God wants us to learn the art of “Being Still”God is absolutely awesome! He wants all of us to receive the precious gift of His Holy Spirit, who is His Comforter. Once we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, His Holy Spirit internally resides within us. His now abiding Holy Spirit becomes our Spiritual Teacher. God is a Spirit of Truth. It is our daily choice to observe, learn, listen and take heed.
Know the benefits of the Blood of Jesus
“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offer Himself unblemished to GOD, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the LIVING GOD! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a New Covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance-now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from…” HEBREWS 9
There is so much more I cannot tell it all. So You must begin to diligently seek the Lord for yourself. Spend time daily in His Word. Taste and see in His Word for yourself that the Lord is GOOD! Did you know there truly is cleansing power in “The Blood?” Take some time and learn to “BE STILL”.
Life is quite interesting. It really can make one ask at times, “How did we get here?” To know one must believe His Word. You see it is not, nor has it ever been popular to really “Believe” in God. The idea is still quite abstract to many. There are consequences for living as a true believer. Your spiritual eyes must be open to discern the spiritual warfare that is about you. His disciples were, misunderstood, rejected, abandoned, and treated horrendously on many occasions. We as believers are really supposed to be faithful modern-day disciples.
The masses have always ignored what God has to say, from Genesis to Revelation. The scriptures record over and over that “man did what was right in his own eyes.” Or simply went along with whatever was trendy or popular. When you decide to “stand up” for what is right many will sit on the fence…….. It was one of Jesus disciples that betrayed Him. Have you ever thought about where were all those people Jesus helped, and healed when they crucified Him? Look all around, we are in a crisis. Look at the scandalous political race for the President of the United States. The news, the economy, immorality, the world at large in which we live has reached catastrophic proportions on many levels. Crisis always brings about a change. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein…” Yet in the midst of it all God has a way of getting our attention and showing us ALL He can use who and whomever He pleases to bring about “CHANGE!”
Throughout His Word you will find spiritual warfare involving, nations, countries, families, relationships, personality conflicts, false teachers, misunderstandings, manipulation, sexual sins, slander, you name it and it’s there. If you are looking for a case history to profile or evaluate it’s there. God did a marvelous thing when He allowed man to record His Story. His splendid, spectacular, awe-inspiring Word is the Greatest Story ever recorded. God’s Word is priceless! He has also given us the Promise that “He would never leave nor forsake us.” We can always & forever TRUST GOD!!!
“…Thine is the KINGDOM & The GLORY!” For LORD YOU are “GLORIOUS! For YOUR KINGDOM will reign FOREVER!
In life, God genuinely makes all the difference in the world! Getting to know God helps you to incredibly cope with what has gone on, is going on and is to come. It is in HIM that one can rest and find comfort and “BE STILL” even within the most difficult situations. But I must warn you it is not always an easy thing to do. Stay alert! God is near.
Wherever you are or whatever your situation good or bad know it can change at anytime. We are living in some very interesting times. Year in and year out, know that “Jesus is the reason for the season” whether you are a believer or not! Know that wherever you are Jesus knows. You can call on Him 24/7 anytime, anywhere and in every situation.
When you accept Him as your Savior, Lord and Shepherd, He will and can take you through this valley of the shadow of death. Whenever necessary He will lead you to the still peaceful waters. This is a special place of contentment in His presence. God wants to lead us on the righteous path that leads to eternal life with Him. He gives us the freedom to choose. The peace of God does surpass the understanding of man. Know some things will not be understood on this side of Heaven. But always keep in mind absolutely nothing that comes your way gets by Him. “It is in Him we move and live and have our being.” God is always speaking we just have to get better at listening. This is why discipline becomes so very important.
Be encouraged! We can “do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” But first we must trust Him and surrender our will to Him. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Today begin your life to live each day to please the Lord. His TRUTH is everlasting throughout all generations and yes; “BE STILL” and know that He is the Great “I AM” who always was, has been and always will be. He is worthy of all the praise. Everyday; “To GOD be the Glory!”
Just To Know Him
Sent to a rugged cross to set me free.
Bared my sins, just to rescue me
Took my place so I wouldn’t have to die
Now I have an ever lasting life
Sent to a rugged cross to set me free.
