Pride Comes Before a Fall

Stressed at work - office multitasking on whiteMany Christians have the attitude that they can work out their problems and they think that it’s a bother to even pray about them. Yet, God is always there so we should never get so caught up with the ways of this world and our own self-image that we forget to take Jesus with us.

Too often we won’t turn to God for help because we don’t want to bother Him with small issues. We feel it’s better to only ask Him to help with the big things; after all, we are intelligent beings who like to take care of ourselves. This is called “pride” and it will destroy anyone who believes it! It will separate us from God, smother our faith in Him and even ruin our relationship with Him.

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” … Proverbs 16:18

We read in Luke 9:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus would not have come down from Heaven to sacrifice His life just to help with the big problems in our lives. He came not only to save us from sin, but to bring us into His family. Right now we live in a world that is controlled by the devil – and this is evident in the world all around us. But Jesus came and defeated the devil so that those who will accept Him can live freely in HIM.

This world is growing in evil and if we think we can fight the devil and win on our own merits then we will fall. When we have any problems we need to take them to the Lord because only HE can win over the devil. Jesus went to the cross so that we could get victory over sin and death. Let’s not be so foolish as to think that we don’t need God in every minute of our lives.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

… John 16:33

People who don’t take their problems to the Lord don’t really have a relationship with Him. They feel that He is “God” in HeavenWhat a friend we have in Jesus that they’ll meet one day, and they go to church and that’s where they leave it. But, this is not a relationship with Him; this is just doing works that mean nothing to God. Jesus wants us to be part of Him. He says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”

Being a Christian means following Jesus and knowing Him personally. It means studying the Bible and learning all about God and who we are in Christ. Jesus is the Son of God, the one who sacrificed His life on the cross to pay for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to stand before God on Judgment Day, ready to be judged for the sin that is in us. This is not just a nice thing that He did. This is a GREAT thing that Jesus did and He is worthy of our praises every minute of every day!

228523_673507872674616_643208514_nNot only should we be grateful for this gift of life, but we can rest in the fact that Jesus did it because He loves us and because He wants to have a relationship with us here on earth and forever. He hears every single prayer that we pray when we are born again Christians who love Him. But if we just think that He should answer our big requests because He is God and is supposed to, then there is no relationship between us and Him, and we have no right to think that He would even hear us. If this is the case, then perhaps, it’s time that we got to know Him because there is no father on earth who loves His children more than our Heavenly Father loves us.

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him He heareth.” … John 9:31

If we have a problem, big or small, let’s not let the pride of Satan steal the joy that God has for us. He is our Heavenly Father who loves us and who wants to be involved in our lives so that we can be part of His life.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7

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A Very Dark Hour

954751_689208277771242_889438941_nIt seems that life now-a-days has more ups and downs and constant challenges than ever before. The law has changed dramatically and now it allow things that years ago would have been forbidden such as the legalization of abortion and the acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle. Crime and pointless killings have become the norm, sickness and incurable diseases are on the rise, and God has been eliminated from public sectors such as schools, work places – and even churches! The security of every person on earth is being contested and not far in the future those who don’t know Christ will face a very dark hour.

We have watched the chaos unravel around us for years and now we see the dangers they all present and the future that we face, and many of us are scared.  What is our hope for the future?

While it is true that the world is becoming overrun by sin, it is also true that as Christians, this world is not our home so it does not control us. When we became born again Jesus became the Lord over our life and so we have to realize that HE is in control over everything that happens in our life when we study our Bible, follow Him and trust Him. The world will continue down its path of destruction, but we will keep our eyes on Jesus and follow Him on the narrow path.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that Taken3leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at, because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.” … Matthew 7:13-14

In Matthew 24:3, the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus answered them in verses 4-14 and explained what signs to look for, and then in verses 15-51 He went into more detail about what things would happen in the last days before He would return. These scriptures no longer refer to the “future” of mankind because we now live in the time when we can see evidence of many of these occurrences.

And we are not far from the time that is spoken of in Luke 21:26 when we’re told about the fear that would come to mankind because of these events. Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

The world is literally falling apart, yet many will argue and say that Christianity is spreading across the globe more now than ever before in history, but that is not really true. Yes, Christianity is being preached by true born-again believers all around the world and there are many who have devoted their lives to spread the true gospel of Christ. And there are many Christians in the Middle-East who are martyred because they choose to follow Jesus. However, not everyone who says they are a Christian is, in fact, a Christian.

