If We Love!

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:10, 12NKJV)

Loving someone is not always the easiest thing to do–especially if we love like God loves–unconditionally, no matter what. God loves us, in spite of us, no matter how many times we probably disappoint Him in the things we do and say. Parents, are supposed to love their children–no matter how many times they disappoint them by the things they do and say. Spouses, when they truly understand the distinction between loving and lusting–love one another–no matter how many times they are disappointed with one another. The fact is–if we live long enough–we will disappoint someone we say we love.

How people handle disappointment is a true benchmark of their “love” for the object of their affection. We already know that it is obvious that many who marry, don’t really love because of the high divorce rate. If they truly loved one another, they would not cause harm to each other, be unfaithful in their relationship, and they would forgive each other when they have been disappointed.

Parents should not be willing to abandon their kids–don’t condone stupid–but don’t leave them hanging trying to sort things out if they have never been taught how to be responsible.

God loves us so much–and He does not condone sin--that He is willing to forgive us when we recognize how much we disappointment Him by the things we say and do. He doesn’t just love us when we do right–He continues to love us when we do wrong and are willing to be corrected.

Can we say the same? Do we love God enough to not want to disappoint Him?

Every time I think I’ve gotten a handle on my temper, something happens that reminds me, I still have a long way to go–to stop disappointing God. I am so thankful that He loves me enough to check me and remind me that I have not arrived at perfection–I still need Him to guard my tongue!

My love for God is unconditional, but I have to make an effort not to disappoint Him and I’m working on it. How about you? Are there things in your life that you know, need to be removed? Are there any areas in your life in which you know, you need His continued guidance and direction?

If we truly Love Him, we’ll acknowledge where we are, invite Him to govern our lives, and hear Him when He speaks–correcting us. Are we willing to listen?

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to live a life that is pleasing to You, watching out for all those things that would disappoint You, and learning how to love, like You love us–unconditionally. Amen!

Human Effort!

“The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63 NLT)

For those who do all they can to make life bearable for themselves and others, I commend you. For those who do nothing but seek self-comfort–I wonder about you. For those who walk not after the flesh, but allow Holy Spirit to guide all you do, I thank God for you. If what we do is not by the leading of Holy Spirit–our efforts will amount to nothing, short of temporary solution.

The old adage that is better to “teach a man to fish than to give him one” is still relevant today. Now, I know there are some who do not believe God or that He exists and they think that what they do is more important than what most Believers do. If acknowledgment from man is all a person wants, then–it is enough. However, if one wants to please God, then one must things the way God wants them done–this ensures eternal life, beyond the temporary life here on earth.

Does that mean people should stop giving and assisting others? No! What this means is that before we do anything, we should seek Him for direction and then do what He says.

We know from all the documented sources about “giving people a helping hand” and then watch those same people end up in the same condition in which we found them, If we’re going to really help people, we must begin with “wisdom and knowledge” so they will be able to do for themselves.

In Michigan, there are thousands of jobs available, but people do not have the skills to get the jobs. Why? Too many people, here, do not have the literacy skills or technology skills needed for the jobs.

As an educator, I am appalled at the attitude of those who think education is a waste of their time and yet, we still have the highest unemployment rates in the country. And now, many who are receiving benefits from the state are crying foul because their cash assistance will not be available for long. Their protests are pointless since the state has been saying for over five years that people had “five years” to get an education or job skills and most–didn’t believe it and just sat around on their hind parts, waiting for the handout.

If they had been forced to demonstrate sufficient literacy skills in order to get the assistance, they would be in a much better place than they are in right now. The assistance received, should have been based upon their ability to get an education or job skills training as a condition of receiving the benefits. Sometimes, as seen in Michigan, waiting for the mailman becomes a career that requires little effort. Well, the mailman’s job just got a little lighter (figuratively speaking) and many will find themselves wishing they had paid attention to “the last letter” they received.

