Don’t let the World pull you from the Word… #Focus

For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands (Neh 6:9)~ There is a constant plot by the enemy to keep you from getting to the blessing God has for you. One thing that CAN’T be changed is that God HAS a blessing for you. Knowing that, the plot of the enemy is distractions to you that keep you from the movement toward the blessing. You know what you SHOULD be doing but something distracting always comes along…and while you’re now looking the other way; following the distraction; procrastinating; letting it wait for whatever (excuse) have you… the thing that shouldn’t happen somehow interjects itself into being. We have to be careful about what we allow to sidetrack us. Vigilance is vital! We must never give in, no matter how fitting it may seem, to do anything sinful or imprudent; but when attacked with the temptation, resist it with reason and resolution. People, situations, even our own mindset and consciousness can be great distractors against what we are supposed to be giving priority to. It is common for that which is desired only by the malicious, to be falsely represented by them as desired by the many. Others may mean well and simply but selfishly want our time. Finally still, our own desire to do something else that might be more entertaining, possibly less stressful or less tedious; could be tempting us away. But we must never omit any known duty for fear it should be misconstrued; but, while we keep a good conscience, let us trust God with our good name and pray His for strength to keep our focus. And to the distracting factions: just say No!

Unlocking the door to your blessing comes in praising God for Someone else’s…

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Ps 27:13)~ There is nothing like the believing hope of eternal life, the foresights of that glory, and foretastes of those pleasures, to keep us from fainting under all calamities. Life can be awesome one minute and a downpour of trials the next, but seeing God work, even in someone else’s life somehow strengthens me to bear up under my own burdens. Knowing that God is always at work for us keeps me inspired to pray in faith, knowing that ultimately He will deliver me in trials and keep me from destruction. Sometimes YOUR blessing comes from seeing Him bless SOMEONE ELSE!  Let us encourage each other to wait on the Lord, with patient expectation, and fervent prayer. Since we know that comes from the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous in God, we should be that much more inspired! Plus, It may bring the deliverance of your own favor! Try praying for someone else today and even better, try praising The Lord for blessing someone else’s life; and watch what these selfless acts bring you! The key here though is not that YOU get something out of it, but that to GOD goes the glory! When you are truly asking the best for someone and truly thankful and praising because of what God does for them, the blessing of warmth in your own spirit will take place. Believe me, you will find that blessing to be much more than you might ask or think! Take true joy in seeing someone else blessed and in turn may YOU be blessed! 

Danger May Be Around You; But Jesus is a Fence!

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee (Ps 91:5-7)~ How great is our God? How much will He look after us? He that by faith chooses God for his protector, shall find ALL in Him that he needs or can desire. The spiritual life is protected by Divine grace from the temptations of Satan, which are traps to lure us into the contagion of sin, which is a spiritually deadly state. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Ps 23:4)… Yes, great security is promised to believers in the midst of danger. We will experience God’s grace while witnessing others that succumb; but wisdom should keep us from being afraid without cause, and faith should keep us from being unduly afraid. Whatever is done, our heavenly Father’s will is done; and we have no reason to fear but every reason to trust in Him, our protector. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust (Ps 91:2), For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. (Ps 27:5)

God doesn’t just satisfy, He fulfills!

My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Ps 42:2); But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14)~~ We search all of our lives for things that will satisfy us. We try every solution, every option, every recreation; we strive for every achievement, every goal, every milestone to satisfy and gratify ourselves; we look for any way to fill the desires of our heart, our soul and our flesh. Unfortunately too often we get what we “think” is the answer but we find it to be temporary and we also find that when we come back for it again, we need more and more… it’s a vicious cycle that takes us deeper and deeper into its dependence… resulting in our doing almost anything, even sin to get it. Carnal hearts look no higher than carnal ends. Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt 6:32-33). Whoever partakes of the Spirit of Grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want… it is that which will abundantly satisfy his soul. Let us then look off from the things which are seen in our own eyes; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure. Put that same ambition and energy that you use to fulfill yourself into having a relationship with The Lord! He promises fulfillment of every need, not just satisfaction but fulfillment! He is not slack concerning His promise…and they that wait on Him shall have great strength to get through the times they must wait; and in that due season when God does deliver us, we bountifully reap…if we just hold on to HIM!

The Ground at the Foot of the Cross is Level

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Rom 12:3); For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)~ They don’t look like ‘us’ or act like ‘us’ or have the same stuff as ‘us’; they are from here or there; grew up on that side of the tracks; they make choices that are ‘bad’…they are different than ‘we’ are, so they’re … “Broken”! There’s an interesting translation that comes to mind with this thought:  “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.” (Matthew 7:3, The Message). We all can agree that times are more ‘crazy’ than ever. With that, the responsibility we have as the family of God only gets more important! We need to change the way we think about and approach the “different” factor… that brokenness in people; we must recalibrate our approach to it with an absence of judging. If we don’t, we are creating second-class citizens in the society of Jesus’ followers. The shaming of ‘broken’ people is so prevalent in society that those of us who are guilty of having struggles with our own brokenness feel we don’t really belong. Is this really what Jesus wants? It’s the rest of us who feel we are not ‘broken’ who are in the biggest spiritual trouble though. We see ourselves as more “moral,” and that’s dangerous, because wherever human beings have a personal sense of being moral, pride takes over! It’s said that the ground at the foot of the cross is level. That means all of us are on the same footing; all of us are in need of grace, in need of pity. All of us need to be loved. We try to find those things in various ways, but shame and “moral” [self-righteous] living are two ways that don’t work. We can’t be so angry – so self-righteous that we cannot change or make others to be as we wish them to be, especially since we cannot even make ourselves as WE wish to be. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” (John 8:7)

If God isn’t good enough, then who?

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee (Jer 32:17)~ God is the fountain of all being, power, and life; with Him no difficulty is such as cannot be overcome; He is THE God of boundless mercy; that He IS God of strict justice; and He directs every thing for the best! There is no other ‘god’ that has created anything, but “GOD” is the creator of ALL things… all things by Him and for Him. He is the King of Glory – the Lord God strong and mighty! Don’t ever think your situation, your issue, your problem is too much to take before Him! To hold it from God and try to handle it yourself is to say He’s not good enough… If God isn’t good enough to share with, to turn to for help, to confess to and confide in; then how can you be all that on your own??? Don’t place yourself above what God can do. Unlike you with your limits, flaws, fears and liabilities, the only thing God cannot do…is fail! Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (Prov 3:5-6,26).

You can’t change your life without changing your Mind! Be Transformed

Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt 23:28)~~ We all talk about changes we need to make but so often we do things…going through motions..keeping up appearances…even fooling ourselves…while in reality we are the same old us. What’s happening is that we are doing things that would be expected by others that would look like we’ve changed or grown or gotten better but in reality, we resist doing any different, being any different and we sure don’t think any different. We really haven’t changed and don’t desire to. We are stubborn, fearful, worried about our ego and self esteem and self reputation. Some of us are downright selfish and simply refuse to be different because we feel like it’s our right to carry a certain image, even if it is the source of negativity.  We are really, what we are inwardly. Outward motives may keep the outside clean, while the inside is filthy. Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2).  But if the mind, heart and spirit be made new, there will be newness of life; here we must begin with our own way of thinking. If you still think like you did with the junk and drama that you were in and kept up, it doesn’t matter what you do, you will continue to be in … junk and drama! You can’t expect things around you to change for the better while your mind is stubborn and stuck on old ways of thinking. How can a negative minded person ever live happily?? You have to start thinking differently. Seeing things differently. Having a new mindset! Changing what you do is only and action that LOOKS like change…but if you still look at life the way you did, your actions will become a burden to you because you really don’t want to do these things…they just look good on the outside.. all for show to others but so superficial and unreal for you. You will come to resent anyone that is paying attention to your activities of change because they are expecting you to maintain what you really don’t want to do… your mind is comfortable being the old you. WOW!  By now your head is probably spinning because of all of the drama and craziness from even THINKING about the situation being like this. So again… change only begins for real when you renew your mind! Here is the important part: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:22-24). If you are real about wanting things to be different, better or new, your true mind and heart must think and drive you differently and you will have to fight that aura about you that resists it. Once again…Real change first happens in changing your mind! Your way of thinking will then change your heart…and the subsequent actions will be genuine. ..not just for show! And as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he! (Prov 23:7).