Tag Archive | Christian Walk

Jesus knows your name

Jesus Christ knows your name – He knows everything about you.  He died for you so that your soul can be saved.  He is the lover of your soul.  He loves you with his entire being.   He loves everything about you.  He knows your deepest darkest secrets and He came to save your life.   He’s alive and He wants to save you from your sins.

 

Do you want accept Jesus Christ in your life today?

The difficult task of knowing when not to speak

In the Bible the book of James talks about how we are to bridle our tongues.  It says how can blessings and cursings come out of the same mouth and that the tongue is uncontrollable.  Jesus said to have our speech be seasoned with salt.

There was an experience that happened with my relative a while back.  I said something where I basically just stuck my foot in my mouth, which is just an expression for saying the wrong thing, and she gave me the silent treatment for a long time.  She was an unbeliever so she had not grasped the concepts of forgiveness, but in the process she taught me a very important lesson, which as of late I seemed to have forgotten.  In the process she taught me how to respect her and to be sensitive what I say to her.  I loved my relative and I did not want her to be mad at me and hoped that she would eventually forgive me and she did.  God is the same way and His anger can be kindled so much more, but sometimes we don’t realize that.  We kind of take Him for granted and not give Him the respect that He deserves.  Sometimes we don’t give God the same respect we give to other people, and even when we are mad at other people, we don’t give them the respect not to talk about them behind their back.  I know my relative can have a bad temper at times, but God can have a temper too.  I knew my relative loved me, but she was just angry with me for awhile.  God is the same way.

Isaiah 54 says,

“With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the Lord, your Redeemer.

I know we should never do anything to make God mad at us, and we should never never never do that, but if in the current moment we may think that God is mad at us, it is ok, because He still loves us, and it says that He chastens those He loves.  If He loves you He chastens you.  He is not going to stay angry forever.  He may just distance Himself from you for awhile for one to see how much you will go after Him, and how much you will realize the way you hurt him, and how He feels about the situation.  We are so caught up in how we feel about what’s going on in our lives.  We are so concerned with all the circumstances, and our reactions to it, that we forget that God has a heart too, and we need to be sensitive to it, and not try to dishonor it.  I’m not saying we’ll be perfect all the time, but through life we’ll learn lessons, and learn how to trust Him, and how to depend on Him, so that we can learn how to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.  So even during these times if it seems like your walking through darkness, or that it may seem like there are no answers, God is still there, and He’s still waiting for you to turn around.  He’s waiting to pick up all the pieces of your broken life.  He’s there to restore the damage that’s been made out of your life and to give you beauty for ashes.

Sometimes when we speak out of anger or frustration or because we just don’t know how to handle the situation we are facing, and we haven’t exactly learned how to keep our tongue under control, there will be times when we’ll be reminded of what God feels like.  We don’t like it when people are frustrated and angry with us, so then when shouldn’t be angry or frustrated with God for all the things going on.  He’s in control, and so many times in our lives we’ve tried to take control and not to submit to authority, and not to discipline ourselves in various areas.  I am not even saying that I have mastered anything in application in my life, but it’s only through the grace of God that I am able to share with you all on this journey.  We need to stop beating ourselves up for our mistakes and even the things we may say out of our mouths, but before we do that we need to take time to think and make decisions on how we are going to try to work on improving our attitudes.  We get so caught up in religious activities that we don’t actually take time to think and see how we are going to apply all that we have learned in the Bible.  We have to pray, and read the Word of God, but on days when it may be even hard to get out of bed in the morning then we need to know what kind of power we have waiting inside of us to make life for us, and how we can take Biblical examples of guarding our mouth, and ask us to show us His heart.  How many days would you like to go without God speaking to you?  Not very long I’d suppose.  So in that time more than really praise or worship or any other thing that we’ve tried to seek God with, we need to ask God, and to think how we can change our mindset.  It’s one thing to read the Word of God as just words, stories, and narratives, but it’s another thing to make it an application.  Start with one thing and then see what else you can improve on.  Some people that have an issue with their mouth, like gossiping have an issue with forgiveness, which is an area where we ALL need to work on.  If you have mastered the area of forgiveness then you are miles high then most of us Christians.  Most Christians are biting each other’s heads off all the time, and it’s so sad in the Church.  There are times when we’ve had people we respected lie to us, and we forget that we’ve lied ourselves, so that needs forgiveness.  We’ve had people come and say the  wrong thing at the wrong time and not shown compassion towards us, but then we fail to see how we’ve not been compassionate toward them in their hour of need.  There was a song by Mariah Carey called, Love takes time, which I don’t usually condone of secular music, but there are songs out there that really speak to me.  It goes something like “Love takes time to heal when you’re hurting so much”  Depending on what has happened in your life and how you’ve gone through life, I’m sure you’ve had to learn how to forgive and may be still learning when not to speak.

