Blessed to Bless!

“Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10:6 NIV)

The righteous–those living in right standing with God--will always have what they need–food for themselves and plenty to share with others.

The wicked–those who ignore God and His Word--are overcome with violent thinking which leads to violent behavior and will result in the death of them and others.

The righteous are not perfect, but are always trying to please God and are quick to repent when they mess up.

The wicked never acknowledge they are wrong and hate to be corrected.

The righteous are more apt to see the world differently–they see the possibilities for all to succeed in righteousness.

The wicked only see through the eyes of evil–always thinking about how they can obtain what does not belong to them.

The righteous hear God when He speaks and say what He says to all who will listen.

The wicked are carnal and only listen to the dictates of their flesh to determine what they do.

The righteous care for the poor and the needy and will defend their rights before God and man.

The wicked are only concerned about their rights and will violate the rights of others to get what they want and do what they want to do.

God sees the righteous and the wicked and when it rains–it rains on both. When tragedy overcomes the land, both feel the disastrous results. When there seems to be no way out of danger–the righteous seek God, while the wicked seek more wicked. Both have reservations for the end of the matter–at the end of life’s journey–heaven is reserved for the righteous and the lake of fire reserved for the wicked.

The righteous are blessed to be a blessing to others and the wicked–are cursed and cause others who follow them to be cursed as well. Which would you rather be–blessed to bless or caused to cursed?

To Whom We Are Accountable!

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” (Hebrews 4:14 NLT)

Accountability–something that apparently many do not understand–having to give an account or explain our actions to someone.

When employees refuse to be accountable for their laxity on a job, they are usually fired and some become belligerent and some violent. They do not want to be held accountable for their laziness or lack of productivity.

When CEOs fail to make substantial profits for an entity, they are accountable to a governing board–hopefully–and many of them like to place blame for failing profits on someone else.

When children don’t do what they are supposed to do; especially in public settings, we–the general public–hold the parents accountable for the children’s actions which may not be the case.

When those who proclaim to be Christians–believing in all that God has said–do not “do what He says,” we are accountable–not to people, but to God! We have a responsibility to do all that God says within His Word–teach what He said, preach what He said, live like He said to live and love like He said to love. And when we see others who are not living according to His Word–we have a responsibility to speak up–admonish, instruct and correct–whether people like it or not. We are not accountable “to people” but we shall be accountable “for them” when we stand before God to give account for our actions in the earth.

It is that accountability to God that fuels me to say what God says and do what God says to do. It is that accountability that leads me to boldly speak (or write) whatever He puts on my heart to say to whomever He wants me to say it. God has not given us a spirit of fear that we should quake when He tells us what to say. He has given us a spirit of power, love and a sound mind so we have the courage to do all He instructs us to do.

Whether people want to hear God’s truth or not–we tell it.

Whether people want to read God’s truth or not–we write it.

Whether people know how to receive love or not–we love them.

The “we” I reference pertains to all who proclaim to be a follower of Christ–a child of the most High God–for we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ nor do we shirk from our duties. We understand accountability and know that when we stand before Him on That Day–we will be without excuse and can blame no one for our laxity if we have not done all we could do.

We are accountable–so let no one–absolutely no one–attempt to make you feel that you should proclaim the Gospel, wherever you go, for they will not be held accountable for what we do–we will and to God only!

More Than Conquerors!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37 NKJV)

We can separate egg yolks from egg whites and both can be used separately to fulfill a purpose.

We can now separate conjoined twins and each can fulfill their purposes in life.

In life, we experience all sorts of negative events–some due what we have done–some totally out of our control, but life happens and must all deal with what we have. Through all of the tribulations–addictions, persecutions, famine, homelessness, unemployment, foolishness and wars, we still experience the love of Christ and nothing we do–can separate us or keep us from fulfilling His purposes in our lives.

We can live through the scorn and doubt flung our way from those who choose not to believe God and reach those who choose to believe.

We can live through mistakes made that have led to homelessness and abject poverty and see how God turns things around in our favor.

We can live through addictive behaviors that harm us physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and become addicted to serving The Lord and benefit all we know.

We can live through the ravages of wars, lost limbs, sight and still know and understand why we’re still here–ready with a testimony of His goodness and mercy.

