Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me,
And the changes that are sure to come
I do not fear to see;
I ask Thee for a present mind,
Intent on pleasing Thee.
I would not have the restless will
That hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do
Or secret thing to know;
I would be treated as a child
And guided where I go.
Wherever in the world I am,
In whatsoever estate,
I have a fellowship with hearts
To keep and cultivate .
hymn written by Anna L. Waring in 1850
Please join me on Twitter @StandingFirmCM
I don’t separate myself well. Mostly I post at “Prepared Citizens“. This is where I stand firm.
Just so you know.
Lately I have been praying about vaccination. I have been posting about it, trying to remain neutral but of the mind too that there is some use for them. Really I do not want forced vaccinations, ever, for any reason, no matter how many people are dying. There is something very unsettling to me about forcing medical procedures on anyone. Maybe its just me, but that is the stuff of nightmares.
I can understand compelling others to NOT HAVE a medical procedure more than I can understand forcing people TO HAVE them.
The problem is, I think people will get to the point that they will desire vaccine so much that they will do anything for it. That is even a scarier prospect to me for two reasons. One, I cannot fathom the impact of an illness so devastating that people would be clamoring for vaccine. Something like people back before MMR, DTP, and Polio vaccines, and antibiotics too felt about these new advances. Perhaps some of them thought that these drugs were scary. So maybe I am just too old fashioned after all.
When does our every day behavior cross over a line into idol worship?
For me, I found that line when a procedure would be so desired that in order to avoid death, disfigurement, or discomfort I would swear allegiance to anything other than my God. I never have come even a bit close to that.
And this is why I write now. I don’t want to ever even step in the direction of that line.
Many of our advances in the world of science and medicine have been intended for the good of humanity, to end suffering, to cure illness, etc. This still may be the intention of most scientists and researchers today.
But that are some really unscrupulous folks out there who will do and say anything to make a buck.
There was not so much greed back in the day. Something has changed.
Maybe I need a retreat or something but the advances being made today are coming more and more at the expense of the safety of the consumer. And then when it turns out that some of these things just are not all that good for us, we are already hooked on them. The jury is still out on cell phones.
What are we embracing? And why?
Now there are all these advances in vaccine technology which are not tried and true. We have reason to be concerned about adjuvants, it is not unreasonable to know all that we can about what we are having injected into our bodies and the bodies of our children, born and unborn.
I had a flu shot this year. I was not compelled into it and I didn’t have to jump through hoops
…..or bow down to a foreign god or anything.
Could that conceivably happen? I should write science fiction.
Then I don’t want to say anything because what if I think it’s one thing and it’s another thing altogether. So I wait for God to reveal all. But certainly a pandemic will be a time when there will be tremendous pressure on us all.
All in all, it is ethical and moral to not spread disease if we can stop it and getting the flu can be deadly.
Having gotten a flu shot this year, then getting the flu, this may be an indication that we are dealing with a flu that is not covered under the vaccine. This year was a really good match.
Getting the flu after having been vaccinated may be an early indicator of a pandemic strain.
So I leave all my thoughts on this out there flapping in the breeze.
FWIW, these were my personal thoughts before volunteering…
For me it took a lot of prayerful deliberation. I really sought God’s will for my life. Everything always comes down to what you believe to be true.
I know it is right to be in the world not of the world.
I know it is right to stand up for the common good, for decency, for truth, right, and for the rights of the innocent.
I know that it is right to love others as though they are your own. “Do unto others…”
I know who my God is.
I have made a study of what is the right way to face the trouble ahead.
He healed the lepers. He healed the lame. He gave sight to the blind….and so much more.
Well, then the dilemma became — even during a pandemic?
The answer to that came back — yes, even and especially then.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with
him, and he with Me.” ~Revelation 3:20
No where in the Bible are we ever guaranteed a smooth ride in life. There is a blessed hope and He is who I cling to. Pray about all that you do and what it is that motivates your heart. Whose will are you seeking? Your own or God’s.
After years of praying about this I arrived at the preparedness message.
The best way to survive this, in my very humble opinion, is to ensure that each town resident is prepared to weather the “storm” ahead for several months (as many as possible) while remaining in their home as much as they can. Only going out when absolutely necessary – for work, school,or necessities will be important.
Some folks will need help in order to achieve this goal. Getting to the store, even just hearing the word to prepare is tough to get through, making lists, shopping, many things may need to be done.
Those who can, do.
Who else will?
For me, I don’t want to leave this task to others. I must not be the burden I will be if I am not prepared.
So I am working on it again.
Check on your neighbors, ask them if they are ready.
Pray about joining the Monson Medical Reserve Corps
Its our town, helping our town!
– Acts 17:11-
The beautiful thing about thinking about true preparedness, it covers all aspects of your life. Or, at least it should.
The simple fact is the next few years are going to be full of challenges. Just hearing of wars and rumors of wars, rumors of pestilence, and threats of this or that, can be unsettling – but it doesn’t have to be. The tension in this country alone seems to be at a fevered pitch. The world seems ready to burst at its seams.
Knowing that we are prepared to weather the storms ahead by, first, staying in the Word of God has helped us to prepare both mentally and physically. Do we have a lot of treasure? Not at all. Are we ready to endure, yes we are.
Be assured of your own salvation, know the comfort that this brings. Know what it is like to not worry about anything. Have joy, faith, love, and the abundant richness of peace that comes from knowing. Living this, LIVING THIS, every day brings glory to God.
When all the world seems like it is crashing around us, having that peace will make people hunger and thirst for what is ours and can be theirs through knowing Jesus Christ.
I am not saying to compromise truth, I am saying take the mote out of your own eye first. I am saying – don’t demand that others follow you, blaze the path in your own heart first. If they choose to follow, wonderful. I am saying that God does not need our wrath to help Him accomplish anything.
