Don’t Let Him Cut You Off!

“Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22 NIV)

Like any good parent, God is more than a one-dimensional parent. He can stern, but also kind. His sternness appears when we disobedient children won’t conform to His ways. For those who are quick to obey, they receive the benefits of His kindness.

If we remember when we were kids, most of us wanted to receive the benefits from being a good kid. Kind words from parents, privileges, and even special treats–the benefits of being obedient. Few of us–if normal–ever wanted to be on the receiving end of a parent whose anger was directed at us because of disobedience. There is no pleasure in the benefits of disobedience if the result was a loss of privileges, being grounded or severely punished (not abused).

What makes us think that God does not operate in the same manner? He does. The benefits He has for us are immeasurable when we are obedient, but the punishment for disobedience, could be a little difficult to handle. But in the midst of His sternness, grace abides–providing us room to improve our attitudes and behavior, becoming obedient and being brought back into a position to receive His benefits.

However, if we continue to disobey, He will cut us off and leave us to fend for ourselves. He told the prophet Jeremiah to stop praying for people because He would not hear his prayers. I don’t know about you, but I never want to think He is not hearing my prayers because I’ve been disobedient. I do not want Him to cut me off!

Walking through this journey called life leaves us in position to make many choices. We can choose to follow the straight and narrow path and receive His guidance and benefits or we can take the broad path, depending upon the guidance and counseling of man and get cut off from God’s benefits. Which will it be for you?

Following the crowd–going along to get along will get a person cut off from receiving God’s best in their lives. Don’t let Him cut you off!

He Sees It All!

“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” (John 3:21 NIV)

What we do in the dark,

Always comes to the surface,

Whether, evil or good, truth or lie,

He sees it all!

What’s the point of doing things under the cloak of darkness? Do we not understand that not only does God see it all, but He knows our hearts, and whether our thoughts are good or evil? Is it because we think we are wiser than He?

For the Believer who knows the Truth and has been brought into the marvelous Light of Truth, we know nothing is hidden from Him. But for those who choose to not believe, they think their unbelief will shield them from God’s sight. Nothing is ever hidden from the One who created all things and without Him, nothing was ever created.God has said in His Word that He created the evil for His purposes. In this way, He has allowed us options. Choose good or choose evil. Whatever our choices are, they will the basis or foundation for the verdict we receive at the end.

I want to be found guilty! Guilty of believing everything God says; guilty of giving my heart over to Jesus; guilty of living a life that was pleasing to Him, guilty of presenting the Gospel to others at every opportunity; guilty of loving all unconditionally; guilty of standing tall and refusing to budge in agreement with His Word; guilty of proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, our Redeemer and Risen King! Guilty as charged! That is all I want Him to see!

Others who disavow His existence will hear another verdict–especially when they had opportunity to hear, but refused to accept. That is their fate because He sees it all!

No Believer can ever determine where anyone will reside for eternity–that is not our role in life. Our role is simply to tell all we meet that God is and forever will be–the only One who has established the verdicts we will–whether we walk in darkness or in the Light–He knows–He sees it all!

If anyone reading this post is yet walking in darkness, I pray they will allow the love of God to fill their hearts to overflowing and make a decision today, to walk in the Light as He is the Light!

We Have To Trust Him!

“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,” (Nahum 1:7 NIV)

How many times do we see the word “trust” as it pertains to trusting God? The word appears 134 times–either to say trust in God or not to put our trust in man or things.

For those who are apt to refute God’s goodness by pointing to all the ills of the world, I would have to ask, where those problems are--is it because of a lack of trust in God or too much trust in man? For those who have never acknowledged Him, how can He help them? For those who refuse to obey Him, how can He help them?

The reality is–God is good and for those who know Him, not just about Him, they know they can trust Him, implicitly. Does that mean that we get everything we want? Absolutely not! Sometimes, the things we want are the very things that would take our focus off Him and because He loves us, He not will give us those things.

