August 31, 2016

That it might go well with you

If I have my gummy vitamins...

If I get to do my Pilates....

If I get my 7&1/2 hours of sleep...

If I get my walk, run, and nap....

If the sun shines....

If I have three meals, and two snacks every day...

If I have my desired outing....

If I don't have to leave the house....

If I only eat organic...

If my husband calls as he said that he would, and if he answers my texts immediately, or if he remembers to take out the trash, and pick up the milk, and gets home in time to bathe the kids....

And then what?

What happens if all goes according to your plans, your desires, your demands?

What must go as you deem necessary for all to be well with you?

What is on your list in order for you to be happy, not grouchy, and moody, and even keel?

Here are God's thoughts concerning your life, and what it takes:

"(You) be careful to obey.....that it may always go well with you and your children after you..." (Deuteronomy 12:28)

"(You) honor your father and mother that it may go well with you," (Ephesians 6:3)

"You shall walk in all the ways that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you..." (Jeremiah 7:23)

You.

That is who God is commanding.

And God commands, not that you take a walk, or eat this, or not eat that, and see to it that your husband is obedient to you, or to the commands of Scripture, or that you get a certain number of hours for sleep, or take your vitamins for all to go well with you.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself."

Do that.

Only that.

Just those two things.

Nothing more.

Then, and only then, will "it" go well with you.

How is it that we get to that point of doing just those two things?

In knowing God.

That is key.

How does that happen?

Only in repentance.

No sin. One cannot stand before God with any sin in them.

Yes. Sin will always, till you get your new body, be in your flesh. Sin causes aging, and death to the physical body. But sin in the soul is gone upon repentance, and the soul comes alive after repenting.

Once alive, always alive.

Upon repentance, sin is gone as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)

Or do you not want sin to be gone that far from you?

Do you want to continue in your sin?

You will continue to sin if you want to sin, i.e., not love God totally, and your neighbor too.

And it will be because you love darkness (John 3:19).

Do you believe the Word?

Did you balk at the fact that you just might love darkness?

That is why Scripture says that sin is committed.

Or would you say that you do what you hate?

If so, then who made you do what you hate?

Is "someone" in you causing you to do what you hate?

Are you controlled by someone?

Or is sin automatic, and you just cannot help it?

It is time to study the Word concerning sin, the reason for the Holy Spirit, and if a Sovereign (God) shares heart space, for to choose to be ignorant, and willful, will not get you a pass out of hell.

Sentiment has no bearing with God.

Any argument that begins with, "I just don't 'feel' that God will do such-and such," will not stand.

Feeling have no bearing before God.

Only facts (Scripture) stand, or have any significance to him.

He sent his son to die for a reason.

Why was that?

He does not "feel" one way about you and your sin, and another way toward Hitler, or Josh Duggar, or Anthony Weiner, Ted Bundy, Andrea Yates, or transgenders, or homosexuals, or serial liars, or philanderers, because sin is sin, and sin is done in darkness, and if you sin, you are in darkness.

God does not have a different attitude or opinion about you just because you try to do his will.

Trying is not a part of the equation for the redeemed.

Can you find anywhere that God says, "Try to live the life that I command you to live, and it will go well with you!"?

He says that we must do it.

It is one way, and not any other, that we must live, and then it will go well with us.

What is the "well" to which God refers concerning our lives?

It is eternal life that is the good, excellent, and wonderful part of knowing God through repentance.

If you think that it is anything else (health, material possessions, bigger and better of anything), then you are mistaken, and you want more than knowing God, and being redeemed, and nothing is better.

Those who do his will have eternal life, and eternal life does not belong to those who try.

If you think differently, find it.

Find the passages where one must "try" to live according to God's word, and that is it okay to get it wrong sometimes, and not love as he commands.

Life and death hang in the balance.

Going well with you hangs in the balance.

Destruction or restoration.

Bondage or freedom.

You choose.

Go your way, or repent.

Repent, that it may go well with you, and that you may have eternal life.

Nothing is better.






August 30, 2016

Who's in control?

We, the redeemed, are not pawns in God's hands.

We are not puppets on a string.

We are not doormats who lie on the floor and allow others to with us as they please.

We are branches on a Vine.

We are attached, always, or not at all.

We do not jump off, to sin, and walk the wide road, and then when we are sorry, and have feelings of regret, who then jump back on as if there was nothing out of the ordinary happening here to see.

God does see, and God does know you as his own, or as one upon whom his wrath rests (John 3:36).

If you are his, then he sees obedience, and you love him, and do his bidding (I John 5:3).

He sees you tossing off temptations because one only succumbs to temptations that are too strong to overcome, because God will not allow temptations to be too strong for his own (I Cor. 10:13).

He sees the one who yields to him always, for a good tree always bears good fruit (Matthew 7:17).

Who is in control of your days, your moments, your heart?

It will be God alone, or not at all.

If he is in control, then the days of your life can throw what they will at you, and you stand.

Strong.

For in the Vine, one is able to abide, and walk with a sure foot, for God's power is not slack.

There is no shortage of love, patience, and goodness.

There is no behavior that speaks of unkindness in branches who abide.

That soul will not be a door-mat, a pawn, or a puppet, but a loved soul totally submitted to God.

And in that submission, the redeemed woman is broken bread, and poured out wine for others.

She will die serving, and giving, and loving, and more importantly she lives to love, give, and serve.

Why is Scripture written?

It is to expose the heart condition of those who profess to believe on the Son of God.

Do you say that you believe on him?

Do your actions, and the words you say comport to what Scripture says they must?

Then you have eternal life.

The Words of Scripture are definitive.

They are not wishy-washy; they are black and white.

When they are read, then one can examine their heart.

Is what you read occurring in your life?

If not, then no matter that you say you believe, you really don't.

That is what I John 5:13 tells us.

Do you really have eternal life?

If so, then your life is one where obedience to love happens.

God is in control and your heart loves— always.

Or do you love others only when you have had enough sleep?

And do you love only some, and not others?

And only when no one cuts you off in traffic?

Or when the husband always behaves as a good husband should?

Or when the climate is perfect?

And when you don't sweat, and you're not hungry, and your feet, back, and head don't hurt?

Or when your "world" is nice to you, and understands you, and gives to you— first?

Either God is good through you always, or he is not good through you at all.

Good trees.

What do they always produce?

Do you believe what the Word says about that?

If not, then you are in control, and you will believe the Word as you deem proper.

Or you will see your sin of not believing.

Repent, if you will, come to your senses, if you will, and be resolved, if you will.

Then God will be in control, and you will be filled with love (Romans 5:5).

And God will be Sovereign, and he will be in total control, or nothing at all to you.

God does not share his Spirit with the spirit of darkness.

He does not put new wine into an old wine skin (Mark 2:22).

He makes a soul brand new, and shines his light into a soul, and the darkness is gone— for good.

John 1:5 tells us that darkness cannot overcome the light that is shed abroad into a soul.

If a soul is in the light, then they are in the light always for darkness is too weak to take over again.

The one who is attached to the Vine has God's spirit of love flowing through them always.

That soul does not belong to themselves ever again.

God has them.

That branch bends, and sways, and produces good fruit.

Only good fruit.

Love only behaves ONE way.

It behaves in a good way. It produces good fruit. It is goodness personified always to others.

Who's in control of your life?

It will be continuous light, or the wide highway of darkness, and wandering, and trying.

The life lived with God is not a life of trying.

He does the goodness through the repentant; they do not have to try.

There is no confusion, or depression, or fretting in the redeemed.

Only good fruit.

Do you believe?






August 29, 2016

At your service

There's no need to flinch, get distressed, or worried when company is coming.

The woman, who loves the Lord God with all of her heart, is, at her heart, and very core, a servant.

She serves.

Unexpected company, expected company, or phone call, all encounters with everyone is a chance to give unconditional love, the type that she has been given, and knows very well in her soul.

What we know, and love, we express.

Is it politics?

Or fashion?

Or the latest gossip?

Or love, and wisdom, and kindness?

Whatever it is, it will be expressed through the hands, the feet, and the wallet.

What about you?

When company shows up, do you hide, or wish them gone as soon as possible?

Does your heart yearn for someone, the next one, to love for the Lord?

Are you his hands, and feet?

If not, then you love only you.

If that is the case, then you live in disobedience.

The wrath of God rests on such a soul (John 3:36).

Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).

That is the command.

The answer is always, "Yes, Sir!" for the godly woman (I John 5:3, John 14:15, John 14:23).

What about you?

Are you at the service of others?

Do you rest, and eat, and think service (Galatians 5:13)?

That is the command.

