Friday, June 30, 2023

The Disobedience of Clay

The Disobedience of Clay 
by David Brenneman 

The truth of the matter is so many people think that being within eyesight of God is enough to satisfy God's idea of a relationship with God.  

The Lord Jesus Christ said for us to take up our own cross and follow Him.  To die to self and live to Him.  

Many essentially tell God how it IS is. They tell Him, even if they aren't addressing Him, how life is going to be.  That they have decided this or that and they will settle for nothing less...and yet they claim to be Christians. 

We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB "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."

Does this not include honoring His wishes for your life?  Does this not mean that what He wants to be part of His workmanship in us matters more than our personal happiness?

Joseph was shown at a very young age a few dreams of what his future held.  What was interesting is his family readily understood what the interpretation of those dreams was...and they were indignant.

Joseph was sold into slavery...and while his personal happiness was put on hold, his workmanship in Christ Jesus was becoming a reality.  He was being trained in time management.  Trained in management of people and supplier's.  How to make his master profitable.  The Scriptures say that the Lord was with him. 

We believe a falsehood when it comes to believing that it will be all sunshine and rainbows after coming to Christ for salvation. 

We will begin to be influenced by self.
Self is part of our sin nature. Sin nature doesn't want to share life with Jesus. 

We don't tell Jesus what we will or won't do. Jonah tried and it didn't work out so well.  David let his mind wander and in the end committed murder by proxy.  Then as if that wasn't enough it cost him his son. 

It's truly sad when people will praise God on Sunday and tell Him that they will see Him again next Sunday by the way that they live. 

When a career is more important than family, than a marriage, to a Christian it's a disgrace.  When any Believer chooses self over the plan of God for them, failure will ensue. 

What could be worse is a death that places such a person before Jesus to be asked why?  Why did you disobey Me?

We can't carry our own cross and that of the world too.

We cannot place ideologies above our relationship with Jesus.  

In Christ we are to be a new creation, the old is passed away, the new has come. 

My Dear Reader, are you stubbornly refusing to give up something in your life to Christ?  Are you giving up on what He said you ought to stay committed to? A relationship? A marriage?  Are you refusing to acknowledge His will for your life in Christ Jesus?  

Disobedience will be met with a meeting with your Savior, if indeed you are saved. 

Choosing self before those in your life that Jesus put there will not end well for you. 

Life probably won't make sense when you put the needs of others above yourself. 

Solomon said in Proverbs 3:8-9 NASB "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." This relates directly to Psalm 23 NASB "The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For the sake of His name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life, And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever."

What right does the clay to tell the Potter how it's going to be?  

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness...doesn't leave any room for out opinions or anything else. 

Our sanctification is only slowed by our disobedience to His plan and purpose for us. 

My Dear Reader...Scripture says to examine yourself.  If you don't see anything it's time to ask the One who searches the hearts.  Be sure of your salvation. Then be sure it's not you demanding your will to be done on Earth with regards to the will of your Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Raised Eyebrow of God

The Raised Eyebrow of God 
by David Brenneman 

The raised eyebrow of God?  

Read the verse above and that's what you can take away from it.  When we say what we have decided we are going to do or not do anymore.   

Do we so easily forget the little book of Jonah?  Do we so easily forget what Solomon's Dad said before he wrote today's passage?  

Sometimes it's a raised eyebrow, probably more often is the fingers to the bridge of His nose, eyes closed, and slowly moving His head side to side.  

We who are in Christ are never to be the ones dictating to Him what we will or won't do, what we will or won't accept. 

When we get to Heaven, it certainly, absolutely, will have no impact on eternity what our will is going to be.  In the Bible we certainly read "Your Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven". 

Was thinking on this this morning after all that's been written lately on the subject.  

The children of Israel tried this path here on Earth...go ahead and read it again.  It didn't work out so well.  80 combined years in the wilderness. 

This is but one map of a possible path they took.  

Do we really think that they were the only stubborn people to balk at what God said was to be living life?

Do we not dig in our own heels at times with Jesus?  Tell Him that we're GOING to do this or that?  Regardless of what His path for us is?  Hmm.  That way of thinking sure isn't right.  The Bible tells us to prefer one another above ourselves.  

We really really prove we are not taking up our own cross and following Jesus when we begin to refuse to do what we're told. 

We may even be supposedly enjoying success at out path we choose. 

What a coincidence!  At the onset of his journey, so was the Prodigal Son. 

Proverbs 14:13 NASB "There is a way which seems right to a person,
But its end is the way of death." Another translation says "But its end is destruction".

This Prodigal found destruction.  He was broke, starving, and realized his will wasn't going to be done here on Earth.

Could this be your life?  Are you mad at God, so aren't doing what He's wanting you to be doing?  Are you mad at another?  Stubbornly refusing to do what's right in God's eyes in a situation?  Humility comes but one of two ways.  Willing acceptance of doing it, or forced.  

Some people just keep holding onto bitterness thinking that someday it will turn into sweet tea.  Absolutely absurd!

Bitterness is an acid.  Stewing about something that someone else may or may not have done, and you don't talk about it, eats your soul. 

Oh the raised eyebrows that come with a probable utterance of "Ok, my Dear Child, we'll do it the hard way."

How can we say that we love God yet hate our brother?  Didn't we read that somewhere?  Oh wait...we did. 

"If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God must also love his brother and sister." 1 John 4:20-21 NASB. 

We think we are going to decide our career.  Without consulting Jesus, what right do we have?  We think we are going to decide this or that of any significance, without consulting Jesus, what right do we have?  

David, it is written, was known as a man after God's own heart.  David communicated with the Lord Jesus regularly.  He was quickly shown what not doing so does to that relationship. By the volume of time spent with the Lord in prayer we saw how it shaped his heart.

Oh how stubborn and stupid we can be. 

Free choice is indeed ours, and it IS the will of God that we freely choose His path for us in our sanctification.  

We hurt our growth in Christ when we hold onto thoughts, ideas, plans, that will not grow us in Christ.  When we forget that the anger of man does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  When we forget we need Him to hold our hand because we will indeed let go of His if the situation gets to us enough.  

Are you living in obedience or are you living a life where you're not willing to fully obey Him?  Are you really a Prodigal Son or Daughter right now?  

My Dear Reader, I have been a Prodigal Son several times in my life.  It never ended in the way that I saw coming.  

