Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Art Thou Beloved?

WOW the TRUTH is exciting!  Guess Who was there as an unseen, smiling witness at your birth?  Guess Who took great pleasure in your planned arrival?  Guess Who created you for His own enjoyment?  Guess who wired you with the ability to touch, smell, hear, taste, see and feel a wide range of emotions?  YUP, our wonderful God Almighty, our heavenly Father, created us in His own image and just like Him; we seek pleasure; we rejoice; we feel happiness; we feel love; giddiness; and sadness.  We cry; feel compassion; sympathy; pity; anger; sorrow; jealousy; gladness and we can laugh at the things to come!  The secret of embracing God’s love fully is to NOT concern ourselves with what He thinks of us, or in what He has done for us,  but it is in accepting the TRUTH that we are His joy, His greatest delight, and that we are truly LOVED beyond what we can think or do for God.  Our words of
love alone are worthless if we do not spend time with God.  Our heavenly Father desires more of our time, and our focused attention.  He desires and intimate relationship with us.  Our dedicated time is our most God valued asset. Whenever we give our time, we are making a willing sacrifice. Our sacrifice of our time and concentrated contact with another is the essence of genuine love.  A person can give money and time without love, but a person cannot sincerely love another without yielding, and giving up personal preferences, time or comforts.  Our choice to love God and others is to say that we VALUE those relationships above all else.  “The entire law is summed up in a single command:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Galatians 5:14 NIV ---All of our abilities are God given.  In His love letter to us, the Holy Bible says, "God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well." Our Father has enabled us to love Him and others well with the love He first gave us. The purpose of life is far greater than peace of mind, happiness or our personal goal achievement.  People seek to understand this question "Why am I here?" To obtain the answer they begin asking self-centered questions. What do I want to become? What are my dreams? Our focus on ourself never reveals the truth of our purpose on earth. What did God create you for?
Rick Warren wrote a book which hit the New York Times Bestseller list.  It is called "The Purpose Driven Life"  In the book Rick declares that people choose to speculate, theorize and assume that their own best guess as to why they were created will suffice. The truth is that honest revelation, ONLY comes from the Holy Bible. "God's wisdom...goes deep into the interior of His purposes....It's not the latest message, but more like the oldest - what God determined as the way to bring out His best in us." 1 Corin 2:7 The Message.  To discover the truth of what the purpose of this life is, we must turn to God's Word, not the world's wisdom. The Bible says "It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.  Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." Ephesians 1:11 The Message.

COOLER IN MAZAMITLA

Pictures are worth a 1,000 words, so here are my favorite choices for escaping the humidity of summer at Lakeside.  June, July, and August is Lakesides rainy season, and even through the temp registers 82, it feels hotter.  Chapala sits at 5,000 foot of elevation, but just around the lake, and up the hill to Mazamitla you are elevated to 9,000  feet so its often 10-15 degrees cooler.  Through the month of July and August, the temp is a mild 70 degrees. It was founded by the Aztecs in 1165 and invaded and conquered in 1522. Population on this lush mountain is about 11,000 people.  A short road trip always refreshes my spirit quickly. The cedar framed shops are likened to Carmel, California. Instead of homes built of cement, you find log cabins and wood sculptures everywhere.  The shops are very attractive with a simulated carved wood Swiss theme. It is only a two hour drive through Jocotopec from Chapala, so we can depart around 10:00 AM and arrive refreshed by the scenery and music around noonish. A great place for hunters, hikers and tree huggers: The Best Western Mazamitla Cabins click here .  Straight up from the downtown plaza is a great hotel with tennis courts.  We went with another couple and stayed at the Hotel Huerta Real and loved the view.  The grounds are beautiful and the rooms are lovely. Address: Reforma 36, Mazamitla, 49500 Mazamitla, Jalisco, Jal., Mexico

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Who accuses you?

