Saturday, September 27, 2014

Who Is This King of Glory?.

The King of Glory and His Kingdoms
Psalm 24:7 - Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? I read again the account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the three young men thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not bow down and worship the earthly king because their allegiance was to God. I had read an excerpt from a book where the author posed the question of some as to why God would allow these strong followers of His to be put through such an ordeal.

It was so that God's glory and grace would be revealed. Of course it would. These men walked out untouched by flame and with not even a hint of smoky odor. That's what He does. He may put believers to the test in everyday life circumstances. We go through our own fiery trials of life sometimes. It might seem to outsiders as if our God isn't so great to allow circumstances that cause turmoil. But they don't realize these pressures are what allow God's glory to shine in the end. Sometimes it's even the very end...of life...after we have encountered disease that will not pass...but in the end the believer can still praise God for His faithfulness.

The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. (‭Psalms‬ ‭24‬:‭1-2‬) Amen. If the earth is His He has the authority to do what He does and we are to have the attitude of gratefulness for His faithfulness in our lives.

Faithfulness for what?? For His saving grace that leads to everlasting life to those who seek and receive Him.

We are beginning to see fiery furnaces emerge throughout the world. We can turn off the news, bury our heads in the sand and ignore all these things. We can keep proclaiming that we have always bounced back from disastrous situations, even declare that we are a great nation and will succeed in all we do and what we see will be no different. Or...we can turn to seek His forgiveness for dispelling Him, for salvation if we have not received it, and then wisdom of the truth and strength for the days ahead.

It is said that in the last days there will be a great revival. I don't know how it will happen. It starts in each of us, though, when we see a need for God and choose to profess His name. Some say it will be in the Church. With all the junk in the world people might just start running to them for sanctuary. He is the Church, after all, and He is our tower of strength and mighty fortress that we called to run to for protection. And He wishes that none perish... So as I posted yesterday, that Church needs to be spotless and filled with pure people. He is at work...

The road we are to travel is a narrow one. The Church as a whole is in the minority. There are 7.2 billion people in the world. Thirty-two percent of the world's population profess to be Christians.  Less than half. Of these professing Christians there may be some who are not serious Christians but in name only which narrows it down more. I believe God is going to shake this 32%. He will open the eyes of some to the point where they take God seriously and others will turn away completely. Could this be the the shaking? In the fiery furnace of life? The world might see people flocking to churches, like after 9/11.

I think I had to look up the word glory in my Bible which took me to Haggai 2. My Bible titled this section The Coming Glory of God's House. How appropriate! His house is the Church. The LORD of hosts is God.
“For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (‭Haggai‬ ‭2‬:‭6-9‬)

The revival. He will shake the heavens and His glory will be seen. We will see His glory. We will be thrilled or frightened depending on which side of the fence we are on. The word that tells us that someday every knee will fall and tongue confess will also take place. This might be the time for that. The three men in the fire would not bow down to an earthly king but all people will bow down to the King of glory. To those unafraid, there will be peace.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah (‭Psalms‬ ‭24‬:‭8-10‬)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Spotless and Without Wrinkle

Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Many brothers and sisters in Christ I know are experiencing a quickening in their spirit, God showing them areas of their lives that He needs to deal with. Thinking on this this morning took me all over in scripture.

The above scripture and the next one have been part of my prayers these days. I have been nudged by God and I so long to be obedient. I trust He will guide me. Psalm 51:10-11 - Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

If we are believers and of the opinion that Jesus will return soon, we also know that He wants not only a pure and spotless bride, but a Church without spot or wrinkle. While I'm certain no church is absolutely perfect, some are better than others! And God is cleaning up His Church too. Hallelujah!

We do not know the day or hour Christ will return and there are still many events that need to take place, oh how fast we are seeing things the Bible has said would happen occur if we watch the news. There are still many who don't recognize this...

I went also to the Book of Revelation where there are letters to seven types of church we can see today. Six of them had a list of sins: what will happen if they do not repent and also the encouraging word if they do. Only one church was a good example, the Church of Philadephia, which kept His word and did not deny His name. In other words, they did not compromise God or His Word. They spoke the hard words of sin, and judgment and the good words and promises. All the truth. To the others, nothing good would come of not repenting but there would be, in each church, a remnant who would be forgiven. God is cleaning up His Church.

Jesus also demands that His bride be perfected. That comes with our spirits knowing God's Spirit is at work...first with a nudge, then with our acknowledgment to the area He wants to perfect in us. I have quite a few areas so He'd better work fast! We all do.

As we have discussed a couple times in Sunday school, we must trust that God will do the work. We cannot do it on our own...we need the Spirit of God to reveal it, then be obedient. It will require a lot of listening, repenting and this obedience to what the Spirit wants us to do. There's a fine line, however, that seems indistinguishable between His work in us and our own attempt to "do better," unless He very directly shows us. It requires a lot of seeking and asking. And if we ask the right things, He is quick to respond.

