If you ever want a powerful defense for the Christian Faith Jude is an excellent book to refer to. Defending the Faith is not something new. Jude teaches the importance of not compromising the Word of God! The Word of God is priceless! You cannot manipulate God nor His Word no matter who you are! There are a lot of worldly influences that from the very beginning have tried to twist the Bible and its teachings! Many have been deceived, this is still the case today! Many worldly ways, concepts and methods have been embraced and embedded into the organized church system that are not of God. This is why it is important to know God and know His Word; of Him you can be certain and sure!!!
Jude tells us to “Contend for the Faith!” What does this mean? Contend means to strive against difficulties, to be persistent and assert yourself. Faith means believe without seeing. “FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at GOD’S command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible…” Hebrews 11 The Bible gives us the real facts! It is was not misconstrued circumstantial evidence. Many today attempt to use the Word to control others, justify their behavior and lifestyles but are really only promoting sin!
God is powerful as a matter of fact He is OMNIPOTENT meaning He is ALL POWER! He is SUPERIOR and SUPREME! Think about it with all the millions of organized church assemblies opened in the name of God, what is going on in this world should not be! It certainly is not because of GOD! It is because there are so many wolves in sheep clothing. “They are godless men who change the grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” Saints are supposed to be believers! Not followers of the world. But, followers of Jesus Christ!
Today too many want to be leaders that are served, rather than Servants of God! All too often you now find that many in the church instead follow the latest trends and adopt the ways of the world. No need to be jealous! Disengage from the messiness and focus on GOD! Make it your goal to share the WORD and truly live everyday to please GOD! Come what may in the end you will have VICTORY through JESUS CHRIST! ALL you will ever need you can discover in the LORD! “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…” Psalm 24. Want what GOD wants for you! When you “STAND” on GOD’S WORD you never have to stand alone! “GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES” Take some time and think about it? Who are you really following and where are they leading you to? Truly; “The LORD is my SHEPHERD!” & “HE leads me in the path of righteousness for HIS Namesake…”
We must TRUST GOD! When you know that there is a lot of false teaching going on what do you do? When you know that you have helped those that no one else would help, and they turn on you, what do you do? When you know that you have been mistreated and maligned and falsely accused what do you do? Do not have a pity party! PRAISE GOD!!! Know that you are in good company because this is what happened to Jesus! When you know that manipulation and deception is present you still must remain faithful to God and His Word! Don’t let anyone pull you so low that you hate them… Don’t settle or compromise your godly principles to get access or support by the majority… Christianity is really not a popularity contest or a social club. Yes we are supposed to fellowship and Worship & Praise God! But don’t get caught up in the gossip… Anything you say about someone when they are not present you should be willing to say to their face.
Everyone will have to answer to the Lord at some point! So get right with GOD! God knows what you have or have not done. Don’t become bitter! Become BETTER! Guard your heart! God is more powerful than what any man or woman can EVER do to you! You must draw closer to God and TRUST HIM! Seek Him above all else! God will give you a strong sound mind! He CAN KEEP you from falling! “Do not be conformed to this world. But TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind!” Your true security and significance can only be found in the LORD! “If GOD is for us who can be against us!” THANK YOU LORD! & PRAISE GOD!
The Word is often used to justify lifestyles and wrong behavior that are not sanctioned by God! Minimizing sin and embracing tolerance. Often justified under the guise of unconditional love! God never intended for Christianity to become a legalistic doctrinal concept of rules and regulations. The House of God is supposed to be the Pillar of TRUTH! It is written! Christ died so we could have an abundant spiritual life! As a matter of fact it was the religious leaders that conspired to discredit JESUS and secretly sought to destroy Him. How ironic they called Him evil. Does this sound familiar? The Bible is the inspired Word of God! “It is a lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path…”
The gift of Eternal Life is one of the most precious gifts one can ever receive! Along with that gift comes the promise of His Holy Spirit. The Comforter and ultimate internal Teacher! Jude extends to us Mercy, Peace and Love in abundance! When Jesus ascended to heaven He promised that the Holy Spirit would come. Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure. He told them “Nevertheless I tell you the TRUTH. It is to your advantage that I go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me, of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, BUT you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of TRUTH, has come, He will guide you into All truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come…” JOHN 16
Jude known as the brother of Jesus Christ tells us that we have a duty to fight for GOD’S TRUTH! Not in a physical carnal way! Our weapons are not carnal! We must stay adorned with the spiritual armor! “PRAY also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the GOSPEL, for which I am an ambassador in chains. PRAY that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” See Ephesians 6 Know that your body is a temple of GOD and GOD is everywhere that you are! Without doubt we are in the last days and the Word of God is being fulfilled! We need not be afraid but prayerful! It is important to persevere knowing that God is with you! Jude says:“But dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times, there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you. Who follow mere natural instincts and DO NOT have the SPIRIT. But you, dear friends build yourself up in your most HOLY FAITH and pray in the HOLY SPIRIT. Keep yourselves up in God’s LOVE as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh…”
One must only watch the news, read the newspaper or search online to see that time is near! “Anything goes!” There was not only been an Economic Recession but a “SPIRITUAL RECESSION” as well! Just look around and see the extremity of things that are happening in and about the world… Many of our congregations are also allowing carnal worldly teachings. Bible study on many occasions has turned into group think and mind conditioning sessions to tell people who they should or should not associate with… This is a cultist mentality. No wonder there is so much havoc within the homes, schools, work places, entertainment events and communities. Ministry goes beyond the walls! Please do not just go to Church! Be the CHURCH! I always say; “Character is who you are when no one but GOD is watching!” We must not just read and talk about the Word. We must actually apply it within our daily lives. “Do not walk in the counsel of ungodly people…” Psalm 1 It is important to know that the LORD is with you wherever you go and one must constantly seek the direction of HIS HOLY SPIRIT! Healing & deliverance is truly possible! Quite often respect for God and His Word are all too often are laid aside; carnality takes the forefront because somebody says; “I’m human” The time of increased Apostasy is definitely here! Meaning the abandoning of Faith! “Without Faith it is impossible to please God!” We must encourage believers as well as non believers to get to know the LORD in an intimate up close and personal way. LORD HELP US!