The bulk of the Christian world as we know it in general is not led by Jesus or founded on the real gospel of Jesus according to the scriptures; it’s a false gospel that caters to the desires of greedy people and does not teach the true gospel of Christ. There are many false preachers and religions that make people feel good and that seem to hit right on with what they want to believe. And since the churches they join are called churches – be it physical congregations or television evangelical organizations – they feel secure in their ignorance, all the while thinking that they’re safe, but not realizing they are on the road to hell.

68998146_6136ce06da_mWhile each one of us will stand accountable for our own life one day, these false preachers, teachers and prophets will all face the judgment of God and be cast into hell because they deceived the people and taught a false Christ and a false gospel.

“And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” … Matthew 24:51

And as we read in Matthew 7, there are many false preachers and doctrines that the devil has cleverly planted here just to deceive people and to keep them from knowing God. The less of God there is in this world, the more the devil can rule in lawlessness and the more damage he can and will do. When people carelessly assume that they will go to Heaven and that God will protect them and give them everything they want and feel that they deserve, they are fools. Satan has used the false leaders to deceive them and when they leave this earth and face God, they will receive their judgment right along with the deceivers who they followed.

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” … Matthew 7:23

A very dark hour is coming upon this earth, just as Jesus predicted, and the only way we will get through it is with Jesus. Though many Christians hope to be raptured before the worst of it comes, the truth is that no one knows when that will be and so we may have to endure much more before that great event happens. But, Jesus has promised to protect us and keep us safe when we walk through those horrific trials.

944431_692565744102162_465147567_n“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” … Psalm 23:4

False Christianity and ignorance might get us riches and fame here on earth, but it will not cause us to escape God’s wrath that is coming and has already begun. There is much more to life than just living for today because God created us to live with Jesus forever, and therefore, our souls will live on forever. Our bodies here will die, but Jesus has said that we will be given new bodies and that when we leave this earth we will all stand before God. If He sees that we belong to Him and that the blood of Jesus has washed away all of our sins, then He will welcome us into Heaven to live with Him forever; but if we are not covered in the righteousness of Christ and we still have the old sin of the devil in us, we will face judgment and be sentenced to hell.

Just as the life of Joan Rivers was taken suddenly and unexpectedly, so could it be with anyone. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can accept Jesus and change your lifestyle “one day” because that day may have come and gone and may never come again. The Bible tells us in Luke 13:28:

“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. “  

When we live for Jesus, through His grace and our faith we are able to see His goodness and His love, the joy He gives us and the hope for today. We can experience a blessed peace in our heart because regardless of what happens here on earth, we have a home in Heaven where our Heavenly Father waits for us. We have much to look forward to and much to thank God for every day, but those who don’t know Jesus will stand alone as they head toward a very dark hour.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” … John 14:1-3

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* If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but want to be a Christian with a home in Heaven, then just find a quiet place for a minute and bow your head. Tell God that you want to repent and come out of the world and that you want to be a Christian. Ask Jesus to forgive you for all your sins and to fill you with His Spirit. There won’t be any thunder or flashing lights for you to see – although in Heaven the angels will cheer louder than any sports stadium could portray. Then as soon as possible, get into the New Testament of the Bible and read it over and over. Pray and ask the Lord to teach you everything He is saying so that it will get deep into your heart. And then remember to tell God thank you often for saving you and for making you part of His family.

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Christians, Wake Up!

4015126591_2737b0a037_mMany so-called Christian churches today are filled with myths and deception and literally force the people away from God and into a false religion that mocks the God of Heaven. And although many people feel that they are sanctified because they attend church, the truth is that attending church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than strolling through a beautiful landscape makes you a gardener, and if you think it does then you will join the millions of souls who will cry out to God on Judgment Day as He turns you away from Heaven. It is time for people to stop trying to bring God down to their sinful ways and to begin to know and give honor to the real God of Heaven. It’s time for Christians to wake up!

