Perfect and Flawless

Psalm 18:3-36 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who rake refuge in him. 31 For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? 32 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. 36 You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.

 

There are far too many believers out there that do not believe that God’s ways and  His word are perfect. They want to argue scripture when it does not line up with what they want or think. Rather than prayerfully reading God’s word and accepting the full counsel of God, they try to make it fit with their lifestyles and water it down. And many unbelievers think that Christianity is for the weak and needy.

 

God’s word prepares us for this world. It gives us a roadmap on how to live in an evil world. It guides us as we walk in a land that is not our home.  He tells us that we are not of this world, we live here, and we work here, but our true home in Heaven with him.  His word gives us strength, courage, truth, help, and protection. His word is life to believers. His word is where we can go to refill our “soul tanks” when they are running low. When life gets overwhelming, we can find peace for our souls in His word. We gain strength for life’s journeys in His word.

 

Reading His word builds us up, it makes us able to endure and oftentimes to even thrive during trying times and hard trials. Yes, hard times will bend us all, hopefully to our knees, seeking, asking, and leaning on the everlasting arms of our Savior. When a believer falls it is into the loving and kind arms of God. He never tells us we will not endure trials, heartaches, and hurts during this life, as a matter of fact, we are promised those. But we are told that He will go with us, He will encourage us, He will give us peace when we ask when we seek.  Reading His word reminds us that God has set us in the place we are in, He is the one who has ordered our steps, He is the one who decides what does or does not touch our lives for either good or bad. God is Sovereign over it all. We can rest in knowing He has a plan and we can trust God.

 

When we read His word, we are reminded that we are already victorious in Him. Regardless of what this world looks like, or even thought at times, it seems the devil is winning, trust me when I say he is not. God is allowing the prince of the air to have his time, but even in his time, God is holding him back, He is extending his grace and mercy to us. We are overcomers because of God and we remember that when we read His word.  Knowing God brings peace. We who claim Christ understand that he really does work all things for our good, for His glory. It may not always feel good, but I dare say that if we truly look back over our lives we can trace the hand of God, even in the very worst of moments. I can. I look back at some of the hardest days of my life and I can clearly see God’s mercy and grace, actively working in my life and seeking me out.

 

What we need to remember is this: If God never challenged us; if God never made us uncomfortable, or sad. If God never allowed us to experience loss we would never fully know how very deeply we need Him. How very fragile we are without God. How very good He really is.

 

Maybe right now for you, life is hard, things are different, you are uncomfortable and maybe even angry at how things are going. I will say it again, “read God’s word, seek him in prayer, surrender everything to him,” and you will find your faith growing, your heart glowing and peace flooding your soul. He tells us to come, He invites us into the throne room of Heaven to sit at His feet, learn of him and find our way even as we walk this rugged terrain called life on earth.

 

God’s word is flawless, His ways are perfect, His heart is kind and He love’s you. Come friends enter in and receive salvation, peace, hope, and the greatest love you will ever know.   Nothing compares to it. No other book has life in it, no other God is like our God. Get to know him, use this time to draw near, learn of him, and find your way and who you are.

God Has Many Names

Elohim Ozer Li, Here is one of the names of God, do you know what it means?  God has many names, this one means, “God is my helper.” In Psalm 54:4 we read, “Surely God is my help, the Lord is the one who sustains me.”

 

Are you being sustained by God? Are you crying out to him during this time of trouble? He is with you, He hears your cries for help and He is a helper. He hears the prayer of repentance that the sinner offers up and is mighty to save. He hears the cries of the sick and brings healing and comfort, He hears the cries of the anxious and is faithful to give them peace. Any sincere prayer lifted to heaven is heard by God, and answered, it is either yes, no or wait.  It does not matter how many millions are speaking at one time, He hears you, He desires to comfort you, to minister to you.  God is not powerless, He is all-powerful, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Sovereign, Holy, Mighty, full of Grace and Mercy, He is the forgiver of sins and the Savior for all who call on Him, and He is our Strong Tower, and Help in time of need.

