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
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.
Keeping The Lines of Communication Open
Do you have TEENS?
Living in this audacious, adventurous 21st century with all its technological advances has its advantages. You can keep the lines of communication open or stay in constant contact with anyone at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. You can call, talk, track or text message when you have the right, GPS system, computer, cell phone, I pod, television, blue tooth ear piece, Nintendo DSI, mobile devices or some other…
How often do you get a text?
On the other hand it is hard for some to just “be” in the moment, because they are always texting and calling someone else while in your presence. Their attention is divided between you and somewhere or some else? The quality of time spent is usually minimized. They have a hard time just being in the moment or giving their undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”. Having the capability to be accessible is great. But I believe it is really getting out of hand. Perhaps there should be some “rules of etiquette ” honored and accountability exercised when alone or while in public or in the presence of others? And what about the teens?
Reina Hardesty is a 13 year young teen, from Southern California, who is an amazing, creative, prolific texter. How she ever managed to get anything else done? She actually sent approximately 500 texts daily that totaled 14,528 text in one month. It is a good thing that her father had unlimited texting plan. Otherwise, at 20 cents per text his bill would have been somewhere around a whopping $2,905 !!! After this her parents set some boundaries “no texting after dinner”.
I wonder what this does as far as their overall health is concerned? How much healthy sleep can one get? How much time for homework or anything else for that matter? Is texting addicting? At what point is it considered so…
Wait there’s more! Emilee Cox, another witty, vivacious, energetic, teen texter who is 14 years young, has smashed Reina’s record. At 74 text per each hour she was awake, she texted over 35,000 text in one month. She also manages to get good grades.
Miley Cyrus who is a popular teen idol, favorite hobby is going shopping. She really likes Chinese Food and watching “High School Musical with her sisters. But apparently the famous Miiley Cyrus and her older boyfriend were caught texting during Church service. They thought they were being discreet “They were not only busted but…”
It is important that we keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers. Peer pressure is real. There is always something lurking to pull them off track. For emergencies it is fantastic! We should be concerned. They need guidance. The ability to stay in contact is a plus. But here too we also need some “rules of etiquette. ” These 21st century teens have taken texting to a whole new level.
Here are a few more stats,
*Texting of this nature is nothing new. According to a 2008 Nielsen study, teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 “ to an average of 1,742 texts a month.
Sextexting is also becoming a growing trend among teens. Sextexting is when revealing photos or messages are sent across a cell phone. It is actuallly flirting with danger. You do not always know how large or who your audience really is. Teens that are caught could possibly be prosecuted as sex offenders. Unknowingly they send pictures or messages with improper content that once they have been published they cannot be retrieved. it is just not a good idea to get so personal anyway. On many occasions they have sent messages to a friend, who sent it to a friend and that friend sent it to … Right now this is even being pursued by some prosecutors to possibly be considered as “child pornography”. So it is important to have a serious chat with them about being careful in this area. Nothing more than “G” rated texting allowed!
Oprah Winfrey recently dedicated a whole television show to the perils of America’s newest “OBSESSION” = texting while driving! Did you know that when you text or use a cell phone while driving you significantly increase the chances of having an accident? It is the equivalent of having 4 drinks while driving! You are driving with a decreased attention span. It is called “Distracted Driving! “ You are not only putting your life in jeopardy but the lives of many others as well! The show is inclusive of many who have experienced the consequences of someone using a cell phone while driving. The statistics of the many casualties are mesmerizing and alarming!
Ms Winfrey asks that everyone designate their car as a ‘”NO PHONE ZONE!” She goes so far to have a campaign asking you to sign a contract agreeing to do so. The contract is available on her website! During the show one mother is interviewed. Her story; As she approaches her home after a Dr.’s appointment she sees a little girl lying in the streets surrounded by a crowd! She sees a mangled bike… Much to her dismay the distraught mother realizes it is her little girl and the emergency crew are attempting to pull her clothes off ……. The little girl was “15 PEDALS “ FROM HER FRONT DOOR! The driver was on her cell phone! After intensive care in the hospital two days later her beautiful little girl dies…
This is one of many. This show is a must see!!
