Reflections 4: The True Requirement of Discipleship

Time combined with age is an extremely powerful combination that will bring life lessons so endearing they become permanent fixtures within our hearts and minds for as long as we live. For some of us these life lessons are marred with pain and anguish, of a life lead absent of God. Some of us were blessed beyond all belief and lead lives filled with wealth in every area; leaving the illusion that nothing is out of their reach, oddly the one thing they need they never receive. Some life lessons leave us filled with mixed emotions that push false impressions of what is real. These people find a fault in their heart so deep that they begin to believe in the dangerous lie that they can never be healed, that their fault can never be filled completely. Some of us for the same reasons conduct our lives as if we know everything all the time. The fear of the unknown drives an insatiable hunger which is fueled by the feelings that they are in some way en-antiquate, which builds up their insecurities preventing them from ever really knowing the one person they should have befriended, Our Lord and Savior. Some life lessons fill us with Gods Holy Wisdom, allowing them to overlook the sins of others and instead of retreating, reach out their hands in forgiveness again and again. The difference within these people from all those mentioned before is simple, they understood and was willing to comply with the true requirement of discipleship.

“If you love your father and mother, or your son and daughter, more than me, you cannot follow me. Unless you take up your cross and let go of all you possess, you cannot follow me.”(The Lost Gospel Q, Q69, p. 104).

Harsh words, radical words from a man who everyone flocked to for various reasons, most had no real clue why they followed him other than he would do miracles, pre-haps to quench their own desire to see before they could believing. Nevertheless, Jesus put forth a stern requirement that divided the people, shocked many, and made each and every one of them wonder to what he was saying. This requirement transcended all of his previous messages on love and forgiveness. It took the faithful to a whole new level of believing while at the same time drove out those who were not serious, and was along for the ride. Within his words he was reminding them that everything has a cost, and the cost for following him was extremely high. It was not a cost which would make him monetarily wealthy, but rather make that person wealthier than Kings, spiritually fulfilled.

26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 26-27).

Jesus wanted his disciples to fear not for their own lives because in doing this would create a roadblock to accomplishing Gods mission. Do not love anyone more than your God, is completely in line with the teachings of Moses, and the commandment set forth by God:

1 “And God spoke all the words: 2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods before me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in the heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:1-6).

Within the words of God the father, now repeated in Jesus the son, the true cost of discipleship was given so as to allow the people to choose for themselves. So that we can estimate the cost. “Jesus did not want a blind, naive commitment that expected only blessings. As a builder estimates costs or a king evaluates military strength, so people must consider what Jesus expects of his followers before they commit their lives to him” (Notes: 14-28). His requirement was one of total surrender, just as God had told the Jews fleeing Egypt.

Total surrender is the hardest part of this requirement. It initials that you give everything up, all your possessions, worries, doubts, heartaches, preconceived notions, family, friends, and even your own worth of your own life. Jesus was telling us all these things belong to God anyway; we cannot take any of this to heaven when we die. The only thing which really matters is God. Living a life filled with God, a life which exemplifies God. A life where God comes first is a life which is filled with Gods divine love, and mercy. It is a life which is set upon a trek that is not defined by material wealth or possessions. It is a life built upon morality, wisdom, compassion, and love. Jesus was handing to the people, and still offers this to us today, the strength to do anything, work miracles in other people’s lives, to build up those in need, and to utilizes the most powerful tool ever created, that of faith.

A blind man cannot see, but walks across the street based upon faith he will make it to the other side. A child loves her parents, but must have faith all her needs will be met. Birds in the air forage each day, and it is on faith they find what they need. God takes care of the wild animals, so how much more will he love and take care of each one of us if he looks at us as the salt of the earth?

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out” (Luke, 14:34-35).

For the twelve disciples Jesus warned them that each one would suffer greatly in his name, Jesus forewarned that the true requirement is found within the belief that all things are possible even when they seem to be hopeless, even until death. We live our lives with God, then our lives have meaning, purpose, and our mission then lives far beyond our mortal existence. We follow Jesus faithfully, who leads us to God, we serve as disciples so that our impact is far more powerful and outreaching than what we can contemplate, affecting thousands of generations after we are gone. Within this single requirement, our singular purpose is ex-hauled before our Lord our God. We fulfill the very words of God that which was spoken centuries ago in the deserts of Mt. Sinai. Our God is a gracious God; our savior is a loving shepherd tenderly watching his flock. In reality Jesus was not asking of us or those people who heard him that day, to do anything which he first was not willing to do himself. His requirement is obedient sacrifice which is rewarded with loving grace.

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog, I humbly invite you to leave a comment, and may all your days be filled with peace, love, and God’s eternal joy.

Reflections 3: The True Motivation of Jesus

The driving force of the majority of the world today in many ways is rooted in a deep since of selfishness, greed, and  intolerance, which tends to shape our motives to a singular word, “I”. Hence, when we see something happing that we know is wrong, which has a hint of danger to it, we stop and then ask, “What do I get out of this?” or “What if I get pulled into this conflict?” We tend to think it’s for our own protection that we do nothing when we see homeless people, the mentally ill, and the hungry, when they hold out their hands asking for help. In some instances they don’t ask, oddly leaving us with an empty, hollow whole within us which is quickly dismissed as we go about our busy day.  I have even heard housewives talk about their feelings of disgust when, “that beggar held out his hand.” Or claim how scared they were, “I didn’t know if he was going to hurt me…he looked crazy.”  Then in the same breath confess their allegiance to the church. I have seen men at work crack jokes about a dirty man on the street corner panhandling and how those people need to be put away or just get a job, discounting them as lazy or worthless.  Then in the next breath thank God for a short day on Friday or that they got paid. How many times have we looked the other way?  How many times have we made jokes about another man’s lack of good fortune?

