The Grace of God Ignites Faith!

The Grace of God Ignites Faith!

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Titus 2:11-15 NIV

Remember hearing anyone say, “if not for the grace of God, there go I?”

Usually, this statement is made by people who look upon the tragedies endured by others–homelessness, addiction, loneliness, dissonance, isolationism, all those things that set them apart from the “normalized” view of the world. And it’s true, if not for the grace of God, where would I be?

I could have been lost in sin, but Jesus stepped in

Reminded me of His love and why He came from above,

To shoulder all I could not handle on my own,

And not only to me, has His love been shown.

Whenever I see, helplessness and despair in the eyes of others,

I’m reminded to help all my sisters and brothers,

In Christ for if it had not been for His grace,

I could be standing in their place.

I could be as despicable as those who hate,

But in this life, loving others was always my fate.

So, how could I give up or give in to defeat,

When His Grace has my made my triumph complete?

A word of encouragement for all who read and see just how much we have to be thankful for in spite of the greed and corruption we see emanating from the White House and those court jesters in charge. We have an opportunity to change the landscape and our fate by voting out those who are abdicating their constitutional responsibility and electing those who care about all people and will uphold the constitution–no matter what. Congressional representations should not be shackled with party partisanship, but bonded to serve all Americans–no matter who voted for them. That’s what it means to be a true Patriot.

America Votes

With this in mind, I still implore those who will to support my impending run for president in 2020. The foundation is being laid and more information will be updated on a regular basis as need warrants, but for now, I am encouraged and inspired by the Grace of God to move forward in the face of immeasurable odds.

Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose. – Tom Krause

I will not allow any negative thoughts or dastardly deeds by others to deter me. I will continue to fight the good fight of faith and prepare to enter the White House in 2021 as the next president of the people. Hope you’ll join me in this venture so we can all celebrate the victory and triumph of being Everyday Americans!

 

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Learning To Rest!

Learning To Rest!

For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:6-9 NKJV

There are so many things that happen to us in life that are simply not in our control. Some of our life events cause us to be over anxious and frenetic and some have even caused people to seek escape from the problems by committing suicide–which is never the answer, for then we leave those behind to handle those things we refused to face.

Let’s face it–life happens–to everyone, some of it good, some bad, some absolutely horrible, but when we are in Christ, we can rest–assured of His grace and mercy--and know He will work it out for our good.

So when the world is careening out of its orbit–we don’t have to sway into fray–we can lean entirely on God’s Word, the firm foundation of our faith and weather any storm that comes our way. In life–storms come and they go–and we have shelter in the arms of our Lord! Nothing the enemy does--no fiery dart shall ever thwart God’s plans for our lives and if we only Believe.

Believe that He is our comforter when we need to be comforted.

Believe that He is our healer when sickness and disease attempt to make us fearful.

Believe that He is our Father who gives good gifts.

Believe that He is our provider and He will take care of us.

Believe that He is Alpha and Omega–the first and last–and He has us covered with the blood of Jesus.

Believe that when we are weakened by the trials of this world–He strengthens us to endure until the end.

Where does our help come from? Our help comes from The Lord! And when we know that He watches over us–we can rest in the knowledge that He knows all about our troubles and concerns and we can rest in Him–never fearful or over anxious about anything or about what anyone may do.

Now–shake off those feelings of dread or fear or anxiety and enter into His peace and rest–troubled no more by those things we cannot control. For if we can control some things, we should control them and thank God for the wisdom He bestows upon us from on high!

Humility!

Humility!

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Proverbs 15:33 KJV

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. Proverbs 18:12 KJV

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NIV

By definition–humility is not an act–an attempt to fool others, but it is the essence of sincerity demonstrated by what we say or do. Per the dictionary–the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

When we are truly sincere–saying or doing–from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks–and we don’t have to tell anyone, we are being sincere, they’ll know it by what they see or hear.

Solomon reminds us that when we have reverential fear–respect–of The Lord, we receive instruction from Him because He is the only wise person and then when we act upon the instructions given, we do not need to boast of anything–bringing attention to ourselves, but we always point people in the direction of Him and He then allows to be honored by mankind. Solomon also tells us that when a person experiences destruction (defeat) it is because of their haughty heart–arrogance in their thinking themselves superior to others. This is especially true of those who think they are a “savior” and promote themselves as such, saying things like, “I’m the only one who can fix all the wrong in the world.”

There is only one Savior and His job has already been completed on the cross. But He has given us power to do all things well through Him. When we acknowledge that it is His grace, mercy and goodness that guided us in all we do that honors Him, He honors us with favor from all we meet. Walking in God’s favor, without drawing attention to self, is the greatest knowledge in the world to me–and I know–without living to please Him, I cannot walk in His favor.