Texting while driving is also hazardous. No sneaking a text in because no one’s watching. Watch the road! Another big, No! No! We need to be in contact but we also need to give them guidelines. I think that a simple contract might possibly be a viable solution. If they are old enough to have a cell phone they should be responsible enough to make a contract that is reviewed often and renegotiated when or if necessary. Hmmmm possibly limiting their calling by giving them a restricted calling plan? Knowing that you are going to randomly review their messages, Hmmm…This really is to let them know that you care enough to take the time to show that you are concerned and they matter. Of course they won’t see it this way…
In this high tech society it may be hard. But, keeping the lines of communication open is important! Let them know you are there for them and they matter! Give them kudos whenever the opportunity arises. It is crucial and beneficial to make sure that you take the time to spend quality time with them without a television, computer, cell phone, I pod, CD player, blue tooth ear piece or some other distraction… Just maybe they won’t feel the need to take up sextexting?
President Jimmy Carter & Women in Ministry
I am once again happy to see that President Jimmy Carter is in the news. But not for his political views. At least not concerning the U.S. Government. But his views as far as the Church are concerned. He has been a member of the Southern Baptist for many decades. After (60) sixty years he has taken an adamant , publicly visible stand and decided to part company. He does not subscribe to many of their doctrinal beliefs.
There is a belief among the leadership of the Southern Baptist clergy that women are to be restricted and forbidden to be ordained. They in fact believe that our position as women is to basically appease our husbands, be subservient and attend to the non leadership issues that arise as a subordinate. I have always found this interesting. I have in the past regularly attended their services. But have always been concerned with this very issue. As women you can participate in the “Women’s Ministry” teach Sunday School, work with the youth , usher, talk about the Lord but you cannot become an ordained minister.
I find this so very interesting because this does not only exist in the Southern Baptist it existed among the Traditional Baptist as well where we attended FAITHFULLY and generouly supported for many years. It has changed among Baptist somewhat in some places. But there is a definite discrimination that takes place I know this firsthand. To keep women in their place or else. You can be a Minister at home? The C.M.E. Methodist have allowed women to the forefront because they are losing ground and dwindling in numbers. They allow women to become ordained but are still quite controlling. The male clergy in general tend to be very ritualistic, condescending and dominating they allow women to participate by doing the things they deem appropiate.
Is it not God that calls us or anyone for that matter to ministry? Is He not “a respecter of persons?” The Word says “He will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh.” Male or female! Did not the Lord use a donkey to speak to Balaam his prophet who was overcome by his love for the world and money? Balaam according to the Word taught Balak “to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality…” ( See Revelations 2) Balaam allowed himself to be used by baal and caused 24,000 people to be killed. The point is; The Lord can use whomever He pleases. Certainly if the Lord used a donkey to warn his prophet of his sudden death if he continued to proceed; He can use women inside or outside of the walls? I could go on but my point is God never intended for the Church to just be housed in a building of brick and mortar. The building is a dedicated place to come to gather or assemble! God’s Church is the Universal Church of believers who are people throughout the world from every tongue and nation.
I can testify first hand to the underhanded discrimination and outright mistreatment of women within the Church that President Jimmy Carter is standing “UP” for! If you choose to participate then you must subject yourself to the whims of the “man in charge!” Who makes it clear that it is his call and vision you serve? I have personally found it to be true what President Carter stated in his essay
“At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.”
And, later said
“The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. “
When I finished Seminary there was no women being ordained in ministry within our congregation. You could teach Sunday School, be a clerk, become a Trustee, or sing in the choir, or be a Deaconess? There was only one ordained female minister in the whole entire city that I knew of at the time. She had at one time been the choir director but was not allowed to sit in the pulpit were we worshipped whenever she returned to visit. It has changed to some degree. But many of the same chauvinistic issues are still there. It was not out in the open most of the time for all to see. I was just blacklisted and overlooked and labeled. Hmm like jealous, unyielding, wanting to be… as well as unteachable, self serving and …. which is so far from the Truth!
