If there is one issue every Christian should stand on it is life, and the value of it.
If someone doesn't value life in the womb, what makes you believe they will value your life outside the womb?
I am amazed at how many call upon the Lord yet cast their souls at the feet of men, selling their birthright of blessings for mere promises that never come true.
Solomon told us what God inspired him to write, cast your Lot he says with us and stand against those who would take life.
How about you will cast your souls down before man, or will you stand with God and stand up for life? Will you walk in obedience to God's word? Defend the helpless, stand with the voiceless, the weak, the hurting, the hopeless?
It is time we separate ourselves from the world and live as God has called us to be, Holy for I am Holy!
God's word says this!
“God stands in the divine assembly; he pronounces judgment among the gods: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and needy; save them from the power of the wicked.” They do not know or understand; they wander in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, “You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High. However, you will die like humans and fall like any other ruler.” Rise up, God, judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.” Psalms 82:1-8 CSB
My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil; Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”—
My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path; For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood. Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood, They lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners. Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: “How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Proverbs 1:10-28
“Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 CSB
“Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. If you appeal to the Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in reverence during your time living as strangers. For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was revealed in these last times for you. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly, because you have been born again — not of perishable seed but of imperishable — through the living and enduring word of God. For All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like a flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this word is the gospel that was proclaimed to you.” 1 Peter 1:13-25 CSB
The Alternative Jesus: Psychedelic Christ
- Time Magazine, June 21, 1971
ALIAS: THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, PRINCE OF PEACE, ETC.
WARNING: HE IS STILL AT LARGE!
HE is indeed. As the words of this Wanted poster from a Christian underground newspaper demonstrate, Jesus is alive and well and living in the radical spiritual fervor of a growing number of young Americans who have proclaimed an extraordinary religious revolution in his name. Their message: the Bible is true, miracles happen, God really did so love the world that he gave it his only begotten son. In 1966 Beatle John Lennon casually remarked that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ; now the Beatles are shattered, and George Harrison is singing My Sweet Lord. The new young followers of Jesus listen to Harrison, but they turn on only to the words of their Master: "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
It is a startling development for a generation that has been constantly accused of tripping out or copping out with sex, drugs and violence. Now, embracing the most persistent symbol of purity, selflessness and brotherly love in the history of Western man, they are afire with a Pentecostal passion for sharing their new vision with others. Fresh-faced, wide-eyed young girls and earnest young men badger businessmen and shoppers on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Lincoln Memorial, in Dallas, in Detroit and in Wichita, "witnessing" for Christ with breathless exhortations.
Christian coffeehouses have opened in many cities, signaling their faith even in their names: The Way Word in Greenwich Village, the Catacombs in Seattle, I Am in Spokane. A strip joint has been converted to a "Christian nightclub'' in San Antonio. Communal "Christian houses" are multiplying like loaves and fishes for youngsters hungry for homes, many reaching out to the troubled with round-the-clock telephone hot lines. Bibles abound: whether the cherished, fur-covered King James Version or scruffy, back-pocket paperbacks, they are invariably well-thumbed and often memorized. "It's like a glacier," says "Jesus-Rock" Singer Larry Norman, 24. "It's growing and there's no stopping it."
There is an uncommon morning freshness to this movement, a buoyant atmosphere of hope and love along with the usual rebel zeal. Some converts seem to enjoy translating their new faith into everyday life, like those who answer the phone with "Jesus loves you" instead of "hello." But their love seems more sincere than a slogan, deeper than the fast-fading sentiments of the flower children; what startles the outsider is the extraordinary sense of joy that they are able to communicate. Of course, as in any fresh religious movement, zealotry is never far away. Some in the movement even have divine timetables. Says Founder Bill Bright of the Campus Crusade for Christ: "Our target date for saturating the U.S. with the gospel of Jesus Christ is 1976—and the world by 1980. Of course, if the Lord wants to work a bit slower, that's O.K."
Some of the fascination for Jesus among the young may simply be belated hero worship of a fellow rebel, the first great martyr to the cause of peace and brotherhood. Not so, however, for the vast majority in the Jesus movement. If any one mark clearly identifies them it is their total belief in an awesome, supernatural Jesus Christ, not just a marvelous man who lived 2,000 years ago but a living God who is both Saviour and Judge, the ruler of their destinies. Their lives revolve around the necessity for an intense personal relationship with that Jesus, and the belief that such a relationship should condition every human life. They act as if divine intervention guides their every movement and can be counted on to solve every problem. Many of them have had serious personal difficulties before their conversions; a good portion of the movement is really a May-December marriage of conservative religion and the rebellious counterculture, and many of the converts have come to Christ from the fraudulent promises of drugs. Now they subscribe strictly to the Ten Commandments, rather than to the situation ethics of the "new morality"—although, like St. Paul, they are often tolerant of old failings among new converts.
The Jesus revolution rejects not only the material values of conventional America but the prevailing wisdom of American theology. Success often means an impersonal and despiritualized life that increasingly finds release in sexploration, status, alcohol and conspicuous consumption. Christianity — or at least the brand of it preached in prestige seminaries, pulpits and church offices over recent decades — has emphasized an immanent God of nature and social movement, not the new movement's transcendental, personal God who comes to earth in the person of Jesus, in the lives of individuals, in miracles (see box, page 60). The Jesus revolution, in short, is one that denies the virtues of the Secular City and heaps scorn on the message that God was ever dead. Why?'