I’m sure the conditions mentioned about Michigan may be true of other states as well, and what we must do–is to educate people about how to do things–especially in giving. We must remember that it is not by human effort that we accomplish anything, but by the direction of Holy Spirit that we can accomplish all things.

Who Will Be Your Witness?

Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.” (I John 5:9,10 NLT)

If we had to stand trial today and provide evidence that we are who we say we are in Christ, what would be a judge’s final ruling?

Who would we call to be our witnesses to support our claim to being a follower of Jesus Christ?

Do we even have any witnesses who could testify on our behalf?

Would we have to find “false witnesses” or would our witnesses tell the truth?

We can lie to ourselves and act like we are “all that” when in fact, we haven’t reached a point in our lives where we truly believe we are who we say we are. If we did, the world would be a much better place for if we are truly His, we would know how to change the course of events without violence and hatred and bigotry and know how to encourage all to live according to God’s Word, not in opposition of it.

Who will be your witness and can you call them to testify with confidence or will you quake as they speak?

If we truly think about how others perceive us and are willing to look self–in the face–and dare to make whatever changes are necessary, we would have no need to fear what any witness would say about our relationship with Christ.

Something to think about. We can fool ourselves and others, but we cannot fool God! He knows–everything about us!

Jesus–The Only Way!

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NLT)

One of the reasons I love the Gospel of John is the very personal–close-up–we get of Jesus. Now, some might say (if they are scorners) that Jesus is very arrogant. There is a difference between being arrogant and confident and here–Jesus displays His confidence in knowing who He is!

“I am the way!” The way to having eternal life and the path we all should follow for the abundant life, right here on earth, that He promises in the tenth chapter.

“I am the truth!” He is the truth–revealing the character and attributes of God in person. Every thing He did was because of the Father’s DNA in Him.

“I am the life!” He is the life–the personified life of the Father, who loves us so much that He willingly gave His life for us that we might be saved from ourselves. No one else can make that claim, truthfully!

“No one can get to the Father except through Him!” That’s a pretty bold statement. Basically, what He’s saying is that it doesn’t matter what else you believe or who else you believe or not–the only way to come into the presence of God is through Him.

Let me take this a step further. Jesus said that whatever we asked of the Father–in His name–He would do. Using the name of Jesus in our communications with God, brings us into His presence and we have the boldness–empowered by the name–to ask what we will (aligned with The Word) and have a right to expect it to come to pass.

Nowhere in The Word are we told to “pray” in another person’s name or pray to another person. When we do–we negate our ability to be in His presence, and have no confidence in our prayers which is why some people–never see prayers answered. We are not told to “repeat words”–ad nauseum–to receive forgiveness. We are not told to go through Mary to get to Jesus. We are not told to pray to statutes or to expect answers to prayers by rubbing beads, or stones or any other man-made item. The only way (and He is the way) we can confidently pray (communicate with God) and expect answers is when we ask of God–whatever it is–in the name of Jesus!

If anyone is teaching anything other than what God has said in His Word–they are liars and the Truth is not in them. Muhammad is not the way, Buddha is not the way, Mary is not the way, Jesus is the Only Way–we come into the presence of God! Hallelujah!

Message For The Times!

But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Revelation 2:14-16 NLT)

The simple, but powerful message–used by John, the baptist (one who baptized, not the denomination), spoken to John, the Disciple whom Jesus loved, and should be used by Believers all over the land--REPENT!

We hear all sorts of “feel-good” messages from various preachers of The Word. We hear prosperity messages (which some have rejected), we hear messages for healing (always appropriate), we hear messages of deliverance (again, appropriate), we hear messages of forgiveness (we should forgive since we have been forgiven) and we hear messages about the power of prayer (there is power in prayer), but what we seldom hear is a message that deals with repentance–turning away from sin and turning to God–and this is why the world is in the shape it is.

John’s message before the appearance of Christ–REPENT and be baptized for the remission of sin.