There is also a parable about ten virgins that seemed to me to apply. We will not know when the Lord will return. We must always be ready. We must present ourselves also as pure and spotless. All in preparation for our Bridegroom. Purification of the bride might include being watchful for His return. It's part of what we are called to do. They all had oil lamps (that one might see). They all had to be sure they always had an ample supply of oil and needed to tend to the trimming of the wicks that these lamps would always burn. The reason being that they be alert to the coming of their bridegroom. The Bridegroom, of course, is His second coming...who is coming for that pure and spotless, sanctified bride. The oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit which guides into all truth, who convicts of sin, who helps in the process of our sanctification...becoming without spot or wrinkle. We cannot be slumbering or the door will shut for those unprepared at His return. (Matthew 25:1-13)

So, my prayer is that He search me, try me for any wickedness, then create in me a clean heart and a spirit to hold me fast to Him.

Revelation 19:7-8 - Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Not of the World

John 17:11-16

Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

I still maintain there is a difference between knowing Jesus and believing in Him in our heads and knowing and believing in our hearts.

There is a definite transition and transformation that takes place when one truly knows Jesus. Something happens in our hearts and spirits. What we thought we knew becomes what we truly know.

Jesus was not of the world. That we can agree on. His disciples followed Him and were also considered not of the world. There were a lot of people who knew who Jesus was but rejected His words. They preferred the lifestyle they had always known over the one that Jesus offered. He has a way of changing a person's priorities by changing our hearts. Some don't want that change. Being in Christ means no longer being in the world and all it thinks is important. It's about priorities.

Only one of His disciples, Judas, failed. His love for money (he was treasurer for the group) did him in in the end. It is my understanding that he was the most intelligent of all the disciples. He had a wise business sense (although not always honest). It makes me think of the scripture that tells us God chooses the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise...and the weak things to put to shame the mighty. (1Corinthians 1:27)  It wasn't the intelligence or position in life Jesus wanted. It was the heart willing to change.

One might say, Oh, Jesus wanted the lesser people because He could twist them around His little finger and coerce them. Not so. If anything He coerced them into an exceedingly apparent knowledge of God, that could only have come from the Spirit, that these men used to preach the Gospel...and eternal life.

Judas remained of the world while his counterparts were no longer of the world, as Jesus has been saying. We are all a part of this corrupt world until we come to Christ. When we receive Him we are given a better knowledge through the power of the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit is the dividing factor between the earthly and spiritual. And that Holy Spirit only comes as a result of our coming to Christ, being born of the Spirit.

God chose me. I did not choose God. It was a struggle between He and me for awhile till "I got it." He sought me (He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood!). I chose to hear and receive what He offered me. I chose to be different being in relationship with Him. I chose to come out of the world. I chose to learn about Him. I have not regretted it. It's been an amazing journey. I may have lost ties with some friends or they keep me at arm's length, but I have won a whole new
family in my brothers and sisters in Christ, even those whom I've not even met.

We are called to not be of the world. Jesus prays that we will be protected from the evil one. The world hates the things of God. That is a very strong statement, I'm sure, to those who say they have nothing against Him but His way is not exactly the way they want to go; their lives are already filled. They just aren't filled with Jesus.

Ephesians 3:14-19 - For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Yours and Mine

John 17:6-10

I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and they have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.

Jesus understood the men that He chose to become His disciples were really chosen by the Father...because Jesus listened to the Father and did as He asked. He may not have, although it's possible I suppose, audibly heard God say, "Choose Peter, choose, Andrew, choose..." but being in tune with His Father's Spirit, He would have known.

He chose these disciples out of the world. And they came out of the world to become His followers. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. And immediately He called [two more fishermen], and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him. (‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭17-18,20‬) They came out of the world, they dropped their things and followed.

Prior to this Jesus had told His disciples that they did not choose Him, but He chose them. If He chooses to make Himself known to us it is a privilege and we should also be willing to come out of the world to follow Him. We may not be asked to drop everything, but some will. Some will know to drop their things and become missionaries. You just never know what God will do.

The disciples saw what Jesus did, heard what He said...and they believed. They knew what He said was true and that it came from His relationship with His Father. When we come to Christ, when we allow ourselves to be in relationship with Him, it should be like the relationship Jesus had with His of listening and obeying, doing His will, not our own. If we choose to follow Christ we become the Father's. But not before then.

Jesus made a statement above that made me think and search. He prays not for the world, but for those who are chosen. He prays that the world might be saved, that they might receive Him...but He prays specifically for those who do receive Him. The world, as He has said before, hated Him. If we do not choose to follow Christ, think it's not necessary, or scorn those who do, we ultimately hate Him. It's a hard truth.

He chooses us, we receive Him, a He prays for us. Jesus is there for everyone, but it will always be about the choice to receive Him. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (‭Matthew‬ ‭10‬:‭37‬) We might have family or friends who think we've gone off the deep end with this Jesus stuff. If we choose them over Him, we are not worthy of Him. If we do not seriously consider Christ, submit to Him, we are considered of the world and we do not belong to Him. He makes this very clear.

