The Lord In The Midst

The Lord In The Midst

A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23 NIV

It is The Lord who should be guiding us in all we do, not a man or a woman–those who are mere mortals.

It is The Lord who gives us courage to do all we need to do or say.

It is The Lord who strengthens us to stand against the evil that so easily pervades a nation.

It is The Lord who has determined that goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives.

It is The Lord who speaks through us when we speak truth to power for He is truth.

It is The Lord who gave Himself as a sacrifice for all mankind–not any man or woman–those mere mortals.

It is The Lord who will save us and not us in the midst of all the foolishness and chaos.

It is The Lord who walks with us and talks with us when no one else is around, guiding us to His Word.

It is The Lord who will ultimately see all the wrong righted and the evil defeated by whatever name it sows discord.

It is The Lord who will determine our eternal resting place–be it heaven or the lake of fire–based upon what we do, not what others do.

It is The Lord who will guide all who have a heart to hear Him and obey.

When The Lord is in the midst of our plans, He will bring it to pass.

Who is The Lord? He is the God of Heaven, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit walking in lockstep, watching all we do, hearing all we say, and loving us no matter what, yet correcting us when we disobey or miss the path He has designed for us.

The Lord is truth and light and there is no darkness in Him.

The Lord abhors lies and liars and has prepared the lake of fire for all who lie.

The Lord does not force His Will upon anyone, but allows us choice in all we do.

The Lord loves and imparts His love upon all who will receive, never allowing the darkness of hate to enter into His heart or ours.

In Him, we find all we need to inspire us to greatness and in doing great things, yet keeping us humble and our focus on Him. In Him, we have a shelter and haven from all the sick minds that promote hatred out of their own bitterness and anger. In Him, we find a gathering place where neither gender or skin tones matter. In Him, is our hope for peace on earth and eternal rest with Him.

I cast all my cares upon Him and I lean upon Him for guidance in my life for next three years and beyond as I journey into the political arena. I’m trusting Him to keep my integrity intact, my honor exposed for all to see and the love in my heart overflowing onto every Everyday American with whom I come into contact. He has promised in His Word that when we delight in Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts and I desire to serve all Americans with respect and dignity and to maintain the office of the presidency with all the sanctity it deserves. This I declare by Him who is Holy and all-knowing!

Raising The Standards

 

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The Beauty of Holiness!

The Beauty of Holiness!

For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and gladness are in His place.

Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.

Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!

Tremble before Him, all the earth.
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”

                                                          1 Chronicles 16:26-31 NKJV

There are many ways that people–we mere mortals–define beauty in the earth realm. We determine who is beautiful by physical features, bone structure, waistlines, hair length, height and weight. That’s what we do. But real beauty in people should be a measurement of a person’s heart and what they do for others, without seeking recognition for anything they do. 

I have met and known some really beautiful people–but they wouldn’t measure up to the world’s definition because of their facial features or other physical flaws. I measure their beauty because of their compassion and diligence in always seeking ways to help others and putting themselves in the background for all they do.

No matter how I measure or assess beauty or anyone else–true beauty is found in how we live for The Lord and that is in holiness.

Holiness–is living according to The Word–it is not how a person looks or dresses. Unfortunately, there are groups of people who think that holiness is represented in being uncomfortable in clothing, covering hair or faces, being meek and subordinate, positions for praying, songs sung in worship and none of that matters if The Word of God is not the blueprint for how one lives.

We worship God in the beauty of holiness by living for Him. It is a lifestyle that promotes who He is, not who we are.

How we dress is not a concern for God unless we are immodest in what we wear that brings more attention to us than Him. He looks upon the heart of a person, not their outward appearance. Since this is how He looks at us, perhaps we should do the same and stop looking at the outward person, but assessing their heart by what they do. For out of the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks. And what we say, is a good indicator of what we do.

Today and every day, let’s learn to appreciate the real beauty in others by the evidence we see of what’s in their heart, not in their appearance.

myBook.to/Holiness

Our Hope Anchored In Jesus!

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtains, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become the high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:17-20 NIV)

In order to understand much of what is said in the book of Hebrews, one must understand the directives given to the priests in the Old Testament, and the procedure used for entering the temple. Moving from the outer court, into the inner court, into the holy of holies was ritualistic and solemn. The priests who entered, had a rope tied around them with bells on it in case they were slain for not honoring God in the way God prescribed and they could be dragged out, since not all could enter.. If obedience and honor was a precursor now for anyone entering into “the temple” or church buildings today, not many would have leaders who could pass the test of living a holy life.

