Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What is Deserved, What is Received

What is Deserved, What is Received 

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. 

Lord God, may I not despise Your chastening, nor be discouraged when I am rebuked by You; for whom You love, Lord, You chasten, and scourge every son whom You receive . . . just as a father the son in whom he delights. You bruise, but You bind up; You wound, but Your hands make whole. So I humble myself under Your mighty hand, Lord God, that You may exalt me in due time. You have tested me in the furnace of affliction. You do not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. You have not dealt with me according to my sins, nor punished me according to my iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is Your mercy toward those who fear You; as far as the east is from the west, so far have You removed my transgressions from me. As a father pities his children, so You, Lord God, pity those who fear You. For You know my frame; Thank You, Lord, for loving me with Your correcting, forgiving, and merciful love. 

REVELATION 3:19; HEBREWS 12:5–6; PROVERBS 3:12; JOB 5:18; 1 PETER 5:6; ISAIAH 48:10; LAMENTATIONS 3:33; PSALM 103:10–14. Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

This prayer hits home with me.  Oh how often I am not considerate enough or thankful enough to Jesus for all that He has done or is doing in my life!

The first sentence is intense. 

So many today despise what comes from God into their lives!  I confess that I am one of them.  I have been one of those who has been discouraged by His rebuke.

I often sit and wonder why. Why have so many things gone on for so long. 
I look for evidence. That's what all good sleuths do. Seek a preponderance of evidence to state your case. 

I am yet again reading the book of Job. Physically he has been decimated. Anguish grips him. From all outward appearances God’s dealt harshly with him.  But consider this, God didn’t do all that to him. HE PERMITTED IT. It is something easy to overlook in life about disease or physical anomalies people have. Read carefully the opening chapters again of Job. The Lord Jesus told Satan how far he was allowed to go to try to prove his point, Satan was responsible for everything that happened to Job physically. His family, his health, were permitted by God, for a time, to go through what he went through. 

In our lives as Christians Satan seeks to put us to the test much the same. With believers he must ask permission but it should be known and understood he has the ability to mess with our physical bodies when permitted. 

Look at the rest of the prayer.  It also applies to Job and to us who are in Christ Jesus. 

After his trial at Satan's hand, Jesus healed him. In His earthly ministry, many were healed that Satan had injured in the same way. When asked who sinned that person or their parents, Jesus said neither, it was so that the works of God may be made manifest in them.

Job, like those during Jesus’s ministry, was healed completely. 

Can Jesus heal all who are sick today? Yes. Physical health impacts Spiritual growth. 

Job was a better man after what he went through. God causes all things to work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose. God worked it out after his trial by fire to have Job be wiser for his time through it. He was blessed more in his lifetime after his trial than before. 

We may never go through the intensity of Job's trial or we indeed may. Ours might be something just consistent and low key problems.  Something that lasts a lifetime. But it's only in this lifetime.  In Heaven all believers receive a new body free of defects.  

In this life how we react to what we go through is the key. 

Job was rebuked and chastised but he responded the right way. 
Several of his friends didn't and needed Job's prayer to be healed of Jesus. One, the youngest of them, was the only one to get it and wasn't negatively impacted by the trial. 

Look again. Job was going through the trial yet several of his friends, by their own error, were also physically impacted.  Requiring prayer to be healed. 

I confess yet again of my grumbling about what I am and have been going through.  Reading Job it seems in part that I am in good company. 

We ask and ask and by all appearances Jesus is silent. The Holy Spirit is silent. The Father is silent. As it was during Jesus’s ministry, timing was everything. In due time a virgin gave birth to a Savior who is Christ the Lord. In due time He was taken to Egypt for a short period to escape Herod. In due time He grew up as a human and exemplified obedience. In due time all who were ill from normal physical illnesses and those illnesses instigated by Satan were healed. All..of...them. 

We choose how we react to what God allows.  Jesus allowed Job to go through what he did at Satan's hands. Jesus said we would have tribulations in this life. Things would be permitted to happen for the glory of God. To bring people to salvation. People would need to go through things to remove the excuses of themselves and others to break down strongholds and lofty thoughts and to bring salvation to people. 

How you react won't necessarily bring about an end to the trial but it will give you an opportunity to grow in Christ. It will cause others to wonder how someone can go through life as you do and still cling to Jesus. The early Church had to face persecution to be forced out of their comfort zone to reach people across this world.  You and I are really no different. 

If God hadn't stretched me and brought me through several fires I wouldn't be writing these blog posts today. 

If you haven't been reacting as you ought, stop and confess that to Jesus. 
Your life has a purpose and it's not what most think, what you go through is to grow you and reach others. Time is short.  Jesus is returning. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Hope vs Fate

Hope vs Fate

Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.” GENESIS 17:3–4 

We learn from reading about Abraham that hope is necessary because often waiting is uncontrollable. Did you know God didn’t tell him how long he would have to wait? He just said, “Here’s the hope. You just wait.” God’s promise to Abraham was not to be fulfilled for many years. And in some respects that promise was not totally fulfilled even in his lifetime. You and I are the fulfillment of that promise. According to Galatians, we are the children of Abraham. We are the result of God having blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; having blessed the nation of Israel; and then, through Israel, having blessed all of us. We are blessed because of Abraham. But Abraham never saw all of that. He saw enough, but he had to wait. Hope is the ingredient that keeps us going between the promise and the fulfillment. Hope is the thing that gets us up in the morning when we know that God cares but we haven’t seen any evidence of it in the last few days. Hope drives us onward when we want to stop and quit. Hope keeps our dreams alive while we are waiting. And we need hope because we can’t always control the timetable. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Many look down on or shun those who don't believe in fate. 
Still others shake their heads at those who cling to hope. 

I don't believe in fate. My hope is in my Savior. 

Fate is a hot bed for excuses to do or do not.

Fate is a place of abdication from responsibility. 

Fate is a catchall for when the plans of people don't come to fruition. 

Hope is much different. 

The Scriptures have much to say on hope.  Faith, hope and love, the greatest of these is love. 

Hope defies explanation in many people's thinking.  They cannot explain why, they just do.

Hope is often seen in children more than in adults.  Children hope because they haven't been taught not to.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. 
I darn not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.

Jesus taught about the wise and the foolish men.  One built upon a Rock the other on sand.

When the storms came one stayed one fell. The hope of both was that they would prevail. One was an empty hope the other was well placed. 

We who hope in Christ are those who are the wise in that story.  Often believed by the world to be fools.  As Mark Lowry has said on occasion, I don't have enough faith to be an atheist. 

There's to much evidence to point to Christ Jesus, too much to show the stubbornness of people that if the but ask He would save. 

The life of a Christian is to be one of hope. Because the promises of God are there to hope in. 
The life of those who have not come to are filled with wishes and thoughts that accomplish nothing. Any hope is a vain hope. It's built upon sand.

A life outside of one in Christ is very lonely.  People making themselves believe that things in their life provide all the fulfillment they need. Things disappoint in time. Even people can disappoint in time.  Achievements eventually vanish.  Success is often fleeting. 

The Bible says to the believer to store up treasure in Heaven. You would do that with the hopeful expectation of retrieving that treasure. 

You would hope in the promise of Christ for salvation with the expectation that He will keep His promise to never leave us nor forsake us. That if He has gone away to prepare a place for us that our expectation is He will return to gather us to Himself, as He promised. Scripture says that hope doesn't disappoint.  You will face constant disappointment if you chalk it up to fate.

So where are you?  Are you hoping in the truths of God’s Word or erroneously believing that fate is what you live in?

Do you long for stability? That's the house built upon the Rock, the Rock of Christ. 

I totally agree with that statement by Mark Lowry, have seen too much, lived through too much, to ever doubt that hoping in my Savior is ever or has ever been in vain. 

On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand all other ground is sinking sand....

Monday, June 28, 2021

Where Yours is, then There it is!

Where Yours is, then THERE it is!