Sometimes when we at our weakest moments, we just say things, and we can all learn a lesson from Jesus when He was on trial he just was silent, and they didn’t like it, because they wanted Him to say something to convict Himself.

There was a story of a television show where there was a man who was in jail and when he was in jail, they would question him, and all he did when they questioned him he kept silent.  I think there was a Biblical principle behind that somewhere.

There’s always wisdom in knowing when not to speak and to speak.  So we should learn the principle of when to keep silent.  There’s another secular song called “Enjoy the Silence”.  We must choose words carefully, and when we are not perfect, then we should keep things to ourselves.

 

Glory, Freedom, and the Ultimate Battle

In Middle School we watched the movie of the Civil War in the United States, which was called Glory. It took place during the Civil War, and showed, if I remember correctly the Northern point of view, as opposed to the Southern point of view, which Gone With the Wind seems to portray.  When I was watching this movie I was asked to define what the word “glory” actually meant.  I had difficulty coming up with an answer.  While the definition has many terms in implication in the Jewish root, and basically identifying God’s glory as the glory of the Presence of the Son – I want to take you through a journey as the Holy Spirit compels me and enables me to do so on the aspect of Glory, Freedom, and the Ultimate Battle, and the parallels between the Bible and the Civil War.

In the Bible – particularly in the Old Testament, the Israelites cried about their slavery and God heard them –

23 However, after a long time [nearly forty years] the king of Egypt died; and the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God.

24 And God heard their sighing and groaning and [earnestly] remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. – Exodus 2:23-24

It took them a long time of trials and trusting in God to get to their Promised Land, but yet they still didn’t have freedom.

When the African slaves were taken captive in American History, they cried and sang out and they had great heroes of faith like Harriet Tubman and they sang songs of Moses in the times of their slavery.  The Battle of the North and the South was particularly a battle of ideas, the idea that people should be enslaved to make riches for the higher class verses the idea that each individual has a right to be acknowledged to an individual and has the right to Freedom.  They fought out this war with a bloody fight and it was the bloodiest fight with Abraham Lincoln leading the way seeking God through this time, and he was President.  I had to do a study on Abraham Lincoln, and I heard he suffered from depression, or maybe that was his wife, I don’t remember, but the point being that he was a man who sought God to deliver the African people freedom from slavery in the Declaration of Emancipation.

So that was the ultimate battle and that is one many Christians still face today because Christ has purchased our freedom, but through the limits of this life we are still bound, and we need to be rescued.  The beautiful thing is that Christ rescues us over and over and over again, constantly redeeming us and bringing His purpose to pass through our lives even though we may not see it.  We still have this battle of ideas of slavery and bondage to the Law, and the Freedom that is inherited by Grace.

God not only brought the Israelites out of bondage of slavery from the Egyptians, but He also brought them out of bondage to the Babylonians, and Assyrians and many times over and over again.  They waited several years for total freedom which was going to only come through the Messiah, and when Jesus came, they thought he was going to physically free them from Roman captivity, but instead He freed them from the bondage of the Law.  He became a curse so they wouldn’t have to be bound any longer anymore and when Cleopas and his companion came across Him, they were mourning, and He had not revealed Himself to them, and He was actually pretending like He didn’t know what they were thinking.  They were expecting some great physical delivery or political delivery and freedom, but they didn’t realize how much power the freedom that they did have.

