Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Tim 4:1-2)~ Increasingly mankind is buying in to a ‘new’ mindset that interprets the truth of God in a very different (and misguided) way… politically correct and adjusted to compensate (if you will) for the “way things are” today; taking into considerations man’s feelings and desires; in step with trending popularity; re-defining the intent of God’s word! We have changed the truth of God into a lie; following and even worshipping the created (our own ideals) rather than the Creator (God)! This interpretation suggests that it’s okay to exist in a way other than God’s word; because what God expects from us is unrealistic and we can’t do it anyway! People now attach ‘language’ to sin to soften the blow of sin…to make it more acceptable and its consequence less punitive..like the lies the devil told in the Garden of Eden. Because society has propagated the belief that it’s unrealistic to live by the guidelines of God’s Word, today’s culture says that to follow the Word of God is out of step and out of date with ‘reality’. Now what used to be up is down, what used to be this way is now that way. God’s doctrines are now viewed as to be intended for those in ‘Biblical’ times. Here’s the reality check: As much as it may disturb some to take it in, the truth of the matter is this: God is God alone and He does not change (Mal 3:6); He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) – He didn’t ask for nor does He desire our opinion, feedback or interpretation. Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it (Job 40:2). He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and His way IS the way…Acceptance by Him cannot be obtained on any other ground than that of the covenant of mercy, through the atonement of Christ. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor 2:11)..we can’t shape things around political campaigns, public outcry and opinion or even organized rebellion. These are all areas that the enemy will use to get us to justify our rebellion. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes. We have the Word that many of us have knowledge and understanding of. We must also stand under that Word! Wisdom is to be used, that we take great care in the decisions we make and the doctrines we follow. We scream that we have ‘free will’ to do as we choose..but that doesn’t mean that what we choose will be right. From the choices of Adam and Eve going aside of the Word of God in the Garden that set the course of a curse to all of mankind…to the choice of Abraham to trust God that brought the promise of abundant blessings to all that came behind him…and the choice of Jesus to do the Will of God that restored all of mankind… His Word is and must always be our foundation. We must not depart from it!
Struggle strengthens you..
don’t run from it, run through it..
If you can’t get around, can’t get over it, can’t get under it, then go through it!
Let the struggle strengthen you. It could be anything from your relationship, your job, your family, your finances, your friends, or anything else life throws at you. Embrace the struggle and let it push you to greatness.
I live in a struggle of some sort at all times. I’ve gotten use to it. I use to feel like crying, shouting, pouting, but then I just started praying. I started praying and smiling my way through every struggle. I found out that no matter how high you climb there will always be a struggle. Many want the top but I hear it’s really hard to breathe up there. Yes, they struggle even at the top.
I keep picturing this man’s hands that I saw one day while on a plane. His palms looked like cracked concrete and he was picking at them with his nails that looked like smashed eagle claws. His hands told me the story of his life but in that moment I learned that no matter how hard the job is, we adapt to it. We grow stronger in order to survive the struggle. The struggle won’t kill you, so let it make you stronger!
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (Ps 23:1)~~ He is the LORD over all; He governs the affairs of our lives and is in control. Even though it may be over our heads, it’s still under His feet! He is omnipotent – having all power! Seeing all, and knowing all – even before we know of it or need of it. The Lord IS omnipresent! His ‘IS-ness’ declares a state of constant existence and presence, without limitation, in all time and place – there is no ‘was’ nor ‘shall be’.. no here nor there; in all – God IS. The Lord is OUR shepherd and we are HIS sheep – He is Lord OVER US – to chasten and correct us that we should obey Him and let Him direct our paths to His paths of righteousness. The Lord is our SHEPHERD – our provider and protector giving us His life that we may have life abundantly (John 10:10-11); not to worry about what comes against us nor what we shall have. We are completely and eternally satisfied in Him. Jehovah-Rohi: our good shepherd – He is Lord ‘over’ all, He is Lord ‘of’ all!
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh. As it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided (Gen 22:14)~ Jehovah-Jireh: “I Am the One who provides” — That place where God is…for the encouragement of all believers, to the end of the world, cheerfully to trust in God, and obey Him. Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide. Rather than Abraham slay his son in sacrifice, The Lord provided a ram to be the sacrifice. Rather than punish us and slay us and require our sacrifices for the debt of sin on our souls, God provided Himself a lamb. Now there is no more sacrifice for sins; there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus; For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life. The Lord will always have His eye upon His people, in their straits and distresses, that He may give them seasonable help. And my God shall supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. #Provider
..Thy will be done in Earth, as it is in Heaven (Matt 6:10)~ We all know where the statement comes from. We pray it as part of one of the most common prayers known to any believer in Christ. But throughout the history of man, we have rebelled against God’s will over and over and over again, only to be left to our own destruction at our own hands. We want to say “Thy will be done” but we want it to be done ‘our way’. Our self-sufficiency and pride in our own ways only leads to the death of us. People get to a point of not wanting to acknowledge God’s will (until their own has failed) – And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (Rom 1:28). As far back as the deception in the Garden, man has rebelled against the knowledge of God in favor of his own and even created his own laws and interpretations to serve his own purpose; looking up to those Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator (Rom 1:25). We sadly today have greater respect as a people FOR “the people” and the things OF “the people” – Christmas automatically makes one think of gifts and Santa while we have to fight for the right to remind people about the birth of Jesus. Easter we remember the death and burial and celebrate the resurrection of God’s greatest gift to us in His son Jesus, but the Easter bunny and a good dinner get more attention. We work extra long hours around the days that bring our attention to Christ for but a minute, but we will take a day off in remembrance of a president or to honor man’s independence! There is a reason that we are told to “lean not to our own understanding but trust in Him to direct our paths” (Prov 3:5-6): For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa 55:8-9). As much as we THINK we know what’s better for us, we eventually find out that God only knows! Next time you get upset because things aren’t going YOUR way.. keep in mind that it could very well be going GOD’S way! When we follow HIS way, we expect that we will not come to a position of regretting our own will before we acknowledge His…saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but THINE be done (Luke 22:42).
