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.

Continual Prayer Changes Lives!

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

When we see, all around us

The Evidence of ungodliness

Instead of just shaking our heads,

By Faith, We continue, before returning to dust,

To seek God and His righteous

By praying–never stopping to talk and listen,

Acknowing Him for Who He is,

Thanking Him for creating who We are,

And pleading for changes of many hearts,

For Those from whom His Word have departed.

God, of our fathers and mothers old and new,

Create in all a desire to live for You.

Remove the scales from blinded eyes to truth,

Unstop the ears, making plain the truth to our youth,

So, they will be able to make Godly decisions in life,

No matter what wrongs they see or hear, or all the strife,

One might endure in order to Please You, not others.

Give those of us whose time may be limited to teach,

Your Word, without compromise, or sugarcoating,

To all show Them the better way, of living, Your Plans

For all for a future with hope–no need for ungodliness,

That serves as a rope that chokes out life without Christ,

And mocks all who live in opposition to God, dangling,

Daring the enslaved to break free, influencing death,

Naturally and Spiritually–when Truth is not received.

Help us to Change the Environment in which we live,

Constantly praying, teaching and preaching, as we give,

Our all to save lives and change directions of those who are lost,

Leading to salvation, to God through Jesus who hung on that cross,

Willing to die for all, sacrificing Himself so We all could find,

Peace and joy, health and happiness, in Him and Him alone.

Wickedness and Strange Weather!

Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright. Proverbs 14:9 NIV

The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish. Proverbs 14:11 NIV

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 NIV

The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs. Proverbs 14:14 NIV

The wise fear the LORD and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure. Proverbs 14:16 NIV

Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin; whoever builds a high gate invites destruction. Proverbs 17:19 NIV

No matter how many times or how many ways we see in God’s Word the warnings about sin, some still tend to ignore the consequences.

In fact, our society has become mockers of sin because they do not believe that sin has consequences simply because they don’t believe God. The truth is about to overtake us and many will see what sin achieves.

God is not blind, deaf or forgetful. He does not change His Word or His intent for mankind simply to appease the whim of men’s thinking. Everything He called sin, is still sin and no matter what men and women do–sin in God’s sight is still sin.

The problem is people tend to mistake lust for love and think God is fooled. God is love and He knows better than any of us what love does and what love does not do. Love is not lust and lust is not love.

Love only wants the best for all involved yet lust only wants to satisfy a feeling for the moment.

Love steers people onto the path of doing the right thing at all times.

Lust steers emotion and physical need along the path of satisfaction at any cost.

The bottom line that many may not want to acknowledge is that in the end, God has the last word and when we refuse to accept correction and get back on the path of righteousness, He removes His hand of protection and we get what we get.

The unusual weather is simply a sign of God’s displeasure with our behavior and greed. When making money is more important than preserving resources, we have problems as we see with the effects of global warming.

The disregard for the safety for the vulnerable is about to explode and the courts will be filled with lawsuits, but lives will be changed forever because of a few who chose not to see the danger of not thinking or seeking the wisdom of God.

Whenever we choose to ignore God and do what we want to do, subscribing to that old adage, “If it feels good, do it,” we open the door to the evil that is constantly lurking on the other side.

How do we avoid the consequences of sin? That’s easy. We seek God and obey His Word and promote His goodness to others. It’s not rocket science; it is simply living by faith in His Word.

Things Which Have The Appearance of Wisdom!

Things Which Have The Appearance of Wisdom!

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:20-23 NIV

Just yesterday, a poster was circulated on social media proclaiming that knowledge speaks and wisdom listens and it was getting a lot of attention. Whoever originated the poster missed understanding the bible. “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?” (Proverbs 8:1) And there are other passages that extol the virtue of hearing wisdom. The thing is that we are told that “wisdom” is the principle thing to obtain and with wisdom, get knowledge. So, it would appear to me that wisdom speaks and knowledge is obtained by listening.

Perhaps, it is this kind of thinking–turning around the words in scripture that has led to our society being deceived by those things that appear to be acts of wisdom.

I’ll attempt to break it down this way:

Wisdom (based upon God’s intent for mankind) says marriage is between a man and woman in order to perpetuate the continuation of mankind. Man’s knowledge claims that people should be whoever they want to be with regardless of what God says.

Wisdom says when it comes to acts of nature–women should use the bathroom for women and the men use the bathroom for men–exercising common sense which, regrettably is not so common anymore. Man’s knowledge (yielding to the choices of the few) claims, “whatever a person feels they are, that’s the bathroom they should use.” Considering “feelings are fickle” and change frequently, how could anyone think this is anything more than a ploy of the enemy?

