"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17, KJV

Praise the Lord

Welcome to In His Name, a devotional site where the Word of God is posted and explored. This site embraces the love of Jesus Christ, encouraging Bible study.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It’s All in Fun

“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:5-7, KJV.

The Lord is at hand... This passage of scripture is very timely and so needed. As people get ready for Halloween, preparing like it’s their birthday, I rest in the peace of God that passes all understanding. I think if many knew the gravity of what they were actually doing, some would cease in their actions. I hear many say that God knows their hearts, but what is their heart telling Him. I think this serves as some sort of justification for their actions, but it is in fact a confirmation of what they are doing.

Yes, God knows our hearts, that’s why I traded mine in for Jesus’. I know that my best deeds are as filthy rags and none of them can save me. Only Christ can save me and I thank Him for what He accomplished on the cross. Once I surrendered my life over to Him, I wanted to do good things. No, good works cannot save me, but because I am saved I do good works. Many things I use to do in the past, now disgust me, but thank God He looks at us and sees Jesus. I am covered by the blood.

So, with that being said, my life has to be a display of what is in my heart. If it is in my heart to serve Him, that’s what I will do. No, this does not mean that I am perfect, what it means is that when I do stumble, He reaches down and picks me up. Because I love Him, I hunger and thirst after righteousness. I consider my actions and how they may make Him feel. We consider our actions when it comes to other people, why don’t some of us do it when it comes to Christ?

Consider this, if somebody cursed your mother out or shoved your spouse/companion in chest to harm them you would get upset. Well, when others defame Christ or bring reverence to another god, I get upset. And it’s even more challenging when these are people who say they love Him. And the response from them is, “God knows my heart.”

In many people’s eyes it is okay to play certain games for fun. Many get palm readings, consult horoscopes, and ask questions with Ouija boards, thinking it’s just a venue to entertain, but it’s amazing how many receive these things as the word of truth and not God. And later wonder why certain things come to pass in their lives. It’s not just fun and games—it’s spiritual adultery! These things have catastrophic effects. But then again…God knows the heart. And knowing that this is a true statement, what is your heart saying?

Halloween is not just a “holiday” it is a day that brings reverence to satan.

Suggested Link: Halloween Specifics

Additional Reading: Isaiah 64:6

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Playing with Fire: TheTruth Behind Halloween

“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience,” Ephesians 5:6, KJV.

As we approach Halloween, there are many advertisements on television, in the newspapers, and online, pumping our minds filled with demonic glory. Many don’t see it this way, but that’s exactly what is happening. There are gory movies and ghostly costumes competing for our attention to succumb to the upcoming event. I say event because there are parties and outings planned to celebrate this day. And even Christians join in on the masquerading, selling out to the enemy.

There have been times when my family would too dress up in “nice” costumes and parade around town as if it were the right thing to do during this time of the year. We would go to neighbors’ home, giggling and playing as we stood on the porches waiting for them to answer the door. “Trick or treat,” we would say with bright eyes and wide smiles, extending our arms eagerly awaiting the “gifts” dropped into our festival bags. It was widely accepted and even welcomed. But praise God, today and for many years now, we do not hand out candy, and there is no tolerance of this day reverencing the enemy.

Do we know what trick or treat means? Do we know where Halloween originated? Are we concerned about the spiritual wickedness we are flirting with by doing these things? Here is a site that provides very detailed information that I think every believer needs to know. It’s amazing how much preparation is made for this one day in comparison to the preparation needed for eternity, just something to consider.

I am glad to see that many churches now offer Christian events during this time of the year, specifically aimed to keep our faith strong in the Lord…where it should be and should remain. Our loyalty is to Christ and we are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers in any capacity. We are to proclaim the Gospel at all times, not just when it’s convenient. If we deny Him before men, He will also deny us before the Father (Matthew 10:33). Falling to this kind of idol worship, is it worth it? It is dangerous to play with fire…you just may get burned.

“Give instruction to a wise man and he will be yet wiser; teach a righteous man (one upright and in right standing with God) and he will increase in learning,” Proverbs 9:9, AMP.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Be Not Deceived: a look at Freemasonry

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…,” 1 Peter 5:8, KJV.

Continuing with the post from yesterday where I touched on Greek Lettered Organizations (GLOs), I now offer information about Freemasonry—another fraternal organization (noted linked organization, Eastern Stars). Now, if you know anything about Freemasonry or someone who is a mason, then you’re aware that they are very secretive. I did not know as much as I know now until the Holy Spirit led me to sites of former Masonic members—many of them are in the church body of Jesus Christ.

Again, I offer this information to aid in spiritual growth. I am still learning and believe that I will be taught even more years from now as the Lord will. I had no idea that it was so deep in demonic roots when I first heard about them. In reference to this topic, I must direct you to read for yourself here.

If you reviewed the above link, you can understand the roots of these man-made organizations. I know that many are unaware of what they are getting into and many will oppose this message even after seeing for themselves, but I implore you to consider what I am writing. Hell is real and so is the devil. He will use whatever trick necessary to try and bring us down. Remember, he is seeking whom he may devour.

There is one influence in this world that the enemy uses against us, and that is to deceive many into thinking that the Bible isn’t true. The enemy has a plot designed to get people to think that God’s word is a lie. Look at these examples:

  • Excuse: God will never throw anybody into hell; He’s a loving God and would never do that. Answer: “And if anyone's [name] was not found recorded in the Book of Life, he was hurled into the lake of fire,” Revelation 20:15, AMP (Also reference Matthew 25:41)
  • Excuse: God says do not judge and its okay to do certain things because we aren’t perfect. Answer:Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again,” Matthew 7:1-2, KJV.  When sharing God’s word with another, this is not judging them it shows love enough to tell them the truth. The Word judges, and by this manner will we also be judged by God.
  • Excuse: There is more than one way to get into heaven. What about all these other religions? Answer: Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6, KJV.
When the Word of God is not believed, the trust in God isn’t there. We must be careful because the devil is cunning, crafty, and manipulative.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” Galatians 6:7, KJV.

