it all. Our confidence must not be in what we have done or resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do. Unbelief whispers to us, “You will never be able to stand. Look at the evil in your heart—you can never conquer sin. Remember the sinful pleasures and temptations of the world that torment you—you will certainly be lured and led astray by them.” Oh, yes, if left to our own strength we would undoubtedly perish. If we had to navigate our frail boats alone over such a rough a sea, we might as well give up the voyage in despair. But thanks be to God, He will work out his plans for our lives, and bring us to the desired harbor. There is no concern that we can’t take to God. And we can never be too confident when we trust in Him. C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
In my life, at this moment, and especially the beginning months of 2021, peaceful understanding has not come as nearly as often as I would like.
Today's first post was certainly aimed, by God, towards a perishing world. This is towards us who've put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for Salvation.
As I said much of life right now I don't understand. I am indeed writing as prompted by the Spirit, but what's going on in the physical world with my Wife and I is chaos.
It's hard to understand what I cannot make sense of. It's hard to digest the choices of others as it impacts me, when I can't ask them why they have done what they did. I can't wrap my head around what I see people at work do in regards to what really amounts to worship of an employer. They practically live and breathe the company in such a way that they sacrificed their interests and their families.
Regardless of what I understand or don't I believe the Word of God. I am Christ's workmanship.
I may be in a phase of life much as Job's experience. Not knowing how or why. I am honestly not called to understand everything. I am called to obey God. If you are in Christ you are likewise called into obedience. You may not like that valley you are going through, much as I don't like the one that I am in, but we are there because Jesus says it's necessary. Psalms 23 is a much read Psalm. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will not fear. Your rod and your staff they comfort me. The rod and staff in the hands of the Shepherd were the weapons to deal with the life of the sheep and to keep the sheep safe.
I do agonize over decisions probably more than I ought to. We read of Peter walking on the water. We don't read of much the fact that he had to stop n put thought into obeying even after Jesus gave him the command to come. Thankfully his trust in what Jesus said outweighed his doubts. But until he felt a solid surface under his first foot those doubts prevailed.
Psalms 23 says specifically that we walk through that valley. Not crawl. Not skip. Not run. Not stumble. Not limp. We walk. We walk as we are lead.
I can pray a thousand prayers about something to happen or to not happen. It must be in accordance with the will of God for either. Peter, or all the Disciples would have floundered in the water if there had been no command from the Shepherd.
I am going to make it through whatever Jesus brings me to. I will arrive at Heaven when that moment comes at His calling. I am not promised to love everything that I will ever go through. I am to change how I react to it and focus on things above not on the things of this world.
I will be truthful and I won't lie that my thoughts have often kept me from sleep. I often am awake at hours that I should not due to an inability to shut down my brain.
My reactions to life can never change the will of God for me. Our prayers ought to still always be thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Isaiah jumped at the chance to go where sent after his sins were removed. We are to be willing to do that as well. It may or may not be where you envisioned being. You may or may not find anyone to support you in it. Imagine what isn't written in Scripture about their families reactions to giving up on everything to go and be Disciples of Jesus? We don't read of it but we read of the reactions of people, of Jesus's own family in their views. Obedience might even cost you your friends and family. That's what living for Jesus can do. A man's enemies will be members of his own house. The natural man cannot understand the things of God for they are foriegn to him, Scripture says.
As I have said for my working career. I am wherever God wants me to be. I will stay until He makes it impossible to do so. He won't make me compromise any part of my life in which it means violating His Word. Often obedience doesn't make sense. You won't be directed to sin in any way.
Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus. Don't expect the world to understand your happiness or your choices to obey. They aren't going to. Simple as that.
We may not find peace and rest in this life. We are at war along with the hosts of Heaven for the souls of people. Satan entices us to live as the world seeking all manner of comfort in order to get us to avoid seeking to be about the Father's business.
I would love to retire. Would love to achieve many things. Would love to not think about so many things that are in Christ selfish things. I am the one who is my own worst enemy. I am able to convince me of lies faster than Satan or all the demons at his calling.
God has work for you and I to do to reach others for Christ. He has left it to us to find and be taught by Godly men. It's a lie of Satan that women can be preachers. That's not who God called to be preachers. They cannot be Elders either. We are more than able to create what we want to believe when it doesn't fit with the Scriptures. When all who claim otherwise face Jesus they WILL be corrected.
