Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them, because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ iniquity on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name. Be careful to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy as the Lord your God has commanded you. You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work — you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your ox or donkey, any of your livestock, or the resident alien who lives within your city gates, so that your male and female slaves may rest as you do.
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and so that you may prosper in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give dishonest testimony against your neighbor. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife or desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Deuteronomy 5:7-14, 16-21 CSB
Today we see mankind mocking God in every arena of life, our governments mock God by the laws they pass, legalizing the very things God tells us to avoid.
Television producers, movie studios, and actors mock God by the things they do and say all under the guise of entertainment.
Athletes and musicians mock God by their lyrics and lifestyles.
The media mocks God by spreading doubt, fear, and lies to the masses.
And mainstream Americans mock God by the way they live, picking and choosing what part of God's word they want to live by or ignoring God.
Way too many today praise God on Sunday morning but their lives are no different than our governments, Hollywood, or the musicians that entertain us.
We are seeing and feeling the results of the world's blatant blasphemy of God’s name and character.
God's word is very clear on how we are to live, “whatever we sow we shall reap”. It is time to stop mocking God with our lives and start living as we are called.
Stop making excuses that we are all sinners, yes we were, but if Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, then sin and death have no power over you, we have died with Christ, and if we died with Him we shall also be raised with Him, for He broke the curse of sin and death.
Sin has no claim on our lives, we do not serve a dead man, we serve the risen Lord and Savior.
It is time we stop trying to live the Christian life without Christ, without the Holy Spirit, without God the Father, none of us can live without His help.
God’s word says this:
Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers! ’ “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash. Matthew 7:13-27 CSB
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed. But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:1-10 CSB
Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good. Romans 12:9-21 CSB
Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all his good things with the teacher. Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.” Galatians 6:1-10 CSB
Jesus is at work in His creation we don’t see or understand how things happen or will work out, but He does, even when everything seems to be falling apart, Jesus still has us and all of creation in His hands.
The first thing we must do if we want to make real changes in our lives is to pray, pray for ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, God's Church, our Nation, we need to pray in faith continually to the only one who can make things happen.
True faith is absolute confidence in God’s unfailing sovereignty regardless of circumstances or outcomes, our focus should simply be living in Jesus every day, when it is, our life changes and the lives of those around us change, faith isn’t how we speak, it is how we live, we can go from the worries of life to full confidence in Christ.
The things God does are eternal they are driven by His love for us and His Sovereignty. The things of this world are temporary they will pass away, rust or rot.
This is the same difference in our lives, when we are moved by God’s Spirit the results are eternal, when we are driven by the flesh, the results are temporary and will soon be gone, God's focus is eternal, ours should be too.
Pray that what we do is Holy Spirit-driven, we may not see the results of what God is doing now but one day we will, if we keep focused on doing what Christ says to do, we can trust the results to Him and will not have to worry about the things around us.
God's word says:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and by him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17 CSB
Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. John 3:6-8 CSB
The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. 1st Peter 4:7-11 CSB
Someone once described guilt as "the gift that keeps on giving."
We can attempt to alleviate our guilt with rationalization, activity, and the passage of time, but nothing changes the fact that sin not dealt with by God lives forever.
We can rename it, bury it, ignore it, or try to explain it away, but the bottom line is that sin and the guilt that accompanies it never dies until we repent and God helps us overcome it. Until He does, we can expect to see our same tired sin all over again in a different time and place, like the recurring sequel to a movie we never liked to begin with!
I have seen more damage done to individuals and relationships by the ghost of guilt than from any other source. Frequently, the guilt of some past sin is carried from generation to generation, affecting the lives of those who may be totally unaware of its origin.
In the world's major airports, unclaimed baggage or parcels are seized by authorities, because terrorists have been known to hide explosives in luggage, then abandon it. Psychologists tell us that the baggage of guilt and shame do not go unclaimed either. If a parent refuses to deal with his or her own guilt, a child will often subconsciously pick it up and carry it.
There is a solution for unclaimed guilt. Let Jesus have it. Guilt that is nailed to the cross is canceled. "He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner free.