But why not? This is the generation that has burned out many of its lights and lives before it is old enough to vote. "The first thing I realized was how different it is to go to high school today," wrote Maureen Orth in a "Last Supplement" to the Whole Earth Catalog. "Acid trips in the seventh grade, sex in the eighth, the Viet Nam War a daily serial on TV since you were nine, parents and school worse than 'irrelevant'—meaningless. No wonder Jesus is making a great comeback." The death of authority brought the curse of uncertainty. As Thomas Farber writes in Tales for the Son of My Unborn Child: "The freedom from work, from restraint, from accountability, wondrous in its inception, became banal and counterfeit. Without rules there was no way to say no, and worse, no way to say yes."
The search for a "yes" led thousands to the Oriental and the mystical, the occult and even Satanism before they drew once again on familiar roots. One of the nation's successful young evangelists, Richard Hoag, 24, believes that many of his youthful converts see Jesus as a marvelous father figure. "The kids are searching for authority, love and understanding—ingredients missing at home. Jesus is what their fathers aren't." Adds Baptist Pastor John Bisagno: "I'm amazed at how many people I've counseled who have never heard their fathers say 'I love you.' "
Christ CoutureThe enthusiasm is not universal. By no means a majority of the young, or their elders, are soldiers in the revolution —any more than they were flower children or acid trippers. Some call the Jesus movement a fad or just another bad trip. Is it? Is the growing fascination with Jesus a passing, adolescent infatuation? There are obvious fad aspects: Jesus shirts (JESUS is MY LORD) bumper stickers (SMILE, GOD LOVES YOU), posters, buttons (THE MESSIAH is THE MESSAGE) and, inevitably, a Jesus-People wristwatch. Some followers are affecting a Christ couture: white pants and tunics, Mexican-peasant style. There are de rigueur catch phrases: endless "Praise Gods" and "Bless Yous." There is even a "Jesus cheer"—"Give me a J, give me an E . . ." Rapidly catching on is the Jesus-People "sign," a raised arm with clenched fist, the index finger pointed heavenward, to indicate Jesus as the "one way" to salvation. "If it is a fad," says Evangelist Billy Graham, "I welcome it."
There are signs that the movement is something quite a bit larger than a theological Hula-Hoop, something more lasting than a religious Woodstock. It cuts across nearly all the social dividing lines, from crew cut to long hair, right to left, rich to poor. It shows considerable staying power: many who were in its faint beginnings in 1967 are still leading it. It has been powerful enough to divert many young people from serious drug addiction. Its appeal is ecumenical, attracting Roman Catholics and Jews, Protestants of every persuasion and many with no religion at all. Catholics visit Protestant churches with a new empathy, and Protestants find themselves chatting with nuns and openly enjoying Mass. "We are all brothers in the body of Christ," says a California Catholic lay leader, and he adds: "We are on the threshold of the greatest spiritual revival the U.S. has ever experienced."
Pentecostals and MillenariansSpiritual revivals are, of course, a longstanding American tradition. George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards led the first Great Awakening in the 1740s and there have been others since: the frontier camp meetings at the beginning of the 19th century, the great revival of the 1850s, and the Pentecostal explosion at the beginning of the 20th century. The Jesus revolution, like the others, has a flavor peculiarly American. Its strong Pentecostalism emphasizes such esoteric spiritual gifts as speaking in tongues and healing by faith. For many, there exists a firm conviction that Jesus' Second Coming is literally at hand. Proclaiming the imminent end of the world and Last Judgment like so many dread guards, some millenarians chart the signs of the Apocalypse with the aid of handbooks like The Late Great Planet Earth. They see smog and pollution prophesied in Isaiah; the taking of Old Jerusalem by the Jews, and the admission of ten nations into the Common Market are signs that the end is near.
The movement is apart from, rather than against, established religion; converts often speak disparagingly of the blandness or hypocrisy of their former churches, but others work comfortably as a supplementary, revitalizing force of change from within. The movement, in fact, is one of considerable flexibility and vitality, drawing from three vigorous spiritual streams that, despite differences in dress, manner and theology, effectively reinforce one another.
Some of the manifestations there could command places in William James' Varieties of Religious Experience. R.D. Cronquist, for instance, was a carpenter until last July, dabbling on the side in ministerial work. Now the mustachioed, goateed Cronquist is the pastor of the Grace Fellowship Chapel, a windowless, corrugated shed on a hill in Imperial Beach, Calif. A drab shell, perhaps, but a pearl inside; as one 22-year-old girl put it, "the heaviest place I know to worship." Services include free-form "singing in the spirit," a mighty babble of moans, groans and cries against a background of organ music; "prophecies," in ersatz King James style; and long Cronquist sermons, complete with angels and demons.
Up the beach at Encinitas is a brand of Christianity that is pure California. Ed Wright, 26, owner of the Sunset Surf Shop and principal apostle of the Christian Surfers, tells how Jesus adds a special dimension to the sport. "It's so beautiful when you are with the Lord and catch a good ride. When you are piling out for the next one you just say 'Thank you Lord for being so good to us and for the good waves and the good vibes.'" Christ is the essential focus, though. Surfer Mike Wonder, a fellow convert, sought Christ after he found the perfect wave in Hawaii and it failed to bring him happiness.
Nothing except Christ makes waves at gatherings of Berkeley's Christian World Liberation Front, which was in the vanguard of the movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. CWLF Bible meetings are like an understanding embrace: the members sit naturally in a rough circle; a spaced-out speed freak crawls in, is casually accepted, kneels: a baby plays; the only black plucks a guitar, and the group swings easily into a dozen songs. The hat is passed with a new invitation: "If you have something to spare, give; if you need, take." Finally they rise, take one another's hands, and sing "We will walk with each other/ We will walk hand in hand/ And they'll know we are Christians by our love."
