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)~ let’s face it, some people just don’t want to hear it, and their ‘mission’ seems to be to tear you and your faith down. You offer them the highest, and they counter with the lowest, content to remain in the muck as swine do. It is strange that a man can be in a sinful, miserable condition, and not be concerned or even aware of it, as that a man should have a beam in his eye, and not consider it; they are quick to call out a fault of yours but themselves remain faultless in their own sight…the god of this world blinds their minds. They refuse to lift up, and in choosing to continue a conversation, there is no place for you to go but down. Don’t stoop to ignorance! Rather than arguing with them over the most beautiful of truths, it is OK, even preferred, to just leave them alone. In those cases, the faithful Holy Spirit will enact His will on those lost and brutal souls. Your duty is to pray for them and move on! God has spoken His Peace and His Promise has been made – we have to choose – if our souls are lost, it’s no one’s fault but our own!!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom 8:18)~~ The sufferings of the believer strike no deeper than the things of time, last no longer than the present time, are light afflictions, and but for a moment. How vastly different are the sentence of the word and the sentiment of the world, concerning the sufferings of this present time! Indeed all of creation seems to wait with earnest expectation for the period when the children of God shall be manifested in the glory prepared for them. There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon us by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one to another. And our persons are used, or abused rather, as instruments of sin. Yet this deplorable state of the creation is in hope. God will deliver us from being held in bondage to our depravity. The miseries of the human race, through our own and each other’s wickedness, declare that the world is not always to continue as it is. Our having received the first-fruits of the Spirit, quickens our desires, encourages our hopes, and raises our expectations. Sin has been, and is, the guilty cause of all the suffering that exists in the creation of God. It has brought on the woes of earth; it has kindled the flames of hell. As to man, not a tear has been shed, not a groan has been uttered, not a pang has been felt, in body or mind, that has not come from sin. This is not all; sin is to be looked at as it affects the glory of God. Of this how fearfully regardless are the bulk of mankind! Believers have been brought into a state of safety; but their comfort consists rather in hope than in enjoyment. From this hope we cannot be turned by the vain expectation of finding satisfaction in the things of time and sense. We need patience, our way is rough and long; but He that shall come, will come, though He seems to tarry – soon and very soon! Come, Lord Jesus!
My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding (Ps 49:3)~ We have a choice every time we engage another person, especially in the heat of an intense situation. In our human flesh we seek the vindication of giving someone a piece of our mind and while in some cases a strong conversation may be warranted, in most cases it’s very apparent that we probably need every ‘piece’ of our mind we can hold on to because of what ends up coming out of our mouth. As we deal with each other, we must take into account… each other. We must seek to approach the other person with an understanding heart because the situation we’re in may be their plea for the help of wisdom and if we are in a heated situation and just let our words fly off of our tongue without the discernment of wisdom, it truly shows in the enunciation that follows. We pray that God creates in us a clean heart we seek to have the mind of Christ and out of abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks! Therefore what we speak must be life-giving, fruitful and uplifting. The cleanliness of heart and the wisdom of mind filtering what we speak, we can actually give a ‘peace’ of the mind of Christ rather than a ‘piece’ of the mind of man – and the outcome of that situation will be very different than it could have been! The tongue carries the power of life and death – what shall you speak?
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his FAVOR is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning; Lord, by thy FAVOR thou hast made my mountain to stand strong… (Ps 30:5,7)~ Our happiness is bound up in the Divine FAVOR; if we have that, we have enough, whatever else would we want?? The Lord is my shepherd, I shall NOT want (Ps 23:1) because His FAVOR is upon us! Though God may have allowed and even sent trials to us, that former rain was to wash away what we didn’t need and clean us up so that the latter rain would nurture us and prepare us for His FAVOR which is in abundance. He will restore multiplied and in abundant FAVOR what we have lost in trial; that we will have more FAVOR than we would know what to do with (Joel 2:23-26). What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? (Ps 8:4). Who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Ps 103:4–5). Praise God for His FAVOR! You know where He has given it to you in your life. Next time you think about your troubles and your trials, think about the FAVOR God has given you… And that some of these trials are just enough to keep you on track, keeping you safe, stable and grounded. What you lack and miss is not always a dead end road from your blessing, sometimes it’s a detour TO it. Realize the FAVOR and you will see a lot of things in new perspective. Praise The Lord for His FAVOR! The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Num 6:25–26). Amen!
