Galatians 5:13-15 – “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ” You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.” NASB
This passage highlights a truth from God’s word that has been lost on too many in this world, believers, and non-believers. The grand finale of the message is in verse 15, “But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.” What a message that is relevant for 2020 America. We are biting and devouring one another inside and outside the church and the result is damage and destruction for everyone and everything around us. In many ways, our world is in shambles.
I love the way the apostle begins in verse 13 as he speaks of Freedom. Freedom is a concept and a word that seems terribly misunderstood in today’s world and even in today’s church. We have been called to ‘freedom’. That is a declaration that stands alone, yet it is brought into context to an even larger truth, Love.
People on all sides of political, social issues, and even religious sides are screaming for justice when we should be crying out for mercy! We are demanding our liberty and freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want, however, we want. In that, we have turned our freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, lust, greed, hate, and envy. Our freedom was given to us so that we could ‘serve’ one another and thereby help others who are bound to become free. It is a perpetuation and progression that can transform the world, resolve the social issues we face, and make the world a great place to live.
In the last half of verse 14, he hits it out of the park in truth as he identifies that the entire Law of God can be summed up and fulfilled in one statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” What a different world we would live in if everyone followed that directive and we truly valued other people as much as we value our own lives, property, freedoms, and liberties.
In verse 15, the apostle brings us face to face with an inescapable reality and warning that too many no longer heed even in the church. He warned, “But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.” Did you hear what he said? He did not say consumed by the devil, but by ‘one another.’ The old comic strip saying of Pogo, “We have seen the enemy and it is us” is germane and relevant. The devil is not our worst enemy, we often are!
I am not diminishing the influence of the devil, sin, and evil but declaring that if we adopted the mindset to fulfill the first part of this directive and used our freedom to help others become free and served one another we would see a dramatic change in our world. If we truly loved our neighbors as ourselves, we would see a timely shift in interpersonal relationships.
Too frequently, we bite, devour, hate, and rail against each other insisting that they are the problem and we are pristinely innocent, and they must change. We create chasms impossible to span and engender bias, prejudice, and hate that destroys and eats away like cancer on the fabric of society.
Beloved, it is time that we stop believing the lies of the enemy and realize that people are not our enemy, evil is! We need to realize that we have been redeemed and given freedom so that we can serve, reach others, and help them be free! It is time that we completely surrender our hearts, minds, souls, bodies, and lives to God! When we do, He will fulfill His promises and we will see the Victory of Jesus and the Love of God shine in the hearts of those we now consider our enemy.
God bless you as you allow the Holy Spirit to change your mind!
2 Kings 6:15-17 – “Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” NASB
This Old Testament account of the encounter of antagonistic forces against the prophet of God, Elisha is relevant for us today. He lived in a world where the open hostility to the Truth of God and Righteousness frequently resulted in the death of the followers of God. It is a reminder of God’s Promise to NEVER leave or forsake us. It is a reminder of the Truth, Revelation, and Promise of Psalms 91 and the comfort of Psalm 23. It is a reminder of the word of the New Testament that we are MORE THAN conquerors through Jesus.
Therefore, when I read of the trepidation and fear that flooded the heart of the attendant of the prophet of God, I see a condition in today’s world that needs to be addressed. Too many, followers of our Lord Jesus and believers in the Bible live in fear of the devil. They have been deceived and believed a lie that the devil is equally powerful with God or that he has unlimited authority in the earth and over men. HE DOES NOT!
When the attendant came to the prophet in total panic and said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He saw the massive army surrounding the city and believed that destruction was imminent. His eyes could only see the natural. His panic was met with a calm assurance and a simple request by the prophet, who knew God and His power. It is a prayer that needs to be prayed over Christians, Churches, and America today, “LORD, open our eyes, that we may see.”
When Elisha prayed this prayer, God responded and the attendant saw that the mountain was filled with horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha. God had not abandoned him, and He has not abandoned us. His promise to NEVER leave or forsake us is still valid today.
We always have a choice to be fearful or faith-filled. We have the choice to trust God or what we can see and do. We have a choice between the natural and the supernatural. We have the choice between good and evil and if we will TRUST God, He will NEVER do as He has always done, Protect His People!