Anyone can be subject to error therefore PRAY for SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT! This is why we all need His Holy Spirit to convict the heart of sin and point us to righteousness. What is righteousness? It is right living in the eyes of God! It is walking in the path of righteousness for HIS NAMESAKE! Sin is anything that separates us from God! Sin is missing the mark. The world says do what you feel is right and the majority votes to change the rules to suit its carnal desires. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? God really will set you FREE! But not to do as you please. God has a better way. We must daily strive to delight ourselves in the WORD of GOD! Exercise your Faith in GOD as you PRAY in the HOLY SPIRIT! This means as you pray in power & strength you turn your focus to the LORD and seek HIS WILL above all others! Jude says:”Contend for the Faith that was once entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of GOD into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Lord as Sovereign and Lord” Jude 1 God wants to reveal to us daily HIS WILL & HIS WAY This is another reason why Jesus left us His Holy Spirit! “But dear friends build yourselves up in your most HOLY FAITH & PRAY in the HOLY SPIRIT. Keep yourselves in GOD’S LOVE as you wait for the mercy of our LORD JESUS CHRIST to bring you to ETERNAL LIFE…” Jude 1
Everyday, “To GOD be the GLORY!” The LORD wants us to, “be in the world, but not of the world!” Having an encounter with God regularly will bring you closer to Him! It will continually open your “spiritual eyes” This is also why we must contend for the Faith and stand firm! If you have grown slack in your commitment to God; He can speak renewal and strength to your heart! We must humbly and diligently pursue TRUTH! God can bring a plan and a purpose into your life like no other! “To HIM who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great JOY to the only GOD and SAVIOR be GLORY, MAJESTY, POWER and AUTHORITY, through JESUS CHRIST our LORD, before all ages, now and forevermore! HALLLELLLUJAH, SALVATION & GLORY HONOR & POWER to THE LORD our GOD!!!”
Once we make the decision to accept Jesus Christ into our hearts we embark upon an incredible “New Life” in Christ! It is important to know that this is a “Walk of Faith” that is not always easy. In the eyes of God we are ageless children always in need of our Savior. Each day we can decide to choose to embrace God’s principles for life and living or the ways of the world. This is why it is imperative that we each develop an ongoing up close and personal intimate relationship with the Lord through Jesus Christ.
God’s Word is our awe-inspiring “Life Manual!” Here is where we can glean a better understanding of God and the history of mankind. God has not left us alone to merely fend for ourselves. His Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Guide and Spiritual Teacher available to help us along the way upon this marvelous spiritual journey. As we grow spiritually we better understand what is expected of us! However it is important to keep in mind that it will, at times get a bit complicated. You will not always be understood or accepted. Things will not always work out as we expect. It is during these times we can better identify with those in the Word who have gone on before us. Trust God embrace your faith and know that in His time He will “work everything together for the GOOD!”
You will of course at times be thought of as being judgmental when you express what the Word says about life and living. Confronting others in love with Truth is par for the course. When you decide to stand on the Lord’s Word you will also often be thought of as thinking you are “holier than thou.” It is within these times we must again hold on to the profession of our faith and keep our focus on the Lord. We too must “walk the walk we talk about!”
The Word teaches us that confession is good for the soul. Therefore I want to confess to being judgmental. WOW! Now there I have said it! I have thought and pondered much about this. At this point in my life the fear of being misunderstood is not greater than my need to express this point. There truly is liberty in the Lord! I have determined that no matter how hard you try someone will misunderstand you anyway. So why not try to live to please God! I accept being judgmental. According to the Word of God we the saints are to judge. Say who!
“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to the law before the unjust, and not go before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the small matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to life? If then ye have judgments of pertaining to this life set them to judge, who are least esteemed in the Church?” I Corinthians 6: 1-4 (KJV)
Having the Lord within our lives truly makes a difference. Does this mean that I think that I am always right? No of course not! It does mean that I do not have to make a judgment to determine what God has already said is wrong! We must study the Word of God so we can learn how to properly resolve conflict and disputes. God doesn not need us we all need Him and HIs Word! According to His Word we are taught that we must even learn to judge righteously. We should also be aware that the way in which we judge others is the way in which we too will be judged! I believe all of God’s Word! As members of God’s Church we all have a responsibility to abide by and uphold the principles of His Word. When we sincerely commit to “His Will & Way” our marriages, families and overall relationship dynamics will greatly improve. Christianity is meant to be a daily lifestyle where we who claim we are believers are supposed to be governed by the Word of God!
Today we are living within an upside down world. In many instances what is wrong is embraced as right and what is right is embraced as wrong. This is why it is so very important that you get to know the TRUTH of God’s WORD, firsthand, for yourself intimately and personally! This way you will not be so easily towed right along with everything you hear and see. Paul wanted to alert the Church to see how to recognize and confront “false teaching”. Paul wrote to the Church extensively because he was so concerned that so many were getting caught up with the bureaucracy and the traditions of man. Paul encouraged the Church to preserve, model, embrace and live out Christian principles in every area of their daily life. Today right now we too need to be mindful of these very same things.
Quite often when one reads and visits the corridors of Scripture they see the characters and situations as merely historical and sometimes fictional. This can often cause one to become far removed. The wealth of applicable practical wisdom endowed within the Scriptures goes right over their heads. this causes them to respond in an aloof manner to the lessons presented and overlook the wisdom lessons intended. The people, prophets, priests and kings were real genuine people. In the Word you can discover people from every facet of life with authentic issues no different than what we see today. God really is the same God who always was and always will be! He is eternal; in Him through His Son Christ Jesus we have the gift of eternal life. Time belongs to Him. We have all the time we need to do whatever it is He has created each one of us to be!
The Book of Ephesians is an excellent Book to indulge your mind in for spiritual enlightenment. The Church became embroiled in endless questions. Arguments, politics and controversies often took them away from studying Scriptures. We must be mindful that it is so important to not get side-tracked from the intended purpose. It is important to sincerely desire and ask to be filled with His Holy Spirit. In order to glean the true intended meaning of the Scriptures we must rightfully divide and apply its intended purposes. Many strive for popularity, prestige and recognition rather than seek for God’s approval. These things within themselves are not bad, but we must know that man is fickle and inconsistently changes very easily. Therefore it is important to know that through the Lord we really have everything we will ever need. He really does know everything we think, say do or do not do!
Although it may not be readily tangibly present, we can rest assure that His power is always accessible. Ephesians tells us “Jesus Christ has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight…” Ponder on this passage of Scripture for a while and go deeply into its contents to glean the intended benefits. Let this reinforce within you the security and spiritual significance that rings forth. It says not some but all spiritual blessings. There are benefits in knowing and having a personal intimate relationship with the Lord. These blessings are not always visible where one can see. But they are available and accessible in the eternal heavenly spiritual realm. This means that they are eternal. God chose us and we belong to Him. This all took place way back before any of us even existed. Our little finite minds cannot conceive the totality of God. We are just minute particles in His whole scheme of things. No matter how small, large, visible or unseen it is all relevant to Him.
When any scene or situation presents itself on our life’s canvas we must seek His direction to properly apply and paint the intended strokes. Having the proper attitude about God is necessary to deal with any present injustices. Persecution and misunderstanding will attempt to take a dominant position to etch insecurity and doubt onto the forefront of your life canvas. Yielding subdued hues and shades of gray to subliminally overshadow the main theme. But as you always keep in mind that God knows you, His Light will shine forth in the midst even when darkness tries to impose itself upon you. We cannot predict the future precisely. But we can focus, trust and put our faith in God our Creator and Maker who knows us and will watch over and protect us living in and upside down world.