 

If you need comfort today I encourage you to go to His word, dig into those passages that talk about our loving God, our helper who is always with us, always fighting for us. Perhaps you need

“Elohim Machase Lanu-“God our refuge.” God is a safe place to run when all the world is falling apart. He is a safe place to run when you are feeling anxious and scared. He will shelter you and give you peace when you run to him and ask. Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge,” and Psalm 46:1 ” God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.

 

God is the one place you can go and be completely honest, he already sees into the very deepest recesses of your soul and being, He more than anyone knows what you need, when and how you need it. He alone can give you refuge from the world and its hardships and hurts, He alone can give you the strength you need to fight your battles whether they are physical or mental or spiritual. Friends and family often fail us in our times of need, but God never does and never will.

 

Perhaps you need to be reminded of Immanu-El, “God is with us.”

God never leaves us, when we belong to Him, He is with us throughout every moment of our days. Matthew 1:21-23 “She sill give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord said through the prophet. 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, “God with us.” He has always been and will always be. Much will change in our world from moment to moment, but God stays the same, you can rest in knowing you are never alone. Often in times of trials, we feel as though God has left us to handle it on our own, but His word tells us something different. Hebrew 13:5 “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”

 

Maybe you need of Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord will provide.”

Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.” Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 34:10 “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing,” and lastly, Matthew 6:31-32 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”

 

Perhaps you are anxious and filled with worry. You spend far more time watching the news and listening to other people tell you all the bad news they can think of. Your peace of mind as been shattered. I say return to Jehovah Shalom, “The Lord is Peace.”  This world is not a place of peace, this world is passing away. Hour by hour you can hear about one bad thing or another, people groups at war, racism, pandemics, etc. We in our human hearts and minds can find ourselves if we are not careful dwelling on all the bad, all the chaos. But God can give you peace, a ‘peace that passes understanding,’ even in the midst of all that is going on when you ask.  Here are a few scriptures about peace. Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” 1 Peter 3:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

If you are feeling anxious, worried, or alone, go to his word, remember who it is that is with you. Remember that God is your help, God is your peace, God is always with you. Fortify your souls with the food of his word. Let it seep into your hearts and minds to give you all you need at the moment you need it.  It cannot feed you if you never open your Bible. If all you are listening to and believing are the new people or false prophets of this world, then you are going to feel unsettled and scared all the time. God has many names, why don’t you go to His word, ‘the food for our souls and minds’ and dig deep and remember not only who He is, but who you are in Him.

 

Here are a few passages for you to look up, I pray you will and I pray you are encouraged today.

 

Psalm 29:11

Psalm 119:165

Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 54:10

Matthew 11:28-30

John 16:33

John 14:27

Romans 15:13

Hebrews 13:6

Psalm 63:7

Psalm 12:12

Galatians 3:26

Galatians 4:7

Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians 2:4-5

Galatians 2:20

Romans 8:38-39

1 Peter 2:9-10

 

These should keep you busy for a while…Blessings my friends and may you continue to fight the good fight of faith!

Man Can Do Nothing, Unless…

 

Do you realize that anything you do or that comes to you comes from a Sovereign God? I love to learn about and keep in the forefront of my mind, that God is Sovereign over every detail of our lives; anything that touches us has been filtered through his loving hands.  I have written several blogs about the Sovereignty of God, I think if you can nail this point down, it makes everything else clearer, and it will grow your faith and hope, just as it has done for me.

 

Many scriptures teach us about God’s Sovereignty.  Take Psalm 135:6 “The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” Did you catch that, “The Lord does whatever He pleases?”  Let’s go on, Psalm 7-14 “He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. 8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants. 10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings-11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan and all the kings of Canaan-12 and he gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to his people Israel. 13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, through all generations. 14 For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.”

 

Last night it stormed, the winds howled for hours. I could hear limbs being tossed onto my roof and wondered how things would look this morning. As I am typing I am listening to the wind, this verse speaks volumes to me. The wind I am hearing came from storehouses that God has. Have you ever thought of what would happen if God let everything he holds back and keeps stored up come at us? (One day His wrath will be poured out.)

