God ask us to give willingly to Him, to build His kingdom. He ask that our hearts be in our giving and serving, the widows mite reminds us, that God doesn’t care about the amount as much as He cares about the condition of our heart.
One such story that has been passed down over the years is how God took the 57 cents of a young child, and changed the world through building a University.
Hattie May Wiatt, a six-year-old girl, lived near Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia, USA. The Sunday school was very crowded. Russell H. Conwell, the minister, told her that one day they would have buildings big enough to allow everyone to attend. She said, ‘I hope you will. It is so crowded I am afraid to go there alone.’ He replied, ‘When we get the money we will construct one large enough to get all the children in.’
Two years later, in 1886, Hattie May died. After the funeral Hattie’s mother gave the minister a little bag they had found under their daughter’s pillow containing 57 cents in change that she had saved up. Alongside it was a note in her handwriting: ‘To help build bigger so that more children can go to Sunday school.’
The minister changed all the money into pennies and offered each one for sale. He received $250 – and 54 of the cents were given back. The $250 was itself changed into pennies and sold by the newly formed ‘Wiatt Mite Society’. In this way, her 57 cents kept on multiplying.
Twenty-six years later, in a talk entitled, ‘The history of the 57 cents’, the minister explained the results of her 57-cent donation: a church with a membership of over 5,600 people, a hospital where tens of thousands of people had been treated, 80,000 young people going through university, 2,000 people going out to preach the gospel – all this happened ‘because Hattie May Wiatt invested her 57 cents’.
The theme of multiplication runs throughout the Bible. What cannot be achieved by addition, God does by multiplication. You reap what you sow, only many times more. What you give to the Lord, he multiplies.
God is the one who multiplied what Hattie May gave, she gave all she had out of love for God and love for others with a willing heart and attitude to be used by God.
Are we giving all we have to God? Our time, talents and treasure? God is searching for those who love Him and others, and are willing to give their all.
Let’s stop saying see what I did for God, and start saying look at what God is doing for us.
God’s word says this:
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 NASB
“After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. [ If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” ] When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” ( Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” Mark 7:14-23 NASB
“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 NASB
Hattie May Wiatt illustration from Sermon by Russell H Conwell ‘The History of Fifty-Seven Cents’, Sunday morning, December 1, 1912.
Those who are fair weather fans of Jesus teach tolerance and acceptance of all, fans of Christ show up on Sundays they cheer and sing, disciples of Christ follow Him everyday as He leads the way.
Those who are disciples of Christ live and teach repentance, that God’s grace and forgiveness is available to all.
Tolerance is not a biblical value, or even a trait of God.
What is the difference between Tolerance and Grace?
Tolerance means that although I don’t see things the way you do, I won’t say anything to you so you can continue doing what you’re doing without objection, so I won’t hurt your feelings.
Grace is showing love, mercy, and kindness to others, regardless of their circumstances or the things they do or say , and telling them the truth in lite of what God’s word says.
Jesus said to people, “your sins are forgiven , go and sin no more”. He did not give them a pass, He showed them a better way.
How about us, do we tolerate sin in our lives? In our children, our friends?
How about showing Grace? Let’s show them and ourselves a better way by truly being a disciple of Jesus Christ, by living our lives for the glory of God.
God’s word says this:
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:1-11 NASB
“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:31-36 NASB
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:12-17 NASB
A great article from a great site!
Question: "How should a Christian view politics?"
Answer: If there is anything that will spark a spontaneous debate, if not an outright argument, it is a discussion involving politics—even among believers. As followers of Christ, what should be our attitude and our involvement with politics? It has been said that “religion and politics don’t mix.” But is that really true? Can we have political views outside the considerations of our Christian faith? The answer is no, we cannot. The Bible gives us two truths regarding our stance towards politics and government.
