Don’t Blame God! Bart!

Earlier today, I had an interesting interaction with Bart@sluckyducky on Twitter. He was apparently upset with me because I posted a tweet thanking God for the 1+ million readers I’d asked Him for and standing in faith to receive.

Okay, there were a number of questions he asked that I’ll try to answer. Why not pray that no more children die of starvation? He accused me of caring more about getting readers than ending rape, cancer, murder, etc. While I understand that his primary purpose was to goad a debate or argument, I refused to engage. My faith–in whatever I’ve asked for–is based on my relationship with Him and faith in God is accessible to any who choose to believe. Now for people who choose not to believe, that’s on them. Don’t blame God for all the ills of the world when those ills were caused by greedy people, selfish and self-centeredness, and lack of moral compasses.

Hungry children–when people cannot afford to feed their children they should consider that fact before having them. When governments care more about keeping the rich, rich and care nothing about the poor, that’s on the governments. When droughts occur that keep crops from growing and deplete appropriate animal feed and care–let the scientists explain it for you since you do not believe in God.

And that’s the other thing–why are you blaming God when you don’t believe He exists? How does that work? Are you choosing to blame Him for things that people do because it is so much easier to blame “a non-existent God” than to hold people accountable for their actions?

Bart said,”I have a Master’s Degree in Theology and ‘was’ as Christian for 30 years.” Apparently, something happened in Bart’s life that he never forgave God for. Perhaps, it was guilt over his own inadequacies, or hurt because of a loved one being lost or a host of other things. Bart–God did not do anything to you or anyone you loved. God is a spirit and He is love. Whatever happened in your life to make you hate God and deny His existence is between you and Him and I pray you get it straightened with Him before the end comes.

But let me get back to The Word and my prayer life, which is no secret. As I said to Bart earlier, my prayer tweets are a matter of public record and I have prayed for peace, calm, wisdom and the end of abuse and neglect of children, the end of senseless violence and hatred, as well as for “readers” of my books. God doesn’t have a problem with what I ask Him, so I don’t understand why you do?

When I ask God for anything, I ask–once, in faith–believing I shall receive that for which I asked (which is why I thank Him in advance of receiving it) and He always delivers. I don’t doubt Him for a moment for if I doubted He would do as I ask, I would receive nothing. But do know this–God does not force anyone to do anything. Obeying Him is always a choice. When our relationship with Him is right, we hear Him when He speaks and when we obey Him, we can have what we want from Him.

When people feel powerless in events over which they have no control, instead of seeking God for wisdom in how to respond to the situation, they simply blame God and then deny His existence. That’s not going to solve anything. The root of the problem is the individual’s unbelief and lack of faith. If they were to exercise their faith in God, without doubting, they would see the same results I get.

People play the lottery because they have faith in a lottery. They go to casinos because of their faith to win. They go to race tracks because of their faith in a horse. That is where their faith is. My faith is in God and since I don’t have a problem with people who have faith in other things, why on earth do you have a problem with my faith in God? Is it envy, jealousy, guilt, remorse, what?

Whatever it is or was–Bart–you need to get over it and stop trying to project your guilt over a situation onto others who choose not to share your lack of faith. And if it’s that deep–seek Him and get it right. The fact that you “say” you don’t believe He exists doesn’t change His existence for all who believe. You believe what you want, and so will the rest of the world, and that certainly includes me.

God loves you so very much that He willingly came down and hung on a cross for your sins (and everyone else’s). Was His love in vain? Are you so callous that you cannot see the sacrifice He made for you and me? Are you so overwhelmed with guilt that your heart has hardened and you have no room for love? If you cannot receive God’s love, you certainly are incapable of loving anyone else and that includes yourself. Let Him into your heart and stop hating Him for those things that happened that you could not control. Don’t blame God! He’s innocent! It is people–whoever created the problem for you–that you should be angry with, but you should also forgive–so you can go and have the best life God intended for you to have.

God loves you and so do I and your lack of faith in Him–will never change my complete faith in Him and all He does for those who believe that He is and will do for those who do not doubt Him.

I entreat every Born-Again Believer who reads this to pray for Bart–that he’ll seek God, forgive God, and receive God’s best in his life. God knows who he is and the real problem and He is able to do all things well.