God drove out other people groups, conquered nations so that his chosen ones would receive the inheritance he had promised them. Even today he is fighting the enemy and protecting and providing for his children. He is working on our behalf to bring about the inheritance he has promised to those who believe in him and have been saved. There is a future day out there when the last trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise first and we who belong to him will be caught away into the air to meet him. However, those who do not know him will experience that final wrath being poured out because of their unbelief.

 

In Daniel 4:35 we read: “All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” God created all we see, and he created man. Without God having breathed His very own breath into man, man would not be here. He made man a living thing. Genesis 1:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; man became a living being.”  We, His creation has become such an arrogant lot that we think we have a right to question those things God brings our way, whether illness, death, loss of money or properties, etc.

 

Without him, we are nothing and have nothing. We do not get to choose what God does or does not do. Romans 9:19-21 “One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’

21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” God is not saying that some are of more worth, but that he, “The Creator,” has control over all he has created.

 

So, knowing that God controls all we see and all we are, what should our response be? We can do nothing without Christ, nothing. None of our so-called plans could come to fruition unless this Sovereign God decided that they would. He is the one who puts inside of us the will and the drive to accomplish anything that comes our way. Our response should be one of a humble and contrite heart, one who fears God and understands that God’s ways are higher than ours. Our response should be to bow our knees and seek him in all we do. Our response should be one of repentance. Our response should be to read his word and pray, to seek him daily for all things, to seek his kingdom and his righteousness.  Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

Do not deceive yourself into thinking that you are in control. Do not think that just because you “got away with it,” that you did. God sees and knows everything going on not only on this earth but inside of us. He can see even the thoughts and intentions of our hearts and minds. Nothing is hidden from this Holy God. Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruits of his deeds.”  So, you did not “get away with it, God allowed it to be used in your life.

 

Do you want to receive blessings from God? I know I do. And because I do, I read his word and meditate on it, I seek his counsel in prayer.  I want to walk worthy of the calling he has set before me, in the big things of life and even those little things that no one else may see, God sees.  Even in the depths of my heart, where no one sees but God.  I used to think that I had some say in my life, and I do, but not as much as I thought. My free will is not so free. I was bought with a price, and that price the blood of Jesus.  God has allowed me to make stupid decisions; he has allowed me to fall hard and he has used those things to show me his faithfulness and goodness. To do a work in me that would otherwise not have happened. God hates sin, but he allows it.  Even sin is under God’s Sovereign authority.  Sin and the devil have to bow to God the maker of all things.

 

Right now as we are walking through these weeks-long restrictions many are getting angry at God. Questioning his reasons for allowing it and some do not even recognize that He has control over it. They still don’t get it. They are continuing to exist in fear and look to man to make it all better. If a man comes up with an answer to this virus, it will be because God put it in their mind and heart to find an answer.  Man still thinks he is in control, “he’s got this.”  God has allowed it, and His word tells me that he is in control. I can rest in that. I can trust my Creator to do what is best for me. Does that mean that no ill will can touch me? No illness can harm me? That death may not claim me?  No, it means simply that God has a plan for my life and he will work it out His way, and in His timing. We have been promised trials and tribulations in this life. John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” God allows them to strengthen us, to make us bow the knee and to lean in a little closer, to look up and see our need of God.

 

God can give you “a peace that passes understanding” even while you are going through trials and tribulations. We can have this confidence if God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

 

I will leave you with a little homework. Get in the word, dig it out for yourselves, realize that God is in control and He is with you and will give you the strength and peace you need when you need it. He never leaves us, and He hears us always.

 

James 4:7

Hebrews 10:35

Romans 12:12

Romans 8:35

James 1:2-4

Philippians 4:6

Isaiah 41:13

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Romans 5:3-4

Jeremiah 33:3

 

Be blessed, my friends. Remember who is in control, He is Sovereign over every detail and He is able.

Troubled Minds or God’s Peace?

