Important Guidelines for Life Part 4

Mind Your Behavior: To put it simply…behavior is how we conduct ourselves around others as well as when were alone and believe no one is watching!

However…God our Heavenly Father sees all and knows our motives – whether good or bad! When we have asked Jesus Messiah- Yeshua Ha Mashiach into our lives, through our faith and trust we can change our behavior to please God. Mark 9:23  Then Jesus said to him, “‘If You can’? Everything is possible to the one who believes.”

The Bible…the Word is full of instruction as to how we are supposed to behave toward one another and toward God and how we will behave when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. The Bible often speaks of our lives producing fruit. Sometimes, we make it more difficult than it needs to be…some think that fruit and works are the same, but from my study, I believe that works are the natural outcome of the fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT that propels our lives after we have repented, believed and asked Jesus into our lives.

Galations 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Love:God loves us relentlessly or He wouldn’t have allowed His SON to sacrifice His life to cover our sins. God loves us so much that He’s given us the gift of mercy which none of us deserve! He’s given us the gift of Eternal life when we believe and trust in His Son Jesus!

John 15:12-13 This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.

Joy: When the Holy Spirit enters into you, you will experience everlasting Joy! We will rejoice in Scripture, we will rejoice that we are alive! We will rejoice in the Love that the Father has shown us.

Sometimes, we foolishly connect our joy to the things of this world such as new car, new house, new, new, new… When we do this, we’re treading upon the true gift of Joy which is to be found in Jesus, our Savior!

Psalm 16:11 You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant JOY; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

Peace: I’m not referring to peace such as a treaty to avoid war. When we believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and that’s when for the first time, we become “WHOLE” or “COMPLETE”; this state naturally brings PEACE into our being.

Jesus told the disciples in advance of the gift of the Holy Spirit that they would receive after He would go to the Father:

John 14:27  “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.

Patience: God has been patient with man since Noah disembarked from the Ark. Another of His gifts that we truly don’t deserve. To think that His patience humbled Himself to actually serve and die for us! Yet as humans, we have very little patience for our fellowman; we become easily angered and intolerant of one another.

Patience is maybe one of the most difficult for us to allow the Holy Spirit’s work in us…because we are human, we allow the flesh to dictate to us when we should be listening to the Spirit.

1 Timothy 1:16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

So the next time that you’re feeling impatient with someone, stop, take a deep breath and think about your life and how Jesus has saved you by His extraordinary patience!

Kindness: We don’t have to look any farther than Jesus – Yeshua to see the embodiment of kindness! He was selfless because He came to serve mankind. He was compassionate and when Lazarus died, he cried tears for the pain the family and friends were experiencing. He was merciful when they were about to stone the prostitute when he told them that he without sin should cast the first stone.

Ephesians 4:31-32 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Goodness: Goodness is Godliness and as Jesus told us only God is Good!

Luke 18:19 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God.

Jesus wouldn’t allow himself to be called good!

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.

So when something good occurs in your life or of someone close to you…remember the following Scripture:

Faith: The Biblical definition is belief, firm persuasion, assurance, firm conviction, faithfulness. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and the assurance that the Lord is working, even though we cannot see it. Faith knows that no matter what the situation, in our lives or someone else’s that the Lord is working in it.

We have all had times in our lives when our faith wavered…the loss of a job, the discordance of family, the death of a loved one…these amongst many others are can be faith shaking. Unfortunately, there are some who never recover their faith. No matter what happens in our lives, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus! Don’t lose our focus because when we do, Satan, the roaring lion is poised for attack. So no matter what happens…hang on to your faith and you will be rewarded.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses.

Gentleness: The easiest way to describe gentleness is to tell you “what it isn’t”. Gentleness is NOT obstinate, hateful, harsh, unfriendly, unpleasant, thoughtless or insensitive!

Matthew 5:5 The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 11:29-30 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Self Control: The first step to self control is your full surrender to God, our Heavenly Father! The secular world looks at self control as something that we can accomplish by physical and mental self-mastery. However, unless we have God, we are flesh driven and of the world: perpetuated by money/greed, lust, food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, sports…on and on it goes. Sadly, these are all “heart” issues. Until you give your heart fully and unconditionally to God, you will suffer from these worldly ailments. But if you have faith and trust in Jesus and study the Scriptures the temptation to follow your flesh and live in the world will fade.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

When God brought judgement upon the world during the time of Noah, He was sorry that He’d made man… Then about 2000 years ago, He sent His Son to Save us from our wickedness which is sin and death with is the wages of sin!