Restoring Relationship!

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:10 NKJV)

How did we become–enemies, separated from relationship with God in the first place? Sin–the disobedience of Adam (both the male and female were called Adam since they were “one” in God’s sight). Before the fall–they were in position to converse with God on a daily basis and were not ashamed of their nakedness in the Garden of Eden. When they succumbed to Satan’s influence and allowed their “lust” of their eyes to override their heart, they were exposed to themselves as “fallible human beings” and created a gap between them and the “infallible” God of Heaven.

Time after time, God made a way for people to be reconciled to Him, and time after time, people failed to obey–The Law and The Prophets. Loving His creation the way He did, He decided to come down and once and all, bridge the gap created by sin, so we would be saved from ourselves and our relationship with Him, restored.

Since Jesus–was God in the flesh–it was important that His life remain untainted until the end when He who knew no sin, became sin for all of us and was the ultimate sacrifice, offered for the remission of sin and reconciliation with The Father.

Unless we have a heart to know God, understanding how much He loves us by what He did will never make sense. But once we know, every time we think of His sacrifice, our hearts should be flooded with tears of gratitude and our minds made up to live to please Him. Just knowing that He hears me when I call upon Him, sees every effort I make to live right, and feels every pain that I feel, is enough for me–to praise Him, for the rest of my life. Hallelujah!

We Know His Name!

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10 NKJV)

One of the reasons many people don’t know God is because of all the negatives that some have attributed to Him. When people believe the worst of anyone–what they think they know–is a different perspective from one who actually knows.

Our God, The Lord Jesus Christ–is love and therefore, He can only love as a loving Father.

Our God, The Lord Jesus Christ–is the Son of the Father (God in the flesh) and He can only do what He has seen the Father do and say what the Father says.

Our God, The Lord Jesus Christ–is Holy Spirit–the spirit of God living in us–and He will only tell us what He hears the Father say.

How can we put our trust in someone we don’t know? Most people cannot and since they cannot trust Him, they choose to refute who He is.

Now, here is the real challenge–why is it that those who claim to know Him and His name, have difficulty fully trusting in all He is and His Word?

If, we as Believers–fully understand and know who He is–we should not have a problem trusting Him–in all things–and never worry about the outcome of anything. Do we worry? Do we have doubts and are overanxious about things over which we cannot control?

I have learned and still learning that when I trust Him–totally trust Him–I can navigate life without concern about what “may” happen next. I know from experience that whatever happens–I will get through it if I just praise Him and trust Him to do what He said He would do--never forsake me, never abandon me, never leave me alone, always guiding me, loving me, setting me in position for victory. I am more than a conqueror through Him because of His love. I can do all things through Him and therefore there is nothing, I cannot do and do well to His glory!

I not only know who He is–His name–I know His attributes and His character and I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that He will never withdraw His love from me.

Thank You, Lord Jesus for love, mercy, and favor–even though I may not be worthy because I sometimes miss the mark, yet Your abiding love keeps me from being perpetually lost to the temptations of this world. It is because I desire to please You above all things that I know I cannot bring shame to Your name, by my actions or attitudes. Thank You for always curbing my tongue and comforting my heart, giving me peace and understanding in how to do those things I must. 

Church Goers!

Why are we really going to church? Is it because we have nothing better to do or is it a social event? Do we think our attendance will reserve our place in heaven or is it just a status thing?

If we’re going to a building, just because it’s Sunday or to Mid-week services, and we’re simply going because it’s the thing to do, we’re wasting our time and taking up space better used for another purpose.

The body of believers of Jesus Christ—all of us—comprises The Church. For many, we assemble in one location to fellowship with other believers and to encourage one another to stay in the faith.

If we think that we have to go to church to worship God—we really don’t know Him.
If we think that we have to go to church to hear The Word—we really don’t know Him.
If we think that we have to go to church to praise Him—we really don’t know Him.

And at about this point—some might comment—Paul tells us “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together” and he does. But does he say when, or what time? Does he tell us which building to go to when we assemble ourselves together? No, he doesn’t and it doesn’t really matter which building we enter.