I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments. For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.
Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. For the entire fullness of God's nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah. Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him. Colossians 2:4-15
When Christ came as a baby, the majority of the Jewish people missed His coming, the signs were all there, the timing was right, and they needed God and His promises more than ever.
But the religious community was caught up in political power, they struggled with pushing their agenda instead of God’s truth, the Romans were caught up with governing the religious leaders and the king they had in place, and trying to keep terrorism down from the zealots to a minimum, and the people were living in rebellion doing whatever they could to survive, they were enslaved, overtaxed, angry, confused and numb to all that was going on around them.
But there were a few who obeyed God and He made known to them that the time had come, salvation has arrived through Immanuel, His Son Jesus Christ.
I believe today we are in the same mindset as the Jewish nation, religious leaders have an agenda and it is not God’s, political leaders have an agenda to control the people and what they know, and the people are growing numb and rebellious against both.
And what we are doing is missing the glory of God as He works and offers salvation to all mankind, we miss the meaning of Immanuel, (God with us) we miss the treasures of life because we have become apathetic, instead of passionate for Christ.
We miss all the signs of our Lord's soon return because we are focused on us, on our world instead of Him.
Simeon and Anna had waited their whole lives for the coming Messiah and knew that God would keep His promise, we should be like Simeon and Anna waiting faithfully on God, recognize His promises and keep praising His name.
The Shepherds were considered 2nd class, they had emptied themselves of self, and the Angels told them because of their humility.
Let’s take our eyes off of us, off of other people, and turn our eyes upon Jesus and see the glory of God shine upon us and mankind again.
Let's not be like those who missed the first coming of Jesus, let's be ready, proclaim His name in all we do, and work and wait in anticipation of His coming to take us home.
God's word says this:
“So her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.” Matthew 1:19-25 CSB
“There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised.“For my eyes have seen your salvation.”
You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples — a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel. His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed — and a sword will pierce your own soul — that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:25-38 CSB
The place my soul longs to be is in the physical presence of my LORD and Savior, Jesus.
To bow before Him and worship Him with all that I am, to gaze upon His majesty, to see His smile, His nail-pierced hands, feet, and side, to hear His voice and to know that everything is perfect because of Him, and for eternity I will be with Him, this is where my soul longs to be.
Until then, I will worship Him in Spirit and Truth, He walks with me daily in His word, He gives me direction, peace, and strength in His Spirit.
The Holy Spirit helps me in my reasoning, by instructing me with love by correcting me in grace, and by leading me in mercy. These things I need, for I am prone to wander, and easily distracted by the things of the world.
I always feel the need to be in motion, I do not slow down well, I am not good at rest, I feel I must be busy and productive.
I know I am wrong, but my mindset is set. God in His mercy keeps slowing me down little by little, you would think I would learn by now, but I am a slow learner.
In 2010, Crohn’s changed my life, I went from a 60 hour week plus to not being able to work at all, God changed the direction of our lives, He then put me to work pastoring / counseling and helping others part-time, which is not working to me, but a blessing from Him to be in the lives of His people growing in His grace and knowledge.
Now with the latest diagnosis of this rare cancer, He has slowed me down even more, which means I have to adjust to a new normal, with His help I will, you see my life is perfect because I am in the hands of Jesus.
I would kick and scream but I would be worn out in just a few seconds, ( haha).
God is amazing, He gives me the strength to press on, and He takes away the strength I have when He wants me to stop.
This I know Jesus carries me through each day, He provides everything myself and my family need, and His blessings are too many to count.
My mornings are filled with prayer, and time in His word, but I sometimes rush through both, to be busy, when all He wants me to do, actually all of us to do at times is sit at His feet.
I have read the story about Martha and Mary, a hundred times if not more, I always concentrate on the part of being distracted by tasks, (and we all have the task to do), and I never really thought of just sitting at the feet of Jesus, but now that God has changed my perspective, I am going to focus on sitting at His feet, listening more to His words of wisdom, grace, strength, love, mercy, direction, and hope, and then take on tasks as He directs me and gives me the strength to do, slowing down is not in my top ten of choices, but it is in His.
