Thursday, March 31, 2022

Rough Life or Lived Life

Rough Life or Lived Life 

"And He raised His eyes toward His disciples and began saying, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when the people hate you, and when they exclude you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and jump for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For their fathers used to treat the prophets the same way. But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all the people speak well of you; for their fathers used to treat the false prophets the same way.

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are abusive to you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat people the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:20-38 NASB 

Was reading here this morning and went beyond what my yearly Bible reading plan said to include the context.  I have been reading Romans 12 every day since we started with the Bible study group we are in and can see what Jesus said in Luke's Gospel sort of repeated. 

But what really came to mind is people's perceptions of a Rough Life...or a Lived Life.   

We read in Luke that Jesus was teaching to look at what we face from a Godly growth perspective. All isn't as it might appear to be.  

We can choose to submit to God’s plans for us or we can do our own thing and reject them. 

I also look at what the overall view of this section of Luke's Gospel. What comes to mind is tribulations.  Rough times possibly a rough life.  I then found myself looking at the depth of the hard hearts of the Jews that daily sought grounds to accuse Jesus.  How many of those people died before the Resurrection that were in torment looking across that chasm to see the one whom they had tried to pierce? 

A hardened heart can lead to greater troubles in life.  It can cause depression because of a lack of God's purpose being fulfilled.  Our views on life are not paramount to being the truth about life. 

Jesus was teaching in the Beatitudes to think differently.  In Romans Paul reiterates this point. 

"Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation."

We are going to see personal tribulations or trouble in this life.  How we react is what either shows the light of Jesus Christ or it shows our own darkness.  Since He id the Light there can be no other to be seen by mankind since He will not give His glory to another. 

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20 NASB 

We likely will have times when we will never understand the why behind what is apparently going wrong with our lives. It may be that we are stronger than someone else who isn't able to stand. We may be receiving instruction from the Spirit in something we will need later on in this life.  We may be living in disobedience and until we acknowledge that God is right and we are not, this will persist.

Every person who comes to Christ will go through a life perspective change.  We know this because the 4 Gospel accounts reveal this was integral to the training the Disciples received from Jesus.  Our perspective is not going to be what is God’s because of our sin nature. 

"But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB 

If you aren't saved you're not going to understand the things of God.  Spiritual discernment comes with Salvation. Remaining in Christ in our walk through life brings understanding of the way life is and is to be.  A reading challenge for you is to go through the 4 Gospel accounts and find all the places where Jesus said something about them not understand it now but they would later. 

We may indeed face a rough life for a moment, a season or all of it.  We will never face it alone.  We may indeed question it.  God may grant understanding, He may not.  We cannot see the greater picture of the reality of this life. In its simplest terms we who are in Christ all here to locate and lead others to Christ.  It's by how we live that others see Christ in us.  We reflect the Light of Jesus. We are worker's in His name, in the Harvest regardless of what life looks like from the outside to this dying world. 

Our tribulations or troubles could mean another life coming to Christ. Our lives aren't about our comfort or successes or possessions.  It's not about fame or fortune here, but what is revealed in Heaven that we did for Jesus. 

There indeed is a Great Tribulation coming. The book of Revelation spells out the wrath of God on who remains after the Church is taken out of the picture.  Much of society will react in shock and horror at all those who aren't here anymore. They may even realize the truth that only those saved in Christ Jesus were the ones to leave. There's countless billions in Hell living an eternity of regrets concerning not believing God at His Word about sin, death and the cross. About the horrible abuses they did towards Believers in Christ Jesus.  About learning that the truth of the Bible was really true. That their fate is now sealed and nothing can change it. Their tribulations will never ever end due to them paying for their own sins for all eternity.  

Your life might not be going as you hoped. It may be going as you hoped.  If you're a Believer then you have work to be doing in Christ.  That should be your first priority.  Jesus said to beseech the Lord of the Harvest to send worker's into His Harvest. 

A Lived life is one that is indeed persevering and pushing through in a Godly way to reflect the light of Jesus to this world regardless of what life appears to be. 

We who are in Christ are worker's in the Harvest whether or not you see it, you are one.

We, as we have repeatedly read in Romans 12, are part of the body of Christ. We are given gifts and as we read in other parables, we are expected to be using them in service to Our Savior.  We are not to be hiding them until we see Him.

Are you going through some stuff? Has it appeared that to be the case for some time?  First, make sure of your obedience in Christ. Second, continue in your walk with Jesus as best you can. Hold to His promises and His purpose for you.  It may not seem like you're accomplishing much but again, we don't see what God sees. 


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Where DO Your Thoughts Go?

Where DO Your Thoughts Go?

Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening. 

Oh, Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, my strength and my Redeemer. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what am I that You are mindful of me, and that You visit me? Your works, Lord God, are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. I am blessed when I walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful; but delight in Your law, and in Your law I meditate day and night. This Book of the Law shall not depart from my mouth, but I shall meditate in it day and night. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You, Lord God, with joyful lips. I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. 

Lord, teach me to crave the nourishment that comes from feasting and meditating on Your Word. 

GENESIS 24:63; PSALM 19:14; PSALM 8:3–4; PSALM 111:2; PSALM 1:1–2; JOSHUA 1:8; PSALM 63:5–6. Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

The aim in your life and mine, by Satan, and our own sin nature, is to cause our minds and hearts to dwell on anything and everything that has nothing to do with Jesus. That has nothing to do with God. 

Temptations and seduction are the weapons of his warfare upon the Believers and the unbelieving alike. 

The warfare is real and the fight each day is real.  Jesus Himself often went away to be alone with Him Father because of the battles.  He taught us a pattern for praying not to impart some magical phrase or words, but to encourage that relationship with His Father who is now the Father of those who believe. 

Distractions are everywhere in everything in every second of your life.  

We were challenged to reflect on our 42.  The average amount of time after sleep, work/school/responsibilities and social media are removed from a week of hours.

How much time is left is around 42 hours.  I started charting my week on a spreadsheet.  Was easier for me to visually see what and where my mind and time were going.  On average my week is down to 32 hours.  Sunday to Saturday I spend 1 and a half to 2 hours reading and writing concerning what God's imparting to me.  But is it enough?

I read in the Scriptures of meditation day and night on the Word of God. Read of how it was the responsibility of the Kings of Israel to write their own copy of the book of the Law for themselves.   I read of how important the relationship was that Jesus impressed upon the Disciples, and yet I wonder is what I do enough?

Now you're going to have to evaluate your own 42.  You have to decide if you're fighting the good fight as Paul wrote.  You have to decide if you are keeping the faith. 

Romans 12 tells us that to each of us it has been given a measure of faith.  Are you exercising it?  Are you nurturing it?
Do you waste your 42 on frivolous things?
Do you look at it and just wonder where the time went because you weren't thinking?

You see right there is the problem, right there is the truth of the matter. 

We live in a world where we've off-loaded thinking to others and to machines. 

We live in a world where responsibilities that are ours have been given to wasteful ideas that have nothing to do with service to our God and Savior.

We organize our lives to some extent on our needed things such as work and sleep and don't realize the hour in which we live. 