I am His, He is mine...we who have been called.

Isaiah 43:1 - But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fullness of Joy

John 16:23-33

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will not longer speak to you in figurative language, but in will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed hat I come forth from God. I come forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.

His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God."

Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

I was listening to part of a recording of Pastor Terry Eddings of Harrison, AR, who preached at our church on happiness and joy. The main point of the part I heard was that we are always searching for things that make us happy.

We are never really fulfilled. Better house, better, car, better job. Nothing truly totally satisfies. But there is One who does. Jesus Christ. And when we receive Jesus He gives us His joy. That joy goes much deeper than happiness because it comes from Him. Joy to the world!

When we are in the midst of one of our trials of everyday life, if we have Jesus, we can still have a joy way deep inside and that joy gets us through because we know Jesus has not abandoned us even when others have failed or circumstances in our lives are far from pleasant. He is our constant. He is our joy and brings us fullness of His joy.

I'm amazed at how this message preached a couple days ago fit so well with where I am in the Book of John. He's teaching His disciples that no matter what, if they believe in Him and continue to do so, their joy cannot be removed.

Jesus continues to speak to His disciples before His arrest. For three years He's been showing them who He is, what He can do and what He came to do for all mankind. He's been grooming them, if you will, for the tasks that will lie ahead for them when He is gone.

He tells them to ask in His name anything and they will receive and their joy will be fulfilled. But you must understand what we ask is not for that bigger home or new car or a better paying job. We ask the things of God...and when we do, then our joy, which only comes from Him, will be fulfilled. True joy. Not temporary happiness which never seems to fulfill.

That joy comes from believing and knowing Jesus, trusting in Him in all things. It's believing He is the Son of God and that He came down from heaven to save a lost world, minister to the people of His time, to gather believers to spread the word about Him...ordinary people, I might add. His legacy and His Gospel lives on.

Like these disciples, we are scattered. But because we are in Christ we are never alone even when we are alone! Jesus told us that our peace will come in knowing and believing in Him. He who gives us fullness of joy will also be our peace. I'm all for that.

Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms‬ ‭37‬:‭4, ‬‭‭16‬:‭11‬)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sorrow Turns to Joy

John 16:17-22

Then some of His disciples said among themselves, "What is this that He says to us, "a little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me"; and, "because I go to the Father?" They said therefore, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying."

Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.' Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.

"A woman when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore, you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you."

There are no doubt some who wonder the same thing as the disciples: What is this He says? Maybe, rather, it is, What is this she says? What is this thing that's so important about Jesus? What about sin, forgiveness, righteousness, power of the Holy Spirit, knowing, receiving, accepting Christ? Or even sorrow turning into joy? And joy that cannot be taken away?

It's all about Jesus. He is the only way to God the Father. He is the Door, the light to our path, the straight and narrow Way, the Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End, our Good Shepherd, our righteousness, our Savior and Lord. His name is above all names. He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. He was and is and always will be. He is love and His love is eternal. He is accessible to all when and only when we call on His name for the forgiveness of our sins and enter into relationship with Him.

Jesus was going to leave His disciples. They still did not know where He was going exactly. To His Father. A concept difficult to understand. They would be filled with sorrow but that would eventually turn into joy when He returned. And what's this about about a woman in labor? Okayyy.

Adam and Eve were in relationship with God. Relationship. We know what that means. Let it sink in: kinship, the state of being related, a feeling of being close or connected. We marry, we are in relationship. It is intimate. God desires that for all of us. Can't imagine it? Try a little harder. It IS possible.

He desires that He be our husband...and that goes for men too, in a spiritual sense. You love Him, you want to spend time with Him, you want to talk with Him and listen to Him. And since the Bible says the husband is to be the head of the house, we all are to be submissive to Him. But this submission is not like one might think. It's not oppressive submission. Only good comes out of this because He knows best. Oh, how can anyone explain this to someone who doesn't know Jesus??

Jesus was about to leave His disciples, and the world. Spoiler alert: we know He came back. Oh, the joy. The joy for His followers and for all down the road who would hear of this Man, take heed, join the ranks of other true believers, through receiving Christ. ...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (‭Romans 10:9, 2Corinthians 5:17) He becomes the joy that will not be taken away. The gift of His forgiveness, righteousness in Him, and eternal life...for those who are obedient to His command to be born again.

He comes into our lives and we take Him in. While we still have trouble in this world, it is He who has victory over the end. There will be an end someday and those who do not have this relationship will be forever lost and permanently out of favor with God. They will not be with Him in paradise, like many believe. That is only given to those who commit their lives to Jesus. He waits for all to come to Him, receive Him by faith, assurance that He is who He says He is...and taking that assurance seriously. If you do this, in a little while you will receive the joy everlasting.

