Revealing Truth Today

Standing for the truth and sharing Jesus with others!

“Don’t Judge Your Spiritual Condition By Feelings” Sermon

For this month’s blog entry, I would highly encourage all of my readers to watch this video sermon by the late David Wilkerson. It is a timely and highly encouraging sermon for the Christian who feels that they are in a rut of boredom, repetition, or discouragement.

 

Leave a comment »

The Christian Response to FEAR

Fear… the overwhelming feeling of impending doom that seems to take over one’s being. I must admit, I’ve had fear attack me on numerous occasions in my life. I’d think to myself, “Pull yourself together… where is your Christian faith?!” The horrible feeling of fear – I had to find out where it was coming from, and find a way to overcome it! But how?

In this blog entry, I will not be speaking from an ivory tower of victory whilst looking down upon others who still have fears. No – because I still grapple with this thing of fear myself, at times. Nonetheless, I do not want to diminish how far God has brought me. I cannot say that I’ve got this thing “whipped”; but I can say that God has brought me a long way from where I once was and I no longer feel ruled over by fear. Allow me some time to share what the Lord has showed me… it may help you, also.

 

Is It a Sin to Fear?

believeIt is human nature to fear. Some believe that it is a sin to fear. However, I am not personally convinced of that stance. Sure, negative fear brings torment and is unhealthy for us to bear; but oftentimes, we do not willfully choose to have fears. In fact, many who have a problem with fear wish that they didn’t.

Throughout scripture, we see examples of God’s children who had very real fears. When the Apostle Paul was in Macedonia, he said their flesh had no rest and that they had inward fears. Nonetheless, God comforted them by sending Titus (see 2nd Cor. 7). God can use various means to comfort us in our hard times.

The only type of fear which I see as sinful (according to the Bible) is the fear to stand up for God, and to fear what it might cost us (or what we might lose) in order to serve God. In other words, it is a sin to be cowardly and fearful where our faith is concerned, and it is sinful to value anything over God and to fear what we might lose in order to serve him. We must be willing to die for our faith if it comes down to it. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). In this scripture, we see the negative sense of fear (fearing persecution) and the positive sense of fear (fearing the Lord).

Furthermore, we find Revelation 21:8 states: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”  In this scripture, we find the original Greek meaning for the word, “fearful” defined as:

“Cowardly, timid, fearful. Deilós (an adjective derived from deidō, “fear-driven”) – properly, dreadful, describing a person who loses their ‘moral gumption (fortitude)’ that is needed to follow the Lord; (“Fearful of losses”) refers to an excessive fear (dread) of ‘losing,’ causing someone to be fainthearted (cowardly) – hence, to fall short in following Christ as Lord. /deilós is always used negatively in the NT and stands in contrast to the positive fear which can be expressed by /phóbos (‘fear,’ see Phil. 2:12). Christians who through cowardice give way under persecutions and apostatize. From deos (dread); timid, i.e. (by implication) faithless — fearful.”

So you see, there are different types of fear – some are positive/healthy (as in fearing/reverencing the Lord), some are negative/unhealthy, and others are overtly sinful. When Jesus is denied due to fear, it is sin. “But whosoever shall deny me [Jesus] before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:33).

NOTE: In order to cut down on confusion – the remainder of this blog entry will be focusing on overcoming the negative/unhealthy sense of fear and not so much focusing on the positive or overtly sinful types of fears. I just wanted to mention such fears in the beginning to cover all types of fears that a person can have.

The Root of the Problem

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” ~Psalm 56:3

strengthI’ve never been a fan of “Band-Aid” methods – simply covering over the hurt and proverbial infected wound of problems while allowing the root of the issue to remain. Imagine having a fast-growing skin cancer on your face. Sure, you could put a bandage over it or even try to use cosmetics to conceal it – but the cancer is still there, causing problems, and it needs to be identified and removed in order for healing to take place. The same applies to fear. The root cause of fear must be identified in order to eradicate it so that healing can take place.

