Sunday, October 31, 2021

What's to be Spiritually Seen: Part 4 - Taking Life Differently

What's to be Spiritually Seen: Part 4 - Taking Life Differently 

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9 NASB

Would you even recognize it when you are being deceived?
Would you know at all if the Scriptures were to be coming true before your very eyes?

We are told in Romans 12:2 NASB "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Do you seek to prove what the will of God is, or are you more interested in your will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven?  

But what does that passage say?  Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you."

Do you read anything in the Bible about walking with Jesus as optional? That if it fits your schedule or way of life then you can or would?

It is an amazement to me that this has entered into a 4th part.  But look at the progression.  Look at how willful people are and can be in their purported Christian life!

If you have the ability to read the Scriptures in the original language, can see the truths of God’s Word and obey them, you are blessed indeed.  Many twist the Scriptures to say and to mean things that God never intended. 

There's only 1 type of inclusion in the Bible. It's towards concerning sinners who've repented and have turned to the truth of God in His Word.  You are either invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God or you are cast into the outer darkness where there's weeping and gnashing of teeth.  You are either a worker in the Harvest Jesus spoke of or you are standing idle in the highways of life. 

Would you recognize the attributes of idolatry in your life?

Would you even know what to look for?  I have been saved since the early 70's, but I can confess to you all that I have been quite deceived throughout my life.  I have often ran off half-cocked not considering the ramifications of my actions. 

I have wanted my will to be done here on Earth. We want Jesus to save us but want Him to be an all powerful Genie and not God. 

I have cried out to God, in very much my stupidity, to plead for things to be different than I was experiencing.  You can find me in between the lines in the book of Job. You can find me in the book of Jonah.  You'll find some parts of my life in the book of Esther, of Genesis, of Samuel. 

The only way to recognize or to know is to be IN God's Word. 

As it's written of in the latest issue of Prophecy Today, WWW.PTNEWS.ORG, we are witnesses to the ending of the Church age. It's happening and yet the so-called professing Church refuses to acknowledge or believe it. They want the Church to go on into the future grand and strong!  Yet these same people do not recognize the hands of God on human history. Do not recognize the deception. Do not recognize that the attitude of the so-called mainstream church is really no less cocky than the nation of Israel was when Jesus arrived 2,000 plus years ago. The nation of Israel was expected a Savior who would be a conqueror who would establish His Kingdom.  

Scriptures tell us this:  

Romans 11:11-31 NASB "I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? Far from it! But by their wrongdoing salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their wrongdoing proves to be riches for the world, and their failure, riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Therefore insofar as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry if somehow I may move my own people to jealousy and save some of them. For if their rejection proves to be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are as well.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. See then the kindness and severity of God: to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; for otherwise you too will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?

For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written:

The Deliverer will come from Zion,
He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.”
This is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

In relation to the gospel they are enemies on your account, but in relation to God’s choice they are beloved on account of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy."

The Church age has an ending. 

Romans 11:25 NASB "For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;"

Would you ever know if you've given ground in your life to Satan?

Would you ever recognize when the Spirit is trying to teach you something? 

Would you know what the Bible means and says about a hardened heart?

Would you know?

Prayer's can be incredibly selfish. Again of this I am eminently guilty. We do want this to happen but not that. We tell God what is His business rather than joining Him in His.

We are about to move soon. I would be lying if the last several weeks haven't been mind boggling to me. Seeing God do incredible things right away and other things at a snail's pace. 

To see mountains blown away and see some that He refused to move, but rather are making us go around them. 

I have had joy and great distress in the last few weeks. Have experienced betrayal of supposed friends, have seen much that has caused me to cry out to Jesus all the more. 

But in everything I have been forced to look to see God’s hands doing what is going to happen in His time, His way, and not necessarily my own. 

Indeed many prayers have been prayed and people write books on the times in which we live, not having a clue as to the revelations of Scripture right before their eyes. 

The Church has a definite beginning and a definite ending here on Earth. Scripture says this. 

It's been an eye opening experience to see what things in this world that I have held on to over the years. Possessions are not necessarily our friends in this world. Scripture says that by pursuing such things as money, and by extension things, many have been hit with much grief. 

I, like you my Dear Reader, need to determine what thoughts that I, we, allow ourselves to think.  

We must divest ourselves of the things of this world that so easily entangle us.  

It was an amazing thing to understand that the types of a so-called pastors who gathered in recent days who want to do away with evangelism were represented in Judas Iscariot. 

He lived with the other Disciples for years with Jesus. Had the same power and ability to do all that the other Disciples could say and do, yet was found in the end to be an imposter. He never saw his self-deception. 

You must choose to actively pursue God's business in this world. 

You must choose to live as the Bible says you ought to live. 

You must live life differently, not the exact same, as the rest of the world. 

We are to let the light of Christ shine in the darkness of this world, not dim it so much that the world doesn't see it and has no reason to believe us.

You want to start somewhere? Ask God to show you where you have deceived yourself. 

You must choose to obey Jesus. You cannot live two lives.  

Those with hardened hearts, those who refuse to live in obedience, have shorter lifespans than those who obey. You have a purpose in God's redemptive work in this world. If you won't do your part He WILL find someone who will. You may find yourself taken out of this world because of disobedience. You can be stubborn in Christ or stubborn outside of Christ. 

I have this assurance that Jesus is coming soon. 

I know that the last hours of the Church are at hand.  The Scriptures are and will be fulfilled. 

You must choose to live for Christ or not. You.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

What's to be Spiritually Seen: Part 3 Who's Really There

What's to be Spiritually Seen: Part 3 Who's Really There

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 

In a battle, it is imperative to identify your enemy. If you are not aware of the point of your attack, you are vulnerable. Paul had many enemies. Some resented him, others hated him, and others wanted to kill him. Some, who were supposedly on his side, sought to harm him and his ministry (Acts 9:23; Phil. 1:17; 2 Tim. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 4:14). In spite of the persecution he faced, Paul never lost sight of his real enemy. Paul was wary of Satan. When people attacked him, he knew they were not his real opponents. They were simply unwitting instruments of the spiritual forces of darkness. When you meet opposition to your faith, your first reaction may be anger toward your antagonist. This may divert your attention from the deeper, spiritual dimensions of your conflict. Your adversary may be hopelessly in bondage to sin. Rather than retaliating, you should immediately and earnestly intercede for that person. Your opponent's hostility is your invitation to become involved in God's redemptive work to free him or her from spiritual bondage. Be alert to the spiritual warfare around you. It is real and potentially destructive to you and those you care about. Knowing your real foe will protect you from bitterness and unforgiveness. Your hope lies in the reality that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Do not place your hope in humanity, but steadfastly trust in the One who has already defeated your enemy. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

The battle rages on either in silence or in outcry of people. 