People have been skeptical of my faith and trust in God, but when I pray, I pray for wisdom–not things. I proclaim the promises fulfilled, even though I may have to wait to see them. I thank God always for providing everything I need and the desires of my heart when I please Him. And He answers every prayer.

We have been thanking God for 1 + Million readers of my books. We believe that God will honor our request and fulfill it. When He will honor it–is on Him; we are simply confident that He will. And it is because of that confidence in Him that I keep writing. He blesses the works of our hands when what we do honors Him.

There are no magic bullets that will increase our faith, trust or confidence in His Word. That only happens within the relationship and all relationships take time to develop. If you haven’t started developing a right relationship with God, now is a good time. He’s waiting just for you because He loves you and only wants the best for you!

Our faith and trust in Him, results in seeing the blessings He pours upon us, when we least expect it. He responds to our faith, not our tears–though the tears may cleanse us when we repent–they do not move God, our faith and trust in Him–results in Him acting on our behalf.

Chicken, Hawk or Eagle!

If someone was to ascribe to you the attributes of a bird—which of these would it be?

Are you grounded, digging in the dirt for what you can find to eat, being manipulated by others to be “a tasty meal” for all to enjoy?

Are you a predator, always on the lookout for that “live one” who’ll be your next victim?

Are you flying above the fray of everyday life, looking down, seeing what’s going on, but not allowing the events to distract or deter you, knowing that sooner or later, the predators will leave behind a morsel that will meet your needs?

Think about these birds. The chicken is food for the hawk and the hawk could be food for the eagle, but the eagle—soaring in the sky—refusing to be caught up in the mundane—seeks elevation for safety, but can hone in on the details below and strike with efficiency—what is intended for them to have.

Which are you? The mediocre chicken—just waiting to be eaten; the hawk who preys upon its live victims or the eagle—who can wait for what is rightfully due them when they can see it from above?

Students Need Wisdom!

“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.” (Proverbs 2:12-15 NIV)

All too often, high performing kids in school will be led astray by other kids who are merely attending. Why? A momentary lapse of wisdom, ignited by a temporary need to fit in with others, can and will cause irreparable damage to a person’s reputation–especially when they were once viewed with great esteem.

Getting a little personal–as it pertains to my grandson–I hope to steer parents to paying attention to their kids. On Monday, my grandson was asked, “When you gonna do your 30?” The question was asked by table-mates at lunch, just before the start of his next class. Instead of going directly to class, he and others went into the boys’ locker room to do “30 seconds” of fighting–a direct violation of school policy. Both boys were suspended for 10 days.

When I was called to pick him up and he told me what happened, I was floored. My grandson had never been involved in a physical altercation and when I saw the disappointed looks on the faces of his counselor, the assistant principal, and the principal, I knew they were just as surprised as I was. A parent of another student–not involved–contacted me because they said, “he is our mild-mannered, most respectful honor student.”

Before we could get home, a six-minute ride, he was disappointed with himself and said so. He realized that he had messed up majorly. I was so quiet he asked me if I was angry and I responded that I was more disappointed than angry because of the disciplinary action permanence on his transcript. He didn’t realize the impact of his 30 second action. He does now. I had to sleep on a punishment because it needed to steer him into thinking before acting and in not allowing other people to mislead him.

He’s written an essay about the dangers of not paying attention to “time” and the fact that a person cannot get it back. He’s missing out on learning, playing in the school band, being with his “real friends” and he knows the absence could result in losing his class ranking, which up to now–was #3 with a 4.154 g.p.a.

We’ve had all “the talks” before, but he forgot what he was taught and now, he’s learned a very valuable lesson about redeeming time. 30 seconds was not worth what he’s lost, including privileges at home and an increase in responsibility with household chores–during his 10 day hiatus, which is certainly not a vacation.

We really have to know “the language” of kids to help them avoid the snares and pits the enemy plans for them.

Writing, Believing, Speaking!