John 3:16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Love & Kindness

I didn’t write this, but when I read it, my heart said to share it with YOU!

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. ‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’ ‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’ ‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.. ‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’. We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.

The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. ‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse. ‘Nothing,’ I said ‘You have to make a living,’ she answered. ‘There are other passengers,’ I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life.. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift.

I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

Thank you, my friend… Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

Robert Nauck Sr.

Let’s NOT Soft-Peddle HELL!!!

Our beliefs of HELL have changed in the last century or so…not because God has changed, but because man wants to live the way he wants to live and because we have focused on GOD is LOVE! YES, HE is LOVE it says so all throughout the Bible and is especially emphasized when the Apostle Paul speaks to the Corinthians. But don’t neglect the fact that GOD is JUST and He hates SIN!!!

1 Corinthians 13 If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited,does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put aside childish things. 12 For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. 13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Scriptures from the HCSB – Holman Christian Standard Bible

Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Hebrew Name of Jesus) has given us everything we need to know HIM through HIS written WORD, the Bible, He also makes it perfectly clear about what HE expects of HIS children.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

HE wrote the Bible, both the Old & New Testaments – it says in

John 1:14 HE is the WORD made flesh. Do we just pick out of the Bible the verses that make us feel good about ourselves? He’s given us the entire Bible for instruction. It’s not just a story book, it’s not just a history book, it’s a book about relationships…it’s about how God wants His people to know Him and to live for Him. It’s about obedience and YES! It’s about HIS LOVE! He didn’t have to make man and He could destroy us all in a heartbeat! But he designed and chose us to LOVE us and for us to LOVE HIM!

YES! GOD is LOVE, but HE is also JUST!

That being said, He’s made it perfectly clear there’s a HELL! EVERY man on earth hasn’t measured up to GOD’s moral standards…ME included. I’m not speaking to you from a throne of my righteousness as the only righteousness I have is the Blood of Christ shed on the Cross. But that being said, I do have an obligation to point out to my fellow human beings that I LOVE that God is not only LOVE, but he’s also JUST! No one will get a cruel decision at GOD’S judgement seat…

Galations 6: 7-8 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

Jesus talks more in the New Testament about Hell (Hades, Gehenna, Sheol, Death) than anyplace in the Old Testament.

Matthew 5:22 when Jesus – Yeshua warns “whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell [gehēnna] of fire.” Yes, hell is “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” Matthew 25:41, but also for those who join them in their rebellion against God Matthew 11:20-24. The horror of hell is such that Jesus says, “if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire” Mark 9:43. For those who do not enter the narrow door of faith and repentance in Jesus Luke 13:24, a place of weeping and gnashing teeth awaits them Luke 13:28.

Luke 16:19-31 “There was a rich man who would dress in purple and fine linen, feasting lavishly every day. 20 But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was left at his gate. 21 He longed to be filled with what fell from the rich man’s table, but instead the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 One day the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torment in Hades, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off, with Lazarus at his side. 24 ‘Father Abraham!’ he called out, ‘Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this flame!’25 “‘Son,’ Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.’ 27 “‘Father,’ he said, ‘then I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28 because I have five brothers—to warn them, so they won’t also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”

Jesus talks about HELL as a place of torment…it’s a real place, it’s not just a synonym of the name given to the Valley Hinnom near Jerusalem. The Valley of Hinnom is where the Pagan’s and misguided Jews sacrificed the babies/children to their God Moloch and later became the garbage dump of Jerusalem where pungent smoke rose day after day with the burning… Hell is where those who don’t believe in and don’t have faith and trust in Yeshua will reside for eternity!

So Let’s not design our own Jesus or our own SALVATION! God has a plan and no matter how we as Christians have decided to modify it, customize it and make it to fit our lives! No matter how as a nation of people we become tolerant of other religions, other lifestyles, the acceptable names we put on murder (abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia), I believe God will judge our entire nation including those of us who sit in silence with our hands folded upon the Bible that lay in our laps. If we are not following HIS great commission of spreading HIS Gospel of SALVATION, we are setting ourselves up for a fall…a fall from the GRACE of GOD!

Ephesians 5:11 11 Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.

In the book of John 16:8-13, Jesus says that he will send us the Holy Spirit…When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. 12 “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.