You may or may not see who your enemies really are. You may but also may come to know them as brothers and sisters in Christ by what you go through. 

Right now I can tell the battle is raging around me.  I can relate to Paul's thoughts to Timothy at the end of the book of 2nd Timothy. Some people in this life have done me great harm. 

I too am guilty of harming others in my life. My best of intentions don't equate to God's purpose in my interactions with others.  I have not that great a memory on much of my life, but until Christ returns or calls me home, my enemies will remind me of my failures. 

We read of this in the Bible:

Matthew 10:21 "Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death."

John 15:18-25 NASB "“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you as well; if they followed My word, they will follow yours also. But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But this has happened so that the word that is written in their Law will be fulfilled: ‘They hated Me for no reason.’"

The world really is black and white. There's those saved by grace through faith and those who aren't.

As another devotional put it that I read this morning, some people pad themselves with pleasure and material things to keep from seeing the state they are in.

Part of Dr. David Jeremiah's entry today in Morning and Evening says "Whom the Lord loves, He chastens. HEBREWS 12:6 Until we are faced with the consequences of what we do wrong, we won’t even admit it to ourselves. We are the most marvelous people at rationalizing wrongdoing. In our culture, absolutes are almost gone. We face a major problem in the church today with people doing what is absolutely wrong and thinking they have a good case for why it is not so bad. Until we face the penalty for our wrongdoing, we often won’t be honest with ourselves."

Right now I am facing many burdens that leave me crying out to my Savior.  I am being ushered through things in life that at times are overwhelming.  I know this is a Spiritual battle. I know that we are attempting to step out in faith. This has to do with our sanctification, our relationship with Jesus. Satan's going to hurl everything at us, at me, to get us to stop. 

I struggle greatly and in much its because I lack understanding. In war you often don't know what nor understand what is happening, you just got to keep moving. 

I look at my battles and have often of late been thinking on the first verse of this in 1 Corinthians 10:12-33 NASB  "Therefore let the one who thinks he stands watch out that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise people; you then, judge what I say. Is the cup of blessing which we bless not a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is the bread which we break not a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one loaf, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf. Look at the people of Israel; are those who eat the sacrifices not partners in the altar? What do I mean then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?

All things are permitted, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted, but not all things build people up. No one is to seek his own advantage, but rather that of his neighbor. Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions, for the sake of conscience; for the earth is the Lords, and all it contains. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions, for the sake of conscience. But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of that one who informed you and for the sake of conscience; Now by “conscience” I do not mean your own, but the other person’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered about that for which I give thanks?

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. Do not offend Jews or Greeks, or the church of God; just as I also please everyone in all things, not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of the many, so that they may be saved."

In writing I often become the example. I cannot help but be truthful. I am to write what I am to write.  

Idolatry has been the problem with mankind since its beginning. I have struggled with it both knowingly and unknowingly. Everyone does. It is rampant in our world. 

My fears are always being thrown in my face by God's enemies.  I am a problem solver in things in life. When I can't it bothers me greatly.  

The battle is more real than anyone wants to admit.  Lives are at stake. People are heading either to Heaven or Hell every single second.  Satan knows the Bible better than you or I. He's been trying to prove any part of it wrong since the dawn of creation. He knows the times and history of mankind.  Knows what's happening today and what's coming. 

But that takes all the fun out of life!  I want to enjoy life! I  don't want to hear about all this doom and gloom!  These indeed might be your thoughts. 

If you die without Christ as your Savior, you'll never enjoy anything else in eternity again.  

If you are saved and only live to enjoy life, then you are missing out on your calling in Christ Jesus. 

Life is more than what we see in it. Life is a Spiritual journey, a Spiritual thing.  

It's not about possessions or about money, prestige, power or anything else. All of that is laid waste before Christ Jesus. All of those things belong to God. 

Our hands on them but we do not own them. 

What are you doing to live life right in the eyes of God? 

What are you doing to help others in Christ?

What are you doing about your selfishness?

Would you even recognize your enemy?

If a man's enemy will be members of his own house, what does it tell you about the severity of this fight?

Friday, October 29, 2021

What's to be Spiritually Seen Part 2: War of the Spiritual World's

What's to be Spiritually Seen Part 2: War of the Spiritual World's 

Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1

All things are permitted for me, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, however God will do away with both of them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are parts of Christ? Shall I then take away the parts of Christ and make them parts of a prostitute? Far from it! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin that a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6 12-20 NASB

What do you do in your life that's clearly not God honoring? 
What lies, if you are truthful with yourself and God, have you convinced yourself aren't really sins?

We all have done it. It began with Adam and Eve.  Our Spiritual lives are supposed to be in the development stage. Growing in Christ Jesus is what we are to be doing. 

Charley Pride had a song long ago that speaks to some of this.  "This Highway Leads to Glory".

I remember when I was a little boy
Down on an ole country farm
We'd go to church on Sunday and I'd hear the preacher say
If you want to see my Jesus you gotta stay on the King's highway

This highway leads to glory but it's no easy ride
You'll find all kind of exits can throw you off your stride
Some will lead to fortune and others lead to fame
Some will lead you so far wrong you won't return again

Oh you just stay between the white lines
Obey all the right signs
Keep your eyes open all the time
Oh you just stay between the white lines
Never pass o're the yellow line
And you'll get to heaven right on time

Satan's on this highway he walks on every side
Tryin' to flag you down don't give him a ride
He will try to stop you at just any cost
You may stop too long and your soul maybe lost

Oh you just stay between the white lines
Obey all the right signs
Keep your eyes open all the time
Oh you just stay between the white lines
Never pass o're the yellow line
And you'll get to heaven right on time
Oh yes now you'll get to heaven right on time

Now this song may not be entirely theologically correct but you get the gist from the words that there's a lot more to life than seeking fun and good times. 

After Christ Jesus returns, this world will sink into even lower levels of depravity in what it labels good and fun things. Sin will be hailed as the right and true way of life.  Anything resembling Christian principles will be against the law, punishable by death.

There's a list of what people would be like. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 NASB "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."

These things are evident in today's world. I see them. I see myself being tempted to display such behavior in me.

People within the Church is where the concern is.  We know these behaviors exist outside of it.

"I solemnly exhort you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, use self-restraint in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:1-5 NASB

Biblical Pastors who teach the Word of God without partiality are extremely rare these days. 
The sheer fact that over a thousand purported pastors are moving away from the unerring message of the Good News of the Gospel because of worldly ideology tells you indeed that the apostasy has come. The falling away has begun. 

You cannot afford to sit idle in this true war of the Spiritual World's. 

If you claim to be a Christian, what parts of your life are still yours that you have not handed to God?

