Friday, 28 December 2018

We Can Do Better

Proverbs 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

      We can do better, but we have to want to. We can do better and we can be better at who we are and how we grow as individuals. However, we will have to want it and put action to it much more than just saying it with no heartfelt desire of changing.
      There was a man whose name was Jabez. We get an idea of his life being rough and not fair because his mother named him after her sorrowful delivery while giving birth. Furthermore, he seems to have had brothers who were not honoring toward him. 1 Chro. 4:9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. Jabez was named after a bad experience, and love seemed to be missing in his life. Prov. 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
      
      Many people use excuses of their dysfunctional upbringing and poor circumstances to determine their poor choices in life. Jails are full of people who say they just could not make anything of their lives because of their poverty, alcoholic and drug-addicted family members, and poor choices of friends. Escape from these problems was impossible, and jail was inevitable. This is the tale they tell continually. I do agree that hard environments can cause a trend of lawlessness and self-esteem difficulties when there are no honorable role models. However, the final choices we make are still our own. We have to want to change in order to change. We cannot just wish upon a star and voila, it's done.
      Jabez wanted something more than what he had. He felt things could be better. He felt he could do better, so he went to God in faith with a simple prayer. 1 Chro. 4:10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request. Jabez was dealing with troubles and pain, and it caused him to consider God and not choose a destructive life path as some of his brothers did. Jabez wanted what everyone wants, but he had the sense to go to the Creator of life and ask for it.
      Maybe you feel stuck in a dead-end job with no hope for the future. Then ask God for the courage to want to change who you are and not fear thinking you could do better. You may have lived with a just-get-by life and you have a dream that things could be better. Ask God to bless you and expand your territory. Even our Lord Jesus wanted a better covenant for us. He did it with the work of the cross. Heb. 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. The Lord's heart for us was and is for something better and we just have to say, "Yes Lord, I want that better covenant and all the blessings that come with it."
      We can all do better because the Lord of glory lives within us. We were once dead in our trespasses and sins, but no longer do we have to stay there. We have been delivered from those shackles and we can now move forward with Christ, overcoming the troubles and the pain that once had control of our lives. 
      Like Jabez, we can ask God to give us more territory and a larger sphere of influence in the kingdom of God, plus a better life purpose. We just have to want it with all of our hearts. That is the true depth of the prayer Jabez released by faith. He wanted something much more and the plea of his heart was heard on high. Jabez was serious and meant what he was asking. How serious are you about changing your destiny, or is it all just talk?
      No Saints. We can do better. There comes a time when we must realize that when we come to God with a simple an honest request, He will hear us. It is time to believe that life can be better. Eph. 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Blessings to you.

Friday, 21 December 2018

A Living Hope

Proverbs 13:12 Hope delayed makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

      1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
     We are so fortunate to have a hope that is alive and living within us. This is not a wishing kind of hoping that maybe we might get something a bit better than we have right now. No saints! This is a living hope that lets us know we have an eternal inheritance in heaven and a vibrant love that is working out God's salvation through Christ within us. 1 Pet. 1:4 And we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 
      We are able to live by faith because our hope is real and established in Christ the Lord. Without a living hope alive within us, faith cannot grow or manifest. 1 Thes. 1:3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Inspired hope produces faith. If there is no hope in God, then our faith will wane and become ineffective.
      Without hope alive in our soul that can be seen and lived out, there literally is no hope. When God ministers to our soul, we are filled with hope because His love produces an eternal expectation in our hearts. Lam. 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. However, when hope is removed, then so does the ability to love and walk by faith. 
      We read the effects of lost hope when the reaction of Eli the priest finds out the ark of the Lord was captured by the Philistines.‭‭ Eli hears that his sons have died in battle. 1 Sam. 4:17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. 
      You would have thought there would have been a stunning reaction to the news that his sons had died. But the scripture says that when Eli heard the ark had been captured, his reaction was so shockingly upsetting that he falls off his chair and breaks his neck and dies. 1 Sam. ‭4:18a‬ When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off the chair by the city gate, and since he was old and heavy, his neck broke and he died. 
      Was it because the hope for Israel had been taken out of the land? The ark held the very presence of God and a living hope to the people. Eli lost hope in that very second of realization when he got the news the ark of God was gone. 
      This reaction seems to be prevalent because Eli's daughter-in-law went into premature labor and gave birth because of the shock of that same news. She died giving birth, but before she dies she names her son with a hopeless name. 1 Sam. 4:21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. She died in pain while losing hope.
      The moment the presence of God is gone from one's life, the hope that was in God also goes away leaving a person without a working hope. How then can faith work in a life with no hope in it? This is why Jesus is the living hope. The hope of eternal life within us is alive; therefore, we have faith in our Savior. 
      We have hope because we have an inheritance in heaven and in our God. Put your living hope in a living Savior. Jesus is the living hope who gave His life for us so that we would have faith in God and give glory to His name. Psalm 33:20 We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. 
      If we have Jesus we have hope eternal, and that hope lives and moves within our soul. Keep your hope alive and give God the praise and faith due to His name. Amen!

Friday, 14 December 2018

Night Thoughts

Proverbs 3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant.

