How We Get Rest and Peace With Him!

“Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors. And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” I Kings 8:56-61 NIV

Solomon’s prayer for the Children of Israel is just as relevant today as it was then. We need peace in the land so all can rest from the uncertainty that stems from all the hate and upheaval. “Oh that man would cease from strife over trivialities that mean nothing.”

People are concerned about things that they have the power to conquer if they would just learn from the wisdom of those who have walked the earth before us. There is no savior in the person of any political candidate, modern-day hero, or any other such person. We have a Savior and His name is Jesus!

Did He not tell us to cast all our cares upon Him? Did He not tell us that He would give us rest? Did He not tell us we shall peace with Him? If we believe what He said, then why can’t we just do what Solomon did?

Let’s praise Him all day long, being thankful for all He has done, is doing and will do for those who love Him. If we have unrepented sin in our lives, let’s repent, rejoice, and move on–to the victory promised to us in Him.

There’s not much I can add to Solomon’s prayer and so I wont’ attempt to alter it. In fact, all I can say is, “Amen.”

Thank You for rest and the peace in Jesus, Lord!

Rejoicing In The Lord!

Rejoicing In The Lord!

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.Philippians 3:1 NKJV

Considering the magnitude of faults we can find within our society and the people who flaunt their ungodliness, I feel the need to do something–say something–different, today.

Today, is my birthday and normally I don’t make a big deal over the day I was born, but I’m acknowledging that I am only still here–because of the Love of Jesus, poured into my heart.

Every year that I see another day that marks the anniversary of my birth, is a bonus year–since there was a time I thought I’d never see 50. That’s what happens when Christ is not in our lives–we don’t expect to see or enjoy life for a long period of time. Now, that I know Him for myself–my life expectancy has increased and I am thanking God for the opportunity to see the age of 95. If He wants to grant me more, I’ll take it.

Some have asked me-why 95? It took me so long to come into the fold that I need some extra time to do what I’ve been called to do. As long as I know Jesus walks with me, I know I can do it. I didn’t know He was walking with me before my eyes were opened, but now, I KNOW–not just believe–and I can rejoice in the knowledge!

Enjoy your day–rejoicing in the knowledge that you are loved and never alone.

To God be the glory–praising Him for all He has done in my life and will do on a daily basis! Hallelujah!

Don’t Allow What’s Seen To Move Your Faith!

Don’t Allow What’s Seen To Move Your Faith!

“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24 NKJV

Too often, even Believers in the Most High God, allow what they see to deter them–if only for a moment. It only takes a moment for the enemy to ignite doubt and cause people to lose sight of their faith in God.

In order to be effective ministry and in succeeding with all God has put on our hearts to do, we must not allow the surface–superficial events of the moment–to deter us. We have to develop a like-minded attitude that kept Paul moving forward–even when he knew his destiny would end in death. He was determined to finish what God had started in him and so too should we, be just that determined.

Let’s face it–death is part of living and since most of us don’t know when that’s going to occur, we should simply concentrate on doing what God has put in our hearts to do–promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ, love everyone we meet, and stand firm on The Word of God. Nothing–not political foolishness, not decaying, aging bodies, not the bigotry of the ignorant, not the attempt to demonize Believers or others, not the lack of respect for those in authority, not the doomsday prophecies by false prophets, not the deliberate mangling and distortion of The Word, not our personal situations–nothing–absolutely nothing should deter us from having faith in God, trusting Him and Him alone.

“He who began a good work in us, is faithful to complete it.” We simply stand at the ready to be used by Him, trusting all that He does.

No matter what happens in the balance of this day, the coming weeks, months or years; no matter who is president of this country or any others, our focus must remain on what God has called us and qualified us to do–our faith in Him–never wavering.

When the politicians fail you and the statues and beads don’t respond, and no one else is available to rescue you–who you gonna call?

I’m calling on the name of Jesus–daily–believing that all He has determined for my life will come to pass, no matter how things look and this is what all Believers should proclaim and not worry about the other stuff. When we do what we’re supposed to do, God will handle the outcome.

Turning From God Leads To Captivity!