Truly the anger I felt did not bring about the righteous life that God desired for me. 

God will likewise never want us giving up on someone whom He joined us with who is also a Believer.  Forgiveness was the very first thing that came as a result of coming to the cross of Jesus Christ.  Forgiveness ought to be the first thing we start with concerning others in our lives. 

We certainly do give Jesus way too many reasons to lift an eyebrow at us.  We so easily forget that the Scriptures say it is He who searches the hearts.  

We ought not be so naive as to think that there's any "rooms" in our hearts that there are secrets in from Jesus.  That there are any that He's not already been in and knows all about.  That there are any intentions of the heart that He doesn't always already know before you do concerning why you had them.  Do you not realize He hears those synapses in your brain forming thoughts before you are even knowing yourself what will be?

He formed you in your mother's womb.
He knows the number of your days. 
He knows the plans He has for you. 
He knows every wrong turn that you have taken and is actively working to bring you back around. 
He knows what you are here in this here, this now, in human history to accomplish for His Name's sake. 

We do ourselves a grave disservice by trying to tell Him what we will or won't do, either in word or deed.  We sin. He who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it, sins.  

Trusting in the Lord with all your heart, leaning not on your own understanding, means that you do not call the shots. You do not make life in your own image. 

Do you not want Jesus to look down on your life and to be smiling? 

Being "used" to something doesn't make it the right thing to entertain as a  thought or an action.  We are to take every single thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus.  

"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB95. 

It may sound weird but it actually can be a very scary thing to get what we think we really really wanted before God says we are ready to have it.  

Live a life of obedience to Christ, not a life where we try to create what we want to see, hear and do whatever we want. 

Do you give Jesus a reason to say "Ok, the hard way it is..."?

Lean not on your own understanding my Friend.  God will never separate what He has joined. God will never have us go down a path that will compromise our growth in Christ Jesus. God will never, ever, have us do any part of life that causes His Name to be tarnished. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Oh What Are You Doing?!?

Oh What Are You Doing?!?
by David Brenneman 

We quite often do not consider this passage in light of decision making.  

We are all plagued with a sin nature that constantly, incessantly, under the radar, tries to manipulate our thinking towards selfishness.  

Our world teaches everyone the opposite of the Word of God and flavors those teachings to sound like they are conveyed with God's own blessings!

Psychology as the world uses it steers people towards worldly thinking.  This isn't to say that there aren't Christian Counselors who utilize psychology.  

The battlefield is not in this physical world.   The battlefield is in the minds of people.  It's aim is to claim the souls of those who inhabit the Earth.  Satan's wanting people to embrace his worldview. To worship him as the host of Heaven worship God.  He will lie, cheat, steal and destroy, within the confines of the Word of God to achieve this.  He will seek permission from God concerning those he cannot touch because of the Spirit of God within them.  To that end, we need to realize that we are not pawns. We who are in Christ are to be transformed into the likeness of the Son of God.  Not to embrace worldviews or embrace selfish wants or desires that are in direct opposition to the Word of God. 

Submitting to the Spirit's direction isn't weakness.  It's obedience.  To take up our own cross and follow Jesus is to die to self and live to Him.  

We still will face situations, both small and apparently insignificant and those which are not. We will be tempted to handle these ourselves.  We will even be really convincing towards our way of thinking in order to bring about whatever might be -according to our thinking- what our heart desires. 

We will even sacrifice relationships with others in the name of what we want. We get so close to what we want that we justify that destruction of a relationship that we conveniently forget God brought together.  

The sensitivity to knowing the good we ought to be doing becomes less and less. 
The sensitivity of putting others above ourselves becomes less and less.

Scripture works with Scripture...always.  And if the Spirit connects Scripture with Scripture and it upsets you...that's both the point and the problem revealed. 

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:1-6 NASB. 

"Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." Ephesians 4:25-31 NASB.

We easily justify our position, even against other Believers.  We easily will leave relationships with even Believers if it means giving up what we want.  It's a temptation that Satan's used to manipulate millions.  

Do you not remember the passage that states quite clearly that if you harbor anger in your heart towards another it puts up a barrier between you and Jesus?

That if you do not forgive another, how can you expect God to forgive you?

We aren't here in this life, in this here and this now, to live for self.  We are not here to get the best out of life for self.  

Jesus said very clearly: "Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:24-25 NASB95. 

A very significant part of knowing the good we ought to be doing is knowing how to live this life as a Disciple of Christ Jesus.  It means sacrificing self for the sake of others.  It means not our will being done on Earth...but rather His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

Are you angry with someone?  Realize that you're interrupting your fellowship with Jesus.

Are you bent on your desires happening at the cost of relationships that God introduced into your life? Realize you are interrupting your fellowship with Jesus. 

Have you known what it is that God's certainly shown you to do, which certainly isn't what you want, and you're refusing to do it?  Then you are interrupting your fellowship with Jesus.

If you value your relationship with Jesus above all in the obedient life that the Spirit is teaching you and I to be living. 

We aren't in this world to have it our way. 
It clearly says as well that the anger of man does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.   

You will not walk in righteousness if you are angry at others.  

There is indeed righteous anger moments, but when our lives are not in sync with the Spirit, those moments are extremely hard to define...and to justify. 

If it's destroying a relationship that God brought's certainly not righteous anger.  It's disobedience. 

If our desires are placed above the will for us in Christ Jesus...that's not righteous anything.  That's sin.

Our lives are not our own.  We were bought with a price. The blood of Jesus Christ. 

Are you living a life of self justification in your choices that feel good to you, seem good to you, but are destroying what God is doing in your life?  You're then knowing the good you ought to be doing and are not doing it, therefore you are sinning.

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Clay Does Not

The Clay Does Not 
by David Brenneman 

""Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands '?" Isaiah 45:9 NASB 

"On the contrary, who are you, you foolish person, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does the potter not have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one object for honorable use, and another for common use?" Romans 9:20-21 NASB 

In the life that we live, we would do well to acknowledge the truth of the will and plan of God versus our own will and plan for ourselves. 

So many people are bent on creating the life that they want and are not interested in the life that the Lord Jesus Christ is creating for them.  

They want success on their terms, want happiness that fits their desires, want a life that meets their immediate needs. 

Such stubbornness!  Although these words are easy to type, in many places in my own life, I can see just how damaging my own will being done was to my life in Christ.