Does that mean we will never face a crisis? No! Does it mean that we will encounter disease? No! Does it mean that we can passively sit back and say, “No problems, no worries and go prayerless and live haphazardly?” NO! It means that if we will follow the directive of our LORD Jesus as revealed in Matthew 6, in the manner of prayer and in the conclusion of the chapter and make God NUMBER ONE, seeking Him with a whole heart and loving Him with our entire being, He will prove Himself to be God.
Always remember that there are more with us than with them! Only one-third of the angels fell not two-thirds. But, even if all the angels had fallen and followed the devil, God is still the Sovereign Living God, the Creator! God and one person are a majority, no matter the situation. God’s promises will never fail, and the work of Jesus on the Cross was a Total Victory!
God bless you as you live each day knowing, “There are more with us than with them!” Have a Great Day!
Proverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” NASB
Many have asked me, “What do you see, or think is going to happen in America after the 2020 elections?” “What do you think is going on in the Church?” There is more in those questions than I could possibly answer in a short article or blog post. The truth is, I do not know what is going to happen, but have a sense of numerous things based on what I see, what the Bible teaches, and history.
I see two streams flowing at the same time in America going forward. When I say streams, I mean two pathways or series of events, actions, and activities. I see a stream of evil and destruction where the divide grows more pronounced and the violence escalates to the point of volcanic type eruption with massive and pervasive unrest. That could plunge us into another Civil War, and we could see Americans shedding the blood of other Americans in a literal war with gunfire. I pray that will not happen but am convinced it is coming regardless of who wins the presidential election.
I see another stream flowing in which the Spirit of God touches hearts with an outpouring of His love and grace beyond anything we have witnessed in our lives. I believe we will see gatherings of believers who commit themselves to seek God with a passion and commitment beyond anything we have witnessed. I believe that total abandon to the Will and Purpose of God will result in a Revival where we see literally millions converted. It will produce a healing, but that healing will not eliminate the festering wound in those who reject the Gospel and Love of God.
Those two eventualities will exist concurrently, and the stream of evil will desire and seek to eradicate all who follow the other stream. Depending on which political party is in control of the government there will be actions regarding Christians and churches. If those who follow the anti-God agenda gain control, there will be massive attempts to infringe upon our religious liberties as well as many other inalienable rights. The Supreme Court will be packed, if they have control of the Senate, the House, and win the White House. If they lose, we get a brief respite from the infringements.
I feel compelled to address the idea that we are to passively submit to human authority as believers. That is contrary to a number of precepts, principles, and direct reflections in Scripture, I will not attempt to elucidate or articulate them all. That will not find acceptance with those who disagree, but I leave it there and leave it for another blog and discussion.
It is my conviction and I believe the teaching of the Bible that the powers that God ordains are not a threat to the righteous. That demands the question, “What happens if the powers are a threat to the righteous and righteousness? What then?” I believe the disciples answered that when standing before the Sanhedrin and instructed to stop preaching Jesus. They said, “Who should we obey, God or man?” I believe that is still the needed response from believers today. We should always seek to obey God and say what His Word says and do what He commanded us to do. We need to warn of danger and wickedness. It is not political to identify the violations of biblical laws it is kingdom.
I ask you to consider these questions:
Who is a threat to the children’s education?
Who is a threat to a preacher’s right and ability to quote and preach the Bible?
Who is a threat to marriage and the family?
Who is a threat to life, the life of the unborn?
What is our commission and mission as Christians and preachers?
Are we not to warn the wicked and warn of danger?
Are we not to declare the Word of God?
Matthew Henry said that the greatest danger in the end times will be the corruption of the church not the immorality of those outside. Our mandate as Christians is not to avoid contact and association with those who are outside the faith or the church. They are our mission field. We win people by our lives not just our words. However, we are directed to turn away from those who have a form of godliness but deny God’s authority and power. A brother that is living immorally or in violation of God’s ways is to be turned away from.
I believe that the Christian vote could make this or any election a landslide in God’s favor. I have said that for more than a decade. However, I realize that many are silenced out of shame, fear, or misunderstanding. I have talked to Christians who are intimidated by their own pastors and people inside the church. We are to be light and salt in this earth. Are we?
In writing a blog that touches people of all religious persuasions and some that do not believe in the God of the Bible, I know that I am walking a thin line in my reflections as to how believers should live. However, if we love Freedom and America, we can unite in the common cause of keeping America the Free and One Nation Under God.