When the Holy Spirit enters into believers, the spirit enables us to Glorify God in everything we do, everything we think…our conscious is pricked when we see mistreatment of our fellow man, of defenseless women and children.

Romans 2:15 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts will either accuse or excuse them

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Titus 1:15 15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.

His plan will go according to what He chooses. He’s made it perfectly clear in the Bible what he considers to be detestable & abominable to HIM…He’s also given us the way out through the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross, first we believe, then we repent and finally we obey Him because we Love HIM. That doesn’t mean that we can continue in our sins – God Forbid!!! The Bible says that when we sin in the church, the church is supposed to bring it to the attention of the sinner and not let them back in until they’ve turned away from their sins. If you’re being silent when you see your fellowman do things that in your heart of hearts you know are unpleasing to God…what are you doing? Why would you not speak out?

When we become Christians, our desire is to reflect Jesus to the world. To become more like HIM in everything we think and do, the way we feel, the way we talk and treat others. Jesus made it clear that we are to LOVE God with all our hears and minds and to LOVE one another, but allowing one another to continue in sin without saying anything to them is only insuring their place in HELL! Why would we do that to our fellow man if we truly Love HIM? Telling someone that they are wrong and that they need to know God and follow the ways of Jesus isn’t the same as not loving them. It’s because we LOVE them that we speak up! It’s because we don’t want them to commit spiritual suicide…it’s because we want them to know the joy of having a relationship with our Father who art in Heaven!

God has made a place for those who follow Him and He’s also made a place for those who follow Satan. Why would Jesus tell us?

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. Destruction means HELL, it doesn’t mean eternal life with Jesus and our Father in Heaven. Wide is the path refers to all the choices in this world that will lead you away for Jesus. Few refers to numbers…

The forces of evil are all around us, this is why were are told in

Ephesians 6:10-20 to put on the Armor of GOD!

10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore,

with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
15 and your feet sandaled with readiness
for the gospel of peace.
16 In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.

18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. 20 For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

Isaiah 30:10 They say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets,
“Do not prophesy the truth to us. Tell us flattering things. Prophesy illusions.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.

Four Books Written by the Apostle John

Of the 66 books that are in the Bible, the Books of John are my favorite to read as they share what we need to know about our Savior, especially if you’re a new Christian. I’m posting this blog today for a new and dear friend. Blessings in Christ to anyone who listens to the Word of our Heavenly Father. I pray that the Holy spirit guides you as you listen to the Word.

I have not included the Book of Revelation which was also written by the Apostle John, because if your a new Christian you need to start out slow with milk and the Revelation is meat. There’s more than one reason why it’s the last book of the New Testament of the Holy Bible. You will need to read and understand the rest of the Bible before you are ready to read and understand the Revelation of John.

Climate Change?

I’m Not Talking about the Weather!

The climate change I’m talking about is the prevailing trend of public opinion or of another aspect of public life. I’m talking about the fact that because of Covid, the prevailing trend has been to use it as an excuse to wield an iron fist when it comes to church gatherings of any kind…even funerals! Now that there’s been a change in the climate of politics, especially in the USA, it’s okay to say on the news that Christians are a threat! No one blinks, except we followers of Jesus – Yeshua gasp! We must realize that we can no longer be “fair weather Christians”! We have to stand up to the storm that’s will soon be raging around us.

It hasn’t been that many years ago that the USA and Canada were considered to be Christian nations, we were in tune with doing our best to live according to the Word of God. Now everything we learned as right and wrong is being impugned by those who don’t want to admit or acknowledge that someday they will have to answer to a higher calling. Morality is dying in our nation – and the world – as we become swept away by a tsunami of sinful behaviors; and as we accept them in the church, we contribute to the decline. When we stand against these behaviors, we as Christians are labeled as a force of evil. God will judge the world, and those who refuse to hear and accept His truth will be forced to face His wrath.

So, we must face it! As Christians, we are facing a society that considers us a threat! So now we’re in the same classification as a weather pattern such as a hurricane or a tornado…a person or thing likely to cause damage or danger. The big difference here is that there’s not much we can do to stop the threat of a hurricane or a tornado, but there’s much that can be done by society and governments to stop the threat of a Christian.

