Monday, October 31, 2022

No Room for Laziness

No Room for Laziness
by David Brenneman

Think on these two passages...Jeremiah 23:23-24, Jeremiah 48:10a.

"Cursed be the one who does the Lord's work negilgently," 48:10a NASB.
"Am I a God who is near," declares the Lord,
"And not a God far off?" Can a man hide himself in hiding places so that I do not see him?" declares the Lord.
"Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord. 23:23-24 NASB

Today's verse of the day on : 1 Peter 5:8-9 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."

It's been something for me to consider when it turns out that in both my Biblegateway reading plan for the year and now in my Life Principles Daily Bible, I'm in Jeremiah twice a stop and consider some of the things that were causing the Lord Jesus to be upset with Judah and Israel.  

One key thing that stands out is the fact that they had created gods in their lives and that they didn't care to really hear what the Lord Jesus had to say on it.  What brought this kind of thinking about?  In all likelyhood laziness concerning obedience to the things of God getting passed on from generation to generation.  They were not on the alert concerning the devil.  Satan moved in and they welcomed him without even knowing it was him.  That's what deception is and does.

People don't go to a magic show to honestly see magic.  They go to be deceived in such a way that they can't figure out how it was done and to find joy in it.  

I was thinking on these places in Jeremiah and something hit me about when Jesus made a whip and drove people out of the Temple for selling things there. Crying out that they made it a robber's den.   Think deeper on this.  What had Jesus also said about the love of money?   Those running the Temple had come up with a way to allow a god to stand in the same place as what was supposed to be God's place.  It reads that zeal for His House consumed Him.  He raged at their embracing of idolatry whether or not they called it that is irrelevant.  Jesus is God and God said you should have no other gods before Him.

I read on these things and also others...such as keeping the Sabbath.   In Jeremiah we read of how much this angered the Lord Jesus that they would violate the Sabbath.  A chief reason they were being exiled and Jerusalem burned was their not keeping it.

We read in Colossians what's said there in Chapter 3 verse 17 (NASB) "Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father."  Further down: "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 teh 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." Verses 23-25 (NASB).

Are you half-heartedly doing what you do for God?
Are you putting other things in place of God?
Are you being obedient with all your being?  
Are you deceiving yourself in what you've allowed into your life?  People have been doing it for centuries. 

What does it say? "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul and spirit."  "Love your neighbor as yourself". "Be holy as I am holy".

What do you take away from all this?  Is laziness allowed?  Are you allowing yourself "wiggle room" to disobey God's Word?  In Jeremiah there's little doubt of the sins of Judah, Israel and others.  Jesus spells it out in detail.   What if your life's choices were spelled out to you by would you handle it?

It's an eye-opener of a day in the Bible for sure.   

I see posts all the time where people rage on things that have no Godly use to edify or lift up someone.  Nowhere in the Bible does it contain an 'out' to tear down someone.  Some of my worst times in my life in elementary school were in giving in to peer pressure to get into 'cut down' sessions with others.  To this day I wonder how much damage I caused others. 

When you go about your day today...think about your why's.  Create some why's.  Don't be satisfied that you can think you can coast through life.  The work that Jesus is doing in the lives of Believers is to keep on changing them to be more like Himself.  The work that's done is to show those still in the darkness of this world of sin the light of Christ so that maybe they too may be saved.  

It's never a good thing when we accept as normal what God explicitly says should never be.  

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Not Alone

Not Alone
by David Brenneman

It's always a God thing when God's Word aligns between the Old and New Testament's.  I am in Jeremiah as well as 2nd Timothy. 
In Jeremiah 20, we read of his being beaten and put in stocks due to prophesying against what the people thought would happen, which was the Lord's deliverance.  Jeremiah's friends even were waiting for his failure.  They evidently weren't much in the way of friends. Although told they needed to repent, Job's friends at least stood by him.  In my other reading, 2 Timothy 4 we read of most everyone abandoning Paul. 

In both's clear that the Lord Jesus didn't abandon either of them.  In both places we see the underlying thoughts of Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

It's easy in our nearly post pandemic world to stay isolated from others.  People everywhere sometimes get concerned and go back to wearing something to help prevent the spread of anything.  We weren't created for isolation.  We were created for a relationship with our Creator God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I used to do a lot on my own growing up.  Finding friends that had my interests just wasn't happening. I found books to take me out of me and into the fantasy world.  I found books and sometimes things to work on and build, there was a world of learning out there.  To this day I still am looking to learn things. 

We're always going to have moments when we need some alone time.  Time to regroup, rethink and check our direction in life.  But we shouldn't stay there.

In Christ, technically, we're never alone, in any sense of the way things are.  The indwelling Holy Spirit is always there. When two or more are gathered, Jesus shows up.  His enemy and ours would love us to believe that we're able to be totally alone and vulnerable.  He's going about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.   But, as I heard recently and loved the way it was worded, he's a toothless lion when facing those who belong to Christ.

I know full well the dangers of being alone too long.  We are going to face temptations without even leaving where we are sitting, standing, driving, walking or riding.  In our world, the battlefield is in the mind when it comes to obeying or disobeying God.  

In Paul's last letter to Timothy he charged him with being ready in season and out of season, when people wanted to hear the truth of God and when they didn't.
He was warning hiim that he's going to face opposition.  He's going to face people that likely would get in his face about what he was preaching and teaching.  It happened to Paul, and would happen to him.  It was the MO of the enemy.  It greatly saddens me when I hear of Pastor's who've been in the battle fray and walk away.  They've abandoned their calling.  

Timothy was instructed to be ready to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.  Confrontations would be in his future and likely they would be heavy one's.  Paul even mentions people that Timothy knew who turned against him and would be a problem for Timothy too. 

We're not in this war alone.  Face it YOU and I are in a war.  It began centuries ago with Adam and Eve's falling into sin.  We're born into it.  There's nations today where children are simply born into a war torn physical world.  We're born into a war torn spiritual world as well.   

Mostly in the last week I've seen way more evidence than I ever considered concerning the level of evil in this world.  I believe it was the Spirit who brought to mind the worlds of Christ. "As it was in the days of Noah."  I then remembered what it says in Genesis.  Jesus was sorry that He'd created man...for their thoughts were evil continually.  I have always been fascinated by archeological discoveries of pre-Flood technology.  Transistors that are indeed transistors that even today we have no equipment or devices that can power them.  Items that can only be spark plugs...again...we don't have a clue what they were used in.  Most recently...I was shown that in 1972 over 17 actual nuclear reactors that were built into the ground were discovered.  Yes, real, nuclear reactors.  These are so far down that they indeed are pre-Flood.  I've had a theory for a very long time that the Ark of God was intentionally built by hand to take the 100 plus years to build in order to give mankind more than enough time to turn and repent...even though nobody did.  Billions died in that Genesis Flood.  We have over 8 billion on this world right now...consider that geographically speaking we had similar land-mass...that's what it was before the Flood.  Billions who were marrying and being given in marriage.  People going to work, doing whatever it was that they did.  People who's mind was never on God. They lived for themselves.  They lived apart from a relationship with God.

Satan began things by getting Eve alone.  God her thinking thoughts she shouldn't have.  Adam followed suit.  
Satan would love to have the time to get everyone alone to convince us of his lies.  To follow in the footsteps of all the people he lost before the flood. 
It blows my mind that Hell went from probably a few hundred thousand to maybe a million or so people to billions within a few hours.

