Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Your Love for Jesus...is it forgotten?

Your Love for Jesus...is it forgotten?
By David Brenneman 

It's been asked of Jesus , was a written condemnation to a Church in the book of Revelation. 

Have you forgotten your first love?
Have you laid aside your faith?

I continue to find new places in the Bible of references to sanctification, to sanctify. 

It's almost always linked to idolatry.  It's always in reference to only turning towards the living God in living life. 

In your life, how seriously are you living it for Jesus or for you? 

If your life were reviewed today, what would it show about you?
Would it show a devotion to a life with Christ or show something else? 
Would you see you divided or see you all in concerning obedience to God?

I can't see into my own choices to the extent that Jesus can. 
I easily can deceive myself. I literally cannot trust me. You cannot trust you either. Why? We have a sin nature that has not been separated from us yet.

I sit here this morning, writing, drinking coffee. Sit here hearing vehicles go by in this early morning hour.  Yet I easily have a mind that is prone to wander. Just as the Bible says of me.
I really want to do what's right in God's eyes, but I have a body that has other ideas. 

I do love my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  
But my mind drifts quickly when storms arise. 

Much like the very apt description of a squirrel and a dog.  The dog can be very obedient, yet a squirrel can ruin that in a heartbeat. It only takes a fleeting thought to bring a world crashing down.  It only takes one.

In many writings of the New Testament we read words that comparatively say the same thing. Stirring us up by way of reminder...we need reminding!  The Church in all those cities did, are we any different?

We cannot please God in and of ourselves.  We need a right relationship with Jesus, through the Spirit, to do so.  We need to let go of things that so easily entangle us. We lie to ourselves when we deny the existence of those things.  Why is it a lie unto ourselves? Because the Bible tells us!

If it weren't possible to forget our first love, it wouldn't be brought up. 

If we were capable of obeying God in our own strength we wouldn't need the power of the Spirit. 

If it were possible for us to please God on our own Jesus wouldn't have went to the cross. 
If it were possible to live a wholly obedient life on our own, then we wouldn't be His workmanship. 

What deeds done in your body lately reflect a life lived for Jesus?
What deeds done in your body lately reflect a life lived for yourself?

When was the last time you mentioned to Jesus that you love Him?
When was the last time you spent more time with Him than with anyone or anything else in even ONE of the days in this last week of your life?  

Could you spend an hour with Him, as you do a television show?
Could you spend several hours with Him, as you would a movie?
Could you spend a few more than that with Jesus, as you would a football game?

We easily find time to spend anywhere else but where we should be.

To sanctify Jesus as Lord in our hearts means He is the central focus. He is at the center of our lives.  Not in shared visitation rights with the world. 

What does this say?

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NASB "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete."

So where is your love for Jesus? Is it among those who have forgotten or is it alive and lived out? 

Would you let go of something if God told you to?

Would you let go of something if God told you to?
By David Brenneman 
This post is yet another one that touches on earlier posts.  In the last month or so God's been working on me concerning things in my life. Things that it's clear that He's put before me that I am being made to choose to keep or let go of.  

I am indeed still working out those things in my mind.  Until we finish moving it isn't something that I can act on as of yet. 

But the question asked in the title isn't just for me, it's for all of you. 

If you were presented with this kind of dilemma would you let go or would you try to convince yourself and God otherwise?

In most everyone that answer is we want the compromise. We want to keep what's making us happy in the here and now.  We want that short term happiness. We want we want we want. 

There comes a time in the lives of believers as well as unbelievers where hearts are given over to what or who we allow to rule in them.  The consequences of that choice can lead to death, physical death, and the immediate consequences are realized by the people who chose that.

We can't live for ourselves and live for Jesus too.  To take up your own cross denies you the right to do more than one.  

I confess to great struggles within me.  Of things that I have comfortably held onto for years. Things that, if examined in light of Spiritual growth, do me no Heavenly good. 

If we are indeed to be Disciples of Christ, what in this world are we doing?

In my last year, medically, I came to a crossroad.  Do what I was told was necessary or face more pills, and probably a painful future due to the possible side effects of those pills. 

I had to choose which way to go. I had to give up practically every food and drink that I loved to enjoy in order to use diet instead of pills.  I won't lie, I wasn't happy about it.  It made me angry having to give up on those things.  Sure I have lost nearly 60 lbs. Sure I get around much easier.  However, I still desire those things.  I have been told that it's been long enough that my body might not react to those things in the same way as it used to. 

In the midst of other things, God has been showing me the things that I ought to reconsider being in my life.

Years and years ago we took a week to go far away on a vacation.  Several days into it we were feeling really good about the atmosphere, about the area, about life without so many things in it, joked about leaving everything to live there.  It's been over 40 days that I have been able to do anything with anything that I considered a hobby.  In a sense God brought about our desire by making us box up or get rid of stuff in our lives.  We really now must decide to resume old habits or let go of them. These last 40 days have really been us and God and not much else. 

Would you be willing to go through the same? Would you be daring enough to ask Jesus what needs to be reconsidered in your life? Would you go through the inevitable separation anxiety of your stuff? Don't lie to yourself and say that wouldn’t happen, because from experience, it will.  Would you deny yourself football, baseball, etc? Would you deny yourself foods if that's what brings you more comfort and happiness than Jesus? Would you do what He presents to you in order to please Him?  

Would you let go of anything He points to in your life?  The macho side of everyone says oh yeah, sure!  The reality is much much deeper.

Really read of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. It's largely about the great abominations they did that traded God for things in this world from false gods to things, possessions, of this world.  Mankind, in its own way, reflects the unchanging character of God in that regardless of the generations we still live for self. 

Dare to ask the Spirit about anything in your life that is really in the way of your relationship with Christ Jesus.  Do it. If you aren't afraid of the truth, go for it.  We who are in Christ will give an account of the DEEDS we have done in our bodies.  WHAT we have done. WHY we did those things.  

It's been convicting, it really has. It's been revealing, it really has.  

Jesus has so much more for us that would bring so much more to our lives if only we would let go of what we hold onto.  His ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are higher than ours. 

"but just as it is written:

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the human heart,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among people knows the thoughts of a person except the spirit of the person that is in him? So also the thoughts of God no one knows, except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God." 1 Corinthians 2:9-12 NASB

Monday, November 29, 2021

Having the Light Priorities

Having the Light Priorities 

“You shall have no other gods before Me . . . . For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.” EXODUS 20:3, 5 

God is admittedly a jealous God. He cherishes His people’s affections and will tolerate no rivals. He is not content to be a priority in your life; He wants to be the priority. God demands your exclusive devotion. He does not abide unfaithfulness or attitudes and habits that threaten His central place in your heart. Take a quick inventory. What is competing for God’s foremost position in your life? Look at your calendar . . . Mentally review your financial commitments . . . What do you see about yourself and about the priority God is in your everyday life? In what ways are you investing in your relationship with the Lord? Or are you busying yourself in inconsequential activities and earthly pursuits? Now consider the objects of your devotion. Has your love for someone made that person an idol? Are you longing for riches or the success and security that the world offers? What keeps you from loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? God is a jealous God: He wants your devotion. His Spirit can grow that kind of love in your heart. Why not lay your bad attitudes, destructive habits, and false gods at His feet today? - Blackaby Being Still With God 

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house. 