Turning From God Leads To Captivity!

“When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near; and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly’; and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name; then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you. “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. “Now arise, LORD God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness. LORD God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant.” 2 Chronicles 6:36-42 NIV

When we sin against God and uphold wrongdoing–there is nothing left for Him to do other than to allow us to be held captive to our disobedience.

Whenever the people who know God willfully sin–encouraging others to live in opposition to His Word, He removes His hand of protection and lets the chips fall where they may.

If Donald Trump wins the presidential election in November, it is confirmation that God has removed His Hand from us and will allow us to be held captive because of our unbelief and disobedience. It has happened before and it will happen again.

The only thing left for us to do–is to sit back and do nothing–realizing that when we do, we have only ourselves to blame for the consequences that are sure to follow.

Just as the enemies of God’s people swarmed around them and defeated them and brought them in shackles, holding them captive, then as indicated in the above-passage of scripture, it will happen again–if Believers don’t stand up and be counted, living The Word, and repenting from sin.

This is not a doomsday prophecy, just a reality check for many who either don’t know the history of disobedience or forgot and think it can’t happen to us.

Wisdom, Lord Wisdom–keep pouring it onto those willing to hear and obey!

Having a Better Life!

Control your temper,
for anger labels you a fool.

Don’t long for “the good old days.”
This is not wise.

Wisdom is even better when you have money.
Both are a benefit as you go through life. Ecclesiastes 7:9-11 NLT

Displayed anger and lack of self-control, self-discipline labels a person a fool. If we pay attention to the media about the front-runner for the Republican party we can see how this applies to life.

It is not wise to long or return to “the good old days” as some are promoting. The return or making America great again is an oxymoron is America has never stopped being great, unless one considers its greatness was once in keeping people out of reach of education, getting a living wage, and having slave-masters.

Wisdom is better than having money–so the promises of jobs from Trump–when he manufacturers goods in China is a blatant lie and anyone falling for it will see just how big a lie it is. Getting an education and learning marketable skills is what will get people good jobs; having a dream and the tenacity to see it fulfilled is what will get people wealth. But the wisdom precedes getting the wealth, unless of course, wealth was inherited and then wisdom never has a chance.

How can anyone who has filed bankruptcy four times (or more) proclaim to be an astute business man? Perhaps, he’s a billionaire because he’s cheated so many other businesses out of money. How can anyone who lacks self-discipline be trusted to be the commander-in-chief? When he can’t stand someone publicly disagreeing with him and orders them dragged out of a public rally, what will he do when other leaders of countries disagree with him? Will he “hit the button” and bring disaster upon us all? He ignites and stirs hatred with his rhetoric and refuses to accept responsibility for the outcome. Is this someone America wants to be their Head of State?

This blog post is intended to warn people to think with their heads–not their feelings–because feelings are fickle and constantly change. Our assurance of a better life is found in the Word of God, not in the promises of a man or a woman–especially when they don’t know God. We can change the direction and avoid catastrophe by simply praying for instructions in who to support in the presidential election and by obeying God. Which candidate acts most like they have a relationship with God?

Establish a godly criteria by which you can evaluate the candidates and ignore all the hoopla spread with the political ads that lie. Your Voice is Your Vote and every vote matters. If we fail to obey God, then we reap the consequences of our actions.

If we truly want to have a better life, we must exercise wisdom in choosing those who are elected to represent us–in all things.

Do We Have The Gift of Leadership?

And we have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the gift is prophecy, that individual must use it in proportion to his faith. If it is service, he must serve; if it is teaching, he must teach; if it is exhortation, he must exhort; if it is contributing, he must do so with sincerity; if it is leadership, he must do so with diligence; if it is showing mercy, he must do so with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8 NET

God has given us all specific gifts and with the empowerment of Holy Spirit, we should be able to function in our gifts–with a goal of excellence–to His glory!

There’s a reason why all of us do not have the same gifts. Within a specific body, there is no need for duplication of effort with too many chiefs in one place. Having too many leaders in one environment could be as hazardous as too many cooks in the kitchen–at the same time. The end result is chaos and confusion and eventually angst that sometimes spills over into other venues.

