YOU'RE BEING TOO LOUD!

YOU'RE BEING TOO LOUD!

You're being too loud!

"What do you mean?"

 "Well... exactly what I said. You're being too loud!"

 ... I said it pretty soft, I think... I think it was pretty important too...

 

Well, it doesn't matter how soft you say something... if it's words without love, they have no meaning. It doesn't matter how important you think your words are. If you have no love in you, it doesn't matter. You could be telling your child, or children, that it's wrong to do something. If you're screaming at them, they take it like you're the equivalent of the boogeyman. But in love, things can be accomplished too, can't they?

 

 "But... you don't know my family."

You're right. I don't... but I know mine.

 

You could be playing worship behind a drumset and crashing cymbals with your hearts desire. Without love, your words would only be as productive as the cymbals on the set your playing on! It's funny how people can walk into a church and complain about how the worship was like a rock concert, yet another can walk into a church and complain it was a rock concert simply because the church was in contention with one another. They were, in essence, the rock concert! Like a kid in a drumming convention. Going around hitting every cymbal he sees. Now, that's an interesting thought, isn't it?

1 Corinthians 13, if you're not familiar with it, is the love chapter. The book of 1 Corinthians is introduced by the Apostle Paul, and he's talking to those who are sanctified in Jesus who are called to be saints, as well as people everywhere who call on the name of Jesus.

 

"To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to  be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours."

1 Corinthians 1:2

 

Now, usually you can tell by Paul's introduction of the book if he's going to be encouraging... or if he's going to tear the veil of their thinking. (What I call ripping them a new one). He's addressing the saints, and everyone else who calls on the name of Jesus. In the first chapter, there is division over petty things, as simple as who people are following.

Person 1: "I'm following Jesus!"

Person 2: "Well I'm following peter!"

Paul reminds them to simply be about The Lord, and not only be about the lord, but to speak simply about the lord, and not just be about elaborate speech. The fact is, the church in Corinth isn't ready to go forth because they're quarreling amongst themselves. They're even struggling with things "pagans don't do"... yeah, That's bad. Paul explains the different things the church needs to be doing, and explains how it needs to work as one, though with many people making different parts, each contributing their own spiritual gifts. Now we get to chapter 13, and he talks about love, love, love. This is what happens without Love, this is what love looks like, this is what you are called to be about. Love!

Paul tackled the main problems first. Then brought it to love. Because, to a group of people who are struggling with issues that need to be addressed, you can't start out the address of your letter by saying " "love is patient, love is kind." Blah. You address the main problems first, working your way to remind everyone that this is what you are called to be about. Love.

 

It's love that covers a multitude of sins      (1 Peter 4:8), But they weren't focused on that. So Paul goes after the main problems and puts it in contrast with how these issues will be effectively resolved. So, here and now, anyone ever get caught up in the "this is right thinking" and "that's obviously wrong" type of talk? (Obviously rhetorical). Anyone ever go to see what the bible has to say about it all? Back in the second chapter, Paul tells this same church this is what it's all about.

1. Christ

2. Him Crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2) 

But we get caught up in how we talk, what we talk about, and who we talk about. What style music is okay, and what isn't, etc. When, really, if we do what we think is right, it doesn't matter if it's without love anyway! If all of it was in pride for the style rather than simply living the Jesus style... You're out of style!

1. Just be about Jesus

2. Make sure you Love like Jesus

3. Make sure you're always reading the life of Jesus.

4. Make sure you're always praying to Jesus, as He makes intercession for you. That's important!

WHAT ABOUT GOD?

WHAT ABOUT GOD?

"I will praise You, O Lord , with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works."

Psalm 9:1

 

The bible gives a clear demand of the Christian, and that is to obey the will of God. In a world filled with a high esteem of self-worth, it's important and crucial to the life of the believer to keep a right perspective of the life Jesus has called us to live. 

 

In the above passage, the psalmist gives the kind of perspective that we as Christians are supposed to emulate. He states that he will praise the Lord with his whole heart. Not just part of his heart, or half of his heart, but all of his heart. This type of a perspective cannot be obtained through self-worth, as man will automatically default to whatever it is at the time that will please their heart and bring ultimate and most times immediate gratification and satisfaction, all the while sacrificing the perspective that God desires for them to have. A God who in scripture says "I know the thoughts I think toward you" certainly desires that we emulate the life He planned for us to have as His child, set apart from the world and untouched by the sting of sin and death.

 

"I will tell of all your marvelous works"

 

 "Why is it that our society today just doesn't seem to get it?" The psalmist says he will tell of all God's marvelous works, meaning anyone he comes into contact with will hear of this God, who gives life to any man who repents and lives according to the will of God. He is a man set apart for the work and will of God, living in a generation that cannot save itself by its own will power because it simply doesn't know the good news of the gospel, unless there is an intervention by God.

There is a reason why as a believer you are called to be the light, and that is because the world around us is living in darkness. This darkness did not come from God, but was brought into the world after man had sinned against God. Throughout the old testament, nations rise and fall and most of what we see today in themes and variations has already happened thousands of years prior. You as a Christian, set apart by the will of God to proclaim the love and message of Jesus Christ, need to shine your light in this world. As long as you know what you must do, you must do it as long as you are here on this earth.

PRAYER

PRAYER

""Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”"

Luke 11:1

 

The disciples still had much to learn when they were walking with Jesus. They noticed that Jesus was praying somewhere, and they wanted to learn how to pray. What a thing to ask their teacher! "Teacher, we wanna know how to pray. You know, we know that John's disciples were taught how to pray, and we would like to know how to pray as well."

Have you ever had a question to ask the teacher back in grade school, but you were hesitant to ask because you weren't sure if it was a dumb question to ask? Well, Jesus is known as our Wonderful Counselor, who taught his disciples in every way what the will of God for their lives looked like. Whenever they had questions on something, Jesus answered their questions. They were there to learn from The Master, and He was there to teach them what He Himself had already mastered. So He taught them to pray, and modeled for them how they should pray.  

