Faithful!

The Lord is faithful in everything He does and in what He has said to us through His Word and when He speaks to us privately. Are we as faithful (reliable and trustworthy, thorough in the performance of duty) to Him as He is to us?

Some people work at being faithful to spouses–when it is convenient for them to do so.  When one determines that being faithful is too much work, people stray and marriage vows develop wings and fly.

Some people begin a new job by being faithful–for the first ninety days--and then they complain and find all manner of things wrong with the company to whom they said, “I want some of your money,” when they applied for the job.  When the job is terminated because of their lack of faithfulness, they stand, stunned, unable to comprehend what happened.

Then there are the people who cannot be faithful to their children–love, nurture, guide–past the time they cease to become “cute” (potty training time). They abuse, abandon and misuse their children and then wonder why their children are disobedient and disrespectful towards them.

Some friends are more faithful to each other than they are to a spouse, a job, or a child, but that friendship is totally reliant upon a reciprocal relationship.  The minute one can’t do for the other, the friendship ends.

In the political arena, the only faithfulness we see is to whoever has the most money and can do the most for someone else. There is no faithfulness to the people who put politicians in office; if there was–all decisions in government would be for the benefit of all the people, not special interest groups.

We sometimes expect God to be our personal magician as a demonstration of His faithfulness towards us, but are we faithful to Him? Are we in constant communication with Him? Are we loving one another as ourselves? Are we obedient to Him and doing what He asks us to do?

If God’s faithfulness towards us was the same as ours towards each other and Him, where would we be?

 

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness! Create in us a desire to be as faithful to You as You are to us and never deter from our allegiance to You. In Jesus’ name we pray and thank You, Amen!

Thanking God For Favor!

There is nothing quite like knowing we are walking in God’s favor.

 He gives us favor with men (all of mankind) when we are walking in obedience to Him.

 We maintain favor with Him when we do all that He has asked us to do.

 Favor with God is not fair (not everyone at all times gets it), but it is just because He is a “just” God, not a fair one.

 Having Favor with God allows us to expect the abundant blessings that He promises, without a trace of doubt in our hearts.

 Having Favor with God puts us in a position to know He is faithful to complete (accomplish through us) all He has inspired us to do.

 Thank You, Lord for Favor! Thank You for favor with those who read everything I write! Bless them abundantly, beyond anything they could ever imagine. Thank You for favor with those I teach. May their lives be enriched beyond measure as they receive instruction to help them succeed! Thank You for favor with total strangers! Instill in them a desire to get to know me and through them, help me to share the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ in everything I write. Thank You for favor with family and friends! Enrich their lives by our relationship and encourage each and everyone to sustain a right relationship with You!

 Thank You for grace, mercy, love and all the gifts we receive that are without repentance that we might use them to Your glory!

Stimulating Wholesome Thinking!

“Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking” (2 Peter 3:1 NIV).

When I read this passage this morning, I was reminded of the reason I write. I don’t expect people to agree with everything I say; not even some of what I say, but I write to encourage and stimulate wholesome thinking especially in how we treat people.

We live in a society where are constantly bombarded with everyone’s thoughts through various types of media–online media, television, radio, blogs, all the social media, books, magazines, hand-bills, posters, bill-boards, and online news commentaries. Some of the thoughts we read can readily be dismissed when we recognize the influence behind the thoughts. Some of the thoughts, we may actually consider to be genuine from rational people, until we continue to read what they write. And some, thoughtful writers will actually challenge us to think.

How do we know when we see “wholesome writing” that will ignite “wholesome thinking?

If what someone says aligns with The Word, explains The Word, expounds on The Word, and is not judgmental, obscene, or profane, or full of hate; we can probably conclude that the writer is thinking wholesome thoughts.  If what someone says, denies or scoffs at The Word, is in opposition to The Word, then we know who is influencing the words they write. What they say will not lead to wholesome thinking, but to chaos and confusion designed to get people off track.

How far off track are we in our society today? Should not our thoughts be the same as the thoughts of Christ?  If we have the mind of Christ, should we not have the conduct of Christ? Should not our heart be as His–loving, full of compassion, and always forgiving?

Nothing in life is fair–God did not promise us fairness. He said, “the just shall live by faith.” So, don’t be bitter about things that didn’t “seem fair”, move forward and know that if we continue in The Word, we shall receive God’s many benefits and He is not slow to fulfill His promises to us! We are the “just” and “the righteousness of Christ” because He said so, not us.

Now, think on these things–whatsoever is pure, lovely, and of a good report–all leading to wholesome thinking. Remember to love and forget all the things that would cause you to hold onto bitterness and unforgiveness. Keep your focus on the prize ahead of you in Christ Jesus! Rational Thinking > Rational Decisions > Rational Behavior–towards all!

