Believers’ Instructions for Daily Living (Part 4)

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation” Then you will shine among them likes stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:12-16 NIV)

Did you ever think about the phrase–“when the cat is away the mice will play” and what it means? In this analogy, the cat is the authority and the mice the subservient to the cat. So, while the cat is in their presence, they do what they must do–play hide and seek to keep from being destroyed. When the cat is away–the mice roam freely and are totally unconcerned about being caught.

Some people honor the authority in their lives only when the authority is present–right there–can’t be missed. Employees will do their jobs while the boss is in their office, but if the boss is out of the office, many can hear a collective sigh of relief and most get lazy and lounge–doing absolutely nothing.

When teachers are out of their classrooms for a day or days–a substitute teacher can count on not getting anything done because the students have determined–the teacher isn’t here and we don’t have to do any work–even if work was left for them to do. I’ve heard all the stories–“the sub lost it; I didn’t know we had to turn it in, the sub didn’t give us any work, I took it home and forgot to bring it back.” Students make up so many excuses for not doing work that they could have saved themselves some time by simply doing the work.

Paul understood that when he was around, the people honored his presence and he’s commending them on doing so and encouraging them to keep on doing the right thing–whether he’s there or not. And that is what all Believers should be doing, right now. Living like we know (because it’s true) that God is present–in our midst at all times–and we should do the right thing at all times.

I know many won’t understand this because they’re thinking on a carnal level. “I can’t be good all the time.” Yes, we can. When we know God’s Word and have a relationship with Him, we can be good all the time. The thing that keeps us from being good is our flesh–when we give in to temptation to fit in with others who don’t know Him. I’m guilty–not intentionally, but guilty nonetheless. Sometimes, my flesh overrides my spirit and I’m immediately impressed by Holy Spirit that I need to repent for the things I allow to escape through my lips. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit” I hear every time I mess up. The bottom line is–I’m more careful to not mess up, but when I do, He reminds me–He’s right there and hears everything I say and sees everything I do.

The biggest problem for Believers is when they tend to act like God can’t see or is deaf. He’s always in the midst of everything we do and yes–He can see and hear it all. Now, we have a decision to make–to honor Him at all times, recognizing His presence or to act like He’s only around in church on Sundays. It’s our choice, and the world needs us to make it right now–for our time on this side of eternity is almost over and we have many souls to introduce to Jesus before He returns. Let’s do all things as unto The Lord, desiring to please Him only!


Why Jesus said, “I Have The Authority to Judge.”

“And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of man.” (John 5:27 NIV)

Who gave who authority to judge? God the Father, gave God the Son the authority to judge based upon the Father’s Word. Lots of Word today since I know most reading this blog won’t read the entire chapter for themselves, but I’ll try to make it as concise as I can, without distorting the intent.

John 5:19-26 (some paraphrased for brevity)

v.19 The Son can do nothing by himself; he can only what He sees his father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does (or says).

v.20 The Father loves the Son and has shown Him all He does…

v.21  Just like the Father raises the dead as gives them life, the Son gives life to whom He pleases.

v.22 The Father judges no one, but trusts all judgement to the Son.

v.23 So all may honor the Son as much as they honor The Father. If they don’t honor the Son, they don’t honor the Father who sent Him.

v.24 Whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

v.25 A time will come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live (for eternity).

v.26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

In a nutshell, Jesus was responding to the religious group once again, who were trying to kill Him because He dared to heal on the Sabbath. He told them that they shouldn’t be amazed at the things He did because He was only doing what The Father said do. If they believed God the Father, then they should believe The Son whom the Father had sent to give people a choice for eternal life.

Basically, what He was saying is that if you believe God, then believe me because I don’t do anything of my own accord, but have been given authority by the Father to say and do what must be done–even to the point of judging who receives eternal life and who is not.

He goes to talk about those who will be judged–those rising after death to live and those rising after death to be condemned.

v. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear (what the Father says), and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him to who sent me.

The most important lesson we can learn from Jesus is saying is that, if we believe God the Father, then we should believe God the Son and if we don’t believe the Son, we can’t believe the Father. Instead of doing all we can to please ourselves (and pacify people), we should be more concerned about pleasing God and in doing so, assuring our eternal resting place in heaven.