Additional References: 2 Timothy 2:5, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Romans 2:1-3

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be Not Deceived: a look at fraternities and sororities

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil,” Romans 16:17-19, KJV.

Keeping in mind the scripture of not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against spiritual beings, let us consider things we involve ourselves with here on earth that makes us more susceptible to spiritual warfare. I’ll touch on them briefly, providing web links for further information. My purpose is not to hurt anyone, but to educate just as I have been educated. For Hosea 4:6, KJV, reads, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” It is not God’s will that any perish, but many are drawn away by their own lusts.

“Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions,” 2 Timothy 4:2-4, AMP.

Some areas that welcome spiritual warfare are pledges and oaths offered to any entity not reverencing God, in the name of Jesus, namely sororities and fraternities. This is particularly close to my heart as I pledged Zeta Phi Beta when I was in college. I saw nothing wrong with joining this organization as I was not hazed as many pledges are. I was not degraded in any manner, nor was I coerced to do things that I did not want to do. I saw many good aspects such as community services and we actively attended church together.

But in the past few years, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart unto righteousness as I sought Him more. The key area He had me to focus on was the rituals. There was a question formed in my heart as the ceremonies involved God. The question that formed in my heart many years after pledging was, “What god are they talking about?”

I went back, searched the manual and found no mention of Jesus Christ. God is used in a generic form. The Lord revealed to me that the reason Jesus is not mentioned is because all across the world this organization has grown to include people from all walks of life and wording it this way won’t exclude anyone. So that means that I would be a “sorority sister” or soror to a person who may be a Buddhist or Muslim. This would directly link me to those whose beliefs were in blatant contradiction to the Word of God. How could I be a sister of some who are of a different faith?

I understand that many will disagree with my statement and I do not apologize for it because I love Jesus. My aim is to please God and not man. Matthew 22:37, KJV, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” I ask you to visit this site http://www.sa.rochester.edu/zetaphibeta/ and explain the song on this site to me. This is not exclusive to this particular sorority; it’s across the board of the Pan Hellenic Council. I could go into further detail, but that would probably take the rest of this year to really give it justice. I have provided below a list of links that you can review for yourself.

God commands us to love and if I did not love the Lord and my fellow man, I would just keep it all to myself. Believe me it would be easier that way because some may avoid you because of strengthened faith in God. “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16)

There are still more information that I would like to share. Tomorrow’s post is a part 2 dealing with Freemasonry.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me…,” John 10:27, KJV.

Recommended Reading: Spiritual Warfare by Derek Prince

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not Against Flesh and Blood

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,” Ephesians 6:12, KJV

Today, yesterday, and forever, Jesus Christ is the same. He is our strength, our power, our help in any time of need. As we live in this world, we are not to be of this world, but are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Once we have grasped the concept of why we were created, as God’s workmanship in Christ Jesus, it is easier to understand the operation of spiritual things.

As we live in this world, our awareness can sometimes be dulled to our surroundings. The surroundings made up of things that are unseen. Often, when having a bad day or encountering “obstacles” that appears in our path we may attribute it to particular people that are associated with said events. For example, if a coworker takes credit for work you’ve done, anger may arise or even resentment. Or if someone maliciously spread rumors about you, you sit in pain wondering why they’ve said what they’ve said. This may lead us to challenge that person’s credibility, especially after repeated incidents. But we must consider the spirit that is at work within them.

When the apostle Paul spoke the words that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, we’re well aware that this not referring to humans. As we pay particular attention to who we are wrestling against, our understanding deepens. In the above examples that I mentioned, upon examining you can see that there is something at work in those people. Either it is jealousy, greed, hatred, or any of those negative works of the flesh. I ponder on the book of Galatians where Paul expounded upon the works of the Spirit. Consider this when you come into contact with the works of the flesh. What spirit is in operation?

When we wrestle, it is a struggle. It means to be in opposition of an opponent to win according to a set of rules. God sets the rules, in His words, the commandments. And satan has been opposing them since the beginning of our time. So, what satan will try to do is to get those with bodies to do his work in the earthly realm because he is a spiritual being. But we have to keep in mind that he has already lost, his fate is sealed. God said so and no word will return to Him void.

Our struggle is against principalities. Principality is defined as a territory ruled by a prince, simple enough. What is a name for satan? He is the prince of darkness. Also, in the Amplified Bible the word principalities is translated and used as despotisms. Despotism is defined as absolutism: dominance through threat of punishment and violence. Does this remind you of Adolf Hitler? What spirit do you think was at work in him? Our struggle is against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places—the heavenly realm.

What are some areas that we wrestle against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places? Tomorrow’s entry explores areas of deception where spiritual wickedness evident: Be Not Deceived.

References: Hebrews 13:8, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 2:10, Galatians 5:16-25, Isaiah 55:11

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Agenda

“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel,” Philippians 2:20-22, KJV.

In this passage of scripture, Paul speaks highly of Timothy, the way that we should be speaking of each other. It appears that there are many who love the Lord and then there are those who love themselves. When I say this, I express it in the context of selfishness. The agenda that we have when spreading God’s word should be to help others in any way that we can. Some are in a position to help financially, some are in a position to assist socially or emotionally, and we should all be in the mindset to minister spiritually.

