There is a better way

Pr. 29:22:  “An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression.”

My blog yesterday (Don’t let the commercials distract you) was written in a bit of anger.  Perhaps it may have even stirred up some strife.  If so, I hope the conflict or contention was directed at the same place as mine.  My anger is towards the real enemy:  satan.  Frankly, I am sick of him and his lies, deceit, temptations, distractions, and snares of sin.

I am angry that he is causing so many people to suffer, die, and become trapped in sin.  If I didn’t know there was a better way, I wouldn’t care.  However, I know that through Jesus there is redemption, healing, salvation, freedom, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, self-control, love, kindness, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  I know that until Jesus returns, satan will not relent, but I don’t like to see people suffer or needlessly tempted.

Satan will do anything he can to get our focus off God and His truth.  2 Cor. 11:14 even tells us, “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”  We cannot simply allow ourselves to be continually deceived, or we will be devoured.  (1 Peter 5:8)

We must remain vigilant and aware of God’s will and truth, so that we will know when the enemy is trying to deceive or distract us.  2 Cor. 2:11 tells us, ” lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  We must remain fully aware of his devices.

“The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Cor. 4:4

He is intentionally blinding people’s minds so that the gospel will not shine on them.  Yes.  That makes me mad.  We are the salt and the light of this world and we must remain on alert.  We must make sure that we are prepared ourselves, and have put on the whole armor of God.  Then, we will be able to withstand the enemy’s darts and teach others to do the same.

There is also a lost, hurting, and dying world around us.  How can we show them the love and the truth of the gospel?  What is it you can do today?  What can I do?

We must stay in the Word.  We must make sure we know who the Lord really is and what is really the truth.  Then, we will be able to shed the light of God on the others who are deceived or lost, with whom we come into contact.  We will be ready and able to reach out with the love of Christ to bring help and hope to the hurting or dying.

Truly, there is a better way than satan would have us believe.  The truth is in the Word.  The hope for the hurting comes from the believers of the Word.  The mercy for the deceived came through the sacrifice of the Word.

Counting on Him,

jamie

 

Don’t let the commercials distract you

Pr. 28:6:  “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.”

Not having cable, I rarely see commercials.  Yesterday I watched, in amazement, a commercial about fingernail polish.  It started with flirting and ended with 2 people in bed together.  For some fingernail polish.  Really!?

I am not trying to write a bitter diatribe about our society, but it saddens me when I see things like this.  Sin has a mighty grip on our world.  Sin would have us believe that life is all about ourselves, popularity, status, fame, success, sex, and sexiness.

Millions of dollars are spent daily on indulgences, advertisements, and commercials telling us how our lives should be.  Meanwhile, there are people dying every second from hunger.  Christians are dying and being persecuted for the Word of God.  Young girls are enslaved in human trafficking.  Babies are being killed.  People are dying from the lack of the simplest of the medical care.  There are still some who do not know the Lord as their Savior.

There is a work for us to do here on this earth, and I can assure you that it has nothing to do with wearing the sexiest fingernail polish or clothes, having the sexiest body, having the most impressive position at a company, having the most partners or experiences in bed, or having the most socially acceptable friends.

Integrity, a servant’s heart, modesty, humility, contentedness, purity, generosity, and honesty are still better.  God created us for a purpose.  I don’t care what this sin-cursed, sexy-fingernail-polish-wearing world says, God’s will and plans are still what are most important.

We still have work to do.  We don’t have time to allow the commercials and distractions of sin, temptation, or possessions to keep us from that work.  We must choose God, choose integrity, and choose to stay focused on the work for which we were created.  We may not be able to save the entire world in 1 day, but we can start with 1 person in 1 moment, and change a life.

We have to regain our focus on what is truly important.  That starving child does NOT care what kind of lipstick, suit, or shoes we are wearing.  The young girl enslaved in sexual trafficking is not worried about your fingernail polish.  The lady dying from a curable parasite is not interested in which Christmas dishes or tablet you’re picking out.  Those things are distractions and they do not matter.