In these unprecedented times, we are experiencing our hearts and minds can wander into deep and troubled waters. Anxiety rises and depression and fear seize us. Some are listening to the news constantly and with each newscast, their fears and anxiety rise. They are wondering what is next? What else will close, will I lose my job, how will I feed my family, what if, what if, what if? Even sleep eludes. Even some Christians are listening more to the news than they are the Holy Spirit. This is where we need to take our thoughts captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” It is possible to halt our thought process to choose to think about something else. We need to fill our minds and hearts with God’s word and remember who He is in these troubling times. When we ask him to help us to turn from troubling thoughts he will. And yes, maybe you will have to ask a hundred times a day until your mind settles, but God is faithful and hears your sincere cries for help.

When we do reign in our thoughts, what should we think about? How about these things: (Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think such things.”) Wow, here is our answer. After we take our wild thoughts captive these are the things we need to set before our minds. These are the things we need to focus on. If you go to the word of God and start reading, you will find the truth, things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. God’s word is not just a collection of stories for late-night reading, God’s word is life, It has the power to save souls, change hearts and calm minds. (Hebrews 4:12 “For God’s word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even tom the division of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”)

I understand why non-Christians listen to the news, it is their truth. But for believers, we need to look to scripture not just in good times, but particularly in hard times. God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and light to our paths. God’s word speaks the truth. It tells us what to watch for as the day of the Lord approaches. It gives us insight and wisdom, it reminds us of God’s promises and faithfulness to his own. God tells us that he will never leave us or forsake us, (Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5-6, Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10) These are just some of the verses that remind us that God is with us, we can trust him with our souls and our lives. He is using this time to strengthen your faith, to draw you into a closer fellowship with him. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We all know that the news outlets report the news in a way that will get them the most listeners. I feel the truth is not their main goal. The enemy of your soul will use the news and whatever means available to him to spread lies, to stretch the truth. Yes, we need to obey the leadership, take precautions and do all the right things, but in it all, we need to search scripture and see what sayeth the Lord!

If we ask he will answer. When we choose to take our thoughts captive and to listen to His word, His promises more than what man says, I believe the “Peace of God” will invade your heart and your mind. We may not know when this will end or how it will end. We do not know will it get worse before it is better, we do not know all the “what if” answers, but our Sovereign Lord does. I say again, “lean in” He can not only hold you up, but he can also lift your spirits until you are soaring on wings of peace even in the midst of the storm. Let Jesus be your guide. Let his word light your path, let the joy of the Lord resound in your soul and look up, your redemption draweth nigh!

Do you want a troubled mind or God’s peace? I know what I choose!

Wisdom, Discipline, Love, and Blessings

Proverbs 3:1-8, 11-14
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust int he Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil, 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”

We need to have love and faithfulness. Both these characteristics have action and attitude attached to them. We must not only believe the truth of God’s word, but we must act on it daily. We need to do those things that please the Lord, we need to love one another and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, help those in need without desiring a pat on the back or some sort of compensation. We do all we do “as unto the Lord.” We can have an attitude of love and faithfulness, but our actions do not line up with it. Both go hand in hand, when someone is with you, do they see both of these characteristics working together in attitude and action? If not, you need to ask yourself why and ask God how to remedy the situation. In these difficult days, we find ourselves in these to things should be evident in our lives toward our own families and anyone else God sends our way.

When we lean in to something it implies our entire weight has been put on it. We are resting and trusting in whatever it is to hold us up. Often times especially in difficult ones we often feel there is no one to lean on or trust, sometimes we feel that way about God. What is he up to? Does he really care about me? Can he truly help me? Why is he so quiet? God already knows how you feel and he understands our human hearts and how fickle they can be especially when being tried or disciplined. He has a great track record of faithfulness. He who created it all including your heart knows better than we, just what we need. We need to use our brains that God gifted us with to make good decisions and these decisions need to be covered in prayer. A good example: “STAY HOME!” Unless you need to get essentials, do not gather with anyone other than those you are already sheltering with. Our government has given us guidelines to keep us safe and I believe those guidelines are what God impressed upon them to give. God is in charge of it all, not man.
Any decision they make is filtered through our loving Father’s hands. I dare say for our good and his glory.

We need to stop thinking “we know best!” We do not know everything. We get conflicting information constantly. Ask God to give you wisdom. First to fully know and understand his word and then to know how we ought to behave and act in times like these. If you ask, he will answer. He will take that brain that he formed and let it fire in all the right ways to give you the right answer. He can do that you know!