We're not alone when we are in Christ Jesus.  Prayer is always possible.  Even if physically we're alone we can talk with our God.
He understands us because of being in us.  We have to often explain ourselves to others...but it's never the case with Jesus.
We can often try to stay so busy we don't have time to think about how truly alone we are in this world as well.  In cases like that it's going to be highly probable that the Spirit will do things to make us less-busy.  To intentionally get us back into a healthy relationship with Jesus. 

You and I were created for a right relationship with Jesus.  While in this world we'll face battles that compete for our attention.  We will need to be 'prayed up' in order to handle life.  Seek first His kingdom.  Set your minds on things above.  Realizing the time is at hand that we could be face-to-face with Jesus.  Knowing that trusting in the Lord with all our hearts, in all our ways acknowledging Him that He will make our paths straight..does something. 

This is my 1,500th post.  It's been an awesome thing to watch God do something with.  I've only ever posted this on Facebook, and here. I've handed out business cards or mentioned the blog website address to some people.  It's passed 94,000 views this last week and shows up that it has been seen in over 29 percent of the countries of the world.  Over 59 countries out of 196.  That's God doing only what God does through the Spirit.  

The Spirit draws people to Himself.  Even when we feel the most alone the Spirit will softly draw you to Himself.  Are you listening?  
In our daily lives we can easily fool ourselves into thinking very, well, un-Godly thoughts. 
We can head towards depression, we can head towards self-centeredness. We can pursue things in this world rather than our relationship with Jesus.
The exiles in Jeremiah's time lost everything but the clothes on their backs.  Those who did what what said by Jeremiah's prophecy had their life and that's it.  They only had them and God to think about.  On their trek to Babylon they had a ton of time to think on his words.  To realize that they weren't living a life that was God honoring.  They weren't living a life that was in obedience to the Lord.  Some were told they would die where they were going.  Others were told they would see Jerusalem again.  

You were created for a purpose, on purpose.  Being alone wasn't it.  Thinking you are alone isn't it.  You may not have the latest and greatest things.  That's not important.  What's important is living that abundant life promised by Jesus for those who walk with Him as fully devoted followers.  

When we get alone too long we're in danger.  Sin is always at the ready.  Putting on the full armor of God is always necessary.  We're always in the most danger when parts of that armor are missing.   I am always the most honest with myself when I am honest with Jesus.

Jesus wants an unrestricted realtionship with you.  No walls, no obstructions.  He wants you to grow in Him...that's the workmanship He's doing in you. He wants you to help others grow in Christ.  He wants to have us be about the Father's business as He began it over 2,000 years ago.  He's returning...will He find  you being about the Father's business?    Being active in the work that the Holy Spirit has in mind for you will take your mind off you and put it where it needs to be. 
You won't think yourself as lonely or alone when you're living the life Christ intended for you.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Your Life is Your Example to Others

Your Life is Your Example to Others
by David Brenneman 

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

It's interesting that many, if not most, people try to split their lives.  They try to be a certain way around certain people in certain situations then change when circumstances change. 

The life of a Believer is to be a 24/7 365 life.  You aren't to cease being who you are in Christ Jesus just because you clocked into work. You aren't to cease being who you are in Christ Jesus when you are on your phone, tablet or computer.  You aren't supposed to cease being a light in this dark world. 

It is a very sad thing to me that it's mostly Christians who give Christianity a bad name.   

This chapter in 2 Timothy 3 is about people IN the Church:

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these. For among them are those who slip into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." NASB.

Are you showing these attributes?

Are you filling your time, using your energy, dwelling on and or participating in things that bring out these things in your life?

Can your life be used against you in a court as being a Christ follower?  Would there be enough evidence to convict?

Your choice of music matters. 
Your choice of movies matters. 
Your choice of entertainment as a whole matters. 

You who are in Christ Jesus are never off the hook in representing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  You represent Jesus all the time. 

You are in the body of Christ for a reason. 
You have a function, a job, to be doing with all your being for the One who saved you. 

When you look at your Facebook it God honoring?  I know there has been times when mine isn't always.  Do you rage about useless things in light of eternity that really only makes YOU look like an angry hot-headed person?  

Again I have worked with, and do work with, people who's work ethic suffers greatly because they essentially told Jesus to stay in the car. They are rude, inconsiderate, people who aren't being a light in the workplace. 

They are indeed under high stress because they have essentially told Jesus they don't need His help.  They got this.  

In my work experience EVERY time I prayed going into situations and kept Jesus with me...the stressful situation goes away. 

EVERY time I tried handling it alone...I became a different person.  Anger and rage often took over. 

It's why Colossians 3:23-24 mean so much to me.  It's been my work ethic for a very long time. 

In Proverbs we're told to Trust in the Lord with all our heart, in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our paths, our life, straight. 

When you fight the Spirit for control of you, you will be someone you are not. 

You will become self-centered. You will start to become those people that Paul warned Timothy about who would be IN the Church. 

The challenge to you is to see what kind of Makeover you need.  What needs to go in order to honor Jesus more?  What do you need to do differently?  If a non-believer would see your life, would it draw them to Jesus or would they not give you a second glance?   Would your words and behavior show you are a Christian or that you're no different than the rest of the world?  Read your where in it is "its just in fun! I didn't mean it!" is found.  No where in it will you find that there's an acceptable time or place to set aside holiness.  We are called to be Holy as God is Holy.  We don't have a down time from living a life in Christ.  We don't go through this life after coming to Christ for salvation to go off and continue doing our own thing.  Out of a grateful heart we're to live lives that honor what Jesus did to save us. 

What has got to go from your life that will honor Jesus when it leaves?

What has to change so that the Light of Jesus stays shining in you? 

Friday, October 28, 2022

No Separate Lives Between Work and Home

No Separate Lives Between Work and Home 
by David Brenneman 

"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful people who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him. And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. The statement is trustworthy: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He will also deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, and solemnly exhort them in the presence of God not to dispute about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the listeners. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth, claiming that the resurrection has already taken place; and they are jeopardizing the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His;” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to keep away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:1-19 NASB 

It's a theme in the world where people try to separate the life they live at home from the life lived outside the home. Tell me...did Jesus do this? Was this taught at all in the early Church? 

It's extremely disappointing and discouraging to see Christians being as though they were not in public.  

Some of the worst offenders are those in positions of leadership.  What do we read Timothy being told?  He is but one thing...a soldier of the cross of Jesus Christ.  What were the Disciples taught to be? Fishers of men and women no matter where they were or would go.  

Paul taught that those who were masters over others should indeed remember that they too have a Master in Heaven.  

We who are in Christ Jesus who do live separate lives are what the Bible says are hypocrites by not showing Christ in us at all times, in all places.  The Great Commission isn't separated between work and home.

I have rarely come across leadership in the workplace who put their faith on their sleeves.  They make no apologies for living out their faith in front of all.  Guess what? God blesses them for it. Also guess what? Those who are Believers who don't live out their faith, who are harsh, inconsiderate, taskmasters, have incredibly difficult times as leaders. God does not bless them, God doesn't make their lives easier.  We are charged with being Holy as He is Holy.  That charge is 24/7, 365. 

When we embrace the world's ideology in anything, we leave behind something in our walk with Jesus.  

In his charge to Timothy, Paul is very clear that there is no separation.  

Paul, of himself, said that he became all things to all people, in the hopes that he would help save some. He often referred to himself as a prisoner of Christ.  He never said that was just his day job.