Our own insecurities built up by many years of traditions and oral teaching which builds upon centuries of distrust, which in the end has severally tarnished the moral fibers of our society from within to the point we don’t help even if it is the right thing to do, even if it is a commandment from God the most powerful being in the universe. We don’t help our neighbors, friends, family, without first examining what is in it for me. I call this the self- first mentality, or sinister “I” generation, which is in every generation since before Jesus, infecting the human genome like a cancer.  We are all guilty; we all face these overpowering emotions, teachings, and ideologies which help to drive our own needs to survive through greed and selfishness every single day. We pass it off with such callus comments as, “Someone else will do it.” If this false statement is true and someone else will do it, why haven’t the homeless be given a home, the sick made better, the hungry be feed? Yes, there are non-profit humane and religious organizations which do what they can, but they are few. If everyone follows the examples of Jesus Christ our lord and savior then there would be no hungry child, sick mother, or homeless family.  So I humbly ask, “Who today will stand up and say I will help based upon faith alone?”

I humbly offer this example of Jesus’s character:

“24 Jesus went to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. 25 Soon a women whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoencian by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. He said to her,27 ‘Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.’ 28 She replied and said to him, ‘Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.’ 29 Then he said to her, ‘For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.’ 30 When the women went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone”(Mark, Chapter 7:24-30).

This condition of faith is exactly what Jesus was addressing with this woman. In this scripture Jesus is faced with a request for help from a non-Jew, who has shown incredible faith to come to him, a Jewish man. In examining this we also find that she as a woman was not allowed to confront a stranger, particularly a male, but did so anyway. She broke with tradition, centuries of teaching and did so based on her belief, which translates into faith that Jesus could do something for her child. Another prospective found in the bible on this topic of this woman, is found in Matthew, it reads as follows:

“21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.’ 23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’24He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ 25The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. 26He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.’ 27 ’Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ 28Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour”(Matthew, Chapter 15:21-28).

In this portrayal of these events the disciples would have not helped her. Like any of us today, they did not want to get involved. Furthermore they asked for Jesus to send her away, citing that she was pestering them. I want to bring a light to this fact because it is very indicative to human behavior, and how Jesus dealt with it as a human being. In both stories Jesus is confronted with a request. This request comes from a woman, who is for all intense and purposes a non- Jew, or pagan. I also want to point out that this is not the first time a non-Jew, or a woman had asked Jesus for help; in fact he never turned them away when they came to him in this manner, faith first. Those who came to Jesus did so out of faith that he could do something for them. Thus,  out of this [faith-driven-perceptive] was Jesus motivated to grant them mercy.

The other important aspect to this character trait of Jesus is his ability to ignore requests from his disciples. He did not have to help this woman, he owed her nothing, but he helped her anyway. He was not afraid to break rules and challenge beliefs of his generation. He respected this woman for doing the same for the right reasons. Again she came to him out of faith. She came to him out of compassion for her daughter.

So Faith is the first example Jesus set in stone that day. The second was compassion. Jesus was moved by her answer to his responses which was a test. Jesus tested her, as he tests each and every one of us today, not unlike we test our own children. In both stories he seems reluctant to get involve to the point his disciples urges him to not get involved. Her answer proved to him that she was coming from the right place, from faith first, then from compassion. This motivated Jesus to feel compassion for her. It is from this combination does Jesus work his miracles. Remember always when looking at Jesus as a human being he chose to come and save us, then he was born into the world. He accomplished his mission from a place of absolute faith in God. It was from this place God poured out his companion onto his son.

To exhibit these two qualities each and every person alive must first ask the question, “Do I have faith?” We need to ask ourselves “Why we should have faith?” When we say, ‘Yes’,  that we do have faith, then we are really saying yes to God. Because whether we like it or not having faith is a pre-requisite to believing in God. The very existence of Jesus is our proof that God does exist, does care, does hear us, and is filled with compassion for us.

With compassion second Jesus poured out upon the women and her daughter his divine love.  It is at this point I would like to highlight for the record that Jesus did not need to go to the child, lay hands on her, or perform any special ceremony and by doing this he set his last example of the power of faith. He healed the girl from long distance, based upon the faith of her mother. He did this as a direct response of the illustration of faith, which filled his heart with compassion, and the outcome was a miracle preformed out of love. As I have stated in past blogs love does not originate within our imperfect bodies, but rather is a gift from God. The chain of responses from God, unbroken, is the most powerful thing in creation. Faith + Compassion = LOVE. I illustrate it in a formula because trillions of people just don’t get it. They need to see before they believe. Having blind faith is out of the question.

“Even if your faith is no bigger than a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Lost Gospel Q, Q78, P113).

So perhaps if we first exhibit faith that all things are possible in the name of the Lord, and step in to help those who need it most, without question, then perhaps our hearts will become less callus and be filled with compassion, and then God would respond by filling us with  his gift of  love. We see within Jesus’  words and actions his true motivation to work his miracles, and to sacrifices so much for us, before he gave his own life on the cross. Through our faith, is God motivated by compassion, in return releasing his love.

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog, I humbly invite you to leave a comment, and may all your days be filled with peace, love, and God’s eternal joy.

Reflections 2: The Truth about Christmas

The traditional Christmas season consists of a Christmas tree in the living room with gifts underneath, the smells of good food being prepared, music made with bells and stringed interments, and the story of old St. Nick. Family spending time together is the theme, the giving of gifts the main attraction.

Sadly and ironically we symbolically act out the biblical traditions of the three wise men, but many could not explain the significants of it.

We hear all the time, the reason we celebrate Christmas as it was the day Jesus was born. But Christmas is much more than that, it is the event which Rabbi’s preached in the synagogues, prophets proclaimed to countless generations, men and women of faith clung to in the harsh days of exile, and it became the motivating factor which stirred many to rebel against their Roman oppressors. The power of hope in a savior that would come to liberate them from taxation, cruelty, disease, and a corrupt system of religion and government forever changing our world.

Rebels clung onto this idea of a savior in such a way that the land had been filled with false messiahs, men who were nothing more than military leaders and religious zealots long before the birth of Christ, and yet within this confusion, God found a way to make his son, Jesus Christ so recognizable and tangible that there was no mistaking him for anyone else, fulfilling prophecy.