To be holy means to separate from. To be Holy as He is Holy wasn't a suggestion. 

Do you waste the very breathe you breathe on wasted things?  

Do you have a drive and enthusiasm for ANYTHING in this world that rightfully belongs to God?  Be careful here. This can and DOES include sports, entertainment, family members, anyone or anything in this world. 

Read for yourself the specific offenses of the children of Israel against the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Those aren't exclusive to them. They are for you to consider in regards to what God says concerning Godly living. 

Are you apathetic towards how God feels about sin because you enjoy it too much?

Are you holding onto some idea that in the end it won't matter, you're saved?

Are you at all considering your thoughts and actions?  

Do you lead a double life?  Being one kind of person in front of other believers and a different one in the world?

The book of Ephesians is very clear on the whole armor of God for a reason. 

There's a war of the Spiritual World's and you my Dear Reader are in the battlefield. 

If you look around at your possessions. What do they say about your devotion to following Jesus Christ?

If a single day of you life, thoughts and all, were played back on a global broadcast, would the world find you guilty of being a Christian or laugh at you because of what they see and hear?

Part of my purging isn't done yet during this move. Odds are good that even more things will be donated after we move.  If the thing that people will be doing in the Thousand Year reign of Jesus Christ is learning about Him, with most every distraction we experience in today's world being gone, how should we be living today?

Would you even know what to look for when it comes to idolatry? 
Would even recognize what the Bible says about sin?
Do you even know where your thoughts as a believer should be going?

As a soldier of the cross, you are to be in basic training to learn how to fight or not to fight in the battles you will engage in this world.  As Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:3-7 "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him.  And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything."

Open your eyes, your Spiritual eyes, look in the mirror and what do you see?
Do you see what should be seen Spiritually?  

Thursday, October 28, 2021

What's to be Spiritually Seen

What's to be Spiritually Seen 
By David Brenneman 

"This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a bush in the desert,
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt that is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water
That extends its roots by a stream,
And does not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else

And is desperately sick;

Who can understand it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
To give to each person according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:5-10 NASB 

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8

Reading the headlines or even if you don't, and you focus on your own little world, these words ought to both mean something to you and trigger a reaction in you towards another passage. 

"but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written: “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

In no way nor place do we see nor read of the words of Jesus needing to be rethought to mean something new because of changing times and seasons.  

In today's world people are indeed seeking a Spiritual connection, towards a Spiritual leader. But most don't realize the one they seek isn't Jesus Christ.  They are seeking a Spiritual Leader who tells them what they want to hear and to see in a god. 

Satan's been trying to create life in his own image through artificial intelligence. The things created when so questioned and empowered, show a ruthless slant against anything right true and good according to God's Word. The undercurrent of the views of AI is negativity. 

I believe this is Satan's second run at creating artificial intelligence. My personal belief is that pre-flood Earth was far more advanced than we are today.  Too much evidence has survived the Great Flood to prove it.

Go back into the words Jeremiah wrote.  Look again at what was written in the New Testament.  We laugh and joke about the things of this world that are evil in the core of what they are.  We don't see a Church that holds true to the core values of what it began with. We see every prediction of what the end times stated were going to happen, happening. 

We see people who are lovers of themselves. We see everything written about the behavior of mankind happening before our eyes. Rather than praying all the more earnestly about such things we either put our heads in the sand or try to put a positive spin on it minus any truth about judgment to come.  Surely we don't want to offend anyone!

Jesus said if the world hated Him they would hate you too. 

Jesus said to expect the world to have a problem with those who believe. So we now see candy coated unoffensive so-called Churches and so-called Christians who do their best to camouflage who they are in Christ to keep others from finding out.

I am guilty of this offense to God myself at times.  More afraid of the ramifications than I was of being the light I was called to be.

Are you at all trying to look to blend into the world rather than be a light?

Read that verse from Jeremiah. Your heart is deceitful. So is mine. Apart from allowing the Spirit to rule in our hearts we can't trust ourselves!

We will deceive ourselves into calling things good that are not. We will pursue things that are doing nothing for our sanctification. We will build warehouses to store our worldly goods and then die only for someone else to get them.  Rather than using the blessings we receive to bless someone else. The Churches that Paul wrote to were doing just that.

We don't like to look at that part of Jeremiah where it says that Jesus searches the hearts of mankind.  We like deceiving ourselves into thinking He won't find anything wrong. Oh but He does. 

We compromise here and there, thinking that oh God's grace will cover that. Using grace like an unlimited coupon to keep doing what God's Word said not to.

Consider your ways, as I am being lead to consider my own. 

If you remotely think you aren't deceiving yourself, then you already have been. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

That Which Divides Unlike Any Other

That Which Divides Unlike Any Other

For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NASB 

You may have heard it said that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.  

You read within the Bible about what the Bible is useful for. 

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

There are no gray areas with God. You look at the untamed of the wild and there's none there as well. 

An oft used expression of not wanting to hear someone say something is to put up a hand in the gesture of open palmed "stop".  

This doesn't and will not exclude you or I from the truths of the Bible.  We are all subject to what it says and is about.  

When Believers stand before Christ we will give an account of the deeds we have done in our bodies, whether in obedience to the Word of God or in regards to our disobedience. 

In the end of ends when after both the 7 year Tribulation is done and the Thousand Year reign of Jesus Christ, all who ever lived apart from God without salvation will be seen in the light of Scripture, in the light of Christ Jesus.  Their deeds in life will be shown to amount to nothing due to those lives being rooted in sin that wasn't atoned for. 

People who lead spectacular giving lives, who were genuinely living a life that looked like an upstanding citizen of the world will be shown it amounted to nothing.  Without Christ Jesus for salvation, it meant nothing. People of all walks of life will be addressed one by one and will be told they fell short. They missed the mark. That they were not written in the Book of Life.  

No human deeds of apparent perfection are enough to equal salvation in Christ Jesus. 

We often put a hand up at God because He isn't saying what we want to hear. We are more afraid of being offended or offending someone else rather than acknowledging the truth that our sin offended the Holy Creator God. 

To read of over a thousand so-called pastors who have or are turning away from the true message of the Gospel message to appease people says indeed the apostasy of the Church has been happening. 

What is the definition of this?  It's the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief.

Jesus lamented whether or not He would find the faith when He returns.  We read that in the Bible.  That very living book that cannot be broken by all the powers of Satan. Please also don't listen to the world in crediting Satan with powers and things he doesn’t have. 

Satan has not nor has ever been in Hell.  In this time in ALL human history and beyond he has never wanted nor would willingly go there because even he knows what happens to people there. The Bible tells you where Satan roams. It's all over the Earth and he reports to God in Heaven, as per several places again, in the Bible. 