In order to see the gifts given function at maximum potential, we must know what our gifting is and fine-tune it so God will not regret what He’s given. Though this passage of scripture is primarily about the spiritual gifts needed for any local church to thrive, it can also be applied to other areas of our lives–in the workplace or with other social groups or organizations. The thing is we must know the gift in order for it to benefit the masses.

How do we know what gift resides within us? We seek God for revelation and understanding and then allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all we do. In the natural, what we have been gifted to do shows in our lives by what we’re drawn to do and have a unique proclivity to do and do it well.

When it comes to operating in positions of leadership, we really need to know that God has placed that gift in us and that we are listening to Him. If we don’t understand that being a leader–does not equate to being a dictator–we’ll mess up what could have been a good thing for ourselves and others. Not everyone is equipped–spiritually or naturally to be in a leadership position and only those God intends to lead–should ever attempt to do the job.  Do you have the gift of leadership? Know what it entails before making a mockery of the position.

 

According To The Will Of God!

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:25-28 NIV

If we do all things according to the will of God, then we can expect all things to work out well for God’s children.

How do we know when we’re doing all things according to His will–what He wants? That’s the easiest question to answer. We obey His Word because His Word is His will. As long as we obey His Word, we are acting on His Will.

When we honor our parents–respect those in authority–we are promised long life.

When we love others as much as we love ourselves–we are doing so according to His Will.

When we obey God rather than men (the laws man makes in opposition to God’s Word) we are acting according to His Will.

When we listen to Holy Spirit and obey His direction, we are acting according to God’s Will for Jesus said, “He will remind us of all we have been taught and show us things to come.”

Of course, if we haven’t been taught according to The Word of God, we cannot be expected to live according to The Word. In the Body of Christ–we operate on so many traditions that have nothing to do with The Word of God that we miss being in His Will. We say things that God didn’t say and then wonder why we don’t see God moving on our behalf.

Where in The Word do we see,”If The Lord says the same” when we plan to do something? If we know what The Word says, we know what The Lord says, and we don’t need to say, “if” anything about our plans. This type of trite response attempts to make a person sound religious, but only reveals a lack of understanding of God’s Word. Jesus warns us in His Word that we “have made the Word of God of no effect because of our traditions.” How about we say, what God says about everything instead of waiting for Him to say what we say? That makes more sense to me.

Do we plan what we will we do next? Absolutely! We have to consider all that encompasses a plan and then plan accordingly. We do not have to see if The Lord will say so. If our plan is not according to His Will, it won’t come to anything anyway. But before we plan, we pray–according to The Word–and whatsoever we ask of Him, in Jesus’ name will be given. Do we believe it?

I guess, as I get older, I begin to see how traditions have kept people from receiving God’s best in their lives when they don’t trust The Word and God’s intent for us. I plan to live to see 95 years of age. If God has different plans, then my plans won’t matter, but it won’t stop me from planning how to live to get to that age. That means I have to take better care of my body, eating right and getting exercise, seeking Him for all things and doing all things to His glory. I’m not planning by saying, “if The Lord says the same.” Reaching 95 is what I’ve asked Him for and it is my declaration on a consistent basis. We have what we say we have. And since I believe that He has heard my prayer, I believe He will honor my request.

Whenever we say, “if” or “but” about anything pertaining to doing what God has put on our hearts, we open the door for doubt and faith is put on the shelf. We must believe and not doubt! That is acting upon things according to His Will.

 

The Day Is Almost Here!

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:10-12 NIV

Where there is love, there is light

For all to see, unencumbered by darkest night,

Living according to God’s Word,

No fear of the masses, not ashamed to be heard,

Every Believer–Loving as God Loves–all–unconditionally!

In the light of day–where there are no clouds and the sun is shining bright–we can see all things clearly and from a distance. Not only can we see, but all around us can see us and what we see. What are they seeing?

There was a time when many of us walked in darkness even during the day, having no knowledge or understanding of who Jesus is or what He’s done for us. Hopefully, that time has passed and we are walking in the light of wisdom and His love, preparing for that day when He’ll receive us unto Himself.

