Keep your eyes on Jesus…everything else is fleeting…
It only took Peter a split second to begin sinking when he took his eyes off of Jesus…
Matthew 14:25-30 (KJV)
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Our Father in Heaven doesn’t just want to exist in us…He wants to live in us! He designed us for His Glory! This is why in the beginning He created us and why He died for us in the form of Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew). When He died for us, He sent His Spirit to dwell in those who believe He is the Son of YHWH and who are obedient to Him.
The following Scriptures are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
1 Corinthians 14:15 So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving Spirit. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live in us and we’re given the free gift of eternal life. John3:3-6 Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”4 “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”5 Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
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.
John14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
Jesus asked in Luke 6:46“Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?” Then He follows up with the parable of two foundations: in Luke 6:47-49I will show you what someone is like who comes to Me, hears My words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great!”
Is your foundation on sinking sand? Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
When we choose Jesus as our Savior, and the more we want and allow Christ to fill us day by day, we become like Him. I chose the word allow, because we can quench the Holy Spirit by our thoughts, words and actions. Heavenly Father is fair and man has been given free will to make our choices in this world. We can either choose to build a solid foundation on the WORD (John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.) or we can build our foundation on the WORLD of sinking sand!
A Warning about the World
1 John 2:15-18Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.
The more our words, actions, and countenance express Him (Jesus) the more we become pleasing to Father in Heaven. 2 Corinthians 2:15For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
When He lives in us and through us ALL of our virtues will be a reflection of Christ; Our love and our compassion, our kindness and forbearance will be His because we can have none of these qualities without Him. Jesus by nature is loving, forgiving, kind, patient, compassionate, humble & gentle (Matthew 11:29), self-controlled, just and merciful.
When the world is falling apart all around you, keep your focus on God and he will hold you up!
Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
Isaiah 41:10-13 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
No matter whats going on around us, Heavenly Father is with His children, taking care of us. When we asked His son, Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew) into our lives as our Savior, we were adopted into His family and we belong to HIM and HE wants us to trust HIM to take care of us! Matthew 6:26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? When things go wrong in this life, we have a tendency to focus on ourselves, to allow the pain to envelope us and this inward focus takes us away from God and and our eyes away from the promise of eternity with Jesus. Do you truly trust him with everything in your life no matter how big or small? Matthew 10:29-31Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.30 But the veryhairs of your head are all numbered.31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
We go to church on Sunday, we read our Bibles and we Pray. Yes, these are all the outward signs of being a Christian, a follower of Jesus, but what’s on the outside doesn’t mean anything to God, it’s whats on the inside, it’s what’s on your mind and in your heart that He cares about. It’s how we Love God and how we treat our fellowman. Matthew 15:8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far fromme. When met by a task, either larger or small, do you say: “I can handle it on my own, I don’t need any help”? God wants us to ask him for His help and because he numbers the hairs on our heads, why would He think anything we need is of no importance to Him? Psalm 91:14-15 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
Keep this in mind when you experience pain and disappointment…
Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Remember when Jonah was swallowed by the whale, he was desolate until he focused on the Lord. Jonah 2:7 When my soul fainted within meI remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. We’re all human, so now and then, we’ll become so wrapped up in the flesh that we’ll forget to turn to God. Sometimes we have to become like Jonah; find ourselves in a dark place and recognize that in order to see the light, we have to give it ALL to God and keep looking forward, not backwards. Yesterday is gone forever and today may be All we have, so we must make the most of it.
Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
As believers we will triumph! In the Book of Romans, Paul asks: If God is for us, who can be against us?
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
In the Light of Eternity…what are you striving for?
What are you choosing to chase in this life? What brass ring are you reaching out for? What are you throwing away that is more valuable than all the gold on this earth?
I’m quoting Scriptures from the King James Version of the Bible.
There’s absolutely nothing more important in this life than relationships. MOST especially your relationship with Jesus and your Father in Heaven! I’m here to tell you that following Jesus isn’t about religion…following Jesus is about relationship. Our relationship with Jesus is the only relationship that gives us all the opportunity to change our lives as well as someone else’s life for eternity. We’ve all been put on this earth by the creator…God…Our Heavenly Father to advance the Kingdom of God and that through Jesus Christ, His Son, we may all be saved and given the Crown of Life on judgement day.
Once you’ve formed your relationship with Jesus Christ then the focus of your life should be to point your fellowman to Him. If you haven’t already done it…then start today to care about your relationship with Jesus more than all others and once you know that He is where your heart is…start the process of prioritizing your life! Be generous with your time and your money and then most all of your relationship issues that you may think you have will dissolve and fade away into the past where they belong.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
It’s never too late to look back at past relationships that are broken, such as a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to for a time, possibly because of a moment of pride or disrespect. It’s never too late to say thank you to the people who have made a difference in your life. Being humble is the example that Jesus set for us in…Matthew 11:29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. What does it mean to be humble? I believe it means don’t put yourself or your desires above those of others. Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Sadly… an example of the lack of humbleness is the “ME” generation; but I’m not just talking millenials here! Every generation that I’ve known since the generation that survived the depression is standing pretty solid on the “ME” platform. I know so many men and women that have put their career ahead of family. They worked overtime to afford the new car or the big house not because it was needed by the family, but it was needed as a status symbol…another marker of success. I know of people who even put sports events ahead of family time. I’ve heard the saying, it’s TGIF, so it’s Friday night beer time, so what…I worked all week, I have the right. Then Saturday comes and we work in the house and in the yard all day and when Saturday evening comes along, we deserve a few cocktails instead of taking time that could have been spent with their children just enjoying each other. And the next thing you know they’re walking down paths that you don’t approve of and the parents are asking…what happened? I’ve heard them say: we gave them everything! Yes…they did give them everyTHING, but not what they needed…they needed a relationship with their parents who have a relationship with Jesus. I’m quite certain that most of us can look back and see these “ME” moments in people around us as well as “ME” moments within ourselves. Now if you’re the child of one of these parents, then you need to forgive, if they’re still living, you need to mend the relationship. If they’re already gone, you need to let go and forgive the past. If you’re a parent and see yourself in this description, now is the time to let your children (even grown up children) know that you’re sorry and that you want to change…in other words, you need to humble yourself to your child. Matthew 6:15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
It’s never too late to humble yourself with others, just as Jesus came to earth and humbled himself for us. Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Luke 14:11For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
In the Light of Eternity…how are you spending your time?
Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
If you are allowed to live the 70 years that God says he gives us that’s 25,550 days (613,200 hours) and if you’re particularly healthy and live to 80 years that’s 29,200 days (700,800 hours). Keep in mind that you sleep approximately 1/3 of this time. So once again, I ask…how are you spending your time? Every hour you live, you’re making a withdrawal and it’s not like a bank account…you can’t deposit time back in, you can only make time withdrawals. If you haven’t thought about it before, maybe the numbers will wake you up. If you’re 30 years old, you only have 14,600 days left before you’re 70 years old.
Does this put a new perspective on the value of your time? If you don’t like what you’ve just realized, then WAKE UP and make a decision right now to change it. Think about the hours that you waste on Social Media. Think about the hours you waste texting and looking stuff up on your cell phone. Think about the hours you spend watching television shows. Think about the hours you spend reading fiction books. Think about the hours you’ve spent trying to solve a problem because you couldn’t humble yourself to ask for help. Think about the time you spend dwelling on the past. Think about the time you waste worrying about what others may think about you. Think about the time you waste trying to sort out a problem instead of giving it up to God.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. JUST PRAY about it asking for God’s help in the name of Jesus and then make a conscience decision to let go and give it up to God.
Now that you’ve figured out how you don’t want to spend your time, you need to decide how you do want to spend your time. I know most of you dislike the idea of it when someone says make a list…but I’m telling you that’s a good place to start. A list of things that will give you time to know God and also to bring quality moments with family into the time you have left.
Now keep in mind! When I talk 70 or 80 years, I’m talking “best case” scenario. More than 150,000 people die everyday! Do you think they woke up this morning and said today is my day to die? I don’t think so…but we need to live everyday like it’s our last…with NO regrets! Most important of all have you taken the time to repent and ask Jesus to be your Savior? https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/05/03/the-plan-of-salvation/
Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” We don’t know when He’s coming back, but we do know that we need to be ready. We need to be able to stand before him with clean hands and a pure heart. We need to take the time to prioritize HIM to number one in our lives and everyone we care about and everyone around us will recognize His love in us. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/05/06/clean-hands-and-a-pure-heart/
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Your answer to this question is probably the most telling of your relationship with our Father in Heaven and humanity. If you care more about things than you do people, what are you thinking? I’m going to start out by using Scripture to show you why people are so special to the Father… and that HE loves us in spite of our sin. He had a wonderful plan for us that we thwarted! That after all of these 1000’s of years He’s not giving up on us! Heavenly Father created man to be loved and things to be useful or advantageous to our existence on the planet. HE didn’t create things to be loved and create man to be used. The world we live in has given license to “love” things…it’s time to reject the devil’s plan and put into action the plan of THE FATHER!
John 15:12 KJVThis is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Human beings are created in the “IMAGE” of God!
Genesis 1: 26-27 KJV And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
In only six days God created from NOTHING this planet, the heavens and all that’s on this planet including us…and then God actually loved us enough to put “us” humanity in charge… over the dominion of the earth – over ALL of His wonderful Creation! WOW! He said in Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21 & 25 “It was GOOD!” And after God created man and looked at His creation in Genesis 1:31 He said “IT WAS VERY GOOD”! It’s not exactly clear how long Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with God in the Garden of Eden, but we do know that before sin entered in, it was perfection beyond anything that we can imagine.
His creation is so incredible: I’m awe struck by his diversity in every aspect of it’s intricate designs. However, in this world of sin that exists today, even the most physically beautiful person is far from perfection because their insides are filled with the filth of sin. Even the most gorgeous rose is but a shadow of what it would have been in God’s Garden. Just think of how sin has caused some plants to become poisonous, some bugs to spew poison and some animals to become predators!
Humans too have become less than what God had in mind for us to be and given the choice, more often than not, we choose to hate rather than love for many reasons: the color of skin, the politics of a man, the religion of a man. Sometimes man has become so used to being angry with their fellowman that the slightest offence will cause them to flare up in anger and spew hatred. Now you might be saying to yourself…”I’m a Christian and I only have love in my heart”…and I pray that this is true, but I do know for a fact, that all you need to do is go to social media and you’ll see that proclaimed Christians aren’t exempt from outrage, anger and division. Matthew 12:25 KJV And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: Mark 3:25 KJVAnd if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.Luke 11:17 KJV But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. So how can we as Christians take part in a heated debate that causes division, a debate about conspiracies that cause fear, debates about politics, debates about how to dress, debates about what movie or music is the best, debates that ALL involve the world! What are we thinking to be caught up in such ugly discussions? When this happens, our minds are a long ways from Jesus and the Love he professes when we allow ourselves to become involved in these sordid things of the world. I really don’t know of a single instance when anyone changed someone else’s mind, but they did possibly cause pain to another human being over something that most likely didn’t amount to a hill of beans in the scope of eternity.
Jesus makes it very clear that He and Our Father Who art in Heaven made the plan for how we are to love our fellowman. Luke 6:27-28 KJVButI say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.Romans 13:10 KJV Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Now you might be saying but what about that person…look what he or she has done to me? I’m here to say that there’s “NO” buts about it…so don’t even go there…Jesus called us to Love God and to Love One Another. When you are born again and the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, it will lead you into love…because God’s love for humanity is so powerful that He set the standard for love. Jesus told us in John 15:13 KJV Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. So if you’re inclined to walk away from that friend or acquaintance whom you feel only needs you around as a sounding board…give them an ear and a shoulder to lean on. They’re not asking you to lay down your life in the sense of a crucifixion, but they are asking you to take a few moments of your life and give it to them.
