WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY

589b7868f15bf.image

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

PART 7 – Published 2/17/18

VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING – II

We have been given God’s promises and instructions that explain how we are to react to the world’s system and how to believe that He will create and provide the miracles we need. But we have become a spoiled generation that has never known what it means to really have a need except in a crisis which has put many of God’s people into a self-induced coma of relaxation and comfort. We must not lean on our own understanding or trust in our own strength, politics, logic, or education when it comes to survival, but rather listen to God’s counsel. If we are going to be provided for like Elijah at the brook and the woman with the measure of oil, we must learn how to not only be an encouragement to others but (by faith) encourage our own hearts. If we cannot believe God to heal our sore toes today, what makes us think we will be able to believe Him for a loaf of bread in the day of famine? There is no reason to be stressed or worried about what man can do because we have been promised that our direction and encouragement will be given to those who seek the Almighty. “The Lord is near unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them” (Psalm 18-19). He will lead us with the revelations of His Word, prophecies, visions, dreams, wonders, miracles, and signs as He guided and provided for the children of Israel. The Lord said in Acts chapter 2 verses 16-21, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it will come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they will prophecy: and I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon to blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass that whosoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The word of the Lord for today is that He is trying to get our attention. He is doing everything He can to tell us that we need to allow Him to OPEN the eyes of our heart so that we can learn how to live for Him. Of course, the devil wants to keep these revelations a secret because he realizes they are military strategies that can tear down his spiritual strongholds and defeat the powers of darkness. Satan and his demons are on “high alert” to prevent God’s overcomers from being encouraged and empowered! Remember the story found in I Samuel chapter 30 about David and his army when they returned home to Ziklag and found the city had been burned and all of their families had been taken captive by the Amalekites. Verse 4 says, “Then David and all the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep.” But notice carefully in the last part of verse 6, “but David encouraged [strengthened] himself in the Lord his God.” Wow, what a revelation! Have you ever been in a place where the only encouragement was found between you and God? This world can be a very lonely place when you are trying to follow Jesus. Those who are involved with ministering in God’s Kingdom will not always feel like standing strong or being electrified with an overflowing current of excitement and enthusiasm. Every now and then we fall into sadness and depression because our emotions are connected to our circumstances. These are the times when we need to have a private consultation in front of the mirror and remind ourselves of God’s promises! We must listen to King Jesus as He inspires us to confess out loud HIS TRUTH to ourselves and over our situation. Amen! I’m preaching better than you are responding.

You see, the old will is associated with the old way of natural thinking. However, when our minds have been renewed in Christ, our will must yield and take its rightful place in submission to Jesus. This is the most difficult challenge we will face as Christians. The question will always remain, do we really want to go this far with God? We can demand and command all we want, but until this structure of order has been established, our spiritual development will not function properly. We can take the safe path of least resistance where we just hold up our shields, play defense, and do enough to get by, or we can face our fears of being uncomfortable, take a bold stand, pick up our swords, and go on the offense. We have a mission: “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of PRAISE for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that HE might be glorified” (Isaiah 61: 3). Will you sit around and allow discouragement to rule you the rest of your life? or will you arise and help others find the oil of gladness on their way to accomplishing the divine destiny Jesus has called them to live?

Soon after Jesus had resurrected, we find a beautiful passage found in John chapter 20 that is a loving example of how much God wants to encourage us. Here is a story about the friends and family of Christ that were gathered together mourning over His death when all of a sudden He appears in their midst! Of course, I am sure they are awestruck. Then He stretches out His hands and His side, and they were overjoyed to see Him. He spoke peace unto them and breathed on them and filled them with the Holy Spirit. Allow me to say, that even in the times when we do NOT believe, He will make the extra effort to find us and prove to us that He personally cares about us. Thomas was not there that night and when he was told that Jesus has visited them, he said that until he could touch His scars, he could not accept it. After eight days they were meeting again, except this time Thomas was there, and Jesus appeared again. He told Thomas to reach out and touch the scars, and he did. Jesus said, “Be not faithless, but believing,” and Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God.” How many times have you needed the Lord to inject faith into your doubt? When Jesus intervenes – nothing is ever the same! Selah. When He speaks to the storms, they have no choice but to obey His commands, and when He is with you on the front-line, the devils and demons must bow before Him and submit to His authority! Paul and Silas were locked in prison, yet began to worship because joy is not confined to a geographic location, a mood, or an emotion – it is activated when the determination to believe God becomes stronger than the temptation to doubt Him! They made a CHOICE to praise God because THEY LOVED HIM! He knows that if He can keep your faith running at a high level that with faith in the name of Jesus YOU can speak to the mountains in your life, and they will be removed!

Hopelessness is a condition of the default system that occurs when people only trust their own decisions. Human intellect, impressive education, riches, or political power cannot help save souls or bring true peace. Only God can change a mind and transform a life. I realize that church leaders must be real with their feelings because if the “human factor” did not come through our personalities, we would all seem very robotic. However, at the same time, many feel pressured and obligated to be “bouncy happy” all the time because they want to keep everyone pumped up. They are afraid if they do not demonstrate a positive image, this will discourage others. Learning how to be “real” is like walking an emotional tight wire, and people need to remember that we all still live in a mortal shell of flesh. The role of a pastor is not easy and deserves more prayer and less criticism. I remember attending a meeting years ago with a small group of pastors that were discussing the trials and challenges of ministry. I was young in the ministry and sat quietly but instead of being inspired and excited, I was disappointed because they were being exposed without wearing their “super-hero” capes. I listened as each one shared their burdens and worries and questions about church growth and how to get people to catch their vision. As they talked about their problems with everything from excessive debt to people being unfaithful, I sensed a heaviness of negativity and defeat. When it was over, I was left with a feeling of concern and a lack of hope for the future of all churches. I felt there had been a mistake because I thought I was going to a celebration of spiritual victory with the generals, but instead had been sitting in on a religious pity party. I was saying to myself, that everyone knows there are problems in the church, but pastors are supposed to have the answers! What I had forgotten was to realize that even generals need places to vent their frustrations and weaknesses and a safe environment would be with those who understand what they are going through. I look back and realize this honest exposure of their vulnerability was more of a therapy session and was good for them to air out their discouragements even though they were spiritual leaders that were filled with God’s power and faith. Local assemblies have teachers, counselors, associate pastors, administrators, singers, musicians, superintendents, elders, and deacons, but none of these leaders are actually responsible for knowing the direction of the church because they have not been called to be in charge. Of course, Christ is the head of the church, but He appoints the “under Shepherd” to listen to His direction, relay His messages and care for the sheep. Let us all keep in mind that the pastor also wears the brightest bulls-eye on his back.