Bared my sins, just to rescue me
Took my place so I wouldn’t have to die
Now I have an ever lasting life
Just to know Him
Just to know Him
Jesus Christ the son of the living God
Just to know Him
Just to know Him
Jesus Christ the son of the living God
Rose from the dead so I could rise again
Crucified just to call me friend
Hope Of Glory
One day I will get to see His face
I Am Grateful
He loved me enough to gladly take my place
Just to know Him
Just to know Him
Jesus Christ the son of the living God
Just to know Him
Just to know Him
Jesus Christ the son of the living God
Oh how he cares for you
Cares for me
Oh how he cares for you
Cares for me
Oh how he cares for you
Cares for me
Oh how he cares for you
Cares for me
I don’t know why and I can’t explain it
But the victory’s already won
By the Father’s only son
Just to know Him
Just to know Him
Jesus Christ the son of the living God
Just to know Him
Just to know Him
Jesus Christ the son of the living God
Listen To Song
I am truly thankful for my Husband. He has been wonderful. We have shared many marvelous memories. The Lord has knitted our hearts together in His Love. I daily thank & praise His Holy Name for HIS Everlasting Love is priceless.
A Great Father
My husband has been a marvelous father. He respectfully nurtured and engaged our children as they were growing up. He has been a great role model. I am thankful that we raised our children in a great home environment.
I can truly say; GOD has been GOOD to me all of my life! I thank Him for HE has BLESSED me/us in ways that I cannot express in words.
The Lord has also brought us through much spiritual warfare. He has taught us invaluable Life Wisdom Lessons. Hold your peace because; “GOD WILL FIGHT YOUR BATTLES.” Daily He continues to grow us in HIS Grace Wisdom & Knowledge as we walk in the TRUTH of HIS WORD! We can always think of something to be thankful for. Regardless of what happens the Lord has taught us when you LOVE HIM “ALL things work together for the GOOD” “Where the SPIRIT of the LORD is there is LIBERTY.” II Corinthians 3
“GOD WILL take care of you!” I praise and thank the Lord for the liberty that we have found in HIM. I know that it is only by His grace that HE has instilled within us to know without doubt that HE always has our best interest at heart. “I once was young but not I am old, yet, I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37
I am grateful to know that the Lord is omnipresent & I have “BLESSED ASSURANCE” knowing that everywhere I/we are HE is there. The Lord has allowed us together to see and visit much of this amazing world that was spoken into existence through JESUS CHRIST. There is still so much more to learn & see. One should be ever mindful that everywhere you are GOD is there. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. The world and them that dwell therein.” Psalm 24 I am thankful for the Lord allowing us to feel and experience His presence wherever we go.
We can always TRUST the LORD. HIS WORD teaches us; “BLESSED be the GOD & FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, who has BLESSED us with every SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the Heavenly places in CHRIST.” Ephesians 1 In the Lord you can discover everything that you will ever need for Life & Living & Eternal life. For this I am eternally thankful. We have learned that “true beauty comes from within.
~ Personal Tribute ~
Give honor where honor is due. I thank the Lord for the many GIFTS & TALENTS that He has given to my husband the father of our children. (As well as the many gifts that are inclusive of our family at large.) He has been and outstanding husband & father. He has been loving, strong, patient, firm, protective, at times unyielding and yet kind with our children.
He is a marvelous skilled Minister of Music. He has patiently directed many choirs and taught them the importance of “harmonic blending” to the degree you can hear a melodic ring when the harmony is on point. He can skillfully play any genre of music from Gospel to Classical Jazz and make the plethora of crafted key boards dance their own melodic tune.
“Your Gift will make room for you…” Proverbs 18 ~
He has excelled in the world of technology. He is an astute business man who has been an overseer and managed and mentored and trained many professional project managers within the corporate world. His natural temperament is extraordinary and resilient. He is able to relate to a plethora of culture, ages and diverse personalities. This is true if you are saved or unsaved. He can engage one on one or to a multitude on a multiplicity of spiritual and intellectual levels. But most important, he is a humble yet very strong Man of God. He can steadfastly exegete, teach, proclaim, expound and stand upon GOD’S WORD. He has indeed accomplished much to make this world a better place to live in for many.
He is the love of my life!