Jesus doesn’t say that the greater love is for “things and stuff”… the evidence of the power of His Gospel is how we love one another. It’s not evidenced by how we love to do things, or love to go places, love that fancy car, love our pets, love that movie, love that particular food, love the bottom line of our bank account and investments. Jesus is telling us that a sign of our faith and our proof that we are following Him is how we demonstrate our love for mankind.
When we look at the plants and animals that exist in today’s world, we say “OH! HOW BEAUTIFUL! Can’t you just see God’s hand in it?” YES!!! We can see God’s hand in it, but we must also be aware that the beauty that we do see is tainted and that what we do see isn’t eternal! The only true realization we should have is that we as humans are created in His image and because of Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew), we have been given the chance to live eternally with Him in Glory and we’ll be able to experience creation as he originally planned it – COMPLETEPERFECTION.
Psalm 8:3-8 KJV When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
***God Loves man so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us! See John 3:16
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
***This was the original plan for man before we fell into sin, but now it refers to the deity of Jesus, the Son of God who came to earth to save us from our sins.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
***Man was given dominion in the beginning and still has dominion over the earth…but sadly, because of sin, we’re in a relentless course of destruction.
2 Corinthians 4:3-5 KJV But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
Matthew 5:46-48For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
***It’s obvious that because ALL of humanity is made in the Image of God that we are to uphold one another, share with one another, not only the Gospel, but the Love which he so generously poured out on humanity through the gift of His son’s life. We are to share a smile, a kind word, do a charitable deed…not for thanks, but for love. Sincerely cultivate the fruits of the Spirit!
Today, I’m going to mention a couple of things that people claim to love and in future blogs, I’ll touch on a few others…my goal is to give you food for thought.
Now let’s take a look at what that “THING” called a computer or phone has done to our capacity to LOVE one another. I can’t think of a single instance where technology has improved the LOVE quotient of the World. We need to learn to put our phones away and give undivided attention to the people around us. When we go on the internet, we must be aware that we’re all human and although we can’t actually look one another in the eye and that we may not always agree on a subject, but that we need to treat one another with love and respect…don’t dehumanize someone just because they’re sitting at a keyboard and they don’t agree with you. As a society, we’ve gotten to the point that we’ve decided that any attention, whether negative or positive is better than no attention…and sadly, a lot of people will say that they “Love” technology. What a travesty! There’s only so much information that your brain can process and only so much stimulation that will bring you anything but momentary happiness…nothing you get from the internet can actually give you love in return. It’s fleeting and impersonal.
This next subject is likely to make many of you distraught! People say that animals aren’t things…I’m here to tell you that there are people, places and things…yes animals are living things, but they are in no way people, so as a matter of the process of elimination, they are things. They can be a comfort and very enjoyable to have around and when it comes to feeding the world they are very useful and of course should be treated with gentleness and compassion, but I reiterate…they are not people! They are NOT made in the image of God! Jesus pressed the Pharisees and Scribes into a corner when he exhorted and scolded them for rescuing an animal on the Sabbath, but not caring to rescue their fellowman who was suffering on the Sabbath. That’s not to say that Jesus wasn’t okay with them rescuing their animals, he was just trying to put in to perspective that their love for man was waxing cold and their laws were man’s rules not God’s rules. I’ve heard many of you say…your pet is a member of your family and you would do anything for it; you love your pet and you’d even put it first before your fellowman…possibly even your neighbor? I’ve actually heard people say that they “love” animals more than they do people. What a sad testimony in a world that needs love of mankind more than anything else.
We’re in a mighty battle! Have you ever thought of yourself as a soldier? Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 (KJV) Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
John 17: 11 (KJV) And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
When we follow Jesus and share the Gospel with others, we become His disciples; God has given us to Him. The very moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, Satan begins an onslaught of attack, so Jesus asked His Father to protect us in this world. The world is being overrun by Satan as he prowls around looking for someone to destr0y. As humans, we are in a constant battle within ourselves as we fight against our sinful nature, but the fight is actually against the enemy: Satan and his demons.
Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said in a Sermon on June 26, 1870 A soldier is a practical man, a man who has work to do, and hard, stern work. He may sometimes when he is at his ease wear the fineries of war, but when he comes to real warfare he cares little enough for them; the dust and the smoke, and the garments rolled in blood, these are for those who are soldiers; and swords all hacked, and dented armour, and damaged shields, these are the things that indicate the good, the practical soldier. Truly to serve God, really to exhibit Christian graces, fully to achieve a lifework for Christ, actually to win souls, this is to bear fruit worthy of a Christian. A soldier is a man of deeds, and not of words. He has to contend and fight. In wartime his life knows little of luxurious ease. In the dead of night perhaps the trumpet sounds to boot and saddle, just at the time when he is most weary, and he must get up for the attack just when he would best prefer to take his rest in sleep. The Christian is a soldier in an enemy’s country always needing to stand on his watchtower, constantly to be contending, though not with flesh and blood, with far worse foes, namely, with spiritual wickednesses in high places.
As a Christian it’s impossible for us to travel through this world if we aren’t wearing the full “Armor of God” which includes Prayer!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore.17 Pray without ceasing.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Our dangerous journey through this world is not because Satan has dominion over this world, but the fact is, it’s just because he is here…he was cast out of Heaven to the Earth when there was the war in Heaven and now he and his cohorts are on this Earth prowling around and trying to cause all the damage they can before Jesus comes again. But the Bible makes it very clear that Satan is the “Father of Lies”. So we must all be extremely careful of what we believe expecially when we hear if from others…check and recheck against Scripture! That includes what you read that I’ve written; I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to check it out for yourself.
