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how can you shrink your problems and hassels

HOW YOU CAN SHRINK YOUR PROBLEMS and HASSLES…USING BIBLE TRUTHS

By on July 12, 2016

I confess. lf it weren’t for the powerful principles in God’s Word, I’d be a basket case. There’s just so much pressure. So many demands and expectations. So much to do and so little time. Incredible needs and limited resources.

How do we maintain the peace, serenity and calm that Jesus promises when we have so many trials and hassles? The technique for walking in the Spirit and not being overwhelmed is found in several verses of your Bible; several verses that are often overlooked.

One reason we freak out so easily is that we’re right in the middle of our problem, and all we can see and feel is the hassle and problem that’s frustrating us right now. Because we’re in the middle of it, we blow it all out of proportion.

For example, on the evening news, almost every night, you hear about some teenager getting shot over a little bit of nothing. Maybe he looked the wrong way at some- one, or “dissed” a kid at school. Or he might’ve “looked like” he had an attitude. So, he gets murdered. For nothing. To the murderer what the kid did was a major insult, a blow to the ego and intolerable. To you and me and everyone else not involved, it was a little bit of nothing.

It’s all a matter of perspective. When you and l allow a problem to be magnified into a major catastrophe, we lose the ability to deal with it in a sensible and godly manner. The enemy knows that, so he does all he can to get us to blow things out of proportion and to over react.

Problem Number 1: The enemy likes to magnify your problems, challenges, bills and other frustrating factors in your life. He wants them to seem bigger than they really are, so all you can see, feel and think about are the problems that embroil you.

When your problems are made larger than life, they seem to be stronger than God. You feel like your life and future is being controlled by your problems, and that everything is going down the tubes.

The devil doesn’t care WHICH problems he magnifies. Any of them will do. He’ll use past problems, present ones or future ones. Some of us keep pointing back to things that happened years ago, and feel that our lives will never be right because of the awful things that happened, way back when. Others feel swamped by our present problems.

Then, who among us hasn’t been paralyzed by the thought of FUTURE problems, looming on the horizon? Things like ill health, financial disaster being lonely and rejected and so on. He wants us to feel our problems are pervasive-all encompassing.

Bible Solution: lnstead of magnifying your problems, magnify your faith in the work of God in your life. “Let such as love thy salvation say continually. Let God be magnified (Psalm40:16).” The Apostle Paul used this spiritual principle even when the devil threatened to kill him. ln Philippians 1:20, he said, “…now Christ (not my fears or anxieties) shall be magnified in my body whether by life or by death.”

Problem Number 2: The enemy wants you to focus on right now, and to forget that the mess you’re in won’t last forever. lf the devil can get you to think that the situation you’re in right now is going to last forever you’ll lose sight of the big picture. He wants us to feel like our problem is going to be permanent; that it’ll always be like this.

This is how a lot of arguments in the home get started. People start arguing over the smallest thing, sometimes even forgetting what it was they were arguing about in the first place. (Hint: Before getting into an argument, ask yourself, “Five years down the road, will all this even matter? ls it REALLY worth arguing about?” Most of the time it isn’t.

Bible Solution: The truth is, that we need to think in terms of eternity. What stops us is we let ourselves get so caught up in our problems that we DON’T stop. Romans 8:18, “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Put your situation in perspective with what God has already done in your life and what He’s promised you for eternity.

See, when you’re so hyped about your present situation, you won’t even think about how your actions and decisions affect eternity.

Problem Number 3: Your feelings get blown out of proportion. You get hurt; you get angry. You feel rejected, slighted or disrespected. The enemy whispers to you that you’ll ALWAYS feel the way you feel right now.

At that moment, if your feelings are blown out of proportion, and you lose sight of eternity you’ll say and do some regrettably stupid things. Things that can wreck your job, marriage, finances or friendships.

When you let your emotions direct your path, you lose. Period. You’re made in the image of God and aren’t created to be led by your angers, hurts, disappointments, lusts or fears. Your emotions change from moment to moment, and they usually aren’t even accurate.

“They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. (Jonah 2:8).” In other words, when your emotions kick in, they tend to distort what’s really going on. They’ll tell you things are worse than they really are, that you’re less competent than you really are, that you’re being mistreated more than you really are, and then, you ACT on what your emotions are saying, instead of on the Word of God.

For example, doesn’t God promise that He will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 9:13)? Even in the valley of the shadow of death, isn’t it true that you need to fear no evil, for He is with you (Psalm 23:4)? Hasn’t He given you His promise that He will work out ALL things for your good, if you love Him (Romans 8; 28)?

The things that are happening to you right now WON’T be still happening a year from now, or two years from now. We all know that. But, even so, we throw tantrums when someone asks us to do something we don’t feel like doing, or complain if the person ahead of us in the store wants to pay by check and doesn’t have two photo i.d.’s. We get frustrated because we have a hard time losing weight. We moan endlessly about how overworked, under-paid and unappreciated we are.

When the enemy has blown away your sense of eternity and the goodness of God operating in our lives, the most trivial inconvenience seems to be a major attack and the slightest offhanded remark of a friend takes on gigantic proportions. So, we blow our stack in a fit of hypersensitivity letting them have a piece of our mind!

Bible solution: “Set your affections on things above, not on things of earth,” like it says in Colossians 3:2. That’s where your emotions belong… in the Presence of Jesus! Instead of having your world as small as your day to day problems, compare them to the bigness of Gods plan for you in eternity.

Let Christ be magnified, given a bigger place in your life, your thoughts and your emotions. Think on all the amazing things He’s done for you. lsn’t it true that He’s forgiven you for more sins than you could even name? Hasn’t he given you many answers to prayer, demonstrating that He loves you and cares for you? So, this little setback or disappointment has a meaning, a purpose, and you can look at it as something that propels you into His presence, to give you and Him hours of fellowship and time together in prayer.

You’re not made to spend the majority of your time crossing hurdles and digging yourself out of ditches. lf you’re going to be able to enjoy the blessings and goodness of God in your life, you’re going to have to be willing to expand your experience beyond the scope of your own little world. Enter into God’s world, by faith!

Lighten your load! Cast your cares on Him, Believer because He careth for you! Rid yourself of your problems_ and worries by giving them to Jesus
by faith!

Getting your eyes open

Getting Your Eyes Open…So You Can Have Vision and Victory!

By on July 5, 2016

God made you to have vision, or direction in life -to know where you’re going. When you know where you’re going, you also know where NOT to go. When you know what you’re supposed to be doing, you also know what you’re NOT supposed to be doing.

When you don’t have vision, you don’t have direction, and you begin to drift, to become aimless. You stop being effective, and you run out of energy for living. Or, as the Bible says, you perish.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18 says that. It’s like being in a house at night and all your lights go out. You can barely move or do anything until you get a light going again.

Jesus told a story in Luke 12: 42-46. He spoke about the master of a great household going away for several days to a wedding celebration. The master told his servants to be working, waiting and watching for him to return. If they were still watching when he came back, he would throw a feast for them, and bless them with his goods.

On the other hand, if a servant said to himself, “the master isn’t coming back for a while,” and began to get drunk and beat the other servants, he would be beaten and cut off from the rest of the servants – cast into outer darkness.