The first truth is that the will of God permeates and supersedes every aspect of life. It is God’s will that takes precedence over everything and everyone (Matthew 6:33). God’s plans and purposes are fixed, and His will is inviolable. What He has purposed, He will bring to pass, and no government can thwart His will (Daniel 4:34-35). In fact, it is God who “sets up kings and deposes them” (Daniel 2:21) because “the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes” (Daniel 4:17). A clear understanding of this truth will help us to see that politics is merely a method God uses to accomplish His will. Even though evil men abuse their political power, meaning it for evil, God means it for good, working “all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Second, we must grasp the fact that our government cannot save us! Only God can. We never read in the New Testament of Jesus or any of the apostles expending any time or energy schooling believers on how to reform the pagan world of its idolatrous, immoral, and corrupt practices via the government. The apostles never called for believers to demonstrate civil disobedience to protest the Roman Empire’s unjust laws or brutal schemes. Instead, the apostles commanded the first-century Christians, as well as us today, to proclaim the gospel and live lives that give clear evidence to the gospel’s transforming power.
There is no doubt that our responsibility to government is to obey the laws and be good citizens (Romans 13:1–2). God has established all authority, and He does so for our benefit, “to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13–15). Paul tells us in Romans 13:1–8 that it is the government’s responsibility to rule in authority over us—hopefully for our good—to collect taxes, and to keep the peace. Where we have a voice and can elect our leaders, we should exercise that right by voting for those who best demonstrate Christian principles.
One of Satan’s grandest deceptions is that we can rest our hope for cultural morality and godly living in politicians and governmental officials. A nation’s hope for change is not to be found in any country’s ruling class. The church has made a mistake if it thinks that it is the job of politicians to defend, to advance, and to guard biblical truths and Christian values.
The church’s unique, God-given purpose does not lie in political activism. Nowhere in Scripture do we have the directive to spend our energy, our time, or our money in governmental affairs. Our mission lies not in changing the nation through political reform, but in changing hearts through the Word of God. When believers think the growth and influence of Christ can somehow be allied with government policy, they corrupt the mission of the church. Our Christian mandate is to spread the gospel of Christ and to preach against the sins of our time. Only as the hearts of individuals in a culture are changed by Christ will the culture begin to reflect that change.
Believers throughout the ages have lived, and even flourished, under antagonistic, repressive, pagan governments. This was especially true of the first-century believers who, under merciless political regimes, sustained their faith under immense cultural stress. They understood that it was they, not their governments, who were the light of the world and the salt of the earth. They adhered to Paul’s teaching to obey their governing authorities, even to honor, respect, and pray for them (Romans 13:1-8). More importantly, they understood that, as believers, their hope resided in the protection that only God supplies. The same holds true for us today. When we follow the teachings of the Scriptures, we become the light of the world as God has intended for us to be (Matthew 5:16).
Political entities are not the savior of the world. The salvation for all mankind has been manifested in Jesus Christ. God knew that our world needed saving long before any national government was ever founded. He demonstrated to the world that redemption could not be accomplished through the power of man, economic strength, military might, or politics. Peace of mind, contentment, hope, and joy—and the salvation of mankind—are provided only through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Recommended Resource: Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture by Wayne Grudem
The great social experiment is failing and it is killing generations of people.
Social media, where the majority of the world lives and plays now, has a deep hold on the lives of people of all ages, and backgrounds.
It has taken them to a new level of self-deception, both the follower and the follow-e, the follower lives vicariously through the lives of others, believing the people they follow have perfect glamorous fabulous lives, also believing their life does not match up, and never will.
The follow-e believes that they can do no wrong, that others' lives revolve around them, and they make themselves out to be worshiped as gods, losing all touch with reality.
Here is an unwelcome truth, there are no perfect lives, marriages, jobs, children, people, bodies, stop striving to be perfect, stop putting our expectations on others to be perfect.
When we do so, we are able to start living as who we are, broken, imperfect people trying to live together in an imperfect world, being led by the Spirit of God in His ways, not ours.
In reality, this social experiment has led to more cases of depression, anxiety, and suicide, than ever before, let's look at the stats; NBC reported this in June of 2018
”Suicide rates are up by 30 percent across the nation since 1999, federal health officials reported Thursday. And only about half the people who died by suicide had a known mental health condition, even though depression had been thought to be the major cause of suicide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.”
