Only in Truth and Love

We can be tempted to live in our Christian lives on the edge of the truth. Well, I should say that it seems that today, the Body of Christ is in some ways living on the edge of the truth because of the struggle of including and attracting more people. Now don’t get me wrong – we demand belief in God for sure! But, we do not always demand a trust in Christ.

Because of the difficulties of the world right now, we can be tempted to live in such a way that we are protecting ourselves from some hurt, or treasuring our own station over that of another. But, that is not love. You see, we are told to give the cloak. We are told to walk the 2nd mile. We are told to prefer others above ourselves. When we neglect the truth and love in our lives, we effectively remove from our lives any guarantee of grace, mercy and peace.

We cannot allow ourselves to be lulled in to a state of complacency — we need to be faithful to the truth of Christ — and the love of God!

When operating outside of the truth, which is that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and is the Savior; or when operating outside of love, which is obedience to God — then we cannot expect grace, mercy and peace to be with us.

Embrace His Truth. Show His Love.

I’m praying that Our Father will help us to keep Christ at the forefront of all things that we do, for the sake of His Kingdom. Praying that He will help us to stand firm as we meet others who do not acknowledge Christ as coming in the flesh. Praying that He will help us to fight for the truth and for His glory. Please Father, teach me to obey You — which is to love! Bend my heart toward Your will daily – so that my inclination will always be to love! And may grace, mercy and peace by my portion as I honor the truth and commit to love!

Earnestly Seeking – Sincerely Following

Amaziah became king at 25 years of age and the scripture says that “He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart”.  Amaziah was given victory after victory and then was deceived in his own mind and began to follow after other gods – forsaking the Lord. When Amaziah turned away from the Lord — no more victory — his own people sought after and then took his life.  Read the whole story yourself – 2 Chronicles 25; 2 Kings 13, 14)

This story can help us today.  We learn from Amaziah that when we follow God, but not with our whole heart – we will not only deceive ourselves, but we will be deceived and it will lead to our ruin.

It is easy to point out a person who is wicked when the wickedness plays out as murder, lying, adultery, etc.  But there are people who seem to follow after God who are also wicked.  There are those who do the things that look godly because they know how to look godly, but whose hearts are not at all for God.  I think we call them – Religious People.  I can’t speak for you — but I do not want to be one of these people.  

When I go to church; study the Word of God; help people; pray, etc. – I want to be doing it because my heart earnestly seeks Him and thirsts for Him.  If not, I am deceiving myself and others – and in the end our destruction will come swiftly.  Amaziah followed the ways of God but not wholeheartedly and became victim to unwise counsel, and was ultimately found to have turned away from God completely before he was killed.  We might not be killed, but there are things that are worse than (or as bad as) death!  To avoid ruin – it is important that we not just mimic the ways to God but that we seek to follow after His ways with our whole hearts.  This means that we do what we do for the Kingdom because of our sincere devotion to the King of Kings and out of a heart of gratitude for all that He has done and Is doing for us.

Father, Help us to love you with our whole hearts!  Teach us what it means to desire to serve you and to love You sincerely.  May our hearts shy away from seeking our own desires over Your perfect will and may we be found to be true seekers and true worshipers for all of our days.  Amen

Captured by Pride

Getting caught up in our victories, our achievements, our abilities – sets us up for capture by the enemy. Sometimes the snares and traps that we fall in to are our own doing!

The enemy knows our tendency to love ourselves and when we ascribe glory to ourselves, he is smart enough to goad us on until, inevitably, we become proud/haughty/boastful. The Word of God reminds us that what was once a blessing can become a curse.

Moab was great — undisturbed — but arrogance has caused the Lord to bring hardship. Bethel was Israel’s pride, but the Lord made Bethel their shame. We must be careful to give God all glory, praise and honor for what we accomplish. And we must be careful to do all for the sake of His glory — lest we become caught in our own traps and snares — captured by the enemy’s lure.