In other words, the master was telling his servants to be filled with faith, hope and expectancy. Jesus is telling you the same thing: To have your eyes open to Jesus coming into your life. To be ready to receive Heaven’s Best. Jesus IS Heaven’s Best. Romans 8:32 says, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us ALL things?”

SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING

WILL OPEN YOUR EYES AND
GIVE YOU VISION IN LIFE.

THEN, YOU WON ‘T BE SO
EASILY DISCOURAGED OR
QUICKLY OVERCOME.

Being filled with expectancy opens your eyes. lt causes you to look for things you weren’t looking for before. Your eyes begin to be open for a change in your situation. This same expectancy is what causes you to get closer to God and to lay down your sins.

You lay down your sins because you’re believing that God is going to work in your life and that you don’t want to have ANYTHING to hinder His working. You change your behaving so your reward can come.

Jesus said in Luke 12:3 7, “Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching…” On into verse 40, He says, “Be ye ready also, for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”

Jesus is going to come into your situation even at the time when you think He’s never going to come. When you’ve gotten so discouraged and the enemy has been troubling you, the Bible says that Jesus IS going to come!

Jesus is coming knocking on your door, if you’re listening. He wants to take that situation that is beating you (V. 45-46) and deliver you from it! He’s coming to deliver you and to give you rest and strength.

The main point of what Jesus is talking about is having your eyes open for God to work in your life. The eye is the light of the body (Matthew 6:22). He told us here in Luke 12:35 to have our loins girded (walking in the truth) and to have our lights burning, our eyes opened, have our lamps lit.

Having your lamps lit means you’re using the oil of understanding (Matthew 25:1; 7). Spiritual understanding will open your eyes give you vision in life. Then, you won’t be so easily overcome or so quickly discouraged. To get spiritual understanding, you have to pay the price and get it from those who have it. (Matthew25:9) That’s the only way to keep from living in spiritual darkness. Many Christians are living in spiritual darkness! When you have no vision for your life or your future, you give up. In fact the word “perish” used in the Bible means, “to be put in an inferior condition to be destroyed, to expire.” Without a vision, people are expired, but with a vision, people are inspired.

If you don’t get your eyes opened to what God wants to do in your life, you’ll never get anywhere with God. That spirit of doubt and unbelief that got hold of the servant in Jesus’ story will try to destroy you and to devour your goods. It will try to get you to stop using your faith, to lose your sense of expectancy. It will try to get you to stop praying and stop sowing your seed for God’s harvest in your life. It will try to get you to walk in your own natural, carnal weakness instead of in God’s power and strength.

Jesus is saying here that if you keep your eyes open and walk with the Spirit, God will come and remove that nagging doubt and unbelief that’s been hounding you.

You MUST start believing God! The Bible and the promises of God are only by faith. They are “yea and amen” to those who believe God (2 Corinthians 1:20). God’s Word brings faith. When you ASK according to God’s Word, ASK for that deliverance, that strength, that help that you need, God comes on the scene at just the right time to deliver you from that thing that’s beating you!

Don’t allow doubts and unbelief to lie to you and to steal your vision, and become drunk on the things of this world! Trust God! Your needs WILL be met!

You’ve been brought into the Master’s household, and your faith has been tested. Now, you have to choose to BELIEVE and obey. Otherwise, you’ll listen to doubt, condemnation and lies from the devil. And it’ll rob you of your testimony and try to kill you.

Jesus is here NOW, if you’ll look to Him. You’ve been waiting for Him to reveal Himself to you, and He’s been waiting for YOU to look to Him. Why is it that Jesus opened the eyes of the blind? So they could SEE!

You need to see what is really going on around you! To see where you’re going! He opened the eyes of the blind so they could quit being beggars and quit living off of other peoples’ blessings and so they could receive the riches of Heaven

I have faith in the Name of Jesus. His name is the Name above every name. When prayer is made in faith in His Name, the powers of darkness are broken! The thing that’s been beating you and destroying the good in your life is cut off and cast into outer darkness!!!

We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness (Eph. 6). The enemy is trying to keep you blind, to make you lose vision and perish. Jesus is going to fill you with faith and open your eyes to the riches of God’s power and grace! There’s nothing too big for God. There’s NOTHING He can’t do!

worst kind of sin

What’s The Worst Kind of Sin?

By on June 28, 2016

We know that all sins are bad. They all are “missing the mark.” They all have the tinge of selfishness attached to them; they all tend to be “self-centered.” They all have a smack of rebellion in them. But what is the WORST kind of sin?

I’ll tell you the worst kind of sin. Actually, I won’t tell you, the Bible will tell you. It’s a kind of sin that, in the Old Testament, there was no atoning for. If you sinned like this, you were out of luck: it carried a death penalty. That’s how serious it was. It was called, ‘presumptuous sinning.”

What is a “presumptuous sin?” A presumptuous sin is one that you know plainly is wrong. It’s one that you know better than to do, and you do it anyway, because you choose to. It’s a premeditated sin, one that you thought about, planned or made deliberate provision for.

Let’s examine it together. First of all, we said that it was a sin that you know plainly is wrong, but do it anyway. If you’re a kid, it could go like this: You’re on phone restriction, and you know that under no uncertain terms are you to use the telephone. But you want to use it anyway. So, when your mom or dad is out of the room for a few minutes, you sneak and use the phone to call your friends, keeping an eye and an ear out for when your parent comes back in. That’s a presumptuous sin. There’s no way you could say that you didn’t know better or that you were tempted so much that you couldn’t resist. It’s just out and out disobedience because you want to do what you want to do, no matter what.

If you didn’t KNOW you were on restriction, or you thought that your restriction was over, that would be different. Or, if you RECEIVED a call, and the person said, “You won’t BELIEVE what just happened…!”

Then, you might be enticed to stay on. That also isn’t a presumptuous sin. You didn’t plan it, it wasn’t something you wanted. Yet, they phoned… and then your curiosity got the best of you. True, you were STILL violating your restriction, but you were caught off guard, and it took you. Do you understand the difference? Presumptuous sin isn’t like that.

Sinning against your conscience, when it’s warning you to not do something, is presumptuous sinning. Sometimes, we go one step further than even that: We have not only our conscience trying to warn us, but we have faithful friends, family and others warning us. But we keep on being a hardhead.

If I sin against my conscience, I’m presumptuous. But, if l sin against my consciences and against the advice of my friends that makes me even more of a chump. If my friends warn me to stay away from evil influences, if my loved ones warn me that I’m heading down the wrong road, but I keep on doing what I want to do, then I’m even more presumptuous than anyone in their right mind could be.

A person sins even more presumptuously when he or she has had the benefit of seeing what the effects of that kind of sin are, in other peoples’ lives. Maybe you’ve had a friend that lost his or her job due to the very kind of sin that you’re now playing with. Or worse, lost their marriage and family through their carelessness and ungodly desires.

Worse, you’ve had warnings in your own close calls… where God in His great mercy spared you from certain disastrous results.

Maybe you prayed that if God would get you out of that situation, you would live a godly life. But then, like a dog returning to its vomit, or a sow to the mire, you turned and went right back to your same old presumptuous sins; presuming that God will keep on covering for you and bailing you out.