It’s true, the supernatural gift and office for pastors is to know God’s vision for the assembly and lead the warriors into the battle! But what I was able to learn that day in a room of pastors was compassion for those who stand on the front lines. These men were laying down their armor and letting down their guard as a break from the battle. They felt secure with each other and used this time as a place of refuge away from the war, to share their wounds, experiences, and open their hearts. I did not adjust to what was happening and was judging too harshly. It was not about me feeling good or having a false security toward another human being. It was about understanding that we are all frail and can only succeed and accomplish anything worthwhile when God moves THROUGH us! They are the ones that get up in the middle of the night and kneel on cold hospital floors praying for the sick. They hold people’s hands who are passing on to the next life. It’s their voice that is heard echoing the twenty-third Psalm in the cemetery. They are the ones that willingly counsel the terrible messes that others have made and go inside the prisons to preach repentance and forgiveness. These humble servants carry the worries and stress that no one else knows because many people have shared their secret lives with them and trust them to keep it confidential. While none of us, including pastors, are to live in a world of depression, let us also remember that it’s okay, to be honest with the ones we trust and who care for our souls. Overcomers carry burdens, but they also learn to leave those burdens at the cross because they are very heavy and can hinder our liberty and ability to live in joy. May we remember that as instruments of the Most High, ministers feel the same pain and heartache that everyone does, and there is no condemnation for being transparent. It’s not an option but essential that we all learn how to encourage ourselves and know the source of our strength. Overcomers learn that qualities like fortitude, perseverance, and integrity are formed in times of great difficulty. Who knows, there may come a time when we have no one but God. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8-9).

Father, I desperately need you to fill me with your PASSION. Make me hungry for your presence, and help me to develop an awareness of your voice within my heart. If I do not have your FIRE, I will never come out of my comfort zone. If I do not have your love working in my conscience, I am nothing. Break me and melt me so that I can be molded into your image. Do a strong work in my heart that will literally CHANGE the way I think. I am weak Lord; please give me compassion and a burden for the lost. I need your faith and strength and desire to become the witness you are waiting for me to be. Use me in your fields that are white with harvest. Pour out your Spirit on me I pray. In your holy name, I pray, Amen.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

PART 6 – Published 2/10/18

VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING – I

And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death” (Revelation 12:11).

The blood of Jesus empowers His saints with the authority in His NAME! Their testimony was and is a declaration of faith which declares they know who they are IN Christ and that NOTHING can stop them from accomplishing His will! The Kingdom of God is advancing – because it CANNOT be stopped! God’s nature is love and nothing can conquer love! By now, we realize that the Christian journey is not all smooth interstate driving. There are side roads and difficult places that many times contain discouragements, frustrations, and disappointments. For the remnant disciple, a wonderful lesson to learn and stay aware of (after we’ve been knocked to the ground), is the courage and confidence to get back up, dust ourselves off and keep going. The enemy has spent the last 6000 years trying to confuse and distract men and women away from God’s will, but thankfully, the Lord’s love is the divine light that CANNOT be quenched! Darkness cannot overcome one tiny lit candle, and all of the hate in the universe cannot outweigh one act of genuine love! Love IS the authority of God and will never fail! When we learn how to encourage our own hearts, we can take another step into the maturity process of being an overcomer for Christ. How do we do that? Finding that secret place alone with God, pouring out our fears and allowing Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit. Spiritual intimacy with Christ is the key to living as an overcomer.

It’s true there are times when we become down and discouraged, and we all will have problems and situations that we must deal with in this life. Thank God, He is always there as a safe haven to give us genuine hope and support that can help us through our times of troubles and sorrows. But there is a different type of sadness that is finding its way into the hearts and minds of the weary warriors, and it’s coming from a decrease of joy. Yes, the battle is intense, and at times many of the soldiers may crawl and drag themselves to the body of Christ (and hopefully your local church is a hospital for the wounded). If your church is not a place to find refuge and encouragement, their emphasis is on the wrong thing. There is nothing wrong with counseling and prayer, however, the worship service is no place for negativity, unbelief, or an attitude of defeat. We must be sensitive to the spirits of depression, negative personalities, oppressive, critical, and judgmental attitudes that are like a contagious virus that can infect others with hopelessness and drain the atmosphere of spiritual joy. In I John chapter 1, verse 4 we see that joy is like a liquid in a “tank” that can run low or be remain filled, and it’s crucial to guard our joy and protect it. Much of this has to do with understanding about our joy with the Lord, spiritual warfare, and our personal responsibility. “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. If the general of an army told the soldiers they did not have a chance to win the battle, it would exhaust their strength and crush their faith before they even started. Likewise, if we neglect our joy, it does not take very long for us to be overcome with darkness and sadness. So how do we stay filled with joy? This is one of the simplest yet most complex revelations of our faith: Our constant flow of Joy comes from abiding under the shadow of The Almighty with a personal, constant, and intimate relationship with Him.

