Thursday, 22 October 2020

Fake News

Proverbs 14:5 A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies.

      Quote; "Don't believe everything you hear, don't believe everything you read and only believe half of what you see." Fake news is nothing new. The Nazis used fake news to discredit the Jewish people. What is known as yellow journalism and sensationalism in writing false stories to increase the readership of newspapers has been around since the late 1800s.
      The intensity caused by the ever-increasing information that we are experiencing today is that sensational and fake news is available on all media platforms, as well as the old traditional ways of news reporting. It is so easy to be overwhelmed and duped with false information that people are having trust issues with all the so-called reliable sources. False stories, inaccurate witnessing, and conspiratorial blabbering is rampant. Prov. 14:5 A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies.
      The Holy Spirit admonishes us to test the spirit of what is said. 1John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Those who are in Christ, are blessed to be able to ask God to help discern what is being promoted as reliable news, whether it is secular or religious. Even though we are not of the world system, we do live in the world, and we need to know what to pray for so that God can influence the leaders in this world.     
      Jesus had to deal with fake news concerning Himself. Matt. 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” There were rumours and hearsay going around as to who Jesus was. Matt.16:14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” There were rumours then as is today. If Jesus was John the Baptist, then this would be one of those alien tabloid shapeshifting stories because John had been executed not long ago.
      If Jesus was one of the late prophets or Jeremiah, then this worked out for the Scribes and Pharisees, because they could keep their power structure going and keep looking for a Massiah who represented their own values. If Jesus was Elijah, then again this worked in favour of the Scribe's self-righteous beliefs. Matt.17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? Even though Elijah had come in the spirit of John The Baptist the Scribes could calculate within their own narrow-mindedness and keep Jesus as an enemy of their sacrosanct system.
      The Lord asked Peter a key question, just as Jesus is asking everyone today. "Who do you say that I am?" If our answer is not clear and to the point as Peter's declaration was, then we have fallen for fake news as to who Jesus is. Matt. 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” The blessing that we have is when we are honest with God and truly want to know the truth, God will reveal it. Matt.16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
      How much fake news have we been responsible for? What have we reposted, gossiped, and retold with our slant on it without validating the facts or the truth of the matter? Have you muddied the waters even more than they are? How much fake news do we put out in the world while complaining of all the fake news coming our way? Stop it! Let us get a grip on our own hearts that Jesus has secured through His blood and the cross. 
      Stop blaming current problems on everything going on around us, and let us take up our position as saints in Christ. We need to open our mouths and declare the good news - Jesus is Lord! Let us live in the peace Christ gave us and not get caught up in all the exploitative journalism. John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world. Be courageous, we are more than conquerors. Keep your ear to the ministry and direction of the Holy Spirit. Amen! 

Friday, 16 October 2020

Burning Spears

Proverbs 6:27 Can a man embrace fire and his clothes not be burned?

