On The Journey–RESH!

Consider my affliction and deliver me,
For I do not forget Your law.

Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.

Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.

Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD;
Revive me according to Your judgments.

Many are my persecutors and my enemies,
Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies.

I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,
Because they do not keep Your word.

Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.

The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:153-160 NKJV

The 20th letter and stanza–continued recognition of the need to keep God’s Word and awareness of how others fare when they don’t.

When we have the Word hidden in our hearts and have a desire to please God, things change on the inside of us--we are forever mindful of our need for God in our lives and we should be disgusted with the ways of those who live in opposition with God’s Word. Now, “disgusted” is a little strong, but the intent serves a purpose.

Every Believer should be disgusted with sin–when we see it in others and in ourselves. We should hate sin with enough diligence to want to see it eradicated–never to be seen again; but we should never hate the sinner.

How do we separate the sin from the sinner? Sin is an act or action that is contrary to God’s Word; the sinner is the person committing the act. God hates sin and so should we; but He loves the sinner and so should we.

If God hated sinners–where would we be? Lost in our sin–hated and tainted by others. It is God’s mercy, and enduring kindness that has brought us into a knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live–not that we were so good, but that we all–at one time–were headed in the wrong direction. But His love–sees beyond our faults and brings us to a place where we are able to realize our potential–the purpose He has for our lives.

Throughout this Psalm, the writer refers to himself–always in need of God’s direction and grateful for His statues and precepts–understanding His purpose in our lives. And though it appears that the writer is scornful of the wicked, he also intercedes on their behalf when he points out their shortcomings and acknowledges God’s lovingkindness.

What we should not miss is that no matter how many times or ways others tried to destroy him, persecuted him, and taunted him for keeping God’s Word, he stood firm.

Can we say the same? Or do we allow the enemy to entangle us with the deeds of the wicked by responding in kind when we are mistreated? Are we able to rise above the fray in the midst of a torrent of hatefulness directed at us and say, “Lord, I love to keep Your Word?”

I am reminded of the current political climate in which we see more kindergarten attitudes than maturity in the mudslinging. I am so tired of politicians who have no platform–nothing to say about their own strengths, but are always in “attack mode.” If this is the best we can do, Heaven help us all!

And while we wait for His glorious return-we pray-and continue to praise God for His goodness and for loving us enough to bring us into the knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live.

Turning A Sinner and Saving Them!

“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19,20 NIV)

Think about the implications of this passage of scripture. James–the brother of Jesus–is reminding us we are brothers and sisters in Christ–when we have accepted the work on the Cross–and we have the ability to bring a person back from the abyss of destruction when we caution, admonish, instruct, and correct based upon the Truth of The Word. When we see sin–we must call it sin–and love the sinner into the knowledge of his/her sins, until they own it and repent. Repentance–a complete turning away from sin–provides them an avenue for new life–in Christ.

We who know Truth, should always speak Truth, whether people like it or not, whether they belittle us or not, whether they believe it or not. If by our words and deeds we demonstrate the love of God in all we say and do, they will see Truth in action. Once they have been exposed to Truth, they become accountable for whether they accept it or not and our job is done–to speak and live Truth.

While I can understand those who are worldly–either not knowing God or not believing Him–it is truly difficult for me to understand why Believers sit silently, unmoved, willing to allow a sinner to suffer the consequences of their actions rather than speak Truth to them. Is it fear or apathy that motivates Believers to remain silent on sin? Are we so caught up in ourselves that we don’t see the need to speak truth and save a person from themselves? Is it enough for us to just think, “As long as I’m saved, what do I have to do with that sinner?”

The same God who loved us enough to die for us to save us from ourselves is the same God who loves all people enough to give us the courage and boldness to expose and reveal sin to all who are influenced by evil, so they too can be saved from the lake of fire. Do we have enough love in us to speak God’s Truth to save another or will we remain silent–ignoring what is right in front of us? Are we not responsible for telling people the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

If we are truly capable of loving as God does–unconditionally–we have all we need within us to share His truth as He said it. Everything God said is sin, is sin. We cannot sugar-coat sin, gloss over sin, cover up sin–no matter what the label or term used to describe it–if it leads a person to live in opposition to God, it is sin. Every Believer has a responsibility to expose sin for what it is by calling it what it is and then encouraging the sinner to repent–turning away from sin. That is our responsibility. Once we tell people truth, our accountability ends and if they choose to ignore Truth, they are on their own. They are accountable for acceptance of Truth or denying it.

Do we love someone enough today to tell them the Truth–God’s Truth–and help them to see the error of their ways so they, too can spend eternity with Jesus?

I do and I will keep loving enough to keep telling Truth no matter what–until my eyes close for the last time–I will speak God’s Truth and declare what He said: sin is sin and all who sin, must repent, understand the love in the work on the cross, accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, in order to live with Him for all eternity.

Standing In Right Relationship!

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble” (Psalm 37:38 NIV).

Many who come to know,

God in His infinite wisdom,

And learn how to show,

Others, they stand for what He says,

Rather than flicker back and forth,

Never knowing how to be a stable light,

Diminishing the dark, always ready to fight

The good fight of faith, head held high

When walking and voice strong when talking

About the goodness and mercy of The Lord.

