Yahweh is always in complete control over any and all circumstances, He alone is unchallenged in power, He has no equal. He can cause or allow things for His own purpose or use them for His plans to fulfill exactly what He has foreordained. We need not fear for He is in control.
He is God alone and there is no other!
Moses walked into Egypt and defied Pharaoh, Esther stood before the King uninvited Daniel prayed when he knew it was outlawed,Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, stood up to Nebuchadnezzar and told him God is still God whether we survive the furnace or not. John the Baptist was beheaded and Saul had Stephen stoned, Paul stood in Ceaser’s halls and preached the word, and was martyred for his faith, and Jesus gave His life as a ransom for all.
In every situation God was there and in control, as He was when He spoke into creation the world, He is over everything, every ruler who ever lived, over every politician who thinks they are above the law, over every man and woman's life ever born.
What do we have to worry about?
Do we trust God?
He tells us to seek Him, not to fear anyone who can destroy the body, but only Him, for He can destroy the body and soul.
You and I can walk in full confidence that God is over everything in our lives, He always has been and will be, we need only to trust Him and walk in obedience and victory with Him.
This is why David could say; though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for they rod and they staff they comfort me!
This is why we can stand up, stand firm in the faith and walk with God humbly and mightily all the days of our lives!
Don't let the things of the world concern you more then things that are eternal, this everything around us is passing away, the wicked may seem to prosper but God is still over them and one day they will answer to Him for their actions, we all will.
Keep your eyes on Christ, and your mind set on heavenly things and walk in the joy of the Lord.
God's word says this:
“The Lord of Armies has sworn: As I have purposed, so it will be; as I have planned it, so it will happen. I will break Assyria in my land; I will tread him down on my mountain. Then his yoke will be taken from them, and his burden will be removed from their shoulders. This is the plan prepared for the whole earth, and this is the hand stretched out against all the nations. The Lord of Armies himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way? It is his hand that is outstretched, so who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:24-27 CSB
“Remember this and be brave; take it to heart, you transgressors! Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like me. I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place, and I will do all my will. I call a bird of prey from the east, a man for my purpose from a far country. Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it. Listen to me, you hardhearted, far removed from justice: I am bringing my justice near; it is not far away, and my salvation will not delay. I will put salvation in Zion, my splendor in Israel.”
Isaiah 46:8-13 CSB
“But at the end of those days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven, and my sanity returned to me. Then I praised the Most High and honored and glorified him who lives forever: For his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing, and he does what he wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can block his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”Daniel 4:34-35 CSB
“Fellow Israelites, listen to these words: This Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know. Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him. God raised him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by death.” Acts 2:22-24 CSB
If we can't be honest with ourselves and with God, we can't be honest.
We need to be accountable to God and His word, this is where accountability starts, every day. We can't shortcut God or ourselves for when we do we will surely stumble and fall.
We neglect time in the word of God for a lot of reasons, but there are none that are acceptable, we don't skip meals or sleep or skip our television shows, listen we can't miss being in the word of God.
Jesus said that the word sanctify's us in truth, in other words God changes us through His word.
God spoke and walked with Adam and Eve, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac Jacob, and Moses, He spoke to the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea and so on, He walked the earth with John, Matthew, Peter James and many more, and they wrote down the very words He spoke, and we, you and I have these very words, the words of God to read and hold onto every day, our lives should be saturated with the word of God, we should be walking Bibles but we fall short for we take what we have been given so lightly.
If we cannot examine our lives in the mirror of God's word and let Him change us, how do we expect God to change the world we live in?
We want joy, peace, wisdom and grace but we don't want to walk in obedience to God's word, it takes effort and discipline, but above all it takes love.
Love for our Heavenly Father, love for Christ Jesus and love for the Holy Spirit that puts everyone and everything else way down on our list, starting with ourselves.
God's word penetrates our hearts and minds, it cuts away our flesh nature and strengthens our spirit, it renews our minds it is food for our souls, it is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our paths, we must read it, we must live it for without it we are dead, for we will walk in our flesh and be distant from God.
We have been given the gift of God's word, how can we say we worship you God when we will not listen to Him, when we will not pick up His word and get to know Him, no we are lying to ourselves and God when we walk in disobedience, Jesus said if you love me you will obey me!
I urge you my brother's and sisters above everything else today, stop what your doing bathe yourself in the word of God, let's be a sweet aroma to our Heavenly Father and know Him and His ways, lets show the world how a child of God lives, not by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.
