Until We Return To The Lord, We Will Weep!

Until We Return To The Lord, We Will Weep!

“I myself said, “ ‘How gladly would I treat you like my children and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me. But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,” declares The Lord. A cry is heard on the barren heights, the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel, because they have perverted their ways and have forgotten the LORD their God. “Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding.” “Yes, we will come to you, for you are the LORD our God. Jeremiah 3:19-22 NIV

In the wake of sadness because of the hatred and violence across the land, we must realize that nothing is a surprise to God. Since the days of the prophets (the true prophets), we have been warned that if we willingly forsake God’s ways, our crying would be heard from every corner. And here we are–crying–foul, injustice, hatred, bigotry–and souls are lost because we have turned from God.

Not all of us are guilty of perpetuating violence and hatred, but there are so many who are that the most the rest of us can do is to pray–appealing to God’s merciful nature--while submitting to His Ways and interceding for all who turned from Him.

I don’t know of any one person who would celebrate the lives lost–through gun violence–and yet–our legislators would rather spend time and money on a witch hunt–simply to hinder a person from being elected. It would appear to me–and I’m not serving in Washington–that it would take far less time to legislate sensible gun-control, provide the financial assistance for law enforcement agencies to train personnel not to overreact in situations than it has taken investigating Hillary Clinton. And they think–all the pointless time and money spent–tax payer money–is money well spent! How sad for our country–we have elected leaders who are spending more time and money promoting their agenda than in serving the needs of the people.

Personally, I think every person who has been sitting on their thumbs, refusing to work for the people–should be removed from office and they certainly should not be paid. If anyone else–hired to do a job refused to do it–they would be fired, so it’s time to fire the obstructionists legislators and hire those who will work for the people–not a party.

Until we get things right with God–in our own lives, in our communities and exercise common sense (exercising Godly Wisdom) when electing officials who make decisions, we will continue to hear the cries of those weeping, and we will continue to see the violence because without God guiding us–love is swept aside, so hate reigns.

There are some who think we’ll be brought to our knees if Hillary wins the election and there are some who know we’ll be brought to fall on our faces, prostrate–seeking God’s grace and mercy if Trump wins. We have seen in the past how fearmongering results in foolishness with a president who started a war–over misinformation–and the number of lives lost because of it and the trillions of debt incurred behind it. I knew then, if Bush won the second term, we’d be praying–like never before.  I wasn’t wrong, then and I’m not wrong now. We need a leader who cares about the people–all of us–regardless of our skin color, religious affiliations, ethnicity or gender–every human being in America and knows how to love–unconditionally.

Lord, forgive us and give us a heart of flesh, filled with a desire to please You and not people so love will overflow, drowning the hate and bigotry. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!

Running Wild!

“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” (Proverbs 29:18 NLT)

How many times do we have to see the actions of rebellious children to  know that somewhere along the way, they chose to ignore instruction and guidance or were never given any?

The children who are running wild, skip school, join gangs, and prefer getting high on drugs more than paying attention to good advice. When they drop-out of school, they are angry and rebellious and think life has treated them unfairly when in all reality, they end up where they do because of poor choices and willful ignorance of guidelines and rules.

How many times must a person ignore traffic laws to understand that ignoring them will bring about unwanted tickets and fines and eventually the loss of privilege to drive?

What’s amazing to me is the “anger and rebellion” often exhibited by those who blatantly ignore traffic laws. They drive under the influence of alcohol, after repeated DUIs. They don’t slow down after repeatedly getting tickets for speeding. They drive with suspended or revoked licenses and get angry when they are arrested. These are the “adults” who are running wild.

Realistically, those who never understand the importance of obedience as children, seldom get it as an adult. They view their consequences as just part of their unfair life, rather than accepting responsibility for their behavior and disobedience.

The same is true for all who ignore “divine guidance” from God–people end up in ruts and pits they cannot dig themselves out and blame everyone but themselves.

