Comparing & Complaining The Haves and Have-Nots Only Makes You a #Hater –

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But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth (James 3:14)~  Do a survey of what you have: your home, your family, your job, your friends, your church, your health…your life… Now, how happy are you with it all? What if you had what I have, would you be happier, more or less than you are now? Would I be any happier with yours?  Do you really even know? We won’t even talk money, cars and clothes because that’s just material. 

God has blessed us with so much, yet we still find a reason to complain. People who are ambitious for themselves (it’s all about “them”) often become bitter against and envious of those who have succeeded or are further along. Rather than rejoice in or at least be truly happy for the blessing that has come upon the person, some people are jealous; they may believe they are godlier, humbler, wiser, more informed, more helpful, more truthful, and more deserving of a large platform, a level of achievement, a material gain or other blessing.

Yes, we know them as haters! We all have probably been haters at some point. But why does what one person has or appears to have versus what we have even matter? Why not look at what YOU are blessed with, rather than feeling disturbed about what someone else has…like you deserved it and they didn’t! In reaction, haters criticize and oppose, they fabricate opinionated reasoning (and yes, lie) to minimize the blessing and create the assumption that the blessed person was somehow undeserving or unworthy; all as they elevate their own position and distract from their delay of blessing or achievement in the process and simultaneously recruit agreeing followers – Sometimes the easiest way to make noise and promote oneself is to become the “public” critic of someone else.  

But lift up the rock of irrational, overblown, unreasonable criticism and you will see the roach of jealousy scurrying away from the light of truth. Those who live in malice, envy and contention, live in confusion and are liable to be provoked and hurried to any evil work. It’s really okay to be happy for someone else’s achievement, blessing or placement in God’s plan for them. Rather than compare and complain about what someone else has, is or has done, why not get out of what you see materially in someone’s hand; what they wear, drive, earn, spend and where they live; and focus on the plan God has for you? God has had an idea specifically for you since His decision to create you – Before He formed you in your mother’s womb, He specifically knew you and He knows the plans He has for you – plans for a hope and a future… If you will just concentrate on knowing Him and the power of His creation, the life and love He has in store for you…seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all of these things (not just or even necessarily material things!!!) will be added unto you! Despite what the world tries to do to you… Or how it makes you feel to see another’s blessing…remember, you have the providence of God and all the promises of the Gospel. What God has for you it is for YOU! Stop comparing and complaining! Don’t be a hater!

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Don’t Be Ashamed By The Shameful – #Truth –

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We who believe the Bible become lights that a sinful world does not want piercing its darkness. After all, the apostle Paul even wrote that Satan is the god of this fallen world (2 Cor. 4:4). So just by being witnesses for Christ and walking in His word, we remind this world of its guilt before God. And though we are by no means perfect ourselves, we are in the only Christ who paid for our sins. Therefore, being light in darkness is something we need never be ashamed of! Yes! There are antichrists (or enemies of Christ) alive and well everywhere today. And rather than making us ashamed or afraid, it should make us emboldened and encouraged that we are constantly seeing the prophetic words of Scripture being fulfilled right before our eyes! So, Christian, don’t fall for Satan’s ploys to make you feel ashamed of your religious beliefs because there are bad examples of religion in the world. The world loves to shame the believer by calling their expression of faith and values “shaming” (of all things). So NOW we are humiliated because the unrighteous (to God) non-believer feels humiliated when the Truth of God exposes them to themselves! The ultimate deflection by a guilty conscience! The Lord warned that the enemy would sow such tares among the true wheat (Matt. 13:24-30).

It would be far easier to get away with just being who we are and blending in with those of the world rather than standing out and having our difference from them show. We who represent Christ will be attacked very easily and comfortably by atheists and others who do not see Jesus Christ as Lord, because this fallen sinful world is their home, not ours; we’re on their turf. We’re not like them, and we don’t live like them although we live here with them, but because we’re washed in the blood of the Lamb, we are hated by the world. But once again, Scripture proves itself true, because Jesus said it would happen (see John 15:18-20). This world is not the home of the true Christian. If it were, then there would not be so many anti-Christians around. “Be of good cheer,” said Jesus, “For I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And, therefore, so have we!!!

As You Pray For God’s #Blessing – Realize It’s GOD’s Way! –

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Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.’ But Naaman was furious and went away and said, ‘Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.’’(2 Kings 5:10-11)~~

God’s healing is not some magical incantation or illusionist trick and He doesn’t just go around changing us in a puff of smoke or catering to our whims because we call Him God! There must be an act of faith, often aside of our comfort zone and it may even put us in an out of character or undesirable condition. 

Looking for a quick cure, Naaman came to Elisha and was told to bathe in the Jordan, never a river known for its clear waters!  This command filled Naaman with rage, and he shared his desire that the prophet just speak an incantation, wave his hand over the leprosy, and provide instant healing. Not only did he demand his healing but he insisted it should be done with a specific pomp and circumstance. 

Instead here the rich man was told to enter into probably one of the dirtiest and most disgusting conditions he’d ever seen – a place he likely considered beneath him. Not only would he require faith but humility! Those who come to God must have faith in who He is and only when we are humbled in His presence, will God exalt us! Without faith we cannot please God but the smallest of such can move mountains. Without humility, we cannot see God for who He is because we are too busy seeing ourselves! 

How often do we want to tell God how to do His business?  The old saying, “beggars can’t be choosers” fits well here.  Naaman (like many of us) forgot that he was the beggar, at the mercy of God Almighty.  Until Naaman could humble himself to take a step in faith, he would not find healing. 

God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble! 

 

Jesus Said Watch And Pray – But We Sleep! #StayWoke

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Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “ Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him (Mark 14:37-40)

WE have fallen asleep on our watch! As the world continues to get worse and worse; As the ‘way of the world’ builds upon itself and justifies itself; Christians, believers, we stand idly quiet and suppress the Truth that we were commanded to stand upon. It doesn’t take much of a lapse in alertness to become desensitized to the spiritual reality upon us by the pseudo-comforting distractions around us.  Staying awake spiritually involves looking past the clamor of worldly attractions.  It’s about our spiritual awareness – it’s about perceiving the presence of the kingdom of Heaven growing up like wheat among the tares of modern society. But we have lost our spiritual edge and focus and as a result, we are not aware of the ongoing revealing of the Kingdom and the immanent coming of our Lord! We are more and more finding ourselves conforming to the ways of the world; being accepting and even partaking of things that we in our spirits know that God opposes and timidly sitting quietly regarding the Truth of God. Rather than walking in that Truth that we are so well versed in, we settle in to the crowd in fear of being the standout and possibly the cast out!

Jesus told the disciples to watch and pray, yet we are not praying; for all sorts of reasons. We are getting up in the morning after sleeping until the last minute because we worked or played too hard last night and we’re not giving God the glory for waking us up this morning! We are so career, socially or entertainment occupied throughout the day that we don’t hear the Word of God trying to guide us through our day and rather than giving Him glory for helping us make it through the day, we are praying a rehearsed memorization – if we even remember to do it after we turn off the TV and plug in our electronics for the night. We won’t even talk about the last time we went to church! Our Bibles have more dust on them than the unused dining room table and not only are we setting a bad pace, our children are learning from us!

Our lack of relationship with God has us unprepared to face the world we must live in and worse, it has us unprepared to witness His impending coming. Let this be a ‘WAKE UP’ to all of us – as the world continues to worsen, our spiritual alertness must intensify! If we are to stay awake spiritually we need to listen closely to what Jesus is saying.  We need to read Scripture with our minds and hearts, with our eyes and ears.  Jesus said it so often: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

As the world continues in its tailspin, we have to be diligent to stand on and for the Truth of God. Accepting the politically correct so as not to offend is not part of God’s command to love thy neighbor! We must not waiver in our faith or in our function with regard to the direction of the spirit versus the comfort of our flesh – that means we will make unpopular decisions and even stand alone in our opposition to the world view at times. We must be mindful of the tricks of the father of lies (satan) that twist and manipulate the Truth to set the motions of the world! And we must keep a strong relationship with the Lord to ensure our preparedness for what is to come! Jesus said “watch and pray,” but they slept – WE sleep!!!  Jesus’ passionate praying before His betrayal prepared Him to receive God’s will—even in suffering and death—with power and grace.  If we are to stay awake in the midst of a world in a spiritual stupor, then we need to diligent in prayer.  No wonder Paul advises to “pray without ceasing” (1 Ths. 5:17). Jesus was praying and they were supposed to as well.  Listening and praying won’t tell us when Jesus is coming again, but they will get us ready to receive Him when he comes.  May we, as the bride of Christ, stay awake as we eagerly await His glorious coming!

You Can’t Change It So Make #Peace With It.. 

Paul wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through [Jesus] who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:12-13, NIV).  No one is going to be “chipper” or “bubbly” or pleasant when times are tough, but neither do we have to be discontent. Our circumstances don’t have to determine our contentment. It may come as a surprise to learn, but we can be content even in the depths of severe, agonizing suffering. When we seek the center of God’s will for our lives, we can bear up under any amount of stress. We can be this way because He is with us through it all.

Even in our darkest hours, when it seems the full force of our adversaries and our own sins will crush us completely, there is a peace in knowing that we are in the center of God’s will for our lives. It happens only when we humble ourselves, confess and redefine our ambition. This peace comes even when we are under the heavy hand of His discipline. In the depths of our calamity, pain, anguish and suffering, the Spirit of Christ ministers to us and tells us that what we are facing is part of God’s plan for our life—a plan for good, not evil (Jer 29:11). That is why, Jesus is the center of my joy! He allows me to keep peace in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:10). Yes, indeed His Grace is sufficient.

Even when we cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel, and even though our emotions are frayed, we can know contentment in hard times by the inaudible voice of the Holy Spirit. Even though you can’t track Him, you can trust Him. Seek His will. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Do not be discouraged, depressed or faint-hearted. Delight in your circumstances, knowing that God IS with you, He IS good, and at just the right moment He will deliver you! Make Jesus the center of you joy, the heart of your contentment and the hope for all you do. 


Baby Daddies… #ManUp And Be The FATHER! –

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4)~ The duty of FATHERS: Be not impatient; use no unreasonable severities. Deal prudently and wisely with your children; convince their judgments and work upon their reason. Bring them up well; under proper and COMPASSIONATE correction; and in the knowledge of the duty God requires. Often is this duty neglected; as many men, through their own actions set their children against religion. But this does not excuse the children’s disobedience, in fact it may be awfully the cause of it. There’s a point in life where God will hold ‘each’ of us accountable for our lives – as a man and father – part of my accountability will come in how I was as a father to my children because that influence makes a difference in the lives they will live beyond me! God alone can change the heart, and He gives His blessing to the good lessons and examples of FATHERS, and answers their prayers. My prayer and main concern regarding my children is that they grow up knowing Him and that I may be the Earthly example of God’s love to my children! Train up a child in the way they should go..and when they are old they shall not depart from it! Father…are you doing what you’re supposed to do? Are you loving your children with a stern but compassionate heart? Are you correcting them in love and not ruling by fear and intimidation? Are they learning through you what it’s like to be loved by God? Much respect to the men out there that DO it like a FATHER should.

Husband of the House. Are you being the MAN of the House? #ManUp –

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For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body (Eph 5:23)~~ A key flaw in the mindset of many husbands is that being the “head of the wife” or the “head of the house” means they possess some title of greatness because of their ‘manhood’ and they can live like some lavish king being served by his subjects and catered to by his minions! Even if the truth is not as far gone as the example, the point here cannot be stated better than by Jesus Himself: “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant” (Mark 10:43).

Being the head of the household and/or the head of the wife means work, duty and great responsibility. The “head” is the one RESPONSIBLE for what happens in the house and in the marriage and in the family. Husbands, you cannot enjoy the privileges of “headship” and not be willing to shoulder the responsibilities that come with it. Being in the role of ‘leader’ doesn’t mean you get to sit and dictate and be served – in fact, you are to serve and sometimes you will serve more than you will BE served! You can’t franchise, subcontract or outsource your husband responsibilities without hurting your wife and your marriage. You are accountable to God for the physical and spiritual welfare of your family. Make your wife’s life easier by carrying all of your responsibilities dutifully. Your wife was not created to carry out her role and yours at the same time. Your wife should not live like a widow while you are still alive. You are the man, the CEO, Priest, Provider and Protector of the family. Act like it. Be involved, be present, take charge, work hard, pray, plan and execute. Above all “husbands”, remember that your wife is your suitable helper, you are not hers! Let her thank God that she is married to you! You are the “head” but are you “heading”? You are the MAN but are you BEING the man?