Christianity is about Christ; nothing more and nothing less. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, the apostle Paul tells us, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”  Paul is telling us to study and to learn the gospel that He preaches because it is the only gospel that Christians are to follow. Paul adds in Galatians 1:8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Many of the deceptions that come through preachers, teachers and televangelists red guyare that God has a different agenda for us today than what the old church taught; that God has changed and wants to meet us where we’re at; that He’ll accept us just the way we are so we don’t need to give up any bad habits because they’ve all been forgiven at the cross. Many false teachers like Kenneth Copeland  teach a prosperity message and twist the scriptures to make us believe that today’s Christians can have all the wealth they want, and that it’s their inheritance here on earth and all they have to do is tithe, claim it and quote scriptures to get it. These actions have nothing to do with Christ or with Christians or with the real gospel of Christ.

We live in a world that’s controlled by Satan and overrun with sin and corruption, and so to be a Christian you have to realize that you’re a minority and that the world is against you. Jesus never promised that life would be a bed of rose; in fact, He said just the opposite:

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” … John 16:33

And because Jesus has overcome the world through His death and resurrection on the cross, we also can have the victory through our trials and tribulations when we give them to Him and let Him guide us through them. But we will have them.

“Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.” … Psalm 27:11

God does not want us to be sick or to have lack of finances or to go through marital problems or to have issues with raising our children, but the influence from this world distracts us and forces us to take our eyes off of the Lord and onto our own abilities and inadequacies. But through prayer and trust in God, we can and we WILL get the victory even though the answers might not be what we expected. And that’s because God is molding our lives for His purpose when we let Him.

Many so-called “Christian” leaders today are not teaching us the real gospel of Christ, but are instead teaching us what we want to hear. We want to hear that we don’t have to change our lifestyle or study the Bible or get to know Jesus personally because He’s an easy-going God who just accepts us just as we are and who wants us to prosper in this world. But this is lie because to be a Christian we need to accept Jesus as the Son of God who died on the cross in our place and who paid the punishment for our sins and who rose again and who now sits on the right hand of God in Heaven, waiting for Judgment Day.

WaquasWe need to read the New Testament and understand what the gospel of Jesus really is – and it’s not about me and it’s not about you. It’s about Jesus. It’s about a loving God who took on the form of a human body and suffered in death so He could fulfill the promise and defeat hell and death. And every single person who accepts this and loves Him will be forgiven of their sin and will receive His Spirit and live with Him forever.

What a promise! And yet churches have filled their pews with people who ignorantly follow their doctrine and their protocol, but who have no idea who Jesus really is or what His gospel is really about.

Christianity is not about being good or doing good works. It’s not about being faithful to the church pastor and fluent with physical gifts. Christianity is about knowing Jesus and becoming like Him and carrying on the mission that He began when He was here. Christianity is about loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and in turn, loving people with the same love that you have for yourself.

Christianity is making Christ the highest priority in our life so that everything we do, think and say is to His glory and for His benefit. The only way any of us are going to know Jesus is to study the scriptures, especially the New Testament, because Jesus filled Paul with all knowledge of Himself and Paul teaches us who God is and what He expects from us and what rewards He has for us.

There are far too many man-made rules inside the church organizations that mislead people and take them away from the Lord. We need to learn to discern the truth from the deception so that we can focus our heart and our purpose on Christ, alone.

I have written a book on these very issues and it will be released in just a few weeks, in the fall of 2014. It’s called:

Christians, Wake Up! How to find the real gospel in a world of false doctrines”

This book, which I was originally going to title, “In Search of the Real Jesus”,  answers many of the questions that new and immature Christians have about rules, doctrines and practices that are spreading throughout the churches today, and hopefully, it will allow you to see the difference between religious doctrine and the true gospel of Christ. You’ll learn how the scriptures have been twisted and changed into a religion that serves the devil, and  you’ll see that we serve a mighty and a powerful yet very loving God who is filled with grace, slow to anger and quick to forgive.

We will all stand before Christ one day because this world is not our home; we are just passing through and our final destination will be Heaven with Jesus, or hell without Him. Don’t be deceived because now is the time:  Christians, wake up!

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:10-14

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A Humbling Experience

Corrie ten BoomI recently read a book called, The Hiding Place, and it’s the true story of Corrie ten Boom, a woman who not only survived the brutal concentration camps of WW2, but who saved the lives of countless persecuted Christians and was a light to many other women in the camps.  I was totally captivated by the horrors that she and her family endured and yet amazed at how God was right there in the midst of it all through this woman. To read her story was truly a humbling experience for me.

