Monday, April 18, 2022

Christ is all.

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:1-2).

AMEN, and when He said, "seek those things which are above" he was sure to add, "where Christ sits ". He was careful to not mislead the appetites of the carnally minded when he added, "where Christ sits". He didn't want them to turn from earthly objects to heavenly objects, for that would only be cloaking a carnal mind with a heavenly garb. The emphasis is where Christ sits. 

He seemed to be leading us to seek a plurality by using the word "things" but his message was very singular when he said, "where Christ sits". 

Need wisdom, lack power, do you desire to know the humility and personality of the Eternal Self Existent One? Christ is the "wisdom" and "power" of God, the very "brightness of God's glory and the express image of His nature, authority, and character". For this reason the angels never cease crying out "Holy", for in that eternal and heavenly abode they do not cease beholding Him who sits on the throne. We too would cry with them if we would but seek Him, find Him, and set our affections upon Him.

Paul began with a clarion call to turn our gaze upwards to Christ Himself, in pursuit of Him and then for all to set their affections on things above, namely, those things only found in Him, while seeking Him. 

For that is the natural flow for all true Christian experience. First a seeking, a seeking that is singular in nature. Then a finding of what was sought, which always leads to an inward arousal of affections fixed solely upon the single object of desire, even Christ Himself.

Friday, December 31, 2021


Perhaps the only way that JESUS could be COMFORTED in His humiliation and rejection was to be crucified for those who hurt Him? For the greatest comfort amidst His sufferings was our salvation.

Unlike with myself, and with what is common among men, the more pain His loving heart endured, the more that love compelled Him to give. Even His last words was love breathed upon His mother, disciples, the thief crucified next to Him and even upon His enemies who stood by mocking while He hung there naked.

Think of it: It would have hurt Him to use His bloodied nail pierced feet to push Himself up from the block fastened to the cross, that He simply might be able to take more air into His lungs and breathe out words of life; but it would have hurt Him more to seek personal comfort in His pitiful condition and be silent. 


Even then, He sought to comfort others, rather than seeking to be comforted; to understand, rather than to be understood.

His selfless love endured all things. 

He gave until He had nothing more to give. 

Perhaps the only way for JESUS to bear the pain of those who hurt Him was to bear the cross and to die upon it for them. When love is in pain, it gives and when love is perfected, it can suffer cheerfully.

The pain of what others rejected was greater than His rejection. 

His way of getting His message into hearts was not to hammer others but to be hammered for them. 

This is the Royal Road, the True King's Highway. 

This is the only way to glory: To take the lowest place by loving others more than yourself. 

Upon hearing this, some, moved by this truth, might exert themselves to always take the lowest seat. They may strive all that they can to do this at every opportunity. "The Way to Glory is to take the lowest seat" they muse within. "Therefore, I must make every effort, in every moment, in every chance I get", they conclude. Though innocent, this conclusion lacks wisdom. For such souls will eventually burn out and miserably condemn themselves for falling short of long consistent victories in this Royal Road. If they work really hard, over time they may be able to maintain their efforts more and more, yet their efforts will often be tainted with internal silent secret frustrations, arrogance, high mindedness, despising others, loneliness or an inordinate amount of sadness or depression. 

However, true humility, true glory, true love, is able to take the lowest seat for the joy that is set before it. It has a secret rest in all of its labors because the end is not self, but love. Love only finds rest in willing vessels.

Therefore, ALL earnest souls ought to give up everything to commune with JESUS. For to sit in the lowest seat is to sit with Him!

If following Him made common men notorious fishers of men, then surely communing with Him as we follow will enable us to selflessly give ourselves like Him and to take the lowest seat.

There is such a thing as selfishly taking the lowest seat. It is written, "And though I give all that I possess to feed the poor and give my body to be burned and have not love, it profits nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3).

We must chase after JESUS, not the lowest seat, and if not the lowest seat, how much less ought we to chase after vain worldly activities! 

He is the foundation and source for every virtue. 

In brief, the only way to glory is to have the Divine nature of the "I AM meek and lowly" One formed within you through His fellowship.

Taking the lowest seat ought to be fruit from our relationship with Him, not a restless result from anxious effort produced by recognition of truth.

The love of Christ must compel us.

One may recognize truth and selfishly assert himself in the Way and this is perhaps the greatest form of deception: To have truth without light, a light that is darkness, a life without love. 

"How can this be" you ask? The Church of

Ephesus can tell you. They "could not bear them which were evil" and were full of "reproof" (Revelation 2), but they were unaware of the evil inside of them.

We can be a part of the Church and JESUS still have something against us.

When we pray, "JESUS, fill us with Your glory", if we know what His glory really is, we will understand that we are asking Him to fill us with His humility. Humility is His Divine nature. His humility is selfless love. 

His glory is His humility. His glory is His triumph over rejection, temptations, false accusations, and personal offenses.

His glory is victory over every natural, carnal, sinful, immoral, selfish and arrogant impulse. His glory is His humility. 

Though others failed Him, His love never failed. His love was independent of circumstances. 

The Spirit of the love of JESUS within us is quenched whenever we prefer ourselves over others, regardless of who they are or what they have done.

The apostle Paul was so filled by the Holy Spirit with the love of God and so yielded to it, that he thoughtfully testified to the the church of Galatia, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I but CHRIST LIVES IN ME; and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME, AND WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME" (Galatians 2:20). 

Love is not about getting, but giving. You can give without loving but you can never love without giving. The love of JESUS never fails. 

Do you fail? Are you weary with your failure? Are you burdened by your lack of love? Do you desire a more consistent selfless love? Do these things fill your mind with fear? Do you feel hopeless after reading this? 

Hear the word of the Lord, "Come unto me, all of you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

What is the first thought on your mind when you awake? What is stirring your heart throughout the day? What keeps you awake at night or makes you to peacefully fall asleep? 

Is it JESUS? We were created for Him. Without Him we are miserable and selfish creatures. If we find ourselves happy without Him, as some who do not believe, it is only because we have learned to be satisfied with vanity. He truly is our life and upon Him our life depends. 

Grace and peace to you all.

Thursday, December 16, 2021


Many try to belittle the faith of the thief who was crucified next to JESUS. The belittlement is often an attempt to nullify a faith that is justified by works. 

Consider the following:

Compared to Jesus, the thief next to Jesus was fairly comfortable hanging on the cross. The visage of Jesus was marred more than any man; He was surrounded by many merciless and cold men who hated Him without a cause, so much so, that all they did amidst His suffering was publicly shame Him in front of His weeping mother. 

Jesus was crowned with thorns and repeatedly mocked. The thief had a few nails and maybe a few stripes. 

Now consider this: Perhaps the thief counted the cost before publicly acknowledging Jesus? Perhaps he thought within himself, "If I confess Him and call Jesus Lord, then these wicked and hateful men may decide to attack and to further torment me and all of the hatred currently hurled at Jesus will become fiercely turned against me and I will be worse off and suffering more than before"? 