I’m bothered by the churches and clergy that teach during the time in the wilderness that Jesus was tempted by Satan. I will not believe that Jesus was EVER tempted by Satan! I do believe that Satan was working his wiles trying to figure out if there was a weak spot in the Son of Man…he was hoping that he could attack the human side of Jesus. Once again, I say…when this time is referred to as “the temptation of Jesus”, I’m stunned that anyone who knows Jesus can make such a statement.
Matthew 4:8-10 Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” We must all realize that Jesus wasn’t actually tempted by Satan…He knew exactly what Satan was up to and used and perfected the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word to put Satan in his place! The Bible makes it explicitly clear that the Heavens and the Earth belong to God (JESUS is GOD – They are ONE)…the earth does NOT belong to Satan!
PSALM 24 KJV The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. 7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
All throughout the Bible, Scriptures have made it quite clear as to the ownership of the Heavens and the Earth. Who the King is…the Earth has always belonged to Him right from the beginning when He created it. He then sacrificially bought and paid for us with His blood, so now for those who believe in Him, we are His too John 3:16! His Kingdom will reside here on the New Earth and those who love and follow Him will reside with Him.
His Holy Spirit resides in us! But in the meantime, because Satan is here on this earth (cast down after the war in Heaven), we are given instruction of how to fight and protect ourselves on this Earth. We are warned and warned over and over against the lies that Satan will tell us. The first lie was to Eve when he told her that she “surely would not die” if she ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The lies that he’s perpetrated since the Garden of Eden have done nothing but create hatred and discontentment among the humans who were made in the image of God. Satan’s goal is to take as many as possible with him to the fires of Gehenna! https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/23/lets-not-soft-peddle-hell/
Nowhere in the Bible can I find where God or Jesus has said that it’s going to be easy for us til He comes again. In John 14:16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; He did promise the Holy Spirit as our comforter , teacher and guide…this is why it’s so important to be “born again”, so that the Holy Spirit will live inside you. We have a glorious future with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven that will come to the New Earth and we will have the crown of eternal life with Him!
The Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10-18 (KJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
***To think that we are heirs to “His power and might! That because Jesus is in us when we’re born again, we receive a portion of His power so that we can fight along side of Him throughout our journey of Faith.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
***If we don’t have the whole armor of God, we are vulnerable to attacks from the enemy…Satan!
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
***Jesus is the Light! Light overcomes darkness! When we have Jesus, the darkness cannot overcome us! John 8:12 KJV Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
***We need to study and understand what it is that is expected of us, otherwise, we are floundering in this world and have no direction in our lives. Romans 15:4 KJV For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
***Jesus says in John 14:6 KJV I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
***We must share the GOOD NEWS! The Gospel of Jesus Christ! John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
***the faith that we have in Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew) will protect us to the end! 2 Thessalonians 3:3 KJV But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
***STUDY the BIBLE! JESUS is the WORD made FLESH! We cannot know him if we do not read the Word. The helmet fits on the head and it’s our minds as well as our hearts that we give to Jesus! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Mark 11:24 KJV Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
We’re in a mighty conflict here (the earth is full of sin) the army of the Lord (those of us who are “born again” and the Holy Spirit lives in us) we must join forces standing tall (the church) and lean upon his word (the sword of the Spirit) the enemy (Satan) is now in view and bravely circles round (Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places) then comes the cry from the battle field (the earth) another soldier down (the martyrdom of the followers of Christ)…go then with haste, stand by his side and lend your strength (truth and righteousness) once more go bear him up with faith (shield of faith) & prayer until battle’s o’er (When Jesus Comes Again!) the fight before the victory (He rose from the dead), the cross before the crown, (Jesus had to die to save us from our sins…he became sin for us so that His righteousness would cover us) be ever watchful ere the cry another soldier down
We’ve set our minds on victory (Jesus’s victory on the cross) advancing day by day we’ve got our hopes our strategy (the Gospel of Jesus), armed fortress (His Holy City will come down from Heaven) on the way and at the end there is a rest (1000 years)an everlasting crown (the crown of eternal life James 1:12 KJV Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.) all in the field no more will hear (the earth will finally have PEACE!) another soldier down
repeat: the fight before the victory the cross before the crown be ever watchful ere the cry another soldier down another soldier down another soldier down
Billy Graham (1918-2018) The Gospel, as you know, always faces opposition. This is spiritual warfare, and we’re not going to back down. We are going to preach this message in all the cities we planned to visit. God hasn’t called us to sit back and be quiet. He has called us to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19, NKJV).
***I use quotes by Billy Graham as often as possible because his life spanned two centuries and he really experienced the onslaught of evil of this world as we spiral quickly to the end of the age. I believe Billy Graham was the greatest evangelist since the Apostle Paul. To learn more about him:
The definition of fasting is to go without food for a designated period of time. Jesus fasted 40 days and nights and we assume that it was from food and not from water as the Bible specifically states that “He hungered”. It doesn’t say that He thirsted. Reminds me of the woman at the well ~ He told her He was the LIVING WATER…
When we fast, we abstain from something we take pleasure in…usually food, but it can be other things too. It’s a time to take our attention off of ourselves and give it to God. A time to draw nearer to God. The examples I’m talking about in this blog are Daniel, Esther and Jesus who all fasted. Daniel for the purpose of understanding a vision and Esther to save her people. I believe that Jesus fasted to strengthen and solidify His Power.
Daniel 10:3 KJV I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. At the end of 21 days (3 weeks) Daniel was visited by a Messenger of God. When the Jewish people who were in Persia were condemned to Death the Queen Esther fasted and prayed. Esther 4:16 KJV Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
WE are all born for a purpose…what a wonderful realization!