Obey the Lord, or you are living in sin.

What is your daily practice?

August 24, 2016

Can a Christian have questions?

Can a Christian not hide God's word in their heart?

Can a Christian not have a desire to pray, and not pray fervently when they pray?

Can a Christian continue to sin, and if so, then how long?

Can a Christian commit the sin of homosexuality?

If you would say that they must give that up, then can they commit other sins?

Like adultery, or gossip, or selfishness?

Can they stop the sin of homosexuality, and then later, resume it?

Or would you say that once they give it up, then is it gone for good?

If they can do the work of giving up a sin, then is there a "how to" on giving up on sin in Scripture?

If you think that a person can be free of homosexuality, then can they be free of other sins?

Must they first ask to be free from those other sins, and if so, where is Scripture for that?

Must a Christian forgive everyone even if no one asks?

If not, then can a Christian forgive as they deem necessary, and maybe not at all?

If a Christian must forgive, then when are they to forgive an offender?

Or can a Christian hold onto a "hurt," and if so, how long?

How much sin is allowed in the Christian's life?

Can a Christian never think, or at least not most of the time, about souls headed for hell?

Can a Christian have angst toward anyone, and if so, then, again, for how long?

Is it possible for a Christian to forget to pray to God, or praise the Lord?

If you believe that a Christian still sins, then what type sin can they do?

Does anything go?

If a Christian still sins, then is there a difference between the sin that the saved person does as compared to the sin that a lost person commits?

What keeps a soul out of heaven?

What constitutes being saved?

How would you tell someone about sin in a saved person's life?

Can a Christian use the name of the Lord in vain?

If so, then do they do that whenever they deem appropriate, or once a day, or once a week?

What constitutes repentance?

Can a Christian sin, and then pray to God without confessing that sin first, and will God hear her?

If not, then how does she pray?

Can she use a "blanket" prayer of confession to "cover" her sins so that she is then heard by God?

If so, where is that truth found in the Word?

Can a Christian have a spiritual need?

If yes, then what would it be?

Can a Christian just not feel close to God?

If so, then where is that truth found in the Word?

Can a Christian not have any questions for the Lord?

Can a person be a Christian and nothing of significance change in their life?

If not, then what significantly changes in the life of the one who would say that they are a Christian?

Do the answers to our questions always need to have a basis in the Word?

If you think not, then on what are your answers based?

August 23, 2016

Most everyone that you see

Many people walk the wide road.

Many are lost.

Many do not have eternal life.

The redeemed have eternal life now. It is not something that waits. Eternal life begins at repentance.

Many haven't repented.

Many still sin.

To sin is to not love God with all the heart, nor the neighbor as oneself.

Why do people not want to repent?

They do not believe that they hate others.

They cannot fathom that hate resides inside of them.

To lie is to hate.

To steal is to hate.

To covet is to hate.

To envy is to hate.

To hoard is to hate.

To gossip is to hate.

To judge is to hate.

To not be obedient to the words of Jesus?

That is sin.

Sin equals hate, and disbelief, and sin is a choice to live life as one wishes.

Most everyone is choosing to not obey the Word.

What do you choose to do?

On a regular basis, are you obedient?

Would you say that it is perhaps 50% of the time that you love others as commanded?

What portion of your day is spent in doing as you choose?

Where is your mind most of the time?

Do you dwell on hurts, and slights, and the sins of others?

If so, then you are just like the world, for they not only keep track, they plan on getting even.

Do you?

Do you withhold kindness, gentleness, long-suffering, patience, and blessings unless one measures up, and makes things right with you for the wrong that you perceive that they have done to you?

Can you find in Scripture where anyone owes you anything?

On the other hand, can you find in Scripture where you are to do for others?

To serve, or be served.

Which life do you live?

Are you looking out for #1 (yourself), or are you sold out to the cause of bringing in the lost?

Who will go to hell?

Many.

Where are the harvesters?

Are you one? Are you praying that they will make themselves known? Do you know what they will be saying? Will it be, "Do all you can to get the most out of life!" or "Look out for yourself!" or "Don't let people walk on you!" or "Hold people accountable!" or ....what?

What is the gospel message?

Most everyone that you see does not know what it is.

Will you spend precious time fiddling while Rome burns?

Do you believe that hell is real?

How much time do you spend praying for the lost?

Is your prayer time fervent, or frivolous, or not much at all?

Are you really familiar with what Scripture says about sin, and the wrath of God?

Have you become weary of the Word?

Have you not hidden its words in your heart?

Has it become sour to you?

Or is it not only sweet, but sweeter than the honeycomb (Psalm 19:10)?

We have honey bees. I thought that honey was sweet. But I have come to love the honeycomb.

It is my favorite.

It is sweeter to me than honey.

But the honeycomb sets no one free.

The Word does.

I can live without the honeycomb, but not the Word.

What about you?

Are you free?

If so, then from what are you free?

What is your testimony?

What would you tell someone, should they ask, about what God has done for you?

Is it old news?

"He saved me back in the good ole days."

Yes, so how is your life different?

"Um...."

Do you love everyone?

"Um...."

Do you ever lie, steal, or gossip?

"Um..."

Most everyone that you see lies, steals, and gossips.

Do you?

How are you any different than most everyone that you see?

August 22, 2016

Armed with grace

"Put on the whole armor of God."
Ephesians 6:11


Armed— having weapons, equipped, fortified

Grace—  manifestation of immunity

Upon whom do you display ill-will, angst, bitterness, hate, or contempt?

That person, if there is one, will be the one (and if there is one, then there really are many) upon whom you would do great physical harm (murder) if you could, for Jesus said that to hate (he never spoke of just not "liking" someone) is to have murder in your heart.

Scripture is very black and white.

God commands love. He never said that we could just "like" some, and "not like" others.

You either love, or you hate, according to Scripture.

Love has peculiar, and particular aspects to it, and unless you display love as described in Scripture to all, and at all times, then you are displaying it to no one. (1 Corinthians 13 tells us what it looks like)

You might be "nice" on occasion.

God does not call us to be nice.

He commands love.

If you think that your little bit of "just not liking some people" is harmless, then you are deceived.

A little leaven affects the whole lump.

Are you fortified to your core with grace to all?

If not, then you have no true grace for any.

To put on the whole armor of God is to be immersed totally in unquestionable love for all.

It is to be wholly armed with grace.

No part of the one, who is wholly equipped in God's grace, is hateful to anyone at all.

No favoritism is shown. Did Jesus display it? No.

Then those who follow him will never show it either.

You say, "That is impossible!"

Yes. Yes, it is impossible. To the unrepentant, it is impossible.

However, to those who are "with God"— all things are possible.

Those who are with God love the liar, the thief, the beggar, the scum, the wayward, the slow, the quick, and the obstinate, for when grace washes the sin-sick repentant heart, that heart then knows of grace, and it flows through them to those who still are exactly as they once were— dead in sin.

Are you alive in grace?

Are every single one of the members of your body alive to grace?

Are you armed with grace?

If so, then your weapons will be a tongue filled with grace, and hands that stretch out with tenderness, and feet that run to serve, and you will be God's soldier always at the ready to spread grace, and you are granting immunity to all, and you hold no ill-will towards anyone, and you simply love, and you know that until death, you will love, and you are free, and you long for heaven for it is your home.

Does that describe you?

If you are not armed with grace, then you are not standing against the wiles of the devil.

You will succumb to hate, ill-will, complaints, depression, moodiness, and you'll love sometimes—when you feel like it, and you will not live by faith, but by "feeling"— like it or not.

You will live defeated in sin until you repent of it.

Have you repented?



August 21, 2016

Is that the gospel message?


I've heard it said (by Sarah Bessey) that if you will just live like you are loved the radical discipline of your life, then you will see transformation. (In other words, be very disciplined in your life, and even though you may have no one loving on you, well, it makes no difference, just live like you are, or pretend, and then transformation will occur, which I'm guessing she means rebirth will happen).

Does that sound like the gospel message?

Are those words found in the Word?

Do you know the gospel message?

Can you be fooled by sweet sounding fodder?

For everyone, redemption is needed— right?

How does that happen?

Every life needs to be changed, transformed, fixed— right?

Why is there that need?

Because of sin— right?

How is it that one is born new?

Do you know?

Can you explain it?

Has a new birth happened to you?

Is it instantaneous, or does it take time, and if if takes time, then in the interim time, where you are being born new, do you, can you continue to sin, and if so, how much sin can you do?

Once you are reborn, then do you continue to sin, and if so, how much sin can you do?