I am disturbed that some, if not much of the Christian church, have focused more on numbers, as one man said, “butts in seats and nickels in the coffers more than God and the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts.” I have often described it as ‘nickels and noses.’ I speak to the Christian now and ask, “What is our mission?” I believe that many outside the faith are turned off by the pursuit of nickels and noses. That must never become more important than righteousness and relationship. The church has moved from focusing on forgiveness and love to anger and attack. The Jesus Movement was launched because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the cry of hearts for love.
I agree with Mario Murillo that there is coming a new breed or brand of evangelist and prophet coming. In fact, I believe they are being released now in this present world. There is coming a revival that will fearlessly identify sin, danger, and speak about relationships, not sit and sing kumbaya… Mario also said, there is a “Lion Revival Coming.” That resonates with me and I believe the new breed of Christians are going to be bold as lions and will not go in enticing words of man’s wisdom, political correctness, and passiveness but in the Power of the Spirit of God. God’s Kingdom is going to become paramount.
The Purpose of the Church is “To Destroy the Works of the devil.” Our purpose is Jesus, He is our Purpose. What He did we are to do what He says we are to say. Christ has the Purpose we have individual assignments to fulfill His purpose. It is my ambition to fulfill the purposes of God for my life in my generation and then go home but not one millisecond before them.
Let me offer this observation and thought: “True Marxism has no conscience.” In his day, Charles Spurgeon rebuked Marxism from the pulpit and prevented Karl Marx from gaining a foothold in England Marx’s only recourse was Russia where there was no gospel opposition. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is possibly the most essential key to overturning the destruction in America and the world. Not by Might nor by Power, but by My Spirits says the LORD. Jesus said, “The Spirit of God is upon me because He has anointed me to…”
The global force of the church gets its impetus from the Power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “It is expedient that I go because when I do, I will send the Holy Spirit and He will…” The church has lost its influence because it lost its purpose and power. It lost its morality and focus on ‘seeking God first.’ Christianity can move into a culture and assimilate. Not adopt their views but live among them and influence them. We change cultures rather than cultures changing us.
I believe that it is a demonstrated reality that a man will die for his convictions but not for his opinion or preferences. Sadly, the church has allowed the devil to steal our language and the political movement of the Left is stealing our words and our purpose. They are reshaping the narrative and redefining what it means to be an American and have become a virtual god to the masses. That is anathema to God’s Purpose and Word.
What do I see happening in America after 2020? I see truth coming to the forefront, and it will be a direct threat to those who seek to destroy our Freedom and Liberty. Anyone speaking the truth will be targeted and there will be an attempt to destroy if they cannot destroy them economically or influentially, they will seek to exterminate them physically. It is coming!
We are coming to a time when the flesh will be exposed, and the spirit of God will overwhelm. Many churches will rail against this movement and will turn their backs on truth to embrace self and the flesh. We are reentering a season of martyrs for the faith. Are you willing to be spent for the gospel?
We are to come out from among them and be separate. We are not isolationists, but we are to be other than the world. We cannot sit around the campfire and sing kumbaya when sin is destroying. We must SOUND THE ALARM! We must die to self in order to live to God. Virtue and morality are the cries of God for today’s church and world. Look on the fields they are white already for harvest. If we keep looking at the wrong fields, we will miss the harvest. Too much Bible? Impossible!
The power of social media has transformed the attitude of the nation. State and regional lines no longer exist there are no pockets of ideology untouched by those of a different ilk. What were once safe zones spiritually and ideologically are being reshaped because of the internet. What is happening in one part of the country can happen in every part. The internet and social media are like a virus that spreads ideas and agendas powerfully. We have to wake up and take advantage of the platforms available and preach the gospel of Christ and present the Truth, biblically, historically, and morally.
History is replete with examples of God aiding people when they turn to Him and pray. This is not Republican vs Democrats it is Good vs Evil. When one party takes positions that are expressions of hatred for Christianity, the Bible, and American History that means they must be rejected. We have a mission, an assessment, and a purpose.
The kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force. God has used wrecking balls in history to bring people back to him. Sometimes God uses people with flaws. NO, most of the time He does. I believe He is doing that today and those He has chosen are not flawless but are being used as a catalyst to bring us to the purposes of God.
We are not fort holders we are victors! We either surrender to Christ and follow the Holy Spirit or we go in our own strength and power and will become deceived and fall. God is going to judge the corruption and we will see a shaking like we have never seen before.
The invisible and true church is going to enjoy special protection and given special unction. The two streams will be persecution and destruction flowing simultaneously with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and blessing. Which stream will you be in?
