Sunday, April 30, 2023

Incorrectly Living

Incorrectly Living
by David Brenneman

Living in the moment for the wrong reasons is easy to do in our world in which we live today.  We easily also try to live in the emotion of the moment, this too is in error.  Our feelings and our emotions can wreck us in ways that can take days, months, even years to overcome.

Living for Jesus, the hymn, has a lot of truth in it.  
"Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me."

There's that word again.  That one that Jesus used.  "All."

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength.

What else did He say? Oh yes.  Those would seek their life must lose it.  Those who lose their life for His sake and the Gospel's sake...will find it.  Therein is the implied "all" again.  All of your life.  Not some...all.

It's also very very interesting how Satan just wants to not give up in regards to that 'all' thing.   Convincing many to compromise.  To not quite give up EVERYTHING to live a life for Jesus.  Wait, give up everything?   There's common sense giving up of things and there's those things that require none to understand are not God-honoring.  

We're not to elevate people, places, things, above our relationship with Jesus.  When there's a struggle...then you know you have identified someone, some place and or some thing that you are divided about.   

It can be just anything from what seems inconsequential to those things that are rather profoundly overwhelming.  

Satan's first thing with Believer's is to find a way to get our minds OFF of living for Jesus.  To get our attention, even for a moment, away from the eternal life that awaits.  

We talked again just yesterday at the Men's Group that I go to about HALT.  Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.  Those are the times that we're the most vulnerable to Satan's influence.  

Another key area of incorrect living is when we have fallen into HALT and fall farther from the beaten path that we're to be on in Christ.  We start making choices that take us from what we were called to be  doing in the body of Christ.  People get to us...and we shut down.  Rather than realizing the truth.  

We're to live a life that honors what Jesus sacrificed Himself for.
We're to live a life that honors everything that He lived and died for...which the free gift of salvation that's only in Him.
We're to live a life that leads people to Jesus.  If we're not doing that, then what are we doing?
Our conduct, and our speech either are showing people Jesus, or we're not.

We're never 'off duty' in Christ.
We're never 'on vacation' in Christ.

Jesus said nothing of 'down time' from serving or living a God honoring life.  Not once in 4 versions of the Gospel will you find that there's an exception to taking up your own cross and following Jesus.

No where will you find AFTER Matthew, Mark, Luke or John anything written about there being an exception that allows us to put our cross down that Jesus told us to take up.

Hollywood, the mainstream news, the various forms of media and social media all would have you think otherwise.  Psychologist's would have you think otherwise.  Certainly the entire 'entertainment' industry would have you think otherwise.  They would you rather drop what you're doing and focus on you for your own sake. 

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

Are you living a life that is growing in Christ?  That's correct living.
Are you living a life that shows that you love the Lord your God the way Jesus said? That's correct living.
Are you living a life that says "Jesus is here"?  That's correct living.

We're to live our lives in such a way that those outside the body of Christ see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.   Is that you?  If so...that's correct living.

We have one life to live....and we're born in THIS here and THIS now for a singular purpose and it's not to own the best of this or that.  It's not to accumulate this or that.  It's not anything that the world recommends.  That singular purpose is whatever we're called to be doing in Christ Jesus.  Speak the truth in love...that truth being the Word of God...which is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness that the man or woman of God would be adequate, equipped for every good work.  

Are you going to be one of those crying when you stand before Jesus because you KNOW you got it wrong and you KNOW that He knows?   Your beginning and up til now might not have been the greatest in living for Jesus...but you CAN start today and until either you're taken home to be with Him or the Rapture of the Church CAN get it right.

Jesus left us a Helper, the Holy Spirit who would be here to teach us all things that He commanded.
Are you listening to Him?  Have you learned anything from Him lately?  If not, why not?
I don't write for the sake of writing...when prompted to write, that's when I do.  This too is living for Jesus.  We're not always going to know why we do or why we were told to do what we've done in Christ...we're to trust and obey.

Yes It May Hurt

Yes It May Hurt
by David Brenneman 

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."
 Romans 8:16-17 NASB 

When you look at the lives of the first Disciples turned Apostles...and how their lives were lived...suffering was a significant part of what defined their lives.  

It's quite often a very difficult position to be in in terms of what Christian's today call suffering and what the Bible says is suffering.  The lesson with Jonah was don't go and run from what might be the suffering we're to go through in order to point people to a life in Christ.  It's going to be hard at times.  We're told in advance that it's going to be.  So why are so many Christian's surprised that their lives are often difficult rather than filled with health, wealth and prosperity?

Running from God doesn't work. Just check with Jonah on that. 
Picking a new profession rather than what you were called to do and to be in Christ doesn't work either.

The Spirit will have His say concerning such choices and decisions.  

The thing to remember is we DO have to give an account before Jesus concerning the deeds done in the body.  It's not a matter of if, but of when.  It's not a matter of what we will say as to why we didn't or did...Jesus will know the truth without asking.  It just says in Scripture that our deeds will be tried as with fire.  Some people's will go up in flames and others will have gold.

We're not promised health, wealth and prosperity.  We get a lot of wrong connotations from the term 'blessings' from God.  Most don't also see that death is considered a healing in God's eyes as well.

Sure you can change jobs and think that all will be right with the world because of the suffering you might have been made to endure...but in light of that accounting before Christ..will it have been the right decision?  

The Prodigal Son thought that he had health, wealth and prosperity when he made that decision to go and take his Father's money and go live the life that he wanted to live...or thought he wanted to live.
Squandering it without thought to consequence.  It caught up with him. 

For people to see our good works and to glorify our Father in Heaven it's going to mean people seeing us go through both good things and the painful things of life.  

Sometimes we also get the wrong idea of what 'life more abundant' turns out to be.  
Sometimes we're just not meant to know why and instead we're to persevere regardless of what our eyes see or our ears hear.  I've often recommended reading "90 Minutes in Heaven".  Still do.  It's a real story about a real Pastor who went through some horrific after accident surgeries.  He endured the suffering because God said so not because he had the choice.  But we read of what God did with his suffering. How it formed bridges to people who otherwise were unreachable. 

When we cave in and run from what we're called to do in Christ Jesus...we miss out on those lives we were meant to show Jesus to.  A void is left where once someone was serving as they were meant to be.

A very real danger is THINKING that it's too hard, too difficult, and we decide to change things without truly consulting God first, or maybe thinking that we are but aren't waiting on His answer.  Remember the words of Jesus to those who THOUGHT they were doing things in His can also apply to those who are in Christ but have been doing things they were not meant to be doing.