Luke 24:

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

So this glory encapsulates the freedom that He gives.  The freedom from the bondage of sin and death is what this freedom offers to mankind.  But people can go and take advantage of the freedom, and that’s where the issue comes up.  People can get so carried away with freedom, that they begin to live their licentious lives over again.  Look what’s happening right now in America.  The rights that were once considered valuable are now being trampled upon and the rights that are of no value to a human being are exalted and proclaimed over to the point where the rights of the people that instill values that reduce crime, and violence, are now being minimized.  So then freedom has bounds.  Bounds were set for protection, but not to bind if that makes sense.

Interestingly enough the word “boundary” comes from the word meaning “mark, or delimit” which brings up a very interesting conversation topic, the there is the Mark of God, and the Mark of the enemy.  So how does a believer know which mark is which?  When referring to the mark of the enemy, where one cannot buy or sell without the mark, it seems like it is delimiting and putting more and more control.  Whereas the Mark of God, freely grants you the right to ask from God whatever you desire, knowing that you have believed in Him, and have received.  We must remember that one of the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness and in that gentleness, Jesus is so gentle with you as to not force you into any direction, but as a loving shepherd He guides you by the still waters, but even the sheep have to go into the sheep gate so they don’t get attacked by wolves.

Getting back to the Civil War, which was anything but civil, we come again to the cost of freedom.  If you want to check out my previous post on Freedom, check out my blog on Freedom posted July 4, 2011.  Freedom means that someone has to die.  In the Christian walk, it means that Jesus has died for us.  He has set us free, and we are no longer captives.  We operate in a different kingdom, which is the Kingdom of Love and in that we find the freedom.  We find the Freedom to be able to love to the max, but through our own flaws and imperfections we fail to see what demand this love requires.  This love requires pain, emotionally, and sometimes even physically, but in the end it is Christ who frees us from the law of sin and death, and that is where the Ultimate Battle is won – on the Cross. So ask yourselves where in our lives have taken up the Cross?

Turn your sin into sing

Many times we are bombarded with living up to a perfect standard in Christ because we are called to be like Him.  Sometimes even the word repentance can be scary because even though it means to change your mind some people have made you think that you can lose the hedge of protection or the covering for sin or even that you might lose your salvation if you sin.  But the purpose of repentance is not to make you afraid and terrified of God so much that you cannot rest or trust in Him because you think or going to end up in a dark place or that He is going take you and tear you to shreds unless you repent.  God is a loving God and He wants you to turn your sin into singing.

If you are addicted to alcohol then He wants you to recover and be of support to people struggling with the same issue.  If you are anxious and worried and afraid He wants you turn around and comfort people who are also anxious, worried, and afraid because He knows that we have nothing to fear because He is always by our side.  Whatever your sin may be, great or small, He has already accounted for it in His provision.  It is part of His accounting system.  Like in accounting you measure the ledger by the money going out and the money coming in, He knows that His blood is on the other side of the scale of Justice to account for the sin that we have made, and for that we can rejoice.  We can also rejoice in knowing that as it says in Psalm 121 He is our Protector.  There is nothing that can change Him from who He is and it is no matter what you do it can’t change who He is.  He is our Redeemer as well as our Protector and His will is always for own best interest.  Of course there are things that we probably shouldn’t be doing because they are harmful to ourselves and others, but we don’t have to live with guilt and anxiety because of these things.  It is by His grace and His perfect measure of peace and mercy that all things work together to His divine plan and that His mercy is forever as it says in Psalm 136 – His steadfast love endures forever –

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
11 and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
13 to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
15 but overthrew[a] Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

17 to him who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
18 and killed mighty kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
20 and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
21 and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
22 a heritage to Israel his servant,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
24 and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
25 he who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

In this passage it means that His steadfast love and His mercy are the same thing.  His all encompassing everlasting promising love of His will be with us always no matter what we do.

