The Lord Is!

The Lord is my my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for name’s sake.(Psalm 23:1-3 NIV)

A familiar passage of scripture reference should always be re-viewed for fresh introspection and although what I am inspired to say today may not be fresh for some, it will encourage others. We have no need to fear what the enemy might do when we know–The Lord is–everything we need.

Since David was a shepherd caring for his father’s sheep, he knew exactly what a shepherd’s role was–as a caretaker for the flock which would later provide for the family.

So what does a shepherd do? The shepherd’s role is to make sure the sheep–all of the flock–are kept safe from harm, led to good grazing areas and by water. The shepherd makes sure that the sheep lack for nothing and when some stray or fall off cliffs, the shepherd is there to lead them back to safety or to rescue them, making sure they get back in the sheepfold unharmed.

Considering the fact that most leaders in the churches are supposed to model the role of a shepherd, are they doing so? Are church leaders feeding the sheep or fleecing the sheep? Are they concerned with the welfare of the sheep or do they only care about their own well-being? Are they guiding the sheep along right paths–The Word of God–or are they pimping The Word, selectively, to make the sheep think they are more than they are and emptying the pockets and bank accounts of the masses?

If we truly understand the picture that David paints for us of the role of a shepherd, we’d have to admit that many of our church leaders are not good shepherds–with a heart to please God. And this is why so many congregants are mislead, misused and abused by those in leadership for their hearts are far from God and when they distort The Word of God for personal gain–the enemy gets a foothold in the heart of the building which influences the sheep and they are lost.

But if The Lord is–our Great Shepherd–we are confident that all of our needs are met in Him. We know that He will never lead us astray, but will always lead us to rich pastures (or passages in The Word) so we’ll be well fed and have our thirst quenched by The Word. When The Lord is our Shepherd, we can sleep at night without worry about tomorrow because we know that angels are guarding us throughout the night and we have nothing to fear. When The Lord is our Shepherd–He speaks those things to us that the Father says and we develop a desire to please the Father–knowing how He wants us to live, thrive and survive the attacks of the enemy.

The Lord is–our healer, our comforter, our provider, our counselor, our teacher, our guide through all the muck we face in life and when we hear and obey–we are victorious and nothing the enemy does, no weapon tossed our way, will have any effect on our lives or our desire to please God. The Lord is everything we will ever need and He will lead us to those He has anointed and appointed to lead His sheep–in all truth, according to The Word.

We need to know The Word for ourselves so when we hear someone say something that is not The Word, we’ll know it and not be led astray, opening the door for the enemy to step in and destroy our lives. Know The Word–Know The Lord. If we don’t know The Word, any fool can lead us astray when they make sounds like they know The Word, when they don’t even know The Lord. Be wise, knowledgeable and realize that wolves (in shepherd’s clothing) disguise themselves with just enough Word to get close enough to devour. If they are not saying what The Lord says and reminding people who The Lord is–run and don’t look back!

Have You Tasted Him?

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (Psalm 34:8 NKJV)

When I cook, unlike many other cooks, I don’t always taste the food I’m cooking, while it’s still cooking. I don’t have a “big spoon” to dish out samples to determine if the seasoning is right. I’ve been cooking long enough to know when the seasoning is just about right. And since I don’t use a great deal of salt or other “spicy” seasonings, anyone who wants to add some after their plate is prepared is welcome to do so. And inevitably, someone either adds salt or pepper to the food on their plates.

The amazing thing to me is watching people who add salt and pepper or hot sauce or ketchup to food without tasting the food, first! How on earth do they determine what’s needed to make the food more flavorable or palatable to their taste buds, if they don’t taste it first?

Now, I also realize that we cannot judge how food tastes by looking at it. Everything that looks good does not taste good. I know this from experience. But then if we’re going to judge a matter–rightly, we have to taste it before we commend or condemn it. I once thought a cake was going to be absolutely scrumptious–based on how it looked, bought a piece and gagged--trying to get it out of my mouth. And then, there are some dishes that didn’t look very appealing, but tasted like a bit of heaven and had me drooling for more.

We cannot always rightly judge how anything tastes or how good a person is by looking at appearances. I’ve known some suited-up folks who looked professional and smiled at all the right times, but they were the devil’s own and I’ve known some folks who only wore sweatshirts and jeans who were so kind and generous, they were absolutely unforgettable. Sometimes our eyes deceive us and we must take a closer look or experience a matter for ourselves before we judge it.