God allows both good and bad times for all of us. “He is not a respecter of persons.” We must learn to consistently lean and put our faith and trust in Him. In order to not be pulled into whatever is suddenly hurled into your direction even though intended to snarl, derail, discredit our credibility or entrap us, our focus must be on HIM! We must learn how not to allow insults, injustices or any storm or seasonal moment in time define the totality of our existence. When you spend time in His presence you can abide under the shadow of The Almighty because you know that He knows and that is what ultimately truly matters. Ecclesiastes tells us that, “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.” The point that I am trying to make is that life has a much deeper meaning than what man sees. Many seek first as a top priority to be affirmed and recognized in the eyes of man. Momentarily this may satisfy an inner longing, life on this side of heaven is short, there really is a much deeper meaning to life.
If all the wisdom, prestige or power that the world has to offer were available it would be but a minute particle in regards to the infinite wisdom and power of the Lord. Perhaps this is why Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation? Yes we are “in the world but it is Him we move and live and have our being.” Although often unrecognized or accepted by the masses Jesus did not deter from His life purpose. He remained faithful and committed to the will of His Father in and often, cruel, often harsh upside down world.
God sees and knows it all. It is not merely how things appear or seem. We all will have to stand before an all knowing all wise God who knows where our hearts and minds are as well as our intentions. Know the Lord and His Word so you are not towed along with the “false teaching” of anyone. Ephesians says “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything is exposed to the Light becomes visible, for the Light makes everything visible…” God tells us to live as children of the Light. When you are walking in the Light you know that whatever darkness tries to overshadow your life’s canvas, that your Creator, Your maker, Our heavenly Father is omnisciently aware! You can surely trust Him to keep you right side up, living in and upside down world.
Notice how most animals walk on all fours. God Created us as His children to walk uprightly, our hands should be readily available to reach up and Praise Him! It is important to be aware of what is going on about us. We do not want to live in denial neither is it healthy. Life without God is futile, meaningless. God’s Word is our life manual and essential intrinsic tool to help us navigate through life. We can find hope in the midst of sorrow, joy in the midst of sadness, comfort in the midst of pain, encouragement in the midst of persecution and peace within the midst of an upside down world. Make it a priority to spend some time in His Word not only on Sunday or whatever your designated Bible Study night may be. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us ” Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.” Yes we should be aware living in an upside down world, but not totally alarmed. Through the eyes of God we can see and recognize life problems and realize that God does have a plan to take us through whatever comes our way.
Through faith we can trust God and always seek His will for our path forward regardless of where you are in life. God has a plan for the lives of all of His children. God’s plan simply is to live for Him. Ecclesiastes ends by telling us that “Now all has been heard here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. FOR THIS IS THE WHOLE, DUTY OF MAN. For GOD will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” This is true even living in and upside down world.
Christianity is much more than just a religion! It is so much more than a social club. In general, for many, religion has turned into a manufactured system where rules are dictated, regulated and policies are made. Quite often there is an ever increasing list of do’s and dont’s to conform to, which sometimes go so far as to require a staunch or restrictive dress code. To the other extreme often a very lax dress is encouraged in order to make everyone “feel” comfortable and simply “come as you are!” Rather than present oneself in a somewhat tidy respectable manner. Often actually forsaking the Power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the individual’s life from the inside out! Think about it for a moment how would you present your self if you knew that you were going to be in the company of the Queen? Certainly a balance is needed in this area.
The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Spiritual Guide and Teacher! The Word of God teaches us that true worshipers worship the Father “In Spirit and in TRUTH!” John 4.
Keep in mind that the LORD is the most HIGH GOD who desires to continually transform the lives of devoted believers and reach out to the world! Above Him is no other! Without the Lord one is disconnected and is but a wretched lost human being, living aimlessly in the flesh without promise of eternal life! Once we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we then have purpose and are adopted into the family of God! We embark upon a life of becoming enlightened, spiritual growth and being renewed as we apply His godly principles to our own lives. The Promise of Eternal Life waits as we grow spiritually realizing that we are forever “becoming…” As long as there is breath in the body there is Hope! NEVER underestimate the POWER of the LORD! “What is impossible with man is POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
God intended for Christianity to be a daily lifestyle centered on Him! Christianity consists of the process by which we can learn the origins of man and draw closer to our Creator and Governor of the universe! We can discover more about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and commence to live life to daily please the LORD! It is the “GOOD NEWS GOSPEL!” The central tenet in the Christian Faith is our belief in JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. He actually was God incarnate within sinless human flesh. The world was spoken into existence through Jesus! He actually became the WORD wrapped in flesh! “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. He was with GOD from the beginning. Through HIM ALL things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In HIM was life, and that life was the LIGHT of men…” John 1. Acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior is a definite requirement for all Christians. He reconciles us to the Most High God and gives us the gift of Salvation and the inheritance of Eternal life!
Let’s take a momentary glance into the secular perception of religion from a widely respected source. Dr. Sigmund Freud, who is well known for his psychoanalytical theories, perspective on religion says:” Religious faith produces a repression of impulses and thus keeps the personality secure at the expense of honesty.” He is recognized as the father of “Psychoanalysis.” He also developed many of the concepts in *Psychology.” It is here the mind and behaviors are studied.
“Psychology is the study of the mental processes and behavior. The term psychology comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul” and the logia meaning “study of.” Psychology emerged from biology and philosophy and is closely linked to other disciplines including sociology, medicine, linguistics and anthropology.
Freud believed that the actual drive-oriented nature is overlooked because the aspect of human nature has long been suppressed by religion. People in their insecurity begin to look for a cosmic father in order to compensate for their feelings of inferiority and insecurity. Freud also believed that religious activities are rituals of compulsive behavior that are employed to temporarily ease the intense guilt feelings that are fostered by religion. Likewise Christians neurotically try to free themselves of guilt feelings by performing religious rituals. Freud also maintains that the dependency fostered by religion causes infantile regression.
Much to my dismay there is a minuscule element of truth in what Freud believed in regards to religion. I do not personally embrace his theories of psychology. But many do hide behind the guise of religion. There is a tendency to project a façade where things appear to be alright. They often go along with the majority and conform in order to feel connected to their particular group but remain insecure within themselves as an individual… There is often much ambivalence and unrest in their conscious relationship to God personally. They feel distant from Him trying to fill the inner void with some of everything!
Whenever the soul is not really anchored; the philosophies in regards to the origins of man becomes a playground for answers.
Whenever GOD is not the center of religion one can regress into this sea of uncertainty. Nothing is infallible and there is much doubt as to what has already been proven to be true! What was wrong becomes right and therefore one becomes polluted by the world. The world continues to migrate further and further away from God as Creator and the principles of His Word. Many religious folks modify His Word to adjust to the current desires of society. We can learn much from the Word of God. When His principles are abandoned there is a downward shift in the overall moral standards.
