Friday, May 26, 2017
Have you ever thought about it? ...really thought about it? The Word of God, the Bible, tells us in Hebrews Chapter 11 that God created the Universe out of NOTHING! How can that be? I would venture to say that fact is incapable of being understood by the natural human mind. We, being human have an existence confined to planet earth except for an occasional trip into our known space environment. The illustration in this post shows the size of the earth in comparison with the rest of the universe. It takes something called FAITH to believe God did what he said he did. The Bible also says that every man has been given a measure of faith. It even takes faith to believe you have been given that measure of faith. We are told in Matthew Chapter 17 that if we have faith like a grain of mustard seed we can move mountains. Although I cannot claim an in-depth study on the plants in existence in Jesus day, a brief study brought to mind the "mustard seed" Jesus spoke of could be planted one day and begin growing the next. If God is, in fact, the source and the object of our faith... that faith can begin to grow at the first recognition of its planting in our hearts. Of course, the first recognition would be the initial, albeit small, belief in the existence of God. The Prophet Elijah was a man, in other words human as we ourselves. He prayed for rain because there was a drought in the land. His "mustard seed" was a "cloud the size of a man's hand" 1 Kings 18. That cloud began to grow and became a torrential rain! Simon, the Magician in the book of Acts, Chapter 8 "saw" that the Holy Spirit was given by the laying on of hands by the Apostles. He saw miracles and signs and wonders happening by them and he wanted to purchase that unseen something that was the cause of those miracles. He didn't see the Spirit because the Spirit is Spirit but he saw the evidence of the Spirit. We can't see the "nothing" that God spoke out of, but we can see the evidence of it through the whole creation around us. Now we know faith is actually substance and evidence according to Hebrews 11:6. And if we have faith... even the beginning of it, Jesus told us we can "move mountains" and that "nothing will be impossible for us" ...Matthew 17. Therefore, since God cannot lie and his Word is true we can trust that what we cannot see with the eye, actually exists. "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's Glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:7&8. Simon, the magician, being a new believer, didn't understand that the gifts of the Spirit were not given for selfish gain nor could they be bought with a price. He learned that the Spirit is a gift and a gift has no price and this particular gift was to be used to bring praise and honor to the Giver, God himself. A couple of the things we cannot see with our physical eyes are, the forgiveness of sins and Heaven. Sometimes we cannot see with our eyes, physical healing when it involves the internal part of our body until, through God given medical science, it shows up in some scan or x-ray. We cannot see love but we believe when someone tells us they love us, they are telling us the truth. Eventually we are able to see the fruit or results of our faith or belief. Even when we arrive in Heaven we receive the Goal of our Faith which is the Salvation of our Souls. Until that time of "receiving", we walk in Faith, at times with no tangible evidence of what we are believing. Recently, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. That began a new off-shoot in my journey of Faith. I call it an off-shoot because my main, most traveled road is directly aimed at God Himself. "The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter until the full light of day." Proverbs 4:18. My foremost and of utmost importance is my journey toward a deeper and more intimate relationship and knowledge of my Father God and His Son Jesus Christ and His Awesome Holy Spirit... the Three in One of the Godhead. Along that journey, I am faced with side roads that vie for my attention and challenge my faith. I can set my gaze toward what I think the end of those deterrents will bring or I can get back on the road that leads to real Life! I used to work in the forest clearing roads. The main road would have a destination. Once in a while I would get turned around and head down a road I expected to lead somewhere and ultimately, after several miles, it would come to a dead end. I would have to go back to the map to learn of my mistake. When it comes to faith, believing for anything God has promised or something for which we are petitioning, we have to stay with the map. There will be innumerable side roads to grab our attention but there is only one road that contains the source and the answers we need. Jesus stands at the end of that main road with his arms wide open. He has already carried every sin, sickness, sorrow, pain, shame, accusation and disease to the cross and then left it buried in the grave as he arose to be our Savior, Healer, Redeemer, King, Hero, Champion of our Faith, God Himself yet sitting at the Right Hand of the Father in Heaven with His Holy Spirit sent to dwell within those who would