I thank God for His people whom He has placed in my life. I thank God for “trees planted by the water.” It is an honor to fellowship with like-minded individuals. Many days, I get pressed with heaviness of dark spirits. These spirits are in people who sometimes don’t even recognize that they are there. But the Holy Spirit reminds me that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. I understand this more keenly each time Halloween readily approaches. I will expand on this through out next week.

When we offer to do something for the Lord, let it be for the Lord. We must examine our motive for doing what we do for God. Jesus clearly points this out in the example of how we should conduct ourselves when praying. Matthew 6:5-8, KJV, “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.” What is the motive for doing what we do?

Jesus uses another example later in the same chapter regarding fasting. Matthew 6:16-18, KJV, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” What is our motive for doing what we do?

We must come with a pure heart, ready and willing to give up anything for Christ, even our very lives. But sometimes I wonder as some aren’t even willing to give up their lifestyles for Him. Many as the scripture printed above read, have their own agenda, not Christ’s. Just as I mentioned in a previous post, (By One Spirit), some are title seekers. Some are great pretenders. What profits a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? I’m sure that many think they are doing the church a great service by being able to cast out demons and lay hands upon others, but who are they doing it for? God knows the heart.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity,” Matthew 7:21-23, KJV.

Additional Reference: Mark 8:36

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What are you afraid of? part 2

I heard a preacher this weekend make a very good statement. He said that fear can be measured by who you respond to. If the savings account gets low, some get nervous or sick and may even take tithe money to pay a bill. What are you telling God? If the job is laying people off, they fear that they are next and would do anything to stay. If a spouse threatens to walk out, they’re afraid and would do anything to keep that from happening. If challenged about faith in God, grace is said only in private, for some fear people and not God. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell,” Matthew 10:28, KJV. What are you afraid of?

Fear stems from a form of unbelief, directly contrary to faith. When God says that he will supply all of our needs, He means it. If we have fear rooted in unbelief how can God move on our behalf? And pretending that we aren’t afraid isn’t going to make the fear go away. You have to identify those areas and deal with it directly. You can’t solve a problem unless you first admit that there is one. What are you afraid of?

Many are afraid of failure, so they never activate their potential. Fear of ridicule and chastisement. Often times others scorn because they themselves wish they had the boldness to attempt what you’ve been confident enough to do. What is there to really be afraid of? You never fail unless you stop trying to succeed. But many are held back by this paralyzing spirit. I’ve learned from the book of Job, that when consumed by fear, we subject ourselves for that very thing to consume us. “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me,” Job 3:25, KJV.

There have been numerous accounts of martyrs facing death for Christ, and without fear consuming them. I cannot say whether or not fear entered their minds, but I can take note of the outcome of them not succumbing to it. Just as Esther said when she decided to approach the king with her request—if I perish, I perish. I can honestly say that I am at that point now. I haven’t always been here, but I am now. I’m not saying that it is an easy thing to do, but admit that it is a necessary one. I found my faith.

Many have died for Christ’s sake, but we must remember that Christ died for all of us. And when standing on the promises and faith of God, what is there to fear? For the Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. When I came to understand that fear was demonic, it left me. I no longer shrunk in size to something I knew I could do. I’m no longer afraid of what may be lurking in the dark because I hear a noise or sense a movement. This does not mean that I’m not aware of my surroundings and potential danger, it just means that I rest in the Lord, knowing that whatever happens, He has all power in His hands.

“Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: He is their help and their shield,” Psalm 115:11, KJV

Additional Reference: 2 Corinthians 5:8

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What are you afraid of? part 1

THE LORD is my Light and my Salvation--whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident,” Psalm 27:1-3, AMP

What is fear? Many dictionaries describe fear as an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger usually accompanied by a need to run away from or fight. One in a sense is expected to be uneasy or apprehensive about the “fear-bearing” situation. But this is the negative side of fear; the world usually won’t tell you that there is a positive or healthy side of fear. If it is mentioned, it’s downplayed to a degree of dismissal most times.

Healthy fear is reverence, a regard with feelings of respect and worship. For the Bible reads in Psalm 111:10, KJV, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth for ever.” This healthy fear comes out of a place of submission, not uneasiness and doubt.

How do you know if you’re fearful of something? This can be measured by your willingness of wanting to do a thing, but choked by the suffocating apprehension of following through. Relationships are a prevalent area in which fear is readily consumed. Many are afraid of starting over or even stepping out. Challenges and failures from the past haunt them and stifle any progress that they may think of making in the future.

Years ago I never thought that I was afraid of much. I was like many, considering that fear of heights, fear of the dark, or fear of flying was all natural. That is so untrue. My fear was of unseen things. I think I had somehow trained myself to be afraid of the dark. But then I learned that this was not natural. If it were natural, then it would have come from the Lord. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,” reads 2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV.

There is nothing normal about fear other than the fear of the Lord. And then that fear, as stated earlier, is from a place of reverence and awe—that is produced out of love. How often has it been said that it is okay to have some degree of fear? Some say fear drives them to do better in careers, afraid that if they don’t make a certain salary their families will be disappointed. Others say that fear is necessary to push you to perform better; or is it because they are afraid that somebody else is going to take their jobs. Is this living or just existing?

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,” Hebrews 11:6, KJV.

It is impossible to please the Lord without faith. Fear is the opposite of faith. Are you afraid?

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death,” Revelation 21:8, KJV

Stay tuned for part 2…

Additional Reference: Psalm 147:11

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What time is it?

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace,” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, KJV.

There is a season for everything, a time for certain things to occur in our lives. It is no mistake that we live in this era, a time where freedom is enjoyed, a time where signs aren’t marked coloreds and whites, a time where prayer is taken out of schools, a time where freedom of religion is confused with acceptance of other religions, a time where faith in God and Jesus Christ is merged with the tolerance of Muhammad and Buddha. What time is it?