God's word says this:
“I have revealed your name to the people you gave me from the world. They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. “Now they know that everything you have given me is from you,”because I have given them the words you gave me. They have received them and have known for certain that I came from you. They have believed that you sent me. “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they are yours. Everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine, and I am glorified in them. I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by your name that you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I was protecting them by your name that you have given me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled. Now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy completed in them. I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify myself for them, so that they also may be sanctified by the truth. “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.”
John 17:6-23 CSB
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. ””
Matthew 4:1-4 CSB
“Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Colossians 3:12-17 CSB
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”1 Peter 4:7-11 ESV
We live in a time when words like repentance, sacrifice, self-control, personal responsibility, commitment, and surrender mean very little to anyone. But these are more than just words, these are how we as Christians are to live.
We need to sacrifice our will daily to God's will, we need to put in play self-control we do that by surrendering our will to God's will, we need to take personal responsibility for our sin and repent and press on in the strength of the Lord for He has set us free.
The Devil knows our sin and our names, he leads us into paths of unrighteousness, and calls us slave and sinners!
Christ Jesus knows our name and our sins, He leads into paths of righteousness and calls us forgiven, redeemed, brother, sister, friend.
Christ calls us brother, sister, friend He truly forgives us and forgets our sin, when we repent, you can't just say you're sorry and continue to live in that sin, there is no forgiveness where there is no repentance. God will not be mocked, He sees the intent of our heart, a repentant heart is filled with sorrow for sinning against a Holy God, a repentant heart is filled with joy for being restored to fellowship with a Holy God.
Christ did not die on a cross so we could live in sin, He died on a cross so we could live free from the penalty of sin, death. The first penalty of sin is spiritual death, we are separated from God, the second penalty of sin is if we deny Christ we die in our sin and are eternally separated from God, the third penalty of sin is our broken fellowship with God when we are unrepentant.
Each penalty of sin bears a heavy load for us to carry, which we foolishly do when we don't surrender our will to God's.
Jesus said to take His yoke for it is easy and He would take ours, He already bore the penalty of sin upon the cross for all mankind, for all ages, for every sin ever committed, why would we want to walk in separation from this love, this freedom, this grace?
If you have never met Christ as your Lord and Savior today is the day to admit your a sinner dead in your sins and ask for forgiveness, ask Christ to lead you all the days of your life and turn from your ways and follow Him.
If you have already done this and sin plagues you, then repent of your ways tell God what He knows already, be willing to surrender to Him all of you and be restored, ask God for His help in every area of your life and stop dancing with the devil, and listening to his voice and start following Christ Jesus to the end.
You have to take personal responsibility in life for your actions, words, and deeds, but you don't have to do this life alone.
God's word says this:
““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 11:28-30 CSB
“Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”Luke 5:31-32 CSB
“I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who don’t need repentance.”
Luke 15:7 CSB
“He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”Luke 24:46-49 CSB
“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.“He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ”as a plan for the right time — to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him.”
Ephesians 1:3-10 CSB
“I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things — as I warned you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 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 keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”Galatians 5:16-26 CSB
“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 6:7-10 CSB
What would you do?
If your child was sick and had to have surgery right away?
If you woke up one day and all the things you worked for all your life was gone?
If you became sick and one day woke up and could not walk, or work again as you did before?
If you had to start all over again with just your family when you're in your mid-40s?
If your illness progresses each day and your Doctors don't know how to help or what to do?
You learn to trust the Lord for everything, you learn too walk by faith and not by sight, you learn the Sovereignty of God, you learn to seek the Lord first always, you learn that you are never in control and never were, you learn that God is your healer, protector, provider, He is your strength and peace, He is your victory and you will persevere for He is your God and there is no other, His love for you is greater than anything you will truly know.
These are things I have learned for this is just a small part of God's story in my life.
God does not have favorites, this I know His word says He has given us everything we need too make it through this life, we need only trust Him, seek Him and obey Him, if you're in the midst of a storm, or turmoil be still and seek His face and know that God is with you and for you, that He will never leave you or abandon you.
God's word says this:
“Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those who have received a faith equal to ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you. Therefore I will always remind you about these things, even though you know them and are established in the truth you now have. I think it is right, as long as I am in this bodily tent, to wake you up with a reminder, since I know that I will soon lay aside my tent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has indeed made clear to me. And I will also make every effort so that you are able to recall these things at any time after my departure. For we did not follow cleverly contrived myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; instead, we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased!” We ourselves heard this voice when it came from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain. We also have the prophetic word strongly confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”2 Peter 1:1-21 CSB
When you think of Jesus who comes to mind?