We don't consider the importance of the truth that this might be the day we see Jesus face-to-face. We might see the Rapture of the Church.  We might, before this day is through, be needing to give a reason for the hope we have in Christ. Would you be ready to give it? 

We don't consider the real future, not our wishful thinking future.  We cloud our lives at times with selfish dreams and ambitions that have nothing to do with the time in human history that we live.

We, on a global scale, spend billions on reliving the past, on escaping the woes of this world, on sports, on movies, on games. Billions of dollars to avoid reality. 

Yet what matters most we avoid.  A right relationship with Jesus can and does fill that void we so desperately are really seeking to fill with anything but Him.

This is far worse than a square peg in a round hole.  We can get a bigger hammer and eventually make a square peg fit a round hole.   You cannot make any shape of anything fit that cross shaped hole in your heart, mind and soul. 

Even with the 32 that my chart shows me as having left, 8 or so of that is what's left in my days Monday through Thursday after work, eating and catching up on as much of the day as possible are removed. I see time left and have to wonder if I will spend it wisely as this week of challenge continues. 

Sure some things come up, but when they do, is my mind going to go to my source of strength in Christ or to places and things other than Him?  Panic and worry are not of God.  Worry is a prayer with no direction.  It's the epitome of a circular argument.  

Nehemiah knew that even a short prayer was a prayer as long as it went up to the Throne of God.  He was a Jew who was trusted as the Cup Bearer to the King.  Before the King would drink or eat anything it had to be tested.  He was constantly looked upon with scrutiny to see if his health was in question before the King received anything. To look out of sorts before the King you had to have a really good reason.  So we read "So I prayed to the God of Heaven". 

We read of Daniel's habits of at least 3 times a day in prayer to the God of His Father's in Heaven.  We see that his daily practice of prayer earned him favor with God in being called "highly esteemed". 

We are encouraged in Paul's letters to set our minds on things above and not on the things of this world.  We are told by Jesus that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Then to love your neighbor as yourself.  We read in the latter part of Romans 12 of how to treat even out enemies. 

So in all this, are you spending your time and money and your THOUGHTS  wisely?

What are YOU doing with your 42?  
Are you self-deceived in your daily life that what is truly worthless before Jesus is worthy of you to give your devotion to?

Your devotion can only have one direction. Heaven or here.  You're going to need to realize you are in a war for your mind. 
You must choose where your mind goes. 
You. I can only tell you that this is true of all mankind. 

We either accept God’s will or we reject it.  We either come to Christ or we don't. 
We either believe what we read in the Bible or we don't. 
We either put our relationship with Jesus as our highest priority or we aren't.  
We either believe He’s coming again soon or we don't. 
We either consider our ways in light of the Scriptures or we don't. 
We either come up with excuses or we dive in and act.

Where did your thoughts go since you started reading this?  On things you hadn't done yet? On things that are a passing interest to you? On other things and people? On the notifications on your phone? A little distracted aren't we?
You just proved the point. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Unworthy You Think?

Unworthy You Think?

"But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; and likewise also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear; from now on you will be catching people.”  When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him." Luke 5:8-11 NASB 

Fear can paralyzed a body as fast if not faster than any disease or poison known to mankind. 

Fear came first, right after the original sin of Adam and Eve. Fear can expose thoughts and intentions of the heart in ways no truth serum can.  Fear can take the will and harshly subdue it.  Fear can propel people do do things they never thought they could do as well. 

Fear of what might happen can stop a person right in their tracks.

The imagination runs rampant when fear is involved. Fear of what might happen. Fear of what might not happen. 

Fear is a powerful enemy. 

In as much as this is a confession of sorts, it's an admonition as well.  

When I first gave my life to Christ, fear wasn't remotely on my mind. Until it reared its ugly head my first week in school trying to share my faith with my classmates.  I can easily say that fear slapped me sideways. Fear hurt me in ways that I wasn't expecting. 

Fear caused me to hold back from speaking up for a long, long time.

Fear, perhaps, is causing you to do the same. God's pointing the way and fear is standing there wagging a finger telling you not to take a step. 

Fear and regret go hand in hand most of the time.  Peter, we can sort of surmise, had a lot of "sin baggage".  He had things he had done, said, or thought, that he believed disqualified him from doing anything meaningful for God. 

Look back at one of the campaigns of Gideon in the book of Judges Chapter 7:9-14 NASB.

"Now on the same night it came about that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have handed it over to you. But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, so that you will hear what they say; and afterward you will have the courage to go down against the camp.” So he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the army that was in the camp. Now the Midianites, the Amalekites, and all the people of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent collapsed.” And his friend replied, “This is nothing other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has handed over to him Midian and all the camp.” 

Fear keeps even Believers from going and doing what God wants and needs them to be doing. 
Fear keeps people in the chains of the past.  Constantly reminding people of past failures, reminding people of what they lost.  Showing lies about the present and the future through those false visions it creates.  Getting people to run in circles, wasting time, energy and money in order to thwart the Will of God. 

Hang on firmly to that last sentence:  Getting people to run in circles, wasting time, energy and money in order to thwart the Will of God. 

Fear and Regret have friends.  Another of which is Seduction. They work together at times to get people to pursue lives of self over lives lived in obedience to God.  Getting people to believe they are actually serving God WELL without seeing that they really haven't been serving God at all.  

Been there done that.  

Peter had to be pushed towards obedience, and if you read between the lines, Jesus pulled him out of the waters of pain, fear and regret, to save him long before he cried out to him while sinking in the physical waters. 

I can look back and see the tangled web of lies that kept me trapped for much of my life.  They were couched in a lot of supposed good intentions.  Career choices, the embracing of thoughts and desires that had nothing to add to my walk with Jesus.  The missed opportunities that were before me to be pulled up out of it all years ago. 

I too was pulled up out of the muck and mire of fear, pain, and regret.  I often have moments where it feels like I am being pushed back in that direction. It is then that I pray. 

Fear and his friends might be holding onto you.  They might be spewing their lies to you about you.  That you will miss out on living life if you went all in with serving God. That you would have to give up this or that.  That life would be so boring if you obeyed.  Maybe you believe that your obedience is going to cost you what you've spent a lifetime collecting.  

Hmm.  You don't own it all anyway.  If what you do have, in all honesty, has become so all important, then realize the truth.  It's an idol.  You are looking to those thoughts and things as a source of comfort and solace rather that finding that in your Savior!

If you are blinded then how will you see if you don't ask Jesus to open your eyes to see?

I am physically half blind in one eye, but Spiritually, unless the Spirit clears the way, I can be far more blinded than I ever thought possible. 

As you're looking around and see what you have, see where you are in life, is it reflecting fears, pains, regrets of a life not lived for the one who saved you?

Are you at the door of obedience and it stand open, do you need pulled through it?

If it weren't for my tenacious Savior, keeping His promise of being His workmanship, pulling me through my fears, pains and regrets, I wouldn't be here today. 

I have indeed prayed a prayer for Jesus to save me FROM me.  I can't trust me in this sin cursed body.  I need to trust Him. I need to lay everything, every fear, every regret, every misguided intention, at His feet. 

Don't think it's hopeless.  Don't think that you're going to have to give up your lifestyle. We can't know what great things that God has in mind until we give it all back to God. You may not give up anything. You may. 