So, you’ve sinned against your conscience, the warnings of others and now against your own vows and promises to God.

So many have had warnings that were so terrible that even a mentally deranged person would have taken heed. They’ve gotten into situations so mind blowing that the person standing next to them would be shocked if they could know who was standing next to them. But, even with all this, soon they will go right back to the same lusts and appetites.

Presumptuous sins are rarely spontaneous. They’re the kind of sins that people give place to the devil for. In other words, they scheme, plot and set the stage for the very sin that is destroying them.

They have a desire or a lust, and they feed it, dwell on it and entertain it until they no longer can keep it just on the inside. It gets so strong that they have to act it out. Why? Because they’ve nursed that thing, done it a thousand times in their mind, and now, they just have to do it.

James 1:14 – 15 says, “Every person is tempted when he or she is carried away by his or her own desires, and enticed. Then, when the desire has taken on a life of its own, it produces sin. And when sin has done its work. It brings forth death.”
(Paraphrase)
To be tripped up by the enemy
hitting you from behind is one thing.
But to think, plan and plot, for
hours, days or weeks is
unthinkable… it’s presumptuous
sinning in its worst form.

Keeping on with the same sin, once you know how it catches you, is presumptuous sin. Sinning once, being what the Bible calls being “overtaken in a fault,” (Galatians 6:1) is not sinning presumptuously. But, committing the same sin, predictably, every time the opportunity presents itself, that’s presumptuous sin.

One more way presumptuous sin overtakes the Christian. When a person thinks that for some reason that particular sin won’t hurt them. It might hurt others, but it won’t hurt them. I can think of people who will insist that Christians need to be in the house of God and plugged into a particular Church, in order to stay strong and to produce fruit. Trouble is, they don’t practice that for themselves.

They are sinning presumptuously when they do that. They are squatting down over a live volcano, imagining they won’t get burned! Because they indulge in sins and are too blind to see how it has weakened them, and dirtied them, they imagine falsely that they are still clean. Their sin, in daring to think that they can sin without it damaging their soul, is a sin of presumption.

David prayed in Psalm 19:13, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then l shall be upright and l shall be innocent of the great transgression.”

David was a man after God’s own heart, and he had to pray like this! The best in the body of Christ need to watch and pray, lest they enter into temptation. The strongest saints can also commit the most humiliating sins. The Bible is clear about that. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” When we’re in temptation, we’re praying that God would not leave us there.

Even if you’re very strong, you are likely to sin in the area where you’re the strongest. Don’t say, “I could never do drugs” Or, “l would never cuss.” Or, ‘l could never drink, or steal, or sin sexually.” Without God’s grace and strength, you just might do ALL these things and THEN some!

If David had to pray to be kept back from presumptuous sins, how much should people like you and I pray to be kept? If the strongest Christian needs to pray it, then you also need to speak this prayer to God. And, if you’re a person who has already been going down that road of presumptuous sinning, can you say that you do not need to pray for God to keep you from continuing in your selfishness?

I care about you and how you feel. I’m speaking this message not to your head, but to your heart, to your soul. Your conscience is being touched by the Holy Spirit of your God… and He’s reminding you of your commitment to Him.

Remember that Jesus died for all sins, even your presumptuous sins. Today, call out to Him in prayer and be strengthened. Be cleansed and be renewed. Let Him work in your heart until you KNOW the sin is gone, and your conscience is once again strong and clean. Let the Holy Spirit purify your heart with His love and with His fire. And those presumptuous sins will not have dominion over you. You SHALL be upright. And, you SHALL be innocent of the great transgression.

loving god

Why EVERYTHING – yes; everything works together for your good, if you love God

By on June 21, 2016

When you’re going through problems and hassles, rejections and things that just aren’t working out, would it help to know that there’s a purpose in it? Would you feel better if you at least knew that some good would come out of it all? Could you hang on just a little longer if you were confident that none of your pain was in vain?

You bet! You’re probably familiar with Romans 8:28 which says, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Well, this verse means exactly what it says. If you love God, each and every thing that comes into your life is for a positive purpose.

I know it seems hard to believe. Especially when you’re going through the pain of being rejected or having your dreams collapse around your ears. But, God never, never lies. So, this verse is true whether we feel like it all the time or not.

First of all, you have to realize that you’re more than just a body and a brain. You’re a spiritual being that lives in a body that has a brain. Second, you need to keep in mind that living on earth for a total of eighty or ninety years is only a SMALL part of your total life and existence. Third, during the relatively short time you’re on earth, there are specific lessons for you to learn and certain tasks that are set before you. And last, there are other people here whose lives you are meant to touch and influence for the good. At the end of your time here, you’ll stand before God and He’ll evaluate your life and work on earth.

These are basic understandings that you need to bear in mind. They’ll help you to understand WHY God causes all things to work together for your good, if you love Him.

To help you make more sense out of your life and the things you’ve been through, let’s do a little exercise. Just suppose that, say 1,000 years before you were born, you were living in Heaven and God told you that He’d be sending you to Earth in a thousand years. When you come to earth, you’ll need to be a particular kind of person, with specific traits, abilities and strengths.

There will be several other people whose lives you’re going to touch. You’ll have to be at the right place and be able to give them the strength, help and guidance they’ll need. Your whole time on earth is going to be so short, and the timing is going to be so crucial, that you’re going to absolutely HAVE to be prepared.

If you’re going to be able to accomplish your mission, you’ll need to have certain experiences and go through specific circumstances to make you become that person you’ll need to be. Imagine that you would be able to choose your parents and the situations you will go through, as well as where you’ll be born and under what circumstances.

You’ll do all this because at the time that you’ll be sent to earth, there’ll be certain things that you’ll have to learn, do and become. And, the only way you can learn those lessons will be to be born into that family at that location at that time and in those circumstances.

Now realize that the person you are today is a result of family you had, the parents God chose for you and the difficult things you went through growing up. Your compassion for others, you’re caring for people with difficulties, your ability to keep on hanging on when things get tough – all these you learned during your times of trouble and hardships. James 1:3 says that “the trying (or testing) of your faith worketh (or brings forth) patience.” Other areas of strength and understanding in your life came as a result of even the negative qualities that were in one or both of your parents.

So, here’s the point. Your life really WAS planned thousands of years ago. And, it was done by someone more caring, and who loved you more than you even love yourself. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says that you are “beloved of the Lord, [and] God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

From the very beginning, thousands of years ago, God was working to bring you to salvation, and the Holy Spirit was at work to set you apart for God. He was working in every area of your life and even your heredity to bring you to the point where you’d believe the truth and be saved.

Your part is to choose Him and to work with God in this life as a “worker together with Him” (2 Corinthians 6:1), ministering His life to people, and bringing them the truth that will set them free (John 8:3 2).

Since the person you are today is a direct result of a loving and deliberate choice of your parents, family neighbors and situations, can you discover more purpose or meaning in the experiences you had growing up? Can you feel less bitterness and more peace? Can’t you pull life lessons out of those different problems and crises in your life?

You are truly here to do something special with your life. You’re on earth to make a significant contribution to other people and to society. Your life is part of a great master plan that God has been working for your greatest good and for the good of those around you.

Let’s say you have a kid that’s a real challenge to raise and to deal with. I believe that you are paired up with that child for ONE reason: That child NEEDS the input that only YOU have to offer And, YOU have lessons to learn that will only be learned through the trials and hassles you’re going to go through with your child! You’re the best qualified and the most understanding person in the whole world for that kid!

When you know that your life is a part of God’s master plan you have a greater peace. You understand that each trial, circumstance or problem is a vital part of what you need right now. lt’s a means of teaching you what you need to know before you go on to the next step.

Understanding that you have a destiny makes every experience have value. It means that each event came to you at the best time, so you could move forward and be able to grow. lt means that you’re also better equipped to help others when they have difficulties and crises. Since what you’ve become is a result of the things that happened in your life and your responses to them, can you see why thing; couldn’t have been otherwise than what they were?

Can you sense the progression and the preparation that your experiences brought you? Your life is part of something greater than yourself. lt’s a part of the lives of many, many other people whose lives are being impacted by what you’ve become and are growing into.

The events in your life are connected in a way that bring you growth and even greatness in life. They are working to bring about great contributions to the lives of others. These are the things that shape your destiny.

Begin to accept the good meaning of the tough things that have happened in your life as an adult and when you we’re growing up. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee and I ordained thee to be a prophet…” That’s what God said in Jeremiah 1:5.

Begin to see even your greatest trials as part of your destiny and as a part of your equipping for your mission. You’ll understand that things don’t “just happen” randomly or haphazardly. These events have shaped you into the person you are today.

You might not, at this point, know clearly where your life is going. But you can be assured that nothing has happened by accident. You can boost your faith by confidently expecting to be used by God to reach out and touch other people and to do something worthwhile with your life.

This one Bible principle, Romans 8:28, kicks fear and uncertainty out of your life forever. lt helps you to experience your life as an adventure that is moving you towards meaning and worthwhile outcomes. Lt releases the joy of the Spirit and the peace that passes understanding.

When you can calmly trust God to BE God, you’ll be able to release your faith, which activates His will in your life. His Spirit will begin to draw people and circumstances into your life that are in harmony with the perfect will of God for your life.

You are uniquely blessed and are important to more people than you’ll ever know. You’ve been put on the earth for a very special purpose. Remember that when you’re having a run in with that difficult person. Release your faith for God to have His perfect work in you through that trial.

Use this knowledge of Gods will to uproot the fear and doubts that the enemy wants to plant in your heart. Replace the fear doubt and unbelief with faith, hope and love. Be patient, calm and trusting of God. All things are working together for your good, because you love God and are called according to His purpose!

Fathers-Day

Father’s Day…What You and I Can Learn From Noah, As a Dad

By on June 14, 2016

We’re exploring the walk of a father who was, in every sense of the word, a real man. A man of God and a man among men.

He lived in a corrupt society. He was spoke, but people wouldn’t listen. He worked hard and long, with his hands. He had no converts…except his own family.

Noah was a man who had a tough time of it. He was a good man, a working man. Someone very much like you and me. He was frustrated by the corrupt and violent society he was living in. And, being a working man, he didn’t have a voice.

Then, like now, you had the rich and clever, the “cool” people running society, doing whatever they feel like, and the working man and how he felt didn’t seem to matter too much.

Noah might not have meant a lot to society. He might not have been too important in the eyes of his neighbors. But, he had one great accomplishment. One that not one other of the people who laughed at home had. He allowed God to work in his life in a way that none of the popular and “fun” people bothered with.

Noah was responsible for his family coming to know God. Through Noah’s life and testimony, his entire family came to faith in God.They watched their dad.

They noticed how he worked hard and labored with his hands to provide for his family. They found out that he would be there for them, whenever they had needs.

They heard how the other people would laugh at how strict he was on himself and his family…and still their father would do his level best to make sure his family was strong, close and faithful to God.

Noah was a good father. It wasn’t any easier in Noah’s day to raise a good family. It was a day when, like today, there was much crime; alcoholism; partying; mega immorality; violence in the streets. It was a time when even good men would give into temptation and fall into different sins.

“God saw that the wickedness of man was great…and every imagination of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5).

In the midst of all this, Noah made a commitment to raise his family to be strong, tight knit, and godly. He wanted to lead his wife and kids to a close relationship with God. Even more important to you and me, is the fact that God honored Noah’s commitment and everyone of Noah’s family was saved.

How did Noah become a strong man in a time of weak men in a weak society? He “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8) While others went after their possessions, their social positions and popularity with other evil people, Noah went into the presence of his God.

The Bible word, “grace” means “that which brings sweetness in life.”

To the others, having a sweet life would mean being rich. Or, to some, having all the friends you could name…that would bring sweetness in life to them. But to Noah, it was being in the presence of the Lord. That’s where HE felt life was its sweetest.

Second, Noah listened to what God was saying to him. He didn’t just pray and then go his own way. Hebrews 11:7 says that Noah paid attention when God warned him about the days he was living in.

Third, Noah made changes in his family life. He “prepared an ark for the saving of his house.” (Hebrews 11:7). He changed his work schedule. He changed his spending habits. Noah changed his hobbies, he changed how he related to his three children. Why? Because he wanted everyone in his family to be saved. It meant that much to him.

Noah stood tall in a land where men were weak and spineless. He took a stand, not caring whether or not his friends thought serving God wasn’t masculine. He was man enough not to sit back and idly watch his three children go the way of the rest of the world. He was a real father to his children.

Noah spoke what he believed. Nobody else listened to Noah. But, he stayed faithful to God and to the work that God had given him. So, his family saw how, over the years, their husband and father really was a man of God.

“Come thou and thy family into the ark.” That’s what God said to Noah in Genesis 7:1. This means that God Himself recognized that Noah’s family had been won to the Lord during the years of Noah’s faithfulness.

It must have been the greatest day in Noah’s life, as a husband and father, when God acknowledged that his whole family had been saved. Noah didn’t win any prizes for his preaching, but he won his family by his obedience to God.

Help for me and you. Jesus said about the days we’re living in, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage…” (Luke 17:26-27).

God is no respector of persons. That means His grace is sufficient for fathers (and mothers) today as it was in the days of Noah. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and so can we. If we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us our families for His glory. If our “sweetness in life” is in the presence of the Lord, we will, like Noah be taught by the holy Spirit and led by Him.

America and our families are looking for men to be men. To be strong, caring, consistent and godly. When the fathers decide to be real men, full of faith and godliness, caring and gentle, when the fathers change their way of living in order to save their families, we can expect the families to follow the father’s faith.

Dads, bring your family to church with you this week. Let them know you take being a father seriously. That, from now on, you’re going to be a father, like Noah, who lived his fatherhood in the eyes of God.

wearing out saints

Wearing Out the Saints

By on June 7, 2016

Daniel 7:25 talks about the enemy and his strategy to beat you in life, to wage war against you. Listen, right here it says, “He, that’s the devil, shall speak great words against the most high, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High… and he will think to change the times and laws…”

The Bible says that the devil wants to wear you out. To make you tired, to get you to grow weary, to make you want to just give up. He gets you tired out, restless, lying in bed awake at night, and then he comes at you with accusations; accusations against the unfair people in your life, accusations against people over you, accusations against yourself, and even accusations against God.

“He will speak great swelling words against the Most High.” That’s when the enemy tells you that God doesn’t care about you, or that you’re not getting anywhere. He tells you that you’re wasting your time in praying, that God doesn’t notice your tithing and your supporting His work. The devil starts accusing God of being unfair to you, and blessing people who don’t deserve to be blessed, while He doesn’t even seem to notice you.

The devil will tell you to quit fooling around with reading the Bible. To quit getting together with the other people of God. He’ll tell you to quit your own church and stay home instead! Why? Because he knows that if you will feed on what God says in the Bible, you’ll start finding out what God’s will is for you, you’ll get filled with God’s plan to bless you in life, you’ll get a glimpse of how it is with Heaven operating in your home, you’ll get fried up with faith and power, and you’ll NEVER get worn out or burned out or torn down!

See, the Devil is no match for Jesus. He knows that. And he’s doing his level best to make sure YOU don’t find out that there’s a Greater One who is able to encourage you, strengthen you and make you what you‘ve never been able to be before, when you were drawing on your own strength!

The enemy wants you to get so swallowed up, so engulfed and over-whelmed by your circumstances, your sickness, by your situation that keeps dragging on and on with no end in sight. Can’t YOU see that it‘s the enemy trying to wear you out?

Somebody said, “Well, l don’t believe in the devil!” l suppose that makes you feel smart or sophisticated, but l know that JESUS believed in the devil! Yes, l DO believe there’s a devil! I believe there’s a devil because l see the pain, the lying, the disease, the senseless violence in the world, all the poverty.

That’s why Jesus sent me to you today. To open your eyes to the thief that’s been operating in your life for so long. You’ve been figuring that if you ignore him he won’t exist. Well, it hasn’t worked that way, and God sent me to use the Bible to open peoples’ eyes, to shed some light, like the Bible says, “the entrance of Thy word O God giveth light.” God sent me to shine His light into those areas of your life where darkness has been creeping in. The enemy has worn you out, and is speaking words accusing God for your situation.

Paul, who became the Apostle Paul, was a bitter, hateful, violent man. That is, until Jesus came on the scene. All it took was a vision of Jesus, a visitation from Heaven, and Saul, an angry, hate-filled murderer, turned his life around! He never imagined he could end up being a Christian: He HATED Christians! Especially not a CHRISTIAN WHO WOULD BECOME A MINISTER. He had never heard of a murderer becoming a minister! But JESUS knew!

That’s why Jesus stopped him in his tracks one day; because Jesus had a plan for Saul’s life. Jesus is STILL stopping people in their tracks, and taking away their vision for hate and evil and murder, and giving them a vision for living, to begin to stop doing evil and doing good.

Paul saw a bright light, then he HEARD the voice, then faith came. And guess what? He LOST his vision for things of earth. Notice, he got on his knees. He got on his knees and Jesus didn’t pick him up. Jesus didn’t pick Paul up. Sometimes, you need to spend some time on your knees first. Then, Paul acknowledged Jesus is Lord. What happened next? Jesus said, “Paul, you get up.”

Walking with the Lord begins with obedience. Until you obey, you’re not a walker, you’re just a talker. Follow through on what you promised God, and you’ll begin to feel that closeness with God that you‘ve been wanting so long.

Another way the enemy wears you down is by worry. Worrying zaps you of all your strength and energy and keeps you from being able to focus on what you NEED to be paying attention to.

Then, you make more mistakes because you are preoccupied with worry. One thing to keep you from worrying too much is commit everyone in your life and everything in your life to Jesus. Then, knowing things will work out; you give your best effort to all you put your hand to. You do your best because you are a co-laborer with Jesus.

You have to trust Jesus. See, you might be praying for that teenage child of yours, asking God to move in that life. But then, every time He starts to bring them to a place where they can repent, you step in and try to rescue them, and keep them from being in pain. No, you have to commit that child to God and understand that He may have to grind them to a point where they have no choice but to call out for help.

Then, the devil uses false hopes to wear you out. Maybe you’re praying for that lost loved one. Nothing works and then all of a sudden when things are almost intolerable, he or she makes a dramatic change and tells you that you MUST immediately forgive them and act like they have never done anything wrong. In fact, this has happened over and over again. Let me remind you of something. You KNOW that person is just working you; you know it in your heart. But, then, you want so desperately for them to live right, that you feel like you HAVE to just “forgive and forget it” right now. Things go good for a couple of weeks, and then it‘s right back way it was way it was before – and you don’t know why God is letting that happen.

Well, today you are going to get that answer: The Bible talks about, in Luke 3:8, where He says to “bring forth fruits worthy of repentance,” ln other words, when a person is in trouble and knows you want so badly to believe they are good, they will sometimes work you, so they can get what they want. God says, “Give it time. Have them bring forth fruits FIRST.” That takes time. lt’s the only way you can know they have truly had a change of heart.

I’m like you. I always want to believe the best, and l admit I’m an easy mark for someone with a sad story, who cries and says they’ve changed and will never hurt me again. l fall for that myself, and God has to help me over and over to keep from being an ENABLER of that person, or actually making it easier for them to keep destroying themselves.

We easily jump to conclusions. We say, “She has really changed for 2 weeks!” or “He hasn’t lost his temper in 3 days while we’re on pins and needles and doing everything he or she wants and never saying “no.” Listen: 2 weeks or 3 days …That’s not change!

Psalm 27:1 – says “the Lord is the strength of my life. I will not fear what man shall do to me.” You can cast your cares on God. He is strong. Your life is not the hands of mere humans.

Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, or burdened, and will give you rest.” It‘s not God’s plan for you to be worn out by the enemy. His plan is to recharge you, help you, cleanse you and begin using you to reach others.

touching god

Before You Can Reach Your Friends, You Need to Touch God

By on May 31, 2016

Jesus said in Mark 1:17, “Come after Me and I will make you to become fishers of men.” Come with Jesus, and you’ll BECOME a person who attracts and brings people to Jesus.

You probably have friends who are hurting and lost in life. You want to reach them, you long to help them, but you’re not sure how to get started. What do you say? How do you begin?

First, you don’t begin by going up to them and force feeding them religion. Aren’t you glad?!! You don’t even begin reaching your friends by talking to them or even being around them!

That’s right! Listen to how Jesus puts it together in Mark 3:13-15. “Jesus went up into a mountain and called the ones He had chosen; and they came to Him. And He ordained twelve that they should be with Him, that he would send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.”

Your first step is to be with Jesus. First He ordained the twelve to be with Him and then He sent them out to reach others, and to have power. All ministry has to have this as its base.

Getting time with Jesus is where He begins to teach you by His Spirit. That’s where He works in your heart to remove all that’s not like Him and to put in His traits in the place of your old ones.

You NEED to have this quality time with your Lord each day. The pressures and problems of life are enough to rob you of your hopes, dreams and aspirations. That’s why you need to refresh your spirit in the presence of the Lord of Life each day.

God’s number one priority is reaching men and women for Jesus. Our number one job is to reconcile people to their Savior. 2 Corinthians 5:18 says, “God has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and He has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”

Since your job and mine is to reconcile people to fellowship with the Father, the enemy is going to do everything in his power to keep us from fellowshipping with Him. Even the devil knows that you can’t give what you don’t have. That’s why he wants you to keep too busy to take the time with your Father each day.

John Drescher used to tell this story: There were a group of fishermen that used to meet together each week. The waters around them were teeming with fish Big hungry fish.

These fishermen would get together each week and talk about their love of fishing, and how they might become better fishermen. They would defend the practice of fishing, and would remind each other that the number one job of a fisherman was to catch fish. They sometimes would add another fisherman or two to their group, and would pat each other on the back, that they were growing.

They got pretty sophisticated too, after a while. They got to where they had new definitions for what it meant to fish. They built a large beautiful meeting hall for a headquarters. They would hold training courses on fishing, and study the nature of fish, “fish psychology” how to recognize a fish and even the various approaches and feeding techniques of fish.

They also printed and distributed fishing guides. They handed them out by the hundreds. They would even get guest speakers to come in and stir their interest in catching fish.

Matter of fact, after one of these sessions, a teenage boy actually went out and tried his hand at fishing! He caught two or three beautiful fish, and brought them to the next meeting. They had him stand up in front of the whole group and tell how he had done it.

He was so compelling in his story that he was asked to go to other fishing groups and tell about how he caught those fish. He became such a sought after speaker that he never did actually get to go out fishing again.

One of the things that bothered some of the fishermen was that it was tough to stay excited about fishing, when you never fish. It was also hard to put up with the ridicule when people would ask, “How come you call yourselves fishermen, but you never fish?” That was a pretty tough one!

It IS true that a lot of the fishermen had sacrificed and worked very hard to build the meeting hall and to keep it operating smoothly. Some of them even lived near the water and had the smell of dead fish on them. But what really hurt was the day someone came into their meeting and said, “If you don’t fish you’re not really a fisherman, no matter WHAT you say you are!” And, they began to think among themselves, “Is a person a fisherman if year after year goes by and he never catches a fish?”

Are we really following Jesus if we don’t become fishers of men? If we walk with Him we WILL BECOME fishers of men. That means then, if you’re not catching people for the Savior you must not be walking with Him, doesn’t it?

The Bible says in Genesis 3:8 that, when God first made Adam and Eve, the Lord would come and walk with them “in the cool of the evening.” A main reason that God created Adam and Eve was so He could fellowship with them.

When Adam and Eve fell, they broke that fellowship. That’s when they went running from the presence of the Lord and tried to hide themselves. The first thing that God did was ask, “Adam, where are you?” God was seeking to fellowship with Adam and Eve.

Do you think God didn’t know where Adam and Eve were? No, He asked this so that Adam could answer Him, that’s why! Even though Adam and Eve had messed up, God still wanted fellowship with them.

You don’t want to get to the point where you’re filling your life with so many other things that God has to come looking for you. When He is here in the worship services, does He find you here? Or does He have to ask where you are? He wants to meet with you in prayer and worship and in the services of the church.

Before Moses was sent to reach his people in Egypt, God said, “Come now therefore, and I will send you unto Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10).” Even with Moses, he had to first come be with God, and THEN he was sent to reach others. That’s an eternal spiritual principle. Coming into the presence of God first. And that’s ALWAYS followed by reaching others. Always.

Jesus ordained the twelve that they should be with Him. Then, they would be able to reach others with power and good results. He’s ordained you and me the same way. He’s still saying “Come after Me and l will make you to become fishers of men.”

lf we’ll follow Him in our devotions and worship, He’ll build in us a life of ministry fruitfulness and full nets that never come up empty.

beating loneliness

Beating Loneliness, Making Friends and Growing Closer to Jesus

By on May 31, 2016

“I’m going to kill myself,” the voice on the phone said. “I just can’t stand to be alone! Even God said it’s not good for man to be alone! Solitary confinement is the worst punishment there is! If I have to go through life alone, I’ll kill myself first!”

I can totally understand the feelings and fears of my caller Fear of loneliness is one of the biggest problems Americans face. Even people with lots of friends often feel alone and very isolated from other people.

How do you deal with loneliness? Do you just go out and meet a bunch of people? Do you keep the radio or TV on, even when you’re not interested? Do you become “everybody’s friend” so you’ll never have to be alone with your thoughts? If it’s the fear of being alone that drives you to meet people, you won’t even be able to make good friends. Let me explain.

All of us are alone. We’re all alone in the sense that we’re the only person in our body. No matter how many ‘ends you have and, and close relatives, when push comes to shove, you’re alone with just yourself and your thoughts.

Secondly when your life on earth is over you’re going to stand before God alone. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says that “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body according to what he hath done, whether good or bad.”

So, one of the first steps to beating loneliness is knowing that no matter how close you get to another person or persons (or favorite pet), you’ll always be an entity unto yourself. They can become a part of your life, but they can’t become a part of YOU. Even you’re closest friend or companion can’t know you’re innermost thoughts. “What man knoweth the things of a man except the spirit of that man which is within him?” (1 Corinthians 2:11).

How’s this help you? Because, once you realize this, you’ll know that you’ll be spending the rest of your life with YOU and the rest of eternity with YOU. That means you’d better put some time and effort in becoming the kind of person you WANT to spend time with. Become the kind of person whose company you enjoy.

Nothing on earth is more uncomfortable than not liking yourself! How awful it is to be alone with your thoughts when they’re not the kinds of thoughts you like or respect. lf you can’t stand yourself, you are what Jesus called a “house divided against itself (Matthew 12:25).

If you don’t become the kind of person you like and respect, you’ll never be very able to get along with other people. (ln fact, you won’t even be able to get along with God. More about that later) God said in Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” So, if you don’t love yourself, you can’t very well love other people.

l’m not talking about loving the old you, the one that’s corrupt and deceptive, but loving the new you, the recreated person in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). The OLD you was corrupt and caused you all kinds of problems, but the Bible says that the NEW you, is recreated in the image of God (Colossians 3:10).

When you don’t really like the kind of person you are, you try to get more out or your friendships than they can provide. You look to your friends to provide the happiness, satisfaction and meaning in life that only can come from the inside, when you’re at peace with God. The fact is, these other people can’t do it. No human being can do that for you. When you expect them to do that, you end up “smothering” them. You do what’s called “overkill.” So, before long, they drop you and move on to someone else. And, you end up lonely again… all because you were trying to avoid loneliness!

There’s a strong tendency when you’re trying desperately to avoid loneliness, to drop your integrity in an effort to make “friends” You might start drinking alcohol, or smoking, or doing drugs, or dabbling in immorality. That’s how you begin to lose out with God, and as a person. 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Be not deceived: evil company corrupteth good habits.”

Dropping your integrity, or otherwise compromising your standards will always ultimately backfire on you. Then, you’re left with even Slimmer chances of finding that meaningful relationship that could add to your happiness.

This is why so many “popular” people are empty and frustrated inside. They know a lot of people, and they become different things to those different people. But, none of those relationships are held together by mutual admiration and respect. ln fact, sometimes, popular people can’t even stand some of the people they hang out with.

You need to be able to enjoy your own company first. That’s the first real key to overcoming loneliness. lt’s a matter of turning off the radio, shutting down the TV and being alone with your thoughts. Then, bringing those thoughts to God in prayer.

Get alone with your Bible or some other spiritual book, and read in solitude. Take time to meditate on what you’ve just read. Apply it to your life and your relationships. David tells it like this, in Psalm 724, “l call to remembrance my song in the night: l commune with my own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.” Reading and applying His Word will not only make you a more well-adjusted person, it’ll make you more interesting. You’ll have more wisdom and understanding in your relationships.

Solitary prayer is most effective and rewarding when practiced alone. Jesus said that in Matthew 6:6. “When you pray enter into your closet (or bedroom), and when you have shut the door pray…”

When you’re praying, and submitting your needs to God, like it says in (Philippians 4:6), He’ll bring forth solutions that you’d never realize otherwise. You just can’t hear the “still small voice” of God clearly when other people are around. ln your friendships with others, this also makes you a person of more value. Instead of being uptight and insecure, you’ll be able to bring peace and security to each friendship.

Once you learn how to enjoy being alone with yourself and with Jesus, you’ll be the kind of person that other people can enjoy being around, too. Then, friendships become easier and more enjoyable. You’ll find yourself actually LIKING other people, instead of resenting them.

People who don’t really enjoy themselves and who aren’t at peace with the Lord get perverted views of friendship. Some of these distorted views are that a friend is:
*Someone whose job it is to make you happy.
*Someone who will be available to meet your emotional needs 24 hours a day. February 11, 1996
*Someone who wants to hear all your problems all the time.
* Someone who’ll always agree with you whether you’re right or wrong.
*Someone you can be rude to, and will never hold you accountable.
* Someone who only looks out for you and never for himself or herself. And so on..

How to have friends. You won’t make friends until you’re willing to sow the seeds of friendship. People won’t just go out and “discover” you! “He that hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).” First, get to be at peace with yourself and with God. Then, demonstrate your friendliness and respect for other people. Be genuinely interested in them and in their situations. Focus on them, and not on yourself and your interests.

Be interesting, pleasant and upbeat. No one wants to hang around a whiner and a complainer. Not even God. “ls it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?” (Isaiah 7:13)

Remember that people are human. They AREN’T perfect, and they aren’t going to be thinking about YOU and your feelings ALL the time. They’ll let you down. They’ll disappoint you. Even good friends will have faults. Learn to believe the best and give people the benefit of the doubt. Learn to forgive. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Last: Apply these principles to your friendship with Jesus. Be friendly to Him. Show yourself friendly to Him. Don’t expect Him to come seeking you out. Be pleasant to Him. Don’t just come to Him with your complaints list. Be real. Don’t put on some fake personality to try to impress Him. He knows what you’re all about anyway.

Be a good listener. Listen to what He says to you through the Word and prayer. And, act on it! Be loyal to Him. When you’re around your “cool” friends, remember not to snub Jesus or make like you aren’t his friend. Take time with Him. Like any friendship, friendship with Jesus takes time when it’s just you and Him alone. Like you would for an earthly friend, introduce Jesus Him to your other friends, so they can get to know Him.

Ask His forgiveness. Where you’ve been thoughtless, disloyal, selfish, you need to make amends. Ask Him to draw near to you again and to help you to be a better friend to Him. Then, be true to your word.

lt’s not good to be alone. Get alone with God. Be reconciled to Him. Become the kind of person that YOU would want to spend time with. The abundant life that you receive from Jesus will spill over into your outer life. And then, you’ll find God bringing quality people into your life!

You'll never make it to heaven

You’ll Never Make it in Life and Never Make it to Heaven if You go by how You Feel. Here’s Why.

By on May 24, 2016

Jesus said in John 13:16-17 that the servant is not greater than his master, neither is the disciple greater than his Lord. And, “If you know these things, happy are ye if you DO them.”

So Jesus DOES care about our happiness. That’s why he gave us this key to being happy in life. But, you’ll never know happiness if you go by how you feel. If you serve God when you feel like it and how you feel like it, and then stop when you don’t feel like serving anymore you will be a stranger to lasting happiness.

See, even Jesus Himself didn’t come to do His own will – but to do the Father’s will. We’re talking about, JESUS, the LORD!!! He didn’t do what He felt like! He was down here not doing His will, but the Father’s!

We think that happiness and satisfaction come from having our way, hearing the kinds of sermons and messages that WE want to hear, and singing the kinds of songs WE like, and serving God in some capacity that WE ENJOY. In other words, “I WANT MY WAY!”

But, that’s not the mind of a real Disciple of Jesus. It isn’t, “I want my way,” but, “I want HIS way, and for HIS glory!” I had to learn several years ago that what I want doesn’t matter, just like Jesus said was true in His own life. What JESUS wanted didn’t matter, it was what the Father wanted, that’s what mattered.

What I want is carnal, and to have to have my own way is to be carnally minded, which Romans 8 says is the way of death. “To be carnally minded is death.”

That’s why our minds need to be transformed, like God says in Rom. 12:2. “Be not conformed to THIS world, but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind.” You’re not conformed to the will of God when you’re still wanting your way. That’s the way of the world.
If I can’t have my way,I’m taking my toys and leaving.

That’s the essence of worldly thinking. “Me first, what I want, and when I want it.” Spiritual thinking doesn’t work like that. Spiritual thing is, “God first. What does HE want, and when does HE want it?”

You say, “But I have my rights!” But God says, “You are NOT your own, you are bought with a price, so glorify Me in your body and your spirit, which are MINE!” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

Jesus said that the key to always experiencing the presence of God in your life, and the key that HE operated in was, “the Father has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please HIM.” (John 8:29)

Satan knows that he doesn’t have a snowflake’s chance at defeating you, as long as you’re walking in the Spirit. He can’t get you to stop being productive in the Kingdom of God, he can’t get you to be “salt that has lost its flavor,” he can’t get you to be a castaway, unless he can attack you on the basis of how you feel.

Satan can never defeat a real Christian by offering doubts as to whether or not the Word of God is true. Only a baby Christian would fall for that one. But Satan can and does wipe out every person who elevates how he or she feels above the Word of God and the Will of God. Then, he can get the people of God to become defeated, depressed, weak, sinful, dirty and under the condemnation of guilt and sin. This is why the enemy makes every effort he can to allure you through the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Nobody’s gonna tell ME I can’t do what I feel like…I’ll just
A) Get a divorce.
B) Quit this job!
C) Change churches!!
D) All of the above.
If you give the devil a foothold in your life, you lose your power to cast him out! That’s why Jesus said, “How can Satan cast out Satan?” In Mark 3:23. And, why God says in Ephesians 4:27, “neither give place to the devil.” The devil is the “accuser of the brethren,” the accuser of God, and the father of lies. You and I CAN NOT give the devil room to operate in our feelings and emotions and expect to have any peace, power or fellowship with God!

“The wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.” When you’re not making your choices in peaceful and godly leading of the Holy Spirit, you will not have the righteousness of God at work in your life. Whenever you make a decision because you are mad, ticked off, cheesed off, or fed up, you’ve missed the will of God, and will miss being led on the paths of righteousness. That’s what God says in James 1:20: “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

So, is this being hard? NO! It is being GOOD to my SOUL! “For they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections thereof,” Galatians 5:24 says.

Like the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”

2 Peter 2:19, says, “…for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage.” When the enemy can get us to be lead by our feelings, and emotions, and likes and dislikes, we will be in bondage to the flesh and be unable to please God! In fact, God says, we become SERVANTS not of Christ, but of sinful flesh!

God says, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of Judgement: because as Jesus is, so are WE in this world.” Our love for God is made complete when we always do those things that make for boldness, being able to stand before God without a sense of fear, on the day of judgement , because, even as Jesus himself did not do His own will, but the will of the Father that sent Him, so we live the same way. We let the mind be in us that was in Christ – caring for nothing but the will of the Father being done in our lives!

Heart not be Decieved

Take Heed To Your Yourselves, That your Heart Be not Deceived

By on May 17, 2016

Have you ever been deceived by somebody? You thought they were sincere and honest, but they were using you the whole time? I have, and it really is heart wrenching. It’s devastating to find out you’ve given yourself honestly to someone and they were laughing at you behind your back the whole time.

Here’s an even tougher question: Have you ever deceived yourself? Have you lied to yourself so convincingly that you talked yourself into believing something that’s totally untrue? Have you ever wanted something to be true so badly that you actually deceived yourself into believing it? If you’re human, you probably have.

That’s why God gives us this warning to take heed to ourselves that our hearts be not deceived. He gives this warning in Deuteronomy 11:16. “Take heed to yourselves that your hearts be not deceived.” ln other words, it’s the easiest thing in the world to sell yourself on someone or something and to deceive yourself.

How do we keep from being deceived by other people or even by ourselves? First off, Jesus says in John 8:32, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” My dictionary defines truth as, “Conforming to fact or reality; a statement or belief that corresponds with reality; correct belief; reality.”

So, Point Number One is “Truth isn’t the way you or l wish things were.” To really serve God and have our lives work according to His plan, we have to be committed to reality. We have to be willing to know how things really are. We have to base our lives on what’s true, factual, and real rather than on myths, imaginations and self-deception.

Most of us tend to get reality mixed up with something else. We confuse it with our likes, dislikes, feelings and wishes. In fact, it’s easy to believe something is true just because we so desperately WANT it to be true.

When that’s the case, we’re self-deceived. Then, when someone comes along and brings us the truth, we get mad at them. This is what happened to the Apostle Paul, when he was dealing with the Christians in the town of Galatia. He brought them the truth about how they were living and what they were believing and they got mad at him. He could hardly believe that some Christians would rather go on living in self-deception than be told the truth. “Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” He marveled in Galatians 4:16.

Point Number Two: Truth isn’t the way things appear to be, it’s the way they actually are.” We don’t go by just the outward appearance of things. “We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).” 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen…”

We have a choice. Either to acknowledge the truth and operate in it or to pretend things are different than they really are, and have the truth work against us. That’s what Jonah tried to do. He tried to pretend that he could run from the call of God. He deceived himself. But, when it all caught up with him, he said, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercies.” Meaning, “lf you live, act and plan by how you PRETEND things are, before long, reality will give you a, jarring smack upside the head.”

Point Number Three: Your life will be mixed up to the degree that you ignore these first two principles. Whenever in my life l’ve lost peace of mind and felt torn and frustrated, it was when l was dealing with things the way l WISHED they were, rather than how they REALLY were.

When you build relationships that way pretending that people are the way you WISH they were, you end up feeling used, devastated, exploited and heartbroken. And, you can’t figure out why things never work out for you!

This kind of self-deception is in operation when we want to believe in someone so badly, that we overlook the glaring inconsistencies in their lives. Then, based on our self- deception, we make commitments to them. Maybe it’s when we want to believe that the used car salesman really is our newest and best friend. Or we loan money to a person who has a track record of irresponsibility.

Even more common, we fall in love with someone because we feel lonely and along comes some person who is pretty close to what we were looking for. We can call all of these God’s will until they don’t pan out. Then, we blame the devil! That’s why God says, “Take heed to yourselves that your heart be not deceived.

We can get so caught up in how we WISH things were that we can allow self-deceptions to replace reality. Think of the people you’ve known who’ve focused on how they WISHED things were, and then made their plans, spent their money accepted jobs and even married unsuitable people based on their own fantasy lives!

That’s why we have to act on what God says, rather than on how we feel. 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves whether you are in faith, prove your own selves.” We have to discern whether we’re walking in faith, or our own wishing.

See, my wishes DON’T affect the Word of God, or the plan of God for my life. My wishes don’t change reality. My wishing WON’T get me what FAITH will get me. A lot of what people call faith these days is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Point Number Four: Self-deception is dangerous and can be deadly. You might say “What harm is it, if l want to fantasize and pretend that things aren’t really the way they are?” I might reply “The harm is that you might decide to jump out in front of a moving train, because you WISH you were Superman. And, worse yet, you might lead some innocent people with you, who wished THEY were Superman.”

A lot of people l’ve met are like Mr. Magoo. Remember him? He was the cartoon character who was nearly blind. Since he couldn’t see clearly he got his own ideas of how things were, and he lived as though that was reality. The whole comedy of Mr. Magoo was that he thought his friends were really enemies, that his enemies were his friends. He mistook danger for opportunity and thought that opportunities were potential dangers. What made it all funny was that he was a cartoon character and could never get hurt or hurt anyone else by it.

When you or l try to live like Christian Mr. Magoo, it’s not funny and it’s impossible to serve God rightly. Specifically when we try to come to God on our own terms, instead of on His terms, as set forth in the Bible. When we try to do things in our own strength and wisdom, rather than on His wisdom found in the Word.

lt’s being like Mr. Magoo when we think we’ve found God’s will and get all in a hurry to proceed by faith, even though the Bible says that it’s through faith AND patience that we inherit the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12).

Point Number Five: Reality and truth will come to light, no matter what. Galatians 6:7 says it like this: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Either way, for good or for bad.

Last: Ways we deceive ourselves.
1. Thinking we’re something we’re not. Galatians 6:3, “For if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”

2. Pride will deceive us. We can get to the place where we think we’re too smart, cool, rich, secure, popular or whatever to fall. “The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee. (Obadiah 1:3).”

3. Listening to other people, even when they contradict what the Word says. Jesus said take heed that ye not be deceived… (Like 21:8).”

4. Thinking that being wise in an educational sense, or business sense or in street smarts makes us wise in the things of God. “Let no man deceive himself. If any among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18).

5. Believing that, because you go to church and hear the sermons and sing the songs that you must be right with God. James 1:22: “Be ye doers of the Word, not hearers only deceiving yourselves.”

6. Believing a person who is living in known sin is still a Christian, and is right with God. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he hath doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous (1 John 3:7).”

7. Believing you can hang around with people who aren’t living right… and that it won’t affect you. 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Be not deceived: evil company corrupteth good habits.”

8. Believing God is “too good” to let you go to hell for your sins and disobedience. “Know ye not that the unrighteousness shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived… (1 Corinthians 6:9).” Ephesians 5:6, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

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