Tuesday, June 18, 2024

If God Says It's Bad...

If God Says It's Bad...
by David Brenneman 

‭"Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." 2 Timothy 3:12-13.

‭"Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12.

The other day something happened that I have rarely ever heard in a public place, in a store even. Discussions on the true state of the world. Of the evil of these end times in which we're living. Several men talking about what the Bible says about it and what we're living in today.

What I contributed to the conversation was to consider how bad bad is as God defines it. Bad to us isn't what's bad to God because our ways, our views, on life are stained by sinful worldviews.  

Evil is among us. The Church's power in Christ Jesus can both resist and defeat it. Indeed the Bible says that the very gates of Hell will not be able to take the onslaught of the Church. 

So why are so many people embracing this world today rather than resisting?  

Evil men and impostors...these are from within the Church. Getting people to accept and believe falsehoods. Telling them what their itching ears want to hear. Not telling them what they need to hear. 

It's been a sort of common joke that common sense is dead. People who actually are still yet critical thinkers are rapidly becoming a rarity. Those who speak up are ganged up on to be silenced.  

One second after you have breathed your last, your decision of either accepting Christ Jesus as your Savior and Lord or rejection of Him is going to be evident to you. 

While yes this world is absolutely not getting any better, the reason has always been because of sin. 

Whereas evil is both gaining ground, the true Church isn't assertive enough. So in the truest sense things really are going from bad to worse.  

Where are you in regards to the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ alone? Millions of people died last night. Some from accidents while driving or riding with someone else. Some from natural causes. Some from nothing more than they weren't able to handle life and they took their own. 

While indeed life is harsh these days, nobody was promised a rose garden. Whether you are saved or not your life is going to have ups and downs. Good times or harsh times. The promise of God in Christ is that when you place your faith and trust in Him, you're never going to face anything alone ever again.

I work with many people who aren't saved and I can't imagine how difficult their lives are with what they say they are going through. They are on their own under that crushing weight.  

What's worse is our society has crafted laws to keep the truth of God from them in the workplace. 

Tolerance is 'preached' by the unbelieving in our world but at the same time they force what they believe onto the rest of us. This is not how trust is built. 

Evil is getting worse. Our tolerance of it is also increasing. 

Literally our pain threshold is increasing in dealing with this present darkness.  

It's ever more important to know that you know that you know that you are saved. That the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ alone is yours.  

The Bible says that no one knows the day nor the hour when Jesus is going to come back. It's going to be so quick that the world will go into crisis mode immediately. THE Antichrist will show himself and the way the world will be...the world will follow wherever he leads.  

You cannot wait to the last second to receive that free gift if you cannot know what is going to be that last second. 

Nothing in your world that you call living life is more important than setting that question: where are you going to spend eternity?

As for me and my house...we know this world is not our home. We're just passing through. We know that Jesus came, lived a sinless life, was cruelly beaten and crucified. Arose 3 days later as both Christ and King.  
We know and believe that Jesus is our Savior and Lord. Read Romans 10.  

How evil is evil? It's replete with deceptions. Truth twisted and now accepted by the world as new truth. 
Those who believe Biblical truth are canceled, ostracized, mocked, scorned, murdered. That's the kind of evil in our world that's going from bad to worse. Jesus said it would be just as it was in the days of Noah. In those days selfishness ruled. Everything about faith in the Lord was rejected by mankind. 

‭"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, 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 men as these." 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Please don't wait any longer. If you haven't come to Christ for salvation yet...think long and hard about it. The curtain will fall so fast that you're going to miss it. The Bible says that it will be in the twinkling of an eye.  

For those reading this who are saved...live it out no matter what your life is like no matter where you are. Pray without ceasing. You are not alone. 

All that remains of history is this short period between now and the Great Tribulation, and a 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ. No centuries, no millennia. After the reign of Jesus Christ, time ends and eternity is where all mankind will be. Either in torment paying for their own sins or in peace with Jesus Christ. 

‭Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me."

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

Monday, June 17, 2024

What's Your Attitude Towards Serving?

What's Your Attitude Towards Serving?
by David Brenneman 

‭“Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts?  So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.’ ” Malachi 3:13-15.

It's, to me at least, a danced around subject.  While many many times the subject of serving is brought up in sermon and in conversation...the obvious issue isn't approached. 

What is your attitude towards serving your Savior and Lord?

What is your definition of serving your Savior and Lord?

These two must be looked at to find out where you are with regards to it.

Many wonder about the state of the world with regards to the Church's influence and impact upon it.

We can read of what the Church's impact and influence are SUPPOSED to be in the New Testament.  But if those whom claim to be Christians are only being Christians on Sunday Mornings and possibly Sunday Evenings and maybe Wednesday nights...there's your probable reason for a weak influence. 

You who are claiming that your salvation rests in the Lord Jesus Christ...YOU are the Church wherever you are.  Your life is in service to Jesus wherever you wake up.  In your going out and your coming in.  

Akin to this is your worship time. You choose to also worship during your week or you choose the world's music to influence your heart and mind.  Worship does not end when you walk out of the Church building.  On the contrary, that's when it's to begin.

If you're not setting your mind on the things that are of God...it's no wonder your life will be one battle after another.  It's no wonder you find yourself as Malachi wrote earlier in this chapter with a purse full of holes.  

It's incredibly important to realize that your life in Christ is a 24/7 deal. 

He isn't a butler. 
He isn't your servant. 
He isn't omniscient, omnipresent, for His health.  He's in you and for you to grow in Christ. To become less like you've been and more like He is.

Turn on your radio, your television, your web browser, your podcasts...who is being fed what by what you are choosing to eat?

Yes, it's food...ironically...food for thought.  

You are not going to find the kind of peace that passes all understanding if you aren't doing life God's way.

Being busy all the time for the wrong reasons is foolishness before God.  Making excuses for why you aren't doing more with Jesus or for Jesus is why the Church today does have so many splits.  Of why the supposed hands and feet of Jesus are idle.

Going back to what you are feeding yourself...your list of excuses. Are they going to hold up before Christ when you give an account of your life?

Millions of people have a hoarding problem.  I don't mean physical things although that's a multi billion dollar industry.

It's hoarding thoughts and feelings, actions even, that aren't doing anything to show Jesus Christ alive and well in our lives.  People aren't seeing Jesus because we're hiding Jesus by what we are choosing to keep engaged with in our lives.