You have before you the living Word of God. For those who do believe and stand on what it says, a life is transformed. We all can be impacted by it for different reasons and ways.  It either pushes you and I towards God or away from Him. But know this for sure, it WILL do one or the other. 

Jesus Christ is the living Word of God. He can and does see every single division in our thoughts.  He knows where and when we are and can knows every intention of a thought along with its every possibility. You cannot lie to Him even though time and time again you do lie to yourself. 

We often don't consider the Bible because it's offensive to our sin nature.  It is going to and always will.  We are told in the Bible to put off the old self and its practices. 

Sadly those thousand plus so-called pastors are more afraid of offending people than they are offending a Holy God.  

There's nothing else in all creation that can do what God's Word can do to a soul. 

2 Timothy 4:2 says "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction."

Further in the same chapter those Pastors and false Pastors missed this truth "For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, use self-restraint in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."

We live in that time of people only wanting to hear what they want. They tell any who show them their sin to talk to the hand. These thousand plus so-called preacher’s and such will give an account of how they mislead billions of people. 

Scripture says they are doubly accountable. 

James 3:1 "Do not become teachers in large numbers, my brothers, since you know that we who are teachers will incur a stricter judgment.".

Even everything that I write in this blog is included in that verse.  I try my best to adhere to writing what I am told to write.  Millions per day die of various causes and the very first thing to happen is determine whether they are saved or not, according to the Scriptures. 

You, my Dear Reader need to answer that question while you are alive. 

There's no words you can say that will grant you a second chance after you die.  You will be told that you had your chance.  

There's no words you can say that will get anyone you know out of Hell.  Until the Final Judgment day, Hell is a one-way trip. It's populated by those who refused the free gift of Salvation and Demons who have been sentenced by God to stay there until that day.  Look at the interaction between Demons and Jesus.  They were terrified of being sentenced to go there. 

This same Bible breathes life to those who believe.  To those who take the Bible for what it is, hope is found.  Life is found.  It helps those who do believe in teaching them the ways of God and to become more like Christ Jesus.  It empowers them in a world of sin that they battle every day.  To not believe you are in a battle doesn't mean you aren't in one. 

Jesus, through the work of the Spirit, shows you and I what we need to see and know about ourselves and our lives that we don't want to see. Because as the Bible says it sheds light into the darkness. Exposing the deeds of mankind. 

It teaches, it breathes life, it knows what we don't want to acknowledge.  

Head knowledge of the Bible, without belief, will still get you into Hell.  There's been theologians who have lived who are in Hell.  Thousands or more who studied the Bible all their lives are in Hell.  2,000 years ago they were called Pharisees and Sadducees.  Today they are called false prophets, false teachers and false Pastors.  

You are on the hook to be in the Bible yourselves. It was a nagging thing with me knowing that I would someday stand before Christ and would have to admit that I hadn't read His Bible even once. 

I have lost track of how many times I have been through it.

Each time something new stands out.  This whole post today came from the rich truth of 1 passage this morning. 

What will you say when your life is shown before Christ?  

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Your Life, His Vision

Your Life, His Vision 

The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. ACTS 2:47 

Pastor Charles Swindoll tells about what was, at one time, the greatest evangelistic outreach center in the metropolitan Boston area—a gas station in Arlington. Bob, the owner, had a vision for his work being part of his faith. He provided such honest and dependable service that cars would often be lined up just to buy gas and be serviced at his station. There were no “Jesus Saves” banners, religious sayings, or “fish” symbols in sight. Just Bob—a committed Christian who led dozens of people to faith in Christ because of his Christlike life. Rebecca Pippert has said, “Christians and non-Christians have something in common: We’re both uptight about evangelism.” People found Christ at Bob’s gas station because Christ, not evangelism, was what they encountered. When evangelism, the church, or even Christianity takes the place of Christ, everybody gets uptight. What is your “gas station”? Wherever you encounter non-Christians, ask God to show you how to make Christ, not evangelism, the focus. Every Christian is a lens through which the world is trying to catch a glimpse of Jesus.
- Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

Long ago there was a by guy who, although he had issues, made a statement that rings true to today's devotional.  Bloom where you are planted. 

God's grace and mercy are shown in the lives of believers.  I read this devotional first this morning after my Bible reading and was told to stop and write. 

Yesterday my first day at work at my new job. It had the typical first day things. But mixed in was my being able to testify as to how I got to be working there.

One person for certain asked me that question and I was given time by God to explain things to them.  God provided and I shared.  

Do you live your life in such a way as to recognize opportunities to talk about what Jesus has done for you?

Our world today doesn't want to relish the things of God.  Satan's vision is to drive mankind to worship him. God's vision and Will are that none should perish but that all who would believe would be saved. 

You cannot live your old life and your new one too.  You cannot convince yourself of loving aspects of this world that run contrary to God's views on sin. Look at the book of Jeremiah. He was shown as are all of us why the wrath of God is coming to this world.  We read what offensive mankind wilfully makes.

We hold onto so much in this world and don't even realize it.  We cater to sins because people are not taught that that is what they are and what they are doing.  Again, read what God says in Jeremiah.  Read what truly defines idolatry.  You would be surprised. 

A flower cannot grow the way its designed by God to grow if its being choked by weeds.

You cannot be who you were meant to be in Christ if you keep running back to the world to be happy.  Why aren't you finding happiness in Jesus?  You call Him your Savior, sing sings to God.  Yet are doing the same things that Israel was doing that provoked God's wrath.  

It's an eye opening book to read, if you dare.  You realize none of the deceptive worldly things that fool people into garnering the due attention towards the Lord Jesus will be happening in the thousand year reign of Christ Jesus?  People will spend much if not all their time learning about Jesus.  Won't be needing a great deal of the time consuming and other occupations that exist today in both medical, sports, and entertainment industries. 

So look at your life and be honest with yourself. HAVE you been deceiving yourself? 
Are you living the life God intended you to live or do you live to be pleased regardless as to if He is pleased?

Monday, October 25, 2021

Doubts and Assurances

Doubts and Assurances

Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 

Lord Jesus, if two agree on earth concerning anything that we ask, it will be done for us by our Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in Your name, Lord Jesus, You are there in our midst. I have Your commandments, Jesus, and keep them, for I love You. And I, loving You, will be loved by the Father, and You will love me and manifest Yourself to me. One asked, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” And, Jesus, You said that if I love You, I will keep Your word; and Your Father will love me, and You and Your Father will come to me and make Your home with me. Now to You, Lord Jesus, who are able to keep me from stumbling, and to present me faultless before the presence of Your glory with exceeding joy, to You my Savior, who alone are wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. 

Jesus, by the power of Your Spirit, enable me to keep Your commands so that You may know my love for You. 