 

"So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”"

Luke 11:2‭-‬4

 

As we take a look at the modeled prayer Jesus instructed His disciples to say, it's shown that He demonstrated a format which can be arranged into the following acronym:

Adoration

Confession

Thanksgiving

Supplication

NOTE: The ACTS model of prayer is only an example of how you can pray that breaks down the most important things you should be praying about. It's a simple guide to walk you through how to pray to God, and I hope this helps if you are one who is a new believer in Christ. 

 

ADORATION

It's most important to show respect and reverance where it's due, and that must come from the heart. Show God your love for Him in your prayer, whether it be in song or by reciting His promises. This part of prayer is to recognize God in all His glory, and that should be the first thing you do when you pray, and this is why it's the first thing listed in the acronym.  

 

CONFESSION   

Confess your sins, because He is faithful and just and will forgive you of your sins and cleanse you of all unrighteousness      (1 John 1:9). Confessing your sins and laying them at the foot of the cross is a crucial part of your prayer, as you are showing that, since you adore God,  you are willing to be honest with where you went wrong or came short. It's important to do this, as it says in scripture that if you keep any sin a secret from God, He will not hear your prayers (Psalm 66:18). It's important that if you want God to hear you, then you must obey the will of God and confess your sins before Him so He can heal you and so you may have a healthy and wholesome relationship with Him. It's important to understand that God does not want you to walk around in the filth of sin, but to walk clean on the path before you. 

 

THANKSGIVING 

Since you  adore God and have confessed your sins, now you give thanks to God, whether it's His "indescribable gift" of salvation and grace toward you, or just the fact that He woke you up and are able to live another day for Him. It's important to show God that you are thankful since you are called to live a life worthy of the call of God. 

 

SUPPLICATION   

After you show your adoration, confess your sins, and give thanks to God, it is after all that you can present your requests before God. Maybe you are struggling in a sin and you need strength to overcome. Maybe a loved one or a friend is suffering through something, and you want to pray on their behalf. Maybe you are concerned by the quick and overwhelming deterioration of the world and you wish to intercede on its behalf. Whatever it may be, you can bring these requests before God. 

 

Your prayers can be as long as they want, as God desires relationship with you. Just be sure it isn't something you repeat over and over again, as God desires to hear your heart. God cannot do anything with a mindless, scripted, rehearsed prayer (Matthew 6:7). Don't be afraid to talk to Him as you would any other person, but be sure you remember who you're talking to and be respectful. 

WHAT ABOUT ME?

WHAT ABOUT ME?

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Romans 12:2

 

In a world of ME ME ME, you need more of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit. The world goes round on its own agenda, doing what it knows best to do with everything it's been given. There are many things you can do and many roads you can take to get there if you're thinking "What about me?"

But what about God?  

"Oh, I pray to God all the time! He wants me to be happy and to thrive, so that's what I'm doing by being a part of _____ or doing _____.  (fill in the blank)

Well... did you consult with God before you got into _____ or started doing _____? How do you know what God's plan is for you if you didn't consult with Him first?  

 "But it doesn't seem as if He ever answers me, so I assume what I'm doing is okay..."

Have you ever thought that maybe since you didn't go to Him first that He's just leaving you to your desires? Isn't that even remotely scary to you? The God of heaven has a plan for your life, and you don't want to see what that is because your plan is... better?! By what standard is your plan better than God's plan?  

 

"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as  yet  there  were none of them."

Psalms 139:13‭-‬16

 

Yeah... He knows you like that! So not only is there nothing that's better than what He has for you, but you also cannot hide anything from Him. If you say you are walking with Him when you really aren't, He knows that. He will not force Himself upon you, nor will He plead with you to walk in His path. The Psalmist who wrote the above psalm is David, who wanted nothing else than what God had given Him and blessed him with since he was following after God. Because David was faithful, He was blessed with more than he could have ever imagined. Despite all of the trials he might have come across, he was still faithful. When he was wrong, He admitted it and confessed it before God. Whenever David was happy, He praised God. Whenever he was angry, he was honest with God. 

"You mean... I can be honest with God???" 

Honest to God, YES!  How can you call someone father if you cannot talk with them like they're your father? Our heavenly father will meet you where you're at if you come to Him to seek relationship with Him. He will answer you, and He will provide your needs if you only ask Him. 

 

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Luke 11:9‭-‬13

 

That brings me to a time where I wasn't sure what to do in a certain situation. My family was telling me to ask for a raise at my place of employment. They told me what anyone else would tell me: 

"You've been there for two years now. Some places won't just give you a raise. You need to ask, because they won't just give it to you." 

Now me, knowing that God has provided every need for me before, knew that God would not give me anything I didn't deserve and He surely would reward me if He thought it was right for me to receive it. So I did something less common in this circumstance. I prayed, and then I waited for God to respond. I didn't feel it was the right thing to do to just go in and ask for a raise. I kid you not, in less than a month I was called into the office and I was given that raise. 

My point here is very clear. If you pray to God but you honestly don't want to have anything to do with what His will for your life is or have anything to do with Him in general, and you only go to Him because it's just "a good thing to do", then you will not receive anything from Him. You will continue to move FOR God, but your endeavor won't be blessed by Him. But if you sincerely go to Him, and your "What about me" is directed in such a way that you genuinely want to be used by God and receive what He has planned for you, then I know for sure that He will answer you. Your sincerity and meekness of heart will be seen by God, and He will bless you. 

This life is not about you. You are here to serve God, and what you do should be pleasing to Him. If you truly want what God has, then don't CONFORM to the world and do what all the supposedly "wise" are doing. If you are truly wise, then you would RENEW your mind and fill it with God's promises, and most importantly, His COMMANDS. You must OBEY God before you ASK anything of God. This is how you know for sure any motive of yours is PURE. So now that you're renewing your mind, you can accurately TEST what the will of God is. You can see for sure whether or not it is GOOD, ACCEPTABLE, and PERFECT. 

 

 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding."