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34 

What you value most is your treasure. Where you spend your time and your money is your treasure. Whatever dominates your conversation is what you treasure. What others know you for is a good indication of what your treasure is. Most Christians are quick to claim that God is their first priority. Yet often their actions reveal that their treasure is not God but things of this world. Some Christians find it difficult to discuss their relationship with God, but they can chatter easily about their family, friends, or hobbies. Some find it impossible to rise early in order to spend time with God, but they willingly get up at dawn to pursue a hobby. Some find it difficult to give an offering to God but readily spend lavishly on recreation. Some boldly approach strangers to sell a product, yet they are painfully timid in telling others about their Savior. Some give hundreds of hours to serve in volunteer organizations but feel they have no time available to serve God. If you are unsure of where your treasure is, examine where you spend your available time and money. Reflect on what it is you most enjoy thinking about and discussing. Ask your friends to tell you what they think is most important to you. Ask your children to list the things most valuable to you. It may surprise you to know what others consider to be your treasure. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

What dominates your easiest of conversations?  What are the most fluent at when it comes to your hearts desires?

Are you more bothered by what others say or do concerning God than you are about family, friends or the things of this world that interest you?

When someone says something intentionally derogatory about the Bible, about Jesus, or about God, does that bother you at all?

Do the sins that the word of God say should be abominable not phase you in the least?
Do the things that God’s Word says are sins not bother you to do?

Sin should bother us in all its ways.  A single sin would have been enough to hang Jesus on that cross. All the sins of all human creation are what put Him there. His love for mankind and obedience to His Father held Him there.

Can you gladly spout facts and figures a plenty about celebrities, movies, television shows, sports figures, your hobbies, family and friends, yet struggle to make time to talk about what great things God has done for you?

Be honest, get real, is it an embarrassment to you to talk about your Savior?

He is our treasure. Not any of those other things. He is the one we live for. Not any of those things. 

As I grow older I am learning some harsh lessons from Ecclesiastes. Vanity of Vanities all is vanity, striving after the wind. There's nothing new under the sun.  That the fear (respect) of the Lord must be of higher responsibility than the wants and desires of my eyes, ears, mouth and stomach. That indeed if I want to gain anything in this life I must give it up. My life that is.

I am always going to be in a position to disappoint people. To disappoint my family and friends, coworkers, employers. If I do so by obedience to myself then that's a sin on me. If I do so in obedience to my Savior then that's on them.  

In a small bit of earthly wisdom, and it's probably in Proverbs somewhere, pick your battles wisely.  It does say to sit down and consider if your small army has what it takes to take on a larger one. If not, really consider asking for terms of peace before the battle begins. 

What defines you?  Are you more easily offended by family and friends about worldly things or by where they are in Christ?

Are you easily offended by, and cover it up with excuses, someone who offends your 'team's but not when they offended your Savior, your God?

Hate to break it to you but if you fly off the handle in zeal for a team or anything or anyone else but not showing anything when someone is speaking lies about God, you just showed yourself and the world who your god is.

If your work is all important then you will sew seeds of that in your marriage if you are, in loss of relationships with your spouse and if you have them your children.  

If you have enshrined a passing family members things they left behind you are showing others who you have worshiped. 

If your focus isn't on your relationship with Christ then your life isn't going to amount to much when, if indeed you are really saved, you see your treasure room in Heaven and find it practically empty. 

Your health is important but it shouldn't be of a higher priority than obedience to Christ.  Huh?  Some are obsessed with it and have more zeal about it, than they do about telling others about what Jesus has done in their lives. 

Remember Satan WILL use whatever we let him in order to distract us from worship and obedience to Christ Jesus. 

He will distract us using everything at his disposal. 

Everything from perceived love to hurt feelings over things that do not matter in light of Scripture. 

Our relationship with Christ means that we will indeed face trials and tribulations, as promised by God's Word. 

"Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you."

Not statistical data. 
Not emotional weight. 
Not anything this world has to offer or say about how to live life. 

Look at what you value.  If anything is higher than what you have in Christ, you have a problem.  If anyone is higher than your relationship with Christ, you have a problem. 

If you would rather offend God than those who you interact with, you have a problem. 

If living for the pleasures of this world is what turns you on, you have a problem. 

It's time, now, to take stock of just what is your treasure. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

So How is that working for you? Still in the land of Denial?

So how is that working for you? Still in the land of denial?

God had me write about distractions. About how it's perhaps the biggest tool of Satan. 

Of the excuses we come up with.  

Notice any that you're using?

"It can wait til later."
"I'll get to it."
"I deserve to get some extra rest.  After all I've earned it."
"Oh, I need to just get away from everything and everyone."
"Just not enough time in my day."

We really don't need much help in this area. Books, television shows and movies twist and distorting our thinking on levels we don't know how to perceive. 

It takes a lot of effort to take every thought captive.  But that's what the Bible says to do. 

We can have circular arguments in our heads with people who have no clue what did or didn't happen. That too is an intended distraction by either your sin nature or Satan's minions or both. 

We can waste time trying to find some truth in something bothering us in order to let it go, even though the Spirit is already saying what we need to do.

There does come a time when the Spirit will get silent after gently trying to teach us God’s truth.  Repeated attempts He makes until we are given over to learning or relearning the lesson all over again. 

"I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. So they do it to obtain a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way as not to run aimlessly; I box in such a way, as to avoid hitting air; but I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified." 2 Corinthians 9:23-27

Are you a slave to your body or are you making your body yours?

These last 3 months have been excruciating for me.  I have had to embark on a change of eating.  If I wanted to avoid taking more pills to was necessary. 

The cravings are distractions. Sights and smells are distractions. Forcing my body to obey my mind isn't easy. 2 Corinthians 9 is what keeps coming to mind. 

Most don't of some of my, shall we say, food allergies. I can honestly say that in at least that on some level I learned denial to my bodies desires long ago.  I am just looking forward to eating what I want in Heaven. This diet is an expansion of that. 

To remove excuses means getting real with you. Stop trying to craft "white lies" to fit your bodies wants and desires.  There are no white lies. A lie is a lie in God's eyes and according to the Word of God. 

The worst kind of deception is not what you perpetrate on others it's what you do to yourself. 

"I can't do that."
"I am not able to..."
"I need me time..."

The problems in this society in which we live have all their roots in sin. You can't conquer sin without the power of God.  Evil people are living their lives ruled by their sin. Statistics prove that when a society grows closer to God, all forms of sin decrease. True happiness and prosperity are that result. Peace and security is possible.  Thinking good thoughts does nothing because on your own you cannot maintain it!

You will be distracted. 

Have you at all stopped to read your Bible this day?  No? Hmm...think on that. 
Have you at all stopped to pray when out of the blue you think about someone you hadn't in a while? That was an assignment by the Spirit, did you shrug it off because of a distraction?

If you are wanting a world that is more peaceful, less stressful, you need to start with you. 

Start living 2 Corinthians 9.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Who do You think You are?

Who do You think You are?

“You have become like us!” Isaiah 14:10 ESV 

What doom the apostate will feel when his naked soul appears before God. How painful it will be to hear that voice saying, “Depart, you who are cursed! You have rejected me, and I reject you; you have debased yourself and departed from me, so I will banish you forever from my presence. I will not have mercy on you.” What shame this wretch will experience at the great last day when, before multitudes of souls, his falsehood is revealed! See the profane sinners who never professed religion, lifting themselves up from their beds of fire to point at him: “There he is!” one says. “Will he preach the gospel in hell?” “There he is!” another says. “He rebuked me for cursing, and he was a hypocrite himself!” “Aha!” says yet another. “Here comes a hymn-singing churchgoer—one who was always at his meeting. It is the man who boasted of being sure of everlasting life, and here he is!” Satanic tormentors will never be more eager than in the day that demons drag the hypocrite’s soul to destruction. John Bunyan pictures this with awful grandeur when he speaks of the back way to hell. Seven devils bound a wretched man with nine cords, dragged him from the road to heaven on which he had claimed to walk, and thrust him through the back door into hell. Remember that back way to hell, you who profess Christ! “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT). Look carefully at your own state; see whether you are “in Christ” or not. It is the easiest thing in the world to be lenient on ourselves, but—oh!—be honest and true here. Be reasonable to all, but be rigorous on yourself. Remember, if it is not a rock you build on, the fall of your house, when it comes, will be great. Oh, may the Lord give you sincerity, loyalty, and firmness! In no day, however evil, may you be led to turn away from your faith. C. H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Oh so many these days are falling prey to false teaching!