Together we daily welcome the presence of the Lord within our home and our lives. Our children are now adults. They are now establishing their own homes. Our love continues to grow. As the Word says; “PRAISE GOD from whom all BLESSINGS flow” THANK YOU LORD!
Life is so much more precious when you share it with someone you are on one accord with. In a consecrated marriage you love, respect, admire, enjoy & trust one another without question. Precious endless memories abound. Yet, life is full of mountain top and valley experiences. Henceforth we have together learned to major in its joys and minor in its sorrows. To soar and trust God in the valley or upon the mountaintops. TRULY GOD IS GOOD ALL the time! I Thank the LORD for there has certainly been much less times in the valley… I THANK the LORD for teaching us how to work together to bring up our children in a home of love, patience, understanding & peace. The Lord’s presence is evident for; “Where two or three are gathered together in my name I am in the midst…” Matthew 18
Life with God is precious
I BELIEVE that each & every day is a precious GIFT from the Lord. Know HIS WORD for yourself because; ALL HIS WORD IS TRUE! What is so precious about the Lord is “He is not a respecter of persons…” James 2 Take delight in the Lord be patient because in HIS time, “HE will give you “the desires of your heart” that are in HIS WILL for you… Psalm 37
The Lord is always there to help us. We in turn need to just reach out, submit and trust HIM! For: “I will look to the hills from which comes my HELP. My HELP comes from the LORD. ” Psalm 121 I am thankful the the Lord’s presence in our lives.
We are to be “As wise as a serpent, yet as harmless as a dove.” Matthew 10 Don’t allow bitterness or regrets to take root, time is too precious and you do not want to waste a lot of it in regrets. Take some time & draw closer to the LORD for HE WILL teach you how to “guard your heart” with diligence. Psalm 3
Women respect your husbands. Husbands respect your wives. Love one another fervently. Single men & women seek the Lord’s direction if you desire a spouse. Hide the Word of God in your hearts. You must learn to give up “Me”ness for “We”ness! A great marriage is possible but it takes dedication, discipline, long suffering, prayer, sacrifice, work & responsibility. Furthermore marriage is about mutual team work. Therefore, be willing to give and give in love. Don’t take one another for granted. Learn to be thankful for the time you share with one another
Truly the LORD is my/our Shepherd! We are living in an ever changing world that continues to move further and further away from His principles! Know this; Marriage God’s Way Works! Keep God as the Center of your marriage. There are those who will do and say just about anything… Do not fear or be discouraged, instead TRUST GOD, for HE WILL; “lead you in the Path of Righteousness for HIS Namesake…” Psalm 23 Honor God in your marriage and within your home. PRAY for DISCERNMENT! Stay connected & “PRAY without ceasing” all throughout your day.
TRULY GOD IS FAITHFUL! THANK YOU LORD for my husband the father of our Children. I Love You through ETERNITY. ~ Today & everyday; HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! ~
Marriage & Addiction
How drugs affect our bodies and your marriage?
Drug abuse continues to escalate and take its casualties all over the world! Drugs change the natural chemistry of the human body! Drugs for some are necessary therapeutic medicinal healing aids to facilitate improving ones health! For millions of people they help to sustain a certain quality of life. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infections, viruses, broken bones, sprains, pain and arthritis are just a few of the plethora of ailments that are usually controlled by drugs. In these cases they are usually necessary and beneficial!
Doctors treat many illnesses, diseases and conditions with medical drugs every day! Drugs may be swallowed, injected, inhaled or sniffed! There are legitimate as well as illegitimate uses for drugs! One can become addicted in both cases. The use of drugs illegally is far more dangerous. When one has a spouse who engages in drugs it is much harder to establish intimacy! Their need for drugs is more important than their need to be emotionally available!
It is not wise to use drugs that are not personally prescribed for you nor those purchased illegally! Drugs alter the chemistry of the brain and make you feel different. A physician takes into consideration your current health status, your weight and symptoms when prescribing a prescription! The more you use drugs the more your brain chemistry becomes altered!
When a person becomes addicted they are out of control! The drug or behavior of choice now has taken over and the desire to “fix” the way they are feeling takes priority over everything! They will quite often do whatever is necessary just to “feel good!” This is why it is so important to be under the care of a trained physician who knows how to properly prescribe the proper medication to address any physical or mental ailment! Even under the care of a qualified doctor one can still become chemically dependent and addicted to drugs!