The thief obviously had a genuine faith. He showed more faith than many ever will amongst this faithless and lip service generation. He publicly confessed his faults, confessed Jesus before men, feared God, admitted his guilt, defended the innocent, reproved the works of darkness, comforted Jesus in His sufferings, and was willing to be hated by all there and potentially further tortured for all of this!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Who's voice do you follow?

 The devil is trying to convince you that you lost your salvation, your fellowship with God, and for you to kill yourself. 

Sometimes the deepest pain is from mere thoughts we entertain.

Trust JESUS with your sin and entrust to JESUS your entire life. 

Many fail not because they have fallen but because they feel like a failure.

Many despair not because they are hopelessly beyond God's mercy and grace but because they feel hopeless.

Many become lost because they found the truth but found none or few others walking in truth and therefore felt lost.

Who's voice are you listening to? Who's voice do you follow? Who's words do you trust?

JESUS said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:27-29).

JESUS said, "All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

JESUS said, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).

Likewise, JESUS said, "Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

JESUS said, "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).

CONTINUE IN HIS WORD. Look at Him, not yourself. Behold His grace and truth. Walking hand in hand with JESUS is holding hands with grace and truth. 

Unfortunately, many hold hands with truth but have lost touch with grace. They hold tightly, with all their hearts to truth but despair when it slips through their hands at times because they lost touch with grace or never knew what true grace was. 

Conversely, many hold tight to grace, with all their hearts but imagine themselves to be one of those few walking the narrow way to life eternal while coasting down the broad way to destruction because they have lost touch with truth, or never really knew the truth. 

But JESUS CHRIST came full of grace and truth. 

To have Him is to have all of Him. 

The truth will set you free. 

The truth about grace and the truth about holiness.

Still others want to kill themselves because they fear that they lost their salvation. Who told you that you were not saved? Who told you that there was no hope? Does your life declare this to you or does fear?

JESUS said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).

The apostle John said, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death" (1 John 3:14).

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:7-8).

Fear will get you to doubt your salvation or convince you that you lost it based upon suggestions, past failures or other ideas.

Fear wants you consumed with yourself. Self focused. 

Fear wants you so consumed with yourself that you are impatient, rude, easily provoked, and restless from constant self examination. 

Fear God, not fear. Fear God, not losing your salvation. The fear of God is a fountain of life, saving one from the snares of death, while fear of losing your salvation focuses you on yourself. 

Evidently, there is a time to "make your calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10) and to "take heed to yourself and to your doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:16) but be more concerned with losing fellowship with God than losing your salvation. He is your salvation. What do you have if you lost Him?

Go to Him. 

The Psalmist said, "If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning" (Psalm 130:3-6).

The fear of the Lord is clean . . . It refreshes the soul because it brings the manifest presence of God. The fear of losing your salvation weakens your will, corrupts your efforts, makes you restless, irritable and leads to many other harmful behaviors. 

Read the words of JESUS. Read of the life of JESUS. Behold His grace and truth and become changed. He will turn your shame into glory, your pain into power, your failure into freedom. 

Read the words and life of JESUS with a sincere desire to follow in His steps. Accept whatever you find in Him. Don't try to change Him, let Him change you. 

Completely surrender. Completely trust. Completely follow. 

If you continue in His words then you are his disciple (John 8:31). He loves His disciples to the very end (John 13:1).

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Dead faith and dead works

"Faith without works is dead" and I would say that works without faith can also be dead. 

The reason why we do the things we are doing ought to be the result of our faith in JESUS. Faith in Him ought to be the internal compelling force moving us forward into His upward call to holiness, truth and both spiritual and practical endeavors. 

Faith appropriates the grace of God. We are justified by faith, saved by faith, comforted by faith; by faith we stand, overcome the world, resist the fiery darts of the evil one, and follow the steps of JESUS. 

The apostle said, "And the Life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and who gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20). Paul's work, preaching, prayers, travels and all that he did was the direct result of his faith in JESUS. By faith he commanded lame Aeneas to stand up on his feet and made him whole; by faith he preached at Mars Hill, to Governor Felix, to King Agrippa and thousands of others; by faith he went into the synagogues and preached Christ crucified and endured the subsequent persecutions. Paul was not aimlessly engaged in the affairs of this life. By faith, he labored more abundantly than others through the appropriation of grace through faith (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Our faith in JESUS ought to be the reason for our work, travels, plans, pursuits, and for all that we do. 

Many are full of works. Yet works are dead without faith. Many are full of religious works but these too are dead without faith. Many dress a certain way (wear dresses and head coverings), abstain from various foods and entertainments and useful tools; many pursue ministry and many other spiritual activities but it isn't their faith in JESUS that compels them to do so. 

For some, it is thoughtless tradition. For others, it is boredom, fear of man, desire for recognition or some other selfish ambition. Still for others, their labors are sometimes nothing more than fulfilling a sense of Christian duty not because of their faith in JESUS.

I can relate to the latter more than the others. Sometimes, I am doing what I am doing because I began in faith, then faith became nothing more than religious inertia. I was initially compelled by faith but eventually my faith lost sight of the "Son of God, who loved me and who gave Himself for me" and thus my works amounted to nothing more than being faithful to a work instead of to my First Love, who is a Discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). 

May JESUS be the center and compelling internal power at work within us, by faith in Him, to do all that we do.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Fruit or results?

 Childlikeness is the absence of self awareness. We need more of this in our lives. As we grow in knowledge, this quality often diminishes. We learn what patience looks like, what it means to love our enemies, to be humble, to have self control and so on. Then to grow in these virtues we often zealously apply the principles of these virtues according to the knowledge we have of them. We become aware and satisfied with our accomplishments. Yet, what often such efforts produce is results, not fruit. Such results are often tainted with flesh and impurities. We often fail to attain a perfect and consistent patience, charity, humbleness, self control, etc, and muster up all of the determination and faith we can to strive against our fears, discouragements, and despair so that we can justify our efforts and secure a form of peace by means of striving, instead of focusing all of our powers and energies to feed upon the bread of Life, drawing near to Him, and drinking in of His Spirit through a quiet listening heart, which, if we would only surrender to pursue Jesus Christ, and not merely His Divine attributes, then His attributes would not be a matter of striving, but of consequence. 

Unfortunately, many believers have deceived themselves thinking they have fruit when they have achieved results. "Love suffers long and is kind". Many have labored for His names sake without being patient and kind. "Love doesn't parade itself and is not puffed up". The efforts of many does not express their love for the Lord. Their hardened hearts do not perceive their vanity, for their eyes are fastened to the results. They perform many works but have little to no fruit. 

We know what God's sacrificial love looks like so we can give all we have to the poor and even our bodies to burned, but without love our efforts are nothing but a zealous pursuit to express that we know what God's sacrificial love looks like and to proclaim our willingness to imitate it. Such efforts will never produce any fruit which will abide in eternity, for such efforts "profit us nothing". 

Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned". 