“6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Christmas is also a story of sacrifice, hardship, perseverance, loyalty, and love. To believe in the biblical Christmas, you have to first believe that God sent an angel to Mary, that she gave birth to Jesus as a virgin, and that Joseph really had a prophetic dream. Christianity demands that this be at the core of the belief in Christ.

The truth about Christmas however is even greater than our interpretations of history, our faith in God, and it transcends our modern day customs. Because the truth is, that the human race after two thousand years still celebrates the birth of Christ, that he holds such an exulted place in every society on Earth. The gift, the miracle is more about our acceptance in Jesus, than it is about whether all the circumstances of his divinity can be proven true or false.

The simple truth is, God can do anything he so desires, yet he chose to be with us, to be like us, to walk among us. The revelation is not that Jesus was simply born, but rather he chose to be born, chose to breath air, chose to live and die for our salvation and redemption. The miracle wasn’t that an angle came down from heaven to tell Mary about what God wanted to do, but rather God was still interested in our welfare. The miracle is that our one God, after two thousand years still wants our salvation, he still loves us, and he has not given up hope on us. That God sent a savior as he promised, as all of his promises he will fulfill in his own time.

So this Christmas celebrate the birth of Christ from the perspective of our gracious God bestowing a gift which can never be taken away, it can never be over shadowed, and will always be the reminder of our God’s affection. Remember that Jesus had a choice, that God had a choice. If this is how we view Christmas how much more love could we find in our hearts to give to those who are in need. Just as Jesus gave to us the gift of love and graced us with his birth.

Amen.

If you have been moved by this blog, I humbly invite you to leave a comment, and may all your days be filled with peace, love, and God’s eternal joy.

God Bless and Merry Christmas,

Reflections 1: What is the Truth?

In a world that is filled with such deceit and lies it is hard to understand why we would every believe in God and the Bible in the first place.  From the first man who ever walked on planet earth to the millions who live today, Satan has been about proving God a liar,  a false God,  someone we should never trust.  Satan has unleashed such hatred in the world that which has kept mankind at war for thousands of years separating us from God without peace, all based upon faith, veiled by the term “Holy”.  Truth has become so maligned that we can not see the most basic things, such as:  “How can the killing and the shedding of blood be Holy?” or even:  “How is using the very words of God justified in the persecution of others, when his message is of peace, love, and forgiveness?”  But then again what is truth?

The word “truth” in the free online dictionary, (Dictionary.com) means the following; 1. Conformity to fact or actuality.2. A statement proven to be or accepted as true.3. Sincerity; integrity.4. Fidelity to an original or standard.

a. Reality; actuality.

b. often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.


In all these definitions truth is defined as our own perception.  What we see, feel, think, as a group as being excepted as real, is thus the truth.  It is our own reality of existences which defines truth.  So anyone then can make the argument if you believe it to be so, others believe it to be so, then it is within your perception of being the truth, whether or not it is, does not matter because it is an excepted reality by more than one individual.  With that logic we have based our laws, our judges have sent innocent people to death, and parents have lost their child only to have them become the ward of the state.  If a lawyer can argue his case the best, use the most trickery and slightest of tongue then he or she wins, be it right wrong or indifferent. This system does not care about what is the truth, but rather what fits with a logic which is based upon cold and Grey peaces’ of information which may or may not be based in truth.  This very thing is what makes any human system unjust.  The very fact we do not know truth, is the very thing which makes all of us susceptible to sin, and to Satan’s lies.  In fact Satan’s argument is so convincing he fooled one-third of all the angels to follow him, that would be equivalent to looking up into the night sky and then suddenly watching one-third of all the stars disappear.  Satan’s argument is so convincing that how do we really know that he, himself, is telling the truth.  If God is not telling the truth, and Satan is not telling the truth then how can we trust Jesus is telling the truth, or any of the prophets, and saints are telling use the truth?  By calling God  a liar, then we are bringing into question everything which is, which we think, feel, and believe to be true, is suddenly false, and we are doomed to fail without hope,  absent from God.  Under this logic anything a person does, says, or believes can be called into question, anyone can turn anyone else in be them family or neighbor, friend or foe.  Under this logic our faith is eroded and we become visual beings, believing only what is in front of us, and blind faith in God disappears as akin to a distant memory, or like the stars in heaven or the fallen angels turned into Satan’s demands.  But more than all of this is simply the quest for the truth strikes at our very core, our values, and our entire way of life, it is preprogrammed into every living being to recognize the truth when we see it.  Thus it is free will which allows us to ignore it or to accept it, in this we are driven to ask, “What is the Truth?”

The Bible defines truth as:  God our creator, his very word is the definition of truth.  God’s truth is shown in many ways but none so perfect as;

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17, p. 1664, NIV).


These words spoken by Jesus in the sanctification of his disciples, describes the very nature of God, and of himself. It closes the question forever to who is, and what is truth as being one in the same.  There is no greater testimony than that which is spoken by the mouth of God.  There is no truth more pure, and holy than the words uttered by the dieing Jesus on the cross. Truth therefore is God, and God is truth.

So based upon this logic, we can then begin to see the error in our human logic, our sin is revealed, and we become ashamed of our denial of the truth.  In the eyes of God we also are clearly guilty, and thus God had no other recourse than to sacrifice his only son in the forgiveness of man sins. In this act we see God’s truth, his wisdom, and his undying love.


“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3, p. 116, NIV).

God spoke his name to Moses from the burning bush when Moses asked him who shall he say sent him to free the slaves in Egypt, and God Answered,

“I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM’ has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14, p.92, NIV).

With this declaration God has drawn the line upon the idea of truth, and defined it as being himself.  There is no other truth than that of God himself.

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog, I humbly invite you to leave a comment, and may all your days be filled with peace, love, and God’s eternal joy.