What matters the most is this—having a relationship with God, knowing and understanding His purposes for our lives, knowing and understanding His Word so we can increase our faith, every time we hear it. Knowing and understanding His Word is not just for the preachers or the deacons but for every born-again believer—who dares to get to know Him and stay in fellowship with Him.

I am absolutely amazed at the number of people who are involved in “church work” but have no relationship with God. They think only the pastors or church leaders need to know The Word and sit in service after service, getting nothing out of the event other than a time to meet up with folks and to brag about much they do in and for the church. This attitude then—is the result of religious affiliation, rather than being in relationship with God. Of course, before we can claim to have a relationship with God, we must understand and accept the work on the cross, by which we are made joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. And Jesus has said, “No man gets to the Father, but by Him.” He did not say “mother” or “it.” He was clear about God being our Father, but we cannot make this claim until we know Him.

How can we acknowledge someone having a love relationship with us, if we don’t know them? This love relationship is two-fold—God loving us and us loving Him. He said in His Word, that “if we love Him, we’ll keep His commandments.”Now, how can we say we love Him when we do not know what He has said or why he said it? David said it best, “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You!”

I defy anyone who has ever read His Word–with understanding–to claim they can support anyone living in opposition to God’s Word or that they have a relationship with God, but refuse to believe His Word!  And for those who want to debate the issue—do this first—read the Gospel of John and Romans—in their entirety, asking God while reading to reveal Himself. Then and only then can a rational discussion be held about being in relationship with God.

If our heart is open to hearing Him when He speaks, we won’t just go to church to be going, but we’ll be anxious to hear more of what has been spoken to the messenger in the building, and not just because he or she is there. Relationship with God, means we hear Him when He speaks and we know when others are not saying what He says.

So, we can go to our buildings whenever we go, but we need to allow Holy Spirit to establish us as part of—The Church—the Body of Believers who need no building before we go. And remember this—our service to God is not in going to the building, but in living the life we proclaim to have with Him and in serving one another as He leads us to do it.

Can I get an Amen? How about an “ouch?

Once Truth is spoken, whether we believe it or not, accept it or not, God knows all and we will be held accountable for responding to Truth or not as He determines.

He’s Doing Amazing Things!

“Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (Psalm 126:3 NLT)

Singing a song of praise for all The Lord has done is as natural to some people as breathing is--when we acknowledge Him.

Throughout the Psalms, we see prayers, songs of contrition, repentance, and praise for all the amazing things He has done for the people He loves.

What I’m reminded of in reading this entire Psalm is that the captivity or bondage of people is a result of willful disobedience on the part of those who are held captive. When we continually ignore God when He speaks through those He has chosen to be a vessel of communication, we reap the consequences of our actions. God has never planned for His people to be held captive, but He allows it when we refuse to turn away from ungodliness and turn back to Him.

And when we turn back to Him, we can reflect upon the time of captivity and understand that even in the state of bondage, He never leaves us, but patiently waits for us to get our act together.

Those who were held in exile rejoiced in returning to their homeland. We, who have been held captive to our fleshly dictates–whatever they are and they are different for different people–can rejoice and sing praises to Him who does all things well for our benefit.

Many are those who were held captive to all sorts of addictions–who lost homes, jobs, family trust–and yet were brought back to a state of total redemption and trust in The Lord for what He allowed them to go through, yet brought them out to His glory.

Many are those who were held captive to their own ideologies when they thought they were based upon sound doctrine, but discovered their faith was in religious affiliation and when they discovered Truth, were turned around and turned to Truth in relationship with God–who loves us so much, He is not willing to see any of us lost or held captive by erroneous beliefs.

Some are held captive to beliefs that their bodies are their own–thinking they can treat them any way they want and still know victory in long life. In spite of illnesses that could have been terminal, God has shown them a different path and now they praise Him with a renewed, energetic outlook of preserving their bodies to His glory.

Yes, our God is truly Amazing–look at how He loves us when we did not love Him. Look at the mercy He bestows upon us when we did not deserve mercy. Look at the favor He has given us with all–even though we did not earn it. He is truly amazing and we praise Him for being our awesome God, doing amazing things for our benefit, when we turn our lives back to living for Him!