We must be both being taught of God as well as live in obedience. When we learned to walk we trusted those who stood us up and gleefully encouraged that effort in us.
My biggest prayer is to be found obedient. Not to be found impressing people. Or to be what they want me to be. Or to go where they want me to go. Be prepared to disappoint others. As Joshua said As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
By David Brenneman
Then He said again to them, “I am going away, and you will look for Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” Then they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “What have I even been saying to you from the beginning? I have many things to say and to judge regarding you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I say to the world.” They did not realize that He was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am, and I do nothing on My own, but I say these things as the Father instructed Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” As He said these things, many came to believe in Him. John 8:21-28 NASB
Many in this world just do not take sin seriously. They do not fear retribution for sin because they do not want to acknowledge their deeds as sinful. They indeed accumulate teachers who do tell them what they want to hear, as the Scriptures say.
There was a moment in King David's life when he saw the Angel of the Lord with His sword drawn, about to wipe out Jerusalem on account of the sin of what he had done. It terrified him so much he stayed away from the Ark of God. That visual you would think, would have stirred up the King toward greater obedience. He wasn't wrong in what he said to the Lord of it being his sin that caused people to die.
In our day we see people lifted up after someone dies and put on a pedestal who were in all reality worthless people. They were just as evil as much of the rest of the world. I won't debate in this blog who is worthy or not. The truth of God boils down to 1 thing. If you die without Christ your name, your reputation, your status on Facebook, your subscribers on YouTube, means nothing when you die without Christ.
Sadly part of what Jesus was saying to those in the Temple that day had to do with them dying in their sin. Where He was going they could not come. They would not come because they would die in their own sins. He would be going to that side of Sheol called Paradise. Where those whom had died and were awaiting His coming were. Many of these there that day wouldn't be there when He arrived, nor would they be joining Him in Heaven after the Resurrection. They would die in their sins.
You must choose to look past the lies, the glitter, the glory, the world's accolades, to the stark reality that if you die without putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for Salvation, you will be like them. You will not go where He is. You will join the billions in Hell who are in torment until the end of time when they will stand before Christ and be judged worthy of death in the Lake of fire.
I was asked an interesting question yesterday. It says in the Bible that when 1 person turns to Jesus to be saved that the Angels in Heaven celebrate. The question was does Satan celebrate when someone dies in their sin and goes to Hell? Satan is a power hungry Father of lies. He wants the glory due only to God alone. He cares not on whom he has to use or step on in order to gain anything against God. He has never seen Hell. Reaf that again. Satan, the Devil, has NEVER SEEN HELL. He knows it's a very real place, he knows that those who are there are there because they rejected Salvation in Christ. He knows exactly what it is and wants no part of it. It is a sentence from God concerning sin. There are demons of his who are in torment there. Condemned by Jesus and whom cannot leave due to the authority of Jesus Christ.
If you do not take the Word of God seriously you will die in your own sin. You will find yourself in horrible torment in Hell after you die. It does not matter how well people speak of you after you die. It doesn't matter if the world declares a holiday after you. If you died without Christ you die in your sin and wake up in Hell. That's the unbridled truth.
You must choose life over death. You must come to Christ on your own behalf. You must ask Him to save you and forgive you of your sin. You must ask Him to be Lord and Savior of your life. Choosing to live for Jesus who has saved you. You cannot be the most well liked, well loved, most whatever this world holds dear person and escape the sentence of death for your sin.
If you die without Christ you will die in your sin. In Romans it says that the wages of sin is death. True death is a permanent separation from God. It isn't when you stop breathing. It's when you are cast from His sight. Jesus sees every single person in that place called Hell. He knows. He sees what Satan cannot. He knows every single thing about every single person who is in Hell and what put them there. Their rejection of Jesus Christ as their Savior.
You too my friend, if you haven't chosen Jesus for Salvation, face that question right here and right now. While you are breathing you have that choice. Why do people die what appears to be senseless death? Was that opportunity taken from them? No. It wasn't. The Bible says that Jesus is the only one who searches the hearts and minds of all. He knows every thought you will ever have. Every decision you will ever make. He knows who will and who won't receive Salvation. Every single person alive, whether saved or not, plays a role in someone else's being saved or not. At that moment they won't make a contribution towards them being saved and where it won't help anyone else, their time is likely up. The Salvation question is the only important question in the lives of everyone on this planet. Not who is going to win a football game or what movie is going to be the next big thing. Not that new car you want or that whatever you want in life that's driving you.