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. (Mark 6:31)~ How many hours do you think you work a week? 50? 70? It’s amazing if I chart the hours I work each week, counting the times I work at home, not just the projects, but the conference calls and late calls (including checking voicemail and e-mail). It’s a wonder I even have time to stop and eat, especially when I add the things I do at home to the mix. When do you get a chance to refresh, renew and replenish your life, your spirit, your health, your body. People say you only live once, but are you living or just working yourself to an early grave? Grandma used to tell me in her own (back-home) draw “baby you ain’t no iron – you got to rest”. Now, years later I realize what she meant by that. There are some of us that think we can’t function unless we are going 100 MPH with our hair on fire! It is a trick of the enemy to make you overwork and be so busy occupied with the things of this life; careers, activities, events and busy-work; that you miss going through this life! And you work your mind and body so much you become exhausted to the point that your body can’t respond to the call of your spirit. You might think you’re living a great life by being so busy and always on the move and always doing this or that, but is your life really fulfilling? You’re so busy that you gather impressions but have no experiences, you make acquaintances but make no friends, you attend events and church and meetings but experience no encounter…your work is never done. How’s that really working for you? Look my friend, we all know that on the seventh day, God rested (Gen 2:2). But, God did not rest as one weary (because we know the Lord never sleeps or slumbers), but as one well pleased. He took that day of rest to stop and reflect. There has to be a point in your life where you shut it down – take that vacation, that weekend, that day off! That career..will be there when you get back. Those people that depend on you so much, will manage and might even impress you with their resourcefulness. Yes, you only live once but I often see this when I think about all I just HAVE to do: My family knows I’m doing it FOR them, but sometimes, they’d love to just have me doing it WITH them! Take some time…GOD did it…Jesus did it…why can’t you???
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isa 26:3)~ Our peace is often the focus of the enemy. Satan knows without peace, we are in a weakened condition, vulnerable to defeat. If he can get us to hand over our peace, he knows it won’t be long before we become putty in his hand. But, the devil is a lie! Friend, have you ever thought of the power that we have been given in Jesus’ name when we speak His word and claim it in our life? One of the great provisions of Christ to us as His family is peace in Him. He not only gives us peace, He keeps us in peace; in His perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in Him, but shall receive from Him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is forever. God’s Word is true and it can be trusted! When we stand on God’s Word, we won’t fall for the tricks of the enemy! And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Col 3:15). As members of His family, peace is not just God’s gift but His WILL…His intention for us. He doesn’t intend that we live in stress and strain; He doesn’t intend that we have dysfunction in our families and relationships; He doesn’t intend that we struggle through life. It is His will that every need be supplied (Phil 4:19). Friend, I pray that God, the source of all hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ (Rom 15:13). Shalom!
Do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another’s secret, lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end (Prov 25:8-10)~ Isn’t it interesting that the person that loves to ‘call people out’ ends up being the one getting the “look” from everyone else as the truly shameful person? What good does it really do to go after a person and publicly humiliate them for some offense? Your efforts to make them look bad are actually casting a negative shadow on you! Why create all that drama?? All it does is fuel the fire even though in the moment it seems to feel vindicating. Conflict and strife are parts of life in a sinful world. They evoke strong passions, which cause us to rush to action. Some of us pride ourselves in being direct or outspoken or passionate. But a passionate response is usually a poor response. It is better to let passions cool before taking any action. The mind is usually not fully engaged, when the heart is pounding and the emotions are raging. Cool off first, before you do anything or even plan anything. Otherwise, unless you are very careful, small conflicts will escalate quickly into much larger levels of strife. Kings go to battle slowly. Jesus said, “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace” (Luke 14:31-32). Let this all be a lesson to us: If you have ever slept on a conflict, with a mind toward fearing God and loving wisdom, you woke in the morning with a very different perspective than what you went to bed with. This is wisdom. By allowing some time to pass, your passions cooled, your mind had time to clear foolish emotions, and the Holy Spirit could direct you. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord (Rom 12:19). Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me (Gen 32:26)~ Perseverance: It is an emblem of the true spirit of faith and prayer. Jacob kept his ground; though his struggle continued long, this did not shake his faith, nor silence his prayer. He will have a blessing, and had rather have his bones put out of joint than go away without one. Those who would have the blessing of Christ, must resolve to take no denial. Never give up on God, never stop believing, never lose faith…always pray…The fervent prayer is the effectual prayer and the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much!
And so I plead with you this day as we go ahead: remain committed to nonviolence. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the other man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man. I know you are asking today, “How long will it take?” Somebody’s asking, “How long will prejudice blind the visions of men, darken their understanding, and drive bright-eyed wisdom from her sacred throne?” Somebody’s asking, “When will wounded justice, lying prostrate on the streets be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men?” Somebody’s asking, “When will the radiant star of hope be plunged against the nocturnal bosom of this lonely night, plucked from weary souls with chains of fear and the manacles of death? How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it?” However difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because “truth crushed to earth will rise again.” How long? Not long, because “no lie can live forever.” How long? Not long, because “you shall reap what you sow.” How long? Not long because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (Martin Luther King, Jr. – Montgomery, AL – March 25, 1965)