Lord, only You can properly work in a person's life toward their belief. My words are inadequate. It is by Your Spirit we are drawn. I pray that Your Spirit would be recognized by those who don't fully understand. You drew me, you can draw others. Time is short. But then you know that.

John 1:12 - But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

He Will

John 16:12-16

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take care of what is Mine and declare it to you.

All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take care of Mine and declare it to you. A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.

Jesus continues to encourage His disciples. I'm sure they still did not fully understand all H was saying. As an unbeliever, I didn't understand either. Jesus knew they couldn't bear all He had to say; they weren't ready. We have to be ready and that's what the Holy Spirit does.

Growing up in a particular denomination I had heard of the Holy Spirit. We mentioned Him in a mechanically recited creed every Sunday. But I'll tell you, not until I was born of this Spirit did I have any understanding of the importance of the third part of the Trinity. None. Nada. Zilch.

But the morning I came to Christ I was filled with this Holy Spirit! Sort of like the disciples, I didn't know it, still didn't understand, but I knew something had happened to me on the inside. I felt it. And when I explained what happened weeks later in a women's Bible study, that I felt a power go through me, it was revealed to me. Wow. WOW.

The Holy Spirit has an equally important role in the Trinity, as explained above. He guides one into all truth, He teaches and He glorifies the Father and Son. It's something a friend of mine and I briefly discussed yesterday...we don't know how all this happens, how we are filled, how we learn the truth or even how He's prompting us, or giving us words to speak in any situation, but He does. I'm convinced it takes us only having that faith and coming as little children. To try to figure it out is impossible. It's God's work, after all. Glory to Him for His sending the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the power in the Trinity. In fact spirit in Greek is dunamis from which the word dynamite comes from. That's power. He guides us to the truth. He convicts us of our sin. He teaches us about God the Father and Jesus. Then He empowers us to go out and continue as the disciples to spread the Gospel. Then we too are able to glorify God...only through the power of the Holy Spirit which indwells us at the time of our conversion.

So the idea that Jesus points out, that all the Father has are His, is also true for the Holy Spirit because They are one. I can see why our pastor said we must have the Holy Spirit. It's imperative as a believer. And it is only received when we come to Christ. If one doesn't know who this Holy Spirit is or what He can do, he is not in Christ. (Romans 8:9) Don't be content to think you know Jesus based on your own understanding. Know Jesus and His gift of salvation through the power of the Holy Spirit and then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)  There is freedom in Christ...and if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Romans 8:9 - But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

These Things I Have Spoken

John 16:1-11

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father or Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, "Where are You going?"

But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

And these thing Jesus speaks to us today. Yesterday in church the message was about how we need the Holy Spirit in our lives, how we need to walk in the Spirit, that in and through the Spirit is how God works through us. If it had not been for Jesus and His death the Holy Spirit would not be accessible to us...through our acceptance of Jesus in our lives.

First, I see in these verses how Jesus is telling of things His disciples will experience; I see today how these words can be for any Christian who will face persecution...especially with the way things are happening in this world, how Christians are being God is being treated...even in our country...because they have not known the Father or MeWe see it in the news almost daily now. Who would ever have imagined it would come to this...and yet the Bible has warned about the last days (Matthew 24:7-17).

Second, the job of the Holy Spirit is explained. When the Holy Spirit would come to them, He would convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. No one wants to be shown their sin. The righteousness is Christ's; proof of His righteousness, that because He was falsely accused, He would choose to die for those sins we have but would rise again and be with His Father. Judgment is what Christ would, and has, placed upon our enemy the devil.

We do have an enemy. He lives among us every day trying to bollux up all lives. He wants all people to join his ranks and he's doing a good job. The Holy Spirit is truth. He shows us truths. He will show us the enemy's plan vs. Jesus' plan. The enemy's plan is death and destruction; Jesus' plan is salvation and eternal life. The Holy Spirit of God shows us our sin that can only be taken away through Jesus and His righteousness, nothing we do on our own...and through Jesus alone the enemy is defeated in our life. There's a big bunch of truth right there.

It all starts with Jesus. It starts with believing in Him, receiving Him, being born again...spiritually, I might add...being filled with the Holy Spirit of truth. We don't need to be healthy, wealthy, wise or all cleaned up and good. We just need to be willing to submit to Christ. We need to be serious about Him. We need to follow and obey Him. Then, and only then, we become children of God. As soon as we make that commitment, we are filled with the Holy Spirit and He leads us into all truth. The truth of God's Word becomes alive and exciting...and convicting.

That's why Jesus told us, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ...unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born again." (John 3:3,5,7) It means making a decision, choosing to receive Christ. You can only be led to Christ, but the decision is yours to make. It's an important, life changing one.

Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭13-14‬ - In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

If He Had Not Come

John 15:22-27

But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.

If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written, "They hated Me without a cause."