Who He was or who He is? Was He just a man? Or is He GOD?
Do you know Him, personally, intimately, spiritually?
Do you count on Him, trust in Him, seek Him, talk with Him, walk with Him?
Do you call on His name for everything?
How you answer with your life is how important is He to you?
If Jesus to you is just a man, then he is not of importance, if Jesus to you is just a teacher then he is of no importance in eternity.
C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following: “I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and that would disqualify him from being a prophet, a godly man, or a good teacher.
There are many attempts to explain away the words of Jesus, so called “scholars” claim that the “true historical Jesus” did not say what the Bible attributes to Him. As if they were there listening to Him teach. While those who wrote the gospels had firsthand knowledge, or the accounts of Jesus Life were spoken to them by those who did have firsthand knowledge.
Man’s problem is we think we are smarter than God, that we do not need God, and that Jesus is just someone who if He did exist, (and there is more proof that He did, than most historical figures) was nothing more than a good man.
The real question is who are we a created being, to challenge the authority of God’s word, spoken by the prophets long ago, fulfilled by the power of God alone, who are we to be questioning what Jesus did or did not say?
How can a so-called scholar who did not have any experience with Jesus have greater insight into what Jesus said or did as He lived among men, taught them, healed them, died for them and then resurrected from the grave and walked with them again?
The short answer is they can’t.
Jesus is more than we know, but He is all we need to know.
God John 10:30, John 8:58
My LORD & GOD John 20:28
My Maker, Isaiah 54:5
My God & Savior 2 Peter 1:1
My Hope 1Timothy 1:1
My Brother Mark 3:35
My Portion Jeremiah 10:16
My Helper Hebrews 13:6
My Physician Jeremiah 8:22
My Healer Luke 9:11
My Refiner Malachi 3:3
My Purifier Malachi 3:3
My Lord, Master John 13:13
My Servant Luke 12:37
My Example John 13:15
My Teacher John 3:2
My Shepherd Psalms 23:1
My Keeper John 17:12
My Freedom Ezekiel 34:23
My Leader Isaiah 40:11
My Restorer Psalms 23:3
My Resting-place Jeremiah 50:6
My Passover 1Corinthinas 5:7
My Peace Ephesians 2:14
My Wisdom, My Righteousness
My Sanctification, My Redemption
My All in All 1Corinthians 1:30
God’s word says:
1 Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him. 3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 4 So he became superior to the angels, just as the name he inherited is more excellent than theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did he ever say, You are my Son; today I have become your Father, or again, I will be his Father, and he will be my Son? 6 Again, when he brings his firstborn into the world, he says, And let all God's angels worship him. 7 And about the angels he says: He makes his angels winds, and his servants a fiery flame, 8 but to the Son: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy beyond your companions. 10 And: In the beginning, Lord, you established the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands; 11 they will perish, but you remain. They will all wear out like clothing; 12 you will roll them up like a cloak, and they will be changed like clothing. But you are the same, and your years will never end. 13 Now to which of the angels has he ever said: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool? Hebrews 1:1-13 CSB
1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you unless you believed in vain. 3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, so we proclaim and so you have believed. 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, "There is no resurrection of the dead"? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and so is your faith. 15 Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified wrongly about God that he raised up Christ; whom he did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. 20 But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at his coming, those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death. 27 For God has put everything under his feet. Now when it says "everything" is put under him, it is obvious that he who puts everything under him is the exception. 28 When everything is subject to Christ, then the Son himself will also be subject to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:1-28 CSB
Sometimes the here and now seems unfair, we are overran at times with the ugliness of life in a sinful fallen world.
The wicked seem to prosper and succeed while we are always playing catch up and holding our ground.
It can be very disheartening in these moments but rest assured God is in control and we already have the victory and these moments will soon pass.
There is demonic influence everywhere, alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography, racial hate, sexism, adultery, fornication, sex outside the bounds of marriage the way God designed it, gender confusion, government injustice, slavery, murder, lying, deceitful tongues, prideful hearts, greed, gluttony, hate, the list could go on and on, anything or anyone that stands in opposition to God and His word is demonically influenced, while they can influence us and the world around us we do not have to submit to that influence as children of God we should only submit to Him, yes these things can be overwhelming but let's not focus on these things.
Let us dwell on the things of God as we renew our minds daily in His presence as we pray and read His word.
While the things around us may overwhelm us they must not overtake us, we need to trust that God is in control. We cannot change the heart of mankind any more than we can stop a storm, but we can pray for God to change the hearts of those around us, for only He can.