The Bible does not contradict itself! The New Testament has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament! There is no other book like the Bible! It is an extraordinarily remarkable library of infallible spiritual wisdom that is inculsive of 66 books! It cannot be fully grasped by the intellectual mind alone. One must solicit the Holy Spirit to intervene and illuminate the significant meanings of its plethora of Scriptures. It is also the all time best seller! In order to not be lead astray it is important to know for yourself what the Word of God says! We as Christians believe and accept the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD by FAITH! This is why we are called “Believers.” When Christians follow the ways of the world rather than embrace the Word they usually have not actually taken the time to build an up close personal intimate “one on one” relationship with the Lord.
It is only with the Lord can one discover true “Security & Significance!” There is a tendency to encourage focusing on the outer rituals and traditions rather than to intrinsically search within to see where the true problem lies to resolve any inner conflict. The inner anxiety or unresolved issues can then become ongoing baggage that is carried throughout life producing anxiety when it is not addressed. God wants us to become whole! He wants us to take responsibility for our actions and take a stand for our rights. He wants to write His laws upon our hearts! Inner Peace can be experienced when one readily repents (turns from) any wrong behavior and moves forward… God does not want us bogged down in guilt nor shackled to any uncivilized or inappropriate behavior. He wants us to be FREE! There are very good reasons why He has said DO NOT do some things! The world says do as you please! God wants us to become disciplined! A disciple is a learner! God wants to deliver us from whatever hinders us from growing spiritually and becoming all that He created us to be He wants us to; “Take My yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul…” Matthew 11. This is why He has given us JESUS CHRIST to “SAVE” us from the power of sin reigning within our daily lives! GOD IS MORE THAN ABLE!
Jesus died to take upon Himself the sins of the world and make it possible for us to become directly reconnected back to GOD! Sin had widened the abyss between God and man. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are One! Jesus His only begotten Son humbled Himself to come to earth. He was completely Divine! Shaped in the image of GOD in the form of a man covered in sinless flesh, He overcame sin for us because He loved us so! Jesus bridged the gap between God and man and became the only “PERFECT” flawless example! He arose with ALL power and took away the sting of death and sin. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter! We can now go straight to GOD wherever we are at anytime. He knows everything past, present and future about everyone and everything! This is why we all need Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD! He can and will make a significant difference in our life! God wants and up close and personal relationship with each one of us! We were created for HIS GLORY! Now that’s LOVE!
Prayer is communication with GOD and we need to regularly spend quality time with Him! His Word tells us in I Thessalonians 5; “Pray without ceasing, give Thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is a continual mode of interacting with the Lord! We are able to consistently become aware of HIS PRESENCE! There is nowhere we can go that God is not… As the people of GOD, there must be a growing daily focus on our personal relationship with the LORD that becomes more an more natural. We are able to grow spiritually each day. God’s Church is collectively all over the world made up of a diverse multiplicity of people of all races, colors and creeds that believe His Word! Whenever are wherever we come together and assemble as His Church we will be much more effective when we have spent time with Him throughout the week! We are to apply His principles to our own lives and allow Him to guide us as He works out the kinks in our lives. Life is about becoming “perfected” which means to become completed in Him! We can invite Him into the “Messiness” of our lives! We can also worship Him more freely as we draw near to Him! Worship becomes a part of our daily lifestyle.
I truly believe that it is the intentions of many to have God’s will done in their life. The desire to please man and to be accepted often supersedes the spiritual responsibility to be led by the Spirit. This is where the conflict lies… There is much spiritual warfare to entice believers away from GOD and to keep non believers from embracing God personally and intimately! We learn in Genesis that God created us in His own image. (I don’t mean looking like Him) In essence we are spiritual and relational beings. We have been created for God’s purpose. Until we arrive at the point that helps us realize just that, we can often unconsciously create more adversity and anxiety in our lives trying to adapt and please man. This in turn can and will at times create a mental deficiency because the deep void remains. This void can be filled by many things. But they never really will quite satisfy. God has a place within us that only He can fill. Ideally speaking; did you know that if we were all following the Lord we truly would be on one accord. There would also be a lot less schisms and division within the Body of Christ!
Religion ritualistically practiced often focuses on the exterior. Encouraging others to worship in a way they deem appropriate by their denomination or non denomination at a certain time rather than ascertain a truly intimate relationship with the Lord. What do you mean? A few examples! If you are too quiet you can be perceived as standoffish and unemotional! If you don’t speak in tongues you don’t have the Holy Spirit! If you wear makeup you are being carnal… If you don’t pay tithes… If you do not wear long dresses or cover your head… If you don’t come to the service every Sunday… If you shout and pray loud you are… If you are quite emotional it can be perceived as being more spiritual… If you are… The point is worship is personal and the object of our worship should be the LORD. The wonderful thing about God is HE KNOWS ALL of our hearts! God wants you to be the best You! Conforming to be accepted can leave one with an ever greater void. The Word tells us the proper way to worship God is to be led by His Holy Spirit! Remember! “GOD is a SPIRIT and HIS worshipers must worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” John 4.
In many cases it is not said in an audible language, yet there is a penalty for not adhering to what is expected, sometimes resulting in labeling or alienation. Many are far few and in between that have truly experienced the unconditional Love that is so often spoken of. This is nothing new, way back when even the Samaritans, Gentiles and Jews differed in their concept of worship. This is why we currently in this 21st century have so many denominations and varied places of worship. It is important that your chosen place of worship does not compromise the Word of God! Know that ultimately God who is Love is really the only source of unconditional Love! He Loves us because HE is LOVE! It is in HIM you can experience TRUE LOVE, inner fulfillment and PEACE! Spend time each day growing closer to the Lord! The LORD has a purpose and plan just for you…
Life is a cavernously deep expeditious journey. It is a complex menagerie of diverse emotions, feelings, thoughts, interactions, relationships and occurrences! How long or short will each of us be here no one really knows! As we grow we encounter a multiplicity of experiences that cause us to look deeper into what life is really all about. Each day is a new opportunity to discover something new no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential! As we grow it becomes evident that there is so much more to life than meets the eye! We embark upon a remarkable quest of discovery; but where does or will it all lead? We discover that we are also spiritual beings…
How do we get to know GOD?
The spiritual journey leads us to the realization of our Creator! God the Father the Great “I AM.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! This is what we as adherent believers believe! (I realize that not everyone believes the same.) As we begin to relate to the Lord properly He will free us more and more from the things that misrepresent Him. As we grow spiritually our spiritual eyes are opened and we become more conscious of why we do what we do! Our conscience becomes much more sensitive to the things that are contrary to His Will and His Way! Our desire should be to live to please Him as we grow spiritually. Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ is an ongoing continuing life process! The Canonical Gospels which we know as the WORD contains a wealth of wisdom regarding the history and origins of mankind! This is why it is so important to spend time in HIS WORD! Here we are able to ascertain the invaluable, priceless and precious TRUTH!
