The blessings of the Lord maketh rich

The one whom God blesses is blessed indeed. When God blesses, the blessings come with peace and joy, and there is no sorrow associated with them. When you learn to wait patiently upon the Lord, and surrender to His will and His best for you, then with time you will reap fruit and get to experience His blessings in a special way. Regardless of what you are believing in God for, know that He is more than able to do it for you in accordance with His will. Do not get impatient; impatience will lead you to try doing things your way, and in the process, you will end up missing out on God’s perfect will for you. Patiently wait upon the Lord and in His timing He will make everything beautiful.

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:14.

Jabez prayed for God to bless him, and God listened and answered his prayers.

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.

There are many who try to do things their way. Out of impatience or greed, many have chosen destructive paths. There are many who have decided to use whatever means is available to them to achieve what they want in life. Many have used corrupt and evil ways to achieve worldly riches, fame, or power. Sadly, there are those who have made worldly things their god. Many are driven by the desire for worldly recognition, the praise of men, money, and power. In an effort to achieve such, they have ended up compromising in great ways.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10.

We are living in the last days, and unless we remain vigilant and alert, it is easy to be carried away by the pleasures and cares of this world. Many who started off well have sadly fallen off along the way. They have allowed the cares of the world to drift them away from the right path. They are like the seed that fell among thorns, whereby the thorns grew up and choked them, and yielded no crop.

Now these are the ones sown among the thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19.

Anything done or acquired the wrong way does not last, neither does it bring joy. If there is anything that you desire in life but you have to acquire it the wrong way, then it is time that you realize that that thing is not worth it. If acquiring something in life would necessitate you to compromise, then that thing should not be in your life and neither is it God’s will for you. Learn to live life in a God-honoring way without compromise. Never compromise your relationship with God in attempt to get something or someone; it is not worth.

A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked. Psalm 37:16.

If something is God’s will for you, then it will happen in the right manner. There will be no compromise involved. Many miss out on God’s will because they are not willing to wait. Many think that they have to ‘help God out’. Many fear that if they do not do something, then they will not get what they want. They then end up getting outside God’s will and God’s timing, and sadly pay a heavy price for that. Nothing good comes out of disobeying God. Many have paid heavy price for their disobedience, including losing their lives.

King Saul paid a heavy price because of his impatience and disobedience towards God.

So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22.

The devil has deceived many with counterfeits. He has promised many money and fame, and sadly many have fallen into his trap. After getting the money and the fame, they eventually come to realize that it was all part of his evil plan to lead them astray and many have lost their souls. Anything done or acquired the wrong way leads to pain and it is never worth it. Many have used evil means to acquire the money, fame, power, recognition, or human praise they craved for, but instead of such things becoming a blessing, they end up becoming a source of great pain in their lives. Many have realized the hard way that things of the world do not satisfy, neither do they bring peace or joy.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36-37.

The only source of true contentment, joy, and peace in life is Jesus Christ; there is no other way. It is better to have little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. You have to reach a point in your life whereby you desire only what God wants for you and in His timing. If you want to become a blessed person, then be a person who obeys God in every area of your life. When God blesses you, those blessings will become a source of great joy in your life.

The blessings of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22.

Blessings.

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Finishing is better than starting

The Bible says that the end of a matter is better than its beginning. We need to be careful that we do not start well but end the wrong way. There are many people who started off well but along the way fall off. Our walk with God is a daily walk; we have to choose daily to follow Christ and obey God. We have to purpose to do what is right and true and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. We really never “arrive” in our journey of faith until we leave this world. As such, we are to remain sober-minded and be watchful so that we do not miss the mark along the way.

The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecclesiastes 7:8.

Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8.

There are many people who confess to be Christians yet their way of life proves otherwise. There are many church-goers who have no personal walk with the Lord. Many have fallen into the trap of religiosity and have forgotten that it is not doing all the religious things that will take them to heaven; it is Jesus Christ who is the way to God the Father. Many who process to be Christians live a carnal life to the extent that they cannot be differentiated from the world. Sadly, many will hear on that Day, “I never knew you.”

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23.

There are others who start off hot for Jesus Christ but along the way they get entangled with the pleasures and cares of the world. Many who were faithful servants of Jesus Christ have fallen off along the way. Some have been ensnared by money and riches and have become lovers of money and what money can buy. Their hearts have been diverted from their first love, Jesus Christ. Money in itself is not bad but the moment a person makes pursuit of money and riches their top priority, then they end up turning money into their god. Anything or anyone that we place above God in our lives becomes an idol.

Now he who received the seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17.

Pride has led to the downfall of many. When a heart becomes haughty, arrogant, and full of pride, that is usually the start of downfall of such a person. God hates pride. There are many who start off humble but once they get lifted up, they become haughty. Such start seeing themselves as above others and they look down on others. Pride makes a person not heed to correction and instruction. It makes a person think that they are above correction and because of that they end up continuing in their error. When a person reaches that point where they do not listen to anything, even when corrected with love in accordance with God’s Word, then they start going down a destructive path.

A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor. Proverbs 29:23.

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Proverbs 8:33.

We need to remain humble before the Lord. When we err, we are to be humble enough to admit and confess our mistakes or sin, and when we do, God is merciful enough to forgive us. God loves a humble heart. Let us not be people who stubbornly refuse to ask for forgiveness or acknowledge our wrongs. Instead, may we people who are meek, who ask for forgiveness and acknowledge our wrongs, and repent before the Lord. When David sinned, he humbled himself before God and repented.

So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” 2 Samuel 12:13.

If protecting your public image is more important to you than being right with God, then woe unto you. Sadly, there are many people who are driven by a desire to be famous, or to be liked and accepted by people, or to gain people’s approval. Such end up going to great extents to protect their image and how they are perceived by people. In an effort to gain people’s praise, validation, and acceptance, many have ended up veering off the narrow path. Many have sold their souls to the devil in an attempt to be famous or rich; what an extremely unwise decision to make. The human soul is priceless; it took the Son of God Jesus Christ to save us from eternal condemnation.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36-37.

We need to understand that they devil does not care about us; his only aim is to kill, steal, and destroy. Do not trade eternity with fleeting things of the world; if you do, you can be sure that you will regret it.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10.

Never think that you are too strong a Christian that you can never fall; that is pride. We are fully dependent on God, and without Him, we would be destroyed. Thank God for His grace and mercy. If you know what is right and true, then do it. Never put yourself in a position where you willingly sin against the Lord, and never take the grace of God for granted.

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12.

Many have sadly compromised their relationship with God in order to meet their carnal desires. Many, knowing very well what God’s Word says about their particular situation, have chosen to disobey God, and sadly have paid a great price because of that. If achieving what you desire is more important to you than obeying God, then sadly you have made that desire an idol, and if you choose to continue pursuing it outside of God’s will, then when you finally get it, it will become like a snare and an agent of pain and destruction in your life. Anything done or acquired outside of God’s will is never worth it. If you have to disobey God in order to achieve anything in life, then that is a big red flag that what you are pursuing is not God’s will. Even things or people that appear seemingly nice on the outside can be like a trap for you; if you have to go outside of God in order to acquire them, then you can be sure it will end in pain and destruction, unless you repent.

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6.

Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.

When something is God’s will, then it aligns with His Word and is acquired in a right and true manner. We need to learn to submit our desires unto the Lord and only desire to have what God wants for us. If something is not of God, then it is not worth it and you should not desire to have it in your life. No matter how attractive an offer or an opportunity or a person is, if that is not God’s will for you and does not align with His Word, then have nothing to do with that thing or that person. We have to reach a point where we make the decision to obey God in everything no matter the personal cost to us. Do not be among those who start well but fall off along the way. Desire and pursue to be among the few who start well and end even better. Run the race of faith well to the very end and keep the faith.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Blessings.

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Do not avenge yourself; God will repay

We live in a fallen world, and we can be sure that at some point we will meet people who will hurt us, offend us, and sin against us. People usually lean towards sin since birth, until and unless they encounter Jesus Christ, who empowers us by His Spirit to live a life that is pleasing to Him.  The inherent sinful nature of human beings means that we cannot escape pain and suffering that is part of our lives here on earth.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5.

In this world we will face many trials and tribulations. We will face natural disasters, accidents, diseases, loses of all types, persecutions, pain, and heartache. There are people who will hurt us unintentionally, and there are those who will maliciously hurt us on purpose. We will encounter injustices, setbacks, unfulfilled desires and expectations, and there are many times when things will not go as we had planned. We will meet people who will rise against us for no valid reasons, including members of our own families, people will abandon us and walk away, friendships will be broken, and we will meet people who will betray us in one way or the other. These, and much more, is part of what we will encounter in the journey of life in this world. However, no matter what comes our way, there is hope in Jesus Christ.

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. John 16:33.

There is a time and a season for everything. In this world we followers of Christ cannot exclude ourselves from the people of the world. There is a time that is coming when we will live with God in heaven for eternity where sin does not exist. However, for now, we live in a sin-laden world. As children of God, we are to be the light of the world and salt of the earth. We do our part and live a life that glorifies God and stand firmly on His Word, and we preach the gospel to the lost. However, we cannot force people to repent. Eventually, salvation is a personal decision, and also it is God who draws people to Himself. Some people will not repent even when presented with the truth. Having done our part, we leave the rest to God. A time is coming when those who reject Jesus Christ will face righteous judgement from God.

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my ban.’ ” Matthew 13:24-30.

