Saturday, April 30, 2022

Jesus, Thankfully, Is Relentless

Jesus, Thankfully, Is Relentless 

Nothing I want that Your love doesn't offer
Nothing I've done that Your grace won't cover
It's not over
'Til You say so
You are faithful
God You're faithful
… The cross is all the confidence I need
Your love won't give up on me
You never make a promise You don't keep
Your love won't give up on me
… Calling me back to the place where I started
Lost my way but I'm not forgotten
It's not over
'Til you say so
You are faithful
God you're faithful
… The cross is all the confidence I need
Your love won't give up on me
You never make a promise You don't keep
Your love won't give up on me
Your love won't give up on me
Oh Your amazing love for me, yes
… No matter how far I run
I run into Your love
And when I'm falling apart
You won't let me go
… No matter how far I run
I run into Your love
And when I'm falling apart
You won't let me go
… No matter how far I run
I run into Your love
And when I'm falling apart
You won't let me go
… No matter how far I run
I run into Your love
And when I'm falling apart
You won't let me go
… The cross is all the confidence I need
Your love won't give up on me
You never will
You never make a promise You don't keep
Your love won't give up on me, yeah
… The cross is all the confidence I need
Your love won't give up on me
You never make a promise You don't keep
Your love won't give up on me (never will)
… Your love won't give up on me
Never will, never will, oh

Elevation Worship - Love Won't Give Up

I will never cease to be amazed and happy that Jesus has never given up on me. What we don't read of the joy and relief of the Prodigal Son at the words of his Father.  What comes to mind is 1 Peter 1:8-9 NASB "and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.".

I have had many deeply regretful moments in my life. Moments where it seemed full well to my finite mind that evil had won, that giving up was my only option.  In some respects I can understand the Prodigal Son's experience in seeing life's dreams fade away so quickly. That what he thought he wanted out of life vanish like a vapor. 

I saw evil in various forms entangle me. Saw it have me do things that I never thought about before.  I was drowning.  Yet in comes my Savior to pull me out.  
He indeed is relentless in keeping His Word.   He indeed has turned my life around.  

In all this description you might think that it's my life prior to coming to Christ for salvation.  Actually it's after.  I came to Jesus in the early 70's.  My ups and downs began not much after doing so.  My life is really peppered with Prodigal Son moments.  Some worse than others. Some far worse than others.  Satan gets his kicks out of throwing some of them back in my face.  But Jesus is relentless in keeping His Word.  He never makes a promise He doesn't keep. He makes a decision it stands. 

Jesus indeed has run to me often to take me back. To rescue me.  He's the author and perfector of my faith.  He's done wonders with what He's had to work with in me.  

Jesus wants to do something spectacular with you too. He has no qualms about providing proof of His love for you. 

Jesus has greater plans for a greater life than we can possibly imagine.  I look at my life today and know without a doubt that I am blessed.  In this physical life we can and do get second chances to get things right. Once we die its impossible. Our chance at salvation is only possible while we breathe a breath of life. Our chance at returning to the one who saved us is only while we live. Our chance at receiving His free gift of salvation is only possible in this life if you haven't yet.

No matter how far we run we can always run into His arms.  No matter. It doesn't matter how difficult the road that life has been. He's waiting with open arms. It matters not what we have done He still is ready to save.  

We listen too much, all too often, to the wrong line of thinking that over complicates either coming to Christ for salvation or returning to Him after we realize we've been gone too long. We hear too much from the wrong people who tell us their opinions about God and their opinions about His Word rather than going straight to His Word, straight to Him. 

If you look you will indeed see that Jesus is always ready to be with you, always ready to come to your rescue. He wants a real relationship with you.  A real life is only possible after coming to Christ for salvation.  You cannot imagine what is in store for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

You Might Say You Don't Need God...However...

 You Might Say You Don't Need God...However...

By David Brenneman 

At some point either earlier in life or maybe even right now you're thinking that you don't need God. 

The truth of the matter is only the living have issues with the existence of God.

In the story of the Rich man and Lazarus there's no mention in the life of the Rich man that he ever had given God a second thought.  In fact upon his arrival he was only concerned at all that none of his family would join him. He knew without a doubt that his life,as he knew it, was a waste and that God's punishment for sin was very real. 

He had no recourse. 

He had no way to end his torment. 

He had no way to warn his family, save this story being told by Jesus. This rich man lived in a time before Jesus began living on Earth as a man. The telltale is what Abraham tells him.  He said that his family had Moses and the prophets. He didn't say that Jesus was there to listen to. 

Your unbelief isn't going to work in your favor.  It's not going to end well for any who reject the plan of salvation that is freely given through faith in Jesus Christ. 

You are not thinking that you need Jesus. Most everyone in Hell thought the same. 

You might be thinking that you've got time. That you'll have your come to Jesus meeting before you die.  Really? You have no guarantee that you will live through the next hour let alone the next day,  month or year. Millions of people died today whi thought they had a tomorrow. 

The interesting fact is that there are NONE who don't believe in Hell. Everyone knows why they are there and knows there's nothing they can do about it.  For just as the Bible has said, they are paying for their own sins.  For all eternity. In torment and pain.  No way out, no second chances.  Jesus, in telling that story, definitively stated that no second chances will be offered or given. 

Jesus doesn't want anyone to end up in Hell. He paid the price for all the sin of mankind, but, you must accept Him as your Savior. You have to do more than just believe that He exists.  Demons believe that He exists.  Romans 10:8-9 NASB "But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; ".

Jesus has such a life prepared for you if only you would come to Him to be saved!

If indeed the dead could speak that died without Christ, all, absolutely all the countless trillions would tell you not to come to where they are. 

Sitting on the fence between coming to Christ for salvation and not, you need to realize that Satan owns the fence. 

He would rather you end up in Hell than ever see the light of Heaven. 

Think on this my Dear Reader. Think on it seriously. Your future depends on it. Your choice is before you. There's consequences attached to it.  A life in Christ now ensures a future in Heaven with Jesus. A life without Jesus in it guarantees a future in Hell paying for your sins. 

My prayer is that all who read this might come to Christ that haven't yet.  My hope is that at least one person might avoid the future in Hell.  My hope is that it happens before Jesus returns. Once He does, it will be incredibly more difficult to live as a Christian in this world. Christians who become them after the Rapture of the Church will be considered enemies of the state. A death sentence will be imposed on all who do not worship the man who becomes the new World Leader. Beheadings will be the punishment for coming to Christ for salvation. 