Jesus is now our high priest and all who have their hope anchored in Him, will never be disappointed nor need to fear when entering into His presence. While many attend church buildings to be in His presence, they have overlooked the fact that our bodies are the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells and He is always with us. Therefore, our conduct should always be pleasing to Him at all times and when we miss it–we confess and repent and we are still–never left alone.

Far too many people–Christians–place their hope in people or things. They develop relationships with others hoping the networking will make a difference in their lives. Sometimes, the networking may make a difference, but if the hope of having a difference made is in the people and not in Jesus, the hope is misdirected and misdirected hope usually leads to disappointment.

Our hope should not be in the pastor, the deacons, the choir, the ushers or anyone else in the building; our hope should be in Jesus alone and His righteousness in order to see our desires fulfilled on this side of heaven. People disappoint and things disappoint, but when our hope is grounded–anchored–knowing nothing shall move us from our stance in Him, we can weather any storm and the winds die down, and water recedes, we are still standing–praising His name.

Chairing the upcoming event for our high school band has helped me to realize that it is not about me, but about Jesus, who can and will do great things on my behalf to make this event successful. He has been speaking to hearts and those to whom He has spoken, have yielded to Him and they are making things happen so disappointment will not be known by any who participate in the 21st Annual Band-O-Rama! I am declaring it done–to His Glory–in Jesus’ name.

And when it is over–I will praise His name and give thanks for all He has done–recognizing all He used in making it happen. This is what we do when our hope is anchored in Jesus!

The Difference Between The Old Self and The New Self!

“That, however, is not the way of life you learned, when you heard about Christ and were taught in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:20-24 NIV)

Once again, we see in The Word, those who are speaking to the Believer–not the ones who never believed, but those who have come to learn that Jesus is the only way to the Father.

I hesitate to say that The Word was written for Christians since the term “Christian/Christianity” has taken on new connotations since those who refuse to obey The Word in its totality are still calling themselves, Christians. So, I use the term Believers–those who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and live according to The Word and its truth. I claim that this is an unequivocal truth since unbelievers will not read The Word and certainly won’t obey it.

When I see what is going on in some churches, I wonder if those attending the buildings have ever read The Word for themselves since they are always defeated by every little thing that happens in their lives. Some are quick to resort to cussing people out when they can’t have their way or in spreading rumors about things that have nothing to do with them or out of envy and jealousy. They are hard-hearted and think of no one but themselves and what they want to see happening in the building, for they do not realize it is the Body of Believers who are the True Church.

Most of what Paul writes is about how we ought to conduct ourselves as a Body of Believers–especially when we claim to be followers of Christ. He writes instructions on how to behave in our places of worship, gives instructions about those who have been gifted in various offices–apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher and all the helps ministries in the church. He gives us instructions on how to be parents and good husbands and wives. And in all of the instructions, if we read carefully, we see and understand how his experience with Jesus changed his life–from being a member of religious sect to being a Believer of Christ Jesus.

This is what truly believing and following Jesus means or should mean–we put off/set aside our old ways of doing things, cloaked in darkness, hiding our sins, and put on/drape ourselves in the newness of Christ Jesus. When we discover the new covering is so much better than the old, we should walk in the newness of life and light of love bestowed upon us.

We have rules for everything–especially in the church buildings–but if all those coming into the building, were walking as new selves in Jesus Christ, we would have no need for rules for we would all be submitted to Holy Spirit and we would allow Him to do His job–in the building and when we’re not in the building.

If we have any love in us for God, we would listen to His voice and obey in all things, so when others see us or hear us, they would know–we belong to Jesus and our new selves will not continue to wear the old cloak of darkness–attempting to hide our sins.

Israel–Always Part of God’s Plan!

“But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1 NLT–Read entire chapter)

No matter what has happened, historically–God’s plan for Israel has always been revealed–in His Word and in what He does.

We tend to forget–in the Western World– (not sure that others ever knew) that God has never uttered a word that He did not intend to be established in the heavens and never changed by man–even though we try.

Since I cannot condone hatred of anyone, by anyone, I must admonish those who think they can destroy what God has already planned–for His glory.

Hatred of people–simply because of envy of God’s chosen people–is never acceptable nor is the plan for mass murder of people who simply do not think the way others think, worship how they worship, or even pray how they pray. Every individual on God’s earth has a right to worship Him–however they choose–without interference or decimation by others. Who do people think they are to “think for God?”

