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?

We HAVE to Endure The Valley – #Perseverance –

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Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God (Ps 84:5-7)~ The “valley” is not a form of punishment by God for some past transgression! It is not a stroke of bad luck or ‘karma’ and it’s not some type of withholding of God’s blessing on your life. We all have valleys that we will go through – no life is without them. There is much to gain in God’s provisioning in the valley and these are places where wisdom is developed. As we trust God in the valley and use it to our advantage, He gives us the strength (the well for the rain) to endure it and the wherewithal to overcome it. Learn what the valley will teach you. The trials you face will be experiences for your strength and preparing you for where God is taking you. You are going through this to have a testimony.. It’s not promised to be easy; you can’t be stuck and tired and frustrated – sitting there doing nothing but “being”. When you ‘wait on the Lord’ in the valley, you have to grow from it. They that wait on the Lord shall “renew” their strength…that renewing is an ‘action’! You can’t just sit and wait. When you are weak in the valley, He is strength for you! You now have to ask “what is it God is wanting me to learn from all of this?” …and you have to actively seek Him and His provision…”build the well”! When you do this, he will give you the abundance of blessings (the rain for the well) IN THE VALLEY and what you need to go forward. What you learn in the valley you will use when God takes you to the next phase of your life and your destiny. Each of us has our ‘valley’ that answers to Him – that He will bring us through – but it starts with looking for the lessons you will learn in the valley and trusting in Him and being renewed out of the valley in His strength! You shall mount up on the wings of eagles- lifting you up in due time; you shall run and never be weary- never tiring from the abundance and strength He gives you; to walk through the valley and never faint – with the endurance and patience of eternity! Be Blessed!

God’s #Love For You is despite; even if; regardless of; while and although…

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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)~ God tirelessly pursues us- He loves us more than we are even capable of loving ourselves. He loves us with a ‘despite’, ‘in-spite-of’, ‘regardless-of’, ‘even-if’, and ‘although’ kind of love. His love for us is unconquerable by any external force.

We are pursued by a love so ferocious, so all-encompassing, that it cannot be quelled by our repeated blunders and obnoxious errors. No, it’s not because we’re so beautiful that our divine lover has become intoxicated beyond reason. No, it’s not because we are good most of the time, and so our sporadic mistakes can be easily overlooked. And it’s certainly not because we are so needed that He would rather keep us around than lose us. Far from it! Rather, it’s because of HIM! It’s because HE first loved us (1 John 4:19). Yes, we are loved unreasonably, unconditionally, unequivocally, supernaturally by a God who looks deep beyond our flawed-ness and sees the love of His life, the apple of His eye.

David’s words ring loudly in my ear as he inquired of God, “What is man that You are mindful of him? And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4). Indeed, and because He loves us, He continually forgives us. For though our sins are mountainous in light of His purity, His love for us is bigger and the covenant He has forged with our souls is more potent.

Today, receive the unmerited love of God that tirelessly pursues you. Allow it to permeate your being and transform you into the spotless bride of Christ. Accept His proposal of love, even in the midst of your situation, even if you feel unworthy; accept His hand! My friend, God wants you to know, understand and believe…that you are the love of His life – even knowing that you would be unfaithful to Him from the start – He promises to be faithful to you for all of your days!  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).

 

If We Can Honor #FlagDay – Surely We Give God Glory! –

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Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before Him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (1 Chr 16:29); O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised The Lord (1 Chr 16:34-36)~ Man will throw a party and celebrate just about anything … we will create holidays and let the world know of our galas! If only we put that same effort of excitement into Him that truly sustains us! Let us show our celebration of The Lord! Let God be glorified in our praises. Let others be edified and taught, that strangers to Him may be led to adore Him. Let us ourselves triumph and trust in God. Those that give glory to God’s name are allowed to glory in it. Let the everlasting covenant be the great matter of our joy and praise. Let us be mindful of His promise and take joy in offering Him praise. Let God’s former mercies to His people of old, be remembered by us with thankfulness to Him. We have reason to celebrate Him from day to day; for we daily receive the benefit, and it is a subject that can never be exhausted. Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known his deeds among the people (1 Chr 16:8). Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. (Ps 150:6)