If you want what God wants, tell me, my Dear Reader, how can you possibly lose?

Peter gained a life that he never would have seen apart from God. 

What will God do with you if you let Him deal with all your pain, fears, regrets to live as He intended you to live?  

I look back on my dreams for my life and the only one that's been really beneficial is when I was living out my faith.  Not when I was pursuing life's pleasures and accomplishments. 

Nobody is going to think what you do in regards to what things you have collected in this life. It's a billion dollar industry in buying up storage units and selling off what's been in them.  Your wasting time and money on things that are so meaningful to you but are meaningless to others means you need to turn your attention to meaningful, Godly, pursuits. 

Ask Jesus to pull you out of whatever has been trapping you.  He will. It's His Will that we live in obedience, of course He will help you by making a way where once there was no way on your own. 

You may think that you're unworthy.  We all are unworthy.  Only in Christ, by His grace, are we able to truly live. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Choose This Day

Choose This Day 

We read and have read Romans 12, but today I noticed something else, something more. 

"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. 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.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12 NASB 

The context of the thoughts this morning come from a very popular passage. 

"But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 NASB 

Reread the opening verses of Romans 12.

"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. 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."

We choose in every moment who it is we are going to serve.  We choose either self or God.  We choose either God's Will or our Own Will.  

We either bring honor and glory to God or to ourselves. 

You and I either present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God or its being presented to someone or something else.  There is no middle ground.

Look again at the ministry of Jesus in teaching the Disciples. He taught that there is no middle ground. No gray area.

In recent days I was reading/hearing of a great tragedy today in which the Church is going out of its way to marry the Church with the World.  To bring together both in some realistically ungodly plan to reach people.  That was not and never will be God's plan to save the lost in this world.  That isn't choosing wisely. To seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness is to bring the whole Gospel message to the world. To expose the darkness for what it is. 

You are, since this IS a Spiritual War, either working for God or working against God in your body. 

You can present yourself as a living sacrifice to only one altar.   

Think about that. Think long and hard about that. 

We were created to worship God. If you aren't then who or what are you giving your spiritual service of worship to?

Read on... 
"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."

If we aren't fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus then our lives are on some other altar.  It means we are conforming to either Christ Jesus or the world.  It really is black and white.  What are you renewing your mind with?  In what you are renewing it with, is it proving what the will of God is?

This is a huge reality check. 

Walk through your mind's hallways and look into the rooms within you.  What do you see?  Are those rooms filled with things that are God honoring? Are they filled with selfish, self-centered ideas?

Walk through your thoughts of what's important to you. Are hours in front of a television constantly in your day rather than time with Jesus?  Are hours and minutes spent thinking about sinful things that even you won't mention out loud?
Would you call that a God honoring life?

Useless arguments prevail in this world from within and without the Church.  Jesus warned about casting your pearls before swine. 

We face several types of personal tribulations. Those from God to make us more like Christ and self inflicted.  We choose what's in front of us to obey. God or our own will. 

Consider your ways. Consider because your only able to serve one.

Choice came as a result of the cross.  After coming to Christ for salvation we are now able to live a God honoring life, but must choose to do so. 

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?
This too is from the Scriptures. 

My personal crossroads in life right now is becoming clearer.  If I may say it, my dreams about my life are not there, I haveno dreams left. I have already more than accomplished what I considered back in my youth to do in this life.  There's things that I would like to do but they have really no place in God's plans to use me to reach people for Christ Jesus.  I am still praying about my all being on the altar of my life for God.  

You must choose to go to either the altar of God or the altar of self.  

I pray daily for those whom I know to walk closer with Jesus today than they did yesterday.  I pray for my Pastor and his Wife. I pray for family and friends.  I pray for my current and former coworkers.  I pray that God goes before me today so that the day is good and goes quickly.  I pray for my Wife to have a good day.  

Where my thoughts are is with others.  I want people to know that Jesus loved them enough to die for them.  Not only to die for them but He raised to life again 3 days later so that salvation could be theirs for the asking. 

Personal achievements are really meaningful only for a moment.  They are here and gone.  What we put on the altar for God is what lasts.  

Choose this day, this moment, who you are going to serve.  

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Tribulation and Tribulations Aren't the Same

Tribulation and Tribulations Aren't the Same 

He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. 

Lord, Jesus’ parable says: After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. He who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; I have gained five more talents besides them.” His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Lord God, like that servant, I must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that I may receive the things done in the body, according to what I have done, whether good or bad. May I truly say: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith; there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which You, Lord God, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved Your appearing. You are coming quickly! May I hold fast what I have, that no one may take my crown. 

Help me, Lord, to exercise faithful stewardship: obeying You, fighting the good fight, and keeping the faith!

PROVERBS 11:18; MATTHEW 25:19–21; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:10; 2 TIMOTHY 4:7–8; REVELATION 3:11 Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing Moments with God 

Many many years ago at the church I was going to, we were going through a book called "Gold Under Fire" or something along those lines.  It had much to say on the subject of basically the smelting process that believers go through in becoming more like Christ.  Essentially the tribulations of life are meant to teach us to become like our Savior in regards to obedience and life. 

It was yesterday when, after some interactions with other's, a very powerful analogy came to mind that the Tribulation referred to in the book of Revelation was not what Jesus was referring to when He said we would have tribulations in this life.  

Nobody who's died in Christ to date has suffered under the wrath of God.  They were part of the body of Christ and are indeed the Bride of Christ. 

There's much being discussed these days in regards to the Rapture of the Church happening before or after the Great Tribulation in the mainly in the book of Revelation and a few Old Testament books.  In regards to this, I believe the analogy that was brought to my mind is the right one. 

Why would Jesus come to receive His Bride, for them to enter into His rest, only after suffering through 7 years of the wrath of God?  Romans says clearly that there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Further Scripture says that the wrath of God does not rest on the Believers. Jesus is not going to beat and grind to a pulp His Bride only then to allow them into His Heaven. All those who died in Christ to date did not go through that. We who are in Christ, from the beginning of the Church until the Rapture are indeed all part of the same body, all are the Bride of Christ. 

Indeed in this life, as this post begins with, we indeed have a responsibility to learn from the Spirit, to grow in Christ. To obey things of the Word of God as written in Romans 12 and other places.  Jesus suffered all the wrath of God so that the Bride of Christ would not. The Judgments of God in Revelation are there to put an end to lawlessness, sin and unrighteousness. 

We are indeed going to go through our own tribulations on a personal level because when you are indeed being taught of God your life will be personally changed to be that part of the body for which you were meant to be.  Putting this in another light, when you go into a rehabilitation center you see many people yet nobody there is going through the exact same process to return to normality. Their personal struggles, personal trials and tribulations are their own. 

To be His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works will mean some painful things to go through. Will mean letting go of some things and embracing other things. Will mean putting others before yourself. Will mean sacrificing your time, energy and money to do the Will of God in your life to impact others for the Kingdom of God. 