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

I am reminded of the scripture In Romans: For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse...(Romans 1:20) 

Last blog I said we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Here Jesus is telling us that had He not come at all people would not know of their sin. He showed them their sin. He told people what they needed to do (be born of the Spirit, receive Him). He showed what He was capable of doing that no man could do. Some heard and saw and listened. Some, like the Pharisees standing only on what the law said, and others in love with their sin, did not. What He said and did so offended them they wanted Him crucified. They gave a murderer, Barabbas, his freedom over a Man totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

They rejected Him; they rejected God. They hated Him. I had to look up hate to see what the meaning was in this verse. Strong's Concordance: to pursue with hatred, detest. Root definitions: to express indignation in speech, denounce, curse; to cause one to become incensed, to provoke to anger. I did some of these. I didn't think I hated Him, but according to God, we do if we curse Him, use His name in vain (as in anger, disgust or frustration), we hate Him. His name is to be revered.

What a gift we receive when we receive Him as our Savior. Imagine Him forgiving us when we have ignored or even hated Him. He gives us many good gifts and promises, to be sure, but the gifts of His forgiveness and Holy Spirit are so necessary in our walk with Him. The Holy Spirit, as Jesus said, shows us what truth is. We can think we know truth, but it is not often God's truth. We see His truth. We see our sin. We see who offered His life to forgive us of those sins.

If He had not come it is true we would not recognize sin as sin. He had to come for this reason or we would be separated from God forever. Again, He needed to come to show us our sin. If we still do not recognize it, according to His Word, we will continue to be separated from God. It's Jesus for eternal life with God. It's Jesus for forgiveness of sin. It's Jesus for the gift of His Holy Spirit of truth.

He's here for the asking. He wants to open spiritually dead eyes. He wants to call you His child. He wants to spend eternity with you. If you hear Him call, go for it. You will not be disappointed.

Psalm 69:4 - Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; they are mighty who would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully; though I have stolen nothing, I still must restore it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

He Was Hated First

John 15:17-21

These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love it's own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Remember the word that I said to you, "A servant is not greater than his master." If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Jesus loves us. He loves us even if we don't love or acknowledge Him. But knowing this does not exempt us from receiving Him. I cannot presume to know the condition of anyone's heart. Only God knows. I think we can receive Christ in many ways. For some it is outward with amazing results. For others it can be a quiet change. For me it was realizing I needed His help in my life; the sin became evident later when I realized He would be doing the work in me, not the situation!

When we come to Christ our lives aren't suddenly pain free or trial free. Things don't always happen the way we want them or expect them to. God's ways are the right ways. This is something we learn as we learn about Him. We still go through things we would rather not. We grow from these difficult times. Being a Christian is not always easy but is beneficial.

Look at Jesus. His life wasn't easy. He knew what He was here on earth to do. And He ran that very same race to achieve the goal that was set before Him...death on the cross. But, oh, what love. To die for all mankind. For anyone who chooses to receive Him in their lives. To always be pleading to the Father, Forgive them for they do not know what they do. We follow in His footsteps and run a similar race to receive our own glorious prize, eternal life with Christ in heaven. Seeing our Savior face to face at last...

What does He then call us to do? The same thing. Love as He loved. To live a life pleasing to Him. To, as believers, spread the Gospel message...and endure the persecution of others not wanting to hear the message, which is dying also as He died, to self (a very hard thing to do on our own). Remember that Jesus knew He was innocent. He did not defend Himself because He knew His Father knew He was not guilty. He was doing His Father's will. He chose to suffer to end up at the right hand of His Father. We also must continue despite what others think. To love those who do not know Him or who don't want to know Him. To forgive as He forgives. But continue just the same. Sometimes that love comes in the form of convicting someone through your words, which some won't like.

I was as guilty as the next before I knew Christ as far as not wanting Him or thinking I needed Him. But there comes a moment in time when the truth becomes evident and we change in a heartbeat and choose Him. It's inconceivable that I could have brushed Him off for so many years. That I paid no attention to Him or even thought of Him. But then to suddenly have His Word and words become so alive after His Holy Spirit became part of me. And I have to remind myself frequently that others do not know what they do. And I have to ask God to forgive me of forgetting this. I am reminded also that not all the people we know will receive Jesus. And we must continue anyway. We must not give up.

I was chosen to come out of the world. Do you know how amazing that is? To be called... And it's for anyone who responds to His call. But here's the clincher, He may call us and we respond but not everyone is going to be enamored by the new you. You can be reviled, thought of as arrogant, holier than thou. You can lose friends, family, even your job because of it. Look at the world and even our country. The offense of Christianity and anything having to do with it...yet we are to be tolerant of others. A double standard. That's persecution too.

What keeps me grounded is knowing that this is supposed to happen. Jesus tells us this: If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. However, there's a great consolation in knowing that while others don't share my views, God knows. And I have a church family that does. I used to be on "the other side" being disgusted with all this God stuff. Today I realize that when I did that I was ultimately rejecting God. And what is the very first thing we have been commanded to do? Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, will all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. That's pretty "all"-encompassing.