The question is once you realize that He is your Redeemer or Protector or Healer or Provider and some circumstance comes to challenge that will you still believe that is who He is?  It is that in which He is testing you on.  He is not testing you on if you are not perfect or if you lie sometimes or get angry sometimes or want to scream at the telemarketers or do things that just don’t seem like what you are supposed to be doing, will you still trust that He is your Redeemer and that He will always be your Redeemer.  The problem is that in most of these Attributes of God we don’t seem to have a problem with Him, but we often have a problem with Him being a Judge, but He judges even on the basis of the balance of what is right and wrong knowing that we have a Mighty Counselor or Advocate in Jesus Christ and that His blood washes us away from sin.

I think most of the Church has gotten off track on repentance, which is best defined as a transition from being what was once a caterpillar going into the cocoon and turning into a butterfly.  Some of us are still in the cocoon wondering when we are going to get out, but God knows when we are ready, but we must never lose our faith in the cocoon which is giving us wings so that we can fly high and soar.  Sometimes we are dismayed by all the things around us and all the challenges around us that we begin to question who Jesus is and how much He actually loves us and is Jealous for us and wants us to “change our minds about Him” – we must remember that He is Jealous.

Revelation 2 says –

2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

In this context the word repent means to change your mind about Christ, which is the real essence of the verse because if you look at it – they hated the deeds of the evildoers so they were not doing evil, but they had turned their minds against Christ and did not have the love that once had.  I am guessing this was because of offense, strife, and bitterness which had gotten into their hearts.  They became hard hearted toward Christ and had to turn to Him.

Revelation 2:12-17 says

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did notdeny my faith[b] even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching ofBalaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

I am not going into all the verses in Revelation to define the Word repent, in all these cases, but in this context it seems that Jesus is grieved by the eating of food sacrificed to idols and of fornication, and there is a deep history behind these verses that goes in with the iniquity and injustice done by these verses.

Even though we have the Blood of Jesus as our standard and measuring device by which to measure all things as they pertain to Christ, and in regard to sin, we must not let us let anyone take away from the fact that Jesus is Judge and Redeemer at the same time.  He judges injustice, but He redeems at the same time.  It is part of His divine nature to make the vessel in whichever way He created, and He prefers to use cracked pots instead of self-righteous perfect vessels.  He knows that through our weaknesses and failures and sins and iniquities that there is a prize of an upward calling, a glorious manifestation of us seated with Christ in heavenly places, but if we are so bogged down and beating ourselves up for our sins or not being able to clearly identify with Him in all His attributes.  We are called to be Christ-like, but can we really be 100% Christlike – He is our Redeemer, can we be a redeemer as well, I think not!  There is only one Redeemer and that’s Him, and there’s only One Judge and that’s Him, and in Him everything is made Righteous so to even attain such a glorious calling seems to be an unattainable aspiration. So what do we do?  We accept that we in ourselves are imperfect and that we must stop trying to work in our selves to earn a place in God’s respect, and just accept that we are lost and helpless and we need a Savior, and that the very sin that we commit is going to turn into beauty for someone else.

I have done things before I was Christian which I regret dearly, and I now can thank God that He has changed me, but I still am a work in progress and sure there are things I don’t understand right now like Bible Prophecy, but that doesn’t change the fact that God is who He says He is.  Sometimes as I read on one blogpost, we read the Bible and think it is about us, but it is not – it is all about Him, and everything in the world is about Him, and it is His story, so we should rejoice in that fact.  We don’t see Him as Healer because we haven’t identified with Him as that – that takes a personal revelation from Him, that comes from Him.

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed[d] in heaven.”

This rock – means firmness and strength of a man’s soul –

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for petra (Strong’s 4073)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 2 May 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G4073&t=KJV >

Jesus changed Simon’s name to mean firmness and strength and do you know why?  He would have to have this identity because Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him three times, and He knew that while he professed in his own strength to have enough courage and steadiness not to deny Christ, He in the end would be turned away from Christ.  So in this revelation of Christ as the Son of the living God, His identity is revealed to Peter.  So has the identity of Christ as your Redeemer been revealed to you?  Has the identity of Christ as your Savior been revealed to you?  Only the Father will be able to reveal this to you.  But if you seek it out in His Word, it can clearly be seen.  So what attribute of God has been revealed to you and do you still hold on to that promise?  Will you when you sin instead of mourning and grieving over your sin, will you make it an opportunity to sing?

