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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/29/2016 in Blog Entries

  1. 3 points
    Word of God Speak We tend to read too much, and not hear open your Heart let the Bible speak to you. Let’ all thoughts of the day be put aside, find a place in solitude and listen, feel comfort and eternal power within. Living within this world walking’ in righteousness. Sharing joy and peace brings others into the family. Our eternal home in heaven awaits are coming, give unconditionally, be the hands and feet of Jesus. We have a purpose in this life. God formed us for a reason. In his time we shall return home and dwell in The House’ of Our Lord. When are heart feels weak, who do we seek? Are we taken over by shame? Do we cry out his name! The Bible directs us to God’ by lighting the way with truth, to the one true Giver of all things. O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. - 2 Samuel 7:28 I pray you shall find joy and peace within’ Gods Word. Let His word speak, Listen with your heart. - debe
  2. 3 points
    As you've probably noticed, there are a lot of changes going on at ChristianWriters.com. I already started a topic about some of the changes and new features here. However, I thought if would be better if we had a place to communicate and track all the site changes and updates. So this blog was born. From this point on, I'll be announcing updates and new features here, on this blog. I recommend following this blog (click the "follow" button on the black bar in the blog header) so you receive a notice when we add a new entry. We also encourage you to leave your feedback, comments and suggestions below. This site was built for you, and we welcome your feedback! Thanks for your patience during this transition, and I wish you all of God's greatest blessings.
  3. 3 points
    . . . after reading 1 Chronicles 1-3 today I read the begats in the Bible today, and it struck me that the reading of every name set up a moment that put it to humanity's care to mark what obedience to Jehovah would bear, salvation for those whose hearts did not stray away from the covenant shown by Abraham's faith, or curse at the core of one's bitter fruit from tasting forbidden things, nameless pursuits. Some names seemed odd, some odder even, but each syllable of a lone person given moved me the reader to one strange conclusion, that modern monikers are known, too, by the Lord's choosing, and each one is precious, enough to die for. Do the syllables of our names say, "I Love You Lord"?
  4. 2 points
    Our mouths are the most powerful tools we possess. What we speak tells who we really are. Use it to speak positive words to and about others. In instances when this is not able just stay positive by being silenced.
  5. 2 points
    After reading John 1:1-34 Look, the Lamb, look! He is like none other. A speck of His light Heals the eye, blinds accusers. Lift up your heads For the remnants of Heaven Prepare in wonder A coming New Jerusalem. Unlimited Unction Fell on the Lamb, Replaced royal robes That Glory gave back Once Jesus went up, Teth’ring God’s heart to man, When the Son left a chalice Of grace in our hands.
  6. 2 points
    Recently a pastor sent out a letter to his congregants requesting suggestions as to what topics his people would like to have him address on Sundays. Another church felt the necessity to highlight the recent racial divide in our nation. To address the issue, they brought in two individuals who represented an ethnicity different from those of their own congregation. They discussed issues that needed understanding and even correction. I guess the purpose of the interaction was to bring people out of their comfort zones and into the reality of racial division. It seems that there is such a quickness to respond to societal problems that we fail to understand the true reason for racial conflict is SIN and BIBLICAL DISOBEDIENCE. When we fail to address these root causes of racial conflict, we will never find the solution to racial disharmony. When I see churches walking away from Biblical principles in favor of carnal analysis, my comfort zone is in jeopardy. Churches are becoming responders instead of initiators. We tend to react to issues instead of acting on the principles of God’s Word. We tend to bend over to the whims and actions of others instead of standing firm on the infallible, inerrant Word of God. If we continue to bend, we could face the danger of breaking and becoming ineffective for God’s usage. People are having a difficult time hearing God because they tend to limit Him by their wants instead of their needs. True Believers want unfiltered truth that speaks to their spirit. Selective topics tend to enforce complacency or to satisfy “itching ears.” Christians do not need to be lectured on interracial issues, for they are taught not to be a respecter of persons of differing social/economic and physical characteristics. All people are created in the image of God and are to be loved and accepted no matter what their physical makeup. The Church needs to continue to promote the teachings of Jesus and not enter the carnal arena that involves social issues that tear down instead of build up. When Christians leave the principles of Biblical truth, we have lost our way. Satan wants Christians to fight by his rules of engagement. We must never take the bait. Always remember the brighter the light, the more the darkness will be dispelled. We must stay focused on our calling. The Church must display love. The Church is not to be a judge, but a witness of God’s Grace. The Church must not enter the “colosseum” of conflict, but stand on the foundation of Truth. The Church is not to be integrated with the opinions of the world, but to display the Truth of the world’s Creator. When people have a hard time hearing from God, it is usually the result of frequency interference that comes from hearing interpretive truth instead of Holy Spirit inspired teaching. People have a hard time hearing God when they act outside of the Biblical framework. LET CHRISTIANS STAY FOCUSED ON WHAT GOD WANTS FROM THEM INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY WANT FROM GOD.
  7. 2 points
    I rarely dream, I really don't envision dream as antidote. It's usually rest when I'm awake that cracks the door of Heaven's gate to get a glimpse of God inside these kingdom bones, where He abides. The cataclysm of the flesh when crucified, put to the test, and then the flash of Risen feet up to Your Face brings me relief. The trust You give, upon your Word, is oath enough for us to serve* and from deep within the wells of hope scale ladder steps Jacob's eye felt** __________ * Matthew 5:33-37 ** Genesis 28:10-22
  8. 2 points
    We try to live in such a way that no one will ever be offended or kept back from finding the Lord by the way we act, so that no one can find fault with us and blame it on the Lord. (2 Corinthians 6:3) Paul who tried to live in such a way to not offend anyone yet seemed to have offended multitudes. There are books, sites, and cults formed to simply dispute Paul’s authority as an apostle. It’s one thing to love and another to please with pressure, It’s is one thing to be patience but another to tolerate abuse, It’s one thing to be in tribulations but another to tolerate tyranny, It’s one thing to be in need another to be lazy, It’s one thing to be in distresses for gospel but another to panic about everything, It’s one think to live in such a way to not offend anyone, and another to compromise our convictions, confine ourselves to this world and its popular patterns. So, my friend, for Christ’s sake live an authentic and humble life, but for anything else live a life with dignity, confidence, clarity, and without compromise. After all, God considered you worthy enough to save, with His own blood and life.
  9. 2 points
    I had dreaded my 50th birthday. Success in my life was hard to see, compared to others. I longed to know that I could make a difference in other lives through writing. Then I considered creating a website to reach this goal. Using website-builder websites, I pursued this project. However, I kept starting over, making it take more than a year. After my third attempt, I liked what I saw. Excitement gripped me as I poured myself into designing this website. It grew to fill my whole vision. Hours flowed by as I worked. I found myself mulling over more changes to make while sitting in church. One afternoon, I was in the computer room editing my website when the phone rang. While on the phone, I kept glancing at the website on the computer screen. I itched to get back to work. Soon after resuming editing, an error message appeared in bold red type. Alarmed, I also found a purple circle slapped onto my site’s log-in image. Bold red words told me that the site is blocked; contact the support team. My heart hammered. I searched for help, but found none. In an old email, I spotted a support team's help form. The form was sent. Trembling, and wiping my eyes, I turned the computer off and left the room. For the next several days, I checked the website. It still blocked me from seeing and editing the site. My emails to the support team emails disappeared into silence. Nothi.ng helped. I asked myself, had God taken away my website? Tears rolled down my face as I begged God to remove the block. Two weeks after the block began, I realized that I had made this website an idol. I had offended God. Instead of glorifying God, I had thought of the website as mine. It made me feel important, but insecurity was there too. Comparing myself with others, I came up short. I was afraid to share, yet I needed to share to find affirmation. Focusing on myself trapped me. That morning, I confessed and repented of my sin and found release. When I checked the website that afternoon, I sat and stared in wonder. The block was gone! Peace soothed my heart. The next day, I was astounded to find the support team's answer to the first email I'd sent. They said there had been a “technical error”, but I knew better. And God had prevented them from receiving anything I sent since then. I thank my Father for his loving discipline. After the painful discipline, God's words comforted me. Jesus said that “as the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love,” (John 15:9,10). I want to abide in his love, and find in him everything I need. I remember what a guest speaker at church told us last year: success is doing what God has given you to do. (John 17:4) That’s what I had been striving for until I got off track. Ephesians 1:6 comes to mind. Jesus’ death on the cross cleansed me from sin, and made me “accepted in the beloved.” He now accepts me completely. I also turned to a reassuring verse God had given me: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV). His thoughts about me are what counts. His thoughts are peace between himself and me, peace that was bought by Jesus' blood. He wants me to love, trust, and live to please Him. As I do, he will satisfy my heart.
  10. 2 points
    God Does "Answer" Our Desires,Concerns, Prayers and Other things We bring up to him. It may not be in the timing we would like. It may not be in the way we expect. But, know this,. He has answered you and you will receive your answer in his perfect timing. AMEN
  11. 2 points
    When I recently read the verse that I bold below, I immediately took stock of a primary motivation in my life, which is to find, exhort to and commune within mutual devotion to our Lord and God, Messiah Jesus. There is nothing so freeing as living "in Spirit and in Truth" (John 4:24) It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 3:8 (NLT) I thrilled at the pride of my mamma and papa, when they said without words, "He is growing up". How they gave me space in my heart for their boundaries, it felt like a universe though I stayed under their wing. Now, my dear brother, now sister, you all, I hope you go further as you grow in truth. For I really live when I see the Church knitted together to form a Spirit-filled purse emptied out, filled-up as fast as her love, inspired by devotion to the Risen One.
  12. 2 points
    Many Believers love to surf through the Scripture in hope of finding spiritual gems that they can add to their vault of edification verses. If they underline in their Bibles it is usually with multi colored markers. Exclamation points emphasize the exceptional verses that carry a higher degree of personal worth. The interesting thing is that the Scriptures point out more about commitment and personal sacrifice than a “shopping flyer” promoting spiritual “deals.” We get excited about the incoming blessings, but fail to identify our obligation to disperse blessings. I would never minimize who we are in Christ, but I believe the evidence of our spiritual standing is how we are affecting the lives of others. When is the last time we scanned the Scriptures in search of verses that we may have over looked, either intentionally or unintentionally? What about those Biblical salvoes that hit us between the eyes, but we glossed over them because it caused us to be uncomfortable? Do we need to be reminded that the same Holy Spirit who gave us the defined riches also gave us the defining truths? When we were new Believers, it was like Christmas and our birthday all rolled up together. Opening our Scriptural presents brought unparalleled excitement. The problem is that many Believers stayed in that environment. There was no maturing, just the enjoying of the “presents” with no thought of sharing with the others. We all know kids that are spoiled. They always want something. Everything is about them. Sadly, that has become a picture of some Christians today. They think everything is around them. They want the blessings, but have a hard time being a blessing. They want to be “slain in the spirit,” instead of being alive in the spirit. The reason the church is having a hard time being The Church is because of ignorance of Scripture. Jesus’ teaching on the Vine and branches (John 15: 1-8) has been tampered with to the degree that it has been misrepresented and even “burglarized.” Verse 7 has been a favorite of the “selfianity” group. They claim that verse gives them the right to ask whatever they want and it will be done for them. Those who have taken this approach have found themselves scrambling to explain why it has not always worked. In the Gospels it is important to understand the setting and who is involved in the exchanges. In the case of the Vine and Branches, Jesus is talking to His chosen men who are about to have the “torch” passed to them. He wants them to make sure they understand that the success of their ministry will be because of their unity with Him. They are in fact like a branch that is alive because of the vine. The more fruit they produce, the more God will trim away obstacles in their lives so they will produce even greater results. If they fail to be fruitful, God will remove them from their positional authority. Jesus used branches and their effects as a metaphor to their lives. Abide in Him, grow by Him, reproduce through Him, otherwise; they will become as useless as a dead branch. Jesus told them they were clean through the Word given to them. In other words the branches were ready to produce. All that was lacking was the Holy Spirit which would indwell them after Jesus ascended into Heaven. They were given permission to ask for anything that would help them in their ongoing quest of representing the Kingdom of God. The question bids to be answered as to what is the role of the Believer when it comes to asking and receiving. I believe we can ask, but it must be in line with God’s Word. Our asking is never for personal edification but for the glory of God to be issued through us. There are many other Scriptures that deal with asking and receiving. But all must be taken in the setting in which it is expressed. It is by abiding in Jesus and His Word that brings validity to our asking.