MATTHEW 28:20; MATTHEW 18:19–20; JOHN 14:21; JOHN 14:22–23; JUDE 24–25 
 - Dr..David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! MARK 9:24 

Why do you doubt? Have you been influenced by a book? A professor? Another believer? A non-believer? Identifying your doubts and their source will help you understand what you need answers for and why. Think of the people in the Old Testament whom God greatly used who had doubts when they heard His plans for them—Sarah, Moses, Gideon, and Jeremiah, just to name a few. These people were approached by God Himself and they still doubted! God knew their doubts just as He knows yours and mine. We don’t turn our doubts into prayers to God in order to inform God of our doubts. We tell God what we are thinking and feeling about our faith. That makes it more understandable to us as we try to figure out what is going on in our lives. Go to God with your doubts. He is waiting to hear from you.  - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

As for God, His way is perfect. PSALM 18:30 

Nothing is harder than praying and waiting. But God answers prayer and fulfills promises in His time, not in ours. Our times are in His hands. One man earnestly prayed for his child about a certain matter involving a phone call, but the Lord allowed the exact opposite of what he had requested. He was bewildered and angry, but that morning’s Bible reading took him to Psalm 18, and God gave him verse 30: “As for God, His way is perfect.” The Lord was working in His own way, on His own timetable. Ruth Graham once said, “How often has God said no to my earnest prayers that He might answer my deepest longings, give me something more, something better.” The great church father Augustine came to the Lord after years of waywardness. His mother, Monica, prayed for him unceasingly, once begging God not to let Augustine go to Italy. Augustine went anyway—and there he was saved. Augustine later wrote, “Thou, taking Thy own secret counsel and noting the real point of her desire, didst not grant what she was then asking in order to grant to her the thing that she had always been asking.” Don’t grow discouraged. Keep praying. Your times are in God’s hands, and His ways are perfect. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

This is a morning not too unlike others before it, yet in it, like the others before it, there is room for doubts and a craving desire for assurance from God.

I sit at a table in my temporary home. I hear the winds in the trees. I had my coffee, got dressed, awaiting a new day that didn't exist before.  I have read my Bible and was reading my devotionals when I stopped because it seemed like God was telling me to. That these 3 devotionals went together.  Often as much as doubts and assurances do.

In 2013 on this day, I not only left my again now former employer, I fled from there a broken man in many ways. It took years for God to rebuild me enough through many jobs, to reestablish my self-esteem and confidence.  Today I began a new chapter in my life.  Is it filled with doubts and in need of assurances? You better believe it. 

Cars and trucks go by, the world kept on turning towards the end of the age as the Bible says will happen.  As Reba McIntyre sang about years ago, the world didn't stop for her broken heart.  Mine isn't broken, but it's been through a lot in the last 8 years. 

In many ways the rebuilding Jesus had to do was done in stages. Honestly painful Spiritual surgeries.  I recall several that brought such anguish that I cried at the alter more than once. 

I go into this new chapter with hope, with anguish at the same time.  I have met the owner as a visitor, and today I meet him as my boss. God's so engineered my life as to create a relationship with him years ago. 

We see in Dr. Jeremiah's writings of going to God in prayer when doubts are there. I have them, and I pray. We read of the first devotional which is a prayer. We are promised never to be left alone.  Lastly we read of being patient. There's an oft used Christian cliche that says for people to be patient, God's not done with me yet.

I look at this leap of faith that has me sitting at this table today. Had it not happened I would have already been on the job working out the details of the week and day. Honestly longing to hear about something up here for to be my new job. In the past, and I am very confident would have been again, if we hadn't taken the leap of faith to uproot and move here, Satan would have done what he's done in times past. He would have relented in his campaign for a while to give the false peace that would come. 

Satan's attacks were ramped up instead. 

Doubts assailed and assurances were questioned. So many why's were asked.  

It's simple in hindsight. If it's indeed God's will for our sanctification, then it certainly isn't in Satan's best interests to allow it to happen. 

I read a statement on Facebook in 2018. It said something to the effect that God was going to build me up in front of those who had broken me down. Well the supervision who triggered it were no longer there when I had returned, but a great many people who had seen the effects on me saw God doing what only God can do

I am looking at this next chapter with a mix of need of assurance due to the as yet unknowns, but also look at what God's done in 7 days. 7 days ago I left my job to take this step towards sanctification learning.  It was 10 days ago that we decided to take this step. 

In one respect the getting of the job happened lightening fast. 
In another the selling of our house appears to be going so slow.  

See where a smidgen of doubt can creep in?  Can you see where assurances would be needed?  

Then today of days these 3 devotionals come together.  My Mom mentioned something yesterday about how many chapters can a life have.  My first response was well the Bible has 66 books...

The lives of Moses, of Joseph, of David and Daniel, we read of many chapters in their lives. 

Even this morning wasn't perfect but it will be enough.  God's promises never fail. His will WILL be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Though trials may come and go, my anchor holds.
God's having me write a book. It's taking time to write because He's not done giving me living examples. 

It's quiet now. Cars go by, and I know the truth of God will always win out for those truly seeking to follow Jesus. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Reality of Life, Not in Satan's Image

Reality of Life, Not in Satan's Image

I have been cast out of Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple. 

Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet You, Lord God, will not forget me. I have forgotten prosperity. So I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from You, Lord.” Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast me off forever. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? With a little wrath, for a moment, You hid Your face, but with everlasting kindness You have mercy on me. When my soul is cast down and my soul is disquieted within me, I will hope in You, Lord God; for I shall yet praise You, the help of my countenance. I am hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; I am perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. I trust You will redeem me and bring beauty out of ashes. 

JONAH 2:4; ISAIAH 49:14–15; LAMENTATIONS 3:17–18; PSALM 44:23; ISAIAH 40:27; ISAIAH 54:8; PSALM 43:5; 2 CORINTHIANS 4:8–9 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

It's been a whirlwind of emotions this last few days, let alone the last 10 months. 

How have we gotten to where we are today?  

People of this world are blinded by the god of this world.  Satan's schemes are being played out, but only within the scope of God’s plan for mankind.  Satan's cannot eliminate one jot or tittle of the word of God.  

Satan's been working hard at his own idea of life. Enter in what you see and have been interacting with, artificial intelligence.  Read yet another story in the news last night about how one such AI was created to ask ethical questions of. They quickly learned that it was incredibly racist.  I have long suspected that the abomination of desolation is an AI.  

Satan's fighting against all forms of sanctification and the teaching of justification in Christ Jesus.  Those who promote it are always under heavy spiritual attacks.  Every front is hit. Spiritual, emotional and physical.  