One thing I have desired of You, Lord, that I will seek: that I may dwell in Your house all the days of my life, to behold Your beauty, and to inquire in Your temple. I am blessed when I hunger and thirst for righteousness, for I shall be filled. You have filled the hungry with good things, and the rich You have sent away empty. You satisfy the longing soul, and fill the hungry soul with goodness. You are the bread of life. He who comes to You shall never hunger, and he who believes in You shall never thirst. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore we children of men put our trust under the shadow of Your wings. I am abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give me drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light I see light. The goodness of being in Your presence, Lord God, satisfies now and will satisfy forever. 

Great is my love for You. 

PSALM 65:4; PSALM 27:4; MATTHEW 5:6; LUKE 1:53; PSALM 107:9; JOHN 6:35; PSALM 36:7–9 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

To look at the theme of recent days you would do well to consider, my Dear Reader, that God's trying to tell the world something about the state of their hearts as well as His thoughts concerning them.

I am still reading in Ezekiel this morning as well. The Lord Jesus is still prophesying and Ezekiel is still telling the generations to come what's going to happen. He also tells Israel just why He's going to do what He is- because of His Great Name.  Not due to their name nor their righteousness, but on account of His Name He will act.

When I read devotionals from two different people and they connect, that's a God thing. 

When the devotional is in perfect alignment with what He's been saying for a while now, it should garner our attention. 

The first today has the questions, the second has the prayerful response to making us think. 

So lets break it down. 

What is competing for God’s foremost position in your life? 

Look at your calendar . . . Mentally review your financial commitments . . . What do you see about yourself and about the priority God is in your everyday life? 

In what ways are you investing in your relationship with the Lord? 

Or are you busying yourself in inconsequential activities and earthly pursuits? 

Now consider the objects of your devotion. Has your love for someone made that person an idol? 

Are you longing for riches or the success and security that the world offers? 

What keeps you from loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? 

God is a jealous God: He wants your devotion. His Spirit can grow that kind of love in your heart. 

Why not lay your bad attitudes, destructive habits, and false gods at His feet today?

I write what I am lead to write. It's upon you to see if these things are so. If what is written about the state of the heart from God's perspective offends you then maybe the Spirit is striking a nerve that is meant to get your attention. 

You cannot live life with blinders on. You cannot please your Savior and ?. You, like the famous passage states quite clearly...you must choose this day whom you will serve. 

As bluntly as this is...or may even sound corny but read it in all seriousness. 

Idols are Satan's creation to turn the hearts of mankind away from God. 

Idols abound in our civilized world.  They are found before you are even fully awake to take on the day.  They are on your radio, your television, your phone, in your home, in your every corner of your world.  Idolatry is real and alive today as it was in the centuries it took to write the Bible. 

The love and devotion we expend to anyone or anything else that Biblically belongs to God shows the presence of an idol. Be it person, place or thing. 

Everything from A to Z, everything that can cross the mind and heart of man or woman can become an idol that causes hearts to stumble and to turn from God.  Read it for yourself in the Bible.  If the teachings of the New Testament tell us what they do as to how to be transformed by what? "The renewing of your mind..."  To borrow a famous phrase...you have to unlearn what you have learned to grow in Christ Jesus. You have to do as the Disciples did. You must learn new priorities. You must decide, daily, to follow Jesus. You must put off the old self and its practices and put on the new self.  Filled with songs, hymns and spiritual songs. Get it yet?

We who are in Christ, in order to be Holy as He is Holy...have to decide daily, hourly, by the minute...to follow Jesus with a whole heart. Sanctify the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart. God's Will is our sanctification. He prayed for your sanctification. 

You have read the questions already that you need to ask yourself. 
It's up to you to be real with yourself and God.  It's not upon me. I have pointed the way as I am lead to write.  You need to ask God to reveal the truth to you about you. 

Ignorance of things isn't an excuse. If every single knee will bow and every single tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...what manor of person ought we to be in the here and now?

As Blackaby says to ask...where has your time, energy, money gone in your life?  Do you promote Jesus in your life or are you a walking billboard for an idol? The truth of the Bible says you will do one or the other.  Your clothes, your speech, conduct, will either be of God or of the world. 

In my solitude times of these weeks leading up to moving into our new home, God's been doing a number on my mind and my heart in forcing me to see what isn't going to work in my life for His sanctifying work in me. He's showing me the real me that needs to change if I am going to have the sanctification that is His Will for me. In the last year much has changed in my life leading up to this. Much pain has been worked through.  No doubt more will come as the Spirit continues to clean house in my heart and mind to bring me to where I am to be in Christ Jesus. 

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Hearts and God's Heart

Hearts and God's heart

In that I am often the subject of many of these posts by way of God using my experiences as material...this isn't going to be any different. 

To read back through the posts you will find most things except for that of one...my heart.  I am not ashamed at admitting that it breaks my heart every week that the time comes for me to go to where I stay during the week.  

My heart hurts so much when I have to leave. Even our cats catch on to the sadness. 

What does this have to do with God's heart?  If only we knew the heartbreak we have brought to God by our disobedience.

If only we saw our lives as Jesus sees our lives.  As he sees our choices, our decisions. 

Being separated from my Wife increasingly brings me to tears.  When life still hits at the same time as this, I am up against the wall.  I sometimes shut down because it's too much. 

Practically every day I am crying out to God about our circumstances. Of needing His help and intervention in all of this. 

My heartbreak isn't nearly as bad as what Jesus probably goes through when we go after things of this world. When we decide to sin rather than repent. When we choose the sin over the Savior. 

My life, when we get out of this season, won't be the same.  My heart won't be the same. Perhaps it will be for the better. Lord willing I won't forget the lessons learned. Perhaps this will stick with me and maybe others in order to draw us closer to God. 

This is rough.  This is oh so hard.  

Yet I know that Jesus went through worse to save a wretch like me.  He was separated from His Father.  He knows pain and anguish of heart. He knows we will speak nonsense in our pain and hurt. He knows.  The Bible says so. 

As I heard once, and I am not sure from where: silence is loud.  You either find yourself talking to yourself or you are in prayer.  I certainly have been praying more than I ever have been.  

My heart wants to be both with my Wife and right before Jesus. 

Jesus wants what's best for us in light of His plans to reach people.

Jesus hurts when people embrace idols in our world.  Jesus hurts when the glory due Him is given to another. 

We trust in Him but often live out something else.  We choose to break His heart.  I have done this and I am ashamed of it.