And according to the CDC, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among those between the age of 10 and 34.
Social media got its start in 1997, no coincidence here, they go hand in hand, that all these social problems accelerated so rapidly, cyberbullying, hate groups, false expectations, fake hope, fake people and busted dreams are driving forces behind the devil’s end game, to get people to believe the great lie, either your not good enough and never will be, or if you participate you will be like God!
Now don't get me wrong, social media is only a tool and it can be used for good, and we can use it to take back that which the enemy wants to steal from us.
If we surrendered our lives to God and followed two simple laws, we would see our world change one person at a time, starting with us.
The enemy waits like a lion hiding in the grass ready to pounce on the weak or sick, he is the prince of the power of the air, he is ruthless, and those who can see this need to reach out to those around them and warn them of the danger that waits to take their life.
It is time we master social media in our lives and in the lives of our children, so we are able to raise up the next generation. We need to tune into one another and tune out social media, and any median that leads us away from each other and God.
God's word says:
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 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 22:36-40
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB
“Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:1-9 NASB
God's grace reaches far past our understanding into the depths of depravity, know that no one is beyond the reach of His grace.
Many people believe their sins can not be forgiven, but the only sin that is unforgivable is rejecting Christ as our Lord and Savior, the good news here if you are reading this now, then God is still giving you the opportunity to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior.
If you are already a Christian, there is no unforgivable sin.....
re-read that; If you are already a Christian, there is no unforgivable sin, our sins were covered at the cross, there is, therefore, no condemnation in Christ.
Understand this though, this in no way gives us a license to live a sinful lifestyle in rebellion to God.
A person who rejects Christ's words and walks in disobedience to Him has probably never really accepted Him as Lord and Savior and is still rejecting Him, and headed for hell.
What is heartbreaking is there are millions who set in churches week after week, whose heart, mind, body, and soul don't belong to God, they are harder to reach with the truth for they have their own form of godliness.
I know for I was once that person,
I had been in the church the first part of my life, really though it was half-hearted. I saw myself as a Christian, but really I was a churchgoer, which is totally different. Going to church, week after week and ignoring God's truth just hearing what you want it’s like going to the movies, your there only to be entertained and feel good.
If we love Jesus, then we will obey Him, this does not mean we will be perfect, we are fallible, it does mean we won't continue to live in a lifestyle of sin, ignoring His word and way.
The consequences are real for those who reject Him, damnation, and separation from Him for eternity, by their own choosing.
Jesus came not to condemn, but save. Man chooses condemnation over salvation when we refuse to surrender our lives, our wills to Him.
Today is the day to turn to Christ and surrender yourself to Him, lat aside your will and take up your cross and follow Jesus.
God's word says this:
“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.”
For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:16-21, 34-36 NASB
“as it is written, “T HERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” “T HEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, W ITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “T HE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS ”; “W HOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS ”; “T HEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, D ESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, A ND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.” “T HERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:10-26 NASB
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:1-11 NASB
“Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘H ONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘H E WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God, ” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘T HIS PEOPLE HONORS M E WITH THEIR LIPS, B UT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM M E. B UT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP M E, T EACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ ” After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Then the disciples *came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” Matthew 15:1-20 NASB
Anything that consumes our passion, thoughts, time, treasure or talents is a false god, we have traveled far from the images on once formed into idols made of gold, silver, stone or wood, but we have traveled back to idols made into our images.
Most of the population vicariously live through sports stars, pop stars, actors, politicians, video games,etc these false gods are nothing more than mirages for a dying and thirsting culture stuck in the desert of despair.
We worship anything or anyone that makes us feel good. We have lost the awe of God, His holiness, His righteousness, we have grown accustomed to His mercy and grace and no longer understand who He is.
Where is your heart? Where do you spend your time? Your dollars? Your worship?
We all make choices about who we will serve daily, we may feel we serve God our creator, but an inventory of our time, treasure and talents will show who we really serve. Choose this day who you will serve.