Hoarders can't figure out how to live without something. A form of separation anxiety arises.  What will become of this or that?  My Dear Reader...you die today and none of it will matter to you. Guaranteed.  All unbelievers in Hell are not concerned in the least about cars, houses, family heirlooms. 
All Believers in Heaven aren't concerned by those things either.

These same-said people aren't concerned about what they didn't finish. Not at all concerned about not being able to work more.  Not at all concerned about what other's might be thinking. Ironically fears do not exist in either place.  Worries do not impact either. 

What's possible is eternal regrets.  Regrets that they didn't use their time, energy and efforts better for Jesus than they did.  That they didn't realize how fruitless their lives were in living for self.  
Those in Hell, many regrets concerning rejection of salvation through Jesus Christ. 

Jesus has a plan and purpose for each person in the body of Christ. 

The body of Christ is a fit body. 
It's a healthy body.  The Spirit sets us in the body of Christ as He sees fit.  In Heaven there will be no denominations. Just the Church, the Bride of Christ.  Get over that denomination thing.  

Maybe this has caused you to think about your attitudes during your week.  If so...good.  

If in your life you have run from serving because people have attacked you or your family.  Think of it this way. Read your Bible. You're in good company.  Return to God and submit to His plan and purpose for you.  

Jesus IS returning some day soon. 
Jesus IS going to have all Believer's give an account of their lives before Him. 

You're not going to have an excuse to stand on. It says every one's deeds will be tried by fire.  What remains will be for Jesus.  

Think about what you are choosing to engage in your life. Think about your attitudes towards your salvation.  Think about whether you are living for Jesus or for you. 

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

Sunday, June 16, 2024

What to Do. What to Do?

What to Do. What to Do?
by David Brenneman 

‭"We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not quench the Spirit;  do not despise prophetic utterances.  But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;  abstain from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." 1 Thessalonians 5:14-24.

2 Thessalonians 4:3a says "For this is God’s will, your sanctification." Here too is another pointing out of God's will. "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

We aren't the architects of our lives.  This life we live isn't our creation under Heaven.  Elements of our personality are used, the gifts and talents graciously bestowed upon us by our Father in Heaven, are indeed the ingredients but its far from being our sole discretion in direction. 

We come to Christ for salvation yes.  We should also have of first importance what is of first importance to Him who saved us. 

In Christ we are to grow in Christ. We are to be diligent to be the disciple that we are in Him.

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  This isn't at all lending to any idea of whatever is leftover goes to God. 

Malachi is a book of admonishing the people of Israel.  Jesus is calling them out.  He was being offered sacrifices that even He says "try offering that to your governor!".

Would you describe your offerings of your life to Christ as being your absolute best?  Your best efforts? Your best attention? Your truly best?

You can do as they did...say whatever you want towards me or anyone about how devoted and dedicated you are...Jesus knows all. 

Are you being honest with yourself and your Savior?  Put it all on the table.  No distractions no playing of games.  

My Dear Reader, if you indeed believe the Scriptures, you know there's a day coming soon where your life will be laid bare before Him.  What you have done in your body for Christ is all that will matter.  You're either adding to that or you're taking away from that which you will offer to Jesus. 

Do you at all talk to Jesus daily?
Do you at all consider Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs?
Do you at all attempt to stand firm in the Lord?
Do you at all seek that which is important to Jesus?
Do you at all abstain from every form of evil?  
Do you clutter your mind with useless endeavors? 
Do you listen to yourself more than you listen to the Spirit?
Do you justify the habits you have rather than eliminate what's not helping you to live healthy in Christ?

These are just samples of food for thought.  Look at all that the Lord Jesus rebuked Judah and Israel for.  Look at all that Jesus personally rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for.  Look at His corrections towards His Disciples. 

You will know if you are willing to see.  This is part of that wisdom we are to ask of God for.   To clearly see and clearly know what God wants of you and for you.  

It may not remotely look like what you think it should...and that's ok.

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.

This says what He will do when we trust Him completely.  Note it doesn't say He will explain it all along the way. 

Jesus said to come as a child. Children hate lengthy explanations. 

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

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

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Small and Great All to the Glory of God

Small and Great All to the Glory of God 
by David Brenneman 

No matter what you are dealing with or are facing, "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,is the answer. 

Jesus trusted in His Father with all His heart and trusted not in His own understanding. In all His ways He acknowledged His Father and His Father made His path straight. 

No matter the cells in the body, all work together for good for that body when it comes to the body of Christ. It doesn't matter if all you've ever done is greet people kindly to those men who are called to preach the word of God. Skin cells or major organs in Christ all have a plan and purpose for the glory of God in Christ Jesus. 

All too often many people don't think their being at Church matters. That it's not in them to get involved. That there's nothing for them that they can or would like to do. 

If we take that mindset then those to whom have realized their life in Christ has something for them to be doing are going to have all that much more to try to be doing rather than the whole body working as it should. 

You, my Dear Reader, know all too well what happens when parts of your own body don't cooperate with other parts of it. It's not a good thing. 

The opening paragraph or two came to me before I went to bed last night and I was awaken from sleep to make sure I wrote it down. 

Jesus lived out Proverbs 3:5-6 daily. 

He often spoke openly to His Father about how right He was. 

You have a plan and purpose in life that's much greater than you can possibly imagine. So do I. We must submit to the training in righteousness that comes from a life IN Christ. Our training is ongoing. Our training is for God's will for us.

"Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you." 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

Living life isn't to only be our pursuit of happiness. Of our pursuit of our ideas concerning peace and love. 

Our lives are in Christ, therefore, we have an in Christ purpose for our here and now in human history. 

We don't tell the rest of the body of Christ "you're on your own. I'm saved so that's all that matters".

When we ignore God's calling for us, that's pretty much what we are saying. 

We also can't let fear of what might be for us to keep us from serving in the body of Christ. We'll surely talk ourselves out of it. 

We also cannot let past experiences of serving that we only concluded didn't go well to keep us from present and future service to the body of Christ.  

This line of thinking is our trusting in our own hearts and not what Proverbs 3:5-6 speaks to. 

We will always get in our own way. 

Truth be known, we in the Church can do so well at hindering the work of God in Christ Jesus that Satan's minions don't need to get involved. 

‭"and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you," 1 Thessalonians 4:11.

Essentially to do whatever it is that God's got in mind for you to be doing...not trusting in your own heart and mind. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do it as unto the Lord Jesus Christ. 

My Dear Reader, the Church should never be cowering before the world. As it's written in the Bible, the Church should be busting down the very gates of Hell. The power of God in Christ Jesus is what powers the Church when the Church is being the Church as the Spirit directs and leads.

Our world says to put our needs, our joy, our happiness, our health, our financial situation, our well-being, our this our that, ahead of our lives before Jesus. 

We do that and the will of God for you that is your sanctification is put on the back burner.  

We have a God given purpose for each of us in the body of Christ. 

Find it, do it, to the extent that you do it as if you were presenting it to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. To your Savior and Lord who lived that sinless life, was cruelly beaten and crucified, was nailed to the cross and arose again 3 days later. He did all of that to give all the chance at a new life in Christ. 

Whatever the Spirit has for you...find it. Purge from your heart and mind whatever is keeping you from presenting your part in the body of Christ to Him as a holy offering.

From the least to the greatest in the body of Christ, Jesus will acknowledge personally when He returns. From the smallest to the greatest He will acknowledge. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. 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. 

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

Friday, June 14, 2024

Wishing You Were Here

Wishing You Were Here
by David Brenneman 

‭"But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while—in person, not in spirit—were all the more eager with great desire to see your face. For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us. For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy." 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20.
Many years ago there was a song by Mark Wills called "Wish You Were Here". Interesting that I heard it again the other day and read this today.  

Oh how the exact polar opposites that exist between the foreboding of Hell vs the beyond imagination of Heaven!

We cannot fathom nor begin to understand how wonderful Heaven is. We cannot know the levels of joy at being in the presence of Jesus. I imagine that when Jesus arrived in Paradise in that 3 day window after being crucified, the sounds of rejoicing there drowned out those attempting to get Jesus's attention from those in Sheole.

We cannot know, but, we can imagine to some degree. There's no pain, no suffering of any kind. There's continual worship going on. There's the anticipation of Jesus getting up to return to get His Church.

People, in their current state arriving moment by moment. Not yet having received their glorified bodies.

It's really unfortunate that so many so-called churches and people in our world believe and teach others that good deeds would get people into Heaven. This isn't what the Bible says. Only a life that has placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation by faith will ever see Heaven.  

There's nothing anyone can do on their own to be good enough to get into Heaven. Being baptized doesn't open that door either.  

Jesus Himself said that there will be many people who will claim to have done many things in His Name but whom never came to Him to be saved who will be told to depart from Him for He never knew them.

Focus on that last part. Never knew them. This is way more than an implied requirement. A close, personal relationship is what Jesus wants with us. No casual relationships. No use of name dropping that bears no fruit. 

Jesus had an intimate relationship with Adam and Eve before the fall of them through sin.  

Jesus's sacrifice on the cross opened the door to each of us for a vibrant intimate relationship with our Creator.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, my Dear Reader, you will not see Heaven. 

Biblical truth be told, those who have not come to Christ for salvation, only find themselves entering Hell when they die. 

That place that Jesus describes as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. His description of the Rich man in torment is what every single person is greeted to upon arrival.  
Eternal agonizingly painful existence with no end. Paying for their own sins for eternity because they choose to reject Jesus's free gift of salvation. 

My Dear Reader, the Bible says clearly to be sure of your salvation. 

You will never see Heaven or those whom you knew who are Christians again if you yourself are not in the body and family of Christ Jesus. 

Jesus is at the door of your heart knocking. But you must be the one to open it for Him to enter. 

For those who are Christians...stop hiding that light of Jesus Christ in you. Let your light shine before men in such a way that people see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. 

This present darkness is getting darker still because both the times in which we live and the growing silence of Believers.  

Jesus will return at such a time as the last person who is to be saved is saved. The Church's mission is to preach the Word. To make disciples. There's a line drawn in time by the Father between those of this generation coming to Christ for salvation and those who will be saved throughout the Great Tribulation.  

Being sure of your salvation is of paramount importance. Do not try to rely on how good a person you think you are. There's no chance at all that people who do not have Jesus as their Lord and Savior will ever find a peaceful afterlife. None. 

If you are on the fence about coming to Christ, realize as well, there's an enemy of Jesus Christ who's trying to keep you there. He owns that fence you sit on. He doesn't want to lose anyone else. 

His name is Satan and he started this rejection of Jesus Christ before history began. Worldly fables show him as reigning in Hell. Truth is he's never been there, has never seen it, and he himself wants nothing to do with it.  

But this is about you. 

You need to be sure of your salvation. You need to be in a right relationship with Jesus. You need to develop that relationship daily through talking to Jesus. Through reading His words to you in your Bible. Making the changes His Spirit wants of you to grow you in Christ.  

If you want to see Jesus's Heaven...salvation through Him is the only way.  

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

Thursday, June 13, 2024

We Don't Always Know What We Don't Know

We Don't Always Know What We Don't Know 
by David Brenneman 

‭"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude 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 looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’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 1:2-27.
We all, whether Believers or not, are easily deceived by the god of this world, or even more simply, by ourselves. 

We can think well of ourselves.
That we're doing ok. That we've pretty much got a good thing going concerning living life. 

We can...but sometimes...we try to hide the truth from ourselves and others. 

Read in Nehemiah 8 and 9. A people who were indeed broken in heart stood to hear the book of the Law. Heard of how greatly they and their ancestors had been towards their Holy God, the Lord of Hosts. 

A tender heart that is obedient to the Lord, one that listens, is one that grows in the Lord. 

Watch enough videos of supposed real life people with problems and honestly it can make you weep for mankind. Pride and arrogance, self-willed, self-centeredness is rampant in this hour in which we live. A world with nothing but anger at a low boil and whether or not they admit it, it's directed at God.

Scripture says that there's coming a day when enough will be enough. The "fullness of the Gentiles" it says. Jesus will return and remove His Church from the playing field of life. From the world picture.  

We are a people who can choose to be ignorant or educated. We can choose the way of the world or the ways of God in Christ Jesus.

My Dear Reader you face that choice every single moment of your day.

In everything from clothes to wear to hygiene to walking vs running. To smiling to frowning. To seeking God's help or to putting a hand up to God and essentially telling Him you got this. 

We are not going through this life on our every whim. Our lives, especially in Christ, are happening for a purpose. One purpose. To get the most out of it requires a life that looks to the wisdom of God in Christ Jesus and not to ourselves. It's to understand that there's reasons for how life is and that understanding only comes from hearing from God. 

But oh so many of us aren't good listeners. Been reading Dr. Charles Stanley's book "Listening to God". 

You should get it. In Nehemiah 8-9 we read of these in this remnant of people confessing their sins and the sins of their fathers. Then...comes the listening part.

Don't jump to the conclusion that God wouldn't speak to you. If we actually read the part in James of asking for wisdom we see that listening is a requirement to asking God for wisdom.

If we look around at our lives and are not seeing a life that's about Christ then who's life is being seen?

If we are exceedingly blessed and are not helping others, who's life is being seen? 

Would anyone after you leave this world say without question that you were a follower of Jesus?  

Regardless of how wonderful life might look for you, anyone's days can be numbered. God's called countless billions of people from this world who were perfectly healthy with no notice whatsoever. 

Stepping into eternity is everyone's next step after death. Where you spend it is your choice. The cross of Jesus Christ brought choice to receive or reject His salvation and His plan and purpose for each Believer. Those who reject Christ will face eternal separation from God, paying for their own sins. Those who had their sins wiped away through the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus will know His rest and peace in their next step into eternity. 

My Dear Reader...as the children of Israel had said to them, so does God say to you. Before you today is death and life. You must choose in every day and moment of your day to follow Jesus. Whether the world agrees to it or not. All Believer's answer to God. Believer's who intentionally choose sin over obedience will have troubles. 

We are exhorted in the Scriptures to have the mind of Christ. To not trust in our own understanding. To trust in the Lord with all our hearts. In all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight. Pray with both speaking and listening on our part.

We are told to consider our ways. 
So say I to you...and myself. 

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Patience and Perseverance

Patience and Perseverance 
by David Brenneman 

"James says that the testing of our faith produces patience. “Patience” is not a passive term but an active one. It is not a resignation to whatever happens but a strong and tough resolution in the midst of very adverse circumstances. It would be better translated as “steadfastness,” “perseverance,” or “brave endurance.”

William Barclay points out that the endurance of the early Christians was not a passive quality: “It is not simply the ability to bear things; it is the ability to turn them to greatness and glory. The thing which amazed the heathen in the centuries of persecution was that the martyrs did not die grimly; they died singing.”" - Dr. David Jeremiah Devotional "What to do When You don't know What to do".

Being patient certainly isn't one of my forte's. It's not something that indeed most people excel at. 

"To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you." 2 Peter 1:1-12.

Perhaps in various ways and times in my life, things seem to drag out. That I can't figure out why I am where I am, doing what I am doing. 

Hindsight shows these as stepping-stones of other things that were yet to come in God's plans for my life.

I would be lying if I said it was enjoyable, because it wasn't. 

Truth be known, I really don't want what brings me glory in this life, I want people to see Jesus, pointing people to Jesus. 

Learning to slow down and to let go of things that aren't for me to do or to complete has been a really difficult but necessary thing for me. 

There are times when frustration wants to settle in because of wanting to see a conclusion now.

My Dear Reader, it's a truth of life, that we may not be the one to finish something that God's working on. 

Indeed the Scriptures say that He has set eternity in the hearts of mankind. All the while we also read in those same Scriptures that the success of the Church is built upon those who came before us.

If it's this way with the Church, it's this way in life outside the Church.

We may merely be the tipping point for someone's journey to finally say yes to Jesus. We do not save anyone. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life...no one comes to the Father but through Him.

All credit for anyone finding salvation goes only to Jesus through the work of the Spirit of God.  

Then...then...comes the work of the Spirit of God in each of us. There's a saying that says "we catch em, Jesus cleans em". We are all such as Andrew: Jesus is here. The Savior is here. Come and see!

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

That same process we read the Disciples going through is ours to go through as well. Learning all that we read in 2 Peter 1.

Patience and Perseverance is a slow methodical process. We are living in an ever increasing impatient world. Fast today isn't as fast as what's on the market tomorrow. What's being missed by the multitudes is that to get these wonderful advancements is their giving up their privacy and their security. Handing control over for a subscription for ease of use. 

It's also causing people to think that they can hand over thinking to a machine. To supposedly make life easier. These machines, this Artificial Intelligence has no morals. 

We were created to have a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and to worship God our Creator. To get there with a whole heart requires our learning how to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

It requires setting aside our wants and desires to learn from our Master. He said His sheep hear His voice. His sheep hear His voice and learn what it means to be His sheep. We don't know the things of God.  

In the story of David and Goliath. King Saul had David put on armor. David tried walking around in this and took it off, he had no understanding of how to use it. Later on in his life as King himself he knew all about that armor.

We have the full armor of God. We are to clothe ourselves in His righteousness...this armor of God. We need to only be wearing this. Not this and various things of our lives too. Learning to be patient and learning perseverance is part of our training in righteousness. Part of our learning how to be His sheep. 

Are you at all seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness? Seeking first means its what's defining everything else afterward. 
Seeking first means not your understanding that's paramount but His for any given day.

While my mind and heart are decluttering since we moved, I know I still have a ways to go.  

I look back and see where God's done and is doing His work in me.

It's a process, a lifelong process, my Dear Reader. Remember what I call the Miyagi principle. Things not what they appear to be. Wax on wax off, sand a floor, paint a fence, were all in training for a technique that Daniel's body was not used to nor knew anything about.

Our lives are not what we think they are about. Our Savior and Lord is growing us in Christ. Our Savior and Lord is using us to grow others in Christ. Our Savior and Lord is using us to draw others to Himself. Our Savior and Lord is using us and others to prepare this world for His return. Those are the priorities. 

To those who are already in Heaven...nothing about this world matters other than their direct prayers to Jesus concerning those whom they have loved who are still here and their hope that they find Jesus too. The only treasure in Heaven is people. 

So don't grow weary in doing good. 
The Bible teaches us that. 

Keep on keeping on with being in your Bible and making prayer a priority. Speaking to and listening to your Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. 

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

They ARE Out There

They ARE Out There
by David Brenneman 

‭"For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." 2 John 1:7-11.
‭"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4.

"Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be evident that they all are not of us." 1 John 2:18-19.
"You can't fool me!" Many have said this, and probably meant it at the time. "I can see right through you!" Is another often uttered response. 

Yet, how little those in the Church understand and know of the Spiritual battles in which they really are in the midst of.  

Not all battles are like are portrayed on television or in the movies. Some are all inside of a person.

We often are overwhelmed. This is a battle. 
We often are flabbergasted. This is a battle.
We often are buried in confusing circumstances. This is a battle.

There's a war going on. A world war. It's all about what we see, what we hear, it's all about the information. Of how to manipulate and control people. Neither God nor Satan has any care in the world or in Heaven concerning your things. Satan's out to discredit any aspect of his Creator in any way possible.  

We read of a few things starting out in this post. Perspective is everything is the next thing to remember. While these battles are what we do face every single day, those in Christ must keep their eyes, their minds, on the prize. Must remember that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  

He also doesn't want us introducing fear where fear need not be.

We're going to likely run across evil people. Recognize them for who and what they are. All too often I have told many people that it's incredibly interesting to me that 2000 plus years ago the people in Jesus's day could identify those who were ill from those who were demon possessed...yet today Satan's convinced the world (let alone the Church) that demons don't exist today.

We who are Christians are targets in this world. There's no hiding off in a corner after you get saved. Satan's fully aware of who he's lost. 

Scripture says that we are sealed in the Spirit. His mark is put upon us. We are the called, the separated, in this world. 

A very good piece of advice is to know your enemy. Know your enemy enough to identify their behavior, but do not engage. We, of ourselves, are not powerful enough to take on much of the evil that's in the world. Much prayer is required. Much.  

We must also be extremely careful about who we listen to with regards to supposed Biblical teaching. Jesus Himself will dismiss many who claimed to have spoken and had done things in His Name. 

Our trials and tribulations are part of God working all things together for our good and His glory. 

People who've gone through boot camp know how rigorous instructors are at stripping erroneous thoughts and behaviors from recruits. Removing their set ways to teach them to be who they enlisted to be. 

We come to Christ, He doesn't leave us as He found us. He begins a new work in us. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. There it is.

Was reading in a new-to-me devotional by Dr. David Jeremiah this morning. In it he's explaining how to consider it all joy at our trials and tribulations. It's not that we are to force a smile or fake happiness because of what we are going through. Rather to look ahead to the end result and know that it's going to grow us in Christ and be happy in that.

It's very easy and extremely convenient to grab ahold of teachers to tell us what we want to hear. Be careful, be extremely careful, because that's how people are described in the last days before Jesus returns.  

As you go through this day and the days to come, realize that you are behind enemy lines. Realize that the helmet of salvation is there to protect your mind, your way of thinking. Read Ephesians 6 again about the Full Armor of God. That Armor is there to protect each of us. It only comes off when we step into Heaven. We should keep it on at all times. 

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

Monday, June 10, 2024

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead 
by David Brenneman 

‭"James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom (skill), let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." James 1:1-12.

Our finite minds can get us into so much trouble. We can easily justify our thinking in regards to pretty much any and all situations. Short of God sending someone into our lives to help correct our direction of travel, we would easily be over a cliff.  

Some believe the science fiction of the ability to build time travel equipment. To see what's coming with utter clarity. All the while no science fiction writer to date spells out the truth that such knowledge would drive a person insane. The futility of such things! The audacity that people might believe they are up to such a task! For when such a view is seen, it's immediately at risk of being changed! An endless loop is created. Such skill, such wisdom, can never reside within the mind of mankind. It belongs solely to the God of Heaven, to our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Why talk about such a scenario? Most people would like to know what's coming in order to avoid or change it so it's not so unpleasant. 

If we looked at the reality of it, a person with such an ability to know the future...would never trust in the Lord with all their heart. If they weren't driven insane from trying to understand every nuance of change and how it impacts the next they would not rely on anyone else. 

Dr. David Jeremiah, in his study Bible, says in the beginning of the book of Proverbs the word wisdom is translated skill. If you reeally read the opening passage from James, you will see (skill) after the word wisdom. I added that.  

We often do not know exactly what's coming in our daily lives. 
We who are in Christ are to trust our Great Shepherd with these things.

We build trust in Christ with our experiences in our lives. Dr. Charles Stanley writes of, as well as Dr. David Jeremiah, the need to remember our faith history. History, not our future. We can establish a good train of thought on how things might go by our history.  

I am often fascinated by science fiction writing, but I don't live in those worlds. They don't build me up in Christ.

We have no end of streaming video, movies, television, podcasts, audio books, internet search results that are available in this world.  

With wisdom, aka skill, these can be used to our advantage. To our detriment they can be our downfall.

The highest priority in the life of a Believer is to obey the Lord in all our ways. To not lean on our own understanding. 

We are to go through things to build us up for those things yet to come. Those things that are yet to come, had we known about them...and their enormity...would probably scare us to death at face value. Well they would had the Spirit not been teaching us bit by bit on dealing with lesser things.  

I am very fond of the first Karate Kid movie. The scene where Miyagi is explaining his training technique to a very dumbfounded Daniel who didn't see any of it until Miyagi finished explaining.  

We aren't going to understand much of what we have been through until later or we may be like Job and not know at all. Note that Job's experience did not cause him to stop trusting in the Lord with all his heart.

You, today, might be facing uncertainties. You might be face-to-face with unknowns that resemble mountains. 

You got where you are today, hopefully, through obedience to God's Word and through trusting God.  

These things are no different. 

I am facing some huge things, situations as Dr. Stanley always referred to them as, and I know from my Spiritual history that God's got this. It's not on me to worry. It's not on me to be impatient and grab the reins from Jesus to go a direction He’s not going all because it looks safer or better. 

Standing firm is what the Believer is to be doing. I liken that statement to "not giving ground". When military forces advance they stand firm. They hold their position until its time to advance again. They do their best to not give ground to their enemies.

How firm are you standing? How well are you in your relationship with Jesus? How much are you trusting in Him rather than yourself?

You who are in Christ have something that He wants of you to be doing. Are you doing it or have you been fighting it? Are you still waiting because you think you don't know enough about future things to choose? Trusting in the Lord means its ok to not know.

The Road ahead of you and I leads to Heavens gate. We must truly trust in the Lord with all our hearts and minds. Keeping the helmet of salvation in place to protect our minds from outside influences. Holding firm the shield of faith. Keeping the breastplate of righteousness over our hearts. 

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

Sunday, June 9, 2024

The Truth About You and I

The Truth About You and I 
by David Brenneman 

‭"O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way." Psalms 139:1-24.
We are those who are intimately known by our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.  

There are no hidden parts of our thoughts or our lives. We have nothing that pertains to us that He doesn’t know about. 

Do you consider this in your daily life?

Some may say "If this is true, why does He allow..." or "If this is true why didn't He stop..." this and various other kinds of responses to things in their lives. 

My Dear Reader...consider that passage again. Read it several times even. How can anyone question the integrity, the motivation, of our living Lord and Savior?

Our happiness is not paramount to our lives. This is a huge misconception. Our sanctification is paramount to our lives. The Bible says "All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

It doesn't say that the journey of faith, the training in righteousness, is going to be entirely pleasant.  

Each of us has different things that we need to let go of, that we need to turn over to Jesus to deal with. 

The sooner we do the better off we will be. 

Consider our passage today with the future where we will give an account of our lives before Jesus. 

This won't be a case, or shouldn't be a case, of us being blindsided. We read right here that every single aspect of our lives is intimately known by the Shepherd of our Souls. By our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through His Spirit who is at work within us to bring us towards the plan and purpose of God for us.

Exercise, regardless of the millions of truly fake smiles in the gym, has a truth, truth is it hurts. It's agonizing. In the Spiritual world...we are learning everything we did physically all over again. How to crawl, to walk, possibly to run, all over again. How to eat, how to drink, all over again. Training. 

We can only do what is right in the sight of our God by learning how to from God. 

We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. 

We have been placed in the body of Christ as the Spirit directs, as the Spirit sees fit. This too is written in the Scriptures. 

Your Savior and Lord Jesus Christ wants an intimate relationship with you. We often avoid this because we see our faults and our sins. He sees past all that. He's placed His righteousness in us. 

Take time today and just be with Jesus. Have that heart to heart talk that you've been afraid of having with Him. In light of this passage...He is fully ready for anything you might share with Him. 
There is nothing you will say that will make Him love you any less.
There's nothing that you can say to make Him love you any more either. 

The works we do are not to gain our salvation. They testify to our being saved. 

Jesus is waiting for you. 

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

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Children of the Light

Children of the Light 
by David Brenneman 

‭"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." 1 John 3:1-24.

Much to take in...but should be understood. We reflect in the practice of life whom we follow in this life, in this world.  

John used the word "practices" here. Peter's used it, Paul has extensively used it in the book of Romans.  

We all have things that we do that are practices. Those things we intentionally do because it's our desire to do them for a set list of reasons that make sense to us. We only delude ourselves when we claim ignorance and call them bad habits...thus shirking the responsibility.  

We get up for the day. This is actually a practice. We realize the need to get dressed. This too is a practice. We, in choosing clothing, are often attempting a level of asthetics. Some level that doesn't draw undo attention towards ourselves. We often have a favorite drink that gets our day going. For me it's coffee. It's my practice to have coffee in the mornings. 

See what practices mean yet?

What we choose, whether we accept responsibility for or not since we DID choose, is a practice with regards to living life.

Believers choose the practice of the righteousness of God. To learn from the Bible, to learn from the Helper, the Spirit of God. To choose obedience with regards to the commands of God. This is the Christian practices.

In Hebrews we have what's been referred to as the Faith Chapter. Many people who chose the path of righteousness in Christ. They chose the practices that became a pattern of obedience in Christ Jesus. 

Before you, just as it was written in the proclamation to the children of Israel is life and peace or death and destruction. We must choose the path of righteousness in order to walk in it.

Look at your life. Be brutally honest with yourself. Are you showing a life to yourself and others that you are a child of God? That you live a life saying that you are practicing righteousness? Choosing to please your Father in Heaven? 

You can't be a person who consistently practicing both righteousness and the darkness of this present age. 

Are you choosing to live the life before you as one who claims that you are a child of God?  

Does what pleases God please you? We tend to try to please the people we surround ourselves with. We want acceptance.  

Sometimes pleasing God is going to mean not pleasing those around us. You are on your own journey with Jesus. You must still choose to practice righteousness regardless of the way the world is going to receive it.

Remember the darkness hates the Light of Jesus Christ. It's going to until that day that was established by the Father for Jesus to return and He deals with it in the preceding 1007 years.  

Examine yourself. Look for those things that are not showing obedience to God's Word and ask the Spirit for help in dealing with them.  

When we live a life of practiced righteousness in Christ Jesus we add to that crown of glory that we give back to Jesus when our lives are examined by Him.

The world is going to have a problem with the Children of the Light. Expect it. Trust God to see you through it. Be intentional on practicing righteousness. Temptations are always going to be subtle with regards to derailing any plans on practicing righteousness. 

Really keep hold of this example. 
A right sized obstacle, merely large as a pebble, can derail a freight train. It doesn't take much thought to cascade us down the wrong path. Our rescue is but a prayer away. 

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.

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

Friday, June 7, 2024

Tis the Last Hour...To Whom the Bell Tolls

Tis the Last Hour...To Whom the Bell Tolls...

by David Brenneman 

‭"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 lives forever. Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father." 1 John 2:15-24.

Signs and wonders are all around us and have been throughout our days. 

The Spirit has never ceased working in the lives of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. The Spirit has never ceased to point the lost of this world to the cross of Jesus Christ. For a few thousand years He has not ceased in His work.

The issue at hand are people with their heads in the sand and or hands over their ears to try to ignore that which is happening at the command of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They really do want to believe that things might get better and that the judgment of God that is coming could be put off until after they pass on. 

We actually are to pray for the hastening of His coming back. 

We are to be living the life He has in mind for each of us in order to grow us in Christ, to bring about our sanctification and to be a light in this present darkness. 

There is indeed a purpose for every single person who is in the body of Christ Jesus. 

We aren't on vacation from obedience at any time. 

We aren't to be lazy about that which the Spirit prompts us.

We are told in the Bible to run this race of life as one who wants to win the prize. Run the race my Dear Reader not walk it or chill out on a park bench.

Indeed there have been what John wrote of Antichrist's in this world. 

Read that passage again very carefully. There have been and there is today an Antichrist. Satan's got no idea whatsoever when Jesus will return so he always has to have someone ready to go.

The history that our world is trying to rewrite and omit the evidence of these evil people spells it out. 