Even in the midst of grieving the loss of loved ones--with Him in our lives--we overcome and use the experience to testify of His goodness and proclaim the Gospel to those who do not know Him before they reach the end of their journey. Even in death, we can know that He will be there–waiting to receive us with open arms and a loving smile–as we hear, “Well, done.”

We can live through the separation of people in our lives when they we once loved them and they decided to move on–His love sustains us through heartbreak and strengthens us to carry on.

With His love saturating our inner beings and overflowing onto everyone we meet–we are more than conquerors when we know victory is ours because nothing–ABSOLUTELY NOTHING–can separate us from the love of Christ.

Now that you know–nothing and no one will cause Him to withdraw His love–choose to live for Him so His loving you won’t have been in vain! For He has said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

 

 

They Tell Lies!

This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD.(Jeremiah 29:8,9 NLT)

Who was Jeremiah talking to then and does it apply, today?

Jeremiah, God’s chosen prophet, was talking to the children of Israel who had been taken captive by their enemies. He was warning them and encouraging them as we can see if we continue reading this chapter. If we really think about current events and all those who “falsely” prophesy anything, we can most assuredly say, what was said then, applies now.

While I know there are many people who believe in fortune-tellers, astrological charts, luck and the counterfeit prophets, I stand firmly in the wisdom of God–knowing that “luck” has nothing to do with God. We are warned to stay away from fortune-tellers because many simply manipulate others with false hope (as seen in ACTS). Those who profess to “read tea leaves” play on the vulnerabilities of those who are seeking answers, but from the wrong person. And the counterfeit prophets–there are so many out there I cannot begin to count. Wise people know better than to believe in “a horoscope” that seldom changes and is usually written by people on a whim, who have no knowledge of astrology, but consider themselves expert in reading the stars and making predictions.

Now, I will be the first to admit that when God gives people gifts (as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12), He does not take them back, even when we do foolish things with them. And some are doing foolish things with the gifts God intended to be used by the Body of Christ, for carnal profit. Even though the gift remains theirs, so too is the reward they will receive for misusing His gifts.

Those who try to make themselves something when they are not, lie! The fortune-tellers lie; the false prophets lie, the horoscopes lie, the tea-readers lie and anyone who claims “good or bad luck” lies because there is no “luck” with God. We are either blessed or cursed.

How do we recognize the liars? Easily! When we know The Word, we can spot a liar about The Word because what they say, won’t align with The Word. Now, some are clever! They will use just enough of The Word to make some believe they know what they’re talking about, but it is deception–cleverly devised to deceive and know it is from the devil--that master of deception.

Don’t believe the hype when “prophets” tell you things that God has not spoken to your heart. If you have a heart to hear God, He’ll speak to you and confirm through others who don’t even know you. Those prophets chosen by God speak truth whether it is warning or encouragement and what they say, aligns with The Word.

Don’t believe the “horoscopes” like some have and become so addicted to them, they won’t leave home without reading them. Read The Word–therein lies the truth! Horoscopes are mass-produced with slight changes–designed to convince and they are so vague and general, what is said could apply to anyone, born at any time.

Don’t believe the “tea-readers” who can fool only the foolish who believe that tea leaves forming a certain pattern in liquid means anything.

Believe The Word–because God is not a man that He should lie and since He hates liars–He will not oppose Himself who is Truth.

Got problems and need answers? Seek Him early while He may be found and know the Truth. The others–tell lies!

Who Are You Living For?

“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (2 Corinthians 5:15 NLT)

Unbelievers–who say they do not believe in God or in the resurrection of Jesus Christ–live according to the dictates of their flesh. They allow their consciences to be their guide–good or bad–doing whatever they “think” is right for them.

Believers–those who say they believe and understand how God wants us to live–should be living for Him, if they truly believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave for our benefit. If He loved us enough to die for us, surely we should love Him enough to live for Him.

What does that mean? It means that we live according to His Word–doing all things that glorify Him, rather than us.

We do not attempt to change what He has said to accommodate what we want to do nor do we attempt to manipulate His Word to justify what we do.

If we love Him, we know how to love others–unconditionally because that is how He loves us–unconditionally. Now, His unconditional love does not mean we can live any way we want to live and think there will be no consequences. Good parents love their children unconditionally, but they have rules and discipline their children to keep them safe from harm. God’s Word helps to discipline us and keep us safe from harm when we obey it. If we love Him, we’ll obey His Word. When we don’t obey His Word, we prove we don’t love Him. And if we don’t love Him, we can certainly not love one another.