Many messages are delivered saying that this is your time to prosper, your time to get that job, or your time to get married. But is it everybody’s time? If you never had a down season, how would you appreciate the up season? If you never experienced the death of a loved one, how would you ever learn how to let go or even understand what that means? If you never had anything removed from your path, how would you know how to avoid greater pitfalls when they arose? If you never experienced the pain of crying, how would you know the pure essence of laughing? If you never kept silent, how would you be able to listen to others? If bad relationships never ended, how could you move on to build a good one?

It is not always everybody’s time to experience everything. There is a process that takes place. Think about it, if your parents expected you to go out and support yourself at two years old, you could not do it. It does not mean that you won’t be able to one day; it’s just not your time…yet. Just as we learn how to speak, walk, and use the restroom by ourselves, we must be taught by God in our spiritual walk. We are here for a time, each at different points on this journey called life.

There is a reason why we are in existence today, right now. There is a reason why Grandma and Granddaddy lived when they did. Their purposes were their own, now what are ours? And when we discover what that is, what are we going to do with the knowledge? Having the information without application produces a fruitless effort. Having a Bible on the shelf or on your nightstand means nothing if you never open and read the contents. And when reading, it still means nothing if you don’t hear the voice of God. “So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself),” Romans 10:17, AMP. What time is it?

Is it time to sit back and rest? It is for somebody. Is it time to start a business? It is for someone. Is it time to search and seek God? It is for everybody. The only thing that I know in which has no particular season. In seeking Him, we find what He will have for us to do.

Additional Reference: John 7:6-8 (Jesus even displayed the importance of timing, shouldn’t we?)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Spirit of God

“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human[b] wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God,” 1 Corinthians 2: 4-5, NKJV.

Maturity comes from the Spirit of God. We know nothing outside of Him, nothing that matters anyway. Often situations present themselves where we may lose sight of this truth such as racing after success, riches, or status. But those of us in Christ quickly recover from our bout with secularism and return to our senses—our racing after God. I’ve heard the phrase “it’s all about who you know,” which is true because who we need to know is God. Sadly, when this phrase is used it is usually being referred to a networking circle that could get you a particular job, a certain recommendation, special treatment, et cetera. I often ponder on what Jesus said, Matthew 6:33, KJV, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When He said it, He meant it.

Seeking first the kingdom of God is a privilege. It is an opportunity that many have to fight for in other countries, yet often taken for granted in the United States. It is an honor to serve God and to share His word. Although I’m not very old, I feel that I’ve wasted so much time in the world, yet comforted by what God has allowed me to go through coming out stronger in Him, and not myself. Trusting Him enough to know that when He says no or not yet, it’s for the best. I bow in submission, knowing that all that I’m able to do does not come from my intellect, but from His wisdom. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD,” Isaiah 55:8, KJV.

The Holy Spirit guides, directs, and comforts. We can do nothing apart from God, but we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens. How are we strengthened? We are made stronger through trials and tribulations. God understands what we may go through here on earth, but we must remember that we are more than conquerors! We don’t have to settle for anything. Single and over thirty, don’t settle for a person you don’t want. Out of work for a long period of time, don’t settle and do something illegal. God is in control, He knows and sees all. Nothing happens without His knowledge—He is everywhere. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent. And remember, Jesus said that He will never leave nor forsake us. I believe it and I know this is true. God is so awesome, so patient, so loving, and so kind. He cares for us even when we don’t know to care for ourselves, covering and protecting us.

Dark moments may come, but the Spirit of God is with us. The world may look on in judgment of our faith, but God is real. There is a lack of understanding, a lack of seriousness, a lack of trust, but God is here. Time is getting shorter and shorter with each passing day for Christ’s return, yet self-righteousness takes its place. “But as it is written: ‘ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God,” 1 Corinthians 2: 9-11, NKJV.

Additional References: Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:36-37, Deuteronomy 31:8, Joshua 1:5, Isaiah 64:4

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Tree Planted by the Water

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit,” Jeremiah 17:7-8, KJV

The economy is such a hot topic now. The word recession has been used to describe the state of our nation for the past year. It is defined as a widespread decline in the GDP (gross domestic product) and employment and trade lasting from six months to a year. There have been reports after reports of rising unemployment rates and how it affects people of our nation. This is true that this is a challenging era in our history, but it is not the end of the world.

Just this year alone many reports have been made of suicide incidents related to this issue. Where is the faith in God that was spoken of in the “good” times? He is the same God now that He was then. He is still able to do exceedingly above all that we could ever think or ask. He is still on the throne. He is still our provider. How many of us believe this?

Faith in God is not something we can pull off of the shelf at a convenience store. It is not something that we already know is going to happen and then we believe, it is “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1, KJV. Despite the loss of jobs, God is our provider. I have said for many years now that God is my source. It is not a job, a paycheck from the government, or a particular person, it is the Almighty God. All of these things are resources, but do understand that God is the source.

When some may experience lack, God’s people prosper. When I say this, I speak from experience. Whatever the bank account says it can’t handle, God says I can. When the unexpected bill comes and the monthly budget does not allow for it, God says I do. When faced with situations that tell you to just give up, God says not on Me.

Putting trust in anything other than God just sets a person up for failure. Neither homes nor bank accounts can save a soul, only our faith and trust in Christ can save us. The chaos going on in the world is rooted in greed, not God. Even as these things occur, we must trust in God not our intellect to interpret or reason. He is our guide through this journey of life. But if trust is in man and things of this world, the battle has already been lost.

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited,” Jeremiah 17:5-6, KJV.