God's going to work out His plan to save all who will come to Jesus. We are to be Jesus to this lost world. We, however, often live out a worldly life instead. Embracing idols in our hearts rather than Him in our hearts. The sports and entertainment world is full of idolatry.  People take the honor and glory due to Jesus alone and give that passion and desire to those things instead...we break His heart. 

Hobbies and leisure activities can do the same if not being done towards glorifying God.  They can take our hearts and minds away from the workmanship we are to have in Christ Jesus. 

People today embrace rivalries. Technically legitimate hate that has no place in the hearts of Christians. Have seen this played out in a church service. 

Teaching generations to hate someone else for no Biblical reason. 

This too breaks His heart. 

We really need to take a step back and quit deceiving ourselves of our view in the mirror of ourselves. 

I have begun and I have seen things that I don't like. I want to be one who doesn't break God's heart. Do you?

Cast...don't Keep

Cast...Don't Keep 

Two more passages that I read today stand out. One, I believe that God is saying to me,  the other is not just for me, but for all who read and are granted understanding through the Spirit. 

Te first, I have believed since starting this blog. That God has things that He wants me to say and it's upon me to say them. Thus the name of the blog is called what it is.  A Scribe on the Wall.

Ezekiel 33:1-9 "Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the horn and warns the people, then someone who hears the sound of the horn but does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the horn but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the horn and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away for his wrongdoing; but I will require his blood from the watchman’s hand.’

“Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them a warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will certainly die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked about his way, that wicked person shall die for his wrongdoing, but I will require his blood from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die for his wrongdoing, but you have saved your life."

As I am lead, so I must write.  It's upon me to do so for these same reasons written about here concerning the Watchman on the Wall. 

The other passage is in 1 Peter 5:6-11 NASB "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you. 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. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Casting...as in tossing...as in throwing...that context got me. Having cast. Having tossed. Having thrown.  My anxiety. Oh have I had that this year. I honestly have had more than I have really ever wanted, and then some. 

Sober in spirit.  Being on the alert. 

How many are really that alert? Do you at all step back and consider your choices? Do you at all step back and question your direction in life?  Have you ever scrutinized your life to look to see if indeed you have been practicing sin?  In Ezekiel I also read about that there too. Paul wrote about practiced sin in Romans.  Practiced sin is sin we willingly and willfully do. We choose to do. We intentionally do.  Clear enough?  Things that you and I, if you are saved, do that is against God's Word because we choose to do it.  

To some degree we all have practiced sin. Easy examples are where we justify our choices in the smallest degree regardless of what it is, when plainly God says it's sin.

We are immersed in sinful ideas and practices from birth. We have the unbelieving using every avenue possible to sway us, akin to that next verse. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 

He's after believers to bring things into their lives to cause them to stumble and sin.

He's after unbelievers to keep them from the truth of God, the requirement of needing to be saved.  By distractions he keeps believers from being seen as such. By blending the world with the Church people see no need for salvation. 

2 Corinthians 4:4 NASB "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

I am just a messenger, and I know that people don't like it when they are shown the truth about themselves.  I don't when it comes to me.  

But how you take it is up to you. You are the one who must choose to listen to the Spirit or ignore His prompt to draw near to God.  James 4:8 NASB "Come close to God and He will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

We live in a world that is taught that compromise is a necessity of life. When there is no such thing in Scripture. You cannot compromise your way into salvation. You cannot barter with God to keep on sinning because you enjoy it. You cannot embrace the world and God too.

We live in a world that has so watered-down Christianity that in all too many circles even belief in Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved is not required. 

We live in a world that uses idolatry in Church worship services. 

We live in a world that refuses to recognize what idolatry is...and THAT world is the Christian world.  Christian people who have no concept of the truth about idols in their lives. 

Misguided passions and emotions.  

When a stupid game breaks your heart but a lost soul does not, you are deceived! You have embraced idolatry!  When a sport shares the stage with Jesus in a worship service it is an abomination before God, and yet in our world today it's joyously accepted!

Wake up!  If people going to Hell isn't bothering you but whether or not a team wins or loses does...you are living in sin. If it continues then that is a practiced sin. 

You must come to grips with the truth of God in your life. 

As I have been prompted to write on other occasions about me, God's changing the way that I look and feel about the things in my life.  It's upon me to respond in the right way. Same is upon you. 

I have a duty to write what I am told to write.  It's upon all of you to react and do as the Spirit directs you. 

Never...and That's a Long Time

Never...and That's a Long Time 

We think in the somewhat microwave moment.  We also can see, in the lives of the believer or nonbeliever that indeed, as the Bible says, eternity is set in the hearts of mankind. 

We make vain attempts at a secure future in this world, yet either remember this is only temporary or we don't. 

Perspective is everything about everything.   You cannot live life as God intended for you without perspective.

Your view of eternity ought to be reflected in your present. 

One of the chief things that Satan tries to do is convince people of how the things of God aren't as important as the Bible says that it is. That it's ok and acceptable to embrace aspects of our world that truly are not beneficial to our Spiritual growth. 

We are enticed in our early stages of life towards things and feelings.  Attached to food, to smells, to toys, to clothes, to entertainment of every type and kind. 

Yet we are all too often not looking at things from God's viewpoint.  

Never is a very long time, it's identical in scope to eternity in many respects.  

We see the encouragement of the writers of the New Testament towards a right perspective on life, on living, on the work of Jesus in you and I.

I have had many hours in recent days to think about life.  In my thinking it's been rough.  Life is far from normal for me.  It's without many distractions because literally almost all my distractions are boxed up waiting for a move to take place. 

In recent years I have been through many different things that God's used to remove distractions.  Most were painful in the removal process. But I asked for it!

To be useful to God means being taught what I need to let go of. Thoughts and feelings that have no place in the work that God has in mind for me to do.  

Never would have thought about the things that He says must go.
Never would have thought of the consequences to things that I allowed in my life would do to me.
Never would have considered the offenses my choices were and are towards my God. Still don't fully grasp them all in all truthfulness. 

But also I woke up to a Micah Tyler song in my head. "Never Been a Moment".  He's reminding me that there's never been a moment that many things in life were entirely as they seemed. 

"Never Been a Moment" Micah Tyler 

I've been a sinner, I've been a saint
A little bit of both every single day
I've been lost, but somehow I've been found
There's been some pain, been some regret
Been some moments I'll never forget
But when I look back from where I'm standing now
There's never been a moment
I was not held inside Your arms
And there's never been a day when
You were not who You say You are
You're forever, it don't matter what I'm walking through
'Cause no matter where I'm going
There's never been a moment
That I was not loved by You
Loved by you
Loved by you
You've been the Rock, you've been the peace
Always showing Your good heart to me
My days are marked by grace I don't deserve, no
You've been the price I could never pay
You've been the light that has led the way
No matter where I am
Oh, I am sure
There's never been a moment
I was not held inside Your arms
And there's never been a day when
You were not who You say You are
You're forever, it don't matter what I'm walking through
'Cause no matter where I'm going
There's never been a moment
That I was not loved by You
Loved by you
Loved by you
So where could I go
That I could wander from Your side
And where could I run
And never leave behind
Your all-consuming, heart-pursuing, grace-extending, never-ending love
Your love
And there's never been a moment, no
There's never been a moment
I was not held inside Your arms
And there's never been a day when
You were not who You say You are
You're forever, it don't matter what I'm walking through
'Cause no matter where I'm going
There's never been a moment
That I was not loved
Oh, no matter where I'm going
There's never been a moment
That I was not loved by You, yeah
Loved by You
Loved by you
Loved by you

I have days of anguish and of profound sadness. Have days of most every feeling imaginable. Some moments I was scared beyond words but had no choice but to plow through. But in any moment there never had been one that my Savior wasn't with me.  For those in Christ Jesus this is a truth of our lives. For those who haven't yet it's a truth you can only look at from a  distance.  You have to come to Jesus for salvation to know the truth because He is the truth you seek. 