When people read "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NASB, they often consider this in the spiritual sense only. 

His workmanship means the Spiritual and the physical world. 

Like another passage of "Therefore, what God has joined together, no person is to separate.” Mark 10:9 NASB. 

So many in the church as well as outside of it put their own wants, their own will, ahead of the Will of God. 

They essentially tell Jesus that His way isn't working for them so they're just going to do it themselves from now on.  

When we come to Christ, we must submit to His Will and purpose for our lives, to live it as He sees fit because we now have a true purpose to live for!

We would do well to remember some of the old hymns. 

"All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me. 

I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all."
- Judson W. Van De Venter (1896)

We need daily reminders that our life isn't ours to mold into our image.  Regardless of how agonizing life can be on the physical, emotional level. Regardless of how painful it can be because of loss or even of gain, our life in Christ is to be remembered for what it is.  

We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. 

We aren't here to get what we want out of life, to insist that our will will be done.  So many Christians as well as those not saved yet, destroy their lives by insisting that God give them what they want!

Marriages are destroyed at an alarming rate in the church because two lives aren't living in Christ together.  

Careers are put ahead of the Will of God. 
Status among people is put ahead of the Will of God.
Health is put ahead of the Will of God. 
Wealth is put ahead of the Will of God. 

The story of the Prodigal Son is about one who put his own will ahead of that of his father.  Of one who mistook a life of whatever he wanted at its inception to a life of craving even the food of animals.  

We easily, and I know because I was there once, don't believe that our way is unreasonable.  We don't see how our life can't be how we want it to be.  We create a belief that someone else is to blame in order to justify our disobedience in Christ. 

The disobedience is our own. 

When life becomes our will being done on Earth as it isn't in Heaven we will fail. We will aid the destroyer of lives, of marriages, of families.  We will inevitably destroy our own lives and do serious harm to those around us.

I surrender all means all of us. Every part. Every choice. Every decision. Every thought.  We read in 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB "We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,"

We read in Matthew 16:24-25 NASB "Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it""

To deny yourself in the name of Jesus Christ means your will indeed may not be getting done. 

To take up your own cross is to nail your will to it so that it dies.

So many people don't realize just how much insisting that their life should be lived their way actually signal its demise. 

Isaiah had no regard for the implications to his own life when he shouted out "here am I, send me!".

Jesus said those who seek to save their lives will lose it.  You are going to lose what all you think you hold dear in life if you're putting your will ahead of God's in your life.  At first it will seem to be great and fantastic, but the loss will come.  Don't take my word for it.  Jesus said so. 

When we, the clay, are going to try to tell the Potter, Christ Jesus, how our life is going to be...we will lose.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.   All these things are those things that we need to grow in Christ Jesus.  

God's ultimate plan for you in Christ is your sanctification, not your satisfaction.  

In a very good book, "90 Minutes in Heaven" a pastor was put through what easily could be described as Hell on Earth in his recovery after a horrific car accident.  His will certainly was not going to be done.  He cried out to Jesus. He admitted at one point he cursed at God. He could never understand why he was put through so much pain and misery.  
It was, in his eyes, destroying everything. His personal life, his marriage was being impacted, he wanted to die. But living out the truth of the potter and the clay is what he was doing.  After he got to the other side of the misery and painful recovery, God showed him.  He needed to go through what he did to reach unreachable people.

When we insist on our way, our will being done, we miss out on reaching people for Christ.  We miss out on our sanctification in Christ Jesus. We miss out on wonders we will never see apart from a life in Christ. 

My Dear Reader, and I know there's someone in need of hearing this.  

Stop fussing with Jesus. 
Stop fighting His workmanship in your life. 
Stop with the excuses of why you think your way is better. 
Stop trying to tell God His way isn't working.  

In the short term you may be thinking you were granted the life you're insisting on. The truth will be oh so painful when you discover that your insisting rang hollow. 

That your insisting destroyed lives.
That your will wasn't the best after all. 

We are to submit to what the Spirit teaches us to be doing in Christ.  

We should surrender all.
Our all should be on the altar. 

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

Monday, June 26, 2023

A Friend that Sticks Closer than a Brother

A Friend that Sticks Closer than a Brother 
by David Brenneman 

"A person of too many friends comes to ruin.  But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 NASB. 

What the Bible says about: "The Need for Christian Friendship"
 1 Samuel 20

Adversity often brings us face-to-face with our need to associate with a different group of people. Perhaps we need to sever ties with others. Perhaps we need new friends. Perhaps we need to align ourselves more closely with Christian believers.

God made us for fellowship, communication with other human beings, and communication with Himself. None of us were designed to go it alone. We need other people and they need us.

At times, however, we make unwise associations. We choose the wrong friend, employer, partner, or employee. And inevitably, our bad choices bring us adversity.

David and Jonathan provide us with a good model for true friendship. Jonathan's love for his friend caused him to act in several specific ways:
    He warned David of possible danger. (1 Samuel 19:1-3)
    He spoke well of David, even to a person who considered David an enemy and who was angry with Jonathan for having David as a friend (1 Samuel 19:4,5)
    He sought to do what David needed him to do (1 Samuel 20:4)
    He risked his life in defending David (1 Samuel 20:30-33)
    He helped David escape death (1 Samuel 20:35-42)

Jonathan voiced one of the greatest statements of friendship in the Bible when He said to David, "Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying 'The Lord will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever'" (1 Samuel 20:42) Now that's friendship!

Paul describes Christian friendship in what we have come to call the love chapter of the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13. He describes Christian friendship as: patient, kind, and humble (v.4); polite, selfless, unruffled, and positive (v.5);magnanimous and rooted in truth (v.6); and supportive, hopeful and enduring (v.7).

Such love, Paul said, "never fails" (v.8) And such friendships are divine blessings in our lives, God's rich rewards to us on this earth.

From the Life Principles Daily Bible by Dr. Charles Stanley

I have this particular portion of reading bookmarked in my Life Principles Daily Bible.  

Both making friends and sustaining them after moving has been incredibly difficult for me.   Friendships that I thought would endure have not.  Starting new ones has always been incredibly difficult for me. 

Yet in all the years only One has truly been there regardless of circumstances of life. 

Only One has proven this passage true because He is Truth.  People whom seem sincere at the time often move on because of various reasons. Out of sight out of mind in most cases.  I really don't want to consider other reasons to be honest. 

