Thursday, August 31, 2023

Preach the Word

Preach the Word 
by David Brenneman 

"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

"For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified.  For when Gentiles who do not have the Law instinctively perform the requirements of the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves,  in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of mankind through Christ Jesus." Romans 2:11-16.

There are billions throughout human history who will try to argue in their own defense before Jesus Christ the Righteous King.  Trying to prove how they weren't wrong in living their life their way. 

Was reading in Leviticus this morning and in Chapter 18, the Lord Jesus was telling them of why they were going to be displacing the nations much larger and more numerous than themselves.  He said those nations spewed them out because of the deeds they did.  If you don't think that God would do that today...then you need to remember that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He does not change. 

When Jesus does return, and it will be soon, indeed millions will vanish, disappear, will be gone at the sound of the trumpet of God.  

Billions will cry out to God to come back. 

This, my Dear Reader, is why true Preacher's of the Word of God should never ever water down the truth of the Gospel message.  

Those who mislead people about the truth of God's word will incur a stricter judgment from God. 

Paul wrote to his son in the faith about everything he would need to remember as a Pastor.  Pastor's are supposed to be men of God, firmly grounded in the truth of God's word.  Elder/Pastor/Teacher is a male in the original language.  We can look at what Paul wrote of the qualifications of an Elder in 1 Timothy 3. 

As he later wrote in 2 Timothy, people will eventually not want to hear what they need to hear.  They will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.  

Even Christians today, who are indeed saved, are at risk of accumulating people to read and listen to who are not truly followers of Christ Jesus. There's no shortage of television preacher's who are not anything but false teachers.  Some are very popular and for good reason, Satan's their promotions manager. 

The first book you ought to only be concerned with is the Bible.  Sure Godly books by reputable Pastor's exist, but the only inspired Word of God is the Bible. 

Before you soak up podcasts or streaming videos of sermons or participate in so-called revivals, start with your feet firmly planted in the Word of God.  Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provisions in the flesh for its lusts. Romans 13:14.

Jesus is coming again. Is your life being spent on you getting what you want out of it?  Have you kicked aside His plans for you all the while saying you're living for Jesus?  God will not ever be the architect of creating relationships only to set them up for failure.  We set ourselves up for failure more often than not.  I am not saying that we ought to always not give up. In regards to Believers being in a marriage relationship with an unbeliever, Paul wrote that if the unbelieving spouse leaves to let them go.  But too we shouldn't be trying to prove their spiritual state in order to justify the path of life we want to be on.

Each person is to give an account of their own life before Jesus.  What good will it do for anyone to fight the will of God unto death only to have it shown to them by Jesus on that day that they've wasted the life He desired for them? 

Preaching the word in season and out of season.  When people want to hear it and when they don't.  

Jesus said that the world will hate you because it hated Him first because He testifies that their deeds were evil. If we too are testifying that the deeds of the world are evil they will hate us too.

Yet we cannot go through life in Christ and not live in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.  Regardless of what people want to think about God and sin, God WILL judge concerning sin.  Without salvation in Christ Jesus alone, every man, every woman will give an account of their sins because they will not be erased or removed. 

Forgiveness of sins is only through a right relationship with Jesus Christ.  It's only through salvation in Him and in no other. 

Jesus told the Jewish Leaders...go and learn what this means: I desire obedience not sacrifice.  

Are you at a so-called church that isn't preaching the whole counsel of God?  The whole Bible?  Are you among those who believes what you hear outside of the Bible but not the word of God in its entirety?

It doesn't matter what you think is morally right or morally wrong.  It's the Word of God that defines it. 

Are you among those who have accumulated for yourself teachers in accordance to what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear?

Do you not take seriously that you will someday stand before Jesus to give an account of your life?  Those deeds done in your body for you and those for Jesus?

Is it not important to you to live for Jesus who took the bullet for you?  Who pushed you out of the way of the oncoming train to save you?  Who gave His very life so that you wouldn't have to give your own because of your sins?

When people don't want to hear the truth of God they get irate. They get angry.  They don't want to accept that the life they have built up is rubbish in the eyes of God because Jesus isn't a part of it.

Sometimes we need to be reminded to be on the alert. Jesus said we should be alert.  We should be because Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  He wants churches full of mislead people.  Those false teachers and false prophets came from WITHIN the Church.  People who influenced and infiltrated the Church to preach and teach lies...lies so convincing that millions believe them. 

The difference maker is those who are in the Word of God daily.  Those who are reading daily to see if what they hear is so.

Do not exchange the Word of God for lies.

If you aren't daily in your Bible, start today. Try 1 chapter of Proverbs a day.  Repeat. Add to it other Bible reading.  Ask God questions about it in prayer.  What other books can you possibly read where you can ask the Author anything about it at any time?

You're going to be filled with something today.  It's either filled with something from God or something from the world. 

What will you listen to?  What you want or what you need?

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Oh the Storms

Oh the Storms 
by David Brenneman 

There's days that I awake from dreams so real that it takes a while to get back to reality.  When the fog clears I remember the day that lies ahead and what it entails. 

Storms are a part of life.  I speak not about the weather outside.   

We choose either to listen to the Spirit's direction for us or we listen to the parts we want to, causing us to stray from the peaceful center of God's will.   

When songs seem to be what all you can memorize, songs tend to speak.  

"In the eye of the storm
You remain in control
And in the middle of the war
You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor
When my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies and my red eyes, I can barely see
When I realize I've been sold out by my friends and my family
I can feel the rain reminding me
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
Mmm, when my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I'm runnin' out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache
Are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus' name"
- From 'Eye of the Storm' by Ryan Stevenson. 

We also are to indeed make plans for the day.  However, to remain in that center, praying must go before the first move into that day.  

"Prayer is a mighty force when guidance is needed for the next step. Asking the Lord to direct one's paths is better than having to ask Him to correct one's mistakes. (Proverbs 3:6, Ps 37:5). No one, however, should expect God's approval of plans on which He has not been consulted." -Dr. David Jeremiah's Study Bible on Proverbs 16:3.