Reflections 17: Destructive Nature of Accusations (Relationship Series)

In examining this word, “Accusation”, and to understand its effects on peoples relationships, it is prudent to look it up in the dictionary. So the meaning of this word is defined as: 1 : the act of accusing : the state or fact of being accused 2 : a charge of wrongdoing. This word comes to us from 1250-1300’s, meaning: to call to account. So when you stand up and accuse someone, then you are making an accusation of guilt. The problem with this is in our modern day society of rules and regulations, the accusation must meet the burden-of-proof.  Thus if one is merely repeating what someone else said to them, believing without investigating, then that person has not meet this test. But there is a large segment of our society which has no problem ignoring this test, some have dangerously ignored not only the burden-of-proof, but have ignored the evidence they have amassed in their own investigation, in doing so they have perpetrated a grievous act, one which God told us to avoid; “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” In plain English God commanded us not to lie! The problem of course becomes evident when we seek to uphold this baseless accusation regardless of its outcomes, regardless to whom it destroys.

 

There is an evil temptation to take the words of children; whose perceptions are immature to start with, as if they are the gospel. Social Workers do this in the name of protecting the innocent children, as does Teachers, Principles, Lawyers, Judges, and Commissioners, but upholding this underscores the parents authority in the eyes of the child, destroys trust, and overwrites the bond which was God given. Any time the full body of the evidence is ignored or twisted and manipulated to uphold a baseless accusation from no matter who it comes from, remember then it is done in a manner which is destructive. Husbands and wives are separated, and their trust in each other is utterly destroyed. Families are ripped apart, loving parents are forced out of the home, and our family unit is slowly being devoured by this one word and its effects on our hearts and minds, “Accusations!”

 

So I am completely justified, as anyone else who this has happened too, when baseless accusations have been leveled in the most hurtful manner possible. In fact I despise the way people come bulldozing their way into other people’s relationships, assume they know what is going on as if they had lived that person’s life, or had walked in their shoes. Then make baseless accusations that tear that relationship apart. Or when people say that something was said, when in fact they were never in the room, the house, nor on that same side of town when the remark was supposed to have been made. My personal favorite is when the accused stands up to defend themselves, to speak the truth, no matter how negative the incident was. Knowing all the facts because they lived it. Then have a trained accuser tell the accused that indeed they have not been robbed, when in fact they have been, and with the slightest of tongue condones to robber.

 

9 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9).

 

I say to you that indeed we are in good company, as this was the case of Jesus Christ, King David, John, Paul, Mark, Matthew, Job, and let us not forget, The Jewish People under Adolf Hitler, and the Christians under Roman occupation.

 

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12)

 

We human beings have a capacity for getting involved in other people’s business, when they should just stay out of it all together. It is no secret I am not a fan of third party intervention, especially when the third part is as much responsible for hindering the growth of the relationship they are supposed to be helping. In fact it is impossible for that third part to help if they have made baseless accusations, for the sake of exercising power, illusive as it may be. See God does not want us at odds with one another, nor does he condone usurping power from any relationship. No in fact Jesus stated quit clearly:

 

Q77 “If a companion does something wrong to you, go to the person and point it out. But do it privately. If your friend listens and says, ‘I’m sorry’, forgive and your bond will be strengthened.”

 

What Jesus was saying to do was to keep it private, one-on-one, friend to friend, sister to sister, brother to brother, mother to father, parent to child. We are commanded to forgive first, for the sake of our relationships, as our Father in heaven has shown us grace, and mercy enough that He has forgiven us our transgressions. As I have stated before in past postings, forgiveness is the hardest pill to swallow, especially when you have been wronged by a third party, who has spouted baseless accusations.

 

God despises accusations, or better known as baring false witness against your neighbor. The truth of the matter is, it goes beyond the words which were exchanged, the hurtful manner which the blood was spilled, it transcends our mortal existence, and it leaves a boil upon our hearts, separating us from God. Baseless accusations are the work of the devil, because he wants you alone and vulnerable, this makes it easier to pick you off like a week sheep. But it does something else, which is needless, it puts you in jeopardy.

 

“1You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 2You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. 3You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute” (Exodus 23: 1-3, NKJV).

 

Morality in our day and age has become so perverted, as people become more spiteful. Gossip harms the person it has targeted, and often times inflict more wounds which run deeper than had you used a sharp instrument. Gossip and accusations destroys relationships, hardens the heart, and makes people not want to forgive. Satan knows this, and he uses this every chance he gets.

 

Medically speaking accusations causes stress and anxiety. The longer a person is exposed the more the likelihood of the effects will have on the human condition. When nervousness and anxiousness become panic, fear, skepticism, and leads us to build up phobias which are subconsciously connected to our exposure of the traumatic experience which was brought on by the accusations, and lies. It is real, the mental attracts as well-as the spiritual attracts which is being played out in our lives as Satan battles for every last soul. This in the mental health profession is known as: Anxiety Disorder; which is a serious mental illness. “For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant

 

and overwhelming, and can be crippling” (WebMD, 2009) Found Online: http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders

 

God does not like those who deal in this dangerous art of winning no matter the cost, by using bits of information which have been taken out of context, melded into a clever lie, or accusation, for the purposes of attaining something which did not belong to you in the first place. For in this God does not let it stand, he smites it with his power of righteousness and love. If there is one message I would hope one could take from this reflection it would be this; God and Satan are at odds, and the weapons used in this battle are both real and spiritual. As Christians we are commanded not to fall into the trap of lies, and make baseless accusations against each other as this serves the purposes of Satan. But also know that with this treachery comes a heavy cost, and it will devour our minds, body, and souls, forever spoiling the love God holds for us. It will destroy our relationships, families, society, and our nations, as it has done so many times in the past; we only have to look at past civilizations to understand this drama, for it is nothing new.

 

Amen.