Thoughts of defeat, frustration, worry, failure, and fear are the uninvited guests in the church, and all ministry leaders are too familiar with these haunting shadows of discouragement. No matter how we seem on the outside, the spiritual strength of the individual is based on the fullness of joy within the heart. Without a strong personal relationship with God, there is limited joy, and with low joy there is a mediocre interest in worship, study service and prayer. So, we can say the stronger our relationship with Him, the more full our joy will be and the more He can be seen within us. As believers in the “full-gospel” we must be careful not to fall back into human reasoning and become deceived about what is a “normal” Christian life. Would you agree that our idea of normal is probably not God’s idea of normal? How sad to imagine that many Christian assemblies have become spiritually hindered by fear and anxiety to the point where it is difficult to tell the difference between God’s remnant warriors and a gathering of executives in a corporate board meeting. I do not mean to be critical, but the Bible reveals how the last days are going to unfold and how religious spirits will continue to be a problem, but Praise God, the future has been written – the gates of hell will NOT prevail! No matter how carnal the religious system becomes, Jesus will accomplish His agenda! Allow me to say, when God’s presence shines into a situation, the darkness runs and hides in defeat! When Jesus calls us to let go of the boat and walk on the water, there is nothing that can prevent your victory as long as you stay focused on His presence! No wonder the devil and every demon in hell spends every waking moment on preventing God’s presence from manifesting because they understand there is NO higher authority! Satan does not even care if we accept Christ as long as we live as a secret agent because when we are embarrassed about God, we are NOT a threat to the dark kingdom. However, when our flame receives more oxygen from the Holy Spirit and we explode into a raging fire, the devil realizes we are being used to help recruit more soldiers for the Lord’s army and we are working mighty signs and wonders to bring glory to Jesus! Amen! Now that is normal! Allow me to ask, will you allow the enemy to stop you from being an overcomer? I believe we can agree we are living in the last moments of grace, but it’s also a time to demonstrate our faith. Overcomers in Christ live by God’s voice and as His “special forces” are trained to PRAY and OBEY!

Living for Jesus will not become easier in the future. The world is becoming more hostile against God’s people and the enemy is increasing his attacks. This is not being negative or promoting fear, this is a warning to prepare for what is coming. A strong army was never developed by sleeping on the couch. We, (including myself) are wasting valuable time by allowing our flesh to control our mind. The body follows as the mind decides. There are so many distractions and temptations and these places of decision are where the battles are won or lost. People are dying and are spiritually lost all around us and it is our prayers that can deliver and save them. Are we really depending on someone else to do what we have been called to do? God’s remnant warriors will be used to help teach and lead many into the revelation of His absolute truth. Prepare today in this time of mercy because it will be difficult to build strong faith when the world is turned upside down. Ask Him to fill you this day with His knowledge and wisdom, or you will not have the anointing or discernment to boldly stand in the days ahead.

 

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

PART 5 – PUBLISHED 2/3/18

THE CURSE OF HUMAN INDEPENDENCE

God is right and everyone who does not follow Him is wrong. How easy this sounds and yet it’s amazing how many people are offended by this statement. Actually, this truth is offensive to all of us. How so? Because human nature wants to live free and independent and does not appreciate anyone telling them they are wrong – even God. Certain reality television shows follow those who want to live in the wilderness and enjoy the freedom of surviving on their own. The scenery is breathtaking and their isolated lifestyle reflects just how courageous and adventurous some people are and is no doubt a tribute to good ole human determination and grit. However, if we stand back and watch and listen carefully, we begin to notice once again how the beauty of being free has more than one interpretation. I am convinced that we all have been given a destiny as a part of a divine blueprint that was drawn by God before we were born. I believe we can all agree He has always been His hope that we hear His gospel, accept Him into our heart and them surrender our will to His Lordship. Within this life-changing born-again transformation is a journey filled with many decisions to obey His voice or follow our carnal flesh. The Christian who takes their vow to love and worship God seriously realizes that allowing the light of God to shine to the world is a major part of the meaning of life. I’m not judging but only asking how could hiding away from the world be a part of us being a light to the world? How could a Christian become so focused on their own life and intentionally place themselves in a situation where they are as far away from other humans as they possibly can be? I thought we were called to help people and love others. This seems to be a distorted view of freedom that could be a selfish deception. If you shared this with them, I’m sure they would tell you to leave and “mind your own business.” But, again, whatever the situation might be, my question is how many have told God the same thing?

I have often wondered about the human will and how strongly we defend it. We can be nice and polite as long as everyone does not get too personal. Our attitude is that if we want a counselor we’ll go find one. This is why people become restless in a church service when the topic is about personal change. We might want things to be changed around us but we certainly do not desire any part of us changing. It is no coincidence that churches have picked up on this and have selected custom messages that are more light, positive, and inspiring. This might seem good but how can we be completely transformed into His image if we are not hearing the rest of the story? I was reading an article the other day where members of Congress, (who by the way are lawmakers) and they were questioning a highly regarded judge about what he believed. Here we have several highly intelligent individuals coming together for the purpose of trying to expose the personal convictions and considerations of someone who has invested their life to upholding the law. There is nothing wrong with this because it’s crucial for all voting members to know who they are electing before they make their decision. One cannot help but ponder about this exchange as to what the criteria is based on in the light of what is politically justifiable and what type of an answer would be considered socially acceptable. In a world where correctness seems to have become our new standard of acceptance, who in God’s name is the legal system looking to for the “right” answers? We remember in the time of Jesus that Rome accepted the idea that all people in the region should follow the kingdom of Caesar. It was not acceptable to have anyone disagree or to even speak of another way to believe. The same is true in all the other tyrants and dictators that have ruled nations and empires as many brave souls have been tortured and destroyed for standing for their convictions. This is why there have been revolutions and the quest to find a world free from evil oppression. Even in the birth of this nation, many dreamed of a land where they were free to worship God and teach their children His ways. Today we can look around and clearly see that we cannot speak God’s truth without being persecuted and ruined. The names are different but the agenda is the same. Governments do not want God, they do not want anyone to try and change them and they will not tolerate the idea of the Bible being the ultimate instruction manual for holy living. In the name of LIBERTY, our society is becoming more aggressive against yielding to God and allowing Him to change their minds and hearts toward Him. Who would have thought that too much freedom could be a curse?