This is why it is so important for those who have experienced God’s goodness to have a testimony and can encourage others to “taste and see” how good He is. “He’s Sweet I Know” is a song, but it tells the whole story–sweeter than the honey in a honeycomb–that’s how good our God is. No matter what our circumstances have been or may be, when we look to Him for the solutions to our problems, He never forsakes us or leaves us with no direction.

We have to trust Him and the only way most of us will ever trust Him is by trying Him–tasting His goodness for ourselves, but we need a witness to encourage us to “taste and see” so they’ll know for themselves.

Let’s get out and encourage others who have been discouraged by the events of life to taste Jesus for themselves and know He is good and we can put our total trust in Him. He is not a man that He should lie nor will He change His mind about who He is in our lives; He is worthy of our trust, love, and obedience to His Word.

O Taste and See just how good He is!

Don’t Turn Back, Stand Firm!

Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ ” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. (Judges 7:3,4,21 NIV)

Sometimes, when we look at things with our physical eyes, we lose heart at the magnitude of the challenges that face up, but when we hear from God and obey, we can rest assured that when we follow His lead, all will be victorious.

I’m sure that Gideon had his doubts about a victory when God cut his army down from twenty-thousand to three hundred men, but God knew what needed to be done, whether Gideon understood it or not.

When we are faced with obstacles and challenges that appear to be too much for us, we must remember that with God going before us, He is more than the world against us. Instead of backing up or backing away from challenges, we must learn to stand firm, holding our positions, and waiting for The Lord to show up and show out!

This lesson is especially important for all who are trying to determine how they move forward with a diminished capacity of people or resources. We pray! We talk to God and then we listen and obey. We boldly hold our ground, feet firmly entrenched and faith immovable–and watch our enemies–flee or our obstacles move out of our way. This is the victory we have in Jesus–knowing our faith in Him cannot be deterred by anything the enemy puts in our way.

Sometimes, we have to close our physical eyes and ears (since the enemy wants us to be fearful of the things we hear) and open our hearts to see spiritually–no weapon formed against us shall prosper and we are victorious in all things with Jesus on our side–when we hear and obey.

Now is the time for every Born-Again Believer to stand firm–immovable, not turning back or away from the challenges that face or the situations that try our faith. Our faith–even if only as large as a mustard seed–is enough to keep the enemy on the run when we stand firm, refusing to back up or back away from promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We know not the hour or the day of His Return, but we do know that He’s coming and until He does, we are the spiritual army that must be as dedicated as Gideon as his three hundred–determined to know no fear and will stand firm on God’s Word and all He desires us to do. It is not in the greatness of numbers that God works miracles; it is in the faith of the few that miracles occur.

Have faith in God (not people for they will let you down) and know that God has our backs and we can continue our forward march to victory in Jesus’ name. We cannot turn back–we must hold our ground and see the glory of the Lord–declare His victory in all we do that honors Him.

Felix, Festus and Favor!

As Paul talked to them about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you,” At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked to him. When two years had pass, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.(Acts 24:24-27 NIV)

In re-reading Acts, I find myself fascinated by those who were supposed to be leaders but were actually scoundrels, motivated by greed and the power of their position.

Paul was sought by those who preferred the law over grace–to kill him, just because of his faith in the Lord Jesus–a crime against men who wanted to control what everyone believed and did. This desire to control overs has caused problems for millions of people and is yet causing problems for people. We saw it with all the dictators in the land, and we see it again from those who profess to do God’s Will, but have not demonstrated they even know God.

Our modern day Felixes, and Festuses come in the form of justices who sit on the Supreme Court and politicians and others in positions of authority, seeking bribes and favors–turning the Word of God into a joke and encouraging people to live in opposition to God says in favor of what they say.

Paul was left imprisoned for over two years at the whim of a man who thought that eventually Paul would offer him a bribe for his freedom, and when he didn’t–another took his place and to incur favor with the Jews, left him imprisoned. When Paul appealed to be heard by Caesar, it would appear that Festus was incensed by Paul thinking him incapable of rendering a just judgment when no crime had been committed and none proven. Paul was right and Festus was left looking foolish before the Jews.

Today, how many people are being wrongly accused of crimes that no one can prove, but are remanded in custody by egotistical maniacs who abuse their position and power?