To some degree a few of my supposed “sisters” in the Lord were used to oppress me and make sure I was limited since I did not bow to the authority to the “man in charge.” They were used as examples to me and show me what was possible if I went along with the head. But they could do as they pleased because they would do whatever it took even if it included … Of course I could participate in the “Women’s Ministry.” And yes many would seek me for counseling still. But there was a definite unspoken no to limit me in ministry. So I calmly protested silently. Instead I opted to support my own husband within the ministry and just made a point to Worship and Praise the Lord in “Spirit and in TRUTH.” They were vigilante in their efforts to isolate and discredit me. No doubt my husband was also penalized within ministry because of my position. I can boldly say I have acquired much Patience and have great Peace knowing that the Lord knows my sincere intentions as well as the TRUTH!
After I graduated seminary I was ordained by the University’s Chancellor who confirmed my call. Who too wanted me to support him and just become his assistant. Therefore my husband and I continued to attend were we worshipped for a while faithfully and eventually founded and embraced the concept of “Ministry Beyond The Walls.” It is so true “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is LIBERTY.” I say this because I know first hand. I have lived it! But through it all my fervor, steadfastness, personal and public love for the Lord and devotion has grown tremendously! I can truly say I love the Lord more each day. Their oppressiveness just showed me where I did not want to be. I even tried to support those who wanted to participate in the “Center Stage ” of it all. (That is another story in itself) I also realize that once we ALL have completed this course of life we will have to give an account to the Lord for our actions. Praise God!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter for taking such a noble Stand. As a woman I hold ALL of the Lord’s Word dear to my heart. Inside and outside the walls. I can say that I love being “His child” and a Minister of His GOSPEL! No need to sit in a high chair. I Peter says; “… For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Wives , likewise, be submissive to your own hubands, that even if some do not obey the WORD, they without a word,may ne won over by the conduct of the wives, when they Observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear…”
I love this scripture because I know who my Shepherd is. “The Lord is My SHEPHERD!” I have no problem with authority! I have no problem with submitting when it does not go against the Lord ‘s Word as well as obeying the laws of the land! If you read the passage of scripture in I PETER slowly again it says to be subject to your own husband not everyone else’s! Think about that for a moment. When Peter refers to us as the “weaker” vessel this is not at all to infer that we are weaker Spiritually. Ephesians assures us “We can be Strong in the Lord and the Power of HIS…..”
The Bible speaks of the women as the “weaker” vessel because we are built differently and naturally tend to be more emotional. I love being a woman and all it entails! If you listen closely you will see that this is a position of STRENGTH as we embrace self control we are able to do this through His Holy Spirit! When a husband does not obey the Lord you can win him over… Without even speaking if need be. The husband prayers are hindered when he mistreats his wife… Read this passage slowly and again if necessary. This is Powerful! By the way this does not mean using manipulation! God truly is awesome!
We live in a nation and a world that is constantly shifting away from God’s principles and many within God’s Church have enlisted and embraced worldly ways, concepts and methods in their attempts to control and dominate God’s people! Lord Help US!
Therefore I applaud President Jimmy Carter because he has brought an issue to the Light that many skirt or avoid. The question for Carter — and for others who find themselves at odds with leadership — is, when a group you’re deeply involved in starts to move away from your own core beliefs, do you stay and try to change from within or, at some point, do you have to look for the exit?
This is the question that each individual must deal with it may be considered spiritual suicide to go against the ideology of an organized religion. But when you really think about it this is how and why we have so many denominations! Some things will just not be understood on this side of HEAVEN! Protesting by sitting down or moving away from oppression can help you move closer to a growing rewarding inner satisfying relationship with the Lord. It frees you to live each and every day for the Lord! Especially when you know that Christ is not coming back for a church made by hands. But He is coming back for HIS CHURCH! Because according to the Lord’s Word there is still “One Lord, One Faith … and One Church which by the way belongs to Him! To GOD Be The GLORY!