It's the weeping and gnashing of teeth that's found in Hell among the trillions of people there. It's their crying out to God, to Jesus that burns in the ears of all who arrive there.

There are no demons there as jailers. Any demons already consigned there are in as much torment as the humans who populate the place, that place where those who have rejected Christ are sent.

Many who raged against God continue to do so after they arrive, with newfound vigor they gnash their teeth at God. Refusing to acknowledge His right as their creator to rule over His own creation. 

Still others arrive weeping because they were so deceived by Satan and his minions into a false hope either in God or themselves.  They weeping and wail in their newfound misery that transcends any pain ever experienced in this world. It's the enduring pain of the soul that will find no comfort. 

People today put all kinds of thoughts out there on how to live a good life. 
People make a ton of money on the lecture circuit being motivational speakers rather than preachers of the Word of God.  

Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He is THE Deceiver. His aim is the Throne of God and he cares not who goes to Hell. He cares not whose lives he destroys as long as they never end up in Heaven.  

Satan twists the truth about life and what living really is.  He is careful not to do so in any overt way.  He would do things in such a way that people slip into Hell rather than walk through its doors. 

False teachers and false doctrines were warned about in the New Testament. In today's world its everywhere.   People are too lazy to look things up themselves in God's Word to see if it is so.  They want relief, they want to feel good. They want what you get by going to a County Fair.  They don't want to hear about the need to repent.  Don't want to hear about the consequences of sin. They just want to hear about the blessings of God and none of how the relationship with Christ is going to change them.

People are deceived in the Church more than outside of it.

People hinder others from Godly wisdom by preventing them from hearing from those whom God is using. 

What are you seeing in your life?  Are you at all seeing a Christ follower or is your life about your success your happiness your this or your that?  Is the center of your existence you or your relationship with Christ?  Is work your "world"?  Is your family? Is it even all that you do at Church  rather than a close, real, relationship with Jesus?

Who do you THINK you are?  Are you convinced you are covered by the blood of Jesus? If so are you living as though you owe Him your life? 

Who do you think you there enough evidence to convict you of being a Christ follower?

Or are you just enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling you get by being around Christian people?

Will you honestly be slipping into Hell, finding out you were a fraud, or will you walk into Heaven being told "Well done!"?

Those in Hell cry out for God to save them.  

Those in Heaven cry out to God FOR saving them. 

Big difference. 

So, Who do YOU think you are?

Friday, June 25, 2021

Are You the Genuine Article?

Are You the Genuine Article?

The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot. Genesis 8:9 KJV 

Reader, can you find rest apart from your ark—Jesus Christ? If you can, your religion is worthless. Are you satisfied with anything less than the conscious knowledge of your union with and share in Christ? Then woe to you. If you profess to be a Christian but find your full satisfaction in worldly pleasures and pursuits, your profession is false. If your soul can rest, finding a bed long enough and a sheet broad enough to cover itself in the chambers of sin, then you are a hypocrite. You are far from any right thoughts of Christ or understanding of His preciousness. But perhaps that is not your case. Maybe you feel that even if you could indulge in sin without punishment, that would be a punishment in itself. Maybe you believe that if you could have the whole world, and live in it forever, that would be misery—because God is what your soul really craves. If so, be of good courage: you are a child of God. With all your sins and imperfections, take this as comfort: if your soul finds no rest in sin, you are not like sinners are! If you are still craving something better, Christ has not forgotten you—because you have not quite forgotten Him. Believers cannot do without their Lord; words are inadequate to express their thoughts of Him. We cannot eat the sands of the wilderness—we want the manna that drops from on high. Our bottles of human confidence won’t yield us a drop of moisture, but we drink from the rock that follows us—and that rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4). When you feed on Him, your soul can sing, “He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:5 NLT). But if you don’t have Christ, your overflowing wine vat and well-filled barn can give you no true satisfaction. Instead, lament over them with the words of wisdom: “Meaningless! Meaningless! . . . Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). C. H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time. 

In this world people are in various states of either convincing others of something or are in the midst of being convinced. 

Ignorance is not bliss.  Seeking personal happiness apart from God will be as futile as trying to divert Niagara Falls with a thimble. 

We know from 1 Timothy 6:10-12 "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

The love of money is at the core of the problems that mankind craves for.  If they had this money they could do this or that and be happy.  As a song from the 80's said that's looking for love in all the wrong places. 

What motivates you?  Is there any thought or consideration in you for the things of God that's stronger than what you desire out of this world?

Is vanity and pride blocking the way to the happiness you really seek?  Most of the advertising in this world today is about those two things.   

If you really do claim the name of Jesus as your Savior, are you at all interested in what your Savior is interested in, or are you going on your own merry way living in your own life apart from Him?  

Spurgeon asks you to be real with you.   

If you claim to be saved, are you living it?  By living it are you at all making His priorities your priorities?

Are you using your freedom in Christ as an excuse to continue in sin?

Paul had a lot to say about intentional sin. Knowledge is what Jesus said was going to be the downfall of the Jewish leaders. Knowledge of what constitutes sin and yet refusing to separate from it.  Human beings were created in the likeness of God.  Not just physically but spiritually and mentally and emotionally.  Sin messed that all up. Choice to obey is harder because of sin. Choice to live for Christ or you is still before you.  

Too many in today's so-called churches are being taught how to have their cake and eating it too.  Teaching as doctrines the thoughts of mankind and not from God's Word. 

Teaching that sexual sins are OK, that living in your vanity is OK.  That living in your own self interest is OK. 

Motivational speakers go on about bringing your body and mind under your submission.  Apart from God this isn't possible in the truest sense of the word.  You can spend your life attempting to get your body and mind to look and feel the way you want apart from God but all that will get you is an eternity in Hell apart from God. What good is it for man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul?

We look at our world and it's full of ways to avoid a Godly life. 

Immersing in fiction to avoid the reality of this world. 
Immersing in travel to avoid time with Christ as we ought because we focus on personal happiness apart from God. 
Immersing in forms of vanity that get people to spend thousands to look better, feel better, to impress people they really don't even know or like. 
Essentially what is available in this world is the ability to be immersing in all the ways possible to avoid a right relationship with Jesus. 

If you are spending your time, energy and money all on you.  That speaks volumes as to who is more important, you or Jesus.  If you are barely repeating the same words over and over saying you are thankful for the food that you are going to eat. You have a problem.  If the welfare of those living in your world means nothing to you, of whether or not they are heading for Hell or Heaven, you have a problem.  If you have never opened your Bible you have a problem. 

If any or all of these things are true, yet you claim to be a Christian, either you were never saved at all or your relationship with Jesus is seriously broken. Return to Christ, come back to the cross. Turn and repent. 

Of all the things you should be known for in this life is your being genuine in your walk with Jesus. 

The more I let go of this world's stuff and I stop listening to the world in its propaganda of self, and make more time to pray and obey God, the less stressful my life is. 

Be real in your life before God now before you stand before Him later wishing you had.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Source of Your Distraction

The Source of Your Distraction 

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. PROVERBS 4:23 NIV 

Perhaps they didn’t get enough sleep the night before; maybe they were worn out from a hard day’s work. Or maybe the clock ticked “bedtime.” We’ve all been victims of drowsiness, so we shouldn’t be surprised the three young men fell asleep. But we are! We’re shocked because it was such an important night. This night, more than any other, required disciplined vigilance. Jesus, about to begin His journey to the cross, asked the disciples to pray for Him. Imagine His disappointment when He found Peter, James, and John sleeping instead. Victims of drooping eyelids, the disciples missed an opportunity to encourage and strengthen Jesus in His moment of greatest need. And they missed the opportunity to strengthen themselves through prayer as well. Satan knows if he can keep us from worship, he can keep us from spiritual power. He is the master distracter, able to deter us from worship with his tactics. How many times have we been distracted from our private worship by the TV, the telephone, a messy house, our to-do list, a wandering mind, or heavy eyelids? When we prepare our hearts for personal worship, we must remember to guard our hearts from the distractions of Satan. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Oh what people would really think if only they really knew!!!