In our colleges and legal system, its believed that anyone who embraces and teaches the Bible as a literal collection of true convictions and considerations is wrong and should NOT be respected as credible. The enemy of our souls (Satan) has made very good progress with breaking down the parental responsibilities using everything he can to discredit God and His people. Within the last 60 years, we have seen the moral deterioration and the rise of an aggressive culture that now has a firm stronghold of what is good and evil. Much of the modernized world is growing and gaining an acceptance of two major deceptions and I believe that it will only grow worse until Jesus returns. The first smoke screen is no more than a bully tactic to justify the agenda of human nature to dictate the direction of mankind. It’s now declared as the universal social law, that if a person disagrees with someone’s lifestyle, they are obviously guilty of hating them. This judgment openly accuses this person of being prejudiced, racists or a bigot and establishes the message that will certainly ruin the accuser and remove any sense of credibility. The second deception teaches that in order to truly love someone, you not only obligated to encourage, support, endorse, and promote them but you must agree with everything they believe, say and do. Allow me to say that both of these ideas are false and are born from the dark imaginations of secular humanism. We are to never compromise our convictions and would never need to in order to demonstrate God’s sincere love and compassion. For example, we could go into the jungles and bring food and medical help to the natives without having to believe in head-hunting or worshiping the Sun. It’s a lie to persuade the masses that we must agree with someone’s lifestyle or we are wrong and should not be trusted. There is never a shortage of opinions, but just like any other decision and judgment, the highest judge is God and the absolute truth will always be what He has said. I am not ashamed of this statement any more than someone else who believes it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to live in sin. For those who do not believe that God is real and His Word is true, I am not saying these individuals should not be treated with courtesy and respect. Everyone is given a free will to believe whatever they want. I only ask that I also be included and tolerated for my own personal ideas and convictions. I know that everyone will not accept my worldviews but as the Bible says, “may we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” When mankind begins to create laws which force us to believe and obey his humanistic philosophies, we become incarcerated within a political and religious system of control.

It is evident the majority of the world does not agree with the God of the Bible as being the author and finisher of their faith. With so many diverse religions and philosophical convictions, along with masses of people that have no spiritual affiliation at all, we have lost our identification. For example, our government has declared themselves as a neutral legal and religious system, so my question is; who do they look to for direction when they try to make laws? Human logic? Human intelligence? And if so, who in particular, the Supreme Court? Again, humanism is a dangerous and deceptive way to openly justify rebellion against God. If you are not going to look to Him as a credible truth, then you have already insulted Him and most likely have become His enemy. The creator of all things never intended for His creation to rule themselves. The hammer was never intended to build the house by itself. The very one that gave all people the opportunity to live in the joy and peace of His presence has now been mocked and disregarded as a joke! Can you imagine how God feels? It’s the darkness of pride that caused Lucifer to fall from heaven and it’s this same evil spirit that has corrupted the hearts of mankind today. The masses have spoken; “I will support and follow my fallen nature. I willingly choose my carnality and the kingdom of darkness over the pleas and warnings from the God who made me and wants to save me! I would rather have 70 years of fleshly pleasure than an eternity of spiritual bliss with the Almighty God. I loved my sin more than anything else and gave it the power to lead me and control my thoughts and with the choice of my will I choose my own destiny!”

The dark influence in the Garden was to question authority and it created a doubt and fear that God was lying. How many today refuse to believe that God can be trusted and we know exactly where this opinion is coming from. There is a growing anger against Christianity because people are saying that God’s character is bad and is the reason why Christians are hate mongers and cruel. I read a bumper sticker the other day that said, “I am an atheist because I have read the Bible” and I read where a person had made an online comment saying, “Who wants to serve someone that demands that you worship them or they will destroy you forever?” Can you see where all of this twisted thinking is heading? How will we as Christians be able to defend our faith and are we even called to try? Jesus stepped forward without fear and simply said what He was told to say. He gave Himself freely and laid down His life so that others would have the chance to live. To love, pray and obey is the most we can do.

After all is said and done, every person that has ever lived will discover that life was about more than themselves. It will be revealed that we could have been as close to God as we wanted and the only thing that kept us from spiritual intimacy with our maker was our desire to ignore Him. Every knee will bow and every tongue will eventually confess that Christ is Lord. Many will be filled with sorrow as they realize that He was seldom on their mind at all unless they needed something. Every soul will finally understand that He could have saved them and been so much more than a religious feeling or a half-hearted ritual. We will understand that He wanted to be our reason, purpose and the very meaning of our existence. God in all of His mercy and majesty is not wavering or compromising in His justice. He is perfect in His demands and requirements according to His true and holy character. When we stand before Him, our eyes will be opened to the reality that we were more in love with ourselves than anything or anyone else. We will comprehend that we were actually more in control of our destiny than He was. If only we could go back and live again, but only if we can know what we know now. Sadly we must admit it would be no different. We realize this hour what we must do and we are still not willing to submit and yield our heart completely to Him. Remember the man who had passed on to the next life, cried out and begged to come back so that he could warn his family and friends about a miserable place of extreme torment. He was separated from God in the darkness and heard a voice saying that, “it would not help – they would not listen to you no more than they have listened to others.” The decision to move toward the light must come from the deepest part of our soul and must become stronger than the desire to remain the same. The amount of determination and discipline to love God and walk with Him is known by very few. How much more do we need to see and what else can Jesus say or do to persuade us and encourage us to drop our nets and follow Him?

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

PART 4 – PUBLISHED 1/27/18

THERE IS A WAY TO KNOW OUR PURPOSE – II

WE HAVE PEACE WHEN WE EMBRACE OUR SPIRITUAL DESTINY

God is ready to make a way for those who really want to accomplish their destiny. Our heavenly Father has drawn a divine blueprint for everyone’s life and it’s our mission and responsibility to not only find out what it is, but to accomplish it. Strange as it may sound, He is even more excited about our potential than we are and is simply searching for someone that wants to do HIS will instead of their own. It’s a shame to not only feel that we have come up short in His plans, but stop and take a look around at how many people are literally wasting their life. We can agree that many are deceived and in denial about where they are and where God wants them to be. I know a 26 year old man that plays video games all night and sleeps all day. He lives at home with no job, no car and no idea about his future. I have tried to intervene but have come away feeling sad and helpless to get through to him. I also know a lady who cares for an elderly couple and they both have always been atheist. She called me the other day and said the wife had passed away at the age of 93. The husband is the same age and while making final preparations, he became very serious about making sure that God’s name was not mentioned during the funeral. You know, we can do all we can to help others, but sometimes we can do more by praying than trying to convince another person to accept Christ. It’s true we are to witness to everyone (and even use words if necessary), but true spiritual conviction is a divine appointment that can only be arranged by God Himself.