  13. 2 points
    Do you know Him? I am not asking if you are a member of a certain church, for when you accepted Christ as your Savior you automatically became a member of The Church. I am not asking if you read your Bible or pray daily. What I am asking is do you really know Whom you are reading about and to Whom you are petitioning and making requests? I believe we are so hung up with blessings that we fail to know the Blessed One. We examine the Scriptures in search of something that will elevate ourselves to the point of human contentment. Jesus exposed the Pharisees’ arrogance by exposing their flawed knowledge of the Scripture. They were claiming to know Scripture, but their understanding fell short. (John 5:38, 39) Instead of “deep word diving” in search of the benefits of Kingdom citizenship, let us pursue a relationship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Many seek healing, financial deliverance, and materialistic prosperity in lieu of fellowship with their Creator. Positional rank seems to be a desire that many pursue in order to exhibit their spirituality. You may be a board member, worship leader (?), teacher, or even a pastor, but the real question is do you know Him? On one of Jesus’ last trips to Jerusalem, He looked out over the city and said, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37 NKJV) I believe God wants the same relationship with His people today, but Believers are so wrapped up in religion that they fail to respond to His invitation. Do you know Him? We rejoice over our forgiveness, but lack relationship with our Forgiver. We rejoice over our redemption, but lack true relationship with our Redeemer. There are religious tools that are promoted to help those increase their spiritual repertoire, but there are so few publications on how to establish a personal relationship with God. Books and recordings produce millions of dollars of profit to the agents of monetary growth who are more interested in popular acceptance than in Biblical truth. Many pursue their faith in quest of personal edification, rather than pursing “less of me and more of Him.” Do you know Him? When we set our desires on Him instead of ourselves, we will grow into the likeness of Him, rather than a “new creation” fashioned after self-centeredness. It is not a question of what I can get out of the Kingdom of God, but rather how can I contribute to the Kingdom? It is not how much money I can reap by my financial sowing, but how much can I give so others can reap the benefits. Do you know Him? When is the last time we just worshiped God? When is the last time we laid aside our personal prayer requests and just “set your (our) affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) Let me paraphrase, “Let us set our desires on Him and not on our own wants.” Some of the greatest times on my spiritual journey have been the times I just reflected on God and His love for me. The more time we spend in fellowship with Him, the more we will understand what Jesus meant when He said He came that we might have an abundant life. (John 10:10) Do we really know Him or do we just have knowledge of who He is? Let us put aside our religious rhetoric and learn to fellowship with our Heavenly Father. Let us appreciate Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Let us learn what walking with God is all about. When we do, our spirits will transcend our minds and will bring spiritual satisfaction as never before. Do you know Him?
  14. 2 points
    Contrary to popular thought, we were not meant to live the Kingdom Life alone. We are the "Body" of Christ. Different personalities, different giftings, diverse administration of those giftings, but the same Spirit works in us - the Holy Spirit. We cannot operate apart from one another. You have what I lack and need - I need you in order to survive. I may be your answer to prayer, your next miracle - you need me in order to survive. It is God's will that every need be supplied, but not apart from the Body and certainly not apart from HIM. In trials and tribulation and testing, don't leave the fellowship of believers; don't isolate yourself, God has often placed the answer, the miracle, the sign, the Word of knowledge, the wisdom you seek, the comfort you need within the Body of Christ. The enemy would love to divide and conquer. If we cannot be together geographically, cling together in prayer. I need you to survive, i need you to make it, I need your testimony ... and you need me--- 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[c] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
  15. 1 point
    Give control complete control of your tongue. In this way He will help you speak worlds of life!
  16. 1 point
    So much of Christianity seems to center around benefits that can be discovered from Biblical exploration. The boundary between the spiritual and carnal has basically disappeared. Materialism has become a part of the Gospel. Many Christian leaders have made bold statements that Jesus spoke more about money than any other subject. If that is in fact true, His emphasis was not on receiving, but on giving. He did not emphasize supporting the local Synagogue or keeping the Temple and its rulers in a position of financial grandeur, but in fulfilling the needs of individuals. The taxing system was a combination of Roman and Religious taxation. The money collected by the Roman Government went to sustaining their occupying army, while the “religious” tax went to keeping the Temple a place of opulence as well as filling the money pouches of the “spiritual” leaders. The thread of ascetic ambiance and leadership prosperity has continued throughout the centuries. Instead of taxation, the Old Testament concept of tithing has become the source of financial stability. Much of the tithing today is going to the local church to sustain the building complex as well as paying for the pastor and his supporting staff. Since the beginning of Scriptural knowledge man has attempted to interpret the Bible’s content according to the “progressive” changes of the church. One of the biggest obstacles to spiritual growth, both spiritually and physically is failing to understand Biblical Truth. Almost every generation has taken liberties in interpreting Scripture. The Rapture Theory was introduced around the turn of the 20th century. The Prosperity Gospel appeared in the mid-20th century. There are many other examples of misinterpreted truth that have been introduced to the Body of Christ. As time evolves more new doctrines are appearing. One day a man requested that Jesus settle a dispute he was having with his brother. The problem was that his sibling would not give him his share of the inheritance. Jesus responded with a simple rebuke, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” (Luke 12:14) This exchange gives an insight into how Jesus looked on the subject of money. He pointed out how greed can rob one of the things that really matters in life. He shared how a man built bigger barns to hold his “fruitful” bounty, but the problem was that his life would not outlast his possessions. (Luke 12: 16-20) Jesus emphasized that it was not the things that one acquires that secures life, but faith that God will take care of them. He went so far as to even encourage people to sell what they had, and give it to the poor (alms). (Luke 12:35) Jesus emphasized that it is not self-dependence, rather God dependence. It is not a reliance on money, but Faith that God will supply the things that are necessary in life. Today, people have attached money to the Gospel message and as a result, the world only sees and hears the church continually asking for money. A good test of one’s spiritual walk is how little money plays in his thoughts and actions. Jesus leaves us with a simple thought, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)
  17. 1 point
    Our Lord is the only one who truly can satisfy all the longings of your heart. Therefor let the Lord and only the Lord be your contentment.
  18. 1 point
    WHY AT GOLGOTHA? by Teddy L. Desta “Carrying His own cross, He went out to The place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on each side, with Jesus in the middle. ” John 19: 17-18 They crucified Jesus at a place called Golgotha (in Hebrew) or Calvary (in Latin). The translation of the name means the Skull. Then we have to ask: Why did God choose this place with a strange shape, and therefore with a strange name? It cannot be a mere accident or coincidence that the place be called the Skull to reverse the fall of mankind. If not by accident or coincidence, then what is the reason for God to choose, of all places, a place called the Skull for the greatest event in human history? Back to Eden From the beginning, God planned that man should always live in His presence, always listening to His voice and responding to His commands. But as we read in Genesis chapter 3, the first man, Adam, disobeyed God’s commandment by virtually seeking an independent life free from God’s voice. When Adam, deceived by the devil, ate the fruit from the forbidden tree of the knowledge-of-good-and-evil, he became wise-in-his-own-eyes. The consequence of Adam’s disobedience was severe. Because of Adam’s original sin of rebellion, God cursed the earth. God banished Adam from His presence, kicking him out of the Garden of Eden. The earth fell under God’s curse. Man became alienated being on earth. Satan, instead of man, became the ruler of this world. Sin, sickness, decay, and death became the new normal on earth. Worse still Adam’s disobedience introduced a sin-nature into the human race. Mankind is born with the perpetual inclination to rebel against the will of God, with the bent to choose the evil over the good. The sin-nature became the source of strife among the human family and the cause of the wrath of God on wicked communities. Adam’s choice to be wise in-his-own-eyes became mankind’s undoing. Forward to the Future The good news in the midst of the gloom-and-doom of the fall is that same day God has made a promise of redemption. God’s promise, as progressively revealed, was designed to undo the sin-nature to restore mankind back to Himself. Keeping the promise, in the fullness of time, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world (Gal. 4:4). Jesus, through a life of total obedience and submission to the will of God, was sent to achieve the complete antidote to Adam’s disobedience and its dire consequences. God sent Jesus to pay fully for the original sin of Adam (i.e., atonement), to take out the sin nature from man’s heart (i.e., sanctification), to remove the curse from the earth (i.e., restoration), and to bring mankind into full fellowship with God (i.e., infill with the Holy Spirit). Discerning God’s way to achieve these goals holds the key to understanding the mystical meaning of the cross and Golgotha. Unlike Adam’s choice of autonomy, Jesus’ life was the opposite. Total surrender and submission to the will of God marked Jesus’ life. It became God’s will if by one man’s (namely, Adam’s) disobedience sin, death, and pain entered the world, that the obedience of another man (namely, Jesus Christ) provide the antidote for their removal from the world (Rom. 5:19). That God will defeat the devil at its own game, made Jesus’ life, starting from His birth in a manager total surrender and submission to mark to His death on a rugged cross to God’s will. “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil 2: 7-8 It is clear now that God’s design was to defeat the devil by his own devices. Jesus took it back from the devil living a life of full surrender and obedience to the will of God. The Cross on Golgotha As the ultimate sign of His total surrender to His Father’s will, Jesus embraced death by crucifixion. To do the will of God, Jesus showed a readiness to be spat upon, flogged, stripped naked, and nailed to a rugged cross. Jesus did not defend Himself in the face of blatant lies. He refused under intense provocations to vindicate Himself. He remained on display—naked—on the cross, while the citizens of Jerusalem looked at Him the full day. Because of the manner of His death, according to their customs, the Jews considered Him cursed of God and the Romans as one of the worst criminals they have to deal with. The place where God made His Son to die, Golgotha (also known in Latin as Calvary), is not accidental. The name means the skull, and as the result it carries a deep spiritual meaning. This name God purposefully selected to underline the original sin, the sin of rebellion against the will of God, and what it takes to reverse the fall from grace and restore humanity to full fellowship with Himself. To atone for original sin and to achieve the total reversal of its consequences, Jesus surrendered His will by agreeing to go the path of crucifixion, to die on a hill called, the Skull. That day, Jesus, metaphorically, became the Skull as He emptied Himself of the self. In submitting to a humiliating and agonizing death on the cross, Jesus has to empty His mind of the self-centered mindset, as He has to get rid off of rationality, self-preservation, and self-respect, etc. By emptying His head, Jesus, hence, became a skull of sorts in the eyes of his enemies and friends. When, thus, Jesus let God’s will take over completely in His life, He passed the test of obedience to God’s will. To reverse the original sin of Adam, which is disobedience, we see Jesus accepting God’s will, how bitter and painful it might have been. Calvary became the place where Jesus, by totally surrendering His will to the Father’s will, reversed the Fall. At Calvary, God dethroned the self and enthroned the Holy Spirit in the heart of man. Jesus’ through an act of obedience that led to His death, He opened the way for the Holy Spirit to come and indwell the heart of man. Jesus atoned for the original sin, satisfying the demands of a just God. His death provided a remedy for the sin-nature, providing full access to Grace that will help people to live a holy and surrendered life. The devil ensnared Adam presenting him with the Lie, making him disobey God. God used Jesus to reclaim for humanity which the devil has stolen. But Jesus’ life was also a pattern for others to follow. Jesus Our Pattern Jesus’ life was also an exemplar for total submission and obedience to God’s voice and Word. Jesus has now made possible the way back to the full presence of God which Adam had lost for his progeny. Jesus’ life on earth set a pattern how to live a surrendered life that is pleasing to God. For example, Jesus followed only what He saw His father in Heaven was doing (Jn. 5:19). To do the Father’s will was His sole pleasure (Jn. 32-34). Jesus, through His life of total surrender and submission, reversed not only the Fall but also created a pattern of life for the children of God to emulate and follow (Phil 2:5, Heb 12;1-2, 1 Pet 2:21). Hence, the Spirit of God will say to us. It is this pattern of the life of utter surrender and obedience to the will of God that the Holy Spirit emphasizes today, saying: My people, in your day, I AM also looking for those who willingly will go the road of the SKULL. I AM looking for an Isaiah who said “Yes” to My order. He walked naked and bare-footed for three years to obey My voice. He despised the shame for the sake of His God. I AM looking for a Hosea who obeying My Voice married a woman of no-repute. He allowed Me to prophecy to Israel through his act. He was ready to be counted among the transgressors for My sake. I AM looking for a Jeremiah who said "Yes" to wear a yoke of iron for many days before My people. He was ready, obeying My voice, to buy some real estate when all round him was only war and terror. He was prepared to be called an idiot for My sake. I AM looking for an Ezekiel who was ready to lay at the public square for more than a year, starving himself by eating the ration of famine. He did not shy away from the shame of being called a lunatic for My sake. I AM looking someone like the Virgin from Nazareth. Mary let her LORD to form the Messiah in her womb. She shunned death by stoning when she said “Yes” to her God. She was not ashamed or afraid to stand by the cross of her Son. From the outset she allowed the Sword of God to cleave her heart. She negated her will for My will. Today, I AM looking for servants who will gladly embrace the shame and the rejection of their age for My sake. Yes, I AM looking for those who will go for Me all the way to the place of the SKULL. Yes, I AM looking for those who for the joy set before them will despise the shame and carry their cross outside the gate. To them I will give an imperishable name. To these shall belong the glory and the power of the kingdom—forever. “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded (=head-less) for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev 20: 4 Wanted: A HEAD-LESS GENERATION. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx PTL (2005)