Psalm 111:10

 

If God is not a person you REVERE, then you are not truly SINCERE. Come to Him and ACKNOWLEDGE Him for who He is, CONFESS to Him where you have come short, give THANKS to Him not only for what you have but who He is, and the last thing should be your SUBMISSION or what it is that you request of God, be it whatever your needs are or healing, etc. I will elaborate on the ACTS model of prayer in my next blog post. For now, I hope you have a better understanding of what God desires from You. 

 

VICTORY!

VICTORY!

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

I Corinthians 15:57 

 

What comes to mind when you hear the word victory? Is it someone winning a race? Is it your favorite team winning the final game of the season? What is your idea of victory?

This was the word of the day back when I was in high school and the marching band I took part in for 3 years at the time finally won first in the entire state of Florida. But we didn't get to that spot overnight. From the time I entered the marching band my freshman year in high school, we worked hard but we came up short by just a little bit every year. We went home feeling defeated because... Well, we won second place. You're probably thinking "second place?! That's fantastic!" And I heard that alot in those first couple of years. But it was different for us because we had all thought we put in the work it took for first place. But when we finally got there, we felt what it was like to be there and we knew what it took to get there.

The apostle Paul is talking about a different kind of victory in the passage above. Thanks be to God who gives us victory... for WHAT? Victory from the chains of the law that so held us captive because we are imperfect and could never satisfy its demands. It's important to understand that the old testament of the bible is very detailed about the time before Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us. It was a time where you had to do animal sacrifices and put these types of offerings before the Lord to be in right standing with Him. Just how many laws were there? Just over 600! How could a person in those times really experience victory in the sight of God? Well, it might seem difficult but it had to do more with the heart. When a person realized they could not possibly satisfy the law's demands, they were hopefully more aware of their place before God and confess that they have sinned and fallen short of His glory. 

The promise of a savior can be found throughout the old testament, and is quoted many times by Jesus and the apostles as a confirmation of the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ. So, yes, thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! This victory is made available to you when you confess that you are a sinner, and that there is no way you could reach God without Jesus as your Lord and savior (John 14:6) You must realize that the consequence of your sin is death for all eternity. (Romans 6:23) This is no light consequence, but it's important that you know that there is hope in Jesus Christ.  

 

"if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

Romans 10:9

 

If you want real victory, then that would be freedom from death and life forevermore with our loving father, who gave up His son for us all (John 3:16). What else would He not withhold from us? (Romans 8:32) The love of God is insurmountable, and the victory is yours when you give your life to Him. 

 

SAY "THANK YOU!"

SAY "THANK YOU!"


“Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name.


I Chronicles 29:13


"Thanksgiving time again already? The one day where I get together with all my family. I really don't feel like giving thanks. At least I get to eat!"



Thanksgiving is the day set aside every year where families gather together and share one another's company after an entire year of being apart. Maybe for some it's different, and maybe it's a smaller gathering or maybe you don't celebrate with anyone. Whatever the case may be, it's a reminder that we should be thankful.


For what? Well, there are many reasons to be thankful. King David, the man after God's own heart as described in scripture, went from being a shepherd boy tending to sheep, to a well respected king who in whatever he ate or drank he did for the glory of God. He had quite a journey to kingship, and a few times doubted the work of God in his life. There was one time just before he was recognized as king of Israel where king Saul was after him and he was going to pick up a sword. But this wasn't just any sword. This was the very sword that Goliath, the giant he had defeated just a few chapters earlier with just a sling and a stone, had carried to defeat David.


Have you ever done that in your life? You defeated battles in the name of God in His power and might... But there was that one time where you were deeply troubled to the point you were going to take care of things the world would take care of them or most commonly known as... the way you used to take care of things.


Fast forward to the above passage in scripture where, now we see David, now known as king David, is careful to give that what is rightfully God's as a way of saying thanks to Him for all He has done. So he thanks God not just for what he has or where he is in life, but despite all he did to mess things up that God would still pursue him. It's important to remember the signs of faithfulness were with David from the time he was young.



"Train up a child in the way he should go,


And when he is old he will not depart from it."


Proverbs 22:6



David, the man after God's own heart, was chosen by God to do a great task not because of his might, obviously, but because he was faithful with the little that he had. His job was not an easy job. His job was to protect... sheep. Sheep are not very smart animals, and this was David's job. He looked after the sheep and if there was any danger, he protected them. It's said that when sheep fear danger, they huddle together thus making them a bigger target. You'd be thinking "now why in the world would they do that?!" Well, they don't know any better. But David never dreaded this hefty task, He just took what he was given and was faithful. This was a man that probably worshipped God with his life, and those things that please God don't go unnoticed. David was where he was because he was faithful in the little things, the mundane things, the seemingly worthless things, and so God gave him more to do. Afterall, if he had patience in tending sheep, animals that would follow each other off a cliff if not careful, he'd surely be able to tend to the needs of his people whom were not much different than the sheep. (Now that I think of it, maybe this is where the term "sheepish" came from.)


Maybe you're wondering why nothing is working out for you in life. Do you feel like you're around the wrong people? Maybe you feel like you're in the wrong place? Maybe you just aren't seeking God. Maybe you have a job and you don't appreciate it very much and so you dream of the days where you can be on a beach not having to work or worry about stressing over provision anymore. Did you really think that one through? What would your life be like if you had no responsibility? I mean, what's it like now WITH your responsibilities?



"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."


Matthew 6:33



Do you wanna know why you're probably having such a hard time? Maybe it's because you're trying to find what pleases you instead of finding what pleases God. This is a lesson I had to learn through the years and when I finally gave my life to Jesus, things went much smoother. The things I wanted before, I no longer want. I found that God was protecting me from what had the potential to destroy me. Because of that, I realized what my purpose here on this earth was and you, my friend, need to do the same if you truly want to be happy in life. You were not put on this earth to think the way the rest of the world thinks and do what the rest of the world does. Unless, of course, you are happy with the outcome of the world to date. I'm reasonably shocked at the events happening in our world now, but my life isn't dependent in what direction the world goes. It's dependent on God and the plans He has for me, and He tells me in scripture that if I'm faithful with little, He will give me more. However, if I cannot even handle what I have been given, He won't give me more! This is why you must be careful when you say God won't give you more than you can handle. Be sure it's not because you cannot handle what you've been given.