The choice is ours! I have committed myself to seek God first and foremost and want to be 100% surrendered to His will and purpose. I desire His Kingdom to Come and His Will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I want to be one with Him. I want to be a vessel He can use to ‘destroy the works of the devil.’ In the process, I believe we will also save America and Freedom.
What is your choice?I choose to walk with God and receive Him as LORD of All in my life. I pray that America will as well…
Revelation 3:20-22 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21′ He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22′ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'” NASB
Notice the words “He that has an ear, let him hear…” If you are familiar with Chapters 2 & 3 you will quickly realize that this expression is the Common Denominator! All the churches are addressed in the same fashion – “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…” This suggests that the Common Denominator of these churches was a Danger! A danger that they would ‘forget’ or become ‘too busy’ to Hear what the Spirit said or was saying! They all had the same root problem and today is really no different.
The apostle John, through the revelation of the Spirit, was saying: “All of you CAN hear.” You can hear IF your heart has been renewed by the Spirit of God. You can hear IF you have a spiritual ear. Jesus said: “This is the characteristic of My sheep – they HEAR My Voice!” Therefore, the warning came because they were in grave danger of Not Hearing!
That has been the ‘danger’ and ‘fault’ of every set of Christians since the beginning of the church. In fact, if you examine church history you will discover something quite disconcerting. You will discover that church history teaches us that church history teaches us nothing because we continually repeat the same mistakes!
An incredible fact is that if you examine history you will find that each revival had a life span of approximately forty years. By the time forty years transpired, those who were in the revival had gotten old and their children were taking over, but the children had only ‘heard it’ from their parents rather than experiencing it. Then by the time eighty years transpire the revival becomes a monument. Everybody has forgotten why it was there, to begin with, but it is still there! That is why all through church history we have the Great Mausoleums!
Simply, we are left with denominations that celebrate a revival that everybody has now forgotten what happened, but we still have the name and revel in the past! That raises the question – “Why is it that they and we continually miss it?”
For almost 2,000 years we see revivals come and go and last about forty years and then it is gone. Why?Because, in virtually every case, the revival began when people Heard God and God’s words became alive in their hearts! It became the Living Word and they responded to it making the revival one to one relationship with God. God has spoken and they knew it! Then, gradually it became a philosophy.
What had been a ‘Living Dynamic’ with God speaking and interacting with the people was now a form and ceremony. God had been put in a box and reduced to a set of rules, regulations, formulas, patterns of action, and ritual. The idea became that IF you’ve been in the revival you don’t do this/that/the other. Forgotten was the truth that the reason we did not do this/that/the other was because of LIFE springing up within not manmade regulation.
God help us to return to the altar of life and drink from the fountain of God’s Life again! God help us to move from the man-made to the God-breathed! God brings us revival again! It is relationship not theory that produces the Life of God in the Spirit!
Psalm 103:1-5 – “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” NASB
I want to delve a little deeper into the subject of Praise and its worth to our Christian walk on an everyday basis if I may. Another dimension of Praise is that it opens a channel for God to speak to our hearts and be heart in our inner being. To me, that is awesome! Not only does praise bring pleasure to the heart of God it opens the door to change your situation positively and powerfully.
Psalm 29:1-2 – “Ascribe to the Lord… Glory and Strength. The Glory due to His Name: Worship the Lord in Holy Array. (The Beauty of Holiness).” Then in verses 7-9,we read of “The voice of the Lord.” It opens a channel for God to speak to our hearts and be heard.
Tragically, sometimes in prayer, we are unable to Hear God because we have locked the ‘talk button’ on and are locked in a ‘transmit mode’ rather than having an open channel of reception. In Praise the reverse is true in True Praise we become like a ‘radio receiver’ and there is an open channel for God to speak and we are become so focused on Him without making a petition. We being to hear Him!
Proverbs 27:21 –“As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold: so is a man for praise.”
It is quite normal, in times of Praise, when our spirits become so heated spiritually and so touched and moved by the Spirit of God and the Presence of the Lord of Hosts, that hidden thoughts, motives, and desires rise to the surface. As we become broken in His presence those foreign impure elements are separated from the precious metal of our lives and THEN we can take them to the Cross and be cleansed, washed, purified, and delivered!
God wants to skim away all that defiles where He can see His face in the molten metal of our hearts! Praise opens the door to purification within!
In Psalm 29:4-9 we see a beautiful truth:
Verse 4 – The Voice of the Lord is powerful and full of majesty.