Maybe God has sent this or allowed it for our good. As his children, we need to be disciplined, not because he wants to harm us, but because he loves us. Our behavior and attention have gone to all the wrong things. We have set up idols in our lives, things we put before him. God is teaching us and training us. His love compels him to oftentimes discipline his children, just like we as parents have to discipline ours when we see they are on a wrong path or their behavior dictates it. Unlike some people all of God’s discipline comes from a loving Father, he gives just the right amount. If he did not love us, we would be in big trouble! He delights in his children and preparing you for heaven is His business.

Scriptures tell us of the importance of wisdom and understanding. She is more profitable than silver or gold. We need God’s wisdom to live these days. We need God’s wisdom to understand the scriptures, to know how to pray, how to answer man. We need to let wisdom dictate our actions rather than our emotional hearts and minds. After all, scripture tells us our hearts are deceitful above all else. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick, who can understand it?” Our hearts are an obstacle to overcome. We cannot trust our “hearts” to make the right decision, but we can trust God’s word to guide us into the right decisions and actions. When we read it and ask for understanding, wisdom will flood your soul.

There is NEVER a time when God is not in control, NEVER! He is SOVEREIGN over it all. Seek his counsel and you may find that obeying man’s laws is not so hard when you know the one telling them what to do! I strive to know him. I read and pray to know he who died for me. I want to live a life worthy, not because my actions get me into heaven, but because God tells me to love, forgive, give, obey and so much more. I want to live my life to please HIM, no one else. I want to see his face one day whether he takes me in death or returns to take his own. I want to see Jesus, I want to be his hands and feet on this earth. I want to be obedient to do and say those things he tells me to. I want my actions and my attitudes to match. I want God’s blessings in my life…I want more of Him and less of me. Do you?

Our Pastor always gives us this advice and it is solid. Read and pray, pray and read, repeat. Since you are stuck at home, today would be a great day to start!

For Such A Time As This

What Time? Never before have we walked this particular way. Never before have we seen the shutting down of business because of a “germ.”
Our world does not know who to believe, and some refuse to believe and continue on their way as if nothing has happened, and nothing needs to change. But I believe God is calling out to us, no only to His children but to the entire world. He is saying “Look up!” To His children, He is saying, “your redemption draweth nigh, and to the unbeliever, He is saying, “your time for repentance is drawing short.” God is longsuffering, otherwise he would have destroyed us a long time ago. (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God still has those left in this world who He has named from the foundation of the world, He is calling out, “Come to me.”

We as believers need to pray that those sheep who have yet to come into the pen, will come to Him. That they will hear the call of the Savior and come running to the cross of forgiveness and grace. In times of trouble just as in times of harvest and blessing we have a “Strong Tower” to run to. Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, and King. If you have not searched your own heart to see if there is any sin, any hidden sin that you are holding onto or anything that displeases God now is the time to do it. Each of us needs to search our hearts. Is it possible to have hidden sin? Yes, (Psalm 90:8 “You have placed our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.”) (Psalm 19:12 “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.”) We need to let the light of His word shine deep into our secret places and dislodge anything that is not pleasing to the Lord. We need repentance to overtake us. And the only way to know what pleases him is to read his word and seek him in prayer.

I believe there is know better time than during this time of isolation from the things of this world that hold us captive. The shiny bobbles of this life that entrap us and distract us without our even knowing it. We get lured into things, people, places, stuff that keep us feeling “less than.” We know on some level God does not like it, but we reason it away by saying, “at least I don’t do this, or it isn’t as bad as so and so.” God wants you! All of you! He wants you to lay down everything that could hinder you and your prayers. When we do this purging of self and we come before the throne of God humble and open, He hears us. We need God to hear us now! We need to be the light in this madness and darkness. Our lights need to shine brighter than the darkness! And we need to pray for those who do not know the Lord as Savior. We need to stop being political and start praying fervently for our leaders, starting with our President on down.