There are many times that we Christians get caught up with the niceties of life and we complain when we have to endure an inconvenient trial or suffer through something that we were sure God should have exempted us from in the first place – after all, we’re Christians. Sadly, we turn toward the loud prosperity preachers and false doctrines that are designed to appeal to our personal desires and because of our lack of scriptural understanding, we totally miss God. And this is NOT a good thing.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” … 2 Timothy 4:3-4

We can’t be fence-sitting Christians anymore. We either need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives, or we need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives. In other words, if we’re going to say that we’re a Christian then we need to get serious and be one!

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day 5352515370_7f2a4426e6_mwhom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” … Joshuah 24:15

We can all look around us and see that the world is falling apart. It’s plagued with illness and unusual climatic change, but more than that, it’s becoming over-burdened with sin, corruption and deception and it’s getting worse every day.  The devil is busy destroying people and he’s moving faster and harder now because his time is almost over – Jesus is on the verge of returning!  We need to stop following false doctrines and showy preachers and get back to basics – the Bible!

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” … Romans 10:9

There is only ONE gospel and that is the gospel of Jesus found in the New Testament of the Bible, and most of it is written by the Apostle Paul who was a disciple of Jesus. He didn’t walk with Jesus during the Lord’s earthly ministry as the “twelve” disciples did, but Paul had a unique experience on the Road to Damascus shortly after the Lord’s resurrection where he met Jesus in person and was converted. The Lord filled Paul with the knowledge of the full gospel and Paul wrote about it throughout the New Testament. This “gospel” needs to be our benchmark for Christianity. This is the real gospel of Jesus.

“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” … Acts 9:3-6

When we study the New Testament we learn who God is and who Jesus is, and we realize the big picture of what’s in store for the people on earth, AND we learn how to survive and get the victory through many of the trials that await us. Jesus tells us many times that the world will continue in sin and get worse, and that there will be persecutions and tribulations that will beset the Christians – and that’s because Christians oppose sin and the devil doesn’t like it.

So, if we’re having issues in our home or at the job or with our health, then we need to remember that trials are going to come and will continue to come at us as long as we live in this sinful world. But we also need to remember that our destination is Heaven where we’ll be with Jesus forever and where life will be good – no sin, no sickness, no tears, no death. BUT, while we’re here, God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in us, will guide us along the way.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

… John 16:33

There are two great deceptions that are robbing Christians of this truth: 1) that it’s God’s will for us to be rich on this earth and so we should strive for prosperity because we’re a “king’s kid” and our focus should be on reaping the wealth here on earth; 2) that Jesus died for everyone on the cross and that individual repentance isn’t necessary because we’re all automatically forgiven of all sins and are all headed to Heaven and that God loves each of us just the way we are.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” … Matthew 7:15

untitled These are false teachers that cater to our personal desires and to our ignorance of the truth about the scriptures, and both will rob us of our salvation if we don’t find that truth and live it. There is an mp3 teaching series by Rev. Rich Vermillion that is called, The Fundamentals of the Real Gospel, that is FREE and he not only teaches you the real gospel, but he shows you how to discern false teachers and doctrines.

The truth is that we are in a battle as long as we’re on earth and we need to put on the whole armour of God and resist the devil. We need to study the Bible and get prepared because earth is NOT our home where we can relax and bask in the wealth of the land; earth is a battleground and when we accept Christ and come out of the sinful ways, the devil is going to come after us and he will defeat us if we aren’t prepared because he does his job well – he has come to steal, kill and destroy.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” … Ephesians 6:12-18

Our hearts and our goals and our reason for living should be for Jesus. We can enjoy our life here on earth and share God’s love and blessings with those around us, but we also need to be prepared and ready to stand for Christ; for what’s right and true according to the scriptures.  When we realize that Jesus was God in Heaven who put Himself into the body of a man so that He could come to earth and live among us and then take on our sins and die on the cross in our place after being brutally tortured, we see that the greatest treasure in all of the world is the love of God.  And nothing is more humbling to us than to realize that He did it all for “me”.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” … Romans 8:38-39

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What God Sees in Us

Stressed at work - office multitasking on whiteNo one is born with a silver spoon in their mouth and few of us are raised in a wealthy home amid servants and personal care takers. Most of us work hard to reach our goals and become successful whether it’s toward a prominent career or at a laborer’s job. We’re all proud of our accomplishments and yet, none of it matters because we are all like filthy rags before God.