  19. 1 point
    At the time, I didn't know it was the Cross, At the time, I didn't know it was the Cross, That the Lamb was made a curse, Took our punishment on earth. At the time, I didn't know it was the Cross. Over time, I heard the message of the Cross, Over time, I heart the message of the Cross, From the preaching of the Word Where holy people lived sincere. Over time, I heard the message of the Cross. Then one time, they pled, "The sinner's prayer repeat!" Then one time, they pled, "The sinner's prayer repeat!" Although it came from simple folk, I saw and heard what God's heart spoke, When one time they pled, "The sinner's prayer repeat!" In Time of times, the Son of Man will make His call, In Time of times, the Son of Man will make His call, 'Cause the trumpet shall announce 'Come up hither!", to the clouds.* In Time of times, the Son of Man will make His call. In these times, can we look back to the Cross? In these times, can we look back to the Cross? I-sai-ah so prophesied** The Son's Sacrifice is life. In these times, can we look back to the Cross? _______ *1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 11:12 **I wrote this as a folk song and used the British pronunciation for Isaiah ("Eye-zeye-ah"). See Isaiah 53
  20. 1 point
    God's word is infallible! Nothing pertaining to God will ever be proven false.
  21. 1 point
    Praise God for His immeasurable grace. If His grace could be ever counted, we would have no hope in our life. His great loving kindness cannot ever be matched!
  22. 1 point
    Lord, You had nowhere to lay Your head? These days, we covet those open-air beds, Where You relied on the softness of Abba And His peace as a pillow to drift off on. Lord, You sometimes had to flee elbows pushing on You. These days, we long for the unmasked skin, too, For when greetings once embraced life, And we shared the same air without worry or strife. Spirit of God, continue to blow where You will. We invite You for knowledge, and now more than ever for feel. These days, confined by Caesar, We're more constrained to squeeze each moment for where You are.
  23. 1 point
    Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him! But.... I hear that book end too many times. ... if God is love, why would he condemn anyone? Answer: Love without justice is not real love. It's a mockery. ... If God really wanted everyone to be saved, couldn't He just make it so? Answer: Love without choice is not real love. It's mechanistic. God didn't create robots. ... Why can't there be more than one way to heaven? Answer: Truth is not subjective! I will die one day. That is a fact I cannot change just because I want to. ... Doesn't God just want me to be happy? Answer: Happiness is a fleeting feeling. Happiness is too shallow. Your purpose is much deeper than that. ... what about those who don't get a chance to hear about God or those who don't have the capacity to choose: like the mentally ill and really young children and babies? There's the biggest one, right there. What about someone who has never heard of Jesus? What about stillborns? Are they going to hell because they never had a chance to hear about Jesus? Oh, ye of little faith! Don't you think God, in His great wisdom, doesn't know innocence from guilt? The Bible actually says that God's foolishness is wiser than our wisest! I love that! Just think, God can be foolish sometimes. And His level of foolishness makes our wisest moments look like child scribbles! He alone knows the heart of all men. Women and children are included in that. Truly it is a matter between God and each person individually, but for the sake of answering the concern, here are some Bible verses that touch on the subject. Romans 1:18-23 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. A few notes on this passage - 1) God's existence is self-evident. (2) It should be emphasized that this passage is talking about people who "knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him". There are actually a few historical examples I can point to of this point. In the midst of Roman polytheistic mythology and Emperor worship, one Roman Emperor rose up who believed there was only one true God. Coincidence? I don't think so. Another example. In America, before the Europeans came, the Aztecs religion called for human sacrifices. Then one emperor rose up that claimed there was only one true God and did away with human sacrifice. Coincidence? I think not. Montezuma, this man's son, killed his father and brought back the old religion and the human sacrifice. It is reported his son brought the old religion back and that it was worse than before. Then the Conquistador's came and wiped them out. Coincidence? I think not. But Romans 1:18-23 is not the only passage that sheds light on this subject. I do not believe the answer is no one is innocent. I believe ignorant innocence IS possible. John 15:22 - If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. John 9:41 - Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." Twice in the book of John, Jesus says that, in essence, if you were ignorant of your sin, you would not be found guilty. So... the truly innocent... only God knows. But there is room for forgiveness for those who truly are innocent in their ignorance. That certainly includes stillborns, mentally ill, children too young to understand, and those who have not heard the name of Jesus. Yet again, I say, Only God knows who is truly innocent. What we must do is learn to trust His judgement. For He is trustworthy! The only one who is trustworthy! Will you trust Him today?
  24. 1 point
    I wish to preface this, I am by no means against public schools! I taught at public schools for years. They do a LOT of good. At the same time, I think people should be aware of some of the things going on in public schools. These are not universal, but they are trends. Please be warned. I truly do believe any child can successfully navigate public school, but without parental guidance, it is becoming much more difficult to do so while keeping a biblical mindset. If you child goes to public school, chances are... If your child goes to public school, chances are they will have some great teachers, but... If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught that they cannot pray, even privately, in school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be told they cannot talk about their faith while at school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught that they can choose to be a boy or a girl as early as Pre-K If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be taught sex-education (with detailed images) as early as 7th grade. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will be almost expected to be sexually active by the time they have finished their first year of high school. If your child goes to public school, chances are they will have at least one or two teachers who fit under "those who can't, teach." If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not teach how to write in cursive. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to teach spelling. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to use the dictionary anymore. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to have students learn words through context and drawing pictures. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to have students memorize times tables. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to allow students to use calculators for everything. if your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged not to have students memorize historical dates or events. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teachers will be encouraged to grade on a curve. If your child goes to public school, chances are their teacher will be encouraged to pass everyone, regardless. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school is considering going to pass/fail for all its classes. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school is considering banning homework. If your child goes to public school, chances are that school focuses on statistical perception over intimate need. If your child goes to public school, chances are they have been told they are "no good" at a subject by at least one teacher. If your child goes to public school, chances are they have reported bullying at least once and nothing came of it. If your child goes to public school, chances are they know/heard someone who was offered, is offering, or has used drugs to/as a students. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum highlights the "bad" history of America. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum revises/hides America's "Christian" history/heritage. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum teaches the origin of life through the lens of Evolution. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum forbids teaching of any form of Creationism or Intelligent Design. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will include books with sexually explicit sections. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will include all other religions, except perhaps Christianity. If your child goes to public school, chances are the curriculum will change within every two-six years. If your child goes to public school, chances are the school is more focused upon perception than education. These have all been real-life examples from when I have been a teacher. I've taught at many different schools, urban, suburban, rural, diverse, low-income, high-income, high school, middle school - all over the state of Kansas, from Topeka to Liberal and places in-between. Not all of them have been implemented in the schools that I taught, but there was high talk of it and the general consensus of where education was going was heading in that direction. A lot of these are patterns from "pattern-setting states" such as California and New York - in the realm of education. Examples of personal stories that relate - I had a principal come in to my classroom one day, angry after some of my students failed a test, and informed me, verbatim - "You are teaching middle school math, not elementary math. If they do not know how to multiply and divide by now, they aren't going to. Give them calculators!" I once taught in a severe autism room, and I worked with a mute child on the alphabet. Within two weeks, I had him making 20 different sounds of the alphabet where before he could only grunt, cry, and scream. I learned that the doctors had long ago told his family he would never learn to speak, so no one had tried. I was told that since he was a 6th grader, he was too old to learn how to speak and I couldn't work with him on it any more. At one school I was told to ignore the official policy for loud/belligerent students, not to send them to the office and not to write them up because it looked bad for the school in the eyes of the district. I then was told I was the problem, not the students, and that I needed to fix things. Every year, almost every class, I have had at least one student come up to me and tell me that another teacher, either that year, but mostly years ago, had told him/her that he/she was "stupid", "slow" or "no good and never will be" in a certain subject (usually math). Likewise, every year, almost every class, I had at least one student come to me about a bullying issue and tell me he/she did not trust the administration because nothing had been done about bullying in the past. When I was in school for education, a teacher asked our class why we wanted to be teachers, almost half of the soon-to-be-teachers answered something akin to - "nothing better to do." A few years back, I read an article praising a district in California who, it was for elementary school, informed their teachers they would be grading upon social abilities over cognitive abilities. So if Suzy and Joe worked together and said that 2+2=7, they could not be docked as wrong, as long as they got along well together. Please don't take this wrong, there are a great number of amazing teachers in our public school system! In fact, I would say 99.9% of them are great. I always had great coworkers working with me. I also had great administrators who truly care for the students (though that was sometimes hit and miss for me...). There are a great number of great students with amazingly smart heads on their shoulders coming out of our public school system. This is more of a warning, a "beware!" this is out there, and I'm afraid it's a growing trend.
  25. 1 point
    Your Heavenly Father wants complete control of your life. So let go of everything that ails you at Jesus feet with confidence that He is in control of all of your life. Your Heavenly Father longs so much for you to walk in peace and rest. "So what's stopping You?"
  26. 1 point
    God is Love and with His love in our life. We are complete.
  27. 1 point
    The Promises of God stand forever. He is fully commited to you. The allegiance of man is temporary, but the faithfulness of the Lord never fails!
  28. 1 point
    True wisdom and understanding can only be from God. He desires to give it to us all. Praise God.