I really do not like my current circumstances because there's great discomfort in them. That is to say that I don't really care for it much. Yet I know that regardless of how it may feel, He is still with me.  I admit that on more than one occasion I told Jesus that I felt like I was really alone and was asking Him where He was!  Truth was He was holding me. 

You may think or have thought about these things or maybe not. I have a lot of time to think and what can be considered worse is I multi-task in my thinking. I often think of many things at once. 

I never want anyone to say they didn't know about Jesus and the salvation gift that He is offering for a limited time. 

Those in Hell will never know salvation in Christ Jesus.

Those in Heaven will never know the wrath of God associated with sin.

The only chance to know the type of never those in Heaven experience is to receive the free gift of salvation found only in Jesus Christ.  Soon that offer will be somewhat revoked.  Once the Rapture of the Church happens, finding that salvation will be much harder.  Those who come to Christ after the Rapture will find Hell on Earth a reality of life. Those who come to Christ will experience global persecution. 

You, my Dear Reader, if you aren't saved can be today.  It's a free gift.  Life with Christ is far more than your mind can wrap itself around the Bible tells the world that those aren't saved cannot grasp the things of God because they are foreign to them.

To know and understand means taking that leap of faith that is available to you now.  Everyone is born with the opportunity.  It's up to you to choose. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

What do You do for Others?

What do You do for Others?

Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people. EXODUS 17:12 

As long as Moses held up his hands in intercession, Israel’s army prevailed over the Amalekite enemy. When Moses let down his hands, Amalekites began to prevail. Clearly, Joshua, the leader of Israel’s army, needed Moses to help him succeed. And Moses needed Aaron and Hur to fulfill his key role in the battle. God made us, His children, to need one another. Even though God is with us, He often undergirds us through the instrument of human encouragement and assistance. That’s one reason why Jesus sent His disciples out two by two. That’s why God calls us to be part of a community of believers. We aren’t made to walk the journey of Christian faith on our own; nor are we meant to stand alone against the enemies we encounter along the way. Modern society often celebrates autonomy and independence. But God does not. He created us to need one another. Thank God for people who have come alongside you—and ask Him to whom He wants you to offer support and encouragement. You’ll be blessed as you are a blessing to those people! - Blackaby Being Still With God 

In our exceedingly selfish and self-centered world, what are you doing in your life to be doing as God has said to be?

Are you going along in their ways, or are you living to be obedient to the One who saved you?

As I have said on another occasion, it's been interesting to see variations of sanctification in my Bible reading. To see what it means. 

Would you even recognize if you weren't being obedient?  Would it matter to you?

Direct questions for sure.  But then again, I write what I am told to write.  

I can share what I observe in people.  I have often told those that ask, that very answer. I am an observer of people.  I am more into what your life shows rather than what you might tell me about you.

Do you help others?  Would helping others even be a consideration for you?

Would you sacrifice time, energy and money for others if God prompted you to?  Or would there be excuses?  To give excuses really says volumes as to the state of your heart. 

We must choose to follow Jesus in what He prompts us to do in our lives. 
We must choose to sanctify Him as Lord in our lives.
We must choose to follow the Great Commission as part of our obedience to God. 

The choice to be joyful or mournful of things or whatnot from this world but not when it concerns a brother or sister in Christ speaks volumes. 

If your own welfare or well-being comes ahead of your obedience to God then, my Dear Reader, you have a problem. 

Look at the parables.  Jesus essentially obliterates excuses in them as well as in His interactions with others.  

I am also reminded of what Jesus wrote to a particular church.  That in all that they did do, they forgot their first love.  

I am reminded of the various times Jesus said that there will be people who will have claimed to have said or done much in His Name, that He will tell to depart from Him for He never knew them.

Your priorities always ought to put obedience to God first. Even if it interrupts your ideas about life.  Even if it interrupts your entertainment.  Even if it keeps you up later than you wanted to be up.  Even if it means losing sleep altogether.  Jesus on at least 1 occasion spent a whole night in prayer. 

So this post is food for thought.  It's to show you also that there's blessings to be had if we are living in obedience to God rather than to our self interests.

If a friend is in need and shares that need, what do you do?

Your answer says a lot about your heart.  

Suffering and Growing

Suffering and Growing 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though something strange were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory you may also rejoice and be overjoyed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, and of God, rests upon you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is savedwhat will become of the godless man and the sinner? Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God are to entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:12-19 NASB 

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. LUKE 6:38 When Elijah met the widow of Zarephath, she was locked in the clutches of a handful of meal and a tiny bit of oil. That’s all she had. We can sympathize with her. In fact, some of us can identify with her. And Elijah’s heart went out to her. The difference was that he knew something she didn’t know. He knew that the way to have what you have and have it to the fullest is to always put God first. That’s why he said, “Make me a little cake first.” In other words, “Trust God by putting Him first and watch what He does.” When we first see this woman in the story, she is clutching everything she has. At the end of the story, she is releasing it all to God. The way to have what you have is to give it back to God. That is the only way you can ever possess your possessions. If you give it back to God with open hands, He will not only bless you, He will also put back what you need. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

I would be lying if I was saying that I am alright. Because I am not. 
I would be deceiving both you and myself in the process. 

I am not ashamed at this juncture of my life, to be completely honest and open with all of you because of both God's work in me and in being compelled to write as He directs me to write. 

To say the least life right now is just very hard. So much is going on in so many ways that I can't keep up.  Distressed is a very apt feeling for me.  We are in the midst of moving and just when it appeared that we were making some forward strides, setbacks hit, again. 

These last 11 months, soon to be the whole year, have indeed been stressful. 2020 honestly was a cakewalk compared to 2021. Job changes at my now former employer pushed me in being serious about looking elsewhere. My health hit a wall that I had absolutely no ability to avoid. My Spiritual life was still in its struggles in regards to finding a church home.  We had been to many churches in 21 years here. None felt like home nor did we get the impression from God to stay there.  We couldn't establish firm relationships with those attending those places.  

If you’ve been reading the posts of the last month you know of the recent struggles of moving that have been incredibly hard on my Wife and I.  We have been forced to live in two cities due to my job being where we are trying to move to.  Our lives have been largely been put on hold because we have had to box up everything. 

