A Reign of Paradoxical Meanderings!

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 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. James 3:9-13 NIV

Is anyone paying attention to what they say any more? Yes, even though James warns us that the tongue is difficult to tame, we don’t seem to exercise any restraints when it is in our power to do so.

Simply put–unbelievers should not hear or see Believers say contradictory things and expect anyone to believe us.

Though we are not perfect, we are certainly capable of recognizing our shortcomings and working toward correcting them.

We post comments attempting to convince others of our faith and yet post pictures and posts by others that are totally contradictory to what we say we believe. When we do these things, the enemy wins because we are made to look foolish in the eyes of all who read what we say and do–on social media sites.

Stop praying–in posts that make it appear that you are sincerely talking to God, and then in a few frames from that post–you post something entirely opposed to what God would have you say. That does not impress anyone of your spirituality, but it does reveal your carnality.

Are we spiritual or are we yet carnal? Are we trying to please God or appease flesh? We cannot do both with any degree of success, but we can confuse all those who are watching or listening to us.

When we create confusion by allowing undisciplined posts to reign in prolific meanderings in cyberspace, we create the greatest paradox of what a Believer should be and say.

It is time, we put a stop to the confusion observed by the masses and be true to the One we say we serve. If it is God, then serve Him. If it is the devil, then serve him without the spiritual trappings that contradict and confuse.

Remember this–God knows those who are His and He is not confused by paradoxes displayed by those who claim to know Him. If we think we’re fooling God about anything–we lie and fool only ourselves.

 

Why We Trust The Word!

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV

Although there are many naysayers and doubters in the world who “refute” the bible as we know it as God’s Word, we who know and Believe God, know the truth.

All scripture–not some or just portions or selected passages–was written by man as inspired by God to do so–hence–God-breathed into man’s spirit and man wrote. That sounds far too simple for those who would complicate God’s Word and His intent for mankind, but it is just that simple. Of course, since many believe that the King James Version is the only right version–there lies another complication.

I am convinced that the original language that man spoke was accurately translated by many (not all), but God’s intent for mankind remains static–no matter what language is used. My conviction in this area is derived from my relationship with God who has revealed His truth to me by guiding me in search of truth. So, I believe the Bible–any good translation that does not pervert or distort God’s Truth–is good for instruction and correction, in guiding anyone to living a life that is pleasing to God.

How do I know this? I tried living without The Word as a guide in my life and almost ended my life when life got too tough to bear. It was The Word that saved me and exposed all the lies the enemy had tried to use against me. It was The Word that showed me how much I am loved by God. It was The Word that convinced me that pleasing God is far more important than trying to please man. It was The Word that demonstrated God’s mercy and grace towards all who had fallen short of His perfection. And it was my faith in God that led me to understand The Word for my life.

The desire to please God–once we understand His Word–puts us on the path to serving others and that’s why The Word is important–so all who know it and trust it can accomplish all that God desires for them to accomplish.

For any who doubt the value of The Word–I offer this challenge–have faith in God and in developing a relationship with Him and then open a bible–with an open mind and willing heart to hear Him. I guarantee–you’ll never be the same–once you find yourself in God’s Word!

Love Starts With The Family of Faith and Expands!

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 13:1 NIV)

Loving those who are in the family of faith should be as simple as this--just love as a brother or sister in Christ!

If loving those in the family of faith is simple–why do we have all the chaos and confusion in the Body of Christ–those who profess to be true Believers regarding the validity of God’s Word for “all time?” Is it because the family of faith harbors those who undermine God’s true authority in our lives? Is it because there are those in the family of faith who care more about mesmerizing people than promoting God’s Word in its simplistic truth?

When we love God, we want to obey and please Him. When we receive His love we have the capability to love all in the family of faith and those who are not, but especially those who share like-minded faith in Jesus Christ. When we truly love one another, we would not seek to cause confusion about anything and certainly not about God’s Word.

Loving others means we look for ways to serve them to make sure they have what they need and it also means that we correct–in love–those who are going astray. Loving others means we sometimes sacrifice self (not on a cross–Jesus did that), but we put aside doing some things for self in order to do for others. This is love–that we focus on others in outward expression and do what we can for them.

Now–do we really know how to love others if we do not love ourselves? If we do not care for self–physically, emotionally, and financially–we cannot love others. Love begins with loving self, loving God and receiving His love so we can love others. However, many people think that loving self first–is a selfish love. If we don’t love self, we cannot give to someone else what we don’t have. Loving self means taking care of self so that no harm comes to self; self has the means to assist others and that can’t happen if a person is financially depleted or emotionally depleted.

