Choice & Circumstances

As I read @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Several things stood out… Check it out here (also I’ll put a link at end for the whole plan).

First The Bible verses:

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord , choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”
Joshua 24:15 ESV

http://bible.com/59/jos.24.15.ESV

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

http://bible.com/59/1co.10.13.ESV

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 2:16‭-‬17 ESV

http://bible.com/59/gen.2.16-17.ESV

Then the devoted thoughts: 

God Gives Us Free Will

God gives us the freedom to make choices. 

In giving us that freedom, He is not going to keep us from using it however we want to. 

He will never force us against our wills to go in the directions He wants us to go. 

God gave us the freedom to choose between right and wrong, and if this world seems deeply troubled, it’s because we humans keep making bad choices

Joni Eareckson Tada’s book The God I Love contains the insight that sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves.

Throughout the Bible, it is clear that people have choice:

– If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. (Josh. 24:15)
– Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Prov. 8:10-11)
– Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:17)

Giving us free will was risky on God’s part because we have a tendency to misuse it. 

People have made such horrible moral choices that there was a time in human history when God was sorry He made us. 

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled” (Gen. 6:5-6). 

That’s how big a risk God took in giving us free will: that we would so grossly misuse it that He would regret having put us here.

God can’t be any clearer that He created us with free will and that we can use it however we want, even to our own demise. 

One of author Jim Butcher’s stories contains this insight: 

“God isn’t about making good things happen to you, or bad things happen to you. He’s all about you making choices—exercising the gift of free will.”

Understanding these six aspects of God’s sovereignty can help calm our fears, anxieties, and worries about life on this planet, especially when evil seems to be triumphing over good and we suffer in ways that are undeserved.

Personal note – Here are a few verses I keep in mind also: 

1 Corinthians 6:12 MSG – Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.

1 Corinthians 6:12 MSG

http://bible.com/97/1co.6.12.MSG

Also: 1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT- You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT

http://bible.com/116/1co.10.23.NLT

And: 2 Corinthians 5:16‭-‬21 NIV – So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:16‭-‬21 NIV

http://bible.com/111/2co.5.16-21.NIV

And: 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9‭-‬10 AMP –but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough–always available–regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

2 CORINTHIANS 12:9‭-‬10 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/2co.12.9-10.AMP

For the @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Go to: http://bible.com/r/12S. It real helps clarify who God really is and reveals His true attributes according to His onw word.
For another post I did on this subject (which also features a song by RUSH) go to: A Bigger Moving Picture- Freewill

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The Naked Truth

Thought today… Shame & false guilt.

In the morning as i am trying to wake i also have this overwhelming sense of being so unworthy of God’s love. 

I sometimes don’t think clearly & feel a lack of hope, feel like there is no way God will accept me.

In times like this i shift my mind to God’s word and ask Him to help me see the truth.

If we look back to the very first sacrifice we see how God provides for us, made a way of Salvation for man kind from the start. He desired to have a relationship with humankind & has done everything on His end to keep that relationship.

Adam & Eve ate from the tree that bore the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. After eating it they knew sin. They realized they were naked & felt shame about being naked. God killed an animal to cover their nakedness. The first sacrifice.

When i feel a false sense of guilt i read, focus & meditate (chew on) God’s word to help me realize it’s just the devil talking trash. 

We can so easily believe lies that come to us externally or internally.

This mornings devotional thought helped me fight this false shame…

This is from day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Check it out here:

“Shame on You”

Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, humankind has been coated in shame. God has done all He can to cleanse us of our shame, the greatest expression being Christ’s death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

 No one pays a price that high for something unlovable, unworthy, and undesirable. 

Beyond cleansing our shame by His death on the cross, God made us in His image, adopted us into His royal family, made us spiritually rich, empowered us with His strength, exchanged our old ugly nature for a beautiful one, and included us in His great adventure. 

After doing all that, how could any of us continue to think of God as a shamer?

To overcome the lie that God is a shamer, I suggest the spiritual discipline of confession. 

Scripture challenges us to “confess [our] sins to each other and pray for each other so that [we] may be healed” (James 5:16). If we are not honest with others about the sinful things we do and the character defects we struggle with, Satan has a greater opportunity to keep us in bondage to self-condemnation and shame. 

Richard Foster put it well when he said, “The Disciplines of confession brings an end to pretense. God is calling us into being a Church that can openly confess its frail humanity and know the forgiving and empowering graces of Christ.” 

In counseling, we say, “You are only as sick as your secrets.” 