We are confused about the why's behind many setbacks.  Oh the Spiritual warfare is exceedingly great.  It's caused me to write out what God's doing in me more often than I ever expected or honestly desired.  Some probably think I am complaining too much.  

Life just hurts right now and it's not complaining when we are commanded, it wasn't a Scriptural suggestion, to bear one another’s burdens.  Burdens aren't just what you physically see as needs.  People who are in Christ need the support of other Christians.  Other Christians are part of the body of Christ and have a role and responsibility to help those in the body. Read Paul talk about it to the Corinthian Church. 

I hurt, but, do know that if you look it up at all concerning growth in Christ Jesus its going to hurt.  If you aren't experiencing growth then what are you doing in regards to your faith in Christ?

There have been people who have expressed the view that wherever my Wife and I go there's difficulties. That's not the right viewpoint at all.  God's been trying to use others to help us in our growing in Christ and those He brings into our lives are rejecting His commands to aid in our growth.  The core reason for our "hard road" has to do with others more than it has to do with us. We want to grow in Christ.  Our chief reason for moving isn't my job. It's growth in Christ and we have an enemy who's bent on not wanting that to happen. 

Read what Peter said as well.  If Christ suffered, so will those who are in Christ Jesus. 
In the things that God's desiring to do in my life its not essential that I have an excellent job. It IS essential that in all areas of my life that I look to Him in obedience.  It may hurt, and my Dear Readers, it IS hurting very much.  To move because of wanting God's Will, our sanctification, is hurting very much. We are indeed focused on the physical move, the physical things to let go of, etc. 

But the Spiritual move, the Spiritual things to keep and thoughts and ideas to let go of are even more important. 

It does not do any good to move on the pretext of God’s sanctification and do nothing different when we get there.

My hurting, my expressions of my thoughts to all of you isn't complaining. 
It's the reality of Spiritual change and growth.  I am being challenged and changed to be the man of God whom is His workmanship. I have things yet to do when my growth in Christ is more in alignment with God’s Will. 

If you are indeed a brother or sister in Christ, I covet your prayers. 

If all this suffering isn't appealing to you, ask yourself why. If you aren't a Christian then honestly, you cannot know enough to understand yet.  Your present sufferings are all worldly based and you've been alone in them.  Those in Christ Jesus are never alone in them. 

Yes, I am hurting. Yes, I have been crying to my Savior. His Word says no tear escapes His notice. He will act, He will do what's needed to come to my aid.  

He has something grand in mind in our new hometown if the struggles to get there are this great. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

He delights in You and I Who are His, but do We show it?

He delights in You and I who are His, but do We show it?

The Lord delights in you. 

You, Lord God, who created me, say, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.” 

Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet You will not forget me. 
You have inscribed me on the palms of Your hands; my walls are continually before You. 
Lord, You order my steps as of a good man, and You delight in my way. 
Your delight was with the sons of men. 
You take pleasure in those who fear You, in those who hope in Your mercy. 
You, the Lord of hosts, say that I shall be Yours on the day that You make us Your jewels. 
And You will spare me as a man spares his own son who serves him. 
I, who once was alienated and an enemy in my mind by wicked works, now You have reconciled in the body of Your flesh through death, to present me holy, and blameless, and above reproach in Your sight. 

May I never be numb to the amazing truth that You delight in me—and may I respond to that delight by living a life that honors You!

ISAIAH 62:4; ISAIAH 43:1; ISAIAH 49:15–16; PSALM 37:23; PROVERBS 8:31; PSALM 147:11; MALACHI 3:17; COLOSSIANS 1:21–22 - Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God

I parsed the devotional differently than it originally was written. Breaking up the sentences rather than it being a paragraph. 

Looking back at yesterday's late night post, in addition to this prayer there's much to look at and consider. Bearing one another’s burdens is a part of this realization of the Lord Jesus Christ's delighting in those who have come to Him for salvation. 

In parts of my crying out in prayer to God, it was in regards to the loneliness we have been feeling in this moving and being separated as so much in the last month. 

I told my Mother that this type of experience reminds me of years ago when my arm was in a cast. Weeks of wanting it off, wanting normal to come back in some form.

We often do a grave disservice to Jesus, to the Spirit and by relationship the Father as well. 
We are one way with them and when the bling of the world gets our attention we leave them at home while we go out to indulge in ourselves. Forgetting to obey Him in all we do and where we are.  

We can whine about helping others because of the discomfort and inconvenience. Those thoughts we never tell people we know who are in need. 

We forget just who we are, who's hands have our names inscribed because we mean that much to Him. We live for self pleasure and things that only bring joy, shutting out that which is anything else. 

Jesus didn't pick n choose His assignments, wherever the Spirit lead Him He went. 

Jesus delighted in you and I to the extent of dying on a cross, enduring the resurrection, to live and we are still sheep.  Still each trying to go their own way.

We still neglect so great a salvation.  We still put ourselves above others.

His delight in you and I is a perfect delight. It is a perfect joy.

We are indeed to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but are we?

That parable of the Good Samaritan still is extremely important in today's world. 
We still have to wonder if indeed we are that generation that is missing "the faith" as Jesus pondered 2 thousand years ago.  We need to look to see if we are involved with so many things, worldly or even church activities, that we have forgotten our first love?

Jesus would not have brought them up as a warning if they wouldn't be a reality at some point in the lives of people.  He delights in us and we repay that with deeds not rooted in repentance nor in true righteousness. We neglect the widow and the orphan, neglect those in need. 

We turn away from that which God has put before us to do in order to meet the needs of others.  

He delights in us and we are to delight in Him. 
He taught obedience to His Disciples and we too are His Disciples, His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that we would walk in them. 

A very grave danger is to arrive at Heaven and find out you missed out. That all the things you did or didn't do in His name...and yet be told to depart from Him for He never knew you.

Do you live each day in His Name?
Do you truly realize that He delights in You?
Do you, in your inner self, whine and complain about the serving that He's called you to do?
Do you turn away from helping others due to the inconvenience?  Essentially telling the family of God that although He delights in them, you can't be bothered?  Just as the Levite and the Priest told the person in that Parable?

Luke 10:30-37 NASB " Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he encountered robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by coincidence a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan who was on a journey came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return, I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed compassion to him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

The Lord Jesus Christ delights in You, go and do the same in serving God and others. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Bear One Another's Burdens

Bear One Another's Burdens 

Galatians 6:2 NASB "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."

What do you think of when this verse plays out in your life?  It probably does, more often than you realize. 

It takes on different forms, and is asked in different ways. 

"How's it going?"
"How are you doing?"
"What's up?"
"How's life treating you?"
"How are you feeling?"

The inherent problem is most do not tell the truth. We hide behind a white lie, which is no different than any other full fledged lie of any other kind. 

We hide behind the lie because the truth displays what we are really going through. 