This takes to us back to where it all began, at His feet, that is where I truly want to be.
When is the last time you just tuned out the world and sat at the feet of Jesus, taking in His words of wisdom, grace, strength, love, mercy, direction, and hope?
God’s word says this:
“While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her. ”Luke 10:38-42 CSB
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure. All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ”Matthew 11:25-30 CSB
“Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain. In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food — yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.” Psalms 127:1-2 CSB
I love Christmas, it’s about hope, where hope is found in the deity, the person of, and the presence of the one who lay in the manger, Jesus.
Every time I see a Christmas decoration or a Christmas tree, I think of Him.
The Christmas tree represents life to me, even though they are cut down, they are still vibrant and green as they die, they hold lights which represent hope, they hold ornaments which represent joyous memories in time, they shine with tinsel, ribbons, and candy canes, and are topped with a star or an angel which represents peace.
Jesus is life, and even though He was killed He rose again, conquering sin and death, yes Jesus is very much alive, even though He came to die, He is life, He is the light in the darkness, His glory still shines today, His love and grace are our only hope, and without Him we are bound to die in our sin, He alone gives us new life, in Him alone our joy, and perfect peace are found.
Life and time are both free gifts from God to all mankind, we should learn to treasure God first, then life and time.
The Christmas tree reminds me of the manger where Christ lay, inside the stable where He was born, the work He did with His hands as a carpenter as He grew in grace and knowledge, and the cross He hung on and died to pay for my sins, and yours, because He first loved us, and knows there could be no other way for us to get to God the Father.
I look at the Christmas tree and see all Christ has done for me, I am in awe of His love, His grace, and God the Father's gift to all mankind, Jesus.
This Christmas season I hope you see who I see in the Christmas tree, Jesus, I pray you will come to know Him and receive the greatest gift of all, salvation, and start your personal relationship with Him.
God’s word says this:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:1-5 CSB
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. John 3:14-19 CSB
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 CSB
Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors! When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. Luke 2:4-16 CSB
Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man, by what means he was healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead — by him this man is standing here before you healthy. This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved. Acts 4:8-12 CSB
We live in an age of information overload, 24-hour news channels, social media, and complete access to the internet puts us at risk, my dear family and friends we are under a constant siege of information, without time to process it, make no mistake we are at war.
The information we are being told is mostly negative, to cause fear and negative information produces negative people, negative people produces a negative society and a negative society soon falls; for morality and thought are replaced with emotions and ideology.
This is where we are today.
People are so divided and driven by negativity and driven by fear that they can no longer decipher the truth from lies, and in reality, they no longer want to, they are driven by the idea that they are right and you are wrong, end of the story, even when presented with overwhelming facts they refuse to see the truth.
God in His wisdom for all ages told us to remain sober-minded, to take our thoughts captive, to be self-controlled, the only way we can do this is with His help, with His word, with the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit.
When a person is drunk, they lose the ability to think clearly, they are controlled by their emotions and thoughts, according to FBI stats, 80% of crimes committed in America are alcohol-related, because people lose control of their reasoning and thinking.
This same process is happening now without alcohol because people are being manipulated and controlled by the constant flow of negativity in this nation, and rational, clear thinking is being replaced by I am right, you are wrong.
As Christians we cannot fall into this trap, we have the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and each other to turn to. We of all people must remain sober-minded, grounded in the gospel, holding onto the truth of God's word, and standing strong in our faith. Remember we used to walk that way, but by God’s grace, He saved us so we can share His light and love, let’s not act the same way as the world but rather show them a better way.
This is why we pray, read the scriptures, and fellowship.
Today ask God who gives wisdom freely to lead you through the fields of deception and guide you in all truth, turn off the negative, plug into His word, join a Bible Study that is focused on Holy living, be heavenly minded and share the good news of Christ Jesus with a world desperate for truth, it is exhilarating, freeing and joyful to do so.
We must dwell on the things of God, His word, His ways, negative and positive thoughts cannot dwell together in our hearts and minds, so we fill them with the things of God.