Pain is real! The addict is in pain and has lost their ability to cope with reality unless they are under the influence. They have developed an unhealthy habit and desire to experience a level of pleasure and/or the need to escape from reality. Life can be difficult and often people are thrust in to situations and terrible living conditions that are unbearable. Childhood trauma and cumulative issues not dealt with fester and cause emotional pain. People often carry many unresolved issues into their relationships… This can forbid them from being transparent. The marriage then often suffers from neglect and lack of intimacy! The spouse with the addiction is often emotionally unavailable. It is important to seek help!
To some marriage is a game rather than a sacred union. Recently there was a man in the Sacramento area who was arrested for participating in numerous marriage unions! He also arranged as many 39 bogus marriages for others for which he profited for a fee at the expense of others unhappiness! It is important to take time to get to know who you are marrying… This man’s selfish deceptive actions hurt many people. He had no intention of making a virtuous commitment. It is evident that he had an unhealthy addiction to the idea of marriage.
Trust can be shattered like a glass vase! Leaving one traumatized! Trust can erode when one is not attentive to the needs of their spouse creating an abyss. Marriage is about coming together and building a great partnership! It can be tedious regaining trust again but it is possible! It is always important to be honest about your pain and how you are feeling! Disillusioned by a break in trust usually leaves the spouse empty and needy. Which also makes them vulnerable… Building or establishing an ongoing relationship with the Lord will build a stronger foundation that will help to keep you anchored! God is available 24/7! God is true to His Word! “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.
Sexual addiction is quite threatening to a marriage! It is an intimacy problem. Millions of people in the U S suffer from sexual addictions. The person with a sexual addiction has a hard time connecting to and making a monogamous commitment. They are caught up in a vicious cycle of having their own needs met at any cost. The spouse’s needs are usually ignored and neglected due to the spouses self-indulgence. Addiction that is not addressed will not just go away. Restoration is a choice; it takes a lot of work but it is possible!
Godly counsel and much time spent in fervent prayer are needed along with a necessary redemptive confrontation. The confrontation means I care enough to “speak the Truth in Love!” Confrontation brings the issues to the forefront! It is important that the issues are then addressed immediately! Keep it real! If you or your spouse has an addiction of any kind; Please DO NOT delay seeking help! The longer you wait the harder it is to make the necessary lifestyle and environment changes! A couple that has a strong marriage bond can be a great mentor and encouragement! You have vowed to be there for one another for better or for worse…? Take care of yourself and make it a point to look your best! If you are reading this and you are single. Start dealing with your issues now before you commit to marry! It is important to know that a good strong marriage is built on TRUST! If necessary recommit to your vows and start anew! Now let’s get busy moving forward building better, stronger, satisfying, trusting enduring marriages! Be encouraged A great marriage (without) is truly still possible!
JESUS CHRIST is the LIGHT of the world! The LORD does not want anyone to walk in darkness. HE has given us HIS WORD JESUS CHRIST & HIS COMFORTER HIS HOLY SPIRIT! ‘HIS WORD will be a lamp unto your feet and a LIGHT unto your path”
This is what HIS WORD teaches:
“Unless I go away, the COUNSELOR, will not come to you; but if I go, I will send HIM to you. When HE comes HE will convict the world of guilt in regard to SIN & RIGHTEOUSNESS and JUDGMENT, in regards to SIN men do not BELIEVE in ME; in regards to RIGHTEOUSNESS, because I AM going to the FATHER where you can see ME no longer; and in regards to judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when HE, the SPIRIT of TRUTH comes, HE WILL GUIDE you to ALL TRUTH…” John 16
All around and throughout this world our Lord has created there is much Spiritual Warfare about us. Because of Jesus Christ death upon the cross we have been given the opportunity to have Eternal life. It is upon the cross Jesus Christ overcame the forces of darkness and redeemed us from the penalty of sin of the original sin that entered the world via Adam & Eve. No one else was able to do this! We who believe can now look forward to one day living with God in Heaven forever after we have completed the course of life or once Jesus Christ returns for those of us who remain before the RAPTURE! This is only possible once we truly accept Jesus Christ into our hearts as our personal Savior & Lord. Praise God!