      Do you feel like everything you do is under some kind of scrutiny and at any moment a burning spear will pin you to the wall of social opinion and judgment? If you are living your life in expectation of others affirming your worth then you will be sorely disappointed. 
      Only the Lord can affirm your existence and reason for being because He made you. Only God has the blueprint to your particular needs and nothing in this temporal world can satisfy your eternal nature. If you are going to depend on the affirmations of public opinion to feel good about yourself, then you will leave your soul open to the fiery spears that are flying in all directions and you will get burned. Prov. 6:27 Can a man embrace fire and his clothes not be burned?
      If we are in Christ, then it does not matter what burning spear the devil throws at us, because God, has given us His armour to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy. Eph. 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. We don't need the world's acknowledgment to affirm our divine existence when we have God proclaiming our citizenship in His kingdom.  
      Goliath had a spear that had gone through many men. It was a weapon to be reckoned with. 1 Sam. 17:7a His spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam, and the iron point of his spear weighed fifteen pounds. If Goliath had social media, he would have been a troll. His blowhard bellowing dialogue was loud and obnoxious. He had nothing but contempt for the nation under God. This giant thought he could bad mouth God's people and scare them into slavery. Prov. 16:27 A worthless person digs up evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.
       Thank God the Lord's plans are way ahead of everything and everyone. Goliath may have had a plan to destroy God's chosen, but God had a better plan for His people. The Lord used a young man who honoured and believed God's word.1 Sam 17:45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
       Satan's methods of attack toward the citizens of this earth are to keep throwing hot spears in the hope of frightening the people into fearful choices that will cause bondage in life. However, we who belong to the Lord have the word of God that delivers us from the threats and accusations of the enemy. We have God's promises that lead us to become overcomers in the battles of life. Our heavenly Father has more than one plan to make us victorious. Job 5:19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
      There is a spear that speaks loudly in our devotional life. The spear that pierced the Lord's side while He suffered on the cross was the final wound our saviour would take from mankind. John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. The last abusive thrust upon the Lord resulted in our first steps toward eternal freedom. Satan thought this burning spear would end God's plan for man, but it became the fiery spear that would sentence Satan to eternal damnation. 
      What a God we serve. The Lord can take all things that are meant for our harm and turn them into the victories for our life. Rom. 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Thank you, Lord, for your goodness and affirming us as your own.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Carnal Brain Damage

Proverbs 21: 30 No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the LORD.

      Romans 1:21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. 
      Imagine, your thinking becoming worthless. How pathetic it would be to come to the end of your life and realize that what came out of your brain was damaged and worthless expression. We are not talking about people who actually have brain damage, Those poor souls have a reason for their behaviour. We are talking about people who think they know more than God and have no problem saying so.
      In 1961, becoming the first human to enter space, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin said, "I looked and looked but I didn't see God." The narrative that followed on the newsreels of this condescending quote was the so-called supreme minds of the day who had just conquered such incredible space travel, had declared God dead and none existent. Wow! How pathetic to think themselves so above the knowledge of God. Rom. 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools. Psalm 14:1a The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.
      I read on Cross Examined .org: The French philosopher Voltaire, who slandered the Christian faith and claimed the bible was written by fools, said in 1776, “One hundred years from my day, there will not be a Bible on earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity-seeker.” The irony of this declaration is that fifty years after Voltaire's death, the very house from where he once lived and wrote his vicious attacks was used by the Evangelical Society of Geneva as a storehouse for Bibles and Gospel tracts. Also, the printing presses Voltaire used to print his odious accusations were used to print bibles. Prov. 21:30 No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the LORD.
      There have always been puffed up carnal minds who think they can outwit God. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy of the same type of nonsense that is heard and seen on our newsfeeds today. 1Tim 6:20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. Paul's statement of "So-called knowledge," says it all. These so-called enlightened thinkers have passed this way before. Paul's admonition to us who are in Christ is to, "Guard what God has entrusted to us, and avoid godless, foolish discussions." This expresses what we are to do in our faith so that we do not fall for the foolishness of these self-proclaimed know-it-alls.
      This carnal brain damage syndrome or the foolishness of the carnal mind floats around us and is becoming a default setting for the masses. We have to rise above this thinking and take responsibility to study the word of God to become skilled in righteousness and be spiritually mature to recognize mindless dribble when we hear it. 2Tim. 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 
      The carnal mind does not seek out God for God's purposes because the carnal mind is not capable of discerning the Spirit of God. 1Cor. 2:14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Instead, the carnally minded seeks out so-called knowledge so they can become their own god. 
      The truth is easy to live by when you have the Prince of Peace and truth living in your heart. We do not have to become damaged in our thinking, by seeking out mysterious knowledge to find God. We just have to humbly ask Him to come and dwell within us through Christ and teach us all we need to know to be a blessing to Him and each other. The Spirit of God will lead us if we let Him. Matt. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Amen and amen!