Wherever you are in life it is important to take some time and enjoy the moment. Regardless of what is happening or not happening you are still here. What is most valuable in life is life itself! Whether you believe it or not, Life is a precious gift from God! Time belongs to Him. It is through His Son Jesus Christ everything was Spoken into Existence! Please if you have any? Listen with your spiritual ears for a moment. Let this register in your mind a moment, please read it again if necessary. This is powerful! Listen to what Colossians tells us about JESUS! “HE is the image of the invisible GOD, the firstborn over ALL CREATION, For by HIM ALL things, were CREATED; things in HEAVEN and on EARTH, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or powers or rulers or authorities aALL things were CREATED by HIM and for HIM…”
Did you know no matter how much you want to, you cannot turn back the hands of time? You can look back, wish things would or could have been different but in reality you can’t go back and undo what has been done. Letting go does not mean forgetting. You can thumb through photo albums, year books or diaries, spend an afternoon watching personal videos reminiscing on what was, but you cannot go back. Begin to “Make the Best of NOW!
If there are a lot of past unresolved issues that continue to crop up, guess what? Looking back momentarily to disengage from the fermenting stored up pain or resentment can be healthy. You cannot change anything that has happened. But you can change how it continues to hinder you from moving forward and becoming all that you were meant to be. Begin letting it go! Remember the child in you is always present. It is the part of you that wants its way; now. The part of you that says, Hey! I want, I hurt, I need I, I, I … But the adult in you has to take responsibility for your actions and your well being. The adult in you has to readily evaluate and say hmmm let me think before I react. We must learn to patiently respond rather than just impulsively react. Remember you cannot change what has happened but you can change what you do NOW!
Self control is a virtue. It is also a part of God’s Fruit. We as God’s children need Him daily to help us implement His principles within our lives. He has given us His Holy Spirit as The Comforter to help us! Rest assured, He is everywhere we are. We just have to invite Him in on whatever is happening. It is easy to just go it on your own and live haphazardly, or let the chips fall where they may? Nor does it take any discipline. But is this how it should be? Sin is anything that separates us from God! It takes self control to access His presence. A simple unuttered prayer will do! There is POWER in the name of JESUS!
As a child of God we never get to the point that we don’t need Him as Father and Lord! We are ageless children to Him. Yes things do happen sometimes that are beyond our control. But, we must learn to become responsible self controlled adults living in this world where any and everything goes. His principles where meant to be our barometer for what is right and wrong. He wants us to humble ourselves and walk in humility. He wants us to be a people of Power who walk in meekness not in our weaknesses. This is why He says; “ I tell you the TRUTH, unless we change and become like little children, you we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” John said, “REPENT! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand (near)” John was not talking about later on, he meant right then and yes, NOW. The kingdom of God is near and accessible. HIS WORD tells us, “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…”
Do you want to experience His Kingdom where there is Joy and His Peace which is not contingent on our circumstance? Kingdom in this sense is not talking about a realm or physical place. It is talking about letting God rule and reign in your life NOW! It’s about living in His presence NOW. Remember, Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and lead us…” We need the Fruit of His Spirit daily. What is that? “But the FRUIT of the SPIRIT is , Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control…”
Today really is a new day. But His principles have not changed! It is not like “Ground Hog Day”, which is this amusing, humorous little movie that I have watched many times. In this comedy the day happens over and over for Bill Murray until it gets absolutely ridiculous. He is the only one that is aware that the day is happening over and over. The day’s events become so very predictable after he has lived it over and over so many times that he knows what is going to happen before it happens. The point is in going back it still did not change what had happened. Therefore we must move forward consciously making a sincere attempt to live life with purpose. “This is the Day that the LORD has made let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it…” I then always say Who but GOD can make a day?
If you look and study closely you will see that the disciples went through some things. It was not always a bed of ease! But yet, they depended on Him and yes, they persevered! They continued to move toward God and grow in the Grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ! It is important to nurture the child in you. You cannot give what you do not have. We therefore ask daily for the continual infilling presence of His precious Holy Spirit! He is more than able! God IS realistically able to fill every void that we have. He is the GREAT “I AM”!
You can actually take control by going back to let go of what was or what could have been. You do not want to live in denial. It can be somewhat therapeutic by looking back momentarily and reenacting certain scenarios? This is because you are now deciding to take control and begin letting go of things and situations that you could not or cannot change. You are in a sense REPENTING! You NOW begin to move toward by letting go and letting God’s way take the wheel of your life!
God really is AWESOME! Don’t limit His ability to be All that He is in your life! He is so much more than what our little finite minds can ever conceive. Remember from the very Beginning everything was spoken into existence by His Son Jesus Christ! He truly is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent! Whatever has happened is happening or will happen God already knows. This is why it is so important to begin living your life to Please Him. You will never be able to please any or everybody all the time. But you can begin walking , talking and living in His Presence. You can begin “Making the BEST of NOW!”
Life REALLY Does Have A Purpose
Does your life have purpose? Do you really feel that you have a meaningful existence? Are you truly happy? Do you continue to recycle old habits? Have you really ever thought about why you are here? Or are you just passing the time away with no particular goal in mind? Are you bogged down in your career? Did you know people leave and enter this place everyday? Are there some things that you want to change? The Bible tells us life is but a vapor. Meaning that life is fleeting. It is an ephemeral existence that ends with you merely going into either of two possible directions. Contrary to what some believe there is no purgatory. No in between place that suspends you invisibly existing between Heaven and hell. Did you know that there are some that don’t even believe in hell?
Life does have a definite purpose! It was created for a purpose. You have been created for a purpose! This cosign we know as the world was definitely created by the One true and living God. The Great “I AM” He is Alpha and Omega. Meaning He is the beginning and the end. The Bible adamantly states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. The word Genesis itself means in the Greek beginning!
The Bible initially records the beginning of the earth and the heavens and its contents. It even records the first institution that God made and that is the family! The Bible starts with God not some philosophical argument. It does not commence by attempting neither to explain nor to justify God’s existence! God is sovereign! Every man has been given a measure of faith. It is through this faith we must unequivocally accept its entire truth. The Bible was divinely inspired by God. Although it was transcribed by the hands of man. It is the only infallible Biblia in the entire World which consists of 66 Books. Within its pages the mystery and purpose of life is revealed! It’s meaning and contents are revealed to us through the illumination of His divine and Holy Spirit. Through Him was the earth spoke into existence! Jesus is the “WORD”. To further affirm this let’s look at John 1-5.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”.
There was nothing that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. What power! He even took upon Himself a body of flesh to conquer sin in the flesh for us! To encourage us by being a living example. Did you know you don’t have to live your life controlled by sin? You see it was through Adam and Eve that sin entered into the world. But it is only through Jesus Christ we can enter into His kingdom of heaven. He is the door! “HE IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! Christ lived a sinless life, was crucified, died and then buried. After three days He arose from the grave. He arose wirh all power! He then ascended into heaven after being seen by many witnesses. It is through the power of His resurrection we are redeemed. This is the reason why we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. His Holy Spirit resides within to become our Guide through life’s many challenges as well as celebrations.
Once we accept Jesus we embark upon an eternal wonderful spiritual journey. He extends this invitation to all who are willing to accept Him. We need Him to save us from the power of sin in our life! Did you know we become heirs and joint heirs in His many bountiful blessings? He allows us to choose Him. We have inherited the freedom to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies! Yes, we still will encounter many challenges in life. But we can trust the Creator of life who has promised to never leave nor forsake us to be there for us! Therefore in Him you can have confidence. This is why His Word is so important. It is our road map to life. to encourage, enlighten, convict and direct us. To help us grow and develop spiritually.
Perhaps you are skeptical? You are what some call agnostic. You don’t really believe in anything. Perhaps you have a “said faith?” Meaning you just say you believe. But stop right there. You go through life basically conforming and adapting to whatever… Perhaps you are one of those who believe there really is not a hell. Believe it or not; one way or the other you must come to grips with His infallible truth. At one time or another according to His Word; “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord”. I believe His Word! this is why we who profess to be Christians are called “believers!”
If you want to discover what the real purpose of life is I invite you to sincerely get into His Word. It has withstood the test of time. He has given us example after example. What happens when you are obedient and what happens when you are disobedient. He has provided a plethora of wisdom. Demonstration after demonstrations as to how one can be successful!
We must continually pray for Him to open our understanding and seek His guidance. Stop dibbling and dabbling in a life with no real substance. There is a void only He can fill. No matter how much or little you might have it is only temporary! When you leave earth it will still be right here. Our purpose goes far beyond the here and now. It goes through eternity to somewhere? Stop just going to church. (Or not going to church). Know that we all who are believers are the true Church. When or where we come together it is supposed to be to worship, edify and praise Him and fellowship and bring others to Christ! Make up your mind today to walk with God daily! Begin to walk in faith by the magnificent power of His resurrection. Ask the Lord to help you begin to respectfully and sincerely desire to know how to truly “Worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!” It is here you will find your purpose!
Did you know that God’s will is always what is best for us? Think of Him of the “PERFECT ULTIMATE FATHER” God is always willing to show us His will! We just have to get better at listening. If you truly believe declare your home as a place where God is welcomed. Begin to worship Him sincerely! Start treating your body as His “temple”. After all it is or is it? Stop defiling it with profanity, lying, covetousness, envy, infidelity, drugs, alcohol, overeating, undereating …….. Stop just listening to His Word! Begin a spiritual cleansing by digesting His Word! As long as we are here on this side of heaven there is always room for much improvement. We are “Forever becoming.” Did you know He’s really coming back for His true Church? Better yet ask yourself if the world were to end today are you certain of your destiny?
You see heaven is not a place “you just try to make it in”. It is not a place where you can personally schedule your desired arrival time. Consciously make a sincere effort to daily surrender to His will in your life. Repent! Then really move forward. Begin to live each day as though He might return. Know without a doubt you have chosen the final eternal habitation reserved expressively for His children. Commence to really seek Him first!
God is so patient with all of us. He gives us the freedom to choose. Stop being so absorbed in the things of this life and immerse yourself in His WORD. Take some time to look around you and see that our world is in the midst of much chaos. Our economy is dreadful, our ……. But there is always HOPE with the Lord! This will help you to view life differently. He will provide everything and whatever else it is you need and so much more! It is only in God you will find the true peace, contentment and joy that surpasses the understanding of man! It is only in Him you will truly discover what life is really all about. The true purpose of life is to discover who He has created you to be! You have been uniquely created to be the “best You” that you could possibly be. But, without a meaningful spiritual relationship with Him you will never reach your full potential. With Him you will discover that LIFE REALLY DOES have a PURPOSE!
Anorexia and Bulimia are very serious eating disorders that occur when one does not properly relate to food. Eating disorders are serious. They can and do result in physical and emotional turmoil. There are a lot of control issues related to eating disorders. An unbalanced spiritual diet will result in a spiritual eating disorder. If you go without spiritual food; you will lack the proper skills to navigate through the spiritual maze of life. Jesus came to this world to redeem us from the penalty of sin. He overcame sin in the flesh for us. He came so that the world would not be condemned but saved. It is through His love we have obtained grace.
To find out more about your purpose and the plan God has for your life it is important that you explore God’s Word. The Word of God is food for the soul. Have you ever thought about the side effects of a Spiritual eating disorder? When you do not have a consistent healthy spiritual diet it is difficult to comprehend spiritual things. Did you know that you can actually forever be in a learning mode and still not comprehend the spiritual things of God? In fact you will have a tendency to be misled. It is vitally important that you regularly read, study, digest and apply God’s Word in your daily life. You do not want to develop a spiritual eating disorder. It will result in serious spiritual consequences.
In order to grow properly one must consume a nutritious balanced daily diet. It is often said “we are what we eat.” Eating is a natural normal everyday occurrence. Without a proper daily diet one can become malnourished. It is a well known fact that in many third world countries thousands literally starve to death daily due to a lack of a proper balanced diet. It is difficult to reach your full potential when your body does not have its proper nutrients. Food for your body is what gas is to a car. Think about it? How far will your car go without gas? How can you make the journey? Food is fuel for the body.
God created a marvelous thing when He created man. We are created in His image. We are body, mind and soul. God has also provided the necessary resources for us to live healthy lives. In order to grow physically we need food. In order to grow intellectually we need to study and stimulate our brain cells. When we study we assist the building of dendrites. Okay what are dendrites? They are nerve cells that send impulses to the body. Intellectual growth without spiritual development is futile. You will never fully understand life and its true meaning without knowing God. Remember He created us with a soul. Our soul also has needs. We need to spiritually feed our mind and soul with the Word of God. The Word of God is spiritual “bread from heaven”. It is essential to our spiritual growth and development.Did you know that the Scriptures are considered “The bread of life?” They are essential for the proper growth and spiritual development for the believer. Just as food is necessary for the body; so is God’s Word for our soul. A proper spiritual diet is required if you truly desire to grow spiritually. A constant diet of religious junk food is unhealthy. Yes, it is possible to grow without God’s Word. But, you will not grow spiritually. You will grow carnally. It is even possible to grow religiously. This will cause you to be misled as well. You will be tossed to and fro by the various doctrines of man. Please know growing religiously is not the same thing as growing spiritually. Many people talk right and walk left. Remember Jim Jones and his followers? If one does not regularly participate in studying and applying the principles of God’s Word to life’s circumstances it is also possible to become stagnated. The Bible clearly tells us that God is a Spirit of Truth. When you know the Truth the Truth will set you free. This type of freedom leads you to be free to become who God wants you to be. It will give you a new lease on life.
Tasting the indescribable fruits of God’s Word is like putting on 3 D glasses. Meaning you will see things on a deeper level. God really is awesome! Spiritual warfare is at hand. Despite everything that goes on there is nothing that happens He is not aware of. Just think about that for a moment. That is really deep. Look around you and see all the things that are going on. The further we move away from God’s principles the worst things get. Many choose to live a life of misery and despair. Life presents many challenges.
God intended for His Church to carry on His Son’s mission. He Loved, trained, developed, nurtured and became a living example to His disciples. He even died and rose from the grave so they would see the scriptures being fulfilled. This was the ultimate demonstration of love. Did you know that He and His disciples were persecuted, misunderstood, lied on and mistreated by those He came to help? They even plotted secretly to discredit Jesus in spite of all the good He had done. The Bible tells us there were places He went that due to unbelief His power was not manifested. These are a few of the important facts you will discover when you study the scriptures.
Today we have the Word of God in Book form. His Word is our source ol food. Did you know that there is nothing written in the Bible that is less than 1800 years old? That fact is awesome in itself. The Bible’s Truth will forever be alive. It will and has stood the test of time. In Jesus’ time they did not have the Bible like we do. It had not been compiled into the Biblia 66 books as we have today. God really does supply all our needs. He did not leave us Comfortless. He left us His precious Holy Spirit as our internal Guide that we receive on the profession of our faith. We must daily ask for His infilling presence. We need His Holy Spirit to help us understand His Word. God does not want us to be spiritual anorexics. He wants you to know Him through His Word. How is your spiritual diet? How much time do you spend acknowledging God in your daily life? Do you ask Him to give you your daily bread?
This column is for you if you are reading this. Just take a personal inventory and see if you are really ingesting a balanced spiritual diet. You know and God knows. You should feed yourself spiritually in addition to being fed physically. When you attend a worship service it is the time for you to become spiritually nourished and energized as well. To praise God from whom all blessing flow!
God has given many gifts to HIS Church. The gifts were given to spiritually mature the body of Christ. (See Ephesians.) When junk food is served in lieu of the Word of God; many become spiritually codependent. This often makes it difficult for them to deal with life’s everyday challenges. When you attend service the pastor, preacher, evangelist, teacher, minister or appointee, are all charged to deliver a message from the Word of God. When one truly lays aside their own agenda this is possible. It is also very good when the messenger let’s the listeners know when they are using illustrations to make a point. This is helpful for those who are not as familiar with scriptures. This time should be consecrated; instead of used to personally say something to someone you do not have enough courage to confront. Only after praying and sincerely meditating on God’s Word this is possible. Some even see this as an opportunity to get someone else to say, what they can not say themselves to someone. What happens when you eat junk food? The proper delivery of a spiritual message will feed your soul. It will enlighten, convict as well as encourage you to grow spiritually. The Word is like a two edged sword it cuts both ways. There is something for the messenger or deliverer as well as the recipient. God has left no stone unturned to see that His children receive proper spiritual nourishment.