May peace be with you all the days of your life? If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflections 16: The Trap of Rebellion (Relationships Series)

Historically speaking, we have idolized people who have rebelled against what they saw to be an unjust, or  oppressive situation, thus they rebelled, using their call to war that singular wrong, or perceived hardship as justification. However, we Americans have taken this idea  to the next level, we pay homage to outlaws, and glorify mobsters. We make movies which glorifies violence, and dumb-downs horrific accounts of sexual perversion, and if the hero is doing the killing, or raping, it is seen as self defense or is otherwise justified, but if the villon should do the same thing then we become incensed. Consider those who feel the terrorists of 911 where courageous, as it took belief in their god to do what they did, vs those where killed by the terrorists. It all becomes shades of gray, and we are becoming immune to the real threats, the real evils which surround use.To those who ignore this real threat and glorify self interest and continue to blur reality from fantasy I say this: so did Satan, believe he was the mightiest, most beautiful, most wise, in all of creation, and thus became selfish. So also did Satan feel stifled, putting self first, and thus committed a grave sin, thinking himself above God, his creator. So also did Satan convince with his powers of persuasion one third of all the angels in heaven to fall into the same trap he had fallen into, that being the trap of rebellion.

This week I would like to talk just a bit about rebellion, and show how this word can utterly destroy everyone, and everything that was “once” the most important things in your life. I say, “once”, because within the act of rebellion, priorities seem to change as the justification of rebellion consistently needs new fuel, and thus needs new ever evolving reasons to maintain it. Because of this fact, the word “rebellion”,  is very much a sink hole, that has no bottom.

12Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Trye, and say unto him, Thus says the Lord God:
     “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
16By the abundance of your trading, you became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing, Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.”
17Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you” (Ezekiel 28:12,16-17, NKJV).
Satan committed the original sin of pride, and because of this his rebellion against God, forces him to make all of us have doubt in God, in his word, and in his actions. Thus when we fall into rebellion against whatever the unjust, or oppressive situation is we also fall into rebellion against God, and we begin to have doubt that God can really help us, or that he really cares at all for our situation. But rather than to speak in generalities let me be more specific; How many times have you rebelled against, say, your parents, (one or both of them), husband or wife, teacher or professor, a police offer when they have pulled you over, or anyone in legitimate authority over you? How many times have you chosen to do exactly what you where told not to do, or did something knowing all the time it was wrong?How many times have you rebelled out of anger, or pride? Or worse yet, how many times have you rebelled because you where told to it, out of coercion, thus being threatened to do so? How about rebellion out of peer pressure? How many times have you rebelled then later, many years later asked yourself why did you rebel in the first place, or had simply wished you had not done it, and sought forgiveness? Satan, the deceiver is the master of lies, making his rebellion against God, our rebellion against God, and disguising  it to make it look like our own rebellion, our fight for what we have perceived is right, when in fact it was a hugely profane, unjust, needless war which destroyed all your relationships with all those around you, and in the end helped to push you farther away from God. 


Lying is a form of rebellion, as is manipulation, envy,  hypocrisy, slander, and reproach, self-righteousness, pride, lust, anger, laziness, the lack of humility, faith, hope, forcing others to feel fear, guilt, and shame, and the inability to exhibit comfort, charity, grace, love, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, or worse yet, to purposefully shut off your own faith in God and willfully teach others to follow you. In all these ways Satan uses our humanistic, wants and desires so that he may cast you into rebellion, tempt you into a pit that which is next to impossible to climb out of. The same shameful pit he has been cast, and lead millions of other angels, and people alike, lost souls which shall be tormented forever. Satan knows how we tick, what we want most, and as the author of SATAN and His Kingdom, Pastor Dennis McCallum explains, “People need a sense of purpose, and goals toward which they can strive. Failure to develop and pursue spiritual goals produces apathy and spiritual depression that makes the world’s playthings irresistible” (McCallum, 2009, p.117).Thus Satan’s goal is to tempt you with the things of this world, so you ignore the riches of heaven, and the never ending love of God, by sucking you into a needless rebellion.


How exactly is this done you might ask? By allowing Satan to have a place to which to work from. By ignoring the commandments of God.


29Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32, NKJV).



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By not praying, and by ignoring the wisdom of King David

3Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.4Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies”(Psalm 141:3-4, NKJV).

By ignoring the none violent, peacemaking words of Jesus Christ:

27But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.29To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:27-31, NKJV). 
Ultimately by not knowing your bible, and by refusing to listen to your own heart when it tells you to go the other way no matter what.
Rebellion is an act which you exhibit by force, and thus reject what others have said, done, or suggested. The taking to arms to a teaching, idea, or ideology, suppressing faith. When you are in rebellion you can not openly love yourself, or others, and can not control the out come. Rebellion takes on a life of its own, and feeds off the negative thoughts and feelings which are lite within your heart. There is no peace, balance, order, but only chaos, mayhem, and destruction. Rebellion breads hatred, anger, violence, and thus separates you from God. The open justification of rebellion is the bate to which Satan uses to reel you in like a fish caught on a hook.The blinders he fashions to your head like a horse so you shall never see what is going on behind, or to the sides of you. Thus becoming ignorant of the hell you are in, or that you are causing. 
This then begs the question; How can I tell if my actions are in Christ, and my rebellion is justified by God? Is there really such a thing as a good rebellion? To answer this completely I will say this, a rebellion lead by Christ is preceded by the word of God, as it is illustrated by the birth of John the Baptist who preceded Jesus. 
3For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, 
 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 

  ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight'”(Matthew 3:3, NKJV).

28For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he”(Luke 7:28, NKJV). 

Because Jesus
did not lead an army, nor took up arms he did not lead a rebellion. Though the religious leaders at the time
would like to have accused him of this, thus history records it was the religious leaders who where in open rebellion against Christ. 

 This is a two edged sword which is extremely hard to justify, being in rebellion. One could argue, for example, that the early Americans where in Christ for rebuking the English, or the North defeating the South, or America taking up arms against her enemies in WWI and WWII. One could even say Americas defense of the people in the two battles zones in the middle east is justified in Christ. When in reality, to the Kingdom of God, these examples are not as much viewed as rebellion but more to the fulfillment of Gods larger plan, as it was with the creation of the new State of Israel on may 14, 1948. It is more of a case of freewill which God bestowed upon all living things. It is freewill Satan also distorts to prove his case against God, and forces you to actively seek to disobey, and to become disobedient.
The trap of rebellion that which I have described is a personal, and spiritual rebellion, the domain of Satan. It is the interplay that which will either bring you closer to God, or leave you destitute and helpless continually at the mercy of Satan. Satan would so distort Gods perfect truth that nothing is sacred in his fight for your soul. He would go so low as to make one parent force their children to hate the other parent, set husband and wife against one another, make girlfriends doubt their boyfriends truthfulness.The evidence is all around us, and permeates out twenty first century society. Satan seeks to confuses the issues of abuse, child endangerment, and sets the social systems at war against innocent parents, and grand parents. The perversions of  Satan so stains our hands once we buy into it, that only by the mercy of God are we cleansed. 