Upon the profession of our Faith we receive the precious Gift of His Holy Spirit It is through an ongoing committed intimate relationship with Him we are able to grow in His wisdom, Grace & knowledge. God has given us His Word which is our necessary Spiritual Food to nourish our eternal souls. We are then better able to recognize and discern when something or someone is not of Him as we implement the principles of His Word within our daily lives. We must continually as often as necessary asked to be filled by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit! “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be SAVED. For it is with your heart that you BELIEVE and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are Saved.” Romans 10
The prince of this world who is satan has already been condemned to eternal damnation. Therefore he does not want any of us to know the TRUTH and he daily continues to try and deceive and confuse the inhabitants of this world any way he can… The reason why we are seeing so many things going awry within the world is because so many are turning away from the Word of God. Many are ignorant and do not know GOD. Many are doing what is right in their own eyes and seek to fulfill the lust of the flesh. This is true in the world and also to a degree within God’s Church! God created this world that was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ. Everything that He made was good. Through man’s disobedience it was corrupted by sin. “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. He was God from the beginning..” John 1
God has given us the BIBLE which is His infallible Holy Word! It consists of the Old & New Testaments. A good acronym to remember is: BIBLE = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth! It is here in His Word we better learn what life & living is all about and its history and origins. When Jesus Christ came He fulfilled the laws and all the requirements of the Old Testament. In the New Testament we learn how He now wants us to live. We have a Covenant relationship with Him. Here is what His Word teaches us: “This is the Covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord, because they all will know Me, from the least to the greatest…” Hebrews 8
This is why it is so very important to know the Word of God for yourself. We are under the Covenant of Grace. The invitation to accept Him as Lord and Savior that was given to Israel has been extended to all nations. We as believers are not to use grace as a license to sin. Sin is anything that separates us from God. “ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” We are not supposed to practice sin. Nor or we to excuse sin in ourselves or others… We are to readily repent of any sin and start anew walking in the Light of His Word. Spiritual growth is an ongoing life long process. We can do this through the Power of His Holy Spirit which is; the Spirit of Truth!”
The Holy Spirit the Comforter is a precious Gift from God to lead us to all Truth! To help us navigate through the Spiritual Warfare that has been designed to entrap us and pull us away from God’s purpose & plan for our lives. It is important that we learn to become better focused, stay connected to the Lord and “pray without ceasing” throughout our day!
KNOW this: JESUS CHRIST IS THE WAY THE TRUTH & THE LIFE! Do NOT be deceived there is NO OTHER way to HEAVEN! “Through Him all things were made; without HIM nothing was made that has been made. In Him is life, and that life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” John 1
Life is Not FAIR but GOD IS!
Habakkuk is a wonderful short, sweet, powerful Book in the Old Testament that is packed with wisdom. The prophet Habakkuk asks God, “Why are things not fair? And why does God not do something? He prophecies during the final reign of the Assyrian Empire and right when the Babylonians began to increasingly grow in power to control and dominate the world. The Chaldeans were being sent to judge Judah. The key scripture is: “Lord I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”
This miniature book illustrates just how powerful God is, consisting of only three chapters! God can use any situation to demonstrate His mighty power! God eventually answers Habakkuk; this is why this book is so valuable. God tells him to “Look among the nations and watch~ Be utterly astounded!” For a season God allowed the cruel treatment to take place. It is here He uses the unbelieving decadent Babylonian pagan nation to reprimand His rebellious nation of people! The Babylonians in time would also suffer punishment for their wickedness…
The Book of Habakkuk boldly demonstrates that our complete Faith and Trust must be in God! We can have complete confidence in Him! When there is much pain, sickness, trouble and distress one must turn first to God and not man! Allow Him to direct you! Remember “Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your path.” Proverbs 3 Although we can study and learn intellectually what actually opens the door to our spiritual wisdom and understanding is our relationship with the Lord. It is so important to know God’s Word! It is here through the Divine power of His Holy Spirit; The Comforter and Teacher where learning the essential keys of life resides! Despite everything that goes on in the world it is important to keep in mind “God is STILL in CONTROL!” God alone deserves to be worshipped, honored and PRAISED!
Habakkuk cries out to the Lord for help! There is very little known about Habakkuk, there is less personal information recorded on him than any other prophet. There was much going on about him. Just like it is in the 21st century today! Like Habakkuk we too can turn to the Lord in times of distress. He tells us “Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem the righteous, so that justice is perverted. Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed.” Look how applicable this is today! Remember, although “bad things are happening to good people” God has not forgotten us! When you know that things are not right, when you know that there have been injustices against you it is important to know God in His time will vindicate you! Sometimes you just have to be patient and humbly wait! Knowing that what is important is that “God Knows,” in the meantime draw close to the Lord! You must learn to put things in their proper perspective!
How often have you heard someone say; “That’s not fair!” What does it mean to be fair? According to Webster’s’; pleasing to the eye or mind a flawless quality; clear legible, unbiased or impartial. What makes anyone think that life is fair? Life is not fair, but God is! God is ALWAYS right! As Habakkuk says; “The righteous will live by Faith!” The Apostle Paul also says this in Romans and again in Galatians! It is also once again confirmed in Hebrews! The question is often asked; “Why does bad things happen to good people?” Really, in essence the TRUTH is only God is good!
Judah, God’s people had a series of wicked kings that did not subscribe to God’s way, they rejected Him and His principles they adopted the ways of the world. Judah had a young King Josiah, he believed and trusted in God but his successors did not. King Josiah tried to turn their hearts back to the Lord but it only lasted for a season. He had instituted significant spiritual reforms in Judah! Eventually they were finally invaded and taken into Babylonian captivity under King Nebuchadnezzar. During captivity they were oppressed, persecuted and their possessions were taken away. The Babylonians were a strong military force they were a nation that plundered the goods of many. Does any of this sound familiar? Habakkuk was aware that the Babylonians were being used to punish Judah. He realized that there were some things that they would experience that did not seem fair…
Habakkuk realized that the people were actually being disciplined. He prays to God on their behalf and asks for mercy. He did not quite understand why this was happening but He trusted God anyway! “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in your day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Regardless how things look or appear and no matter what happens God always does what is right! There are many things in our little finite minds that we will never quite understand. But we can surely always lean and Trust on an all knowing Infinite God who knows exactly what is going on! Habakkuk knew that God would triumph. We too can be reassured He will in His time vindicate us when we are sincere and faithful to Him! We must learn how to patiently wait for Him. We must focus on God and not the circumstance. Our strength and Joy comes from the Lord! Even though it may appear that the wicked prosper at your expense sometimes, in the long run they really don’t !
Today when many are turning away from God’s principles, When right is yoking up with what is wrong, When the world is saying this is right and the scriptures is saying that is wrong… When nothing seems to make sense; “wait on the Lord!” We never get to the point that we are not susceptible to spiritual attacks and oppression no matter how much we plan or grow spiritually. This is why we have to continuously pray and daily seek God’s face. This is why we need a Savior! Praise God! Hallelujah anyhow!!!
One can be encouraged as Habakkuk reminds us how “the sun and moon stood still in their habitation!” This happened when Israel gained victory over the Amorites at Gibeon the Lord made the sun stand still, during a battle for Joshua! (See Joshua 10) Although we cannot see what God is doing we have to learn to trust Him! We should always consult God and let Him know how we are feeling even though He already knows! God will take us through the test and trials designed by man and over the landmines put in our path. Look around today and see there are many economic difficulties, families in crisis, marriages resulting in divorces, sickness, diseases and natural disasters! Know God is Able! God is here to help us endure any hardships that may arise in life! It is to Him we must look to, He is Sovereign and greater than any situation! Habakkuk concludes with an illustration of a deer! Notice how a deer can manage to scale and climb up the rugged terrain of seemingly impossible mountain and doesn’t slip! As Habakkuk says: “Yet I will REJOICE in the Lord, I will be JOYFUL in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my STRENGTH; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” Keep looking to the Lord! It is here in Habakkuk we find “The Lord is in His Holy Temple. Let all the earth keep silent before Him” Praise God!
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!
Where Does God Dwell?
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We in America have a freedom that you just don’t find in the rest of the world. We have freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to live and go where and when we please. But most importantly we have the freedom to worship. There are many types of worship services but there is only one true God. The only way to worship Him is in spirit and truth. On a recent trip to Athens Greece and Istanbul Turkey I was able to see some of the world’s most exquisite architecture. Turkey is a country that is 95% Moslem. In Turkey there is the renowned Haggia Sophia Cathedral. It was built for the Christian community to reflect the beauty that Solomon’s Temple once beheld. In spite of its elaborate intricate handiwork full of gold mosaic tiles, marble and brick walls, it is now a museum. It also contains various artifacts derived from Greek mythology and its continence is a shadow of it’s once intended purpose. Ironically across from it is the beautiful Sultanahmet mosque. Its known as the Blue mosque due to an extravagant array of blue mosaic tiles. Adorned with its intricate splendor and statueous marble columns and stained glass windows. It is scrupulously maintained and it is a place of worship for the Moslem community. Turkey is full of ornately designed mosques and Mohammed is whom they worship.
Words cannot express my gratitude to God for the things my eyes have beheld. The scriptures continuously came to my mind as I walked through the Haggia Sophia. “God does not dwell in a temple made by hands”. “That God is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle.” There is absolutely no doubt in my mind to the unmerited grace the Lord has bestowed upon us.
The one thing the tour guide who was of Moslem decent (in Turkey along with our guide we were required to have a Turkish guide as well) said that stuck with me was “why would a powerful God allow His Temple to turn into a museum?” My point is God is so gracious and kind that He allows us so much freedom. He even gives us the freedom to choose who or what we want to worship. When I lift up Holy Hands, to Him and Him only my heart is eternally grateful. It is by His grace and His grace alone are we saved. God is truly worthy of all the PRAISE!
In Turkey is the city of Ephesus. There are miles and miles of ruins. Original artifacts, columns etc. and remains to testify to the fact Ephesus existed. To this day approximately only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is still currently under excavation. Primitive hand tools are used in order to preserve whatever archeological finds are uncovered. Paul wrote the book of Ephesians to the church at Ephesus. Just look at God! Despite the fact Turkey is a Moslem country Ephesus remains a monument to Christians of God’s eternal presence, grace and mercy. My most invigorating moments were spent in Athens Greece. We walked up the steep incline to the Acropolis saturated with aged columns made of marble. The Parthenon and majestic ruins were filled with slippery marble laden paths.
The highlight of our trip was when I observed my husband climb “Mars Hill”. In a foreign country one must be cautious. After my husband determined that it was safe I too climbed the hill and we both joyously praised GOD! This is the infamous Mars Hill that the Apostle Paul speaks about in the book of Acts give you a marvelous panoramic view. When we first approached Mars Hill there was a woman preaching. I found this to be quite interesting because years before when I was called to ministry a woman being a minister was not readily accepted. This was confirmation just how good GOD truly is. I was sure of the call on my life to minister but I was also very sure that I did not have to be restricted to the doctrines of a denomination but to the “Word of God!” Acts tells us “And it will come to pass in the last days saith God I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Paul spoke concerning an altar with an inscription representing the unknown god on Mars Hill. That unknown God is the God I love, worship and adore. The only true and living God. The GREAT “I AM!” Mars Hill today is in a magnificent open place. High above Athens for all to see. (I will forever cherish what it felt like sitting there and praising God for all He has done!) It’s walls and canopy are the blue firmament that God Himself spoke into existence through the Word. That Word is Jesus Christ wrapped in flesh. Who sacrificed His life for the sins of the entire world!
The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God. Glory! Glory! His truth is marching on!
“The earth truly is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world and them that dwell therein.” There is not a place that can be built that can contain the fullness of His majestic awesomeness. The early church had no building they met in homes. We have dedicated our home to be a place where God’s way prevails. The heart of each of His Children is where His true Church abides. There is nothing wrong with a church made by hands. But the focal point should not be a hierarchy laden with cliques, clichés, how do we pay our bills programs and solemn auxiliaries; a mere shadow of what God originally intended.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” We should praise Him in song, word and deeds. We are not saved by works. But our works display our faith. Our main focus should be to cultivate and environment where God receives the preeminence. It is God’s Word and His power that will draw men and change their lives when we spread His Gospel. Whether it be via T.V., radio, internet, song or the spoken word. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
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!