How does God honor us? I cannot speak for others, but I can certainly speak to what He’s done for me. I have obtained jobs–positions for which I did not meet the criteria–initially–but His favor was showered upon me and not only did I get the jobs, but I learned quickly and was promoted into other positions. Instead of bragging about me, I expressed an interest in the job and learning all I could to be a benefit to the place where I worked. At one job, because of my ability to get things done, within the my first year of being with the company, a promotional position was created–just for me–in order for them to adjust my salary based upon my worth to them (so my boss at that time said). That’s God’s favor–not my ability. All I did was what I knew to do.

When we are truly humble–we don’t need to broadcast, “I mean it sincerely, believe me”, rant or rave in order to get attention. God already knows our heart and when we honor Him in what we say and do, He honors us with His favor. We don’t have to beg for it or pray for it–He simply gives.

Humility–is also not a “tone of voice” especially when the words we speak have not changed their tone. We can whisper hateful, spiteful words and that is not a show of humility. True humility considers the words before they are spoken, before they hit the airwaves and are mindful of those who are going to hear them. We can shout our praise for God and demonstrate humility because it’s not about us, but about Him.

Understanding who He is and all He has done for us, ignites humility in all who love Him because our desire is to please Him and not ourselves.

On This Journey–Let Passion Drive!

“Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ “So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.“So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.  “So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ Acts 22:6-10 NKJV

Most of us know Paul’s testimony about his trip to Damascus to persecute followers of Christ–how his encounter with Jesus–changed him and established a clear path for all who followed Jesus.

From persecutor to champion of the cause–from Saul to Paul–God’s grace on his journey in life was due to his passion.

Now, the same grace that saved Paul and put him on the path to securing solidarity for the Body of Christ is available to all who are willing to receive. Much has been said about Paul’s conversion, but perhaps the most important thing that any of us need to know is this–in order to be effective at doing anything–passion must drive us!

Paul (as Saul) was taught by the masters of Jewish faith in the law–he understand better than most what the law said, but it wasn’t until his encounter with Jesus–contact with The Living Word–that he learned to apply what he thought he knew. At the point of his conversion to knowing how God wants us to treat us, he changed–the scales of blindness came off and he clearly saw how The Law kept people in bondage, making a mockery of a faith they claimed to be in God.

Are we religious or are we Believers in the Most High God? Have we allowed religious traditions to hinder passion for true belief and action on our part? Are willing to have an encounter with Jesus–The Living Word–to set us on the right path–a path destined with challenges and victories? Are we ready for the journey of a lifetime–promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our conduct and not just our words?

The journey–may have it’s ups and downs, but if we remain faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us and accomplish all He has put our hearts to do. This journey called life–has not really been lived until we are living it for The Lord! What is your passion?

 

Have We Sought Atonement For Our Sins?

Have We Sought Atonement For Our Sins?

But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing. Let our officials act for the whole assembly. Then let everyone in our towns who has married a foreign woman come at a set time, along with the elders and judges of each town, until the fierce anger of our God in this matter is turned away from us.” Ezra 10:13,14 NIV

When the people (exiled groups) were assembled in order to determine why God was angry, the conclusion they came to was that there were so many “foreign” women in their midst. Now, the reference here is not about being a stranger in a strange land, but about someone who does not know God or worship Him as the Israelites had been taught to do. I’m clarifying this for a reason since we know–under Grace–not under The Law–we are still discouraged from being “unequally yoked” with unbelievers.

Why does God not want Believers and unbelievers joined in matrimony? It is a simple matter and one in which most of us would shy away from expressing–aloud. Remember Eve’s influence over Adam in the garden? Instead of him influencing her–she enticed him to eat the forbidden fruit. Since that time–it would appear–women have held enormous influence over men, especially in the area of disobeying God. Even sadder is the fact that gullible men allow themselves to be led into disobedience and open the door for sin to reign.

When Ezra brought the people together they decided that the officials should determine what to do–the men who had not been influenced by the strange women–and it was determined that the men who had married the strange women needed to send them away so they could seek atonement from God for their sin.

Is there anyone who can officiate over such an assembly today–one who would hear from God and inform the people that in order to turn God’s wrath from them, they would need to turn from sin and separate themselves from those who enticed them away from doing God’s Will?

None of us are perfect and without sin in our lives, but that’s why grace is ours today. Jesus has made atonement for our sins and we choose--just as they did in the days of old–whether we obey God or not. We cannot blame anyone–especially not women–for the decisions we make because Holy Spirit is available to all. Whether it is a woman or man who leads anyone astray from the path God has established, we need to separate ourselves from them and seek God’s forgiveness so we can get back on the right path.