He is to be first so He can be our last. From one's spiritual birth to earthly death and spiritual, eternal life. The persecution is minor in the grand scheme of things. I thought about this early this morning. Persecution and trials may seem daunting in our lives, but are next to nothing when compared to what we will have on the other side of this life. And, no, we do not come back in some other form until we have perfected ourselves! When we are in Christ we are complete and we will be perfected when He returns. (Romans 8)

1Peter 1:6-9 - In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation 
of your souls.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

At the Foot of the Cross

Hebrews 13:12-14 - Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

The last few days have been incredible. There's nothing like seeing God at work. It's one thing to just hear about it, but to see it...priceless.

On Sunday a man entered our church totally intoxicated. I mean, really bad. He walked up the center aisle shouting, "I don't want to drink no more!" He repeated this over and over. He went to the front of the church and fell on his knees before God. It was both heart wrenching and beautiful. He needs to be delivered, he needs Jesus, I thought. He knew where to go. At the foot of the cross.

If I remember correctly, outside the gate and outside the camp in the scripture above was in effect demeaning. Jesus was crucified with criminals...they were not worthy of being within the gates of the city. In the Old Testament sacrifices were made by all God's people for the atonement of sins. Animals were sacrificed and the blood sprinkled on the altar for this atonement. It was an act repeatedly done because sins were never forgiven. It was done outside the camp. But Jesus came to be the once for all ultimate sacrifice that anyone who would come to the cross in repentance would be saved. And to add to all His humiliation, it was also outside the gate.

Like this man, this is how we all need to come to the cross. Kneel before the Lord broken before God and cry out to Him for the forgiveness of our sins. If we think we don't have sin, God will reveal it...often, but not always, by bringing us to the very place this man was, broken before God. Broken. Only when we are broken, with only one place to go, like to the Lord, will we see Him for the Savior He is.

We can think we have no sin. But we are all sin filled. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; (‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭28-31‬) Ouch. If we have done any of  these things, or broken any of the commandments, even though it might seem petty, we have sinned.

So, two days later we hear the report that one of our deacons went to visit this man. The place where he lives has security locked doors. It was unlocked! He walked in and found this man's room and his door was also open. What our deacon saw was amazing. He did not look like the man we saw in church. It is believed he encountered Jesus. What he needs now is someone to guide him and speak encouraging words to him, love on him and teach him about the what Jesus can do...and has begun to do...for him. And this is being done. Praise God.

Our church is one of those who do not believe in turning away those who Jesus calls a sinner, just because they don't look like they belong in a church. These are the people that do belong in church. Jesus welcomed all people. He woos us all but it's how we respond to His call. Are we so proud as to think only the drunkard, the murderer, the vile need Jesus and that we do not? It's all about going to Him, giving ourselves to Him and letting Him forgive us of our sins so we can be called holy,
righteous and children of God.

I look at Jesus' death outside the camp, in a way, as it not being about the building, about the denomination or church. It goes beyond that and is not confined to a building.  It's about Jesus only. He will meet us anywhere. He will meet any person of any nation, tongue, creed...not just certain ones. He wants ALL people to come to Him. What an amazing God! There is not one greater than another. Only Jesus is greater. We all come to Him from the same place, that of sin filled individuals.

Prayer abounds for this man. He needs God's strength and power for him to completely overcome his need for drink. Yet it is still a decision he must make to constantly rely on the Lord and we have a very evident enemy not wanting yet another person to trust wholly in Christ. The enemy says "Does God really say that?" Yes, He does.

I pray for God to do a mighty work not only in this man, that he would be an amazing testimony of God's healing power, that God would be glorified in this man's life, but for all who think they have no sin, that God would present to them the truth that He proclaims in His Word. It's about dying to our own and society's beliefs of what is right and wrong and realizing what God has pointed out.

If you are a believer and you feel led, please pray for this man. God will know who he is. I think of the old hymn, At the Cross. Hear these words:

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

I want to end with this scripture. Remember Jesus calls us to Himself. Have you heard Him call? Have you responded?

Mark 8:34 - When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Name Above All Names

Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. 
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed. 
(Daniel‬ ‭7‬:‭14‬, Isaiah‬ ‭52‬:‭13‬)


Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name... (Philippians 2:9)

Friday, September 5, 2014

I Chose You

John 15:15-16

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

This is a concept that unbelievers might have a hard time understanding. We did not choose God, He chose us. He works miracles in people to bring them to salvation in Jesus Christ. He works in their lives, poking and prodding spirits and consciences until they see a need for Him. Of course, there might be some who ask, Then why haven't I been chosen? Are you listening for His voice?  It comes in many ways. He is the Word. He uses trials. He uses others.

I remember the years it took and what I went through and the real fight against Him the day before I became a true believer! I always believed in God. Many others do too. As a child I loved laying outside on a summer or winter night and looking up at the stars and knowing I only saw a small number in comparison to how many there were. And I used to wonder with frustration and awe at how God has always been. No beginning, no end. Just always has been.

