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

"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

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?

"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

"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

“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

"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

"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.

God is for the weak

God is for the weak. 

I am weak. 

You are weak. 

Those who think they are strong have only yet to realize they are weak. 

When you realize this, you're way ahead of most people in the world.

Not believing in God because of the thought of coming off as weak and rather believing in science which is also believing in the unseen is not logical. 

God and science have similarities. They both have proof. 

What makes them different is God is the reason for science. Science only disproves God because it cannot understand nor is willing to look at thousands of years worth of biblical history because scientists have carbon dating, which is only proven by methods of age measurement that cannot be proven to be 100% accurate. Anything that lasts after millions of years is a miracle, judging by the deterioration of our planet as we know it in just the last 200 years. 

Another reason to believe in God. 

It's more logical to believe God created everything in 7 days more so than the earth evolving intelligently on its own over a span of millions of years. 

The earth has a mind of its own? 
Did the earth really give birth to us intelligent human beings?

As if I'm trying to convince you... 

Science is  about what is seen. (Or at least what scientists are willing to look into.)
But it cannot explain the unseen.

Was the conception of planet earth seen?
I think not.

Therefore we have to trust that someone intelligent was behind such a master plan. 
It really isn't logical to think otherwise. 

If you have faith the world was the result of an explosion, then why not believe in God? 

Explosion does not breed order.
God brought everything together, therefore there is order. 

Science also requires faith. Especially to continue to seek life on other planets simply because it's unknown. 

But I'd rather put my faith in God because He created the universe, and that I already know.

This is logical. 

Science did not create the universe.

Science is an explanation.

God is the reason.

God cannot be suppressed and explained away. 
God does not change like science does. 

Science is man's go to for everything. Which is exactly why most cannot believe that the bible is the inspired innerant infallible word of God that hasn't changed since its origin written by God who is the same yesterday today and forever.

Because we are used to everything not lasting forever.

Those who ignore God will indeed not find anything the believer sees. 

You can find anything you want in life.

In science, you make discoveries. 
In relationships, you make bonds.

With God, you will have an encounter. 

But you must actually look for Him.
(Jeremiah 29:13)

Contrary to popular belief, God does not come to you in your unbelief for the same reason a discovery doesn't come to a scientist who doesn't look. 

For the same reason a job doesn't get offered to a person who doesn't put in the effort. 

For the same reason a gal doesn't immediately fall for a guy without time and action. 

For the same reason a man doesn't come to a child as their father if they don't know each other. 

Why is this not logical?

Well... it is. 

Time to take another look. 

Is it really God that doesn't exist? 

Or is it you that didn't take the time to look?

You are only His child if you believe He is who He says He is. 
Then you realize you were created for relationship with Him. 
Then you realize you really need forgiveness because of your unbelief as a result of sin. 

Then you can experience the things of God and become more  like His son, who was in every way pleasing to God. 

Otherwise, what do you expect from someone who doesn't know you?