We can't honor Christ Jesus if we're off doing our own thing, leaving our beliefs behind.  We aren't strong enough to live this life apart from God in anything.  

In the more modern parlance its called burning the candle at both ends.  The light of Jesus Christ should only be the only light shining.  

We clog up our lives with the temptation of success.  We drive for it, often sacrificing people along the way.  In Jeremiah we read of how futile that is.  Worldly achievement will fade.  What we do in Christ Jesus is what endures forever.  When our lives are examined as by fire, and everything is burned away, what we did in Christ is all that will remain. 

Do you not realize that God sees how you treat others?  Scripture says He does not sleep nor does He slumber.  His eyes go back and forth over the Earth to see who's heart is inclined towards Him.

Jesus spoke of not putting a candle under a basket.  We do such things when we hide our faith out in the world. 

My Friend, do not go the way of the world. 
You who are in Christ Jesus ought to only live as one who is in Christ Jesus.  

When I see those in leadership who have claimed to be Christians being harsh taskmasters, who aren't the same on the clock as off, it's heartbreaking. 

Jesus taught servant leadership.  Jesus was only one way in living life.  He wasn't teaching anyone to be different between home and the world.  

It's amazing to me that these same said people are highly stressed.  Have great anxiety over their jobs. Yet don't see the connection.  God will not bless where God is being told to stay out. 

A few years back a visitor at my former employer blew me away by living out his faith in the face of other leaders at the plant where I worked.  He stopped the tour to ask me how I was and how my day was going.  Once satisfied with my reply then we went on to my presentation.  When he did this I saw my site leader roll his eyes at what he thought was a useless interruption to his plans for this tour.  It was all over his face. 

I can tell you because I made a friend that day that God HAS honored him because his faith was shown for all the world to see.  God has indeed blessed him. 

When you get going today, be who you are in Christ regardless of where you are and what you are doing.  

We're to listen to the Spirit in all things, at all times, in everything.  

When Jesus looks at your life, at your heart, in this very instant that He IS doing so as its written that He is...what does He see?

Are you embarrassed to live out your faith to this lost world?  Food for thought on that. 

Are you striving to please Jesus or your employer?  Scripture basically says you please Jesus pleasing your employer will go much easier.  The favor of God rests on those who are obedient to His Word. 

It's look in the mirror time.  

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Oh How Deep

Oh How Deep 
by David Brenneman 

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

"How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom"
- "How Deep the Father’s Love for Us" -- Stewart Townsend 

"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:11 NASB 

"God knows the hearts of men. He knows what the Holy Spirit is thinking. The Holy Spirit prays for those who belong to Christ the way God wants Him to pray." Romans 8:27 NASB 

"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, To give to each person according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds." Jeremiah 17:10 NASB 

Oh how incredible it is.
Oh how inconsiderate of us.
Oh how we don't think about such things. 

Do you realize that the Lord Jesus, besides running a Universe, besides what it takes to fulfill every single word and intention of the Scriptures...considers every single thought and intention of your thoughts every single moment of every single day?

He knows what's on your heart and mind at any given instant. 

He knows your why's long before you do. 

He has such a deep love for us that indeed its beyond all measure.  The depths of the pain of the cross that He endured we will never ever know. The pains and suffering that those in Hell are going through we will never see...all because of our saying yes to His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  All because we agreed with God that we were sinners in need of a Savior which is Christ Jesus.  We received His free gift, we received His Spirit within us.  

Everything we do is personal to Him...have you ever considered that?

Ever really read in Jeremiah about how revealing the Lord Jesus is with the obstinate, disobedient people He was talking to through the prophet Jeremiah?  To reveal to them that indeed He IS and DOES look at what they do, why they do what they do, their secret thoughts, their private moments, their real interests and intentions behind what others see.

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

If the Lord Jesus is how we see Him in knowing all there was to know about these people...why don't we take it to mean He knows us just as well?

We go about our lives quite often not considering what is truly known of us by God. 

We get up, go to work or work around the house, go to this place or that, decide on this career or that, anything you do...and we don't consider that He knows every minutiae of detail going on.

We can and will deceive ourselves as to our motivation and our reasoning. 

We need to rely on the Spirit of God to show us the truth of us from God's perspective.  

He loves us with a love so deep that we cannot wrap our minds around it.  We were created to worship God. We were created for a divine relationship with Jesus.  

When you choose something selfish He knows.

When you choose to be stubborn He knows why...even if you don't say it. 

He knows everything and chooses to love you. 

Is the beat of your heart this?

"All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to ownAll I once thought gain I have counted lossSpent and worthless now, compared to this
Knowing You, JesusKnowing YouThere is no greater thingYou're my all, You're the bestYou're my joy, my righteousnessAnd I love You, LordYeah-yeah
Now my heart's desire is to know You moreTo be found in You and known as YoursTo possess by faith what I could not earnAll-surpassing gift of righteousness
Knowing You, JesusKnowing YouThere is no greater thingYou're my all, You're the bestYou're my joy, my righteousnessAnd I love You, Lord
Oh, to know the power of Your risen lifeAnd to know You in Your sufferingsTo become like You in Your death, my LordSo with You to live and never die
Knowing You, JesusKnowing YouThere is no greater thingYou're my all, You're the bestYou're my joy, my righteousnessYou're my all, You're the bestYou're my joy, my righteousnessYou're my all, You're the bestYou're my joy, my righteousnessAnd I love You, Lord
You're my all, You're the bestYou're my joy, my righteousnessAnd I love You, Lord" 
- "Knowing You Jesus" -- Graham Kendrick 

We're in a world that wants nothing to do with a relationship with Jesus. 

It's going to get harder and harder to stay true to our faith and relationship with Jesus when the world is getting more and more in your face about rejecting sin and sinful practices. 

Take a realistic look at what you do and why you do it.  Does it mirror what you read of Jesus being like?  Are you making choices that bring you into a closer relationship with Jesus or farther away?

We read in the Gospels that Jesus said that when He returns it will be like the days of Noah.  In Genesis we read of how people were.  Evil continually.  Their minds cared not for the God of the Universe. Their minds were on their way and not God's way.  Their minds were full of selfish desires. They rejected God's word and will for them.  So great was the rejection that the Lord Jesus regretted making mankind the exception being Noah.  Probably 7 to 9 billion people and only 1 lived a life worth saving for living with God as they should. 

We choose to go down the paths we do. 
We choose to relearn lessons that we keep not getting that the Spirit tries to teach us.

We choose selfish things rather than Godly things.  We really do.

We decide.  The cross of Jesus Christ brought choice.  It is up to us to obey. It is up to us to willingly obey. 

Noah chose the Lord Jesus.  Noah faced greater obstacles than we do in our world. He faced daily ridicule from family and friends, the whole world.  

It was by grace that Noah's wife, sons and their wives were saved.  Noah received grace for his obedience.  God's unmerited favor.   

God's grace is upon us as well. 
God's grace wakes you up every day.
God's grace is why our sins are cast as far as the east is from the west. 

Really look at your life choices. Would you still be doing what you intend to be doing, saying what you intend to say, knowing the depth of the truth of Jesus concerning you?

Would you choose this or that to be in your life, would you be how you are being towards others, knowing that God's grace and mercy covers you as well as others?

Take a look at your life and life choices. 
Take a look at where your life is headed. 
Take a look at your level of selfishness. 
Take a look at what you do to occupy your mind and heart.

Oh how deep the Father's love for us. 
How vast beyond all measure. 