Spokane's Voice of Elijah spreads the spirit in large ways and small. When house members heard of a hungry old woman who had been cut from welfare, they took up a $42 collection at the I Am coffeehouse, left her groceries, cash and a message that read simply "from Jesus." The house reaches large groups through its hard-rock band, the Wilson McKinley, which recently helped draw 8,000 to a "Sweet Jesus Rock Concert" at Stanford University. The Jesus People almost lost the crowd when one evangelist told the collegians they should "abstain from sexual immorality, and that means abstain except in marriage. We're finding this is the last area people want to give up." There were no cheers but, astonishingly in the Age of Aquarius, no hoots either.
Music, the lingua franca of the young, has become the special medium of the Jesus movement. Godspell, a bright, moving musical written by students and based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, is a sellout hit off-Broadway. The rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, bound for Broadway next fall, is already a bestselling record album; at New York City's Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church recently, a minister smilingly baptized a baby "In the name of the Father, the Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ Superstar." Amazing Grace, Put Your Hand in the Hand and My Sweet Lord are top-40 hits, and Jesus-rock groups, most of them converts, roam the country under such names as Hope, Dove and The Joyful Noise.
Go Tell About JesusThe sounds produced by the rock groups are not always good nor the lyrics always effective evangelism, but the best of the Jesus-rock music is both professionally and theologically solid. Larry Norman, probably the top solo artist in the field, attacks the occult in his album Upon This Rock: "Forget your hexagram/ You'll soon feel fine/ Stop looking at the stars/ You don't live under the signs." Many Jesus-rock musicians commit their lives as well as their talent. Drummer Steve Hornyak, 30, of The Crimson Bridge, gave up a $35,000 house, a Toronado, and a career as a school-band director when another Jesus musician challenged him to "go tell about Jesus." Scott Ross, 31, a former New York disk jockey, has become head of a Christian commune in Freeville. N.Y., the Love Inn. Ross still tapes a weekly show that he uses to promote Jesus music on standard stations.
A growing number of musical stars, including Johnny Cash and Eric Clapton, are among the Jesus movement converts. Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary has preached on the steps of Berkeley's Sproul Hall; Jeremy Spencer of Britain's Fleetwood Mac has joined the ultrarigid Children of God. Few are more zealous than Pat Boone; he has baptized more than 200 converts in his own swimming pool during the past year.
The revolutionary word is also spread by a growing, literally free Jesus press that now numbers some 50 newspapers across the country. Donations are apparently enough to print 65,000 copies of Right On! in Berkeley and 400,000 copies of the Hollywood Free Paper, the movement's largest. Now Berkeley's CWLF is hoping to start a Jesus news service. There is much to report, in all parts of the U.S. Items:
Drug cures are not the only attraction for conversion. There are a disproportionate number of Roman Catholics among the Jesus People, attracted by the movement's direct approach to Christ. Many Jews have also joined, claiming that they are not quitting but fulfilling their Judaism. Few spiritual Odysseys, though, are as circuitous as that of Christopher Pike, 21, the younger son of the late Episcopal Bishop James A. Pike. In 1967 he began combining marijuana highs with nonstop television watching: "TV and grass, that was my god," he says. Then came acid, Eastern religion and Bible reading —while stoned. Recalls Chris: "One day I saw Ted Wise speaking in Sproul Plaza at Berkeley. He was the first intelligent Christian I ever saw." Soon thereafter, he made a commitment: "I just said 'Jesus Christ. I'm going to give myself to you and nobody else.' Nothing happened, but I knew. I knew he had reached down, and I was saved." Now Chris lives in a trailer near Reno, studying religious books and working on a library of religious tapes. "The old Chris Pike died back there," says the Bishop's son. "I'm a new creature."
Many conversions seem to be like Pike's: slow, but finally confident turnarounds rather than lightning-bolt illuminations. Yet some do come suddenly. Marsha Daigle, Catholic and a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, was deeply distraught at the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. One day she opened a Bible and suddenly "knew Christ was my personal Saviour. It was the last thing I expected."
Gospel CrusadersAnother major part of the Jesus movement is the highly organized, interdenominational youth movement of the established churches—a sort of person-to-person counterpart of mass-rally evangelism. Though they have been around for decades, supported by local congregations and generous private contributors, they are finding a huge new growth in the Jesus revolution.
The biggest of the straight groups is Campus Crusade for Christ, 20-year-old soul child of former Businessman Bill Bright. He still means business: this year's budget is $12 million, and by next month he will have 3,000 full-time staffers on 450 campuses. Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship is a different breed of campus evangelism—more intellectual, more socially concerned—but it has no lack of gospel zeal. It conducted a missionary convention at the University of Illinois last December that drew 12,000, probably the largest college religious meeting in North American history. Young Life, founded in 1941, reaches its audience with 1,300 clubs, U.S. and foreign. Youth for Christ began business a few years later with a lanky young evangelist named Billy Graham; it is now in 2,700 high schools.
Extraordinary LoveFew groups have had more impact than has one man, Assemblies of God Minister David Wilkerson, whose growing movement began with a single incident: his dramatic conversion of Brooklyn Teen-Age Gang Lord Nicky Cruz in 1958. Cruz himself is now an evangelist. Wilkerson's evangelical and antidrug organization, Teen Challenge, has 53 centers. His book about Cruz's conversion, The Cross and the Switchblade, has sold 6,000,000 copies; a movie version, starring Pat Boone as Wilkerson, will be released nationwide July 1. The book had an unusual side effect: its Pentecostal flavor helped launch the Roman Catholic Pentecostal movement.