These questions are not presented out of a urgency to just get under your skin or provoke you to confusion, but to test you to see if you truly know the gospel message.

Do you?

How does it work?

How do you explain it?

If you have been set free, then from what are you free?

If you are free from sin, then do you still sin?

If so, how can you say that you are free?

Sarah Bessey will also tell you that you that to eat at the banquet table then it is just fine to be unhealthy in your mind.

Does that mean that I can be vile and go to heaven? Does that mean that the prodigal son stayed in the pig-sty, and still enjoyed fellowship with the Father? I don't see that in the Word.

She says that you don't have to be productive, which does not square with producing fruit which Scripture tells us definitively occurs when one abides in the Vine.

She also says that God is always wanting to bring your life into line with who you were meant to be.

Really?

Where is that found in Scripture?

It's sounds exciting, and appeals to the soul, but seriously, what are we "meant" to be?

Is the gospel message about me?

Scripture says that we are to be perfect.

It also says we are to do something— love God fully, and the neighbor too.

Is the gospel message, "Be all that you can be" and does that sound eerily like what the world says?

I've asked her for answers to these questions, and if I should hear back from her, then I will tell you.

But I don't think that I will hear from her.

Sin and repentance were not mentioned in the sermon that I heard her preach.

How is one saved without knowing of sin, and repenting from it?

Can one know that sin is destructive, and deadly, and that one must repent, and not speak of it?

Can that happen?

It is time to study to be approved by God.

Do you know the gospel message?

Are you speaking it?

If not, then what fills your mouth?

Look at your heart, your thoughts, and observe your deeds.

They will tell you what you love.

We are commanded to love God totally, and the neighbor as ourselves.

We do that only by repenting of hate.

We are redeemed by being washed after repenting of hate.

Have you been washed clean?

If not, then you have not repented of hate.

Contend with God.

Ask of him.

Seek him.

Know him.

Don't seek to be all that you can be, or you'll love only yourself, and you might gain the world, but you'll lose your soul, and you'll go about desperate for peace, and you will continue to worry, and not love your husband, but demand that he love you, and you will not know God, and you'll perish in sin.

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17).

That is the gospel message.


August 20, 2016

Being born again

Does a baby decide when he/she will be born?

That is not how it works.

That begs the question, at least in my mind, does a soul decide when he/she will be born again?

Scripture tells us that God decides that. It is his to determine. What have you, or I, to do with it?

We seek God, if we are obedient.

We study, if we are obedient.

Our sin, and the Holy Spirit, drive us to a point where we either repent, or continue in sin.

In true repentance, where one finally agrees with God about the sin that they do, then one is washed.

Grace fills that soul, and washes them clean.

They know that they are not the same.

The appetite is completely different.

They love everyone.

Grudges? A thing of the past. Hate? No longer exists in them.  It is not a choice they will make.

God keeps them from sin.

How?

The temptation will be there, but it will not be too strong, and the redeemed will choose to love.

That's what I Corinthians 10:13 says.

Never will the saved soul fall into sin after being tempted.

Never.

They will be tempted.

At times, and then sometimes, many times, not at all.

But even so, we are taught to pray that even that will not occur.

"Lead us not into temptation."

What is also in the prayers of the redeemed?

"Deliver us from evil."

And they are.

The evil one can only go so far, and then he is dismissed from the life of the one who loves God.

They love God.

They love everyone.

They generously give it. Love does not dry up in the redeemed. It flows like a river (Romans 5:5).

The husband, who loves his wife, will not cheat on her.

The wife, who loves her husband, will help him, and his heart will trust in her.

Why?

She is new.

He will know it.

He will see it.

He will reap the benefit of a woman who does not need him to "love" her any special way, for she is full of love, and any kindness he may show her is simply a side-note to her full of love life.

She is eternally grateful to God, and she is a thankful person, and she smiles at the future.

Come what may, it holds no fear, or worries for her.

Scowls, a sharp tongue, and bitterness belong to the old nature.

Sour attitudes, and moodiness?

Old nature.

She, the repentant, and obedient lover of God, is new. She's been made that way— not of her doing.

Being born again happens "to" you, you do not happen to it.

A man, woman, boy or girl do not walk an aisle, and accept Jesus into their heart to be made new.

They must repent.

Jesus commanded it.

See Matthew 4:14.

When they do?

They never thirst again.

That made-new woman simply loves her husband, and helps him.

She no longer demands to have him learn her "love language" whatever that is.

Gary Chapman says that he came to the conclusion that there are five languages of love after many years of marriage counseling. He does not say that he reached those conclusions after studying the Word. He says that some people like to have quality time, some like to be touched, some like gifts, some like acts of service, and some like words of affirmation. Really? Don't we all like ALL of those things? But love is not something that we look to receive from others. We are commanded to give it. 

Love is defined in I Corinthians 13, and in no other way is it expressed by the redeemed.

Love is not demanding— ever.

I used to tell my husband that he needed to show me love by doing "x,y, and/or z" and heaven help him if he got it wrong, and didn't "play" the game of love as I demanded, and I was horribly fickle.

Those days are gone.

Love never seeks its own way.

It is always kind, gentle, and it never brags, or is impatient.

What about you?

Are you a made-new person?

What do you crave? Where is your passion? Whom do you love?

Have you been born-again?




Why the redeemed aren't offended

To be offended by the words, or actions of others is to first have judged the heart of the other one.

Did your husband say something in the "wrong" way, and your feelings got hurt?

Has your friend not made an attempt to contact you, and you think she does not love you?

When that clerk, checking out your groceries, asked if you qualified for the 60+ discount for the day, then did you think her insensitive, and lacking in tact, and then did you treat her like a dog?

To take offense in those situations, one would have needed the ability to know the intent of the other.

No human has that ability.

You can question the intent of someone's heart, but is that yours to do?

What is the intent of your questioning?

Is it then to pass judgment on the words spoken, and to believe them or not, and are you the judge?

God does not need to judge the intent of our hearts, for he knows them.

God knows your heart.

No one else does except as you reveal it in your words, and actions.

Even if your words and deeds are spotless, you will be judged, at times, by some, and maybe most, as having impure motives, and a lack of this or that, and the most loving actions will be misconstrued.

Someone will judge you.

But just like Jesus, the redeemed will take that with a heart of love, and they will humbly go on.

They will not return evil for evil, for judging others is always evil.

We are commanded not to do it by Jesus, so to do it is sin.

That's why the redeemed aren't offended.

They don't succumb to sin, for God will not allow the temptation to be too strong.

See I Corinthians 10:13 to see that laid out in black and white.

Do you believe it?

Do you believe that God will not allow a temptation to be too strong for his children?

Do you yield to being offended?

Do you get your feelings hurt?

Do you think that others could be, and should be, more sensitive....to you?

Do you find words, spoken to you, need to be just so-so, or you turn a cold shoulder?

If so, then it is because you desire to be offended, and hurt, and to turn a cold shoulder.

Turning cold to anyone is not love; Jesus never turned cold to anyone; neither do those who love him.

See John 3:19.

It tells us that evil (and judging is evil) is done because of a love for it (evil, or darkness).

Can an evil tree, and a good tree coexist in a person?

Matthew 7:17 tells us that cannot happen.

We do not sin, and then hold anyone else accountable.

God knows your heart.

What does he know about it?

Has it agreed with God concerning sin?

Concerning offense?

And hate, and love, and fasting, and judging, and gossip, and slander, and praise, and fashion?

The redeemed are not offended because they die to self daily as commanded.

They know from whence they have been saved, and they simply rejoice, and are glad.

Are you?

Is your heart dark, or light?

Do you speak truth, love truth, obey truth, or do you go about judging the intent of others?

It will not, cannot be, both residing inside your heart.

It's one or the other.

Never both.

Do not be deceived.

Your songs of praise, your daily five minutes, or five hours in the Word, and your attendance at church, Bible studies, casting out of demons, or good works avail nothing if your heart is not completely pure wrought about through repentance, and being born completely new, never to be the same again, ever, for what king would set up a kingdom and then share space— certainly not God.

Never.

You are a good tree who bears good fruit, or you are a bad tree bearing bad fruit.

Not both.

You walk the narrow road exclusively, or you are on the wide hiway.

You never thirst again, or you are seeking more, and deeper, and all the other strange concoction of words which only mean that you do not know God to start with, for how can one meet God, and then say, "I want more. I'm not satisfied. Just knowing you is not enough."

The redeemed are not offended for their heart is at rest.

Nothing disturbs that rest.

How about you?

Are you always at rest?

If not, why not?

The intent of the redeemed is always to love, and sacrifice, and give.

Why?