Read in the book of Daniel and you find that the Angel tells Daniel that 70 weeks are decreed for his people. 69 have happened. The 70th week is the 7 year Tribulation period of the book of Revelation.  I highly recommend the book by Alva J McClain called "Daniel's 70th Week".  The Great Tribulation is not about the Church, it's about Israel if indeed you are looking at people groups.  The Spirit steps aside as the restraining one as to why it hasn't occurred yet. People will indeed come to Christ during those 7 years but most all will suffer genocide for their faith. Any who do not worship the AntiChrist are beheaded. Any who do not take his mark cannot buy or sell. You become Public Enemy Number One. 

So in this time in which we have left between now and the coming of Jesus to receive His Bride that proceeds the Great Tribulation, we need to live lives that make use of the talents, the gifts, we have been given.  We cannot afford to waste time on frivolous things and ideas. Jesus refused to be sidetracked in what we read in the Gospels.  We have very powerful reason to be obedient. To hear "Well done" by Jesus at our making use of what we were given for the Kingdom of God. 

We will indeed face people's and ideals of this world that conflict with the Word of God. Satan's plan is to take the Throne of God. Satan will try to thwart the workmanship of God in the lives of believers by using false teachers and false ideas that conflict with His Word. 

I only write what I am told to write in regards to what you read here.  I want to be obedient in my life as much as I am able to be for my Savior and my King.  If indeed you believe otherwise in regards to what had been said...go to the author,  the REAL Author, ask the Spirit for wisdom in your thinking about things.

My personal views are the same as what I have been told to write.  I believe what the Spirit told me over 40 years ago, that my Generation would see the Rapture of the Church. This came after one of my first times reading of Simeon being told he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Christ in the book of John.  

Pray for wisdom in your own thinking. Pray for those around you to be enlightening to the salvation being offered to them. Regardless of your views on Pre-Tribulation or Post-Tribulation, our focus and job is to preach and teach the Word of God to a lost world so that some might be saved.  Regardless of views, we are to be found faithful in what we do for Christ Jesus. 

Be not discouraged when you go through various trials and temptations for so has happened to those who have gone on before you. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

And So Prove to Be Doers of the Word

And So Prove to Be Doers of the Word 

The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them . . . to each according to his own ability. 

Father, Your Word says that the one to whom I present myself as a slave to obey, I am that one’s slave whom I obey. One and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one of us believers individually as He wills. The manifestation of Your Spirit, Lord God, is given to me for the profit of all. As I have received a gift, I am to minister it to others, as a good steward of Your manifold grace. It is required of me, a steward, that I be found faithful. For to me whom much is given, from me much will be required; and to me, much has been committed; of me more will be asked. Who is sufficient for these things? I can do all things through Your Son, Jesus Christ, who strengthens me. 

Lord God, thank You for entrusting me with gifts by which to serve Your church. Guide me and strengthen me as I use them for Your glory. 

MATTHEW 25:14–15; ROMANS 6:16; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:11, 7; 1 PETER 4:10; 1 CORINTHIANS 4:2; LUKE 12:48; 2 CORINTHIANS 2:16; PHILIPPIANS 4:13

Dr. David Jeremiah Life-Changing With God 

So what of you? By your life, by your actions, is there enough evidence to say what was said of Peter?  That which he denied that was indeed true of him before the cock crowed?  That you speak like Him, that you were with Him?

You who are in Christ, need to be Doers of the Word. Not hearers only. 

Some may say that they fail God often.  Guess what? He knew that you would. It is no more of a surprise for Him concerning you than it was for Peter on the night he did what he did. As I also read regarding this, this morning, when Jesus restored Peter He never demanded he confess his sin.  But rather confess his love for Jesus. 

Failure is not a reason to keep from striving to please God in all that we do. 

The phrase that has never been heard in Heaven is "WOW! I didn't see that coming...".

You and I will fail. We will stumble and fall down. Jesus will be there to set us back up on our feet.  Reminding us that we are still loved. It's on us to proclaim our love towards Jesus. 

I have written in recent weeks about seeking where and what God's got in mind for me in my new hometown. That search is narrowing as of yesterday. 

You and I have a responsibility in Christ. 
You and I will give an account of that responsibility someday. 

Are you in God's Word?  That's a responsibility.
Are you obeying?  That's another. 
Praying? That's another. 
Setting your mind on things above? Yup. That's another. 

The commands of Jesus aren't suggestions.  They are responsibilities. Part of the job description for Believers. 

Look at your life and be honest with you.
There's no time for games when lives are on the line. 

Are you making what's God's priority your priority?  

You may indeed face opposition. So did the Apostles. You may find that God wants you to move. May find that He doesn't but wants you to spend your time and money differently.  He may tell you to drive some distance to really worship Him for you haven't done it in so long. 

You who are in Christ will face tribulations, trials if you will, in this life. The intent is gold under fire. We are being refined until the gold shines forth.  There's going to be times when Jesus allows the fire to be turned up in order to remove impurities. 

Pray without ceasing isn't a suggestion. 
We have things to do in Christ Jesus. Faith without works is dead the Bible says. 

Works don't save you or I, but they are proofs of being saved.  A lamp works at burning in order to prove evidence of a flame. 

We have work to be done before Jesus returns to take His Church from this world.   The Great Tribulation is about Israel and Daniel's 70th week, it's not about the Church.  The Spirit steps out of the way and the wrath of God is sent forth onto the Earth and mankind as outlined in the book of Revelation and other places in the Scriptures.   Until the Rapture we who are in Christ shouldn't be sitting on the sidelines. So don't just sit there my friend...DO SOMETHING for Jesus!

Friday, March 25, 2022

Why DO You Not Do What God Called You to Do?

Why DO You Not Do What God Called You to Do?

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. 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.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12 NASB 

There's no such thing as inactive cells in a live body.  As in cells that are a part of that body yet do nothing to support, uphold, or participate in living. 

Reading in Joshua 21 today therein we see this proclamation "Not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; everything came to pass."  

We read also: "So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, for him it is sin." in James 4:17 NASB. 

What is it God's directed you to do, through the Spirit, that you are not doing because of your excuses?  

Many don't because of fear. Some because of not liking change.  It's not like they used to enjoy. Many have just gotten comfortable disobeying!  God didn't apparently mind them not going to Church or mind them in their taking the time due Him and giving it to other people or things or events so why bother?

Why bother?  We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  We who are in Christ have something to contribute, something to be doing.  Just as active, living, cells do in the body of anything with the breath of life in it.  

Many become disenchanted with the Church.  So many changes, it closed, this or that excuse.  

Read this well:  There are NO REASONS to not participate in the body of Christ, ONLY EXCUSES. 

Read in the Gospels this:

"But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is ready now.’ And yet they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I purchased a field and I need to go out to look at it; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I took a woman as my wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here those who are poor, those with disabilities, those who are blind, and those who are limping.’ And later the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and the hedges and press upon them to come in, so that my house will be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my dinner.’” Luke 14:16-24 NASB 

At one point there were many dozens more Disciples than just the 12. Many fell away because of the excuse of things Jesus saying being difficult to understand. 

We need to realize the sobering truth of this and take it to heart:  Romans 14:12 NASB "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God." and 1 Peter 4:5-6 NASB "but they will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as people, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God."

Living in the spirit according to the will of God.  

Will you be stammering before Jesus with a list of excuses?  None of which will excuse you or I from a real reason for not obeying the will of God for us? 

When we came to Christ we were made alive in Christ. We became part of the living not the dead.  We were to become a light in the world by way of the Spirit within us.  We were given gifts in the Spirit that we will be giving an accounting of. Will you be giving a positive accounting of what you were given?  Or will you be ashamed?

Shame awaits those with nothing but excuses as to why they didn't obey in doing what the Spirit guided them to be doing. Shame awaits those who came to Christ yet lived self-centered selfish lives.
Shame awaits those who intentionally remained in sin rather than repenting of it and leading a life that honors God. 

What will you be experiencing when you face Jesus face-to-face? 

Moses put before the sons of Israel life and death. Blessing and curses depending on their obedience to the Word of God. 

It's not too late. Turn back to Jesus now while you have the chance.  

So things aren't what they were. So this isn't the same or that isn't the same.  If you are serious about living for Jesus, ask Him where you should be and should be growing in Christ.  It may mean driving a distance to obey. It may mean moving, a job change.  It may mean going nowhere but being open to being that avenue to starting a Bible Study or maybe even a Church where you are.   We are not here for health, wealth or prosperity. We are here to be workers in the harvest of God the Father. We aren't here to get the most out of life for ourselves.

Reflect on these things today.  Be sensitive to the Spirit of God talking to you. Be the same as what Isaiah said "Here am I!".

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Lord! Help My Unbelief!

Lord! Help My Unbelief!

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

None of the “heroes of the faith” described in Hebrews 11 was perfect. They all had lapses in their faith. Take Abraham. When a famine struck Canaan, he rushed to Egypt, where he became so fearful he lied about his wife (Genesis 12:10–20). How did Abraham recover? In Genesis 13:1–4, he returned to his altar at Bethel, “and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.” When we realize our faith is faltering, we need to go back to our place of commitment, and call on the name of our Lord. The Christian statesman George Müller was a spiritual giant, but this is what he once said about his faith: My faith is the same faith which is found in every believer. It has been increased little by little for the last 26 years. Many times when I could have gone insane from worry, I was at peace because my soul believed the truth of God’s promises. God’s Word, together with the whole character of God . . . settles all questions. His unchangeable love and His infinite wisdom calmed me. I knew, “God is able and willing to deliver me.” It is written, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

I, more often than not, can find myself running face first into a wall of doubt.  It's not that hard.  Many who think they know me interpret this as my being troubled.  

I interpret many decisions based on a Scripture.  Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Anything else is not of God.  Jesus says you are either obeying or not. There's no middle ground. 

There's no room for "mostly" obeying.  If you aren't in obedience you are in disobedience. 

It can cause you to be stretched.  You can see in the Gospels where how they viewed life was changed for the Disciples.  It was the point of becoming a Disciple, to alter their path in life to live like the Teacher they committed to following. 

These days it can be difficult to be one thing or another in your choices.  In this woke thing people aren't satisfied with your words. They demand a demonstration of your words.  In this I see how life will inevitably become during the Tribulation.  You who are here for it will not be allowed to live as you think, but live as you are told and will have to demonstrate your devotion to the world leader. 

Choices and decisions can be difficult when your thinking is "binary" as someone described of my thinking.  Binary is mostly attributed to the way a computer works. With only 1's and 0's for everything.  We live life with the poison of sin. Sin wants people to stay away from the purity of a solid Yes or No. 

Sin wants people to doubt just enough to keep people from obeying as the Bible teaches. Just enough to prevent a semblance of peace in a soul.  Look at the time Jesus was in the wilderness to be tempted.  The Spirit sent Him there. Jesus was tempted in every way yet was found to be without sin. Jesus’s responses to Satan were a solid response. No in-between answers. 

We often think of ways to manipulate our words in prayer to get what we want from God. How close can we get to something that He undoubtedly has said no to in order to get a yes out of Him.  

Think about your relationship with Christ.  Think about your obedience. Think about your choices and decisions...are they God honoring or are they self-serving?  Are they based on you or on the holiness that is in Christ Jesus?  Look at the questions.  It's that binary thinking that I get labeled as being troubled for. You cannot serve two masters.  Sound familiar?

You must decide who you are living for.  I have indeed prayed that simple prayer of "Lord! Help My Unbelief!".  It's not wrong to pray it or even to admit your need for praying it. I want to be stronger in my walk with Jesus.  I want to be found by Him doing what He put me here to be doing.  I want to be commended by Him, not to be standing in shame because I have been revealed as having lived for myself.  

Are you thinking yet about who you are serving? Are you thinking yet about the things of God that make for a Godly life?  Are you seeking to grow in Christ or are you trying to seek only what maked you happy?  

I am often misunderstood by people but I am never misunderstood by my Savior. I look at things differently than most people that I have encountered.  As the hymn says "Living for Jesus a life that is true. Striving to please Him in all that I do."  People living for themselves won't understand the things of God.  Scripture says that everyone does what is right in their own eyes. Scripture days that the light of Christ illuminates the darkness of this world. It reveals sin and sinful lives. People will either reject or accept their need for salvation. Again a binary situation. There in the book of Revelation Jesus separates the saved from the unsaved. The sheep from the goats. The people who have been sealed in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit from those who are not.  More evidence of no shifting shadows in Christ Jesus. 

Help my Unbelief...oh Lord help me to walk through this life in obedience to your Word. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

The Disoriented and Becoming Oriented

The Disoriented and Becoming Oriented 

He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch!” Mark 14:33t-34 

Who can know the depth and intensity of the heart of God? No one could measure His sorrow over an unrepentant sinner or His joy over a spiritual rebel who relinquishes everything to Him. We can begin to understand what is on the heart of God only when He shares His heart with us (Amos 3:7). Are you aware of the fervent emotions in the soul of your Lord, as He carries the weight of the world? The disciples were unaware of the deep anguish in the heart of Jesus. Yet, He willingly shared His heart with them. The disciples often seemed disoriented to what Jesus was feeling. When He took delight in young children, His disciples attempted to chase them away (Luke 18:15—16). When Jesus had compassion for a woman living in sin, they acted confused (John 4:27). While Jesus wept at the hopelessness of those facing death, His closest friends grieved as if Jesus had no power to raise the dead (John 11:1—44). You can choose to be alert to the heart of God. As you seek to understand what God is feeling, He may share with you the intensity of His heart. When you are around other people, God may sensitize you to the love He feels for them. When you see others suffering, you may feel the compassion Jesus feels. When sinners return to God in repentance, you may share the Father's joy. You will react to evil the way Jesus reacts. If you will remain alert in prayer, Jesus will share His heart with you.  - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

The Disciples were disoriented to the things of God until they learned from Jesus. 

There's been many times that I have felt disoriented to what God's plan for me has been.  Things weren't adding up, just not making any sense.  But this has always been on me.  God's revealed plans, after the fact, always make sense. 

All this seems to tie into when life gets rough.  It gets rough for one of actually only a few reasons. Either we aren't going where we should be in God's plans or we are going where we should be in God's plans. 

James 1:12 NASB "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."

I often am self incriminating when something new piles onto what isn't going well.  I look to see if I didn't do something that I should have done.

I by no means am perfect nor have I arrived at any great understanding in life but can say this:  The more I keep my determination on what God has in mind for me the better life is.  The more selfish and self-centered that I am the more painful life is.  Some of that comes from the result of this passage: Colossians 3:2-5 NASB "Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Therefore, treat the parts of your earthly body as dead to sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry."

When you go through your day, how often are you considering things above? 

How often are you considering the Spiritual impact of your choices and decisions?  

If indeed we believe the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, do you not believe this? 

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 NASB 

If you aren't focused on the things of God, what are you focusing on?

The Disciples were disoriented due to needing to be taught a new way of thinking. They didn't have the Holy Spirit yet. They were the first to be His workmanship. 

We read this:  Who knows the mind of God but the Spirit of God?  If you have come to Christ for salvation then indeed you have the Spirit of God, the Helper who was promised. 

Do you spend daily time with Jesus? Do you spend time reading your Bible? Do you at all set your mind on things above?  If you aren't then you will indeed be beaten down by the things of this world. You won't be oriented to the things of God. You will indeed be always wondering why life is so hard.  Why things make no sense at all.  God gave us the Spirit to walk with us and be in us. It is because of the Spirit we have the full armor of God as the rest of the passage after Colossians 3:12 speaks to.

It's a learning process. 

Don't expect to just wake up n think you can run out in the world and be the next Billy Graham.  The Disciples marveled greatly at what abilities they had been granted and their results.  Marveling isn't necessarily the same as understanding.  I  marvel greatly at the abilities that God's given me yet I am exceedingly reluctant to ever say that it's by my strength or wisdom I do what I am doing.  Jesus makes the way, I try to follow in it in obedience.  He connects the dots for me when His Spirit gives the understanding. Then my disorientation starts becoming orientation to the things of God. 

We always will be disoriented to the world as long as we are oriented to the things of God.  It only makes sense. We come to Christ we are no longer of this world. Does not Scripture say this: What does the light have to do with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6.

We have the light of Jesus to reveal the mind of God to a lost world. To show them how they too can be saved. Not to show them how to find health, wealth and prosperity.  Indeed He may bless them in all of those things, but the greatest priority is to be saved. To know that the persons eternal address has changed. Then to Disciple them into a life that orients them to the life God intended for them. 

Scripture also says that God isn't a God of confusion. If we don't know, then we ought to keep on praying and obeying what we've been given to do until we do get past the confusion. 

Look at how oriented and disoriented you are in your walk with Jesus. Are you setting your mind on things above? Are you in prayer daily, not merely repeating the same thing without really meaning it? Are you reading your Bible at all daily? Without those two, how do you expect to be oriented to the things of God?

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

I Won't Get Burned! Yeah Keep Believing That

I Won't Get Burned! Yeah Keep Believing That 

Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan. 

Omniscient Lord, You called Lot, righteous Lot . . . that righteous man. May I not be deceived, Lord God, for You are not mocked; for whatever I sow, that I will also reap. I remember what Lot’s wife reaped. I will not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? Therefore I come out from among them and am separate, as You say, Lord. I do not touch what is unclean. I will not be a partaker with them. For I was once darkness, but now I am light in the Lord. Enable me to walk as a child of light, finding out what is acceptable to You, my Lord. And I will have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 

Lord, I was once darkness, but now I am light in You. In Your power, may I keep walking in the light. 

GENESIS 13:10–11; 2 PETER 2:7–8; GALATIANS 6:7; LUKE 17:32; 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14, 17; EPHESIANS 5:7–8, 10–11

Dr. David Jeremiah Turning Points with God 
The greatest of intentions can leave you scorched. 

The refusing to believe what dangers the Spirit warns us of will do the same. It will leave you burned and insensitive to further dangers in life. 

You can’t play with fire intimately and not be the worse for it.

All this to say there are no "safe" sins.

There are no sins that you can accept doing that won't have a negative impact on you and your life. 

The world indeed will convince you otherwise by couching that sin or that temptation in a way that you will accept it. 

You will be ensnared just as the Bible says will happen to all who don't listen to the warnings it contains. 

A great part of my downfall prior to the spring of 1999 was one deception after another that I swallowed hook, line and sinker.  I thought that I would be able to run in, very much where Angels would fear to tread, and try to rescue people.  

Understand this clearly: There's but 1 Savior, He’s Jesus Christ. It isn't ever going to be you and your good intentions. 

Idolatry is perhaps one of the greatest deceptions. Adultery is up there with it.

Idolatry has millions of forms these days. It begins as small things that consume, just like a match that is struck and laid at the edge of a forest.  Once it's started its oh so hard to put out.  We can get in so deep that we either accept it and keep on going or we cry out, wisely, to God to pull us out!

Would you ever recognize Idolatry?

Really recognize it?  I am convinced that billions of people in today's world would not know it if it were someone who would come up and introduce itself.  That would include practically everyone in the professing Church.

Adultery is, again, up there. Morality has been so far removed in being taught that the attributes of it aren't recognized and if they are, those who do are mocked. Those people are ridiculed for such old fashioned beliefs.  

Idolatry is something that if you are serious about walking with Jesus, you WILL confront in you.  

In its simplest terms Idolatry is setting up anything or anyone in the place of Jesus in your heart. That person or thing is what gets your love, passion, devotion, attention, respect, and time. We are taught at a young age how to set up idols yet, as craftily as Satan's plan is, it's never called that. We are taught to love things and not people. We are taught to love this or that thing. We just got to have this or that for our collection for no other reason than to showcase our love of it.

We show who we serve easily by what takes up our time, energy and effort. 

We get burned a little and don't realize small scars form. They build up. 

Good example is how we train ourselves to handle hot things.   In a prior job I used to use a curing oven for epoxy.  It was at a constant 150 degrees Fahrenheit. When I first began using it I wore gloves to remove items that had been in it for an hour or so.  After a while I got to testing my ability to remove items without the gloves. To this day I can do it easily without gloves.  Problem is...this means the nerves in my fingers have been taught to disregard the pain that used to come from such things. 

We teach ourselves with each acceptable sin to accept other sins. We teach ourselves to allow sins because of our insensitivity to prior sins. We blindly follow along with a world that's falling off a cliff into the heart of Hell.  We ourselves are saved in Christ Jesus, if in fact we are indeed saved.  We won't enter into Hell but our lives won't be what they could have been. 

We are warned in the Bible of situations and temptations to stay away from.  Yet our prideful heart says that we can handle it. 

We allow ourselves to think things without taking the thoughts captive by asking Jesus concerning what we see, feel and might be experiencing. We get ahead of ourselves. I have way too many examples in my life to share of me getting ahead of myself. 

In recent posts I have mentioned my need and desire to be serving my God. This is a local serving.  I want my life to be seen as one that Jesus would be happy with. No believer is exempt from active service to our God and King. Nobody who claims the name of Jesus should be doing nothing for the Kingdom of God. 

All should make what's important to the Father important to us.  

The Father spoke from Heaven to all who were there that day and said "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!"

I do indeed have several ministries that I am involved with at home. This blog and my computer repair ministry. I became a member of my local church to do more than sit and warm a seat each Sunday. We are called to do more than that. Romans 12 tells us to do more than that. 