For at least the last 10 years or so now they are digitizing textbooks for schools so that they can tweak the content. Twist words subtly so that people aren't aware of the introduction of lies. Generations of people are being groomed to embrace the final coming Antichrist. Everything from real estate transactions to financial markets and institutions, all political fronts and religions are being manipulated towards that endeavor. It's happening because the Bible said its coming.  

The Bible is both the number one book in regards to sales and the number one hated book by those not of the Spirit. 

While I use and applaud the ease of use of digital technology with regards to my Bible reading, I keep a paper version. As said earlier its easy to manipulate any digital format to say what people want to hear subtly.  

Scripture says that people will accumulate for themselves teachers who tell them what their itching ears want to hear. 

We can see that the list of how people will be in the last days is happening before our eyes and it's growing exponentially. Lovers of self rather than lovers of God. Brutal, haters of good. The list in ‭2 Timothy 3:1-5 : "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, 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 men as these."  

Indeed further the Bible commands us to be ready. We know not the day nor the hour. But to be ready. We ought to always be ready for that moment of stepping into eternity. Should He return today to be ready to give an account of what we have done in our lives for Jesus.  

Do you need to purge things from your life that aren't helping you at all in your obedience to God's Word and His plan and purpose for you?

Do you need to really stop some things in your life and begin that which is right, honorable and true?

Do you have time set aside each day to be with Jesus to get on the same page as Him? A time to pray with Him? To read this Bible He left you to grow you in Christ?

The last hour began after Christ ascended. Very soon is what even the early Church was told. It was said to keep the urgency of the Gospel message fresh and alive. 

While I pray daily for those I know and those I don't know about who aren't saved...I do pray for Jesus to come quickly. Just as John wrote. 

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus. 

Today could be the day, tomorrow, next week, we don't know. But if we believe He died on a cross, paid the penalty for our sins, arose from the dead. We had better believe that His promised return could be at any time. To obey the command of God to be ready for we know not when. 

The bell has been ringing for over 2,000 years. Do you hear it?
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.  

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Where Do You Walk These Days?

Where Do You Walk These Days?
by David Brenneman 

"This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us." ‭1 John 1:5-10.
‭"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining. The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes."1 John 2:1-11.

We can often go for walks in the daytime or the evening. Depending on where you are, sometimes we walk during the night. But regardless of where, a certain degree at least, light of some kind is always welcome. 

Many in this world, and it's increasing at an apparently exponential pace, are showing their true colors, true love of the darkness. They want nothing to do with the Light.  

Indeed in this they are proving the Word of God in the book of John correct. People loved the darkness rather than the Light of Jesus Christ. 

I have on audio book format a different series than "Left Behind" which Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye wrote. This series follows a man who is a teacher of Biblical Archeology...and is the "good guy".  

The series is one of a couple that LaHaye wrote of lead into the events of end times.  

The series was written quite a while ago yet what I found astounding is the degree of evil that is described is much of what is seen in the world today. 

Things indeed are proceeding from bad to worse. Walking in the Light of Jesus Christ is imperative in the world we find ourselves in. If Believer's don't, then how WILL others see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven?

We are to be the ones who are different in this world. Ambassadors who represent the coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Watch any earthly Ambassadors and they are under a microscope. They are under scrutiny for their behavior in public as well as private life.

Jesus does not want those who have called on His Name to be saved to be hiding the Light under a basket. 

We may not think we are on the front lines of the Spiritual battles of this world but we all are.  

We come to Christ for salvation and we are essentially enemies of the state. Our status is secured in Christ Jesus. We represent Him to this fallen world regardless of how the world wants to receive it...regardless of how the darkness wants to run from the Light of Christ. 

Yesterday I was doing as I know to do in helping a coworker with a computer problem. I help people regardless of what I might or might not think concerning them personally because that's what being the Light is about. Yet an unbeliever over me made comments that I felt were out of line. To me, it doesn't matter who's job it is, someone was in need and I have the ability to help, I will help.

Those in the darkness are not going to always leave those in the light alone. They certainly are not going to understand the things of God because they are spiritually discerned. This coworker over me is never going to understand my reasons for being the hands and feet of Jesus.

We are to do whatever is right in the sight of God. Whereas it be possible to be at peace with all men. Doesn't mean that it will always be possible. We are called to do whatever is right in the sight of God. 

These days before us are moving at an incredible pace. People indeed are proceeding from bad to worse. 

I am often astounded by the new forms of evil seen in the world. 

Someone captured a neighbors cat who was an emotional support animal for someone with a mental disorder. Drove it from Columbus, Ohio to Wooster, Ohio and dumped it. 

Have seen stories of abuse on levels I never knew possible between people. We see people being prosecuted with absolutely no regard for truth to be revealed. 

Rather than dealing properly with the evil in regards to thefts, states raise the dollar amount of what constitutes a felony so that fewer people clog up the system being arrested. In a few states you literally can fill a cart up to $900 worth and walk out of the store without being arrested. Store policies prevent employees from stopping you.

Jesus said this would be like the days of Noah. In those days, much as it is now, everyone was doing whatever was right in their own eyes. 

It's written that those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus are going to be persecuted. 

It's happening for those who are.

Pray for protection for yourself and those around you who are Believer's. We know not when our Savior is going to appear. We are called to be ready. Several times we read of stories in the Bible of being ready for His return. 

Maybe today? Nobody knows but God.  

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?
by David Brenneman 

‭"Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.   But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." 2 Peter 3:3-18.

How close are we to the return of Jesus Christ for His Church?  One day closer.  

I have been Journaling for over 7 years.  The app gives highlights on what I was writing on this day every year since I started.  

Several times I evidently used a similar phrase of "one day closer to..." in referring to something that I or my Wife and I were wanting to do or see happen.

The End Times began with the ascension of Jesus back to His glorious throne in Heaven.  The days of humanity, to borrow another phrase, were numbered. 

We might see the return of Jesus today or tomorrow, next week, next month or in the years to follow.   

Regardless of exactly when, we have a now to be living in. 

A now that has a requirement made of us to live in obedience to God's Word.  

A now that is meant for all Believer's to live life in Christ Jesus in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.

A now that sees us growing in Christ with respect to our salvation in Christ.

We aren't to be living a life of self nor one that's dictated by others.

We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  

In these times, the Bible says, false prophets and false teachers will arise.  Deceiving even the elect if possible.  

Ambitious Peter, impetuous Peter, is actually writing of slowing down to embrace what the Spirit wants himself and others to live life like. 

