I Am In Need… or, I Am Needy

“O GOD, You are my GOD; I earnestly search for You. My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen You in Your sanctuary and gazed upon Your Power and Glory. Your unfailing Love is better than life itself; how I praise You! I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise You with songs of Joy.” – Psalms 63:1‭-‬5 NLT

I want to be like David, satisfied with nothing more than God’s Love, but I am too much in need…… or too needy?….. to be satisfied with the best thing available in this world. And it is a GIFT; freely given to us by the Almighty, the gift of His Faithfulness and Sacrifice and His Love. A gift so rich that not all of the billionaires and millionaires joining all of their resources can even begin to compete with. And our LORD wants us to have it with zero cost. How can that be? WHY can we not be satisfied with such a priceless, unmatchable gift?

GOD saved you by His GRACE when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a Gift from GOD.” – Ephesians 2:8 NLT

I think we aren’t satisfied because it is incomprehensible to us. Bill Gates, or Donald Trump, or George Soros could gift me with mansions and property, vehicles, and a trust fund to carry me effortlessly through life, and yet all that doesn’t even come close to the Gift of GOD’S Love. Incomprehensible, incomparable, …… unbelievable? For far too many people, GOD’S incredible Gift is exactly that – unbelievable. A deity that we cannot see or touch wants to give me Life? They can’t understand it, so they reject Him.

“He was despised and rejected— a Man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” – Isaiah 53:3 NLT

Oh, for the faith of Paul, who was jailed for his faith, yet continued his testifying, and his encouraging letters to other believers, in spite of his confinement and suffering. How many of us would continue teaching and preaching while held in chains? “One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent!” ” – Acts of the Apostles 18:9 NLT

Will you be like Peter, whom JESUS called the Rock, or will we be as dry grass when the Judgment occurs?

“Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot and their flowers wither. For they have rejected the Law of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the HOLY ONE of Israel.” – Isaiah 5:24 NLT

Dead…. Only NOT Dead

Have you ever wondered what we will look like when we meet again in heaven? I subscribe to the belief that we will look like ourselves, only perfected by Christ’s Love. There won’t be any twisted bodies or missing parts or damaged brains. There won’t be any ugliness or sorrow, either. So, the next question is “Will we have wings, and will we all be blue-eyed and pale-skinned?” Absolutely not! God created us in our of our splendor, just as He created animals in theirs. Heaven will be a colorful and cheerful place. After all, God created color! I can’t speak for you, but I look forward to waking up in heaven and seeing Jesus in all His splendid Glory. My Daddy and my Grandma, our lost babies, and my fur babies will be waiting, vigorous and healthy and happy. All the Christ-followers that I have known, plus millions I didn’t know on earth, in all of their colors and ethnicities, will be there, too. I know that I will know them, however God sees fit to resurrect them in paradise. Sidenote: remember all of the people who have searched for the fabled Fountain of Youth and the City of Gold? They all looked in the wrong place, and WE get to spend eternity …. i.e. for-EVER ….. with both, because heaven contains them.

“But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting.

Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.

It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ( 1 Corinthians 15:35‭-‬44‭, ‬55 NLT)

Are you confident of gaining your new body, or are you still running scared from the sting of death and the enemy? It is your choice, and yours alone, whether you will have a magnificent new body in heaven with Jesus, or a tormented and deformed body in everlasting hell with the enemy.

“Thank God for His Gift too Wonderful for words!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT)

Grace and Peace

“May GOD the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you Grace and Peace.” – Titus 1:4 NLT

What a tremendous greeting! Think how different the world might be if we greeted everyone, all the time, with those words. “Peace be with you” is a recurring statement in the New Testament, from Jesus and His disciples as they greet each other. I wonder why we lost this…. Now, we barely acknowledge each other with a nod or mumbled “How’re you” or “Hey,” and a response of “Fine. You?” or a “Hey” in return. Very generic, and it lets us slid by without any real inaction. I loved to walk down the corridors when I was working, smiling and speaking to everyone I could, and responding with a “Fabulous!” whenever anyone offered even an insincere “How are you.” It was such fun, even though some people had a real problem with it! Maybe, as Christians, we should begin greeting everyone as Paul did in his letters to the different congregations. How’s that sound to you?

“Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may GOD the Father and the LORD Jesus Christ give you Love with Faithfulness. May GOD’s Grace be eternally upon all who love our LORD Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 6:23‭-‬24 NLT

Consequences

“Be not deceived; GOD is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap Life Everlasting.” – Galatians 6:7‭-‬8 KJV

What an unpopular scripture! “Girls just wanna have fun….” “Love the one you’re with….” “Love ’em and leave ’em….” Take a few minutes and listen to the top songs, look at the publicity of Hollywood stars, see what is being said about top athletes and politicians in the news. Our society is all about “me” and having a good time. People are so busy chasing the “dream” and complaining about others, that God and consequences for our actions are pushed back and forgotten.

“Be not deceived; GOD is not mocked….”

“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the Justice of GOD. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” – Galatians 6:7‭-‬8 NLT

If you take the time to consider this statement Paul made in one of his letters to the Christ-followers in Galatia, it should probably stop you in your tracks and give you pause in your life. Harvesting what we plant can be a good thing, or it can be a nightmare. I think that for most Christians, this is recognized and acknowledged. We reap both good and bad, and we know it is consequences. However, we must also learn that the bad things that happen to us (illness, deformities, cancer, rape, abuse, and more) are not always OUR consequences. The bad and the ugly in our world is courtesy of our enemy Satan. We suffer the consequences of his rebellion against the Almighty God, through the choices of Adam and Eve, and because of our own rebellions. We shouldn’t just dwell on the consequences, and we DEFINITELY shouldn’t try to justify someone’s lives as their own consequences. Many, no, MOST of the “bad” comes directly from the enemy as he tries to break us into blaming God and turning our backs on Him. Satan has made great strides on the earth in turning people against God through the introduction of atheism and agnosticism, and through false prophets such as Buddha and Mohammed (and many others).

Consequences hurt, but they don’t have to derail us or destroy us. “Seek the LORD, all who are humble, and follow His commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you— protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.” – Zephaniah 2:3 NLT

It is vital to recognize our responsibilities. Whether our struggles are the consequences for our own actions, or roadblocks thrown into our lives by the enemy, we have to keep our eyes and our hearts focused on Jesus. We have the added benefit of the Holy Spirit on our side. For me – and you – to live is Christ, and to die is gain. To help me keep my focus where it should be, I listen to positive music infused with the Love of the LORD. In my home and in my vehicle, that means the radio is tuned to K-LOVE at 88.9 FM and 103.7 FM, or AIR-1 at 91.9 FM (Oklahoma City OK area…..), or online at http://www.klove.com. (Yes, this a shameless plug for K-LOVE Radio, and no, I am not compensated by the station.) Try it! You might just find the inspiration or encouragement you need to make it another day, or at the very least, it can help adjust your attitude to a more positive one….

“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. Dear brothers and sisters, may the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. AMEN.” – Galatians 6:14‭, ‬18 NLT

(https://bible.com/bible)

Here I am LORD, arms wide open…. (Jeremy Camp, Gracefully Broken)

“__________” Lives Matter

“For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.” – 1 Peter 1:24 NIV (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Remember singing this as a child?

“Red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight, Jesus Loves the little children of the world!”

We should be singing this every day, but substituting the words “all tbe people” for “little children”. He loves us, ALL the children …. He LOVES us!! He doesn’t care what color I am on the outside, because we are all the same without our skin. I find myself discriminating against people more for their appearance than their color, and that is just as bad as discrimination for color. We are called to love EVERYONE, regardless of color, or appearance, or political beliefs; EVERYONE, regardless of actions. I know firsthand how difficult is when a person has hurt you. Proverbs 10:12 says: “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” The LOVE of JESUS covers over ALL wrongs…..” This is so true. When I stay angry, or tense, or full of hatred, it REALLY affects me. Mentally, it gives me worry and stress headaches, and physically, it gives me stomach cramps that lead to ulcers. Does it hurt the person who harmed me? No, not all. They go on with their lives while I pay the price in my body with the hatred I carry. Just say “A pox on them!” and let it go. Remember this:

“For GOD Loved the world so much that He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish….” – John 3:16 NLT

Do I believe that this gives people who intentionally hurt others a pass? Absolutely not; I know that anyone can accept Jesus and experience His salvation (Hallelujah!), but we still have consequences for our actions. I can’t imagine how that will work when we stand before the Great White Throne for judgement by the Supreme and Almighty LORD of the Universe. All I can say for sure about that time, is that I know my Advocate is Jesus, and that I get to spend eternity with Amen.

ALL lives matter to Jesus. Red, yellow, black, white, blue. All the people of the world.

Revelation!

“Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” – Hab. 2:2‭-‬3 NIV

Heaven and hell; Real, or imagined?

What do you say? I pray, for your sake, you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, that you pray and study the Bible, GOD’S Word, and that you believe that is true. I pray that you have said “Yes, I believe there is a heaven and a hell.” I have nothing to gain by asking that question, but you have EVERYTHING to gain by believing and knowing the Truth. Jesus said:

“I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life. NO ONE comes to the FATHER except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know My FATHER as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” – John 14:6‭-‬7 NIV

How cool that must have been for the disciples, when they begin to understand that they were actually in the presence of GOD! I will eventually get to see JESUS face to Face, by imagine! The crowds of people and the disciples…. they walked with Jesus and they talked with JESUS, in the flesh, where they could look Him in the eyes and receive His Blessings in person. How AWESOME is that! It won’t be long for the rest of us, and we will get to see Him, too. Before that happens, we have to deal with our world as it is: messed up, polluted, filled with corruption and evil. The Ren Collective sings a song that says “I need a miracle.” So do I!

We have something as Christians that is uniquely ours, and that is our salvation. We know where we are going, and we know, or should know, that we can run to JESUS when the world tries to overwhelm us. Is that where you run? Do you ask Him for clarity of thought and protection? If not, …… WHY?

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near……. “Look, He is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of Him.” So shall it be! Amen. “I AM the Alpha and the Omega,” says the LORD GOD, “Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty.” ” – Revelation 1:3,7‭-‬8 NIV

AMEN.

Ministry

I am not a great orator, nor have I had the opportunities to speak to groups – although I would like to. I do not have a congregation or a classroom. What I do have is social media, and my prayer is that I may spread the teaching and love of Christ, the Truth of our LORD, through this source to someone who may not otherwise hear it.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the Light of the Gospel that displays the Glory of CHRIST, Who is the Image of GOD. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as LORD, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For GOD, Who said, “Let Light shine out of darkness,” made His Light shine in our hearts to give us the Light of the Knowledge of GOD’s glory displayed in the Face of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4‭-‬6 NIV

It breaks my heart on a daily basis to see the misery that we/humans inflict upon ourselves. We have worked ourselves and our world into untenable positions by continually choosing the enemy and his enticements over the God Who created us. It somerimes amazes me that even with history to refer to, and the examples across millennium, we make such bad choices for humanity. Everywhere I look, I see people who are out for themselves, no matter the cost to those around them. We create circumstances for ourselves, and make choices, that make our lives a living hell at worst and just scraping by at best. How can I say that? I can say it because I live it. My choices have put me into a situation where I am so overextended that I cannot meet basic expenses. If not for a very good friend who has been paying the mortgage and car payments, I would be without a home or transportation. If my life choices had been better, my “retirement” would at least be tolerable. So many others are in the place I could so easily be …. I know that there, but for the Grace of God, go I.

We must be so careful of judging others by appearance. The blinders offered the enemy can prevent them, and us, from seeing the Truth of our LORD, JESUS CHRIST. The god of this earth, our enemy Satan, works diligently to hide the Truth, and we as Christians assist him by being fearful to share our faith and the Truth. We fear rejection from our peers. We want to fit in with our friends, and we don’t even try to put Christ first because it is inconvenient. Dare to be different. Stand up for Right, even if it puts us at odds with our friends and family. Jesus said we would be persecuted and ostracized for our faith, just as He was. Do you dare?