 

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” … Isaiah 64:6

What many people forget is that our worldly accomplishments mean nothing to God and they won’t count as credits when we stand before Him. There is only one thing in life that matters and that is our soul because that is who we are and what is accountable – whether we go to Heaven or to hell.

When God looks at us He sees our heart (soul) and He sees if it’s clean or not clean; He knows if we’re saved or not saved. We can follow the Christian crowd and attend church and be a really nice person, but if we’re not saved then our heart is not clean and we are like filthy rags because of the sin that defiles us. We were born into this world and we naturally inherited Adam’s sinful nature and that is the opposite of holiness. We will never get near Heaven with even one tiny piece of sin in us so we need to get rid of it, and we cannot put it off because we may never get a chance later.

2245700673_f8643977ee_mWe need to be cleansed and have the sin removed so that God sees us as clean and pure, and we can only do that by having our sins pardoned or washed away. When Jesus died on the cross, He took upon Himself all of our sins and then paid the punishment for them when He took them down into hell. When we accept that and repent of our sins, then we are cleansed and freed from the inherited sin and we are born again and filled with God’s Spirit. So now when He looks at us, He sees the blood of Jesus and He knows that our sins have been forgiven and that we stand righteous before Him.

In the Old Testament, the angel of death passed over all the houses that bore the blood on the door posts, and this was done by those who loved God as a symbol for the blood of Jesus who became the propitiation for our sins. [Exodus 12:22-23]

When we stand before the throne of God one day, He will look at us and see either filthy rags or the blood of Jesus. What will He see in you?

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” … Revelations 3:5

Jesus is waiting for you

 

 

When All Else Fails, Trust God

 

 

WaquasAs intelligent and civilized people, we all feel at one time or another that we can handle most of the situations that come against us. We believe that we have the skills and abilities to attack the problems head on, but sometimes our problems are beyond us. And it’s often at that point that we turn toward Heaven and call for help because we believe that when all else fails, trust God.

As admirable as this practice seems, it’s really not the way that Christians should address any problems. We should never turn to God for help as a last resort, but instead He should be our FIRST choice for help.

The Lord has given us instruction on how He will help us through our trials, and so we begin at the beginning and that is with wisdom – Godly wisdom. We need to have Godly wisdom inside us so we know how to live in this world, how to avoid situations and how to overcome others. And we can only get this when we study the Bible and learn it.

Many of us create our own problems out of ignorance. We are burdened with debt from credit cards and so we try to work out a solution before the problems ruin us, but the Bible tells us in Romans 13:8 to owe no man anything but love, and in Philippians 4:19 He tells us to trust Him to supply all of our needs and not to depend on the world (and it’s financial system). If we’re having marital problems because our spouse isn’t saved then we need to realize that He warned us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 not to be unequally yoked; if our children are rebelling it’s because we missed the scripture in Proverbs 22:6 that says to train up a child in the way of the Lord.

Other times we face outside problems that come against us and they WILL come against us. That’s just part of living in a world that is controlled by the devil and overrun with sin. We can’t escape problems, and Jesus even told us that we’d have problems, so we shouldn’t adopt some doctrine that says we won’t get them because that isn’t realistic according to scripture.

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” … John 16:32-33.

The Bible tells us that the beginning of wisdom 553951_673061322719271_2063579971_nand knowledge is the fear of the Lord. We need to have reverence and respect for God as being our Lord and Savior, the Creator of the Universe, the God of Heaven, the One who loves us enough to die for us and the One who the devil [an angel created by God] has to answer to. We need to realize that God is omnipotent and omniscient and that He can and He WILL judge and sentence to death all those who do not know Him.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” … Psalm 111:10

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” … Proverbs 1:7

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“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” … Proverbs 9:10

So, we need to get into the Bible and study it and learn who God is and realize that the love He has for those who love Him is beyond what we can ever imagine. We can get a good appreciation of His love when we look at Jesus because He died on that cross and took the punishment for every sin and sickness ever conceived upon Himself in our place so that all those who would accept His sacrifice would be pardoned from their sin and grafted into God’s family.