Maybe you do not like him, and would rather see him fail. But if he does well, we do well. If he listens to the Lord it benefits us. Even if he is not “a born-again believer” and I certainly do not know his heart, God has placed in him in this position of authority, God decided he was the man of the hour, the one to be in power during this crisis in our nation. (Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained by God.”) God directs all that he does or does not do. God never said you had to like it, but he did tell us to pray for those in power.
( 1 Timothy 2:1-2 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people, 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”)

This “time” we are in can be one filled with worry, anger, accusations, fear, self-service or it can be used as a time of personal repentance, supplication and prayers for our leaders, for unbelievers to come to repentance and salvation, giving, joy, expectancy, faith, a smile, reading God’s word. And the lists can go on and on. We as a nation have done everything in our power to remove God from the equation, but you see, you cannot! God is, has always been and will always be. He created all that we see and know. He holds it all in place. He is: “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He is the author of it all, is it time for him to enter the room, if it is, you better be ready!

We need to use our time digging into his word, rediscovering those things that please Him. We find what pleases Him by reading his word. Here is an example of what pleases God. (Romans 12:1 “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”) (Ephesians 5:8-10 “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”) (2 Corinthians 5:9 “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”) These are just a few. If you read His word it will renew a right spirit in you, it will shine a light in those hidden areas and you will find yourself desiring new things, things pleasing to Him. We “the church” need to look more like the Savior and less like the world.”

So, “Such a time as this” is our time to rise up, repent and then go to the “throne of grace” and plead for our nation, our leaders and those who do not know him. Let joy rise in your soul as you remember “who it is you serve” and “who it is that holds all things.” We can trust our Savior, He has a record of being faithful even in our unfaithfulness. He is our help, “MY HELP COMES FROM THE LORD!” This pandemic will either drive you to your knees and personal revival and growth, or it will reveal that you have not known him fully “and now is the time”, or it will drive you further away, fearing that all is lost and life as you know it will never be the same and you will perish in your trespasses and sin. Because here is truth: YOU ARE EITHER A CHILD OF GOD OR YOU ARE NOT. THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND. NOW IS THE TIME TO BE SURE OF YOUR SALVATION. Now is the time to search your heart. Who knows maybe the last “sheep” will come home and we will see Jesus soon! Wouldn’t that be a great end to our Pandemic!

Pray for one another, be the change, let it start with you and spread like a wildfire across the hearts of many. You can make a difference to someone today, ask God how and then act on it. But more than that let “the light of Christ” shine forth from you. Shout Jesus from every avenue you can, He really is the answer to every questioned asked.

Blessings to you!

Nothing Is Too Hard For God…Nothing!

We are all experiencing to some degree a first in how we operate in our daily living. This Pandemic (Covid-19) (Coronavirus) has people sheltering in place the body of Christ no longer able to assemble as one in a church building. We are having to remain apart from family and friends. Some people are alone with no one else in the home where they are isolated. People are anxious and scared about all the unknowns. What if I get sick or someone I love gets sick, what if the food supply gets to low for cities to feed the people, what if I lose my job, what if?

Also, people are thinking that things are out of control, the President and leaders are not making the right decisions, health care workers seem to be giving conflicting information. Every day something has changed. Your fear begins to mount, your anxiety takes deep roots. You are feeling desperate like it is all out of control, stop! I want to remind you of something, pay close attention because this really is what matters the most in your thinking. Are you ready? Here it is: “God is Sovereign” He is in control, there is NOTHING too hard for him, (Jeremiah 32:17.) He is working it all out. He is aware and is allowing everything that is going on in our world. He orders our steps. (Proverbs 16:9.) He is in charge of the President, medical workers and you! (Romans 13:1-2) (Daniel 2:37-38)

