Witness Him Now
We Get To Choose
The greatest gift God gave to mankind is the right to choose. We get to choose to be faithful or to run around on our spouse. We get to choose to tell the truth or to tell lies. We get to choose to be kind or to be offended and bitter. We get to choose to forgive or to hold onto unforgiveness. We get to choose to be straight or to be gay. We get to choose to get married or to move in with our boyfriend. The choice is ours. That is free will, and it is amazing.
However, I happen to believe that there is an absolute set of rules that govern what is right and what is wrong, and there are consequences to every choice we make. Now, is my opinion valid? I don't know. I believe it is with all my heart. That is what moves me. I live by these rules, and I try to teach these rules to others, but when I tell someone that the God of heaven and earth put together a set of rules that will govern everyone, people get offended. They don't want to hear what I have to say. But, these are not my rules, they are His. I just speak the truth as I know it. People do not have to believe what I say, and they do not have to follow what I say. That is free will. But, it is only the truth that will set people free, and I will not withhold the truth from anyone, no matter what they think about me or about the God I serve.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, "Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultry, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people - none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the LORD Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
There are a set of standards that we who will inherit the Kingdom of God will all adhere to. Those of us who induldge in sexual promiscuity and greed and idolitry and those who lie and cheat will never inherit the Kingdom of God. We cannot fool ourselves. We will reap what we sow. And it is O.K. as long as we know what we are doing. However, the enemy has blinded our eyes and dulled our hearing so that we cannot see or hear the truth. As long as we know the truth, let us choose. Choose this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
So we all have a very real enemy who wants to kill us, steal from us, and destroy us. His only weapon is the lie. If he can make us believe the lie, he has us, but if we know the truth, the truth will set us free. We have to overcome the lies that are bombarding us. Revelations 21:5-8 says, "And the One sitting on the trhrone said, "Look, I am making everything new!" And then He said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true." And He also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be My children."
"But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars - their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Friends, I will love you no matter what you choose. Free will is an amazing gift. We each get to choose life or to choose death. We get to choose blessings or we choose cursings. The choice is ours, and I respect your choice. But we are living in a day and a time where if we even say there are consequences or that there is a standard of right and wrong, this will land us in hot water. I guess I will stay in the boiling pot because I love you guys so much. I will never withhold the truth that could set you free.
Blessings, my friends. May God open your eyes that you may be able to see and your ears that you may be able to hear and your heart that you may understand what He is trying to say.
You Will Know A Tree By Its Fruit
About a month ago the LORD allowed me to see several scriptures as they fit together. Before this time, these words were fragmented - separate pieces. Once the pieces came together, my eyes were open to the big picture of what God wants from us all. If I had known two months ago what I know now, this would have summarized my book. That is how important it is.
Matthew 7 starting in verse 12 goes like this: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets." Everything that is taught in the Bible can be summed up in this phrase. Wow. But listen to what comes next. "You can enter Gods Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
Can you see that? The road to life is to do to others what you would want them to do for you. This road is difficult and narrow. Few will ever find it. Then it says, "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by thieri fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."
So how are we going to know a tree by its fruit? Does this person treat others like he would want to be treated? A good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit. A good tree WILL ALWAYS treat others like he would want to be treated. Wow! Wow! Wow! If we are not treating all people like we would want to be treated, we are still a bad tree. We have rotten places (enemies inside of us) that have to be cut out. If we are still jealous or judgmental or proud or covetous or greedy or unforgiving, etc., we are a bad tree, and we CANNOT bear good fruit. It is not possible. Jealousy will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. A judgmental spirit will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. Greed will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. Oh my! Can you tell what kind of tree you are? Are you happy with what you see? I don't know a lot of people who treat every person they know like they would want to be treated.
Listen to what people are saying about what happened in Florida this week. If you were one of the people sitting in that bar, how would you want people to treat you? If you were the Islamic extremeist who is caught in a religion that promotes hate and death, what would you want someone to do for you?
There is a scripture that has changed my life forever. It is found in James 3:7-12. "People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our LORD and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty spring."
All men have been made in the image of God. If we curse them, we are speaking out against God. We are not treating others like we would want to be treated. We are a bad tree that cannot produce good fruit. Only when we begin to open ourselves up to let God heal the hurts inside of us and to set us free from all the lies we have believed, can we come to a place that we will be called good. A good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit. LORD, help us. We are not there yet. Forgive us for the words we have spoken. Forgive us for the judgment in our heart. Forgive us for thinking that we are better or more deserving than others. We are not. We are guilty. Come, LORD Jesus, with power to wash our sins clean. I ask this in Your precious name. AMEN
Top Is Bottom and Bottom Is Top
I don't know when or why it happened, but most Americans feel like we have to be the best at everything. We have to be the prettiest, the strongest, the fastest, the smartest, the thinnest, the best dressed, and we have to have the best phone, the best car, the best house. We have to be on top, better than others. Somehow if we have these things, we then feel better about ourselves, like we are OK. But in reality, these wrong ideas create lots of stress in our lives. We work our lives away trying to get things, but these things have no eternal value...it is all vanity, selfish ambition, pride.
And so we come to today's topic...status. God's ways are so much higher than our ways. He is so unconcerned about outward appearance. All of that is just pride, and God says that He resists the proud, so if we are trying to fit into the world and be "on top", God is resisting everything we do. And we can feel God's opposition when anxieties and stress and fears hit us. God is saying, "What are you doing? Your eyes are on the wrong things. You are following the wrong things. Turn around and life will get easier." But what do we do? We work harder. We worry longer. We stay awake and toss and turn, trying to figure out how we can make it.
What we don't realize is that in God's kingdom, up is down and down is up, life is death and death is life. To be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to be on bottom. We have to think of all people as more important than we are, and we must become a servant to all. This is the "highest calling"...to serve others. So when others walk into a room, instead of thinking "Who is top dog now?" we know that this person, too, is more important than we are, and we have the awesome privelege of serving them. This is what Jesus did for us, and now He is calling us to do this for others.
So what do we get in return? Jesus said, "Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Come and learn of me for I am GENTLE and LOWLY. Take My yoke for My burden is easy and My yoke is light. So when we reach for the "high calling" of seeing others as more important than ourselves and serving others, we get rest and peace. We don't have to worry about what others think of us because it doesn't matter. We just take the mantle of our King, and we become like Him, and our Father in Heaven smiles down at us with deep pleasure and gives grace to our humble heart.
So my prayer for you this day, my friend, is that you, too, will lay your burdens down and take upon yourself the yoke of Jesus. May you learn from Him to be lowly and gentle, and may the God of grace no longer have to resist you, but instead may He pour out on you the richness of His love and mercy and grace, and may you find rest for your soul. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."