“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT
Have you ever made something to make a child smile? It could be a sibling or a friend, students or babysitting charges, family members, or your own child. There’s something about children and babies that makes us want to make them smile. Especially with Littles ones, we tend to do all sorts of silly things just to see that grin… I love to make things for others that I hope will make them smile. A special cake – a John Degree tractor in all of it’s green glory, once! – or a pie or a special meal, a doll or other plaything. It is inate within us to seek to make our children happy. I’ve seen parents go to extraordinary efforts to make their children smile. Do you imagine God could do anything less?
This feeling, this desire, this inborn behavior. Where do you imagine it came from? God, when creating man, made us know like Him. His desire is for us to be happy. He wants us to make good choices in our lives and make the kinds of decisions that are healthy and good for us. I believe that the angels rejoice with us when we are genuinely smiling and happy. Sound familiar? Almost anyone with a child in any capacity can understand this. So imagine this: God is a father. He is the ULTIMATE Father, both to us and especially to His Firstborn Son, Jesus Christ.
“Christ is the VISIBLE image of the INVISIBLE GOD. He existed before anything was created and is Supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created THROUGH Him and FOR Him.” – Colossians 1:15-16
Focus on that last sentence, verse 16b. “EVERYTHING was created …. for HIM,” Him being Jesus Christ. God doesn’t just leave it at that. Knowing full well that we humans would persist in making bad choices, He allowed His Son – His SON, His Beloved Child – to sacrifice Himself in order that we may be redeemed from the harsh sentence we will receive for our sins. I certainly wouldn’t sacrifice ANY child for someone else. I might, maybe, offer myself, but not a child. They are the innocent, and they don’t deserve the harshness of this world. Jesus is the epitome of innocence.
“For GOD in all His Fullness was pleased to Live in Christ, and through Him GOD reconciled EVERYTHING to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of CHRIST’S BLOOD on the cross.” – Colossians 1:19-20
“For this is how GOD LOVED loved the world: He gave His ONE and ONLY Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. GOD sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in GOD’S One and Only Son.” – John 3:16-18 (All scriptures quoted from http://bible.com/NLT)
WOW. Can’t top that.
Source: Father of my Father
Oh, I pray this day comes soon!
“Rise up, O GOD, and scatter Your enemies. Let those who hate GOD run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of GOD. But let the godly REJOICE. Let them be Glad in GOD’S Presence. Let them be filled with Joy. Sing Praises to GOD and to His Name! Sing loud Praises to Him Who rides the clouds. His Name is the LORD – Rejoice in His Presence! FATHER to the fatherless, DEFENDER of widows – this is GOD, Whose dwelling is Holy. GOD places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them Joy. But He makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land…. Praise the LORD; praise GOD our SAVIOR! For each day He carries us in His Arms. Our GOD is a GOD Who saves! The SOVEREIGN LORD rescues us from death. But GOD will smash the heads of His enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways.” – Psalms 68:1-6, 19-21
Many of us are saying “When, LORD? When will we be free; when will we have this Joy You speak of? And when will our enemies be crushed and perish, since so many of them seem to be the ones who prosper th most in this world? ” A thousand years to us is but a day to the LORD, so consider that it has only been a couple of days since Jesus died and rose from the grave.
“LORD, through ALL the generations You have been our Home! Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are GOD. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals!” For You, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” Psalms 90:1-4
When you feel most hopeless, completely mired down with despair, you are not alone…. IF you have accepted Jesus as Savior and allowed the Holy Spirit into your life. I’ve dealt with those feelings, and it was only through the Grace of our Glorious GOD that I made it through them (with a lot of help from the doctors that the LORD has given the talent to help others). I absolutely cannot imagine experiencing all that without GOD on my side! Even when our spouse cheats or abandons us; losing our livelihood, our home, our “stuff” through experiences out of our control; losing a child or beloved family member to death…. The LORD will sustain us, IF we allow Him to. Far too often, we react to bad things by blaming GOD, when we should be looking at the enemy and swath of destruction, Satan’s joy. Satan’s excitement and satisfaction comes from us rejecting GOD; from us blaming our LORD, rather than him. When we turn away from GOD, I imagine he and his demonic beings are doing a little happy dance. BUT, he will get his just rewards:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse [see, I TOLD you there are horses in heaven!!] was standing there. Its Rider was named FAITHFUL and TRUE, for He judges fairly and wages a righteous war…. On His robe at His thigh was written this title: KING of all kings and LORD of all Lords. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast – miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” – Revelation 19:11, 16-16, 20
“And He (The LORD) also said, “It is finished! I AM the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the Water of Life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their GOD, and they will be my children. But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” – Revelation 21:6-8
Have you received the Water of Life? Because if you have, we’ll get to meet in heaven with Jesus and all of the saints and our loved ones who have gone before us. HALLELUJAH!
