Saturday, July 31, 2021

What You Do, Should You be Doing?

What You Do, Should You Be Doing?

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:12 

A godly seminary professor once told his students about spending the summer in Jerusalem working on a new Bible translation. While the students were envious of such a spiritual assignment, they were shocked to hear the professor say it had been one of the most unfruitful and carnal summers he had ever experienced! How could studying and translating the Bible result in carnality and spiritual frustration? The professor reported that their scholarly efforts became mechanical and academic. In the midst of their dictionaries and texts, they lost sight of the One they were there to serve. Christian service is important, but it can actually draw us away from the Savior if we let it. We can become so focused on meeting goals and achieving objectives that we don’t notice ourselves drifting away from the Lord. Like Paul, we need to differentiate between the good, better, and best. Is there anything—even a good thing—that is keeping you from the Best? Just because something can be done is not enough of a reason that it should be done. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

I will confess that I often have difficulty in understanding the doing.

It's hard to know when its really for ME to be the one to do. It's not always easy to step back and guide someone else into the doing of things.  I have a vivid memory of a time when I made a wrong assumption that my just doing was the wrong thing to do.  The person in question was offended that I just assumed that I could do it for them rather that show them an let them learn. 

It's also been a recurring theme to make myself teach others rather than do for them.  

There's an old saying about fishing. You can give a man a fish and feed him for a moment. Teach him how to fish and you'll feed him for a lifetime. 

Looking at the 3 and a half years of Jesus’s ministry He was going for the second one. 

We who are in Christ aren't here for a free ride.  If you are saved, truly saved, sealed by the Spirit saved, then you are part of the body of Christ here on Earth. 

You do have a role and responsibility in the body. We aren't on some luxury liner now to be waited on hand and foot until we reach Heavens shore. 

You have something that the Spirit needs you to be doing to contribute to the cause of Christ.  It's part of our Spiritual service of worship.  It's part of what a healthy body does for the rest of the body.  In Paul's writings he tells of how the body has many parts but we are all members of the same body. Of how each part must do its part. How the function may differ but that responsibility remains.  An eye must do the part of an eye, must not think more or less of its position in the body. There are small and large roles in the body of Christ, but He is the head. 

We need to be in prayer, need to be cleansed of our daily sins, need to be living out our salvation. 

That early lesson from about 12 years ago comes to mind when at work people bring me stuff that needs doing but I know that they are capable of. So rather than doing it, I stop n teach them how. 

We can only and should only be doing what the Spirit calls us to do as well.  

Even earlier in my life I made a bold assumption with what I thought God was telling me that He wanted me to do.  In the end it was a disaster.  I had to crawl back to where that point in my life was and wait for Him to start with me again.  I still have lingering problems with those years of my life.  Words said, things done, that just now have becoming scars. 

Don't get ahead of God. Best advice that I can give you. I had great joy in that day of my great assumption. It was a downhill spiral into darkness that I shudder to describe. I jumped in thinking God was going with me.  Take my advice, let God go first. Let Him lead. 

We aren't here to be consumed by the things of this world, but are to navigate through it telling others that Judgment is coming.  As aliens and sojourners in this world we have no home until we stand in Heaven with Jesus.  We see how the Apostles lived. We see what Timothy was taught on how to be a Pastor. We see how the people of the book of Acts treated one another.  Letting go of attachments to the things of this world in order to help one another. 
Letting go of status and prestige. Letting go of egos. Doing what was necessary for the body of Christ to thrive and grow. 

Why do so many Churches have sermons a plenty on giving?  It's because the people within are looking at where they are as a person, their wants, desires, status, as being more important than lifting up the needs and ministry of the body. 

Look at your life this morning. Look at what you do and really think on why your do.
I have a feeling that many reading this have been blinded by the god of this world into a false sense of personal image. No we don't need the best of everything. No we don't need to mind our own business when we have a brother or sister in need. Look at what Jesus says when He separated those who are saved from those who are not.

"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’"  Matthew 25:35-40

Friday, July 30, 2021

It's Not a Golden Ticket, It's Time to Wear Holes in the Carpet

It's Not a Golden Ticket, It's Time to Wear Holes in the Carpet 

So he awoke from his sleep, and said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. Judges 16:20 

One of the signs of a heart that has shifted from God is the absence of spiritual power. If you are like Samson, you will not be immediately aware that God's power has left you. Only after he tried to defeat his enemies did Samson recognize that something was wrong. He went against the Philistines as before, expecting their swift defeat. But this time the Philistines easily prevailed over him. If you allow sin to creep into your life, if you refuse to obey your Lord, if you do not reconcile with those who have hurt you, your spiritual vitality is waning. You may assume everything is fine, but when you pray, answers do not come as they once did. You once had a positive effect on those around you, but now your influence is negligible or even harmful. Your life once brought reconciliation, but now you experience problems in your relationships. Those around you who have relied upon your strength are discovering that you are not as helpful to them as you once were. Your lack of spiritual power is not crying out for attention; but you are seeing subtle changes in your spirit and in your relationship with God. How can you stop this spiritual decline? You must regularly repent of any sin. You must invite God to search your life to see if there are attitudes, relationships, or activities that need to be removed. You must fervently obey His will. If you walk with God in this manner, you will grow in spiritual strength and be used mightily by Him.  Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Many know what the phrase or even the song that goes with wanting a Golden Ticket. It comes from both the book about Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the movie. 

All too often two horrific things happen in the lives of believers in Christ. Either they are ushered into the Kingdom and are left to figure it out on their own or they are intentionally taught wrong about it. Some of those behave and live life like they got a free ticket to sin because they are saved and haven't learned any better or worse still they enjoy it. 

Coming to Christ for salvation is to be a life changing experience. It's not for us to put on a life preserver thinking that now we can run off and still do the sins we are to leave behind. 

Paul speaks to this in Romans. God's unmeritted favor is called His Grace. We don't earn it. His mercy is similar in that we certainly do not get what we do deserve. 

Romans 6:1-7

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Far from it! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for the one who has died is freed from sin.

In oh so many Churches and even as individual Christians, people go through this world embracing sin rather than being repulsed by it. 

Sin infiltration of the Church brings about more people who believe false things that bring about people frustrated with their lives not going the way they think it should.  Whether it's false doctrines being taught or unstable teachers who do not lead by Biblical example. 

The root cause is always where we are in Christ. 

We do not get a free ride to just go live life on our terms. 

We start each day asking God to help us with whatever it is He has in mind for us today. 

We have no license to sin. We have to be on our toes. As Scripture also says the Devil prowl around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  

Often Paul refers to Christians as being Soldiers of the Cross.  In Ephesians he specifically taught about the whole armor of God. He preached upon the topic of having a sound mind. Of always examining the Scriptures to see if what people say is true.

He was certainly saying not to let your guard down. He refers to sin as that which easily entangles. We have good reason to always be sober and aware of the temptation of sin. 

There is no free ticket to sinful pleasures.  All sin will do you harm. Especially when you convince you that it's OK. 

We are His workmanship, Paul also wrote. As Christ is the Potter and we are the clay, He is in charge of all design changes. He is only going to remove that which isn't profitable to make us more like Him. He is only going to use those tools which will accomplish His Will in our lives. 

We are not free to redefine His Word.  We are not the Author. He is. His definitions concerning what is sin are irrevocable. They are not to be brushed aside as inconsequential. Regardless of how it makes you or I feel.  

Every man's work in the final judgment will be filtered through the Word of God. That's the Standard.  When our lives as Believers when we stand before Christ are viewed it will be in regards to how it reflected God's Word. Satan cannot hope to escape the validation of God's Word, humanity will not either. God's Word says that Satan is a defeated foe.  Satan has been trying for over 6,000 years to overturn that and has failed. 