Verse 5 – The Voice of the Lord breaks the cedars (royal trees).
Verse 6 – The Voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire. (Fiery darts).
Verse 7 – The Voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness. (Place of testing).
Verse 8 – The Voice of the Lord makes hinds to calve. (fruitfulness).
Verse 9 – The Voice of the Lord discovers the forests. (people). It is in God’s temple that everyone speaks of His Glory.
Isaiah 33 informs us that the Voice of the Lord defeats the enemies. Isaiah 66declares that it is the Voice of the Lord that brings recompense to the enemies of God.Joel 2tells us that God utters His voice before His army and Psalm 46:6 tells us that the Voice of the Lord causes Kingdoms to be moved!
Praise is one of the most powerful endeavors we can engage in and provides unlimited benefit spiritually and even physically to our lives.
I encourage you to make Praise a daily portion of your life! Blessings as you go through your day!
Psalm 103:1-5 – “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” NASB
Sometimes, when I am around other believers the topic will turn to Praise and how important and valuable it is! Yet too often we make it an option rather than an essential in our walk. For some, it is a part of the Sunday morning ritual rather than a cornerstone of daily life. It is relegated to a brief time during the Sunday service rather than a fixture in life. That strips it of much of its power and benefit and robs the individual of an endeavor that God has offered to lift us into His presence in a more pronounced and powerful manner.
Praise is a natural and normal part of life! It is only considered ‘abnormal’ or in need of ‘restriction’ when it is associated with religious gatherings. Manufacturers praise their products. Parents praise their children. Men praise their automobiles. Women praise their hairdressers or wardrobes. Children praise, sportswriters and coaches praise. Politicians praise, preachers praise.
If you think about it, life is filled with praise of one kind or another. It is normal and natural. It is ingrained into our nature to ‘spontaneously’ give praise to whatever or whomever we value. Therefore, if God is among the things we value it is normal and natural to release our inner being in praise to Him!
It is not because God needs our praise but because we need to offer Him praise. We need to hear ourselves praise Him. There is a ‘release’ in our spirits that is incredibly powerful as we do. Something happens inside of our innermost being in the activity of praise!
Let me give you an example in the natural. The crowd at a football game would go crazy if they were not allowed to express themselves when their team scored a touchdown. The team did not need the praise to score they scored before the crowd began praising. It was the spectators who benefited by clapping, yelling, standing, waving their hands, hats, and/or banners. Yet, when it comes to religious gatherings that are forbidden and often frowned upon as being inappropriate! Did you ever question how a touchdown is more deserving of an outward demonstration of appreciation than God?
I’ve noticed that it is the humblest of souls, the most balanced and open-minded that praise the most and the cranky, malcontented praise the least. Praise seems to be ‘inner health’ made ‘audible.’ The very word Hallelujah demands an outward demonstration of praise. Hallel – praise. Oou – Our. Jah – God. Praise is an expression of ‘inner health’, but it wasn’t ‘inner health’ that caused the crowd to praise at the ballgame. There was an outward stimulus! The praise was in direct proportion to the stimuli. That is another reason why the more we talk about Jesus, focus on Him, His person, and work the easier it is to Praise Him!
Praise, for most people, much of the time, does not flow easily. It is something that must be pressed into because most people begin in the ‘outer court’. The temporal is so large in our thinking and living that Praise and entering the ‘inner court’ requires an act of our will. It is when we instruct our flesh to come to attention and determine that we will praise the Lord! We make the choice to rejoice and enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to help us bridge the gap between the heavenly and the earthly realms and this is accomplished through Praise!
If we could grasp the truth that Praise brings pleasure to the heart of God, it would dramatically affect how we view it. We read in Psalm 149:41, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people.” In Psalm 104:1, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” In Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord to receive Glory and Honor, and Power: For thou hast created all things, and for Thy Pleasure, they are and were created.” Then in Ephesians 1:12, we read that we are to be the Praise of God’s Glory!
We need to understand that God literally derives pleasure, gratification, and enjoyment out of our praise. Imagine that, we can do something that brings pleasure to God not to mention what it produces within our inner being.
So allow Praise to become a normal natural part of your daily relationship with God! Blessings as you go through your day!
