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.

The Time Has Come!

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:1-3 NIV)

Careful observation and introspection of current events and a society that willfully turns its back on God and His ways to accommodate sin, lets us know--the time has come–when people will not hear sound doctrine, but prefer to seek and support those who cosign perversion in our daily lives.

How do we know? We’ve given people carte blanche  to use illegal drugs (mind-altering drugs that inhibit rational thinking) under the guise of medical use. And in some places–the medical use facade is not even in question and a church in Illinois has been established where they worship–marijuana. Since that’s all they will be doing is getting high–I wonder what the consequences will be when they’re involved in situations where others are injured or killed.

Standing up for beliefs based upon the bible has become the foundation others use to ridicule and persecute–on all fronts. There are those who obviously do not understand history and the fact that this country was established on the foundation of civil disobedience against what they felt was the tyranny of England. Civil disobedience–a willingness to take a stand against injustice has always been a factor in how this country does business. However, when a county clerk in Kentucky stands firm in her beliefs–the venom spews like the winds blowing dust–covering everything in hatred of followers of Christ.

What continually amazes me is the lack of tolerance for Believers and what they believe by those who claim we are intolerant against their lifestyles that are in opposition to God’s Word. We don’t hate and spew obscenities at those who disagree with us. Most of us (Believers) understand that people may not agree with our view and accept it–without argument or denigration of a person’s stance. Personally, I’m not interested in debating anyone about God’s Word, but I do love a discussion in which all can be enlightened.

Yesterday, because I dared to comment on a news article (and trust me, I knew what would happen), haters came out of cyberspace almost before I finished typing. Now, remember–I commented on the article–not to a person who had already commented, but suddenly, I was the villain because I dared to commend Kim Davis on her stand. I had a number of people who tried to use the Bible to deflect from their hatred–from women speaking in a church being sin, to gay rights supporters using the race card (how dare I support Kim Davis since I had only been allowed to vote for the last 60 years), to assuming what my background is without any knowledge of who I am.

What did I do? I preached The Word, providing scripture references to support what I said and reminded all who hated, that God loved them and so do I. The devil couldn’t stand it when I told people I loved to love them and they eventually stopped commenting.

Instead of engaging on the level of ignorance of God’s Word shown by unbelievers, all we should do is to proclaim and explain God’s Word–no matter how foolish someone else might be. One person–even told me (I have it copied into a document) that MEN wrote the bible, but GOD wrote the ten commandments. When I questioned how they could believe God wrote the ten commandments but could not inspire men to write the bible, I received no reply. I realized that this person was merely referencing what they had seen in a movie–since they did not realize that the ten commandments are located in the bible–the same bible they refuted since “fallible, fickle men” wrote it.

Let’s endeavor to do what God said for us to do–preach The Word, be prepared in all situations to say what God said, and know why He said it so we can explain it to others. The time has come for us–who Believe in the totality of God’s Word and its contextual meaning to stand firm and proclaim it with confidence in Him, strengthened and empowered by Holy Spirit.  

Glorify His Name!

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ!” (2 Thessalonians 1:11, 12 NIV)

I cannot imagine what was going on in Thessalonica when Paul wrote this second letter to the church there. From what he says, I know the Believers were being persecuted and treated unjustly and he was encouraging them to remain faithful to God. In the first part of this passage of scripture, we see Paul remind them that the evil ones–those who don’t know God or obey will be punished and on the day Christ returns, He will be glorified in His Holy people who believed Him because of the testimony of others.

Now, that they have believed, Paul tells them they are constantly praying for them that God may make them worthy (we cannot make ourselves worthy of His calling) and that they will allow His power to bring to pass every good thing they desire and do. Why? Not for them to glorified–lifted up and praised, but so God will be lifted up and praised–and His name–glorified.

Notice that Paul tells them by God’s power–He will bring every good desire and deed to fruition–so He’ll get the glory. One of the things that irritates me the most is watching award shows where the winners “give God honor” for what they have achieved, but their deeds–whether in a movie or in music–did nothing to glorify God and everything to glorify Satan. Do they think that God is fooled or deceived by them winning an award for their portrayals of godlessness–on screen or in the music? Seriously?

Does God get any glory or honor in obscenities, profanities, pornography, or sexual promiscuity? Is He entertained by, Modern Family, Nashville, Gray’s Anatomy, Empire, Scandal, The Haves and Have Nots,  or the other shows where wives are sleeping around with other men and women or children being sexually active? Why must sex be used to glorify the devil when God intended it to be used to glorify Him through the production and continuity of the human race through marriage (His standards)? And the saddest part is that so many Christians are caught up in watching all the filth and the pastors are dismissing services early so their congregations can keep up with the latest godlessness.