If we would examine ourselves, we would be shocked to see who our gods really are, it is time we turn our hearts back to Jesus Christ, and Love the LORD our God with all our hearts, minds, body and strength, He alone deserves all our worship and praise.
God's word says this:
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘M AN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’ ” Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘H E WILL COMMAND H IS ANGELS CONCERNING Y OU ’; and ‘O N their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR Y OU UP, S O THAT Y OU WILL NOT STRIKE Y OUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’ ” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘Y OU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’ ” Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘Y OU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE H IM ONLY.’ ” Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” Matthew 4:1-11 NASB
“Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Matthew 6:16-24 NASB
“Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.” (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.) So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” So Paul went out of their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.” Acts 17:16-34 NASB
”Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15 NASB
Should our world view be different than our eternal view as Christians?
How should we live in an upside-down world?
We as Christians must come to accept this; that God is sovereign over the affairs of man, His will supersedes every aspect of life.
We must come to understand that no man, no form of government can save mankind, only Christ can.
God knew that and had a plan in place before any leader ever rose up and imposed their will on their fellow man.
God's plan is this, Jesus Christ crucified, dead and buried and rose again, conquering sin and death, bringing salvation and redemption to mankind, the only hope for any of us, and the governments of the world rest on His shoulders, and at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and tongue confess that He Lord!
This is what God tells us!
The devil wants to divide the Church by any means necessary, and he has found the poison fruit of which we are eating; Politics.
God is not politically correct, He is not politically affiliated with any party or person, nor does He seek our approval, on any issue.
God has spoken, His truths cut deep into the heart of the matter, His goal is not to give us all the comforts this world offers but to draw us to Him and conform us to the image of Jesus.
Christian brothers and sisters, see where God is working and go to Him, don't fall into the trap of conforming God to the standards of the world, or believing that our way of thinking surely is how God sees things.
God plans will not be stopped, by anyone, by any means, by any army, by any government, His will, His plans are fixed.
Our duty as a believer in Jesus Christ is to worship God in Spirit and truth and bring glory to His name in all we do.
Too many today set under false teachers and beliefs, simply because they worship their own idea of who God is, and believe that He agrees with them always, that is idol worship for that is a god of our own making.
We should pray for our leaders, good and bad, that God would draw them as He does us, pray for their souls. Pray for our fellow citizens that God would save them and change their hearts as He has ours, we should stand on the word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit, always without fail, and by doing so we become the light that Jesus has called us to be, in a dark world.
God's word says this:
“Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.” Daniel 2:20-22 NASB
“All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’ Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” Daniel 4:28-37 NASB
“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, “I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”Isaiah 42:1-9 NASB
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.” John 8:12-20 NASB
“Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.
But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they were glorifying God because of me.” Galatians 1:1-24 NASB
Jesus's prayer life was always about His Father’s business. He did not pray as a philosopher, a theologian, or even a preacher, He prayed as the Son of God and He humbled Himself under the authority of the Father.
He prayed personally and passionately to the Father, and Jesus taught us to pray this way.
This was a radical change from the way the Priest prayed, this was Jesus showing us, that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that He came to fulfill the law.
Do we approach God the Father this way as His child, are we personally and passionately asking Him as a child asks their father?
Or do we view God as a distant being that strikes fear in us, is He cold and callous, so much so, we don't approach Him prayerfully at all?
Do we understand that there is really nothing that is beyond the realm of prayer, except that which is outside the will of God?
”We have not because we ask not, or we ask with wrong motives,” is what the Bible tells us, this means we are forsaking God when we do life without praying.
As His children, our first, last, and everything we do throughout our day should be bathed in prayer.
But millions of people every day, ignore God, in their daily lives.
Understand this; Prayer is the language of dependence, confession, worship, and love, it should come naturally for us to pray, and if we think of prayer from these standpoints, then why wouldn’t we want to pray?
Simple, we really don’t know much about praying, if we did, we would ask God to help us pray and not miss that intimate conversation with Him.
Prayer unleashes the power of God in us, through us in our lives, and in the lives of those around us, let’s make a commitment to pray continually throughout this year, and the years to come, and see what God will do in our lives, in our Church, our Community, our Nation, our World.
God's word says this:
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [ For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ ]” Matthew 6:9-13 NASB
“Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:1-26 NASB
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:14-17 NASB
”Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, T o all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:1-11 NASB
”You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “ He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore 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, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:2-8 NASB
Peace, joy, love & kindness are what the world wants, but they are truly only found in Christ, and the world does not want Him. We, on the other hand, should celebrate Him every day, for we have everything in Him.
If your a student of the Bible you see time and time again that what seemed impossible for man, is never impossible for God.
His plans are set, His timeline is happening, He has invited us into the story, the story of Love, Grace, Mercy, Redemption, Salvation and Eternal Life.
What risk do we take, none, for God made a way when there was no way, through Jesus Christ, He paid it all; you and I, we pay nothing in contrast to what Christ paid for us.
God's plans seems to us to always have some risk involved, but in reality, there is no risk on our behalf.
What part of the story has God written, that you fear today?
Do you think your part is too risky?
We are called to proclaim the gospel, love our neighbor and serve our Creator, and most of all love the Lord our God with all your heart, body and soul.
Each of us has a part in this story, we risk nothing, and gain everything, for the one who paid it all.
The only risk we take is ignoring God’s calling on our lives, in doing so we miss the blessings, the joy, the peace the reward of walking with Him and serving Him.
What has God called you to do today for His kingdom?
God's word says this :
“They related Esther’s words to Mordecai. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” So Mordecai went away and did just as Esther had commanded him.” Esther 4:12-17 NASB
“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Romans 13:11-14 NASB
“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 5:22-26 NASB
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “M Y SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, N OR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY H IM;” Hebrews 12:1-5 NASB
The time has come in our world, where evil men prosper, and wickedness consumes mankind like it did in the days of Noah.
Rage rules the hearts of the people, conversation has been traded for violence and bloodshed, civility is now a thing of the past
Violence is never the answer. If we need to defend ourselves we shall, but we can not in any way go after another person with the intent to do physical or mental harm, in any way. That violates the very nature of God and man. And we become our own enemies.
Corruption fills the halls of governments everywhere, terrorism is rampant, depravity rules over men and women, murder is justified and acceptable in the eyes of the wicked as in the days of Jonah, but take heart for we are told these things will happen.
This is not a time to live in fear, this is a time to live by faith, remember the things you have learned, hold fast to the words of God, for we live in days where God’s glory shines upon His children.
God is sovereign over all these, He turns mankind over to the desires of their hearts for this is what they want, and He says to them you have chosen your destiny by rejecting me.
Wickedness is nothing new, it is driven by demonic forces, our own hearts and the cursed world we live in, this is why we are told this is not our home, we are sojourners passing through Babylon, on our way to the Promised Land.
The heart of the problems in our world is our own selfishness.
Paul in his final letter to Timothy encouraged him to press on in difficult days, so others would see the glory of God and can come to know him
Whatever your facing, wherever you are if you are a child of God, then He is with you! He will never leave you or forsake you and He will complete in you what He started. Hold onto Him, His promises, His truth, His word!
God’s Word says this:
“The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the LORD.” Proverbs 19:3 NASB
“The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it. A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps. By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices. The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern. Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger. When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest. Men of bloodshed hate the blameless, But the upright are concerned for his life. A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back. If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, All his ministers become wicked. The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both. If a king judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever. The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. When the wicked increase, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall. Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.” Proverbs 29:4-17 NASB
“But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power.
Avoid these people. For among them are those who worm their way into households and deceive gullible women overwhelmed by sins and led astray by a variety of passions, always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Just as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth. They are men who are corrupt in mind and worthless in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress, for their foolishness will be clear to all, as was the foolishness of Jannes and Jambres.
But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra.
What persecutions I endured — and yet the Lord rescued me from them all. In fact, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:1-17 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. Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us. For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, but our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.”Philippians 3:12-21 CSB
“Listen to my words, Lord; consider my sighing. Pay attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for I pray to you.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you and watch expectantly. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with you. The boastful cannot stand in your sight; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who tell lies; the Lord abhors violent and treacherous people. But I enter your house by the abundance of your faithful love; I bow down toward your holy temple in reverential awe of you. Lord, lead me in your righteousness because of my adversaries; make your way straight before me.
For there is nothing reliable in what they say; destruction is within them; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongues. Punish them, God; let them fall by their own schemes. Drive them out because of their many crimes, for they rebel against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May you shelter them, and may those who love your name boast about you. For you, Lord, bless the righteous one; you surround him with favor like a shield.”Psalms 5:1-12 CSB
Today so many have struggles physically, emotionally and spiritually with depression, depression leads to many health issues and health issues lead back to depression, it affects our marriages, our work, and other relationships. It becomes almost impossible for anyone to really live their life normally,(whatever that is) past guilt consumes us for things we did or didn't do, said or didn't say, it seems to always haunt us, fear seems to lead us away from others, and isolation seems to be our escape.
Our past sins and failures are the enemy of our soul's favorite form of torment, yet we don't see how it affects us, all we know is we just feel guilty, and fear and isolation are no more than parlor tricks from the enemy of our soul.
Here is a not so secret, secret, Jesus came to heal the sick, and save the lost, not seek the righteous, He came seeking all who are tormented, hurting, dying, broken and lonely, He came to save us all.
The scriptures tell us if we confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just, He forgives our sins, He takes our sins and separates them from us, as far as the east is from the west and we are no longer condemned for them if we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, for He took our punishment upon Himself so we would be set free from the chains of sin and death.
Most of what has tormented mankind from the beginning could be fixed with confession and repentance to God for the way we have lived.
If we seek healing in our relationships, in our depression, or for our physical health, then today ask God to reveal the things hidden and not confessed, things our enemies hold against us, then confess and repent and be free today in Christ.
If depression courts you and keeps you from living, ask God to help and set you free from this daily if need be, take every thought captive and start living in Christ one day at a time.
If we are in Christ we do not need to live in fear or bondage, we are free from the chains of sin and death and in Him, free to live an abundant life.
With God’s help depression, anxiety, fear, isolation, sickness, anger, lust, hate and everything else can be wiped away, the first step is coming to Him and asking for His help.
God’s word says this;
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:1-8 ESV
“Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; I have come into deep water, and a flood sweeps over me. I am weary from my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. Those who hate me without cause are more numerous than the hairs of my head; my deceitful enemies, who would destroy me, are powerful. Though I did not steal, I must repay. God, you know my foolishness, and my guilty acts are not hidden from you. Do not let those who put their hope in you be disgraced because of me, Lord God of Armies; do not let those who seek you be humiliated because of me, God of Israel. I have endured insults because of you, and shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers and a foreigner to my mother’s sons because zeal for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. I mourned and fasted, but it brought me insults. I wore sackcloth as my clothing, and I was a joke to them. Those who sit at the city gate talk about me and drunkards make up songs about me. But as for me, Lord, my prayer to you is for a time of favor. In your abundant, faithful love, God, answer me with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the miry mud; don’t let me sink. Let me be rescued from those who hate me and from the deep water. Don’t let the floodwaters sweep over me or the deep swallow me up; don’t let the Pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, Lord, for your faithful love is good. In keeping with your abundant compassion, turn to me. Don’t hide your face from your servant, for I am in distress. Answer me quickly! Come near to me and redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies. You know the insults I endure — my shame and disgrace. You are aware of all my adversaries. Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, but found no one. Instead, they gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Let their table set before them be a snare, and let it be a trap for their allies. Let their eyes grow too dim to see, and let their hips continually quake. Pour out your rage on them, and let your burning anger overtake them. Make their fortification desolate; may no one live in their tents. For they persecute the one you struck and talk about the pain of those you wounded. Charge them with crime on top of crime; do not let them share in your righteousness. Let them be erased from the book of life and not be recorded with the righteous. But as for me — poor and in pain — let your salvation protect me, God. I will praise God’s name with song and exalt Him with thanksgiving. That will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with horns and hooves. The humble will see it and rejoice. You who seek God, take heart! For the Lord listens to the needy and does not despise his own who are prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them, for God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah. They will live there and possess it. The descendants of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will live in it.” Psalms 69:1-36 CSB
“Jesus said again, “Truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. This happens because he is a hired hand and doesn’t care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me because I lay down my life so that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”John 10:7-18 CSB
“O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your wrath. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away; Heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayed. And my soul is greatly dismayed; But You, O LORD —how long? Return, O LORD, rescue my soul; Save me because of Your lovingkindness. For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol who will give You thanks? I am weary with my sighing; Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. My eye has wasted away with grief; It has become old because of all my adversaries. Depart from me, all you who do iniquity, For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication, The LORD receives my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed; They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.” Psalms 6:1-10 NASB
I have the great pleasure of getting to do ministry as a Pastor and counselor, God allows me to see deep into the lives of His children, and deep into the lives of those who do not know Him yet as Father.