We get no ticket to both be saved and to live as though we never had chosen to come to Christ. 

We ought to live lives that reflect the light of Jesus, not lives that espouse darkness. 

In another devotional this morning the story was of a doctor who was also a very committed Christian. After his death some wanted to know the secret of his phenomenal work. The caretaker took them to the Doctor's study. There they showed them a carpet with two holes in it...from The Doctor's knees.  His secret was his devotion to prayer and God's Word. To living out his life as God saw fit for him. 

We are saved in order to pass it along to others. That's how the Church started over 2,000 years ago.  Not by selfish living but through the persecution of life lived for Jesus. The greater Satan tried to squash the Church the more it spread. 

So how are you viewing your life now?  If you are still alive and breathing you have hope to come back to Christ with the mindset to get it right this time. To repent, to turn away from, those sins you have been embracing to live how God really wants you to. Time to start wearing holes in the carpet. 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Prayer of My it Yours?

The Prayer of My Heart, Is it Yours?

Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! 

Make haste, Lord Jesus, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices. I groan within myself, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of my body. Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Jesus, You were taken up from earth into heaven, and You will come in like manner as the apostles saw You go into heaven. To those who eagerly wait for You, You will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. It will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” You say, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! I look forward to the blessed hope and glorious appearing of my great God and Savior Jesus Christ. My citizenship is in heaven. With the saints of the ages, I look forward to Your second coming, my Savior and my King! Come, Lord Jesus! 


Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

Was reading in the first Chapter of Romans today in my Bible reading.  It paints a stark contrast to this prayer which encompasses many passages all related to Christ's return. 

Romans 1:18-32 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible mankind, of birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them up to vile impurity in the lusts of their hearts, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing shameful acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them."

If this passage offends then you are the one who has a problem with God, not me for quoting it. Read also what Paul said to Timothy. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these. For among them are those who slip into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Where your heart is determines much concerning you. It's very plain that nobody has a free ride when it comes to willful sinning. Jesus has said that every single person is without excuse. 

My heart longs for the day when at last Jesus is who is to come receives me to Himself. 

I long for His return much as Dr. Jeremiah wrote in this prayer. While I groan in this body, my Spirit rests with Jesus. The Author and Perfecter of my faith.

It is with great sadness to see the truths found in these passages as well as it being joy at the revealed truth. The Bible isn't some collection of myths and fairy tales. It isn't delusions or mystical writing.  Reading what little that you just did so far the reality of its truth is evident. We see these attributes of mankind permeating our world. 

Within the Church and outside of it. People with depraved minds giving approval to those who have been given over to the evils listed.  The first part in Romans appears to be about those in this world who have rejected Christ and God’s view on humanity. In Timothy we read of those who have infiltrated the Church. 

You may have heard this phrase before but maybe not. 

Hate the sin, not the sinner.  We, like Paul wrote elsewhere, preach Christ out of love for others. Not out of selfish desires or evil interests. John wrote in the opening chapters of his Gospel that which Paul spelled out in to the Romans and to Timothy. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it."

That last part. The darkness did not grasp it. They couldn't handle it.  For their deeds were evil. 

Your heart either is striving to live in obedience to Jesus Christ or it's going to live in obedience to self. To self means your rules your way. The point being a depraved mind. A mind that is ruled by sin and sins desires is depraved. 

There are countless so-called Churches, let alone so-called Christians, who refuse the reality of God's word against a fallen mankind. The preach an acceptance of things that it's very clear in Scripture that God's got a problem with. You cannot embrace sin and claim that you are saved.  You cannot have a heart that refuses to believe that what God says ought not be lived like is acceptable. Later on in Romans Paul speaks to practiced sins. Those we intentionally do regardless of the outcome. 

Joshua may have been speaking to the Children of Israel, but it's God speaking to all of mankind. There's no middle ground. There's no fence to sit on because you have some delusion that you cannot decide. You are either saved or unsaved. Jesus, in Revelation isn't separating those who believe from those who are undecided and those who rejected Him. It's only between those who are believers from those who did not.

Choose this day whom you will serve. It's either all in with Jesus and His plans for you or it's not. 

You either believe the whole Bible or none of it. Picking and choosing isn't allowed in the eyes of God. 

If you read all this and it disturbs or angers you, stop and ask yourself why.

The worst thing any believer can do is keep the truth about sin and its consequences from people who heading to Hell. What can be and probably is as bad is telling others that their sinful life is OK, that God will understand. 

Where is your heart? What best describes your life? A heart that follows Christ or you?

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Which is Greater in Your Life?

Which is Greater in Your Life?

Let your requests be made known to God. PHILIPPIANS 4:6 In his book Master Secrets of Prayer, Cameron V. Thompson says we should pray specifically. He wrote that when his daughter, Joy, was a small child, she set her heart on a certain present. Asking her sisters how many pennies it would take to buy it, she prayed for fourteen hundred pennies. A few days later, some friends came by with a jar of coins they had been saving. It contained slightly more than fourteen hundred pennies. “Vague praying is lazy praying,” said Thompson. We must let our requests be made known to God and then remember to thank Him when the answers come. Toward that end, many Christians keep a prayer list or devotional notebook to record their prayer requests. Others use the flyleaf of their Bibles for this, though one soon runs out of room. Make specific requests to God for your husband or wife, your children, your financial needs, your job, your friends, and for those who don’t know Christ. Pray specifically for our local and national leaders. Pray in detail for the needs of overseas missionaries. As Philippians 4:6 says in the Phillips version: “Don’t worry over anything whatever, tell God every detail.”  Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

It's been a while but there had been someone who was speaking on faith and where we place it. Sort of eluding to the fact that some people have more faith in the chair they sit in than in God's ability to answer their prayers. 

It is a oft repeated story for my Wife and I about gutters on a house.  This being a story within a story. We were living in my hometown because God hadn't opened the door for us to relocate to where my Wife's house was. That answer to prayer came later.  

As I said, we were still living in my hometown still. While there a storm had hit down there where her house was. There were relatives living in her house at the time. They called and said there was storm damage. The gutters on one side of the house had come down. 

My Wife called family and friends down there and whereas family couldn't help some friends were going to try to call around for us.  Days went by and we hadn't heard anything back. 

She calls down to her friend and was told that they thought we changed our minds and found someone. The gutters were replaced. We said no, we hadn't, did they get the name of the company who did it, we wanted to make things right.  They hadn't, just only that the slogan on the vehicle said "Doing an Awesome Job for an Awesome God". 

We had prayed about the gutters and God provided gutters. 
We were praying about moving or continuing to look for work in my hometown because I needed to.  Within that week, same relative gave us a notice they were moving out. 

As a Pastor once told me, if you pray generally you get general answers. If you pray specifically you see how God specifically answers. You gain markers to remind you of when God provided. 

We often forget when life's challenges and demands are in our face. The stress and pressure of the moment seems to force us into tunnel vision.  Satan doesn't want anyone to remember what great things God has done for you or I.

We remember because we need to. Life can be hard.  We need to build upon the faith God has granted us.  

All too often the pleasures of this world rob us of special moments when God could have provided.  Robs us of the joy of His answer to our prayers. We get more excited about things that are here today and are gone just as quickly. 

As a Pastor was saying by way of illustration, people in a Church service often watch the clock.  Check their phones. Check emails. While the service is going on. If the service goes over people get upset.  Same people in a different setting. A sports event. Distractions are expressly prohibited. If it goes beyond regulation time, it's a celebration. Where is the priority?

Which is greater in your life?  God's work in you or your own selfish desires?

Which reveals itself when the rubber meets the road?

Do you, as King David did, lament in the book of Psalms, of remembering when he USED to lead the people into the house of the Lord?