  “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much."


Luke 16:10



When in doubt, just be faithful where you are. God will guide you to where you need to be. Be sure to keep your eyes on God, and in time I'm sure you will find much to be thankful for. Because when you give up your plan for God's plan, it's something He already knows how to complete and He will guide you through every step.



"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. "


Philippians 1:6

PRESS ON

PRESS ON

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I  do,  forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:12‭-‬14 

 

With each passing day in my walk with Jesus, it gets easier to forget my past and look forward to the future. I look at each day as if it's all I have, however it wasn't always that way. I used to be held captive by the actions of my past as if that determined the fate of my future. It wasn't until recent years that I stopped thinking that way. 

 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Romans 12:2

As time goes on and I grow closer to Jesus, the ways I used to think and act are changing day by day. It is a joy to know that my past does not determine my future. God has been in control the whole time and knows what my purpose in life is. It's something that cannot be wasted. If I was called by Him, then that's what is going to happen. 

Maybe you are being held captive by your past and feel as if there is no future for you. Well, I'm here to tell you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that you're wrong. You're exactly where you are today because God allowed it to happen and if you see this today and you are wondering what God must possibly have planned for you, well the bible says you have not because you ask not. (James 4:3)

"Gee, I really haven't been feeling that vibe lately." 

Well, then what did you ask for? I find sometimes that what I ask for is not what I need. It causes me to look at what I have and then realize that I have everything I need and only by the grace of God.  

Have you ever done something and then prayed for the Lord's blessing? 

"Gee, I already did it. Well then, I can't take it back. So it must be the Lord's will!" 

As I wrote that quote as an example, I thought about all of the stuff I ever spent money on... But "in the name of the Lord!" As God continues to unravel His plan, I find that I have no idea what it is I really need and so I must find that from Him. Oh, we do many things that are supposedly in the name of the Lord... But what about asking Him first?

"Well... yeah, about that. He might say no!" 

Yeah, you're right. It happens when He's taking you away from your desires of the flesh and taking you His desires for His kingdom. You see, contrary to what the world thinks, you weren't made to do what you want. You were made to glorify God. Anything you do apart from that is what the bible describes as "chasing after the wind". 

The less you think about who you were, the more you can find out who you really are in Christ. Believe me, what God has for you is so much better than what you have planned. Unless you wanna continue doing what you were doing. Jonah tried that, but it almost ate him alive. (You know, because he got swallowed by the fish... anyway)

PREPARATION

PREPARATION

"Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried  to destroy.” And they glorified God in me."

Galatians 1:18‭-‬24

My walk with the Lord started at a young age in my life. I always knew that God was there, and it only complemented that I grew up in a Christian home. It wasn't until my teens that I understood more and more what this relationship with the Lord really was all about. I had found where God had called me to be and it was something that God had been preparing me for since I was young. I remember as I committed my life more and more to Jesus, the people I was friends with at the time either blocked me on Facebook or stopped hanging out with me. My entire life and the way I lived was changing day by day. The preparation had just begun and whatever the Lord was going to do next only He knew, but it was going to be for His glory. 

Paul's life before his encounter with the Lord was much different. At a time where Paul who was then Saul was practicing Judaism, he had persecuted the Christians even unto death. He even dragged them out of their houses. Yeah, He wasn't really a nice guy until his encounter with the Lord. The encounter was fairly to the point and it went something like this:

JESUS: "Um... Saul?  

SAUL: "...Yeah?" 

JESUS: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???" 

At this time, he asks who it is that is appearing to him. He says to the Lord "Who are you, Lord?" So it's obvious he knows by what authority this person comes from. After all,  he was a jew so it wasn't uncommon to experience things such as a light appearing from heaven. When the Lord's presence is in a place, the light shines and it shines because of the glory of the Lord. We would not be able to take it if the Lord showed Himself in all His glory. So it was this encounter with the Lord that caused Saul to ask the Lord "What do you want me to do?" To which the Lord replied "go into the city and then I will tell you what you must do." For three days, he was blind and did not eat or drink. Shortly after this, he immediately goes to preach Christ. It says that he does not go to consult any of the apostles or anyone he knows about this matter. I'm sure the appearance of the Lord was convincing enough! 

My favorite part of this entire story was that Paul eventually met up with Peter and James. Imagine how that conversation must have went with Peter!  

PETER: "Jesus appeared to you? That's awesome man. You know, I gotta tell ya, when He was here on earth and I was walking with Him, I was so hardheaded! He told me to step out of the boat and walk on the water. Who does that?! Well, obviously Jesus did. Wouldn't you know It, I panicked! Don't even get me started about that one time where I argued with Him not to go to death... "

Now, obviously that's probably not how it went down. But one can only imagine. Their focus was most likely so much on the things of the Lord that they probably had no time to talk about anything else. Peter and James had already been doing the Lord's work and Paul was coming along very quickly. 

Some may ask "What made such a horrible person have the will to turn around from his evil ways?". Well, let's start with the fact that there was nothing of himself that caused him to desire to seek after the Lord. This is why Jesus came to him. Jesus pursued Saul much like He does with you and I. He can come to us in whatever way He wants! So some people today will have visions of Jesus and that will turn them around. Some will hear a word of the Lord from a sermon at church. Whatever way it is spoken, it does not matter. If you've been spoken to, you have the choice to then say "Lord, what do you want me to do now?" And when you ask Him, be ready to act! Saul, being converted to a Christian and following after the ways of the Lord, was known thereafter as Paul the apostle. 

You have a new identity in Jesus the moment you repent of your sins and turn to Jesus. From that moment on, the preparation is taking place. You are a work in progress and the Lord will work on you daily. It should be such a life changing experience that you want to tell everyone you see of the good news of Jesus Christ and salvation to all who believe. Christ's message and His presence in your life should be so compelling that you don't need to ask anyone about it! It's important that if you know you've been spoken to by the Lord not to consult with those who don't believe in Him. What would you expect to hear from someone who doesn't have the Lord working in their lives? It's important that once you've been spoken to, you must not doubt that you've been spoken to. It will cause you to second guess and God is not the author of confusion. He's either spoken to you or He hasn't. If anyone truly seeks after the Lord, they will find Him. He will show Himself to them in a way they've never experienced before. 