Truth That Endures Forever!

“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” (Psalm 119:160 NKJV)

God’s Word–all of it–from beginning to end is the truth and the truth that must be understood is that each time God spoke to people, He had a specific reason for saying what He said–to those who He was talking, during the time, He was speaking to them.

His decrees, judgments–whatever someone wants to call them–have enduring power and since they do not change, they will be the same as from the beginning until the end.

Jesus–God in the flesh–came to fulfill The Law–of sacrifice for repentance of sin. He did not come to change what God has said and He said, that He could only say what the Father said. Now, we need to see this very clearly. If we believe that God came to earth in the “likeness of sinful flesh” then we would have to understand that since He established His Word, He would not change it–simply because of a change in appearance.

How does Jesus fulfill The Law–by becoming the ultimate sacrifice for the remission of sin. There is no longer any reason for “sacrifices of animals or grain” to be made. The only thing that He expects from us is to fulfill the commandments of Love–Loving Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and Loving one another as we love ourselves.

When we love Him–we will obey Him. When we love others–we will not cause them harm; especially if we know how to love ourselves. The love that is referenced in the Bible is not lust and we know that lust is the reason that people sin against God; their fleshly dictates overrule any desire to please God. For The Word has said, we cannot serve two masters–God of heaven and the god of the this world. Either we function in the spirit or in the flesh. We either do what God says or allow man to manipulate what we do. It is an “either” “or” proposition–submit to God or submit to man.

I choose to submit my ways and thoughts to God so I can receive the benefits and results that God has chosen.

When we learn to make a distinction between love and lust, affiliation with religion and relationship with God, we will hopefully see the need to have a relationship with God rather than affiliation with religion and then–only then–will we see a change in the environment with weather patterns, violence, and unrest, as we return to enjoying the “peace of God” on a daily basis. His peace, surpasses all understanding–is greater than all of man’s wisdom. For if we claim to have wisdom and it is not the wisdom of God, we actually have nothing.

This is a Truth–based upon God’s Word–that will endure forever!

Heartache!

While I watch the world collide–

Ideas, ideologies, opinions, beliefs,

My heart aches over the time wasted

Trying to convince others which one is right,

When babies are aborted, abused and misused,

Children lost, identity lost, and confused

In the midst of adult angst, not teens,

Who have their lost their way, understanding

Their role to be model Godly behavior at all times,

Whether it makes sense or has reason or rhyme.

But my heart aches because in our busyness,

We have forgotten the great love by which

He has shown us and what we should be showing to others.

We can be different and no one right.

We can even the odds with words or a fight,

But until love abides in our hearts, our days will be as night,

With the darkness of evil reigning as selfishness,

And self-centeredness, closes the door and deepens the plight

Of injustice, when we say wrong is right and refuse to ignite

Our lives with the love of God, bringing others into the light,

Developing relationships with Him and others and not

New religions or religious traditions that do nothing more,

Than attempt to control man over man and we leave God

Out of everything we do and wonder how we came to be

In such a mess. My heart aches!

I pray as the tears flow and wonder if God hears,

My pleas to help us get things right with Him so

We can have peace on earth as it is in Heaven, or

Has He reached the place like once before, when

He told Jeremiah, “Don’t pray for these people for

I will not hear you!” O Lord, my God, do not forsake

The remnant You said You’d save, that remnant who

Still believes and tries to achieve all that You ask,

And endures the scorn and persecution of completing each task,

Hear us O Lord, see our tears of regret and remorse,

Allow us back into Your presence where we’ll be forevermore,

And cut away all this stuff in us that makes us rebel and oppose,

Goodness, inherent in us because of You creating us in Your likeness

That we might do what is needed to keep this relationship right,

Separating daylight from the darkness of night, desiring to know

You better, O my heart aches for the comfort of Your loving arms

Embracing us each day, The safety from which we turned away

To do our own thing, living life as we please, ignoring what You said,

And using our knees for everything but communication with You,

My  H E A R T   A C H E S!

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!

With The Heart!

“Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37 NKJV)

Contrary to what most unbelievers think, understanding God and believing the work on the Cross begins with the heart, not the head because the mind of man cannot begin to conceive the wonders of God.