It is an arduous task to deliver God’s Word. But how will you know if something is from God? Good question. This is why you need to study. You need to be like the Bereans in the book of Acts, they knew the Word of God for themselves. This is why it is important that we too develop our personal relationship with Him. A healthy Spiritual diet is one of the most important assets you can acquire. As a Christian it should be a necessary priority. How important did I say spiritual food was? Life can be difficult. A proper balanced spiritual diet will help you weather the tempestuous storms of life. It will give you keen insight. When everyone is saying it’s alright when you know its all wrong, let His Word guide you. God never tells us to support something that is not right. A proper spiritual diet will help you to stand for what’s right when the majority falls for what’s wrong. A proper spiritual diet will allow the Fruit of God’s Spirit to flourish in your life when spiritual warfare is about you.
GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES!
He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. I can bear witness to this He won’t! He said He will supply all of our needs? He will! (This does not mean just getting or having what you want) He said He will be peace in the midst of a storm. He will! His Word tells us that “God is Love” He truly is! Love is a wonderful thing. Having someone to love and knowing others truly love you is a wonderful thing. Many really do not know what Love really is. Love really is a beautiful ever unfolding gift from God. In the midst of trials, tests and wickedness God’s love will be an anchor. But you must always remember that spiritual nourishment is essential. His Word tells us that, “God is Love.”
When you read, study, deliver or share God’s Word please be prayerful. There are so many that have gone shipwrecked. So many casualties due to an unbalanced spiritual diet. Much too much junk food and not enough substance. If I tell you to come to my house for dinner you are expecting a balanced nutritious meal, right? What if I give you a plate of raw carrots? That’s okay if you are a rabbit. You might even think its funny, but, when you get home how do you think you would feel? My point is. As human beings we need more that just carrots. Some foods are a little hard to digest. We need both balanced spiritual and rich nutritious diets for our spiritual and physical growth. God wants us to continuously grow spiritually. “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” What does that mean? We must learn to embrace the Truth of God’s Word. God wants to be in every area of our everyday lives. He wants us to have a rich full spiritual diet, healthy marriages and sincere loving families.
I want to encourage you to make it a priority to spend some time with God. Really digest His Word. I assure you whatever is going on in your life He already knows. God wants you to live out the promises of His Word. God can and will make a way out of no way. He heals and He delivers according to His Will. Did you know Jesus also used very unconventional methods? The religious establishment was quite often opposed to His methods.
What are you saying? God will supply the road, direction, vehicle, people and resources when and if necessary for you to accomplish whatever He wants you to do. All you must do is step out on faith! Do not be surprised when someone does not understand you. Always keep in mind that what matters is that God knows and sees everything. Nothing can come our way unless He allows it. This is why He tells us to do whatever we do as you do it for Him. Remember His Church is supposed to be the pillar of Truth. The enemy is the father of lies. God is awesome. God is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” He is truly worthy of our praise. Remember it is more important what God knows rather than what others think. Why do you think Jesus spent so much time getting away and spending time with His Father? Jesus remained constantly spiritual nourished. Did you ever think about the fact Jesus could have just said everyone be healed. He could have completely done away with poverty and famines. He had the power to do so. But that was not the plan. He was faithfully obedient. It is important to know that Jesus was terribly misunderstood, called evil and blacklisted too.
God also has a remedy for any case. God tells us to be happy when persecuted for righteousness. God really does have everything under His control. Knowing His Word is vitally important for your well being. Jesus really is coming back for His true Church. Some things will just not be understood on this side of Heaven. God will never lead you to do anything that goes against His principles. Really get to know God for yourself. You do intend to spend eternity with Him? This will prevent you from developing a spiritual eating disorder. Allow His Word to be “bread from heaven.” Let Him truly be your Shepherd. His Word has a bountiful table of blessings prepared for our spiritual nourishment. God will move or take you over any mountains or through the rough terrains of life when and if necessary. Begin to feast on the delicacies of His Blessed Word. This will result in you experiencing the fruit of His Spirit. Just remember you need a balanced spiritual diet to make the journey!
Be BLESSED & ENCOURAGED knowing that our LORD is ALWAYS near, HE is just a prayer away!