Jesus did not tell His disciples to remember everything He did and commanded, and then to imitate it! He told them to abide in Him. Apart from this we cannot bear fruit or do anything! What does it mean to abide in Him? This secret is plainly unveiled to us through His abiding in His Father! Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19), He did not speak on His own authority (John 12:49), He lived in perfect daily communion with His Father and was entirely devoted to doing His Father's will. Jesus said, "He who sent Me is with Me; the Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him" (John 8:29). He said, "Father I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You have given Me to do" (John 17). 

We need to lay our hearts, minds, souls, strength and lives entirely before the Lord each day in dependence upon Him as if His words were altogether true, "Apart from Me you can do nothing". We need His presence, His favor, His life, His wisdom, His counsel, His guidance, His power. We need Him! He is everything. We have all that we need when we have Him. Not just a touch from the past but an ever vibrant living reality of us abiding in Him and He in us! 

As we humble ourselves, may God graciously exalt us into His presence so that all consciousness of self is lost in wonder of Him! This is a great protection against pride. Sometimes our battle is to stand still and behold the salvation of God!  

Branches bud and blossom and produce perfect fruit when they daily drink from the Vine. One touch or visitation from the Savior is worth far more than an infinite striving that can only produce results. 

In His presence is fullness of joy! Not just joy but the fullness of it! Many are so weary in well doing because they are laboring without the presence of God. That joy is the strength of the Christian life! Without humility however, we cannot experience true Christian joy, for pride sets the soul at a distance from the presence of God. God opposes the proud but He gives grace to the humble. It is grace that exalts man into the favorable presence of God in which there is fullness of joy! Humility therefore is the strength of the Christian life.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Have you stopped crying?

When was the last time you cried because you saw yourself for what you really were in the sight of God yet sensed that God was not through with you yet?

When was the last time you cried because you were harsh, rude, selfish, demanding, uncharitable, and mean?

When was the last time you cried upon hearing about some horrible crime that happened in the world i.e. child kidnapped, mother beaten to death, a father who killed himself because he lost his job and could no longer see how to provide for his family and his wife had left him?

When was the last time you cried seeing how impartial, blind, greedy, hypocritical, and lukewarm churches are today and how they earnestly contend for the dead faith which was delivered to them by their dead leaders, churches and parents?

When was the last time you cried reflecting upon the Christ crucified, battered, bloodied, and bruised for your sins? 

When was the last time you cried because you witnessed to a stranger and you supernaturally felt the love that God has for them and you earnestly pleaded for them to seek the Lord and they listened for a time but walked away?

When was the last time you cried or at least felt like crying because the power of the holy Spirit was so convicting your heart and stirring you to stand for the truth?

When was the last time you left your house to run errands and you could hardly walk to your car because the presence of God was so heavy and real in your life and you fell upon your knees in holy fear to tremble in worship?

When was the last time you went to purchase groceries and you could hardly leave the store because you were so overwhelmed with the reality of God's eternal judgment and your heart was in anguish and constrained with the compassion of Christ so you were drawn to share the Gospel with souls on every isle of the store and it took you several hours just to get your groceries?


Saturday, January 2, 2021

Satan's Power of Suggestion

One of the devil's most successful devices he employs to steal, kill and to destroy, is the power of suggestion. He throws a measure of truth (an honest possibility), into a deceptive idea to allure God's people away from the voice of truth. He will constantly suggest that God is not with you, that you have failed too many times and give you several biblical examples to prove it; he will suggest that God doesn't love you and that you are one of those hopeless unfortunate souls predestined for wrath; he will suggest that God doesn't hear your prayers and that your efforts are in vain: he will use your doubts and failures to prove this; he will suggest that the path to life is too difficult for you because God is withholding his power because there is something inside you that God finds displeasing. He will seek to weary you with this. You will cry out to God again and again only to receive no answer from God regarding the suggestion that something inside you is displeasing to Him. The devil will then suggest that God is not answering you because, although you are unaware of anything displeasing to God in your life that you haven't confessed or turned from, that it is still inside you and that is the reason why God isn't answering back. Being sincere, you will continue to seek the Lord and possibly find no answer. 

Satan desires to work his way into our imaginations, that we may entertain his suggestions and play them out in our minds. If we give him place in our minds, he will use our imaginations as his platform to build his strongholds, using our thoughts and feelings created by His suggestions as the building material. The more his suggestions are entertained, the stronger the imaginations; the stronger the imaginations, the stronger the feelings, such as: despair, fear, discouragement, cold love, weary in well doing and bitterness. The stronger the feelings, the stronger the desires, such as: giving up, seeking comfort that isn't found in God, and busying self with things other than God. 

Nevertheless, if we are humble and trust God with all of our hearts, even Satan's power against us can be used for good. We can take these suggestions, examine ourselves, and with God's help become purified if needed. We can learn to rely upon God more fully. Our closeness to God can be increased. What Satan intended to harm us, God can use to build us up.

If upon examining yourself, you realize that you have been holding on to some sin, justifying sin, or that you were unwilling to accept some hard truth: confess your guilt, determine to draw near to God, trust completely in Him, and heartily embrace all the truth He leads you into. God doesn't have a problem with the depth of our sin, but it is with the shallowness of our repentance. He expects more than a confession from our lips: He expects our lives. He gave His life for ours. "But there is forgiveness with You that You may be feared" (Psalm 130:4). 

Satan's power of suggestion is an attack against our faith. Our faith, if it is going to endure such an assault, such a persistent villain, it must be rooted in the word of God. Below are some Scriptures we must hold onto tightly:

"Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). We must trust Him completely to finish the faith He Authored within us. Regardless of how doubtful, compromising and fearful we have been. We must repent of our unbelief and go forward, extending our feeble hand to the Hand that was nailed to the cross for our unbelief.

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which had begun a good work in you will complete it", "For it is God which works in you both to desire and to perform His good pleasure" (Philippians 1:6, 2:13). It was not the result of vain confidence, but of knowing God that Paul was convinced God would complete the good work He began in these early believers. God will also work to complete the good work He began in you too. 

"And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20). Throughout the New Testament you will discover faults and failures in early disciples and early churches: Among the disciples, there were strifes, competitions, violence, betrayal, doubts, faithlessness, fearfulness, double mindedness and other things. Among the churches, there were divisions, competitions, false ideas, disorder, leaven, tolerating seducers, pride, and sin to the extent that Jesus even described Himself as standing outside the church and knocking on the door (Revelation 3:20). Whatever your situation is, you can be confident that Jesus isn't willing to give up on you as long as you have breath. Your sin may be so great that you find Him knocking on your door. If you hear Him knocking, be not afraid to answer. Make haste and open the door of your heart to Him. For He said, "If any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come into him, and will dine with him and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). Embrace His loving rebukes, correction and discipline. Humble yourself in His sight and He will lift you up. He said that the thief, the devil, comes to steal, kill and to destroy but that He came that we may have abundant life. 

Believe the promises of God and the truth He revealed to His messengers. Stop entertaining the devil's suggestions. "Give no place to the devil" (Ephesians 4). 

