Not Fear

Many pastors have a ” Fire and Brimstone” style of preaching.

These pastors often focus on the negative aspects of sin and the consequences associated with our failure to live a “proper” christian lifestyle. Threats of damnation and hell-fire can be assumed to scare parishioners into changing their behavior out of fear of God’s wrath. You shouldn’t come to God from a position of fear, but come in fear if you must. If your afraid of God’s wrath, or of Hell and damnation, come in fear. Yes, if fear is what will get you in the door then by all means come through the door trembling… however there is a better way.

Fear is the beginning of wisdom Prov. 9:10

But it is only the beginning.

Don’t serve the poor to improve your own financial circumstances. Don’t be a good person (wife,husband,neighbor,coworker) because you fear God if you don’t. Don’t do things to escape wrath from God. Don’t let that be your reason.

Don’t be:

Humble

Understanding

kind

self controlled

serve others etc.

Out of fear of God!

Fear involves torment, suffering, dread, low self esteem,  mental torture, and the like.

There is no peace when you come from that position. The road ahead is going to be harsh when you come from that position. Your path will be filled with stumbling blocks.

Why does the bible say God loves a cheerful giver? Because he knows if you give in any other manner it will be full of dread.

So if the beginning of wisdom is The fear of the Lord then what is a better path towards wisdom?

1 John 4:18 Perfect Love casts out fear

Come to God in Love or for Love.

What are we told as a child? Jesus loves you.

Why does God say come to him as a child? Think about it.

How do kids Love?

The bible says to do all in love 1 Cor. 16:14

1 John 4:17-19 He first loved us. He gave his son be cause he loves us. Jesus freely gives because he loves us.  He heals because he loves us. He delivers because he loves us. So go heal someone in love. believe deliverance for someone in love.  Be filled with his love, pressed down shaken together and running over. Let love overflow into the lives of everyone around you.

 

Graduate from fear to love and grow from love.

1 John 3:16 A sacrificial Love

1 John 4:11-16 We should live in God’s love. We will keep growing in God’s love. We are made perfect in Love.

1 John 4:17-21

Jesus says love your brother, love your neighbor, love your enemy.

Love is powerful!

There is no fear of judgement in Love, Judgement of others or from God.

We can come boldly before the throne of God because of love.

Fear keeps us from coming closer to God

Love gets us face to face with God.

Love is a unifying force.

1 Cor. 1:10 be of one mind in Love

1 Cor. 1:20 Man’s wisdom is contrary to God’s love. Worldly ideas of love are warped and distorted. True love is pure and comes directly from God because God is Love. They can’t understand Love. because they need God. 1 Cor. 1:21-25

But how desperately they need love and God.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world That he gave His only begotten son, that we might have life.

Wisdom is revealed to us in love. 1 John 2:6-16 and we have the mind of Christ because we abide in Love. We have unity through love we have power through love. Unity fosters the anointing and that is how we move in God’s power. All of this is from the root of love.

those of us who do not yet walk in love are immature because our flesh causes us to act unloving and so we lack power.

1 John 3:1-3 The carnal man works against love .

God increases us through love.

Love never fails 1 Cor. 13:8

When that which is Perfect comes  1 Cor:13:9-10

Love covers sin. 1 Peter 4:8 so even if we fall short love will carry us to the end. We will endure to the end in love. Your healing will come in love. You will heal someone else in love.

Deliverance comes in love

Your breakthrough will come in love.

Love will break through hearts, fears, Judgement, Darkness, sickness, addiction,perversion.

You can’t fake love.

We owe our love! Roman 13:8 it is a debt

Love is the greatest power and gift. 1 Cor. 13:1-13

We are to Pursue Love. It is our Goal.

God is Love and in Love we are known by those who need God most. John 13:35

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Forward

There is nothing as beautiful or refreshing to look at as a clear stream or babbling brook as it cascades over rocks on it’s way down a mountain.  When you step into the stream, the cool water immediately refreshes you and you feel more alive. The pools that are formed are so clear that you can see fish and other freshwater creatures as they dart about. The water is filled with oxygen and life as aerates itself on it’s way  moving downhill. The noise that the stream makes is so relaxing and fills you with a sense of peace as you sit and listen to it on the bank. You can go to the stream everyday and each day it looks and sounds a little different.

