BE ATTENTIVE AND AWARE!

BE ATTENTIVE AND AWARE!

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. —I Peter 5:8-9

            Let us not forget that we are in spiritual warfare… all the time. Don’t think that our adversary let’s up. He and his demonic horde are always prowling around seeking to be destructive. They hate God. They hate His people. Their desire is to destroy us. Don’t think otherwise.

            We are told to be thinking clearly and to be watchful. We need to stand firm in faith and resist the devil. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).  So the first thing we are to be is submissive to God, obedient to Him. We have not power in ourselves to resist Satan. It is through our loving obedience to God and in His authority that we do.

            Believers all over this world are experiencing the hunting eyes of our enemy.   But “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4).  Let us be faithful to our King of kings and Lord of Lords— our Lord Jesus — “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (II Corinthians 2:11). So be watchful just like a military guard is. A guard in the military is to be always alert, always observing, always aware of what is going on around him and is never to be asleep while on guard duty. Let us be awake to what is going on around us. May it be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu2S9y3r0XE

Dear Father may I be lovingly obedient and submissive to You while being alert to the enemy. Please give me discernment and wisdom in this. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

FAITHFUL CREATOR

FAITHFUL CREATOR

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. —I Peter 4:19

            Wow! Do you know that there is suffering that occurs to the followers of Jesus that is in accordance to God’s will? God is at work in suffering in many of His children. He has reasons for our suffering that we cannot fully understand, but He is fulfilling His purposes through it. He is a faithful creator and we are to entrust ourselves to Him in our suffering. Are you suffering? Are you trusting Him in and through the suffering? He is asking you to!

            Not only are we to entrust ourselves to Him when we go through suffering, but we are to be “doing good” even while in the suffering. Is that what you and I do or when suffering comes or do we retreat into ourselves and isolate ourselves? That is not what God has called us to do in the suffering. He has good for us to do while in the suffering.   Do we think like this? Or are we so focused on ourselves in the suffering that we do not think about doing any good, but only focus on our own lives?

            Understand that in the will of God there is suffering. Do we have a hard time understanding that? His Word is clear. He is active in suffering. He knows our suffering. He is working in and through our suffering. His plans are being worked out in and through our suffering and He desires us to continue to do good in and through our suffering. Oh, that we would have this mindset! Don’t let suffering defeat you in doing good. May it be so.

Dear Father whatever suffering and difficulty may come into my life, may I continue to serve You and do good. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISCutOEQokU

HE IS WATCHING AND IS HEARING THE RIGHTEOUS

HE IS WATCHING AND IS HEARING THE RIGHTEOUS

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” —I Peter 3:12

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsQmsEE_2-s&list=UUf1NPIFOBwzTLVQiEDnq4Cw&index=11

You who are living for Jesus, His eyes are on you.   “His ears are open to (your) prayer.”   The implication here is that the righteous are spending time with the Lord in prayer. They are talking to Him and listening to Him. They are taking time to be with Him. Is this the case in your own life? This is what is said about those who are righteous (II Corinthians 5:21).

            On the other hand “the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” This is not a place to be in. To have the face of the Lord against a person is a dangerous place to be. To stay in that situation is to have one’s destiny sealed forever in hell. Yeah, that is not a good place to be in!

            So which situation are you in? God’s for you or against you? It all comes down to whether you have called on the Name of the Lord Jesus to be saved (Romans 10:13) after hearing the gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-5). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw&t=133s

I thank You Dear Father that I am made righteous through Jesus and that Your eyes are upon me and You hear my prayer. May I live according to Your purposes as You reveal them to me in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. May it be so!

Fellow follower of Jesus we have much to be thankful for and we should be the most thankful people on the planet. May that be the case for each of us on this Thanksgiving Day and every day!

ENTRUST YOURSELF TO GOD

ENTRUST YOURSELF TO GOD

For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. —I Peter 2:19-23

            You may go through some “unjust suffering” or maybe you have gone through some or are going through some. What is to be your response? First unjust suffering is to be “endured.” This is part of the race we need to run with perseverance, keeping or eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). Jesus left us an example of enduring suffering and we are told that we are to follow in His steps. How so?   When Jesus suffered unjustly “He did not retaliate.” When Jesus “suffered, He made no threats.” Instead, what was His response? “He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.”