2 weeks ago we sought out Godly counsel in my former Pastor, and still close friend, Pastor Jeff Brown.  We were questioning our intense struggle with just taking a leap of faith.  

When we decided upon doing this, the battle began.  Satan knew we weren't turning back this time.   In times past he was able to stop us by backing off on his attacks and presenting a false peace.  

This last week has been filled with so much intensity It's hard to wrap my head around it. 
But regardless of my thoughts, my heart knows, that although Satan's meant this for evil, God will turn it towards the good. Genesis 50:20.

I relate to this passage well this day: I am hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; I am perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. I trust You will redeem me and bring beauty out of ashes.

Satan wants us to have that shred of doubt. 
Satan wants us to live the comfy life living for ourselves in the guise of living a Godly life. Yes that's possible. We are a people not unlike the nation of Israel. We can do just as they and give God an hour or so a week and live for self the rest of the week. Most, if they are truthful, will confess this.

In the last 4 days I have had to make quick but hard choices in separating myself from aspects of my past that weren't helpful in my walk with Jesus.  Giving up on things that were among my wants in life but were not a part of His plan in my life. 

I have been hit with hard realizations of the truth about people whom I had befriended who were wolves in sheeps clothing. As Paul had done in one of his letters, so have I done. Placed such people in God's hands to deal with.  God is not mocked nor will He ever be. 

I have had to endure the time constraints of how to pack up this house, how to deal with those issues. How to do it when it's only my Wife and I, there's no help coming this time around in packing like the last time.  

I start work tomorrow at my new job. God made that happen on day 1 of the leap of faith. 
So my multitasking mind will be learning a new life and culture in a new city while part of me will be here with my Wife.  

Toss in a family emergency that we couldn't stop to be physically supportive in.

We know that God's got this. We have seen His hand in it all. We know that there MUST be something seriously good awaiting us in our new hometown: God's will, our sanctification. 

We are both doing what He's putting in front of us. One, at the moment, painful step at a time. 

God has always heard our every cry, has record of every tear. Nothing escapes His notice. 

I sit in an empty room  except for a chair and a dresser and  know that He is near, that Jesus is Lord. That His plans for this world will come about. Both for my Wife and I, as well as humanity.  Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Love not the world nor the things of this world. Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Preparation: The here and now

Preparation: The here and now 

Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly. 2 CHRONICLES 29:36 

Golfing coach Bill Hartman insists that great golfers are made, not born. “I’ve seen great athletes play at all levels in a number of sports,” he said, “and you know what separates the ‘greats’ from the ‘good’? Their level of physical preparation.” The Lord is our heavenly Coach, preparing us for all the events of our lives as well as for the work He plans for us to do. He knows the future as well as He knows the past, and He is fully capable of preparing us for all that lies ahead. We mustn’t disdain the preparation time. Think of the eighty years He prepared Moses before sending him to liberate the children of Israel from Egypt. Think of David’s years in the wilderness, running from King Saul and living as a fugitive. It was God’s way of preparing him for the throne. Think of Jesus’ hidden years in Nazareth and Paul’s silent years in Arabia. Ephesians 2:10 indicates that God is preparing us for the work that He is planning for us to do. The courage and confidence you’ll have in the future will come from the preparation and practice you’re experiencing right now. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

I look back 21 years ago and remember various small miracles that fell into place that brought us to live where we are. The ways that God provided when life certainly appeared to be out of control. 

This morning is yet one more day in preparing our house for to be sold.  

Yesterday was my Wife's turn at waking up feeling more than a bit anxious. All I could do was hold her as she cried on my shoulder.  This morning was my turn to cry. 

I know God's working everything out. I know that there must be some good that indeed will come from this move.  It's certainly all related to an enemy who absolutely does not want God to work on our sanctification. 

It's been a severely rushed week. After it's all said and done, I will probably start getting caught up on sleep sometime in January.  I have been hit with all sorts of Spiritual attacks. From separation from my now former employer, to personal attacks and betrayal by someone whom I called friend.

It's harder this time through because we are wanting to be where God's will for us is to be.

We still feel overwhelmed but must press on. We don't like how this week and next are playing out, but we must press on.  It's hard. Emotionally and physically it's exhausting and extremely difficult. 

But God's prepared us for it otherwise we wouldn't be bearing up under it. 

At some point this will be in the rear view mirror.  In the midst of this God's pushed us to let go of many things physically. It's also confirmed friendship with a few as well in the middle of the painful loss of others.

In spite of recounting the stories of God dealing with people who've harmed us, the person who did me this way realizes not that God indeed will deal with them.  To press on required me to place them in His hands to deal with.  To remember that vengeance is His to dole out, not for me to try on my own.  He can, and has shown, that His dealing with those that bring harm to His Children, do not escape. There is that passage of which it says it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  I have other more important things to work on. 

God's worked with us and on us for 21 years to prepare us for this.  I know it will all work out.  Somehow it will.  I begin a new chapter on Monday. Lord willing we get this place listed by the end of next week.  Whether or not it's just my Wife and I trying to get everything ready or not, God will make it happen.  He's been prepared for these days a lot longer than we have been. 

We took a leap of faith to get going in this direction. God believes in it being the right move. 
Satan just doesn't want it to happen.  In other years past he relented in his attacks and opportunities to do this went on by. Lulled by a false sense of security we didn't take the leap. 

Though my body and brain are taxed, we press on. A new life is over the hill. God’s prepared the way.

Friday, October 22, 2021

When the Tides Rise

When the Tides Rise

O God, my heart is steadfast. 

You, Lord God, are my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? You will keep me in perfect peace; my mind is stayed on You, because I trust in You. I will not be afraid of evil tidings; my heart is steadfast, trusting in You, Lord. My heart is established; I will not be afraid until I see my desire upon my enemies. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In the time of trouble You shall hide me in Your pavilion; in the secret place of Your tabernacle You shall hide me; You shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in Your tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to You, my Lord. Now may You, the God of all grace, who called me to Your eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after I have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle me. To You be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. 

My heart is confident, Lord, because You are completely trustworthy and sure. I praise You! 
PSALM 108:1; PSALM 27:1; ISAIAH 26:3; PSALM 112:7–8; PSALM 56:3; PSALM 27:5–6; 1 PETER 5:10–11 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

So where did the title come from? 

Both by way of the wisdom of Godly men and my own life's experiences, I have come to the realization that life comes in waves more than in instances. Right now my Wife and I are in the midst of a big wave. The tide is rising. 

This prayer that Dr. Jeremiah crafted hits home very much this morning.  It's everything that we need to focus on, not the severity or the height of the waves. 