Catholic Pentecostalism? The name is an apparent contradiction in terms: an austere and ritualized church coupled with a movement characterized in its early years by unleashed emotionalism—eye-rolling ecstasies, shouting, jumping, even rolling on the floor. Classic Pentecostalism has since toned down markedly, but it can still put even an unwary Catholic into theological shock. Jerry Harvey, who helped start the growing Catholic Pentecostal group in the San Diego area, once invited some Protestant Pentecostalists "to show us how to do it their way. The poor nuns who were there actually turned white."
The Catholic establishment in the U.S. has not blanched, but it has not turned red with enthusiasm, even though Pope John XXIII himself called upon the Holy Spirit to "renew your wonders in this, our day, as by a new Pentecost." An inquiry conducted in the U.S. for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops did find, however, that Pentecostal experience often "leads to a better understanding of the role the Christian plays in the Church." The evidence supports that finding. One Los Angeles priest says that he has stayed in the priesthood because of the "tremendous peace" he found in the renewal movement. Dr. James McFadden, 40, dean of Michigan's pioneering School of Natural Resources, is a Catholic for whom religion "never had an experiential dimension. It was intellectual, the distant Christ of history." But he found "extraordinary" love among the 300 Pentecostals of the university's Word of God community. "Very few people live as though there really is a God who sent his only son to be a man."
The Pentecostalist fervor has been growing rapidly. From its beginnings at Duquesne University in 1967, where Wilkerson's book was one of the influences, the movement spread to Notre Dame and Ann Arbor, which have been major forces in it ever since. But there are sizable numbers elsewhere. On Trinity Sunday last week, 450 Catholic Pentecostals held a "Day of Renewal" at St. Theresa Catholic Church in San Diego; this weekend 3,000 Catholic Pentecostals from all over the country are expected to gather at Notre Dame for their annual national conference.
Despite the evidence of enriched religiosity, there is enough in the Catholic Pentecostalist movement to account for the hierarchy's reserve. It is casually ecumenical. Its speaking in tongues —glossolalia, a form of prayer that is usually a babbling non-language—is done quietly, but it is done. The Pentecostals have the unhappy faculty of offending both liberals and conservatives in Catholicism: liberals resent their insistent orthodox theology, conservatives their communal lifestyle.
Passive v. EcstaticThe confident conviction of the Jesus revolution (we have the answer; the rest of the world is wrong) irritates many, whatever branch of the movement it radiates from. Dan Herr, publisher of the progressive Catholic bimonthly The Critic, calls Catholic Pentecostalism "spiritual chic." Some who turn off may be expressing the natural and inevitable resentment of the passive believer against the ecstatic believer. In his magisterial study Enthusiasm, the late Catholic scholar Msgr. Ronald Knox described the attitude of the religious enthusiast toward the world at large: "He will have no weaker brethren who plod and stumble, who (if the truth must be told) would like to have a foot in either world, whose ambition is to qualify, not to excel. He has before his eyes a picture of the early Church, visibly penetrated with supernatural influences; and nothing else will serve him for a model."
Others criticize the absolutism of the Jesus revolution and the complete dependency it creates in some of its adherents. Jean Houston, director of the Foundation for Mind Research in New York City, finds that while "the Jesus trip gives them rich expectations and more rigid values, they also suffer a narrowing of conceptual vision. They become obsessed." She cites the case of one girl who turned to the Jesus movement after a severe family crisis. "She escaped her guilt and horror, but it had the effect of a psychological and social lobotomy. Where once she had been superbly inquisitive, she now could relate things only in terms of her religion —but she had a focal point for all her energy." Sociologist Andrew Greeley calls Catholic Pentecostalism the "most vital movement in Catholicism right now," but warns that it could become "just pure emotion, even a form of hysteria." The Rev. George Peters of the United Presbyterian Church says of the Jesus People: "I see dangers. This biblical literalism. The kids quote verses without understanding them to prove a point. I thought we'd outgrown that. I'd like to see some kind of form."
The established churches may not have the luxury of choosing the youngsters' style. Whatever the excesses or shortcomings of the Jesus revolution, organized religion cannot afford to lose the young in numbers or enthusiasm. In parts of the movement, of course, the churches are not losing them; indeed, they are gaining zealots. Catholic Pentecostals and straight evangelicals are already having an effect; if organized religion embraced the Jesus People as well, the greening effect on the churches could be considerable. Theologian Martin Marty of the University of Chicago Divinity School feels that the Jesus People, frustrated by a complex society that will not yield to their single-minded devotion, may well disband in disarray. But even Marty says: "Five years from now you may have some better Presbyterians because of their participation in the Jesus movement." And the Rev. Robert Terwilliger of New York City's Trinity Institute says longingly: "There is a revival of religion everywhere—except in the church."
Sometimes the church is not at fault. When young people began to come into the smoothly running, upper-middle-class congregation at La Jolla ( Calif.) Lutheran Church, Pastor Charles Donhowe started evening meetings for them. Soon Donhowe had two congregations, the regular Sunday-at-11 variety and the new Christians in the evening. A minister for nine years, Donhowe was in effect converted by the youngsters to unstructured Christianity. He resigned and took his evening congregation with him. Some of his older parishioners joined the secession. Now known simply as "Bird Rock," they meet in Bird Rock Elementary School in La Jolla. If Bird Rock is an omen, it would be an ironic one: the dove, after all, is the ancient symbol of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus built his own church upon a rock.