Remember, "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Cast down Satan's suggestions before they become strongholds. At times, you will be bombarded with countless flaming darts from the evil one, filling your mind with endless suggestions to create doubts and fears. You may get discouraged because the battle against these suggestions is so intense. Nevertheless, we must "fight the good fight of faith". We must take up the shield of faith to quench all of these fiery darts. Other times, you may feel that God has abandoned you; that you made it as far as you have only to be abandoned. This imagination is created because you look back on your life and remember the power of God at work within you, how you were growing spiritually, how God was using you, how you were overcoming trials and temptations and how you had a vibrant faith and how easily you believed in the impossible: but now you find yourself seemingly complacent and overwhelmed with discouraging thoughts. For this reason, the apostle wrote, "Wherefore take upon yourself the whole armor of God, that you may be able to to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13). You may think to yourself that it seems you have been standing in the same place for a long time, and have not advanced much, if at all. Again, give no place to the devil's suggestions. Refuse to entertain his ideas that God has abandoned you in your sorest conflict. "Gird up the loins of your mind", "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance" (Ephesians 6:18); "Pray always, and do not lose heart" (Luke 18:1). 

The battle is real. Don't give up. Don't be ignorant of Satan's device of suggestion. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit: which is, "The word of God" (Ephesians 6:16), and overcome that evil one by the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, THE WORD OF YOUR TESTIMONY (what God has done for you), AND BY NOT LOVING YOUR LIFE EVEN UNTO DEATH!

Grace and peace be with you.

#despair #hope #suicide #Spiritual #Warfare #ThePowerOfSuggestion

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Jewelry or souls?

 Jewelry is dead; it has no life, no eternal soul, no needs: It is never hungry, thirsty, lonely, sick, or lost in sin and needing to hear the Gospel and yet hundreds of thousands of men and women invest their time and money in jewelry! Which do you prefer: A gold necklace or helping the poor and reaching the lost? Jesus would never do both. Both would mean that part of His heart, soul, mind and strength is invested in lifeless ornaments and not in the living God! Both would mean five souls would be ministered to while others suffer on account of Him preferring a gold necklace or other articles of jewelry. Jesus didn't die for gold necklaces, diamond rings or jewelry. The value of a gold necklace is but dung when compared to the priceless value of the living souls of men for whom Christ shed His precious blood. It is impossible to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength when part of it is placed around your neck, fingers, toes, wrists, ears, noses, hair, and other various places. 

What is more valuable to God: jewels and precious metals or the souls of men? Sadly, many here on earth vainly covet after those materials which will in heaven be trodden under the feet of men, "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass" (Revelation 21:21). 

There, love will be the currency, not money. There, every tear will be wiped away and there will be no more suffering. Here is where we can sell things we do not need, such as jewelry, and use those resources to drill wells, fund adoptions, promote good causes, fund missionary work, print Christian literature, help financially struggling brothers and sisters, care for widows and orphans in there distress, or show some kindness to strangers.

If you are a Christian, filled with the Spirit of the living God, you know what makes more sense, what is more like Christ, what is more needful and are willing to abandon jewelry and other needless collectibles and pursuits to put your time and money where your heart is, even in heaven, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21).

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Burn Again!