Do you consider prayer a priority or is it a last resort?

Do you watch the clock, fidget, during a Church Service?

Is your relationship with Christ at all important to you?

Is living life on your terms what is most important to you?  

I can't answer for you.  I can tell you that the closer that I work at getting my life right with Jesus, the less the things of this world mean to me.  Prayer isn't an option, it's essential. Reading my Bible, my devotionals, isn’t an option, it's essential. Television, movies, are becoming less and less of a need in my life.  There used to be great pleasure in them. Now it's emptiness.  I used to be a fan of many things. The closer I get with my Savior, the less they mean to me.  

The urgency of the Spirit in this hour of my life is that Christ is coming soon. 

It's sort of like what you see in a movie when the general population knows a disaster is coming. Their priorities on what is important to them drastically change. They need to leave. What do they take? What gets left behind?  Do they consider only themselves or do they help their friends and neighbors?  All the sudden life just got deadly serious. In many their true self comes out.

Jesus said that He would give me things to say and it was upon me to say them. To obey meant altering my life, my priorities.  I get up hours before going to work to read my Bible and devotionals, to write what you read here.  Jesus is coming soon. 

What's greater in my life has to be obedience to Christ Jesus. Not soaking up as many of the pleasures of this world as I can.  To be obedient means letting go and letting God do what He wants to do through me.  Every believer who struggles, who thinks they are far removed from a right relationship with Jesus, is only 1 step away from returning to His open arms. 

What is greater in your life, should you review it? Will it show a life of selfishness or a life living for Jesus? The Bible says you can't serve two masters. You will love the one and hate the other. Despise one and cling to the other. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Where Evil Begins

Where Evil Begins 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. PSALM 19:14 

In 1996, Manila, capital city of the Philippines, suffered an outbreak of cholera due to a proliferation of flies and cockroaches. The mayor announced a bounty on the bugs, dead or alive, and thousands were brought in by citizens who were paid on the spot. Health officials knew that huge problems could be prevented by dealing with tiny causes. Stopping that cholera outbreak was an example of the law of the harvest: sow a tiny cure and reap a huge benefit. Just as removing tiny bugs saved a city, so a tiny thought in our minds can have huge results. That’s why Proverbs says to “keep your heart with all diligence . . . [and] put away from you a deceitful mouth” (4:23–24). Thoughts and words are powerful. What we meditate on and speak can do great good or great harm. In the Bible, the Christian has access to the most powerful living words ever written, words that can renew the mind. Make sure this week that you spend time sowing seeds in your mind that will bear godly fruit in your life. History’s worst acts began with a tiny, unguarded thought that yielded an ungodly harvest of destruction.

Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Where evil began is with sin. It began in the hearts of Adam and Eve. It lived on in their offspring. Both Cain and his brother Able. In Seth, in all mankind since they ate of the forbidden tree.  

Regardless of what you think about you, you have sin deeply rooted within you. 
There's no pill to take, no surgery possible, to remove it from your heart. 

It took the unblemished sacrifice of God’s only Son on a  cross to defeat it. In that story from 1996, they were looking to defeat bugs to defeat a disease.  The disease of sin, without salvation in Christ Jesus alone, is always fatal. Without that cure, the destination after you die is assured, it's a straight line to Hell.  Hell, where torment is endless. Where sin is being paid for each person who rejected Christ Jesus for salvation. In the physical world everyone has the ability and knowledge to receive the free gift offered by Jesus.  In the afterlife the offer is expired. 

Evil thoughts and actions permeated the world before the Flood in the book of Genesis. In everyone except Noah. Selfishness was the rule of law back then. In everything. In everyone and everything all thoughts of God, of obedience to the Lord were rejected. People thought they were living life to the fullest too!  Thought they had it all and never once considered how deaf, blind, poor and naked their souls really were. Evil permeated the world. 

Jesus said that so it was in the days of Noah so it would be when He returns. 

We see, practically every day, new forms of Evil being devised. New forms of selfishness and greedy desires. The mutilation of the human body to make it into something other than what God intended. Teaching children that before they listen to their parents, they should consider thinking selfishly first.  They should listen to their sinful heart and give in to thinking selfishly. 

The very same evil that permeated the world before the Flood.

Just as the Ark preserved mankind, so salvation in Christ Jesus is for this present age. 

Evil appears so often to win the day. Jesus promises that is only temporary. A life that comes to Christ is safely hidden in Christ. We may suffer many things in this life but we will, in the end, find ourselves standing before Him in His glorious Heaven. We shall never taste death. 

The Church of God has repeatedly turned the tide of evil in this world. Through the fervent prayer of God's people the world has, like the tide of the ocean, receded from evil on a global scale.  It should be noted and noticed that when the Church starts being silent evil increases. 
Satan's hope is to keep silencing the Church. The first real groups that were looked at last year when this thing came across the world were Churches and how they must not be allowed to be open.  There's no coincidence in that. In light of such blatant attempts to shutter the doors of Churches, the Spirit of God adapted. The explosion of online services happened. 

Evil will not ever permanently win the day against the forces of the Kingdom of God. 

You my Friend have before you the same as Joshua and the children of Israel. 

You have before you a choice.  To do good or do evil. To live selfishly or live for Christ. 
You have before you a destination of Hell or Heaven. You must choose who you will serve. 

You are no different than any other human before you. You are born in sin and you must decide whether to accept the cure for it from Jesus or reject it. You must decide.

The Cross of Christ gave us the way to be saved.  Jesus stands before all who live, He is in the way of Death. He stands ready to save if we but call upon His Name.  That's a powerful visual. 

Jesus stands between you and Death's desire, which is to claim you while you live. To keep you from a life of freedom in Christ Jesus. To welcome you into eternal judgment for your sins.  Satan is not nor has ever set foot in Hell.  He knows and so do all his demons just what Hell is. He, when permitted, can send people there through his lies, but he cannot go there.
Satan's first taste of judgment will be when he is bound for a thousand years. His second is when he is stripped of his angelic qualities and made to be like every other human who rejected Christ. Consigned to eternity in the lake of fire. 

Salvation in Christ is the cure for selfish desires and living.  My friend make sure today of where you stand before Christ.  Jesus said to come to Him all who are weak and weary and He will give you rest. The pleasures of this world are only temporary. You are facing a life or death decision in where you spend eternity. That my friend is the most important decision you will ever make.  Evil men will proceed from bad to worse the Bible says. Don't be one of them. 
Come to Christ and find the freedom and peace you are longing for. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Your Life's Smallest Details

Your Life's Smallest Details 

Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? PSALM 56:8 

An apocryphal story is told about the filming of the legendary movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. The director was preparing for the epic shot of a locomotive and train falling from an exploding bridge into a river gorge below. Three cameras were assigned to shoot the scene. After the shot, the director radioed each camera operator. “Sorry, sir—my camera jammed,” said the first. “Left my lens cap on,” said the second. The director nearly fainted when the third said, “Ready when you are, sir!” With one-time opportunities, details matter. Not even enthusiasm can make up for a lack of attention to details. Modern culture likes to say “the devil’s in the details.” Wrong! It is our God who is at work in even the smallest parts of life. Daniel the prophet discovered this when God showed him a preview of world history: “There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks” (Daniel 9:25). Not eight and sixty-three or six and sixty-one. God knows every detail of the past, present, and future of the world—and of your life. He counts your tears and knows the number of hairs on your head. How comforting to know our God has overlooked nothing. Because God is in the details, He is always ready when you are. Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

So many in our world believe that they are in charge of their destiny. 
So many believe that they call the shots, that if it doesn't go to their plans then we'll that's just fate. 
So many, sadly, think God is good enough for their children but not themselves. As if God were some fairy tale that inspires some possible streak of goodness in their offspring. 