Are you ever dogged by doubt?  Do you ever doubt that you are good enough? You have gone to church, you have read some of the bible, and you have asked Jesus into your heart,  you have been baptized...but then you wobble and doubt if you really have fully trusted Jesus with your kids, your relationships, your money or your understanding of scriptures. You trust your knowledge about Jesus, however, deep in your heart you think Jesus would not listen to you because your current relationship with God is distant. His grace is not extended to people like you. CAPTURE that thought 
and toss that lie in the toilet! Jesus forgave Peter for denying Him, and Jesus provides His right standing before God to us. We are clothed in His righteousness! Receive this blessing in the name of El Shaddai, our all-sufficient God.  God gave you power  to shatter lies and flush out the false that constantly flows into your ears from the world. Your battle in this life will be to REMEMBER to claim His power and to speak the truth boldly when guilt,
doubt and condemning thoughts enter your mind.  Those thoughts are not from your loving Father. I bless you with finishing your life with the power of El Shaddai streaming through you.  I bless you with experiencing the victory of El Shaddai enabling you to reverse what the world has said is impossible.  In Jesus holy name, AMEN!  Who is it that is accusing you of being a fake Christian? What voice circles around in your head about what the Word of God says? "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10 ~We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets
itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corin 10:5 ~ The relationship God offers us through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ seems to good to be true, but He has poured His very Life into you, and all you must do is embrace this Truth. "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to KNOW this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Eph 3:17
It is wise to be careful as we listen to the world reports, or as we listen to our peers, or as we listen to the invisible but very real Thief, the Liar, or the voice that triggers us to doubt what God's faithful word says. If we are NOT tuned into what the Spirit of God says through God's living and active word we are easily tricked into adopting false beliefs. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight." Hebrews 4:12 ~  Our
Advocate is the Lord Jesus Christ who represents us to the Father and when the Holy Spirit does His job and convicts us, we need to just talk plainly to God and spill our guts because we are His work in progress, and we need grace daily.  He knows it all anyway, so don't hold back, just tell Him the whole story because He is always glad to listen.  The Lord Jesus is fully God and was fully man, and He remains in the Father praying...for us.  Today Jesus prays for us without a reference to our failures, without accusations, and without condemnation.  "After Jesus said this, He looked toward heaven and
prayed: 'Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. Now this is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."  John 17 ~ The Holy Spirit gives us understanding that we may KNOW the word of God.  "I pray
for them.  I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours" John 17:9  ~ Today, Jesus is praying for us, we are THEM that belong to God.  "I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more that I am of the world.  My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one." John 17:14 ~ Jesus gave His
disciples the words that the Father gave unto Him to speak.  "My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You." John 17:20 ~ The moment we placed our little, bitty faith in the Lord Jesus,  Jesus delivered unto us the promised
Holy Spirit that we may have full confidence, that we know without a doubt that God's promise to forgive us has been finished through the final PERFECT sacrifice of His son on the cross.  “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down." Revelation
12:10~ When doubt haunts us we must turn to God, read His word and resist the devil by speaking scriptures out loud and confess our faith and power through the word of God --- the Liar will flee!  Living above the cares of the world requires focused time alone with Jesus, the One who overcame the world!  Pain, trouble, heartbreak and worry are woven into the very fabric of this perishing world.  The word of God is unchanging.  As we face the endless flow of confusing messages of this world we can talk to our Counselor, the King of Kings, our Advocate and He will shine Peace into your troubled mind and heart.  He will usher in His perspective and enable you to distinguish between what is important and what is not so that you can rest in Him.  "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33 

Friday, May 27, 2016

The PIT of Despair

During this life we each have spent time in a dark place, in a pit of despair and we question "If there is a God, why am I suffering?" Many wonder where was God when jets crashed into the twin towers, and thousands of good people along with many church going Christians perished. The deep incomprehensible pain after 911 was not easy for thousands of the survivors.  This kind of terror stunned even the most devout.  The United States was awakened to the reality of evil after Pearl Harbor, and on September 11, 2001.  Each citizen was shaken to the core and moved to cling more tightly to the truth, that the earth as we know it, is NOT our eternal home, or simply implode with no hope for the future.  We each have a choice to grow emotionally and spiritually stronger as we pass through the fires of this life, or faint and disintegrate into the pit of hopelessness. Many unhappy citizens of planet earth "TRY GOD" on their human terms. If God does not appear and respond according to their expectations, they quickly determine that faith in God does not work. Stuck in a pit of despair, they try other Gods. They may temporarily distract themselves from their emptiness with superficial relationships, or any number of pursuits or activities. Depression leaves us in the fetal position of despair. Share this short clip with anyone you know who is stuck in the pit of hopelessness:      In our urban society there is a belief that God simply wants us all to be happy, or that God does not exist. Those same folks with slippery beliefs choose to blame God for all gloom, stormy times, 911, their divorce, or for any lost dream.  A wildly popular thought is nurtured in the minds of the lost by the great deceiver who whispers "There is no such thing as God, because if God cared, He would have prevented this tragedy."
Americans long ago tossed God out of schools, the court room, and Wallstreet. Our Father does not force Himself on anyone and He does not return to those who choose to reject Him. "Trust in God" is on the face of every American coin, but do we Trust God in times of trouble? Many have chosen to follow the easy way, to simply satisfy their human desire and believe that all religions lead to God. Many believe that each individual has the freedom to choose which way FEELS right, to them. --- In 2014 to BE politically correct, those who lack the wisdom of God TOLERATE everything --- To obtain the popular vote, the minds of non-believers and many believers simply choose to GO WITH THE FLOW. Attempting to avoid upsetting anyone, many strive to win the approval of peers, family, or constituents. The world's cunning MYTHICAL message is broadcast daily in the news. We seek to be like a local HERO, a man made super star or get to the top no matter what. All this idol worship eventually proves unsatisfying.  The media promotes the belief that we must accept that TRUTH is ---- whatever is TRUE for each individual.  FACT: Truth is found in God's unchanging word. Our true friend Jesus Christ shares light and salt. Many myths exist in the mind of man regarding our eternal fate. Today RELATIVITY = the absence of absolute truth. This generation is shown in song, on film daily that what is wrong is right, that whatever is down will on its own rebound, and that the perfect politician can fix the economy. Like Alice in Wonderland, the world is a confusing rabbit chase of glamour, glitz and fame. Some folks worship gold, dogs, trees, statues, Hollywood legends, fame, athletes, rock stars, or the freedom to be the most pleasing Snow White, Mommy, Daddy, or Fashionista. Today absolute TOLERANCE ---NOT Truth --- RULES! --- In the media, in the home, in politics, TOLERANCE is the worst sin of all. Any God opposing TRUTHS regarding: methods of parenting, same sex marriage, abortion, what is relative, what is true, Who God is, thoughts about the devil, or evil is absolutely INTOLERABLE to a holy God! A world wide web of lies exposes the wise and the innocent to instant data, facts, research, and opposition to any position taken about any one thing....BUT,  IS IT TRUTH? Does it honor God?  Trusting in God's word is to have confidence in a grand ETERNAL future that is far superior to anything we enjoy on earth.
Our human definition of happiness shifts - because we are highly influenced by fleeting events. The JOY of the Lord is rock steady, it is eternal and consistent, regardless of circumstance. The goal of most people is "To just be happy" But God's perfect plan is to deliver us from the temporary and transport us into His eternal Love, Joy and Peace. The MYTH that WHATEVER makes us happy, makes God happy --- is to think that a human knows the mind of God. As long as we are satisfied with what we believe, we can then slide positively from one truth to another. Being righteously intolerant is to say "Hey, I like you, but your actions are offensive to God and to me." Hollywood promotes tolerance for all issues. Human weakness is that we all strive to be liked by our peers. Who we become depends on the thoughts we adopt. God's thoughts or man's thoughts about God? We get to CHOOSE to put on the full armor of God and care more about what God sees and hears, or we choose to put on the thoughts of man in order to be tolerated, or liked. No person that you admire in this world can lift you out of the pit of despair.  God can, and He does.
Images and words are directly aimed at our spiritual souls ~ they encourage us to buy what we do not need, and to TOLERATE all the ways of an evolving world.  Freedom is translated by a lost generation to mean that we are not accountable to God. That our behavior cannot offend a God that does not exist. This world celebrates madness! The truth is WRITTEN: "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:12-13 God also warned: "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" Hebrews 3:18-19 now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in
spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” John 4:24  ~ The cause of DESPAIR in the world is this: Lies, cheating, murdering, stealing, mixed up sexuality, and gossip.  It is our choices that spins the MADNESS into each script of most television shows. The world broadcasts boldly that "ANYTHING we DO or SAY is OKAY" Commercials are designed to change the mind so that we buy whatever is being sold. We then find pleasure in dark places that cannot satisfy the soul's thirst for truth --- DENIAL protects our secret desire for peace. God created us before the foundations of the world, He knows our hearts, He knows our thoughts, He knows our human weakness, and He gave us access to the truth, to His wisdom, to His perfect ways ~ and He gave us the freedom to choose Him above the ways of the world, the lost, the deceived, the deprived. God placed in each soul a yearning for truth, a need for divine love that never rejects --- and a love that is merciful. BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND ~ IT IS WRITTEN: "While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus touched them and said,  “Arise, and DO NOT be afraid.” Matthew 17 -  Invite Jesus to reveal Himself to you.
Almighty God waits patiently for us to ask Jesus to assure us that we are loved as we are. Ask God to give you eyes to see beyond the visible, and ears to hear His voice. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and give you new life. Receive the TRUTH of JESUS, the Son of God as your ETERNAL Father, the Lover of your soul and receive His unconditional love, joy, peace. Surrender the knowledge begotten of the internet, a friend, a family member, the misguided teachings of a world gone mad. Surrender to the MIND OF CHRIST and be changed in a twinkling! Be satiated with His living water! The scales on your eyes will be lifted and you will understand that what happens in Vegas, does not stay in Vegas, but that the serpent of evil corrupts the mind against the simplicity in Christ. If we choose to broadcast the TRUTH that God does not approve of all ways to His throne, we are mocked as silly bible thumpers. ABSOLUTE TRUTH does exist ---and God wrote to tell us repeatedly in the book of John - "I tell you the truth". As Ambassadors of Christ, we are God's feet, hands and mouth. When we speak God's TRUTH, we are called lunatics and judged as INTOLERANT by those that love their life in this world. "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."  John 12:25 -- "Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were
of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are NOT — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corin 1:1-31 - Let us believe God at His word, that He loves us.  Let us forgive ourselves as we are forgiven and LAUGH about our foolish past and rejoice in our NEW heart. Let us boast of what the Lord has spoken in our ear! IT IS WRITTEN: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man." John 5:24-27 - "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Philippians 3:20-22

Friday, May 13, 2016

THINKING HABITS

mind of christ photo: #the passion of the christ tumblr_ljzquqq2ne1qaj5jro1_500.gifAre you in the good habit of higher thinking? Do you employ the habit of capturing every thought and considering IF it glorifies God? Are you in the habit of forgiving others quickly? "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher that your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."  God proclaimed this truth in Isaiah 55:8-9.  One major benefit of our redemption is that we share in the image and thoughts of God.  "You have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge 'in' the image of the Creator."  We are reminded in Colossians 3:10 that we are constantly being renewed in knowledge. We gain more knowledge of Who our Holy Creator is. He is our eternal Father of grace, and He forgives us for our habits of stinkin thinking.
We are also renewed in His image. "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brothers." God breathed these living words that we may know in our mind the fact that He knew us before we knew Him, and that He chose us for Himself to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ, for His purpose, that when we meet the lost, that they would recognize Christ in us. "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus; who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God, something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." The mind of Christ highly esteems every relationship and Jesus thought mercifully about each person He encountered. He made deliberate eye contact to connect soul to soul. He stopped at a well midday for the purpose of being about His Father's business. On the way to the cross, He healed a woman who touched His robe.
 He wanted to meet and greet the woman at the well to save her. He listened whole heartedly to her, and He spoke to reveal His soul's interest in the condition of her heart and destiny. As Christ did, we are to think less of ourselves, and more of the person He places in our path. We glorify God and honor the way of Jesus by serving others. We too are the subject of our Father's affection.  He placed His Spirit in us, and He is enabled to transform us into His image as we surrender our old ways and habits of thinking about others to Him. Jesus finds pride repulsive, and from His exalted position He warned us in Isaiah 13:11 "I will also put an end to the arrogance of the haughty, and will humble the pride of the ruthless."   God's ongoing transformation of us into the image of Christ is a silent, unseen divine work, done by His indwelt Spirit. The "BE" attitudes demonstrate the way God works in us. The attitude of our heart is intimately known by God. In our lowly spirit,
we fear God because He alone is all powerful. In our broken contrite hearts we experience the Holy Comforter. In our mild, meek humility we accept our position in Christ.  The opposite of meekness is arrogance and the mind of Christ maintained a state of meekness while steadfast in authority and strength. Jesus described Himself  in Matthew 11:29 KJV  "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."  The second four "BE" attitudes function as God's purpose to turn our minds towards others. Blessed are the merciful, we are to show mercy to others.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. To BE pure in heart is to beyond prejudice. The Pharisees were proud and prejudiced and they arrogantly asked the disciples in Matthew 9:11 "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?"  Confounding those who thought themselves wise, Jesus chose Zaccheus as a follower and He ministered to a Samaritan woman in Luke 4:7-26. We are to BE pure, and not boast of our purity. Jesus was not puritanical, His broad selection of friends was all inclusive.  Jesus befriended the unkempt, the unliked, the sick, the prostitutes, and tax collectors.  Puritanical people narrow their selection of friends and remain Pius regarding their beliefs. Under the divine supervision of the Holy Spirit, we
may uncover surprising prejudices. Some followers of Christ think erroneously that because God delivered them in a certain way, that God will work in others exactly in the same way.  His ways, are not our ways, and if we are prejudiced about the way God should work in anyone's life, we are placing our thoughts and ways above His sovereignty. To be absent minded is a serious matter. It is to live with a vacancy of Christ in our minds.  If we are serious about adopting the mind of Christ, we must pray that God fill our absent minded habit with His living Word. "According to His custom, He once more began to teach them."  Jesus had good habits!  He had the habit of prayer, He customarily attended church, the synagogue to renew His mind with God's word. The habit of confessing "I am simply absent minded, it must be my age" needs to be eradicated from our thinking by inviting the
Holy Spirit to heal our mind of such an excuse. Ask the Lord to conduct a new and fresh work in you.  We are weak and we need to admit that we are unable to change by our human way of personal discipline. Instead of relying on our ways, we must yield more consciously to the indwelt Holy Spirit and His ways. Let us intentionally adopt the habit of submissive thinking to the Spirit. Listing our habits of thinking, our fears, our prejudices, our relationships, our hurts so that we can BE aware and then transformed is life changing. Inspect the harmony within the mind of Christ. The wisdom of mind are action verbs, they are the ways of Christ thinking listed in James 3:17:  Practice thingking Pure, Peace loving, Considerate, Submissive, Full of Mercy and Good Fruits, Impartial and Sincere thoughts. Also the fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22: Love, Joy, Peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self control.  FREEDOM from the bondage of our thinking and behavior habits is NOT accomplished by our weak old patterns of thinking that are impure, conflicting, ill willed, whining, impoverished, complaining, stubborn, lacking compassion, prejudiced and insincere.  "The mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6 The mind set on their next pleasure, on the condition of the economy, on their favorite sport, or on who is falling short...is a person whose mind is filled with the ways and thoughts of the world. That person is NOT living the LIFE God gave them, rather it is a person whose soul does NOT experience the peace of God. We were given free will to choose our Source of information, our Teacher of thinking. If we set our mind according to the 6:00 news, or on the most recent debate on FOX, then we are hindering the thoughts of Christ. "Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God." Isaiah 59:2 - It is our responsibility to hold captive eachwill power.  The GOOD NEWS is that the grace of the Holy Spirit is ever present in order to convict us when we begin to repeat
thought to Christ Jesus, and to confess the sin of having an absent, wondering mind.  "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:3 Be reminded to "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, THINK about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from Me, or seen in Me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4 - Let us therefore choose to NOT be absent minded of the ways of Christ thinking. Lord HELP US BE ever mindful of thinking like Christ, AMEN!  “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.Malachi 4:2

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

White as Snow

When we say we trust in God...and we pledge our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, one nation, under God.....with liberty and justice for all, and to the republic for which it stands...what does that mean? Do we put God first? Do we stand up for the people? Let us remember that we are here to serve God by serving and by encouraging others. Let us put God back on the throne and trust His Word as the way. Let us trust that His will is done, on earth as it is in heaven. He is in charge regardless of who sits in the oval office. He chose us for His purpose. AMEN.
Every day is a DAY of MEMORY MAKING - let us remember all those who gave up their life so that we can enjoy freedom. Freedom is not without a cost. The truth is that suffering and pain are a part of this life. "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." 1 Peter 4:12-19
When things do not go according to our plan, do we ask "Why me Lord?" Do we wonder if God forgot all the good things we did for Him? Our natural inclination is to feel sorry for ourselves, and not rejoice in our sufferings. Recently a pastor was put in prison in Iran. He is being tortured for his faith and wrote a letter rejoicing that his persecution is bringing various churches together. The living Word of God paints a picture for us. Imagine the seven dwarfs, those uneducated yet uniquely gifted smallpeople. Those happy little fellas who whistled as they went off to work ~ they suffered persecution
because they were short.  Snow White suffered the jealousy of the Queen because of the pure innocense of her soul.  These cherished people wisely chose to listen to what the spirit was saying. Snow ran from evil. She was alone and terrified while seeking refuge. The dwarfs welcomed her and they showed her kindness. As it is written, Snow was blessed, for the glory of the Lord shone all around her. God's earthly presence rested upon her, and He gave Snow rest. The Spirit of glory gave her refreshment and a brief intermission from toil. 
Snow had the gift to easily encourage others.  With authentic grace she spoke highly of Sleepy's kindness, Dopey's delightful humor, and the compassion Sneezy had developed as a result of his constant allergies. The dwarfs directed Snow to consider God's living Word and that victory was hers over the evil plots to steal her position as a princess of the most High Priest, Jesus Christ. Satan does use religion to subject the world to himself, but Snow read what God wrote to the angel of Thyatira: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire... He knows your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance little ones. God sees all, and knows all of our true intentions. He knows why you work, and why you say you love God. He knows what you are doing today is more than when you first came to believe. Nevertheless, God  is holy and cannot overlook sin. He holds this against you:

You tolerate that evil woman Jezebel, the wicked queen who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads many servants of God into acts that dishonor the Holy name of Jesus. Actions that show the watching world that we do not need God. That our wicked human ways of satisfying our desires is superior to God's way, His will and His Word. God gave Jezebel time to admit her wicked ways, to confess her hopes to influence others to do evil, but she remained unwilling to repent. So our righteous Lord cast Jezebel down on a bed of suffering.  God is just and He searches all hearts and minds. He will repay all according to our wicked deeds and the true intentions of our hearts. TRUTH IS: God knows our intentions. 1) We are serving God because we desire to honor Him, or 2) We are doing what we do to gain a good reputation for ourselves. Selfishness and pride are not hidden from God.  Our Lord is full of compassion and He writes to us to warn us; 

"To you who do NOT hold to Evil's twisted teachings, to those who have used their shield, and worn the helmet and rejected the words of man, to all who denied Satan's cunning temptations and schemes to seductively ensnare, to all who used the Sword of Truth to chase off false teachings and polluted insights into the ways of God....Our Father warns those to HOLD ON to what you have, your FAITH and TRUST in God."  To each of you who overcomes, to each of you who remains faithful until Jesus Christ returns, God will give authority to rule over the nations. God issues His power through small and large acts of kindness. (Revelation 2:26)  "He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."  God has compassion for His chosen and 
He sends us people to bend our ears. Let us listen to His still small voice and be moved to act in ways that bring God glory. The village in which you work and live is much like Thyatira. A place where man finds work, a town with many trades. A city that is governed by people who are very capable of being deceived. God is delighted and He commends you for growing in good deeds, but He encourages us to grow in love, faith and trusting in His words alone.  Rise up and capture every thought. Sweep away any thought of revenge, of doubt, of fear. Choose to listen to what the Spirit of God is
compassionately warning. Our Lord speaks of seven seals, seven bowls, seven plagues, and in the end... Jesus declares 'It is done!' ~ Because we are loved, because of God's compassion and kindness, He tells us the truth. Evil ever lurks to destroy us, to tempt us to deny Christ. In your weakness, the Holy Spirit will rise up and give you understanding and strength. "Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. " (Rev 16:17) REMEMBER ME when you eat the bread of life and drink from the cup.
God is merciful, but He has a limit to His patience. After 3 years of revealing Himself physically on earth as the Son of Man, and after demonstrating His love to a group of pride filled theologians, Jesus showed His power by raising the dead and healing the sick. Jesus spoke with astounding authority in the synagogue. The proud students of God's word were unable to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They were unable to let go of what was familiar, what was their way, and they felt threatened instead of humbled by the living Word of God. These proud men, demanded throughout nine hours of trials, that Jesus be crucified so that their teaching, their understanding of scripture would be upheld. ~  After 2,000 years  of displaying His grace through His chosen
people, Jesus will extend His compassion, grace, patience and mercy another 3.5 more years after the great tribulation, when He returns to rescue His bride, the church.  All who have ever claimed Jesus as the Son of God and personal Savior, as His beloved, we will dine with Jesus and all the saints of history at the wedding of the Lamb.  Jesus warns the world of His coming final judgement by His living Word. The vision of His ultimate Glory is found in the book of Revelation.  He reveals the truth, one chapter at a time. With each of the seven seals opened, and with each bowl of deserved wrath our Father encourages us "So do not fear, for I am with you; do NOT be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen
you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Our Lord Jesus proceeds to assert His power, lifting up His own while cleansing the world of its sin and rebellion against a Holy God. If evil has sought to destroy your faith, if evil has enlisted others to persecute you, if evil has caused you to suffer unjustly for your faith in Jesus Christ... "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." Do not withhold forgiveness, be kind, be compassionate to those who seek to harm you for they know not what they are doing. Do not initiate a lawsuit, just
move on. Do not lash out with a sharp tone, do not keep retelling of how you were wronged. Do not attempt to destroy the reputation of the person who acted willfully to harm you. Our Father, Who knows all, Who sees all from heaven, respect His Word, His name. His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Revenge belongs to the Lord. AMEN ~ Draw close to Jesus, read His word, speak His name for there is HOPE for you "In Christ". We will be changed according to how much of our mind, body, beliefs we surrender to the MIND OF CHRIST. The truth is:  "That He who began a good work in me, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  What we will be

like "has not yet been made known. But I know that when He appears, I shall be like Him, for I shall see Him as He is."  
PRAISE GOD!  The day fast approaches when we will no longer struggle with sin, or be inconsistent, nor shall we stumble and fall. "Everyone who has this hope "in Him" purifies himself, just as He is pure".  MAKE YOURSELF READY as a bride makes herself ready for the wedding feast.  The wedding of the Lamb, of the Lord Jesus to us His bride, His church, is an occasion of unsurpassed JOY! Halleluiah! The robe that was stripped from Jesus on the cross,
that same robe that was gambled for while Jesus bled His royal blood for us on the cross, this same robe shall drip in the blood of those who ever denied His authority as God. "HIS NAME IS THE WORD OF GOD"  Revelations 19:13.  The bible is the written Word of God, and Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, both are revelations of God. Read it with reverence, with a humble attitude, with a repentant heart. God considers our reception or rejection of the Bible to be our reception or rejection of Himself.  His identity is firmly stated with these words written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS.  Do you not stutter in
shock and awe knowing that "  Jesus showed us the way to live in the world but not be changed or threatened by it.  Jesus saw the work of the Liar at work in his friend Peter and He loved Pete enough to speak the truth.  Peter denied Jesus three times and still Jesus bestowed him with the important role of establishing the first church. The living Word in this segment of Peter's reality show. It is clear documentation that demonstrates our Father's forgiveness for our frequent mistakes, moments of pride, and 

embarrassing bloopers. God forgives and forgets.  He does not remind us of our faults, but He lets us know that He will make use of us regardless of our human frailty. Whoever believes in Jesus, though they suffer and die, they shall enjoy life "in Him" eternally. Peter suffered the shame of being rebuked by Jesus.  Our father loves us enough to discipline us.  Peter was able to see his human tendency to seek the admiration of man, instead of the grace of God. Peter in a moment of stupor attempted to correct the living Word, Jesus the bridegroom!  Married or single, we are to submit to God.  When we die to ourselves,
we submerge the urge daily to cast stones or speak before we listen for His still small voice of wisdom. Completely dependent upon our Lord Jesus, we obey the Word of God by His grace.  When our peers, our family observe the pure and modest way in which we conduct and interact with respectfully with others, they will rightly perceive our reverence, our genuine honor and esteem for our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our inward adoring of the hidden person of the heart, the Holy Spirit (Who has incorruptible and unfading loyalty to God)  when we recline
into His presence, we are not anxious or fearful of any temptation or any person.  Like when Sarah obeyed Abraham, she willingly followed his guidance and acknowledged his authority over her, she called him her husband, her leader. As we are of Abraham's seed, we are His true daughters and we are not terrified. Men and women are to consider the intelligent design of both man and woman. We honor the woman as physically the weaker, but we acknowledge that both man and woman are joint heirs of the God’s unmerited favor, His grace.  Finally,

men and women are to be of one and the same mind, united in spirit, sympathizing with one another, loving each other as brethren of one household, and be compassionate, humble and courteous.  Never return evil for evil or insult for insult. Scolding, tongue lashing, or destroying the character of another are the ways of the lost. As our Father inhabits the prayers of His chosen, we also likewise inhabit the blessings of God. Let us obey and pray for the welfare, happiness, and protection of

those who persecute us. We have been set apart and equipped to forgive as we have been forgiven. Let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days do the will of our Father, and love others as we are loved by HimJESUS was reviled and insulted, yet He did not revile or offer insult in return; when Jesus was abused and suffered, He made no threats of vengeance; but he trusted Himself and everything to God Who judges fairly.  Jesus offered Himself on the cross, that we might surrender our will to His. Let us cease to seek to satisfy our wants by our selfish, inferior ways.  Let us VALUE what Jesus has done for us and put on His robe of righteousness. Let us boldly declare in faith that "by His wounds I have been healed."  Say outloud, "I am healed of fear, and uncertainty"

I now speak with confidence about who I am to the King of Kings. Jesus Christ is my Lord, and I stand firm in the truth that I am His, and He is mine. Admitting that before we met Jesus on our road to destruction, we were all going astray like so many sheep.  YOU were worth it in the eyes of the Lord, that He would come down from His throne, to be known, to be rejected, to be tortured, to die and then return to pay the price for your sins.  Jesus Christ is worthy to be praised!