Burn Again!
(This is an old writing I recently found. I believe I wrote it about 12 years ago)
In 2004 I was about three years old in the Lord, and He began impressing upon my heart, the scripture from Matthew chapter 24:12. Jesus warned us saying, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” When I first felt the impression He made in me from it, I was inspired by His presence, and wanted to camp out around that verse. I wanted to create a wealth of knowledge on the inside of me, so that I would be changed and be able to deposit that wealth in others.
So I grabbed a pen and paper and began writing down all of the things I noticed about that scripture. To my surprise I only wrote about 1-2 pages of thoughts pertaining to that verse. I was surprised because the presence of the Lord I felt making an impression on my heart when I read that verse was enormous. There was an awakening on the inside of me.
The thoughts I got were about like this: love has a temperature. When sin increases love decreases. Simple thoughts. And if these thoughts were to be served as a meal, they likely would have tasted bland to those who don't genuinely appreciate the painting of a three year old, though there are many who do. I value the art my two nephews and niece create. I store them with the few belongings I have in my sister’s garage because I don't have my own home. However, I will probably frame them sometime and hang them up at my mother’s apartment. But how many in the world would feel the same way I felt about their artwork. They may say, “Oh how cute,” but they're probably not going to buy a frame and hang it on the wall of their living room.
In the same way, the thoughts I had about this verse and all other knowledge He led me to seek after started out as seeds. When people go shopping at a grocery store for food, they don't buy the seeds to eat, but they buy the fruits, vegetables, and meats. So everything in this book came from thoughts that God seeded me with. Those first thoughts I had about Matthew 24:12 were simple and if I were to create a lesson with them to teach others they would feel the same way towards me, as they would my nephews and niece, “Oh what a cute lesson.”
Nevertheless, I valued these thoughts and treasured them because they came to me with such anointing and inspiration. So to sum all of this up: His presence flooded my soul when I would read certain passages of scripture. I camped out around those verses. I began to seek Him, and in the process of seeking Him I obtained seeds. These seeds were planted in me and over the past few years I have watered them with much contemplation, praying and searching for truth from the Bible that would be relevant to the word I received from God. I fertilized them by observing my life as well as others who paralleled the thoughts that were planted in me by God. Today these seeds are trees full of fruit. Never be discouraged. Value your thoughts that are inspired by God, even if, when you share them with people, and they're not blown away with awe and wonder as you were. For in time they will mature and produce a harvest.
Why is it that love burns so hot in the beginning then after a while it fades away? Why is it that the lifespan of a fire is not in the flames but in the coals? Because it is all about self. Not, “What can I do?” But, “What can I get?” The coals are the lifespan of the fire because they are the substance “work”. The flames are the most attractive part of the fire, and our eyes are drawn to them. If all that attracted you to God was the flames, what He will give to you, then your love and passion for Him will grow cold; but if it is the “coals”, the substance of who He is, it will burn hot [coals are the substance which burns].
The substance of who He is, is the truth of who He is. That is what chapter one was all about-the substance. Truth means reality. The truth of God is manifest by the reality of the creation.
Isaiah 40:25-26 says, “To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power.” Isaiah 40:12 states, “Who has measured the waters in the palm of His hand, measured heaven with the spread of His fingers and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
I tell you the truth, it is the Holy One. Holy One, meaning Set Apart One. He is set apart from the creation of all things because He is the Creator of all things. He is the origin of everything and all things came into existence and have their being because of Him. And if because of Him, then all things are created for His pleasure as well. I have heard people talk about God as if He were a, “sugar daddy.” If you flatter Him enough with praise you can ask Him for anything you want and it will be yours. However, if that is the purpose of your praise, to get something out of it, and not for the pure truth that He is worthy, then the fragrance of your praise is putrid.
Ephesians 5:1-2 tells us to, “Be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Jesus is the "Rose of Sharon," Who was crushed for my sins. Like when rose petals are crushed they release the fragrance of their perfume into the air, so it is with Jesus, who when crushed, released into my soul the fragrance of His love, of which I am intoxicated. [Song of Solomon 2:1]
I asked the questions, “Why is it that love burns so hot in the beginning, then after a while it fades away? Why is it that the life span of a fire is not in the flames but in the coals?” Matthew 24:12 says, “And because lawlessness will abound the love of many will grow cold.” A main reason for this lawlessness is found in the previous verse. Matthew 24:11, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” The many who are deceived in verse 11, is the same many whose love will grow cold in verse 12.
People in the church today are confused about God, because their teachers in their messages have confused who God is. They have communicated directly and indirectly that God exists to make man happy. Wrong! Man exists to serve, love, and please God. We live, move, and have our being in Him. He created all things by His will, and for His pleasure they were created and have their being. Not God for man but man for God! However He has chosen us. Has loved us. Has suffered the agonies of men and the agonies of hell by descending from heaven and going down to the flames of eternal torment and back up again to redeem us and set us free from the bondage of self. And if we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God to serve, love, and please Him, happy is he who does these things.
Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no “prophetic” vision, the people perish [cast off restraint]; But happy is he who keeps the law.” Where the truth, the pure substance of God is confused, a generation of lawlessness is raised up. If Matthew 24:11 teaches that many false prophets will rise up, then a generation will be raised up with them as well. Proverbs 30:12 declares, “There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness.” This is a product of what men preach. They’re preaching about the flames and ignoring the coals. Remember, the flames are what a man can get out of God and the coals are the substance, the truth of who God is, and what He can get out of man. And what does He want? He wants all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise. Not the words, but the substance of these words!
Oh how I want to destroy that false image of God created and framed in our minds through words. Oh beloved, it is the substance, the truth of who He is that sets us free! Free from all of the depression, deception, lies, and frustration that has been passed on to this generation from false teachers who have confused the truth of who He is and the reason for man’s existence and being.
I have experienced such freedom from knowing the truth of who He is, that is why I have such indignation towards that which is false. Every false image of God is a false God. For He who said, “You shall have no other God besides Me,” also said, “You shall make no graven image for yourselves to worship.” The image that many have in their minds of God is the God they want instead of the God who is. The God who is, will always be. He is eternal. He created man from the dust of the earth. He formed us in our mother’s womb. He gave life to every kind of seed so that when it dies, it can grow into something beautiful. There is no life apart from Him. He has the power to create, and the power to destroy.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:28-31,   “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” 
Symptoms of Cold Love.
Three Forms of Hatred.
There are varying degrees of hatred such as unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness. I John 2:10-11 states, “He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” Many of us know that if you stare into the sun’s light for a long time you will go blind. However, darkness has blinded the eyes of bats, salamanders, and crabs because they have been in dark caves for so long. If you, like them, continue in the dark caves of unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness, you too will become blind spiritually.
Just as darkness in the physical realm blinds the eyes of our material being, so do these three forms of hatred blind the spiritual eyes of our immaterial being. Romans 8:13 tells us, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” The death here is not that of the physical but of spiritual. For whether you live according to the flesh or by the Spirit of God you will die physically.  
Therefore, those whose love is growing cold are experiencing spiritual death. When things freeze they die. I John 2:11 said that whoever hates his brother is in darkness. Just as light causes physical life to flourish so does love cause spiritual life to prosper. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14] Sun light for us, as well as the whole world is a source of warmth, energy, and is part of the necessary ingredients for sustaining life. Without it plants wouldn’t grow, we would be in darkness, sickness and malnutrition would be inevitable and ultimately we would die.
I John 2:10 said that if we love each other we would abide in the light. Jesus stated in Luke 17:3-5, “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents forgive him. “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” They didn’t say increase our love, but they said increase our faith. So what is faith? The fruit of our faith is love.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” This verse is clear; to really have faith means that you are no longer living for yourself. People today identify with Christ in joy, peace, and kindness, but what about the cross? What about suffering?   I Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love suffers long!” Suffering takes everything that is fake about our faith in God and makes it real. The depth of one’s love is realized by the extent of suffering that their love calls them to.