We shouldn't assume that just because we are so close to what we have wanted all along that God was indeed giving us what we prayed for.   So close isn't spot on.

Temptation is as real as breathing.  Being tempted to jump ahead of God is one of Satan's favorite things to do in the lives of Believers. 

We can easily see the simple examples in the Old Testament where the Lord Jesus outright says He is testing them to see if they will obey Him.  

God will never have an answer to a prayer include a violation of His Word.  He will not give you something that you have probably wanted a very long time if it destroys relationships that He brought together. He will not cause someone to stumble or to be left behind in the faith.  

The storm often comes to remove whatever is unnecessary to leave behind what is.  What's necessary is our willing obedience to God's Word.  Even if it means letting go of dreams and desires until He says it's the RIGHT time.  

I have seen Believers abandoned because of people running after something they're convinced was of God, yet if this were so, why would another Brother or Sister in Christ be left behind due to this?  Do they not realize that God hears their pleas? That God hears their hurts?  Doesn't the Spirit of God say that the Lord is near to the broken-hearted?  

Sometimes the storm is meant to change others, sometimes to change us.  But in all of it, we're to remain true to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  

Some of those same said people who've ran off to do what they claim is what God wanted for them forget that the lives of everyone are in the hands of God.  Some have gone to great lengths to justify what they've done.  If you have to justify it to salve your conscience, it's not of God. 

If, in trying to keep your fingers around whatever it is, you have to hurt someone else, it is not of God. 

It is extremely short-sighted to forget Him with whom we have to do.  It's extremely short-sighted to forget that this infinitesimal time we spend on this Earth, whereby we have done what we have, and yet forget that we will spend eternity with those same people. 

Who cares if we get what we really wanted out of life if it harms someone growing in Christ Jesus!  THAT is a storm of our own creation when we are the instrument of harm to another in Christ. 

"Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren." 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 NASB95 

The peace of God.  That center of the Will of God. 

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6‭-‬7.

What God calls peace isn't what the world calls peace.  You aren't going to experience it until you're obedient to the Word of God in Christ Jesus. 

When Jesus was in the boat, the Disciples were in the eye of the storm.  They panicked and were asked, why?  Why are you afraid, don't you realize that I am the calm center you seek?

So many try to cover up disobedience with gobs and gobs of obedience.  They indeed ran ahead of God, and try to point to all the good that they see, even saying it came from God.  Yet Jesus stands there, pointing to that one thing and will keep pointing until we relent. That man-made storm will continue until we obey. 

God will never call any Believer to engage in anything that violates the Word of God.

No matter how big or small.  He will not do that.  Yet millions justify their life choices by saying God told them to.  Another man-made storm. 

Return to where you ought to be in Christ Jesus if you're wanting to find that peace that passes all understanding.  Even if it means apologizing, asking forgiveness, whatever it takes.  Be patient in your life to truly wait on the Lord.  Don't destroy what God has graciously given you in life because of selfishness.  As it was warned of in the Bible, a little leaven affects the whole loaf, so does one act of intentional selfishness to harm a Godly relationship. 

You're going to have storms in your life, don't be the creator of them. 

"He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

It's Not About You

It's Not About You 
by David Brenneman 

Was reading in Romans this morning.  Can be some heavy stuff.  The passage is pointing towards anything we do in life that it not be done without considering its impact on others, be they Believers or the unbelieving. 

"Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin." Romans 14:13‭-‬23.

What good is it for you if by your choices and decisions that might be ok in your eyes that in Spiritual things cause someone else to stumble?  What good is it to think you're all that and a slice of bread Spiritually yet you've not considering others above yourself?  Why would you leave even Believers behind because you think taking care of your own Spiritual walk is more important than your brother’s and your sister's in Christ Jesus? 

Jesus had you and I born exactly where and when we would do the most good for His kingdom, for the work of service in the Church of Jesus Christ.  We weren't born to get the most out of life for ourselves. 

We do not have the Spiritual right to say who is or isn't worthy of our lives impacting their's.  We are to obey Christ in all things.  All means all and that's all all means. 

We aren't to judge who is worthy in regards to Spiritual life in Christ.  That's where we are not to judge. 

It's another reason why Scripture says that what God has joined together let no one separate.  God is the one who's Authority.  

It's why families are to be Christ-centered.  God is the Authority. 

It's why no matter what you do, where you are, you represent Christ if indeed you are saved. "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."
Colossians 3:23‭-‬25.

Our lives are hidden in Christ Jesus. Colossians 3:3. 

What we do in life is to be a reflection of the work of Christ in us.  If we're taking people apart, if we're deciding what life is going to be like, without consulting or considering what God's Word says...we sin.  Paul wrote that in Romans 14:23.

If we remotely think we are on a Spiritual path of growth yet have intentionally chosen something selfishly that caused another in Christ to stumble, then we have sinned.  We also do not get to choose in regards to who is saved and who isn't.  We do not justify our actions by that.  If we do, then we're sinning.  It doesn't matter how much we think we're living for Jesus, if we're justifying our actions at all in being inconsiderate of others regardless of whether they are saved or not, we're sinning. 

It's not about you or I.  

Our lives are to magnify Christ Jesus. Not to get that career we dreamed of. Not to get this or that, that we dreamed of. Not to get anything this world could be offering us.  Satan offered Jesus the world if only He would bow and worship him.  Satan offers you the same thing.  Satan wants you to put your wants, needs, desires, ahead of Spiritual truths.  As long as you keep justifying your choices and leaving people behind, you my Dear Reader, are not walking in Christ Jesus. 

Life in Christ is you being Christ to a fallen world...the light of Jesus Christ is to shine in you, not your own light. Prefer one another above ourselves isn't a suggestion if the person is worthy or not.  Building one another up in the Lord isn't a suggestion if the person is worthy or not in our eyes.

We're commanded to put on the mind of Christ.  So many people justify the destruction of families, marriages, relationships all over putting self first in all the wrong ways.  A physically unhealthy relationship where a life is in danger is an entirely different thing.  