      Psalm 16:7 I will bless the LORD who counsels me —even at night when my thoughts trouble me.
      Everybody has them - night thoughts. The thoughts that float their way into our thinking just before sleep takes us under and hopefully into a night of rest. Those thoughts that come and either please or disturb our soul. Thoughts that hover in that void just before sleep. That place of uncertainty where we wonder what eternity holds. We are utterly alone with our thoughts. If we have a clean conscience, then sleep comes easy. Prov. 3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant. 
      However, if we don't have a clean conscience or a blessed assurance, then the questions that dog our mind will last into the night saying, "Who am I? What am I? Why am I? Have I done the right things? What will happen to me when I die? Where will I go when I die? Why can't I sleep? Why is this happening to me?" An endless night of night thoughts chirping away at our rest.
      God uses our sleep time to help us stay the course and keep the plans God has sown into our lives. Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; 16 then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, 17 that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. 

      I believe God comes to us while we sleep and seals our instructions for our life within us so we cannot argue with Him. Otherwise, there would be no end to the "Why Lord?" in everything God would say to us. This way we can clean up and repent of what our conscience is showing us because God's word is at work within us.
      Those who choose to be their own god will wrestle with night thoughts. They will have rehearsed the justifications they have used to do the things they did in selfishness or anger, no matter who was hurt or destroyed. Rationalization and excuse-ology 101 are the gymnastics going on in the hearts and minds of these sleepless souls. Isa. 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. Night thoughts haunt the soul and give no rest because there is always a time of reckoning in our lives, and just before sleep is the time all of life's noises have been shut off. 
      The quietness before sleep is the only time we are finally lying still. Then like a rising fog in the valley of doubt, thoughts come one by one to be judged and ranked in order of importance of God's word. God has given us a conscience and it is either clean with the grace of God's love or sullied with self-righteousness which produces fears, uncertainty, and sometimes terrors. Psalm 73:19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.
      A clean and hope-filled conscience will be rewarded with a sleep from God that is truly restful, bringing health and peace to our whole lives. Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety. Our night thoughts will be thoughts of peace and affirmation of God's love for us. We will know that we know God is for us. 

      When was the last time you rested in God and slept the sleep of the Innocent? Think of God's goodness and thank Him for it. Come to Him if you are in need of rest. Matt. 11:28 Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Rest and peace be in you. Amen.

Friday, 7 December 2018

When God Interrupts

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

      I was asked recently why a lot of Christians seem to be stuck in the same place they have been for the last few years. No growth, maturity, wisdom, or vision. What is happening and why is this dull passivity being chosen as a way to exist? It seems like a level of maturity is reached and then it dwindles from that point to simply coasting along. Rev. 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot.
      I think one of the answers is that most people who live a nominal Christian life are fearful that God will ask them to do something they do not want to do. They are afraid God will ask them to sacrifice something they do not want to sacrifice in their lives. Some believe wrongly that if they get too close to God, then God will expect impossible feats of grandeur from them. So they stay just outside of the rang of God's voice, so to speak, and allow the volume of the world's activity to drown out God's still small voice. Then when someone gets blessed beyond human measure, they whine and complain these blessings never happen to them.
      
I am not saying all Christians are living in this insipid miasma, but a lot of them are. What we need to realize is that we want God to come along and interrupt our lives and shake it up so we can be a history changer in the short time we have on this side of eternity. Eph. 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
      When Gabriel visited Mary with the news that she would give birth to Jesus, her world had been interrupted severely. Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. Change was on the way like she had never experienced. God had interrupted Mary's life and history was made.
      Gideon is threshing wheat and hiding it from the Midianites when God interrupts his oh hum day of just getting by on what could be scrounged. Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. After Gideon got over the shock of being told he had been chosen to deliver Israel from the oppressors of the day, his interrupted life changed forever. Gideon went from hiding behind a wine press clipping coupons to meet his needs, to leading an army to victory with the Lord's help.
      The Samaritan woman who was dealing with relationship breakdown on a regular basis was on her way to draw water from the well when she was interrupted by Jesus who asked her for a drink of water. An everyday event turned into a life-changing blessing beyond her expectation of life and the men in it. John 4:28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Come see a real man who interrupted my co-dependent lifestyle and gave me understanding of my own heart. Come and see this man.
      Saints, we want God to come and ask us to do something we do not want to do in our own strength. We want our world changed and interrupted by God so that our lives would be far reaching into the possibilities of eternal grace. 

      Be encouraged that when God interrupts, it is for an eternal good and not some inconvenience to our shallow lives. You and God are a majority and a great team. Open your heart's ear and hear what the Spirit is saying and let Him interrupt your day. Life may never be the same again. Jer. 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Amen Lord, show me your possibilities in me.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Offended with the Offended

Proverbs 18:19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

      John Bevere said, "An offended heart is the breeding ground of deception."
      Being offended in most cases is a personal choice. I choose to be offended at what my wife, friend, boss, or an authority in life said to me. How have we become such an offended society that we are so easily offended at other's offences? It has turned to the ridiculous when we hear someone say, "I'm offended that they are offended." Really? Have we become such a touchy-feely people that the first reaction to any slight is offendedness?
      I recently had the opportunity to be offended when my book cover posters were rejected because someone had been offended by them hanging on display in a bookstore. I was about to become offended at the offended when I realized it was just a matter of taste in design and art. It had not been myself personally who had been rejected; therefore, there was no need to enter into the offence. I was not going to be the reason that friends separated because of a perceived offence. Prov. 18:19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
      
This whole event got me thinking on how thin-skinned we have become and how sensitive we are to being snubbed or criticized, even if it is constructive criticism. I almost fell for the self-deception of becoming offended for nothing and would have become a stumbling block to someone taking sides in the offence. Have we become our own stumbling block? Luke 17:1 Jesus said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come!"  
       Jesus said to pray for those who cause us problems in life and not to murder them with our words and attitudes. The Lord says that offences will come but to take the high road when dealing with an offence. Matt. 11:6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.
      We read in the book of Genesis what can happen when an offence takes root and turns to raw anger. Cain killed his brother over the fact that Abel brought an acceptable sacrifice to God. Cain's offendedness at God turned to murderous hatred for his brother. Joseph's brothers betrayed Joseph and sold him into slavery because they were offended at the love Jacob had for his son. Their offence turned to a murderous plot of revenge and eventually they settled for selling him for a profit. The offences of these people turned to self-deception and allowed them to rationalize their evil actions.
      History shows us that a slight or offence taken too far can result in wars and entire people groups eradicated through ethnic cleansing. People choose to be offended, but the choice is also ours to not pick up the offence and personalize it to the point of madness. 
      Our counselling office sessions are full of married couples who have allowed offences to fester and become gangrenous to their relationships. The love they once had for each other has turned to a scorekeeping record of who hurt who the most. I'm not saying that some marriages do not have real problems, but so many of the problems could have been settled with the words "I'm sorry I hurt you. Please forgive me."
      The Lord warned us that persecution, unjust accusations, and outright slander would be a result of accepting Jesus as Lord. John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. Jesus also remarked that others would be offended because we had accepted Jesus as our personal Savior. However, the Lord has given us the ability to overcome all this through His love and power, but we have to make the choice to do so. 
      Saints, offences will come and the opportunity to pick them up will also come. Let us try and create a not offended free zone in our hearts and lives. Let us position ourselves in a place where we do not pick up an offence, but rather choose peace in Him who first loved us with a real righteous love. Amen!

Friday, 23 November 2018

E Stands For Evidence

Proverbs 6:2 You have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth.

      The way I see it, the e in email stands for evidence. This week in the news another politician had to resign because of embarrassing photos and explicit emails. More frat boys were expelled because of questionable behaviors and the behaviors were posted online and emailed around. An executive of a company is being called out because of old email posts that expressed her negative views on a minority group of people and she is now having to answer for it. Num. 32:23 But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the LORD, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. Haven't people figured out yet that everything that is written in an email and sent is forever in the world system and can be retrieved at any time?
      What makes people think they can get away with bragging about secrets in their lives when it is plastered all over the world by their friends, coworkers, and family? The old Benjamin Franklin saying, "Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead" is apropos to heed in this tell-all tabloid world. 
      If you have a secret and want it kept, then tell absolutely no one. But whatever you do, don't post it on the world-wide-web. Eccl. 10:20 Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said. I reckon the little bird, in this case, would be Twitter.
      It is wisdom to keep our slanders and false accusations to ourselves because if we spread lies and half-truths all over the place we will be judged for it. Matt. 12:36 I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. In the same way that we should think before we hit the send button on an email, we should also think before we hit the send button of our mouth. Will the words I am about to say give life or a bruised lashing to someone's soul? Is what I am saying uplifting or just more negative rhetoric? We can become as careless as these people who post their idiocy online and not think about the consequences. 
      What we say matters. It shows us and our fellow man who we really are. Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Our mouth will eventually say what is in our heart. This is why we need a new regenerated heart created by the Lord and the finished work of the cross. 
      It is Christ within us changing us day-by-day to live and move in the power of the Holy Spirit. Would Jesus be posting slanders and the nastiest words online? Of course not. Then why are some who claim to walk with Christ posting cruelties and plotting vengeful thoughts? James 3:10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
       If you want to change your words, then change your focus. Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Start hanging around people who still believe in honor and forthrightness of character for life. Stop the gossip in its tracks. 
      Before you decide to post something you are not sure of and whether it should even be posted in the first place, remember the e in email may come back to visit you. Col. 3:23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people. Amen and amen!

Friday, 16 November 2018

Debtors' Prison

Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.  

      The old hymn describes it clearly, " He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed someone to wash my sins away."  
      We were all headed for eternal debtors' prison until Jesus paid our debt in full with His blood sacrifice. Debtors' prison as described by Wikipedia was a place where destitute people who were unable to pay a court-ordered judgment would be incarcerated (usually similar in form to locked workhouses) until they had worked off their debt, via labor or secured outside funds to pay the balance. The product of their labor went towards both the costs of their incarceration and their accrued debt.
      Jesus spent so much of His ministry time trying to equip us from falling into sinful debt. The wages of sin is death and the cost of death is eternal debtors' prison. The Lord Jesus came to deliver us from this eternal judgment. 2 Cor. 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. What an amazing feat our Lord and Savior pulled off for any and every person who would receive His gift of sacrificial love by faith. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
      When we finally find out who we are in Christ, we will also work toward helping people stay out of debtors' prison so to speak. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. This was done so that we could help those break out of debtors' prison and become God's children in His kingdom. Being in debt to anyone but Christ is a mug's game that will leave you hopeless and eternally destitute. As the Proverb says, you will eventually mount up debt to the point of becoming a slave to it.
      If this principle is true in everyday life, then how much more will it be a fact in your spiritual life? If you have creditors knocking on your door demanding payment for stuff purchased on credit but now you are penniless - the debt does not go away. It surely will be paid somehow and at some time. However, your life will not be your own as it will belong to the creditors. Prov. 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. 
      This is what happened to Adam and Eve when they sinned through their disobedience toward God. They became slaves to sin and found out in a short time that the wages of sin is death. Gen. 3:19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return. They became separated from an intimate relationship with God because of the sin they had committed. In order to escape the debtors' prison man was now in need of grace because there was absolutely nothing man could do to pay for the eternal tormenting result that sin had caused. Rom. 7:24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
      The good news is that Jesus paid our debt in full through the work of the cross and blood sacrifice He gave us out of His love for us. We were bailed out of debtors' prison, and all we have to do is accept the Lord's gift by faith. Now that we are out of death's debt, we can bring life to those who are seeking deliverance from the slavery many have found themselves to be in. Prov. 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. 
      Let us commit to staying away from sin because as someone once said, "Sinning is empowering Satan to speak on your behalf."  Well, saints, the devil will not speak for me as I have been paid for in full by the blood of the Lord who keeps me out of the jailer's hands. Blessings to you all.

Friday, 9 November 2018

The Last Generation

Proverbs 27:24 For riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.      

      Exodus 1:6 In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation.
      We too, who are now of this generation will be listed and chronicled as part of an historical past. We can see glimpses of it at parades and ceremonies like Remembrance Day where veteran soldiers from World Wars past are honored, but their numbers have dwindled down to a few lonely souls. We see the elderly passing on as we ourselves get older and wonder what will remain once we are gone. What difference or blessings will be left behind because we had existed? Did our life and the generation we are part of count for anything eternally worthwhile?
      When I was young it was the friends of my grandparents who were dying. As years progressed it was my parents' friend and parents themselves who were passing on through death's door. Now it is my friends and contemporaries who are on their way out. One day it will be written of us that we and our brothers died, ending that entire generation. 
      We truly are pilgrims on a path of life that is directed and led by our heavenly Father. We can choose to live a self-indulgent, anything goes, and a free for all lawless lifestyle during our short time on this earth. On the other hand, we can make a different choice and serve the Lord with peace and gladness while fulfilling the reason and calling we were created for when God first thought of us. Jer. 1:5a I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.
      The destiny of our generation has been written in God's heart. He chose us before our time in history had even started. We were the apple of God's eye. He was in love with us the moment He saw our existence on His holy horizon. He chose us and knew what would fulfill us completely as individuals. John 15:16 You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.
      It is so important that those who are in Christ and in relationship with God leave a clear understanding of who God the Father is for the next generation. Godly principles, values, and the understanding of holy illumination will have to be engrafted into the upcoming generation because they will have to walk through the maze and smorgasbord of religious options and opinions of their generation. It only took one generation for Israel to forget everything the Israelites went through to possess the promised land. Judges 2:10 After a while the people of Joshua's generation died, and the next generation did not know the LORD or any of the things he had done for Israel.
       Whatever generation we are in, we are the last generation because at any moment the Lord can return for His church. Teaching the next generation everything I know concerning the personal and relational things of God has become a priority in my life. I want my sons, their wives, and their grandchildren to know that God is in love with them and they, too, can have a lifetime of blessings and strength that comes through knowing our Lord. Jesus has made a way for us to come to God at any time in life. May that time be now. Jer. 33:3 Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Endemic Finger Pointing

Prov. 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

      
Everything in life is a result of the choices you made. If you want different results, make different choices.
      I was at the doctor's office this week for my yearly physical. One of the things that came up was the great progress I had made with the health of my heart that misses a beat. One of the clinic nurses asked me how I had come so far from the mess I was in four years ago to the healthy place I am right now. I said, "The first thing I had to do was take full responsibility for damaging my heart and for treating it like third class baggage. I caused the problem with the poor life choices that I had made. If there was going to be a fix, I had to make sure I did not point fingers at anyone but myself. I caused it; therefore, it was up to me to be a major participant in the healing of it."
      It would be easy to point my finger at all the processed, nitrate filled, sugar-packed and GMO products that have become commonplace in our food system. I could point and blame the easy accessibility of drive-thru convenience every time my fat cells screamed for attention. I could make up excuses for shoving all the rubbish down my throat because of the stress I had put myself under. 
      Then, I could keep making up excuses on a regular basis as to why I can't exercise because of the business in my so-called important life. Yup, I could head in that direction of blame and finger-pointing. However, the truth would still be that I had willfully made all those choices and the result was heart disease that I caused through my choices. Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
      I find it interesting that people who made the choice to smoke cigarettes are now pointing their fingers and suing the companies that fulfilled their desire to smoke. People who consume gallons of soft drinks are complaining and pointing fingers at the pop companies for their ailments of obesity and diabetes. Rehab for every imaginable problem is available for people who have become perpetual victims of circumstance, while taking no responsibility whatsoever for their own choices. Endemic finger-pointing has become a national pastime. 
      The first step to recovery of any kind is to admit there is a problem in the first place. Recovery means taking responsibility for the problem you caused in your own life. Admit it, confess it, then you are finally in a position to get rid of it. James 5:16a Therefore, confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. 
      I remember when I made the choice to eat real food, only after I had taken responsibility for the poor health I was in. Was it easy? No! Good and real food preparation is really inconvenient but too bad, it had to be done. I remember the struggle of getting into regular exercise and sticking to it every day. Was it easy? Absolutely not! But too bad, it had to be done. Prov. 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The finger pointing stops here.
      I do not know who or what you have been blaming for all your woes in life, but it has got to stop just for the sake of sanity. In most cases, your boss is not your problem. The teacher is not your child's problem. Your spouse is not your problem. Stop pointing the finger and realize that most likely you are your own problem. Our prayer should be, "Lord, fix me." 
      Take responsibility for the choices you have made and make new choices to change the course of your life. You will need God's help to do it, and He is right there waiting for you to ask Him for that help. Psalm 46:1 God is our strong refuge; he is truly our helper in times of trouble. 
      I'm not sure why endemic finger-pointing has become a default setting in our thinking. But as for me, I have got to constantly look at my own actions to make sure I am walking the walk God put before me. When I stand before God on that great day, I will be standing alone and none of the people or reasons for blame will be there to point at. Since this is the case, I may as well learn to take responsibility now and live in the peace God instructs me to live in through His word now. Time to man-up. Blessings and God's ability be in and on you. Amen.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Nations In Fear

Prov. 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoso puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
      
      Psalm 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar, and their people involved in a vain plot?     
      With the advent of easy accessibility to travel anywhere in this world, there has come with this ease the importation of fears, prejudices, diseases, and suspect ideologies from everywhere on earth into our back yards. North Americans live in fear of losing what was once thought to be their inherent right. What is enjoyed and called an everyday right, for a large percentage of the world these rights are an absolute privilege. Freedom, and wealth in most cases are unattainable in so many third-world countries. 
      The skittishness and unrest within the hearts and subconscious of the people seem to be the new norm. The cataclysmic and bizarre events we once read about in magazines or watched on news programs are now reported on near our front steps. What was once seen as an overseas dilemma is now lurking in our neighborhoods. Fear is gripping the nations. A color-coded threat system for the monitoring of terrorist activity is a new reality. Fear now reigns in the hearts of men and no one knows what to do about it. 
      As the Proverb says, "The fear of man brings a snare." The fear of man and the evil he can do brings a snare to the hearts of men and cuts off all peace and assurance causing mistrust in all institutions that were once held as trustworthy. Luke 21:26 People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
      What does God say to do during these times of uncertain safety and unrest? He says to trust Him and Him alone. Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. That is it. Through prayer and relationship with God, trust in the Lord and not in human ability nor their lofty promises. This is God's way to bring back the peace in one's heart. 
      Man is limited to the world and its laws, but God is unlimited and can help in any situation of hard times and needs. Isa. 35:4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you. The nations of the world are in torment, but the peace of God is still available to those who ask for it with thanksgiving. Col. 3:15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
     Those who know their Lord are not aimless nor helpless. They do not have to take on the fears that are pumped out twenty-four-seven on all news outlets. We have a mighty God who knows those who love Him and are believing Him for guidance during these days of uncertainty. It may look dire, but as God says, "Do not worry about what falls apart around you because He has you in the palm of His hand." Psalm 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. Nations may fall and the inhabitants may live in fear, but those who know their God will do great exploits and live in peace. Amen and amen!

Friday, 19 October 2018

The Kiss In The Garden

Prov. 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

      Luke 22:48 And Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
      The act of betrayal that is known as "The kiss in the garden" that Judas used to single out Jesus for the priests to arrest was not the first act of betrayal Judas was responsible for. He had been stealing money from the money bag far earlier in his walk with the apostles and Jesus. John 12:6 Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to take from what was put into it. I suppose Jesus could have said, "Judas, are you betraying me again, but this time with a kiss?" 
      Like Judas, most people do not become base overnight. Habitual sin usually starts slowly, with a sense of getting away with something that seemed minor at the time. There was some conviction of heart at the time, but not any longer. Now the sin doesn't even register on their conscience. What happened to these once honest people? 

      How did that man fall into adultery when things seemed so good at home? How did she get caught embezzling company funds when she seemed to have more than enough? How did he get so hooked on an addictive substance that he ended up sacrificing his life and family for it? When did the kiss in their garden betray their hearts?
      It is interesting to note that Jesus was sweating blood for mankind, just before Judas came and betrayed Him. Luke 22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. The Lord had remained faithful to the salvation plan of God the Father. Jesus was in the act of giving Himself for all mankind, even when at the same time He was being set up for betrayal. 

      This kiss from Judas would have hurt indeed because it represented the callous, hateful, and corrupt state that man's heart was in. Man needed salvation and there was no way to get it except through a willing Savior who said, " Father, not my will but yours be done."
      
When Jesus talks to us about sin in our lives, it may not feel good at the time but as the Proverb says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." Jesus is our friend and He is trying to keep us from falling into the temptation that the kisses of an enemy will bring. John 15:15b I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 
      Sin will betray us every time. The result of the sin may vary and the consequence may take time to reach us, but our sins will always find us out. Num. 32:23 But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. This is why the Lord asks us to confess our sins so that we get rid of them and they have no hold on us whatsoever.
      What if Judas had fessed up to taking money from the money bag? Would he have had a stronger resolve to resist the thirty pieces of silver the priests negotiated with him? Matt. 26:15 "How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?" And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. Easy money had become the kiss that betrayed Judas and he paid for it with his life. 

      What have you been smooching with that may cause major damage to your soul and cripple your walk in this life just because the enemy's kisses are titillating at this time? It may feel like a wound to us because the Lord is dealing with something in our life. However, the wounds of a friend heal fast because they come with the balm of Gilead that will give us all the victory through Christ.
      
The kisses of an enemy may seem sensually nice at the time but will carry a heartbreaking result that will leave people lonely, cold, and destitute of soul. Prov. 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. Jesus is our friend and He will help us through our wounded times to come out as healed, loved, and strengthened. If there is to be a kiss in the garden, then let the Lord kiss us with His mercy and kindness so that we come forth as the righteousness of God through Christ our Lord. Blessings.

Friday, 12 October 2018

October Roses

Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

      The passing of Indian summer announced its end as the last and faded pink blooms struggled to give a display of summer strength. October nights ushered in the chill and frost that foretells the inevitable arrival of winter. Rose bushes supporting their final seasonal blooms whispered a message within me, resulting in one of life's lessons that can be gleaned when one stops and smells the roses.
      I considered the struggles and obstacles that October roses encounter in their daily attempts at existence. Its nemesis of changing temperatures and frequent northerly wind gusts take its daily toll on this flower of romantic intention. The end of their growing season is inevitable, yet these flowers persist in expressing their velvet charm and pastel beauty until the final petal drops.
      This floral expression of survival instills a notion within me, in that I have had the privilege of knowing people whose backbone and character were made of the same persistent integrity and spine for living. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
      We all know people who in the face of insurmountable odds overcame their fiercest battle and still held the integrity of God in their hearts. Like October roses these saints continued to bloom and express what Christ had put in their hearts, no matter what their season looked like on the inevitable horizon. 

      We can all name a person who brought us a delivering word, help, or answer to our life situation. In that moment they were an answer to prayer to us, yet they themselves were struggling with their own major issues. Like October roses their hearts bloomed large because Christ is the Lord of their heart. Eph. 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
      We read and hear of great acts of courage that take place in written accounts in the bible. David and Goliath. Moses at the Red Sea. Samson warring with the jawbone of a donkey. Elisha on Mount Carmel. Stephen sentenced to death for his faith and praising God as the mob killed him. These incredible acts of courage are ours to build our faith upon through God who made these miracles happen.
      But what about you and me, the everyday person walking out our faith in Christ? Do we have this courage within us? I believe we do because we have all seen it played out in less dramatic forms every day in the saints we walk with. We just have to stop and smell the roses, per se, to see it. 

      These October roses continue to bloom and are not afraid of the next season of their life, no matter what battle is confronting them. Phil. 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Stand up and push forth a display of spiritual strength in the face of your north wind. Bloom where God has planted you in Christ.
      Take the time this week and stop and look at the roses put on their final display. Think of whose courage these roses remind you of. Take a moment and thank God for that person and pray a blessing over them. Eph. 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Be strong in the Lord. Our next season is upon us. Blessings.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Training For War

Proverbs 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

      Spartan Warrior Preparation. He who sweats more in training, bleeds less in war.  
      One of the important mind and heart sets the Apostle Paul wanted us to understand was that we are at war with the kingdom of darkness. We are never to let our guard down as we walk out our Christian life. 

      We are never to think we can coast along in a half-hearted effort. Our attitude is to be as a soldier who is always ready to fight the good fight of faith. We are to be prepared and keep our armor on. Eph. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
      There never has been and never will be a day of amnesty with the enemy of our soul. There is no day off from being in Christ. We were paid for in full by the blood of Jesus and we are God's people only. Gal. 3:13a Christ bought us with His blood and made us free from the Law. We are in constant training for continual war until we leave this earth. 2 Tim. 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
      When we accepted and personally committed our hearts to receive Christ as our Lord and Savior - this commitment was to be taken as seriously as a soldier who had been conscripted into the army. The soldier's focus is to be on military needs, uses, and purposes only. 2 Tim. 2:4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. 

      There is no difference in the Lord's army. If we have accepted Christ as Lord, then He is our commanding officer for now and evermore. Our focus is on Christ and His love for us, plus His desire to bring everyone out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God.
      We are to train our hearts on a continual basis through a relationship in knowing our God, as well as becoming skilled in His purpose for our lives within His will. There are no long-weekend holidays off from walking in the righteousness in Christ Jesus. No time off to go sin and live it up in a time of mindless debauchery, just for a break from Christianity. We are to remain strong in the Lord. Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." 
      Put in the work to reap the rewards of our dedicated workouts through Christ in the love of God or, as the Spartans say, "He who sweats more in training, bleeds less in war." 2 Tim. 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

      Lazy Christianity does not do anything for anyone. Slothful minded Christianity simply puts a person in a place to be beaten up and destroyed by the enemy of all souls. 1 Pet.5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
      Our war is not with each other as the devil would like us to believe. Our war is with Satan and his kingdom. Eph. 6:12 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. Make sure you know who the enemy is. Train your hearts in the word of God. Fight the good fight of faith. Be strong in the Lord and we will not bleed out on the battlefields as we fight alongside our God. 
      We can be encouraged because Jesus has already won the war for us. We just have to enforce our right standing through Christ and submit to our commanding King and Lord. Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. Shall we march together to our promise land and be all we can be in Christ? I pray so. Blessings.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Snared By Your Words

Proverbs 6:2 You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.

      Hafiz the Persian poet said, "The words you speak become the house you live in."
      I once heard a country and western singer say that he had been experiencing in his everyday life everything he and his band had been singing about. He said, "I don't know why it is, but everything I sing about lately has been happening to me. I have lost my wife, friends, and I'm broke, plus nothing seems to be going my way. I feel like everything I sing about is happening for real in my life." Prov. 23:7a For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
      I am happy to say that this singer did eventually become a man of faith in Christ and his life did turn around when he gave Jesus reign. One of the reasons his life turned around was that he started to say and live by what the Lord said was truth and reality concerning his life. Prov. 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
      You might say, "It can't be that simple - just change the way we talk and express ourselves and our lives will change with it." Yes, I truly believe this to be a reality if we follow up our talk with our actions. The Lord instructs the weak to say that they are strong. Joel 3:10b Let the weak say, I am strong. Why would God want us to keep saying we were strong when we did not feel that way? So that we would eventually become strong in God.
      God also admonishes us to say that we have been redeemed, delivered, and rescued from our enemy. Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD proclaim that he has redeemed them from the power of the foe. Why does God want us confessing His deliverance in our life? So that the truth of our God delivering us gets deep down within our spirit and we start to live a life believing in the willingness of God to help us and believing the love that God has for us.
      If all that is coming out of your mouth on a continual basis is filthiness, negativity, oppressiveness, and blasphemies then you will be snared by the words of your mouth. As you live out of this crass and vulgar existence, the fruit of that lifestyle choice will be your reward. You cannot expect a bounty of good, healthy, and lush results in a garden from planting moldy, diseased, and bad seeds. It does not work in nature and will not work in your life. James 3:11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? You will become snared by the words of your own mouth.
     We have to make a conscious choice to say and speak the words of life and words that give life. Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” The psalmist makes a statement in this verse, "I will say of the Lord." I will use my mouth to say what God says about me. It is our choice to say what we say. 

      Therefore, we have to make a declaration that we will become a source of blessing by the way we speak and help untangle the snares we have created with our mouth. We want to talk and express what God says about us. His words toward us are words of peace and forgiveness, but we have to accept it as truth and declare it plainly.
      The choice is ours to make, We can speak blessing or cursing. What fruit do you want in your life? Deut. 30:19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Bulldog Tenacity

Proverbs 24:16 Though a righteous person falls seven times, they will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

      "I cut this board three times and it is still too short!" The foolishness of this line is apparent, even though it is funny. Some people live their lives in the same manner of activity. They repeat the failure that is obvious to many over and over and complain that the result is the same. 

      They spend their grocery money on cigarettes, alcohol, and junk, and then complain there is no money for food, rent, and payments due. They hang out with abusive and dishonorable people and complain of unfaithful friends. They do the same things over again, claiming to be right in their actions. Prov. 12:15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.  
      You cannot defeat the devil you like to play with. You cannot beat the sin you enjoy participating in. Until you develop a bulldog tenacity and say "No" to the sin that so easily besets your life, you will remain captive to the mess you are in. 

      Until you pick up the weapons of God's grace and power with the mindset to use them, you will not be able to defeat the bondage holding you back. 2 Cor. 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
      Yes, scripture says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. It is true that God will give us the strength and ability to overcome every temptation that comes our way; however, we will have to step forward by faith and decide to be tenacious about going forward in righteousness. 

      We will have to yoke our heart to the Lord's and walk together and not contrary to each other. Matt. 11:30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light. The yoke may be easy and light, but it is a yoke nonetheless. It will take a bulldog tenacity to remain and walk with Christ through all of life for now and evermore. We cannot put God's grace and yoke on and take it off at the whim of our fickle feelings. This relationship with our Lord is permanent and eternal and not an on again and off again soap opera.
      Elijah was looking for someone to take his mantel and came across Elisha who had a bulldog tenacity. 1 Kings 19:19a So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Elisha plowed with twelve yokes of oxen. The amount of strength and will power it took to control such a large bullock team is understated in this scripture verse. The brute force and work it took for one man to control these big beasts of burden would have to take talent, patience, and tenacity to keep the row being plowed straight. 
      It is interesting the attitude and character that came out of Elisha when Elijah asked him what he wanted before Elijah was taken away. Elisha wanted a double portion of the anointing that was on Elijah. 2 Kings 2:9  After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken away from you?” “Please, let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 

      Elisha got what he asked for and I believe it was the bulldog tenacity of character that helped Elisha receive the promise. He was used to working hard and doing it right.
      A bulldog tenacity is something that is learned and acquired. You must exercise your faith day by day and pick yourself up with the Lord's help when you fall, fail, and mess up. Prov. 24:16 Though a righteous person falls seven times, they will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin. 

      Elisha had the right stuff because he wanted more of God on God's terms. God's heart is that none of us perish because of our own foolish ways, but He wants us to grow up and be tenaciously solid in His love and gift of eternal life through Jesus our Lord. Blessings.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Your Miracle Is My Miracle

Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

      Your miracle is my miracle. My righteous success is your success. Your answered prayer is my answered prayer because it gives me hope. John 17:22 I have honored my followers in the same way you honored me, in order that they may be one with each other, just as we are one. 
      I was talking with a father whose young daughter had been in a motorcycle accident of significance. This blessed young lady had escaped the accident without major injury to life and limb. The joy in the father's heart was overwhelming when he shared the miracle his daughter and family had experienced. I realized at that moment that his miracle was also my miracle. It truly was a blessing to see his daughter standing there beside her father, still part of the family and in good health.
      This is the joy we have when we truly enter into the realm of God's kingdom through Christ. We have hope in the family of the Lord, because we are the family of the Lord. John 1:12 But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name. 
      The miracle of the new birth in Christ is incredible when we realize that our salvation becomes everyone's miraculous blessings, because humanity now gets the men and women of God whom God intended them to be. It is no longer selfish individuals who were one of the many takers, predators, and liars who falsely presented themselves as self-made individuals. They have become God inspired saints. Psalm 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
      Miracles and blessings are happening to us on a continual basis and are manifesting around us every day. We just have to stop to see them plainly set before us as we take our next breath of God-given life. Psalm 19:1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. 

      As we follow our plans and goals in life, we are often struck with the thoughts that we have done well so far in life. In fact, God was directing our footsteps. Prov. 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. When we grasp this reality, we will find it easier to rejoice with them who rejoice and enter into the joy of other people's success. As God directs those who have given their lives to Christ, their miracles become our miracles.
      Some may ask, "What about my individuality? Don't I lose my self-worth or identity if I become a common follower of some god?" Of some god - yes! However, of The God - no! The miracle throughout the universe that sustains life is the love of God. God's love and sacrifice Jesus gave us is the power of eternal life that love holds. God's love has no torment. Real love gives life and sustains it. However, we have to accept His love and walk in it to live out our life's purpose. Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.  
      As I grow older and hopefully maturing in the gift of life the Lord gave me through Christ and the finished work of His cross, I find that truly other people's miracles are my miracles. I am blessed in heart when I see God working His miraculous love and abundance in my family, friends, and brothers and sisters in the Lord. 

      Look around and see the goodness of God. Yes, there is a lot of ugliness out there trying to block the view of miraculous events going on in plain sight. However, if you would just feel your own pulse rate and smile at the wonder of it, then it won't be long before you start seeing many other wonderful miracles going on in your life. 
      To be able to walk with God is truly a miracle not to be dismissed as common. No saints, the wonder of it is a blessing to behold. Isa. 46:4 I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. This is our miracle. God bless you.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Even Faith Healers Die

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. 

      1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
      I know this is going to come across as bothersome to North Americans, but we will all be inconvenienced with dying one day. This "I want it all" generation thinks they will be in control to the end; however, there is one who has the say as to the number of our days on this earth. Job 14:5 A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. This is why we are admonished to live and enjoy the day we are in today. Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Enjoy your life today as it is the only one you have. 
      The only way out of death's grasp is through the Lord Jesus our Savior. As the proverb says - death is a snare, and that is what every person who has ever lived and is now living tries to escape from. Escaping the snare, grasp, or the inevitable clutches of death keeps people in fear of living truly free and assured lives. 
      We, on our own and of ourselves, cannot defeat this last enemy that mankind must face with our own cunning and bravado. It takes a supernatural God to get us through death's door and come through the other side complete in Christ and manifested into the fullness of our being. Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
      Jesus conquered death through His resurrection from the dead. Christ took the power of death's ability to corrupt and destroy the soul of man and gave every man who has received Jesus as Lord the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the grave. 1 Cor. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? True, we will all physically die, but no longer in abject terror, as Jesus will be our guide unto and through death. 
      Yes, even faith healers will die but no longer dreading the corruption, decay and stinging death once reigned from. Jesus secured the keys of death and hell so we would not have to live through it. Rev. 1:18 I am the living one. I died, but look--I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. 
      Even faith healers, ministers, and all the righteous in Christ do die but thank God Jesus has overcome death on our behalf. This is the good news that we will be with the Lord and death has no ownership on our souls. 2 Cor. 5:8 In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 
      Someone might say that I may sound a bit morbid talking about death as if it was some kind of thing to look forward to. Not so. I am happy to be living a full and virtuous life and am able to do so because death has been defeated on my behalf. I can be at peace and do what the Lord has put on my heart because the fear of eternal death has no more reach into my existence.
      We have been bought and paid for in full by the blood of Christ and the finished work of the cross Jesus was nailed to. Our sins and judgment were nailed to the cross the day we accepted Jesus as Lord. I personally have no desire to go back and give myself over to the snares of death and all its tortures. 
      I look to the One who has given me all of His righteousness and grace and I feed my heart and life on that wonderful gift of God's love. When I die, it will be with and in the Lord my God. Death, the last enemy, has been defeated by my Lord and Savior. What an amazing love God has for us. 1 Cor. 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.