Friday, 2 October 2020

Good Governance

Proverbs. 21:1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; He guides it wherever He pleases.

      My wife translates my blogs for my Spanish blog page and is astute when it comes to seeing the trends I am writing about. She remarked that it could be construed that I am anti-government by some of the remarks I have made in my recent blogs. Therefore, I do apologize if I have left the impression that I am anti-government. I am firmly for good government and I am definitely for good and righteous law-enforcement as most of you are. We all want to live in a law-abiding society enjoying our civil liberties to live out our faith.
      What I have tried to communicate is my uneasiness with the nanny-state we are becoming. The intrusiveness our government has taken to lately has left us with a sense that we are immature children needing babysitting. Plus, I am not at peace with what seems to be a department of the thought-police measuring the weight of all my words and conversations because someone may have been offended by what I said. Yes, I question policies that are contrary to the uplifting of human dignity. I think we should question governments when unrighteousness is promoted as being good for the people. Isa. 5:20 What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. Perhaps the pandemic has awakened this focal change in everyone and we are all seeing more than usual. 
      I am a hundred percent in favour of good governance in all areas of our political systems. It does not matter if it is national, provincial, or municipal government, I do pray for my leaders regularly whether I voted for them or not, because God asks us to. 1Tim. 2:1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 
      The word directs us to pray for our leaders so that God can move their hearts in the direction God wants them to go. Prov. 21:1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; He guides it wherever He pleases. I realize this is a hard word for some patriots because the hatred of politicians has become a national sport. There are newspapers and TV channels dedicated to only reporting news that is negative when it comes to certain politicians. Be that as it may, God still expects His children to obey the word rather than the directives of these so-called unbiased news reporters.
      Good government is God's idea. We only have to read the laws in the old testament to see that God wanted the right and fair treatment of all people. The problem arose when kings and nations rejected God's idea of governance and went their own way as we are seeing today. It is hard to follow leaders who have no integrity of heart. Since we cannot see the inner man and only God knows the heart of a man we, therefore, pray for our leaders because God has directed us to do so. As in all hard things, if we ask God for help, He will help us pray for our leaders.
      There are always going to be problems in government because people are not perfect even though politicians sometimes tell us differently. So what is the answer to all the mayhem in government? Even though I feel the way I do about what I see at this time in leadership around the world, I only have one option. I am to do as the Lord said. I am to pray for my leadership within my country, province/state, town, and church so that I may live in peace. 
      Pray for your leaders and the reward is living in peace even though there is no peace in the land. 1Tim. 2:2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. Notice the promise is - we can live peaceful lives! If we all prayed for whoever was leading our country, there would be such a manifestation of peace throughout the land, because we ourselves would be at peace. No wonder Satan keeps pointing out all that is wrong with our leaders and we get suckered into the devil's negative.
      Yes, there is lots going wrong with the government but we serve the King of kings and the Lord of leaders. Jesus is Lord. Let us pray for the leaders who God created, and we will live in the peace God has made for us. Blessings.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

In My Own Defence

Proverbs 18:17 The first to speak in court sounds right—until the cross-examination begins.