This country–right now–is running wild–very few are listening for divine guidance and we can see the results in every aspect of our society.  Without regulations for the airways, we are bombarded with all manner of immorality on prime-time television, cable, and even the cartoons and so-called–teen shows. Drugs are legal, but the bible is not. Sexual immorality is touted as “normal” but agreeing with God is touted as being “hateful.”

We are a nation–running amuk–without divine guidance and yet the same people who are responsible for the chaos are blinded to their role in the decadence of morality because they are afraid of what people think, “being insensitive” and have a greater desire to be “politically correct” than Godly righteous. Their desire is to please man and weak, fleshly desires, rather than to please God who holds the future of all mankind.

But we must understand the carnal mind (fleshly desires) is in opposition to the Spirit of God and cannot understand the benefits of living a Godly life before man and God.

Divine guidance is as close as your Relationship with God and in His Word. The choice is ours–are we running wild or heeding divine guidance and knowing the joy of doing so?

When Wisdom Speaks, We Should Listen!

“Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square.But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:20,33)

From verse 21-thru verse 32–we see the results of what happens when we will not listen to Wisdom. Solomon–who is considered the wisest man who ever lived, by God–chooses to reference Wisdom with the pronoun–she–indicating a female gender. Perhaps, it is because of the all the females he had in his life–700 wives and 300 concubines–that he has finally seen the light and the lessons he learns from his associations with these women (out of disobedience).

We all learn lessons when we disobey–any of the rules, policies, laws established.  When we ignore posted speed limits and get a ticket–we should learn to pay attention adhere to the speed limit. When we disregard policies established on jobs and get fire–we should pay attention at the next job. When we text while driving and cause accidents–if we’re not killed–we should learn a lesson and if we are, those around us should learn a lesson and not attempt to text and drive. There are always consequences for our actions and we are the only ones who can determine what consequence we’ll face–whether positive or negative–by what we do.

When are we going to heed Wisdom’s sound advice? When are we going to pay attention to God’s Word and His messengers–who speak loudly and boldly from public venues, on social mediums, and everywhere we find a forum? The consequence for not listening is found in the verses –not listed–but important. We can move into a place where our blatant disregard of God’s Word and His messengers puts us in position to “not be heard when we cry unto The Lord” to save us from our calamities. We will seek Him and won’t find Him. We will call out to Him in pain and anguish because of all the horrible things happening around us and He will not respond. Are we there yet?

We cannot continue to scorn God’s Word or His messengers who try to remind us that we must obey Him rather than man; we must seek Him for wisdom and wise counsel, rather than man. We must determine within ourselves that we will do all He has required us do–in order for mankind to be saved. Are we ready yet?

When Wisdom speaks–those who speak God’s Word and it aligns with His Word, we should listen so He will listen to us and respond to our cries–of repentance and save us, now!

Walking to Crawling!

“Then the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.” (Genesis 3:14 NLT)

The curses that fell upon the serpent for manipulating the woman–Eve!

The chain reaction to obedience can be devastating for a number of people–people who often experience the effects of what others have done. This is what happened to the “snake” who dared to interfere with God’s plan for mankind.

Back-tracking a bit–Adam did nothing to help his own case in the disobedience by blaming God for giving him the woman in the first place. And then Eve–who shouldn’t have listened to the serpent in the first place, blamed the serpent rather than accepting responsibility for her role in the fiasco. The serpent “Satan” in disguise had absolutely nothing to say because he knew what he was doing and had succeeded. Now, he had to deal with the consequences of his behavior–this is something he had not considered–what happens to him when he’s found guilty!

Because of what God said to the serpent, we can infer that before the curse–he (the serpent) was walking upright–standing tall among all the other animals. In this state–walking, standing tall–he probably felt superior to some of the other animals as well. Again, this is inference on my part based upon what was said, “more cursed than all the animals, domestic and wild.”

Imagine that! Feelings of superiority and hatred for God has created leading to a fall–from being on top of the world to crawling on one’s belly, trying to avoid being wiped out by those who now stand over you.