It's hard. We both were up way too early this morning. It's exhausting and extremely hard not to be anxious about all that we are going through in preparation to sell our house.  Please note that I didn't say home.  These buildings we live in, in this world, are all temporary. For those who've lived their lives and God's called them from this world, not one has taken their buildings or things with them.  The only recorded instance is in the Old Testament. A family group that wrongly challenged Moses before God. They and all that belonged to them ended up in Hades...that is Hell.  It says that God listened to Moses and the ground opened up and they and all they had swallowed them up. 

We struggle right now not with even the letting go of things, but with boxing up of what is left. We have donated more than a few dozen carloads of things to thrift stores. Have sold off things and have given stuff away.  

The anxiety is palatable. We pray and pray and pray some more as we go about things. 

In our viewpoint time isn't on our side. My new job is in a different city.  I have to start it before we're ready to go to market in selling. That's a huge immovable object. 

We ache but keep trying to move on.  Like a boat with oars pressing on in a certain direction. 

The timeliness hits me personally because someone whom I thought was a friend has turned his hand against me. In the midst as well is that deep sadness. I have placed this person into God's hands to deal with, especially considering the person claims to be a Christian. There's a few significant passages that lead me to do that. One that is from 2 Thessalonians where we read of Paul handling people over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.  The other has to do with the verse that says it's a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  I have not the time nor ability to dwell on that level of hurt. But as God has shown me, He always can go where I can't.  He has proven He can always deal with situations and people in ways that I have never considered. 

Add to this medical problems with family.  We can’t stop what we are doing to render much support to them while they go through their own trials.  

Wave upon wave, the tides continue. 

I confess that I have cried, not out loud, but to myself.  My heart is breaking in several directions at once.  First for my Wife, then my family that's going through what they are and lastly for this one who I once called friend. 

We know that God's got this. We know the truths that He's shown us in our lives with Him. 
We know what we know that we know.  It's still hard.

Being reminded in this prayer this morning helps.  There indeed will be a time in the near future when we will see all of this in the rear view mirror. We faced many things in 20 plus years of marriage already.  There's the promise of never being left nor forsaken.  There's the promise of God that He's near to the broken-hearted. There's His promises that He's never broken. 

It hit me weeks ago about what thorn Paul had been asking God to remove. It was my thought then that it was anxiety. His burden of the concern of all the Churches. It never left him and was constantly on his mind.  God's telling me the same as Paul was told. His grace is sufficient. Power is perfected in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9.

It won't mean that I won't cry. Many a time indeed I have found that the Spirit has indeed had to intercede on my behalf because I couldn't find the words. 

Pressing on is what we must do, in spite of how things look.  Ride the waves as they come. 
Trusting that God's doing all of this for a reason. 

Prayers would be appreciated by any and all.  Prayers helped lay the foundation of the Church. Prayers sustained Christ on the cross. Prayers opened the doors of the cells of the Apostles to set them free.

Lord, thank you for everything and standing with us through all of this. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Our Role...

Our Role...

He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). John 1:41 

People become known for many things. Noah is known as a righteous man in an evil age. David is known as the man after God's own heart. Peter is known as the outspoken disciple. John is known as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Judas is known as the betrayer. Paul is known as a fearless proclaimer of the gospel. Andrew is known for bringing others to Jesus. The first person Andrew brought to Jesus was his brother Peter. As soon as Peter joined the disciples, he became the spokesperson for the Twelve, while Andrew remained in the background. It was Peter, not Andrew, who rose to prominence as one of Jesus’ inner circle of three. We do not read of Andrew resenting Peter; it seems he was satisfied to bring others to Jesus and leave the results to Him. It is not surprising that Andrew found the boy with the loaves and fishes and brought him to Jesus (John 6:8–9). Andrew brought Greeks to Jesus, even though they were despised by pious Jews (John 12:20–22). There is no record of Andrew ever preaching a sermon, performing a miracle, or writing a book of Scripture. He is remembered for those whom he brought to Jesus. Andrew is a good role model for us. Our job is not to transform people into Christians nor to convict them of their sin. It is not our responsibility to make people do what they ought to do. Our task is to bring them to Jesus, and He will perform His divine work in their lives. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

This morning I found myself reading in 1 Timothy. Paul's first letter to whom he refers to as his son in the faith.   Paul was reminding him of his responsibilities and his role in the plan of God for him.

Knowing your job is vital and essential. You cannot measure success and failure based on not knowing what you are to compare it to.

Add in what we have been talking on and off about with God’s Will, in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, we can easily see that there's a path that God has for us in our lives.  

You too have a role in God's plan. 

What to do and what not to do.  To obey or not to. In all that we do, that is the first requirement of our walk with Jesus. 

We have a lot of things that have come our way in life. All are to be viewed through what Dr. Whitcomb used to often call the lens of Scripture.  We see the advice and direction that Paul gives Timothy.  Go to the Epistles, go to the other books of the New Testament. The Handbook, if you will, of the Christian experience. 

We indeed are to not be ignorant of Satan's schemes.  Again, found in Scripture. 
We indeed are to find joy and appreciation in God's creation.  Again, found in Scripture. 

We are to walk as wise men, knowing that the time is short. Found in Scripture. 

Do you try to live life by the Scriptures or are you ignorant of them?  

It was a very powerful moment in my life years ago when I was contemplating my standing before Jesus some day.  How would I even try to explain things to the One who already knew the truth about me? How would I explain why I did or didn't do something? How would I explain that I had never read my way through the Bible even once?  How would I try to explain how little that I knew of God’s Word?  How would I try to explain my now former unhealthy interests in many things of this world?  As Paul has written in Romans, if it weren't for the Law, I wouldn't have known what various things that I was doing were really doing to my relationship with Jesus.

 Look at your life. Put yourself in those shoes.  Ask yourself those questions. Look at what eats up your life.  Are you looking towards the Sanctification of your heart, which is the will of God, or do you live for yourself?

My Dear Reader, time is short. You're deluding yourself if you dismiss the importance of a right relationship with Jesus. If you aren't living out your life with respect to God's will, then you are living for you. You really don't want to put off til tomorrow what you should be engaged in today.  Because even when tomorrow arrives you will put it off again. That's a scheme of Satan. Procrastination. 

You have responsibilities in the body of Christ. Scripture is clear in that each part of the body of Christ needs to do its own part. Cells in a body that aren't working WITH the body are called cancer.  All cancers must be removed from a body to restore the proper operation of the body. 

Know your role in the body.  Turn from sin. Be in the Word of God. Pray. Be thankful. Be about the Father's business. Be an Andrew in showing people Jesus.  

As Blackaby wrote: Our job is not to transform people into Christians nor to convict them of their sin. It is not our responsibility to make people do what they ought to do. Our task is to bring them to Jesus, and He will perform His divine work in their lives.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What is the Sabbath? What connects it to You?