  29. 1 point
    "You say, I say" by TLD #1. You say that your God has made your life the darkest, the bleakest. You tell me how much your friends enjoy the outside, the sun-shine, and the limelight. You complain as if I have singled you out for the life of the shadows, of isolation. You say your life is of endless sorrow and deprivation. You decry what you have lost over the years; you continuously lament what you've lost by while I have confined you to a life of the dark places, to a life of solitude. But I say, see and take your lesson from the photographer. When he intends to take an accurate and good picture, he spends a very long time focusing and arranging. He tries to focus accurately. He wants to ensure that the light exposure will result in the darkest negative he can get. Because he knows that the darker the negative, the sharper the picture will be. Next, the photographer spends long hours in his dark-room, taking time processing and developing the negative. He will work long hours to get a beautiful, crisp picture that will impress and astound all those who see the picture. Likewise, I AM the Divine photographer. I AM taking your picture; I AM focusing and arranging you in various positions and situations. I AM taking My time in developing your image in My darkroom. Since I have decided to impress My Image on you; but it will take Me a quite long time to fully form and develop. Yes, I have made your life the darkest. Yes, I have subjected you to unexpected positions and put you in hard situations. You have been long sitting in the darkest surroundings while only My Light has been allowed to shine on you. Because I want to form the sharpest and most clear Image of My Face formed in you -- because I want a stunning copy of Me to emerge out of you -- I have kept you in My darkroom for a long time. Yes, I have subjected you to an exacting process because I do not want My Image to appear with any flaw or blemish. But know this – a time will come when I will release My Image into the world and the whole world will wonder from the excellent work I have done in you. They will see Me in you as I've impressed my Image on you. So, this life you lament, it is but a Divine photography in the process. I AM developing you. Just wait until the glorious day I release my express image through you (Heb. 1: 1-2). #2. You say that your life is full of tension, knowing no relief, no relaxation. You complain that you are stretched to the limit, to a breaking point beyond what you can endure or withstand. You cry day and night, saying that you are much drawn backward and have made little progress. You complain that you are made to wait for too long and never delivered. But I say to you, see and take your lesson from the archer. Study his skills, how he handicrafts his bow diligently. Study how he carefully selects and forges his arrows. Does not he select the tree branch that will give him the best bow and arrows? Does he not spend a long time to shape his instrument of war? Does not he forge his arrows to ensure strength, flexibility? Will not he craft them so that they will never veer off course once he shoots them? Even when he is ready to shoot, does the archer rush himself and shoot, or does he take his time to aim? Does he not pull the bow back to the limit when he wants the arrow to go furthest? Does he not spend a long time aiming, measuring with his eyes? Does the archer want to waste any arrow he worked on for so long being be quick with his aim? Would he shoot before he makes sure that he will the target on the bull's eye? (Psalm 45). I, your God, is a master-archer. I carefully select the branch I can craft into My arrow. It takes Me time to forge My arrows --- the sharp ones, the strong ones, the resilient ones. Bear with Me as I prepare you as My arrow. Remain quiet under My hand. I’ve planned to use you for My long-range no-miss purpose. I want to deploy you as My deadly weapon against the enemy. I know for you to be drawn backward for so long is painful. To be taut and in tension for so much is testing. To be waiting patiently to be released is daunting. Still, allow Me to draw and aim you, taking My time with you. I will draw My bow carefully and patiently. I AM determined to take down the enemy with just one shot. Remain assured, once I have released you from My bow, you will fly straight to the target. You will never veer off-course. You will never waste my aim, My plan. The world will see how My Arrow will pierce the Darkness and shatter the enemy's backbone. The world will give Me praise because of you. They will sing for My Name, saying: What a master-archer our God is! (Zech. 9.13). #3. You say that I have been digging deep in your life. You say that I have removed much from your life, beyond your endurance. You say, "God is relentless. He never takes a break in hollowing out my life." You ask: Why is God turning my life into a hollow, a dug-up place? Why turn it into an abyss so deep that is even hard to see the bottom? But your God says: Go My child and take your lesson from the construction man. Look and learn from his practice. When he plans to erect a magnificent building: a building that rises high, can stand tremors and surging winds, and a building that can endure for years he digs deep to get a strong foundation. Does he not know and understand that a building is only as strong as the depth of its foundation? He spends much time on the foundation. Likewise, I have to dig deep and wide in your life for many years for a good reason. First, I must take out all the debris and rubbish that have filled your life. I cannot start to build before I get to the rock-bottom of your life. It is only from a solid rock foundation that I can raise My New Temple in your life. The new foundation I lay in your life, it must be solid and stable. The pillars and columns of My Temple must go deep into the ground; I intend them to be enduring. This Temple I AM building, no whirlwind, no storm should overthrow. This Temple My hand is fashioning, the gates of hell cannot prevail over. When the earth shakes under it, the storms pour over it, the tornadoes whirl by it, or the fires rage wildly around it, My Temple will stand unscathed. This is what I AM up to do in your life. When I hollow you, excavate you, and make a deep hole in your soul, know that I AM up to something grand and enduring in your life. I AM building my high-rise temple in you; a temple with solid foundations; a temple of immense grandeur that will astound and attract the world seeking My face. (1 Kgs. 5 –7; Is. 2:1-4) #4. You tell me that I have made you the last of your fellows, that I have made you the man at the bottom of the heap. You say that you’re always the last person in the line, the hind-most part of the march of life. You say everyone is ahead of you, that you are the last and the least. You say that I have placed you there because I do not love you. You say that I don’t want the honor to be any part of your life. But I say to learn this lesson from the drill grounds. Look how the drill-master gives the command to his cadets to march, everyone starts moving forward in rhythm. Those who are in the front line will lead the pack; those in the last will bring up the rear. They move in perfect order, in cadence. But when the first row reaches a marked point, the drill-master gives the order, “Turn! Right About, March!” Then everyone turns around, facing the opposite direction and starts marching back to the place where they have started. Look! Now the last row becomes the leading row; the first row, now brings up the rear. Note how roles and places have changed once the marchers have reached a certain point. Note how places reversed once the commander gives his order. Like this drillmaster, so do I. I, your God, am the Lord of Hosts. As Commander in Chief, I have My march formation on earth. Out of My free will, I have determined who is in the first, middle, and last lines of the march. I had decided that the children of this world should lead the pack. The march of humanity, its progress, and advancement, for so many years now, have been under their leadership. At the same time, I have let My chosen ones to be at the rear, at the tail end of the march. My Children's place has not been a place of esteem. They have been the last and the least. But now look, the march of humanity has finally reached its destination, My marked point. Humanity's march has moved so far away from Me. Soon, I will utter My command and it will resound over the whole earth: “Right About Turn, March!” Then the last will be first, and the first will be last. You who have been at end of the march, being relegated to the back; you who have been complaining to have been left at the rear, now it will be your turn to lead the procession in the opposite direction. You will be at the head of the mankind's procession, the parade back to God. In full glory – heads up and chests pushed out – as people cheer and clap in your honor – you will lead humanity back to Me. As you carry the Return Flag at the head of the troops, in that day, you will sing for joy, saying, “truly God has kept the best for the last.” (Is 60:22; Matt. 20: 16; 1 Cor. 1: 26 – 30; 4: 8 – 13; Jn. 2:10 - 11) #5. You say I AM always depreciating your value. You complain you are always going down and never up. You cry, why does God discount me? Why does He let me vanish into insignificance, into oblivion? Why should I be reduced into a zero? I say, My son, learn My lesson. Go to NASA and learn from them. Inspect how they count to launch the rocket that will reach outer space. Before the launch, do not count down, starting from 10 to zero? The countdown, is it to send the rocket underground, or to prepare it for launch to the heavens? To the unlearned, such a countdown to launch a rocket does not make sense; does it? Only to the learned and the knowledgeable that such a countdown builds the excitement and the anticipation for the rapture of the rocket from the launchpad. Therefore, I say to you take your cue from NASA. Be understanding of the wisdom of My countdown which has gone in your life for so many years. Yes, I AM counting you down to zero. But I must take you down to nothingness before I make you lift off in a blaze of glory, the fire of My glory coming out of all your sides. Be patient with Me as I count you down; I will yet lift you in the sight of all the world. (Is. 52:13) #6. You tell me that your life does not make any sense. You say it is hard to make heads or tails of your life. You say that to you and others your life reads as nonsense; no one able to discern meaning or rhyme in it. You tell me how some wonder if you are in your right mind to lead such a life. I want you to understand this lesson from the languages. Some scripts read from left to right, others right to left, and still others write and read up and down. If you try to read some script written from left-to-right in a right-to-left direction, it will read gibberish. Because you do not read the script, you may throw away an exquisite poem as some rubbish. You stumble and make a mistake because of your assumptions. You think every language is written in the same direction, including My Heavenly language. Your mindset does not allow for variations in life writing. You do not allow for mystery, for strange coding. But I have written and coded your life the Heavenly way. Nobody can read My handwriting unless He humbles himself before Me. Then I will enlighten his mind and give him My key, My codebook. My son this gibberish, this nonsense, this absurdity you say your life is, it is the most meaningful and the most purposeful life in My sight. I want you to understand and read your life from My perspective and not from the human side. You are My poem. I have written to you using My unique script. (Eph. 2:10) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx PTL 02/14/09 © TLD, 2017 - 2025. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Teddy L. Desta and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
  30. 1 point
    Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for they have done.
  31. 1 point
    The subject of sickness and infirmities has continued to affect the Christian community. Conjectures, theories, and opinions abound with biased rhetoric. The people who are most affected by this subject are usually those who are suffering from the physical challenges in their lives. Those who are relatively healthy tend to express their opinions, based not on Biblical understanding, but on their own comfort zone. Over the years, I have heard the “pain free” people judge the suffering individuals with a callousness that has caused the afflicted to suffer even more pain. I know that the initiators of verbal assistance mean the right thing, but many times they have caused more damage than resolve. To question why a person has not been healed is to elevate themselves to the position of an interpreter of God’s will. Before we release our tongue, let us make sure what is behind our motive. Are we motivated by Grace and love or are we Christian Pharisees that try to defend our interpretation of the Scriptures without having compassion. The Bible tells us of a man named Trophimus whom Paul had left sick at a place called Miletum. (II Timothy 4:20) The question immediately arises as to why Paul had not simply laid his hands on him and healed him. Was there sin in Trophimus’s life? Did he lack the faith to be healed? Was he possessed with a demon? Was he a true Believer? Was he in a backslidden condition? Was his prayer life almost nonexistent? Was he hanging around with the wrong crowd? Was he missing worship gatherings? Had he failed to call on the elders? Had he failed to have hands laid on him? Was he anointed with oil? We don’t know much about Trophimus’s life, but we know he was a part of Paul’s missionary team. (Acts 20:4) He also had accompanied Paul to Jerusalem where he was misidentified as being in the Temple. (Acts 21:29) I doubt any true Biblicist would find any of the above questions that would fit Trophimus! I have found many wonderful, faith filled, God trusting, Jesus praising, Holy Spirit guided individuals who have entered the dimension of suffering. They have done everything Biblically required of them, yet their healing has not become a reality. What I have seen in these individuals is their unfailing love of Jesus. When I see their relationship with their Lord, it almost generates jealousy within me. They see more of Heaven than they do of earth. I believe that many sufferers are also drawn closer to Jesus because other Believers fail to bring the comfort they so dearly need. I am not about to give a dissertation as to why God-loving saints are not healed. All I know is that we are called upon to read and follow His Word. If we have done our part in achieving healing, the rest is up to God. Some of the greatest joys in life are experienced through fellowship with those experiencing life-challenging situations. You will be surprised how much you will learn and experience through the one who is suffering with a rebellious body. There is no faking their Faith, for they are living the Faith. The next time you have the courage to visit a “suffering servant” do not monopolize the conversation, but listen, for you may hear God speaking through your friend. For those who believe that healing is the only option, please be tolerant and understanding. Every Believer is answerable to the Lord and will have to give account for their spiritual walk. If you have achieved healing, rejoice! If another has not received healing, be supportive. We must never judge, for we never know all the facts. Jesus heals, but we must acknowledge there are people today like Trophimus, Epaphroditus, (Philippians 2:25-30) and Paul. (II Corinthians 12:7-10) May God grant us understanding!