It is because of all the godlessness portrayed on television that I have opted out–there is nothing worthwhile except perhaps the weather and traffic reports on local stations. No matter what program a person attempts to watch–they are bombarded with fornication, homosexuality, and all types of perversity.

Reading and writing have become my modes of entertainment–I read to learn and write to inspire, motivate and educate. With all I do, I proclaim the name of Jesus so He is glorified and not me. Not that I can make me worthy of the calling on my life to proclaim the Gospel, but because He strengthens me daily to do all I can to make sure others know just how good He is.

God is not deceived by anything we see that dishonors Him nor is He fooled by anyone proclaiming to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and yet lives like the unsaved world and promotes ungodliness. People who think He is deceived have been deceived, by the great deceiver.

With all that we desire in life and all we do–let’s do it to glorify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and when we do–He will bring all we desire to pass as a testimony to His goodness so others will also believe. 

Like-Minded Believers!

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2 NIV)

Being like-minded–having the same mindset towards all of God’s children, His attributes, and His way of doing all things–sets true Believers apart from those who simply live under a banner–of denominationalism.

How do we know those who are like-minded Believers? They say what God says, treat people like God tells us to treat people, and promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than a denomination, a pastor or church.

So, how are we to treat people? We treat people with loving-kindness–“by this shall others know who we are, by our love one for the other.” We don’t bash people because they do not believe as we do, we respect their beliefs and keep it moving, without debate.

Just yesterday, I responded with a comment to an article about a school district demanding that a picture of Jesus be taken down from the walls of a school. Of course, with every article posted online and comments are allowed, we are bound to see the worst in some people. My comment was two-fold. One–I saw no need in people getting upset about an image–an artist’s rendition of what Jesus may have looked like and two–those who don’t believe are always talking about how intolerant Believers are, yet they don’t see their own intolerance. Of course my comment drew nasty remarks from “anonymous posters” those who are so ashamed of who they are, they never post a picture of themselves.

My reaction to the nastiness–was simply not to respond for two reasons.  My picture is always included in any comment I write on any article because I am not ashamed of who I am or what I believe and I don’t respond to those who are not willing to be known. People are entitled to their beliefs and to disagree with others.  That’s not an issue for me, but I refuse to get embroiled with a faceless person, giving them fuel to spout more venom. IF THEY WERE NOT ASHAMED OF THEIR VIEWS, THEY WOULD SHOW THEIR FACES AND NOT MAKE VENOMOUS COMMENTS–ANONYMOUSLY. They don’t deserve a comment from me and I won’t waste my time doing so.

But they are not the like-minded Believers under discussion. They are the unbelieving and since they choose not to believe, I let them. For those who proclaim to believe God, I welcome their comments and do not mind entering into engaging discussion. I have a healthy respect for those who may know more than I know since I don’t know everything, and I encourage all to get into relationship with God.

Then there are those who proclaim to have a relationship with God, but have no clue as who God is, what He says, or how to conduct themselves as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. We cannot be an ambassador for Jesus Christ–representing all He is if we don’t know what He has said or how He expects us to act. To represent someone–we MUST KNOW THEM, INTIMATELY!

Therefore, for all who proclaim to know The Lord Jesus Christ, know how He wants us to live based upon His representation of His Father and how we are to treat others--we are the like-minded Believers–the ones who know how to love, unconditionally, and are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ–proclaiming it wherever we go and in all circumstances, we are mindful of our position in the family–of all of God’s children.

No matter how the world–those walking in unbelief–treat us; we should know how to treat one another, pray for one another, and encourage each other to remain steadfast in the faith of our Risen Savior, promoting the Gospel until He comes to take us Home with Him.

How Brothers and Sisters In The Lord Behave!

“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 NIV)

Why was it important to remind Believers how to treat each other? Human nature–such as it is–often forgets what we’ve been told and we need to be reminded–daily. That’s why our first act of any day should be to communicate with God, find out what He wants us to do, study The Word and then go out and share God’s love–through instruction, correction, and encouragement to all.

If we could make it in life all by ourselves, God would have wasted His time in creating humanity--we were never intended to be individualistically, sustainable. We need one another whether we care to admit it or not. Everyone needs a sounding board when inspired by ideas or trying to get over hurdles. Everyone needs to know they are loved and there’s someone near for a gentle touch, a pat on the back, or for a hug. Everyone needs someone to remind them of the goodness of God and that we have a Risen Savior, who wants only the best for us.