When we study the Bible and the Holy Spirit lives in us, He will guide us and help to keep us out of problems because of God’s wisdom that is in us. And He’ll remind us of scriptures so that when we face problems we’ll know how God would handle them. Our reactions and actions would be the same as God’s because it’s His wisdom and His knowledge that’s in us.

But there will be times in life when we’re not prepared for the things that will come against us and we don’t have God’s wisdom inside of us to fight that particular battle. This is when we take the problem to Jesus and let Him fight the battle for us.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” … 1 Peter 5:6-7

47550929_f16edec385_tWe should never let our pride lead the way when it doesn’t know where to go. We need to get used to being submissive to God our Father, and we need to realize that God sees the big picture and we just see the immediate situation.  Where we would put a band-aid on it and hope for the best, God will heal the entire wound. And that’s what we want and what we need – total healing whether it’s a health issue, financial issue, marital issue or anything else.

Sometimes, though, we pray and give God the problem, but it sits on us and weighs us down and our mind begins to wander as we sit in awe and just hope that God will do something. We’re going in the right direction, but we’re missing the trust. We need to trust God and know that He will take care of this need. But we can’t do that if we don’t know Him and if we don’t have faith in Him.

God is faithful and if He said He’ll do it then He’ll do it. He told us to take on His yoke – which means that we focus on the things of God and not on the world, that we should love Him and trust Him and follow His instructions for our lives.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” … Matthew 11:28-29

And we can trust that God hears our prayers and answers them because He loves us and He’s promised us that He we will answer and help us when we believe Him and trust Him.

 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” … Matthew 21:22

One very grave mistake that many of us make when we pray and ask God for help is that we tell Him how to do it. We tell Him the problem and then go on to tell Him how we feel it should be resolved. Well, if our way was the right way, then it would have worked when we tried it, so we shouldn’t insult God with our ignorance. He sees the big picture and He knows what to do.

And we must never forget that sometimes God will allow things to get to this point because it’s this point that we need to jab us to get us to realize that God is in charge. He has a plan for each of us, a job for each of us, and sometimes in our walk our life gets in the way and leads us off of the path that God has set out for us. And so sometimes the answers He gives us might not be the ones we were expecting. We need to trust Him – with our lives.

When problems are beyond our ability to comprehend, let’s not forget that they are never too big for God. We need to give them to Him and then praise Him and thank Him for loving us and for helping us. The peace that will come and the way He resolves the issues will be amazing.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” … Romans 8:28

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Don’t be Deceived!

4837676390_c6f809629e_mMany of today’s Christians have a very worldly point of view regarding certain kinds of sin. It’s a view that is deceiving thousands of people every day because the truth is, it doesn’t matter what we think or what we deem should be acceptable in the eyes of the Lord; it’s about what God has said and what He will not accept. Learn the truth and don’t be deceived!

 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [homosexuals], nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” … 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Most of us will acknowledge that many of these acts are sin and we don’t even look in that direction. We are aware that to have a sexual affair outside of our marriage is adultery or that to go to a bar and drool over some seductive person could lead us into fornication, and so we don’t even consider it. However, there are sins on this list that we let slither in and they can be just as damning if we don’t take control over them.

None of us would deliberately steal anything because we know it’s wrong, Computer screen and hand with cardand yet some of the things we do just might convict us as a thief. Some of us enjoy a social life at work and love to chat with co-workers about personal issues, or spend excessive time on the phone or in sending e-mails or texts to our friends. Are we not “stealing” time and money? [Romans 2:21]

We’re being paid to work, but because we’re not falling behind in our work responsibilities and because what we’re doing isn’t bothering anyone we feel that it’s acceptable. Everyone does it and so we just follow the crowd. But the truth is that we’re guilty of both stealing and lying when we do these things at the time when we should be working. And if we don’t take this serious now, what could this careless attitude lead to as time goes on?

Idolatry is a word that most Christians hate because we all believe that God should be1016655_520489118042387_530834914_n the only one we worship, and yet He has a lot of competition even among His own children. Many of us don’t even realize that we have a love for money or things that is equal to or greater than our love for God. We work hard to earn the money to buy our possessions and we cherish them more than we cherish our relationship with God. “God understands” is a frequent expression, but it’s not His understanding of our incompetence that’s in question. It’s our love for Him, our devotion to Him and our commitment to Him above our possessions and status in society that is being challenged. If God supplies all of our needs as He says He does in Philippians 4:19, then let’s not make the gift greater than the giver.

Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:23 that a little wine for a sick stomach or for an ill person is good because it numbs the body, but many of us have abused that suggestion and alcohol has become a grocery staple in our home. We depend on it to get us through the challenges of life rather than depending on God. But more than that, some of us like to indulge in it so that we can enjoy the total freedom of thought that it gives. Yet, God has told us in Ephesians 5:18 not to drink to excess and not to get drunk.

The advertising world has made it almost impossible not to covet material possessions. The commercials on TV and in magazines make things look so desirable that we just have to have them, and so we become unappreciative of what we have and we want more – bigger, better, fancier and more technical – even though what we already have works perfectly. [Matthew 6:19-20] This “greed” attitude is what has almost bankrupted our country. Few of us can keep up with the cost and so we use “charge cards” and run up debts that we can’t repay. We work longer hours to meet our financial responsibilities and then we become stressed and live on medications – and all because we covet something instead of waiting on God to see if this is what HE wants for us.

3072213457_578676b34d_mWe have it in us to be peacemakers [Matthew 5:9], but the tension of this world and the pressures and challenges that beset us each day can slowly break down our peacemaking defences if we’re not careful. And there are times when we lose it and speak unkind words in very loud disagreements. (We all know about road rage!) We feel justified because we know our political and social rights and so we have no regrets for taking a stand. But the stand we take should be for Christ and not one to make us successful in a world that is drifting from God.

Most of these sins can be corrected easily especially when we seek God and are willing to follow Him, but there are some that have crept into society and have been deemed acceptable by the government and even by many churches – but God has never changed His view on them. Homosexuality is one of those sins and it’s an abomination to God. He has made it clear that it is not acceptable. In Genesis 1:27 we learn that “He made them male and female” – clearly only two genders.

In Leviticus 18 God was instructing the people through Moses in the things that they should and should not do. He begins His instruction in verse 5 where He says, “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments:”, and then in verse 22 He says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

The governments of this world are electing to recognize that the act of homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle and is no longer considered a sin. But this world is run by the devil whose destination is hell, and sadly, he will take as many people with him as he can.

We must always keep our eyes on God and in the scriptures so that we can know what is good and acceptable to Him [2 Timothy 2:15]. Judgment is coming to the people of earth and we will all face eternity whether we want to believe it now or not. What we think doesn’t matter; it’s what God has said that will come to pass.

Taken3Heaven is the eternal home for those people who love God and who have accepted that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came from Heaven so He could be nailed to the cross with OUR sins. [John 3:16] He took the punishment of hell for those sins so that we could be free, forgiven and filled with His Spirit. And those who accept this and believe it will belong to Him forever.

Hell, on the other hand, is for those people who don’t care about God, who would rather enjoy the things – aka sins – of this world and who prefer to stay ignorant of the things of God. [Psalm 9:17] But when they face God on Judgment Day they won’t have an excuse and they’ll feel the remorse as they stand ashamed, filled with sin and wishing they had the Spirit of Christ in them. They will be sentenced to hell where they will have to pay the price of their sin throughout eternity.

Don’t be deceived! People who deliberately indulge in sin will never inherit God’s kingdom. The devil controls this world and he doesn’t want any of us to know God or to know that God loves us, so he’ll use every trick and persuasive tactic to keep us away from Him. He tries to deceive us into thinking that this world is all there is, that a little sin is okay and we shouldn’t judge others who indulge in sin. But if the love of God is in us then will do our best to show others the truth so they will break away from their sin.

There is nothing on this earth that can compare to the love of God or to the home in Heaven that He’s prepared for those who love Him and obey His commandments. Don’t be deceived!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” … Matthew 6:33

Have you made a heartfelt decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, to take away your sins? It’s very easy to do. Just get in a quiet place and ask the Lord to take away your sins, and tell Him that you want Jesus to come and live in your heart so you can belong to Him. And then read the Bible so you know His love – and begin with the New Testament that’s about Jesus.

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 “Welcome!”

 

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