  32. 1 point
    Faith can only be proven by actions. For followers of Jesus, a lack of Faith is seldom a matter of disbelief. If we can put our faith in others we surely should be putting our faith in Jesus.
  33. 1 point
    “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven; a great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” Said Spurgeon, once. Faith and belief seemed to be very common vocabularies among believers and unbelievers alike now a days. Even my five-year-old, stomps her feet and asserts she believes, ……. There are many beliefs and presuppositions in our world, like never before. Any strange search might bring up couple of results in our search engines. Any absurd arguments, any crazy doctrine, you will find few people supporting it. However, I like to talk about this seemingly insignificant incident with a very significant message. Bible says, “many believed in His name” that is great, is in it! Wait, read on, “when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them” My dear believer friend, you might have faith, faith in Christ’s name, but don’t be fooled, you might have faith in Him for wrong reasons. I am not here arguing, where those supposedly believers got saved or not? Let me refrain entirely from that topic as I am not a theologian, even if were, I would still not discuss it as the real confirmation of if someone “saved or not?” is not up to us to discuss. Let’s assume there were saved, but they missed something glorious, they missed Christ committing Him to them. In another translation it says, “Jesus did not trust them.” We might live trusting Christ, even trusting Him with a saving faith. But its much more for Christ to trust us, with His work. That requires believing in Him for the right reasons. You might ask, is it wrong to enjoy God’s miracle? No, not at all!! I would never underestimate the power of a miracle. We named our sweet daughter, Nesia – means “the miracle of God.” But my friend, a miracle itself shouldn’t be the basis for our faith. Our faith may be born of a miracle from God, but it should be sustained and flourished in knowing He is, and He did……. without that, our faith may not stand a chance against the well promised trials of this life. May we develop a faith like those Hebrew boys who stood strong many thousands of years ago, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 2:16-18). You came to faith because of a miracle! well and good, that is many of us, but don’t be stuck there. Christ is infinitely more than some of His miracles, my friend. We trust him, very well! but let’s review our lives and examine dose He trusts us? there lays the difference between the faith that barely takes us to heaven and the faith that brings down heaven into our midst here and now, and of course forever.
  34. 1 point
    Many might cringe reading this verse “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Many with unbeliever as a family member, friends, even spouse might quickly circumvent this verse. But, let me take a minute and dwell here, I, even I, with the mother, sisters, brother, and friends who are unbelievers. For a long time I read it quickly to spare dwelling on my “unfortune” of spending most of my time among unbelievers, and then I read this verse “ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Matthew 11:20). He didn’t seem to be intimidated by this title “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” why should I cringe at holding the same? Before you skeptics roar saying, “See, there is a biblical inconsistency.” Let me present my point. Every time I read this word “yoke” in bible, those childhood memories of intriguingly watching bulls pulling a stunning bullock cart in one of the Indian cities, comes to mind. That is exactly what it means to be yoked, to pull the weight together. United so close, for one purpose, one destiny, and share every single value. I am sure Christ was not yoked with sinners, but He was a friend of sinners. It might seem like a word play but there indeed a vast area between these two. Except in marriage, no other relationship really mandates one purpose, one destiny, one faith, one belief, essentially yoked. So, my christian friends, if you are known as a friend of sinners (unbelievers), rest assured your Savior held the same title. But be very careful, not to be unintentionally yoked with them. If you pretend, compromise, balance, your christian value for just being united, it is then you got yoked, and that! Paul condemns. He asks heatedly, “what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” And I will answer, “Nothing, absolutely nothing.” Yet, Righteousness saves the wicked, Light dispels darkness, Christ won belial, We carry Christ to unbelievers. And my friend that requires connection, love, sensitivity, even friendship. “Not for yourself, O church, do you exist, any more than Christ existed for himself.” Said once, a Prince of Preachers. Now reason, how do we exist to bring some to the saving knowledge, when everyone we know, already knows? So, let’s go get friends, but we better not be yoked.
  35. 1 point
    Yes he is,I can't fathom somethimes how deserving we are to him. We are so precious in his eyes.I have to just say "God is Good " I always give him thanks for all he does for ME (even) when I don't see him working. Continue to trust in him and he will direct your paths{Psm 37;3-5}, rejoice in him always{Php 4.4}.
  36. 1 point
    The Apostle Paul was continually on the run as a result of preaching the Gospel. The strongholds of Jewish religion without the Messianic acknowledgement, as well as communities infested with false religions and heathenistic standings, were the challenges that stood before Paul. Yet time and time again, he put his life in danger to present the Gospel. After his conversion, Paul possessed zeal to present the Gospel no matter what the cost. Traveling throughout Asia Minor, Paul entered town after town with the message of forgiveness and reconciliation through Jesus the Christ. In Thessalonica, the opposition was so severe that his disciples took it upon themselves to get Paul out of the city and take him to Berea. When some of the Thessalonians heard where he had gone, they mounted a “vigilante” group and went to Berea to stir up opposition to his ministry. Paul was once again forced to leave the area and was led by some Believers to the city of Athens. Paul instructed those who had helped him escape Berea to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible. While Paul waited for the rest of his evangelistic team to join him, he became aware that Athens was a city “wholly” given to idolatry. The Bible says that “his spirit was grieved and roused to anger” (Acts 17:16 amp.) because Athens was full of idols. He planned a twofold attack against the city. First, he would dispute with the Jews in the synagogue and then evangelize in the market place. I imagine in the back of his mind, Paul was thinking of how he could engage those who promoted idol worship and progressive thought, namely, the Epicureans and Stoics. He did not have to wait long, for those philosophers sought him out and invited him to engage in lively discussions at the Areopagus, which was where the Supreme Tribunal of Athens met to exchange thoughts and new ideas. (Acts 17:18-21) To accept the invitation to address the philosophers was not motivated by the Holy Spirit, but by Paul’s own initiative. It is good to see Believers with a zeal to serve the Lord, but one must never allow that zeal to precede the Holy Spirit’s directive. There has been a lot of damage done to the Christian movement by unchecked enthusiasm. A woman told me of the time she was in the hospital facing a very difficult diagnosis when a woman from her church came to visit her and told her that it was because of sin in her life that she was experiencing her life challenging moment. Paul was not out of line by engaging the Jews and the people in the market place, but when he engaged the Epicureans and Stoics on Mars Hill, he was on their turf and under their rules. During his presentation, he did not once mention Jesus by name; instead, he referred to Him as “the man.” (Acts 17:31) After his brief dissertation, they mocked him and even urged him to come back to hear some more of his ideas. Paul never returned and, in fact, left for Corinth shortly thereafter. It is true that at least one of the Philosophers (Dioinysius), a certain lady, and a number of spectators believed what Paul was saying, but there is no telling what he could have accomplished had he stuck with presenting the Gospel to the Jews in the Synagogue and the market place. Whenever we take it upon ourselves to present the Gospel, there is the possibility that we may do more harm than good. Paul would later write to the Colossians and warn them about the dangers of philosophy. (Colossians 2:8) Let us make sure we put our zeal behind the Holy Spirit’s directive, and not just run around “casting our pearls” (Matthew 7:6) because we feel it is our Christian obligation. (Read and study Acts 17)
  37. 1 point
    One of the strongest desires that I have in life is to be part of a body of Believers that has pushed beyond the theatrics of Christian expression to a faith that has moved to a God centered experience. I have spent a great deal of time searching for that spiritual conduit in which I can travel into the presence of God by way of Biblical Faith instead of through manufactured faith. So much of our Christianity is humanly manipulated. What I mean by that is that so many of our church services center around what people want instead of what they need. People want to “feel” the presence of God to validate His presence. What about when we don’t feel His presence? It seems we are so busy entertaining ourselves that the Holy Spirit has a hard time getting involved. I have been in churches where people falsely identify emotional expressions as the moving of the Holy Spirit. I have heard sermons and teachings that were nothing more than regurgitated messages from books and recordings. I have listened to the editorializing of the Word to the point that the real Word was abused. I have entered churches in search of revelated Truth, and have left with a broken heart. I am no longer a pastor, but a simple Believer in search of “manna” in a wilderness of drought. I remember years ago, when I stepped away from the pastoral ministry, that I began to experience “withdrawal pains.” I loved to preach and teach God’s Word, but the opportunity no longer availed itself. One day, I was driving and saw a sign on a sand mound that had the name of a church on it. I could not see the church itself, for it was back in the trees. I told my wife that I would like to try it out. The next Sunday we attended that church, and the flickering embers of my dwindling fire came back to life with a vengeance. The message that was preached bypassed my mind and went right into my spirit. My heart beat so loud I wondered if those around me heard it! The pastor spoke with such an anointing that I could hardly stand when the service was over. Those next few months were the post pastoral highlights of my life. The Apostle Paul stated that the Word presented by him was not something he was taught, but rather it was by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12) This is what I long to hear from the pulpit today. If a pastor/teacher does not have a revelation from God, don’t waste the people’s time by working up a message to please the flock. (Galatians 1:10) Worship teams/song leaders need to spend time hearing what type of songs God wants. People need to get out of the way and let God be God! Spirit filled services begin from the heart, not the head. When the anointing comes upon the worship experience, you are not the initiator, but the recipient. When you leave the church service, you will not forget what happened for the rest of the week. The best way to build up a church is to “stand down” and let the Lord be lifted up! Those in leadership must remember whose church it is! If a pastor has not heard from God, “stand down” and wait on the Lord with the people. If the music is just a time filler, “stand down” and let the Holy Spirit lead the worship time. Let God arise and the people be scattered from their self centerness. I am searching for a body of Believers whose desire is to eat at the “buffet” table of God’s blessings, instead of the issued “sack lunches” which they hoped will fulfill one’s appetite. I desire to find a body of Believers that hunger and thirst after righteousness. I want to be part of a church that understands Isaiah 40:31. For those who have found such a church, I rejoice with you, for you have found where the remnant gathers!