When you come to Christ for salvation you begin a relationship, a friendship, that is indeed with the One who sticks closer than a brother.  As Peter had been for you? You follow Me!  

It's always been incredibly difficult to let go of the good ones in life.  Either by death they have left my life or by the choices we made or they made.  

I had thought moving nearer to some that maybe some would rekindle but evidently that's not to be the case.  

So in the mean time my focus stays on my walk with Jesus.  His promises of never leaving me alone have proven true time and time again.  

My hope is built upon what He's done in my life to save me and draw me to Himself.  To have the lumber of my life be built into something worthy of His being in it. 

Come what may, hardships or prosperity, my Friend has been right there with me. 

As odd as it may sound, I don't want to be excessively prosperous.  I have read what it does to people in the Bible.  They tend to lean on their own understanding of how to live life.  It's also, oddly enough, a turn off to some people. They don't see prosperity so they don't want to invest in a relationship.  I once knew a man calling himself a Pastor who actually put prosperity and other status symbols high on his priority list of qualifications to being in his "inner circle" of supposed "friends".  In the end he used and abused a congregation.  But that's between him and God.  

I have also known the unlikeliest of people who became my closest of friends.  He looked past what others would not take the time to see who I really was about. 

This to say friendship is a very special thing in the eyes of God that is different in every way that counts.  Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit created us for a lasting, vibrant, real relationship with them.  

The Bible says that King David was a man after God's own heart.  David often sought direct conversation with Jesus.  David spoke at length in the book of Psalms of his recounting the things in life that the Lord Jesus showed him of their relationship. 

I am still in a rebuilding phase of friendships in this new hometown.  As I said it's difficult.  I am an introvert and am not taken, in most cases, to starting a conversation with people I don't know.  In some odd circumstances I have, those I know were God moments.  

If you're finding yourself alone...go to God in prayer.  Have that conversation that He longs to have with you.  

Before that though, be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus.  It has to start with you coming to Christ to be saved.  

I really long for the day that I get to run to Jesus to embrace my friend who is my Lord.  My friend who has always stuck closer than a brother to me.

We talk every morning on my way to work as if He's sitting in the truck with me.  I share my thoughts, my ideas.  I have been struggling with the idea of having dreams to pursue.  I have none at this time.  I have achieved what I have wanted to do growing up that was financially feasible.  What's left, He's shown me, isn't meant to be.  It's not in His plans for mankind.  Yeah they are that big. 

I am often mistaken for being mad or upset.  No, I am a heavy thinker.  Where most people have one train of thought, I have many at one time.  Emotions often get in the way of figuring out things.  

If indeed deep friendships are to be in my future again, it will be the Spirit who brings it about.  I have been misunderstood most of my life so what's a few more years of it continuing.  My Jesus knows me.  

If you find yourself in something similar stick to growing in Christ. Stick to cultivating your friendship with your Savior.  Realize that you aren't "damaged goods".  You are special, created by God, for a right and true relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.  You won't ever be left behind or forgotten by Him.  You will always have His undivided attention.  His love is unconditional.  His friendship endures forever.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

A Life of Self Leads to Abandoning Jesus

A Life of Self Leads to Abandoning Jesus 
by David Brenneman 

"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. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, worthless in regard to the faith." 2 Timothy 3:2-8 NASB 

"and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other com" Mark 12:30-31 NASB 

Self-help books, videos, etc. will always lead you away from a relationship with Jesus.  

Books, videos or people who teach, supposedly coach, you into any thinking that doesn't involve a right relationship with Jesus will only shipwreck your life, eventually causing you to lose what's right, pure and true.  

Reading of people teaching others to look inward, to self-examine, to "better yourself" to Scripture think more highly of yourself than you ought to. 

People teaching people these self-centered ideologies will lead them away from the plan and purpose of God for them.

This is about the lives of people living as the Word of God says people ought to live vs the word of Satan on how to live.  There's no middle ground.  

I read a lot, no doubt there, I carry digital books and a handful of physical books most of the time. I always carry my Bible with me. 

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  It's what's used to fight against all ideologies, all lofty thoughts, all that Satan can muster against the Believer. 

"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. 

We are never, ever, taught that we need the Bible AND other ways of thinking about how to live life.

Even the books that I do read and do have, they support looking at Jesus, the Author and the Perfector of my faith.  

The warning in Timothy is as much for his generation as it is ours.

Ours is the most prideful, boastful, arrogant, than any since the early years of civilization. People coaching people, teaching people, in every type and facet of living a life.  

In reading of what Jesus said of Mary and Martha.  The only right thing is to choose to be at the feet of Jesus. To be learning about how to live a life that honors all that He did to save us. Not on how we can get the most out of life, living for ourselves.  Not on how to eat, not on how to think. 

To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit is to put even YOU second to Jesus.  Your personal thoughts come second to what God's Word is saying.  

We do not need psychological self help books or speakers. 
We do not need coaches in living life. 

We need people listening to the Godly men that the Spirit has established to preach and teach the Word of God on how the Spirit says we ought to be living life. 

"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. 

What we need is what God has said and to do it.

How did Jesus answer Satan?

"But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 NASB. 

How did He answer the Disciples?

"But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about." John 4:32 NASB. 

Be very very leery about worldly teaching.  Be even more leery when it turns up in the churches you attend.  

We do not need coaches on living any facet of life.  We need to listen more to the Spirit of God and to speak less so that we may hear.  

We need to utilize the Sword of the Spirit rather than allowing it to stay sheathed. 
We should be holding up the shield of faith rather than having it sitting on the ground. 

These two are the first to contact the flaming arrows of the evil one.  
These two are your first line of defense. 

The helmet of salvation protects your mind. 
The breastplate of righteousness protects your heart. 

We are to USE the Shield of Faith with the Sword of the Spirit.  

No where in the Bible are we taught that we NEED the Bible AND something else. 
No where in the Bible are we taught to expect more teachings from future people to add to the Scriptures because the Bible is only a starting point. 

Be careful, my Dear Reader, what you put into your mind and heart.  First and foremost it ought to be the Word of God. 

"It is not what enters the mouth that defiles the person, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles the person.” Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone; they are blind guides of blind people. And if a person who is blind guides another who is blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:11-14 NASB. 

When selfishness begins to take root, Jesus is pushed out. 

When we love self more than Jesus, Jesus is pushed out. 

When we love anything or anyone more than Jesus, Jesus is pushed away. 

Millions of people per day wake up in Hell because they listened to and believed the words of the world rather than the truth of God in Christ Jesus.  Many will be radically ashamed of what their lives will show when they stand before Jesus, giving an account of their lives for what they did in their life...supposedly for Him. 

First and foremost be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus. 
Second, live a life that is rooted in and honors Jesus. Love God, love people. Introduce them to each other. 
Thirdly, realize the work of God in you. That it's to make you more like Christ, less like you or like the world. 

As a friend I knew used to pray, "Empty me of me, and fill me with more of You".

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Ready? I am, Are You?

Ready? I am, Are You?
by David Brenneman 

It's sad when I see or read about people who have put their perceived wisdom ahead of God.  Just as it says in James about the anger of man not bringing about the righteous life that God desires...neither does our own wisdom.  

The Bible says that if anyone lacks wisdom he or she is to ask of God and He will freely give it to all who ask.   

I see people attempting to be motivational speakers who are selling their own wisdom and insights.  On everything from eating to how to get the most out of life physically.  

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you is what wisdom that I have read.

Why do people intentionally leave out God?  Because the god of this world is offended by the mention of His Name. 

They want followers and want clients that want everything that comes out of their mouth.  

The trouble with that is that day where they have to give an account of their lives before Jesus...of everything done in the body.  

Jesus said that He's not being slow about His promise to return...that He's not willing that any should perish but that all would come to Christ for salvation.  

That's part of what saddens me.  People claiming to be Christians who are more afraid of what others think, of who they might lose as a client or follower, than they are at offending the Holy God.   They will also put the welfare of their company ahead of what God's Word says.  They realize not that part of the Scriptures that say that it is the Lord who sets up kingdoms and removed them.  He examines the hearts. He establishes and He removes. 

Solomon wanted wisdom and indeed he received it from the Lord Jesus Christ.  He also received everything from Satan to challenge that wisdom and in time Solomon began relying on his own wisdom and not God's.  Then Solomon's kingdom went downhill. 

We also can read in Job. Job was more unique in his time than you first realize.  Probably billions on this planet and we read of how nobody on Earth was like him.

It often gets missed that one of his youngest friends wasn't rebuked by the Lord for what he spoke of in the book of Job.  He felt that the wisdom of the older men ought to have been better than he heard.  

In our world wisdom is for sale.  Knowledge is for sale.  You can easily find people to agree with what you call your wisdom. 

Status is more important than obedience.  Families are torn apart because of people putting business before family.  

Jesus will be returning.  Jesus will be requiring an accounting of each life of Believers.  Jesus will later go through the lives of trillions and trillions of people to show them they are never seeing Heaven because they rejected Him.  Their lives will be shown to be about self. 

I read and see posts that leave me shaking my head.  People who ask for prayer and yet don't want to know it's how they live life that's their own problem.  Marriages in trouble and they won't stop what they are doing for self in order to save that.

People who put their advice ahead of the wisdom of God in everything from eating to living. 

When you stand before Jesus, how well will your wisdom stack up against His?

Jesus IS returning soon.  Realistically there's no prophecies standing in the way between now and His return. 

People will be shocked and stunned that they were left behind.  They will blame Jesus for leaving them...yet it is they who never came to Christ for salvation in the first place.  They who remain will face the wrath of God upon this world for 7 years. 
We thought 1 year of restricted life was bad. Try that on steroids. Global disasters that are beyond anything Hollywood has dreamed up.  

Jesus is being patient.  He doesn't want any to miss their opportunity to find His free gift of salvation.  

How do you present yourself to the world? 
Are you more interested in the favor of men than the favor of God?

Remember He knows you better than you do.  You can lie to yourself, but you cannot lie to Jesus.

I am very much ready to fly away to be with Jesus.  Are you?  

Will you be found by Him doing what you were called to be doing in Christ, or will you be found living a selfish life?  The Spirit establishes the role and position of Believers in the body of Christ.  We don't. 

Who wants to hear from Jesus "I gave you a job to do, why didn't you do it?  Why did you come to Me for salvation, yet you went off and did your own thing?  Why were you more interested in living life as you saw fit and not the path that I set before you?"

If those questions apply to you, you really are not ready to meet Him face-to-face.

Friday, June 23, 2023

What's Your "Do"?

What's Your "Do"?
by David Brenneman 

"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:22-27 NASB 

Was listening to a snippet of a sermon this morning...if we think that when we stand before Jesus...and begin to answer as to why we ought to be allowed into Heaven and it starts with our saying "I" then we're answering wrong.  

Was also listening to someone speak of where our love is.  1 John 2:15-17 NASB "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever."

What do you do?  Not speaking about employment.  What do you do for Him who died and rose again, who took your place?

We also read "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. 

Then there is:  "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NASB. 

What's your "do"?  Many people, attempting to motivate people, press you into figuring out your "why".  In Christ we already know our "why".  But what are we doing to promote that?  What are we doing in appreciation for all Jesus did for us?

I did this...
I did that...
I lead the Congregation...
I worked to get...

If I is your first choice of descriptions, you're in trouble. 

The only basis for entering Heaven is on what Jesus did.  Because of faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.   

It nauseates me to hear people reciting a litany of deeds they did before a Congregation as if reading a resume to convince them that their value was genuine in their service.  

We do what we do in Christ for all He's done for us.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and spirit.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love NOT the world nor the things of this world.  

The end times will be marked with those who are lover's of themselves.  "I"-itis. 

When anyone's first go to is about themselves there's a problem. 

We read: "for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s." Romans 14:8 NASB. 

What we are to be doing, at all times, is living a life that points people to Jesus, not to our works and deeds.  Works, although maybe done for Christ, if done with wrong motives, are a waste of time, energy and effort.   

We're to do all that we do to the glory of God.  

Pointing people to Jesus.  
We save nobody. We live life that shines in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  We know not who dies in the Lord or dies apart from the Lord. Only God knows who are His and who is not.  

"for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s." read that once more.

Our lives are not our own we were bought with a price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  

Are you spending quality time with your Savior?
Are you in prayer with Jesus?
Are you in your Bible?  

Do you have a problem concerning loving this world too much?  Are you after recognition from men rather than from God? 

Our world promotes self. The Bible promotes Christ in our place.

Is what you do about you?  
Or is what you do about Jesus?

Thursday, June 22, 2023

It IS Us vs the World

It IS Us vs the World
by David Brenneman 

So many place, or even a better word is overlay, worldly expectations, worldly significance, over the life that is to be about sanctification in Christ Jesus.  Certifications, education, are not a requirement for sanctification. 

We are actually failing life when we seek success as the world defines it. 

When we indeed deny ourselves, take up our own cross and follow Jesus life has a whole different set of priorities.  

We are not our own, we were bought with a price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 

Isn't that much more important than anything that the world holds dear?

"All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.

Verse 2
Now my heart’s desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and known as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.

Verse 3
Oh to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing
You’re my all, You’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord." 
- Knowing You, Graham Kendrick 

Ever notice that education, status, really didn't mean a whole lot to Jesus?  

Ever notice that in Hell, being a former rich man meant nothing in regards to his place in Hell?

We really really get duped into believing that we must continue to be pursuing education to be more eleven in the eyes of God.  The lessons of Ecclesiastes sure seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Jesus comes to your house.  He knocks on your door. Of course you bid Him to enter.  What an unexpected pleasure!  But in an instant you realize all the things that clutter your home that are not God honoring.  They are things that point to you and not your relationship with Jesus.  You are immediately embarrassed.  At least we'll only be in the living room or the dining room, maybe the kitchen.  But then Jesus starts going into rooms on His own.  What do you do? You can't exactly tell Him that He can't do that.  

We often don't really really stop to consider that there are no hidden rooms to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

The Bible says that it is He who searches the hearts and knows our every thought. Every single intention of every single person.  Psalms says He knows our going out and our coming in.  

If we look at the lives of the Apostles we see people who would be labeled as non-conformists.  They did not place value on what the world deemed as important.  

Our world places great value on health and education.  Both consume people's lives. Both take us from our relationship with Jesus when it's all that people are doing.  

What are you doing to get to know your Savior?  

We also buy into the lie that we need education and a proper diet to be successful in this world.  We must do what we can to make everyone happy.  

Jesus came to save you and I.   He said if people hate us for living for Him, remember it hated Him first.  He said that we would face opposition for living for Him.   People loved the darkness rather than the Light.  People are kinder to their own than those who are saved in Christ Jesus.  

Getting an education isn't a sin. Sitting on your laurels after getting it is.  Getting degrees, etc. and using them as an excuse to stop doing what the Spirit says you're to be doing is.  

Many people miss a line from the movie Field of Dreams.  The guy who missed out on a baseball career because his first at bat never happened. The game was over.  Ray thought that it would kill a man to be that close to his dream and not have it.  That it would be a shame. The guy became a doctor instead of continuing in baseball. The now Doctor tells Ray, no son, it would have been a shame to only have been a Doctor for a few minutes rather than play baseball all his life.  His becoming a Doctor changed countless lives.

We miss out on the full life that Jesus, with the Spirit, intended for us to have by pursuing lives outside of the Will of God. 

We miss out on fulfilling out calling by filling our lives with things that do not matter in light of eternity.

We miss out on the relationship with Jesus that we could be having by setting the world's standards above those found in the Word of God.

We miss out by forging our own personal slice of Heaven here on Earth at the cost of living for Jesus. 

The world wants your compliance. 
The world wants you to live for you. 
The world wants you to be silent about Jesus. 
The world wants you out of the fields that are ripe for the harvest. 
The world wants you to embrace what it deems as all important. 

Jesus said, come, follow Me. Do what I do. Live as I lived. Be who I am making you to be in Me.  Let go of self.  

To be honest, I have certifications, I have education, I have diplomas.  I have a very high IQ.  I count it all as loss, just as Paul wrote. 

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ," Philippians 3:8 NASB95. 

Many turn from what the Spirit wants and needs them to be doing in order to live their dreams.  They'll live for Jesus after they get what they want out of life.  

Take a good look at your life. 
Quit deceiving yourself, if you have been, and look realistically at your surroundings.

Are you truly trying to get to know Jesus or is that something for another day?   

The world wants you to put it off for another day because the more you do the harder it will be for others to come to Christ for salvation.   

Realize you are being played by the world. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Even When You Can't See

Even When You Can't See
by David Brenneman 

We can find it in the New Testament of what it says concerning prayer and praying.  "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB95. 

We also can get discouraged by not seeing evidence that our prayers have gone anywhere or see that anything has begun to happen.  

Truth is we don't know what's going on behind the scenes.   Even Daniel, when he felt conviction enough to pray what he knew of Solomon's prayer, kept on praying and the result was the Angel showing up much later.  Early evidence of what Paul wrote about concerning our warfare is not against flesh and blood but is against the powers of Satan and his darkness.

The man asking Jesus how many times must he forgive his brother was told not just seven times, but 70 times 7.  As long as it takes. 

We may not see, in our lifetime, the impact or the effects of praying, but they are there for those who believe.  

"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." Hebrews 11:6 NASB95. 

When we are praying for the salvation of those whom the Spirit has crossed our paths, we certainly may not see what it's doing, but rest assured something is happening.

Do you realize that Satan cannot interrupt any communication between you and Jesus?  You can, but he cannot.  He can discourage you into not going to God in prayer.  He can get you to hang on a nail of contempt for someone instead of praying for them.  He can get you to water a seed of bitterness rather than praying for them.  He can get you to be the one to deny them access to the work of the Spirit in their lives towards salvation in Christ Jesus. 

Jesus said to look around because the fields were ripe for the harvest.  What harvest?  Those ripe and ready to receive the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  What harvest remains today? Same one.  What was the Father’s business?  To seek and save the lost in this world.  What work of God are we to be involved with? To seek and point people to Jesus. 

When we allow our lofty positions and our arrogance, our pride, our this or our that to get in the way, we deny people the salvation that we came to love and know in Christ Jesus.

Positions mean nothing to Jesus, so they mean nothing to me.  Degrees, etc. mean nothing in light of eternity.  Jesus, lay aside His garments, girded Himself with a towel and proceeded to wash the Disciples feet.  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords got down on His knees to do a servant’s job.  He hung up His Kingly robe to come to Earth to die on a cross for the sins of mankind and raise up again 3 days later.  

He was mocked, scorned, ridiculed, beaten, whipped, and had every single right to hold a grudge.  

Had every single right to wipe those people out of existence with a thought.  

Jonah was asked by the Lord Jesus if he had a right to be angry.  The point being he didn't. 

We often are the reason it takes some people longer to find salvation in Christ Jesus because we are the ones not bringing them to the Throne of God.  

Jesus said that we are sent out as workers into a harvest that others started.  

Pursuing accolades and certifications, degrees even, might indeed increase your standing among mankind, but they mean nothing in light of eternity.  Peter, upon being confronted yet again after preaching that people needed saved in the name of Jesus Christ, told those Jewish Leaders that whether it is right to obey them or God, they be the judge.  They will obey God. 

Was listening to a Pastor going on about titles in the Church. About how many men were no longer calling themselves Pastor's but now were calling themselves Life Coaches.  He was glad they did that only because they were giving Pastor's a bad name.  Because they were no longer being what a Pastor was to be.  

Satan wants Pastor's to water down the Gospel.  To go though with whatever it takes to get them to stop preaching the Word.  Even if it means letting them get degrees, doctorates or any other title.  He cares not about morals or feelings or emotions.  He wants men to stop teaching in the name of Jesus Christ. He wants them to stop proclaiming the gospel message. 

Satan will tempt us all to put up walls to keep those we come in contact with from finding the Throne of Grace that we were lead to. 

Praying for others is a right and a privilege.  Jesus said He came not to judge the world but that the world might be saved through Him.  

We often have lists to bring to Jesus in prayer.  How many people do you pray for are those whom you have a problem with?  Be careful!  Is it a true problem or were you just hurt by them so now you don't have a right perspective on them?  

We have no Biblical right to keep anyone from the Throne of Jesus Christ for salvation. 

I can go after other certifications, if I had the money, probably a degree or two.  My prayers include praying that I am found by Jesus doing that which He wanted me to be doing.  Not necessarily what I want to be doing if that's what that means.  If it means giving up something that I love doing, so be it.  If it means sacrificing something, so be it. If it means whatever the Spirit says...then so be it. 

We have always people to pray for. 
We have them...but do we keep them from the same free gift of salvation that we received because we are pursuing the things of this world?  

Are we convincing ourselves that our place in the body of Christ has changed, when in fact it cannot?  

We have a calling in Christ Jesus and that includes being the one to be praying for those whom He brings across our paths regardless of what we might personally think about them.  Jesus denied nobody access to Himself while He was walking this Earth.  Tax collectors, those caught in adultery, etc. Even the one who would betray Him.  

Pray without ceasing...implies let no obstacles stand in the way.  Not our pride, not our desires, not our this or that.  It's not your job or mine to clean up people. We are to bring them to Jesus, He cleans people. 

I began this blog years ago now and have no idea what impact it might have on leading people to Jesus.  I see the statistics and if true, it blows my mind.  I care not what people think, I just want them to see Jesus.  

Pray without just may be the one to turn the tide and that person might find salvation in Christ Jesus...and then the Rapture of the Church will take place.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

God's Plan(s) Will NOT be Thwarted

God's Plan(s) Will NOT be Thwarted 
by David Brenneman 

People can try all they might to push and pressure to make their will to be done in their lives.  Some mistakenly believe that they were standing on their own two feet because of their own achievements and efforts.  Whether or not they openly admit it, they raise a shaking fist at God.  

Some don't even go that far.  They just deny that God exists and pursue life at their own whims.  

What is there to say...but all this points yet still to the Bible.  There's nothing new under the sun.  In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon writes at length about every thought and every thing thought to provide pleasure and peace to man through man's way of living...and the futility of it apart from God.

Do you do a "talk to the hand!" at Jesus?
Do you go so far as to be that childish individual who puts their hands over their ears proclaiming "I'm not listening!"?
Do you devise your own plans that intentionally do not include God in them?
Do you have outright anger at God for something that happened to you or someone you know or knew and you refuse to let go of it?
Are you harboring anger or malice towards God because you didn't get what you wanted out of Him?

This life we live isn't about what we will get out of it.  We would like to think that prosperity and joy ought to be ours in abundance because of the fact we think we deserve it.  That our own moral standards weren't broken so it ought to be good enough for God. 

The bar that we set wasn't high enough from God's point of view.  The Biblical view of morality and of living is a bar set higher than any man or woman can achieve without Christ as their Savior.  It's called holiness.  Being holy as God is Holy.   The thing is, without salvation in Christ Jesus its impossible to please Him. 

But what about my plans? My desires? What I want?  

The unshakable truth of God is a day is coming for each and every person to stand before Jesus to give an answer as to why they should be allowed into His Heaven.  To be with His Father.  There is only one answer to that and it's all because the man who was on the middle cross, crucified for the sins of mankind, said so.  If a person has not come to Christ for salvation, they won't enter in.  I do believe in the Biblically based notion of the age of accountability.  That there is a definitive point in a person's life when they know and understand what sin is.  For some it never occurs throughout their lives due to a mental illness.  For most it is at some point extremely early in life.  

When we understand the truth of God in Christ Jesus to be saved, we begin a new life in Christ.  We receive new orders, as it were, for what's to come for us.  We become His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  These same said people are placed in the body of Christ as the Spirit sees fit.  They have a divinely appointed job to do, a Heavenly function to fulfill in the body of Christ, His Church.  We don't pick and choose what we do in the body of Christ.  

But that's so restricted!  If indeed you are saved in Christ Jesus, out of appreciation for all He's done, whatever He asks you to do should never feel like it's restrictive.  You begin to develop a new sense of life that's based on eternity.  

There's two plans running at the same time from God's perspective.  What He has in mind for you and what has been written in the Bible for all mankind. Both will be accomplished wholly and completely. 

The greatest of angels used to be Satan.  He could not thwart the plans of God. Yet still tries.  He spends much of his time both trying to stop the next parts of Biblical prophecy and trying to destroy lives.  

Lives because these matter most to Jesus.  

You matter most to Jesus.  Every human heart matters most to Jesus. 

We can easily take the wide road that the world is turning to and spend our time, energy and effort to get what we want out of life, only to find one disappointment after another. Because none of that lasts or matters in light of eternity.  

We hate it when we learn of things we buy or do not lasting the length of a warranty, much more so when we cry out that a life appears to have been cut short! 

Lives are never cut short.  Jesus is sovereign over all creation. He knows when someone will never turn towards Him for salvation.  That there is a point of no return.  

That such people will refuse til their dying breath to receive Him as Savior.  

That such people will hurt others whom He's invested time in who will say yes to His free gift of salvation.  

People are all that is most valuable to God.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  Perhaps the most quoted verse from the Bible.  


Jesus is not going to be waiting up in Heaven to rain condemnation down upon you.  He wants a full relationship with you.  He wants what's best for you.  It's not found in products or services that companies sell to you.  His relationship that He offers came at the cost of His own life 2,000 plus years ago.  He's ready to really give you the full life that He intended for you in this time in history.  It's more than our finite understanding can comprehend.  

I had some dreams of some great inventions.  At best, Jesus has told me they would have worked, but were not to be made.  They wouldn't work with His plans.  I had thoughts of places to visit.  They are only just that, thoughts, because right now He has other things for me to be doing.  It's written that it should be His Will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

Jesus isn't some harsh God, His love was spread out on a cross for you and I.  He loved you enough to take all the punishment you deserved for your sins upon Himself in your place.  Isn't that enough to live for Him? 

There's trillions of people in Hell crying out to God for putting them there.  This too is a lie of Satan.  Truth is they put themselves there by refusing Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior.  There's a consequence to a life lived without Christ. You end up paying for all eternity for your own sins.  

I heard a song long ago that goes along the lines of "There's room at the cross for you".  My Friend, there still is room for you.  There's still room.  Jesus said that all Heaven celebrates when one person comes to Jesus to be saved.  If you haven't come, they await that moment to celebrate your birthday in Christ Jesus. Those whom you know or may have known, who are saved in Christ Jesus who are in Heaven, want to hear your name being called out for coming to Christ for salvation!  

When we surrender to Jesus and are saved in Him, we will begin to see that there's way more to life than our plans for it.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Oh What We Spend on It

Oh What We Spend on It
by David Brenneman 

This world seeks it and many spend everything they have and can on finding it.

Peace.  Lasting satisfaction.  Joy that satisfies self.  

In Nehemiah this morning I was reading of his recounting his visit back to Jerusalem.  Of how things had already began to slip from when this people had vowed to obey the book of the Law that had been found. 

Many today don't look to the Law, but to the grace and mercy of God through a relationship with Jesus, but how many of those still seek to build peace as they think it should be?

We often still, even as Christians, try to find a way to have our cake and eat it too. 
We try to find ways to get the peace of God by way of the things of this world. Creating our own slice of Heaven. 

"Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful." John 14:27 NASB. 

Note that there is and is SUPPOSED to be a difference.  "Not as the world gives."

When you are seeking your will to be's more often grasping at straws isn't it?  You find it costs too much, doesn't last as long as you wanted. Was no where near as fulfilling as you hoped it would be. 

Some look for peace in how they eat.
Some in how they exercise. 
Some in the places they visited.
Some in buying pieces to remind them of the past. 
Some in education. Thinking just getting that degree will mean success where they have failed. 

When we are not looking for our part in God's plan for us, we are not going to find His peace and rest.  

Nehemiah wanted to obey the Lord in all he did. Asking the Lord to remember the good that he tried to do.  The example he tried to set.

My prayers these days have become more of asking what my purpose is in this life that are a part of His plan for me.  We aren't born in this time in history by accident. Satan's been using everything he is permitted to disrupt the plan of God while thinking he's achieving his own goals for universal domination.  

Satan has not ceased being Satan.  He is still the same one whom the Lord Jesus Christ has defined as a liar and the father of lies. 

He's still pushing to lie, cheat, steal, murder, destroy whomever he can.  

If you think you're going to live a life where he's not or his minions won't mess with you, you're sadly mistaken. 

We can learn much from Nehemiah's struggles to keep the people set on obedience to God's Word.  We can if we but are willing ourselves to be obedient. 

Joy and happiness that are man-made are never going to last.  From food to medication to education to anything we desire.  

Remember that in the last days people will find those who will be lovers of self.  2 Timothy 3:2.

Remember that in the last days difficult times will come.  2 Timothy 3:1

It's going to be a fight to keep true to God's plan and purpose for us. 

People will try to recreate God's word into what they want it to say.  They want their own will to be more accepting to God than what God's will is for them.  They want their things that they do, the things they have done to themselves and others, to be ok in the sight of God.  People who don't want Jesus as the only way to get to Heaven.  People who only want their own morals to be ok with God.  People who want positions in the Church that are other than those already defined by the Spirit.  Whether people agree or not. The Word of God does not change to fit what society wants.  There are no positions in the Church that include intentionally living in a life of sin.  There are none that include rejection of Jesus as the only way to Heaven.  Whether you agree or not it is irrelevant. Jesus said that not one portion or part of the Bible would ever fade away.  

When we are intentionally trying to make our own peace, apart from the will of God,  we will inevitably fail. 

If you indeed are a you really want to stand before Jesus later and have the review of your life to show it was all about you or that it showed that it was about Him, about what you did for Him?

If you are reading this and are not saved in Christ Jesus, are you seeing the futility of the life you've been living? 

When we come to Christ for salvation, the Spirit of God sets His seal upon us. We are now part of the family of God.  We now have a place, part, purpose and function in the body of Christ here on Earth.  We become His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  We then live lives that shine in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  

Note the utter absence of self.  It's not about us, it's about Him. It's about Jesus. 

Oh what we spend on life that matters absolutely not in regards to growing in Christ.  

We are taught to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  Do you include that in your priorities?

We are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Does this ring true in your life? 

Is your view of life clouded with one desire after another of yours that keeps feeling like it's never in your grasp?  It's always just beyond your fingertips?

My prayers these days are about others seeing Jesus in me.  It's to the point in my life that I have no dreams left to dream.  I have achieved more in life than I thought possible decades ago.  My desires are only to be found doing that which the Spirit has wanted of me to be doing in this life given to me.  Worldly things mean less and less.  Degrees and certificates are meaningless in light of eternity.  Focusing on me and what I want isn't as important as it used to be.  Some of what I am lead to say will probably upset some people.  Reading in the book of Acts, this is going to happen.  I am in good company. 

One of the jobs of the Spirit is to protect the Word of God, the Bible.  Another is to teach us all things, this is sanctification. Another is to bring conviction to the souls of men and women, to point people to Jesus Christ for salvation.  

Do you desire what Jesus desires? 
Are you tired, worn, by seeking peace in your life?  Try it God's way.