ARE you doing what you were called to be doing in Christ Jesus?
ARE you trying to be a part of the body that you're not?  Paul wrote about that. 

IS your life a reflection of one who's pursuing obedience to Jesus?
IS your life a reflection of the character of Jesus?

ARE you at all looking to hear 'well done' from Jesus?  

Look at the people Jesus encountered in the years of His ministry here on Earth.  Many suffered for decades and it was for no other reason other than the works of God may be manifested in them.

We may be called to suffer for His sake because of the same.  

"but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ," Ephesians 4:15 NASB. 

Growing up in Christ means painful moments.  Growth causes things to stretch, to expand.  Often with painful signs and side effects.  Roots must burrow deeper and deeper to find true sustenance, to find water.

Our lives are going to have difficulties.  Many of which we are not going to understand the reason why. 

To grow up as God intended, as His workmanship, will mean doing things we don't understand.  Will mean dealing with unreasonable people. With people who are constantly trying to get under our skin.  

Be mindful as well that our own true obedience to the word of God must be in place.  Regardless of how it makes you feel, your sanctification is what He is working towards.  To change your character into the character of Christ in you. 

When we run from God, when we choose our own way rather than the way outlined by God, we cause others to have to be put in our place to fulfill God's plans.  They will get the honor before Jesus and it will not go to us. 

Living in Christ Jesus indeed may hurt, but the fruits are out of this world.  The benefits are incalculable.  Our desires should be becoming what Jesus desires. Our lives should be causing others to see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. It shouldn't be us glorifying ourselves so that others see us only.  They shouldn't be seeing nothing but us.

Living in Christ Jesus, He says, you will likely suffer for doing so.  But He also says to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world.  In every way that matters He's been victorious.  In every way that matters in our growth in Christ Jesus He's been victorious.  Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. 

All these things will include whatever it takes to transform your life into the character of Christ in you.  It includes joyful times and painful times. It includes times of understanding and times when we don't understand.  

But the priority is to live a life worthy of the calling that we have in Christ Jesus. He gave His life to save us, to save you, to save me.  What value do you put on that?
Just how would your life change if another human being saved you from some horrific event?  How far would your appreciation go?  How long would it last? 

Many, just like the children of Israel, get into a cozy routine and slowly forget what makes for a successful life in Christ. 

Many get hurt by other Christians and retreat.  They change careers or just plain stay away from their calling in Christ.  

Many will try to stand on the excuse of it hurting too much.  You think being nailed to a cross didn't?  You think that having a crown of thorns hammered onto your head didn't?  You think being scourged didn't?  A scourge is a whip with things added to the ends of each strip that would intentionally imbed into the flesh in order to rip away flesh when it's yanked back.

What He's Done...that song is a constant daily reminder.  When giving up seems to be my only recourse, I remember what He's done. When my gut thinks I can't go forward because of how people treat me, I remember what He's done.  

What about you?  Are you trying to be a part of the body of Christ that you weren't intended to be?  Are you avoiding what you know the Spirit wants you to be doing?  Are you standing on excuses rather than living in obedience?  

This was a heavy post to write.  I often have to look at what I am doing and why.  I often wonder if I am doing all that Jesus wants of me.  I am heartbroken over others claiming the name of Jesus who have abandoned their call in Christ Jesus.  They let people or circumstances cause them to turn away.  The things of this world were sometimes more attractive to them.  They seek an easier way of life to live rather than the life that the Spirit needs them to live to grow in Christ. To lead people to Jesus.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He didn't come to change the world into a better place. He didn't come, yet, to rule and reign yet.  That's coming.  Saving people is what He's doing. Our job as Believers is to point people to Jesus and arrange the introduction.  

Even if it's an incredibly painful prospect. Even if it's uncomfortable.  
Even if it hurts. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023


by David Brenneman 
Our lives are not our own. We were bought with a price. 

It always is amazing to me, and I honestly pray that it never ceases to, see the Spirit connect Scripture after Scripture when He begins to formulate a thought to write about. 

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB 

"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 

"who will repay each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life; but to those who are self-serving and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, He will give wrath and indignation." Romans 2:6-8 NASB 

"Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NASB 

So many millions of people who possibly attend some church, somewhere, have some seriously wrong ideas about living the Christian life. 

It's taken years, sadly, for me to even get to where I am today.  I have a different take on thinking on the statement of "I can only imagine".   Oh what my life might have been like had I learned much earlier in life of how to better walk with Jesus. 

Undivided...attention.   Read way back with the people of Israel who were so easily distracted by shiny things.  By what other countries had that looked better than what they had in their relationship with Jesus as Lord of them.  Think about that!  

Just like them, so it is with us. We are to no longer live as the world lives, in the futility of their minds.  Following empty and vain things and thinking. 

Pursuing things that absolutely do not matter in light of eternity. 

Jesus is returning soon.  The final exam is coming.   What will your deeds done in your life show in regards to how well you lived for Jesus?

How well did you follow Him as He said to?

How well did you walk by the Spirit and thus not fulfill the desires of the flesh?

How well did you show the world that you even had a relationship with Jesus?

How important was it to you to have read your Bible all the way through even once?

How important indeed!  That single thought brought me great conviction.  How was I to stand before Jesus and confess that He's my Savior and at the same time admit that I never read the love letter that He left me?  Today I can't tell you how many times I have read it through.  If you have both the quiet place and time, LISTEN through it.  Watch it come alive in your mind unlike any movie you've ever seen.  Ever see a movie and it's like you are standing in the scene, seeing it unfold before you? Christ.  Jesus is God, the Spirit He left us is God.  The Father who awaits us is God.  

When people look at you, at what you occupy your life they see a relationship with Jesus or with other things?  If you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. what do people see there?  Are you leaving out your relationship with Jesus?  Why?  Are you only promoting your company?  Why? 

Are you only promoting everything else but your relationship with Jesus?  

Are you more interested in your reputation than your relationship with Jesus?  

Do you realize that when we read that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in means that the Spirit has free reign to remove and replace whatever ought not be there, from thoughts and intentions to physical things...anything and everything you value above a right relationship with Jesus?

It's interesting that so many Christians think that after coming to Christ it means health, wealth and prosperity.  That we will get our own little kingdom here on Earth. 