There are many countries in the world, that “the powers that be” go so far as to imprison pastors, make it illegal to own a Bible or to gather together to worship our Heavenly Father. I just read a book named “Tortured for Christ” written by Rev. Richard Wurmbrand. His commitment to Christ and the Gospel as well as the Salvation of his fellow man is beyond anything that we in the “so called” free world can imagine. Jesus – Yeshua warns us:

Matthew 24:9 “Then they will hand you over to persecution and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of My name.

Now…back to “fair weather Christians”…it can also be referred to as lukewarm as Yeshua speaks to the church in Laodicea :

Revelation 3:14-19 To the angel of Messiah’s community in Laodicea write: “Thus says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Originator of God’s creation: 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. Oh, that you were either cold or hot! 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked. 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may dress yourself and so the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore, be zealous and repent.

There are so many churches in free countries today who don’t or won’t heed the warnings to the 7 churches in Revelation. I’ve heard it said that they don’t apply to today. I believe that there’s not one jot or tittle written in the Bible that doesn’t apply to yesterday and today and forever! Paul tells us that it’s all there for our learning. When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit affirms it.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.

Now that we’ve talked about “fair weather Christians”, we need to address the current trend toward being a “foul weather Christian”. Do you live your life in the world until a storm brews and blows you to your knees? Now you turn to God when only yesterday, you turned to the wiles of the world! You turn to God because you lose your job or your retirement portfolio loses money. You turn to God because you or someone you love becomes sick. You turn to God when life isn’t going according to YOUR plan! Now I’m not saying that it’s not good to turn to God at these times, what I’m saying is how long will your faith and trust last? Til the storm subsides? Then back to your old ways…back to living in the world! Paul gives us a lot of instruction about our relationship with the world:

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Now back to the weather… have you looked yourself straight in the eye and told yourself that you’re prepared for the attack that is coming? Have you put on the full Armor of God so you can stand against the storm?

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/06/01/spiritual-warfare/

Are You a Sinner?

Just in case you didn’t know…we are ALL sinners!

Do you believe that sitting in church on Sunday or Saturday or any time of the day or night is saving you from your sin? Then think again…sitting in the pews will not save you from your sin! Why are you there? Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying if you’re a sinner that you shouldn’t go to church , if that were the case then all the church buildings in the world would be empty! REMEMBER! WE ARE ALL SINNERS!

Maybe you’re thinking that whatever they have will rub off on you? Well maybe, some of it could, especially if you’re honestly searching for the “TRUTH”! Jesus – Yeshua is the way the TRUTH and the life, so hopefully, the church that you decide to attend is based on the Bible; the WORD of GOD! Cause if you’re there to find a way to get rich, or to become somehow enlightened in the realm of the unknown or to become united with the universe, you’re in the wrong place! If you’re in a church that is teaching eternal Salvation through the Blood of Christ – Jesus- Yeshua, then you’ve struck “gold” and with time, learning and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you’ll have found a place to call home on this earth that will help to prepare you for a future in the “Kingdom of God”.

Now I have to ask…are you going to church out of habit? Ahhh…it’s Sunday Morning and this is what you do on Sunday morning. You’ve been getting up and going to church since you were a child. Besides, you just got a new hat or a new necktie that you want everyone to see. Or maybe, you’re going to church because there’s nothing better to do…it’s raining and the fish aren’t biting! Oh Yeah! Jesus – Yeshua was a “fisher of men”, so maybe you feel HIM calling you and you don’t know how to answer, so going to church is a starting point.

Then are there times when you’re sitting in the pews and you look around and feel like you’re not fitting in? You’re surrounded by a congregation of elderly folks…lots of widows. There may be a few families and a spattering of younger people. The music isn’t quite what you signed up for, maybe the hymns are too long of the praise music is too loud or ….on and on it goes…you feel like you’re grasping at the question: why am I here? Do you look around and wonder are they truly happy? If not, why aren’t they happy? Is sitting in church just not fulfilling to you and you can’t seem to figure out how to fill the void of emptiness? Does the Sermon end with you asking more questions than it answered?

When you read in the Bible that it says “FEAR GOD” do you tremble? The Apostle Paul actually tells us that we should tremble at the POWER and the GLORY of our “Father in Heaven”. Maybe when you think about your sin, you’re afraid that you’re not forgiven, and because of this fear you’re not at peace?

You might be surprised to learn that Jesus – Yeshua asked questions too…not quite the same questions you are asking, but HIS questions were to wake us up so that we don’t sit in the pews and wonder why we are there.