Perhaps, our lack of love for Him is the reason some believers feel justified in spewing hatred for others--even though they proclaim to belong to the Kingdom. Perhaps, this is why the Kingdom of God–on earth–is so divided in its loyalties–we only love “some” believers and not others because of their political affiliations or lack of such. How sad!

I’m so glad that Jesus never considered any possible political affiliation that I might find myself involved with when He chose to hang on that cross. I’m so glad that He never once undervalued me as a human being because of my gender or ethnicity. I’m so glad that even though I was not even thought of by my parents or any of my ancestors, He loved me enough to pray for me in the garden, just before His arrest. I am so thankful for His love and His inspiration in my life to do all things to His glory that I live to please Him and not me. And because of my imperfections and often missing what He says, He still loves me enough to help me get back on track with His plans and not my own. Hallelujah!

What’s love got to do with it? Absolutely everything because He is Love and Love conquers all that would keep us from living our best life in Him, right now!

Think about where you are in the life you chose to live. Who are you living for and is it working for you?

 

Mature Agreement!

“Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you.” (Philippians 3:15 NLT)

In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, Paul implores the people to think about the things he was sharing with them and understanding that some would not agree, encouraged them to see God in the areas in which they would disagree. He understood that those who were spiritually mature–already saturated with Holy Spirit understanding would immediately recognize what He was saying–aligned with God’s Plan.

With all of the interpretations and translations of the Bible and denominational doctrines that man is creating, who can be classified as the “spiritually mature”? Do we handle disagreement by allowing Holy Spirit to lead us or do we simply disconnect with other Believers and create yet another doctrine and then attempt to make people believe we’re the only ones who are right?

Like Paul, I cannot claim to have achieved all wisdom pertaining to God or perfection, but I do seek Him daily for understanding of His Word and for direction of my life here on earth. If I am not willing to live according to His Plan, then my living is in vain and will not accomplish all that He has planned for me, right now–to benefit others in bringing them into better understanding of who He is.

No, I’m not perfect–I manage to screw something up at least once a day and when I do–I’m quick to own it and go back to Him when I know I did not hear Him clearly. When people disagree with me or I disagree with them, I research an issue–whatever it is and then “send the link to them” to support my position or theirs. When I’m wrong–I’m wrong. When they’re wrong–it’s really no big deal. This is how we handle disagreement as spiritually mature believers. And if we cannot find the information needed, we simply agree to disagree. No need to disconnect the relationship because of disagreement.

But there are those who Paul describes in the next few verses and I’m sure we’ve all met some of them. The people who whose “conduct” demonstrates their lack of understanding and because of their lack of understanding, their fleshly desires have become their god and they do whatever they want to do and then attempt to get those who know to do the right to convert to doing their “right thing” still claiming to be a follower of Christ. Paul says they are headed for destruction. Do we see people–proclaiming to be followers of Christ–headed for destruction today?

Whether we believe all that is said in the Bible really does not matter in the end. His Word is true in spite of our belief or unbelief and He does not need our approval or permission to accomplish all He has planned. Those who have been faithful to God’s Word shall reap their reward and those who have not–will reap their reward. We cannot make people believe what God has said nor can we make them live according to His Word. We can–live our lives according to God’s Word in front of them–demonstrating His love and mercy towards all. After that–what they choose to believe will determine their fate, not ours.

Now would be a good time for a bit of deep introspection–one of those moments when we should examine ourselves rather than inspecting others. Are we spiritually mature or are we still infants–throwing tantrums when others do not agree with us?

Lord, help us to see us as we truly are and if there is anything in us that is not of You, remove it and replace with wisdom and understanding and greater love for all humanity.

Run and Tell That!

“For if you return to the LORD, your relatives and your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be able to return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.” (2 Chronicles 30:9 NLT)

When King Hezekiah sent runners throughout the nation, urging the people to return to God and His ways, many ignored the runners and the admonition the letters contained. They laughed and made fun of them, but there were some who listened and obeyed. And God, turned the hearts of the tribe of Judah to one heart, in obedience, and blessed them for their obedience.