We have seen examples of Satan’s influence in the lives of many that are a matter of public record–those who thought they were superior to others and acted out of hatred and that feeling of superior–most of them are no longer with us–having receive their just reward for their actions. The first person who comes to mind is Hitler, and now we can see what is happening to others in their quest to reign over all mankind. “The wages of sin is death.”

There are others–who because of their feelings of superiority–who will find themselves crawling on their bellies, trying to avoid being wiped out by those they attempted to destroy. God is–the same today as He was yesterday, and will be tomorrow-intolerant of disobedience to Him when people try to destroy His plans for mankind.

But just like He did not destroy the serpent (and He could have), He chose to leave the serpent to suffer the consequences of his actions for all generations. God’s Word is true–mankind (men and women) who might fear snakes, have no fear in killing them.

Amazing! When God could have destroyed His creation (the serpent), He didn’t and would have been justified in doing so. Now, if God didn’t destroy the serpent who caused all the uproar in the Garden of Eden, why are people so willing to think that God destroys people? People make choices and their choices will either bring about a positive consequence or a negative one. It is our choice.

Listen to The Lord and obey always and don’t worry about going from walking to crawling for all the world to see!

Don’t Look Back!

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26 NIV).

Looking backwards—at the things we did in our past can have dire consequences. Even though we should always remember past mistakes so we won’t repeat them, we have to also remember that dwelling in the past can cause us to “drop anchor” and we never move from the past.

Remember the circumstances of Lot’s wife when the angel told them not to look backwards (Genesis 19:17)—she disobeyed and turned into a pillar of salt. Now, many scholars have theorized why she looked back. Some say she was reluctant to give up her status, some say she didn’t want to give up what she had, some say it was simply a matter of sadness. The bottom line is—she looked back and never got a chance to move forward—to see what God had in store for her.

That is exactly what we do when we become mired in the past. When we remember those who got in our way or the things we did that stunted our growth and maturity or the way we treated others and we cannot move from it—we get tangled in it and cannot move forward. In order to move forward, we must lift anchor and allow our relationship with God to steer us in the right direction—in position to receive all He has for us.

But it is not just us as individuals who drop anchor and refuse to budge. Collectively, we as an organized body of society find it difficult to release those we have traditionally done, year after year. We do some things without even know why we do it. The way we do education is out of tradition more than necessity. If we understood the necessity to change the way we do education, our children would not be illiterate as are so many adults. If the way we did parenting would include common sense and wisdom from God, we would not have the issues we have with children disrespecting adults and their parents. If the churches would learn to move forward and not just hold onto belief systems that hinder more than promote understanding, churches would be filled.

How much good does it do anyone to look back on failed relationships and wonder—“if I had to do it all over again, would anything change?”

How much good does it do for anyone to dwell on mistakes that cost promotion or opportunity?

How much good does it do for anyone to beat themselves up over decisions made when there was simply not sufficient information at-hand when the decision was made?

How much good does it do for anyone to keep doing the same thing, in the same way, expecting different result?

We have to learn to look at “our now” and deal with the present with the information we have and the ability to seek more. There is no excuse for anyone to be anchored to their past, unless that is where they want to be. When we become wise enough to understand that we cannot change the past and must exist in the present, we will more likely achieve those things that once appeared to elude us.

 

Cutting Off the Fallen!

“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.”(Romans 11:22 ESV)

We are constantly reminded of God’s goodness towards His children and most prefer not to think of the severity of God–His other side–the side revealed to disobedient children.

When children (in the natural) are obedient to parents (Godly parents), they are showered with love and attention and can get practically anything their hearts desire. However, when children are disobedient–the see another side of loving parents–parents who know how to resolve disobedience with the appropriate consequences–some which may be severe--at least in the child’s mind.

Is not God our Father? Though He is loving should He not have another side to address the rebellious and disobedient children who fall away from obedience? What is amazing to me about those who refute God’s Word is the fact that they understand parenting in the natural, but have no clue about “spiritual” parenting from God. Perhaps, it is because God is not their Father.

