God’s way or the World’s way! Make a choice!

we have compromised

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Ps 1:1); Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Prov 4:23)~~ Today’s world is full of drama and mess. Trouble is widespread and popular in today’s culture, with bolder and more aggressive exposure than ever before. Its catalysts are everywhere, and the various media promote them at all times in most attractive ways. Today’s world creates situations to make things that are positive into negative, the negative look positive, turn the truth into a lie and make what was a lie the truth. The wiles of evil are so crafty that they are setup to attract us toward things that are really not good for us, making them look right for us…only to find out after we’ve “dabbled” despite our doubts and better convictions, that we are in a world of drama, trouble and mess.

This is why it’s so important to guard your heart and stay on point with what’s good and true! When we keep our hearts and minds involved in trouble, mess and drama, it’s no wonder that our lives are in just that. The state of our hearts and minds comes from thoughts and affections from inputs. If you feed it holy and noble material, you will have a holy and noble heart. If you feed it the television, magazines, books, music, philosophy, images, and friends of this world, you will decline to the world’s ways. You will think like the world and be vulnerable to its sinful advances. We must reject the advances of the drama-filled lifestyle and it’s activities. Trouble, mess and drama do not occur in noble places, while engaged in noble activities. Certain places and lifestyles will seduce and trap you with enormous temptations to sacrifice your virtue to where you cannot escape. You will walk yourself into hell! Stay away from the cares of this world and its activities! Exercise your heart and mind in spiritual and noble directions; do not let it slip to carnal and lascivious ways. Want your life to be free of trouble, mess and drama? Then stop associating with it; stop dealing in it; stop going where it exists and stop allowing it into your life and home. Want to stay out of trouble? Stay out of trouble!!

Rather than cast us down, the Love of God lifts us up! – ->

No separation

For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Rom 7:19, 23-24); Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me (Ps 142:7)~ The knowledge of our own shortcomings produces levels of guilt within us that can be so strong as to make us feel like God would rather discard us by the wayside than have us under His hand. Some of us have gone to the extremes of even imposing certain punitive acts upon ourselves whether in guilt or as our misunderstood interpretations of penance for our failings. When we sit down to think it over, the lies of the enemy will drive us to self-hatred and self-destruction as we look at ourselves as undesirable and unusable to God.

Friend, be comforted! You are never beyond the love of God (Rom 8:38-39) for the Word says there is NO condemnation to those that are in Christ (Rom 8:1). There can be no situation so distressing or dangerous, in which faith will not get comfort from God by prayer. Rather than show our troubles too much to ourselves, dwelling on them, which does us no service; we find comfort, by showing them to God, that we might cast the cares upon Him who cares for us, and thereby ease ourselves. Never should we allow any complaint to ourselves or others, which we cannot make to God. When our spirits are overwhelmed by distress, and filled with discouragement; when we see snares laid for us on every side, while we walk in His way, we may reflect with comfort that the Lord knows our path. Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God, find Him all-sufficient, as a Refuge, and as a Portion: every thing else is a plot of the enemy; a refuge of lies, and a portion of no value.

It is our duty and of our interest to beg of God to set us at liberty from our transgressions, that we may run the way of His commandments. The Lord delivers us from the powerful persecutions of sin, and yet deals bountifully with us! He raised the crucified Redeemer to the throne of glory, and made Him Head over all things in Heaven and Earth. Now we, the convinced sinner have His salvation over our cries for help, and we are brought to praise the Lord in the company of His redeemed; delivered from this evil world, from sin and death, to worship our Savior forever!

Don’t even TELL that lie – – God didn’t create you that way!!!

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Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:13-15)~~ If we were born naturally evil, that would be like saying God created us evil. But nothing sinful in the heart or conduct can be ascribed to God. He is not the author of the confusion, worthlessness and rubbish, though His fiery trial exposes it. Those who lay the blame of sin, either upon their being born that way, or upon their condition in the world, or those who pretend they cannot keep from sinning, incorrectly point at God as if He were the author of sin; as if He made them genetically this way. Afflictions, as sent by God, are designed to draw out our graces, but not our corruptions. The origin of evil and temptation is built up in our own hearts but we were not created that way. To Stop the beginnings of sin, or all the evils that follow must be wholly charged upon us. The Bible says the wages of sin is death, but God has no pleasure in the death of men, as he has no hand in their sin; both sin and misery are owing to themselves. Besides if this were the case, knowing that the wages of sin is death…and we WERE born naturally evil, we would be saying that God created us with intention of killing us!!

In ALL things give Thanks…

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…But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds? ’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this. ’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them? ’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them (Mark 13:25-29)~~ How often do you catch yourself thinking, saying or even asking why does God not just get rid of the evil things and people in the world? Why doesn’t He just put all that “over there somewhere”? Why do we have to deal with hard people, suffer through struggles and have troubles if we are believers of God? Why do WE as His “good children” have to co-exist with the obvious people that could care less about God and His salvation? Why must we live among the troublemakers? I know what Job 14:1 says but if Jesus fixed it, shouldn’t WE just have all greatness in life with no struggle? 