We aren't nearly as grateful as we ought to be.  We aren't nearly as thankful as we ought to be. We aren't nearly loving Jesus as we ought to be.  We aren't doing what He's wanting of us as we ought to be. 

We make worldly ideas and things more important than what He wants of us to be important. 

What an eye opener for a post.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Let Faith Arise...On Guard!

Let Faith Arise...On Guard!
by David Brenneman 

In 1 Timothy 6 20-21 NASB, Paul tells not just Timothy, but all of us, to be on our guard.  To protect what we have been given.  

Reading in Timothy as well as Jeremiah is an interesting thing this year.  Here, we see of the instruction of Paul towards his son in the faith.  In Jeremiah we read of the pleas of the Lord towards Judah and Israel to come back to what they hadn't guarded.   What they hadn't protected. What they let slip away. 

Let faith arise is from a song we've sung in worship at Church.  I woke up several times last night and that part of the song kept running through my mind. 

"Be still, there is a Healer
His love is deeper than the sea
His mercy, it is unfailing
His arms, a fortress for the weak
Let faith arise
Let faith arise

I lift my hands to believe again

You are my refuge, You are my strength As I pour out my heart,
these things I remember
You are faithful, God, forever
Be still, there is a river
That flows from Calvary's tree
A fountain for the thirsty
Your grace that washes over me

Let faith arise
Let faith arise" - Chris Tomlin "Let Faith Arise"

These things that I remember.  

After the exile, when people were indeed brought back to Jerusalem, the temple was rebuilt.  Many of the older people wept bitterly because they remembered the Temple of God that King Solomon had built at King David's instruction.  

We began with it in the Garden of Eden. 
We read of the history of continuing to do so throughout the lives of those in the Bible. 
We are quick to run from the instruction of the Lord. 
We are quick with the excuses of why we do what we do and why we don't do what we don't do.

Adam and Eve began sin's stranglehold with excuses. 

We're born in sin. We needed the perfect sacrifice of Jesus to save us.  We're in need, daily, to be in God's Word, with our minds set on Jesus, on His work.  We need to guard what's been entrusted to us.  It's more important than possessions or anything of this world.  

I have seen people on a whim, have done it myself, toss aside their testimony in Christ because of a blown call in a football game. 

I don't worship that! You might be saying. 
Go back to Jeremiah.  Read, in the details and depth, that the Lord Jesus spoke of concerning how, why, where, and when Judah and Israel drifted away from God. 

I know the excuses because I have used them myself. 

We hide behind excuses when the truth is too uncomfortable.  We excuse our behavior because of this or that.  We will even give up our calling in Christ Jesus because of excuses.  We will hide behind feelings as to why we don't obey God's words.  Fear of being hurt again. Fear of what might be asked of us by the Spirit of God.  Fear of letting go of this "kingdom" we have built. Fear of how we will look in front of others. 

We also use justification in our excuses.

We say it's our job, we have to be this way.  God says He is the God of your workplace too. Honor Him there too.

We say we're off the clock and deserve this or that.  We deserve to die in our sins. Jesus said to take up our own cross and follow Him.  Paul tells Timothy to guard what he has been taught. To teach others to do the same.

There's a great many things that I will never do in this life.  It's not for a lack of desire. It's because those things have nothing to do with my life in Christ Jesus. 
They won't benefit my growth in Christ. 
They won't cause others to see Jesus in me.  
They won't do anything but take my guard down. 

May sound depressing but remember this passage: "but just as it is written:

“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the human heart, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”" 1 Corinthians 2:9 NASB 

Or "Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB 

We cannot know what fantastic things that lay in store for those who leave the choice to Him. 

By faith fantastic things were accomplished by many in the Bible.  Read Hebrews 11.  The chapter that summarizes the list of people who did what by faith. 

By faith I stepped out a year ago to begin a new life in a new to me city.  I made it clear to Jesus that I wanted to be doing what He wanted of me in this new city.  We literally do feel like we were in the wilderness for me, 20 plus years, my Wife, a few dozen more.  Obeying after being brought here is certainly at the top of our list of priorities. 

Some steps on in the Word. 
Be in honest, open, prayer with Jesus. 
Be involved with a Bible preaching, Bible believing Church that believes in the whole Bible and not just the parts they agree with.  
Be ready to serve. 
Be the light of Jesus in your world.
Be ready for the world to not like it. In John 1 it says that the darkness doesn't like the light of Jesus.  

Once someone becomes a soldier they always will be.  Retirement for a soldier is in occupation only.  In real life they are a creature of habit to their training.  Ready to serve again if the moment arises.  Will react to situations using what they have been taught.  I have met Veterans who were in their 80's who weren't joking when they said they were ready to do it again. 

We are soldiers of the Cross of Christ. We are on duty at all times.  We have an unrevocable calling in Christ Jesus as said in Romans.  

We are on God's timetable.  His Word will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  We are in the time of the End. We will quite possibly be seeing Jesus returning in our lifetime. 

Will He return and find you not doing what the Bible says we ought to be doing?

Be on guard.  Be in the faith, living out your faith.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

His, Not Ours...

His, Not Ours...
by David Brenneman 

This morning is unique for me.  A year ago at this time I was somewhat doing what I am right now.  Writing a post for this blog. I was doing it after waking up in a camper getting ready for my first day of work at my new employer. 

Life went into overdrive quickly a year ago.  When we took a leap of faith to move, God certainly moved.  

This verse describes much concerning our lives in the last 20 plus years.  We had plans for this or that.  Many times we considered moving.  Back then where we are now was on a list of possibilities. Tennessee was an option as well as other places we have been that we liked.

But, obviously, none of those many plans came to fruition.  They weren't God's plan. 

I sit here getting ready for today.  Still thinking on a year ago.  I remember it well only because I believe He wants me to.  I normally don't recall much of my life easily.  

We went through much in the early spring and summer of last year emotionally or at least we thought we had.  We thought we were prepared, equipped, for moving.  We were oh so very wrong.  Emotional attachments to things were heavy.  After it really sank in that yes, indeed moving was really happening, we had to really really make hard choices on what was staying, what was going, what was being donated and what was being thrown away.  I lost track of how many runs to the thrift store there were.  I think we offloaded over half of the house and yet there was still a lot.  We were reaching out to people we knew here who got us in contact with Godly people whom God used in fantastic ways for us.  

Our realtor, whom I was referring to as the EF Hutton of this city, knew what to do, how to do, and who to talk to.  A super answer to prayer.  We couldn't find a storage unit, he located one.  We needed a financial advisor, he found one.  Both he and the advisor both go to the same Church as we would be attending. 

God's plan. God's purpose. 

In the coming days I would be seriously stretched.  We would need a realtor down there as well.  Several we looked at just weren't getting us.  Through our realtor here we were connected with the one we chose, who is now a friend of ours. I was struggling to live two lives going into this week a year ago.  Focusing on work and the week while weekends were filled with being back down there working on packing, preparing, etc.  Home inspection found problems we didn't know about or didn't know how to deal with. God took care of it all.  The move was going to happen.  It was His purpose and plan. 

I was looking at houses here while my Wife was packing and dealing with house showings.  I brought several loads to our storage unit.  

We're still discovering more about His plans a year later.  His purpose is for our sanctification. That's why we took the leap of faith.  His plans are to make that happen.  Not just in our lives but to help others in it happening in their lives. 

We are doing our level best to organize this house to be useful to His purpose.  We're being pretty picky about what comes into it. To not collect things for the sake of doing so.  We are trying to be intentional on serving.  