Scriptures from the TLV ~ Tree of Live Version of the Bible

Could it be that you’re expecting more from the building, the preacher and the congregation than they are capable of giving? Now’s when you face yourself and ask yourself all the hard questions? Who is Jesus Messiah – Yeshua HaMashiach? One of the first questions Jesus – Yeshua asked his disciples is “Who do you say I am?” Jesus poses the question in 3 books of the Gospel. It must have been very intense questioning for Matthew, Mark and Luke to remember it and then to write it down.

Matthew 16:13-16 When Yeshua came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They answered, “Some say John the Immerser, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” 15 He said, “But who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Mark 8:27-29 Now Yeshua and His disciples went out to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told Him, “John the Immerser; and others Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29 Then He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered Him, “You are the Messiah!”

Luke 9:18-20 Once when Yeshua was praying alone and His disciples were near, He put a question to them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They replied, “John the Immerser, but others Elijah, and others that some prophet from among the ancients has arisen.” 20 Then He said to them, “But who do you that say I am?” Then Peter answered and said, “The Messiah of God.”

Peter’s answer was the one that Jesus was looking for at that moment, however, throughout the Scriptures, we soon learn that Jesus – Yeshua is ALL – Everything! HE is in the FATHER and the FATHER IS IN HIM!

If you don’t know exactly who Jesus – Yeshua is, then you will always have more questions than answers. There’s only one way to get the answers and that’s to not only read, but study your Bible! Everything you need to know from the beginning to the end of time is written down for us. There’s Love and War, there’s Love and Hate, theirs Love of money and the price people pay for greed. There’s Love between men and women and their children. There’s poetry, songs, guidance, and prophecy. There’s pain, loss and despair. There’s miracles and the supernatural. There’s so many facets of the Bible that once you’ve picked it up, you don’t want to put it down and then when you finally find yourself reading the Gospels and the “New Testament”, all of the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Suddenly your recognize that the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed and the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed! You will soon learn that from the very first words of the Book of Genesis, Heavenly Father gives us the WORD (HIS SON JESUS – YESHUA) to tell us what He has is store for those who believe in HIS SON, who came to this world to save us from our sins by dying a horrible death on the cross and to rise again on the 3rd day to eternal life. If you repent from your sin and believe he died for you and then you are baptized the Holy Spirit will come to live in you and YOU WILL BE CHANGED.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This is why we sinners sit together in church on Sunday or Saturday or any day of the week! This is where we go to share our faith and to gain strength from one another. This is how we become the body of the Christ – Jesus – Yeshua. This is where we begin to find the direction that Heavenly Father wants to lead us in, whether we become evangelists, teachers, preachers, etc…as followers of Christ, we take the first steps of honoring Yeshua by becoming HIS disciples. This is where we go when we are truly caught in the net of the one and only FISHER of MAN!

Matthew 4:19  And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

7 Real Examples That Prove Hollywood Hates God

Now that the Covid restrictions are being lifted, are you full of anticipation to head to the theater to see the next big blockbuster movie?

If you really care about your personal walk with God and fear what your children are exposed to in this world and especially the world portrayed by Hollywood, I suggest you take the time to read this article and rethink your relationship with the movies. If nothing else, this time of hiddenness from the world should have given you the opportunity to reassess your life and your commitment to Heavenly Father and to allow the Holy Spirit to work in you and for you to become more like Jesus Messiah – Yeshua HaMashiach.

When you’re watching a movie, you need to ask yourself this question, is this a movie that I would invite Jesus to sit and watch with me? Would He grab a bag of popcorn and get excited or laugh at the scenes that are on the screen or would He cry in despair at the pain, the sex, the hate, the language, the foolishness and the hideousness of what we, so called, Christians are entertained by?

I used to watch thriller movies and would feel joyful when the bad guy or gal was caught and punished…then it dawned on me that I was being entertained by death, hate and feeling elation when the perpetrator was paying for the crime committed. When the realization hit me that I was getting enjoyment from the entire scenario, I was done with Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and many other “so called” harmless fiction portrayals of the murder mystery. I realized that this sort of entertainment hurt my relationship with my Lord and Savior.

As Christians, if we are to be entertained by movies, we need to search out movies that portray selfless love and compassion for our fellow man; movies that use the principles taught in the Holy Word of God. We need to stay away from movies that portray greed, lust and hate, etc. The exposure to this type of entertainment can only cause a tear in your relationship with our Heavenly Father.