Jesus said point-blank that those who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer.  Paul wrote that we are at war in this life.  We battle not against flesh and blood.  We are in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  We come to Christ we switch sides.  We are not to live as the world does. 

Undivided means all of you...lives for all of Him. 

Are you wasting your time, energy and money on all that you have and desire, rather that furthering God’s plan for you in Christ and God's plan for mankind, the seeking the lost in this world?

Is all of you...intent on the one purpose of living for all of Jesus?  

What needs to go?  Don't say nothing.  My Dear Reader, that's a blanket invitation to the Spirit to start a full-on renovation of your life.  It often begins with a "Oh really...".

Yes this life has within it elements to enjoy that God created, but stay on task.  Jesus in His ministry stayed on task. He would let nothing and nobody take Him away from the Father’s plan.  His final words?  "Go, make Disciples, teaching them to do all that I commanded."  Go and do. 

Will you receive a "Well done!" from Jesus or maybe a " made it..."?  

Our works will be tested by the fire of His truth.  Everything will be burned away that wasn't done in the body for Jesus.  Every thought or intention that we thought might be right and true will be tested. Every selfish thing turned to ashes.  Every selfish thought...ashes. 

Is your heart undivided?  If it isn't my Dear something about it today. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Is God Glorified in Your Life or Are You?

Is God Glorified in Your Life or Are You?
by David Brenneman 

In a recent post by Dr. David Jeremiah, he had the following graphic:

When we are out in the world are we indeed rendering what is God's to God?
Or does the world only get to see us and not God?  

In Romans, Paul wrote much about the transformation of our lives from a life of self to a life in Christ Jesus.  Paul in this book and others mentioned putting off the old self and its practices and putting on Christ Jesus.  

In life are you who are in Christ Jesus representing Him well, or are you representing yourself well?  

We read in Philippians 2:5-8 NASB "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross."

Jesus spoke of not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to.  Don't go sitting at an event where you think you ought to because of who you think you are...for the one giving that event may have someone more important than you who was meant for that seat.  

So many people are looking for ways to market themselves.  On how to only show their so-called good side.   To make their business look better they puff themselves up.  Some remove all mention of God in order to show how inclusive they are.  Some go to any lengths to promote self. 

Pretty much the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches.  Humble ourselves and in due time God will lift up such.

Our walk with Jesus should be what people see when they look at us.  Our talents and abilities ought to be used to glorify God in Christ Jesus.  THAT is what our deeds done in our bodies will be when we stand before Jesus, giving an account of our lives will be about. 

It's very distressing to see people claiming to be Believer's going to great lengths to keep people from seeing God in their social media.  What are you ashamed of?

It's distressing to watch Believer's who have sold out to worldly thinking and are actually now among the deceiver's of the world in misrepresenting God.  They think they are doing oh so much good yet are leading people away from a right relationship with Jesus.  

A life in Christ Jesus should be causing others to see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven...if we aren't...then what are we doing?  If that glory isn't going towards God then who is getting it?  It's going somewhere.  

We read of how men will be lovers of self in the last days.  Lovers of self means that they will be glory seekers of themselves. 

I am not ashamed of what people see in any of my social media sites.  My life is hidden in Christ Jesus.  I don't live for anyone but my Savior.  I don't live for my employer.  I don't live for my personal ideals.  I don't live for political parties.  I don't focus on things that don't matter in light of least that's my goal. 

So many people are wrapped up in health, wealth and prosperity that they are wasting their years given to them by God's timing and purpose for the specific reason that they were born in this here and this now. 

It's incredibly painful to watch Believer's wrapped up in psychological mumbo-jumbo and wrapped up in what is clearly a multi-level marketing schemes of this world.  So focused on self-help that God's taken a back seat.  Pointing people to Jesus is no longer on their minds. Glorifying self to become an "influencer". 

Oh what excuse will they give when they stand before Jesus?

Look in the mirror of your own life.  You too will give an account of the deeds done in your life.  A life in Christ Jesus will still spend eternity with Him in Heaven, but will you wipe out your reward from Him because of living for yourself and not Him?  

Is glorifying God in your life more important than what the world tempts you to be like?   

Are you like King David who lamented the fact that he USED to lead the people to worship God?  

USED to.  As in living for self was more important and he looked back and saw how far away from God that he had drifted. 

The Prodigal Son eventually hit a point where he saw the same.  

Jesus is waiting for oh so many people to stop living for self and to repent and return to Him.  My Dear Reader is this you?  Have you fallen for the deceitfulness if riches, of excessively pursuing health and prosperity?   Have you been keeping Jesus from being seen in your life?  

"Softly and Tenderly"

Calling for you and for me
See on the portals He's waiting and watchingWatching for you and for me
… Come home, come homeYe who are weary come homeEarnestly, tenderly Jesus is callingCalling, "O sinner come home"
… O for the wonderful love He has promisedPromised for you and for meThough we have sinned He has mercy and pardonPardon for you and for me
… Come home, come homeYe who are weary come homeEarnestly, tenderly Jesus is callingCalling, "O sinner come home"
… Come home, come home (come home)Ye who are weary come homeEarnestly, tenderly Jesus is callingCalling, "O sinner come home"

Thursday, April 27, 2023

A House of Prayer

A House of Prayer 
by David Brenneman 

Luke 19:45-46 NASB 

"When we walk with the Lord
in the light of his word,
what a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will,
he abides with us still,
and with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

2 Not a burden we bear,
not a sorrow we share,
but our toil he doth richly repay;
not a grief or a loss,
not a frown or a cross,
but is blest if we trust and obey. [Refrain]

3 But we never can prove
the delights of his love
until all on the altar we lay;
for the favor he shows,
for the joy he bestows,
are for them who will trust and obey. [Refrain]

4 Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we'll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey. [Refrain]

- Trust and Obey
  John H Sammis 1887

It's interesting in that when we lived in central Ohio, all the varieties of churches that we attended.  It's no joke that we saw everything from very good churches who held to an unwavering commitment to preaching the gospel of Christ Jesus to one that had a demon in the pulpit, a certain wolf in sheep's clothing. 

In those 20 plus years, and perhaps this too was a gift from God, or perhaps even something to never lose awareness of is our comparing these places to what we left from my hometown.  

Prayer was central to what we had left when we moved to that corner of central Ohio.  What we discovered in those years was so many "visions" that various groups there had to what "church" should look like. 

What's funny, in a very sad way, is how people try to define what church is and neglect to rely on what Jesus already said it ought to be.  A house of prayer. 

"Bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ" Galatians 6:2 NASB.  Something very clear and understandable yet you wouldn't believe how many times people gave me looks of exasperation because I was sharing prayer requests.  

Church is what the Spirit teaches it to be. Not what visions that mankind drums up.

I am not saying that all are like what we experienced but I share in order to, as always, point people back to Jesus.  

We saw so many holding a decided upon revival.  They scheduled it.  That's not what the Spirit teaches.  When the Spirit decides that the ground is ready for one, then it happens.  Spiritual growth occurs when the work of the Spirit is accomplished in the lives of people. 

"With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints, and pray in my behalf, that speech may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:18-20 NASB.

"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" Romans 8:26 NASB.

"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit" Jude 1:20 NASB. 

We also read the truth that we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  Hmm.  For those thinking their vision is what church ought to be...realize the order of things...we are His workmanship, not the other way around. 

Prayer was central towards that first surge in Church growth in the book of Acts.  Prayer caused the Spirit to pour out upon the Apostles to cause them to speak with all boldness.  
Prayer guided the Apostle Paul. 

Hmm seems that what Jesus Himself said is the central point is what's right and true.  

We can easily find places calling themselves churches that will tell us what we want to hear.  That way lies no conviction of sin.  Surrounding yourself with people that only make you feel good without any of what the Spirit says is necessary for growth in Christ Jesus will lead you to be among those whom Jesus said to depart from Him for He never knew them. 

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

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

When you think of church what DOES come to mind? 

A place of prayer for all people or a place to just be warmed and filled without any true meeting with God?

When you go to wherever you prayer a central part of the place?  

We missed that so much where we used to live.  I sorely miss that from my time before moving.  

The Pastor we had at the time more often than not would stop everything to pray for whomever, whenever, the occasion presented itself.  Be it in person or from a phone call.  Like yesterday's picture from Spurgeon, which is included again today, it should be like breathing.  It should be so natural to us that it's a permanent part of us.  

We are warned in Scripture, by the same said Spirit of God, to be watching for wolves in sheep's clothing.  To be wary of false teachers who tell people what their itching ears want to hear.  Most, if not all, also refrain from teaching the whole counsel of God. The leave out Jesus as the only way the only truth and the only life. 

What do you think of when you think of Church?  If indeed you are going to one, how does it stack up to what God's word says one ought to look like?  Are you with people who put importance on prayer as Jesus said it should be?  How often in His ministry did Jesus go away to be in prayer?  Food for thought...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

You Like Breathing Don't You?

You Like Breathing Don't You?
by David Brenneman 

When we come to Christ for salvation, this isn't a job that we are applying for.  There aren't PTO days or vacation days attributed to us.  Our thoughts of personal life ought to now include doing what pleases God rather than ourselves.  So so many people think that after they come to Christ that there isn't much for the Spirit to change as well.

Many launch after careers that are absolutely not God honoring.  Many stay in careers that aren't pleasing to Him.  Some pursue a life where they actually try to be THE architect of change in other people's lives when it's God who's really the person behind life change.  Egos get puffed up and in time people fall.  

We read that if we walk by the Spirit we will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  The flesh sets itself against the Spirit. Did you realize that?  That you cannot trust you?  If the sin nature was as powerful as it was towards Adam and Eve, who had perfect brains...used all 100 percent of theirs compared to people of today who might use 2 to 3 to stand against it?  Only in a life surrendered to Jesus is it possible.  

In any war movie you can sit back and realize an undercurrent of one word: relentless.  The battle strategies had to be relentless. Those who stayed here at home supporting them while they fought had to be relentless.  To live you have to be relentless in wanting to breathe and eat. When we don't do either our physical bodies have a problem with that. 

There's no real idea found in the Bible about a life of rest until we cross over, in Christ Jesus, to His Heaven.  Those who rejected Him find an eternity beginning of no peace and no rest.   

Those who are saved in Christ Jesus have a work to be doing in this here and this now specific to them. There are no random body parts in the body of Christ.  There are no random or seldom used cells in the body of Christ.  You who came to Christ, who realized your need for His free gift of salvation, have a definitive purpose in His body. 

It's an active purpose not a passive purpose.

As Spurgeon pointed out in that picture...where do we get this idea of having arrived once we come to Christ for salvation?  Where do we get these notions of grandeur that lift us up and not Jesus?  It's that sin nature again.  

That warning by Paul is for your entire life!  Be on the alert for your adversary the devil roams around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. 

We have a responsibility to be persistent in our walk with Jesus.  We should never ever point people to ourselves as being the architect of saving them.  Salvation belongs only to God, through the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.  

It's honestly sickening to see people claiming to be Christians giving Jesus a bad name because they claim to be Christians and yet are deceived and are deceiving others because of their actions. 

We who are in Christ must be on the alert. That's straight forward and from Jesus. 

We ought to be making it a priority to be in His Word to find out what those warnings are about. To find out how to fight the battles in which we find ourselves. 

Our reputation as Believers as well as the Name of Jesus Christ are at stake.  Paul wrote that we ought to be living life in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  

When people see your life are they glorifying your Father in Heaven? 

We read in various parables of what Jesus is saying of both His reputation and ours.  The builders. The builder who built upon the sand and the one who built upon the rock.  The one looking to go into battle, who first sits down to see if he's able to win on paper first.  What does your reputation in Christ say about you?

We need to approach living life from the perspective that Jesus taught.  He sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, another like Himself, also referred to as the Paraclete in order to teach us all things. To bring to remembrance all that He commanded. The wisdom of God in a world that seeks its own wisdom. 

Jesus said our lives are hidden in Christ Jesus.  We aren't to compromise in our lives in regards to living for Jesus.  Promoting things or livelihoods that turn people away from a right relationship with Jesus.  Jesus had Paul write about the fact that we're at war.  We battle not against flesh and blood.  We don't get to sit on the sidelines.   One day soon we'll stand before Jesus to give an account of all that we did in our lives for Him. 

Is your life going to be seen as being all about you or will it show one that was lived out of appreciation for all He's done for you?  

Praying and reading your Bible...Spiritual food that's a requirement for growing in Christ.  You don't whimsically say your just not concerned about breathing air or taking in sustenance do you?  You don't dismiss what your stomach is telling you because you just think it's vying for attention do you?  You don't think your lungs are simply needy do you?  It would be absurd to go down that path. 