Yes God is Holy, but to call ourselves unholy will grieve the Holy Spirit and wreck havoc to us because it is by faith that we are made holy, we are to call things that are not as though they are and in this we can find perfect peace.  But until we come complete revelation of Him as our Redeemer we will be wrestling with our sins, guilt, shame, fear, and pain, until we realize that Jesus has came and done it once and for all!!!

 

Trials, Troubles, Pain, and Sickness means God knows you have the character to make it through

Whenever you go through trials, trouble, pain, and sickness, God knows that you have the character to make it through.  He is using it as an opportunity to challenge you to push through and fight through the thoughts, and negative emotions that weigh you down.  If you’re a born again believer, God has put the seed in you to go and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, so that you can be a bold conqueror and when you get there you can say, “It was the LORD God who got me through this thing, and it was He who equipped me to face this battle.”  If you are going through sickness, pain, struggle, that means that you are not alone, and God knows your ready for it, He knows you can handle it because He will not give you more than you can handle.  Sickness, Trouble, pain, and disease do not come from God, and is not in His nature.  He loves His children and does not want to see harm to them.  In fact, when you go through these things, it is like the father or mother who gives his child to the doctor to get vaccination shots to give them immunity to the disease.  They are injected with the disease and then they built up an immunity to it.  In the same way, Jesus Christ, is our vaccination, because He has given us His Blood for the disease.  So now it takes His Blood working through your spirit man, and going through your soul and your body to make it whole so that it can be used for his glory.  God does not abuse His children.  He loves them.  He cares for them deeply, with an ever consuming Jealous passion, that keeps Him wanting to protect you, and keep you from harm.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I believe that the reason that we go through most of the stuff that we go through is that the Word of God may become real to us and that we may apply it in our lives so that we may be a blessed and living example of the glory of is His Kingdom on our lives.  He trusts us so much with His Holy Spirit, that He has given us all strength to get through any situation, or else we wouldn’t be here.  It is our faith that needs to be affirmed of this.  We need to grab hold of and seize our faith in Jesus Christ, and His Word, so that it becomes life to us.  It becomes life to all that hear it, so that it becomes life to all our flesh.

Most of our battles, if not all, come from our mind, which has thoughts that are destructive to our bodies.  When we have these thoughts, and we do not renew our minds with the Word of God – the seeds that give life and Word to those to hear and obey the Word then we will delay the seeing of the glorious blessed life that He has planned for us.  The problem is that many of us want to obey God out of fear of judgment, or choose to accept Christ out of a fear of going to hell, when actuality, there’s a different purpose and reason to God.  He wants to reveal more of His loving nature then to take out His rod in anger.  It’s like if your child did everything that you ever wanted, was kind and obedient, and loving, and went out of his/her way to show you how much they loved you, wouldn’t you just get a kick out of it?  Wouldn’t you be delighted in that child?  If your child did whatever you told them, but never wanted to spend any time with you, and told people, you were mean, crushing, judgmental, and you were harsh and strict, instead of loving, wouldn’t it grieve you even if you knew that was not your heart when you disciplined the child.  Yes there are some unruly children, but even Supernanny shows us that there are better ways to teach children good behavior that will last them longer, then abusing them.  That’s really not the nature of God.  Depending on how unruly the children are there are different ways of dealing with them because they have different natures, you want to show them, the love and the compassion that you have for them.  If your child is crying all the time, and upset all the time, after a while you become divided in your heart with compassion for the child and irritation because you find that all they do is cry, and you just want them to grow up and be mature so you can talk to them and tell them what’s on your mind, so that’s why you have conversations with God.  God doesn’t want to go to Him and grief and suffering, crying out all the time.