Winning the battle without use of sword,

Made by hands, but by love and the Word

Of God which remains for all time,

No matter what man does or doesn’t do,

God’s Word will stand, His name remains

On the lips of all who know and love

Him and others, right or wrong. We are

Made strong in Him when we are weak in our

Own strength and we can defeat the enemy

With love and obedience to Him who created

All things and without Him nothing was

Or will be established in the earth, For it is

Through Him, we obtain our worth, winning

Souls, keeping them from the fiery hell that

Satan has planned for mankind since he dwells

In the hearts of all who choose to disobey,

And rebel against the All-knowing Savior,

Who came to save those who were lost, but

Now has given each of us a job to do,

And we must be about Our Father’s business,

Making sure sinners know without Him they

Have no hope, but with Him all things are possible

When we stand in right relationship with God!

Standing Up For All God Says–Doing Things His Way,

Loving all–Him first, each and every day, My Commitment

To Him and all of His children so we can enjoy eternity together!

Any Faithful In The House?

“Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him” (Psalm 4:3 NIV).

“When I call upon the name of the Lord, He hears me.” Do we really believe this?

The question is asked because of observations made when listening to people pray. The first thing we must remember is when we pray–we are talking to God–not people around us, in front of us, over the telephone or even on the Web. Since we are talking to God to ask of Him–is there any need for us to have long, repetitious conversation with God? Do we need to moan, groan, or screech or pierce ear drums to get His attention? The answer very simply is–no!

God is not deaf and He does not have a memory problem, nor is He distracted by our noise or other superficial modes of conversing with Him. He knows who we are and whether we have been faithful to Him or not. Do we know if we have been faithful or not? Perhaps–we don’t. Hence, this is why some go through all the machinations of presenting oneself to be holy or righteous in the sight of others. Perhaps, if we truly read the Bible with understanding we would know this and church services could be cut in half.

When Jesus is teaching, He uses the story of the Pharisee (religious one) and the tax collector who were praying in the temple (Luke 18:11-13). But now, this is the response that Jesus gave His disciples regarding the one who understood they were talking to God. “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 18:14 NIV). For those who may still be lost on the inference–Jesus explained that the tax collector was more justified with his simple request than the Pharisee who has a feeling of superiority and therefore thinks God should hear him.

Public prayers should be simple and get right to the point. We should not pray in an attempt to impress others with our wordiness or emotional state.  When we know we are faithful to God (not so concerned with man), we can pray effective prayers that God will hear and answer. An offering prayer (before or after) should be about the offering–not the sick or government or anything else. A prayer to ask God’s blessings over food should be just that--not everything and everyone else. A prayer for the pastor should be about the pastor–not everyone else. A prayer for leadership (all types) should be about that. A prayer for the sick should be for those who are incapable of praying for themselves and when possible–accompanied with the laying on of hands and/or anointing with oil. A prayer to receive Holy Spirit does not take all night (just moments), nor does a person have to be in a specific position or mode of prayer to receive--the gift–just a willingness to receive. A prayer of repentance should be just that–an acknowledgment of turning away from sin. People have repented of sin when they were alone and God responded. I know–I did! We need to understand the purpose of specificity in our prayer lives rather than trying to impress others.

We make too much of a public spectacle of ourselves during times of prayer because of our lack of knowledge. God does not respond to emotionalism–He responds to faith. The faithful, He has set apart for Himself. The next time you pray, be faithful and know that He hears the first time–even if you whisper.

Father, in the name of Jesus, thank You for hearing and answering prayer. Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do that glorifies God, and keep us focused on being faithful to Him.

I Belong!

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29 NIV).

A number of years ago, American Express used the marketing phrase, “Membership has privileges” (at least I think it was them), at any rate, the phrase is very true for those who “belong to Jesus”. If we belong to Christ, we receive the benefits and promises given to Abraham because we are the “spiritual seed of Abraham” in this life.

What are the benefits? While in the earth realm–power to get wealth, long life when we honor authority, healed of sickness and disease, power to be peacemakers and helpers to many who will receive, through Holy Spirit–power to forgive, love, and have insight to those things to come. For all eternity, we have access to heaven and we will rule with Jesus.

While some may doubt the authenticity of Paul’s letters (and his life), when we have received Holy Spirit to guide us, He guides us into all truth. So the truth here is that Paul was writing under the direction of Holy Spirit, just as many of us do today. Whether Paul was truly a changed man or not, should not be an issue for any who were once sinners and have been given a second chance–through mercy and grace. Without that mercy and grace, where would we be?

Accepting the fact that Paul’s letters were written by direction of Holy Spirit and receiving what he had to say as truth, anyone–regardless of race, gender, creed, faith, who makes a decision to belong to Christ, gets the same benefits. It does not matter when a person comes to Christ–whether a long time ago or recently, the benefits remain the same. The difference is how long a person may enjoy the benefits, not that they are not the same.

If you have not known the privilege of membership with Christ Jesus, today is a good day to make that decision. Grace and mercy abound towards all who will freely come and receive of His goodness. If you do know the value of belonging to Jesus Christ, I am honored to call you brother or sister. We are all in this life together and membership with Christ, makes it all worthwhile. Love to love you!