Jesus was baptized by John and He went into the Judean desert and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. At His baptism Heavenly Father sent the Holy Spirit to Jesus in the form of a dove. And the Holy Spirit led him out into the wilderness. The first time I read this, I remember wondering why? Since He had the Holy Spirit…why go out into the Wilderness? Why did the Holy Spirit direct him to do this? After all, HE was the Son of God…what else did HE need? I read this many times, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually realized the WHY. During the 40 days and 40 nights, Satan tempted Jesus to use his power in ways that God didn’t intend for it to be used…instead, Jesus used prayer, fasting and the Word to defeat Satan. (Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-11) After 40 days and nights we see His Power Perfected…totally enabling the Holy Spirit and teaching us that when we ask him to be our Savior and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us, we can have this power too. WOW!!! PRAYER (Pray in the Spirit), FASTING (Shield of Faith) and JESUS the WORD (Sword of the Spirit)! Ahhh…the Armor of God!
When the Apostles were unable to cast out a demon, Jesus cast out the demon from the possessed young man (Matthew 17:14-21). When the Apostles asked why they couldn’t cast out the demon, Jesus told them that they needed to pray and fast to defeat this kind of demon. From this reply, I understood that Jesus not only fasted in the desert, he must have fasted during his ministry on this earth. I also grasped that when going up against a demon, we must be wearing the full Armor of God!
You may be asking by now, how can I fast? It sounds impossible! First of all, I believe that no matter the results, acceptance that it’s His will, not ours and that we need to have a genuine, heartfelt reason for our prayer and fasting. Desiring a bigger house or new car, boat, etc. are probably not good reasons for fasting. Perhaps a loved one or even your self needs be rescued from drugs or alcohol, pornography, etc. Perhaps, someone you know and care about is ill. I can’t tell you why or what to fast for as that’s between you and Heavenly Father.
If you’ve never fasted before, I suggest you decide on a strategy.
1. The faith that you can fast.
2. Why are you fasting?
3. How long do you intend to fast? (1 meal? 1 day? 3 days? I don’t suggest you consider 40 days!)
4. Unrealistic expectations, like world peace, may thwart future opportunities to fast.
5. Find a quiet place to pray and focus and thank Heavenly Father for answering your prayers. Matthew 6:6 Jesus tells us we should go into a closet and pray in secret.
6. Jesus tells us that if we pray and fast, keep it between ourselves and the Father. If you’re married, maybe you should let your spouse know what you’re plans are and ask please don’t bring things like ice cream, Twinkies, etc. into the house until I’ve finished my fast. In other words, this is really important to me, so PLEASE don’t make it difficult.
7. Be ready for Satan to try to thwart your fast: unexpected trip to the emergency with one of the kids or cake at a birthday party or the in-laws drop in unexpected. You name it! When you decide to pray and fast, Satan realizes your power.
8. Stay determined and don’t let circumstances lead you away from fasting! Times like this is when your loyalty as a Soldier of God is tested!
My heart tells me that fasting from food is what Heavenly Father has in mind, but since to some extent, it’s a learning process, maybe some may need to start more simply. Here are some things to pray and fast from: coffee, dessert, chocolate, social media, the news, fast food, TV and movies, video games, etc.
Saved by Grace! Jesus is GRACE, our Gift from Our Father in Heaven!
Romans 5:15-17 But not as the offence, so also is thefree gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift bygrace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is thegift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free giftis of many offences unto justification.17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
ALL Scriptures come from the King James Version Bible
Jesus said Pray like this:
In Scriptures Matthew 16-20 a young rich man asked Jesus, what can I do to be saved? Jesus asked him if he’d kept the commandments of God and when he said yes, Jesus told him to sell his goods, give the money to the poor and follow Him; at this, the young man turned away sorrowfully.
Now you might be asking…why did Jesus ask the young man about God’s commandments? Was he going to judge the young man by the 10 Commandments? NO…I don’t believe so…He was showing the young man that keeping the commandments of God was just the beginning…although he might be obedient to the law, he must give up the world to follow Jesus. It was indeed, truly a matter of the heart! Did the young man love his neighbor enough to give up his riches to help them? It emphasizes that he had many possessions, so Jesus is making it apparent to us that his love of riches was his stumbling block.
Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19: 25-26 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Are we guilty of putting the Law ahead of the Gospel? Or are we guilty of putting the Gospel before the Law? Do we sometimes stir them together into a religious soup of Salvation? If this is the case, we’ve sadly distorted the purpose of the Gift of Grace! When Jesus came to earth, he showed us that the law is “designed” to prick our conscience in such a way that we recognize that we need HIM! That we need the gift that God has given us via His SON Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew). JESUS is GRACE!!! JESUS is the GIFT!!!
Now back to the Bible Scripture that I started this blog with:
Romans 5:15-17 But not as the offence, so also is thefree gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the graceof God, and thegift bygrace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
The Law wasn’t given until the time of Moses in the book of Exodus, but sin had been flourishing on this earth since Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command to NOT eat of the tree in the middle of the garden or they would surely die…they didn’t believe Him when He said that they would die. When Noah built the Ark, it was because by this time (only 1,056 years after Adam) the earth was so corrupted by sin, that the only way God could cleanse it of sin was to start over…therefore he destroyed all of the earth with a flood and saved only Noah and his family. Then came the tower of Babel, built by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah. Nimrod built it in rebellion against God. So sin was and is alive and well since the Garden of Eden and in this world we live in, sin flourishes today more than it ever has in the past!