Wickedness in Washington!

“This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth” (Psalm 73:12 NIV).

Thank God for His Word that keeps us from being amazed or astonished at the things that occur in the land!  What we are seeing right now–at the hands of “greedy” politicians–has already been foretold.  When reading the first eleven first verses of this Psalm, it would appear to be prophetic in nature because we can “see” it coming to pass right now!

Notwithstanding my refusal to claim allegiaince with one political party over another, I do see politicians as the enemy of the poor and needy; especially those Republicans who profess to be Christians and yet do not do the things we have been commanded to do.

First, they attempt to starve those who already have limited resources by cutting their ability to eat.

Then, the very people who need healthcare–preventive care–to keep down hospital costs, are being denied the right to have access to it because of greedy politicians to want to sustain their connection to those in the insurance industry who have aligned themselves–financially–with them.  Their actions–holding America hostage–in order to maintain their supporters borders being anti-Christ.  They need to do the job for which they have been elected–keep government moving in the right direction and not standing stagnant, stinking.

For those who affiliate themselves with the “tea party” and claim to be Christians–be very careful of mocking God! For truly, it is He you mock when you refuse to take actions that would support the poor and needy above your own concerns of amassing wealth. You, as a party, are not supporting the needs of all people, but your private agenda and God will deal quite thoroughly with you–in just a matter of time. History has a tendency to repeat itself and those who oppose God by not doing what He says, have reaped the consequences for their actions.  The Tea Party has demonstrated they have no relationship with God, but with foolish religious ideology that makes them blinded and callous. They (TP) have spent so much time hating a president simply because of his skin color they have forgotten to address the needs of all people: job development, tax reform, climate control, etc.  If people had jobs–earning income–they would pay taxes and increase tax revenues.  This is where the real effort should lie–not in creating obstacles for those who really care about all the people.

O God, how long must we tolerate those who are indifferent to Your people–all of us?  How long will it be before You reveal Yourself to them in ways they can understand–diminishing their wealth and the attention they so love?  How long Lord, will the people have to suffer the indignities of those who are so arrogant and prideful that they forget–whatever they sow, they shall reap? How long Lord will it be before You leave them powerless and stunned at their loss because they refuse to consider all people?  How long Lord? How long?

Is It Too Late?

I am so tired of all the foolishness that exists in the hearts of people–politicians who cannot think beyond their bank accounts and their greed, preachers who are feeding their sheep garbage and then wonder why Christian growth is stunted, and those who refuse to think with the heads on their shoulders before making stupid decisions (and that includes all of us; especially parents).  I wonder if it’s too late for us to make a 180 degree turn for the better.  Is God as tired of us as I am? Are you tired of the foolishness?

Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to hear those who have a relationship with You and know Your Word, how You want us to live.

Help us to see clearly how foolishness, selfishness, and greed hinder Your plans for all.

Help us to change our ways and conduct so You will manifest miracles in the lives of all who need one.

Help us O God, to stop acting rashly, with no regard for human life and alleviate the suffering of those around us.

Create in us a clean heart, with all of the filth of time, filtered out so that nothing remains that is not of You. Speak to the hearts of every person in leadership, right now, and let them know that You are still God and besides You, there is no other. Remind them of Your Word and how we are to protect the rights of the poor and the needy and that You, and You alone will judge us for what we do and don’t do that is right in Your eyes.

And if it is not too late–help us to speak boldly in promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, courageously speaking all You have said, without fear of the recriminations shown to us by others, willing to do all You have put on our hearts to do.

Help us to understand that having a religious affiliation does not mean we have a relationship with You. Help us today, to get our relationship with You right.

Is it too late for us to ask and expect a response from You that assures us, You have given us yet one more chance to get things right with You?

All this I ask and thank You for in the name of Your precious Son, Amen!

Call On Him in Truth!

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18 NIV).

Sometimes, those of us who teach/preach The Word, mislead people by what we see The Word say, not having a full revelation or insight as to what it says. I’m not sure if the misleading is intentional or unintentional, but when we discover we have been teaching in error, we must acknowledge it and back-track to get it right.

Specifically, I’ve heard many people say, “The Lord is near all who call on Him,” or “Just call on The Lord,” and He will be right there! Looking at this passage of scripture, I glean better understanding of what the psalmist is saying.

God is near all who call upon Him, in truth! Whose truth? His Truth, according to His Word! Why is it that we think we can hoodwink God? The One who looks upon the “heart” of a man and knows all things is not fooled by us.  When we attempt to act contrite, He knows.  When we attempt to act like we love others, He knows. When we act like we are anointed and appointed for the season to provide reason to all mankind, He knows. The problem is, do we know?