I remember the years where I gave no thought to him as I entered high school and the work place. It was about boys. It was about band. It was about clothes and looking good. I might pop into a church here and there at Christmas but saw no need to attend regularly. When I first got married we attended a church whose denomination is not considered truly Christian. I even recall a need to go to St. John's Cathedral just around the corner from where I lived in downtown Milwaukee one Christmas. I needed to feel close to God. There was an emptiness or a longing. Short lived...

Then I dabbled in the Shirley McClain new age stuff which took me deeper into occultic practices. I became frustrated because what seemed to "work" for others didn't for me. My mind couldn't be read because I never offered any "clues" because if they were supposed to be able to do this, they should tell me, right? And having my palm read...general statements that would work for anyone, like horoscopes. I was so skeptical...or was I? Maybe God had His hand upon me knowing what was to be.

Little by little things happened that I believe God was orchestrating. A friend at work became a believer (which I didn't know, of course, till I confronted her later, after I became a believer). I can actually remember how I barked at her at lunch one day when she had repeated something about Bible study or God for what seemed like umpteenth time. We laugh today at how she said I looked and spoke! I guess I was not very kind.

Then one day I was asked to go to church the next morning. I fought it but something had stirred me to tears and while I was very nervous about going, I did. And I walked out a different person. The old man was gone, the new emerged. In what seemed like a moment's time...

God chose me. He caused me to search, even if I misunderstood where to look and went the wrong direction. He sought me. And I am so thankful for it. I am so thankful to know the truth. It's true what the Bible says about the truth setting one free. I am convinced this is how He works in everyone. He puts a desire to know Him within us. Some just choose not to listen while others pick up on it and respond.

Now our testimony of what He has done is up to us to tell. We don't know whose life we might
change in the telling; a bearing of that fruit. When we continue in this fashion, He uses us more. He opens the doors. He hears when we ask for His assistance, guidance, words of wisdom and knowledge, discernment, strength and peace. That is what He means by asking must be according to His will. He will not give us things we do not need but only want. He gives us what He knows we need.

So, we are no longer His servants, unable to know what He does, because He has chosen us that He might give us the eyes, minds and spirits to know Him in an even greater way...through His Word and His Spirit. Because we have responded to His call, responded to His words, now seeking Him, He has shown us we can be His friends, when we respond and allow our conversion to take place.

This is hard to understand to an unbeliever because that moment of reality has not occurred. If that's you, let your heart be open to receive and your spiritual ears and eyes open to hear and see Him. If it happened to me, one who did not want to know or hear, one who did not think she needed to, it can happen to you...if you want it. Even if you don't, He might just badger you till... You do not need to be the worst sinner. We are all sinners without Christ. All. We might compare ourselves to the worst of sinners and justify ourselves that God is for "those people" but not you. The fact is, He is for you too.

1Corinthians 6:9-11 - Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adultery, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

If You, You Shall

John 15:7-14

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These words I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you."

Jesus always spoke honestly and conditionally. Some don't like that. It's their way or the highway. Well, Jesus could have coined that phrase too! It's My way or the highway. Think of the roads as they were years ago. Narrow, one, maybe two lanes, maybe dirt, maybe paved. Back roads. In the 20's highways were designed for the automobile. Then in the 50's came highways. They were bigger, faster, more often traveled. The narrower roads became less traveled, maybe a means to getting to the highway.

Gee, was it Jesus who said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life and there are few who find it."? (Mark 7:13-14)

If we abide in Him, if we keep His commandments, He will give us our desires and we will abide in His love and we will have joy. That surely goes against the grain for some, many, those on the broad way. You mean I have to accept or act in accordance with (Webster), remain and sojourn with, be held by, await one and endure (Strong's Concordance) Jesus? That means accepting Him as my Lord and Savior. That means knowing Him, believing all He says, obeying His words, following Him, speaking of Him. What would my friends and family think? I'd be looked upon as weird. I wouldn't want that.

But so look at the promises if you do...when you know Him and ask according to His wishes (Oh, but there it's all about Him...yes, it is!) shall be done, according to His ways in His perfect time. (Oh, that's too one sided.) But if we abide in Him He will give us joy, even in the midst of crises...and there will be those. It's said often that even in Christ we will fall into various trials (James 1:2) but we can count it joy because it produces patience and if we endure we will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:3,12)

Jesus does have conditions. Because He, as God, knows better than we. He created us, knows our every need; not we have created ourselves and think we know what our greatest needs are. Sometimes I wish I had less. I've almost always had just about whatever I needed. I see others with less, who are in Christ, and they definitely live like they have more! I say that with a bit of envy and a lot of love.

I would love a simple life with fewer conveniences. And we all do have conveniences, even those with less. But what joy to be so totally content doing the simple things, enjoying the simplicity of a walk after dinner, a conversation or a game instead of television. The simple things.

