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.

Spiritual Israel!

“So the LORD will cut off from Israel both head and tail, both palm branch and reed in a single day; the elders and dignitaries are the head, the prophets who teach lies are the tail. Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray” (Isaiah 9:14-16 NIV).

Sometimes, when trying to understand the events of the day, we have to look at the events of the past and know that the same God who allowed things to happen then, is the same God of today and tomorrow. When God is angered due to our disobedience and refusal to heed those who warn us, His wrath falls–upon everyone–until a remnant returns to Him.

God has always used the few to save the multitudes. He had Gideon cut down the size of his army from thousands to mere hundreds. He saw the faith of Joshua and Caleb who were bold enough to speak out of faith rather than fear.. He used Elijah to cut down false prophets. There has always been a few–faithful and committed to pleasing God–who turned to Him and He heard their pleas and honored them.

We are Spiritual Israel–every Believer has been adopted into the family and are spiritual descendants of Abraham. So, whatever happened to Israel in the past, is recurring today and as long as the multitudes defy the Living God, tragedies will continue to happen, until God chooses to hear the remnant, again.

There are some days when I only want to write “positive, uplifting, encouraging” words, but when I know that God is speaking to my heart, I have to be a voice–speaking what He says, reminding people that He is yet alive and sees all that is happening in our midst and for the most part, He is not pleased.

Therefore, I will remind the leaders–of all nations–that God is watching everything that happens and He is not pleased with those who deliberately mislead and cause the people to follow evil and wickedness. This includes elected officials, dictators, church leaders, and heads of households. Anyone in a leadership position that is not leading the masses per God’s instructions shall incur His wrath. Those of us who know God and how He sees things must be the remnant to seek God’s wisdom and intercede on behalf of the masses.

We are His people–called by His name–and we shall continue to pray–that all will hear and obey and seek His face and do all things according to His wisdom. He will hear us when those in leadership repent and confess their error in misleading people and then, He will heal the land and we shall abide in His peace! Glory Hallelujah! For all who are Spiritual Israel and know what we must do in this time–for all of Israel. For whatever happens in Israel shall happen to the world.

If we don’t turn to God we shall see His wrath unfold in even greater events that lead to destruction of the masses for He will not allow His chosen to suffer long. Spiritual Israel–The remnant that knows–it is time to seek Him, turn from our wicked ways, and obey Him, only!

Our Response!

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NIV)

As always, when I post something using a selected verse of scripture, I encourage the reader to read the entire passage to maintain the context!

Whenever we run into the naysayers and those who would attempt to make us feel foolish about our beliefs and faith, we merely have to recognize the enemy at work. We remember–if God is for us, who can be against us? Only those who are influenced by the enemy! The Lord knows those who are His and so does the enemy.

The enemy–that old devil–knows who is already acting on his behalf–they are his and they do all he influences them to do. These are the liars, the murderers, the thieves, the child molesters and abusers, the manipulators, those wearing sheep’s clothing–masquerading as Christians when they do everything in opposition to God’s Word. These proclaim to promote–love–when in actuality they promote lust. These proclaim that only part of God’s Word is true and the rest is ancient mythology. These proclaim that modern society should rid itself of the Truths of God’s Word and simply allow everybody to do whatever they want. These do not understand that without God and a standard of morality, man will cease to exist as have some civilizations.

Whenever man has chosen to do whatever the flesh desired, others suffered the consequences of those actions. We still are.

When see arbitrary behavior that denies God’s existence and His intent for mankind, our response should simply be–“We know who we are, Satan and we will obey God, not you!”

When thoughts come into our minds that could lead to depression-our response is, “The joy of The Lord is our strength!”

When someone says we are already defeated our response is, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!”

When our wallets and bank accounts are almost depleted our response is, “All my needs are met through Christ Jesus!”

When we receive negative reports from doctors our response is, “By His stripes we are healed and made whole!”

When someone attempts to make us believe we are nothing our response is, “We are children of the Most High God and joint heirs with Christ Jesus!”

For The Word says we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices–his MO. And when we recognize who’s behind an incident, we simply say what God says and keep it moving. We don’t have to argue about it–God has declared and we stand on what He says, not the enemy who was thrown out of heaven because of disobedience and rebellion.

Hallelujah Jesus! We are Yours and You are ours–our comforter, and guiding light; You reveal all Truth to us and we will hear and obey You–giving the devil no place in our lives!

Why Do We Do It?

“they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ (Matthew 15:6-9 NIV)

Vanity Teaching seems to be the rule rather than a demonstration of a right relationship with God. What do I mean? Fasten your spiritual seat belts and get ready for a ride designed to shake up the traditions that have nothing to do with relationship with God.

Vanity Teaching–which appears to be prevalent in certain bible colleges (and I don’t know why they call themselves a “bible” college) do more instruction to refute the bible than to teach its intent. American Baptist College comes to mind who promotes homosexuality with its choice of leadership, who affirm their stance in public forums–having the audience participate. How anyone in their right mind–not clouded or deceived by the enemy–could say that same-sex unions are not an affront to God is beyond me. But when we have titled leadership who are in those unions, is it any wonder there is confusion in the Body of Christ?