Jesus Christ saved us and loves us too much to leave us the way He found us. 

We need to submit to what all He's trying to teach us through His Spirit.  We need ears that hear and eyes that see. We need to pray for those things.  His reputation and ours is at stake.  

How will you feel if Jesus asks you why you didn't do what He needed you to do for Him? 

How will you feel if Jesus asks you why you chose to pursue the praise of men and women over obedience to God?  It takes very little time on social media to see that our culture pushes that even for Believers. Multilevel marketing schemes ravage the world of Christianity today.  Misleading people on everything from diets to psychology.  Rather than pointing people to Jesus Christ they point them towards themselves or others in this world. 

How will you feel knowing that Jesus knows that you never made talking to Him a priority?  That you never thought that reading His Word was at all important to you?  Will you be standing before Jesus offering lame excuses?  

Most people avoid the gyms of this world. 
Even more avoid the workouts that the Spirit needs them to be doing to grow in Christ Jesus.  They look to skate by with the least amount of pain and trouble. 

Hate to break it to everyone: Jesus said that those who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer.  

A life in Christ might look terrible from the outside but inside that person is right where God needs them to be to further their growth in Christ and fulfill God's plans for mankind.  There are no soldiers in the Spiritual warfare we find ourselves in that are useless.  Nor are there soldiers who have nothing to do.  Soldiers in today's world, even when on standby, practice, practice, practice.  

What is your Spiritual condition? 
What would you see if you could see your Spirit in the mirror?  Would it be emaciated?  Would it show someone who's starving?  Or would it be healthy?  Breathing in and out is only but part of living in Christ Jesus.  Praying and reading your Bible is but one part. Obedience to God's Word, being IN the will of God for you is what you should be seeking.  In Romans, Paul wrote that our calling in Christ Jesus is irrevocable.  Our particular purpose in the body of Christ is irrevocable.  It's not for us to decide to not do our part or to switch to trying to do something else.  

Are you after what the Spirit is wanting to do in your life or are you following after whatever makes you feel good instead?  Are you on the alert as Jesus said to be?
Are you setting aside self in order that people see Christ in you?

How's that conversation going to go when you stand before Jesus on that day?

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

He's So Good to Me

He's So Good to Me 
by David Brenneman 

God is so good
God is so good
God is so good
He's so good to me.
He answers prayer
He answers prayer 
He answers prayer 
He's so good to me. 
I love Him so
I love Him so
I love Him so
He's so good to me. 
He's coming soon 
He's coming soon 
He's coming soon
He's so good to me. 
God is so good 
He's so good to me!

To wake up to such words going through my head was a really nice way to start the day.   

Life, outside of Christ, will either drag you down so that you won't look up to Jesus or get you so stoked on self that you don't realize your need to be saved in Christ Jesus.  

In Christ Jesus you realize who you really are.  

Another song, and the right song, right music, points us toward right thinking: 

Who am I that the highest KingWould welcome me?I was lost but He brought me inOh His love for meOh His love for me
Who the Son sets freeOh is free indeedI'm a child of GodYes I am
Free at lastHe has ransomed meHis grace runs deepWhile I was a slave to sinJesus died for meYes, He died for me
Who the Son sets freeOh is free indeedI'm a child of GodYes I amIn my Father's houseThere's a place for meI'm a child of GodYes I am
I am chosen not forsakenI am who You say I amYou are for me not against meI am who You say I amI am chosen not forsakenI am who You say I amYou are for me not against meI am who You say I amI am who You say I am
Who the Son sets freeOh is free indeedI'm a child of GodYes I amIn my Father's houseThere's a place for meI'm a child of GodYes I am
In my Father's houseThere's a place for meI'm a child of God
- Who You Say I am 
  Hillsong Publishing 

The core of the attacks on human beings is towards our identity.  Look at our news stories and its riddled with cases of people trying to redefine identity.  Trying to recreate man into their own image.  Everything from psychological manipulation to that plus physical mutilation as well as psychological using drugs to support it.

Satan goes after our identity in order to turn our attention, our eyes and ears, both physically and spiritually away from what God intended for us.

When we realize our identity in Christ, and remind ourselves through Scripture and song, Satan loses his powers of influence. 

There's nobody in Heaven who has any trouble knowing with 100% full assurance of their identity. 

In Hell, there's not a single person there who hasn't figured out that nothing they did in physical life went with them in their death.  Everyone there is as they were physically born as.  These are some of those in torment there who raise a fist at God in anger because He undid all they did to themselves.  

It's no secret that people more often than not don't want to hear the truth. Ignorance is bliss was stated for a reason.  People sometimes would rather live with a lie rather than to know the truth.  

But a life in Christ ought not to be that way.  The truth that is God's truth ought to be as important to you and I as it is to God because we read that Jesus said that He IS the Truth. 

If you're not saved in Christ Jesus then you're going to have a difficult time understanding.  The Bible says that to understand Spiritual things, Spiritual thoughts of God, you must first come to Christ for salvation otherwise the thoughts, ideas, everything about the truth of God is going to be foreign to you. 

The good news is that understanding is a choice, a decision away, right here and now for you, for anyone desiring to know what truth really is.  

Truth is a person. The Bible says so in the Gospels.  Gospel means good news.  So this is very good news to those seeking to understand and know just what God really wants for you and I.  Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Over 2,000 years ago He came, lived a sinless life, died a horrific death on a cross, taking your place and mine that we deserved for the sin we were born with.  3 days later He arose from the dead, victorious over sin, over death.  Paving the way to become THE Way to Heaven.  There's no other way to get to Heaven but through Him.  

His Father's plan was to make it so easy that a child could understand it.  Honestly it's adults who mess it up.  It's no wonder Satan's attacks target children first.  Getting those already manipulated adults to manipulate them. 

Jesus loves me this I know 
For the Bible tells me so 
Little Ones to Him belong 
They are weak but He is strong
Yes Jesus loves me!
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so 

This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine
This little little of mine
I'm going to let it shine let it shine let it shine. 

There's so many simple reminders of how much He loves you and me. 

Oh How He loves you!
Oh How He loves me!
Oh How He loves you and me!

The Bible teaches us to remind ourselves with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts to God. 

It's so so hard to do that and be consumed by negativity.  

If you haven't come to Christ yet, think on this one thought:  When He was on the cross YOU were on His mind.  He was there paying the price for your sins that you can't pay yourself.  That torment and pain that He endured was for you and I.  
All it takes is you asking Him to save you to become your Savior and Lord of your life.  