MOVIE CAPITOL of the WORLD!

I very seldom blog articles written by other Christians, but today I was led to this article written by Ray Comfort of livingwaters.com

May 25, 2021 Ray Comfort Founder & CEO, Living Waters

After the Columbine school massacre of thirteen people, Leonardo DiCaprio solemnly vowed never to star in another violent movie. Just after the violent murders, the U.K. Mirror reported:

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has renounced violent films after one of his early movies was linked to the Columbine school massacre. The actor has told aides he no longer wants to be considered for parts in any productions featuring death and destruction. The ‘Titanic’ star has been caught up in the wave of revulsion sweeping America after the slaughter of 12 pupils and a teacher at the school in the Denver suburb of Littleton. In the 1995 drama ‘The Basketball Diaries,’ DiCaprio played a teenage heroin addict who gunned down his teacher and classmates. His twisted screen character wore a full-length trench coat—just like those worn by Trenchcoat Mafia murderers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who carried out the classroom killings two weeks ago. The parents of three pupils shot dead in 1997 in a school in Kentucky have already sued the makers of ‘The Basketball Diaries’ for $100 million. The families of the 13 Columbine victims are expected to follow suit, insisting the film inspired teenage misfits Harris and Klebold to mount their terrible attack. Worried British video distributors had the entire classroom killing sequence cut from the film rather than risk sparking copycat murders in the U.K.1

Susan Sarandon warned:

Movies are important; and they’re dangerous because we’re the keepers of the dreams. You go into a little dark room and become incredibly vulnerable. On the one hand, all your perspectives can be challenged. You can feel something you couldn’t feel normally. [They] can encourage you to be the protagonist in your own life. On the other hand, [they] can completely misshape you.2

So why then hasn’t Hollywood stopped making violent movies? Director Francis Ford Coppola reveals why:

I made the most vulgar, entertaining, actionful, sense-a-ramic, give them a thrill every five minutes, sex, violence, humor, because I want people to come see it.3

After Columbine, Hollywood didn’t change its agenda of violence, even in the face of these massive lawsuits. It has the world’s best lawyers and the money to defend itself. It knows that we are vulnerable, but it also knows that we will pay up at the box office.

The Effects of Hollywood

Fans shape their bodies and souls to be like those whom they love. They want to talk like them, dress like them, look like them, and some will even kill like them. The little girl who imitates the way Britney Spears looks, dresses, and sings really does think Britney is like her on-screen image. She and millions of others don’t separate the image from the real person. It’s a mystery to them why their idol divorces her husband, puts herself into a treatment center, and shaves her head.

An actor can even have a mesmerizing influence over much of their adoring public. The fans have faith in their idol; they believe what is said about God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible. If the actor says that he protects his kids from the Bible or that he hates God, they don’t separate the idol from the actor.

Hollywood vs. Christianity

Look at these few examples (among many) of Hollywood’s distain for the God of the Bible:

In The Mosquito Coast,4 starring Harrison Ford and River Phoenix, a weirdo calling people “brother” passes Harrison Ford and some kids a Bible, and he says, “There you are. I’ve got a gift for you. It’s the latest—The Blue Jeans Bible.” Harrison Ford takes it and says, “Look at this, kids. It’s just what I’ve been warning you about.”5

“Hollywood is fostering a growing hostility toward Christians and influencing an entire generation.” Share on twitter Share on facebook

In Dogma,6 a comedy starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the comedy gets a little serious when Matt Damon says:

Now the carpenter, which is an obvious reference to Jesus Christ, who was raised a carpenter’s son, he represents the Western religions…. Organized religion destroys who we are by inhibiting our actions…by inhibiting our decisions, out of, out of fear of some, some intangible parent figure who, who shakes a finger at us from thousands of years ago and says, and says, “Do it. Do it, and I’ll f—–’ spank you.”7

Robin Williams in Patch Adams looks to the heavens and says:

You created man. Man suffers enormous amounts of pain. Man dies. Maybe you should have had a few more brainstorming sessions prior to creation. You rested on the seventh day. Maybe you should’ve spent that day on compassion. You know what? You are not worth it.

In The Simpsons,8 one of the kids is asked to thank God for a meal. He says, “Dear God. We paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothin’.”

