The Struggle

For some, the struggle to do what is right is a daily fight. This struggle includes making wise decisions, being considerate of others, standing up for justice, doing what God says to do, and do it well. Why is this struggle so great?

The struggle to do right is greater because it is so much easier to give in to temptation. It is easier to think and act selfishly. It is easier to cuss someone out than to think about how to say what you want to say. It is easier to go along to get along than to stand on principles aligned with God’s Word.

 

If the struggle to do right was easy, many people would be saved and living abundant lives. But it is so much easier for people to live unsaved, without thinking about the consequences of their action, and how what they do impacts others. Since there are so many people struggling to live–without fear, without concern about finances or what the economy will bring or what the politicians will do, we know the struggle is real, we know there are people who have yet to find peace with Jesus, who are yet unsaved.

 

Lord Jesus, help us in our struggles to do what is right and help others to do the same. Help us to fight the good fight of faith in you, not self. Help us to resist the devil and watch him flee from us.

Are You The Ones?

“Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them.” (Isaiah 33:15,16 NIV)

No matter what some people about those who do everything in their power to live right, God’s promises never fail. Even though, the righteous have to deal with the same things as those who live ungodly lives, God has a plan to save those who honor His Word and those who don’t–will be left to suffer the consequences of their actions.

When I look at the world and the chaos that abounds, I gain greater understanding of those things the prophets said–warning people about their behavior and associations. History–if not remembered and lessons learned from it–has a way of repeating itself and we see this every day. Everything that was prophesied about the descendants of the Children of Israel is falling into place. The hatred between the brothers is being played out right now in Israel and Gaza, Syria and Afghanistan–all because of jealousy and envy. How foolish we must appear to God to not have learned our lessons well! Could it be that those who read the Words of the prophets read them in unbelief? Or is it stubborn nature that makes us foolish in our attempts to “prove ourselves” to others?

Whenever we think we are better or superior to another group of people–disaster is bound to come upon us and others because of our pride and ignorance. It is pride and ego that leads us to believe in our own superiority and ignorance of the truth of God’s Word that makes us believe that others are inferior. This prevailing attitude often results in people cheating others, misusing and abusing people, lying, and plotting acts of violence and murder against others–superiority. Is there anyone really superior to another? When it rains–does the rain not fall on everyone at the same time or does it just fall upon those who think they are important?

Isaiah has said it well and it would profit all of us to remember that God is not a respecter of persons. His Word is truth and His promises are for everyone–the righteous and the unrighteous–shall receive their just reward for their deeds committed in the earth. I’d rather live with the understanding that I’m better off seeking God’s wisdom than man’s wisdom; doing what God decrees instead of what man commands; and speaking what God speaks rather than changing what God has said to accommodate man’s ever-changing perspectives about God and what He has said.

I pray that God will see me as one who speaks what is right, according to His Word, and doing what is right always in His sight. I pray the same for all who love the Lord and have decided to live according to God’s Word. Are you the ones?

Having The Authority!

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.” (Titus 2:14,15 NLT)

Paul’s letter to Titus and all other ministers of the Gospel deserves constant review. In this passage, Paul reminds Titus that Jesus gave His life so we would be free from sin “every kind of sin” and that we should be committed to doing good deeds. Then, he goes on to say, remind Titus that he is to teach these things and encourage others “to do” them and when necessary, use the authority he has “to correct” others.

For those who think that preachers or believers are judging when they observe sinful behavior, think again. All believers (we should all be ministers of the Gospel) have the authority to correct others when they see other believers not living according to God’s plan–not man’s. Using the authority we have to correct others is not a judgment–as some would have us believe–it is a responsibility to the Body of Christ so that we remain free from sin.

Of course, there will be those who think that whenever a Believer calls anything sin, they are just judging them.  The fact they think we are judging them actually shows they have been convicted of their behavior and simply want to rebel against the conviction in their spirits because they know they are wrong, but don’t want to admit it.

Think about how rebellious children act “when caught in the act” of doing something wrong. The first thing they do is “deny the obvious” and then expect whoever caught them to believe them. Now, I know some will immediately think of the “woman who as caught in the very act of adultery” who was brought to Jesus. Notwithstanding her criticizers did not bring the man she was “supposedly caught with,” but she never denied any wrong doing and simply waited for Jesus to decree her fate. And when He did, “those holding stones had to drop them” because they were as guilty as she of sin, but had not been caught. He did not berate her after all her accusers left, He simply told her “to go and not to sin any more.”

In other words–He used His authority to correct the crowd and the woman, forgiving her of sin and admonishing her to stop doing what she doing. Every believer has the same authority–to correct and admonish–encouraging others to receive God’s forgiveness and to stop committing acts of sin. Are we doing this or are we allowing ourselves to be persuaded to “let it ride.”

If Believers–all over the world–would simply exercise the authority we have been given, we would see peace in the land as we “lived” the life before others and corrected them when we see wrongdoing.We are not responsible for others accepting what we say, but we do have a responsibility to say what God says–about any and all things–pertaining to Godly living.

Lord, help us to be more like You in all we do all the days of our lives!

What’s The Point?

“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (John 5:24 NLT)

“This is Jesus speaking. Even though I put in an appearance on earth like all mankind, I am not a man that I should lie, but I have told you the truth. If you listen to my message–a message of love and peace–and believe God sent me to encourage you and live according to all He has said, you will have eternal life. You will never be condemned for your sins, because I have come–ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for sin–so you will no longer have to make sacrifices for doing wrong–just acknowledge when you do wrong, and repent of it–turning completely away from those things that will keep you from being in right relationship with the Father.

Don’t turn back to the things that broke the connection with Him! Talk to Him and always be willing to listen to Him and you will never be alone again–not in this life, once I leave, my Spirit will return to you and keep you company, advising and guiding you every step of the way until I return and you make heaven your home for all eternity.”

Looking forward to the day of His return does not have to be a frightful experience when we know who we serve and how we have lived. But for those who refuse to hear the message of love and peace, refuse to change–never acknowledging their sin and or repenting from it–they have a reason to fear–the judgment seat of Christ–for all the evil they did in the earth.

The message of grace–God’s unmerited favor which we cannot earn–has been preached, and preached, and preached. Many have received and many have not. God’s grace is sufficient for us until the end when He returns and we are given the rewards for our deeds–whether for good or evil–He will determine and by our own actions, we seal our fate for all eternity.

Until He returns, it is not too late to hear the message, accept His love, repent of sin and live for Him. Will you consider Him today? Tomorrow might be too late and the opportunity to live for eternity with Him will be lost.

There is a point in living right (according to God’s Will, not our own), but some steadily deny it. My stance when questioned by those who refuse to believe and attempt to mock my belief is this: “If I get to the end and discover that there is no God, my living right will not have been in vain. But if I live as though there is no God and get to end and discover He is, then there is a problem.” I’d rather live—doing what’s right in His sight and not my own or in the sight or mind of man. That’s the point!

 

 

Their Mocking Results in Blessings!

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.” (Matthew 5:11 NLT)

I’ve never really experienced “mocking” the way I am through “digital technology” and perhaps, never will again. There is something about the ability to remain anonymous that really brings out the worst in people; especially those who claim they do not believe in God. Or maybe I’ve just been fortunate enough to live in communities where people were respected for their beliefs whether they agreed or not. At any rate, I’ve come to know more about what this particular passage of scripture means through my voyage in using social media.

The worst offenders through the anonymity of digital technology have been on Huffington Post. Not that long ago, I would find myself responding “to articles” written on the Christian page and then I would be “attacked” on a personal level because of my belief. For a while, it was amusing and I simply stood my ground on my beliefs. When people became too obnoxious, I ignored them. When they became downright hateful with the racial attacks as well as the religious ones, I decided enough was enough and only commented to the articles and never again to those who plagued the Believers. 

What I discovered from those attacks was fuel to use in writing my books and in my blogs. For me–those attacks have resulted in me being blessed with ammunition to keep writing and to keep encouraging other believers to stand on God’s Word, no matter what other people may say.

I am strengthened, daily by Holy Spirit to keep writing and encouraging. I have been blessed by those who “choose” to follow me on a number of social media, and in book sales. I am empowered by the comments being made to keep moving forward, always listening to God and saying what He says–to me in my blogs.

I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone who follows me via “any” of the social media agrees with everything I say, but they are at least respectful enough to either not say anything or to disagree–agreeably. That is a tremendous blessing to me and I would not have known how many people really do love The Lord, if I had not kept writing–in spite of the verbal attacks. Praise God for victory in digital media–even though there are those who yet hide behind anonymity.

What I’ve come to understand from my experience using social media is this–Satan still uses people and tries to hide his hand with the anonymity of “egg photos, cute animals,” or anything they can find other than their face. There are some believers who are hiding as well–perhaps it is because of their experiences with nastiness on social media. I choose to let the world know who I am and that I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I will promote Him, every chance I get, to whoever is willing to read and understand or hear (I’m just as vocal in public)--it is all to His glory!  Hallelujah!

So, go ahead and mock me so I can continue to be blessed by God in all I say that glorifies Him! I am blessed and highly favored and every time someone is nasty to me or has a hateful comment, God counters it with another blessing. Now, this is what the psalmist meant when he said, “He has prepared a table for me in the midst of my enemies” and now my enemies can  watch me devour the fullness of God in my life and be a blessing to others!

 

Not Like Man!

“God is not a man, so he does not lie.
He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” (Numbers 23:19 NLT)

If God is not a man, why do we–human beings–attempt to give Him the attributes of mankind instead of understanding Him as a Spirit being–not needing us or anything He created? He is a Sovereign Being–self-sustaining–was here before anything else was and will be after everything is gone. He is the creator of all things and without Him, nothing, absolutely nothing was ever created. Whether we believe this or not is irrelevant–especially since theorists are still trying to prove their theories–but here we are and at some point in time–we must simply realize that there are things that are beyond our understanding and defy our limited logic in attempts to explain them.

Having said all of that–God has no need to lie.  Why would He? Think about why people lie. They lie to gain confidence over others or to undermine others, to gain control over others or to escape punishment from those in authority over them. Who has any authority over Him? He is The Authority whether we accept Him as authority over our lives or not!

God is not human, but He understands His human creation well and has created us in His image–fully capable of love, but many are influenced by the evil one and their hearts have rejected Love and are full of hate.

God does not change His mind! What He has established remains true, but we have often misinterpreted His intent to fulfill our own desires and lusts. Once we understand His intent for mankind, we have a better understanding of His written Word and The Revealed Word that comes with relationship with Him. Like the human kings who seal “their decrees” with a ring and wax, God seals His decrees in our hearts with Holy Spirit.

If we look closely at the history of mankind and all of the current events, we can see that God keeps His promises–no matter what those promise are–they do come pass and we either reap the reward or the consequence clearly stated in His Word.

God will not tolerate people mocking His Word forever. As He has done in the past, He will do again–all those things He promises for either our obedience or disobedience. We only have to look at the state the world is in today to know–that He is not playing with us. So, why are we flagrantly disobedient to Him? Do we think we know more or can do more than He can? How foolish are we to think we can openly and rebelliously defy God and not suffer the consequences of our actions?

Woe unto us who know to do better, but choose to succumb to the dictates of man, rather than obey God!

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to understand Alpha and Omega and cut away anything in our hearts, not like You so we may glorify You in everything we do and say. Spiritually, deafen our ears and blind our eyes to those thing that are not of You and keep our tongues from saying anything that is rebellious towards You. Amen!

 

What Will It Take?

What will it take to stop the foolishness?

Young men “punching” older people, just because.

Young women having sex with anyone and everyone, just because.

Old men seeking the favors of young women and being duped, just because.

Old women thinking younger men really want them for their bodies, when it’s really about the money, just because.

And we wonder why–

Crime is rampant in our neighborhoods,

Education is not important to our children,

AIDS is becoming more prevalent in every ethnicity and sexual orientation and age group,

Fewer and fewer people even know how “to train up their kids” so they’ll know what to do when they get older,

Politicians never do anything for the people for whom they are supposed to serve.

And Americans are hated and America a target for all fools,

Yet, Everyone wants to come to America to escape the foolishness in their own countries,

Just to start the foolishness all over again, here.

“We’ll rise to challenges” so people will notice us, but

We won’t read a Bible in the privacy of our own homes.

“Without Christ in our lives we are nothing, can do nothing, and will be destroyed

By the enemy–who hates all God has created–and we simply sit around, waiting

For the end that is inevitable–the destruction of mankind, because we do not want to obey God!

What will it take for us to figure this out?

When all our loved ones are lying, bleeding to death in the streets and gutters,

Or when we see the hopelessness and despair in all the eyes of people,

From every walk of life–knowing that the end is truly near–and all hope is gone?

What will it take?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

And again, I ask–what will it take for us to do the right thing in God’s sight and not our own?

Just In Case You Forgot!

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 NLT)

We all feel a certain sadness at the loss of a loved one; especially when they have died at the hands of the unbelieving for no particular reason–other than hatred. Remember this--they are not lost to us forever. When Jesus returns (and He will), those believers who have gone before His return shall rise from their graves and we who still believe, shall rise with them in the air and remain with The Lord forever! Hallelujah!  Glory to our God! Man may stop our blood from flowing earth in the earth realm for a season, but our God, who never lies and is faithful to His Word, shall give us a glorified body, filled with His living Spirit and we shall live and reign with Him for all eternity!

No, all is not lost! God will repay all those who have rejected Him, scorned His Word, and killed the body of those who profess their belief in Him.  No, there is no reward in heaven for those who are bloodthirsty, lawless, and full of hate. There is a consequence for those who defy God and it is not a consequence anyone will be able to bear.  God has promised that “all” will receive the appropriate consequence for everything they have done–every act committed–and for many–it will be too late for them to change their minds.

Hell awaits those who will join the devil–the evil one–in the lake of fire which will burn for all eternity. Nothing, by any means shall deter our God from keeping His promises and we who know–can comfort and encourage the hearts of other believers to not be dismayed with current events, but rather look forward to His return.

So, just in case you forgot–remember these words–He will return and all believers will be with Him, forever!