It's been made new. It's longings are completely different. It's been changed from darkness to light.

Is your heart, the purpose of your every breath, ready, and willing to serve, and do you?

Do you serve?

It's one way or the other.

Not both.

Which way do you travel in this world?

With a chip on your shoulder, or with a heart full of love that pours mercy and grace on others?

The redeemed woman has no time for offense. Besides, it's not in her nature any more.

She stays completely busy loving, and that love will take her to her King some day.

The love that He gave her sustains her. Her goodness is all of him.

He took the shame of her sin, and gave her a tender heart. He made her new.

Does that describe you, or are you still in sin, and take offense, and get your feelings hurt?

The just live by faith (Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38).

Period.

Never feelings.

Don't be deceived; it's never both.




August 19, 2016

The new law

You may be tempted to think that it important to tell your child, "Don't steal. Don't lie. Don't cheat."

But Jesus summed up all the law into a new law that is simpler to say, and remember.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Bear the burdens of others and fulfill all the law.

Love God with all your heart.

When you love someone, then you do not steal from them, lie to them, or cheat on them.

When you love God, then you do not use his name in vain, or seek earthly treasures.

When you bear burdens, then you are dying to self, and in so doing, you are doing the whole law.

You are perfect.

To believe that you want your child to not steal, lie, or cheat, and then they will be "good" is to not fulfill the whole law, for a person, who loves NOT God, can tell the truth, never steal, nor cheat.

The one who loves God with all that is in them will never cheat, steal, or lie, for they will be loving.

What is easier, to not steal, or to love the unlovely?

It is easier to not steal. Just sit home. But in reality, if you sit home, then you are stealing.

You will be keeping to yourself all your effort, time, and energy, and you will not be serving.

But those, who are redeemed, don't sit at home, and keep to themselves.

They let their lights so shine that others will bring glory to God.

That is the new law. It is really the old law summed up into a doable duty —if one is in the Vine.

According to Jesus, the ones who pray are not necessarily in the Vine.

The ones who do GREAT things for God are not necessarily in the Vine.

The ones who cast out demons are not necessarily in the Vine.

Only the ones who do the will of the Father are in the Vine.

Those who are doing the will of the Father are loving on others, and do so daily.

The new law is written on their heart. They never forget it. They do it.

Do you?






What's it like?

What's it like for a man to have a wife who loves him, and helps him?

His life is easier, not harder.

Less stressful, not more.

A joy, not a burden.

But you may be thinking, "I have needs, and rights, and wants too!"

The woman, who loves God, obeys him.

Do you say that you love God?

Then you are folding your husband's laundry, after you wash it, and you are putting it away too.

You will be keeping house, and fixing his meals, and washing his plate.

If he needs clothing, then you'll be shopping for him.

When he needs help, then you'll be the one his heart can trust to do just that.

That is God's design. If you want to argue with anyone about the set-up, then speak to him.

But if you are not being obedient to his Word, then he won't be hearing you, so save your breath.

If you are not loving, serving, and caring for your husband, then you love not God.

That is what the Word declares.

Don't take my word for it. See for yourself. Study it.

Find where it says that those who really love God, obey him.

See what it says about a woman's place in the home.

Look up all the passages about a wife's duties.

Or is the Bible old-fashioned, and you have needs, and you don't like to do dishes?

Which road do you walk?

Is it wide, and do you make decisions on it?

Or is it narrow, and as you walk it, you simply obey?

You will not be walking both roads.

A good tree does ONE thing, and one thing exclusively.

Do the research.

Study to be approved, not by me, or anyone else, but by God.

Will you?  Do you follow Jesus? In following him, one is obedient.

One also finds that they just might be disobedient.

In that case, repent.

Or continue to walk the wide road filled with destruction, failure, and death.

What's it like to walk with the Lord on the narrow road?

It's like being a full-time helper.

Is that you?


August 18, 2016

Do you ever run dry?

"...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

Never.

Never means that something won't happen again.

At no time, and absolutely not to any extent or degree, will the one who drinks from the well that Jesus gives ever find themselves in need for anything.

Comfort when sad, or frightened?

It is provided, and that soul fears not, nor wallows in depression.

Strength?

The repentant have it.

Rest?

Always.

The Bible is very to the point.

It is not wishy-washy at all.

It uses words like "never" and "always."

And a spring of water flows always in the one who has repented, and truly believes.

Or would Jesus save a soul, and then toss them back into sin?

Or would the one saved from deprivation, decay, and death choose to go back in to any of that?

The one who drinks what Jesus commands, and offers is NEVER thirsty ever again.

Are you thirsty?

If so, then study the Word, and seek God, and do not be deceived.

You may say that you believe in Jesus, but are you thirsty?

The two don't jive. It cannot be the case. That doesn't happen.

To believe in Jesus is to do ALL that he says to do, and to do it always.

Do you?

If not, then you do not believe in him, or his words, for obedience follows true belief, and true belief is a gift given upon repentance of sin, which is to agree with God about the hate you have, the "dislike" for some that you have, the "just putting up with others" that you have, and the lack of a complete love for God that supersedes every other desire this world offers.

Do you dwell on God, and long for heaven, and not just to escape having to love others, but do you long for heaven to be with God, and to worship him forever?

Are you a "well of water" to your family, your friends, and neighbors?

Do you run dry? If so, then you are working under your own power. You will continue to fail.

God is all-powerful, and gives to those who repent, his very Spirit, not just to use when one "feels" like it, or "feels" weak, or "feels" angry, for the redeemed do not live by what they "feel" but by faith, and they do that always, and never experience thirst, for a well-spring flows continuously in them.

How about you?

Do you believe John 4:14? Or will you water down the verse about the water Jesus offers?

To the one who drinks his message of repentance, and follows him, they NEVER are thirsty.

That's what John 4:14 tells us.

The redeemed want for nothing more of anything. They are content. They are always at rest.

Are you?

August 17, 2016

Concerning your eye

"The eye is the lamp of the body. 
So, if your eye is healthy,
your whole body will be full of light."
(Matthew 6:22)

What is a lamp?

It is a source of light.

What is a source?

It is a place of origin.

What is light?

Illumination.

What makes up a body?

Spirit. Soul. Physicality.

The eye is the place of origin for illumination for everything that makes up a person.

What do your eyes read?

What do your eyes watch?

What do your eyes see?

Do you read trashy novels, or watch seductive TV shows, and do your eyes seek out worldliness?

What light is brought into your body by your eyes?

Scripture is called light.

Light allows us to see while in darkness.

In your sin, you can come into the light if you read the Word.

You will find in the Word that you've been commanded to repent.

You will find in the Word that God will not hear you when you have sin in you.

You will find in the Word that when you truly believe the Word, then you have no fear.

The Word says that when your eye is healthy (seeing as God sees), then you are completely whole.

Someone who is completely whole does not sin.

Sin, in a body, brings with it destruction, for sin is always evil, and brings with it, death.

Joy dies. Strength dies. Love dies.

But the woman whose eye is healthy?

She is whole, wanting nothing, needing no one to tend to her, for her God sustains her.

His hand is not slack in any way, shape, or form.

He supplies her every need.

She needs to love her husband, and she does.

She needs to not complain, and she does not fuss, but has a continuously grateful heart.

She needs to serve the one in the ditch, and the ones not in the ditch, and so it happens.

Why?

She is healthy.

Getting older? Yes. Creaking joints? Yes. Aching back? Yes.

But full of hope, and love, and grace, and longing for heaven while she serves here on earth.

How about YOU?

Is your eye healthy?

If not, then according to the Word, your whole body is in darkness.

Don't be deceived.

We are deceived when we do NOT believe the Word.

Believe it or perish.

Repent.

Be made completely whole.

And then you'll love as commanded.

Then your whole body will be FULL of light.

Your spirit will be saved. Your body will be used for loving service. Your soul will sing.



Whom do you daily love?

The one whom you feed, you love.

The one whom you tend, you love.

The one whom you patiently serve, you love.

Whom would that be for you?

Is it yourself?

That is needful.

Along with loving yourself, be reminded that you are to love others just like you love yourself.

Do you speak of your sins to others?

Do you gossip about yourself to your neighbor?

Do you slap yourself around when you sin, and think that you are a no-good so-and-so?

What about others?

Jesus told no one of the sins of anyone else.

Jesus was not a gossip.

Jesus fed people who used him for the free meal, and then took off without saying a word of thanks.

Then they most likely came back around the next time the word got out that he was feeding everyone.

Yet he continued to feed, and bless, and speak truth all at the same time.

His message of repentance never changed even as he was patient with everyone.

What about you?