God’s response to our needs–because He loves us so much–He came down from heaven, in the likeness of sinful flesh, tempted by all man could be tempted, and chose to be raised upon a cross for our sins though He never committed a sin.

Our response to God has been–negligible at best–we come to an altar, sorry for our sins (sorry we got caught), and ask Him to forgive us–and as soon as we get out of the church, away from the altar and those who were praying for us–turn back to our sinful lifestyles, like a dog returning to its own vomit–absolutely sickening.

The real problem is that not many–who are preaching–understand the need to teach REPENTANCE and what it really means. To repent is more than to say, “I’m sorry, Lord forgive me.” True repentance is an acknowledgment that we have sinned, we need Him in our lives to help us to remain sin-free, and give our lives over to Him to keep us from sin–turning completely to Him–away from sin.

When we say we allow Jesus to be our Lord and Savior–what we should mean (and some don’t know), is that we give Him complete control over what we do and say–we submit to His Lordship. Accepting the work on the cross is acceptance of His being our Savior–saving us from ourselves. This is the first step on the journey to living a life that glorifies God and puts us in position “to receive” all His many benefits--prosperity, longevity, good health, etc. REPENTANCE–comes first–then we receive the rewards from pleasing Him–not the other way around.

It is time for us–all of us–who believe and agree with God–to preach the message for this time–REPENT!

Who The AntiChrists Are!

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”(I John 2:18 NKJV)  “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. (I John 2:22 NKJV) . “and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (I John 4:3 NKJV)

The prefix “anti” means opposed to or against “whatever it is attached. So with this dictionary meaning, or logic, we can conclude that anyone who denies Jesus, God, is opposed to them or against them–hence–the atheists are antichrist. From a spiritual perspective, that would mean that anyone who is influenced by Satan is “antichrist.”

We see the influence of the antichrist working in the world right now! We see it on a global level where chaos and violence reign. We see the influence in entities who wish to “change” everything that God has established, including biological functions and who is male or female. We see the influence in politics when politicians choose to promote their own ungodly agendas in lieu of making decisions that benefit all people and not just those of their ilk. We see the influence when colleges have to change their “language” to be more inclusive of those who are confused about their gender. “God is not the author of confusion,” and we know who is. We see the influence when teachers are asked to “ignore the biological assumption of gender classification” and allow children to believe they are “its” (penguins are things).

We see more of Satan’s influence on a daily basis and it is amazing that they do not realize who is influencing them. That’s blindness! Deception is one of Satan’s favorite devices to control and manipulate people. We have to remember he hates mankind and will do anything he can to destroy us because God loves us.

There is an antidote to counteract the influence–His name is Jesus and our response to anything the enemy has started is to proclaim The Name and not back down from anything the antichrist attempt.

The antichrists use “science” as their rationale to oppose God, not realizing that it is God who gives wisdom to those who research and explore, trying to understand why–things already exist! Science has not created anything from “nothing” and even the scientists are muddled with their finds that support biblical records of history. I praise God for the scientists who explore and for the inventors who invent things from those things that already exist.

And for those who say we cannot rationally believe in something we cannot see–God–here’s my answer.

I cannot see their thoughts–therefore they must not exist.

I cannot feel their thoughts–therefore they must not exist.

I cannot smell their thoughts–therefore they must not exist.

I cannot hear their thoughts–therefore they must not exist.

I cannot taste their thoughts–therefore they must not exist.

We see the “results” of a person’s thinking, just like we see the “results” of the wind–which we cannot see, but believe it exists. We cannot see oxygen, but we know it exists because we are still here, living, breathing human beings, with an established gender–male or female, biologically determined by God.

“The greater one lives in me” and therefore, since I have the mind of Christ, I will proclaim Him forever! There is none like our God, no one in the earth can do what He does or loves like He loves! Hallelujah, Jesus!

Living Water!