God gave the Law (10 commandments) to Israel after Moses led them out of Egypt; they’d been in Egypt long enough that although they knew about God, they didn’t know God. The 10 Commandments were given by God out of Love so that they would have a moral compass to obey and also have a better understanding of who God is and the role that He was going to play in their lives. They’d seen the miracles of God: the 10 plagues on Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, water from the rock and manna, but they still didn’t really know God. The 10 commandments were designed to teach them right from wrong in their relationship with Him and with their fellowman…this is why Jesus summed them up in Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Once we know Jesus, our Gift of Grace…should we now trample His law? The law is not dead…however, if Jesus is your Savior, the penalty for sin is no longer death, but the law still remains as the compass by which we understand right from wrong because we Love Him! How can we possibly say that we know Him if we don’t follow His commandments! JESUS is GOD, GOD is JESUS, JESUS is GRACE, JESUS is the GIFT of GOD. JESUS and GOD are ONE in and with GOD the HOLY SPIRIT! JESUS is the SAME Yesterday, Today and Forever! GOD never CHANGES.
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Now there’s probably many men and women who believe that they can buy their way into the GRACE of GOD, but what they don’t see is that the GRACE of GOD can’t be purchased! It was already bought and paid for by the blood of JESUS on the cross. You can’t ever do enough good works, or keep enough of the commandments to undermine the magnitude of what JESUS did for us sinners!
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Galatians 2:16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. “NO ONE”, but Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew) the perfect man, can or ever will be able to keep the 10 Commandments, but by giving our hearts and minds to belief in Jesus, we will be “born again” and when God the Holy Spirit comes to live in us…we will be changed. We become the Temple of God. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/27/dont-you-know-youre-the-temple-of-god/
The great 20th Century Evangelist Billy Graham (November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018) said: The Holy Spirit has all knowledge. The Bible says, “The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and takes us deeper and deeper into God’s truth as we go along in our Christian life. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, but we can grow only by the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is called holy. The Bible says, “Be holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). And one of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to help make us holy. We ought to be more holy today than we were yesterday. We should always be conforming more to the image of Jesus Christ, and it is the Holy Spirit who helps us in this growing process.
Do you know the story of the thieves who were crucified on crosses next to Jesus? One thief mocked Jesus and the other thief recognized Jesus as his Savior and he believed and he confessed Jesus!
Luke 23: 39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
John 5:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Romans 10:9-12If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.11 Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, 12for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek (Gentile), since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
NOW is the TIME to call on JESUS! INVITE JESUS into your heart, mind and life and you will live with Him forever! Not because of how good you are…but simply because you are forgiven! Ask JESUS ~ YESHUA to rescue you before it’s too late!
Acts 16:30-31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by graceyou have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves;it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
2 Thessalonian 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
I’m using the King James Version for my quoted Bible verses in this blog.
Have you ever lost your keys? That without the key, you couldn’t open the door to your home or start the engine on your car? You can’t open that chest or box where you keep special things. In other words, in most cases a key is a very important thing to have and definitely something that you want to keep track of and NEVER lose! Key has many definitions according to how you use it, but in this definition of key…it’s a small metal intricately shaped object that’s used to open or close a lock.
What about the key to salvation? What does that key look like? In the past 100 or so years have we lost the key to opening the door to salvation? I say YES if you’re not sharing with people their need to repent as well as their need to be “born again”. What does it take to enter in and be saved? The Key to Heaven isn’t a physical object that opens the door, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that we receive when we are “born again” and we proclaim Jesus as our Savior and then follow his command to to share the Good News of His Kingdom with the world…John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
It’s a fact that in John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. In John 10:9 Jesus says “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Now begs the question…can we get into the Kingdom of Heaven without repenting of our sins? I don’t think that’s the way it works. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13-14Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
When we share the Gospel of the Kingdom, we have to explain to people that although they have sinned, that Jesus paid the price for their sin. That doesn’t mean that they have a free pass…that all they have to do is simply believe… as it says in James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. Do you have the Key to the Kingdom of God? If not, do you know where and how to find it? https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/
If we don’t tell people what a sin is are we doing them a favor? How will they be able to repent from it? Do the words REPENT and SIN actually cause people to run away instead of turn away? This is where the law comes into play and you must tell them: NO ONE who has lived or ever will live, except Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew Translation) has kept the law; He was sinless…the unblemished Lamb of God who gave His life in order to pay your fine. When we repent from our sins and believe that Jesus is the beloved Son of God and that he died and rose again from the dead and therefore covers us with his righteousness, then the law can no longer kill us. John 3:16-17For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Jesus will save us from our sins! That’s why He came to earth and that’s why He died for us…He loves us that much! Jesus and Father in Heaven made this plan from the foundation of the earth that HE would have to save us…WOW…what an AWESOME gift from an AWESOME GOD!
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
REPENTING which means to “turn away from” is the KEY to opening that door. The Law helps us to recognize “exactly” what it is that God expects of us. Romans 3:20 For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law. This isn’t legalism that I’m talking to you about, I’m telling you that your faith in Jesus will make you want to turn away from your sin and when you do, with the help of the Holy Spirit you will sin less and less. John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; The Holy Spirit will come to live in you. James 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Jesus spoke in many parables to His disciples…here are 3 parables that he spoke about repentence and how He and His Father have provided the way, the truth and the life:
-The parable of the shepherd seeking the lost sheep illustrates how God seeks to bring those who are spiritually lost into His Kingdom.
-The parable of the woman looking for a lost coin illustrates the diligence with which you should seek for those lost in sin to guide them to the Kingdom.
-The parable of the lost son illustrates the principle of repentance through which you can gain your rightful place as an heir of the Kingdom of God.
James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
A lot of the churches today say that the law is dead that it was nailed on the Cross and yet they also quote the scriptures that say that God never Changes and Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever and that Jesus is God. I don’t think we can have it both ways! So why wouldn’t the law mean just as much today as it ever meant, afterall, the Law encompasses Love and Morality. The death of Jesus on the Cross didn’t give us a free license to sin – God Forbid!