However, there are still many who have not yet understood–that all of their deeds committed in the dark will come into the light–and they will be exposed for all the world to see, while the devil laughs at their calamity. That does not have to be so.

Every Believer who knows Truth and is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus should loudly proclaim God’s love for all, His mercy and grace that yet abounds for those of us on this side of heaven, for surely once that day arrives when we are translated from here to there, there will be no need any longer for mercy and grace while we sit at His feet.

That day–the day many have waited for–will soon be here; not soon as we calculate time, but soon as God determines. Will we be ready to stand before Him and give an account of all we have done in the earth and not be ashamed? Will our testimony before Him be marred by acts of darkness that we refused to give up? Or shall the angels rejoice over all we have done to bring others into the marvelous light of love?

Every day brings us closer to that day–and for those who are yet asleep–they shall be awakened by the sound of the trumpet heralding His arrival. Every day–while we yet have opportunity to do so, we should put on the armor of light and love so others will see Him in all of His glory and willingly embrace Truth as God as reveals it through us.

That day is almost here–what are you doing to prepare others for it? Will your life be a living testimony of God’s goodness and the light of His glory shines all around you or will the light be dimmed by hatred, bigotry, and wilful disobedience to God’s Word? We have choices to make and we must make them now for that day–is almost here.

 

Conversing With Purpose!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18 NIV

As I review scripture, seeking a Word from The Lord, I often come across passages that speak to me more clearly from one translation to the other, but I also find that sometimes, one word–changed–can change the meaning of what is being said.

We know that James was conscious of what happens when we say the wrong things or allow our tongues free reign in our live. The 13th verse of this passage from the King James Version reminds us of this:“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

What we say should have a purpose–a purpose towards building and not tearing down. Yesterday, at a luncheon geared towards mentoring our young people, some were asked, “What do you want adults to know about kids today?” The more I thought about it, the more I realized that adults seldom consider what kids are thinking and we tend to dismiss their thoughts and feelings simply because they are kids.

We ask them questions, but our reactions to them inhibit getting a true response from them. This happens when we don’t give them time to think about what they want to say and since they don’t respond as quickly as we want them to respond, we dismiss their positions without hearing it.

I’ve concluded that many of us tend to “talk at” kids rather than “talk to” them. This conclusion is made based upon the fact that we if don’t know how to have a conversation with them and converse with a purpose, we are talking at them. When we interrupt them or cut them short–dismissing what they have to say before they have a chance to say it, we’re talking at them, not to them.

The kids are wiser than we are in this regard in that they simply shut down and have nothing else to say. Why? We have shown them we have no respect for what they have to say and then we wonder why they don’t respect what we have to say.

Truly, we need wisdom from above to give us purpose when we converse with our young people. The more we think about how God responds to us, the more we should attempt to be more like Him, no matter who we’re conversing with. If God cut us off whenever we attempted to talk to Him, where would we be?

We need to learn to converse with kids and others with a purpose–talking to them, not at them, and waiting patiently to hear what they have to say. Who is wise, with understanding?

What Does The Image Do For You?

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it. Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” Daniel 3:1-6 NIV

At that time, the king had an image of himself constructed out of a spirit of arrogance and commanded that people worship it. Of course, there were some who refused to worship the image and didn’t care who knew it. And even though attempts were made to kill them, they survived and thrived because of the One who is in the furnace with them.

Being in a fiery furnace is a topic for another blog, but this one is just an attempt to have people reflect upon the image they have set up to worship.

Is it a spouse a child?

Is it a pastor or a church?

Is it an ideology based on traditions without justification?

Is it material possessions?

Is it status and position?

When I see people consumed with talking selfies, I wonder if they are ruled by arrogance and are infatuated with images of themselves. It is possible is it not?

There is one image that keeps me humble whenever I see a depiction of it or it rises in my spirit and that image is Jesus on the cross–loving me so much He was willing to die for me!

Does the image set before you remind you of Christ’s love? If not, I would suggest that you are worshipping an idol and idolatry won’t save your soul–only Jesus can.