What is your message?

"Change and then I'll love you!"

"Ask me for forgiveness, and then I will love you."

"Be consistent in most every area, if not every area, of your life, and then we can talk about love."

If those are your thoughts, then you know not of the grace of God in your life given upon repentance.

You are thinking that you are pretty good, and everyone else does not measure up to ....you.

The log has not been plucked from your eye.

You are not seeing clearly.

That happens only upon repentance, for sin blinds, and binds, always, and sin keeps one from God.

Always.

As a truly repentant soul, you do not take one step toward the Father, and two steps back, and then try again, over, and over, as if your effort would make a difference in that relationship.

The only thing you offer in the relationship with God is a sin-sick soul.

Once you see your sin for what it is, and agree with God about it, he washes you, fills you, and you are never the same again, and if you think differently, then how is it that one can meet God, and still decide to sin, and go back into chains, and enjoy anything of this world...after they have met GOD?

It doesn't happen that way.

Have you ever met anyone on earth, and thought, "WOW! They are awesome. They are a good example! I need to read more of their books! If I were their neighbor, then I'd be very happy!"

God is not simply awesome, a good example, and he has written a book, and he is more than a neighbor to the one who meets him.

That soul is blessed above and beyond what the imagination can know.

Now. If that is true, then how is one not completely, once and for all changed after meeting God?

God does not ever see you in your sin. Never. That won't happen.

If you claim to be saved, and then say that you still sin, then do you think that you, when you sin, are then hiding from God, and playing a game in some sordid way where he sees you, and then he can't?

It's time to study the Word and know exactly what sin is, and what it does always in everyone.

Who is it that you love?

If you are simply abiding in this life waiting on someone to love you, as you continue to feed yourself, bathe, and get your rest, then you only truly love yourself.

If that is the case, then you live in disobedience, for God commands you to do otherwise.

What will you continue to do?

One cannot rest on laurels. One is daily commanded to die to self, and serve. Do you?


August 16, 2016

Who needs it?

Unconditional love.

Who deserves it?

Not a one of us.

Who needs it?

Everyone of us.

Who will give it?

Only the repentant.

Why?

They know from whence they have come.

From whence have they come?

Out of the miry clay. Out of bondage. Out of slavery.

They are free.

They are free from sin. They are free to love. They are heaven-bound.

That is on their minds most all day long, for heaven is their home, and they stay home-sick.

One of the only things that keeps them from languorous behavior is others.

They see all others as needing the touch of the Redeemer, and they do all they can to assist.

They tend. They water. They are gentle, and kind, and long-suffering.

The sins of others they dwell not on except in prayer.

They bear the burdens of others.

They weep when they weep, and rejoice when they rejoice.

What about you?

Do you need unconditional love?

Do you give it?

Do you hesitate?

Do the sins of others cause you to recoil, back away, and stay away?

If so, then you know not of redeeming love.

Redeeming love is known in repentance, and repentance is agreeing with God about your sin.

Your sin is not just something that you deal with until you are better.

Your sin keeps you from resting in the arms of God, and being heard by God, and your sin keeps you from loving others fully, and always.

Repent.

Agree with God.

Sin is vile.

Selfishness, greed, gossip, hate, anger, bitterness, and slander are evil.

Agree with God that you do not love, but that you hate, not only what others do, but others, all others.

A little hate affects, permeates, and leavens the whole lump.

Go your own way if that is what you want, or repent.

Walk the narrow road, and you'll see who needs love.

Everyone.

Period.



August 15, 2016

Teaching with a kind tongue

Consider a woman who does not love her husband.

Will she care how "love your husband" is spoken?

If those words are said with a smile, then does it make any difference?

How about if the words are written (and they are), then can she "hear" how they were relayed?

Whoever speaks the words of the Word is speaking kindness.

If they are said forcefully, with, or without a smile on the face, it matters not.

The truth of the Word is pleasant to the ones who want to hear.

If a woman doesn't desire to love her husband, then no amount of sugar-coating the words will matter.

How would one sugar-coat the Word anyhow?

Does it need any sugar-coating at all?

In sugar-coating the Word, then is one changing it?

Truth is truth no matter how it is spoken.

If a yellow-jacket is about to land on you, and do its damage, and you don't see it, but I do, then would you want me to consider how you would like to hear about the damage about to be done?

Should I think about how you would "feel" about being told?

Is it wise to hesitate?

What would you want me to do?

If I were to raise my voice concerning the yellow-jacket, then would you take offense, and say that you would prefer to be spoken to differently, and then you will listen?

How foolish is the one who lives by how they feel about truth.

God does not ask us how we "feel" about loving our husbands, neighbors, and anyone, and everyone.

He says to do it.

In trying to do it, and failing, we see the hate that is in us.

We see the angst we have toward anyone, and everyone, if given half a chance.

Just "cross" the one who you think is angelic, but has not love, and see what happens.

Yellow-jacket behavior follows.

Do you know how your husband likes his coffee, or tea?

Do you prepare it for him, with love, and serve him as you would if Jesus were in your home?

Or do you just not care how your husband, or anyone else, likes anything?

Do you want to know how I would ask that of you to your face?

I would not be asking that of you.

God is.

"Do you care?" can be translated, "Do you love?"

If so, then you will have been washed in grace, and filled with love like a river.

That type love does not, and cannot, be stopped.

If your love comes, and goes, and starts, and stops, then you are of this world, for they do that.

The love of God poured into a heart upon repentance is never-ending, and always loving.

If not, then what is the use of the Spirit who is given to the redeemed?

I will not tell you that you are always able to love, not if you have not repented.

You can't always love if you have not repented of hate.

I will not tell you to keep trying.

Love is not an exercise one does, like doing sit-ups, the more you do, the more you can do, and if you stop doing sit-ups (and loving others), then you can't do sit-ups (and love others).

That is foolishness.

Love is not like that.

I will tell you that you cannot love until you repent.

God, through his Spirit, does "love" through you, always, or never.

A good tree.

Remember?

What does a good tree always do?

And if it always does one thing, can it ever do another?

The teaching of kindness is sharing the Word, and letting the spirit of God do what only he can do.

Tell the truth.

For only the truth sets free, and don't add anything to it. No sugar-coating. Freedom waits.

Jesus came not to bring peace, but a sword, and his sword cuts to the intent of hearts.

What is the intent of your heart right now?

Service, or being served?

Showing kindness, or making sure everyone shows you kindness?

Letting love flow through you, or insisting that your husband love you as you demand?

Always good fruit, or rotten.

Which one describes your life?


August 14, 2016

Trying

I cannot get past the annoying thought that is so prevalent in Christian talk these days.

And what is that you might ask?

The prevailing phraseology, not found in Scripture, but abounding just about everywhere, which is that in the life of a Christian, that saved soul, must try to live for the Lord.

Listen closely, and read carefully, when it comes to teaching, and preaching that you hear and read.

Can you think of anywhere that the Lord, or Paul, or anyone else in Scripture indicated that one must try to live for God, and love others, and obey the commands?

Did Jesus say, "Try to love God with all your heart, and your neighbor too!"

It sounds like one could almost add, "And good luck with that!"

When one is told to "try" to do anything the door is left open for failure.

To the out-of-shape, a friend might encourage, "Try to walk at least one mile a day."

To the one who has little self-control, a counselor could admonish, "Try to not drink too much."

To the one who is bitterly angry, a pastor may say, "Try to love your husband."

Really?

Is that the message found in the Word?

To "try" means to attempt to accomplish something.

God does not say, "Attempt to love your neighbor!"

Almost sounds like, "Give it your best shot!"

To the contrary, God commands, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

When God commands something, it must be accomplished.

One does not endeavor, and try, and pull up the boot-straps, and try again, and on and on until...

Until when?

Is it through our effort that we obey God?

Is it of us that we accomplish love?

If so, then can we boast?

YES!

If I DO IT, then IT IS OF ME!

If God does it, then it is NOT of me.

How is it that God does "love" through me?

The power of his spirit is given to the repentant.

That person no longer lives for self.

They belong to ANOTHER.

That soul WILL NOT boast, cannot boast, and they do NOT want to boast, and they know that if their loving of others had been left up to them, then it would NOT get done.

The redeemed have been bought with a price, and they do NOT belong to themselves.

They KNOW it.

They've been set FREE of themselves, and they do not want to belong to themselves ever again.

And they won't.

They are told to "Stand" over and over again, and they do.

The are not told to "try" for that is what they were doing BEFORE they repented of trying to love.

Go ahead and keep trying if you wish.

You will fail.

Love ALWAYS behaves a certain way.

It says so in Scripture.

Believe Scripture or keep trying.

Which way will you go?

Choose.

And you will not be trying to choose.

You choose with every move you make which way you will live.

Will it be for God, or self?

With EVERY step you take, you will be walking with him, or choosing to walk as you think good.

His way is perfect, and on the narrow road, one walks perfectly.

How?

In love, and through the power of him who saves, utterly, and fully, and then sets free.

And God will not allow you to be tempted more than it is in you to say "no" to the temptation.

Read I Corinthians 10:13 and see if I misquoted it.

God does NOT allow something, and the "something" that he does not allow is too strong of a temptation to come onto his child.

He does not allow it.

Read carefully. Listen carefully. Your life depends on it.

And don't just "try" because God commands absolute obedience.

Do you believe that?

Is it true?

Do you live absolutely in obedience to loving God, and neighbor?

You must.

He commands it.

If you say, "How can I do that?"

The answer is in repentance.

Stop and agree with God about the sin that you do.

He will set you FREE.

Do you want to be well?  Do you want to be free? Or do you want to keep trying?

August 12, 2016

If you believe

All things work together for good.

We've all heard that one.

But do you believe it?

If so, then how is it that anyone, who claims to be redeemed, and radically changed, and born new, would fuss, complain, or doubt God's love, and care for them?

Really.

I really want to know.

If one truly believed that their beloved would never leave them, always provide for them, always show them love, always have their back, and would find a way to make everything, everything, everything work for their favor, then would their be any strife? Ever? Not if one really believed.

If I believe that eating poison will kill me, then I won't eat poison. Ever. It won't happen.

Why?

I believe.

Well, what about accepting a truth from God?

Do I dance around it?

Used to do that.

Look at it from a distance, and kick at it to see if it is real?

Did that too.

At times, did I profess what was not a fact in my life?

Yes.

And then I repented of my unbelief, and all things changed.

All things became new.

Rest comes to the one who agrees with God, and then all things work together for their good.

Yep. All things.

Do you believe it?

Do you still fuss?

Fret?

Worry?

The two do not go hand-in-hand.

But to those who believe, he gave the right to become the sons of God.

Oh how marvelous.

Oh how wonderful.

My Savior's love for me satisfies my every longing, and his hand is not slack concerning his promises, and he has said that all things work together to him who believes.

Do you believe it?



August 10, 2016

Concerning God's goodness

Have you said, or heard said, "The Lord's been good to me."

Concerning that thought, I would ask:

Do you think that he could be any other way?

How would you tell others to experience that goodness?

Is he only good to some and not others?

You see, when I hear those words, the niggling that happens in my mind causes me to wonder if some people are a part of a club, and in that club, God is good to them, and not to others.

But God is good to all.

His mercies extend to all.

His grace is available upon repentance however, and until a soul repents, God's wrath is on them.

While his wrath remains on a soul until repentance (Ephesians 5:6), that soul still can observe the beauty of nature, and experience the life-giving properties of the sun, and oxygen, and rain.

Hitler saw lilies, heard the sound of children laughing, and felt the warmth of the sun.

He experienced the mercies of the Lord.

Was God being good to him with those mercies?

Yes.

Did Hitler acknowledge those mercies?

I think not.

But in Hitler not saying, "The Lord has been good to me," God still was.

If you are inclined to say, "The Lord has been good to me," then I wonder, "Are you bragging?"

And have you done something to make that goodness happen?

And if so, then do you tell others what they must do to make that happen?

What does his goodness look like to you?

Is it in your possessions, or wealth, or home(s), or vacations you enjoy, or your children?

I'm asking you to define "God's goodness" in a way that does not exclude anyone.

The world has possessions, wealth, homes, vacations, and children.

Scripture says that God is the ONLY one who is good, as in no one else is good (Luke 18:19).

Think about the way you describe God, not only to yourself, but others.

Is God someone you share with others?

Do you share him simply by saying that he has been good to you?

How do you share his goodness with others?

If as Scripture indicates that God is love, then are you sharing his love?

Your words fall flat on needy ears perhaps.

Show others that God is good.

Tell them how they can know his grace (only in repentance), and remind them of his mercies (to all).

Or do you think that you have a "corner on the market" concerning God's goodness?

Is his "goodness" simply a platitude with you?

Do you speak of his goodness in hopes that you won't see his wrath?

Do you live holding your breath waiting for a horrible experience to come your way?

Do you think that by speaking of God's goodness then it keeps your husband employed, and your children healthy, and the locust from eating your crops?

Think about Job.

Job 1:1 tells us that Job feared God. It doesn't say that he loved him. Fear and love are not the same.

They are defined differently.

One can fear law enforcement, which does not mean that they love them.

Job did not know of God's grace until he repented which is found in Job 42:1-6.

Job thought that God had been good to him too, I would imagine. He had lots of kids, money, servants, and his health, and then what happened? Was God good to him as he sat covered in boils?

After Job's conversion, found in his repentance, Job's heart was different.

Boils, or no boils, Job was a new man— inside, where it counts. 

We don't hear a lot of words from Job after his repentance, except something very telling.

He prayed for his friends.....and the Lord heard his prayers.

The very ones who were not good friends, who were about to have the boom lowered on them (by God), were loved by Job, who interceded for them.

And God heard Job's prayers.

And God's hand was stayed.

We do not see that happening before Job's repentance.

Do you pray for those who spitefully use you?

Do you hold angst in your heart for anyone?

Then most likely you are not praying for them even as you proclaim that God is good to you.

And most likely, if you don't pray for those who hurt you, then you have fear of God, as did Job, but you have not repented, and you do not love God, and you do not pray, fervently, for anyone.

Job 42:11 tells us that the Lord had brought evil on Job (when he lost all, and had boils).

Yep. God did it. Is God good in that scenario?

Does God ever change?

Do you think that, at that time, Job, while covered in boils, was declaring the goodness of God?

It is not recorded.

Job lost almost everything. What did he still have? His breath.

Before Job had everything restored to him, he used it to pray for his friends.

What do you use your breath to do?

Fuss? Complain? Express bitterness? Gossip? Slander? Libel? Do you waste it?

When Job had nothing (yet), we know he prayed (see Job 42:10).

Notice it wasn't for possessions, a wife, children, and servants.

Job prayed for others.

His heart had been changed, through repentance.

His heart finally knew what he had only heard of prior to that.

Job 42:5 tells us this is so.

Job says, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you."

When do we see God?

See verse 6, and you will see what one must do.

Repent.

God's goodness, his grace, is known when one will agree with God about the sin they do.

Metanoia.

Upon knowing his grace, all else is rubbish, and unnecessary, and though he slay you, you will still praise him, and it will be with clean lips that do not boast of "things" at all.

Yes.

God is good.

Always. With or without physical health, or physical possessions, God is good. Is that your claim?












August 9, 2016

What do you want me to believe?

The words that we say about a diet, a recipe, a certain type home, pillow, hairbrush, variety of peach, or asparagus, or birdhouse, bird, dog breed, carpet, cake mixes, canning jars, or elective surgeries, yes, you name it, what we say about anything, everything, and everyone will, perhaps, influence the thoughts of others concerning all of the above, and more, much more.

Do you think that the low-carb diet is the way to go?

Or maybe you are a strict Weight Watcher fan.

Whichever one that it is, if indeed you have an opinion, then you will be touting it.

What do you think about God?

How does one know him?

Did Jesus come to set mankind free?

If so, then from what are we free?

Are you free?

Do you love your husband?

Do you love your sister?

Your child?

The words that we say to our neighbor will, again perhaps, sway them.

What do your words reflect?

They reflect your heart.

Do you say that you love your mother, and yet never speak kindly of her, and always find a way to express a lot, or a little, disapproval of her to your girlfriend, your confidant, as if it is okay to express yourself to a "confidant" because, after all, everyone needs to blow off steam.

The world will tell you that.

What does the Word say about expressing yourself to a confidant?

On what do you base the decisions you make concerning the words that you speak?

Do you know that Jesus said that we will give an account of every idle word we speak (Matt. 12:36)?

Do you believe it?

Every idle (frivolous, baseless, vain) word?

Recently a pastor's wife told me that the Lord is not up in the heavens with a big chalkboard waiting for me to mess up some way so he can write that down.

I would agree that God needs no chalkboard.

His memory is like none other.

But let's not kid ourselves, nor be deceived, nor walk in chosen ignorance.

Your words, and my words, reflect our hearts, and we will be asked to give an account of them.

Has your heart been made new?

If so, then your words are new.

They will be filled with love towards the husband, the sister, and the neighbor, and not just sometimes, but always.

If you believe not, and choose to let your lips speak as they wish, then what will you say about them in the end?

"I couldn't help it."

"He was so mean to me!"

"I was betrayed."

The unkind words must equal up to perfection somehow.

In giving an "account" one side must somehow equal the other side.

The "other side" is perfection— where Jesus will be standing.

And on your side, do you think that you'll be able to point to the place in your heart where Jesus 'lives" as if to say, "There you are, Jesus! See where I invited you in, and asked you to live? There is my perfection. Can you see yourself in there? What? What is that you say? Are you asking me about those words that I spoke just before drawing my last breath? You mean where I said that my husband is a no-good person? And my mom was a horrible mother? And ...."

How is that reconciled?

What do you want me to believe, and on what do you base your beliefs?

Well, believe it or not, your mouth will be telling me, and others.

Listen carefully to what you are saying.

Your heart is being revealed.

Has it been made perfect?

In what way?

Is it sometimes perfect, and other times not?

Why?

Study. Don't be deceived. God, his word, and his way will not be mocked.

What do you want me to believe about what you believe?

If there is nothing there, nothing of import will be spoken.

If there is disdain for others, then I will be hearing it, and more importantly, God hears.

Chalkboard, or no chalkboard, we had best be listening to our words.

They reveal the thoughts of the mind, and the intent of the heart.

Being in Christ means being swallowed up in his mindset— completely.

What he speaks, the one consumed by him, speaks.

They follow him.

Narrowly.

Always.

Do you?

If so, tell me so that I will believe it.


August 8, 2016

He invites his chosen people, "Come... die."

We like to eat.

We really like to eat.

We, or at least, I'll admit to it, enjoy the thought of Jesus preparing a table for us.

I like to occasionally tell him what I'd like to have at the table.

We also like money.

Of course we would not admit to loving it, because we know that to be sin.

We like our date-nights, our husbands to be faithful, very attentive, and cooperative with us.

We want a few things.

Each of us probably has a list.

On that list, do you have the item "die" listed?

Jesus calls us to death to self.

Do you know what that means?

Or do you just like to quote the verse, and encourage "others" to do it?

And do you have a list for the times that "others" have not done that?

What about you?

Scripture tells us to only, and strictly, examine our own selves, our own eye.

And THEN we can see more clearly.

What do we then see more clearly?

The sin in others, and when we see it, after we've seen our own, and died to our own, then we weep.

We weep for the sins of others.

We do not judge them.

We fervently pray for them.

Love them.

Plead for them.

Encourage them.

Tell them the gospel message.

Live a life of love towards them, and on the narrow road, where we die to ourselves, we serve them.

Come. Die to date-night.

Come. Die to a husband that, according to you, is not Mr. Right at all.

Come. Die to your appetites.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will GIVE you the desires of your heart.

The woman who delights in the Lord never need to beg, whine, fuss, complain, cajole, manipulate, or otherwise trick someone, anyone, into doing as she would desire, for her Lord meets her every need.

It is in giving that we receive.

It is in dying that we are raised to eternal life.

It is what we sow that we reap.

Come. Die. Live.

August 7, 2016

"Go ugly early"

I cannot remember where I heard that saying but it was in reference to a man, who is interested in a woman, but does not know her really well yet, to, in essence, "cross" her some how, some way.

You know what I'm talking about ?

Like he is supposed to tell her "no," or contradict her, or challenge her in some way.

Why would he do that?

To see what her reaction would be to his behavior that is not constantly telling her "yes," and you are beautiful, and what would you like to do next, Princess?

I did not tell my boys, nor my son-in-law, to do that, because unless it is warranted, then it is unkind.

All of that said to ask: Can you be challenged? By your husband? Can your ideas be shot down?

Can you proven to be wrong?

Do you seek to know if you are wrong?

Do you think you are always right?

That makes me think of some pillowcases I saw recently for married couples.

On one of them is printed, "Mr. Right," and on the other is printed, "Mrs. (always) Right."

Does that make you chuckle?

It did me, but there was a time when that was the case.

I had to always be right.

Jesus never met anyone, and then told them, "You're alright."

He was always after the intent of the heart.

Jesus challenged, and challenges, who we are deep down inside of us.

The part that comes to life, and is exposed, when we are challenged!

What is the intent of your heart?

Is it to know God, or to always be right?

Is it to know God, or have stuff?

Is it to know and love God, or is it to force someone to love you, do for you, and be entertained?

One might say that the mission of Jesus was to "go ugly early" for his message straight out of the gate after fasting for forty days, and being sorely tempted was, "Repent." (see Matthew 4:17)

Repent means that you need to change.

What needs to change?

The way you think about the sin that you do.

His message has not changed, and it is far from ugly.

It is a message, that if heeded, brings beauty from an ash-heap.

But to repent, one must agree that they are ugly in sin, and are dead in their trespasses.

Yep.

Want to think that you are a Princess, or the Queen of your home?

If you have not repented, then you are a "dead in your sins" Princess, or Queen.

That type stink.

They stink at love, for they only give love, kindness, and gentleness if treated a "certain" way.

That is so easy, and those who live that way always fail completely, and live inconsistent lives.

Love is not love unless it is consistent.

The road Jesus commands that we walk is narrow.

On the narrow road, sin is called for what it is.

Repentance is needed, required, and commanded, in order to walk it.

Do you think that you can walk it any other way?

Jesus is telling you that that will not, and does not, happen.

Can you be crossed?

Can you be told that you are wrong?

Can you understand that to believe in Jesus is to do EXACTLY as he commands?

Finally, do you "go ugly" on others who tell you what you do not want to hear?

Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34).

His words will cut you where you need to be pruned, and in the healing of your heart, joy grows.

Follow him. He will take you to God. You will repent, and then you will know him.

Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.












August 6, 2016

Refuge for refuse

I really thought that I was pretty good.

Let me say that differently to help make my point.

I never thought that I was that bad.

Before being made new, and I'm talking really being saved, I had not repented.

I had believed in Jesus.

So do demons.

But I had not agreed with God about my sin.

For that matter, I had not identified my sin.

I had not agreed with God that my hate was murder, for example.

That is what Jesus did with people we read about in Scripture, and that is what he still does.

He helped them identify what was going on in their souls.

We follow him, and in the process of following him, we come to ask questions of him.

He is called "Teacher" after all.

Do you ask questions of him?

Anyway, I got this horrible sense that my prayers were not being heard.

There was no rest in my soul because of that.

I'd pray, and worry, and fret, and those two do not jive when one speaks with God, and knows God.

So I asked of him.

"Why are my prayers not being heard?"

Of course, I was led to Scripture; that's where we find him, and all the answers.

And I found, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."

I knew that verse, and had quoted it often, and taught it to others, but I had not believed it.

Do you sin?

That is holding "regard" for sin.

If you sin, and pray, then do you still consider your prayers heard?

How is that possible when one considers that verse from Psalm 66:18?

Do you believe in your ability to pray, or do you believe in the Word?

There will be those who face Jesus at the end who will be told to depart form him.

They will say, "But we prayed in your name!"

Are you that type?

The type that think that just because they say the name of the Lord, then he hears them?

And because the prayer sounded good, and was said with tears, and a bit of effort, then he heard?

Find and read Matthew 7:21-23.

Who is Jesus speaking about in that passage?

Is it those who have had no regard for him?

Yes.

They had regard for sin.

One does not have both.

Either one is producing good fruit, and only good fruit, or one is not in the Vine (Matthew 7:17).

God is a refuge for the sin-sick, and if you have never recognized, and agreed with God about the sin-sick condition of your soul, then you have not met him.

He will not look on sin.

Once you agree with him, he washes you, and you are never the same again.

And you face him, and ask confidently of him, not because you can speak confidently.

But because you are clean.

After being washed, you do not ever again have "regard" for sin.

Why?

The power of the Spirit is in you, and God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear, and that is found in I Corinthians 10:13.

Or do you not believe it?

In a sin-sick soul, one does not see their sin as "refuse" or garbage, and .... well, sin.

I was refuse.

I met the Refuge when I agreed with him about the sin that I "regarded" and enjoyed.

Have you done that with the "refuse" that you do?

Until then, you will not know the One who will cover you, and hold you, and give you rest.

Do you think that you can give good gifts to your children?

Stand back a bit, and consider One who gives the gift of freedom, and not just for the future.

But now.

Agree with him.

Believe him.

Then you can (and will) do as he commands, for the Spirit, who you may sing about with gusto, will fill you and make you clean, and will sing through you forever, and ever, and the "regard" for sin will be gone from your soul, and you will know of freedom, and will speak of freedom, and you will know that you do not belong to the world, and it will hold no sway on you, for you will be free.

You will love the Lord your God with all your heart.

You will love your husband.

You will be patient.

You will be kind.

You will know God, and you will not fail to obey him.

He does that work THROUGH you.

It will not be of YOU in any way.

YOU will not boast of what YOU can do, but of what HE does in you.

You will stand amazed in his presence.

Once and for all time, and there will be no "rededication" of your soul over and over again.

That term is not found in Scripture.

You are dedicated (attached to the Vine), or you are not.

You love, or you do not love.

You do not have the prerogative to jump on and off the Vine.

Do you believe in Jesus?

Then you will DO as he says to do.

In John 14:23, we see what Jesus says about those who truly love him.

Do you believe what that verse says?

Do you really believe?

One cannot really believe until one repents.

Sin prohibits belief.

"Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, (Matthew 4:17).









August 5, 2016

Saying, "Thank you."

I have heard it said (by supposed Christian teachers, and Christians, and I forget who all says it, but maybe you say it) that a redeemed soul can forget to say "Thank you" to the Redeemer.

Honestly?

I do not understand how that is possible.

It makes me wonder if that "redeemed soul" has truly been redeemed.

You see, not every one who says that they are redeemed, or believes that they are redeemed, are truly redeemed as is born out in the passage spoken by Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23.

How is it that a soul, bound for hell, and then isn't, and never will be, can forget it?

How is it that a soul, bound up in sin, and unable not to sin, can forget the freedom they now know?

How is it that a soul, who tried, and tried to love, and couldn't, and then can, ever not be grateful?

To go from chains to freedom, and to know of it always, not as some earth-bound people who go in and out of prison, but one who is born new, never to know chains again...how is it possible?

I submit to you that it is impossible.

Those who would say that they "forget" to praise the Lord, and need reminders, is to say that they were once drowning, and were as good as dead, and then were saved, yet they tend to forget the Savior, not to mention the ecstasy of grace, and the release of a flood of love through their soul.

It's as though none of that really happened.

Is it possible that it didn't?

Jesus would say that it is very possible.

That is what he was saying has occurred if you were to walk backwards from Matthew 7:21-23.

Jesus is saying that many are walking around now thinking that they are saved, and they are not.

So what is the proof?

Fruit.

Not just sometimes, but always.

A good tree, Jesus said, always produces good fruit (Matthew 7:17).

Will you argue with him?

Go ahead.

And while you are at it, ask him about the lack of love you exhibit.

And the fits you pitch.

And the way you cannot stop taking his name in vain.

And the unkind ways you have toward some because, after all, you know they don't deserve kindness.

And the lack of patience you have with most everyone who is not quite as quick as you are.

And your selfishness, and lack of generosity.

And....what else? What is crossing your mind right now?  Will you ask him about that?

But most of all, do you love God with all your heart?

He commands it.

Do you do it?

Are you prayers being heard?

Do you rest?

Are you thankful?

The Holy Spirit is calling the weary to rest, but there is no rest while still in sin.

If the yoke you carry is heavy, then it is not the yoke of the Lord.

Repent.

Agree with the Lord about the sin that you do.

Time is short.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, and a woman will reap what she sows (Galatians 6:7).

What are you sowing?

Thankfulness, good fruit, and endless prayers?

Or complaining, worry, and strife?

Seek the Lord.








August 4, 2016

Are you happy?

Don't go changing to try and please me.

Remember that song by Billy Joel?

It's a sweet sentiment right?

When sentiment and reality meet, then how true is that statement in your life?

Who must change (behave, or perform) in order for you to be happy?

Husband?

Mom?

Son?

Daughter?

Daughter-in-law?

Mother-in-law?

Neighbor?

Who?

No one?

Everyone?

What is the secret to happiness (blessedness) in your life?

Happy is the same word as blessed in Greek.

Happy means delighted, pleased, glad.

Are you, without anyone having to change, perform, or behave, delighted, pleased, and glad?

If not, then you will be depending on others to cause you to smile.

The face (your life, and what you say) reveals the heart (Proverbs 27:19).

If you are happy, regardless of anything changing, or anyone doing this or that, then you are truly blessed, and more than that (but what is really more than that???), you have been redeemed.

If your happiness is dependent on absolutely, and only knowing God, then you know him.

The truly happy are truly always happy.

How can one NOT be happy ALWAYS in knowing God?

Would it not be a slap in your face if a friend of yours expected you to "tap dance" for her to smile?

Would it not be an insult to true love if your "true love" had to perform to be loved by you?

Would it not be true love if you only gave love if others did your bidding?

What must God think if you, claiming to be redeemed by him, at any time, sulk, pout, and gripe?

What would you tell others of the difference that God has made in your life?

How have you been made new, and is that a process, and if so, then does one sin as they change?

If so, then how much, and how long, and is the sin you do different than before you were made new?

Are you happy, and do you love, and must anyone (anything) change for that to occur?

August 3, 2016

In everything, rest

Is your health not perfect, or maybe it is?

Rest.

Do you have a lot of money?

Rest.

Are you poor?

Rest.

Is your husband attentive, and kind, and godly?

Rest.

Is he not?

Rest.

Maybe some people, who are supposed to love you, don't?

Rest.

The heart of the redeemed soul, whose life is in the hands of Yahweh, will rest.

In the good, the bad, and the ugly, they rest.

Are they tempted to fret? Absolutely.

Is that a sin? Absolutely not.

Jesus was tempted to worship Satan.

In II Corinthians 11, Paul says that what he is doing, he will continue to do, and what was he doing?

Always giving the church a reason to believe, and he never put a stumbling block in from of them.

Never (II Corinthians 6:3).

Do you?

Are we unlike Paul, and did he have a certain "in" with God?

Was he a favorite, or something?

Is there any indication in Scripture that some people have abilities that others don't have when it comes to sin, and being a stumbling block, or are we taught that God is not a respecter of people?

Does God treat us all the same when it comes to salvation?

Through it all, the shipwrecks, and in knowing great danger, as well as great need, and abundance (Philippians 4), Paul knew the secret of being content in every situation.

What did he know?

It wasn't a "what."

It was WHO he knew, and in knowing God, he had strength in all situations, and he rested, and gave thanks, and there was no "fretting" in him, for whom the Son sets free (from fretting) is free indeed.

Are you free?

If so, then from what has God set you free?

Is it only in a few things, and from only certain sins, and if so, then because of your partial freedom, then are you free to go on sinning, and if so, then when will you be free indeed?

When does that happen in a soul who has been born new?

It is time to study.

It is time to know.

In all situations, can a soul be at rest, and kind, and loving, and how does that happen, and does it happen AT ALL through the discipline that one finds in meditation (as in yoga) or in anything that one can DO, and if so, then if a soul can DO it, then can they boast that they did it?

Where does the power to live free originate?

IF it is from God, then does he ever turn that ability over to the saved soul?

After salvation, and being made new, does he say, "It's up to you now."

Is your "goodness" anything at ALL to do with you?

IF it is ALL of God, then has the Son set you free?

If so, then from what are you free?

Scripture commands that we fret not.

If we are commanded to do that, then why do many Christians fret?

Is it their choice?

Can they not help it?

What does Scripture teach?

Do you know?

Are your prayers being heard?

Do you know that if you sin, then we are told that your prayers are not heard?

Do you think that because you cry when you pray, and because you "feel" something when you pray, then you are heard?

Is that how it happens that we are heard by God?

If you pray, then do you fret too?

How do you blend those two thoughts together?

Consider really knowing God, and asking what you would of him.

In knowing a good friend, let's say your BFF, and in asking her to meet you for lunch, and then asking her to spend the day with you. Would she?  Would you consider that she would blow you off, and ignore your request, and not attend to your needs as best that she could?

Your best friend forever would not do that.

And God is not simply an earthly BFF.

He created more stars in the heavens than grains of sand on all the shores.

Your BFF, and all the best friends forever combined, cannot create even one grain of sand.

And would you say that you know God, and yet fret?

If so, then consider how it is that you would encourage anyone to know God?

Why know him, if in the knowing of him, you still fret, and worry, and have no rest for your soul?

What difference does God make in your life?

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, 
what you will eat or what you will drink, 
nor about your body, what you will put on. 
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not of more value than they? 
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 
And why are you anxious about clothing? 
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: 
they neither toil nor spin, 
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, 
which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, 
will he not much more clothe you,
 O you of little faith? 
Therefore do not be anxious, saying,
 ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 
For the Gentiles seek after all these things, 
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. 
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:25-34