“It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,” (2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV)

Sometimes, what we say we believe is not necessarily true. It doesn’t become true for us until we see it, in writing so we can analyze what we see, especially when it comes to living The Word. What we see that has been written, we believe and therefore have the courage to speak what we believe and to write even more to expound on that belief.

When we read something for the first time, we may understand the letters on the page, but do we really understand the context and inference those letters are alluding to?

Every time I read a passage of scripture, God reveals something new to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the words the first time, but the more I read, the more I believe, and the more I speak what I believe, greater revelation comes to me because I am reading even more.

The perfect example to illustrate this is when I read John 17. I had always heard, “The Lord’s Prayer” and even sang it on more than one occasion. However, when I read the entire chapter, more than once, I began to realize that what we call His prayer is not and this chapter is. What is amazing to me is that not many people reference this chapter as His prayer, they are not memorizing it, and most don’t even realize that in the 20th verse, He’s praying for those of us who were not present with Him then, but for those He knew would follow those who taught His Word. How long is going to take for others to get a “revelation” about what is truly His prayer?

I’ve written about John 17 before and how we have mistakenly, used the model prayer as a foundation for praying. Here’s the truth of the matter–if Jesus had meant for us to pray the model prayer at all times, for all things, He would have said the same prayer, when He was in garden, knowing what was about to happen to Him. Our foundation for prayer is simply this: “Whatever we ask of the Father in Jesus’ name, He will do.” We are limited to a few trite phrases, most of which have already been fulfilled, in order for God to hear us and act on our behalf.

What we read from what is written, we believe and what we believe we speak (or write) to the glory of God so others may also come into knowledge and truth about Our Risen Savior.

Keep Hope Alive!

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:25 NIV)

We do not need to have faith for what we already have and can see and since we already have it, we need not have hope for it. It is the things for which we do not yet see, but believe we have that sustains our hope and with patience, we wait until it comes to pass.

Our hope is in Jesus’ Return and in being caught up with Him to reign with Him forever. Keep that hope alive, it will occur!

Some are hoping to be cancer free. We must do all we can to live right and healthy, seeking treatment and have faith that treatments will work and with patience, we wait–keeping hope alive.

Some are hoping for financial blessings. We must hone the gifts and skills He has given us and have faith that whatever we put our hands to doing, will prosper, with patience, waiting to see it, keeping hope alive.

Some are hoping to see loved ones saved. We must live the life in front of them, igniting in them a desire to have what we have and with patience, drawing them closer to Jesus, keeping hope alive.

Some are hoping for peace in the land. We must be willing to receive the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, exercise having peace in our homes that overflows into our community and saturates our nations. And with patience, we keep hope alive, spreading the love of Jesus every where we go.

For The Word has said, “In your patience, possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19 KJV). We must have patience as we live this life, maintaining our faith in God’s Word and the hope we have in Him, to do all He said He would do.

Now, while we wait, patiently to see those things we hope for come about, we focus on doing the work He has put into our hearts and when we focus on doing what He desires us to do, He works out everything we hope for and when we least expect it–we have all we have hoped for in Him! Be patient–knowing He’s got this and keep hope in Him alive!

Rejoice Before The Lord!

“Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.” (Psalm 96:13 NIV)

If we are part of God’s creation, we should rejoice–He created us, He loves us, He willingly died for us, He rose from the grave and gave us power through Holy Spirit–Rejoice in The Lord and again I say, Rejoice for all He has done, is doing and will do!

The Lord lives and blessed are those who love Him enough to obey Him!

For our soon coming King will judge the earth and everyone in it–Believer or Unbeliever and He will judge according His righteousness, not our opinions, and our faithfulness to Him, not man’s continual revisions of what He said, trying to change God’s Word to suit their lustful desires.

Wake up and know–the end is not yet, but will be and when He returns–what will His judgment of you, be?

When we know we have done all we can to please Him, we can be like the birds to chirp in praise of Him and all other creation who raise their voices to rejoice in The Lord of our salvation, grateful for every opportunity to share His love and know of His goodness.