If you die in your sin you will not go where Christ is. You die without Christ you die in your sin. You are lying to yourself if anything else is more important to you about living life or who you are living for.
Remember those in Hell are weeping and gnashing their teeth. Weeping because they know that what Jesus said really was the truth. Gnashing their teeth because they are still filled with rage at the truth of God against them. It's much worse than the Hotel California. It's not just that once you check in that you can never leave. It's to spend eternity paying for your sin. It's you paying that price yourself. In that time Jesus was on this Earth in His ministry, He spoke of what happened to people who owed money but could not repay. Many faced many a grim painful torturous process to pay back that money. Beatings, whips, stockade, chained to a wall off the ground, stretched out on that wall. Punishment for a wrongful act of failing to pay what was owed. How much more worse it IS in Hell for those who die in their own sins.
You can come to Christ right now and be forever forgiven of your sin. You can go to be with Jesus forever, as He promised. You can die and leave this world to enter Heaven's gates upon leaving this world. But only....
if you come to Christ.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
As I Struggle
God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 4:19
The prophet Jeremiah and the apostle Paul discovered the same thing about prayer: when our hearts are right, God delights to give us more than we asked for. In Jeremiah 33:3, the Lord said, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” In Ephesians 3:20, Paul said that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” In her autobiography Evidence Not Seen, missionary Darlene Diebler tells of being near starvation in a Japanese POW camp. Through her window she saw in the distance a banana. “Lord,” she prayed, “just one banana.” But she couldn’t see how God could get her a banana through prison walls. The next day she heard footsteps coming down the hall and the key turning in the door of her cell. In walked a guard with a bunch of bananas. “They’re yours,” he said. She sat down in stunned silence and counted them. There were ninety-two bananas! As Darlene wept and thanked the Lord, she seemed to hear Him say in her heart, “That’s what I delight to do, exceeding abundantly above everything you ask or think.” Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
I often struggle with understanding the things that God brings me to in my life.
I am convinced to continually bring what's on my heart and mind to Jesus in prayer and to continue in that fervently.
There are days like I have had this year that perplex me more than the whole year of 2020. I don't know where the direction of my life is going.
I have been taught to pray big because to do otherwise is not fit for a child of God. Many in the Bible missed out on the blessings of God because they were afraid to ask in accordance with their needs.
I am also trying to live as Jesus wants of me in a world that is hostile towards God.
There comes a point of choosing to follow God's direction and path vs where the world wants you to go.
I have been the recipient of many blessings from my Savior. More than my mind can bring to mind or fathom. None have been deserved. I have seen the sin in my life that I struggle with and often am in amazement to see the effects of my sin being cast as far as the east is from the west.
I often am like those who have been blessed to see Jesus face to face and cry out "Unworthy! Unworthy!".
Jesus still finds a way to bless in the midst of storms that we don't understand.
Storms envelop my life right now it seems. Time and distance keep some forms of peace and rest from me. The storms are most often Spiritual in nature.
I am pained at what is before me to do these days. I do long to just be held by Jesus more than to be physically blessed in my life. Once that happens nothing in this world compares. It all pales in comparison.
I see and understand what path is set before my Wife and I. We both do. What steps to take that are ours to take, what steps are for Jesus to take are what we seek clarity on. God is always faithful. Joseph endured a prison for years until a palace was ready.
If you are indeed striving to live for Jesus and yet struggle, we're in the same boat. As another devotional I read this morning said, sins are forgiven and forgotten, but often the consequences are not. Consequences cause God to rebuild our character. We have a road in front of us yet to travel that's fraught with dangerous exits. Staying on the road wherever God has you is critical.
I slept terribly last night but know that this morning Jesus is still with me regardless of the things happening in my life as He will be with you too.
Friday, May 21, 2021
Are You Trying at All?