So much to do with this physical body is instigated by Spiritual warfare. 

It's not always that someone 'catches' this or that, often times it can be attempts from the enemy of God to do to you as was done to Job. It can also be attempts in even small ways to just distract you enough to simply not pray, or consider some imparted wisdom from God, or even a moment where you might have desired to worship Jesus. 

Distractions are a plenty in our world. People stirred up in anger are easily swayed by small instigations.  People spoiling for a fight will always find something to hang onto in order to provoke one.

Read the second chapter of Job.  Satan has the power, when granted in the life of a believer, to instigate disease and illness. Perhaps the same is true of non-believers. 

Look also, while we are in Job, at the great signs and wonders, THAT ALL LOOK LIKE NORMAL EVENTS, that in point of fact Satan is behind when permitted by God. 

Satan can, when permitted, be the architect behind world disasters. 

Satan can, when permitted, be behind physical distress and disease. 

Satan can,  when permitted, be behind your thoughts wandering to places they ought not to go. Whose end is temptation and sin.

I hadn't thought of the 3 falling asleep when Jesus had asked them to pray in the context of heavy Spiritual warfare until today.  Then it really hit me because that's what it really was in light of Job chapter 2.  Satan's attempts, as permitted by the Father, to cause Jesus to be alone at the time of His greatest need. As a result an Angel or two were dispatched to strengthen Jesus. 

You too can be going through physical difficulties that were instigated by Spiritual warfare. 

In the book 90 Minutes in Heaven, that whole true story is a Job-like Spiritual attack on a Pastor.  Just like Job, that Pastor was being pressured to curse God and die.

Diseases, by their very nature are like sin. They are a perversion of something good that God created to be good.  Read Genesis chapter 1 and 2. God created...and it was good. God created...and it was good.  Even the serpent gets a bad rap because originally it was created to be good!  The whole Earth has been taking the brunt of the negative effects of the curse of sin.

Satan was behind even fire from Heaven to destroy Job's sheep and servants. 

Satan is known as the destroyer.  If God created it for good, Satan is opposed to it. 

Your mind is so easily distracted for a reason.  You may ignore it at your own peril but you are in the midst of Spiritual war.   Satan must get permission to mess with believers. Again, Read Job chapters one and two. I have to believe in the lives of some unbelievers its a case of the same thing.  Because some of them Jesus already knows will someday come to Him for salvation. 

I was heavily distracted in trying to write this post.  The pressure to keep on reading other devotionals to find something else, anything else, to write about was great.  Coincidence? Hardly.  The first rule of warfare is what? KNOW YOUR ENEMY. 

DO NOT attribute every little negative thing to Satan.  He's good, but, not that good.  You have a sin nature that is at war with the Holy Spirit, if you are saved. Satan knows you much better than you do.  He has minions everywhere who do not grow weak with a need for sleep. They watch for every opportunity to distract, to do whatever, to cause believers to sin. 

Excuses are perhaps THE number one go-to for him.  Getting us to create excuses to not do something that God says we should be doing.  I am too tired. I have too much work to do. The kids were really good, I can't stop to do this or that, they need rewarding first.  Hmm? Yes sometimes even that can be a trick from Satan to stop a prayer from getting to the Throne of God. 

Dropping a phone call that should have continued on because of a distraction on either end of the line can be found to have its roots in Spiritual warfare.  Perhaps the one you are talking to still needs to talk because God’s working in them and you could be that tipping point to get there?  Or by abruptly ending calls you can be sewing seeds of disinterest?

You can easily just drop into a chair for a moment and rather than talk to God you absent-mindedly turn on the radio or Television. Or even the videos on some app on your phone. 

Oh, you HAVE to clean out that inbox of emails. 

You wake up and can't sleep.  Worry seeps in. Why not pray?  

Distractions can be and should be seen for what they are.  Satan was behind the illnesses of many that Jesus healed.  Was behind the illnesses of the people that the Apostles healed. 

Connect the dots!

A right relationship is what Job had with God.  Can the same be said of you?

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Not by My Works, Rather by His Spirit

Not by My Works, Rather by His Spirit 

A Prayer 

I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, . . . the Spirit of truth. 

Jesus, You taught that it is to my advantage that You go away; for if You did not go away, the Helper would not come to me; but if You departed, You would send Him to me. Your Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God. I did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but I received the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit helps in my weaknesses. For I do not know what I should pray for as I ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for me with groanings which cannot be uttered. The God of hope fills me with all joy and peace in believing, that I may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in my heart by the Holy Spirit who was given to me. By this I know that I abide in God, and He in me, because He has given me of His Spirit. Your Spirit, Jesus, is an amazing gift! May His presence in my life bring glory to God! 

JOHN 14:16–17; JOHN 16:7; ROMANS 8:16; ROMANS 8:15; ROMANS 8:26; ROMANS 15:13; ROMANS 5:5; 1 JOHN 4:13

Dr.. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

In the teachings of this world we learn of things that are twisted variations of God’s truth. 

Specifically in this prayer we see the Truth.  

The world says we have many avenues to God. 
The world says we can have our own name for who is our God.
The world doesn't want to be changed by God.
The world says that all people can coexist. 

Jesus said, clearly, that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Him. 

There's no other way for entry into Heaven but through the truths of God’s Word about those who are the sanctified in Christ. Those who are justified in Christ.  The Spirit of God seals the believer in Christ.  A Holy agreement that says "paid in full", written in the blood of Jesus. 

We look at those around us and see many trying to work their way to Heaven. They will fail. 
Millions over the years, over the centuries, have tried and failed. 

There is no life that can be lived outside of Christ's atonement that can enter into Heaven. 

To enter requires sin to be removed.  I can't do it, you can't do it, nobody can do it.

When God the Father looks at one who had chosen to come to Christ, all He sees is Christ. All vestiges of sin are gone. Sin is the great inhibitor, ingrained in the souls of mankind, that prevents any possibility of living right enough to satisfy the requirements for salvation. 

It is only by an through the work of the Spirit of God does anyone come to Christ for salvation. 
It is only through a right relationship with Jesus does anyone begin to become Christ-like themselves.  The work is began by the Spirit of God. It is in His hands to do at the pace He deems necessary. 

Some have heard this phrase "let go and let God". 

Paul teaches of putting off the old self and putting on the life that is of Christ, the whole armor of God.  

In our physical world war exists.  In the Spiritual world war exists as well.  In our physical world it is who is going to take what ground that may be had.  In the Spiritual world it's about lives of people. 

In that prayer this morning we see a picture of God's truth about believers.  Of how He prepared for each person who has put their faith and trust in Christ for salvation. 

It does mean living life for different reasons than the world that has rejected Him. 

We who have come to Christ have a part in the Plan of God to reach others in this world. 

Word of mouth and the evidence of a Godly life have been perpetuated for more than 2,000 years. 

Satan's great enticement is to find the best way to distract you from either coming to Christ or from living for Christ.  The intensity of life is a smokescreen.  There is always an evil underlying intent by the enemy’s of God against those who have come to Christ and against those who are considering it. 

Everyone has an excuse.  We are all born with a sin nature that loves to come up with a good excuse not to live for God but for ourselves. The road of life has thousands of signs along the way that are there to entice you to pull off for a while.  To try to derail you getting to either salvation or to get you to stop living for Jesus. 

Satan knows he was dealt a significant, crippling loss at the cross.  He is still obsessed with finding a way, any way, to take God’s place on the Throne of God.  So blinded is he that he forgets that all it takes is the spoken word of Jesus and all in this universe obeys.

After the Tribulation and after the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will gather mankind in one last epic assault and by the Word of God alone, through the full authority of Jesus Christ, it will be over. Not a single shot fired.

You who read this are either the saved in Christ or you are not. 