Hollywood is fostering a growing hostility toward Christians and influencing an entire generation. See if you can spot the common thread running through modern movies:

  • George Clooney9 asks a man in a cheap suit (with a large patch over one eye), “What kind of work do you do?” The man enthusiastically answers, “Sales, Mr. McGill, sales! And what do I sell? The truth, every blessed word of it—Genesis right on down to Revelation. That’s right, the Word of God, which, let me tell you, there is d-mn good money in during times of woe and want.”
  • A devious-looking weirdo dressed in white—with long blond hair and a large cross around his neck—is preaching on a sidewalk. A sane-looking and mystified Jodi Foster slowly walks by and looks at him as he chants a slow and horrible-sounding “Praise God, praise the Lord, praise God.” Like a salivating wolf, the weirdo then drips with lust as he looks at her.

Michael Medved, film critic and author of Hollywood vs. America, said:

But the attitude you have from Hollywood—where every time someone in today’s world is portrayed as some kind of religious believer, that person is viewed as some kind of a crook, or deviant, or weirdo, or an ugly person, or something is wrong with him or her—it’s poisonous.10

Reality Check

We cannot deny the strong influence that Hollywood has had on us as a culture and as individuals. Hollywood is a powerhouse that doesn’t just influence how we view the world around us but also how we function within it.

As Wheel of Fortune’s host, Pat Sajak,11 who has been working in Hollywood for more than thirty years, said:

To quote Mr. [Rob] Reiner,12 “Movies are basically advertising cigarettes to kids.” No knock on Rob. In fact, I agree with him. But why is smoking open to censorship and not these other issues? And what happened to Hollywood’s argument that movies and TV shows don’t cause bad behavior, they just reflect it?….The answer is, there is no answer. It’s just Hollywood being Hollywood. It’s monumental hypocrisy. Kids can’t pick up bad habits from what they watch…oh, except for smoking.

Footnotes:

  1. Actor’s pledge after Columbine killings
  2. https://www.quotes.net/mquote/1084189
  3. http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0108/apocalypse.htm
  4. Nominated for 2 Golden Globes.
  5. http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/m/mosquito-coast-script-transcript-ford.html
  6. Six nominations, including “Independent Spirit Award.”
  7. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120655/
  8. The Simpsons is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Network. Thank God, It’s Doomsday typifies the screenwriter’s message. God is the almighty ruler of the Universe. He once attempted to flood Springfield (the Simpsons’ hometown) but was stopped when Reverend Lovejoy showed that God was the path to good. He also once chose to end the world. This time, he was stopped by Homer Simpson, who requested him to turn back time and leave the apocalypse off for a few years. God has two aides, Colonel Sanders and Buddha, although he is seen with Jesus in Heaven.
  9. For George Clooney’s beliefs, see What Hollywood Believes by Ray Comfort
  10. Hollywood Unmasked—www.Goodfight.org
  11. Host of Wheel of Fortune, television production company owner, radio station owner (Annapolis, MD), music publisher, board member of the American Cinema Foundation
  12. As the son of multi-talented comedic genius Carl Reiner (Your Show of Shows), Rob Reiner instantly outgrew his father’s legacy to establish himself as an independent force in multiple facets of the entertainment industry.

Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters and the bestselling author of more than 90 books, including God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life, How to Know God Exists, and The Evidence Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program Way of the Master, airing in every country in the world, and is an Executive Producer of “180,” “Evolution vs. God,” “Audacity,” and other films. He is married to Sue and has three grown children, and hasn’t left the house without gospel tracts for decades.

Important Guidelines for Life Part 3

Reflecting the Image of our Creator:

Mind Your Temper: Everyone has become angry at one time or another, it’s a natural human emotion. Do you blow up over the smallest of incidents? Instead of allowing yourself to feel grief, fear or pain, instead you feel anger? Do you wake up in the morning and you’re already angry?

Before I get deep into the scriptures, I want to remind you that there’s such a thing as righteous anger, such as the time when Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers and animal sellers who were defiling the Temple of God.

 Matthew 21:12-13 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

One of God’s attributes is that He’s slow to anger:

Psalm 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/13/knowing-god-and-obeying-the-gospel-pt-1/

However, I’m not going to address righteous anger until a future blog article. Of course, anger in itself it no sin, it’s the results of the uncontrolled reaction that I’m talking about – that destructive Satanic force that once it’s been unleashed, it can lead us to sin and woefully, it’s the destroyer of your peace and without peace we’re unable to live the loving and fruitful life as disciples of Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua HaMashiach.