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. PHILIPPIANS 2:12 God’s great salvation is not a one-time, once-and-for-all event for a believer. Experiencing God’s salvation is actually a dynamic, lifelong process of implementing all the power, embracing all the love, and fulfilling all the plans He has for you. “Work out your salvation” means to access all God has made available to you. It is not a command to work for your salvation. It is a call to enter into your relationship with Jesus with all that you are. We who are privileged to be called the children of God have a choice. We can enjoy our status as adopted and beloved children of the King and know abundant life in Christ, or we can live as spiritual paupers and neglect all that is rightfully ours. It is not enough to know in our minds that we are God’s children. That truth must move into our hearts and impact our lifestyles. Don’t be like too many of the King’s children who choose to live spiritually impoverished lives. The process of salvation calls for us to apply energy and effort, focus and faith. The Holy Spirit empowers, Jesus embraces us, and God rewards us now and for eternity. - Blackaby Being Still with God
When it comes to your life how much of it is lived for Christ and how much is lived for you?
Is there any effort on your part to learn about God? Is there any work on Spiritual matters that are part of your day?
Do you invest more in your personal happiness than you do in your walk with Jesus?
Have you honestly embraced craftily made idols and ideas of this world rather than what God has you here to do?
How is it possible to hasten the Day of the Lord? By believers living in obedience.
The more Christians are obeying God the more of this world is impacted for Christ.
The more it's impacted for Christ the more people find Salvation.
When that last person who will be saved before the Rapture can happen is found, then the Day of the Lord can happen.
What are you doing to do what you are here for?
Idolatry is rampant in our world. Some obviously consider what I was told to say about this flood of sinfulness we live to be ridiculous. Look at what is said in Genesis by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The world was filled with evil. The thoughts of mankind were evil CONTINUALLY. If water everywhere is called a flood then evil everywhere is called the same. Evil is not winning in this world it's just getting louder and more effective in disrupting lives.
In Christ we are more than conquerors.
Are you at all reading the greatest love letter of all time, written to you and for you, the Bible?
Are you at all taking prayer seriously?
Are you collecting worldly things that you've convinced yourself are ok, yet are idols in God's eyes?
Re-read the parable of the talents. The 3 were given an amount by their Master before his journey to DO SOMETHING with. He returned and each was to give an account. When Jesus returns what account will you give? What did you do with what God gave you?
You are responsible for you. Just as those 3 in that parable.
I am ashamed of much of my life as to what I embraced throughout my life that was wood, hay and stubble, that will burn up to nothingness when tested on that day of giving my account before my Savior.
Will you have anything that will withstand that fire by which what you have done will be tested by?
Now is the time to live rightly before your God. Now is the time to get real with yourself about what are really idols in your life. I stopped collecting anything in this life because I saw it for what it was. A cleverly disguised idol. I would get passionate about what those things were but have come to realize that I wasn't nearly as passionate about my life in Christ. I stopped many things in my life once I saw them as God sees them. What about you?
What do you highly value from this world that God sees as an idol? Embracing worldly things, from fantasy to sports and every kind of entertainment takes that much time you are given away from God.
Be passionate about what matters to Jesus. Reaching people who are in this world who are possibly heading for Hell.
Invest in your walk with God. Invest in prayer. Jesus is our Brother, King, Lord, Best Friend...not our Butler. He's more than a person to ask to bless the food we are eating.
Lastly in this post we read a possible prayer for all of us that's from Dr. David Jeremiah's book Life-changing Moments with God:
My brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Lord God, Your grace is sufficient for me, for Your strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. I will go in Your strength, my Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. The gospel of Christ is Your power of salvation. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I also labor, striving according to Jesus’ working which works in me mightily. I have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of You, Almighty God, and not of me. Your joy, Lord God, is my strength . . . and I am strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. Almighty God, I praise You for sharing Your strength— through Christ—with me that I might glorify You with my life!
EPHESIANS 6:10; 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9–10; PSALM 71:16; ROMANS 1:16; PHILIPPIANS 4:13; COLOSSIANS 1:29; 2 CORINTHIANS 4:7; NEHEMIAH 8:10; COLOSSIANS 1:11
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Doing What We Know Not to Do
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast. HEBREWS 6:19
Scripture teaches us that hope is necessary because the will is often uncooperative. We all know we should possess hope. We know that as Christians, we should be filled with hope. But how many of us have found ourselves praying the prayer of Paul in Romans 7:19: “Lord, I know what I should do, but I don’t do it. I know what I shouldn’t do, and here I am doing it again” (my paraphrase). Hebrews 6:18 is very interesting. It says, “That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.” Many of us have experienced difficult times and we know our hope ought to be in the Lord. But sometimes our will is uncooperative and we just have to forget everything, hang on to God, and flee to Him for our refuge. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
Some days are harder than others in warring against the flesh in which we live.