            So what are we to do when we have, are or will suffer unjustly? Don’t retaliate. Don’t make threats. Instead entrust yourself “to Him who judges justly.” Yes let us put our trust in our Lord God Almighty to make things right according to His perfect plan. He will!  

Thank You Dear Father that I can trust You fully and may I do so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. Yes, may it be do! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8K8MDiy56g

LOVINGLY OBEDIENT OR NOT

LOVINGLY OBEDIENT OR NOT

“As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. —Ezekiel 33:30-32

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. —I Peter 1:1-2

            Am I a fool or am I wise? There are two types of people in this world and only these two. The fool hears the Word of God and does not put it into everyday practice. But the wise man hears the same Word of God and does put it into practice in everyday life (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49). The passages above speak to disobedience and obedience.

            In the Ezekiel passage the people want to hear, but they do not want to obey. This is an on-going situation. They hear, they speak of love, but their hearts are not focused on doing God’s will.   They are selfish and self-centered.   These people are listening to God’s Word just as they would a “love song.” They hear, they like the sound, but what is said really means nothing to them.   They live on in their disobedience.

            Those who are followers of our Lord are “to be obedient to Jesus Christ.” That is what we are called to. We belong to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The cost He paid for us is an eternal cost (I Peter 1:18-21). “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again (II Corinthians 5:15).

            So, I have to reflect on my life and ask— “Who am I really living for— myself or Jesus?” How would you answer that question? Oh, let us live in loving obedience to Jesus who loves us with an everlasting love.   Yes, let us live for Him! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Sx_U0Ztr8

Dear Father may I be lovingly obedient in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. May this be so!

PATIENCE!

PATIENCE!

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer awaits the precious fruit of the soil—how patient he is for the fall and spring rains. You, too, be patient and strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near. Do not complain about one another, brothers, so that you will not be judged. Look, the Judge is standing at the door! Brothers, as an example of patience in affliction, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. See how blessed we consider those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. —James 5:7-11

Love is patient… —I Corinthians 13:4

But the fruit of the Spirit is…patience… —Galatians 5:22

            Patience is a virtue it is said, but it is also what godly love is and is a fruit of the Spirit. Are you and I patient?

            In the passage above those who follow Jesus are told to be patient until the Lord’s coming. So in other words we are to be patient life-long until we see Jesus.   Our patience is to be like the farmer who “awaits the precious fruit of the soil—how patient he is for the fall and spring rains.”   The farmer cannot force the rain to come, but he knows it will come. He has to wait. It will happen. So too it is with us. We cannot force the return of our Lord, but it will happen! We are told to “be patient and strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsQmsEE_2-s&list=UUf1NPIFOBwzTLVQiEDnq4Cw&index=11

            As we are being patient we are not to complain against each other so we will not experience the Lord’s judgment for that (II Corinthians 5:10). Jesus is at the door, ready to come back! So be patient as the prophets were when they experience affliction as they “spoke in the name of the Lord. See how blessed we consider those who have persevered.” So it was with Job as well. “You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” So yes, let us be patient. Our Lord “is full of compassion and mercy.”

Dear Father may I have the patience that You desire me to have and may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

THE ROOT OF VILE PRACTICES

THE ROOT OF VILE PRACTICES

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. —James 3:16

            Follow a vile practice back to the one practicing it and you will find jealousy and selfish ambition existing in that person.   Follow disorder back to the one causing it and you will find jealousy and selfish ambition.

            Selfish ambition is the root of all vile practice. Just look at our world and the evil in it. It is there because of selfish ambitions. People might not verbalize it this way, but it’s about me, it’s about what I think, it’s about what I want, it’s about my desires being met…   Yes, it is all about self. Sure, there may be the appearances of looking out for the good of others, but actions will show the true motives of a person… over time.

            Are ambitions wrong? Can’t we have goals, desires and purposes? Of course, but when they line up with God’s will. We are either doing God’s will as revealed in His Word or we are doing our own will. We are either being godly or godless, God-ward or self-ward, a God focused desire or a self focused desire. What is your focus and mine at any time?

            Again, look at the vile practices that are taking place and you can see the selfish ambition of the ones engaged in them. They are looking out for self and not for others. They may say they are, but in reality it is all about them.   It surely is not about God and His desires.