The Fact of FaithThere are better omens in the actions of clergymen like Houston's John Bisagno, even when they are uncertain of the full meaning and the life span of the Jesus revolution. Says Bisagno: "All I know is that kids are turning on to Jesus. My concern is that the staid, traditional churches will reject these kids and miss the most genuine revival of our lifetime." Canon Edward N. West of Manhattan's Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine has also made his church a haven for religious enthusiasts whom he sometimes does not fully comprehend. He says: "There is no place left where they can go and sort themselves out unless the churches are open. They do an enormous amount of praying, sometimes in the lotus position. One young man comes in and plays the bass recorder. He and God have some relationship over a bass recorder. I don't understand it, but that's his thing."
In a world filled with real and fancied demons for the young, the form their faith takes may be less important than the fact that they have it. Ronald Knox, who set out in Enthusiasm to expose the heresies of religious enthusiasts, concluded by praising their spirit. "How nearly we thought we could do without St. Francis, without St. Ignatius," he ended his work. "Men will not live without vision; that moral we would do well to carry away with us from contemplating, in so many strange forms, the record of the visionaries." Enthusiasm may not be the only virtue but, God knows, apathy is none at all.
the views and opinions are not mine except that Jesus Christ is Lord. I do like the article and it is filled with truths.
article copied from
Whenever the enemy comes against us, remember these words, our God is able! Stop living in fear, start living in the strength of God, by faith.
The war is won, Jesus declared it is finished and He alone holds the keys to life, it is time we put all of our faith in Him.
God is able to deliver you and I from our enemy, from ourselves.
God is able to save our marriages.
God is able to save our children.
God is able to save our friends.
God is able to save our community.
God is able to save our Nation.
God is able to heal our bodies.
God is able to heal our hearts.
God alone is able to save our souls.
God is able to do all things we say are impossible!
What area of your life do you need God to do what only He can do?
I need God in every area of my life, for He does things far more excellent and exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.
God’s word says this!
The point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart — not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21
Wallowing in shame, remorse, self-hatred, and guilt over real or imagined failings in our past lives betrays a distrust in the love of God. It shows that we have not accepted the acceptance of Jesus Christ and thus have rejected the total sufficiency of his redeeming work.
Preoccupation with our past sins, present weaknesses, and character defects gets our emotions churning in self-destructive ways, closes us within the mighty citadel of self, and preempts the presence of a compassionate God.”
Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust.’
Every human being ever born of man and even the first two who were created failed.
That is a long line of failures in our DNA. We are each born with this messed up past because we all have descended from Adam and Eve.
This does not define who we are though, what defines who we are is how and who we choose to believe.
It is true we are born the same way, into depravity away from God, we all breathe the same air, we all drink the same water, we all live on the same earth, the same sun shines on each of us, the rain falls on each of us, we all bleed, have emotions, feel pain, we are all created equally, and Christ came to save us all, these are just some of the things we have in common.
But not all of us will respond to Christ the same way, they will let the past control their today and tomorrow, (here is the truth no matter what you do or say the past is over, and it will not change), but we can change, when we take our hearts and minds off the failures of our past and let God work through them to change our lives and the lives of those around us.
Failed business adventures, relationships, financial decisions, family’s, and other things that don't go as we planned are only temporary setbacks, they are building blocks of life in a fallen world. It doesn’t matter where we are born, whether in poverty or wealth, in America or the Congo, we all share in these character traits and commonalities.
We need to get over ourselves, get up and press on, learn from our past, have faith in what God is doing, live in His presence, His promises, His power following Him, no turning back.
Scripture gives us example after example of failed people who learned too forget the past and live by faith in God, by surrendering everything to Him no matter their own character flaws.
Noah liked to drink, Abraham came from a family who drank, worshipped false gods, he was also a liar and struggled in his faith until he surrendered to God, Sarah laughed and doubted God’s promise when she was told she would be a mother, Jacob was a liar and thief, a swindler of swindlers, but each of them learned to turn over their past, surrender their lives to God, their past, their failures did not define who they were, God did and called them His sons and daughters, just as He does us.
It is time we learned to let go of what we cannot change and change who we trust in, if we have been accepted by Christ then we need to live like it, we are temporary residents on our way home don’t let the chains of the past slow you down or stop you for if Christ has set you free, you’re free.
God's word says this;
“Now without faith, it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith, he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise.....By faith, even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age since she considered that the one who had promised was faithful....But they now desire a better place — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:6-9, 11, 16 CSB
As they were traveling on the road someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Then he said to another, “Follow me.” “Lord,” he said, “first let me go bury my father.” But he told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. Luke 9:57-62
Most of the time our strongest and biggest enemy is ourselves, we bow to the power of the flesh and yield to its demands.
My biggest fear is not in failing for if my God is for me, who can be against me?
My fear is that I believe I did it on my own and forget who Christ is so easy and that my life is about me.
I need to be reminded that without Him, I am nothing more than dust, pride rules our hearts and minds, our flesh is strong and our enemies numerous, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory over the flesh, the devil, and the world.
May we never forget where we came from, where we are going, or who we belong to.
If God has raised you up from the ashes, then you are His forever.
My prayer is that in all things my life would glorify Him, that I will walk humbly in His presence, hating what is evil in me and in the world, live mercifully with others and give the grace I receive, these things I know I cannot do on my own, but only with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Surrendering our will is a daily thing, in every decision, in every act, in every thought and deed we must surrender to the will of God.
Pride's folly has led me down the wrong road more than once, it is a place I pray I never return to.
Help me Lord Jesus to live my life totally abandoned to self, and surrendered to you. My victory, my life is in you alone.
God’s word say this;
“Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 CSB
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold as a slave to sin. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me. So I discover this law: When I want to do what is good, evil is present with me. For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.” Romans 7:14-25 CSB
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 1 Corinthians 15:57 CSB
The real pandemic our nation is fighting is hatred and racism, our history is filled with the bloodshed of men, women, and children who were slaughtered for no other reason than the color of their skin or their economic value.