Paul’s crime–belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and promoting the Gospel to the Gentiles. Jesus’ crime–declaring to be the Son of God, healing the sick and exposing the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders. The penalty for their crimes was death, but the glory of The Lord put them into a position of righteousness that neither will ever be forgotten–Jesus because He is our Risen Savior and Paul because he refused to take the easy way and withstood the persecution after his conversion.

Are we willing to stand firm in our belief and confession that Jesus is Lord? Are we promoting the Gospel no matter what happens? Are we baffled and confused when the naysayers and doubters attack what we say or write in cyberspace and become discouraged? I would hope that none of these things shall move us from fulfilling the call of God in our lives! Whether we speak the Truth in public places or write it in public forums, we have no need to fear for our God–is victorious in all things and because we belong to Him; there is no Felix or Festus who can ever deter us and what we do, is not to gain the favor of men, but because God grants us favor with men.

We are not needed to give our lives in shedding blood for our bloodshed can save no one, but we can live our lives in such a way that all who see and watch us will know, our lives belong to Jesus and we will not turn back to be controlled by the dictates of mere mortals–no matter what their position is.

What is Holy Spirit Warning Us About Today?

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 20:22-24 NIV)

I must admit, composing a title for my commentary today was a bit of a challenge since a number of themes jumped out at me from these three verses. And before I finish, it’s possible that Holy Spirit will have me touch on all I saw. I submit to His leading.

First of all, we see Paul acknowledging the forewarning of danger through Holy Spirit. In the days of the prophets (those messengers of God to whom God spoke directly before the arrival of Holy Spirit). They were also warned of impending danger and spoke to the people–some of whom heard and obeyed and others who did not. In fact, there were many who took upon themselves to be prophets and did as they were bidden to do by those in charge. These were the false prophets and unfortunately, we have many among us today–those who prophesy lies according to the dictates  of their flesh or the amount of money someone offers them.

But for those who are actually allowing Holy Spirit to lead and guide them in all things, Holy Spirit has been warning of impending dangers and once again–not many are listening and many more are choosing to ignore. When Holy Spirit spirit speaks, people should respect His voice more than E. F. Hutton and listen–closely and obey. He will never lead us astray, but there have been some who listened to E. F. Hutton and we hear from him, no more. I wonder why.

Then, we have those who claim that Holy Spirit speaks to them and we know by what they say and do, they lie. Holy Spirit will never speak on His own, but only those things given to Him and all that He says, will align with The Word. This doesn’t mean that He’ll speak to us in the King’s English–that would be ludicrous unless we lived in England. No, Holy Spirit will speak to us in a language we understand and speak so that no confusion will exist. And though what He speaks may not be The Word–verbatim, the intent and principles will never change. Depending on where we are in our relationship with God, He may have to “paraphrase” The Word in order for us to understand it. In other words, He’ll break it down to the lowest common denominator so we cannot say, we did not understand.

Considering the importance of Holy Spirit’s role in the lives of Believers, I don’t understand why there aren’t more people saved and filled with His Spirit, living in right relationship with God. I can only surmise that the ridicule that accompanies anyone proclaiming God speaks to them, is justification for many to either ignore His warnings or they choose to keep silent. Neither is a good idea since we are all called to be “watchmen” and it is the responsibility of the watchmen to warn the people of impending danger. It is the responsibility of the people to act on the warning and when they don’t, whatever happens is on them, not those who were courageous enough to warn.

Knowing what lay ahead of him, Paul chose to keep going–to keep testifying of God’s grace–in order to fulfill the calling on his life. Do we have the same boldness to keep going–knowing that ridicule and persecution lie ahead of us? Knowing that not all will receive what we have to say? Knowing that every time we write a blog or respond to an article containing controversial content, we will be attacked by those influenced by the enemy? Knowing that the enemy seeks to engage us in meaningless conversation to keep us distracted from our mission? Are we bold enough to continue the race set before us and testify of God’s goodness in spite of the naysayers and the doubters?

If our answer to any of the questions is “yes” then we have a testimony about how God changed us and put us back on the path He had established for us. Let’s share the testimony with all who will hear and watch as we see The Word come alive for we are told, “we have overcome (the enemy’s ploys to destroy us) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.”