Proverbs 12:25-28 – “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad. 26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. 27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession. 28 In the way of righteousness is life, And in its pathway, there is no death.” NKJV
The Book of Proverbs provides a plethora of wisdom and too often we read for quantity rather than quality and skim over some incredibly powerful words of wisdom. I have been guilty and I’m reasonably sure that most of you have as well. The Spirit of the Lord has been challenging me more and more to cease doing that and carefully muse upon each word, sentence, and paragraph as I read and study the scripture. It has proven to be a dynamic endeavor and I’ve gleaned more from passages that I formerly only gave a cursory reading to.
The words of wisdom, found in these four verses, are an example of the pearls found in the Book of Proverbs. Each could be examined solitarily but I will highlight them and allow you to do further study and examination to find that which the Lord would speak to your heart from these treasures.
Anxiety in the heart produces depression contrasted to a good word bringing a vivacious spirit.
When we allow anxiety, fear, or worry to take a dominant place in our thinking the result will be depression, but if we give or receive a ‘good word’ from God’s word we will find that our spirits soar and become alive with excitement and anticipation. Depression arises from an ‘inward focus’ or a ‘focus on self’ but the spirit soars when the focus is on God.
Careful selection of friends or those you come into an alliance with is critical because those of ill repute and walk-in wickedness will bring you down.
The old saying ‘birds of a feather flock together, and a little leaven leavens the entire lump’ is applicable and factual. I’ve known many a young person who became so infatuated with a member of the opposite sex that they wanted to enter into marriage thinking and declaring that they could and would change the other person only to discover the reverse was true and endured a miserable relationship. It is important to surround yourself with people who demonstrate a positive faith and character.
The contrast between laziness and diligence.
The translation of this word to ‘roost’ is a most interesting one. The Hebrew word is ‘charak’ and comes from the primitive root – ‘to braid, entangle, snare, or catch in a net.’ Some translations render it as ‘the slothful man will not secure (keep in his net) what he takes in hunting.’ He will let whatever he gains slip from his hands through a lack of effort and attention. Laziness produces lack and diligence produces abundance or adequate provision at the minimum.
Righteousness leads to life whereas unrighteousness leads to death.
No wonder Jesus said, ‘Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few will find it.’ The path of least resistance is seldom the best way to go. The pathway to destruction is broad and wide with few visible obstacles but the pathway to life is filled with obstructions placed there by the evil one in an attempt to discourage and shipwreck our journey.
I am quite sure that as you read these and give them thought the Holy Spirit will highlight some areas for you to delve deeper into and embark on a journey to implement them into your life.
Therefore, as you imbed yourself in God’s truth, I bid you a good day and pray God’s blessings upon you!
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” NASB
I had a person tell me, some years ago, that they didn’t let their co-workers know they were Christians because they feared discrimination in the workplace. I’ve known some people in my Christian walk who are what I call Secret Christians because they don’t want the people they work with or do business with to know about their faith. The problem I have with that is it falls dangerously close to what Jesus said in Matthew 10:33 regarding denying Him before men.
Although those individuals I allude to did not actually deny Jesus they demonstrated a certain shame and fear of others knowing about their belief in Him. That puts them in the position and condition that prevents them from fulfilling the Lord’s Commission to “Go into all the world…” It frees them from the watchful eye of those observing their behavior and words and they could easily lapse into activity or conversation that would not be becoming for a believer without those around them questioning their relationship or Christianity.
Some have told me that by remaining a secret follower they have escaped the possibility of becoming a ‘stumbling block’ to others. My response was, SERIOUSLY! They do fall into the category that Jesus described in Mark 8:38 where He said that if we are ‘ashamed’ of him in this wicked generation, He will be ‘ashamed’ of us in the Day of Judgment.
If I am ashamed of Jesus and hide my faith that causes me to wonder if I have faith! I am not trying to be the judge of another and will leave that to God, but can anyone be comfortable being a Secret Christian? Jesus told us not to fear those who could destroy the body and in that destroy our livelihood on earth but to fear Him that could destroy the soul. He also asked pointedly, “What would a man give in exchange for his soul? What would be the profit of gaining the whole world and losing the soul?” Obviously, there would only be earthly and temporary gain but eternal loss.
I am not suggesting that you must be out on the streets, knocking on every door you see, and giving a specific witness verbally to everyone you meet. That might not be God’s desire, but you can and should always give a ‘silent visual witness’ by your life, words, and deeds. Then we should be ready always to give an answer to every man for the reason of the hope that is within us.