There are people trapped in sin and others who have never even heard of the Lord.  We must reach out and show the love of Jesus and share about His sacrifice and forgiveness now.  It doesn’t matter what our position or status in society, God can use us to save people’s souls.

We must come to our senses.  We have a job to do, and people are counting on us!

Thank you for indulging me,

jamie

 

Remembering His works

Pr. 27:1:  “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

What a fitting verse for Thanksgiving Day.  Truly we do not know how many days, hours, or minutes we have left here on earth.  No need to boast about things that have not yet taken place.

We do, however, know what has happened in our past.  Today is the day to remember and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.  We can certainly boast about all the amazing things our Lord has done or provided in our lives.  He is so faithful.

This month our family made a “Thankful Jar” and filled it with things for which we are thankful.  Pasting our slips of gratitude into our Thanksgiving journal last night was a privilege, as I looked back over the things for which we chose to be thankful.  Our blessing truly are endless.

“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.  Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever.  He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. 

He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever.  He has shown His people the power of His works, giving them the lands of other nations.  The works of  His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy.  They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness. 

He provided redemption for His people; He ordained His covenant forever–Holy and Awesome is His name.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding.  To Him belongs eternal praise.”  Ps. 111

I pray you have a wonderful Thanksgiving today.  No matter where you are, who you are with or not with, and what you have planned, just remember all that the Lord has done and give Him thanks today.  Great are His works!  And they are steadfast forever and ever!  Now THAT makes a Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

Thanking Him,

jamie

You will feel it again!

Pr. 26:9:  “Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.”

Having previously been a bit of a drunkard on occasion, I understand that a thorn in the hand would not go much noticed.  Being drunk dulls the senses and a thorn likely would not even be felt.

Certainly there are times in our lives when even the scriptures enter us and their weight goes much unnoticed.  There are seasons where one can read about the love of God and still feel quite unloved.  Moments come where forgiveness is promised, but the reader feels only guilt.

Likewise, in seasons of sin, we can read about the consequences of our sins and feel no remorse.  In fact, at times we disregard it as irrelevant or inapplicable to us.  Gossip is strongly discouraged in the Word, but we can look at those verses and point straight at someone besides ourselves.

It’s amazing that the same Word of God that captures our hearts and causes us to submit to the Lord and His will can later be just another noise that we can no longer distinguish from the others.

Sin and deceit can so harden us that we can read every verse in the Word about our sins and still choose to walk continuously into them.  The lies of satan can so oppress us and bring us to a place of despondency, that the love, care, and compassion of Jesus seems farther out of reach than Saturn itself.

We’re not alone.  Even the disciples, when in the presence of Jesus Himself, did not always understand.  Some lessons were lost on them or not felt at times, causing Him to ask them, “Do you still not perceive or understand?”  He encouraged them to remember the things which they had already seen Him do.

Thankfully, the Word of the Lord is living and powerful.  (Heb. 4:12)  Open your ears to this next verse this morning, which is very fitting today as it is raining outside my window and is snowing in other parts of the world right now:

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

No matter the season of our life, we must continue persevering in the Word.  In times where we’re so “drunk” that we cannot even feel it, it is still watering our soul to accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.  Do not give up when the scriptures seem unspeaking…God is still speaking, and soon your ears will be opened and you will remember!

Hallelujah!

jamie

To persuade a ruler

Pr. 25:15:  “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” 

I am reminded of the story found in Luke 18:1-8 of the judge and the persistent widow.  The judge eventually avenged the widow, saying, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

The point Jesus was making in that parable was that we always ought to pray and not lose heart.  Hearing what the unjust judge said, how much more will our Father answer our requests?  When we pray, God hears our cries.

Mark 7:24-30 tells the story of a Gentile woman who asked Jesus to cast a demon from her daughter.  Jesus was not yet prepared to help the Gentiles, but the woman was simply persistent.  He was impressed that she did not quit and did as she asked.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, forbearance means:  the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.

We see no evidence of anger in the widow or the Gentile woman, but we certainly see patient requests given more than once.  Is there something you’ve been asking the Lord to do?  I encourage you not to give up.  I encourage you to forbear with a gentle tongue.