Additional References: Luke 12: 25-32, Psalm 1:3, Ephesians 3:20

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Laborers are Few

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest,” Matthew 9:35-38, KJV

Not too long ago I attended a Saturday conference event led by Don Sunshine, www.donsunshine.org. The title of the conference was MAD: Making a Difference. The presentation he shared was absolutely wonderful as it compelled me to be more proactive in my faith sharing. His motto is taking someone to heaven with you. What an awesome saying that leaves a lasting impression. If we looked at faith sharing in that light, I think many of us would speak up more when it comes to God, the one and true living God whom we serve.

If someone was about to board a plane or get into a car that you knew had malfunctions, would you just look in the opposite direction and hope for the best? Would you consider yourself lucky that you know about the problems in advance and figure that they'd find out sooner or later? Would you just be okay if that person just crashed and burned if there was something you could do about it?

That’s how we must approach the command of telling others about Christ so that they may receive the free gift of salvation. Often, we are very eager to tell others about a new movie that we’ve seen or the latest cologne or perfume that’s selling, and even the latest diet that will help shed a few pounds, but not about Jesus. Some share dirty jokes or offensive music, but not Christ. Hell is a very real place and no matter what some may say to the contrary, you can’t wait until you die to make the decision to believe.

There are many barriers that satan (and yes I meant to lowercase his name) uses to keep our mouths shut. He conjures up all sorts of excuses to stop Christians from speaking the Word of God. He is deceptive, conniving, and manipulative. That's his nature. He knows that his time is short and his fate is sealed, so he wants to take someone to hell with him, attempting to keep us from taking someone to heaven with us.

It is our duty to be a voice for God. It is actually a blessing to stand as a representative for Christ, after all that’s what being a Christian means. Our life and lifestyle should tell a story of our faith. How would someone be able to tell if you’re a Christian or not? Is it because you have to tell them or is it because your works speak for you. Your lifestyle shows it all day long,

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15, KJV.

Below is a humorous look at eight reasons why we as Christians don’t share our faith. Please view, but in the midst, consider those reasons or shall I say excuses.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watch your Mouth, part 3

The Lord is an awesome God who is worthy to be praised. As I continued to study His word, I seek understanding. I seek His righteousness, His holiness, His love that He extends ever so generously. His Word washes me daily and I thank Him for His insight that He provides to us as believers. He indeed rewards those who diligently seek Him.

As I think about other things that come out of our mouths, my mind ponders on the words lie and liar. Some try to create a distinction with possible categories of lies. There is no such thing as a white lie in the Bible; a lie is simply a lie. Some consider fudging numbers on a tax return, an adjustment on time sheets, or adding additional job duties on a resume` to get a certain position a white lie. Either you’re telling the truth or you’re professing a lie and most times many are aware of when they are doing it.

Many conceive that “you get ahead” by not telling the whole truth, but that in itself is a lie. When telling a lie, you have to remember what you said. When being truthful, you don’t have to have a good memory. As I continued to study God’s Word, I meditated on Proverbs 6:16-19, KJV, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Did you notice what I bold printed? There are two of the things that God hates which fall into one category: a lying tongue and a false witness that speaks lies.

Many of us, well I would think that all of us hate lies. Who wants to be lied to? It’s rooted in deception and betrayal. It’s disheartening when many say false things about another or sit on a witness stand and fabricate stories that are simply not true. Telling lies tear apart families and friendships. It can destroy homes and communities. It is a deliberate attempt to deceive. It is not from God nor is it pleasing in His sight.

There’s a reason why God hates lies. Consider its roots by what Jesus said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it,” John 8:44, KJV.

When watching what we say, we must think about how God sees it. We have to consider if we are speaking blessings or curses, profanity, or lies. We are either condemned or justified by what we speak and as we understand the atmosphere we are creating for ourselves, then will we understand why our lives are they way that they are. If you enjoy peace and serenity, you understand why, it’s not luck. If you struggle with drama and strife, consider your environment and the words you are receiving as well as speaking to others.

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue,” Psalm 17:4, KJV

Additional Reference: Hebrews 11:6

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Watch your Mouth, part 2

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers,” Ephesians 4:29, KJV

Continuing with the post from yesterday, I examine the use of profanity. Now, I was never one to curse or curse someone out, but for some reason I allowed those words to creep into the pages of my novels. Just as I have mentioned before, in my mind I thought this was reality. But whose reality was I portraying?

The definition profane is characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things, irreligious. It is further described as not being devoted to holy or religious purposes; unconsecrated or secular. If I had taken the time to look up profanity years ago, it would have saved me from the way I chose to construct my books.

You see, profanity to me was just something people used, even “church people.” I had been in the presence of people who were self-professed Christians (in the church probably longer than I’d been alive) and used profanity. I just never felt comfortable saying profane words, although I used them in my novels. I was just so used to hearing it, it became normal. Initially I saw nothing wrong with a couple of words here and there. It was just the way people talked. It was just the way it was. The thought was what is the harm? Isn’t that sad?

But the problem is that words used that are profane crowd our lives. They speak volumes in the atmosphere that are detrimental to growth in Christ. One of the synonyms of profanity is blasphemy. Blasphemy is defined as profanation: blasphemous behavior; the act of depriving something of its sacred character. Lord, please forgive me ever using that language to do your work because in the process I deprived it of its sacred character. The holiness was lost somewhere in the message due to the delivery. Our words can hurt us even when we think we’re helping.