"So... how'd it go for Paul being everyone knew him as a persecutor of Christians?" 

Good question. People were amazed, and understandably so. His path was not an easy one because he was ministering to people whom at one point he sided with and, Well,  now he doesn't. It goes to say that you will experience the same from people who know you. They will either be happy that you have decided to follow Jesus or they won't. Whatever it may be, you have gained much. It may seem as if you have lost some things in your life including those who were once your friends. But you're gaining so much more. An internal inheritance with fellow believers you'll get to keep for all eternity. 

You may even get the reaction of "that guy/gal? No way! I never thought in a million years!". It says in the passage at the beginning of this post that people didn't even see his face.  They only heard of what had happened and they praised God because of him. What a turn around!

"What about my other friends?" 

Minister to them! They might not like what you have to say, but you can't reap a harvest you didn't sow. So it's important you lay the seed and leave God to His mighty work. It is not for you to control, it is for you to Believe, Act, and Trust in the Lord. You have an entire book filled with evidence of the kind of work the Lord is up to. There are certainly no excuses! 

THE CALL SET BEFORE YOU

THE CALL SET BEFORE YOU

"But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it  came  through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried  to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who  were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus."

Galatians 1:11‭-‬17 NKJV

Many of you may have grown up in a church where you had many traditions that you took part in. Some you may have enjoyed and others you may have not so much enjoyed. Maybe you started asking "What does it all mean?" Or "why am I doing this?"

There certainly isn't anything wrong with traditions in the church. But it's important that we know why we do what we do and why we believe what we believe. Is what we are doing complementing or compromising the Gospel of Jesus? Anything that isn't worthy of the calling of Jesus is unnecessary. Paul was addressing the church of Galatia in the passage above letting them know if anyone kept the traditions of Judaism, He certainly did. But Paul was telling them that it didn't matter when compared to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He made sure the Galatians knew that everything he was taught was taught by Jesus and no one else. Have you ever questioned anyone who addressed you as to what authority they had over you? I'm sure the church in Galatia had that same question for Paul. After all, they were drifting away. 

If anyone tried to destroy the message of Jesus Christ, it was Paul. He, much like the religious leaders of the day, sought to get rid of anyone who preached the message of Jesus. It wasn't until his revelation with Jesus Himself that he turned around completely and became a supporter. But it took the revelation of Jesus to change him.  It took Jesus asking him "What are you doing Saul???" 

What about you? What are you doing? In the church, it is easy to forget or take for granted that we have a loving pastor who seeks to shepherd the sheep he has been given. We have a loving body of believers with years of experience in God's call for their lives ready to help us if we need it. But some will never go to anyone for help in understanding God's call for their own life. So they fall off and maybe even revert back to the way they have always done things and never get that revelation from Jesus. 

If you're one who needs help understanding what the message of the Gospel means and all that goes along with it, connect with someone from your church body that you trust. If you don't have a home church, find one! Not just any church, but one that preaches from the bible and values God and His people. When I say that I mean be careful you aren't a part of a church like the one in Galatia. They turned away from the gospel and valued the traditions of Judaism instead, and you need to be around a church body that will bring you closer in your relationship with Jesus. 

LEAVING SO SOON?

LEAVING SO SOON?

"I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."

Galatians 1:6‭-‬10 

"I decided that I cannot trust God anymore with the word He has given to me. I feel like I've been called to question it and bring some variety to the message in which was given to me by God. I heard this other person say some pretty neat stuff and it seems to ring true. I mean afterall, how can I trust that the scriptures are even accurate? Plus, my friends would so agree with me and support me."

This is just an example thought of what many people might be thinking today. In our day and age, things seem to be more and more distorted as technology advances. In this passage of scripture, Paul is addressing the church in Galatia in what seems to be like a turning away from the gospel entirely. They became more interested in what people had to say rather than what God had to say. Why is it you may ask? Is it how they were led? Are they missing something?  

The church of Galatia much like the church today was presented with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, what tends to happen is the things of this world creep in and completely change the flavor of the Gospel completely. They are losing their flavor. In hopes of having variety and in hopes of appealing to the world, they have given up the unique flavor of the message of Jesus Christ. After losing that flavor, how can you then be a witness to the world if you show you aren't any different? 

 "You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless."

Matthew 5:13

If you have been given the Gospel of truth and the spirit of God is inside of you, there is supposed to be a difference about you from the rest of the world. You can have flavor and still be in the world and have relationships with people. But as far as what you believe and what your convictions are in the spirit, that should stay the same.

"Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!"

Psalm 34:8

Many Christians today might feel they don't wanna be a bother to people or close themselves off. But let me remind you that the apostle Paul as stated in the verse at the beginning says he does not seek to please men. Otherwise he would not be God's servant. How could he? Afterall, Paul before he was Paul was a man who went by the name of Saul. He persecuted Christians and by no means were there any signs of that changing. But Jesus came to him in a very real and personal way that he repented, did a complete turn around from the things he was doing and the life he was living, and walked in the will of God. 

"for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

Philippians 2:13

If you are doing something that is contrary to what you have been taught in the spirit of Jesus, odds are you have not let perseverance had its work in you so that you may be complete and lacking nothing. (James 1:4) When the going gets rough, you have to keep doing the next right thing. As I've mentioned in previous posts, you need to be in an environment that helps you to thrive in Jesus, not in a place full of things that serve to please us. The more you are in a Christ centered environment, the more that will be what's pleasing to you and the more it will be pleasing to God. If you are not in this type of environment that is helping you to grow in Jesus, you need to pray as to where God would have you to be. 

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen."

2 Peter 3:18

Don't be concerned with what anyone else thinks of you. When God is working in you, He's changing everything so the things you used to do that were not pleasing to Him you no longer do. So that means there will be an obvious change in direction and this is needed if you want to serve God. For His ways our not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8) He knows exactly what He wants to do in you, and you need to let Him do it!