Wisdom says we should get knowledge and understanding of the knowledge we obtain. Man’s knowledge (especially those in elected offices) seems to think that education is not important for all and allocate more funding for prisons and wars than education. And then we wonder why other countries outperform our students–hands down–when those countries place education as a priority.

Wisdom says if two people are doing the same job–regardless of gender or race or age–they should receive equal compensation. Man’s knowledge–thinking men need more money than women–has managed to keep women underearning in the same position as men. There is no equality when things are obviously unequal.

Wisdom says parents should discipline (part of the training) a child while they are young so when they are older, they will have learned valuable lessons. Man’s knowledge–utilizing court systems–has proclaimed that spanking a child leads them to being violent and mentally ill. Using small case studies–compared to the number of people who exercise discipline when needed–so-called researchers have convinced a foolish society that children should not be spanked and then we all sit back and wonder–what’s wrong with the kids today.

There are efforts–influenced by the enemy–to change what is right by saying what God has said is wrong, that have an appearance of wisdom, but are not wise at all and in fact–oppose God’s Word. So, here’s the bottom line, when wisdom speaks, we better listen and then use what we hear to make this world a better place.

 

 

 

Knowing When The Enemy Is Working!

Knowing When The Enemy Is Working!

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:11-13, 18 NIV

There are some passages of scripture that are relevant and worth repeating for any number of themes or expressions of caution. Paul’s admonition to the church of Ephesus is certainly true today.

We live in a society in which a lot of people talk about God, without knowing Him and without being in a relationship with Him. But then that’s true of people when it comes to celebrity worship. People talk about celebrities, go into swoons over them, celebrate them no matter what they do, and then mourn them as if they were close relatives. The truth is–they never met them, the celebrities didn’t know them, but they talked about them as if they did. Some even emulate them in their manner of behavior and dress. 

The sad part about people talking about God is that they actually think (most of them) that they know God, but refuse to live by His Word. They don’t exhibit the same type of worship for Him as they would a celebrity and they certainly don’t emulate Him and adopt His ways.

The reality is–they have been fooled, duped, manipulated by the enemy into thinking that just talking about God is good enough. We see that in political candidates, in Supreme Court Justices, and all manner of people in authority–and these are the people the enemy seeks to deceive. After all, his job is to kill, steal, destroy, deceive and lie.

The enemy has convinced people that it’s okay for same-sex couples to enjoy marital relationships that God has said was intended for a man and a woman. The enemy has convinced people that it’s okay to change their biological genders to pacify flesh. The enemy has convinced people that it’s okay for a man–pretending to be a woman–to use the same bathroom in which children and women can become their prey. The enemy has convinced people that God didn’t know and still doesn’t know what He’s doing and therefore, it’s okay to change–whatever a person wants to change about themselves–and then expect others to celebrate them for defying God.

And the people that the enemy has convinced–proclaim to know God and they sit in the pews of churches on a regular basis. They sing about God, they dance to the songs about God, they pray to a god (not sure it’s the God of heaven), they read God’s Word and talk about it, but they refuse to live it.

But this in itself should not surprise us since we know that The Word says, that at the end, some of very elect (chosen by God) would be deceived and see it now. For those of us who know God and have a right relationship with Him, it’s time to stand up, speak up, and maintain our stance in promoting living The Word before all mankind.

If we do as God as told us to do, “Preach The Word, whether it’s convenient or not,” and that means whether people receive it or not. It is not our job to make them receive anything, but we must tell them what God says and warn them about the enemy who so easily deceives. It’s time to shut the enemy down by standing on God’s Word, fully armored up with God’s Truth!

Obedience Changes Lives!

Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. Acts 5:16-21a NIV

When people are jealous and envious of those who obey The Lord, they concoct all manner of complaints against them. We know because of what happened with Jesus the night He was arrested. That was all part of God’s plan–the sacrifice for our sins–by one who had not committed any sin.

Jesus also told us that if people hated Him–the Son of God–they would also hate those who followed Him and loved The Lord with all their heart and soul. Since Jesus could not lie, we should not be amazed at the treatment of Christians today. They were treated horribly by those who did not understand the force of their faith. They were set on fire and used as lights in the night for the games for the cruelest man on earth–Nero. They were wrapped in animal skins and attacked by other vicious animals for sport. They were killed because of their stance–remaining faithful to God–and in obedience to His Word.

Are we worthy of the same hate displayed towards those who came before us? Are we obeying God in all we do so lives will be changed? Has He spoken to us in the middle of night and we arose and obeyed? Are we hated because we refuse to back down from those who choose to follow Satan? Are we tormented because we obey God in all things and teach others to do the same?

