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.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

ATTENTION MEN AND WOMEN: THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE:

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).

"You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: 

But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

And if your right eye offends you pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.

And if your right hand offends you, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of you members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell" (Matthew 5:27-30).

"For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell" 

"Remove your way far from her, and come not near the door of her house" . . . 

"For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his goings.

His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be entangled with the cords of his sins.

He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray" (Proverbs 5:3-5, 8, 21-23).

Lustful looks are not merely your eyes beholding a person presently; it is also looking back at memories, mental images, and people you have never known which you have imagined. 

BELOVED, the Scripture clearly portrays God's affection for His people where it is says, "Keep me as the apple of Your eye" and, "Even the hairs of your head are all numbered". To be the apple of someone's eye means that if you were to look into their eyes that you would see your reflection in them because they are looking at you. 

These are precious Scriptures. 

Consider DEAR brother and sisters:

"Grieve not the Spirit". If you were to look into the eyes of God would you see them reflecting your adultery? His eyes are in every place. Would His eyes be filled with water or fire if you looked into them? 

His loving kindness brings us to repentance and by the fear of the Lord we depart from evil. 

If you saw the only Faithful and True looking at you, what would you say, what would you do? 

Would your face blush with shame, your heart throb with fear, then fall at His feet and draw near? 

Or would you shrink back, and try to hide, all of that for which there is no disguise to fool such eyes?

Perhaps you would rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, because against all sin, even secret sins, your heart was faithfully warring?

In which moment your eyes did lock with His, 

and you greeted His nail pierced feet with much a holy kiss! 

DEAR friends: Which describes you? His grace is sufficient, His power available and His mercies are new!

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God".


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.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Emmanuel, GOD with us.

Love for me and you, poured out in crimson hue, from Emmanuel's veins, which is translated GOD with us.

 

Love Divine! Tis all mine! Both now and forever if I abide in the Vine, Who is Emmanuel, which is translated GOD with us.


What joy unspeakable and full of glory! He is the eternal life, the living Story, of all goodness, time and history, Emmanuel, the sweetest Mystery, which is translated GOD with us.


All of Earth's tears, He drank in, to deliver us from sin, through the power of His cross, that we might be born again, saved from wrath, saved from hell, with Him forever to dwell, His name is Emmanuel, which is translated GOD with us.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Gnat, speck, or log?

 Why is it a problem for you if others strain at your gnats? Would you have gnats buzzing around your head? Would you not rather be free from such carnal annoyances? Can you not give thanks to God for such laborers? You don't have to pay them anything! If others are willing to strain at them for you (free of charge) and make you better then why not accept it with joy and have peace with yourself? 

"But there are no gnats", you say! Well, if that is true, then what harm can you suffer by them straining at the air? 

What is important, is that your speck is removed and that you help others see their logs by not getting offended when they take notice of your speck. In fact, if you take offense at their labors, then the gnat they are straining at has lighted upon a log! For it is hypocrisy to be uncharitable towards another's lack of charity towards you. 

"Pursue peace, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord".

"Pursue peace with all men, as much as it lies within you".

Some see a log; while others looking at the same thing see a speck. Still others see nothing. These opinions are irrelevant. What does God see? If you walk in the Spirit, that is what God sees. 

When emotions are heated and stirred by injustice, trials, etc, are you able to admit your faults, agree with sound correction, and admit room for improvement? 

A speck is still a speck. A justified speck, however, becomes a log and many have established a speck removal industry when they should have built a sawmill!

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?


BEHOLD THE LAMB . . . BLEEDING FOR YOU AND FOR ME!!!! BEHOLD ETERNITY!!!! BEHOLD THE KINGDOM GOD HAS PROMISED TO GIVE TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM!!! BEHOLD THE LOST SOULS BLINDED BY THE RULER OF THIS WORLD!!! TIME IS SHORT DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!!! GO LABOR FOR TRUTH, THE GOSPEL, THE KINGDOM, THE LOVE OF GOD!!! BE HOLY!!!! REDEEM THE TIME!!!! THESE DAYS ARE EVIL BUT THE LOVE OF GOD IS GREATER THAN THE EVIL!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The seeds of Sodom

 The sin of Sodom was pride, abundance of idleness, affluence and they did not care for the poor and needy. The seeds of Sodom in the United States is evident. People have become millionaires from inventions of idleness. They have invented indoor trampoline parks, laser tag, paint balling, roller coasters and all kinds of things to facilitate idle souls. Souls who have little to no vision for the kingdom of God, the heart of Jesus, His love for lost souls and the poor. 

The United States is perhaps the leading example of what abundance of idleness actually is. 

Think of it: There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of people who have become rich from creating entertainments for thrill seekers and from those who chase vanity like it is eternal life. They have made millions and billions of profit off of the abundance of idleness in people's hearts. 

However, the holy Scriptures say that God has set eternity into our hearts. Yet, millions of people are laboring away, working diligently to fund their idleness. Their restless hearts have not rested in JESUS. They have not tasted and seen how good the Lord is. They have not acquired a taste for the eternal. They have not lifted up their eyes from earthly things to the harvest that is truly white. 

They strive to enjoy life without the ETERNAL LIFE, who is JESUS CHRIST. 

They do not know who they are in Christ, what things awaits the faithful in eternity, and do not live with a sound sense of Divine purpose. 

Why??? The apostle said, "Awake to righteousness" "Be not ignorant, but understand what the will of the Lord is, redeeming the time because the days are evil" "Awake O sleeper, arise from the dead and Christ will give you light". 

Many are asleep. The idle inventions of men have satiated the souls of those who love the world and the things of the world. 

Many are asleep. Dead preachers, hirelings, and the carnal reasoning of family, friends, neighbors and church folk has lulled them to a place of happiness in spiritual idleness. 

JESUS said, "Where a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also". Treasure is not summed up in bank accounts, wallets, safes, or other places. What do you love to do? What do you think and talk about the most? Where do you spend your "free time"? What are the desires burning in your heart? What are you truly working so hard for? 

Examine yourself: Are you pursuing the vain and idle inventions of those who profit off your spiritual apathy? 

Consider what the apostle meant when he said, "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal" 2 Corinthians 4). 

What are you looking at? Do you really believe JESUS? Do you really believe in eternity? Do you really believe that you live in a world in which you cannot survive without an intimate daily abiding relationship with Jesus? Do you really believe this world is an enemy of God? Do you really believe that souls who have not been truly born again die a second death? Do you really believe in the righteous judgement of God? Do you have any joy in your salvation that you have to share with others around you? Are you so in love with Jesus that you cannot stop talking about him so that all other interests have died? Has Jesus Christ captivated you and forever won your heart through His cross? Do you expect to walk hand in hand with the nail pierced Christ while enjoying the things of the world for which His hands were pierced? 

His hands were pierced for the seeds of Sodom: Pride, abundance of idleness, the kind of affluence of Sodom and for the greed which does not care for the poor and needy.

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).