In this world, we either demonstrate that God is our Father or Satan is–there is no middle ground. We either obey God or by default, we obey Satan. What must be remembered is this–Satan was created an angel, subject to the commands of God and rebelled against God–his creator. As a result–he became a fallen angel, thrown out of a loving environment in heaven, and resides in an environment in which he think he is a god. In a way, he is a god–to the godless–those who refuse God’s love with their acts of disobedience.

Satan fell and is now under condemnation for all times and shall soon see his ultimate reward for the act of disobedience and influencing others against God. If we disobey and rebel against God–we too shall fall into utter despair and hopelessness.

Resolution for not having to ever see the severity of God? Don’t disobey Him. The same way we avoid negative consequences from parents–obey and respect them, we can avoid negative consequences from God–the removal of His hand of protection when we do–stupid!

Think before you do anything–understanding the consequences of all actions and don’t get cut off from God’s love!

Favor and Life!

“For he who finds me finds life,  And obtains favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 8:35 NASB).

Have you found Him?

Have you found The One who gives Life?

Have you found He who gives you favor all your life?

Have you discovered that with Him, you are never alone?

Have you lived the abundant Life He promises to all who receive Him into their lives?

Have you seen Him operating in the lives of others on a regular basis?

Have you felt His love towards like no other love?

Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior?

Have has your name been written in the Book of Life?

Have you acknowledged that favor on your life with others because of Him?

Well, have you?

The questions could go on and on, but there is only one response that He is seeking. “Yes, I have…” The promises of The Lord are always, Yes and Amen, but there are some who are not even aware of His promises; the promises of Life Abundantly for those who believe and receive and the promise of death for those who don’t.

We must always remember all of His promises are true–and the death that occurs, occurs spiritually, before it results in a natural death. Look around you and then look into His Word. From beginning to end–we have a choice to make–choosing life or death. I choose life and His Favor with others.

The very next verse advises us as to what happens to those who sin against God and it is their choice–not His.

Seek Him, while you yet have opportunity to do so. Repent and receive His unmerited favor–with Him and with others. Love as He loves and enjoy the abundant life He has waiting–just for you.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us gain greater insight into Your Word so we never do anything that will displease You. Help us to understand that we do not have to cave to the dictates of flesh, but can have the abundant life You promise when we obey You. Bring us into a closer relationship with You so we will understand “relationship trumps religion.”

 

Choices And Consequences!

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…”(Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).

To be blessed or be cursed--is a choice we make–based upon our decisions.

We either choose life–being obedient in all that God says, or we choose death, being cursed–when we disobey.

In the life of a true believer–the choice is simple. We understand the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. When we know God through our relationship with Him–nothing that happens in life is a surprise. We know we are either blessed or cursed and we know we are the ones who choose whether we are blessed or cursed.

Today, a decision has to be made that will affect the rest of our lives and the lives of our children. We must exercise wisdom in all things and know that God has established a credible witness (Holy Spirit) who will testify to what He sees and hears. We cannot fool God–we can only fool people and that for only a short period of time. The truth will always be revealed–when we least expect it–the lies shall be uncovered for all the world to see. Shed the cloak of deception and drape the garment of righteousness around you and those you love–choose life and be blessed!

Leave no room–in your heart or mind–for the enemy to continue to influence your thoughts and what you do. Time is not manipulated by us, but controlled by God. We have been given another chance to get it right–let’s do it, today!

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to understand that we must obey Your Word, even when it goes against the grain of popular opinion or political correctness. It is Your Word that gives us life and puts us into position to be blessed by You. Give us the strength to stand against the winds of adversity–fully focused on doing Your Will and not our own. We declare all works of the enemy void and powerless in our lives and it is done! Amen!

For Long Life, Peace and Prosperity!

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity” (Proverbs 3:1,2 NIV).