(All scriptures quoted http://bible.com/NLT)
“In the night I search for You; in the morning I earnestly seek You. For only when You come to judge the earth will people learn what is right.” – Isaiah 26:9
The ultimate oxymoron: If I know that God is always with me, why do I have to look so hard to find Him?
My humble opinion is that we spend so much of our energy and our lives searching, because we have a preconceived idea of WHO and WHAT He is. The problem is that our construct doesn’t match up with the very real and Holy God Who is in front of us…. at least, that’s how it appears to me. Don’t think I’m pointing fingers, because this is an observation I have made concerning my own life; I’ve corroborated my theory by watching others.
It makes me wonder why we try to hard to make our lives, and the lives of others, so difficult and so often painful. Here is what King David had to say about it:
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD GOD, my GOD, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” – 1 Chronicles 28:20a
If we choose to believe that God is indeed the Be-all and the End-all, instead of the puny little god that we try so hard to make Him in to, we can gain the assurance we so desperately need. It’s incredibly simple, yet so difficult for us. Thus the difficulty. We have to CHOOSE to trust that what we cannot see; some ONE Who is beyond all that is humanly conceivable. But when we DO choose:
“You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him now, you trust Him; and you rejoice with a GLORIOUS, INEXPRESSIBLE JOY. The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:8-9
(Scriptures are from http://bible.com/NLT)
What’s your favorite television show? Favorite author or book genre? How about your radio station? Are you quick to turn it off or put the book away if someone comes by unexpectedly? I have been in the situation of not wanting anyone to know what I was seeing/reading…. and it’s not a good feeling! If I feel like I need to hide what I’m doing, it seems to me that I am probably doing something that God would be sorry to see. If I’m hiding my deeds, isn’t it because they are wrong, and if I know they are wrong in God’s eyes, then it must be something the enemy wants me to do.
It’s all around us, permeating our surroundings and our very souls. Too ‘heavy’ for you? If you are new to my blog/fb page, let me reiterate my motto for you: “If I were to remain silent, I would be guilty of complicity.” There are so many people, so many LEADERS, out there, who want to pull us away from God’s Will, even so-called preachers. Take the 70’s slogan, “Don’t worry, be happy.” On the surface, it sounds great, even almost spiritual. I’m not saying God wants us to mope around all day and always be serious and never smile. On the contrary, I believe it makes Him happy to see us genuinely smiling and happy. In the 60’s and 70’s, a number of musicians including Pete Steger and The Byrds, whom I would not consider spiritual musicians, recorded the song “Turn, Turn,” which is almost verbatim to the KJV Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is nothing wrong with watching TV or movies, or reading books, or listening to the radio. There is nothing wrong with playing games. The problem is that we let these things overwhelm our thoughts until there is no room for God. Just remember, you will always have the choice of who to serve, and we are ALWAYS serving …. the question is, who? There are only two choices, and every decision you make boils down to one of those choices. Is it for GOD, or is it for the enemy?
“A final word: Be strong in the LORD and in His Mighty Power. Put on all of GOD’S Armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT
(Scriptures from http://bible.com)
Language is an interesting tool that has been defined and refined over the centuries. We have spoken languages, written languages, and signed languages, all in uncountable dialects. Even within one country, even one city, we can find it difficult to understand another person’s way of speaking. We have coded languages for computers… that may well be the most universally used language of all!
Jesus warns us about our language on several occasions. “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” – Matthew 5:21-22 NLT
And again, James talks about how damaging our words can be: “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.” – James 3:5-6 NLT
Many, if not all, of us know firsthand how hurtful words can be. We may have grown up hearing how stupid or ugly or worthless we were. We may use sarcasm as a mechanism to hurt others. If you are in a relationship where words are used in a hurtful manner, you may need to rethink WHY you are with that person. For much of my life I used sarcasm as my “second” language to deflect how worthless I felt. Think about how you say things. I struggle constantly with my mouth to combat the biting tone and disrespectful words I use as a defense mechanism. When we speak, the goal should be to uplift someone, not to cut them down. Mom used to tell us ” If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.” Someday, I will stand in front of God on His Judgment Throne and be chastised for all of my words that were far from good.
Here’s the thing: we have to submit our tongues to the LORD. He alone can tame our mouths, and we don’t have forever to ask for His help and forgiveness. I do know this: “The LORD isn’t really being slow about His Promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” – 2 Peter 3:9 NLT
I’m really thankful He was (and is) patient with me.
(All scriptures quoted from http://bible.com)