#KeepCalm – God Will Fix It!

…But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn (Matt 13:25-30)~~ How often do you catch yourself thinking, saying or even asking why can’t we; or better yet, why does God not just get rid of the evil things and people in the world? Why doesn’t He just put all that “over there somewhere”? Why do we have to deal with hard people, suffer through struggles and have troubles if we are believers of God? Why do WE as His “good children” have to co-exist with the obvious people that could care less about God and His salvation? Why must we live among the troublemakers? I know what Job 14:1 says but if Jesus fixed it, shouldn’t WE just have all greatness in life with no struggle?

Well, here’s food for thought: Though gross transgressions, and those such that openly oppose the gospel, ought to be separated from the society of the faithful, no human skill can make an exact separation. Who can REALLY tell other than God Himself? Those who oppose must not be cut off, but instructed, and this with meekness!! And even though good and bad are together in this world, and at the great day they shall be parted; then the righteous and the wicked shall be plainly known; here today sometimes it is hard to distinguish between them. We shortchange ourselves by only focusing on gratitude, thanksgiving, and appreciation when things are good, going our way or when we have what we want. We see that which appears good and praise God for it but it is that heart that we cannot see that truly identifies the true good. Don’t just be thankful for what is good, or what you like about your life. Be thankful for everything; good, bad and ugly. There is an abundance of benefit to thankfulness for the hard experiences in life. When you express gratitude in tough times, you force yourself to adopt a mind that is more like Christ and you are becoming more of what God desires for you. How differently would you approach life if you expressed more gratitude than frustration? Final thought, if there were no trials, transgressions and troublemakers around us, what would we have, as overcomers in Him, to shout our praise about?? In EVERY thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Ths 5:18). The weeds seem to be taking over, but the Harvest is on the way!

His #Grace and Mercy Make You Worthy! ~

Eager suitors sometimes despair that they will ever be thought worthy of the hand of the beautiful woman they are pursuing. Mid-level managers wonder if they will ever be thought worthy of executive rank. Bonehead sinners like you and me wonder if we will ever make it to heaven.

We do believe in Jesus, but we still keep sinning. How depressing! What if He stops loving us? What if God finally gets sick of us? What if we are disqualified? When doubts and fears like these creep into your mind, let your eyes look at the evil criminal who was being crucified next to Jesus. In shame and urgency he cried out to the Man in the middle, “‘Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:42-43).

What magnificent comfort! What an incredible display of the gospel! What priceless hope! This man had done nothing to earn his way into God’s favor. All he had was his sorrow and his confidence that Jesus had come to bring him the rescue he needed. Christ upon the cross, is gracious like Christ upon the throne. Though He was in the greatest struggle and agony, yet he had pity for a poor penitent. By this act of grace we are to understand that Jesus Christ died to open the kingdom of heaven to all penitent, obedient believers. It is a single instance in Scripture; it should teach us to despair of none, and that none should despair of themselves.

Jesus’ mercy is greater than any evil. Jesus, in grace forgave this man on the cross next to Him, who by the law deserved to die, at first sight without hesitation. A lifetime of crime was washed away in the moment of repentance and faith. The sinner, by faith was now Jesus’ friend. That very day the angels would come to bear his soul home to paradise. Herein is our example… and our hope!

God Showed You #Forgiveness – Your Turn… ~

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32

There are a lot of things God knows about any of us that we wouldn’t want anyone else to know. God has enough on any of us to bury us! But no one will never know any of it because God won’t tell.

This is precisely how you and I are forgiven: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12). Our sins are “wiped out” (Acts 3:19). It is as though our sins don’t exist anymore— in fact they never existed…they are gone, gone, gone, gone! Insofar as our standing and security with God are concerned, they will never be held against us.

Joseph is sometimes referred to as Christ-like. A person in the Old Testament who, long before Jesus came along, displayed characteristics of Jesus Himself. Despite his imperfections, Joseph was indeed like Christ in many ways. His ability to forgive his brothers as he did foreshadows Jesus’ actions toward His disciples. Scared to death and ashamed over the way they had deserted Jesus when He was arrested, they were huddled behind closed doors when the resurrected Jesus turned up unexpectedly and declared, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:21). The disciples were totally forgiven—and they knew it.

We all have skeletons in our closets; some are known to others, many are unknown. It is comforting to know that God freely and totally forgives all of our sins and will never tell what He knows. That is the way Joseph forgave. And that is the why we are urged, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

What’s the benefit you ask? What about what they did to me you ask? As if the examples above weren’t enough – that Christ Himself forgave those who deserted Him, that Joseph forgave his brothers who sold him to be a slave and lied to their father about his fate. Consider what Pastor Tony Evans shares with us:

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold.

– Job 42:10 –

If you are familiar with the story of Job, you will recall that Job’s friends were not that friendly to him at all. In fact, when Job was at the worst of times, his friends judged, griped, criticized, accused and more. For Job, praying “for his friends” involved a lot more than asking God to bless those he loved and considered dear. It involved a significant amount of forgiveness, acceptance, humility and love. It also involved faith.

It wasn’t until after Job showed grace and kindness to those who had brought him pain during his greatest moments of pain that God restored him. This is because Job had obeyed the law of love and asked God to give His goodness to others. When Job did that, God gave goodness to Job as well.

See the lesson here is that forgiveness is FOR the one who GIVES it! Forgiving releases the bond you have on that person but it also sets you up for healing, restoration and peace over the pain that was inflicted on you.

So, you want to be over it? You want to move past that pain? ForGIVE it away and watch what God does FOR your GIVING!

Tired Is Not An Option – #Renew Your Strength! ~

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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); Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord;  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 58,57)~ Sometimes I feel like I’m spinning my wheels on things in life and get nowhere. In fact I get so frustrated from all of the challenges that I even get to the point of throwing my hands up and saying ‘why even try anymore’. Then God answers “My word will not return to me void…”  and for some reason, “tired” is not an option! That reassurance is the renewing of strength that I needed! Friend, God promises that your efforts are paying off and that you will reap what you sow! Thank Him for what He’s already done and that in Christ you have the victory. Your efforts are simply the manifestation of His word that will do as He has intended! Stay in the battle.. Don’t quit just because it gets tough! The work you do after it gets tough is the work that will get you across the line to success! Tired is not an option – – come to the Lord and HE will be your strength!

In His #Favor It’s All New! ~

And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5); Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Cor 5:17); Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? (Isa 43:19)~ Look at this new day. You have once again come in to new mercies as the Word says, they are new EVERY morning! You are about to see experiences from this point forward that may LOOK like what you’ve seen before but the fact that the day is new and your mercies are new, this day for you is one unlike you have ever seen before! The promises of being born again in Christ will not only promise us Heaven after we leave earth, but will expose us to a new life in our current state. Our very lives will present a new perspective to us under the favor of God. We actually see things as they never were and even greater than we could have imagined or asked for. Lives, relationships and experiences take on a whole ‘new’ presentation before us with a new level of fulfillment and gratification. Parts of our lives that would seem dated, stagnant or exhausted are now renewed, reconciled and refreshing. What we’ve always had will even seem new to us in His favor!

Be encouraged in Him my friend to let go of what ‘was’ and experience what IS!! Jesus came that we may not only have life, but have it more abundantly. In Him we live, move and have our BEING (Acts 17:28)…that’s right; not only will you see new things and do new things, but you will BE a new person. What a feeling it is to have your life totally change. He keeps in perfect peace those who ‘stay’ on Him and trust in Him. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28) May your ‘new thing’ spring forth and may you experience the working together of all things under Him that fill your life!!

Be Ye Also Ready! #BibleStudy ~

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15)~ As the efficient military soldier is one with his weapons, so we must be with the Word of God. As we war with principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places, we must ALWAYS have on the whole armor of God. In these days, this is more and more important! A soldier in God’s Army can’t just have the Word for Sunday morning and Wednesday night, But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night (Ps 1:2).

To meditate in God’s word, is to deeply focus within ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with close application of mind and fixedness of thought. The devil doesn’t just tempt us or attack us on Sunday morning or Wednesday night.. or just before we eat or go to bed! Therefore must have CONSTANT regard to the Word of God, as the rule of our actions, and the source of our comforts; and have it in our thoughts night and day. For this purpose no time is amiss. And what is the benefit to being so intertwined in the Word of God? That this person may KNOW the Lord and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (Phi 3:10-11)… not just read about it or hear about it, but KNOW!! And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Ps 1:3).

#GetReady – The People Challenge Only Gets Greater! ~

“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you (Jer 12:5-6)~ You must be able to handle what you’re dealing with where you are before you can go where God is planning to take you. As things move on your behalf today, criticism, jealousy, envy and hate from family, friends and people you thought would always be in your corner should be expected on a daily basis! People around you that are closest to you are the first ones to misunderstand you when God’s anointing and blessing comes upon you. It’s cool though, because sometimes the anointing can really bring the worst out of them; but for you it’s just an exercise to get you ready for where God is taking you.

You need to thicken up your skin and stop being sensitive, if you can’t deal with the drama of those around you where you are now, just think what it’s going to be like once you arrive in the place that has been laid aside for you; when your table is prepared in the presence of your enemies! Use every ounce of love you can to deal with them (God will provide for you and replenish you) and then keep on movin!

God is in Control. He Will Fix It #IGBOK ~

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Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts (Hag 2:2-9)~~ Many of us look at the state of the world today (pick your concern) and we feel SO discouraged because we remember how life used to be – what we saw as better times. It’s so apparent that the “world” is truly the enemy of God because in every instance we see, the “world’s” way of doing things is in total disregard to Him! It’s like there is nothing that can get the attention of today’s culture in its rampant persuasion of its population!

We must stay encouraged to continue in the goodness that God gives us, no matter how hard or discouraging it may seem. After all that we saw in the previous days, the sun still rose this morning, this day still happened! GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL and every day is a new mercy from Him and a new encouragement to continue on because His faithfulness is great and His compassion for us is unfailing. We must not grow weary in well doing for “His” due season is coming…a time when “He” will set the state of things once and for all. In progressing to that time though we must endure convulsions and changes; great revolutions and commotions. Jesus shall again come; as the desire of all; and desirable to all. The promise is that in Him shall all the earth be blessed with the best of blessings; and this is long expected and desired by all believers. We may have some good places even in this terrible time, but He went and prepared a place for us; a new ‘house’ in which we will spend eternity.

So let us be comforted that the glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, in what will be beyond all the glories of the first house, far beyond any that we could imagine; in the presence of the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of glory, personally, and in absolute perfect nature. Nothing but the presence of the Son of God, in His own form and nature, can fulfill this. Jesus is the Christ, is He that should come, and we are to look for no other – not this preacher nor that bishop; not this president nor that king – but He who is the King of kings, Speaker to all nations and Savior of all souls! This alone is enough to silence the “ways of the world”, and condemn the obstinate rejection of Him. Finally as God is with us, peace is with us. The promise is fulfilled in that spiritual peace which Jesus Christ has by His blood purchased for all believers. All changes shall make way for Christ to be desired and valued by all. And the “world” shall have their eyes opened to behold how precious He is, whom they have until then rejected! It is fixed and it is finished!

Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world; and has yet to solve one! #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!

#Forgiveness is Costly, But it’s Worth the Payment Plan! ~

Forgiveness. It’s a basic concept for every Christian. This is the message of the “Good News”: through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, God offers us forgiveness. Christ took on our sins so we could be reconciled with God, now and eternally. Our sins will no longer be held against us, and we are free from condemnation! Although forgiveness is offered to us as a free gift, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost us something. How could something free cost us something? Although God’s forgiveness is free, we may choose to not accept it because of the costs. The debt of our sin is paid, but accepting the Lord’s forgiveness costs us some things we may not be willing to abandon.

It costs us our ego to admit our sin — that we are helpless before God without Christ’s redemption. We would do anything to save face rather than stand before God and confess our sins and accept His forgiveness. We like to believe we can pay our own way to redemption. It is humbling to come before God, desperate for His grace.

Forgiveness also costs us our unbelief. Jesus often told men and women who came to Him, “Your faith has made you well.” There are so many of us who believe in the concept of forgiveness but can’t accept it for ourselves. There is something—an abortion, sexual sin, a mistake with a child, divorce — (insert your sin here), where we allow ourselves to believe it’s beyond God’s desire and ability to forgive. God’s forgiveness just doesn’t make sense to our logical minds. Intuitively, we know that when we have sinned, we deserve consequences. Without realizing it, we often “sentence ourselves” to periods of depression and guilt to compensate for what we have done. We may sabotage relationships and gifts that could bring us pleasure because we know we don’t deserve such good things. This is why it requires faith to walk in this truth: “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).

Forgiveness costs us our sense of justice. If God promises to forgive me, then His redemption is also available to people who have done horrible things. That means forgiveness is possible for murderers, child abusers, and others who we believe deserve the hottest places in hell. On a more personal level, it means extending forgiveness to people who have hurt us deeply. Forgiveness fights against every desire we have for justice. Embracing forgiveness doesn’t mean ignoring our cry for justice. Instead, we put our faith in a righteousness that is beyond our understanding.

God asks us, not as a condition for our own forgiveness, but in turn, to forgive others just as we have been forgiven. While walking in forgiveness is costly, refusing to accept or extend it has a much higher price tag. It is really hard to forgive, whether it is forgiving yourself or others. We all could use some help learning to do it better. Learning to forgive is good for both our mental and physical health. When we are better at forgiveness, we experience lower stress, tension, levels of depression, anxiety, and, perhaps most important, anger. When we have trouble being able to forgive, we hold in anger, resentment, and bitterness that can harm us in multiple ways and at multiple levels. Although it may seem to cost too much to embrace it, true forgiveness is the only gateway to freedom — freedom to love deeply and to live authentically. Forgiveness is Costly! But we all need to be on a payment plan! It’s worth it!!!