Self-Control

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—” (2 Timothy 3:2-4 NIV).

In the last days (begins verse 1) there will be terrible times–times in which people who have not acknowledged God, will not study His Word, will not hear Him, will not obey Him, will become–all of these things.

Their priorities will be greed–getting all the money they can amass by any means necessary, no matter how it may impact others.

They will brag about how they cheat and undermine others–bully others into espionage of all sorts in order to gain the upper-hand, financially over others.

They will abuse the power of their positions at home, in business, in communities, and in the government.

They will start by being disobedient to parents because they did not understand that honoring “mother and father” would guarantee them long life and then move out into society with the same spirit, defying spiritual and natural laws to do what they want to do.

They will be unholy–doing all things against God because their god is Satan.

They will be without love because they have never accepted God’s love and they cannot truly love themselves–they are empty and void of compassion for others and they are the only people who matter.

They will hold grudges against others and never forgive even though they are in need of forgiveness themselves.

They will lie and cheat to get what they want without regard to the destruction that occurs along the path they take.

They have never learned to control themselves and function on feelings rather than common sense, they allow negative emotions and thoughts to guide their every move which leads them to becoming brutish–manglers of human beings and murderers without flinching, creating chaos and confusion wherever they go and yet they do not see themselves as they are–devoid of human emotions and ability to interact appropriately with others.

They are more inclined to give into feelings and those negative thoughts that intensify into unbridled lust and they will do anything to gratify the desire.

Carnal, fleshy pleasures mean more to them than loving God and living according to His Word because they lack self-control and do not want to live an orderly life.

These are the people who will not control their thoughts, their mouths or their deeds. They think evil thoughts and then plot to carry them out–they cuss at the drop of a pin and then think it’s their right to infringe upon the rights of others. They are disorderly every where they go–loud and obnoxious–foul-mouthed and dangerous.

They understand “control” when they find themselves locked into situations where others are controlling them–jails, prisons, gangs, mobs.

They do not understand that although they may be locked up or locked into situations; they are never locked out of God’s love--if they are willing to receive it.

These indeed are the last days. The writing is on the walls of society all over the world. What are we–who understand–going to do about it?

 

 

 

Yield Not To Temptation!

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;” (James 1:13 NIV).

And then James goes on to say that we are tempted by our own lusts (evil desires) and when one yields to the temptation, they yield to sin.

Some years ago, Flip Wilson used the phrase, ” the devil made me do it” in his comic routine.  Many thought this was funny, especially within the context used. However, it is misleading. The devil does not make anyone do anything, any more than God will make anyone do anything. The devil tempts people to do evil and because they have evil desires, they give in to the temptation.

The enemy uses people to tempt others to land into the lake of fire with him. He influences people to murder, molest, abduct, coerce, mangle, manipulate, lie, cheat, steal, cuss, and commit all manner of disastrous acts that lead people deeper into the pit of no return. But they could not be tempted if the desire to do those things were not already present. Those desires begin with thoughts and if the thoughts are not changed, rapidly, they intensify until the thoughts are acted upon and havoc reigns.

If we want to avoid being tempted–by anything or anyone, we have to change our thought patterns before they become acts that cannot be reversed.

Some might say–they are stronger than that–they don’t have to give in. I would encourage all to reflect upon the world events, historically, and recently, that have led to escalated violence and people being killed. All of the acts–began with a thought and thoughts ran rampant–completely unchecked until they became acts.

For change to occur in the world–it must begin with change in every individual’s way of thinking–in a positive manner so we can all live in peace, without the threat of continual violence.

Perhaps, we should all lobby legislators to change the way they think–putting people first–above their own personal agendas. And then we should pray–in the privacy of homes and other personal space–and then “out loud” so the enemy will know what we’re doing and put him on notice.

Don’t allow the evil thoughts and desires to become acts of disaster and then try to claim–God tempted you to do it. He did not. The Word from God will only encourage us to live according to what God says–so we can live to see the promises fulfilled in our lives and to see our future–a future to prosper us and not harm us.

The devil doesn’t do anything he was not created to do–and neither should we. We were created to be a praise unto our God and to give Him glory. Let’s do it!

 

Different Kinds of Trees!

“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17 NIV).

There are different kinds of fruit, different kinds of vegetables, different kinds of flowers and different kinds of trees. Good trees–those who are nourished and get all they need to produce good fruit, usually produces good fruit. Bad trees–those who lack appropriate care and nourishment, water, sunlight, pruning, and watching, may produce withered, dried out fruit, abnormal sized fruit, or no fruit at all.

Every thing that grows–including people–need appropriate nourishment, pruning, and watching. We need the love of parents who know how to be parents. We need appropriate environments in which our health will not be impaired or our growth stunted. And we need pruning–the cutting away of all the stuff that will not help us mature as reasonable human beings. It is the pruning that most dislike and rebel against.