"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;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

If you are saved in Christ Jesus, what are you doing to know more about Him?  What are you doing to show the world that He is your Savior?  

To everyone: Jesus is coming soon.  Soon there's going to be a day when millions of people are going to vanish in an instant.  The Bible says a trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise first, wherever their physical bodies were, they will be glorified, made perfect and reunited with their spirit.  Those alive at the time will have their bodies transformed just the same. They all will leave and forever be with Jesus.  Those who remain...well life is going to be pretty much as horrific as it can get.  The ensuing 7 years will be filled with the judgments of God.  

In this here and this now you, my Friend have a choice.  After He returns, people will indeed be flocking to church buildings everywhere begging Jesus to come back. 

Jesus told His disciples and all who heard Him as well as all of us who read be on the alert, for you know not when He's coming back. 

Oh How He loves you! Oh How He loves me! Oh How He loves you and me...

Realizing that now...grabbing ahold of that truth and telling Jesus that you want that for you is the most important decision of your life. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

At All Times

At All Times 
by David Brenneman 

"Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect any person. Now there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect any person,  yet because this widow is bothering me, I will give her justice; otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge said;  now, will God not bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night, and will He delay long for them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”" Luke 18:1-8 NASB 

It's interesting that the explanation of the parable is given right away.  A point to note is some translate the last verse to read "will He find the faith on the earth?"

Oh the transition that mankind refers to as "progress"!  We build this or that and marvel at the genius of our minds!  Pride swells at the successes of our hands!  

What is missed is that which is wrapped up in the lessons of the children of Israel in the years that followed them entering the Promised land. 

The truth that successes at our own hands at meeting our own needs and desires often creates a disconnect between us and God meeting our needs.  It often dilutes or waters down faith in God's provision and His promises.

Do you see what is meant by the parable? That in the generations to come mankind would marvel at its own brilliance and achievements, thus reducing its own reliance upon God for daily needs?  

Think about it.  What mankind calls progress, God doesn't necessarily agree with.  

We ought not to think of God's provision in our lives as a backup plan in case our societal solutions fail.  

The promises of Jesus Christ ought to be where we go to first.  

We often swim in surplus in our lives rather than considering our need to rely on God.  Some actually think they are in danger if their shelves in a vast pantry have an empty spot.  

Our world teaches so many things that are the opposite of what the Bible teaches through the Spirit of God.  We get taught to define our lives our way by our own desires.  That's not what the Spirit teaches us. We get taught to go after whatever our heart desires, regardless of if we can afford it or not.  We get taught that it's only a matter of persuasion to get everyone to agree with what we want ourselves to be accepted as.  That loving self for the sake of self is paramount.  Interestingly that's a warning in the Bible about the time that Jesus refers to here upon His return. 

It's not natural, in our time in which we live, to consider that we need to truly seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and what? And all these things will be added unto you.  

We indeed are facing needs in our lives.  
But as faith history points to for us, when we persist in going to God first, God honors that.  

When we persist in going in our own strength and knowledge, we more often than not get stressed out because of details we weren't aware of. 

God's never unaware of any kind of details. 

My life is hidden in Christ Jesus.  Satan can throw all kinds of things at it in order to spur on worry.  To try to get a seed of that to take root.  We are told up front that our battle is not against flesh and blood.  It's not the people around us.  

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

What's at stake?  There's always something that's at stake in a war.  The first is our way of life.  War disrupts the way of life for all involved.  How we eat, how we get what is needed, fix what is broken.  How we go about our day.  How we even sleep at night.  

Whether you are saved or not, the war is still there.  Those in Christ Jesus are just vastly more aware of it than anyone outside the life that's found in Christ Jesus.  We are given spiritual eyes that can see truth because we're given the truth of God in Christ Jesus.  

Satan wants to destroy whatever is valuable to God.  From life itself to how it ends.  From murdering babies in the womb to the elderly.  He cares not who it impacts as long as those people do not and are not able to give glory to God. 

Satan wants what people attribute to God. 

He wants to steal even our faith.  That lesson that I referred to considering the children of Israel.  They got to being so into their genius and successes in the Promised land that they systematically began turning away from God.  Their faith was turned from God towards other 'gods' which are no Gods at all but rather are demons. 

Persistence in prayer turns our minds towards our living hope in Christ Jesus. 

Persistence in prayer keeps our focus where the One who knows every detail can provide for our needs in His timing and through His ways. 

Persistence in prayer strengthens our faith in Jesus Christ and not of ourselves so that we don't boast.  

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB. 

It's often a great struggle for me to sit on my hands when I have prayed for God's provision.  My natural inclination is to do something.  My natural mindset is that I need to work at solving the problem.  

As one was reminded in the Bible "is there anything to great for God to handle?" sort of paraphrasing that.  Jeremiah 32:27 NASB "“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Persist in Godly stubbornness.  A strange way to say that.  Persist in going to God first in prayer.  Persist in sitting at the feet of Jesus.  Persist in living life so that your faith might be strengthened.  Persist because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. 

He is looking for the weakness of self-reliance.  For that fledgling ego that's just ready to burst out n to leave faith behind. 

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

Pray together. Bolster the faith of others.  Pray for one another.  Persist in prayer. 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Let Us All Pray

Let Us All Pray 
by David Brenneman 

At any time we feel at ease enough to not be praying, we're in trouble.  

Time and time again in the Old Testament this theme reminds us that ease and comfort can often lead the way towards problems in living life as God intended for us.  Care must be taken that we don't run off to do our own thing just because peace is all about us. 

The Apostle Paul wrote of the fact that he would indeed boast of his weaknesses if those things would bring about the power of Christ in him. 

"In behalf of such a man I will boast; but in my own behalf I will not boast, except regarding my weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.  Because of the extraordinary greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:5-10 NASB. 

To be truthful, I really don't find much, if any, reason to boast in myself.  There've been people who point to things that I have done or said, that I attribute to the work of God in me.  I might have talents or abilities, those too come from God.  If there's anything good in me or has come from me, those are from my relationship with Jesus. 

My desire is to do my best in whatever I put my mind or my hands to in order to complete whatever it is that God's put before me. Regardless of how I feel about it.  Colossians 3:23-24.

My feelings of late are honestly of weariness.  Of sometimes feeling like I am running on empty.  But God keeps me moving on.  He keeps moving my feet.  