When we love God–He keeps filling us over and over again–so we have love overflowing onto others and when that love overflows onto others, they have an abundance of love to share and the cycle continues and expands as the love overflows. Our love of God grows when we understand His love for us and the abundant life He desires us to love. The more we love Him, the more love He pours into us and we begin to see others as He sees them and love even more.

How does God see us? He sees us as the creation He established from the beginning and when He was finished, He said, “It is good.” We are His uniquely, wonderful, creation and He loved us before we were ever formed. He knew us and planned our lives for us before we ever knew He loved us. Some discover early in life and some discover late in late in life, just how much He loves us. It doesn’t matter when we make the discovery, as long as we make it and demonstrate it by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ–the family of faith–and loving all others.

Let’s do it! Let’s show the world how love is really done and let’s start with our natural families, move on to our spiritual families, and then onto the secular family–who may not even know us, but we can love them anyway.

What Happens When We Honor God!

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Psalm 45:7 NIV)

This wedding song (in 17 verses) depicts what God’s response is to those who love righteousness and hate wickedness. When we do what is right, God sets us apart and above, anointing us with the oil of joy, not sadness.

If the wedding participants honor God, then God honors the wedding participants. He anoints the joining together of a man and woman so their hearts are filled with joy, looking with great expectancy to all God has promised them.

When we honor God–all of His promises are yes and amen.

When we honor God, in the fulfillment of the marriage plan designed by Him, we can become one as husband and wife, without fear or trepidation of the outcome.

When we honor God, He blesses us as individuals, and as a couple and all of our children are blessed.

When we honor God and keep Him first as our focus in living, our homes will know peace and so will our communities when all are honoring Him.

When we honor God, we know we can talk to Him and He will direct our paths in all things.

When we honor God, we know when we hear from Him and we are not deceived by the enemy who infiltrates the minds of those who waffle about obedience to God.

When we honor God, we know when the devil is trying to entice us to live in opposition to God’s Word.

When we honor God, nothing is impossible for us to accomplish because we please Him, and He gives us the desires of our hearts.

When we honor God–we can count on Him to make the crooked roads straight, both naturally and spiritually.

When we honor God–we accept our shortcomings and submit to His instructions, receiving correction with the love that He gives it.

When we honor God–He completes us as individuals and when we meet another completed person (not a half), God is pleased with the union and blesses all we do, jointly.

All this and more will God do for those who honor Him with their whole life, living to please Him and not flesh.

Becoming Wise!

“If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.” (Proverbs 15:31,32 NLT)

What is the difference between being harshly critical of someone or things and being able to offer constructive criticism?

There are many people who are harshly critical of other people–they are the “fruit inspectors” who are always seeking flaws and shortcomings in others, but are never able to see their own faults. They are quick to misjudge a situation or a person because their eyes only see what their soul sees–negativity. Their objective is to tear down people or to break them.

Those who are capable of offering constructive criticism only see what is wrong after careful evaluation and attempt to help correct what they see can be better. They see the possibilities and offer the means for the possibilities to become realities. They see areas that need improvement and provide direction to accomplish. Their objective is to build a person to make them stronger and better.

Many people are not able to receive constructive criticism because they have only heard critical harshness. However, for those who do listen to constructive criticism–they grow as they go, empowered to take a reflective look at themselves and make the necessary adjustments and will always find themselves in the midst of wise people.

The unwise are not so. They will not listen to wise counsel and they hate being corrected. They only see things their way and another–wiser person–they will not hear. Life for them is always an uphill struggle because their hearts have been hardened by the harshness of those who sought to criticize every thing they ever did. Their lives are not disciplined and chaos reigns where order should reside. They reject what others have to say and are adamant in their stance. They think they are capable of teaching others when they have not learned what is needed to teach whatever it is–that someone else needs to be taught. They are close-minded, but are often critical of others–projecting what they have been told about themselves onto the unsuspecting masses who venture onto their pathway.

Wise people are always willing to hear what others have to say, assess what was said for its worth, and make necessary changes in order to accomplish a goal. These are the same people who know how to offer constructive criticism in order to help others grow and improve in whatever they choose to do. The wise see with spiritual wisdom rather than fleshly dictates and one can see the light that emanates from their soul.

If we are not willing to be corrected–by God or others who only seek to help us become better, we are often left standing in a rut, wondering what happened, as we watch others continue to grow and excel with the plans for their lives.