It was an interesting thing to watch an explanation of claiming God wasn't moral.  How can someone worship God who killed so many people in the Old Testament? They think that's immoral.  
The questioner is asked how can they claim to have a right to decide who lives or dies by saying it's their body their choice? It's them playing God which is immoral. 

We can easily justify our choices in life...but will those choices stand up before a Holy God?  I dare say for many in the professing Church, they will absolutely not.  If we disobey in one area, we're guilty of all. 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself.  No excuses, exceptions, exclusions apply. Even if we don't get what we want. 

We must acknowledge the words of Peter.  We must obey God rather than men, which includes ourselves.  

Are you making or have you made choices, decisions, that violated the Word of God in order to pursue your own path in life rather than waiting on the Lord Jesus?  

Have you thought of only yourself and caused another to stumble?  

These deeds you do in your life will be weighed by Jesus.  Without questions being asked.  Will you see yours go up in smoke or become Spiritual gold for a crown to give back to Jesus?

Consider well your why's behind what you are doing. Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought. But think with sound judgment in Christ Jesus. 

It's not about you getting what you want in life.  You are here in this here this now to live an obedient life in Christ Jesus, to grow in Christ, to follow the Great Commission.  Not to get all your dreams fulfilled at the expense of others. 

Build one another up in the Lord, in the love of Christ Jesus. Seeing someone else growing in Christ should be what is important to you, be the Samaritan. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

Monday, August 28, 2023

One Way, One and Only Way

One Way, One and Only Way 
by David Brenneman 

As it's been said by many people, all other's who had began all the religions of the world, died. We know where their places of burial are. They died and won't return to this life.  One died for all, Jesus Christ, and came back from the dead. His burial place is empty. Both those who believed saw it empty as well as His enemies saw it empty.  

Bill Gaither wrote a song called "Because He Lives". There's significant truth in that single song title, let alone the rest of the words to it.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. 
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future, Life is worth the living just because He lives.

There are no arduous ceremonies or rituals to coming to Christ for salvation. 

He did it all.  He paid the full price of what was due to save you and I.  There's nothing more possible than to, after asking Him to save you, than to live for Him as He directs you through His Spirit.  

Another wonderful hymn is this one: 

I hear the Savior say,
"Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all."

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow'r and Thine alone,
Can change the leper's spots
And melt the heart of stone. [Refrain]

For nothing good have I
Where-by Thy grace to claim;
I'll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv'ry's Lamb. [Refrain]

And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
"Jesus died my soul to save,"
My lips shall still repeat. [Refrain]

"Jesus Paid it All" - Elvina M. Hall 1865

It does not matter what you've done, how deeply you think your sins go.  Satan will try to convince you that you're too far gone. That God doesn't see you or cares about you.  Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of lies.  He does not want you to find the peace that only comes from the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

My Dear Reader, let today, this moment be between you and Jesus.  Let your heart be open to the free gift of salvation that He offers to you. 

Let your own crimson stains be washed as white as snow.  

At first even the very same thief that had been cursing Jesus, finally realized who Jesus was and called out to Him to remember him.  Jesus promised him that he would be with Him in paradise.  

Jesus promises and keeps His promises. 
We may only know those promises of His after we come in faith to be saved.  That thief knew of Jesus's promise after he believed.  What a statement it was for him to be standing in Paradise and being able to see the other thief across the chasm that separated them. 

If Jesus would save a man in the throws of a death sentence, He can save you.  

Your life will change.  Your life will be hidden in Christ Jesus.  Regardless of what goes on in it, the hand of God will guide you through it. 

What is required for you after coming to Christ?  To trust and obey the Word of God.  To live for Jesus.  Growing in Christ. 

It might not make your life easier, but it will make it possible to live it. 

God's taken this blog all over the world. It's by Him that this message finds its way to your eyes to read, your heart and mind to digest.  It's by no accident.  

Jesus loved you enough to die in your place.

For God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son that if you believe in Him you will not perish but have everlasting 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 

There you have it, the Word of God to you.

Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost...that would be you and I. 

Come to Jesus by Chris Rice 

Weak and wounded sinner,
Lost and left to die,
O, raise your head for love is passing by,

Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus,
Come to Jesus and live.

Now your burden's lifted,
And carried far away,
And precious blood has washed away the stain... so

Sing to Jesus ,
Sing to Jesus ,
Sing to Jesus and live.

And like a newborn baby,
Don't be afraid to crawl,
And remember when you walk sometimes we fall... so

Fall on Jesus,
Fall on Jesus,
Fall on Jesus and live.

Sometimes the way is lonely,
And steep and filled with pain,
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain... then

Cry to Jesus,
Cry to Jesus,
Cry to Jesus and live.

O, and when the love spills over,
And music fills the night,
And when you can't contain your joy inside... then

Dance for Jesus,
Dance for Jesus,
Dance for Jesus and live.

And with your final heartbeat,
Kiss the world goodbye,
Then go in peace, and laugh on glory's side... and

Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus and live,

Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus,
Fly to Jesus and live.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

What? How? Really???

What? How? Really???
by David Brenneman 

"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:9‭-‬21 

It can be very discouraging to live in this world that we have today.   More times than I have admitted to others I have been very discouraged.  

How we shine is how we're seen by others.  In many times and places some see me as being angry or maybe too distant.  I am, more often than not, deep in thought.  Sometimes am just waiting for thoughts to make sense.  

How I treat others is not a reflection on them but a reflection on me.  Social skills are absolutely not at the top nor even in the top 10 of the list of my abilities.  Even as an adult I am still struggling with how to be around others. 

In recent days I have heard, in response to how I had been praying in regards to someone, "I will not curse whom I have blessed. I will not bless whom is under a curse." 

I write whatever I am directed to write and in many cases, in many ways, it's not just to address something or perhaps someone who might be reading it, it's for me as well. 

We can put up walls between us and God by our disobedience. As Dr. Stanley said, even if it's in one area, one thing, it's a hindrance between you and Jesus. He goes on to say "You know exactly what I mean. Exactly what I am talking about because whatever it was popped into your mind right as I said that."