We need to examine ourselves to see if we are indeed putting the things of God in their right perspective. We need to examine our wants and desires to see if they reflect a servant attitude. Jesus said He didn't come to be serve but to serve. 

We went through some extremely difficult choices in what to keep and what to give up when we moved.  That is what I meant by having a clean slate in regards to some things.  I wanted to get my priorities right this time.  I wanted what I would get involved with to be God honoring. That it wouldn't be wasted time, energy or effort.
I might indeed have been paired up with someone who could use what I think I am being lead to let go of. 

God's been providing things that I can use as the right tools to write about Biblical things and study my Bible.  A great advantage to using old computers is they truly are isolated from worldly interactions. No updates, no telemetry recording of where you are online.  

Lastly it helps me greatly to heal from my scars of being burned by bad choices and decisions to be serving. To be found doing what God designed me to be doing when He returns.  Who WANTS to be asked why they didn't do what He gave them to be doing?

Be oh so careful of what you introduce into your life as acceptable to be doing or thinking. Temptations are more than a group from the 60's. They are dangers that are designed to slowly, methodically, turn your heart away from what the Spirit is directing you to be doing for the Kingdom of God. They are designed by Satan to twist your thoughts into believing they are ok and normal. That your justification of those things are what's good and acceptable.  That you don't need to check with God before running ahead.  

Be mindful of every single time that Israel didn't consult the Lord...they suffered greatly for it!  Even a simple thing can change the course of life. A single pebble, properly placed, can change the course of a river. 

You can’t be sensitive to the things of God if you keep getting desensitized to sin. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

What is Your Why?

What is Your Why?

It really took a lot of small things that added up to make me look at why I am doing this or that. 

Why do I get up so early? I could easily sleep longer and read my Bible later. I could read at lunch could read when I had time in the evening. There's too many 'could's' used there.  This time with Jesus is and should be intentional. 

Was interesting in yesterday's sermon that in the book of Mark it's mentioned of Jesus getting up early to go be by Himself with His Father.  I am in good company. 

Why read so much? Why consider the things read?  Why not?  

We can choose what goes into our mouth, we also choose what goes into our mind and heart.  It's either good things in with good things coming out or garbage in garbage out. 

We indeed, as both our Saturday night Bible study saw and again on Sunday Morning saw, choose.  We choose to follow in obedience or we don't. 

My hardest part right now isn't the Bible reading, isn't the devotional reading. It's not the being open and honest with God part.  In Christ we are indeed soldiers of the cross.  Soldiers sometimes get wounded in battle. My hardest part is staying in bed while the battle goes on because of old wounds that aren't healed yet.  I am learning how to do life all over again. 

Life in Columbus was life in a dry and weary land.  Quite honestly that's our take on it. That's how it was received at least by us.  Relationships were extremely hard to establish.  You learned to be on your guard most all the time.  We went from church to church down there.  It was brutal. 

When we came up here it was in mixed anxiety and anxiousness. We were thinking we were beyond ready to leave the area.  We had to pack and load everything entirely on our own.  What few friends we did have at the time couldn't help much because of very valid reasons. 
It was one heavy decision after another in what to keep and what to get rid of.  Emotions were attached to many things. We easily donated over half our possessions to thrift stores or bulk pickup.  We still had a lot to move.  We, thanks to our realtor here, obtained a storage unit.  On one trip we had added anxiety concerning the rented trailer. We found ourselves just crying out to God.  

It's in thing's like this that you cling to what matters. You learn to hold onto what is your rock to you.  For some their rock is their strength or intelligence. Their history of things they've done.  I cried out to my Rock, who is Jesus. When the storms of life come, you find who yours is.

I am still searching, still asking, what it is that God's wanting me to be doing here in our new hometown.  I don't want to be found not doing it when He returns. I don't want to waste time doing things that are meant for someone else in the faith should be doing.  That way leads to discouragement and burnout. Romans 12 reiterates the need to be doing what we were gifted to be doing. Which is in and of itself another why.  

We who are in Christ were gifted by the Spirit with something special. Something that the Spirit has enabled us to be doing. This is in addition to the work of the Spirit in growing us in Christ Jesus. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that He has prepared beforehand that we would walk in them. 
We have a job to do after coming to Christ. As it says in Romans 12...we are part of the body...each part has its own purpose. 
That too is a why.

We can and do make up excuses to put off reading our Bible, put off fervent and honest prayer time. Put off serving. Put off obeying when it's been made clear from God what it is we are to be doing. Excuses abound.  We waste money on ourselves and wonder why we aren't happy. We waste it on buying things to collect that mean nothing in light of eternity. We waste time in fictional worlds. Waste time in life convinced we are ok when we aren't because the Word and work of God is neglected. We may even try to be self-inflicted martyrs. We want people to see our misery and don't want to be lifted out of the muck we are in. It's just too comfortable. The wasted hours in front of a television or movie screen. Wasted hours doing things that do nothing to draw us closer to our Savior.  Satan's invested countless hours in developing the excuses we use every day. 

Look at your day today. Your challenge is to look back on this day. Do it again every day this week. Including Saturday and Sunday. Look at why you are doing what you did each day.  Did you make the best use of your time, your energy in your walk with Jesus?   Are you spending any significant time with Jesus? Are you making yourself busy so that you don't? Some people will do that in order to not feel guilty over not obeying.  

You need to find your why. If your why isn't pointing you or someone else to the feet of Jesus then maybe your why isn't as it should be.  I want to be on my feet spiritually. I want to be found doing what it is God's designed me to be doing.  I want those who's paths in life that have crossed mine to find salvation in Christ Jesus. My current and former coworkers are always on my mind.  God brought our paths together for a season for a reason. People are who gets into Heaven. Not our possessions.  Satan wants nobody to get into Heaven.  

We will either embrace distractions that take us away from the work of God in our lives or we will shun them.  We won't do both. 

Look at how you spend your time, your energy and money.  Look at your possessions. Look at why you do what you do.  You are either living the life God has in mind for you or you are living your life for you.  There's only obedient or disobedient Children of God who have been saved in Christ Jesus.  Those who haven't come to Christ for salvation are all disobedient. As the Bible says every man does what is right in their own mind.  

I hope my soul is healed soon.  I hope that my spirit gets back on its feet again soon.  I am a doer and to not be doing what God designed for me to be doing is hard for me.  My prayers, I honestly hope stay the way they are.  To be boldly honest and open between myself and my God.  To be as truthful as I know how to be between myself and my Savior.  What about you? Where is your prayer life? What are you doing for Christ? Why do you spend your time, energy and money doing, thinking, and being how you are?  The saying goes that there are none so blind as those who do not, who refuse, to see.  Your excuses will blind you to why you do what you do. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Hearing by the Word of God

Hearing by the Word of God

This link indeed is legitimate. I have the NASB on MP3 done by Don McConachie.  What reading does, this does many times over.  Sitting with eyes closed to listen through the Bible is beyond different than any fantasy book written by man. 

Only a few days after Mr. McConachie finished the final touches on the New Living translation on MP3, God took him home.  

As interesting as this may sound, and as self promoting as it may come across, you do indeed get sucked into what you are listening to, but in every good way!

I challenged myself years ago, while able to listen to things at work, to listen through the Bible. I found that I was able to listen through it in less than 2 weeks at mostly 8 hours per day.  

