The Devil didn’t make you do it … and neither did God!

I’m a mom.  Not just of my own children, but of their friends; of young people that I meet; of the children of my friends; of believers who are younger in the faith then I.  Being a mom means that I get to see people make lots of mistakes or fall into sin. God has blessed me with a great ability to make people feel at ease confessing and then helping them find their way back to the right path.  It is disturbing to me, however, when people imply that God allowed them to fall into their particular sin – whatever it may be.

When I recall my own life – the days before I was fully committed to The Lord; what I can say on no uncertain terms is that what I got caught up in were the things that felt good to me; or that were interesting or appealing to me.  My flesh had desires that were outside of God’s will for me and when I had an opportunity, I sometimes got wrapped up in something that I should not have been in.  The enemy did not have to push me into it and God didn’t have to open me up to temptation; I did what I did because I wanted to! AND, my friend, so do you.

He is a GOOD FATHER.  He wouldn’t allow the enemy to walk into our lives to make us fall – No!  But like any father, he will allow us to experience temptation (like allowing us to drive alone for the first time; or go out on a first date) so that we can learn to make good moral choices.  When we take a situation and make it a sin – it is our own sinful desires that overtake us.

How do we escape?  Call on Him to help us.  He is able and willing to help each of us be victorious over temptations.  According to the His Word, He can allow us to be tempted – but He doesn’t tempt us. He can’t make us fall to evil because He cannot move positively toward sin/evil.  Being His children we have the beautiful benefit of calling on Him – Our Father – to stand with us, and to stand within us, and keep us from falling.  He delights in helping us to stand!

Get Somewhere and Sit Down!

Those words … Get Somewhere and Sit Down!! My mother said this to me quite a bit … but do you understand why!?!?

Today, we feel that we are of more value when people see us doing something that is considered … valuable. We feel that we are considered to be kinder people when we take the time to listen to everything that others say without criticism or correction.  Well, truthfully, neither of these two things make us healthier or wiser! The truth is that when we fill our days with activity after activity, there is little time left to reflect on what is most important — whatever it is that God wants us to be doing.  

I was talking to a colleague recently during a time of waiting; I asked him to pray for my patience with myself because I kept finding my mind wondering what I could be doing instead of waiting.  My colleague asked me the question, “So you want me to pray for you to wait on Yahweh?”  That question knocked the wind out of me!  He asked the question my heart needed to ponder — what was so awful about being still for a while, as my God worked out in me what needed to be worked out.

In that same vein, moving to get advice from MANY, at times that we don’t know what to do next, can be appealing to us for some reason. Do you know what I mean? I know there are many who will go and ask one person for prayer or guidance, and then go to others for, what they say, is confirmation. Well, I don’t have that problem, but I know many that do. Now hear what I’m saying: Because we don’t know the answer; when we don’t know our next step; when we’re not sure of the desired action … we keep laying out to people around us what we’re wrestling with hoping that one of them will surely give us the answer we want to hear. Notice, I didn’t say the right answer – I said the answer we want to hear!

My friends, I want to encourage you when you are in a time of waiting, just wait!  It may be that you become ill; that you are unemployed;  that a relationship gets in a funky spot; financial need … many issues – but when you don’t have answers to your next move – be quiet and listen!  Do not ever give yourself over to your own personal desires and visions – you talking about it too much will put ideas in your head that should not be there and will invite counsel from people who, quite frankly, cannot even manage their own affairs.

Truthfully, when I was in this waiting period, I just knew what needed to happen to get the ball rolling! LOL! Y’all I just knew it because of what I thought was right … not what God was leading me to see or do … just what I felt needed to happen to get the ball rolling. My colleague’s words were powerful and my mama told me to just “get somewhere and sit down” until I had all the answers I needed – the answers from The One.  I will testify to you that she was right!

A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool. Ecclesiastes 5:3

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Many find comfort in these words – but for me, they can cause angst.  It’s the word “let” that causes problems for me.  I mean, what am I supposed to do when the trials and problems of life really do give me pause or cause me to have fear?