Firstly, we must identify where our fear is derived. Please note that there are some physical diseases and disorders which affect the central nervous system and cause one to feel nervous, uneasy, and sometimes panicked. This type of fear is more of a physical response rather than a mental or spiritual response. Nonetheless, God is well able to help us deal with any type of fear. But usually, most fears are from our mind or from our spirit. These latter types of fear can only thrive where there is lack of trust… remember that. I don’t say that in a scolding manner, but if we trust God whole-heartedly to care for us no matter what, then we can find a place of peace. That’s not to say that we still won’t have concerns or emotions – but we will rule the fear rather than the fear ruling us.

Secondly, we must identify what unhealthy fears do to us. Does it give us a good feeling to fear? Does it glorify God? Does it help us to become a better person? Does it keep our thoughts centered on Christ? Does it bring peace? No, usually fear is a bully and it will turn us into frightened little mice, scurrying for cover. This is no way to live! It robs our joy, our peace of mind, our contentment, our time, and our health. Christian Nazi Concentration Camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, once said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

Imagine fearing something dreadful for one-thousand days, yet, it never happens. This fear has, not only robbed one-thousand days, but it has robbed us of the strength we would need should we ever have to face such a horrible event. At the root, fear is often a thought that God will somehow fail us in our darkest hour or in our times of turbulence. This must be hurtful to our Master. And can we really change anything by fearing it or by having worrisome thoughts about it? (See Matt. 6:25-34). In fact, when we focus on such fears and dreadful things, we are basically living them out every day – even when they are not presently occurring. That’s not what we want; we must get a hold on this tormenting fear!

The Bible instructs us:Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” (2nd Cor. 10:5). If we did not have the ability to do so, God would never taunt us with such instructions as these. The Christian has a huge advantage over fear!

Lay the axe of God’s Word to the root of fear because it does not bring peace and does not glorify God. Plus, His Word instructs us to think on pleasant things – not dreadful ones. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil 4:8).

How To Fight Fear

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” ~Psalm 34:4

fnI have heard many Christian leaders give advice to use scripture to combat fear. While that is definitely true – I would like to take that a step further. You must meditate upon and believe the scriptures you tell yourself in the throes of fear, or it will just be words. You must be fully persuaded and convinced that, yes, fear does bring torment (just as God’s Word says). And yes, it’s true that God has not given me the spirit of fear (just as God’s Word says).

It takes great discipline to retrain your mind to go to God’s Word because your fears will try to bully you out of it. And when you first start using God’s Word to combat fear, this spirit of fear will laugh at you and make your scripture quotes seem feeble and unhelpful. But never mind, you just keep on facing fear with scripture and keep the faith. Over time, the scripture will become so solidified and powerful in your mind and heart that they will act as a prophylaxis, of sorts, against fear to repel it before it gets out of hand.

I would also recommend expounding upon the scriptures to yourself. Instead of just quoting the scripture alone (which is great), take it a step further and stir up your faith by expounding and meditating upon it. For example, you could say something like, “God’s Word, that cannot lie, says that God has not given me this spirit of fear. So this unhealthy fear which I am feeling is from an evil spirit attacking me, because it is not from God. I have authority over that spirit in Jesus’ name and by His blood. The Bible says that God wants me to have a sound mind. So, I’m not going to give into this fear because it is not from God.” Then, follow up with a prayer.

Again, you must use scripture to convince yourself that your fear is NOT from God. As a Christian, we should be quick to whole-heartedly reject anything that is not from God. It doesn’t matter the psychological label that it is given, it is tormenting you and it’s not from God! Remember, 1st John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” When we know that we are perfectly loved and cared for by God, it casts out fear and torment. Why? Because we know that no matter what happens, He is our rock and He will never leave us comfortless or floundering around with no help. Again, it goes back to how much we trust God. As his children, we have sure access to Him at all times.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:31-32).