Christ has overcome the world, He has all power and dominion over the physical and spiritual realm, we are in this battle but He alone is the victory and we walk in victory when we surrender all our fears, our hopes, and dreams to Him alone.
The wicked may seem to prosper but have mercy upon them for some they are now receiving all the treasures they will ever know, and those treasures will rust away, we need to keep our eyes and hearts on Jesus and know that He is control, the things of this earth will pass away soon but all that is His including us will last eternally.
We need to live life from an eternal perspective instead of a day by day perspective, if you have trusted Christ with your eternal salvation you can trust Him to help you through today!
God's word says this:
“For I envied the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have an easy time until they die, and their bodies are well fed. They are not in trouble like others; they are not afflicted like most people. Therefore, pride is their necklace, and violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild. They mock, and they speak maliciously; they arrogantly threaten oppression. They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues strut across the earth. Therefore his people turn to them and drink in their overflowing words. The wicked say, “How can God know? Does the Most High know everything?” Look at them — the wicked! They are always at ease, and they increase their wealth. Did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? For I am afflicted all day long and punished every morning. If I had decided to say these things aloud, I would have betrayed your people. When I tried to understand all this, it seemed hopeless until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny. Indeed, you put them in slippery places; you make them fall into ruin. How suddenly they become a desolation! They come to an end, swept away by terrors. Like one waking from a dream, Lord, when arising, you will despise their image. When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded, I was stupid and didn’t understand; I was an unthinking animal toward you. Yet I am always with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me up in glory. Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. Those far from you will certainly perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord God my refuge, so I can tell about all you do.” Psalms 73:3-28 CSB
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the word of truth, the gospel,...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. He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.”
Colossians 1:3-5, 15-18 CSB
“A king’s heart is like channeled water in the Lord’s hand: He directs it wherever he chooses. All a person’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs hearts. Doing what is righteous and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:1-3 CSB
When Jesus spoke and said, “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.” He was warning us, our faith must be real.
Today in our Nation and Europe we see monuments of faith but not much real faith, great cathedrals, or church buildings are nothing more than markers for the dead anymore.
How much faith does it take to sit in a seat or a pew on Sunday? Zero, how much faith does it take to give money to a cause so you don't have to serve? None!
Jesus said, our faith is tied to our obedience / our actions! We think because we said a quick prayer asked Jesus in our heart that we are guaranteed heaven, oh please don't miss this, there is more to it than this!
This is sometimes the beginning of God drawing us to Him, but it is more than mere words!
I grew up in church, and I asked Christ into my heart a hundred times or more, I struggled with doing good and doing it my way until I gave into my flesh and walked away, you see I had fake faith, for 33 years I lived the opposite of what God said, then He started drawing me back, little by little and when the evangelist asked if you died tonight where would you spend eternity, I heard God say to me clearly ”Brian you would spend it in Hell for rejecting me”
Fake faith will lead you to hell, real faith in Christ will lead you through it.
I broke down right there, I knew the truth, I repented, asked Christ to fill my life with His and use me as He saw fit. Now I would like to tell you my life is and has been perfect since that day, but that would not be true, it has been a barrage of trials and testing, proving who God is in me daily at times, He alone is perfect and my only perfection. I have failed Him so many times but He lifts me up and says let's do this together, on my own I could not make it.
Faith that is untried, is untrue, faith that lives in disobedience is nothing more than lip service. We have generations of people who put on their parade uniforms on Sundays to show off their faith who have never used their faith in battle, who have never had to stand in their faith, they are not battle ready for they are not in the battle.
The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God, that the just shall live by faith, that we walk by faith and not by sight!
Faith is found in our attitude of obedience, our responding to the word of God and the will of God.
God's word cuts the bone from the marrow, my heart breaks when I see men and women who call themselves Christians live their lives outside of the will of God, as leaders we must disciple them, be truthful with them about the level of commitment they need to give God, He gave us His all, and demands our all there is no such thing as a Sunday Christian this is an eternal commitment and the gospel of Christ commands our all for Him.
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.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.”
Matthew 7:13-29 CSB
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 CSB
“The Lord answered me: Write down this vision; clearly inscribe it on tablets so one may easily read it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late. Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity. But the righteous one will live by his faith.”
Habakkuk 2:2-4 CSB
.“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 CSB
“Now without faith, it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”Hebrews 11:6 CSB
Prayer is powerful, prayer needs to be purposeful, prayer is our connection to God, prayer should be continual, prayer shows our dependence on God and measures our faith.
The stronger our faith, the more we pray.