Through a plethora of life lessons we grow! We all have areas in which we are lacking! It is within our deficiencies we can discover a need for something greater than ourselves for survival. How do we cope with life, living and the anxieties that come along with it! As we become aware the discovery of a supernatural existence greater than ourselves and the ongoing need for spiritual growth and balance becomes apparent! It is a continual learning process.
God did not create us to be or become robots. Each of us is uniquely different with varying temperaments! He has given us the free will to choose… The world also offers many choices as well. It’s important to know the difference and then choose wisely. There are both good and bad consequences for our choices. Sin is what separates us from God! God is the Creator and Maker of mankind and ultimately knows what is best for each of us. It is our choice to draw closer to Him or look to the world and society for direction. The ways of God and the ways of the world often conflict, here lies the inner conflict…
God sent us His only begotten Son; JESUS CHRIST to redeem us from the curse of sin! Sin separates us from GOD! Jesus came as an innocent babe wrapped in sinless flesh. He overcame sin in the flesh. He went through all the stages of life, yet He never sinned! He was crucified, died and was buried and then He arose with ALL POWER! He came to point us back into the right direction that once again unites us to our Creator. The Narrow Path is the Way that leads to Him! Jesus is the Door back to the Father! Jesus is the only perfect example! Living for the Lord is meant to be a way of living daily! No one knows when but the LORD is going to return for HIS CHURCH!
GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR RELIGION TO BE A CRUTCH!
Why is there so much confusion about religion! What is religion?
Religion consists of cultural views, beliefs and various systems worldwide. Religion in itself is not bad but for many it means different things. It takes on many forms depending on the particular culture! Christianity, Islam Buddhism and Hinduism are considered the four major religions. There are thousands of religions throughout the world. Within those religions are varied and diverse practices and an assortment of rituals. What, whom, why and how we choose to worship is where the problem lies. What we believe varies… We must become aware of the mixture of misconceptions in order to know what true godly religion really is according to the Word of God.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about religion: “
“The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Some religions have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural), and/or scriptures. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. However, there are examples of religions for which some or many of these aspects of structure, belief, or practices are absent.”
Technically by the worlds standard you can elect to worship just about anything. For some religion is just a commitment to an organized institutionalized system of beliefs and doctrines. The beliefs vary and often adapts and changes as the world changes…
CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION
Christianity goes beyond just being a religion. It is also the main focus within the context of this narrative! Religion is an essential important fundamental aspect of Christianity. Let’s take a look at The WORD of GOD’S definition for religion! “If any one considers him religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that GOD our FATHER accepts as PURE and FAULTLESS is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to KEEP oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1. These verses are quite self explanatory.
Christianity is a way of living, it is meant to be a daily lifestyle! Being a Christian simply means to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings! Jesus is the promised Messiah! We who are called believers, through FAITH believe the Bible to be the intrinsic infallible Word of God! Christianity is monotheistic! We believe in one GOD! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are ONE! We are supposed to actually apply the principles of God’s Word to our daily lives! It is the barometer by which we determine right and wrong! Yes! It was divinely inspired by dedicated followers of God! As mentioned earlier the aspects of pure religion are explained in the Book of James! For many religion is about conforming to the beliefs of the masses without really personally taking the time to know what is actually in the Bible. Sometimes often embracing the traditions, doctrines and beliefs of a denomination over the Word of God!
GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE! It can sometimes be so simple we miss the intended message. The closer you or I draw to GOD the more we can increasingly understand the simplicity and powerfulness of HIS WORD! His Holy Spirit further opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates His Word so we can better comprehend the intended message. His Holy Spirit is the eternal inner Teacher and spiritual interpreter that reside within us as believers! To lead us to ALL TRUTH! Listen closely to what Jesus said! “I have much more to say to you, more than you can hear now bear. But when He the Spirit of TRUTH, comes He will guide you to ALL TRUTH. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what he hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it made known to you. ALL that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the SPIRIT will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” John 16.
During Jesus’ last days on earth He talked quite candidly with His disciples. He warned them that they would be misunderstood, mistreated and persecuted. He also told them they would not be accepted by the world. But most importantly He assured them that they would not be alone! He has given us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be with us always! This is why it is so important to know HIS WORD! We can call on the LORD anytime and anywhere! Think about this for a moment; when JESUS left the earth and ascended to Heaven there was not an actual physical Christian Church as far as a building! The disciples and His followers met in homes, they knew then as we should know now that they themselves were the CHURCH! GOD’S CHURCH is universal!
The “Nobody’s Perfect” Club
The longer I live the more I realize how utterly important it is to develop an intimate personal relationship with the Lord. I am told that when a teller is trained in the banking industry they are taught how to recognize the authenticity of currency. Therefore whenever a counterfeit bill is passed they are able to recognize it.
Things do not always look as they appear.
We live in a real world that is full of systems of deception. Many things have been created to distract us from the genuine purpose of life. As a believer our purpose is or should be to glorify God. Without the Holy Spirit as your navigator you will get towed right along. This deception has further infiltrated His Church. It beckons those who are willing to make excuses for their shortcomings, to excuse self-gratification as a mere attribute to mankind’s imperfections. To immorally satisfy the carnal appetite to all who are willing to submit to the well “Nobody’s Perfect Club.” It teach you although “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” He doesn’t really know how to bless His children. Because he intends for them to stay dependent on anything and everybody until they leave this world. Although they don’t believe blessings are just material, spiritual growth and development is optional. I warn you this will only enslave you to a life dependent upon sin.
We really miss the point. You see God doesn’t force us to embrace His Word. He allows us to choose. Christianity is supposed to be an everyday lifestyle. Instead many often choose to justify a life were sin abounds. This gives unlimited privileges in the “Nobody’s Perfect Club.”
The “Nobody’s Perfect Club” allows easy access to unlimited excuses. It has a plethora of earthly benefits. You can live any way you want, say anything you want, little or no study required. Listening to an occasional sermon or lecture may be required to help you with attendance kudos. Listening not really required just as long as you say amen when it gets too quiet. Just make sure you do all the social actitivities inside and out side of the Church you enjoy. O by the wall just some any kind of way you are comfortable. Afterall what does it matter since no one is perfect. You may even receive a B.A. (born again) if you don’t rock the boat. That gives you a license to indulge yourself. After all “nobody’s perfect.”
LORD HELP US!
One caution, you may be persecuted or covertly disfellowshipped if you decide to “study to show thyself approved unto God…” Please if you have accepted “Christ as your personal Savior” allow Him to work in your life. Allow Him to activate His Holy Spirit within your daily life. Leet Him make ivaluable spiritual deposits to your eternal account that yields a harvest of blessings. If you have not accepted Him “accept Him NOW.” Ask Him into your life this very moment. It will be a journey like no other. If you have grown slack in your commitment (to His principles activated in your life) recommit!
