Iron Sharpens Iron. But You Won’t Always be DOING the Sharpening! #BeHumble-

iron sharpens iron

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Prov 27:17); He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth (Prov 10:17)~~ There are times for us to sharpen and times for us to be sharpened. To be sharpened as a man is to be made ready for life; useful, helpful and productive in life and society.  Our sharpness reflects the fullness of life: physically, emotionally, socially and most importantly, spiritually.  Sharpening a good knife smoothes away the jagged edges so that it can do its job with the best precision and with the best results. A man ‘sharpening’ another is to coach, teach, lead guide, mentor or redirect to correct an errant behavior or habit.

Unfortunately many of us become agitated when we are on the receiving end of direction and correction…We often don’t like being told what to do, or that we should change some aspect of our lives. We get offended and bitter when we are “sharpened” and we even criticize and question the right of someone else to exercise ‘sharpening’ over us. To protect our ‘ego’ we go into defense mode and deflect that correction back at that person or we justify our shortcomings in analogous parables. We even throw back a ‘don’t judge me’ Bible verse or two at them as if to say they are not ‘holy’ enough to issue correction on us.

Truth is, each of us has a unique abundance of wisdom to share; BUT each of us can also stand to do better in life. None of us are perfect, BUT each of us has much to offer to one another. Our responsibility though is to keep ‘our ways’ from letting us be too self righteous and always wanting to speak correction; or too stubborn in ‘our ways’ to hear correction. We must always be open, in every circumstance to take heed of wise counsel with caution in whom we converse with; and we are called to have intent, in activity and conversation, to make one another wiser and better. No matter what our status, stature or demographic, we are all created in God’s image and under His wisdom, subject to guidance. No matter how great our morals, we have all erred in life and fallen short of God’s glory. Don’t be so proud that you elevate yourself above reproof. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Pet 5:5).

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That Grudge You’re Carrying Looks Heavy. #Forgive It Away! –

Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, "I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven" (Matt 18:22)~ there we have it– you just keep forgiving– whether the offense against you happened once or it keeps happening- it's not about how many times or who started it, it's time you get over that grudge– that actually does you more damage than the person you carry it against! After all, WHO is the one that's mad? WHO is walking around with an imbalanced temperament? WHOSE blood pressure is up because they're being mad just because they want to be? Stop justifying your selfish anger and get over yourself cause that's what you're doing .. Making it all about YOU! Time to let go and love the unlovable, pardon the unpardonable, believe the unbelievable and hope when everything seems hopeless. YOU need to forgive the petty mess that's going on between you and "them". It's not about who's at fault or who apologizes first. But since you made it about YOU, YOU NEED to forgive. See, others don't need your forgiveness nearly as much as YOU need it yourself. It's YOUR heart that is hard because YOU haven't forgiven; YOU are carrying carry heavy burdens…YOU are weighing yourself down more and more with stress just by holding that grudge! Every excuse you make to justify your anger, grudge and unforgiveness just makes the burden heavier on YOU! There is only one way to lighten this load. ForGIVE it away!!! Every ounce of forGIVEness you dispense to others lifts off the burden that YOU bear. The forgiving heart is the forgiven heart. You can experience the freedom and healing power of forGIVING away the burdens of unforgiveness. Each of us has that one grudge that we haven't let go of…and what is it doing? It's enslaving YOU in burdens of anger and rage…for what?? My friend, life is too precious and too short to stay mad at them over some petty trivial junk whether it happened way back when or yesterday! I lost my brother a few months ago. Until a year before that, we had been in a grudge pattern with each other for over twenty five years. If I heard his name, I immediately went into a belligerent tone. When my mom got sick last year, we all rushed to her side and my brother and I instantly put all of our differences behind us. We didn’t want our mother to see the end of her life with us being at odds with each other. I gave away my grudge and so did he and that was the greatest blessing I’d had with him all of our lives. My little brother is gone but I’m SO glad we had that time and we are sharing that with our family to promote healing across the generations. Fortunately, my mother is still with us and is getting to see this throughout her family! She has even forGIVEN a lifelong grudge of her own! Life is MUCH too short to waste on a grudge! I’ve still got work to do and there are a few other grudges I’ll be forGIVING away. See, holding back forgiveness is like standing in an open cell and refusing to walk out. Stop imprisoning yourself!!! Christ set us free in His forgiveness of our sins for eternity. The prison doors that held you have been opened….but you need to embrace your freedom and walk out into that freedom! Give up that pride and make yourself thankful for mending that tear in that relationship! It's truly liberating!

Cast Your Cares on God; He can handle it! #Nothing2Hard4God –

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Casting ALL your cares upon Him; for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7)….

It’s SO important it is that we learn to cast all our cares upon the Lord. But can the Lord handle all that . . . would He WANT to handle our little issues… with each of the Christians around the world casting their cares upon Him on the same day…at the same time…constantly and continuously? Can He take care of all those things? Is our issue even important to Him that He would consider us? How many calculations can He handle in His head at one time?

All questions that probably go through our mind every time we feel the desire or need to go to the Lord in prayer! But friend, those are all seeds of doubt that the enemy wants you asking because if he can get you to doubt just how much God cares for you, he knows you’ll just stop going to the Lord and try to figure out your own way and … BAM!

Understand this – There’s NO limit to what God can handle. There’s NOTHING you can’t ask of Him! EACH of us is important to Him. And as EACH of us cries out to Him, looking to Him in time of need and trouble, He is able to handle all of that . . . and INFINITELY more.

And THIS is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing “according to His will”, He heareth us: And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him (1 John 5:14-15). Do you like to just talk into the air? Or do you like to talk when you know someone is listening? God is listening when we pray. He wants to hear us pray, and He wants us to pray in the realm of His will. He wants us to pray about those things which are important to us: that we would bring our cares to Him and cast them at His feet, leaving them there and trusting in Him. He said that if we would do this, committing our way unto Him, then He would bring it to pass. He’s assuring us of an answer.

Things do trouble us. But we all have to learn how to take hold of the Word of God, letting it be used and made manifest in our lives, where we’re ever committing our way unto the Lord: every day, in every thing, committing our way to the Lord.

Do you get up in the morning and hurry off to work? Wouldn’t it be better to stop before you leave home and commit your way unto the Lord? There’s your answer! God’s Word would tell you this is the way. Try it; it will make the day change so completely! Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass (Ps 37:4-5)…

Don’t Let God Catch You Sleeping #StayWoke –

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And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him (Mark 14:40)~ Too many of us are asleep on our watch! Not just about social injustices, but about our eternity! We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God’s word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Don’t get complacent because you feel like everything is going smoothly, in fact you must even more intently Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8).  In other words, WAKE UP and STAY WOKE …there is a force of darkness looking for ways to cause you to fall! And if you think, “That will never happen to me” look around… there is a whole world of people who never thought they would be susceptible to “falling” and yet they have. It’s prideful to think otherwise; and Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov 16:18). Don’t be naive- most people who end up down the wrong path didn’t set out to get there.Be aware of your choices- A major battle is won when we stop asking what’s wrong with certain choices, and instead, ask what’s right with them.The choices we make everyday dictate the life we lead. To thine own self be true! Moreso, to God be true! He IS returning – will you be alert? Sober? Vigilant? Or will He catch you sleeping?

STAY WOKE!  

Where Is Your Passion? Get #FiredUp –

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O Lord, You induced me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I, and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the Word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not (Jer 20:7-9)~~

Have you ever been in a position where you felt like your efforts were just mundane, without any impact, maybe even worthless? Have you ever just gotten tired of ‘doing the right thing’ and wanted to just break away and quit…even if just for a little while? Maybe you were discouraged and ultimately you just didn’t want to continue. Or what about that opportunity you were thinking about but you were wondering if it really was for you? Yeah, me too… it happens to us all. We just want things to be easy going… just want to cool down… we’ve lost that fire -we’ve become.. lukewarm!

Oh, you may still be doing what you should do, but God is trying to get you to see what through Him you COULD do. You may even be going through all the motions, but there is no victory in it. No power. No excitement. No fun. You resign to it saying, “well, you can’t be fired up all the time!” THAT IS THE LIE THAT GOT YOU IN THIS CONDITION! God speaks a Word on all of our lives and He intends for us to let SHINE the light that He placed in us…with life and enthusiasm. He’s not going to let us just quit what He has intended that we do: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isa 55:11-12).

There is a fire burning in each of us that cannot go out! When I’ve said to myself, I’m just going to back down and not do this or that, then I really find out if God called me to it.. because something about that fire just burned hotter in me! Romans 12:11 says that we should be fervent in spirit; serving the Lord. Fervent means to boil or to be hot… meaning whatsoever we do, we do it heartily, as to the Lord (Col 3:23) with life and excitement and enthusiasm – FIRE! Friend, the most exciting thing that ever happened could be going on right in your own back yard, but if you are asleep and lukewarm – refusing to let that light in you shine and that fire in you burn hot, you will not be excited by it. The Lord has called us to awake from our slumber, and fan the fire. Add the fuel of the Word He has spoken in you. He’s not gonna let you out of it, He’s already declared it done, and YOU are part of that Divine Will and Purpose so you might as well do it and do it well! Get into Him, the source of the heat, and be fervent! Get FIRED UP!

…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord!

Anything Goes! #Tolerance For “Whatever” Has Made Us Lukewarm! –

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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!

Let Us #Pray –

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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (1 Tim 2:1,8)~ Prayer is not to be confined to any one particular house of prayer, but we must pray every where. We must pray in our closets, pray in our families, pray at our meals, pray when we are on journeys, and pray in the solemn assemblies, whether more public or private. We must pray in charity; without wrath, or malice, or anger at any person. We must pray in faith, without doubting, and without disputing. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. God has strategically placed each of us in the right place. Every day we encounter people, whether strangers, colleagues, friends, enemies and even family who desperately need to experience a life-changing encounter with Christ. There may be times when you can share a clear witness that helps them find Christ. At other times such a testimony may be impossible. But you can always pray. People may not understand why they are being drawn toward Christ and that it’s so strong they can’t resist it, but you will know. They may not realize why you are filled with peace when everyone else is anxious, but you will understand. God intends to use your life to be a beacon of light for those in your experience. Pray passionately, then watch and see who God brings across your path next. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). Pray!!