It’s not rocket science and we don’t need academic degrees to understand this. We simply need to have a right relationship with God and allow Him to speak to our hearts so we’ll understand–by faith–all He says in His Word. That requires having an experience with God so He can reveal Himself to us and convict us of sin, so our desire will be to please Him.

It is not having a religious affiliation with any group that will save us. We are saved from eternal condemnation by receiving Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives and understanding the work on the cross–His blood shed for us–the ultimate sacrifice and demonstration of love, by Love.

If we claim to know God without knowing and understanding His Word, we lie. If we claim to know what Jesus said and meant without knowing God, we lie. When we know Him–Father and Son–we understand how He wants us to live by understanding His Word, and we will not promote sin as right–nor will we live in sin, expecting not to be judged.

More about what Jesus said and why, next time!

Why Jesus said, “These Words You Hear Are Not My Own.”

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These Words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23,24 NIV)

During a discussion in which Jesus was talking to His disciples (those who followed Him), He promised them the Holy Spirit, who would come to be with them, speaking to their hearts, reminding them of all they had been taught, after He returned to heaven. This is what He said to them that led to Him reminding them, He had not said a word that had not been given to Him by His Father and that He did not speak of His own accord.

John 14: 15-21

v. 15 If you love me, keep my commands.

v. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you be with you forever.

v. 17 The Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

v. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

v. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

v.20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

v.21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

v. 22. Then Judas (not Judas iscariot) said,”But Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world.”

For them who have an ear to hear and eyes to see, let them listen, and read with understanding.

Those who walked with Jesus were getting a lesson from Him–a lesson that should have answered all their questions about His authority. Basically, He let them know that He had not said anything that His Father had not given Him to say. Of course, the Father He referenced was God Himself. He was making it clear to them–those who followed His teachings then and those who follow them, now–that He and the Father were One and whatever the Father said, He said.

He made it clear to them that if they claimed to love God or Him, they would obey what they were told. If they didn’t obey, they proved they did not love Him or the Father. They are One in purpose and intent for the benefit of mankind.

For those who think–especially those whose mantra is–“Jesus just said ‘love,’ think again. With love, comes responsibility and accountability on any level. The responsibility and accountability for those who say they love Jesus, but will not obey, are also saying, they hate God. This is the attitude of the world–the unbelievers–who ignore God’s Word and say wrong is right and right is wrong. They do not know God and they certainly don’t understand they could not love Jesus, who was God in the flesh.

When parents love their children–that love is demonstrated with the responsibility they have for the care and upbringing of their children. They are held accountable by our society to do the right thing. Now, if we hold mere human parents responsible for their children, why would we ignore God’s responsibility to His children. If we belong to Him, we are His children. I would encourage all to seek God’s wisdom, and re-read all of John and I Corinthians 13 to understand God’s definition of love–what it does.

Love–that four letter word that the enemy has perverted with “lust” means more than just a carnal attraction to another person; it comes with responsibility and our accountability–beginning with loving God and being accountable to Him. If we don’t love Him–who is Love–how can we possibly say, we love anyone else? “If we love Him, we’ll keep His commandments–to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love one another as we love ourselves.” If we love God, we won’t sin against Him (first five commandments as given to Moses), and if we love one another, we won’t commit acts of sin that negatively impact each other (the last five commandments).

God loved us enough to die for us (John 3:16) and so the least we can do–for those who say, they know Him, is to live for Him, a daily demonstration of who He is in living right before Him and others.

For those who don’t know God or refuse to believe Him and obey; judgment has already been established and the lake of fire–awaits.

More on what Jesus said and why, next time.

Taking A Stand Against The Devil’s Schemes!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV)

Since the first man and woman were deceived in the garden by Satan, evil from high places have influenced the minds of those who do not understand God.

The first step to understanding God and His plan for mankind is to understand who He is and His intent for mankind. Creator God–the God of heaven–is not an evil ruler or man that He should lie or change His mind about anything He’s said. It is only those who choose to pacify fleshly desires and ungodliness who think there is no God or that He should not be heard. That is their choice.

For those of us who have established a right relationship with God, understanding who He is and His plan for mankind, and having accepted His Son’s sacrifice on the cross, we know (not believe) that God’s Word is His plan for mankind and we agree with God.

We know that the enemy has influenced those in places of authority by clouding their minds and putting scales on their eyes. They are blinded to God’s truth because of their own aspirations to be “somebody” and to gain the approval of man. But the Word reminds us that we have gained nothing winning the approval of people if we lose our souls in the process (Matthew 16:26).