Embracing our spiritual destiny sounds exciting but requires the grueling process of submitting and yielding our entire life to Him. How do we do this? By allowing Jesus to sit on the throne of the heart as Lord and Master, (which by the way, also explains why not very many people are interested in the message of, “I surrender all”). In order to live for God we must learn how to die to self. Since God has this mission for our life already mapped out, it only makes sense that He also has definite places, people and endeavors that are included in this unique design in order for it to work out according to His intentions. When we are living in God’s will, we are amazed at how smooth the miracles will come because where God guides – He provides. This does not mean we will escape times of having to be patient and discomfort, but it’s our responsibility to recognize that He is working behind the scenes and to be as humble and cooperative as we can. When we take an exit ramp because we think we can accomplish our goals a better and faster way, we are actually hindering the original plan and possibly ruining our chances to succeed with what we have been called to do. In these times, we need to repent for our disobedience and ask God to help us return to where we need to be. How many people are swimming against the current in this life because they did not follow God’s instructions? How many are miserable because they followed their own desires instead of the Lords? I would say the majority which reveals why there is so much sadness, anger, depression and anxiety. When we try to sneak through a back door that is not a part of God’s will and manipulate circumstances for our own selfish agenda, we will never experience spiritual contentment or the joy of His presence.

LEARNING THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR HUMAN NATURE

Purity and holiness is a very important part of being victorious in the eyes of the Lord. Brokenness, meekness and humility brings us close to God and enables us to hear His still small voice. It’s when we are puffed up with self-confidence and arrogance that we drift away from His presence to the point where we can drift away and lose connection with Him. Allow me to stop right here and encourage those who have become spiritually lukewarm. Recognizing that you are not in fellowship with God proves that you are still sensitive enough to know that something is wrong. This is the wonderful and beautiful grace of God that has engraved you on the palms of His hands. The miraculous and comforting power of the Holy Spirit is ever present to welcome you back into the loving arms of your creator. Your heavenly Father is waiting for you (right now) to ask Him to forgive you, to restore you and saturate your mind, body and soul with His goodness and mercy. We all have fallen away from God sometime in our life and have come short of His glory, but the good news, is that we do NOT have to live this way! The only thing preventing you today from laying your head upon His chest and sipping from His cup is your stubborn will. God’s love is like an Ocean and He’s waiting for you to dive in and swim in the depths of His wonder and delight.

Situations that are agreeable to our flesh and our carnal mind are rarely the direction God is trying to guide us. Since our flesh and God’s Spirit are enmity toward one another, they will never be able to see eye to eye. This is exactly why we need to be cautious in our decisions because we may be heading into a snare trap filled with devastating disappointment. Just because it looks good and feels good does not mean this is what God wants for us. You see, just because things are not working out for us, this does not mean God is against us. Actually, He is for us and wants to see us accomplish His will because it is all for His glory. However, we must come to the realization that our human nature hates God and does not desire to yield or submit to Him. Our flesh will scream and fight and cry until we finally take control and demonstrate self-discipline. Drifting away from our daily prayer and study time is a sure way to become lukewarm and backslidden and this opens the door to deception and weakness. The enemy will try everything he can to distract us away from thinking about God including lying and tempting us to indulge in something that is wrong and our flesh is always ready to do what feels good. We always hear about the devil being our enemy and he is – but do not forget that he can only “influence” our mind. It’s our will that makes the decision to obey the darkness. It’s very important to remember that most of our problems come from our human nature begging us to satisfy and fulfill what it wants. This is why words like perseverance and self-discipline are crucial when it comes to following Jesus. It’s truly our personal responsibility to stay close to Jesus and have the courage to say no to our sinful human nature. Anybody can – Everybody won’t – Somebody will.

GOD’S LOVE INSPIRES US TO PRAY FOR OTHERS

The love for God and others are the greatest commandments you and I have been given. Love is not an option or something we can compromise or modify – it is a direct command. Yes, I realize the love of many is “waxing cold” in the last days and we can already sense the departure of concern and closeness within our families and friends. Our old human nature has a built-in aggressive arrogance that can easily progress into resentment, revenge and hatred. I do not care how highly individuals may consider themselves to be a Christian, if they are always harshly criticizing, judging, slandering, mocking and attacking those who do not agree with them, they are not walking with Christ. Why? Because the level of love we have for the Lord Jesus Christ can be measured by the love we have for others. If we do not pray and spend time with God, we will not sincerely care about people. I John chapter 4 and verse 20 says, “If someone says they love God, and hates another person, they are a liar: for those who do NOT love people that they have seen, how can they love God whom they have not seen?” When people are led by their emotions, they are naturally self-centered and carnal. They may seem to be nice on the surface, but this is a phony and superficial love. God’s agape love is developed when we spend time with Him in the secret place. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we will develop a sincere concern and compassion for others. It requires a fervent love to pray for someone other than ourselves! We will never have the passion to pray for anyone until we love them with God’s love. Sadly, the reason why prayer is rare is because the love of many have waxed cold.

WHO SITS ON THE THRONE OF OUR HEART?

Have you ever been tempted to argue about your opinions? We all have ideas and views but we must restrain our emotions and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is NOT easy because we always want to prove we are right. However, we are to give it over to God and let Him take care of it – His way! The Bible say’s in Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” This verse is saying that it’s not what we are doing outwardly that impresses Him, but rather He is concerned about our attitude and our character. What we do depends on our works – who we are depends on His grace. When we allow Him to remove our arrogance, we can submit to His authority as He rebuilds us into His image. A contrite heart is associated with sorrow and repentance and is an excellent frame of mind to live in. Jesus was God and walked as a man in an attitude of meekness and love. Pride hates to submit to God which is why this is so difficult. It does not matter what labels we wear or how outspoken we are – being a follower of Jesus is learning how to be meek and humble and to demonstrate His love in all situations. The Lord never called us to fight political or religious battles because He knows this never accomplishes anything positive. I write for a public forum and I intentionally avoid controversial subjects. Why? Because provoking people to anger only increases the amount of strife and hatred. Of course we have opinions about controversial political and social issues but we have not been called to argue people into God’s Kingdom. Instead, we are commanded to demonstrate our love and allow the Lord to shine His light through us which has the convicting power to change and save a soul.

