“Next Steps During Your Darkest Hour”

We have God’s light within us- yet we still run into long spiritual nights where it seems our light has gone out. It could be a long illness that seems to have snuffed it out; it might be a death in the family, the loss of a job, or the breakup of a marriage. Whatever it is, scares us. It makes us feel as though we can’t see the way ahead. We feel as though the light as left us. When that happens, we may feel as though we are at fault. We wonder if we failed to be as responsible as the Proverbs 31 Woman. Was it some carelessness of ours that led to our light going out? Did we do something wrong? Are we lacking in faith? When despite all my best efforts, the lights have gone off in my life… it helps to know that these dark times come to everyone. They are normal. Just as the natural world needs both day and night, so we, too, need periods of spiritual illumination and times of spiritual obscurity. But knowing that doesn’t take away the fear and pain we experience during these dark times. Sometimes it seems as though we cannot make it through one more day, let alone another night when we lie awake worrying. Struggles, hardships, pain, and difficulty envelop us. We cry out (to God, to life). “Please, No more”! I can’t endure anything else”. In those desperate moments, we need to ask ourselves. “Can you make it through the next hour?” If so, we can put our energy into that-and nothing more. If we can’t make it through the next hour, can we endure the next half hour…the next fifteen minutes…the next minute? Then we can commit ourselves to that small space of time and look no further ahead. God is always with us at our darkest hour and He will never leave nor forsake us. Endurance is the Key! If we continue to run this race, and ask God for the strength to press on, then I believe we can make it. Sometimes God’s light only lights the darkness one step ahead. In that case,, we need to simply take that single step. We don’t need to worry about the next step (or the next minute, the next hour, the next day.) As we take moments, minutes, hours as they come, one at a time, not worrying about the darkness that seems to lie ahead, we will find that God gives us the light we need. Slowly, moment by moment, we move into a new place. A new day dawns. Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Ask God… “During dark times, Lord increase my faith in You. May I be willing to walk a step at a time. Help me to be willing to learn whatever You are trying to teach me during this dark period in my life”, Amen. Remember, even through your darkest moments, God is always there!

imagesB8PZNN4I

 

Advertisements

Doers of the Word

James 1:21-23 “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror. The Bible emphasizes the importance of hearing God and His representatives. Clearly, we must hear the Word of God, but hearing God’s Word involves more than listening. God did not want the apostles merely to hear what Jesus had to say; He wanted them to hear and follow Him. The same was true of Jesus’ instructions to the seven churches in Asia. Hearing is the necessary step, but it is not only one! After hearing God’s Word, we must submit our lives to His plan and live accordingly. This is why Scripture consistently stresses the necessity of obedience. For example, in Romans 12:1, Paul charged the Christians in Rome to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Elsewhere, he instructed the Philippians, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (1:27). Both passages show that Christians must conduct their lives in an acceptable worthy manner. It is not enough to know God has expectations for our lives; we must meet those expectations. Importantly, God has not left it up to us to decide how to accomplish this. Instead, He provided the plan we must obey in His Word (Hebrews 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8). James had obedience in his mind when he addressed his audience. Knowing they had to do more then acknowledge God’s expectations, he exhorted. We must hear, but hearing without obedience is deceptive. Proper obedience requires self control, dedication, and effort. We must control our emotions and reactions if we wish to lie righteously. We must dedicate ourselves to both knowing and following God’s plan if we wish to be blessed by Him. And we must seek to help those who are in need while maintaining personal purity if we wish to practice pure religion.

images8W5TU9GY

 

 

“Come As You Are”

Bible verses about come as you are

Many people wonder does the Bible say come as you are? The answer is no. Worldly churches love this phrase to build members. Whenever I see or hear this phrase being used usually people mean to come and stay as you are. They say don’t worry, God doesn’t care that you live in sexual immorality come as you are.

God doesn’t care that you are a club hopper come as you are. Worldly churches today is married to the world. They don’t preach the whole Gospel anymore.
It’s like they don’t preach on repentance or sin anymore. They don’t preach on God’s wrath anymore. False conversion is growing faster than true conversion.
God’s word means nothing to many people anymore. I am in no way saying that the churches shouldn’t be welcoming or that we have to clean up all the bad stuff in our lives before we can be saved.
I am saying that we shouldn’t allow people to think that it’s OK to remain in rebellion. I am saying that true faith in Christ alone will change your life. Salvation is a supernatural work of God. Come as you are, but you won’t stay as you are because God is working in true believers.

Quote

God doesn’t want something from us, He simply wants us!!!!

Scripture does say to come. Put your trust in Christ.

1. Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
2. John 6:37 Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never send away.
3. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
4. Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.
5. Joel 2:32 But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the LORD has said. These will be among the survivors whom the LORD has called.

True faith in Christ will change your life. Repentance does not save you, but repentance, which is a change of mind that leads to you turning away from sin is the result of true salvation in Christ.

6. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
7. Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

The people of Corinth did not continue to live in sin after they were saved. They were made new.

8. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
9. 1 Corinthians 6:11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Scripture teaches us to renew our minds.

10. Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
11. Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it.

God will work in a believers life to conform them into the image of Christ. Some Christians grow slower than others, but a true believer will bear fruit.

12. Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
13. Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
14. Colossians 1:9-10 For this reason, since the day we heard about this, we have not stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the full knowledge of God’s will with respect to all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might live in a manner worthy of the Lord and be fully pleasing to him as you bear fruit while doing all kinds of good things and growing in the full knowledge of God.
False converts take advantage of God’s grace and use it to live in rebellion.

15. Romans 6:1-3 What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
16. Jude 1:4 For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.

 

Scripture teaches us to deny ourselves.

17. Luke 14:27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

We must leave our life of darkness behind.

18. 1 Peter 4:3-4 For you spent enough time in the past doing what the gentiles like to do, living in sensuality, sinful desires, drunkenness, wild celebrations, drinking parties, and detestable idolatry. They insult you now because they are surprised that you are no longer joining them in the same excesses of wild living.
19. Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envying’s, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
20. Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,
21. 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee from youthful passions. Instead, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace together with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart.

False teachers never preach on sin and holiness. They make many false converts.

22. Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

I plead with you that if you don’t know the Gospel that saves. Please get right with God today!!!!

images5

Using Prayer

Some facts are easier to grasp in theory. This is the case with the idea that suffering for one’s faith might actually turn out to be a good thing. To know that facing persecution can embolden one’s faith and foster spiritual growth does not make it easy to appreciate and embrace those truths while in the midst of a trial. Anticipating this, James encouraged his audience-Christians who were being or would be persecuted- to ask God for the wisdom needed to endure their particular struggle: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him”‘ (1:5). Concerning James’ admonition: “Wisdom is required because the faithful do not always know how to persevere nor do they easily fit the will to rejoice in future blessings while enduring present trials….The believer is enjoined to turn to God for the internal and practical means to endure the diverse trials of faith“. Lest we think all one needs to do is pray in order to receive wisdom to face the trials of life, James pointed out that our petitions must be accompanied by faith. He continued: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7). The idea is that prayer is more than a ritual or formula. Instead, it is the means through which we pour our hearts out to the God who cares or us. Knowing that He hears us, we trust His ability to answer our cries and provide for our needs (1 John 5:14-15). The wisdom we need to rise to higher elevations, must only come from God; He alone can give it. But, we must believe in Him who alone can bestow it. The one who lacks faith in God to provide is described as “double-minded” and “unstable” (James 1:8). How powerful is prayer? The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16 declares; “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer, God answers prayers that agree with His will. The power of prayer places us in contact with the Almighty God,  and we should expect almighty results, whether He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. The God whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us according to His perfect will and timing. Ask God for wisdom and discernment to teach you how He wants you to pray and what He wants you to pray for according to His will. I really didn’t realize how powerful prayer was at first. Now, I don’t take prayer lightly! I have an extensive prayer life to stay closely connected to God in any way that I can. If you know how to meditate to contact Him, He will respond to your loving demands. To know exactly how and when to pray, according to the nature of our needs, is what brings the desired results. When the right method is applied, it sets in motion the proper laws of God, the operation of these laws scientifically bears results. The first rule in prayer is to approach God only with legitimate desires. Secondly, pray for fulfillment not as a beggar, but as a Son. When you pray deeply and continuously you will feel a great joy welling up in your heart. Don’t be satisfied until that joy manifests, for when you feel that all-satisfying joy in your heart, you will know that God has tuned in your prayer broadcast. You should pray to God ultimately as His child. God does not object when you pray from your ego, as a stranger and a beggar, but you will find that your efforts are limited by that consciousness. God does not want you to give up your own will power, which is your divine birthright as His child. The power of prayer is the power that comes to us when we realize that God can be our point of reference during confusions of our daily lives, the steadfastness of God rather than the incomplete, fragile, and inconstancies of ourselves.

imagesFDN8R0IE

 

 

Facing Trials

Scripture does not promise the faithful that their lives will be free from difficulty. Instead, it affirms that trials and struggles are inescapable. Jesus, for example, plainly told His apostles, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Echoing the point, the apostle Paul warned Timothy, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Elsewhere, Peter attempted to help his readers anticipate and keep their trials in perspective by writing, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 4:12-13). Although, we do not live in an environment exactly like that of the first century, persecution still occurs. A science teacher who refuses to present evolution as a fact could lose her job. A business owner who openly professes to be a Christian might find his faith attacked on social media and his company boycotted. An employee who chooses to attend Sunday worship rather than work extra hours might be passed over for a promotion. Even churches that insist on teaching what Scripture says about moral issues like homosexuality open themselves to criticism and expensive legal challenges. The question is not whether we will face trials and difficulties because of our faith, but how we will handle persecution when it comes. Besides the external challenges Christians endure, we also struggle with internal trials, particularly with temptation. Often, we blame others for our weaknesses of failures (Genesis 3:12) because it is easier to deny personal responsibility than to acknowledge that we are accountable. In this, we are hardly different from those who lived in the first century. Nevertheless, Scripture consistently holds man responsible for his actions and declares that God seeks to help man escape from sin rather than entrap him in                 (1 Corinthians 10:13). James wrote to equip his audience to face both their external trials of persecution and their internal struggles with temptation. He pointed out that facing could actually help them develop patience; therefore, he admonished them to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials”. Importantly, he recognized some would not know how to handle the trials they faced, so he exhorted, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him”. (V.5). James also observed that the temptations individuals face, which can seem especially strong in the midst of external persecutions, result from individual weaknesses, not from God (vv. 13-14). He showed that rather than attacking us and placing us in peril, God has made provisions so we might overcome the trial of temptation and “be a kind of first fruits of His creatures’ (v. 18).

images

 

Faith VS. Trust

The best way to hear from God and know the way He wants you to live is to know what the Bible, His word says. God’s word gives wisdom. As we study the Bible, our mind is renewed (Romans 12:2). So, we no longer just think the way the world thinks, but we can think the way God thinks! We must habitually study the word to have confidence in God and know we can hear Him. The Bible is food for our spirit. As we spend reading and meditating, you can develop a strong spirit. Then, we can hear God speaking to our heart where He dwells in us to make decisions based upon what we think, feel, or want. When you go beyond what you want, what you think and what you feel and do what the word and the Spirit of God tell you to do, then you can develop good habits and break bad ones. You come to a place where the blessings of God-His righteousness, peace and joy overflow in your life. Life is simple and peaceful when we come to God like little children and say, “God, I don’t want to live on my own. I want to trust you when I don’t know what to do. I’ll trust you when I don’t understand why I’ll trust you. I’ll do my part with your help, and when I’m done, I’ll trust you to do the rest”. There are times in life when we are thrown a fast ball where circumstances in life will hit us quickly and unexpectedly, taking us off guard and sometimes knocking us off course. Some of us will lose faith for us to begin to believe again. But, it takes much more for us to develop trust. Have the courage to step out on faith and allow God to build your trust. Though, you may have been taken off guard in the past and you may have lost faith and trust, but incline your ear to the Lord and follow His lead. Let the Father heal you and give you what you need so you can get to the place were your heart is abundant in faith and trust. Faith has always been key in my life. It has been faith that allowed me to tread places where others would probably never go. It has been because of my faith, that I dare to do and believe for things that seem impossible to the human mind, but very possible to our loving God. It is no doubt in my heart and mind that God has blessed me with the gift of faith. It is far beyond just having faith the size of  a mustard seed…It is the kind of faith that will believe and hold on even after everyone has let go and gone. It’s the kind of faith that will trust wholeheartedly in the word of God and see the dead resurrected without a hint of hesitation or doubt. Have there been times when I wanted to give up, not believe, and have had some doubts? Most certainly! But it has always been faith that wins out. I just can’t let go no matter what things in my life look like. You must be able to have faith in what God says and leap into the unknown believing that He will not fail you!

images

 

“SIGNS of Attack”

God wants us to be holy mouth pieces for Him, people who heal and help with their words. But Satan, would rather have you and me blowing it big time with our mouths. A few critical words here, a few complaints there, some profanity mixed in with a little gossip on the side and we have given him permission to make us people who tear others apart and sound no different (and sometimes worse) than unbelievers. Satan knows we can cause much damage with our mouths if we do not bring them under God’s control. Whether it is gossip, criticism, or unkind remarks, our mouths can be instruments of righteousness or unrighteousness. Close that door to Satan, altogether, by applying God’s instruction in Ephesians 4:29. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. And 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. Be a verbally thankful person who speaks only to lift others up. Not tear them down. That will diminish and destroy a critical and complaining spirit that gives Satan a stronghold in our lives. Why is it that when people get depressed, they overeat or drink excessively or turn to substances? Why is that young girls cut their bodies or starve themselves when they are dealing with emotional pain? I believe it’s because Satan will turn us against our bodies if he can, as a way of “getting back at God”. Our bodies are precious to God. Scripture commands us to give our bodies to God and let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? (Romans 12:1). Satan knows that God consider our bodies His temple and therefore, God wants us to keep our bodies holy, healthy, and honoring to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Scripture says keeping our bodies holy is our “spiritual act of worship”. So, because our bodies are holy to God, Satan would love to have us harm them, mutilate them, starve them, and destroy them with substances. Don’t let him in. Not in how you dress, not in how you see yourself, and not in how you treat yourself. Ask God for a healthy body image and a desire to protect your body so you can serve Him on this earth in it for as long as possible. So, what’s the strategy now that you know the areas where Satan wants to enter your life? God gives us a great defense through Paul’s instructions to the saints. I find it interesting that every piece of armor described refers to the character of Christ. In other words, put on Christ likeness. Abide in Christ, clothed in His character and righteousness, and you will fend off the attacks of the enemy. Being able to face the adversities of the spiritual attacks you are faced with daily, not only does it prepare you for the Victory, but also gives you strength to draw closer and closer to Christ. Stay on the battlefield when you are experiencing spiritual attacks because God is always by your side. Trust and believe that He will never leave your side. Continue to stand firm on the word of God and let God fight your battles for you! Struggles are made to define you, not break you!!!!

images9GCZP500