Inspiring Thoughts

In conclusion, please see the additional quotes below in order to combat fear and to give you a clear, Christian perspective:

♦“Our lives are full of supposes. Suppose this should happen, or suppose that should happen; what could we do; how could we bear it? But, if we are living in the high tower of the dwelling place of God, all these supposes will drop out of our lives. We shall be quiet from the fear of evil, for no threatenings of evil can penetrate into the high tower of God. Even when walking through the valley of the shadow of death, the psalmist could say, will fear no evil; and, if we are dwelling in God, we can say so too.” ~Hannah Whitall Smith

♦“I prayed to dispel my fear, until suddenly, and I do not know how the idea came to me, I began to pray for others. I prayed for everyone who came into my thoughts – people with whom I had traveled, those who had been in prison with me, my school friends of years ago. I do not know how long I continued my prayer, but this I do know – – my fear was gone! Interceding for others had released me!” ~Corrie Ten Boom (Nazi Concentration Camp survivor)

♦“Where is thy faith? Stand fast and with perseverance. Be long-suffering and strong. Consolation will come unto thee in its due season. Wait for Me; yea, wait; I will come and heal thee. It is temptation which vexeth thee, and a vain fear which terrifieth thee. What doth care about future events bring thee, save sorrow upon sorrow? ‘Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.’ It is vain and useless to be disturbed or lifted up about future things which perhaps will never come. But it is the nature of man to be deceived by fancies of this sort, and it is a sign of a mind which is still weak to be so easily drawn away at the suggestion of the enemy. For he careth not whether he deceive and beguile by true means or false; whether he throw thee down by the love of the present or fear of the future. Therefore let not thy heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~Thomas à Kempis (Author, 1380-1471)

♦“A Prayer Against Evil Thoughts” by: Thomas à Kempis

“O Lord my God, ‘be not Thou far from me, my God, haste Thee to help me,’ for many thoughts and great fears have risen up against me, afflicting my soul. How shall I pass through them unhurt? How shall I break through them? ‘I,’ saith He, ‘will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight.’ I will open the prison doors, and reveal to thee the secret places…

Do, Lord, as Thou sayest; and let all evil thoughts fly away before Thy face. This is my hope and my only comfort, to fly unto Thee in all tribulation, to hope in Thee, to call upon Thee from my heart and patiently wait for Thy loving kindness.”

Sources: biblehub.com, en.wikipedia.org, polyvore.com

4 Comments »

How Would You Treat an Angel?

angelbThe annoying door-to-door salesman, the fast food worker who made a mistake on your order, the telemarketer who calls in the middle of dinner, the elderly man who drives slowly and causes you to be late to work – how do we, as Christians, treat these people? Do we show patience, understanding, kindness, and a Christ-like attitude toward them? Or do we treat them with disdain, hatred, and anger?

Now, allow me to pose a hypothetical question – what if an angel was disguised as a clumsy fast food worker or as a slow, elderly man? Would that change the way that we, as Christians, treat them? Of course! We would be extra kind, patient, and apt to show hospitality while extending grace to such a one. Well, maybe this idea isn’t so far-fetched or hypothetical. You see, the Bible says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb. 13:2). In other words, the Berean Study Bible puts it like this, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

In Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, it states: “The Greek word for ‘angels’ – messengers – of itself would serve to remind these Christians that, though the strangers whom they welcomed were but men, they might be special messengers of God.”  So whether an angel in disguise (which appear as men) or a special messenger sent by God, it is clear that we are to show hospitality and Christian love to others – even strangers. Remember the scripture, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…” (Matt. 7:12).

How Would You Treat Jesus?

In the first section of this blog, we discussed how we might behave differently if we were in the presence of an angel. But, let’s take that a step further – how would we treat Jesus if he were walking among us, yet hidden in a disguise? Wouldn’t it be utterly devastating to learn that we’d treated someone with disregard only to find out later that the person was really Jesus in disguise?! Again, this is not such a far-fetched idea, for the Holy Spirit lives within many. In Matthew 10:40, Jesus said, “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” This concept is best explained in Matthew 25:34-46:

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

It Matters To God How We Treat Others

The point of this blog entry is to show the importance of how we treat others – even strangers. The Bible also teaches us not to show favoritism to the rich while despising the poor (see James 2:1-13); to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (see Mark 12:31); and to be a good “Samaritan” who has pity and mercy upon a helpless soul in need (see Luke 10:25-37). Likewise, we are to speak graciously with kind words – even to strangers (see Col. 4:5-6). If necessary, we are to bridle our tongues so that we do not speak out of our anger or haste. The Bible even goes so far as to say this: “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26).