Today–traditionally known to many as Palm Sunday–does not really represent what happened in the Bible. The Word says, the people greeted Jesus as He entered the city waving palm branches–a symbol of victory in some cultures. If the people greeted the arrival of Jesus waving palm branches, why do most churches distribute the fronds as either part of the service or as they leave the service? Are we not supposed to have the Spirit of Christ living within us? If so, why aren’t the palm fronds given as people “enter” the service? Is it because we really don’t know why we do the things we do?

Next Sunday–Resurrection Sunday–is celebrated by many as Easter Sunday. The term “easter” was really an indicator of spring (with its goddess) and had no significance to the resurrection of Jesus Christ–until man made it so. What we get with “easter” celebrations are: colored eggs, bunny rabbits, and new clothes, and the parade of people who attend worship services to show off the new clothes. Really? What I’ve seen is people who are so engaged in straightening out clothes during the service they cannot focus on The Word–if indeed there is a Word from The Lord being expressed.

Resurrection Sunday is a time of celebration, but not with colored eggs, baskets of candy, or new clothes. In spite of the debate over when He was crucified and when He rose, we know that He did rise from the grave and now sits at the right hand of the Father. We know this–if we believe what The Bible says and have a relationship with God.

Many churches today have become clubhouses rather than places of worship. People gather to socialize, entertain, and eat in the church, disrupting attempts to teach The Word for the sake of honoring others for various reasons (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). Is God pleased with our using the places we say are houses of worship for everything but worship? I doubt it.

Here’s a thought. Why don’t we spend time studying The Word and allowing Holy Spirit to teach us how we should conduct ourselves in the houses of worship. Why don’t we change the traditions that negate the truth of God’s Word. Why don’t we seek God before we do anything that would deter the rest of the world from seeing Him in us. Why don’t we have Bible Colleges that teach the Bible rather than man’s philosophies. Why don’t we? We need to understand why we do what we do and if we discover that what we do has nothing to do with The Word or honoring God, why do we continue to do it?

If we understand the purpose of His appearance in the person of Jesus, His crucifixion, and resurrection, and have accepted Him as Truth, repented of our sins and live to please God, we have the victory!

The Blood!

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18, 19 NIV).

We sing songs about the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for us; we read that when He was crucified and the soldier stuck a sword in His side, both water and blood, poured forth. From the beginning–when Moses was given the commandments–there needed to be a sacrifice involving blood for the atonement of sin. We say we believe that.

Remember, Satan was a witness to the crucifixion–he also saw the blood–and probably decided then and there to influence the minds of people that the color red should be associated with evil. Sound a little far-fetched? I admit it’s speculation on my part, but think about it! How many times have we portrayed the devil as a “red” demon? How many times have people, in the church, associated wearing red with being promiscuous, loose, and ungodly? Why is that some churches want people wearing white while serving communion (denominational) when we should wear red?

Why? The devil wants everyone to forget about “the blood” and its power! What better way for us to take our focus off the power of the blood than by encouraging us to associate the color red with evil!

Call this a revelation–or whatever you want–I believe Holy Spirit provided me with insight about why some people tend to look at people funny; especially women–who were red to church. We have been convinced that she must be a harlot, wearing red in the sanctuary. We frown upon red lipstick, think red cars are too flashy, and whenever children are dressed in a costume representing the devil–it’s red. Well, red is also the color of the blood shed for our sins. There is power in the blood of Jesus because it was His shed blood that we now have access to heaven and in having our sins forgiven. His blood, that gives us strength, from day-to-day, shall never lose its power–as long as we remember–Red is not evil–it is the color of power in the name of Jesus.

So let’s stop associating evil and waywardness with the color red and remember that red is to be celebrated–a constant reminder of God’s love for us and the sacrifice He made that we might have abundant life–with His blood!

Don’t Be Led Astray, Lead To Truth!

“I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.  As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” (I John 2:26, 27 NIV)

Before true understanding of what is said in this blog can be attained, one must know and understand what John is saying, in the previous verses. He is warning us to not be led astray by those who profess to know truth, but they lie and the truth is not in them.

Anyone– and it does not matter who they are or what title they hold–who tells people that sin does not upset God, lies! If they lie about what God says, they also lie about any title they hold because God does not promote liars since He hates all  liars. Apostle, Bishop, Prophet, Pastor, Evangelist–no title held, given by man, is proof of God’s promotion; especially if lies stream from the mouths of those holding the positions. The first sin they commit is–lying! Why do people lie about sin? Primarily, they lie to make themselves feel better. If they can convince others that their behavior is not sinful, they are more likely to continue engagement in sin and will encourage others to do the same. When a person is not willing to allow God’s Word to rule in their life and they demonstrate it by living according to the world, it is an indicator that “flesh” (influenced by Satan) rules.

