Don’t Just Run to Finish; Run to #Win –

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. (1 Cor 9:24)~ The finish line is in our minds when we run a race, but God intends us to run the race to win. Sometimes in life you’re running through rough terrain, and you fall down, but you don’t stay down, you get back up! You keep after it. God expects us to run our race with all we’ve got, every day. To run successfully, you have to give your complete attention, give full effort, be consistent. Sometimes blessings require hard work. They require you to show up; they require you to take action; they require you to persevere; they require you to be faithful, even in the valleys of our journey! We seem to have no trouble acting faithful on the mountain top, but it’s the valleys you’ll be blessed in. The enemy will have you thinking you can’t win…the enemy will have you believing that unless you win, you’re just like the majority.. one of those who doesn’t win. And since he’s got you thinking you can’t win, he’s making you think you’re just average… and also a loser! Then the enemy will have you settling with just being average, never striving to be better, never desiring anything but being comfortable where you are! If you can just get through it.. if you can just make it.. the bare minimums are okay with you! Why would you settle to just be average? Why would you settle for just making it? Why not give it your all? You might say ‘well, average isn’t so bad…I’d take that over being on the bottom.’ Well guess what my friend, that’s exactly what you are doing when you settle for average… you’re accepting being on the top …of the bottom! You’re okay with being less than God designed you to be. You focus on being a ‘finisher’ who just wants to get through. God designed you as a winner, an achiever, an overcomer, a conqueror! Yet in all these things we are MORE than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom 8:37)! Devil you picked on the wrong people. Putting our lives together is just the beginning! We’re not just going to put our lives back together, we’re going to kick your tail before it’s done. God didn’t just save us from ‘hell’, He gives us an ‘abundant’ life (John 10:10) – He didn’t just make another spiritual being, He created us in HIS image and likeness (Gen 1:26). He gave us His SON as the propitiation for sins rather than make us pay the price. Rather than just do it, God does it with greatness. In His image, we should perform to greatness as well. Don’t just run the race to finish it, run it to win! Run the race like everything depends on it. Don’t just do something to do it- put your BEST into it! Do it HEARTILY as if you were doing it directly for God (Col 3:23). You may not always finish the race first, but be assured, Victory will always be yours!

#Repent and Turn Up the Passion! –

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Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent (Rev 2:4-5); If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chr 7:14)~~
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!

Why Do We Let Those Little Things Get To Us? #NoWorries –

And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? (Luke 12:25)~ What someone said;  what someone did. How they make us feel… how they upset,  disrespect or annoy us. What didn’t go our way…what was a challenge for us. We have so much more to worry about than these little distractions. What benefit is there to focus on all of that negativity?? If you expect to be happy and enjoy your life you must master not allowing small stuff to bother you when it occurs. So many of us get so bent out of shape over the small stupid things that when you think about it mean absolutely nothing. Stop allowing words, gossip and negativity to bring you down. Stop worrying about what other people say, think and do. People say and do mean things to you because they are subconsciously casting the feelings of themselves onto you. When things occur and you have no control over them, just keep it moving; rather than expend energy on those things you couldn’t even change if you wanted to. God has called you BLESSED. No weapon formed against you shall prosper!! That doesn’t mean there won’t be weapons; it means that things that come against you will fail because you are in Christ! But it’s all on you…the more you focus on negativity, the more it impacts you. The less mess you allow to trickle through your life, the more blessed your life will be! Resist the devil and he will flee!

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!

#Faith Must Be Active; You’ve Got to Move! –

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But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isa 40:31)~ so many of us are looking for that blessing, that breakthrough, that change. And while we look and believe, we sit! Yes, all things are possible to him who believes and has faith; but as we believe, we can’t just sit there the way we are and think because we have faith that things will just suddenly… change. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20) Faith must be ACTIVE! Keep in mind, those who had faith when Jesus walked all had an action corresponding to it. The woman with the issue of blood didn’t just wait for Jesus to come touch her for her healing, she had to (DO SOMETHING) make her way through resistance that was keeping her from Him (the crowd) and the effort of action in her faith made her whole; the impotent man at the pool had a healing from Jesus, sure he did, but he had to rise up, take up his bed and walk in the faith that Jesus made Him whole. See, God sets our blessing in its place long before we actually need it. Often times we miss it because while we believe Him for it, we won’t move on what we believe in… toward it. It’s on the other side of the street and the light has changed but we won’t enter the crosswalk. Friend, we all have healing and blessings in The Lord but our faith is just a belief until we take a step in it. Peter believed that he could walk on the water when Jesus called him, but it couldn’t happen until he stepped out of the boat! Martin Luther King Jr is famous for saying that Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. We know the top of the staircase is there but we’ll never get there standing at the bottom watching it in awe of its height or greatness! Isaiah says they that wait on The Lord renew their strength… that strength is to be USED to MOUNT UP with the wings of Eagles; to RUN the race set before us and to WALK in the paths of His righteousness, that we will NOT FAINT in adversity, but PROSPER and PERSEVERE! Christ has healed our spiritual diseases, let us GO wherever he sends us, and TAKE UP whatever he lays upon us. So often we look for our blessings but we sit in that ‘unblessed’ situation and continue to sit in our stuff (some of us call it waiting in faith); when all we had to do was move in the blessing we believed God for and we would see the difference. God doesn’t always take the situation away from you and He won’t always take you out of the situation. Many times the blessing is in the actual enduring and the process of going through. We may not always be clear on which way we have to move but one thing we can be certain of is that we HAVE TO MOVE! The proof of our spiritual cure is not just our belief, but our RISING and WALKING; our MOVING in faith; in Him! 

What Good Does It Do To Hate? #NoH8 –

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you

—Luke 6:27-28

 

Who are your enemies? Do you have any? Who hates you? Anyone? Most of us would probably answer, no. We might even conclude that these words, spoken so long ago, have become a little irrelevant in our present, everyday lives. And we might try to just move on to the next set of instructions. But, should we? Can we? The answer is, absolutely not. These particular instructions are as relevant to us, right now, as they are challenging—and as they are important. Our King, Jesus Christ, is simply calling on us to love even those who are hardest to love. And we all know people like that.

 

Who’s mistreated you? Who’s let you down? Who’s taken advantage of you? Maybe someone at work? A family member? A friend? A neighbor? Someone you barely know? “Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst” (Luke 6:27-30 MSG).

 

We must treat well those who’ve treated us badly (Luke 6:27-29). We must help those who will never help us back (Luke 6:31-34). We must be generous to those who are anything but (Luke 6:29-30). And we must be graceful and merciful to them all (Matthew 6:14-15). But, not only that, we must be merciful again and again and again (Matthew 18:21-22). You see, what Jesus is teaching us—what we must grasp and embrace—is that we don’t fight evil with yet more evil; we fight evil with good (Romans 12:20). Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world; and has yet to solve one!

 

When will we stop embracing #wretched ways? –

A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends (Prov 16:28)~~There are those that would rather go through more pains to do mischief than would be needful to do good. They keep up conversations and activities that defame and destroy the character of others, separate friendships, and lower the reputation of others by any means possible; and they take pleasure and pride in doing so. Sadly, this hateful characteristic is becoming more and more common… even in the quest for new political leaders…. yes, the dignity of the office of the President of the United States is not only a target, but threatens to antagonize! Where does it stop? When do we stop talking negatively about others?? Whatever happened to “If you cannot say something good, then don’t say anything”? We hate and cringe at the thought of committing rape or murder – but all this slander and gossip are as bad as both. They violate and kill a person’s reputation instead of their body, and it ruins their joy, peace, and friendships/relationships. It’s really sad these days how people love to cause division by spreading rumors, innuendos, secrets, or lies about others. What’s worse is that the world PAYS people for the most outrageous information and will make those willing to participate rich for putting it on display – just look at how many reality TV and gossip shows are on…there are entire networks dedicated to this type of stuff…and the more brashly the hosts of this information come across, the more outrageous their gossip, the more they are respected in their ‘profession’. When does it stop?? You would use any means to prevent a terrible crime… what if we were to so respond forcibly to verbal wickedness as well? What if we didn’t entertain but instead actively rebuked and purposely avoided gossip, backbiting, slander and negative talk when we came across it…taking the same efforts to shut down all of the “wretchedness”? What if we refused to subscribe to divisive and perverse insinuations…turned away from the reality shows; refused to tune into the media or share the posts that promote negativity and and embrace ignorance? Slanders would not be so readily spoken, if they were not readily heard. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom 12:18) and seek not to harm others by divisive words. This is the most peaceful and successful way to be. By choosing to be a peacemaker, you are a true child of God (Mat 5:9). The peacemakers are happy. They love, and desire, and delight in peace; and study to be quiet. They don’t delight in spreading more ignorance and broadcasting the best gossip. They seek to keep the peace that it be not broken, and recover it when it is broken. Imagine what we could do, what a difference we could make by building up lives with our words rather than tearing them down; if we looked to bring out the good rather than expose the bad; if we would take joy in the positive rather than be entertained by the negative. Purify your heart, and let it produce gracious words at all times; Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (Col 4:6).