You Cannot Manufacture Love.
During winter life becomes fragile. In the winter of 2007, in Tulsa Oklahoma, the people there had the worst ice storm they’ve had in decades. Tree limbs would begin to break and fall off. I was told that President George Bush declared it to be a natural disaster. People said that over 200,000 homes didn’t have electricity for about 1-2 weeks.
Earlier I said that during winter life becomes fragile. If you are easily provoked, frustrated, critical, and impatient; then winter is the season of your soul. And I believe that if Jesus were here in the flesh, He would look into your eyes, see the pain in your heart, wrap a towel around His waist, place your feet into a basin with warm water in it, and begin to wash your feet.
Thermodynamics is the study of energy. The laws of thermodynamics tell us that all of the energy in this world is progressing from bad to worse, unless there is input.  Jesus said that the love of many would progress from hot to cold. And like all of the energy of this world, without the input of His life our love will grow cold. You cannot manufacture love, but it is manifest within you [Leonard Johnson].
I had gone with a family I was staying with on my first journey to Dillon, South Carolina, because they had some work they needed to do. While I was there I met a man named Leonard Johnson who spoke those words to me. You cannot manufacture love; like matter, it can neither be created nor destroyed. God is love [I John 4:16]. Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” We will cease striving to love, and the burden of it will be transformed into joy if we will set our hearts on becoming one with the Lord, and to remain in a consciousness of His presence.
In 2004 I was a department manager of a Hobby Lobby in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One night around Christmas time I had just got off work and I was waiting for my mom to pick me up. I had a normal day, nothing spectacular or extraordinary happening. Until a thought came to my mind, “I am like a newly-wed eager to rush home and be with Jesus the lover of my soul.” This thought filled me with such awe, passion, and peace. It was then that I realized that the only reason why I felt this towards Jesus was because I felt it coming from Him towards me. This truth just multiplied the effects of that thought.
My mom picked me up and asked me how my day went, and I calmly said, “Mom I can’t talk right now, the Lord is doing something deep in me.” I dropped her off, then went to my apartment and when I arrived there I rushed inside and headed for my bedroom. I turned on some instrumental music and put it on repeat [this song is on my picture pages on my website]. I was lost for words as His presence took me away to a glorious place where all I could do is groan. This lasted for hours. I just laid on the floor with my face to the ground. I was in tears. I needed this so much. I was dry and my soul was thirsty for His presence.
The thought that kept coming to me with wave upon wave of anointing was this: “He’s so longsuffering.” I was filled. Psalm 133 states, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity…It is like the dew of Mount Hermon.” Mount Hermon received such large amounts of snow and rain that it provided a source of moisture for the lands below. So it was with this manifestation of God’s presence that filled my soul. Like a potent perfume that someone sprayed in their bedroom before they left to go out for the night, when they returned they could still smell its fragrance lingering in the air.
This encounter with God provided such an immense, tangible love, that for several weeks nothing seemed to frustrate or provoke me. I was very mild and gentle. It was so easy to love. I desired nothing more than to serve others. I wanted to share this blessing with everyone in the world. Many times I’ll be at a church service or Christian concert and I can feel the presence of God and I’ll turn to someone and hug their neck and begin to pray for them. I walked out of a Wal-Mart restroom one day and saw an elderly lady sitting in a motorized shopping cart and I immediately dropped to my knees, put my arm around her and began to pray for her.
The presence of the Lord makes us highly affectionate. And most people do what they feel. People need us to be affectionate. Colossians 3:12 says, “…Put on bowels of mercies…” That word bowels means tender, inward affections.
Many Christians think that if the world could see someone raised from the dead that they will then believe, however, Luke 16:31 Jesus teaches, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” The greatest testimony to the world that God abides in us is I John 4:12, “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” This scripture confirms what Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “Love one another as I have loved you. By this the whole world will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If someone killed a person in your family, whom you dearly love, and the world wanted to know how you felt and what you had to say about it. What if you mildly replied, “It is my prayer for the murderer that he would know Jesus Christ and be filled with His love.”
If a man burned your house and all that was inside, so that nothing but ashes were left, and all you have to say is, “I forgive you, Jesus loves you, I love you, please turn to Him.”
In 2005 I dreamed I was witnessing to some thugs on their front porch in a neighborhood. As I was speaking to them, we heard tires screeching and one said, “Everybody down,” so I walked off of the porch and got down on my knees. It was a drive-by shooting. I got shot on my right side and left shoulder. The man who shot me got out of his car and was heading for us with what looked like a nine millimeter in his hand. I was the closest person to him so when he got to me he stopped walking and began to point the gun in my face. But as he did, I was violently moved with compassion towards him. So, I grabbed his legs and cried out, “Forsake this life and turn to Jesus. Turn to Him with all of your heart. Turn to Jesus.” Tears were streaming down my face, and my heart was bursting with God's love for him. Sadly, he turned and walked away.
These are extreme cases but let’s say that a drunk driver run’s into your car as you’re waiting at a traffic light to turn green. It jerks you, your neck hurts, the back end of your car is destroyed, and they don’t have insurance. All you were concerned about was them and the condition of their soul, whether they knew Jesus or not. What a witness to the world!
As I was carrying the cross summer of 2008 a man stopped to talk with me and told me about an interview he saw on TV of an atheist, and his view of Christianity. The atheist said, “Christians don’t really believe in the Bible. But if they do believe, then they must be the most cold-hearted creatures on earth.” If an atheist were to gaze through the scope of your life, what would they see? Jesus? Or gossiping, complaining, unforgiveness, impatience, and self-indulgence? How can we condemn an atheist for not believing in God, when he cannot even see God working in our lives? If God isn’t real to us how then can we piously act all surprised when He is not real to them?
As I said earlier, many of us think that if the world could see someone raised from the dead then they’d believe, but as we learned from Jesus, if they don’t listen to God’s word neither will they be persuaded though one were to rise from the dead. People will reason things out in their minds. I John 4:12 said no one has seen God at any time, but if we love one another God abides in us. It is the outrageous love that Christ has for us and that we are to share with each other and the whole world that will persuade them.
A man called preacher John Griffith, told me a sermon he heard once from an old country preacher. There was a large gathering of people, kind of like a crusade, with many tele-evangelist and famous speakers. John Griffith told me that this country preacher was very humble. He stood up and walked to the microphone and said, “I don’t care if anyone goes to hell. Nor do I care about those starving to death and dying from malnutrition. I don’t care about those who are hurting from a broken relationship, loss of a loved one, or the children who are hooked on drugs today. But tonight, I am deeply disturbed that I don’t care.”
If we say we love Jesus and aren’t reaching out to the world, we are at our best liars and cowards! [I John 2:4] If we truly care about our grandmother who is lonely, and feels like nobody loves her or is thinking about her, we go and visit her. If our brother is complaining about pain in his chest, we pray for him and take him to the doctor. If someone, anyone you love is depressed you call or go to them, and give them compassion and comfort, and stay there with them until their countenance brightens up.
Why do you do all of these things? Because you truly care for them.  I John 3:16-18 states, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay our lives down for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” Basically, the atheist in his interview was preaching the same message John preached in his letter. “But whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
And I agree with the atheist; for if you know the truth that sets people free from vanity, death, and hell and you don’t share it, how does the love of God abide in you? [John 8:32] If your prayers are powerful and effective, and you’re not praying for people, how does the love of God abide in you? [James 5:15]
Many times I’ll be at a gas station or grocery store in line to pay for my things and I’ll turn to the person next to me and begin praying for them. One time I walked into a Wal-Mart entrance and a man was walking out, I grabbed his hand and said, “Pray with me.” I prayed for him, and he ended up giving his life to Christ!
II Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” If Jesus died for all people, then all of us must have been dead in sin. He did die for all. Why? To save us from hell, suffering, sickness? This verse says, so that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again!
If your preacher asked you to witness to the first people you saw the next day and to tell them, “Jesus loves you,” would you do it? What if you were given $100 for every person you told that to? How much is a soul worth to you? We know how much one is worth to Jesus. The same question He asked Peter 2000 years ago is the same question He asks us today, “Do you love Me?” “Feed My sheep.”