We have fought wars over this that further divided our nation, at the cost of over 600,000 lives, and sadly we are still fighting some of these battles in our streets, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes, this madness must stop.
We cannot erase our nation's history, it will not go away, and we shouldn't want to, if we try to erase it, we will only be doomed to make it worse by refusing to acknowledge it and make the changes we need to make, what we can do is make every effort to not repeat these atrocities, we start by simply having mutual respect and love for one another as human beings.
Our nation's history has been far from perfect, but we still live in a great nation where the majority of people do love one another, yes we still have a small segment that refuses to change their way of thinking and we need to hold them accountable, no matter who they are.
I am heart broke over the hatred, racism, and violence, I want all people to live free from the fear that too many faces unnecessarily, hate.
There is only one cure for this hatred and racism, that is people surrendering their hearts to God and repenting from their sins.
Hate and Racism are issues of the heart, they are sinful, this is a spiritual battle not physical, sadly there is physical violence and abuse that spawns from the spiritual battle, only God can change the heart of mankind.
God help us I pray!
God made it clear, we are to love Him with all our hearts minds and souls and love our neighbors as ourselves.
If we could only do two things in this world to change it, shouldn't we do our part, and let God do His.
Racism and hate are taught, children have a natural tendency to love, they repeat what they hear and see, let's teach them about God's plan of salvation, His word and ways, it's time His creation returns to Him.
It is time every voice is heard, there is no room for hatred, racism, or evil in our world.
God's word says this:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NASB
“And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. ”Matthew 22:37-40 NASB
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”1 John 3:15-24 NASB
“Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:5-10 NASB
“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing. Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Who is the man who desires life And loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:1-3, 8-18 NASB
The world is searching for hope, the very hope you and I as sons and daughters of God carry in us. How will they know that hope unless you and I proclaim it by the way we live and the words we speak?
We are not long for this world, and yet this world consumes our hearts, minds, and souls, we don’t dwell on eternity for we cannot see past today or fathom the depths or length of it.
When I look at the world around me, I don’t see what most people see for God keeps changing how I see things, I don’t see people of different nationalities or people of different religions, I see people, and this I know; Christ died for them as He did me, it doesn’t matter where they are born, who they are born to, what they have done or will do, what matters is Christ died for them, rose from the grave for them and is calling them to Him and we need to let them know.
There is no person beyond the grace of God, salvation, and forgiveness is for all who ask Christ to save them.
Let’s not be entangled in the things of this world, they are temporary, yes let us enjoy all God has given us, be good stewards of it but let us focus our time, talents and treasures on the things of God that have eternal meaning, while there is light let us walk in Christ so others will come to Him.
Christ will soon return and what will matter then is not what we do or did to glorify ourselves, but what we did and do to glorify Him.
God’s word says this:
“You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the commanding officer.” 2 Timothy 2:1-4 CSB
“Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daytime: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t make plans to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:11-14 CSB
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace. Also, regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these things in all his letters. There are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable will twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures. Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” 2 Peter 3:10-18 CSB
Having lived with the Corona Virus in my family and home, we have seen some of what it can and can't do.
My family and I were all together in our home, around each other day and night for 45 days straight, after my wife and son tested positive for the CV-19, add a couple more weeks before they were diagnosed, when the symptoms started.
My Doctor and health department were telling us we need to isolate them away from us , or we should go somewhere to stay until we see what happens, (I fall into the super high-risk factor because of my health and especially my lung issues.)
Well you really can't self-quarantine in a home of 5 people, my wife and I continued living as we always had, around each other and sleeping together every day and night, I never had one symptom, or did our younger son and daughter. We were not letting fear drive us, we did not leave our home though so we would not spread it to others.
We are in the hands of God and He protected us, that is the only reason I believe I never came down with the virus or our other children, and my wife and son never became worse, we prayed together for protection, and my Doctor recognizes that.
My wife and son are virus-free and none of us took any medicine, to stop or fight the virus, again none of us, (you need to understand if someone has a cold and they sneeze around me I get it, really.)
Even though we survived this some of our friends and family have not, we have lost three friends to this and have had a couple of friends lose their parents, it is heartbreaking and we have seen the destruction that this virus causes first hand, there can be no words of comfort when you cannot go see your loved ones as they wrestle with death alone because of this disease, and it happens so rapidly you barely can wrap your mind around what is happening.
There is no one size fits all for the symptoms or cure for this Virus, it affects everyone differently.
We should never sacrifice living for fear of dying, we all will die unless the Lord comes soon, isn't it time to start living?
But letting fear guide us and destroy our families and the Nation is foolish, people are smart enough to wash their hands, stay out of each other's faces and avoid contact when at all possible, basic hygiene and common sense are two of the best defenses against this virus, adults are not toddlers who need to be told what to do by any government agency, ever.
The government has said we can't protect you from this, and they can't.
It is time to let everyone return to work, with caution and common sense, and get our Nation back to work, stop the fear-mongering, and start living again.
If your a high-risk individual like myself and my family now, you can take all the precautions you can but you can't stop living, we lived by faith with the Virus in our lives and in our home and we will continue to do what we can and live by faith now.
God's word says this:
“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.”
“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:1, 3 , 6 CSB
Those who don't believe Jesus is God, or those who are agnostics or atheists who don’t believe in a Creator, have a tendency to say ”they see no evidence of God.”
We know better, and we can easily refute their disbelief with one simple answer;
I am the evidence!