I know – I know –  I know what you Christian folk are saying, “Jan! take the thought captive, bring the thought into submission with the will of God!” Trust me – I KNOW!!  But that word “let” still gives me a lump in my throat.

I joyfully minister to many. There are issues where the money is just not nearly enough to meet the obligation. There are issues where the illness cannot be defeated. Marriages that are dying. Loss of loved ones that cause family issues in the midst of grief. OR – Maybe your life is on course and you are not only joyful but prosperous.  That is what I tell myself when I encounter people who tell me not to allow myself to worry.  I say to myself that they have no idea what it is like to be in my shoes! What about you!?

Well, I Thank God for His Word!  These words were spoken by the very Son of God, and knowing that Jesus said the words tells me that it really is possible for me to disallow my heart from fainting at the first sign of trouble.

I go on to read Christ’s words in Matthew 24 as he describes the perilous times the world will face but he reminds those that follow Him that they are not alone.  And then I remember that the Word of God gave me another “let” that gives me power and strength – “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 2:5)– and as I continue to read His Word and allow Him to speak to me I am reminded that if I have the mind of Christ I cannot be troubled for it is against the mind of Christ for me to have a troubled heart or mind even when all around me seems full of trouble.  Then I remember that He also told me that if I could only remember at all times that He has already overcome the world – I will know that I too will overcome.

Now, let me say that my heart began to feel lighter and the lump in my throat was less uncomfortable.  Let me also be clear that though my situation may not have changed – I am hopeful, truly, that He desires to, and will indeed, work it all out for my good and for His glory.  So today, you know – later on after I start thinking about my trouble again – the moment it seems that my heart just might faint, I will not let my heart be troubled, instead I will start singing, clapping, dancing and praising Him in advance of my deliverance!  As I praise – it will lift my heart from trouble to a place of triumph and I will not be able to stop myself from rejoicing.

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled! As my mama always told me,  “Just trust in the Good Lord!”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Daily Quotes for This Week

  • SUNDAY – “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” 
  • MONDAY – ” We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”
  • TUESDAY – ”I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” 
  • WEDNESDAY – “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
  • THURSDAY – “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
  • FRIDAY – “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
  • SATURDAY – “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Steadfast Boldness

Because we are surrounded in this earthly realm with those who don’t really believe, we can be lulled into a sense of complacency. Thinking that it doesn’t matter what people believe AND thinking that it is not our business to ‘push Christ on them’.

BUT … if we believe – REALLY BELIEVE – that Christ is who He says He is; that He died and was raised to the end that our victory has been secured; then we must also know that there is no more worthy thing we can do accept work fervently, passionately and at full throttle for His Kingdom.

However, if we have merely accepted the idea of His resurrection and have not let it become a heart belief – then it is all – ALL OF IT – in vain!!! If you really believe in the power of His resurrection, then don’t waver; don’t be discouraged; and, work passionately for the Kingdom of Our God and Father.

As believers, true believers, in The Lord Jesus Christ we have a beautiful and power gain that we could not ever deserve without Him. Because of the beautiful sacrifice of His live, we can never do too much or go through too much to repay Him. Serve Him now because you have a guarantee that You will see Him for eternity. Suffer for the sake of His glory, because you will reign with Him in heaven. Even if you die for Him, you too will rise again one day and be crowned with glory, honor and immorality. His promise to us is everlasting life.

Father, help us to go hard after the things that build your Kingdom. Help us to love so that people are drawn to You. Help us to be bold about the only truth! Help us to remember at what price You secured us for Your own purposes. And please Lord, let us not be weary in well doing!

We Are Not Ashamed
Andraé Crouch
We are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is God’s power of salvation. To everyone that believes it, to everyone that receives it, we shall have everlasting life!
God’s word – His word is healing for every nation.
His word – God’s word is power unto salvation.
God’s word – God’s word came all the way from glory.
It set the captives free, made the blind to see.
We are not ashamed, we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for we have everlasting life