We may not have “literal runners” who are running through the land with a cry of “return to The Lord,” but we do have many people who are using whatever access they have to people to encourage all to “return” to The Lord. Our fingers are running through keyboards typing messages of encouragement and repentance. Our satellites are transmitting messages of hope and encouragement via televisions, Internet, and still–radios. So, in a sense, we have runners who are still urging people to turn to God. And the message–is pretty much the same–if you return to The Lord and His Ways, your children will be treated mercifully…”

When I wrote my blog yesterday about “Cursed Children” I was remembering all those things that I was taught as a child: how to clean house, make a bed, respect elders, say grace over food, say prayers at night, work to do good in school, knowing right from wrong, never lie or steal, and most of all to remember there is God–who sees everything and knows everything we do and will reveal it to others. This is what I was taught and the lessons were deeply embedded, thoroughly entrenched in my mind and soul to the point that these are the same things I taught my children. I pray they will teach them to their children.

If the time comes–that I can no longer be a runner for The Lord–I want my grandchildren to pick up the baton and run on–urging all they meet to return to The Lord and be blessed.

Simply put–if we don’t return to The Lord and His Ways (not our own), we will remain captive to the dictates of our flesh and soon see the results of that captivity that may even result in captivity by enemies of God. Nothing is out of the realm of possibility. If we refuse to acknowledge God, why should He acknowledge us when we are assailed from every side by those who hate Him and then–some of us–laugh and make fun of those who were runners–trying to tell us the truth?

I’m sure there are a number of people who are laughing and making fun of my blog-posts daily. I’m sure they share the laughter with those who are like-minded. But I am equally sure that there are some who will read and heed what is being said and encourage others to return to The Lord before it’s too late.

If you must laugh at what I do–laugh–full belly-laughs with tears running down your face and your body shaking so hard you can barely stand. The more you laugh at what I say, the more The Lord will bless what I do–because it is all about Him, not me! He knows those who are His and He also knows those who are counterfeit believers–pretending to know Him, but really do not have a clue. If they did know Him, they would not promote hatred of others–for any reason.They will receive the reward for their actions and it will not be a place reserved for them in heaven, unless they “return to The Lord” completely and allow Him to govern their lives and especially their tongues and fingers.

Now, Run and Tell That!

Cursed Children!

For the LORD loves justice,
and he will never abandon the godly.
He will keep them safe forever,
but the children of the wicked will die.(Psalm 37:28 NLT)

We know what happens to us when we do wrong things, but have we ever considered the position in which we place our children–those we say we love?

Most children emulate their parents–good or bad–and when they see and hear what we say and do and do the same things, we set them up for disaster. How many times do we need to see parents on television bemoaning the loss of a child who was killed in the midst of a home invasion? How many times do we need to raise money to bury those children who have died at the hands of those who had no respect for life? How many times have we heard about wayward teens assaulting senior citizens and women–robbing them because their parents would not give into their demands for “things?” When are we going to get tired enough to stop the madness–by paying more attention to what we do and what our children see?

I’ve known about parents who taught their children to steal and lie and then wonder why their children ended up in jail or a morgue before they reached the age of 21.

I’ve known about parents who abused and misused their children and then see surprised when they discover that their children are child-molesters or sexual predators.

I’ve known about parents who had no conscience at all about how they treat other people–committing assaults and murder for no reason other than the person they assaulted or murdered was there. Some entire families are so twisted they feel they have right to batter others–just because. Now, what do they think their children are going to do?

While it is true that some children–manage to escape their curse–the legacy of their parents–far too many fall prey to the dictates of habit and family traditions that are totally lawless.

From The Word–we understand that we “the wrong doers” actually curse our children and their children–sometimes until the fourth generation–the time it takes for some to start thinking about how to break the curse and have better lives.

For those who are committing atrocities–whatever they are–especially those who are killing the innocent–simply because they can–those have started the clock that measures the time of the curse on the their children. To take this a step further, those who are violating life right now are part of the curse of their parents and are too foolish to realize it. At some point in time–someone has to wake up and see–how generations have been doomed because of traditions that have no bearing on reality. These traditional beliefs and habits lead to the devastation of families and entire nations because “some” refuse to think beyond what they think they know.

If a “practiced tradition” ignores the rights of others and violates human life–it is a tradition that has led to cursed children for generations and needs to cease from existence. It is time to teach love–not hate; acceptance–not rejection, and respect–not disrespect of people or authority.

When, O Lord, are we going to seek You in all that we do and understand that because You are Love–there is no hatred in You and You are not the promoter of hate in any manner? Help us, O Lord, to hear You when You speak and then learn to obey what You say, knowing that taking a life is not of You. Have mercy on us O Lord, who have to bear the burden of those who have sinned before we appeared and teach us how to live and not curse our children because of our behavior.