God’s word says this:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him, not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.”John 1:1-5 CSB
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith. For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. “Claiming to be wise, they became fools”and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.” Romans 1:16-25 CSB
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”Philippians 4:4-9 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.”1 Peter 1:13-16 CSB
“Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.” 1 Peter 5:8-10 CSB
We live in times where most people never think about how short or fragile life is, we believe death is far away from us all, until tragedy strikes. A car accident, stroke, heart attack, the call from the Doctor telling you or your loved ones have cancer, evil in the world, or a hundred other ways death comes to take us, but death does come for us all.
The reality of life is this; each of us, every person who has breath in their body today walks in the shadow of death, so whatever is going on keep walking with Christ, never look back keep pressing on towards the prize.
Those who walk with God have Him to comfort us, protect us, provide for us, He gives His peace to us so we can walk without fear with Him, even in the face of evil, death, or disease, there is nothing to worry about for we are in God’s hands.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this
“No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward joyfully to being released from bodily existence. Whether we are young or old makes no difference. What are twenty or thirty or fifty years in the sight of God? And which of us knows how near he or she may already be to the goal? That life only really begins when it ends here on earth, that all that is here is only the prologue before the curtain goes up.”
God’s word tells us life is but a vapor, we are here today and gone tomorrow, for those who have put their faith in Christ we will be escorted by death into the presence of Christ, those who reject Christ will be escorted by death into the darkness and torment away from the presence of Christ.
How we see things affects how we live, the world only sees a hopeless end to it all, but with Jesus, we have endless hope, our lives should reflect our faith no matter what comes our way, we should live in faith over fear, we don't find joy in tragedy or death, it stings, but we can find comfort and joy always in Christ because He lives, we know we will live and so will all who put their faith in Him.
Whatever fiery ordeal we face today, be confident in Christ, He will be there with us, He will complete what He started in us, He has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort us, and lead us He will never leave or forsake us.
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 still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalms 23:1-6 ESV
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.” John 3:16-18 CSB
“Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.....Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him. For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:3-5, 8-11 CSB
“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.” Philippians 3:12-16 CSB
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it.” James 4:13-17 CSB
I have to say it was surreal like time stood still and it took me back a step as I processed the information my oncologist just gave me, I have Myelodysplastic Syndromes, and my options and time are very limited.
Now I know these things are not in my hands, this is in God's hands, I truly believe there is a time to be born and a time to die and God has determined both.
While my Doctors believe my medical options are limited, I know all of my hope is in Christ, I believe He has already healed me and I praise Him for His healing hands and power.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am the most blessed man on this earth, because of Jesus, He has given me so much grace and mercy, I deserved none of it, none of Him but He has given me all of Him.
As I drove home from the hospital I knew I could die in an automobile accident and not have any time to say goodbye to family and friends as so many do daily, but here again, God's grace carried me home, I do not fear death, I am ready the day the Lord calls me home, but I love my life, everything about my life and I truly feel my race is not over yet.
I don't know the day I will leave this world, neither do my Doctors, only God has that knowledge, my prayer is Jesus comes soon and takes us all home together, I am ready.
I do know that every day I get I will live for the glory of the Lord, I will ask for His help to love my family more, laugh more with them, live in each moment, and rejoice in each breath that I can, doing all I can in His strength, grace, and mercy.
I can't look back even though I am tempted too, I could write novels on regrets, but I press on in God's love, mercy, and grace praying He wipes away all the bad memories, tears, and sorrow.
We are created to live by faith, not in fear, as a child of God nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus, Jesus defeated the world, sin, death, and the grave, He can handle what comes our way, He says come to me all that are weary and I will give you rest.
This I know I am resting in Him now and I will be with Him for eternity, I am His and He is mine.
What is keeping you from living? Health, marital, financial, problems, these things are only temporary never let the temporary get in the way of eternity, resolve in your heart that you follow, and serve Jesus, no matter what!
God's word says this.