Whatever our testimony is–the change from what we were doing in opposition to God’s Word to living according to His Word– it is what people need to hear. We have the power within to know who needs our testimony in order for them to be overcomers and if we listen to Holy Spirit, He will indeed direct our footsteps, and govern our tongues so souls will come to Christ!

And When They Heard!

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the apostles, “Brothers, what must we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for  all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them. “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:37-41NIV)

What did people hear that convinced them they needed a Savior? They were reminded of God’s message through the prophets, what David had said in his psalms, and Peter shared his experience walking with Jesus and how and why He was crucified. We are told that “their hearts were cut” meaning they were convicted–by the words preached to them–to change their ways.

What were the other words said to them? We are not told, but I am convinced whatever they were, the people were able to understand with clarity what was said and there were convinced and accepted the message. In the KJV, the 41st verse reads, “they gladly accepted…”

My question for the day is, how do people gladly accept a message from a preacher who does nothing but make noise? It is not the noise that makes people glad–or it shouldn’t be–but the words of the message based upon the Word of God!

One of the reasons the “church” is in such sad shape is because people who attend the buildings are more interested in “making noise” and “having church” than in hearing someone capable of expounding the Word of God and making it relevant to our everyday lives. Yes, I’m talking about the “whoopers” and the “grunters” and the “screechers” and the music that is so loud no one can hear the message. None of the noise leads anyone to salvation; it merely serves to stir up emotions in people and get them so riled up they don’t even realize they have not heard “The Word” because those who employ the “noise” method of preaching, usually don’t know enough Word to teach God’s people how to live. And this is how Satan has deceived the body of Christ–by “making some noise” that has no relevance to salvation.

It is The Word of God, preached and taught by those who have been called by God to do so–rightly divided and broken down to the lowest common denominator that people need to hear in order to make a decision to be saved and lived saved. When all people hear from someone who is supposed to be teaching them is noise or the repetitive use of song lyrics, see theatrics presented by the preacher in the form of jumping around, acting like they’re having seizures, and moaning and groaning in a microphone–so loud the noise creates headaches–they don’t respond to an invitation to be saved or to join the church.

When are we going to figure this out? When the last doors of all church buildings are closed? People don’t need “noise” to be keep them in right relationship with God, they need The Word. We also do not need “cheerleaders” in the pulpit trying to “pump us up” to praise God. Every born-again Believer who knows how God operates, knows and understands His Word, praises God without encouragement, but that praise may not take the form of the shouting, running, and whooping that some are trying to ignite. Every day, I wake with a praise on my lips and thanksgiving in my heart because I didn’t have to wake up.

Perhaps, the larger problem in many churches today is that the leadership doesn’t understand the difference between praising God and worshiping God–especially in a building–designated the church. I do not attend buildings to “have church” by making noise; I attend to hear an encouraging Word from the Word and when I hear The Word, my heart is stirred–the noise only aggravates me.

When people hear the pure Word–no sugar-coating added or other synthetic sweeteners used–hearts are changed and souls are added to the Body of Christ--not just the membership of a local church. We should be more concerned about being “The Church” than in “having church” every time we enter the building.

The Desire To Control!

“Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the Gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for He purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No, We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:1,5, 7-11)

The tendency within mankind’s heart to control others has always been prevalent, but even more so in those who claim to know Jesus. This is one of the reasons why Believers–those who believe the work on the Cross and the Divinity of Jesus Christ–must know for themselves the plan of God for all men and women.

When we are in relationship with God and know and understand His Word–we won’t allow anyone to hogtie us to traditions and rituals that by themselves mean absolutely nothing. That is not to say that all traditions and rituals are worthless, but we must check our motivation for doing certain things, especially if we think they have any power to save us. We are saved by grace and that by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing we do–no observance of ritual or tradition–can save us–other than believing that Jesus rose from the dead, after being made the sacrifice for the atonement of sin. We repent of our sins–turn away from them and allowing them to control us–and allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. He does not “take control” of us; we must give Him control and when we do, we will see the blessings of God in our lives.

Notice how we are told that “certain people” started a campaign to control others and then how the Pharisees (those supposedly now Believers) also wanted to control the new converts. We are not told who the certain people were, but we can guess these were the “religious” sect that converted, but wanted to hold onto to the Law–not fully understanding “grace” because their hearts did not fully belong to God.