Now compare the stream with a stagnant pond, the water dark green with algae. The water doesn’t move and is only occasionally refilled by rain washing into the depression where the pond is located. The ponds surface is covered with a  green slime along the edges.  When you step in it, the pond becomes even darker, dirty with stirred up silt. The water is warm and there is an ever present odor of decay. The air is thick with mosquitoes and other insects. What little life exists in the water of this low oxygen environment struggles to breath and the fish even have to take an occasional gulp of air at the surface just to stay alive. Standing in that pond waist deep, you feel the heat of the sun, the warmth of the water and it just drains all the energy out of you. When you get out,  things stick to your legs and you feel slimy and dirty. Everyday, the pond looks, sounds and smells the same.

These two bodies of water represent two different types of Christians.

One type of Christian is full of zeal. Always ready to spread the word of God through the Gospels. His or her mind is always working and focused on the will of God in His or her life. They serve in their church with gusto and are always  happily volunteering to help with the next project. Everyday brings a new experience which takes them closer to God on their spiritual path to enlightenment. They see the beauty of creation and are awestruck by it’s magnificence! In all things they are grateful and appreciate their blessings while accepting the negative things in their life as teaching experiences. They praise God all day every day and are always ready to serve Him in any way. They truly are their brother’s keeper. They are always ready to help those in need unconditionally and without judgement. The light of God shines through them and the world takes notice. Many are brought closer to God by their example. This is the Stream Christian.

The other type of Christian is the Pond Christian. He or she goes to church but is constantly looking at his or her watch to find out when it will all be over. ( or worse, constantly texting during the sermon!). They go through the motions of participating in service but never really do anything to help anyone not even themselves. The message of the day is often lost to them and they leave the service feeling unfulfilled.  They are not daily prayer warriors nor do they regularly read the bible. They have accepted Christ and claim him as their  Lord and Savior but have not picked up their cross to follow Him. Like the pond, they are stagnant, spiritually speaking. They are neither on fire for God, nor are they in the world. They are in an in-between place that profits no one, least of all themselves. The more they fail to seek God in their lives, the less they seem to hear from Him. This leads to even more alienation and separation from God and His ultimate will in his or her life. Like the pond, their spiritual life is in a state of decay. These types of Christians often feel depressed and alone, even in the midst of an entire church!

Like a pond, they are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm

Revelation 3:15-16

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

This is what the bible says about lukewarm Christians.

God wants us fully on His side. Fully committed and on fire for Christ.

Of course during the course of our walk with Christ, we will have periods where we are more tuned into the will of God than other times in our lives.

We will also have periods where we may find ourselves slacking off and not using the gifts that God has given us to spread the good news of the Gospels.

These ups and downs are a natural part of our growth in the spirit and we should not use them as a source of pride when we are zealous, nor as a source of condemnation when we are backslidden or feel far from the will of God in our lives.

back·slide
ˈbakslīd/
verb
past participle: backslidden
  1. relapse into bad ways or error.
    “converted vegetarians backslide to T-bones”
    synonyms: relapse, lapse, regress, weaken, lose one’s resolve, give in to temptation, go astray, leave the straight and narrow, fall off the wagon

    “many things can cause dieters to backslide”
    antonyms: persevere

    We all want to be Stream Christians, but if you find yourself in the pond, if your find yourself filled with despair even when you are part of a church, you have to seek the living water of Christ Jesus to refresh the spring of your soul.

    The bible says Ask, Knock, Seek. in  Matthew 7:7-12

    Speak to your spiritual leader about your condition. Do not try and overcome this period in your life alone. Arm yourself with the implements of spiritual warfare and put on the whole armor of God.

    Open your heart to God and pray that He have mercy on you. If you do these things my brethren, you will find that the Lord most High will accept you like the prodigal son and there will be much feasting and celebration in Heaven on that day.

    May God bless you and protect you always.

Reaffirm your commitments

Psalm 37:5 ,    Proverbs 16:3,    Galatians 6:9

What do these scriptures have in common?  They all refer to commitment. What does it mean to commit yourself to something or to someone?

com·mit·ment
kəˈmitmənt/
noun
  1. the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
    “the company’s commitment to quality”
    synonyms: dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity

    “her commitment to her students”
    • This is a voluntary decision to hold oneself to a higher standard with regards to the quality of your service to another person or organization. This standard involves a willingness to put that person or organization above all others in terms of priority and importance.
  2. an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
    “business commitments”
    synonyms: responsibility, obligation, duty, tie, liability;

    Once you are committed to a person or a cause, then your free will is subject to that person or cause. Their well being is paramount and your time is dedicated to them before anything else.