We know what the Word of God says about the issues of our day. We know what we believe to be true. The Word of God is a sword that divides, but it is not a sword of battle in the natural sense. The Word of God is not something to beat others over the head with. How we should then live is with confidence in the Word of Truth that we know, we need to live it in our lives first – every single day without compromise.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13
It seems as though some think that if we do not confront the issues of the day we will lose the battle for the hearts and minds of the lost. The way that some confront these issues makes me think that they are living in fear, they are demanding their rights because their life and liberty is in jeopardy. So they confront with anything but meekness. How hard this must be.
The idea that this has become a nation of secularists, agnostics and atheists, makes them bristle. But does this bristling come from a hedonistic desire to have rights and to live in a country where we are comfortable as Christians or does it come from the knowledge that those who oppose Christianity are lost for eternity and are their actions motivated by deep care, concern, and love for the lost? If it is from deep care and concern, from the love of Jesus Christ, then his example is how we are to reach the them. Never did I read in the Word of God where Jesus angrily confronted anyone. Never did he stage anything that mocked the lost and sinful. Never did he do anything that could have been considered to have a angry motive except when the money changers were in the outer courts of the temple.
I grieve the loss of Christian ethics in our society, I grieve moral disintegration, I grieve what will be visited upon the innocent and I know a time of trouble will be visited upon all of us. But even in that time of trouble I will have the peace that surpasses all understanding if I am right with God. And it is that peace that is the light that must illuminate the path ahead.
Our forefathers may have had Christian ideals when they founded this nation, but this was never a Christian nation. We never lived in a theocracy, and this is not the kingdom that we long for, live for, or should be fighting for. We are Americans by earthly citizenship, but we have a dual citizenship. Religion and religious values should influence government and policies through what we bring to the table as involved citizens. But as James tells us, with bridled tongue and meekness. The most that we can hope for here is that the majority of people share in our deeply held beliefs. Demanding that others, who do not recognize or long for this truth, tow the line is demanding something that is not for us to demand. Debating in order to change minds about the need to protect the innocent in a day of evil will not happen unless there is a heart change first. Wipe the dust from your feet and move on.
Hearing and Doing the Word
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
We are living under judgment already. Abortion, lawlessness, sexual immorality, lying, cheating, love of money, these are the judgment. And they will increase as more and more people abandon God for the idolatry of today. Instead of fighting, battling, screaming, demonstrating, and fighting against the judgment that some are taking on themselves, live the peace that is ours.
That is not to say that we should live under the judgment. And we should always be ready to speak about the reason for our hope. We have peace and joy. Those under the judgment will not.
Be ready to heap coals of kindness. Be ready to love your enemy, be ready, be prepared to bring glory to God because you are wholeheartedly devoted to His Son Jesus Christ.
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
[In response to the vaccine controversy that I am hearing talked about daily]
God will reveal to us the identity of the beast through the Bible. There will be an unholy trinity revealed, antichrist – the beast, Satan – the dragon, and the false prophet – the second beast, who will expedite worship of the beast, insisting people to take his mark.
This unholy trinity will rule using an apostate one world, global religion, a one world government, and a one world economy. Lately I have been reading about far too many global initiatives for my comfort, and they all seem to appeal on the surface. Of course people who do not know the Word of God will embrace these “wonderful, enlightened” initiatives. They are deceived and they are following man’s reasoning and logic.
Are we there yet?
- I pray that in my own Bible reading, God reveals to me where we are in time.
- I pray that I am not deceived.
For unsaved family and friends I suggest that they pray that God reveals Himself to them.
One thing is for sure, I would not want to live without the indwelling Holy Spirit in the days ahead.
When that beast comes he will appeal to the whole world. He will appear to be a good man, a child of light, and many will come to worship him, believing that he is their God.
“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Seven heads and ten horns – the world will worship him and look to him for peace.
For three and a half years there will be peace and safety. He will appear as a gentle loving man who will first soothe and comfort and exalt himself, that he is here to rescue the people of earth.
Then the covenant with many will be broken.
if you don’t receive the mark you will be hated and then killed. You will not be able to buy or sell.
"Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."
If you receive the mark…
"If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
Refuse the mark, be killed here, but then live with God
"Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."
Persecution Will Come
Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Addressing specifically the vaccine controversy
Now, being wise as serpents and harmless as doves, if you thought long and hard about it, how would you implement this mark? Vaccines on the surface seem so wonderful, life saving, and good. Could they be used as a method of delivery for the mark. Yes, but there use would also involve worshipping the beast. We have to be careful that we do not jump into something that just is not true. The mark has to knowingly be taken. Are we trusting man and science more than we are trusting God? This is a controversy that will not go away. And to be honest with you, I do not have a clear answer. This is something that I myself will have to constantly pray about. I did have my flu shot this year, and I am still praising God.
I choose to put on the full armor of God and trust that seeking His truth daily I will not be deceived when the time comes. If you were to ask me if the fullness of this time is here yet, I would say no.
But I too, am watching the horizon. I too, am cautious. I too, am vigilant.
So what should we expect and how shall we live?
Matthew 10 continues on, beginning with verse 17…
Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
The Bible is the sword – the sword of truth…the sword of truth that will divide even families
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward."
Have No Fear!
Want to be edified?
"a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid, climbed the steep ascent of heaven, ‘mid peril, toil, and pain."
"They pressed with such force through the strait gate, they left their flesh on the posts."
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when,mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. ~1 Peter 2:18-25
So we choose to not serve mammon, we serve God.
While serving God we are subject to earthly masters – both good and gentle and also unjust ones.
Lately it seems like we are entering into a season of very unjust masters.