What is the Sabbath? What connects it to You?

Read this from Isaiah 58:13-14 NASB "If, because of the Sabbath, you restrain your foot From doing as you wish on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a pleasure, and the holy day of the Lord honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. For six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; on it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male slave or your female slave, or your cattle, or your resident who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and everything that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; for that reason the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11 NASB

This appears to tie in directly with this that Jesus has Mark 2:23-28 "And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And He *said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.”"

We in the western world wonder about this day a lot and I am not here to say that I am presenting a definitive answer. I found the passage in Isaiah several days ago. 

It's been a pretty much genenerally accepted practice to treat Sunday as the day of rest. 

What do you see in these passages?  In Isaiah we see the Lord's blessings that come from a right heart attitude towards it. A day described as a pleasure,  not for seeking pleasure.  
A day for restraining from doing as you wish, and rather to seek what God wishes. 
Making it an honorable day. Desisting from doing what it describes as our own ways.

From seeking our own pleasure, and from speaking our own word. The interesting part is what it says next. "Then you will take delight in the Lord, And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Is it a blessing that as a nation we have rejected?  Have we indeed been missing out on learning at the feet of Jesus for our own desires?

We want the blessings of God but we keep denying what God says is required of us. 
To do this: 

Luke 9:23-26: "And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it. For what good does it do a person if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels."

The question should be asked that we like to avoid is: What efforts are we taking towards "being Holy as He is Holy"? Are the interests and plans of God the Father of greater interest to us than our desires in this life? The Plan and purpose of believers is to not be devoted to movies, sports or personalities of this world. We aren't to take our devotion and give it to another that belongs to God. The Bible tells us that too.

We want the peace of God but don't want to do what's necessary by God to obtain it. 
We want many things but remember my Dear Reader, you take none of it with you when God calls you home. You will, in time, stand before Christ to give an account of the deeds done in the body.  

So it begs the question: What deeds are you doing in your body?

Are you at all denying yourself to learn more about your Savior?

Look at the lives of the Disciples. Jesus said to go, make Disciples.  So look at what a Disciples life consisted of. It was of learning from Jesus on how to live life. In our day today it's learning from the Helper, the Paraclete, the Spirit of God who is of another kind but like the Christ. 

We see them denying themselves and their lives and learning to be obedient to Christ. 

Is there a day of the week that you deny yourself to learn about Jesus?  Most accept Sunday Mornings and Evening as a time for Praise, Worship and Learning from God.  Satan's plans and scheme are in the takeover of that time. We even read of the audacity of this enemy of God to get the National Football League to proclaim that Sundays used to belong to the Church...see that?  Look at how Satan's inflamed the population to desire and feed that plan. Turning their desires to learn more about Christ and taking that passion and excitement of praising God and giving it to another.  

So aside from the deeds you do in the other 6 days, is there any desire to put the words of Isaiah into practice in your life?  

For me it's eye opening. Do I do this?  No I haven't been. Yes I dedicate extra early morning times to my Bible reading and my devotionals.  But what do I do concerning a day of the week to be obedient to that section of Isaiah?

We wonder what happened to this unlimited power of the Church that the Bible speaks of and yet deny what the Spirit shows us is the problem.  

You jump ahead to the Thousand Year reign of Jesus Christ.  It's throughout the Scriptures in the description of what people will do who are alive during that time.

You read of how specific the things people will do are. Learning about Jesus is paramount. Those who refuse will face the consequences of that.  You won't have a great many occupations that exist today.  Hollywood likely will be shutdown. Coroner's offices, most if not all hospitals won't be needed. Highly likely Wall Street will be shut down.  Must businesses won't be operating.  So what is there for people to do? Exactly what the Bible says, to be begging to find someone to teach them about Jesus. 

The theme of the time that Jesus Himself ruling the world is people dedicated to learning about Him.  We are called to be doing that now in this life.  

It's indeed challenging!  We are living in a world of stuff that for whatever reason we attach emotions to that stuff.  We attach emotions to things and people we likely have never met. We are easily manipulated by the god of this world because of how little we know and pursue knowing God. 

As a believer in Christ, as one who claims salvation in Christ Jesus alone, as this is who we it your aim in life to learn more about Him or are we embracing the desires of this world instead?

Was hearing this morning on the news of how we the people can resist in a certain hot topic in the news today.  The professing Church needs to get back to resisting self and focusing on Christ as per His instructions. 

We want the Church to be able to be as the Bible says, we need to look to doing better deeds in this body.  In the book of Revelation it says that the gates of Hell wouldn't be able to withstand the onslaught of the Church.  Do you see the professing Church today as being that powerful?  That likely is a resounding no.  Jesus, in a letter to a Church in Revelation told them that their problem was that they had left their first love. They came to Christ yet was living life apart from Him, feeding their own desires instead.  Creating their own vision of the Church that wasn't God's vision of it because they weren't connected to God the way they were at first. 

Is it that you don't think your view of a day set aside for God is wrong or are you thinking that the Bible isn't relevant to that point?  Consider the words of Jesus. Not one jot or tittle of tge Word of God would ever pass away or in our terms, would ever not come true.  It's always relevant. Day after day we see more of it coming true.  Day after day we see the truths of it breaking the chains of sin.  Day after day we see it transforming lives for those who DO dedicate themselves to what is in it. And sadly, we see it proved right when it tells of what happens to lives that don't take it seriously. 

Is it possible we forget this passage at our own convenience?

1 John 2:15-17 NASB "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever."

You have the opportunity, the chance, to begin today in returning to your first love, which is Christ Jesus.  In this day called today you can begin again with doing deeds in your body that will withstand the scrutiny of Jesus when He reviews our very thoughts and intentions. 

To be truthful this post really hit home with me a decade or so ago.  It just wasn't until this morning that God helped me organize it for you to read.  I was ashamed not of Christ, but came to be ashamed of the things of this world that my passion was greater for than my passion was for Him. I was heavily devoted to various sports teams. Was heavily interested in various movies, science fiction, and other things.  I was ashamed of how great my knowledge of all of that was, of all the passion and expertise I had in those useless things, and how little I knew of the one who died for me. 

Life turned in that realization. Exactly as the Bible said is what happened. I returned to Him and He drew near to me, teaching me great and wonderful things that I didn't know. 

In this last week, we took a leap of faith in going where we would be in God's will. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 NASB "For this is the will of God, your sanctification;"

God's blowing us away with moving mountains to get us to where sanctification happens in our lives.  

I do read devotionals but always begin with my Bible reading.  That's more important than the devotionals.  I pray more than I ever have. Because He answers because He is near to me. I drew near to Him and He kept His word to draw near to me.  

Are you wanting that?  Then consider what the passage in Isaiah means to you.