Take a look at the common synonym, curse, which means a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one. Is this what we really want when speaking to each other? The lines of morality are being blended together so smoothly, just about anything is being accepted. Why? Psalms 34:1, KJV, reads, “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Today, I let my words be words of praises to Him and encouragement to others. I have abolished all profane words from my novels and aim to live more like Christ as He is the standard. I do not change the words in the Bible to fit my life or lifestyle, I allow Christ to change my life so that I can live according to the Bible.

What are we telling God when we speak?

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer,” Psalm 19:14, KJV.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Watch your Mouth, part 1

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned,” Matthew 12:34-37, KJV

I thank the Heavenly Father for His revelation and insight. I thank Him for patience with me. I pray that many more will accept Christ as their personal savior, but we are not here to arrest and force, we are here to simply invite and be available. I know where God has brought me from and I just pray that others who are not in Christ come to understand the grace (unmerited favor) and patience He extends.

Our words are an indicator of what we believe, and another indicator is how we conduct our lives. If we are always saying negative things, why expect positive results? If we sow seeds of destruction, why expect to reap production? If we speak death, why expect life? Something is seriously wrong here. I’ve observed, including in my own behavior, the words of doubt, discouragement, pity, despair, depression, and complacency. What kind of atmosphere are we creating for ourselves? What kind of environment do we expect to live in with words like these floating all around us?

In addition to this, what words are we allowing into our minds? We must examine the television shows and movies that we watch, the radio programs that we listen to, and the company that we keep. As I really got a hold of this I had to examine my own life. What was I doing? Who was I talking to? How was I spending my time? Where was I spending my time? My inner circle changed, my outlook changed, my writings changed and this was a result of the change Jesus had made within me.

Once I had accepted Him, fully, He was then able to change me. There was no more, “Okay God, I trust you here, but over here I think I can handle this.” There was no more, “This issue isn’t big enough to take to You, so I’ll figure something out.” God wanted to be involved in every intricate detail of my life, no matter how small I thought it was. In giving Him total reign in my life, change had to come. He no longer occupied that small room of my heart where He had lived for so long, only to watch in disgust the visitors that I kept. He cleaned house and those guests had to go!

“I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live. And may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” Deuteronomy 30: 19-20, AMP

Additional References: Proverbs 18:21, Matthew 5:15-16
Recommended Reading: Blessing or Curse, You can Choose by Derek Prince

Friday, October 9, 2009

In the Presence of my Enemies

“Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a]oil; my [brimming] cup runs over,” Psalm 23:4-5, AMP.
I begin with the amplified Bible notes regarding this passage of scripture: Psalm 23:5 “It is difficult for those living in a temperate climate to appreciate, but it was customary in hot climates to anoint the body with oil to protect it from excessive perspiration. When mixed with perfume, the oil imparted a delightfully refreshing and invigorating sensation. Athletes anointed their bodies as a matter of course before running a race. As the body, therefore, anointed with oil was refreshed, invigorated, and better fitted for action, so the Lord would anoint His "sheep" with the Holy Spirit, Whom oil symbolizes, to fit them to engage more freely in His service and run in the way He directs--in heavenly fellowship with Him.”

With this in mind, I envision that God has thoroughly equipped us for any type of battle that we may encounter. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our guide. So, although we may encounter adversity, dark moments, we have the “oil” as our protection.

The valley of the shadow of death describes the rough times in our lives. Each person may describe their valley as something different. They can be periods of despair, moments that lack understanding, bouts of pain, and times of loneliness and neglect. In the midst of this, we are to fear no evil because the Lord is with us. As our Shepard, His rod and staff comforts.

What’s very interesting is that while we are yet experiencing perilous moments, God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Now, when God prepares anything, we know that it is good for us. The table leads me to believe that there is food there, spiritual food good for edifying the saints. When we look at the table, it takes the focus off of the enemies and places it on the things of God.

In Matthew 14, when Peter walked on the water to go to our Lord, distraction came upon him and he began to sink. What happened? Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and placed it on something else. We’re to focus on God and what He has us to do. Allowing doubt and distractions to enter our minds can hinder us.

Let us look to the Lord where our help comes from. This table in the presence of our enemies is there to strengthen and nourish. This table provides everything that we need. This table accompanies us along the way. So as my spiritual strength is built, I continue to eat from the table. When I start to feel weary, I eat. When I become worn and tired, I eat. When I feel beat up or just plain beat down, I eat because I know God placed that table there for such a time as this. What’s more amazing is that God supplies us with enough to give to somebody else.

Allow your cup to overflow into someone else’s life.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Power of God

A few years ago one night as I was praying, the model Lord’s Prayer at the time, “…For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever…,” the word power bold printed inside of my head. So much emphasis was placed on power that it caused me to pause and think. So, I had no choice, but to hear what the Holy Spirit was saying to me. Power is defined as possession of controlling influence. In other words, it’s authority over something.

As I examine the usage of the word power in the Bible, I see that it is used as an overcoming factor. It displays the ability to overcome situations, circumstances, or conditions. In Christ, it never fails. This is especially important to remember when you are laughed at or made fun of or talked about because of your love for Jesus. Well, Jesus put it best when he said in Luke 10:19-20 (KJV): Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

I count it all joy, trusting in the Lord. I rest in Him, examining myself daily. I long for further communion in His presence, thanking Him for saving me. An atheist even said on an interview that if you are a true believer then you should not apologize for being a “Bible-thumper”. He drove home the truth, even in his ignorance that Christians should speak and live out their beliefs. He even went as far as to quote Mark 16:15, KJV, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This was a person who does not even believe in God. I know that God is sovereign and can use anyone to preach the Gospel, it’s just sad that many of us relinquish the power given to us by our Father to the enemy. Satan only has the power that is given to him.