Second Corinthians 10:4-5 declares, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” We have so much arguing and bitterness in the world, may we present a refreshing river of peace and encouragement to a world that is lost and confused. It’s not how smart or charismatic we are but rather within the closet of fervent prayer and fasting is where God can change what needs to be changed! We should NOT agree or compromise with someone who is wrong, but we also cannot force the world to accept God and His truth! This where discernment is critical and having spiritual wisdom in season and out of season. If God has not instructed us to say something specific it would probably be better to be silent. Walking with the Almighty requires us to step down from the throne of our heart and invite and ALLOW Jesus Christ to become our King and the LORD of our life. Only when He is allowed to rule, possess and control our mind and heart can we truly walk in His Spirit. Amen.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

Published 1/20/18

THERE IS A WAY TO KNOW OUR PURPOSE – I

When it comes to obtaining spiritual knowledge and wisdom, it’s all about personal revelation. In other words, it’s not how much information we know but how much we understand and has been allowed to be seeded and rooted within our heart. The devil and all the demons of hell have tons of spiritual knowledge but they do not allow it to penetrate their conscience and change who they are which makes it of no effect. Here is one of several basic fundamental principles to remember. Make sure you know your direction. Research thoroughly before you move. If you do not know what to do or where you are going, do something positive while you are waiting. If you have been praying for a long time and have not heard anything, I once heard someone say, “while waiting for a door to open, praise Him in the hallway.” If you are really serious, you can declare a “private” and personal fast. There is no need to broadcast this on facebook or tell everyone you see. By the way, fasting is not always just about food but can be the denial of other pleasures along with dedicating some quiet time alone with Him every day. When you discover all of the basic fundamentals and requirements that are connected to what you are interested in, you may realize you are not qualified, not ready or simply not called to proceed at this time or at all. Yes, God can do miracles but He does not put the cart before the horse or force people to embrace or accept you. He can give you favor and present opportunities but most of the time, we (diligently and with perseverance) work in order to be in the “position” to press forward. He opens doors for situations that He has been preparing in the background that can utilize your skills and is the perfect fit for you. We need to know our gifts and callings before we can have a vision for what He is planning so that we can move in a definite direction. Besides, it’s all about His will and not our own.

LEARNING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAITH AND REBELLION

Just because we read about how to live a victorious Christian life does not mean we will automatically convert into an overcomer. We must absorb His Word through our brain and into our spirit all the while learning how to surrender our will and discipline our flesh. The true Christian life is not easy, in fact the more serious we become the more difficult it will be. Listen, if we are born again, our spirit is connected with God’s Spirit and we have a wonderful opportunity to channel His energy into our being. If we can prevent our mind from talking us out of it, we can be saved from ourselves but it’s going to take our total commitment and dedication. Being filled with His Spirit means that He has been given us the opportunity to transform the way we think and this will literally change who we are. Persistence and stubbornness are not the same thing. Being stubborn toward God is being rebellious and He is not impressed with this type of determination. He appreciates and blesses us for being persistent because it is a demonstration of faith but when He tells us no and we keep going forward we have fallen into dis-obedience. There have been times in my life where I did not know whether to quit or keep going. When doors have been slammed in my face and locked from the inside I kept knocking and continuing even to the point of trying to force them open with a bull-dozier. There are major problems with this type of mentality. They never come open and all of the attempted demolition makes a huge mess not including the misery and discouragement from resentment and bitterness. It’s crucial to know if the devil is working against us – or if the Lord is saying no.

DO WE REALLY WANT TO LISTEN TO GOD?

Anyone that has ever got off the couch and tried to do anything they felt was important has felt the resistance of the carnal flesh. Whenever God’s children feel a passion to demonstrate their convictions, it would be a good idea to be prepared for laziness, rejection, control issues and emotional vulnerability. Most of the time it is not our fear about how others will react or what they think about us, but it’s the warfare required to take control of our own mind and will. It’s true, we will face adversity and it is truly disheartening to realize that most people are not interested in our vision, but the real war will always be between our flesh and God’s Spirit. When we venture out of our comfort zone and take the bull by the horns, we are setting ourselves up to be tested within the deepest recesses of our being. Everyone wants love and appreciation because feeling good about ourselves is a huge part of our psychological and emotional stability. However, when we place too much emphasis on how we “feel” and not enough toward what God says, we are already being defeated by compromise. We are emotional beings but we cannot afford to be controlled by them and one of the most difficult things is knowing the difference between our voice and His voice. This helps to understand why religion is plentiful and taking up our cross is rare. It is much easier to live according to our own way of thinking than to eliminate the denial and accomplish what the Lord has planned. As we discover what God wants us to be, we are then faced with deciding just how much we will do.

WE CAN BE AS CLOSE TO GOD AS WE WANT

There are reasons why things happen (though it seems that most of them are unsolved mysteries) and every now and then we can see a glimpse of how God was actually at work behind the scenes. I realize we could all save ourselves a lot of heartache if we would take the time to hear God’s voice but this will only happen when we decide that being close to Him is the meaning of life. Sometimes I wonder if He becomes intentionally quiet so that we can learn more about faith. Could this possibly be a part of our spiritual education where we have the opportunity to develop humility? If we received an immediate answer every time we talked with God, we would not understand the virtues of patience and His perfect timing or even have a burden to pray. If solutions were automatic we would probably become demanding and prideful and lose our compassion and sympathy. GOOD NEWS! It’s possible to NOT be led around by our emotions! The Lord is trying to renew our mind with His Word so that we can see what He sees and not find ourselves caught in a snare trap every five minutes. However, the devil is trying everything he can to distract us from thinking about God and loves to throw some awesome pity parties. The enemy knows that if he can discourage us, he has immobilized our love and one of the key elements of our spiritual life – our joy. We can become dedicated to listen and follow God’s thoughts OR continue being entangled in the confusing world of emotions – the choice is ours. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose LIFE that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