There has never been a time when His children have cried out to Him that He has not answered. Oh, sure sometimes He says wait, sometimes no, and sometimes yes. But he hears our cries for help.(Psalm 34:17) (Proverbs 15:29) (1 John 5:14-15) (Matthew 21:22) (1 Peter 3:12) He sees inside of us all the way through to our very soul and spirit. He knows just how much faith we have and just how much fear we have. And, He is in our midst. We are never alone, we will never be forsaken, He is our Father, our Savior, our High Tower, our Rock, and Redeemer. (Deuteronomy 31:6) (Deuteronomy 31:8) (Joshua 1:9) (1 Chronicles 28:20)
(Isaiah 41:10) (Matthew 28:20) (Psalm 18:1-3) (2 Samuel 22:2)
Getting back to “there is NOTHING too hard for God. As I was reading in Joshua about how the Lord went before them and He one the battles for His children. He opened the waters that were before them on more than one occasion. He allowed just a few to conquer thousands. He fed His children in the desert for forty years and supplied them with water. Their clothing did not fall apart, their shoes stayed in good condition. All their needs were met. (Exodus 16:35 )(Deuteronomy 29:5) All these things He did for His children. But when I was reading I saw these verses and I felt I needed to share them with you. Joshua and God’s people were in a battle and Joshua had this request: (Joshua 10:12-14) “Then Joshua spoke to the Lord int he day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashor? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.”

The same God who listened to Joshua, who parted waters, fed thousands, also kept the Sun and Moon from moving. This God who created everything we see is the same God who today is allowing us to walk this path. He is the same God today that He was then. His Sovereignty has not changed. He was with His children then and He is with us now. He is allowing it for purposes beyond what we can know and understand, Nothing is out of control, Nothing can happen without His say so. He is holding all things and He is holding you! There is not anything He cannot do, NOTHING is too hard for him! So, knowing all this what should we be doing? How about this: (Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I say let fear and anxiety have its place…(on the back burner) and let faith rise up inside of you! Remember who you belong to, seek Him daily, purge yourself of any sin you know of and cry out to the heavens, and He will hear! His word tells us He will here. Remember God is always in control, He is always working for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)
We can trust that the same God who did all these marvelous things for His people then, can certainly do all we need for us now.

I pray that you stay strong, you keep your eyes on Jesus, you read and pray and then pray and read and you let faith speak louder than fear and you remember who it is we serve. He is our SOON COMING KING!

Blessings from me to you!

What To Do?

We find ourselves living out a scenario that we have not seen before, or at least in my lifetime, and I am in my fifties. Some people are reacting with knee jerk reactions, grabbing stuff off the shelves with no thought for their fellow man. It is every man or woman for themselves! Schools are shut down, grocery shelves are empty, and people are having to stay away from their work environment, social distancing is a thing now. There are different reports as to how long this may last. Some say for a couple of weeks and still, others say it could be months.

 

Many are living in fear of the what if’s, what if I get sick, what if my child gets sick, what if someone I love dies from this illness called Covid-19? How will I know if I have it or have been exposed? The list is endless. People suddenly think it is a good idea to sanitize or wash their hands regularly, um I did not know that was not a common practice among so many.

 

For me I find myself desiring to lean in a little closer, listen more intently for the Holy Spirit’s voice of peace, comfort, and guidance. I want to know what my Bible, God’s holy inspired word has to say to me. His word is still living and active, it still has the power to save, to heal to teach. So, I go to his word to find what he tells me to do and in it, I find these words.

 

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 “When I shut up the heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among  My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

What is it this verse tells us to do in times of trouble? Humble ourselves before God. In a generation that is all about me and full of pride and arrogance, this is a hard one. And then we are to pray, to seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. Can you think of some of the wickedness of our generation that is pretty much everywhere? I can…here are just a few, “abortions, homosexuality, gluttony, idols, pornography, sex-trafficking…and the list goes on.  This society thinks it can do as it pleases and still go to heaven, wrong!

 

What else does the word tell me?  In Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.”  Our Father in heaven tells us over 80 times in scripture to “have no fear.” How can we not fear? We can remember “who” we belong to. We can trust that He is always with us, He will never leave us or forsake us.” Joshua 1:5

 

What should we do when we feel afraid? Psalm 56:3 says: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” It really is that simple. We can trust God. The very same God who hangs the sun in the sky gives us air to breathe, the God who holds all things together is able to keep us as we go through not only this pandemic, but anything that comes to us in this life.

 

If that scripture is not enough how about this one: Philippians 4:6-7 ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  I like knowing that God cand and will guard not only my heart but my mind. People we can have peace in our hearts and minds no matter what the news people tell us!!