That’s what brings into mind these Scriptures from Isaiah 22:
Therefore I say, “Turn your eyes away from me,
Let me weep bitterly,
Do not [e]try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.” – This is God crying for Jerusalem

12 Therefore in that day the Lord [m]GOD of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing,
To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, there is gaiety and gladness,
Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating of meat and drinking of wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
14 But the LORD of hosts revealed Himself [n]to me,
“Surely this iniquity shall not be [o]forgiven you
Until you die,” says the Lord [p]GOD of hosts.

To know who this is talking about – we turn to John 8:

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but [l]He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand [m]what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks [n]a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of [o]lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

This Jerusalem at this time in the Scripture has not accepted Jesus, that’s why they are like, “let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”  The iniquity they had was building a man-made fortification system.  We trust in man-made things to protect us, instead of the LORD GOD who will protect us.  This is a strong statement of Jesus for the Jews in John 8:47 – He said that they are not of God. So how can that be, that they believed in YHWH, and were still not of God?  They were following man made traditions, and they still wanted to kill Jesus.  The enemy had taken what was originally intended for good, and perverted it, like has been done in many Scriptures, and even in our thought life when we read the Scriptures, and even when we don’t read the Scriptures.  I would have to speak to a rabbi to find out what the Jews thought about Isaiah 22.  What was their sin, that was so unforgiveable?  Their unbelief was one, and sometimes as Christians we do that too.  We believe God, but do we really believe God?  Will we fight for what we believe?  Will we fight for the Truth?  Will we proclaim the Gospel on the mountain tops and shout it in the valleys?  We have lost our first love and lost the passion and love for Christ because we have been so provoked and consumed with fear, and reverance of God, that we lose sight of His nature, and His kindness.  We lose sight of the fact that He is not angry with us, and does not look down at us with a magnifying glass and say, “Who can I fry today?”  That’s not the nature of God.  That’s what Jesus is talking about.  Don’t think just because the Bible says something, that the way we interpret it, or the way others interpret it is what it really means.  In the temptation in Luke 4, the enemy used the Bible to attack Jesus and make Him try to commit suicide, and to test His powers.

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around [a]by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”

5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of [b]the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and [c]its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You [d]worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”

9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,

‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’

11 and,

‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

First, he attacked His appetite, and His identity.  Then he attacked His authority and power of influence, and finally he attacked His identity and His life using the Word of God.

We go through the same thing.  The enemy has no new bag of tricks, it’s all the same, it’s all been done before.  There’s nothing new under the sun.

Sometimes we go through things just to be a blessing to others, so that when others see what we’ve been through they can rejoice and say God is Good all the time.  God is definitely good all the time, and He wants us to know that He accepts us and loves us and cares for us, and desires to delight in Him.  So when we begin to see the fullness of Christ, we will change…but first we have to change our perspective on God’s character, that God in both the Old Testament and New Testament is a kind, gentle, steadfastly loving, with loving kindness God,  then He can give you the stamina to be able to push through whatever it is that you need to go through.  Most Christian people are struggling with not knowing who God is, and because of that they don’t know how to make it when times get hard.  They think that God does not love them, that He doesn’t care for them, but the Truth is that He does.  He cares because He is the great shepherd, the one who loves His people, and that means all who believe in Him.  He loves even those that don’t believe in Him because He wants them to come to Him.  So cast your fears and cares aside, and lean on the God that loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you!!!  And now He’s the only One who is still alive!!!

You reap what you sow

This message is not about money.  This message is about the Word of God and it is very crucial that people learn how to rightly divide the Word of Truth as to not bring condemnation to souls, and bring life into wounded and broken souls.  As I posted in my last blog posting, You are God’s beloved, I mentioned that there is a body and soul and spirit, but God’s perfect design is for the person, body, soul, and spirit to be whole and complete, just like Jesus was when He was on this earth, and just like He is in heaven.

Jesus makes an incredible teaching on the Word that is sown:

Jesus Teaches in Parables

1 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And [a]large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [b]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, [c]let him hear.”

An Explanation

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 [d]Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 [e]In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

[f]YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, [g]BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
[h]YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,
WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,
AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,
OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,
HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,
AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,
AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the [i]word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the [j]word, immediately he [k]falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the [l]world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

When Jesus is revealed through the Scriptures this is what happens:

 

The Road to Emmaus

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[d] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”[e]

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Wouldn’t we all like to be a part of that conversation)

The Disciples’ Eyes Opened

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

This burning was positive, and it meant that they were greatly moved because before they were depressed, and sulking, and now their hearts burned within them.