Peter reminds them–“God knows their hearts” referencing the Gentiles and He had no thought to keep them in bondage to a law that Jews could not and had not kept. Funny, how no one likes to be reminded of their shortcomings and they all became silent. This reminded me of those who wanted to stone the woman supposedly caught in the “act of adultery” but no man was brought to judgment with her. After Jesus reminded them that all had sinned, they dropped their rocks and left–not one stone being hurled at the woman.

But perhaps a more important lesson gleaned from this chapter of Acts is the fact that the Believers met to discuss what was going on and decided upon a course of action. No one person made a determination as to how they should proceed, but the group as a whole made the decision. “Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (call Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the Believers.” (Acts 15:22 NIV)

Are we choosing men and women who are leaders among us or are we simply allowing one or two people to control the masses and making messes of what should be an environment conducive to all to learn how to live, pleasing God, not man? Do we pray and ask God’s directions for all we do in the church or do we allow others to control what we do? Do we seek God’s directions to make decisions in our homes and everywhere else?

We ought to always pray and seek God’s directions in order to stay on the path He desires us to travel and never allow any one person–to control what we do. For when that happens, they become dictators and we become puppets–dancing to their dictates, instead of living our best lives–guided by Holy Spirit.

Let those with their religious spirits control themselves before trying to control others. Allow Holy Spirit to guide all matters and know that we cannot err when we do.

Once Jews–Converted Christians!

“The Apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the Word of God. Now those who had been scattered in the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the Word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to The Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (Acts 11:1, 19-21, 25, 26 NIV)

Let me say at the outset of this post that I know and understand that Christianity–a label for those who followed Christ then began with the conversion of Jews. This post takes nothing from the fact the Jews were and are God’s chosen people and the rest of us who choose to Believe–the work on the Cross, the resurrection, and Divinity of Jesus are adopted into the family as an act of faith.

That being said, if we pay attention to the verses before the 26th verse–where people called those Jews who followed the teachings of Jesus–Christians, we will see that at first–they were simply–Believers–those who believed those who had walked with Jesus and in His purpose for coming down to earth.

Generally, what happens when we allow others to decide a label for us–we err in the teaching of truth. As with the label–Christian–we have come so far from the truth in teaching God’s Word and His love that we have become an object of ridicule. One of the reasons we are ridiculed for our faith is the fact that there are too many divisions–too many denominations and sects–all promoting their own version of truth and veered so far off the mark that many are considered cults.

I recently read a blog, by Fred, who thought he was a Christian because he became involved with the Seventh Day Adventist, and because he was disillusioned by what occurred within the religious group, he has since converted to becoming a Jew, apparently not understanding that all original Christians were converted Jews.

We are not Christians because of the church we join or hold special religious beliefs. We are Believers because we Believe The Word of God and that includes following the teachings of Jesus. No matter how carefully one inspects The Word–no denominations will be found. Man–in his desire to control others–created denominations based upon micro-selection of Scriptures. In every religious group–their foundation is based upon one or two verses of Scripture because they did not understand how all the scriptures align and none to be ignored. And in some cases, the religious group is named after the person who chose to remove themselves from the fray of religiosity–only to perpetuate more.

This is how we come to have the Baptists–who misunderstood John’s role–and his role was not his title. The Church of God–so named because someone misunderstood what Paul was saying in Acts 20 and in his letters to the church at Corinth. The Church of God in Christ–so named because someone had the bright idea to make a distinction to who they were by separating from The Church of God, but adding “in Christ” to the banner. Jehovah Witnesses–so named because they misunderstood that everyone who promoted the Gospel of Jesus Christ is His witness and the founders chose to re-write the bible to suit their purposes. This is important since they originally denied the divinity of Jesus and have for years, denied the virgin birth and so many other truths. The Methodists–so named after a person because of the method or strategy used to promote religion. The Lutherans–so named after Martin Luther–promoting a doctrine with some basis of truth, but not totally. And of course–The Catholic Church–who claims that Peter is their foundation, but deny priests to be married when Peter was married–all in an attempt to control others. And of course we cannot deny the horrors inflicted upon millions because they misunderstood The Word and warned others not to try to read it because it would confuse them. Religious persecution (forced conversions and beheading) did not begin with those in this century who are misguided, but with those who thought they were better than everyone else and chose to force their beliefs on others and killed any who resisted. 