  38. 1 point
    And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. (1 Peter 5:10 RSV) I am notorious for making New Year’s resolutions that never quite get off the ground, but which somehow manage by the grace of God to leave their mark on my body, mind, and soul. What I mean by this is that, while I neglect to carry out a disciplined, biblically-based, Church-sanctioned program of New Year’s life renewal, God, in his infinite goodness and perfect timing, allows my resolutions to unfold nonetheless over the course of the year and find their fruition through trial and painful transformation until I become a little more the man I was meant to be. This year, however, God elected to make a preemptive strike in my life by turning a little Christmas overindulgence into a full-blown medical emergency, literally knocking me off my feet and causing me to step back and reevaluate both my life choices and the attitudes that had inspired them. While I thought that my little ordeal would excuse me from my regular writing obligations, I became convicted that God was making me painfully aware of the necessity of letting his divine discipline lead to a thorough and open confession of my greatest needs and his greatest love. Light and Momentary? My Christmas started off with a wonderful Italian dinner with my wife’s family at our home. Following the appetizers, we feasted on antipasto, chicken parmigiana, stuffed shells, and desserts galore. There were quite a few trips to the glass Christmas tree filled with candy as we opened presents and shared good times. After my family left we had some friends over to play games by the fire. I remember thinking – as I always do at this time of year – that this minor bit of intemperance was only for a time, and once the New Year was upon me, I would gradually get back to the business of watching my weight, spending more time with God, and growing as a godly man. It was then that I noticed I was not feeling too well. After a night of intense abdominal pain, and a day spent going from the walk-in clinic to the Emergency Room, I found myself admitted to the hospital with an acutely inflamed gallbladder that needed to come out. I must confess that one verse that did not come to mind during my festival of unrestrained bodily agony was this beautiful passage from 2 Corinthians: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 RSV) While I tried to maintain my composure throughout the entire tribulation, I freely admit that at the time I saw my extreme discomfort as neither light nor momentary, though I was keenly aware that my outer nature was no longer what it used to be. But as I accepted the inevitability of my fate and sank under the influence of the anesthesia, I slowly began to view this divinely-enacted respite from a more eternal perspective, surrendering my control to the One who holds all things in his loving hands. Suffering, Endurance, Character, and Hope While it may seem that most of the passages in the Bible that speak of suffering relate more to persecution for the faith than to personal trials like physical distress, financial hardship, or spiritual sickness, there is a transformative nature to our pain that leads to a greater awareness of our fallen nature without Christ, our need for God’s care, and the true heavenly goal we should be seeking. Look at these words from Paul’s letter to the Romans: Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5RSV) Being knocked on one’s backside by a medical emergency is certainly not akin to the persecution that so many Christians suffer for their faith, but it does force us to fix our eyes upon the only One who can see us through our trials to our eternal end. This little temporary ordeal allowed God to refine me in the fires of pain and harsh realities, burning off my casual selfishness and my petty schemes, my self-important pride and my self-pitying attitude. I became keenly aware that life was not to be taken lightly, and that even the simple and silly lies I so often told myself were giving way to a disciplined and persevering faith that would build my character and open the doorway to hope revealed. A Message of Glory from Memories Gone By That first night home, I remember not wanting to take the prescription pain pills the doctors had given me, but was in quite a bit of discomfort and desperately needed sleep. But as I expected, within a half-hour of taking the medication, I could feel its effects on my mood. I drifted off into a very long night of strange visions, intense images, and disheartening dreams. At one point I saw my long-dead mother walking through our old house in her bathrobe, smiling at me. I ran up to her, somehow knowing she had died and wanting to spend time with her. I remember her saying to me, “You need to go out and play; don’t stay in here with me!” and I desperately tried to explain to her how life goes by all too quickly and then it is gone. I woke up with tears in my eyes, but understood the message I had received. As I meditated on the meaning of my restless sleep, my changed physical condition, and the future considerations it would demand, I thought about how fleeting is the nature of this life and the trivial temporary resolutions we make in comparison to the glory that awaits those who believe in Jesus. I thought about this verse from 1 Peter: In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7RSV) I came to realize that the “slight momentary” troubles we experience here on earth are meant to remind us of the glory that we experience now by faith and will experience fully when Christ is revealed. Yes, our lives are fleeting. Children all too soon grow up and the shape of our families changes as the years go by. But we are called to go right on playing – to enjoy life, to endure our trials, and to live and laugh and love will all our might as these wonderful realities point us to the greater glory that will be ours in the end. You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down There is a calm that comes after a storm such as this, offering a moment of clarity so profound that time seems to stand still. In my weakness, propped up in my recliner with a cup of tea and my family around me, I gladly yielded to my helplessness and my need for recovery. And when I think about it, that is really what making resolutions is all about. Life throws so much at us, and we who are faithful must push through the days of joy and pain and seek that holy place of recovery where we allow the renewing power of the Savior to pour itself into our lives once more. New years come and go and we continue the cycle of spiritual transformation from sinner to saint, from the fires of suffering to the glory of the vision that shapes our souls. As I step into the days to come, I rejoice that God is loving enough to allow the afflictions we experience to cause the love and life of Christ to manifest itself in our words and deeds as we continually offer our lives to him. Consider this thought from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:8-10 RSV) What a joy it is to know that, through my suffering, the life of Jesus is being displayed in this fallible, fallen man who has been redeemed by grace. It turns my yesterdays into treasures, my tomorrows into hopeful dreams, and my present into an experience of eternal satisfaction and immeasurable joy. I think that is worth a little bit of belly pain, after all. It is overwhelming to think that the One who has overcome the world is working out that same song of salvation in my battered body and the soul that is being transformed from glory to glory, day by precious day. Resolutions and Real Resolve I spent New Year’s Eve alone this year. My son and older daughter went to be with some young adult friends and my wife and younger daughter spent time with a few families, laughing and sharing some happy memories. But I wasn’t lonely at all. As I sat watching a movie and listening to the rain fall softly outside my window, I thought about the great gifts and eternal blessings I had been given. Their power is what has fueled my unspoken resolutions with true divine resolve and allowed them to unfold over the course of my life. I have a wife who has walked this journey of ups and downs right alongside me and is still there to share the road of trials and triumphs with a glad heart. I am father to three incredible children who still love to spend time with each other being silly and carrying on family traditions that remind us of who we are. I have my health and heart and sense of humor and all those little giftings and idiosyncrasies that make me who I am. Most of all, I have the grace that Jesus has given me that has rescued me from sin and the worst of myself. I have a relationship with the God who is wise enough to guide me, strong enough to move me, and loving enough to drive me to my knees and occasionally my back in order to teach me the wonder of conversion. As you travel the narrow path this new year, may the spiritual surgery that the divine surgeon performs in your life empower you to demonstrate the joy of salvation and the power of transforming love to all you meet. May we surrender our less-than-careful prayers to the One who delights to make all things new as each year rolls around to carry us home!
  39. 1 point
    Oh yes,...our little guy loves his big brother Teddy! No mistake about that,...but then we do, too! Please note the lab coat! If you follow on Instagram or Twitter,...you've seen this lab coat,...garnered last week from a thrift store. Frankly it never occurred to me to purchase my eight year old a lab coat, but when Isaac was inspecting all the materials gathered for his home school science curriculum, he asked out of the blue, "Where's my lab coat?" So utterly adorable for he was so utterly serious,...and yes that little phrase made it onto Twitter. Lab coat? Where do you find a lab coat for a child? Or rather when do you find an authentic lab coat for a child that won't cost $$$$. Trust me, a fakey costume lab coat from Party City wouldn't cut it. Our little guy would know the difference. He wanted the real deal,...'cause he knew it would last! Thankfully when the Lord promised to meet all of our needs,...that includes lab coats for scientific-minded eight year olds. Mama searched high and low,...and eventually scored a lab coat for her little guy. Best $3.00 ever spent! That's a lot of love,...to search the city for a non-necessity. Isaac doesn't 'need' a lab coat to study science, or math, or reading for that matter. The coat is certainly helpful, it's turned our entire house into a laboratory with a reading lab, math lab, science lab, of course, writing lab, spelling lab, and even breakfast lab, lunch lab, and supper lab. Is our little guy taking the lab theme,...a little too far? Yes, no, yes,....NO,...no,...and another no,...'cause it's important to him,...thus it's important to us. Besides it's the perfect lesson in getting into the right frame of mind. Isaac puts on that lab coat, and he's ready to learn, to work, to give his best effort,...and our little guy always gives 100%. I mean, check out that birthday decor! If he's going to tell his Teddy, "Happy Birthday!" -- he's going all out. And so should we. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." - Colossians 3:23 This especially applies to love! "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." - 1 Peter 4:8 Only the Lord is perfect,...the rest of us are finite beings,...prone to err,...and thus it is most wise to learn to love,...really love,...the love is patient, love is kind, love keeps no records of wrongs type love, which actually is a picture of the God's love for us! "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends,..." - 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 The world, of course, distorts the image of love until it is so filled with selfish, self-satisfied, self-indulgence and decadence you can't recognize it. Or in other words the world's version of love,...doesn't last. Kinda like a fakey-lab coat that would disintegrate in the washing machine,...it's not the real deal. When you've experienced what's real,...you can immediately tell the difference! "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3: 12-14 The right clothing can help us have the right attitude to complete our work assigned to us. When we put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, we're getting ready to work,...to give our best effort. Add the lab coat of love,...to bind everything together in perfect unity. It really makes sense. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." - 1 John 4: 7-19 When you love someone a lot,...it's worth going the extra mile,...to find a lab coat,...put up birthday balloons,...or reach out to others, who perhaps have never experienced 'real' love. Love that never ends! God bless and keep you!
  40. 1 point
    Introduction Most modern-day Christians are not aware of the Feast of Trumpets, nor have any idea what it is all about! This is also true for the other six holy days that God has ordained to be feasts and Sabbaths. If you were to go to any posting on the web you will find most references to this feast as a 'Feast of the Jew'. Saying that the Feast of Trumpets is a Jewish holiday makes the Feast of Trumpets part of the Jewish religion. Now the definition of religion is this: The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. Religion, in and of itself is 100% false and is man made, and not God authorized! Religion has nothing to do with the God of the universe, it is just some made up story, usually by someone wanting to gain power over the people, whomever the people are. Power is gain by showing that the controlling agent, usually called priests, has the power to manipulate the god or gods, who then uses that power to gain more power and prestige over the people. The God of the universe does not need to gain power, as He owns all that is in and on the earth, and has all the power and majesty just within His name alone! Therefore, God Supreme, Elohim, did not institute a religion when speaking with the Children of Israel, nor was it a religious ceremony when His Son married them at Mount Sinai. To complicate matters further, in ancient times, there were two ruling authorities, the legitimate ruling authority (RA), such as a king, queen, prince or princess of that land. Then there were the priest, who was a benefactor to the original RA, and to the people of the land, through their supposed control of the local god. This two tier system came into existence sometime after the 'Flood'. A competing and troubling concept to this two tier system, was the Children of Israel, who contended that there was only one God, who is the creator and ruler of all. Now we need to understand the symbiotic relationship that the RA had with the priests. The priest was an aid to the RA in that they helped keep the people in line. If the people were to get rambunctious, the priest would tell them that their god was not pleased and that that god would bring about all sorts of punishment on the people. As a consequence of their bad behavior, the priest might even deny the people entry into Valhalla, or heaven. This working in concert with the RA helped the RA maintain control of the people and in turn, the RA gave the priest wealth and authority within that kingdom. The story of Joseph having bestowed on him the second rulership of all Egypt is almost a classic example of what I am describing in regard to this two tier system of control. Each town, village, or dukedom had a god, that controlled that particular village, town of dukedom. However, the belief of one God caused the people of a particular area much grief, because the One God was the creator of all, and therefore was also the God of all god's, meaning that the God of the Children of Israel was God of the local god and therefore supreme to that god. Can you see that this belief in the one true God, would cause a great deal of animosity between the pagan peoples and the Children of Israel. Rome and the Jews During the time of Jesus, the Romans were having a great deal of trouble with the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. These three tribes were called Jews by the Roman world as well as others outside of Rome, because Judah was the leading and controlling tribe. The term 'jew' means a 'man from Judea' but today has taken on a negative connotation, especially among Christian sects. So we had the two religious systems: 1) The pagan multiple gods, and their priests who were used to control the peoples while having riches and power granted from the ruler of the land. This system was rampant throughout all of the world, and can be