      I was listening to a lady on the radio who was complaining that she could not find any peace in her life. She was trying to justify herself by explaining all the sacrifices she was doing for others and still had no genuine peace in her soul. She started sounding like someone with a martyr complex. This is a common complaint among the dissatisfied in this world. What they are saying in their self-righteousness, is a declaration of, "In my own defence I have tried to outweigh the wrongs in my life with a lot of what I consider to be good deeds." 
      When we stand before God on that glorious day making an account of our life, the last thing we are going to want to say to God is, "In my own defence, I believe that I earned a place in your glorious kingdom because I outweighed the evil in my life with some good works." Rom. 3:10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one." The only plea we are going to have in our so-called defence will be, "I plead the blood of Jesus and receive His righteousness through Christ."
      As the proverb says, the first to speak in court sounds right until the judge of the universe cross-examines your heart. Prov. 18:17 The first to speak in court sounds right—until the cross-examination begins. How have the people of this world become so full of their own conceit that they actually think they can maneuver God out of His salvation plan with personal justifications of self-righteousness? Talk about being deceived and in absolute need of God's mercy.
      A problem arises when God is rejected throughout a person's life. They live with no authority or righteous king guiding them. They end up doing what is right in their own eyes or what is right according to their own standard. This is not a new problem. Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. 
      A person's moral code varies depending on what they justify so they can get what they want. Their standard becomes flexible and they end up saying things like, "In this particular situation I can lie and cheat because I desperately need this money." At the same time, these same people will declare that it is not right for others to steal from them. We can rationalize any sin when desperation is crushing against our evermoving standards of personal moral code.
      We need a real standard created by the real God. We desperately need Jehovah-Nissi in our lives. Ex. 17:15 And Moses built an altar and named it, “The LORD Is My Banner.” We need a standard that is so above anything a man can imagine, and that is a righteous God to set the standard of our defence. We need a saviour to save us from ourselves. 2Cor. 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.
      What I have learned over the years as I have walked with the Lord, is that my own defence does not have much going for it. The reality is, all of my defence and righteousness is found in Christ. I am not saved by the good things that I do and I am not damned by the wrong things that I do. I am saved by the blood of Jesus and the finished work of His sacrifice. He has given me His life for mine. The gift of my salvation has allowed me to participate in the good works that are what the Lord says is needed to be done.
      So, in my own defence, I have none. However, in my righteousness through Christ, I have a real defence that when the God of the universe cross-examines my heart He will see Jesus alive and reigning supreme throughout my soul. May it be the same for all of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Amen!

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Lies We Want To Believe

Proverbs 29:12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.

      Elections are an interesting time if only, to see what lies people want to believe. Why do we have certain lies we nurture and want to believe? What is it about the human condition that we will let our guard down when it comes to certain lies? The drug addict wants to believe the lie that says, "I can stop this addiction at any time." Yet, their lie keeps them addicted. The man who is sixty pounds overweight swallows the lie he wants to believe. He says to himself, "I only have a small weight problem and I have it under control." The woman who has been beaten up for the fifth time wants to believe the lie that her husband didn't mean to break her arm again.              
      Why does our human character fall for the same lies over and over again? Is our fear of the unknown future so terrifying that we feel safer living in the present lie while tolerating the effects the lie has on our lives? For this reason alone our need for a saviour is so apparent. Over and over again as we live in our lie, we prove our need for God. Rom. 5:8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Only the Lord can deliver us from our chosen deception.
      The biggest lie we all fall for and want to believe is that we have lots of time to do what we have always wanted to do or what God has called us to do. 2Cor. 6:2 For he says: At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation! Now is the time. Stop putting your life on hold. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any man. James 4:14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
       We read the story of Nehemiah who was called to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem. Neh. 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. As it was with Nehemiah and his construction crew, Satan will come to us with his lie saying, "We have lots of time to do what God has asked us to do." 
      Satan uses these deadbeats Sanballat and Tobiah to try and stop the work by using mockery. Neh. 4:1 When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious. He mocked the Jews. When this did not work the devil tried persecutions and distractions. Neh. 4:8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw it into confusion. Nehemiah did not take his eye off of God's plan but kept his crew vigilant. Neh.4:18 Each of the builders had his sword strapped around his waist while he was building, and the trumpeter was beside me.
      When the distractions of life did not work on Nehemiah, Satan pushed again by coming to Nehemiah in the lie of false friendship. Neh. 6:2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: “Come, let’s meet together in the villages of the Ono Valley.” They were planning to harm me. The lie we often want to believe is that our acquaintances we think are friends would not hurt us. This lie is insidious because we want people to like us. Satan knows how to use this lie against us. However, Nehemiah knew better. Prov. 29:12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. Nehemiah responded wisely. Neh 6:3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing important work and cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you? ” Why should we waste our time with the world when God has occupied our hearts?
      The walls of Jerusalem got built in record time because the lies of life were dealt with. When we become honest with ourselves, we too will be able to discern the falsehoods we have willfully been believing and will become wise to their destructive temptations. We have been delivered from this spirit of deception. Prov. 30:8a Keep falsehood and lies far from me. Let us ask God to show us clearly what lie we have to cut out of our lives so we can live in the peace Christ has ordained for us all. Amen!