God created us to live a life pleasing in His sight. Life is not a movie and Church is not a scene. Although it’s full of actors, it’s serious business. God really does know. Please bear with me. You see I have been in church all my life. But I still can’t quite grasp why many really don’t believe. God really does hear all and see all every where in this world He created. If we did it would eliminate a lot of the charades. You see “seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness” will really add all you need in this life. What do you mean? The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew really contains a wealth of knowledge. Jesus discusses a multiplicity of issues. Those same issues are prevalent today.
Keep in mind when you really make up your mind to live for the Lord much spiritual warfare will rise up against you. Much of it comes from those who should know you better. It also comes from “spiritul wickedness in high places” Don’t be alarmed but instead TRUST GOD! You see everyday really is a GIFT from the LORD. NO one can make a day but HIM. Absolutely nothing comes our way that the LORD is not aware of. I assure you that GOD is more than able to keep you! FAITH is the key! It is very important to KNOW GOD & HIS WORD for yourself. “TRUST in the LORD with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL make your path straight!” Proverbs 3
Personal spiritual training is important. This way whenever or wherever you gather together with the rest of His CHurch you will be better prepared. I recommend spending time in the Word of God daily. Not in a religious wrote way. But seeking to discover the infinite treasure of the Lord’s Spiritual Wisdom. It is the only Living Word given to man. It is “A Lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our Path!” Psalm 119 We are accountable to God for our actions. It is important to know that He will never direct us to do anything that goes against His Word!
We are living in some interesting times when some of everything is going. Nothing is not longer sacred to many. Ask God to daily enlighten you and open your spiritual eyes.
Taking time to develop an ongoing up close and personal relationship with the LORD is the most important thing that you can ever do! “Jesus Christ is the Way the Truth & The Life.” He came to earth to restore us and extinguish the enmity that satan placed between God and man. His Holy Spirit is available 24/7 to help us. The WORD of God contains invaluable instructions. It gives marvelous examples to help us from falling prey to non-biblical half true teachings. It even tells us how “Jesus’ blood can cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
God does not have to manipulate anyone. He allows us the freedom to choose. You can live your life however you want. but know that there are consequences for our choices. You can live the way of the world or God’s way.
The majority in the church is you and Jesus. If you don’t stand for Jesus you will fall for anything. His WORD will equip you to know truth from error. His Holy Spirit will sharpen your discernment! Remember that bank currency I talked about. Don’t seek the approval of man over the approval of God. God knows were we are coming from. It is important to take God’s Word seriously. He will equip you to do whatever it is that He has created you to do. Always remember it is a “Walk of Faith”
Jesus stresses the importance of God’s way being the best way. Don’t allow anyone to make withdrawals from your spiritual account. (By the way nobody is perfect! ) Don’t use excuses, rather embrace self discipline. Draw closer to the Lord because you never know what a day may bring. But you can strive for the perfection in the Lord. LIVE TO PLEASE GOD! He wants to manifest and multiply the Fruit of His Spirit within us. He also wants us to be aware and daily grow in His Marvelous Grace! He teaches us in HIS WORD! “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.“ Matthew 5 God would not tell us to do something that He would not Help us to do.
“May He give you the desire of your heart, and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when we re victorious and will lift our banners in the Name of our God.
May the Lord grant all you requests. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed He answers him from His holy Heaven with the POWER of His Right Hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but WE TRUST in the NAME of the LORD our GOD…” PSALM 20
BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!
Jesus gave His Life so we could live victoriously in Him. The power of His blood yields spiritual dividends for those who call and trust Him as Savior and Lord. O what’s a wonderful Savior? He can help us from the power of sin reigning within our lives. Don’t relinquish spiritual deposits only God can provide, for membership in the “Nobody’s Perfect Club”.
Do You Have A Healthy Worship Environment?
When you leave church do you feel convicted, inspired and encouraged to grow spiritually? Do you feel that your intimate personal relationship with God is growing? Do you have a desire to create a home, living and work environment where God’s principles are practiced daily? Do you desire to know God through His word? Have you truly accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? Is the Holy Spirit active in your everyday life? Do you really embrace repentance? Or do you subscribe to the “nobody’s perfect syndrome” and excuse any faulty behavior under the guise of unconditional love? After taking a sincere personal inventory of your own life can you say you are truly growing spiritually? Or have you really just conformed so you could be accepted? “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty”. Godly liberty does not sanction anything that goes against His principles. Neither does it make you conform to legalistic rules, concepts or beliefs. God always gives us the freedom to choose. Of course, you must be aware that there are consequences for whatever choices you make. God is a God of balance. A liberal healthy spiritual environment teaches you that God is sovereign and points you to His Word. It is in the Word of God you will find multiple examples and solutions for day to day living.
In contrast, in an unhealthy church environment the right of the individual to choose is greatly diminished. Instead you are encouraged to conform. Unity means to agree not to rock the boat. Asserting yourself and exercising what you believe is discouraged. Instead of strengthening family relationships an alliance to leadership is encouraged. Leadership then dictates and controls how you should think, live and give. Your pastor often becomes your voice of God and the only one to interpret the Word of God. The sermon is usually directed to someone who is not conforming. Once you have truly experienced someone who will prayerfully meditate on God’s Word and consecrates themselves for worship you will see a significant difference. Telling the truth of God’s Word rather than trying to manipulate people to do things their way is the desired goal. They really don’t have a hidden agenda. The message is for the giver as well as the receiver. This is why it is so important to know the Word of God. This is also how you can recognize if you have experienced an abusive worship environment? When you leave an unhealthy church environment you are usually trying to figure out what member was he talking about today?
If you are regularly worshipping in a healthy church you really know when you are truly growing spiritually. You are not just lead by your emotions and compulsively respond in the flesh when situations arise. When you embrace the Truth of God’s Word you are not derailed by the many obstacles life brings. You not only attend a healthy church but during the week you desire to continue to aggressively apply His Word to your life. In contrast in an unhealthy church there often are moral double standards. You are one way on Sunday and live differently Monday – Saturday. Praise & worship is just a channel you turn to on Sundays. The pastor usually is the only one with authority and does not welcome comments or an opinion that differs from his. Any outside speakers are prepped and are given a preliminary screening and encouraged to “back him up” with their comments. All too often leadership tolerates and sanctions immorality. They have an agreement with one another rather than honor Godly principles. Their weaknesses and flaws are again excused, kept under cover and fall under the guise of “nobody is perfect.” Those who oppose are put under a microscope and labeled unloving or negative. Sexual misconduct is merely given a slap on the wrist. If you look closely beyond the surface you will find that this type of environment encourages codependency and quite often members experience mental anguish as well as breakdowns and various continued addictions. Tithing, giving and regular attendance exempts you from undesirable consequences when you are a part of the group regardless of your behavior. It guarantees that you will be given unconditional support. Your dedication to the system demonstrates that you are supportive and have a teachable spirit but do you really? Disagreeing with the pastor means you are disagreeing with God? In an unhealthy worship environment the pastor is accountable to an inner board of hand selected “yes men and women.” Rather than serve God they serve their system. They often serve the pastor rather than carry out the true commission of the Church.