“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)” John 7:38,39 NLT)

Without water, not much lives on our planet. Even though water covers most the planet, if we do not have water and many don’t have access to water, people and things die. The deserts are dry because of a lack of water. In a drought when the rain doesn’t fall, things die because of a lack of water. Even though our bodies contain a great deal of water, when we get dehydrated, some people faint and others may die because of a lack of water.

Without water, nothing grows–all vegetation suffers, animal life suffers, and we as people suffer for if there is nothing growing, there is no food and we die. This is the result of a lack of “natural” water. Without water, there is no life.

Spiritual water gives life, too–it is born and ignited within us by Holy Spirit and only those who believe that Jesus is will be able to drink the “living water” and have it flow from them. Without the living water, there is no life in the lives of Christians because it is Holy Spirit that gives life-flowing water (the ability to share The Word accurately and love unconditionally).

If Holy Spirit is not in charge of our worship services–there is no life in the building and the service is dry and dead. This is one of the reasons that many churches cease to exist–they have no life–and Holy Spirit was not allowed to ignite those who say they believe.

There are many people who claim they are “filled with the Spirit” but I often wonder–which spirit fills them. Angry, jealous, envious people cannot be filled with Holy Spirit. Mean, abusive, derogatory people cannot be filled with Holy Spirit. Deceitful, manipulative, criminal-minded people cannot be filled with Holy Spirit–so there is only one other spirit left to fill them–the demonic spirits that reign in the land, and easily influence those who are not filled with Holy Spirit.

Those who are filled with demonic spirits oppose everything God has said. The church leadership does not lead according to God’s plan (clearly spelled out in His Word), but according to their own plans. The praise and worship is manipulated by cheerleaders and the service becomes a rally and Satan sits back enjoying every moment. By the time The Word should come forth for the benefit of the people, the people are too tired to received from all their jumping, dancing and shouting and The Word (from them or from God), falls upon “dry ground.”

When Jesus told Nicodemus that a man must be born of water (the natural water involved in child-birth) and of the spirit, Nicodemus wondered how he could return to his mother’s womb a second time. He did not understand–the natural water allows a child to survive within the womb, but it is the “living water” of Holy Spirit that helps to survive outside of the womb.

Without water we die–without living water–we fade away into nothingness–devoid of true feelings and lacking true knowledge.

Let’s go to the fountain and drink–believing Jesus is all He said He is and be filled with “living water” so out of our bellies, living water (God’s Truth) will also flow.

Are We Listening?

Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7 NLT)

To whom is John referring? Certainly he is not referring to those who have “physical ears” because just about everyone has physical ears, but he said, “anyone” with ears. The anyone he references is those who have “spiritual ears” so they can hear what the Spirit of God is saying. If one does not have access to Holy Spirit living within, they will not have spiritual discernment to understand those things that occur in the spirit realm.

For those who do have Holy Spirit living within, the message then, is for them. They must listen and understand what He is saying to the churches (every body of Believers).

For those who disparage God’s Word–they do so out a lack of knowledge. They are ignorant to how God operates and so naturally, they tend to denigrate anyone who claims to know and understand His Word. Ignorance–of anything–will always lead to doubt and scorn. Until these people are ready to acknowledge God, His Word is not meant for them, but for those who already profess knowledge of His Word and relationship with Him. This is why, He tells John that the church at Ephesus needs to repent and “turn back to Him” because they no longer love Him or one another. Are we yet, the Ephesus Church–no longer loving God and one another?

This turning back to God is a theme repeated throughout Old Testament scriptures and is still relevant today. The Word going forth from many is that it is time for us to “return to God and His ways” for surely His ways are better than ours. Whenever we “attempt to live” without Godly direction, we miss the mark and chaos ensues.

We have missed the mark and chaos is reigning throughout the land--in America, and across every body of water–unrest resides in the hearts of people and destruction becomes inevitable.

Are we listening to Holy Spirit? Is His message getting through to us? Are we ready to repent and turn back to God so we can be victorious in all things?