Whatever Word you do preach, the same will come back to you in some form, at some time.  Whatever you sow you will reap. Remember that the Word is supposed to reveal about Jesus and the character and nature of Him.

So I want to give an example of how not to interpret Scripture, and what not to do to an audience because even though it is the Word of God, people will take it the wrong way, and it is the Truth, but it is established by two or three witnesses.  So a question to ask a believer is what is their worst fear?  I think for most Christians is that they will be rejected by God forever, so I will just go into those verses right here.

David lists the same concern in Psalm 77

“Have you rejected me forever? Won’t you be kind again?

1 Chronicles 28:9

Solomon, my son, worship God and obey him with all your heart and mind, just as I have done. He knows all your thoughts and your reasons for doing things, and so if you turn to him, he will hear your prayers. But if you ignore him, he will reject you forever.

This particular verse is when David is talking to Solomon and the focus on the verse is on obedience, which is what your supposed to do, but in the light of this translation this is what the verse says.

So how do we reconcile that as a Bible student or preacher?

Jeremiah 31:37
Can you measure the heavens? Can you explore the depths of the earth? That’s how hard it would be for me to reject Israel forever, even though they have sinned. I, the LORD, have spoken.

So from the New Testament it says:

35 The Father loves the Son and has given him everything. 36 Everyone who has faith in the Son has eternal life. But no one who rejects him will ever share in that life, and God will be angry with them forever.

This is a little bit different than the verse 1 Chronicles.  The word here is faith in the Son, and not obedience.  We have to remember that a God is a God of hearts and He knows our hearts.

Even though the Bible says

Jeremiah 17:

9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

We have to know that the LORD’s response was:

 10 “I the LORD search the heart
   and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
   according to what their deeds deserve.”

We have to keep in mind who is speaking and when they are speaking or we can get things out of context and really cause problems.  I myself am still learning about this, but am trying to be more careful when I write. That’s why when people take things out of the Book of Job, I am careful to find out who is exactly speaking because God cautions against the dark counsel of Job’s friends, so we need to learn at their mistakes, and not to take what they said, and apply it as Truth and fact. We have to examine the who, what, when, where, and why of Scripture.

Also we have to examine, like I said in my blog posting Dangers of Preaching out of the Soul, that you have to know what audience you are preaching to.

One thing that we have to know about the LORD and Jesus is that He is loving, joyful, patient, kind, slow to anger, merciful, gentle, meek, possessing goodness, faithful, and He has self-control.  Because of this nature and characteristics of His, which we are to become like, we need to carefully consider our words, so as not to hurt others, because whatever hurt we cause will  come back to us so we speak words that build up and encourage and exhort.  We need to know where people are established in their faith so that we do not become stumbling blocks before them.  We don’t want to get in the way of those that are pure in heart and seeking after God, and not willingly participating in sins that it mentions in Galatians 5.

Out of the times that we are in the darkness is definitely getting darker, but the light shouldn’t be getting darker too, it should be getting brighter.  So how do we do that, Jesus gave the example in the Road to Emmaus. Speak life, not death.  Speaking life causes life.

 

Obedience to God is more important than Grace

Yes we know that Grace is part of Jesus’ nature, but Obedience is much more important.  I’ve already posted videos on The Call to Obey, and the Obedience to the Holy Spirit videos.  But as I am learning on the Christian walk, that your immediate initial reaction in most cases is probably the best.   God gives you many warnings, and you end up debating with God and get out of the hedges of protection.  Your angels may still be with you and this message is not to condemn.   There are many times I’ve written a blog posting or even done things in life without being obedient to the LORD, thinking that it wasn’t Him talking, it was me. Here’s what we learn about Obedience like a donkey.

12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to give me permission to go with you.”

14 And the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”

15 Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; 17 for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’”

18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.”