I do pray that God will help us to understand what it means that we are nothing without Him! Help us to see our nothingness — while understanding the greatness and the ability that we have in Him. Make us mindful of who is worthy! Make us mindful of who the heart belongs to. Give us hearts that are willing to be humble — so that we might receive the exaltation He has for us in His own time.

Trouble … Don’t Last Always

Do you know/remember that song? Trouble Don’t Last Always??That is one of my FAVORITES!!

“Weeping may endure for a night. Keep the faith. It will be alright. Trouble don’t last always!”

There have been times in the midst of difficulty that this song reminded me quickly of God’s truth to His children … only He allows trouble … and only He will bring me out. Did you get that?? He WILL bring me out.

It is not an easy thing to go through trials.  In fact – some of the things that we have to face on this earth can cause even the most faithful person to lose heart.  As an heir with Christ, however, we are assured that though our troubles may be many and various – we ARE victorious.

The enemy would love for us to fall for the mind game he plays with us – that God has forgotten us; that God is not aware of our struggles; that God is manipulating us and enjoying watching us suffer.  But we know that this is not the way of our God and King!  It is His will that His children — those who love Him; those who He has called; those who He has justified; those who have received the gift of salvation — live abundant lives.  Not lives free of trouble — but lives in which the trouble brings about change, victory and His perfect will.

This thing that you are facing — the Lord might have put you in the middle of it!  He won’t give you more than you can bear even though it might seem like you can’t take anymore.  He has not forgotten you.  He knows you and loves you.  He will restore your life if you will only trust, believe, and obey.

Of course … I’ve got another favorite song. Victory by Brenda Waters.

“I don’t know how God’s gonna do it. I don’t know when He’s gonna fix it. I only know, God’s gonna make a way for me. I know He’s gonna do it. Victory!”

Well …. just in case you wanna hear them both

Victim — it’s not where God desires that I dwell

I AM NOT A VICTIM!

I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.  I’m a child of God.  I’m a branch of the One True Vine; a conduit of blessing to the world.  I’m free from the law of sin and death.  I’m accepted by Christ and am a joint heir with Him.  I am a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.  I am God’s workmanship, created for good works.  I am complete.  I am holy and beloved.  I am loved and cherished.

The craziness swirling around us right now can trick us into believing that we are victims – losers – without hope.  But the Word of God tells me that this is not so.  When I am careful to set my mind on His kingdom each day my heart will want to give and not receive; to serve and not rule over; to forgive and not avenge.  I will see the world and all its happenings as my Father in Heaven sees them and not as a person separated from His Spirit.

My feet are surely on this earth – but my mind is the mind of Christ and it must be my aim to help make this earth more like heaven.  Both my outward life and practical pursuits and my inward life and spiritual focus will reflect the image of The One True God.

It is my given role to practice the presence of God every single day no matter what!

Many people in America are being victimized right now – abuse, injustice, false accusations, and violence – but as a believer in Christ we are assured that we will overcome and that these sufferings will be glorifying to our Lord dependent upon how we endure and how we choose to walk after being mistreated.  How do you adjust your attitude?  By setting your mind on things above – including your identity according to the Lord your God! Instead of dwelling in the ‘what you see’ – choose to have a mind that dwells on our true lives which are hidden with God in Christ Jesus.

God has never misled us telling us that we’d walk on a bed of roses in this world — in fact He was quite clear in John 16 that we would have many and various trials; but just as Christ overcame by renewing His mind with the truths of the Father — So Can We!  2 Timothy 2:3-4 tell us that we are to “Suffer hardship … as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” and reminds us that “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”

It’s alright to feel hurt and even to demand that the offender see what they have done to you.  But at the end of the day none of us will ever get the justice we want from men – it will only come from God.  If you don’t believe me have a conversation with a family whose offender was executed on death row and they’ll tell you that they expected to feel vindicated, but it did not happen.

I encourage you to give God your hurt and lean into His truths about you and you will walk victoriously! and when God gives the victory it cannot – will not – be taken away from you! His plans for you include victory – His way.