Some days we don't see a battle all day, others, it's either big ones or so many small ones we lost count.
I often find myself relating to what Dr. Jeremiah paraphrased. I am doing what I should not and not doing what I should.
It's going to be a never ending battle scenario for all until we arrive at our moment of departing this world.
Note that this battle isn't just for believers. When it comes to believers Satan is defeated but still tries to make them ineffective. He encourages and tries to entice the sin nature to arise to be a discouragement. In the lives of the unbelieving he is out to try to prevent them from ever seeing or understanding the truth of God concerning Salvation. He knows full well that he can't stop the return of Christ and knows himself that out there is someone who will be that last one to be saved before that happens. He always has an AntiChrist and a False Prophet ready. He always is ready to try to fight off the judgment of God that is spelled out in the Bible. He's ready but refuses to give up in his rebellion against God.
You and I will find battles every day.
I have to choose to move forward every day.
I have to often make myself get back up from my times when I fell in Spiritual warfare to get moving again. We war not against flesh and blood but against the powers and forces of darkness. We fight an enemy we can't see. It's always important to have on the whole armor of God. It doesn't imply that you aren't going to get your cage rattled. That you won't get knocked down a time or two. The promise of Jesus is that you won't be alone when facing the enemy.
Keep on striving and fighting. Paul spoke of running a race and not just running in it but running as though to win. Letting go of the things that we have on us that slow us down.
If we really understood how close the time is that Jesus is returning, would what we consider to be important in our lives, would we still hold onto them?
Would you still be doing what you do if you knew Jesus was at the door, waiting for the Father to say it's time?
Would you try harder to be obedient?
Would you let go of the worldly things you embrace?
Consider it well just what you embrace in this world and whether or not it's causing you to stumble in your race to win that Paul taught about.
Reality is that in a very short time Christ is returning. Read the New Testament well and you will see that we are in the times that it mentions to look for.
This means Jesus IS merely awaiting that moment to be told by His Father.
That means 1,007 years from then the final judgment of God will take place, the last of what the Bible predicted will come true. 7 years of judgements spelled out in Revelation and other Old Testament books. 1,000 years of Jesus Christ Himself reigning as ruler of this world will follow that.
These truths are immutable. Unchangeable. Nothing will stop them. There's nothing Satan will be able to do to stop them from occurring.
We have hope in Christ to make it through each day. His promises of forgiveness and healing of our souls. We should never stop fighting in this war on our flesh. We must keep striving to trust and obey Jesus. It's the only way to obtain the victory that we are promised.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
What We Shouldn't Expect from God
And he asked that he might die. 1 Kings 19:4 ESV It is a remarkable thing that a man who would never die should pray, “O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:4 ESV).
God had planned an infinitely better end for this man, who would be carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, “translated” so that he would not experience death. Here we have a memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind, though He always does in effect. He gave Elijah something better than he asked, and in doing so really heard and answered him. It was strange that the lionhearted Elijah should be so depressed by Queen Jezebel’s threat that he actually asked to die. And it was blessedly kind on the part of our heavenly Father that He did not take His despairing servant at his word. There is a limit to the doctrine of the prayer of faith. We should not expect that God will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask “with wrong motives” (James 4:3). If we ask for something that was not promised, if we operate against the spirit the Lord wants us to cultivate, if we ask contrary to His will or the decrees of His providence, or if we ask only to benefit ourselves and not for His glory, we should not expect to receive. But when we “ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:6 ESV), even if we don’t receive the precise thing we ask, we will receive an equivalent—even more than an equivalent—for it. Someone has said, “If the Lord does not pay in silver, He will in gold; and if He does not pay in gold, He will in diamonds.” If He does not give you exactly what you ask for, He will give you something essentially the same, something you will be happy to receive in its place. So, dear reader, pray much, and make this evening a time of earnest intercession. Only be careful what you ask for. Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
We often believe more of what Satan says about God than what God says about God.
We hear the whispers of half truths spoken by false teachers in a supposed Church setting and believe it as if it were the whole Gospel.