seen in almost all the European, Russian, Mongolian, and Chinese nations, not to forget about South America and Mexico as well. 2) The worship of the one true God, as the Children of Israel would not accept a multiplicity of gods, and therefore stood out against almost all the world. This is one of the reasons that the Jews were hated by all the world, not to mention that the Jew was a bit of a trouble maker due to their exclusivism and a thorn in the side to all pagans within the roman sphere of influence. The Christian Era We can read in the Hebrew/Christian scriptures that after the death and resurrection of Jesus, that the Apostles as well as many disciples, when throughout the known world preaching in the name of Jesus. The main thrust of this charter to preach to the world the Good news, was mainly directed at the Lost Children of Israel. That is, the ten tribes that were taken in Assyrian captivity 137 years before Judah went into Babylonian captivity. Realize that it would have been a waste of time and effort to preach to the pagans, as they were antagonistic toward anything that would have been construed as Jewish! Now we know that Paul did preach to the pagan, however, the book of Acts is replete with stories of those who were antagonistic toward anything that sounded like being Jewish, and preaching Jesus sure was as Jewish as you can get, since He was of the tribe of Judah and the lineage of king David. It was during this time that the Greek word 'Christian' came into vogue to define this new sect of the Jews, who worshipped this man who was crucified and supposedly rose from the grave and was taken up into the heavens, with the promise to return again in the future. Most modern day Christians are not aware of the strife that existed between the Jews and the rest of the known Roman world. Even today, there is animosity between the nations (Goyim) and the Jews, with Christians believing that they are not Jewish and that their religious practices are strictly Christian practices established by Jesus, and are not to be interwoven with Jewish holidays, but in truth the Christians are dead (as in the second death) wrong. Because most if not all of their religious practices came out of the apostate church, who worked hard at separating themselves from all that was called Jewish! The apostate church In acts chapter 8:9 we are introduced to a magician by the name of Simon Magus who wants to buy the Holy Spirit from the apostles and is rejected by Simon Bar Jona (Peter) and told to go his way. We are given some information about this man named Simon, and then away he goes into biblical silence, but not into historical silence, though the apostate church has done a great deal to distance themselves from their founding father, and they in turn have stolen the identify of Simon Bar Jona and claimed that Simon Bar Jona was the one who originated that apostate church. Now I wrote a great deal about this subject in a blog entitled: Easter and Christmas versus the Seven Annual Sabbaths. The apostate church had to separate itself from Judaism Simon Magus, and not Simon Bar Jona, was quite clever, he wanted the power that was associated with the Holy Spirit, while also wanting to become a religious leader to the Romans. As mentioned above, this affiliation with the king of the land had with it a great deal of power, and riches, but there was a problem. Simon decided to form a syncretic church, one that spoke about this Jesus, and pretended to honor and worship Him, but how to do this while not appearing to be Jewish. At the time of Simon, the Romans were tolerate of various religions, mostly because there was little difference between the gods of the Greeks as opposed to the gods of the Romans, or the rest of the world for that matter. so religious tolerance was no big deal to the Romans. Just keep your god to yourself and we are good! But the Jews worshipped the one true God, and they hated Roman rulership. The Jews wanted to be free of Roman rule, and the rule of the Herod's as well. So how did Simon Magus overcome this roman distrust of the Jews? By throwing out the Sabbath, and bringing in the day of the Sun, as a suitable substitute, and called it the Lord's day. Changing the Passover, to Easter though the use of cleverly disguised lies, saying that the day that Jesus came to Jerusalem riding on a Donkey was a 'Palm Sunday' when it fact it was the 10th day of the first month, and the day that the Jews were to select a Passover lamb, "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month". (Exodus 12:3-6) This 10th day of the first month for that particular year was a Sabbath and not a Sunday. "Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead..." (John 12:1) The Passover always falls on the 14th day of the first month, so if this was six days before the Passover, then the day that Jesus came to Bethany had to be the ninth day of the month. Now watch this: The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel! (John 12:12) Notice, that it is the next day, Which is now the 10th day of the month. If you were to include this 10th day then there are five days until the Passover, however, since the 10th day was already in progress, then there were four days left until the Passover, the 14th day of the first month. The apostate church says that the day that Jesus came to Jerusalem was on a Sunday or 'Palm Sunday'! Then they cleverly count six days until Friday, saying that that Friday was the Passover, so as to support the Easter Sunday resurrection. However, this can not be so because there where now four days left, and if this day were a Sunday, then Wednesday is the Passover and not Friday! John 12:12 clearly shows that an Easter Sunday resurrection is a lie, clearly showing that the apostate church teaches falsely and is the father of anti-Judaism. To continue, they threw out the Seven Annual Convocations/Sabbaths, telling their parishioners that these days were done away with by the death of Jesus! Therefore, when the Romans looked at this new religion, they were pleased, because it looked and smelled just like what they were used to, even though it had these man Jesus as its central God and figure head. While there was a smattering of Judaism, there was enough paganism to make the Romans happy. So happy, that when Rome fell at the hands of the Visigoths in 410A.D. the Apostate church took over from the Romans and instituted the Holy Roman church. This church was to become the central authority and would rule with the kings and rulers of Europe and the Russia's for many years to come. In the 1600's a priest by the name of Martin Luther began a reformation of this apostate church. He gathered many followers and they became known as Protestants because they were protesting the rule of the apostates churches leadership as well as its practices of selling indulgences, a form of legalized thievery. These protestants or protesting Catholics have accepted the teachings of the apostate church and have even added a couple of lies to the sycophancy of lies told especially about the seven annual holy days, that modern scholars call Jewish holidays, when it fact Judah never gave these holy days to his sons and daughters. But God the Father, through the office of the Word, gave these days to the Children of Israel along with the Seventh Day Sabbath. Now a Protesting Catholic will say they keep Sunday as the day of the Lord and they will use all sorts of lies and unintelligent reasons to justify Sunday worship, but unfortunately these are just lies and fables, given to them through the apostate church, and surprisingly, these protesting Catholics are very learned of the scriptures, but they just can not see the forest for the trees. They profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but deny the simple fact that He was the Word of God before He was Jesus, and as the Word of God, He gave the 10 commandments to the Children of Israel on His Fathers behalf. So the Sabbath comes directly from the one true God, and Sunday comes from the leader of the apostate church, yet the Protesting Catholics as well as Catholics refuse to honor and obey the God of this universe, instead they pay homage to a long dead magician! The Feast of Trumpets, what is it all about? When I began to write this blog, I decided to go on the web and see what the prevailing understanding was of the Feast of Trumpets, and that is that the Feast of Trumpets represents to the Sunday keeping world, the so-called Rapture! This Rapture is a misunderstanding of Revelations and 2nd Thessalonians, which is understandable due to the fact that most Protesting Catholics really do not understand scripture as the do not obey God and His Messiah, as they give God lip service and pollute His word with many false beliefs that is going to be the subject of my next book: The False Teachings of Christianity! This does not mean that all of Christianity's teaching are false, however, there are many false teachings that it is no wonder that people are leaving the hell fire churches and going to the feel good congregations. However, it is my intent to show that one of the prevalent teachings of the apostate and protesting Catholic churches is that the Feast of Trumpets is a Jewish holiday. Not so, the Feast of Trumpets is also a Christian holiday, just as the other six holy days, that were given to the Children of Israel by God the Father, and in turn was given to all peoples throughout all the world regardless of their religious beliefs. Why is the Fest of Trumpets a Christian holiday as well as a special holiday to all the world? Because the beginning of the blowing of the first trumpet until the last trumpet, tells the world that the arrival of the Christ, and His triumphant return is on its way! The beginning of the Feast of Trumpets herald in the Return of the Christ. In telling Israel that they were to have a Sabbath and a blowing of trumpets (Hebrew: Shofar) God was in fact eluding to the eventually writings of the Book of Revelation and the story of the seven trumpets. "When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thundering's, lightning's, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound" (Rev 8:1 - 10) This seventh seal is the next to the last seal of the great scroll that had begun to be opened in Revelations 5:1 and when these seven trumpets begin to sound, the return of Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has begun and will not end until He has taken over the earth from Satan and all his minions. So you see there Mr. and Ms. Protesting Catholic, and you Catholics as well, that the Feast of Trumpets is not for the Jews only, not on your tin type Nelly! It is also for the Christian as well as the Muslim, Hindu, and the Druid, for when Jesus returns He will not be the God of the Christian only, No! He will be the god of all peoples, tongues, and nations. And because there are seven trumpets, God says that there will be a feast of trumpets, and in doing so is having a bit of fun with us, in that during the time of the blowing of these trumpets man is going to have his fill and will be sick because of these trumpets and the plagues that they bring. This is very reminiscent of the incident of the Quail and what happen at Kibroth Hattaavah,. "While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague." (Numbers 11:33). So lets look at the list of each of the seven trumpets or plagues: Vegetation is struck The sea is struck The water is struck The heavens are struck The Locust from the bottomless pit The four Demons who are bound at the river Euphrates are released And the seventh angel sounds: 7. Saints meet Jesus somewhere between the earth and the fourth heaven! And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matt 24:31). Then Jesus and His bride return to the throne room to meet God the Father, and have the wedding supper (Matt 22:1-10). After all has been accomplished, Jesus will mount His white horse, place on the robe dipped in blood and begin the movement toward the earth. And as He goes so does His bride, for she shall be with Him always and go where he goes. upon arriving on the earth, Jesus steps down on the Mount of Olives, in the exact same spot from where He left the earth, those 2,000 years ago! There is no battle of Armageddon! Regarding the battle of Armageddon, there is no such battle, This is another of those tails that are just plain false. The armies of the Beast 'STAGE' or gathered there. Staging is a military term that means a place of bivouac. That is a place to rest and gather forces, to train up, and to get new men/women to fill in the ranks, I.E. England was a staging area for the US Army before moving to France for the 'D' Day invasion "For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty... And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon". (Rev 16:14-16). Now regarding that battle of that great day of God Almighty, you should understand that this battle takes place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat which is also called the Valley of Decision! This is where the battle of that Great day of God Almighty is to take place, and that is not in or near Armegeddon "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, Have given a boy as payment for a harlot, And sold a girl for wine, that they may drink. Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head; Because you have taken My silver and My gold, And have carried into your temples My prized possessions. Also the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem You have sold to the Greeks, That you may remove them far from their borders. Behold, I will raise them Out of the place to which you have sold them, And will return your retaliation upon your own head. I will sell your sons and your daughters Into the hand of the people of Judah, And they will sell them to the Sabeans, To a people far off; For the Lord has spoken. Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord. Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow For their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again" (Joel 3:1 - 17). This valley of Jehoshaphat, or Valley of Decision is actually in the Kiddron Valley outside of where the Dome of the Rock and where the Temple once stood, and separates Mount Mariah from the Mount of Olives, and seems more in keeping with the fact that Jesus touches down on the Mount of Olives and then goes to Jerusalem to begin His rulership there. Along the way He and His angelic host encounter the army of the Beast and destroy that army, then go to Jerusalem to be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now notice, that all of this, that is the return of Jesus, His arriving on the Mount of Olives, and His beginning rulership of all the world from Jerusalem, all began when the first angel began to blow his trumpet, then continuing on until the last angel sounds and the world has had a Feast of Trumpets, and Jesus has now returned and the world wil enter into the 1000 years of peace called the Millennium! Restoring the truth to Christianity! Is the Feast of Trumpets a Jewish holiday, no, it is not! Are Christians to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets? yes they should as it pertains to them as well as it pertaining to all the peoples of this earth. Can you as a member of your church teach that the Feast of Trumpets is for Catholics, Protesting Catholics, as well as the Jews? Yes you can, by explaining to you priest, or elder that the Feast of Trumpets is the beginning and the return of Messiah, as well as the gathering of the saints to meet Jesus in the air. You can help get the truth to the professing Christian world and help restore the truth of Gods word to humanity! Peter Please let me know how you feel about what has been written here! Leave me a message on Facebook or at peterbellone.net. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog!
  41. 1 point
    When We Pray in Unity and Agreement, Amazing Things Happen.
  42. 1 point
    Don't worry or be afraid to stand out for God. He wasn't worried or afraid to send his Jesus to the cross for us. He went that far for us, so how much more then should we go for him.
  43. 1 point
    . . . thinking about: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ~ Matthew 6:21 (KJV) And the "Parable of the Talents" - Matthew 25:14-30 Where is your treasure, where is your hope, the currency of faith the Lord Jesus bestowed? Is it tied to ultimate things? Did you fall for the "Heavenly-minded is hardly living"? See, fruit of the Spirit is the swagger of Heaven reaching down, enriching all that we own. Once the momentum is felt from forgiveness, what have we? How can we treasure, our Home?