What we have to realize is that when Believers obey God, the enemy will hate us and do everything they can to destroy us. With God on our side, nothing the enemy does will matter. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. And even if it seems that all is lost, we must maintain our stance–our faith must be unshakeable–as we move forward in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Satan has tried to stop the move of God for centuries and has never been successful and he won’t succeed now. We must remain steadfast, immovable in the face of the persecution, belittling and mockery demonstrated by the ungodly who are actually fearful of us. When there is a possibility that lives will be changed for the better, the enemy is afraid of losing his influence on the masses so he influences those with either weak faith or no faith in God to hate those of us who love God.

Today, just like so many years ago, the unbelieving are jealous of our obedience to God and they hate it when lives are changed for the better because of the faith instilled in them by our teaching God’s Word. We need not fear the enemy, but maintain our faith in teaching The Word and let the enemy fear us!

Have We Sought Atonement For Our Sins?

Have We Sought Atonement For Our Sins?

But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing. Let our officials act for the whole assembly. Then let everyone in our towns who has married a foreign woman come at a set time, along with the elders and judges of each town, until the fierce anger of our God in this matter is turned away from us.” Ezra 10:13,14 NIV

When the people (exiled groups) were assembled in order to determine why God was angry, the conclusion they came to was that there were so many “foreign” women in their midst. Now, the reference here is not about being a stranger in a strange land, but about someone who does not know God or worship Him as the Israelites had been taught to do. I’m clarifying this for a reason since we know–under Grace–not under The Law–we are still discouraged from being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers.

Why does God not want Believers and unbelievers joined in matrimony? It is a simple matter and one in which most of us would shy away from expressing–aloud. Remember Eve’s influence over Adam in the garden? Instead of him influencing her–she enticed him to eat the forbidden fruit. Since that time–it would appear–women have held enormous influence over men, especially in the area of disobeying God. Even sadder is the fact that gullible men allow themselves to be led into disobedience and open the door for sin to reign.

When Ezra brought the people together they decided that the officials should determine what to do–the men who had not been influenced by the strange women–and it was determined that the men who had married the strange women needed to send them away so they could seek atonement from God for their sin.

Is there anyone who can officiate over such an assembly today–one who would hear from God and inform the people that in order to turn God’s wrath from them, they would need to turn from sin and separate themselves from those who enticed them away from doing God’s Will?

None of us are perfect and without sin in our lives, but that’s why grace is ours today. Jesus has made atonement for our sins and we choose--just as they did in the days of old–whether we obey God or not. We cannot blame anyone–especially not women–for the decisions we make because Holy Spirit is available to all. Whether it is a woman or man who leads anyone astray from the path God has established, we need to separate ourselves from them and seek God’s forgiveness so we can get back on the right path.

It is truly unfortunate that we do not allow those who have been entrusted in positions of leadership to hear from God and inform the people. Instead, we employ secular mechanisms to make decisions and usually end up going astray, and when things go wrong, we wonder what happened. Have we learned to seek atonement for our sin or do we keep heading in the wrong direction, led by our fleshly desires?

Until we learn to do things God’s way, we will never experience a time when His wrath is turned from us. It is time for us to repent and turn away from doing things our way and choose to do what He would have us to do.

Moving Forward With Greater Determination!

The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said: “There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’ “You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.” I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. Nehemiah 6:5-9 NLT

Most Believers know the story–Saballat’s envy and deceptive ploys to stop Nehemiah from building the wall. And for those who don’t know–any good translation of the Bible will reveal the plot to deceive and thwart, but when God has put something on our hearts to do–nothing the enemy does, will matter. When Nehemiah, the king’s cupbearer, prayed and repented for the people, he went before the king with his request to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. “And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.” Nehemiah 2:8 NIV.

The first chapter of Nehemiah contains his prayer and why he was praying. The second chapter reveals his requests and the king’s response. After that–the story unfolds as the challenges, the belittling and persecution those who were working on restoring the wall endured. And when Sanballat conspired to stop the rebuilding, God strengthened all the workers involved and by His spirit–kept Nehemiah encouraged and determined to complete the mission.

Perhaps, there are some people today who want to have something restored in their lives and need the courage to complete the mission–regardless of the challenges set before them. Perhaps, there are some already in the process of completing a mission and need encouragement to keep going to finish the task.

Perhaps, what is getting in their way, is the lack of repentance and submission to God’s Will. Prayer–for all involved in the task–and repentance is in order. When we speak to God in sincerity, recognizing our shortcomings and the wrong paths we’ve taken, He is faithful and just and will hear and honor our requests.

Now, we have a job to do. God has put on our hearts a variety  tasks that only we can do and those tasks vary for every individual. Hear God and know what He wants done in your life and then–be determined to move forward. When obstacles get in the way, pray–asking God for strength to endure and move forward with greater determination to get the job done to the glory of God.

Gather your courage, pray for endurance, and keep moving forward with greater determination to do all God has put on your heart to do!