 

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” So, for those of you all up in a tizzy wondering what tomorrow will bring. Relax, God’s got this, as a matter of fact, He is allowing it to happen. God is Sovereign over every single thing that happens on this earth. Nothing is ever a surprise to him or outside of his control. He is God!

 

My personal thoughts for what it is worth that just as our Pastor and others have said, “we are on pause.” We do not know what tomorrow or next week will bring, but for those of us who know Jesus, we know who holds all our tomorrows. And I go back to what God says we should do, and it is this. Humble yourself. Repent from your sins, ask for forgiveness for yourselves for known and unknown sins, but also ask for our nation. Ask for forgiveness for how our country has taken God out of everything.

It is funny how no one wants God all up in their business until they find they are in desperate need of Him, that life has thrown them a curveball and they are not sure what to do next. Pray people, Repent people, humble yourselves, people, seek God, lean in, listen close and rest in Jesus.

 

I will leave you with a few more scriptures. I hope you will look them up, read them for yourselves and let faith, not fear rise up in you!

 

Luke 12:22-26

Psalm 27:1

Psalm 55:22

Mark 4:39-40

Romans 8:38-39

Zephaniah 3:17

Psalm 91:1-16

 

If you do not know him as your Lord and Savior, now would be a great time to ask Him into your heart. He is able to save anyone no matter what they have done, or how many times they have done it. He is waiting at the door of your heart, will you open it and let Him come in?

What Kind of Soil Are You?

Luke 8:5-8 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still, other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Luke 8:11-15 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God, 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing, they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on the good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
These passages should make us stop and look inward. So many people who are going through the motions of belief. There is no fertile soil for the crop to grow. There are a lot of people who simply do not and will not believe the gospel, and these passages tell us exactly what happens. The devil our adversary comes and before anything can take root he snatches the seed (word of God) from their hearts. There was no time for the seed to settle and begin to grow. The devil is always out stalking his prey, looking for those he can trip up, steal from. He is crafty in his approaches. These people are (Path) people of the story.

We next move onto the Rock people. In this case, the seed falls on the rocky ground. These people hung around Jesus, followed him and listened to what he said, like many people today, they come to church, sit on the pews, hear the word, enjoy “church folk ” and move on. It isn’t that they do not believe it is true, they simply choose not to act on it, therefore leaving them in an unsaved condition. It isn’t enough to be joyful in the hearing and know it is true if we do not act on the truth.

We then move to people who are “Thorn Patch” people. These are the ones who hear the word, they know it is true, but life hands them worries and challenges that steal and kill the seed that they had received. The lure of materialism chokes out what they have heard. They have no room for God because of all the other junk that they have and worry about. Their lives are so full that God is left out and never thought about. They cannot see their need for him.

Lastly, we come to the “Good Soil” folks. These are the ones who have heard the word and received it with gladness. They follow Jesus no matter what life hands them. Through trials and testing, joy and sorrow they persevere and continue in the faith. Life cannot do anything to them to make them turn away from the life-giving salvation found in Jesus. Theirs is genuine faith, with roots that run deep into their hearts and souls. These folks hear the word and it stays with them, growing, shaping and growing them as they traverse this life with all it gives them. And as they continue in the faith not only does the seed (word) grow, it becomes this huge crop. Their foundation is sure, their hearts are steady, their faith unwavering.

So, what kind of soil are you? I pray you are the fertile soil, you have heard the word and believed and your roots are deep and watered often. (Read and pray)
Maybe you find yourself in one of the other categories, today could be the day of salvation for you. Look deep into your heart, do you believe, or are you simply going through the motions of a believer, church attendance, or maybe you think that just being around “church folks” will cut it, sadly my friend that is a lie? No one else can save you, it does not rub off on you if you hang with the right crowd. No one can repent of your sins, no one else can ask Jesus into your heart. This is a very personal act that you do alone. The place is not important, your sincerity is! And Jesus knows if you are sincere. Nothing you do can save you, it is not about being good enough or doing a certain act to be saved.

Jesus took our sin on the cross, we could not save ourselves. He was sinless and became sin for you and I.

Romans 10:9-10 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your (heart) that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 ” For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”