When we God's people pray nothing is impossible, captives are set free, the lame walk, the blind see and the dead live again.
We pray to little because we want to live independently of God, but until we realize how much we depend on Him we will not seek Him in prayer.
We serve a mighty God creator of all things, ruler over all things, He bids us come to Him and approach His throne boldly in prayer, He focuses on what we ask and speaks to us personally because He is God our Father and He loves us.
Jesus prayed often, throughout the gospels we see reference to this. Do we pray often?
My prayer life can always improve, this I know the more I know God the more I want to speak to Him and hear from Him, and that is what prayer is, an intimate conversation about all things with my Heavenly Father who waits to speak with His children, will you listen?
Will you come into His presence and speak with your creator today?
Prayer is our privilege to speak to our LORD and Savior personally.
God's word says this;
“Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41 CSB
“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.” Romans 8:26 CSB
“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.”
Ephesians 6:14-18 CSB
1 Thessalonians 5:17 CSB
“Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.”
1 Timothy 2:8 CSB
“Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”Hebrews 4:16 CSB
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.” James 5:13 CSB
The things God has allowed me to do since my diagnosis of Crohn’s is beyond words, He has used this to spread His message of grace, love, and salvation to people whom on my own I would've never have reached for Him.
I have been able to share Christ with tens of thousands of people, through different means, people of different nationalities, people of other beliefs, people who don't believe in God, people who believe God is evil, people who others have written off, I have gotten to pray with my Doctors ,Nurses, PCA’S, Janitorial, Valet, Food Workers, and their families on one occasion God used me to lead a Chaplin back to Him, in every job that someone does they need to hear the gospel, and in ways unimaginable to me God is using my life to reach others. I tell you the name of Jesus is universal, I have had the privilege of leading people to Christ and back to Christ all because of the power of His name.
Don't take me wrong, I am never going to complain about how God uses me, with this sickness or the results, He has changed our lives, and allowed us to be a part of so many people's lives, day after day I am in awe of His awesome ways, power, and glory. I wake each day wondering where He will lead us, to whom will Christ speak to?
This past hospital stay I was unable to speak words to very many about Christ, because of my voice and breathing, I wondered God why am I here if I can not speak of you, your grace and mercy,? amazingly God spoke to people through my actions, and my medical chart, the Doctor's at the hospital were not my regular Doctors, and they asked how often I preach and sing, and for how long, the Nurses, PCA’S and Cleaning people said that they felt peace in my room, and wondered what was so different, and while my words struggled to come out, I could point to Christ as a silent witness.
When I was leaving OSU sitting and waiting in the lobby, I literally saw a couple hundred people pass before me from all over the world, and God spoke to my Spirit and said, they need to hear and see the gospel, never forget why you're here for I love them as I do you, and I will speak to them as I have you, I ask you to shine my light.
The plans God has for our lives will take us farther away from what we know but will lead us closer to Him where we belong.
I love serving the Lord, and my prayer is that whenever God asks who will I send? I will always answer, send me Lord give me the strength and words to say or not say, send me so I may tell others about you! There is not a moment of this journey I would trade for perfect health or riches, for in all of this God is being glorified.
God's word says this;
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 CSB
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking: Who should I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me.”
Isaiah 6:8 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.”
Romans 1:16-17 CSB
I have been thinking about our journey with Crohn’s that started in 2010, I say ours because my wife and family have been through this with me every step, this journey has taken us to 5 different hospital systems here in Columbus Ohio and the Cleveland Clinic, and more than 50 doctors, plus holistic doctors, this disease has affected every part of my body and yet there seem to be no answers from anyone in the medical profession other than this, “my bodies reaction to this disease is unlike any other, I don’t fit into any diagnoses or any textbook, as a matter of fact, they will be writing studies on how Crohn’s has affected my digestive system, nervous system, muscular system, my skeletal parts, my lungs, and so on.”
This I understand I have a Heavenly Father who has me in His hands, He is my creator, my healer, my sustainer, my strength, the very breath I breathe and I am in His hands. My life is not mine to live, it is His. To me, it doesn’t matter what I go through for He is with me, and every day I surrender all of me to Him to do as He pleases so others will know Him and His grace and mercy
There may not be any medical reasons why my body responds to everything they have tried in a negative way, no answers the doctors can give and no cure from a human standpoint, but this I know my God is able to heal and help me in everything, anytime and in anyway.
My hope is this that in all I do, all I go through all I bear that Christ is exalted and that others would know the hope of glory Christ in me and have the peace I have or greater still more than I have in Christ alone.
“What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this, I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Philippians 1:18-21 NASB