God is not impressed with stupidity or the thought that “virgins” will be a reward in heaven. There will be no need for “sexual encounters” in heaven because we will be “pure spirit-beings” and will function as such. No need for food, water or any other “human-fleshly” need.

How anyone could possibly think that the dead will need anything is beyond me–but then–that’s because I believe what God has already said,” the dead know nothing” (Eccelessiastes). The saddest part of watching the crisis in the Middle East is that it will continue until Jesus returns and then–only then–will we all know the truth, but it will be too late for those who have been led to believe a lie.

 

Father, in the name of Jesus, guide us into understanding of Your Word through the words of the prophets of old and Holy Spirit speaking now. Help all to understand that You have always had a plan for Your children–both naturally and spiritually–and Your plan will prevail in the face of all adversity for no weapon formed against us shall by any means prosper. We thank You for hearing and answering prayer and guiding those in leadership with wisdom from above–so all will know–You are God!

Confidence and a Clear Conscience!

“We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.” (2 Corinthians 1:12 NLT)

When Paul wrote this letter to the church at Corinth, he was reminding believers that he and the other disciples had lived life–with holiness as the foundation for living–and they could say it with confidence and a clear conscience–having no need to be ashamed of the life they had lived. Can we say the same?

If we were writing a letter to encourage someone to live a holy life–according to God’s Word–could we say what needed to be said with confidence and a clear conscience? Considering the fact that the apostles who had a relationship with Christ before He ascended and even after–especially those who were in “the upper room” when the fire fell from heaven, were walking spirit-filled lives–do we even have a chance to measure up to their standards?

While we may not be able to proclaim doing all that they did, we should have our testimony–how we arrived at a place where we believed and were saved. When we share our testimonies–sincerely and without fanfare–we can have confidence of what we say and with a clear conscience–knowing we are not trying to scam anyone into believing Christ Jesus–we can effect life changes for many.

If we share–how we were once lost and guilty of indulging in any and everything we thought we wanted–and with our experience, understood what it meant to be in need of a Savior–came into the light, confessing all we had done and repenting of it–people can relate and have hope for themselves or their loved ones. “The blood of the lamb and our testimony” offers hope of salvation to all who are willing to hear and receive.

Imagine–for a moment–what life would be like for you and others if–after knowing the Truth, you continued along the path you were taking. How much different would life be right now? If someone had not shared the Gospel with you, where would you be? If you had not recognized the need to change–how many lives would have been affected–negatively? Would you have a clear conscience now or would you be riding guilt (some go through life so burdened with guilt that they carry it with them wherever they go) through life?

We can have a clear conscience and say with confidence that we are living life with holiness as a foundation–when we look to Him who is able to accomplish all things through us.

We Lack No Good Thing!

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:8-10 NIV).

Before we can usually determine whether appetizing food is good or not, we must taste–savor it–and make a decision. Sometimes, even when a dish “looks good” we end up spitting it out (delicately) because the taste does not agree with our taste buds. And sometimes, when something does not look that great, it turns out to be absolutely delicious. But we won’t know for certain until we taste it.

This is the attitude we should have with Jesus. Even though there are some who would say our time in serving God or communicating with Him is wasted, we must determine that for ourselves, by getting to know Him and trusting Him for ourselves. If we have a testimony–about God’s goodness and people can “see” how our relationship with Him has changed our lives, they are more likely to “taste” Him for themselves.

If our lives are shabby (we’re living any way we want to live without God’s guidance) and yet try to convince someone else that God is good–we’re laughable. Unfortunately, this is the reason many will not come to Jesus to try Him for themselves–the people who are trying to convince others, are not true representatives of Him.  They are full of hate, critical of others without facts, turn up their noses at others when they see they are distressed, and would not lift a finger to help someone else unless there was something in it for them. This does not provide an appeal for anyone to trust in The Lord or seek Him.

But those who have insight and wisdom into the deeper things of God (beyond surface level) understand the need to be the best representative of who He is to all people at all times. We can create a desire in others to seek God for themselves when our lives speak volumes of His goodness.

We must trust, fear (hold God in reverence, not be afraid of Him), and seek Him at all times and He has promised that we would lack no good thing. If we are lacking any good thing, perhaps it is because we are not trusting Him, holding Him in reverence or seeking Him for direction about everything.

O Taste and see how good God is and how He loves us. Seek understanding for why He was willing to die for us and now offers us power–through Holy Spirit–to accomplish all things to His glory!