  44. 1 point
    As Jesus was approaching the area of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His Apostles an unusual question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They claimed they had heard people say that He was “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, and even one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:13, 14) Notice that the names were of deceased people. It was basically an elevation of reincarnation. Instead of looking at the possibility of a uniquely living individual, people focused on the past and its possible effect on the present. There had been some speculation that Jesus might be the long awaited Christ, the Messiah, but it was more of a possibility than a statement of fact. To whom were the Apostles listening? It was almost like a poll taken by the liberal faction of the Jewish religionist. (Even today, polls tend to reflect the pollster and his pre-determined political leaning, rather than the actual consensus of the people.) I wonder if Jesus was a little surprised by the result of His inquiry. Jesus then hones in on what really matters: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter quickly responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15, 16) I wonder how many of His Apostles had publicly declared who Jesus really was. They assisted Jesus in His ministry, and even went out by twos healing and casting out demons, but is there any recording that they divulged who Jesus really was? As Jesus’ ministry gained momentum, He seemed to shield His identity due to the direction the crowds were taking. People were more concerned with miracles, signs, and wonders. Jesus realized that if the multitudes believed He was the Messiah, they would revert to their preconceived notion that the Christ would deliver them from Roman rule. When is the last time we simply meditated on who Jesus is? When is the last time we focused on His personage, rather than the miracles? When is the last time we dwelt on His attributes, rather than on the benefits we received from Him? Let us spend a day just pondering on who Jesus is, and when we do, let us display to others the Jesus we have grown to know. When Peter made his proclamation, Jesus told him that the only way he could know that was by a revelation from God Himself. (Matthew 16:17) The Apostle Paul stated that the Gospel he proclaimed was not a result of someone teaching him or of hearing it from some individual, but through revelation from God Himself. (Galatians 1:11-15) TRUTH IS REVEALED FROM THE HEART UPWARD, NOT FROM THE HEAD DOWNWARD. It is not horizontal, but vertical revelation that solidifies the Believer. When we reverse the procedure, we open the door to potentially misinterpreting God’s Word. When we start from the head, our feelings and emotions will have a strong influence. When Paul received revelation, he did not “confer with flesh and blood,” but obediently acted without hesitation. (Galatians 1:16) How many of us have questioned our own actions? One moment we are convinced of the validity of our actions, and within a short time we question if we are doing the right thing. When we act as a result of head knowledge, we will more than likely question some of our actions. May the Holy Spirit reveal God’s Word and, when He does, let us pursue life without a rear view mirror!
  45. 1 point
    They say, "Take the Christ from the Cross", Paul embraced the beams; Moses lifted it up. [1] Resurrection gave the willing the right [2] to look at the Cross, say, "It is alright!" Cause holes in His hands and His feet and His side keep the message from slipping, widens our lives. Be glad Thomas pressed the issue so far, [3] evidence of holes in the Risen One fills up whom we are. -------------------------------- [1] 1 Corinthians 2:2 and 1 Corinthians 1:18; Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-15 [2] John 3:16 and Revelation 22:17 [3] John 20:24-29
  46. 1 point
    “They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ ” (Luke 24:32, NIV). Imagine walking with God. What would it be like strolling alongside the God who created you, the One who knows you most deeply, the God who is for and not against you? Perhaps it would be intimidating to recognize that God knows your every thought. Or maybe it would be comforting to realize that God cares about your every concern and desire, that he is genuinely interested in you and what you have to say. In Genesis we read that Enoch and Noah, each “…walked faithfully with God…” (Genesis 5:22, 24; 6:9, NIV). The idea conveyed here is that these men of faith enjoyed an intimate and meaningful relationship with God, that their faith walk was in step with their Creator. Following his resurrection on the first Easter morning, Jesus walked with two other men as they trekked toward the town of Emmaus. (Continue reading at www.chuckkralikauthor.com)
  47. 1 point
    “Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?’ ” (Luke 15:3-4, NIV). Jesus was a masterful storyteller. He once told the story of a wayward sheep and its shepherd. According to the parable, the shepherd was willing to leave the rest of his flock to search for the one sheep that was lost. And when he found it… well, when he found it, there was a party! Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep reminds me of another group of shepherds living in Bible times. They were keeping watch over their flock on the outskirts of Bethlehem that first Christmas night. An angel appeared to them, sharing the good news of the infant Messiah who had just been born in a Bethlehem manger. The shepherds, of course, could hardly wait to make the short trip to see the baby Jesus. I imagine them dropping everything in their haste. But, I wonder – what did they do with their sheep? Is it possible that these shepherds left the “ninety-nine” in search of the One? Were they willing to risk the safety of their flock of sheep to worship at the baby feet of the true Lamb of God? Now, I’m not suggesting that Jesus was lost - he was exactly where God wanted him to be, in a cattle stall; but the shepherds were lost, perhaps directionally, but more importantly spiritually. All their lives they had waited for this moment, to lay sight of the promised Messiah, their promised Savior. Finally, they had found the Lamb they had long been looking for. And they worshiped him.
  48. 1 point
    (Isaiah 1:16-20) The reason why is the reason You ask me to think about your ways, of my trust in You, more mental than some spiritual gaze From point to point, Lord, You say if I have a fairness toward You and all the oppressed,* there is a rightful division, and sin will be cleansed within right living of the repentant. Jesus, I like to think that your thinking is grace with an invite. Savior, if it pleases You that I think with You, and reason, together, day and night, red will be white by the Blood cast on our pale souls to bring us to Light, thinking with hope.** ________ * Matthew 25:24-27 and Luke 15:17-24 ** Colossians 1:27
  49. 1 point
    I have a rare disorder (lymphedema) that causes swelling in the affected limb – in my case, a leg. Because it’s so rare, it’s categorized as an “orphan disease” which are code words for *not enough people have it to justify spending money on research so that the health industry can profit from it*. Anywhooo ... I was told that the best that can be done is to manage it. I stopped being a guinea pig for curious doctors a long time ago – poked, prodded, invaded and wrapped like a mummy. LOL I also stopped asking “why me?” At one time, I’d actually convinced myself that God let this happen because I’d decided to become a Playboy bunny when I came of age - LOL (whew! Good one, Connie). Truth? Life happens in this fallen world, but God… One day I was watching a DVD on the life of Dr. George Washington Carver. He loved nature and hanging out in God’s creation. One evening, he was lying out on the ground looking up at the stars, talkin’ to God. “Tell me the secret of the universe,” he said. “Can’t do it,” God said, “it’s too much for you.” “Then tell me the secret to the peanut.” I’ve told this story before (‘cause I love it!) – not only did God unlock the secret of the peanut for George, but the sweet potato and the soybean as well. And Dr. Carver ran with it. The Bible says we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Science proves that every single day with each new discovery. I figured nobody knows me and my body better than God does, so I asked Him for the secret to *my* body. Geez, if He gave GWC the secret to the peanut and stuff, why not? And He did. He also told me that complete healing would happen after a particular event took place and not until then (bummer). When I follow the plan He gave me, I’m fine. When I don’t, I got issues. Following the plan is better. I got a call from a woman with the same condition. She spends a lot of time in and out of the hospital. She said someone told her to call me and ask what I was doing and why I wasn’t having the same issues. When I told her what to do, her response was, “Oh, I can’t do that.” Short story? She’d rather spend up to eight visits a year hospitalized on an IV than manage her lifestyle and be healthy and live fairly normal. Then, why ask? Don’t we do that in prayer? We ask God for solutions to our issues and He’s happy to accommodate us. BUT … when we hear His answer, because it’s not what we expected or wanted, we, like the rich guy Jesus encountered, walk away sad and holding on to *whatever* which in any case, is absolutely nothing compared to what Jesus offers. When you pray this week, know that God will answer you – He promised (Jeremiah 33:3). BUT, if you’re not gonna flow with Him on His solution, why ask?
  50. 1 point
    If You Don’t Use It You’re Going To Lose It Imagine that you wake up one morning with this terrible crick in your neck. Just as you get into gear with your complaining, trying to coax a little pity out of your wife, you notice that your pillow is a couple of inches higher than normal. What is this? You look under it and see that the Tooth Fairy left $6000 for you the night before. Yes! So, you decide to invest it. You’ve heard about this fellow who is a really good broker, hard-working and wise. He’s a bit expensive but by all accounts his results are always good. You invest $5000 with him. Then there is this new fellow. You don’t know a lot about him but investing is gambling, so you place $1000 with him to see what he can do. You do worry a bit, though, when you see that his name is “Lazy Jones.” At the end of the year you get your statement from the first broker and you discover he has made you $5000 off your investment. He doubled your money. A Letter From Lazy You also receive a letter from the second fellow—a personal letter no less. “Wow, that's a nice touch,” you think. But things go downhill from there. “Dear David,” he writes. “The economy was so bad last year that I decided not to invest your money because I was afraid I would lose it. So, I’m sending your money back (minus my broker’s fee). If you want, I’ll try to invest it for you this year as things seem a bit more hopeful with the economy. Hope everything is going well for you and your family. Sincerely, Lazy Jones.” Here is a financial question for you. That $1000 which Lazy sent back, who are you going to invest it with? The first guy where you know you’ll get a good return? Or maybe in your kindness you want to give old Lazy Jones a second chance? The lazy guy? Well, you might like him, you might pray for him, and you might sincerely wish him well. But, are you going to let him invest your money again? Only if your mother rocked you too close to the wall when you were a baby. Now, I’ve got a second question that’s a bit more uncomfortable. Do you think God is dumber than you are? You see, this story is adapted from a story Jesus told (Matthew 25:L14-29). Not one of us is an accident. God planned for you to be on this earth. He has a reason for your existence. He’s equipped you with abilities and opportunities to do what you were born to do. In the story Jesus told, their money was called, “talents.” That is fortunate for us because that is exactly what the Lord gives each of us. Some have a ton of talent and ability. Others not so much, but EVERYONE has something from God. Poor Fellow ... I used to feel sorry for the fellow who didn’t use his talent. I thought, “It’s not fair Lord. You take from the one who buried his one talent and you give it to the ten-talent guy.” “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’ “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest. “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’” (Message version) In the King James version his lord calls him a wicked and lazyservant. The Lord is not dumber than you and me. He’s not going to invest anymore with Lazy Jones. Sure He gives second chances, but when someone has never even hinted at being serious about serving God, He’ll give that person’s gift to another. And if we goof around or live our lives centered on ourselves, will He invest anymore in us? There is a penalty if you don’t use what you’re given. That’s what you were born for. If you don’t use your gift or if you only use it selfishly, you lose it. Would the Lord invest in you again, based on your fruitfulness record? If you’re not giving Him any return on the investment of love, and gifting in your life, stop right now. Think this through. What gifts do I have? (I don’t want to hear, “I’m can't do anything? I’ve got nothing to give.” That’s the excuse of the lazy person). How are you going to multiply that investment in order to have a good return for the One who invested so much in you? If you would like to receive Coffee Stains by email each week, just send an email to: fdavid.porter@gmail.com and say “subscribe. (If you're already subscribed you don't have to do anything) _________________________________ Hmmm ... "You are what you repeatedly do, therefore excellence ought to be a habit." John Bevere "You reap what you sow. In fact, you always reap more than you sow--you plant a seed and reap a bushel ... It is one of the truest laws of the universe. Decide what you want out of life and then begin to sow it." Jim Rohn Image: Unsplash, Victor JakovlevParalia Garakas, Greece: Flickr, Creative Commons, Sherene IMG_0010 Stop pretending to be asleep!!
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