The Plan!

“And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” (Ephesians 1:10-14 NLT)

Everyone makes plans if they are going to succeed. Someone once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” That makes sense to me. No one has really experienced success at doing anything without a plan.

Athletic coaches have a plan to win–sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but when it doesn’t, they revise/modify the plans until they do work.

Inventors have a plan–a plan that sometimes has to be modified to be successful.

Good parents, sometimes, have plans for their children, but they don’t always work because children grow up and exercise their ability to decide for themselves.

Without a plan, people have difficulty not running around in circles–constantly moving and getting nowhere or being stuck in a rut.

And this is what happens to us. God has a plan for our lives–plans for us to have abundant lives, joy, and happiness and to prosper as our souls prosper, but we think we know better than Him and make our own decisions without consulting Him and the Plan has to be modified until He can get us to see His plan is better. So, He waits for us and sometimes we see His plan coming together in our lives (when we obey) and sometimes we don’t (when we refuse to accept His plan).

What is His plan? Salvation–atonement for all mankind for the sins we are capable of committing–Jesus made the sacrifice for all so we wouldn’t have to do it. What a marvelous plan He has for our lives–Jews and Gentiles and anyone else who is willing to accept His plan through His Son.

I’ve lived enough of my life without His plan operating in my life to know that I prefer His Plan! His plan has been thoroughly detailed and He has forgotten absolutely nothing. The modification needed–is a change in my desire to see His plan work as He planned it, not me. Glory to God! Better seeing it late than not at all.

While I understand the tendency of people to blame God for all the bad stuff that happens in their lives, I always raise the question–what could I have done differently or how did I miss what You said? I’m not blaming Him for my missteps in life. Those were my decisions and I have to accept responsibility for them. Had I known earlier in my life that His plan was so much better; I would have listened–sooner.

For those who refuse to believe He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do–for all who believe–I’m praying that you, too will learn to listen and accept what He has in store for you because His plan–is better than any plan you could ever have.

 

Follow The Good!

“Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.” (3 John 1:11 NLT)

As I was re-reading this passage of scripture this morning, what John was saying to the church in his letter reminded me that we are indeed “without excuse” when it comes to knowing how we should live.

The bad example John references is the “church leader” who throws people out of the church when people don’t do what he says, rather than what is good. John was encouraging people to help support “the traveling teachers” (evangelists), Diotrephes was opposed to welcoming or supporting those traveling to teach The Word and told people not to help, and when they did help, he threw them out of the church. Considering this church was probably meeting in his home–he felt he had every right to control what occurs in his home.

Are there any church leaders who are doing the same thing today? There are some who are so puffed up with their own importance and what they have to say, that if a person doesn’t support what they want, they invite them to leave the church! I have been in churches where the leaders were dictators and felt they had a right to be so since it was their “father or mother” who had founded the church. What they failed to realize is that a relative may have established a ministry in a local building, but that does not give them the right to dictate to people who do not support their “self-righteousness”.

In one church in particular, I got tired of the attitude and left. When a person can “see” that God is not in charge of the situation, the only recourse one has to stay in right relationship with God is to just leave–the madness–not God.

That’s the other thing that baffles me. When people do leave a church because they do not see God’s hand in anything that’s taking place, why do people assume that person is “leaving God” and not just a building?

It is amazing to me that some get so caught up in themselves that they do not even recognize when they have taken charge in a church and left God completely out of the situation. Oh, they “posture” at teaching, using The Word, but then they negate The Word with their own sense of righteousness and setting standards for others according to what they do–not what The Word says. God is not mocked–He sees it all and understands the motives in the person’s heart–and only that person is deceived–by their self-righteousness.

This is why John was writing this letter–to encourage people to follow the “good examples” and influence of those who are not only teaching God’s truth, but living God’s truth for all to see.

I am a passionate advocate for those who have want to follow truth and have been deceived by people. And my advice is similar to John’s. If there is no indication of a person or church leaders doing things according to God’s Truth–RUN and don’t look back! When we know what God has said, we are held accountable for what we do–on all levels and what we say.

Don’t be fooled or cajoled into following peopleFOLLOW THOSE WHO FOLLOW CHRIST IN WORD AND DEED–ALWAYS DOING GOOD FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS!