#Fear or #Faith – Make a choice!

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For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)~~ God has given us the spirit of power, of courage and resolution, to boldly face difficulties and dangers; the spirit of love to Him, which will carry us through opposition, and the spirit of a sound mind, peace and quietness of mind. The Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion, a timid or cowardly disposition, or of slavish fears. We are likely to bear our afflictions well, when we acknowledge our strength and power from God and the ability of those gifts to enable us to bear tribulations. You have all you need to overcome anything that could possibly push you toward fear, but your faith is required in the truth…because faith casts out fear!

Faith is based on the TRUTHS you KNOW where fear is based on falsehoods that attempt to challenge the truth with man’s interpretations that instill fear and confusion and change with the times. The truth of God never changes no matter what the times. His Word is everlasting and uncompromising. The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever (Isa 40:8). Fear Not, Only Believe! — May we find courage in Him, to stand up and be counted, to stand up for others who cannot stand up for themselves. To stand up for ourselves when it is needful to do so.

Let us fear nothing more than we fear the Lord. Let us love nothing more than we love Him, for then we shall fear nothing. Let us have no other God before Him, whether nation or party or state or church; no position nor possession shall we let replace Him. Neither circumstance nor situation shall we let circumvent our FAITH in Him! Let us seek no other peace but the peace which is of Him, and may we be its instruments, opening our eyes and our ears and our hearts, so that we should know always what work of peace we should do in His name. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Isa 26:3-4)!

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… and if God be for us, who can be against us? #Strength ~

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They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever (Ps 125:1)~ All those minds shall be truly stayed, that are stayed on God; He keeps them in His perfect peace (Isa 26:3)!! They shall be as firm as a mountain supported by providence, much more as a holy mountain supported by promise.. God’s promise…steadfast and unmovable! They cannot be removed from confidence in God. They abide for ever in that grace which is the supporting foundation of their everlasting continuance in glory. Committing themselves to God, they shall be safe from their enemies (Ps 27:6). Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Rom 8:35) No not one!! Mountains may molder and come to nothing, and rocks may be removed, but God’s covenant with us cannot be broken, nor His care of us cease. Our troubles shall last no longer than our strength under Him will bear us up. The rod of the wicked may come and fall upon us, our persons, our estates, our liberties, our families’ names, on any thing that falls to our lot; but it cannot reach our souls (Job 1:12)!!! And though it may come upon us, it shall not rest upon us! The Lord will make all work together for our good (Rom 8:28)! For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39). No matter what is out there, no matter what we see or hear or feel, no matter what comes – God is our foundation of stability in all things. Friend, rest in Heavenly peace; knowing and trusting in Him!

Life Tries to Beat Me Down But Here I #Stand ~

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We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (2 Cor 4:8-9)~~ How can this be??? How can we possibly be stable in such unstable conditions? Well, we’ve got God on our side – and we are like a wise man that builds his house upon a rock (Matt 7:24).  

See, life sends all sorts of storms and challenges our way, whether it’s health, relationships, jobs or any other kinds of stress. Just because we are believers and followers of Christ doesn’t mean that we’re exempt from trials and tribulations. In fact, the Word reminds us that Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble (Job 14:1). Knowing this himself, the enemy is crafty in sending all sorts of trouble and stress and confusion our way and even making us believe that it’s some sort of task from God, but God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor 14:33).

Knowing this, the enemy gets us fearful of things going on around us and causes us to act on that fear, but God did not give us this spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). The enemy also give us false feelings of power and self sufficiency that we can get through trials on our own, enacting our prideful ways, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us (2 Cor 4:7). The enemy with all of his tricks and lies seeks to keep us in confusion and and fear and darkness but we have salvation – For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.(2 Cor 4:6).

Are you seeing the ‘light’ my friend? Are you seeing the One who provides all of these things? In the world ye SHALL have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have (Jesus has) overcome the world (John 16:33). And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phi 4:7) – yes, it is tough – you don’t know how to even FEEL sometimes and you might not be thinking clearly and probably don’t always know which way you’re going. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt 6:33). What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31).

Storms are Coming. Do You #Stand On a Good Foundation? ~

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Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matt 7:24-27)~~ The lives of believers and unbelievers are actually very similar; the key difference is in the Word on which the believer stands. Some build their hopes upon worldly prosperity; others upon an outward profession of religion. Upon these they venture; but they are all sand, too weak to bear such a fabric as our hopes of heaven. Some key points to consider: ALL; both believers and unbelievers are being exposed to the Word, but the believer stands on it and applies it to life. Just as the sun rises and sets for both good and evil people, the rains also fall on the just and unjust (Matt 5:45). We ALL will encounter trials; for man born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble (Job 14:1). The unbeliever sees no light from the sun because they live for darkness, they flee the rain and succumb to trials, while the believer’s way is shown by the light, they are nourished and washed by the rains and they stand on a firm foundation in Christ in a trial. There is a storm coming that will try every man’s work. When God takes away the soul, where is the hope of the hypocrite? On what does the unbeliever stand? The house fell in the storm, when the builder had most need of it, and expected it would be a shelter to him. It fell when it was too late to build another. We must hear and do the sayings of the Lord Jesus: though some may seem hard to flesh and blood, but they must be done. What is your house built upon? May the Lord make us wise builders for eternity!

He Sends Us Into the Heart of the #Storm – and Meets Us There…

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And straightway He constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before Him unto the other side, till He should send the multitudes away. And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when even was come, He was there alone. But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came unto them, walking upon the sea (Matt 14:22-25)~~

Have you ever felt blown about or battered in the middle of doing exactly what you believe God told you to do? Sometimes following Jesus can take you directly into the heart of a storm. The disciples were simply doing what they had been told to do and wound up in one of the worst nights of their lives. Many of us have discovered, that you can be both in the center of God’s will, and still stuck in what appears to be a no-win situation… like a rock and a hard place. You can’t move forward. You can’t move backwards. You see no legitimate means of escape from the place that God led you straight into. As much as we wish the waters of this life could always be calm, the Bible says otherwise. The Bible is full of stories about people who faced hard times while doing exactly what God wanted them to do. Following Jesus doesn’t mean you will never have to face any storms. Contrary to popular beliefs that are the source of false and misguided hopes, God actually allows storms in our lives in order to reveal Himself to us in a way that we would not have known Him otherwise. But whether or not we benefit from these trials or whether they defeat us depends largely on how we view them and how we respond to God in the middle of them. Being in a trial is never fun. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Wherever your storm may be, you are not alone. Jesus is right there in the worst of it with you and He will see you through it.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

(Isa 41:10)

No Matter What, #Love Them Anyway (Like God Does You) ~

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“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).

Our reward will be great, Jesus said, not when we love people who love us back, but when we love “the ungrateful and the evil” as God does. I use a marriage for this discussion, but I think you’ll get the point regardless.

If you are married to the godliest, kindest, most giving and thoughtful spouse who ever lived, that will be your reward. There will be no extra credit in the heavenlies for having enjoyed an easier marriage than most. So you’ll have some very pleasant decades, while someone else may be storing up for eternity.

If, for instance, your spouse takes you for granted, you may never be appreciated on this earth, but the day will come—Jesus promises it!—when you see your heavenly Father-in-Law face-to-face and He says to you, “You loved My son (or daughter) so well, even though I know he (or she) never understood how blessed he (or she) was to be married to you. Now, let Me show you how I spend all of eternity rewarding those who love in My name. Receive your rewards, enter into your rest!”

You see how believing in that day changes how we define what is a good day in the here and now? We’ll look for opportunities to love, serve, notice, encourage, and appreciate, instead of being obsessed with how well our spouses are loving, serving, noticing, encouraging, and appreciating us. This is encouraging for those of you who are taken for granted. Let’s be honest: some of us married fools. I don’t mean to be flippant, but the Bible says there are fools, right? It seems to me, somebody must marry them. Maybe you picked one. From an earthly perspective, that seems like a wasted life. From an eternal perspective, you have the opportunity to set yourself up for a particularly thrilling and fulfilling conversation at the judgment seat of Christ.

Continue to love, even when it’s hard.  Don’t worry about what you get, just give into that life. Remember – For God so loved the world He GAVE… (John 3:16); so much so that WHILE we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8). God  will see to it that you get what’s coming to you. That’s a gift that will last…forever!

Feeling… “Off”? God Gives #Revelation in #Relationship ~

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Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:1-3)~~

We have inter-mixed true relationship with God with precepts of carnality – allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the enemy and misled, misinformed and improperly aligned according to the influences of the ways of the world. Yes we love God and know who He is and believe in Him and even believe Him, but our lives are an indication that we are still missing … something! We are off and we just know that we’re out of sync with God and that’s enough to keep the turmoil going in our lives. We are hesitant and we back away from total commitment to God because we live in our guilt and fears because we haven’t been totally committed to Him. The world has us believing that commitment to ‘self’ is the priority; that we must do certain things and live a certain way and acquire gain at any cost, even the cost of being (just a little) misaligned with God so that we can be prosperous and successful. Believe in God, go to church, pray, do good things.. but be about YOU first and all will be well. Yes, the devil is a LIAR! Because something is just … off… and deep down, we know it!

Let us now repent of not being where God wants us to be – let us seek ‘authentic’ relationship with God, not just going for form and fashion because someone told us it’s the right thing to do. Let us give God glory in true spirit, uninhibited and without hesitation. God is restoring us of the years of loss and pain, He is resuscitating in us those things that have seemingly died in our lives that have sent us down these dark paths. Through Christ He has restored the Life in us that was first intended at creation. God has reconciled the world to Himself – that we may live raised up in His presence. He promises love for us regardless of the hints of the enemy that He has left us alone. Let us realize once and for all that it’s more than just knowing ABOUT God, but through the revelation of these truths, it’s about KNOWING God in relationship. It’s about what we EXPERIENCE Him doing – preserving us, keeping us, holding on to us, blessing us, nurturing and growing us in Him; changing the very course of our lives and renewing our minds and Spirits.

These are those things that go far beyond what we could read or talk about; more than those motions we go through with no true connection, just the action to check off of a task list; it’s about what is DONE in us, for us and to us by His love, grace and mercy; EXPERIENCING His Joy, His Peace, His Love! God is turning us around so much so that the people who have known us all of our lives may even see us as a complete stranger because we will not be what we used to be. In Him, we always come through different than when we started out!  When we RESET and come back to Him, He sets the order on our behalf!

There is revelation in the relationship! God’s revelation in relationship to us will be the refreshment of life that cleans all things, nourishes all things, quenches all things, and satisfies all things. It will bring forth the harvest of His promises to us in RELATIONSHIP.  You’ve been waiting and planning and thinking of how and when and why to come back to Him, getting your life in order – even reading your Word and going through the motions of it all, but there is revelation in relationship! Rather than getting your life together to come back to God, come back to God and get your life together!