Hindrances can be anything. It doesn't matter how many "Godly" things we do. Doesn't matter how much we give.  That one or two things we refuse to acknowledge before Jesus are going to hinder your growth in Christ Jesus. 

Jesus had it written as well that he who hates his brother who he does see cannot love God whom he hasn't seen.  

The reality of living is we are going to run into people we aren't going to like.  

Jesus ran into many in His ministry called Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, lawyers.  He still loved them.
Jesus ran into those whom arrested Him. 
He still loved them.
Jesus ran into those who beat Him, scorned Him, nailed Him to the cross. 
He still loved them.

We are told, commanded, to have the mind of Christ.  In that whole "you shouldn't judge" thought, get it right.  You are not to be in the place of God, deciding who is worthy of Heaven and who should go to Hell.  You ARE to use Spiritual discernment in judging the fruits of others and especially yourself.  Being a Christian does not exclude you from being scrutinized. Quite the contrary, the Spirit says that by what YOU do, what YOU say, what you DON'T do or DON'T say, that people will know and see your works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.  

Hate breeds bitterness. A little leaven leavens the whole thing as the Bible also says.  Get rid of it. Put on love, not just what the world calls it, which is always conditional, but the love of Christ Jesus. 

Our holding on to bitterness rather than giving such things to Jesus to deal with, is our doing the work of Satan for him.

Our mistreatment of others is our doing Satan's work for him.

Our thinking of ourselves before others is our doing Satan's work for him.

Our living for self preservation in light of obedience to Jesus is our doing Satan's work for him.

Trust God, obey God, leave the consequences to God. 

I said earlier that I struggle with social skills.  I will often rather go off by myself than deal with social issues.  If I engage most people in a social setting it's primarily a God thing.  I am thankful to be used by Him whether it's as a vessel for common use or for a specific, special, use.

How will you justify how you held onto anything that the Spirit has pointed to that must leave your life? 

Satan's wanting to destroy the identity of those in the human race, are you helping in this?
Satan's wanting to destroy marriages, families, are you helping in this?
Satan's wanting to stifle Christian life, are you in your impatience and choices helping in this?

These are some of the kinds of things that cross my mind when people wonder if I am angry, when I am not. 

We are either running God's race or we are running our own.  Believers are to be growing in Christ Jesus as their first priority. Not growing in regards to self.

Look at your life.  When that quote was mentioned earlier, was there something that even for a moment popped into your head?  Deal with it now because you will not go any farther in your life until you do. 

Does what concern Jesus matter to you?
I was watching an old video of the Statler Brothers and another gospel quartet together on "Just a Little Talk With Jesus".

Stop running from what the Spirit is trying to teach you.  Until you do, your prayers will likely be hindered if not met with crickets. Silence.  

If you are disobedient in even 1 area that the Spiritis still pointing to, stop. Until you obey, again, your prayers will be hindered if not met with crickets.  Silence. 

If you find yourself being divisive, stop. You're doing the work of Satan, not Jesus. 

If you're putting yourself before others...need it be said again what this post's passage said?  

The answer, always, to the Spirit is "Ok God, I'll do it..."  Not..."But God!! Did you...Do you...Are you..."  The answer is always obedience.  

My prayer for all is obedience, including myself.  I do indeed struggle in the area of preferring others above myself.  Some of those I deal with daily often don't make it easy.  I struggle with how to deal with both Believers and the unbelieving.  Of how to deal with the unbelieving who are seriously Hell-bent on disobedience to salvation through Jesus Christ. Who are altering themselves in ways that are nothing short of full defiance to the Word of God.  

Praying and petitions are to be made on behalf of all in Christ Jesus.  No excuses. 

So pray for me as I pray for you. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation

Saturday, August 26, 2023

What do you think of? Where does your mind go?

What do you think of? Where does your mind go?
by David Brenneman 

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."
Romans 12:1‭-‬8.

How often are you thinking about what specific purpose that you are alive for in this point in human history?  Because you were. 

You weren't born to be all you can be for yourself.

You weren't born to become rich, famous or any other such thing for your own benefit until you die. 

You weren't placed in human history at some random point for you to figure it out all on your own.

Your life was intended to only be found in Christ Jesus.  His workmanship being manifested in you every moment of every day.  

What are you doing to discover God's purpose and mission for you?  Are you accumulating people and voices that tell you what you want to hear?  Even Christians can do that.  Even Believers can be mislead to believe they are doing the will of God when in truth they are not. Disobedience in even one area is as bad as disobeying in everything.  Doesn't matter how many 'Godly things' we do to get the Spirit to not look there or go there. 

The worst possible place to be is to be fully convinced of something in our lives, our choices, that God isn't wanting for us.

How often are Spiritual matters important to you?  A few seconds of your day?  A few moments, spread out here or there?  Maybe 5 to ten minutes a day?  

Do you even recognize how paltry that is in light of the horrific sacrifice Jesus did on the cross to save a wretch like you?

How much of your thinking is how well you can convince you that you're ok with your choices even though even a single Bible passage says you're wrong?  News flash: God's Word is never wrong.  If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, so is His Word.

How often have you played so close to sin that it no longer scares you?  How often have you dabbled in it and have come away from it believing that it wasn't so bad?  That you weren't hurt by it?   

How much of your time is at all spent with Jesus because you really wanted to?

You who are in Christ were meant for a deep relationship with Jesus.  You were meant to become conformed to His likeness.  To His way of thinking.  To leave self behind.  To put it off.  Meaning, getting your way is no longer important to you. 

Sooner or later unrepentant sin WILL catch up to everyone.  Casting aside what the Spirit wants for you will catch up with you. 
Serving self before serving God will catch up with you. 

Where does your heart and mind go when you're left to yourself?  Do you at all realize that a deeper relationship with Jesus is His Will for you?  

We will not get life right without living for the purpose for which we were born in this world for, which is a rich, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ.  

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?
What will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Taking up our own cross daily means to have that be what we are only doing daily. 