When people hurt us and sin against us, it is hard to hold back and not do to them as they have done unto us. It is hard not to repay evil with evil, but with God’s power, it becomes possible to repay evil with good. The fallen human nature seeks to revenge, it seeks to have its own way, it seeks to inflict pain on those who have inflicted pain on us, it seeks to do to others like they have done unto us. The easy way is following the wide path, but that only ends up in destruction. The easy way is to avenge ourselves, but that only leads to more pain, bitterness, rage, hostility, animosity, and all other types of sin. Vengeance is not Christ-like and does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Seeking revenge leads to sin and never makes the situation better. Do not be ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ type of person; that does not please God and neither does it glorify Him.

You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. Matthew 5:38-42.

It seems weak to turn the other cheek when someone does you wrong, but it actually takes a lot of strength, and that is the high road to take, the narrow path that pleases God and eventually leads to eternal life. It takes a lot of self-control not to curse those who curse you, not to hit those who hit you, not to betray those who betray you, not to slander those who slander you, not to gossip about those who gossip about you, not to hurt those who hurt you, not to cheat on those who cheat on you, and not to repay with evil those who do evil against you; such takes the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ set a great example for us concerning how we are to deal with those who are against us.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48. 

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:21-25.

During our journey in life we will encounter pain and heartache. We will meet people who will treat us in unjust and evil manner. During such times, may we never be tempted to avenge ourselves. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. It is not our position to avenge ourselves when people hurt us or sin against us. It is difficult by human standards to forgive, let go, and allow God to take over and take care of whatever situation we are going through, but it is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. May God give us self-control and may we learn to always step back and allow God to have His way.

The Bible says, in your anger, do not sin, and do not give place to the devil. Remember, man’s anger does not produce the righteousness of God. If what the other person has done against you is illegal, go through the right legal channels, but remember that even if you do not get justice on earth, there is God in heaven who will bring all to justice with righteous judgement. Eventually, we are all answerable to God. Someone might think that they have escaped the justice of the world, but let everyone of us never forget that we cannot escape the righteous judgement of God; God is a God of justice. We are in a race of faith, may we learn to patiently endure to the very end, looking up to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

Repay no evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:17-19.

Blessings.

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They love the praise of men more than the praise of God

There are people who value the praise and validation of people to such an extent that they end up compromising their relationship with God. This world has many cares and pleasures, and if we are not careful, it is very easy to get carried away. At times we can get so immersed in the pursuit of things of this world to the extent that we forget to prioritize our relationship with God. Pursuing to grow in our careers, pursuing better relationships, and pursuing to grow in life in general is good, but it should never come above God in our lives. Anything or anyone we place above God becomes an idol. The moment we start pursuing anything or anyone else more than God, we are automatically saying that that thing or that person is more important to us than God; may it never be so with us.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

Pursuit of money, fame, people’s acceptance and validation, and such like has sadly taken many captive. Some people who started off well in their Christian walk have fallen off along the way. Many have entangled themselves with the cares, trends, and pleasures of this world and have ended up compromising. There are many who would rather be right with people than with God. Many have sadly traded eternal life with the fleeting things of this world; this is not worth it. Nothing in the world can compare to the value of a human soul. Many people take the reality of eternal condemnation casually, and some do not even believe that hell exists. Sadly, if they die in their unrepentant state, they will come to find out the hard way that everything written in God’s Word is true.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:9-10.

We all fall short time and time again. When we do, we should be willing to humbly repent before God and confess our sins, and when we do, we are assured that God will forgive us in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Bible says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. However, for some people, pride takes root in their hearts and they harden their hearts. When they fall short and sin, they are not willing to humble themselves and seek forgiveness; some see that as being weak, and allow their pride to take them down the destructive path. There are people who become haughty and arrogant and try to maintain a positive image before people, instead of repenting. Such would rather be praised by men and maintain their superficial positive image, but at the expense of their relationship with God; woe unto those who choose that destructive path.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17.

Many people will praise you today but tomorrow they will be talking about you behind your back. Many will be for you today but tomorrow they will be against you. Human beings have a fallen and sinful nature, and the moment we start living off the praises of people, that is the moment when we start going downhill. When pride takes root in a person’s heart, that is the beginning of downfall. Many will praise you as long as they benefit from you in some way, but the moment they realize that you are no longer beneficial to them, they will act like they have never even known you. Getting validation from people is a slippery road to travel with a surety of downfall. That is like building a house on sandy ground, and when the storms of life blow, you can be sure that house will fall down.

Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Jeremiah 17:5-6.

Your life should not be lived for people’s approval. You cannot please people no matter how hard you try. Some will be offended with you even after you have done your best to please them. Sacrificing your faith in order to be right with people is a very unwise decision to make. Protecting your own image and public opinion at the expense of your walk with God is sure to cause regret and pain. There is nothing and no one more important in this life than Jesus Christ. God should be your everything, for when you have God, you really do have everything, but without God, no matter how prosperous you become in this life, in the end, you will lose everything, including your life.

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10.

Live your life for the honor and glory of God. It is better to be rejected by people but be right with God. It is better to appear weak before men but be acceptance by God. It is better to lose everything that the world has to offer, but gain God and eternal life. Seek to please God only. Put your faith and trust in God alone. Fix your eyes firmly on Jesus Christ. Never compromise for anything or anyone in this world, and do not conform to the patterns of this world. Do not allow pride to take root in your heart; remain humble, teachable, and willing to take correction and instruction that is in alignment with the Word of God. Never elevate human approval, validation, acceptance, and opinions of people above God; such mean nothing if eventually a person loses their soul in hell.

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 its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19.

Do not love the praises of people more than the praise of God. We are living in evil days. There are many people who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof, and many who appear godly on the outside but they do not know Jesus Christ. Do not lust after the world and its things, for that has led many to destruction. Do not allow pride to take root in your heart; that makes a person elevate themselves and become unwilling to take correction and instruction. Do not walk the destructive path of seeking the praise and validation of people, because in the process, you will end up compromising your relationship with God. May we all set our priorities right, and realize that God is more important than anything this world has to offer. May we be people who humble ourselves before the Lord, repent when we sin, ask for forgiveness when we hurt people, acknowledge our shortcomings, and pursue peace with everyone as much as it depends on us. Let us seek to please God above all else.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17.

Blessings.

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Peace in the midst of life’s storms

Storms are part of life. Life in this world is not smooth. We live in a fallen world full of fallen human beings. Since the fall of Adam, human beings are born with a sinful nature. We have a propensity towards sin since birth, until we encounter Jesus Christ. During our life on the earth, we will face trials and tribulations. Storms of life come in many forms; diseases and illness, natural disasters, accidents, persecution from other people, failed relationships, abuse and misuse by other people, heartbreaks and hurts, losses of different types, and such like. Do not be surprised when storms hit, rather, always be prepared, and know Who to run to.

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13.

When storms hit, people respond in different ways. Some are shocked, others panic, others are full of worry and anxiety, others turn to other people, others turn to addictions, but the wise turn to God. Fear is rampant in the world today. When something unexpected comes up, people get fearful and go into self-preservation mode. In an effort to self-preserve, many end up behaving in ways that are unloving towards their neighbor. The selfishness of human nature becomes evident during times of crisis, where many people do what is in their best interest, without considering those around. At times people unite to get rid of the crisis, but that unity mostly tends to be fueled by selfish interests or in order to get human praise and validation. It is good to come together and help each other, but let our motivation come from a place of love for God’s glory.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8.

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. Matthew 6:1-4.

It is possible to have peace in the midst of life’s storms. This type of peace only comes from God, and is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Outer turmoil in the world should not translate into inner turmoil in our hearts. Even when everyone around us is fearful, anxious, fully of worry and in panic, we can remain peaceful. This does not mean that we are ignorant of what is going on around us, on the contrary, we are fully aware, but we place our trust in the Lord. We are to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, and when we do, we are able to remain grounded, even when everything around us is falling apart. Jesus Christ is our hope, He is our security, He is our safe place, He is our Rock and fortress, and because of, we are not moved even when storms rage.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah, is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:3-4.

Worry and anxiety come when we remove our eyes from Jesus. When we stop looking upon God and fix our eyes on our circumstances and on what is going on around the world, our hearts get troubled and we start to panic. We start concentrating on how bad the situation is, and we end up forgetting how big and powerful God is. We have to remember that there is no storm too big that God cannot calm, there is no disease too deadly that God cannot heal us from, there is no plague too big that God cannot protect us from, and there is nothing in this world that God cannot shelter, protect, deliver, and save us from. Our faith should always be in the Lord, and not on people, not on the government, not on technology, not on science or anything else of this world.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:2-3.

We tend to become restless when we are too concerned about the outcome and timing of events in our lives. When we expect things to work out a certain way but they do not, we end up becoming worried and then try to force things to work out the way we want. When we expect something to happen by a certain time and in a certain way, then we set up ourselves for heartache, worry, anxiety, pain, and fear-based reactions. The best way to live is by surrendering to God and allowing His will to prevail in our lives. We have to realize that God’s will is the perfect will, and His way is the best way. God knows best and He works out all things for our good and for His glory. Do not be focused on trying to have your way, if you do that, you will find yourself restless, anxious, emotionally unstable, and you may even become physically sick. Learn to rest in God and submit to His will and His timing. In His timing, God makes everything beautiful.

As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Psalm 18:30.

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:5-8.