Today it is still very important to be prayerful and seek Godly direction. Just about anything goes today. God really does have a solution. God really does want you to live victoriously. Did you know that you can believe all the right things and be quite wrong? God really can deliver you from whatever? On the other hand He can and will keep you from falling! God truly is deserving of all the praise! When you read the Word of God you will find that Jesus spent a significant amount of time talking to the established church as well as reaching out to the lost. Jesus and His disciples were not readily embraced because they did not subscribe to or adhere to their legalistic approach. The seven churches mentioned in Revelations actually did exist. Notice they all lacked in some area. Did you know the rules and regulations of the law were fulfilled when Christ died on the cross? If you carefully, slowly and prayerfully read Hebrews it will give you a better understanding of God’s Grace and Favor. Grace and Favor are gifts from God. Did you know that when you accept Jesus Christ that your body becomes a Temple? His Holy Spirit resides within. you. God said, “I will put my laws in your mind and write then in your heart.” God wants you to have a personal intimate relationship with Him. He already knows you and everything about you. He knows everything! He wants and desires you to know Him and the “power of His Resurrection.” He also wants you to have a healthy worship environment. He does not want you to be a spiritual yoyo. God has all power! He can even turn an unhealthy worship environment into a place where His Spirit is truly welcomed. Repentance is key. This will allow you to start anew and become open and willing to be led by His precious Holy Spirit!
Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection really means something! He made atonement for all the sins of the world. That in itself is reason to praise Him! True worshippers worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The children of Israel wandered for forty years in the desert because they were disobedient. Their hearts were hardened by sin’s deceitfulness and they did not even realize it. We must combine the Gospel with faith. Nothing is hidden from God. When you truly know Him you can approach His throne of grace with confidence. Not in yourself but in Him. When you have a relationship with Him you can be patient. You know and realize that He will take care of you in any and every situation. Your desire is to please Him and have His will done in your life. Abraham received the promise by faith. God cannot lie. You can depend on His promises! Hope and trust in God will be an anchor for your soul. You know by faith He will impart His grace to you and help you in time of need. Jesus is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
The true tabernacle is not made by man. Christ is the mediator of a new covenant. We have been declared righteous. We have been made Holy because Jesus sacrificed His life for us. His body is now the curtain that covers us. His blood has cleansing power! We must learn to draw near to God through faith and a sincere heart. Always know God knows your heart. God wants you to set aside anything that hinders your spiritual growth. God will discipline you for your good so that you may share in His holiness. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Check out Hebrews the 11th chapter to find out what faith in God did for them! God is good and is so deserving of our sincere praise. Give Him a continual sacrifice of true honorable praise! Not “tinkling cymbals sounding brass” there is a difference. God really does want you to experience a healthy worship environment! God can and will equip you with whatever you need to do His will. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” To God be the Glory!
FORGIVING Does Not mean FORGETTING
“Darkness TO LIGHT” An Evening with RWANDAN FRIENDS
Many of this world’s inhabitants go a whole lifetime before they ever realize what is really essentially important? Is it the house you live in, the car you drive, your career, how you look, how much money you have, or is it what others think about you? Nothing is really wrong with any of the above. They do have a place in life somewhat. But can you really depend on…
We are living in some very interesting times? In this 21st century you just never know… No matter how much you plan ahead, you still never know what to expect? The world is so very interesting. Many just adapt or conform to what ever the world says is okay. Others live very non confrontive lives and avoid conflict or they just go along with whatever. Sort of like don’t rock the boat, although you are not sure where its going. Or they settle for a dual lifestyle or simply change like a chameleon. In this day and age just about anything goes… pandemonium is possibly right around the corner.
I want to encourage you to set aside and spend some time really thinking about what if any one or all the above were taken? What would you do? How would you feel?
God our Creator who created us has a particular plan for each of us. Life is full of mountaintop and “”down in the valley” experiences. God can give you an unexplainable PEACE and contentment that only comes from Him that surpasses the understanding of man. No, its not living in denial and thinking everything is okay when it not! Nor does it mean that you don’t care… It does mean that at some point you know, trust and believe that the Lord will work things out in your behalf…
To the degree we discover and follow what His plan is we embark on an adventurous, rewarding, sometimes awkward, at times dangerous, lifelong journey. We begin to travel the path of “the straight and narrow” that leads to Him! The truth is the Word says: few hardly “ever find it” nor really understand the exceptional, significant, spiritual, life sustaining benefits and security that it yields when traveling this path.
What is really important in life is where you are with God. God knows all about you! He knows where you really are?
When you accepted or accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior; It means that you now want to live a life that pleases the Lord rather than to just please yourself or do what feels good to you. You now have and can elect to call upon Jesus to save you from the power of sin?
You really should begin to study His Word and apply His principles. The wisdom and the attainable life lessons that are gleaned from His Word are important. This does not mean at all that you adopt a legalistic rigid approach to life. You begin to “walk in the Light” of His Word! You begin to experience a fresh responsible freedom. What is really important as a Christian is that you get to know the Lord personally. You begin to spend time with Him. As you do this your understanding is broadened and the path narrows. You seek to be filled with His Holy Spirit that brings unexplainable comfort even in the most difficult situations. You begin to grow stronger spiritually and emotionally as you move toward wholeness!
Becoming a Christian does not mean that you just “go to Church.” No more than going to the beach make you a grain of sand. You realize you are a part of His Church wherever you are. When we come together for worship or assembly as a congregation, wherever that might be, the primary purpose should be to worship, praise the Lord, bring others to Jesus, fellowship, and edify the Body of Christ which is His Church.
In actuality we who say we have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are the “Church!” Just saying you believe does not make you a believer. It goes SO much deeper than that, that’s just the beginning. Now you have to begin going through life utilizing an implementing His Word which is our spiritual sword. You truly value life and all that it has to offer. But your first and foremost priority is NOW to please the Lord and that His will is done in your life.
God’s Word is so very powerful it cuts both ways. When used skillfully it does spiritual surgery. It begins to remove the old nature and reveals or makes way for your God given inborn, intrinsic temperament! You are able to see life from a much deeper perspective! God is Omniscient! When He created you way back when He knew everything you would need in order to live successfully as His child.
I am so very thankful that the Lord has allowed us to share and go through many wonderful, adventuress and life changing experiences… I want to share with you a very rewarding experience my husband and I shared together with many others. It was so thought provoking and enlightening that I hope it inspires you to really think where you are and what is most important to you?
First, a little background history on Rwanda. Rwanda was comprised of three tribes when the Belgian colonists arrived in 1916. The Hutu, Tutsi and the Twa. The Belgians manipulated and divided the tribes by deeming one more superior than the other. They then issued them identity cards stating their appointed tribe. The Tutsis were discriminately favored and given better jobs as well as superior educational opportunities.