Then I thought about the moments leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. When Jesus met with Pilate and Pilate thought he had power over Him. “So Pilate said to Him, Will You not speak [even] to me? Do You not know that I have power (authority) to release You and I have power to crucify You? Jesus answered, You would not have any power or authority whatsoever against (over) Me if it were not given you from above. For this reason the sin and guilt of the one who delivered Me over to you is greater,” John 19:10-12, AMP.

As Christians, when things do happen and we know that we are in God’s hands, understand that it does not occur outside of God’s knowledge. Often, we may experience things because God knows that we are able to bear it. Sometimes, it may be to show someone else, or yourself, the definition faith. But we must always remember that power comes from God and through His divine insight we are taught how to use it.

Additional Reference: 1 Peter 1:3-7

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Never Enough

“Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter,” Isaiah 56:11, KJV

Imagine living in a beautiful home built near many of your favorite attractions. Whether it’s in the busy metropolis or in a quiet area of the suburbs, it is home to you. The foundation is just as you wanted it, the master suite, the corner bedrooms, and the spacious kitchen. Then you go over to a neighbor’s house and see that they have a pool and theater room. Now you want that too.

So, you add on that theater room which never crossed your mind before. And you have that pool installed even though it over extended your budget. You are now satisfied, so you think. Then the neighbors get a brand new outdoor grill that costs a pretty penny. Oh my, you’ve got to have that too because it’s the “in” thing now.

You sit down at your computer, searching for a place where you could buy that new grill and run across an advertisement about starving children. You look away briefly, contemplating whether or not you should donate that money you were going to use on the grill. You find that the yearly cost to feed ten children is less than half of what you want to spend on the grill that you never really wanted. You ponder, but then decide to get the grill anyway. Others will donate for that cause, you say.

Or consider that a new cell phone has just come on the market. You don’t need a new phone, but you’ve got to have it because there are new bells and whistles on it that your old phone does not have. Almost instantly you remember that you just got your phone last month and it works perfectly fine. You didn’t need to upgrade it for work purposes, you didn’t need it for homemaker duties, but because it costs more it must be better. Sadly, you recently deleted a voice message from one of your friends who needs a loan for a water bill due at the end of the week.

There’s always going to be a flashier car, a larger home, a more expensive ring, but does that mean that it’s for you? And then some may ask God, well, why didn’t you give me what I asked for? You said in your word that you would supply all of my needs according to your riches and glory. I imagine God bringing to their attention the nice home, but it was not enough, the theater room, not enough, and the pool that He may not have wanted them to get, but He allowed—still not enough.

Whatever happened to the days before cell phones and gas grills? Whatever happened to the days before computers and HD television sets? It seems as if the more we are given, the more we want. With all of this, it’s still never enough.

“And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man's life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing [a]overflowing abundance or that which is [b]over and above his needs.” Luke 12:15, AMP

Additional Reference: Exodus 20:17, Proverbs 27:20

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Condemnation—in Christ Jesus

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2, KJV

Condemnation is an expression of strong disapproval. Why would there be strong disapproval? Well, disapproval comes when walking after the flesh—the sinful nature. The works of the flesh are adultery—sleeping with someone else’s husband or wife, fornication—sleeping with anyone and you’re not married, uncleanness—morally defiled, lasciviousness—lustful or lewd, idolatry—placing anything above God, witchcraft—sorcery and its branches, hatred, variance—strife, emulations—jealousy, wrath—vindictive anger, seditions—rebellious of peace, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling—carousing, and other things of such. We cannot please God in the flesh for those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth.

The good news is that there is no disapproval of those in Jesus Christ walking after the Spirit. Walking after the Spirit yields things that are most longed after: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against these things there is no law because those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh, the Godless human nature. So, if we live by the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit, helping one another, not tearing each other down and ready to give and not always expecting to receive. Let us aim to have an attitude that is Christ-like, you can never go wrong there. The Bible states in Romans 8:6, KJV, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

How many of us desire peace? I know that I do. Peace of mind away from the things of this world. Peace from death (spiritually dead separated from God), peace from those who hate you, peace from those who love sin, peace from those who ridicule or challenge God. God is not mocked, but some still live in the ignorance of not knowing the path they travel. And then there are some who know exactly what they are doing and the fact that it is indeed wrong, yet choose to do it anyway. The seriousness of their condition escapes them, expecting another day that has not been promised.

As revealed in scripture, to be carnally minded is death. We are mortals, held in this body by breath that was given to us by the Almighty God. How fragile the human life. If we considered on a daily basis those on life support, those who die in car accidents, plane crashes, robberies, childbirth, or even in sleep, the perspective of our existence may change from complacency to thanksgiving. We thank people who open doors for us, who pull out a chair, who allow us to cross the street while they sit in a stopped car, and who compliment us on our clothes, but what about thanking Jesus? What about thanking Him for dying for us?

In Jesus Christ, there is no condemnation, that’s not why He came to earth. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved,” John 3:17, KJV.

Are you saved?

Additional References: Romans 8:1-11, Galatians 5:16-26, John 3:16-21

Monday, October 5, 2009

Straddling the Fence

It is dangerous to be “somewhere in the middle” when it comes to faith in God. Either you believe or you don’t. It is dangerous to take some parts of the Bible and hold it up as truth and then look at another part and say that it is a lie. It is dangerous to juggle with your eternal life, taking for granted each passing day. Praise God that He ever loves and is patient. He waits and gives opportunity for us to accept Him. He stands at the door, knocking. How long does He have to knock?

Many of us have visited another one’s home and stood at the door either knocking or ringing a bell. Some of us have even experienced the waiting, the time we spend wondering if that person is at home or what they are doing that they can’t get to the door fast enough. We pat our feet, cross our arms, and at times may even look at our watches—waiting. Imagine what our Lord goes through.