I am certainly guilty on all counts when it comes to not sharing what I am really going through. So much so that it should be apparent by my writing about this now. God said to, so here we are.

This last several months has been incredibly hectic, incredibly hard, and incredibly good all at the same time. 

Writing about it a lot in my Journal and often to my soon to be Pastor of the Church we will be attending once we are moved. 

Incredible joy has accompanied the new job. It's been incredibly hectic with sorting and getting rid of stuff. With showings, with an inspection. Incredibly hard being separated from my Wife for many days at a time. 

We are all we have when it comes to moving. We can't find help that's available.  
17 years ago it was a different story than today's world.  Back then people were far more available to help.  

We go from wanting to be happy to feeling worn down.  

That's what I think the passage is partly or maybe even completely trying to convey.  

Being real with one another.  Being honest with one another because the other may be your support and supply of strength sent by God in your time of need. 

I used to have a boss who often said that he can't work on or fix a problem that he isn't aware of. 

For me getting past the temporary embarrassment is my hardest challenge.  

Being truthful rather than hiding the truth.  People, on the other end often run from the responsibility of listening to others burdens.  They find excuses to keep from listening or from being there for others for fear of exposure of themselves.  It's an investment prospect when you get involved in someone else's life. 

We are indeed struggling and we indeed are praying.  One surefire thing that has happened in all of this has been a strengthening of our prayer life. 

We pray because we know He hears. We know what God's Word says.  We know that we aren't living in this moment without Jesus being there before us.

I have endured some terrifying driving during the last few weeks.  I  could do nothing but focus and pray and stay riveted to the road. 

I am often alone during the week and find myself crying out to God in my despair.  

I do share my burdens always with my Savior and my Lord.  Certainly in more detail than you have read here.  The Churches written to in the New Testament did indeed live out this passage.  Far more than I have seen in most every church we have tried attending in 21 years. 
People want to be superficially involved in other people's lives. They would rather be the Priest or the Levite than the Good Samaritan.  It's far less messy to keep to yourself behind a lie.

Take a good hard look in the mirror.  Because I certainly had to. Are we shirking our obedience to fulfilling the Law of Christ by running from this passage?  You be the judge of your obedience.  That's not for me to say. 

We read of the passage where we are told that where two or more are gathered in His Name, that there He is with them.  It takes at least two in order to share burdens. 

So I guess this challenge is for all to read and consider.  Are the personal things in your life more important than obedience to God?  

You're not that bad? We all are...

You're not that bad? We all are...

“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you.” EXODUS 12:13 

The Hebrew word pesah means “to pass over,” “to spare,” “to show mercy.” It also suggests protection. God established the annual Passover Feast to commemorate His protecting the Israelites from the last plague and their ultimate emancipation from slavery. This deliverance signified their adoption by God, and it laid the foundation of their national identity. More than a remembrance, though, Passover also pointed prophetically to the sacrificial Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. John the Baptist announced at Jesus’ baptism, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Whereas the blood of the lamb saved the Israelites from physical death, the blood of Jesus saves those who believe in Him from spiritual death. Are you protected by Jesus’ blood? 

All people sin, and all sin has consequences. If God does not see the atoning blood of Jesus Christ covering your life, you will face His judgment. God gives mercy on His terms—through the sacrificial Lamb of God. Where there is the blood of Christ, there is life and salvation. Have you received that gift? - Blackaby Being Still With God 

Regardless of what you think about you, the Bible is clear: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  That is, you cannot enter into His Heaven without salvation in Christ Jesus alone for the covering of your sins.  

Yes you both do sin, have sinned and were born into sin. 

You cannot live your life in any conditional way that will ever make a single sin go away. 
Those who die without Christ Jesus as their Savior and Lord find themselves in Hell. 

Your ignorance of the truth about salvation isn't an excuse. Your denial of the truth of God isn't going to protect you. 

You, while there's a breath still in your body, must decide for yourself whether you want saved from the wrath that comes upon all unrepentant people who die without Christ or you choose to ask to be saved. 

In the song By the Way of the Cross, read it slowly and understand it well. 

Condemned to die on a cross for crimes he had done
He was guilty- everyone could see.
But his destiny was changed as he looked at Christ and said,
"When Your kingdom comes, remember me."
In Paradise that day, he stood
Just like the Lord had said he would
Surrounded by those who had gone before.
One said, "Friend, how did you come? What are the deeds you have done?"
With tears in his eyes, I can hear him reply,
"There are no merits to my name- no works that I can claim. He Who brought me here told me to say...

I have come by the way of the cross.
I have come by the way of the cross.
It is nothing I have done.
It's the suffering of God's Son.
I have come by the way of the cross."

I have nothing to claim but my guilt and my shame.
Hopelessly lost, I could not find my way.
Till His glorious light of love shone down on me.
His mercy washed all my sins away!
And what He did for me that day
Was a price I could not pay.
And by His grace, I too can say- forever say...

I see millions gathered 'round the throne
From every kindred and tongue-
Those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!
And as they cast their crowns down at His feet
This will be my story- this will be my song,...
(Chorus "We")

There is no other way.. but the cross!

I can do nothing because there's nothing that I can do to save me. Jesus had to take my place in paying for my sins.  I can easily see myself with the same tears in my eyes concerning why I am worthy to be with Jesus.  I came by way of the cross. 

My life is riddled with guilt and shame from my sins that I am aware of.  If I ever saw the true extent of what sins I have really committed it would go even farther in overwhelming me.

You must put your faith and trust in Christ Jesus alone for salvation. 

After you die there is no chance to be saved.  Nobody can pray you out of Hell. 
Salvation is as personal a decision as any can be or ever will be. You cannot look to your good deeds as being able to cover even one sin.  You cannot avoid the truth that you were born into sin.  Denying the truth of your need to be saved will not alter your future separation from God. 
Denying the truth will not make a bit of difference because you WILL be shown the truth of God and the truth about eternity. 

Jesus loved you enough to die for you.  Sin separates us from the life God intended for you and I. 

His salvation is free to all who ask.  You must choose.  Look up the Romans Road to salvation.  Read it, understand it, follow through with it.  Time is running out. 

Soon God the Father will tell God the Son, Jesus, that it's time. That the Church, the Bride of Christ is ready to all come home.  Millions will vanish from the Earth. Global leaders will spout excuses and scientific reasons as to the disappearances. The wrath of God will be expended upon the Earth for the next 7 years.  Billions more will die. Some will indeed be saved during this time but it will be beyond harsh for them. 

You have the choice in the here and now to not have to live through it. 

We can't conceive of the offense we are in our sin before God.  We need the perfect sacrifice of Jesus to cleanse us from it and to impart to us the righteousness of God. 

His salvation takes our sins and casts them as far as the east is from the west, remembering them no more.  We then begin living life for Him who saved us.  We do what we can to live in obedience to God's Word.  It's not about what we lose in this life, but oh the things we gain!

Most don't consider their future, and most wake up in Hell. 

Don't be like most.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Do You Live a Life that Says "Jesus lives here"?