In an attempt to clarify the mark of righteousness, and Godliness, I will simply state: if you are helped by walking away from an abuser, then your personal rebellion to your oppression was justified in Christ, as Jesus does not want anyone to be held hostage. But if you forsake your family, or friends, and this act was done buy coercion, forcing you to give away your freewill which God so graciously had given, then it will not stand and is not of God. For this too is a form of rebellion. 

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Timothy 5:8, NKJV). 

Amen
May peace be with you all the days of your life. If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.


  

 

Reflections 15: Gods Divine Mercy (Relationships Series)

“I look up into the night sky, I see all the stars in heaven, I wonder if they are watching us, seeing with a peaceful eye. How long O Lord must we wait, how long O Lord must we stare out into the empty blackness wondering when our judgment will come. O God, Creator of the Earth and of the Heaven, of all the angels, and saints, have mercy upon us.” (Brian, 2009)

I would  like to think that every single human being who ever lived prayed a prayer such as this one at some moment in their life. I would like to think that our trials and tribulations are really not that different. I would like to believe that everyone in this world realizes that we need Gods divine mercy. Sometimes this hope of mine is out of the longing to identify, and to be identified with my fellow mortals. Then other times these hopes and aspirations are rooted in shier selfishness, as I do not want to be the only one being tested by God in such ways. I say that because we sin, because we are born sinners, all of use will wither away and die, turn to dust, and we all whether we like it or not, need desperately Gods divine mercy.

22Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:22, NKJV)

This week I would like to describe why we should ask for Gods mercy, why it is important. But moreover I think it also important to illustrate for how long has God really been merciful with us. Each and everyone of us needs Gods mercy, from the lowliest of people, to the highest of Angel. There is no one who is as perfect and as righteous as God. With this knowledge comes the feelings of inadequacy, depression, the feelings of not being good enough. The mortal mind is left asking over and over again, “How could we ever measure up to God?” The truth is I am glade we can never measure up to God, I am glade he made us imperfect, gives us these trials and tribulations, because that makes me come closer, want more, ask for more of His divine mercy. It might sound crazy, but I am not alone in this feeling, for even King David felt this way, let us not forget his profound words;

1Have mercy upon me, O God, According to your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2, NKJV)

8The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” (Psalm 103:8, NKJV)

12I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. 13For great is Your mercy toward me, And you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Psalm 86:12-13, NKJV)

There is no denying it, David begged God for mercy, he asked for mercy, he thanked God for showing him mercy. David wrote lamitations in honor of Gods divine mercy. But King David was not alone in this celebration of receiving Gods mercy, In fact God came down from heaven to proclaim his name to Moses, as Mercy.

5Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6And the Lord passed before him and proclaiming, “The Lord , the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth, 7keeping mercy for thousands , forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:5-7, NKJV)

Gods divine mercy is written into His very character, and in His nature. It is through His overwhelming love and compassion He has for us, His children, that He does not punish us, as we so rightfully deserve. Moses was always asking God to have mercy on his people, asking God to forgive them each time they sinned against God. You can hear the frustration in Moses’s voice each time he made the long arduous journey up the mountain to intercede for them. The most amazing thing is that God did show Moses mercy, the people mercy, as he still does for us today. God for thousands of years has shown mankind mercy. This word; “Mercy”, God has placed so much of his divine wisdom upon it that it is easily the second most powerful word, under that of Love, forever linking them into the same Godly nature. This truth has been proven over and over again throughout the Bible, and in doing so, has shown that our God, the God of Adam, Moses, David, and Jesus, New and Old Testament alike, has indeed spent vast amounts of energy proving to all of us that He is truly merciful.

King David knew Gods mercy, as did Moses, but neither of these two men where ever put directly into the path of Gods fury, as like Job. Test after test, after test, God allowed Satan to take things away from Job, and Job remained in favor of God. Gods mercy in the end was poured out upon Job in ways that would, and did baffle the human imagination.

12Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters.” (Job 42:12-13, NKJV)

This giving nature also reveals Gods mercy, as what was taken was given back, but not just one for one, but in the thousands to one. Gods divine mercy is so perfect, and longsuffering that God departed this merciful nature unto mankind within his only son Jesus. The amount of energy and due diligence God placed within that one single act, and then as to drive home the point Jesus’s message, like Gods, was that of mercy;  

Q12 “Happy are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see the face of God. Fortunate are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (also see; Matthew 5:7-9)

As a matter of record, God delivered Jesus up to be crucified to vanquish our sins, the ultimate act of mercy unto a world filled to the brim with sin, and sinners. Love, compassion, and yes mercy is all the predominate characteristics of our God, as He had so proclaimed to Moses. I also would like to mention for the record, that as Moses had prayed for mercy for his people, an act which exhibited his selfless nature in line with Gods, that this was but a common theme in line with  Jesus’s character as well. This is important because Jesus came to deliver the New Covenant with man, as Moses had delivered the old one, these teaching of Jesus are a command that we, in current times are to follow:

35But love your enemies, do good , and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36Therefore be merciful , just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36, NKJV)

So I like to think God hears our cry’s for mercy, he responds to them, and understands them. He tests us and then in the end shows us mercy, kindness, and love. The very nature of God is proven through His thousands of ye
ars of patience, His ability to wait, His mercy in not delivering our punishment so soon, being slow to wrath. Indeed God is a just, and righteous Father, and everlasting, longsuffering, merciful God. This is also the same God who wants to have an active relationship with us all, each and everyone, without discrimination, prejudice, or bias. For God has his hand outstretched, ready, willing, and able to lift you up into the most perfect, merciful relationship you have ever known.That in-and-of-itself is both a miracle, and a testament of our Lord, our God, it is also, in reality His divine gift, His proof of His sincerity in delivering everlasting mercy.