WALK BY FAITH in that FACT! (Now that is a mouthful of Truth!) Therefore, in this journey, I refuse to fix my eyes on anything but the ONE who is standing at the end of my PATH. Reason? He has it all under control and there is nothing I can do within my self or my own efforts to save my soul or my body but trust in the one who gave it all. I can hear some of you now who would say to eat this certain food or drink this certain drink or take this certain supplement... yes! If God directs you... go for it! Just keep in mind, ultimately He has to be the object of our Faith and Trust because we are involved in something much bigger than ourselves... an eternal plan. So, believe with all your heart what his promises are toward those who love Him and walk toward Him wholeheartedly. Focusing on anything other than our Amazing God who created SOMETHING out of NOTHING will not allow Faith to grow and Peace and Joy to prevail as we continue toward our ultimate destination, which is Heaven itself. None of us are leaving this planet alive yet we will all live forever. I choose the only road that will get me eternal intimacy with Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Heaven... the road of FAITH in the Lord Jesus and His death on the Cross. I have FAITH that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is at work in my body to bring about all that he has promised. He has made me alive in my Spirit, united my Soul with Him and will quicken (give or restore life to; spring to life, become animated) my mortal body! I am believing that through the prayers of those who love me and the power of the Holy Spirit I am free of cancer and I will live to fulfill all his purposes for me until that day I reach the end of this awesome, light-filled road to Righteousness! Job suffered much in his body but through it all, his focus was on the object of his worship and I will close with this: "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. and he said (chapter 1 verses 20-22), "Naked I came from my mother's womb and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong." To quote a precious Sister who has survived cancer for 10 years..."I belong to the Lord no matter what." Let JESUS be the Camera lens of your FAITH to bring real life into FOCUS." Walking the Path with you! Be encouraged today!
Saturday, March 4, 2017
I wouldn't exactly call myself a perfectionist. However, I like to strive for perfection as much as possible. I believe if you are going to set out on any endeavor you should do it whole-heartedly. No one is satisfied with a mediocre outcome. Most every success in life comes from practice. The practice part has always been difficult for me. I want to reach the final outcome "right now". When I don't reach that outcome within the first few times I tend to want to punish myself for failing or falling short. That is NOT realistic. Granted, some need more practice time than others. We have all seen the videos of the amazingly gifted, very young children who sit down at the piano and play a piece of music that would take many adults years to accomplish. Success is as individual as our God-given DNA. Growing up, I loved to play baseball in the middle of the street in front of our house with my big brother. He would often tell me "Barbara, you throw like a girl" and proceed to show me how to throw properly. That of course, was his opinion. During the game, the manhole was the pitchers mound and we would place various items around to be the bases and of course, home plate. I wanted to be the best I could be. Mostly, it was a lot of fun. In my early 40's I joined a co-ed softball team and again, I wanted to be the best I could be for myself and the team. We would go to the batter's cage and practice and practice. I loved the challenge of hitting that ball as hard as I could. The balls would come one after another, after another. You couldn't let down or become weary or your body would be receiving the impact instead of the bat and of course, the ball would fall to the ground or pass you by. At that point, I would again punish myself for being a failure and pummel myself, so to speak, for being so inept. So goes life. We need to learn that the only way to become perfect, or as perfect as we can, is "practice, practice and more practice". I want to address the subject of our FAITH. James:1:2-4 speaks to us of the trials we all go through. None of us are exempt from trials... Believer and Unbeliever alike experience them. Although an unbeliever may have a different definition. As Believers, we learn to understand we can rejoice in those trials because we are given the opportunity to "practice" steadfastness. Holding firm through the trials as well as allowing God's attributes to be released through us in the midst. First step is "Abiding in the Vine..." John 15. Verse 5 tells us that we can do nothing "apart from Him". Hebrews 12:1&2, we see that Jesus is actually the "Author and Perfecter" of our Faith. He wrote the "Faith Book" so to speak. If you read the Bible, you learn that as a man, Jesus practiced faith and learned obedience through the trials he suffered. He can fully relate to our humanity. He was fully man yet fully God. Now he is at the place of Honor at the right hand of the Father's Throne! May we humble ourselves before him and learn of him. In light of the fact that He is the Author and Perfecter and we are not, we can continually come to him during practice to ask for HIS help, counsel, comfort, patience, forgiveness, encouragement... all the things that a perfect Master has to offer his Disciples. We learn that there is no condemnation, reproach or criticism charged to us and we can practice and learn in a safe environment free from guilt and shame. We can stop criticizing ourselves when we don't achieve what we think we should have in a particular time frame. We run all our practices through the filter of God's love and he will determine His will for our lives from day to day. That is all part of becoming "perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (in regard to the Faith)". James 1:4. I like to look this way at the opposition to our success, the accusations thrown at us from the enemy of our Faith, as the baseballs coming from that machine in the batter's cage, and the bat, as the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. As we hold up the Shield of Faith and swing the Sword, we not only repel the lies and accusations, we extinguish them by putting out their fire and rending them ineffective in keeping us from "leaving the elementary doctrines of Christ and going on to Maturity". (Hebrews 6:1&2) So, let us take advantage of every opportunity and learn through the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and the Ministry Gifts he has given and "practice" becoming "equipped for the work of the ministry and the building up of the Body of Christ until we ALL attain to the unity of the FAITH and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:12&13. So, you are not alone... Run with me and the rest of the true Runners. Let's not focus on our weakness but on His strength in our weakness. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 The final perfection will be when we stop "seeing through a glass dimly and see FACE to FACE"! I Corinthians 13:2. By, in and through the Powerful Name of Jesus Christ! So be it!
Saturday, January 21, 2017
You may notice the tone of this post is a little different than usual... a little more personal perhaps. It came as a result of a discussion with a friend via email about Joshua's conquering of Jericho. I invite your comments as well.
So many are hurting and need to know the Good News of what Jesus provided for them on the cross. Most of what I have learned has been through relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and through the amazing Holy Spirit who is able to make all things clear to me... if I listen. I still have so much, even after 44 years "Born Again", to learn about the Truth. Jesus said, "I am the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. No man comes to the Father but through me." I love walking in simple relationship with him. So.... I am not the intellectual type nor would I ever attempt to be at this time in my life. I was reading the book of Joshua recently and always have a hard time with the "killing of the innocents". I know that throughout history many "innocents" have been killed. I recently preached a message which included portions of Corrie Ten Boom's book, "He Sets the Captive Free". For those who don’t know, Corrie and her family hid Jews in their home during the time of Hitler and Corrie survived the Holocaust to tell their story. So many things are hard to understand that happen to "flesh and blood" over the millenniums. I don't think God has ever changed regarding his feelings about the "innocent" and the punishment that comes upon those who harm or kill them. I know there is so much to learn about God's plan for the salvation of mankind throughout the Old Testament but it is the New Testament that we live by. The most powerful example of the shedding of innocent blood is the death of God's only begotten son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that Jesus had NO sin but he became sin for us so that we could live forever. From the beginning of time, there has to have been the shedding of innocent blood for there to be life. It began in the garden with the animals that were slain so Adam and Eve could be clothed. I would hate that fact if it were not for the LIFE that comes about from that shedding of blood. "No greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for his friend." John 15:13. It had to happen. If I were to die for someone, it would be the guilty dying for the guilty because we are ALL guilty. However, that is where the reason for that innocent blood comes into play. "Therefore being JUSTIFIED (just as if I'd never sinned) by FAITH we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1 To me, FAITH is the key. Peter's FAITH in who Jesus was, is the Rock on which the Church is built. God would NEVER let the innocent BC or AD suffer for eternity. Jesus went somewhere in the spirit during those three days while "dead" to set the captives free through the BLOOD which he shed (1 Peter 3:18-20). The Kingdom of God is not comprised of FLESH AND BLOOD but of SPIRIT AND SOUL. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Joshua is an amazing example of the Victory that the Lord gives his people. We, the Church are an example of the Victory of the Lord over sin, death and the grave. None of us are going to escape those things unless that trumpet sounds and the Lord returns before we breathe our last breath. My baby boy, innocent as it gets at age 2 days, struggled for breath and died before I could ever give him the love and nurturing I had dreamed of for 9 months. I was told that God killed him because I was living in sin. I believed, even in my "non" Christian lifestyle that my baby went to Heaven as soon as he died. God didn't kill my baby. My baby died because he had a disease that had no cure at that time. The reason he had a disease is because we live in a sinful, fallen world where a GOOD GOD had pity and mercy upon mankind's stupidity of believing they could do it their own way just as Lucifer in his pride made his own decisions. In God's pity and mercy for us, he devised a plan from the onset of time to make a way for all of us to be with him in Soul and Spirit for endless days... all because of LOVE! God told Abraham to "kill" his son, Isaac. But instead, he provided a sacrifice of a ram and let Isaac live. Abraham was willing... God was willing and followed through with his son, Jesus. Flesh and Blood was sacrificed so that Soul and Spirit could and would live forever and never suffer again! God will NEVER let the innocent die nor those who have become "innocent" by Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He knows the difference between "innocent" and "...those who know to do good but do it not..." James 4:17. God knows the ones who don't understand and the ones who deliberately "trample the blood of Jesus under foot", Hebrews 10:26-29. He is the JUDGE and he is JUST. Joshua said: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15. I am choosing life for the rest of my life!
Friday, December 16, 2016
Have you ever thought of how much a tree has to endure... harsh weather, disease, insects, woodpeckers, lightening strikes, pruning, just to name a few. Some, eventually even get cut down in the prime of their lives. Now, it may seem like I am speaking of trees as if they were some kind of living beings. Of course, we know they are not "beings" but they do contain life. They breathe and they bleed (lose their sap). A few years ago, I had the privilege of working in the forest on brush cutting contracts. I lived in a trailer and didn't leave very often to go to town. As I worked, I would "preach to the trees" and pray and worship God. I called it preaching but actually I would just speak the Word of God out loud and proclaim to the atmosphere what the Lord Jesus was speaking to my heart. Since we couldn't make it to church most of the time, I would just have my own time with the Lord daily while working. I actually loved the experience. I worked a lot with trees. I would trim them, pull some smaller ones that had been cut by the brush cutter off the sides of the road. Sometimes I would shoot off any "widow makers" (hanging limbs) with my 12 gauge shotgun. I got to where I could identify various species. Those days are past and now I have the privilege of living full time in the woods. Before our recent snow storm hit, I was taking my usual walk through our forest and my attention was drawn to one of the larger trees. Several feet up, I noticed a significant area of disease and weeping. There were many branches above that were dead. I assumed the whole tree was dead because of the extent of the disease. As I tilted my head to look upward, I saw that closer to the top, quite a few live branches were visible. It was obvious this tree had some years left to live and lift it's branches toward the heavens. The Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart regarding the lives of people. We, like that tree, have the capability to maintain life even after we have been ravaged by disease. I am mostly referring to the disease of sin which has affected every one of us. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God." Romans 3:23. As with this tree, the results of past sins (disease) seem to be more evident in some lives as we endeavor to stand strong among the seemingly healthy ones. We know that as Believers in Christ and recipients of His salvation by grace through faith, we still fall short at times and have I John 1:9 as a promise: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The Bible says in Psalm 150 to let everything that has breath praise the Lord. I believe he even designed the trees to lift their branches in praise toward their Creator! In Isaiah, "..the trees of the field shall clap their hands". In that, we see the creation rejoicing in the Salvation of mankind. The whole creation became subject to disease, deterioration and death because of the Sin of mankind. Now it awaits the final release to the Hope of the Sons and Daughters of God that comes through Faith in Jesus Christ. "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God": Romans 8:20 & 21. There is coming a New Heaven and a New Earth we are told in the Bible. There will be no more sin, sickness, disease, harsh weather, lightening, earthquakes, aging, death or destruction. We wait for that Hope of Redemption. If we could see it, it would no longer be hope. We wait patiently knowing the whole creation waits with us. So, I preach to the trees. Not that they are capable of receiving the same glory as the Children of the Living God, but I do so to proclaim to the visible and invisible realms that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Truth that JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD and salvation can only be found through Faith in Him! We will overcome by that Testimony and in that, the whole creation will be set free from its suffering. My prayer continues daily for God to strengthen his people and give them the ability to endure until the end. Not only to endure, but to do so with joy as Jesus did for all of us: "Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus's goal was to bring many sons to Glory and we can be the strength and encouragement for many to follow. So, I lift my eyes and voice toward the tree tops and sing praises to the Most High God for the Hope of a Glorious Future with Him for Eternity! Stand tall with me in spite of any effect that sin might have had on your life in the past and let us proclaim liberty to the captives because Christ has set us free... free from guilt, shame and condemnation! Look up in anticipation of an incorruptible future in store for those who Believe and Receive! Grace and Peace be multiplied to you this day!
Saturday, October 29, 2016
The other day I was watching an old episode of The Andy Griffith Show. Opie, Andy's son, was appointed the Keeper of the Flame in this secret club of which he was a part. The only problem was that Opie was not supposed to play with matches. Aunt Bee found the cigar box in his room that contained the sacred "flame" instruments which were, in fact, a candle and some matches. Having been sworn to secrecy by the higher ups of the club, he could not explain to his father why he had these objects in his room even though he was to take the blame for a neighbor's barn burning down as a result of false accusations. When we become Born Again and receive the Holy Spirit and beyond that, become "baptized" in the Holy Spirit, we, in a real sense become Keepers of the Flame. John the Baptist told his Disciples in Matthew Chapter three, verse eleven, that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and with FIRE. I will never forget the day nor the hour when I received that fire! It is available to all who call upon the name of the Lord. Once we receive that gift, that fire, we have a sacred responsibility to keep it or another word is guard it. Ephesians Chapter five, verse eighteen tells us not to get drunk with wine because it will ruin our life but to be filled with the Spirit. The Greek translation of that verse gives the meaning that we are to "be being filled." Receiving that "fire" is not a one time experience. As I watch my husband build a beautiful fire in our woodstove, the illustration becomes quite clear. The initial fire, once burning full, brings such beauty and warmth to our home. As the flue is left open wide, dangerous gases are allowed to escape as fresh oxygen is brought in to keep the fire burning. If the flue is shut down completely and tightly enough, the fire will eventually go out. I see the flue as relating to my heart. If I shut down my heart and no longer allow the breath of God to breathe into me, the fire of His Spirit will eventually burn out. Hebrews Chapter thirteen, verse twelve tells us (Brothers and Sisters) to be careful not to have a sinful, unbelieving heart and fall away from God. It doesn't happen all at once. Those coals can keep smoldering for quite sometime, but without oxygen (breath) it will soon dissipate. My daughter, Kim and I were talking earlier today about how interesting it is that the internet these days has so many sites that would bring doubt to things a person has believed for years. She reminded me of Eve in the Garden of Eden who listened to the Serpent (Satan) who in essence asked her to believe God was a liar by saying, "Did God really say?" Just like the false teachers written about in the Apostle Peter's writings when they said.... "Where is this promise of his coming you are talking about?" Second Peter Chapter three, verse nine, New Living Translation: "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." There is a reason, other than for ourselves that we need to Guard the Flame. Have you ever wanted to walk into a dark room and have it light up just because of your presence? Well, that is, as a fact, what happens in the Spiritual Realm when you are filled with the Holy Spirit through a life giving, God breathing, experience. You walk into the darkness of this world and the kingdom of this world and Satan and the flame that you carry illuminates and exposes EVERYTHING! It isn't you, lest you boast, but the Spirit of the Living God who raised Christ from the Dead and Quickens our mortal bodies. We are commanded in Ephesians Chapter five, verse eleven: "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them." That is the power of the Keeper of the Flame! We are all called to Keep the Flame Burning Bright! How else can others see their way to enter the Kingdom of God and His Dear Son, Jesus Christ! As my Daughter and I discussed, the END is coming soon! Jesus IS coming back to take His Believers Home. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son (Jesus) that whoever believes (adheres to, trust in, relies on) will not perish but have everlasting life. We can either fear the light of exposure or welcome the light of life.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Early this morning, I had one of the most vivid dreams I have had in a long time. It wasn’t necessarily a nightmare but was definitely unsettling. As in a lot of dreams, upon wakening, you can relate some of the incidences to real life experiences; some you recently went through or were facing in the future. Somehow, they were present in your mind. You tell yourself that is the reason for the dream. Or, perhaps it was something you ate before you went to bed that night. Whatever the reason, you did in fact have the dream. In mine, I found myself in a dark, musty environment. I was surrounded by strangers, some of them evil. There were rats and everything was wet. It was an old city, mostly brick with dim lighting in every building I entered. I knew I had a doctor’s appointment mid morning. It was still dark outside and I needed to get home. I was carrying my little dog, Rusty because I didn’t have his leash and harness. For some reason my cell phone would not work after turning it off and back on again. I needed to call Albert, my husband because something horrible was happening to me. I couldn’t remember my address or where my street was located or what street I lived on. I couldn’t remember Albert’s number. Panic began to set in. I tried to keep my mind under control. I asked a man to help but soon realized his intentions would not be such. As I walked up dark, muddy streets searching through my mind for answers, I dropped Rusty. He started to drink from the water that was running through the street. As I looked down I saw the dead rats floating in the water and grabbed him up into my arms. I was so afraid and there was no way out. I had completely lost all sense of direction and even if I had had it, I would not have known how to follow it. My mind was blank to anything that would help me. At my most desperate moment, a ray of hope… some numbers began to enter my psyche. It was our home phone number. Then I realized that Albert was not at home. I searched my memory for his cell number. Again, the nothingness returned. There I remained, groping around in the darkness for any sign of help. There was none. And then I awoke. I wish I could have told you that my dream had a happy ending, but it didn’t. Earlier that morning I had been interceding for people who have rejected Jesus as their Savior. I was meditating on the second Greatest Commandment in the Bible which is to “love your neighbor as yourself”. As I was awakened from my dream, I was reminded of the Rich Man and Lazarus that Jesus spoke of in Luke Chapter 16.The Rich Man had died and was in a place of forever torment. When he begged to have Lazarus even to cool the tip of his tongue with water from the heat of the flames, Father Abraham told him in essence, it is impossible. Lazarus is in comfort from his suffering and you are in torment. See, both men had died. One had received all he had desired in “this life” but rejected God. The other was poor in “this life” but had walked with the Lord. After the Rich Man had begged and begged to no avail, he pleaded with the Father of our Faith, Abraham, to send Lazarus to his five brothers and WARN them so that they would not enter this place of torment. Abraham told him basically speaking, that his brothers had been taught the truth from the beginning but did not believe so they were not going to believe even if a dead man came to them. How sad! How tragic! My dream has given me a chilling feel of what is in store for those who reject the Cross of Christ! The Cross has been spoken of through that Crimson Thread through the entire Old and New Testament and spoken through the Servants of God for generation upon generation and yet there are those who reject the Faith. Hebrews 3:12&13 tells us: “Take care, brothers (family of God), lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” None of us should take pride and think we will stand. Even Jesus, when he was walking as a man knew his weakness. Hebrews 5:7, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his REVERENCE.” We are to humble ourselves before God and REVERENCE HIM above ALL. “Love the Lord your God with ALL your HEART, SOUL, MIND AND STRENGTH and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Christ’s love COMPELLS me to write this to you all as a warning and as a plea to warn others. Jesus IS coming soon. What will be our HEART condition when he shows up? “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep (stay, remain, abide stand firm) yourselves in the LOVE of GOD, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to ETERNAL LIFE.” Jude 25:20&21. I love you all with the Love of the Lord and write to you as the Holy Spirit leads to the Glory of God.
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Never, never, never give up! It isn't necessary. It isn't productive. It isn't life-giving. It doesn't bring about the desired end which is Victory over our enemy! Everywhere we look in the Word of God, the Bible, we see that everything points toward winning. We are "more than conquerors"! (Romans 8:37) What does it mean to be "more" than a conqueror? Native Americans, also known as First Nations People, have a saying. It is called "counting coup". Counting coup is when you win prestige against an enemy through acts of bravery. It is one thing to fight a battle and win. It is another thing to take it a step further as opportunity affords. In the Spiritual Battle, we have the privilege and the power and the permission to take it that extra step. Counting coup included such things as touching an enemy warrior with a hand, bow or coup stick and escaping unharmed. It could also involve stealing the enemies’ horses or weapons. The element required for counting coup was the risking of your life. In our battle as Children of God against our adversary, the Devil, there is no risk of life.
1 Samuel 17:47 tells us that "The Battle is the Lord's" if you read the end of the Book... The Book of Revelation, we see that the Battle is already won and our enemy is defeated and on his way to the Lake of Fire! The words to a song we sing at the Drum are: "Keep on Counting Coup". Our battle is daily and it is designed to be daily victory. The only way that is obtained is through the ability given to us by our Heavenly Father. Another thing to consider is that we don’t battle alone. If you look to your right or to your left, you see that your “brothers and sisters” are fighting the same fight right along with you. The Book of I Peter, chapter 5, verse 9 tells us to resist the enemy and stand firm in the Faith. We need to lock arms and march forward, fearlessly, knowing and walking as if we believe the battle has been won! Do you believe it today? I do! There is nothing man or the devil can do to me to steal my Faith unless I allow it to happen. I am determined not to let my fellow Believers down my giving up the fight. “No way, shape or form”, as the saying goes. It is hard enough to walk through this world without becoming discouraged and even depressed at what we see happening. We shake our heads with disbelief at what has become of things that once brought us a sense of peace and security. “It has always been and it always will be”… NOT! Nothing is as it was and it never will be again… because there is a bigger purpose on the horizon! Christ is coming back! Court is about over…. Judgment is coming. That’s no “doom and gloom” for those of us who are waiting, watching. We have been preparing and are preparing to stand “unashamed before him at his coming”, 1 John 2:28&29. Not by our own works or efforts are we unashamed and unafraid, but because of the precious blood of the Lamb who was slain on the Cross, Jesus Christ. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,” Acts 16:31 and then walk in obedience to his commandments which I have written about many times: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” No greater commandments. So, the way we, as Believers “count coup” is to add that extra blow of LOVE even to our enemies… Matthew 5:44. The biggest act of “counting coup” is to have another person become a Believer because of us! What a blow to the enemy of our soul, the devil, Satan himself when even our earthly enemies bow their knee and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Let’s begin “Counting Toward Victory” with our own Family members and move the circle outward! To God Be the Glory!