It's what "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" does.  Proverbs. 

We are not going to understand the rough patches of life.  We only think we understand at times.  Distress at times isn't about us personally.  Sometimes distress in our lives is because we can bear up under it when someone else in the faith cannot.  

We read also in Romans 8:28-35  "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. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring charges against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?"

Many, many, times in the now years of writing this blog and in personal conversations with other's, it's been revealed that it was for someone else's sake I have gone through something in order for someone else to understand something that God was saying to them. 

It's not an uncommon theme of the Spirit of God.  Just read your Bible.  

My heart is indeed heavy with grief at the loss of one of the closest friends in this world that I have ever had.  My personal life has things going on it it that I await how God's going to provide in order to bring about relief.  I know that I am out of options so I am trusting in Christ to bring about whatever there is that He's prepared for concerning it.  In Christ all things are possible. 

My mind, these days, often goes to old hymns.  To me they are simpler than many of today's modern music.  

"Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee." 
- Take My Life and Let it Be 
   Frances R. Havergal 1874

Prayer is where I go when I don't have all the answers. 
Prayer is where I go when all I can do is cry and words escape me. 
Prayer is where I go when I need my God to do again what He's done before. 
Prayer is my time with my Savior whenever. Whenever I don't know what to say. Whenever I don't know what to do.  Or even when I might think I know what I am saying or doing. 

My Savior had said that I am in His hands. My Savior said that He loves me. 
My Savior promised to never leave me nor forsake me. 

These are some of the things that I pray back to Him.  

Don't let the deception of an apparently peaceful life keep you from a right relationship with Jesus.  It's then that you must pray all the more. The Spirit says to be on the alert for a reason.  

While I might feel like there's a huge load on my shoulders and I don't know when, how, or where God's going to do something about it, as it is written I will still yet trust in my Savior. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Never a Moment

Never a Moment 
by David Brenneman 

"“Now which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him after he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and recline at the table to eat’? On the contrary, will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which were commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” Luke 17:7-10 NASB 

Not seeking that which God's wanting for you and I to be doing for the Kingdom. 
An interesting thought!

When you and I come to Christ we become workers in His fields.  We enter into service towards God and as we later read in Romans 11:29 NASB "for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable."

We aren't to turn away from that which the Spirit of God puts us in a position to be doing.  No excuse is valid in why we are not obeying in this. Jesus foretold that people would hate those who obey Him and His commands.  We are to persevere in what it is God's calling for us is.  Reading in Jonah...God's not called anyone to be a quitter. 

When you get up each day...are you keeping in mind that God's got something for you to be doing?  If not, why not?  Just because you slept last night doesn't mean that the new day doesn't have something in it for you to be doing for the Kingdom of God. 

Two plans are in play in the world for everyone who is a Believer.  The individual plan of sanctification, that is our becoming more like Christ, and the Bible prophecy plan that is moving towards the Great Tribulation, the Thousand year reign of Christ Jesus and the final judgment of God.  

Do you really want to stand before Jesus, giving an account of your life, only to show that you only did the minimum for Him for all He's done to save you?

Do you really want your life to be a reflection of what you got out of life for you?

Do you not want to see the things that the Spirit did through you when your life is reviewed?

So many people are shipwrecked in their faith because they started out strong in their walk with Jesus and turned aside to worldly things.  To self-gain. To self-interest.  To just plain serving of self because life as a Believer got hard at some point and they gave up on the power of God to overcome the people in their lives or the sins they couldn't let go of. 

Jesus said we would know people by their fruits.   When fruit goes from good to bad the smell certainly gives you an excellent idea of what kind it is.

Never for a moment are we "on vacation" from our service to God.  The Spirit provides opportunities anywhere and everywhere.  

Never for a moment are we not "in class" in our learning to become more like Christ Jesus. 

Never for a moment are we NOT in the process of being transformed into the likeness of Jesus.  

Never...unless we gave up.  When we put ourselves in that kind of position we are highly at risk of being taken out of this world.  God's Name is of more value than out self gratification, than our personal happiness. On countless occasions people have been taken from this world because of the hardness of their hearts.  They turned away because of this reason or that reason. They loved the acclaim of mankind more than the favor of God.  So they turned away from the righteous life that God desired for them. 

Self-examination time.  Are you placing your own life in danger of you being removed from this world because you turned away from what God's called you to do?  We read that God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, so shall he reap.  You either sow good seed or bad seed but you are sowing something.  Jesus said that branches that aren't bearing good fruit will be cut off and thrown in the fire.  

Is there something that the Spirit has been laying on your heart to be doing and you keep making excuses not to do it?  Please stop. Repent and turn back to Jesus.  Sure what you're doing might be all good and comfortable but if it's not what God truly called you to do then you are disobedient. 

Let today be the day you return with your whole heart to Jesus to be who He called you to be.  

Friday, April 21, 2023

Not Easy, But Never Going at it Alone

Never Easy, But Never Going at it Alone
by David Brenneman 

"and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30 NASB 

My prayer time that is the longest for me is my 15 to 20 minute trip to work.  Quite often it's my pouring out my heart to Jesus.  

I haven't given up on writing my book.  It's been a work in progress.  The nature of it is changing.  

Between my prayer times and times when I have time to think on life, God's been showing me more things to include in my book.  My thoughts for a title over the years has changed and it's set.  It really came to me after reading a section of the book of Joshua.  

The synopsis hasn't changed though.  

It's very much still about faith history.  

We really need to "disconnect" from all that glitters in this world that vies for our attention and place proper importance on that which the Spirit is doing in our lives.  

To that end we who are in Christ ought to be interested in what interests God in us. Our sanctification. Our transformation from a life of sins and sinful pleasures into a life reflecting the righteousness of God. 
Our transformation happens more and more as we let go of what doesn't matter and lay hold of what does. 

Our journey is always indeed going to be fraught with trials and dangers.  Our enemy is God's enemy. He wants nothing to do with our growth in Christ Jesus.  The dimmer out life in Christ Jesus is, the happier he is.  He indeed will attack those who are striving to live the righteous life that God desires for us.

Quite often we feel alone.  But we never are. We always have Jesus to speak to. To listen to.  Regardless of if you have any friends left in this world, regardless of if you have any family left in this world.  Jesus's promise to never leave us or forsake us can never be broken.  