Think about people who often give up on life when left to their own devices. These are the ones who are more prone to thinking about suicide. Studies have shown that married couples living longer than those who live on their own. Older citizens survive longer in caring environments than on their own without contact with other people. We are social people and as such need to know that others are close or at the very least, we can contact them. Hence–so many inventions that keep us able to communicate with others–beyond traditional mail, email, digital chat arenas, telephones, and all sorts of social media. We need one another.

However, those who are Believers need each other to motivate obedience to The Word of God in assisting others and caring about all–not just other Believers. We are to hold those who care for us in high esteem–commonly referring to the church leaders–when they are worthy of our high regard (so many are not). When we see Believers begin to stumble, we should encourage them before they fall–especially those in leadership so the whole will not be fractured.

We must learn to live in peace with one another within the Body of Christ. We should never be guilty of igniting chaos and confusion within the Body for when we do--we give the outside world, fuel for their unbelief and disdain of all who proclaim to believe God.

No one in the Body of Christ should be idle or disruptive. There is far too much work to do in caring for and encouraging others. We shouldn’t have time for gossip or spreading rumors that cripple. Our mindset should be on building the Body of Christ, not tearing it down. Instead of seeking means to avenge ourselves, we should seek to do good for everyone we meet, whether they are good to us or not.

Staying on the path that God directs is not always easy, but it is always right. We simply have to make more of an effort to obey so that others will be won to Christ by what they see us do. Share God’s love today!

Hold Onto The Word–No Matter How It’s Obtained!

“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 NIV)

In the days of the prophets–those used by God specifically to speak what God wanted them to say, they encouraged the Children of Israel to hold onto God’s Word and obey.

Beyond the prophets of old–Jesus and those who followed Him–said the same thing–hold onto the Word and obey.

Near Paul’s end, he encouraged all–not just those in Thessalonica, but all who would believe and obey the Word–whether they heard it directly from Timothy or others sent to them or by the letters he wrote to them.

Today, there is no excuse for anyone to claim they have no access to The Word. The Word is being preached on television, preached in churches on just about every corner, taught in bible studies in homes across America, and streamed on the Internet. Bloggers who are faithful Believers are constantly explicating The Word in order to break it down so all who read can and will understand. Bible apps are available for every type of digital technology, anyone could own. And yet–so many either won’t believe or obey The Word of God.

For those of us who will continue to proclaim God’s Word–we know and understand the consequences of our actions. People may not like us or follow us on social media, but God is pleased and our goal–to please God is obtained.

I’m always amazed at some who follow me on Twitter–especially when my profile clearly identifies me as a Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ. I guess some don’t bother to read the profiles or the posts before deciding to follow me and then quickly unfollow me when I post something that contradicts what they believe or rather–reveals the foolishness of unbelief in the Most High God.

The unfollows don’t bother me–I simply shake my head and smile. But no matter how many people unfollow me–I will hold fast to The Word and continue to explicate it as God directs me. If something is said that convicts others of sin and wrongdoing, Amen! The Word–if taught correctly–should convict all of sin and encourage us to live to please God, and that includes the one who writes the blog. I know what I’ve written has often hit me over the head and made me realize just how much growing in grace I have yet to do. And that’s okay–The Word–sharper than a two-edged sword–cuts going in and out. What He gives me to say is not just for those who read it, but for the one who writes it. Ouch! I’m not immune to convicting power of The Word.

Now, even though I study The Word and profess it, gladly with the least provocation–I realize just how much I have to learn. I don’t think I could live long enough to reach a place where I could legitimately think–I’ve learned it all. So, even though what I write may sting others, it has found it’s mark in me, but I will hold onto The Word, no matter how it’s obtained and allow The Word to wash me, thoroughly cleansing and igniting desire to know more.

This day, I am encouraging all to study The Word, hold onto The Word and obey and get ready to receive God’s promises, fulfilled in your lifetime.

Are We Praying?

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:2-6 NIV)

When I think about what I might do if I was in chains, I wonder if I would have had the fortitude that Paul had. I honestly don’t know the answer to that because I’ve never been locked away from people or in chains. I can only pray that my devotion to God would enable me to do likewise.

But that’s the key–devotion–totally dedicated and committed to doing what is needful. Although most of us are appalled with the way the terrorist groups treat Christians, we must admit they are totally devoted to their goal–no matter how inhuman it is. They are so committed to accomplishing their goal they are willing to die to see it come to pass.

I don’t want to be involved with taking the life of a another human being, but wouldn’t it be great if the rest of us were as devoted to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the terrorists are in trying to decimate us?