I have a practice of every year sorting through what I have accumulated.  If I have not used, nor will now be using in the present nor the foreseeable future, there's a good chance it's getting donated or sold.  

We weigh ourselves down with so many different things.

We weigh ourselves down and forget that our Savior is coming soon.

We weigh ourselves down and don't think to ask if we're there yet. 

We live in a world of the work of the Spirit of God in people and at the same time live in a society of utter selfishness.  People indoctrinated into ever possible aspect of selfish living.  People desensitized from childhood on the wages of sin.  People desensitized to what God says is sin.  

We indeed are in the end times.  Prophetically speaking there's really nothing major left to come true in regards to Bible prophecy.

We really need to be blind and deaf to not recognize just how exponentially rising sin is in our culture today.  Things that even 10 to 20 years ago that wouldn't be mentioned or seen are commonplace today.  What used to be disgraceful, and unheard-of are now protected by law. 

What did the Bible say?  Lawlessness would increase. 
The love of most people would grow cold. .
Men would be lovers of themselves. 

The list goes on...and not only that...it's an entirely ACCURATE list of the times in which you and I find ourselves.

It's not enough in these days to be silent and to live a quiet respectful life in Christ.  Society today is demanding that not only do you support their sinful lifestyles but you must show that support verbally or through actions or face being ostracized and "canceled".

As the Bible says "Even so come quickly Lord Jesus".

Keep your eyes on the prize that is the "Well done" from Jesus. 

Don't expect the world to understand.  In John it's written that people loved the darkness rather than the Light.  It was true 2,000 plus years ago, it's just as true today.  Demonic activities are rampant.  They aren't even trying to hide their actions and activities. 

I work with likely demon possessed people.  I have met demon possessed people.  It's incredibly interesting that 2,000 plus years ago those people could recognize the difference between demon possessed people and those who were ill with a sickness.  

The truth is...we have life in Christ to be LIVING.  Truth is...in a moment...how long is a moment?  In a moment in the twinkling of an eye...How long is that?  Jesus is going to come back for His Church.  The Bible says that those who have already died in Christ will arise first.  Then those who are alive and remain will join them in the clouds forever more to be with Jesus. 

It's kind of mind boggling that a split second is longer than a twinkling of an eye. 

Are you at all interested in His coming back for you?  Are you living a life of self rather than one that's growing in Christ?   

Are you literally going to be caught red handed participating in something sinful when He does come back?  Ever think about that?

No we aren't there yet but we are one day closer.  We are one hour, one minute, one second closer.

Do you know they have had supplies ready for the past 30 years to start building the Temple in Jerusalem?  Do you know that they have all the necessary things to dedicate that Temple today?  Do you know that they have been diligently training known Levites to perform the Temple services right now?  Biblically a red certified heifer is required to dedicate the Temple. They have dozens right now.   

These are but a few things.  The 7 year Great Tribulation is centered on Israel as well as the world.  It's coming at a pace that's mind blowing. 

Are you really ready to meet Jesus?
Have you come to Christ for salvation?  
The time to choose is drawing to a close.  You are not going to have any warning of the impending Rapture of the Church.  You aren't going to slide in at the last second because you see it coming. 

The life you were meant to live is waiting all who have not called on Jesus Christ to save them. 

The life many were meant to live is still awaiting those who have yet to take the life they now have in Christ seriously. 

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

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The Real World Today

The Real World Today 
by David Brenneman 

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet. These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” ‭2 Peter 2:1-22.

Written a few thousand years ago, these things are our world today. 

If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, so is His eternal Word. 

We delude ourselves if we're out in the world, or indulge in watching or listening to people and dismiss the evidence as the Bible says that it is about the unhealthy state of mankind. 

My considered opinion is that likewise we delude ourselves in believing that the pre-flood world was less advanced than today. People born before the Great Flood had 100 percent use of their brains. In today's world we aren't even in the low teens on brain usage. 

It's certainly being conceited to believe we are better or more advanced. Just because Noah took 100 years to build the Ark doesn't mean he had to. Technology has been discovered from pre-flood times that cannot be explained. We have an idea on what some stuff is but no idea how it exists or how it was used.

The worst kind of thinking dismisses what the Word of God says to be on the alert for.  

This kind of thinking dulls the spiritual senses. It leads to allowing sinful actions and activities that don't bother the conscience at all.  

We don't challenge what we have accepted with joy. We don't want to because it brings a form of joy that makes us feel good and we don't want to let go or consider something more sinister is afoot. 

We can be guilted into participating in things because of people who are already lead astray. People supposedly leading even a church that have their minds clouded by things they were taught in error. 

As Believers we are to compare Scripture with Scripture to see if what people tell us is so.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in who? "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."  

Fallible man can be misdirected easily by a wrongly interpreted situation to teach things in error even with a fervor.  

An example might be in areas of denomination or which Bible is the right one to use. What does the Bible say on denominations? In Heaven there are none. What Bible is right for you? The one that speaks to your heart. The one you understand. As long as it's a reputable version, not given to having been rewritten "for the times" and is accurate to the original language, it's acceptable. 

In areas of living life...the Word of God is supposed to be our anchor, not the opinions of men. 

We will give an account of our lives before Jesus on the basis of what? What we did in our lives for God. Not how well we listened to so-and-so.  

If any Pastor or leader of your church teaches or preaches something, it should be solidly and solely be rooted in God's own truth, the Word of God.  
Realize that our world today is as it has been since the dawn of time after the fall of Adam and Eve. We are coming upon the final chapters of history.  
Jesus is going to return, just as He said.  
Sin is going to be dealt with, just as He said.  
Judgement is coming, just as He said.

How well are you living in light of eternity? How much of your days are filled with willingly learning whatever the Spirit wants to teach you? How much of your days are simply a waste because we haven't learned to number our days?  

The world, Satan's schemes, want us to be dismissive of the seriousness of walking with Jesus. 
Their desire is to get everyone to do whatever feels right in their own eyes. This was the downfall of mankind before the Great Flood. The schemes have not changed. The book of Ecclesiastes says there's nothing new under the sun. 

Realize the seriousness of what living for Jesus is about. You are to seek His "Well done" not that of anyone else.  

God's Word says we're at war. Which means the truth of life is we're at war. We who are saved in Christ are soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God has many things to teach us to navigate the battles we face. 

So open your eyes to the truth that is God's own word.

"Behold I am coming quickly".

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