Let the peace of God guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is not dependent on our circumstances, rather, even when our circumstances are chaotic, we still experience the peace of God. With God, we are able to experience peace even in the midst of life’s storms. Peace comes by placing our trust in the Lord at all times and standing on the promises of God. We know Christ is our hope, and that no matter what happens, we are sure that God will never leave us nor forsake us in Christ Jesus our Lord. Know your identity in God. As children of God, we are to be set-apart from the world. When the world is running up and down, we are able to remain calm because we know who our Father is.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7. 

Work on growing closer to God, study the Word of God, pray without ceasing, and pursue peace with all men, as well as holiness and righteousness. When we are right with God and are living our lives for the honor and glory of God in obedience to His Word, and are being led by the Holy Spirit, then we really have nothing to fear or worry about. The people who should be worried are those who live for themselves to satisfy their own carnal desires. Those living in sin have everything to be worried about, because if they die in that state, they will end up in hell. Because of that, we as children of God are to be the light and salt to this dark world, and should never conform to the patterns of the world. Let the world come to us and seek to find out the reason for our hope. We know all things work out together for good to them that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. We do not fear even death; we know even if and when we die, we will go to heaven and live with God for eternity. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Live for Christ all the days of your life, and when the day comes to leave this world, know you will inherit eternal life. With God, it is always a win-win.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10.

Blessings.

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In the last days people will be lovers of self

We are living in the last days. The Bible makes it clear how the last days will be, and much of what was prophesied is coming to pass. Everything written in the Scripture will eventually come to pass. God’s Word is true and never changes. As believers in Christ Jesus, we are to be guided by God’s Word and led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God guides us into all truth and reveals to us the secrets of the Kingdom of God. We are not in the dark, we are children of the light. Whatever is happening in the world is not a surprise to us, because it has already been written and we know that everything that occurs in this world is within God’s plan. Nothing comes as a surprise to God; He is the One in control. As children of God, we ought to remain watchful and prayerful. We should not be caught off-guard. Remain vigilant, do not slumber. Get to know the times that we are living in.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-5. 

We live in a world where too many people are self-centered. It has become a society where people seek what is in their best interest without considering their neighbor, and with no eternity in mind. Many people pursue what works for them, without regard to how their pursuits affect those around them. Too many people nowadays glorify themselves and have placed themselves on a pedestal. Many are driven by the love of money, earthly prosperity, outer beauty, fame, pursuing fashions and trends of the world, showing off their lifestyle, accumulating followers, likes and shares on social media, getting many views and going ‘viral’ on social media, and such like. Most of these things are mainly about show-off, about getting human praise and validation, and they point to self and are for self promotion. Many people who pursue such a lifestyle do not take the time to work on their souls and to grow spiritually and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and thus, even though they may appear good on the outside and prosperous by worldly standards, many are spiritually bankrupt. Living life in pursuit of pleasures and cares of the world is a vain way to live, and is like chasing after the wind. The only life worth living is the life lived for the honor and glory of God.

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

There are many people nowadays who are talking about loving self, and many are claiming that self-love is the highest form of love. There are many people who have come up and are teaching people to love themselves first. People are being told to love themselves, to put themselves first, and to pursue their best interests first. This has led to people in the society that are self-centered and who are driven by selfish carnal ambitions. Such a message of putting oneself first and loving self seems good to hear and makes people feel good about themselves, but it is not scriptural. Such messages attract large audiences and end up giving people an excuse to pursue selfish interests, usually at the expense of those around them. The message speaks to the flesh and promotes a carnal way of living. It is a message that goes contrary to what the Word of God tells us to do. Instead of dying to self and crucifying the flesh, it encourages people to put self first. We live in a selfie selfish generation where many people do not consider others and like attracting attention to themselves. The Bible is clear that we are to love God first and above everything else, and also tells us that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind we are to esteem others better than ourselves. The highest form of love is loving God first, and loving our neighbors.

Jesus was asked by a Pharisee who was an expert in the law what the great commandment is. Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your  mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:37-40.

The story of the good Samaritan illustrates to us how we are to love our neighbors. A certain man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by thieves. A priest came down that road and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan came, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. The Samaritan went and bandaged his wounds, set the man on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The Samaritan inconvenienced himself and paid the cost of taking care of that man who had been attacked, and in doing so, demonstrated real love towards his neighbor. Likewise, we are to go and do the same to those around us.

Unlike the ‘self-love’ that is being promoted, true love seeks to do good to others, even when it costs us. Love is patient and kind towards others and is not self-seeking. True self-sacrificial love comes from God, and a person cannot truly love others without loving God first. Only in God do we get to know what true love is, and it is God who enables us to love others as He desires us to love. To rise above the self-centered human nature and focus on the good of others requires God. God is faithful, when we are willing and obedient, He empowers us to love Him first above all else, and love our neighbors as ourselves. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Beloved, since God loved us that much, we also ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 1 John 4:9-12.

If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 John 4:20-21.

Blessings.

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God honors those who honor Him

The sons of Eli were corrupt and their sin was very great before the Lord, yet, Eli restrained them not. They did not honor the offering/sacrifice of the Lord. They did evil in the sight of the Lord. Because they did not honor God, neither did God honor them. A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all offerings of Israel My people? Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. And you will see the enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age” 1 Samuel 2:27-33.

Our actions have consequences. God is our Creator and He has stated in His Word how He desires us to live during our life here on earth. Our life is a gift, given to us by God. We are not our own, we belong to God. However, many people seem to forget that life in this world is temporary, they live for themselves and are driven by the love of money, and by their pursuit to fulfill their carnal desires. It seems like many people do not have eternity in mind. Many live in the moment doing whatever they want with no regard for God. They fail to remember that they will be judged by God concerning how they lived when on earth.

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 2 Corinthians 5:9-11.

God honors those who honor Him. God honors those who have dedicated their lives for Him and have surrendered themselves entirely to Him. Whatever we do for God is never forgotten; there is a reward, both in this life and in the life to come. Our labor in the Lord is never in vain. Do not get discouraged and never grow weary in doing good. It does not matter what everyone around you is doing. It does not matter the type of lifestyle that people around you are living. Purpose to live for God, be set apart, and become light and salt to this fallen world. Do not get discouraged when you see as if the wicked people are prospering; remember people reap what they sow. Do not worry about evil doers, and do not be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future, the lamp of the wicked will be extinguished.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:7-10.

Woe unto those who have no regard for God, those who live for themselves, those who live in unrepentant sin, those who are driven by the love of money and are immersed into the pursuit of worldly pleasures. Those type of people are travelling along the wide path that leads to destruction. Those who despise the Lord shall be lightly esteemed and disdained. Never envy those who seem to prosper in their wicked ways; the wages of sin is death. Evil never wins. Instead, pray for them that their spiritual eyes will be open, and they will repent and turn away from their sins, and pursue holiness and righteousness.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man! Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom will ascend like dust; because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 5:20-24.

Abraham was a faithful servant of the Lord, and as a result, God honored him. Abraham obeyed God, he was a man of faith, and as a result, he become a blessed man. It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he  reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith – for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

The children of Israel were promised blessings if they kept the commandments of the Lord. They were told that if they diligently obeyed the voice of the Lord God, and observe all His commandments, many blessings would come upon them and overtake them. The blessings of God are upon those who honor Him. Live your life for God, obey His Word, be led by the Holy Spirit, and let Jesus Christ be your personal Lord and Savior. There is everything to gain when we live for God, and everything to lose when we choose not to. We have free will, we can choose the path that we want to follow, but let us not forget that there are consequences for our actions. Those who are wise choose God’s way, for it is the only way that leads to eternal life. Be wise, live for God. When you honor God, He will honor you.

Blessings.

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It is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person

What comes out of your mouth? There are many people who claim to be ‘good’ yet when they speak, they spit poison from their mouth. It is easy for people to put on a mask and pretend to be who they are not, but their fruit reveals who they really are. Many people will do anything to get what they want, they will put on a show in an attempt to manipulate others into giving them what they want. There are many master manipulators, cunning, and crafty people in this world. They will pretend for a season and for as long as they are getting their way, but when they realize that they can no longer get their way, they turn abusive, others will ignore you, and some will walk away never to be seen again.

Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. Matthew 15:11.

Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. Matthew 15:17-19.

What kind of people do you surround yourself with? What kind of people do you entertain in your life? Are those people who call themselves your friends really friends or are they in your life on a mission to achieve what they want while using you in the process? Do not underestimate the extent that people can go to get what they want. Some will lie to your face, others will pretend to like or love you, others will give you all the attention and validation that they can give for a while, some will manipulate you with words and actions, others will use words to bring you down and demean you in order to weaken you. Not everyone who claims to be your friend is really a friend, some are using you to achieve what they want in life.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17.

The human nature is fallen. Many people are driven by the lust of the flesh and desire for worldly pleasures and riches. When a person is being driven by selfish motives, usually such a person does not care about the hurt or pain they cause in other people’s lives. As long as that person is getting what they want, that is eventually all that they care about. Do not be surprised to find out that many people are in your life for a reason and for a season; there are many who may be using you as a stepping stone to go higher in life, and when they have used you and got all that they can get from you, they will eventually walk away and show you their true colors. Do not be easily impressed by the attention, validation, and colorful words that people give you, be keen and find out what their real intentions are. We live in a man-eat-man society nowadays, watch out, do not fall into the deception, do not fall prey to those who are trying to use and misuse you.

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. Psalm 55:21.

Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; when he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Proverbs 26:23-25.

When some people realize that they are not getting what they want from you, they will start degrading you. The person who you thought was very kind and charming turns around and starts throwing demeaning, abusive, vile, degrading words and actions towards you. When a person acts like that, it reveals their heart. It shows that their heart was not in the right place to begin with, and they were just trying to please and impress you for their own selfish motives. Do not be surprised when people act like that, rather, be happy that they showed you exactly who they are. When the fruit of a person’s life becomes manifest, you better believe it. Do not try to explain away a person’s bad actions and words, that is who they are, even if they are family, friends, colleagues, or total strangers.

You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:16-17.

What comes out of a person’s mouth defiles the person. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. When a person speaks, they are revealing their heart to you. Watch out what comes out of your mouth. In order to change your words, your heart has to change, because what you speak comes out of your heart. There is only one way to change your heart for the better and for good, that is, through Jesus Christ. Only God has the power to change a person’s heart completely for His honor and glory. When in Christ, we are made new creation and our hearts are regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Feed your mind with the Word of God. Do not entertain things that feed into the lust of your flesh; guard your heart at all times. Be careful about what you watch, what you listen to, and the people you associate with. Your source of information is very important; when the source is wrong and deceptive, then your belief system will be negative and you will fall into deception. However, when your source of information is reliable, consistent, and true, then your belief system and thought patterns will be rooted in truth. The only source of truth is the Word of God. Learn to take your thoughts captive; if your thoughts are in control, then your actions and words will follow suit. Do not allow your thoughts to be negative or to run wild, be rooted in Christ, let your thoughts be in subjection to Christ.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

When we are right with God, then our words and actions will testify of our personal relationship with God. Our words and actions will align with the Word of God. When we die to self, take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, and are led by the Spirit of God, then from our mouth will come out blessings and not curses, we will speak to edify others, we will be kind and compassionate, we will build others up instead of tearing them down, we will be at peace with all men as far as it depends on us, and we will pursue holiness and righteousness. Out of our mouth the condition of our hearts will be revealed, that we are true children of God submitted to the will of our Father in heaven.

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14.

Do not allow your mouth to defile you. Pray that God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will empower you to live a life that is pleasing to Him in every area of your life. Think about good things that are edifying. Allow God to search your heart and remove anything that does not please Him. Surrender yourself to God and allow Him to mold you into who He desires you to be. May your life be fruitful and rich of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. When you speak, let your words be honoring to God and be edifying to those who listen to you.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8.

Blessings.

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Fear and control

Control is rooted in fear. Our desire to control things and people comes from wanting to know the outcome of a certain situation. We think that if we can control people and circumstances then we can control the outcome. Uncertainty brings anxiety to many people. The unknown seems fearful. Because of that, many people like to remain in their comfort zones where they feel as if they are in control. Many people do not venture out because of fear, and because of that, they remain stagnant in life and do not get to achieve their full potential.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34.

It is easy to hold on to what we know. What we know gives us a sense of security and certainty. What we know seems less threatening than venturing out into the unknown. When something arises that threatens to disturb the calm of the comfort zone, many people fight back in an effort to restore the status quo. If they cannot retain the status quo, they start fighting to try to control the outcome of the new circumstances or people that are coming their way. Trying to control does not come from a place of strength, it comes from fear and is usually a sign of weakness, even if we do not admit those weaknesses to ourselves.

There are many people who do not know how to be alone. They seem to look outside of themselves most times to get validation and attention from other people. When they are alone they have to face their own thoughts, and because they are afraid of that, they would rather go out there and look for someone or something that will keep them occupied. There are many people who get into friendships and relationships out of fear of being alone. When such enter into relationships, they eventually try to control the other person because of their fears and insecurities. Many people try to run away from themselves and indulge in unhealthy relationships and habits. This usually happens because they are not rooted in Christ.

The next time you try to control another person or the outcome of a certain situation, first ask yourself what it is about yourself that you are trying to run away from. Many people have unaddressed traumas, hurts, wounds, and many heart issues. Instead of taking the time to look inward and work on themselves and look up to God for healing, many people eventually try to project their internal issues onto those around them. If we do not take the time and really work on ourselves from the inside out, then the same patterns will keep recurring in our lives, and we will keep wondering why we do not seem to be progressing forward. What we may be dealing with or struggling with does not just disappear because we wished it away, we have to be very intentional about change. With God’s help, change is possible. There is no wound that is too deep that God cannot heal, there is no situation that is too hard that God cannot change, and there is no person that is too damaged that God cannot heal and restore.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

God has not given us a spirit of fear. God is in control of everything. Fear can be very paralyzing and has kept many people in bondage. Do not fear the unknown, do not fear making a step forward, do not accept to remain in your comfort zone; venture out and possess what God has in store for you.

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

We may not know what the future holds, but we are sure Who holds the future. It is God who holds our future, and because of that, we rest in Him knowing that we are safe and secure, and that He has good plans for us.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11.

The reason we try to gain control when we feel fearful is to get a sense of security or certainty. When things and people work out or do as we expect, then we feel safe. However, that is not how life works. We are not the ones in control, God is. We can control ourselves and how we respond to people and circumstances, but at the same time, we leave the rest to God. Let God be your safe place and your security. When fear and anxiety tries to creep in, take those fears and worries unto God and allow the peace of God to guard your heart in Christ Jesus.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.

Do not allow fear of whatever situation you are going through or fear of the future to rob you of your joy. Fix your eyes on Jesus Christ. Work on the heart issues that have been pulling you back; this is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. Allow God to search your heart and heal you of the deepest wounds that have been keeping you captive.

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

Insecurities, fear of rejection, past hurts, people’s words and actions against us, negative body image, our upbringing and experiences growing up, and many such things get deeply ingrained in our hearts. If we do not face those things, eventually they burst out and become evident from the way we live our lives. Such unaddressed issues make people reactive, angry, bitter, controlling, jealous, full of hate and wrath, fearful, needy and codependent, and because of that, they end up sabotaging a person’s life and relationships. Do not confuse control with love; control comes from a place of fear while true love is rooted in God. If you have deep inner struggles, take them to God and allow Him to heal you.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Let go of fear and choose to believe what God says about you, about what you are going through, about life in general, and about Himself. Face your fears and allow God to heal you and fill the voids within you. Let your identity be in God. Be rooted in Christ Jesus and be led by the Spirit of God. In God there is no fear. You do not need to know what the future holds but because you know Who holds the future, you can remain peaceful and feel safe and secure. Even when things do not turn out the way you had expected, continue trusting God and believing that He knows what is best for you. Believe that no matter what, all things work out together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Blessings.

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Waiting

Waiting is difficult, it requires a lot of inner strength. It is difficult to wait for the physical manifestation of our desires into our lives. It is difficult knowing that we want something, but that something is yet to come, and because of that, we have to wait. It is even harder when we know that we have no control over getting that thing that our hearts really desire. As human beings somehow we usually want to get what it is that we want sooner rather than later. It is easier for us when we want something and soon we get it. If it was up to many of us, we would want things in our lives to work our faster and to fall in place without much delay. But that is usually not how life works.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8.

In life, we come to realize that there will be times that we will have to wait. There will be times that we really want something but that thing will eventually not come to pass in our lifetime. We realize that we are not in control of our lives, God is. God will at times give us a wait answer to our prayers. There will be many times when we really have to wait on God to bring to pass what our hearts desire. There will be times when we do not receive what we thought we needed because it is not in accordance with God’s will for our lives and God is protecting us. There will also be times when we will quickly receive that which we had prayed for. In every circumstance, we need to surrender to the will of God. We need to trust that God knows what is best for us and His timing is always perfect.

You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it upon your lusts. James 4:3.

And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14.

He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them. Psalm 145:19.

Waiting is more of a heart posture than a physical posture. It is about our hearts attitude more that our physical position, though at times it will involve waiting physically maybe in a certain location. When we are waiting on God for something, it does not mean that our lives come to a stand still, it does not mean that we do nothing with our lives, it does not mean sitting and just waiting for something to come or to happen. Waiting is more about how we position our hearts. We pray and tell God the desires of our hearts, after that, we trust that God is working concerning those prayer requests that we have made. We continue serving God the best way that we can, we do not give up even when the circumstances seem to be very discouraging, we trust that in the end God will work out all things for our good and for His glory, no matter the outcome of our circumstances.

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

As we wait upon the Lord, we should not allow fear to take over. We have to come to a place where we completely trust God with whatever is going on in our lives. Our hearts become still and peaceful as we wait upon God to intervene in our lives in the way He sees best. We do not try to control the circumstances to work out in the way that we want them to work out, on the contrary, we trust that everything is under God’s control, and we position our hearts to be ready to receive whatever God has for us. Waiting requires full surrender to God. At times we may think that we are in control, but we are not, God is the one in control of our lives. We should not want anything in our lives that is not of God. When we try to do things our own way, we end up bringing a lot of pain and sorrow to ourselves. God’s ways are always higher than our ways, He knows what is best for us, He knows the end from the beginning, He knows the best timing for things to occur in our lives, He knows all things and Has good will towards us. Therefore, no matter how much we want something to work out, we should realize that God has good plans for us, and even when things do not turn out as we had planned, it is for our best and for our protection.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9.

Waiting is hard, but God’s grace is sufficient. We cannot live in a way that pleases God without His help. God empowers us by His Spirit to live our lives in accordance to His will. Surrendering to the will of God for our lives is difficult; it involves a lot of dying to self, crucifying the flesh, dying to self-will and allowing the will of God to prevail. It is difficult to let go of something that we really desired, it is difficult to let go of what we thought our lives could be like, it is difficult to let go of our timing and embrace the timing of God for our lives, it is difficult to wait when our hearts desire something to happen in our lives. But thank God, that with Him, nothing is impossible. When we wait upon the Lord, we will discover that His timing is always the best timing and He makes all things beautiful in His time.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31.

God is sovereign. He is more than able to orchestrate circumstances to work out in our favor even when we thought it was very difficult. God is able to make a way where there seemed to be no way. We may try to choose the easier path, thinking that that is how things will happen faster, but we do not realize that that easier path might be a trap. Even when you look ahead and all you see is a desert, remember than God is capable of making rivers in the desert. And when you look ahead and all you see is wilderness, remember that God is more than able to make a way in the wilderness. We need to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. We need to learn to wait upon God’s timing and upon God’s best for our lives. Let us not grow weary or discouraged of waiting, but let us be people who wait patiently upon the Lord, and when we do, we will never be disappointed. God knows how to give good gifts to His children.

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19.

Rest in God. Believe that what God has said shall come to pass. Be led by the Spirit of God. Let the Word of God be your guide. The circumstances in your life may be telling you a different story, but cling to God and to His promises. God is a God who keeps is Word, He is a promise keeper, He is faithful and trustworthy, we can always trust in Him. God knows what is best for us and the timing that is right for us. Let us not try to move in our own pace but may we learn to slow down and seek God’s will in whatever situation we are in. If we do things outside of God’s will, then we will discover the hard way the importance of waiting upon the Lord. We are not wiser than God, He is the source of all true wisdom. May we learn to always go first to God and seek His wisdom concerning how to approach the different situations that we encounter in our daily lives. Then, when we know the right path to follow, may we be obedient children of God who follow His way without question. The blessings of God shall be upon us when we are willing and obedient, and God by the power of the Holy Spirit will empower us to do what we ought to do.

The blessing of the Lord, it makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22.

Blessings.

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Willful sin

During our days of ignorance, there are things we may have done or said that we were not aware were sinful. Because of how the society is, bent towards doing evil and calling it good, we may have lived a sinful life that we actually thought was not sinful. Satan has deceived the world into labeling sin using words that are appeasing, and many people end up falling into such a trap. Satan is a great deceiver, and without a person having the knowledge of truth that is only found in God, they will be easily deceived. The Word of God is truth and it is our guide in our journey of life. If we do not know the Word for ourselves, then we will easily be swayed and led away into deceptive patterns of this world. If we rely on people as the source of truth, then we will learn the hard way that only God is true. People of this world lie, others call evil good and good evil, others are after the things of this world and have no time for God. If we depend on people for direction, then a will find ourselves lost, because too many people in this world are lost.

Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Matthew 15:14.

Now the Egyptians are men, not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall outstretch out His hand, both he that helps shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. Isaiah 31:3.

When some people want to get their way in a certain matter, they will lie to you with a straight face. There are people who are so used to lying to the extent that the lies seem like the truth. There are other people that tend to think that they cannot get what they want without indulging in sin; what a great deception. Many people are after money, riches, power, fame, and such like, and in order to achieve their worldly desires, they end up manipulating their way into getting what they want. Many people’s lives have been destroyed by someone who is self-seeking, someone who is ready to destroy the lives of others in order to preserve theirs. In this world you will meet extremely manipulative people, and if you are not careful, you will fall right into their trap.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which plunge men into destruction and perdition. 1 Timothy 6:9.

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be weighed down with carousing, and drunkenness, and cares of this life and so that day come upon you unawares. Luke 21:34.

When we become born again believers, and we gain the knowledge of truth in Christ Jesus, that should be reflected in our life choices. When we spend time with God and study His Word, we are able to know His will for our lives. We get to know what sin is and call sin what it is, sin. As Christian, we cannot continue to live the same type of life that we lived when we were still in the world. Our way of life has to change for good, our speech has to change, the way we dress has to change, our priorities have to change, all for the glory of God. When we know better, we are to do better.

But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy talk out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, that is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. Colossians 3:8-10.

What do you do when you are faced with a situation that require you to say or do something that you know very well is sinful? The heart of man is deceptive. At times we find ourselves bargaining within ourselves, maybe saying that it is not as bad as it seems. Many are the times we give excuses for doing or saying things that we know very well that we should not have done or said. Many are the times we are tempted into compromising, because in the moment, we convinced ourselves that the situation is not as bad as it seems. However, if we finally give in, the guilt sets in within us. Soon we start hearing voices of condemnation. The moment we give in to sin, the moment we do or say something that we knew very well we should not have, then we open the door for the enemy into our lives.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking who he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8.

The devil used the opportunity to come in and start condemning us. Some people end up being overcome with guilt and regret of what they have done or said. The devil is our enemy, and any moment we engage willfully in something we know is against God’s will, he will use that as opportunity to attack. When we find ourselves in such a situation, may we never run to the world looking for answers. The world does not have the answers, the advice of the world usually leaves a person in a deeper hole than they were in initially. Only God has the answers. Go to God, confess your sins before the Lord, repent, ask for forgiveness, and then, go and sin no more. Thank God that we serve a merciful God who forgives.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9.

For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not not to be regretted: but the sorrow of the world works death. 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Do not put yourself in a position that you know would lead to sin. Do not think that you are too strong a Christian and that you would never fall. If that is your thought pattern, then examine yourself because there may still be pride in you. The devil is cunning and crafty. He presents situations that seem innocent but it ends up being a trap. We are to be alert and remain sober always. The devil is looking for people to devour, and when he finds a doorway in a person’s life, he uses that as the opening to attack that person. Be clothed with the full armor of God because we are in a battle, we cannot afford to sleep on the battlefield. Do not sin willfully. If you know something is sinful, then avoid it completely. Do not try to see how far you can go to the edge of a cliff without falling, if you do, you might find yourself falling fast down the cliff.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in it? Romans 6:1-2.

Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His nature remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother. 1 John 3:9-10.

If you continue sinning after you have received the knowledge of truth, then you have only yourself to blame. Fear God. God hates sin. Let us not be deceived that we can sin all we want and still enter heaven. If you continue in willful, habitual, unrepentant sin, that is prove that you do not love God; you may say you love God with your mouth but your actions prove otherwise.

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27.

Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22-23.

Live for God. Nothing in this world is worth compromising for. Nothing in this world is worth the soul of a human being. If you are faced with a situation that requires you to compromise your faith, say no it and choose God. It is better to loose everything but still have God. When we have God, then we have everything. If a person approaches you and tells you to do or say something that you know is sinful, no matter the reason they are telling you to do or say so, stand your ground and say no, irrespective of who that person is. Do not sin just to please your family, or your spouse, or your children, or someone deemed important or powerful in the world; do not sin, it is not worth it. Your aim should be pleasing God alone, not people. Do not sin in order to get your way into something or someone. Do not sin for any reason. Let your top priority be God, and if God calls something sin, then you should not want anything to do with it. Do not compromise, stand firm on the Word of God.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6.

Blessings.

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Complete surrender

Reaching a point of complete surrender requires great strength, but thanks be to God, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to reach such a state. When we completely surrender to God we are able to say, may God’s will be done in our lives and not our own will, and not only say that but mean it. It is a heart attitude whereby we stop pushing forward for our will or for how we want things to turn out or how we want our life to be, and instead we allow God to have complete control. We come out of the driver seat of trying to control everything and allow God to be the One who directs every aspect of our lives. We stop walking by sight and instead we start walking by faith. When we walk by faith we may not know what the next step is but because we trust in God, we know that He will order our steps and leads us along the right path.

He that trusts in his own heart is a fool: but whosoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered. Proverbs 28:26.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Abraham was a man of great faith. He left his native land and believed God to lead him into a land that he did not know.

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, unto a land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1

So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. Genesis 12:4

When God told him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son, he obeyed and was willing to sacrifice what was precious to him. He obeyed God without question.

And it came to pass after these things, that God did test Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here i am. And He said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I tell you of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and cut the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Genesis 22:1-3

And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am i. And He said, Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do you anything unto him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me. Genesis 22:9-12.

In life we come across situations that necessitate our making a decision of whether we will follow God or whether we will push for our own way. When we regard something as very important to us, it is very easy to lean towards pushing for our own way. We may give excuses such as, what if such an opportunity never presents to us again? We think it is easier to go the way that we think will be good for us and ignore where God is leading us. However, many have learnt the hard way that God’s way is the best way. When we ignore God’s leading, then we can be sure that the alternative path will bring nothing but pain in our lives. When we are truly surrendered to God, we reach a place whereby we do not want anything in our lives that goes against the will of God. If it is a relationship that we know is not God’s will for us, we let go of it and surrender it to God, we do not try to hold tightly. When we hold on to things or people too tight, we end up idolizing those things or that person or those people, and the devil then uses that as a doorway into our lives.

For you shall worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14.

Faith pleases God.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6.

When our trust is in God, then we will remain standing no matter the outcome of circumstances in our lives. Our trust is in God and not on people or things.  When we surrender our lives, our family, our jobs, our future and every other aspect of our lives to God, then we are able to get rest for our souls in Christ Jesus. We give Jesus all our burdens and He gives us rest. Whatever has been weighing us down in life, God tells us to give Him our burden. We are not to live this life heavy-laden, we are to come to Christ and lay all at the cross.

Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30.

Surrender to God your all and you will come to know for sure that God is indeed a good God.

Blessings.

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Prepare for eternity

Life is short. Tomorrow is not promised. We do not know what will happen between now and the next minute. Life can change in an instant. What we consider normal now in our life can change any moment. Everyday we hear of disasters striking, we hear of accidents happening, we hear of people being diagnosed with various diseases and illnesses, we hear of people who have passed away, some of whom we had seen just moments prior. Life here on earth is not permanent. We are just passers-by on this earth. No one knows when their day of leaving this earth will come. No one knows what the next minute of their life holds. Many people’s plans for the future have come crushing down because of events that have occurred. Some people have placed their hope on their jobs, then when they lose those jobs their world changes. Some have placed their hope in their power, or fame, or money, then when they lose all that they become disillusioned and many give up in the process. There are others who have placed their hope in their health, in their family, in their family connections, in their country, and such like, only to have everything they ever placed their hope on disappoint them and fail them. Come now, you that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas you know not what shall be tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we shall live, and do this, or that” James 4:13-15.

How are you living your life. Is your life spent pursuing money, fame, power, admiration and acceptance from people, climbing up the social or career ladder, accumulating properties, pursuing relationships, following worldly trends, pursuing the world’s definition of beauty, and such like things? Where and what are your priorities. There is nothing wrong with money and having riches, but if that is your primary motivator, if that is what drives you, then your priorities are misplaced. Things of this world have no eternal significance unless they are done for God’s glory. Only what is done for God lasts forever. Many people live their lives pursuing money and pleasures of this world, only for them to reach the end of life and regret how they lived their lives. Many people have no time for God, they spend all their time pursuing everything else except God. Others go as far as claiming that God does not exist, others say they can do whatever they want because it is their life, others do not acknowledge God in any area of their lives. The Word of God asks, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own life? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?” Mark 8:36-37.

What are you trading your soul with? Many people live reckless lives. Many people live their lives as if this world is all there is. Many people have traded eternity with money, fame, power, and many other things of the world that eventually amount to nothing when all is said and done. Do you know that your soul is invaluable? No money in this world can amount to how valuable a human soul is. That is why the cost paid for the salvation of a human soul was extremely high, a cost that no human being could pay. God gave His only Son to die for our sins, so that through Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life that none of us could ever live, we might be saved. “For He has made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Nothing in this world is more valuable than your soul. Do not trade eternal life with fleeting things of this world, because if you do, you will regret for eternity.

If we are not living our life for God, then we have missed the mark. If what we are doing or what we are pursuing is more important to us than God, then we have missed the mark, and when we do so, then that leads to the wide path that ends in eternal damnation. The Word of God tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” Matthew 6:33. When we seek God first, then all else is added unto us. Whatever we need in this life is found in God. If anyone told you that you have to go outside of God to get anything you need, then that person deceived you. In addition, if in order to get something you have to go outside of God, then that thing should not be in your life. Anything or anyone that requires you to sin in order to get something is not of God. Things acquired in a sinful manner only lead to pain and are not worth it. “The blessing of the Lord, it makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” Proverbs 10:22.

The time to prepare for eternity is now. Do not be like the people who say that they will get saved in the future after they have experienced all the pleasures of the world. You do not know what the future holds. The next minute is not promised. Anything can happen between now and tomorrow. There are people who were alive yesterday, probably they were even in good health, yet, today they are no more. A wise person lives as if today is their last day. A wise person lives each day prepared. A wise person lives for God. Spend your time pursuing God. Let God be number one in your life. Never compromise your faith in God because of anything in this world, it is never worth it. The consequences of compromising are too severe, may none of us learn the hard way. May God help us to live a holy life, to live righteous lives and pursue peace with all men. May God help us and open our eyes that we may clearly see and not fall into the deceptive systems of this world. Always be alert, remain sober, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, fear God and obey His commandments. Prepare for eternity. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Blessings.

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All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment

Human beings have a sinful nature. From the time we are born, we all lean towards sin. Our sinful nature controls us up until the moment we accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is common to hear people say how good they are and so many people thrive on the praises of men, they like hearing people say to them how good or nice they are. It is common for us to think of ourselves as good and better than others. It is common for us to compare ourselves with other people and tell ourselves how good we are because we do not live life like how many other people live theirs. It is common to hear people talk of another person and say how good and nice that person is. Somehow most people think they are good people because of the good deeds they do and the nice words they use. The flawed thinking that human beings are inherently good is what has kept many people from seeking the only One who is is good, that is, God. “For there is not a just man upon earth, that does good, and sins not” Ecclesiastes 7:20.

When we think that we are good, then we see no reason for repentance. If we think that we have a ‘good heart’, we will elevate ourselves to a higher position than other people. That will make us look down on others instead of praying for them. Many people think of themselves as good yet they are travelling along the wide path that leads to hell. None of us is good. Apart from God, we are all fallen and there is no goodness in us. Apart from God, all of us would end up walking the wide path that leads to eternal destruction. There is no goodness in us. Our deeds which we think are good cannot save us. No matter how much we try, by ourselves, we can never enter heaven. Without Jesus Christ, all of us would be condemned for eternity. “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes” Romans 3:10-18.

When you follow the lives of people who claim to be good, you will find out that their lives greatly falls short. No one can achieve righteousness by themselves. It is pride that keeps people from admitting how fallen they are and how in need of God they are. The people who claim to be good and those who are referred by others as good fall short greatly. God is holy and none of us can achieve holiness by ourselves. That is why God gave His Son, who was sinless, as a sacrifice to die for us and achieve what we could never achieve by ourselves. Only through Jesus Christ do we become the righteousness of God. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” 2 Corinthians 5:21. When outside of God, we are sinful human beings. We may try to do good but our good deeds can never justify us. Our attempts to be good can never measure up unless we allow God to empower us by His Spirit. Any good we attempt by ourselves in our human strength outside of God really is like filthy rags. God’s standard is holiness, which we can never achieve through human strength. We are only made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

Blessings.

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A tree is known by its fruits

Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year, people reveal who they are through the fruits of their lives. The way people live their lives shows who they really are. Let no one ever deceive you that they are ‘good’ if their life testifies otherwise. To know who a person really is, you just have to listen to their words, watch their actions, observe their attitudes, be keen on how they treat other people, and take a close look at how they live their lives. If we took time to really discern the fruits of people’s lives, then we would avoid a lot of trouble that we normally find ourselves in. Do no be deceived by external appearances, anyone can put on a false appealing external appearance. Just because a person has good looks, or they dress well, or they live in a well to do neighborhood in a beautiful house, or seem to have a picture perfect family, or seem to have a good job, or seem to travel around the world; such things and many more do not mean that the person is living a life pleasing to God. Such things can actually point to a person with a love for the world. This does not mean that people who are blessed in such ways are worldly, but there are certainly many worldly people who live extravagant lifestyles and whose only concern is going after worldly riches and everything else that the world has to offer.

A good tree bears good fruits and a bad tree bears bad fruits. “You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them” Matthew 7:16-20. There is no other way around this truth. If the fruit of a person’s life is bad, then do not sit around that person and allow them to try and convince you that they are good tree. That is not so. So many times we observe the bad fruits of people’s lives yet try to explain away the bad we see. We try to give all the excuses about why those people are the way they are. We say they are good people and are only behaving the way they do because of what they are going through or because of what they have gone through in life. This is why many people end up being deceived. Instead of seeing the person they are dealing with for who that person really is, they explain away what they see and justify the continued unrepentant sin in the other person. With time, they end up being pulled down because of ignoring the bad character they saw in the other person. “Be not deceived: evil companions corrupt good morals” I Corinthians 15:33.

Be careful, not everything is as it seems. Do not be carried away by people’s flattery. Many people know how to mask their real selves and will only show you what they want you want to see. If you are not careful, the enemy will craftily and cunningly enter your life to kill, steal, and destroy. Just because a person goes to church does not mean that they are born again. Just because a person preaches on the pulpit does not mean that they are true men or women of God. Just because a person looks good and knows how to dress well does not mean that their hearts are clean. Just because a person knows how to use sweet words on you and seems to know how to treat you well does not mean that they are doing it for the right reasons and it does not mean that is how they usually are; they may be doing that to get something from you, and as soon as their goals are achieved, they will change colors like a chameleon and you will be left wondering if that is the same person that you were dealing with before. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8.

Do not be led by emotions, be led by the Spirit of God. Only when you are Spirit-led will you be able to discern truth from a lie. The enemy knows how to give counterfeits that resemble the real thing so closely that one has to be very close to God to identify the lie for what it really is. Surrender your all to God and desire for only what God desires for you. Stop being carried away by every nice thing that comes up or by every nice appearing person. If you are easily swayed about, that means you are not grounded on the Word of God. If a person claims to love God yet they live a worldly life, then their lifestyle tells you where their hearts are. If a person dresses in an indecent manner, uses vulgar words, is sexually immoral, is an abuser, is after the trends and pleasures of this world, is proud and full of themselves, is after fame and recognition and people’s approval; if the fruit of a person’s life are such things and other such like things, then that tells you who that person is. No matter what such a person is claiming to be, if the fruits of their lives show otherwise, then believe what the fruits are telling you. Do not allow people to convince you otherwise if the fruits that they are producing are consistently bad. “Either make a tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit. O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” Matthew 12:33-35.

Blessings.

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Fear God

Many people in the world are usually more concerned with human approval than doing what pleases God. People are living their lives the way they want to with no regard to what God says in His Word. People are busy doing things that have no eternal significance. Too many people are lost but they do not seem to realize it. Many people think they are too smart and they come up with all sorts of theories about creation, about life, about human beings, about the world; such theories usually come from their limited human understanding. People think they are too smart and many end up disregarding God, they do not realize that not acknowledging God is a big mistake and if they die in that state without accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they will regret for all eternity. Too many people spend their time pursuing meaningless things but they have no time for God. Nowadays many people are more concerned about ‘slaying’, about having flawless looks with the help of make-up and plastic surgeries, and many people like wearing revealing short and tight dressing. Many people are full of hate, anger, pride, jealousy, gossip, sexual immorality and perversion, malice, slander and many others; many work on external appearances yet their hearts are filthy and dark as coal. Other people are more concerned about human validation, about fame , about money, about travelling the world; they pursue the world and the things of the world. Sadly, this worldliness is prevalent even among professed Christians. The Bible warns against loving the world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” 1 John 2:15.

Hell is real. It is the place where all sinners will end up in. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” Revelation 21:8. Too many people do not seem to believe the reality of hell, and even if they believe it somehow they seem to think that it is a place of partying. Hell is not a place fit for human beings. It is a place full of torment and pain. Hell is full of regrets, it is a place with no mercy, it is a place with no love, it is a place full of hatred, it is a dark place full of wailing and gnashing of teeth. “The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” Matthew 13:42. We human beings with our limited understanding cannot comprehend the amount of suffering in that place. Our ‘goodness’ cannot save us. When many people die, in their funerals we hear other people say how good they were, how many good works they did, and such things. Yet, if such a person who has died never accepted Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, if when they were alive they did not live for God and obey His commandments, then no matter how much those left say that such a person was a good person, their goodness will not save them. Our own attempts at righteousness is like filthy rags before God. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” Isaiah 64:6. Even at our best, without Christ, we are still filthy sinners. We fall short in so many ways, that is why we need a perfect Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way to God the Father, there is no other way.

It is time we stop fighting or arguing over petty things. We should make every effort to live in peace with each other. “If it is possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men” Romans 12:18. Petty things lead many to end up sinning and in the end they might lose on eternal life because of things that really do not matter. It is time to forgive, it is time to stop gossiping, it is time to stop fighting with and disrespecting your spouse, it is time to make amends if you have hurt someone, it is time to live for God. Put pride aside and be clothed with humility, be ready to accept correction, be ready to accept that you failed or you hurt someone or you were wrong, be ready to accept that you do not know everything, acknowledge that you need God every moment of every day and that without Him you can do nothing. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches, we need Him. “I am the Vine, you are the branches: he that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing” John 15:5. Pride has caused the downfall of many. Many people are haughty and hold themselves in very high regard to the extent that they are not even willing to accept wise counsel. Many people live the way they want to live, they do what they want to do, they think everyone out there is out to get them and they end up being puffed up to the extent that they are not willing to accept any correction or instruction. If someone corrects you in accordance with the Word of God, kindly heed to it, no matter the personal differences you may have with that person. The Word of God is supreme.

The Bible says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Fear God and obey His commandments. Live a life that is pleasing to God. Realize that the type of life you live here on earth will determine where you spend eternity. All people do not go to heaven after death, too many are going to hell. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. God is not a man so He does not lie. “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19. God does not go back on His Word. All unbelievers, all those who die in their sins will end up in hell for eternity, that is how it will be. Let no man deceive you. Stop following the popular opinions of this world, follow Jesus Christ. Do not trade eternal life with temporary things of this world, if you do, you will regret for eternity. What will befall people in hell is something to tremble about. Once a person ends up in hell, God will not have mercy on them, God’s wrath will be upon them. God is love, but at the same time He is holy and a God of justice and all sinners will be condemned to the second death for all eternity. Fear God. Be watchful that you do not fall under the wrath of God, it is a fearful thing. Thank God that He made a way out, Jesus Christ. God offered His begotten Son as a sacrifice that through Him we might be saved. It is time to accept that free gift of salvation while there is still time. “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8. Tomorrow is not promised, so the best time to repent is now. Ask God to empower you, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will live a holy life and walk along the narrow path that leads to eternal life. Without holiness, no man shall see God. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” Hebrews 12:14.

God does not delight in the death of the wicked. “Say unto them, as I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?” Ezekiel 33:11. God is long-suffering, He gives us time to repent and change our ways. Do not take the long-suffering of God for granted. Do not think that just because the wicked seem to prospering in their ways that they must be okay. That is not the case.”But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off” Psalm 37:38. Do not think that just because you sin and nothing happens then everything must be okay, no it is not. “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” Hebrews 10:27. If a person continues in sin, thinking that they still have time, then it will be shock on them when one day the time is up. Do not be one of those people who say they will accept Christ in future, that future may never come, and you can never cheat God, He knows the motives of men. Anything can happen at any time and any day, so a wise person remains ready at all times. The time to live for God is now, the time to obey God is now, the time to hate sin is now, the time to say no to the world and yes to God is now. Be ready at all times. Live your life in a way that pleases God at all times. Repent and change your ways. You never know when the time will be up. Fear God and hate evil, when you do that, then you are a wise person.

Blessings.

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Guard your heart against pride

Pride is a destructive sin. The Bible says that before destruction, the heart of a man is haughty. Pride makes a heart exalt itself, it makes someone see themselves as better than others. Pride makes a person to not be willing to accept correction, it makes a person unwilling to admit their mistakes, it makes a person defensive and such a person shifts blame to others and is unwilling to admit their contribution toward a mistake made. A proud person sees themselves as if they are above others, they might view themselves as ‘good’ and label other people as bad. Such a person likes to discuss the shortcomings of others, they like to tear others down, whether in words or in actions. Such a person then talks good about themselves, telling others how good they are and the good they do, and they careful choose their words in an effort to make a good impression of themselves. They will watch out their words and actions, and put up a false impression of who they really are, and in the process, many people end up being deceived. Such are people who will not tell you the truth about who they really are, instead they will put forward a false front in order to achieve what they want. They are usually motivated by selfish ambitions, and in doing so, going against the Word of God. “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves” Philippians 2:3.

Pride can often be masked by false humility. A person struggling with pride can appear humble, yet such a false show of humility usually covers up deep-seated haughtiness. A proud heart has no respect or interest for the welfare of others, the only concern they have is for themselves. Such a person can approach others and tell those people how much that person is suffering or struggling in an effort to get sympathy from those people, yet all such is self-serving. A proud person is usually a taker, they rarely give. The person may always seem to share their problems, eliciting pity from others and playing the martyr, and end up taking and taking from others. Such people have deep voids and seem to be like water buckets full of holes, such that no matter how much other people pour into them, they never get filled. It is not uncommon to see such a person turn against people who have been there for them; after those people have done their best to help that person, that same person can turn around and go against the same people who were helping.

A proud person has no respect for authority. Such a person sees themselves as better and because of that they have no regard for those people who are in a position of authority over them. Such a person will have no respect for their seniors, they will talk to them in a haughty arrogant way. When they reach a point where in their mind they think that they have more knowledge than their seniors, such people will plan to overthrow those in authority because they think that they can do better than them. They become rebellious and are usually not willing to listen to other people’s opinions because they think that their opinions are superior. They tend not to ask for opinions or advice from others because they think that they know how to do what they are required to do. When a senior person asks them to do something, they start complaining and murmuring, and start asking why that person could not do that thing themselves instead of delegating it to them. Such people want to be authoritative but do not want to be of service to others. Such are rebellious people. The Bible is clear regarding how we are to conduct ourselves in regard to those in authority over us. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” Romans 13:1

Some people are proud because of money or achievement or power. When some people obtain power and riches, they start considering themselves as if they are above others. Such people begin wanting preferential treatment because of their status in the society. They are the same people who usually think that they can get away with anything. Some of them become very oppressive and start taking advantage of others, because they know the money and power that they have will be used to buy themselves out of difficult situations. Even if they are to face a court of law they know somehow they can bribe their way out of that and avoid facing the consequences of their actions. Other people are proud and arrogant because of the connections that they have such as being relatives of powerful and influential people. Such people will use the connections they have to intimidate others, they tend to think that they are untouchable. It is very unfortunate because they do not seem to realize that every one of us will give an account for our actions before God. God is a just judge, our earthly achievements or positions or power or money will mean nothing on the day of judgement. “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that everyone may be recompensed for the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad” 2 Corinthians 5:10.

Proud people like having their own way. They usually come up with all sorts of explanations to justify their actions. They like other people submitting to them but they do not submit to other people. Such like to be in control every time and want things to turn out the way they want. If someone corrects them they become very defensive and might even insult the person correcting them. Pride leads to destruction of families and friendships. When other people realize what a proud person they are dealing with, they usually choose to distance themselves from such a person. Such a person is usually very self-centered and that makes it difficult for them to be in long term relationships. In a marriage where the wife is haughty and rebellious, the husband is starved of respect and honor. When the husband tries to correct such a wife in accordance to the Word of God, such a wife is most likely to end up verbally exploding on her husband. Such a wife wants to be in control and in doing so goes against the way God designed family headship. Such a wife becomes a source of pain for her husband and such marriages have many sorrows and many are breaking down. The Bible tells a wife to submit to her husband. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” Ephesians 5:22. It is sad in the world today that we have many proud rebellious haughty wives.

May God help us to be humble. The Bible tells us to be humble and gentle, to be patient and bear with one another with love. When we sincerely humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up in due time. There are many things we can learn from others if we have a teachable spirit, we do not know everything. We should not allow the things of this world, whether money, power, achievements, our external looks, where we live, our family connections, the knowledge we have, fame, and such like things to make us haughty and arrogant. On the contrary, we should always give glory to God for anything we achieve in this life, knowing very well that without God, we can do nothing. Let us always have eternity in mind, knowing very well that this world and things of this world are passing away. If something does not glorify God, then we should not be partakers in it. Humility is the fear of God and the Bible says that its wages are riches and honor and life. Any other humility apart from God is false humility and is rooted in pride. True humility is rooted in Christ Jesus.

“But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving-kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the Lord” Jeremiah 9:24.

Blessings.

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Do not put confidence in the flesh

At times we think that we are very strong and that we can never fall. Sometimes we tend to think that certain things only happen to other people and that those things can never happen to us. That is a form of pride. We are not above others and things that happen to others like falling into sin can also happen to us if we do not remain vigilant and grounded in God’s Word and praying constantly. We should not put ourselves above others and neither should we think that we are above certain occurrences in life. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith” Romans 12:3. We should never put ourselves in vulnerable positions whereby we might be tempted to sin thinking that we are strong enough to resist the temptation. If we do such a thing then we will be greatly surprised when we find ourselves fallen, yet we wrongly thought that we can never fall regardless of the situation we put ourselves in. We should never put confidence in the flesh, our confidence should be in Jesus Christ. It is only God who can empower us to resist and overcome temptation, however, we should not knowingly put ourselves in tempting situations thinking that we are strong enough to resist it. When we have such a way of thinking, then that thinking is rooted in pride, and pride is the beginning of downfall. “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility” Proverbs 18:12.

This flesh that we are in is fallen, it will fail us many times. The flesh is at war with the Spirit, usually wanting things that are contrary to the Spirit. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would” Galatians 5:17. If we are led by the flesh then we are not children of God, God’s children walk by the Spirit. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” Romans 8:14. The Bible is our life manual, it contains wisdom concerning how we are to live in this world. When the Bible tells us to flee fornication, then we are to flee, literally. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body” 1 Corinthians 6:18. When it says to avoid all forms of sexual immorality then we are to do that. “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” 2 Timothy 2:22. It is unfortunate that some people think that they are wiser and they end up doing things the Bible says we should not do. Any wisdom we may think we have that is contrary to the Word of God is really foolishness. We are not and we can never be wiser than God. God is the source of all wisdom and if we want to live a blessed life in this world and eventually go to heaven then we have to live our lives in accordance to the Word of God. Those who seek their own ways learn the hard way that only God’s way is best. Do not learn the hard way that putting confidence in the flesh will lead to downfall. Be wise and do what God says.

Our confidence should always be in God. God knows best and when He directs us a certain way He does it with love and He always has good plans for us. This body that we are in is temporary. We should never allow carnal desires to rule our lives; living a carnal life leads to death. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also bring to life your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you” Romans 8:6-11. We are to die to self every moment of every day and crucify the flesh. Let us never place satisfying the flesh above God. The flesh will deceive us with temporary pleasures but the end result of being led by the flesh is destruction. We are to be led by the Spirit of God. If we are willing to surrender all to God, He will empower us to live our lives as He desires us to live. This life on earth is temporary, we should never trade eternity with temporary things of this world, it is not worth it. Let us be doers of the Word of God, let us not try to be wise in our own eyes. God knows best and we should always ask God for direction in everything situation that we are in.

Blessings.

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Worship in the midst of afflictions

In life we face many storms. Being a Christian does not exempt us from facing hardships. The Bible tells us that in this world we shall have tribulation. During our walk with God we come across difficulties, across many trials and sorrows. Different people go through different things at different times, and even those who face similar trials handle them in different ways. There are those who have gone through death of a loved one, some have gone through loss of a job, some have faced relatives who are struggling with addictions, some have gone through relationship and marital break down, some have dealt with rebellious children, some have gone through failures in different areas of their lives, some have gone through diseases and illnesses, some have gone through rejection, abuse, mistreatment, and so many other things. Life is full of ups and downs. We usually do not know what the next minute holds. At times all is calm in our lives, but the next minute storms start blowing. One minute everything in our lives seem to be okay, but the next minute there is turmoil all around us.

What do we do when afflictions come into our lives? How do we handle unwanted things that come our way, things that disrupt what we considered normal? Different people approach things in a different way, some through carnal ways, and some, usually very few, through a Spirit-led way. Do you complain and murmur when storms start blowing in your life? Do you blame everyone around you for what you are going through? Do you become a person who throws negative words to other people just because you are going through trials? Do you become a person who is difficult to live with because you over-burden others with your complains, and your murmuring, and your blaming, and your self-pity? Do you treat others in a bad way and then blame it all on your circumstances? Such are carnal ways of dealing with a storm, and this shows that such a person is not surrendered to God. It shows a lack of faith in God when a person is always complaining and acting in fear when afflictions come their way. God’s will for us is to live a life of thanksgiving, not because of our circumstances, but in-spite of our circumstances.

Let us not become people who gives thanks to God only when our lives are going on smoothly. Instead, we should be people who give thanks regardless of our circumstances, whether things are good or they are bad. Our love and praises to God should not be dependent on how good our life is going, it should be in-spite of what life throws at us. In every situation, we are to give thanks. “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:11-13. God’s grace is always sufficient, no matter what we are going through in life. God’s power works in us and empowers us to face and overcome whatever challenges we may be going through. When we are in Christ, we know without a doubt that God is with us no matter what comes our way. The Bible further tells us that the temptations we face are no different from what others experience, but God is faithful and He will not allow the temptations to be more than we can stand, and even when we are tempted, He will show us a way out so that we can endure.

Job was a perfect and upright man in the eyes of God, yet, he went through many afflictions. However, even in the midst of all the pain, he never cursed God. He went through all the trials in his life still holding on to God, and came out through the other side in victory and a blessed man. When we go through trials, we can choose to respond through the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not have to complain, and murmur, and blame others, and go into self-pity parties, or become a person who is displeasing to be around. Instead, we can choose to worship even in the midst of the afflictions, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Giving thanks and worshiping God when we are in great pain usually goes against our human nature, but it is something that we can do by God’s power. When we are Spirit-led, then we will not respond like the world does, instead, we will sing and give praises to God, we will worship God, and acknowledge that He is sovereign and all-powerful, and that He is able to take us through whatever we are going through, no matter how humanly impossible it may seem to be. Choose to worship God in the midst of afflictions.

The Bible tells us that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. What we are going through may seem too hard for us at the time, but that might be the same thing that will change our lives for the better. Let us choose to learn the lessons in every situation we are in, whether good or bad. There is always something to learn. May we have a teachable spirit, and pray for God to teach us through His Word the things that we need to learn. Let us allow God to refine us and mold us into the people He desires us to be, for His honor and glory.

“Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 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” 1 Peter 1:3-9.

Blessings.

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Faithful are the wounds of a friend

We live in a world full of fake things. The world is full of lies and too many people cannot be trusted. Out of the lips of many people comes forth deceit. It is very common for a person to tell you one thing but yet they mean something else. It is common for people to say or do something just to impress you. It is a world full of people pleasing, where too many people are looking for validation and acceptance from the world. Many people will do anything and say anything just to be accepted and to gain the praises of men. There is too much superficiality, people are chasing after vain things of the world. There are many charmers and cunning people out there who are very smooth in what they say and do, yet, it is all a lie. Many people will put on a mask and pretend to be someone they are not just to achieve their desires. Many people will befriend you just to gain something out of you. Many people will enter your life out of jealousy, they will seem genuine for a season, yet, all the while, they know exactly what they are doing and have their minds set on what they eventually want to gain from you. There are others who will enter into your life just to destroy you. Watch out, not everything is as it seems, not everyone is as they appear.

Many people will not tell you the truth. Too many people will tell you what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear. Too many people will do and say things just to appease you and tickle your ears, even though that very thing may be detrimental to you. Many people will watch you going the wrong path and yet say nothing at all. Instead of approaching you and telling you that the path you are heading is wrong, they will instead watch and see you continue going deeper and deeper into ruins. Some will start gossiping and backbiting, they will spread gossip about you like wildfire. When you confide in such people, instead of giving you good counsel and praying for you, they will laugh at you and go out there spreading to others what you have told them. Some will appear friendly and seem to care for you, yet when they go out of your presence, they go backbiting and spreading around things you told them in confidence. There is another group of people who seem to rejoice at the problems of others, they seem to get perverted pleasure in the suffering of others. They will watch you from afar and get satisfaction from the storms you may be undergoing. The world is full of people whose hearts rejoice in the downfall of others.

It is better to walk alone than be in the company of a hypocrite. Having many ‘friends’ does not translate into having quality friends. You may have many people around you who you think are friends, yet those same people would not stand with you when the storms of life come. When we go through trials and tribulations, that is when we usually see the true colors of people. When you are at your lowest, many people will flee from you like a plague. Even people you have known for many years will flee. Thank God for that faithful friend who remains standing when all others have gone. Thank God for that person who will tell you the truth even when that truth is very hard to hear. Rejoice if you have a friend who will tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear; that is a faithful friend. A faithful friend will see you going the wrong path, and instead of just watching, they will tell you the truth; they will tell you that what you are doing or saying is wrong if it is actually wrong. No matter how hard the truth may be to hear, a friend who is faithful will still tell you the truth. A faithful friend will keep confidence, you will not have to worry about them gossiping or backbiting or slandering you. Such a friend will pray for you and give you wise counsel grounded in the Word of God. It is better to have one faithful friend than many fake ones. Do not be deceived by the kisses of an enemy.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” Proverbs 27:5-6.

Blessings.

Visit my Websitehttps://www.vickysforum.com/

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