My soul delights in the Lord and all His teaching! For I know that nothing He has said was intended to harm me, but to make my life a cause for rejoicing in Him. No matter what the enemy does to influence people to live in opposition to God, I agree with God–from Genesis to Revelation–and will proclaim from the mountain tops to the depths of the sea–Our God reigns!

I love the Lord because He first loved me and I will love all of His children and pray for the redemption of all who oppose Him that they will see the light of His love and be not conformed to this world and its delusions, but they will be transformed–willingly–into everything God would have them to be and walk the narrow path–escaping the destruction of the broad path.

We must remember that men–mere mortals–do not have a heaven or hell for us; they do not define or redefine what God has said is sin, and we do not have to obey sinful governance–declared by anyone. Remember Daniel and all who came before and after who chose to obey God rather than man. Remember Achan (Joshua 7) and the sin committed by his daughter’s hiding the idol in their tent that brought destruction upon their entire household. Is God like fickle-minded man that He changes His mind and approves every wind of doctrine that man contrives? NO! God is not a man that He should lie and He will have the last word about everything man does.

Believers–put on the armor of faith, salvation, truth, righteousness, and lift high the sword–The Word of God and proclaim it in all the land, whether the unbelieving believe it or not. Pray in the spirit so the enemy cannot hinder your thoughts and know that God has a plan and His plan will be fulfilled and He will not forget the remnant who remains faithful to Him.

Who’s Glorified in The Meetings?

“In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.” (I Corinthians 11:17,18 NIV)

If we use the “church” as an example of how behavior should be in any meeting, and the church does not know how to conduct itself, how can there be progress in any other type of meeting?

I feel Paul’s frustration over having to instruct–Believers–in how they should conduct themselves in church. One would think (at least I do) that if we truly believe in every Word of God and respect the authority of the Word that we would have no need to have anyone correct errant behavior. Of course, we know this is not true, not only for the church but  for various types of meetings in other venues.

In particular, I’m referencing meetings in which an elected body should know what they’re doing, but don’t and instead of seeking advice, they attempt to run things like a dictatorship. When things start falling apart, they want to cry foul because their leadership style has not drawn others into the fray. God is not the author of confusion and where there is confusion, He is not present.

When business meetings–of any type–become embroiled in personality conflicts, rumors and he say, she say commentaries, racial divides and social cliques–people have lost sight of the purpose and nothing is accomplished and then we wonder why. If our purpose in meeting for any reason is not to create an environment in which there is productive, forward movement obtained in harmony and unity, our meeting is in vain and we are wasting our time.

Anyone who takes on a position of leadership should know what they’re doing and if they don’t, they should know how to obtain the information they need to know from other resources and proceed as expeditiously as possible. Instead of making excuses for not getting the job done, people need to find reasons to get them done. If we keep in mind that everything we do should glorify God, confusion in the midst of meetings would not be an issue.

Is God glorified in the confusion that exist because of low-esteem and insecurity when people feel a need to belittle others or start rumors about them? No! The only glory is for the enemy who loves confusion.

When we are able to relate God’s Word to every area of our lives, we learn to move forward in peace and harmony. God does not want us to harbor ill-will towards anyone and when we do, it affects our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. So, instead of making noise to bring attention to ourselves, let’s practice seeking Him in the matter of all things and when there is disagreement, solve it in all Godliness, not pettiness.

Never Forgotten!

On Sunday, February 15, 2015, the area in which I live, experienced a major service outage for those who have AT&T UVerse. We had no television, no phone, and no wireless access. Fortunately, our cell phones were working and we were able to maintain communication with the “outside” world.

With no Internet or television to distract me, I was able to complete tasks much faster and sooner than I might have normally completed them. I had time to read, to talk with my grandson and husband, time to think and time to pray. At first, I was irritated that I could not post my daily blog, but while I sat, thinking, I remembered how I could use the time. I thought about all those who “follow” my blogs and my inability to remind them I was thinking about them and praying for them and then I prayed.

Father, in the name of Jesus,

Look upon all who love You and respond to every need.

For those who need healing in their bodies, heal them from the crowns of their heads to the souls of their feet and every bone, organ, muscle, tissue, cartilage, and joint in between.