20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel

22 Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. 24 Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. 26 Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”

30 So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”

And he said, “No.”

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. 32 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. 33 The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”

34 And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”

35 Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

36 Now when Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the border at the Arnon, the boundary of the territory. 37 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not earnestly send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?”

38 And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.” 39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath Huzoth. 40 Then Balak offered oxen and sheep, and he sent some to Balaam and to the princes who were with him.

Many times God will tell you don’t go there, and then you go, or he’ll tell you don’t take that street, and then you take that street, and he’ll tell you don’t make that turn, and  if you don’t listen and obey your going to end up in more trouble than you realize – you’ll end up in a crash, and if you listened in the beginning then you wouldn’t have had to go through all that.  Obedience is the most important thing and for obedience it takes discernment.  People have been given wisdom as it says in James to make wise decisions, and one person’s disobedience can have consequences, so obedience is very important.

Grace is very very important and vital to the Christian faith, but obedience to the Lord is very important.  We are all learning to hear the Lord’s voice, but the Lord does give you warning, and when you make mistakes – All things work out together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but you can’t just willfilly disobey the Lord and get away with it.  He will keep warning you and warning you until you wake up and if you don’t listen, then there’s nothing you can do except get hit unexpectedly with something you thought just came out of the blue, and it can cause damage that wouldn’t have been there if you didn’t disobey.

Disobedience can cause a domino effect.  Eve’s disobedience led to Adam’s disobedience, which led to the downfall of the whole society, and when you disobey, it’s not just hurting you, it’s hurting people way down the road that you cannot see and effecting people throughout generations.  If one person disobeys in one area then it hurts people way down the road that you cannot even think about.  You have been given blessings, but even those can be taken away from you if you don’t obey.  I’m sorry to say that but it’s the truth.

For example, you have a car, but then you go and like I said in the previous example you don’t listen to him, and then your car ends up in damage.  Yes your lives are spared and that’s what is important, but if you listen to the Lord at each and every time.  Obedience is not always doing what you don’t feel like doing, or in other words just because you have a natural inclination towards something doesn’t mean you have to go against it.  As you draw closer to the Lord your natural impulses will be more like His, but sometimes He’ll tell you things that will just boggle your mind, and it’s something you don’t want to do like giving something away.

Discernment is the key and prayer is very important.  Sometimes like it says in following the Cloud example, you go where the Holy Spirit tells you to go and you do what He tells you to do, and if He hasn’t told you then don’t do it, and just wait.  Go with whatever seems good to the nature of God.

Also we need to spend more time in prayer.  The more time we pray, and really set apart time favorably in the morning especially if you are going to go outside of the house .  Now this is not going to be something where you can decide hey, this is what I am going to do, but it is something that the Lord will lead you.  Jesus said to follow Him, and that means to obey Him.  That means following the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Yes you can pray for Grace, and God will do it for those who He loves, but when you have looked back and seen where you have not gone where God wants you to go, then you will come back with regret and remorse, which is really what repentance is all about, so that you can change your mind for the better.  So this is my own personal warning for you guys.  Yes Grace is important, but Obedience is more important because take a look at Achan and Ai, the whole town was punished for one man’s disobedience, and also Balaam and the donkey is another example.  Even the Apostles were obedient to the Holy Spirit, and that’s when they found Grace, when they truly repented turned around and followed after the Lord.  We are not all perfect, and it does take discipline and discernment to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, but learn to be obedient because even Jesus said I do nothing unless I see the Father doing it. Any time you think you should or shouldn’t be doing something then it’s the best time to listen and obey.

If this is a repeat for some of you then I apologize, but this needs to be ingrained into our spirits.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for keeping each of us alive today, and thank You for the grace and favor you have given us this far, forgive us Lord for when we have not been obedient to You.  Lord God, help us to trust in You even more Lord God.  We repent for everytime we have strayed away from Your will and Your plan and Your purpose, and from every prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Thank You for protecting us and thank You for guiding us.  Help us to see the good in our situation.  May You we learn how to listen to Your voice always. Forgive us for any rebelliousness.  I apply this post with the Blood of Jesus.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.