Amen,

May peace be with you all the days of your life. If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflections 14: Gods Strategy of Patience (Relationships Series)

How many times has it been said, “Patience is a virtue”? How many times have you said it to someone who was acting rash, and thus needed to be calmed down? What does it really mean to be patient? For how long are we to be patient? The questions go on and on and what is more perplexing is that there seems to be no real solid answers to these questions. But to God, his strategy is built upon the foundations of patients. To be godly in your life is to be patient, because that is the legacy you leave to your children, family, and your husband, or wife. In that we are to be patient all the days of our lives, no matter how long you shall live.

13But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13, NKJV).

This week I wanted to talk just a little about something that occurred to me while flipping through the bible, as I was praying for strength in my personal life this past Sunday in church. See as a human I want things which I cannot have in my life, at least in this moment. We are constantly looking for instant gratification, wanting more and more until we have what we want then we want something else. But in this cycle there are some things we should never have in the first place. Some of use are like a child in a sand box, wanting all the other children’s toys so badly until, they reach out a grab all of them, snatching them away from the other children. What does this have to do with patience you may ask? Well God lets none of these acts stand, and with patience the other children will redeem what they have lost. What drives us all crazy is that time laps, between our rights being violated, to when we get back what we have lost. It is in that time laps that we are being tested by God.

3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4, NKJV).

That single moment in time, which to use could be hours, days, weeks, and even years, but to God is a single moment of injustice, and tribulation which rocks us to our very core. It is this which God wants so desperately to see we to can show restraint, and patience for those around us who are incapable of patience. He wants us to show we are mature in our faith by testing us, using those people in our lives who know not of peace, kindness, tolerance, compassion, and love. It is quite fascinating to see how God uses other people as like a skill saw, or hammer, to drill into our personality those things which we lack. His method, his strategy builds within us the characteristics of perseverance, loyalty, compassion, and hope. Because when we do show patience we exemplify God, and we give him glory.

2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4, NKJV).

Gods perfect foundation of his kingdom could never have been laid without patience being the rock, the corner stone as it takes great tribulation to test and to purify that which is imperfect. His strategy is clear, but to us as human beings, it is so convoluted and intermixed with agony, suffering, and moments of personal grief, and pain. Often times the pain and heart ache is so great we entertain, however brief, turning away from God, quitting, and walking away from Him. In our hearts we feel no hope, and we often times blame God for our own sin. The true want in that moment, is for the pain to stop, but if it does will we not learn the lessons God wants us to learn? Will we not come to the true understanding of patience, and help build the solid foundation of heaven?

20For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps” (1Peter 2:20-21, NKJV).

 
“All things are difficult before they are easy” (Thomas Fuller, 1608-1661).

Suffering is but momentary, and this that we may look at or take as being punished is in reality the nurturing hand of God. For how much did Jesus suffer for us, how much did he take for us, how many times did Jesus stand up and was ridiculed and put down in our name? How many sins did Jesus take upon his shoulders and bared for us so that we might be saved? How patient was Jesus with his disciples, with the church leaders, the people who asked for healing? No where in the bible is there a rash judgment or act done which was not first proceeded with Jesus being patient. Everything Jesus did form the being to the end, was done purposefully, and patiently. Our earthly trials and tribulations are given to us, and are individually specialized for us to achieve what Gods wants us to achieve. Consider a life time of tribulation handed to John Milton, and English poet who went blind. Consider his poem which reflects his blindness, referencing the moment he no longer could see:

On His Blindness

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.
                                         John Milton (1608-74).
All these things could never have been done without patience. The virtue is found within the act, the moment, that time laps which we have been wronged, and have to wait for justice. “All things come to those whom wait.” (1530 A. Barclay Eclogues (EETS) ii. 843)
 
9The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering towards us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9, NKJV). 
 
Simply put in the end we are commanded to be patient as Jesus was patient, and as God is patient with us, an imperfect lot.
 
2with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2, NKJV).  
 
14Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, NKJV).
 
7Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord, see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7-8, NKJV). 

Amen

May peace be with you all the days of your life. If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.


 
 

 

Reflections 13: Fear (Relationships Series)

Fear; this emotion is so powerful it can make the most honest person lie, the most calm person strike out. It can be debilitating, keeping us locked up like a prisoner. Fear grabs a hold and refuses to let go, utilizing other powerful emotions like worry, doubt, and dread, leaving us feeling oppressed. People often times us fear to manipulate others into doing their bidding in some evil or vial act, knowing how the other person will end up feeling in the aftermath. As an educator I am sworn to report such actions as child abuse, and take this very seriously. Fear strikes at the hearts and minds of our children and forces them to see evil, making them grow up quicker forever destroying their child-like incense. Fear is equally damaging to adults, and in most cases can render the most outspoken person silent. Fear is used to threaten what we love, and is the devils favorite tool to use, because of its potency. Tell a man his child or wife will be harmed if he does not stay quiet, or a women that her husband will be killed, or a child that your parents will hate you forever, and see how quickly we all are to shut up.

This week I wanted to explore an emotion that we all have felt, some more so than others, for various reasons, an emotion which has the power to make your steps stumble, and loose the focus on your personal walk with God. Fear is such a common emotion we sometimes don’t really give it to much attention. We do not analyze things which scare us, rather we allow it to take affect and we just respond. Some people have even attained some level of tolerance to fear, and instead of it activating the “fight or flight” mechanism they have become dare-devils, and adrenaline junkies. However, or whatever your specific case, fear can be lethal and it can become the major controlling force in your decision making process if it is not recognized and swiftly dealt with.

This then leaves the question how to see fear for the damming tool of Satan that it is? By no means is this a guide or a professionals opinion, but this is simply how I control fear in my own life. I first ask why am I so fearful of whatever I am afraid of that is affecting me that moment. I remember that God has control of ever aspect of my life. This in turn gives me great peace.