The first must choose daily to live for the One who saved you. 
The second must choose either the free gift of Salvation through Christ alone or choose the judgment of God.  No one's works will ever amount to anything in regards to saving their soul.  If it were possible then Christ died needlessly.  

Without the seal of the Spirit of God, there can be no way to escape the final judgment to come.   Life isn't about going out to live for you.  The world wants you to believe that you can be all you can be.  That you should be accepted as you are.  The Bible says that to be all we can be requires coming to Christ. The Bible teaches that God loves us too much to leave us as we are. That's why Jesus had to come, live a sinless life, be nailed to a cross. To die for the sins of all mankind. To make a way where there was no way to be saved. 

You can try all your life to live a good life apart from Christ.  You will be living a lie.

If you want to be saved from the wrath to come, you must choose to come to Christ. 

Sin is the disease, Christ Jesus is the cure.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Staying in Sin by Choice

Staying in Sin by Choice 

You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Lord God, how shall I who died to sin live any longer in it? 

Dear Lord...
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. He died for me, that I who live should live no longer for myself, but for Him who died for me and rose again. If I am in Christ, I am a new creation; old things have passed away; all things have become new. I am in You who are true, in Your Son Jesus Christ. As You, Father, are in Jesus, and He in You; that all believers also may be one in You, I am part of the body of Christ, and a member individually. Because Jesus lives, I will live also. I am dead to sin and alive in Christ! I praise You, Lord God, that I am a new creation for now and for eternity. Amen. 

 Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

People across this world choose to live in sin and rage at those who do not join them. 

In the Bible, not far from that opening passage, it also refers to what is called a practiced sin. 

Sins that people willingly do, knowing full well that their actions are not in accordance with God's Word.  It is everything from what the world has defined as little white lies to the very much in your face lies.  The world's definitions of right and wrong, of lies and truth, mean nothing in the light of God’s Word. 

When we face Jesus Christ note very clearly that Scripture says there are no lawyers to defend anyone. In all references to facing Jesus, either in His form before coming to Earth as Jesus or before, there's nobody defending anybody. You stand or fall by yourself. 

There's another passage that reads that it's a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 

One of Satan's deceptions is that humans can stand up to God in defiance of Him or His truth. 
Satan couldn't. Scripture says that he was beheld like lightning when he chose to rebel against God.  That fast he was dismissed from the presence of God. 

Choosing to live in sin, any sin, is nothing to be celebrating. Choosing to rejoice in someone else's sin is very wrong.  Jesus endured the horrific death on a cross, separation from His Father, to pay the penalty for sin.  He didn't do all that to give anyone a free ride in continuing to willingly sin!

It's been joked about often that if the wages for sin were paid immediately it wouldn't be so attractive.  

Learning to test the boundaries of right and wrong begins at infancy.  How far can I go and yet barely stay out of trouble?

As adults it's still there.  The arrogant presumption of us not seeing God stopping us isn't a license saying we have His approval. 

Our excuses are no reason to continue in sin either.  Scripture says that to all who have come to Jesus, they are given a measure of faith.  Jesus Himself said what the faith the size of a mustard seed could do.   

I still falter and stumble in various things in my life, I am everso grateful to God's grace and mercy in those things in me that haven't changed yet. But if you have no remorse at the sin that you do or the sins that you are enjoying that's what the Bible says is a hardened heart. 

A hardened heart loses the ability to beat any rhythm at all. 

In the days of Noah this world celebrated sin. They had perfect brains and likely bodies to go with them due to none of the sun's radiation degrading their bodies. They were marrying and being given in marriage.  They were each doing their own thing.  The Bible says their thoughts were evil continually.  They saw nothing wrong with it. The Scripture says that the Lord searches the heart. He knew every one of those billions of people. He knows every one of the billions that live now who are also marrying and being given in marriage.  

Know this, that as stated yesterday, Satan's belief in the return of Christ is stronger than much of both this world and the professing Church in this world.  So-called Churches are telling people to celebrate sin this month in particular.  Telling people that they don't need to take God's Word literally.  That Jesus was a nice guy and that it's possible to live a good enough life to get into Heaven. 

If the head of the enemy of God knows that God's Word has not been broken, where do you think that puts all of humanity?

In Ephesians 6 we are shown what the full armor of God is. That those who are believers should wear it daily.  Each part of it has its purpose.  Wearing it is never a suggestion. 

People everywhere think that they can run from war.  The truth is most do not look at the real battlefield.  The battlefield is in the Spiritual world that overlays this physical world. Read of Elijah praying that his servant's eyes would be opened to see the real soldiers. 

Look at what the New Testament says of our warfare.  We battle not against flesh and blood. 

Warfare exists everywhere including theme parks!  It is in the baby's nursery! It's in your living room!  Your car! Your workplace.  Your moments supposedly alone with yourself and your phone.  The battlefield is where your mind is.  

What are you doing to fortify your defenses?

Are you relying on you or on Christ Jesus?

Are you even acknowledging that you are at war over the souls of mankind?

Not fighting is not an option.  Satan fools many into thinking the lie of pacifism.  That if they avoid all that then they are safe. That if they just look for the good in people it will be OK. That if they are living lives apart from the troubles they see in the news that they are OK. 

Lies lies lies. Again, Satan's never been to Hell and doesn't care who gets sent there!
Jesus cared enough to die to pay the price to keep people from going there!

Choice came from the cross of Christ. 

Choosing to sin or not choosing to sin. 

That's what you have every moment of today. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Belief must be with Faith

Belief must be with Faith 

With God nothing will be impossible. LUKE 1:37 

Over and over again in the Old Testament, God is described as the Maker of heaven and earth. The Hebrews’ worldview was based on the fact that their God was the Maker of all things, and as such He had the power and strength to meet all their needs. Therefore it was part of the continual confession, almost as a reminder, that their God (who is also our God) made all things—nothing was too hard for Him. God created all things, and by Him all things are held together. If God holds the entire universe together, is it not reasonable to assume that He can hold the different aspects of your individual life together as well? He created us for the journey and sustains us through the journey as well. So when you arrive at a place on your journey and you don’t know what to do and you say, “Lord, I need help,” remember this: the One to whom you are praying is the One who made heaven and earth. He can help you! The God who created us for life is the One who can help us with life.

So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed . . .” LUKE 17:6 

A man approached a Little League baseball game one afternoon while strolling through a park. He stopped and asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, “Eighteen to nothing—we’re behind.” “Boy,” said the spectator, “I’ll bet you’re discouraged.” “Why should I be discouraged?” replied the little boy. “We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!” What a difference an optimistic attitude makes! As Christians, we have the ultimate comfort that we are blessed with the ultimate win—eternal life in heaven with God. But until then, how are we supposed to face the discouragements of this world? Job 16:5 says, “But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief” (NIV). God is our great encourager. He reminds us that with His help, anything is possible. It is a matter of perspective that determines the productivity of our actions. Childlike faith is the way to success in this world. Do you believe that the Lord will be faithful to provide for your needs and your desires? He is waiting to hear and see your enthusiasm for life; He is waiting to bless a childlike faith. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

These two go as hand in hand as something that C. H. Spurgeon said to someone about which was more important, prayer or reading their Bible.  He responded with which was more important, breathing in or breathing out?

There are going to be times that we just are not going to understand the road we are on. 

In another devotional that I read this morning it referred to a pastor of a Church in the early years of Hitler's Germany. His Church was bombed, congregation scattered. He was arrested and was to stand trial.  He was afraid on his way to court. From the most unlikeliest of sources came a passage from Proverbs.  The very guard taking him to court. The passage sustained him throughout his imprisonment and the concentration camp until his release to start a new church again,.

20 years ago we were lead to come to live where we are.  God arranged it all and every piece fell into place.  Pieces we weren't aware of that were out of place appeared and were resolved just as quickly. To give you a mental image it very much was like that dream of driving. You know you are on the road, but can only see the curve of it. You cannot see straight ahead to what is coming. 

I look at our present situation and we are praying once again.  God must do what God does and we must proceed by prayer and faith.   I have looked back on the last half decade and wonder if we missed a golden opportunity years ago.  

But then the Spirit reminded me that to be where I am today required those valleys and mountains that we passed through.  Belief and Faith must go together. 

We like to know what is going to happen. We like to be the one in control, be it personal relationships, family relationships or any other relationship.  We think if we are the one guiding people then we can be satisfied with the outcome.  The truth is harder than that.  We must trust God to be the one doing the guiding through the Spirit.   Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God too and look how that turned out. 

We live in a world where it's obvious to me that even Satan knows that the time for Christ to return is imminent.  He knows. It's the people who are supposed to believe and have the faith who are not living as though it is imminent. 

Satan's faith in the return of Christ is stronger than that of much of the professing Christian world.  Read that again. 

He is the one behind the grand changes in how manufacturing processes have been changed. He is trying to develop a system that won't break down when the Rapture occurs. In their 'genius' the world thinks its their idea.

Where is your faith and belief?  Are you living as though Jesus is coming back at any time? Again, His enemy believes it.

In the parables from Jesus He taught over and over to be prepared. To be ready. Until then, to live lives that reflect Him.  Wherever that may be.  We believe that we could be moving again. We pray n seek God to do what He has done before.  

We who are in Christ need to be the ones with greater faith than the enemy of God. 

Are you living as though Christ could be returning right now? Or do you have excuses for your life and your faith is lacking?  It's time to get real with you. It's time to end the excuses and live the life of faith you who call yourself a Christian is to live.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

So What?

So What?

For what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36

We are inundated with advertising to entice and affect our emotions to the point we cross a line,  make a decision, make a purchase, change the direction of our lives, mostly to profit someone else. 

You have to have this...

You experiencing this? Then you need...

You may have this, consult your doctor...

Now is the time to buy, because we're dealing...

But the verse above speaks to that.  Look at one of the top booming businesses. Storage Units. 

Look through neighborhoods. Cars relegated to the driveway or street because the garage is now a storage unit. 

Preying on feelings is what advertisers are paid to do. Add to this that the god of this world is Satan.  Prey is what people are to him. The Scripture is very clear that he roams around the world seeking someone to devour.  

World Holidays are his twisting of the celebrations God intended for Israel to remember the mighty deeds of God.  Playing on the emotions of people to keep them FROM a life with Christ. 

His point is to not only keep people craving for more who aren't believers but also to distract those who are believers.  The lusts of the flesh are Satan's specialty.  Pride of life is his greatest accomplishment in imparting that to humanity to keep them from the knowledge of Christ Jesus to be saved.  Those in Hell, weeping and gnashing their teeth are those who only now see how far they have been deceived.  Some who weep know they cannot go back. Those who are gnashing their teeth because in the twisted minds they think they want more of what they had. That regardless of God’s truth, their way is better to them.

You are being enticed.

You have both Angels and Demons around you.  

The Scriptures are clear that we are not in a war of flesh and blood.  Let's read it, shall we?

Ephesians 6:12-18 "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. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints"

Every soldier in all history has had an outfit to wear for battle.  Regardless of who the Christian is, regardless of where you are in life, of where you live, of how your life is going, YOU are at war.

Only with a life that is God centered, not world centered, do our foes know that we can resist. 

Excuses are your measuring stick.

We all have them. I am this, I am that. I can't help it because of this. I am just this way. 

The job of the Holy Spirit is to work at making you more like Christ. If changes are not happening then one of two things is the reason.  Either you need to question your being saved ot you are living in defiance of God’s command and instructions from the Bible. 

Don't go there in regards to physical limitations. If you have read your Bible at all you will know that God can use anyone in any circumstance to fulfill the work of God. 

You and I, because of the cross, have the almost God-like power of choice.  In human terms that is.  People in power think they have the power of choice to alter the lives of people. Only those God allowed choices will. Regardless of whom is in power making such choices. 
Choice is what separated Adam and Eve from God. It's what separates millions per day from God and consign them to Hell.  Choice in the mind of man is that powerful.  The Cross provided choice and how it impacts the destiny of mankind.  

Satan knows and twists choice to send as many away from salvation as he can, caring not who ends up in Hell just as long as they don't end up in Heaven. He was elated at finding Judas Iscariot willing to do his bidding. Knowing full well that Judas was going to end up in Hell.  Even Satan knows the Bible.  Knows that it cannot be broken, but still he tries. 

Satan wants you and I to choose to live lives that honor only ourselves.  

Satan is the one whom Christ said disguises himself as an angel of light.

We are by no means pawns, but spirit beings who have the power of choice. 

Enough with our Excuses. In many places in the Old Testament God got to that point with the Children of Israel.  A day is coming soon when enough will be enough. It's been promised.  Jesus is returning. We will give an account of our lives.  What will your life show? A life of excuses as to not obeying Christ or will it show obedience?

You, like Joshua, must choose. As he said so say I, as for me I choose the Lord.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Not My Job!?!? Think again...

Not My Job!?!? Think again....

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. ROMANS 8:16

 In Romans 8:16, Paul told the Romans, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Wherever I travel across this country, people ask me, “How can I have assurance of salvation? How can I know that I really belong to Christ?” There are many scriptures to which we can point, but the bottom line is this: if you have the Holy Spirit living within you, that Spirit testifies with your spirit that you are a child of God. It is the inward witness of your faith. Most of us have had the experience of saying to people, “I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I know I’m a Christian.” “Well, how do you know?” “I just know inside.” We know inside because the Spirit of God is there, witnessing to our assurance. Somewhere within us, a voice whispers, You are Mine. You are not your own. You belong to Me. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

For several generations we have seen the tide turn from those willing to work hard for God and those who want salvation yet be left alone to live life their way.  Not just the rest of the world where that's become the butt of countless jokes. 

If indeed you have the Spirit of God within you, you have a part in the plan and purpose of God. If indeed you have the Spirit of God within you, He who began the work within you will continue it until the day of Christ Jesus returning. 
If indeed you are saved you do have the Spirit of God within you, those who insist on continuing in sin, insist on living what Paul wrote about concerning intentional sin, you invite the Spirit to not spare the rod.

Intentional sin has permeated the Church today.   People who believe that it's OK to say they are saved yet live a life of homosexuality.  They live lives with a constant use of swearing as if that were no big deal either.  Some live lives so far removed from Christ that they literally claim to be saved in their own word only. 

We who are in Christ are to remember what the Scriptures say. Be Holy as He is Holy. That's the bar to set for your standards. In Romans we are told to turn away from intentional sin, not to embrace it.

If you have no remorse when you need to make sure that you are truly saved. 
Nobody who is of Christ should ever have no remorse when sinning. 

The people of this world who are not saved have no remorse when they sin. People who are saved are to become more Christ like.  They have a plan and purpose as commanded by the Spirit not only to grow in Christ but to also share that with others. To add more souls to the family of God.

There's no such thing as "Not My Job!" In the service of God.  

You, if you have truly come to Christ, have a part to be had in pointing someone else to the cross of Christ.  If you are constantly doing your own thing then maybe it's time to recheck your Spiritual priorities.  If you are not consistent in your prayer time, if you are not consistent in your Bible reading.  If you are living for yourself, not asking God what He would have you doing.  If you are not asking yourself if you are truly becoming more like Christ.  Then you need to stop what you are doing and get on your knees before God and get back on track. 

In the Old Testament more than once people were rebuked for constantly living life with neglect for the things of God.  

Yes it is your job.  Yes you do have a part as assigned by the Spirit to grow in Christ and to point others to Jesus.  In Nehemiah there's plenty of lessons on what happened when neglect came into play after he helped guide the people to rebuild.  Those put in charge of the Temple left to do their own thing and God had a huge problem with it. 

In your life if you claim the name of Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you need to get with His plan and purpose for your life.  It is for you to live for the one who took your place at Calvary. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

How Close Do You Get?

How Close Do You Get?

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. PSALM 66:18

 In pre-Revolution Russia, one of the most influential people in Czar Nicholas II’s court was a wandering Orthodox monk named Grigori Rasputin. Empress Alexandra fell under Rasputin’s spell and his doctrine of immorality—that it is the believer’s responsibility to sin with abandon in order to experience the joy of repentance. The greater the sin, the greater the joy. Rasputin clearly had not read Romans 6:1–2: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” And had he read Psalm 32:3–4, he would have discovered that David found no pleasure in sin: “My bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer.” The Bible is clear that sin is what separates us from God. Choosing not to confess our sin and turn from it is like cutting the communication lines with God. Confession means to say the same thing about our sin that God says about it. And agreeing with God is always good for the soul. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

We have no idea how softly and tenderly the voices are.  Of the world, the demons at Satan's bec and call.  Some probably thought that I meant that voice of God, well there is that voice too.

Point to remember is that not only does the Scripture say that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, so would his minions. Most have heard it said about if you put a frog in a hot pan it will jump out. If put in a unheated pan and you slowly turn up the heat you will cook it because it didn't see it coming. 

In the arsenal of Satan and his minions is soft and tender words of enticement.  If people saw upfront the true cost of sin and disobedience to God they wouldn't do it.

In the Garden of Eden, he didn't say "Here's a preview of Hell!  Say, what are your thoughts on eternity for punishment?" And then go on from there as all television and movie villains do and tell their evil plans to the thought to be soon dying heroes. 

Yet you and those around us all sooner or later find out which frog we are. Sin always comes with consequences.  There is no just little sins. All sins are evil in the sight and court of God. 

If in some possible world nobody sinned.  Yet at some point 1 person told what the world calls a "little white lie" that would have been enough to send someone to God's judgment.  That sin would have been enough to require what happened in our world. That a perfect sacrifice would need to take place. Jesus would still need to have been that sacrifice.  

Full spirit beings can have no Savior because they have no excuse in seeing God's perfection and choosing to reject it.  Demons are those who rejected God and have no recourse. When Jesus cried out "It is FINISHED!" Their judgment was complete. The Father's plan to save those of mankind was officially implemented without any further delay.  Only physical man has the option of choosing Christ or rejection of Christ.  

All too often both Christians and non-Christian people try living as close to sin as they can get to see what they can "enjoy". All the while not knowing that the frying pan is slowly having the heat turned up. 

Success in this world can still mean separation from God.  Failure in this world doesn't necessarily mean separation from God.  God's Word defines success and failure differently than the world.  The world says to be the best you can be. Get as much power and wealth as you can.  God's Word says the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.  

Many who followed Christ in the early years of the Church looked to have been failures in the world's eyes.  All the Apostles were killed by the world but one.  Some brutally killed. Doesn't make them failures.  2,000 plus years later the seeds they sowed in obedience are why Christians are still here today. 

Be careful of what the world entices you with.  There's good reason why the Bible says to take every thought captive.  A wild horse never becomes a trained thoroughbred because of allowing it to do what feels right. Noah rejected what his world offered in favor of obedience to God. He believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. 

Noah was in Paradise when Jesus arrived to take him and all who believed with Him to Heaven. Paradise left when Jesus ascended.  All that remains is Hell. 

Are you at all sure of what's behind your thoughts and actions?  
Are you listening to the world or to God in your life?

Who you listen to determines which pan you are in.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Shortest, Most Powerful Prayer

The Shortest, Most Powerful Prayer 

Help, LORD. 
Psalm 12:1 

This is a remarkable prayer, for its brevity, timeliness, pointedness, and poignancy. David mourned how few faithful men he could find, so he lifted up his heart in prayer—when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. David apparently felt his own weakness, or else he wouldn’t have cried for help, but at the same time he intended to honestly exert himself for the cause of truth—since the word help doesn’t apply when we ourselves do nothing. In this two-word prayer, there is much that is direct, clear in its perception, and distinct in its style—much more, in fact, than in the long, rambling prayers of some professing Christians. The psalmist ran straight to his God with a well-considered prayer—he knew what he was seeking and where to look for it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner. We have frequent occasions for the use of this prayer. In the afflictions that God allows into our lives, this is a suitable prayer for believers who find all other helpers failing them. Students of the Word, facing doctrinal difficulties, can receive help by lifting up this cry of Help, LORD to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher. Spiritual warriors battling inner conflicts may call to God’s throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request. Those doing heavenly labor can use this prayer to obtain grace in time of need. Sinners seeing God, in their doubts and fears, can offer up the same weighty words—in fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the purposes of needy souls. Help, LORD will suit us living and dying, suffering or laboring, rejoicing or sorrowing. Our help is found in Him, so let no one hesitate to cry out to Him. If this prayer is sincerely offered through Jesus, its answer is certain. The Lord’s character assures us that He will not leave His people. His relationship as Father and Husband guarantees us His aid. The gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing, and God’s sure promise stands: “Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).

Not long ago many in the world flocked to a prayer by Jabez from the Old Testament, some for good and noble reasons, others not so much. 

In the book of Psalms there are hundreds of prayers from King David.  

More often than not, the simplest is really what is best.  To just cry out to our God with a simple "help!".

What is often times forgotten is that for those who have been saved, is the understanding that He who searches the hearts of man, knows our needs and thoughts before we do. 

Often I hear people, with no regard to what their words invoke, exclaim "Oh God!" at some thought or event that has happened or is happening.  The reality is that really does garner the attention of the one true God of Heaven.  In Hell, that is likely the ,most cried out statement, pleading and attempting to implore the God of Heaven to relieve their pain and anguish. To help them in their misery.  Unfortunately those prayers go unanswered because they had their chance to choose Jesus Christ as their Savior but chose to reject Him. Help will never come. 

To those in this world who yet breathe the breath of life, you still have hope.  You still may yet turn to the one true God.  You may yet avoid the peril of those in Hell. 

But only you can make that choice. 

To those who say you do have Jesus as your Savior, does your life show it?  Is there evidence of obedience?  Or should someone listening to your thoughts go away wondering if what you claim is true about you and God?

Prayer is a tool and yet it is also a lifeline.   It's a heart of a child of God speaking to the heart of the God of Heaven.  It's often a heart of a child of God being taught from the God of Heaven. 

Prayers do not need to be wordy or be long to be honest or heard by our Father in Heaven.  Scripture says the Father seeks those who worship in Spirit and in truth. 

I often remember the lowest times in my life with more clarity than I like.  Of the times when I have failed in my walk with Christ as well as specific relationships I have had with people in this world.  I can remember praying such a prayer of just a simple "HELP!".  Not unlike someone in the water who can't swim, I was brought up out of it eventually by my prayer. By my God not leaving me as He found me. 

Oh I am so grateful that my God has not left me in that state in which He found me. 

I am amazed at how far He has brought me.  Some who have wrong motives for coming to Christ won't be able to say the same.  The truth is you should expect to not be the same person you were when you first came to Jesus to be saved.  He cleans our wounds and heals our afflictions in due time, preparing us for the work of service and to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.  

Prayers are not to be seen as some look at them as being.  It's no sign of weakness in the way the world defines weakness.  I often ask others for prayer in what many might see as me being weak.  As Paul said so say I, I will boast in my weaknesses if it points anyone to Christ. 

In your time of being awake to this point in your day...have you at all had a serious talk with Jesus?  Have you at all made sure of your walk with Christ is the most important thing in your life?   If pursuing worldly things or fame or anything else is more important than that, you, my friend, have a serious problem. Are your prayers filled with a want list from God as if He was only there to be your Butler?  Are you confessing any sins of yours at all to Him?  Are you at all praising Him in your prayers?  Are you at all thankful in your prayers?

Maybe now is the time for you to simply pray "help!" if you haven't. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Doubts are What Can Separate You from God

Doubts are What Can Separate You from God 

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 

My Lord God, I take careful heed, to do the commandment and the law, to love You, to walk in all Your ways, to keep Your commandments, to hold fast to You, and to serve You with all my heart and with all my soul. I walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. I let my speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that I may know how I ought to answer each one. I abstain from every form of evil. While the bridegroom was delayed, the foolish maids all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!” I watch therefore, for I know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. I will be even more diligent to make my call and election sure, for if I do these things I will never stumble. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. In these evil days may I serve You with all my heart as I walk in wisdom and watch for Jesus’ return. EPHESIANS 5:15–16; JOSHUA 22:5; COLOSSIANS 4:5–6; 1 THESSALONIANS 5:22; MATTHEW 25:5–6, 13; 2 PETER 1:10; LUKE 12:37  Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

I saw this prayer this morning, which is what his book contains, and it hit me quickly that the Old Testament Watchman on the wall was as responsible for the care and direction of the nation as the King himself. 

We are bombarded with reasons to doubt the reality of God and the words He has left us to consider. 

In the Garden of Eden it all began with the seeds of doubt.  In Noah's day those seeds were so prolific that nobody but Noah was found to be believing in God. Note carefully that God didn't include Noah's Wife or His Son's or their Wives in who was living a righteous life before the Lord.

Doubts are always about delays. To delay thinking that could change the course of a life.

Doubts are why people believe they can wait til just before they die to come to Christ. 
Doubts are why people attack those who live for Jesus.  To try to stop them from opening the eyes of anyone else who might come to Christ. 

While the bridegroom was delayed, the foolish maids all slumbered and slept.

While the King was away one servant lived in fear of His return and buried what he had been entrusted with rather than investing it.  Out of fear of how the King's reputation had been. 

While the King was away the foolish maids only brought enough oil for their lamps to get by, while the prudent brought enough to last the night. 

Doubts come in all sizes and are meant to do one thing, obstruct the truth. 

In the temptations in the wilderness Satan's seed plantings were all about Doubts vs the Truth when he tried to tempt Jesus. 

Will our lives be any different?

No they won't.   Soon the call will indeed be coming to those who are dead in Christ first, then for those who believe, to rise up and enter into the safety and security of Christ's Heaven,  while judgment comes to this world.  Those who are saved in Christ Jesus will be the only ones to leave.  Those whom gave into their doubts so as to not believe,  will indeed be left here to go through those judgments. 

Noah lived for hundreds of years seeing all the vast temptations that his world offered.

Noah saw all the world's enticements to sin and rejected them in favor of righteousness in God.  Noah. A man who didn't have what is available now. What is received through Salvation in Christ, the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was tempted in every way yet did not sin. The Disciples were often rebuked for the Doubts and unbelief.  

Doubts...a single more than enough to keep anyone who isn't saved through Christ Jesus, to not be saved.  Each and every person may indeed be different, however, in all ways possible, all will be given enough evidence to know that Jesus wants to save them. 

Prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit can vanquish doubts.  Faith destroys doubt.

Are you going to be ready for His return, or will the doors close on you when it happens?

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Perspective and Seeing

Perspective and Seeing 

“Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah . . . all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.” JEREMIAH 26:2 Each of us has a mission field: we have family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends with whom we can share not only God’s love but also His truth. We run the risk of offending people, however, when we speak God’s truth. After all, doing so can mean sharing a message that a person needs to hear but may not like. In fact, unregenerate people can be violently opposed to God and will sometimes slander and ridicule those He sends to them. (At times even God’s people react the same way.) Nevertheless, we—like Jeremiah—must communicate with absolute accuracy whatever truth God gives us to share. Though we may be tempted to adjust the message to make it more palatable, doing so might mean distorting the truth and misrepresenting God. As you faithfully speak God’s message, not diminishing a word, rest assured that God works in wondrous detail, tailoring His message precisely for those who need to hear it. Don’t hesitate to accurately communicate that message—for the good of the person who needs to hear it.  - Blackaby Being Still With God 

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… . Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:8–9 No matter how ungodly the environment you may be in, God will always find you and walk with you. Noah lived in perhaps the most wicked age in history. No one worshiped God. All the people worshiped idols and pursued their own sinful pleasures. Noah's neighbors were evil; every person he associated with in the marketplace, or along the street, or in public gatherings, ridiculed the very thought of being faithful to God. Every temptation imaginable was abundantly available to Noah. How oppressive such an environment would have been to a righteous person! The people of Noah's day were so wicked that God planned the most complete and drastic act of judgment recorded in Scripture. Nevertheless, Noah was not lost to God in the crowd of sinners. God noticed every act of Noah's righteousness. Noah had chosen to live uprightly before God despite what everyone around him was doing, and God had observed him. There may have been times when Noah wondered if it mattered if he lived a righteous life, since no one else was. Yet he continued, and his persistence in righteousness saved his life and the lives of his family members. Are you constantly surrounded by evil? Do you struggle at times to live a righteous life when those you associate with each day have no concern for God? Find assurance in the life of Noah. God watches you, even as He observed Noah. God will seek you out of the crowd every time, and He wants to bless you and your family just as He blessed Noah. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Ever hear the phrase that goes along the lines of not seeing the forest for the trees?

How often are we somewhere yet have checked out mentally and are somewhere else in our minds?

Being focused is important but being about what you are to be doing is as important.  

As Christians we have a responsibility toward obedience to our Savior. 

Our world will attempt to do to us as it attempted to do to Noah. Do realize that is the way Jesus worded it concerning His return?

We will be in a world of distraction. Much as Noah was. We will be tempted to put off til tomorrow what can be done today.  We will be enticed to join in the world in their brand of joy rather than what is to be found in our relationship with Christ. 

I have been making it a point to reduce my intake of movies or television.  In fact I haven't sat to even watch the news.  I do not follow any sitcoms or television series.  Rarely have I watched a new movie in years actually.  I began replacing those things with things that matter. 

To me getting absorbed into much of what this world calls entertainment or even what it calls politically correct to stand up for,  is akin to taking it upon myself to start remodeling the rooms on the Titanic.  I know full well what is about to come upon the Earth.  I don't even want to be one of the musicians setting up on the deck of the ship.  The end of things is near.

This is in no way meant to be seen as a bad thing.  The promise of Christ returning is in my sight for good reason.  It means going home.  Who, after a long journey, isn't the least bit excited about going home?

Often that journey home is fought with detours.  Such is the life we live in. 

We have a responsibility to be telling people the truth of God and what is coming.  Not merely joining in with them and remaining silent about it.  Had people known in advance what was to befall them, odds are good they would have lost the thrill and excitement of being on the Titanic. 

The billions who gushed into Hell during the Genesis Flood all probably felt that way. 

But the thoughts of the world were evil continually it says in Genesis.  Today isn't much different. Evil is being taught as good. In both schools and churches.  Sin is being called behavioral problems.  Morality is being called subjective.  Each day something else on this Titanic keeps getting remodeled while the iceberg looms ahead. The truth isn't so hidden. 

You who are in Christ are you living as though Christ could be returning at any time?

You who are undecided, do you really see the changes happening before your eyes?  Satan wants nothing more than for you to remain undecided because he owns that fence you are sitting on.  

When disaster strikes from the weather most everyone doesn't care what their rescuers look like.  They just don't want to die.  Disaster is coming.  Not some age of enlightenment or of prosperity.  This world has a limited amount of time left before Jesus returns. 

We who are in Christ should be about the Father's business.  Not helping people rebuild their room when that iceberg is coming fast. We should be mindful of the days in which we live.  Opening the minds of people to God's truth. That God so loved each person whom we meet so much that He sent Jesus to die for them. To give them everlasting life.  He provides forgiveness of their sins. He became the Rescuer of Rescuers.  The punishment that was meant for them He took upon Himself.  Noah likely lived in a modern day world much more advanced than ours. Yet chose not to use it to build the Ark.  God has left too much evidence to support that. Noah preached for just over 100 years to a world that he knew wasn't going to listen.  Why? Why would he do that? Why not let them die?  Why not just build the Ark using their own modern tools and get out?  

Why did Jesus leave His perfect Heaven to be born in a stable?
Why did Jesus live life as one of us?
Why did Jesus make it a point to be obedient to His Father in Heaven?

Why did He willingly allow His own creation to nail Him to a cross?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

He obeyed even though the world wouldn't accept it. He lived even in a world that was doing its own thing.  He did it all because He loves what His Father