The downside, seeing folks where they are because they are not willing to make the necessary changes to advance forward in life, instead, they are held captive by their choices from their past.
If we understood the power of prayer we would pray continuously, prayer is not magical, it is Spiritual. When we pray to God our Father, we are surrendering to His power, His authority, His perfect will.
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, our Nation, we need to pray in faith continually to the only one who can make things happen.
Sadly most people pray without faith, but even worse there are people of faith who do not pray.
Praying to the Father is a privilege reserved for His children, so why don't we pray?
From what I see it is because people truly don't understand who they are in Christ, and the privileges and power we have, because we have the Holy Spirit in us.
We must come to that knowledge through prayer, praying for God to reveal Himself through His word, praying for God to reveal Himself in our lives, praying for God to reveal Himself to others through our lives.
Do we understand the creator of everything dwells in His children? The same power that formed the earth, that raised Jesus from the grave, that fell on the apostles at Pentecost, dwells in each of us.
Knowing this we should live our lives fearlessly and faithfully.
All other reasons why people don't pray, fall back to people not knowing who they are in Christ.
The devil will lie to us, tell us God will not forgive us, God won't help us, God doesn't care, that you don't need to ask God you got this! He will make us feel guilty, useless, powerless, we are none of these things, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.
It is time we take back the authority Christ has given each of us, start living a life of as a child of God, it all starts with prayer, surrendering everything and everyone in our lives to God the Father, hold nothing back.
Until prayer becomes like the air we breathe, we will never start living the life God has for us.
God's word says this:
““Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [ For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ ] For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” Matthew 6:9-15 NASB
“pray without ceasing;” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:1-23 NASB
“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “B EHOLD, I LAY IN Z ION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, A ND HE WHO BELIEVES IN H IM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “T HE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, T HIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone, ” and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE ”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” 1 Peter 2:1-10 NASB
Living in our past won’t change it, or our present situation, we may need to revisit from time to time so we never forget where we came from and remind ourselves not to repeat it.
We live today, and living in Christ will change our perspective, help keep up focused, and keep our hearts and minds off of what haunts us.
We need to stop trusting in ourselves and what we can do, and start trusting in Christ, and what He can do!
We need to keep all of our hope in Christ, we have enough to deal with each day, let's keep our lives in His hands, letting Him rule in our hearts and minds will help us see how great the Father's love is for each of us.
We should live our lives daily with great expectations of what God will do in us, and those around us when we surrender to Christ.
Waiting on the Lord is never wasted time, it is a time of renewing our faith and growing in grace, we need to wait on Him daily.
God's word says:
“Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you — you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34 CSB
“My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all courage, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose.
Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending together for the faith of the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation — and this is from God. For it has been granted to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are engaged in the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I have.” Philippians 1:20,-22. 27-30 CSB
“See, the Lord God comes with strength, and his power establishes his rule. His wages are with him, and his reward accompanies him. He protects his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them in the fold of his garment. He gently leads those that are nursing. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand? Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure or weighed the mountains on a balance and the hills on the scales? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or who gave him counsel? Who did he consult? Who gave him understanding and taught him the paths of justice? Who taught him knowledge and showed him the way of understanding? Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are considered as a speck of dust on the scales; he lifts up the islands like fine dust. Lebanon’s cedars are not enough for fuel, or its animals enough for a burnt offering. All the nations are as nothing before him; they are considered by him as empty nothingness.
God is enthroned above the circle of the earth; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He reduces princes to nothing and makes judges of the earth like a wasteland. They are barely planted, barely sown, their stem hardly takes root in the ground when he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble. “To whom will you compare me, or who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Look up and see! Who created these? He brings out the stars by number; he calls all of them by name. Because of his great power and strength, not one of them is missing.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:10-17, 22-26, 28-31 CSB
As we draw close to the end of this year, and the end of another decade, most of us will reflect over our past, our triumphs and failures, we will also reflect on lost loved ones and how we miss them.
As we reflect, let’s be grateful for all the days we had with them, and rejoice with those we still have with us.
Life has no pause or reset buttons, it seems to be only fast forward.
Don’t let the demons of the past bring discouragement or despair and get in our minds, or heart, they will only lie to us and deceive us, they will dishearten us and destroy our hope, joy, and focus.
Now is the time to refocus on God, a time of reflection to see where we failed, and where we grew, repent of the things we did without God, and surrender everything to Him, commit this New Year to always seek God, and ask for His wisdom and guidance.
This I know unless I surrender daily to Him, I will surrender to my flesh, the world or the devil.
I need God in order to love others unconditionally. I need His help to overlook offenses. I need His help to guard myself against temptations. I need His help in my marriage, my finances, my family and ministry’s, I need His help to become more like Christ.
I need God’s help so others will do the same for me.
We all get to choose who we surrender our will to daily, all of our weaknesses and strengths, we must learn out of obedience to surrender to God before our feet hit the floor, our enemies wait in the darkness to attack our thoughts, dreams, and mind.
We can have the life God wants us to have. But we can’t have it without God’s help. No matter what’s happened in our past, today is a new day. A new chance. A new beginning. A new year awaits, let's not squander this gift from God.
Let’s be glad and rejoice in Him. Things can be different, let's go forward in Christ, for in Him we will find healing, in Him we can truly forgive as we've been forgiven, in Him we can have peace, strength and overcome all that gets in our way, in Him we can be more intimate with our spouse, in Him we can become closer to others than ever been before.
We don't have what it takes to face life alone, we need God.
Life is complicated, we need all the help we can get.
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
“When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you. When you are about to engage in battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army. He is to say to them: ‘Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be cowardly. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.’ Deuteronomy 20:1-4 CSB
“What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 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. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Don’t criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? 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 4:1-17 CSB
We all have fallen for the power of the grand illusion, the power of our flesh, the power of the world, the power of the devil, are all grand illusions.
Now don't get me wrong all three of these are powerful foes, they have a hold on the world around us, they are stronger than us and on our own they easily defeat us, but in Christ, we have overcome them all, their power is limited and fueled by illusions and deception.
The truth is, the more we seek Christ, the more He transforms our minds, the more He reveals Himself to us, and the more we will see this daily.
There is more power in the prayers of a person of faith, praying to God in belief than there is in all the Capitols of the world!
Because God, has put His Spirit in us, the same Spirit that moved over the earth and formed it, that sheltered Israel by day and gave them fire at night in the wilderness. The same Spirit that descended upon Jesus at His baptism, and raised Him from the grave.
The same Spirit Jesus promised us, to teach us, lead us, speak through us, comfort us, protect us and seal us for eternity.
He will help our walk daily, we just need to seek Him and ask Him.
Today learn to seek, ask and obey the Spirit of God and see what He will do in your life, do not fall for the grand illusion of the enemy, instead seek the face of God and see Him reveal His power in your life.
God’s word says this:
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:9-11 CSB
“If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you. “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.”John 14:15-26 CSB
“Therefore, don’t be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered and nothing hidden that won’t be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:26-31 CSB
Band Of Brothers