 

IT'S WORTH IT

IT'S WORTH IT

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:58 

"What I'm doing is not worth my time and effort. I don't really think God is impressed with me. I mean come on, I work at this place out of all places in the entire world. How could God possibly use me?"

You may be thinking this about your situation right now. You might be thinking that God only uses special people and you just aren't one of them.  

Well fortunate for you, the bible tends to show a very different God than what you're thinking. Jesus used fishermen to be His disciples, teaching them all they needed to learn to carry on the church into Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. God chooses the meek and humble people for His work because He knows He can work through them. God can not work in a person who's puffed up with themselves. Someone who's too busy with their own needs and not God's will for their lives. 

Your situation in life right now may be keeping God in perspective for you, and that's the best place to be. Your eyes are more focused on the kingdom of heaven and not the kingdom of earth. God desires for you to be close to Him so that you don't get close to the wrong things. After all, we are talking about the work of the Lord. This isn't just any type of work, it's a work that no one else has any control over and God invites you into that work. But you may be missing out on His plan because you want to do your own thing. 

Many times, the wrong things disguise themselves as everything you ever wanted, which is most likely security and abundance. How much is ever enough? Usually it's always just a little bit more. Well God has already set up your security plan, and that's in heaven waiting for you if you live your life to serve God. They say you get what you pay for. Well in the kingdom of God, you get what you sacrifice for. God's work is certainly not easy, but He does equip those He calls. You need only bring yourself and He will do the rest. 

Give your life to God and watch what He does. God will guide you with His right hand (Isaiah 41:10). Stay in His word, because His word is a lamp unto your feet and a light into your path (Psalm 119:105). Seek Him daily and you will find that what He has for you is so much better. It does not mean an easy life, however it gets easier when we let go of our desires on earth and hold on to God's will. 

If you're willing, He is able! It's worth it! 

HE IS ABLE

HE IS ABLE

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen."

Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21

I was at the grocery store this morning. There was a lady who was checking out her items at the counter and was talking to the cashier about how she is able to ask for whatever time she needs off from work. The cashier talked about how she wasn't able to do the same with her job and that it was almost like the end of the world if she called in sick. 

I remember those days where I myself would call in sick and knew exactly who would have to cover for me. I didn't call in sick often and had to work hard at whatever I did. But now I work in a place where it's okay to call in sick because in a school there is sickness all the time! We have what's called Paid Time Off and can use these days for when we are sick. 

What am I getting at here? Well, we never like to tell God when we are sick and we treat Him as if He's either too busy to deal with us or He wouldn't want to deal with our problems because we are sinners and God doesn't like us?!  But this is NOT how He wants us to look at Him! It's important to get a healthier sense of how God works and the only way you can do that is through reading His word and getting together with other believers in your bible believing church. Through this, you will see how the holy spirit works and how you can stay connected to God through prayer. Let's quickly reflect some of the promises of our God. 

1. HE LOVES YOU: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

John 3:16

It's a popular verse as just about every time you start to utter the first half of the first sentence, everyone around you who is a Christian will quote it as well. It's still a verse worth reflecting because it's easy to forget. God loves the world, which means He loves you. He gave His son to die for you so you may be able to have relationship with Him. So no more thinking He doesn't love you!

2. HE HAS A PLAN FOR YOU: ""For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord . “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.""

Jeremiah 29:11

When you seek God out for His plan for your life, seek Him with all your heart and I am very confident you will not only find Him. You will also find the plan He has for you. When you find Him, He will work in your life up until completion. (Phil. 1:6) 

3. HE HAS A HELPER FOR YOU: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.

John 14:16-17

The disciples may have been able to walk with God in the flesh, the man Jesus Christ. But you have the Holy Spirit inside of you the moment you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God the father raised Him from the dead. (Rom. 10:9) The Holy spirit will remind you of the things Jesus has said and will help to live as Jesus lived. (John 14:26)

Now the REAL question is:  

DO YOU LOVE GOD? 

The bible says  "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

The rulers of this world did not understand God's love for them and it resulted in them crucifying Jesus Christ. That is why this scripture was mentioned by Paul to the church in Corinth. Paul loved God, spent time with God, and as a result he was passionate about preaching God's word wherever he went. He knew God loved him, that God had a plan for him, and that he had help wherever he went to will and to act according to God's purpose for him. (Phil. 2:13)

It's probably important to mention that before Paul was apostle Paul, he was killer Saul. He was known as the man who persecuted the Christians and did horrible things to them. His life was radically changed by Jesus Christ and was never the same since. There is hope for you yet! 

LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, MIND, AND STRENGTH: (Luke 10:27)

When you love Him with all you have, then you will experience life like you never have before. 

IF YOU'RE WILLING

IF YOU'RE WILLING

"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."

-Colossians 3:23

"Man, everything seems like a drag. I gotta wake up early for work in the morning. I work long days and even nights and it seems every day drains me of all my energy. I really don't like my boss or how much I get paid. My car sounds like a dying animal. I really wish things would be better."

The above quoted remarks are just an example of maybe how you may be feeling on a week to week basis. It may seem as if you never catch a break and you're wondering when all the chaos will get any better.

Well I will have you know that it does! You see, I find as the years go on that when I am completely focused on the blessed assurance I have in Christ Jesus as my savior, friend, wonderful counseler, and my direct connection to the Father, I live each day knowing I'm completely taken care of. I know that He will change your life if you let Him.

Since I rededicated my life to Christ at the age of 18 (I'm 25 now), I've found that year after year I've seen God do wonderful things in my life that make me say "Oh, wow! You were listening!" To which if He replied as we do to our friends and family, He'd reply "well yeah! If you read Jeremiah 29:13 it says if you seek me you'll find me when you seek me with all your heart! You know, you really need to read my word more..." But when I wasn't focusing on God, I would get increasingly more dependent on how much money I made, my status in the world, the list goes on.

But when I keep my focus completely on God and His awesome plan for my life while remembering what He's delivered me through, it is as if everyday is becoming as if I were already in heaven with God. Your circumstances should not determine how you react. You in your heart have to be sure you connect with God daily, renew your mind daily, and maintain a healthy lifestyle that would reflect that of a child of God who has an inheritance incorruptible and is looking forward to shining their light on a very dark world.