This, then is why Paul encouraged the church at Colosse (and us) to devote ourselves to prayer–being in constant communication with God about everything that concerns us. He cautions us to be watchful–paying attention to the changes taking place around, hearing Holy Spirit when He warns us of things to come, and taking whatever action we need to take to make sure the way of the Gospel is never blocked or closed to all those who desire to hear it.

Let’s face it–we have not always heeded Paul’s advice which is why there are so many changes in our society–and not all of them good. We were not being watchful when Madeline Murray O’Hara decided that her children didn’t need to be exposed to anyone praying in schools. The Body of Christ didn’t think she’d accomplish her goal and did nothing and so today, the school systems all over the country are running amuck because open prayer is not allowed. In other words–the devil won that round. But there are still those who are devoted to praying–and students are leading prayer circles in limited situations. Hooray for the brave, bold students, but what happened to the adults who should have been fighting for the rights of all to hear and agree with the prayers?

Once again, Christian Leadership in the country failed to act on warnings by Holy Spirit and the Supreme Court has led the way for the downward spiral of morality and we shall soon see such decadent immorality that it will make our dead ancestors cringe in unbelief. Were we praying before issues reached the Supreme Court? Were we praying that our elected body of legislators would do their jobs?

Are we praying–even now–or have we become complacent and apathetic–willing to just let things take their course?

My daily prayer includes thanking God for wisdom being poured out upon every leader in this country–that they will hear from heaven and act accordingly. I’m praying that those who made the decision to legalize sin would repent and for those participating in sinful acts would repent and seek God. I thank God for the ability to love, the boldness to teach His Word, and the wisdom to know what to say and when. I thank God for inspiring me to teach my children and grandchildren to learn to please God, not man. And more importantly, I’ve taught them to seek God–communicating with Him on a daily basis–for answers to all their questions and solutions for all their problems.

Are we praying? Are we devoted to seeking God for every situation we encounter–for peace in the world and salvation for all?

Lord, give us insight to know that we will never have the answers for all the world’s problems, but You do. And when You speak to us–directing us in how to help solve them, give us an ear to hear and a made-up mind to do–just as You direct us to do, exercising Godly wisdom at all times. Thank You for loving us enough to give us chance after chance to get things right before You return. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

Rejoice–The Lord is Near!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)

I will rejoice, I will rejoice, I will rejoice!

Why will I be glad?  The Lord is near and His peace is guarding my heart and mind--I have no need to fear or be anxious about anything. I know when I place my concerns before Him, He will address each and everyone and respond to His child because He loves me and cares about everything concerning me!

If this is the attitude most people have in life–there would be fewer problems because we know that He is the solution to every problem. We don’t have to know the answer; we just have to know the One who has all the answers.

When we know Him–have a deeply personal relationship with Him and we know His Word–we can relax when trials and challenges rise to defeat us because we know–we have victory in Jesus! Hallelujah! Rejoice! The devil is a defeated foe! Jesus put him under our feet and now it’s our job to keep him there. Remind him of his place every time he raises his ugly head–trying to influence our thoughts, leading to destruction.

Rise up O Believers in the most High God and know that He will never leave us or forsake us. Shout with a loud voice the victory is already won!

We must speak The Word over every situation that attempts to deter or distract us from receiving God’s best! We have the power in the Holy Ghost to keep the enemy defeated, but we must know what we have in order to use it–wisely, never doubting what God has done.

When we pray, our faith must remain steadfast, even when it doesn’t “look” like God is responding. He knows our needs and our hearts desire whether we speak them or not, but He wants us to come to Him, boldly–placing our petitions before Him and expecting Him to act on our behalf.

We have a reason to rejoice in The Lord! We should be glad that He loved us enough to die for us, went into the depths of hell and fought the enemy on his turf and won, rising up from the grave with all power in His hands and then–giving that power to all who choose to believe that He is!

No matter what happens this day or the next, we need to complete this journey called life–knowing that we have a Risen Savior and through Him, we can do all things and with Him, nothing is impossible for us to achieve. We need to act like we Believe His Word on a daily basis and not just be mealy-mouthed people who say one thing, but do another.

I believe every Word of God–know and understand why He inspired men to write it–know and understand why I must love others as He loves me–know and understand why I must obey His Word and because I know and understand His purpose for my life, I can rest assured of my eternity with Him. Not that I am a perfect being, but He is a perfect God and He said, perfect love–loving unconditionally, drives out fear–so I have no need to fear what others may say or think of me.

I have victory in Jesus and I will rejoice in His love for me–and because I love Him, I will live for Him! Hallelujah! I’m declaring every promise fulfilled and completed in this life time, in Jesus’ name for every Believer who is willing to stand–never wavering, but always believing–in faith–right now and it is done!