The Word of God prunes–reveals to us all that is hurtful to our growth and cuts it away to make room for healthier thoughts, ideas, and actions. Those who rebel against the Word, hold onto all the stuff that hinders growth and maturity and then they get mad at the world because they do dumb stuff and wonder why they can never get anywhere. These are the bad trees.

The good trees–patiently endure the scraping and cutting away of all those things that will hinder growth and they get a chance to see the abundance of productivity that results as the cutting away of the old and making room for the new. They will usually have a harvest of growth that leads to production of other harvests. One plants, one waters, and God gives the increase.

I recently watched a neighbor prune branches of one of his peach trees and cut off those that were not producing edible fruit. Last year, they only grew to the size of a walnut. At the beginning of this spring, only a few leaves blossomed. After his pruning away all the “dead” stuff, leaves are all over the place and I’m sure, the peaces will be much bigger, producing good fruit.

Now, considering all that was said, which kind of tree of are you?

Lord Jesus, help us to endure the pruning and cutting away of all the dead stuff in us, making room for the new growth so we can be productive in every area of our lives, to Your glory!

 

Celebrate!

“Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed” (Nahum 1:15 NIV).

For all who think that we should not “celebrate” certain events in our lives–The Word gives us the right to celebrate “our” festivals. That means that we can have “festivals” that are not necessarily determined to be the “festivals of the Lord” as enumerated in the various ordinances.

Today, we can hear the chains breaking as the shackles fall–we are released from the bondage of thinking we cannot celebrate–birthdays, holidays, and other commemorative events. If we are spiritual Judah–a tribe who praises The Lord at all times–we have no need to slink away from celebrating the births of loved ones or any other of “our” festivals that do not dishonor God.

We also have a hope–that if we continue to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ–we will have peace because we will no longer need to be concerned with the wicked who shall be no more!

The wicked are those who “refuse to acknowledge God” and choose to live a life that is totally immersed with selfishness. The wicked are not concerned with justice and lawfulness; they are consumed with lawlessness and wanton destruction of everything that is of God!

If all who proclaim to believe and trust God would share the Gospel of Jesus Christ–what a wonderful world we would have to abide in peace. If all who proclaim to believe and trust God would release their fears of rejection and apathy–more people would have an opportunity to “see” what an awesome God we serve! If all who proclaim to believe and trust God would love all with whom they come into contact–the world would know love and not hate.

In Christ–there are no denominations or separate religions–we are all one in Christ Jesus when we believe and trust God in all our ways and acknowledge Him in all we do.

When we–who say we know and have a relationship with God–know we have done all we can to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ–we can rest assured that we have reason to celebrate and no need to fear retribution from God because we do. Celebrate! It’s time for us to let the world know–who we are and how much God loves!

Consider Your Ways!

“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5).

People are often amazed at the senseless violence, loss of life, destruction of families, and crimes of such magnitude that all we can do is simply shake our heads.

Inconsiderate people are incapable of thinking beyond the moment or about how their actions impact others. We see it all the time. Carelessness with campfires or even cigarette smoking–fires burning out of control, destroying property, taking lives, and ruining memories. Inconsiderate people drink and drive with no other thought other than to make themselves “feel good” when in actuality, they only feel worse. These people cause accidents-maiming and killing–and some never stop drinking and driving.

Inconsiderate people speed through neighborhoods--with no thought of children or others in wheelchairs or the elderly who cannot move as fast as they used to move. They hit people with cars and run from the scene like the cowards they really are. The cowards often leave people dead or dying and they do not care. They gave no thought to their actions.

Inconsiderate people are often greedy people who will stop at nothing to obtain what they want by any means. They rob people at gunpoint, with shovels, with knives, with threatening notes in banks and stores and care not one wit about how actions will leave a life time of tragedy in their wake.

Inconsiderate people think everyone around them wants to hear their loud, crass, raunchy music–so they play it loud enough to shake windows and interfere with other drivers and their ability to hear what is going on around them.

Inconsiderate people play pranks without thinking about all the possible consequences and some pranks have led to the death of people.

Inconsiderate people think the world evolves around them and therefore they have a right to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it and then they complain when they have to deal with the consequences of their actions. They have never learned to “consider their ways.”

If we want to see a change in the world, we must begin in our homes and learn to be considerate of others in all we do. Loving others will bring about consideration because we would do not harm those we love. Loving others leads to considering others above ourselves. So the lack of consideration demonstrates a lack of love among many. If we cannot love self, we cannot love others. Consider your ways–do your actions demonstrate love or do they demonstrate total inconsideration regarding others. Think-love-consider all so we can live in peace and harmony and families won’t have to mourn the loss of loved ones.

 

 

The Greatest Commandments!

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30,31 NIV)

So many people concern themselves with the commandments given to Moses upon the mountain that they forget how Jesus summarized them into two–which should be easier to remember, but do we?

The first–Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength–If we truly love God–with all of our being and He is the focus of our lives–we live to please Him–doing all He has put into our hearts to do.

The second–Love your neighbor as yourself–if we loved our neighbors (all those around us)–as ourselves, could we hate, steal, lie, or kill anyone?  When we do these things–is it an indicator that we do not love self?