The word heart is mentioned 830 times in the bible–noting the condition of a person’s or a nation’s heart–whether good or evil, because it is the heart of man that interest God. He looks upon the heart of man (and woman) to determine their honesty and integrity for many will be guilty of having lying lips. They will say one thing with their mouth, but the lies trip so fluently that they begin to believe the lies they tell. However, the heart–which no man can see–is fully exposed to God and He knows what a person or a nation is truly capable of doing.

Paul tells in his letter to the church in Rome, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (10:10).

Throughout history, God has looked upon the heart of man and saw the evil and the good and in whatever condition the heart was found, man received his just reward.

Physically–the heart pumps the blood that keeps us alive and whenever there is a problem with the heart, our physical condition is impacted–negatively. Without the body’s ability to receive the life-source, blood, things begin to deteriorate and sometimes, they are left irreparable. The body can survive without the brain functioning as it ought, but it cannot survive without a functioning heart to keep the blood flowing.

Spiritually–the spirit of the man–is the center of right and wrong, whether our spirits agree with Holy Spirit or is influenced by demonic spirits–this is control center by which man is judged by God.

In the beginning of my ministry, over 25 years ago, I often told the naysayers that in order to believe God, one must believe with the heart so the mind will accept. For the carnal mind of man cannot accept the spiritual reality of a living God unless led by the Spirit of God who speaks to the heart of man.

Romantically–we are often led by our hearts rather than our heads and sometimes–this is a good thing, but sometimes, our hearts lead us astray–into accepting those into our lives that lead us down the wrong paths. But it is the heart that usually determines our love interest, not our heads. When the heart and head agree–the love relationship lasts forever.

This is why it is more important for Believers to have a relationship with God rather than an affiliation with religion or religious doctrine. When our hearts and head agree–the love relationship lasts forever with Him and we can know, without doubt that He has only our best interests at heart.

Praying for a heart change–towards God–for all people in every nation so we can see peace in the land.

The Law Doesn’t Do It!

“Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” (Galatians 2:16 NLT)

In Paul’s first letter to the church in Galatia, he reminded them that following the “letter of the law” was not enough to keep a person in right-standing with God. The “law” that he referenced was in response to Peter’s attempt to enforce circumcision upon the Gentiles (non-Jewish sect) and Paul had to remind the people that Peter’s only concern at that point was simply to avoid criticism of other Jews.

One of the biggest problems Believers face today is understanding The Word within the context of each conversation or letter. This is one of the reasons that those who have a surface level understanding can promote opposition to The Word because they really have no understanding of the intent of The Word. For many have tried to take this segment of scripture and say–that Jesus changed what His Father had said. Mere circumcision will not keep a person in right relationship with God because it is a physical act–an act that not many will adhere to. Faith–in Jesus Christ, who was with God from the beginning is not about–the physical acts we do–it is about our spiritual growth and understanding that we need to develop a relationship with Him. For we who worship Him, must do so in truth and in Spirit. In other words, our faith–should be based upon our relationship and desire to please God, not man.

Nothing, absolutely nothing changes God’s intent for mankind–that we be fruitful and multiply under the umbrella of marriage which is sacred to God! And when we understand that the fulfillment of the law–is love–love for God and each other–we would not deliberately try to persuade others to live in opposition to God’s Word.

For those who want to perpetuate a lie–under the guise of saying, “Jesus is all about love and He doesn’t care how we live,” you lie and we know that all liars have a place prepared for them in the lake of fire. Jesus cares so much about how we live that He was willing to die for us–out of love–so that when filled with His love–we can walk circumspectly among all people–living according to the Truth of God’s Word.

There is no more sacrifice to be made for man’s salvation because He has already completed it–once and for all. Our role now is to live like we love Him and to obey Him–in Truth, led by Holy Spirit.

We have many “Peters” in the world–those who will deny faith in Jesus–in order to appease others and avoid criticism by mere men. Don’t be a Peter in this regard–seek The Lord for yourself and know Him in Truth and how He wants us to live! However, if we have no relationship with Him, we cannot seek His wisdom because we will not hear Him. Get it right, today!