There are so many other groups that it would take a book to discuss them at length and to point out how they have erred in their foundational beliefs. The truth is very simply this–for most Believers–we Believe The Word of God. We believe that mankind was so far from fulfilling God’s purpose for us, that He decided to come down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to demonstrate His love for us. He chose to be crucified, died, and rose again–redeeming us–giving us a chance to live with Him for all eternity, forgiving our sins and providing us with His presence at all times in the person of Holy Spirit. The inspired word of God, rightly interpreted and promoted by those in relationship with Him, is what Believers believe. Anything other than this is spawned by religious spirits that bear no truth and have no relationship with God.

I am yet a Believer with no religious hangups and my desire is to please God only. My choice–is made with information and relationship, and not coercion as some would have others think.

Our Declaration Causes Him to Forget!

“No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34 NIV)

What a wonderful day it will be when all the people of the Land–all over the world–stand up and declare, “I know The Lord.” Even though many of us teach that God will remember our sins, no more, we often forget the qualifier–when all know Him.

Having a knowledge of someone or something does mean we “know” for what we have is surface knowledge. It is the surface knowledge–without any depth–that most can claim to know about God, for those who even acknowledge He exists. For those who claim He doesn’t exist, it is because they choose to ignore Him and want to control their lives–doing whatever they want to do–having no accountability to anyone but themselves (just as Satan does).

While writing this, I remembered an exchange on an online news article with someone–a young lady I believe who wanted to dispute the veracity of God’s Word regarding homosexuality. Her comeback to encouragement to read The Word for herself was, “God wrote the Ten Commandments, but men wrote the Bible.” Her limited, surface knowledge of God did not give her any insight as to “men writing what God inspired them to write.” including the Ten Commandments. These are the people who “know of God,” but don’t know Him. 

It should not amaze anyone that those who refuse to obey will ultimately make excuses, live in denial, and re-write a bible–eliminating references to sin, hell and anything else they choose to ignore, including changing the gender of God, without justification or understanding any of history. Jesus called Him, Father (as translated into English). Any word–in any language–used to indicate “father” means a male. Therefore, simply re-writing anything pertaining to God’s Word–does not change His intent for human beings or what He said. It is only those who are intimidated by The Word that desire to change it,anyway.

But those who know God, accept His Word and understand His intent–not because of what is written on a page in a book, but because they have developed a relationship with Him and communicate with Him on a regular basis. And I don’t mean ritualistic prayer where “words are merely repeated” but have not the power to transcend the heavens. Merely repeating words is not communication and if we understand that communication requires interaction between two people, we would know that not only do we talk to God in prayer, we listen to what He has to say.

Think about it this way.  If we’re communicating with a spouse and all they heard was the same thing and they never responded, the marriage wouldn’t last long. If children keep repeating the same request of parents and parents never respond, frustration and rebellion ensues. There can be no communication without a response or interaction between the two parties. Prayer is communication with God; therefore, we must actively listen to what He has to say to us before we continue to badger Him with redundant nothingness. When we hear and obey, He knows, we know Him and when He knows we know Him, He forgives our sins and remembers them no more.

Do we know Him or do we just know about Him? Soon and very soon, we must all give an account for what we do and say, and right now, I’m declaring, “I know The Lord!”

Blessed Are We!

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one shoe sin the Lord will never count against them.” (Romans 4:7,8 NIV)

Blessed are we

Who understand the Work on The Cross,

Not the wearing of a symbol, but the end result.

Blessed are we

Who escaped receiving the wages of sin,

Death–spiritually and physically,

When we received Christ Jesus

As our Personal Savior.

Blessed are we

Who have a testimony to share

With others to help them overcome

Desire to cave to temptation.

Blessed are we

To know God’s love and to share

It with others, everywhere we go.

Blessed are we,

To have a model of perfection

Constantly in our midst when

We stay in His Word.

Blessed are we,

To have parents who love us enough

To tell us the truth and help us to do the same.

Blessed are we,

And our children when see them living The Word,

In spite of ridicule and the naysayers of doubt and unbelief.

Blessed are we,

To know Holy Spirit resides within,

Leading, guiding, counseling, and comforting,

All the days of our lives.

Blessed are we,

Who can rise with joy in our hearts

And a praise on our lips,

For the One who loved us enough

To die for us that we might have,

Eternal Life.

We are blessed!