Living for Jesus, a life that is true, Striving to please Him in all that I do. There's that word again "all".  

He wants our all on the altar. 
Wants all of us. Not weekend visits. 

Do you pick apart others?  Is that a Godly thing to do?
Do you prefer one another above yourself? Isn't that the Godly thing to do?

Do you set your mind on your day your way each day?
Do you set your mind on things above and not on the things that are of this world? 

What occupies your heart and mind?

Friday, August 25, 2023

It's Not Your Imagination

It's Not Your Imagination 
by David Brenneman 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28.

We can be very naive in regards to learning spiritual lessons things.  We can be unawares of the evil behind even so-called spiritual television shows and podcasts. 

By what are you able to compare and confirm that what you are being taught is right and true if you aren't following the example of the Berean Church to see if they are so?

What is seen and heard in this world that is intended to influence your mind and heart is real.  Do not be so naive as to think nobody's coming after you or your spouse or your family and your friends. 

In Christ Jesus we have an enemy who doesn't grow tired. He is a fallen angel now known as a demon.  He has a name and its Satan.  He has a significant following of other fallen angels who are also known as demons.  They do everything contrary to the Word of God and the will of God.  They are deceiver's one and all.  Jesus said of Satan that he is a liar and the father of lies.  When he speaks a lie he speaks from his own nature. 

Granted there ARE a few medical reasons why some people are the way they are in this world.  But even those people 2,000 years ago who were not by any stretch of the imagination doctors, they could tell the difference between medical problems and demonic possession. 

Satan is a defeated foe before the Lord Jesus Christ. He lost at the cross.  

The war still rages in the lives of Believers every day. Why?  Because of the truth that Scripture cannot be broken.

"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. 

Most certainly if we were created for good works in Christ Jesus, Satan's going to try to twist, pervert, malign or stop as much of what is beneficial to us as he can. 

He absolutely does not want to see fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ succeeding at life as the Spirit directs or teaches. 

You who are in Christ are not here on this world at this place and time in human history by accident, it's by the desire and design of God.  You, my Dear Reader, if indeed you are saved, have a responsibility in Christ Jesus to fulfill your calling, not your earthly career as your primary purpose and mission in life.  What you do outside of your purpose and mission in this life for Christ will never see eternity. What you do in your life for Jesus is what matters at the Bema seat judgment for Believers.  

Will your life be shown as one that lived for your Savior, Jesus Christ, or for you?

Sure we are to enjoy God's creation.  But our mission in life doesn't change because it's nice outside. It doesn't change because of where we go.  We who are in Christ Jesus are always on-call as Ambassadors for Jesus.  We represent the Kingdom of God as Ambassadors to Jesus Christ. 

So it's absolutely no wonder that Satan will try every trick in the book and then some to get you to live, even in the smallest of ways, for yourself.  Don't get me wrong, there's a time and place for rejuvenation in life.  But the Spirit is clear in teaching that all that we do must be done as unto the Lord.  Including our supposed "downtime".

We really don't see the truth in the phrase "garbage in garbage out" until we are intentionally only putting into our hearts and minds the truth of God and are intentionally keeping out worldly thinking. 

Honestly there no substitute for waking up at any moment to a hymn playing in my head.  Sensing the joy of the Spirit when it happens is almost indescribable.  

Some people think it's ok to listen to and in reality support secular music.  What does the Bible say?  Before you think something is ok or not, the standard isn't your opinion.  The standard is the Word of God. 
Sure the music might sound good. Sure it may be questionable in the lyrics.  But realize that unbelievers see you.  They see what you are saying is ok by your actions and words.  Paul wrote specifically on being careful of what causes others to stumble and struggle.  If anything would, he would never do it again. 

It's not always easy but it's always beneficial to err on the side of caution in regards to what you decide to do in life.  

Do not be the reason someone isn't in a full relationship with Jesus Christ.  Your life is probably the only testimony that others see in the world.  Not necessarily you words.

It's a fight, if I were being fully truthful with you.  It's hard saying no to the desires of this world.  But what would giving in profit me?  A moments pleasure that might be that deciding moment in an unbelievers life?  That moment that might cause a lifetime of damage that the Spirit has to bring in someone else to work with?

We aren't alone, who are in Christ Jesus.  Indeed He is with us wherever we go.  He knows all truth because He is truth.

We shouldn't trust most of what's on so-called television networks that claim to be Christian in origin.  We can easily turn a blind, deceived, eye to the truth of the people leading those shows.  There's probably only 3, maybe 4, that I am aware of that DO speak the Word of God in truth. The rest, I am afraid, are all false prophets, false teachers.  Blind guides to the blind.  New versions of Pharisees and Sadducees.  It's why countless church buildings will be filled easily after the Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ. 

It's not your imagination that choosing to live for Jesus is difficult.  It's going to be. 
It's not your imagination as to what you are going through.

Your Content
1 Peter 4
New American Standard Bible 1995
Keep Fervent in Your Love
4 Therefore, since Christ has [a]suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has [b]suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, [c]having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and [d]abominable idolatries. 4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For the gospel has for this purpose been [e]preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.

7 The end of all things [f]is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of [g]prayer. 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so [h]as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving [i]by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name." 1 Peter 4:12-16.

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:15‭-‬16.

There are no bench warmers in the race of life for Christ Jesus.  We are all being taught and trained by the Spirit to run the race with endurance set beforeus. To run a race means preparing. Preventing things from influencing the performance we give from gaining a foothold.  

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2.

First, be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus.  Second, Hebrews 12:1-2.  Cast away every intention of your heart that violates the Word of God.  Satan is the adversary, the destroyer of all that God holds dear.  He will infect relationships to cause you to believe that even other Believers aren't Believers.  He will infect your thinking to even think you are giving service to God all the while you are not.
If it causes you or others in Christ to at all sin then it's not for you.  If it causes you to justify any breakup in a relationship that is based in fears, half-truths, lies, then its not of God.  

It's interesting, the more you intentionally look at your life and the lives around you, that it's not your imagination after all. 

Spiritual forces are at war with the Children of God.  There are no bystanders. 

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:15‭-‬16.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation

Thursday, August 24, 2023

His Path...not Necessarily Ours

His Path, Not Necessarily Ours
by David Brenneman 

"But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:18‭-‬27 

Am reminded of a song I heard growing up.  In it it's mentioned that there a highway that leads to glory. That it's no easy ride. That you'll find all kinds of exits that will throw you off your stride.  Some will lead to fortune, others lead to fame...some will lead you so far off, you won't return again.

We read in the New Testament that we're in a race.  To run in such a way as to win the prize.  

By looking at any serious runner, what do you see?  Someone who made intentional sacrifices to get where they are today. 

Someone who said no to this food or that train of thought.  Someone who was interested in winning the race pours out everything not contributing to that goal.  Someone just wanting to finish well might put in as much effort. 

It depends on how much you want the prize.   Jesus had the writers tell us in the Bible to run the race with every ounce of our being. Run the race like we're after winning that prize from Jesus Himself. 

His path for us isn't necessarily what we have in mind.  In fact, it is pretty much a given, that it won't be.  Our thoughts are not His thoughts nor our ways His ways.  The thoughts of Jesus Christ are higher than ours in every respect. His ways aren't ours at all. 

A very profound thought I had the other day has a lot to do with some discussions on why going through life as we do when Jesus already knows who will be saved and who won't receive His free gift of salvation.  You, my Dear Reader, were born at just that right time in human history for you to make that right choice to follow Jesus.  Your personality, your everything that makes you, you, wouldn't work in any other time in human history.  The same actually applies to those who have chosen to reject the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  The time in which they live would have been perfect for them to understand and say yes, but, sadly they chose not to.  They will, as the Bible says, will be without excuse. 

Every Believer is also going to be without excuse for insisting on living life their own way rather than how the Spirit was attempting to direct them.

Oh their lives might look spiritual but that doesn't mean it's what the Spirit was directing them towards. 

Churches all across this world will be filled after the Rapture of the Church.  Why?  Because of false teaching, false beliefs.  People who weren't listening to the Savior's call.  People who only believed about Jesus and not in Jesus.  

In saying that we are to deny ourselves and take up our own cross and follow Him, Jesus is wanting 100% from us.  Not 50/50.  Not 80/20.  Nothing but all.  The same as that runner dedicated to not just entering the race but intending to win it.

It means no giving Jesus the leftovers. 
It means saying no to what we want in favor of what He wants. 
It means preferring one another above ourselves.  That matters to Him which is why it's in the Bible. 

It makes every difference in why we do what we do.   We may not feel like going through what we do in life, but it's that path that God has us on. It's what we need and what those others born in this here this now need.  

Our lives are not our own, we were bought with a price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  The price is too high for us to run this race without trying to win.  

If what path we are on isn't what God wants, get off it, get back to where you should be.  Even if it doesn't appear that you're going to like it.  You hamper the work of Jesus Christ in you when you're not obeying Him.  You hinder your prayers by willful disobedience.

You can be listening to, think you're learning of, all kinds of things about God and still get it wrong.  Because deep down selfishness is still impacting you.  You still may be wanting life you way in your timing.  

Look at your life, are you running this race called life or are you walking without even trying to win that prize at the end from Jesus?  You don't want to be found by Him living a life He hadn't in mind for you, do you?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart do not lean on your own understanding And in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

He Lives!

He Lives!
by David Brenneman 

I serve a risen Savior
  He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
  Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
  I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
  He’s always near.
  He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
    He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me
  I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
  I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
  Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
  Will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
  Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
  To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
  The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
  So good and kind.

Author: A. H. Ackley (1933) "I Serve a Risen Savior"

It's always good and interesting if you wake up in the middle of the night to have the Spirit put a song in your mind and heart.  This morning it was this one.  Wonderfully it just kept repeating.

How often do you lay aside the things of your today to remember the things that are in this song?

"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16.

"speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father; and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ." Ephesians 5:19-21.

In Heaven, the praise of God is carried on songs and hymns and spiritual songs.  Why wouldn't you want to begin in the here and now?

Dark cloudy days don't stand a chance when we're making melody in our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ.  I admit I don't always grab this train and ride it when things happen, but am grateful that the Spirit sends me reminders. 

It's impossible to grumble and praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Yes, there's a hymn in that statement too.  The much known doxology of many denominations. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

"But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?  Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh." James 3:8-12.

Really let that passage from James reach into your heart.  I have known many people who claim to be Christians, yet don't even try to tame their mouths.  Indeed cursing and swearing, just as James wrote, Indeed come from the same mouth.  I hear people talk about great things concerning what Jesus is doing, and moments later hear deep bitterness towards others in Christ from the same mouth. 

I hear people who claim to be Christians taking apart other's in order to lift themselves up.  In Proverbs it speaks specifically against sitting yourself at a kings table lest someone else more honored than you was invited. 

We also know of the passage that speaks to not thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to. 

Turn instead to the praise and worship of God.  Turn from what is threatening to drown your mind to that which can free it to worship Him.  

I know of many who subscribe to the thoughts that secular music doesn't harm anyone.  Some, perhaps, wouldn't.  But again, Proverbs, says not to think of things as not being that bad as a standard. If the lyrics aren't edifying, if they aren't lifting up Christ, why would you put it in your mind and heart?  It is a challenge. 

"Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips" from "Ever Be" Bethel Music.

We ought at all times be ready to praise God from whom all blessings flow.  We ought to be ready because in a heartbeat we could be in the presence of Jesus with all who have gone on before joining in with them.  

Is it really a bad thing to pour all the good and positive things into your mind and heart rather than feeding your mind stuff that cannot grow you in Christ Jesus?

As we read, you can't bless and curse at the same time.  So choose what Jesus would choose.  Quit focusing on self for a moment and focus on worshipping the One who gave His everything for you. Then, take another moment, and another.  Let it continue for as long as it can.  

Your mind can't be filled with doubts, with troubles, when it's occupied in the worship of Jesus Christ.  

Worry is a prayer with no direction. 
Prayer is a worry with a direction...up.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023


by David Brenneman 

"Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

"For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God." 1 Corinthians 4:4-5.

"Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me." 1 Corinthians 4:16.

"For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:20.

We either build up or we are tearing down others.  In most respects it's to do with how we view ourselves more than the other people or people. 

We have a sin nature that doesn't want us to view ourselves as being out of touch or imperfect in our own speech, love and any other way.  We can easily be a flavor of Pharisee or a flavor of Sadducee.  We can be a flavor of the same kind of Levite that also judged a wounded man and left him vs that Samaritan who didn't. 

Taking others apart, even to the extent of doubting their salvation, is more of a sign of our character than any character of Christ that's supposed to be in us.

We cannot be party to the tearing apart of others in the body of Christ.  As it is in the physical body, cells that independently attack good cells are abnormal. They are atypically cancerous. 

We who are in Christ are to be building one another up in the Lord.  Not looking for excuses to not go down a road with another in the faith and thereby trying to discredit others in the body of Christ.  

We are, above all else, saved in Christ Jesus.  We are to be an active part of the body of Christ.  We are to lay aside self in favor of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Taking up our own cross and following Jesus Christ.  Dying to self.  Not elevating self.  Not thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.  

The parts of 1 Corinthians that I was drawn to carry a theme.  What's interesting is the overlapping wisdom there about others I can see in my reading through Proverbs.  God's Word compliments God's Word.

Satan wants us to sin in our self justification of our choices in our lives...and that's what self-justification is.

If we're needing to defend ourselves, our choices, by tearing down others, then, my Dear Friend, we are sinning. Sinning.

How will such people stand before Jesus to explain such things?  How will they look at those they tore apart standing in Heaven as they are?  Sure, in this here, this now, people will feel their false sense of sanctimonious living.  That they think they did the right thing.  Whether in this life or the next, the consequences will follow for the error of their ways.

We are to prefer one another above ourselves.  Romans 12:10. 

We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Matthew 6:33.

"and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24.

ALL the works we do, supposedly in the name of Jesus, are for nothing if we're living in defiance of the life He has in mind for us to live.  By defiance, it can even be in a single area of life, it's still disobedience.  It usually starts out with "But God I just can't, they...".  It can escalate to a low level holier-than-thou attitude.  Which is tearing someone apart to make the person feel better about their own choices.

We who have long enough have knowledge of WWJD.  What Would Jesus Do. 

Paul's admonishing the church in Christ everywhere to be imitators of Christ Jesus.  Put on Christ, put off self.  Do not give provision to sin in regards to our choices.  

Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  He's not yelling or hollering suggestions. He whispers.  

My Dear Reader, please, first of all, be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus.  Second, put off self, put on Christ Jesus.  Don't attempt to destroy what God is doing in your life for the sake of self.  Don't tear down others to make you feel good about the life you're insisting on living.  It's extremely dangerous to try to get God to curse whom is blessed by God.  Read about how that went down in the Old Testament.  God will not curse whom He has blessed and will not bless those who have chosen to be cursed.  You choose to be considered cursed by living intentionally against the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.  What did Jesus say? What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?  

Build one another up in the Lord. 

"being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3.

As God has repeatedly demonstrated, as long as we breathe, there's hope. We can do the right thing in Christ. We are commanded to forgive if we indeed have been forgiven by Christ Jesus. If we do not, He will not. Simple as that.

How will you face your brother’s and sister's in Christ for all eternity knowing what you thought, said or did?   It's possible for those things to weigh on our hearts and minds at that point because there indeed will be tears that Christ Himself will be wiping away.  Those will be to do with how we did or didn't live for Jesus as we should well ad those we knew who chose not to come to Christ.  

We are here to point people to Jesus. We are here to share what great things He has done for us.  Building one another up in the Lord.  Build up.  

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

Monday, August 21, 2023

Be Careful to Find the Real Thing

Be Careful to Find the Real Thing 
by David Brenneman 

"When we walk with the, 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. never fear only trust and obey."

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

In our world we must not let our guard down.  Really.   “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16. 

Jesus Himself sends us out with the same warning. We are going to run across countless hours of false teaching on streaming, satellite TV, cable TV and TV over the air.  We will find it right there in the open and as the picture reminds us, in this hour Satan isn't even trying to hide what he's doing. 

Godly men to learn truth from must be sought out, they won't be advertising.  They will be those teaching certain things.  Health, wealth and prosperity for oneself for sure.  They will glory in themselves.  Teaching others to realistically do the same as well as while they are living in the lap of luxury, will continue to convince people to keep giving to their supposed ministry. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.  Don't go to anyone or anything before you're on your knees before Jesus.  

"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.  

So many millions of people are mislead at any given moment in this world today.  They aren being taught by the Spirit.  They are being coerced by demons and their doctrines.  The family structure that God instituted is under constant attack. Marriages are being destroyed from within and outside of it.  Statistics show it's as bad within the Church as it is outside of it. 

Goes to show that demons are everywhere.  "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  1 Peter 5:8.

Many many places in the New Testament we read the warning to be on the alert. 

Satan is the adversary and most don't even recognize him or his influence on the so-called churches that exist today. 

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

This warning to Timothy is for all of us.
False teachers in not all but most mega-churches that are in this world today. 

If the teaching isn't entirely Bible-centric and isn't the whole counsel of God then it's a demonically driven church.  

When we do seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, we will find His peace. We will find Him who loves our soul.  Jesus is the lover of your soul. You were who He sacrificed Himself on a cross to save you.  His peace isn't what the world offers.  It's not found in vacation spots. Not found in obscure places.  It's found where He is.  In you.  He, when we are rightly connected to Him through the Spirit, provides that promised peace.  When we have a right relationship with Jesus, bitterness cannot abide within us. Anger cannot abide within us that's not of God.  Those things rob us of His peace. 

When we focus on the faults of others we give the devil an opportunity. 
When we focus on bitterness we give the devil an opportunity. 
When the sun goes down on our anger, we give the devil an opportunity. 

We give the devil more opportunities than we do the Spirit at times!

Regardless of our feelings towards others in our lives we are to obey Christ in all things.   It doesn't matter what we think concerning it.  Quit giving the devil opportunities and instead give the Spirit opportunities to do what only God can do. 

Seek the peace that passes all understanding, it's not found in this world its through the Spirit from Jesus Christ. 

It's not found in scenic views along winding roads. It's not found in striking it rich.  It's not found in personal happiness. 

We cannot know all that Christ Jesus has prepared for those of us who are called according to His purpose if we don't strictly seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, THEN all these things, including His peace, will be added unto you. 

Shut off those false prophets, false teachers, shut off the podcasts, the streaming, the television.  Get into your Bible, get on your knees, talk to the Author and the Perfector of your faith.  

There's no hidden language of God.  There's no speaking in tongues required. 

In every single experience where God's needed to speak to me, my Dear Reader, it's always always always been in clear English to me.  God says if Himself that He is NOT a God of confusion.  He does NOT need someone to "hear a message from God" to give to someone else. 

When was the last time you really shut out the world and spent real time with Jesus?

When was the last time you didn't just go with what was popular in the supposed Christian circles and sought out the Author of the Bible to ask Him yourself?

When was the last time you were truly on the alert for those things that the Spirit warned you about from God's Word?

To be honest, the deeper that I was reading into this this morning, it certainly was what has been hitting home for me of late.  I honestly wasn't aware of things in my life that needed Jesus to heal me of.  I wasn't aware until years ago, that my focus had been so far off.  In the ensuing years the Spirit has been teaching me and correcting my thoughts.  There's still a ways to go. 

At home, away from the world, it's sometimes just not peaceful.  My mind is what Satan's trying to get to.  My thinking is what he's trying to mess with.  

He wants me to think about myself first. 
He wants me to take apart others. Point out their faults. Question their faith. Question their salvation in Christ Jesus. 
He wants to mess up things between my Wife and I. 
He wants to introduce seeds of tares in me.  False wheat. Those things that will not allow the Word of God to richly dwell within me. 

My Dear Reader, he is after the same thing for you. 

The more people who truly are Believers who truly are on their knees before Jesus, the more ground Satan loses.  

Seek Him who will keep your heart in perfect peace. 

"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Is it, is it really?

Is it? Is it really?
by David Brenneman 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." Psalms 19:14.

You who speak in bitterness towards another, do you ever take consideration of this verse? 

You who wish ill upon another, has this verse ever crossed your mind?

You who pursue your life, your career, has the real and true approval of your Savior been a real consideration?

Proverbs 23:7a "For as he thinks within himself, so he is."

Whether it's within the four walls of your home or the four walls of your church, quite often we look for like-minded thoughts and feelings. We look for someone to validate what we think and how we feel.  We look everywhere, more often than not, than to our Creator. 

We see people in our world who are wrapped up in the very root of bitterness who don't see it themselves.  They're convinced of what they are and to get them to listen to reason is an uphill battle.  To make matters worse they would rather put their purported adversary under a microscope than to look at themselves in a mirror. 

"For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin." Romans 7:14‭-‬25 NASB1995

We really don't like to see or to hear that we are in a war, a war for control of our hearts and minds.  

We hate looking at photos of the graphic realities of physical wars. 

We lie to ourselves in that we think that it's possible to have a utopia here on Earth.  

My Dear Reader, not until AFTER the 7 year Great Tribulation will any semblance of utopia happen here on Earth when Jesus Himself rules this world with no interference from Satan...for a thousand years. 

In the meantime, we are at war.  All Christians are behind enemy lines.  That's a Biblical truth.  That's a Biblical reality. 

If your thoughts aren't in accordance with the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace in Christ Jesus, then might it be in thoughts of division, of self, of potentially destroying what God has joined together?

Be it in friendship or in marriage, God brings people together.  Some for us to teach and carry along in the faith, others to be our equals in the faith and still others to be those pillars of the faith that we look to for help and assistance in this life. 

We have no right to put others under a microscope when we ourselves have things between us and God.  Jesus was very specific about that point.  Don't look to take the speck out of your brother’s eye when you're not doing anything about the log in your own. 

Do you really really care what Jesus thinks about your thoughts?  Do you really really consider that you are really a hypocrite when you're claiming to be a Christian and yet are secretly raging in bitterness towards another?  

Jesus came, lived a sinless life, was horribly abused, mocked, scorned, nailed to a cross, for every single human being in human history.  From the greatest of them to the most horrific of human beings. Jesus died for everyone. Period.

Our thoughts will either defend or accuse us.  Our thoughts SHOULD be set on things above and not on the things that are of this world.  Our thoughts SHOULD be of the health and welfare of others.  

"Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,  being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you 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.

"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. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:30-32.

My Dear Reader, be sure your sin in this area will find you out if indeed its something you're attempting to keep to yourself. 

Lastly, if bitterness and wrath and anger have been a part of your life...make absolutely sure it's not really aimed at God rather than the Earthly object of your bitterness, anger and wrath.  Many people actually do have a problem with God and will attack others rather than admit this sin in their life.  They will even not see how pious they are.  They will, in all truthfulness, have more in common with that Pharisee who was giving God a litany of all he does for God and saying how much better he was that other man who wouldn't even look to Heaven and asked God to be merciful to him a sinner.

I have, in my short life, seen people immerse themselves in everything "spiritual" to hide the truth that they are mad at God.  They don't even have the spiritual fortitude or growth to see that they are listening to false teachers, false prophets and the doctrines of demons.  

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." Psalms 19:14.

We are to speak to the truth in love. 
We are to prefer one another above ourselves. 
We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. 
We are to put to death the sins in our lives that are keeping our relationship with Jesus vibrant and faithful. 

Bitterness, rage, anger, self-centered ideologies, all will put up walls between you and Jesus Christ. You will never, ever, say that Psalm 19:14 is true for you if your harboring things against others or against God. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation