#GodsWay is THE Way – Any Other Way is a Dead End! ~

There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Prov 16:25)~ The enemy blinds the eyes of unbelievers, causing absurd reasonings in matters of religion. Whether men seek happiness in worldly things, or run into unbelief, superstition, or any false system, they feed on ashes…remnants of that which has been “created”, used and reshaped by man. The ideals of people and society have changed the truth of God into a lie, and people have come to worship and serve their own ways more than the Word of God (Rom 1:25). They have convinced themselves the Bible is foolish, hopelessly outdated, or written by religious fanatics. They love their own thoughts so much they will not accept correction from God nor His ambassadors! A heart deceived by pride, love of sin, and departure from God, turns us aside from His holy truth and worship. It’s gotten so that people hold fast to the ‘lie’ as the best treasure. Today’s hearts are set upon the wealth of the world and its pleasures. We must be careful to what we hold dear to our heart and soul! If we trust to outward professions and doings, as if those would save us, we deceive ourselves. He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? (Isa 44:20).

Contrary To ‘Popular’ Opinion… #YouNeedJesus ~

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Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit; For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jer 2:11,13); Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3:3); But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Cor 15:10)~

Independence; Self-sufficiency; that popular idea that implies we can become whatever we want to become—without help from anyone. Unfortunately, these days that means even without God. This speaks to the essence of what we long for: to be a self-made people. But this desire for self-sufficiency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it helped pave the way for sin to enter the world. The lure of knowing all God knows drew Eve into wrong thinking. Dependence on her Creator seemed limiting, not freeing. We all follow in her footsteps when we seek knowledge that will empower and give us ‘independence’ apart from God. We like to relegate Him to certain times and spaces in our lives, insisting on handling the rest by ourselves. We fail to realize that building a life apart from God would mean, well, an eternity apart from God.

There is a common saying that “God helps those who help themselves”. It sounds rational and seems like it would even be a good stance that God would take; After all: if we demonstrate some effort to improve, God will surely get behind us in our attempts to change. When we’re feeling motivated to make something happen, we assume God will help us because we’re putting forth the energy to make a change. Besides, He’s not going to waste his time putting more effort into us than we are putting into ourselves. Right? So we qualify ourselves based on the hard work we do. We evaluate our character based on how often we go to church, attend Bible studies, volunteer, or check other items off the standard religious resumé. We regulate ourselves by making things laws that we believe in our eyes as a people… are for the good of the people. We like to do it ourselves and we make the decision of how it gets done! We are the ultimate factor in our destiny. But when you do all these things and yet little transformation takes place, what then? Work harder? Do better? Make another law? Promise to do this or swear not to do that? We “up” our effort and willpower – we impart more discipline. Discipline is a great word. But it’s all too easy to assume discipline is the sole solution to our problems.

Here’s the thing… If we could be so sufficient on our own, why did Jesus have to die? We couldn’t save ourselves from the consequences of our sins. God did that FOR us. Do we think we can now live without sin without His help? Are we trying to finish what He started? Do we think we can perfect ourselves BY ourselves? Will more effort and more willpower to make ourselves do more works and obey more rules more consistently actually make us better? It is God that has given us His Spirit and this—combined with our faith, not our strenuous moral striving—is what will perfect us! God doesn’t help those who help themselves. God helps those who walk with Him in faith! Our efforts were never the motivation for God’s transforming grace. They won’t be the impetus for our changed hearts either. We don’t need will power or self-effort or another rule or regulation. We need faith that God will accomplish in us and for us what we can’t do for ourselves and what we CAN do, He will see us to doing it in greatness. It’s not about self-sufficiency and independence; contrary to what you start to believe when you rely on your own efforts. God is the only one that can exist independent of any external efforts and sustain Himself BY Himself. We actually DO need Him! He is the source of what we long for and need. Don’t let the pride of independence and free will fool you! Although we are created in His image, God does not give us the power to imitate Him; He gives us Himself! And contrary to popularity, we can’t do it without Him! But we CAN do all things through Christ, that strengthens us!

Fight Using Your Faith Rather Than Against It #GoodFight

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Rom 7:21-23)~ there is a war going on in each of us; a war whose only mission is to steal us away from our destiny, kill our relationship with the righteousness of God and destroy us by the use of our own bodies. Like a hunting lion the enemy stalks us waiting for the opportunity. As soon as we determine in our spirit not to do a thing, our mind and body go into overdrive against us as evil plots our demise. We determine not to stop by the ice cream store on the way home and we feel good because we passed it up, but now every red light shows us the Krispy Kreme with the Hot sign on! We vow to do right in our lives but evil opens doors that make it more appealing to our minds, hearts and bodies to choose the other option. None of us are immune from temptations and all of us have fallen and will fall again. Christ warns in (Matt 26:41) to “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Jesus knows that our spirit is intent on His righteousness and this is our warning … that our enemy knows this as well; but also knows our vulnerability and therein will come the attack. This is a daily battle in what is the longest and most grueling war in human history…one that will not have a cease fire nor truce as long as we walk the earth in this state. Our biggest battle in life is indeed against…ourselves! The Lord knows US and He knows that in our spirits and in our hearts we serve Him, even when our bodies fail and we sin; We must pursue the willing spirit – we must walk in that true desire to serve Him. Though sometimes we fail; He indeed delivers us from these bodies of this death – – Thankfully there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:1). Be inspired my friend, that you may focus on your faith and not your flaws. No BODY is perfect but in Him our spirits are made into His righteousness. God indeed knows the heart and the Spirit! Be Blessed!

Rest Assured, #GodIs On Top Of It! ~

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The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good (Prov 15:3)~ What can we hide from God’s sight? David could not hide his thoughts, dreams, or even his unspoken words (Ps 139:1-6). Where can we hide from God’s sight? David could not hide in heaven, hell, the farthest parts of the sea, or in darkness (Ps 139:7-12). God is everywhere to see everything. God fully knows even the thoughts and intents of our hearts. There is nothing of our lives that we can hide from Him. His eyes see and hate all of our hypocrisies, sins, and evil thoughts. Though we may excuse our sins to others or influence them by other means, we cannot so affect God. All our ways are naked and opened to His all-seeing eyes. Though we may have secret sins that others do not know, He knows each one fully. Men have lied to themselves that God does not see (Job 22:13-14; Ps 10:11). The devil is a lie! Don’t be deceived!

But the GOOD news is… God also sees our good works. He does not miss a single prayer we make in secret (Matt 6:6). A poor widow sneaking her two mites into the treasury was fully known to God (Luke 21:1-4). Every good thing you have done will be remembered in the great Day of Judgment, even those you forget (Eccl 12:14; II Cor 5:10; Matt 25:31-40; Heb 6:10)! God sees every person, all eight plus billion of them. Though very great, He humbles Himself to behold His children on earth (Ps 113:4-9). Though perfectly holy, He sees a man’s entire life and heart to overlook all faults (II Chr15:17; I Kgs 15:3-5). God sees all you do for your spouse and children and family. He knows of your good deeds and the intent of your heart in well doing to others! Comfort yourself at the end of a long day that our Heavenly Father sees and cares. He knows and avenges any trouble that others cause you. He sees all your afflictions, so comfort yourself in distress. He bottles your tears and writes them in His book (Ps 56:8; Mal 2:15). He hears you talk about Him with others, and He writes your name down for it (Mal 3:16). Not a sparrow can fall without His providential care, and you are of more value than many sparrows. God sees and knows all about you so believe He’s all over it…  He will keep you in perfect peace as your mind is stayed on Him; because you trust in Him!

God Himself Is For You #God4Us ~

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And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:13-17); And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. (2 Kings 19:6-7)~ Notice that when you abide in Him, God – the Creator of the universe – the most powerful being and the source of all life – says, “I myself will come against your enemies. I myself will come against that sickness. I myself will come against those who oppose you.” It says God is the one who caused Hezekiah’s enemy to turn around. That means God can cause that unfair boss to take an early retirement. God can cause that neighbor that’s giving you so much trouble to decide to pack up and move. God can cause that classmate to be transferred to another school. He can even cause your enemies to do favors for you… To look out for you and to be convicted, convinced and converted because of your faith! Where many may think evil against you; God will turn it into good, to bring to pass His glory! (Gen 50:20). Today, no matter what’s coming against you, keep pressing into God. Put His Word first place in your life. Honor Him in all that you do. Let Him fight your battles and bring you the victory He has promised you!

If God Be For Us…. Who Can BE Against Us (Rom 8:31)

Don’t Take Life Sitting Down! It’s Time to #RiseUp ~

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By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land (Ps 137:1-4)~~ One of the tactics of the enemy is to make your situation so difficult and strenuous that you will literally begin to doubt the faith that has gotten you to where you are now…that there is no legitimacy to any of the things of God that you claim to believe. You are put through embarrassment and shame and ridicule and the enemy will make light of the relics of your faith to see what your response is going to be…literally saying to you “where is your God now?”. You start to wonder how are you supposed to believe in, praise and trust God in all of this… questioning your own convictions. This wears on you, stresses you out, physiologically and psychologically you are worn down.

Consider this… The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me (John 5:7). You’ve now become accepting of your situation and even make excuses for why you haven’t come out of it! Not that you can’t…but you… “haven’t”. So today’s ‘impotent man’ falls into Depression, Misfortune, Misery… or some other type of brokenness that keeps them from pulling themselves out of the mess they see themselves in. YES.. I said ‘pulling themselves out’  – stay with me! See, you can’t let this stuff you’re dealing with break you! Don’t allow the enemy’s tactics to cause you to just sit in your mess, thinking that there’s nothing you can do about it; believing that you’re just here in this ’situation’ and that’s the way things are.  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Ps 1:1). No matter how bad the situation seems; or how tough things feel or appear – the point here is you can’t just sit there wallowing in this mess…

It’s time to RISE UP! You’re only sitting in this mess because you haven’t taken the steps to RISE UP above it! You listen to the verse that says He “picked me up” and that God “lifted” me up… and He “holds me up” with His hand… so now you think that until there’s some miraculous rising up, God is leaving you there in your mess!!! No! -> Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk (John 5:8). RISE UP – God has a plan for you (Jer 29:11) Friend, these things came along that you may discover HIS power. He may allow you to go through it, but He’s got a blessing to get you THROUGH it. Yes, God has already fixed your situation in your future and He’s put it right there… and He’s called you to it and given the command for you to RISE UP out of and go into that future! “How can I RISE UP?” you say… because Jesus just told you to! He overcame so that you could and He finished the ultimate work and HE ROSE up to defeat all of our mess so that we could walk into our destiny! So it’s now up to YOU to RISE UP!! Want God to clean up your mess? RISE UP and get out of it! Want to discover that blessing? RISE UP and go into it!

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So You Call Yourself A Man… #ManUp And BE One! ~>

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In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judg 21:25)~~ Men are more zealous to assert and support their own authority than submit to that of God. They would act better to repent of their rash oaths, bring sin-offerings, and seek forgiveness in the appointed way, rather than attempt to avoid the guilt of perjury by actions so wrong. That men can advise others to acts of treachery or violence, out of a sense of duty, forms a strong proof of the blindness of the human mind when left to itself, and of the fatal effects of a conscience under ignorance and error.

There’s a growing phenomenon of young men who don’t seem to want to grow up.  They drift from job to job, live with parents or run with a crew of buddies, and focus much of their energy on drinking, carousing, watching sports, playing video games, and chasing women. What makes this generation of young men different from previous ones is that many are delaying maturity longer than before, and our culture is encouraging them to prolong adolescent behavior. It is a stage of life where guys gather to be guys with each other, unhassled by the demands of parents, wives, girlfriends, jobs, kids, and the other “nuisances” of adult life. In this topsy-turvy, Peter-Pan mindset, young men shirk the responsibilities of adulthood and remain fixated on the trappings of boyhood, while the boys they still are struggle heroically to prove that they are real men despite all of their actions and evidence to the contrary. It’s as if these young men have developed a warped idea of manhood.  They think becoming a man means getting to do whatever they want.  So for them, being a man means giving up their cherished independence. With that type of mindset, you wonder what type of husbands and fathers they will be when they finally set aside their childish ways. Our sinful, human nature craves independence; we want to go our own way, and avoid the responsibilities of commitment to God and to other people.  As Isaiah 53:6 tells us, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”  We live in a culture that celebrates youth and beauty and independence—even at the expense of growing up.  Many young men today immerse themselves in a world of media entertainment and diversions that tell them it’s okay to live a self-centered lifestyle, free of commitments to anything beyond endless and mindless pleasure. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Rom 1:28-32). A man cannot be brought to greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts!!

In a world like this, where can men—young and old—learn how to become real men?  The simple answer is:  From other men.  Whether we are young or old, we need other men in our lives who will teach us, model for us, and encourage us to make the right choices. Boys growing up without fathers need men who will step into their lives and mentor them. And young men who refuse to grow up need peers and mentors who will exhort them to act like men. There is a constant call by the species of “man” for “men” to be what God calls us to be… Men… in more senses of the word than being over 18 or having the ability to make a baby, pound our chest and seek freedom and independence to go out and act … childish because we can!  While none of us ever outgrow the need for having other men to mentor us, it is an absolute essential for those who would seem to have their teenage tendencies still pretty strong inside. Every man has a need for people around him who can call him up and even call him out.

Being a man means taking responsibility—for your choices, for your family, for your community, and for the next generation.  Men, husbands and fathers: WE need to step up and take responsibility. Boys – it’s time to MAN-UP! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes You Have To Break Away From The #Crowd ~

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (Prov 13:20)~ I guess another way of putting it…Birds of a feather flock together. Regardless of the way you word it, the outcome still means the same. One of the biggest challenges of a person’s life is peer pressure. Growing up, we were (hopefully) taught how important it was to be around the right people to avoid ending up in the wrong place. Those of us who listened to our ‘teachers’ weren’t often in the popular crowd! But I’ve learned (time and time again) that God’s plan for our progress is rarely popular (or convenient). But I’ve also learned that He blesses those who are willing to do and align with what others won’t… Him! Therefore I’m energized when I think on Romans 12:2 (be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind) because the world makes us think we’re supposed to be this way or that way and we look for people that are the way we think we are supposed to be and get in deep with them…just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for you…or right at all! But in a renewed mindset I know that it’s okay to not necessarily “fit in” with the crowd. When we stand different from “the crowd” and stand for the things of God, we walk with a different crowd…we adopt a truly foundational element of walking in wisdom. With this wisdom we experience some amazing things with God. When we choose to align with the right people, it results in us ending up in the right places. It’s not only about who you know, but who you keep company with!

God can handle this…so SO CAN YOU! #GodIsInControl ~

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Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation (Hab 3:17-18)~ When we see troubles approach, stress can do a number on us; from putting up walls of personal defense to outright panic. A good hope through grace is founded in Holy fear. When things happen in life, we must look back upon the experiences we’ve come through before, and observe what great things God has done for us, and so we can not only recover from our stresses, but be filled with Holy joy. We must resolve to delight and triumph in the Lord; for even when all is gone, God is not gone. Those who, when things are great and rich in life enjoyed God in all, when emptied and poor, can still enjoy all in God. They can sit down upon the heap of the ruins of their creature-comforts, and even then praise the Lord, as the God of their salvation, the salvation of the soul, and rejoice in Him as such, in their greatest distresses. Joy in the Lord is especially good to us when we meet with losses and crosses in the world. Even when earthly provisions are cut off, we may be supplied by the graces and comforts of God’s Spirit. Then we shall be strong for spiritual warfare and work, and with enlargement of heart may run the way of His commandments, and outrun our troubles. And we shall be successful in spiritual undertakings. What began our times with fear and trembling, will end with joy and triumph. When a negative depressing thought pops into your mind, count your blessings, and continue counting them, until your thoughts move in a positive direction. Positive thoughts restore positive perspective. Take positive action! It is the only appropriate response to negative thoughts. They are not welcome, and they don’t stand a chance when you take positive action. Keep your head up! God can handle this…so SO CAN YOU!

The World Is Crumbling But My Foundation is #RockSolid ~

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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 unmoveable! 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!