We don't know where everything is going.  We are just trying to be obedient in what we have been given to do.  

Life isn't necessarily going to be all sunshine and rainbows. Life isn't going to be about our striking it rich and worry free. When you come to Christ He begins the work of sanctification, the work of making you and I more like Christ.  We have to let go of the past. We have to realize it's going to have painful moments and joyful times. 
Life, after coming to Christ, is going to be about His purpose happening in and through us. 

We aren't to sit on the sidelines. 
We aren't to be couch potatoes.
We aren't to be spending our time, energy and efforts only on bettering our own lives. 
We are to be making what is important to Jesus, important to us.
We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. 
We are to let go of sins that so easily entangle us.
We aren't to embrace the world or the things of this world.
We are on-call for Christ at all times. Jesus never once told anyone that He was off the clock. 

We need to be who He purposed for us to be.  Are you considering that as you head off into today?  Are you asking God to help you fulfill His purpose in your life?

Are you living a life that says "Jesus lives here"?  

I still have anxiety issues.  They aren't as frequent as they used to be.  I have some Godly men to ask to pray concerning those times.  

I do miss several whom we left behind.  But in Christ it's only temporary.  In Christ I will see them again.  Either in this life or in Heaven.  

Oh the changes a year has made.  I still think something greater than even this move here is coming.  God's purpose only began a year ago.  

As I have read it somewhere: God gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him. 

Are you leaving the choices to Him?
Are you trying to live in the past or in the present with Jesus?
Are you seeking what He is in your life or are you trying to live it your way?

He came to give us life, and not just life, but life more abundant.  It will have greater highs and lower lows than we can think possible.  

It's His purpose that will prevail. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Self Deception is Real

Self Deception is Real
by David Brenneman 

In reading Jeremiah it's filled with personal accounts by the Lord of how much and how prone Israel and Judah were towards sinning against God.  

Mankind is, because of sin, prone to wander.  Prone to doing his or her own thing apart from God. 

We all face that an don't recognize it as the temptation that it is.  

We are tempted to be selfish but won't see it that way.  We will see it as fulfilling something in our lives.  

Most in recent decades it's seen in social media as seeking the approval of others.  There's so many videos of people pushing for acceptance.  

People being quite deceived to believe what isn't true about themselves. 

It's not just in the lives of those who haven't come to Christ, but in everyone's lives its a temptation. Everyone wants peace, safety, acceptance and prosperity on their own terms.  

It's a fleeting thing.  The promises of Satan to Jesus that we read were never obtainable.  He couldn't fulfill them yet wanted Jesus to believe that he could.  

No man or woman is immune towards selfishness.  We can all, in a heartbeat, go from one mood to another. 

I have seen even Godly people who don't see how they have been quite deceived.  I am sure there's things in my life that I don't see as well.  It's another key reason to be in an accountability relationship with someone of the same sex as yourself.  Temptation says to never let it be of the opposite sex.  Man with a man, woman with a woman.  Everyone's in need of accountability.  

When left to our own desires and devices we will do whatever is best for ourselves. 

We, in and of ourselves, will keep an account of the wrongdoings of others.  In Christ, in an accountability relationship this would be addressed as something that should not be wise. 

We, in and of ourselves, will do things that tarnish our relationship with Jesus and yet excuse it because "it was only done in fun.  I am not really that way. I really don't hate this person or that person because they blew a call on the field.".

People who are not yet saved in Christ Jesus will scrutinize and watch those who say that they are saved.  They won't see our faults as we think that they will.  

There's certainly not enough seriousness by professing Christians to live the Christian life the way that the Father intended it to be lived.  Self-deception is a very big reason why. 

I have seen on a personal level as well as what the world has seen through the public court of opinion, even Pastors who have given way towards behavior unbecoming a Believer in Christ Jesus who dismiss the seriousness of their calling.  

We as Christians are on public display to a lost world.  We are to be in Biblical relationships with one another.  We are to be bearing one another's burdens. We are to be living lives that say "Jesus lives here, inquire within".  

Satan is going to try every sly and subtle method to get everyone distracted from the truths of God’s Word.  

It's a certainty. 

We will be tempted in every way that can apply to a human being.  

It's the reason that being in the Word of God is so important.  You won't recognize sin or sinful behavior without knowing what God says about what you are doing or facing. 

You won't agree with Him that sin is sin without knowing and understanding what sin really is. 

By no means is the most Godly of people immune to the possibility of deceptions.  

Prayer is a wonderful way to see what's important in our lives.  What and who are you praying about and for?  

Are you doing things "all in fun" that really aren't showing a lost world the love of God for them?

When you look in the mirror are you seeing someone who's been seeking your own well-being and happiness ahead of others?

When you look around your home what do you see in what you have surrounded yourself with?  What do your possessions say that you believe? 

As someone once said, words not spoken do not need to be taken back.  When you speak is there reason to try to take those words back?  Have you been called out and have, in your shame, tried to defend your wrong behavior?  

We are not merely victims of self-deception, it's what sin does.  We need a right relationship with Jesus to deal with it.  We need to be with other Believers to grow in Christ the way the Father intended and has shown us in the Scriptures.  We need to be on our toes about being who we should be in Christ.  

In recent weeks I think that this topic is what God's been showing me about me.  I have sorely missed what I had with an accountability relationship.  I have begun praying for another in this new hometown.  

What about you? Are you comfortable going it alone?  Are you thinking that you don't need anyone to be accountable with?  Oh don't fall for that lie in your life.  The Church in the book of Acts prospered because people were in each other's lives.

The challenge is to pray that God would show you where you have been self deceived.  It's not an if you have but where you have.  Our sin nature will do its level best to disguise its work in us. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Muscles Need Muscles

Muscles Need Muscles
by David Brenneman

Each morning the word 'interesting' seems to encompass what I find myself reading.  I look at what I'm reading, and it's got to only be the Spirit showing me what I just read and how it really does have something to do with what I am going through or have asked others to pray about.  In today's reading, this is certainly no different.  

Yesterday I was going through some heavy anxiety.  It brought me to the brink of just wanting to cry so many times that I couldn't count.  I am in such a great group of men on Saturday's.  I reached out to them to indeed aide in 'bearing one another's burdens'.   

I don't have that kind of memory that when things hit me, I begin to remember Scriptures.  Something about today's reading, though, taught me what's behind 'bear one another's burdens' that seems to have been lost on several generations.  

Ever get a cramp?  What most get told to do is besides look at your potassium levels, is to massage the area slowly.  Get the offending muscles to relax and slowly that pain goes away.  

In the body of Christ THAT is what bearing one another's burdens does.  In Christ we have the ability to take one part of the body of Christ and bring it to the aide of other parts of the body.  You use the hands and feet to help those parts of the body that need assistance.  

Reading in Jeremiah you get an understanding of what the definition of difficult really is.  Jeremiah was known as the 'weeping prophet'.  He was told early on by the Lord Himself that he was indeed going to face an obstinate people.  He was going to face people who really won't like what he was going to say.  He was going to come face to face with disappointment, depression, anxiety, everything. 

Dr. Stanley's comments in between what I was reading really helped me this morning.  More muscles helping muscles. 

Jeremiah 32:27 NASB "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for me?" - "Abraham had to learn this lesson (Gen. 18:14). Mary had to learn this lesson (Luke 1:37). Peter and the other disciples had to learn this lesson (Luke 18:27). And so do we."

What God does to is is really FOR us.  We do indeed often find our own way into troubles.  Sometimes it's not us at all but FOR us in order to lean more on God than us. 

Jeremiah 32:39 NASB "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always." - "Everything God does for us, He does for our good. He gives us a heart to love Him, a will to obey Him, and a spirit to fear Him for our own good and the good of our children."

Jeremiah 32:42 NASB "Just as I brought all this disaster on this people, so I am going to bring on them all the good that I am promising them." - "God keeps all his Promises, both for judgement and blessing--but He loves to bless His people, not judge them. He will not shrink from judging us (1 Peter 4:17), but would much prefer to bless us."

One other point he makes is "Journeys through the valley are both inevitable and painful. However they are meant to be profitable."

Our trials in life are meant to do something in us to bring us closer to God.  To become more like Him. Our santification is going to happen.  It's not a maybe thing.  We often take the off ramps in life when we should have stayed on the road, but even in this God still uses those times to do something towards our sanctification. 

As I was telling the men yesterday, I don't entirely undrestand or know what my triggers are that cause my anxiety.  Sometimes it's a fear of returning to what the stress was like that we left.  Sometimes it's a place.  Sometimes it's people that just look familiar enough to some whom I left behind.  As strange as it may seem, Dr. Sidney Freedman of M*A*S*H said something about triggers can be anything. Sights, sounds, smells...smells often being the most powerful. 

We start with Genesis.  God said it wasn't good for man to be alone. A key reason is eventually his own thoughts would take him where he shouldn't go.  We read later in the Bible that Jesus said He didn't trust Himself to man because He knew what was in the heart of man.  

We may not know what's behind what we feel but He does. 

"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men." - 1 Timothy 2:1 NASB.

Not just for salvation's sake as it mentions in verse 3 of 1 Timothy 2, but for everyone.  No part of the body of Christ was meant to go it alone. In the 1960's and 1970's onward we were taught to laugh at 'Thing' on the old television show "The Adam'sFamily".  The disembodied hand that seemed to be popping up out of a box in every room that had a mind of it's own.  Truth is we cannot and should not try to live this life alone apart from the rest of the body of Christ.  

After asking for their prayers, I could tell that God was answering them.  I could tell that the anxiety was leaving me.  

Was interesting that part of what we were talking about yesterday morning at the Men's Group had to do with personalities and personality profiles.  Whereas there's a decent foundation to be had in understanding those things, they don't necessarily define who we are as people.  I don't dwell on what those tests say or don't say about me anymore than I go around with my IQ number on my shirt or the Diploma's or Certifications, or any other documents of achievements that I have.  I am defined as who I am in Christ...these things from this world...will fade away.  They are non-transferrable to the next life.  My IPC Certificaitons, my Diploma, my this or that are of this world and that's about it.  In Christ I am a new creation.  I grow in Christ.  His aim is to make me more like Himself.

While my profile says things that likely do give rise to what I COULD be about 80 percent of the time, that other 20 percent can be anything else.  We have an enemy in this world that would love for any one part of the body to be feeling like it was cut off and separated from the rest.  He would love for us to be weighed down by this world and be ineffective.  He would love for us to think we can go it alone.  

Muscles need muscles to do things.  Even to heal wounds and soreness.  We need to be setting our minds on things above.  We need to be praying on things over things and through the things that hit us in life.  One sure thing that has happened in my life is that when the anxiety prayers increase.  

When we think we can go and do without praying first...we're in for trouble.  
When we think we can handle even the smallest of temptations alone...we are in trouble.
When we think we are the Scriptures say...take heed lest we fall.

Our strength is from the Lord because it IS the Lord's.  I know that part of my issues of anxiety are still the change from where we lived to where we do live now. The situations and people are just that drastically different.   God's still in the process of bringing in people that can help here.  Our desire is to grow in Christ.

Not that I go to any gym...but in those may or may not see or hear it said 'no pain no gain'.  It's going to be often through pain that we get over a mountain rather than God moving it.  "My grace is sufficient for power is perfected in weakness".   We may indeed have valley's to go through, but we are never alone in it. "I will never leave you nor forsake you".   

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Things of Me, of God's Plan

Things of Me, of God's Plan 
by David Brenneman 

The title might sound a bit self-centered, but, it really isn't.  

Throughout my life many people have taken a look at me and turned the other way.  I've evidently given people, by way of facial expressions, the notion that I am angry or unapproachable.  

I actually, when in the right circumstances, am ok around most people.  I do tend to think differently than most people I have met in my life.  I've possibly met maybe one other person who thinks, as I call it, in parallel.  I rarely have a single train of thought.  Emotions are often not high on my list of things to think about.  

My disposition is evidently a turn off.  I really do love talking about things of God. Of discoveries in the world that prove the Bible.  

My parallel thinking is just my mind dealing with several things at once. Problems that I am facing along with problems of others. Figuring out how to build or fix something.  

The disconnect with emotion isn't entirely what it seems.  Today's Life Principle asks the question of "How can I deal with discouragement?".  Jeremiah had it every day.  

Discouragement and anxiety are often on my mind. It's a very complicated thing.  What I write is quite often a surprise even to me.  I am often lead to write words of encouragement and support to people yet it's something that I need myself.  

My life indeed is hidden in Christ Jesus.  My sin nature isn't separated from me yet. 
It's a hard thing for me doing battle in my mind against myself.  Memorizing Scripture had always been extremely difficult for me.  So to have that to lean on isn't necessarily happening.  So what's my path?  Prayer. I often am just praying at almost any given time.  It actually calms my thinking. It reduces the number of thoughts that happen in me. 

It's perhaps a description of the peace of God that passes all understanding.  God's able to do with my mind what I can't do on my own.  

While I do have to fight anxiety and disappointment, discouragement and depression, I am not alone in it.  I know of others in the faith who have similar struggles.  It's not altogether that uncommon. 

I have found that informal prayer is what's most calming to me.  To just pray what's on my mind. To take my anxious thoughts to my Savior. Sort of related could be my still dealing with lingering effects of the nervous breakdown I had many years ago.  It happened due to an honesty evil person in my life who was a supervisor.  

It's possibly part of my reason for the trust issues that I have mixed with very intense loyalty to those whom I do trust.  

I am a work in progress.  Jesus is the one working on me through the Spirit.  I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds my future. 

I do indeed like to fix things.  Just not all the time. I do like to learn, which often makes me sound a bit arrogant I suppose when explaining something.  

My life in Christ is more important to me than what's in my life.  We aren't going to have discussions with Jesus on football or work or this or that, when we give an account of our lives before Him.  It will be about what we did in the body for Him.  It's going to be about our obedience. 

While I cherish relationships dearly...often struggling greatly when something happens to them...I lean in on my Savior when that discouragement and disappointment hits me. 

We have a hope and a future in Christ Jesus.  God indeed works everything together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  

While my life can be complicated and disjointed, my relationship with Jesus stays solid.  While I am far from those I would love to hear from again, I look for the new relationships He has planned for me. While life often makes no sense, I know who to lean on who takes care of that.  While I often don't have the answers, I know who does. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Speak the Truth in Love

Speak the Truth in Love
by David Brenneman 

What Dr. Stanley says here IS speaking the truth in love.  

We help nobody by being silent when speaking up is called for. Likewise learning when to be silent when speaking up isn't the right thing to do is also prudent. 

I can't tell you how many people have said of family members "I can't say anything, I used to do that too".

Uhh yes you can.  If you are in a car and the driver passes out, what circumstances that lead up to it doesn't matter, you do what's best to stop the car.  Both for the driver's sake and your own. 

In regards to our speech, love and conduct, we have Godly examples in the New Testament.  We read of Paul's writing to stir people up by way of reminder.  He commended those who were walking in the truth.  

He is specific when he mentions how to deal with people claiming to be saved yet are intentionally living a life contrary to what they were taught.   Reminding them to always walk in the truth. 

Nobody likes confrontation.  It scares me more than anything.  Yet there are times when it certainly must be God's doing that words come out of me, blowing right past my fears, to say something that needs said.   Knowing when isn't always my strength.  Sometimes it's my very unrighteous anger that's what comes out, seeking validation and justice by some show of force.  I quite often get reminded that the anger of man does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 

A friend posted these words attributed to Winston Churchill: "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it's also what it takes to sit down and shut up.".

It does take Godly courage to be truthful with people from a Godly perspective. 

Have never once met someone in love with the idea of eternal punishment in Hell.  

Scriptures say that everyone will be without excuse when standing before Jesus.  Without excuse implies easily that they WILL have had the opportunity to understand the truth of God, of their sins, of their need for salvation in Christ Jesus alone.  

There's a story that I can't forget. Which is saying something about my memory.  It's not as organized or as accessible as most people's memory. 

A woman claiming to be a lesbian heard of the type of love that Jesus really displayed to all whom He met.  She said that if a man could or would love her that way, she wouldn't look for that in a woman again. 

People who are in Christ ought to at all times show the love of Christ. But not just His love, but His wisdom. His understanding.  Speaking the truth in love will undoubtedly cause some friction. Nobody wants to really hear that they are guilty of something.  Yet all who have been born are guilty of sin. It's been in our DNA since Adam and Eve.  
Nobody wants to hear of this life not getting better in the future.  Yet with eyes uncovered by the Spirit of God, it's easily seen that its indeed not getting any better. 
Nobody wants to hear that there's consequences to sin. Yet the Bible says over and over again that there's consequences to sin.  

We can't always know when to speak up or when to be silent. But we can know much by prayer.  The Life Principle for today in my Life Principles Bible speaks to the immense power of prayer for discernment.

Counseling other people we all are doing, be it good or bad counseling. We have no end of the ability to speak our minds. 

Yet as the Bible says wisdom is vindicated by her children.  The results will say more than our minds will know at the time. 

Prayer isn't just us dropping off our laundry to God to deal with.

Prayer is our intimate conversations with our Savior.  

Prayer helps our Spiritual eyes to focus. 

Prayer helps us to know how to speak, that what we say might give grace to those who hear.

We will never help anyone by watering down the importance of the consequences of sin.  On the other hand...realize we will give an answer as to why we gave such counsel.  Because so-and-so said so isn't a good response.

As you go through today, be mindful. 
Watch what you say. If you see a brother or sister in Christ having problems, come up along side. Listen. Speak God's truth in love. Give the Spirit room to be the Spirit. 
It's not about us. No parts of the body of Christ are more important than the head. 

It may not be your case to say anything. But indeed it might be your call to be praying for that person in your life. 

Your prayers might turn the tide in their walk with Jesus or it might be what introduces them to Him. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Doing What We're Told, When We're Told

Doing What We're Told, When We're Told
by David Brenneman 

Indeed it's been a very worthwhile purchase for me in this new Bible.  

One of today's points is: 
"Jeremiah 26:2 -- Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak...all the words that I have commanded you to speak."

Jeremiah knew that partial obedience is blatant rebellion. He may have feared to speak every word that God told him to proclaim, but he did it. Only through the Spirit can we obey like this." -- LPDB 

This sort of hits home with me. 

It's been many years now of writing what I have been called to write.  I sort of now feel a kinship with this Jeremiah.  Writing what I am directed to write, with a similar calling.

Obedience is never to be partial in regards to God's Word and calling in a Believer's life. 

We can't be formed by feelings and emotions.  We will be lied to and deceived by them to protect our sin nature.  

I make no prophetic predictions in what I am told to write. I am simply being obedient to what I was told to do. 

Many a Pastor, who's grounded in Christ, will tell you that we aren't bench warmers in this life.  We have a purpose in the body of Christ in this here, this now. Age is meaningless to God's actions and activities in this world. Abraham was around a hundred years old and yet was told in a year he would have a son.

A man born blind who was in his 40's was healed by Jesus.  Began worshipping right then and there. Ready for what Jesus would tell him to do next. 

In Christ we are living a life in this world and yet at the same time being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus.  We can hinder that transformation but we cannot stop it for its of God's desire, design and purpose. 

We will face storms in this life. Things out of the blue that make us feel like we were hit broadside.  The Bible says that though the enemy of God means such things for evil, God can and does turn them around for His good.  Not even Satan has the power to stop what God's put in motion. 

"When a storm rages in your life, understand that the Lord is already planning how to turn destruction into good. Seek His objective, then work with Him to achieve it. Romans 8:28 "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."" - LPDB

"Returning believers to right fellowship is only one of God's purposes for a storm. Some difficulties are meant to blow away all distractions so that we can focus our attention on the Lord. Other tempests break our worldly mold so that we can be conformed to the image of Christ. Our personal pleasure is not the top priority. God's primary concern is to shape a wise and obedient servant who loves Him." LPDB.

Did you catch that? 

"Our personal pleasure is not the top priority." 

Growing up we were taught to do what we were told, when told.  This lesson has its roots in Biblical teaching.  Was reading elsewhere in my Bible this morning and read a chapter in Isaiah 50 about the separation of man and God.  Our iniquities it called them, another word is sins. Have separated us from God. When we come to Christ His intention is not to leave us in such a sorry state.  He's the Great Physician. He cannot save you n do nothing about our wounds. He casts our sins as far away as the east is from the west. He cares too much to leave us in our condition. 

Spending time with Jesus is obedience. But if we're half heartedly doing it, it's disobedience.  

Praying half heartedly is disobedience. 

Doing what we must from wrong motivations is disobedience. 

We who are in Christ Jesus serve a living Lord and Savior.  We aren't to be on the sidelines waiting for either Him to return or us to somehow die. 

Every Believer is in the body of Christ with a purpose. 

Ever have a day when your body has parts that just aren't working so well with your other body parts?  You think that the body of Christ is any different?  With your body you have to often get other parts to compensate because life goes on.  Sometimes there's lingering effects of pushing parts of your body to do things that they weren't intended to be doing. 

We are in the body of Christ as the Spirit sees fit.  Full obedience is necessary. 

Our personal feelings and happiness aren't a requirement towards obedience.  Jeremiah went through many severe situations. Paul went through a long list that included being stoned several times.  In everything God saw them and countless others through their storms and made each and every single one of them more like Christ. 

Are you giving your 100% to God?  
Are you giving only what doesn't hurt?
Are you giving anything at all?
Are you only trying to protect your feelings and emotions?

Think about the life you have been given in Christ.  Life is hard whether you are a Believer or not. In Christ we have a purpose for what we go through. Outside of Christ our life has no purpose but personal fulfillment that ends in eternal hopelessness.  You transition from this world to Hell, weeping or gnashing your teeth at God because you only then realize what all your selfish life choices meant.
Those in Christ transition to the presence of Jesus to forever be with Him.  To see all the lives, not just their own, that were impacted by their full obedience. 

I'm not a big one for sports analogies, but, this one is right. 