For those who need a financial blessing, pour out wisdom from on high to obtain and maintain financial security.

For those who are lonely, speak to their hearts and remind them they are never alone because You are always there.

For those who feel unloved, encourage them to turn to Your Word and see Love in every page and be filled with the love You pour onto us.

For those who are confused and living in doubt, break the shackles of uncertainty and confusion from their minds so they can think clearly, with the mind of Christ.

For those who are haughty and high-minded, thinking they do not need You, bring them to the end of themselves so they will acknowledge Your greatness.

For those who feel weak in their own strength, strengthen them by the power of Your love and infilling of Holy Spirit.

For those who have been out in severe weather, protect them and  keep them all harm, keeping them safe until they can reach shelter from the winds and elements that could kill.

For those who are determined to minister to Your people by any means necessary, keep them diligent and focused, and safe, blessing all they put their hands to in honor of You!

Whatever the need is, Lord, You can respond to it like no one else and we give You all the praise and glory because You are the only one worthy of it.

All of this we ask and thank You for doing in Jesus’ name. In this moment, we declare it done! Amen!

Though I may not be able to communicate my love for you, know that I am always thinking and praying for God’s best in the lives of all who love Him and are willing to obey His Word. You are never forgotten by me!

Having Authority!

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19 NIV)

The missionary report from the seventy-two who went out and proclaimed the Good News and healed those who were sick was good, but the Jesus reminded them–they rejoiced over the wrong thing, the submission of the demons to them at the name of Jesus. This they did when Jesus was with them. Now, as a cautionary note, Jesus went on to tell them, rejoice in the fact that their names were written in the book of life–not just in having authority over demons, while He was with them.

They had authority to trample on snakes–unaware of their existence, not by tempting the devil with foolishness--and not be harmed. He gave them authority–to overcome anything the enemy attempted to do them and promised them, nothing would harm them–this He did while He was with them.

Before He left to return to His place in heaven, he told the twelve (notice the reduction in numbers who operated with power), that greater works we would do–after He left, than they did while He was with them.

One of the reasons the Church of Jesus Christ is weakened and often thwarted by the enemy is because we think–the power is in the numbers. The power is not in how many people attend the building, but the power and authority is in the faith of the Believer–individually. Now, where two or three–faith-filled people gather, there is nothing they cannot accomplish when they do all in His name.

The power and authority we have is activated by our agreement with another faith-filled believer and being on one accord with Holy Spirit for the results. When we practice what we say we believe, we see the results of having power through Holy Spirit and know we cannot go wrong when we allow Him to lead.

If we want change in our society, change in our schools, change in our homes and change in our governments, we must practice the authority we have in Jesus’ name by coming into agreement with other Believers, guided by Holy Spirit, and then sit back and watch Him work it out–for our good!

Before we can actively, consciously do anything in order to operate in His authority, we must Know The Word, Pray The Word, and Preach The Word, in season and out, whether people want to hear it or not (Paul’s instructions to Timothy work for us today) and do all we do to the glory of God! That’s Having authority!

Inspired, Prepared, and Equipped!

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NLT)

I love it when I can go to The Word and be encouraged, when so many people make discouragement their past time. For all who claim that the Bible is merely a book and should have no bearing on our lives, proves they have not read what they attempt to refute. 

Yes, the Bible is a book–a book that is a record of not only man’s history (snap-shot version), but a record of all God has ever done for those He loves.

No, the Bible is not a novel and should never be read as though it was. For those who attempt to read it as such, they will discover (if their comprehension is finely tuned) that the chronology of events is not based on a sequential timeline nor is the layout of bible.

No, the Bible is not a book of fiction and for one to ascertain the truth of this statement, one needs to merely situate a credible history book beside the events that occur in the bible. It is a snap-shot record of historical events, divinely inspired to make sure Believers understand how God moved among His people throughout that history.

Yes, the Bible or book of scriptures as some would call it–was written by the hands of man (mankind), but inspired by God who spoke to whoever was willing to listen.

I’ve heard some say that there are too many translations saying too many things and so they refuse to believe any of it. That is truly sad. No matter how many versions of the bible are produced, none of the essence of what God has said or how He wants us to live–will ever change. Now, when people manipulate the “intent” of God’s Word, that is an entirely different matter. For a number of reasons, some have felt the need to: remove gender, remove references of hell, and to remove references of sin. For them–judgment before God will be swift since their intent is to deceive and deception is influenced by the devil. It really takes having a Relationship with God to understand how He operates versus how man thinks about what He does.