My Dear Reader I implore you to really consider your future. Now.

We Have, but Do We Use Properly?

We Have, But Do We Use Properly?
by David Brenneman 

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 

Was interesting to read Romans 12 again this morning.  Always interesting when God points out something even though you've read it many times before. 

"However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly"

One of my personal goals in getting settled in here in our new-to-us home is organizing my tools.  Knowing what I have and where they are.  The end result has been donating some because of now seeing that I had duplicates, others because of no need for them here. 

But something else came to mind after rereading that one part of Romans 12.  A reminder of a story about a relative who used to build buildings.  He once had fired a guy for hammering in screws.  An obvious case of not using what he had as was intended. 

I have seen the end results myself of tools not used as intended.  Handles banged up, or bent. 

We who have come to Christ for salvation were given tools, and opportunities, to be used in our Earthly bodies until such a time as either we are called home to Heaven or the Rapture of the Church.

Further, read this: "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God." Romans 14:12 NASB.

If you have ever borrowed tools or have gone and had to rent tools, you know the importance of returning them in as good as found condition.  Abuse of or damage to those items often came at a cost.

In Christ Jesus it clearly says that we have been given.  Doesn't say might have been given.  Doesn't say maybe given.  Have been given.  When we read this in conjunction with the parable of the talents, and the passage in Romans 14, we know that we WILL speak to what we did with those gifts to Jesus Christ Himself. 

So, what have you done with what you have been given?  Are you using what you were given in the right manner?  Are you using the tools God gave you through the Spirit for what He intended you to use it for?  Or have you been using His tools for inappropriate or inaccurate uses?

Time is a tool we have been given.  As our Pastor had pointed out in a recent sermon, after the average time we all have after sleep, work, etc, there's approximately 42 hours left in your week.  What do you do with it?  Is it used on you or used in a God honoring way?

Energy works with Time. As does Effort.  Being properly energized and engaged is the proper working of what we have been given in Christ Jesus. 

An outcome that is God honoring is born of the properly using of time, energy and effort for God's intended purpose in our lives. 

Some Earthly tools require special types of energy to function.  Every cordless device on the market seems to prove this out in that their battery package is atypically unique to its own manufacturer.  Lawn implements use either straight gasoline or they use a gas-oil mix. 

We have gifts to use...but are we using them?  Another is not to imply certain gifts are ours to use that aren't ours in the first place. 

There are certain denominations that teach things that aren't true about Spiritual gifts.  It's not for me to single them out in this post.  It's for me to point you to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 tells us that some are not meant nor were meant to continue. 

One such is speaking in tongues.  This isn't what many purport it to be. This was and only is speaking in literally other languages of this Earth.  There's absolutely no basis in believing that anyone is going to speak a language that isn't of this world.  In the early Church the Spirit enabled the Apostles to speak all known languages without being taught in order to further the Gospel.  There is nothing to be gained by knowing some language of Angels that might exist.  In no way should it be abused in teaching otherwise.  We don't get special messages in some previously unknown language to give to others.   For sure, if God has something to say to me, He’s fully capable of telling me Himself through His Spirit.  Which is one of the jobs of the Spirit. 

We must not misuse what we have been given.  Are you really going to stand before Jesus, with the gifts you were given, and tell Him you didn't use them?

In our Church, and many other churches call it the same or similar, there's always a Next Step after coming to Christ. What do you do next?  One thing is to discover what it is that God gave you as your gift. The next after that is to grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. To employ your gifts to the glory of God the Father. CERTAINLY not to leave them in a closet or in a toolbox until you're no longer part of this world.  It was a very important next step for me, after moving, to join the Church here.  Then to not stop there, but to indeed follow up with knowing my gifts and to be engaged in using them properly.  

I really don't want to be found by Jesus when He returns not using what He gave me.

So are you using what you were given?  Because you need to understand there is no excuse not to.   There's no read you can give that will be good enough for why you did not use what you were given.  Make sure what you are doing in Christ is what YOU were intended to be doing.  Make sure you aren't involved in doing things that were never for you to be doing. Make sure you are not wasting your 42 doing unfruitful works.

Using what you were given as God intended is indeed part of the Will of God for us.  The Will of God is our sanctification.  Our being made in the likeness of our Savior.  

Thursday, April 28, 2022

What We Go Through

What We Go Through 
by David Brenneman 

Sometimes we go from place to place with the desire to get to the destination. Sometimes we go from place to place without the desire to get to the destination. Sometimes it feels like we are standing still while the world moves on around us. 

Sometimes it's God taking us up out of a rut we have been in. Sometimes it's our choice to stay in a rut we shouldn't be in. 

Being His workmanship, as the Bible says that we are in 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.", is made more complicated by being an adult versus believing as a child. 

As adults we can often display the worst attributes of a child in our lives.  We can over think problems. We can be so narrow minded that we don't think beyond our own interests. We can hold onto things and situations like a child with a favorite toy, never wanting to let go. 

We can live a life that's not concerned about others or we can indeed be too concerned about others. 

We can look to live for the moment or not at all.  

We can walk with Jesus or not. 

Our perceptions do more to define our lives than we realize.  As I had been taught, perception is everything. It's not the truth that matters to people It's what they perceive the truth to be.  If someone perceives a cloudy day when others don't see it, then to them, it is.

We choose. 
Many would argue otherwise but He who searches the hearts says that we do. We choose to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus or we choose to live for ourselves.  Since the God of all truth said it, then that is what it is.

Some may now exclaim vehemently that they didn't choose the life they have.  That it's not their fault. Well, depending on where they are in respect to salvation, yes they did.  Obedience to Christ or disobedience is a choice. That key point determines how life turns out in everything.  From health to prosperity, to family and friends. To work and play.  Being right before God has everything to do with how life is. 

But what if you are living as Godly a life as you know how and life still seems difficult?  Consider what this passage says: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 NASB. 

Just because our finite minds can't grasp the why behind life, it doesn't mean we are not going to live difficult lives.  In on.  Romans 5:3-5 NASB "And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

We often go through rough lives because someone else in the faith isn't strong enough to do so.  Sometimes it's exactly as Paul wrote.  We are going through things to grow us.

I have sat and contemplated a stone artist.  One who makes statues.  It's a very delicate work they do.  It's very tedious, very time consuming.  A better consideration is that in their line of work they are skilled surgeons.  One wrong move and a piece either needs rethought or needs started over. Every cut, every tap, every motion made concerning the desired end result must be done with great care. 