Do You Live a Life that Says "Jesus lives here"?

My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it. 

Lord Jesus, both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason You, Lord, are not ashamed to call us brethren, saying, “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” In You, Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. I am Your friend, Jesus, if I do whatever You command me. Blessed are we who hear the word of God and keep it! Not everyone who says to You, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of Your Father in heaven. Your food, Jesus, is to do the will of Him who sent You. If I say that I have fellowship with You, and walk in darkness, I lie and do not practice the truth. Whoever keeps God’s word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 

Lord Jesus, throughout this day—throughout my life— may I follow Your Word and do God’s will, relying on You each step of the way. 

LUKE 8:21; HEBREWS 2:11–12; GALATIANS 5:6; JOHN 15:14; LUKE 11:28; MATTHEW 7:21; JOHN 4:34; 1 JOHN 1:6; 1 JOHN 2:5

Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

Whatever in your world that excites you says much about what is important to you. 

What you spend your time doing, in both the public and in private, will impact everything about how the world sees you. 

If the world never sees you living out your salvation in Christ Jesus, then, my Dear Reader, you are blowing it in living for Jesus. 

We might have heard the phrase in our lives of "garbage in garbage out".

In reading more in Ezekiel today I see even more of the reprehensible acts of the Jewish leaders and the city of Jerusalem. 

They did some grossly abominable acts that the Lord Jesus spelled out in this book.  We live in this great modern age with all kinds and sorts of abominations as well and fail to recognize them as such, just as those written of thousands of years ago. 

Mankind in all time periods will be without excuse before God regardless of worldly innovation for their acceptance or their rejection of salvation through Christ Jesus alone for it.

Was reading another devotional about the Apostle Paul.  About how people saw one view of him in person and another in his writing. He goes on to say that the reality is he is both.  

We put on display for all the world to see just where we are in Christ, in just how much we have grown in Christ, by our words, and actions. 

Is Jesus seen in your life by others? Do you speak in such a way that people know that God's made a difference in your life?  Do they hear nothing but Spiritually worthless dribble from you that's to do with useless worldy things? 

Do they see you dressed in accordance with a follower of God or do they see you displaying your desire to follow worldly idols?  Truth be known if the passion, emotions and feelings that come from us, that belong to Christ, that now go to things or people in this world it means we are idolaters. 

The Scriptures point it out very plainly you cannot serve, that is to give your all, to both God and anything or anyone in this world. 

My life, as you might be gathering from these posts, has been turned on its ear in the last few months.  Learning to separate even farther from things and ideas and ideology that I wasn't aware of needing separation from.  Learning to let go of aspects of my life that were in conflict with things that the Spirit was wanting to do in me.

I can sense that He's not done yet. 

My reputation is worthless in this life if people see only the world in me.
My reputation is only worth something if people see Jesus in me.  

We don't get a life to live for Jesus a second time. We live but once and then comes eternity for all.

If people cannot see Jesus in you, what do they see? 
There's only one thing left that can be seen, the world. 

You can't have a "group hug" between God, you and the world. 

The Bible says that our God is a jealous God.  That He desires our all.  Look around your world. Look at what excites you. Look at your everything. 

Does it tell the world that Jesus is your hope, your salvation, your all? 

Does it show them that if they want to hear more about Jesus, to just ask?

Does your life show it?  There's a reason why repentance is so vitally important to the Christian life.  There's a reason why Jesus taught us to be in the world but not of the world. 

Someone walks into your house, looks at you too, will all that adorns both say that Jesus is here?

You must decide. It's not for me or anyone else to decide.  But I refuse to be a walking billboard for anything in this world. I will not wear clothing or merchandise that promotes anything in this world. If I wear shirts they will either be plain or point someone to something about God or possibly poke fun at myself.  I do not adore or follow after sports of any kind. Those, in the reality of the Scriptures to me, are among the most visible idols in this world. Even the NFL basically agrees in statements about its own organization.  I have to fight to keep from wasting the moments God gives because this world wants it all from us.

This culture in which you and I live teaches people to find and live out whatever brings you the most joy, even if you have to force its acceptance regardless of whether it is called sin in God's eyes or not.

To be truthful it will cost you.  Jesus said that it would. 
It will cost you family and friends. 
It will cost you your social position and status. 

It will cost you here but as the Bible says your reward in Heaven will be great. 

What does your life say about you?  Does it show that Jesus lives there?

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Is Drawing Near to God Detestable in Your Eyes?

Is Drawing Near to God Detestable in Your Eyes?

Was reading in Ezekiel yet again this morning.  We know of the prayers of Jesus concerning those who have believed for their sanctification. Read Ezekiel and find what I have found in its words concerning that very subject. 

Israel rejected the Lord’s instruction in being taught to be sanctified.  
Israel brought about God's wrath in His righteous judgment concerning them because of spurning the Law of God. 
In this Church age we live under grace and mercy granted by God through the work of the Spirit of God in the name of Christ Jesus,  but has the professing Church done the same thing as Israel? Abusing that grace and mercy to live their lives their own ways as well?

Take note of that statement and now read the Bible from Acts to Revelation. 
Take note of what was written, as the Bible says-for our instruction-and see if you are spurning God's sanctification in your life. 

I have repeatedly stated that I am not the writer of this blog. As I am lead to write, that's what is written.  I have struggled for over 40 years in wanting to be a writer. To hold a book that was published in print with my name on it.  So what you read here is for your consideration. Maybe for your instruction. 

We are moving to a new city because we want to claim God's promise of sanctification in 1 Thessalonians 4:3a. I have found that prayer of Jesus to our Father in Heaven to sanctify us in His truth for His Word is truth. I will tell you it's going to be worth it but the getting to that place of being moved is painful. We only think we are moving ourselves and our stuff to a new place. Leaving behind countless donations to thrift stores and things in the house we either cannot physically move or that we are giving the new owners. But as I read my Bible this morning and reflect on the reading that I have done recently I am thinking there's more going on than I can see. God's doing more in my Wife and I besides downsizing the house. 

We have been drawn near to God through this move in our prayer life. We are having to learn Spiritual lessons in this season of change. It's painful, but it must be noted, it is of God. 

We are not only leaving behind physical things, but useless thoughts and mindsets. 
We are having our walk with God intensified. 
We are having our prayer life intensified. 

We are being drawn closer to God.

Most don't think about God's Will in a move other than if they should due to a job or due to family.  It's a significantly hard truth that Jesus said that if we love even family more than Him we aren't worthy of Him. If we are to truly consider God's Will in our lives, we need to honestly toss our preconceived ideas of what 'right' looks like in our lives because it probably isn't what 'right' looks like in God's eyes. His ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are higher than ours. He sees all, knows all. 

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

Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB "“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Look at what was said of the Bible. Romans 15:4 NASB "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

We are in a world desperate for signs of hope, yet it looks to vain things, thinking and philosophy to find it!