“But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.”
And we will suffer for doing good.
Jesus Christ is our model. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”
Be patient, continue trusting God.
So in my travels around the net today I found all sorts of calls for us to stand up and against the new world order. Calls to stand up and against “the change” that is ahead. I read calls to get upset about the economy, to get upset that our rights are being stepped on.
I read many reports where people just seem terrified by the approaching storm and all the upheaval we will endure.
True or not, you decide.
‘Every day brings this nation closer to Nazi-style totalitarian abyss’ a Ex-Hitler youth’s warning to America
– De-funded during the Bush Administration, US money for the UN Population Fund that supports China’s policy of coercive abortion will flow again during the Obama Administrations, say supporters.
World leaders holding an emergency meeting to combat the economic crisis agreed yesterday to a far-reaching action plan that, over the next 4 1/2 months, would begin to reshape international financial institutions and reform worldwide regulatory and accounting rules.
Prime Minister Taro Aso has made an ambitious bid to take the lead in creating a new global financial mechanism, as Japan announced its fresh commitment to tackling the global economic crisis.
President-elect Barack Obama supports a coordinated response to the global financial crisis and is ready to work with Group of 20 countries on improving the financial system when he takes office.
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday urged lawmakers to quickly pass at least “a down payment” on a new economic rescue plan to help resuscitate the ailing American economy.
The notion that terrorists will attack America shortly after Barack Obama takes office is again being vigorously pushed by the corporate media as well as shadowy intelligence sources, and has reached the same crescendo that preceded 9/11, a disturbing sign that the public is being prepared for a newly manufactured mass casualty event.
My point is…be patient, continue trusting the Overseer of our souls.
Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 1At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
"So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
the abomination that causes desolation, then destruction in Judea.
Ask, and It Will Be Given
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Take care when your brother asks you for bread, that you give him not stones.
Changes require wisdom and discernment. Ask, seek, knock.
What wisdom do I have? None that I care to share because I do not want to give my brother stones. All I seem capable of doing is pointing to what I notice so that we can pray about such things together.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
“I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name”
Those old hymns are wonderful.
This is what I believe.
Your mileage may vary.
I believe that I have experienced a miracle in my life.
That miracle is rebirth into the Body of Christ because I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
I have no claim to any gifts, talents, or wisdom. I claim no office, I am simply a woman who loves God, His Son Jesus, and I give myself over to the Holy Spirit to use as He will. I have a servant’s heart.
Whether I am successful in conveying what is in my heart is not something that I give a whole lot of thought to. That is up to the reader to determine for him/herself.
After traveling the net, I simply need a blog where I can speak without really thinking that every word was going to make me a bad guest. I really have no desire to offend anyone. I respect others right to believe what they want to believe. I do live under the command to spread the Gospel and so I must.
So this is my blog, I am the hostess here, and I can say what I will. If the reader doesn’t like it, well, they can move along like I have done from so many places. It is my hope that we meet up again.
Not that I am hurt or being defensive, I am just tired of moving along.
This is who I am, what I believe, and I shouldn’t be offending anyone because I am not condemning anyone.
If a reader feels condemnation it is the Holy Spirit using the Bible verses that I quote to pick at your conscience. I call it heart conviction. God is shining His light into your heart.
So don’t blame me if the Word of God does that to you, it does it to me too. But I welcome it because it causes me to pray and grow.
I do ask that people hold me accountable for my words.
The Bible is the Word of God. I will not change or add to it when I quote it.
Where the reader has to be careful is when I speak about how I experience the Word of God in my life. We should always use discernment when we read each others words.
I am saying, never put your trust wholly in another person. Search the Scriptures daily in order that you may discern the truth. Pray for them to enlighten you.
My husband, other believer’s who I trust, family, friends, they all read what I write and let me know what they think. What I speak comes from my heart. I speak it as I believe and I am wholly responsible for the content of my mouth. In writing, I don’t have a goal or purpose in mind. I am simply publicly journaling my thoughts.
I do believe that if anyone desires a miracle in their own life, they can simply ask God to reveal himself to them about the truth of Jesus Christ, His Son.
If there is no God, I have been the fool for believing.
When God does answer your prayer, and there is no doubt in my mind that He will answer a prayer prayed from the true heart’s desire to know Him, you too will know the truth.
Pray for more faith. Pray, read, study, decide, pray.
You have nothing to lose and eternity to gain.
Let me know when you experience the same miracle of new birth.
To God be the glory.
Confess with your mouth, and be baptized.
What do we know for sure?
Plagues and pestilence are visited upon mankind. They have for years and they will continue to do so until the Lord returns.
We do not know when the Lord will return. Even educated guessing is guessing. We do not guess, we stick to what we know from the Word of God.
Do not look for signs of His coming. Concentrate instead on what we must be doing until He does come.
The Greatest Commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love others as you love yourself.”
How to love others as we love ourselves, in season, out of season, during a plague, during a war, during end times…
We cannot do so with any lukewarm-ness.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
The way that I read this…
Put on – is an action phrase. To be able to stand is dependent on putting on the whole armor of God.
Wrestling – an action word.
Belt of truth – Truth
breastplate of righteousness – Righteousness
ready feet given by the gospel of peace – ready with coals of kindness, ready to fulfill the greatest commandment. In the world, not of the world, but standing firm in the world, visible and not hidden.
shield of faith – extinguish, an action word, the flaming darts
helmet of salvation – we are sealed by the Holy Spirit upon salvation.
armed with the sword of the Spirit – the word of God.
Praying at all times in the Spirit.
Keep alert with all perseverance
Praying for each other while we also declare boldly the mystery of the gospel as we are given utterance from the Holy Spirit.
We will wrestle, not against people themselves, but against mystery Babylon, I believe that we can discern now what is revealing itself more and more, it is this that is to be overcome with the gospel of peace – through truth, faith, righteousness, because of our salvation and indwelling Holy Spirit through whom and by whom we speak, and because God will reveal His glory.
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
How to live during a pandemic period
~ the Christian Faith Based view is dependent on our love of God. ~
God is with us. He will not leave us. He will not abandon us. He will strengthen us, give us courage, and He will help us to stand – NO MATTER WHAT COMES
What He asks of us is that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind. He also asks that we love those in our lives as we love ourselves. During a pandemic, during any crisis, that may initially seem quite difficult. That is because we allow our mind to get ahead of us. We allow fear to creep in. We also know that when we are truly fully relying on God, He will give us the strength to endure all. Do not fear.
The One who makes this promise to us is the same One who created the universe. He knows the count of every strand of hair on our head. He knows past, present and future. God makes no mistakes, He knows no boundaries, He is without measure, He is infinite, and He rules His entire creation. He has given us free will to come to Him or to reject Him, but He will not leave us, He is faithful and true all we need do is turn to Him.
One of the greatest prayers that any unbeliever can pray is to pray that God reveals Himself to them.
What will be needed of believers during a pandemic is fearlessness. Fearlessness but not foolhardiness. H5N1 is one terrible virus, and there are other infectious diseases that we may have to work around.
I plan on helping my neighbors all that I can during any crisis that we may face, but I will use my God given intelligence to do so without bringing harm to myself or others. Going door to door aiding others without taking the necessary infectious disease precautions would be a short-lived sort of assistance, literally. We want to be able to love others for the duration of the pandemic, not just a few hours or days. Preparation is necessary in order for our faith based efforts to work in helping others. And what a blessed opportunity we have been given to be able serve God during such a time as this.
Comfort others in the grief, provide food and water to those in need, providing care for children, burying the dead…we will be needed. We will need to love our neighbor and demonstrate that love in real world ways.
This is why we do it
The Great Commandment
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." ~Matthew 22:34-40
“On these two commandment depend all the law and the Prophets.”
“You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind.”
The greatest commandment because without the first the second is impossible in it’s entirety and in it’s purest form.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love the Lord your God
with all of your heart – our physical essence and the source of our physical strength. But so much more, the heart is life both spiritual and physical. The heart defines us by what we will and what we desire. Noble, brave, or wicked and depraved, etc., all are attitudes said to be defined in the heart. The heart is the source of our volitions. What I choose to do in my heart, my mind follows, and then my feet. The heart is where we choose the attitude that we will live by at any given time. Our mind may seek retaliation but it is the heart that quiets that urge and seeks love, patience and peace instead. The souls is where the hope lives that stems from the right attitude of our heart.
your soul – the essence and source of expression of mind and body. The soul is the vessel of the deeds of our body, the sum of our emotions and thoughts and the will and attitude of our heart. The soul is who we have been, who we are, and who we will become. It is where we take in the information from our mind and the longings of our heart and define them as our own. The soul is the ethereal imprint of our being and it is what we bring with us when we meet the Lord God. And we will ALL meet the Lord God.
your mind – Our intellect – where we use our knowledge of the world around us and our understanding and develop the attitudes of our heart. The mind utilizes the brain, the organ that senses the world around us and gathers and stores the information that we encounter every day and analyzes that information, the mind feeds the soul and controls the heart.
Love the Lord your God with all of your being. The Apostle Mark added that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our strength. All of our strength is implied because when we take the heart, soul, and mind, in their entirety that is our strength. Love God with your all, with everything that is you. Everything that is you.
The second commandment and obedience to it springs from and is an outpouring of the first. When we love the Lord our God with all of our strength, we will have the ability to love all who are within our sphere of influence, those who God brings into our lives.
There are two expressions of that ability to love.
We have a choice to make, non-believers and believers alike. I don’t tell others what to believe in, but I will tell others that I believe with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. In doing this, and in praying for the ability to love others my heart has been expanded.
We always have a choice
Either we can relate to others by ignoring them, by impacting them for evil or by having an impact on them for good. By ignoring others we have chosen the way of evil since we are not fulfilling the second commandment, to love others as we love ourselves. We cannot ignore our selves and our needs, nor do we want to. We have a drive to survive. So as believers our choice has already been made. We must shed our fear and our lukewarm-ness and become on fire for Christ Jesus. When we do that our passion to fulfill the Greatest Commandment takes all precedence over our lives.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." ~Matthew 22:34-40
These words of Jesus Christ were spoken in order that we may know that Deuteronomy 6 was a command that carried forward into the present day.
Old Testament to New – we are still live under the Greatest Commandment
The Greatest Commandment
"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Reading further in Deuteronomy we find more explanation of the heart state required then and now. This is the expression and what is meant by loving our neighbor as ourselves. Look how we are to love the sojourner, the fatherless and the widows, giving them food and clothing. Not because works save us but because we are saved we understand this command.
Circumcise Your Heart
"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?
Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the LORD set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords,the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.
Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven. ~Deuteronomy 10: -22
Then, as now, there was a blessing and a curse associated with commandments of God. Obey or disobey, there are consequences. Early rain and later rain there are promises to those who keep the commandments of God….and to those who disobey there is punishment. We can lose our reward, complete disobedience to the commandment may indicate that we are not of the Lords flock. “Take care lest your heart be deceived”.
"You shall therefore keep the whole commandment that I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land that you are going over to possess, and that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the LORD your God cares for. The eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
"And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.
Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the LORD is giving you.
"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours. Your territory shall be from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the western sea. No one shall be able to stand against you. The LORD your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you on all the land that you shall tread, as he promised you.
"See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known. And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. Are they not beyond the Jordan, west of the road, toward the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oak of Moreh? For you are to cross over the Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you. And when you possess it and live in it, you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the rules that I am setting before you today. ~Deuteronomy 11
…and Deuteronomy 12 continues…
"These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth.
“All the days that you live on the earth”
This verse has current day political implications. Stand by Israel. Another topic for another day.
And now, in the latter rain period, we are to live abiding to the Greatest Commandment. Jesus fulfilled the Law and as the Son of God, fully man – yet fully God, He gives us the power to fulfill the Commandment of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. The essence of God that indwells us at the moment of our new birth when we are born into Jesus’ flock.
I and the Father Are One
At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one." The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law,’I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. And many came to him. And they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true." And many believed in him there. ~John 10:22-42
Stand firm, and love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Loving our neighbor will follow when we give all of our heart to the Lord God and we live in obedience to Him.
visit my other blog: Prepared Citizens
John Piper wrote about failed worship and what the inevitable results are of this failure. I will point to today’s message from him here.
Romans 1:24-28 is the verse that John Piper is magnifying and illuminating. And we must not fail to understand that there are absolutes that must guide our behavior.
Let’s go one step further beyond the issue of homo or hetero sexual sin and look at the “deepest problem” and that is the exchanging of the “truth of God for a lie”. For here is where we can all relate to how sin touches each and every heart for we all attempt to exchange the truth of God for the lies of our lives.
Yes, homosexuality is wrong, as is all that is perversion, as is all sin. It is a shame that we focus so much on one sin ignoring our own grave sins.
Satan’s sin and the cause of his fall from grace was pride and pride is at the heart of all of our sin. We think, in our sin, that we know how to govern our own lives, that we are right, that God is wrong, that we have more wisdom and can walk our journeys alone and quite well. We give ourselves over to our passions, our intellectual pursuits, and God gives us over to our the pride in our mind. And this is depravity and it can be quite subtle. Depravity is moral corruptness and to think that there is no God is morally corrupt, it is depravity. God is the author of our morality. Morality is not a product of evolution, it is a gift to mankind from the Creator of the universe. This is either true and recognizable as truth, or it is not. Black or white, left or right, sheep or goat – there is only one way to see this choice.
My focal point for years has been pandemics and the natural order of plagues and pestilence. Are they God’s judgment on us?
I believe that they are the natural order of events because of Satan’s rebellion against God. He is the original rebel who exchanged truth for a lie.
Jesus Christ redeemed this truth, and now is worthy of opening the title deed to the earth. It is through Him that we may be redeemed. We exchange the lies of Satan for the truth of God. The lie of Satan, which he tempted Eve with is what is plaguing this world. All lies, all disease, all trouble, stems from this rebellion. This sin, this exchange of truth for lie, is not the nature of one group, one focused sin, one idol, it is the very nature of man. All men and women who pursue what is against God and fail to recognize and then choose the One Redeemer who can save them from their lies and idols will be lost in their sin and depravity for all of eternity. Their is no wiggle room here. There is no excuse. There no rationalization.
Plagues and pestilence
When the world is visited by such events that overtake the entire world we are sifted as individuals, as societies, as civilizations. We are told this will happen with increasing frequency and intensity – like labor pains – of which we can all perceive to be occurring in the world today. Few people fail to recognize the changes that are taking place. The choice is here and the pressure to choose is becoming stronger. For God or against God, you choose. Many have and the results are obvious when you watch their behavior or read their words. It does not take much discernment to be able to know some hearts – not to judge them, that is not our job, but in order to avoid those whose choice will bring harm to others.
There is no escaping “the choice”. Either we are for God and moving toward Him or we are not and we are moving away from Him. I believe that this divide – the sheep from the goats – will also become more apparent, the threshing floor more intense. We are all being sifted.
We can choose now, without the threat of death, but there will come a time when the choice, still having to be made, will be made under duress – even to the point of death. God will allow Satan to force this choice. Ultimately Satan will be removed from the throne that he is currently occupying. The victory over Satan was won on the cross of Jesus Christ. He is the conqueror, the Messiah, and the only kinsman redeemer for those who will choose Him as their Kinsman. He bought us with a price, the cost was His blood.
The mark of the beast
Much is speculated upon and perhaps I am speculating too much here.
The man that represents everything that is against Jesus Christ has not been revealed, but he will be one day, perhaps soon. How he will be revealed and what he will require us to do will sift us even more, as I already said. That mark that is the beasts will be the representation of your own heart state. Are you for God or against Him. Will you accept the mark that will separate you from God for all of eternity?
I am already marked as a believer. My heart state and head state apparent to all by my words and my deeds. I am Gods through His Son Jesus Christ my Redeemer. Eventually everyone will be marked. How that mark is delivered will be determined at a later time and by another person. We can only speculate now how tremendous the effort will be, the method of delivery, and the ferocity of the attack which causes everyone to choose one way or another. For sure, none will escape the choice. Nor should we want to. It could be a plague or pestilence that causes such fear that would cause people to bow down and accept a cure, the mark. It could be so many things, so many world events have the potential to create the havoc and fear necessary to force the choice of so many.
So speculating only, would you be so afraid of death that you would choose the cure offered by the man of sin? That in order to receive the cure and live you would choose it and by doing so renounce God? Already people renounce God by choosing idols and lusts that are impure today. We already choose a lie over the Truth because we love our lies, our pleasures, our sins, more than God and our lifestyles attest to this. If we cannot choose what is right now, how can we possibly stand in that day.
Does sin bother you
When we make allowances for our own sin, when we rationalize, make excuses, make sin choices palatable we have turned away from God. We should look first into our own hearts and judge our own heart state. We must desire to know whether we have been given over to our depravity. “Ask and you shall receive”. An honest prayer spoken with a sincere heart will reveal our own heart state.