In Junior High or High School many are enthralled by the popularity and success of football players. Your peers push you to get excited with them and choose a team.  Many see their success and want it for themselves. Yet they don't want to do the work to get there.

I watched a short video on a very popular basketball player. His choice to constantly come down on his teammates had a good reason but how he motivated them was not.  His irritation came because he wanted a championship. He got to practice early, stayed late, to perfect his game.  His teammates barely showed up on time for practice and left immediately. 
His point of view was they would only earn his respect by being intentional about why they were there.  To give their 100 percent or more.  Literally his view was the same as what we began this with. Partial obedience nets disobedience. You're not in it for what you are supposed to be in it for. 

Look at your life and just how obedient you are being.  When prompted are you obeying when God prompts you?
Are you giving your all to the One who gave His all for you?

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Practiced, not Accidental or Incidental

Practiced, Not Accidental or Incidental 
by David Brenneman 

We won't get far with excuses with Jesus. 

He's beyond the ultimate in understanding that we experienced as a child when our parents didn't need to ask what we were up to. He knows. 

He knows more than we can ask or think. 
He knows every conceivable outcome of every possible moment you face.
He knows every single intention of your heart. 
He knows every single person that way...and holds the Universe together on top of it all. 

He knows and loves you and I regardless. 
He knows our going out and our coming in.

He wants what's best for us if only we would leave the choice to Him. 

But this takes practice.  Intentional practice.  Not accidental or incidentally. Intentional. 

We are easily distracted, easily disappointed, easily discouraged. I know that I certainly am.  

We don't realize, deeply enough, just what is really going on in our world and in our lives. 

It's not about our prosperity. 
It's not about our joy and happiness in Earthly stuff. 
It's not about our anything this world has to offer.  You're not taking anything with you when you leave this world anyway. 

What a Believer takes is what has happened with them in growing in Christ Jesus.  What they did in the body for Jesus.  There are no U-Haul's to Heaven. No trailer hitches to caskets. 

Obedience to God's Word produces growth in Christ Jesus.  Faith is strengthened not necessarily by our good times in life but by what we've gone through in Christ for our Savior. 

It takes intentional practice. 

It takes intentionality.  As it was written earlier in where I photographed, a bodybuilder doesn't decide right away to go lift 500 lbs.  They go to through specific exercises to move up what can be lifted until they are safely able to do what's necessary to lift 500 lbs.

We cannot go through this life aimlessly when Jesus's following the Father’s intentional plans for all who believe. 

We aren't here to be all we can be for ourselves, to our own good pleasure, for our own desires and wants.  Read in the early parts of Genesis before the Great Flood.  Every single person was doing what was right in their own eyes and their thoughts were evil continually.  We, when left to our own thing, will not do what's right in God's eyes. 

We also cannot be only a Believer on the surface.  Deep roots make tall trees withstand the storms. Shallow roots will uproot the tree.

The roots fight to grow downward as the tree grows upward.  We need to press on toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus for our lives.  Being intentional on growing deeper roots.

It's a practiced thing. It takes intentional repeating. Prayer as often as we think about it.  Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  think about that.  It's not your worldly desires. It's you wanting to be useful to your Savior that will be granted. 

Each morning are you intentional in greeting the day given to you in prayer?
Each morning are you intentional in being in the Word of God?
Each day are you seeing where God has you and what He wants of you?

Is the desire of your heart what God wants?

I know that in my life worry can be a heartbeat away.  May sound strange based on what I have been instructed to write, but it's true.  I still have a sin nature. I still go through life adjusting to what I see, hear, touch and feel.  Prayer calms me. Calms that drumbeat on that door to my mind. 

I intentionally get up early to greet my Savior. To spend time with Jesus. To be in prayer and to be seeing what He has for me in today while it's today.  

Doesn't mean that it makes life a breeze.  Faith makes life possible when lived in Christ Jesus.  

All Believer's have something to be doing in their lives for Christ Jesus.  The tasks are never too daunting when faith is present.  Our personal preferences would be to sit out life until either God calls us home or the Rapture happens.  Jesus never wants a single Believer to sit it out. There are no bench warmers with Jesus. 

Are you being intentional about growing in Christ?  Are you putting what God wants of you before what you want of you?  

Wisdom is freely given to all who ask Him.

So be bold enough to ask.
Be bold enough to see where you really are in your growing in Christ. 

Let today be when you take bigger steps in growing your roots deeper in your faith. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Don't Like to Hear About Judgment?

Don't Like to Hear About Judgment?
by David Brenneman 

You think that people are angry these days?  Oh anger is coming.  People everywhere, in every tongue, tribe and nation will be angry at the truth of the Bible concerning salvation in Christ Jesus alone. 

When people find out that the Rapture of the Church was indeed no fairy tale. 

When millions of people vanish regardless of where they are or what they were doing. 

Great multitudes will bust open the doors of churches everywhere seeking answers.

Yet they will be met with a silence that speaks volumes.  That silence will declare that they missed the opportunity of an eternity, but not without a hope.  Salvation will still be possible, but they won't be leaving like the rest who had.

Only by way of salvation through Jesus Christ alone can you pass out of judgment into eternal life.  

Scripture says through the Apostle Peter that by no other name given to man under the Heavens must we be saved. That name is Jesus.

My Dear Reader, you will be among those left behind if you are still on the fence about needing to be saved.  Satan owns that fence. The fence of indecision is in and of itself a choice, a decision not to accept the truth of God. 

My desire in these years that I have on this Earth is to keep pointing people to Jesus. 

Jesus saves, people do not. Jesus died that we might live. We cannot know what it means to truly live until we are made alive in Christ. 

We watch videos of "Karen's", people who are so blind with rage and hate that they cannot see how they are behaving. 

We don't see our lives as God sees them.

We might think we're doing ok without God in our lives.  That way of thinking leads to eternal separation from God in torment, paying for our own sins.  Jesus revealed that aspect of Hell in talking about the Rich man and Lazarus.  Jesus always spoke the truth. 

Jesus said that apart from Me you can do nothing. You cannot be good enough to save yourself.  Sin is in your DNA and can only be removed by what Jesus alone had to do. 

Consider it well. At any moment it's possible that those saved in Christ Jesus will hear a shout from Heaven to "Come up here!". Only those who have died in Christ or are alive and have placed their faith and trust in Christ Jesus for salvation will hear it and will leave at that time.

The next 7 years will be literally something like Hell on Earth. In between a global Leader demanding he be worshiped, the global economy will have tanked and be rebuilt with this leader in mind. Those still here will worship or die. You won't buy or sell without giving allegiance to this leader.  Matters not the country.  Add to this horror, judgments from God will be impacting the world. 

Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.  You cannot see Heaven without going through Jesus. 

Life will never cease to be complicated. You will always have thorns and thistles to deal with. You, my Friend, do not need to go it alone.  In Christ Jesus we have an Advocate, one who stands in the way of life's happenings.  In Christ we have a hope the world cannot know.  We can take worries and give them a direction in prayer.  We can, through Christ, move mountains that seemed impossible. Been there, done that with Him.  

At any moment it's possible that Jesus will return.  

Are you ready?  

You might not like to hear about the judgment of God.  Those who have given their lives to follow Jesus do not face that judgment.  The Bible says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  In Christ we do not stand condemned. He took our sins away. Cast them as far as the east is from the west, remembering them no more. 

You do not need to fear the judgment of God.  Salvation is as near as your next thought, your next breath.