He stands at the door and knock while we tell Him, “Just a minute.” He stands at the door and knock and we say, “I’m busy right now.” He stands at the door and knock, “And we say come back tomorrow.” He stands at the door and knock …and we just don’t answer, not saying anything. We wait behind the door, peeking out of the curtains, waiting for Him to go away.

We must consider that if we reject Jesus, someone else will knock on that door, or perhaps he’s already inside. He plays games with us, he tells us stories, he makes us “feel good” for a time, he strokes our egos, and he convinces us that we have everything that we need. This guest inside romances us, gives us everything we think we want, and fills our heads with empty promises that he can never deliver on. We trust him, and we embrace him, sleeping with the enemy.

But then Sunday morning comes and we look for Him. We cry out to God and pride ourselves on making that weekly date day. We apologize for cheating, but our sincerity is far from us. We don’t mean what we say because as His Word is shared, we are thinking about him, the one we were with last night. We are remembering the good times with him, and what we have planned for later that day. We can’t wait to get to him; he even dropped us off at service. We are caught up somewhere in the middle…straddling the fence.

Somewhere along the line, some forget that God knows all and sees all. Some insult Jesus' love for us by justifying their unfaithfulness. And all He wanted was for us to seek Him with our whole heart, but many want him too. Many don’t want to decide, considering the world…so a decision was made for them.

I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16, AMP

Additional Reference: Revelation 3:15-22

Friday, October 2, 2009

Salvation, can it be lost?

This was a topic that I questioned for a long time. I’ve heard ministers, preachers, and respected leaders speak on this and I’ve only heard two people, within the past couple months, consider what my husband and I discussed. We considered against the mass and believe that salvation can indeed be lost.

Many have said that salvation cannot be lost because if it is lost, that means you were never saved in the first place. Others have said, well, maybe they were false converts because once you accept Christ, you are in it forever. Is that really true? The reason why we questioned this is because the Bible specifically states that there will be a falling away. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, AMP, read, “Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the [a]apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great [b]falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition).” Apostasy is defined as an abandonment of one's religious faith, a political party, one's principles, or a cause. The key word here is abandonment. The Bible also states that there will be blotting out of names. “You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever,” Psalm 9:5, AMP. So, that leads me to believe that salvation can indeed be lost.

Now, understand that this does not mean that Jesus walks away or turns His back on us, because He most certainly does not. It is quite the opposite; we can walk away from Him. Consider this, when you marry someone, you make a firm commitment to be with them until death do you part, right? When you made that commitment, you were sincere at heart and meant everything that you said. I know some people aren’t sincere, but consider those who were when they stood at the altar. For many, there was no doubt that this was what they wanted to do. They were thoroughly convinced that this person was the one and no matter what happened they were going to stick it out and see things through to the end.

At some point in time, one in the marriage begins to feel differently about the decision they made. The other, still as committed as they were on day one and standing firm, even through the trials. The first person decides to walk away. They are tired of the union, they have lost faith because every thing that he or she wanted did not happen or has not happened yet and they file for divorce. What happened? One was committed and determined to be there no matter what the trial and the other wanted the marriage to end because it wasn’t worth all the stress. Jesus is committed. Although there will be tough times and moments of despair, He said that He will never leave nor forsake us.

Jesus said in Revelation 3:5, KJV, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels.” So, I believe that salvation can be lost, because Jesus speaks about the blotting out. The name had to have been there in order for Him to blot it out. He never walks away from us, but we have the ability to walk away from so many things…including our salvation which rests in Christ Jesus.

Additional References: Psalm 9:5, Hebrew 13:5

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Head of My Life

“Giving honor to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the head of my life…” I’m sure many have heard this in the church as an introduction, which I think is a very good introduction. I think it describes how I feel because He is my Lord. He comes first in my life and I give Him full reign in everything that I do. I hadn’t always done that, although that’s what I wanted, but I am happy today that I’m actually giving Him that without any qualms.

Now, why hadn’t I always done that, give God full reign in my life? I wanted Him to have it. Well, looking back I consider my lifestyle. Was my lifestyle pleasing to Him? I don’t think so. Although, I said that I wanted Him to take the reins in my life, did I really give it to Him? Making a decision to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. I could have made up my mind to do something ten years ago, but until I actually do it, I’m still living in the past.

1 Timothy 1:1-2, KJV, reads, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul was commanded, and he obeyed. Remember, if you love Me, you will keep my commandments? Obedience is the way to show love. Just making up our minds to accept Christ is one thing, to in fact accept Him is another.

Lord means master or ruler, the authority figure in your life. Saviour means a person who rescues another person or a thing from danger or harm. Why is it that most accept Jesus as Saviour and forget about the Lordship? I’ve heard some say that “God’s not going to put a person in hell for this or for that.” Scripture interprets scripture. Is it okay for me to choose to obey one part and forget about the other? Of course none of us are perfect, not one of us does everything right, but each one of us should at least try. Would it be okay for someone to say that they enjoy murdering and then stand before God on Judgement Day and say, “Lord I know that’s wrong, but I wanted to do it and I did it anyway.” Not even bothering to ask forgiveness and repent when they had the chance. Would it be okay if somebody broke into your house and stole everything you had? Would you expect the judge here on earth to say, “Oh, he was just having fun, just let it go.” And he had a chuckle to follow.

Lord. That means so much more to me now than it did five years ago, and will probably mean even more five years from now. Lord. Jesus is my Lord. He can do whatever He wants to do in my life. And in His word, He lets me know exactly what that is. Lord. I trust Him with my very life. If I had to die, then I would for Him. Lord, Savior, or both? Which is He to you?

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6: 46-49, KJV