Jesus, through the Spirit, is such a one with those who have come to Him for salvation.  He loved us enough to die for us, loves us enough not to leave us as He found us.  He teaches us to put off the old self and it's practices and put on the new in Christ Jesus.  We will go through much, on a person by person basis, to become who we are to be in Christ as Romans 12 speaks to in regards to where we are in the body of Christ. 

I have sometimes pondered how different my life could have been had I received what I asked for in my prayers.  I have often prayed something akin to what Jesus said to His Father about the cup of suffering passing from me rather than drinking it.  There will indeed be a time in eternity where I will probably ask Jesus to show me what would have happened if I had been given my will to be done.  It probably wouldn't be pretty. 

What we go through in this life also could be to prepare us for harder times ahead.  It's not that we did or are doing something wrong. Jesus healed a man who had been in need to healing for longer than He had been on Earth physically.  The purpose was to display the works of God in him at that time, in that moment. 

We also have a mistaken idea of how far we have come in life. That we think that we have learned enough and deserve a rest from further things in life that stretch us.  Scripture seems to say that until we arrive at Heaven's door, or the Rapture of the Church, whichever comes first...we will continue to be worked on in Christ Jesus. 

Are His workmanship has the connotation that it's ongoing.  We may not see progress.  We aren't the stone mason. We aren't the one making us more like Christ. He is.  Sometimes we go through painful times. As any Doctor can tell you, some physical surgeries are more invasive than others.  We will experience the same in becoming more like Christ.  Sometimes multiple surgeries add up to a big difference.  Same with chiseling stone. 

We may be disappointed in our lives. Rather than focusing on that, ask yourself if you think God's happy with how you are living your life.  Is your level of obedience where it should be?  Are you doing what you should as a Disciple of Jesus? Are you or have you given up on doing more?

What we go through is more than we see or could understand. The Bible says in Proverbs to Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. You need a physical condition dealt with, you have to trust the Surgeon don't you?  What you go through in life requires your trust in Christ Jesus. 
Even when it makes absolutely no sense. Especially when it makes absolutely no sense. 
Likewise when it seems to make sense, don't get ahead of ourselves. Don't run ahead of God.  Been there done that too many times, probably will do it again, never liked the outcome. 

Sometimes the best prayers have few to no words.  Sometimes the best prayers are simply "Jesus, hold me!". It's so gratifying that the Spirit can interpret our hearts problems to our all knowing God. 

The Difference 
I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day. I had so much to accomplish that I didn't have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task. "Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered. He answered, You didn't ask," 

I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak. I wondered why God didn't show me. He said, "But you didn't seek.: 

I tried to come into God's presence. I used all my keys at the lock. God gently and lovingly chided, "My child, you didn't knock." 

I woke up early this morning and paused before enter the day. I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Troubles We Create

The Troubles We Create 
by David Brenneman 

Was reading in the Old Testament of the end of King David's life and his final words to now King Solomon.  

I have actually seen those types of sentiments in people throughout my life.  People not acting on what they should concerning others, be it family etc, because of their own past. 

Indeed one such phrase of "I can't say anything because I did something like that too...".  

So it's a rational thought to allow people we say we care about to go somewhere in life that's not a Godly path to be on?

I have seen marriages be torn apart because of thoughts of not saying anything when something should have been said. 

King David hadn't ruled against several people until he was about to die, when there likely was nothing anyone could do about it.  The problem is, it shouldn't have mattered.  God was still God and a righteous judgment is still a righteous judgment. 

We allow so much in our lives that shouldn't be there because of our feelings on the behavior of others.  We allow sinful ways to perpetuate because of keeping our mouths shut when we should confront sin. The truth of God’s Word exposes the deeds of darkness.  

It's a terrible thing to allow someone we care about, to head for a cliff and not warn them ahead of time.

We ought to be guided by the Spirit in all truth, as the Bible says He’s here to do. To disregard His teaching or His revealing of where to go and what to do, is honestly and actually sin.

He who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins. James 4:17.

Another area is being wishy-washy. Again, what does the Bible say?  Matthew 5:37 NASB "But make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin."  

How about this: "Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16 NASB 

Or on the treatment of family... "Or what person is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:9-11 NASB 

We often see people literally bribing their offspring with gifts to get good behavior out of them.  The Bible on this says something about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. A paraphrase of Proverbs 13:24 NASB "He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently."  This isn't in regards to punishment but in regards to learning how to cultivate a life with boundaries. 

We indeed cause so many to struggle in their lives by not being a Godly example and by being silent because of lingering personal guilt over our own past offenses. 

I have observed at least one key thing about the Old Testament. There's a lot in it as examples of what not to do. King Solomon as wise as he was, got to the point of not listening to wisdom and sinned as much if not more than the others in Israel.  He had the power to do so much good yet allowed sinful practices from practically day 1 of his reign.  Setting up a throne for the mother of the king.

We either learn from the past or ignore it and are doomed to repeat it in the future. 
We also need to take care in who we choose to hate because it's those people we will become the most like. 

I get a gnawing, nauseating feeling when I read of people who ought to know better in Christ yet stay silent when it's clear that they ought to speak up in the Lord.

I am reminded of Jesus's words of the Jewish Leaders.  Blind leading the blind. 

Are there areas if your life that you aren't dealing with due to your own residual guilt over past sins?  If indeed you confessed them and do believe you are forgiven of them, why would you allow those you care about to make the same mistakes as you?

Ephesians 5:11-17 NASB "Do not participate in the useless deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”

So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

1 Thessalonians 4:3a NASB "This is the will of God, your sanctification".

What is sanctification? "the action of making or declaring something holy".

The Spirit guides us into all make us Holy as He is Holy. 

We know Colossians 3:23-25 NASB "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of (the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For the one who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."

In our daily walk with Jesus, it's always important to make the Bible your primary knowledge base. Be careful of getting wrapped up in head knowledge from people and books outside of it.  The Heavens are occupied by Children of God and Angels. Not Denominations and Angels.  Our lives are to be that of Christ followers. Of being found to be His Disciples. 

It's going to hurt when we need to speak up to guide others in God's truth sometimes.  Keeping silent because of our own past is not going to help others to be on a path of righteousness.  The discipline Proverbs spoke of earlier has to do with imparting the positive wisdom learned from generation to generation. 

I had a very clear object lesson in this myself.  Several decades ago I was in an accident caused by black ice.  AFTER I had it, my Dad told me what I could have done to avoid it. I do remember telling him that that information would have been most helpful BEFORE I had the accident. 

