Don’t let the ‘supposed’ prosperity of evil turn You! #Resist #StayWoke –

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Do you notice, it seems like people are doing so much wrong, creating and supporting evil in the earth, yet they seem successful while following God either not much or not at all? Do you ever find yourself wondering how these people, who embrace the ‘world’ wholeheartedly, enjoy its mindset? Do you ever get discouraged, wondering ‘what’s the point’? I mean, do yo ever just get tired of trying to follow God in the midst of people who aren’t? Are you ever tempted to relent and embrace the world a bit more too?

A man named Asaph, psalmist in the time of David and Solomon, was tempted to relent.  He was surrounded by faithless men who seemed ‘always at ease’ with the way they were, continually increasing in stature and riches (Ps 73:12). Asaph envied them and his ‘heart was embittered’ (Ps 73:21). “All in Vain”, he cried, “have I kept my heart clean…” (Ps 73:13. We may not admit it as boldly as Asaph, but many of us harbor similar thoughts!

When we face that choice, though, to embrace God or embrace the world, we must remember – we’re part of something much larger, much more important than worldly ways! It’s much more than just what’s going on around us. We’ve been invited into an ancient and remarkable battle. For ‘we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one’ (1 John 5:19). We’re agents of the resistance, behind enemy lines. We cannot allow ourselves, therefore, to be beguiled by our enemy or the world under his power!

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm! For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, THEY shall inherit the earth (Ps 37:7-9)!

How Dare We Say We Were #Born This Way! #GodIsNotMocked –

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)~~ We all have facets of our lifestyle and habits that deep in our hearts we know are opposition to God’s way. To justify ourselves and lighten our own guilty weight we are now putting it out there that we were simply born this way or that way. That this is just ‘how we are’. If we were born naturally in that state, that would be like saying God created us faulty and flawed. Yep, that’s it; it’s not us, it’s God’s fault! 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; as if He got it wrong; because we really want it different that how He did it! 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. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. It also says that God looked at His creation and saw that it was good. That means He took pleasure in it. So if we were born this way (in the state of our sinful ways) we would reason that God takes pleasure in our eradication as punishment for our sins! 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. If we were born naturally evil, we would be saying that God created us with intention of killing us.To Stop the beginnings of sin, or all the evils that follow must be wholly charged upon us.However, here my friend is the fullness of His grace toward us: God, knowing we could not in our own power be completely sinless as He requires, He sent His Son who WAS sinless…and while we were yet sinners, Christ died on our behalf, satisfying God’s wages of sin…a debt we surely could not pay! No, we weren’t created or born with our sinful habits, ways and practices, we learned every single one of them and we take pride and pleasure in many of them; so much so that we determine even in our own hearts, our own brand of righteousness so that it fits ’the way we are’! So to say we were made ‘like this’… that God got it wrong and we’re just fixing it… that our Lord and the Creator of all that is good and perfect… made a mistake??? Let us not dare charge The Him with such shabbiness of workmanship and error!  But let us be ever grateful for His grace and mercy!

No One Is Less Than Any Other #IAmAMan –

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  • If “whoever” is good enough for God than it has to be good enough for the people of God!
  • Jesus is not looking at the color of someone’s skin but the condition of their heart.
  • Why would God bring the nations together in heaven but keep them separate on Earth?
  • Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it was about religion.
  • Jesus has two interracial marriages in his lineage. Are you better than Jesus?
  • When your family values are rooted in sin, it’s time to change your family values.
  • Nobody’s born a bigot; it’s a learned behavior.
  • Arrogance always leads to us treating people how Jesus would never treat people.
  • Unforgiveness is always rooted in arrogance.
  • While you’re under your parents’ roof, try your best to obey their rules.
We are all PEOPLE and when we put race in front of it, we categorize them as less than people. When we stop seeing ourselves and each other as the Black man, or the White man or the Asian or Hispanic man and just see the MAN… then our race problems will get better! I am a MAN!!

#Tolerance, Indifference & Acceptance are Lukewarm; Heat Things Up & Stand For Something! –

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“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. (Rev 3:15)~~

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 and passionate 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 people, even 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 by many, 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, passion, 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!

What Makes YOU Better Than Me? God Sure Didn’t!

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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 better, more “moral” and above the others… 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. What makes YOU better than me? God sure didn’t!!! “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” (John 8:7)

God Made You For This – Go On Through It! #HisGraceIsSufficient –

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For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for the: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor 12:8-9) ~

Ever been in the middle of something tough, prayed for rescue, and heard…nothing?

Ever questioned God in frustration “Why won’t you answer?”

Could it be that God doesn’t always answer because sometimes He wants us to stay right where we are and learn… there… how to fight, persevere, mature, have patience, TRUST HIM and survive?

Maybe just maybe, God is ALLOWING our troubles and pain to train us and make us more reliable conduits of His love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and strength!