If we, as Believers, refuse to listen to Holy Spirit, how can we expect the unbelieving to hear us? Is our message the same as God’s message or are we creating our own to draw people to us, instead of Him?

Believers must hear Holy Spirit and do what He says if we ever expect to see peace and love in the land. We must do things God’s Way and be quick to tell those who do not understand God that we “agree with God” and lead by example–all to come to know Jesus!

Are we listening?

The Power of Belief!

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” (John 3:36 NLT)

Are you an “anyone”? Fortunately, for most of us, we meet the criteria to receive eternal life because we are “anyone” who believes in Jesus.

With so many positive-thinking, motivational speakers out there, we see when we read The Word the principle from which most of them obtained their concepts, even if they won’t admit it. There is power in belief–whether it is positive or negative and the only criteria that must be met–is individual belief.

If we believe that everyone is out to get us–we act out of paranoia–and we never see that some folks are put in our path to help us–not hurt us.

If we believe all the negativity that we ever heard about us–we become bitter and suspicious and in many cases, we operate out of negativity–always expecting the worst to happen to us.

If we believe that we can do all things through Him who loves us–most of us will actually attempt to do things and see success with our attempts.

If we straddle the fence–half-heartedly attempt to do things–we do not get the full measure of success we could have had.

It is the half-hearted beliefs by some who will not see the end result promised to all who believe and obey–eternal life. These are the people who say, “I believe in Jesus, but I don’t believe what His Father said.” Why is this so? When we only read The Word selectively–forgetting that Jesus appeared on the earth as God in the flesh and nothing God the Father had previously said was negated by His appearance on earth. The one thing that most ignore is that we are to, “Love God (and obey) and love one another” as the total fulfillment of everything that God ever said. If we truly believe–we would receive The Word with gladness and obey.

I choose to believe and obey. I am everything that God says I am–blessed, highly favored, more than a conqueror, healed by His stripes, descendant of royalty, joint-heir with Christ Jesus, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, His treasure, loved beyond measure, and nothing by any means shall stop me from believing what God has said about me. That’s the power of belief–the power needed to successfully navigate life and endure all that comes before us.

What do you believe?

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Straight From The Throne!

“Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

What happened during this conversation with Jesus? The disciples finally got it–they understood that Jesus came–straight from the throne of God!

Have we figured it out, yet? Do we “know” or are we still debating amongst ourselves who Jesus is?

If we are still debating who Jesus is, perhaps we need to take another stroll through John’s perspective of who Jesus is. I would encourage everyone to re-read the entire Gospel, but if you’re short of time–seek The Lord and at least read this chapter–the entire chapter.

I believe that one of the reasons people have a problem understanding the three distinctive roles of God is because they failed to see Jesus in this Gospel. In this Gospel, we become personally acquainted with Him; He speaks to our hearts and shatters the blinders that keeps us from seeing fully, who He is. In order for us to truly see Him, we must open our hearts and spiritual understanding and He will reveal Himself to all who are willing to receive.

Are you willing to receive Truth–straight from the Throne?

The Word of God contains all we will ever need to know and if we need to seek understanding of The Word, we should seek Him and His wisdom and He will give us all we need to understand Him and how He wants us to live. Relationship2

Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask You to help us today. Help us to open our hearts to You so we will hear You when You speak and know that it is You speaking to us. Help us to see through the bitterness that prevails over the hearts of many who have been hurt by religion and religious people. Open our spiritual eyes–no longer blinded to Truth–and cut away all the doubt in our hearts so we can fully receive the indwelling of Holy Spirit as our guide, counselor, and comforter for the rest of our days. Create in us the boldness needed to direct those who doubt–straight to You, and encourage them to learn at The Throne of Grace and Mercy. Help us to understand there is no need for us to ask questions of anyone other than You because You have all the answers. All this we ask and thank You for giving in His Name, the name that is above all names, Jesus! Amen!