“Do not forget my teaching”–what teaching was Solomon referencing? His teaching about all He knew about God and living a life that pleases God. I have often had my children’s friends come back to me when they become adults and remind me of the things I taught them. One young lady in particular, almost had an accident during a snowstorm, but she remembered what I had said about driving on slippery roads and avoided an accident. Many of them still remember bible study at my house and the things they learned when they were kids.

“Keep my commands in your heart”--why? If we hold fast to our instructions in righteousness, we will not disobey or disappoint. Whatever is in the heart of man (or woman) will surely come to light. Perhaps, this is why scripture tells us that God is not concerned with the external trappings of man, but looks at our hearts.

For they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity”–what will? Keeping the commands/instructions given (obedience) we were given. Imagine that!

Let’s look at how that might work in our society.

“Look both ways before crossing the street” –won’t get run-down by a car.

“Don’t spend every dime you get, save money (learn to invest)”–if we save, we’ll have money when we need it.

“Treat people the way you want to be treated” –unless there is something seriously wrong with a person, most want to be treated with courtesy and kindness. If we do this, we effect peace where we are.

“Learn to respect self, others and the property of others”–when we respect others, there is no need for strife and we will not kill, steal, or destroy.

“Eat your vegetables”–proven to have not just nutritional value, but can thwart the growth of cancer cells.

“Stay away from drugs and alcohol”--drugs change the chemical production in our brains and cause us to be delusional and eventually erodes any sense of rational thinking and so can alcohol, when misused. When we destroy brain cells, we destroy our ability to function at maximum potential.

There are so many other things I could say, but this is not the appropriate forum. Perhaps, I’ll expound more in a book, specifically dedicated to a reflection about Proverbs 3.

So, if we want long life, peace and prosperity, we need to be obedient–not just to parents, but to God and those in position of authority (teachers, laws of the land, etc.). (Please read the rest of this passage to the end–very powerful and pertains to our lives today.)

Now, just to look at things in a balanced perspective–if we don’t do all the things that Solomon was advising us to do, we won’t have long life, peace or prosperity. Could it be that this is the reason the world is in the shape it is in today? Hmmm. Something to think about!

What a novel concept! Disobedience leading to shortened lives, unrest, and poverty! This should not be a surprise to anyone if we understood that the act of disobedience is what caused man’s fall from God’s favor in the beginning with Adam and Eve. Nothing new under the sun–just recycled stupidity and foolishness when people refuse to listen and obey. We cannot keep doing things the same way, expecting to get different results (Einstein’s definition of insanity), it just won’t happen. We need to wake up, acknowledge where we are, and make some changes in what we do and how we do them. The first step is in seeking God and His wisdom to guide us in all things.

Lord, help us today to see the truth of Your Word and how it applies to every area of our lives.  Pour into us Your wisdom so we can get living right according to Your Word and then be in position to receive all that You have promised.

 

 

Blessed or Cursed?

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV). 

Many people do not like to be reminded of what is said in Old Testament scriptures and actually attempt to discredit much of which is said.  While I will not enter into a debate about it, I will point some things out that have come to pass, just as The Word said it would. 

I have always considered Deuteronomy 28 to be the book of blesses and curses, simply because the first 14 verses talk about how God will bless us.  And then from verse 15 through 68, we are told how we become cursed–through disobedience.  Notice there are far more scriptures relating to how we’ll be cursed than how we are blessed. 

And then are those people who would attempt to discredit a person’s ability to “choose” to believe God.  We see in this verse–that we have always had a choice–to be obedient or disobedient.  We choose life or death; blessings or curses by our obedience or disobedience to God’s Word.  Now for those who don’t believe God exists, that’s a choice, too. But for those of us who profess an unwavering belief in God and His Word, we are accountable for what we do–we should all be walking in the blessings of the Lord. 

The bottom line for me is simply this:  If I am obedient to God in “all” He says (love Him and love others), I will be blessed and everything I put my hands to shall prosper.  If I choose to disobey (hold hatred against others and create chaos and confusion by my words or acts), then I can expect my efforts not to do much of anything, but be cursed. I get it!

I choose life and prosperity and being blessed over being cursed.  What about you?