Think about this, if everything in your life were exactly the way you WANTED it, then it wouldn't be exactly the way God had PLANNED for your life to be!  This is why you must trust Him literally with your life. You don't know better than Him. The more you take refuge in Him and cast all your cares on Him, not only will you gain confidence in your life. Everyone will see the difference! So the next time you go to work with your car that sounds like a dying animal, you'll get there and be like "Man I'm having such a good day that my car is shouting with me!" After all, everything was made to praise the Lord.

GOD GRIEF

GOD GRIEF

"Jesus Wept."  John 11:35 

"Does anyone know what it's like to lose someone?" 

You might have asked this question at one point in your life. You might be in a place where you feel like no one understands. 

It's common to say God understands what it's like to feel loss. But He was not the only one who witnessed something horrific like the death of His own son.  His son had also witnessed the death of His friend when He was here on earth. 

Rest assured, God sent His son into this world to be able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He lost a good friend, and His friend's name was Lazurus. "Jesus wept" is the shortest verse in the bible and there really are no other words necessary to describe what Jesus felt. He wept. When one weeps, they are overwhelmed with this overflow of sorrow. Even though Jesus could bring Lazurus back to life, it still didn't prevent Jesus from sympathizing with everyone who knew Lazurus like He did. He was human in every way. 

Jesus walked as one of us and lived like one of us, all while perfectly setting the perfect example for us to follow. Since God could not look at sin, Jesus was sent to this world to intercede on our behalf. If you feel like no one understands, talk to God about how you feel. He knows! His son is the mediator and will go to the father on your behalf. 

MISSING THE MARK

MISSING THE MARK

Sin in the simplest of terms means to miss the mark.


We have all missed the mark in some way shape or form.


We are all currently missing the mark in some way shape or form.


We will continue to miss the mark in some way shape or form.


We are all separated from God and His plan for our lives without Jesus Christ as our mediator.


This is why there is so much discord and hatred in the world.


It's not about who's right over the other person.


I feel free to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ, because He's the one who said that we should stand on two things.


That is loving God and loving others.

(Mark 12:30-31)


Every time the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus into taking sides, He replied in such a way that revealed their own hearts. He knew what was in the hearts of man and he chose not to give in. He was on this Earth for something much greater, and that was His Father's business. He did not have time for anything else.


That is living out the fruit of the spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

(Galatians 5:22-23)


Insert transparency here:


There have been many times on social media where I have not shown the fruit of the spirit. But as I have grown in the spirit, I have realized that if I'm not pointing to Jesus then I'm pointing to myself. At that point, it's me versus the world and I'm losing. At that point, I'm a clashing cymbal whom no one would want to listen to.


I have come to realize that my sole purpose on this Earth is to shine the light of Jesus.

(Matthew 5:16-18)


This is a dark world, and we can say that as long as we believe it will get better that it will.


But not everyone wants everything to be better.


"Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."


- Quoted by Michael Caine playing the role of Alfred Pennyworth in the movie "The Dark Knight"


They say in a perfect world, we would all be in unity. Well that's how it was supposed to be. But as human beings who have freedom of choice, our ancestors long ago have missed the mark which further put in our genealogy the curse of sin. From that day forward, everyone would miss the mark in some way shape or form.


God the Father sent His only son to this Earth because someone needed to set a perfect example in order for there to be atonement for our sins. (John 3:16)


As long as you're a believer, you go out there and you shine the light.


As long as you're not a believer, you will continue to try to make things work in this life to no end and will never be satisfied.


This life is a sinking ship, and you don't need to try to float on a piece of wood to survive.

WHERE'S YOUR TREASURE?

WHERE'S YOUR TREASURE?

"Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."

Matthew 6:20-21

When disaster strikes, we tend to think more about the things that truly matter.

Why don't we do that all the time?

Because most of the time it's easy to get caught up in trying to get ahead in life. It seems as if nothing satisfies and there's not enough time in a day. But when everything you own is gone and it's you and the shirt on your back, the focus changes. The only other time where you're left with nothing but yourself is death.

What's freeing about having nothing is you're not tied down by the obligations that come with owning alot of stuff, so there's more time to devote to relationships.

I can't figure out what would keep people here in Florida other than the fact that it's relatively the same temperature throughout the year no matter what.I came to live down here because it was a nice place for my grandparents considering my grandfather had cancer at the time. We have always taken rest in the perfect peace that only God can give no matter what disaster struck our family. (Isaiah 26:3)

Everywhere you look, there is construction left and right. Obviously where the demand for living increases, the demand for insurance increases. After all, you need to be secure if you're taking the risk to live somewhere where anything could happen at any time to threaten our lifestyle. So the focus is centered towards working to keep and maintain our things. 

I went to Missouri not too long ago and visited the rural part of the state. The cost of living was manageable enough where you could actually live off of what you make at the local grocery store. It was mostly because it was an area not many people flock to, but to me it was a very freeing place to be! The stars shine brighter where there's less light pollution. Likewise, We shine brightest when our lives aren't centered around our possessions.  

Personally, I don't disagree with how much it costs to live in Florida. It's such a risk. The entire state could be underwater tomorrow and everything that everyone has ever worked for will be gone. 

My question now is, what have you stored up in heaven? You have plenty of things here, but you're not defined by things. You're defined by who Jesus says you are. Are you the person He can use for His will? When you die and people gather at your funeral or comment about you on social media, what will they say about you? When you die and stand before God, what will He say? Enter into my rest? Or depart from me, I never knew you?

It's not bad to love yourself. But if you get to the point where you and the things you have are more important, you're gonna be disappointed when you have to say goodbye to yourself when you die. If that's the only person you knew or ever helped out, you missed the point in life.  Loving yourself won't get you to heaven. Calling on the name of Jesus gets you to heaven. (Romans 10:13)

When a person is so upset over losing things, it means those things matter more than anything else. The people praising God the most through the storms in life are the ones who don't care about things because things don't mean ANYthing. Our society wears their possessions like a medal of honor around their neck. What will you have to show for it when you stand before God? If the things you held close to you were all stored on earth, you have nothing. 