The very first thing that Satan did with Adam and Eve was to ask "Did God really say..."
He hasn't changed.
He still twists the Word of God to his own ends.
He still tricks people into believing what isn't true about God. Still convinces people to never go as far as they could have with their heart towards God.
We often see and hear of all these name it and claim it preachers. That it's written in the Bible and if you name that for yourself God will furnish it. What about that passage that came with the rebuke? You know what I am talking about. The one where people asked but didn't receive because they asked with wrong motives. Intending to spend it on themselves.
God isn't your personal Genie.
God didn't send Jesus here to go through everything He did to become your Butler.
Jesus came to do what? Obey His Father.
You, my Dear Reader, need to realize this world hates those who are Children of God. It hates the nation of Israel.
Jesus said they hated me they will hate you.
He said those in the darkness loved it more than the light because their deeds were evil. The light exposed their evil.
In many ways God will indeed bless our lives regardless of what Satan says or tries to do. The reason isn't for God to do an 'In your face!' at Satan. There's only one Plan by God. To seek and save the lost. It isn't necessarily that we all be rich, or full of great health. It's not about our success or lack of it in this world. It's about reaching the lost in this world.
To put it plainly when the last person who will be saved outside of the Tribulation is saved. That's it. The Rapture happens and all the world will know of the disappearance of millions of people.
What is astounding is how quickly the world will believe the lies they will be told as to where everyone went. But then again read John 6:22-44. Jesus had JUST fed the multitudes. They SAW that miracle for themselves. Within 1 day they had the effect of that proof of who Jesus was taken from their hearts and minds by Satan. The world that's left behind will experience the same. Read of what Jesus explained of the sowing of the seeds of the Word of God. Satan comes and snatches it away to keep it from growing.
When you come to Christ you are both His workmanship and His man or woman on the ground with something to do for the Kingdom of God.
You have something to be doing for Him.
You aren't to be living for yourself, your family or friends. You don't read anything about taking up anyone's cross but your own.
So much of the damage to the professing Church has been done by people claiming to be teaching them what God didn't say.
If the professing Church taught nothing but the whole counsel of God the world would be a radically different place. God's not going to rewrite the Bible to suit the life we live. He said that not one part of it will ever be stopped from coming true. He wrote that marriage is between one man and one woman then that's what it is. He said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but through Him. That's it. No other way to Heaven is possible. He said that to die in your sin means Hell as your future then Hell will be your future if you don't come to Christ. He said that in the last days people will be lovers of themselves, haters of good. He provided a list. That is exactly how people are being.
It isn't about our personal happiness or anything else. We who are in Christ have a mission to complete. The same as what Jesus said in the Great Commission.
Who cares what you achieve in this life if it isn't what Jesus wanted you to do, you failed at life.
If you have great ideas and can change the world with them, it matters not if your plans and achievements are not working with His Plans they will not come about.
You are not here for you.
We are here for Christ or we wouldn't be here. We don't know what tomorrow holds but we know who holds tomorrow in His hands.
Jeremiah was given the role of being the weeping Prophet. Does that sound at all like health, wealth or prosperity? Job was living life and all the sudden it all was removed except his Wife, who urged him to curse God and die. He, after Jesus was done, was indeed blessed more than he haf been before, but it never says he knew why he went through it all. Daniel and his friends were exiled. Went to Babylon to live our their lives. Never to see Israel again. That wasn't winning the lottery.
Stephen was living strong for the Lord. Was stoned to death. James was beheaded.
Where do you get the idea that your life is going to be all peaches and cream?
Where do you get the notion to ask for God to make it that way?
He is God, we are not. His ways are higher than ours, His thoughts higher than ours.
He's trying to save mankind and of all things is waiting on each person to come to Christ or reject Him by waiting for them all one at a time. Every single person will be without excuse when they stand before Christ. Nobody going to be able to say they were rushed. That they didn't have time. What about those who die quickly? Remember He is God, you are not. He knows your end from your beginning. He knows who won't be convinced no matter what proofs are given.
In no way is God being unjust. He is aware of every possible outcome of every possible thought we have. Of every single decision we might make.
Living in obedience is where we are to be. Not in any other way. We may not understand what or why we are to do what we go through, but we can know that by living in obedience He is there with us.
He may show you that you need to move. He may show you to stay where you are.