You have a past that Christ rescued you from, whether you thought you were a good person who did all the right things and found out that you were hell-bound without Christ, for no one can earn their way into heaven, or if you were rotten, vile, rebellious and hell-bound without Christ, it doesn’t matter. Jesus Christ came to you personally, revealed Himself to you, and saved you.
The evidence is our changed lives , for we are a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away and a new life has now begun.
We should live and rejoice daily because He works in us daily still, so if someone wants evidence of Jesus Christ, tell them your story for we are the evidence the world needs to see and hear.
God did not save us so we may sit in buildings, occasionally yell Amen and raise our hands in a worship service, He saves us so others may see His love, His glory, His grace which is available to all.
If you’re not being the evidence of a saved and sanctified life, then you need to repent and start living as God called you.
We need to start today proclaiming what God has done for us, and in us, so others may see the hope of Christ and eternity and be rescued from sin and death.
God’s word says this:
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say, The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been thrown down. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; for they did not love their lives to the point of death.” Revelation 12:10-11 CSB
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 CSB
“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 CSB
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.
John 3:1-21 NASB
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone — rejected by people but chosen and honored by God — you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 2:1-5 CSB
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:16-26 NASB
My family is recovering from the Coronavirus, Ronda and our son Marcus have being diagnosed with it, and myself, Faith and Jeremiah, have been living with it, we have been quarentined together for about 45 days,but God's hands have protected us through this, as we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
I am high risk because my immune system is compromised, I have Bronchomalacia and Tracheomalacia, and Asthma on top of other issues with an autoimmune disease, which means my respiratory system is weak and I am subject to respiratory diseases and I have no immune system.
My Doctors have called every day to check on me, and do not understand why I have not contracted this horrible virus, I have told them what I have told you, it is simply the hands of God and His mercy that I and our other children are well and my wife and son are recovering with no medical treatment. They are not over it yet, and have a long road of recovery in front of them, but God's rod and staff are comforting us.
I am reminded of David’s words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4
We have lost friends to this virus, and friends have lost family members to this virus, but the Corona Virus is nothing new, and God was working in the lives of all of us before it became known to mankind, we can trust Him through this as we have trusted Him in the past.
Seek Him daily first, trust Him daily always, and praise and worship Him daily from a grateful heart.
God is faithful.
He sees things differently than we do, He knows the beginning and the end, and works All things for our good and His glory, we do not need to live in fear, we must simply live in faith, in Him, through Him for Him.
This will not be the last of the pestilence our world sees, there has been ravaging disease, war, famine, and death since Adam sinned against God and brought death to us all, and this is nothing compared to what is coming when God has had enough of mankind's rebellion, but glory to God the Father who sent Christ and brought redemption, salvation, abundant life and eternal life to all who believe, we can live in fear by listening to mankind or live in faith by listening to Jesus, we can't do both, I choose to listen to Jesus.
I listened to a story not too long ago about a mother who died, leaving her husband and daughter. After the funeral, the little girl asked her dad, "Daddy, why did Mother die?"
The father could not answer right away. He was struggling to find the right words. A short time later, the two were walking together when they were passed by a large truck.
As the truck came close, it cast a shadow over the two of them, and the father saw his answer.
"Do you remember asking me about Mom, and what happened to her?" The daughter nodded, yes. "Well, let me ask you a question. When that truck came by just now, did it hit us?"
The girl shook her head, No.
”But something did hit us, didn't it? Something dark?" Her eyes lit up. ”Yes, Daddy," she said, "the truck's shadow hit us."
Her dad said, "That's what happened to your mother. Death did not run over your mother. Only its shadow did. And shadows don't hurt. I don't know why it happened, but I know that she's okay."
Powerful: we know death is inescapable, unless Jesus returns before we die. One day our names will be found in the obituaries.
Even knowing this still makes it uncomfortable for us to talk about death, as a matter of fact, most people avoid talking about death, but as Christians, we should not feel uncomfortable when we talk about it, for we are passing from death to life according to Jesus.
This life here and now is a death sentence, from the moment of conception we start aging and our biological clock starts ticking down, but those who put their faith in Christ have been given eternal life through Him, and death has lost its power over us.
We should not fear life or death, for God is sovereign over them both.
I am going to the other side with Jesus passing from death into life, all of my hope, my faith, my life is in Him.
God's word says this:
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I 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 have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalms 23:1-6 NASB
“On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:35-41 NASB
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.” John 5:24-32 NASB
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “F OR Y OUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; W E WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39 NASB
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For H E HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER H IS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-10, 20-28, 55-58 NASB
We have prayed years for revival, for God to reach the churched and the unchurched, now that He is many are complaining about how God is working things out through this global pandemic, instead of calling on God to continue to move and reach the lost, return the prodigal's and prepare our hearts for the harvest, there is complaining and anger.
Let's stop our murmuring and start praising God for all He is doing!
How easily we have forgotten because our lives are so good, how God uses our trials to work for us, not against us.
We say we trust God but have we surrendered everything to Him? We have only if we truly trust Him. Our trials will produce patience, perseverance, and mature us. Only when we fight against God and His ways we experience our impatience, turmoil, and anxiety.
God uses our trials to build character in our lives. Warren Wiersbe gives a great analogy, "God can grow a mushroom overnight, but it takes many years - and many storms - to build a mighty oak."
When we turn our hearts, our lives, everything over to God, we have changed our earthly perspective, to an eternal perspective, seeing beyond today into eternity.
Our trials are only temporary, we need to faithfully walk through them and model the faith, hope, and love that Scripture talks about, as we trust God as the authority over our lives, both here and now, but also for all eternity.
