#Reset Me #Renew Me; Clean Me Up Lord –

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Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise (Ps 51:10-15)~~ The knowledge and remembrance of the guilt of sins on our heads are our constant source of torment; a dark cloud that hangs over us! If this blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin, cleanses us from our sin, then we are clean indeed. We are comforted, when we are first cleansed; if sin, the bitter root of sorrow, be taken away, we can pray in faith: “Lord, Let me have a well-grounded peace, of thy creating, so that the bones broken by convictions may rejoice, may be comforted. Hide thy face from my sins; blot out all mine iniquities out of thy book; blot them out, as a cloud is blotted out and dispelled by the beams of the sun.”
We desire renewal to holiness as much as the joy of salvation. We now see, more than ever, what an unequaled heart we have, and sadly lament it. We see it is not in our own power to amend it, and therefore beg God would create in us a clean heart. When we feel this change is necessary, and read the promise of God to that purpose, we begin to ask it. We know we have by our sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and have provoked Him to withdraw. This we dread more than anything. We pray that Divine comforts may be restored to us. When we give ourselves cause to doubt our interest in salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? This makes us weak; we feel ready to fall, either into sin or into despair, therefore we pray that God uphold us with His Spirit.
The Spirit of God is a free Spirit, a free Agent Himself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in our duty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but the liberty wherewith Christ makes His people free, which is contrasted with the yoke of bondage? It is the Spirit of Divine adoption by Him – spoken to the heart. Those to whom God is the God of salvation, He will deliver from guilt; for the salvation He is the God of, is salvation from sin! We may therefore plead with Him, “Lord, thou art the God of my salvation, therefore deliver me from the dominion of sin!” And when our lips are opened, what should they speak but the praises of God for His forgiving mercy!
Hallelujah!

Chase After #GodFirst; You’ll Always Catch His Blessing! –

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But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt 6:33)~ we spend our lives constantly chasing after things, achievements, status and stature. We demand from the other person things that they are not capable of giving..and we are so adamant on receiving those things we want for our human comforts that we go to any source to get what we want…except the right one..God! Every anxiety of man is centered around the temporal things that surround our lives. It doesn’t matter who you are or at what point you are in life..we are more concerned about not having our stuff rather than not having our eternal salvation. This trap ensnares the poor as much as the love of wealth does the rich. Take this as an encouragement to trust in God. God has given us life, and has given us the body. And what can He not do for us…who did that? If we take care about our souls and for eternity, which are more than the body and its life, we may leave it to God to provide for us food and raiment, which are less than life itself. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the best cure of thoughtfulness for the world. Seek FIRST the kingdom of God, and make His business your business. Contrary to the ‘world view’, this is the not way to starve; no, it is the way to be well provided for, even in this world. The will and command of the Lord Jesus, is that by daily prayers we may get strength to bear us up under our daily troubles, and to arm us against the temptations that bring them, and then let none of these things move us. Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to His wise disposal. People and the the things of this world will never fulfill us because our flesh is never satisfied, it always wants more. When we get what we want, we seek MORE and will go to any length, especially sin..to have it! We are carnal! Let the Spirit convince us of the sin in the want of this disposition, and take away the worldliness of our hearts. When you chase after the Lord first, you ALWAYS catch Him!

God’s GOT You Coming and Going – Act Like You KNOW! #Faith #NoFear

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Have not I COMMANDED thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Josh 1:9). When soldiers are in battle, they are commanded by their leader to move forward without any fear, but with boldness and steadfastness! The leader doesn’t say go forward if you’re not scared, they don’t say go forward if you’re courageous enough. When a team takes the field, their captain expects them to perform to the best of their ability, with no regard to what may happen if they don’t perform good enough. The team that does this the best and most consistently throughout the season, becomes the overall winner, or champion! This is modeled after what God expects from us when we walk in faith of Him. Be steadfast, unmovable, fearless, moving forward in His name! These are not options.. but ‘commands’! God says that we need not be afraid or worry.. because He’s with us and for us. And if God be for us, shall be against us (that we need to even be worried about)?? Sure, it’s gonna be tough sometimes, but He’s got us! We’re gonna slip up and stumble and lose control sometimes, but He’s holding us up! People will oppose you and turn against you…but HE will never leave you out to dry and in fact: 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 cleft 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).. God will set you in a place where you will experience His greatness, be covered from His wrath and as He allows you to go forward, know that in waiting on Him you can be assured that He has gone before you. He’s got you coming and going and He commands you act like you KNOW it! You are NEVER alone; so don’t doubt what He has created in you; but stay grounded and focused… in strength and courage – go get your blessing, though come what may; trusting Him all the way! Let your faith in Him then take you! 

Loving Everyone Doesn’t Mean ‘Loving’ Everyone! #StayAway –

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For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two- edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell. Lest you ponder her path of life— Her ways are unstable; You do not know them. Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house (Proverbs 5:3-8)~~
 
The American version of the Christian faith has so focused on loving everyone and accepting people just as they are that it has seen its children go shipwreck. The Old Testament king didn’t have a problem saying, “stay away” from the woman whose speech was “smoother than oil” and whose “feet go down to death”.  Today, your preacher, your friend, your Bible study leader, your neighbor, your teacher, your boss, and your TV may tell you that all people are worthy of our time and love, all people are equal, all people are loved of God just like they are.  This proverb, however, says “stay away!”
 
Now such a comment is not so far from what your mother used to tell you, is it.  She knew, intuitively, that some people were trouble, and would get you into trouble.  Your mother, and King Solomon, were right. People who we THINK are friends because they act ‘cool’ ‘fun’ or ‘nice’ toward us may indeed lead us to our demise! Men are especially subject to the wooing words of the woman whose words drip honey. Let’s make a personal pledge to stay away from dangerous people, and teach our children to do the same. This does not mean that we cannot share the Gospel with them, but it does mean that we cannot build a fraternal relationship, which could lead to the dangers known all too well by King Solomon.

#ReligiousFreedom matters; but a “free society” should defend “everyone’s” right to practice their faith! –

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The Supreme Court will soon review the issue of same-sex marriage, and it’s possible that justices will make it legal in all 50 states. If that happens, the million dollar question will be whether our lawmakers will still defend the rights of religious people—specifically Christians—who believe in traditional marriage. If not, Christians could become a persecuted minority in a country that still prints “IN GOD WE TRUST” on our money.
Miley Cyrus recently challenged her fans to “stir some [expletive] up” in Indiana to force lawmakers to revise the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act; a law—which, ironically, was meant to guarantee equality to gay people while also recognizing that religious people should not be forced to violate their consciences.
America has always protected minority religious beliefs. Our laws don’t force the owner of a Jewish deli to serve pork, a Catholic couple to use birth control, or a Muslim woman to take off her veil. But today it’s becoming apparent that we need assurances from lawmakers that Christians will not be forced to violate their faith when gay couples are granted marriage rights. The Indiana law might have been a flawed attempt to secure religious freedom in our pluralistic society, but we need to address this issue now before someone suggests that having a Bible in my home is a criminal act because it is “anti-gay.”
Bible-believing Christians are more and more becoming the enemy of the ‘world’ (as Jesus said would happen in John 15:18-21) and many people consider religious views to be narrow: Whether it’s the discussion of whether young people should wait until marriage for sex; If they believe adultery is a sin; they have a strong personal conviction against abortion; and yes, if marriage is to be between a man and a woman! Regardless of what side of the discussion you stand on, it is the duty of all to show kindness and compassion to those who don’t agree with us!
Those on the side that opposes the written Word of the Bible are quick to get offended by the believers, calling them homophobic and hypocritical and bigots and all of the commonly known descriptors of opposing viewpoints, but for the Christian, it’s about what God’s Word says. Whether or not we agree with the growing movement of the ‘equality’ battle, for the believer, THEIR truth is what is written in the Word! Homosexuality in their view is a sin, plain and simple. It may not the “worst” sin, but as a Christian, I believe in that Word as it is written, and it’s not up for debate or surgical word manipulation or interpretation. I also believe though that my faith requires me to be Christ-like toward a gay person. To call a Christian a “bigot” because he views homosexuality as a sin is a form of bigotry in reverse. Jesus was certainly no bigot. He was a “friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt. 11:19), and He offered His love and salvation to prostitutes, corrupt politicians, social outcasts, drunkards and even religious hypocrites. BUT Jesus didn’t wink at sin, redefine it or sidestep it. He showed us that if we really want to show love to a person, we should confront their sin, warn them about it and tell them the truth (see Matt. 18:15-17).
As Christians, we are called to follow Christ. We should offer love, counsel, comfort, friendship, healing—and even prayer—for anyone who would have it, regardless of their race, creed, income level, religion or sexual preference. I believe any Christian should seek to model acceptance and a welcoming attitude toward others. However as  Christians, we should not be FORCED to adhere to specific laws or beliefs that are contrary to our own. That is NOT religious freedom by any stretch and is a violation of OUR Constitutional rights! A Christian minister should not be “forced” by a law to perform a gay wedding because this would violate the vows they made to God when they surrendered to their calling. If they elect to do so, it should be by choice and the appropriateness according to Christian belief will be their own conflict with the Lord God to deal with! Unfortunately America is such a nation of accommodating laws that we’re more about loopholes than legitimacy. Sadly, furthermore, every law that hits the docket these days seems to be, one way or another, in the direction opposed to Christian value! No Christian should have to forfeit their beliefs just because one minority group or another demands priority treatment. Religious freedom still matters; and a true “free society” should defend everyone’s right to practice their faith.