When I talk about storing treasures in heaven, I mean things that will last. Relationships. When you take away all the material things in life, you're left with relationships. So what's more important? What should take priority in your life? 

If it's things, you're gonna regret living for things when you're breathing your last. You're gonna think of all the times you could have spent with the ones you cared about the most. You're not gonna care about the car, the house, the money, the places you didn't visit or check off your bucket list, or even what you didn't do for all of that stuff. It all becomes meaningless. 

God tells us in scripture to store up what matters or what should matter to us most in life. The best way to do that is to focus on God. If you haven't been in contact with Him, seek Him out. (Jeremiah 29:13) Its important to know that God wants relationship with you and you are His treasure. But if you did not know Him while you were on earth, then how will He let you come in His house? He never knew you. 

What does it benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Mark 8:36) Not only that, He desires that none should perish. So if you know the truth, let it set you free and let it set others free as well. 

Most only seek God when they're in trouble. Why don't you seek Him before you reach that point? Most people say they wanna hear from God, but they do it while doubting.  Are you gonna wait until disaster strikes, or are you gonna try a different approach this time?  

Do it now while you are still here. You are not promised tomorrow.  

GOD'S WILL STANDS

GOD'S WILL STANDS

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him."
 (Philippians 2:13)

I've heard it said that only having two options is not free will.

Having two options simply calls you to choose.

Free will means you have the ability to choose either one.

Just because you have free will doesn't mean you you are free of consequences.

The meaning of the word "will" in Hebrew is favor.

So you're free to will or to favor something over another.

God doesn't force Himself upon those who have no desire for Him.

Free will simply means you're free to favor something over another or to choose something over another.

Contrary to what many believe, the word "will" does NOT mean someone is free to be able to fly or do things that the human body obviously wasn't made to do. Many might believe giving Adam and Eve only two choices was not free will. 

How so? They were given at  LEAST two options. There were only two options, but that was the only thing required to test the human heart.

So you would think it would've been easier for Adam and Eve to make the right decision.
Instead they showed how flawed we are as humans.

Yet God wanted to take the risk and make us free will creatures. People with the ability to choose. To favor other things aside from Him.

However, that does not mean it's the RIGHT decision.

The one thing society as a whole cannot grasp is being wrong.

God gave Adam and Eve Specific Instructions and they chose their own way.

To this day and until the end of the world, we will still be making our own choices over God.

However, those who desire to make things right will do what is right. 

The desire to make things right comes through the power of Jesus Christ. 

"If you seek Him, you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13)

THE REAL AMERICAN DREAM

THE REAL AMERICAN DREAM

“Blessed  are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 5:3

Out in the world, the goal is simple. To become rich and to take control of my life by chasing after my dreams. 

Well, that is actually NOT my desire at all. After taking the time to study the life of Jesus, I find one thing to be consistent throughout His ministry. He is ALWAYS around people, NOT things. Jesus would go from town to town looking for the poor in spirit because most of these people realized their need of a savior. Their desire was not to become rich and prosperous, for what need is there to be rich with things but cannot walk or even see? The lame, deaf, blind, poor, you name it, these people needed a void to be filled. Jesus could meet their needs more than the people who were rich with things. 

So be GLAD if you are poor physically because you are more likely to realize your need for Jesus. If you are rich and are a believer, be GLAD that you realized your need for Jesus despite how blessed you are physically, and ALSO be glad you have the means to be able to GIVE more and use your resources to give to your community. 

one common thing that brings us all together is that we all could use more spiritual treasures than physical treasures (Matthew 6:20-21). As christians, there's an inheritance waiting for those who are poor in spirit, who constantly seek God to be filled again with His promises rather than the world's temporary fix. 

GOD IS GOD

GOD IS GOD

"We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9

 

The biggest mistake a man can make is to think he is called to BE a God and to take control in every endeavor he tries, instead of realizing he is called BY God to reflect GOD'S  control in every endeavor HE wants us to DO for HIM, in HIS name, for HIS PURPOSE. 


The reason you breathe is not by your doing. The reason you breathe is because you are made to be able to by none other than God Himself.

Breathing is something we do without thinking.

When I was born, I could not breathe on my own. A machine did that for me. I was dependent on the working of that machine.

More importantly, it worked because someone came up with the concept to build a machine to help people to breathe when they cannot on their own. It was administered to me correctly by nurses who were there solely to help where the need was. I was dependent on someone else entirely. Make no mistake, They would not be there if God had not breathed life into them.

The next time you think you're an independent person who ain't need no God, realize that everything you do, you do because you had to first be taught. Everything you do, you're dependent on someone else. Being dependent on Jesus means you do what He has taught and you're dependent on Him, because He set the example of how to live. 

GOD IS YOUR ONLY OPTION

GOD IS YOUR ONLY OPTION

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."

-Acts 4:12

 

I can only imagine how it must have been for Moses after receiving the law from The Lord on Mount Sinai, walking back to the people of Israel after fleeing from captivity in Egypt, only to find his right hand man, Aaron, with all of the people of Israel, making a golden calf as their God. He must have said something like: "Really?! Is this a joke?! Yeah, I know, this is a joke on me for taking too long in the mountain. Haha, that was a good one."

Unfortunately, they were serious, and this very thing is not very uncommon up to this very day. When we think God hasn't shown up in our lives and we want answers right away, we go to Social media, other people who we are friends with... let's also not forget Google, which supposedly has the answers to all our problems.

The problem with taking refuge in all these things is the same problem the people of Israel had. They are really good for nothing when it comes to our true meaning and purpose in this life. Mr. Samsung or Ms. Siri couldn't possibly know what it is you were made for, although I will admit that asking Siri what zero divided by zero is, that is hilarious. But, just like the golden calf, it was made by us. We are finite, and The Lord almighty is FOREVER. Learn from your mistakes, the mistakes of others, and reflect on God's promises as a navigator for your journey and walk with Him.