To overcome shame, we have to quit hiding and covering up

We have to be courageous enough to share our struggles and let the grace and support of others help us heal.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori wrote, “For a good confession three things are necessary: an examination of conscience, sorrow, and a determination to avoid sin.” 

  1. First, we must go before God and allow Him to prod our consciences about the things that require His forgiveness. 
  2. Second, we must experience genuine remorse about having sinned and having hurt the heart of God. 
  3. Third, we must ask God to help us have a strong desire to live holy lives.

God is no shamer. 

He came to set you free from shame, cleanse you with His love and grace, reinstate you into His family, and make you part of His great adventure. No, God is no shamer.”

As i write this post i openly admit, confess, that i struggle with this false shaming & want anyone who might read it to know that if they feel this way too that God is no shamer He is a forgiver.

Here is a verse i have committed to memory and will repeat like a mantra over & over again…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 ESV

http://bible.com/59/1jn.1.9.ESV

Remember God’s word tells us….

 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16 ESV

http://bible.com/59/jas.5.16.ESV

The Proverbs say, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

Proverbs 28:13 ESV

http://bible.com/59/pro.28.13.ESV

This is from day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/12S

God’s Favorite 

As many know I live in St. Augustine, FL. It is more than just a nice name for a city it was actually named after a real person. People still quote St. Augustine to this day. This morning I came across this…Saint Augustine said, 

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

As Christians live in God’s love qnd mature we realize that this is true but all too often I have come across religious groups who act as if they are the only ones that God loves.

Some think that God plays favorites but the truth is He loves all of us the same. He loves the saint as much as He loves the sinner. 

On the cross He pleaded to The Heavenly Father to forgive those who not only didn’t believe but were putting Him to death.

When people quote Saint Augustine saying, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” 

Some may believe that God loves only those who love Him.

That is not what St. Augustine was saying and it us definatly not what God’s word says. 

The history of when foreigners (people from the old world) arrived in the city now called Saint Augustine is very sad, dark & depressing.  We have an amazingly huge cross where they landed & performed the first mass. The sad thing is that it is also the sight where if you didn’t convert to Catholicism you were put to death. The people from the old world considered those already living in what we know as Florida now as foreigners and as they set up shop they demanded allegiance to their king and country. Some how they honestly believed the honorable thing to do was convert or kill. They had the same word of God that we have today but in the name of Jesus Christ and their political leader they literally slaughter anyone who would not convert to their religious beliefs. 

Religious wars exist to this day. How can we claim we are Christ like (Christians) following Christ example and yet not love sinners as He loved them?

The devotional thought I read this morning (http://bible.com/r/12S) reminded me that God’s love is for all humankind—and for each kind of human. 

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 ESV

http://bible.com/59/rom.5.8.ESV

The day I found out that my son died I was reading & studying Romans 8, not even death can seperate us from the love of God. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35‭-‬39 ESV

http://bible.com/59/rom.8.35-39.ESV

May we continually seek the truth about God. Don’t listen to the lies and rumors and what people say about Him. As we read His word and develop a personal relationship with Him the more we will see Him for Who & How He really is, regardless of the assumptions and false religious philosophy.

 I just finished day 1 of the @YouVersion Plan The Lies We Believe About God. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/12S

Remember God love the world (the whole world) so much that He gave His only son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Through It All

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2 NLT

http://bible.com/116/isa.43.2.NLT

Before, during & after God is with us. Note in the verse above God promises, When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 NLT

God loves & cares for us, it is up to us to simply believe & rest in that assurance.

He is more than fire & flood insurance. He is our friend.

Morning Moaning

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord . Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalms 5:3 NLT

http://bible.com/116/psa.5.3.NLT

There is a great book called “Jesus is Calling”, it has also been made into a daily calander. It points out how God’s Word is directed toward the reader in a very personal way. As you read it, it is as if your on the phone with Christ. I gave my oldest daughter, Kyri, the calander and some mornings she will take a pic. of the daily reading & send it to me.

While waiting in Target as my wife shopped I picked up a copy & read one of the days.

The above verse was featured and the conversation around it was God saying how He understands that when we first wake up we can’t even think clearly at first but He is not only there He is already ahead of us & will help us through the day.

The other main verse was Ps.63:1. “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” Psalms 63:1 NLT

http://bible.com/116/psa.63.1.NLT

Imagine if you went without drinking how parched you woukd become. As I rise and start my day I drink in His living water. As I shower I ask God to wash me and make me whiter than the snow. Often I put on worship music and let the song be my prayer. 

There is nothing quite like handing the day we have been given back to God and saying, “I need You daddy!”


Link to book Jesus is Calling by Sara Young

The Ups & Downs (Bipolar Express)

As I read another day of the @YouVersion Plan Overcomer. (Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/150)

This struck home to me…

Enthusiasm gets its roots from the Greek language as en theos, meaning “in God, being possessed by God, or even being filled with God’s Spirit.” 

Remember David and Goliath? Like most giants, apathy tries to make you and your God feel tiny. But you know what God called David? He called him a man after His own heart. Essentially, a man with real enthusiasm. An overcomer. So, if you’re overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, don’t give up. Come close to God. Trust Him because He is close to you, and He loves to topple giants. (Taken from day 4 of the @YouVersion Plan Overcomer. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/150)

1 stone, 1 Throw, 1 dead giant!

David was just a young boy at the time this confrontation with the giant occurred, and yet, he had more enthusiasm than his older brothers or any other full grown man there. The thought occured that maybe it was because he was young. As we look at David’s life we see that as he grew up he faced temptations common to many adults and he gave in to those temptations & failed miserably. Then one sin, one lie, led to another lie and that lead him not only into adultry but even into murder (a contract killing) as he gave the order for Bathsheba’s husband to be sent to the front lines of battle.

As we look at David’s life, the big picture, we see that he always kept coming back to The Lord. He always repented and truly was a man after God’s own heart, regardless of how far he would fall away.

As we stunble around in life in this day & age we have a few things David did not have. We live in a time period after Christ has come. Not inly that but we have more to His Word than just the first 5 books of the old testament and above all else we have His Holy Spirit. Ultimately, we need nothing else.