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, because this was your good pleasure. All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:25-30 CSB
“Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. “Truly I tell you, an hour is coming, and is now here, 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, so also he has granted to the Son to have life in himself. And he has granted him the right to pass judgment, because he is the Son of Man.” John 5:24-27 CSB
“So the sisters sent a message to him: “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was. Then after that, he said to the disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.”..”Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her. Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. “Remove the stone,” Jesus said. Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, there is already a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent me.” After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.” John 11:3-7, 23-27, 38-44 CSB
“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 gave 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 8:31-39 CSB
“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. What does the worker gain from his struggles? I have seen the task that God has given the children of Adam to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end. ”Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 CSB
A grateful Nation honors those who defend them and stand in harms way in the face of tyranny and oppression. We thank each and every man and woman who has put on and still puts on the uniform and defends our freedoms not only today but each and every day.
A grateful person prays for those who stand between us and tyrants and oppressors. Not only those who defend us but their families too.
May we pray to the Lord to defend our defenders and to fight their battles for their battles are for our freedom.
May the Lord bless them, keep them, and deliver them from our enemies.
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock who trains my hands for battle and my fingers for warfare. He is my faithful love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him; he subdues my people under me. Lord, what is a human that you care for him, a son of man that you think of him? A human is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. Lord, part your heavens and come down. Touch the mountains, and they will smoke. Flash your lightning and scatter the foe; shoot your arrows and rout them. Reach down from on high; rescue me from deep water, and set me free from the grasp of foreigners whose mouths speak lies, whose right hands are deceptive.” Psalms 144:1-8 CSB
In my health struggles I hear God's voice call to me do not fear, worry, be disheartened or discouraged for I am with you, I will lift you on my wings and carry you, you will not stumble or fall, trust me and I will safely lead you home.
For those who don’t deal with chronic pain or sickness, you may not understand the physical part of constant agony, but you do know what pain is, pain comes in many forms besides physical, it can be emotional, spiritual or it can be mentally debilitating, remember none of us are immune to pain, suffering or sickness, life or death.
Pain, sickness, life, and death are reminders of how much we need God, my pain and sickness may mock my flesh but it beckons my soul to long for more of God’s strength, grace, and peace.
Pain and suffering can come from loss, disease, choices we make or others make, they can hinder us and cause us to surrender to our emotions or feelings or push us into the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We can choose to be bound by the chains of defeat or we can choose to live in the victory God gives us daily in Jesus.
C.S. Lewis said: “But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Is God shouting to us in our pain?
Are we listening?
God works all things out for our good and His glory, we must learn to listen, listen with our hearts, mind, and soul, He has more for us to do, and the world needs to hear God calling, how will they hear if you and I are chained in defeat? We need to surrender our pain, sickness, and suffering to Christ let Him be our strength, so others will see and hear the voice of God calling to them to take up His yoke and follow Him.
I choose hope over hopelessness , I choose victory over victimhood, I choose to live each day in Christ to the fullest no matter what.
God’s word says this:
“I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; he will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.” Psalms 121:1-8CSB
My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being. Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and high regard with God and people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones.”Proverbs 3:1-9 CSB
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will also share in the comfort. We don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed — beyond our strength — so that we even despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and he will deliver us. We have put our hope in him that he will deliver us again while you join in helping us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 CSB
Life is uneasy, unpredictable, things are always happening, things we can not stop or change, life is what it is, uneasy.
Sickness, death, brokenness, loneliness, depression, hatred, violence, wickedness, poverty, separation, all these things take their toll on the human soul. And all these things exist because of sin, when Adam fell he brought sickness and death, to the world we live in, and all mankind, it's all part of the curse.
The devil uses all these things against us to create a crisis of faith, doubts to make mankind believe there is no God in heaven, and if He's there why won't He stop this?
These questions are nothing new, God has answered them from the beginning, and the crises of faith we have today are the same ones that every man and woman has fought through since Adam and Eve.
Abraham doubted God when he went to Egypt and he lied to the Pharaoh about Sarah, David doubted God's strength and counted the number of people, John the Baptist sent his followers to ask Jesus are you the one, as he sat in jail awaiting execution, the disciples ran when Jesus was arrested and Peter denied Him in front of the crowds.