We must decide if we want purity, if we want to worship God, if we desire soft, pliable hearts OR we don’t. We must choose whether this is myth and fairytale or truth. To not choose, to not decide, is already a choice against God. There is no escape. To not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah is already a choice, does this matter to you?
I talk a lot about vaccines on my other blog. Vaccines can be wonderful life saving tools. They are the weapons that we use to inoculate us against the dreaded diseases that threaten our world today. We greatly fear pandemics, plagues and pestilences. Many in the world would give all for the opportunity that we have to keep ourselves safe and out of harms way. Our vaccines today are safe. They contain good things in them that are beneficial to us. And we have faith that they will do so. We have faith in them and they are only saving our bodies from disease. Yet we ignore what matters most. Eternity and our souls. We do not have faith in the One who can save us from all, Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can truly keeps us safe for He is the True Shepherd.
There is still time to turn back to God.
There is still time to change the road you are on.
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? ~Numbers 23:19
God does not need us to serve Him or His good purposes. He does not need us to do His bidding or make His words come true for the fulfillment of His will. There is one God and he is the maker, preserver, and ruler of everything. For man’s sake, God reveals himself to us through three “offices” which are equal and harmonious. God the creator, the Holy Spirit our providential source and Jesus Christ the redeemer of all who believe that He is the Son of God.
God does involve himself in our daily lives. Jesus Christ gave us the model of prayer in the Lord’s prayer which shows us how involved God our Creator is in our lives. “Give us this day our daily bread”, “forgive us our trespasses”, “lead us not into temptation”, “deliver us from evil”, are all past, present, and future ways God works in our lives, but He is not limited to these works. God is not limited.
God does not need our relationship with Him. He does not need our words or our thoughts or our speculation. He does not need. Jesus Christ does not need. The Holy Spirit does not need. The three are all One in unity, they are God and God does not need.
The Attributes of God – What I Believe
God is all-knowing, all seeing, all knowing, unchangeable – His love is from everlasting to everlasting, He is immortal, eternal, faithful, omnipotent, omnipresent, He is infinite, He is omniscient, He is jealous, He is righteous, He is merciful, He is incomprehensible, He is impartial, truthful, wise, loving, and patient. He is also justly wrathful.
Statement of Faith
The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit in order that the world may be convicted of sin and error, so that regeneration through the blood of Jesus Christ – the new birth, where we become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit for our sanctification and empowerment, not so that God may blessed by our presence with Him but so that we may be blessed by Him and in order that we may bring Glory to His Son Jesus Christ.
We, man, are in need of redemption because of original sin. We are born opposing God because of this sin. For two thousand years there has been only one way to be redeemed and that is through belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, sent by God and born of a virgin birth so that He was born righteous and pure, not under the curse of the original sin in fulfillment of the law. He was buried and rose again on the third day, ascended to the Father where He makes intercession for believers today. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out to all who believed and followed Jesus Christ and the pouring out continues today. After death there can be no redemption – once the Truth is seen there is no need of faith and it is by faith that we must receive and believe.
Jesus Christ is our Mediator, our High Priest, our Sovereign and our Righteous King, our Kinsman Redeemer, and the Lord and Messiah of the lives of those who believe in Him. I believe in Him as my Lord and Saviour and I believe that He is the only Son of God.
He will make a glorious appearance at the end of this age and His Kingdom will have no end. He will return in the victory that is already His and He will depose Satan from his current throne which God has allowed for a time because of the original act of rebellion by the first humans, Adam and Eve, who disobeyed God and through their rebellion lost their purity and cursed all future generations.
Regeneration is a gift offered to man which overcomes the curse through the grace of God. A gift freely given in order that we may be reconciled to Him. One that requires something of us and that is the rejection of our sin, turning away from evil, and this is done through the work of the Holy Spirit who enlightens the mind so that we may understand and delight in the word of God. We are justified in our faith by God’s glorious richness and acquitted of our sin because of Jesus Christ and not through anything that we ourselves can do.
Through sanctification we become passionate for God’s holiness and have a desire to become thoroughly cleansed and sanctified in order that we may humbly bring glory and honor to Him, our God the Father and to His Son Jesus Christ.
We detest all evil and any evil that comes near or enters into our heart – for to not be pleasing to God the Father is abhorrent.
As believers in Christ Jesus and partakers in communion with Him through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are preserved by God – not by ourselves, and not through anything that we can do. Our outward partaking of communion is a pledge, a renewal, and an outward display to others in the body of our right relationship within the body of Christ.
Those given to the Son, stay with the Son and no one and nothing can pluck them from His hand, not even themselves, though some may fall into sin and lose comfort and joy, hurt Christ’s church, and worldly judgment upon themselves. Once sin is repented of they are renewed into fellowship.
The body of Christ is the true church and the local body is the local expression to be encouraged and edified so that we may work together for the building up of the body, for corporate worship, and for outreach into the world. The local body of believers has the responsibility of holding members accountable to the deeds done before man of local believers who have placed themselves under their authority.
At death the bodies of believers and unbelievers both sleep for a time until both will be raised, some to judgment and others to glory. At this judgment every thought, every deed, and every intention will be scrutinized. Jesus Christ will be both advocate for believers and judge of all. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment, which is eternal separation from God and the righteous will have communion with Him for eternity.
Faith like a child.
Even wearing my dirtiest robes God loved and loves me.
When I sin it grieves the Lord but it grieves me too. I hate the sin that I do. And I do. And I do.
But I know that all I have to do is turn back to Him and away from my own selfishness and pride, look at my own fault and pray for change and cleansing, and it is mine.
I remember as a girl being punished and sent to my room. I would spend hours bored to tears. As an “active” child who preferred climbing trees and playing baseball, closing me in my room for hours was a good punishment.
Sitting on my bed I had plenty of time to think about what I had done wrong.
Usually about 3 or 4 hours into my punishment I would write pages about what I did wrong and hand them to my parents. They never asked me to do this. But I wanted to let them know that I had truly thought about what I had done wrong and wanted to correct my behavior. I started writing very young.
Obviously I still write.
And I still confess my deeds done before men and before God.
And I have done much that is wrong.
As I sit here I can say that there IS forgiveness for the truly contrite heart. God does not demand works of us, nor does He demand perfection. It simply is not possible. We cannot elevate ourselves to be on a par with the only perfect man, Jesus Christ. The Redeemer of all who would believe – and I believe.
He died upon the cross carrying all of our sins, past, present and even future on that day, that hour and that minute that He died.
And this is what happened when He voluntarily gave up His life for us, so that we may have new life in Him.
The testimony of nature
There was no “eclipse”, yet the sun was darkened. At the time of year (Passover) when Jesus Christ was crucified the sun and the moon are opposite each other – there could be no eclipse. Yet, at mid-day, when the sun should be burning brightest, it was darkened while Jesus Christ was mocked and jeered.
That darkening demonstrates God’s judgment, and it is clear.
There is only one escape from this judgment to this day – to bow the knee in faith.
God controlled nature in order that we could see that this was not some zealot dying for what He believed in, but the Son of God bearing the weight of our sin for us. He became our sin.
In Hebrew and Aramaic He cried “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He thirsted for God and then He voluntarily gave up the spirit to His Father in heaven.
…and He wasn’t even a sinner, but the most righteous man to ever live. Even those who do not believe in Him as the Saviour recognize Him as a great teacher or prophet. Yet His own testimony of Himself would then make Him a liar. He cannot be both – He is the Son of God, by faith I testify to this.
The earth quaked and the thick and heavy temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom – not by man but by God, exposing the Holy of Holies, and demonstrating that through Jesus Christ God is approachable.
Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need ~Heb. 4:16
The end of the sacrificial system – works – had come.
The sayings of Jesus Christ on the Cross
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, prayed because of the Roman soldiers who were putting Him to death by decree. They did not know. They did not recognize Him.
The repentant thief who recognized the righteousness of Jesus was saved.
And then He lovingly placed the care of His mother into the hands of his beloved disciple John.
Jesus Christ will come back in triumph. He will unroll the title deed to the earth, that He alone is worthy of opening, and Satan will be removed from his throne. (Revelation 5:7)
The First Seal–Rider on White Horse
Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come."
I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
The Second Seal–War
When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come."
And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
The Third Seal–Famine
When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come " I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.
And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine."
The Fourth Seal–Death
When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come."
I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
The Fifth Seal–Martyrs
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
The Sixth Seal–Terror
I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
I could sit still in my faith and not do works
Not by works, but by faith – that is how we find fellowship with God.
Because I love Him I want to serve Him.
Do you desire God?
Here I am in that old place again
Down on my face again
Crying out I want you to hear my plea
Come down and rescue me
How long will it take
How long will I have to wait?
And all I want is all you have
Come to me, rescue me,
Fall on me with your love
And all you want is all I have
Come to me, rescue me,
fall on me with your love
Sanctify I want to be set apart
Right to the very heart
Prophesy to the four winds
And breathe life to this very place
How long will it take?
How long will I have to wait?
And all I want is all you have
Come to me rescue me,
Fall on me with your love
And all you want is all I have
Come to me rescue me,
Fall on me with your love
Lifted up I’ve climbed with the strength I have
Right to this mountain top
Looking out the cloud’s getting bigger now
It’s time to get ready now
Written by Stuart Garrard/Martin Smith ©1997 Curious? Music UK
How can I say one more thing, how can I do even one more thing?
Know just who He is! The Creator of all the universe, and I am His child. To know this, truly know this, is an indescribable experience.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”
~1 John 3:1
He is, Lord God Creator, of all of the Universe.
God does not NEED US. He does not need me.
He allows us to be partakers, allows us to be blessed, by all that HE does.
All we can hope to do is comfort one another with all that He does for us in our lives in order to bring glory to Jesus Christ.
And He is doing so many amazing things that this Christian feels the overwhelming need to be face down on the floor.
I never get tired of telling my story because my story isn’t my own. It is all about the power of God.
I have been so lost several times in my life that I wanted to die.
Alone, that is a word now, alone. I felt a lone during those times. With a pit in my gut and heartache in my heart I walked on alone. Family all around me that I truly did and do love, yet I was alone.
And wanting death.
So I chose the slow way. So no one would notice. I was so sick of life’s burdens. These heavy bags. I just could not put them down. My life, bills, struggles, ill-health, all these things were the chains on my wrists and feet. And they were growing heavier and heavier. There was no relief, no end in sight, to the burden.
In those heavy bags I carried every hurt, every tear, as if they were my clothes. And I hated them. I was searching for a way out.
My mother once told me “If you ever find yourself in a spot where you cannot fall any further down, pray to Jesus and He will lift you up. He will save you”.
My wonderful husband always patiently answered my questions about what he believed, but he never pushed his belief on me. But I was curious. He had been through a great deal in his life and he had a serenity.
He bought me my first Bible. I tried to read it but it was so difficult
I just love this man. He prayed for me. He led me without pushing me.
I used to be a hider. I hid everything. I had hid from him my horrible heartache. It was a pattern that I had. I hid things all of my life. But evidence of what was breaking me down was coming out in many other ways. I wasn’t hiding things very well anymore. I had a divine appointment waiting for me. I did not know then that I was heading off to it.
My husband remained patient, he prayed, and he did not push me. I trust being submissive to this wonderful man.
I believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This must have been a historical sort of belief because when I was in the bottom of that pit, I called out as a true believer in the Son of God, one needing a Saviour.
For me there was this brilliant moment where I knew that I had committed my life to following Jesus Christ. I had that moment where I know that I was lifted up and out of my misery.
I was growing and I was obedient….and I was becoming complacent and judgmental.
So new in Jesus Christ, so soonn my love for my brothers and sisters was growing cold. Life was becoming life as I had known it. How could this be? I was a new creation in Christ. I thought my path should be straight and narrow and totally devoid of wrestling.
One of my last Sundays in church I had prayed to be able to love others with the love of Christ Jesus and to be able to lay my life down for others if that is what God wanted for my life.
The testing fires so that I would grow in grace, a journey of trust and faith, had began.
Satan demanded to have me…yes, I believe he did. By the grace of God and by the Cross of Christ, satan did not prevail. Not because of my strength or worthiness, I am so very unworthy, but because Jesus Christ is already the victor.
I turned again, and I prayed once more to know God’s purpose for my life. What I thought I once knew I needed to know again.
I became passionate about the problems ahead and how many do not know and will not understand why these things must take place. The threshing floor is coming to meet us.
The death of millions, a loss of this magnitude. How can I be silent?
My path was illuminated.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
I did not know that I could finish the race. I became afraid and unsure of my own voice.
I did not know because I had forgotten that I am not running this race.
I am being carried across the finish line. Because He is.
Are you not finishing the race? Turn away from what is killing your joy, you already know what it is. It is your own pride, your own heart.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
We have allowed our society to trample on this heritage – our children, our reward.
We have failed to be good stewards of this heritage.
For as long as the law of our land is to allow for the murder of the innocent, and that is what abortion is, murdering the unborn, we have failed.
There is no excuse, no rationalization, no equivocation, we have failed to “occupy till He comes”.
We have allowed our apathetic hearts to turn a blind eye to the murder of millions. A modern day holocaust and we blithely go about our days business with little regard for what is happening all around us.
We should be on our faces, prostrate before our God. We are unworthy. I am unworthy. My robes are spotted with the blood of the innocent because my own voice has not been raised in outcry against what is happening before my very eyes.
We have a choice to be heard this election.
Huntley Brown wrote an article on his website that is truly something that should be read and reread if you are not sure who you will be voting for in this election. It is my hope that those who are convinced that Barak Obama is the right man for the job reconsider their vote. I must repeat the verse.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3
This article is found on Mr. Huntley Brown’s website.
Why I Can’t Vote For Obama
By Huntley Brown
A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it’s worth repeating.
First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.
Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness.
I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can’t dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.
I can’t vote black because I am black, I have to vote Christian because that’s who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won’t be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.
In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.
We need to follow Martin Luther King’s words, don’t judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don’t know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record.
His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008)
To beat Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing.
Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.
There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 % rating.
There is a reason the homosexual community supports him.
There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him.
There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court.
There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill.
There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion.
There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.
Let’s take a look at the practice he wanted to continue.
THE 5 STEP PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION PROCEDURE
A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the (live) baby’s leg with forceps.
B. The baby’s leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
C. The abortionist delivers the baby’s entire body, except for the head.
D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby’s skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child’s brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.
God help him.
There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.
Think about this: you can’t give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.
There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years.
Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright’s sermons. I wonder why now?
Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 – 20 ‘Go and make disciples of all nations.’ This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you, talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?
Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a
1. Commitment to the White Community
2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic
4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community.
5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions
6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System
7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.
Would you support a President who went to a church like that?
Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama’s former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside.
This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can’t be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world.
A church can’t have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if it’s a white church or a black church it’s still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.
Obama’s former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote: ‘Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.
Cone is the man Obama’s mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?
So what does all this mean for the nation?
In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing – judgment.
Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king.
First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 ‘Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.’
Then God says
1 Samuel 1:18 ‘ When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.’ 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. ‘No!’ they said. ‘We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.’ 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, ‘Listen to them and give them a king.’
Here is what we know for sure.
God is not schizophrenic
He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God.
Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt it.
For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.
I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama’s positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.
Since we know someone’s value system has to be placed on the nation,
1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation?
2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?
And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. Luke 19:11-13
Occupy till I come
"And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God" Mark 10:13-14
Do we have a sacred trust to the weak things of this world? If we fail to love them like Jesus loves us, have we failed then to bring them to Him? We must not stand in the way of the message of the Cross. Can we harden our hearts to the sufferings of others, should we?
When we fail to love our enemies and our brethren alike, have we not failed Jesus Christ? That is what He commands. Not because we are to do works but because of our deep abiding love for Jesus Christ which causes us to want to do works of love as He has gifted us to do through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
But he said to him, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ But he said to him, ‘Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’ Luke 9:59-62
Once sanctified are we not called back into the field? Here I am send me, should be the literal cry from our heart. It is from my prayer and my plea.
Maybe I am wrong in this. But it is my love for Jesus Christ that calls on me to love and assist others.
We are the witnesses. We are witnessing to the power of the love that Jesus Christ had for us by dying on the cross at Calvary.
I am a witness to the love and hope that I have found in Jesus Christ by being in the world and not of the world. Even in the most dire and deadly of times, I do not have to be afraid because of the hope that I have. I have given to Jesus Christ all of my heart and all of my life for Him to do with as He pleases. I am just a witness to His love.
1 Corinthians 14:1-40
Prophecy and Tongues
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
Now, brothers,if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.
Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order.
Pray for all gifts, but know
we are so small. So very, very, small.
And also know the signs of the times.
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
“And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.
Return to the Lord