If we profess to have the Spirit of God living within us, guiding us, and counseling us, we will not say anything other than what He says. Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s Word because He speaks as God speaks. When we lie, steal, cheat, abuse and misuse others–Satan has influenced and in many cases, since people won’t acknowledge Satan’s influence, he rules in their lives. What better way for him to rule than to have people disavow his existence? Isn’t this why people say God doesn’t exist so they can live any way they want to live?

When God’s Word is our guide to living, we demonstrate that by doing what He says and not what we feel like doing. We recognize counterfeit teachings and will not follow those who are counterfeits. We do not trust those who speak confusion–opposition to God’s Word because we know God is not the author of confusion and we know who is. Any confusion in the minds of those who profess belief in God have been led astray–doubt about God, self, and The Word–confusion created by Satan so he can reign and destroy hope.

Don’t be led astray by those who are actually counterfeits! Lead others into the truth of God’s Word by knowing Truth and in recognizing when the enemy is trying to influence. Be bold and very courageous in speaking God’s Truth, never wavering or fearful of what the enemy might do because he has no power over those who allow Holy Spirit to lead their lives.

Jesus is Lord and the devil has no power over those who truly Believe!

Good Seasoning!

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13 NIV).

Jesus speaking–to all who claim to be His followers–we are the salt–the seasoning that makes life more palatable--not only for us, but for all. What happens to salt that no longer has the capacity to make food taste better or to preserve it? It is thrown out, no longer useful for anything.

Those of us who know The Word and attempt to live The Word are responsible for making a difference in the lives of all we meet–as a living epistle of how God wants us to live. When we miss the mark, we need to go back to The Word and replenish our capacity to continue to salt–sprinkle truth–every where we go.

Now, if we are the salt–the seasoning that makes living worthwhile–why is it that many only want “sweetened” messages? In essence, they want to skip the meal–the seasoned meat and vegetables and get the dessert–with all the sugar that will make them sick when they over indulge on just the “sweet” stuff. In fact, in some churches, people never get a full meal–they get an appetizer and then dessert–it’s as if the chef only knows how to prepare “tidbits” and “sweet stuff” which is bound to leave a body–malnourished.

And then we have those who preach and teach such bland messages that people fall asleep before ten words have been said. The saddest part of all is even the singing is bland–no life–and when people start staying away, the leadership wonders why.

God wants us balanced–seasoned just right! That’s why He uses all types of personalities to promote His Word–the person who knows how to prepare the right proportion for an appetizer, leading to igniting taste buds for more and then serving up a flavorful, full of zest meal–has no need for a dessert, but if one is served, it is miniscule in comparison to the appetizer. These are the churches that grow because the congregation recognizes where they can get a good meal, with good seasoning, and not just a sugary dessert.

Not every church growing in number is actually growing in knowledge. There are some churches who only serve dessert and they grow, but not in knowledge, since they get nothing of nutritional value and get weaker with every meal. Those who are growing in knowledge, get stronger with every meal because of the balanced nutrition a wise leader promotes and serves.

We are the “good seasoning” not the sugar link that causes people physical problems, but we create environments in which people can know the difference between a message that does more than just tickle the tummy, it fills the spirit and helps people to soar to new heights in the knowledge of God.

The Perfect Way!

“You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:28,30 NIV)

In order to be perfect–flawless–there has to be no room for options or choice. Since we always have options, we can never attain perfection. Years ago, while I was praying, the Lord revealed to me that we achieve perfection when we are either dead or in a coma–not having the ability to choose anything.

There are no perfect people walking in the earth, but there is our perfect God–reigning in heaven–One who is flawless and incapable of error. His name is Jesus Christ, Our Lord! Since He is perfect–all of His ways are perfect and when we do things His way–we get closer to perfection–in living a life, pleasing to Him.

How do I know? I’ve tried living life on my own terms–doing everything my way–and sometimes in opposition to His way. The end result–havoc! And since I know what life is like without Him guiding me, I am so grateful for His being in my life now. My BC time, was filled with doubts and fears, one mistake after the other, one mess after the other that had to be cleaned up, but never cleared out. Now, in my AC time, I seek Him first and sometimes, even when I don’t do exactly as He tells me to do, I know I can come back to Him, for another chance to get it right.

Living life our own way will sometimes eliminate the possibility of a second chance. With God, He gives us chance after chance, never leaving us alone or abandoned simply because we missed the mark.

We have a lot to learn from Him about how to treat people. We should never be so overbearing and arrogant in thinking we’re perfect that we expect perfection in others. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT! NONE OF US ARE FLAWLESS! WE ARE ALL IMPERFECT, FLAWED HUMAN BEINGS! The difference between those of us who have Jesus in our lives and those who don’t is simply that--He is in our lives, guiding us when we listen, loving us at all times, forgiving us for our waywardness, and continually–every morning–showering us with new mercy.

If we did things His way–then our ways would indeed be perfect. All we can do is try, for the perfect way–in living and knowing how to treat others.