Friday, 11 September 2020

The Gospel Of Shame

Proverbs 3:35 The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.

      Benjamin Franklin said, "Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame." 
      There is a whole lot of anger in the world right now and is polarizing people into picking a side of many irrational arguments. The new scarlet letter is upon us. As the scarlet letter labelled a person for an adulterous act, so now the narrative toward masks, vaccines, and flu shots are labelling those who are not submitting to government rhetoric an enemy to those whom we love. 
      What these new advertisements are implying, is that If I do not get a flu shot this fall season, then it means that I do not care for my elderly family members because I will be responsible for their death from the flu. If I don't wear a mask it means I hate my fellow citizen. If I don't get vaccinated when the inevitable vaccine comes out, it means I'm indifferent to my society. This gospel of shame is leaking through the propaganda which is creating a culture war among the people and is being fed to us on all media platforms.
      Whatever side of the argument a person is on, is not a reason for anger and hate. If you want to wear a mask then wear it, if not, then don't. But stop creating a wall of division that is so intensely defended at any cost including everyone's freedom. Stop making the other person feel shame because they do not think as you do. Marilyn J. Sorensen said, "Unlike guilt, which is the feeling of doing something wrong, shame is the feeling of being something wrong." 
      Yes, we are to take precautions during this time of a global pandemic. However, to react in a tyrannical manner toward each other is not the answer to healing the world's residents of this disease. The damage done by all the anger and hate to the souls of our population will be worse and longer-lasting than the virus's effect on the world to date. 1Cor. 4:14 I’m not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my dear children.
      Our shame was nailed to the cross when Jesus was crucified. I do not have to pick up anyone's accusation of shame and make it my own. This is the same argument of getting a tattoo or not having one and smoking or not smoking. The difference this time is that the governments are the jokers dealing from the deck that affecting our lives. If Christ went to the cross to get rid of our shame then why are we so quick to lay shame on others?
      Maybe if the governments of the world were not so obsequiously disingenuous we might be trusting of them, but absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we end up fending for ourselves when it comes to the truth of any matter. This is why we are going to have to trust the Lord when it comes to what we are going to do and believe. Whether or not we will act wisely or foolishly. Prov.3:35 The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.  
      The Lord asks us to trust Him with all our hearts and not our own made-up answers. Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. God's word is full of promises that encourages us to believe that God will take care of us. The question becomes, "Do you believe Him?" The choice is believing God or the government agencies that are scrambling for answers to things they do not fully understand. True enough, we are learning how to defeat this pandemic together, but we who are in Christ can be calm in the middle of this worldwide storm.
      This gospel of shame does not have any part in our inheritance and we should not be passing the shame along. On the contrary, we should be breaking the yoke of this debilitating weapon that the enemy of our soul uses. Do what you have to do to get through this mess but don't drag anyone down with you because of your fears. The Lord has not given us the spirit of fear. Fear belongs to those who wallow in the anxiety of the world. 2Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Come on Saints, give out the love. It is truly needed right now.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Sleeping With The Light On

Proverbs 3:24 When you lie down you will not be filled with fear; when you lie down your sleep will be pleasant.