Then there's the admonition to love Jesus, to love everyone...even our enemies which is difficult. Forgive them, for they know not what they do, Jesus pleaded to His Father, the one whom He obeyed, like we should. It is by our love that others come to Christ. But Jesus didn't sweeten His words...He still placed conditions...if you, you shall. But only IF.

We cannot believe without Christ all is well. We cannot believe our works get us to heaven. Truth is, none of us is ever good enough. We cannot live totally as we desire because then it's about us, not Him. Only Jesus is. He knows what we need and need to do. He tells us, if we, we shall. If we first accept Him, abide in Him, act in accordance with what He says, obey, remain in Him, follow Him to the end, despite the trials we go through...then and only then we will receive eternal life. There will be no eternal life without Jesus. That means eternal death in the Lake of Fire...and yes that is very is not a myth. There will be no eternal life if we think we can attain it on our own without Him.

Yes, it sounds pretty one-sided to only do as Jesus tells us, but look where He is today despite the adversities, the scoffing, His horrible death. He is at the right hand of His Father. He did this for us all. If we think we can live our own way without Him we fool ourselves. We must know Him. Then
we can be with Him someday if we make that decision to abide in Him today. So...what say you?  Will you admit you are a sinner? Will you confess to Him your sins? Will you allow Him to give you joy in the midst of trials, even if you were faced with being killed for following Christ and not giving in to another? Will you follow Him till the end and put up with friends and family scoffing?  It will be well worth the suffering in this momentary time on earth, for eternity in heaven.

1Peter 2:21 - For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an 
example, that you should follow His steps.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lookin' Good?

Galatians 5:9 - A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Pastor Nathan Heller of the Superstition Foothills Baptist Church told it like it is! Praise God. He talked about the Impact of Spiritual Decline.

Our nation is in a spiritual decline and those of us old enough have seen a lot of it. But as the pastor suggested, it's not just the nation, but the Church, and because we are human, it can affect us also. We have allowed this decline to creep in, almost unnoticed. It takes effort to look back to determine just when it started.

You see above what one scripture says about leaven. A little can do a lot. And what does leaven do? It makes something less serious and often more exciting, according to Webster's dictionary. I had never thought of it that way. Gee, I think I know an evil character who likes to let us to whisper in our ears, what's it going to hurt to do that?

Pastor Nathan focused his message on Abraham's cousin, Lot. Lot left with Abraham when God told him to leave his people and settle in a land He would show him. So, when Lot started out, he was fine. When they came to the land of Canaan it wasn't big enough for both their families with servants and livestock. Abraham told Lot to look over the land where they stood and choose where he wanted to go and he would take the other portion.

Lot allowed his senses to take over. This land over here looked mighty good: And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. (‭Genesis‬ ‭13‬:‭10‬)

As you can see, Sodom was part of that land. And while Lot at first didn't live in Sodom, he was edging closer until his desires got the better of him and he lived within the gates of this abomination of a city. He still was not a fallen individual, however, but he was letting his guard down. When you become accustomed to your surroundings you go with the flow, not against it. Once within the city he had to have known what the city was like. He sat at the entrance gate, supposedly to watch for strangers that he might lead them to his house so they would not be subject to the wickedness of the Sodomites.

Two angels arrived. He led them to his house. Still a good thing. But when a knock on the door produced wicked men wanting these two angels, Lot faltered a bit. His initial response was no. Still a good response. But he couldn't stop there. He felt he needed to appease these men from the city by saying he would offer his virgin daughters to them...oops. He compromised.

We are not supposed to compromise when it comes to God. We are not to let our guard down no matter what others might think. I wonder how many times this happens? Pastor Nathan believes that not only the people in this country have compromised, but so has the Church.

Churches today are allowing the things of the world in. Let's not call sin sin. Let's only speak of the love of God and lure them into our churches with only half the story. We'll entertain them. We'll only encourage them. They will stay with us. We'll have ministries up the wazoo; we'll separate the young from the old and teach accordingly. We'll compromise our beliefs a bit and call it being politically correct, so as not to offend.

I don't think Jesus ever sugar coated His words. He called sin a sin...and it put Him on the cross. What happened to the days of fire and brimstone? Hah! Like what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah when God's patience ran out. The truth is, it is a narrow road to this truth. Even the Church is faltering and wandering off that road.

As Pastor Nathan suggested (paraphrasing some more) the decline begins when we can't let go of the world and all it has to offer. When he refers to we here he's talking about all believers. And we make up the Church. We and the Church have failed this nation despite our reason for leaving England for the right to worship God properly. As a consequence, we are in a spiritual decline. Can we recover? Unlikely. It would take such a revival as never seen. It could happen...but time is awfully short.

I believe we all can struggle with some of the things in the world. I have for years told God in specific areas if He wants to take it away, while it may sting for a bit, I know it will be for the better. Less of it, more of Him. Surrender.

Mark 8:15 - Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."