            So, brother and sister, let us check our ambitions. Are they rooted in God desires or are they rooted in selfish desires?   Dear Father may my ambitions be rooted in Your Word for Your glory, in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son. Yes, may this be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLX83HbefrI&list=UUf1NPIFOBwzTLVQiEDnq4Cw&index=16

EVIDENCE OF FAITH— FAITH WORKS!

EVIDENCE OF FAITH—FAITH WORKS!

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless… As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. —James 2:17-20, 26

I say I am a carpenter, but you never see me do carpentry. I say I am a nurse, but you never see me nursing anyone. I say I am a mechanic, but you never see me working on cars. I say I am a truck driver, but you never see me driving a truck. I say I am a ________________, but you never see me doing anything that proves I am. I say that I am a follower of Jesus, but is there evidence that I am? Are there deeds I am doing that are founded in my faith in my Lord Jesus? Is there evidence in my life that I truly know Jesus?

            A person can say they are a carpenter, a nurse, a mechanic, a truck driver, a __________, but is this truly seen in their actions. So too a person can say they are a “Christian,” but is this seen in their actions? So say something without evidence is useless! So it is “that faith without deeds is useless.”

            So is there evidence in my life that I am truly a follower of Jesus? I am not doing works to be seen. I am not doing works to brag. I am not doing works to gain salvation. I am doing works out of my faith in Jesus and for His glory. I do works in obedience because I love Him who has asked me to do so. That’s the reason. I want to honor my Lord’s requests and commands.

            So, as it has been said, “If you were brought into court of law to be tried for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Or to put it another way, are you being obedient to Jesus and serving Him out of love for God and love for neighbor?” May it be so!

Dear Father, may I be faithful in serving in the works that You have prepared for me to do. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  

ROD OF DISCIPLINE OR JUDGMENT…

ROD OF DISCIPLINE OR JUDGMENT…

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again. “As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan? ’you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,’ ” declares the Lord GOD. And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say: “A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished, sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! (Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.) So the sword is given to be polished, that it may be grasped in the hand. It is sharpened and polished to be given into the hand of the slayer. Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against my people. It is against all the princes of Israel. They are delivered over to the sword with my people. Strike therefore upon your thigh. For it will not be a testing—what could it do if you despise the rod?” declares the Lord GOD. —Ezekiel 21:1-13

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. —James 1:22-25

            Disobedience brings discipline first and then judgment! The rod had been brought against His people, but they would not respond to it. Now judgment was to come. It was not a test… it was judgment and it would affect both the righteous and unrighteous.

            When people do not respond to His rod of discipline then there is only judgment that will follow. We need to look at this in America. If we do not respond to His rod of discipline, and we have not, then judgment will follow. As a nation we are in a dangerous place! Brother and sister, do we “groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that it is coming. Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled,’ declares the Lord GOD.” If His people are not at the point of groaning, of hearts that break and of bitter grief because of the state of our nation, then we are far worse off than even we may think! May we repent, have a heart fully committed to God and His will— being doers of His Word and not hearers only. To be hearers only is to be self-deceived. To be doers follows with blessing in our doing. Without obedience there is no blessing! Oh, that we would do His will. May we be obedient to our Lord God Almighty! May it be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOd7Eedu-M0

Dear Father I do not want to be self-deceived. I desire to be a doer of Your Word and not a hearer only.   I desire to be a wise man that puts into practice Your Word and not a foolish man who only hears Your Word and does not put it into practice. May I be a doer in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   May it be so?

LOOK TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME!

LOOK TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME!

 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. —Hebrews 13:14

             It is all temporary that we see on this planet except for people. All people will exist either in heaven or hell forever. All else is only temporary. Brother and sisters let us keep this in mind and not get rooted down in this life, distracted from that which we have been commanded by Jesus to do (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8). This is not our home. Our home is in heaven and let us keep running the race until we reach that place (Hebrews 12:1-2). To run this race well we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

            Oh wonder of wonders we are running toward the “city that is to come.” Let us keep running. Let us persevere. Yes, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is the Author of our faith and the finisher of our faith. Keep looking to Him! We will be there one day. Our race will be finished. We will be in that city with all who love our Lord Jesus. Oh Lord may that be soon! Let us keep running till we reach the city!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhk_5c6H-yc

Dear Father please help me to run well and not get distracted by things in this world. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   May it be so!