PART 2 – Published 1/13/18

LORD, IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU AND ME

I repent of my sin and any trespasses against You. With both the sins of commission or omission, I ask You to forgive me and wash me clean with Your blood as white as snow. I confess by FAITH that my mind is influenced and controlled by Your Word and that I have a passionate desire to live under the persuasion of the Holy Spirit! I choose to gird up the loins of my mind by reading Your Word and filling my mind with Your thoughts. Dear God, Your Word strengthens me and keeps my mind free from unbelief and lying strongholds. I plant Your Word deep into my mind, as Your divine truth develops into a strong and bold lifestyle. Please give me more desire and self-discipline. I understand that I can draw as close to you as I want, but my flesh is so weak. Help me to be more determined and give me perseverance to prevent the devil from finding access into my life! I love you Oh Lord, I trust You and I ask all of this in Your holy name, amen”

Let us spend a moment confessing with our mouth and declaring to heaven and earth what we really desire to be in this life.

Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” These simple prayers and confessions are a part of the warriors armor. God is ready to equip His children but our spiritual development comes from the inside out. Absorbing His Word and speaking our prayers and confessions out LOUD is a part of the word of our testimony. Revelation 12:11 declares, And they overcame him (devil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

It’s true, the dedicated follower of Christ is always under attack from the devil and the closer we come to God the more intense the spiritual warfare. However, let us not forget that our greatest enemy is our flesh. If we can discipline our flesh, we will not need to worry about what the devil says or his temptations. How many will take this battle seriously? It’s much easier to ignore the responsibility to pray and turn away from what is pleasing in His sight. In fact, “floating down the river” takes no work at all and explains why true Christians are few and far between. We are not referring to a religious ritual but we are talking about those who have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and a passion to be pure.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” II Corinthians 10:4-5. This is reminding us to not fight and argue in our own intelligence but rather to enter into our prayer closet and see the power of God produce miracles for His glory!

God is pouring out His Spirit today as His return is very soon. His Bride is carrying the light of His presence. This remnant is called to demonstrate His character and commissioned to speak His truth! Joel 2:28-32 declares, “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.”

Isaiah 55:11 promises, “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.” God honors HIS Word and His Word NEVER fails! As we allow our heart and mind to become filled with God’s Word, we can release His truth into the atmosphere and allow Him to energize and empower these words to accomplish His will. Let us take a moment and become saturated with His love, faith and hope. May you be renewed with His strength as you draw closer to Him. Speak these confessions OUT LOUD and experience a surge of spiritual hope and encouragement.

LORD, I DEDICATE MY LIFE AND WILL LIVE FOR YOU NO MATTER IF NO ONE ELSE DOES

I AM ALLOWING YOU TO CHANGE MY LIFE AND TO MAKE ME A LIVING SACRIFICE

I AM DETERMINED TO HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE IN ALL THINGS FOR YOUR GLORY

I AM GETTING INTO POSITION TO RECEIVE YOUR BLESSINGS AND FAVOR

IF I HARBOR SIN IN MY HEART – YOU WILL NOT HEAR ME – PLEASE PURIFY ME

I WILL PRAISE AND WORSHIP YOU WITH LITTLE OR WITH ABUNDANCE

JESUS, I KNOW YOU PROVED HOW MUCH YOU LOVED ME ON THE CROSS

THIS DAY I GIVE MY MIND AND HEART COMPLETELY TO CHRIST

LORD YOU GO BEFORE ME AND MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE – POSSIBLE – AMEN!

YOU PROVIDE MIRACLES AND OPEN DOORS FOR ME THAT NO MAN CAN CLOSE

YOU GIVE ME DIVINE FAVOR IN ALL THINGS ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL

MY FAITH, ANOINTING AND CONFIDENCE IN YOU IS INCREASING

I AM BECOMING SPIRITUALLY STRONGER AS YOU PREPARE ME TO SERVE MORE

I WILL FAST AND PRAY FERVENTLY BECAUSE I WANT TO LIVE IN THE HOLY OF HOLIES

I AM ADVANCING AND PROGRESSING IN MY FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IN YOU

ANGELS ARE ENCAMPED AROUND ME AND WORKING ON MY BEHALF – THANK YOU

I AM INCREASING IN SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT, SENSITIVITY AND POWER

MY TALENTS, ABILITIES AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS ARE EFFECTIVE IN YOUR KINGDOM

MY HEART AND MIND IS BEING CHANGED FROM THE INSIDE OUT

I AM BEING PURIFIED AND SANCTIFIED BY YOUR HOLY REFINING FIRE

MY CONSCIENCE IS BEING RENEWED AND TRANSFORMED THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT

I AM INCREASING IN THE WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR WORD

I HAVE A SOUND MIND – I CAN HEAR YOUR VOICE – I KNOW YOUR DIRECTION – AMEN.

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

PART 1 – Published 1/6/18

OPINIONS AND DISAGREEMENTS

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must NOT be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, and correcting His opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth” II Timothy 2:23:25.

We’ve heard the old saying, “opinions are like elbows, everyone has one” and there is much truth to this. We can travel around the world and ask people a series of questions about religion, politics and social issues and I’m sure the diversity of answers would be astounding. When it comes to our personal worldviews, we realize that each human being has been given a brain that contains the ability to process thoughts along with a free-will to make decisions about what they believe. For those who accept God as the creator of all things and the Lord of their life, we know that He has graciously given us this wonderful gift and privilege. If we go a step further in our acknowledgment of God, we have no problem with including the Bible as a detailed explanation about what He thinks and how He wants us to live. However, now that we have already crossed the line with a majority of individuals that strongly reject God and the Bible as being the ultimate spiritual authority, we return to our opening statement about everyone having their own ideas about what our existence is all about. “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses” Proverbs 10:12.