#Adversity Creates a Chance for a #Choice – How Will You Use it? – –

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But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good… — (Genesis 50:20)…
 
Everyone faces adversity from time to time. A person is fired from his or her job. Bills are due, but there’s no money to pay them with. A beloved family member dies. When things happen to us, we have a choice to make about how we let it affect us. How we handle these situations can say a lot about our faith in the Lord.
In the case of Joseph, his problems began the moment he fell for his brothers’ “we’ve got a really neat pit to show you” trick. They sold him as a slave to Ishmaelites passing through the area in an attempt to rid themselves of “the dreamer” (see Genesis 37:19). Eventually, Joseph was able to gain a good standing with Potiphar and was placed in charge of his house. But later, Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph and falsely accused him of adultery. Joseph ended up in prison as a result.
Joseph had chances for choices here. He had plenty of chances to cry out about the injustice he was facing. He had chances to complain about the treatment he had received from his brothers. He could have become bitter when the king’s cupbearer was released from prison and forgot about him. These actions and attitudes would have reduced Joseph to hopelessness. Instead, Joseph allowed himself to be used by God to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Pharaoh removed him from prison and placed him in charge of Egypt, where he organized a plan to store grain before the famine occurred. Finally, Joseph was reunited with his brothers. What was intended for bad was used by God for good.
 
It’s the same in our own lives – Circumstances have the ability to take us out of contention, but we also have the a chance to rise above them. We can cry, complain, and live in misery because of our struggles. Or we can react like Joseph–allowing God, in His timing, to bring something good out of our circumstances. You have a choice my friend. Will you complain and cry and be bitter about it all and drop to your knees in defeat – or will you look for the opportunities for good, stay positive and motivated and allow God to help you land on your feet?
 
The choice is yours…

Jesus Promises – #IGBOK –

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Jesus, God in the flesh — the creator, sustainer and redeemer of all creation — made this promise! He shouts it in His Word – from Genesis to Revelation! He’s the only one who could make this promise — and keep it. And because He did, we have reason to hope. That doesn’t mean that the cancer will be healed, the relationship fully restored, the physical pain or emotional ache will go away in this life. It means that because He has entered and overcome our brokenness…we can live this life with real hope — a hope that knows one day everything will be set right forever in the life to come. Jesus made some reassuring and comforting points to leave His disciples with back then and us now. Jesus promises us that ITS GONNA BE OKAY
…AS LONG AS WE SERVE IN HUMILITY.
(John 13:12-17) –  When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
…IF WE OBEY HIS “NEW COMMAND.”
(John 13:34-35) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
…BECAUSE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT ARE OUR ADVOCATES.
(John 14:16-21) “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—  the Spirit of truth….  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
…IF WE REMAIN IN HIM.
(John 15:5) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
…EVEN THOUGH THE WORLD WILL HATE US.
(John 16:2-4) “The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them….” (John 15:18-21) “ If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”
…BECAUSE JESUS PRAYED FOR US. HE AND GOD ARE TALKING ABOUT US!
(John 17:13-21) “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
IT’S GONNA BE OKAY!