You do not have to and should not wear your Christianity on your sleeve and become obnoxious in trying to convert and witness to everyone. Some are not ready, will not receive, and your actions will only push them further away not bring them near. Listen to the voice inside and follow your heart but Always manifest the ‘Life of Christ’ and the ‘Character of Jesus’ in your life. You will be surprised how many people ask about what it is that makes you different. Some will ridicule but many will come inquiringly and hungrily wanting more than what they have and have seen in others and even churches. You are letters known and read of men!
So, as you go through life, go with pride that you are a follower of Jesus! Know that as you manifest Him others will see, and some will respond favorably to His nudging and tugging of their heartstrings.
Matthew 28:20 – “… I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NASB
In the context of this statement, Jesus was issuing what we call The Great Commission to His followers. He identified that He has All Authority in heaven and on earth. He commanded them to GO and make disciples of all nations. He instructed them to baptize and teach them to observe All His Commandments. It was after the conclusion of that discourse He issued the incredibly powerful promise – “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Throughout my Christian walk, I have taken this promise of Jesus as one of my ‘Foundational Rocks’ upon which I stand and take comfort. No matter what the assignment, how difficult the task, how large the opposition, or how dangerous the endeavor, I know that He is Going to Be with Me! If He is with me, what do I have to fear?
If He is with me, what can be too difficult? If He is withme, there is no reason to shy away from any assignment and the obstacles and opposition are simply possibilities and opportunities for God to demonstrate His incredible power and love. If I become a casualty in the flesh that is a small thing compared to His eternal purpose. It would only mean I get promoted earlier than others around me and get to the heavenly party earlier than I would have expected. That is most assuredly a comfort to me.
He is not with me ‘some of the time’, or for a ‘short time,’ He is with me to the End of the Age! That means as long as I am on this planet, He Is with Me! As long as I occupy this tabernacle of flesh, He is With Me! As long as I breathe life naturally, He is With Me! Each step I take, each difficulty I encounter, each victory I experience He is There! He is WITH ME!
You are not alone! All mankind could forsake you and you can still know that He is with You! Therefore, as you go through this day and the rest of your life go in the confidence and comfort that He is with You and will Never Forsake You! As long as you are here, He is Wherever You Are! Hallelujah!
So, as you go through your day go in the grace, peace, power, and comfort of the Lord! BLESSINGS!
Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” NASB
I know that some may consider this wrong and I may receive bad reviews. Likewise, others will agree entirely and say a hearty Amen! I may even be deleted from the friend’s list by some for my view on this subject but if that happens it happens. I am not unconcerned about the feelings of others and would never want to intentionally offend anyone but in pursuit of the truth and in doing what I feel the Holy Spirit would have me do I proceed.
Look at what Jesus said in John’s Revelation:
I (Jesus) stand at the door and knock.
That door is the door to our hearts and Jesus is initiating the call to repentance and salvation. He, through the Holy Spirit, brings conviction and convincing to the heart that we are ‘lost’ and need a savior. He, through the Holy Spirit, brings us to an awareness that there is an offer of pardon on the table, that there is a door to the kingdom and family of God open to us. He has done His part!
IF anyone hears My voice and opens the door.
The “if’ is important because too often those He is calling and reaching out to every person in the world of every generation but many do not hear or listen. God said, “Whosoever will let Him come,” “Whoever believes in Him would not perish”, and “God is not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance.” Therefore, we know God desires that All Be Saved!
It is not the select of the elect that have access to salvation, but anyone born of woman. But they must open the door to their hearts. They must act upon the conviction and convincing of the Holy Spirit. They must respond to the call of God to salvation. They must make the choice to receive Him. We are not excluded from the process but heavily included in that we must choose to receive what He has offered. In that choice, we acknowledge our sin, receive His forgiveness, and make a commitment to follow Him!
I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
If we act upon what He has offered and respond to the call of the Spirit of God to come to Jesus and drink of His cleansing waters, He will come to us! We will not be rejected. He will dine with us implying that He will break the Heavenly nourishment of Spiritual food with us enabling us to develop and grow in grace and the power of God. He will walk with us from spiritual infancy through our teenage years, into adulthood and maturity.
He is ‘knocking at the door’ of hearts now. My plea is that we ‘open the door’ of our hearts to Him today. Allow Jesus to come into our hearts and transform us. Allow Him to take the child of darkness and make him or her a child of light. Allow Him to complete the process of ‘adoption’ into the Family of God.