Have we become so delusional in thinking we know all there is to know that we forget that God knows? We cannot fool God, but we can certainly deceive ourselves into believing something that is not true.  If we cannot be truthful with ourselves, what makes us think that God is “near us” or that we can “call upon Him” and expect Him to act on our behalf?

God is not a magician! He is not a man that He should lie! His eyes are in every place, seeing the good and the evil! When He responds to our faith in Him, it is because of His love for us and He knows our heart!

The bottom line for me is this:  We have to do more than “call on Him” in order for Him to respond to our needs, desires, requests.  We have to call on Him with a pure heart, knowing we have done everything we can to be obedient to Him and in living His Word.  This is calling on Him in truth! When we know and realize that He knows–everything about us, then we can expect Him to be near and to honor His Word, not ours. So stop telling people that they only have to call upon The Lord; tell them the rest–get their hearts right with God, call upon Him and they will know, He’s right there with them.

If people call upon God and are determined to live ungodly, He hears them, but won’t respond and then they tell people; there is no God. When children don’t get what they want from their parents because they have not earned the privilege of getting (whatever it is), do they say,” I have no parents?” How foolish we are to manipulate people into believing something because we didn’t get what we wanted.  Keep in mind, “the fool has said in his heart, there is no God!”

Live The Word, Teach The Word, and Honor God in all things and He will be right there when you call on Him–in truth!

Can You Hear Me Now?

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 NIV).

Are we listening to God through His Word, when His spirit speaks to us or are we bombarded by the chaos that reigns in the midst of confusion and disobedience? I can only imagine what  God might be thinking about what is happening in the land, He created for our good.

“Good morning, children,” God said.

“I have much to say to you concerning this world.”

“On this planet, I had devised the means for your survival and even for you to prosper in it.”

“On this planet, I had determined my purposes for your lives if you would surrender your all to me.”

“Over and over again, I have sustained a remnant of people who will obey and do what I have asked them to do.”

“Throughout the generations, I have loved you, warned you, and even sacrificed myself for you, yet you do not hear me.”

“You have not heeded my warnings or learned from your past mistakes, and even when I attempt to correct you, you turn from me.”

“You have defiled yourselves in all manner of abominations and turned what I have said is evil to good–for your own selfish purposes–to appease your flesh.”

“You have ignored my teachings so your children will be upstanding, productive people and now instead they are whore-mongers, warmongers, and haters of self and parents, and me.”

“You care more about what people think that what I have said and you constantly change your views to adapt to people, but you constantly ignore what I have said that does not change.”

“You attempt to talk to me when things go south and then you expect me to act on your behalf as though I am a magician.”

“You refuse to obey me, but you get angry when the consequences of your actions are made known to all.”

“When I am attempting to talk to you about your behavior, you tune-me out or try to justify your actions.”

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? I Am God and I change not, nor do my purposes for you change.”

“Nevertheless, since you insist on doing things your way, I will abide by my word and remove my hand from your lives and allow the consequences to fall upon the just and the unjust.”

“There is no more need to seek me for direction, when you refuse to hear me.  I will not hear you because you do not listen to those I have appointed and anointed for such a time as this.”

“And when you hear the sounds of war knocking at your borders, do not wonder why.  You know why.  Do not point fingers at others until you have realized your part in all of the world’s undoing.”

“Know that I love you, but I will not tolerate your blatant disregard of my people, my Word, or those I purposed to serve your needs.”

“Since you love the praise of men more than your relationship with me, and will praise others more than you praise me, I will leave you to serve what you desire and you will hear from me–no more!”

“C A N   Y O U   H E A R   M E   N O W?”

What is your response? O God, I hear and ask for Your abiding love to sustain us against evil and that You will create in us a heart to hear, a will to do, the courage to speak out against evil and a determination to get it all done, to Your glory! Cut away everything in our lives that keeps us from true repentance, so that we may honor You with our lives!

Fulfilling His Purpose!

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).

If we, as believers in God, accept His Word as His revealed purpose for our lives, then what He spoke through Jeremiah speaks volumes as to God’s plans for our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,”declares The Lord,  “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11 NIV).

When we prosper (and not just in material wealth), we are fulfilling God’s good purpose for our lives. Our prosperity is a result of our obedience in all things and therefore we should not be ashamed to declare what God has done and is doing in our lives.