When Cain murdered Abel, he was angry at his brother and also at God! When Esau threatened Jacob’s life, he was also angry to the point of sin (murder), so Jacob had to flee for his life. Moses became angry with the Israelites and struck the rock to get water instead of speaking to it as God commanded him to do and because God saw it as a lack of faith, it cost him entry into the “Promised Land”. All of these cases and many more in the Bible ended badly for the people involved. This is why it’s so important to recognize and learn how to control your anger.

When a person becomes uncontrollably angry, very often they become hurtful and find themselves saying things that they otherwise wouldn’t even think! Then before you know it, everyone is angered…it’s almost like a contagious disease as it can spread to anyone close enough to either feel the brunt of it or believe that they should try to calm the other person down. Sometimes anger can turn in to a grudge against the other person or persons and then it’s not only turned on those around them, but it’s now turned inward on themselves. People have a tendency to hold grudges for a lifetime and just think what that does to their salvation.

I’m going to share Scriptures that will encourage you to control your anger. Scriptures that will bring you peace:

First of all, you need to confess to Heavenly Father that you know that you have a problem with anger and ask Him for his help. Then turn to your Bible and have the faith that He will change you! Depend on the “WORD” of God for your strength as we truly have no strength without Him.

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/05/03/the-plan-of-salvation/

Biblical Definition: Anger is a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because of something wrong or bad. When anger turns into wrath, it can cause you to sin.

Scriptures are from the KJV – King James Version of the Bible.

Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Ephesians 4:26  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Colossians 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

Important Guidelines for Life Part 2

Reflecting the Image of our Creator:

Mind Your Tongue: how many times have you said something that you wish you could take back? Told an offensive joke? Made fun of something that wasn’t funny? Gossiped or told a lie about someone?

Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

Proverbs 18:6-8 A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Proverbs 19:9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.

Matthew 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

The Book of Proverbs has numerous verses that address the subject of minding the tongue…I listed only a few of the Scriptures. All throughout Scripture, the WORD is showing us how to live and how to bridle our tongues. As a Christian we have the opportunity to be the “light of the world” and we do this by shining the “LIGHT of CHRIST” — What would Jesus do? What would Jesus say? How can we possibly shine a light into the darkness when we’re caught up in the immorality that oozes our of every crack in the sinful world that we exist in? Keep in mind: If YOU are CHRIST’S then YOU ARE NOT of this WORLD!

Put your tongue to good use and serve Heavenly Father not only with all your heart, your soul and your mind, but with every member of your body including your tongue. Once you’ve put bridling your tongue as a priority, you will not have time for the trivialities that consumes the world around you! You will be using your tongue to share the Gospel of Christ and His Salvation.

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/05/03/the-plan-of-salvation/

Important Guidelines for Life Part 1

Reflecting the Image of our Creator:

Mind your thought life: the following Scriptures are only a few in the “WORD” that talks to us about our thoughts – both in our minds and in our hearts. Jesus – Yeshua makes it clear that our thought life can defile us.

Isaiah 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

Psalm 139:23-24 search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Mark 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

If you’re having issues with your thought life, you need to start paying attention to your thoughts right now! I’m NOT talking New Age theology or positive thinking here! I’m talking about “old fashioned” acknowledgement that you had a “wrong” thought and honestly addressing the thought that you know you shouldn’t be having. Then right up front…ask yourself: What caused that thought? What was I doing that instigated the thought? Once you’ve identified the cause, then make a vow to NEVER repeat the behavior that put the thought into your mind.

We all have a thought life! You will soon recognize the fact that we all choose what we think about…God gave us the most wonderful gift…a mind, but that mind isn’t chained to a particular way of thinking…we have been given the ability to make our own choices, so if you truly want to break the thought patterns that are causing you anguish, you have to make the resolution to turn the other way. The fact that you’re aware that you need to change your thought life is proof that the Holy Spirit is revealing this truth to you.

Philippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Through fervent, repentant prayer, allow God’s Power to work in you! Memorize Scriptures that you can immediately bring to mind and crush the thoughts. Am I saying that this is going to easy? No, not a first, but recognizing the problem and then giving it to Heavenly Father in prayer and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you will “in time clean up your thought life”, so that Philippians 4:8 becomes the sacred song you sing in your mind and in your heart.