As I face the ups & down my life brings (physical, chemically, mentally & spiritually) I realize a bit more each day that the only way to overcome is with Enthusiasm  (en theos, meaning “in God, being possessed by God, or even being filled with God’s Spirit”).

 ~~~~~The Extras~~~~~

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”

James 4:7‭-‬8 NLT

http://bible.com/116/jas.4.7-8.NLT

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”

Psalms 34:17‭-‬19 NLT

http://bible.com/116/psa.34.17-19.NLT

“Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord ’s battle, and he will give you to us!” As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.”

1 Samuel 17:41‭-‬49 NLT

http://bible.com/116/1sa.17.41-49.NLT

Check out the @YouVersion Plan Overcomer at: http://bible.com/r/150

Optomistic Optometrist

Overcoming Comparison – from day 3 of the @YouVersion Plan “Overcomer.”

Yesterday we talked about how comparing opposites can help us see what’s what. 

Remember how we’re more than overcomers and our opposite, the undertaker, doesn’t stand a chance? 

Well, the usefulness of making comparisons ends there. 

Here’s why. To compare, you have to look down, left, right, or across. But God is asking us to keep our eyes up, on Him, on the path set before us. 

We’re overcomers. To win this race, to not grow weary, we need our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. 

Not the house across the street, not her Instagram likes, not his new job, not how fast their kid learned to talk, not her body, not his grades, not the left, not the right … Jesus. 

Ask: After you read today’s Scriptures, ask yourself these questions. 

  • How well can I describe the lives of the people I know? 
  • How well can I describe what Jesus is doing in my life? 
  • Which do I think is getting more of my attention? 
  • Then, talk with Jesus about your answer.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. 

Because of the joy awaiting him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. 

Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. Hebrews 12:1‭-‬3 NLT

http://bible.com/116/heb.12.1-3.NLT

Personal Note- When speaking with someone recently I was reminded that Jesus adked people to believe in Him & told them about the living water & eternal life, abundant life, as a result of believing in Him, however He also loved & forgave those who not only didn’t believe but thise who put him to death. He loved them regardless! Have you ever seen a love this strong? He didn’t force religion on them He said, “I love you & I want you to loce me and even if you don’t & you hate me to the point of killing me…while up on the cross you will hear me cry, ‘Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing’.” That is documented in His Word for all of us to read, believe & apply the same type love toward others.

The Proverbs tell us,

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. Proverbs 4:25‭-‬27 NLT

http://bible.com/116/pro.4.25-27.NLT

This is from day 3 of the @YouVersion Plan “Overcomer” Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/150

Jesus will fix our eyes as we fix our eyes on Him.

Jesus Talks About The Kingdom of God

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:33 NLT

http://bible.com/116/mat.6.33.NLT

Jesus tells us about what God’s Kingdom is like. He even taught us to pray, “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 NLT

He explains, ““Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19‭-‬21 NLT

Jesus spoke face to face with people around Him about how He is preparing a better place (John 14) and here in Matt. 6 His teaching is recorded for us to get a better understanding that even while on the earth we can put our focus on things above us. 

He said, “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.  But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,  yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:22‭-‬34 NLT

When I started looking at these verses I was going to give examples of what Jesus taught about The Kingdom of Heaven (the afterlife) but I quickly realized He wants us to be part of His Kingdom here & now. He desires for us to have His mind set & live under His Lordship here & now, not just look forward to the afterlife.

I remember when I personally realized the only way for me to be part of His Kingdom was to not just say, “Jesus is Lord”, but to ask for Him to come into my life and be part of my everyday living. 

When His Spirit comes in & posses us, then we are truly changed, rearranged and life takes on a different meaning.

 He always put His teaching into layman’s terms so the average, everyday person could understand…here is an examples: 

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?  How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. Matthew 7:1‭-‬6 NLT

When I was working at a community center gym the kids would come in after school and as kids sometimes do they’d bicker & pick on each other. In the process I heard the perfect modern day example of someone judging others…I may have given this example before but it fits & applies here perfectly….

One kid was making fun of another kid for having a cracked cell phone screen. I asked the boys if I could look at both of their phones for a second. They hesitated but as I suspected both screens were cracked & the screen of the boy making fun of the other boy was even worse, perfect example of pointing out the speck in someone elses eye with a log in your own.

Believers, we have to remember that we are not the judge, Christ is. As we live here on earth, with our citizenship in Heaven, we are to keep our focus on things above, on Christ & let Him develop His attitudes in us (the mind of Christ), yet keeping in mind that He is the judge, we are mearly servants.

Jesus makes this very clear…“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.  But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. 

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act

Note here: Recently I was speaking with a guy from the U.K. We were talking about cultural differences, as well as, different Churches and denominations. Christ said, “You can identify them (false prophes -wolves & true disciples -sheep) by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.”…not by the denomination they are affiliated with or their nationality.

Jesus goes on explaining & teaching.

“Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.  A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 

 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 

 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ 

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.  Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.

  But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.  When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” 

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law. Matthew 7:12‭-‬29 NLT

Amen


I am Going On A Cruise

I’ve scheduled several blog post to be published while I am away but i am not sure if they will go through with my phone being completely off and no cell or internet service.

We lock our phones in the safe. We unplug. We shut down and in doing that we reboot. 

Too many times the feeling that we must all get as much as possible done can be overwhelming.

What a blessing to have some modern technology that allows us to seemingly get things done even when we are not around. WHAT?! Yeah, think about it…like how I scheduled the publication of my blog post while I am away….also we put our lights on a timmer so they turn on & off when we are not even home to do it. 

The thought came to my mind of how some things I’ve written can be read even after I am long gone. 

My son died over a year ago but I still read what he wrote, look at pictures and even watch video’s he made on his youtube & blog (Pressing Words Youtube Channel) (Pressing Word blog)

 I did a post with some verses from Ephesians 2. In this post I’m looking at Eph. 2 again…And you [He, CHRIST, made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, in which you once walked. 

You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. 

Among these [unbelievers] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. 

We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind]. But God, being [so very] rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us, even when we were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of our sins, He made us [spiritually] alive together with Christ (for by His grace–His undeserved favor and mercy–you have been saved from God’s judgment). 

Note: Grace = giving us what we don’t deserve. Mercy = not giving us what we do deserve.-

And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus, 

[and He did this] 

so that in the ages to come He might [clearly] show the immeasurable and unsurpassed riches of His grace in [His] kindness toward us in Christ Jesus [by providing for our redemption]. 

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. 

And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. 

For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above–spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].

EPHESIANS 2:1‭-‬10 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/eph.2.1-10.AMP

I have to remind my self every morning, and throughout the day, of all this.

The negativity in my own mind has to be refreshed by God constantly…why? Because i am human. 

Believing & accepting Christ as savior is not a “one time stop & shop” thing or a trip that you go on once and then it ends. Retreats are great and much needed but when they are over it’s then back to real life & too often we may find ourselves going back to living like you always have, without the mind of Christ.

Accepting Christ as Lord is only the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

On His end this relationship is a guarantee. On our end, it is a matter of development, growth & being faithful. 

No matter where you go God is there. He is with you.

You, Go with God.