It is truly unfortunate that we do not allow those who have been entrusted in positions of leadership to hear from God and inform the people. Instead, we employ secular mechanisms to make decisions and usually end up going astray, and when things go wrong, we wonder what happened. Have we learned to seek atonement for our sin or do we keep heading in the wrong direction, led by our fleshly desires?

Until we learn to do things God’s way, we will never experience a time when His wrath is turned from us. It is time for us to repent and turn away from doing things our way and choose to do what He would have us to do.

When We Reach Our Haven!

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Psalm 107:28-31 NIV

How many times have we cried out to The Lord and He responded–knowing it would not be the last time we would reach out to Him when we get into trouble?

I could go all the way back to all those who cried out to The Lord in the Old Testament to illustrate this point, but there’s no need. Every time a disaster hits--whether it is acts of terrorism, storms, earthquakes, undisciplined spouses, disrespectful children, the chaos and confusion amidst all the violence or the calamities of hatred, we continue to call upon The Lord. And sometimes, in the midst of our personal storms–we make rash promises to God–and though we are sincere in the moment–God knows–we won’t keep the promises. So He waits–until the next time.

What is most amazing is how quickly we develop amnesia when it comes to remembering what we said to God.

“God, if you’ll just heal my mama, I’ll go to church.”

“God, if you’ll just find my children and keep them safe, I’ll serve you.”

“God, if you just make my husband leave me alone, I’ll get right with you.”

And some people are saying,”God, if you just let me win the lottery, I’ll give my ten percent.”

The list could go on for a few days and many of us either know someone who has prayed like this or we have actually said it ourselves. While we wait to hear from God, some of us actually do better–I guess that’s our attempt to convince God we meant what we said and as soon as we get what we want, we go right back to being who we were and doing what we did, forgetting about that conversation with God.

In His infinite mercy and grace–and knowing us from the beginning–He still responds to our cries because that’s what a loving Father does.He takes care of His Children.

So in the midst of our next storm, and we cry out to Him, He’ll hear us, but maybe, just maybe He won’t be so quick to respond since He knows–we won’t change our ways for the duration. When He does respond and guides us to our safe haven–professional counselors, doctors, or whoever it might be–we need to take the time to thank Him for His mercy and grace–always extended to us–even though He may not respond as quickly as we’d like.

Lord, have mercy upon us–Your wayward children–and create in us a clean heart and hearing ears so we’ll respond quickly to You in obedience to all You tell us to do.

 

Is This America?

But your iniquities have built barriers

between you and your God,

and your sins have made Him hide His face from you

so that He does not listen.

For your hands are defiled with blood

and your fingers, with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies,

and your tongues mutter injustice.

No one makes claims justly;

no one pleads honestly.

They trust in empty and worthless words;

they conceive trouble and give birth to iniquity.

They hatch viper’s eggs

and weave spider’s webs.

Whoever eats their eggs will die;

crack one open, and a viper is hatched.

Their webs cannot become clothing,

and they cannot cover themselves with their works.

Their works are sinful works,

and violent acts are in their hands.

Their feet run after evil,

and they rush to shed innocent blood.

Their thoughts are sinful thoughts;

ruin and wretchedness are in their paths.

They have not known the path of peace,

and there is no justice in their ways.

They have made their roads crooked;

no one who walks on them will know peace.

Therefore justice is far from us,

and righteousness does not reach us.

We hope for light, but there is darkness;

for brightness, but we live in the night.

We grope along a wall like the blind;

we grope like those without eyes.

We stumble at noon as though it were twilight;

we are like the dead among those who are healthy.

We all growl like bears

and moan like doves.

We hope for justice, but there is none;

for salvation, but it is far from us.

For our transgressions have multiplied before You,

and our sins testify against us.

For our transgressions are with us,

and we know our iniquities:

transgression and deception against the LORD,

turning away from following our God,

speaking oppression and revolt,

conceiving and uttering lying words from the heart.

Justice is turned back,

and righteousness stands far off.

For truth has stumbled in the public square,

and honesty cannot enter.

Truth is missing,

and whoever turns from evil is plundered.

The LORD saw that there was no justice,

and He was offended.

Today’s scripture reading is from Isaiah 59:2-15 HCSB

There is nothing left for me to say other than please read the entire chapter and then pause, and think about what it says.

May The Lord have mercy upon us and wash our hearts thoroughly with His Word, creating in us a desire to please Him, more than man!