Since the beginning of time, we have witnessed disagreement. In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve specific orders and warned what would happen if they did not follow His instructions. Of course, they were easily persuaded otherwise. By the way, every word the Father speaks is nothing less than absolute truth. God is perfect and has never lied or failed. He is the beginning and the end, Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. These are huge attributes of His character that declares His ultimate authority but, it’s amazing to consider that even with the Lord’s supreme sovereignty, He still gives every man or woman the choice to embrace or reject what He says. So, we read that Eve listened to a strange voice that not only had opposing views toward God but defiantly tried to convince the woman to do the same. In the glorious privilege of free-will, she agreed that God must be trying to deceive her. Unfortunately this concept had such a strong influence, the human race is still following it today. This sin did not (and does not) go unpunished, as we realize that it ruined the original world and broke the spiritual fellowship between humans and the Most High. Since God is flawless in His judgment, He could not (and will not) ignore this defiant act of rebellion or else it would make Him a liar according to His own words. We are reminded of this passage which allows us to understand there are consequences to our views, words, and deeds. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23.

So far we have talked about world-views, the reality of wide-spread disagreement and that God is absolute truth. Now let’s look at another Bible story that involved the same family, but this time with the two sons of Adam and Eve. Their names were Cain and Able, and they were young men trying to function in an exciting and challenging new world. When their parents sinned and were expelled from the Garden, the first blood was shed from an animal and was used as clothing. Blood sacrifices were also explained to be used as a sacrifice of praise and worship to God. This was not an insignificant matter, but was considered very holy as even Christ was slain and is portrayed as the Lamb of God. Cain was a farmer and grew vegetables and fruits which was a perfectly acceptable profession and Able was a shepherd that raised livestock. One day, the time had come to present a sacrifice to God as a spiritual gesture of their worship, faith and commitment. Able followed the usual protocol and slaughtered an animal for his sacrifice but for some reason, Cain brought an offering of fruits and vegetables. God accepted Able and his sacrifice but rejected what Cain had brought because it was not blood and God does not compromise. In short, Cain became so furious that he killed his brother and sadly lived the rest of his life as an outcast. Now, allow me to include that all Cain would have needed to do was repent and then present a new sacrifice to God and all would have been fine. The problem was when he became arrogantly jealous and decided that he could do whatever he wanted no matter what God said. (The apple did not fall far from the tree, pun intended). Cain had an opinion about how to serve God but when God says to do something – He means to do it exactly His way. There is no doubt that rebellion and insubordination is a strong part of our DNA and this old nature is the identity of our most difficult enemy. Many will say that Satan is our only adversary but our flesh is what we should really be concerned about. The devil speaks to our mind about betraying God but it is our will that ultimately decides which path we will take. The Lord has done and wants to do everything He can to help us “overcome” our flesh and the devil but we are servants to whom we obey.

In our discussion about opinions, we find a crucial illustration within this account. First, we see again that our rogue views and ideas can get us in big trouble very quickly. There is not a multitude of options or alternatives when it comes to obedience. There is following God and there is believing something else. Of course, other than God Himself, no one has all the truth and it’s clear that all have sinned and are in desperate need of His constant mercy and grace. The point we find here is there is only one truth and when we are not connected to God’s absolute truth, we are wrong and unless we repent, we will be judged accordingly. Now, I realize this is dogmatic and most people do not agree with this theology but again if we accept the Bible as absolute “truth” then we must submit to foundational pillars of the faith that cannot be altered or modified. We look around today and realize that opinions and disagreements about spirituality and theological doctrines have been the root cause of more death and destruction than anything else. They are also becoming altered and distorted according to the dreams and illusions of carnality. The attitude that Adam, Eve and Cain had toward God exposes fallen mankind as a deceived and blind creature whose only hope is the redemption of the cross. We are fighting and arguing from the time we are in diapers and with certain individuals, controversy becomes such a significant part of their personality that instead of demonstrating the character of Christ, they literally spend their lives searching for new opportunities to provoke and debate. The Bible clearly explains that we are not to wrestle against the principalities and powers in our flesh but rather to war against the lies of darkness through prayer and fasting. We cannot win arguments with our intelligence or charismatically persuade people to believe in God’s truth. We pray and obey, and then place our faith in the Holy Spirit and His ability to convict hearts and change minds.

Another point worth mentioning is that many have the opinion we can live however we want, believe whatever feels good and everything will turn out alright. There is a popular fantasy that all religions are tied together and eventually are blended into one major super-highway that leads to heaven. In this dangerous philosophy, the unity of faith is brought together as a great and wonderful solution to religious division. I can understand if we wanted a simple and quick formula that can ease our conscience and deny our accountability to absolute truth, but this is just another example of mankind trying to establish their own way of living instead of submitting to God’s way. There would have been no reason for Jesus to die on the cross and be raised from the dead if we could just as well trust and worship the Sun or a statue. We would not need the Bible at all, if it was acceptable by God for us to read and believe in some other book or ideology. There are many people who have wanted to be God and millions that have followed them but there is only one true God and He is the only way, the truth and the life. He created everything and everyone will stand before Him at the judgment. There are not 90,747 separate compartments of heaven where false idols, anti-Christs and deceived teachers congregate with all of their followers. There is one throne and one God who sits upon the throne. This is nothing new, it has always been that way and will continue for all eternity.

We can disagree with God all of our life and we can believe however we want but it will never change the truth. Will it matter what our opinions are? What do you think? Do you believe your opinions are important? Would you give your life for them? Actually, we are all giving our life for what we believe. You know, if we are right by believing and following God and His Word, we will have an eternity to spend with God that will be more awesome than can be imagined. If we are wrong, we can still say that we lived a wonderful life of peace and contentment. For those who have never accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and are wrong about what they believe, the Bible says these individuals have made a terrible mistake and the consequences will be an eternity of darkness and misery. In this simple view, there is no doubt that our opinions and the way we live are the most important decisions we could possibly make in this life. Is it worth researching? Is it worth discussing? Is it possible to find absolute truth and embrace it? I believe yes to all of these questions. Knowing truth has always been God’s desire for us because He has done everything He can to save us from our our selves. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that will ask will receive and he that seeks will find and to him that knocks it shall be opened” Matthew 7:7-8.