I often find myself praying for me to do better in life today than I did yesterday. I pray this often for others as well.

Please don't allow sins to repeat themselves in others just because you made them yourself. 

We have enough trouble in dealing with the god of this world, we don't need to help him.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

No One is Ready to Stand Alone Before Jesus

No One is Ready to Stand Alone Before Jesus 

by David Brenneman 

So many thousands of times per day, through social media platforms, verses of the Bible get taken out of context, giving people the wrong idea about the God of the Bible. 

Reality is that once you die, you aren't fading into nothingness. You, based on your acceptance or rejection of salvation through Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, will either spend eternity paying a horrifically painful judgment against you or will spend it in the presence of Jesus Christ where He is.

You cannot come to Christ for salvation and not live out that salvation in your daily life. 

To suppress your faith is indeed what that passage refers to in Matthew 10:33 that people tend to misinterprete through social media.  Whether or not you like and share your agreement to it, through the various ways its said, isn't what this verse means.

Jesus is telling everyone that which He had taught on other occasions. You don't light a candle and put it under a basket.  You don't hide what was meant to be seen by all. The light of Jesus Christ in your life. 

Some don't think they have sin in their lives.  God has said that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  The condemned, in the court room, are at the mercy of the Court. They sit where they are told, speak when told, stand when they are told and are silent when told.  Pardon only comes at the ruling of the Court.  To be pardoned of sin requires salvation in Christ Jesus.  Once.  Some of those misquotes imply coming to Christ multiple times because of that passage about denying Christ before men. 

An old saying goes that the course of a mighty river is altered by a single stone. 

We can easily mislead people by agreeing with misused Scriptures. 

When we come to Christ for salvation we are to live out lives that reflect it, not hiding it because if any worldly reason.  

A person's rejection of the God of the Bible doesn't alter what God's said.  Every knee shall bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. 

The Bible says to speak the truth in love.  Accuracy counts.

Many people are really unprepared for the life that comes next.  It's no secret that death comes to all people, to all creatures of this world. 

Giving people the wrong idea about the Bible isn't helping them or you.  Believers are going to give an account of the things that they have done in their bodies for Christ Jesus.  

There's not a human being who's lived, is living or will live that's prepared to stand before the God of the Universe on their own merits.  We are born in sin, therefore are all guilty of sin, and the Bible says there's a penalty to pay for it. The only pardon available is through salvation in Christ Jesus.  One time. Nobody can lose the salvation in Christ Jesus if they indeed meant it when they claimed it.  

People around this world are being put to death because of their coming to Christ for salvation. 

Matthew 10:33...Jesus is stating clearly that those who are saved He will stand with.  Those claiming that they believed but didn't mean it He won't. Look at the passage of people claiming they did all kinds of things in His name. Their idea of good works didn't save them. The people like these will be judged against. 

I know many of my sins, and of my sinful tendencies.  I know there are sins that I have committed that even I am not aware of.  Yet in Christ I am forgiven.  This is the Truth of the Gospel.  Jesus is the forgiver of sins for those who have put their faith and trust in Him alone for salvation. 

Misleading people in regards to the Bible is a dangerous thing.  It's first and foremost the Word of God.  Getting it right is of utmost importance. 

We who are saved have a life to be lived in Christ for all He’s done for us.  That's what not denying Jesus is. 

Denying Jesus in your daily life after claiming to come to Christ for salvation is what denying before men is. 

Hebrews 10:31 NASB "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

God's judgments are absolute. There are no appeals, no extensions, no deliberations.  There's only the truths about each person revealed in His presence.  Psalm 139 tells of His knowledge of us from before we were born.  We read of His knowledge of our thoughts and intentions.  

Our ideas on what is right and just aren't in the same league as the God of all Creation. 

Our definitions of right and acceptable mean nothing if it isn't what God's Word says are right and acceptable.  

There are no defense lawyers in the Court of God.  Each person stands either alone for not accepting Jesus as their Savior or Jesus stands in their place because He is that persons Savior. To stand alone means you are guilty of rejection of Jesus Christ. This is the unpardonable sin.  

Know today where you are in Christ before you leave where you are.  If you haven't come to Christ for salvation yet, please my Dear Reader don't put it off any longer. 

I indeed want so much that everyone who reads these posts would have Jesus Christ as their Savior.  I don't want anyone to know the horror of an eternity separated from God in torment for their sins.  

Nobody can stand on their own before God.  Jesus is ready to stand for you if only you would put your faith in Him for salvation.  Then live it out...that's what not denying Him before men is about. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

With What?

With What?
by David Brenneman 

Was reading Romans 12 again in addition to my other Bible reading plan and it was very interesting that that question rang out LOUD.  

Romans 12 is the basis of the Grace Group Bible Study we are in. So reading it often has been a helpful thing. 

The very beginning part of Romans 12 is where the question rang out. 

"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." Romans 12:1-2 NASB 

"but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" is the part where the Spirit questions what are you putting into you in place of worldly thinking, knowledge and wisdom?  

What are you going to replace the world's way in order to learn to live God's way?

Are you going to countless books by human authors, psychology or other such things?  There's only One Book that's inspired by God that is profitable.  

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

It's a sad testimony to me that I know more secular music than I do my Bible. By probably a thousand songs.  I know probably as much in how-to things.  

My greatest struggle is memorizing the Scriptures.  I know generally where something is but the numbers and location don't correlate with me.  For many have tried to help me with this, I have indeed prayed about this.  I got a response from God once that He gave me Google, use it. So when passages do come to mind I look them up. 

So do I use books that men have written concerning God, Jesus or the Bible? A very select few.  By reputable people, by men who have proven themselves to be Godly men in respect to conduct in the faith and outside their office as Pastor.  I adhere to the truth of God that only men can be Pastors. Paul was rather explicit with Timothy concerning this as Timothy was being encouraged to help establish more Pastors.  If I see books, and wonder about adding them to what I read, what I am transforming my life with, I seek out Godly counsel. Just because a book has a catchy title doesn't mean it's to be blanketly trusted. 

So what else?  The Bible says there are acceptable things to feed our minds in order to prove what the will of God is.  Ephesians 5:19-21 NASB "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father; and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ." I collect worship music and am now very particular about what secular music I listen to.  Even good artists have bad songs due to questionable lyrics.  It's not thought of quite in this light but it should be in that a questionable lyric is still a seed of thought.  