God the Father has set a day for His Son Jesus Christ to return.  The sanctification of those called to be Children of God is what Ephesians 2:10 NASB "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." means!

Throughout human history it's always been before mankind to either follow Christ Jesus or turn away from Him.  To those who turn to Him He WILL bring about God’s Will, our sanctification. To those who reject Salvation in Christ Jesus, they will receive the judgment of God for they will never see His sanctification. They will never know what its like to be His workmanship.  

Think about what is important to you.  I know that for me personally, God’s challenging me in this area. I have been through much in the days since just before my birthday this year. We have had to make what can be considered brutal decisions with physical stuff in keeping or tossing, or donating.  As said, God’s not done, nor is satisfied with just that when it comes to sanctification.  Spiritual Surgeries are the norm when the Spirit is involved in sanctification. 
Are you afraid to draw near to God because of them?  Honestly, get over that right now. As you might have realized when you came to Christ, He loved you too much to leave you that way in which you were found.  His workmanship began in you, BUT,  you must also choose to draw near to God if your ever going to see the blessings of it clearly.  A child can either see the instruction of parents as beneficial or harsh but in all cases they WILL receive that instruction.

Do your thoughts, your desires, your idle moments show a heart that draws near to God?
Do your possessions, your money, your priorities show your love for God or do they reflect your social position and acceptance by mankind? 

If you were put on a scale that measured how close you walk with Jesus or not, where would that needle point?

Does your spare time get used by God or is it filled by you for you?
Do you put your family and friends above what God's Will is for you, your sanctification?
Do you put your desires of things in this world above your sanctification?

It's a big deal.  Jesus implicitly said as much when He prayed it.

John 17:17-20 NASB "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. Just as You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.  I am not asking on behalf of these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word".

Israel wouldn't separate themselves from the world and it brought about the wrath of God. 
We indeed live in the time of grace and mercy, but we still can put up the same barrier between us and God by intentionally not drawing near to God. 

In all areas of our lives, Jesus is working. We have no right to tell Him what is staying and what is going. 

We are to obey. We are to trust His workmanship in our lives. 
If you are not learning sanctification where you go to Church, either approach the leadership about it or go where you will find learning on it. Just do not waste what little time you have in this life not working towards it.

You will need to decide if you are drawn to Jesus or not. 
You need to realize that Jesus stands at the ready to take back all who turn and repent. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Are You Friends with the World?

 Are You Friends with the World?

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is the source not your pleasures that wage war in your body’s parts? You lust and do not have, so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says to no purpose, “He jealously desires the Spirit whom He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. JAMES 4:1-10 NASB 

Quite often of late, I don't get to read past my Bible reading. God stops me in my tracks and something just sticks out. 

In my inner turmoil of me, on a daily basis I struggle between my wants and desires and that which is set before me to do because God put it there to be done. I have written of our moving and the chief of reasons being 1 Thessalonians 4:3a. 

Yet in me is a back and forth battle over more detailed direction for my life in Christ Jesus. 

Friendship with the world. That's a heavy thought that can go very deep very quickly. 

I have shared of some of the things in my life that I have been shown by God to be identified as idolatry.  Yes, I realize this is a matter of personal conviction. Nevertheless when the Lord Jesus Christ in His having the Prophets write to the people of Israel, He wasn't splitting hairs on specifics. He called it what it was. In the Gospels, Jesus still called it what it was. 

It's easy to be lost in self when immersed in the world.  You forget conviction, you forget the wages of sin. You brush aside the pain and the guilt of it even if but for a moment. 

Then, eventually, reality sets in. Then we inevitably find out that our desires cost us more than the pleasures lasted. 

To be sanctified is to be set apart for God’s purpose, not ours. 

In this move, comes opportunities to start down either the same wrong path or start down the right path.  To begin anew doesn't require moving, you can start it today, where you are. 

I had it reaffirmed that in deciding on what to keep and what to toss, to let go of, that those things were just things.  Holding onto things strictly due to emotional attachment will do you more harm than good.  In a strictly Spiritual sense you can unwittingly create a shrine concerning an event or person.  Granting reverence where none should be. 

We will be in a new home in less than a month.  It's taken years to get to this point. 
We have before us a clean slate. The ability to start over with most areas of our lives. 
Again, in your world, you don't need to be in the midst of moving to experience the same. 

Both of us have our own hobbies and interests. Mine are as multifaceted as my Wife's. 

The question that I have before me is what will become of the blank slate that God's given me?   Is there yet still more of me to let go of?  Am I still embracing too much of this world?
THAT is the question. 

As also previously shared, my letting go of sports, to me, was letting go of idolatry. I was more impassioned and passionate concerning a sports team than I was in my walk with Jesus. 

Scripture says in several places concerning stumbling blocks. Both to be wary of them and to absolutely not be the source of them.

Matthew 18:7 NASB "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to the person through whom the stumbling block comes!"

Romans 14:13 NASB "Therefore let’s not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this: not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s or sister’s way."

I, in my mistake, had been a stumbling block to others. Showing both my embracing of the world and showing where my misguided passion had been. Add to it that I was showing others to do the same.  Read the rest of Romans 14. 

In this new beginning, God started early in getting my mind to slow down and consider the new start. Removing all of my world for a while has caused me to rethink just where I still have been embracing the world. I am not considering a further purge of things, however, I am looking to create right priorities. 

When I get dressed, what I wear, shouldn't reflect the world.  That's what those in the world do.
When I sit in public to eat a meal, I should never forget to give thanks for what has been provided, regardless of the audience. 

In my living out my life, it should be a reflection of Christ, not of me.

In my life at home, it should be in an orderly fashion, should still be God honoring. 
Keep in mind Ephesians 4:27 NASB "and do not give the devil n opportunity."

In your life are you? Have you? Are your reaching for fulfilling your own pleasure and desires causing you to be less than what Jesus wants of you?  Are you becoming so close to the world that you are in danger of offending God? You know that on many occasions that God has had me write of giving an account of our lives before Jesus.  Of the Scriptures revealing that He is able to separate our thoughts and intentions.  Will you, like I am discovering about me, continue to lie to yourself about your thoughts and intentions?

We all like to fit in. We all at some point have caved to that particular pressure. 
Desiring what God wants for you and I isn't the same as receiving or living it out.

Look in a mirror each day this week. Look at what you adorn yourself with. 
Look at what music you listen to. Look at what passions you have and where they are directed.  Look at where you spend your time. Look at what you spend your money on. 

Look, because in this life either you address the things in your life that are not pleasing to God or He will.  Read practically any headline. A life can come crashing down in an instant. 

In a moment your world can turn on its ear. You could find yourself face to face with Jesus that quickly.  Will you be happy to see Him or ashamed because of what you know about you?
Of the life you have lived, of the bad choices you made.  Turning and repenting is a prevalent theme in the Bible. Living right before Christ is a prevalent thought in the Bible. 

Is your life going to be about being right before Christ or right before you?
Your friendship with the world or your friendship with Jesus defines your thoughts and intentions.