    Now, knowing the definition, how committed are you to Christ?

    Do you think of God’s will before you act on your own personal impulses or desires?

    Are your actions in line with the teachings of our Lord and savior when you interact with one another?

    Do you dedicate time to serve the Lord during the week or do you take time to speak to someone about God’s word?

    How dedicated are you about your own spiritual growth?

    Is it something you live fore or is it a past-time on Sundays?

    These are all very difficult questions to answer because it requires us to look at our love of God through a very high standard.  If this standard seems to be too much just remember the 1st and 2nd commandments:

    “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    “You shall have no other gods before Me.

    “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

    And in Matthew 22: 37-40

    37 Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    So the word of God makes it clear that He expects us to be committed to Him and to dedicate our lives to His Glory. We should always be cognizant of the spiritual consequences of our actions and try to conform ourselves to act in ways that are pleasing to God.

    Does this mean that if we fail we are doomed? Of course God is a God of love and mercy. As long as we pick ourselves up after we fall and ask for forgiveness with a repentant heart, there is Grace.

    In other words, even though at times we don’t deserve it, God’s mercy allows Him to show us favor and absolve us of our sins through the sacrifice made for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

    In order to merit this blessing from God we must do three very important things:

    1.) Acknowledge our sin to the Lord

    2.) Ask  God for forgiveness

    3.) Repent

    Here are some Bible verses about forgiveness.

    Understanding forgiveness and repentance are important tools that allow us to maintain our commitment to Christ because sometimes we can feel that we are no longer able to serve the Lord due to our sins or that we are no longer worthy of His love or favor because of our shortcomings.

    This false teaching can only cause us to grow further away from God and this is the last thing that our loving Eternal Father wants.

    We were created to share in communion of the spirit and to be companions to God forever. Remember:

    Romans 8:31-39

    Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love

    31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

    35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

    38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

     Believe that God loves you and be blessed!

New Day

Today is a brand new day,

and so I close my eyes and pray.

That whatever I do or say,

Is pleasing to the Lord in every way.

Under His blessings I shall stay,

He keeps His promises come what may.

And even though my flesh may stray,

In Heaven the’re is a golden entryway.

Jesus’s Love will show me the way

and I’m bound to pass through there one day.

Jesus’s Love will show me the way,

Jesus’s blood washed my sins away

Under His blessings I shall stay.

It’s a brand new day.

 

Isaiah 40:31

2 Corinthians 5:17

It’s never to late to dedicate your life to the Lord.

No matter what you have done and no matter how bad you feel about yourself, God has a plan for you to lift you up and show you His grace.

You must repent and turn away from your sin.

If you fail, you must pray for forgiveness and return to the correct path once again. Forget what has happened in the past.

Concentrate on every moment of everyday and let your thoughts and ways be in line with God.

It will not be easy but it will get easier as you develop discipline.

Daily prayers, reading of scripture and praise and worship are your weapons in this battle of spiritual warfare.

We all fall, but not all of us get back up.

Don’t let your past mistakes prevent you from achieving your future glory.

God is Love.

God’s Promises

What would you do if you could do anything?

Who would you be if you had no limitations?

What if I told you that this was already true?  That the bible says that those who believe in the promises of the Lord are only limited by their own faith when it comes to what they can or cannot do.

Can you believe it?

Can you make your faith in God your superpower?

Because if you can, you really can do anything.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s your faith in God’s promises that enables miraculous changes in your life. The power of God is manifest through the Holy Spirit based on your faith in Jesus Christ . No other source is responsible. There is no “secret” remedy. God has been telling anyone who is willing to believe for thousands of years how they can get a better life.

“Knowledge is Power” – Francis Bacon

Once you know God’s promises, and believe in your heart that they are true, that knowledge frees your mind and allows you to believe in yourself. It allows you to see yourself as God sees you.

Here is a link about God’s Promises.  Please read it and see the affirmations located in God’s Word.

Faith is the key.

The power of prayer

Each person prays in his or her own way.

Prayer is how we speak to God.

Through prayer, discernment and reading the Bible, God speaks to us.

In today’s world modern communications have made it possible for instantaneous face to face conversations with anywhere on the planet.

Social media dominates our modern interaction.

Think of prayer as God’s social media!

The best thing is you don’t need internet service, a laptop or any other device for it to work! The only thing you need is a desire to talk to Him. Our Creator.

The Bible says in James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

So take some time today and speak to the Lord in prayer. He is always waiting to hear from you.