      When I sleep, I know I am sleeping with the light on because God is light. God is awake and on the scene at all times. We can rest and sleep in peace because God, who is light, takes care of us even during the hardest and darkest times. Psalm 3:5 I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. 6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. 
      We never have to worry about missing out because God keeps us in the loop so to speak while we are sleeping. God sows within us our instruction for a victorious life. He makes sure that we get ahead of the pride that can be so destructive within our hearts. Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds. 16 Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, 17 in order to turn a person from his actions and suppress the pride of a person.
      Whether we are awake or sleeping, we can be at peace and assured that God is in control. The Lord has the best intentions for our souls. Even during times of heartache and loss when we want to sleep just to escape or get away from the turbulent pain within our being, we can be assured that God is at work within us. This is why the Lord continually leads us to rest in who God is. His rest brings the sleep of the innocent into our lives. Prov. 3:24 When you lie down you will not be filled with fear; when you lie down your sleep will be pleasant.
      In the books of Acts, chapter twelve, we read the story of Herod persecuting the newborn church. He had killed John's brother James and saw that it had pleased the Jews, so he went after Peter and arrested him. Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was praying fervently to God for him. The night before Herod was going to bring Peter to trial, Peter was sleeping in chains between two soldiers and there was a gatekeeper for extra security.
      What did Peter have in his heart that gave him such calmness of life? He is in complete peace sleeping in a dark prison as if a light was on. He is so comfortable that an angel has to disturb his sleep to wake him up and bring him through a divine jailbreak. Acts 12:7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. Striking Peter on the side, he woke him up and said, “Quick, get up! ” And the chains fell off his wrists.
      What should have been a dark and bleak event in Peter's life turned out to be a time of rest. Peter did not know the church was praying for his deliverance. Yet, he was wrapped in the peace of God. The Lord who is light was battling on Peter's behalf. He was literally sleeping with the light on in the darkest of situations and God delivered him. Psalm 34:4 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
      We do not have to worry during the darkest times of our life. God is awake while we sleep and He is in control when we are awake. No matter the situation, the Lord of the universe is always at work so that we can see clearly when the murky darkness of life come against us. Saints, as Jesus walked in the light, we walk in the light that is shinning forth at all times. John 8:12 Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” May our lives display the brilliance of our God who is shining through us.

Friday, 28 August 2020

You Cannot Hide From Yourself

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.

       The countless cases of identity issues that are showing up in people's lives have become an unsettling social problem. From gender dysphoria to every possible disorder that can be imagined. Prov. 12:25a Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression. This is causing levels of anxiety to the point that the anxiety itself, is referred to as an anxiety disorder. In numerous cases, these suffering people are hanging on to some personal hurt, insult, or slight that should have been forgiven years ago. In some cases, the resulting bondage of their perceived rejections is causing a death wish of self-hatred, and soul-crushing anxiety resulting in the fear of the future. Who is in prison here? You cannot hide from yourself. 
      Wherever you go, there you are. You cannot hide from yourself and what you were created to do. If you do not believe me, just ask the thousands of depressed people who are looking to get away from their number one problem - themselves. Jonah could not escape his anger and depression when God was going to be merciful to the Assyrians who Jonah considered an enemy of his people. Jonah 4:3 And now, LORD, take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live. Jonah knew the potential problems the Assyrian empire could cause the nation of Israel. 
      This is why Jonah schemed an escape to Tarshish. He thought that if he ran away, he could maneuver God into judging Nineveh. However, while Jonah was on the run, he realized he could not hide from God or himself. So his demoralizing answer to the sailors was, "Just throw me overboard." Jonah 1:12 He answered them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea so that it will calm down for you, for I know that I’m to blame for this great storm that is against you.” Jonah's answers for his depressing pain are, "God, just kill me. Sailors, just throw me away." What a death wish. This is why we have to forgive ourselves when God has already done so. 
      The Psalmist David was having difficulty escaping his own fears and trembling-horrors as he called it. He was overwhelmed. His answer to getting away from his mounting anxiety was wishing he could fly. Psalm 55:6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! When you cannot deal with your own heart's issues, the answer seems to be - just get away from the pain even if you caused it. But it does not matter where you go, because you are still there.
      The Lord understands this restlessness we can fall into when we do not hand our burdens over to Him. This is why He asks us to come to Him with all our life's problems Matt.11:28 Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. The thing we have to realize, is, if we surrender to Him with our life's mess, then the Lord will expect us to cooperate with Him in getting our hearts healed. This healing often means we will have to forgive those who offended us and forgive ourselves for what God has forgiven. Once you forgive, you do not have to hide from yourself anymore. The prison doors that you had created are now open wide, and you can discover who you are in Christ rather than trying to overcome another disorder.
      We will be who we are in Christ for eternity. There will be no place to hide in the kingdom of God. There will be no unforgiveness or any disorders following us as we walk through death's door. The finished work of the cross has given us the opportunity to be transformed into the person God created us to be on this side of death. Why crash a party you have been invited to? Why hang on to a death wish when death is a certainty for all of mankind?  
      It is time to rip off the whole bandaid on the wounds we have caused and get with God's healing program. Time to stop trying to hide from ourselves and accept that God created a miracle in who we are. Psalm 139:14 I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.

Friday, 21 August 2020

Lost And Finally Found

Proverbs 24:14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short.

      Now, what do you do once you are found?
      Proverbs 12:25a Anxiety weighs down the heart. The anxiety that overtakes us when we suddenly realize we are truly lost or stuck in the middle of nowhere can be overwhelming. We have to backtrack and find our point of origin and look at the maps again. A lot of life's problems that people have right now, are a result of not stopping and reading their book of instructions. Their maps and directions for living a righteous life, is lying on a shelf somewhere and has not been read in a while. Therefore, they exist with no sense of direction.
      A majority of people have bible apps on their devices, but the app has not been opened since it was installed. How are we going to find our way, if we are not asking and seeking for the right direction? Matt. 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. If you were travelling in a foreign country, you would make sure that you had directions to where you were heading. As we travel through our time on earth, we are looking for that place of refuge made by God. We need to follow the instructions to get there, as God wills. Those who are in Christ are strangers in this land and need God's word to keep their lives on the Lord's righteous track.
      We cannot just snack and nibble on an occasional sermon from a pulpit or podcast every other Sunday, and expect to know the whole will of God for our lives. If we look at our personal relationships with friends and family, they work when we are hanging out, asking questions, and genuinely being involved with each other. It works the same way when we are walking with our Lord. John 15:15b I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. We commune with the Lord in the spirit so that we know what the Spirit of God is saying to our hearts, and showing us what to do next.
      I am so grateful that God's grace is available to His children and allows us to grow up to become the adults of God. This will not happen if we remain childish in our relationship. Yes, we are to have a child-like faith, but that does not mean we remain childish by living on pablum and milk. Heb. 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
      The blessing of being in Christ is - if we find ourselves lost and confused, God knows who we are and where we are at all times. The Lord has seen our future and knows exactly where we are in heart, attitude, and destiny. Even when we were lost in our trespasses and sins, God loved us and kept calling us to Himself so that we could find our way to Him. Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
      Our heavenly Father has made a way for us to find Him through Christ. Therefore, when we notice that we have drifted from the will and directions God gave us for righteous living, then take stock of the situation. Come back before we get lost and the hounds of life start to persecute us again. We need to stop putting ourselves in a position where we keep stumbling off the cliff because we have become so undisciplined. 
      Return to God's word which is our compass for life, and you will change your direction. Let us go on to the maturity God has for us, and become the hand extended that brings the blessings and healing that Jesus has for everyone. Isa. 35:4 Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue. Praise the Lord that He is there continually to rescue us.
      Let us share the bright future we have found in Christ. Prov. 24:14b You will have a bright future, and your hopes will not be cut short. God rescued us so that we too can rescue those who are lost, and finally want to be found. Come on Saints, there is work to do. Blessings.