What was unexpected was the mental visuals that accompanied listening to the NASB on audio. 

Several websites and other sources, such as CD and cassette are available if you look for them. Apps like Bible Gateway you can listen. 

In our world we seek to escape into very unworthwhile things, games, sports, movies, television and videos.  Some use adapters that literally put your phone on your head to immerse you in the experience. 

There's no comparison to the Living Word of God coming alive in your mind as scenes unfold. I can and will certainly testify that it was like you were there.

Romans 10:17 NASB "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."

I come with a disconnect in being able to memorize Scripture. I am constantly struggling with that.  I may indeed know the words but don't recall where they are found.  I use Google often to get the locations. 

It is a very transformative experience if you have never done so.  I have no doubt that after the Rapture of the Church all digital Bibles will be removed. To have a paper copy will be considered illegal and probably get someone a death sentence. Severe? Not when the Bible says that those who remain will be forced to worship the AntiChrist, the new World Leader. Those who don't, will not be able to buy or sell.  We read this in the book of Revelation. We read that those who oppose will be beheaded. We see an all out attempt by the forces of Satan to exterminate Christians and Jews.  Genocide is what it would be called today, yet when he does it the world will accept his judgment concerning it.  Those who do not receive salvation through Jesus Christ stand condemned.  For those in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation. The Bible says so. 

In Christ Jesus is found salvation only. If you haven't come to Him yet, you still have some time. After He returns to take home the living who are in Christ and those who have died in Christ, salvation in Christ will be incredibly difficult. It will happen but at great cost. 

Listen to God's word today...listen for yourself to what He has to say to you. 

This post is more of an invitation than a lesson I guess. It's not to say that another post isn't coming. God's done that before too.  

Hearing by the Word of God.  Until I tried it, I never knew what I learned from it.

I will probably be listening through it again soon.  I bought the MP3 versus just using it online due to what is coming. That banning of all forms of the Bible after the Rapture.  

In many ways some of what I own is geared towards helping someone who will find it after God takes me home to find Him. Listen through the Bible. Indeed it will speak to you. It will indeed leave a footprint on your heart and soul. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

What We Do...

What We Do...

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 

When you relate to God you always deal with abundance, for God does nothing in half measures! This is true regarding His grace. The Lord is not miserly when it comes to providing grace to His servants. When you seek to perform a good work that God has asked you to do, you will always find an ample supply of God's grace to sustain you. If you begin to lose heart in the work you are doing, God's grace upholds you and gives you the love for God and His people you require in order to continue. When you face criticism and are misunderstood, God's grace enables you to forgive your accusers and to sense God's pleasure even when others do not understand what you are doing. When you make mistakes in the work God has appointed you to do, God's grace forgives you, sets you back on your feet, and gives you strength to continue the work. When you complete the task God gave you and no one expresses thanks for what you have done, the Father's grace surrounds you, and He reminds you that you have a heavenly reward where everything you have done in the Lord's service will be remembered. God does not promise to provide all you need for your dreams and projects. He does assure you that, for every good work you attempt, you will never face a shortfall of His grace in order to successfully complete the task God has given you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Transitions often mess with me.  It's been a subject that until this very morning hadn't had enough light to be seen in context.   I likely suffer from OCD and being an introvert at the same time.  Ducks just have to line up, be in a row and be the same ducks in each row. 

I had been thinking about my adjustments to this new life in my new hometown. It has been hard. I am the opposite of what my Wife's experience is right now. 

I looked back this morning and can see some examples of the proof of the OCD and Introvert thing.  Regardless of how bad it was in Columbus, it was actually consistent. It regular and there was a routine to it.  Even when changes happened it wasn't extreme.  Then last year happened.  I have been going through nothing but changes that are far from consistent and up till now there's little signs of it stopping.  Not the best of things for someone like me.  God's seeing me through it and by all means we can see we're blessed by what He's doing.  I am just beside myself in dealing with it.  In some ways my nerves are still on edge. I struggle with all the changes and will until they hopefully settle down.  

I am hopeful that I will find where it is God's wanting me to be serving and doing for Him.  To me, that's more important than the stuff around the house or at work. Those things can and have shown themselves to be, easily replaced.  What I do for the Kingdom of God is what lasts, it's what endures.

I never was one to be comfortable around a lot of people.  It's taken years to get to where I am now.  God's still working on me.  I have a third, not so insignificant issue, that's not necessarily a problem. I am driven to improve things.  

I am an Introvert with OCD and a strong desire to not just fix things but to improve them. 

So that makes it interesting in finding out Spiritual gifts and where to serve.  

I look back on my time in my serving in Elyria.  I was constantly working on making things better at what I was doing in the Church there. I was in the Audio-Visual Ministry for over 20 years.  I kept working at making it better because that would help keep distractions away from the service.

Something simple here in this place we now live. I get a used trailer. Can't just use it. It's been getting fixes n upgrades.

God sort of does the same with you and I. 

He loves us too much to leave us the way He found us.  His desire isn't hidden in His Word. His desire is right out there for any and all to understand. He desires that we all come to the knowledge of needing to be saved in Christ Jesus. After we do, His desire is that we live obedient lives in Christ Jesus. Then comes the best part...we are transformed into the image of Christ Jesus by the work of the Spirit. 

Change is inevitable to all who are in Christ Jesus.  For me it literally is an act of God to deal with the changes He brings.  
I freely admit that changes scare me. Big changes scare the life out of me. Lots of changes...well...expect me to struggle a lot in dealing with it.  

On many occasions in even this last year God's gotten behind me and shoved me forward in life. I have been forced into changes and it's been close sometimes to shutting me down.  I accept them eventually but many certainly don't make me happy.  But the prayer is the same. His Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

What we do in life is indeed important. Why we do things in life is important. 

Read Romans 13...that part about giving an account before God of our lives. 

I, like you, can be easily redirected by temptation in this world to go and do what only makes us happy.  There's going to be times when what God wants us to do isn't going to make us happy.  I highly doubt that the idea of being restrained in a prison up off the floor for Peter and Silas was physically enjoyable. They indeed were delivered and indeed they focused on what we read about.  

I indeed have been blessed in regards to several desires being fulfilled in my hobbies.  I also know that I have a mission to fulfill in Christ Jesus.  I like what's been provided but know that I must keep the right perspective.  What God has provided God CAN take away. 

We can indeed put things, and yes even family, ahead of the life that God has intended for us to live. We can put hobbies and sports fandom ahead of our walk with Jesus. Putting them on a higher priority than our relationship with Jesus. A very good test for me was realizing just what I knew more about. The things that I enjoyed in life or my relationship with Jesus.  I was ashamed that I knew more about worthless things than what I knew about my Savior.  It's what drove me to praying more, to reading my Bible consistently, to being more of the man of God that God desires of me. 

What we has far greater repercussions than we realize.  It either drives us towards Christ or away.  It either exalts us or Jesus. It either displays a love of God or a love of the world.  This is what began with Adam and Eve.  

Look at the things that you do. 
Look at the things that make you 'tick'.
Look at what YOU think are important. Are they things that Jesus says are important?

What we do...will be revealed.