He may have you experience life in ways that make no sense to you or others in your life. It only on you to trust and obey.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
When You Don't Know Why
[God] comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 CORINTHIANS 1:4
Problems in our lives make us sensitive to the problems of others. How could the men and women of God reach out to a hurting world if they had never experienced that same pain in their own lives? How can we put our arms around a brother facing disappointment if we have never experienced disappointment ourselves? Sometimes God allows problems in our lives so that we can better minister to someone else. That’s exactly what happened to Joseph. From his humbling slave and prison experiences, he was able to fairly administer grain to a starving populace. You see, problems have advantages. They provide us with opportunities if we will but look for them. They promote spiritual maturity if we let them make us better instead of bitter. They prove our integrity, produce a sense of dependency, and prepare our hearts for ministry. God allows problems so that we can learn and grow. We don’t like them, but they are necessary if we are to grow and change. Don’t run from the pressures God wants to use to make you His perfect example of Christlikeness. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
By no means am I wiser than others that either are here in the world now in Christ nor those who came before me.
But in some moments in life I can assure you that what you experience, God can and probably will, use for you to minister to someone else.
Many of life's situations we never want to go through again. Many we face in our future we don't want to face. Sometimes the past and the future almost paralyzes us when considered together. I am certainly there on that one.
We who are in Christ will undoubtedly go through sensitive, rough, painful times in our lives. We may find moments when grief hits us unexpectedly. If I have learned one thing about at least that point, you never really get through grieving altogether. You won't until maybe you see them again in Heaven if that's where they are. This last week has been a fresh reminder of my missing my Dad. I really wish I could pick up a phone to call him. I still remember my last hug from him.
We all face things we wish we didn't have to. In the book "90 Minutes in Heaven", a Pastor was in a horrific accident. It took years of surgeries both physical and Spiritual to get him to return to something resembling normal. Why? Was always on his lips and on his mind. It wasn't until after the more painful Spiritual surgeries that he saw opportunities to reach people that never would have happened, or been possible, without what he had been through.
Jesus faced the cross out of obedience to His Father. He knew He would be on that cross looking at His mother, and family and knew the pain they were going through due to His obedience. Knew that His Disciples had scattered due to His obedience.
Obeying Jesus often comes with a price. Family and friends may not understand. Job's Wife urged him to curse God and die. Jonathan loved David as a brother, knew full well that to maintain that meant defying his own father. Meant he would never be King. He probably had many trying to encourage him to help his Father kill David to keep the Throne. Who but someone sensitive to the Spirit would understand Jonathan's thinking?
When Saul was blinded on the way to Damascus, he was beside himself. For days he was wrapped up in his own mind. He was being shown every place in Scripture where all the evidence pointed to Jesus as being the Christ. He was shown just how he had missed it all and how he had misled others. His Spiritual eyes were opened. Read what it was about in the books he wrote, but, realize he probably ran across others who were like himself who also needed to know.
Your probably not going to understand why you go through what you do. Jesus's words to you are the same as they have been to me. "Trust Me".
In John when Jesus was walking on the water, it came down to trusting Him that they let Him in their boat. Peter had to trust Him to walk on the water too. John had to trust Jesus to live through several for certain death sentences by Emperor's to be banished to the island of Patmos. He probably had time to think about his mother's request of Jesus. That he would indeed drink of the cup that Jesus did. His brother James had already been killed years earlier. That question of why still probably was with him.
You and I go through things to remain sensitive to the Spirit. It's up to us to recognize injured people and so come along side of them. It matters not if they have given us every reason to hate them, in Christ, we are not to shun them. At the least we are to pray for them, and absolutely forgive them. Christ forgave those who put Him on a cross. Which wasn't just those there that day. You and I and everyone in the human race put Him there. Salvation is free because of Jesus. Forgiveness is but a request away because of Jesus. Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Pray for those in your life, the ones you get along with and those you don't. Praying for your situation is easy, praying for those you have a problem with isn't so much.
Praying for opportunities means being open to those opportunities regardless of how you feel about it. Every person alive needs Christ as their Savior even your mortal enemies. Those that hated Jesus the most He still died for.
We may never get an answer as to why on this side of Heaven. Job didn't. Thinking about it, Samson didn't either. You could easily be in good company.
Jesus says only this: Trust Me, Obey Me.