We can hinder it by our choices in living our lives.  We can by being intentional about going after things in this world that do nothing but satisfy the desires of our hearts but do nothing to help our obedience to God's Word.  We are well versed in how to rename sins and sinful behaviors into something that doesn't sound so bad.  Referring to them as mistakes. Referring to them as "that's just how I am" or "that's just how I feel, I can't change it".  

We cause a lot of headaches and heartaches for ourselves when we set Jesus aside to pursue self.  Jesus isn't our butler.  He's not an on call Doctor.  He's not a whatever worldly things we want or do call Him.   Jesus is our Savior. Jesus is our Lord. He is the King of Kings.  He's God's own Son.  

When we pursue what it is that God's wanting of us in our lives we find that peace that passes all understanding. 

We waste so much of our lives on worthless worldly pursuits.  Never quite getting it or getting it too late that worldly success, achievement or anything of this world that is valued by mankind is more important than our walk with Jesus. 

It's not as though any of the battles we face when we obey aren't unexpected. Or at least they shouldn't be. Jesus told us ahead of time that we would face them. 

The world hated Him it would hate us too because we're no longer a part of it when we change our citizenship to Heaven after coming to Christ for salvation. 

Never alone.  We indeed were created for relationships.  We struggle at times to lose some and struggle to create new ones. 

The one that matters most is the one we have by way of the Spirit with Jesus Christ. 

What are you doing to invest in that relationship?  The more you do the less this world's "bling", it's shiny stuff that always has a hook buried in it, can hook us.

Loneliness stinks. It it terrible if we let it grip us.  Jesus is that friend that sticks closer than a brother.  The world will probably forsake you.  Jesus promised never to do that to you.  

Stop today and have a serious talk with Him.  Pour out your heart.  In his early years King David did this a lot.  Which is part of why he was known as a man after God's own heart.  It by his own admission later that he did that less and less and fell into sins. Learn from him.  Don't let your relationship with Jesus fall by the wayside. 

He made you His promise.  Count on Him to honor it.  Let go of the things you're considering as more important than that relationship.  

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Learning What it Means to Live

Learning What it Means to Live 
by David Brenneman 

"And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.’ And so he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey to a distant country, and there he squandered his estate in wild living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began doing without. So he went and [i]hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he longed to have his fill of the carob pods that the pigs were eating, and no one was giving him anything.  But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired laborers have more than enough bread, but I am dying here from hunger!  I will set out and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired laborers.”’ So he set out and came to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, slaughter it, and let’s eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.  And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’  But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you never gave me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”" Luke 15:11-32 NASB 

Learning to truly live takes a right perspective on life.  There's a vast, grand, difference between our perspective on life and the life that we ourselves choose to live. 

When we come to Christ, we have before us two paths.  The one He desires for us and the one we desire. 

We're to lay down our desires in favor of what He's wanting to do in our lives in order to bring about the transformed life in Christ that we read about in Romans 12.

One son stayed with his father, doing whatever he was told, and yet missed out on the desire of his father. The other, while beginning as a rebellious son, learned what true life was about.  Learned what it meant to live. 

We can't have it both ways. 

We shouldn't expect the world to understand or to "get it" because they see no value in a life in Christ.  The Bible says its foolishness to them.  They cannot understand the things of God because they are spiritually discerned.  

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the understanding of those who have understanding, I will confound.”

Where is the wise person? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than mankind, and the weakness of God is stronger than mankind." 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 NASB 

We read Jesus further telling us all that we're to deny self, take up our own cross daily, and follow Him. We read Paul's writing of putting off the old self and its practices and putting on Christ. 


We're supposed to be grateful for all He's done, for all that He went through to save you and I.  

The desires of this world should never be greater than our desire to live as Christ Jesus wants of us in our stay on this Earth.  We came to Christ for salvation. We became aliens in this world. We aren't to "live like the natives" as it were.  Our citizenship is now in Heaven.  It's no longer a reflection of the life we lived to that point but begins to be a reflection of a new life in Christ Jesus. 

The world wants us to covet. Wants us to boast in ourselves. Wants us to be all we can be for every selfish reason imaginable.  Wants us to pursue every thought and desire that makes us happy.  The world wants us to accept everything and everyone just as they are. To stop calling things that the God of the Bible says are sins as sins.  To stop telling them that a life without Christ means eternal punishment in a real place called Hell if they die without salvation in Christ Jesus. 

The world will do and throw everything it can at people who are Christians to make them believe they are the problem, that they don't understand what living life is about.  The world wants Believers to be the ones to think they are crazy.  

Many are put to death because of how far this world will go to silence Christians.  In the book of John we read that people loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  People don't realize how their thoughts and actions can be evil unless those thoughts and actions are exposed to the Light of Jesus Christ. 

The Disciples began to learn how to live when Jesus said "Come! Follow Me!".

Jesus perpetuated this in the Great Commission.  Go, make Disciples, teaching them to do all that I commanded you.  

Are you doing all that Jesus commanded you?  Or are you picking and choosing based on keeping the favor of those around you?  Are you living life your way or are you honoring all that Jesus did, and went through, to save you?  

If ever an obituary is written of me, I really don't want anything said of my life other than that I did my best to obey and follow Christ.  Want nothing mentioned of hobbies or interests. Pointing people to Jesus is what's important to me. The example of the Disciple Andrew.  

Our lives are supposed to be lived in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  We introduce people to Jesus and let Jesus do His work in their lives too.  Jesus saves, we do not.  No Christian has ever saved anyone.  Jesus.  

People will indeed think that I am crazy.  When we learn Spiritual things, the Spirit works His work in us, we WILL live life differently than the world expects a life to look like.  We looked at another passage in an earlier post.  What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?  The Prodigal Son gained the world and lost in every way possible that counted, that mattered.  

Will anyone speak concerning how you lived your life as you being a fully devoted follower of Christ Jesus?   Or would a description of your life be filled with all kinds of descriptions of things of this world?  When we give an account of our lives before Christ, it won't be about our successes or failures in living for us or our contributions to this world.  It's about what we did in our lives for Jesus Christ.

Wouldn't that motivate you and I to live our lives in whatever ways that will make the most of our time here? 

So what if the world thinks we're crazy for following Jesus.  Heaven is filled with people who took that path.  Hell has those in it that wish they weren't where they are, many trillions that wished they had another chance. 

You have one chance at living life as a fully devoted follower of Christ Jesus...ask Him to help you get it right.  He gave His life to give you life.  Isn't that reason enough for you to honor Him all the more in how you live your life?