Have you ever been told or told anyone that love doesn’t force itself on people? If I saw someone laying down on train tracks attempting suicide, I would immediately go to rescue them. They may kick and scream and say love doesn’t force itself on people but I don’t care about what they say or if they reject my help, I care about them. Those who don’t share the message of Christ with others don’t believe in Christ themselves! However if they do believe, I agree with the atheist. They must be the most cold-hearted creatures in the world, to not care more about the Lamb who is worthy to receive the reward of His suffering; to not care more about those who are spiritually dead, than their own comfort and safety. A Lady name Jeanie Galindo told a group of people, “It is time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
Jesus is asking today, the question He asked over 2,000 years ago, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” [Luke 6:46] If you’re not surrendering your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ now, here on earth, what makes you think you will do it in His kingdom when you die? Sure, you may bend your knee and say Jesus Christ is Lord when you see Him, but likewise everyone in Heaven and on Earth will do so as well, godly and ungodly!
God in the new testament raised up a generation of believers that turned the world upside down. [Acts 17:6] But now He is raising a generation to turn the church upside down. We do so many things backwards. For example: We invite all of our friends over for a dinner; we watch movies and talk about the weather, work, and politics. We then pat each other on the backs, praising one another with words like, “That sure was a good dinner,” “You’re so kind,” “You worked so hard to prepare this for us.”
Why is it that so many of us only invite those we know? When was the last time you invited a stranger to a meeting like that? Or a homeless person? Or had taken the meeting, along with the food out to the streets where the people are? Jesus said when you make a dinner or supper, to not invite your friends, brethren, kinsmen, or rich neighbors, lest they repay you. But when you make a feast call the maimed, the poor, the lame, and the blind. [Luke 14:12-13]
I met a man named Trent Johnson on the North and South Carolina border when I was carrying the cross. He and his brother Jimmy Johnson live out on a farm with their families in Hartsville, SC. They dropped me off and picked me up for a couple weeks as I carried the cross from Patrick to Columbia. I feel like they’re my family. Their children: Kayla, Madison, Coyt, Matthew and Nathan are such a blessing to my soul. They love me so much. They sit next to me and hug me. They simply enjoy my presence. They're so happy to see me and the excitement doesn't run dry. I never get old or boring to them. What joy Jesus must feel when we feel the same way towards Him as these children feel towards me. We talk of a dream saying how we long for God to take us to places in His heart. However, God is longing for us to make that dream a reality. But Instead of pursuing His dream, we're pursuing the American dream.
Salvation comes by grace through faith. [Ephesians 2:8] Faith is work. [James 2:24-26] The fruit of faith is love. [Luke 17:3-5] So everyone that is born of God loves. [I John 4:7]  Salvation is not merely getting on your knees and confessing Jesus Christ is Lord. If that were true all would be saved including the demons. For one day, in heaven and on earth, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. [Philippians 2:10-11]
Jesus expects everyone to serve Him, from the greatest to the least. Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells us that a master gave some talents to three servants. To one He gave five, another two, and another one. Those to whom He gave the five and the two, doubled what they had received, and when their master came He was pleased, and said, enter into the joy of your Lord. However, the servant to whom He gave only one didn’t do anything with what he had been given. And the master said to him, you wicked and slothful servant... cast this unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. So it will be with all of those who stand before Him in that holy and terrible day, if you do nothing with the grace you have received.
Remember this: the religious leaders during the time of Jesus’ birth failed to recognize Him. However, there were two, who most would call old fogies, Anna and Simeon [Luke 2:34-38], who were so close to the Lord that they recognized Him even though He was a little Baby.
Our significance does not come from what we can build, accomplish, or attain; but our significance comes from our obedience to the will of God and knowing Him. Every member of the body must do its part. Shortly put, we need each other, the world needs Jesus, and He has chosen us to bring Him into their lives.
Jesus in the Gospel of Luke chapter 10:25-37 talks about a man who fell among thieves, stripping him of his clothing, wounding him, and departed leaving him half dead. A priest and a Levite came and looked, then passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who wasn’t even considered part of the chosen people, saw him, and had compassion. He bandaged up his wounds pouring on oil and wine; set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
Many in the church today don’t go that far with those they’re helping. They go one mile then stop. Jesus told us to go the extra mile. This is what the atheist and the whole world is looking for. How far is the extra mile? It is right outside of Jerusalem, on a hill called Golgotha, where Christ died. It is as far as the cross! This Samaritan paid the inn keeper and told him, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.” There are those in the world that walk a mile with someone. Those in the world love those who love them. If the love God has poured into our hearts is so great, then why don’t we die to ourselves so that He can live in and through our lives and get all of the glory He deserves? All of creation is waiting for the children of God to be revealed! [Romans 8:19]
If there is no power to live a holy life; if there is no love great enough to make one lay down their life for another; if there is no joy that exceeds the entertainment put out in the theatres and video games; If there is no peace that passes all understanding when times of trial and loss come; then how is the hope we profess credible in the eyes of the world? The whole world is saying: stop telling us that you are Christians; start being Christians!
I saw a young girl walking on the roadside in Georgia one day as I was driving back to the home where I was staying, while on my first journey. For some reason I decided to pray for her. I said, “Lord, please send someone to help her.” He replied, “You help her.” So the person who was with me and I turned around and went to find her. I pulled over to her and asked her if she was okay. She said that she just left an abusive relationship and that she was 3 months pregnant.
We talked for a while, and I called the family who I was staying with to see if we could bring her there. They said yes. She ate some food and we all talked with her. I paid for her to stay in one of the nicest motels for two days. Miles and Kay Riley from South Carolina paid for the next four days. A church took up an offering and paid for another 4-5 days. During this time that family I introduced her to took her out shopping to get clothes, a suitcase, and a Bible. Others raised money for her plane ticket to San Jose, California to go to a Teen Challenge where pregnant women and women with children could go and get discipled.
She arrived and stayed there for 1 ½ days and was told to leave because she lashed out at the director. When I would talk to her on the phone she would hang up on me at times when I said something she didn’t want to hear. She’d call back later and apologize. I asked the Lord, “How many miles do you want me to walk with her Lord?” He gently said to me, “You only walked one. The extra mile now is to pray for her.”
I stay in touch with her mom, who said that she was back in Georgia and is doing much better. Praise God! We think we have come a long way because we build a home for a poor person or tell a cashier that Jesus loves them. But how far do we go? We go to the bloody cross where the nail pierced Son of God was crucified and we begin to look on Him whom we pierced! For He is Worthy of all that we are, have, and will become! He suffered the agonies of hell and ransomed us from death.
America makes up a measly 6% of the earth’s population, yet we consume over 40% of its resources. Only 8% of the people in the world have a car, the rest don’t. Millions have no clean water, no food, no medicine, and no will [inner strength] to become better.
Jesus made an indictment in Luke 16:19-31 saying, “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.” The beggar died and went to a safe place called Abraham’s bosom. The rich man died and went to a place of torment. Then he cried out to Abraham and asked him to send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool his tongue; for he was tormented, being in flames. This is why Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” [Matthew 5:7]
People say I worked hard to achieve where I’m at. I went to school and studied while others partied. I sacrificed so much to be where I’m at today. What I have is mine, I earned it, and I can do whatever I want with it. It is true; you can do whatever you wish with what you have. You can make a right choice or a wrong choice. But know that Deuteronomy 8:14, 17-18 says, “When your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. “Then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth…” Just as the LORD provided us with wisdom, knowledge, strength, and good health; so it is our responsibility to give to those who are in need, even if they don’t change or want to change. We are not serving the poor but the Living God, the Eternal One, Creator of all things!
If you were on the roof of a 15 story building, leaning over the wall on the edge, holding in one hand an ancient artifact that is worth millions, and you spent your whole life searching for it and its finally in your grip; and in the other hand a murderer or a thief, what would you do? You have to make a choice, one or the other. Which one will you save? The money or the thief?
Again, if there was a father who just discovered that his only son had 24 hours to live, unless he could pay to have a surgery done, which would save his life; the amount totaled not only what he had in the bank, but many other things he had; Does he not rejoice because he can sale it and use it to save his son? And make the payment so that he can live? I tell you the truth, He praises the Living God that He blessed him with all that he had so that he can save his son! Shall we not likewise use what we have for the glory of God to reach those for whom He bled and died?