This division caused further animosity and bitterness. Eventually in 1962 after Rwanda was granted independence, the majority of Hutus took power. After the death of the president of Rwanda in 1994 the horrific genocide began. His plane was shot down and shortly after recruits were disbursed and the atrocious, vigorous brutal slaughtering of Rwandans went on for approximately 100 days.
If someone has hurt you deeply, if you have been carrying hatred in your heart. If you are unable to forgive or you feel that you have been wronged or mistreated. If life does not seem to be going your way. I want you to take some time and ponder on what happened here in Rwanda. You will find out that “With God ALL things are possible.”
ow I want to take some time and share with you what they shared with me.
We had such a memorable, extraordinary, marvelous evening with our Rwandan friends from PHARP –Rwanda. they worked effortlessly as a team. PHARP stands for Peace building, Healing, and Reconciliation Program in Rwanda. They openly and sincerely shared in graphic detail their heart wrenching experiences during the Rwandan Genocide. It is now reported that there were actually closer to 2,000,000 lives brutally taken during the 100 days of the Rwandan Genocide! We will be forever grateful for the experience. Our son along with the Horizon Community Church were able to actually go to Rwanda and minister to them. They forged ahead diligently amidst the transitioning community of Rwanda to help facilitate their mission to bring about healing, restoration and reconciliation. Pastor Anastase can be reached www.pharp.org
During the 100 days of genocide between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped. More than 67% of those women were purposely and systematically infected by HIV+ men as a weapon of genocide. One Pastor shared how his wife, children, and mother along with a total of 46 relatives were massacred. He had to hide out in the swamp for 41 days without food. He only had contaminated swamp water to sip.
Please stay with me for a few minutes and ponder these facts in your heart! Here are a few more of the many statistics resulting from the aftermath of the genocide:
*There are 300,000 to 400,000 survivors of the genocide.
*Nearly 100,000 survivors are aged between 14 and 21, of which 60,000 are considered as very vulnerable.
*75,000 of survivors were orphaned as a result of the genocide. Over half of these children have become impoverished, traumatized and have stopped going to school.
*There are 10 times as many widows than widowers – almost 50,000 widows of the genocide.
*40,000 are still without shelter.
*7 in 10 survivors earn a monthly income of less than 5,000 Rwandan Francs, which equals to $8.00 in American Dollars.
*These statistics are complied at www.surviors-fund.org.uk
The Rwanda genocide was real! Thousands of homeless and orphaned children. Yet these children of God stand tall, firmly and purposely in their concerted efforts to bring about the ongoing process of “Forgiveness and Reconciliation.” They have come here to America to share a powerful message. The Country of Rwanda is in the continual much needed ongoing process of healing and restoration. Many of those who participated in the genocide have been released from prison and are now back in the community. Many have accepted Jesus Christ. Today there are no longer identity cards they are all called Rwandans! They are committed to moving forward in overcoming the barriers of the past.
This dedicated team, along with many others are dedicated to assisting and empowering the remaining Rwandans. This is not without its challenges. Keep in mind that within the Church there, many pastors face the dilemma of having survivors and those perpetrators of genocide within the same congregation. They are diligently working to make a difference. They are reaching out and helping to rebuild a country that has been devastated. Trauma Counseling and healing, peace building, reconciliation, self-help groups, youth programs and vocational training and income generating projects are inclusive along with much prayer, worship and praise! We support, pray for and solicit your prayers for all Rwandans as well.
It is important to know that the family of God consists of a plethora of people throughout the world. We all come in different sizes, shapes, colors, races and cultures. There is not going to be a corner in heaven that’s designated for Blacks, one for Whites, one for Reds, Browns, Yellow or multicolored people. It goes so much deeper than the color of one’s skin, how they look, who they are, where they have lived, what one has or does not have nor their varied diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. God knows who His children are.
It is important to know that God is alone Sovereign! He does not need us! We all need Him! He places and arranges the members in the Body of His Universal Church as it pleases Him. He knows where each and every one of us are in our spiritual growth and development. He has given us the necessary talents and gifts to accomplish whatever He has created us to do. In many situations in the Church here in America, on various levels worldly methods have been adopted. The ways and methods of the world’s reasoning and social divisiveness has resulted in much division. Manipulation has been erroneously embraced by many of God’s people.
It is very important to know the Word of God firsthand. We as His “children” are to consistently spend time with the Lord developing a vivacious strong ongoing, endearing ever growing transparent relationship with Him and come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior! This way you will not be “tossed to and fro by every of doctrine.” You do not have to strive to control or dominate anyone. This only displays and reflects one’s own insecurity. Quite the contrary. God is ultimately in control! Jesus led by example. Our purpose is to daily live out God’s principles and foster a desire in others to want to come and know Jesus as Lord and Savior as well. Ultimately it is your solid, committed relationship with Him, that will sustain you as you go through any of life’s many challenges.
In spite of all that has happened to them, these Rwandan’s have come to share their “Mission of FORGIVENESS & RECONCILIATION” of genocide! To impart the valuable knowledge they’ve learned. Webster defines forgiveness as: to give up resentment of, or claim requital; forgive an insult. They know the value of confronting the truth of whatever has happened. Contrary to what is often said forgiveness does not mean you forget. It means to lay aside any ill will and pardon the wrong that was done. When people have wronged you they often feel guilt and fear retaliation. The Fruit of God’s Spirit will flourish in your life when you elect to embrace and implement His principles in your life. True forgiveness comes from God. Joy & Peace are by products of His Fruit! Knowing the Lord, having a relationship with Him and applying His Word makes all the difference in the world.
Through their heartfelt sharing our love, faith, trust in God, and our commitment has been greatly enhanced. It has personally added to my spiritual wellspring. They are truly walking in the “Light of His Word.” As a child of God I know whole heartedly that God is able! Being a Christian is a lifestyle. It is amazing to know and realize that absolutely nothing goes on with anyone or anywhere that God is not aware of. The Rwandan genocide is mind boggling. In our little finite minds we will never fully comprehend the “why” of a lot of things. But I do know that ALL His WORD is true. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers (and sisters) … Romans 8 God did not say that it all would be good. But, He did say that He would work it out for good. Is your purpose really His purpose?
The eyewitness account of the Rwandan genocide was enlightening and life changing. Their God given joy was evident and shined forth from their countenance as they each shared their amazing testimonies. They without question, are definitely walking in the “Light of His Word.” They truly have come from “Darkness TO LIGHT.” They reached out, above and beyond what they had suffered and shared a wealthy message of wisdom, inspiration, encouragement and hope to bring about healing. It is quite evident that God has equipped them to help others overcome barriers, to unite and reach out to build peaceful communities for the future. Not only in Rwanda but throughout the world! “Blessed are those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matthew 5 The POWER of GOD was evident beyond words! I can go on ….. But instead I will say; PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD! To God Be the Glory!