The Bible is full of examples which teach us how to behave in a Godly manner and how to treat others. When we choose to offer hospitality, we are to do so without grumbling (1st Pet. 4:9). It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to have a genuinely kind heart. Kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control – these are some of the “fruits” that grow in our lives as we yield to the Holy Spirit (see Gal. 5:22).

As we know, it’s easy to love the loveable – but it is the unlovable who usually need to feel loved. We never know what such an unlovable person is going through. I’ve heard it said that hurt people often have masks. Hurt may be masked as anger, rebellion, or as having a bad attitude. Love will go a long way and that is what the hurting people need. Jesus showed his love by dying for such souls so that they could be saved and loved eternally. Loving the lost takes on many forms. Love is ultimately shown when we reveal truths to them and lead them to our loving God. We are taught in Matthew 5:43-48 to even love our enemies…

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

It’s equally important to God how we treat our family. For example, it’s important how husbands treat their wives. If they do not show honor, scripture says that their prayers could be hindered. “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1st Pet. 3:7). The Bible also instructs wives, children, and all of us how to behave in a Godly manner. If we should behave badly in a weak moment, we need to be humble enough to admit fault, ask for forgiveness, mourn our sin, and repent. It doesn’t always come natural, but as disciples of the Lord Jesus, let’s strive to put ourselves aside in order to live a life pleasing to him. Again, I will reiterate – it is very important to God how we treat others.

It isn’t always easy and there will be plenty of opportunities to become angry or to be tempted to treat others poorly; but the next time you’re tempted to give someone a “piece of your mind” or to show hatred, remember to ask yourself these questions – “What if this is a test and really just an angel in disguse? How would Jesus want me to behave toward strangers or enemies? What if my anger drives an unstable soul to harm themselves?” Reaffirm in your mind that it is very important to God how Christians treat others since we are his ambassadors. Let’s have a depth to us so that we shine with love and genuine, Christian kindness.

Sources: biblehub.com, youtube.com, polyvore.com
2 Comments »

5 Important Truths I’ve Learned (Part 3)

Welcome back to Part 3 of 3 of “Important Truths I’ve Learned”.

You may read Part 1 HERE.

You may read Part 2 HERE.

This is the final installment of this three-part series. In each entry, I have been listing five valuable lessons which the Lord has taught me over the years. Again, I certainly have not “arrived” and still have much to learn, but I hope the following insights will help and inspire you in some way. The truths below are listed in random order.

1.) You will become unpopular and even hated if you stand for truth; but speak it and stand for it anyway. Some people have a huge fear of being unpopular; but it is far better to be unpopular with people than it is to be unknown by God! Woe unto those to whom He will say, “I never knew you… depart from me” (see Matt. 7:23). In scripture, the Bible says that the people hated Jesus without a cause (see John 15:25). It also states this: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19).  And Mark 13:13 states: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Have courage to stand alone and be unpopular, hated, and misunderstood for a season. You see, we’re in a foreign land here, but when we’re home with our Lord, we’ll be fully accepted, understood, and loved for all eternity.

2.) Be a genuinely kind-hearted person and look to make others smile, not expecting anything in return. One of the fruits of the Spirit is goodness (see Galatians 5:22). It is heart-warming and rewarding to be good to people and to show Christ’s love and kindness. We never know what someone else is going through so an act of kindness, no matter how small, can go a long way. Ways we can show kindness is to always show appreciation, give words of encouragement, compliments, and do good deeds – expecting nothing in return. Matthew 7:12 puts it like this: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”  Love and kindness doesn’t mean we accept and embrace sin – it simply means we show Christ’s concern and care for those without Him and to continue encouraging other Believers, as well. I like the quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. where he said, I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

3.) Keep everything in perspective and zoom out! If a photographer has the camera zoomed in to the dirt on the ground, it will magnify each clod of dirt and make it appear as a huge boulder. Also, he will not be able to clearly see and photograph the beautiful, vast world around him if he’s only focused on the dirt. The same applies to life… I often have to remind myself to “zoom out” and look at the big picture of eternity. It’s so easy for life’s problems to appear bigger than life and to become too overwhelming. But we are as a grain of sand viewed from outer space and our God is far greater than our problems. Always remember that, in the end, God will set everything right anyhow – so our momentary affliction or heartache is only temporary. We must remind ourselves of such truths often. Just as Jesus did when He was on the cross… it was for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross (see Heb. 12:2). In other words, He had immense joy to look forward to; and that was what enabled Him to endure. Likewise, the Christian has Jesus to look up to and immense joy in Heaven to look forward to – that is how we endure. It’s like this… “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal(2nd Corinthians 4:17-18). Just as the hymn so beautifully says… Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face – and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” His grace is sufficient, it’s enough to help us endure. May God grant us the wherewithal to look at the bigger picture and zoom out when life gets overwhelming.

4.) God won’t let His children go to Hell; rest assured – and live free from this fear. In this life, friends come and they go – whether by choice, a move, or death. But we must remember that God will never leave us nor forsake us (see Deut. 31:8). But what I am referencing is the fact that He won’t forsake His own children to Hell. There was a season in my life when the enemy tried to fool me into thinking that I wasn’t “good enough” and that I would land in Hell somehow. However, I had to learn to trust that God has a firm grip on the surrendered soul. God is a loyal to us when we are loyal to Him. His loyalty shows toward Israel as a picture of His loyalty to his beloved. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands… (see Isaiah 49:15-16). As devout followers of our Lord who walk in the light, we can always have blessed assurance as we rest in Him and strive to please Him. Bible teacher, Arthur Pink, once stated: “Not one for whom He died can possibly miss heaven.” Granted, we must do our part and allow the Spirit to strengthen us to abstain from sin – but as we do so, we can rest in the Beloved. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1st John 5:13). And Romans 8:16 which states: “The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.” If you are His – He will not let you go. Should you err, He will see to it that you are brought back into alignment through various means which He lovingly yet firmly employs. As the Good Shepherd, He would leave the 99 sheep to search for the one sheep that had gone astray (see Matthew 18:10-14). What love! What assurance we have in Him!

5.) Separate from the world of sin. A line of a popular Christian song says it like this, “Take this world and give me Jesus.” That is my heart’s cry and the cry of Christians around the world. Remember, we live in the world of sin, but we do not take part in it (see John 17:16). Sin brings no pleasure to the child of God that is fully surrendered to Him. Staying pure in God’s sight is a work of the Spirit but also a discipline. Scripture teaches us to guard our heart above all else, because everything we do flows from the heart (see Proverbs 4:23). “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…” (2nd Cor. 6:17). I have found that abstaining from worldly music, movies, books, activities, etc. makes for a clearer mind and conscience. (See my blog, “Watch What You Watch”).  As Christians, we are crucified to the world, and the world, to us (see Gal. 6:14). To still love the world of sin represents spiritual adultery and lack of loyalty. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). It is disgusting to be lukewarm in our spirituality… be one or the other – good or evil, in or out, hot or cold; because God has said, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). Thank God, we’re free from the world of sin!

Remember, the Bible is our safeguard to keep us from being deceived by erroneous teaching. It doesn’t matter if the whole world endorses a particular sin – if the Bible states that it is sin, then it is sin. If the Bible warns to abstain from it, then abstain. Though thousands may ridicule us and think we’re wrong – we must stand our ground even if that means standing alone. As the Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister, George Macdonald put it… “Truth is truth, whether it’s spoken by the lips of Jesus or Balaam’s donkey.”

I hope something I’ve said in these past few posts has ignited your faith and helped you in your walk with the Lord. Until next time, God bless!

Sources: polyvore.com, wikipedia.org, biblehub.com
1 Comment »

FREE Holy Week Graphics

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy week… the week when we remember our Savior’s ultimate sacrifice and resurrection! I would like to share these royalty-free, non-watermarked images for your personal use as we celebrate Jesus. You may take a screenshot of them and repost, or right click and “Save Image As” depending upon the type of device you are using. Let’s spread the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ!!

palm sunday

“On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” ~John 12:12-13KJV



good friday

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” ~Isaiah 53:4-12KJV



easter

“And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” ~Mark 8:31KJV

Sources: biblehub.com, gettyimages.com
1 Comment »

5 Important Truths I’ve Learned (Part 2)

Welcome back to Part 2 (of 3), “Important Truths I’ve Learned”. To read Part 1, please click or tap HERE.

In each entry, I have been listing five valuable lessons which the Lord has taught me over the years. Again, I certainly have not learned everything there is to life, but I hope the following insights will help and inspire you in some way. The truths below are listed in random order.

duw1.) Detach. Unplug. Unwind. This must be done often and without guilt in order to refresh and renew the mind, body, and spirit, as a whole. This is not an excuse for laziness. However, even God rested on the seventh day after He had created the world. (see Gen. 2:3). Also, think of the flowers – they are dormant for a season in order that they may bloom in the proper season. Furthermore, we must remember that Jesus would pull away from the crowds to pray alone. (see Luke 5:16). There is something amiss if we don’t allow time to be alone with our Savior. Sure, it’s fine to worship with others, but there also comes a time when we need to get quiet and alone before the Lord… alone, in our prayer closet. (see Matt. 6:6). Some people say they “don’t have time” but such people will make time to be alone to shower or bathe. If it is important enough, we can make time and make a way for it to happen. “Our religious activities should be ordered in such a way as to have plenty of time for the cultivation of the fruits of solitude and silence” (A.W. Tozer).

tho2.) Don’t worry what other people think of you. As long as you are pleasing God, that’s all that matters.  Oftentimes, Christians are viewed by sinners as “peculiar,” “strange”, “different”… the list goes on and on. But remember, Jesus was hated without a cause … and we are not greater than our Lord. If they hated Him, they will hate us also, as John 15 so plainly states (Also see John 15:25, James 4:4, and Matt. 10:22). But they hate us because we are not “one of them”… we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. Never feel that you must impress the world in order to have friends. Rest assured, you will never be friendless or comfortless as long as you have Jesus. He will care for you and bear you, even into your graying years (see Is. 46:4). When you come to spiritual maturity, the fight to “remain popular” dies and the drive to please God takes over. “Humble yourself and cease to care what men think. A meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he has stopped being fooled about himself. He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring. He has obtained a place of soul rest. The old struggle to defend himself is over” (A.W. Tozer).

wo3.) If you’re a God-seeking Christian, never ever worry about doing without the necessities of life. Oftentimes, many of us find ourselves struggling financially to make ends meet. Sometimes, times get so rough that we may begin to wonder if we will be able to put food on the table or clothes on our back. But we can be confident in knowing that our Lord cares for us. Several verses in the latter part of Matthew, chapter 6, remind us not to worry about such things. Verses 31-33 state: “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The Psalmist put it wonderfully when he said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

see4.) When praying and not getting the results you want, always adopt the idea, “Maybe God sees something which I can’t see.” Our Heavenly Father knows best. His Will, His timing, His reasons are for our own good. His ways our higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours (see Is. 55:9). Even in the Lord’s Prayer, we are instructed to pray for His Will to be done (see Matt. 6:10). Before Jesus’ crucifixion, He fell on His face and prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. I once heard a story that went like this: A man’s wife died and left him alone to raise their children. He sold everything he had in order to buy a cart and a horse with which he would haul things for people. But his horse ran away. Everybody came and said “What a tragedy.” But the man said, “Maybe it was a tragedy. But maybe it was a blessing.” A few days later his horse came back trailed by a bunch of wild horses.The towns people came to him and said, “You were right. It was a blessing and not a tragedy.” But he said, “Maybe it was a blessing. But it might be a tragedy.” His son was breaking one of the wild horses and the horse fell on him and crushed his leg. Now the people said, “You were right. This wasn’t a blessing. It was a tragedy.” He said, “Who knows….” About that time, the government agents came and took off all the young men from that town to fight in the war, but the man’s son could not go because of his shattered leg. How do we know in our lives whether something painful is a tragedy or a blessing?” Remember Romans 8:28… “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

marr5.) Take the covenant of marriage seriously and make sure of who you are marrying. In the past, I have done extensive research on the topic of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Please refer to my previous blogs on divorce (linked HERE) and remarriage (linked HERE). I would highly encourage everyone to read these blogs, but suffice it to say that marriage is a serious covenant. Nonetheless, I have heard of instances where there is a Christian wife and (what she thought was) a Christian husband. Later, she finds out he was never truly converted. So while I acknowledge that this can occur, we must do all that is within our power to make certain of who we are marrying and that we have no doubts within, should you choose to marry. Also, I would refer those courting/dating to my previous post HERE.

Again, I hope this was helpful in some way. My final entry (Part 3) will be posted next month, so be sure to check back then. You can also Follow this blog so you don’t miss future entries. God bless each of you!

Sourcs: biblehub.com, polyvore.com

2 Comments »

5 Important Truths I’ve Learned (Part 1)

The Lord saved my soul nearly 30 years ago when I was a young girl. In the many years I’ve walked with Him, I have found Him to be faithful, trustworthy, and true. I still have much to learn, but I would like to highlight some of the truths which God has shown me in these (almost) 30 years. The list below is in random order, as I feel all of these truths I’ve learned have their own importance.

Since I will briefly expound on each truth, I will break this up into parts. This is Part 1 of 3. I hope something written here will help you in your journey toward Heaven and a closer walk with our Lord.

gf1.) ALWAYS PUT GOD FIRST AND SEEK HIS WILL IN EVERYTHING – If we put God first, everything else falls into place (see Matt. 6:33). The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray for God’s Will. Think about it, His Will is done in Heaven and that is one of the many great reasons that it is heavenly, peaceful, and wonderful. As Nazi concentration camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, once said, “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.”


cp2.) DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS – This is a lesson that I have to be re-taught often; but find great liberty if I follow this advice. Don’t compare temporary things such as appearance, abilities, success, or finances. Be content with what you have (see Phil. 4:11). But most importantly, never ever dare to compare yourself to nominal Christians who seem to “get away” with sin or a lax walk with God. Remember, God knows and sees all. He sees your obedience and will reward you openly (see Matt. 6:5-6). The Bible even says that it is unwise to compare ourselves to others (see 2nd Cor. 10:2).


fg3.) LEARN TO FORGIVE – Forgiveness is one of the more challenging things we must do in order to maintain a strong walk with the Lord. It is vital that we learn to shrug things off, forgive, and not stew over things. Again, this is a lesson we must re-learn over and over; but we must be able to forgive. Forgiveness does not condone sin or wrong actions of another, but it gives us freedom to love and live freely. As much as it depends on you, the Bible says, we are to live at peace with all when possible (see Rom. 12:8). I like this quote: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.”


pryr4.) NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER – There have been so many times when I have found myself in a quandary, not knowing what to do. I have found that prayer clarifies things for me so much easier than me wracking my brain trying to figure out situations on my own. Inevitably, God will drop a scripture into my mind that will help clarify things for me. Prayer gives me courage, comfort, healing, direction, and deepens my trust in God. Prayer is limitless, you can talk to God about anything! It is a necessity as a Christian. Revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill, once put it like this: “No man is greater than his prayer life.” And the beloved preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “Prayerless souls are Christless souls, Christless souls are Graceless souls and Graceless souls shall soon be damned souls. See your peril, you that neglect altogether the blessed privilege of prayer!”  


cry5.) IT’S OKAY TO CRY IN GOD’S ARMS – Game face. In life, we have to put our “game face” on and be rough and tough, oftentimes, as a means of survival. But, when we come to our Father God, we don’t have to be strong. A broken and a contrite spirit, He will not despise (see Psalm 51:17). We find a safe place of comfort under His wings. There, we can release our stresses, burdens, and heartaches. The Bible even tells us to cast our burdens upon the Lord because He cares for us and He won’t let us slip and fall (see Psalm 55:22). And remember, we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses (see Hebrews 4:15).


Listen to the comforting song posted below. ↓ ↓ ↓

Sources: biblehub.com, google.com, azquotes.com, youtube.com, polyvore.com
3 Comments »

Like Mother and Child

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” ~Psalm 139:13-16

Ever since she was a little girl, she longed for motherhood. She was the best little Mommy to her doll, always taking it with her everywhere she went. Then many years later, the day came when her dream would be realized. Her and her husband found out that they would be expecting their first baby. But, in order for her to be able to carry a healthy baby, there were some changes which the doctor had her make. She had to be very careful what she consumed, take extra vitamins, and get plenty of rest. This proved to be no problem since the Mom-to-be knew it was for the health of the baby she was carrying. She disciplined herself willingly in order to protect the baby she was carrying within.

“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?” ~Isaiah 49:15

isscLiken this scenario to the spirit within. Each of us, whether male or female, black or white, rich or poor, single or married – carries within us very precious cargo. That “cargo” is our soul/spirit which will last eternally. We, like the expectant mother, must protect the spirit within. We must be disciplined and oftentimes deny our selfish whims for the health of the spirit. We dare not consume things which would be harmful to our spirit.

A lady that is not pregnant may decide to re-paint her kitchen and proceed to paint it herself. But, the lady that is pregnant must not be around the paint fumes, as it has the potential to cause great harm to the baby she is carrying. As I’ve heard it said before, “Others may… but you cannot.” It’s not punishment but caution to refrain from certain activities which may cause great harm to the spirit within. As the quote says, “There are two freedoms: the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought” (Charles Kingsley).

“Keep [guard] thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23

So, we must ALL guard the spirit within us much like a pregnant mother would protect the child growing within her at any cost; even if it means forsaking herself. As Christians, we are God’s children and He cares for us. But, we also have a responsibility to guard what we allow into our minds and spirits. Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Let’s strive to keep our thoughts pure and our lives guarded from evil. In regards to guarding the spirit within, I would also encourage all Christians to read my previous post, “Watch What You Watch” HERE.

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” ~James 3:10-11

Not only do we need to be careful what we allow in but we must also be careful what comes out. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. The book of James speaks a lot about taming the “unruly member” of our body – the tongue.  This is more challenging for some of us than others. Nonetheless, it is what the Bible prescribes and we must willingly crucify our flesh for the greater good of our spirit and for the spiritual health of those around us who may be looking to us as an example. Alas, bridling the tongue is difficult – but attainable for us all. Remember, Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:28).  So we must know when to speak and when to refrain from speaking. And also note that what we put in will always come out. This is why it is so important that we guard our spirit.

Remember, the Holy Spirit is holy – so we must make our bodies a temple which He can comfortably dwell within. If I had to sum up the point of this entire blog entry, it would be with the scripture found in 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 which states: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Sources: biblehub.com, polyvore.com, youtube.com

 

1 Comment »

NEW…

Just a quick post to wish everybody a blessed 2017! Lord willing, the regularly scheduled monthly blog posts will begin after the first of the year in January 2017. Thanks to each of you for reading, following, and sharing as we spread the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let us dedicate the new year to Him and for His glory as we continue to be a light in a dark world. Ask the Lord to renew your zeal for this upcoming year!

2017p

I encourage you to read the following scriptures on newness and renewal for the new year!

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” ~Lamentations 3:22-23


“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” ~Psalm 51:10


“[The Lord] Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~Psalm 103:5


“Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.”  ~Psalm 149:1


Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”  ~Psalm 51:12


“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. ~ Ezekiel 36:26


“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” ~Colossians 3:9-10


“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ~2nd Corinthians  5:17

Sources: gettyimages.com, biblehub.com
1 Comment »

The Birth of Christ

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD” ~Luke 2:11

popeace

It is now the month of December where many people remember the birth of Christ. Many scholars believe that Jesus was most likely born in another month, perhaps September or even in the Spring. Still, this is the time of year when His birth is observed. I would like to encourage each of you to reflect upon the scriptures when Jesus so willingly came to earth. Take in the depth and magnitude of His first coming.

To see a full list of the scriptures pertaining to Christ’s birth, please click HERE.

I made a little video for my family, but I consider my brothers and sisters in Christ my family also! So, please enjoy the video posted below. God bless each of you this season and into the upcoming year!

Sources: polyvore.com     youtube.com     whatsaiththescripture.com
2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: