Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name (Ps 100:4)~ Have you ever secretly coveted “The Joneses” who seem to be living the good life when all you have is a mountain of overdue bills? Do you feel overwhelmed about your troubles and find little time to be grateful for what you do have? Do you have a critical spirit; a heart of discontent and un-thankfulness; a griping, complaining disposition; never feeling like you’re satisfied? Don’t be an ingrate. When you feel these things, you naturally lash out in frustration and go off on a tangent asking why God allows you to be where you are….all the while not realizing the BLESSING of God allowing you to be where you are!! As that reality hits you, stop and give God thanks for what IS in your life! And it’s a promise…Yours will change! Want what you have and you’ll always have what you want! In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Ths 5:18-23).
A sad truth is that the more people start to realize the power 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. 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…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).
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!
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8)~~You will only be the person that God created you to be when you receive the power that He has created for you to have. You were not created for expressing your uncontrollable emotions; you were created for fruit, for good works, for the Kingdom of God and for The Power He promised you! You don’t have to slug through life with your own strength! You don’t have to be content with emotional sewage and generational baggage! You will take authority over your emotional hysteria when you receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
Receiving the power of the Holy Spirit enables you to become who God has created you to be! You need God’s power so that you become a witness of His nature at this time in history. You shall receive power and you shall be!
You will become all that God intended for you to become when you receive His power. Jesus knew that we would not be able to live an abundant life on planet earth without the power of the Holy Spirit and so He provided that exact power… Receive it today!
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made (Gen 2:2)~
As we come to the end of this week it’s typical to look back and reflect on what it has been. We feel a sense of accomplishment over what we’ve gotten done this week; we feel a sense of relief that the week is over and we’re (generally) DONE with whatever mission we’ve been on. Whatever we attribute to the ‘end’ we are grateful that some form of labor is behind us and some form of stress can be put down for a minute. Even if you have to continue your work on Saturday and/or even Sunday, there’s something about coming to the end of your ‘work week’ whenever it is. What’s important is that you take that time to break from it and see where you’ve come from; you rest from your works just as God did from His. In His honor, rest in His finished works in Christ that have created your coming eternity! Above all, reverence Him for He is the light at the end of the tunnel, the source of life, righteousness and peace – all glory and honor is His! May we be always grateful because we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death many a time and He has never been away from us, but has always gone before us, walked with us and even carried us! After all that we’ve COME THROUGH we’re still standing! Let your victory leading up to today be your encouragement of what God will do for you going forward; never leaving or forsaking you, but giving you a lesson in every experience. Abide in His teachings and learn and surrender to His will. We have an opportunity to praise Him because of what He has done already; even if not one more thing is done because after six days, God ceased from all works of creation. In miracles, he has overruled nature, but never changed its settled course, or added to it. Everything is already done that we may rest in Him! As you rest this ‘week end’ may your heart know a joy beyond what earth can afford; may God rejoice over you, and the joy of our compassionate Savior be completed. Praise the Lord!
For 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); Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of The Father, even so we also shall walk in the newness of life (Rom 6:4)~~ It was not enough that the Son of God would come down from the Heavens and appear as the son of man; for then He would have been a great teacher and a great example, a powerful king and even a miracle worker, but not a Redeemer; not a Savior; not The Lord! It was more important for Him to fulfill the purpose of the coming, to redeem man from sin while in the likeness of human flesh. Teachers and Examples change the state of men by their lives; the Lord Jesus Christ changed state of “mankind” by His life, death and resurrection. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13) The poison of hate, sensuality and envy, which is in the hearts of men, could not be healed in ease. For the wages of sin is death, and therefore, it was to be by death that sin would be atoned for. And in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, and eternal life in accordance with the riches of God ‘s grace. One day when Heaven was filled with His praises. One day when sin was as black as could be. Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin, Dwelt among men, my example is He. Word became flesh and the light shined among us; His glory revealed. One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain. One day they nailed Him to die on a tree. Suffering anguish, despised and rejected, Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He. Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree; And took the nails for me. One day the grave could conceal Him no longer. One day the stone rolled away from the door. Then He arose, over death He had conquered. Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore. Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him From rising again! Living He loved me; Dying He saved me. Buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified freely forever. One day He’s coming back – Oh glorious glorious day!
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee (Prov 4:7-9); When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee (Prov 6:22)~~ Wisdom is a most valuable guide, protector, and friend, both day and night! As you proceed through life, wisdom will direct your choices. As you sleep in bed, it will comfort your soul, keep your thoughts right, and protect you from evil spirits. When you begin each day, wisdom will be your friend and counselor in facing the day’s events. Wisdom is the power of right judgment – the ability to analyze a situation and know what to do. Life has many choices and decisions, many of which have serious consequences and are presented deceitfully by the world. You cannot even trust your own heart because it’s impacted by emotions which will cloud wise judgement. When you are about to turn out of the way, wisdom will say, “This is the way, walk in it”. Wisdom will guide you safely in making decisions that otherwise destroy many. Wisdom is the knowledge of God and His will for your life. When you awake to the challenges, opportunities, and fears of a day, you will have a gentle companion to reassure you and direct you. Instead of being intimidated and overwhelmed, you can be courageous and excited. Instead of being hopeless as others, you can rejoice in the future! Wisdom will give you confidence and strength to live joyfully and victoriously. Wisdom can teach you in the night. Wisdom will deliver you from fear and guilt to sleep peacefully. Wisdom will keep you from earning God’s chastening or fainting under it. Wisdom will protect you from the fears that plague others. Wisdom will keep you from overworking and worrying about things that God will do for you. Lay hold of wisdom today! Bind it in your heart and tie it about your neck (Pr 6:21)? Remember and obey the good advice and rules you received from your parents (Pr 6:20). Where can we get it? It is found in the fear of the Lord (Prov 9:10) and freely offered at our asking (James 1:5). Parents, teach it to your children. Children, learn it from your parents. Parents and children, love the guidance of it. It’s better than common sense! Got Wisdom? Get Wisdom!