A crisis of faith can be a stepping stone, we can focus on the crisis, things we can not change, or we can take ourselves out of the equation and focus on Jesus, what He has done for us already and the promises He made us.
There comes a time we must all look at ourselves and see if our faith is real.
Take a moment and look back over our lives, and see the times Christ has always been there for us, how He has blessed us, and how these crisis moments make up the story of our lives and how they are inter-connected to a merciful, mighty God who allows us to walk with Him.
My hope is in Jesus.
God has great plans for you and I, He has given us victory over the world, over sin and death, by taking our place and bearing the penalty for our sin, death on a cross, then He rose again so we may walk with Him in a new way, and have everlasting life.
I don't know what exactly may be causing your crisis of faith but God does, and He is faithful, He will see you through, when we focus on Him and realize this life is temporary and where we are going is eternal, our crisis becomes little and our faith will grow stronger.
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. ” John 15:1-17
“Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may have a reply for those who take pride in outward appearance rather than in the heart. For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If one died for all, then all died. And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised. From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 CSB
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up. In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:1-4 CSB
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith — more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire — may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and carefully investigated. They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified in advance to the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.” 1 Peter 1:3-12 CSB
We can let age, sickness, pain, or suffering pull us down and hold us where we are or we can trust the Lord and His promises, His power, His purpose, and let Him use pain, sickness, or suffering to advance His kingdom.
There are things around us that are not in our control let's not focus on them. Instead, focus on Christ’s goodness, love, and grace, all this is temporary as we are passing through on our way home; passing from death to eternal life with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
When we believe that God is good and whatever He does, He is doing to perfect us and conform us into the image of His Son. We can endure temporary setbacks, they are temporary in light of eternity.
God’s word says He works all things out for our good and His glory.
It is easy to get distracted and focus on our problems; it’s human nature. But God’s Word says to rejoice always, pray about everything, worry about nothing and God’s peace will fill our hearts and minds.
These are not suggestions, they are words to live by, and with God’s help, I do. I find it exciting to know that with God’s help and wisdom I will be able to take His message of hope into new clinics where I will be treated, to new people I will get to meet.
The more we trust the Lord, the easier the choice is. We can live in the shackles of suffering or stand in Christ and walk in victory.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am the most blessed man on this earth.
God has given me so much grace and mercy, I deserve none of it, He has given me all of Him, and I can not thank Him or praise Him enough for the grace and mercy He has poured out on me.
I do know that every day I get I will live for the glory of the Lord, I will ask for His help to love my family more, laugh more with them, live in each moment, and rejoice in each breath, and do all I can in His strength, grace, and mercy.
We must choose each day who we will serve.
What has God promised to you?
When God says to go are we willing to go, to take the hill country, are we willing to fight through the pain, the suffering, the sickness?
At 85 years old Caleb told Joshua now is the time for me to take the inheritance God promised me, he took his family and went with God’s leading to the land God promised him.
Victory is ours, we are to be obedient to God and leave the results to God.
Today may our prayer be give me this hill Lord for you have promised to see me through to the end.
God’s word says:
I was forty years old when Moses the Lord’s servant sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land, and I brought back an honest report. My brothers who went with me caused the people to lose heart, but I followed the Lord my God completely. On that day Moses swore to me: ‘The land where you have set foot will be an inheritance for you and your descendants forever, because you have followed the Lord my God completely.’ “As you see, the Lord has kept me alive these forty-five years as he promised, since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel was journeying in the wilderness. Here I am today, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out. My strength for battle and for daily tasks is now as it was then. Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised. Joshua 14:7-12
“My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being. Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will find favor and high regard with God and people. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:1-10 CSB
Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him. Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. Matthew 7:7-14
Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for — believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. Mark 11:22-25
Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified. 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 8:24-39 CSB
I usually don't talk about how I feel, it does not change anything, but I will tell you, physically I am spent I have never felt this sick before. So I press on Spiritually with God’s help daily, for He is my strength and shield and I am always relying on Him and asking for His help.
If I stopped and thought about all the things going on with my health, I would not move forward I would be depressed and non-functional.
By the grace of God, I am not.