Rejoice for His mercy!

Rejoice for His love!

Rejoice for the grace He gives us!

Rejoice for all lessons learned from disobedience to walking in His Light!

Rejoice for another opportunity to tell someone else how good God is!

Rejoice–sing a new song that praises Him with a melody that will be a sweet, sweet sound to Him!

Rejoice–for He has given us life, love and liberty to live for Him!

How Many Times?

“Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26 NIV)

No matter how many times we commit sin, the ultimate blood sacrifice has already been made with Jesus on the cross.

Do we really understand the sacrifice He made for us–the love He has for us?

If we truly understood the role of the high priests under the law, then we would better appreciate the fulfillment of the law, with His appearance, death, burial, and resurrection.

But no one can force anyone to receive knowledge. We can speculate, refute, and ignore information, but acceptance is an individual choice and action. For those of us have received and accepted the knowledge that He has made sacrifice for our sins, we should not willing continue to sin–after all, exactly how many times, do we expect Him to sacrifice Himself for us?

Shall we expect Him to appear over and over again to be persecuted and misunderstood, lied upon, treated abominably, judged by sinners, scourged with whips designed to maim and kill, crucified, and died, buried and resurrected–over and over again–just to satisfy the skeptics and those who don’t want to live right? How many times, must we crucify Him in order for us to understood–ONCE was enough?

If we believe that ONCE was enough–then sin should no longer reign in our bodies–we have the ability to defeat the desire to sin–so why don’t we? How many times must we commit sin just to ask Him to forgive us?

When we repent of sin–turn away–run from–all the temptation to sin, we don’t actively, consciously sin any more. Perhaps, the real problems with us mere mortals is that we do not understand–repentance–if we did, we would not keep going back to the cross to gain understanding.

“Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee!” How many times do we submit? All day, every day, 24/7, 365 days of the year–that’s how many times and when we keep our bodies under the governing reign of Holy Spirit–we will not sin.

Sin is a choice like anything else we do. Now, how many times will it take for us to understand the one-time sacrifice so we would have power not to sin? How many times?

The only person who can make a decision about sin and choosing to live the life that Christ died for us to live–is us!

Drawn With Kindness!

“The LORD appeared to us in the past,saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

I will be the first to admit that sometimes, trying to expound upon God’s Word does not always seem like we’re trying to draw people with kindness. But then, I have to think about what kindness is.

Is it a kindness to let people follow a path, blindly, when we know there is danger ahead?

Is it a kindness to give people incomplete instructions and hope they’ll figure it out?

Is it a kindness to let people think there are no consequences for disobedience?

Is it a kindness to tell people they must do, “as we say” or “do?”

Is it a kindness to let people wander through life believing there is no hell?

Loving parents always have rules to protect their children and since God is our loving Father, He has rules to protect us from harm. The rules are simply this–love Him with all our heart and mind (spiritually and naturally) and to love others as ourselves.

To truly love God would mean that we understand Him, in order to understand Him, we have to know Him and in order to know Him, we have to know how He wants us to live, and in order to know how He wants us to live, we must get into His Word. That’s how we love Him with all our heart and mind.

To love others as we love ourselves, we must think about how we treat ourselves. Do we abuse and misuse us? Do we lie and steal from ourselves? Do we sabotage our own progress? Do we manipulate ourselves and cause harm to us? Now, while I know the answer to these questions is sometimes–a resounding yes, that yes for Believers should be in our Before Christ (BC) time. Now that we know better, we should be doing better. I have learned that we cannot truly love anyone else until we first love us. We cannot give what we do not have.

Now, do we have all the tools we need to draw others to Jesus Christ? We do, if we love Him and love self. When we allow Holy Spirit to lead us in all we do, He will instruct us in how to speak truth, without it being a lie, but will convict of sin and ignite desire to please God. That is being drawn with kindness!