“But He said unto them, 40Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? (Mark 4:40, NKJV)

Jesus just moments before had been sleeping in a fishing vessel with his disciples out on the great Sea of Galilee when a storm came from nowhere and about sank the boat. In fear they woke him.

32Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:32, NKJV).

In this Jesus was teaching his disciples not to ever worry about such things as what to eat or drink, and to not be worried about their own lives as our Father in heaven shall surely take care of us. In both of these examples fear is being defeated by the very words of Christ. In these words Jesus is assuring us that God’s kingdom is where we shall forever dwell. In that fact Jesus defeats fear, worry, doubt, and even dread.

25Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, 26And will keep your foot from being caught” (Proverbs 3:25-26, NKJV).

With faith in God we are promised to have his guidance, his confidence. When fear grips my heart, I remember how much God loves me, and how He will take me by the hand and walk with me. In my greatest moments of darkness and fear I have always looked to God for comfort, and have never been left hanging. God has always been there, has always been the constant guiding force in my life. No matter the struggle, the fight, the task, or the obstacle, God has always been there to help me, to calm my fears and to squelch my panic.

5Let your conduct be without covetousness: be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6So we may boldly say: 

“The Lord is my helper; 
I will not fear. 
What can man do to me?”

7Remember Those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” (Hebrews 13:5-7, NKJV).

The next thing that must then be done when fear has been recognized as the tool being used against you is to simply humble yourself in a quiet place and pray to God for help. Be specific and know with each thing being asked it is being considered by God, back each item up with these words, “I know you have power over this, that which I have so humbly asked.” pause…then just ask God for the next item.Following it up the previous prayer. Exhibit faith in God, and know he is there with you in all your troubles and tribulations.

28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28, NKJV).

By believing all things are possible in Jesus Christ, we gain the power to over come our fears, and hesitations, we are then able to step outside that zone which cripples us. Remembering that God has defeated fear for us, and has faced death for us. In the end God is with us, guiding us, and helping us. 

“But whosoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil” (Proverbs 1:33, NKJV). 

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; Not as the world gives I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NKJV).

Amen

May peace be with you all the days of your life. If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflections 12: Meekness and Grace (Relationships Series)

I have always been instructed to take the proverbial high road, meaning in all my encounters with other people I continually, almost automatically, look for the good in the evil act which has been perpetrated against me. I have always been driven to understand why someone would say the horrible things they have, thus cursing my very name. What is the mentality behind their words, the motivations within their false accusations, and even the anger which has stained their heart? I have always been told it takes a bigger man to walk away from a fight than the one who stands and fights. I guess that is why I have never liked getting into arguments with others, and or verbal contest we call sarcasm. I have only been involved in three physical fights, as a child. I walk away before I get to that point where I throughout the word of God and start hitting, I show restraint, I show respect, and I always try to make peace first.

The attributes to my character in faith are known to God as meekness, and grace.

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

My reflection this week is on the character God wants all of us to emulate, as Jesus was the perfect example for meekness, and grace. I have said this many times and I still believe that Jesus set so many examples, simultaneously, that it is hard to really grasp the true depth of each message as each of Jesus’s lessons teaches us different things each time we read them. No other teacher, educator, or professor has ever taught a lesson which can be applied to every aspect of your life in such riveting detail as that of Jesus. What is really mind blowing is that his lessons where as relevant when he spoke them, as they are to us today.

Meekness is not weak, nor is it a symbol of being scared to engage in a physical brawl. Rather it is the conscious choice to make your point without ever landing a blow. It is the invisible force of God that which makes people stop, stumble then fall down and ask for forgiveness as the Holy Spirit convicts them of their grievous act. To be meek is to be in tune with Gods plan for your life; one which you realize is not of your own will, but that of God’s will. A plan you do not know each detail, but trust in his wisdom that it is good, just, and absolute. A plan which is so perfect it is inconceivable to what the outcome will be, an outcome not of your design, but that of Gods. Through God’s plan we are shown he can make all things miraculous, magical, and to us in the beginning what was impossible, God proves that for him all things are possible.

Q11 “Fortunate are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”

This verse is also found in the bible in Matthew 5:5, and in Luke 6:20. This message was so powerful and meaningful that Jesus spoke them aloud so that we might know them and obey them. That his example of meekness would be emulated by all of humanity.

3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 6:3-12).

Jesus stated clearly in the Beatitudes that meekness is rewarded by God, for he blesses the meek, their battle has already been won, and the fight is over before it begins. However the act of being meek is also exhibiting love that resigns in the heart, this is linked to meekness and it is called grace.

The MerriamWebster dictionary defines grace in this fashion; 1 a: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b: a virtue coming from God c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.

Through Gods grace we receive something we otherwise would not, that being salvation. Because God promised salvation to the meek, these two words work in tandem and have a holy bond. Through his grace, Jesus exhibited and clearly defined how our relationship with him and with others is to flourish. Someone who is graceful in their acts towards others is at peace with the word of God, they receive peace in their heart, mind, and soul, thus the meek are filled with grace and are blessed by God. A graceful act is one which shows mercy to others. Thus grace and mercy are also inexplicably linked. Grace is found within your words which come from your heart, it can be found in the actions which are governed by your heart. Grace cannot be found in the harsh words of condemnation, nor in the violent acts of persecution, and sin.

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20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:20-21).

Jesus showed us how to be meek; his actions were filled with grace. God forgave us our sins so that we might be saved out of eternal love, which flowed from his heart, showing us grace within our salvation. Both meekness, and grace are powerful words, they are defined within our choices, and attitudes we chose to exhibit to one another. What fills our heart also fills our mouth, and the actions which result is what we are judged by. We are commanded to love one another, to love our enemies, to feed the hungry, to cloth the nagged because in these things we exemplify God, bringing him glory. We prove that being meek is stronger than being vicious; being graceful is stronger than being overbearing and malicious. We prove that Jesus loved us more tha
n he loved himself, and that God loved us more than he loved all of creation.



Amen.

May peace be with you all the days of your life? If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.