I understand that God is sovereign over every part of my life, every heartbeat, every breath, and I surrender each one to Him, this is not a battle of the flesh but a spiritual battle, and in Christ, I have victory over all things.
Our spiritual needs far out way our physical needs, yet we pray more for the physical instead of the spiritual, our battle is not physical it is spiritual.
The list of things that are wrong with my health is rather large, I have 25 Doctors, and this year I will have had 55 Doctor appointments plus chemotherapy, more importantly, I have one God and He is my Lord and Savior.
With my newest diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndromes there will be more treatments, more side effects, and maybe even death, the only cure right now is a bone marrow transplant which at this time would kill me.
I don’t put this out there for any other reason than to say this.
On my own, If I dwell on these things I would be mentally and spiritually crippled, but I put my hope in Christ, He makes me strong, and bold, He gives me the strength daily to do what He has called me to do.
When He saved me I told Him, I'm all in Jesus, wherever You lead, I will follow You, all the way home.
I would not trade one second of my life for perfect health or riches, for in Christ I am satisfied and complete.
I am no different than others who suffer from Chronic sickness, I just choose to follow Christ no matter what.
God’s word says this:
“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 6:61-69 CSB
“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13 CSB
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit — which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough to speak about it as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20 CSB
This is not a political post, this is a post about morality, something that seems to have been sacrificed on the altar of humanism and pride.
I in no way choose man's side, or man’s ideology for this war has been going on since Cain murdered Able. The devil wants to destroy our lives, because God loves us and created us in His image, the devil has worked hard at killing children, creating division, and deceiving mankind, he is a champion in all these areas, but he is no match for God.
We live in a culture of death, until we repent and stop electing those who legislate these atrocities against our culture we will be at war with God.
When those in authority do not value the life of the unborn, they will never value the life of the born, the color of someone's skin, the struggles of living day to day, they will not oppose hate, they will despise true diversity, and use others as long as they benefit them, but when no longer needed they are left by the wayside to die.
Choose wisely which side you serve.
When we follow the world instead of the word of God we are at war with Him and let's face it we can't afford to be at war with God.
We are in a spiritual battle, and we must choose sides, there is no neutral ground in this war.
Truth never changes, although the unrighteous change truth to meet their need, God told Israel that He set before them life or death, today we face the same choice, follow Christ and live, or follow the world and die.
God's Word says this:
“Indeed, the Lord’s arm is not too weak to save, and his ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities are separating you from your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not listen. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers, with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, and your tongues mutter injustice.
No one makes claims justly; no one pleads honestly. They trust in empty and worthless words; they conceive trouble and give birth to iniquity. They hatch viper’s eggs and weave spider’s webs. Whoever eats their eggs will die; crack one open, and a viper is hatched. Their webs cannot become clothing, and they cannot cover themselves with their works. Their works are sinful works, and violent acts are in their hands. Their feet run after evil, and they rush to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are sinful thoughts; ruin and wretchedness are in their paths. They have not known the path of peace, and there is no justice in their ways. They have made their roads crooked; no one who walks on them will know peace. Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us.
We hope for light, but there is darkness; for brightness, but we live in the night. We grope along a wall like the blind; we grope like those without eyes. We stumble at noon as though it were twilight; we are like the dead among those who are healthy. We all growl like bears and moan like doves. We hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions have multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us. For our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgression and deception against the Lord, turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering lying words from the heart. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far off. For truth has stumbled in the public square, and honesty cannot enter.
Truth is missing, and whoever turns from evil is plundered. The Lord saw that there was no justice, and He was offended. He saw that there was no man — He was amazed that there was no one interceding; so His own arm brought salvation, and His own righteousness supported him. He put on righteousness as body armor, and a helmet of salvation on his head; He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and He wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. So He will repay according to their deeds: fury to His enemies, retribution to His foes, and He will repay the coasts and islands. They will fear the name of the Lord in the west and His glory in the east; for He will come like a rushing stream driven by the wind of the Lord.” Isaiah 59:1-19 CSB
“You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit He made to dwell in us envies intensely? But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:4-8 CSB
Band Of Brothers