I used to heavily be interested in Science Fiction books.  Admittedly I still have an interest in it.  But I do not dwell there anymore.  I used to use it as an escape mechanism from life.  I am an introvert and it was a 'safe' place to take my mind to.  Ridiculous really because much if not all of it is counter to the Bible. 

But you do too but you don't take it to heart! You don't think it's that bad! You don't take it SERIOUSLY!  Well, go back a paragraph or two about lyrics and music. It's still planting seeds of thought.  Jesus pretty much taught that there's two kinds of seeds. Seeds that grow in respect to salvation and wheat seeds that are tares, tares are false wheat.  You're either nourishing one or the other.

Sports. To be truthful, me and sports don't get along.  If I were to be honest, and I am being honest, I delved into an interest in some sports teams due to an attempt at fitting in, at an effort to be accepted by people.  Most introverts don't have many friends due to their nature.  Sports, to be truthful, brings out the worst in way too many people.  Their behavior is an extremely sad testimony to their walk with Jesus.  They couch their competitiveness as an excuse for their bad behavior.  Saying it's just all being done in fun. That they are just passionate.  People governed by their passions tend to not want what God wants. We were in Colossians yesterday an unbridled passions lead to many sins. 

What are you feeding your mind with? What are you doing to transform your mind?  Consciously or unconsciously you are transforming your mind by what you take into it.  A whole lot of psychological warfare is behind the commercials you see and hear.  It's more about planting seeds of thought to get you to either immediately or to later on sway your thinking on a purchase.  

Satan does that on purpose.  He is the god of this world. He will use all kinds of music, books, recreational activities, even family events to keep you from renewing your mind with the Bible.  The phrase "garbage in garbage out' sound familiar?
In his song " This Highway Leads to Glory" Charlie Pride mentions the road of life having all kinds of exits to take you off your stride.  Some lead to fortune others to fame some will lead you so far off that you won't return again. Satan's on this highway he walks on every side. Trying to flag you down, wanting a ride. 

I have left my former employer way back in October of last year. I was going to the Post Office yesterday evening and it only now has begun to get through to me that I can survive without them and didn't need to deal with that toxic environment.  I tolerated so much and all it really benefited was them.  I got stressed for my troubles.  It was garbage in and I got garbage out. 

What you feed your mind will transform your life.  The question is what are you feeding it?  Who you are serving will determine what you use. If you are a follower of Christ Jesus you should be looking to Him...if you are trying to please Him that is. Those outside of the Christian life cannot please God.  They can't understand the things of God because they are foreign to them.  The Bible says that clearly enough. 

Are you caught up in quarrels and controversy over the beliefs of others or elements of the Bible?  Are you really taking a stand or are you teaching the way in truth?  Some think they are but really aren't.  As Jesus warned, don't cast your pearls before swine.  Paul spoke to this as well concerning people to avoid who stirr up such things.  We are to shine the light of Jesus Christ, HE is the Truth, we are not to brandish our idea of His Truth.  The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. Able to divide even the soul and spirit of even joints and marrow. Able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.

SO with what are you feeding your mind?

Sunday, April 24, 2022

The Interview...was it You?

The Interview...was it You?
By David Brenneman 

On more than one occasion I have had dreams about being in either conversations with someone or was talking to someone who, by all appearances in the dream wasn't listening, but God still used the conversations in real life. 

Last night there was such a conversation with someone.  I highly doubt that I will see them again in my lifetime,  but for whatever reason,  I do believe that the Spirit of God had me talk boldly with them in this dream. 

Having seen God work through those earlier dreams, there's little room for doubt concerning this one. 

In this dream the person's name is Jerry.  He was asking me why his life still was troubled.  
I was telling him that the troubles, though real, have been there because God's been trying to get his attention. That it's time to stop running from God and start moving towards Him.  That was pretty much the extent of the conversation as I can remember it. 

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to fulfill the Father's purpose for Him.  
Jesus is that Shepherd who will go to any lengths to bring back the one of the 99 sheep that's not in the fold, that's not where it's supposed to be. 

Jesus exemplifies the love of God towards mankind, yet many keep thinking there's a different, better, easier way to get to Heaven than through the cross of Christ Jesus. 

I know of others who hold grudges against God on various levels. Really? Consider the greatness of that level of foolishness!  People with grudges against God for either allowing things to happen or not allowing them are being foolish.  You would hold your breath waiting for Him to change?  Being angry with God avails nothing good.  When it's in the life of a Believer it puts a wall up between them and God.  

Sometimes God uses unusual things and methods to reach people where they are. 

The Bible says that He's unwilling that any should perish but that all would come to repentance and salvation in Christ Jesus.  Yet in all that, He will not force salvation on anyone.  It was the will of man, Adam, that began a life of sin. It's to be the willful choice of men and women to come and receive the free gift of salvation in Christ Jesus. It will not be forced, but will be offered until such a time that He knows there's no path towards acceptance. 

I do know a Jerry in real life.  I do know of others with anger issues towards God.  I once read that it's entirely intentional on the part of God in regards to the people with whom we cross paths with in this life.  Whomever said it or wrote it possibly was thinking of the passage where it says to be ready to give a defense for the hope we have within us. 

It's a burden of my heart concerning many people who have crossed my path in my life. 
I constantly find my prayers including them even if I never see them again.  With as bad as my memory is about people’s names and faces, to have them constantly before me I attribute to an act of God. 

If you are reading this, somewhere across this world or maybe even in space, God's still wanting a relationship with you.  The Creator God of this universe really does want a relationship with you. So much so that when the sentence of death was written against you on account of your sin, He died in your place so that you wouldn't have to. Not only did He die in your place, He arose from the dead, bringing eternal life in Christ Jesus with Him.  All that is on you is to ask Jesus to save you. Romans 10:9 NASB "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved".  

It's not complicated. Was never meant to be.  Read what it says in Luke 18:16-17 NASB  "But Jesus called for the little ones, saying, “Allow the children to come to Me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Satan has muddled with the salvation message for at least 2 centuries.  Trying to over complicate it so as to turn people away.  Using things such as losing out on what people desire in life. With making them believe lies about what life would be like. About all they would have to give up.  Perhaps you are reluctant to come to Christ for salvation because of something like this?  

My Dear Reader, you don't need to try to clean up your life before coming to Christ for salvation.  That's His job and the job of the Spirit after you are saved. 

You don't need to believe your life is so messed up or so complicated that He can't do anything with it.  He's God. He can work with anyone. Read back through the Bible.  That's His resume on working with all kinds of people. 

You don't need to believe the lie that you need to live your life your way first in order to enjoy it before coming to Christ for salvation.  You will find true enjoyment after coming to Christ for salvation.  You cannot know nor understand what kinds of good things await you until after you come to Jesus to be saved.  Right now, if you aren't saved, you're literally living in darkness.  Jesus lights up the world both to show people His desire to save and to enable those who fo believe to live rich full lives.

Maybe indeed you're stressed and worried about your life.  Been there done that. Trust me, Jesus can deal with all you are going through.  He's done it with me. 

Take the chance on Jesus.  What have you really got to lose but possibly all that is burdensome to your heart?  All that's been worrisome to you?  Worry is a prayer with no direction.  In Christ you can give it a direction and place it in His hands to deal with. 

If you were the only person on this planet, Jesus still would have died for you.  You mean that much to Him.  

This message was written for someone out there. I don't know who.  I just know that I woke up early and it was urgent that it be written soon. 

Jesus loves you.  He has a plan for your life that is far greater than you can possibly imagine. 
You might indeed believe you are enjoying your life now without Christ Jesus.  It can still be far greater than even that which you like so much now. 

The Apostle Paul wrote that he considered it all, that is anything the world wants to offer, loss in comparison to knowing Jesus.  Jesus said what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world and lose their soul?  You die without Jesus as your Savior, you lose your soul.  

But again, Jesus isn't going to force you.  He's earnestly hoping that you indeed would want Him in your life as your Savior.  

Look not at what you might lose. Look at all you will gain. 

I honestly haven't had many close friends in my life. But in Christ I indeed, as the Bible says, have a friend that sticks closer than a brother with my relationship with Jesus.  I might not be able to find someone to talk to about what concerns my life with people, but Jesus eagerly anticipates my coming to Him with what weighs on my heart.  Many times people will take what bothering me the wrong way or they are too burdened themselves.  Jesus just says "bring it on, I am here for you." 

It's time for you to realize that Jesus is waiting at the door of your life.  He's knocking. Won't you let Him in?

Saturday, April 23, 2022

If We Would But Live in the Realization

If We Would But Live in the Realization 

"Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up; You understand my thought from far away.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, Lord, You know it all.
You have encircled me behind and in front, And placed Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot comprehend it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take up the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

For You created my innermost parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully formed in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my formless substance;
And in Your book were written
All the days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
If only You would put the wicked to death, God; Leave me, you men of bloodshed.
For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate You, Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.

Search me, God, and know my heart; Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way." Psalm 139 NASB 

We don't realize the moments in life until many are past us. 
We don't see what's to be seen until it's been removed from us.
We don't recognize the prompting of God because we're so engrossed and engaged in our thoughts and desires of us.

We get so busy in living life that we neglect to live as God really intended for us to live.
We get so involved with seeking our will to be done that we don't care or have time for His Will to be done. 

We aren't concerned about what it is that is right in front of us until it's been taken away. 

We don't look with eyes that see.
We don't hear with ears that hear.

We put everything ahead of God, treating God like some ultimate last resort to our disasters in this life.  Prayer is something that is done when we've exhausted all other things. Prayer isn't something done throughout the day. We forget who we are and whose we are. 

Would you dare to ask God to search your heart?
Would you implore Him to reveal any wicked ways in your life?
Would you be ready to see, to act, upon what it is that you WOULD be shown?
Would you follow through with what all the Spirit would tell you to do?

If Jesus were physically stopping by your house every day to spend the day with you, regardless of where you go, what you were doing, would you enjoy it or resent it?

Would you?

My harshest criticism of me is nothing to be compared to what I could be shown about me if I would see my life as God sees it.  My Dear Reader, the same goes for you. 

You might not think that you're doing anything wrong.  The problem is we can't rely on our definition of right and wrong, truths or lies. We can't because we will deceive ourselves. We will indeed convince ourselves that we're ok.  

Some want convincing signs from God. Jesus said there wouldn't be any. People would see the works of God in others and then praise God because of what is seen. 
Some seek for some special word from God in the guise of speaking in tongues.  There's no such thing required in our day.  If God has something to say to you, God will say it to you. 
Some seek health, wealth and prosperity over service to God or living out their calling before Jesus Christ.  You will find that is idolatry.  Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. 
Some put family or activities before God and wonder why it's burning them out.  It's because God's become your family doctor or family handyman.  You only call on Jesus when you finally realize you're drowning. 

If we would but live in the realization of what Psalm 139 points to, what King David was saying, then maybe we too would be considered a people after God's own heart as well. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

The World Deceived

The World Deceived 
by David Brenneman 

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20 NASB 

"Now He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to one through whom they come! It is better for him if a millstone is hung around his neck and he is thrown into the sea, than that he may cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” Luke 17:1-4 NASB 

It's with much anger and much sorrow that I go through when I see or read of children being abused or are having their minds warped by this sinful world in which we live.  

There's overwhelming evidence in all of Creation of both the existence of God and His desire to save mankind.  

Take a walk in a park. Close your eyes and listen.  Take it all in.  Look at the birds, the flowers, the trees.  Look at the sky, the creeks, the rivers. Look at what occupies them.  God’s hands are evidenced everywhere.  

Jesus wasn't kidding when He made His statement about the millstone.  He at another time rebuked His own Disciples because they were hindering the children from coming to Him.

Jesus will certainly have harsh rebukes and judgments against anyone who has twisted or perverted the mind of a child to think or behave contrary to God's Word. 

Some, in this world, who have done so have not lived long.  They have been ushered into Hell rather early in their lives. 
If indeed there are some sins greater than others, it concludes that there are greater punishments in Hell for such as these.

Satan comes to steal and destroy.  Destruction of children's lives is at the top of his list because he can impact many others. 

Some of the most horrific revelations of abuse are about how people claim they didn't know. 

A right relationship with Jesus is the answer to protecting our children.  Praying for them their entire lives is necessary.  Taking nothing for granted in their lives.  Curiosity is at the heart of children.  Proverbs says foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.  Discipline is the answer to it.  Not abuse but discipline.

I have heard children's retorts to their parents along the lines of "you just don't want me to have any fun!".  This, my Dear Reader is a statement born out of a sin nature.  It indeed is foolishness to believe such a thing.  

Oh to be careful of how you raise children.  It certainly seems as though the Scriptures point to this being important to try to get right. 

Be sure that if Jesus, and He certainly does, love children and they have a special place in His heart, Satan will try to do anything to destroy that.

We must pray for the children of this world.  We certainly must make what's important to God important to us.  We have countless convincing proofs of the truth of God’s Word in our world.  

This isn't your ordinary post obviously, but it's what has been put on my heart to write.  

In the near future, when Christ returns, millions of children who have no reached the age of accountability will vanish from this Earth.  They will leave here at the same time as those believers in Christ Jesus.  This too is a convincing proof of the importance of children to God.  I am a believer in Christ Jesus and I do support the age of accountability factor.  I also believe that the millions of aborted babies are still alive in Heaven.  Rejected by mankind, never rejected by Christ Jesus their Creator.  

Pray for your families and your world in which you live.  Pray for the Spirit's influence to prevail around you and through you.  Scripture says the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  

Many years ago a book was out called The Battlefield of the Mind.  This is where the war is.  From childhood onward it is a fight to either come towards Christ Jesus for salvation or a fight to keep people from it. Satan will use whatever he's permitted to do this.  He isn't all powerful, he certainly isn't God. But he is definitely limited by the prayers of God's people. 

Pray Pray Pray.  That's your word of the day. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Jesus: Trust Me...Now Go and Do

Jesus: Trust Me...Now Go and Do 
by David Brenneman 

Many people try to look for secret messages in the Bible. Secret this and secret that.  Here's a novel idea. Try just reading and applying what the Spirit has already began showing you. 

When Jesus was asleep on the boat and His Disciples cried out because of the storm, essentially His reaction was: Don't you trust my Father's plans yet?  Don't you trust Me yet?  Don't you realize who it is you are with yet?

If we're honest with ourselves we will admit that we're not too far removed from the people of Jesus's day. We're waiting and wanting God to do something spectacular to deliver us from the plight of the world. We are looking for some ultimate blessing that means we're safe n secure in this life until its time to go home to Heaven. 

If we read the Scriptures as we ought to, and not just the parts we like to read, we'll see a different picture of how life for the Believing is to be.  We will see that troubles will likely find us. That stress will try to find its way into our hearts, that temptations will work on our minds. 

Life isn't about our finding personal peace, security and happiness. It's to be a life lived in obedience to the Word of God.  My greatest troubles are when I am not living in obedience to God's Word.  My greatest struggles come when a shred of doubt is attempting to take root in me concerning Jesus being there. That somehow He’s either forgotten me or is too busy elsewhere with the lives of other people. 

Understanding that as believers we ought to be trying our best to please the one who took our sins away and gave us the promise of an eternity with Him.  

Living a Godly life is only possible in Christ Jesus.  Trust and Obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.  The old hymn has it right!

There has been many challenges to adapting and adjusting to life here in our new hometown.  Significant bills have happened. Significant purchases had to be made.  My former self that quite frankly was the me of the early fall of last year, would be panicking right now.  I thank Jesus for forcing me through the storms to get to where I am today.  My prayer life has gotten richer and I am hoping it grows deeper still.  God has entrenched at least one thought within me:  Trust Me and Go and Do whatever I put before you.  I have endless resources and as long as you're doing what I need you to be doing, you'll be fine. Don't be concerned about the cost while your mind is set on me. 

To break down the Great Commission and what the Spirit did in the beginning of the Church its simply: Trust Me, Now Go and Do.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself.  Put on the full armor of God. You're going to need it.  

Worry and stress have no place in the heart of the Believer when Jesus is already there.

Worry and stress can show up when we take our eyes, our minds, off of Jesus. 

You can’t live two lives. You can't please yourself before you decide to please God.  That's never worked for anyone.  

Romans 12 we read of the Spiritual Gifts that have been given by the Spirit to those who have come to Christ for salvation.  We read in other books about the Church being the Bride of Christ. We read also that we are the body of Christ and each part of the body has something specific to be doing. 

As a believer you need to be aware of those truths.  

We will indeed be tempted to follow after our desires.  Our thoughts can swiftly be selfish or self-centered in a heartbeat. 

We too easily forget who we are and why we are still here after coming to Christ. 

We lose sight of the future that Jesus said would be happening.
We lose sight of the truth of God’s Word concerning the future of mankind. 

Jesus's message hasn't changed. 

Trust Me, Now Go and Do. I'll always be with You. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify God in Heaven.  Set your minds on the things that are above and not on the things that are on the Earth.  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 

It's been amazing to me that indeed God DOES give His best to those who leave the choice to Him.

We have seen many very timely blessings that can be explained no other way that because of seeking what He wants done and then doing it. 

Look at your life, is it a reflection of obedience to God or to you? 

Are you bound up by worrying and stress?   Take those thoughts to Jesus in prayer and leave them with Jesus.  We can't find the peace that passes all understanding until we are obeying God.

Your Excuses, My Excuses: The Invitation

Your Excuses, My Excuses: The Invitation 
by David Brenneman 

"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 

When Scripture speaks, it can often be painful to those living a life they shouldn't be. The problem begins of whether to listen to its invitation to stop and return to God or to refuse at the high risk of becoming dull of hearing to the Word of God. 

But indeed what does it say of us all, at some point in our lives it reveals or is revealing: "All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wrongdoing of us all." Isaiah 53:6.

In the four Gospels we read over and over again of the dull of hearing, those with hardened hearts in the lives of the Jewish Leaders.  We indeed see Jesus often calling them out on account of this. 

I will be the first to admit that there's been moments in my life where I wasn't listening well enough, or thought I understood well enough, put up a hand to God and said "I got this! I know where it's going and can handle it!". I have also gone my own way and just as Scripture predicted life went almost to the grave for me. Proverbs 14:12 NASB "There is a way which seems right to a person,
But its end is the way of death."

But jump ahead a few chapters in Proverbs. "Every person’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord examines the hearts." Proverbs 21:2 NASB. 

We either like what the world is offering or are deceived into seeing it as something that it isn't.

In all reality it is either we believe God or we don't.

We can be the most creative, in all the wrong ways, with our excuses.

Are we any better than those we read about in the Bible?  Just as the Bible says of God, and of His Christ, that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever, look at the storied history of mankind.  We too, because of sin are still the same as yesterday, the same today as well as will be until the end of the book of Revelation. 

We either willingly obey God's Word or we don't. 

We either create excuses or we create what we call reasons to do something else that is more appealing to us.

We are well versed in self-deception without, obviously, realizing it.

The unbelieving are yet still in darkness of this world. Until they see the light of Jesus Christ they will not understand the things of God.  Scripture tells us that in 1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB "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."

It's why it's so important to the Believers in this world to live a life that's ready to meet Jesus. To live a life that is Christ to this world. To share in the work of God to this generation. To keep inviting all who would come.  

We cannot move one person from Hell to Heaven.  To be truthful, not even God can. 

Once a person dies without Christ Jesus for salvation, their judgment is sealed. 

Once the invitation to come to Christ is tossed for the last time, and they die, there's no hope left for them.  Regardless of anyone's personal feelings on it, that's the truth about that personal invitation from Jesus to come and receive the gift of salvation. All the excuses in the world will never add up to why you said no to God’s invitation. 

For the Believers of this world, we have really no excuses to not live in obedience to Jesus Christ.  We will offer excuses but by no means are they justifiable reasons for not living an obedient life. 

"The distance was too great..."
"The time it would take..."
"The people..."
"That was my day of rest..."
"I can't because...:
"Please, God...not that..."
"I need my sleep..."

We can be fantastic inventors of excuses. 

Our sin nature brings out the worst in us.
It twists what God meant for good into what isn't.  Even as God is working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.

We prosper by His hand in our lives and rush off to be places and do things with it rather than ask Him what should be done with it. We see our ideas as more worthy than His thoughts on not just prosperity but opportunity. We consume our time in things and entertainment for personal enjoyment and comfort rather than seeking out what would be right in God's eyes. I know. I've done it.

We easily go astray. Whether you are a believer or not. We are easily like sheep having gone astray each one doing whatever is right in our own eyes. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  These things isn’t referring to every want and desire of your heart. It's seeking out what you are to be doing for your Savior. 

When Jesus does return, will your life reflect a life that was ready for Him?

Will a review of your life show a life that was living for Jesus?

This is for me as well as all of you my Dear Readers.  Scripture tells us to examine our hearts.  To see if there be any wicked way in me.  

Have you settled for things in life because of your excuses?  God wants to give us His best, but is constrained by our level of obedience. 

Believing that God can prosper you, heal you, do whatever you want in life in an instant, apart from obedience, means absolutely nothing.  

Scripture again: Apart from Me you can do nothing. 

Go look in the mirror and for once be asking God to show you what you are really like. To show you what parts of your life that are really you living out your excuses.  My prayers on my way to work include asking for help in doing what it is He’s put before me to be doing.  It's His fields that I am working in. We who are in Christ are workers in His harvest.  We, at some point accepted His invitation to come to Christ for salvation, now we should be inviting others.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Living Ready

Living Ready
by David Brenneman 

Was listening to a podcast yesterday evening and caught those words.  Living ready. 

It was in reference to living your life in such obedience to Jesus Christ that at any moment of His pending return, you're ready to go with Him. 

There's parables that Jesus told that speak to this idea. The early Church heard of this idea and taught it.  In all reality it is indeed the thought behind taking up your own cross and following Jesus. 

There is indeed a time frame in God's plans and there is a limited amount of time for people to come to Christ for salvation prior to His return. 

In a few places God's Word mentions this.
Romans 11:25-27   NASB "For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written:

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

We see here that there is a delay for good reason. It's God's desire to seek and save the lost. 

Matthew 24:42-44 NASB "“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will."

Living ready means being sure we are living with that thought in mind.  Living a life that is indeed in obedience to our calling and purpose.  

Matthew 25:1-13 NASB "“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take extra oil with them; but the prudent ones took oil in flasks with their lamps. Now while the groom was delaying, they all became drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there finally was a shout: ‘Behold, the groom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish virgins said to the prudent ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ However, the prudent ones answered, ‘No, there most certainly would not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the groom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Yet later, the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour."

Prudent...Notice how many times that word was used?  The dictionary defines prudent as: acting with or showing care and thought for the future.

Jesus also, in this part of Matthew's gospel, used the words of being on the alert.  Literally to be ready at a moments notice.

We easily can be taken in by the woes and troubles of this world.  We can allow ourselves to be swayed by social media opinions. We can be derailed by sins both small and great.  We can be consumed by things we find great joy in that have nothing to do with a life ready for Jesus to return. Yes, a tool of Satan is to give believers what they think they want, as long as it keeps them from doing or being what the Spirit wants them to be.

Living ready is a daily thing.  It's a fulfillment of setting your mind on things above and not on the things of this world.

Living ready is daily confessing of your sins and seeking to be doing what God wants of you. 

Living ready is our not being surprised when that moment comes and Christ calls us to come up to meet it the Rapture of the Church or our time to leave this world. 

Living ready is not to squander our time, energy and effort living a life that isn't ready to meet Jesus. 

Look at some things said of Israel by Jesus.  Had they been ready to meet Jesus things might have been different.  They weren't ready and, although part of God's plan to usher in the Church and save us Gentiles, we see Jesus implying differently.  That a future could have been different.  But they refused to understand and believe John the Baptist. They refused to understand and believe Jesus at His Word.  They had ears but did not hear, eyes that would not see. As Scripture says about them. 

Look at your life.  How much of it is really ready for the return of Jesus?  

Look at what you spend your time, your energy and your money on. Look at your time with Jesus each day.  Is it a few minutes or seconds or do you take REAL time away from your schedule to be with Him? 

Look at your desires and see if they align with what God wants. 

Look at your level of obedience to God's Word.

Look at your excuses for not obeying. Would they hold up in God's Court? Are your excuses more or less you whining about doing what God wants of you?  The more you whine the more you honestly hope God will leave you alone and go find someone else to do your job?  God is a God of truth.  Be truthful with you. 

Living ready is always in the moment. It's always being done, not on a to do list. 

Living ready is to live in such a way that the unbelieving see your ways and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.  Do people see you or do they see Jesus in you?

Yes, most of us have jobs to do to provide for ourselves and our families. Colossians 3:23-24 NASB says: "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."

Living Ready...does this reflect well in your life?  Now is the time to effect change. Now is the time you can do something about it.  By not being ready you can be compared to the servant who took what His Master entrusted to him and bury it in the ground until He returns.  He was heavily rebuked for this.  

We are told in Romans 12 of pursuing what we are to be doing in the body of Christ.  Was told long ago by several wise preacher's. If God's taking the time to repeat Himself in His Word...LISTEN...use your Spiritual eyes.  This thing written of Israel...having ears that don't hear...eyes that don't this speaking of you as well?

Live ready for you do not know the hour in which the Son of Man will!