If we really stopped to think about what we do and how we do it–we would have greater insight as to who we really are and we might even see a need to change. When we treat ourselves better, we’ll treat others better.

Love–such a simple command and yet–such a hard one to do. If we love God, we would take care of the needs of the poor and defenseless. If we love others–there would be no poor and defenseless–God knows! Think about it!

And while you’re thinking about it–remember those who have loved us and did not even know us in their service to their country to defend our rights and freedoms as a nation, who for the most part–believes in God!

Learning to love is the greatest response we could ever give to God and others. Let’s do it!

 

What Faith Does!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).

Notice that this verse says-“faith is” not what faith does. Our faith does not stop bad things from happening to us–“it sustains us through the event” keeping us from being defeated by the event.

Many have asked why bad things happen to good people–or better yet–to Believers and many have attempted to explain the rationale. Actually, the reasoning is as simple as this-Satan doesn’t have to tempt those already following him; he knows who they are. His job is to discourage those who have faith in God and tempt them to believe that our faith is in vain.

How many times do we “see” the remarks that unbelievers make about our misplaced and misguided faith in a God they don’t believe in? How many times have we heard disparaging remarks about our faith from unbelievers?

Don’t get mad at the ones who are making the remarks; fight back (spiritually speaking) against the one who influences their thinking–the devil–whose job is to kill, steal, destroy, manipulate and lie. He’s doing his job, we need to do ours.

“Hold fast to your faith” which will sustain you in the depths of the valleys, in the wilderness, in the midnight hour, and when it appears that all hope is gone–hold fast to the faith you have in the One true God, the one who makes all things possible, and with Him, nothing is impossible.

Remind the devil that you have more faith than the size of a mustard seed and that you are victorious in all things. We are conquerors; not the conquered. We are the head, not the tail. By His stripes we are healed, not wallowing in sickness. No weapon–nothing the enemy says–can defeat us because the greater One resides within us.

Faith keeps us focused on Who, not the what, that happens in our lives. Faith sustains and keeps us in communication with the Father and we know that nothing we ask of Him, in Jesus’ name will be denied us.

So, when bad things happens or you get a report that is not from The Lord, keep the faith and keep saying what God says about your situation, no matter how things look. Don’t worry about the report–focus on The Word!

 

 

And What Are You?

“Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:7,8 NIV).

Are you victorious? That is–you have victory in all situations through Jesus Christ–because He is the greater One in you. Or do you fall into the second category–the cowardly, unbelieving…?

Only you can determine what your end will be. Are you victorious or cowardly and unbelieving? Only you–not me, not God, only you can determine what and who you are.

If you’re not sure, now would be a good time to get into The Word (any good translation will do), meditate, reflect, and open your heart to receive the best God has for you. A relationship with Him is better than relationship with any “religious affiliation” or religion. It is having that relationship with Him, that assures reception of all His many benefits. Do it now–and know who you are and what your end will be!

And The Beat Goes On!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/maryandtyrone/2014/05/22/and-the-beat-goes-on

Access to our podcast archived episode from yesterday–with me and my husband having fun!

When You See This!

“When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes” (Isaiah 66:14 NIV).

The thirteenth verse of scripture states that, “The Lord comfort like a mother” (paraphrased) and all will see this. Moving on to the next verse, we are told what will happen when we see this.

Our hearts will rejoice–overflowing with joy.

We will flourish like grass–keep increasing year after year and look good (if well-kept and cared for).

Everyone will know that the hand of The Lord guides us and keeps us safe from harm and directs our success.

And…His enemies–those who openly oppose Him–deny His existence and disobey His Word–shall know His fury!

I don’t know about you, but I plan to remain His child and receive His comfort and never, ever become one His enemies!

When we know we are doing the right thing for all the right reasons–we can expect to see His blessings in our lives. But for those who choose not to do what is right, they too can expect–to see His fury.

When I look at our society–on a global level–I cannot help but wonder whether some of the extreme weather conditions we see are the result of His fury–against those who oppose Him. Now, notice I did not say that the weather is a result of His displeasure; I said, I wonder.

No matter what anyone thinks or wonders-we only have to look back at history to understand how God operates–when sin is in the atmosphere, it tends to shake things up and everyone not willing to change their ways–creates an environment that leads to destruction–of many!

So, when we see–the violence that escalates in countries, nation against nation, brother against brother, parents against children and children against parents, disrespect of self and others of such magnitude that children could not possibly understand moral ethics when they do not see any–from anyone–especially those in the public arena. When we see the changes in the environment that threaten the very existence of whole communities, do we understand why or do we just continue to accept sin as a way of life and do nothing to preserve humanity?

The choice is ours–we can receive His comfort or His fury. What are we going to see?

When we see the need to honor and respect--The One who created all things and without whom, nothing was ever created, we will see His comfort–love, mercy, grace and changes in the atmosphere–peace in the land–confirming and justifying our faith in Him.