The following Scriptures tell us about the gift we will receive as we humble ourselves before our fellowman and our Father in Heaven…as Jesus was our Humble servant on this earth; he’s teaching us the way and the truth so that we may find eternal life through Him. I highly suggest you read ALL of Matthew 5, and without saying please read ALL of the Bible, both New and Old Testament. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Matthew 5:1-18 ~ Sermon on the Mount
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
This Song “Listen to Our Hearts” really struck a chord within me. How many of us have felt something so deeply that we cannot put it into words? When there are or have been times when the feelings are so strong inside that they actually cause us a crushing pain in the vicinity of the heart and the pain moves from the heart and encompasses our entire being. Jeremiah 15:18 Why has my pain become unending, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? When we take it to the Lord in prayer, as our body trembles with the weeping, no words can come to our mouths and a torrent of tears fall uncontrollably…
Throughout my life as the pain of hurt or loss encompassed me, I have prayed for hours on end, day in and day out. Have you experienced such pain that you’ve asked God: how can I live through it? Why don’t you don’t just take me now, so I no longer have to endure this agony and sorrow? Why was I born? Job asked this question: Job 3:11 “Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” Have you ever exclaimed: If this is what life is…I don’t know if I want it anymore! Or have you ever tried to bargain with God telling Him: If the only way you can take away the pain means taking my life from me…please God…the sooner the better! But you wake up the next day…
As I grow older and walk closer with Him, I have no doubt in my mind that God is listening to me and that ultimately He knows our struggle and our pain. He also knows that this too will pass as He holds our future in His Hands and uses everything that happens in our lives as glory for Him and a message for us to learn by. I heard somewhere that if it doesn’t kill us, it makes us stronger…it’s just getting through it…
All throughout the Bible, God’s people have cried out to Him for help and guidance during times of their pain…He answers in the most unexpected ways. Many of the Psalms are David crying out to God.
Psalm 88 Lord, you are the God who saves me. I cry out to you day and night. 2 Receive my prayer, and listen to my cry.
Psalm 28:2 Listen to the sound of my pleading when I cry to You for help, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.
The book of Lamentations in the Old Testament portion of the Bible, written in poetical form, expresses pain and loss. To Lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow and this is how we cry out to our Heavenly Father when we feel pain and loss. I believe it’s okay to lament…even if these lamentations express feelings of anger, grief, confusion and pain. WE are One with God when we receive His Son, so he feels what we feel and understands our pain.
I’ve heard it said that the pain described to God by Jeremiah actually broke God’s heart.
Jeremiah 4:18-19 Your way of life and your actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. It is very bitter, because it has reached your heart! 19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in agony! Oh, the pain in my heart! My heart pounds; I cannot be silent. For you, my soul, have heard the sound of the ram’s horn—the shout of battle.
Jeremiah 8:21 I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.
Jeremiah 9:1 If my head were a spring of water, my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night over the slain of my dear people.
To realize that God feels our pain as well as His own pain…it makes you wonder and question how He can let it continue much longer? I believe that He’s waiting as long as He can so we can share the Gospel of His Kingdom. Not only for the lost to be saved, but for us as Christians to complete the commission that was given to us by His Son Jesus. We are ALL His disciples…we ALL are responsible for our fellowman. The 2nd greatest commandment to Love your neighbor as yourself should cause us to strive to complete His commission…we don’t want to burn in Hell, so why would we not go out into this world and do everything that’s possible to do to bring others to the Kingdom and Glorify our Heavenly Father?
Ezekiel 3:17-18 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. 18 If I say to the wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but you do not warn him—you don’t speak out to warn him about his wicked way in order to save his life—that wicked person will die for his iniquity. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because an obligation is placed on me. And woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
He truly is an AWESOME GOD and He does listen to our hearts…we need to learn to listen to Him…
Cry to God
Psalm 44:24-26Awake! Why are you asleep, O Lord? Arise! Cast us not off forever! Why do you hide your face, forgetting our woe and our oppression? For our souls are bowed down to the dust, our bodies are pressed to the earth.
Psalm 13:2-3How long, O Lord? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I harbor sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Prayer in Anger
Psalm 79:6,10,12Pour out your wrath upon the nations that acknowledge you not, upon the kingdoms that call not upon your name. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let it be known among the nations in our sight that you avenge the shedding of your servants’ blood. And repay our neighbors sevenfold into their bosoms the disgrace they have inflicted on you, O Lord.
Psalm 94:2-4 Rise up, judge of the earth; render their deserts to the proud. How long, O Lord, shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked glory, Mouthing insolent speeches, boasting, all the evildoers?
Psalm 25:16-20 Look toward me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart, and bring me out of my distress. Put an end to my affliction and my suffering, and take away all my sins. Behold, my enemies are many, and they hate me violently. Preserve my life, and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Trust in God
Psalm 85:8-10Show us, O Lord, your kindness, and grant us your salvation. I will hear what God proclaims; the Lord—for he proclaims peace. To his people, and to his faithful ones, and to those who put in him their hope. Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land.
Psalm 4:7-9Many say, “Oh, that we might see better times!” O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound. As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep, for you alone, O Lord, bring security to my dwelling.
Listen to My Heart Lyrics
How do you explain How do you describe A love that goes from East to West And runs as deep as it is wide You know all our hopes Lord, You know all our fears And words cannot express the love we feel But we long for You to hear
So listen to our hearts Hear our spirits sing A song of praise that flows For those You have redeemed And we use the words we know To tell you what an awesome God You are But when words are not enough To tell You of our love Just listen to our hearts
If words could fall like rain From these lips of mine And if I had a thousand years I would still run out of time So if You listen to my heart Every beat will say Thank you for the Life Thank you for the Truth Thank you for the Way
And listen to hearts (oh, Lord, please listen) Hear our spirits sing (and hear us sing) A song of praise that flows (a song of praise) From those of You have redeemed (from those You have redeemed) And we will use the words we know To tell you what an awesome God You are But when words are not enough To tell You of our love Just listen to our hearts
So if You listen to my heart Every beat will say Thank You for the Life Thank You for the Truth Thank You for the Way
And listen to our hearts (oh, Lord, please listen) Hear our spirits sing (and hear us sing) A song of praise that flows (a song that flows) From those of You have redeemed (from those You have redeemed) And we will use the words we know To tell You what an awesome God You are But when words are not enough To tell You of our love Just listen to our hearts
When words are not enough To tell You of our love Just listen to our hearts Listen to our hearts (oh, Lord, please listen) Listen to our hearts
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
The “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” prayer and the 23rd Psalm were the first prayers that I learned when I was a child. The child’s prayer of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”, taught to me by my mom, I learned before I can remember…probably when I was around 2 or 3 years old and Psalm 23 I learned when I was around 11-13 years old. I’ll be honest…I didn’t really have a clue what either of these prayers meant when I was that age, but I do remember that they both evoked a feeling of peace. I also remember that I knew Jesus was my Good Shepherd as I’d learned that at Sunday School.
My focus today in my blog is verse 2 of Psalm 23: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
When I was a girl, I could hardly wait until the snow melted and summer came to the farm. I liked to climb to the top of the mountain above our farm and lay in the tall grass and gaze at the blue sky…the tops of the trees swayed back and forth in the wind, but where I was lying in the grass, there wasn’t even a breeze. As the clouds drifted overhead, I felt a feeling of calmness sweep over me…sometimes, I would doze off and wake up feeling safe and warm. I never really associated that time with “lying down in a green pasture” but when I look back on it, I recognize the peace it created in what was an otherwise tumultuous existence.
This trek to the top of the mountain was my escape from a dad who was an alcoholic, and a mom who enabled him. I lived in a house full of constant battles between them, between my brothers and myself (have you ever seen the movie War of the Roses?). Now I didn’t share this with you to make you feel sorry for me! Although it was a dysfunctional family, I loved my parents, who are now both deceased, and I love both of my brothers. The purpose of my sharing this with you is to share with you an example of how God will find a way to bring you the peace of a green pasture if you want and allow Him to do this for you. He already gave us His Son who is the Shepherd that cares for us beyond anything we can imagine; afterall, He died for us! What greater love is there than that? Anything we ask in Jesus’s name Heavenly Father will grant according to His Will for us…
To a certain extent, I believe that’s what this covid-19 quarantine has done for me and I hope for you too. It’s allowed me to slow down, think about my relationship with Jesus and my desire to know and grow closer to my Father in Heaven. To allow the Holy Spirit to lead me beside the still waters. Once again, I’m going to say…don’t get me wrong…I realize that for many this quarantine has been a drain on them emotionally, financially and spiritually; what I am saying is that HE’s there, just waiting for you and me to give Him our burdens.
Matthew 11:28-30Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
When we turn to Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew Translation), he lifts the burden in our hearts and replaces it with Love, Peace and Joy. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 the Bible talks to us about how we are supposed to Love with patience, kindness, never self-seeking (don’t put ourselves first) and not be easily angered and always Rejoicing in Love by protecting and trusting and persevering.
Maybe, just maybe, Heavenly Father has given us this time of hiddenness from the world so we can re-calibrate, rethink and reassess our life. Most of us have to admit that no matter how often we talked about it or said we were ready to do it, we weren’t willing to step away from the world on our own; so maybe he has taken this bad situation and turned it to good. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing right now? Instead of feeling stressed, worried, afraid, we should be Rejoicing in Love and it says in 1 Peter 4:8, that Love covers a multitude of sins. Colossians 3:15 says that we should let the Peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all Joy and Peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. If you don’t have Jesus in your heart and would like to feel this Love, Peace and Joy please read my blog: https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/
When we were children, we sang songs like JOY, JOY, JOY down in our hearts! I don’t know about you, but I felt that song with ever fiber of my body and actually, I still feel it today! Jesus LOVES Me is still at the top of my list of favorite songs. I remember singing those songs while playing and doing chores; when I found Jesus at a very young age (6 years old) he became my rock, I leaned on Him…it became natural to turn to Him because I could feel Him holding me when times were bad. Do you ever find yourselves singing songs about your Love for Jesus today? If you ever had any, did your JOY dissolve with your childhood? Instead of spending all of your time reading the internet and facebook articles on how bad it is…start counting your blessings today and each and everyday make the list longer than the day before. Even if your blessing is having a spoon to eat your soup with…or a towel to dry with after the nice hot shower…to be able to read and study your Bible anytime you wish to…about having a Pastor that is willing to give a Sermon via the internet, so you can be fed with the Word of God. So we need to quit looking at our quarantine as “HOW BAD IT IS” and start looking at it as “Lying down in green pastures and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us”.
In the USA, it may be bad for some, but wake-up people – that’s the case for many even when there isn’t covid-19 to deal with (homelessness, loneliness, child abuse, alcoholism, social security check that doesn’t even start to cover necessities of life) on and on I could write.
The majority of us, however, we are doing okay. We may have to think about things and do things a little differently, but we’re a long way from facing major sacrifices. Thankfully, most of us don’t yet know anyone who’s died of this hideous virus, much less know anyone in the hospital fighting for their lives and let’s all pray that because of our quarantine and social distancing we will never see the results touch our lives. And yes, my head isn’t in the sand…I recognize that there are some areas of the country hit mighty hard by this and God only know why…we can’t begin to guess or second guess the reasons behind the virus. Right now, a lot of us are focused on conspiracy theories and hate rhetoric and missing out on an opportunity that may never come again in our lifetime. A time to “Lay down in a green pastures” and commune with God.
***I’ve been receiving a magazine “The Voice of the Martyrs” from this website for many years and reading it will open your eyes to how good we have it in our country. https://www.persecution.com/