God's word says this:
“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. So then, death is at work in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
“Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:2-3 CSB
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 CSB
As Jesus spent His last days on earth before His crucifixion, He told His disciples how much He loved them, He instructed them on how to live their lives, and He reminded them that He is the vine, we are the branches, and He is the only way to get to Heaven.
Jesus told them what He was going to share with the world, His love, redemption and life, He reminded them that He chose them, they did not choose Him.
He told them they all had a purpose, He prayed for them, He prayed for us, He poured out Himself to those around Him.
Knowing what was about to take place, the scourging, the beating, the hatred that was about to be poured out on Him, He took His disciples to a room and had the Passover meal prepared for them, first He washed their dirty feet, then sat down with them and ate dinner even with Judas, who had already betrayed Him and was about to hand Him over to the Temple Police.
Jesus gave them a new command, to love one another as He has loved them, walk-in obedience, remember that not everyone will love them, as a matter of fact, they will hate you, but stay strong for the Holy Spirit is coming and He will help you, comfort you and speak of Me.’
Jesus prepared them for the rest of their lives, that is love, serving others until His last great, Jesus paid it all because we could not, but the story doesn't end there.
Read John 14-21
How about you, if this was your last week on earth what would you do?
God's word says this:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is what I command you: Love one another.
” If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they don’t know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their law might be fulfilled: They hated me for no reason.
”When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father — he will testify about me. You also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:1-27 CSB
At Passover each Jewish family would put their family name around the neck of their lamb they took to the Temple to be sacrificed. They did this to make sure they received their own lamb back for the Passover dinner.
God used Pilate to write an inscription, and put it on the cross. It was written, ‘JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.’
In the Latin Vulgate. “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” (INRI
The inscription had been in three languages — Latin, Greek, and Hebrew — transliterated from Hebrew to English. We see these words: “Y’Shua HaNatzri V’Melech HaYehudim.”
The first letters of each of these words. It spelled “YHVH,” the Tetragrammaton form of the name of God! YHVH and YHWH can be used interchangeably. When this technique of abbreviating is used, the title on the cross in the actual Hebraic script undeniably reveals the name of God. In English, the name is pronounced “Yahweh!”
Just like the Jewish family put their family name on their lamb for sacrifice at the Temple, God put His name on His Lamb for His family, which includes you and me!
Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts by Michael Norten,
God's word says this:
“Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: J ESUS OF N AZARETH, THE K ING OF THE J EWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.” John 19:17-22 CSB
Most people that follow Jesus today do so as they follow others on social media, there is no intimate relationship it is mostly superficial.
They like most of the things Jesus says until it applies to them, then they dislike His words.
Jesus doesn't care about how many followers He has, He looks at the heart, He sees what is going on and He says ”if you love me you will obey me”
When Jesus talked about eating of His body and drinking of His blood many misunderstood Him and they stopped following Him, Jesus asked the twelve disciples: ”You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
It is a sad state of artificial discipleship our churches are in, we may be filling seats, but we are only tickling ears, not stirring hearts.
It's not the Gospels fault for the gospel never changes, it is because we are not calling upon the Holy Spirit to move people's hearts, this is why baptism is down in most churches, look you and I know we can't save anyone, we can't change one person's heart or open their eyes, only God can.
It is time we cry out, repent of trying to do this on our own in our power and pray the Holy Spirit to move in our lives and those around us freely, only then will He have free reign in our lives.
Jesus loves us, not human love but Godly love, beyond our understanding, but not beyond our reach, He is calling deny yourself, confess and repent to Him, call on Him to save you from sin and death, as Lord and Savior.
Read John 3 and ask Him to reveal Himself to you today.
Let's stop following Jesus socially, get back to the work of the Church alongside the Holy Spirit, let's see God work in our lives as He saves those around us in biblical proportions.
God's word says this;
“Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate — and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Therefore, when many of his disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?” Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you?
Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.) He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.”
From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:47-69 CSB
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.”John 16:1-15 CSB
“When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that each of us can hear them in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts), Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God in our own tongues.” They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But some sneered and said, “They’re drunk on new wine.” Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Fellow Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning.
On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. I will even pour out my Spirit on my servants in those days, both men and women and they will prophesy. I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. “Fellow Israelites, listen to these words: This Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know. Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him. God raised him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by death. For David says of him: I saw the Lord ever before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. Moreover, my flesh will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me in Hades or allow your holy one to see decay. You have revealed the paths of life to me; you will fill me with gladness in your presence. “Brothers and sisters, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: He is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not abandoned in Hades, and his flesh did not experience decay. “God has raised this Jesus; we are all witnesses of this.
Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:1-47 CSB
Fear, confusion, anxiety, and doubt are not caused by the Lord in our daily walk.
These are weapons of our enemy. These weapons are used to immobilize us with surgical preciseness. The enemy pierces the inner solace of our minds to disarm us in the battlefield of our minds.
As children of God, we are not alone in this battle. God has given us the Holy Spirit, He is our helper, our teacher, our comfort in this battle.
We must call upon Him for wisdom, discernment, and help. Just as a soldier would not go into battle without their leaders, we must not go into our day without the help of the Holy Spirit, for each day is a spiritual battle.
When is the last time you called upon the Holy Spirit for courage, for strength, for peace, for wisdom?
This should be part of our prayer every morning before we get out of bed, to call on His help and protection.
This is an exclamation point in our lives.
If God is for us, who can be against us, we are more than conquerors, who shall we fear for nothing will separate us from God's eternal love!
Boom! Now live without fear!
God's word says this:
“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me. “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me. On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me. “Get up; let’s leave this place.” John 14:18-31 CSB
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. The mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you. So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:1-17, 31-39 CSB
Band Of Brothers