Some have said they do not believe the King James Version because he was gay. He may have been; I wasn’t around. What they have overlooked is the fact that regardless of his “sexual orientation,” the king did not write the version–he authorized its translation from the original languages (Hebrew and Greek). His purpose in having the bible translated into “the King’s English” was to make sure ordinary people could understand it (which happens to be why many are producing bibles in more contemporary language, but not manipulating the intent of the words).

Thank You, Father for inspiring people to write what You say, preparing us to live a life that is pleasing to You, and equipping us to do so through Holy Spirit’s direction and guidance. Hallelujah!

The Promise of Authority!

“To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations.” (Revelation 2:26 NLT)

While in the spirit, John received the messages from Jesus to share with the churches–specifically named then–but to include all that exist, now!

With this particular segment, many have erroneously concluded and proclaimed that “Jezebel was a harlot” and in doing so, made every female who wore make-up or attempted to “look better” feel inferior when attending church. What must be understood is that “Jezebel” is a spirit of manipulation and deception. This spirit then can and does inhabit both male and female and it has nothing to do with what person does to “look better” but everything to do with their seductive, manipulative  attitudes.

Why then does Jesus call this spirit–she? This is a reminder of who she was and what she did as recorded in the Old Testament. She manipulated her husband, sought to kill Elijah (I Kings) who killed the false prophets that she had established to deceive the people and was later killed because she would not repent, and scorned God. The dogs licked her blood against the wall in Jezreel.

Are there not still false prophets–people who are intentionally deceiving the nations and manipulating God’s Truth, encouraging others to live in opposition to God’s Word? Yes, there are and God’s response is that He will cut them off so that not one–not even the descendants of such behavior–shall live.

All who have an ear to hear what the Spirit of The Lord says, hear and obey! Repent and turn from wickedness!

But for those who remain faithful to God, victorious in obedience, to them will He give authority over nations! Hallelujah! This is the promise of authority that we can look forward to receiving when we “stay in The Word” and faithful in our obedience to Him, not man! What a mighty God we serve!

Having The Authority!

“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.” (Titus 2:14,15 NLT)

Paul’s letter to Titus and all other ministers of the Gospel deserves constant review. In this passage, Paul reminds Titus that Jesus gave His life so we would be free from sin “every kind of sin” and that we should be committed to doing good deeds. Then, he goes on to say, remind Titus that he is to teach these things and encourage others “to do” them and when necessary, use the authority he has “to correct” others.

For those who think that preachers or believers are judging when they observe sinful behavior, think again. All believers (we should all be ministers of the Gospel) have the authority to correct others when they see other believers not living according to God’s plan–not man’s. Using the authority we have to correct others is not a judgment–as some would have us believe–it is a responsibility to the Body of Christ so that we remain free from sin.

Of course, there will be those who think that whenever a Believer calls anything sin, they are just judging them.  The fact they think we are judging them actually shows they have been convicted of their behavior and simply want to rebel against the conviction in their spirits because they know they are wrong, but don’t want to admit it.

Think about how rebellious children act “when caught in the act” of doing something wrong. The first thing they do is “deny the obvious” and then expect whoever caught them to believe them. Now, I know some will immediately think of the “woman who as caught in the very act of adultery” who was brought to Jesus. Notwithstanding her criticizers did not bring the man she was “supposedly caught with,” but she never denied any wrong doing and simply waited for Jesus to decree her fate. And when He did, “those holding stones had to drop them” because they were as guilty as she of sin, but had not been caught. He did not berate her after all her accusers left, He simply told her “to go and not to sin any more.”

In other words–He used His authority to correct the crowd and the woman, forgiving her of sin and admonishing her to stop doing what she doing. Every believer has the same authority–to correct and admonish–encouraging others to receive God’s forgiveness and to stop committing acts of sin. Are we doing this or are we allowing ourselves to be persuaded to “let it ride.”

If Believers–all over the world–would simply exercise the authority we have been given, we would see peace in the land as we “lived” the life before others and corrected them when we see wrongdoing.We are not responsible for others accepting what we say, but we do have a responsibility to say what God says–about any and all things–pertaining to Godly living.

Lord, help us to be more like You in all we do all the days of our lives!