God did not put these parables in the Bible for no good reason.  He could have left them out if He didn’t want us to follow them.  The truth is that these aren’t even the only times in the Word where the Lord tells us these things.  Over and over, He tells us to present our requests to Him.  Sometimes it takes time.  That is where patient forbearance comes in to play.

If you know the Father, and you know His love for you, then you know that He will not leave you or your family broken.  Perhaps that is why we see in Ph. 4:6-7 that we are instructed, “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.”

We request with forbearance and thanksgiving, (with a gentle tongue), and God’s peace guards us.  Our Father loves us.  His plans for us are for good, and truly He has an eternal plan for those who love Him.  Do not give up.  With forbearance, ask your Father for what you want.  You will find Him faithful to answer you with what is truly needed.

Patiently,

jamie

You will stand before the King

Pr. 22:29:  “Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.”

I read the perfect example of this in Mark 6 this morning:

Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a fest for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee.  And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.”  He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

Up to half his kingdom!?  WOW!  That must have been some dance!

What is it that you do?  No matter what you do; whether you’re a manager, a business owner, a janitor, a missionary, a stay-at-home parent, a hairstylist, a truck driver, a CEO, or even a cashier, do what you can to excel at your work and you will stand before “kings.”

Oh, and if you doubt anyone will ever see your excellence and appreciate it, let me remind you of one important detail.  Col. 3:23 clearly tells us, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

We actually serve the Lord Christ.  One day we will stand before the King of Kings, and we will then be given the reward of our inheritance.

Don’t give up, and don’t settle for mediocrity.  Excel at what you do for your true King.  Who knows, you may even see that you receive some reward while you’re waiting.  🙂

Like Lowe’s, let’s Never Stop Improving,

jamie

Find Jesus!

Pr. 21:31:  “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the deliverance is of the Lord!”

This morning I read Mt. 5, in which we find the story of the demon-possessed man who was healed in Gadarenes. Just as the horse is prepared for the day of battle, people had tried to tame and bind the man.  It says he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but had pulled them apart and broken them into pieces.  It also says that no one could tame him.

All Jesus had to do was step out of the boat.  The man ran and worshiped Him there.  Deliverance came when Jesus spoke.

In the same chapter we find a woman who had been afflicted with a flow of blood for 12 years.  Just as the horse is prepared for the day of battle, we are told she had “suffered many things from many physicians.”  Also, her entire income and savings had been spent on the medical bills she incurred trying to find her answer to a cure.  (I’ve been there)

All Jesus had to do was walk by.  The woman found Him and touched His garment.  Deliverance came when Jesus was present.

We also find a synagogue ruler in chapter 5, whose daughter was deathly ill.  Just as the horse is prepared for the day of battle, we know that many people were present with the girl, and we can assume they had done all they could to help her.  We find; however, that some from the ruler’s house came and told him that his daughter had already died.

All Jesus had to do was show up.  The ruler sought Him, fell at his feet, and begged Him earnestly.  Deliverance and restoration of life came when Jesus took the child by the hand and told her to arise.

Insert your situation into this next paragraph.  We find ourselves in the middle of something.  Just as the horse is prepared for the day of battle, we have done all we can think or have been advised to do, but our situation remains or has even grown worse.

All Jesus has to do is hear our prayer.  We will seek Him, draw near to Him, boldly approach Him and believe.  Deliverance comes when Jesus moves on our behalf.

We know He doesn’t always answer in the exact ways He did in Matthew chapter 5, but He always hears our prayers, He always offers aid, and He always works things out for our good.  He is faithful and just.  He is no respecter of persons.  He is still love and is still moved with compassion on His people.

He still shows Himself strong on behalf those whose hearts are loyal to Him.  I’ve even seen Him show Himself strong on behalf of those who aren’t…they were just too blind to see it.

If deliverance is needed in your life, find Jesus!  He is the only One from whom deliverance comes.

Seeking the One,

jamie                                                                                   –i picked this you tube because it has the lyrics