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. (Heb 12:5-6)~~ We should not faint under trials. Though our enemies and persecutors may be instruments to inflict sufferings, they are Divine chastisements; our heavenly Father has His hand in all, and His wise end to answer by all. We must not make light of afflictions, and be without feeling under them, for they are the hand and rod of God, and are His rebukes for sin. We must not get depressed and sink under trials, nor fret and complain, but bear up with faith and patience – giving God glory and praise. Our pain is a part of the process to clean us up! See while a man’s darling sin, be it what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and faint in our minds, let us recollect that the holy Jesus suffered the cross, to save us from eternal misery. Without the crushing of the cross, there would not the crown of Glory in the Eternal Heaven! By steadfastly looking to Jesus, our thoughts will strengthen holy affections, and keep under our carnal desires. Let us then frequently consider Him. For what are our little trials to His agonies, or even to our deserts? What are they to the sufferings of many others? God may seem to be having us to suffer while letting others alone in their sins, but He will correct sin in His own children. In this He acts as that which becomes a father. Our earthly parents sometimes may chasten us, to gratify their passion, rather than to reform our manners. But the Father of our souls never willingly grieves nor afflicts His children. It is always for our profit; to prepare us for our crown! Our whole life here is a state of childhood, and imperfect as to spiritual things; therefore we must submit to the discipline of such a state. When we come to a perfect state, we shall be fully reconciled to all God’s chastisement of us now. God’s correction is not condemnation; the chastening must be born with patience, and will greatly promote holiness. Let us then learn to consider the afflictions brought on us by the malice of men, as corrections sent by our wise and gracious Father, for our spiritual good! No Crushing – No Cross – No Cross – No Crown!
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 as seen fit to compensate 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. No matter what is said, created as a new law or trending in popularity, God’s Word is still the ultimate truth and we must not depart from it!
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)~ As our sin brought us into bondage, so God’s pardoning our sin brings us out. We cannot help but wonder in awe at that mercy; we have reason to stand amazed, if we really come to know what it is that He has done! When the Lord takes away the guilt of sin, that it may not condemn us, He will break the power of sin, that it may not have dominion over us. If it were left to ourselves to overcome and gain His pardon, our sins would be too hard for us for the price is a debt we cannot afford to pay; but God’s grace shall be sufficient to subdue our sins, so that they shall not rule us, and then they shall not ruin us. When God forgives sin, He takes care that it NEVER shall be remembered any more against us. He casts our sins into the sea; not near the shore-side (like we grudge-holders do), where they may appear again, but into the DEPTH of the sea, NEVER to rise again. ALL sins shall be cast there, for when God forgives sin, he forgives all…FOREVER! And what could make this even better? The fact that God DELIGHTS in mercy! He doesn’t do it begrudgingly, giving us the Holy Side-Eye as He forgives us, He DESIRES to have us forgiven, redeemed and reconciled! And He’s PLEASED to do it! Now THAT’S just AWE-Ful!
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecc 3:1)~ In due time all of our experiences, all of our likes and dislikes, our passions, joys and pains, things we do and places we go; even the people around us and ultimately our very selves… must go through change. Being the creatures of habit that we are, this experience of change is not always welcome or comfortable. We are more desired to stay where we are because it’s comfortable and it’s easy and we don’t have to worry about what may or may not happen because of change. We feel in control. We are uncomfortable about change in life because we have to take a new path that is outside of the one we are always in and feel good about. But when God calls upon you for your destiny you will have to endure change that will take you away from what you are used to and comfortable with. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee (Gen 12:1)~ Imagine trusting God to the point you give up everything you have; everything you are everything and possibly most of, if not everyone you know. God did just that, even Himself, to deliver His promise to us and open the door for us. He could have just sat in Heaven and been comfortable in His glory and just let things happen, but God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). He made the biggest change in History- a change that altered the destiny of life itself. He gave up His all to replace the burden and the end result of sin for us. Knowing this we have to be encouraged of our security during the journey because while we don’t know what we’re about to go through, we do know that HE is in control and has a place that He will bring us to. We have a decision to make. We can trust Him enough to faithfully go through the change as He asks of us or we can ignore Him and fight for the comfort of staying stagnant; for the easiness of just being where and how we are. The end result though will be the same. Again, everything has its appointed time and when that time is exhausted, the winds of change are imminent! Remember, God’s word will not return to Him void but will accomplish what He purposed (Isa 55:11). Therefore our decision to ignore and hold back kicking and screaming for our “right to be as we please” only makes it harder on us when that inevitable does come. If God means it for you, it is going to be! How it affects you is really up to you. God gives us the opportunity to change or be changed. It’s up to us! Is there anything in your life you would not be willing to walk away from to follow Christ and give Him the praise, honor and glory He is due? Would you change your life to live in Him and have Him live through you? We don’t fully know what God’s promise brings us along the way but we know what the end result will be. Christ gave all and sits at the Right hand of God … the promise as a result of our faith, our trust will be a greatness beyond our comprehension. Don’t fight what must be; but trust God and allow His blessing to enhance, grow and sustain you as the seasons around you change! Be Blessed!
Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:29-30)~~ Can a person really believe and be saved? What if they still have sin in their lives? What if they know nothing about the Bible? What if Christian commitment is unknown to them? The response a lot of us may throw out there would actually be our own set of questions: Did you repent? Did you confess? Did you forsake everything? Did you pray a sinner’s prayer? Faith doesn’t even come into question because Faith alone doesn’t require a prerequisite event! Rather than trust in simple faith, we want to add endless qualifications to “real” faith. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so simple that man continually feels the need to complicate it. Too many of us wouldn’t be happy with Paul’s simple answer today, but it really IS this simple: “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)~Here is the sum of the whole gospel, the covenant of grace in a few words. No rituals, no special ceremonies, no pre-qualifications, no prerequisites. Plain and simple: Believe and have Faith in what you believe!!!