We tend to consider pain and trouble as unnecessary, to be avoided, hindrances to ease and happiness. Might it make more sense to consider pain and trouble as opposition, as a mountaineer views the pitch and the altitude, or as a linebacker views the block and fake?

We aren’t meant to be men who avoid tribulation or numb from it or deny it! We aren’t meant to run from battles, hiding and letting others fight. God MADE us for the oppositions we face. In fact, we are more likely to be weaker without it. God knows this and reminds us that Man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1). That sounds very different from the promise of an easy, care-free, trouble-free life.

WHY would God allow that you ask? It’s made very clear right here in 1 Peter 5:8-10: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (NKJV).

Knowing this, we should understand that we are MADE to go through things in life. We can’t hide from it or protect ourselves (or each other or our children) from it – but we should see it as a healthy dose of strengthening from our Lord! So when He says His grace is sufficient – God is saying – “You’re going to go through this, but I’ve Got You”…. and I’m good with that!!!

We must see our tribulation through for what it is – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12). Our struggle is against being lured into selfishness, indifference, impatience, rage, resignation or sin in the face of problems at work, in our finances or relationships or families! These are epic struggles – battles worthy of anyone God has His hand on. God doesn’t take our challenges away – because He’s built us to go through them and conquer them and in Him we are MORE than conquerors!!!

So friend, don’t cower from your life’s challenges; go through them and overcome them. Jesus overcame the world and in Him you overcome! His grace is enough to get us through it – hang in there – trust in Him and go on through it all!

 

#StopTheMadness – End #Racism NOW! –

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Sadly I find myself coming back to repost these thoughts I’ve echoed SO many times – as the news of the day story shares – Racism is still holding root in America!!!!  It seems like every 6 months (or less) I find myself here again… frustrated again… sickened by the ugliness again…. totally (and maybe I shouldn’t be) surprised that this CANCER still has a hold on our society.  So many of us wanted to believe that electing America’s first President of color signaled the end of a very bad era; even with the countless number of incidents where people of color continued to be victims to violence and hatred – we wanted to believe that things were actually getting better.  Now as that President has come and done his tenure and is gone on to other things in life, it’s almost as if there was a fermenting and boiling up of rebellion against every form of progression toward ending racist supremacism, bias and other forms of segregation that pit races against each other! That boiling up today is spilling into the streets of Virginia – with people claiming they want to “take their country back”! HOW CAN YOU TAKE BACK SOMETHING THAT WASN’T YOURS IN THE FIRST PLACE????  While the high politicians of this country seem to be gearing up for battle with numerous other countries, America is a nation divided – our country is imploding from the inside – because this race wants to claim supremacy over that race and that race hates the other race and by that way, this race over here is divided against itself because half of it doesn’t want to see the other half succeed and they literally judge each other because of their level within the race!!!

But it’s still here… and its absolutely sickening!!!  

Unfortunately, Racism will not go away anytime soon– despite all the efforts from people to proclaim our society as post-racial. We keep seeing examples Of racism and the more people speak against it the more supporters of racist views rear their heads …ugliness… in the national spotlight and right in our own neighborhoods… It shows you just how disrespectful people are today and how low a value is placed on human life just because the race is different! 

A sad truth is that the more these people start to realize the impact of their ugly, bigoted words and actions… The more they just keep USING them; No matter what the extreme, from laughing at or posting a stereotypical joke on social media to committing a hate crime because we have that nagging urge to dislike someone that’s not like us. We were so wrong over the last eight years!!!! Racism is more prevalent today than it ever was and if not for the laws protecting the human rights of the targets of this ugly cancer of society, things would be much worse. The only reason the crimes aren’t any worse is because the fear of retaliation or punitive recourse holds force… for now!

People, we need to go above our horrible base instincts of ignorance and lay off the acts steeped in belittling a culture other than our own. There is NOT ONE justifiable reason for racism to exist!!! There is NO EXCUSE for the ugliness that happens: If “whoever” is good enough for God then they have to be good enough for the “people” of God! Jesus is not looking at the color of someone’s skin but the condition of their heart. Why would God bring the nations and races and souls together in Heaven but keep them separate on Earth? Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it’s about religion. Jesus has interracial marriages in his lineage. Are you better than Him? It doesn’t matter that your ancestors have been this way for generations…. we love to bring up what happened hundreds of years ago as our reason for not liking someone. Half of us don’t understand or even TRY to understand why, we just do it because it’s the way our families or our communities have been all of our lives… and our excuse for staying that way is … HERITAGE!?!?!? No wonder things are so backwards!!! When your family values are rooted in sin, it’s time to change your family values. Nobody’s born a bigot; it’s a learned behavior. This behavior always leads to us treating people how Jesus would never treat people. Hatred, Unforgiveness, Anger, Arrogance, Racism… not liking the person because their skin is a different color, their beliefs and heritages are different, their likes and dislikes don’t match ours… these things are always rooted in ignorance. We need to Stop defending the ignorance…. we really aren’t any better than the next person! Just END IT NOW!!! 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. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom 12:3-5).