II Timothy 3:4 says that people will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Is your love growing for pleasure or for God? This is one way to gauge your spiritual temperature.  Ecclesiastes 5:16, “And what profit does he have who labors for the wind?” That’s what many today are grasping for. Matthew 6:20, “lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Cold love is like an airborne virus that goes from the next person to the other. Wherever the person is infected goes, those around him become infected as well. And those who spread this infection the most, sadly, are those that stand in the pulpits and preach every week. It spreads like wildfire from the pulpit to the pews, from the preacher to the people. They don’t realize it, nor do the members of their congregations. But it spreads, because those, to whom the messages are delivered, often compare themselves to their pastors instead of Jesus.
I have a deep respect for pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so on. However, if they are living like a celebrity, with luxurious and relaxed living and their members know it. They become their standard for how deep [or how shallow] their love should be. Pastors must bear their crosses. Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” If Jesus said in Luke 14:27, that whoever does not bear his cross and go after Him couldn’t even be His disciple, how much more become a pastor? Those in their congregations think that if the pastor can live that way and make it without getting his skin singed in hell, then surely I can as well. No matter how loud a person preaches, the way they live will always speak volumes louder!
The reason why our love burned so hot for the Lord in the beginning when we first came to Christ was because of the amazing grace He poured into our hearts, setting us free from desires for the world! The debt we owed to save our souls from death and hell was paid in full. Grace didn’t come free, it cost the Son of God pain in His soul and pain in His body. Is there still pain in His soul today? Does He still “feel the nails”? I just began crying out to God as I finished that last sentence and said, “Have mercy on me, purify my heart. Have mercy on your people and purify their hearts.” I got up from my knees and He told me to get back down and think about what I asked Him for. As I was thinking about it, I told Him that I wanted to be like Him and He told me to bear my cross and love people.” “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” [I John 3:1] The manner of love He displayed on the cross for us was outrageous.
Is There a Cure?
I don’t know if I would call it a cure for cold love, however if there is, then it would be Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Was the cross ever a place of joy? Peace? Of course not! But it was a place of the deepest love. It was a bloody place where the precious Son of God poured out His heart and guts; it was a place of agony and death. We’re all not called to carry a wooden cross, but we are permitted, granted, blessed, chosen, called, to identify with Jesus in death to self. Let us end all weakness and failure in death, because with it also comes the power that raised Him from the dead.
The Darkest Time in History
Many people think and say that the time we’re living in now is the darkest time that there has ever been with all the wars, murders, gangs, violence, drugs and so on. Isaiah 60:2 states, “For darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people.” However the darkest time that there ever was and will be, was when the holy Son of God was nailed to the cross, and His blood was dripping onto the ground with people mocking Him and gambling for His clothes.
Matthew 27:45 says, “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.” This darkness was a supernatural occurrence, because Jesus was crucified at the time of Passover, which was celebrated only at the full moon, a time in which it would be impossible for the sun to be eclipsed. Perhaps all of hell gathered around Jesus to celebrate His death. Perhaps hell assumed they had the victory. However, death was swallowed up in victory, as Jesus by the grace of God tasted death for every man. I John 2:8 declares, “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining!” Now when there was only one Jesus, there are millions of little ones all over the earth, as the Light of Life, living in us shines in the world, the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Is the world a dark and dreary place to you? Perhaps your love is cold. The world always appears brighter to those who love the way Jesus loves. But if you’re not shining His light into the world, you could only expect it to look dark when you see it as it is.
Judgment on Love
In the year of 2006 I had a terrible yet inspiring and empowering dream. What I saw in this dream was a large stone chair the color of ivory. Before the chair was a deep valley of darkness, beginning from the ground downward as far as my eye could see. I looked again at the chair, though it was from a distance and someone sat on it. Then I saw a beautiful orange fire and it swirled around the chair, in a certain pattern and around the person sitting in it. Then all that was left from where the person was sitting was darkness, and as soon as the fire vanished, all that darkness from where that person was sitting went down into the valley of darkness which was before the chair.
Again, another person came and sat on the chair and that fire came out from behind the chair and began to do its pattern around the chair and the person in it. Then I saw a beautiful white light appear, replacing the person in the chair, and as soon as that light appeared the flames vanished and that beautiful white light went to an opening of the same light from above the chair.
Now while I watched the fire swirl around the chair and the person in it both times, all I could think about was times when I was selfish, proud, angry, resentful, critical, and lazy. And I began to cry while I was sleeping, with deep groans, mourning of all the times when I could have reached out to someone with the Gospel and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. But instead of doing this I was all of the above: selfish, proud, angry, resentful, critical, and lazy. All of the many hours I spent trying to reason things out in my mind, I could have spent in prayer, serving, and witnessing.
In this dream it was as if I had died or someone else did and my whole life flashed before my very eyes while being able to comprehend it at the same time. It’s not that I wasn’t praying, serving, and witnessing, but that I held back so much. In this dream I saw the reality of how little time we spend here on earth and how little for the Master I had done.  Then I woke up.
Somehow we think we'll be here forever. Life is like a vapor, we're here then gone and there is no way to return again, there are no more second chances when you die. When you take your last breath, it is over. If you feel you’re nearing the end of your life, and you feel in your heart that you have not done much for God, start now. I John 5:19 says, "The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." James 2:20 "Faith without works is dead." I Corinthians 13:3 says, "Though I give all I possess to the poor and lay down my life [give my body to be burned] but have not love, it profits me nothing."
I always wondered how it was possible to give all this-even your whole life and have not love. I thought perhaps he was talking about building your own great name and fame or so that after you die people will talk about you. But the Holy One showed me a deeper truth, that there are millions of Christians today who are giving all they have and laying down their lives to receive an eternal reward. That is selfish-self seeking; I Corinthians 13:5 states, "Love does not seek its own."
Dearly beloved child of God, life is short please make it count for something. And remember, you can't make up for the mistakes you made or the pain you caused in others when you die. You cannot reach people with the Gospel and love of the Lord Jesus Christ when you die. Only what is done in love will abide the fire, everything else will be ashes! Ashes are gray, and every gray area in your life will be ashes unless you repent!
Hosea 10:12 declares, “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Ground is fallow because nothing is being done to it. Fallow means hard. This is the condition of many hearts in the church today, not because of things they’re doing, but because of things they’re not doing. Hebrews 4:7, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” Don’t harden your hearts today by not doing the things commanded by the Lord. But till the ground, break it up, and repent. God cannot work with a hard, stiff-necked, rebellious person.
He has shown you what to do. You can go down to the altar and confess your sins, but that doesn’t break up the fallow ground, the hardness of your heart. It is only by humbling yourself with sincere repentance, by doing what He esteems that will break up the fallow ground of your heart. He was broken for you and you must be broken for Him. His love for you is everlasting! By His loving Kindness He is drawing you, even now. As it is written, “I will give them a heart to know Me; and they shall turn to Me with all of their soul.” [Jeremiah 24:7]
In this chapter I said, why is it that love burns so hot in the beginning then after a while it fades away? Why is it that the lifespan of a fire is not in the flames but in the coals? Because it is all about self. Not, “What can I do?” But, “What can I get?” The coals are the lifespan of the fire because they are the substance “work”. The flames are the most attractive part of the fire, and our eyes are drawn to them. If all that attracted you to God was the flames, what He will give to you, then your love and passion for Him will grow cold; but if it is the “coals”, the substance of who He is, it will burn hot. The substance of who He is, is the truth of who He is. Truth means reality. The truth of God is manifest by the reality of the creation. It is the truth, the substance of who He is, that we must surrender ourselves to, and then we will begin to burn with genuine passion and love for Him and one another!
Remember this, that if you have been in a snow ball fight for even a few minutes without using gloves to protect your hands from the cold, they will become numb and insensible. Likewise to be sensitive to the leading and feelings of God’s Spirit our love must burn hot.