Well, here’s food for thought: Though gross transgressions, and those such that openly oppose the gospel, ought to be separated from the society of the faithful, no human skill can make an exact separation. Who can REALLY tell other than God Himself? Those who oppose must not be cut off, but instructed, and this with meekness!! And even though good and bad are together in this world, and at the great day they shall be parted; then the righteous and the wicked shall be plainly known; here today sometimes it is hard to distinguish between them. We shortchange ourselves by only focusing on gratitude, thanksgiving, and appreciation when things are good, going our way or when we have what we want. We see that which appears good and praise God for it but it is that heart that we cannot see that truly identifies the true good. Don’t just be thankful for what is good, or what you like about your life. Be thankful for everything; good, bad and ugly. There is an abundance of benefit to thankfulness for the hard experiences in life. When you express gratitude in tough times, you force yourself to adopt a mind that is more like Christ and you are becoming more of what God desires for you. How differently would you approach life if you expressed more gratitude than frustration? Final thought, if there were no trials, transgressions and troublemakers around us, what would we have, as overcomers in Him, to shout our praise about?? In EVERY thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Ths 5:18). 

When God Asks a Question….

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We can probably think of common questions that we regularly bring to God and why we ask. But what about the questions that God brings to us? Why would God, who knows all things….ask US a question? Consider the following: 

  • He asked Adam, “Where art thou?” (Gen 3:9) Sometimes we don’t realize where we are in life and it takes the voice of God to remind us.
  • He asked Moses, “What is that that you have in your hand?” (Ex 4:2) Many times the very blessing we need is already in our grasp.
  • He asked Malachi, “Will a man rob God?” (Mal 3:8). It’s so easy to give our time to everything but the work of The Lord.
  • He asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?”(Ezk 37:3). Sometimes you may think a situation in your life has died, but God is reminding you that it can live. It’s not dead. It’s not over.
  • He asked a lame man, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:6) God already knows He has the power to deliver you but you need to want to be delivered.
  • He asked Abraham, “Is there anything too hard for God?” (Gen 18:14). Think about that as you’re going through life. I don’t care what it looks like. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. There is nothing too hard for God to do!

The Lord, when He asks questions engages us with striking accuracy and exposes our mistaken notions about Him. These questions are as arresting to us today and are as able to penetrate our hearts as they were two-thousand years ago. God’s questions convict us and bring about change in us; they remind us of just who He is and who we are in Him; and they show us that He has already given us what we need to do whatever it is that needs to be done. When God asks a question, He doesn’t ask for Himself. He already knows the answer. He asks us because he wants us to stop and look at ourselves, understand and get the “ answer”. Many times that answer is within us and the blessing is already done. God is strategically altering our direction to it!

We love because God first loved us; remember our FIRST!

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We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19); Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent (Rev 2:4-5)~~ In today’s world people have become “tolerant” rather than standing up for right vs. wrong! We find ways to accept and make appropriate the worst of shortcomings and claim it in the name of “loving” our fellow man. In turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to the intentional disregard for the statute of God’s Word, we turn the truth of God into a lie and manipulate it with man-made laws to fit our own agendas. We decide that rather than following the Way of the Lord as good, that as we indeed make a “law” of it, we define and determine our own good! We don’t deny God, in fact, we do love Him but that love has become lukewarm! We have lost the fervent degree of love that at first appeared. As time progresses, we continue to grow remiss and cold toward Him. The world is becoming overrun with Christians forsaking their first love – the Lord, while overly accommodating lawlessness and carelessness, and excusing indifference and sloth in themselves and others; our Savior considers this indifference as sinful. 

Indifference as to truth and error, good and evil, may be called charity and meekness, but it is not so; and it is displeasing to Christ. The Christian life is a warfare against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. Though we must show all meekness to all men, we must also show just zeal against their sins. While we must deal with everyone in Godly love, it it just as important that we stand on His Word in regard to true and divine righteousness. We must repent: we must be grieved and ashamed for our sinful declining, and humbly confess it in the sight of God. We must endeavor to recover our first zeal, tenderness, and seriousness, and must pray as earnestly, and watch as diligently, as when we first set out in the ways of God. If the presence of Christ’s grace and Spirit is slighted, we may expect the presence of His displeasure. 

We must never yield to our spiritual enemies: tolerance, acceptance and indifference. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Cor 15:58). We must remain true to Him and while respecting each other in Love we must not let this cloud our faith, interpretation and sound execution of Godly Wisdom. We must not grow numb to the love and truth of God while endearing worldly philosophies. All who persevere, shall derive from Christ, as the Tree of life, perfection and confirmation in holiness and happiness, not in the earthly paradise, but in the heavenly. The Lord has given us victory through HIS battle. We have been set free by the finished work of Christ and are no longer bound by the imprisonment of sin and the enemy. Our reasonable stance then should be the relentless endeavor toward His glory! 

To God be the Glory – Amen! 

The Battle is not yours; it’s the Lord’s-

…Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s; Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord… (2Chr 20:15,17)~~ So often we feel like parts of our lives are crashing down on us. We are overwhelmed by the trials and troubles we face. We forget that even as devoted Christians we are subject to troubles in our lives (Job 14:1). But what we must also remember in this life that is surely to have its uncertainties is that God is always there standing in for us… ensuring the victory. NO one else would…even if they could… go so far as to even come and get you out of hell and in fact go there in your place! Rather than get all worked up because of the fears of what might happen as we consider the magnitude of our trials, we must never forget the unmatched power of our God! He will step in and fix it all without you ever having to lift a finger or even say a word. He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him and trust in Him. Some battles and trials are not for you to resolve but to trust that He will! When you turn it over to Him truly, your peace will be in great abundance as God intends. Remember – He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly! That’s not about material things, but the life and peace and joy that HE GIVES. Friend, don’t fight the battle before you take it to Him! Don’t worry about what hasn’t happened yet but trust in what HE will make happen for you… And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts (Ex 33:21-23).  As He sets you high upon a rock out of the reach of your (HIS) enemy, covering you by His hand from even a scratch, stand still and be completely silent…. and see the work of His glorious salvation as He goes before you! May your life be at great peace…in Him!