With all of the head-shaking and murmurs against “prosperity preachers” one would have to wonder if those complaining read and understood and had God reveal His truth about His Word. God is not against our prosperity--He might have some issues with how some have prospered, especially if the means to prosper encompassed misleading people or lying, or being corrupt. Not every so-called prosperity preacher is just preaching prosperity. We need to listen with our whole “spiritual ears” and hear what is being said.  The notion that God intended for His children to live like paupers is so beneath a loving, Father, that I wonder–who people are really serving when they think God wants us to be poor!

Throughout The Word, we are told the outcome or results, if you will, of our being obedient: we would have good success and everything we put some effort into would prosper; His blessings will overtake us and we’ll be the lenders, not the borrowers; we’ll be the head and not the tail in business; and this list could go on and on. When Jesus was teaching His disciples just before His return, He told, “whatever you ask of the Father in my name, that I will do.” So, where’s the problem with prosperity?

Some want to amass riches for their own purposes, but there are many of us who have faith and confidence in God’s Word so that we can “assist those in need.” The more we prosper, the more we can help others and this is the Will of God that we–born-again believers–help those who cannot help themselves. If we were doing this right now, this country would not need welfare benefits, but it is because of those in political offices–those who have become greedy and forgot the needy, that this country is in such a mess. When those who God has promoted to positions to help, forget how they got there, chaos and confusion reign and their only concern is what they can get out of the situation; not in helping others. We see that right now–with a Congress that won’t work for the people, but are more interested in pushing their own agenda. This is not part of God’s plan–this is pure politics. Since that is the case–I can only conclude the politicians involved are not acting in accordance to God’s plan to fulfill His good purposes.

Father, help us to understand You better.  Give us a heart like Your heart.  Give us a mind-set so we can think like You think. Move every obstacle out of our way so we can accomplish all that You have planned for us so Your good purposes will be fulfilled. In Jesus’ name, I pray and thank You, Amen!

My Indoctrination to Salvation – A Much Needed Grace

What a reminder of just how good God is!

Darrell Creswell - A Study of Christian Grace

grace enlightens darkness Psalm 18 28The only qualifications I have to write about God’s grace are from my own personal pride and arrogance. Now you may be thinking that doesn’t sound right but it actually is. You see for many years I was enamored with myself. I bought only the most expensive clothes, drove only the most expensive cars, and lived a life filled with self-adoration and conceit, assured that God was proud of all my accomplishments. Let me explain to you how grace found me.

Striking it rich at 24 years old in the oil business, my life was something akin to the 1956 movie Giant. At the time I had been in the ministry literally all my life. At 2 years old I was standing on the altar singing to the congregation in my dad’s church. At 8 years old I was preaching downtown to people waiting at bus stops and handing out…

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What I Have Learned!

“He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you” (John 16:14 NIV).

When Jesus was speaking to His disciples, just before He returned to His Father, He was reminding them of the role of the Holy Spirit (His Spirit) who would remain in the earth realm to guide, reveal, remind, and instruct.

The Holy Spirit will guide us through tumultuous times–economic downturns, chaos and confusion across the land, and in the midst of a disturbance of our peace, He reminds us that God’s peace surpasses all understanding. I’ve learned that if I rest in His peace, what is happening all around me, won’t disturb me, but gives me purpose in prayer.

By His spirit, we will receive insight to things to come and when we are totally submitted and committed, He will create in us the spirit of “a watchman”, warning the people.  If we warn them and they do not heed the warning, their blood is on their own hands.  If we do not warn them of impending danger, their blood when disaster strikes will be on our hands.  I’ve learned some people will never listen because they think they know everything.

Perhaps, more importantly, the role of the Holy Spirit is to remind us of The Word when we need it in a moment, and to instruct us in our behavior towards others–exercising discernment and wisdom. I’ve learned that no matter what I do or say, I’ll never please everyone, so I concentrate on pleasing God.  If I please Him and others are pleased as a by-product–amen.  If they are not pleased as I please Him–oh well!

I’ve learned how to live holy, maintaining my relationship with God, seeking always to please Him and expecting to see fulfillment of His promises towards me. Some may think I’m being arrogant in my faith in God’s promises, but I am simply being confident in Him, who cannot lie and will bring to pass every promise, and complete everything He ignites in us to do. I’ve learned to love–even those who appear to not care at all, but I love any way.  Again, their disdain gives my prayer purpose.  In fact, everything that I know I cannot control, gives my prayer purpose.

And when I pray, my communication with God is a two-way conversation.  While I talk, He listens and when He speaks, I listen. I pray with confidence, knowing He will respond. I always thank God for the desired result and because I pray in alignment with His Word, He will respond favorably.

Looking back over my life, I realize I have learned a great deal and still have much more to learn. What have you learned?

Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for keeping my heart and spirit tuned-in to You so I may know how to proceed on a daily basis and for loving me enough to keep teaching me! Amen!