All too many millions of people each day sadly decide that they don't need God telling them how to live their life. They run across life with wreckless abandon and maybe at the end, when death comes knocking on the door do they want God to save them. 

There is one moment in time that was the saddest day in history. The day that Adam and Eve chose to sin. 

The greatest moment in history was when the solution to sin arose from the dead in the person of Jesus Christ.  

So many people in our world live without hope.  Live without anyone to lean on in their struggles and troubles.  

Hope exists in the person of Jesus Christ. Its very interesting what is required of you in something as simple as a movie or television show.  For that hour or two or more, a scene unfolds and you are asked to believe.  That's essentially what you are asked to do.  To leave behind the cares of your life to a world of make believe. But, at the end of that time, you are right back to where you are. 

In Christ belief takes you places you never imagined. To emotions, thoughts and feelings you never thought possible...and it’s there for your lifetime. 

We face many things in life that are common to man. The Bible tells us that. In Christ we face not the things of this life alone. We face them with the Spirit of God. We have Spiritual Armor to wear into battle that fits us perfectly. 

We have hope because the resurrection brings it.  The Disciples and the family of Jesus, other followers of Christ looked on in disbelief for 3 days. Then came that day at the tomb. Reality is that Jesus arose from the dead. He now sits at the right hand of His Father. He now intercedes on behalf of all who believe. 

So why are we going through what we are?  Every detail of our lives is in God's hands. He was in today before you arrived.  He sees and knows all possibilities of everything in your life. 

Everything in all God's creation is in His hands. Satan and his minions are in God's hands. There's nothing that can happen to a child of God outside the will of God.

Satan or his minions cannot launch an assault on you without first seeking the approval of Jesus Christ.  For those not part of the Kingdom of God, not so much. Many, God already knows, will not accept Jesus Christ as their own Savior. Many, will, and He knows who. He will protect the work began in their lives towards salvation. 

In a right relationship with Jesus we learn of our heritage in God. We learn to trust God. We learn that He indeed has more in store for us in ways greater than we can ask or think. 

What the world calls hopeless God calls opportunity. Regardless of what commercials or the media tells you, you aren't in this world for your own selfish desires. Jesus came to seek and save the lost in this world. That was His Father's business. He, upon leaving this world, put that responsibility upon the shoulders of the Disciples. We who are in Christ are here to tell others about Christ. About the relationship that awaits those who want hope. Who want to truly live. 

Hope is found in the details in our lives where we see the fingerprints of God. When we see and acknowledge the truth of the proof of God's love, grace and mercy. 

In every detail of our lives are the works of our Creator. Trying to save. It's why He came. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

What I Am...from the I AM.

What I Am...From The I AM 

We know that we have passed from death to life. 

Loving God, My Savior said, “He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” I who have Your Son, Lord God, have life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. God, You establish me in Christ and anoint me; You also have sealed me and given me Your Spirit in my heart as a guarantee. By this I know that I am of the truth, and shall assure my heart before You, God. If my heart does not condemn me, I have confidence toward You. I know that I am of You, Lord God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. I am one Jesus made alive, who was dead in trespasses and sins. Lord God, You made me alive together with Christ. You have delivered me from the power of darkness and conveyed me into the kingdom of the Son of Your love. I praise You, merciful God, for You have enabled me to pass from death to life, from separation from You to relationship with You. 

1 JOHN 3:14; JOHN 5:24; 1 JOHN 5:12; 2 CORINTHIANS 1:21–22; 1 JOHN 3:19, 21; 1 JOHN 5:19; EPHESIANS 2:1, 5; COLOSSIANS 1:13

Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

In the Gospels it's recorded of when the mob, along with Judas, came to get Jesus to crucify Him, of all incredible things the first being that they didn't know, the second was that He responded by using His Old Testament name given to Moses. He said "I AM". The crowds were so enraged and possessed they missed it completely. He says He is the "I AM" and they all fell backwards from Him. The question is then repeated. 

This prayer is full of Scriptural truth as all these prayers from Dr. Jeremiah's book.  You ought to go in your Bible and look up each.

Satan, in all places, all over the world, is trying to redefine humanity. Trying to get mankind to define itself differently than God intended. In the lives of individuals he is trying to distort the truth of God.  In the New Testament is clearly shows this deception to all who read it. Romans 1:25 "For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." In Genesis its very clear that man was created in the image of God. 

In your life and mine we will face challenges to what we are. To who we are. 

Non-believers face the challenge of whether or not the Bible is real and speaks the truth about death, Hell and the grave. 

Believers face the challenge of living life as a Child of God. 

In the case of both they, we, face an enemy who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  That's from the Bible too. 

Deception is Satan's first and most formidable tool.  Twisting the truth of God is what he began with in Adam and Eve. He saw how well that worked so he used it again with Cain.
He has been perfecting it for thousands of years.  

He got so good before the Flood in the book of Genesis that the entire world was deceived except for Noah.  Note very well that the Lord's description of who was righteousness in all the earth before the Flood did NOT include his Wife, his son's or their wives.

We who are in Christ have all those wonderful promises in this prayer.  We have so much more because of the light of Jesus in us. 

We have peace within when the world falls apart that cannot be explained. 
We have a mediator who understands. 
We have one who keeps His promises. Never leaving us or forsaking us.
We have one who runs to those who are His. 
We have no judgment to face, no sins to be remembered of which we ask forgiveness for. 

To those on the outside looking in we appear to be crazy. They think we have given up on living life. Until the Spirit opens their eyes and they see themselves for the first time. 

Time is coming when millions of believers will vanish. Satan will come up with a whopper of a deception to explain it away. With the Holy Spirit changing roles from preventing his takeover to still saving those throughout the Tribulation, Satan will get away with it. 

If indeed you are one of those who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, you can still turn and come to Jesus and be saved.  You still have time to realize the error of your ways.

I am a Child of God. I am sealed by the Spirit of God. I can be considered an enemy of the god of this world.  He cannot unseal me. He cannot harm me without permission. He cannot thwart the will of God in my life. Success or failure in the eyes of this world are not what defines me. My Savior loves me unconditionally. He leads me by still waters. He leads me through many valley's. I may not understand why, but I don't need to. My trust is in Christ. 

Can you say the same? Are the worries of this life choking out the truth that God is trying to reveal in you?  That you are in need of a Savior?

When Jesus Christ arose from the dead, choice was now on the table for humanity. You must choose.  You and nobody else. Nobody can move you from death to life. Nobody can pray you out of Hell. Only you can sentence you to Hell by rejection of Salvation in Christ. Your refusing the truth of God guarantees you will spend eternity separated from God in torment for every single sin you have ever thought or committed. You and I were born in sin and that sealed the guilty verdict without Salvation in Christ alone to stamp out that verdict. 

Consider your life and where it's going. We are all subject to the deceptive practices of Satan.  Who you rely on, based on your relationship with Christ, determines who will win the day. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Don't Mind Your Own Business

Don't Mind Your Own Business 

He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. James 5:20 

One of the Christian's greatest deterrents from sin is the life of another Christian. Some Christians maintain that it is none of their business if another chooses to sin. They are convinced that they are being judgmental if they respond to someone in sin. The world persuades them not to get involved, but this inaction prevents them from being an effective intercessor. As Christians we are aware that sin brings death (Rom. 6:23). Sin kills relationships, dismantles marriages, stifles joy, and destroys peace. When we see someone wander from the truth into error, how should we respond? When Jesus saw sin, it broke His heart. He wept over entire cities as He saw them rejecting the truth (Matt. 23:37–39). He prayed fervently for His disciples to be strong when they were tempted (John 17). He warned those who were heading toward spiritual failure (Matt. 26:20–25, 34). Jesus was even willing to die to save people from their sins because He knew the devastation that sin causes. Jesus never stood idle as those around Him were led astray by their sin. He always took an active role in turning them back to God. “Minding your own business” will save you some discomfort, but it will not help a brother or sister who needs to return to the Lord. If you are truly aware of the grave consequences for those who continue in sin, you will be moved to weep even as Jesus wept. Pray fervently for your friend. That will safeguard your motives and prepare you to minister to him. Be alert, in the event that God asks you to confront your friend. If you do so, be loving and gentle lest you, too, be tempted (Gal. 6:1). Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

I used to hear this a lot growing up. "You shouldn't judge!" 
I also used to see and hear family and friends, acquaintances alike say they can't say anything to those they know or to their children or family members about not doing something they know full well that ought not be done. 

So putting it in perspective, they knew the path they were on was destructive and harmful yet did nothing to stop them. That not judging thing irks me like few other things do that people will say to me. 

Some almost sound like they want to leave an opening for sin in the lives of others rather than help them to learn to avoid sin and its consequences. 

Jesus has an endless supply of life preserver to cast to any who call upon His Name and many stand between Him and them by swatting away that life preserver!

They refuse to get involved to help correct the error in their lives and set them up to spiritually fail.

Minding your own business versus getting involved is often not difficult. It depends on your heart not the heart of the other. 

If your heart is gripped with fear as to what getting involved might mean to you then it will undoubtedly paralyze your actions. 

It might mean sacrifice on your part.  Might mean exposure to feelings and actions that make you uncomfortable.  

Jesus wants doers of the Word not just hearers only. 

The Jewish leaders were experts in telling others to go be warm and be filled and to not even lift a finger to bring any of that about. 

If Jesus brings a person or situation to your attention or remembrance there's a Heaven or Hell reason involved.  

Life is about Heaven or Hell reasons to unbelievers. To decide to come to Christ or not determines their destination. Are you going to use excuses to not get involved in trying to keep someone from Hell? 

I have watched, because I was not directly involved, but by lack of being able to convince those involved who had a vested interest, watched marriages be destroyed. Because they said they couldn't judge their now former spouse because they did the same thing in their early years. Because they would not say or do anything to save that person from their destructive behavior they eventually found themselves divorced. 

I have also found myself afraid to get involved and it cost me years of a relationship that might have been different.  I knew of a different side of a person and should have spoken up rather than be silent. 

We cannot get in God's way in helping people. We are to engage people and point them to Jesus.  We are not to be armchair quarterbacks. We aren't to be the spewers of knowledge without wisdom as Job's friends were. 

I pray even today for now former friends who are trapped in sin. I pray for now former acquaintances who I probably will not see again. The truth is I can't stop praying for them. Jesus proved to me too clearly that He can go wherever I can't. He can bust through all the lines of Satan's defenses to rescue people. It's on me to get involved and to pray. 

Refusing the prompting of the Lord cost Jonah a 3 day part of his life until he acknowledged that Jesus was telling him to have compassion on whom the Lord wanted to have compassion. Even the enemies of Job's people. 

It's not the place of any believer to shun the word of God. It's summed up in those two commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself. 

Doesn't say when it feels right or if you have time. Doesn't say if you want to. Doesn't say that it's even an option. Jesus said those words Himself. Doesn't say that you can't because it's none of your business. 

We are here to help a Jesus toss out life preservers. To point people to Jesus. To life from death.  We don't have an option in saying no. Scripture says that he who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins.

I pray for friends that I haven't heard from in a long while. 
I pray for friends trapped in sin.  I know they are trapped because I hear them in their horror crying out for help.  
I pray for my leaders both in the workplace and government. 
I pray for family, friends and acquaintances. 
I pray for my Wife. 
I pray for people who I may never see again. 
I pray for people that I am keenly aware that I caused to sin by my words and actions. 
I have to because the Spirit provokes my spirit to do so. 

It's the business of the Spirit of God to seek and save the lost in this world and to grow believers into being like Christ. God's business is our business. So to be obedient to God means to make it your business to prayerfully consider how God wants you to be involved. 

Get off the couch, get off the sidelines. Get in the game. It's your business. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

A Deceived Life

A Deceived Life 

You were like one of them. Obadiah 11 

Edom owed Israel brotherly kindness in her time of need, but instead of that, the descendants of Esau joined with Israel’s enemies. In today’s Scripture, special stress is laid on the word You, like when Caesar cried, “and you Brutus?” A bad action may be all the worse because of the person who has committed it. We as Christians are the chosen favorites of heaven, so when we sin, we sin with an emphasis. Ours is a heinous offence, because we have been so particularly blessed. If an angel were to lay his hand on us when we were doing evil, he wouldn’t need to use any other rebuke than the question, “What, you? What are you doing?” We have been much forgiven, much delivered, much instructed, much enriched, much blessed—do we dare put our hands to evil? God forbid! Dear reader, a few minutes of confession may be beneficial to you this morning. Have you never been like the wicked? Have you heard people laughing at evil things and didn’t really find the joke offensive? You were like one of them. When the ways of God were described with insults, and you were bashful and silent, you were like one of them. When worldly people were taking advantage of others in the marketplace, were you like one of them? When they were pursuing wealth and power like a hunter after game, were you as greedy as they were? Could anyone see a difference them and you? Is there any difference? Here we are stepping on toes. Be honest with your own soul, and make sure you are truly a new creature in Christ Jesus. Then, when this is sure, live very carefully so that nobody should be able to say again, You were like one of them. You wouldn’t want to share their eternal doom, so why be like them here? Don’t join in their secrets, or you may come into their ruin. Side with the afflicted people of God, not with the world. C. H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Didn't get very far into reading devotionals this morning when I was stopped at this one. 

What is the definition of lukewarm? Jesus says much against such people who are in the book of Revelation. Let's read it. From chapter 3.
 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Origin of the creation of God, says this:

‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have no need of anything,” and you do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to apply to your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. The one who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

A great deal of professing Christians in the world today can be described as lukewarm. 

There is no shock or sadness at sin or sinful pleasures. Much of the time sin or anything that God disproves of is met with indifference or even a jovial response. They laugh along with the world as the world pours into Hell. 

They treat the free gift of Salvation as that "get out of jail free" card from Monopoly. 

Living life as if they got a free ride to do so. Believing that there's now no consequences. 

Attributing nothing of guilt in their thoughts and actions about all that they do. 

Teaching others to do the same!  Teaching others that it's not just right and accepting to embrace idols in their lives, but to require it!

This isn't some off beat view of Christians today. Jesus Himself said aloud "Will the Son of Man find the faith when He returns?"

Faith in God isn't a card you put in your wallet that you only pull out in times of trouble and distress. 

To live your life your own way after coming to Christ for salvation should be your first clue that you probably didn't take it seriously and are at risk of not being saved at all. A changed heart is the first fruit of being born again. 

Jesus, the only Righteous Judge, who separates the wheat from the chaff, the believer from the unbeliever, the sheep  from the goats, in the book of Matthew chapter 25 explains clearly, with no rebuttal possible by those He recognized as unbelievers and believers says the following:

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for Me, either.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

My friend, those reading this around the world, look at your heart. Is there, was there a change in your heart when you came to Christ?  Are you living your life your way only?  Are you at all concerned about what concerns your Savior? Are you at all living for the one who bore your sins on that cross?  Are you at all showing signs that you have been saved?  Are you no different now than from before you claimed the name of Jesus?  

If politics guide you more than the Word of God, your heart isn't right. 

If your family or friends opinions guide you more than the Word of God, your heart isn't right. 

If you are also doing what God exposed Israel of doing...sinful deeds in secret thinking you are getting away with it...your heart is in trouble. 

We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We have an Advocate, we have a Mediator between us and God. We do NOT have a paid off high priced lawyer who gets us off the hook when we are intentionally sinning. 

My greatest struggle is when I find myself sinning. It's a daily fight. It's not easy. Sin is entrenched. So is the Holy Spirit. Choosing to sin or not to is before all people all the time. 

Turning and repenting is only possible through the grace of God. Through the work of the Spirit of God.  We are weak but He is strong as the song goes. 

You cannot live for yourself and there not be consequences if you claim to be a Christian. 

Where's your heart in this moment? You are reading this for a reason. God brought you this far in this post because He's talking to you. Are you deceiving yourself with your salvation or are you really saved?  Is there fruits of the Spirit present in your life or is there no change at all?

Look while you can still make it right before Christ returns. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Two Kinds of Blindness

Two Kinds of Blindness 

Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:4 

When you are blinded, you cannot see things as they really are, even though others around you see them clearly. You cannot experience the full reality of all that is around you. You may feel you are experiencing all that there is to life, yet you may be unaware that you are missing what God desires for you. You may even be in danger because of your blindness and not know it. Paul warned that the “god of this age” can blind you to the reality of Jesus Christ. Christ's presence can make a significant difference in your life. However, if Satan convinces you to doubt that Christ can do what He promised, he will have blinded you to the reality of what your life is really like and to what it could become. Others may see what your unbelief causes you to miss, but you will be unaware of it. Your life may be steadily moving toward disaster, but you will be oblivious to it. Christ comes to you as light (John 1:4–5, 9). He illuminates your sin so that you see its ugliness and destructiveness. He reveals Himself so that you can appreciate the glory of His person and the marvelous riches He brings. His presence lights your path so that you can see impending danger. Don’t let the god of this age distort your spiritual vision. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everything is as it should be when, in fact, you are missing out on so much that God wants to do in your life. Ask Christ to illuminate your life and let you clearly see your spiritual condition. Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

There's more than one kind of blindness. Physical and Spiritual. We read of the famous story of how Saul became Paul. Of how God intentionally disrupted his life to bring him to a screeching halt.  To shut down his train of thought in Spiritual matters and reveal the truth in a way necessary to open his Spiritual eyes. 

We read of many who were born blind that Jesus healed.  In the case of all the opening of their physical eyes brought about the opening of their Spiritual eyes. 

In today's world there's millions of people walking around in Spiritual blindness.  Refusing to acknowledge the truth of God.  Scripture says that many were given over to a depraved heart. Many millions are demon possessed. Labeled as mental illness for their atrocities. 

I was born, at God's discretion, half blind in one eye. In my youngest of years I prayed a lot that Jesus would heal me as He had those whom I read in the Bible that He had healed. In my later years I finally understood why He didn't. I, like Paul, was being told the same as he had been when he prayed constantly for a thorn in the flesh to be removed. God's grace is sufficient. 

We live in a world where flashy lights and bling deceive millions of people.  Satan's minions are active all over the world in the art of distraction. To keep people from Salvation. To keep them from the truth.  

If everyone didn't have that influence would it matter? Actually no.
In the thousand year reign of Christ after the Tribulation, mankind will not be influenced by Satan at all.  For a thousand years mankind will live under the perfect rule of Christ. Yet at the end of all that peace and prosperity, great health and wisdom. The people will be as the sands of the seashore gathered in rebellion with a newly released Satan from his prison to fight against Jesus..


Sin blinds you and I to the reality of life. Satan just knows how to push all the right buttons to bring it out in us. He isn't creative but also has had 5 to 6 thousand years of practice. 

What We do each day tells the story of where we are. Of whether or not we are living in blindness or have the Spiritual eyes to see. Saul thought for sure he was bringing glory to God. Thought he was living the way he thought life should be lived. Millions today believe the same. Millions think that their lives are good enough. That they are living for all the right reasons. 

Stop and look in the mirror.  If you aren't living for Jesus, if He isn't your Lord and Savior. You're living in blindness.  

Let today be the day your eyes are opened as Saul's was. Let today be the day you see life for the first time in the way God intended. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Hope When You See No Reason To

Hope When You See No Reason To 

“Why do I go mourning?” Psalm 42:9 NKJV 

Can you answer this, believer? Can you find any reason why you are so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy expectations? Who told you the night would never end in dawn? Who told you the tide of circumstances would go out until there was nothing left but miles of the mud of pain and poverty? Who told you the winter of your discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow and ice and hail to deeper snow and an even heavier storm of despair? Don’t you know that day follows night, that floodtide comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed winter? Then hope! Hope forever! God will not fail you. Don’t you know that God loves you in the midst of all this? When the darkness hides them, mountains are as real as they are in the daytime—and God’s love is as true to you now as it was in your brightest moments. No father always disciplines his children; your Lord hates the rod as much as you do. He only uses it for the reason that should make you willing to receive it—namely, that it works a long-term good in you. You will still climb Jacob’s ladder with the angels, and behold the One who sits at the top—your covenant God. You will still, amid the splendor of eternity, forget the trials of time; you will remember them only to bless the God who led you through them, and worked your lasting good by them. Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while you pass through the fire. Make the wilderness blossom like the rose! Cause the desert to ring with your shouts of joy, for these light afflictions will soon be over. Then, forever with the Lord, your happiness will never lessen. Faint not nor fear, his arms are near, He changeth not, and thou art dear; Only believe and thou shalt see, That Christ is all in all to thee. “Fight the Good Fight with All Thy Might,” John S. B. Monsell (1863) C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

In many times in my life, unfortunately, despair and disappointment, discouragement even, had been an unwanted, unwelcome companion.  Hiding it from others often was the way that I dealt with it.

If time travel were ever at all possible, as the first thing I would probably try to do, I would go back to the early point in my Salvation and have a good long talk with me. 

When facing what appears to be mountains in front and behind you, it's easy to feel weak and unsure of where to go or what to do. 

The song by Mercy Me, "Dear Younger Me" is along those lines. Yet another of their's is "Even If".  You should watch on YouTube the version of that song where Bart gives a short testimony as to where the words of that song came from. It has its roots in the heartbreak of what his child was going through that he couldn't change. 

A personal favorite in dealing with life that's not going well is Matthew West's "The God Who Saves". I, regardless of the acceptance of my audience on my vocal skills, love to sing to my Savior. I break down practically every single time I try to sing "The God Who Saves".

I am one who often feels like I was hardwired to troubleshoot things.  Learning new things whether or not I would ever use them is just a hobby. It's been funny to me how often someone asks me something obscure and I actually have an answer.

My worst success rate is when I try to troubleshoot me.  Maybe it's the forest for the trees problem.   But it can lend the mind to forget the successes in life that God has granted and make you dwell on a problem that's His to resolve, not yours. 

Recently we've been praying for something very specific.  In that doors appeared to be opening, it looked like maybe this was God's timing. Honestly it felt good, really good. Then in a simple email it appears that the door was closed. However, unlike in times gone by, this time it's like God's response is "Hold on, I am not done yet." 

Rather than going around in circles with what we think are our problems, get off the circus ride and keep our eyes on the author and perfector of our faith. Rather than give in to doom and gloom, give in to hope. God may not be done yet, but may in fact be waiting for you to react differently. 

Tests are performed in manufacturing to attest to something working as intended. 
There's times that we are allowed by God to be tested to show us, not Him, that we have come farther than we thought possible. There's no aspect of our life that Jesus doesn't already know about. Remember, at the Rapture, at the Final Judgment, in the times each person is before Christ, nobody is ever questioned about their reasons for any choice or decision they ever made.  Scripture says that He searches the hearts of men. Knows every thought and intention of our hearts. Knows our grief and our joys. He knows. 

We believe a lie when we sit and act like we are alone in any situation. That's not of God for any believer.  As I opened with, too many times I believed that.

My God is the God who saves, also the God who Stays.

The God Who Stays - Matthew West 

If I were You I would've given up on me by now
I would've labeled me a lost cause
'Cause I feel just like a lost cause
If I were You I would've turned around and walked away
I would've labeled me beyond repair
'Cause I feel like I'm beyond repair
Oh, but somehow You don't see me like I do
Somehow You're still here
You're the God who stays
You're the God who stays
You're the one who runs in my direction
When the whole world walks away
You're the God who stands
With wide open arms
And You tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart
From the God who stays
I used to hide
Every time I thought I let You down
I always thought I had to earn my way
But I'm learning You don't work that way, no
'Cause somehow You don't see me like I do
Somehow You're still here
You're the God who stays
You're the God who stays
You're the one who runs in my direction
When the whole world walks away
You're the God who stands
With wide open arms
And You tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart
From the God who stays
My shame can't separate
My guilt can't separate
My past can't separate
I'm Yours forever
My sin can't separate
My scars can't separate
My failures can't separate
I'm Yours forever
No enemy can separate
No power of hell can take away
Your love for me will never change
I'm Yours forever
'Cause you're the God who stays
You're the God who stays
You're the one who runs in my direction
When the whole world walks away
You're the God who stands
With wide open arms
And You tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart
From the God who stays
You're the God who stays
You're the one who runs in my direction
When the whole world walks away
You're the God who stands
With wide open arms
And You tell me nothing I have ever done can separate my heart
From the God who stays

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Being Useful to God, Who's Running the Show?

Being Useful to God, Who's Running the Show?

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Jesus, You were despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. In the world I will have tribulation; but I can be of good cheer, for You have overcome the world. Such a High Priest was fitting for me, Jesus who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners . . . so that I may become blameless and harmless, a child of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Jesus of Nazareth, You went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with You. Therefore, as I have opportunity, may I do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Jesus, You were the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. As one of God’s children, I am the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. May I let my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works and glorify my Father in heaven. 

Lord Jesus, show me the good works You would have me do and use me to be Your light. 

JOHN 17:16; ISAIAH 53:3; JOHN 16:33; HEBREWS 7:26; PHILIPPIANS 2:15; ACTS 10:38; GALATIANS 6:10; JOHN 1:9; MATTHEW 5:14, 16

We live in a world that exalts selfishness. It's everywhere, it's hypnotizing in advertising, in the music created. Satan's pushing selfishness like nobody's business. 

The love of self is an idol most worshiped today.  We are influenced at an extremely young age to be selfish. Yet in the Bible, we are taught not to be. 

Our culture is really no different now than it was in the days of Noah. There's extremely little integrity. There's virtually no moral standards. People mutilate the body that God gave them in ways unheard of decades ago. Insisting that they are something different than what God intended. 

The Church is by no means isolated from this.  Warnings in the Scriptures written over 2,000 years ago still apply today. Savage wolves would come into the Church to teach things that shouldn't be taught. Wolves in sheep's clothing are warned about. 

You are encouraged in all kinds of ways to celebrate vanity. To spend money you don't have on things you don't need to impress people you don't even know. 

Billions are spent on selfishness everywhere. It's all about your happiness. 

Lost in this is obedience to Christ Jesus.  Supposed Christian people are sucked into various degrees of selfishness. Both between them and others and them and God. 

We develop hobbies to entertain our imagination. Some are good and have merit. Still others feed the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. 

It's been a hard thing to learn.  Letting go of things.  I have not arrived.   As in all Spiritual things, I am a work in progress. Am still clay in the Potter's hands.

You can gage your degree of selfishness and self worship by your view in the mirror. You can gage it by the things you own and your bank account. You can gage it by what you occupy your mind with. 

As the saying goes an idle mind is the Devil's playground. 

Scripture teaches us to set our minds on things above, not on things down here.
To do what we do as unto the Lord. Heartily even. 
To prefer one another above ourselves. 

An overwhelming majority of professing Christians only look towards Jesus on those days they show up for Church or catastrophe has hit them so hard they are on their knees. 

If this weren't the truth this world wouldn't be in the state it is in. The seductive work of Satan in promoting selfishness has them living for self until God urges their return to Himself. The Church, the true Church, would be much greater than it is in the face of adversity. 

Properly translated Jesus said the power of the Spirit through the Church would be so great that the gates of Hell would not be able to withstand the onslaught.  

Does that sound the the bulk of the Churches today? Absolutely not. 

Read in Revelation the letters to the Churches. Read of the things Jesus, the Head of the Church, has to say. We are not to go to Church to be entertained. Not to bring the ideas of the world into it. We are to be worshipping God, and bring the teachings of the Bible to a lost world. 

Ultimately each person will give an account of their own life before Jesus. 
On the part of the unbeliever accusations will fly as to why they believe they aren't guilty. 
Many unbelievers will point fingers and accuse believers of never having said anything to them about Christ. Which may or may not be true, but as the Bible has said to each a measure of faith had been given. That the fool has said in his heart that there is no God. In the day of Judgment there will be no worthy excuses for denying Jesus. 

In your today, how much of it will be spent in obedience to Christ?
In your today, just what will you be doing for your Savior?
Or is it me, me, me in your world?

This line from the prayer listed above is powerful:
Lord Jesus, show me the good works You would have me do and use me to be Your light.

The more you empty yourself of you the more room Jesus has to work with in making you more like Him. In your physical world and your Spiritual world. 

The rage and anger pointed at the Christian world is because it condems a selfishness present in today's world. The people in the darkness love it more than the light. The light exposes the evil they love so much.

Yet we aren't to shirk our responsibility as Christ-followers. Praying for the lost. Prayers for our leaders. Prayers for those who have wronged us.  Prayers for salvation for family, friends and acquaintances. Prayers for understanding of God's Word.  Prayers for the men God has chosen to be Pastor's and the road that God has them on. Prayers for the Church that it would return to what Jesus intended.  Putting one another above ourselves. 

Satan lives to keep people from Salvation. To take those who are saved and hinder their growth as Christians and do what he can to make them ineffective.  He wants the worship that belongs to Jesus Christ. 

Look at your today again and really look at who's running the show. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Who Indeed!

Who Indeed!

Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” LUKE 8:45 

The crowds pressed in on Him. Not only was Jesus surrounded by people needing His help and wanting His healing power, but He was on His way to the home of Jairus whose sick daughter languished near death. The fact that Jesus sensed someone touching Him is quite remarkable, and it reveals His sensitivity to every person who reaches out to Him in faith. Someone had indeed reached out to the Lord and touched Him—actually, touched the hem of His robe—in faith that He could and would heal her of twelve years of bleeding. Luke the physician reported the woman’s declaration: “she had touched Him and . . . she was healed immediately” (v. 47). If you feel overwhelmed by what God has called you to do or, like the hemorrhaging woman, by the circumstances of your life, be encouraged. God will respond as you reach out in faith to touch Him. He will empower you and heal you, and you will see miracles happen in your life. You cannot control the power God will use in your life. However, you decide whether you will reach out to Christ or not. -  Blackaby Being Still With God 

Did you catch all that Peter was saying, and all that Jesus was really asking?

Indeed all were around Him, all were pressing in on Him. But only one was there by faith. 

In all sorts of science fiction stories and movies, even in reality, people and governments want to exploit the supernatural.

Want to find some kind of way to obtain the power without cost.

Satan will be empowering his Antichrist with signs and wonders through his false Prophet. People will believe their eyes in what he does.  This is no fantasy. In Judas Iscariot it began. 
Scripture is replete with power hungry people. Thus the statement that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Only the Creator God has what it takes to not be corrupted. Only God is perfect in truth to know how to discern all right from all wrong. 

Many pressing in on Him.

Oh the true sadness of it all!

As Jesus said elsewhere of so many lost sheep with no shepherd.  Misguided people. Just as He said of the Pharasee that they take in a man to be taught of themselves and the result would be that they make them twice the Son of Satan as themselves. 

People in this world are no better.  People in our world.  Just as lost.  Technology, things in the news, mean nothing when it comes to comparing the people in this passage and those people today. 

People attending various liberal churches today are the same as these lost people pressing in on Jesus.  Doing the same thing. Wanting something from Jesus, not willing to fully obey God's word to obtain it. Faith isn't present to obtain the change in the soul.  This ties in directly with Jesus asking will He find the faith when He returns?

Are you the one coming to Christ in faith, absent of any preconditions? Or are you like these people, cosying up to Jesus in hopes that He will do something else for you and it not cost you anything?

Coming to Christ will cost you something. God's Word says that to all men He's allotted a measure of faith.  You have a measure of faith, what have you done with it?

The woman who had this problem chose to use the faith she had to seek mercy and healing from Jesus. She believed in Jesus, believed Him to be God. Those pressing in on Him did not.
They were after more handouts. They wanted more with no commitments. 

Many people today want from God but don't want the commitments that go with it. 

People often break down and pray only when they are in an apparently blocked in position in life. In the heat of the moment only. Then they go back to their sinful living. 

Jesus knew and it's written in other places, who had the faith to be healed. He saw it in people without a question. 

This is exactly the same as in the judgment to come.  

Jesus will know you without a question needing to be asked about any point in your life. 

To those who are truly saved, the seal of the Spirit is upon us.  Thus no reason to ask or question. 

To those without it, there's still no reason to ask or question, because He always already knows all about your life. 

You have no chance at a last minute defense on the day of judgment before Jesus if you rejected His free gift of Salvation now. 

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. She heard of God, she believed God, was healed by God. 

Those pressing in on Him didn't get it. 

Paul, the Apostle, once Saul the Pharasee, didn't get it either. 
He was raised a Pharasee, the Son of one. Saw everything that Jesus did in His Earthly ministry.  Had no faith to make it alive in his life until he was brought to his knees on the road to Damascus. He epitomized the hatred of the Jews towards those following Christ. Like some even today who are trying to destroy the Church. Blind hatred. 

Are you coming to Christ in faith, or are you only wanting to have the benefits without the commitments?  My Friend, there's a Heaven or Hell difference in your answer. 

You cannot afford to be wrong. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

A Full Access Heart

A Full Access Heart

I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will. ACTS 13:22 

Imagine that you purchased a house and the previous owner gave you keys to all the rooms except one; he reserved the right to come and go as he pleased in that one room. That brings to mind how the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, answered Queen Victoria when she asked the secret of his ministry: “I guess the reason is because God has all there is of me.” Robert Boyd Munger wrote a famous tract titled My Heart, Christ’s Home, in which he likened his heart to the rooms in a house. If your heart were divided into rooms, is there any one to which you would not give Christ the key? Or, like William Booth, does He have all there is of you? When God chose a man to succeed Saul as king of Israel, He chose David. And the primary reason given in Scripture is that David was a man after God’s own heart. That means that God would be just as comfortable in the house of David’s heart as in His own. No surprises, no dark corners, no hidden passageways not revealed to the light. Our goal should be to create the kind of heart-home that Jesus would love to come to—a heart like God’s own. God is still looking today for hearts that are loyal to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9). Has He found yours? Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

I must confess that this aspect of Christianity eluded me much of my life. 
I used to have rooms in my heart that I, probably much like you, didn't want Jesus going into. 

My hope and prayer for me is that in today, Jesus can and would go into every place in my heart.  No perception of secrets on my part towards Him.

We delude ourselves if we think otherwise.  There's nothing hidden from the eyes of whom we have to do. He is the one who searches the heart.  He is like no other. In the day of judgment, in the other day of revealing-the giving an account of our lives, in both the unbeliever and the believer, He never has need to ask a question.  He already knows every thought, every intention behind those thoughts, before you do. 

We fool ourselves when we think something we desire is in secret. We fool ourselves when we try to convince ourselves what He has said is wrong is actually right. 

Self-deception is as bad as a willingly sinful life.  Embracing this world, it's lies, it's seductive pleasures, is just the same. 

As the Bible says! What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul!

You gain nothing in living only for yourself. You gain nothing in trying to compartmentalize your heart when He already knows!

The Spirit seals those who are saved in Christ. These He comes into and these He begins to clean. To heal, to make more like Christ.  We aren't the architect of those changes, we are the benefactor of them. We are the clay. He is the Potter. 

When we came to Christ we gave FULL authority to Him to go anywhere in us to effect any change in us necessary to become more like Christ. We didn't hire a Butler. We didn't gain a faithful employee. We told Him to do whatever was needed to make us like Himself. 

It depends on us as to how that process will happen.  
It depends on us as to how painful that will be.  
It depends on us to not fight Him in making those changes a reality. 

As He said to pray "Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven".

We have a finite amount of time on this Earth to participate in God's Plan for mankind. 
If we really believe the Bible, we know that time is close, if not at hand, for the return of Jesus Christ.  We know that Scripture is being fulfilled. The Master of the house is returning. 

It's not always going to be pretty in my life.  The surgeries the Spirit has had to perform in me at times have been quite painful.  Sometimes I thought they would break me. A few times I was brought to intense agony and tears.  

I have to let go of what I have built up in this heart of mine that does not benefit me Spiritually.  I have to let go of the things that do nothing to make me more like Christ. 

My sin nature will try with all its might, all its slyness, all its craftiness, to get me to hide things in my heart from Jesus. Another lie. Another deception.

Goals and ambitions in this life are also potentially as bad when they do not follow the plan of God for you.  If your time, energy and effort are consumed in your plans for you and Jesus isn't involved then my friends you are going to fail. 

My mind these days is wrapping itself around the Spirit’s deeper meaning to that which Jesus said of denying yourself, taking up your own cross and following Him. 

For me at the moment it involves eating, it has nothing to do with desiring a healthier lifestyle. 
It has nothing to do with anyone else's opinion on how I have looked. I have to deny me what I want in order to reduce or eliminate medications. God has me in a place where this is the mandate. It's opening up my mind to other related issues in me. In my heart. Areas where I need to deny myself to become Christ-like. To be truthful with you, I feel absolutely no better or worse, almost 40 pounds lighter.  It's about obedience in me to denying myself, taking up my cross and following Him. In eating, in recreation, in work, in all areas of life.  

In our hearts is where we obey or disobey our Savior. Jesus said that out of the heart comes everything in how we relate to ourselves, to others, to Him.

Are there rooms in your heart you think you have kept from Jesus? 
The reality is you haven't. The reality is if you're still insisting on living your life your way, you are living in disobedience. As Scripture also says God is not mocked. There's absolutely no fooling God. There's no way to hide the truth from God in you. As we are His workmanship, we who are in Christ WILL see Him busting down doors and walls in us. 

It's never a bad thing!  Our idea of good and great things, ideas, of life, are paltry compared to what Jesus has in mind for us!  What we call success is rubbish compared to what Jesus has prepared for us to do!  Joshua was a young shepherd he had dreams but even he didn't and couldn't see where the Lord was going to take him!

King David wrote of the anguish and pain of something in his life. Even he didn't know he would be quoting his Savior while He was on the cross. 

Eye has not seen nor ear heard that which the Lord has prepared for those who love Him.